Sunday, January 20, 2019



Parents Versus the 'Transgender' State

Leftists seek to impose the values of their "new morality" via the heavy hand of government.

The Founding Fathers recognized the dangers inherent in government authorities using their power to abuse citizens and therefore sought to prevent and limit this probability via the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The First Amendment specifically protects every American citizen’s right to freely express themselves and live according to their beliefs.

We are now living in an era when those protections are being threatened more than ever. In their efforts to promote the rights of individuals to engage in behaviors that were once widely viewed and condemned by the cultural majority as immoral and repugnant, “social justice” activists citing “tolerance” and appealing to the First Amendment were successful in securing greater governmental protections for these fringe groups.

But having established greater governmental protections, along with a growing cultural acceptance, ironically, these same leftist “social justice” activists have now ditched tolerance and are actively working to erode those First Amendment protections they originally appealed to. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion have now become roadblocks to their new morality agenda.

Few examples display the reality of this agenda more clearly than the actions by several states to pass laws designed to force acceptance of the new morality. Those who have suffered most under this new “inclusive” agenda include florists, cake bakers, and wedding photographers. But it has not been limited to the states. On the federal level, one of the biggest examples of First Amendment encroachment has been ObamaCare and its contraception mandate.

Now with the rise of the “transgender” movement and its celebration by leftist activists in pop culture, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is aiming to force all Americans into embracing the new “morality.” Following her state’s lead, one of Pelosi’s biggest priorities is the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and “gender identity” as official protected classifications under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. By doing so, both parents and the medical community would lose their First Amendment rights to object to their child’s or patient’s gender dysphoria-motivated desires. They would be forced to abide by these deluded desires or risk losing their children or medical license.

As Emilie Kao writes in The Daily Signal, “The Equality Act would expedite this trend by giving the transgender movement a powerful legal weapon to drive medical consensus that could undermine the rights of parents. As more parents wrestle with finding the most loving and helpful solutions for their children struggling with gender dysphoria, the government must support them — not undermine them. Parents must remain central to the decision-making process when it comes to the medical care of children suffering from gender dysphoria.”

SOURCE






The Left Attacks Trump’s Pick to Replace Brett Kavanaugh for Her Smart College Writings

Young conservatives, be warned: Reasonable ideas written in college—such as the notion that binge drinking can lead to dangerous consequences for young women—can and will be twisted and used against you should you be nominated for high-powered positions two and a half decades later.

That’s what’s happening to Neomi Rao, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and who reportedly is on the short list for the Supreme Court.

Rao, a 45-year-old Indian-American, has become the latest target of liberal activist groups and media smears, including BuzzFeed News, CNN, Mother Jones, Alliance for Justice, and Lambda Legal.

She is a brilliant legal scholar with decades of experience writing as a lawyer and law professor at George Mason University, but that’s now being overlooked because of some columns in college.

Her writings were published in the early 1990s, when Rao wrote for the Yale Free Press student newspaper as an open conservative at Yale University. She also briefly wrote for The Weekly Standard.

“'[S]he described race as a ‘hot, money-making issue,’ affirmative action as the ‘anointed dragon of liberal excess,’ welfare as being ‘for the indigent and lazy,’ and LGBT issues as part of ‘trendy’ political movements,” wrote BuzzFeed News. “On date rape, Rao wrote that if a woman ‘drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice.’”

Reading Rao’s original work might take a significant amount of time, but the experience is worth it to see how easily a journalist with an agenda can cherry-pick the most provocative few words in a person’s long, thoughtful work.

Take the example of Rao’s 1994 op-ed in The Yale Herald, headlined “Shades of Gray,” where she did indeed write that if a woman “drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice.”

Activist groups are twisting this line to suggest Rao believes it’s women’s fault when they get raped, but that’s not what she said at all.

Rao wrote firmly that men should be prosecuted and held responsible for rape—not once, but twice, in case the point wasn’t clear.

“A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted. At the same time, a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober,” she wrote.

Provocative, sure, but Rao’s being punished for predicting the sexual assault crisis that’s now exploded on college campuses, and for raising important questions we still haven’t solved. Do women hold any responsibility when they drink too much and consent to something they later regret? Rao concluded: 

Clearly, if the male student forced the woman to have sex against her will, then he should be held responsible. Yet the role of alcohol severely complicates the scenario. People often drink precisely so that they may limit their responsibility. They want to forget about their papers and their problems. They want to have fun, and not think so hard.

Since the case rests only upon the testimony of the students who were involved, who decides the truth? A woman makes an accusation, a man denies it. At Yale, this gives the Executive Committee another opportunity to exercise their particular brand of judgment.

More than two decades later, the U.S. Department of Education is still asking these important questions, with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos most recently working to restore the rights of those accused.

But somehow, liberal media and activist groups find these ideas unacceptable for a college student in 1994 to explore.

One side says #BelieveAllWomen, while the other wants evidence and facts. In context Rao simply asks:

Can the liberated ’90s woman freely choose whether to drink or not? Unless someone made her drinks undetectably strong or forced them down her throat, a woman, like a man, decides when and how much to drink. And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice. Implying that a drunk woman has no control of her actions, but that a drunk man does, strips woman of all moral responsibility. It creates a culture of victimization in which men are prowling and uncontrollable, and women are weak and helpless. Any self-respecting person should be troubled and offended by such ideas.

Nan Aron, president of the liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice, which “first highlighted Rao’s college writings to BuzzFeed News,” claimed Rao’s columns were “hostile to sexual assault survivors.”

Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec responded to the inflammatory allegation, telling BuzzFeed News that Rao’s contributions to her student newspaper were “intentionally provocative,” which is any good writer’s job.

Rao’s arguments were reasoned and courageous. They demonstrate her ability to raise countercultural arguments and articulate their defense—an important quality in any good judge.

Instead of punishing Rao for addressing controversial topics on college campuses, society should be doing the opposite. We should praise her for having the courage to swim against the current because, right or wrong, college is the time to explore.

And instead of writing splashy headlines about the writings of a 19-year-old, we should look at Rao’s professional record and achievements since then.

After receiving a B.A. from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Chicago, Rao clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (A former intern at The Heritage Foundation, she recently received the think tank’s Distinguished Intern Alumni Award.)

She served in all three branches of government, then went on to found the Antonin Scalia Law School’s Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University.

Currently, Rao is serving as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget, known as “the most important office you’ve never heard of.”

There, she oversees Trump’s ambitious deregulatory agenda. She’s respected by colleagues as a brilliant legal mind, and is considered one of the foremost experts in administrative law.

In other words, Rao is a force to be reckoned with in Washington and beyond. An Indian-American woman from Detroit, she’s an obvious threat to the those on the left.

If digging up old, provocative works from college is the worst they’ve got, Rao will sail through her confirmation hearings for the D.C. Circuit and eventually, possibly the Supreme Court.

But we learned from the Kavanaugh hearings that the left won’t stop at anything, so conservatives best come prepared. There’s no telling how low they’ll go.

SOURCE







Marking Anniversary of Religious Freedom Law, Acting AG Whitaker Laments Loss of Support From Left

In 1993, President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, signed broad consensus legislation to protect religious liberty, with support from religious conservative groups and the American Civil Liberties Union alike, which helped it sail through Congress.

Twenty-five years later, however, religious freedom has become a highly contentious issue, and many Democrats and liberal groups have sought to undermine the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Wednesday.

Whitaker expressed regret about the shift by Democrats.

“Today, many of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s] original supporters, including the ACLU, have changed their mind,” he said in remarks at The Heritage Foundation.

“In recent years, when some states have attempted to pass their own version of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act], they have been met with bitterness and hostility,” Whitaker said. “Meanwhile, others have disregarded both the spirit and the letter of [the law]. They have tried to use the power of the state to make people choose between following their core beliefs and being ‘good citizens’ even when it is not remotely necessary.”

The 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, sponsored by then-Rep. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., cleared the House unanimously and passed the Senate 97-3, when both chambers were controlled by Democrats. It took effect in November of that year.

The law states the federal government can’t burden an individual’s exercise of religion unless it is in seeking to further a compelling public interest, and even then must do so by the least restrictive means.

Whitaker cited cases where the federal government tried to force nuns to provide contraception and of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Colorado baker penalized by that state for refusing to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

He also noted that Democratic senators have attacked President Donald Trump’s nominees for their religious views.

“Religious freedom makes our country strong,” Whitaker said. “That is why threats to our religious freedom are also threats to our national strength.”

Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, “religious freedom is not absolute, but is protected by the highest standards under constitutional law,” Whitaker said.  “Government is still able to fulfill its purposes, just without infringing on other people’s rights. It is a remarkable thing for a government to impose such a restraint on itself, and it is unique to the American system.”

Clinton signed the bill in a White House ceremony that had the backing of both religious conservatives and the ACLU.

“It would have been much easier for a government to disregard the cost upon individual liberty and conscience,” Whitaker said. “In all too many countries … that’s exactly what governments are currently doing. But the enactment of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] was a bold affirmation that religious freedom and the freedom of conscience are precious and deserving of protection—even if it makes things a little harder for the government.”

Whitaker noted the efforts the Trump administration has made to defend the first freedom of the First Amendment.

Trump’s Justice Department has obtained 14 indictments and 10 convictions in cases involving attacks on, or threats against, houses of worship and individuals based on religion. It also secured 50 hate crime indictments and 30 convictions regarding attacks on people based on their religion. 

Further, the administration defended parents in Montana who claim that the state barred their children from a private school scholarship program because they attend a religiously affiliated school.

The administration filed five amicus briefs in cases alleging religious discrimination in local zoning laws that included cases on behalf of a Hindu temple and a Catholic church, Whitaker noted. The administration is also defending the constitutionality of a World War I memorial in the shape of a cross in Maryland.

Those are among the issues that Whitaker said he has worked closely on, first as chief of staff for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then as acting attorney general.

“Religious liberty and the rule of law are two subjects that [Attorney General] Sessions felt passionate about,” Whitaker told The Daily Signal in an interview after his remarks. “When I came in, I personally drove some of these cases to conclusion.”

If you notice, some of these cases were resolved in October and November, and it’s because I came in and knew how important these were, and really drove them to conclusion. I feel really strongly about this.

