Friday, June 22, 2018

Church Forced to Remove 'Anger-Provoking' Billboards Declaring 'America Is a Christian Nation'

Billboards promoting a celebration of faith and freedom at the First Baptist Church in Dallas were removed after complaints from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas Morning News.

The patriotic billboard campaign included the title of the sermon Dr. Robert Jeffress planned to deliver on June 24 — “America is a Christian Nation.”

“We were told by the billboard company that the message was divisive,” Jeffress told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show.”

The sermon title was inspired by comments made by Supreme Court Justices John Jay and David Josiah Brewer, both of whom described America as a Christian nation.

“The message will present the historical evidence for the bedrock of faith upon which America was founded,” said Jeffress.

However, the Dallas Morning News and Mayor Rawlings blasted the pastor’s sermon title by suggesting it was hateful and divisive.

“That is not the Christ I follow,” the mayor told the newspaper. “It’s not the Dallas I want to be — to say things that do not unite us but divide us. I never heard those words — that voice come out of Christ. Just the opposite. I was brought up to believe: Be proud of yours, but do not diminish mine.”

Columnist Robert Wilonsky started the controversy with a scathing column on June 7 titled, “First Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress’ gospel of division does not represent my Dallas.”

Wilonsky was apparently triggered by the patriotic billboard while stuck in traffic and suffered a massive microaggression.

“My rabbi warned me there would be days like this,” he wrote. “All I saw Wednesday was someone telling me and everyone else who does not worship Jesus Christ that we do not belong here.”

The following day the church received a message from the billboard company that its signed contract was being canceled and the billboards would be taken down.

“We are getting hammered by the media for the ‘America is a Christian Nation’ tagline on the billboards,” a representative of Outfront Media wrote to a church leader. “Dallas Morning News and other news affiliates are doing stories on how it’s offensive and bigoted. Someone called our corporate office in New York about the ‘offensive’ billboards and following our lawyer’s advice, we have to take them down ASAP.”

The church offered to revise the sermon title to “Is America a Christian Nation?” but that, too, was rejected by the billboard company.

“We were told that the title was ‘anger-provoking’ rather than ‘thought-provoking,’” the pastor told me.

The local representative was apologetic — but it was clear the New York-based company was no match for angry anti-Christian radicals.

“The reason those on the Left do not want people to hear my message is that they know the historical evidence is on my side that America was founded on the principles of the Christian faith,” Jeffress said. “We will not be deterred as we defend the foundational values of our country.”

City Hall spokesman Scott Goldstein defended the mayor on Twitter. “Mayor @Mike_Rawlings speaks for the real Dallas. The guy on the billboard does not,” he wrote.

To be clear, First Baptist Dallas has no beef with Outfront Media. It is a privately owned company and it has a right to decide who it does business with.

“We support the right of businesses to refuse service to customers based on religious conviction,” said Jeffress, who is also one of the top spiritual advisors to President Trump.

The problem, he said, is the Dallas Morning News and Mayor Rawlings. “It should greatly concern people of any faith when those in the press or government proactively seek to defeat, censor or silence any religious message with which they disagree,” Jeffress said.

I reached out to the mayor’s office for a comment. I asked one simple question: Did the city of Dallas directly or indirectly put pressure on the billboard company?

The mayor’s office did not respond to that question.   “We don’t believe Dallas city officials have any right to directly or indirectly be involved in censoring a church’s message,” Jeffress told me. And what about the Dallas Morning News?

“For the Dallas Morning News — who pose as champions of free speech — to try to censor our church’s message is gross hypocrisy,” the pastor said.

The key word is “try.” It turns out another billboard company offered to put up the church’s message on 20 billboards, not two.

In other words, Mr. Wilonsky might want to find another way to work — or else prepare for another traffic-jam microaggression.


Feminist professor asks bluntly in WaPo column, ‘Why can’t we hate men?’

The column was written by Suzanna Danuta Walters, sociology professor and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University. She proposed that men “lean out” by stepping away from positions of power and leaving them for women.

“Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down,” Walters wrote. “Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power.”

Glenn’s take:

“I’m not going to get outraged because she’s idiotic,” Glenn dismissed the piece. “The article stands as one of the more divisive, inflammatory pieces of rhetoric coming out of the radical left.”


UK: Tyranny of the minorities: We live in an age of mob rule by minorities in which anybody who disagrees with them is censored and freedom of expression is something only THEY enjoy

ONE of the great lines in 20th century films comes from Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire Dr Strangelove. The scene is a nuclear missile control bunker. With World War III imminent, two men scuffle until their boss, played by Peter Sellers, cries: ‘Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the war room!’

Er, what is a war room for if not fighting?

That gag came to mind this week when our so-called liberal Left went into convulsions of illiberality after author Lionel Shriver mocked the latest diversity madness. Writing in The Spectator, Ms Shriver poked fun at box-ticking, multi-cultural political correctness at publisher Penguin Random House, which is planning to commission authors on the basis of racial, gender and other quotas.

Such sacrilege proved a timebomb. Tick, tock, tick, tock — KABOOM! Bien pensants, when they heard accounts of Ms Shriver’s article, exploded. They were furious.

As Dr Strangelove might put it: ‘We can’t allow diverging views about diversity!’

No we can’t! At our universities, which are meant to be bastions of free thought, guest speakers are barred for fear they might so much as question Left-wing dogma. This happens to even such distinguished liberals as Germaine Greer and Peter Tatchell.

The forces of political correctness impose their unyielding views everywhere.

At Oxford and Cambridge, there are calls for statues of historic benefactors to be torn down because they do not comply with fashionable modern positions on minority rights. At Newcastle University, meanwhile, the students’ union demanded sanitary bins in men’s loos so as not to upset any students ‘with a range of genders’.

Supposedly apolitical charities try to thrust correctness down the gullets of their staff. The National Trust instructs country house guides to wear gay pride badges. The RNLI sacks long-serving lifeboatmen for using tea mugs with risque images of women.

Theatre companies are left in no doubt that they will not be given Arts Council subsidies unless they cast a number of ‘non-traditional’ actors — i.e., women playing Shakespearean kings or Afro-Caribbeans as English Regency fops.

Firms ban employees wearing crosses in case they offend non-Christians or atheists (but it’s fine to wear a burka).

Elsewhere, a popular fun run is told it should no longer ask runners to declare if they are men or women (campaigners insist that ‘non-binary’ athletes might take mortal offence).

The Armed Forces are pressured to spend precious funds on almost totally unnecessary gender-neutral lavatories.

Cake decorators are told they must accept commissions from gay couples, and that fool the Mayor of London removes the male and female symbols from pedestrian signals in order to conform with the latest hare-brained theories about gender.

We live in an age of the minority mob. An odd expression, I know. Mob rule used to be an assertion of power through violence by the great unwashed, be it in the French Revolution or America’s racist deep south, when it lynched individuals.

It has been replaced by the no less illogical (and hardly less chilling) hysteria of a knot of activists who weaponise minority rights — they seem particularly obsessed with lavatories — and wield them as a political threat against the majority. More often than not, these agitators themselves are not part of the minorities that have allegedly been offended. They belong instead to a class of professional busybodies who seize on the minorities game for their own ends.

‘Diversity’ is now a booming employment sector and it offers hefty salaries. More insidiously, others exploit it for political ends and furtherance of their own ambitions.

The Twittersphere is full of these self-appointed stewards of indignation who see it as their job to police the media and shout down anyone who dissents from received opinion.

Their strategy is to expunge divergence of views and crush resistance to their creed of racial and sexual egalitarianism. Freedom of expression is something only they can enjoy.

Lionel Shriver was swiftly condemned this week by people who pretty clearly had not read her article and were interested only in hurting her. They called her a neo-colonialist, a relic of ‘status quo bias’ and a supporter of ‘ingrained, insidious racism’. In short she was convicted of being a very nasty person (#human garbage, as they say online).

A gang of new writers from Penguin was organised into signing a denunciation of her and she was sacked from a literary awards judging panel run by a feminist magazine. Its editor was honest enough to admit that she was not distancing herself from Ms Shriver on account of her actual article. She was sacking her on account of the kerfuffle the article had caused.

The BBC and Left-wing media outlets such as the Guardian promptly piled into the melee, gleefully reporting these barbs against Ms Shriver. Someone was criticising quotas for minorities? Outrageous! Let’s authenticate her critics — and whip up further rage —by organising a phone-in or holding a studio debate on Radio 4’s Today programme!

It is worth looking at Ms Shriver’s article to see what she actually wrote. She began by noting that Penguin Random House had come up with a ‘company-wide goal’ that its authors must ‘reflect UK society by 2025’. Penguin announced: ‘We want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’

Such things would be more important, it said, than the matter of whether or not a prospective employee had been to university.

Ms Shriver proceeded to cite a questionnaire sent to Penguin authors about gender, sexuality and ethnicity. What had this to do with their writing ability? She concluded that Penguin was ‘drunk on virtue’ and no longer regarded its raison d’etre the ‘acquisition and dissemination of good books’.

‘Rather, the organisation aims to mirror the percentages of minorities in the UK population with statistical precision. Thus, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability and sexual preference boxes.

‘We can safely infer from that email that if an agent submits a manuscript written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers round town on a mobility scooter, it will be published, whether or not said manuscipt is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed- paper recycling.’

In any sane country, Lionel Shriver’s article would be acclaimed as common sense. She was putting a meritocratic case — ie, people should be judged on their ability and talents. And who can really argue with meritocracy?

When we board an aeroplane, do we worry what sexuality or ethnicity the pilot has? No. We merely hope she or he knows how to operate the controls.

