Friday, January 20, 2017



Who decides what is fake news?

The German clampdown on ‘misinformation’ is a threat to free speech

By Sabine Beppler-Spahl

Fake news has become big news in Germany. Facebook in particular is being accused of facilitating the spread of hoaxes and misinformation. According to government officials and media commentators, this fake news could influence Germany’s elections later this year.

A Breitbart article claiming that a mob of Muslim immigrants burned down a church in the city of Dortmund is held up as an example of fake news. ‘Fake news: how Breitbart manipulates facts and lets a mob riot’, said one headline. ‘Politicians are alarmed’, the report continues, pointing out that the head of the electoral body Bundeswahlleiter, which oversees elections in Germany, thinks fake news could impact how people vote.

Concern about fake news really gained momentum following the US presidential elections. In December, Thomas Oppermann of Germany’s Social Democratic Party suggested Facebook should face fines of up to €500,000 for posts containing fake news or hate speech that aren’t removed within 24 hours. German justice minister Heiko Maas has called for tougher EU regulations: social-media owners should be held criminally liable for failing to remove hate speech, he says. Der Spiegel says officials have discussed opening a Defence Centre Against Disinformation.

But what, exactly, would be banned? What would Facebook and other sites be forced to take down? What is fake news? It is striking that in almost all German reports on this issue, the English term ‘fake news’ is used, as if this were a new phenomenon, thus requiring a new phrase. In the past, when a German newspaper or magazine published false information, the German words Falschmeldung or Zeitungsente would have been used. One of the most famous cases of Falschmeldung was the publication of the fake Hitler’s diaries in 1982. There have been countless others, including TV broadcaster ARD, who had to apologise for a series of incorrect reports about the conflict in Ukraine. Germany’s adoption of the English term feeds a sense of alarm; it implies that Germany is under threat from a novel phenomenon, and one that largely comes from without, with Mark Zuckerberg, Putin and Trump held up as instigators.

It is precisely because of its malleability that ‘fake news’ is a dangerous concept. If a Defence Centre Against Disinformation were only to concern itself with plain and imminently dangerous lies – like the one that spread after the Berlin terror attack in December, when a WhatsApp message warned of an imminent new attack on a shopping centre in Neukölln – then it wouldn’t actually be needed. For it is already an offence in Germany to spread such immediately threatening misinformation.

But there is more to ‘fake news’ than just lies. What is now discussed as ‘fake news’ is not simply completely made-up things, which should enjoy freedom too, though of course they must be challenged; news that comes in a certain style or with a certain opinion, one that the elites do not like, now also runs the risk of being branded ‘fake news’.

Consider the Breitbart report on the burning of the church in Dortmund on New Year’s Eve. It was sloppy, prejudiced, and in parts wrong, but it wasn’t really a lie. It was based on a report in Ruhr Nachrichten, a local paper in Dortmund, which it exaggerated in a tendentious way. Breitbart claimed that a mob of a 1,000 men, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ had set the roof of Germany’s oldest church on fire. The original German report said groups of mainly foreign young men had roamed the streets of the city before joining another group in a local square; there were at least 1,000 people. From within this group, some fireworks were thrown at the police. On a different street, probably as a result of fireworks, a fire started on the netting on the scaffolding surrounding the church. Firefighters put it out.

The main problem is that Breitbart misled readers into thinking that the situation in Dortmund was out of control because immigrants were running amok. In fact, the night had been like most New Year nights in Germany, as the police later pointed out. Young men roaming the streets and setting of fireworks is a normal part of Germany’s New Year celebrations.

Breitbart is known for being provocative and insincere. But to clamp down on its stories in the name of protecting the German public from fake news would be chilling. Those calling on the state to tackle misinformation seem to believe there are some people — in the political and media class — who have that rare insight into what is true, and what is false. And who therefore know what the German public should and should not be allowed to read.

Is the political class really all-knowing? Ironically, Thomas de Maiziere, our interior minister and one of the main proponents of a war on misinformation, has himself been accused of spreading fake news. An internet platform called Hoaxmap, which aims to expose fake news, has included some of de Maiziere’s postings and comments in its lists. In one, he said 30 per cent of those claiming to be Syrian refugees were not really Syrians; in another he accused German doctors of undermining deportations by frivolously handing out sick notes to migrants. As Hoaxmap says, these claims have not been substantiated.

It isn’t only politicians who are worried about ‘fake news’; the media are, too. In a piece titled ‘The Power of Truth’, in Berliner Zeitung, Brigitte Fehrle wrote about how much she is fearing this year — ‘because of the poisonous mood… because we know the extent to which social media now dominate the public’.

In an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, titled ‘Yes, Mark, Facebook does bear responsibility for Donald Trump’s victory’, the editors of Wired Germany demand that Facebook add warnings to unserious news reports. Is it any wonder politicians feel they have the right to censor ‘fake news’, or just exaggerated stories, when the media are effectively calling on them to do so?

There are some critical voices. The German Journalists’ Association says talk of a government campaign against misinformation is ‘gibberish’. But for the most part the media are going along with, and stirring up, the fake-news panic.

Traditional news outlets have been under great pressure from social media in recent years. They have lost readers, listeners and viewers to internet platforms. They have also found themselves being criticised more. Many media people were shocked when supporters of the right-wing movement Pegida started ranting against ‘the press’, sometimes using the term Lügenpresse (‘the lying press’). They were accusing the established media of telling lies before the term ‘fake news’ was coined.

The traditional media’s attacks on social media can be seen as a fightback against these trends, an attempt to say: ‘We are still the serious media, and you are unserious.’

The warnings against fake news also reveal the establishment’s fear that things are spinning out of control. They especially fear losing their grip on the public’s imagination — this is what Fehrle meant when she wrote of social media’s new hold over the public. The most striking expression of this fear came with last year’s spate of sexual assaults by Muslim men on women in Cologne, when the authorities went out of their way to cover up the attacks. The paternalistic sentiment behind this cover-up — to withhold certain information or ideas from the public — is still strong. So in response to the Breitbart report on the burning of the church, one politician said: ‘The danger is that these stories spread with incredible speed and take on lives of their own.’

This is another way of saying that these reports will stir up dangerous public passions, so the authorities must keep a check on the flow of information.

Ironically, it is this deep distrust in the public’s powers of judgement that has led to ‘fake news’, or simply alternative news, becoming so popular: people are turning away from established narratives. There will always be liars and attention-seekers. We should challenge them, of course, in the public sphere, not with fines and bans. Even more importantly, we must challenge all attempts at censorship.

SOURCE





A generation of offended snowflakes

While most secular lefties today would want nothing to do with such (in their view) outdated notions as the Ten Commandments, they in fact still cling to a few moral absolutes which they insist must remain inviolate. One of them especially stands out like a sore thumb: "Thou shalt not offend anyone".

This is the one commandment these folks demand above all else. They think they have some sort of universal and absolute right never to be offended, and woe to those who dare to offend. These folks insist that they must be protected from any form of offence, and want swift punishment on anyone who is deemed to be offensive.

This of course is all part of rampant political correctness and the war on truth. The only thing that matters for these delicate little petals is that their feelings are not hurt. But the trouble is, they take offence at anything and everything. It is a Brave New World of thought crimes, hate speech, and thought police.

Everyone must be super careful about what they think or say, lest the Offence Police go after them. It is getting to the point where we dare not say anything about anything, for fear of upsetting and offending someone. No wonder so many folks never open their mouths any more – they fear the consequences for merely expressing a point of view.

Free speech and free thought is now verboten in our Big Brother world of "acceptable" thought and speech. Dare to resist the official PC orthodoxy and you will be punished. Examples of this are now legion, and I have featured plenty of them on my site. Consider two more recent cases of this insanity in action – once again found on our college campuses.

The first story, from the UK, is a real shocker, with the headline alone enough to make you question the mental state of those in charge there: "Bible students are warned...you may find the crucifixion too upsetting!" Here is how this story begins:

Theology students are being warned in advance that they may see distressing images while studying the crucifixion of Jesus, giving them a chance to leave if they fear being upset. It is part of a trend at a number of universities for 'trigger warnings' issued by tutors to let students know about course content that might prove disturbing. Advocates say it helps to protect the mental health of vulnerable students.

But critics say it is creating a generation of 'snowflake' students unable to cope with the harsh realities of the world.

The University of Glasgow, part of the elite Russell Group, confirmed that trigger warnings are issued to theology students studying 'Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible (Level 1)'. According to university documents, a lecture on Jesus and cinema sometimes 'contains graphic scenes of the crucifixion, and this is flagged up to students beforehand'….

Students are told 'you can, of course, leave a class at any time should you need to, but please check in… later that day to let us know how you are'.

The article offers other examples at the university where trigger warnings are provided. Thankfully not everyone was impressed with all this. Liz Smith, a Scottish Tory education spokesman put it this way: "Universities are meant to be a place of learning where concepts are challenged and tricky subjects debated. That will become increasingly difficult if they go too far out their way to ensure everything survives the politically correct test. Some of the examples set out here are patently ridiculous."

They certainly are. But it seems Western universities are now specialising in such ridiculous and moronic PC foolishness. Consider another UK school where the stranglehold of political correctness is destroying higher education and turning students into perpetually offended cry-babies:

They are titans of philosophy, without whose work an understanding of the subject is all but inconceivable. But now students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell should be largely dropped from the curriculum simply because they are white.

These may be the names that underpin civilisation, yet the student union at the world-renowned School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is insisting that when studying philosophy 'the majority of philosophers on our courses' should be from Africa and Asia. The students say it is in order to 'decolonise' the 'white institution' that is their college.

Good grief. Um, isn't that a form of racism? Oh yeah, I forgot: only whites are guilty of racism it seems. Thankfully there were a few level-headed voices to be heard in protest. British philosopher Roger Scruton for example said this:

This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can't rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven't investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant's Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.

And Sir Anthony Seldon, the vice-chancellor of Buckingham University said this: "There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been."

The university used to be a place of learning, of gaining knowledge, of being exposed to differing ideas and perspectives, but today it is largely about enforcing a radical secular left agenda and forcing students into a diabolical groupthink, with no deviation allowed from the accepted ideology.