I take great pride [in], and very seriously, our obligations under [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] and protecting all people of faith from undue burdens of the federal government. I hope it continues under Attorney General [nominee William] Barr, and I expect it will. 

Congress took up the Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation after the 1990 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Employment Division v. Smith seemed to be overly broad in addressing a lawsuit by an employee fired for ingesting the hallucinogenic drug peyote while at work.

The court ruled the employee could not claim the right to do so as a practice of his Native American religion.

During the 1993 bill-signing ceremony, Clinton said, “It is interesting to note … what a broad coalition of Americans came together … to protect perhaps the most precious of all American liberties, religious freedom.”

Then-Vice President Al Gore also spoke, saying, “When you have the National Association of Evangelicals and the ACLU … we’re doing something right.”

“The country was very different 25 years ago,” Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James said at Wednesday’s event with Whitaker. “A coalition from across the ideological spectrum, including everyone from Nadine Strossen of the ACLU and Mike Farris, who is now the CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, came together to bolster freedoms that were limited by an unfortunate Supreme Court decision. …

“Boy, have times changed. I wish we could get that kind of bipartisan support today for something that is so important, like this. The political left has actively worked to undercut our freedoms,” she said.

James cited attempts by government to force religious institutions and even pro-life groups to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, and forcing small businesses to act contrary to their religious values. 

Whitaker cited the Founders’ vision for religious freedom; namely, that of Thomas Jefferson.

“On his tombstone, it does not say he served as president of the United States,” Whitaker said of Jefferson. “It says three things, that he authored the Declaration of Independence, that he founded the University of Virginia, and that he authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.”

It was James Madison who championed the religious freedom statute in the Virginia Legislature. 

“Within a few years, Madison became the father of the Constitution and the author of the First Amendment,” Whitaker added. “Jefferson, Madison, and the rest of the Founders took great care to protect the rights of religious people in this country, and we look back now, and we can see why: because religious freedom has made this country stronger.”

SOURCE







Forward: The publication for self-hating Jews is folding

Go woke, go broke applies to non-profits too. Does this mean we'll see fewer Forward articles like, "Why We Should Applaud The Politician Who Said Jews Control The Weather"?

The Forward is stopping — its print editions.

Not really news. Nobody has looked at a print copy of The Forward's deranged anti-Semitic ravings in years. I didn't even know they still had one.

The storied Jewish-American publication is suspending its print operations and plans to lay off about 40 percent of its editorial staff — including Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner — while moving to digital-only.

The Forward hasn't been Jewish since Eisner decided to dump the "Jewish" part some years back while transitioning the paper from lefty politics to explicitly anti-Semitic politics.

Eisner's departure is the best news in a while, but there's no doubt that she'll land securely somewhere else in the mediacracy.

“We are announcing that this spring The Forward will complete its evolution from what was once a print-focused publisher to become a digitally focused publication.”

So it'll just be a blog now.

“The revenue is not really there,” said a source. “They’ve been losing money for years but lately the losses have been more than $5 million a year.”

The publication is owned by The Forward Association, a not-for-profit whose endowment swelled to more than $100 million when the association sold its former headquarters on the Lower East Side as well as the radio station WEVD.

WEVD once provided Jewish programming. The headquarters was turned into condos.

What exactly is The Forward Association doing with all that money, except paying staffers to defend anti-Semitism and spew hatred?

Good question.

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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Friday, January 18, 2019



American Academy of Pediatrics Says No More Spanking or Harsh Verbal Discipline

Many of the major medical journals have come to resemble the global warming literature, with its low level of scholarship and determination to push an ideological agenda.  It is quite depressing.  Anyway, the latest heap of crap is below.  I follow the official pronunciamento with the abstract of the only study they refer to in support of their claims. So I will confine my comments to that study.

The study is a typical Leftist bit of over-simplification that totally ignores individual differences.  All men are equal so everybody must have the same disciplinary regime, apparently.  The idea that what works for one kid may not work for another cannot be entertained. My father never laid a hand on me and I never laid a hand on my son but that doesn't persuade me into thinking that you can bring up all kids that way.  Some kids really "try it on" and need some sort of physical discipline to enforce guidelines. I remember a dear little boy who was a real horror in his very permissive home but who was always an angel at my place because I once twisted his ear.

Just talking to defiant kids they despise. They think you are weak.   Without discipline they will almost certainly go into some sort of crime later on in life.  The little boy I mentioned above had a very rough teenagerhood but he eventually learned to follow the rules and is now doing very well. Luckily he was quite bright.

So the averages may be as reported below but what was behind the averages is far more important.  Clearly, some kids received discipline but still came out OK but we are told nothing about them.

Moreover, it was only the father’s high-frequency spanking at age 5 that was associated with less desirable outcomes.  What about lower frequency spanking?  That was apparently OK.  So, if you read the details in the article, spanking seems to be no problem.  It is only "high frequency" spanking that should be deplored.  What a laugh!  As is so often the case in science, the authors concluded what they wanted to conclude -- rather than what their results show.  I saw that frequently in my research career.



The largest professional organization for US pediatricians is taking a strict stance against parents, caregivers, and other adults using spanking, hitting, or slapping to discipline children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released an updated policy statement on corporal punishment—the first major revise since 1998—based on accumulating evidence that physical punishments don’t work in the long-term and could even cause unintended harms. The policy also recommends against verbal discipline that causes shame or humiliation.

Robert Sege, MD, PhD, the policy’s coauthor and a pediatrician at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, recently spoke with JAMA about the AAP’s position on corporal punishment and how physicians can help parents discipline more safely and effectively. The following is an edited version of that conversation.

JAMA:What’s the AAP’s new policy on corporal punishment?

Dr Sege:First, parents should not use corporal punishment, including hitting and spanking, either in anger or as punishment. And, also, they shouldn’t use verbal punishment that causes shame or humiliation.

JAMA:What’s different about this policy statement?

Dr Sege:The 1998 statement discouraged parents from spanking their children and suggested that pediatricians help parents not to spank their children, but it was a little wishy-washy. What’s happened in the 20 years since then is that the data has really been overwhelming about how corporal punishment is ineffective and how it’s potentially risky. Parenting is a very personal thing and, of course, parents make their own decisions about how they want to raise their children. Our feeling at the American Academy of Pediatrics is that the role of doctors is to give parents the best evidence-informed guidance that we possibly can with which to make their decisions. And all of what we know says parents should never hit their children.

JAMA:What do recent studies tell us about the effectiveness of spanking and other physical discipline?

Dr Sege:A meta-analysis of a large number of studies showed that corporal punishment doesn’t work. It doesn’t cause children to change their own behavior, certainly not in the medium- or long-term. There were small studies that had mediocre study quality that showed that there’s a temporary change in a child’s behavior. But, of course, what parents want is to change the children’s behavior over the longer-term.

JAMA:What do we know about the consequences of corporal punishment on children?

Dr Sege:There are 3 main kinds of consequences. The first is that it increases their aggressive behavior and causes them more problems in school and with their parents. In the largest study of its kind—a longitudinal study that followed children over several years—children who were spanked had more problematic and aggressive behavior [later]. Corporal punishment often led to a vicious cycle, where the children became more oppositional as they experienced corporal punishment, causing their behavior to get worse. [The association between spanking and higher levels of aggression and rule-breaking remained after child and family characteristics were controlled for, including earlier behavior problems and mother’s parenting stress.]

SOURCE

Spanking and Child Development Across the First Decade of Life

Michael J. MacKenzie et al.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of maternal and paternal spanking of children at 3 and 5 years of age and the associations between spanking and children’s externalizing behavior and receptive vocabulary through age 9.

METHODS: The Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study of children in 20 medium to large US cities, was used. Parental reports of spanking were assessed at age 3 and 5, along with child externalizing behavior and receptive vocabulary at age 9 (N = 1933). The data set also included an extensive set of child and family controls (including earlier measures of the child outcomes).

RESULTS: Overall, 57% of mothers and 40% of fathers engaged in spanking when children were age 3, and 52% of mothers and 33% of fathers engaged in spanking at age 5. Maternal spanking at age 5, even at low levels, was associated with higher levels of child externalizing behavior at age 9, even after an array of risks and earlier child behavior were controlled for. Father’s high-frequency spanking at age 5 was associated with lower child receptive vocabulary scores at age 9.

CONCLUSIONS: Spanking remains a typical rearing experience for American children. These results demonstrate negative effects of spanking on child behavioral and cognitive development in a longitudinal sample from birth through 9 years of age.

SOURCE






Procter & Gamble's Toxic Sanctimony

It's a truly amazing destruction of a brand by its own management. It will go down in marketing history. Two minutes that ruined a company. One would expect that the management are a green new generation but the key executives are in fact all no spring chickens.  I guess they just want to be hailed as virtuous in their old age.  Their ego is destroying their company

One of the world's most successful brands committed ideological hara-kiri this week. Recognized around the world as a symbol of manly civility for more than a century, Gillette will now be remembered as the company that did itself in by sacrificing a massive consumer base at the altar of progressivism.

To which I say: R.I.P.-C. (Rest In Political Correctness).

In case you hadn't seen or heard, parent company Procter & Gamble launched a Gillette ad campaign blanket-demonizing men as ogres and bullies. Guilt-ridden actors gaze ruefully at their reflections in the mirror — not because they've neglected their hygiene, but simply because they're men. Various scenarios of boys being boors and males being monsters flash across the screen before woke interlocutors show how "real" men behave in nonaggressive, conciliatory and apologetic ways.

At home and at work, in the boardroom, on the playground, and even while barbecuing in the backyard, Gillette sees nothing but testosterone-driven trouble. Message: Y chromosomes are toxic. The "best a man can get" can no longer be attained without first renouncing oppressive manliness.

Self-improvement must begin with self-flagellation.

A Gillette company statement explained that after "taking a hard look at our past" and "reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate," officials decided to "actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette."

But Proctor & Gamble, which bought Gillette in 2005 for $57 billion, doesn't spell out which part exactly of the 118-year-old company's past it now rejects. Was it founder King Gillette, the relentless entrepreneur who appealed to "red-blooded" young American soldiers? Was it the decades of multimillion-dollar promotional campaigns catering to physically superior athletes?

