Monday, April 30, 2007

People are not the sensitive flowers that the PC brigade make them out to be

In "Stumbling on Happiness", just released in paperback, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explores why we human beings are poor "affective forecasters," or predictors of future emotion. Interview with the author below:

Let's do a test: How do you think you'll feel at the end of this interview?

Approximately the way I feel now. That's almost always a good guess about how you're going to feel in the future. Most events have a small impact that doesn't last very long. More than one person who's gotten married or moved to California to change their happiness has found that it stays about where it is. My research has made me care much less about which of my possible futures I end up in. When I went to buy a house, I was much less concerned about which house to buy, because I knew from the data that whichever one I bought, I would probably be happy with it, and would quickly become convinced that I bought the only good house on the market.

When did you first realize that people were bad at forecasting their emotional states?

It first occurred to me about 15 years ago. I was watching myself go through some very difficult times of life and realizing that, by and large, I was doing much better than I would have predicted if you'd asked me a year or two ago. Being a scientist, I went right to the scientific literature to see what I could learn about this interesting phenomenon. What I found was, there wasn't scientific literature on it. So my colleague Tim Wilson and I teamed up and decided to do a couple little experiments to see if most people were as bad as predicting their emotional future as I had been. Turns out they were. The effect was very robust and what become quickly interesting was not whether this happened, because obvious it does, but why.

So, I'd guess negative events don't affect us as much as we think they do.

Human resilience is really quite astonishing. People are not the fragile flowers that a century of psychologists have made us out to be. People who suffer real tragedy and trauma typically recover more quickly than they expect to and often return to their original level of happiness, or something close to it. That's the good news-we are a hardy species, even though we don't know this about ourselves. The bad news is that the good things that happen to us don't feel as good or last as long as we think they will. So all that wonderful stuff we're aiming for-winning the lottery, getting promoted, whatever we think will change our lives-probably won't do it after all. We're resilient in both directions. We rebound from distress but we also rebound from joy.

But people do know what will make them happy, don't they?

If you ask people whether they would rather have gallbladder surgery or a weekend in Paris, they get the answer right. What they're wrong about is knowing just how bad or how good these events will be, and how long those feelings will last.

More here

Democrats and the Politics of Fear

Ever since the 1960s the Democrats have won about ninety percent of the black vote in presidential elections. Sometimes it's less, when John Kerry got 88 percent of the black vote in 2004. Sometimes it's right on the button, when Al Gore got 90 percent in 2000. How do you get 90 percent of anyone to vote for one side or the other? You have to make them afraid.

Back in the 1960s when Democrats bestrode the political world like gods they decreed an end to the politics of fear. They forbade the naked appeal to racial and religious fears and decreed a new era of universal tolerance. It was, of course, convenient for them at the time. Shaming the politics of religious hate helped them elect John F. Kennedy to the presidency. And shaming the politics of racial hate helped them bring in the civil rights acts. None the less, it was the right thing to do.

But then things started to go wrong for the Democrats. The unemployed working stiffs of the Great Depression started to drift away into suburban prosperity and ethnic religious voters were driven out the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by militant secularists. It became a matter of life-and-death for Democrats to keep the voters that remained. Fortunately the solution was at hand. After the high-toned years of the civil-rights struggle ended in a stunning victory African Americans began to develop an authentic politics of their own. It was not the high-toned politics of the civil-rights movement. It was more like the Irish machine politics of the nineteenth century, a politics of patronage and of racial identity, and it quickly became as corrupt as the politics of Boss Tweed and Plunkitt of Tammany Hall.

Perhaps in the years immediately after the civil-rights revolution Democrats were embarrassed by this Fall from the Garden of Eden. Clearly they are not embarrassed any more. Ninety percent of the black vote ain't beanbag, after all.

But it does take constant fear-mongering. It was one thing in 1970 to keep blacks in a frenzy of fear about the return of Bull Connor. After forty years of rising prosperity it takes more. It takes the chutzpah of a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton, or the creativity of a Mike Nifong, who after all won his election for DA.

Ordinary Americans were puzzled by the Durham accusations, and rightly so. If you go to the website reporting the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, as many people do, you can look up the rape statistics in "Table 42: Personal Crimes of Violence 2005: Percent distribution of single offender victimizations, based on race of victims, by type of crime and perceived race of offender." Under "Rape/Sexual assaults" the survey reports 111,490 rape/assaults in 2005 in which a white was the victim. The "perceived race" of the offender was reported as white in 44.5 percent of cases, black in 33.6 percent of cases, "other" in 19.6 percent of cases. Where the victim of rape was black, in 36,620 cases, things were rather different. The "perceived race" of the offender was reported as black in 100.0 percent of cases. White offenders? "0.0*" percent. The asterisk means that the sample included ten or fewer reports. The federal crime statistics show that white-on-black rape was almost non-existent in the United States of America in 2005. This is about as extraordinary as the fact that ninety percent of blacks vote for Democrats.

In the United States today remarkable strides have been made in the reduction of age-old hatreds and enmities. The average American is a remarkably tolerant and inclusive person. Why, the average American has even been taught to believe that Islam is a religion of peace.What a pity that liberals have exempted themselves and their political supporters from this advance in human societal relations. But it is understandable. You see, American blacks, gays, feminists, and academicians live in a world assailed on all sides by the menacing "Other:" Fundamentalists, theocrats, racists, sexists, classists, and homophobes. And do they ever hate and fear the fundamentalists, theocrats, racists, sexists, classists, and homophobes that harass and oppress them.

There is one group that voted in the same lopsided way as African Americans in 2004. In the CNN exit poll 90 percent of "white conservative Protestants" went for George W. Bush. Who is making them afraid? Karl Rove or People for the American Way?


Australia: Black refugees being trained for jihad

CLAIMS young Somalis are being recruited in Melbourne by terror groups are being investigated by Australia's intelligence agencies. Somalian scholar Dr Hersie Hilole said more than 20 Somalis had trained in Melbourne and returned to fight for the Islamic cause in Somalia's civil war. Two Melbourne-based Somalis have been killed fighting with Islamic militias in Africa and one of the deaths has sparked a police investigation. The investigations will focus on Melbourne's 15,000-strong Somalian population that lives mainly in housing commission complexes in Carlton, North Melbourne and Flemington.

It also has emerged that radical Islamic cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran has been preaching to local Somalian Muslims. Arabic and African Muslim communities in Melbourne generally live separate lives. But the Jordanian-born cleric regularly gives outdoor addresses to large sections of the Somalian Muslim community.

ASIO would not comment on the investigation into Melbourne's Somalian community. But a source said: "There are real security threats in Australia and this is one of them." Dr Hilole said Sheik Omran had established links with the Somalis through a radical group of Lebanese Salafists or Wahhabists. "A number of young people have either trained here or have been recruited," he said. Mogadishu-born Dr Hilole is a member of Sydney's Somalian Community Council and has been an outspoken critic of Abdurahman Osman, the president of Somali Community of Victoria. He said Mr Osman's mosque in Racecourse Rd, Flemington, was under siege by Lebanese Salafists.

Dr Hilole said Sheik Omran had created a link with the young Somalis after 18 alleged terrorists were arrested in nationwide raids in November 2005 under Operation Pendennis. Leaders at a popular North Melbourne mosque, home to about 300 African Muslims, yesterday refused to comment on alleged radicals. But a spokesman said Somalian Muslims in Melbourne's north planned to hold a meeting with police and politicians to discuss the issue. Victorian Somali Social Club president Osman Ali said local sheiks and imams urged followers not to rejoin the fight in Somalia. Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia last year to push the radical Islamic Courts movement from power.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Britain: Prison terms LESS likely for violent offenders

Like Leftists everywhere, Left-dominated Britain is always ready to excuse its violent criminals -- probably because of the hate and violence in their own hearts (which shows when, as Communists, they gain absolute power)

Violent criminals are less likely to be sent to prison than non-violent offenders, a shocking Home Office report has revealed. In the latest blow to public confidence in the criminal justice system, a report seen by the Yorkshire Post reveals that just 32 per cent of criminals responsible for violent offences - categorised as everything from murder to assault to obstructing a police officer - are sent to prison. But custodial sentences are handed down to more than 36 per cent of offenders convicted of non-violent offences, such as fraud, theft, burglary, criminal damage, drink-driving and public order offences.

