Thursday, March 31, 2016

Vetoing Religious Liberty

On Monday, religious liberty took another hit when Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature earlier this month. We have long warned that the path to same-sex marriage was a slippery slope because the Rainbow Mafia won’t stop their bullying until they get total acceptance of their way. And it’s made worse when proper protections can’t be put in place.

Deal apparently caved to the pressure of big business and chose to side with economic interests over Liberty and common sense. For a governor who has a reasonably conservative track record, this compromise on the principles of Liberty comes as a double blow. But it also demonstrates how the homosexual lobby along with big businesses that support that agenda won’t even tolerate the mildest form of protection for those who cherish religious freedom.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson notes, “The Georgia religious freedom bill that Deal vetoed would have safeguarded clergy from having to officiate same-sex weddings, prevented faith-based organizations from being forced to hire someone who publicly undermines their mission, and prohibited the state government from discriminating against churches and their affiliated ministries because they believe marriage is between a man and a woman.”

But he also noted the bill was “the result of a series of compromises that significantly watered down the original version.” For example, the bill did not protect bakers, florists and other small business owners who might be involved in wedding ceremonies. Those are the ones who would benefit most from this legislation, but nevertheless several big business executives from Disney, Apple, Time Warner, Intel and Salesforce called governor Deal asking him to veto the legislation. The NFL and NCAA also threatened to yank future sporting events from the state.

Apparently the economic pressure, and threats of boycotts and of canceling football championships were too much for the governor and he sided with uncommon sense over the common good.

Anderson notes that in explaining his veto, Deal argued that the religious liberty bill “doesn’t reflect the character of our state or the character of its people.” He also added that states should not pass any religious freedom laws, for religious freedom “is best left to the broad protections of the First Amendment.”

Ideally, he’s correct, but the governor is missing the point behind the bill that he just vetoed. As Anderson notes, “Americans need both broad protections and specific protections.”

Yes it is true that the First Amendment shields Americans from government encroachment on religious freedom. But it is also true that the Rainbow Mafia is increasingly aggressive in its fascist efforts to enforce “tolerance” — to force individuals and businesses to either violate conscience or be charged with discrimination.

This bill was designed to protect pastors, churches and Christian schools in Georgia from being forced to comply with the demands of homosexual activists. It is not enough for the homosexual activists and big businesses that support them to recognize that there are already some so-called churches and religious organizations that do accept and promote their lifestyle. No, they want everyone to accept and celebrate it.

Where is the tolerance in this? If you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, yet you can’t operate a business or a church on that belief, then where is the freedom? Obviously, there is no tolerance, only compliance, and if there isn’t compliance then there are and will be penalties.

Deal missed the perfect opportunity to take a stand for the truth. And by not taking a stand on principle, the liberty of the pastors, churches and religious schools in the Peach State is jeopardized, while the Rainbow Mafia is emboldened by a victory.

Our culture has and is changing, and for that reason alone it is essential that state and local governments preserve liberty for those who desire to maintain the traditional view of marriage being between one man and one woman.

There will be numerous legal challenges ahead, regardless of the outcome in Georgia. While this battle for religious liberty was lost, the war for our culture will continue. We must not cave to the pressures from those who seek to strip away one of our most fundamental freedoms.


State Dept. Hesitates to Confirm Terrorists Who Claimed to Target Christians Targeted Christians

State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that he did not have “the fidelity of information to confirm overtly” that the massive suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday was specifically targeting Christians celebrating Easter.

Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, the breakaway Taliban faction claiming responsibility for the attacks, told the Associated Press on Sunday that the suicide bomber “deliberately targeted the Christian community celebrating Easter.” He also said the attack was meant to protest Pakistan's military operation in the tribal regions.

At the State Department today, referencing the condemnatory statement made by the Department but which contained no reference of the targeting of Christians, AP reporter Matt Lee asked, “There’s been some commentary about why you guys didn’t mention either the Easter connection or the Christian connection in your condemnatory statements over the weekend and again today. Do you believe the claim of responsibility that Christians were targeted and are targets?”

“We have no indications that their claims of responsibility are false, though I can’t sit here and confirm it a hundred percent,” Kirby said. “Therefore I have no indications that their, the motivation that they claim was the reason is also false, but this is all going to be investigated by Pakistanis.”

Kirby also said that his failure to mention that the attack was specifically targeted against Christians on Easter Sunday in the State Department’s condemnatory statement “was as much a fact, or as much an indication of the fact that it had just happened and we didn’t know that much about the attack at the outset.”

“Is that your understanding now, though?” said Lee. “Do you believe that it was?”

Kirby replied, “We have no reason to doubt the veracity of their claims that this was aimed at Christians on Easter Sunday. But again I’m not also in a position, I just, we don’t have the fidelity of information to actually, you know, confirm overtly that that was in fact the case.”

“Clearly, that certainly appears to have been the case and we have no reason to doubt their claims,” said Kirby.


Gov. Scott Signs Bill Making Florida 12th State to Defund Planned Parenthood

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday that defunds his state’s abortion clinics - including those run by Planned Parenthood (PP) - making Florida the 12th state to block state taxpayer dollars from going to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

The Termination of Pregnancy bill (HB 1411), sponsored by state Rep. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland), was passed by the Republican-led Florida House (76-40) and state Senate (25-15), and was included in a batch of 67 bills sent to Scott for his signature.

The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, prohibits any state funding to groups that own, operate or are affiliated with licensed abortion facilities. Florida law currently allows state funding for non-abortion services.

Abortion clinics are not allowed to “purchase, sell, donate, or transfer fetal remains obtained from an abortion… excluding costs associated with certain transportation of remains… Advertising, purchase, sale, or transfer of human embryos or fetal remains [are] prohibited” under the new law.

The legislation also “requires that physicians performing or inducing a termination of life procedure have admitting privileges at a hospital within a specified distance of location where the procedure is performed or induced.”

It also requires monthly reports by, and annual state inspections of, all Florida abortion clinics, which must meet the state’s regulatory standards for ambulatory surgical centers, including “emergency resuscitative and life support” equipment.

PP president Cecile Richards called the legislation “a cruel bill…designed to rip health care away from those most at risk.”

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. (AP photo)
Richards warned that “thousands of people across Florida may no longer be able to access essential reproductive health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams.”

But John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, applauded the governor’s action.

“This is a historic victory and we are thrilled to have been an active part of this effort,” Stemberger said in a statement.

Stemberger had urged Scott to sign the legislation in a March 23 letter, pointing out that “there are 636 Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) sites and Rural Health Clinics in the state of Florida which are required by federal law to provide either directly or through established arrangements” obstetric, gynecological and preventive health services, among others.

Besides being “morally disqualified” from receiving taxpayer funding, he noted that “no Planned Parenthood facility offers the same level of care as FQHCs are required by law to provide.”

Besides Florida, legislators in nearly a dozen other states, including Texas and Ohio, have also voted to restrict state funding for Planned Parenthood after the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos showing PP officials allegedly discussing the sale of aborted baby parts.

However, PP still receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, the abortion provider received $553.7 million in “government health services grants and reimbursements,” according to its 2014-2014 annual report.

In January, President Obama vetoed a congressional attempt to defund PP. Congress’ attempt to override the veto the following month failed.


Muslim woman in Dearborn, MI drops her Hijab discrimination lawsuit after video shows she made it all up

A local Muslim woman has dropped her 2015 federal lawsuit against members of the Dearborn Police Department, whose officers she claimed violated her civil rights by requiring her to remove her hijab when she was taken into custody on a traffic warrant.

The city of Dearborn, which was also named as a defendant, said in a statement Wednesday that video taken in the police department’s booking room during the arrest “revealed that her claims were false.”

Maha Aldhalimi had claimed in the lawsuit that she had pleaded sever times with officers to allow her to leave her religious head covering on because of her deeply held religious belief. She claimed that if she didn’t remove it, it would be removed against her will.

When presented with the video evidence from the internal investigation, led by Police Captain Issa Shahin, Aldhalimi’s attorney withdrew the lawsuit on March 10, the city said.

“Dearborn police remain committed to respecting the rights of all people within our custody and we follow a stringent policy regarding religious head coverings,” Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said in the statement. “We knew this lawsuit had no merit and are glad that the people we serve can have confidence that our officers acted properly in this case.”