Or perhaps the mau-mauing marketers have adopted the radical feminist position that shaving itself is sexist. Is the ultimate goal to undermine the very raison d'etre of the $15 billion shave care industry?

I ask only half in jest. How else to explain this latest suicidal episode of collective consumer-shaming? Gillette's two-minute, man-bashing missive may have racked up 7 million views on YouTube, but the "dislikes" outnumber "likes" by 4 to 1.

And the reviews are brutal:

"How to destroy your company in 1 minute 48 seconds."

"Companies attempting to make profit should stick to that."

"The single male is the most attacked maligned ridiculed and forgotten person in today's society."

"You can buy High Quality Razors that are NOT Gillette at the 99 Cents Store with NO lecturing on how to be a Man."

"I'll buy P&G products again when I see them release an equivalent ad targeting negative female traits: toxic femininity/paternity fraud/fake accusations... doubt that's going to happen any time soon!"

"So now Gillette thinks that it is the arbiter of what all men should think, say, and watch. Screw Gillette, bought their products for almost 50 years, I will never buy another Gillette product. NEVER!!!"

"Thank you Gillette, I purchased your razors and chopped off my testicles with it. No more toxic masculinity!"

Ouch.

You may remember that P&G, which I un-fondly refer to Protest & Grumble, has dipped its sanctimonious toe into social justice waters before. In 2017, the company tackled identity politics with a video called "The Talk." The preachy ad stoked fear and hatred of police and perpetuated racial stereotypes of officers lurking around every corner waiting to pounce on innocent black children and teenagers — alienating law enforcement families across the country and insulting every minority cop to boot.

The backlash against that ad apparently didn't faze Protest & Grumble's activist zealots. Once again, industry marketers are proving they're not satisfied with selling useful products people want and need. No, they're hell-bent on exploiting successful businesses to cram odious politics down consumers' throats.

Like many Silicon Valley giants (hello, Facebook and Twitter) and SJW-hijacked sports enterprises (hello, NFL and ESPN), Gillette is now openly discriminating against its consumers-turned-critics to curry political favor with the #MeToo movement. Savvy social media observers caught the company throttling negative comments and dislikes on its YouTube video. They can manipulate likes and de-platform dissenters. But they won't be able to disguise the bloodletting effect of toxic sanctimony on their bottom line.

Falling on your virtue-signaling blade may win you awards and headlines, but ultimately, it's a fatal proposition.

SOURCE






Christian Baker Jack Phillips’ New Legal Battle with Colorado Is a Matter of Fairness

Most of us understand the importance of fairness early in life. Whether it’s an umpire’s call in Little League or a teacher’s grading in elementary school, we all intuitively know that fairness is a big deal.

But fairness perhaps is no more important than when our rights are in the hands of courts or other government tribunals. It’s there that we expect not only actual fairness but the appearance of fairness.

That seems reasonable enough. Now imagine that your freedom was on the line. You spent decades building your career, and the government threatens to take it away because of how you practice your faith.

You’re confident in your arguments, but your case is placed before a court that the highest court in the land just said was hostile to your beliefs. You wouldn’t feel very good about your chances, would you? The assurance of fairness would be missing. The legitimacy of the whole process is called into question.

“No worries,” the court tells you, “we have some new judges since we punished you a few years ago.”

That’s supposed to make you feel better, but you dig a little deeper and find that the current judges opposed your appeal in the earlier case. “Well, that’s not a good sign,” you think, but you try to stay optimistic.

Then you learn that the old and new judges alike were selected by the same person. And his selection pool included many judges with ties to an advocacy group that firmly opposed you in your first case. Not feeling too hopeful at this point, huh?

If all this weren’t bad enough, you finally learn that one of the current judges called you a “hater.” Would you believe that you have a fair shot at justice? Not a chance.

But that’s exactly what is happening to Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop. It’s not what you’d consider a picture of justice in action.

The state of Colorado, through the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, an administrative agency that operates as part prosecutor and part jury, punished Phillips a few years ago.

His crime? He could not in good conscience design a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. He offered to sell the same-sex couple anything else in his shop or to create a different cake for them, but that wasn’t enough for the state of Colorado.

For six years, Phillips defended himself. And just when he began to wonder if all was lost, the Supreme Court intervened this past June and condemned the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for acting with “impermissible hostility” toward his faith.

That hostility consisted in large part of the commission’s unequal treatment of Phillips. While it allowed other bakeries and cake shops like his to refuse to make cakes with religious messages opposing same-sex marriage, it punished Phillips for declining to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage.

There’s nothing fair about that.

But the hostility didn’t stop with the discriminatory treatment. It extended to commissioners who made hostile statements about Phillips. One referred to his plea for religious freedom as a “despicable piece of rhetoric.” And another took to Twitter to declare: “Freedom OF religion does NOT mean freedom FOR YOUR religion.”

With this sentiment running rampant on the commission, is it any wonder that less than a month after the Supreme Court denounced the state’s hostility, it was targeting Phillips again?

This time, his supposed crime is declining to create a custom cake with a blue and pink design that the attorney who requested it said would reflect and celebrate a gender transition. But Phillips doesn’t believe that people can choose or change their sex.

So the message of that design was not something he could express through his cake art. But Masterpiece Cakeshop told the attorney that Phillips would be glad to create a different cake if the attorney was interested in that.

Even so, the commission has launched another administrative prosecution against Phillips. Oh, but this time he’ll get a fair process, the state says, because the commissioners who made the hostile comments are gone.

The problem is, the state’s unequal treatment continues. It still allows other cake shops to decline to create cakes that express messages they consider objectionable, but insists on punishing Phillips when he does the same thing. The same unfair treatment that the Supreme Court just condemned is present in this new case.

Colorado’s claim that new commissioners are involved doesn’t begin to tell the half of it. All the current commissioners, except one, represented the state in defending the first order punishing Phillips. So even though they might not have been the ones who initially forced him to give up his wedding business, they are the ones who fought to keep that punishment in place.

Also of note, the same person—former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper—put the past and current commissioners in their positions. And one of the governor’s favorite groups to draw commissioners from is One Colorado—an outspoken critic of Phillips during his first case.

One of the commissioners presiding over the new case publicly serves with the National LGBTQ Task Force, another group that openly opposed Phillips the first time around.

Any hope for salvaging a semblance of fairness fades to black when a Twitter rant shows that another current commissioner referred to Phillips as a “hater.”

Fairness for Phillips, under these circumstances, is a mirage—a hopeless fantasy.

Anyone who suggests otherwise should honestly ask themselves a simple question: “Would you feel confident in the neutrality of those decision-makers if they held your fate in their hands?”

To ask the question is to answer it.

So no matter what you think about Phillips, his religious beliefs, or his desire to live them out in the public square, I hope we all can agree that he is entitled to something we’ve all sought since our earliest years—fairness. He can’t get that before this commission, a biased government agency that has targeted him for years.

Because of that, Phillips filed a lawsuit against Colorado in federal court through his attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, seeking to stop the state’s renewed efforts to punish him. The federal court saw enough of the problems to deny the state’s request to dismiss the suit.

State officials’ ongoing “disparate treatment” of Phillips reveals their “hostility towards Phillips, which is sufficient to establish they are pursuing the discrimination charges against Phillips in bad faith, motivated by Phillips’… religion … ,” the court wrote in its order Jan. 4.

Jack Phillips serves all customers, and he is even happy to serve the attorney who lodged the complaint against him. But he doesn’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his deeply held beliefs.

Because he can’t get a fair shake before the state commission, he deserves to pursue—and ultimately win—his case in federal court. That will finally free him to live his life according to his beliefs, free from government coercion, just as the First Amendment promises.

SOURCE






Part-Aboriginal journalist says Australia Day reminds her that her sisters and mother are 'more likely to get raped' than are white Australians

She is perfectly right.  They are more likely to get raped BY OTHER ABORIGINES.  The incidence of crimes against women in Aboriginal communities is colossal.  Most domestic violence in Australia traces to Aboriginal communities

The woman is just a Leftist grievance-monger.  She has so little Aboriginal ancestry that no-one would take her for one.  She has no Aboriginal features at all




The network's new entertainment reporter weighed in on the debate surrounding the divisive public holiday while appearing on the Today show on Thursday, starting a fiery conversation by saying Australia is 'the best country in the world, no doubt'. 

'But I can't separate the 26th of January from the fact that my brothers are more likely to go to jail than school, or that my little sisters and my mum are more likely to be beaten and raped than anyone else's sisters or mum,' she said.

'And that started from that day. For me it's a difficult day and I don't want to celebrate it. Any other day of the year I will tie an Australian flag around my neck and run through the streets with anyone else.'

Ms Boney's comments were challenged by Today sports presenter Tony Jones, who asked: 'But why should any other day be different to the January 26?'

'Because that's the day that it changed for us. That's sort of the beginning of what some people would say is the end. That's the turning point,' Ms Boney replied.

'I don't want to tell anyone what they should be doing. [But] my view is move it to the day of federation - chuck on another public holiday, or just celebrate it on another day. But I think a day that suits more people is probably going to be more uniting.' 

Today co-host Georgie Gardner then pointed to Indigenous communities living without electricity and running water, in 'horrific third world conditions'.

Mr Jones responded: 'I don't doubt that whatsoever. But I'm sorry, we do see white Australians in similar situations - we do see kids going to school with lunch - without a school uniform.' 

Ms Boney, 31, interjected and argued that 'statistics tell us our lives are harder.'  

'That's not me making it up or saying feel sorry for me, because I don't want anyone to feel sorry to me. What I'm talking to are the statistics,' she said.

'That's what I said to you about my brother's being more likely to go to jail - our lives being harder. For it to be a ''us and them'' thing, I think that's why we are talking about it changing.'

Deborah Knight applauded the panel for having a 'grown up conversation' about the issue, before Ms Gardner thanked Ms Boney for her insight.

The discussion sparked a fierce debate among viewers, with many suggesting changing the date wouldn't improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

'Seriously stupid by you today,' former Liberal MP Dennis Jensen wrote to Ms Boney in a since deleted tweet. 'Seriously, neither schools nor gaols existed prior settlement. And as for violence and rape only starting with settlement... speak to anthropologists about Indigenous violence pre-settlement, it was endemic.' 

