Sunday, March 29, 2015

Junk food available in British hospitals: Critics say presence of Burger King, Costa Coffee and Greggs amounts to 'negligence'

Fast food places are usually the only place in a hospital environment where people can feel normal -- something that is greatly appreciated and which is certainly a psychological boon.  But the obesity warriors don't really care about people

More than 100 NHS hospitals in Britain contain fast food outlets, shocking new figures have revealed.

Critics argue the presence of Burger King, Costa Coffee and Greggs around sick patients goes as far as being negligent - and is simply adding to the soaring obesity crisis.

There are 128 outlets in British hospitals selling junk food, plus a further 32 branches of WHSmith, which sells confectionery - often at a discounted price.

The fast food branches include two Burger Kings, six Subways and one Greggs, an investigation by The Sun revealed.  There are also dozens of coffee shops selling calorie-laden food and drink - with 27 Starbucks and 92 Costas.

This is in addition to all the smaller, independent retailers in hospitals selling junk food. 

The news comes as figures from Public Health England show that in Britain, 64 per cent of adults are either overweight or obese.  

And experts estimate treating obesity and the associated health problems costs the NHS around £6 billion every year - or five per cent of the entire NHS budget. It spends a further £10billion on diabetes.

To make matters worse, some of the UK's major hospitals have more than one outlet selling junk food.

Addenbrooke's in Cambridge operates a food court with a Burger King, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and pizzeria, while and University Hospital Southampton Foundation trust also hosts a Burger King and a Costa Coffee shop.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Greggs bakery based in an NHS hospital is the fast-food chain's second busiest outlet in Britain.

The counter at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton is often so busy selling steak bakes, bacon rolls and pizzas that ropes have to be used to separate queues of hungry customers which can reach 20 people deep.

The Sun investigation found customers could buy four sausage rolls for £2.40, each which contained 25g fat. The total recommended daily amount of fat is 75g for women and 90g for men.  Those with a sweet tooth could buy three sugar and fat laiden doughnuts for £1.

The hospital trust has joined forces with Wolverhampton Council to tackle the obesity crisis locally.

But Mr Loughton said banning the chain from the site would not solve anything.

He said: 'People say "ban the fast-food places" but I don't think that will ever work. We have to change people's mentality regarding the food they eat.'

In Devon, hospital chiefs have told staff not to allow deliveries from a new Pizza Hut - despite it being built in their own multi-storey car park.

The move was revealed a month after the chain opened just 100 yards from the walls of Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

Staff were instructed to tell patients they could not order from the fast food restaurant, with bosses steering them towards 'healthier' sandwiches in the hospital's smoothie bar instead.

And a hospital in Surrey has came under fire when it emerged it had paid £24,000 to close a Burger King branch inside its own walls.

Croydon University Hospital had hosted the fast food chain in its entrance for 14 years, sparking the ire of health campaigners.

It finally managed to close the outlet - which was next to posters promoting healthy eating - in 2011 and replace it with a Costa Coffee branch.

But in order to terminate the contract it had to pay £24,000 to Compass UK, the company operating the fast food franchise.

Croydon Health Service admitted the 'world had changed' since it signed the original deal in 1997.


Why a wise man would never marry

If it ends in divorce, the courts have no regard for the man at all

A millionaire building tycoon says he has been left 'homeless' by a divorce ruling he says handed 80% of the family property to his ex-wife.

Construction magnate David Stocker, 61, was used to living the high life during his marriage to former wife Avril, 62.

They had a five-bedroom home in West London valued at £1million, a £100,000 yacht and a £500,000 villa in Spain.

But he told an Appeal Court hearing that his life of luxury is over and he is now unable to get back on the London property ladder because of the couple's divorce.

After the hearing she denied feeling like a winner, saying: 'When you get divorced, you become poor.'

He said a divorce court ruling left his ex-wife with property worth £1.8million - more than seven times his own £250,000 share.

Mr Stocker argued that the division of assets was 'unfair', especially as his former wife has no children to care for.

Despite his pleas, senior judge Mr Justice Blake told him he must accept his new lot, finding there was nothing legally wrong with the original ruling.

The court heard a family judge had handed four-fifths of the £2million-plus family assets to his ex-wife after their 15-year marriage ended in 2011. The divorce ruling came in 2013.

Mr Stocker said he had been obliged to sell his boat - which he valued at £100,000 - and to hand over the keys to the former matrimonial home in Ruislip, north-west London.

The building boss, whose business is based in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, was also told to split the Spanish villa - which he valued at more than £500,000 - with his ex-wife.

Mr Stocker, representing himself in court, told Mr Justice Blake he was baffled by the decision, saying: 'We have got no kids - why is it not 50/50?'

He told the judge: 'My wife got a £1m house in Ruislip, half a villa that's worth hundreds of thousands more. My wife got £1.8m in property and I'm left with £250,000.

'I'm entitled to a home under human rights. I told the judge throughout the case that all I wanted was a home out of it,' he went on.

He said he was no longer fielding a barrister in the divorce battle, which has been running for four years, because 'I ran out of money'.

'The assets have 80% gone her way. All I'm asking for is a home,' he added.

Mr Justice Blake however told Mr Stocker that he had no hope of overturning the divorce ruling and would have to accept his reduced circumstances.

'Unfortunately, as happens so often in this type of litigation, everything here has the appearance of an applicant who refuses to have a sense of finality', he said.

'This court doesn't sit as a re-hearing court. You don't just come here and say, "Can we start all over again please?".

The judge concluded: 'The husband argues that the division of the marital assets was unfair and disproportionate.

'This was a case in which there were no children to be taken into account, the husband contends that a 50/50 split would have been appropriate.

'But none of the matters he raises constitutes a basis for appeal which has any prospect of success.'

Mr Stocker vowed to fight on as he left court.

Mrs Stocker, who attended the hearing and sat at the back of the court throughout, said later that she didn't feel like she had come out of the marriage a winner.

'When you get divorced, you become poor... the only people who have won out of all this are the lawyers,' she said.

She added that she and her ex-husband had known each other since the early 1980s, having met at a squash club, and married in 1994.

Defending her payout, she said she had worked hard during the marriage to make the family construction company a success.

'I'm an intelligent person and I've got a masters degree from a good business school,' she added.

Of her high-flying former life whilst married to Mr Stocker, she said: 'We had a very good lifestyle. People used to say to me 'You've got everything.''

'It's very sad. We had a long relationship, but all relationships are fraught. I'm very philosophical now, but it was a very hurtful time.'


Christian baker accused of making customer 'feel like a lesser person' because he refused to make pro-gay marriage cake

A Christian baker who refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan has begun a court battle over equality laws.

Belfast-based Ashers Bakery refused to make a cake featuring an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto 'Support Gay Marriage'.

Northern Ireland's Equality Commission is now supporting a legal action against the family-run bakery on behalf of gay rights activist Gareth Lee, whose order was declined.

Mr Lee told a court today he was left 'shocked' and in 'disbelief' when one of the owners of the bakery, Karen McArthur, rang him and told him she would not be processing the order he had already paid for.

'It made me feel I'm not worthy, a lesser person and to me that was wrong,' he said.

Opening the case, Robin Allen QC, representing Mr Lee, said the baker's objection on religious grounds was not lawful.

He said baking a cake did not mean the bakers supported any message the cake might carry and compared the baking of a cake to a postman delivering a letter or a printer printing a poster.

'A postman taking a letter to the door or a printer carrying out a printing job - nobody would say that involved promoting or support,' he said. 'It's simply a functional relationship, a working relationship.'

The lawyer also noted the publicity around the case and highlighted that politicians, church figures, bloggers and others had expressed opinions on the matter.

But the barrister insisted the case must be judged on the facts alone, saying: 'Law must not be determined by those who shout loudest.'

Mr Allen QC said he was not in court to challenge the McArthur family's faith and highlighted that the proposed design would not have had an Ashers logo on it.

The case is being heard at Belfast County Court by district judge Isobel Brownlie.

The case has sharply divided public opinion in Northern Ireland and beyond.

In the wake of the bakery's refusal to provide the service last May, the commission, a state-funded watchdog body, took on the case on behalf of Mr Lee.

Initially, the commission asked the bakery to acknowledge that it had breached legislation and offer 'modest' damages to the customer.  When Ashers, which is owned by the McArthur family, refused, the commission proceeded with the legal action.

Outlining his view of the facts, Mr Allen said Mr Lee had used the bakery in Royal Avenue in Belfast city centre 'regularly' before the incident.

He said his client had seen a leaflet in the shop advertising a service whereby images could be printed in edible icing on a cake.  He said there was nothing on the leaflet which suggested a limitation on the service due to 'religious scruples'.

