Friday, December 18, 2015
The thought police are livid about my cartoon? Now that’s funny
By Bill Leak, a well-known Australian cartoonist
I don’t know an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University called Amanda Wise, but she knows me. She knows me so well, in fact, that she’s not only able to tell me what my cartoons mean, but she’s also able to tell me what I was thinking while I was drawing them.
There I was, naively thinking that if I drew a group of poor Indian people trying to eat solar panels contained in parcels sent to them by the UN anyone seeing the cartoon would assume it meant the people in it were hungry. But, no. What I thought I was thinking wasn’t what I was thinking at all. According to Ms Wise, my “unequivocally racist” cartoon drew on “very base stereotypes of third world, underdeveloped people who don’t know what to do with technology”.
These and other startling revelations were included in an article by Amanda Meade in The Guardian on Monday. As well as being sternly reminded by the shocked Ms Wise that my cartoon would be unacceptable in Britain, the US and Canada (heaven forbid!), I was also told my cartoon was “racist” by no less an authority than Yin Paradies of Deakin University, whose research includes the economic effects of racism.
Professor Paradies didn’t think I’d made the people in my cartoon look hungry, either, but rather, in my own twisted, racist way, I’d managed to portray not only them but the entire population of India as “too stupid to handle renewable energy”.
I’ve been reliably informed my cartoon also triggered a hostile response from the sanctimonious but bloodthirsty mob who spend their time trawling the internet looking for anything they find offensive to provide them with an opportunity to join the orgy of competitive compassion and moral grandstanding that is Twitter.
Such people, understandably, are probably on a bit of a high at the moment having just spent a couple of weeks watching heroic and revered climate scientists such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn and Robert Redford spouting a series of hypocritical platitudes in Paris that culminated in world leaders signing up to an agreement to meet again in five years so they can sign another one, thereby saving the world from an impending environmental catastrophe. Again.
No wonder they’re angry. First chance I get I spoil the party by reminding them that, back here, in the real world, there are billions of people who not only lack food, health, water and education, but also have no access to electricity, and more than 20 per cent of them live in India.
And there’s something obscene about the fact that there are billions of others who’ve had all those things all their coal-power-driven lives and they’re now distributing solar panels to the world’s poor because they think that provides a virtuous, if inadequate, form of electricity for which they should be grateful. I think that’s racist, I think it’s condescending, and I think it’s immoral. But it’s also the truth, and when an impertinent cartoonist dares to tell the truth these days he’d better watch out because telling the truth is a dangerously subversive thing to do.
It has the same ability to simultaneously shock some people while amusing others that four-letter words used to have when Lenny Bruce discovered he could use them to such devastating effect that his audiences would still be laughing while he was being dragged offstage by the police and arrested for obscenity.
In court, Bruce argued he was being denied his right to freedom of speech, and so he was. But I can’t help thinking he had it easy, living at a time when the only people who had to stand up for their rights to freedom of speech were comedians who wanted to say f. k in public.
And not only that, but the only people he had to worry about offending were undercover coppers in the audience whose job it was to be offended so they could arrest him for doing his job.
These days, the undercover policemen in the audience waiting for him to swear would be the least of his worries. They’d be outnumbered 100 to one by members of the Politically Correct Thought Police Task Force, all armed with iPhones and Twitter accounts, ready to pounce the moment he said something that might not necessarily offend them but could, potentially, offend someone else.
There’s no doubt the cartoon I drew for Monday’s paper offended a lot of people. While they might not have enjoyed looking at it, I’m quite sure they enjoyed using it as an excuse to parade their moral vanity.
And, while I prefer to discover there are people who think my cartoons are funny, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t derive a certain amount of pleasure from discovering they enrage the ones that don’t
'She'd get lost': Children's surprisingly old-fashioned answers when asked if Santa could be a woman
They haven't been talked out of reality yet
Children asked if Father Christmas could be a woman in a video have shocked viewers by overwhelmingly answering 'no'.