As Thomas Sowell once put it, "Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination." Or as Scruton put it elsewhere: "Tenured professors enjoy all the privileges of the academy in return for relentless debunking of the civilization that made this possible."

In a 2000 essay on "The origins of political correctness" William S. Lind said this: "The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy-covered North Koreas..."

All this spells not only the death of higher education, but the death of the West. As Malcolm Muggeridge put it, "Whereas other civilisations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense."

It is getting to the place where concerned parents who want their children to be able to think and reason, and not emote and always feel offended, had best keep them out of most Western universities. Scary times indeed.

SOURCE






Sweden's leading shopping mall is deemed a no-go zone, with police blaming gangs of unaccompanied minors who have arrived in the country for spate of attacks

Sweden's leading shopping mall has been deemed a no-go zone amid a spike in violence police say has been caused by unaccompanied migrants.

Police are on high alert patrolling the Nordstan mall in Gothenburg after a spate of incidents involving staff and shoppers being threatened by gangs.

In some cases, the number of youngsters outnumber the police and the rise in the sinister behaviour has seen the sales take a hit.

Many shoppers are now afraid to even visit the complex, according to RT, and even officers are being threatened by the gangs.

'We have seen an increase since last autumn, with mostly unaccompanied minors who are staying here in Nordstan,' one of the police managers, Jonas Bergqvist, told Expressen.

'In the evening they deal drugs and violence between fractions sometimes occurs.

'If there are conflicts from their home countries, they bring them here.'

The trouble appears to start at around 8pm - the time shops shut for the day - when groups of up to 150 teens descend upon the mall. 

Police say the rise coincides with the increased number of unaccompanied migrants entering the country.

A number of those involved are said to be youths from Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco, according to RT.

Among the alarming incidents include a youngster and a shopkeeper who were robbed with a broken class held to their throats.

Added to the chaos is the fact that police are finding it increasingly difficult to charge the offenders due to the lack of identification, meaning the teenagers are merely handed over to social services.

Officer Rikard Sorensen told RT: 'I've had people in front of me that look like they are 35, but who claim to be 15.

'I can't prove they're lying so we have to release them,' Rikard Sorensen, another officer.'

The troubles have seen the mall labeled a no-go zone, according to Expressen. 

An area is listed as such if there have been dangerous cases of muggings, robberies, harassment, and sexual assault.

SOURCE






Strange case in Scotland

Landmark civil rape case ‘will help more women find justice’.  The burden of proof in civil cases is lower

A landmark court ruling that two footballers are rapists, despite their never having faced a criminal trial, will open the way for other women to gain justice, a senior lawyer has said.

Denise Clair, 30, waived her right to anonymity to sue David Goodwillie and David Robertson in the first civil case of its kind in Scotland.

Ms Clair, a mother of one, took the unprecedented step after the Crown Office declined to prosecute the pair, claiming there was insufficient evidence. She was vindicated after a judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled on Tuesday that they were rapists and awarded her £100,000.

However, Goodwillie yesterday insisted he was innocent and said that he was considering an appeal.

SOURCE






Julie Bishop distances Australia from global statement on Israel-Palestine peace

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has distanced the Turnbull government from a communique agreed by ministers and diplomats of 70 nations, including Australia, concerning the pathways to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The concluding statement called on both sides to "take urgent steps in order to reverse the current negative trends on the ground", including acts of violence and the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

The communique specifically welcomed resolution 2334, passed by the UN Security Council last month, which declared the settlements violated international law and called on Israel to immediately cease all settlement activity.

Following the conference, Ms Bishop distanced the Australian government from the contents of the concluding statement, insisting the government did not necessarily agree with everything its diplomats had agreed to in Paris.

"Australia was represented at the conference by diplomatic officials from the Australian embassy in Paris," Ms Bishop told Fairfax Media.

"While the Australian government was represented at the Paris conference this does not mean we agree with every element of the final statement."

Without specifically mentioning the conference's endorsement of resolution 2334, Ms Bishop noted the Coalition did not support "one-sided resolutions targeting Israel".

"The most important priority must be a resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians for a two-state solution as soon as possible," she said.

Australia became one of the few countries other than Israel to condemn the New Zealand-sponsored resolution 2334, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelling it "one-sided" and "deeply unsettling".

Crucially, the resolution was allowed to pass because the US - Israel's foremost ally on the security council - did not use its veto power and instead chose to abstain.

Sunday's meeting in Paris did not involve Israel or the Palestinians and was dismissed in advance by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "futile" and "rigged".

Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the communique and said the endorsement of resolution 2334 was among a number of "positive elements" in the text, Israeli media reported.

But Britain, attending the conference as an observer, also expressed reservations about the final agreement, arguing it was a time to "encourage conditions for peace" rather than entrench hardened positions.

"We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them," the British Foreign Office said in a statement.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault used the summit to warn Mr Trump against his proposal to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling it a provocative and unilateral move.

Ms Bishop would not comment on Mr Trump's pronouncement but reiterated the Australian government had no plans to move its own embassy in Israel, despite the call from former prime minister Tony Abbott.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Thursday, January 19, 2017



UK: The ever-wailing Left

Only 12% of Brits realise that the number of people in extreme poverty has fallen

It's January so it's that time of year when various left-wing campaigning groups, some of which have charitable arms for branding purposes, release their killer statistics that show that the world is crueller and more unfair than ever before.

Today it was Oxfam's turn, with its annual release showing that a handful of tech billionaires own more in assets than half the world's population combined. The implication is that life is getting worse and worse for the bottom half of the world, because robber barons like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are getting richer and richer.

It's almost totally wrong. Life is getting much, much better for the world's poor, however you want to measure it – whether it's in terms of average incomes, life expectancy, child mortality, disease, poverty, or women's rights. Inequality between poor and rich countries is falling, and even inequality here in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in thirty years. (Do click that link for proof – nobody believes me when I tell them, but it's true.)

Oxfam's numbers come from estimating the number of people in debt and who don't own any assets. That includes lots of Westerners who aren't poor by any real stretch of the imagination even though they owe money to a bank somewhere. Hell, if you have a Harvard MBA and a six-figure income to go with it, but a lot of recent student loans as well, you're part of Oxfam's bottom half. On the other hand if you own a semi-detached home in London you're quite likely to be Oxfam's top 1%. This isn't actually the best argument against Oxfam's numbers, because these people make up a small fraction of the 'asset poor' people we're looking at, but it's worth noting all the same.

This all muddies the waters a little, so Oxfam sticks to the big shots: The Oxfam's PR team, because these guys are for the most part household names for creating immensely valuable products that most of us use on a daily basis. Like using Facebook to keep in touch with old friends? Me too – and it doesn't bother me that the man who invented it has made a lot of money in the process. Windows isn't perfect, but I don't mind that Bill Gates has made a lot out of it. And though I always find it a little weird that the founder of Zara is the second richest man in the world, if other people can fit into their slim-fit offerings, more power to him.

And of course all these people have created jobs, paid lots in taxes, and in the case of Bill Gates donated tens of billions of dollars to charity – more than Oxfam has raised in its entire history, by the way. And that's great. But even this is not really the point – these people have made their contribution by coming up with new products and ways of doing business that let people buy and do things that matter to them more cheaply and easily than before. They wouldn't be billionaires if they hadn't created products of enormous value, and it's the products themselves that really count in making the world better.

But the real story has nothing to do with these guys. As we at the Adam Smith Institute keep saying, once we accept that getting rich doesn't have to mean someone else getting poor, you quickly realise that it's not the wealth of the people on top that matters but the welfare of people at the bottom.

Here are two graphs, from Oxford University's Max Roser, of absolute poverty over the last two hundred years. It falls steadily from the early 19th Century (thank the Industrial Revolution for that) but starts falling like a stone from around 1980 onwards. That's the beginning of the neo-liberal era, when third world countries like China, India and Vietnam decided to try something other than socialism and opened up their markets instead.

Maybe you think there's more to life than money. You're right. When we measure things like child mortality, hunger, illiteracy and pollution – and take a minute to read back over those words and think about what they really mean, to the people who suffer from them, and how devastating any one of them would be to you if you experienced them – when we measure things like this we find that they've fallen enormously from where they were just 26 years ago.

Not all of this was because of markets! This isn't a hardcore free market argument, as much as I like making those. It's an argument that the world is getting better, and where these advances have been made because of government or technology it's because markets have created the wealth for governments to tax and created the incentives and resources for innovators to come up with their life-improving inventions.

But it matters, because thanks to groups like Oxfam people are deeply misinformed about the reality of global poverty. Just 12% of Brits realise that the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has fallen over the past 30 years. 55% think it has increased.

I'm fed up with people denying inconvenient truths. Climate change is happening; immigrants aren't stealing our jobs; neo-liberalism is making the world's poor better and better off.

It's probably too much to expect organisations like Oxfam to spend its money actually helping the world's poor. If you want to give to a charity that does so in a cost-effective way, consider supporting some of GiveWell's top-rated charities. But it shouldn't be too much to ask Oxfam to tell the truth about the trajectory of global poverty, and admit that it's neo-liberalism, not left-wing agitprop, that is doing most of the heavy lifting.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)






Absurd Leftist wailing in Australia

Wailing is what Leftists do

Former Labor Treasurer Wayne Swan found the publication of the 2016 OECD Better Life Index late last year to be a great disappointment, saying that it 'shows why we must fight harder to defeat Liberal/One Nation trickle-down agenda' and to focus more on '#inclusivegrowth'. The focus of his ire? Australia placed second -- a rise of two places over last year, but a fall from first in 2013.

I think I might be missing something here. If Australia had rated poorly, or fallen significantly from last year, you may be able to argue that our approach is wrong and fundamental change is needed. However typically when we compare well to other countries it means our policy settings are right!

This is just one example of a troubling trend in politics and public debate -- confirmation bias. All facts are filtered through an ideological lens until they provide evidence for your preferred position, no matter what those facts are.

Australia has plenty of policy problems, but to say the evidence for these problems is our high rating on a quality of living index seems a perverse argument.

I guess this shouldn't surprise. Last year, we were told that the extraordinary growth in Ireland's GDP is an argument against their low corporate tax rate.

