Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How dating app algorithms contribute to racial bias

We are not allowed to prefer partners similar to ourselves, apparently.  Typical leftist authoritarianism

Nikki Chapman remembers finding her now-husband through online dating website Plenty of Fish in 2008. Kay Chapman had sent her a message.

"I looked at his profile and thought he was really cute," Nikki Chapman said. "He asked me who my favourite Power Ranger was, and that is what made me respond to him. I thought that was kind of cool – it was something that was near and dear to me from when I was a kid." The Ilinois couple now have two kids of their own: son Liam is 7, and daughter Abie is 1.

Looking back, Chapman recalls the dating site asking about race, which she doesn't think should matter when it comes to compatibility. It didn't for her; she is white, and Kay is African-American.

"Somebody has to be open-minded in order to accept somebody into their lives, and unfortunately not everybody is," she said.

Researchers at Cornell University looked to decode dating app bias in their recent paper, Debiasing Desire: Addressing Bias and Discrimination on Intimate Platforms.

In it, they argue dating apps that let users filter their searches by race – or rely on algorithms that pair up people of the same race – reinforce racial divisions and biases. They said existing algorithms can be tweaked in a way that makes race a less important factor and helps users branch out from what they typically look for.

"There's a lot of evidence that says people don't actually know what they want as much as they think they do, and that intimate preferences are really dynamic, and they can be changed by all types of factors, including how people are presented to you on a dating site," said Jessie Taft, a research coordinator at Cornell Tech. "There's a lot of potential there for more imagination, introducing more serendipity and designing these platforms in a way that encourages exploration rather than just sort of encouraging people to do what they would normally already do."

Taft and his team downloaded the 25 most popular dating apps (based on number of iOS installs as of 2017). It included apps like OKCupid, Grindr, Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel. They looked at the apps' terms of service, their sorting and filtering features, and their matching algorithms – all to see how design and functionality decisions could affect bias against people of marginalised groups.

They found that matching algorithms are often programmed in ways that define a "good match" based on previous "good matches". In other words, if a user had several good Caucasian matches in the past, the algorithm is more likely to suggest Caucasian people as "good matches" in the future.

Algorithms also often take data from past users to make decisions about future users – in a sense, making the same decision over and over again. Taft argues that's harmful because it entrenches those norms. If past users made discriminatory decisions, the algorithm will continue on the same, biased trajectory.

"When somebody gets to filter out a whole class of people because they happen to check the box that says (they're) some race, that completely eliminates that you even see them as potential matches. You just see them as a hindrance to be filtered out, and we want to make sure that everybody gets seen as a person rather than as an obstacle," Taft said.

"There's more design theory research that says we can use design to have pro-social outcomes that make people's lives better than just sort of letting the status quo stand as it is."

Other data shows that racial disparities exist in online dating. A 2014 study by dating website OKCupid found that black women received the fewest messages of all of its users. According to Christian Rudder, OKCupid co-founder, Asian men had a similar experience. And a 2013 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that users were more likely to respond to a romantic message sent by someone of a different race than they were to initiate contact with someone of a different race.

Taft said that when users raise these issues to dating platforms, companies often respond by saying it's simply what users want.

"When what most users want is to dehumanise a small group of users, then the answer to that issue is not to rely on what most users want... Listen to that small group of individuals who are being discriminated against, and try to think of a way to help them use the platform in a way that ensures that they get equal access to all of the benefits that intimate life entails," Taft said. "We want them to be treated equitably, and often the way to do that is not just to do what everybody thinks is most convenient."

He said dating sites and apps are making progress – some have revamped their community guidelines to explicitly state that their site is a discrimination-free zone (users who use hateful messaging are then banned). Others are keeping the race/ethnicity filter but also adding new categories by which to sort. Taft hopes the people making design decisions will read his team's paper and at least keep the conversation going.

"There's a lot of options out there," Nikki Chapman said. "I remember filling out on an app, 'What hair colour are you interested in? What income level? What level of education?' If you're going to be that specific, then you need to go build a doll or something because life and love doesn't work like that."


Preachers of hate prey on our liberal values

Fanatics like Choudary can’t be stopped unless we use illiberal measures to defend ourselves

melanie phillips

What do you do with a problem like Anjem Choudary? In 2016, he was jailed for five and a half years for inviting support for Islamic State. Last Friday, he was released on licence halfway through his sentence.

Choudary, who emerged from prison reportedly reaffirming his support for Isis, is no run-of-the-mill extremist. He has arguably had more influence on radicalising British Muslims than has any other Islamist.

His al-Muhajiroun network, which was banned in 2005 but subsequently mutated into a series of other proscribed radical groupings, was linked to one of the two men who hacked to death off-duty soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 and also influenced one of the perpetrators of the 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack.

The prisons minister Rory Stewart has described Choudary as a “genuinely dangerous person” who remains a “deeply pernicious, destabilising influence”.

The unprecedented threat he is said to pose has led to unprecedented measures, at an estimated cost of more than £2 million a year, to prevent him from doing any more harm. His release is governed by more than 20 licence conditions, including electronic tagging, night curfew, restrictions on phone and internet use and bans on preaching, speaking to the media and travelling outside the M25.

Yet he will live in a probation hostel only for up to six months, after which he will probably move in with his wife (although with the restrictions still in place).

It is astonishing that such a man should be released from prison so soon. That’s because of a loophole in the law. Early release from jail for prisoners who serve the second half of their sentence on licence was introduced in 1967 to cut the prison population. Under the existing law, certain terrorism-related offenders can be required to serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison or may be kept in custody until the end of their sentence at the discretion of the Parole Board.

This extended jail term, though, only applies to terrorism offences that involve weapons or violence or are linked to an actual act of terrorism, none of which applied in Choudary’s case.

Yet the threat he poses remains severe. Richard Walton, a former head of Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism command, says: “I believe we are underestimating the potency and danger of the radicalisers who don’t carry knives, guns and overtly plot terrorist attacks but who pollute the minds of young Muslim men.”

A new law going through parliament would close this loophole. A wider set of terrorism-linked offenders would not get automatic early release if they continue to pose a risk. They might be subject to an extended licence period of up to eight years, during which they could be sent back to jail if they breach its conditions.

This will help, but it won’t solve the problem. For when the sentence finally comes to an end, then what? When Choudary’s sentence expires in 2021, the severe restrictions on him will also end, although he will be subject to other, lesser requirements through being a registered terrorist offender.

We can be sure the police and security service will continue to monitor him. Yet anti-Islamists are convinced he will nevertheless resume spreading his lethal message even while restrictions are in place.

Choudary avoided arrest for many years by exploiting legal loopholes. Few believe the threat he poses will now be neutralised, despite the heavy cost to the public purse of the attempt to do so.

So what else could be done to stop him? Many think Britain should revoke his citizenship and throw him out of the country. But he is a British subject who was born in the UK and the law upholds the principle that no one should be made stateless.

The problem he represents, although unusually severe, is far from unique. The police and security service are facing a surge in convicted terrorism-related offenders. More than 80 of the 193 terms issued for such offences between 2007 and 2016 will expire by the end of the year and early release means the number of such individuals on the streets will be much higher.

Yet every government move to increase the reach of the law to deal with this threat is bitterly resisted on civil liberties grounds.

Here lies the potentially self-destructive paradox of a liberal society. Sometimes it can only defend itself adequately if it takes illiberal measures. If it refuses to do so it may put its citizens in harm’s way and place its own liberal order in jeopardy.

The usual argument is that if we breach our liberal values the terrorists will have won. That’s not, however, how they see it. Their goal is not to destroy liberal values. It is to destroy liberal individuals and their entire society.

The security service says the Islamist terrorism threat is “intense and unrelenting”. Ultimately society must decide where it stands in response to this.

Either it compromises on its liberal principles in order to defend British citizens and liberal society; or, if liberal purity is all-important, it must accept that this means conniving in further terrorist violence and cultural intimidation.

Increasingly it’s a choice we will have to make. We can’t have it both ways.


The enraged, man-hating feminism of today has nothing to do with advancing women

Feminist icon Camille Paglia believes the modern-day feminism recreated by Betty Friedan in the ‘60s hit “a wall of closed minds,” and thus represents the collapse of Western Civilization. She’s right on the mark.

Speaking at the Battle of Ideas festival in London in October 2016, Paglia made it clear how far feminism has fallen from its high-water mark almost a hundred years ago:

“The period of the 1920s, 1930s: that to me is my favorite period in feminism because these women admired what men had done. There was no male bashing as became systemic to Second Wave feminism. It’s an absolute poison that has spread worldwide.”

“A feminism based on denigrating men, trivializing what men have done, defining men as oppressors and tyrants through history it is an absolute lie.”

To be fair, the reemergence of this video is no coincidence: Paglia has released a new book, Provocations: Collected Essays, and the video will help draw attention to it. Yet it is hard to dispute her assertions, especially when she refers to the original feminist movement that won women the right to vote and saw iconic women such as Katharine Hepburn, Amelia Earhart, Dorothy Parker, and Anne Morrow Lindbergh as “great achievers.”