Creative agency Anomaly, based in London, asked children 'If Santa was a woman, could she do the job?' and young boys and girls gave surprisingly old fashioned answers, pointing out that she wouldn't be strong enough and her navigation skills wouldn't be up to scratch.
The 90-second video, which has been seen 10,000 times, was made to highlight gender bias and how it's present even at such a young age.
One boy, who didn't like the idea of a female Santa, said: 'Number one, she would get lost in the sky.'
While even girls answered no with one reason being that she might become pregnant, which would interfere in her ability to do the job.
One girl said she would be breastfeeding while trying to deliver the presents, while another argued her baby bump would 'crush all the toys.'
A young boy worried she would 'get a headache'.
While another said: 'She'd have to go to the gym first,' because he thought she would not be strong enough to carry presents.
One boy said the sack of presents would 'be too heavy for a lady'.
A young girl was worried that female Santa won't have seen Father Christmas deliver the presents, so she wouldn't know what to do.
While another boy felt Santa is 'better at bossing around the elves.'
At the end of the film he is asked what he thinks the woman would be best at, 'Cooking,' he replied.
But equally alarming were the reasons why a female Santa would be better.
One boy answered: 'I think a lady Santa would be better because she could fit down the chimney quicker.'
It appeared he meant that a woman would be slimmer compared to Santa Claus's rotund figure.
But when one girl in the video said: 'Santa's stronger than a girl Santa,' there was young boy who disagreed and replied: 'How do you know?' He also said: 'Girls aren't any different than boys.'
Their innocent responses raise questions about how early gender bias becomes an issue.
Stuart Smith, Anomaly partner and chief strategy officer, said in a statement: 'We tested the idea by asking my kids, and their answers were uncomfortably surprising.
'What started as a bit of elfish fun about one issue, surfaced another. Who and what are shaping our children's gender perceptions?'
The Left's War on Religion
But Islam is OK, of course
For the briefest of moments, Sister John Bauer's sparkling smile - framed by her nun's habit, as she held the 10-point, 200-pound buck she bagged in Elk County, about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh - went viral statewide.
Within hours, the photo of the Elk County Catholic High School teacher received more than a million views on the Erie County Roman Catholic Diocese's Facebook page.
She told local reporters she didn't understand all the fuss: "In St. Marys, this is what you do. You go hunting. And everybody goes hunting. The coach, myself. The students."
She learned to hunt while serving in the Navy.
She bagged the buck on deer season's opening day; after three hours alone in her tree stand, waiting for a target to pass by, she prayed the rosary.
"After I realized I got the deer, I thanked God," she said, explaining that she views hunting as a spiritual endeavor and a form of conservation, a way to help ensure the deer population can be sustained by the land.
She shared the butchered meat - sausage and steaks - with two families.
Within days, the nearby Erie Diocese removed the Facebook post because of nasty comments posted by activists who apparently were offended enough by guns, God and hunting to feel justified in reacting offensively and lewdly.
God, guns and prayer have been intertwined as enemies of the political left ever since Barack Obama described Pennsylvania voters as being "bitter" over job losses and surmised that "they cling to guns or religion."
Despite handily winning this state twice, his and the left's hatred for the very people who voted for him has never waned. As with everything else he dislikes about traditional American culture, he has sought to "correct" the behavior of those people.
Last week, that corrective zeal reached an entirely new level when the left condemned the act of offering thoughts and prayers to the grieving, treating it as code for gun ownership.
The left wants religion confined to the four walls of a house of worship for a few hours on Sundays.
It tolerates the invocation of religion - mostly, the Gospel of Luke - only when necessary to coerce the devout to spend more money on government aid programs. The left uses religious metaphors as a way to reach the rabble; otherwise, it doesn't respect it.
This is no different than the left's occasional references to believing in our "hunting heritage" and "sporting traditions" instead of simply believing in a right to self-defense and gun ownership.
