Thursday, December 08, 2016
U-turn in Germany: Angela Merkel calls for a BURKA BAN
Angela Merkel has called for a burka ban after saying the 'full veil is not appropriate' in Germany.
In an astonishing U-turn, the German chancellor told her conservative CDU party conference that wearing the burka should be outlawed 'wherever that is legally possible'.
It comes after the 62-year-old stressed her determination to ensure there is no repeat of last year's huge migrant influx as she seeks a fourth term as chancellor.
Merkel said she would back a nationwide ban just months after revealing that she believed the burka was a barrier to Muslim women becoming integrated into German society.
She told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland in August: 'From my point of view, a completely covered woman has almost no chance of integrating herself in Germany.'
Previously, Merkel has stopped short of calling for a ban on Islamic clothing, saying: 'This is a question of finding the right political and legal balance.'
Her new, tougher stance comes a week after Dutch MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban the Islamic full-face veil from some public places such as schools and hospitals, the latest such move in a European country.
The legislation must now go before the Senate for approval before becoming law. It follows similar bans imposed in France and Belgium, and comes amid rising tensions in Europe with Islamic communities.
Merkel came out fighting on the first day of her conservative party congress pledging to ban the burka and bring the refugee crisis under control.
A 77 minute speech interrupted by minutes of standing ovations proved the most powerful woman on the continent still has what it takes to rally the faithful.
She pledged to strengthen the forces of law and order while speeding up the sclerotic deportation process of failed asylum seekers.
'Not all the 890,000 refugees who came last year can or will stay,' she said at the start of her speech designed to claw back ground lost in recent months to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
But the pastor's daughter who was raised in communist East Germany pledged that every asylum application would be judged on its merits and that people would not be lumped into an 'anonymous mass.'
She said that a refugee situation of the kind Germany had endured in the summer of last year 'can and should not be repeated.'
And she pledged that the law of the land stood above 'any honour codes or Sharia.'
Mrs Merkel's critical speech came as tensions continue to rise following the brutal rape and murder of a 19-year-old medical student by an Afghan refugee.
She criticised the groundswell of Internet hate against migrants. She said that she often had the opinion that those who wrote them needed an 'integration course' more than the newcomers.
She said the tasteless online attacks shocked and sickened her. 'So say I, so say we; this must not be.'
She said she recognized that the general election of next year was like 'none other' and that it would not be 'like swallowing a sugar drop.'
She pledged a stronger Europe, a stronger economic base for Germany and a stronger commitment to achieving peace in Syria. At the end of it she was rewarded with a standing ovation of over 11 minutes.
While Ms Merkel has continued to insist that Germany will take in people in genuine need of protection, her government has moved to toughen asylum rules and declare several countries 'safe' - meaning people from there cannot expect to get refuge in Germany.
Ms Merkel was a driving force behind an agreement between the European Union and Turkey earlier this year to stem the flow of migrants.
Ms Merkel announced last month that she will seek a fourth four-year term as chancellor in an election expected next September. Her springboard to that run is re-election as the chairwoman of the CDU.
The vote in Essen, where she was first elected chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union in 2000, offers a test of Ms Merkel's standing with members.
Aside from unhappiness about her migrant policy, some members are grumbling about what is perceived as a wider drift to the left during her 11 years as chancellor.
Polls show a solid lead for the conservatives, though their support is well short of the 41.5% they won in Germany's 2013 election.
They face new competition from the upstart nationalist Alternative for Germany party, which has thrived by attacking Ms Merkel's migrant policies.
She is running unopposed for another term at the CDU's helm. Two years ago, she won the support of 96.7% of delegates, one of her best results.
Fake News on Gay Science?
A widely reported study on longevity of homosexuals appears to have been faked. When social justice displaces truth as the core value of academics, bad things happen to science.
Professor Jonathan Haidt of NYU has taken the lead in pointing out that freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and viewpoint diversity are particularly necessary if universities are going to fulfill their once-core mission of serving the cause of truth. He founded Heterodoxacademy.org to help organize resistance from within the world of scholars.
One thing that happens when social justice displaces truth in the internal scientific community is that less than ordinary care is taken with scientific results that are pleasing to social-justice warriors.
We saw that in 2015, when a major study published in Science, which purported to show that personal canvassing by LGBT people had an amazingly large effect on people’s opinions, was revealed to have been entirely faked, and in ways that one lone grad student, David Broockman, found easy to debunk. (The “scholar” had even created easily checked fake grants from real foundations, thanking them publicly for grants they had never made.)
“In fact, throughout the entire process, until the very last moment when multiple ‘smoking guns’ finally appeared, Broockman was consistently told by friends and advisers to keep quiet about his concerns lest he earn a reputation as a troublemaker,” New York magazine reported.
Now Social Science & Medicine has demonstrated its own scientific integrity by publishing what amounts to a repudiation of another widely reported LGBT study, by Mark Hatzenbuehler, which concluded that “minority stress” was knocking an amazing twelve years off the lives of gay people. The roughly half of American people who don’t believe in gay marriage were killing gay people, the press more or less concluded.
“Can Prejudice Kill You? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Life Expectancy Drops 12 Years in Anti-Gay Communities,” blared Medical Daily.
The press was only echoing the study’s authors: “The results of this study suggest a broadening of the consequences of prejudice to include premature death,” Hatzenbuehler said in the press release announcing the study’s publication.