Today’s feminists? Paglia believes the current generation of women has been tainted by an education system that “tried to make everyone feel good,” and social media “where people feel they have so many 'friends’ and they want a sense that reality is comforting them and cushioning them and so on.” She notes that when she went to college in the mid ‘60s she and her fellow feminists were willing to “risk rape” rather than maintain a system whereby college administrators acted “in loco parentis” for women, while male students were treated as adults.

By contrast, today’s women are “easily upset,” even as they remain unaware of the “barbarities of human history,” and she contends this lack of historical perspective gives them “no sense of the special privileges they enjoy.”

It’s worse than that. Like so much of the progressive ideology that forms the backbone of modern-day feminism, a virulent combination of infantilism and hateful hysteria has taken over the movement. Today’s feminists parade themselves around in vagina costumes, and pussy hats, insist women can have penises, and advocate for witchcraft therapy to “process trauma, anger, and grief” — all while expecting to be taken seriously.

When it comes to the Rule of Law and the Constitution, they believe men should “shut up,” due process should be tossed on the ash heap of history, and women who make accusations of sexual assault should be deemed “survivors.”

Survivors whose accusations require unquestioning belief, irrespective of evidence or credibility.

If not? A Washington Post op-ed entitled “Thanks for not raping us, all you 'good men.’ But it’s not enough,” written by Victoria Bissell Brown epitomizes the collective male-bashing that is precisely the “absolute poison” to which Paglia refers. “In the centuries of feminist movements that have washed up and away, good men have not once organized their own mass movement to change themselves and their sons or to attack the mean-spirited, teasing, punching thing that passes for male culture,” Brown asserts. “Not once. Bastards.”

And aside from her anger, Brown, who is “almost 70 years old,” embraces another attribute that defines modern-day feminism: self-pity. “The gender war that has broken out in this country is flooding all our houses,” she declares. “It’s rising on the torrent of memories that every woman has. … Not just memories of sexual abuse. Memories of being dismissed, disdained, distrusted. Memories of having to endure put-downs at the office, catcalls in the parking lot, barked orders at a dinner party. And, for some reason, the most chilling memory of all, the one Christine Blasey Ford called up and that we all recognized: the laughter. The laughter of men who are bonding with each other by mocking us.”

In a 2017 interview, American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers coined the most apt description of women like Brown and their fatuous assumptions that all women are fragile and easily traumatized: “fainting couch feminism.”

As for mockery, no one wields that club more forcefully than feminists themselves — against other women. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, was attacked for standing in “ignorance, loyalty, & whiteness by her predator man.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who refused to allow unsubstantiated allegations stand in the way of Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Court, was referred to by other women as a “betrayer,” “the face of the generation I can’t wait to die,” and someone who should never “have a moment of peace in public again.”

As always, some women are “more equal” than others.

That kind of rank hypocrisy is driven by ideology with conservative women invariably getting the short end of the stick. Nonetheless, the dividers remain unsatisfied: race is now part of the equation as well, and white women per se are the target. White women who “put their racial privilege ahead of their second-class gender status in 2016 by voting to uphold a system that values only their whiteness, just as they have for decades,” asserted NY Times columnist Alexis Grenell. White women who “have often played the protagonists in the history of sexual violence,” while “black women have been relegated to the supporting cast,” as Allyson Hobbs, director of African and African-American studies at Stanford University put it. White women who “use strategic tears to silence women of colour,” as the Guardian stated.

Unsurprisingly, much of this animus was engendered by the same thing that has driven the entire American Left into paroxysms of uncontrollable hysteria: the election of Donald Trump. “Exit polls showed 52 percent of white women backed Donald Trump, and much sorrowful tsk-tsking ensued,” writes Kyle Smith. “Sorrow turned to disbelief. Disbelief turned to rage.”

Why would white women vote for Trump? Maybe it’s because Hillary Clinton was just as contemptuous of them as her fellow racial arsonists. “They will be under tremendous pressure — and I’m talking principally about white women,” she said in 2016. “They will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl.’”

That would be “the girl” who dismissed credible (and ultimately proven) allegations by women against her own husband as a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

Thus, feminists might consider that Clinton’s rank hypocrisy and contemptible double standards were more important to voters than her gender. They might also note those character traits remain unchanging: despite Clinton’s insistence that Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser “deserves the benefit of the doubt,” she remains convinced that Bill shouldn’t have resigned, and that his relationship with then-22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky was not an abuse of power.

Paglia believes the bankruptcy of modern-day feminism stems from “getting rid of the orthodox religions because they were too conservative” and replacing them with “the new religion of political correctness.” Thus, she concludes Second Wave feminists resemble the “Spanish Inquisition” where “any form of dissent is treated as heresy, and they actually try to destroy you.”

Actually, modern-day feminism is destroying itself.


The Extremists' Slaughter of Christians Inside Churches

Indonesia: Six suicide bombers from one Muslim family attacked three churches on May 13, during Sunday Mass services; at least 11 worshippers were killed. The suicide bombers consisted of a father, mother, and four children, two boys and two girls, aged 9,12, 16, and 18. According to the report:

"More than 40 people were injured in the blasts. The first attack that killed four people, including one or more bombers, occurred at the Santa Maria Roman Catholic Church... The father of the family accused of carrying out the suicide bombing had detonated a car bomb during his attack. The incident was followed by a second explosion at the Christian Church of Diponegoro that killed two people. In a third attack, at Pantekosta Church, two more died, police said."

A witness described one of the attacks, where the mother and the two youngest jihadis detonated themselves. Because she was carrying two suspicious bags (apparently of explosives), "officers blocked them in front of the churchyard, but the woman ignored them and forced her way inside. Suddenly (the bomb) exploded." The father "was very active in the mosque," said an acquaintance; "he never missed any of the five daily prayers, but he avoided discussing religion." "The four children were studying in schools run by the Muhammadiyah," long thought the most moderate Islamic school in Indonesia, said a family neighbor. "To me they were normal people," he added.

Russia: Four gunmen stormed a church in Grozny, the capital of Russia's Muslim-majority Republic of Chechnya, and killed three people, a churchgoer and two police officers, on May 19. The attackers — who were also armed with knives, hatchets and homemade explosives — were also killed in the gunfire exchange with security forces at the Church of Michael the Archangel. According to the report:

"It was not immediately clear whether there was any link between the attackers and extremist groups. But Chechnya has experienced attacks by Islamist extremists before, including those who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Women and men from majority Muslim areas of Russia, including Chechnya, have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the Islamic State there, and dozens have begun to return as the group has lost most of its territory.... Grozny once had a substantial ethnic Russian, Christian population but most of them fled during the wars. The church that was attacked Saturday is in the center of the city and was at the heart of some of the battles of the 1990s."

Three months earlier, a report entitled, "ISIS Tells Muslims to Kidnap and Murder Christians in Russian-Occupied Areas," had been published.

Central African Republic: Armed Muslims opened fire on, and hurled grenades at, a Catholic church on May 1. They killed between 16 and 24 people and injured 170. According to one report:

"Former members of a Muslim militia killed at least 16 people in an attack on a church in the Central African Republic... Notre Dame of Fatima, a Roman Catholic church in the capital, Bangui, was attacked Tuesday morning with grenades and gunfire by men allied with a rebel group once known as Seleka, an Islamic faction whose takeover of Bangui five years ago set off the country's continuing conflict."

A later report said, "at least 24 were killed and 170 injured by militants who sprayed bullets into the crowd and detonated grenades." This is "the second Catholic priest to be killed in about a month in the CAR [Central African Republic]. The murdered priest's church lies just outside the predominantly Muslim PK5 district of Bangui..." The New York Times reported:

"It was the second time in four years that Notre Dame of Fatima has become a symbol of the violence that has cleaved the country, often along religious lines. In 2014, Seleka rebels followed the same pattern, first throwing grenades and then opening fire indiscriminately, targeting people who had sought protection at the church from ongoing clashes."

Nigeria: Armed Muslim herdsmen raided a Catholic seminary in Jalingo. According to a priest who was shot, "Fulani herdsmen who were armed to their teeth stormed the school premises" and "opened fire at my window and destroyed my telephone set and other valuables." They then "forced the students to lead them to my room and beat me with their sticks and immediately I fell down [and] one of them shot me in my leg." Discussing such raids, the local bishop said that "it is regrettable as a church because we are only modeling the children to be good citizens of Nigeria and the world at large."

