Monday, February 22, 2016

Cardinal George Pell strolls around the Vatican with a friend after denying child sex abuse claims - but is 'too ill' to fly to Australia to answer questions

So there's no difference between a stroll in the morning sunshine and an airline trip from Europe to Australia?  That is what the writer below seems to believe. It's just yellow journalism.

I know nothing of his health but His Eminence is two years older than I am and I no longer fly -- so I can well imagine that he has real health reasons  for his wish to be interviewed by video only

And that he may have other reasons for that I do not dismiss.  As a strong and prominent conservative  -- he even mocks global warming -- he has been much hated by the Australian Left for some years, and he might well fear that evidence presented in an Australian courtroom might be fabricated to incriminate him.  That would be harder in the Vatican. 

False sexual abuse claims have produced huge uproar in Britain recently -- to the great detriment of many innocent men.  London's top cop has recently apologized for one such case.  I have no doubt that His Eminence would be aware of those cases

As police consider travelling to Rome to question Cardinal George Pell over child sex abuse allegations, Australia's top Catholic has been seen strolling along the streets in the early spring sunshine.

Cardinal Pell, 74, dropped into his local café with a friend on Saturday afternoon, the day after explosive revelations that he is the subject of a year-long investigation by Victoria Police for the alleged sexual abuse of up to ten minors from 1978 to 2001.

Just a stone’s throw from St Peter’s Basilica, the Pope's special Jubilee Saturday Mass could be heard from Cardinal Pell’s luxurious apartment block.

Set aside for the Pope’s inner circle, Cardinal Pell's apartment sits on a piazza lined with cafés, souvenir shops and heavy security – Italian police armed with pistols and soldiers with assault rifles patrol the block and intermingle with tourists, padres and nuns alike.

Cardinal Pell’s offices, where he works as a top aid to Pope Frances as Secretariat for the economy reforming The Vatican’s finances, are just a short walk around the corner – and are under 24-hour guard by the city state’s Swiss Armed Guards.

It was revealed last year that the Cardinal spent $5100-a-month on rent for an office and apartment, including $87,000 on new furniture, in a leak to Italy’s L’Espresso newspaper.

But while The Vatican expenses scandal is still the talk of the town in Rome, Cardinal Pell has more explosive allegations made against him back in Australia.

Police want to fly to Vatican City to interview Cardinal George Pell who allegedly sexually abused up to 10 minors between 1978 and 2001, it has been reported.

Ballarat Survivors Group and Care Leavers Australasis Network are also calling for police to take their allegations to Pell.

The Cardinal was seen briskly striding from his offices to his apartment with a small suitcase in tow just hours after the Herald Sun reported the leak on Friday.

However Cardinal Pell vehemently denies the allegations.

A two-page medical report was handed up to support the application that a flight to Australia from Rome, where Cardinal Pell oversees the Vatican's finances, could pose a serious risk to his health.

The details of his health condition have not been released.


I Used to Be Transgender. Here’s My Take on Kids Who Think They Are Transgender

When a 9-year-old boy who identifies as Stormi, a transgender girl, started selling Girl Scout cookies, one neighbor was not amused, according to Buzzfeed.

The neighbor rebuffed him, reportedly saying, “Nobody wants to buy Girl Scout cookies from a boy in a dress.”

The neighbor is being called transphobic—but perhaps the neighbor thought he was being pranked by a boy and reacted accordingly. Not everyone assumes that a boy in a dress selling Girl Scout cookies is transgender.

Stormi looked like a boy to the neighbor because he really is a boy. Transgender people may deceive themselves, but they do not deceive others.

Life in society is not some fantasy world where a boy should pretend he has magically transformed himself into a girl simply by uttering the words “I am a girl” and changing how he presents himself.

The people who strongly object to the honest reaction from a man saying, “Nobody wants to buy Girl Scout cookies from a boy in a dress” are perhaps gender-phobic, rejecting and ridiculing the reality of male and female genders.

    While studying psychology in a university program I discovered that trans-kids most often are suffering from a variety of disorders, starting with depression—the result of personal loss, broken families, sexual abuse, and unstable homes.

The people who encourage very young kids to act out, switch genders, and live a life of pretend need to understand that Stormi could be suffering from a dissociative disorder, just as happened with me. My feelings of not wanting to be a boy started in early childhood as result of cross-dressing at the hands of my grandma.

Stormi could be in need of psychotherapy, not a dress.

Caregivers all too often collaborate with a mental disorder instead of treating it. Telling a psychologically troubled boy he has changed genders is not compassion, but can become reckless parenting. By withholding psychotherapy, parents could be abusing the kid.

My Transgender Story

Living in a self-made gender fantasy world void of reality is not psychologically or emotionally healthy.

I know that to be true. I was transgender kid at the age of 4. For decades, as I tried to live in my male birth gender, the feelings of being a woman only grew stronger.

I sought help from a renowned gender specialist who told me that mine was a clear-cut case of gender dysphoria—strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex. He said the only way to get relief was to surgically change genders.