When we visit a dental practice, do we demand the medical professionals reflect the UK population’s minority profiles? I am more interested in their ability to drill and fill.

For the egalitarian commissars, higher considerations apply. For them, talent and ability come second to quotas of race, gender and sexual inclination.

This is because they want to broadcast that they are morally superior beings who support minorities. The politicians among them hope that, by appealing to those who identify themselves as minorities, they will win votes. This is called identity politics, but really it is the politics of the lunatic asylum.

There is a profoundly worrying problem with this tyranny of the minorities. By insisting every minority has preferential rights, you end up denying the majority their rights.

Imagine that you are applying for a job. You have all the qualifications and the necessary experience. But, as per that memorandum from Penguin Random House, you do not help the company ‘to reflect the UK population’.

Apologies, say your prospective employers, we can’t give you the job as another candidate has a disability/sexual preference/skin colour we haven’t yet ticked off our staff lists. We’d have loved to hire you, we really would, but our diversity policy means we need a one-legged Latino goat-fancier.

Diversity is supposed to stop discrimination. But what is this if it is not discrimination? Diversity is supposed to provide greater opportunities for people no matter their colour, creed, sexuality, gender, ethnicity or inside leg measurement. A reasonable onlooker will say ‘but we should encourage minorities’. Of course we should. But Penguin’s appalling policy will achieve the very opposite, for it will force the company to recruit a mirror image of the population.

The entirely noble idea of diversity thus becomes an inflexible rod. It becomes a menace. This will not make the majority feel more kindly towards minorities. It will ignite resentment. And how exactly does it comply with equality laws which forbid treating people differently according to ethnicity, race, sexuality or disability?

A few months ago, I had an experience like Ms Shriver’s when I criticised the Royal Shakespeare Company for what I felt was some clumsy, minority-quotas casting in a Restoration comedy. I asked if the RSC was being leaned on by the Arts Council (which places inordinate store by its diversity policies). Did it fear that unless it cast black actors in historically white roles it might not be given such big dollops of public cash?

Like Lionel Shriver, I did not suggest that minorities were creatively less gifted than anyone else. Not in the slightest. I merely questioned the wisdom and morality of putting political correctness before raw merit. For this, I was swiftly and repeatedly maligned and misrepresented. Whoomph!

The RSC denounced me as a racist and numerous blowhards in the subsidised theatre world pretty much compared me to Satan. Behind the scenes, senior theatre practitioners told me they completely agreed with me — but feared that if they said so in public, their careers would be damaged.

In medieval Spain, the Inquisition caused terror by chasing down anyone who uttered public heresy (i.e. questioned Roman Catholic dogma). The Inquisition itself was small, but it was brutally effective at snuffing out dissent. With fire and torture, it came down hard on a few prominent free-thinkers and that was enough to create widespread repression.

Spain’s population saw the way so-called heretics had been pulled limb-from-limb and it thought ‘crumbs, we’d better do what we are told’.

In medieval days torture was physical — men were boiled, put on the rack, or subjected to the Pear of Anguish, the Judas Cradle or the Saw, brutal instruments which concentrated pain on the most sensitive areas of the anatomy.

In more recent times, political regimes such as Mao’s China and Hendrik Verwoerd’s South Africa have suppressed dissent. I remember, as a child holidaying in Sixties Spain, being told never to utter out loud the name of the country’s fascist dictator, General Franco. ‘It’s just safer not to say it,’ said my mother.

Maybe someone should have given similar advice to Lionel Shriver. Maybe someone should have said: ‘Don’t mock diversity — it’ll only land you in the most frightful trouble’.

Under this tyranny of the minorities, that may be what you should do for an easy life. But the thing about tyrannies is that they are ruled, ultimately, by bullies. The way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them, as Lionel Shriver has done with such brave clarity.

British public life is not like Dr Strangelove’s war room. It is a place where the lively conflict of views should be welcomed as an essential part of a flourishing democracy. Freedom of expression has been fought for with blood over the centuries and is vital for liberal, civilised behaviour. No minority mob should ever be allowed to destroy that.


The UN Redefines What It Means to Be a 'Human'

In blatant violation of international law, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has unveiled a startling new campaign that claims "you have human rights since birth."

The unsettling image, which depicts a baby's arm with the statement written on a hospital bracelet, makes clear the position of this U.N. body-human rights should not be afforded to human beings until after they are born.

Abortion advocates might applaud this claim, but the position of the body flies in the face of established, and binding, international law on the rights of the unborn.

As the U.N. body in charge of human rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is mandated to uphold the international legal framework. Deploying the poster at strategic vantage points at the U.N. in Geneva serves as a provocative, and jarring, assault on the fundamental principle of the right to life enshrined in international law and the countries that continue to defend it.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the pre-eminent international treaty on children's rights, leaves no room for ambiguity in its preamble. "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth," it states.

Other international treaties unequivocally reference the right to life of the unborn, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In this treaty, the death penalty is prohibited for pregnant women to "save the life of an innocent unborn child," as explained in its accompanying interpretative documents (A/C.3/SR.819, paragraphs 17 & 33).

Although shocking, the ease with which the office goes against international law is not without precedent. Led by a high commissioner for human rights who functions largely without check, the office frequently has veered into areas that lack member state approval, running multimillion-dollar campaigns and issuing policy recommendations that overtly contravene international law, not to mention the will of member states.

Countries are subjected to regular policing in which they aggressively are urged to change their laws on matters that fall under domestic jurisdiction and have no bearing on human rights.

It is difficult to navigate the fine line between respect for a state's self-determination and the urgency of U.N. interference when human rights are at stake, but the activities of the human rights office far surpass the work of ensuring fundamental human rights.

The new round of posters, tied to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reveals just how far the office is willing to go in its mission to overhaul international law to further a nonconsensual activist agenda that defies the traditional, religious, or ethical values that so many countries and peoples hold sacred.

The declaration, as with the other founding documents of international law, was expertly drafted to protect these values and leave room for crucial national self-determination. It is a great irony that the campaign is tied to the declaration, which is still considered the most important reference point on human rights today.

The mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is to promote and protect human rights and to coordinate the many human rights mechanisms of the United Nations to monitor and improve member states' compliance with the treaties they have signed.

It claims to be an "objective voice" on human rights, but it regularly issues highly coercive recommendations to states under the guise of human rights and uses a complex network of special rapporteurs, independent experts, and working groups to aid with enforcement.

These procedures are purportedly impartial and autonomous, but the human rights office's efforts to force countries to change their national laws on an array of highly sensitive social issues demonstrates a marked disregard for state sovereignty.

Much of the lack of accountability surrounding the office stems from the inherent tension in monitoring human rights. By its very nature, the task of overseeing countries' human rights records requires a fair amount of independence. The office must be free to make unbiased assessments regarding what is going with human rights at the country level.

But the subsequent autonomy that it enjoys has resulted in a flagrant disrespect for the very international legal documents that it was created to uphold. As evidenced by these posters, the time has come for increased accountability for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights-the rights of the unborn all around the world are at stake.


Winning propaganda strategies for Israel

by David Weinberg, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.

I’m just back from a speaking tour in Europe, where I was confronted with the challenge of justifying Israel’s actions on the Gaza border and even the country’s very legitimacy as a nation among nations.

The deep “psychological asymmetry” (as Dr. Irwin Mansdorf calls it) employed by Hamas and Fatah as a strategic weapon against Israel – is working. The Palestinians exploit civilians in order to meet strategic goals, by placing them in danger or condemning them to unending refugee life.

The ensuing misery gnaws away at the conscience of well-meaning and naïve observers around the world, and they find it hard to justify the “imbalance” in suffering between the Palestinians and Israel. The soft bigotry of low expectations (by Europeans of the Palestinians) excuses Mahmoud Abbas and Yihye Sinwar of any responsibility for their people’s predicament.

Then there is the radical progressivism which has captured much of mainstream political discourse in the West. This makes liberal people uncomfortable with the use of force by nation states in almost all cases.

Israel’s “over-dog” position and its frequent recourse to military action to defend itself is then magnified and manipulated by malign and much less naïve actors to skewer the Jewish state.

On this particular trip I also encountered a growing proclivity to take refuge in a false, manufactured dichotomy between “good old Judaism” and “bad new Zionism.”

The ancient Jewish faith is something to be admired and commemorated, you see. Jewish heritage is hip and Jewish history is interesting – all across Europe. (Perhaps this is the European way of awkwardly atoning for centuries of persecution of Jews).

But modern-day Jewish nationalism as expressed in the powerful State of Israel is a sin. Israel is a sinful country committing criminal acts against its neighbors and even against Judaism itself – I was told.

Only Palestinian statehood can redeem Israel’s rotten record, it would seem – even though there is no basis to believe that such a state will be anything other than one more failed, fractured and violent Arab country – perhaps radically Islamist – at war with Israel and its other neighbors.

Without admitting it, people speaking this way are deeply anti-Semitic in effect. The Jew they (claim to) like and (very belatedly) admire is a weak, cerebral Jew; a Diaspora Jew whose Talmudic literature is all-of-a-sudden filled with wisdom, and whose art and poetry is unexpectedly so very 21st century cultural.

But then there is the Jew they love to hate; the mighty and brawny Zionist Jew that wields the most formidable army in the Middle East and whose economy to just too damn overwhelming. That Jew is just too robust and zealous. Too vicious and potent. That Jew needs to be cut down to size.

BEYOND ALL THE USUAL pro-Israel talking points and debate tactics with which I am well familiar, I found on this trip that there were five key strategies that had some impact on my interlocutors.

