Friday, June 20, 2014
Vicious British feminist campaign against an innocent man
He was not even charged, let alone tried and exonerated. Feminists dragged the whole union through the dirt in pursuing their hate of him. People due to speak at the union were intimidated into withdrawing because of the hysterical claims. A record of the vicious campaign is here. Many prominent people complied with the feminists' boycott demands, to their eternal discredit
False rape claims are common in Britain even though Britain sends some of the lying women concerned to jail. Brits are very embarrassment-prone and the claims are often made out of "morning after" embarrassment. So to prejudge the rape complaints behind this matter was wilfully hostile.
I personally loathe feminists as much as they loathe men. I am a people-ist. I think people should be judged as human beings not by way of their sex or race. And, to a people-ist, equal pay for equal work is an obvious value. The rest of the feminists gospel however is counterfactual and destructive trash. I am particularly sorry for the women who have been misled into thinking that "Careers" are more important than motherhood. By the time that they realized it was a lie, it has often been too late -- JR
A renowned expert in cyber stalking has labelled the campaign to boycott the Oxford Union while its president was under police investigation for rape as “absolute folly", following the announcement that he will not be charged.
The police said on Wednesday that no further action will be taken against Ben Sullivan, 21, who was arrested on May 7 on suspicion of rape and attempted rape of two undergraduates.
Jennifer Perry, CEO of the Digital Trust and author of the UK guidelines on digital risks, has said that Oxford University officials should have stepped in when an "ill conceived" boycott campaign as a result of the accusations spiralled out of control.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, who heeded calls by Sarah Pine, Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) vice president for women, to boycott the Union, said he stood by his decision. He acknowledged that the president, Ben Sullivan, “should have been considered innocent until proven guilty”.
The Secretary General added: “As President of the Oxford Union who was under investigation for rape, my advice was and remains that he should have resigned or taken a leave of absence until the criminal investigation was completed.”
After his arrest Mr Sullivan declined to resign from his position and survived a vote of no confidence.
Ms Perry said: "Creating an atmosphere of intimidation and gossip and accusation doesn't help get to the truth or resolve the situation. "Muddying the waters as much as they did made the whole process much more difficult. I found the whole thing incredibly distasteful which is why I refused to cave into their intimidation.”
Ms Perry added that it would have been “advantageous” for Oxford University’s authorities to have stepped in. “I think that the university has a hands-off approach on student groups and I would support that,” she said. “But where, on rare occasions, it has escalated to this level they should consider calling a meeting.”
Answering his bail, Mr Sullivan was told by police that “no further action” will be taken against him.
A Union spokesman said: "The Union can confirm that the President, Ben Sullivan, was informed by his lawyers at 15.50 today that Thames Valley Police would not be pursuing any further action against him.
"As far as the Society is concerned, this is the end of the matter. We would like to thank Mr. Sullivan for his work as President under the most difficult of circumstances and wish him well for the future."
The CPS released a statement which said: "Following an investigation by Thames Valley Police, we have decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute a 21-year-old man from Oxford who was arrested following a complaint of rape and a complaint of attempted rape made by two women.
"We will be writing to the complainants to explain our decision in more detail."
Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege
J. Michael Bailey’s book about gender enraged some transgender women
Earlier this month, members of the International Academy of Sex Research, gathering for their annual meeting in Vancouver, informally discussed one of the most contentious and personal social science controversies in recent memory.
The central figure, J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University, has promoted a theory that his critics think is inaccurate, insulting and potentially damaging to transgender women. In the past few years, several prominent academics who are transgender have made a series of accusations against the psychologist, including that he committed ethics violations. A transgender woman he wrote about has accused him of a sexual impropriety, and Dr. Bailey has become a reviled figure for some in the gay and transgender communities.
To many of Dr. Bailey’s peers, his story is a morality play about the corrosive effects of political correctness on academic freedom. Some scientists say that it has become increasingly treacherous to discuss politically sensitive issues. They point to several recent cases, like that of Helmuth Nyborg, a Danish researcher who was fired in 2006 after he caused a furor in the press by reporting a slight difference in average I.Q. test scores between the sexes.
“What happened to Bailey is important, because the harassment was so extraordinarily bad and because it could happen to any researcher in the field,” said Alice Dreger, an ethics scholar and patients’ rights advocate at Northwestern who, after conducting a lengthy investigation of Dr. Bailey’s actions, has concluded that he is essentially blameless. “If we’re going to have research at all, then we’re going to have people saying unpopular things, and if this is what happens to them, then we’ve got problems not only for science but free expression itself.”