The Extremist Muslim Slaughter of Christians Outside Churches

Pakistan: A Muslim family beat, tied down, raped, and then murdered a Christian teen in front of her father, because she, their live-in maid, did not do her household chores to their satisfaction. On May 5, her father and another relative went to visit the girl at her employer's home. According to the report:

"When they entered the house they saw Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Kashif, Muhammad Tariq Pasran, Muhammad Ismael and wife of Muhammad Asif and another lady were torturing Kainat [his daughter]... Asif Gujjar and his wife were seizing the legs of Kainat while Muhammad Kashif and Muhammad Tariq Pasran had grabbed her arms. They had tied a rope around her neck and were trying to strangle her. Salamat Masih said that they begged not to kill his daughter but they did not pay any heed to his plea. They killed Kianat in front of his eyes. ... Salamat Masih claims that his daughter was killed for not cleaning the house properly."

A separate report said that "a post-mortem study ... also found evidence of rape on the teenager." Because they and their families are usually condemned to lives of extreme poverty, "Christian girls are too frequently placed into domestic servitude contracts from ages as young as 10. Many of these girls suffer cruel beatings and rape from depraved men and jealous wives," the British Pakistani Christian Association said while discussing this latest atrocity.

Uganda: Not content with killing a Muslim convert to Christianity, Muslim villagers also mutilated his corpse, according to a May 4 report. After Kuzaifa became a Christian two years ago, his family instantly ostracized him. He, his wife, and two young children fled to, and found refuge with, a pastor, and eventually moved more than 100 miles away from their home village. "You think you are safe in Kampala," the text messages started coming in. "We shall soon come for your neck." Then, on April 1, while returning from work, he was attacked and killed by unidentified persons. When his wife went to her husband's family to inform them of his death, her father-in-law received her coldly, saying, "My son thought that he can run away from Allah, but he could not." According to the report, "On April 4, family members and other Muslims took the body from the mortuary and buried it in an indecent manner." "Word went around that Kuzaifa's body was mutilated and not properly buried," said his wife. "His body was not washed, several pins were inserted into his body, they dug a very small grave for the body, and several cuts were made on his corpse." Christians responded by exhuming his body; "[t]hey washed it and provided a decent burial service." Now it is his wife's turn to be targeted: "If you continue with Christianity," came one text message, "you will go the same way of your husband."

Mozambique: Suspected Islamic terrorists beheaded 10 people with machetes in the Christian-majority nation on May 29. "There are 10 citizens who have been hideously killed," said a police spokesman. "The environment is scary." Although it was not immediately clear who was behind the atrocity, "local sources blamed the attack on Islamists," said the report; "Cabo Delgado province has seen a number of attacks by suspected radical Islamists since October [2017]." The group, known as Al Shabaab — Arabic for "the Youth" — is not believed to be affiliated to the other Islamic terror group of the same name in Somalia. "On the one hand the rate of attacks appears to intensify," said one analyst, "on the other hand, the methods seem to be radicalized, with decapitations becoming more and more common."

The Legal Jihad on Christian Churches

Algeria: Authorities shut down "two more Protestant churches, amidst growing pressure on the country's Christian minority," according to a May 29 report. Police sealed off the two churches in an area "where much of the growth in the Church is happening." One of the churches was established in 2005 and was attended by more than 200 worshippers. In the words of one of its leaders, "The officers came in on Friday morning. They simply sealed off the main entrance without a prior notice, as was the case before with other ... churches." A leader from another church had also received a similar telephone call from a police officer who said, "I'm calling to inform you that we have received an order to close your church." Soon after, a group of officers appeared and sealed off that church, too. According to the Christian advocacy group, Middle East Concern:

"The Algerian government has been criticized for discrimination against the country's Christian minority. Churches and individual Christians have faced increased restrictions in recent months, raising concerns that these pressures signal a coordinated campaign of intensified action against churches by the governing authorities."

Tanzania: After Muslim sheikhs from a mosque in the Muslim-majority, semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar complained that the Sunday services of a nearby church were too loud, authorities shut it down — even though, unlike the mosque, the church did not employ loudspeakers. As the bishop was in the middle of a sermon, a plainclothes police officer and other local officials walked into the church. "One of the police officers in civilian clothes walked through the church's door, stepped up to the podium and then grabbed the bishop by the arm," a church member said. "The bishop pleaded with him to allow him finish the preaching." According to a May 24 report,

"The congregation of the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA) church in Kisauni ... was gripped with fear that day (May 6) as the pulpit microphone picked up Bishop Daniel Kwileba Kwiyeya's plea. The regional and local district commissioners ordered him to stop the worship service as the officer dragged him into a police car..."

"Why are you arresting my father without giving us the reasons for his arrest?" the bishop's daughter cried. "This is very inhumane." The local district commissioner responded by slapping her and pushing her into the police vehicle, which hauled her and her father to the police station. They were released on the next day. "We have the right to worship God just like our brothers the Muslims who worship God using loudspeakers, but no one terms their worship a nuisance," said a church member. "We as the church are of the opinion that the order to close the church is tainted with favoritism and unconstitutional."

Saudi Arabia: Although a number of mainstream media including Fox News and Al Jazeera announced that the Vatican and Saudi Arabia had made a "historic" deal allowing the existence of churches on Saudi soils, the Vatican denied it as fake news. As one report explains, Saudi Arabia would have to completely remake itself before such a scenario can occur:

"The country follows a strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and it is impossible for anyone living in the country to openly practice Christianity. There are hundreds of thousands of Christians from other nations, such as the Philippines, other parts of Asia, or African countries, who are living and working in Saudi Arabia. But they must meet in private homes to worship, and risk harassment, arrest and deportation if they are caught doing so..... The Kingdom's administrative laws state that its constitution is the 'The Holy Qur'an and the Prophet's Sunnah (traditions),' and the judicial system operates on a strict interpretation of sharia law, which officially carries the death penalty for any Muslim citizen who converts to Christianity. Adult males and females are both subject to the death penalty for apostasy from Islam under the Sunni Hanbali form of sharia law practiced in Saudi Arabia."

Muslim Threats to Christian Churches

United States: A Muslim man disrupted two separate church services, one at Saint Matthew Parish, and another at BlueStone Church, in the course of a week, in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. According to John Stange, who was leading the service at BlueStone Church:

"[W]hile I spoke this evening about the sacrificial love of Jesus and how Jesus calls us to love one another with that same kind of sacrificial love, I noticed that a man pulled his car up to the entrance of the church and he sat there during the course of the message for over 35 minutes. ...As I was wrapping up the message, he began yelling into the building. I wasn't sure what he was saying at first, so I stopped speaking and walked toward him so I could engage in conversation with him. It quickly became clear that he took great offense to what I was preaching about, and in the midst of yelling at me he stated, 'You press on my nerves. You press on Muslims' nerves. You're going straight to Hell on the day of judgment.' Apparently, he was Muslim and he wanted to make sure that I knew he had a problem with the Christian message I was preaching. Needless to say, this experience made all of us uncomfortable."

France: A Muslim man walked into a cathedral and threatened to blow it up for preaching the Gospel and not the Koran. According to the May 3 report (original French here), the 37-year-old man, known only by his first name, Ahmed, "barged into local landmark St Vincent's Cathedral of Chalon-sur-Saône," and started yelling that "It is the Quran that must be read!" and that he had a "grenade and would blow up the church." During his court trial, it was revealed that Ahmed "has a long history of criminality with 27 prior criminal convictions including three cases of death threats and seven convictions for theft." The report continued:

"Father Thierry de Marsac, who heads the Roman Catholic parish of Saint Vincent, said that everyone in the cathedral at the time remained calm but he expressed he was concerned at the time, thinking of the brutal murder of Father Jacques Hamel who was killed by radical Islamic terrorists in 2016."

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

Indonesia: On May 7, a court sentenced a Christian pastor, Reverend Abraham Ben Moses, 52, to four years in prison for "blasphemy" against Islam's prophet Muhammad. A former Muslim, Abraham, after his conversion, was known to enjoy evangelizing and debating with Muslims. He was arrested in December 2017, after a video he posted of himself sharing his new Christian faith with a Muslim taxi driver went viral. The video apparently prompted the Muhammadiyah ("Muhammadans"), a leading Islamic group in Indonesia with nearly 30 million members, to lodge a complaint against him. Because in the video, he criticized marriage as taught by Muhammad and in the Koran, apparently compared to Christian monogamy, "Abraham was," according to the report, "convicted under Electronic and Information Transactions Law No. 11/2008 as he intentionally spread information intended to incite hatred against an individual, group and society based on religion." A Muhammadiyah spokesman responded by saying that, "This decision should be appreciated and should serve as a valuable lesson for all parties." Conversely, human rights groups such as International Christian Concern say that:

"The Indonesian government should revisit the country's blasphemy law, as it is increasingly being exploited by radical Muslim groups to target individuals who they find to be offensive and theologically 'out-of-line.' To honor religious freedom as enshrined in Indonesia's constitution, the government must respect all religions and stop criminalizing Christians when they are merely exercising their right to free speech."

