More Leftist hate of Christians
National news networks have a penchant — or, at the least, a tendency — for mischaracterizing the words, motivations and actions of people of faith. Over the past few months, representatives for Pastor John Hagee, the leader of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, have been increasingly concerned and frustrated over MSNBC‘s Lawrence O’Donnell’s negative commentary (and his purported refusal to address his matter on-air insinuations).
Apparently, O’Donnell has taken to the airwaves and used what Ari Morgenstern, a spokesman for Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, calls “old and long-debunked stories concerning some of Pastor Hagee’s past comments.” These comments, the rep says, were put out in an effort to make Hagee look like an anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic bigot.
So, what are these inciting words, you ask? The Weekly Standard has done some reporting on some of the controversy surrounding O‘Donnell’s past words about Hagee:
“Because Rick Perry has invited Hagee to his prayer event, the idiotic governor of Texas now owns that Hagee quote,” O’Donnell said in reference to a sermon Hagee delivered more than a decade ago in which he explored the connection between the evils of the Holocaust and the notion that God is loving and omnipotent. “Rick Perry owns the idea that Hitler’s killing 6 million Jews was God’s idea,” O’Donnell continued.
The implication of O’Donnell’s words was clear: Hagee is an anti-Semite, a Jew hater—and Perry is guilty by association.
But the words that O’Donnell was referencing had already been contended with years before. Hagee, having purportedly never intended to hurt the Jewish community, had already clarified what he meant during the sermon in question. In fact, in response to an apology letter in 2008, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman wrote the following to Hagee:
We are grateful that you have devoted your life to combating anti-Semitism and supporting the State of Israel. We wholeheartedly support your efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism, including its historic antecedents in the Christian community. We especially appreciate your extraordinary efforts to rally so many in the Christian community to stand with Israel.
The Standard went on to speak with Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who insisted that Hagee is anything but an anti-Semite. “He loves the Jewish state and the Jewish people. From what I learned during those meetings [with Hagee], he is not an anti-Semite,” Wiesel told the outlet. “I have not heard him [say anything anti-Semitic]. Nobody has ever told me that.”
Below, watch comments from O‘Donnell’s August 5 show, during which he slams Hagee’s alleged views on Catholics (he, again, uses Hagee to say that Perry isn’t a viable presidential candidate). O’Donnell also goes on to call the pastor a “mega-church lunatic and hater“ and a ”vicious bigot”:
But the Catholic League didn’t agree with this assessment either. The following was written on the group’s web site recently:
Without being asked by either Perry or Hagee, Donohue addressed the media saying, “Let me set the record straight one more time: whatever issues I had with Pastor John Hagee were fully resolved once I received his May 12, 2008 letter expressing his ‘deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.’ Three days later, thanks to the intervention of Deal Hudson, Hagee came to my office seeking reconciliation. He succeeded.”
Christians understand the meaning of forgiveness. What we despise are attempts to keep people from reconciling. Moreover, Catholics get especially exercised when those who have never shown one iota of interest in condemning anti-Catholicism all of a sudden begin denouncing it.
But O‘Donnell’s words didn’t just focus upon Hagee, Morgenstern says. In addition to slamming the pastor, the MSNBC host also went on to showcase some fundamental misunderstanding when it comes to non-denominational Christianity. This faith system, which relies upon Christian scriptures and is not generally regulated by a higher denominational structure, is typically referred to as “Bible-based.”
In making his comments (below), O’Donnell insulted millions of Americans without even realizing it — likely a result of his own failed understanding of how non-denominational Christianity works. He said:
“John Hagee is actually not a member of any religion. He has a church which would be better labeled a theater where he performs and his web site calls his performance art group ‘a non-denominational evangelical church.’ Religiously that means absolutely nothing. That means any fool like Hagee can get up on the stage in his theater and say any foolish thing, because there is no religious doctrine to be observed in Hagee’s theater…”
Hagee’s team obviously took offense to these words. “John Hagee is pastor to nearly 20,000 people in his church, and a spiritual leader for many thousands if not millions more around the globe,” Morgenstern explained. “Mr. O’Donnell’s attack on Pastor Hagee was simply beyond the pale.”