The Home Office study on sentencing and re-offending was met with incredulity and outrage last night by Shadow Home Secretary David Davis and other MPs - but Prisons Minister Gerry Sutcliffe insisted the Government had been calling on the independent judiciary to be tougher with dangerous violent offenders. In addition to the sentencing of violent offenders, the report revealed that a widely used alternative punishment to custody, the drug treatment order, has a re-offending rate of 82 per cent.

Another section appeared to contradict Ministers' claims about the dubious long-term effectiveness of prison by stating that "longer custodial sentences are associated with lower proven re-offending rates".

The conclusions emerged yesterday as the Home Office's latest British Crime Survey found public confidence in Britain's criminal justice system was falling. The survey, which questioned tens of thousands of people during 2006 about their experiences of crime, showed that just 42 per cent of people had confidence in the system's ability to bring criminals to justice, down two points from 2005. Only 37 per cent of people believed the system was effective at reducing crime, while 34 per cent thought it met the needs of victims of crime. Both were one point lower than the 2005 responses.

The Home Office "statistical bulletin" on offending, stated: "Violent offenders are less likely to receive a custodial sentence than other offenders." But it sought to lessen the impact of the statement by adding: "'Violence' incorporates a wide range of offences of varying severity." It noted the two most frequent violent offences were common assault and battery, and assault causing actual bodily harm.

On drug treatment orders, the report said they "had the highest actual proven re-offending rate" of any form of punishment in 2004. On the link between the length of custodial sentences and re-offending, the data showed that the longer the sentence, the lower the rate of repeat offending. It also revealed a rise between 2000 and 2004 in re-offending by people imprisoned for less than a year.

David Davis, the Tory MP for Haltemprice and Howden, said: "It beggars belief that under this Government, violent offenders are actually less likely to receive a custodial sentence than other offenders. "It is precisely these types of serious offenders, representing the greatest risk to the public, who should receive a custodial sentence to protect the public." Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies, who led a Parliamentary debate earlier this month calling for more and longer custodial sentences, said people would be "astonished" by the report's revelations. He said: "The fact is that the system is soft on violent crime, that drug orders don't work and that, contrary to what the liberal do-gooders say, prison works."

Defending the Home Office, Prison Minister Mr Sutcliffe, the Bradford West MP, told the Yorkshire Post: "We've introduced harsher sentences and made sure there are places in prison for dangerous and violent people, who should be treated more severely. But sentences are for the judges to decide, not for politicians." On drug treatment orders and the effectiveness of prison, he added: "Drug-related offenders are harder to deal with and we recognise they are a problem which is why we've increased funding for drug treatment by 974 per cent since 1997. "But we've got to remember that not everyone should go to prison. We need to tackle and break the re-offending process by offering people a holistic solution involving education and jobs."


Cho's biggest victim: Freedom

As students returned to Virginia Tech yesterday, the college rang a bell for each of the 32 victims of the massacre. But to judge by the discussion of the past week, there is another potential victim for whom the bell could be tolling: freedom. We have heard more than enough about the horrors of what happened on the campus, and the narcissistic ramblings of Cho Seung Hui. We have also heard far too many simplistic theories and pat solutions. There is now almost an A-to-Z of who or what was allegedly to blame: from America, Bullying and Campus security to Video games, Xenophobia and the Y chromosome. (The one that is often missing is C for Cho - in an age when anybody can be a victim, many appear to accept his plea that "they" made him do it.)

Moral crusaders are trying to recruit the dead of Virginia Tech to support all manner of pet causes. But one way or another, all seem to agree that the problem is too much freedom. These powerful responses pose a bigger threat than any lone gunman. Apparently the shootings prove the need for more restrictions, not just on guns but on violent video games, rap lyrics, eBay and the news. More security and tighter lockdowns on campuses, more powers for the police. And perhaps most of all, we are told there is a need for tighter controls on people who seem loners and oddballs, like Cho. Once, America's legal system was seen as a global beacon of freedom. Now the world is offered the alternative model of new Labour's authoritarian Mental Health Bill, granting the authorities the power to lock up those deemed to have a personality disorder even if they have committed no offence.

There is no evidence that any of these illiberal measures would make violence less likely or the rest of us safer. But banging on about the need for them can definitely make society more fearful, and less free. Just as passing draconian antiterror laws marks a victory for the bombers, so accepting the postVirginia view of "too much" liberty would be a defeat for democracy.

It is even more important to stand up for freedom during hard times like these. For an old British libertarian Marxist like me, that includes defending Americans' right to bear arms; some British commentators might think that right "bizarre" and "extraordinary", but then their forebears thought much the same about the revolution that gave rise to it.

Cho wreaked enough carnage; let's not volunteer anybody else to be his victims. Why should we want to reorganise the laws and outlooks of entire nations out of fear of the odd madman? Why should the lives and liberties of 300 million in America be altered thanks to the isolated actions of one individual? That really would be allowing the lunatics to take over the asylum.


Islamic incitement to violence in Australia

A VIDEO posted on a hardline Islamic website to promote a soccer tournament in western Sydney has outraged Muslim leaders by featuring an Arabic song often used by al-Qaeda to promote jihad. The song calls on militants to "exterminate" non-believers and make them "hear the tunes of death". The video is used by the Global Islamic Youth Centre, headed by radical cleric Faiz Mohamad, who has praised jihadists and compared Jews to pigs.

It plays the jihad tune, which also says "we shall go to heaven fearing no death", to images of local and international soccer players displaying their skills. Bomb explosions and missiles launching form part of the music in the clip promoting the Liverpool Youth Cup. "With the swords we shall exterminate the infidels and death is the desire of the pure," one translated verse says. "With jihad the banners of the evident victory shall rise high. "We shall go to heaven fearing no death. We shall not waver ... we are the cubs of the victorious conquerors."

Senior Muslim leader Ameer Ali attacked the seemingly "hidden agenda" of the video, which was pulled down by GIYC yesterday afternoon following The Weekend Australian's inquiry. "I'm worried and I am concerned there is a hidden message behind this soccer tournament (promotion)," said the former chairman of John Howard's Muslim reference board. "This sort of message should be avoided. Why bring controversy into a sports match? Sport promotes co-operation, friendliness - that's what you expect from sport."

Prominent Sydney-based cleric Khalil Shami also condemned the video, saying it was wrong to conflate sporting images and "fighting". He attacked the fundamentalist GIYC for further damaging the Muslim community's standing in the eyes of mainstream Australia. "I don't know how they are driving this community - they drive it in a very, very bad way," said the imam at Penshurst mosque in Sydney's southwest. "It's not fair for the community. Why mix sport with the fighting? Why?"

GIYC's president, Zunaid Moosa, yesterday told The Weekend Australian that he was unaware of what the song meant because he didn't speak Arabic. He said Islamic songs were often chosen for video-clips based on their "catchy" tune, and denied having anything to do with the production of the clip. "Often a lot of anasheed (Islamic vocal music) we got no idea (about) because we are not Arabic-speaking people," he said. "It would just be more of a tempo of the beat and a catchy type tune, that's all."

A list of sponsors on the soccer clip includes charity group Human Appeal International and Krispy Kreme Donuts. A spokesman yesterday said HAI was not aware that GIYC had any political agendas when it agreed to sponsor the event. But a spokeswoman for Krispy Kreme denied the organisation had sponsored the soccer tournament and said she would take the matter up with GIYC.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Corrupt "social gospel" church hid the secret of the choirmaster who abused boys

The church's infatuation with homosexuals wouldn't have anything to do with it, of course

The Church of England was accused of a cover-up after a choirmaster who systematically abused children in his care was allowed to become a school governor. Peter Halliday admitted sexually molesting boys as young as nine, nearly 20 years ago. But Church authorities did not tell the police. Instead, they allowed him to quietly leave - on the promise he would change his ways.

As Halliday finally began a jail sentence for his crimes, it was revealed he was only caught after one of his victims saw a TV programme on sexual abuse in the Church. When he checked on the Internet and discovered his former tormentor was still working with children, he called police.

Child safety campaigners yesterday criticised the Church's "serious mishandling" of the case. Halliday, 61, was sentenced to two and half years in prison after he admitted ten counts of sexual abuse between 1986 and 1990. Winchester Crown Court heard the former choirmaster at St Peter's Church in Farnborough, Hampshire, was so trusted by his victims' families that the boys were allowed to stay at his home.

Described in court as "a bully and a revolting character", he attacked the boys at his home, during swimming lessons and on camping trips. Now in their twenties and thirties, the victims, one of whom is head of music at a private school, are still coming to terms with what they went through.