The common factor here is that you can't win. Good news is bad news, and bad news is bad news. All evidence, whether good, bad or mediocre is an argument against a disliked policy.

Maybe we would be better off with an index of politicians' consistency, where we pay more attention to coherent and consistent pronouncements. One index where an improvement truly would be an improvement.

SOURCE






Why The Trump Presidency Will Bring A New Era For Racial Equality

Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam

In my op-ed for the Independent Journal Review before the election, I predicted Trump’s victory and commended the Republican nominee as “very courageous in his opposition to racism.” No doubt, Trump’s positions on border security, judiciary, and trade resonated with the clear majority of Americans. However, in my opinion, as an Indian American, he won because Americans believed Donald Trump when he told CNN’s Don Lemon, “I am the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered.” The American people understood Trump’s colorful and controversial language did not diminish his commitment to the cause of meritocracy and racial equality in our country.

In his landmark “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King envisioned a society in which people are not “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Yet, in the over 53 years since the apex of the civil rights movement, we seem to have thrown that ideal out the window. In our zeal to create racial equality for African Americans and Hispanics, we’ve forgotten white people deserve fair treatment as well.

Somehow, America has become a place where it is perfectly legal to discriminate against white people. In university admissions, public housing, and employment, widespread racial discrimination toward whites (and Asians) is legally tolerated under the auspices of affirmative action. For instance, the National Football League has its Rooney Rule granting interview opportunities to minority coaches that are not granted to whites. Another example is medical school admissions; it is consistently easier (by as much as 57%) for blacks and Hispanics to gain admission to medical school than comparable Asians and whites with the same grades and test scores, according to published statistical data from the American Association of Medical Colleges.

The discrimination is so pervasive that I had to apply to medical schools as an African American to gain admission, an experience I wrote about in my book Almost Black. I discovered many American universities openly discriminated against white and Asian applicants by compromising their academic standards and state residency requirements to recruit minorities. For instance, the University of Wisconsin-Madison invited me to apply as an out of state minority, despite their strict state residency requirements. I also benefited from Case Western’s racially segregated admissions process that favored minority applicants. Despite my low 3.1 GPA, I got waitlisted at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University, then the country’s third and fourth best medical schools, thanks to their adherence to affirmative action policies.

It is no coincidence that Donald Trump achieved resounding victories in states where local educational institutions practice racially discriminatory admissions policies. From my personal experience, I can assure you that white people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Missouri have every right to be angry that their hard-earned tax money goes into state-sponsored racism against Caucasians. After the election, students at Case Western, Washington University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison vehemently protested against Donald Trump. Ironically, those students fail to acknowledge their schools’ racist affirmative action policies alienated white voters, contributing to Trump’s victory.

Unfortunately, Trump’s defense of equal rights for white people is often misconstrued as racism against African Americans and Hispanics. At a Harvard post-election forum, Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri blatantly accused the Trump campaign of “providing a platform for white supremacists.” What Palmieri and other “civil rights activists” fail to recognize is their own hypocrisy – Why should white people be denied equal opportunity? Why are the rights of white people inferior to those of minorities? Perhaps, our country has become so politically correct that advocating rights for white people automatically equates to white supremacy. Even President Obama conceded that people who oppose affirmative action should not automatically be categorized as “being racists” in a recent Exit Interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep. Had Trump run a campaign based on “white supremacy,” he would not have performed as well as his Republican predecessors, Romney and McCain, among minority voters. Who would have thought a “white supremacist” could win almost a third of Hispanic votes?

President-elect Trump has already made strides towards winding down affirmative action and ending legalized racism. He has offered the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to Dr. Ben Carson, one of the most outspoken African American critics of affirmative action. As the head of HUD, Carson could gut affirmative action in public housing (“affirmatively furthering fair housing”). Trump’s Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions has also combatted racism on multiple fronts, acknowledging bias in policing, persecuting violent racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, opposing housing discrimination, and openly criticizing affirmative action. Most importantly, Trump has pledged to appoint a conservative-leaning Supreme Court that will have the power to overturn the narrowly decided Fisher case, permitting racial preferences. That’s why I am fond of saying “Donald Trump will end affirmative action, like Lincoln ended slavery.”

History often repeats itself. In 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace made his famous “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” blocking black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending the University of Alabama. In many ways, Hillary Clinton and President Obama did the same thing in 2016 by supporting blocking a qualified white girl, Abby Fisher, from being admitted into the University of Texas at Austin. Hoping to win more black and Hispanic votes, Clinton and Obama publicly endorsed the Supreme Court’s Fisher case, denying educational opportunities to thousands of qualified Asian Americans and whites. To the credit of American voters, Clinton and Obama’s divisive racial opportunism backfired spectacularly.

After unsuccessfully running for President four times, Governor Wallace later recanted his racist views and publicly asked for forgiveness. After two unsuccessful presidential bids, perhaps one day, Hillary Clinton and her allies will acknowledge that their support of racism toward white Americans led to their crushing defeat.

SOURCE






Barack Obama's Fundamental Transformation

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” So declared Barack Obama in Columbia, Missouri, on October 30, 2008, on the cusp of his historic presidential election.

It was a stunning statement, boldly revolutionary, surpassed only by the response of those in attendance, who, rather than pausing to reflect upon such an audacious assertion, wildly applauded. To be sure, these Obama enthusiasts would have ecstatically cheered anything he said at that moment. There was a full-fledged Obama personality cult in motion at that time. He could’ve promised a box of “Lucky Charms” cereal in every home and gotten a giddy reaction. Obama himself admitted to serving as a kind of “blank screen” upon which Americans desiring some warm and fuzzy “hope and change” could project whatever they wanted.

But even then, the words “fundamentally transform” should have alarmed everyone. We Americans generally don’t do fundamental transformation. We make changes, yes, small and large, but who among us — other than the most radical revolutionaries — actually want to fundamentally transform the nation? Many people think that America has many problems, but those can be addressed without a fundamental transformation. Ask professors who teach history or political ideologies (as I have for two decades) and we will tell you that totalitarianism is the ideology that fundamentally transforms. Indeed, the textbook definition of totalitarianism, which I’ve scribbled on the chalkboard every fall and spring semester since 1997, is to seek to fundamentally transform — specifically, to fundamentally transform human nature via some form of political-ideological-cultural upheaval.

So, that being the case, I winced when Barack Obama said that, and then felt sick to the stomach when I watched people blissfully and blindly applaud without question or objection.

But now here we are, at the end of Obama’s presidency, a two-term one, and the question begs to be pondered: Did Barack Obama fundamentally transform the United States of America, as he promised?

The answer is absolutely yes.

That fundamental transformation, however, has not happened in areas where many might have hoped (or feared) in 2008. It has not been a fundamental shift in the attitudes of the vast majority regarding the role of government, taxation, regulations, economics, education, or even healthcare, where Obama had his signature legislative achievement. It hasn’t happened in foreign policy, though Obama has made a seriously detrimental impact in regions from Eastern Europe to the Middle East.

The reality is that the true fundamental transformation has been in the realm of culture, notably in matters of sexual orientation, gender, marriage and family. The shift there has been unprecedented and far beyond anyone’s imagination eight years ago. Looking back, that was where Obama’s heart was, and that was where his deepest impact will be felt. Changes there, more than anywhere, seem irreversible by anything other than the miraculous, than anything short of a religious revival or dramatic shift in spiritual-moral thinking.

Obama’s cultural revolution on the sexual-gender-family front is all around us. We see it in the culture of fear and intimidation by the forces of “diversity” and “tolerance” who viciously seek to denounce, dehumanize, demonize and destroy anyone who disagrees with their brazen newfound conceptions of marriage and family, even as our position (not theirs) has been the prevailing position of 99.99%-plus of human beings who have bestrode the earth since the dawn of humanity. Instead, in the Obama era, we are the ones portrayed as the outliers, as abnormal, as extremists, as “haters.” If you dissent from this new vociferous breed of human-nature redefiners, they sue you, they jail you, they smear you, they boycott you, they harass you, they ruin you — and they do so (with no sense of their hypocrisy) in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity.” Whether you’re a Baptist grandma who bakes cakes or a Catholic photographer who takes wedding photos or a Mormon florist who arranges flowers, they refuse your appeals to your conscience; they steamroll you. Changes by Obama and his allies here have constituted a major attack on religious liberty, where two-century-old First Amendment guarantees have been torched by modern culture warriors discerning heretofore unknown higher rights like “marriage equality” and co-ed toilets.

That is a fundamental transformation of a culture and a nation that did not exist prior to Barack Obama’s ascent.

The manifestations of this are so ubiquitous that laying them out here isn’t necessary, but I’d like to offer just a handful of brief illustrations and images:

The first was the Newsweek cover from May 2012 showing Barack Obama with a rainbow halo over his head above the words, “The First Gay President.” This was in response to Obama coming out for same-sex “marriage,” which for five years he had claimed to oppose. This public shift occurred as Obama was ramping up his reelection campaign, just as Hillary Clinton would do later that year when she announced her 2016 campaign. After that announcement, Obama went wild with an aggressive agenda of fundamental transformation on the sexual-gender-family front, one that picked up speed, depth and arrogance throughout his second term.

The second is another image, more profound than the Newsweek creation/coronation because it was real. It was from June 2015, when the Obama White House, the nation’s first house, was lit up in the colors of the “LGBTQ” rainbow on the day of the Obergefell decision, when a Catholic Supreme Court justice, Anthony Kennedy, led the liberal bloc of the court in redefining marriage and imposing this non-existent “constitutional right” on all 50 states. If ever there was a picture of Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, that was it.

Third was the bathroom fiat, when, according to Barack Obama’s word, all public schools were ordered to revolutionize their restrooms and locker-rooms to make them available to teenage boys who want to be called girls (among other gender novelties). It is hard to conceive a more surreal example of executive overreach. Truly, George Washington is rolling over in his grave.

Fourth is an ironic moment of Obama’s own doing, one that got virtually no press coverage. It occurred at a townhall meeting in London last April, where Obama was scolded by a young man for not doing enough to “recognize non-binary people” such as himself. This young man wanted the British government to “respect pronouns” — using not words like “he” or “she” but rather “hir” or “ze” — in addition to “commit to gender-neutral toilets.” “I really, really wish that yourself and [British Prime Minister] David Cameron would take us seriously as transgender people,” pushed the student. “And perhaps you could elucidate as to what you can do to go beyond what has been accepted as the LGBTQ rights movement, in including people who fit outside the social norms.”

