An amusing tantrum
A dress designer who in the past valiantly tried to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear says she won't work with Melania, someone who would be most unlikely to want her anyway. I am of course not allowed to say that Mrs Obama is
The Press was amusing. Some heralded the news as "Massive blow to Melania Trump". Since Melania is a model, there will be hordes of designers vying to dress her. She will make their clothes look good
In the first few weeks with Melania Trump as First Lady-Elect, the fashion industry has remained fairly mum on her.
But designer Sophie Theallet, who has dressed current First Lady Michelle Obama, went to the lengths of issuing an official statement saying she will not be dressing Mrs. Trump.
In her emailed statement, she said, in part: “I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics. That said, as a family owned company, our bottom line is not just about money. We value our artistic freedom and always humbly seek to contribute to a more humane, conscious and ethical way to create in this world.
“As an immigrant myself in this country, I have been blessed with the opportunity to pursue my dreams in the USA. Dressing the First Lady Michelle Obama for the past 8 years has been a highlight and an honor. She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide.
“Her values, actions, and grace have always resonated deeply within me.
“As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady. The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.”
To be fair, Theallet doesn’t have much to lose — she has never worked with Trump, and her style is not a match with hers
Cantuar: It's time to stop saying Isil has ‘nothing to do with Islam’
The Church England is at long last waking up
Claims that the atrocities of the Islamic State have “nothing to do with Islam” are harming efforts to confront and combat extremism, the Archbishop of Canterbury has insisted.
Religious leaders of all varieties must “stand up and take responsibility” for the actions of extremists who profess to follow their faith, the Most Rev Justin Welby said.
He argued that unless people recognise and attempt to understand the motivation of terrorists they will never be able to combat their ideology effectively.
It follows calls from a series of high profile figures for people to avoid using the term Islamic State – also known as Isil, Isis and Daesh – because, they say, its murderous tactics go against Islamic teaching and that using the name could help legitimise the group’s own propaganda.
But the Archbishop said that it is essential to recognise extremists’ religious motivation in order to get to grips with the problem.
He also said it was time for countries across Europe to recognise and rediscover the “Judaeo Christian” roots of their culture to find solutions to the mass disenchantment which led to the Brexit vote in the UK and the rise of anti-establishment leaders in the continent and beyond.
His comments came during a lecture at the Catholic Institute of Paris, as he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
He said a series of terrorist atrocities, notably in Paris where he was speaking, showed how there is an urgent need for people across Europe to understand religion.
“In order to understand, religious people in Europe must regain the ability to share our religious vocabulary with the rest of the continent,” he continued.
“If we treat religiously-motivated violence solely as a security issue, or a political issue, then it will be incredibly difficult – probably impossible – to overcome it.
“A theological voice needs to be part of the response, and we should not be bashful in offering that.
“This requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that Isis is ‘nothing to do with Islam’, or that Christian militia in the Central African Republic are nothing to do with Christianity, or Hindu nationalist persecution of Christians in South India is nothing to do with Hinduism.
“Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.”
Pro-abortion campaigners in Ireland making the same mistake as Hillary Clinton and her supporters
Pro-abortion activists are not addressing the concerns of people who want to be convinced
Sitting at my computer, here in Los Angeles, I want to tell you about a very contentious and divisive political campaign. One side seems to have everyone on their side – establishment politicians from all parties, the radical left and every actor you have ever heard of and many you haven’t.
Almost all the major newspapers are on board – including the women, fashion and lifestyle magazines that don’t normally take political stances.
It’s a movement that has the support every celebrity, writer, poet and thinker.
On the other side, there appears to be a few relics from a long time ago. According to these journalists, poets and thinkers, their opponents are a bunch of religion-obsessed, misogynistic neanderthals who, according to one actor, just want to keep women in chains.
Basically, everyone who is against them is labelled hateful, uncaring and much more besides.
And no, I’m not talking about the Donald Trump shock election campaign and result – I’m actually talking about the Repeal the Eighth campaign.
The vitriol and contempt from the Repeal side towards their opponents is a sight to behold and, if it continues, and they ever get their referendum, it may lead to the same type of shock result liberals have just experienced here in the US.
If you only read the quality newspapers, listen to RTÉ and follow the cultural “elites” and their hangers-on in Ireland, then it is clear what side all “right-thinking people” are supposed to come down on.
Just as it was in the recent US election.
The message is very clear that if you don’t support the Repeal the Eighth campaign, you are, as Hillary Clinton would say, an “irredeemable deplorable.”
Just have a quick glance at the terms used by Repeal the Eighth supporters. According to Repealers, their opponents cannot be motivated by a sincere belief that babies in the womb are humans and deserve to be protected from killing.
No, Repealers know that even though much of the leadership of the anti-abortion movement is female – they are just motivated by their hatred of women.
Similarly, those who want to protect children with Down syndrome or girls from selective abortions are throwbacks to a time when all decent Irish people should be ashamed.
According to a prominent Repealer – who is also a doctor – abortion survivors, a group of people who survived their own abortion, should not be listened to because they are “Jesus freaks” and “Bible thumpers”. Thanking God for a remarkable survival story is now no longer allowed in official Ireland.