The court heard Halliday could have been stopped in 1990 when the rector of St Peter's, the Reverend Alan Boddington, was informed about the abuse. Yet Mr Boddington and the then Bishop of Dorking, David Wilcox, told Halliday he could leave quietly as long as he had no more contact with children. The court heard Halliday was on the board of governors of a secondary school in Farnborough from 1988 to 2000 but had no unsupervised contact with children. When he was seen at a choir concert in 1993, the victim who had already complained to the Church again expressed his concerns. But nothing was done.

Halliday, a married father, would have escaped justice had one of his victims not researched him on the Internet and found he was a school governor and working with a children's choir. After the hearing the Church insisted it had done nothing wrong, saying officials "acted in good faith".

Child protection workers said it had failed, however. David Pearson, of the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service, said: "Had we been contacted by the Church authorities then we would have had no hesitation in telling them to go straight to the police."

Halliday was also ordered to pay 2,000 pounds compensation to each victim. One recalled his horror at meeting Halliday in 1993 on a course. He said: "I was just aghast. Younger brothers of friends were there. I was scared for myself, but also terrified for them."


A church that has forgotten how to repent its sins

More proof that its gospel is a secular rather than a Christian one these days

Turn on the Today programme, and most days you will hear some stonewalling corporate affairs sap, who has undergone "media training" and been told to stick to his script no matter what. It always makes me splutter into my coffee. Asked to defend the leaking of an oil pipeline, he will say: "The important thing is that best-practice policies are in place to ensure that clean-up procedures are strictly adhered to, and we at Polluting Petroleum want to assure you that we have the best interests of local people at heart." Translation: they're covered in oil and their crops are ruined, but I don't suppose many of them have shares in PP or will make a fuss at the AGM. As long as we get through today, we'll be OK.

You might expect such flannelling from business people and politicians. But from the Church of England? Surely not. Yet yesterday produced the worst splutterfest ever. The hapless spokeswoman was the Rev Pearl Luxon. She had been put up by the Church to talk about its role in failing to prevent a paedophile choirmaster, Peter Halliday, from abusing children. As one of the victims said: "When your first sexual experience is of a 40-year-old man forcing himself on you, it's pretty horrific." But the Church told neither the police nor social services and simply asked Halliday to leave.

Was Mrs Luxon, who is in charge of child protection at the C of E, contrite? Not a bit of it. Her first sin was to say that she could not comment on the case at all. "Why?" asked John Humphrys. "This is not a live case. The man has admitted his guilt and will be sentenced today. It is incumbent upon you to comment on this case, surely?"

"No, I cannot comment on this particular case," intoned the robot again. No reason. All she would say, time and time again, was that the Church had "robust policies in place" to deal with child abuse. When Humphrys tried to make her acknowledge that things had gone very badly wrong over Halliday, her answer was so unsatisfactory that it deserves printing in full: "These matters are always reviewed after they occur and we learn from our mistakes and our good practice is improved at all stages when these matters are looked at. Robust policies are improved through learning from the past and from following the guidance and good practice that happens now." Aaargh!

Does this woman have no shame? Has she stopped to think about the consequences of the Church's actions, or rather inactions? Presumably not, as she displayed not a shred of regret, let alone apology. If I were offering her media training, I would advise her to say: "We are desperately sorry that this occurred. We got it badly wrong. We apologise to the victims and will make sure that it never happens again." It's not that hard, is it?


Non-English Britain

Immigration correctness is having huge effects

One in five schoolchildren is from an ethnic minority - almost double the figure a decade ago. The annual school census reveals a Britain where one in eight pupils speaks a language other than English at home. The record figures include more than 40,000 children from Eastern Europe who have enrolled at schools since the enlargement of the European Union in 2004.

The statistics emerged as the race relations watchdog warned that Britain's segregated schools are a "ticking timebomb". The Commission for Racial Equality's director of policy said parents must stop sending their children to schools where most pupils come from similar religious or racial backgrounds. Nick Johnson also suggested schools should be given more money to admit a racially mixed intake. He said: "We're in fear of turning into a mini-America with racially determined schools. "Schools are where our children first learn how to get along with people from other cultures and backgrounds. Racially segregated schools prevent this from happening. This is a ticking timebomb."

His comments came as figures published by the Department for Education and Skills showed the biggest year- on-year increase in ethnic minority pupils for a decade. They account for just under a fifth (19.8 per cent) of England's 6.5 million primary and secondary pupils, up from 11 per cent when Labour came to power. Meanwhile, the number of primary pupils alone who do not speak English as their first language increased by seven per cent from last year to 448,000 - or about one child in seven. Overall, it is around one in eight.

But the Commission for Racial Equality is concerned that there are not enough resources to integrate pupils from such diverse backgrounds. Mr Johnson said he was particularly worried about Tony Blair's controversial city academies and trust schools. He added that some of these are using their extra freedoms to "cream off pupils from certain ethnic backgrounds or religions, thus ... increasing racial tensions".

The Conservatives said ministers had been caught off-guard by the increase in non-native English speakers in schools. Tory education spokesman David Willetts said: "The Government has completely failed to keep up with the rate of change in our school population." A DfES spokesman said: "The Education and Inspections Act 2006 placed a new duty on the governing bodies of all maintained schools, including faith schools, to promote community cohesion."



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Friday, April 27, 2007

We Australians know who we are and what we are

Though our Leftist intellectuals don't, of course. The following is a report by an American living in Australia. See the original for links

Today is ANZAC Day, and it's my second since coming to Australia. It's a singular day from an American point of view, and there are two aspects of it that I'd like to share which make this "holiday" so different from any other I've experienced.

For those who don't know what ANZAC Day is, it is equivalent to Veteran's Day in the States. It was first observed in 1916 and is held on the day when the first Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli in 1915. Since then it has come to encompass all of Australia and New Zealand's war veterans. More can be found at the Australian War Memorial website.

The first aspect of ANZAC Day is, appropriately, the first thing of the day. At places throughout the country, even in very small towns, ceremonies are held in the time just before the sun rises, commemorating the landings at Gallipoli. Unlike some might expect at 5 in the morning, the crowd is not sparse. During my two ANZAC Days in Newcaslte, it has been raining during the ceremony - this morning was exceptionally wet and windy. However, the crowd did not diminish; the traditions were not departed from. We all stood there in the wind and the rain, remembering the sacrifices made by Diggers throughout history. (I use the term "we" because, though not an Australian, I appreciate the fact that Australia has stood by the US in every conflict the US has fought...and I'm fairly certain it is the only country which can claim that.)

As I think about my own activities on 11 November in the States, I can't say that (even though I am a veteran) I ever felt the kind of patriotism and bonding as I have during this morning ANZAC ceremony. There is sense of community during the ceremony, even if it only stems from the simple fact that so many people decided that the commemoration of ANZACs was important enough to wake up at 4:30 in the morning for, important enough to stand in the driving rain for.

The second aspect stems directly from that sense of community. Over and over again, I've been reminded that one aspect of Australian culture celebrated on ANZAC Day is the idea of "mateship". To an American, that sounds like a very strange word. A very rough translation might be friendship, but that's not really enough of an explanation. It actually has a definition: "a mode of conduct among Australian men that stresses equality, friendship, and solidarity." That seems a little simplistic to me, but the point is probably adequately made by those few definitive words. It is a relationship in which, from what I can tell, social status and breeding fall by the wayside and looking after your mate, your true friend, is of utmost importance. And what's more, you can expect them to do the same for you.

Perhaps it's better for me to quote at length an Australian here. In a speech given in London, November 2003, Prime Minister John Howard said:

The two world wars exacted a terrible price from us - the full magnitude of that lost potential, of those unlived lives can never be measured. And yet, some of the most admirable aspects of Australia's national character were, if not conceived, then more fully ingrained within us by the searing experiences of those conflicts.

None more so than the concept of mateship - regarded as a particularly Australian virtue - a concept that encompasses unconditional acceptance, mutual and self respect, sharing whatever is available no matter how meagre, a concept based on trust and selflessness and absolute interdependence. In combat, men did live and die by its creed. 'Sticking by your mates' was sometimes the only reason for continuing on when all seemed hopeless.

I wonder what sort of examples will be around in America when I have a child. At the moment, it seems that the most "celebrated" (which, incidentally, is a word which I have no respect for any longer) forms of bonding belong to those in the thug world, the celebrity moronosphere and hip-hop "culture". I hope these are replaced by something more akin to mateship. And I hope that in the US there can be something developed, some tradition built which echoes the sentiment of ANZAC Day, but in an American vein. These two things, I think, would go a way towards enhancing Americans' national and personal identities.


