Tuesday, July 26, 2016




More astonishing laxity from the British police

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






Why I Support Israel








Australian Far Leftist webzine is enjoying the Muslim immigration controversy

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Tolerance of extremism will provoke backlash

Chris Kenny comments from Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Monday, July 25, 2016



FEC Commissioner Warns Against Infringed Online Speech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE





Comedians say the push for political correctness is no laughing matter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Sunday, July 24, 2016



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

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

“We’ve been blindfolded,” he said.

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

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

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

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

Here’s a transcript of the interview:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






A Pastor Fights Against Government Restrictions on Political Sermons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Able to Choose What We Believe’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Complementary Halves of Humanity’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘It Could Flip-Flop Again’

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






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

Why Israel may be forced to strike first

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'And we should celebrate that,'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Friday, July 22, 2016



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






Elizabeth Warren to Airbnb: No Sleep for You!

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

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

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

SOURCE







Accusations of racism achieve nothing in the immigration debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Thomas Frank reported in The Guardian about Trump:

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

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

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

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

To change things we need to ask why.

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

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

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

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

The world is divided and only becoming more deeply so.

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






Why I Don't Respect the "Respect" Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But does it matter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Thursday, July 21, 2016


Scratch many Leftist men and you will find misogyny underneath

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

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

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

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

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

Hipster-left-win-misogyny

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She’s absolutely right, it is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






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

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

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

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

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

As Heather Mac Donald notes in City Journal,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE






Highest-Ranking Officer Charged in Freddie Gray Case Not Guilty

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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