The barrister told the court that the order was accepted by Ashers director Karen McArthur and Mr Lee paid for it in full.  'A contract was therefore concluded,' he said.

Mr Allen said that, over the next few days, Mrs McArthur expressed concern about the requested cake design with her daughter-in-law, Amy, and the matter was then discussed with her son, Daniel.

After that Mr Lee was informed that his order would not be processed due to the family's religious views, said the lawyer.

Mr Allen said if companies were allowed to break contracts with individuals then 'the law is worth nothing'.  He added: 'The rule of law says there shall be no discrimination in the commercial sphere.'

The barrister insisted that Ashers was not an 'explicitly religious' business and referred to an interview Daniel McArthur gave to a newspaper in which he claimed the majority of his 60-plus workforce were unaware of his family's faith.

Mr Allen stressed the importance of anti-discrimination legislation in Northern Ireland, given its history of sectarian strife.

Daniel and Amy McArthur sat on one side of an almost packed courtroom, with Mr Lee watching from the other side.

The Ashers case has prompted the Democratic Unionist Party to propose a law change at Stormont that would provide an 'equality clause' which would essentially enable businesses to refuse to provide certain services on religious grounds.

Mr McArthur has previously said: Mr McArthur has previously insisting that Christians should be able to apply their beliefs to the day-to-day running of their businesses.

He said: 'I would like the outcome of this to be that any Christians running a business could be allowed to follow their Christian beliefs and principles in the day-to-day running of the business and that they are allowed to make decisions based on that.'


Father who believed he had the right to smack his two children has them taken into care by social workers

Probably a Muslim

A father who believed he had the right to smack his young children has had them taken into care by social workers.

The parent, from Rotherham, told officials that he thought his children benefited from being smacked.

He said that he hit his children on the bottom, legs and arms, using his hand, but that the red marks 'did not last long'.

But a judge has now ruled that his 'entrenched' views were harmful to their children.

The man has now had his third child, a six-month-old girl, taken into care by Rotherham Council officials.

It comes after his middle child, now aged three, was also taken into care. It is not clear whether the man's eldest child is in care, although there have also been care proceedings issued in relation to that child.

Handing down the judgement at the High Court, Judge Sarah Wright said she made the decision because there was no prospect of the father ever changing his 'domineering behaviour'.

She added that the children's mother could not protect the youngsters from her partner's need to have 'total control' over his family.

She said: 'It was clear to me that she cannot separate herself from the father and from his entrenched views.  'Sadly, she has put him before her children. She refused to accept any view or opinion that is not his.  'She singularly fails to appreciate the risk that he poses to any child in his care'.

During the hearing, it emerged that the man's son, now aged three, had been removed from the family home when he was just a few months old.   Since then, he has been cared for by his 'quiet, considered and thoughtful' maternal uncle.

The judgement also revealed that care proceedings had taken place for another child, during which a family judge criticised the man's 'rigid and inflexible thinking'.

The court said the man was not prepared to 'settle for a shade of grey', but saw everything in black and white.

He also insisted on his right to smack his children, believing he had done 'nothing wrong', the judgement said.

It added that both parents had been 'uncooperative and obstructive' with professionals.

During the latest hearing, it emerged that, when the mother fell pregnant again, she tried to conceal her pregnancy so they would not flag up on social services' radar.

Despite the mother arranging to give birth at a hospital in a different area, their attempt to conceal the birth failed. The little girl - known as E - was then taken from them under a police protection order. 

Explaining her reasons for concealing her pregnancy with E, the mother said she feared she would be put under pressure to have an abortion.

She also insisted there was no basis for social workers' concerns, saying: 'There is no reason why we are here'.

Whilst agreeing he could be 'slightly dogmatic', she said he had never been violent or aggressive, the judgement said.

But the court ruled that the mother had 'aligned herself' with the father and said she was 'totally convinced' that he posed no risk to the children.

It added that the father 'must feel in control' and was capable of rude, uncompromising and hostile behaviour in his determination to get his own way.  'There is also very little prospect of the father accepting the need to change', said the judge.

Despite the parents' objections, Judge Wright ruled that E's welfare demanded that she also be looked after by her uncle and his partner, alongside her older brother. 



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


Friday, March 27, 2015

Multiculturalist accused of raping ten year old girl and making her pregnant

Darrick Guider, of Milwaukee, the largest city in the State of Wisconsin, is charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 12. If convicted of raping the girl, he faces a maximum of 60 years in jail.

According to Milwaukee Police Department’s criminal statement about the first-degree sexual assault of the 10-year-old, the child moved into a relative’s home where Guider lived in June 2014, Fox6Now reported.

The 10-year-old girl told police that “one night, shortly after she moved into this home, she was watching television upstairs in a room. She was lying on the bed when the defendant came in. The defendant told her that ‘this is how [you] make money.’”
Milwaukee Police allege that the girl “tried to get her (relative’s) attention by screaming, but the defendant put his hand over her mouth.”

Guider then allegedly assaulted the girl.

The complaint says the victim “recalls various instances” where Guider attempted to have sex with her. The complaint also says the victim told her relative in December that Guider had been “messing with her.” The relative did not believe the victim.

In January, Milwaukee Police state that the relative took the girl to a paediatrician who said she should immediately take the girl to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital.

The relative did not act on the advice.

This month, another relative noticed the girl “appeared pregnant.” and the 10-year-old was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital where it was confirmed the girl was indeed pregnant.

Her baby was expected “at the end of May or the beginning of June.”


Navy Becomes Career Destroyer

The Navy wouldn’t think of using outdated equipment – but it sure doesn’t mind using outdated policies. Lt. Commander Wes Modder is living proof of that. The long-time chaplain could very well lose his career because his commanding officer is resorting to “obsolete” regulations to punish him. That bombshell came courtesy of Liberty Institute, which was stunned to find that Captain J.R. Fahs was refusing to apply the Defense Department’s new religious liberty laws to Chaplain Modder’s case. “Navy officials appear to be rebelling against the new DOD regulations and thumbing their nose at Congress and the Secretary of Defense. That is totally unacceptable.”

When Chaplain Modder was hauled before representatives of the military’s Equal Opportunity board for holding biblical views on marriage and sexuality, the meeting shouldn’t have ended with Modder cleaning out his office. Under the DOD’s new law, chaplains are “never required to compromise the standards of their religious organization.” Yet that is exactly what the Navy is demanding of the Chaplain, whose own assistant secretly combed through paperwork, “privileged conversations,” and counseling files to report him.

“I didn’t know he was unhappy,” Chaplain Modder told me on Friday’s “Washington Watch.” “I did not know that he was 'married’ (to his gay partner) and trying to adopt a child. I didn’t know any of that… he never indicated that he was unhappy. On December 6, he came in with some command Equal Opportunity representatives and decided to file charges against me. And that was shocking. I felt betrayed, I felt dishonored and disrespected.”

Explaining that he and the young Naval Officer had several genuine and heartfelt conversations about marriage, Modder said he was totally blindsided. “My entire ministry is based on care…I will work with anybody in my office. It’s not based on lifestyle.” The culture has changed, he pointed out, “Navy culture has changed, and Navy policy has changed… but God’s word has not changed. The government wants me to change… But in private counseling sessions, when people are looking for a biblical response, as I am a Christian minister, ordained in the Assemblies of God Church… that’s not going to change.”

Michael Berry, Modder’s attorney, shared my astonishment that the Navy would intentionally assign a homosexual man to work in the office of a Bible-believing chaplain. If the military will investigate Modder, why not this young man, who may have very well violated confidentiality or privacy rules in his religious witch hunt? Clearly, he had an agenda, and somehow that it has superseded this chaplain’s constitutional rights. Today, we learned that the U.S. Navy has taken its punishment of Chaplain Modder a step further by banning him from even attending a sailor’s memorial service.


How the Left Wins the War of Ideas

Imagine that you were in a long war only to discover that the enemy had secretly destroyed your most potent weapons. Sad to say, this is what has happened to those now defending America's values, the values that have made the US a world power and an economic colossus. It is not as if our adversaries have stolen anything physical. Rather, they have rendered the defense of our core beliefs publicly unspeakable, a short step from making them unthinkable. And worse, like death by carbon monoxide, we barely notice the carnage.

