Monday, August 22, 2016
Don’t Tread on Me
News item: "The EEOC is investigating whether the Revolutionary War-era Gadsden Flag ["Don't Tread on Me"] could be considered a racist symbol in the workplace."
Back in the 1960s, American Marxists gave up trying to instigate an uprising of American workers against their employers and turned their efforts, instead, toward exploiting existing divisions within society, as between blacks and whites, and toward creating new ones, as between men and women. Thus began the cultural revolution. It continues apace, as the news item above attests.
Political correctness is an essential element of the left's strategy for carrying out their cultural revolution. Americans should understand how it works.
In the name of justice and equality, ostensibly, the left has assembled various and sundry "oppressed" groups into a coalition of the aggrieved. Each group is equipped with a script that explains and justifies its grievance against American culture.
Most of the dysfunction within black communities is a consequence of white racism.
Except for their anatomical differences, men and women are identical. Any difference between how they function in the world is a consequence of conditioning by patriarchal society.
Homosexuality is an un-chosen condition, and it is a normal and physchologically healthy alternative to heterosexuality. Any unhappiness that homosexuals experience regarding their sexuality derives from heterosexuals' failure to accept them.
International borders are just lines on a map. They should not be allowed to prevent human beings from coming to the United States to seek a better life.
Muslims from the Middle East and Africa are peace-loving individuals who, except for some of their religious practices, are indistinguishable from American Methodists and Baptists.
It is possible for a male validly to consider himself female, and for a female validly to consider herself male.
Police throughout America are wantonly murdering young black men.
Honest people can disagree about some of these propositions. In a free country, they should be able to voice their disagreement without fear of recrimination, and to act accordingly. A Christian baker should be free to decide for himself whether to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. But the advocates of tolerance on the left tolerate no disagreement.
The scripts are composed not necessarily to identify the truth, but to serve the interests of their respective groups, as understood by the authors of the scripts. Each group retains editorial control over its own script. Debates might arise occasionally within a group as to the contents of their script, but no one outside the group is permitted to question the content of a script.
The scripts operate very much as the Party line from Moscow once operated for American Communists, and the similarity is far from coincidental. The difference, though, is that these scripts are intended to be the final word on each group not only for the party faithful, but for the rest of America, as well. Anyone who dares to contradict a script is vilified as a hater and is ostracized by the media-Hollywood-academic complex, who function as a kind of ideological Mafia.
How does all this serve the neo-Marxist cultural revolution? Americans are being forced to adjust their culture to comport with each group's script. White employers are forced to hire black workers, even at the expense of the employers' liberties (hence the existence of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Christian bakers are forced to bake wedding cakes for homosexual couples wishing to "marry." The Little Sisters of the Poor are forced to subsidize contraception and abortion services for their lay women employees, even at the expense of their Catholic beliefs. Americans must welcome large numbers of Muslim refugees, even if it means living under the constant threat of terrorist assassination within our borders. Schoolgirls must welcome sexually confused boys into their bath and locker rooms, despite thousands of years of cultural practice to the contrary.
And if a black worker feels harassed by the display of the Gadsden Flag in his place of work, because the flag was once displayed by some white supremacists who attacked police in Las Vegas, then the EEOC must consider outlawing the Gadsden Flag in the workplace, free speech be damned.
The cultural revolutionaries' agenda is not limited to exploiting the grievances of their various client groups. They maintain a politically correct script on many other matters, notable among them guns, sex, and the environment.
Private ownership of guns is bad.
Any connection between sex and moral values is arbitrary.
Pollution must be eradicated, resources must be conserved, and land and wildlife must be preserved, even at the cost of our rights and our industrial economy.
Next to her Constitution, America's most distinctive cultural artifact is her industrial economy. The extinguishing of that economy in the name of saving the environment numbers among the most devastating changes so far inflicted by the cultural revolution.
And speaking of flags, if you thought that removing the Confederate Battle flag from the state capitols of Alabama and South Carolina would end the cultural cleansing, think again. The removal of this symbol of a distinct American culture from those public places was just the beginning. You can bet that, if the left succeed in outlawing "hate speech," then any display of the Confederate flag will be outlawed, as well. (The EEOC has already outlawed it in the workplace.)
Indeed, it is now open season on the many other symbols of the Confederacy that dot our landscape, including the magnificent monument at Stone Mountain, Georgia. (The Taliban aren't the only ones who would demolish monuments.) The same goes for our many cultural artifacts that have a connection to slavery. Yale University has just renamed a dining hall that formerly carried the name of slave owner and Yale alumnus, John C. Calhoun. All the monuments to and places named for slave owners Washington and Jefferson are obvious targets, and the latter is already in the left's crosshairs.
But Washington, Jefferson, and the Confederacy won't be the end of it, not by a long shot. There is much of Christianity that remains to be got rid of, even after a half century of attacks. The EEOC recently tried, for example, to ban the crucifix from the workplace. (One of the most harmful constitutional developments in American history has been the transforming of private property that is used for commercial purposes into pseudo-public property that is thereby rendered subject to all manner of government regulation.)