I underwent gender reassignment surgery at 42 years of age after cross-dressing for most of my life.

I lived as a transgender, Laura Jensen, female, for eight years. While studying psychology in a university program, I discovered that trans kids most often are suffering from a variety of disorders, starting with depression—the result of personal loss, broken families, sexual abuse, and unstable homes. Deep depression leads kids to want to be someone other than who they are.

That information sure resonated with me.

Finally, I had discovered the madness of the transgender life. It is a fabrication born of mental disorders.

I only wish that when I went to the gender counselor for help he would have told me I couldn’t really change genders, that it is biologically impossible. Instead, he approved me for gender reassignment surgery, a surgery that, if I had been provided proper psychotherapy, would never have been necessary or appropriate.

The Role Trauma and Psychological Disorders Can Play

The transgender life is often the direct result of early childhood difficulty or trauma. Assisting a young child into the fabricated ideology of a transgender life is not helping the child sort out what is real and what is fiction.

The likelihood that the child known as Stormi is suffering from separation anxiety or some other psychological disorder cannot be ignored. Stormi is living in a foster home. While it may be safe and necessary, foster care is intended to separate the child from the birth parent. This can lead to psychological disorders like separation anxiety disorder.

Separation anxiety occurs as the result of loss or separation from the birth parent. Disruption in a child’s home environment can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. Living in a foster home even under the best conditions can be stressful to a young person.

Separation anxiety disorder and other psychological disorders can masquerade as gender dysphoria, leading caregivers and medical practitioners to misdiagnose and not provide proper or effective psychotherapies.

Stormi’s life will evolve as maturity unfolds. Most likely in 15 or 20 years, reality will set in that he really never changed genders. This is often a turning point where the trans life is not looking as good as it once did.

Thankfully, like me, many transgender persons return to the gender they once shed. Slowly they restore the life that was lost.

The three men who came up with the idea of changing boys into girls and making transgenders, Alfred Kinsey, Harry Benjamin, and John Money, were pedophilia advocates. (For more of the history, see “Sex Change” Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know.)

The neighbor man was correct about one thing: The Girl Scout at his door was really a boy in a dress—just like I was as a young boy who thought I was a girl.


Stop swearing like a trooper, Sgt Major! British Army orders instructors to tone down their 'orrible language

What utter nonsense!  If recruits can't handle harsh language they are not fit for the army

Being on the receiving end of a tirade of expletives by a furious Sergeant Major may soon be a thing of the past because the army fears the language will be 'offputting' to delicate young ears

Being on the receiving end of a tirade of expletives by a furious Sergeant Major may soon be a thing of the past because the army fears the language will be 'offputting' to delicate young ears

IT’S an uncomfortable rite of passage that generations of Army recruits have endured.

But being on the receiving end of a tirade of expletives by a furious Sergeant Major may soon be a thing of the past.

Army instructors have been ordered to tone down their language when drilling discipline into their rookies for fear of it being ‘offputting’ to delicate young ears.

Top brass ordered the clampdown after a fly-on-the-wall BBC documentary exposed the full force of the fury.

The Civilians To Soldiers film showed one Corporal unleash the F-word four times in a matter of seconds after teenagers undergoing basic training failed to clean their rooms and prepare for a map-reading test.

Their instructor, a Corporal Thompson, screamed: ‘Seriously, I ask you to do one f****** thing, it was to do that f****** list on the board which I had the kindness to write down for you lot. Well that didn’t work. Right now, you lot have got me f****** raging! Mr f****** Nice Guy is not coming back!’

But one senior officer told The Mail on Sunday such a tirade was unwarranted. ‘School-leavers today just aren’t used to being spoken to in this manner,’ he said.

‘To many of them it is off-putting to have F-words bellowed at them. We must address this matter if we want to improve recruitment of young people.’

However, Colonel Chris Kemp, who led UK troops in Afghanistan, disagreed that any change was needed. He said: ‘Swearing is part of the Army’s language, always has been, and always will be.’

Although the Ministry of Defence has denied that any policy changes have been made, The Mail on Sunday understands that instructors have been told informally to mind their language.

In one scene in the film, made for the BBC’s Newsbeat website, a Corporal screamed at recruits on a three-mile march: ‘Stop feeling sorry for yourselves, and get up this f****** hill right now!’

In another, a female Corporal yelled at a badly dressed trainee: ‘Sort your f****** beret out, it’s doing my nut in.’

In an interview to camera, Cpl Thompson explains his outburst, saying: ‘The drama is that I am asking them to do simple things… They’re choosing not to do that, and to spend their whole time down the NAAFI [social club] eating pizza and watching films.’

Last night, Col Kemp attacked any attempt to curb the Army’s Sergeant Majors, whose legendary bluntness has long been a staple of films and comedy shows such as It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

He said: ‘Swearing to add emphasis or make an important point is fine, so long as instructors are not personally abusive towards recruits. The guidelines that cover the instructors’ conduct are good enough.

‘What you don’t see in a TV documentary is the hundreds of hours the instructors spend helping recruits reach the required standards.’

