Friday, January 24, 2020



It is time to call out the intolerant woke's racist double standards

From Megxit to Manchester grooming gangs, politically correct discourse has become prejudiced and toxic

We need to talk about racism. With news items like Megxit and Manchester’s failure to crack down on grooming gangs not so much sparking debate as detonating ever-deeper dividing lines, that much is clear. It is true that a virulent strain of prejudice is itching undetected beneath the British social fabric. But not in the way that the virtue-signallers who have so energetically lectured the public this week on their “subconscious” racism would have us believe.

A normalised bigotry is indeed hiding in plain sight. It conceals genuine injustices. Diagnosing it is tricky because it involves confronting human shortcomings. Like any self-respecting epidemic, it also has a chillingly sterile name: identity politics.

Dictating that the most important thing about you is your race or gender, its most obvious manifestation is an infuriating “us versus them” narrative: all white people are racists and all ethnic minorities are victims.

“It is not the job of black people and ethnic minorities to educate white people on racism that is perpetrated by white people,” activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu quipped on This Morning, in a Meghan Markle debate that has gone viral. She then went on to “educate” her audience at length, ironically railing against the “whitewashing” of unconscious racism and critiquing those who see the world “through the lens of white privilege” (as opposed to eyes, presumably owing to their bogeyman status).

She also refused to give any concrete examples of racism against Meghan. In an attempt to cast a pseudo-light on white ignorance and bigotry, she breathtakingly exposed her own ignorance and bigotry about a country that is largely not racist.

Which hits on the outrageous truth about identity politics: the retrograde movement does not help us address racism, because it renounces both dialogue and empiricism. Who needs to provide evidence when one is clearly right? Who needs to have a debate when the answer is decided? Instead of the End of History, we’ve reached the End of Reason.

Far from being committed to understanding others, identity politics is obsessed with the self. Reflecting the cosmopolitan consumer’s spiritually desolate search for intellectually approved personal branding, it is little more than self-aggrandisement posing as self-awareness. But, perhaps most disturbing of all, it deems casual prejudice against “white society” as not only acceptable but positively necessary to fighting injustice.

Hence Sheffield University’s unblinking decision this week to employ “race equality champions” who will tackle “microaggressions” on campus – like asking people where they are really from and striking up conversations with black students about holidaying in Africa.

The tragedy is that the dominance of the woke politics peddled by the likes of Dr Mos-Shogbamimu and Sheffield University prevents us from having sensible conversations about real, everyday racism. Take the myth that black people are more predisposed to crime. Debunking this claim – as unscientific as it is unsavoury – would require anti-racists to acknowledge that black people are disproportionately involved in some crimes, and this fact cannot be batted off with “structural” discourses about victimhood. It would require them to explore how everything from nihilistic gangland culture to one-parent families and bad school discipline have played a part.

Sadly, militant reductionists have no time for nuance.

The scourge of identity politics also means that examples of racism against white people are overlooked. Take the child abuse scandal in Manchester. This week, a detective claimed that a grooming gang, predominantly men from Asian backgrounds, was free to roam the city and abuse young girls because police officers were told to “find other ethnicities” to investigate. This is disturbingly reminiscent of cases from Rotherham to Telford, where the abuse of white girls by ethnic minority males was ignored, as shrugging sexism collided with crushing political correctness.

How did it come to this? Things looked promising when the baby-boomer generation, who grew up more accustomed to non-white faces than their parents, came of age. But then something interesting happened. Communism collapsed and the Left’s struggle shifted, for the sake of its own survival, from the collective to the individual. “What has to be done?” morphed into “Who am I?” The result is Manichaean navel-gazing.

One particularly toxic subplot is the “medicalisation” of victimhood. It was, after all, a professor of counselling psychology at Columbia University, Derald Wing Sue, who invented the term “microaggression”. That he was partly inspired by RD Laing will surprise few familiar with the baleful maverick who famously asked whether mental illness is “a sick response to a healthy situation, or a healthy response to a sick situation”.

And so here we are, stuck on a brain-tranquilising loop. It is like the Brexit debacle at its most febrile, but with even less sign of a solution.

SOURCE 





A feminist b*tch

The nitpicking of a woman by other women is what has given rise to the term "b*tchiness".  It is always deplorable, even when practiced by a feminist

Pam Keith, a verified Democrat on Twitter, who ran for Congress in Florida and lost, decided it was a good idea to post a photo of herself next to Kellyanne Conway, on Conway's birthday, no less, comparing their faces, mocking the older woman for not being as young-looking as herself. It did not go as planned.



This inspired her oh-so-feminist followers (who only care about uplifting women) to post photos of themselves, saying things like "You're doing something wrong, Kellyanne," and "I guess not selling one's soul to the devil is actually good for the skin." Several catty hags piled on to insult and mock the looks of the 53-year-old mom—because orange man bad—calling Conway a "hot mess," among other things. Amanda Prestigiacomo at the Daily Wire compiled a few.

But the cackling didn't last long when normal people started pointing out the meanness and hypocrisy on display. And, by the way, Pam, we see your eyeliner. Blaire White, transgender conservative YouTuber commented, "We can literally SEE your makeup, full eyeliner and likely foundation. Trying to come for her looks is low."

Other's pointed out that if you back up a bit, the comparisons could change rather quickly.



The plea for attention and compliments by grown women was really the grossest part. "That whole thread turned into every teenager's nightmare: their 50+ parents posting selfies and asking for compliments." It was painful.

Feminism: supporting other women as long as they vote the way you do

That whole thread turned into every teenagers nightmare: their 50+ parents posting selfies and asking for compliments.

And look who liked the mean-girl tweet. None other than smug Alyssa Milano, who pretends to care about women.

The true face of feminism is what's ugly and that was on full display yesterday until Keith figured out she'd made a mistake by ripping the mask off a movement that is not for women at all, but deeply partisan and only pro-Democrat.

Keith removed the tweet sometime during the night, but it was too late to stop it from spreading. Screenshots are forever.

SOURCE 





Actor Laurence Fox slams Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes over 'incongruous' Sikh soldier in blockbuster movie 1917 as he says 'forcing diversity on people' is 'institutionally racist'

Laurence Fox has risked sparking further controversy by criticising Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes for including a Sikh soldier in his World War I drama 1917.

The epic war movie has been nominated for ten Oscars — including Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.

But despite these plaudits, Fox, 41, has questioned the credibility of the film's storyline and what he describes as the 'incongruous' inclusion of a Sikh soldier, Sepoy Jondalar, played by Nabhaan Rizwan, in the ranks of British forces.

This, says Fox, causes 'a very heightened awareness of the colour of someone's skin' because of 'the oddness of the casting'.

Speaking on writer James Delingpole's podcast, Fox, until recently best known as the star of ITV drama Lewis, adds: 'It's like, 'There were Sikhs fighting in this war' . . . OK, you're now diverting me away from what the story is. There is something institutionally racist about forcing diversity on people in that way.'

Fox emphasises that his observations are no reflection on the quality of Rizwan's performance.

'He's great in it,' he says, before arguing that having a Sikh appear in the British Army 'did sort of flick me out of what is essentially a one-shot film [because] it's just incongruous with the story'.

Sikhs fought with outstanding bravery in their own regiments, rather than in British ones, in many of World War I's most horrific battles, including Ypres and the Somme.

Sir Sam Mendes's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Asked if he would be offered 'more, better roles' if he espoused 'different views', Fox agrees that is the case, but adds: 'What's the point? You don't want to go into a work environment and have someone thought-police you.'

Fox hit headlines last week when, as a guest panellist on the BBC's Question Time, he clashed with an audience member after she branded him a 'white, privileged male'.

SOURCE 






Tens of thousands of gun rights supporters converge on Virginia State Capitol, peace ensues

The liberal media and their favorite racist, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA), must be bitterly disappointed. (For those who don’t follow Virginia politics, the governor admitted to wearing blackface but claims to have no idea why he had the nickname “Coonman” in college; unfortunately, this information was successfully hidden from voters until well after the 2017 election.) They portrayed a Second Amendment event in Richmond, Virginia’s capital, as being a gathering of potentially violent radicals. But the Left’s narrative was wrong once again: the rally was attended by law-abiding citizens, and it was peaceful.

Since Democrats seized control of the state legislature, they have passed several anti-gun bills, including a “red flag” bill, a bill to limit handgun purchases, a bill to expand background checks, a ban on guns at the Capitol, and a bill allowing localities to further infringe upon gun owners’ rights. Two other anti-gun bills were also proposed: a bill banning “assault” weapons, silencers, and high-capacity magazines and a spiteful bill designed to close the National Rifle Association’s gun range at its headquarters in Northern Virginia. The Democrats’ anti-gun agenda has sparked quite a backlash across the Commonwealth and scores of localities have recently declared themselves to be Second Amendment sanctuaries.

To advance his narrative and anger gun rights advocates, the governor pulled out all the stops to gin up fear over the rally – declaring a temporary state of emergency, putting up a fence all around the State Capitol to limit admittance, temporarily banning guns on Capitol grounds, bringing in State Troopers and a SWAT vehicle to augment the Capitol Police, having a police helicopter hover overhead for hours, and blocking streets with dump trucks. Also spotted near the Capitol were ambulances from a nearby county as well as two mass casualty buses: one from a neighboring county and another from a city 60 miles away. In the end, all of the attempts to provoke rallygoers into violence failed.

This successful event was organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Every year, the gun rights organization puts together a Lobby Day on Martin Luther Day when many people have the day off. (The regular sessions of Virginia’s legislature only last 45-60 days a year so time is short between when bills are introduced and when they are voted upon.) Were Democrats not bent on assaulting Virginians’ Constitutional rights, this year’s Lobby Day would likely have been yet another low-profile event.