According to a recent video about PC censorship at Brown University, an orientation pamphlet for new students refered to the displaying of the oil portraits of Brown's past presidents in a lecture hall as a "micro-aggression," because, until very recently, the portraits depicted only white males. Eliminate the white male influence, and there won't be much left of our history or our culture. The left intend to wipe the slate clean, then they'll be free to build their workers' paradise.
The neo-Marxists are nothing if not sanctimonious about the positions staked out in their scripts. But given the tenuous connection of those scripts to the truth, and given the left's determination to force their orthodoxy upon others, and given their fascistic silencing of any voices who would oppose them, especially on college campuses, the left's pretensions to moral superiority are as specious as their scripts. Sure, they are against racism, except when it is practiced by their allies. Sure, they are against hate, except when it is directed against their opponents.
Those who should be defending American culture, on the other hand, genuinely value racial equality, abhor racism, and would hate to be identified as racist. They are willing to surrender a great deal-far too much-to see the "oppressed" treated fairly. So their virtues become weapons that the left uses against them. The whole edifice of political correctness would come tumbling down, and the neo-Marxist cultural revolution would fizzle out, if only Americans would cease to take seriously the left's bluster and lies.
Donald Trump, for all his faults, has performed heroically in challenging the orthodoxy of political correctness. We need many more to do the same. But we also need many more to explain to the American people the terribly damaging scam that is being perpetrated upon them under the banner of political correctness.
In the long run, the banning of the Gadsden flag from the workplace would mean no more to the left than the overrunning of a small village in eastern France meant to the Nazis in 1940. The Nazis meant to have all of France, and the left mean to obliterate every vestige of individualism, liberty, and capitalism from the American landscape. Any attempt to appease them just emboldens them. At some point, we must stand and fight.
Administration to Issue Regulation Making All Federal Bathrooms Available to Transgenders
The Obama Administration will be publishing a new regulation in the Federal Register on Thursday that “makes it clear that an individual can use whichever restroom matches their gender identity,” Ashley Nash-Hahn, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration (GSA), told CNSNews.com.
The Federal Management Regulation bulletin “clarifies that existing civil rights law and regulation explicitly applies to all federal locations under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of General Services Administration,” Nash-Hahn confirmed.
“The bulletin applies to the approximately 9,200 Federal locations under GSA's purview,” she said, noting that this new regulation will affect all federal facilities across the country.
“These spaces include various federal buildings in Washington, D.C, such as the GSA Central Office, courthouses throughout the country, and Social Security offices nationwide,” Nash-Hahn said.
She added that the regulation comes after federal agencies “interpreted prohibitions against sex discrimination under various federal civil rights laws and regulations,” including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Education (ED) and Department of Justice (DOJ).
The temporary bulletin written by GSA Administrator Denise Turner-Roth notes that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued guidance specifically for transgender persons who have not undergone any medical procedures to alter the gender they had at birth.
The guidance states in part: “OPM recognizes that a person does not need to undergo any medical procedure to be considered a transgender man or a transgender woman.”
“The self-identification of gender identity by any individual is sufficient to establish which restroom or other single-sex facilities should be used,” the temporary bulletin states.
“Federal agencies may not restrict only transgender individuals to only use single-occupancy restrooms, such as family or accessible facilities open to all genders,” it continues.
“However, Federal agencies may make individual-user options available to all individuals who voluntarily seek additional privacy.”
The Future of Women in Marine officer training
To pretty much no one’s surprise, female Marines went 0-29 over the course of a nearly three year experiment to evaluate female participation in the Marine Corps' Infantry Officer Course, a prerequisite to serving as a Marine infantry officer. Although most of the attention will be focused on the first number — the goose egg — the second number also prompts some questions. The Marine Corps' stated goal at the beginning of the process was for 100 female volunteers to attempt the course. Despite significantly broadening the eligible pool of applicants midway through the experiment, less than one-third of the desired number chose to participate.
The majority of the females failed to successfully navigate the Endurance Course, a screening event conducted during the first week of the program that also claims a fair number of male aspirants. The final female candidate was one of the first to pass the Endurance Course, but was eventually dropped for failing to complete two conditioning hikes. Both events and associated standards are based on situations Marine infantry officers have encountered and can expect to encounter on the world’s most unforgiving testing ground — the battlefield — and both highlight the significant physiological (i.e., “proven science”) differences between men and women.
Having done their best to run an objective assessment, most observers expect the Marine Corps to be told that its standards are too high and that gender equity is much more important to national security than victory in combat or even preserving lives. Just kidding. Gender equity proponents will use Newspeak that suggests the standards won’t be lowered at all, just “adjusted” to more accurately reflect increased capabilities legions of females will bring to the infantry … but if our inherently unjust patriarchal society gets taken down a notch or two, that’s OK too.