So, following these comments, Morgenstern reached out to NBC News Standards and Practices to ask for an apology. While Hagee’s team has sought an apology, they have been greeted by relative silence. Instead of addressing his comments, O’Donnell has offered his show up as a platform for Hagee to come on and discuss his distaste for what was said on the air.
Below, see part of the letter that Morgenstern sent to the network, explaining why he and Hagee refuse to go on O‘Donnell’s show:
…the last remaining point of contention associated with the August 5 the segment concerns O’Donnell’s comments denigrating Hagee’s faith. Specifically O’Donnell called Hagee a “fake” preacher. He asserted that “John Hagee is actually not a member of any religion.” And in reference to Hagee being the leader of a non-denominational Evangelical church, O’Donnell stated “religiously, that means absolutely nothing.
Accepting O’Donnell’s invitation would indicate that his disparagement of Hagee’s faith is worthy of debate. It is not. O’Donnell’s comments were repugnant and offensive. There are millions of non-denominational Evangelical Christians in America and around the world, and O’Donnell denigrated their faith because he does not like their politics. We will not dignify such bigotry with an appearance on the program.
In late October, “The Last Word” blog admitted that Hagee had made up with both Catholics and Jews, but the show’s staff wrote, “Not everyone represented in those communities, however, have forgotten his words and forgiven him.” The piece concluded with an open invitation to the faith leader: “The invitation to discuss religion with Pastor Hagee remains an open one.”
When the Blaze reached out to a representative for “The Last Word,” the talking points present in the blog were repeated. “Lawrence has addressed this on his show. Pastor Hagee has an open invite to appear on ‘The Last Word,’” Lauren Skowronski wrote.
We responded, again asking for clarification on O‘Donnell’s controversial words about non-denominational evangelicals. After all, regardless of what was said about Hagee, the blanket statements O’Donnell made about non-denominational Christians were eyebrow-raising. We have not yet received a response.
A few weeks ago, Morgenstern’s attempts to settle the matter with the network came to a standstill, as MSNBC reportedly refused to issue an apology or further clarification. Commenting on the silence he’s received from the network, Morgenstern said that anti-Christian views are seemingly the last acceptable form of bigotry.
“I can’t speak to their mindset, but I hope MSNBC recognizes that their silence on this matter speaks volumes about their organization,” he said. “Honestly I can’t imagine why anyone, let alone a pundit associated with a national news network, would choose to attack the faith of millions of people.”
When the Three R's Stand For "Rescinding the Rights of the Religious"
This week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand a lower court ruling permitting the city of New York to block churches from meeting for worship services in empty public schools on weekends is profoundly troubling. Not just in its implications for religious freedom, but for what it says about what we are teaching the children who meet in those schools during the week.
Because the lower court ruling (from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit) stands in square opposition to the rulings of other federal appeals courts around the country on similar cases, its decision effectively creates two constitutions – one for congregations in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, another for the rest of the country. How much equal access your church may have to public buildings depends entirely on the state in which you live.
More troubling, though, is that the Second Circuit’s decision ignores the presumption – built into the DNA of our nation – that religious freedom needs to be protected. That DNA is now the subject of substantial “genetic engineering” in America’s current legal and popular culture, and this case – Bronx Household of Faith v. the Board of Education of the City of New York – is an excellent example.
For nearly 40 years, Jack Roberts and Robert Hall, co-pastors of Bronx Household of Faith, have been an intimate part of their inner-city neighborhood, six subway stops north of Yankee Stadium. They’ve watched the ethnic and cultural tides come and go – as Jews made way for the Irish, the Irish for the Italians, the Italians for African-Americans and Hispanics. Between them, their families have raised 18 children in century-old frame houses, sharing one mostly concrete backyard and the daily joys and challenges of bringing Christ to an area that cab drivers and even police would prefer not to drive through.
Across those nearly four decades, they’ve earned and re-earned the respect of their ever- changing neighbors – so much so that, in the early 1990s, local officials approached Hall and Roberts about launching some community after-school programs for children in the increasingly volatile neighborhood. The co-pastors offered a combination of Bible stories and recreation, and both school officials and parents gave the okay.