First, don’t play the victimhood game. People out there don’t care, alas, how many dunams of fine Israeli agriculture have been burned by Palestinian incendiary kites, or how many Israeli women and children have been murdered by Hamas suicide bombers, or how many missiles Iran is giving Hizballah to fire into Israel.

The recounting of Arab atrocities, no matter how egregious, doesn’t wash. European liberals simply don’t see Israel as the underdog.

Second, history matters. The Six Day War was not an act of Israeli aggression, but a defensive war, and the Arab side lost fair and square. There never was a Palestinian state. Settlements are not colonialist outposts but express a Jewish “right of return” to ancestral lands. Israel placed three full-scale peace proposals on the table over the past 15 years involving Palestinian independence and almost-complete West Bank dominion – yet Abbas rejected all offers and preferred to fight on.

Few care much about this history, but it needs to be re-stated because it isn’t known and it goes to the core of Israel’s case.

Third, you have to emphasize, over and over again, that Israel seeks conflict resolution, not jihad; that Israel wants to resolve conflicts through compromise, not end conflicts by annihilation of the enemy. Say that Israel wishes to live at peace and cooperate with its neighbors, not to conquer Arabic and Islamic nations from Tunisia to Indonesia.

No matter how ridiculously self-evident this seems, the repetition of this truth is extraordinarily important. It isn’t obvious to many Europeans.

Fourth, it is simply not enough to explain Israel’s security dilemmas or revisit Israel’s diplomatic generosity towards the Palestinians. What’s needed is a much more basic restatement of Israel’s cause and purpose: Israel as a grand historic reunion of people and land, and as a just and moral actor in the medieval and violent Arab Middle East. Israel wins when you speak about justice and the Jewish nation.

Fifth, and most important of all, don’t be embarrassed by Israel’s strength. Admit to it. Flaunt it.

As counter-intuitive as this may seem, especially in contrast to the “outstretched hand for peace” narrative described in a previous paragraph, never apologize for using “disproportionate” force. Instead, articulate the reasons why and the circumstances under which Israel must use force to defend its homeland, and don’t be shy about it.

Largely, this means sharing Israel’s dilemmas with your audience. It’s okay to agonize a bit over the need to be a ferocious military power; dwelling on this is truly Israeli and it is humanizing. But never ask for forgiveness or suggest that Israel will pull its punches just to win a nice guy award.

I have found that forthright, unashamed talk has salutary impact. Without being nasty or unfeeling regarding our adversaries, one can convey a deep sense of sincerity and believability by verbalizing Israeli red lines and enunciating core Zionist commitments. People are forced to respect that, even if they won’t impute to you awe-inspiring humanity. Better shock-and-awe than shrink-and-whimper.

Grudgingly, even Europeans come to see that you have a point; a perspective that might be tough and gruff, but that also might be reasonable under the circumstances.



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

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

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


Thursday, June 21, 2018

What America has lost

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh —— a Romanian who escaped Romania as a young girl in the '70s. What she says about small town America of the past reminds me a lot of my growing up in a small Australian country town -- and I miss it

America is the land of opportunity where immigrants dream to find success through hard work and a lifestyle with a picket fence, a nice home, plenty of food, and a traditional family comprised of mother, father, and children. Nineteen-seventy America was still the land of opportunity where, if one worked hard, one could reach whatever he/she was willing to sacrifice in order to achieve their goals. But Christianity, God, faith, and family were at the center of a successful life.

There were no pedestrians in the southern town where I lived. Americans were trapped inside large metal gas guzzlers that drank gasoline like water. Nobody strolled outdoors except in the square downtown. If anyone saw you walk on the side of the road, since sidewalks did not exist except in large cities, they would stop and offer you a ride. It was done from a sense of pity as well as concern for your safety, walking in 90-degree oven-like heat coupled with unbearable humidity that kept everyone’s face looking young and shiny.

Many foreigners who dared or were allowed to travel to America came by boat as it was still much cheaper than flying. Once here, some took the Greyhound bus across the U.S. and others, like me, flew everywhere or crisscrossed the country by car or truck, seldom taking the train.

In a very small southern town of 3,000, church was the center of life for young and old. I counted over 100 churches stretching as far away as a ten mile radius in the county. Many youth trips, activities, and summer camps were sanctioned or sponsored by the church.

There was a drive-in theater, and one grocery store, locally owned and operated. The closest chain grocery store was over 60 miles away. A tiny mall with boutiques and a Sears store is where people bought their washers and dryers, TVs, lawn mowers, bikes, toys, Christmas gifts, and clothing. Fancier TVs could be purchased in a Curtis Mathis store. There was no Super Walmart, Target, or such retailers.

Some cross-roads had a small convenience store that the local farmers frequented for their daily necessities, milk, bananas, ice cream, and candy bars. Americans of all ages consumed, I thought, way too much sugar then. The owners knew everybody and, if they just came from the field and did not have their wallets, the items purchased were put on an account which the farmer could pay later.

There was a level of trust that I have never seen anywhere else—nobody needed a credit card. People did not dare write bad checks and credit cards were hard to obtain and seldom accepted. My Egyptian friend Lula remarked that we bought everything with checks, not cash. She did not understand the western concept of banking.

People dressed simply, the local seamstress made a good living with Simplicity patterns and fabrics purchased by the yard at Hancock’s Fabrics. She charged $20 to make a dress at a time when minimum wage was $3.10.

The local beauty shop was a wooden building on the side of an empty highway, no sign, every lady in the county knew where it was, just big enough for a couple of chairs, a sink, and the window air conditioner. A southern belle dressed in jeans and a country shirt did her hair on Friday for $10 and then went to the grocery store and bought the week’s $20 supply of food for the family. Americans could buy a lot of food for $20 in the seventies and still only spent about 15 percent of their income to fill their refrigerators.

I was mesmerized how homes in the middle of a pasture had running water and a septic tank. In my Romania at the time, country folks still had smelly and unsanitary out-houses.

Eating out was unheard of unless you counted going to the Rexall Drug counter for a soda float or getting a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar at Vaughn’s country store. The small town had a Sonic drive-in but no McDonalds and no pizza parlor.

Locals bought their blue jeans at Varney’s Department Store on the square and Elegant Ladies, each the size of a master bedroom today, or at the Co-op store where you could pretty much purchase anything you needed to run a farm, including the tough Wrangler jeans for $10.

If you were willing to drive over 60 miles to buy food in a chain grocery store, you could also shop in a real Sears or J.C. Penney store, today’s dinosaurs. Catalogs came in every year but ordering by phone and receiving packages in the mail took time and effort and the shipping and returns were costly. The post office was not conveniently located either. Walking in the heat and the unforgiving sun to retrieve packages or mail from the mailbox on the side of the country road, far away from any farm house, was a sweat-drenching proposition.

Homes were sprawling and comfortable, simply decorated, with A/C units in the windows or the occasional central air heating and cooling. Poorer folks lived in trailers who rocked, rattled, and shook during the frequent Tornado Alley storms that seemed to crack the sky in two with thunder and lightning.  Powerful winds whipped and ripped old and venerable trees from the roots and occasional tornadoes demolished and flattened the forest, ripping anything else apart that stood in its path, and sending cows and humans flying through the air.

People dressed in their best for Wednesday and Sunday church services, followed by picnics and potluck suppers when everyone brought their best dishes to share with the congregation. And during football and baseball season, people attended the high school games and prayed before each game, cheering for the home team.

A stream of friends and acquaintances visited my in-laws to meet the Romanian girl who was lucky enough to escape Ceausescu’s communism while the Romanian was bewildered by all these well-meaning strangers who had no idea what kind of world she had left behind.

Without a myriad of TV channels of today, the drive-in was the only cinema that offered the latest movies. If your car broke down in the middle of the road, kind strangers stopped to help, change a tire, give you a lift home or to the nearest garage.

Cell phones did not exist in our bucolic lives and land lines were expensive. Many country folks had rotary dials with four parties on one phone line. You had to wait your turn to make a call or, in an emergency, ask the other parties to get off so that you can make the call. Everybody knew anybody else’s latest news and gossip as it was easy to listen in on conversations, intentionally or not.

Foreigners like me, an oddity from the communist world Americans despised, were a rarity in the South and Americans opened their homes to them but did not really accept them as part of their social milieu, they kept them at arm’s length and on the fringes because communists were not to be trusted. Yet foreigners like me learned the language and integrated into society, and became naturalized Americans who were contributing to its well-being and paid taxes.

Today’s Americans embrace communism and desire to change their society to that utopian failed state. They take in with open arms the real flotsam and jetsam of the third world who are often anti-Christian and unwilling to ever integrate into society, learn English, and assimilate. They are only interested in the generous welfare.

In the 70s, it was a shame to accept welfare. You had to be really down on your luck and prayed to improve quickly so you could get off welfare. There was shame and dishonor associated with accepting handouts. Today that shame is gone and it has morphed into an entitlement to everything other people own and had worked hard for.

The local high schools would invite foreign speakers who survived and escaped oppressive regimes to educate young Americans about the evils of totalitarianism/communism and how dear leaders like Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and Ceausescu have tortured and killed 100 million of their own people, citizens kept prisoners in their own countries and often starved to death.

After decades of telling teachers and students that one cannot mix Christian religion and state, the k-12 Common Core curriculum adopted is indoctrinating students into Islam and into sexual deviance. It is sad to watch today’s public schools, some private schools, and many colleges in the U.S. preach communism, intolerance of everyone who loves America, the pillars of Islam, and anti-Christianity even though many well-informed parents object.

And those who object to this indoctrination are labeled immediately—intolerant, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, islamophobic, misogynist, or whatever “hate” label the Left has chosen for the rest of us who fell in love with 1970s America.