It was almost hilarious to observe Barack Obama, of all people, reprimanded for inadequacies in this area, which brings me to my final example.

That London incident might have prompted a remarkable action by the Obama White House a few weeks later, which also got virtually no news coverage: The White House press office released two extraordinary fact sheets detailing Obama’s vast efforts to promote “LGBT” rights at home and abroad. Not only was it telling that the White House would assemble such a list, and tout it, but the sheer length of the list is striking to behold. It is hard to find any similar roster of such dramatic changes by the Obama White House in any policy area. The list runs page after page.

In short, what we see here is the true Barack Obama legacy, the genuine fundamental transformation. It has occurred not in economics, government or foreign policy but in culture. When we look back at Barack Obama’s eight years, we should visualize not ObamaCare or something in foreign policy but the White House illuminated in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, or a rainbow-haloed Obama coronated as the “first gay president.” Those are the crowning images of the fundamental transformation of America that Barack Obama achieved.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017




March on Trump-haters, but remember girls mutilated at home

CAROLINE OVERINGTON below has some restrained comments about the butchered genitals of *Australian* Muslim girls.  I would add:  "What about Clemmie?" Alleged feminist Clementine Ford wrote recently and angrily about the rude way some young Australian men at a car rally spoke to some of the women present. 

Where is her sense of values?  There is no record of any women being hurt by men at the Summernats but there is ample record of what some Australian Muslim families do to their daughters.  If rude car-freaks burn up Clemmie, female genital mutilation should set her on fire.  But there is no record of that.  No rage at all.

It is quite clear that Clemmie, like most so-called feminists,    doesn't care about women at all.  All that drives her is her hate of her fellow Australians -- in the best Leftist tradition.  She is a towering hypocrite and a nasty piece of goods.   She should be proud that even while in a drunken mob, young Australian men did women no harm. Her misdirected anger defiles Australian society.  Does someone have to perform a clitoridectomy on her to get her attention to it?  I think it would take that much.



Now, I’m a feminist, obviously. I believe in equal rights for women: to work, to vote, to drive, to travel. But the Women’s Marches around the nation this weekend has me worried.

The Women’s Marches have been organised so Australian women can “show solidarity” with American women as Donald Trump becomes president.

The organisers hate him, obviously. He’s the pussy-grabber. The misogynist-in-chief. The group behind the Women’s March has a Facebook page that promotes Meryl Streep’s speech at the Oscars,; and the hashtag Love­TrumpsHate. And that’s fine. Trump was democratically elected but nobody has to like him, and protests against government are an important part of democracy too. So, march away.

But where, I wonder, is the thousand-strong march, the loud protests, the hashtags and the Twitter campaign for women and girls suffering the vilest forms of misogyny right here at home?

Last week the Australian pediatric surveillance unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in western Sydney released a report on female genital mutilation in this country. It found 59 brutalised girls. But here’s the line you don’t want to miss: the study’s author, Elizabeth Elliott, said “most of the procedures on the girls were performed overseas”.

The key word in that sentence is “most”. Most of girls had been cut overseas. But some were Australian-born. Meaning they had definitely been cut here. It’s very likely that some of the others had been cut here, too, after they arrived. Of the 59 — according to the report, that’s a gross underestimation of the actual numbers — only 13 were referred to child protection services. Why only 13?

These were girls whose parents — usually their mothers — had taken them to have them cut. What will happen to them next? Will they be shoved into an arranged marriage with a much older man to whom they already may be related? Because that, too, is happening.

Last October, a young Iraqi girl, Bee al-Darraj, told The Australian that she knew several girls from her former Islamic school who had been sent to Iraq to be married, while still underage. Nothing was done. She knew one girl who gave birth while underage in a public hospital in Sydney with her 28-year-old husband standing by. Nothing was done. She knew girls in Year 9 who were married and had 30-year-old husbands picking them up from school. Nothing was done. (To be clear, there’s no suggestion the school knew, for to know and not report would be a gross breach of mandatory reporting obligations. What we’re talking about here is child rape.)

Last week, we had a prominent cleric, imam Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, charged with conducting a child marriage between a girl under the age of 16, and a man aged 30.

This is real, and it is happening here, and it is right now. Dozens, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands of girls are suffering vile abuse, but it’s like screaming in an abyss. Where is the march? Where is the hashtag?

Genital cutting is not as fancy a topic as Hollywood pay for women, obviously, but it’s a creeping tragedy that threatens the freedom of all Australian women. A freedom our grandfathers and great-uncles died for. A freedom the feisty Australian suffragettes of yesteryear, with their dry wit and their long skirts and their button-up boots, once marched for.

I get that there’s cultural sensitivity. People don’t want to be accused of racism or bigotry. They don’t want to discriminate. But what about the discrimination against girls going on right now in Australian schools? Don’t believe it? Cast your eye over this, the official uniform list for the al-Faisal College in Sydney’s west (see below).

What jumps out? Only the girls, from age five, have to wear long sleeves, even in summer.

Only the girls have to wear skirts to the floor (ankle-length) summer and winter. The hijab, or head covering, also is compulsory for girls, from age five. It is compulsory even for sport. The boys scamper about in short sleeves.

A friend of a friend who is a teacher at the school recently sent out some pictures of children at the school receiving certificates at an assembly.

The boys are relaxed and grinning. The girls are swathed in so much fabric you can see only their faces. You support this, with your taxes.

It’s blatant discrimination. It tells girls that there is something sinful about them, something that will drive men to distraction, something they need to keep covered while out in the world.

The sight of your wrists, or ankle, or forearm is offensive and wrong.

Now, Australian women are smart, and most of them are very used to carrying more than one bucket at a time. Meaning: they know that you can adore pretty clothes and still want equal pay.

Likewise, you can be outraged by female genital mutilation, and forced marriage, and lousy school uniform codes, and Donald Trump. But which is more important? Macho bragging about pussy-grabbing in a trailer on the set of The Apprentice? Or acts of extreme violence against girls — and the rights of girls — here and now?

Yes, it’s possible to carry more than one bucket, so, if you’re marching this weekend, good on you, that’s your right — but maybe also carry a placard for your Australian sisters, suffering vile misogyny as we speak.

They’re hidden from view but they deserve attention, too.

SOURCE






California Bureaucrats Learn It’s Not Okay to Lie in Court

This week, a three-judge panel of U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals laid down the law on whether government bureaucrats, in this case ones employed by Orange County, can have a free pass from having to comply with any sort of ethical standards of conduct while appearing in court as part of their official capacity as government employees. As R. Scott Moxley reports on the court’s decision in OCWeekly, it turns out that federal judges really do frown on anybody committing perjury or presenting false evidence in court, including government officials:

Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation: How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years?

From the you-can’t-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn’t have “clearly” known that dishonesty wasn’t acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees.

A panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week ruled on Orange County’s appeal of federal judge Josephine L. Staton’s refusal last year to grant immunity to the bureaucrats in Preslie Hardwick v. County of Orange, a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages. In short, judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland were not amused. They affirmed Staton’s decision.

Moxley goes on to present the verbal exchanges that took place between the attorneys hired by Orange County and the Ninth Circuit’s judges, which you have to see to believe really happened with state-licensed attorneys.

Following the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision that government bureaucrats, despite what they might believe, are not entitled to commit perjury without penalty, the civil case against the government of Orange County will continue forward, where the county is at risk of a multi-million dollar judgment against it for the so-far-unanswered misconduct of its employees.

Twenty-two years earlier, Orange County went bankrupt in large part because of the unethical conduct of its government officials. While its potential liability in the new case is far below the level that would sent it back into bankruptcy proceedings, it would be nice if the county’s officials would finally learn their lesson about the proper conduct of public employees so it can avoid imposing such unnecessary liabilities on Orange County residents for their abuses of power in the future.

SOURCE







Political Correctness: A Tool of Liberal Coercion – A Most Un-American Development

By Rabbi Aryeh Spero

It is naïve to think that political correctness is simply a matter of being scolded for saying something unacceptable to liberals. It has become much more than that. Political correctness is a deliberate tool used by the Left to intimidate conservatives and people of faith into silence, with the goal of making our classic and time-tested opinions illegitimate.

Political Correctness is a strategy, a weapon of social warfare, a bullying, against those unwilling to reshape and renounce their traditional belief system and bow to the dictates of the leftaucracy dead-set on total domination of our lives and culture. It enforces censorship and activates demonization, threatening those unwilling to submit and apologize with loss of job, livelihood, social acceptability, company sales, friends, reputation and status. It is the liberal version of Islamic blasphemy laws, ruthlessly excising anyone who questions or strays from the leftwing cultural and social dogmas. It is the most un-American development in our lifetime.

In many ways it is worse than the McCarthyism practiced in the early 50s. Senator Joseph McCarthy, who sat on the Senate Committee of Government Operations, targeted relatively few, mostly from Hollywood and Theatre, whereas liberal political correctness is targeting over 60 percent, tens of millions, of Americans. And whereas McCarthy was generally correct regarding the communist leanings and activities of his targets, liberal political-correctness czars are off-the-wall incorrect when accusing regular and patriotic Americans of racism, misogyny, xenophobia or whatever other “ism” they choose to develop. Joe McCarthy’s hearings lasted a mere couple of years, while the scourge and punishment of political correctness is into its 20th year.

Today’s  New McCarthyites exist and labor on the Left and are engaged in the thoroughly un-American activity of censoring speech, curtailing and ostracizing religious freedom, and doing whatever they can to deconstruct traditional family life and taint the values of our parents, our Founders, and our grandparents as evil. By deriding everything we hold dear as unacceptable, and making us pay the price of holding onto our cherished beliefs, they hope to transform America, and American family and religious life, into a Sweden/Brussels fantasy or a completely secular and unwholesome political entity.  They wish to replace America, while we stand by and watch it happen.

But, the good news is that we are not helpless.