Algeria: The appeal of a Christian pastor -- a 37-year-old father of three -- who was found guilty of "undermining the faith of a Muslim" was rejected by a court of law on May 16. His troubles began when someone informed a security checkpoint to inspect his vehicle thoroughly; the officers seized 56 books, including the Gospel of Mathew, Bibles, a Bible commentary, a book on church history and some pamphlets. Pastor Nouredine Belabed, a former Muslim, explained that he "meant to distribute them free to other Christians or any other person who wanted to know Christ." During his sentencing "the judge was harsh," and "used intimidation," according to Belabed. The judge, he said, repeatedly upbraided him: "Why do you carry those Christian books? Are not you ashamed? You're not ashamed to do that? Algeria is a Muslim country." "I did not do anything wrong, judge," Belabed responded. "The Bibles I carried were intended for members of our community, our Tiaret church, which is affiliated with the EPA [the formally recognized church of Algeria]. I did not give them to others or try to evangelize anyone."

According to the verdict, "Nouredine B. alone was found guilty for carrying and distributing Christian articles in order to undermine and destabilize the faith of a Muslim, in accordance with Article 11/02 of Law 03/06, and for that he is ordered to pay a fine of 100,000. DA [dinars]." The fine, equivalent to about $ 862 USD, is considered very large. "I am tired," says Belabed. "The police keep watching us, my wife and me. They watch all our movements. I do not want to inflict more on my family than that; I decide to choose to pay the fine."

Law 03/06 calls for a prison term of as much as five years and a fine of up to one million dinars ($8,687 USD) for anyone who:

"incites, constrains, or utilizes means of seduction tending to convert a Muslim to another religion, or using for this purpose the institutions of education, health, social, cultural, or educational institutions, or other establishment, or financial advantage; or makes, stores or distributes printed documents or films or other audiovisual medium or means intended to undermine the faith of a Muslim."

Separately, on May 3, a court fined Idir Hamdad, a 29-year-old Muslim convert to Christianity, 20,000 dinars ($172 USD) for "importing unlicensed goods" — a reference to the Bible and crucifix keyrings which were donated to him by a church when he was visiting Jordan, and which custom officials confiscated from him at the airport when he returned in late 2017. "After they opened my luggage, suddenly I found myself surrounded by multitudes of police and customs officers," Hamdad explained.

"The customs officer began to gesticulate in all directions to attract attention. And I, still in astonishment, still did not understand what was happening to me."

One after another, sometimes at the same time, the officials peppered him with questions, he said.

"It fell on me like a rain: 'Are you a Christian? Where do you come from? Who gave you these objects? And those Christian books, who gave them to you? Who is it for?'" he said.

Two police officers grabbed him and forced him to follow them out of the international terminal to the national terminal, where they held him for eight hours without food or water, he said.

"In this quarantine, the representatives of the law did not fail to abuse their authority to insult me," he said. "They had repeatedly tried to persuade me to renounce my Christian faith and return to Islam: 'If you renounce now your Christianity and you do the chahada [Islamic conversion creed], we will let you leave right away, and there will be no prosecution against you.'"

"To condemn a Christian...with about 20 keychains, including four or five bearing crucifixes, and six scarves ... is ridiculous in view of Article 365 of the Code of Customs," his attorney said, adding that none of the items violated Algerian customs law.

Somalia: A small community of about 30 elderly Christians live in constant fear that their relatives — particularly their grandchildren — will slaughter them in what is arguably the worst Muslim nation in the world in which to be Christian. According to one man, speaking under the pseudonym of Moses:

"Violence is in [our] homes and we, who are few, we risk our lives every day.... Those born in the 90s have become intolerant and do not understand their elders who profess Christianity. Therefore the elders flee, go away from their children and grandchildren."

He added that some of these Christian grandparents have already been "killed by their children's children."



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, October 23, 2018

Trump cracking down on transgender nonsense

Reality restored.  Some compassions for sexually disturbed people is reasonable but Leftists have pushed the isssue to extremes, making it a source of oppression to anybody who calls it like it is.  Leftist tyranny was bound to cause a pushback and that may now be arriving -- probably depriving trannies of even reasonable accomodations.  As ever, Leftist intervention will have been destructive

President Donald Trump's administration is attempting to strip transgender people of official recognition by creating a narrow definition of gender as being only male or female and unchangeable once it is determined at birth, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

The Department of Health and Human Services has undertaken an effort across several government departments to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, the Times said, citing a government memo that it obtained.

Such an interpretation would reverse the expansion of transgender rights that took place under the previous administration of President Barack Obama.

It would also set back aspirations for tolerance and equality among the estimated 0.7 percent of the population that identifies as transgender. Most transgender people live with a profound sense that the gender assigned to them at birth was wrong and transition to the opposite sex, while others live a non-binary or gender fluid life.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declined to comment on what she called 'allegedly leaked documents' but cited a ruling by a conservative U.S. district judge as a guide to transgender policy.

Ruling on a challenge to one aspect of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Texas found in 2016 that there was no protection against discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

A leading transgender advocate called the government's reported action a 'super aggressive, dismissive, dangerous move.' 'They are saying we don't exist,' said Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Rights, in an interview.

The Obama administration enacted regulations and followed court rulings that protected transgender people from discrimination, upsetting religious conservatives.

The Trump administration has sought to ban transgender people from military service and rescinded guidance to public schools recommending that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.

A draft of the Trump administration memo says gender should be determined 'on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,' the memo says, according to the Times.

Psychiatrists no longer consider being transgender a disorder and several U.S. courts have found the Obama interpretation of protecting transgender people against discrimination as sound. But the Trump administration has chosen to abide by the ruling of O'Connor, the Times said.

'The court order remains in full force and effect today and HHS is abiding by it as we continue to review the issue,' Roger Severino, the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.


'Fantasist' known only as 'Nick' whose claims of VIP child sex abuse sparked Scotland Yard's disastrous £2.5million inquiry appears in court charged with 12 counts of perverting course of justice

At last they are prosecuting the grub.  It's a big blot on them that they took him seriously

A man who claimed he was the victim of a Westminster paedophile ring - sparking a £2.5million inquiry - has appeared in court charged with perverting the course of justice.

The 50-year-old 'fantasist' said he was raped and abused in the 1970s and 1980s by powerful men including former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

He also claimed to have witnessed the murders of three young boys during sex games.

Operation Midland was launched by Scotland Yard in 2014 to investigate his claims, but was closed in 2016 when no evidence was found to support them.

Nick is charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.

He claims the alleged abuse took place when he was aged between seven and 16.

The fraud charge relates to him being awarded £22,000 compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Reid told the court he had made allegations of 'sexual and physical abuse by a number of people of public prominence'. 'He also said he witnessed the murders of three young children,' she said

Northumbria Police passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in September last year, which led to the charges being brought against Nick.


Have we got King Henry VIII all wrong? Famous womaniser was a 'vulnerable, insecure and loyal' king, says expert

He has been known for centuries as one of England's most fearsome monarchs, a single-minded autocrat, who had no qualms about divorcing two of his wives and beheading another two.

But Henry VIII also had a side that was 'vulnerable, insecure and loyal', according to a new book about the infamous Tudor monarch. 

Using documents from those who served the king, including his servants, barbers, physicians and jesters, leading historian Tracy Borman has uncovered a wealth of evidence suggesting that Henry VIII was far from the boorish tyrant history has made him out to be.

Speaking to Dalya Alberge for The Observer, Borman, who is joint chief curator for Historic Royal Palaces, said: 'A study of Henry through the eyes of the men, rather than the wives, has never been done before and offers a genuinely new perspective.'

For example, among the household accounts and letters found in the National Archives, British Library and private collections, Borman discovered that Henry looked kindly on his jester, Will Somer, who likely had learning difficulties and gifted him with clothing.

Borman, whose research features in her new book, Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him, explained: 'Household accounts show he was appointed a 'keeper' to look after him, and Henry lavished unstinting care and attention upon him for the rest of his life.'

Henry, who had six wives, was also found to have bequeathed a generous legacy to Thomas Cawarden, his master of revels, while other letters from courtiers disclose that the king grew close to his physician, William Butts.

This friendship was much to the courtiers' chagrin, as Butts was known to hold radical views on religion and may well have influenced Henry's views on splitting from the Catholic church.

Borman concludes that while Henry was still in many ways deserving of being called autocratic and fearsome, he 'just doesn't deserve the caricature we've come to know and despise'.


The genes of human behaviour

A crucial new book by a pioneer of behaviour genetics

Viscount Ridley: My Review in The Times of Robert Plomin's new book

For a long time there was an uncomfortable paradox in the world of behaviour genetics. The evidence for genes heavily influencing personality, intelligence and almost everything about human behaviour got stronger and stronger as more and more studies of twins and adoption came through. However, the evidence implicating any particular gene in any of these traits stubbornly refused to emerge, and when it did, it failed to replicate.

Ten years ago I recall talking to Robert Plomin about this crisis in the science of which he was and is the doyen. He was as baffled as anybody. The more genes seemed to matter, the more they refused to be identified. Were we missing something about heredity? He came close to giving up research and retiring to a sailing boat.