The key is how the Left has made expressing these time-honored values tantamount to insensitivity, and in today's Politically Correct world, "offensiveness" is the most egregious sin. To exaggerate only slightly, a public figure confessing to pedophilia is safer than if he were apprehended using the N-word in his private e-mails. Recall the Sony executives caught opining that President Obama prefers films about blacks-the CEO immediately resigned and made a pilgrimage to the Reverend Al Sharpton for absolution. "The Founding Fathers" once brought to mind great patriots who created the Constitution; today, thanks to the Left's relentless propaganda, "Founding Fathers" probably conjures up images of rich white male slave-holders conniving to exploit women and minorities.  
This transformation is often subtle. Just attend a political rally and watch the audience if the speaker begins insisting that the US, like any sovereign nation, has the right to use immigration policy to shape its demography. Guaranteed, even if everyone agrees with this sensible, long-standing policy, listeners grow nervous, fidgety and uncomfortable. Some will worry that such "controversial" ideas should not be voiced in public or, if expressed, cloaked in mushiness to lest some MSNBC commentators or Hispanic activist shout racism. No doubt, the speaker's advisors would have beforehand counseled avoiding the topic altogether-who needs the mass media outrage? The Left has strangled the once Motherhood and Apple Pie argument in the cradle.

Examples of such preemptive destruction abound so defenders of traditional virtues must solder on with fewer and fewer ideas to make their case. When did you last hear a candidate invoke the following once time-honored terms:

Merit, as in the sentence "In today's hyper-competitive world, admission to top universities should only be on merit, not skin color or gender."

Yes, perfectly sensible but rest assured, the speaker will be accused of sabotaging social justice, turning back the clock to the pre-Civil Rights era and advancing white privilege. Upholders of merit thus embrace self-induced paralysis and easily fall back to mindlessly celebrating diversity. 

Work ethic. What could possibly make "work ethic" an insensitive term? According to Political Correctness, calling for a stronger work ethic suggests that some Americans may be deficient in this virtue and "being lazy" is just a code word for public welfare recipients, particularly African Americans. Those praising a "strong work ethic" will immediately be condemned for blaming the victim and ignoring the evils of capitalism and rampant racial discrimination. Never doubt that millions of the unemployed and those on the dole are daily dying to find work. Recall the outrage when Mitt Romney noted that 47% of Americans were happily dependent on government?   

Personal Responsibility. Imagine the uproar if a presidential candidate announced that parents, not government, had a personal responsibility for raising their children and should avoid state-funded daycare, government-supplied meals and similar policies inimical to parenting? To the contemporary Left this former truism is a war on poor children since "everybody knows" that it impossible to successfully raise a child without billions from a nurturing Uncle Sam.

Obey the law. Expressing this virtue seems absolutely safe, but you would be wrong. Even the slightest allusion to crime is "controversial" since, according to the PC faith, "everybody knows" that crime is a racially-tinged code word and to suggest that youngsters should admire crime- fighters, e.g., Batman, not thugs killed by the police, disrespects a culture. Everybody should be free to choose his own "heroes" and anything else is cultural imperialism.   

Thrift How can calling for thrift possibly be offensive? Surely saving money and shunning needless consumerism is a proven pathway out of poverty and what could be wrong with that? Again, this is offensiveness by implication given that thrift is more prevalent among certain groups than others and in today's non-judgmental world, what gives anybody the right to condemn so-called frivolous consumption? After all, economic freedom permits the poor to buy expensive cell phone plans they can ill afford, so a savvy candidate will just avoid linking being a spendthrift to poverty, no matter how solid the advice.

Thick skinned. Picture an office-seeker who explained that society inherently entails daily minor misunderstandings, small criticisms, inadvertent insults, harassments and other trivial hurtfulness and making a big deal out of these frictions subverts civil society. Moreover, trying to eliminate every possible hurtfulness with speech codes and legal fatwas only invites totalitarianism .In other words, America must move beyond the victimhood mentality. Unfortunately, this message disrespects those who define their very being as an eternal victim and implies that their victimhood in a ruse.

And the list of "offensive" words grows by the day. In an interview an African American reporter for the New York Times informed me that the word "colorblind" when said by a white expressed hostility toward blacks. Woe to candidates who even mention "the traditional two-parent family." That would clearly be exclusionary and even hateful.

In today's PC world, only a kamikaze presidential contender would say, "America must return to personal responsibility not government dependency, be a nation of savers not debt-ridden manic shoppers, a self-reliant people who refuse to turn every imagined insult into a federal case who teach their children that criminals are not heroes. And, absent these virtues, America will slide into a struggling Third World Nanny state." 
This speech once would have once brought thunderous applause. Today, by contrast, it would be deemed a collection of insulting gaffs, an invitation to ridicule and a political suicide note.  The PC chorus would be deafening: hateful, insensitive, offensive, extremist, out-of-touch, a war on the poor, an affront to the victims of capitalism and racism. And, regardless of who gave the speech, it would be condemned as a throwback to the bad old days when a bunch of those rich white slaveholders wrote the Constitution.

Obviously, winning the war must begin with taking back our vocabulary. Any volunteers?


Thief who has burgled 200 homes walks free from court after British judge sends him on a victim empathy course instead of prison

A serial thief who admitted committing more than 200 burglaries in just two years has avoided jail and been ordered to attend a ‘victim empathy course’, it was revealed today.

Tomas Drungelas, 33, of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, was spared a prison sentence - despite victims telling the judge that they would ‘be angry’ if he was treated leniently.

The Lithuanian criminal broke into and burgled 202 homes in the Hertfordshire area between 2013 and 2014 to fund his addiction to alcohol and gambling, St Albans Crown Court was told.

But Judge Andrew Bright QC said that he would spare Drungelas jail and send him on a locally-run rehabilitation course called Choices and Consequences, or the ‘C2 Programme’.

He also said Drungelas would be tagged for 36 months, under curfew between 9pm and 6am and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Drungelas was also ordered to go on the victim empathy course as well as attend alcohol and gambling ‘intervention programmes’.

The judge said: ‘The victims of some of the burglaries you have committed have contacted me and expressed their anger if you were to be treated leniently.

‘Under normal circumstances you would face five or six years in prison for the offences you have committed, and many people will say that this is not the way to deal with a prolific burglar.

He added: ‘Some may say that this is a let off, but it is not, because if you break any of the conditions or reoffend you will find yourself back in this court and you will serve the full sentence for the crimes you have admitted to, which could be five or six years in prison.’

The C2 Programme is run by Hertfordshire Constabulary in partnership with the probation service, ‘under the direction’ of Judge Bright.

It aims to turn around the lives of ‘prolific offenders’ to offer them a ‘realistic opportunity to break free from the cycle of crime’. In its first year 31 criminals took part, confessing to 1,800 crimes.



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


Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Privilege Isn’t White

“White privilege” is all the rage . . . on college campuses. But is there anything substantive to the notion?

As long as some folks view individuals as nothing more than their race, I suppose one can accrue a few advantages simply by being part of the largest racial group.

Moreover, as I explained at length in my Sunday column at, numerous government policies do indeed hit minorities harder.

The War on Drugs has ravaged the black community much more than the white community, for example. This may result more from the higher poverty rates for minorities than to race alone: Police and prosecutors are more likely to arrest and harshly prosecute the poor for no better reason than that the poor are less able to defend themselves, legally or politically.

That’s wrong. We very much need major reforms of unaccountable police power and abusive prosecutors as well as end the drug war.

But getting back to that trendy “white privilege” — it misses a big source of “unfair” advantage.

I’m white, but my privilege mostly isn’t. Of my many advantages, my skin pigmentation nowhere near tops the list.

Whatever success I’ve enjoyed derives mostly from this: I was reared by two parents who supported me, nurtured me, corrected me and cared about me every day from before I was born to now.

No government program, no amount of money, can best that gift.

The most critical element in the success of black and brown and yellow and peach and white kids is not a politician who cares, but a parent — or, better yet, two — providing a nurturing environment, including tough love.

We could all use more of the “unfair” advantage that parents provide.


Overweight Leftist bully blames BRITAIN for terrorism

Ed Miliband was tonight facing growing calls to condemn the Labour peer John Prescott of claims Britain is to blame for radicalising young Muslims into joining ISIS.

The former deputy prime minister said the country should 'face up to the fact' that it had somehow pushed already devout youngsters into the throngs of extremism.

He added if he was a young Muslim in Britain today, he too 'could be radicalised' because of 'injustice' in Gaza and US drone strikes in Syria.

His comments were met with fury by MPs today.

Home Affairs Select Committee member Michael Ellis said the Labour leadership needed to criticise the remarks immediately.

Former minister Tim Loughton said Mr Prescott was playing into the hands of ISIS and ‘acting as an apologist for terror’.

Fellow Conservative MP Conor Burns said Mr Prescott's view was 'half-baked, ill thought-out and sensationalist'.

In his weekly column for the Sunday Mirror, Lord Prescott, who last week said Tony Blair's 'bloody crusades' in Iraq had contributed to terrorism, said: 'Isn't it time we faced up to the fact we've played a huge part in making them want to leave Britain and take up arms in a foreign land?'