Another viewer said: 'I don't see that changing the date will have any affect on aboriginal men going to jail or aboriginal women being raped. 'These are terrible acts and I wish things were different but they are not connected to January 26.'

Another asked: 'How will changing the date help her brothers and sisters?'

Others praised Ms Boney and suggested Australia was 'comfortably racist'. 'Brooke Boney smashing it as usual on a hard to talk about topic. Best thing to happen to the Today show,' one noted.

'Brooke just made more sense than anyone else I’ve heard talk about this issue. Maybe I could be persuaded to change my view,' another 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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Thursday, January 17, 2019



Australian psychologists are down on "Traditional Masculinity" too

The most substantial piece of evidence from Australia for the criticisms is the "Man Box" study mentioned below.  It is a colourfully presented "report", not a refereed academic journal article.  And that shows.  It is not as bad as some such reports in that some care was taken with the sampling and conventional statistical significance was observed but it is basically crap.  Let me say in detail why:

For a start, no factor analysis of the questions asked is offered.  So is there in fact such a thing as a "man box"?  We do not know.  A strong first eigenvector would have reassured us but we are not told of one.  I once did a survey of allegedly female attitudes (The BSRI) which found the attitudes concerned not to be characteristic of Australian females.  They were not sex-polarized at all. So are we sure that the man box attitudes are in fact characteristic of Australian male attitudes?  We cannot assume it. Were there similar attitudes among women?

And including the man box questions within a larger survey was not done.  Doing so might have revealed that the questions had a larger identity.  For instance, many of the questions seem to me to be rather like assertiveness questions, and assertiveness is usually praised.  There certainly should have been some attempt to distinguish the "bad" man box questions from assertiveness.   Could some man box attitudes be good?

And the selection of man box attitudes was also tendentious.  Traditional male attitudes do for instance include courtesy towards women.  To this day I hold car doors open for women but that is only a trivial thing.  There is also a strong traditional male inhibition against hitting women, for instance.  Feminists are much concerned about domestic violence so should they encourage traditional male attitudes of courtesy and restraint towards women?  Nothing like that was examined in the survey, funnily enough.

And what about the traditional male attitude that self-sacrifice is noble?  What about the times when men have sacrificed themselves to save women -- in an emergency situation such as a sinking ship?  Is that noble or foolish?  Sane women would hope it is noble but there is no mention of such nobility in the man box.  The whole conception of the man box is thoroughly bigoted from the get-go.

But the most deplorable omission in the research is a complete failure to apply any demographic controls.  They apparently had demographic data but did not use it to segment their sample.  One does wonder why.  Were the results of such segmentation too embarrassing?  Were man box attitudes almost exclusively working class for instance?  From my own extensive background in survey research, I suspect it.  I always looked at demographic correlates of the attitudes I examined and social class variables were often significant.

And one social class variable that they would have avoided studying at all costs is the dreaded IQ.  Yet IQ is powerfully correlated with an amazing array of other variables.  In this case it could even explain some male/female differences. Why, for instance, do men on average die earlier than women?  The research below says it is because of their bad male attitudes but there is another explanation. Male IQ is more variable than female IQ.  There are more brilliant males but also more spectacularly dumb males.  And, for various reasons, IQ is significantly correlated with health.  So it is likely that most of the males who die young were simply dumb.  They did more silly and dangerous things, for instance.

All in all the report is just a piece of feminist propaganda designed to fool the general public.  I am guessing that they had no expectation that it might come under the scrutiny of an experienced survey researcher



Traditional masculinity has been labelled “harmful” in a major move by a health body, linked with high rates of suicide and violence.

The American Psychological Association released a report last week, citing more than 40 years of research on the issue of “masculine ideology” — a step praised by Australian experts.

“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behaviour, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health,” it said.

Increasingly referred to as “toxic masculinity”, traditional ideals surrounding manhood are usually toughness, aggression, a suppression of emotion, dominance and stoicism.

Queensland University of Technology sociologist Michael Flood said some of the ways boys are raised can have “significant costs” for the community.

Across the country today, an estimated six men will take their own lives — three times the number of women to die by suicide.

“There’s growing recognition that norms of masculinity in many ways are limiting for men themselves,” Dr Flood told news.com.au.

“Going along with traditional masculine beliefs increases the risk of suicide — there have been studies to indicate that. If you think being a man means not asking for help or not showing pain, being a John Wayne character and going it alone, you can’t cope when things are hard.”

Traditional masculinity has a place in a number of scenarios, Dr Flood said, where a number of those qualities can be very useful. “Being tough and stoic are exactly the qualities you need if you’re fighting a fire or something like that, but once it’s over, you need other qualities,” he said.

“Some of those men (without) are poorer at some of the qualities that many people recognise are important in contemporary relationships — communication, emotional expression.”

There’s growing recognition in the fields of men’s mental health, education and the prevention of violence against women and children that “the norms of masculinity” can be harmful.

“Unless we tackle this, we’ll continue to see large numbers of men turning up in hospitals, being assaulted, committing suicide, and suffering in silence and so on,” Dr Flood said.

Criticisms from some segments of the community that the discussion about toxic masculinity is an attack on men are unfounded, he said.

“We need to distinguish between men and masculinity. The attack on the narrow messaging is not an attack on men. This is driven by a concern for men.”

Dr Flood was involved in the groundbreaking Man Box study last year, which found that young Australian men who oversubscribe to traditional notion of masculinity had poorer health and wellbeing outcomes.

“We also found that many of them have poorer relationships with others and were more likely to be involved in violence,” he said.

Of those surveyed — a cohort of 1000 men aged 18 to 30 — 69 per cent felt society expected them to act strong and 56 per cent felt being a man meant never saying no to sex.

Another 36 per cent agreed that society pressures them to shun friendships with gay men and 38 per cent thought boys shouldn’t learn how to cook and clean.

SOURCE 






I’m so sick of this war on masculinity and I’m not alone - with their pathetic man-hating ad, Gillette have just destroyed their  brand

Piers Morgan

Yesterday, the American Psychological Association released a set of guidelines that condemned traditional masculinity as ‘harmful.’

Specifically, it stated that male traits like ‘stoicism’, ‘competitiveness’, ‘achievement’, ‘eschewal of the appearance of weakness’, ‘adventure’, and ‘risk’ are bad and should be expunged.

I literally choked on my bacon-and-sausage sandwich (my contribution to Veganuary) when I read this absurd load of PC-crazed bilge.

It’s basically saying that it’s wrong, and harmful, to be masculine, to be a man.

Not having it: Instead of saying 'boys will be boys,' a dad stops his son from fighting with another little boy     +3
It’s been a very bad week for men. First the American Psychological Association released a set of guidelines that condemned traditional masculinity. Then came this dreadful, virtue signalling Gillette ad

As David French, a writer for the National Review, put it in his withering response to the report: ‘The assault on traditional masculinity – while liberating to men who don’t fit traditional norms – is itself harmful to the millions of young men who seek to be physically and mentally tough, to rise to challenges, and demonstrate leadership under pressure. The assault on traditional masculinity is an assault on their very natures. Are boys disproportionately adventurous? Are they risk-takers? Do they feel a need to be strong? Do they often by default reject stereotypically ‘feminine’ characteristics? Yes, yes, yes and yes.’

Exactly.

I’ve got three sons and a daughter. My siblings have eight girls and a boy between them. So I’ve had plenty of experience watching all 13 of these children (their ages range from two to 25) grow up.

And here’s a cast-iron fact for you: girls are very different to boys. They think differently, behave differently, dress differently, emote differently, and have markedly different characteristics.

Anyone who’s actually had kids knows this. Yet somehow, it’s become offensive to say it out loud.

The incessant poisonous war on gender has culminated in the very word ‘man’ being decried as an abusive term, to the extent that Princeton University actually issued a ridiculous four-page memo instructing students to only use gender-neutral language.

Even the word ‘mankind’ had to be replaced by ‘humankind’.  I’m not joking: Princeton literally wanted to end mankind.

But it turns out that the American Psychological Association’s disgraceful report wasn’t even the worst attack on men this week. No, that inglorious honour falls to razor company Gillette.

For 30 years, the company has used the tagline ‘The best a man can get’ to persuade people like me to part with large sums of money for their expensive shaving blades and foam.

Its commercials have unashamedly celebrated men and masculinity. You watch them and feel good about being male.

Not just because they make you aspire to be a winner and successful achiever, but because they also encourage you to be a good father, son, husband and friend.

As a result of this consistently upbeat and positive marketing style, Gillette has grown into the most successful razor firm in history, generating annual sales of $6 billion a year.

I’ve bought Gillette products for three decades. In fact, only yesterday I spent over $150 stocking up on its latest range of Gillette blades and foam.

I didn’t do so because their stuff is any better than their main competitors. I’ve tried them all and it’s not. I did so because I like Gillette’s brand and what I thought it stood for, and the company’s never done anything to p*ss me off.

Then I saw its new commercial, a short film entitled ‘Believe’, which has a new tagline: ‘The best men can be’.

And I suddenly realised Gillette isn’t the brand I thought it was at all. Gone is the celebration of men.

In its place is an ugly, vindictive two-minute homage to everything that’s bad about men and masculinity.

The film asks ‘Is this the best a man can get’ before flashing up images alluding to sexual harassment, sexist behaviour, the #MeToo movement, bullying and toxic masculinity.

Interspersed is a patronising series of educational visual entreaties about what men should in various unpleasant situations.

The subliminal message is clear: men, ALL men, are bad, shameful people who need to be directed in how to be better people. It’s one of the most pathetic, virtue-signalling things I’ve ever endured watching.

Gillette said the purpose of the ad was to urge men to hold each other ‘accountable’ for bad behaviour.

Right, because the one thing that’s not happening right now in the world is men being held accountable for bad behaviour!

It’s one of the most pathetic, virtue-signalling things I’ve ever endured watching. The ad shows one man stopping his friend as he catcalls a woman who is walking by

Jeez, it’s hard to think of a single minute of any day where men aren’t being summarily hung, drawn and quartered somewhere for alleged bad behaviour – their careers and lives destroyed.

Not in most cases through due process in a court of law, but often on the mere say-so of a Facebook post by an angry ex-girlfriend making allegations that may or may not be true.