In spite of the cold weather, the rally drew tens of thousands of attendees. Of course, Virginians from all across the Commonwealth – including some who live far from the capital and got on the road in the wee hours of the morning – attended. The event also drew Second Amendment supporters from states hundreds of miles away. Fortunately, the Left’s lie that the event was a white nationalist rally did not prevent minorities who support the Second Amendment from attending. Rallygoers flew American flags, Colonial Era flags, Trump flags, and even a Hong Kong flag.

The rally took place nearly without a hitch. There was no violence, and out of the many attendees, only one was arrested – after two warnings – for wearing a bandanna in violation of the state’s anti-mask law (which was put in place to fight the Ku Klux Klan). As is typical with conservative events, the rally area was not trashed. In fact, volunteers were walking around and picking up trash as the event wound down.

Once again, the liberal media and the racist governor have beclowned themselves with their attempts to smear the Right. Gun owners showed up in Richmond in large numbers and demonstrated that an armed society is a polite society. There was no need for the governor to waste taxpayers’ money on his show of force. With their hopes of violence at the rally dashed, the Left will now have to try to find another excuse for their gun-grabbing agenda.

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Thursday, January 23, 2020


Severe diets wont help you to live longer -- but some less restrictive diets will

Association of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets With Mortality Among US Adults

Zhilei Shan et al.

Key Points

Question  What are the associations of types of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with mortality among US adults?

Findings  In this cohort study of 37 233 US adults 20 years or older, overall low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets were not associated with total mortality, but a healthy low-carbohydrate diet (lower amounts of low-quality carbohydrates and higher amounts of plant protein and unsaturated fat) and a healthy low-fat diet (lower amounts of saturated fat and higher amounts of high-quality carbohydrates and plant protein) were associated with lower total mortality.

Meaning  The associations of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with mortality may depend on the quality and food sources of macronutrients.

Abstract

Importance  It is crucial to incorporate quality and types of carbohydrate and fat when investigating the associations of low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets with mortality.

Objective  To investigate the associations of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with total and cause-specific mortality among US adults.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This prospective cohort study used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2014 from 37 233 adults 20 years or older with 24-hour dietary recall data. Data were analyzed from July 5 to August 27, 2019.

Exposures  Overall, unhealthy, and healthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores based on the percentage of energy as total and subtypes of carbohydrate, fat, and protein.

Main Outcomes and Measures  All-cause mortality from baseline until December 31, 2015, linked to National Death Index mortality data.

Results  A total of 37 233 US adults (mean [SD] age, 49.7 [18.3] years; 19 598 [52.6%] female) were included in the present analysis. During 297 768 person-years of follow-up, 4866 total deaths occurred. Overall low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were not associated with total mortality. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for total mortality per 20-percentile increase in dietary scores were 1.07 (95% CI, 1.02-1.11; P = .01 for trend) for unhealthy low-carbohydrate-diet score, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.87-0.95; P < .001 for trend) for healthy low-carbohydrate-diet score, 1.06 (95% CI, 1.01-1.12; P = .04 for trend) for unhealthy low-fat-diet score, and 0.89 (95% CI, 0.85-0.93; P < .001 for trend) for healthy low-fat-diet score. The associations remained similar in the stratification and sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this study, overall low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were not associated with total mortality. Unhealthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were associated with higher total mortality, whereas healthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were associated with lower total mortality. These findings suggest that the associations of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with mortality may depend on the quality and food sources of macronutrients.

SOURCE 





Gender, sex and using non-binary pronouns

When I was in middle school, my history teacher told our class that no one was fully male or female, that we were all comprised of masculine and feminine traits. It was hard for us to fully comprehend, and I recall a few uneasy chuckles, but it marked the beginning of my grasping that gender identity exists along a spectrum. This made acceptance of transgender identity a non-issue for me when “gender” pronouns recently turned into a controversial topic.

Still, I have come to reject the use of non-binary pronouns, believing you should be referred to by whatever sex you happen to be. The reason I do so — even at the risk of being fined $250,000 in New York or running afoul of administrators at Stanford — is that when interacting with someone, my intuitive reference point is one’s biological sex, not his or her sexual identity (gender).

That is, I look past the expression of self which I accept and even celebrate as their right, to try and discern what sex they are. The process is swift and automatic, perhaps even evolutionary, a way of ordering the world and even determining who anatomically is a prospective mate. In other words, we may call them gender pronouns but they’ve always operated for me, and I suspect for the majority of Americans, Pew Research found, who see the addition of “gender” pronouns as illogical, as sex pronouns.

As it turns out, much of what we claim relates to gender actually concerns our physical, biological selves.

In being asked to tick off a “gender” box at the doctor’s office, you’re really being asked about your sex; your gender can’t, for example, tell the doctor whether to check you for prostate cancer. Public restrooms are designed with your sex in mind. So are bras and blue jeans, and, for better or worse, crash test dummies and science equipment. In police reports, substituting your preferred gender for sex make it harder to corroborate a victim’s rape claim.

This is not to take issue with where you relieve yourself or what you wear. It is to point out that the pronoun police and the rest of us are applying pronouns to people through fundamentally different lenses, one emphasizing who a person feels like (culturally), the other who the person is (anatomically).

Neither usage, though, indicates the user’s attitude toward trans people. (I for one am committed to calling trans people whichever sex they turn into after reassignment surgery, and in the meantime fully accept their gender nonconformity.) Thus, the claim in places like New York that those who refuse to comply with a pronoun of one’s choosing are discriminatory is baseless — and itself runs the risk of being discriminatory against a whole range of people, from the anatomically and grammatically correct to people of faith. A Virginia teacher is suing after being fired for not using a student’s preferred pronoun on religious grounds.

Further, forcing others to expand their gender vocabulary often hinders greater acceptance and integration. A friend who recently participated in a video game design competition balked at congratulating the winning team because the seeming contradiction between its members’ gendered and biological selves left him fearful he might address them by the “wrong” pronoun. Unfortunately, another friend who is transitioning to becoming a man refused to accept our differing views on when it’s acceptable to be called by a new pronoun and we haven’t spoken since.

Demanding special pronouns can also come across as narcissistic and leave people feeling bullied, which they naturally resent, threatening tolerance and good will.

It’s mostly white liberals (or perhaps more accurately, woke white “liberals”) who favor preferred pronouns. Nearly half of Democrats don’t see the point, and clear majorities among Latinos, blacks and whites don’t either, according to a recent poll. Even readers of The New York Times are dissenting, with readers responding to an op-ed bashing “those traditional, uselessly gendered pronouns” by saying that adding pronouns “is a power play,” “pretty silly as well as confusing,” “imposing your will on others,” “a gift to the queer-haters out there,” “an example of painfully theatric political correctness” that is “absurd” in its “attitude that we must all conform to make everyone else feel special and perfect all the time” (culled from the six most popular reader responses).

Commendably, new “gender” pronouns seek to bridge the disconnect between what transgender people are and what they feel like, but this simplifies rather than expands on their identity. If, for example, someone claims to be a “himer,” all that tells me in the vaguest of terms is that the person is not comfortable being called a man or a woman. (If it really matters that I acknowledge your gender dysphoria, you’re better off saying, I’m a man or a woman but I feel like … fill in the blank. That’s more transparent and contextual, and I’m more likely to empathize.)

So, rather than try, and politically charging our interactions in the process, we would be better off renaming “gender” pronouns themselves — to say “anatomical” or “sex” pronouns (and a third available to intersex individuals). This would be more in line with how they typically function, and limit false expectations of what non-binary pronouns can achieve. It will also free us to be more substantively inclusive.

SOURCE 




World's Tiniest Surviving Preemie Shows Abortion Isn't in Line With Science or Common Sense

Last summer the nation’s imagination was captivated by a beautiful newborn baby girl called Saybie, who left the hospital weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces. Doctors said she was born in December only 23 weeks into her mother’s pregnancy and was just about the size of an apple, weighing less than 9 ounces.

Her parents were told that Saybie — a name used by her care team — couldn’t survive. But Saybie’s parents didn’t give up hope. Modern medical science saved this tiny baby’s precious life and she is now thriving.

The San Diego hospital where she was born said Saybie is believed to be the world’s smallest surviving newborn, according to the Tiniest Babies Registry kept by the University of Iowa.

I and other pro-life Americans noted on Twitter and other platforms that Saybie is living proof that science is on the side of the pro-life cause. Her very survival must raise questions for our nation regarding current law on abortion.

The late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun famously said regarding the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court that legalized abortion nationwide: “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.”

And, of course, we are there now. Sonograms — 3D, 4D, and HD — have settled the question of when life begins. At conception, a child has his or her own DNA separate and apart from the mother. We can see the baby’s beating heart as early as 18 days. At 30 days the developing little boy or girl has a nervous system.

At 12 weeks the child has fingernails. At 20 weeks the baby has all the major organs we have, along with toenails and eyebrows. The child can sleep, can hear, can respond to the mother’s voice, and can feel pain.

Clearly, sweet Saybie was not just a clump of cells, nor was she ever “a part of the mother’s body.” Saybie was and is a distinct and precious human being with intrinsic value. And now she has the opportunity to grow up and hopefully live a full life for many decades to come.

Reports say that doctors performed an emergency cesarean section because Saybie’s mother’s life was in danger; yet, precious Saybie and her mother survived.

Sadly, 31 states currently allow an abortionist to take the life of other babies at the same stage in development as Saybie. Why do the lives of their children not matter?

According to abortion advocates, life depends upon the state of mind of the mother — whether the child is “wanted.” That’s a nonsensical argument refuted by science.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry make billions of dollars each year from scared mothers and dead babies. We are at a tipping point in our nation in which the facts can no longer be denied. Roe v. Wade is no longer in line with either science or public opinion.

People of conscience refuse to ignore the human right of a living human being to not be dismembered and discarded by a utilitarian society that finds the baby inconvenient.

More and more Americans agree and are overwhelmingly rejecting the radical abortion extremism we have seen in states like Virginia and New York.