Fortunately, he did not. With the help of the latest genetic techniques, Plomin has now solved the mystery and this is his book setting out the answer. It is a hugely important book — and the story is very well told. Plomin’s writing combines passion with reason (and passion for reason) so fluently that it is hard to believe this is his first book for popular consumption, after more than 800 scientific publications.

His story is crucial, because in the final chapters he exposes his own genes to readers as a test of the arguments he is making. So we learn that Plomin, a professor of behavioural genetics at King’s College London, “grew up in a one-bedroom flat in inner-city Chicago without books”. Nobody in his family went to university, yet he was an insatiable devourer of books.

An intelligence test identified Plomin’s ability and got him into schools where he could develop his talent. Here lies one of the sources of his passion: he thinks that if children are to be enabled to fulfil their potential, then you cannot believe that they are the product of their upbringing or education. You must understand that they have innate aptitudes that can overcome environmental disadvantages. Nothing, he believes, is bleaker than environmental determinism.

Plomin’s research on twins and adoptees has relentlessly proved the truth of this assertion, so long denied by the dogmatists of the “not in our genes” era. Five key insights emerged, some so counterintuitive as to leave your head spinning.

First, most measures of the “environment” show substantial genetic influence. That is, people adapt their environment better to suit their natures. For example, Plomin discovered that the amount of television adopted children watch correlates twice as well with the amount their biological parents watch rather than with the amount watched by their adoptive parents.

Plomin hesitated before publishing this remarkable finding on the “nature of nurture” in 1989. Knowing what had happened to anybody who discussed genes and behaviour, from EO Wilson to Charles Murray, Plomin realised that telling the world that television watching habits are genetically influenced would be ridiculed by social scientists and the media, however strong his evidence. He feared it would be professional suicide. Yet his insight has since been replicated more than 18 times.

Our personalities are also influenced by the environment, but Plomin’s second key insight is that we are more influenced by accidental events of short duration than by family. Incredibly, children growing up in the same family are no more similar than children growing up in different families, if you correct for their genetic similarities. Parents matter, but they do not make a difference.

Plomin says these chance events can be big and traumatic things such as war or bereavement, but are mostly small but random things, like Charles Darwin being selected for HMS Beagle because Captain Robert Fitzroy believed in “phrenology” and thought he could read Darwin’s character from the shape of his nose. Environmental influences turn out to be “unsystematic, idiosyncratic, serendipitous events without lasting effects”, says Plomin.

Moreover, surprisingly, heritability increases as we get older. The longer we live, the more we come to express our own natures, rather than the influences of others on us. We “grow into our genes”, as Plomin puts it. An obvious example is male-pattern baldness, which shows low heritability at 20 and very high heritability at 60.

Two other findings are that normal and abnormal behaviour are influenced by the same genes, and that genetic effects are general across traits; there are not specific genes for intelligence, schizophrenia or personality — they all share sets of genes.

This last point leads to the breakthrough in identifying which genes make the difference. The first attempt at finding genes that influence behaviour and psychology made use of the “candidate-gene” approach. Find a gene that might be involved and see if it matters. With few exceptions, such as the APOE gene and Alzheimer’s, this approach was a dismal failure. The results were sparse and failed to replicate.

Along came the genome-wide array technique: to search for lots of different mutations at the same time in a large sample of people, hoping to pick up subtler effects. Again, nothing: Plomin’s first try yielded no genes associated with intelligence. Then came the first gene-chips in the early 2000s and he was able to look for 10,000 mutations at the same time. Still nothing. “I was beginning to think my luck had run out — after a decade of work, this was the third false start.”

The problem was that everybody thought they were hunting big game — genes with hefty influence on particular traits. It turns out they should have been looking for much smaller quarry: genes with very slight influence, but many more of them. We now know that you need a sample size of 80,000 people before you can detect the very slight changes that each genetic mutation causes, but when you get to such a scale, you find thousands of relevant genes, each adding only a small percentage to the chance of having a particular trait. It’s gold dust, not nuggets.

However, the effects are additive, and once you have lots of genes, you can start to explain significant portions of the variance among individuals. Plomin illustrates this with height. Being, like me, 6ft 5in tall, he is not surprised to find that his polygenic score, based on thousands of genes, puts him at the 90th percentile for height. The genes in the sample so far only explain 15 per cent of the variance in height of individuals, which may not sound like much, given that height is 80 per cent heritable in western societies. But get this: it’s a better predictor than any other factor — such as the height of the parents, or the height of the person as a child, let alone medical history or socio-economic status — and it works from birth, or even conception.

Plomin is very interested in the possibilities of polygenic scores, which will make it possible partly to predict psychological traits such as depression, schizophrenia and educational achievement. The score is the result of passing a sample of your blood over a silicon chip that tests for thousands of mutations, then adds them together, giving an aggregate score for how many of the thousands of single-letter code changes you have that each very slightly makes you more likely to do well in school, for example.

The predictions such scores give are probabilistic, not certain, but they are improving. Plomin argues that genes can probabilistically predict things about an individual, distinguishing her from her siblings, and can do so from the start of life. School attainment is now better forecast by a polygenic score than any other way of predicting it — it is better than knowing how the parents did at school, better than socio-economic status, better than the type of school (which turns out to have little effect once you control for the fact that selective schools choose innately more talented children).

Plomin thinks parents who give a newborn child such a test and find out that no matter how hard the child is helicopter-parented he is unlikely to be a genius would probably be doing that child a favour. “Parents should relax and enjoy their relationship with their children without feeling a need to mould them,” he argues.

It’s far fairer, Plomin says, to find out what children will be good at and bring that out than to be able to create inequality based on income or opportunity. And, in a point he does not emphasise enough, the fact that intelligence or personality are caused by many thousands of genes, each of minuscule effect, means that it will be impossibly difficult to create a super-intelligent designer baby.



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


Monday, October 22, 2018

Brain-dead Teen Vogue: ‘Can’t #EndPoverty Without Ending Capitalism!’

Teen Vogue, which bills itself on Twitter as “The young person's guide to conquering (and saving) the world” declared Wednesday that “ending capitalism!” is the only solution to poverty.

“What ‘Capitalism’ Is and How It Affects People,” subtitled, “what it is, how it works, and who is for and against it” and published online back in April, portrays supporters of capitalism as wealthy, greedy, and responsible for the existence of poverty:

“Individual capitalists are typically wealthy people who have a large amount of capital (money or other financial assets) invested in business, and who benefit from the system of capitalism by making increased profits and thereby adding to their wealth.”

“In a capitalist country, the focus is on profits over anything else; in a socialist country, the public is seen to be more important, and social welfare is a major priority.”

“The essential anti-capitalist argument is that “the hallmark of capitalism is poverty in the midst of plenty.”

In contrast, the article characterizes members of the violent Occupy Wall Street movement as inquisitive citizens wondering why rich people “are allowed" to prosper in the face of poverty:

“The Occupy Wall Street movement began as an anti-capitalist protest against “the 1%” — the richest of the rich of the capitalist class — and asked why they are allowed to grow fat and happy while 20% of all American children live in poverty.”


Dems Fine With 'Money in Politics' ... From Leftist Billionaires

In truth, they only care about where the money's coming from and where it's going.

The severe anguish that drove Democrats to torment Brett Kavanaugh’s path to the Supreme Court is rooted in an impervious desire to circumvent the Constitution by way of the courts. Among the handful of cases they most yearn to see overturned is the campaign-finance case known as Citizens United v. FEC, which House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has called “disastrous.” She wants to see the verdict overturned because “the pocketbooks of the privileged few [should] not drown out the voices of hard-working American families.”

That’s a nice sound bite, and another judicial activist on the Supreme Court would certainly help this and many other leftist causes. Or, as Democrats so often spin it, overturning Citizens United would help to “get money out of politics.” But in truth, it’s not really about the money, per se. It’s about where the money’s come from and where it’s going. Just consider this editorial from The Wall Street Journal:

Democrats are still expressing confidence that they’ll retake Congress in November, and perhaps they will. One reason for their optimism is the gusher of campaign money coming their way this year, and notice how you don’t hear liberals complaining about the corrupting power of money in politics. …

The abortion-rights lobby is dumping cash into House races, including a recent $1 million ad buy from NARAL that targets GOP Members in swing districts such as Peter Roskam in Illinois and Kevin Yoder in Kansas. (The GOP agenda “harms and silences women,” the ad says.) Planned Parenthood said last month the group will spend $20 million on voter turnout.

Then there are billionaires like Mike Bloomberg, who is spending $80 million to turn the House and another $20 million to make Chuck Schumer Senate Majority Leader. And don’t forget Tom Steyer, the West Coast impeachment campaigner who plans to spend more than $100 million through various proxies. Mr. Steyer is spending more than $5 million alone for Andrew Gillum, the progressive Democrat running for Governor in Florida.