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


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RSPCA killed a cat for having long hair – then buried damning report

The once respectable RSPCA has become a rogue organization heavily influenced by animal rights fanatics.  As such, it is hostile to people

A secret report has revealed the RSPCA 'behaved unlawfully' and covered up evidence when seizing and killing a family's cat.

The unpublished review also said the animal charity 'provoked a hate campaign' against the cat's owners in Hertfordshire after issuing false claims it was too thin.

The elderly cat, called Claude, was taken by the RSPCA in 2013 after a call from a member of the public and taken to a vet who recommended putting him down due to age and underlying health problems.

But according to The Times, an unpublished review carried out by former chief inspector to the Crown Prosecution Service Stephen Wooler shows Claude was taken from owners Richard and Samantha Byrnes without 'lawful authority'.

He was not known to the vet, who had been incorrectly told consent had been given to remove him from the family, and police had consented for the cat to be kept in overnight.

In the report Mr Wooler said: 'A striking feature of the events is the confidence displayed by [the RSPCA] that the police would unquestioningly acquiesce in whatever actions [it] requested. Respect for due process and the rights of individuals was largely absent.'

The review is expected to be debated by MPs as part of an inquiry into the RSPCA's role as the most prolific private prosecutor in the UK.

As previously reported, the RSPCA made a public apology to the family after putting Claude to sleep before they could even say goodbye. The coupe had turned up at the vet's the morning after he was taken ready to bring him home only to be told he was to be put down.

In the report Mrs Byrnes asks them to delay it until after school has finished so her children could say goodbye, only to be told no.

They have two children, Dominic, 17, and Eloise, 15, who were devastated at losing Claude, who was regarded as 'the original member of the family'.

The couple were then individually charged with cruelty and taken to court and the case hung over them for 15 months.

The charges were eventually overruled by the Crown Prosecution Service in August 2014 - but only after the family had been wrongly condemned by the RSPCA for ill-treating their beloved cat.

RSPCA officials had claimed they had no 'undisclosed material' that would assist the defence or undermine its own case, but the report claims this was not true.

Later, when the couple raised their case in the media, the RSPCA wrongly said two vets advised Clause should be put down after examining him, that the family had consented and that the cat was in pain and the 'thinnest he could be'.

In the report, Mr Wooler described these claims as 'a travesty' which led to the family receiving 'distressing' comments from the public via social media, according to The Times.

He also defended the family's decision to go to the press, claiming there was a strong public interest in raising their concerns.

As previously reported, Mr Byrnes called on the Attorney General to look at the RSPCA's ability to pursue private prosecutions

Speaking in late 2014 he said: 'The RSPCA has been shocking from start to finish, treating us like criminals when all we've done is care for our cat.

'I will not forget having to stand in a dock and plead not guilty on my birthday.  'They released statements which were full of lies and I have nothing but contempt for them.

'The Attorney General should look at the RSPCA and see if it is fit to conduct these private prosecutions. From our view they are not fit for purpose.'

In a statement, the RSPCA confirmed it had provided the family with a copy of Mr Wooler's report.

A spokesman said: 'We have provided Mr and Mrs Byrnes with a copy of the RSPCA’s internal report by Mr Wooler into the case involving their elderly cat, Claude.

'We have already accepted mistakes were made in our handling of this case and in November 2014 we apologised publicly to Mr and Mrs Byrnes and their family for the upset and distress caused to them as a result.  'Our goal in commissioning the report was to learn from our mistakes. We have done this.

'Significant improvements and refinements to our processes have been made to help ensure that the RSPCA responds appropriately and proportionately to situations like this which require sensitive handling that takes account of both animal welfare and human issues.

'This includes overhauling the way animals are taken into our care, ensuring we improve the way our front line staff work with members of the public, how we manage end of life cases such as this, and bringing in new systems to handle complaints from the public.

'This will also provide an external element for inspectorate service complaints. We have also reviewed and changed our procedures on how we seek support from the police where it is necessary for their formal powers to be exercised.'

The National Police Chiefs Council has told the Parliamentary inquiry it recommends a single statutory prosecutor for animal welfare cases.


‘Brexit will let us deport terrorists and stop others from coming in’

DAVID CAMERON may be starting to regret having made the EU referendum all about our safety. In a major speech in November, the PM sought to move the debate off what he called "trade and commerce, pounds and pence" and on to "our national security".

Three days later the world was shocked by the horror of the Paris bombings. Then came the organised sexual harassment of women in Cologne and other German cities. Now the abomination in Brussels. And, all the while, a migration crisis.

Safer in? Seriously? How are we safer as part of this collapsing project? How are we more secure giving clumsy Brussels institutions more control over our affairs?

Does it make sense for the EU to create, with Turkey, a visa-free zone that stretches from the Channel to the borders of Syria and Iran?

One by one, defence and security professionals have expressed their concerns.

Major-General Julian Thompson, who commanded our land forces in the Falklands, warns that "membership of the EU weakens our national defence in very dangerous times".

Richard Walton, who until recently led Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism unit, notes collaboration against terrorism has nothing to do with Brussels, and that "membership of the EU does not really convey any benefits".

The former head of Interpol, Ronald Noble, says the EU's border policy "is like hanging a sign welcoming terrorists to Europe". Now our former intelligence chief, Sir Richard Dearlove, has written a devastating piece explaining why Britain will be safer outside the EU.

Sir Richard sees two big advantages in Brexit. First, Euro judges will no longer be able to stop us from deporting dangerous or undesirable foreigners.

Only last month, for example, we found out we couldn't expel Abu Hamza's daughter-in-law from the UK after a criminal conviction as it would violate her "fundamental status" as an EU citizen.

The second advantage is that we would have more control over who is allowed to enter Britain.  The Paris and Brussels atrocities tragically showed us that many potential terrorists hold EU passports.

We know, too, that Europe has lost control of its external borders, and that extremists are using the migration crisis to enter EU states.

The rules of the game, in other words, are changing. We opened our borders to the EU. It's now clear that the EU has opened its borders to the world. That was never the deal.

No one is suggesting we stop co-operating with our European friends. Long before the EU got involved with criminal justice, we worked together through the Hague Convention, Interpol, extradition treaties and other international structures.

Nor is anyone suggesting that we leave Nato. And we certainly won't stop sharing security tips.  As Sir Richard points out, we have the best intelligence capacity in the EU. This, he says, gives us a moral duty to pass on information, and he is quite right. But it doesn't follow that we should make the EU's problems our problems.

For years to come the Continent will be dealing with two massive crises: The breakdown of the euro and the breakdown of the border-free Schengen zone.   Because we wisely stayed out of both schemes we have other options.

We can protect ourselves. We can turn our faces back to the wider world. We can focus on the growing markets of Asia, Africa and the Americas, instead of the stagnant eurozone.

For me, the strongest arguments for leaving the EU have always been the economic and democratic ones.

When we leave, we'll have more money to spend on our priorities, more freedom to trade with countries outside Europe and more control over our laws.

But it must now also be clear that leaving the EU will make Britain more secure. We'll be able to stop the wrong people coming in. And, if needed, we'll be able to kick them out.

Leaving the EU won't just make us wealthier and freer. It will make us safer.


Cadbury under fire for 'hiding' the reference to Easter on chocolate egg packaging

A chocolate firm has been accused of 'hiding' the word 'Easter' from the front of their chocolate egg packaging.

Cadbury was inundated with furious comments from customers on Twitter, questioning why the Easter treats simply said 'milk chocolate egg' with no mention of the Christian festival.

One said: 'Some of us want to know why Easter is hidden on the back now? Why change a good thing??' while another commented: 'Disgusting you've dropped the word 'EASTER'.

Cadbury sent endless replies to irate shoppers denying claims that they have a policy to remove the Easter slogan on packaging.

They wrote on their Twitter: 'Easter's on the back of our packaging with the other product details. 'It's not on the front as the seasonal design shows what it is. 'As a seasonal treat the eggs will always be linked with Easter.'

However customers remained unconvinced, accusing the company of 'hiding' any mention of Easter on the back.

One consumer, with the Twiter handle @juliertid seemed to see the funny side however, and wrote: 'We both know how it works next time santa will be awol from the selection boxes..'