When the left unleashed aggressive social-media condemnations of people and politicians who offered prayers for those lost in the San Bernardino terror attack, many Americans (not just Republicans) were stupefied, angry - and then totally depressed to realize we had passed a tipping point.
The incident has caused Main Street Americans to confront the challenges their kids and grandkids will face in a post-Christian America.
American leftists have made a religion out of government; they were angry, not because people called for appeals to a higher being, but because it was to God - not government.
The left does not want Americans to lift up victims in prayer because it wants us to seek solace in public policy. Left-wing politicians think religion is an opiate for the masses, and they want to take the rabble off that drug.
It was no accident that this outburst of liberal anger included both guns and religion. The modern urban-coastal left believes guns and religion are totems for fools.
Even many liberal religious leaders have use for prayer only when it does not get in the way of liberal secular political aims.
That is why the liberal Interfaith Alliance, right after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, sent out a news release sharing sympathies and prayers with families of those attacks' victims. Yet that same group ripped on prayer in the aftermath of the terror attack on American soil, declaring: "It's time for a moratorium on thoughts and prayers."
Shaming the call for prayer in America is tragic. It is shaming our most basic freedoms, and it is the left's way to finally break through on shaming gun ownership - correcting what they see as one of America's great fault lines.
Religious vs. Political Islam
Americans take many things for granted. One of them is a rather brilliant decision made by the Founding Fathers, who were among the many settlers coming to the New World to escape religious oppression by state-affiliated faiths. The Founders decided that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Hence, while people were free to worship as they please, church and state would remain separate entities. Islam makes no such distinction, and America is in desperate need of a forthright conversation regarding the differences between religious and political Islam.
“Some Muslims come to the United States to practice their religion peacefully, and assimilate into the Western tradition of tolerance of other people’s liberties, including religious liberty — a tradition alien to the theocratic societies in which they grew up,” writes National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor who led the case against the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. “Others come here to champion sharia, Islam’s authoritarian societal framework and legal code, resisting assimilation into our pluralistic society. Since we want to both honor religious liberty and preserve the Constitution that enshrines and protects it, we have a dilemma.”
Dilemma indeed. As McCarthy further explains, the overwhelming majority of people emigrating from Muslim-majority countries to Western nations are coming from societies where “Islam is a comprehensive ideological system that governs all human affairs, from political, economic, and military matters to interpersonal relations and even hygiene.” And while Islam does have religious tenets, McCarthy argues “these make up only a fraction of what is overwhelmingly a political ideology.”
At the center of that political ideology is Sharia Law, a system of governance that embraces such concepts as discrimination against women, homosexuals and non-believers, the suppression of free speech and unfettered economic activity, and the denial of due process and protection against cruel and unusual punishment. As recently as last week, while the world was acknowledging International Human Rights Day, the Obama administration’s Iranian “allies” announced a woman had been sentenced to death by stoning. Thus 21st century Muslim societies still countenance burying people up to their shoulders and pelting them with stones until they die. According to the International Committees against Execution and Stoning, Iran has meted out that particular punishment at least 150 times since 1980.
Now, one might think Muslims emigrating to nations that view such barbarity with contempt might be inclined to heartily embrace more enlightened views of their new countries. Not exactly. A poll released last June by the Center for Security Policy reveals that 51% of Muslims believe “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” By comparison, 86% of the broader U.S. population held that Sharia should not replace the Constitution. Even more ominously, nearly 25% of Muslims surveyed insisted violence is legitimate “to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed,” and nearly a fifth believed violence was justified to turn America into a sharia-based nation.
Such thinking can be characterized as many things. A commitment to assimilation isn’t one of them.
And not just here. The United Kingdom has already abided the establishment of at least 30 Sharia Councils, responsible for the issuance of Islamic divorce certificates and the offering of advice on other aspects of religious law. They have existed since 1996, courtesy of the Arbitration Act allowing various religious laws to be applied in cases such as divorce. They are abetted by cultural surrenderists, such as the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who insisted in 2008 that some aspects of Sharia Law would be beneficial in terms of social “cohesion”; former senior judge Baroness Butler-Sloss, who chaired a two year commission that ultimately decided Britain is no longer a Christian country and should stop acting as if it is; and Britain’s Labour Party leader who vowed he would outlaw “Islamophobia” had he become prime minister in last May’s election.
