Friday, July 17, 2015
Another one of those wonderful multiculturalists Britain is proud to host
A thug who murdered a teenager by stabbing him to death when he tried to save his friend in a street attack has been jailed for life.
Evil Richard Johnson, 24, knifed 19-year-old boxing star Joshua Bradley in the heart with a ten-inch hunting knife during a vicious brawl.
A jury found Johnson guilty by majority verdict of murder following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
Co-accused Zaiem Zulqurnain, 20, of Aspley, Nottinghamshire, was cleared of the murder and a second charge of violent disorder.
Joshua, a former boxer who represented England, was stabbed in the chest after a fight broke out in Thurland Street in Nottingham at 4am on February 8 this year.
Johnson, of Hyson Green, Nottingham, was told he would serve at least 25 years behind bars before being eligible for parole,
Judge Gregory Dickinson said: 'This is an illustration of why Parliament has specified the starting point for those who commit murder using a knife taken to the scene, intending to have it available to be used as a weapon. 'He would still be alive, but for the fact when you went out that night you took with you a knife and you were ready and willing to use it.'
Joshua was killed when he went to the aid of his pal Carl Henry who was attacked by a group of men who knocked him unconscious when they kicked him in the head.
The brawl was caught on CCTV and showed Joshua defending Mr Henry and then 'crashing to the pavement' after being stabbed through the heart by Johnson.
Earlier, witnesses had heard Johnson claiming he had got his 'ting' on him, referring to the knife tucked into the waistband of his jeans.
Johnson showed no emotion as the verdict was read out and the court was told he had a previous conviction for causing grievous bodily harm.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa crowdfunder breaks record with $352K
A crowdfunding campaign for the Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa has set a site record by raising $352,500 in about two months after being kicked off the GoFundMe website, far exceeding the initial goal of $150,000.
Jesse Wellhoefer, founder of Continue to Give, said the Sweet Cakes effort has raised more than any previous campaign on behalf of individuals in the three-year-old crowdfunding website’s history.
Continue to Give also handles ongoing fundraising for nonprofit organizations as well as mobile and kiosk tithing for churches.
GoFundMe, the nation’s largest crowdfunder, removed a campaign for Sweet Cakes by Melissa in April after receiving complaints from gay-marriage supporters. The bakery’s owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, are locked in a legal battle with the state for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony, citing their religious beliefs.
Mr. Wellhoefer said his company had received “lots and lots” of complaints about the Sweet Cakes crowdfunding campaign, but that he has refused to remove it.
“Lots of people have been asking us to take it off,” Mr. Wellhoefer said. “Our response has been, ‘Thank you for your concern, have a great day and God bless you.’”
Launched May 5, the Sweet Cakes crowdfunding campaign has received 7,651 donations and thousands of messages of support such as, “Keep on fighting,” “God bless you,” and “Don’t back down!! We are standing with you.”
The Oregon labor commissioner ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple for “emotional damages” to Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer after declining to prepare a cake for their June 2013 commitment ceremony.
Mr. Klein had informed the couple that he was sorry but that the bakery did not prepare cakes for same-sex ceremonies as a result of the family’s religious convictions. Gay marriage was not legal in Oregon at the time.
The Kleins are expected to appeal the labor commissioner’s July 2 decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
GoFundMe changed its policy on disallowed campaigns after pulling the Sweet Cakes fundraiser. At first GoFundMe explained the removal by citing its policy against “formal charges in defense of heinous crimes,” prompting critics to point out that the Kleins had not been charged with a crime.
A few days later, GoFundMe changed the policy to include a ban on “claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts,” making it easier to remove campaigns for Christian-owned business owners fighting discrimination charges after declining to provide services for gay weddings.
The Kleins were permitted to keep the $109,000 already raised on GoFundMe before the campaign was removed.
Mr. Wellhoefer said any money raised on Continue to Give goes directly to a third-party processor and then to the beneficiary’s bank account.
Kanzlerin Angela Merkel, a Christian, says she disagrees with homosexual marriage
All marriages should be gay but not all gay marriages are homosexual
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has revealed she is opposed to homosexual marriage and believes matrimony should be restricted to just heterosexual couples.
The twice-married Christian said that while she believes anti-gay discrimination must be 'eliminated', she draws the line at same sex marriage because there has to be 'a difference at some point'.