Turning society into Room 101

`In denial', `phobic', `hateful'. increasingly, certain kinds of speech are depicted as a sickness, and censorship is seen as the cure

Censorship is entering into a dangerous new dawn. In the past, certain ideas and forms of speech were silenced on the (usually overblown) basis that they were immoral, corrupt, a threat to `national security' or `public safety'. Today, thoughts and speech that fall foul of the mainstream are depicted as a mental defect, a pathology, a sort of virus that requires therapeutic intervention and corrective education. People are silenced because they are `in denial' (of the Holocaust or climate change), or because they're `phobic' (whether Islamophobic or homophobic), or because they spread `hate speech' (they're consumed by irrational hatred). All of these new censorious categories - denial, phobia, hatefulness - speak to the pathologisation of certain ideas. Speech is increasingly depicted as a sickness, and censorship as the cure.

Those who question historical facts or contemporary consensuses are described as being `in denial'. This afternoon the European Union looks set to introduce a new law that will make Holocaust denial a crime punishable by a prison sentence. On one level, the term `Holocaust denial' refers to the simple fact that certain scurrilous historians and skinhead gangs deny that the Nazis exterminated six million Jews. On another level, these individuals are said to be `in denial' - that is, they have a mental disorder. In the past, many rightly recognised that Holocaust denial sprung from ideology; it was the deniers' subscription to fascistic or anti-Semitic beliefs that led them to question the truth of the Holocaust. Today Holocaust denial is said to spring from psychology. One author writes of `the psychology of the deniers', arguing that anyone who believes the Holocaust did not happen is `at base a troubled soul' (1).

The psychologisation of certain ideas is even clearer in the discussion of `climate change denial'. Those who question the scientific consensus on global warming - or even the political consensus around environmentalism - are written off as `deniers'. And there are frequent shrill and intemperate demands that these deniers be denied public platforms. Apparently they are deluded and possibly hysterical. The Ecologist magazine has written about the `psychology of climate change denial'. It argues that the vast majority in society (excluding those `handfuls of people who have already decided to stop being passive bystanders' - ie, the greens) have responded to warnings of global warming by sinking into `self-deception and mass denial' (2). One online magazine, Climate Change Denial, is dedicated to analysing the public's `weird and disturbed' response to climate change (3).

When certain ideas are held to be the products of psychological disorder, then those who subscribe to them are easily sidelined. It is censorship as a form of sectioning. An individual is censured both for his own good (to cure his self-deception) and for the good of society (to protect others from falling into the pit of `mass denial'). This has a deadening effect on public debate. After all, what is the point of engaging with those who are `weird and disturbed'? Some environmentalist thinkers explicitly argue that there can be no debate with `climate change deniers'. The Ecologist claims that `denial cannot simply be countered with information.there is plentiful historical evidence that increased information may even intensify the denial.' (4) Instead people must apparently be manipulated. In its report Warm Words, the British think-tank the IPPR argued that `the task of climate change agencies is not to persuade by rational argument but in effect to develop and nurture a new "common sense.. The "facts" need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken.' (5)

The labelling of those who question certain scientific claims or green policies as deniers, individuals suffering from self- or mass deception, removes the need for any meaningful debate about the politics of environmentalism. That might explain why the IPPR says climate change scepticism cannot be countered by `rational argument' - because such scepticism is apparently not rational. Deniers, and the public in general, must be corrected, treated, re-educated. According to the IPPR, government officials and climate change agencies `need to work in a more shrewd and contemporary way, using subtle techniques of engagement'; the aim should be to `treat climate-friendly activity as a brand that can be sold' as that is the only `route to mass behaviour changes' (6). When critical arguments against environmentalism are emptied of their rational and political components, the result is the shutting down of debate and the manipulation of thought and behaviour.

Meanwhile, other viewpoints are chastised and censured on the grounds that they express a `phobia'. In particular, certain views of Islam or homosexuality are now widely referred to as `Islamophobia' and `homophobia'. The British authorities seem singularly obsessed with combating Islamophobic ideas and speech. The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 - a deeply censorious law which created an offence of `stirring up' hatred against someone on the basis of their religion - was brought in largely on the back of concern about outbreaks of Islamophobia. Last year the EU passed a resolution titled `Homophobia in Europe' which encouraged member states to curtail homophobia, including homophobic speech.

The redefinition of certain ideas as `phobic' writes them off as irrational, even disordered. The EU resolution on homophobia describes it as `an irrational fear of and aversion to homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people' (7). And as Jane Adolphe, an associate professor of law at Ave Maria School of Law in Michigan (and an active Christian), has pointed out, phobia is a psychiatric term - and `thus only a doctor could determine if a set of behaviours amounted to the condition of "homophobia".' Increasingly it is not only spiteful or inciting speech about Islam or homosexuality that is described in this psychiatric fashion. Moral judgements and political views are also frequently labelled `Islamophobic' or `homophobic'. In Britain, Muslim community groups label criticisms of certain Islamic practices, such as women wearing the niqab, as Islamophobic. Religious figures' moral opposition to gay marriage is described as `homophobic'. Now, whatever you may think of the priests' stance, Jane Adolphe has a point when she asks: `Is it phobia if you want to discuss outlawing homosexual marriages.? To suggest so is an infringement on the right to free expression.' (8)

In the past there were `isms' - racism, sexism - which many recognised as being the products of ideologies that ought to be challenged through rigorous public debate. Now there are phobias - homophobia, Islamophobia, Jewphobia (a new name for anti-Semitism), and Christophobia (a hatred of Christianity, apparently). Or there's just `hatred': restrictions on `hate speech' are justified on the grounds that it is also blind and irrational. Where the era of isms recognised that people took a decision, however wrong, to be suspicious of black people or to oppose immigration or women in the workplace, the era of phobias treats prejudice and certain moral views as disorders. And thus where you might have had debate, even protests and conflict, in the era of isms, today there are only demands for censorship or re-education to cure people of their irrational way of thinking. (Ironically, homosexuality was once considered to be a mental disorder in need of correction; today, many gay activists and their supporters in government have taken on board very similar language to describe those who are critical or suspicious of homosexuality.)

The pathologisation of what are seen as unacceptable ideas emerges from today's moral uncertainty. At a time when few can agree on what is right or wrong, when those old ideas about protecting the `national good' or `public decency' no longer enjoy widespread support, speech and thought tend to be curtailed at a psychological level. Individuals are no longer chastised for transgressing moral boundaries and punished with censorship for doing so; they are described as having irrational or disturbed thought patterns, and offered therapy. This opens up the possibility of new and more insidious forms of censure. Recently in America an actor who called one of his colleagues a `faggot' was ordered by his TV network to `enter a rehab programme to examine why he would say such hateful words'. In Britain, reality-TV has-been Jade Goody was sent to anger management classes after she clashed with Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother (9). We can expect more of this sort of thing the more that ideas are relabelled defects.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, O'Brien, the torturer in Room 101, offers to cure Winston Smith of his anti-party thinking. `You are mentally deranged. You suffer from a defective memory', O'Brien says. `Fortunately it is curable.. Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? To cure you! To make you sane!' It seems that some are keen to turn contemporary society into a big, open Room 101, where dodgy ideas or critical thinking are also cured. Hands up if you would rather remain `sick'.


Australia: Free speech concerns strangely missing in attack on conservative radio host

THE quality of justice in NSW is most strange. The Appeal Court bizarrely found it necessary to disqualify Margaret Cunneen, one of the best Crown prosecutors the state had the good fortune to employ, from a gang rape case; a senior judge agreed with a Muslim defendant that - on highly specious grounds - female court staff could not handle his drinking water; and broadcaster Alan Jones has been convicted of a criminal offence for broadcasting the name of a most repellent young man of questionable age after his identity, through error, improperly appeared in The Daily Telegraph.

Jones, who has for years been Sydney's most successful morning radio host, has always been on the receiving end of crude insults from those with smaller audiences and larger egos. But it now appears the judiciary - and the wannabe judges who run the highly politicised petty authorities - are joining the fray. Notably silent have been the legions of self-anointed protectors of free speech, the civil libertarians and civil rights lawyers because Jones's audience is not theirs and his appeals to common sense and understanding of government process usually expose them as the poseurs they are.

