Thursday, June 02, 2016
A self-inflicted death by crocodile
To go swimming late at night in an area famous for crocodiles and full of warning signs about them, that is truly a self-inflicted death -- for which little sympathy is appropriate. Reading between the lines, she was probably drunk at the time. In any case it was a Darwinian end. Nature deals with maladaptive behaviour.
Pebbles Hooper got into trouble for referring to death from folly as "natural selection", so it will be amusing to see if my note here will get any reaction. I think that what Pebbles said was a reasonable comment -- but obviously too dispassionate for many.
Do we always have to pity folly? Can we not sometimes speak of it objectively? Unless we can, there will undoubtedly be more of it
A woman who went missing after she was taken by a crocodile during a late-night swim was on holiday to celebrate the end of her childhood friend's cancer battle.
Cindy Waldron, 46, was swimming with her friend, Leeann Mitchell, at Daintree, north of Cairns, about 10pm on Sunday.
Ms Mitchell, from Cairns, had just completed a bout of chemotherapy and Ms Waldron, from Lithgow in New South Wales' east, was in north Queensland to support her friend, the New Zealand Herald reported. There are crocodile warning signs on the side of the Daintree River near where the attack took place
Following the attack, federal MP Warren Entsch said the attack must not spark a hysterical debate about crocodile management in his electorate.
'You can't legislate against human stupidity,' he told AAP on Monday.
'This is a tragedy but it was avoidable. There are warning signs everywhere up there.'
'People have to have some level of responsibility for their own actions.'
‘Hating Jesus’: Liberals Declare Spiritual Warfare
When Tristan Emmanuel, managing publisher and CFO of BarbWire Books, called me and said it was time for me to put pen to paper and write a book on the anti-Christian left’s demonic war on religious liberty (and all things godly and good), I immediately agreed.
And so with the tireless help of my project partner – author, researcher, editor and veteran intelligence expert Paul Hair – I have now released my new book, “Hating Jesus: The American Left’s War on Christianity.”
Why did I write the book? Because it had to be written. God’s natural created order, His immutable, scientific and transcendent moral precepts, as well as the very lives and livelihoods of Christian Americans, are under vicious attack today at a level unprecedented in American history.
I had to sound the alarm. And I had to lay out a clear defensive strategy as to how we Christians might preserve our American, indeed our Christian, way of life.
What a mess our world is in. What a mess America is in. What a mess the church is in.
Isaiah 5:20 encapsulates, I believe, the cultural condition of much of the world, most of America and an alarmingly high percentage of those who belong, or at least claim to belong, to the body of Christ. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
Calling evil good. That sums us up.
There are evil blasphemies beyond imagination being foisted upon the American people today by our own godless government in the name of “progress.” Things like presidential edicts that open up little girls’ showers to grown men; the sin-centric and oxymoronic notion of “gay marriage”; forced taxpayer funding of child sacrifice; and forced participation by Christ’s followers in all the above sins, under penalty of law, to name but a few.
Amid the final sprint to election 2016, the secular left’s utter disdain for both our Creator Christ and His faithful followers is fast approaching critical mass. Self-styled “progressives” – that is, America’s cultural Marxist agents of ruin – typically disguise their designs on despotism in the flowery and euphemistic language of “reproductive health,” “anti-discrimination,” “civil rights” and “multiculturalism.”
Just a few short decades ago a churchgoing man who publicly supported the right to life, backed laws protecting marriage and spoke freely of Christ’s love for fallen man would be universally recognized as a fine and upstanding citizen. He would be welcomed anywhere, including at the highest levels of power.
But things have changed. In today’s America, the progressive left actively endeavors to destroy such a man. Modern American liberals start by vilifying Christians. They then begin scheming, quite often with success, to get Christians terminated from employment and forever marked with a scarlet “C” to inhibit any future prospects for employment.
Next, they simultaneously attack their family and work to tear it apart, at once sending a warning shot over the bow of other Christians and pushing them to the fringes of society.
The ultimate goal? Conform to their pagan demands, or face incarceration.