The word 'Easter' is not included on the front of the packaging for their Mini Eggs Giant Egg or their Dairy Milk Buttons Egg, but 'Happy Easter' is branded on a special edition of the Dairy Milk chocolate bar.

Nestle's Kit Kat Chunky Egg and Smarties Egg Hunt Pack also do not include the word Easter on the front  - though some Galaxy eggs bear the slogan 'Easter pleasure' on the front.

Some Christian groups have claimed that major brands are 'uncomfortable' with the Christian faith.

David Marshall, who is the founder of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, accused brands of 'censoring' the Easter tradition.  'It's deeply disappointing and shameful that some of the biggest companies are censoring the centuries' old tradition,' he said.  'It shows they're insensitive and uncomfortable with the Christian faith.'

The company, which aims to reintroduce traditional Easter eggs back into the mainstream market, recently commissioned a poll that showed four in five people want to keep the word 'Easter' on their eggs.

Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, said: 'It is interesting that there seems to be a real resistance to removing the word 'Easter' from these gifts. 'Perhaps people understand that the festival is religious and do not want to see it turned completely secular.  'Whatever the reasons, it is important to remember that at Easter we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.'

A spokeswoman for Cadbury said: 'We do not have a policy to drop Easter from our eggs.' She added that the word Easter was included on the side and back of their packaging. 

A Nestle spokesperson added: 'There has been no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from our products and the name is still widely used at Nestle.'


What love of the "Countryfile" programme tells us about the real Britain

Our ducks are back, just in time for Easter. My wife gave a little sigh of romance when she saw them bobbing on the brook below our bedroom window.

This pair, we believe, have been coming to us for five years. If all goes according to routine, they will produce several young and we will see those ducklings chase after their mother, their fluffy bottoms waggling in the water.

Their numbers will dwindle (Mr Mink is a hungry fellow) but a few should survive and eventually the ducks will fly off, squawking their adieus over the flood meadow where Farmer Watkins’s cattle have been chewing on turnip.

Up, over the brow the ducks will flap their wings, past where the sheep graze and donkeys frolic, in the direction of Brockhampton and beyond to our kingdom’s northern lights. Those ducks are wild. They are free. That is in part why they delight us — and why we envy them.

Living in the Herefordshire countryside, we do not have much in the way of amenities. There is no pub or petrol station or 24-hour burger joint for miles. We are denied — spared? — the orange glow of street lights, the nee-naw of police cars, the throb and surge of city life.

Some would say our family does not live in ‘the real world’ and it would certainly be hard to call our locality ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘in the mix’ or whatever the phrase is.

In our local town of Ross-on-Wye (six miles downriver), you will not see many women in high heels or skimpy tops. Hardly any lads wear baseball caps back-to-front or walk down the hill with a pimp roll, yo-ing one another in Harlem accents. The Herefordshire burr is rather gentler on the ear. We’re a backwater, agreed.

Mind you, what is real life? We heard a lot this week about ‘one-nation politics’ and our ‘one-nation Government’ — phrases to evoke a united culture, citizens striving in a spirit of shared endeavour.

But are the leaders of our public life, from their metropolitan perches, entitled to talk of ‘one nation’? Do they and their intimates understand or even like the country they seek to govern?

Let me offer two recent snapshots to pull that question into sharper focus.

The first is at Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End, a venue of — and for — the elite. It was the interval during a play called People, Places And Things, a collaboration between the state-subsidised Royal National Theatre and a trendy company named Headlong.

The story is about drug and alcohol addiction and a middle-class girl who hates her suburban parents. Its dialogue is polluted by profanities and violent unhappiness.

Not that the language during the interval was much better. These prosperous London theatregoers, well-educated but slovenly in their dress, brayed at each other in mockney voices about this ‘f****** great show’ and how ‘f****** true to life’ it was.

At the end of the play (which I heartily disliked), there was whooping and aggressive applause. It was as if this privileged audience was addicted to the unhappiness we had just endured.

My other snapshot is from the previous evening. High tea had been cleared away, the family dog was snoozing on the rug and Dad was wearing his Sunday pullover.

For the next hour, on TV across the land and watched by millions of viewers, was BBC1’s Countryfile — a serene, informative Nature programme.

There was film of the Sussex wood that gave A. A. Milne the setting for Winnie-The-Pooh, and a sequence about woodpeckers. Am I describing the scene in front of your TV?

There is a good chance I am, for Countryfile is the best-watched show on the BBC. A few Sundays ago it was viewed by almost three million more people than the heavily promoted bodice-ripper War And Peace.

The first lesson of this is that we British love the countryside. Correction, we British electors — the governed populace, the silent majority — love the countryside.  Our ruling elite is less keen and seems set on destroying great swathes of it.

In the coming quarter, according to Natural England, we will make some 855 million visits to the countryside. More than 40 per cent of us make regular visits to the great outdoors and many will go to see a National Trust property or a bird sanctuary.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a million members and the National Trust has more than four million, quite dwarfing the combined membership of our political parties.

What these figures prove is that the 21st-century Briton feels a deep urge for nature. This is something long reflected by our writers and thinkers. One of Britain’s great contributions to international cultural development has been the landscape garden, an 18th-century notion of the rural idyll.

In France, the ruling class aspired to control Nature, ordering it into geometric, formal gardens. How arrogant they were. In due course — surprise, surprise — they had a revolution.

In Britain a more subtle, naturalistic approach prevailed. The nobility hesitated to impose a rigid view on its surroundings.  Capability Brown and other designers worked with the landscape’s natural features to mould a relaxing vision of Arcadia.

There was room in this idyll for the peasantry and their livestock — and even for the occasional Roman-style temple.

The expression "rus in urbe" (the country in the town) sprang up to describe the happy projection of the countryside in the middle of cities.

In literature, some of our greatest talents were formed by the world around them. Think of Wordsworth, inspired by Grasmere; ‘peasant poet’ John Clare by his childhood home in Northants; or of poor, doomed Rupert Brooke hankering from abroad for his home in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire.

‘Just now the lilac is in bloom, all before my little room; and in my flower-beds, I think, smile the carnation and the pink,’ wrote Brooke more than a century ago.

The country ideal for millions of our fellow citizens today is not of a Manhattan-style loft in trendy East London. It is a wisteria-clad cottage in the shires — just the sort of vision modernist architects loathe.

Not all gardeners would agree with the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, who described weeds as ‘lovely’ — but they would accept the wonders of Nature and the awe they can make us feel at something we might call Creation.

By that we may not mean the Almighty knocking up the world in six short days but we do mean a power beyond comprehension — a force greater than puny mankind. Such thoughts, alas, do not fit the ambitions of today’s secularist elite.

My wife likes Countryfile because ‘nothing bad ever happens on it’. It is just as well she seldom comes with me to the modern theatre, where, in my duties as the Mail’s drama critic, I am exposed weekly to an insistent vision of modern society as urban hell.

Hardly any modern plays show the countryside. My mother likes Countryfile because she knows there will be no effing and blinding, and is interested in the extended weather forecast.

Some viewers enjoy seeing the baby lambs, while others find themselves bewitched by presenter Helen Skelton’s smile, blonde Ellie Harrison or hunky Tom Heap, who last Sunday evening was seen bouncing on a boat off the north Scottish coast.

He was asking if wind turbines kill wild birds. This being Countryfile, we were spared any scenes to distress us. Had this been at Wyndham’s Theatre, there would probably have been slow-motion footage of a puffin being decapitated by one of the turbine rotor blades. They would have wanted to make it ‘real’.

Is it not wonderfully reassuring that Countryfile is so successful?

I bet the BBC’s grungier creatives are sent into a fury that this weekly magazine programme, whose presenters include the resolutely uncool John Craven, pulls in many millions more viewers than those dark film noir Scandinavian police serials, or those anguished documentaries about social deprivation, child abuse and so forth.

Such programmes are left trailing in the ratings by a Sunday evening trundle through the shires! How the Alan Yentobs, Danny Cohens and their fellow TV creatives must seethe.

These types devote their lives to ramming social concerns down our throats, to cramming our screens with politically filtered stuff about inequality and multi-culturalism — but the one thing the British public really enjoys is a programme about marsh warblers and New Forest ponies, and John Craven at a farm fence talking about milk yields.

This Britain, the Britain of ideology-free, innocent rural hankerings, receives surprisingly little attention.