Recent pro-life legislation in states like Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana is partly a response to the left’s rejection of truth. Americans are now in the process of setting new boundaries, given these undeniable scientific facts of human life like Saybie.

Roe v. Wade must go because it is no longer supported by science or common sense. States will fight out their own boundaries, but one thing is certain: Saybie is living proof that science is pro-life.

SOURCE 





Australia: Dozens of vegans storm a steakhouse and ruin people's dinners in protest against eating meat - but run away scared when the police are called

Vegan activists have stormed a Queensland restaurant as part of a protest against the meat industry.

Protesters held up signs and repeated the chant 'it's not food, it's violence' in the middle of the Black Hide Steakhouse in Brisbane at the weekend.

The protest was part of a global movement by activist group Direct Action Everywhere.

The group live-streamed the protest to Facebook, urging animal rights supporters to share the video and spread their message. 

'We're at a steakhouse to disrupt normalised violence,' the woman filming the video said. 'We have around 25 dedicated animal rights activists standing in solidarity for animals that are needlessly slaughtered for food.

'We have the choice to end violence with our dollar and in 2020 there is no longer an excuse to pay for someone else's suffering.'

The diners appeared uncomfortable as the group stood in the middle of the restaurant chanting and holding their signs.

Others stood out the front of the steakhouse confronting those who entered the restaurant with their message against meat.

The group are well known for their activities in Western Australia, where they have held several marches and protested outside abattoirs and butchers shops near Perth.

Direct Action Everywhere spokesman Arcadiusz Swiebodinksi said the group planned more protests in Queensland.

'We came here to Brisbane because its a very heavy animal agriculture state here in Queensland and animals need to be spoken for everywhere, he told 7 News. 'This is just the beginning.'

One diner said he was unhappy about having his dinner interrupted. 'Don't interrupt other people's life everyone has got a right to make a choice - they can make there's.  Let the people here who like eating steak make theirs,' he said.

Others offered their support to the steakhouse on social media.  'Hi, sorry you had to put up with those vegan d**k heads last night. We love eating your steak,' one person wrote.

The protest lasted less than 20 minutes, and by the time police arrived the activists had already left.

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020


New Study Claims ‘Trans’ Kids Know Their Real Gender Identity. Here’s Why It’s Flawed

Young children can know that they are transgender. At least, that’s what some researchers are now claiming.

A December report released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims to show that transgender children sense their true “gender identity” and even align with clothing and toy preferences of that gender at a young age.

The study addresses the age-old “nature vs. nurture” debate that has long fascinated psychologists and parents alike.

This is one of the first studies to be released that examines gender identity in relation to children and their development. The authors claim it “provides the largest report to date of the experiences of these early-transitioning children’s gender development.”

The study analyzes transgender-identifying children alongside “cisgender” children to see if they are innately drawn to gender-stereotyped toys and clothes, and if so, by what pattern.

For the study, researchers interviewed 317 allegedly transgender children, ages 3 to 12, along with 189 of their cisgender siblings and 316 cisgender kids who were not related.

The study’s conclusion, on its face, seems to confirm progressive thought on the subject.

“Trans kids are showing strong identities and preferences that are different from their assigned sex,” the study’s lead author, Selin Gulgoz, said in a press statement. “There is almost no difference between these trans and cisgender kids of the same gender identity—both in how, and the extent to which, they identify with their gender or express that gender.”

But a deeper look reveals the facts aren’t so neat. The study appears to contradict itself, other similar studies, and on certain points, even the typical progressive mantra that dispenses with gender stereotypes.

The Findings

The report revealed a number of “findings.”

First, it found that children who are just “cisgender” and children who have transitioned to the opposite gender identity prefer toys and clothing that align with the stereotypes matching their “current” gender. So, a boy born male living as a male still prefers boots and trucks, and a boy born male who has socially transitioned to female prefers dresses and dolls.

Second, it found that transgender children’s preferences were consistent with their gender identity just as the cisgender siblings or other cisgender kids continued to prefer things that matched their biological sex of birth.

At first glance, these findings might seem groundbreaking in providing a science-based affirmation of the trans phenomenon. But a closer look shows they are neither groundbreaking nor affirming.

Let’s take the first finding: The study says some 300 transgender kids—that is, kids who already identify as the gender opposite their birth sex—identify as transgender and prefer toys and clothes that match their gender identity, not their birth sex.

Well, of course. The kids surveyed were already either identifying as transgender or living as cisgender, so it’s impossible to tell from the study whether their toy and clothing preferences were innate. The results were baked into the cake.

Now, clinics, educational resources, and “news” articles about transgender kids implore parents to affirm their child’s dysphoria and help them socially or medically transition. They have been living as the opposite sex, so one would expect them to prefer toys and clothing that affirm that identity.

But those preferences don’t prove that their gender identity is innate or present at birth. They could also have been cultivated by outside factors, like parents or counselors. And if so, that would comport with the high affirmation rate previously mentioned.

This presents a fundamentally flawed scenario: The study’s main finding employs circular logic at best and an obvious bias at worst.

The Big Contradiction

Only one finding in the survey made any logical sense, though since most of it seems like garbage, I’m tempted to disregard this point as well.

The summary of the survey gave reason to be skeptical about trans children’s supposed gender identity: “Our findings suggest that early sex assignment and parental rearing based on that sex assignment do not always define how a child identifies or expresses gender later.”

The study goes on to note how gender feelings can change: “Gender expression or identity for some of them might shift in the future, or their level of support and affirmation might change.”

The authors seem to admit that if children can choose to change from one gender to another, they can choose to change back.

But this finding contradicts the first two findings of the study: If transgender children are so confident in their supposed gender identity, how did the researchers discover that these same children may “identify” as something different later on?

To say it another way: How can this study affirm that gender identity is real and valid, while also suggesting that children can later revert back to their sex at birth? Doesn’t the latter finding suggest that gender is actually binary, that it doesn’t exist on a spectrum, and that both sex and gender are innate from birth?

Biology Still a Key Factor

Few studies have been conducted so far on the topic of transgender kids, toy preferences, and development. However, there was an interesting 2017 study done on how children express gender through their toy preferences. That study may reframe this debate somewhat.

The study, published in the Infant and Child Development Journal, found that gender has its basis in a “biological origin.” Though it makes no mention of transgender children, it contradicts the often-cited progressive concept that gender is a social construct.

The authors of the study observed children, their toys, and methods of play. Through a meta-analysis of past research—they reviewed 16 different studies on the topic of sex differences of 1,600 children in total—the authors found that innate biology seems to influence boys and girls’ toy choices.

“Despite methodological variation in the choice and number of toys offered, context of testing, and age of child, the consistency in finding sex differences in children’s preferences for toys typed to their own gender indicates the strength of this phenomenon and the likelihood that has a biological origin,” the study says.

This study shows how problematic the recently released transgender report is when examined thoroughly. Whether children are born biological males or females, or whether they have simply chosen to identify with the other sex as transgender, they’ll prefer toys that align with that gender stereotype.

It also demonstrates why, if they choose to revert back to their birth sex, they change their toy preferences too.

While most of this study seemed biased, based on circular reasoning, and essentially hackery based on ideological commitments, it is true that more research is needed on children with gender dysphoria. We do not yet know why gender dysphoria appears in some children and why some grow out of it altogether.

What is essential, however, is that academic research begin with a logical premise, include a larger swath of children, and stay clear of circular reasoning or any hints of ideological propaganda. If studies fail on these points, they will be biased from the get-go and unhelpful.

SOURCE 






Boris Johnson on collision course with big business groups as aides plan to ditch two-year hiatus before new immigration rules

Boris Johnson is preparing to impose new restrictions on low-skilled migrants moving to Britain on the first day after the Brexit transition period ends in December, the Telegraph can disclose.

Under radical new plans being drawn up by the Prime Minister's aides, the Government would effectively bring forward its post-Brexit immigration shake-up by two years - removing a temporary extension of the current rules until 2023, that had been demanded by business groups and promised by Theresa May.

The proposals are expected to be presented to the Cabinet this week by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, as part of a paper on the UK's future immigration system.

A No 10 source confirmed: "We need to deliver change and businesses need to be prepared for uncontrolled migration of low skilled workers to end this year.”

The move will put Mr Johnson and Ms Patel on a collision course with business groups such as the Confederation of British Industry, which has insisted that firms will need "at least two years to adapt to any new immigration system.”

The disclosure comes after Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, issued a separate warning to businesses to drop their demands for the UK to stay closely tied to the EU after Brexit, saying that firms had had three years to prepare for Brexit.

Mr Johnson is planning to introduce an Australia-style points-based immigration system.

During the election campaign he revealed that the scheme would include preventing lower-skilled workers moving to the UK unless there is a "specific shortage" of staff in their sector, such as construction.

Those who arrive will only be able to stay in the UK temporarily.

Mrs May's immigration white paper, published in 2018 while Mr Javid was Home Secretary, acknowledged the "challenges faced by ... employers ... who would find it difficult immediately to adapt" to new immigration rules.

It proposed a "time-limited route for temporary short-term workers" to come to the UK, amounting to two years in total.

However Mr Johnson's aides are understood to have concluded that the public will expect to see significant changes to the country's border policy once the Brexit transition period ends in December.

A key pledge of the official Leave campaign was to "take back control".

Mr Johnson will make a final decision following a review being carried out by the Migration Advisory Committee on how a points-based system would work.

One option that is understood to have found favour with No 10 is replacing the current entry rights for low-skilled workers with quotas for specific sectors, such as the construction industry.

A No 10 source said: “As we leave the EU in just over ten days time, we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the way our immigration system works.

"There is a clear drive for talented and skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK, but we also need to see a reduction in the number of unskilled workers and those without a job entering the UK and that’s why this will be coming to an end when the transition period ends in December." 