They’re not alone. Demonstrating an equal amount of ignorance and appeasement, a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) aimed at preventing the federal government from considering religion as part of the process in immigration and entrance decisions, because “such action would be contrary to the fundamental principles on which this Nation was founded.” Such consideration is currently the law for those seeking asylum.
Not only do these senators completely ignore the political aspect of Islam, their proposal runs completely contrary to the thinking of Founding Fathers such as James Madison, who stated “those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of.” Likewise, Alexander Hamilton asserted that the “safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment.”
The alternative? “To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country,” Hamilton warned, “would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.”
To their credit, there are Muslims who recognize the difference and reject Sharia Law. A Muslim Reform Movement has been established whose adherents declare they “are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal [that] must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or political Islam.” Toward that end they “reject interpretations of Islam that call for a violent jihad, social injustice and political Islam” and declare loyalty “to the nations in which we live.” On Dec. 4, 2015, the group produced a Declaration for Muslim Reform and posted it on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC.
It was quickly taken down. In an article for Front Page Magazine, Dr. Steven M. Kirby expressed profound skepticism, labeling the movement “Fantasy Islam” because, while well-intentioned, it is utterly inimical to the tenets of the Koran. “If folks are serious about religious reform, one thinks they would like to maintain some connection to their own religious traditions as a basis for that reform,” Kirby writes. “But the Muslim Reform Movement has apparently decided otherwise and seems more interested in establishing a connection with the non-Muslim Western world as the basis for their reform.”
Middle East Forum president and historian Daniel Pipes explains the underlying problem with modern-day Islam. “The trauma of modern Islam results from this sharp and unmistakable contrast between medieval successes and more recent tribulations,” he writes. “Put simply, Muslims have had an exceedingly hard time explaining what went wrong.” The search for an answer has precipitated “three political responses to modernity — secularism, reformism and Islamism.”
Secularism is an effort to emulate Western values, reformism an effort to selectively appropriate them, and Islamism is the effort to thoroughly reject those values as a means of transforming “faith into ideology.” “Islamists espouse deep antagonism toward non-Muslims in general, and Jews and Christians in particular,” Pipes notes. “They despise the West both because of its huge cultural influence and because it is a traditional opponent — the old rival, Christendom, in a new guise. Some of them have learned to moderate their views so as not to upset Western audiences, but the disguise is thin and should deceive no one.”
Unfortunately, virtually the entire American Left and a considerable number of Republicans are more than willing to be deceived, because a stultifying political correctness demands it. Thus we are assured a vetting process that allowed San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik entry in the United States despite years of radicalization — discovered after the atrocity, of course — can be used to vet Syrian “refugees” emigrating from a country embroiled in a civil war where no reliable databases exist. We are assured the continuing emigration of more than a quarter of a million Muslims per year, helping to make them the fastest growing bloc of immigrants entering the nation, poses no threat to the Republic. And anyone who disagrees embraces the “racism behind the agenda of the right wing on immigrants and foreigners [that] has long been plain as day,” states The New York Times editorial board.
Following Paris and San Bernardino, such assertions ring increasingly hollow. Moreover, they might very well be obliterated by “events on the ground”: a terror plot discovered last Friday reveals that Chicago, along with Geneva and Toronto, may be targeted by the Islamic State.
McCarthy explains, “If we continue mindlessly treating Islam as if it were merely a religion, if we continue ignoring the salient differences between constitutional and sharia principles — thoughtlessly assuming these antithetical systems are compatible — we will never have a sensible immigration policy.”
Make no mistake: There is no “right” to enter our nation. And a progressive ideology that willingly ignores the difference between religious and political Islam — for political correctness' sake — is utterly anathema to national security and national sovereignty.
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.