With a few areas here and there, small towns that did not have enough money or resources to accommodate the welfare-seeking invasion of illegal immigrants and government-allotted mostly male refugees, 1970s America is unrecognizable today. The rule of law and borders long forgotten, is the country still yours?

Say good-bye to what you grew up with and hello to 2018 America altered not by the normal change that the passage of time creates but a socially-engineered globalist entity spawned by the communist Left over the last five decades.


The EU melting pot is melting down

By Niall Ferguson

One hundred ten years ago the British author Israel Zangwill completed his play “The Melting Pot.” Premiered in Washington in October 1908 — where it was enthusiastically applauded by President Theodore Roosevelt — it celebrates the United States as a giant crucible, fusing together “Celt and Latin, Slav and Teuton, Greek and Syrian — black and yellow — Jew and Gentile” to form a single people.

It is rather hard to imagine a similar play ever being written about the European Union in the early 21st century. Or rather, you could easily imagine a very different one. In it, the influx of migrants from all over the world would have precisely the opposite effect from the one envisioned by Zangwill. Far from leading to fusion, Europe’s immigration crisis is leading to fission. The play might be called “The Meltdown Pot.”

Increasingly, I believe that the issue of migration will be seen by future historians as the fatal solvent of the EU. In their accounts, Brexit will appear as merely an early symptom of the crisis. Their broader argument will be that a massive Völkerwanderung overwhelmed the project for European integration, exposing the weakness of the EU as an institution and driving voters back to national politics for solutions.

Let us begin with the scale of the influx. In 2016 alone there were an estimated 2.4 million migrants to the 28 EU member states from non-EU countries, taking the total foreign-born population of the union up to 36.9 million, more than 7 percent of the total. Germany saw the largest influx as a result of a temporary relaxation of controls, admitting more than a million migrants.

The problem is intractable. Continental Europe’s population is aging and shrinking, but European labor markets have a poor record when it comes to integrating unskilled migrants.

Moreover, a large proportion of Europe’s migrants are Muslims. Liberals insist that is should be possible for Christians and Muslims to coexist peacefully in a secular post-Christian Europe. In practice, the combination of historically rooted suspicions and contemporary divergences in attitudes — notably on the status and role of women — is making assimilation difficult. (Compare the situation of Moroccans in Belgium with that of Mexicans in California if you don’t believe me.)

Finally, there is a practical problem. Europe’s southern border is almost impossible to defend against flotillas of migrants, unless Europe’s leaders are prepared to let many people drown.

Politically, the immigration problem looks fatal to that loose alliance between moderate social democrats and moderate conservatives/Christian democrats on which the past 70 years of European integration have been based.

European centrists are deeply confused about migration. Many, especially on the center-left, want to have both open borders and welfare states. But the evidence suggests that it is hard to be Denmark with a multicultural society. The lack of social solidarity makes high levels of taxation and redistribution unsustainable.

In Italy we see one possible future: The populists of the left (the Five Star Movement) and the populists of the right (the Northern League) have joined forces to form a government. Their coalition is going to focus on two things: entrenching old welfare norms (it plans to undo a recent pension reform) and excluding migrants. Last week, to much popular applause, the interior minister, Matteo Salvini, turned away a boat carrying 629 migrants rescued from the sea off Libya. The Aquarius is now in Spain, whose new minority Socialist government has offered to accept its human cargo.

But the Italian model may not be for export. Imagine, if you can, the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) sitting down with the German leftists (Die Linke) for sausages and beer in Berlin. Impossible. As a result, as Germans found after their last election, there is in fact no alternative but for the old grand coalition of center-right and center-left to limp onwards.

I used to be skeptical of the argument that Brexit was about leaving a sinking ship. I am now reassessing my view. Even as the impossibility of reconciling Tory “remainers” and Brexiteers becomes an existential threat to Theresa May, events in Europe are moving in directions that seemed inconceivable just a few years ago.

In his upcoming book on immigration in America, my friend Reihan Salam — himself the son of Bangladeshi immigrants — makes a bold argument: The United States must either restrict immigration or risk civil war as rising inequality and racial tension combine.

I hope Salam is right that the American melting pot can somehow be salvaged. But I have no such hope for Europe. No one who has spent any time in Germany since Angela Merkel’s great gamble of 2015-16 can honestly believe that a melting pot is in the making there. Anyone who visits Italy today can see that the policies of the past decade — austerity plus open borders — have produced a political meltdown.

Fusion may still be an option for the United States. For Europe, I fear, the future is one of fission — a process potentially so explosive that it may relegate Brexit to the footnotes of future history.


Merkel’s Leadership Threatened by Killings by Immigrants, Wrought by Open Borders

Diana Feldman received an unusual text message from the phone of her 14-year-old daughter, Susanna, late last month. Written in broken German, the message said she would be back home in a few weeks and that her mother should not try to find her.

Yet the message was not from Susanna. She had already been raped and strangled, and her body was dumped next to some railroad tracks in the city of Wiesbaden in western Germany.

Such stories—coming in the wake of the mass sexual assault of more than 1,000 women in Germany on New Year’s Eve of 2015—have a variety of consequences.

One consequence is political. Concern over immigration could lead to the collapse of Merkel’s coalition government. Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, wants to begin turning away refugees who have passed through another European Union country before getting to Germany. Merkel is refusing, concerned about the effects this would have on forging a coherent EU-wide refugee policy.

The coalition is splintering, and if an agreement cannot be reached, a vote of confidence in Merkel—and new elections—could be imminent.

Another consequence relates to security. One recent study demonstrated that violent crime had increased by more than 10 percent in 2015 and 2016. Ninety percent of that increase was because of violent crimes committed by male refugees.

Similarly, the sharp increase to the Islamist terrorism threat in Germany is not primarily from radicalized Germans, but from recently arrived asylum seekers. While some plots were thwarted, those in Wurzburg, Ansbach, Berlin, and Hamburg were not.

In that environment, many Germans have turned to a radical, outsider party that made a platform out of cracking down on immigration. Alternative for Germany got about 6 million votes (13 percent) in September 2017 and is now the third-biggest party in Germany.

That’s not because Germany has a hitherto concealed population of racists who were unearthed in the election, but because Merkel very clearly made a cataclysmic mistake.

Germany did take in too many people. It did not know who they were then, and so, it has no idea who is living in the country now. It was too trusting in accepting asylum applicants’ backstories—and the German Medical Association is still speaking out against checking claimants’ ages.

Germany is not deporting enough of those who have no right to be in the country, or making decisions on asylum appeals quickly enough.

If this were solely a German problem, then perhaps it would be easier to contain. Yet it also extends to Sweden, which is dealing with a surge in crime in areas with high concentrations of immigrants.

One recent study in Sweden showed that more than 75 percent (at a minimum) of those claiming to be children were actually adults. Austria, Italy, and other countries in Europe face similar challenges.

A responsible approach would be for nations to listen to voters’ concerns and craft policies that address them.

Merkel’s desire for an EU-led solution demonstrates the hopelessness of the current approach. An unresponsiveness to democratic impulses in the EU is a well-established theme.

Meanwhile, the numbers continue to grow. About 10,000 new asylum seekers come to Germany every month. The government hopes they will integrate, but has no real idea how to make that happen, and the crisis rolls on.


False rape accusation again

Prosecutors have dropped sexual battery charges against two college students who were accused of gang raping a drunken woman at a party.

The case against University of Central Florida students David Anthony Kirk, 20, and Jack Ryan Smith, 26, was 'not suitable for prosecution', the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office said in a notice filed on Thursday, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Kirk's attorney said that witnesses debunked the woman's claims, and that she fabricated the story out of embarrassment after she was spotted at the party having sex with two men.

The prosecutor's office did not elaborate on what made the case unsuitable for prosecution. 

Kirk and Smith were arrested in April, several days after the party near the UCF campus in Orlando.

An arrest report says the woman was too drunk to consent to sex when she was assaulted at what was described as a 'party home' for the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

The woman told deputies she drank vodka and flavored water on the way to the party, and then continued to drink green apple-flavored shaved ice with vodka at the party. The arrest report did not say if the woman was a student.

During the party, she said she spent most of her time with Kirk and Smith in the backyard, according to authorities, and then began to slur her words and blacked out.

She said that she then remembered waking up naked in a bedroom on her stomach in a queen-sized bed.

The woman alleged that while Smith was raping her, Kirk was forcing her to perform oral sex on him, according to the arrest report.

The woman told deputies she was numb, in shock, and in tears. She said she heard the two men say ‘my turn, my turn’ before switching positions. 

The woman said that after the alleged rape, she sat on the bathroom floor across the hall and texted her friends for help. She then met them and went home.

Kirk was expelled from the UCF chapter of the fraternity, and is not known if Smith was a member.

It is the second time in less than a year that members of Alpha Tau Omega's UCF chapter have had charges dropped in an alleged gang rape.

In August, two men - Alexander Garces and Antonio Candido, both 22 - were charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment.

A woman accused the two men of raping her at a ‘New Years in July party’ at the on-campus home.

The charges against the two men were dropped a few months later.


Blacks are Blind to their real Problems

Walter E. Williams

For several decades, a few black scholars have been suggesting that the vision held by many black Americans is entirely wrong. Dr. Shelby Steele, a scholar at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, said: "Instead of admitting that racism has declined, we (blacks) argue all the harder that it is still alive and more insidious than ever. We hold race up to shield us from what we do not want to see in ourselves."