Many politicians shun this world. They make their names by sating the peeved, the dispossessed and, of course, Britain’s millions of ‘victims’ (who are quite often victims of their own failings).

Sadly, officialdom rarely courts the Countryfile vote. Its middle-class viewers — uncomplaining, uncomplicated, stoical, decent — are seldom helped by Arts Council funding, or initiatives by local government departments or quangos.

Their voice is almost never heard on Radio 4’s Today programme. If they try to get on to radio phone-ins, they will probably be dismissed as ‘swivel-eyed loons’ by the likes of Lord Feldman, the Conservative party chairman and tennis partner of the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, our elite cultural outlets, gripped by the dogma of egalitarianism, continue to highlight human misery over normality. That is what was going on at Wyndham’s Theatre. By amplifying grottiness, they normalise it and thereby make everyone else’s life grottier.

They create the impression that modern Britain is a country of drug addicts rather than cheerful, sensible Countryfile-watchers.

Public policymakers either fall for this lie or encourage it for reasons of political dogma. (I suspect the latter).

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, has described the disconnect between Westminster and the realities of country life.

As an example, he says successive governments have made life more difficult for private motorists, but don’t realise how difficult it is to get about by public transport when you live halfway up a mountain in Wales or need to recharge the battery on an electric car in the middle of Exmoor.

Bonner says: ‘Repeated Westminster decisions mean you are very unlikely to have a bank, doctor’s, shop or Post Office in your village.’

Town-dwellers have 45 per cent more money spent on their councils than do those who live in the countryside. Urban police forces receive disproportionately more.

These things don’t happen by accident. There is a political agenda here, and in my view it is aimed at urbanising the wildness of the rural mind. Typically, officialdom expects farmers to fill in endless pages of bureaucratic forms online — yet fails to help them get an adequate broadband service.

Rural opinions on everything from bureaucratic overload to pest control, milk prices to ramblers’ rights, are ignored by the metropolitan power-set.

On the other hand, childish, sentimentalised views about badgers (which infect cattle with TB) and bats (which destroy buildings) and foxes (which kill chickens) result in policies that cause dairy farmers, country churchgoers and egg producers real difficulties.

Country residents who protest at new housing estates in their villages are dismissed as Nimbys.

I once heard that fool John Prescott sneer that there was plenty of space for millions of new houses in Britain because he had seen the empty fields from the back of his Jaguar. He seemed not to understand that fields are needed for the production of food.

Now, those same fields are under threat from vast solar panels. And the Cameron Government has made it easier for developers (some of whom give millions of pounds to the Tory party) to ignore local views and build houses on virgin land.

The Green Belt, though supported by the quiet majority of voters, is under daily threat. The Council for the Protection of Rural England believes that 226,000 houses have been allowed on it since 2012.

Another problem is the bien-pensant urbanism of the social media.

You do not have to wander far on Twitter, Mumsnet and other online forums to find the same dismissive attitude to anyone who departs from right-on mantras, particularly on immigration and climate change.

This is not just nastily intolerant. It is also bad politics.  I suggest any politician who gave voice to the quiet majority would be the politician who received that majority’s votes.

Of course, politicians must protect oppressed minorities but politics has now reached the bizarre point where, on matters such as immigration, taxes, Europe, gender issues and human rights for terror suspects, it is the majority’s view that is being suppressed. What utter madness!

This Easter, millions will escape our cities. They will do so for a lungful of refreshing country air and to escape, as the 17th-century writer William Diaper put it: ‘Faction, Spleen and Noise.’ Yet they will also be seeking something more elusive: the untrammelled, the untamed, the inexplicable.

When we visit the countryside — as Countryfile so beautifully captures — we throw off the constraints of the modern city with its brutish aesthetics, brusque manners and arrogant assumption that everything must be marshalled by modernity.

There is, happily, no fashion in Nature. The countryside can never be conquered.

Appreciating this brings a strong sense of liberation. We can but dream of being as free as the dear old ducks outside my window.



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


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why women are the enemy of working mothers

It's broader than enmity to new mothers who work.  Women are great at tearing ALL other women down.  The "Sisterhood" is a myth.  Even your friends probably bad-mouth you behind your back.  Consciously or subconciously, most women see themselves as engaged in a never-ending competition for the affections of men, so regard all other women as potential rivals who have to be torn down.  And it's not unreasonable.  When men are inclined to "stray", there is usually a woman willing to stray with them

NEW mothers who return to work beware — women are out to get you.

Only 41 per cent of women would support a friend who chooses to go back to employment after having kids if they are not the primary breadwinner, according to a new survey.

But that figure rose to 89 per cent if the woman earned more than her partner, according to the survey of 2000 women by cosmetics company Heat.

Only about 14 per cent of households with dependent children under 15 are headed by a female breadwinner in Australia, although it is closer to 27 per cent in inner Sydney.

New mum Vilja Roman had little choice but to go back to work fulltime when her son Feliks was less than a year old. Under the terms of her contract, she would have had to pay back her maternity leave if she didn’t.  But Ms Roman, 35, felt judged.

She said: “I remember some of my colleagues were a bit surprised that I was going back fulltime. In my mothers’ group, others went back part-time or stayed at home, I was the only one who went back fulltime.

“The decision to go back fulltime is where I felt most judged. I don’t know how much of that was my personal feelings, as opposed to how much others judged me.”

Heather Gridley, an honorary ­fellow in psychology, said judgment often came when women felt pressured to defend their own choice.

“In doing that, you point to the other person as having made a less valid choice,” she said.

“Often, they are not choices at all. It can be quite painful. When you don’t get validation, self-doubt starts to emerge. I think women are particularly vulnerable to that.”

Anita Vitanova, founder of inner, said she found mothers felt judged “constantly”.

“Women do judge each other, mainly to justify and validate their own choices,” she said. “Very often it won’t be a direct attack but it will be more of the ‘I would never’ dig.

“It takes a lot of confidence to know who you really are when becoming a mother and it’s not something you can prepare or practise.”

Gillian Franklin, the chief executive of the company that carried out the survey, said women should be ­encouraging their friends.

“We need to release women from the guilt, and help them make choices on their own terms,” she said.


UK: Jeremy Corbyn is betraying the working class people he claims to represent

The problem is not that he is too Left-wing and radical (as some critics argue). No, I believe he has been too timid and cautious.

With the exception of his demand that Britain’s nuclear deterrent, Trident, is scrapped, he has failed to assert himself on the great issues about which he was so very vocal as a backbencher for more than 30 years.

June’s referendum on British membership [of the EU] is by far the biggest issue facing the country for a generation.

But Corbyn’s position has been pathetic — particularly since he voted against Britain remaining in was then known as the Common Market in 1975. At the time, he was a political protégé of Tony Benn, one of the leaders of the No campaign.

Back then, he regarded the EU as a malign attempt to build an anti-democratic empire that damaged workers’ rights.

This brings me to my most serious charge against Corbyn: he has betrayed traditional working- class Labour voters.

The truth is that these people are far more likely to be anti-EU than middle-class voters. This is in part because they are more naturally patriotic — possessing strong local links, they also come from families who, in the past, have taken up arms to fight for King and Country.

As George Orwell observed, this marks them out from those middle-class Labour intellectuals, many of whom despise patriotism, are embarrassed by this country’s proud history and don’t espouse its traditional values.

But there is much more to Corbyn’s betrayal.

It is unarguable that the working class have suffered most from the UK’s membership of the EU.  Mass immigration — the result of the EU’s open borders policy — has been particularly ruinous. The import of cheap foreign labour has driven down wages, and in many cases has cost British working people their jobs.

It has also put massive extra pressure on public services, such as education and the NHS. It makes it far more difficult, too, for young people to get council housing.

Most disgraceful, many communities across the country feel they were never consulted about the policies which have led to their areas’ character and economy having changed beyond recognition as a result of mass immigration over the past 20 or 30 years.

Indeed, as the author Tom Bower recently revealed, Blair presided over a silent conspiracy to change the face of Britain for ever with mass immigration.

By comparison, middle-class Labour voters have been more able to deal with the challenge. They enjoy cheap cleaners and are better able to get their children into the best schools.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that opinion polls show that 80 per cent of middle-class Labour voters want us to remain in the EU, while about 50 per cent of working-class Labour voters want us to leave.