As retired Marine General John Kelly observed, “If we don’t change standards, it will be very, very difficult to have … any real numbers [of women] come into the infantry.” That will be particularly true if females aren’t interested in serving as infantry officers, which is one of the obvious takeaways from the experiment. While the timing is uncertain, it’s not hard to predict the eventual outcome (especially if Hillary Clinton is in the Oval Office come January): bureaucrats who have no concept of what it takes to fight, survive and win on the battlefield — and most of whom have no interest in serving themselves — will impose more “reasonable” standards on the Marine Corps. The real question will be whether these bureaucrats really support a woman’s right to choose, or if they will also force the Marine Corps to involuntarily assign women to a role many may not find particularly appealing.
Texas Judge Victorious Over Atheist Group in Prayer Dispute
Chaplains opening court hearings with prayer doesn't violate the Constitution, a Texas attorney general opinion finds.
Judge Wayne Mack, a justice of the peace in Montgomery County, Texas, recalls several people telling him they were initially worried about coming before his court, but after the chaplain’s prayer opened the proceedings, they felt better.
“It was clear it would be a solemn event and they knew I would be fair,” Mack told The Daily Signal in a phone interview a day after the Texas attorney general’s opinion held that opening court with a chaplain’s prayer and the voluntary chaplain program Mack established were constitutional.
Mack started a voluntary chaplaincy program that has more than 60 clergymen participating, including Christians, Jews, Hindus, and people of other faiths. It openly invites, “all religious leaders of any faith in to participate.”
As a justice of the peace, Mack also serves as the coroner for the Montgomery County. It was in this duty that he first implemented the voluntary chaplain program, after finding himself not always able to console people when he had to be first on the scene for deaths.
In a six-page opinion issued Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton noted the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, which determined that initiating local government meetings with prayer did not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The Establishment Clause of the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … ”
Paxton compared Mack’s courtroom with the Town of Greece, New York, writing, “In both instances, religious leaders of any faith are invited to deliver a prayer at the beginning of proceedings.”
“A court would likely conclude that a justice of the peace’s practice of opening daily court proceedings with a prayer by a volunteer chaplain as you describe is sufficiently similar to the facts in Galloway such that the practice does not violate the Establishment Clause,” the opinion reads.
He added, “A court would likely conclude that the volunteer chaplain program you describe, which allows religious leaders to provide counseling to individuals in distress upon request, does not violate the Establishment Clause.”
The Paxton opinion cited lower court rulings on chaplain programs.
“Courts in other jurisdictions have likewise upheld the hiring of chaplains by a county hospital, prisons, and military establishments in order to provide counseling and guidance to individuals who request it,” the opinion said.
It added, “In each of these cases, the chaplains were paid by public funds, creating more significant Establishment Clause concerns than exist here, where the chaplains serve on a voluntary basis without cost to the taxpayer and only upon request of those who wish to receive the chaplain’s assistance.”
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation isn’t happy with the opinion, but asserts that the matter is likely over because two individuals who regularly appear before the court felt “fearful” about how Mack would judge their case and are not willing to file a suit.
“We are confident that if we could bring this [case] before a federal judge, we could prove this far exceeds precedent, but we can’t do that without a plaintiff willing to challenge Judge Mack,” said Sam Grover, staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.
There was never an intent to offend anyone, and whether someone participated in the courtroom prayer would have no affect on the ruling, Mack said.
“I would never use the bench as a pulpit,” he said. “Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court open with prayers.”
The Texas attorney general’s opinion marks a decisive victory for Mack, after getting a mixed victory before the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, based on the Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint from 2014. The judicial commission dismissed the complaint, but “strongly cautioned” against the chaplain program and prayer.
But the commission ruling that offered neither discipline nor a mandate to stop, led Mack and First Liberty Institute, a religious freedom advocacy group that represents the judge, to seek more clarity. In February, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked Paxton to issue a clarifying opinion on the constitutionality of the case.
“The attorney general’s opinion is clear and sound constitutionally,” Mack said. “It emboldens believers of any faith to stand up for the First Amendment because it’s the First Amendment for a reason. The tyranny of political correctness is causing people to step away from their values. They should stand up and be counted.”
The attorney general opinion offers a clear victory, said Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute.
“This is a total victory for Judge Mack and for the citizens of Texas,” Shackelford said in a statement. “If the Supreme Courts of the United States and Texas can open with prayer, clearly, the law allows for Judge Mack’s court to open with an invocation by a volunteer chaplain. We are grateful Attorney General Paxton has brought clarity to this important issue, reaffirming the constitutionality of prayer in the public arena.”
However, Grover of the Freedom From Religion Foundation contends that Paxton did not address the group’s main points from a letter sent in April.
“None of the points we raised were addressed. The opinion barely scratches the surface,” Grover said. “This far exceeds the ceremonial acknowledgment of a deity to open of the the Supreme Court or the Texas Supreme Court.”
Grover said merely allowing multiple faiths to participate in the chaplain program doesn’t mean it’s not exclusionary to nonbelievers.
“It makes the violation less severe, but a prayer in any setting, any prayer of any religion leaves out a large segment of nonreligious people,” Grover said.
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.