I don’t seek to diminish the importance of the #MeToo campaign which has shone an important and long overdue light on completely unacceptable sexual harassment, bullying and abuse.

But why should all men be tarred with the same monstrous brush in the way this Gillette campaign sets out to do?

If I made a commercial aimed at female customers predicated on the generalised notion that women are liars, cheats, psychopaths and murderers (such women exist: I’ve interviewed many of them for my Killer Women crime series) and so every woman has to be taught how not to be those things, all hell would break loose and rightly so.

As always with this kind of furore, the joy of radical feminists on social media at such man-hating nonsense is only matched by the pitiful hypocrisy of certain men racing to virtue-signal their support for them and lambast any man like me who objects.

To sum up this hypocrisy, I received a tweet today from a man named Jeffrey Reddick.

‘Gillette isn’t saying men and masculinity are bad,’ he wrote. ‘Toxic masculinity is when we teach boys that real men don’t cry. Real men don’t show fear. Real men don’t lose. Real men take what they want. Real men solve problems with their fists. It is toxic and it damages men and women.’

Fine words from a man desperate for women to think he’s on THEIR side against supposedly horrible toxic masculine men like ME.

Well yes, until you realise this is the same Jeffrey Reddick who boasts on his Twitter profile that he makes ‘scary movies’.

Oh, he certainly does! Jeffrey created the hugely successful Final Destination horror franchise, making himself a very rich man by shamelessly and gratuitously glorifying the slashing, stabbing, shooting, incineration, strangulation and dismemberment of myriad women.

I wonder if that’s what Jeffrey thinks ‘real men’ should be doing to cement their caring, sharing, sensitive, female-friendly credentials?

He’s not the biggest hypocrite here, though. There’s only one thing Gillette really wants to achieve with this new campaign, and that’s to emasculate the very men it has spent 30 years persuading to be masculine.

As one male customer’s Twitter response, that quickly went viral, said: ‘Just used a Gillette razor blade to cut off my testicles. No more toxic masculinity for me. Thanks Gillette!’

He was not alone in his fury.  Many users expressed their fury at the new commercial

The YouTube version of the ad has been watched millions of times but attracted ten times as many ‘dislikes’ as ‘likes’, fast turning ‘Believe’ into one of the least popular commercials in US history.

Gillette – which believes so much in women’s rights that it has just two women on its board of nine directors - thought it was being clever by tapping into the radical feminist assault on men and masculinity.

In fact, it was being unutterably dumb. By telling its male customers we’re basically all a bunch of uneducated, vile, sexist, harassing predators, they’ve jumped the shark in an unforgivable way.

I for one won’t use Gillette razors again until they withdraw this terrible commercial and formally apologise for their man-hating bullsh*t. I suspect I am not alone.

SOURCE







Australia Day SHOULD be on January 26: Nearly 80 per cent of voters are against changing the date because of Aboriginal sensitivities

Leftist agitators are trying to destroy a patriotic holiday but the people are not having it

An overwhelming majority of Australians continue to reject calls for the country's national day to be moved from January 26, according to new polls.

Polling commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative think-tank, showed just 10 per cent of 1,000 people surveyed want to change the date of Australia Day.

Young Australians were even less welcoming to the idea of moving the date from January 26, which many indigenous Australians view as Invasion Day.   

'Only eight per cent of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 say Australia Day should not be celebrated on 26 January,' the IPA's Dr Bella d'Abrera said.

'[It] proves that despite the media and political left narrative, young people are not drawn to the divisive argument of opposing our national day.'

A separate poll of 1,659 people, conducted by conservative lobby group Advance Australia, found 78 per cent of those surveyed were proud to celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

'The results are in - January 26 is not a day for division and protest, but rather a day for all Australians to celebrate,' the group's National Director, Gerard Benedet, said.

Ten days out from Australia Day, the Greens have offered to host citizenship ceremonies on behalf of local councils who refuse to hold events on January 26 out of respect for indigenous people.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to force councils to hold ceremonies on Australia Day and enforce a strict dress code at official events in an attempt to preserve the date.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has declared he will never move the date of Australia Day if he becomes prime minister. Mr Shorten also said he had no desire to be the 'fashion police' telling people what they could wear at citizenship ceremonies.

'I just think we've got to leave the politics alone, catch up with our family and friends, and on Australia Day my wish is for all Australians to realise what a great country we live in,' he told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

The opposition leader refused to buy into the Greens' idea on citizenship ceremonies. 'Some days I'd like to put the Greens with Tony Abbott and a few of the right-wing in the Liberal Party in the same room, tell them to sort it out, and the rest of us can just get on and cook a snag on the barbie,' Mr Shorten said.

'What happens in Australian politics is sometimes the extremes - because they say radical things - grab a headline.  'I'm not going to get distracted by that - the Greens can say or do what they want - Labor is not going to go down that path.

'We're not going to have big political debates about the day of Australia Day.'

Health Minister Greg Hunt is confident the vast majority of people support Australia Day. 'It celebrates what we are as a contemporary nation and this game that's played out every year is simply a diversion and self-serving,' Mr Hunt said.  'Australia Day is about celebrating a nation that is a multi-ethnic success, with all of the challenges of any country.'

Many indigenous people find it offensive the date their ancestors lost their sovereignty to British colonialists is celebrated with a public holiday.

SOURCE 






End Violence Against Everyone

An email from Australian campaigner Bettina Arndt, who points out that men as well as women are often targets of domestic violence -- which makes her a target of feminist rage, in their usual irrational way

I’m launching a campaign to urge the government to take an evidence-based approach to family violence. To Stop Violence Against Everybody, not just women. To respect everyone, not just women.

Amazingly, this follows a request from key people in the Federal Government for evidence regarding the most effective approaches to tackling this important social issue.

The big news is feminist’s huge cash cow is facing a set-back. When I was speaking in Parliament House late last year, I learnt that the 100 million-dollar domestic funding package introduced four years ago by Malcolm Turnbull is about to run out. Naturally feminists are in a lather lobbying the government for the funding to continue.

Government ministers and bureaucrats usually only ever hear from one side – namely from the huge domestic violence industry which is using the last of their funding to bully politicians into submission.

But now we have a chance to tell the truth about this issue. To speak out against the feminist dogma suggesting all domestic violence is due to gender inequality and lack of respect for women. To talk about the male victims of violence, children growing up cowering from violent mothers. To have people from the coalface, members of the police force, social and community workers tell their experiences regarding the complex two-way violence they witness in most violent homes. Finally, someone is listening.

I’ve made a new video to launch the campaign, exposing the constant stream of male-bashing propaganda which is being inflicted on us by the femocrats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukaj9lnctw0

It starts with the latest offering from OurWatch, a government body working to end violence against women, which is urging young men to intervene when men voice opinions they claim trigger domestic violence.

There’s an OurWatch video featuring young people chatting in a restaurant. Someone announces her company is hiring a new CEO, a woman. The male villain pipes up: “There’s no way a woman can run such a large company. Women are too emotional to lead.”

It’s a controversial comment, an opinion many people would challenge. But is it now forbidden to even voice such thoughts?

That’s what OurWatch is suggesting. Their website sports a list of items claimed promote disrespect towards women. These include: “thinking or saying women can’t do all the same jobs as men.” According to OurWatch, we are not even allowed to think that women can’t do the same jobs as men.

So here we have an organisation using domestic violence as an excuse to indulge in social engineering, encouraging us to denounce anyone who challenges feminist dogma. And spending vast amounts of our money in the process. OurWatch receives over 6 million a year in government grants and spends 1.3 million annually on such dubious advertising campaigns.

OurWatch is only one of many government-funded bodies which has been happily living off Malcolm Turnbull’s funding, promoting his favoured myth that domestic violence is all about respect for women. 

My video includes some of the evidence showing causes of domestic violence are far more complex, such as the famous Partner Abuse State of Knowledge project, (PASK), which reviewed over 1700 scientific papers and concluded a large range of factors contribute to domestic violence, including mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, conflicted relationships, being exposed to abuse or violence as a child. Most family violence was found to be two-way, involving female as well as male perpetrators.

Gender inequality is simply not a relevant factor in domestic violence in egalitarian countries like Australia. The underlying basis of the massive government expenditure on domestic violence is totally misguided.

So, now’s the time for all of you to step up and help me get these messages through to our government. I’m asking people to sign a petition urging the government to take an evidence-based approach, tackling proven causes like alcohol-related violence instead of simply promoting more feminist dogma.

Via email [bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au]

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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 16, 2019



The PC commissars vs. Bryan Cranston

Jeff Jacoby was at this pulpit last year -- defending the casting of Scarlett Johansson as a tranny. I don't wholly agree with him, however.  I agree that it should not be a political issue.  I think casting should be based soley on the actor's ability to portray the role and, in most cases, that should mean that a  black would be best at portraying blacks, women should be best at playing women etc.  To say that anyone can play any part is just another instance of the stupid Leftist  dogma that all men are equal


A memorable TV commercial for Vicks cough syrup in the 1980s opened with soap-opera actor Peter Bergman, known to millions of "All My Children" fans as Dr. Cliff Warner, telling viewers: "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV."

Bryan Cranston isn't a quadriplegic, but he plays one in a new movie, and that seems to have put a bunch of people's noses out of joint. Cranston, who stars in "The Upside," has been taking flak for accepting the role of Phillip Lacasse, a billionaire left paralyzed after a paragliding accident. Cranston's detractors are offended that an actor who isn't really disabled would have the effrontery to portray one on the screen, instead of declining the job so the part could be played by an actor who actually is paralyzed.

An irrational objection? Vice Media doesn't think so. On its website Thursday it blasted the actor in a piece headlined "Bryan Cranston Advocated for Disabled Actors While Taking a Role from One." Though Cranston has been outspoken in urging Hollywood to employ more actors with disabilities, Vice dismissed him as a hypocrite: "His decision to play Lacasse," it intoned, "has also prevented a lesser-known disabled actor from getting the opportunity to play the role and gain celebrity."

This critique has been bubbling up for a while. When "The Upside" was making the rounds of film festivals, the respected Ruderman Family Foundation, which promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities, censured the casting of an able-bodied actor to play a paralyzed character as "highly problematic" and "discrimination." Dominick Evans, a filmmaker and activist who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, chided Cranston for "tak[ing] economic opportunities away from disabled actors who work on average five days a year." As someone who uses a wheelchair, tweeted Evans last week, "I could never play Bryan Cranston, so why the hell can he play someone like me?!"