To Dr. Bailey’s critics, his story is a different kind of morality tale.
“Nothing we have done, I believe, and certainly nothing I have done, overstepped any boundaries of fair comment on a book and an author who stepped into the public arena with enthusiasm to deliver a false and unscientific and politically damaging opinion,” Deirdre McCloskey, a professor of economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and one of Dr. Bailey’s principal critics, said in an e-mail message.
The hostilities began in the spring of 2003, when Dr. Bailey published a book, “The Man Who Would Be Queen,” intended to explain the biology of sexual orientation and gender to a general audience.
“The next two years,” Dr. Bailey said in an interview, “were the hardest of my life.”
Many sex researchers who have worked with Dr. Bailey say that he is a solid scientist and collaborator, who by his own admission enjoys violating intellectual taboos.
In his book, he argued that some people born male who want to cross genders are driven primarily by an erotic fascination with themselves as women. This idea runs counter to the belief, held by many men who decide to live as women, that they are the victims of a biological mistake — in essence, women trapped in men’s bodies. Dr. Bailey described the alternate theory, which is based on Canadian studies done in the 1980s and 1990s, in part by telling the stories of several transgender women he met through a mutual acquaintance. In the book, he gave them pseudonyms, like “Alma” and “Juanita.”
Other scientists praised the book as a compelling explanation of the science. The Lambda Literary Foundation, an organization that promotes gay, bisexual and transgender literature, nominated the book for an award.
But days after the book appeared, Lynn Conway, a prominent computer scientist at the University of Michigan, sent out an e-mail message comparing Dr. Bailey’s views to Nazi propaganda. She and other transgender women found the tone of the book abusive, and the theory of motivation it presented to be a recipe for further discrimination.
Dr. Conway did not respond to requests for an interview.
Dr. Ben Barres, a neurobiologist at Stanford, said in reference to Dr. Bailey’s thesis in the book, “Bailey seems to make a living by claiming that the things people hold most deeply true are not true.”
At a public meeting of sex researchers shortly after the book’s publication, Dr. John Bancroft, then director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, said to Dr. Bailey, “Michael, I have read your book, and I do not think it is science,” according to accounts of the meeting. Dr. Bancroft confirmed the comment.
The backlash soon turned from the book to its author.
After consulting with Dr. Conway, four of the transgender women who spoke to Dr. Bailey during his reporting for the book wrote letters to Northwestern, complaining that they had been used as research subjects without having given, or been asked to sign, written consent.
One wrote a letter making another accusation against Dr. Bailey: she claimed he had had sex with her.
Dr. Conway and Dr. McCloskey also wrote letters to Northwestern, accusing Dr. Bailey of grossly violating scientific standards “by conducting intimate research observations on human subjects without telling them that they were objects of the study.”
They also wrote to the Illinois state regulators, requesting that they investigate Dr. Bailey for practicing psychology without a license. Dr. Bailey, who was not licensed to practice clinical psychology in Illinois, had provided some of those who helped him with the book with brief case evaluation letters, suggesting that they were good candidates for sex-reassignment surgery. A spokesman for the state said that regulators took no action on the complaints.
In an interview, Dr. Bailey said that nothing he did was wrong or unethical. “I interviewed people for a book,” he said. “This is a free society, and that should be allowed.”
But by the end of 2003, the controversy had a life of its own on the Internet. Dr. Conway, the computer scientist, kept a running chronicle of the accusations against Dr. Bailey on her Web site. Any Google search of Dr. Bailey’s name brought up Dr. Conway’s site near the top of the list.
The site also included a link to the Web page of another critic of Dr. Bailey’s book, Andrea James, a Los Angeles-based transgender advocate and consultant. Ms. James downloaded images from Dr. Bailey’s Web site of his children, taken when they were in middle and elementary school, and posted them on her own site, with sexually explicit captions that she provided. (Dr. Bailey is a divorced father of two.) Ms. James said in an e-mail message that Dr. Bailey’s work exploited vulnerable people, especially children, and that her response echoed his disrespect.
Dr. Dreger is the latest to arrive at the battlefront. She is a longtime advocate for people born with ambiguous sexuality and has been strongly critical of sex researchers in the past. She said she had presumed that Dr. Bailey was guilty and, after meeting him through a mutual friend, had decided to investigate for herself.
But in her just-completed account, due to be published next year in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, the field’s premier journal, she concluded that the accusations against the psychologist were essentially groundless.
