Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Political correctness produces some strange reasoning in otherwise sane people

The teacher below presents evidence to show that the races are genetically different and then says that it proves that race does not exist! I suppose we should feel sorry for him. He is either mentally ill or feels obliged to mouth arrant nonsense

For most of her life, Georgia State doctoral student Erin Harper thought of herself as African-American with French ancestry. But through a DNA analysis project in her biopsychology class last spring, Harper learned her ancestors traveled out of east Africa, through Asia and over the Bering land bridge to what is now North America, a lineage often carried by Eskimos. "My family and I were in disbelief, and kind of amused," Harper said. "We were like, `Eskimos, what?' But it made me want to know more and dig even deeper into my ancestry."

Harper is not alone. Many Georgia State students who participated in the project had similar reactions when they received answers to such basic human questions as, "Who am I?" and "How did I get to where I am today?"

Next week, biopsychology professor Scott Decker will invite a new class of students to participate in the project and learn about their collective ancestry. The exercise not only teaches students the complexities of DNA, evolution and human migration, but it also can change their perspective on race, Decker says. "What this project says is, `Race doesn't exist,'" he said. "Any observable differences between us are climatic adaptations. We all have the same emotions, thoughts and decision-making processes."

Using a DNA collection kit, Decker's students will scrape their cheek cells and send samples to be compared against the largest DNA database studying human migration ever assembled.

Launched in 2005, National Geographic and IBM are collecting and analyzing DNA from people across the globe for their Genographic Project, which attempts to fill in the gaps in the knowledge of how the human species migrated out of Africa to populate the planet.

Once students get their results and learn their genetic journey, they will research the paths their ancestors took and reflect on how it compares to what they know about their personal histories. The students' DNA will be voluntarily submitted to the Genographic Project, adding another piece to the puzzle of human migration. Decker will also use his students' reactions in his research on how genetic results impact views of race. "By giving students this information - tangible evidence - it changes their attitudes on diversity," Decker said. "It brings history to life."


William Jefferson Faubus: The Clintons start a new conversation about race

The reference is of course to Southern Democrat segregationist governor, Orval Faubus

In the 1990 Senate campaign in North Carolina, there was one ad and one moment that emerged as iconic. Run by Republican Jesse Helms against Harvey Gantt, a black Democrat, it showed a pair of white hands crumpling a piece of paper. "You needed that job," said the voice-over ominously, "but they had to give it to a minority."

Those white hands now belong to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and their complaint is remarkably similar to that of the man in the ad. The Helms ad was a cri de coeur against affirmative action, or at least that form of it that gave preference in hiring--or presumably college admissions--to nonwhite applicants on the grounds (a) that this made up for generations of prejudice and curtailed opportunities, and (b) that diversity for its own sake was a good in itself.

For decades, people who were so crass as to protest such quotas and take their complaint to court--from Allan Bakke at the University of California-Davis medical school in 1974 to Jennifer Gratz at the University of Michigan in 1995--were reviled by the left and by Democrats, portrayed as the second coming of Simon Legree and instructed to suffer in silence for the greater good of humanity.

Now Bill and Hillary Clinton are finding themselves in those same shoes: She has applied for a job with experience and credentials that she thinks are weightier, and yet many voters seem determined to "give it to a minority" who has not paid his dues. According to

the unwritten rules of themselves and their party, the Clintons ought to have shouldered their cross in the name of diversity. Instead, they are playing the race card with a vigor beyond Helms's most extravagant dreams. In their hands and those of their surrogates (including the once well-regarded Bob Kerrey), a gracious and eloquent member of the upper house of the Congress running to be president of all of the people has become a cokehead, a dealer, a Muslim (with possible terrorist leanings), an ally of slumlords, and this year's token black candidate. From the onetime president of black America, the defender-in-chief of quotas and set-asides, this is all unexpected, but then Bill and Hillary Clinton never expected that a walking example of all they professed to admire would come between them and something they thought they deserved.

More here

British army town welcomes back front-line troops

Good to see that many ordinary British people still respect their military

Hundreds of people have turned out to welcome back soldiers who recently returned from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 1,500 lined the streets of the Oxfordshire market town of Bicester to cheer the men and women of 23 Pioneer Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps as they paraded through their home town.

The regiment returned late last year from service in Afghanistan's capital Kabul and the southern province of Helmand. Other members of the unit were on postings in Iraq. Major Mark Comer, 34, returned in November from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq. "I think it's fantastic," he said. "This is the first parade I have done like this. I was absolutely delighted to see such a great turnout. It was really heartwarming."

The event is the latest in a series of high profile occasions since [Leftist] local authorities were criticised for not doing enough to welcome back forces who have been on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The moral and intellectual decay of the British Left

By James MacMillan, a Composer/Conductor with the BBC Philharmonic. He has realized that destruction is all that the modern Left want

In my travels I see myself frequently described in foreign media as a `left-wing and Scottish nationalist' composer. The latter label is ludicrous, and I just put it down to a foreigner's ignorance and justifiable disinterest in the parish-pump tedium of devolved Scotland. It doesn't bother me too much. The first, however, disturbs me much more.

I used to be on the Left - I joined the Young Communist League in 1974, when I was just 14. Part of the motivation behind this was no doubt to annoy my devoutly Catholic relatives, who were all Labour supporters, but anxious, to the point of distraction, about insiduous Marxist manoeuvrings in the unions and in the workplace. My grandfather was part of a Catholic rearguard action in the NUM in the 1930s and 40s to safeguard the union from a far-left takeover. He, and most of the politically active working class in places like Ayrshire throughout the 20th century, were old-style socialists. They tended, also, to be moral and cultural conservatives. There was a tradition among Irish descendants, but also in other communities throughout the country, of Roman and high-Anglo-Catholic orthodoxy that was also politically radical, favouring social justice through economic distribution. The Labour movement was their vehicle to build the just society that was promised in the gospels; the welfare state and greater access to education were seen as fruits of moral Christian activism in society.