And just like the Clinton campaign, Hollywood has piled in.
Actor Liam Neeson has recorded a video lecturing Irish people that their reluctance to allow abortion is part of a “a different time we’d hoped we’d left behind.” The abortion ban has us “chained to the past,” he states.
Clinton represents the future – everyone from Lena Dunham to George Clooney to the New York Times and Cosmopolitan magazine told us so. And Trump represents a shameful past that no one would want to return to.
Well, we saw how those student union labels worked out.
Liberal America is in shock. It turned out people didn’t like being insulted for their genuinely held beliefs. It also turned out people didn’t like snobby superior types saying they were a throwback to a shameful past. And, shocking as it may seem, it turns out that insulting people was a very poor way of gaining their political support.
The Repeal the Eighth campaign is heading in that direction with their celebrity endorsements and disdain for the very real concerns of those opposed to abortion.
Repealers have been slow to address real concerns from real people who want to be convinced on an issue.
What are the time limits they would want after a successful abortion referendum? Will it be 12 weeks or 24 weeks like it is across large parts of America? Or will it be nine months as it is in five states in the US? And, if not, why is nine months unacceptable but six months okay? Will sex selection be allowed? And, if not, how will they stop it – if it is a woman’s right to choose?
And what about “Comfort Care” – an established abortion practice where babies who are still alive after the procedure are set aside with a blanket until eventually they die from neglect. Will this be part of Ireland’s abortion regime?
After they have finished insulting those who disagree with them, perhaps Ireland’s actors, poets and thinkers might like to address these questions.
But they probably won’t. It seems that, just like American liberals, Irish abortion campaigners are in a metropolitan bubble where maybe people do believe you should be allowed to have an abortion up to nine months.
I doubt any significant portion of the Irish electorate agree and the attacks and insults certainly won’t convince them otherwise.
So, the Repeal the Eighth movement has a choice.
They could try and convince Irish citizens from outside their bubble about the validity of their position. If they don’t, just like US liberals, they will wake up after the referendum whining. And, this being Ireland, they will write interminable think pieces that usually start with a clichéd Yeats quote.
I want to be spared the whining but I really want to be spared the Yeats quotes. I think we’d all vote for that.
Blacks and Politicians
Donald Trump's surprise win has millions of Americans, many of whom are black, in a tizzy. Many, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, are writing about what it means to be black during a Trump administration even though Trump's presidency has yet to begin. My argument has always been that the political arena is largely irrelevant to the interests of ordinary black people.
Much of the 1960s and '70s civil rights rhetoric was that black political power was necessary for economic power. But the nation's most troublesome and dangerous cities, which are also cities with low-performing and unsafe schools and poor-quality city services, have been run by Democrats for nearly a half-century — with blacks having significant political power, having been mayors, city councilors and other top officials, such as superintendents of schools and chiefs of police.
Panic among some blacks over the upcoming Trump presidency is unwarranted. Whoever is the president has little or no impact on the living conditions of ordinary black people, even when that president is a black person, as the Obama presidency has demonstrated. The overall welfare of black people requires attention to devastating problems that can be solved only at the family and community levels.
Mountains of evidence demonstrates that outcomes are not favorable for children raised in female-headed households. Criminal behavior is greater, and academic achievement is much less for such children. This is a devastating problem, but it is beyond the reach of a president or any other politician to solve. If there is a solution, it will come from churches and local community organizations.
Education is vital to upward mobility. Most schools labeled as "persistently dangerous" are schools with predominantly black populations. At many schools, students are required to walk through metal detectors and place their book bags and purses on a conveyor belt that goes through an X-ray machine. Armed police patrol the school to try to stem school violence. But even with a police presence, teachers, staff and students are assaulted. A policy that permanently removes troublemakers would make a greater impact on black education than anything a U.S. president could do. The fact that black parents, teachers and civil rights organizations tolerate and make excuses for the despicable and destructive behavior of so many young blacks is a gross betrayal of the memory, struggle, sacrifice, sweat, tears and blood of our ancestors. The sorry and tragic state of black education is not going to be turned around until there's a change in what's acceptable and unacceptable behavior by young people. That change could come only from within the black community.
Using 2012 data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Law Street Media offers some sobering statistics in an article titled "Crime in America: Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Over 200,000." The nation's most dangerous big cities are Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis, Memphis, Stockton, Birmingham, Baltimore, Cleveland, Atlanta and Milwaukee. The most common characteristic of these cities is that they have predominantly black populations. Another common characteristic is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia — haven't elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century.
Here are some indisputable facts: Crime imposes a huge cost on black communities in the forms of human suffering and economic well-being. It matters little whether the U.S. president is black or white, Democrat or Republican. It also matters little whether local politicians are black or white or Democrats or Republicans. What will matter is an unyielding black intolerance for crime, along with a willingness to allow policing authorities to do what is necessary to stop criminals from preying on the overwhelmingly law-abiding people of the community.
In light of the many difficulties within black communities, focusing energy and resources on the election of Donald Trump is gross dereliction.
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.