Bloomberg and Steyer, along with George Soros and Jeff Bezos, are among the archenemies of Liberty. These billionaire socialists finance numerous leftist causes and candidates who fraudulently espouse a desire to rid politics of money. If you want a perfect example of hypocrisy, look no further. As the Journal concludes, “If progressives win control of Congress, their best friend will have been their supposed biggest enemy: money in politics.” Consequently, Democrats will remain deafeningly silent — unless, of course, the GOP scores another upset in the midterms.


Time for women to sexualise men says TV star Rae

I have an idea that some men might not mind being sexualized

Rising US star Issa Rae held her hand up Wednesday to sexualising men in her hit television series "Insecure", saying it was time for the "female gaze" to have its day.

The African-American writer and producer, who first broke through playing herself in the cult YouTube series "Awkward Black Girl", admitted she was all for the camera lingering longer on the glories of the naked male.

"Men are more sexualised in the series because we are seeing this through the female lens," she told TV executives at MIPCOM, the world's top entertainment showcase in Cannes, where she picked up its "Personality of the Year" award.

"When I am in the act myself I don't say, 'Ooh! Look at my body!' You are seeing what I see, what I am looking at. It is all very intentional. We are all always seeing titties and ass on screen, this is an opportunity to reverse that."

Rae, 33, admitted that her mother, "a good Christian woman", squirms when she watches parts of her HBO series. "She hates it. The bad language, the sex... She'll say, 'Why did I even bother with parental control and having you not watching R-rated movies if you grow to make the things that you weren't allowed to watch?'"

She was particularly shocked by "the threesome gone wrong experience in season two," Rae revealed. "She called me after to say, 'You are basically making porn!'"

But Rae said she makes no apologies for "telling the truth" or seeing the world through the eyes of black women. "What attracts people is we are telling the truth," she argued.

Nor is she afraid of exploring everyday racism in a world "whose default is white", she said. "There is an idea that no one wants black women, that we are not considered desirable. Whether it is a myth or not it is something that permeates the world of dating.

"We are living it. Our writer's room is mostly black women... although there is one white guy. We are always telling him, 'Now you can see what it is like for us,'" she joked.

Which is why see she was so surprised to discover that 60 percent of her audience are white. "That threw me way off," she declared.

"That must mean that even white people are tired of only watching white people and seeing everything from their point of view."

But the success of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhimes and shows like "Atlanta" proves that even internationally "the idea is not weird anymore to be watching all black people."

She said that when she began producers kept telling her shows needed to be "more multicultural, which meant add a white person.

"In society the default is white and we don't question it. It is very disheartening to feel that your experience doesn't matter," she said.

Even so Rae, whose father is Senegalese and whose mother is African-American, has been criticised for not being black enough -- a subject she often addresses in her show.

It is one of many prickly issues that she tackles, including what she calls "the burden of masculinity for many black men".

"If a dude touches another dude's dick he is automatically gay in that mindset," one that many black women also share, she claimed.

Rae said that she was "building to (deal with) other types of sex" in "Insecure", but this was "a sensitive conversation in the black community. You cannot talk about black gay men without being accused of trying to eradicate the race... it is a very touchy topic."


Uluru climber fights to keep the famous rock open and claims traditional owners guided visitors to the top in the past

It should be open and accessible to all Australians. Locking it up on the grounds of Aboriginal superstition is a form of racism.  It prioritizes a racially defined religion.

It's my belief that there is no spirit realm.  Why is my religion not of any force in the matter?  It's a widely held belief.  Australia is a very secular country and most Australians would believe that your ancestors are as dead as

And while an Aboriginal group are politely referred to as "traditional owners", the legal reality is that the rock is crown land, in effect owned by all Australians

Ayers rock

Right to Climb Ayers Rock blogger Marc Hendrickx has filed a Human Rights Commission complaint alleging racial discrimination.  'I deeply respect the past Aboriginal owners but I think the decision to close the climb has been handled badly,' he told The Australian.

Concerns for the conservation of Uluru partly drove the decision to close it to climbers in October next year. It was argued that tours to the summit of Uluru not only had a detrimental effect on the environment but also disrespected the traditional owners, the Anangu people.

Opponents to the closure claim crucial data was lacking at the time of the decision, and local Aboriginal people, in fact, once guided visitors to the top.

Mr Hendrickx drew up archival images and reports to back up this claim. A 1940s film showed two Aboriginal men Tiger Tjalkalyirri and Mitjenkeri Mick guiding heading a tour to the summit.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board of management chairman Sammy Wilson disputed Mr Hendrickx's claims and urged people to look beneath the surface. He also slammed tourism authorities and a nearby resort for turning Uluru into a moneymaker.

'We are teaching our kids not to climb,' Mr Wilson said. He added it was 'a spiritual place' and noted 'can I climb your temple?'

At the moment, a sign is planted at the base of the rock: it urges visitors to not climb the feature, though many ignore it.

Mr Hendrickx visited Uluru with his daughters in July and said the view at the top was 'stunning'.

On top of closing down the rock, it is also believed five plaques at the rock's base, the chain and a historic cairn at the summit have also been ordered to be removed.

Opponents say it would destroy the very same cultural heritage that authorities are sworn to protect. 'I ­believe that closing the climb and removing those monuments will breach the lease agreement,' Mr Hendrickx said.

A Parks Australia spokeswoman denied any plans to 'destroy the summit monument, chain and memorial plaques.'

The spokeswoman added Parks Australia does not agree with the 'assertion that the director of National Parks has breached the lease agreement with the Anangu traditional owners.' 



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


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Push notifications

Roughly every 15 minutes I get a "push" notification on my computer screen.  They are a fairly recent phenomenon. Instead of someone sending you an email that you have to open, the sender puts his message right on your screen before your eyes without you having to open anything or do anything.  But they are there only for a matter of about 10 seconds so you can easily ignore them if you want to. Conversely, if the message looks interesting, you have to click on it straight away if you want to see more.

Without even asking, I am sure that many people are complaining  about push notifications.  I even know the word they are using.  "Bombarded".  They will regard such messages as intrusive and distracting.  Some pain-in-the-ass types will even want a law passed to stop such messages.

I on the other hand regard them as a great leap forward in communication.  How wonderful it is that there are people all over the world  (OK, mostly in America so far) who are sending me bits of information that they believe might be interesting to me! Instead of me seeking out information, it just comes to me with no effort on my part.  It is an improvement in civilization itself.

So how do you become a recipient of such messages?  It happens  when you are reading something on the net that interests you.  The site owner will put up a requester that asks you whether they can send you more information about the sort of topic that they cover.  Once, if you replied "Yes" to such requesters, you would have to provide your email address and the extra info would come to you in an email.  Such are the wonders of modern technology, however, that they no longer need your email address.  Instead of getting more email, these days you will just get a one or two sentence summary projected onto a corner of your screen.  They "know" where you are and how to access your screen.  I imagine that could be abused in some way.  There is not much that someone has not abused.  But, as far as I can tell so far, it is completely harmless.

It greatly reduces what I have to do in information seeking. It actually gives me more free time.  Isn't that great?

UK: Officers wasting time investigating wolf whistles under drive to target hate crime, police leader warns

The drive to target hate crime is forcing police officers to spend valuable time investigating wolf-whistles, bad manners and impolite comments, a police leader has warned.

Sergeant Richard Cooke, the recently elected chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, said forces were expected to record and follow up reports of hate crime, even when no criminal offence had taken place.

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Cooke warns police officers would be dispatched to offer words of advice to people, but this meant they had less time to focus on "genuine crimes" such as burglary and violence.

Mr Cooke said he did not believe this was what the public expected of its police service. While applauding the principle behind protecting those at risk of hurtful abuse, officers have expressed their frustration at being drawn into what they see as social rather than criminal issues.

Mr Cooke, who represents 6,500 rank and file officers in the country's second largest police force, said: "I fear a dangerous precedent could be set, where our scant resources are skewed further and further away from the genuine crisis in public safety taking place on our urban homes and streets.

"Nobody, especially police officers, would ever want to see any elderly person or woman subjected to any sort of crime. The same goes for any other innocent member of the community. But we do have laws to address all manner of crimes and anti-social behaviour already."

Earlier this week the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that he had asked the Law Commission to consider whether misogyny and ageism should be added to the list of categories that constitute a hate crime.

It is hoped that by broadening out the definition of the offence, police and prosecutors will have more power to tackle and punish those who deliberately target vulnerable groups.

Newly published figures show how religious hate crimes rose by 40 per cent last year with attacks on Jewish people representing 12 percent of all offences.

Abuse against gay and transgender people and the disabled has also risen.

But there are increasing warnings that in the drive to identify and tackle the problem, police priorities are being impacted.

Mr Cooke said: "We all abhor and want to end genuine crimes motivated or aggravated by intolerance and prejudice. They should be investigated, and those who commit them should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as should those who incite them."