He was referring to a handful of youngsters to have fled the country to join ISIS extremists abroad. Last week three teenage boys were stopped trying to enter the country at the Turkish border.  A High Court judge banned another group of youngsters from travelling overseas amid fears they were planning to wage jihad.

Rather than blame 'Trojan horse schools', at which he claimed there was 'no proof' of radicalisation, Lord Prescott said of the impressionable teens: 'It wasn't just JIhadi John who radicalised them.'

'If I was a young Muslim watching the social injustice in Gaza where 2,000 people died in a matter of weeks from Israeli bombings, the displacement of millions of people in Syria and the U.S. using drone missiles.... I'm sure I could be radicalised too.'

 John Prescott now appears to be acting as an apologist for terror
Home Affairs Select Committee member Tim Loughton
Mr Ellis, a long-standing member of the respected Home Affairs Select Committee, told MailOnline:

‘We must stand up for our values and defeat extremism – not by apologising but by challenging ideologies which seek to destroy peace and co-operation.

‘John Prescott should focus on that an Ed Miliband should immediately condone these remarks and be clear that these views cannot be justified.’

Mr Loughton said the remarks as ‘extremely dangerous’, adding: ‘John Prescott now appears to be acting as an apologist for terror.

‘I hope Ed Miliband will distance himself from this comments at a time when we need to do everything possible to dissuade young Muslims listening to the poisoned voices of those who try to glamourise a case which characterises itself by murderous barbarism.

‘John Prescott only helps to play into the hands of those who wish to destroy our society and everything that we hold dear.’

Follow Conservative backbencher Mr Burns claimed it was 'one last attempt to make himself relevant'.

‘It is deeply irresponsible for anyone in public life to be suggesting that those who wish to go abroad to make common cause with people who are slaughtering Christians, murdering gay people and whose vowed intent is the elimination of western Liberal democracy.

'To put any of that at the door of the policy of Her Majesty’s government is despicable.

‘People like Prescott would probably want nothing more than for it to blow up between the Jews and the Palestinians. It’s very damaging.’

His comments were also slammed by members of the Muslim community.

'John Prescott an apologist for terrorism, you could have mistakened (sic) him for Asim Qureshi for I'm Cage,' wrote one user calling himself Shaykh Zahir Mahmood.


Dangerous daffodils etc. The top 10 health and safety myths revealed

Among the most ridiculous situations to be prohibited under the guise of health and safety were council parks staff ordering the small wooden canes that protect daffodil bulbs to be removed from the flower bed.

This was because a member of the public complained someone could be hurt should they fall over onto the flowers.

The Health and Safety Executive's Myth Busters Challenge Panel refuted it was a health and safety issue, stating in its decision that 'the request from the park's department to remove the canes is completely disproportionate to the minor hazards presented by them'.

In another equally absurd scenario, a chippie refused to allow a customer to use his salt and vinegar shakers to apply their preferred amount to their meal, as the chippie couldn't be sure the individual's hands were clean.

The panel ruled this problem could be easily solved by providing a separate shakers for customers, or salt and vinegar sachets.

And a third case involved the first nightclub in Britain to ban selfie sticks.

Although the panel said the ban was entirely reasonable - it was unfortunate the club's management used the smokescreen of health and safety to do so.

More than 600 people approached the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Myth Busters Challenge Panel in its first three years after being told ‘health and safety’ stopped them from doing something.

Work and Pensions Minister, Lord Freud said: 'People have had enough of bizarre health and safety excuses.

'The HSE’s myth busters panel is quashing these ridiculous excuses and making sure people know it isn’t the law standing in their way.

'For too long businesses have been consumed by red tape and confusion, often feeling they needed to go beyond the requirements of the law, but it’s never been easier to understand the rules and make the right choice, without diluting protection for workers.'


Pork Crackling not on the menu at a restaurant because it might splash the chef

Prams banned from a children’s centre for health and safety reasons

Dangerous daffodils removed from a village green

Custard pie fight at a local event cancelled because of health and safety

Chippy not allowing customers to put salt and vinegar on their fish and chips

Ban on playing with conkers and yo-yos, using skipping ropes, and climbing trees

Selfie sticks banned in a nightclub

Sheep and cow droppings in a field stopping a scout group camping

School production cancelled because lighting operator had not attended ladder training course

Office ban on paperclips


Yes, we should abolish workplace race laws

Anti-discrimination laws heighten racial sensitivity and destroy meritocracy

What did UKIP leader Nigel Farage say to prompt the following responses: ‘pretty appalling’ (prime minister David Cameron); ‘irresponsible’ (deputy prime minister Nick Clegg); ‘wrong, divisive and dangerous’ (Labour Party leader Ed Miliband); ‘one of the most shocking things I have ever heard’ (Labour’s justice spokesman Sadiq Khan); and something ‘that Goebbels [the Nazi minister of propaganda] would be proud of’ (Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi)?

Had Farage taken leave of his senses and suddenly declared his support for the Islamic State? No, not quite. He had merely claimed it was time to scrap the UK’s race-discrimination laws. And what should have been the cue for a serious debate about workplace race-discrimination laws was snuffed out within hours, with even the usually robust Farage appearing to backtrack.

The irony, no doubt lost on the political establishment that sought to silence any debate about race-discrimination laws, is that Farage made the comments in a documentary, to be shown on Channel 4 this Thursday, called Things We Won’t Say About Race (That Are True). So, the first point from the documentary’s title has already been established before the programme is even aired: there are some things that we won’t (or can’t) say about race, such as race-discrimination laws should be scrapped.

As for things we won’t say about race that are true, it’s often the case that truth is the first casualty of unthinking censure. And when that censure is expressed by the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, then it is just possible that Farage’s argument to scrap race-discrimination laws hit upon an important truth.

In the interests of developing the debate that Farage tried to start, here’s my three-point argument for scrapping race-discrimination laws: (1) anti-racism is about promoting equality of opportunity (for all races); (2) today’s race-discrimination laws promote equality of outcome; and (3), equality of outcome is the enemy of a meritocratic workplace



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


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top violator of women's rights around the world? It's Israel says UN

The U.N. sends itself up again.  Why is the USA still a member of this ratbag outfit?

Guess who is the number one violator of women’s rights in the world today?  Israel.  Violating the rights of Palestinian women.

At least that is the view of the UN’s top women’s rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  CSW ends its annual meeting on Friday, March 20 by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women’s rights – Israel.

Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Where in 2014 the Assad regime starved, tortured and killed at least 24,000 civilians, and three million people – mostly women and children – are refugees.

In fact, not only is there no possibility that the UN Commission on the Status of Women will criticize Iran, Iran is an elected member of CSW.  Sudan – whose president has been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity – is currently a CSW Vice-Chair.

Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing, are almost entirely excluded from political life, cannot drive, cannot travel without a male relative, receive half the inheritance of their brothers, and where their testimony counts for half that of a man’s.

Not Sudan.  Where domestic violence is not prohibited.  There is no minimum age for “consensual” sex.  The legal age of marriage for girls is ten. 88% of women under 50 have undergone female genital mutilation. And women are denied equal rights in marriage, inheritance and divorce.

Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified.  “Adultery” is punishable by death by stoning.  Women who fight back against rapists and kill their attackers are executed. The constitution bars female judges. And women must obtain the consent of their husbands to work outside the home.

In fact, not only is there no possibility that the UN Commission on the Status of Women will criticize Iran, Iran is an elected member of CSW.  Sudan – whose president has been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity – is currently a CSW Vice-Chair.

The 2015 CSW resolution on Israel will repeat, as it does every year, that “the Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society…”

Not Palestinian men.  Not religious edicts and traditions. Not a culture of violence. Not an educational system steeped in rejection of peaceful coexistence and of tolerance.

Instead, the fault for a UN statistic like this one – an average of 17% of Palestinian women are in the labor force as compared to 70% of Palestinian men – lies with the Jewish scapegoat.

That fact comes from one of only nine official documents produced by the UN for the 2015 annual CSW meeting.  Eight were procedural or general in nature, and one was entitled:  “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women.”

By comparison, there was no report on Chinese women and girls, half a billion people without elementary civil and political rights, who still face the prospect of forced abortion and sterilization.

There was no report on women in Somalia, where female genital mutilation is ubiquitous, sexual violence is rampant, and women are systematically subordinate to men.

There was no report on women in Yemen, where the penal code goes easy on the killers of women for “immodest” or “defiant” behavior, there is no minimum age for “marriage,” and women have no equal rights to property, employment, credit, pay, education, or housing.

And the women’s rights scene is not the only liberal sham at the UN.

The UN’s top human rights body, the Human Rights Council (HRC), will wrap up a major session next week by adopting a minimum of four times as many resolutions slamming Israel than any other country on earth.