The revelations came during a 30-minute YouTube interview with German social media star Florian Mundt, also known as LeFloid, who pressed Merkel on why she refused to support gay marriage but happily endorsed equal benefits and tax breaks for same-sex couples.
Speaking during the show, Merkel said: 'I'm someone who is very supportive of us eliminating all discrimination. We have come a long way; when I remember, 25 years ago, many people didn't dare to say that they are gay or lesbian.
But the German Chancellor went on to say: 'For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together. That is my concept, but I support civil partnerships... [I want] equality, but I make a difference at some point,' she added.
'I am for registered civil partnerships. I am for our not having any discrimination in tax legislation. And wherever we still find discrimination, we will continue to dismantle it,' she went on to say according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
When Mundt pressed Mekel on how she could possibly say she is opposed to discrimination while refusing to support full equality, the politician refused to buckle, according to the Huffington Post. 'No discrimination,' she said, adding: 'Marriage as a man and a woman living together.'
A spokesman for Stonewall, a UK gay rights charity, responded to the comments, saying: 'Can someone really support 'eliminating all discrimination' if they believe that same-sex unions shouldn't be labelled as 'marriages'? It must be a quiet week for Angela if her current concern is synonyms.'
Germany introduced civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in 2001, but they do not have the right to marry and are still also forbidden from jointly adopting children.
In early June the upper house of the German parliament adopted a resolution calling for the legalisation of same-sex marriage, which is opposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
Last month's gay pride march in the German capital Berlin was a typically festive affair, with lashings of sequins, fake eyelashes, wigs and feather boas, rainbow flags, and even one reveller who appeared to have dipped his penis in gold paint.
'A day without lesbians is like a day without sunshine,' read one placard that seemed especially fitting for the miserable weather.
Merkel is the daughter of a Lutheran minister and has described herself as a committed member of the evangelical Christian church.
Boy Scouts of America Preparing to Repeal Ban on homosexual Leaders
A few months ago, Boy Scouts of America president Robert Gates called for ending the organization’s ban on homosexual adult leaders. This week, members of the BSA Executive Committee proceeded to do just that. “As a result of the rapid changes in society and increasing legal challenges at the federal, state, and local levels,” reads the BSA website announcement, “on Friday, July 10, the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee adopted a resolution amending the adult leadership standards policy. The resolution was unanimously adopted by those present and voting. This resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation, continuing Scouting’s longstanding policy of chartered organizations selecting their leaders.”
Roberts advocated for the change in May based on the homosexual agenda’s powers of persuasion. “The one thing we cannot do is put our heads in the sand and pretend this challenge will go away or abate,” he said. So cultural and political appeasement now takes precedence over remaining steadfast.
With Monday’s vote, the BSA has just one last obstacle to overcome. On July 27, the National Executive Board will ultimately decide the resolution’s fate, though it’s expected to pass. “This change … respect[s] the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own,” BSA claims.
Meaning each troop is now open to lawsuit if they diverge. Christians in America, and the Church as a whole, are under attack like never before. Anyone who thinks this is a permanent solution is only helping promote gender disorientation pathology.
A Leftist critique of identity politics
Identity politics says that the group you belong to is all-important. It is closely allied to racism. Because it denies any possibility of objective truth it is also deeply anti-intellectual
Australian Jewish Leftist Michael Brull below is long-winded but he has some reasonable points
Among people of the radical and progressive left, there are occasional arguments about what is called identity politics. Though there was an interesting debate along similar lines in Overland last year, generally few bother to discuss what it is, or why they support or oppose it.
People who oppose identity politics might identity it in a certain way, whilst few seem to self-consciously practice it. Like the word “emo”, it is rarely claimed, and, when the label is applied, it is often received as a term of abuse.
It’s hard to discuss something when there is no identifiable Bible or Manifesto of Identity Politics. Its champions usually identify themselves in different manner. However, there are certain identifiable tendencies, which at least some people on the left might call identity politics, and which I will try to outline here.
In the debate in Overland, Juliana Qian wrote of the proposition: “Should the Left check its privilege?” Qian wrote in defence of what she calls privilege theory. As her interlocutor, social justice lawyer Lizzie O’Shea wrote, the most famous essay outlining the concept of racial privilege was written by Peggy McIntosh in 1988. She provided a lengthy list of “white privilege”.
