Thursday, October 06, 2016

Supreme Court rejects plea to reconsider Obama’s immigration plan

A short-handed Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request from the Obama administration to reconsider a major immigration decision, dooming for now President Obama’s plan to spare millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation.

The court also declined to hear more than 1,000 petitions seeking review in cases that had piled up during the justices’ summer break. Among them were ones concerning what college athletes may earn, the Washington Redskins’ trademarks, and a campaign finance investigation in Wisconsin. Adhering to its custom, the court did not give reasons for turning down the cases.

The request that the justices rehear the immigration case came after a deadlock in the case in June. The 4-to-4 tie left in place an appeals court ruling that had blocked Obama’s plan, which also would have allowed the unauthorized immigrants to work legally in the United States.

The Supreme Court has been without its standard nine members since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February. The tie vote in the case, United States v. Texas, set no precedent. The court did not disclose how the justices had voted.

The administration’s petition seeking rehearing said a matter of such importance should be resolved by a nine-member Supreme Court, which “should be the final arbiter of these matters through a definitive ruling.”

The administration acknowledged that the immigration case was at an early stage and could again reach the court in a later appeal. But the petition said there was a “strong need for definitive resolution by this court at this stage.”


British PM to attack politicians who sneer at 'patriotic' working class voters concerned about migration

The establishment must stop sneering at the patriotism of ordinary Britons, Theresa May will say today.

During her keynote speech to the Conservative conference, the Prime Minister will proclaim that the Tories are now the party of working class people.

In a bid to attract millions of disaffected Labour voters across the country, she will add that concerns about immigration have for too long been dismissed as “distasteful” and “parochial”.

She will attack the condescending views of politicians and establishment figures who are “bewildered” by the fact that more than 17 million people voted for Britain to leave the European Union.

Her attack will also be seen as a coded criticism of David Cameron's government which she has suggested focused too much on "the privileged few".

Mrs May will use her speech to declare that she is putting both the Tory party and the country “on the path towards the new centre ground of British politics”.

It will be seen as an attempt to win over traditional Labour voters who were alienated by Jeremy Corbyn’s recent declaration that he is “relaxed” about the prospect of uncontrolled immigration to Britain.

“Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public,” Mrs May will say. “They find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient. They find the fact that more than seventeen million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering.”


Now the safe spaces brigade have declared Verdi problematic too

Oh dear, here comes another operatic controversy – only this one relates not to graphic sex, gratuitous gore or violent heckling, but the no-platforming tendency that has regrettably been eating away at the principles of free speech and free expression in our universities. There is something of the Ealing Comedy about this particular case.

Earlier this year Music Theatre Bristol, a student-run institution attached to the University of Bristol, conceived a plan to stage Verdi’s epic Aida. This could be said to be ambitious bordering on the insane: a tale of passion and jealousy set in Ancient Egypt, it famously features a scene in which the Pharaoh’s army, triumphant in war against the rebel Ethiopians, returns with booty of slaves, elephants and tigers to be hailed by a chorus and orchestra of hundreds. Covent Garden and La Scala have a hard time staging this plausibly; quite how peanut-budgeted Music Theatre Bristol ever imagined they could make it convincing is a mystery.

No matter, because now the show has been summarily cancelled. Not on the grounds of cruelty to endangered animals or non-recrutiment of that chorus and orchestra of hundreds, but because of a “controversy in terms of racial diversity”.

"It is a great shame that we have had to cancel this show as of course we would not want to cause offence in any way."Music Theatre Bristol

That dire phrase “cultural appropriation” hovers in the background here, as the poor dears in Bristol appear to have got very edgy about the fact that black-skinned people are involved in the plot, albeit in an entirely flattering light – Aida herself, an Ethiopian princess, is presented as a pillar of rectitude throughout, while her father Amonasro is as an honest warrior of rough-edged Garibaldian integrity. Aida is in love with the Egyptian general Radames – so is miscegenation the problem here? Or has someone objected to the way that the brown-skinned Egyptians are shown as militantly loyal to their nation?

I guess not: I suspect that the sticking-point is not so much bristling over "racial diversity"– what could be the objection to showing that – as someone’s discovery via Google of the (now virtually extinct) tradition of Caucasian singers "blacking up" to play their part in this opera.

They have a point here: terrible make-up frequently yielded unintentionally comedic results. What probably hasn’t been registered is that Aida has also been a significant vehicle of black liberation, an opera which allowed many great African American opera stars in the Civil Rights era – Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry and Shirley Verrett, for example – the chance to take centre stage without suppressing their racial identities. How much more enlightened it would have been to honour this.

In any case, Verdi, that magnificently unillusioned liberal who detested cant and hypocrisy, would be appalled to think that his opera had fallen victim to such infantile censorship. He stood for nothing but the dignity of all humanity, and Aida is emphatically not an exercise in racism but merely a drama set in a romantic locale, to a text written by an archaeologist who ministered to the Victorian fascination with the romance of a lost civilization.

Where will the mealy-mouthed nonsense peddled by ideologues in Bristol stop? If something doesn’t laugh it to extinction, Verdi’s entire oeuvre could fall under the axe. Rigoletto could be banned on account of its unsympathetic representation of a hunchback; La Traviata shows insufficient respect for sex workers; and  most sinister of all, Falstaff could be deemed fattist, not to mention derogatory to merry wives living in Windsor. Don’t chortle. It could just happen.


World Congress of Families in Kenya: Africans 'Should Be Horrified' at LGBT Actions in USA -- 'It's Insane'

World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder, during a discussion on Kenya's Crosstalk program about the LGBT agenda in Africa and the United States, said that civil society cannot allow homosexuals "to be the role model" because it is "dangerous" and, he added, "if Africans look seriously" at how homosexuality is affecting the United States, "they should be horrified." What's happening with transgender bathroom policy "is absolutely insane," he said.

“The problem is this is a way people are living and they’re demanding that it be respected," said Feder in reference to LGBT persons in America on the Sept. 28 edition of Crosstalk, an affiliate of TBN. "They’re demanding that all of society be changed for their comfort and their convenience."

"We’re not saying that these people have to be persecuted," said Feder, an author and former Boston Herald columnist.  "We’re not saying that you can’t have compassion for them -- of course, you can. But you can’t let this be the role model. And you can’t allow Christians and other religious people to be persecuted because they refuse to go along with this agenda.”

“You know, other people have demanded minority status based on their religion, based on their race," said Feder, a graduate of Boston University Law School. "This is the first group that demands minority status based on what they do in their bedrooms. And that’s what makes it so dangerous."

"And if you look at the United States, I mean if Africans look seriously at the United States, they should be horrified by what’s going on," he said.

Turning to the transgender issue, Feder said, “We now have the latest created gender, transgender. Men who feel they’re actually women, women who feel they’re actually men. The latest front in the culture war is bathrooms, transgender bathrooms."

"The idea is, if you’re a man who feels you’re actually a woman, you should be able to use a woman’s bathroom, changing room, showers," said Feder. "This is absolutely insane."

"What about the privacy, the modesty of women and girls?" he said.  "But in our legal system that’s irrelevant because the rights of so-called transgenders are far more important.”



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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