Not long afterward, the pastors approached school administrators, asking permission for their growing home church to meet in the school auditorium on Sundays while they saved and worked to build a meeting place of their own. Local principals readily agreed, with one caveat: Department of Education regulations opened school facilities to all cultural and civic events and activities “pertaining to the welfare of the community” – except worship services.
The pastors, though, felt a church should be honest about being a church. They identified their purpose for meeting as “worship,” turned in an application, and got a fast, firm “no” back from the city. That was the beginning of a reluctant lawsuit aimed not at collecting money, but at establishing the right of religious groups to enjoy the same access to public facilities that other organizations are so freely given.
Currently, nearly 60 churches and synagogues are meeting in New York City public schools … in many cases, not because they want to, but because space and/or funds are not yet available for them to meet elsewhere. Many, like Bronx Household of Faith, have already made a tangible, visible impact on their neighborhoods – ministering love and compassion to children, refugees, shut-ins, the poor and homeless. In not a few of those neighborhoods, diminishing crime statistics give evidence of the good influence these congregations exert on their surroundings.
And yet: the Department of Education is adamant that the churches must go. Even though the congregations, just like thousands of other community groups, meet on weekends, when classes aren’t in session, city officials seem to live in mortal dread of what inferences young minds might draw from the knowledge that some of these people actually sing hymns and pray in their school cafeteria. In the words of Jordan Lorence, the Alliance Defense Fund attorney who has defended Bronx Household of Faith for more than 16 years, “It’s like faith is some kind of asbestos that will somehow poison the students.”
What children are more likely to perceive – especially those who attend these in-school services with their own families – is the very confusing message that this faith that sustains so many folks and brings them together to do good things is something that, for some reason, our schools and our government want people to avoid. And that these weekend visitors – old and young, families and singles, a mixture of races and dress styles and accents – are to be treated by different rules than other people in the neighborhood.
If the children’s curiosity is sufficiently aroused, they may discover that these ostracized people believe in a God who urges His own to treat others unselfishly, with kindness and generosity, humility and forgiveness. They may even recognize these “church-goers” as people who still cherish freedom enough to stand for it, against powerful forces, in the face of decades of frustrating legal setbacks.
If they grasp these things, they will understand more than many, many of those who have passed before them through our government-run schools, and who – like too many of those who control public education today – still have so much to learn.
Even Europe's human rights commissioner backs freedom of the Press in Britain
Europe's human rights chief is to call for greater protection of press freedom after warning that the phone-hacking scandal should not be used as as 'excuse' for imposing tighter controls on newspapers.
Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, is expected to warn of the 'dangers' of statutory press regulation in a report to be launched tomorrow.
The Commissioner's anticipated robust defence of the media will bolster calls to curtail the power of 'media oligarchies' such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
The lengthy document, which addresses the balance between freedom of speech and human rights, comprises analysis from a panel of media experts.
'Together these contributions give an indication that there is a need for stronger protection of media freedom and freedom of expression in Europe today,' Mr Hammarberg is expected to say.
The report, Human Rights And A Changing Media Landscape, highlights the 'critical role' played by journalists who subject those in power to scrutiny.
Warning against statutory regulation - a possibility brought to the fore by the phone-hacking scandal and the ensuing criticism of the media’s embattled Press Complaints Commission - it states: 'There are dangers in this.
'Public outrage is legitimate when the ethics of journalism are abandoned in pursuit of money and political influence, and when the Press exercises power without responsibility, but it is no basis for curtailing media freedom.
'Certainly, there is something to be said for curtailing the power of media oligarchies - of which News Corporation is a prime example - but that needs to be done in the name of pluralism, freedom and respect for privacy.
'The Murdoch case, disgraceful though it is, should not be used as an excuse to impose heavy media regulation which would inhibit the capacity of investigative journalism.'
Mr Hammarberg’s report - which offers an overview of the media across Europe - highlights a decline in the scrutiny of power, particularly at local and regional level, amid editorial cuts in a struggling industry.