Condemnations of Israel will include a resolution demanding Israel immediately give back the Golan Heights to Syria – the place where Syrians run from their own government for life-saving Israeli medical care.

Tallying all the resolutions and decisions condemning a specific state over the history of the Human Rights Council, one-third has been directed at Israel alone.

Remember Ukraine? In the past year, there have been at least 5,500 confirmed killed – with recent reports from Germany suggesting the total may be as high as 50,000 dead – in addition to a million people displaced.  But the score is 67 Council resolutions and decisions attacking Israel and zero on Russia. 

So who is calling the shots at the Council? A closer look at its members reveals human rights luminaries like Qatar – that bankrolls the terrorist organization Hamas – along with China, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

It is impossible to add this all up and conclude that the UN’s treatment of Israel is anything but wildly discriminatory. In the twisted language of UN rights, the means is the verbiage of equality, while the end game is prejudice.

The Obama administration has an answer to this dilemma. Vote against the resolutions, while paying the fees to run the bodies that adopt them. Join and legitimize the institution, while consoling the delegitimized that it feels their pain.

As Secretary Kerry told the Council on March 2, 2015: “President Obama and I support the HRC…” and “the HRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization.”  “Risks undermining” – as opposed to “has grossly undermined already.”

This attitude towards the UN’s demonization of Israel foreshadows the administration’s Israel policy in the days ahead – a policy unaffected by Israeli election results.

The Palestinians will continue to use the UN and the International Criminal Court to attempt to accomplish with lethal politics what they have never been able to do with lethal force.  And President Obama will hold open the door.


Courts remind EEOC again: Background checks don’t equal racism

The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices displays dozens of “amazingly useless gadgets,” including such oddities as the Battle Creek Vibratory Chair, which shook patients violently to increase oxygen flow, and the Cosmos Bag, a radioactive cloth sack designed to cure arthritic joints with radium-laced water.

Modern medicine would easily identify these devices as absurd and unworkable. A clever pitch man claiming professional credentials can make something up and sell it to a gullible audience, willing to try anything to get the desired result.  

Trying anything to get the desired result, however, is not a good strategy for engineering social change through litigation, as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was recently reminded (again) by a federal Court of Appeals.  

In EEOC v Freeman, the commission once again relied on the statistical analysis of an industrial psychologist to try to prove that an event planning company discriminated against black male job applicants when it ran credit and criminal background checks.

On Feb. 20, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the statistical case presented by the EEOC was “rife with analytical errors,” “completely unreliable,” and contained a “mind-boggling number of errors and unexplained discrepancies.”  The Fourth Circuit judges tossed the EEOC’s case, just as the Sixth Circuit did in 2014, when the EEOC relied on the same expert whose report was rejected for containing the same types of fatal flaws.

For years, the EEOC has doggedly pursued litigation against companies whose background check procedures it deemed too expansive and discriminatory. The EEOC’s strategy relies on the observation that, under certain circumstances, the use of criminal background and credit checks as a pre-hiring screen tends to eliminate minority applicants in disproportionate numbers.  The EEOC claims that this violates Title VII.

But wait a minute.  Just because your arthritis got better doesn’t mean it was because of the Cosmos Bag.  Correlation and causation are not the same thing.  

Statistical data show that a higher proportion of minorities have criminal records than non-minorities.  The NAACP reports that African Americans and Hispanics makeup 58 percent of prisoners, despite making up only a quarter of the general population.  There are undoubtedly a variety of factors that influence those numbers, but employers who perform routine background checks on prospective hires have no control over whom police arrest, governments prosecute, or juries convict.  If there is injustice in the justice system, employers performing background checks are not the ones to blame.

The reason that criminal background checks reveal more convictions for minorities is because more minorities have been convicted, not because employers who run pre-hire background checks are engaging in unlawful discrimination. 

The EEOC’s insurmountable hurdle, therefore, is proving race discrimination, which the agency must do through statistics.  If a criminal background check were racist, it would have to screen out minorities in a higher proportion than the rate at which minorities have been convicted of crimes.  

To date, the EEOC’s efforts to prove disparate impact through statistics have had roughly the same level of success as the Battle Creek Vibratory Chair. 

Last year, the Sixth Circuit called the EEOC’s statistical case against an employer “a homemade methodology, crafted by a witness with no particular expertise to craft it, administered by persons with no particular expertise to administer it, tested by no one, and accepted only by the witness himself.”  The commission then used the same expert again – with the same result.

If the EEOC’s theory were statistically supportable, it would not be so hard for the EEOC to find statistical support.  Yet, as Judge Roger Titus wrote when dismissing the EEOC’s case at the trial court level, the commission’s race discrimination argument is a “theory in search of facts to support it.”  Court after court has panned the EEOC’s approach.

The goal of promoting employment for qualified, rehabilitated individuals with criminal records is a worthwhile one.  The EEOC, however, has no statutory mandate allowing it to pursue that goal.  Strong-arming companies by filing unprovable disparate impact lawsuits is not the best model for engineering social change.

Fortunately, there is a better way.  States like Georgia have enacted laws that allow reformed ex-offenders to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation.  Employers who hire these ex-offenders receive immunity against negligent hire claims.

The Georgia program addresses head-on the worthwhile goal of promoting employment for rehabilitated ex-offenders and does so in a way that provides critical legal safeguards for employers. This carrot-based approach provides ex-offenders a path for re-entry into mainstream society, while giving employers the legal protection they need so they can reasonably take a chance on giving someone a second chance.

That is a much more common sense approach than the EEOC’s discredited statistical gadgetry.

In 2002, the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices closed, and its collection was donated to the Science Museum of Minnesota, where curiosity seekers can still hook themselves up to a phrenology machine that measures intelligence and morality based on the size of bumps on the head.

It remains to be seen whether the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision will prompt the EEOC to change its much-maligned approach to background checks.  If the EEOC is finally ready to retire its repeatedly discredited expert statistical papers, the museum is accepting donations.


When state trumps church

By Anthony Furey

“Ignorant” has got to be one of the most misused words today. An ignorant person is someone who is uninformed, missing some key information.  Not someone who holds an opinion that you don’t share.

Are the people who support banning the niqab during citizenship oaths ignorant? For some, sure. It could be a knee-jerk position they’ve latched onto without much reflection. But – memo to the politically correct! – it’s also possible to oppose the niqab from an informed and educated position.

I’ve read the Qur’an multiple times. I’ve done the crash course in Islamic history and jurisprudence. I routinely chat with Muslims, both supremacists and liberal. Heck, I even watched Lawrence of Arabia as a kid.

So when I argue that wearing the niqab is a pretty bad choice to make and that the government is completely right to insist women remove it during citizenship oaths, I’m not saying that out of ignorance.

It’s actually the sad faux-feminists out there aligning themselves with a religion that has misogyny bred in the bone who are the ignorant ones.

The more I study religion, the more I don’t like it. This goes particularly for Islam, the religion that demands absolute submission (hey, that’s more or less what the name means).

We heathens can’t tell you how the universe was created or what the meaning of life is. But that doesn’t in turn mean the many dodgy claims made by religions are automatically correct.

I highly doubt a god actually told ancestors of my Jewish friends to take a knife to their genitals. I don’t believe Jesus’ mom never had sex nor do I believe it’s possible to turn water into wine. (Although if that last one does turn out to be true, I’ll return to the Roman Catholic Church in a heartbeat, jaw open, head tilted back.)

And I most certainly don’t believe that Muhammad was visited by an angel – while alone in the desert without any witnesses! How convenient! – and received the final revelation of god.

That over a billion people disagree is immaterial. Truth is not determined by mob rule.

The above is simply to illustrate that it’s permissible to view religion with knitted eyebrows. It’s okay to have disdain for one or all of them.

If we can passionately bicker over which hockey team sucks more, we certainly can and should do it for something of greater geopolitical consequence as religion.

Yet too many politically correct posers in the West think this shouldn’t be the case. In a speech last week, Justin Trudeau put the vice grip on free thought by accusing critics of Islam of “stoking anxiety and fomenting fear.”

Western society routinely makes degrading jokes about Christians. Anti-Semitism abounds (with friends like these…). Nobody gets too freaked out about this.

But somehow Islam – the one lacking a critical culture, the least self-reflecting, least humorous and therefore most troublesome monotheism – is treated like a victim when exposed to legitimate criticism.

It’s pathetic to see the social media misfits hash-tagging away their #dresscodePM antics – facetiously acting like the prime minister wants to approve all public female clothing choices because he doesn’t want the niqab worn during citizenship oaths.

Okay, we get it. You don’t like Harper. But do you have to embarrass yourself by deliberately misunderstanding the issue and, in turn, siding with the theocrats?