SOURCE 







Couple suing DCF over alleged assault of their daughter by foster child with abusive history

A former foster family can move ahead with a lawsuit against the Department of Children and Families claiming the agency placed a foster child with a history of being a “perpetrator of sexual abuse” in its home without sharing his background, only to then have the boy allegedly sexually assault the parents’ daughter, a court ruled Thursday.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court decision could have wide ramifications for the department, advocates and attorneys said, by possibly pushing it to disclose more about the children they are placing with foster families, and in how it’s able to defend itself in potential future litigation.

The family said Thursday they’re still digesting the ruling. The former foster mother, who is referred to by a pseudonym in the appellate court decision, told the Globe she felt deceived by DCF. Her daughter, now 11, disclosed the alleged sexual assault to her father in 2013 on the day of her fifth birthday party, according to court records.

“You put your kids to bed at night, you lock your doors, you turn on the alarm. And your 4-year-old wakes up from a nightmare, and says there’s a monster in their room,” said the mother, who the Globe is not identifying, at her request, to protect her daughter’s identity. “You do the flashlight check and you put them back to bed. Then, to find out the monster was real and put in your home by the very agency that is supposed to protect children, it’s pretty emotionally destroying.”

The foster family sued DCF in July 2016 in Middlesex County Superior Court, arguing that DCF was negligent and that if the parents had known the then-12-year-old boy’s history, they would not have agreed to take him in.

A superior court judge dismissed the case on grounds the agency was protected by “sovereign immunity,” which means a private party can’t take a state agency to court outside certain exceptions.

But the appellate court overturned the decision, ruling that the contract DCF signed with the parents gave “explicit and specific assurance that the department would provide the parents with sufficient information” before they decided to foster the child.

“That assurance, made to the parents, is unambiguous,” the court wrote. “If the plaintiffs’ allegations are proven, the department violated its contractual commitment by failing to provide the parents with information known to it.”

The appellate decision sends the case back to superior court. A DCF spokeswoman, citing the pending litigation, declined to comment on whether it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Judicial Court.

“The decision can open up floodgates,” said Kevin Patrick Seaver, a Boston attorney who specializes in legal matters involving DCF but is not involved in the case. “It could require DCF to give a lot more information about foster children who are being adopted or placed in a foster home. It’s a fine line that DCF has to walk.”

Gregory A. Hession, who is representing the foster parents and their daughter, said he’s open to discussing a possible settlement with DCF, but that he’s prepared to bring the case to trial.

“I think it raises the bar and could likely change their policies,” Hession said of DCF. He said the parents, who the court noted had fostered hundreds of children, is still dealing with the fallout of the situation.

“This was their worst nightmare,” he said, “and it’s continuing to be a nightmare.”

According to court records, DCF had asked the mother in May 2013 if she could foster the boy, then 12, for a few days, but a caseworker provided little information beyond that his grandmother had passed away and that his aunt did not have legal custody.

DCF, however, was aware the boy had a history of sexual abuse, according to the complaint. Medical records obtained by the parents disclosed he was both a victim, at the a hands of a step grandfather, and a perpetrator, having tried to climb into bed with a relative and “touch and kiss her,” according to the appellate decision.

The parents had twice requested that DCF remove the boy from their home for “behavioral problems,” according to court records. But not only was he not removed, a DCF caseworker enrolled him in the public school in the parents’ town without telling them, the parents alleged.

That September, as the family was waiting for guests to arrive for the daughter’s birthday party, she told her father the boy had assaulted her.

“I never did foster care for any other reason other than to help the kids,” the mother told the Globe. “You trust the agency that they’ll give [the information] you need.”

Susan Elsen, a child welfare advocate at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, said the decision could have “significant implications” on how DCF communicates with the thousands of foster families it deals with, and it also can have legal ramifications.

“I think it makes clear that sovereign immunity is not absolute,” she said.

The state’s foster care system has been battered by a litany of problems and headlines over the last year. Children are bouncing between homes within the foster care system at a rate nearly double the national standard, a new department report revealed. And teens in foster care are graduating high school at a rate far below DCF’s own goals.

The Baker administration in May announced a raft of changes to the system, including efforts to more aggressively recruit and retain foster families. It came after a series of Globe stories revealed an overwhelmed and understaffed system in which children are being shifted from home to home. And frustrated foster parents are dropping out at a time when the state needs more of them.

DCF said this month that since January 2017, it has seen a net gain of more than 300 new foster families, leaving it with 2,297 foster homes, plus 2,036 other so-called kinship homes, where a foster child stays with a relative. But that has come as 2,350 foster families have stopped accepting placements between then and Nov. 1.

SOURCE 






Housing costs are a problem in Boston and beyond, but rent control isn’t the answer


The recent elections for the Boston City Council focused on the high price of housing in the city. The median price of a single-family home has risen more than 75 percent over a decade and now stands at $615,000. This is nearly triple the nationwide median price of $225,000. Median rents in Boston have also soared, going up 60 percent in 10 years. This has led to renewed focus on rent control as a solution to the housing crisis. A move to rent control in Boston would follow in the footsteps of recent rent control initiatives in California, Oregon, and New York City.

While housing costs in Boston are a problem, rent control is not the answer. Economics research shows that rent control will benefit some renters already in place, but will lead to a reduced supply of housing that will ultimately make housing less available for Bostonians — and less fairly distributed.

Perhaps the best example of the problems with rent control come from the experience of San Francisco. In 1994, the city expanded its rent control program to include a set of buildings that had been excluded based on size of the building and year of construction — but left other similar nearby buildings to be priced under the free market. This law had the intended effect of reducing the exit of existing tenants from the newly rent-controlled properties.

But the unintended consequences were costly. Landlords of the newly rent-controlled properties responded by removing them in large numbers from the rental market through condo conversation and other redevelopment. Over time, the result was a dramatic 15 percent reduction in the rental supply of small multi-family housing — which led to higher rents over the entire city. Moreover, since many of the rental properties were converted to higher-end owner-occupied condos, the housing stock became more elitist — further creating barriers to a thriving middle class in the city. Taken together, rent control increased, rather than decreased, the gentrification of San Francisco.

Looking at the Bay Area today, it’s clear rent control does little to help low- or middle-income families. The residents of these rent-controlled units had 8 percent higher income than those in noncontrolled housing. They were also 60 percent less likely to be a minority.

So if rent control doesn’t solve the problem, what does? The answer, unfortunately, is the one that economists have pointed to repeatedly for decades: reduce regulatory barriers to increasing the supply of housing and lowering prices. For example, a common restriction used in the Greater Boston area is minimum lot sizes — sometimes of an acre or more. One recent study found that imposing a minimum lot size of an acre per housing unit lowered new construction by 50 percent and increased housing prices by 12 percent. This is the effect of just a single type of regulation, of which there are many. Research collecting and aggregating all these complex policies into a single index to compare across cities shows that Greater Boston is the second most land-use regulated housing market in the country. Easing these restrictions to allow more new housing supply is the key solution to the housing affordability problem.

If the solution is that simple, why hasn’t it happened already? One possible answer is also quite simple: Existing residents of neighborhoods are usually opposed. A concern we often hear is that more supply will raise the prices that residents pay for housing through gentrification. Of course, this is not consistent with economic theory or evidence. Indeed, most of the evidence shows that adding new developments lowers surrounding housing prices — and certainly lowers the total cost of housing in the city.

But these concerns persist, and they place repeated barriers to new development. So we suggest not just relying on economic evidence but putting in place an explicit mechanism to protect existing renters from the risk of a “gentrification premium”: rental insurance. Under such a plan, neighbors around a new development would receive a monthly check from the government that compensates them partially for the rise in rents in their neighborhood above expectation. This check would be targeted to low- and middle-income families to ensure that housing policy changes aren’t just furthering gentrification.

Families could use this check to offset the higher neighborhood rents or could use it to compensate them for moving elsewhere. Either way, families are protected from the potentially higher costs of living in their neighborhood — without creating incentives for individuals to stay in place and for landlords to remove property from the rental pool.

To solve the problem of high housing prices in Boston, we need more supply. But this means creative solutions that can help smooth the way to removing barriers to supply. Rental insurance could be part of the solution.

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020



Unexpectedly! Bail 'Reform' Turns Into a Bonanza for Repeat Offenders

The gameshow in my mind goes like this today:

Contestant: "Alex, I'll take 'Least Unexpected Things to Happen in Democrat-Run Places' for $400, please."

Alex Trebek: "And the answer is: 'Catch and release and catch and release and catch and release.'"

Contestant: "What happens when you eliminate bail for most suspected criminals?"

Trebek: "Correct, and that's another $400 to your total."

The latest story of the Big Fail known as bail reform comes from New York. There, 21-year-old MS-13 gang member Eusebio Jax-Mejia was arrested on January 1, then released two days ago -- only to be arrested the very same day for the very same crime.

My friend Ashe Schow reports that Jax-Mejia was arrested the first time "after stealing a vehicle from Dutchess County and then giving Walton police a fake name." The charges were pretty serious according to WBNG, including "criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree, a class D felony and false impersonation, a class B misdemeanor."

It sure seems like somebody knew how to ring in the new year in a big way, but Jax-Mejia wasn't quite done. Mere hours after his bail-free release, Jax-Mejia was in police custody once more for stealing yet another car, this time from right outside the Delaware County Public Safety building. The new charge, filed it seems while the old charges were still warm, was for class-D felony "grand larceny in the 3rd degree."

The Democrat-dominated New York State Assembly passed the reform last year as part of the state's annual budget, and it was signed into law by reform proponent Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new law eliminated "cash bail and pretrial detention for most low-level offenses." What that means is, many accused criminals are now free to hit the streets before their arraignment or trial based on nothing more substantial than their signature.

When a law-abiding citizen attaches their signature to something, be it a check to the utility company, a mortgage, or a business loan, it's supposed to mean something. But what does a signature mean to someone who steals cars (or worse) for a living?

Not much, which comes as zero surprise to anyone but progressive lawmakers.