And it suggests reporting standards have been 'sacrificed' in the pursuit of commercial objectives. 'Today journalism is in the midst of crisis,' it states.
'The traditional media, particularly newspapers, suffer not just from the effects of the global economic crisis but also the impact of structural and market changes which have reduced the profitability of media enterprises.
'In response to these changing fortunes, severe cuts have been imposed in editorial departments that have weakened the quality of journalism.'
While the study underlines the media’s 'enormously important role' in the protection of human rights, it also calls into question British laws which have resulted in so-called libel tourism - where individuals pursue a claim in a jurisdiction where they are more likely to win damages.
'This sort of action shows how weak legislative protection of journalists, such as that in the United Kingdom, can have the effect of silencing legitimate journalism and investigative reporting,' the report concludes.
Agnes Callamard, executive director at Article 19, a group which campaigns for freedom of expression, said: 'This report could not have come at a more timely moment.
'The media in Europe and around the world is facing technological, political, and economic challenges that are threatening freedom of expression and freedom of the Press.
'The United Kingdom, currently chairing the Council of Europe, must heed the recommendations outlined in the Commissioner’s report.'
The rise and rise of intolerant tolerance in Scotland
A few weeks ago, I watched a debate at the Scottish Parliament about the Offensive Behaviour in Football Bill, a proposal that could result in people who sing offensive ‘sectarian’ songs being imprisoned for up to five years. No matter the differences expressed between those for and against the Bill, there was one thing that they all had in common, an idea repeated ad nauseum by everyone who spoke and summed up by one member: ‘Everybody in this parliament is against any form of bigotry.’
As speaker after speaker got up to repeat this scripted line, it became increasingly clear that this was not a political idea or belief, but a mantra, a chant. It allowed those opposed to the Bill to show their respects, doff their cap at the altar of anti-racism and anti-sectarianism - assured of the murmured concurring of their opponents - and then make their points.
Looked at in this way, saying ‘I am against racism and sectarianism in all its forms’ is little more than a form of etiquette, something that has been learned rather than lived, a line that is repeated rather than one that has come out of debates and arguments. As John Stuart Mill observed, the strength of an idea comes less from its own intrinsic worth than through engagement, contestation and a battle with opposing ideas. If an idea is simply accepted, but never fought for, it loses its strength and significance.
Anti-sectarianism - the idea that no one should be mistreated or discriminated against because they are Protestant or Catholic - has become an essential etiquette that must be observed before any engagement in public life in Scotland. Nothing could make that clearer than the fact that two ‘ultra’ sections of fans from Rangers Football Club - one of the teams at the centre of the whole debate about sectarianism - have also recently declared their opposition to sectarianism. If genuine bigotry were to exist anywhere in Scotland, I suspect that the first place most people would look for it would be among the hardcore fans of Glasgow’s ‘Old Firm’ football clubs: the largely Protestant team, Rangers and the mostly Catholic club, Celtic. Yet, having denounced their treatment by the police, the two groups of Rangers fans declared that ‘The Union Bears and The Blue Order would like to make it clear we are against sectarianism and racism in all forms’.
This discussion has been generated, not by the rise of sectarianism, but rather by a rise in anti-sectarianism
The war on intolerance took off in 2002. The first minister at the time, Labour’s Jack McConnell, first discussed sectarianism as ‘Scotland’s shame’. From then on, ‘tolerance’ - and thus intolerance of sectarianism - became a significant framework, a watchword for Scotland’s new political elite struggling to create a sense of Scottishness after the creation of a separate Scottish Parliament in 1999.
As Michael Rosie notes in The Myth of Sectarianism, ‘Contemporary debate over perceived religious conflict is prompted by the “rebirth of Scotland”. With constitutional change and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, the Scots are confronted by questions of identity: Who are we? Where are we going? Where have we been?’.
Before 1997, there were almost no articles mentioning ‘sectarianism’ with reference to the ‘Old Firm’ in the Glasgow Herald, the biggest Scottish broadsheet. In 1997, this began to change, with 20 such articles published. The number rose to 50 in 2002 when Jack McConnell started talking about ‘Scotland’s shame’. The initial increase in 1997 related less to a rise in sectarianism than to a rise in anti-sectarianism and initiatives to ‘deal with this problem’.