American progressives have co-opted every elite institution: schools, government, the media, Hollywood and the arts – even, at an increasing rate, many conservative organizations. What’s worse is that progressivism has, like a deadly cancer, fully metastasized into what passes for the church in America. There is a great falling away afoot, and apostasy is widespread.
The secular left doesn’t merely have a disagreement with Christianity. These are not people with whom one may reason, compromise or even disagree. They are dedicated to evil. They demand nothing less than the abolition of the biblical worldview and the destruction of Christ’s followers right along with it.
Now is the time to fight back. If you are someone, Christian or not, who refuses to see Christianity wiped out (like it ever could be) and your children indoctrinated into pure evil, then sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option.
In “Hating Jesus,” I first document how successful the American left has been in its War on Christianity and then conclude by providing both hope and a simple action plan on how the body of Christ can fight back against the enemies of God.
We live in dire times. But, with Christ, it’s never too late to turn the tide.
The American church has a problem. It’s one part fear, one part confusion and one part apathy. Pastors, priests and rabbis have long swallowed the false notion that all things religious and all things political are somehow mutually exclusive – that never the twain shall meet.
Nonsense. They’re one in the same.
Leading up to Ronald Reagan’s landslide presidential victory in 1980, Rev. Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty University, captured the crux of the church’s apathy problem. “I’m being accused of being controversial and political,” he said. “I’m not political. But moral issues that become political, I still fight. It isn’t my fault that they’ve made these moral issues political. But because they have doesn’t stop the preachers of the Gospel from addressing them. …”
Nor does it stop those of us in the pews from standing right alongside them.
Indeed, it is not just within the church’s purview, but it is the church’s duty to insert itself into state matters relating to morality, public policy and culture at large.
The push back has begun. Christian governors, lawmakers, business owners, lawyers, parents, judges, county clerks, organizations, universities, hospitals, adoption agencies and other individuals and groups have been given an ultimatum by the anti-Christian left: “Keep your Christianity at church and away from our culture!”
To which we say, “Not on your life.”
“Or our own.”
Obama Uses ObamaCare to Promote Gender Confusion
Once again, the Obama administration is determined to impose its version of reality on a resistant nation by using ObamaCare as its vehicle. On May 13, the same day the administration issued the transgender edicts granting access to public school bathrooms and locker rooms based on nothing more than self-identification, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a ruling in a similar vein. It bans discrimination based on “gender identity” by hospitals, clinics and other health care providers. Thus, the administration’s ongoing insistence that one’s state of mind trumps biological and genetic reality is being pushed in a new arena.
“Since 2010, we have had a prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex in health care,” said Elizabeth Sepper, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “We never had that before. Sex discrimination was not prohibited in the health-care system.”
This ruling goes far beyond the parameters of sexual discrimination that Congress previously determined, as well as how the overwhelming majority of Americans understand the terms. ObamaCare’s Section 1557 explains that sexual discrimination is prohibited based on an individual’s sex, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions — as well as gender identity and sex stereotyping. And while the Obama administration acknowledges “the final rule does not resolve whether discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation status alone is a form of sex discrimination under Section 1557,” it warns that the Office of Civil Rights “will evaluate complaints that allege sex discrimination related to an individual’s sexual orientation to determine if they involve the sorts of stereotyping that can be addressed under Section 1557.”
In other words, fall into line or be subjected to the same loss of federal funding and/or possible government-sponsored litigation used to intimidate school districts, based on definitions of sexual discrimination unilaterally determined by the Obama administration.
That determination has far-reaching consequences. “By prohibiting differential treatment on the basis of ‘gender identity’ in health services, these regulations will penalize medical professionals and health care organizations that, as a matter of faith, moral conviction, or professional medical judgment, believe that maleness and femaleness are biological realities to be respected and affirmed, not altered or treated as diseases,” writes Heritage Foundation research fellow Ryan T. Anderson.
Consider the consequences arising from government demanding specific medical judgments with regard to transgenderism. For example, if a patient demands sex reassignment surgery, will a doctor covered by the new edict be forced to perform it, even if it goes against his medical judgment?