Even enunciating, as we do, that marriage is defined by the union of man and woman only, as has been understood throughout history and until recently the law of our country, brings an indictment of being a “bigot” and “extremist” by those using political correctness to forever stigmatize and outcast those who disagree with their ever-expanding parameter of disallowable opinion. What is normal belief today will become tomorrow’s politically incorrect and forbidden opinion and be used by future inquisitors to defame and destroy those they want out of the way. And, what is radical and detestable today will be sanctified and normalized tomorrow, and you better subscribe if you want society’s opportunities or an ability to make a living.

When thinking of the modus operandi of political correctness, one is reminded of the Spanish Inquisition against non-believers. Today’s liberals have replaced the clerics of old with their own Inquisitors of right and wrong and have substituted the concept of sin with their own set of rigid “sinful” dictates. Anything that does not sanctify every form of public sexual (mis)conduct, or strives for wholesomeness, or even patriotism, is punishable. As with the Inquisitors 500 years ago, the politically-correct police assume you are guilty until you prove otherwise … even demanding that you denounce friends and family who hold views different than the Church of Political Correctness.

By virtue of being a conservative, a person of faith, a Southerner, a heartland American, or a white Evangelical Christian you are automatically assumed to be a racist, etc., and the politically-correct vultures are ready to pick your bones before you say anything, so that once you do, they can twist your words negatively to mean something you never intended or even envisioned.

We hear from liberals that when President Trump and his followers speak of making America Great Again we mean Make America White Again. This is a malicious falsehood. It is specious and malevolent. What we mean, as does Mr. Trump, is that America should once again be prosperous; that the middle class be revived and that good, manufacturing jobs be available so families can live with dignity; that family life and wholesomeness be once again exalted; that America be crime-free; that Americans be protected from terrorism and inhere a sense of confidence; and that our elected leaders, a President, love America instead of constantly castigating her.

No one I know wants an America where our African-American brothers and sisters are denied an iota of civil rights. We look back on the 50s fondly not because of segregation ,God forbid, but because it represented a time of American prosperity and confidence, American ingenuity, patriotism, safety, and religious freedom, a robust, working middle class that could dream and achieve, and a country that placed God above all else.

When liberals make these accusations it exposes the bigotry they carry, and have long carried, inside their bosom. Too many of the coastal elites have been taught to believe the worst about regular white Americans. They see racism in us because they have been raised and schooled on a diet of bigotry against fellow Americans as somehow un-educated, or religious and intolerant “rednecks.” They persist in these misguided beliefs regarding their countrymen because they don’t know their countrymen; they don’t live around them; they attend different schools and colleges; and because there’s no draft, they do not serve with them in the military. They assume the worst, but that’s their sin, their prejudice.

We need not prove ourselves to them; they need to get off their pedestal and strip their hearts of the false narratives around which they chatter. Only people harboring bigotry against fellow Americans, and a distrust and detachment from America itself, could take the common-sense phrase of America First and somehow turn that into a xenophobic, Nazi-like assertion. Precisely because they’ve been on their perch these last 50 years indicting heartland Americans and Evangelical Christians they’ve not undergone the introspection they should regarding their attitude towards the people they continue to criticize. They are unaware and do not give credit to the millions of across-the-board acts of charity and kindness routinely performed by religious and conservative heartland Americans. We’ve undergone 50 years of introspection; now it’s their turn.

There is no doubt that the enforcers of political correctness continue to do so as a way of constantly bragging about their moral superiority, that they are better than the rest of us, and get a thrill out of making others bend to their will. It gives them a sense of power and self-righteousness.  And, frankly, so long as we jump to their demands, we reinforce their power. Let’s stop caving in to them.

SOURCE





Why comedians must be free to say ‘faggot’

The calls to slap trigger warnings on Eddie Murphy's old stand-up special are insulting to gay people

Whenever news breaks of a controversial film or TV show ‘resurfacing’ online, it usually means a work, known to its target audience for years, has suddenly been discovered by easily offended malcontents looking to start a twitch-hunt.

Eddie Murphy’s 1983 stand-up special Delirious is the latest target. It recently became available on Netflix, and Pink News has taken umbrage with the ‘anti-gay comedy special’ and its repeated use of the word ‘faggot’. At the start of his act, Murphy speaks of his wish to ‘fuck with everybody’, including the ‘fag section’ of the audience. He then talks about AIDS – ‘AIDS is scary ‘cause it kills motherfuckers’ – and proceeds to make jokes about it. Pink News is shocked that Netflix ‘does not include a content warning’, and a spate of low-starred reviews have demanded Delirious be removed from the site.

This all raises the question: does the LGBT community really need content warnings? The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system assists parents in gauging what films are suitable for their children to watch. What Pink News and these enraged Netflix viewers are suggesting is that gay people are like children who need to be protected from subject matter that may upset them. Just imagine ‘may offend gay people’ appearing onscreen before a show.

And what would be the point? Even if content warnings were added, do the easily offended expect to avoid such humour for the rest of their lives? And would those who are likely to be offended by it be less offended if they were warned beforehand? Besides, comedy would be a lot less funny if the audience was told in advance about the contents of each joke. This is how censorship kills an art form.

Moreover, comedians have a long history of using offensive language to provoke and push boundaries. When Lenny Bruce used the word ‘faggot’ in his ‘Dykes and Faggots’ routine, he didn’t intend to get at homosexuals any more than his famed ‘Are there any niggers here tonight?’ bit was aimed at taking African-Americans down a peg. Bruce believed that suppressing slurs gave them power, and his routines were not just rallying cries for freedom of speech, but also impassioned pleas to destroy social division.

One of the greatest things about comedy is its power to challenge our most sensitive sensibilities. Unfortunately, many today believe that comedians only want to use words like ‘faggot’ to maintain their privilege. Freedom of expression must be demolished, they argue, because privileged comedians could never have any good, humanistic intentions. According to a recent Huffington Post article entitled ‘Why Straight Comics Still Cling to the Word “Faggot” and Why They Shouldn’t’, ‘the only way to earn the right to use the word “faggot” is by having sex with another guy and liking it’.

In 2009, South Park caused a stir with an episode called ‘The F-Word’. In it, the boys attempt to change ‘fag’ into a slur against obnoxious bikers. Though the episode sets out to convey the ever-changing nature of language, and how we can collectively remove the stigma from offensive words, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) demanded an apology for its repeated use of ‘the f-word’ (GLAAD couldn’t bring itself to say ‘fag’ in its statement). ‘While many South Park viewers will understand the sophisticated satire and critique in last night’s episode, others won’t’, it said.

This response highlights the innate snobbishness of identity politics types. Apparently, the people at GLAAD are ‘sophisticated’ enough to understand the joke, but the general public is not. But it also misses the crucial point: if you truly believe that slurs should not become the weapons of bigots, then censoring them is the worst thing you can do. Banning words gives them a false glamour they wouldn’t otherwise have. If anything, as South Park and Lenny Bruce tell us, you remove the stigma by saying the word more, not less.

Delirious should not be defended merely as an of-its-time special that is no longer acceptable in this PC age. Comedians should have the same right to artistic freedom in 2017 – to find humour in whatever they please – as they did in 1983. What’s more, how can you break the taboo of something like AIDS if you don’t talk about it? How can you alleviate the pain of something so tragic if you don’t laugh at it? The only protection the LGBT community needs is from those trying to remove their right to be laughed at like everyone else.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017



Photograph of women in hijabs on billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations sparks heated online debate

One would think that Australia day would celebrate Australia as it is.  It is definitely NOT Muslim. They are a small minority and a poorly assimilated one that that. They are distinguished mainly by their high rate of welfare dependency, meaning that the positive contribution they make to the rest of us is minimal

I can see a case for celebrating Australia's diversity with a picture that included someone from our largest minority -- people of Han Chinese ancestry.  They have fitted in brilliantly and differ from Caucasians mainly in their superior educational achievements.  With the many services they provide to us all -- from medical specialists to restaurateurs, we are lucky to have them. That could indeed be celebrated



A billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations in Melbourne sparked debate online for appearing to feature two women wearing hijabs.



A picture of the huge sign showed it having an Australian flag on the left with the two smiling women on the right underneath the event details. There were no other people in the design.

It was said to be by the side of a road in Cranbourne, in Melbourne's southeast, and first shared by far-right groups on Facebook on Friday.

The debate attracted hundreds of comments with a variety of opinions, and was shared thousands of times.

Some commenters were outraged that Australia was only represented by a pair of Muslim women instead of a more diverse crowd.

'Some culture doesn't belong! Meh all this multi cultural bs being rammed down our throats,' one angry Facebook user wrote.

'Muslims on that is a disgrace... I don't know what's going on in this country... It's just going downhill... Muslims are not the face of Australia,' another said.

'PC to the extreme. There's nothing wrong with including people from different backgrounds as Australia is more or less a melting pot of different cultures,' a third wrote.

'But to represent Australia as just Muslim people (as the billboard implies) is just as ignorant as assuming Australians are all Caucasian,' they added.

'I find this advertisement for Australia day offensive yes I'm proud that we are a multi cultural nation but sorry to all the bleeding heart public and politicians when it comes to Australian views on Muslim values,' another wrote.

But the billboard also had its supporters, with many pointing out that Australia was a diverse nation of different people that should be celebrated. 'It doesn't matter what is on the board. Only thing is Australia is [a] multicultural county and everyone who lives there must be proud [of] Australia. So stop that nonsense,' one wrote.

'I don't get why people seem to think that one race or any race owns any land more so then the other. Those views are so close minded. We share this earth together, even if you don't like it,' another said.

A third person replied to another commenter claiming the billboard was evidence of the government 'bending down to the minority to make them feel better about themselves' and that Australia would slowly become Muslim.

They replied: 'No one seems to be suffering mate, our country is multicultural and if you've got a problem with that then you've got a problem with Australia.'

The billboard was advertising a RACV Australia Day Festival at the King's Domain Gardens in the centre of Melbourne, including a parade and flag raising ceremony.