In 2011, following the election of the current SNP government, anti-sectarian campaigning once again became big news with 85 articles about sectarianism and the Old Firm so far this year. Despite the plethora of laws already in existence to deal with sectarianism in football, the current first minister, Alex Salmond, has revived the discussion about the apparent problem of sectarian hatred and violence in Scottish society.
There were a couple of one-off events last year that triggered the talk about the need to wipe out sectarian hatred, including the bizarre sending of ‘threatening’ mail bombs to a number of high-profile Catholics. However, no increase in street violence was mentioned, no evidence of increased arrests at games was cited, nor were any statistics used to show any increased sectarian conflicts in society. Despite this total lack of evidence about a growing sectarian problem in Scottish football, the Offensive Behaviour in Football Bill was proposed with the aim of clamping down on the apparent intolerance and bigoted sectarianism of Old Firm football fans.
In fact, the extent of the problem of sectarianism is strongly contested. SNP politicians justifying the Bill have tended to use statistics illustrating that the public thinks sectarianism is wrong. In other words, the justification for the Bill derives from opinion polls not crime statistics. It is not sectarianism, but anti-sectarianism that has risen exponentially.
Since 1997 expressions of the Good – the tolerant – have grown in Scotland. The Church of Scotland, for example, argued back then that there was ‘no time for intolerance’ within the church, and that the church must ‘tackle Orange Order bigotry’. This was soon followed by the Catholic Church explaining that ‘We’re all for tolerance’.
An anti-sectarian industry began to grow at this time, with grants being awarded to beat bigotry. Discussions started in 2001 between Celtic and Rangers about their possible involvement in the new ministerial group to tackle sectarianism. The campaign Sense over Sectarianism was launched; the public-sector trade union Unison came out in opposition to sectarianism; even former James Bond star Sean Connery came forward to oppose bigotry. Football club-based campaigns like Bhoys Against Bigotry were set up and the National Union of Students in Scotland created their own anti-sectarianism campaign. By 2006, an Action Plan on Sectarianism was set up by the Scottish government, with the aim of creating a tolerant and ‘truly multicultural and multi-faith Scotland’. Teaching tolerance, with reference to sectarianism, has consequently become part and parcel of children’s education in Scotland.
Professor John Flint has described this period as having the ‘most intensive and sustained focus on governing sectarianism in the post-Second World War period’. He is right. At one level, this is understood with reference to the regulation of a certain type of person in society, the working-class football fan. However, this massive rise in anti-sectarianism appears to have a certain significance in and of itself, and with reference to the new political elites in Scotland.
Some very useful work carried out by Steve Bruce, Michael Rosie and others has blown holes in the idea that Scotland is or, to some extent, ever was a sectarian country. However, these ‘facts’ have had no impact upon the politicisation and problematisation of sectarianism because anti-sectarianism has nothing to do with the actual problem of sectarianism. Tather, anti-sectarianism is Scotland’s flag of tolerance, our own brand of anti-racism.
Despite the declining significance of sectarianism at a religious or even political level, especially with the end of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the stereotypical wee bigot can be dragged out time and time again, kicked into touch and booed at like a pantomime villain. In this way, anti-sectarianism has become the badge of honour for each newly elected Scottish government.
However, not too long ago, the idea of tolerance meant something very different: it meant you tolerated other people’s ideas, beliefs and words. Children were taught that sticks and stones did not break their bones and individuals were expected to recognise the difference between words and actions. Words and their free use were considered important in a free society; name-calling might make children cry, but adults would teach them to deal with this and to grow up.
This freedom, and the necessity to tolerate views you did not like, was, as spiked contributor Frank Furedi has observed in On Tolerance, based on an expectation of judgement. We judge ideas and beliefs, we disagree with them or even hate them, yet in a free society we tolerate them. As John Stuart Mill argued, this was important not only for freedom in the abstract but for ideas in society to have a vitality – to be challenged constantly by different and even offensive ideas.
Jaboby’s insight about the political elite is telling: ‘With few ideas on how a future should be shaped, they embrace all ideas.’