The answer, of course, is: because that's what actors do. They play parts. They depict characters. They portray men and women (or, for that matter, amphibians and robots and monsters) whose personalities, experiences, and characteristics may be entirely alien to their own. The greatest actors are those whose performances are so believable and three-dimensional, so intuitive and perceptive, that those who see them forget they are watching an actor. As one theater critic, Susannah Clapp of the Observer, has put it, the most superb actors are those "who appear not to perform but transmit."

Identity politics and the entitlement mindset already infect so much of contemporary culture, from law to academia to the arts. Perhaps it was inevitable that, sooner or later, they would undermine the acting profession. Scarlett Johansson came under fire last year when she agreed to star in "Rub & Tug," a film about a transgender brothel owner, Dante Gill. Tilda Swinton was blasted for playing the Ancient One in "Doctor Strange," a role adapted from a character that was Asian in the original Marvel comic. Disney has been condemned for picking Jack Whitehall, a straight actor, to play a "campy gay man" in the adventure comedy "Jungle Cruise." Latina magazine rebuked moviemakers for filling Hispanic roles in at least 13 movies with non-Hispanic actors.

The likely effect of such criticism will be to kill movies before they can be made or to browbeat actors into disqualifying themselves from whole categories of scripts. The backlash against Johansson prompted her to give up the Gill role, which may mean the film is scrapped altogether. Darren Criss (who won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his TV portrayal of gay killer Andrew Cunanan) announced in December that he will no longer play LGBT characters because he doesn't to be "another straight boy taking a gay man's role."

Hypersensitivity and the assault on cultural appropriation have been wreaking havoc in contexts as varied as art exhibits, burrito shops, fashion shows, and musical performances. Their chilling effect on college campuses has been especially notorious. But those who wax wroth when actors play characters of a race, sexuality, or body type that doesn't match their own aren't merely challenging particular casting decisions. They are attacking the idea of acting itself.

To insist that only actors who are X be tapped to play characters who are X is to insist that acting can never be more than skin deep. It is to declare that the extraordinary artistry and talent of great actors — their power to embody a role and bring it to life — must be restricted at all times to rigid classifications of race, gender, and whatever other categories the commissars of political correctness deem inviolable. It is to tell performers to stay in their own narrow lanes, to stick to characters just like themselves, and under no circumstances to transmit experiences and truths that they don't know from their own lives.

"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" wasn't just an advertising trope. It expressed, in a sense, the raison d'etre of the dramatic arts. Bryan Cranston wasn't a crystal-meth lord in real life, but he played one brilliantly in "Breaking Bad." He isn't a quadriplegic, either. Why should anyone want that to keep him from doing his job?

SOURCE






State Dep't Approved 8,482 Child Bride Requests

This is a disgrace.  That there should be one law for all goes right back to the Torah.  The USA should stand foursquare against any recognition of child brides

Between 2007 and 2017, the U.S. State Department approved 8,482 child bride requests, adults seeking to bring into the country a minor spouse or fiance and minors petitioning to bring in an adult spouse or fiance from abroad, according to the Associated Press. In addition, the U.S. government approved 204 requests by minors to bring in their minor spouses/fiances.

"In nearly all the cases, the girls were the younger person in the relationship," reported the AP.  "In 149 instances, the adult was older than 40, and in 28 cases the adult was over 50...."

Some of the examples cited included, "In 2011, immigration officials approved a 14-year-old's petition for a 48-year-old spouse in Jamaica. A petition from a 71-year-old man was approved in 2013 for his 17-year-old wife in Guatemala."

"The country where most requests came from was Mexico, followed by Pakistan, Jordan, the Dominican Republic and Yemen," said the AP.  "Middle Eastern nationals had the highest percentage of overall approved petitions."

The information was initally gathered by the Senate Homeland Security Committee after a request to the State Department was made in 2017.

"It indicates a problem," said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).  In a letter, Johnson and his former colleague, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said, "Our immigration system may unintentionally shield the abuse of women and children."

As the report indicates, these child bride requests apparently are legal because most states allow 16- and 17-year olds to marry with parental permission. Also, children under age 16 can marry in New York, Virginia, and Maryland, if they have court permission.

Fraidy Reiss, who fights against coerced marriage through the group Unchained at Last, told the AP that data from New Jersey show that "nearly 4,000 minors, mostly girls, were married in the state from 1995 to 2012, including 178 who were under 15."

The report also noted the case of Naila Amin, who is now 29 but was 13 and living in Pakistan when she was forcibly married to her first cousin, Tariq, who was 26. Amin was bethrothed to Tariq when she was 8 years old and he was 21.

"My passport ruined my life," Amin, who has dual U.S. and Pakistani citizenship, told the AP. "People die to come to America. I was a passport to him. They all wanted him here, and that was the way to do it."

"I was a child," she said. "Why weren't any flags raised? Whoever was processing this application, they don't look at it? They don't think?"

SOURCE







Traditional Masculinity Is 'Harmful' — Who Knew?

Leftists seek to destroy the very foundation of our cultural understanding of gender.

The American Psychological Association recently released its “guidelines” on masculinity and, to put it bluntly, it’s about as insightful as a barrel full of monkeys. Then again, that may be an insult to monkeys, as they instinctively display more intellectual consistency and credibility than does the APA’s condemnation of “traditional masculinity.” At least monkeys don’t dismiss the natural, innate biological differences between the genders as mere “societal constructs.”

In its “first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys,” the APA asserts, “Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health.” In fact, “traditional masculinity,” which the APA describes as “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression,” is “on the whole harmful” to men and boys.

Using leftist buzzwords such as “macroaggression, patriarchy, and cisgender” — the latter referring to a person whose sexual “identity” happens to match their biological gender — the APA concludes that “traditional masculinity” is a societal problem. Clearly, the APA is guided by the leftist theory that gender is a nonbinary social construct rather than a binary reality based upon biology. But even at that, one particular gender is just the worst.

For example, the APA alleges, “Although there are differences in masculinity ideologies, there is a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence. These have been collectively referred to as traditional masculinity ideology.”

After some backlash, however, the APA attempted to “clarify” its assertion with the following statement: “When we report that some aspects of ‘traditional masculinity’ are potentially harmful, we are referring to a belief system held by a few that associates masculinity with extreme behaviors that harm self and others. It is the extreme stereotypical behaviors — not simply being male or a ‘traditional male’ — that may result in negative outcomes.” But extremes were not the basis for the original APA argument; stereotypes were. So this clarification is actually obfuscation.

The fact remains that maleness or masculinity as well as femaleness or femininity share common, easily recognizable expressions in all cultures and societies across the world. In fact, one of the first things noted when an individual from one cultural group enters another are the natural binary expressions of gender. It is a universal reality based upon the reality of human biology.

National Review’s David French notes an obvious contradiction in the culture’s current “diversity” paradigm, writing, “It is interesting that in a world that otherwise teaches boys and girls to ‘be yourself,’ that rule often applies to everyone but the ‘traditional’ male who has traditional male impulses and characteristics. Then, they’re a problem. Then, they’re often deemed toxic. Combine this reality with a new economy that doesn’t naturally favor physical strength and physical courage to the same extent, and it’s easy to see how men struggle.”

The fact is that true masculinity is designed to compliment true femininity. The two are not one and the same, despite the gender-fluid argument the APA now espouses. Nor is “traditional masculinity” harmful to boys. Quite the opposite — they need more of it.

SOURCE






Vegans 'take twice as many sick days' as meat eating colleagues, report says

Vegans take the most sick days off work due to cold, flu and minor ailments, according to a new report.

The study found that they are absent through illness for almost five days a year, which is twice the annual total of the average Briton.

And while the reasons for the high sick-day count are unclear, two-thirds of vegans admitted to taking more time off work due to minor illness in 2018 than in previous years.

In contrast, just half of their meat-eating colleagues reported that they took the same amount of time off as the year before, while one in three said they took less.

The study of 1,000 office workers also revealed that vegans are three times more likely to take a trip to their GP during the cold and flu season in comparison to the average UK adult.

They tend to book 2.6 appointments to see the doctor, in contrast to the national average of just 0.7 visits.

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 15, 2019



Nationalism doesn’t have to mean exclusion

Some incompetent Leftist philosophy below from Robert Zaretsky, a history professor at the University of Houston. He purports to discuss nationalism but nowhere defines it. If a student had handed that to me as an essay, I would have failed it. He seems quite oblivious that there are at least two major usages of the term -- which might for brevity be called passive and active nationalism.  The active nationalist wants his country to conquer others whereas the passive nationalist just wants his country to be independent and great. Both are patriotic but one is harmless and the other can be a terrible blight on the human race. 

My survey research found that Anglospheric countries such as the USA are mainly populated by passive nationalists for whom patriotism does NOT mean a wish for conquest.  And indeed, despite America's great power, America's only conquests date back to the Progressive era of over 100 years ago.  Leftists can easily transmogrify patriotism into aggressive nationalism -- as Hitler did and as Theodore Roosevelt did to an extent.  In WWII, America in fact waged an ANTI-nationalist war.

The main point of the essay below is derived from the confused theorizing of 18th century German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder.  Herder and Zaretsky propose the non-sequitur that all nations are different and that therefore we should not compare them.  I would have thought that it is precisely because all nations are different that we SHOULD compare them.  Even the USA has a lot to learn from places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.  And if one wants to retire to a place least likely to be degraded by nuclear war, New Zealand is the near-universal choice.

Zaretsky obviously had an aim behind his silliness.  He wanted American nationalists to be passive nationalists, quite oblivious of the fact that they already are.  What a fool!  Leftism rots the mind



SINCE THE FRENCH Revolution, a brilliant cast of ideologies has starred on the world stage, ranging from conservatism to liberalism to communism. Yet the -ism that has been most resilient, and today has become resurgent, is one that modern thinkers dismissed as a walk-on.

Nationalism, the political theorist Isaiah Berlin once observed, was long thought to be an allergic reaction of national consciousness when “held down and forcibly repressed by despotic rulers.” Remove this particular allergen, and the sneezing fit of nationalism would end.