The self-acclaimed leaders of the media, who will be out in force to tut-tut over incursions on press freedom tomorrow night at a dinner to be addressed by Jonestown author Chris Masters, have kept their mouths smugly shut. They only want freedom for their speech, not that which challenges their politically correct vision of how the world should be.

Jones was found guilty under a rarely used law designed to protect innocent young victims of crime and children involved in criminal activities. The section of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act holds: It shall be conclusively presumed that no child who is under the age of 10 years can be guilty of an offence. That Act defines a child as a person under the age of 18. Tell that to the train drivers who had a brick thrown at the front of their train, or try convincing a victim of the mobs now ruling George St, that those responsible for bashing them cannot be guilty because they were too young.

The law against publishing is even more ridiculous, prohibiting naming individuals even when they are dead at the time of publication or broadcast. It means, as one legal eagle has said, that should the premier of NSW have a child murdered by al-Qaeda, that child's identity could not be disclosed by the press during any subsequent court action.

Jones's case involved members of a large Pakistani Muslim family, four of whom are convicted gang rapists and their late father was facing perjury charges when he died. The court heard that on April 10, 2004, a car thumping with loud music and bearing the number plate "ON DOLE" attracted some rude gestures from passengers in a taxi. The driver cut the taxi off at the next lights and at least two people got out and attacked the taxi and its occupants. One of them, who later claimed to be 14 years old, used a metal pipe. The taxi driver attempted to defend himself and struck out with a screwdriver, hitting one of the assailants, who later died.

The supposed 14-year-old was a key witness in the Crown case against the taxi driver. He had a lengthy criminal record, had used multiple aliases and many birth dates. During the trial he said he was 14 or 15 "or something like that" and at a later hearing that he was "16, 17". His father didn't know and his mother could only guess, basing that guess on her assertion her first child was born in 1978. No one knew - least of all the prosecution. Even the magistrate could only deduce the witness was born between 1988 and 1992.

Jones read The Daily Telegraph's report of the ongoing trial on air and was prosecuted by the DPP. Unfortunately, the DPP wasn't prepared and asked for continual delays running from 2006 and into this year, and all the while Jones was paying his counsel.

Even the fact the prosecution's case was based on a witness it was prosecuting for perjury didn't seem to trouble the magistrate. Nor was she concerned by his police record, the evidence that he bashed the taxi driver with a metal pipe, or that he had even bashed his own sister. Legally irrelevant to this case, perhaps, but most telling about the character of the "child" whose identity had been inadvertently revealed by Jones and The Daily Telegraph.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Helen Syme said she accepted Jones's argument that the urgency of breakfast radio meant he could not check everything that went to air. "From time to time, negligent or reckless behaviour may occur," Syme said, fining Jones $1000 and handing him a nine-month good behaviour bond - and a criminal record. Radio 2GB licensee Harbour Radio was fined $3000 and News Limited $4000. Jones is appealing the case. The transcript is worth reading. If this is the sort of justice meted out to a first offender, why should criminals have any respect for the law?



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Some similarities between Sharia and PC

Sharia is the "law" applied automatically wherever there's a Radical Islamic State. There are even western like Arabian countries that obey strictly the Sharia. In these countries:

* Alcohol beverages are proihibited

* Music is not allowed

* Women must cover their faces and bodies

Political correctness, in its turn is making huge progress in the same direction

* Smoke is prohibited in public places in almost all countries of Europe, US and Latin America

* Fat: people who are fat or restaurants that sell fat meals (especially if they have a clown as a symbol) are being targeted by low-fat radicals

* Crucifixes and other symbols of Christianity like Easter and Christmas are being, or are banned or turned into something other than its original meaning

Both Sharia and Political Correctness are pursuing the same goals: to impede people from the "wrong" things or "Christian" things, at least. Their perpetrators do not believe in freedom. Freedom to do wrong, to fail is freedom that must be allowed too.


The Big White Lie

The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don't have to lie. I don't have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don't have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don't have to say that everyone's special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don't have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don't have to pretend that Islam means peace.

Of course, like everything, this candor has its price. A politics that depends on honesty will be, by nature, often impolite. Good manners and hypocrisy are intimately intertwined, and so conservatives, with their gimlet-eyed view of the world, are always susceptible to charges of incivility. It's not really nice, you know, to describe things as they are.

This is leftism's great strength: it's all white lies. That's its only advantage, as far as I can tell. None of its programs actually works, after all. From statism and income redistribution to liberalized criminal laws and multiculturalism, from its assault on religion to its redefinition of family, leftist policies have made the common life worse wherever they're installed. But because it depends on-indeed is defined by-describing the human condition inaccurately, leftism is nothing if not polite. With its tortuous attempts to rename unpleasant facts out of existence-he's not crippled, dear, he's handicapped; it's not a slum, it's an inner city; it's not surrender, it's redeployment-leftism has outlived its own failure by hiding itself within the most labyrinthine construct of social delicacy since Victoria was queen.

This is no small thing. To rewrite the rules of courteous behavior is to wield enormous power. I see it in Southern California, in the bleeding heart of leftism, where I live. I've been banned from my monthly poker game, lost tennis partners, lost friends-not because I'm belligerent but because I've wondered aloud if the people shouldn't be allowed to make their own abortion laws, say, or if the world might not be a better place without the UN.

It's a rotten feeling. I sometimes think that I'd rather be deemed evil than a boor. Wickedness has some flair to it, even a whiff of radicalism. If you molest a child, there's always a chance that you can get the ACLU to defend you as a cultural innovator. But if you make a remark at table about the destructive social effects of broken homes and then discover that your dinner partner is a divorcee-trust me, you feel like a real louse. It's manners, not morals, that lay the borderlines of our behavior.

This, I believe, is the reason conservative politicians so often lose their nerve, why they back down in debate even when they're clearly right. No one wants to be condemned as a brute-especially not conservatives, who still retain some vague memory of how worthy it is to be a lady or gentleman.

And because we've allowed leftists to define the language of political good manners-don't say women are less scientific; don't remark that black people bear the same responsibility for their actions as whites; don't point out that the gunman was a Muslim, it's not nice-the sort of person willing to speak the truth isn't always the sort of person you want to be seen with. It sometimes takes, I mean, a Rush Limbaugh or a Sean Hannity to withstand the obloquy attached to stating the facts of the matter. If these people in their public personae seem harsh to more genteel conservatives, it may be because it requires that extra dollop of aggression to shatter the silence created by the Left's increasingly elaborate sensitivities.

Still, mannerly as we would rather be, truth-telling continues to be both compelling and ultimately satisfying. There is, after all, something greater than courtesy. "Firmness in the right," Lincoln called it, "as God gives us to see the right." We find ourselves at a precarious moment in an endeavor of great importance: namely, the preservation of Western rationalism and liberty. It does mankind no good to allow so magnificent an enterprise to slip away merely for fear of saying the wrong thing.


Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Eight Lessons

By Dennis Prager

America's news media, an amoral university, an opportunistic district attorney, and a police department that seems to have collaborated in framing innocent students all combined to nearly destroy the lives of three innocent young men -- members of the Duke University lacrosse team.

The attorney general of North Carolina announced that all charges -- of rape, sexual assault and whatever other charges a mendacious young woman got Mike Nifong to bring against the Duke lacrosse team players -- were being dropped. He pronounced the students "innocent," not merely "not guilty." And the attorney general also declared Nifong a "rogue prosecutor."

The lessons of this terrible story are obvious, but given the political correctness of our time and the inverted values that prevail among America's elites -- particularly the news media, the universities and the legal profession -- these lessons will rarely be expressed, let alone learned.

First, the rape of a name is also a rape. A false accusation of rape can be as devastating to a man and his family as a real rape can be to a woman and her family. Sometimes a real rape is more destructive; sometimes the rape of a name is more destructive. It is therefore a grave injustice not to prosecute the woman who brought these false charges.

Second, moral Americans of every race must acknowledge that our society has a problem of anti-white prejudice in parts of the African American community. Proportionally, it seems that more blacks unfairly mistrust whites than whites unfairly mistrust blacks. Mike Nifong won his race for district attorney largely by appealing to this prejudice.

Third, it is utterly unjust that the families of the Duke lacrosse players had to pay millions of dollars in attorneys fees to defend their sons against a lying woman and a morally corrupt district attorney. Such injustices happen every day because the American legal system, unlike that of other countries such as Great Britain, forces those who win lawsuits wrongly brought against them to pay all their legal bills. Trial lawyers and the Democratic Party, which trial lawyers fund, prevent all reform in this area in order to allow frivolous lawsuits and their accompanying high lawyer profits to continue. That is why three young men who did nothing wrong have cost their families much, if not all, of their life savings.