Most of the recruits featured in Civilians To Soldiers are understood to have passed the 14-week Army entry course. They also earn praise from Cpl Thompson for becoming more disciplined and improving their soldiering skills.

Under Army regulations, instructors are supposed to ensure their language is never ‘excessively foul, profane or abusive’ when they are teaching recruits, but swearing is not banned.

The MoD said: ‘It is a long-held policy that the Army does not condone the use of abusive or insulting language towards recruits.’


There was a time when journalists backed free speech

Chris Uhlmann writes from Australia.  The tweet he refers to is here

It was a liberating experience. In a morning moment of madness I had decided to tweet into the maelstrom of media rage created by former prime minister Tony Abbott's decision to fly to the US to address the Alliance Defending Freedom.

It had been prompted by an interview where an American tolerance commissar opined it was appalling, in a democracy, that people opposed to abortion and gay marriage were allowed to air their toxic views.

This progressive truth was so self-evident it went unremarked by the interviewer.

My clear intent was neither to defend Abbott's world view nor his decision to speak to a cabal of "reactionary" Christians on the hand-grenade topic "the importance of the family". It was simply to say: "Once upon a time journalists believed in free speech ."

It seemed an unremarkable intervention. It wasn't surprising that there was a social media storm in the Twitter teacup because its obsessives are always stewing over something. But that defending free speech could be cast as a crime against tolerance screams something very disturbing about our times.

That some who lit torches with the mob were journalists says a lot about the state of the media. These reporters have appointed themselves the prefects of progressive verities. That is disturbing because when journalists parade as pointers to moral true North then check your bearings, we have drifted badly off course. Yet I had naively hoped that free speech was one of the few things on which journalists in a democracy could agree: neutral ground in the culture wars. I had long feared this was not the case and so it proved.

And that was liberating: a Damascene moment of self-discovery. I had become a radical by standing still. For in an age where being a revolutionary is traditional, then being traditional is revolutionary.

There was another insight. We had reached a historic inflection point. Nearly 90 years after Antonio Gramsci began writing his letters from Benito Mussolini's prison, Marxism's long march through Western institutions was reaching its end.

From his cell Gramsci wrestled with why workers in the West weren't rising up to cast out the ruling class, as Marx predicted they would.  Gramsci pitied them because, he deduced, they were victims of false consciousness.  They had been brainwashed by a vast array of religious, intellectual and cultural institutions into believing their interests and the state's coalesced.

"The state is the entire complex of practical and theoretical activities with which the ruling class not only justifies and maintains its dominance but manages to win the active consent of those over whom it rules," he wrote.

It seems never to have occurred to Gramsci that the workers recognised Marxism for what it was: a prescription for a tyranny so profound it sought to colonise people's minds.

But if the people wouldn't buy a bad idea, there was one eager market: Europe's intellectuals. Gramsci proposed they begin a grinding "war of position" to take the commanding heights of the bureaucracy, universities and the media. Once there they would scrub the landscape clean of Western values.

"Cultural policy will above all be negative, a critique of the past; it will be aimed at erasing from the memory and at destroying," he wrote.

As social projects go, this wasteland was a tough sell, but neo-Marxists are nothing if not dogged. They built critical theory as a vehicle for change and began the deconstruction of the West.

Frankfurt School academics fleeing Adolf Hitler's Germany transmitted the intellectual virus to the US and set about systematically destroying the culture of the society that gave them sanctuary.

America's freedom of speech was its achilles heel. Critical theorists were given university pulpits and a constitutionally ordained right to preach, grinding its foundation stones to dust. Since 1933 they have been hellbent on destroying the village to save it.

When Herbert Marcuse wrote Repressive Tolerance 50 years ago, the hope that his ideas would become mainstream was a distant dream. But, if they did, he had developed a plan for reversing the polarity of freedom.

Marcuse cautioned his disciples not to be so foolish as to afford the courtesy of free speech to their opponents.  "Certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed, certain behaviour cannot be permitted without making tolerance an instrument for the continuation of servitude," he wrote.

Tolerance is the totem of our age, a bumper sticker of virtue. Yet hidden in its many meanings is the doublespeak of defining what will be taboo. It is now considered tolerant to demand silence from nonconformists.

When the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission says the Catholic Church has a case to answer for robustly defending its views on marriage and the family, then we have seen a glimpse of the Marcusian future. And it is just one gust of the gale buffeting a society hollowed out by its intellectuals.

I hoped to remain indifferent to the inevitable change in marriage laws. But that will be impossible if those who cast themselves as oppressed seek to become oppres-sors. If offending the new ruling hegemony is prohibited then I stand with the right of the minority to disagree.

Stripped of their fashionable clothes, what's striking about the tolerance police is how similar these new moralists are to the old. They pursue heretics with an inquisitor's zeal, blinded by the righteousness of their cause.

In A Man for All Seasons Thomas More's son-in-law William Roper declared he would knock down every law in England to get at the devil.

"Oh?" More says "And when the last law was down and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat . I'd give the Devil the benefit of the law, for my own safety's sake."



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


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