Yet in the 21st century, the sneezing has grown more, not less violent. Indeed, it threatens to tear apart the traditional and constitutional bonds that, ironically, hold nations together. From the Caucasus to the Atlantic, from North to South America and across much of Asia, nationalism has become a chronic global condition. At a rally in October, President Trump declared himself a nationalist and urged followers to use the term, too.

Few people would find the ascendancy of nationalism more surprising, and more depressing, than the man who coined the term. Though largely overlooked today, Johann Gottfried Herder was one of the 18th century’s most original thinkers, a deeply influential German philosopher who left a mark on fields ranging from linguistics to literature and history. He not only invented the term nationalism (“Nationalismus”), but is also widely seen as its greatest champion.

A friend of the great Goethe (who credited Herder with having saved him from dry-as-dust classicism), Herder was born in East Prussia in 1744. The son of devout Lutherans, he never lost his faith in God or Germany. Or, at least, the idea of Germany: Rather than a nation, “Germany” in the 18th century was a dizzying hodgepodge of small states and independent cities which shared little more than a common language.

Language, to Herder, is the very essence of a people. He called upon his fellow Germans to resist what he called the “cancer” of French, which had become the unofficial language of 18th century Europe. “Whoever wants to drive out my language,” Herder once declared, “also wants to rob me of my reason and my way of life, the honor and laws of my people.”

Yet here’s the rub: Herder wrote these words in an essay lambasting efforts by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II to force the German language on Hungarians and other linguistic minorities living under his rule. The proudly parochial Herder believed that, as Berlin put it, “every activity, situation, historical period and civilization possessed a unique character of its own.” For this reason, to subject a particular people to a foreign language and set of ideas — especially those that, like French, pretended to be universally applicable — was, in effect, an act of cultural genocide.

The sweeping line that opens Herder’s great work, "Ideas About the Philosophy of the History of Mankind", underscores the inclusive nature of his nationalism: “Our earth is a star among stars,” Herder wrote. Just as there is no hierarchy of planets, there is no ranking of peoples. No single measure exists by which cultures and peoples can be judged. More so than any other element of the Enlightenment, Herder rebelled against the belief that a single and universal set of laws applied to the world of men no less than the world of things. Instead, he wrote, a nation’s ways and wisdom, language and lore can be measured only against its own standard.

[Herder was clearly wrong. Nations can be compared using many different standards -- and often are.  Herder may think that nations SHOULD not be compared but that is just his opinion]

Two or three timeless insights follow: First, it is worse than pointless to parade the greatness of one’s nation, for this implies that there is a single standard. Since each and every nation has what Herder called “its own center of gravity,” each and every one is unique.

Second, there is no single form of nationalism. Herder was both a nationalist and a pluralist. He saw no contradiction between the claims of one’s own culture and those of other cultures. And he was especially alive to his own culture’s faults. “Our part of the earth should be called not the wisest, but the most arrogant, aggressive, and money-minded,” he wrote.

Some critics have questioned whether Herder’s kinder and gentler nationalism, which invoked the points of lights illuminating our world, is really different from more virulent forms. A sudden crisis, whether genuine or manufactured, can unleash the darker nature of nationalism.

This year marks the 275th anniversary of Herder’s birth. By its end, we may be in a better position to decide if Herder’s humane vision of humankind turns out to be as fantastic and fictitious as the German folk tales he loved.

SOURCE






Why some on the left hate white women

In the new tribal leftism, white women who vote Republican are traitors.

Over the past two election cycles, most white women voted for
the Republican Party – albeit by narrow margins. And after both elections, certain segments of the progressive intelligentsia were infuriated by what they perceived to be a betrayal of female solidarity. Some writers on the left have been taking white women to task for voting for an allegedly racist political party, arguing that white women’s votes reveal a desire to preserve white supremacy even when doing so involves also standing up for the patriarchy.

Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic insists that these sentiments are not representative of most Democrats – and he is probably right. Still, the fact that articles expressing rancour towards ‘gender traitors’ appear in such outlets as Cosmopolitan and Vogue and the New York Times suggests that the attitude is not entirely marginal. When Treva Lindsey writes at Vox – a hugely popular left publication – that ‘if you’re not voting like a black woman [ie, for progressive Democrats], you are probably on the wrong side of history’, her statement probably resonates with a fair number of left-leaning elites in the US. The animus against white women, then, is worth examining.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, several conservative writers have already denounced the criticism being directed at white women. At National Review, for one, Alexandra DeSanctis argues that the expectation that women are predestined to think and vote a certain way undermines the notion of female autonomy, which ought to be the principle that underlies any serious feminist politics. Even some left-leaning writers have distanced themselves from the resentment against white women. Katie Herzog, for instance, argues that one reason many white women tend to vote Republican is that they are themselves… well… Republicans. She adds that decrying white women as ‘gender traitors’ is unlikely to improve Democrats’ electoral prospects down the line.

In the process, Herzog raises a very interesting question – one that few people in the wars over white women’s voting patterns appear to have asked. ‘Why the hell aren’t [progressive intellectuals] shouting at white men? They vote for Republicans at even higher rates than white women.’

Why indeed? White men do vote Republican by higher margins than white women, so one would expect them to garner even more post-election disdain from progressive writers. That they do not requires some explanation.

Treva Lindsey’s Vox essay is a good place to start. She argues that, ‘Calling out white women’s continued support of conservative politicians isn’t excusing or ignoring white men’s commitment to electing these candidates. It’s an assertion of a profound and perpetual sense of betrayal’ (emphasis mine).

The idea here is that white women, as women, have a vested interest in voting for Democrats; so when they vote for Republicans, they act against their own interests. For Lindsey, white women’s interests are almost wholly determined by their racial and gender identity. White men, therefore, cannot be faulted as much as white women for voting Republican. After all, white men are merely defending their privileges, which is in some way not as reprehensible as what white women are doing: namely, placing their interest in perpetuating white privilege before their interest in dismantling gender oppression.

There are two obvious problems with Lindsey’s formulation. The first is that people bring many considerations to bear when they decide who to vote for. Beyond race and gender, there are also class considerations, geographical influences, religious motivations, political convictions, evaluations about contemporary events, etc. Many of these other factors seem to be more explanatory than gender or race for understanding recent electoral outcomes.

The second obvious problem with Lindsey’s line of thinking is that women’s left-leaning voting patterns are a historically contingent phenomenon – an odd thing for a professor of gender studies to overlook. Women in Western democracies used to be to the right of men. As Professor Miki Caul Kittilson writes, ‘After enfranchisement, women were more politically conservative than men in their ideology, party attachment, and vote choice across democracies’.

Much of this gap is explained through women’s higher religiosity, given that religiosity is often intricately bound up with conservative parties and ideologies. Moreover, Kittilson notes that women in post-communist and developing countries are more conservative than men in those societies. (Presumably these women are not all voting the way they are in order to uphold the patriarchy.) In short, women are not born to be on the left, and it is both empirically wrong and highly presumptuous to pretend that they are.

But there is a final, less obvious flaw with the logic of those who decry white women’s voting patterns on the grounds that white women are gender traitors. Intellectuals of the left have traditionally rooted their demands in universalist principles, seeking to convince everybody to support the left on the simple grounds that the left’s positions are morally correct. A universalist left would not attempt to shame women by telling them, ‘You must vote for us because you are women’; it would instead try to convince them, ‘You must vote for us because we are right’. And it would make the same plea to white men, who, capable of critical reflection as all humans are, would have some basis to be persuaded to endorse leftist causes.

That segments of today’s left have chosen the parochial over the universal is lamentable – even, or especially, for those of us who might not personally identify with the left, but who do think that politics is a matter of promoting the common good rather than the good of select tribal groups.

SOURCE





What a Case Of Mistaken Identity Tells Us About Race-hysteria in America

Huge racist double-standards

Jazmine Barnes, a 7-year-old black girl, was buried this week in Harris County, Texas. She was fatally shot while sitting in the car with her mother and siblings on the morning of Dec. 30.

Initial reports stated that the shooter was a white man. Those reports led to a national outcry that this was a racially motivated attack. Activists and politicians demanded that the shooting be investigated as a hate crime. But in the days since the shooting, deputies in Harris County have charged two black men in relation to the shooting.

Jazmine Barnes was in a car with her mother and three sisters on Dec. 30 near a Walmart when shots rang out. Her mother was shot in the arm but survived. But Jazmine, who was 7, was shot in the head and died at the scene. The other girls in the car during the shooting said the gunshots came from a red pickup truck driven by a white male. And The New York Times reports that there was another still unsolved shooting in 2017 in the same area that witnesses say was committed by a white man in a Ford pickup.

So that, in combination with a police sketch of the suspect, created a real fear that this was a racially motivated attack.

But we now know that the suspected shooter was black

This week, the police have charged two suspects, Larry Woodruffe, the alleged shooter, and Eric Black Jr., the alleged driver. The police say they think the shooting was a case of mistaken identity. Eric Black and the alleged shooter, they say, were trying to retaliate against someone they had gotten into an argument with earlier, and they misidentified the car Jazmine Barnes was in.

The police said that they believe that both the white male and the red pickup the girls in the car saw were real, but probably belonged to an innocent bystander who sped away during the confusion of the shooting.

In the days after the shooting and before the arrests, Shaun King, an activist who is very prominent on social media, offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest and helped publicize the police sketch of the presumed white suspect. During that same period, Sheila Jackson Lee, a congresswoman from Houston, called Barnes' killing a hate crime.

If this suspect were identified as black from the beginning, how might that have changed this story?

Crimes with both black victims and black perpetrators tend not to make national news. Just two weeks before Jazmine Barnes was shot, another 7-year-old in Harris County was seriously injured in a drive-by shooting. When these crimes do bubble up to this level, it's usually invoked to wave away concerns around structural racism or police violence — you know, concern-trolling like, "Well, what about black-on-black crime?"

There are sadly a lot of Jazmine Barneses in America, and lots of neighborhood rallies and memorials for slain little kids like her. It's telling that the relatively less common instance is one of a very few conditions in which those deaths would garner national coverage.