On Saturday, the New York Post ran a crime story headlined: "Controversial bail reform springs serial robbery suspect — who then pulls off fifth heist." Gerod Woodberry was under arrest for his suspected involvement in no fewer than four bank robberies. Released under the new law, Woodberry -- you guessed it! -- (allegedly) robbed another bank the day after his release. He's still wanted by police, who will only have to release him again should they catch him again. According to a Fox News report by Talia Kaplan, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. said that "one of the most concerning things" is that law enforcement wastes resources rearresting people on the catch-and-release system.

Or maybe police will just shrug their shoulders and ask "Why bother?" about catching known crooks who will be right back out on the street in a day or two?

Also in New York this week, Jonathan Flores-Maldonado was killed by a repeat drunk driver, Jordan Randolph (allegedly). Randolph had been released without bail following his arrest for tampering with a court-mandated ignition interlock device. The device was supposed to prevent him from driving drunk, for which he'd already been convicted three times. Keeping his ass in jail would have prevented him from driving at all.

Here's yet another report from WLNY:

Eugene Webb, a 26-year-old homeless man, wasn’t smiling when cops arrested him for two separate unprovoked attacks on women within hours of each other, including a 23-year-old too terrified to show her face. The attack was so violent it knocked out a tooth.
“I got pushed from the side and then attacked again and I was punched in the head,” she said.

Webb might have been smiling today because under the new criminal justice reform laws, he was released without bail despite the fact that there was a warrant for his arrest for not showing up in court to face charges from a similar attack in September.

The situation has gotten so bad, so quickly, that Governor Cuomo is already backing away from the law he once supported, but hasn't yet committed to anything in particular.

In Democrat-dominated California, they didn't just eliminate most bail, under last year's Prop 47 they reclassified stealing anything under $960 and other nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies.

Can you guess what happened next? Of course you can.

Luis Miguel reported for The New American:

Voters made Prop 47 a reality by a large margin. Its proponents told the public that it would free up resources so police officers and prosecutors could focus on violent offenders.
But in places such as San Francisco, the policy has resulted in the creation of well-organized crime rings that sell shoplifted goods on the black market.

In fact, among the nation’s 20 largest cities, San Francisco now has the highest rate of property crime, which encompasses theft, shoplifting, and vandalism.

And it isn't just smalltime thieves taking advantage of lax laws. Miguel also spoke with Del Seymor from the non-profit group Code Tenderloin, who told him that "many of the criminal fences are internationally based, with fencers coming in from Mexico or Guatemala and smuggling stolen goods across the border." And that "many of these retail heists take place in the light of day and in full view of City Hall."

I used to live in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood way back when, and sure the streets had more than their fair share of homeless and hookers and pushers. But the little locally-owned stores and restaurants weren't the constant victims of international shoplifting rings, either.

In San Diego, NBC-7's Jackie Crea reported on a similar crime wave last November. Crea quoted a local 7-11 franchise owner complaining that shoplifting has become "unbearable. It’s out of control. You will have the same guy coming in five times a day, picking things out." The owner, Jassi Dhillon, described it as "a lifestyle" because "we can’t do anything much except take the loss." El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells told NBC-7 that on the off chance that a police officer actually does ticket a shoplifter, the ticket "usually ends up in the trashcan" because criminals know that they can't be treated as criminals under Prop 47.

Rob, rinse, repeat.

Just another case of Blue State voters getting what they asked for, good and hard.

SOURCE 






Nigel Farage: I'm not sure I can face another uphill battle against our corrupt Establishment



With just 20 days to go until the UK leaves the European Union, some might say Nigel Farage ought to be in high spirits. The bill allowing the UK to leave the EU passed its third reading in the House of Commons this week, with a 99 majority. Instead, for the Brexit Party MEP, it feels like an aptly bumpy end to a turbulent chapter. As a British MEP of more than 20 years’ standing, his Brussels contract will officially expire in February. And his mainstream political career will end as it began in the 1990s – with him as a defiant and undecorated outsider.

Guffawing in his Westminster office at the Government’s decision not to bestow him with a New Year Honour for his vital role in getting Brexit done, Farage insists that he couldn’t “give a damn about peerages”. He means it. There is Burlesque Nigel Farage the marionnette-smiled political performer. And there is Unvarnished Nigel Farage, who tells you how it is while looking at you jabbingly in the pupils. Today, I am definitely talking more to the latter. As he lists all of the rotten aspects of the peerage system and the many times ministers tried to buy him off with one, his voice is clipped with canny self-reflection rather than contrived defiance.

With the Brexit saga entering a new phase, Farage now seems to be in the business of writing his exit scene as one of modern history’s biggest rebels against Westminster – “unless the Government drop the ball again”. Farage has certainly had time to mull things over of late; in recent days, he has been in recovery from a fairly invasive operation. “It was nothing life-threatening,” he chirps, poking his stomach. “Just a bit of carving about. I got very badly hurt in a plane crash in 2010.

There are big things to do after a thing like that, and there are little things. The fact that I am now dealing with little things hopefully means I’ve reached a moment in my life that a line is being drawn.” Eleven days on from his operation, Farage has lost none of his fire. That his office reeks cheerfully of tobacco somehow doesn’t come as a surprise. “Fitness is back on the agenda,” he insists, however. “Drinking less and exercising more.” And smoking? “A bit less,” he mutters, ferreting in his satchel for a piece of paper beneath a cigarette packet.

One thing Farage certainly isn’t cutting down on is polemical attacks on his rivals. Today, he is particularly withering of the “late middle-aged stuck-up Tory toffs” of the European Research Group (ERG). He believes some of its members have been telling Tory MPs they should not attend the £100k “Brexit Celebration Party” that Farage is organising for January 31 – a ticketed knees-up in Parliament Square where revellers will be able to raise a glass as Big Ben strikes 11pm, signalling that we have officially left the European Union.

(Within hours of an official site going live this week, more than 10,000 people had registered.) “What sad little lives they must live,” he booms, adding that, ever since Maastrich, they have been consistently useless as Eurosceptics in defeating the government of the day: “Would I want to stand next to any of them in a muddy field in France under fire? Forget it!”

On Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, who replaced Jean-Claude Juncker last month, he is no less forgiving: she is “living in an Alice-in-Wonderland PC world”. The EU is now “run by nobodies” and even more “disconnected from European voters” than it was when Farage was elected to it some 20 years ago. He insists he won’t miss Brussels “in the slightest”, and that Boris Johnson’s divorce deal is “dreadful”.

But, still, between the punchlines, I detect that Farage is not so much tired, as resigned. He knows that his days as the EU’s most thunderous opponent are numbered, and decisively predicts that “Brexit will go from front-page news to City page news by the summer”. It seems a shrewd assessment: the Brexit withdrawal bill passed in Parliament this week with little fanfare. “Do I personally want to take on the Establishment again, to which opposition to me is 90 per cent? Do I want to spend the next 15 years fighting an uphill battle? I don’t really know the answer to that,” he says, adding that he sees himself moving away from day-to-day politics to doing more commentary and writing books.

Top of his list is a controversial tome on political corruption, tackling allegations of voter fraud within ethnic communities in key constituencies, to the “rotten” peerage system. To this end, Farage intends to rebrand his Brexit Party as “the Reform Party” – to campaign for electoral reform, to expose postal-vote fraud and to take on the “retrograde” House of Lords.

Rather than tearing down the Establishment, he wants to chip away at its crooked foundations. “I’ve thrown up some ideas. I think that voting intimidation, and the whole system of patronage, particularly with respect to the House Lords, needs tackling.” Farage thinks some kind of radical, reforming movement on the Right will be needed to hold the “fuddy-duddy” Government’s feet to the fire.

He is sceptical about the authenticity of Dominic Cummings’ war on Whitehall: “Is this the same fight that says that the next ambassador to the USA must be a current civil servant?” he snickers. This week, Whitehall announced it was looking for a new man in Washington. Given his warm relationship with Donald Trump, Farage had long been been touted as an ideal person for the job, someone who could lead cordial post-Brexit trade deal negotiations with the United States.

From Farage, I detect a sliver of bitterness, adeptly slicked over with acid bewilderment. But, as usual, his criticism of the Government is pertinent: “The decision guarantees that nobody in the White House will even speak to whoever gets the job. How can you have Trump and his movers and shakers meeting a career diplomat? They won’t even speak the same language.” 

So does Farage think this is an early warning sign that Boris Johnson is not as quite as committed to forging a glorious new relationship with the United States as many Leavers hope? “Right now, Trump will be astonished that Boris has this week been on the phone to the Iranian president, backing the Iran nuclear deal,” he says, adding that he hopes the Prime Minister’s “timidity doesn’t get in the way”.

Even if Farage is ambivalent about Johnson’s authenticity, musing that, in Britain, “the Left has more moral courage than the Right”, he still thinks that populism has a powerful global future. He is adamant that Trump will win a second term, even though places such as Pennsylvania may not fall to the Republicans as easily as they did in 2016. Farage’s chemistry with the president is clearly a source of personal pride. A framed picture of that photograph with the pair in a glittering gold apartment lift sits on his windowsill.

But he is not planning on ditching Britain for the States any time soon, despite the constant swirl of rumours. Instead, he wants to spend time with his family, who have “been neglected massively over the years”. Fame has been “inhibiting” factor when it comes to family day trips, he admits, adding that: “It is difficult to do a lot of normal things.” Farage also has a heap of books on his shelves that he is determined to get through, starting with Sir David Starkey’s history of the Magna Carta, “one of the first flashes of British populism”, when the general public rose up against an unpopular king and revolting barons.

The crisp winter blue skies might even tempt him back onto the golf course, although pre-existing injuries have affected his swing. But perhaps the hardest thing that he has to do is face that his front-line political career is nearing its end. “Nobody in this country has come closer than me to smashing the system,” he says. “I succeeded in one way, and failed in another. It’s not everything I want – but victory never is.”