This is not about how women dress at all. It’s about how some people destructively believe random religious edicts should be able to dictate civic procedure in a non-theocracy.

The niqab conversation is a sectarian issue. It’s a religious choice – a choice one should be free to make when out and about in a free society. It’s dictatorial to tell people how to dress in public and outright burqa bans are wrong.

But the rules change when you go from walking about on the street to interacting with the state in an important civic matter. Your primary identity in these interactions is not, for example, as a Muslim woman. It’s as a citizen.

It would be lovely if religious and civic responsibility never came into conflict. But evidently they sometimes do. And in the civic sphere, civic duties come first.

It’s deeply troubling that an aspiring citizen would attempt to assert the superiority of her religion over the state while fulfilling her first civic responsibility.

Why is Harper the one being called intolerant? It’s these new Canadians who are being intolerant of a country gracious enough to extend them citizenship.

Any serious country must assert that a citizen’s religious duties come second to their civic responsibilities. If not, it’s not a country anymore. It’s just a land of appeasement begging to be walked all over.

And what happens when two groups with equally earnest but contradictory claims to special treatment come into conflict? That’s when we realize what a joke accommodation has become.

It’s not ignorant to argue this. It’s not sexist. It’s about understanding the sanctity of civic life.


Stop Smearing Critics of Islam as Islamophobes

Branding everything a "phobia" stifles meaningful debate

The UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission has disgusted everyone who owns a moral compass by giving its international “Islamophobe of the Year Award” to Charlie Hebdo.

Yep, that’s right—not content that the editors and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo have already been summarily executed for the “crime” of Islamophobia, the IHRC now wants to posthumously insult them, metaphorically branding their corpses with the i-word so that everyone remembers what scumbags they were.

The IHRC, a charity founded in 1997 to research, study, and bleat about anyone who is less than fawning about Islam, initiated the Annual Islamophobia Awards in 2003. The winners are, of course, not actually anti-Muslim bigots, but simply people who have had the temerity to criticize some aspect of Islamic faith or culture.

So Ayaan Hirsi Ali has won one for failing to show sufficient respect to the religion that ruined her childhood. How dare she! Tony Blair was awarded one as well, proving that even painfully PC politicians who go around quoting the Koran and saying what a wonderful religion Islam is can still find themselves labelled haters.

And now, eclipsing even those previous undeserving winners, Charlie Hebdo has been dishonored with an award. On March 7, exactly two months after the massacre—nice—the IHRC christened that mag the worst of the international Islamophobes. No one from the magazine was available to pick up the award, of course, since many of its writers are now dead.

The IHRC’s labelling of freshly-killed satirists is like a post-mortem justification for the massacre itself, a reminder of the “crimes” these people committed prior to being shot at their desks. In fact, it’s merely a less bloody version of the Islamic State’s habit of hanging a placard around the neck of some poor bloke about to be crucified or pushed off a building: a reminder of the wickedness done by these individuals who are being, or have been, executed.

It isn’t surprising that the IHRC’s giggling at the dead of Charlie Hebdo has been met with outrage. But now we need to go further. We need to reject, not only the grisly handing of an Islamophobia award to dead cartoonists, but also the very idea of Islamophobia—the word itself, the notion that to criticize or mock Islam is to be disordered and therefore in need of reprimanding or a cure.

We live in an era of phobias. They are apparently spreading like a ravenous blob, turning more and more human minds black with prejudice. Today, it isn’t only fear of spiders, clowns, or open spaces that is branded a phobia—so are certain ways of thinking, certain beliefs, moral viewpoints that fall outside the mainstream.

Islam is protected from ridicule not only by the slur of Islamophobia, but also through accusations of “hijabphobia” against anyone who criticizes the veil, and “shariaphobia,” which is used to brand as sickly those who think Western democratic nations should have one, universal law applicable to everyone rather than different courts for different folks.

One Muslim writer describes hijabphobia as an “irrational fear" that has “crept into the subconscious of the unsuspecting all over the world.” So you might think your dislike of the veil is motored by secular, liberal concern for the treatment of women as frail sexual creatures who must always be hidden, but actually you're sick; you've been infected by a fear of the Other.

Shariaphobia is, according to one dictionary, “fear or hatred of sharia law.” The heated debate about the introduction of a sharia tribunal in Texas has led to accusations of shariaphobia. A writer for the Texan paper the Star-Telegram said commentators’ criticisms of the tribunal show that “shariaphobia is back.” So even the suggestion that we should have one law for all—a pretty standard Enlightenment idea—is now rebranded a weird, dark fear.

The purpose of all these utterly invented phobias is to delegitimize moral criticism of Islam by depicting it as irrational, fuelled by fearful thoughts that the mass media probably implanted in your unwitting brain. It’s like an informal, non-legal enforcement of strictures against blasphemy. Whereas the Inquisition branded disbelievers as morally disordered “deniers,” today’s intolerant protectors of Islam brand critics of that religion as morally disordered “phobes.” In Europe, a hotbed of phobia-policing, people have actually been arrested, convicted, and fined for the crime of “Islamophobia”—a direct echo of the Inquisition’s trial and punishment of those who, in retrospect, we should probably call Bibliophobes.

It isn’t only Islam and its sympathizers who use the phobe label to chill legitimate moral debate. Everyone’s at it.

Gay-rights activists have become way too fond of using the word “homophobe,” not only to attack actual anti-gay bigots but also to slam people who simply oppose gay marriage, for religious reasons, or who aren’t in love with every aspect of the gay lifestyle. Here, too, legit moral viewpoints are reimagined as irrational fears and in the process demonized. Homosexuality was once treated as a mental illness; now criticism of homosexuality is described, in the words of psychiatrist and writer Martin Kantor, as an “emotional disorder.”

Heaven help anyone who criticizes any aspect of transgender politics. Question the idea that boys who identify as girls should be allowed to use the girls’ toilets at school and you’re a transphobe. Wonder out loud if gender is at least partly biological and you're a transphobe. Accidentally call Chelsea Manning Bradley Manning and you’re the most foul, irrational, phobic creature in Christendom.

There’s also biphobia, lesbophobia, whorephobia (used against feminists who, wrongly in my view, want to outlaw prostitution), fatphobia, ecophobia (for people who aren’t eco-friendly and, what’s more, think green politics is a crock), and on it goes.

What we’re witnessing is the pathologizing of dissent, the treatment of edgy or just eccentric ideas as illnesses requiring silencing or even treatment. It’s a cynical attempt by certain groups and their media cheerleaders to opt-out of the battle of ideas by branding their opponents as irrational, and therefore not worthy of engagement.

Pathologizing moral thought has long been the favored tactic of the most authoritarian regimes. Think of the Soviet Union dumping dissenters in lunatic asylums. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, O’Brien, the torturer in Room 101, offers to cure Winston Smith of his anti-authority outlook: “You are mentally deranged," he tells him. “Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? To cure you! To make you sane!”

The 21st-century West is rife with O’Briens, keen to cure us of our phobias. We should respond by challenging the phobia-accusers to ditch the name-calling and instead take part in real, honest, moral debate.



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


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I am outraged

I was brought up as a Presbyterian and, culturally, I guess I still am one.  I even still read Presbyterian publications at times. So the lily-livered report below from one such publication is deeply disappointing to me.

The report is from the head of the Presbyterian church in Queensland, Australia, and his report is of a meeting with  local Muslim leaders. So did the meeting express any concern at all about the large-scale and grievous attacks on Christians in Muslim lands? 

Such attacks were not mentioned at all. We read that the meeting was "to express concern about the violence that has been perpetrated against some Muslims simply because they are Muslims". 

And in the press release we find out what the "violence" was: "recent negative sentiments expressed toward Muslims and especially Muslim women".  So rape, torture and death of thousands of Christians fades into insignificance compared with a few harsh words about Muslims! 

I am flabbergasted.  The man quotes the Bible but he is a Pharisee, a hypocrite, an abomination and a "whited sepulchre".

Has he not read: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matt. 25:40).  Christ had great concern for every one of his followers but the Rt. Rev. Phil Case apparently does not.

He was only one of the church leaders at the meeting but he voices no disquiet about its reprehensible proceedings.

Heads of Churches meeting with members of Queensland Islamic council

By Rt. Rev. Phil Case (Moderator of the Presbyterian church in Queensland)

I attended the Heads of Churches meeting on the 20th October. We met with the Brisbane leaders of the Islamic community.

Some might ask why we would meet with them when our faiths are so different. This was not a meeting about the content of our respective faiths, but a meeting to express concern about the violence that has been perpetrated against some Muslims simply because they are Muslims. It was a meeting to support the Freedom of Religion we enjoy in Australia.