Fourth, while Duke University has good individuals, like most universities today, Duke is a moral wasteland. Eight-eight professors, abetted by Duke's president, created a mob mentality against the young men not unlike that of a lynch mob. Of course, nothing will be done to Duke's president or to those professors. To get fired as the president of an elite American university, one must suggest that men and women are innately different. Politically incorrect truth telling -- not race-, gender- or class-baiting of whites, athletes or males -- gets you fired. And Duke alumni will continue to fund Duke, just as Columbia University alumni are funding Columbia with record donations despite Columbia's reluctance to discipline radical students who violently disrupted a conservative speaker on campus last year.

Fifth, the moral vision of much of the Left, which led the anti-white athlete hysteria, was revealed again. It views the world not as a conflict between good and evil but between white and black, male and female, and rich and poor. The athletes were rich and white and male. For many on the Left, that alone made them villains. As a general proposition, subject to exceptions that accompany all generalizations, the Left has considerably more compassion for groups (racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and sexual groups it favors) than for individuals.

Sixth, any time Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson get in front of cameras on a race matter, assume that they are there to inflame, not heal. We await their apologies to the three Duke students. But we are also awaiting Al Sharpton's apologies to those he libeled in the Tawana Brawley rape hoax.

Seventh, the next time you hear that someone was indicted by a grand jury, unless you have knowledge of the case, or reason suggests possible guilt, don't assume it. As Joe Cheshire, one of the accused boys' lawyers said, "A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich for the death of a pig."

Eighth, it is time to drop the anti-male bigotry and either hide the names of accused rapists -- at least until their indictment -- or also reveal the names of their accusers. Short of that, the press and justice system surely have the moral obligation to reveal the names of false accusers of rape. It is almost beyond belief (but little is anymore) that news media like The New York Times will still not reveal the name of the lying accuser. For the record, it is Crystal Mangum. Shame on her and her supporters. I weep for those boys and their families. And I fear for America.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The New Jamestown Tragedy

This month Queen Elizabeth II will visit Jamestown, Virginia as the nation marks the 400th anni-versary of the founding of the colorful British colony that eventually gave birth to the United States. Instead of the pomp and circumstance that is normal for commemorating such an event, Queen Elizabeth and U.S. citizens alike will discover how the prelates of political correctness have hijacked the commemoration and found pliant allies in the Virginia state government with the unknowing assistance of Congress, who initially chartered the Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission (H.R. 4907 / Public Law 106-565). Do you want a sample of your tax dollars at work?

The word "Celebration" has been banned from the Jamestown anniversary because influential members of the organizing committee have stated the colonial settlement was, in fact, an "invasion" that led to a "holocaust" of American Indian tribes and the institution of slavery on American soil. It gets better. The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, among others, were paneled on a committee to discuss the Jamestown "tragedies" - a surprise to me since I was unaware their esteemed resumes included expertise in 17th century American Colonialism. There was also a discussion on the settlers' ecological habits - earning the glorious accolade for Jamestown as the "origin of environmental injustice in America." Let's not forget that two self-professed "Native Americans," are also selling a new book called "The True Story of Pocahontas." It is allegedly a wonderful addition to the misery of what was thought would be a day of importance in modern American history by depicting the colonists as murderers, rapists, slavers and thieves. The book's release was timed to the "commemoration" date and is supposedly based upon what the authors claim is the "sacred Mattaponi Tribe's oral traditions" unheard for 400 years. Not to be outdone at Jamestown are the official tour guides, who now cautiously describe the role of Christianity in the settlement's founding referring to plaques bearing the Ten Commandments, The Apostles Creed and The Lord's Prayer as simply "religious" in nature and even the National Park Service's official "commemoration" display minimizes the role of the settlers at Jamestown.

As thinking Americans, we are all for free thought and discourse, but let us push aside for a mo-ment the historians of minutia; disregard that the first African slave owner in Jamestown was a free black man, who, like thousands of poor whites, was a former indentured servant himself, forget the "environmentally-friendly," Indian tribes who, instead of cutting down trees and build-ing homes from the timber to make room for gardens, torched the forest and planted crops in the blackened soil or had their own slaves do the work, and lets forget that most tribes acquired their ancestral lands by force from neighboring tribes. In addition, some colonists, as noted by the records of the day, were far from saintly in their own lives. Dispassionate scholars will tell you it's called life and people in the present cannot morally judge the past or be expected to redress the grievances of ancient sins. Man will hopefully advance further and opinions possessed now on morality, or the lack of, may seem unthinkable to our descendants in the future.

In 1607, however, slavery had been a globally accepted practice since Biblical times and had the American Indians found a common language, mobilized under centralized leadership and mas-tered the oceans with the riches of America in hand, Jamestown, Virginia could have easily been Tanasi on the Thames, Pocahontas the Indian equivalent of Queen Victoria and the aristocracy of Europe replaced with the meritocracy of American Indians. Why? Because it is the principal nature of human beings to explore, advance and colonize. It is a trait common to every color and creed as evidenced by the archaeological records of ancient and modern civilizations around the world. The goals and values established by the early Christian colonists at Jamestown that gave birth to this nation were Utopian in their day - a fantasy thrown in the lot of mythical civiliza-tions like Atlantis and El Dorado, but by hard work, tough times and near disaster their goals were achieved and this nation's people are a testament to their existence. A nation where black, brown, red, yellow, and white, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jew and Muslim people stand and speak with one voice.

The controversy over the CELEBRATION of Jamestown's founding is proof the enemies of western civilization have finally found this nation's Achilles heel and can successfully exploit it. These enemies have also reemphasized that a real war is a multi-faceted assault. The tree of liberty is like any other tree. Simply cutting it down will not kill it. You have to attack its roots. The enemies of the west couldn't defeat it on the battlefield, in the marketplace, or in the arena of ideas. Instead they turn their attention to its greatest weakness - the noble conscience of its people who pride themselves on fair play and justice. While they have absolved themselves of the sins of their forefathers, they don't extend that same privilege to Americans or Europeans. They romanticize historical victimization, implant it like a Trojan horse in the social classes and practice psuedo-intellectual extortion against a honorable republic under the guise of political cor-rectness. It has unfortunately proven to be a gold mine for them and their accomplices in academia, the popular media and politicians straining to show they all possess commonness. In fact, political correctness survives by capitalizing on the American idea of the common man's struggle, but it fails miserably because that is where "p.c." philosophy dead-ends. It disregards the facts that all people bear the scars of racial injustice at one time or another in their history and outright ignores that the United States and most people around the world celebrate the uncom-mon in our ranks.

President Herbert Hoover once stated during a 1948 speech at the Wilmington College of Ohio: "We are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which means a cult of mediocrity. Let us remember that the great human advances have not been brought about by mediocre men and women. They were brought about by distinctly uncommon people with vital sparks of lead-ership. Many of the great leaders were, it is true, of humble origin, but that alone was not their greatness. It is a curious fact that when you get sick you want an uncommon doctor; if your car breaks down you want an uncommonly good mechanic; when we get into war we want dreadfully an uncommon admiral and an uncommon general. I have never met a father and mother who did not want their children to grow up to be uncommon men and women. May it always be so. For the future of America rests not in mediocrity, but in the constant renewal of leadership in every phase of our national life."

The political correctness exhibited at the 400th Jamestown commemoration is far from a celebration of the uncommon, but the die is cast and unfortunately the "Manhattan mindset" that prevails in the network news media seems to lack the common sense to see a story in this modern tragedy.

If there has ever been a time for the people of this republic to man their battle stations, assume a leadership posture and take a stand against the commissars of political correctness to preserve the American heritage, it is now. The pressure to change what is happening in this nation must be brought to bear by the common citizen to news desks, bully pulpits and elected representatives' offices across the nation. If we stand by and allow this to happen without raising our voices in protest, we will become accomplices to the egregious acts at Jamestown and can only blame ourselves for the devastating results that will affect every U.S. commemoration from this day forward.


The big BUT

Claims of `I'm a believer in free speech, but...' are becoming more frequent these days. Such reservations about full-blown free speech help to legitimise a climate of censoriousness. Don Imus made a racial slur, even if people are still debating whether it was `ho' or `nappy-headed' (or both) that was the problem. However, the immediate demands to ban people or get them fired do nothing to challenge the views they hold. Instead, they consolidate a climate where people become ever more fearful of what they say, and where backward ideas are rarely challenged head-on.