SOURCE 






Religiously driven, anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers are replacing Planned Parenthood

The Obria clinic in Whittier, California:  For most of its existence, this clinic has been known as the Whittier Pregnancy Care Clinic, a religious ministry that offers free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds in the hopes of dissuading women facing an unplanned pregnancy from having an abortion. The clinic provides lots of things: free diapers and baby supplies, and post-abortion Bible-based counseling. What the clinic has never provided is birth control.

When the Whittier clinic was strictly saving babies for the Lord, its refusal to dispense even a single condom was a private religious matter in the eyes of its funders. But today, the clinic is part of Obria, a Southern California–based chain of Christian pregnancy centers that in March won a $5.1 million Title X grant to provide contraception and family planning services to low-income women over three years. Created in 1970, Title X is the only federal program solely devoted to providing family planning services across the country. Congress created the program to fulfill President Richard Nixon’s promise that “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” It serves 4 million low-income people nationwide annually on a budget of about $286 million and is estimated to prevent more than 800,000 unintended pregnancies every year.

Historically, federal regulations required that any organization receiving Title X funding “provide a broad range of acceptable and effective medically approved family planning methods.” But as I discovered during my visit to Whittier and other Obria clinics last summer, the organization’s clinics refuse to provide contraception. Nor do they refer patients to other providers for birth control.

Obria’s founder is opposed to all fda-approved forms of birth control and has privately reassured anti-abortion donors that Obria will never dispense contraception, even as she has aggressively sought federal funding that requires exactly those services. “We’re an abstinence-only organization. It always works,” Kathleen Eaton Bravo told the Catholic World Report in 2011. “And for those single women who have had sex before marriage, we encourage them to embrace a second virginity.”

Mara Gandal-Powers, director of birth control access at the nonprofit National Women’s Law Center, does not think Bravo’s stance “is in line with the intent of the Title X family planning program, but obviously they see it differently.”

Should the Trump administration survive another four years, Obria may represent the future of the Title X program. In 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services instituted a gag rule that banned clinics getting Title X money from providing patients with referrals for abortions. (Federal law prohibits the program from funding abortions.) Seven state governments and Planned Parenthood, which served 40 percent of Title X patients, decided to drop out of the program rather than comply.

But even before Planned Parenthood was squeezed out, the White House had been pushing to redirect Title X and other federal funds to anti-abortion organizations like the Whittier clinic, which juggles its mandates of health care and family planning with pushing abstinence-only sex education, dissuading women from having abortions, and intro­ducing them “to the love of Christ,” as its website says. In July, hhs awarded Obria nearly $500,000 from its teen pregnancy prevention program to provide “sexual risk avoidance” classes.

While Americans’ opinions on abortion are mixed, only 4 percent think contraception is immoral, and 99 percent of women who have had sex have used it. Which raises a big question: Now that Obria has won millions in taxpayer dollars to provide anti-abortion family planning services, will anyone use what they are offering?

OBRIA IS THE brainchild of Kathleen Eaton Bravo, a devout Catholic who set out to build a pro-life alternative to Planned Parenthood. “I wanted to create a comprehensive medical clinic model that could compete nose-to-nose with the large abortion providers,” she wrote on the Obria Group website. Bravo may seek to emulate Planned Parenthood’s organizational model, but she holds a dim view of it otherwise. In a 2015 interview with Catholic World Report, she claimed Planned Parenthood promoted a “‘hook-up,’ contraceptive mentality among our young people. They teach children as young as 12 that they can have sex without consequences.” She went on: “Today, Planned Parenthood promotes oral sex, anal sex, and S&M sex.”

Bravo did not respond to repeated requests for an interview. But she has said elsewhere that her involvement with the anti-­abortion movement began after having an abortion in California in 1980 amid the collapse of a first marriage. Afterward, she remarried, moved to Oklahoma, rediscovered her Catholic faith, and started volunteering at a pregnancy center that tried to convince women to carry unplanned pregnancies to term. Bravo has described driving to Kansas to pray in front of the clinic of Dr. George Tiller, who would be murdered in 2009 by an anti-abortion extremist.

In Bravo’s public statements, there are echoes of the “great replacement” theory of abortion. Abortion, she told Catholic World Report, “threatens our culture’s survival. Take the example of Europe. When its nations accepted contraception and abortion, they stopped replacing their population. Christianity began to die out. And, with Europeans having no children, immigrant Muslims came in to replace them, and now the culture of Europe is changing. The US faces a similar future.”

In 2015, the company hired a Massachusetts-based ad firm to set up virtual “fences” around family planning clinics to target “abortion-minded women,” according to the Massachusetts attorney general. When women entered the clinics, their smartphones would trip the fence, triggering a barrage of online Realoptions ads that said things like “Pregnant? It’s your choice. You have time...Be informed.” The ads, which steered women to the pregnancy center’s site, would continue to appear on their devices for a month after their clinic visit. The Massachusetts attorney general secured a settlement with the ad firm to end the practice in 2017 after alleging that it violated consumer protection laws.

Bravo’s vision for an anti-abortion rival to Planned Parenthood is deeply rooted in the crisis pregnancy center world. Bravo has said she wants to transform cpcs from “Pampers and a prayer” ministries into a network of “life-affirming” clinics that provide many of the services Planned Parenthood does— sti testing, ultrasounds, and cervical cancer screenings, but without the birth control, abortion, or abortion referrals. “I would close my doors before I do that,” she told the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal in 2015.

By the middle of 2006, Bravo had expanded Birth Choice to include four cpcs. She got the centers licensed and accredited as community clinics and installed ultrasound machines to increase their “conversion rate” by convincing abortion-minded women to stay pregnant. Grants from the evangelical Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family and the Catholic Knights of Columbus paid for the machines. In 2014, she rebranded the nonprofit chain as Obria (a vaguely medicalized name made up by a marketing firm, ostensibly based on the Spanish word obra, meaning “work”) and announced an aggressive expansion plan. Bravo became the ceo of a new nonprofit umbrella organization called the Obria Group and essentially turned the operation into a franchise.

The Obria Group doesn’t provide any medical services or even start new clinics. Rather, it’s a marketing arm that recruits existing cpcs to join the Obria network. Affiliated clinics pay a licensing fee to use the Obria name, but they remain separate legal entities with their own nonprofit status. (Bravo’s Birth Choice clinics are now a separate nonprofit called Obria Medical Clinics of Southern California, and she is no longer employed there or on its board.)

Bravo is politically well connected. On the Obria website, she brags that she “has built a network of high-powered supporters over the decades to include former U.S. presidents, Washington lawmakers, senators, prominent mega-churches, spiritual leaders and thousands of behind-the-scene players who move mountains to get things done.” Catholic World Report ran a prominent photo of her with President George W. Bush in 2010, when a Catholic business group presented them each with a Cardinal John J. O’Connor pro-life award. Obria’s advisory board was a who’s who of the pro-life movement, including Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family; Kristan Hawkins, a former official in Bush’s Department of Health and Human Services who worked on Trump’s pro-life advisory council during the 2016 campaign; and David Daleiden, ceo of the Center for Medical Progress, who was criminally charged in San Francisco for making undercover videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood selling tissue from aborted fetuses.

The Catholic Church and wealthy Catholic donors have provided much of Obria’s funding, including a $2.5 million grant from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for Obria’s expansion plans. But Bravo has also secured public funding. In 2005, Birth Choice nabbed a $148,800 congressional earmark to fund three pregnancy centers. Between 2009 and 2016, the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave the Obria Medical Clinics of Southern California more than $700,000 for abstinence-only sex-ed programming, money that had previously gone to Planned Parenthood. Obria has even scored help from Google, which in 2015 gave Obria $120,000 worth of free ads through its nonprofit grant program.

SOURCE 






California Now Pushing Free Health Care for Illegal Immigrant Seniors

California is at it again with a proposal to extend free health care to illegal immigrant senior citizens.

Last July, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that would extend Medicaid coverage to low-income illegal immigrants 25 years old and younger.

President Donald Trump, who made the border wall and stopping illegal immigration a central plank of his 2016 presidential campaign, took a jab at this policy.

“If you look at what they’re doing in California, how they’re treating people, they don’t treat their people as well as they treat illegal immigrants,” Trump said in a speech at the time. “So at what point does it stop? It’s crazy what they’re doing. It’s crazy. And it’s mean, and it’s very unfair to our citizens.”

Trump is right. California has waged a war on the concept of citizenship by essentially sidestepping the will of the American people and intentionally undermining immigration laws.

Worse, by extending social welfare to those illegal immigrants, the state is signaling that the concept of citizenship itself is meaningless.

It’s clear that California’s craziness doesn’t stop, as Newsom and the state’s Democrats have doubled down to extend free health care coverage to even greater numbers of illegal immigrants.

Newsom’s latest proposed budget now aims to extend free health care coverage to illegal immigrants 65 years old and older as a part of the state’s Medi-Cal program. This would add $80.5 million to the budget this year and $350 million annually once fully implemented, according to Politico.

Newsom has made a push to extend health care coverage to everyone in the state, including those who aren’t legal citizens.

“We believe universal health care lowers the cost for everybody,” Newsom said. “We believe the evidence bears that out. We believe it’s the right thing to do morally and ethically. We also believe it is the financially responsible thing to do.”

Is this the responsible thing to do? Beyond the issue of ignoring federal law, there is obviously a price to pay for covering the cost of health care for what could be millions of illegal immigrants.

Right now, California is flush with cash, in part because the American economy is booming and the tech sector is bringing in a huge amount of capital to the state. But what happens when there is a downturn with this explosion of future financial liabilities?

Remember, less than a decade ago, California’s politicians sought a bailout from the federal government to deal with a massive budget hole.

And a lot of the wealth the state needs to fund its massive tax-and-spend ways may simply dry up.

Many businesses in the state already have pulled up stakes rather than deal with onerous taxes and regulations.

Middle-class Californians are leaving the state in droves or say that they want to leave. The pressure to do so will be even greater if jobs dry up.