To be fair to Corbyn, it is not just Labour that has turned its back on the British working class. The same is true for the trade unions, many of which are fanatically pro-EU.

Also, the Daily Mirror, the tabloid which for years was a defiant mouthpiece for the traditions of the Labour movement, seems now to share this Blairite disdain.

For example, it has become a cheerleader for the EU — shamefully downplaying the admission by businessman Stuart Rose, a key spokesman for the Remain campaign, that wages would rise in Britain if we quit the EU.

For his part, I fear that Corbyn’s cowardice — combined with the blackmailing tactics of rebellious Blairites — means Labour risks losing touch with its core support.

This is not just a problem for the Labour Party. It is a reflection of a wider malaise and a dishonesty in politics — marked by scaremongering from the Remain camp.

But Labour is especially vulnerable. If Corbyn won’t speak up for working-class voters, others will.

It is worth remembering that Ukip came second to Labour in more than 100 seats in the Midlands and North of England in last year’s General Election. In the future, Labour’s weakness could be exploited by populist politicians much further to the Right than Ukip.

It is not too late for Corbyn to change strategy. If he swung Labour behind the Leave campaign, he could electrify the debate.

Also, crucially, it would give a voice to the working-class voters treated with contempt by the Labour establishment over the past decade. Such a move would be a great day for British democracy.


'I'll sue', says man wrongly charged with stirring up race-hate

A Twitter user mistakenly charged with stirring up race-hate has vowed to sue Scotland Yard over the blunder.

Matthew Doyle, 46, triggered a storm online after writing that he had confronted a Muslim woman on the streets of Croydon about the Brussels terror attacks and she had given him a ‘mealy-mouthed’ response.

He was arrested over his comments on Wednesday by Croydon Police Community Safety Unit, taken into custody, charged with posting material ‘likely to stir up racial hatred’ and was due to appear in court yesterday morning.

But then police were forced into an embarrassing U-turn by the Crown Prosecution Service on Friday night, charges were dropped and PR executive Mr Doyle was released.

The Met was told it did not have the power to make the controversial charging decision and had failed to consult the Attorney-General, the Government’s top law officer, or the CPS.

Last night LSE graduate Mr Doyle told The Mail on Sunday he planned to take legal action over his ordeal.

‘I cannot understand why I was detained, my flat trashed, my passport seized and two PCs, two tablets and my phone taken,’ he said.

‘I was denied a shave, shower, food. I was stripped of any dignity to appear in court without looking like a dishevelled hobo that I am not.’

He accused ‘nameless Twitter trolls’ of ‘fanning the flames’ and making death threats against him, and went on: ‘For the Met to bow to social media rows - it is not only foolish of them but I will be making a complaint against them and damages for trashing my flat, taking all my electronic stuff from my flat and forcing me to leave London.’

Scotland Yard said: ‘Matthew Doyle, 46, of South Croydon was charged by police on Friday, 25 March, with an offence under Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986.

‘Following discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr Doyle is no longer charged with the offence and will not be appearing at court.


'Hard to watch': Afghans react to $6m Australian film aimed at asylum seekers

A movie commissioned by Australia’s immigration department to deter Afghan asylum seekers has had its premiere on local TV, seeking to reinforce a widely held view that unauthorised travel to Australia is not worth the risk.

The Journey is a lavish production depicting hopeful asylum seekers who meet tragic fates crossing the Indian Ocean.

Underwritten by $6m in Australian taxpayers’ money and filmed in three countries, it was shown on Friday on two channels in Afghanistan, the world’s second-largest source of refugees and migrants in 2015, after Syria.

“It was hard to watch. It made me very upset,” Ali Reza, an 18-year-old tailor said about the film. “I know they were actors, but these things really happen to Afghans.”

Put It Out There Pictures, which produced the film for $4.34m, says on its website the movie aims to inform audiences “about the futility of investing in people smugglers, the perils of the trip, and the hardline policies that await them if they do reach Australian waters”.

Judging from the responses of scores of young men who spoke to the Guardian, that goal was largely achieved.  “It was a good movie,” said Mostafa Ebadi, 23. “It showed the lies smugglers tell passengers before leaving.”

Mohammad Tawab, 23, said he had been particularly moved by scenes of refugees languishing in an Indonesian prison. For Yama Taheri, who was playing football in a downtown Kabul park, the most disturbing sequence was one in which three brothers drown. “It made me think that if I try to go with friends, this will be our destiny,” he said.

Before the current Syrian conflict forced millions to flee that country, Afghanistan was by far the largest producer of refugees in the world for more than three decades. Neighbouring countries Pakistan and Iran hosted most of the displaced Afghans, but Afghans were also the largest national group who sought to reach Australia by boat.

Almost all Afghans who have reached Australia by boat have been found to be refugees legally requiring protection. Each year since 2009, between 96% and 100% of Afghan asylum seekers have had their claims for refugee status upheld.

But in recent years fewer and fewer Afghans have set their sights on Australia. Harsher asylum policies and warning campaigns have deterred many. The vast majority of Afghan asylum seekers in 2015 went to Europe, with more than 150,000 to Germany alone.

For three years Daud Hossaini, 42, planned to join his brother in Australia. As asylum policies tightened, he hesitated, but retained hope that the forthcoming federal election might bring change. But on Friday, after seeing the movie, he finally buried his hopes of moving to Australia.  “If I die on the way, what’s the point of going?” he said.

Lapis Communications, who promoted and adapted the movie to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, denied they were producing government propaganda.  “The backers of the film are credited, that is neither hidden or denied,” said Sarah-Jean Cunningham, director of operations and business development. “More importantly, the ideas and values around the film are grounded in addressing a very serious and tragic issue – with the ultimate objective of saving lives.”

Cunningham denied the fee earned by Lapis – $1.63m – was excessive. “The cost is reflective of the extent of that significant scope of work,” she said.

However, not everyone bought the message. As security worsens and employment becomes scarcer, Afghans will continue to leave. Humayoon, 29, who saw part of the movie before rushing off to a wedding, said he was only staying in Afghanistan as long as he had a job.  “If I can’t feed my family, what am I supposed to do?”



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


Monday, March 28, 2016

Human religions

There is a site of the above name maintained by Englishman Vexen Crabtree, who says he is a Satanist.  He has slender academic qualifications but he seems to have read widely.   Curiously enough, however, he seems dismissive of religion generally.  Only the small band of Satanists have the truth, apparently.

As an atheist myself I find his Satanism amusing but I was interested to see what he has up about religion and IQ.  It is commonly asserted that religious people are a bit dim and he accepts that uncritically.  The only actual evidence he quotes, however is as follows:

[Paul Bell in Mensa Magazine, 2002, reviewed all studies taken of religion and IQ. He concluded:]

"Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between religious belief and one's intelligence and/or educational level, all but four found an inverse connection. That is, the higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious or hold "beliefs" of any kind."

As I have pointed out previously, however, such studies are usually poorly sampled and usually report only slight effects.  Religious people are less frequent among high IQ people but not by much.  And the whole effect could be artifactual:  High IQ people get on better within higher education so almost certainly get more of it.  But universities are places where religion is skeptically viewed so  high IQ people will get more exposure to anti-religious messages.  And greater exposure to anti-religious messages would be very likely to undermine religious belief to some extent.  So it could be that the level of university exposure accounts wholly for the slightly smaller number of religious people in a high IQ population.

That could be tested fairly easily by assessing  religion and IQ BEFORE the people got into university.

In short, I doubt that IQ has any influence on whether you are religious or not.  It is probably a surprise to most of my fellow atheists but religious people think THEY are stupid.  You have to be pretty dim to think creation was a spontaneous, uncaused event, according to religious people.

There is what I think is good evidence for no association between religion and IQ here

The NFL’s Bullying of Believers

Do you think a pastor who’s against same-sex marriage should be forced to perform same-sex weddings? Do you believe that a religious college should be allowed to hire only people who agree with the religious beliefs of the college? Do you think no one should be forced to attend a wedding he doesn’t agree with?

If so, cheers: The National Football League basically thinks you’re a bigot.

A CBS News/Associated Press story Sunday, headlined "NFL warns state of Georgia over ‘religious freedom’ bill," reported that "the NFL acknowledged that the religious exemptions bill … could have an impact on the selection process for the championship game in 2019 and 2020." Atlanta is one of four cities up for the next two Super Bowls.