Howard Stern - the arbiter of bad taste and no friend of Imus - suggested that Imus should have said `fuck you, it's a joke' and moved on. While Stern may like to posture and swagger (and many are now asking why he is not reprimanded also), he has missed the central point. Today, one of the worst things that you can be accused of is to have caused offence.

Cenk Uygur, a presenter on liberal Air America's The Young Turks, was one of many who argued for free speech but with limitations (2). It is almost a reverse of the classic `I'm not a racist, but...', except here it is supposedly the most liberal commentators in society who are calling for gagging orders. `I'm for free speech, but not when it offends....'

In which case, there is little point in being a supporter of free speech. If it is only acceptable to say things that do not offend or outrage anyone else, then we denigrate all that is important in our democratic tradition. Yes, sometimes people can be nasty, tasteless, infuriating and offensive - but adults surely are able to deal with, expose and ridicule such views. It is much better to point out, loud and clear, that Imus is an ignoramus with a mouth that's even bigger than his head, rather than to demand that the powerful networks silence him and protect the rest of us from his apparently dangerous words.

Another problem is that once the debate is defined in terms of personal offence, then anyone's comments can be called into question. While Sharpton accuses Imus of racism, other commentators accuse Sharpton of anti-Semitism and suggest he should be silenced. Michelle Malkin in the New York Post abhors the misogynist sentiment in Imus's comments, but then goes on to demand that Sharpton et al stop being hypocritical. She also criticises the music of Mims and R Kelly and all the other popular artists who use `offensive language', and the radio stations and execs that broadcast them (5). And on it goes.

Frank Rich in the New York Times said the only way to deal with someone like Imus is by having `more free speech'. He quite rightly argues that the sacking will have a chilling affect across the entire media about what can be said (6).

People who believed in freedom and universal equal rights used to argue that when one starts calling for bans, it is ultimately only the supporters of freedom who suffer. This wise observation has been replaced by a pernicious and nasty sentiment that we can't possibly handle comments and ideas that we disagree with. Instead, we have to go to the headteacher (someone with the power of censorship) and ask for the name-callers to be silenced.

Worryingly, it is seen as acceptable openly to talk about `white trash' as though everyone can accept that term without reservation (just look at the coverage of the death of ex-model Anna Nicole Smith). Yet when we discuss other groups, there is a patronising notion that they will be debilitated by the trauma of being offended. Furthermore, whether something is offensive appears to be entirely subjective. As a discussion on CNN's Paula Zahn Now illustrated, there's nothing inherently offensive about the phrase `nappy-headed' - it all depends, apparently, on who is saying it and why. Free speech is being trumped by etiquette.

With Staples, Bigelow Tea and other big brands withdrawing their advertising from his shows, and every commentator from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton and Ann Coulter weighing in, Don Imus has been canned. More than this, however, American society has taken one more step towards promoting the idea that only certain people are permitted to say certain things in certain ways.

Across the board, on campuses and in the workplace, in the media and society generally, there is a dangerous tendency to shut down debate in the guise of protecting the `vulnerable'. This is a travesty and should compel us all to argue fervently for free speech at all times. Anything less is just not acceptable: censorship leaves bad ideas unchallenged, as they get brushed under the carpet rather than being interrogated; and it limits what can and cannot be discussed out in the open. In the words generally attributed to Voltaire: `I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.'



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Or so a noted commentator on British upper class manners says:

But it all goes to show that class isn’t dead. It reminds me of the true story about the aristocrat being treated for depression by the psychoanalyst. The sessions were going nowhere and in exasperation the psychoanalyst said: “Tell me exactly what you’re thinking about right now.” And the aristocrat replied: “I was just thinking what a vulgar little man you are.” And the sessions collapsed because the psychoanalyst felt he’d lost all ascendancy.

Dame Barbara Cartland famously replied, when the television journalist Sandra Harris asked her in the 1960s whether class barriers had broken down: “Well, of course they have, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to someone like you.”

Most of the outward signs have gone. When we arrived here 25 years ago I was told it was irredeemably common to have red flowers in a Cotswold garden. Now nobody cares about anything as long as you pay your local bills and don’t hurtle down the village in your shining Chelsea tractor, scraping the paint off parked cars.

But one thing likely to give you away as non-U these days is political correctness because it’s so euphemistic. The aristocrat tends not to be politically correct. In fact he’s generally a randy old sod whose family has spent 700 years fornicating and shooting things. If a girl’s got a pretty face, he won’t care what class she’s from.

But if you start referring to your “partner”, or “lone parents”, or people being “vertically challenged”, you will be instantly marked out as non-U. The papers said Prince William had telephoned Kate during all the furore and been very “supportive” — another dreadfully non-U word. Soon they’ll be rabbiting on about them “achieving closure”, another horror.

There’s a lot of confusion about class. Most of the Labour party thinks Tony Blair is terribly grand, but he isn’t. He’s charming, of course, but very, very middle class, not even upper middle class. And I’ve found out while researching Wicked!, which is set in schools, that among young people the word “posh” often isn’t used to denote class, but to accuse someone of being irritatingly clever. Perhaps people who are “posh” are destined to do well in exams and make it to the top.

Class has given us great comic characters, from Mrs Bennet and Hyacinth Bouquet to Tim Nice-But-Dim and Vicky Pollard, the archetypal working-class girl, mouthy, inarticulate and terribly funny.

It’s much more fun to have a class system than not, as long as everyone can go on gently laughing about it. The thing that’s horrid is when people feel hurt by it. But you should remember that the royal family isn’t nearly as old as half the aristocracy — so a lot of people look down on them, too!



We now have treason on display in the Virginia Tech massacre as a peace process parading itself as an immigration policy. This immigration policy is based upon equality or Openness as in the Open Society or what we refer to here at SANE following Professor Robert J. Loewenberg's term, Indiscriminacy. It is a Peace Process that always ends up sacrificing "victims" to prove that men, peoples, and the societies they form, are essentially no different one from the other. It is a Peace Process that, in the name of peace, seeks the World State.

So what do we know of this 23-year old South Korean apparently mesmerized by the Arabic-sounding reference to "Ismail Ax"? What we know is that he was a resident alien, meaning he was NOT an American citizen. He came here as an eight-year old boy with his parents. And, the family remained resident aliens, never actually becoming citizens, choosing for whatever reason to simply renew their "green card" on the first 10-year anniversary of their resident status.

But beyond that we know quite a bit in a relatively short three days since the shooting. We know he was "troubled" to the point of frightening and threatening his fellow students. So much so that some of them refused to attend the same class with him and so much so that one of his professors threatened to quit teaching the class if he was not removed.

He was removed but only then to be tutored by the Chairwoman of the department. He was also troubled enough that at least two female students called the police on separate occasions because he was harassing them. He was also troubled enough that yet another student called police to say that he thought the murderer-to-be was suicidal. The troubled young man was then hospitalized as a danger to himself and possibly to others but released fairly quickly and referred to outpatient care and provided anti-depressant medication.

All of this and he was not even a citizen! He was here as a resident ALIEN! But withal, this troubled young man was able to walk into a gun shop and purchase a nine millimeter semi-automatic revolver and a 22-calibre pistol.

At SANE, we believe the Second Amendment and the responsibility granted to Americans to bear arms is almost sacred. It is who we are as self-reliant people. It begins with our citizen militias at the time of the Revolution and continues through our history of self-defense and citizen-motivated programs to guard the borders, to form citizen posses, and to serve in the Reserves and in the National Guard even as we become citizens in every other way. Americans have always had just the right amount of suspicion that their government could very well fail them when national defense was needed most. We've certainly lived through enough examples of the grossest forms of government incompetence which have cost thousands of American lives to know what Ronald Reagan said to be true: too often government is not the solution; it is the problem.

But what does the Second Amendment have to do with an immigrant who is NOT a citizen and certainly is not part of the American people? The Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." How can it be that "resident ALIENS" become part of the American PEOPLE and are granted the right to walk around armed?

The answer of course is that in America, as well as in Virginia and most states, resident aliens are treated just like citizens. We have taken the position in this country that the American People and the Society we have formed is no longer about a People. It is now about legal categories. White Christians were at the founding of this nation a distinct people and privileged as such. Men of means among this people were given the opportunity for representative government. This is, for those of you flinching, not a thesis or "viewpoint"; this is historical fact.