On top of that, the state has been hit with a massive homelessness crisis, a jarring sign of dysfunction when contrasted with notable pockets of opulence.

To that point, although California is doing its best to encourage illegal immigration and add newcomers to the dole, it’s also finding ways to kill jobs for people looking to make ends meet.

Recently enacted legislation has made freelance work nearly impossible, and represents the kind of lunacy that has gripped the political and intellectual powers that be in the Golden State.

For those wealthy enough to enjoy the fruits of California’s many notable benefits—wonderful climate, beautiful landscape, and interesting cities—things are going fine.

But for those not so fortunate, the state is becoming increasingly inhospitable, the result of a toxic stew of bad laws, failed promises, and misplaced blame.

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Monday, January 20, 2020



Eating your veggies does not stop cancer

My heading above is a bit overgeneralized in that there are some differences between prostate and other cancers but the study is nonetheless a big blow for the veggie evangelists.  It was precisely the veggies most recommended for prostates that failed to have any effect in this study.  So if you have prostate cancer (as I have) order a juicy steak with all the trimmings tonight

Effect of a Behavioral Intervention to Increase Vegetable Consumption on Cancer Progression Among Men With Early-Stage Prostate Cancer

J. Kellogg Parsons with Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all

Findings:  In this randomized clinical trial that included 478 patients, there was no significant difference in prostate cancer progression over 2 years among men who participated in a counseling program that encouraged consumption of leafy green, carotenoid, and cruciferous vegetables compared with controls (hazard ratio, 0.96).

Abstract

Importance:  Guidelines endorsing vegetable-enriched diets to improve outcomes for prostate cancer survivors are based on expert opinion, preclinical studies, and observational data.

Objective:  To determine the effect of a behavioral intervention that increased vegetable intake on cancer progression in men with early-stage prostate cancer.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  The Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) Study (CALGB 70807 [Alliance]) was a randomized clinical trial conducted at 91 US urology and medical oncology clinics that enrolled 478 men aged 50 to 80 years with biopsy-proven prostate adenocarcinoma (International Society of Urological Pathology grade group = 1 in those <70 10="" 2011="" 2013="" 2015="" 2017.="" 24-month="" and="" antigen="" august="" br="" ct2a="" enrollment="" follow-up="" from="" in="" january="" less="" level="" ml.="" ng="" occurred="" or="" prostate-specific="" serum="" stage="" than="" those="" to="" years="">
Interventions:  Patients were randomized to a counseling behavioral intervention by telephone promoting consumption of 7 or more daily vegetable servings (MEAL intervention; n = 237) or a control group, which received written information about diet and prostate cancer (n = 241).

Main Outcomes and Measures:  The primary outcome was time to progression; progression was defined as PSA level of 10 ng/mL or greater, PSA doubling time of less than 3 years, or upgrading (defined as increase in tumor volume or grade) on follow-up prostate biopsy.

Results:  Among 478 patients randomized (mean [SD] age, 64 [7] years; mean [SD] PSA level, 4.9 [2.1] ng/mL), 443 eligible patients (93%) were included in the primary analysis. There were 245 progression events (intervention: 124; control: 121). There were no significant differences in time to progression (unadjusted hazards ratio, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.75 to 1.24]; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.76 to 1.25]). The 24-month Kaplan-Meier progression-free percentages were 43.5% [95% CI, 36.5% to 50.6%] and 41.4% [95% CI, 34.3% to 48.7%] for the intervention and control groups, respectively (difference, 2.1% [95% CI, −8.1% to 12.2%]).

Conclusions and Relevance:  Among men with early-stage prostate cancer managed with active surveillance, a behavioral intervention that increased vegetable consumption did not significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression. The findings do not support use of this intervention to decrease prostate cancer progression in this population, although the study may have been underpowered to identify a clinically important difference.

JAMA. 2020;323(2):140-148. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.20207





Islam teaches hate

During a New Year’s Eve Islamic terror attack that took place in Russia minutes before the clock struck midnight, two Muslim men—Akhmed Imagozhev, 22 and Mikail Miziyev, 18—drove their car into and stabbed to death two police officers, one a married father of four.  Other officers subsequently shot one of the jihadis dead, while hospitalizing the other.

An image of the two Muslim men posing with knives was later found on social media.  Beneath it appeared the words, “love and hatred based on Tawhid!”  This is hardly the first time this ostensibly oxymoronic phrase appears in connection with Islamic acts of terror.  After launching a successful terror attack that killed two policemen in the Kashmir Valley, the militant commander of Kashmir’s Hizb al-Mujahidin—“the Party of Jihadis”—justified the murders by saying,  “We love and hate for the sake of Allah.”

Interestingly, in this otherwise cryptic motto lie the roots of Islam’s conflict with the rest of the world.  “Loving and hating” is one of several translations of the Islamic doctrine of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ (which since 2006 I have generally translated as “Loyalty and Enmity”).

The wala’ portion—“love,” “loyalty,” etc.—requires Muslims always to aid and support fellow Muslims (including jihadis, for example through funds or zakat).  As one medieval Muslim authority explained, the believer “is obligated to befriend a believer—even if he is oppressive and violent toward you — while he must be hostile to the infidel—even if he is liberal and kind to you” (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 64 ).   This is a clear reflection of Koran 48:29: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.”

But it is the bara’—the “hate,” the “enmity”—that manifests itself so regularly that even those in the West who are not necessarily acquainted with the particulars of Muslim doctrine sense it.  For instance, in November 2015, after a series of deadly Islamic terror strikes in the West, then presidential candidate Donald Trump said, “I think Islam hates us.  There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”

This “tremendous” and “unbelievable hatred” is not a product of grievances, political factors, or even an “extremist” interpretation of Islam; rather, it is a direct byproduct of mainstream Islamic teaching.  Koran 60:4 is the cornerstone verse of this doctrine and speaks for itself.  As Osama bin Laden once wrote:

As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High’s Word: “We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in Allah alone” [Koran 60:4]. So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility—that is, battle—ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed [i.e., a dhimmi], or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy!… Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred—directed from the Muslim to the infidel—is the foundation of our religion.  (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 43).

Similarly, the Islamic State confessed to the West in the context of Koran 60: 4 that “We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers.”  As for any and all political “grievances,” these are “secondary” reasons for the jihad, ISIS said:

The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you.

Koran 58:22 goes as far as to praise Muslims who kill their own non-Muslim family members: “You shall find none who believe in Allah and the Last Day on friendly terms with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger—even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred.”

According to Ibn Kathir’s mainstream commentary on the Koran, this verse refers to a number of Muslims who slaughtered their own non-Muslim kin (one slew his non-Muslim father, another his non-Muslim brother, a third—Abu Bakr, the first revered caliph of Islamic history—tried to slay his non-Muslim son, and Omar, the second righteous caliph, slaughtered his relatives).   Ibn Kathir adds that Allah was immensely pleased by their unwavering zeal for his cause and rewarded them with paradise. (The Al Qaeda Reader, 75-76).

In fact, verses that support the divisive doctrine of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ permeate the Koran (see also 4:89, 4:144, 5:51, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 60:1).  There is one caveat, captured by Koran 3:28: when Muslims are in a position of weakness, they may pretend to befriend non-Muslims, as long as the hate carries on in their hearts (such is taqiyya; see here, here, and here for examples; for other Islamic sanctioned forms of deception, read about tawriya, and taysir).

Little wonder, then, that America’s supposed best Muslim friends and allies—such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar—are on record calling on all Muslims to hate.  According to a Saudi governmental run website,  Muslims must “oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [non-Muslims], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him.”

Indeed, because enmity for non-Muslims is so ironclad in the Koran, mainstream Islamic teaching holds that Muslim men must even hate—and show that they hate—their non-Muslim wives, for no other reason than that they are “infidels.”

If Muslims must hate those closest to them—including fathers, sons, brothers, and wives—simply because they are non-Muslims, is there any surprise that so many Muslims hate foreign “infidels” who live oceans away—such as Americans, who are further portrayed throughout the Islamic world as trying to undermine Islam?

In short, jihad—or terrorism, war on non-Muslims for no less a reason than that they are non-Muslims—is simply the physical realization of an overlooked concept that precedes it: Islam’s unequivocal command for Muslims to hate non-Muslims.

SOURCE 
https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/01/hating-and-loving-islam-raymond-ibrahim/?utm_campaign=981570&utm_content=1374688





America is always wrong -- to the Left

After Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, Iranian protesters filled the streets condemning their own government’s war crime while the Democrats and their media blamed Trump.

"This is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the president of the United States," Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN.

“This is one of these consequences of this escalation and this state of war that we are in. Having foresight and being able to look at what the consequences are of going to war with Iran, I think, is a serious thing and a responsibility of the present commander-in-chief,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard insisted.

In the worldview of lefties like Speier and Gabbard, Iran isn’t really responsible for anything. The Islamic terrorist state doesn’t initiate anything, it reacts to our provocative actions. When Iran shoots down a Ukrainian plane, that means that America must have done something wrong to cause the attack.

The Left spent the last 40 years insisting that Iran can’t be blamed for any of its crimes because they all originated from America’s support for the Shah. This isn’t just hyperbole. It’s government policy.

Obama told Iran Deal negotiators that, “part of the psychology of Iran is rooted in the sense that their country was undermined, that the United States or the West meddled in first their democracy and then in supporting the Shah.” He urged them to be sensitive to the “defensive Iran that feels vulnerable”.

According to Obama, Iran was developing nukes, not to destroy Israel or create a Shiite empire in the region, but because it was emotionally scarred by the policies of the Carter administration.

Third world foreign policy applied the moral condescension of liberals toward minorities on a global scale. The same social justice mindset that freed underclass criminals from responsibility for their crimes, blaming them on an oppressive society, liberated entire nations of moral accountability.

Iran’s theocracts, like the street corner mugger, are victims of oppression, instead of their agents.