For example, Dr. Dreger found that two of the four women who complained to Northwestern of research violations were not portrayed in the book at all. The two others did know their stories would be used, as they themselves said in their letters to Northwestern.
The accusation of sexual misconduct came five years after the fact, and was not possible to refute or confirm, Dr. Dreger said. It specified a date in 1998 when Dr. Bailey was at his ex-wife’s house, looking after their children, according to dated e-mail messages between the psychologist and his ex-wife, Dr. Dreger found.
The transgender woman who made the complaint said through a friend that she stood by the accusation but did not want to talk about it.
British Liberals attack holiday homes
Beautiful parts of the county are being 'gutted' by second home owners pricing young families out of the area, Nick Clegg claimed today.
Mr Clegg said parts of the Lake District and the South West were being 'filleted' by wealthy families who were driving up house prices by snapping up second homes in the countryside.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he was looking at measures to cap the number of holiday homes that are blamed for destroying picturesque towns and villages.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this morning said holiday home owners had 'gutted' beautiful areas of the country like Cornwall and the Lake District
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this morning said holiday home owners had 'gutted' beautiful areas of the country like Cornwall and the Lake District
Lib Dem MPs have led calls to limit the number of second homes in an area or force families to get planning permission to turn a permanent home into a holiday getaway.
There have also been calls to hike council tax on second homes. The Coalition has so far only given councils the power to remove the council tax discount on second homes, which ranged from 10 per cent to 50 per cent.
At a press conference this morning - called to unveil a manifesto promise to ring-fence education funding 'from cradle to college' - Mr Clegg was asked whether there would be an election pledge on tackle the blight of holiday homes.
The Deputy Prime Minister said: 'It’s a huge problem in parts of the South West and the Lake District.
'And we’ll constantly look at we can make sure, yes, people who want to come and invest in the community and create a holiday home are not barred from doing so, but that we don’t have this problem of the whole community being filleted. Gutted.
'With no prospect of youngsters finding a home they can call their own. One of the ways out of this, difficult though it is in beautiful parts of the country, is to build more homes on the scale we need.'
The Quay and The Granary, Wells next the Sea, Norfolk. Quay to success: Attractive Wells-next-the-Sea is luring second-home buyers
Villages like Wells next the Sea in Norfolk are luring second-home buyers looking to escape the city. But this can drive up property prices, forcing local families out
CLEGG'S OWN HOLIDAY GETAWAYS
Nick Clegg spends at least one holiday a year in his wife's family home in the tiny Spanish village of Olmedo, near Valladolid.
He also has a share in his family's 20 room ski chalet in Switzerland's Klosters ski resort - the Alpine playground of the Royals.
The traditionally-designed lakeside villa – built by Mr Clegg’s Dutch grandfather - is worth an estimated £7million.
The Deputy PM also has use of a grace and favour country house, which is usually reserved for the Foreign Secretary, near Sevenoaks in Kent.
Chevening was built in the 17th Century and has 115 rooms to entertain guests at the taxpayers expense.
On top of these options Mr Clegg owns a £1.5million townhouse in South West London - just a stone's throw from the Thames - and rents a two-bedroom flat in Sheffield.
The Pope's attack on capitalism shows he knows nothing about how the world really works
There can be no doubt that Pope Francis is a devoted and selfless man who has dedicated his life to serving others. A phenomenal theologian, he abhors war and poverty and is an inspiration to hundreds of millions of believers; he has gained widespread respect even among those who disagree with the Roman Catholic church’s teachings.
So it is with great sadness that I must take exception to the Pope’s views on economics and business. His hostility to capitalism, shared by the Church of England, is tragically misplaced. He has repeatedly savaged free markets, most recently at a Vatican conference this week, and aligned himself with the views of Thomas Piketty, the far-Left intellectual who obsesses about inequality and advocates crippling taxes on income and wealth.
In one key intervention, the Pope claimed that the “absolute autonomy of markets” was a “new tyranny”. It was a strangely inaccurate vignette of the modern economic system, which is characterised by not-so-free markets that are routinely bailed out, subsidised, taxed, capped, fettered, regulated and distorted by activist governments and their monetary and fiscal policies. North Korea is a genuine tyranny; free trade and genuine free markets are anything but.
It gets worse, unfortunately. At the height of Pikettymania, and before many leading economists punched holes in the French economist’s thesis, the Pope took to his Twitter account to state, without any caveats or context, that “inequality is the root of social evil”. He was clearly referring to differences in financial outcomes and wealth – and crucially, not to poverty or to inequalities of opportunity, both very different concepts.