But he went on: "Let us focus urgently on genuine crime, supported by basic evidence. Let’s not encourage people to think we can solve deep social problems or give impolite people manners.

"Are we really going to be required to routinely record, and potentially act on, incidents like a builder’s wolf whistle or an insensitive comment towards an elderly driver?

"I do not believe for one second that this is what the public, outside of the politically correct 'court of Twitter', expects or wants us to do."

South Yorkshire Police recently came in for criticism after urging people to report insults that did not necessarily constitute hate crimes.

Last month the newly elected chairman of the Police Federation, John Apter, warned that common sense policing was disappearing with officers forced to spend time intervening in trivial social media disputes rather than attending burglaries and other serious crimes.

He said it was time for a debate sensible debate about what the public expected of its police service.

"Where we get drawn into local disagreements, the argument over the remote control, the dispute in the playground, the row on Facebook it is frustrating. I certainly think police time can be better spent and it makes a mockery when we are so stretched," he said.


What's wrong with equality?

Hardly a day goes by where we are not bombarded with calls for employment quotas, free speech restrictions and other mandated equality measures. It is alarming how fast this politically correct agenda has become part of mainstream politics and media.

The impact of cultural Marxism is not unique to Australia. After a speech to the UN General Assembly, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, received thunderous applause. Arden’s speech, dubbed "Me Too must become We Too", had collective action on gender equality at its core. This is the same leader who proudly proclaimed that "capitalism has failed New Zealand". Prime Minister Arden, like many leaders of today, has taken to using Hollywood-rhetoric and other populist lingo to further her leftist agenda. She is a perfect example of the impact of the long-march through education systems.

The UK Government has now announced a public-private partnership with Bloomberg L.P. to "improve" on the measurement of the difference in payroll between men and women. It aims to improve transparency on "a global scale" and builds on the UK government's Gender Gap Service legislation, which requires an organisation with more than 250 employees to submit an annual report with details of their payroll.

The UK's new proposed organisation is quite similar to Australia's Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which was established as part of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. On top of that, Australia also has "Equal Opportunity Commissioners" and various other agencies throughout our states and territories. Despite all these organisations working tirelessly to achieve "equality", and hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent, it is amusing that a recent government report on the South Australian public sector found that their gender pay gap was larger than that of the private sector.

It is well documented that publicly reporting business' payrolls will have unintended consequences. Is it really any wonder that Australia's workforce is in the midst of a so-called "casualisation" after decades of ever-more restrictive workplace laws? Have any of those well-meaning politicians and bureaucrats thought about how these tax and regulatory burdens may affect the incentive to take on new staff? And have those same people ever had to hire someone where they had financial "skin in the game"?

And let's not forget that the gender pay gap is not as straightforward as it is made out to be. There are serious flaws in the way it is measured; simply totalling and dividing the hourly earnings of women and men in clearly leaves out important variables such as career choices, time spent on (maternity) leave and other key factors. As renowned feminist Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute put it: “If employers could save 16.2 percent by hiring women, they’d fire all the men.”

At home in Australia, Bettina Arndt has devoted her career to bringing these issues to the public sphere. We are pleased that 14 Western Australian students recently got to listen to Bettina at the second annual LibertyFest in Brisbane, as part of a Mannkal scholarship. A large part of the LibertyFest focused on the failure of identity politics to provide a cognisant narrative and a solution for bettering the opportunities for both sexes. We can't wait to see how these students, and future Mannkal Scholars, will pass on the genuine wisdom of these talks.

Via email from Mannkal:

Real Christians: Sydney Anglicans set to ban gay weddings and pro-LGBTI advocacy on church property

The Sydney Anglican diocese is set to ban same-sex weddings from any Anglican church or building, and prohibit its properties from being used to promote homosexuality or "transgender ideology".

Critics within the church say the far-reaching policy could stop pastors and teachers from speaking in favour of marriage equality, and stifle student-led LGBTI support groups at Anglican schools.

Documents obtained by Fairfax Media also reveal the church sees the current debate about its right to fire gay teachers as a "key threat" to its ability to foster a Christian ethos at its schools.

The 51st Synod of the Sydney diocese will next week debate the introduction of a property policy to ensure church-owned buildings are used only for "acts or practices which conform to the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the diocese".

The policy specifies it would be inappropriate to use church-owned property for "advocacy for transgender ideology (e.g gender-fluidity)" and "advocacy for expressions of human sexuality contrary to our doctrine of marriage".

It also bans local Anglican boards from allowing property - such as school halls - to host same-sex marriages or receptions associated with same-sex weddings.

Joel Hollier, a gay Anglican and former pastor who co-chairs the LGBTI group Equal Voices, said the proposed crackdown was a "silencing act" designed to quell dissenting voices.

"The message is potently clear - no priest or pastor has the right to speak in favour of marriage equality," he said.

"Nor are they able to speak freely to the reality of parishioners experiencing gender dysphoria. Churches that suggest otherwise will face the consequences."

Under Archbishop Glenn Davies, the conservative Sydney diocese of the Anglican church was one of the key forces opposed to same-sex marriage, donating $1 million to the "No" campaign last year.

Bishop of South Sydney Michael Stead, the senior clergyman who authored the proposal, told Fairfax Media that the use of church property had "always been governed by various regulations" and the new policy merely sought to consolidate those into a single document.

"The new policy doesn’t represent a change in our position and I wouldn’t expect it to have an effect on any activities currently occurring on church trust property," he said.

"Because the federal government has changed its definition of marriage, the policy makes clear the church’s doctrine of marriage has not changed and that property use scenarios relate only to man/woman marriage."

By contrast, the Uniting Church in Australia recently started conducting same-sex marriages.

Bishop Stead's report noted "man-woman marriage" was not explicitly defined as a tenet of the Sydney Anglican church, and it would be "prudent" to do so in order to harness the power granted to the church through exemptions to NSW anti-discrimination laws.

"A key threat to maintaining the Christian ethos of our Anglican institutions is in relation to the
employment of Christian staff," he noted.

Philip Ruddock's review of religious freedom, which is currently being considered by cabinet, urges new laws to "make it clear" religious schools are not required to provide their facilities for any marriage providing the refusal conforms to the tenets of their religion.

Mr Ruddock also recommends schools retain their right to hire and fire teachers on the basis of their sexuality, provided they have a written policy on the matter. However, the leaked Ruddock review has prompted Labor - and some Liberals - to propose removing that right altogether.

The government intends to remove religious schools' right to discriminate against gay students next week, and has shared the legislation with the Labor Opposition.

Steff Fenton, another co-chair of Equal Voices, described the Anglican proposal as a "grab for privilege" by the church's leaders, who were out of step with the majority of Anglicans.

"Worldwide we can see the movement of the Anglican communion is toward the full inclusion of LGBTI people," she said.

The senior bishops "have so much power and seem to speak for a lot of people, without the data to back up how many people are behind that ‘majority’," Ms Fenton said.



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


Friday, October 19, 2018

Hirono accused of 'looking the other way' as Dem Senator forced intercourse on hairdresser

The Leftist double standard never falters.  They have only pretend morality and ethics

Senator Mazie Hirono just had a huge skeleton fall out of her closet. She was SILENT as a Hawaiian Democratic Senator was allegedly sexually assaulting a hairdresser, but she sure had a lot to say about Brett Kavanaugh.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) may want to pack her bags and take a little vacation because this huge skeleton just fell out of a 1992 closet and is about to put a huge dent in her reputation.

If you recall, Hirono was very outspoken when it came to now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the sexual misconduct accusations he faced from Christine Blasey Ford and a few others who turned out to be not credible, nor have real witnesses, or anyone at all who could corroborate any of the accusations against Kavanaugh.

But Hirono was very vocal in going after Kavanaugh and she also used the incident with Kavanaugh to send fundraising emails, a tactic that many criticized as abusing her platform and the situation.

As vocal as Hirono was, even though the allegations didn't produce any results against Kavanaugh, it might have been refreshing to see someone fight so vehemently for women who claim they were victims.

That wasn't the case many years ago when Mazie Hirono remained silent after a hairdresser was on audio tape confessing that she was forced into nonconsensual intercourse and the victim of numerous gropings by then-Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye.

Her name is Lenore Kwock and her name should ring a bell to Sen. Mazie Hirono, even though she refused to speak up about the allegations and refused to be as vocal for Kwock as she was for Christine Blasey Ford.

Details from a 1992 New York Times article provided more insight on accusations against Inouye, who passed away in 2012.

And so when this war hero, this influential committee leader who brings home the bacon, this icon in Hawaii's powerful Japanese-American community was hit with allegations of sexual misconduct shortly before his November re-election, Senator Inouye's colleagues and constituents were confounded by what to say and do.

The accusations, which the 68-year-old Senator has called "unmitigated lies," were made by his hairdresser of the last two decades, when she was led by an opposition campaign worker with a hidden tape recorder into telling a story of nonconsensual intercourse 17 years ago and persistent gropings in years since.