Dr. John McWhorter, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, lamented that "victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism underlie the general black community's response to all race-related issues," adding that "these three thought patterns impede black advancement much more than racism; and dysfunctional inner cities, corporate glass ceilings, and black educational underachievement will persist until such thinking disappears."

In the 1990s, Harvard professor Orlando Patterson wrote, "America, while still flawed in its race relations ... is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; (and) offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa."

During an interview in December with The Daily Caller, Steele said the anti-Americanism that started during the 1960s and has become mainstream and visible in the black community is "heartbreaking and sad." That anti-Americanism that so dominates the American black identity has been "ruinous to black America, where we are worse off than we were under segregation by almost every socio-economic measure."

Some people might challenge Steele's assertion that in many measures blacks are worse off than during segregation. How about some numbers? As late as 1950, female-headed households were only 18 percent of the black population. Today 70 percent of black children are raised in single-parent households. In the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups. In New York City in 1925, for example, 85 percent of kin-related black households were two-parent households. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. From 1890 to 1940, a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. Today about twice as many blacks have never married as whites. The bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

What about the labor market? In every census from 1890 to 1954, blacks were either just as active as or more so than whites in the labor market. During that earlier period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30 percent longer. Would anyone suggest that there was less racial discrimination during earlier periods?

White liberals and the Democratic Party are the major beneficiaries of keeping black people fearful, angry, victimized and resentful. It's crucial to both their political success and their efforts to change our nation. Racial harmony would be a disaster for leftists, be they politicians, academic liberals or news media people. As for black politicians and civil rights hustlers, Booker T. Washington long ago explained their agenda, writing: "There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."



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

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

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


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Palestinians: Victims of Arab Apartheid

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are now living in a Lebanese ghetto called Ain Al-Hilweh, and the world seems to be fine with that

Lebanon is one of several Arab countries where Palestinians are subjected to discriminatory and apartheid laws and measures. The plight of Palestinians in Arab countries, however, is apparently of no interest to the international community, and pro-Palestinian activists and groups around the world.

Recently, the Lebanese authorities placed electronic screening gates at all entrances to Ain Al-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. The move has sparked a wave of protests in Ain Al-Hilweh and among Palestinians living in other refugee camps in Lebanon, who are describing the installation of the electronic gates as collective punishment.

Until a few years ago, Ain Al-Hilweh had a population of 75,000. However, with the influx of refugees from Syria, which began in 2011, the camp's population is now estimated at more than 160,000.

About two years ago, the Lebanese army began building a security fence around Ain Al-Hilweh as part of an effort to combat jihadi terror groups that were reported to have infiltrated the camp. With the completion of the fence, the Lebanese authorities, in a move that has surprised the Palestinians, decided to install electronic gates to screen all those entering and leaving the camp. The Lebanese authorities say the gates are critical to discovering explosives and other types of weapons.

The installation of the electronic gates came during the holy month of Ramadan -- a move that has further exacerbated tensions inside Ain Al-Hilweh and drawn strong condemnations from the camp residents and other Palestinians.

Leaders of several Palestinian factions in Lebanon who held an emergency meeting earlier this week to discuss the installation of the electronic gates called on the Lebanese government to ease security restrictions on the camp residents. Some of the leaders claimed that the new gates were part of a US-led "conspiracy" targeting Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

"We fear that the recent Lebanese measures are in compliance with US pressure on the Lebanese government to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian camps [in Lebanon]," said a Palestinian official who attended the emergency meeting. He claimed that most of the terrorists wanted by the Lebanese authorities had left Ain Al-Hilweh in spite of the tough security measures surrounding the camp, and as such there was no justification for the electronic gates.

According to residents of Ain Al-Hilweh, the electronic gates have turned their lives into misery, resulting in long lines and delays as Lebanese soldiers conduct thorough searches on Palestinians leaving and entering the camp. They claim that the gates were placed at all the entrances to the camp, although only after the security situation inside the camp had relatively improved and recently been calm. "Such security measures are unjustified and serve to only increase anger and frustration," argued Yasser Ali, an official with a group that represents Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. "Why are they dealing with Ain Al-Hilweh as if it were an island full of diseases?"

In the past few days, residents of the camp have staged a number of protests against the electronic gates, and demanded an end to the Lebanese authorities' harsh measures against Palestinians in Ain Al-Hilweh in particular and Lebanon in general. "We prefer to die than to be humiliated," and "The people in the camp challenge the gates," the protesters chanted.

A Palestinian human rights organization condemned the Lebanese army's decision to place electronic gates at the entrances to the camp. He said the measure turns all the residents of Ain Al-Hilweh into suspected terrorists. "This measure is an insult and humiliation to the camp residents and an assault on their dignity," the organization said in a statement.

"Such electronic gates are used at airports and international borders, and it is hard to understand why they are being used to screen residents of a camp. Clearly, this is collective punishment that affects tens of thousands of people. The security measures, including the electronic gates and the concrete fence have turned the camp into a real prison. The residents have become prisoners who are permitted to enter and leave only with the permission of the military, which is standing at the entrances."

Some Palestinians have called out Lebanon's leaders for their hypocrisy. "In whose interest is it to humiliate the Palestinians in Lebanon?" asked Palestinian political commentator Ahmed Al-Haj Ali. "How can Lebanese officials experience schizophrenia when they talk about liberating Palestine while they are imposing strict measures against the Palestinians?"

On June 13, a delegation representing Palestinian factions met with Bahia Hariri, a Lebanese parliament member who happens to be the aunt of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and appealed to her to intervene to have the gates removed from the entrances to Ain Al-Hilweh. The delegation complained to her that the gates have had a negative impact on the lives of the camp residents and urged her to use her influence with the Lebanese authorities to ease restrictions imposed on Palestinians in Lebanon.

Here it is worth noting that the 450,000 Palestinians in Lebanon have long been suffering from a policy of systematic discrimination and marginalization by the Lebanese authorities in all aspects.

Until 2005, Palestinians were barred from 70 different categories of qualified professions, such as medicine, law and engineering. Although the Lebanese Minister of Labor issued a memorandum in 2005 permitting Palestinians to work legally in manual and clerical jobs, the ban on Palestinians seeking professional employment has remained in place. In 2001, the Lebanese parliament passed a law that prevents Palestinians from owning and inheriting property. In addition, Palestinian refugees have no access to Lebanese government hospitals. As one Palestinian pointed out:

"The Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab countries are treated as if they are not human beings. The Arabs hold us in ghettoes and deny us basic human rights. In Lebanon, Palestinian refugee camps are like a zoo or a prison. This is shameful that Arabs are capable of treating their fellow Arabs in such a manner. Even more shameful is the silence of the international community and the UN."

As if that were not enough, in 2007 the Lebanese army launched a large military operation against another refugee camp, Nahr Al-Bared, killing hundreds of people and destroying most of the houses there. Most of the 32,000 camp residents were forced to flee their homes. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), "the effects of this displacement have compounded the already severe socioeconomic conditions facing these refugees and constitute a chronic humanitarian crisis."

The residents of Ain Al-Hilweh now fear that the tough security measures around their camp, including the placement of the electronic gates, mean that they could meet the same fate.

That is why they are planning to step up their protests in the coming days and weeks. However, the Palestinians in Lebanon would be mistaken to pin high hopes on the international community or Palestinian leaders.

The international community pays attention to the Palestinians only when it is possible to blame Israel. The only Palestinians who seem to win the attention of the international community and media are those living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and who are in direct conflict with Israel. Palestinians living in ghettos in the Arab world and who are being killed and displaced by Arab armies do not attract any attention from the international community or mainstream media.

No one cares when an Arab country mistreats and discriminates and kills Palestinians. But when something happens in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, the international media and community suddenly wake up. Why? Because they do not want to miss an opportunity to condemn Israel.

The residents of Ain Al-Hilweh would have been fortunate had Israel placed the electronic gates at the entrances to their camp. Then, dozens of foreign journalists and human rights activists would have converged on the camp to document an Israeli "violation of Palestinian human rights." One can only imagine the uproar in the world were Israel to pass a law denying Arabs jobs or the right to inherit property.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are now living in a ghetto called Ain Al-Hilweh, and the world seems to be fine with that. In fact, most Palestinians in Lebanon have long been living in ghettos surrounded by the Lebanese army.

There are no protests on the streets of London or Paris. The UN Security Council has not -- and will not -- hold an emergency session to condemn Lebanon. Of course, the mainstream media in the West is not going to report about Arab apartheid and repressive measures against Palestinians. As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they do not have time to address the problems of the camp residents. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy fighting each other and the last thing they have on their minds are the interests and well-being of their people.


Great writers are found with an open mind

Racism at Penguin books

Lionel Shriver

I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague’s forwarded email has set me straight. Sent to a literary agent, presumably this letter was also fired off to the agents of the entire Penguin Random House stable. The email cites the publisher’s ‘new company-wide goal’: for ‘both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025.’ (Gotta love that shouty boldface.) ‘This means we want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’ The email proudly proclaims that the company has removed ‘the need for a university degree from nearly all our jobs’ — which, if my manuscript were being copy-edited and proof-read by folks whose university-educated predecessors already exhibited horrifyingly weak grammar and punctuation, I would find alarming.

The accompanying questionnaire for PRH authors is by turns fascinating, comical and depressing. Gender and ethnicity questions provide the coy ‘prefer not to say’ option, ensuring that being female or Japanese can remain your deep dark secret. As the old chocolate-or-vanilla sexes have multiplied into Baskin Robbins, responders to ‘How would you define your gender?’ may tick, ‘Prefer to use my own term’. In the pull-down menu under ‘How would you define your sexual orientation?’, ‘Bi’ and ‘Bisexual’ are listed as two completely different answers (what do these publishing worthies imagine ‘bi’ means?). Not subsumed by that mere ‘gender’ enquiry, out of only ten questions, ‘Do you identify as trans?’ merits a whole separate query — for 0.1 per cent of the population. (Thus with a staff of about 2,000, PRH will need to hire exactly two). You can self-classify as disabled, and three sequential questions obviously hope to elicit that you’ve been as badly educated as humanly possible.