SOURCE






President Obama’s Disastrous Record on Race

President Barack Obama and advisor Valerie Jarrett hold a White House meeting with Black Lives Matters activists, Feb. 18, 2016.
On Election Day 2008, many Democrats welcomed a new post-racial America. The hideous blight of slavery and Jim Crow could never be forgotten, but our first African-American President would in some small way help atone for those sins and ultimately transcend them. Even Republicans shared the emotions of Grant Park, where thousands crying elderly blacks finally saw that America could elect a person of color.

Despite these bipartisan hopes, the nation is more racially obsessed than it has been in 25 years. In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 63 percent of Americans think race relations are “generally bad.” Shortly after Obama took office, that number was 22 percent. In the same time period, those who think race relations are “generally good” plummeted from 66 percent to 32 percent.

Of course, Obama fans assert that this increase in racial division is due to white contempt for a black president. This is illogical since months after he took office, the American people thought racial harmony was higher than it had ever been. So what changed?

Watching Ferguson, MO go up in flames, I ironically remarked, “My favorite part about the Obama era is all the racial healing.” Little did I know how many times people would republish that line in the years that followed.

Eric Garner’s death created racial unrest in New York City. Baltimore was racked with days of violence following Freddie Gray’s death. Five officers were murdered by a black separatist in Dallas. Other law enforcement officers were ambushed in Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi. The police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile sparked more violent protests in New York City, Chicago, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and elsewhere. In each case, the major media misreported the facts, stoked the literal fires, and characterized the rampages as “mostly peaceful.”

Every time an officer of any race used lethal force against a black suspect, most of them ruled justifiable, Black Lives Matter cast it as another example of privilege and white supremacy. BLM harassed bewildered customers at malls and brunches, and regularly blocked traffic on major freeways. Concerned Student 1959 tried to shut down the University of Missouri as Amherst Uprising did the same for their school.

Did Obama comment on the widespread racial unrest wracking his country? Occasionally. But each time he used his “on the one hand, but on the other” formulation that defines himself as the moral fulcrum amidst the madness. The President didn’t mention that his fingerprints were all over the riots.

Before getting into politics, Barack Obama was a community organizer. This anodyne term was created by Chicago leftist Saul Alinsky who created the position to “rub raw the sores of discontent.” Many thought Obama’s moderate sounding speeches meant he had tossed Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in the dustbin. Instead, upon entering the White House, Obama created Organizing for Action, which has trained 5 million Americans in Alinsky tactics.

Occupy Wall Street, Wisconsin’s anti-Walker protests, and Black Lives Matter didn’t arise of their own accord. They were the bitter fruit intentionally cultivated by OfA.

More disturbingly, Obama’s goal to “fundamentally transform America” is far from over. In his farewell speech, Obama repeatedly stressed the need for the crowd to “lace up your shoes and do some organizing.” The Hoover Institution’s Paul Sperry writes:

Obama’s presidential foundation — which hopes to raise $1 billion, roughly double what was raised for the George W. Bush library — may end up eclipsing OfA as a locus of destructive, nihilistic, antisocial activism in the post-Obama era. Obama intends to use his foundation, based at the planned Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side, to continue wreaking havoc in America and around the globe.

A “scaled down” version of OfA will reportedly reside at the Barack Obama Foundation whose website states ominously, “As President Obama has said, the change we seek will take longer than one presidency.” Obama’s “historic candidacy was never simply about winning an office; it was about building a movement to tackle challenges that would define a generation. This work will live on in the Obama Foundation, which will inspire citizens across the globe to better their communities, their countries, and their world.”

When I said, “My favorite part of the Obama era is all the racial healing” two years ago, I thought I could retire the tweet in January 2017. But perhaps the Obama era is just getting started.

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Black Trump critic is a liar, no hero

John Lewis, the black racist Georgia Democrat who is portrayed as a ‘hero’ is a known liar. Six of Lewis’ racist accusations in just the last few years prove what a compulsive liar, racist and overall piece of garbage that John Lewis really is.

Six accusations by racist John Lewis that turned out false:

2008: Falsely accused Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin of racism. Lewis attacked McCain and Palin, then running against Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for president: “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” he said, going on to suggest that the Republican ticket were creating the climate for racist terrorism. “[Democrat] George Wallace never threw a bomb … but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans … four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.” Years later, McCain still had not forgiven him: “I’ll never forgive John Lewis,” he told AL.com in 2013.

2010: Falsely claimed that Tea Party demonstrators said the “N-word” during anti-Obamacare rally. Lewis joined several other members of the Congressional Black Caucus in claiming that a crowd of thousands of Tea Party protesters on the steps of Capitol Hill had shouted the “N-word” at them when they walked through the crowd — apparently in the hope of provoking a reaction. “It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialogue and debate,” Lewis claimed. But he never proved the accusation — and when Andrew Breitbart offered to donate $10,000, then $100,000, to the United Negro College Fund for any video evidence of the “N-word,” none surfaced — despite hundreds of cameras present.

2012: Falsely accused Republicans of wanting to take Americans back to Jim Crow. Lewis gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in which he recalled being beaten by white racists, along with fellow Freedom Riders, in 1961. He concluded by implying that Republicans wanted to bring back those days of blood and hatred: “Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back? Or do you want to keep America moving forward?”

2016: Falsely compared Donald Trump to George Wallace. Reviving his theme from 2008, Lewis said that Trump reminded him of the governors of the Jim Crow South and the police who let dogs loose on demonstrators: “I’ve been around a while and Trump reminds me so much of a lot of the things that George Wallace said and did … Sometimes I feel like I am reliving part of my past. I heard it so much growing up in the South…I heard it so much during the days of the civil rights movement. As a people, I just think we could do much better,” he told the Los Angeles Times in an interview.

2017: Falsely claimed Trump is “illegitimate” because of a Russian “conspiracy.” Joining the tin foil hat brigade, Lewis claimed that Trump was a kind of “Manchurian Candidate” put in place by Russia: “I don’t see the president-elect as a legitimate president. … I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians, and others, that helped him get elected.”

2016: Falsely claimed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) played no role in the civil rights movement. Lewis, a supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency, tried to trash Sanders’s civil rights credentials. “I never saw him. I never met him,” Lewis said. Proof later emerged of Sanders’s arrest in civil rights protests in Chicago in the 1960s.

John Lewis, like the rest of the Democrat doesn’t seem to understand that the country has moved on past him. The race hustling crap that got Obama elected, twice has played it self out. Maybe Lewis should go work for Al Sharpton’s NAN organization to cement his legacy as a racist, bitter black man.

Racism will never be fully eradicated in this country. As long as bitter, old racism black Democrats like John Lewis are around to pass their racist baton on to the next generation, racism will always be alive.

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Unholy matrimony and the Islamic culture’s hidden stain

By Piers Akerman, writing from Australia

AS much as it may discomfort the multi-culti crowd, Australia must realise that there are some appalling aspects of ­Islamic culture that can never be embraced here.

In the 2015-16 financial year alone, the Australian Federal Police investigated 69 ­incidents of forced marriage, more than double that investigated the previous year.

Just last week, an imam, a Muslim religious leader, faced a Melbourne court after allegedly forcing a child into marriage, while the 34-year-old “husband” of the minor appeared via videolink charged with sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16.

Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday over an alleged forced marriage at Noble Park, in Melbourne’s southeast, along with the husband, who cannot be identified. The latter is also charged with being a party to a forced marriage.

Ibrahim Omerdic was charged with forcing a child bride to marry him against her will. Picture: Nicole Garmston
The court heard that a DVD of the ceremony being conducted at a mosque last year may form part of the evidence. ­ According to The Weekend Australian no person has been convicted of arranging or being involved in a forced marriage in Australia despite the number of referrals of possible offences soaring since 2013, when the act was criminalised, according to data from the Attorney-General’s Department.

In 2013-14, the Australian Federal Police received 11 referrals of allegations of forced marriage. The AFP received 33 in 2014-15 and 69 in 2015-16.

Mr Omerdic is the imam of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Centre and Mosque at Noble Park and reportedly said in 2005 that there was no “clear proof” Osama bin Laden was behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

The Victorian Board of Imams released a statement earlier this week condemning marriages that are illegal in Australia.

“Imams are advised to meet both the bride and groom in person prior to the nikah ­(Islamic marriage) ceremony to ensure they are of marriageable age and both are consenting to the marriage,” the statement said.

“As Australian Muslims, we are required to observe and ­respect the laws of Australia.”

The average reader might well assume that the Victorian Board of Imams aren’t ­unhappy with forced child marriages in other countries. Little wonder that young Australian Muslim girls are at risk of being spirited abroad to marry older men.

Given the imams’ collective responses to the case of the imam charged in Melbourne on Friday, the young girls might be better advised to look elsewhere for protection.

The Islamic Council of Victoria also released a statement condemning forced marriage.

“It is true that marriage at a younger age is permitted in other countries and cultures, but this is not a justification for marriage below the legal age or child marriages here in Australia,” they said.

Which might make some readers wonder why the Islamic Council members didn’t say they think forced child marriage is absolutely abhorrent wherever it is practised?

Do they think that they lack the stature to condemn this disgusting tradition or are they afraid that by doing so they will open up the obvious questions which surround the marriage of their Prophet Muhammad to his child bride, Aisha, who, according to traditional sources was married to Muhammad when she was six or seven though the marriage was not consummated till she was nine or 10, and he was then 53.

School principals and teachers have reported girls as young as nine being taken overseas, where they are forced to marry, the NSW government has said.

Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard is in no doubt about the magnitude of the problem. He said data collected by his department since a telephone hotline was set up in July 2014 left him in “no doubt that there is a tsunami of young girls, some as young as nine, who are being taken overseas and being forced to become child brides”.

During a 2016 press conference he said the Muslim community needed to be vocal opponents against the practice.

Given the imams’ collective responses to the case of the imam charged in Melbourne on Friday, the young girls might be better advised to look elsewhere for protection.

As these young girls are most at risk from their families, there is a huge reluctance on their part to report the crime because of the shame and ­embarrassment that conviction and publicity would bring.

The same goes for the hideous cultural practice of ­female genital mutilation.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF data, as many as 83,000 women and girls in Australia may have been subjected to FGM, a statistic that rests on the fact that a girl is most likely to be subject to this procedure if her mother has had FGM.