The new intolerant tolerance jars with those accustomed to heated banter. Talking to old football fans at Ibrox, they simply don’t understand the problem. Why on Earth would shouting stuff at a football game become a big deal or a political problem? ‘Water off a duck’s back’, they say, shrug their shoulders and look puzzled.
But today, being offended is the in thing. More than that, it is the morally correct pose to take. Being outraged or shocked at ‘sectarian hate’ and other ‘offensive’ behaviour is de rigueur because it expresses your own nature as a modern, tolerant person. This modern version of tolerance is not about individual freedom or about encouraging the free expression of words or beliefs. As such it is not about making judgements. It is much more conservative and fragile than that; in many ways, it is the opposite of Mill’s notion of tolerance.
As Furedi argues, tolerance now has come to mean being non-judgemental; it means we should not challenge or question or offend different ‘cultures’ in any way. To judge is now to be hurtful and we must offer respect unthinkingly towards ‘difference’ and ‘diversity’. Being tolerant is not about being free, it is simply the done thing. As such, the state and politicians in Scotland can stretch their hands across myriad imaginary barricades and give affirmation to a variety of groups in society. ‘We respect you’, they say, ‘and will not accept intolerant behaviour in any form’.
This is where the anti-sectarianism mantra comes in: judgment is replaced by a formulaic unthinking respect of difference that is lifeless and not part of a culture of free contesting ideas and beliefs. The result is that ‘I am opposed to racism and sectarianism in all its forms’ becomes a platitude that is not based on argument, debate or engagement with contesting ideas in society. Rather, it is a correct form of behaviour adopted so as not to hurt or offend anyone.
In this respect, today’s tolerance closes down debate because of the perceived danger of offending different groups. More than this, the high moral ground given to tolerance means that intolerance becomes understood to be the cause of serious conflicts in society. In this context, ‘sectarian’ football name-calling becomes a profound issue and problem to address. This explains why the seamless link between singing offensive songs and actual acts of violence made by politicians seems to make sense. Intolerance is understood to be an act of violence in and of itself.
The idea of being able to ignore offensive comments or songs as ‘water off a duck’s back’ is no longer the appropriate moral standpoint. Showing your outrage at intolerance and showing that you are offended becomes a ‘good’. To be thin-skinned, to complain to the police, to be shocked and outraged become part and parcel of the correct form of behaviour.
The new moralising form of tolerance has become a central framework around which the new Scottish elite and its institutions have organised themselves. As such, nobody has an interest in denying the problem of sectarianism; indeed, the opposite is the case. Even the Protestant Kirk is happy to exaggerate the problem and to apologise for anything it did in the past that was sectarian, thus cleansing itself and entering the tolerant fold of the new elite. To be a ‘right-thinking person’ in a modern Scotland you don’t need to think, but you must be tolerant.
As the American social thinker Russell Jacoby observed in his book The End of Utopia, tolerance and multiculturalism in the US became based on the idea that ‘the more you support it, the more virtuous you are’. Stripped of any utopian vision, progress is reformulated around the ‘celebration of diversity’.
Regarding the new Scottish elites embrace of tolerance, Jaboby’s insight about the political elite is telling: ‘With few ideas on how a future should be shaped, they embrace all ideas.’ Furedi’s On Tolerance likewise notes that, at a time when overt nationalist sentiments are less acceptable, tolerance becomes the opt-out clause. As he argues, this is an approach ‘of political pragmatism’ for a society that finds it difficulty to inspire the public, develop a sense of commonality or to give meaning to national unity.
Today’s bizarre concern about football fans singing songs and waving flags, the ridiculous talk about religious hate crime, and the impassioned language of offence have nothing to do with sectarianism and everything to do with the elites’ and the middle classes’ moral crutch of tolerance. The irony in Scotland is that there are no real differences in the lives of Catholics and Protestants - and any differences that do exist are dying out fast. ‘Sectarianism’ is kept alive not by the ‘hate-filled bigots’ at football grounds, but by the new tolerant elites desperate to hold onto an issue that gives them a momentary sense of common goodness and moral purpose.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.