Yes, because who wants the Super Bowl in a state where some random clergy member may not be forced to perform a gay wedding? That would totally wreck the ambiance of…a sports game.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

The bill in question, now on the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, is embarrassingly limited. I’m not exaggerating: The bill’s applications to religious liberty are so minor that it likely wouldn’t even protect Catholic nuns like the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are currently in a legal fight to not be forced by the federal government to offer health care that includes contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

And according to my Heritage Foundation colleagues Ryan T. Anderson and Roger Severino, the Georgia bill "provides no protection for bakers or florists or other similar wedding professionals who cannot help celebrate a same-sex wedding" because of their religious beliefs.

In other words, Georgia residents like the Kleins (the Oregon bakers fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding), the Giffords (the New York couple fined $13,000 for declining to host a gay wedding at their family farm), and Barronelle Stutzman (the Washington state florist in a legal battle over her refusal to provide flowers for a gay wedding) wouldn’t be protected by the proposed law at all.

In fact, this bill’s protections for believers are so minimal that in theory even top Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be able to support the bill.

Florida’s Wasserman Schultz told The Daily Signal last year that the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage "doesn’t mean that churches and religious institutions have to conduct same-sex marriages and it doesn’t mean that religious institutions aren’t able to practice their own values."

But the NFL is geared up to lecture anyone who thinks religious liberty matters.

"NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard," spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement, adding that the NFL may evaluate "whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies" when looking at Super Bowl contenders.

Yes, because tolerance and inclusiveness require making sure people of faith who don’t support same-sex marriage have no freedom to live in accordance with their beliefs.

Nor is the NFL the only big businesses weighing in against believers.

"We urge Gov. Deal to veto the discriminatory legislation headed to his desk and send a clear message that Georgia’s future is one of inclusion, diversity, and continued prosperity," said Apple in a statement. Hundreds of companies are part of Georgia Prospers, a coalition that told The New York Times that the bill "could harm our ability to create and keep jobs that Georgia families depend upon."

What would they even have left to say if Georgia had actually moved to substantially protect the consciences of believers?

This is unbelievable.

There is no doubt that lesbian and gay Americans have not always been treated with the civility and respect they deserve throughout our history. And that is a shame. But the answer is not now to force those who have deeply held moral beliefs about the nature of marriage to act against their consciences.

And in fact, the Georgia bill could also help protect the consciences of LGBT residents, such as by allowing a college founded by those who believe that same-sex marriage is a moral necessity to decline to hire professors who disagreed.

Like the NFL, I believe in tolerance. But unlike the NFL, I think that means recognizing that in our lawsuit-crazy era, that means sometimes giving legal protections to people who want only to be allowed to live in accordance with their consciences.

Ultimately, if the NFL were serious about limiting the Super Bowl to states and local areas that promote "tolerance," that would mean the NFL should look to hold Super Bowls only in states with religious freedoms. 

Unfortunately, it looks as if football fans can join Apple users and others in realizing that the businesses they once loved are now working vehemently against them—and their beliefs.


British border guards are BANNED from X-raying trucks searching for illegal immigrants - in case the radiation harms the stowaways' health

Yet medical X-rays are OK?

British border guards have been banned from X-raying lorries while searching for illegal immigrants at French ports in case the radiation harms the stowaways' health, it was revealed today.

Lucy Moreton from the Immigration Services Union said that her members are only permitted to use the scanners at ports in France when searching for smuggled or illegal goods.

The revelation comes as it emerged that at least 24 of the migrants who made it to Britain hiding in the back of two lorries earlier this week have already been given their freedom.

Mrs Moreton told The Times: ‘The French will not allow us to use them for looking for illegals. They only allow us to use scanners to search for contraband, not people.’

Speaking to the newspaper’s reporters Richard Ford and Sean O’Neill, the ISU general secretary added that the machines are 'very, very slow to operate, taking about an hour per each vehicle'.

Also yesterday, Mrs Moreton suggested that increased borders checks in the wake of the Brussels attacks are likely to only last for two weeks because the ‘stepped up’ level cannot be maintained.

Mrs Moreton - from the ISU, which represents border agency and immigration staff - said checks had been ‘raised’ at border points but would significantly disrupt freight if they continued long-term.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ‘There's quite a lot of immediately available money for very high profile types of interventions.

‘We've stepped up controls at the border, and at all borders, but it is maintaining that at a high level for a long period of time and whether there is the political will, or potentially even the necessity to do so.’

Asked if there was the political will, she replied: ‘Experience from past would suggest that it isn't. The increased checks at the border last about two weeks, or that's how long they lasted after the Paris attacks.’

Meanwhile, an independent report from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration found plans to remove foreign criminals and illegal immigrants were cancelled in 40 per cent of cases.

And last night it was revealed at least 24 of the migrants who made it to the UK hiding in the back of two lorries in recent days have already been set free.

All 51 stowaways had claimed asylum and the remaining 27 men, women and children who were discovered sneaking into the country were expected to have been let out by last night.

One of the trucks arrived in the UK on Wednesday, hours after Home Secretary Theresa May announced toughened border security following the Brussels suicide bombings in which 31 were killed and 270 wounded.

We've stepped up controls at the border, and at all borders, but it is maintaining that at a high level for a long period of time and whether there is the political will, or potentially even the necessity to do so

It was a damning illustration of how Britain has lost control of its borders – and fuelled fears about the rigour of security checks during the current terror alert.

All 51 migrants are understood to have claimed they were fleeing war, persecution and humanitarian disaster in Iran, Iraq and Syria.

By yesterday most had been processed at the Kent Intake Unit, where they were offered food, drink and medical attention, and underwent security screening.

After this was done, they were officially classed as asylum seekers – then released from the centre to specialist accommodation or to live with family with instructions only to report in intermittently.

The Mail reported in 2008 that UK border guards in Calais had been banned from using X-rays to search for illegal immigrants in lorries, unless they asked for the stowaways' written permission.


Right to Try: A Policy with No Downside

Terminal patients deserve a right to try live-saving medicine.

Imagine you or a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Currently available medicine has no cure, and barring a miracle, you’ll be dead in a matter of months. You’re told about an experimental new drug that has been shown to help people in a similar situation, perhaps even cure them. Wouldn’t you be willing, in the absence of any other hope, to try such a drug? After all, you’ve got nothing to lose, right?

Too bad. Unfortunately for you and others like you, the medicine in question has been caught up in the FDA’s lengthy approval process, and will not be released to the public until it will be too late. The law prohibits you from taking the one chance you might have to beat a deadly illness. Why? For your own protection, of course.

If this reasoning seems perverse to you, you’re not alone. It makes no sense to try to protect dying people from trying to save their own lives. That’s why many states have embraced a policy known as "right to try." Under right to try laws, terminal patients are permitted to try unapproved drugs that might save or prolong their lives. Of course, all this is done with fully informed consent, under consultation with a qualified physician, and no one is being made to accept treatment against their will. We’re not talking about wildly untested or debunked medicines, but rather legitimate drugs that have simply not yet cleared the final hurdles of official approval.

In fact, one of the flaws in the current right to try structure is that the administrative process for obtaining experimental medicines is still too lengthy and restrictive, but any step in the direction of giving patients more control over their treatments is good for freedom, as well as for public health.

So far, right to try legislation has been limited to the state level, with 21 states legalizing the practice, and pending legislation in 19 more. Last year, however, Rep Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced a federal bill that would pave the way for right to try nationwide. The bill bans the federal government from interfering with the distribution, prescribing, or possession of potentially life-saving medicine, so long as such medicine is in accordance with state law.

What this means is tat the Food and Drug Administration, as a federal agency, would not be able to restrict the use of experimental drugs to save lives in states that wish to allow them. If legislation like this were to be signed into law, it could save countless lives across the country. It’s difficult to imagine any cogent argument against allowing terminal patients to fight for their own lives, and if Congress has any sense, they should follow the lead set by the states, and work to make national right to try laws a major priority.


The left’s problem with Jews has a long and miserable history

Much of the student left has "some kind of problem with Jews", said the bravely decent Alex Chalmers last week in his resignation statement as co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club following a vote in favour of Israeli Apartheid Week.