The same simplistic mathematics of social justice divides the world into the oppressors and the oppressed. The oppressors are the strongest and the most capable, the capitalist pigs and the flag wavers of western nations, while the oppressed are anyone who opposes them by any means.

Only the oppressors have moral agency, while the oppressed are reacting to their oppression.

When the Iranian regime shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, it was responding to President Trump’s oppression, and the entire history of American oppression of Iran going back to the seventies.

Iran didn’t shoot the plane down. 40 years of American oppression did. Just as the homeless guy punching an elderly woman in the face didn’t do it. Gentrification and our class system did.

The Iranian regime didn’t do anything on its own initiative. Just as the guy breaking into your car didn’t do anything. He’s a victim of society. So was General Soleimani. And the guy firing those missiles. Oppressed people don’t have any moral agency. Their only moral activity is resistance. And if the resistance kills a whole bunch of Iranian students in the sky and on the streets, that’s understandable.

As a certain Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter once said of Communist mass murders, “To put it brutally – you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Just think of all those folks flying to Canada as more eggs and the IRGC and Soleimani’s old gang as the makers of the omelets of utopia.

The Left responds to an MS-13 beheading in a D.C. suburb or Iran’s missile attacks on a Ukrainian passenger plane with the traditional retort of moral idiots, “What do you expect of oppressed people?”

Oppressed people have no moral agency. They can’t be expected not to hijack planes, murder millions of Cambodian peasants, rape a girl coming home from work in Queens, or knock over a Korean grocery.

They’re oppressed.

Traditional religion believed that we all, barons and serfs, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, have a moral relationship with G-d. The church of social justice rejected this divine relationship, and instead defined morality by our fixed power relationships with one another. And these relationships were defined by group identities, first along the lines of class, then race, gender, religion, sexuality, and an incoming mass of new identities mediated by the evolving system of intersectional victimhood.

The members of the powerful groups were the oppressive sinners and the oppressed were the saints.

The only law was to challenge oppression. Every crime existed within this struggle, the class struggle, the race war, and all the other manifold conflicts against sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, and all the new isms and phobias, their obvious contradictions irrelevant within the greater context.

It doesn’t matter that Iran kills gay people because the real homophobes are white American Christians. Nor does it matter that a black nationalist attacked a synagogue with a machete because the real anti-Semites are white American Christians. It doesn’t matter that Iran shot down a passenger jet filled with its own people because the real ‘jet-shooter-downers’ are President Trump and his supporters.

The bad behavior of oppressed people is a reaction to our oppression. They internalized our homophobia, racism, mass murder of brown people, and when we’re destroyed, they will be purified.

If you understand, as every true lefty does, that America is the source of the world’s evil, then you understand, as House Speaker Pelosi does, that what Iran did to the jet or its protesters, doesn’t matter.

It also didn’t matter how many millions of people Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the rest were killing.

The Left defended the architects of a Communist genocide in Cambodia that killed millions because they were only reacting to the crisis of American imperialism. Communist atrocities in China had likewise been a response to United States foreign policy. Stalin’s crimes, including his alliance with Hitler, were excused on the same grounds, as reactions to American and European policies toward the USSR.

Even Hitler was initially defended as reacting to the unfair burdens imposed by the end of WW1.

That is how we get to the notion that Iran can shoot down a passenger plane and it’s our fault.

The Democrats, the media, academia, and the rest of the train of moral defectives and perpetual resistance members building utopia a million regulations and corpses at a time, consider anyone who opposes America, especially President Trump, to be an ally of their righteous resistance.

In this backward calculus, Iran and China are members of the anti-Trump resistance, the vanguard of the oppressed peoples of the world, while the opponents of these totalitarian regimes, who risk their lives to condemn Xi and Khamenei, are running dogs of the capitalist order, and deserve to be shot.

The oppressors are the oppressed. And the oppressed are the oppressors. Freedom is slavery and slavery is freedom. It’s so simple that you don’t need a PhD level course in Orientalism to understand it.

Just spend a few weeks watching MSNBC until your brain melts.

A century of crimes was excused by progressives who saw a struggle between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. The ‘Them’ were flag-waving bourgeois capitalist scum dedicated to maintaining the existing order. The ‘Us’ was a motley crew that included everyone from western academics and reporters, to mass murdering Communists and, in the latter era, Islamic terrorists who toss gay people off buildings for Allah.

What united the ‘Us’ faction was its opposition to the oppressive order of the United States. The members of this ‘resistance’ might express that opposition by murdering millions of Cambodians, starving Russian peasants, shooting Jews, and shooting down Ukrainian passenger planes, but these are reactions to the oppression of the United States. Or, as Rep. Speier describes them, “collateral damage”.

The worldview that allows for the murder of Cambodians who wore glasses or Iranian students heading to Canada assumes that the only true moral end is a world revolution against the primal evil of capitalism, globalism, neo-liberalism or whatever the current term in vogue for the existing order is.

This new world order will be utopian. It will no longer need to massacre protesters in the streets, starve peasants, and lubricate the gears of revolution, socialist, Islamic, or otherwise, with human blood.

But, until that blessed day arrives, no one who works to overthrow the existing order and usher in the new order can be held accountable for their crimes no matter how many millions of people they kill.

The means of the new world order justify any and all of the murderous ends.

The media feels obligated to protect Iran as a member of the coalition of the resistance to America. And to America’s current reactionary incarnation in the form of President Trump, MAGA hats, and flag pins.

It colludes in mass murder by brutal tyrannies in the name of a better world.

This better world, we are told, will end racism. Yet robbing people of moral agency because they are different has always been the real racism. There is no worse crime than taking away a man’s morality.

When the Left decided to treat foreign countries the way that it related to domestic minorities, it signed off on mass murder, and became unable to offer a single intelligent opinion about the rest of the world. Adopting social justice as its foreign policy lens convinced it that other nations hate us not because they have their own motives and agendas rooted in over a thousand years of history, most of which predates our existence, but that they are reacting to us and that their lives revolve entirely around our actions.

Speier, Gabbard, and Pelosi have no notion of the history of Islam, or the historic impulses that drive the ambitions of a Khamenei, Erdogan, or Baghdadi. Instead, the idea that they are always reacting to the last thing we did becomes the explanation for everything. That is why every critique of Israel’s actions in Gaza ignores the Muslim Brotherhood’s legacy going back almost a century to focus on the blockade.

If you are going to build up America, Israel, or even Europe, into the villains of the world, it’s best not to have a sense of history, or any idea of what the world was like before the existence of the United States of America, the reborn nation of Israel, or, England and France, but to believe that there was a primeval world filled with wise Islamic astrologers, feminist Greek warriors, Native American shamans, and African dryads, who would have lived in peace, but for the coming of the Industrial Revolution.

This idiotic romanticism cultivated by dilettantes into good art and then bad politics and worse science has killed hundreds of millions of people in the faint hope of returning to a mystical feudalism where life expectancy peaked at forty and the average person couldn’t read or survive an infection. It’s bad enough to condemn the developed world to this madness, but attempts to implement these collective agricultural utopias left miles of bodies strewn across the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia.

The twisted road to the idyllic utopia also requires believing that the civilized are the oppressors and that the savages destroying civilization have no moral agency, but that their violence has a moral end.

And anyone who accepts that premise believes that terrorists can do no wrong.

SOURCE 






Women Win in Trump's Economy
  
“Women are winning in the Trump economy.” That’s a headline that should be emblazoned on the front pages of every major newspaper in America today and dominating TV newscasts from Boston to Seattle. Yet, isn’t, thanks to the impeachment circus Democrats are using to distract the nation’s attention.

Don’t let them. Employment records are being shattered in real time — elevating our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and neighbors with life-changing economic empowerment.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that for the first time in almost 10 years women, have overtaken men in the workforce.

“Women held more U.S. jobs than men in December for the first time in nearly a decade, a development that likely reflects the future of the American workforce,” Amara Omeokwe reported Jan. 10. “The share of women on payrolls, excluding farmworkers and the self-employed, exceeded the share of men in December for the first time since mid-2010, Labor Department data released Friday showed.‘ Adding, "Women held 50.04% of the jobs last month, surpassing men on payrolls by 109,000.”

Thanks to President Donald Trump’s leadership and smart moves with the economy — cutting taxes and job-killing regulations — in addition to other capitalist, free market principles long supported by the Republican party, millions of women across American have now been lifted out of poverty and are no longer reliant on government assistance.

Instead, these women are experiencing hope and the opportunity for brighter futures, a renaissance of the American dream.

Not surprisingly, this is one of the driving forces behind the Democrats hate-filled “resistance” and never-ending persecution of the president, saddling him and his administration with one partisan-fueled investigation after another including the latest impeachment charade. It’s because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her comrades at the Democratic National Committee know that without the powerful female electorate in their corner come November, Trump will be reelected.

Hence the radio silence on the campaign trail from Democratic presidential contenders, including candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and their allies in media. You won’t hear any of them touting the record-breaking unemployment numbers for all Americans, especially the historic low of 3.2% for women.

Nor will they mention the 7 million jobs the Trump administration has created since his inauguration — including 500,000 manufacturing jobs –benefitting labor workers.

To the contrary, liberal lawmakers refuse to acknowledge the roaring economy benefitting their constituents or the significant trade deals the president and his administration are putting into place. This includes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement the U.S. Senate voted 89-10 in favor of on Thursday and the Phase 1 trade deal with China the president succeeded in negotiating this week, benefitting the American worker.

The left’s playbook is to distract voters’ attention from Trump’s many achievements, both domestic and abroad, and flood the news cycle with impeachment talk and other manufactured crises in hopes that we don’t notice our fatter paychecks, blossoming pensions and 401(k)s.

Ludicrous, I know.

All the while, Democrats continue to pay lip service, saying they’re the party for “equal pay,” “child care” and “female empowerment” while the Trump administration is actually moving the needle on all these things.

Reminding us of Benjamin Franklin’s wise words, “Well done is better than well 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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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