And check out the ethnicity pull-down. ‘Asian or Asian British’ may specify ‘Indian,’ ‘Bangladeshi, ‘Chinese’, or ‘Pakistan’; the correct adjectival form of the latter nationality seems to be mysteriously unprintable. ‘Black or Black British’ may identify as ‘Caribbean’ or ‘African’. ‘Mixed’ allows for the options ‘White and Black African’, ‘White and Black Caribbean’, and ‘White and Asian’, but any other combo is merely ‘Mixed: Other’. As for us crackers, there’s ‘White: British’, ‘White: Irish’, and ‘White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller’, but the rest can only tick ‘White: Other’.

Let’s unpack that pull-down. If your office is chocka with Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Germans, Danes, Finns, Bosnians, Hungarians, Czechs, Russians, Americans, Canadians, Australians, Kiwis, Argentines, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Romanians who aren’t travellers and South African Jews — I could go on — together speaking dozens of languages and bringing to their workplace a richly various historical and cultural legacy, the entire workforce could be categorised as ‘White: Other’. Your office is not diverse.

I see two issues here. First: diversity, both the word and the concept, has crimped. It serves a strict, narrow agenda that has little or nothing to do with the productive dynamism of living and working alongside people with widely different upbringings and beliefs. Only particular and, if you will, privileged backgrounds count. Which is why Apple’s African-American diversity tsar, Denise Young Smith, got hammered last October after submitting, ‘There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blond men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.’ She hadn’t bowed to the newly shackled definition of the word, which has now been effectively removed from the language as a general-purpose noun.

Second: dazzled by this very highest of social goods, many of our institutions have ceased to understand what they are for. Drunk on virtue, Penguin Random House no longer regards the company’s raison d’être as the acquisition and dissemination of good books. Rather, the organisation aims to mirror the percentages of minorities in the UK population with statistical precision. Thus from now until 2025, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual preference and crap-education boxes.

We can safely infer from that email that if an agent submits a manuscript written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers around town on a mobility scooter, it will be published, whether or not said manuscript is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed-paper recycling. Good luck with that business model. Publishers may eschew standards, but readers will still have some.

In the news last week, we find the ultimate example of this fatal confusion over what is your actual job. Will Norman, London’s ‘walking and cycling commissioner’, bemoaned the fact that too many cyclists in the city are white, male and middle-class. ‘The real challenge for London cycling,’ he declared, ‘is diversity.’ As opposed to building more cycle lanes for everybody, or fixing potholes lethal to everybody’s wheel rims, Norman regards his principal function as increasing black and minority ethnic ridership.

I’ll be fascinated how he accomplishes this noble mission. Will he resort to stereotypes — broadcasting gangsta rap from lampposts alongside cycling superhighways, where pop-up snack stands hand out free chapattis? For a cycling commissioner to define his primary remit as ‘diversity’ is no less ludicrous than for Transport for London to turn a blind eye to the chronic tailbacks along the Embankment, just so long as the requisite number of Koreans is stuck in them.

With rare guts, the softball conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks recently decried the ‘misplaced idolisation of diversity’. Although a laudable penultimate aim, he wrote, ‘diversity is a midpoint, not an endpoint.… [An] organisation has to be diverse so that different perspectives can serve some end. Diversity for its own sake, without a common telos, is infinitely centri-fugal and leads to social fragmentation.’ Just as Brooks sees diversity as no substitute for ‘a common national purpose’ in the US, private and public institutions alike need to keep their eyes on the prize: good books. Safe cycling. For everybody.


Are you easily offended? If so, this column was written especially for you

Transport for London (TfL) has apologised unreservedly — and not before time — after staff cruelly humiliated passengers by chasing them along the platform with sticks, shouting: “Put your big, sweaty bum-cracks away.” Counselling is available to those affected.

Oh. It seems I’ve got that wrong. What actually happened was that a member of staff wrote on a whiteboard for its inspirational quote of the day these words: “During this heatwave please dress for the body you have. Not the body you want!” To which some people promptly burst into Twitter tears, accusing TfL of “body-shaming”.

In a normal, well-adjusted world TfL would have told those people to shut up and get a life, then returned to the business of keeping London moving. But we do not live in such a world. So a familiar snivelling script was followed. It released a statement saying, “We apologise unreservedly to customers who were offended by the insensitive message on the whiteboard at Blackhorse Road station,” then promised an investigation. Into what, exactly? Having a sense of humour? Stating the blindingly obvious truth?

I’m sure you don’t want to sit on a public seat marinated in buttock juice because someone was spilling out of skimpy shorts any more than I do. It’s no fun either staring at someone’s fungally infected toenails because they are wearing sandals for the first time since August 2017. But I suppose to turn away and retch is “toe-shaming”? Fungi have feelings too.

How do you body-shame eight million people simultaneously, by the way? This message never promoted an ideal body size nor mentioned weight. There was no picture. It was a light-hearted plea not to let perspiring bare flesh drench the upholstery, or put people off their Soleros. It was a call for consideration and self-awareness via a regular message-board designed to make people laugh and remember for one fleeting moment in rush hour that they’re not ants, but human beings. (Apologies if that sounds ant-ist or if any ants reading are offended. Ants are, of course, part of a hardworking community and, for the record, I have never seen a fat ant. Not that there would be anything wrong with that. No, no. No thorax-shaming here.) But what about the people who are offended by a builder’s bum-style crack in their face on the Tube? What about them, eh?

These perpetual offence-takers now rule the world, forcing people to make apologies for nothing, fainting if a friendly shopkeeper calls them “love” and claiming that their feelings are hurt by absolutely everything. Last year some students in Dallas actually wanted an annual display of flags commemorating the victims of 9/11 to be moved because it was “triggering”. I loathe the term “snowflake” — which is just as well because last year most young people in a poll said that being called one affected their mental health.

If tonight you watch Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s TV documentary Britain’s Fat Fight, which confronts our national obesity crisis, you will see members of Newcastle city council, which is discussing a city-wide weight loss campaign, tiptoeing in terror around the f-word. “Fat” carries a lot of “blame” and “negativity”, frets one woman. Another man dislikes the word “diet” lest it suggest eliminating food groups. Yes, yes — don’t worry that the UK’s annual expenditure on the treatment of obesity and diabetes is greater than the amount spent on the police, fire service and judicial system combined. Let’s focus on the priority: not making anyone “upset”.

I would guess that the number of people genuinely offended by that TfL whiteboard is about three. Yet there must be a time-wasting “investigation”. The humourless are taking over the asylum.*

*no offence.


African vibrancy in London

UK drill music gang banned from making violent music

THE music videos often feature gangs, weapons, violence and threats of revenge attacks — and now the artists have been banned from even making them.

The unprecedented move against west London “drill” group 1011 comes as the United Kingdom deals with a rising knife crime problem, that has seen almost 50 fatal stabbings in the capital alone this year, and daily attacks.

The rappers — who specialise in a genre of rap music that originated on the south side of Chicago — must now obtain permission from Scotland Yard before making or performing music after a court order banned them from mentioning rival gangs in their music.

The group’s five members — Yonas Girma, 21, Micah Bedeau, 19, Isaac Marshall, 18, Jordan Bedeau, 17, and Rhys Herbert, 17 — were jailed last week after being found guilty of planning a machete attack on a rival gang. They have previously rapped about stabbing the gang.

They have also been banned from encouraging violence and mentioning postcodes in a gang context, a popular way of inflaming tensions. Any future videos will also have to do without gang-related hand gestures, and they are forbidden from wearing bandana in public.

The 1011 members were convicted of conspiracy to commit violent disorder. Police said they were planning a revenge attack on rival gang 12-World, also from west London, who had filmed themselves harassing and threatening the Bedeau brothers’ grandmother.

Drill is a dark and confrontational style of rap that first began in Chicago. Artists have had only minor success, but their videos have been viewed on YouTube millions of times. Police have repeatedly blamed drill for the rise in knife crime and have ordered YouTube to remove dozens of videos.

They were arrested last November while they were on their way to confront 12-World and were found to be armed with machetes, knives and bats.

The order means when they are released they will not be allowed to reference violence in their music.

Detective Superintendent Mike West said the number of videos that “incite violence” have been increasing for three years.

“The gangs try to outrival each other with the filming and content — what looks like a music video can actually contain explicit language with gangs threatening each other,” he told The Independent. “There are gestures of violence, with hand signals suggesting they are firing weapons and graphic descriptions of what they would do to each other.”

The 1011 videos played in court included lyrics like “back out the spinner [gun] and burst [shoot] him. I put bullets in numerous guys like how come the opps [rivals] ain’t learning?”

Others referred to shooting a rival dead “Clock me an opp, wind down the window...”

Another: “OT [out of town] trip trying to get some funds [money]. We get bread and invest in guns. Dem boy run when we tapped **** ching, splash aim for his lungs.”

It continued with a reference to the notorious moped gangs terrorising London: “Four men on two peds [mopeds] jump off with my shank [knife] leave an opp boy splattered.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, head of the Met Police’s Trident gang unit, said the landmark order was an important case.

“[They] take detailed and firm measures to restrict the actions of a gang who blatantly glorified violence through the music they created. Their lyrics referenced real events that had happened and made threats that further violence would take place. If they break the conditions of the CBOs they will be back before the courts.”