Two examples of this privilege are as follows: “I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race… I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.” McIntosh’s point is that in everyday life, white people have experiences that would be different if she were not white. These are identified as privileges.
Within her essay, McIntosh acknowledged that there were diverse types of “privilege” that she identified:
"Not all of the privileges on my list are inevitably damaging. Some, like the expectation that neighbours will be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in court, should be the norm in a just society. Others, like the privilege to ignore less powerful people, distort the humanity of the holders as well as the ignored groups."
We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages, which we can work to spread, and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies.
Given this proviso, we can see positive and negative elements of this theory of “privilege”. On the one hand, focusing on race through the prism of privilege draws attention to the lived experiences of people who aren’t white, and how they experience systemic racism. In itself, this was a valuable and useful contribution, which helped people understand an aspect of racism in a personal way.
However, calling something a “privilege” when it “should be the norm in a just society” may be unhelpful. Many of us will be familiar with the expression that something is “privilege, not a right”.
Privilege as a broad concept may be useful, but analytically, it is worth remembering that the list of privileges is complex. Some of them may be, in a sense, unjust. Others are simply good things that should be everyone’s birthright, and, ideally, would be taken for granted by everyone. This should be a comparatively minor point, but I think lack of clarity on this has contributed to the tendencies that I regard as unfortunate features of identity politics.
McIntosh concluded by observing that “systemic change takes many decades”, but this will seem like “pressing questions for me” and others “if we raise our daily consciousness on the prequisites” of racial privilege. Knowing about this privilege does not necessary prove that “we will use any of our arbitrarily awarded power to try to reconstruct power systems on a broader base.”
In this sense, the essay recognised that there were systemic problems. Privilege analysis raised awareness of the problems, but the point was systemic change.
Thus, I think a distinction can be drawn between privilege analysis and identity politics. Not everyone who uses the concept of “privilege” necessarily embraces identity politics. I think that the insights offered by this model of analysis have, for some people, been married to identity politics, such that privilege becomes not a prism of analysis, but a conclusive and enveloping theory, uniformly applied to all political issues, without any analytical complications.
One can understand this through common tendencies. Identity politics is marked by a primacy of identity: belonging to this or that group, and the presumed lived experience that comes with that identity. This lived experience is presumed to be conclusive in arguments, such that belonging to the relevant group is thought to be a kind of authoritative argument. Those who do not belong to the group – whether the group is defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, able-bodiedness and so on – are regarded as unequipped to have the same insight as those who do have the correct identity.
Those who disagree – for example, a man who disputes a woman’s professed experience of sexism, or a heterosexual person disputing an allegation of homophobia – are not only being presumptuous, but are, ipso facto, wrong.
In this sense, identity politics is anti-intellectual. Book learning is not taken seriously, and no expertise is recognised beyond personal experience, which is presumed from belonging to the relevant category of people. Primacy of identity marks it out as identity politics.
This may seem like a caricature. There are some who adopt a different position – they think that, for example, a woman’s opinion of anti-female sexism should generally be given more weight than a man’s.
In itself, this is a position that is committed to certain rules of rationality – weighing up evidence, a willingness to be persuaded in a certain direction – that I would distinguish from identity politics. How much weight a person’s identity should be given in a debate may be subject to argument. Identity politics is what I’d identify as belonging to the tendency whereby identity is enough to prove a point. Indeed, identity in some forms is not only identified as enough to prove a point: it is identified as all that is needed to have the right to discuss certain issues. Those without the relevant identity are regarded as impudent trespassers on discussions about issues affecting those belonging to this or that group.
Another tendency that can be recognised in identity politics is a suspicion of those who do not share the relevant identity, and thus have a relevant privilege. Their attempts at solidarity, if welcomed at all, are treated with constant and continuing scepticism.
The privileged can, as supplicants, try to be “allies”. Yet being an ally is regarded not as a right, but, well, as a privilege. For example, a white person can be an ally to black people for a while, but it is presumed that because of their privilege, they will never understand racism in a meaningful sense – certainly not in the sense that those with lived experience as black people do.
Furthermore, deep down, all white people will always be racist anyway. Some might suggest that this is due to racial privilege, which white people benefit from, and thus have a stake in maintaining.