While few public figures here impugned the 40-year-old hairdresser, Lenore Kwock, neither did they raise their voices in curiosity or censure of Mr. Inouye. In large measure, political, civic and business leaders chose guarded silence, which some of them attribute to fear that the party machine, which controls nearly all state and Federal positions and programs here, might derail their careers or strip their projects of government money.
John Fund of the National Review ran an amazing story on this as well. He shattered Hirono's ego by reminding her that it only mattered in her backyard when it was helpful, but not when it would be hurtful to her political party. He pointed out that Hirono was guilty of turning a 'blind eye' when someone of the Democratic Party was engaging in sexual misconduct.

When the Wall Street Journal editorial page pointed out that her statements suggest that the “new American standard of due process will be the presumption of guilt,” she went further. Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Hirono said that Kavanaugh’s basic integrity had been undermined, in her eyes, during his confirmation hearings:
He’s very outcome-driven, he has an ideological agenda, and I can sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplify his, in my view, inability to be fair.

In other words, Kavanaugh was less believable in her eyes because of what she assumed his political views were.

She even went on to imply that the mere allegation against Kavanaugh, even without any evidence to support it, had already damaged his credibility beyond repair:

We already have one person who got to the Supreme Court under this cloud. We shouldn’t have another.

It would be too easy to suggest that Hirono was flirting with McCarthyism in her brazen comments. She is actually flirting with medieval standards of justice, when those in power arbitrarily decided who was telling the truth and who was a traitor.

In Senator Hirono’s case, she had the opportunity to choose sides in the 1990s when credible allegations were made that Daniel Inouye, then a Democratic senator representing Hawaii, had engaged in a pattern of sexual assault.

Then Senator Daniel Inouye was given a Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton in the year 2000. What a strange picture to look at after all the accusations that both men have found themselves at the center of.

Not only did Sen. Mazie Hirono remain silent, but so did many others on the Democratic party. They didn't want to lose their power.

Technically, those who remained silent allowed a hairdresser to be forced into nonconsensual intercourse and be groped.

They would not stand up for her because there was too much power and too many jobs to lose if there was any backlash.

Why didn't Lenore Kwock deserve the same treatment that Democrats gave Christine Blasey Ford?


A Church is attacked with incendiary devices in Pope Francis's Argentina at the end of the National Encounter of Women, Oct. 14, 2018

ROME - As has become customary, Argentina’s “National Encounter of Women” on Sunday ended with violent protests that included bare-chested women throwing Molotov cocktails at a Catholic church and the City Hall in the city of Trelew, located some 700 miles south of Buenos Aires.

“Abort your heterosexuality,” “Church and State, separate affair,” “death to the macho is not a metaphore,” and “lesbianize yourself” were among slogans an estimated 50,000 women who rallied through downtown Trelew left behind, with graffiti scrawled on storefronts, privately-owned homes and churches.

Ten people were arrested in Trelew, located in the Patagonian province of Chubut. By Monday afternoon the demonstrators had been released, but videos showing the women throwing incendiary devices, stones and other objects at various public buildings beyond the church of Our Lady Auxiliadora are being investigated.

According to reports in social media from people on the ground, as the church was being attacked there were people inside praying in front of the Holy Sacrament.

The three-day event, held in different locations each year, includes workshops and cultural activities for women and transgender people. The 70 workshops this year touched on diverse topics including Women and Religions; Afro-American women; Women and Unemployment; Women and Health; Fat Activism; Women and Cannabis; and Women and Bisexuality.

The National Encounter of Women often ends with a rally, for the most part composed of peaceful women demanding “free, legal and safe abortion,” a legal framework for prostitution and an end to femicides, meaning the violent murder of women by their male partners. Yet recent years also have featured a small yet significant group of demonstrators who throw bottles full of gas into Catholic buildings and leave walls filled with profanities.

According to a civil organization called “Young people for family and life,” the government of Trelew had “advised” its population of 100,000, double the amount of people who participated in the feminist gathering, to stay in their homes during the rally and Catholic faithful to avoid going to church on Sunday.

National media had reported earlier on Sunday that a gas station had been temporarily closed for selling gas in plastic bottles to demonstrators.

This year’s event was particularly significant as it comes only months after Argentina’s Congress voted against a bill that would have legalized abortion on demand until week 14, something the group organizing the event has advocated for decades.

After the vote, participants in a pro-abortion rally ended by rioting, with pockets of women attacking several churches that are in the neighboring area of Argentina’s Congress. Foreseeing the possible attacks, the national government had barricaded several temples, including the Cathedral where Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today Pope Francis, used to live.

In Argentina, abortion is illegal unless the life of the mother is threatened by pregnancy, and the right to life is constitutionally protected from “its conception until natural death.”

Last year, when the National Encounter of Women took place in Resistencia, topless and covering their faces, women assaulted the local cathedral while singing various chants, including “Church, trash, you’re the dictatorship,” “Take your rosaries out of our ovaries,” “To the Catholic, apostolic, Roman Church, that wants to place itself in our bed, we say that we want to be whores, transvestites and lesbians. Legal abortion in any place.”

According to several local news outlets, upon their arrival at the cathedral last year, the women participating in the ‘boob march’ used stones, tampons and pads with red paint, paint balloons, and even their own feces as projectiles.

They also set trash cans on fire and painted the walls of the nearby buildings near city hall. As a precaution, fences were put up protecting the religious buildings, targeted yearly by this rally.

Slogans included phrases such as “Death to the pope,” “castration for rapists,” “abort the macho,” “lesbianize yourself,” and “legalize cannabis.”


Patriotic Christians not welcome in the Democratic party?

Mark Salvas has, reportedly been forced to resign his position as Democratic Party Executive Director in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania because of social media posts sympathetic to God, country, and an accused police officer.

As local station KDKA reports:

A former Marine and Gulf War veteran, Salvas was just hired in September as executive director of the county party, long after he posted a picture of his wife and him on Facebook with the words, “I stand for the flag, I kneel at the cross.” ...

But some on social media called that inappropriate for a Democratic party leader, including a second post from Salvas’ wife asking for support for their close friends, the family of officer Michael Rosfeld, who is accused of killing Antwon Rose II.

Salvas says he has known Rosfeld since the officer was three years old, and that he considers him “family”: “Officer Rosfeld, Michael Rosfeld, is as close to me and my family as anyone could be. I have known that young man since he was literally 3-years-old. They are family to us."

Salvas says, like the Rose family, the Rosfeld family is struggling with the tragedy. “They have been there for us in hard times, and my wife and I felt it was necessary to be there for them because family backs family,” he said.

However, State Rep. Ed Gainey (D-Pittsburgh) told KDKA he thought the post supporting the police officer is “insensitive” – even though Salvas has a biracial child and African Americans in his family.

Salvas, a veteran, says he has “no apologies” for the posts expressing his patriotism and support for the Officer Rosfeld, but he respects the rights of those who chose to disrespect the flag by kneeling durning the National Anthem.


Australia: Abortion legalized in Queensland in free vote

A free vote is where no whips are issued. Ever since the Heatherbrae case in NSW many years ago, abortion has in fact been de facto legalized in Queensland, subject to the approval of a doctor.  So this was not a big step

IT TOOK just 50 people to change forever the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australian women, when Queensland MPs voted to scrap laws making abortion illegal on Wednesday night.

Queensland women will now be able to choose to have an abortion without risking criminal prosecution.

The laws passed in state parliament will allow women to request an abortion up to 22 weeks gestation and also beyond, if the medical practitioner performing the termination has consulted with a second medical practitioner and both agree the abortion should be performed.

The changes also establish safe zones around clinics and medical facilities offering the procedure to stop staff and patients being harassed by anti-abortion activists.

The laws took two full days to debate, with dozens of MPs wanting to speak to the bill and were eventually passed with 50 MPs voting for and 41 against.

But the most shocking thing about the vote is gender divide between the “yes” and “no” votes.

Only six female MPs voted against the bill, with the other 35 no votes belonging to men

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the changes will ensure women can access safe and legal terminations without fear or stigma.

“This is a historic day for Queensland. The Palaszczuk Government is proud to deliver on our election commitment to modernise and clarify the laws around termination of pregnancy,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Wednesday night, “because I believe, and I have always believed, a woman should be able to talk to her doctor about her own health and her own body without it being a crime.”

Opposition MPs Steve Minnikin, Jann Stuckey and former opposition leader Tim Nicholls voting in favour of the changes.

Now The Greens and women’s rights activists are putting pressure on the NSW Government to follow the example of Queensland and decriminalise abortion.

Abortion is still illegal in NSW, unless a woman has approval from a doctor that due to medical, financial, social or mental reasons she is unable to keep the child.

“NSW is now the last state in Australia where abortion is still technically a crime and it is past time that this outdated and offensive section is removed from the Crimes Act in NSW,” NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said.

“Queensland’s historic reform was just passed with support from members in the ALP, LNP, Greens and an independent.



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