He claimed police were not being killjoys. “We’re not in the business of killing anyone’s fun, we’re not in the business of killing anyone’s artistic expression — we are in the business of stopping people being killed. When in this instance you see a particular genre of music being used specifically to goad, to incite, to provoke, to inflame, that can only lead to acts of very serious violence being committed, that’s when it becomes a matter for the police.”

He said the move wasn’t about regulation or censorship and denied “demonising any one type of music”.

Youth worker Colin James, 48, is helping rehabilitate young gang members at his Gangs Unite charity in South London. He told the ban did nothing to address the “underlying issues”.

“It [the music] is an expression but it is not really the issue. They are always going about drill music this, drill music that — it just doesn’t make sense. They have to look at why they are wanting to do that in the first place.”

In many ways, it was a sign of the times, he explained.

“In previous times with punk rock they have [sung] about killing the Queen — but there were no decisions to ban.”

Freedom of expression campaigners also criticised the move. Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said: “Banning a kind of music is not the way to handle ideas or opinions that are distasteful or disturbing.

“This isn’t going to address the issues that lead to the creation of this kind of music, nor should we be creating a precedent in which certain forms of art which include violent images or ideas are banned. We need to tackle actual violence, not ideas and opinions.”

Mic, a rapper and producer form north London, told the BBC the order “sets an ugly precedent”.

He said: “There is a censorship problem in the country. There are a lot of young musicians in this country whose only outlet for expressing themselves is music.

“It might be violent but what do you expect in the Britain we’re in right now?”



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

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

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


Tuesday, June 19, 2018


By Nirmal Dass | Researcher with a PhD in translation theory

Nirmal Dass has written a rather long article that is critical of Peterson.  He says Peterson’s recent book — 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos — is filled with errors and misinformation.  I found that a most amusing claim as I would say that Nirmal's article is "filled with errors and misinformation".  It is certainly a very opinionated article.  He writes with great confidence and zero sign of self-doubt.  His dogmatism is extreme.  He provides no links or references for any of his assertions.  We are apparently supposed to sit at his feet and revere him as an infallible scholar. He appears to be of Indian origin so maybe he has adopted the role of guru.

Another thing that amused me was his prominent claim at the very beginning of his article that he has a PhD in translation theory.  I have written a little on problems in translation myself but I rather wondered why he would make that claim so prominently.  It appears that he may have that doctorate but it was not his first doctorate.  He also has a doctorate in critical theory, which is a neo-Marxist sect, or a series of neo-Marxist sects. So Nirmal seems keen to deflect a search of his qualifications.

So at least when he talks about Marxism, you would think he knows what he is talking about.  He probably does but it doesn't appear in his article.  He makes in fact a quite hilarious claim about Marxism.  He says there is such a thing as "real" Marxism.  Some Marxists are not true Marxists, apparently.

I taught for some years in a university sociology department where most of the rest of the teaching staff were Marxists of one  stripe or another. And a phrase that still rings in my ears from that time was "What Marx was REALLY saying ...". I heard it so many times. There was in other words no agreement about what constituted true Marxism.  In fact, as far as I can tell, there are as many versions of Marxism as there are Marxists.  For a time in Australia there were two Communist parties:  "The Communist Party of Australia" and "The Communist Party of Australia, Marxist Leninist".  The first was pro-Soviet and the second was Maoist. They hated one-another but both of course would have claimed to be the true Marxists

The Communist sect which probably has the best claim to be close to the writings of Marx would be the Trotskyists. They do make strong claims to being the true followers of Marx.  So I suspect that Nirmal is a Trot these days.  Trotsky was a bloodthirsty beast but I like his judgement that the Soviet regime was "Bonapartist".  That's a grievous insult in Marxist circles and equates roughly to being Fascist.

So that little example gives you the flavor of Nirmal's writing.  Whatever he thinks and believes is an absolute.  It alone is the true interpretation of anything.  Nirmal is the true Marxist and others who claim inspiration from Marx are fools or impostors.

We encounter that dogmatism in Nirmal's first paragraph, where he speaks of "true concern of Chinese thought".  There is a single  body of thought in China and it has a "true concern"?  One would have thought that there are many bodies of thought in China and that they all had their own concerns but Nirmal says it is not so.  He has detected a "true concern" and that is the end of the matter.

We next find Peterson accused of incorrect interpretation of Jungian thought.  But again there is no such thing as a correct interpretation of Jung.  Carl Gustav Jung's ideas were highy speculative. He thought he could find deeper meaning in history and much else as well.  And his followers have done likewise.  Jungian thought is a speculative and critical exploration, not an infallible truth. And Jordan follows in those footsteps. Once again, however Nirmal appears to think he has found the "True" Jungianism and everybody else is wrong.

Then we go on to the Bible and we are blandly informed that Peterson "misconstrues the Logos".  How, we are not told.  I wonder however if it might be Nirmal who misconstrued the first verse of the Gospel of John. I find a lot misconstrue it.  How for instance does he interpret  the anarthrous predicate in ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. He is an expert on ancient languages but I might still be able to give him a run on that one.

And so it goes.  It is all just dubious assertions.  I could pick apart his whole article as thoroughly as he tries to pick Peterson apart but I have already spent too much time on his puffed-up nonsense

Jordan Peterson’s recent book — 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos — is filled with errors and misinformation. Consider, for example:

1. The yinyang, claims Peterson, is a male-female duality. However, most Chinese philosophy denies such a claim, where only Dong Zhongshu (ca. 179–104 BC), a cranky oddball, says anything vaguely similar. Rather, the swirling pattern describes aesthetic order (the true concern of Chinese thought).

2. Peterson’s Jungian explanations of myths are fabrications, complete with mistranslations from languages he doesn’t know (Akkadian, Sanskrit, Biblical Hebrew, Greek). He calls such misinformation, “ancient wisdom.”

3. Lacking theology and history, Peterson proceeds to “explain” the Bible, by relativizing God and absolutizing opinion. Thus, he misconstrues the Logos, and blasphemes his way through the Old Testament and the Gospels. As for history, just one example suffices: No, Jesus is not a version of the Egyptian god, Osiris. This nonsense comes from Gerald Massey, a 19th-century crackpot who faked evidence to make such claims). Unbeknownst to Peterson, he has one ancient ally, the Pneumatomachi, who said the Bible was all tropes and happily fashioned harebrained interpretations.

4. “Marxism” (Peterson’s catchphrase for postmodernism, Marx, the Frankfurt School and feminism) is the great enemy, supposedly “destroying” the West. Some of Peterson’s talking points come from the fallacious book by Stephen Hicks (Explaining Postmodernism). But the West isn’t being destroyed by Marxism, The West is trying to become rootless via apostasy and acedia, which Peterson promotes. Should the West return to its root (Christianity), it will thrive. That real Marxists hate postmodernists is unknown to Peterson. He also knows nothing about Maximilien Robespierre’s Jacobin progeny (the democides Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and the Kims).

5. Peterson cannot differentiate philosophy from critical theory and thus can only name-drop (Rousseau, Heidegger, Dostoevsky, Derrida, etc.).

6. Peterson naively believes that the labels, “ancient,” “medieval,” “Renaissance” and “Enlightenment” embody civilizational shifts. Scholars have long abandoned such designations, since the history of ideas shows no such drastic changes. Thus, Peterson’s evolutionary construct of “progress” and “change” via these labels is fiction.

7. Peterson’s “science” is smoke-and-mirrors. His example of lobsters is not true, since serotonin behaves differently in crustaceans and mammals. As an evolutionary psychologist, he’s a mythographer, interested not in truth but in the management of emotions.

8. Peterson has no formal logic and makes category mistakes (too many to list). He confuses one category with another, then draws a false, universalizing conclusion. For example, the lobsters, “ancient wisdom,” “Marxism” and so forth.

He “spreads a spirit of foolishness and of error,” in the words of Jean Racine, because he embodies that which he rails against — for he’s a postmodernist, steeped in conceptual relativism (per Hilary Putnam), where an object has a multitude of interpretations because it cannot have one universal meaning.

Thus he advises that “…each of us…bring forward the truth, as we see it” — because there’s nothing greater than the self: “…you need to place one foot in what you have mastered and understood and the other in what you are currently exploring and mastering…This is where meaning is to be found.”

As for facts, they “cannot speak for themselves…[as there are]…an endless number of interpretations.” Reality, then, is feelings, not ideas, and facts are fluid.

It gets worse. Camille Paglia calls him “the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan.” But Peterson disagrees, for he says thinking is overrated: “When existence reveals itself as existentially intolerable, thinking collapses in on itself…it’s noticing, not thinking, that does the trick.”

(It’s best to ignore the problem in logic – how can “existence” be “existentially intolerable?” This is another Petersonian trick – using “philosophicalese” to sound profound, a postmodernist sleight of hand).

So, Peterson wants you to “notice,” and not “think.” Why? Read Rule 6: “Set your house in order before you criticize the world.” This is acedia: Worry about yourself; you have nothing to offer the world. Trust only feelings (noticing) – that is your “truth” which will “justify your miserable existence.”

As a postmodernist, Peterson universalizes his feelings, imagining that his personal Hell includes the entire world. He wants to “enforce the myth of man’s material perfectibility,” in the words of Whittaker Chambers.

Henri de Lubac once observed, “…without God man can only organize the world against man.” This is the reason for all democides, from Robespierre onwards. Peterson too wants to organize the world without God by trying to replace one form of material perfectibility with another (his Jungian self-realization).