It is estimated that 5640 girls under 15 may be in danger and 1100 girls are born every year to women who have had FGM. The extrapolation was cited by Professor Gillian Triggs, the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, in April 2016.

Professor Triggs and her ­organisation would be among the first to defend multiculturalism and just behind them would be Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Why not, it’s been a howling success across Europe, hasn’t it? Even the queen of multi-culti, Germany’s leaderene Angela Merkel, has been forced to admit the policy stinks.

Time our leaders did the same and dumped it.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Monday, January 16, 2017



A Hate to Kill and Die for

Muslim attacks on Christian churches are on the rise all around the world-including in America.  The worst occurred last month when a bomb exploded in Egypt's St. Peter's Cathedral, killing 28, mostly women and children.  Preliminary investigations had indicated that a woman entered the church, sat in the women's section, and then left an unattended purse that later detonated.  Later reports asserted that, although others were involved, including one Muslim woman, a male suicide-bomber was the chief culprit (graphic pictures of his remains here).

How much hate must a woman have to enter a church, smile in the faces of Christians, pretend to be worshipping alongside them-here's a similar example from Turkey-and then knowingly leave a bomb precisely where it would kill mostly women and children?  How much hate must a man have for people who are peacefully praying that, in order to kill as many of them, he is willing to kill himself?

The answer is an unfathomable-and, to Western and Christian minds, unbelievable-amount of hate.    Yet the wonder isn't that the church was bombed but rather that many are surprised by it.  After all, many Muslim scriptures, clerics, mosques, schools, satellite stations and Internet sites-even the ministry of education-openly incite hatred for Egypt's indigenous (but "infidel") inhabitants: the Christian Copts.   Among other forms of animosity, they teach that Muslims must hate-and show that they hate-Christians, even if they are their own wives.

Worse, they teach that the most abominable crimes in God's sight-"worse than murder and bloodshed"-take place inside churches: there, Christians flaunt their rejection of Islam's core doctrine of tawhid ("monotheism") by ascribing partners to God (shirk) via their worship of the Trinity. This is why some of Islam's most revered ulema (scholars) describe churches as "worse than bars and brothels" and "dens of iniquity" which "breed corruption throughout the lands" (see Crucified Again, pgs. 32-36).

Modern Egyptian clerics constantly echo these hateful slanders.  In August 2009, Al Azhar's Dar al-Ifta issued a fatwa likening the building of a church to "a nightclub, a gambling casino, or building a barn for rearing pigs, cats or dogs."  In July 2012, Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, Egypt's leading Salafi, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslim taxi and bus drivers from transporting Christian clergy to their churches, an act "more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar."  When the Islamic State launched a suicide attack on a packed church in Baghdad in 2011-killing about 60 Christians (graphic images of aftermath here)-it justified the massacre by portraying the church as a "dirty den of idolatry."

But it's not just ISIS and "radical" clerics that harbor such animosity for churches.  After the fatal bombing inside St. Peter's, "everyday" Muslims wrote things like "God bless the person who did this blessed act" on social media.  One average looking Muslim woman appears in the streets of Egypt jubilantly celebrating the massacre (video with English subtitles).   She triumphantly yells "Allahu Akbar!" and says that "our beloved prophet Muhammad is paying you infidels [Christians] back... for rejecting tawhid, which must be proclaimed in every corner of Egypt!"

Americans may remember that Muslims around the world also celebrated the terror strikes of September 11.  Then, the assumption was "we must've done something to make Muslims hate us so much."  But if powerful America is capable of provoking Muslims with its foreign policies, what did Egypt's already downtrodden and ostracized Christian minority do to make Muslims celebrate the news that a church was bombed and Christians blown to pieces?

In other words, the hate is everywhere and on open display for those with eyes and ears to see and hear with.  It's a regular feature of the West nowadays for Muslims to go on church vandalizing sprees (here's a video of one from Rome).  Indeed, the ongoing desecration of churches, crucifixes, and Christian icons at the hands of Muslims is so virulent that-from the earliest writings of Islam (see Athanasius of Sinai's 7th century chronicles) till today-it continues to be described as the "work of Satan's offspring."

In Egypt the hate is usually simmering below the line of what is deemed newsworthy and only reaches the West when Muslim piety boils over and leaves a trail of carnage in its wake.  "Amateur" attacks on churches that fail to claim lives, or Muslims abusing, kidnapping, beating, raping-and sometimes even murdering[1]-Christians, are habitual occurrences in Egypt and other Muslim majority nations that rarely get reported in the West.  Yet the fact remains: the animus that regularly causes large Muslim mobs to attack and/or torch buildings on the mere rumor that they are being used as churches, causes more zealous Muslims to bomb churches.

These latter-the professional jihadis and "martyrs"-believe themselves to be the greatest allies of God.  They cite the Islamic doctrine of al-wala' wa'l-bara' ("Loyalty an Enmity"), which is based on a number of Koran verses. It teaches that the best way for a Muslim to proclaim his loyalty to Islam (submission to Allah and adherence to Muhammad's teachings) is by showing and exercising hate for those who reject it.

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‘If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Forget Her Cunning’

Arab response to the decision by US Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) to introduce The Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act, legislation to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has been predictable.

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas claimed the decision would put the Middle East peace process and the whole world into a “crisis.” His close advisor Mahmoud al-Habash called the move “a declaration of war on Muslims.” Ynet noted this description is significant because it echoed a similar sentiment expressed by former Jerusalem Mufti Achrama Sabri, whose extreme views generally do not reflect those of the Palestinian Authority.

Jordanian Information Minister Muhammad Momani said that the transfer would be a “gift to extremists” and would “inflame the Islamic and Arab streets.”

Hussein Ibish, a Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C., whom Daniel Pipes calls “anti-American, anti-Semitic, inaccurate and immoral,” went even further when he warned of a “spontaneous, or possibly even organized, [violent] uprising is extremely plausible—perhaps even inevitable, if not immediately.”

As if on cue, US Secretary of State John Kerry added his caveat, which could easily be interpreted as a justification for an aggressive Arab response: “You’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region.”

Relocation of Embassy Unsettles Palestinian Arab Campaign to Deny Jewish Claim to Jerusalem

Relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem poses a more serious problem for the Palestinian Arabs than disrupting a non-existent peace process. As part of a political strategy to delegitimize Israel, they initiated a campaign to obliterate 3,000 years of Jewish history in Israel and replace it with their own fabricated history, with the intention of creating the past history of a Palestinian Arab nation and state. The process involves appropriating Jewish traditions, tenets and historical narrative, allowing them to portray the Jews as interlopers, colonialists and usurpers of Arab lands.

The Palestinian Media Watch reported that this plot was first conveyed at a conference of Palestinian Arab historians in 1998. Dr. Yussuf Alzamili, Chairman of the History Department, Khan Yunis Educational College, urged all universities and colleges “to write the history of Palestine and to guard it, and not to enable the [foreign] implants and enemies to distort it or to legitimize the existence of Jews on this land... [History lecturer Abu Amar] clarified that there is no connection between the ancient generation of Jews and the new generation.”

To bolster Palestinian Arab claims, PA government media, flags, maps, cartoons, youth movement logos, schoolbooks and schools and children’s educational programs use maps removing Israel, signifying Palestinian Arab political sovereignty throughout all of Israel. The Holocaust and other areas of Jewish history are either denied, minimized or falsified. Christianity is also targeted. Jesus is falsely and improbably described as a Palestinian Arab who preached Islam (despite the centuries gap between the emergence of Christianity and the subsequent appearance of Mohammed), thereby not only repudiating Jewish history, but also the history and legitimacy of Christianity.

The PA accuses Israel of fashioning a false Jewish history in the land while appropriating Palestinian history, culture and heritage. The Palestinians refer to these actions as “Judaization.” The main target of this “Judaization” is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Israel allegedly schemes to demolish in order to build the Jewish Temple. At the same time, PA political and religious leaders, officials and academics refer to the Temple as Al-Haikal Al-Maz’oom, the “alleged Temple.”

Erasing any trace of archeological evidence of Jewish and Christian history is an essential part of this campaign, asserted columnist David M. Weinberg. Synagogues and Jewish holy sites in Jericho, Nablus and Gush Katif were burnt down as Palestinian Arab police watched. Palestinian Arab mobs in 1996 attacked Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem while Palestinian Arab policemen wounded the Israeli soldiers protecting the Tomb. Since then the Israelis were forced to enclose the site with concrete barriers, turning it into a veritable fortress. A Palestinian Arab horde led by Palestinian Arab policemen raided Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, torched the inside of the synagogue and killed six of the Israeli soldiers guarding the site.

The Temple Mount had a section known as the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments and the Torah resided, explained Mark Ami-El, editor of The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Daily Alert. Jews were obligated to visit Jerusalem three times a year. After the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple in 586 BCE, Jews returned to Jerusalem from exile in 538 BCE and finished building the Second Temple in 515 BCE. Even after the Temple’s destruction by Roman armies in 70 CE, Jews directed their prayers to the Temple Mount.

To justify their claim that the Temple Mount is the site of a mosque dating back to the time of Adam and Eve, they are transforming the area into holy places, mosques and Muslim holy sites and removing everything to substantiate Israeli claims to the area. Thousands of tons of material have been dumped in the Kidron Valley and the city garbage dump at Eizariya, while they build underground mosques at the site.

Included in these ruins were the archeological remains—masonry stones, blocks, floor tiles and pottery—from the period of the First and Second Temples. Decorations and inscriptions on stones were removed, as were Hebrew lettering and five-pointed stars, a Hasmonean symbol found on handle seals from the second century BCE. The Wakf also destroyed stonework produced by Jewish artisans 2,000 years ago in the underground “double passageway.”

Similar to the well-reported Taliban and ISIS destruction of historical sites, less well known is that Christian relics on the Temple Mount were also demolished, including the Crusader pillars of the 13th-century Grammar Dome in the southwestern corner of the Mount, and the Crusader-era Chain Gate. Without any concern for the integrity of the these historic objects, the Waqf has permitted drilling holes in them, spray painting them and chopping through them for electricity cables, and allowed concrete and stone to be added to them.