I think it was Evelyn Beatrice Hall biographer of Voltaire who wrote “I disapprove of what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

If we do not speak out against these actions pertaining to people because of their religion, how can we speak out when we are acted against because of our Christian faith? We do not share beliefs with the Islamic Community, but we do share our humanity with them. Our Lord has commanded us to love our neighbour, and to love our enemies.

Speaking out in defence of their right to live in peace as law abiding citizens is doing just this. Aggression toward people arises from fear; fear of that which is different, fear of that which we do not know and understand.

It would be good if we as Christians could take the time to get to know our Islamic neighbours and show them love at the appropriate level. How can we expect them to listen to us if we will not listen to them and take the time to get to know them?

Not only is this an opportunity to live out the commands of our Lord to love our neighbour, but it is an opportunity to share the Gospel with people who desperately need it. God has brought these people to our shores, but the tragedy is that most of these people have no more contact with Christians than they would if they still lived in their Islamic homeland.

They hear no more of the Gospel and know no more of Christianity than those in countries where Christians are not free to share the Gospel. In 1 Peter 3:15-16 we read " your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience..."

If Christ is Lord, we are to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask about our faith and hope. But no one is going to ask about our hope if we never bother to meet and get to know anyone.

Note also, that we are to do it with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. We are always to act with care and respect for those we speak to. It is interesting that this is Peter’s command to those who may be afraid of persecution (see verse 14).

We are not to be afraid. We are not to fear anything because our Lord is in control. Let us take the opportunity while it is day to do good to all men and to share the Gospel.

I encourage all Christians to learn not just about the beliefs of Islam, but also to get to know some people who practise Islam. Our common humanity ensures we have much in common with them.

Many of their concerns are our concerns. They are having open days at mosques and are open to invitations to events that we might hold at our churches. This is a golden opportunity to build peace and share the Gospel as the Lord permits.

It will take time and effort to build relationships in which questions can be asked and answered, but let’s not miss out.

Media Release:

Heads of Churches meeting with members of Queensland Islamic Council

by Rt Rev Phil Case

On Monday 20 October, the Heads of Christian Churches met with members of the Islamic Council of Queensland to consider ways of strengthening relations between the Christian and Islamic communities in the State that promote respect and harmony.

The meeting was precipitated by the concern over the recent negative sentiments expressed toward Muslims and especially Muslim women.

The meeting abhorred such actions, and called upon all Queenslanders to respect the right of all Australians to enjoy Freedom of Religion, and seeks to promote ways in which understanding and tolerance between people of different faiths can be increased.

Churches represented included the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Uniting, Congregational Federation of Australian and New Zealand, Australian Christian Churches, Presbyterian Church of Queensland and the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia.

As well as members of the Queensland Islamic Council there were also representatives of the Council of Imams, Crescents of Brisbane and AMARAH in attendance.

Topics discussed included supporting freedom of religious practices and ideas within the Australian community; showing dignity to all people regardless of their beliefs and ways of life; and speaking with a united voice to government and politicians on topics of mutual concern.

As well it was agreed to support initiatives such as the open mosque days, organising forums to educate the wider community about Islam


Phil's email is should you wish to give him your comments

Nazi policy from some hypocritical Australian luvvies

The theatrical world is generally very Leftist.  Fantasy is their trade

A Sydney theatre has refused a young Jewish theatre group’s request to use its venue in an alleged act of discrimination.

The Jewish group, Hillel is a not-for-profit educational and cultural organisation which aims to ‘inspire university-aged young adults to engage with Jewish life’ and become future leaders.

The group are planning a series of performances about survivors of the holocaust and were in search of a venue.

When Hillel made an application to perform at The Red Rattler Theatre in Sydney’s inner west, they were shocked at the email they received in response.

‘Our policy does not support colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine,’ the Marrickville Theatre group responded curtly.

Members of the youth group could not believe that they were being rejected, allegedly due to their religious beliefs.

Assistant director Shailee Mendelvich was confounded when she received the rejection email from The Red Rattler Theatre group.

‘I was shocked and disappointed because I believe that denying a Jewish group the right to make a commercial booking is clearly racial discrimination and, in this case, Antisemitism,’ Ms Mendelvich told Daily Mail Australia

Ms Mendelvich was particularly troubled by the rejection as The Red Rattler Theatre are also a not-for-profit, artist-run company which purports to have ‘community at heart’.

On their website, the Red Rattler claim that the theatre ‘was set up as a space where racism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism are not welcome on stage, in the audience, at the door, and at the bar.’

‘We ask you to join us in efforts to make this space welcoming, stimulating, and happiness producing to people regardless of their ethnicity, sexuality or gender.’

Hillel believes that the decision to reject a Jewish theatre group contradicts the company’s ethos.

‘I hope that people working in community service and the not-for-profit sector can acknowledge the common ground we share, especially for events that encourage honest and open creative expression for important cultural or social issues.’

The event series, called ‘Moth’, is a performance evening to ‘encourage people to express themselves in a creative way’.

The upcoming event aims to ‘unpack what it means to be the third generation of holocaust survivors.'

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff have written to the theatre to express his concern that Hillel have been discriminated ‘based on conflicts taking place far from Australia.’

Mr Alhadeff sent the letter on March 13 and has placed several calls with The Red Rattler but is yet to receive a response.

‘It is disappointing that a theatre group (The Red Rattler Theatre company) let politics get in the way of policies, as they claim their ethos is about equality and acceptance,' Mr Alhadeff told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Alhadeff also reiterated that the group are apolitical and the purpose of the performance would be to explore the impact of the holocaust on modern generations, rather than engaging with the issue of the occupation of Palestine.

‘These young people have been the subject of discrimination because of an overseas conflict whilst conducting a play which had nothing whatsoever to do with any conflict overseas,' he said.

‘Their focus was on exploring the lessons future generations can learn from the holocaust survivors.’

‘The Jewish community in Australia are Australians. This is very disappointing as we need to be able to embrace difference and focus on the shared values we have as Australians.'

The Hillel theatre group continue to search for a venue for their performance and are looking forward to the series, which will include the spoken word, poetry, acoustic instrumental performances and rap.

Daily Mail Australia attempted to contact The Red Rattler Theatre Company for comment but did not receive any reply.


Britons smugly boast of Magna Carta... while all it stands for is being trampled

This country is now in the grip of a permanent inquisition into the past. It can never really end, or find out the truth, because there is no objective test of it.

Many of those being investigated are dead. The only effect of it is to discredit and undermine what is left of our institutions, from Parliament to the police.

Do people have any idea how much our civilisation depends on trust, or of what will happen when it is gone?

But it is even worse than that. As we boast of our supposed respect for Magna Carta and national liberty, we are trampling on them.

I suspect that many in politics and the media, like me, are worried by this. But they fear to say anything because they can feel the hot breath of the mob on their necks.

The moment you say that Geoffrey Dickens was a buffoon with a poor grasp of facts, that his ‘dossier’ on child abuse might not have amounted to very much, and was lost for that reason, some basement-dweller hunched in the sickly glow of his computer screen will start muttering ‘What’s he got to hide?’ and ‘Perhaps he was one of them’.

From such accusations there is no escape, especially in an age when bemedalled field marshals in their 90s can have their homes searched by officious gendarmes. The word ‘police’ can really no longer be applied to this bureaucratic, continental-style militia of paramilitary social workers, jangling with weapons, loaded with powers they aren’t fit to wield, and almost wholly bereft of common sense.

The quiet collapse of English liberty, and the shortage of people willing to defend it against the braying demands of ‘security’, has left us all powerless against the state. If Lord Bramall is not safe from this sort of treatment, nobody is.

I must stress here that I have no opinions at all on the guilt or innocence of anyone accused of such crimes. I am morally and legally bound to presume that they are innocent, unless and until their guilt is proved.

That presumption, far more than a near-useless vote or a ‘Human Rights’ Act, is the single most important defence we have against tyranny. Once it has gone, in practice, the state may at any time invade your home, seize your possessions, lock you up for ever and melt the key, simply because it does not like you. And it can invent reasons to do so, which a gullible media will unquestioningly accept.

Any judge of spirit, faced with the behaviour of police and prosecutors in modern Britain, really ought to throw out all such cases because it is impossible for those accused to have a fair trial.

Everyone will have seen on TV the processions of grim-jawed gendarmes in white forensic suits carting away computers, houses surrounded with cars and vans with flashing lights, the hovering helicopters, the self-righteous officers enjoying their fame as they trawl for ‘victims’ and promising such persons – as they have no right to do – that ‘You will be believed. We will support you’.

It is no part of a policeman’s job to believe either the accused or the accusers. Imagine how you would feel if the police told alleged burglars awaiting trial, and denying their guilt, that ‘you will be believed’. It is their job, and that of the courts, to assemble a case and seek to prove it before an impartial jury.