SOURCE 






Why holding a door open for a woman could get you sacked for sex harassment

On a visit to the theatre a couple of nights ago, I was standing with a small group of friends when a man came to join us. His shoulders were stooped and his step heavy as he strode across the foyer, frustration oozing from every pore.

'I don't understand the rules any more,' he confessed. 'Everything I say seems to upset people. I told someone at work she had nice shoes on and was warned that it was inappropriate.'

There was a lot of head shaking and murmurs of sympathy as the group – particularly the women – derided the madness of banning compliments for nice shoes.

I decided to offer him my standard response.

'It's simple,' I said. 'You have to ask yourself – would I say this to a rather terrifying cellmate in prison? If not, don't say it to a woman in a professional environment.'

It's not a terribly scientific answer but, since few people are clear about the boundaries of what is appropriate, it works. Or rather, I thought it did.

Because having watched a new BBC documentary due to be screened this week which explores precisely this predicament between men and women in the workplace, my tried and trusted advice no longer seems quite so adequate.

In fact, it has left me petrified for my 18-year-old son, who has yet to enter the world of work.

In the programme, 20 young adults between 18 and 30 are brought together to see whether they understand the rules of behaviour in the workplace. Over two days, they watch a specially written drama telling the story of the working relationship between a man and woman.

The woman is Cat, who arrives on her first day and receives lots of attention from the man, Ryan, who describes himself as her 'mentor'. Both of them are good looking and the workplace is a bar – very relaxed, music playing, drinks being consumed – but it's still work.

And from the moment they meet, Ryan can't resist making subtle digs at Cat. In attempting to teach her to use software for stocktaking purposes, he says: 'When they told me the new duty manager needs help with the stock software, I was like: 'What have you employed her for, then?' But having seen you work, I get it.'

He then leans in slightly too closely over her shoulder at the computer, complimenting Cat on her perfume.

HOW THE MEN SEE IT: 'He is too close, he's leaning over her shoulder. But she doesn't seem to find a problem with it.'

HOW THE WOMEN SEE IT: 'I was shocked Cat didn't have the courage to identify the problem and call it straight away.'

THE LAWYER'S VERDICT: 'Ryan has texted friends about the "fit new duty manager", writing "She wants it mate. She just doesn't know it yet."

Definitely sexual harassment.'

She never tells Ryan of her discomfort. But he is so busy flirting that he fails to teach her how to use the software, instead opting to complete the job himself.

When Cat attempts to intervene to finish the stock order, he dismisses her efforts, remarking that it was 'team work… brains and beauty', reducing her contribution to looking pretty. He's clearly pushing his luck, but is he breaking the law?

The drama continues two weeks later as the pair enjoy after-work drinks on a Friday night, and dancing in a club. Cat, a little worse for wear, is sick and, when Ryan checks on her, he puts his hand on her shoulder then slides it down to her waist. She removes his hand and walks onto the dance floor.

But the nub of the story takes place the following week when Cat, unfamiliar still with the software, messes up a drinks order. Ryan consoles her by asking her to stay on for a drink, and joins her in a taxi home. But he gets out at her stop, and moves in for a kiss – a kiss Cat rejects.

The programme also observes the group of 20 youngsters as they watch the drama play out and reveals how divided they are in their opinions of what's taking place.

Some brush off the entire chain of events as little more than 'banter', while others agreed that the woman should have made her discomfort more clear. At the other end of the spectrum, some – mainly women – feel the man's behaviour is completely out of order.

But the most chilling part of the whole thing – the part which left me fearful for my son and which will undoubtedly shock any parent – is the concluding verdict by the barrister brought in by the programme.

She is unequivocal. There is no ambiguity in any of the scenarios, she states. Each one can be construed, by law, as sexual harassment, defined by statute as any unwanted conduct that has the intention of violating someone's dignity.

Take each scenario in turn and the shocking reality of this is clear.

HOW THE MEN SEE IT: ‘If someone compliments you on your smell, that’s nice. He just said, “That’s nice perfume.”'

HOW THE WOMEN SEE IT: 'If one of my work colleagues had complimented my perfume, I wouldn’t have taken offence. If she found it offensive she should have definitely said something.'

THE LAWYER’S VERDICT: 'The perfume comment is sexual harassment. For example, would he say to a man, you’ve got nice perfume? 'If not, then it’s likely that it’s related to sex.'

Ryan's flirtatious, throwaway remark to Cat – 'brains and beauty' – is sexual harassment. Leaning too close to Cat, touching her waist and commenting on her perfume could likewise potentially lead to a tribunal. All of these things, the barrister points out, violate her dignity and as such could constitute a harassment case.

As I watched the show, with a growing sense of unease, I thought about the man at the theatre who had complimented a colleague's shoes. It turned out that the woman was right: his approval, even if kindly and innocently delivered, was unprofessional and potentially illegal.

As someone who began her career in the breast-groping, bottom-pinching 1990s, I am delighted that the world of work has been transformed. For years, women kept quiet about all manner of abuse so that they could keep their careers on track. That was clearly wrong.

But if things have improved for female workers, there's also more confusion, particularly for men.

Just how are men and women supposed to deal with each other and just what sort of world do we want to see in the future? Will it be a sackable offence to praise a new dress, a suit, a natty tie?

Countless relationships, happy marriages and strong families have started in the workplace. In fact, one 2014 survey suggested that 30 per cent of relationships begin there. Are these to be banned?

And isn't it a little demeaning to suggest that women, who have spent centuries putting men in their place, are incapable of speaking up for themselves from time to time?

I can't help feeling there's something Orwellian in the way we seem determined to police and punish not just sexism and bullying, but normal, human behaviour, too.

As the mother of a son who has just left home, the serious consequences of an innocent mistake now seem terrifyingly real.

I hope, as any parent does, that George will meet the woman of his dreams, have a fantastic social life and enjoy good professional relationships with men and women in whatever career he chooses.

But I now understand the harsh reality of what he and millions of other young men are facing – not just in distant US college campuses, or high-tech 'start ups' in trendy parts of London or Manchester but increasingly in the everyday world.

A couple of colleagues have frightening stories to tell.

One has a son, Richard, aged 21, who works for a bank in London and was given a warning for simply holding a door open for a colleague – an act of chivalry or, at the very least, basic manners in any other generation.

Richard said: 'I saw her coming down the corridor so waited and said, 'After you', allowing her to go through first. Then I went through after her and a man came through behind me.'

Astonishingly, the woman complained to the bank's human resources department that his actions amounted to sexism.

Richard was called into a meeting with HR officials, who told him that opening the door for his colleague had 'infantilised' her, and made her feel 'less'.

'It was all really frightening,' Richard continued. 'I thought I'd lose my job. I got a letter confirming the warning and it said that if I held the door open only for black men, or only for white men, it would be racist, so it was sexist that I held the door only for the woman.

'I told them that I would hold the door for a man as well but they said I hadn't in this instance – I'd treated the woman differently. I learnt a tough lesson.'

Carl, 28, a retail manager in Manchester, has been forced to learn a similar lesson. A couple of years ago, his store took on extra staff before the Christmas rush. One was a woman in her early 20s.

'It's always frenetic and full-on in December,' Carl admits. 'We're a close-knit team anyway but with the music in the store and the increase in shoppers, the camaraderie between us can be described as casual, fun and close-knit. Our guards were down, I suppose.'

Carl was working with the young woman in the changing rooms, moving rails of clothing and emptying boxes, and put his hand out to stop her falling backwards when she had tripped.

'I'm quite a touchy-feely guy,' Carl admits. 'Not in a sexually aggressive way, but I will unthinkingly put my hand on someone's shoulder or their arm to emphasise a point. I do it with my male friends and platonic female friends.

'I didn't gauge my colleague's reaction at the time although, looking back, I can see that she did freeze. But I put that down to her being the new girl, rather than thinking I was totally out of line.'

A fortnight later, he discovered, to his shock, that she had reported him and two other members of staff for inappropriate behaviour. 'I was speechless,' Carl said. 'I didn't know how to react.'

Carl said it 'pulled me up sharp'. 'I really thought about who I was around my colleagues, and in particular her. But I genuinely couldn't see how my behaviour could have been misconstrued. It's the first time any allegations have ever been made against me.

'I had a few sleepless nights afterwards. Since then, the episode has made me re-evaluate what is normal behaviour between adults. Is a friendly gesture not allowed?

Well, no – as the BBC drama highlights. Working lives should not be blighted or undermined by unwanted attention, as the barrister explains on screen. The rules are the rules.

Don't get me wrong, misogynistic abuse can have a devastating effect and must be stamped out.

Take the case of Helen, a shocking real-life case explored by the show. She says: '[My male colleagues] talked about the size of my breasts. They talked about my vagina quite openly. They took a picture of me when I was asleep, graffitied an ejaculating penis on my face, put it on Facebook, put it on the company's social media page.

'I put up with quite a lot I guess. I felt unable to stand up for myself. I knew it was wrong – my instincts were telling me – but I didn't know what to do with it. That was the hardest thing.'

Helen took them to a tribunal and won her case, plus £10,000 in compensation. But facing them in the tribunal was not easy.

'It was insinuated it was wanted, that I enjoyed it and didn't have a problem with it. I felt I couldn't be myself any more because I'm naturally warm and smiley. Then you think: am I leading someone on by just being me?'

Yet the programme also highlights the terrible consequences that a culture of accusation can have, taking the real-life case of Keith, a co-ordinator in a hospital, who was wrongly accused of sexual harassment at work.

Keith, who is openly gay, describes how the allegations emerged after he failed to swap a shift with a co-worker. 'He accused me of touching his bottom 14 times… of saying he had red, sexy lips. 'He accused me of grooming him in the way that I would cook food and bring food for him.

'I was totally dumbfounded by all these accusations. There was an internal investigation. The accusations were proven to be unfounded and I was cleared of all allegations.

'I never, ever thought in a million years that anyone could be so cruel, vicious or vindictive.

'I've never drunk before but I found myself drinking up to a bottle of vodka a day to self-medicate. I was diagnosed with stress-related Type 2 diabetes.'

No wonder the men look sheepish as this revealing experiment draws to a close.

'I'm never going to talk to any of the women at work again, in case I say something wrong,' says one.

'I just don't want to upset anyone, but I don't know how…'

And it's not just them who have been left with questions. Every family in the country has some thinking to do.

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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