Labour’s national student organisation is launching an inquiry but the "the problem with Jews" on the left is not going away. In January a meeting of the Kings College London Israel Society, gathered to hear from Ami Ayalon, a former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic intelligence service, who now champions a two-state solution, was violently interrupted by a chair-hurling, window-smashing crowd.

Last summer the Guardian columnist Owen Jones made a courageous plea for the left to confront this demon head on. Since then, however, criticism of Israeli government policies has mutated into a rejection of Israel’s right to exist; the Fatah position replaced by Hamas and Hizbollah eliminationism. More darkly, support in the diaspora for Israel’s right to survive is seen by the likes of Labour’s Gerald Kaufman, who accused the government of being influenced in its Middle Eastern policy by "Jewish money", as some sort of Jewish conspiracy.

The charge that anti-Zionism is morphing into anti-Semitism is met with the retort that the former is being disingenuously conflated with the latter. But when George Galloway (in August 2014 during the last Gaza war) declared Bradford "an Israel-free zone"; when French Jews are unable to wear a yarmulke in public lest that invite assault, when Holocaust Memorial day posters are defaced, it is evident that what we are dealing with is, in Professor Alan Johnson’s accurate coinage, "anti-semitic anti-Zionism".

The fact is that the terrorists who slaughtered customers at the kosher supermarket in Paris did not ask their victims whether they were Israelis, much less supporters of Israeli government policies. They were murdered as Jews because in the attackers’ poisoned minds all Jews are indivisibly incriminated as persecutors of the Palestinians and thus fair game for murder.

When the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement singles out Israel as the perpetrator of the world’s worst iniquities, notwithstanding its right of self defence, it is legitimate to ask why the left’s wrath does not extend, for example, to Russia which rains down destruction on civilian populations in Syria?
With the retreat of Marxist socialism, militant energies have needed somewhere to go

Why is it somehow proper to boycott Israeli academics and cultural institutions, many of which are critical of government policy, but to remain passive in the face of Saudi Arabia’s brutal punishment of anyone whose exercise of freedom of conscience can be judged sacrilegious? Why is the rage so conspicuously selective? Or, to put it another way, why is it so much easier to hate the Jews?

Growing up in London in the shadow of world war two my pals and I talked about who might be the bad guys, should evil come our way. We agreed the Jew-haters would not wear brown shirts and jackboots but would probably be like people on the bus. It is not the golf club nose-holders we have to worry about now; it is those who, in their indignation at the sufferings visited on the Palestinians, and their indifference to almost-daily stabbings in the streets of Israel, have discovered the excitement of saying the unspeakable, making hay with history, so Israel is the new reich, and a military attack on Gaza indistinguishable from the industrially processed incineration of millions.

Enter the historian. And history says this: anti-Semitism has not been caused by Zionism; it is precisely the other way round. Israel was caused by the centuries-long dehumanisation of the Jews. The blood libel which accused Jews of murdering Christian children in order to drain their blood for the baking of Passover matzo began in medieval England but never went away, reviving in 16th century Italy, 18th century Poland, 19th century Syria and Bohemia, and 20th century Russia.

In 1980s Syria, Mustafa Tlass, Hafez al-Assad’s minister of defence, made his contribution with The Matzo of Zion, and last year the Israeli-Palestinian Islamist Raed Salah, once invited to parliament by Jeremy Corbyn as an "honoured citizen", declared that Jews used blood for the dough of their "bread".

In the 19th century virtual vampirism was added to the antisemitic canon. And the left made its contribution to this refreshment of old poison. Demonstrating that you do not have to be gentile to be an anti-Semite, Karl Marx characterised Judaism as nothing more than the cult of Mammon, and declared that the world needed emancipating from the Jews. Others on the left — the social philosophers Bruno Bauer, Charles Fourier and Pierre Prudhon and the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin — echoed the message: blood sucking, whether the physical or the economic kind, was what Jews did.

For the Jews, the modern world turned out to be a lose-lose proposition. Once reviled for obstinate traditionalism; their insistence on keeping walled off from the rest (notwithstanding that it had been Christians who had done the walling) they were now attacked for integrating too well, speaking, dressing and working no differently but always with the aim of global domination.

What was a Jew to do? The communist Moses Hess, who had been Marx’s editor and friend, became persuaded, all too presciently, that the socialist revolution would do nothing to normalise Jewish existence, not least because so many socialists declared that emancipating the Jews had been a terrible mistake. Hess concluded that only self-determination could protect the Jews from the phobias of right and left alike. He became the first socialist Zionist.

But that was to inflict an entirely colonial and alien enterprise upon a Palestinian population, so the hostile narrative goes, who were penalised for the sins of Europe. That the Palestinians did become tragic casualties of a Judeo-Arab civil war over the country is indisputable, just as the 700,000 Jews who were violently uprooted from their homes in the Islamic world is equally undeniable. But to characterise the country in which the language, the religion and the cultural identity of the Jews was formed as purely a colonial anomaly is the product of the kind of historical innocence which is oblivious of, say, Jewish kabbalistic communities in Galilee in the 16th century or the substantial native Jewish majority in Jerusalem in the late 19th century.

None of this unbroken history of Jews and Judaism in Palestine is likely to do much to cool the heat of the anti-colonial narrative of the alien intruder, especially on the left. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the retreat of Marxist socialism around the world, militant energies have needed somewhere to go.

The battle against inequalities under liberal capitalism has mobilised some of that passion, but postcolonial guilt has fired up the war against its prize whipping boy, Zionism, like no other cause. Every such crusade needs a villain along with its banners and I wonder who that could possibly be?



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


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Multicultural Hit-and-run driver jailed for smashing into a mother-of-two

A hit-and-run driver has been jailed for smashing into a mother-of-two after she tripped from a pavement.

A Ford Focus driven by Tinashe Irvine Chikoto, 22, plowed into Louise Wolstenholme, 52, and dragged her body along for 100 metres, after she had fallen into a Bolton Street and knocked herself unconscious.

The callous driver then fled the scene leaving his car behind with Ms Wilstenholme trapped underneath.

Chikoto was jailed for more than two years after he admitted causing death by careless driving, causing death while uninsured, driving without insurance and perverting the course of justice at Bolton Crown Court.

Sentencing him, Judge Timothy Clayson branded the business management student, from the University of Bolton, 'callous and selfish'.

He said: 'You allege that you thought you had collided with nothing more than a bag of rubbish but it was clear from the force of collision it was more serious than that.

'You caused a delay in the provision of any possible assistance to Louise Wolstenholme, who was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

'No one can tell whether if you had stopped immediately after this collision, her life may have been saved. 'That's something you will have to live with.'

Chikoto, who was uninsured and did not even have a full valid licence, was jailed for 16 months for the first offence and for a consecutive six months for the third offence with no separate penalty for two other offences.

He was also disqualified from driving for 41 months and will have to sit an extended driving test.

On the night she died Ms Wolstenholme, who ran Louise’s Hair Studio in Bolton, had drunk eight double vodkas and had become separated from her partner following an argument.

The court heard how prior to the collision with Chikoto, three vehicles, including a bus and a taxi, saw Ms Wolstenholme lying in the road, but instead of stopping to help her they simply swerved around and drove on.

After Chikoto hit the mother, he pulled over in a side street, got out of his car and saw the victim's trapped body but did nothing to help.

Instead he abandoned his hatchback and was driven away by a friend in a Toyota Avensis following behind.

Her brother Mark Wolstenholme called the accident 'a living nightmare', adding: 'What a sad loss to her sons and partner and me and much loved friends and family.'

Family friend Ian Johnson said: 'That bus driver could have prevented this! He could have blocked the road with his bus, radioed in for help.'


Apostasy:  Muslims must not speak well of non-Muslim religions

A newsagent was murdered by a fellow Muslim after he wished his Christian friends a peaceful Easter.

Asad Shah, who was stabbed up to 30 times at his shop, had praised both the life of Jesus and ‘his beloved Christian nation’. Left lying in a pool of blood, the 40-year-old died in hospital.

Police, who were questioning a 32-year-old suspect last night, said the killing was religiously motivated.

Mohammad Faisal, a family friend, said a bearded Muslim wearing a long religious robe entered Mr Shah’s shop and spoke to him in his native language before stabbing him in the head with a kitchen knife.