What about the reality that the American College of Pediatricians thoroughly rejects the Left’s entire construct on the subject? How does the Obama administration reconcile ACP’s warning that suicide rates “are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery” or that making children believe “a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse”? How does it run roughshod over the assertion made by Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital — a facility that no longer does sex change operations — who insists abiding such medical procedures amounts to collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder?
With regard to religious conviction, on May 15 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously [ruled] in favor of Little Sisters of the Poor and other Christian organizations that refused to abide by the administration’s mandate forcing them to provide employees with contraceptives, including abortifacients. SCOTUS sent the case back to the lower courts with the message that they should accommodate people of faith and prevent their consciences from being violated.
It would appear the medical community is on much firmer ground. First, there is nothing in the Constitution that allows the administration to unilaterally rewrite law or trample on states' rights in pursuit of an agenda. Second, and far more important, it is virtually impossible to believe the U.S. Supreme Court (if any case goes that far) would overrule a doctor’s medical judgment — with possibly damaging or deadly health results — to satisfy an ideological viewpoint arising from government fiat.
Yet why let it reach that point at all? Congress must reassert its authority over the process of crafting law, ensuring the Obama administration cannot use its interpretation of statutes such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to blackmail the nation — and not just regarding the definition of sexual identity.
It is critically important for Americans to remember the advance of regressive ideology is wholly dependent on incrementalism. Re-defining sexual identity is not an end unto itself. It is merely another means in pursuit of the ultimate agenda: unassailable power. And nothing will give that agenda more of a boost than the Obama administration successfully asserting that reality itself is nothing more than a state of mind.
As of now, the new ObamaCare rules will take effect in July and apply to all health care providers receiving federal funds. Thus, medical professionals and health care institutions will be forced to abandon professional ethics, reasonable medical judgment and personal conscience in favor of a radical political agenda. “All at once, the government is changing the way it interprets the law on gender and discrimination,” writes The Atlantic’s senior associate editor, Emma Green. “It’s a relatively new area of civil-rights law, but soon enough, it might just be part of the status quo.”
What status quo? “Perhaps it’s rude to say so, but facts do not cease to be facts simply because they offend,” writes columnist Jonah Goldberg. Maybe not right now, but that’s exactly the status quo the American Left and the Obama administration is pursuing.
And a footnote: The timing of Obama’s latest extraconstitutional executive decree on the states, is, as we have noted previously, to divert conservative political capital away from where it needs to be focused for the next six months – on Hillary Clinton.
In dispute with KIND foods, the FDA eats its words
RESEARCHING THIS COLUMN was an innocent pleasure: I had to sample several KIND energy bars to see if they were, as advertised, “healthy and tasty.” I started with the Madagascar Vanilla Almond, moved on to Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut, then savored the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt. In three 1.4-ounce nibbles I had consumed 530 calories. But the healthy kind, right?
I packed on the pounds in the spirit of scientific inquiry, because KIND bars are at the center of an effort by the federal Food and Drug Administration to redefine the term “healthy” in the wake of a settlement with the snack company. In March 2015 the FDA sent KIND a warning letter objecting to the use of the word “healthy” on four varieties of its fruit and nut bars because, though relatively low in sugar and sodium, they exceeded the FDA standard (three grams per serving) for fat. The FDA also objected to certain claims about fiber, antioxidants, and even the use of the + sign, which has a specialized meaning in the FDA’s code.
The company shot back with a citizens’ petition signed by 16 nutritionists attesting that not all fats are created equal and — citing the federal government’s own 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans — that fats from nuts (or avocados, or olive oil) can indeed be healthful.
Earlier this month the the FDA yielded, agreeing that “our regulations concerning nutrient content claims are due for a re-evaluation in light of evolving nutrition research.” But changing FDA rules can take years; the federal government has been debating the term “natural” since the moldy 1970s. So the FDA offered a split-the-baby-kale compromise: The company can put “healthy” on its packaging again, so long as it uses the term only “as part of its corporate philosophy” and not to make any nutritional claims. In other words, “healthy” is fine as long as it has nothing to do with, you know, health.
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.