But in mid November, Social Science & Medicine published an attempt to replicate the authors’ data, which not only failed to replicate the results but could find no legitimate way of interpreting the data that would explain how the authors reached their conclusion:
Efforts to replicate Hatzenbuehler et al.’s (2014) key finding on structural stigma’s notable influence on the premature mortality of sexual minorities, including a more refined imputation strategy than described in the original study, failed. No data imputation approach yielded parameters that supported the original study’s conclusions. Alternative hypotheses, which originally motivated the present study, revealed little new information.
In conclusion, the authors note that “ten different approaches to multiple imputation of missing data yielded none in which the effect of structural stigma on the mortality of sexual minorities was statistically significant.”
To heighten the drama, the author of this new study is none other than University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, who was subjected to public abuse for daring to publish, in a peer-reviewed journal, the results of a groundbreaking study suggesting that children raised by gay people fare about as well as children in other, alternative family forms but not as well as children in intact married biological families.
(Regnerus was unable to compare children raised from birth by gay couples in an intact relationship because he could find only two examples of such children in his data set, a finding he freely acknowledged in his own published study.)
In the weeks since the publication of Regnerus’s study attempting to replicate his work, Hatzenbuehler has yet to respond
Perhaps there is some explanation. Or perhaps, for reasons we can only suspect, Hatzenbuehler (who edited the special journal issue in which his original study was published) slipped a bogus study into a major social-science journal, confident that nobody would want to review and contest its findings, which so please the overwhelmingly liberal academy.
I charitably hope he can explain. But in any case, Mark Regnerus is emerging as a scientific hero, a modern-day Galileo standing up to the new theology of the Left. Science is not right-wing or left-wing. But to work, it needs scientists fearlessly committed to truth over their preferred outcomes.
British woman, 23, is jailed after her lies to police caused an innocent man to spend five months behind bars
A woman has been jailed after her lies to police resulted in an innocent man spending five months in prison.
The false statement Hayley Carter, 23, of West Sussex, gave to police led to one case being wrongly discontinued in relation to serious firearms charges, and a man charged for a crime he didn't commit.
But her lies were uncovered when a video on a mobile phone captured Carter admitting the man was innocent at a New Year's Eve party.
The telephonist from Crawley Down was originally handed an 18-month community order for perverting the course of justice.
But this has now been upgraded to a 12-month prison sentence by the Court of Appeal following intervention by the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, who felt the original sentence was too lenient. The Solicitor General said: 'False witness statements can destroy lives and undermine faith in the entire criminal justice system.'
Carter's lies to Sussex Police were related to the arrest of two men in 2014. In August that year officers had executed a drugs warrant at an address in Crawley.
Following the raid officers arrested and charged one man with possessing a stolen shotgun and with handling stolen property.
Later in the investigation a second man, Lee Goodsell, was arrested on suspicion of the same offences and was placed on police bail.
But having become aware of the second arrest, Carter decided to make a statement to the police which further incriminated Goodsell, who was subsequently charged on the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service.
In addition, as a direct result of Carter's statement the CPS also dropped the case against the first man.
But at Mr Goodsell's trial in February 2015, Carter failed to appear as a witness.
The defence also produced video evidence shot by a friend on a mobile phone in the toilets of a Crawley club on the preceding New Year's Eve in which Carter clearly admits that the man is innocent.
The trial was stopped, and no further action has been taken against either man.
Carter originally appeared at Hove Crown Court on Friday, October 7 where she was given an 18 month community order, consisting of; nine months of electronically monitored curfew between 9pm and 7am, 240 hours unpaid community work, and 30 hours at an attendance centre with Probation supervision. She was also ordered to pay £1,500 costs and a victim surcharge.
But the Crown Prosecution appealed against that sentence as being unduly lenient, leading to the Court of Appeal hearing which replaced it with the prison sentence.
Detective Sergeant Jon Robeson, from Sussex Police, said: 'Carter's action caused a man to be in prison for five months awaiting trial, and also had the effect of causing the original case against the first man to be called into question so that it had to be withdrawn.
'The sentence sends the message that attempts to pervert the course of justice are taken very seriously and that people who make false statements to the police, and to the courts, must expect to face justice themselves.'
Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, added: 'I referred this case as I did not believe the sentence reflected the seriousness of the offence. I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed that a stronger sentence was necessary.'
A moonbeam from the greater lunacy: University of Toronto historian says biological sex is a ‘very popular misconception’
A lecturer at the University of Toronto says the notion of “biological sex” — that humans are born either male or female — is a “very popular misconception.”
Nick Matte, an historian who teaches a class on transgender studies as a part of the university’s Sexual Diversity Studies program, said the science has long been settled on the matter, reported Red Alert Politics.
“Basically, it’s not correct that there is such a thing as biological sex,” Mr. Matte said last month on “The Agenda,” a Canadian talk show, adding that “for over 50 years scientists have shown that that’s not true.”
Mr. Matte also said gender pronouns — a contentious topic within the transgender community — only reinforce the false idea that humans exist as sexually compatible organisms with distinct chromosomes, hormones and genitalia.
“I don’t focus on pronouns, because pronouns are actually part of a cisnormative culture,” he said.
He defined “cisnormativity” as “basically the very popular idea and assumption that most people probably have, and definitely that our structures convey, that there is such a thing as male or female, that they connect to being a girl or a boy, a man or a woman.”
“Cisnormativity is basically that everyone assumes that there is male and female, and so very little is actually looked at to understand what’s actually the case,” he said.
The historian also condemned his colleague, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, whose unwillingness to call transgender students by their preferred gender pronouns sparked massive protests on campus earlier this year.
Mr. Matte said Mr. Peterson “abuses” students by refusing to address them by preferred terms including “zie,” “zim” and “zir.” He said it’s “tantamount to violence” and “hate speech.”
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.