Over many years, those protections have been salami-sliced away. The innocent have never been at more risk of ruin. But at the same time, the police and the courts have almost completely failed to deter or control actual crime, much of which now goes unrecorded, unprosecuted and unpunished.

Our system is so upside-down and back-to-front that you can now be cautioned for rape, or be let out on bail after being convicted of crimes as grievous as manslaughter; yet in the late evening of your years, full of honour, having risked your life for your country and having done great service to the state, you can be publicly smeared by some jack-in-office.

The place where our demolished liberty once stood has been cleared of all traces, and rolled flat. In such conditions, we merely await the construction of the new totalitarian state in which our children will have to live.


On the neurotically fragile always-offended nudniks

In 21st Century America, hypersensitive people are going out of their way to make their imagined oppressors or assailants feel miserable, and the hypersensitive are acting like bullies and inflicting acts of aggression and suffering against innocent others as well.

But why are so many people so thin-skinned nowadays? It seems to be such a world-wide phenomenon now. A lot of people have to be very careful with what they say and they have to censor themselves around others.

But such socially pathological tiptoeing, intolerance and outright censorship has made its way up to academia and the court system. 30 years ago, we didn’t have to deal with this stuff, and could more or less freely just say what we wanted in social situations, and not fear being ostracized, or worse.

On college campuses, conservative speakers are either shouted down or just banned from campus entirely. That’s nothing new, of course. But more recently, some college campuses are issuing letters urging “civility.” To them, unfortunately, being “civil” means being politically correct. Frankly, the new “civility” really is the stifling of diversity and free expression.

Some colleges are banning the utterances of certain words or phrases, such as the word “freshman” at Elon University. As the College Fix notes, the reason Elon is replacing the word “freshman” with “first year” is because, according to the university’s director of “Inclusive Community Well-Being,” the word “freshman” may imply a hierarchy and may refer to some students as younger and less experienced, and could cause the younger students to be targeted for sexual violence. (I am Not. Making. This. Up.)

So “freshman” implies the younger students, but that word’s replacement, “first year,” does not?

And also according to the College Fix, now forbidden at the University of Michigan includes the words “crazy,” “insane,” “retarded,” “gay,” “tranny,” “gypped,” “illegal alien,” “fag,” “ghetto,” “raghead,” and the phrases “I want to die” and “that test raped me.”

Huh? “I want to die”? (Tell that to Roseanne Roseannadanna.)

And “That test raped me”? I’ve never even heard that before. Who the hell would even say that? Hmm, I wonder if the parents who are paying such insane tuition rates for this crazy stuff might feel a little gypped now? Ya think?

Apparently, if someone uses the word “rape” in such a nonchalant or insensitive manner, such an utterance trivializes that act of sexual violence, and for those who happened to have been victims they feel re-traumatized when hearing certain words and phrases. Such language “triggers” terrible, painful emotions and fear. This has been happening to non-victims as well. But many people are just neurotically over-sensitive now, in my view.

Just what is it with the thin-skinned people now that their merely hearing someone happening to say certain words or phrases — not directed at them, mind you, just happening to be spoken — causes someone to be re-traumatized? If that’s the case, then it is they who may need some further counseling to resolve some issues that they may have, rather than censoring, silencing and stifling someone else’s mere verbal expression, regardless how silly, immature or rude such an expression might be.

I’m sorry if I sound extremely insensitive here, but, seriously, we really have to pussyfoot around and censor ourselves verbally these days, just to protect the overly-sensitive feelings of someone whose fragile being may be harmed emotionally in some way.

In fact, that situation has become so absurd that a male college student, who happened to resemble a rape victim’s assailant, was actually banned from campus and prevented from getting to his classes, and so on. Need I add any further comment to that? (I think not.)

But I wonder how many people who have not been the victims of sexual assault are nevertheless joining in and saying that they, too, feel traumatized by others’ utterances of certain words or phrases? Or are the younger generations now being so indoctrinated to believe that they feel traumatized because that’s the “correct” or socially acceptable reaction that they should be having? Just asking.

And it isn’t just college campuses or the government schools engaging in so much censorship absurdity. As I mentioned, it’s the culture in general.

A similar phenomenon occurs when the subject of Israel is brought up. Nowadays in the modern, developed, advanced age of 21st Century discourse, it is very difficult to express any kind of criticism of Israel, the Israeli government or its military’s aggressions against Gaza or settlers’ intrusions in the West Bank, without being accused of anti-Semitism or being labeled “self-hating Jew”.

And we see this intolerance of critical thinking and of questioning the official government-approved narrative in today’s politicians who dare not criticize U.S. government foreign policy when it comes to Israel.

In fact, just recently members of Congress fell over themselves trying to get close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as though they were seeing the Beatles singing on Capitol Hill. And obviously they feared some kind of terrible consequences had they not vigorously applauded Netanyahu’s every word and sentence, regardless of how ridiculous some of his statements were. Sen. Rand Paul even received very negative feedback from the neocons he has been trying to court because of his tepid, unenthusiastic clapping.

And in New York last Fall activists organized a censorship campaign and protests against the production of the opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, as I had predicted months earlier that there would be. It is unlikely that most of the protesters had ever seen the opera, but that didn’t matter to them. It contains material referring to the Palestinian hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, the murder of a Jewish American passenger, and themes pertaining to the Palestinians’ grievances, which to some people meant that it was “anti-Semitic” and an example of “Jew-hatred,” which “glorified terrorism.” However, one orthodox Jew who saw the performance said it was not anti-Semitic, and others stated that it did not glorify terrorism. But the ones who were ignorant about the opera, but seemed to not tolerate different points of view on Israel, wanted to make fools of themselves and display their ignorance anyway.

And this intolerance of Israel’s critics or of any form of speech that could refer to something that might not be parroting the official pro-Israel narrative has also reached the college campuses.

For her campaign for the student government’s senate, University of California Berkeley student Sumayyah Din used the hashtag “#DINTIFADA,” a combination of her last name and the word “intifada,” which refers to “uprising,” “rebellion,” or civil disobedience.

But after her Facebook post, some campus pro-Israel groups claimed that “#dintifada” was offensive, and they felt “triggered” and “terrorized,” and some began to imply that her campaign was promoting terrorism, violence and the murders of innocent Jewish children.

Mondoweiss notes that StandWithUs, a pro-Israel organization, had a Facebook post which erroneously described Ms. Din as “anti-Israel,” referring to her use of the word “intifada” without mentioning her combining it with her name, “Din,” and the Mondoweiss post notes that some of the comments included, “Those terrorists must be eradicated,” “she is a terrorist,” and “Someone should eliminate her from the Earth.”

That despite that she actually promotes peace and tolerance, and that one of her campaign issues pertains to police reform, the militarization of the local police and campus police having military-grade weapons.

You see, like some leftist organizations such as Media Matters and the Southern Poverty Law Center who spend time searching for some slight manner of speech from which to feel offended, terrorized or traumatized, there also exist groups on the other side who do the same thing. Some activists taking things out of context, omitting certain facts and slandering are typical tactics used to delegitimize their ideological opponents. So really with StandWithUs and other activist groups it was yet another case of ignorance and anti-Muslim, anti-Arab prejudice. No surprise there.

But sadly, when it comes to Israel most people get their information from mainstream news media who merely repeat government propaganda. This is why we have an entire U.S. Congress acting like fools when Netanyahu appears and why ignoramuses stand outside protesting an opera performance calling it “anti-Semitic” when it isn’t anti-Semitic.

So, I’m sure that I myself will be accused of being insensitive, but because of society’s ultra-sensitivity on Jewish matters, we really have to pussyfoot around to spare others of being “triggered,” and so forth, even though most had never experienced concentration camps, gulags or pogroms. And this phenomenon is mainly with Jewish subjects, but especially regarding Israel. For example, I don’t hear Chinese people complaining about feeling offended or “triggered” if someone might make a reference to Mao who murdered many more millions than Hitler. I didn’t hear complaints from Chinese-Americans when conservatives referred to Barack Obama as “Maobama.” Crickets, in fact.

But we’re just not allowed to say anything negative or critical, not about Jews or Jewish matters, but specifically about Israel. And that is because, in my view, many people have this mystical view of Israel and based mainly on Biblical scriptures, as I wrote in my article last year on Israel and Zionism.

And I really find it hard to believe that actual grown-ups are offended by, or terrorized by a use of the word “intifada” — and frankly, I find it offensive that 535 so-called grown-ups in Congress can applaud and cheer wildly and act like fools for a political hack like Benjamin Netanyahu. This whole “Stop making me feel bad” political correctness and censorship seems like it’s one hell of a racket, if you ask me.



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