After the Civil War, this changed; with the move into the 20th century this change became a wholesale reformation. Today, you cannot speak of Christianity in the public sphere and if you mention "white" and "Christians" in the same sentence you will be set upon as a despicable racist by every "fair-minded" public person. And, this phenomenon extends far beyond race. It is now the case that you cannot speak of the evil of Islam and remain a serious participant in public discourse. In order to speak of the unfathomable murder and mayhem brought to the Western world by Mohammed and his god Allah and the threat it poses to our very existence, we must label it in such ways as to disfigure our very meaning. Thus, Islamists are the bad guys not Muslims; Islamo-fascism is their political ideology not Islam simply and not even Islamic law; and we must, almost per force of law, begin by noting that our critique is not of the noble religion of peace but of radical Islam hijacked by the few extremists among the faithful.

Talk of "illegal" immigrants as opposed to "undocumented" immigrants is likened to the lexicon of Nazis. Even our Republican president informs us that we have an obligation as Americans to care for and accept as one of us those men and women who have broken our laws and intruded into our homes. The argument is that because some bad or weak American actors have given these illegal intruders jobs once they are here, we have somehow relinquished forever our authority and responsibility to protect our nation, its Peoplehood, and its security.

So it is that President Bush and enough of the Republicans can join with the Open Society crowd to defeat sane immigration proposals because they sincerely believe in the "openness" of a liberal democracy and because they see this belief reflected in poll after poll. In other words, most Americans believe in it too!?! While the word "amnesty" doesn't hold much public enthusiasm, words and phrases such as "path to legal citizenship", "mainstreaming", "coming out of the shadows", "family reunification", "comprehensive immigration reform", "guest worker program", and other such disguised amnesty jargon are ways to package the idea that the plight of the illegal intruder non-citizen is somehow our fault for insisting on borders and peoplehood.

It was of course the beloved Ronald Reagan, the David of conservatism against the Goliath of Liberalism, who was the first president in the history of the US to actually grant amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants with his support of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. And before that, it was the Great Society's Lyndon B. Johnson who passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which eliminated nation-specific quotas, replacing them with just one overall quota. This meant of course that we had as a country effectively determined that we were not a white Christian nation, but would become a brownish-black nation of third world types who could barely speak our language, knew nothing of our culture and civilization, and indeed desired to be one of "us" predominantly for economic reasons.

But this new view fits our Redirection perfectly; indeed the two are intimately intertwined. As a People we once understood that if we moved away from being a distinct people, meaning overwhelmingly white and Christian with ancestors from the European continent, the America nation would cease to exist because the people would no longer be. Today, with the Redirection in the ascendancy, we are now a country of "citizens" who no longer lay claim to being a distinct nation and people. The question that is surely worth asking is if it is even possible today to expect otherwise?

Indeed, once the 14th Amendment was ratified to "fix" the problem of the "unequal" treatment of the emancipated African slaves in lieu of a plan of mass repatriation, the Supreme Court went to work "incorporating" almost all of the Bill of Rights into the amendment's expansive language thereby bringing state governments, their autonomy and sovereignty, into the jurisdiction of the federal courts and Congress. That of course was not enough for those who wished to destroy the notion of local government and peoplehood at the level of the states. To finish the job the Supreme Court eventually took the Commerce Clause, which was meant to protect the individual states from abuse by other states and to facilitate commerce between the states, and turned it into a club to beat our federalist system to an unrecognizable pulp.

What this came to mean in the late 20th century is that the courts were now free to determine that the American people, including the individual peoples and societies of the formerly sovereign 50 states, were now "legal citizens", "residents", "aliens" and the like all within the purview of its long-arm of egalitarian, nationalized, and indiscriminate legal rules.

(Peoplehood, once experienced as real and certain, was so well understood at the founding that it was enshrined for example in the Second Amendment where you wouldn't imagine granting someone who was not "of the people" the privilege to bear arms. This was given to the people as such precisely because the government should neither be blindly trusted to do what it should do to defend the people against intruder-enemies nor be given license to define and to limit its own reach lest it become the intruder-enemy itself ["A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."].)

And so it was that we come to the Supreme Court's now famous footnote dicta in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). Plyler was really about whether a state like Texas which was inundated with illegal immigrants from Mexico could withhold certain public benefits to the children of these illegal immigrants, such as a free public education. The case did not specifically address whether the affected children were also illegal immigrants born in Mexico or possibly "anchor babies" born in the US to illegal immigrants.

On the main point, the Court decided that there was indeed a constitutional interest to make certain that the states did not "discriminate" against these poor helpess children just because they were "undocumented" by applying the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause (". . . nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.") which applied to "persons".

But the Court would have to explain how the Equal Protection Clause could possible be read to mean that the state of Texas could not preserve its public school system financed by mostly state tax dollars by reserving its privileged use to legal residents. To answer this in a way to destroy the state's sovereignty and the peoplehood of that state, the Court then reached into another of its bags of tricks and pulled out of the Constitution something no one has ever found there: the "Intermediate Scrutiny Test", which is just another of those fictions and constitutional amendments the Court has appended to the written word by fiat without so much as a peep out of the American People now defined out of existence and converted into "legal constructs".

But Pyler's damage to the sovereignty of the states and the residual notion of Peoplehood was not greatest at the point of impact. The real damage was what was implicit in the Court's attitude about "citizenship" and how it read the 14th Amendment. The result was that the destruction it wrought was from the collateral damage contained in footnote 10 of the Court's 5-4 opinion wherein it wrote:

". . . no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment "jurisdiction" can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful."

In other words, it was not enough to destroy the very notion of a People existing as a distinct Society and political order and to replace that with a legal construct consisting of words as symbols and definitions, now the Court wanted to make clear that even the legalistic distinctions between citizens and legal immigrant-residents and illegal immigrant-residents was to be blurred merely by hopping the fence.

And, indeed, as a practical matter, this is how immigration law now works. If a pregnant Mexican woman can cross the border long enough to plop out another of her offspring, take pictures and document it, that baby can then immediately claim to be part of the American People because there is no people anymore but rather legalistic notions of Indiscriminacy. Does one wonder what might happen if our Latino mother has one foot in Mexico and one in the US? Would it depend where exactly the baby plops out? What if little Enrique lands on the line?

And as we all know, when the misfit "racists" and "Resurgent Atavists" raise their "ugly" voices and talk about Peoplehood and immigration controls, the PC machine is ready to shut them down by marginalizing them to the far corners of the blogosphere, typically right next to David Duke but now joined by the Hollywood and Radio City loudmouths like Don Imus. Immediately the PC chorus chimes in about how wonderful the Latino friend is who immigrated here twenty years ago or the Muslim cardiologist who has been here 35 years. But if this is their logic, then why not actively pursue open border immigration as a policy? Join the George Soros "Open World Society". Why not embrace a North American Union like the European Union and tear down our borders? Is there a justification to create a "legal" distinction, nothing more than an artificial "social construct" between Americans and Canadians? And, if we could learn Spanish or teach the Mexicans English or embrace a bi-lingual multi-cultural society, we could destroy our southern border as well. Imagine what all that cheap labor could do for our manufacturing industry. We, the people of the world, all cherish freedom and democracy, do we not? Why should a child born through no fault of his own on one side of the border or the other (which again is not a physical or actual boundary between Peoples and nations but a legal construct to "discriminate" between two equal human beings) be denied "Equal Protection of the Laws"?

So now we have a better understanding of the Virginia Tech massacre. We don't care how many immigrants and resident aliens - legal or illegal - will be inconvenienced by our concerns. Every single life of an American as a member of a distinct and unique People is worth more than all of the "aliens" put together. The Redirection, of course, informs us otherwise by pointing out that per science and democracy there can be no real distinctions between people or peoples. In science as in democracy, we are all radically equal and indistinguishable.

The Virginia Tech murderer, although not an American in any sense of the word was here "legally". Per the Elites, who don't simply suffer from the Redirection but relish and embrace it, there could have been no grounds to discriminate against him. The idea that this "troubled" young man should have been cared for and pampered is second nature and indeed a "human right" embodied in the Constitution even if not in its written word.

The response we know to expect now would be, "What could you possibly be suggesting would have been the proper response of the authorities?" And to that question the answer should be, but is not, obvious. That he and his parents should not have been here in the first instance is clear. That this "troubled" young man was not deported, but should have been, at the first sign of "trouble" is also clear. And, we did not because it would not have been "fair" because he is, after all, as President Bush reminds us about the illegal immigrants in America, a "person" just like "us" except what that means of course is that there is not US only ALL or the World. And therein lies the treason.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.