After battling against the acolytes of Joe Stalin in the mid-20th century, my grandfather and his friends witnessed a new usurpation of their beloved Labour movement coming from the convulsions of the 1960s. A new generation appeared, whose interest seemed less in economic inequality and more in confronting the traditional values of people like my grandfather, whose beliefs had underpinned the very idea of social order. Marx was giving way to Nietzsche and Freud; Bolshevism was moving over for nihilism. The Left, which had been shaped as much by the muscular Christianity of the 19th century as by anything else, was now being colonised by something very foreign indeed. The cherished values of generations, the foundation of correct, well-ordered structures and relationships were under attack from a formidable foe. The traditional family and education, sexual mores, artistic aspirations, religious belief - all were now seen as coercive strategies of the powerful, designed to enforce conformity and slavish obedience.

The `progressive' liberalism of the new Left, its destructive atheistic iconoclasm, was miles away from the vision of the early Scottish socialists such as John Wheatley, Manny Shinwell and James Maxton.

I muddled along with the Labour party for a few years even though, deep down, I knew instinctively that an essential breach had taken place. Even today, I manage to survive trendy dinner parties by keeping my mouth shut, nodding at the received wisdom of the bien-pensant, and avoiding nasty and surprising arguments. Anything for a quiet life. But the political education I received from old Catholics like my grandfather and even from old Marxists I met at Communist party meetings in the 1970s has made me contemptuous of the simplistic banalities of the modern progressive ,lites. They lack intellectual rigour and ethical integrity, their politics are bland and sentimental, their hatred of Christianity is fundamentalist.

My revulsion is particularly acute in the artistic circles I sometimes find myself in. I regret to say that the most eager acceptance of the new hectoring political puerilities are to be found in The Arts. This has its roots in Romanticism, of course, but a gradual systemisation of radical politics settled in the early 20th century. Think of how, from the 1920s, groups such as Imagists, Vorticists, Futurists, Surrealists, Expressionists habitually declare their commitment to Revolution. Yes, any old revolution would do, but as long as it overturned manners and lifestyles as well as aesthetics and politics.

This has nothing to do with a love of life, a love of the poor or the outsider, but all to do with a love of transgression. It becomes addictive and in the past has led artists as much to the extreme Right as to the far Left. Childish `anti-bourgeois' militancy has no political intelligence or moral fibre. Witness, for example, Harold Pinter's descent into infantilism every time he mentions the United States, or for that matter decides to write poetry. Rather than being ridiculed for the embarrassing doggerel-merchant he has become, he is lauded to the highest by his fellow-travellers, easily impressed by easy rhetoric and equally determined to maintain their favoured positions in the back-slapping arts establishment.

The legacy of this militancy can be seen nowadays in `arts criticism' and the rise of a secular priesthood whose dogmas we now endure day in, day out. The common purpose of this new cultural elite is to attack the institutions and principles of our shared common life. What passes in Britain for an intelligentsia has appropriated the Arts for their own designs - a recent debate at the South Bank proclaimed `All Modern Art Is Left Wing'. No dissent from the party line goes unpunished. What we are seeing here is a cultural regime which adjudicates artists and their work on the basis of how they contribute to the remodelling, indeed the overthrow of society's core institutions and ethics.

Before the performance of one of my orchestral works in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, I gave a short introductory talk and quoted the philosopher Roger Scruton. The Guardian review denounced this as `perilous'. What or who was perilous? Were Scruton's ideas perilous? Was my public association with him perilous? And, if so, for whom? For me? Was this a threat?

In the Daily Telegraph last year Dominic Cavendish asked, `Why do so few of today's plays challenge the left-liberal consensus? Is there a tacit complicity between many of today's writers and the liberal establishment? Is the "liberal consensus" and the fear of appearing right-wing hobbling the urge to conduct tough, awkward debates?' The response from Lisa Goldman, artistic director of the Soho theatre, was telling, and depressing in its simplistic caricature of what `right-wing' means. She asked, `What would a right-wing play have to offer? Anti-democracy, misogyny, bigotry, nostalgia of all kinds? Let's get back to a white Britain? That the slave trade had a civilising influence? That women should stay in the home?' For her, and many like her, anything that is not left-wing is intrinsically and irredeemably evil. There seems no room in her intellectual and aesthetic view to observe a huge and diverse world of moderate and civilised thinkers who have rejected the extreme narrowness of the modern Left.

There is a growing backlash against this bullying, hectoring and unthinking dogmatism. More and more artists describe themselves as lapsed lefties or recovering liberals. There is a growing resolve to confront a liberal establishment in the Arts, media and elsewhere, responsible for the systematic trashing of much that has been our common heritage, including authentic socialist values handed down from Keir Hardie and others. As an ex-socialist I have seen the aspirations that motivated past generations of good, ordinary people discarded with a contemptuous, superior sneer. As a Catholic artist I am sick of the smug ignorance, the gross oversimplification and caricature that serves as an understanding of religion, particularly Catholic Christianity, in so much that passes for criticism and analysis. The destruction visited on schools and universities, the degradation of the media, the vulgarisation of culture, the deliberate and planned dismantling of the family - all this is a result of liberalism, not socialism.

I hope to God that I don't see myself described as a liberal left-winger again when I go abroad.



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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