Peterson decries “Marxism,” while depending on Marxian logic, methodology and assumptions (materialism) to establish his own “broken truths” (another problem in logic – if truth is broken, then it’s not truth).

The constant theme of his book is the “enemy within…arrogant, static, unchanging existence.” He hopes to overcome this inner Hell by using delusion (errors and misinformation) as an opiate just to get through “miserable existence.” This is why he misteaches and misinforms, for he wants to fabricate a calming narrative to counter meaninglessness (suffering) that materialism always produces. Such is his strategy of worldly success (the 12 Rules).

Materialism has no faith, hope or love. Thus, Peterson has no antidote to chaos, because he himself is chaos. In his strategy of success, there is no God, no meaning, no truth, no history, which is “far preferable to waiting, endlessly, for the magical arrival of Godot.” By “Godot,” he means Christ. There’s only the self, eternally alone, trying to forestall suffering by way of distraction (noticing). As an evolutionary psychologist, he can only try to manage emotions.

The more important question is this: How can Peterson presume to offer “rules,” when he can offer no categories for their obedience? This is Consequentialism (per Elizabeth Anscombe), which dismantles Peterson’s entire book. Man obeying man is tyranny.

“Truth is the radiant manifestation of reality,” observed Simone Weil. Since Peterson does not want thinking, he cannot know truth, and can never know reality – hence his errors and misinformation. On what authority, then, does he presume to teach? Those that choose to follow him should answer this question.


Another Muslim pervert

A pervy gynaecologist who told a patient to bring sex toys to his surgery and wanted to give her porn has been struck off.

Dr Iftekhar Ahmed, 51, even asked the woman if she wanted sex after performing an intimate examination on her.

The married dad-of-two also stared at the patient as she undressed at his surgery in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire - warning her not to tell anyone because he would 'be in trouble'.

Ahmed was found guilty of a string of sexual misconduct offences, including touching the woman intimately without consent and asking if she felt like having sex while examining her.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) heard how the woman, in her 40s, went to the Princess Royal health clinic for advice about sexual health twice in August 2013 and January 2015.

She told how she had been left shaken and embarrassed Ahmed when quizzed her over her sex life, what sex toys she used and if he could look at them.

The woman said: 'He started behaving strangely when I told him I didn't have a boyfriend and he started asking about my sex life and if I was having sex with anyone.

'I said I am having sex with someone because I didn't want him to know I was on my own because I felt uncomfortable and worried.

'He went on to ask many sexual questions like what sexual positions do I do and which I like.'

The woman continued: 'He asked if I like licking and he pulled his tongue out and wiggled it.'

She said: 'I did not answer but I felt dirty.

'He asked me the same question again and I told him again I didn't understand. He then said again did I feel like I wanted to have sex whilst he was doing the exam. I did not answer.'

The woman told how she saw Ahmed 'staring at me when I was putting my clothes back on'.

He would later access her medical records for her telephone number and ask her more inappropriate questions about her private life.

He also asked if he could install pornography on her home computer.

The patient said in her statement: 'He said it was Dr Ahmed, did I remember what we said earlier and was it okay for him to come to my house to put the porn on my laptop.

'I said I wasn't at home and I could feel he was shocked. He paused and he said it was alright, he could come this evening.

'I said I didn't feel that it was alright for him to come round to install porn and I didn't want that.'

Ahmed, originally from Bangladesh, failed to attend the medical tribunal disciplinary hearing and is now thought to be practising in America.

He was banned from the medical register for life.

The MPTS, sitting in Manchester, said in its judgment: 'The Tribunal was concerned that Dr Ahmed abused his position of trust as a genito-urinary doctor: a role in which he would have routinely conducted intimate examinations on walk-in patients, some who may have been vulnerable.

'The tribunal found that his sexual misconduct would seriously undermine public trust in the profession.'


The Importance of Dads in an Increasingly Fatherless America

There is a growing split taking place among American fathers today. On the one hand, more and more children are growing up without a dad in their lives. But on the other hand, fathers who are involved in their kids’ lives have actually become even more active.

The Pew Research Center reports that fathers who live in the same home as their children have become increasingly engaged in the lives of their kids over the past half-century. In 2015, fathers reported spending an average of 7 hours a week interacting with their children, compared with 2.5 hours in 1965.

Today, 57 percent of dads say they see parenting as a central part of their identity.

This encouraging shift in fatherhood involvement could be owing, at least in part, to the greater amounts of research showing the importance of a father’s role in the life of his child. Nonprofits like Focus on the Family have championed the role of fathers and have promoted well-researched materials to back up their claims.

While it’s true more fathers are taking the time to come home from work and throw the football around with their kid, an increasing number of children find themselves without an active paternal presence in their lives.

Pew reports that only 11 percent of American children lived apart from their dads in 1960. Today, that number has grown to 27 percent. One in every three American children are now growing up in a home without their biological father.

There is a “father absence crisis in America,” according to National Fatherhood Initiative, and the results are sobering.

Studies have found that children raised without a father are:

At a higher risk of having behavioral problems.

Four times more likely to live in poverty.

More likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime.

Twice as likely to never graduate high school.

At a seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy.

More vulnerable to abuse and neglect.

More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Twice as likely to be obese.

From education to personal health to career success, children who lack a father find themselves at a disadvantage to their peers raised in a two-parent household.

A 2017 Heritage Foundation article reported that “routine family bonding activities like reading bedtime stories and eating meals together have a profound effect on children’s educational development and psychological well-being.”

Simply put: Dads, we need you.

As I reflect back upon my own childhood and the role my dad played, and is still playing in my life, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. My father is far from perfect, but he was present.

School was challenging for me as a kid, so my dad often took time to help me with my homework after he got home from work. I remember sitting on our living room couch struggling to understand my math homework with my dad’s instruction.

To be honest, I’m not sure he was much of a help—but he was there. I have always known that my dad was there for me, not just because he told me he was, but because he showed me. The greatest gift my father has ever given me was his time.

So to the fathers who have sacrificed for their children, who have worked to be involved in each day of their child’s life, thank you. Your children will always remember your involvement in their lives.

And to the fathers who would like to do more, remember the importance of your role. It is not about being perfect, but being present.


PC brigade in a hate speech class of their own

The politically correct class in Australia has always been particularly zealous in its defence of provisions such as section 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act and similar provisions in the anti-discrimination laws of the states and territories.

These statutes make it unlawful to publish material that, in many cases, does no more than offend the sensibilities of various groups in the community. What these laws do is place a higher value on hurt feelings than on the rigorous public debate of political, social and economic questions.

It is under one of those laws that the Nine Network and Sonia Kruger face legal proceedings, starting ­tomorrow, alleging racial vilification. In a morning TV show, Kruger attempted to discuss the question of whether there was any correlation between Muslim immigration and terrorist incidents in various countries.

When it comes to its own participation in public debate, however, the politically correct class often has few limits on offensive and insulting statements.

When two members of the Senate proposed the amendment of section 18C in 2016, they were described by the chief political correspondent of The Sydney Morning Herald as “hate-speech apologists”. In addition one was said to be “a boorish, supercilious know-all with the empathy of a Besser block” and the other “an absurdist fringe-dweller”. Both were “self-promoting misanthropes”.

About the same time, in a ­Herald cartoon of Malcolm Turnbull speaking at the UN about refugees, he was shown as wearing three badges inscribed with: “Hate makes the world go around”, “Hate will find a way”, and “All you need is hate”.

One of the most flamboyant examples of this sort of rhetoric occurred last March when Julian Burnside posted on Twitter an image of the federal Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, in a Nazi uniform. This was a particularly striking example because Burnside is not from the fringes of Australian society. He is the product of Melbourne’s most prestigious private school, a Queen’s Counsel at the Victorian Bar and a member of the Order of Australia.

It would have been unthinkable in the fairly recent past that such an establishment figure would be involved in these kinds of guttersnipe exchanges, but the tenor of public debate in Australia has certainly changed in a relatively short space of time.

More recently there were the comments of a history professor at Sydney University who asked whether The Australian’s Greg Sheridan and Chris Kenny “think that Western countries are succumbing to a poisonous cocktail of multiculturalism, Muslim immigration, political correctness and cultural Marxism”, and added: “It seems that, much like Anders Breivik and Steve Bannon, they do.”

Putting aside this categorisation of former Trump staffer Bannon, Breivik was the person who murdered 77 people on one day in Norway in July 2011. This material was published in, of all places, the ABC’s religion and ethics website, but the reference to Breivik was later removed by the ABC. The professor said: “I think some people have overreached themselves with their incendiary rhetoric.” Quite so.

Sydney University staff have no monopoly on inflammatory statements. An edition of the student newspaper in May carried a photo on the cover of a female ­suicide bomber who had killed many Israelis, describing her as a “martyr” in the struggle against “Israeli colonisation”.

When the Australian Union of Jewish Students complained, the student representative council passed a motion condemning them and congratulating those who had worked on the newspaper “for their brave and highly defensible cover depicting a pro-Palestine freedom fighter”.

The domination of universities in Australia by the politically correct class is, of course, not a recent phenomenon. But their influence is just as pervasive in most public institutions and many private ones, including the boards of many public companies, often seemingly more concerned with taking a political stance than making a profit for their shareholders.

What is interesting, however, is the contrast between this group’s view of themselves as the moral guardians of society and their ferocious intolerance for anyone who expresses a view contrary to their own. It is as if those contrary views represent a threat to their role as moral guardians, whereas they occupy most of the commanding heights of Australian ­society and are, unfortunately, not at all threatened.

One thing they have done, however, is to lower the tone of public debate with virulent attacks on their opponents that reflect the deep intensity of their sanctimonious opinions.



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

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

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