In any free society characterised by private property rights and folks endowed with differing tastes, ambitions, talents and aspirations, there will inevitably be a divergence in earnings and wealth. Francis’ wholesale condemnation of inequality is thus tantamount to a complete rejection of contemporary economic systems. It is not a call for reform, or for moderation, but a radical denunciation.
The logical conclusion of the Pope’s tweets is that it is “evil” for the likes of Sir Richard Branson to have been allowed to keep the money he earned by providing the public with goods and services, and that we need immediate equalisation through punitive taxes. Such an extreme view would have catastrophic consequences, annihilate incentives to work, save and invest and halt the progress of human civilisation.
The Pope’s latest critique this week was equally unfounded, blaming speculators for high food prices. “The few derive immense wealth from financial speculation while the many are deeply burdened by the consequences,” he said, claiming that “speculation on food prices is a scandal which seriously compromises access to food on the part of the poorest members of our human family”.
Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, made similar comments, as have many pressure groups; ironically, food prices have actually been falling recently. But the truth is this: speculators are not to blame for high (or low) prices over any meaningful period of time, there is no genuine, robust statistical evidence to back up the Pope’s claims and any profits traders make do not come at the expense of the poor.
Those who buy and sell and seek to predict the future perform a crucial and legitimate social function; without them, the economy would lurch from over-supply to under-supply. Markets would be horrendously opaque and illiquid, with some consumers paying far more than others for identical products. When the price of food goes up, it means experts collectively feel demand will rise or supply will fall; thanks to such speculation, market prices are the best possible early warning signal. They allow farmers to plant more of the right kinds of crops, and futures markets allow them to insure themselves against price changes. Speculators who keep getting it wrong go bust.
Food is relatively expensive because it is relatively scarce. Many countries are becoming richer and thus consuming more of it – which is wonderful – and more agricultural land is being used to produce biofuels and ethanol. Yet we have coped: technological progress, fuelled by entrepreneurial innovation, has made agriculture immensely more productive; and improved policies have meant that more countries now operate productive agricultural sectors.
Over time, it is these trends which determine the cost of our lunch and dinner, not traders; it is a shame that so many people find it easier to shoot the messenger than try to understand the underlying causes of scarcity and plenty.
Of course, the system can break down. Bubbles can appear: quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates have pushed up a variety of asset prices over the past few years; too much money is chasing too few commodities. Markets can be manipulated, as we saw with Libor; fortunately such illegal activity doesn’t tend to have much of an actual long-run impact on prices but it should nevertheless be penalised severely. Cracking down on such abuse is one thing; seeking to stop speculation is another entirely.
The Pope also recently criticised “trickle-down” economics – in fact a caricature of free-market arguments – in scathing but equally incorrect terms. “There was the promise that once the glass had become full it would overflow and the poor would benefit. But what happens is that when it’s full to the brim, the glass magically grows, and thus nothing ever comes out for the poor,” he said. It is hard to reconcile such a baffling statement with recent economic history. Even the poorest among us today have access to medical technologies which the richest of the rich couldn’t even have dreamed of a century ago. The number of people living in extreme poverty in emerging markets has collapsed from half the population in 1981 to 21pc in 2010. A giant new global middle class has emerged in China, India, Africa and Latin America.
Yet no real free-marketeer believes that growth alone is enough to solve all problems. In the West, wages are under pressure and youth unemployment elevated, among a myriad other urgent issues. The solutions are complex; they include boosting entrepreneurship, improving education and more flexible labour markets. They certainly do not involve wholesale, ill-informed attacks on the market economy.
Religious groups have a central role to play in improving society: they can promote self-control, civility, respect and ethical behaviour, and help to reduce fraud, manipulation and other illegal activity in all spheres of human action. They can remind their followers that there is more to life than merely accumulating goods, and that reading, learning and thinking are wonderful things.
They can convince the rich to finance poverty-alleviation programmes, medical research, and educational scholarships. They ought to emphasise the oneness of humanity, and thus help remove protectionist barriers which prevent people from poor countries from selling their wares to richer countries. The task is immense.
But unthinkingly to fight capitalism – the greatest alleviator of poverty and liberator of people ever discovered – makes no sense. The sooner the world’s great religions learn to love the wealth-creating properties of the market economy, the sooner they will be able to harness them to make the world a better place.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.