Demolition of Artifacts: An Act of Resistance

Barnard College anthropologist Nadia Abu El Haj, representing the view of many Palestinian Arabs, defends destroying archaeological artifacts and sites: “Looting could well be analyzed as a form of resistance to the Israeli state and an archaeological project, understood by many Palestinians, to stand at the very heart of Zionist historical claims to the land.” She argues that Israeli archeologists use their craft to substantiate Jewish national homeland in a land where Jews never lived. In the process, the Israelis have “erased other geographies. Most centrally, it effaced Arab/Palestinian claims to and presences within the very same place.”

Responding to These Fabrications

The problem with these incessant barrage of lies is that they are repeated not just in the Palestinian Arab media, but in statements of human rights organizations, academic books and journals and at the UN.

Jewish religious, spiritual and historical attachment to Jerusalem and the land of Israel has never wavered, as Reuben Gafni, a legal expert on historical rights and one of the early members of the Mizrachi and Hapoel Hamizrachi Movement, stressed. The Jewish nation, he said, has never abandoned or surrendered its right to return to their ancestral home or claimed any other country or territory as their new homeland.

The need to explain the Jewish link to Jerusalem and the land of Israel is not new. In his testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine in 1946, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, explained to the British and American committee members that more than 3,000 years before the Mayflower departed England for the New World, Jews fled from Egypt. And “every in the Jew in the world knows exactly when we left. It was the 15th of Nisan.”

Each spring, Jews commemorate their liberation from slavery and the Exodus from Egypt to the land of Israel at the Seder, which traditionally ends with the sentence: “Next year in the Jerusalem!” Some add the word rebuilt: “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem.”

Religious rituals were instituted to remember the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile. During times of joy and sorrow, Zion is always part of a Jew’s thoughts and liturgy. At least three times a day, observant Jews pray for the redemption of Zion and Jerusalem and for her well-being. When comforting a Jew on the loss of a loved one, we say, “May God comfort you (amongst) the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Throughout Jewish history, Jews have recited Psalm 137: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest Joys.” The verse is sung at the end of Jewish weddings.

The words of Jeremiah (33:10-11), form a prayer sung at weddings to ask God to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and restore joy and happiness to the streets of Jerusalem: “Yet again there shall be heard... in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem. The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.”

Israel’s national anthem, written in 1886 by Naphtali Herz Imber, makes this eternal connection point quite clear: “As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart, With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion, Then our hope—the two-thousand-year-old hope—will not be lost: To be a free people in our land, The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

By moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, political scientist Miriam F. Elman suggests, “Sending a strong message that the new administration stands with the Israeli government on a major symbolic issue with high potential costs could push the Palestinian leadership to a greater sense of urgency in negotiations.” Moreover, given the failures of decades of diplomacy that deliberately fell sway to the same arguments being advanced today against moving the American Embassy to the capital of Israel, as the President-elect stated while campaigning for African-American votes, “What have you got to lose?”

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UK: Rudd speech on foreign workers recorded as a hate incident

If a middle-of-the-road speech now counts as a ‘hate incident’, we’re all screwed

Amber Rudd’s notorious [Tory] party conference speech – in which she floated the idea of employers reporting on the number of foreign and British-born people they employ – has been recorded by the police as a ‘hate incident’, a new lesser category of hate crime that Rudd herself helped to introduce in July last year. In her desperation to prove she was taking post-Brexit hate crime seriously, she has effectively criminalised herself.

The complaint was made by Joshua Silver, a physics professor at Oxford, who told Andrew Neil in a laugh-a-minute Daily Politics interview that Rudd’s speech was ‘picking on foreigners’ – although he admitted to having only read a draft. Silver’s now getting a well-earned rinsing. But he’s not alone in seeing Rudd’s speech as criminal. At the time, some liberal commentators were literally comparing Rudd’s speech to Mein Kampf.

If you care about people’s freedom to move, strive and settle wherever they please, Rudd’s speech was nothing to celebrate. But it was painfully mainstream, even plagiaristic. As we pointed out on spiked at the time, she stole most of her ideas from Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown. When Brown called for ‘British jobs’ in 2007, was that a hate incident, too? Did commentators line up to present it as something straight out of Nuremberg? Of course they didn’t.

But far more worrying is the legal framework that allowed Silver’s complaint to go so far. Rudd’s speech will now be recorded in official statistics as a ‘non-crime hate incident’. A hate incident is defined as ‘any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them’ relating to protected characteristics, and must be recorded ‘regardless of whether or not they are the victim, and irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element’.

Hate crime has always been an Orwellian idea. If someone attacks someone, they shouldn’t be criminalised for what they were thinking while they were doing it. It pushes us into the realm of thoughtcrime. But what this case shows is that hate crime has become even more insidious, it has lapsed into policing mere speech, or in this case a speech, that isn’t criminal in any real way – even under existing hate-speech law. Though they may never make it to court, any allegation – no matter how specious or ridiculous – must be recorded.

We already live under a tyranny of hate-speech and malicious-communications laws, through which people have been criminalised for wearing offensive t-shirts, getting their dogs to do Nazi salutes and preaching fire and brimstone from their own pulpits. The recording of so-called hate incidents will chill discussion further. It will make politicians watch their words and feed the particularly febrile climate that has been whipped up by reeling Remainers post-Brexit.

The much-quoted police statistics, denoting a ‘spike’ in hate crime after the vote, conflated both hate crime and hate incidents. This has been cynically exploited to explode the problem of racism, demonise Leave voters and delegitimise the vote. What could, for all we know, be largely uninvestigated ‘hate incidents’ – like that ‘committed’ by Rudd – are being used to imply that Brexit triggered a slew of racist attacks. It’s horrendous and divisive: migrant communities are being told on a daily basis that their white neighbours are out to get them.

But, again, you have to look at who’s really responsible. It wasn’t a cabal of Remainer Guardian journalists who laid down the groundwork for this panic, who over decades have sleepwalked into this Salem-like situation, where an allegation is enough and words are equated with actions – it’s our own government. It was people like Rudd, who are now themselves being bitten. There’s a kind of justice in that. But for those of us who believe in a free society, that’s not much comfort.

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StemExpress Drops Its Lawsuit Over Undercover Fetal-Parts Video   

A seller of organs from aborted babies withdraws its suit, knowing it would probably lose.                                         
A prominent tissue-procurement organization (TPO) - StemExpress, LLC, which partnered with Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics to profit illegally from the sale of fetal body parts from aborted babies - has dropped its lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

The suit concerned a compromising video that CMP's founder David Daleiden had filmed undercover during a lunch meeting with StemExpress founder and CEO Cate Dyer. StemExpress first sued CMP in July 2015, before the release of the video, but its request for a preliminary injunction was denied the following month. At that point CMP released the video to the public as part of its undercover series on the fetal-tissue trafficking industry, and it quickly went viral.

In this particular video, Dyer spoke with CMP's undercover journalists (posing as representatives of a biotech firm) about StemExpress clients that would frequently request "another 50 livers a week," meaning fetal organs obtained from abortion clinics. She also referred to some abortion clinics as "volume institutions," with which her group partnered to obtain a greater number of fetal organs for resale to researchers. (Planned Parenthood was the most prominent abortion group that had a formal partnership with StemExpress.) Dyer also refers in the video to "intact cases" being shipped back to the lab in their entirety, meaning the full corpses of aborted babies.

Interestingly, StemExpress dropped its ongoing suit against CMP this afternoon, just one day before a scheduled appellate hearing on a motion to strike its complaint. After failing to obtain an injunction - on the grounds of Daleiden's First Amendment rights - StemExpress continued with its suit, claiming that Daleiden interfered with the TPO's business interests and allegedly broke the law by recording their conversation in a public restaurant.

Chuck LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, one of the attorneys representing CMP in this case, tells National Review that StemExpress likely dropped its case for fear that it would lose and then owe Daleiden legal fees.

"We had stronger arguments on appeal," LiMandri says. "They were pretty candid that one of the primary purposes of the lawsuit was to block the release of the video, an attempt that failed."

The timing of this decision is intriguing, as it comes just one week after the House Select Panel on Infant Lives released its final report on a 16-month investigation into the fetal-tissue-trafficking industry, much of which sheds light on the despicable practices in which StemExpress was engaged, along with Planned Parenthood, other abortion clinics, and other TPOs.

Over the course of the investigation, the House panel made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals, several of which appeared to implicate StemExpress in illegal activity, including violations of federal health and privacy regulations and the destruction of pertinent documents. For example, the report shows that, in at least one case, StemExpress paid a Planned Parenthood affiliate $55 for a fetal brain that the TPO then sold to a customer for $3,340; such profit from fetal body parts is normally against both federal and state law. In addition, the StemExpress website featured a drop-down menu allowing researchers to select the fetal body parts they wished to purchase, all of which were sold at dramatically marked-up prices.

The House panel referred StemExpress to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department, as well as to state and local law-enforcement agencies, for further investigation into its practices.

According to Daleiden, this lawsuit and its dismissal are particularly important because StemExpress was the first of the CMP-investigated entities to file a lawsuit or seek an injunction. "It's sort of a miniature version of the other lawsuits brought against CMP, under this exaggerated, frivolous theory that undercover work is a somehow a form of fraud, or that being a citizen journalist is something you can sue over," Daleiden tells National Review.

StemExpress's latest move also might shed some light on the future of two other ongoing lawsuits against CMP, the first brought by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and the second by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Both cases are being heard in federal court in San Francisco, before the same judge. The case brought by NAF, a trade group of North American abortion organizations, is especially important because it involves a preliminary injunction that is currently preventing CMP from releasing more damning footage. According to Daleiden, this footage comes from NAF conventions in 2014 and 2015, and if CMP wins the suit, it will be permitted to release that footage to the public.

Daleiden believes that StemExpress may have surrendered the lawsuit before its completion so that the outcome would not harm the cases of NAF and PPFA. "Their legal theory is totally discredited at this point, and they didn't want to go all the way through with the lawsuit because they knew they would fail," Daleiden says, referring to the claim that undercover investigation is somehow illegal.

The TPO's surrender in this lawsuit illustrates that there is more to the abortion industry than one might see on the surface, and should serve as a timely and unpleasant reminder that no amount of euphemism or obfuscation can hide the true nature of the dark and grisly business to which lawmakers will soon turn their attentions.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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