What are the power systems that institutionalise privilege? Privilege as a theory does not have this kind of empirical content, and does not try to offer this sort of insight. It addresses itself to how things are now. In a vague sense, it can be said to offer a vision of what a better future might look like. Perhaps, one in which no one has these privileges. Or one in which everyone has these privileges. At the very least, one in which privileges are not distributed on the basis of race, gender, able-bodied-ness and so on.
How do we get there? Well, it’s not clear. However, people from groups suffering the relevant forms of oppression and discrimination should lead the way. They can be supported by their “allies”, at best, but it seems the primary goal of those without privilege is to discuss and organise among themselves.
Those with relevant forms of privilege are expected above all to adopt the correct terminology and show proper deference in discussions with those who do not have their privilege. Engaging in critical discussion, showing scepticism, and disagreeing with people who do not have their privileges may be regarded as exhibiting a form of able-ism, racism, sexism (or whichever applies), by failing to defer to those without privilege.
Suppose an able-bodied person decides they want to be an ally to those with disabilities. This will be on certain terms. Firstly, those with disabilities must lead the movement of issues relating to disabilities. The able-bodied can help people with disabilities by agreeing with them, repeating and amplifying their views, and by listening.
It is not hard to see why those with substantively left-wing or liberal ideological values find it hard to square them with identity politics. Suppose a man wants to be an “ally” to feminists, and is also a Marxist. This will make it likely that he will disagree with many women and feminists about the causes of sexism, and how to resist it. This does not mean he does not genuinely care about sexism.
However, if he wants to be a good “ally”, he will put aside his Marxism, listen to women, tend to defer to their judgments, support them in their causes, even if he privately believes that some of the advocacy and tactics they engage in are unwise, unhelpful, exclusionary, shallow or anything else. Critical discussion is not regarded as a worthy or valuable contribution of “allies”.
Identity politics is also hard to square with substantive political values, because it is politically neutral. A civil libertarian, for example, might agree with many Aboriginal people on some issues, and disagree on others. Opposing how the criminal law discriminates against Aboriginal people might be the work of an ally, but being critical of the provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act which transcribe racially offensive speech is not being an ally. Though both might spring from the same civil libertarianism, identity politics is not committed to political values, but loyalty to a particular group.
It is also ideologically neutral in a sense. Supporting this or that group as an “ally” without any underlying guiding values and analysis is kind of incoherent. Many women would regard it as a feminist position to be pro-choice in relation to abortion. However, there are many women who are pro-life and anti-abortion.
Should the male ally pick and choose based on left-wing values? Or should he simply respect the diversity of female voices, and respect the debate and make sure everyone is heard? Some Aboriginal people support the Recognise campaign, others oppose it. Unlike Amy McQuire in New Matilda, much of the major media has not reported this argument. Should white Australians who are only aware of Aboriginal support for Recognise support it on this basis? Should those who are aware of the dispute pick a side? On what basis should they pick a side within disputes of those groups?
Should it be on the basis of supporting sub-groups which are even less privileged? Should they side with majorities? How much of a majority is needed to clinch an argument? If a prospective ally doesn’t have an accurate way of gauging the popularity of a political position within a group, should they be silent until that group resolves it?
The effect of this is to make contributions by allies difficult. They are expected to serve much in the same way the most loyal apparatchiks served within communist parties. They are expected to listen, obey, and follow the party line, whatever it might be. Yet the means by which allies are meant to detect the party line is not entirely clear. This makes identity as an ally more precarious than identity as a member of the Communist Party.
Though I am personally quite critical of identity politics, I don’t write this explicitly with the intention of criticising or ridiculing it, though it may appear that way to some. I think that identity politics is taken for granted by some people, in much the same way other ideological beliefs and commitments sometimes are.
I have on occasion been met with something approaching shock when I frankly discuss my distaste for patriotism. Identity politics isn’t the worst thing the left has ever come up with. I suspect one of its major effects has been to increase the representation of people from various groups in the media, which is unequivocally a good thing.
However, identity politics rests on certain premises that I regard as at least questionable. If leftists and progressives are going to adopt this framework as a way of approaching political issues, activism and so on, I think it deserves some kind of debate and discussion.
If identity politics is a bad thing, we should at least have a clear idea of what it is that we disagree with. If it is a really terrific development, then perhaps its proponents can make a substantive case for 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 INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.