Mr Shah’s brother, who was working next door, rushed out to find the killer laughing while sitting on the Glasgow newsagent’s bleeding chest.

‘The brother dragged Mr Shah away but the guy continued attacking with the blade,’ said Mr Faisal. ‘They struggled up to the bus stop where Asad collapsed.

‘It was just a clear-cut revenge attack. For posting messages about peace, messages about greeting fellow Christians and Jews.

‘That man must not have been too happy about what he was doing, what he was preaching. It was a well-planned attack. He must have been an extremist.

‘He went straight for the head. He got stomped on the head as well. His brother suffered a slash down his shoulder area because he attacked him with a knife as well.’

Before his death, Mr Shah had wished his friends a ‘Good Friday and a very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation’.

In his final post, he wrote: ‘Let’s follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds.’

Mr Shah also appeared to use his Facebook page to speak out over the attacks in Brussels.

In a video posted online he said: ‘We are not here to fight with other mankind or cause bloodshed.’

Hundreds of people have gathered for a silent vigil late on Friday night to honour the respected shopkeeper near the site where he died.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined an estimated crowd of 400 to 500 people for the vigil to show solidarity and remember Mr Shah.

Ms Sturgeon, whose constituency covers the area, tweeted afterwards: 'Moved to be one of hundreds tonight as Shawlands united in grief for Asad Shah and support for his family.'

Thousands from across the country also paid their respects to Mr Shah to comment on his bravery and dedication to cross-faith living, with many using the hashtag #thisisnotwhoweare.

Deeply religious, Mr Shah worked to foster cross-community relations in Glasgow and had been planning to host an online debate last night with Christian friends about the importance of Easter. Friends said he observed both Christian and Muslim holidays, and never failed to send out Easter and Christmas cards. And he used his social media accounts to promote harmony on religious holidays.

In previous online posts, he has spoken out eloquently against violence and hatred and called for ‘unconditional real love for all mankind’.

‘He was proud of his Pakistani heritage but he loved Britain. He loved Scotland too and really wanted to reach out to Christians. This is such a terrible thing to happen.’

An ambulance crew gave Mr Shah treatment at the scene on Thursday night. He was taken to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he later died.

It is believed he belonged to the Ahmadi movement, a Muslim sect which promotes non-violence and tolerance of other faiths.

Ahmadis identify themselves as Muslims and a determined missionary network has helped spread their teachings around the world.

But their sect has won only disdain from mainstream Islamic leaders and it has been heavily persecuted in Pakistan.

As a result the Ahmadi community’s headquarters are now located in Morden, South London. The site, which covers five acres, has space for more than 10,000 worshippers and has been hit by arson.

The spiritual inspiration of the movement was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who was born in the Punjab in British-ruled India in 1835.

He declared Muslim religion and society were in decline and claimed to have been chosen by Allah to reform Islam. The claim clashes with the Islamic belief that Mohammed was the last prophet and the Koran is the final word of God.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth organisation, the Ramadhan Foundation, said: ‘Whatever differences we have with the Ahmadi community, the murder of Asad Shah is a despicable crime which everyone should condemn.’


Why Does the Walt Disney Co. Prefer Communists to Christians?

Let’s begin with two news items. First, in June the Walt Disney Co. will open a new, $5.5 billion theme park in Shanghai, China. China is a great place to make money, but it’s also the land of systematic human-rights abuses, forced abortions, state churches, labor camps, and brutal crackdowns. Disney — undeterred, and with its eyes firmly fixed on the financial prize — actually permits the Chinese government to co-own the park.

Meanwhile, back in the United States — the land of political and religious freedom — Disney is threatening to scale back its operations in the state of Georgia, saying it is ready to halt film and television production at its Pinewood Studios outside of Atlanta. What heinous thing has Georgia done? Have Georgia National Guard armored vehicles threatened to roll over dissidents? Is it dragging women, screaming, into operating rooms to abort their children against their will? Is it confiscating political literature and censoring the Internet?

No, it’s legislature passed a bill that protects — in certain, extremely limited contexts — the rights of religious objectors to gay marriage.

Disney made this move even after the Georgia legislature watered down the initial version of its religious-freedom bill, inserting language that denies protection for any act of so-called invidious discrimination.

To a liberal judiciary who sees virtually any act of Christian conscience as little more than malicious bigotry, the legislature created a massive loophole in the law.

And it was a loophole the law didn’t need. The original bill, passed by the Georgia senate 38-14, protected pastors from being forced to officiate at marriages that violated their religious beliefs, protected business owners who wished to remain closed on Saturday or Sunday, protected religious organizations from having to rent their facilities for events that violated their beliefs, and — controversially — prohibited the government from taking any "adverse action against a person or faith-based organization" that "believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the Union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such marriage."

The law did not prohibit gay marriage, gay adoption, or interfere with the civil liberties of a single gay person. It merely protected individuals and faith-based organizations from endorsing or facilitating actions that violated their consciences. It represented the classic "win-win" of religious accommodation, where both sides of a contentious religious and political debate are able to exercise their fundamental rights in the same community at the same time.

Under this statute, Georgia would have respected the religious convictions of many of its Christian and Jewish citizens while not undermining the carnal convictions of its sexual revolutionaries.

Of course all the usual corporate social-justice suspects promptly vented their spleens — led by the monumental hypocrites at (People’s Republic of China office located at 1 Guang Hua Road in Beijing), Apple (doing business in Saudi Arabia and China and with dictatorships across the globe), and the NFL, which is threatening to reject Atlanta’s bid for a Super Bowl if Georgia decides to respect the rights of conscience of its Christian citizens.

The NFL, which can’t properly discipline players who beat women unconscious in elevators and has systematically undercounted player concussions — misleading players who are seeking to protect their long-term health even as they play a violent sport — is a particularly interesting choice to play-act as social-justice warrior. But, for a league under fire, moral posturing for the elite media is an easy way to build leftist good will. So what if they throw their faithful Christian fans, athletes, and coaches under the bus?

But in modern America, when hypocritical social-justice warriors confront spineless Republicans, the hypocrites tend to win. They’ve already secured a watered-down bill, and now Disney and its friends are moving in for the kill. Georgia governor Nathan Deal has already echoed leftist talking points, condemning any effort to "allow discrimination in our state to protect people of faith," but he hasn’t indicated yet whether he’ll veto the legislation.

The revised bill is better than nothing, and the "compromise" now has its important use — it demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that powerful corporations not only have no interest in protecting religious conscience, they’re doing an American imitation of their Chinese Communist partners’ suppression of faith and free speech. The only "compromise" they seek in Georgia is surrender. Our new hipster commissars have spoken; will Georgia obey?


US Professor Amazed at Wealth in Gaza City; Notes 900 Mosques, Only 2 Libraries

A professor at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle visited Gaza City for six hours a few weeks ago, and he was astonished that after reading years of propaganda about how poverty stricken Gazans are, they really aren’t.

 I was flooded with impressions as we drove into the old city of Gaza. The first was, unexpectedly, that it looked nothing like India. Given the severe poverty, even humanitarian crisis, that Gaza as a whole is experiencing, I had expected the obvious and wrenching poverty that I had seen in some Indian cities or many other Third World countries, for that matter—collapsing infrastructure, rickety shacks, a surfeit of beggars, children in rags, adults sleeping on the sidewalks. At least in this part of the city and others that I saw later in the day, none of that was visible. Instead, I saw hordes of children going to school, university students walking in and out of the gates of the two universities—both the children and the university students reasonably dressed. I observed morning shoppers buying vegetables and fruits from stands, shopkeepers opening their shops, and people walking purposefully to wherever they were going for the start of the day. There were cranes and construction workers everywhere, with lots of uncompleted buildings being worked on. A garbage truck, with a UN sign on it, was making its rounds.

There was the occasional bombed out building, from the 2014 War. One had the entire top of the building, several stories, simply blown off. But other than those, most buildings were in decent shape, and some apartment buildings were downright nice. There were definitely some junkers on the road, but most of the cars looked like late-model varieties. Some of the side streets were pocked and broken up; the main thoroughfares, though, were in good shape. There were almost no traffic lights, and traffic was a bit chaotic. I must add again that I was in Gaza City (both the old and new parts of the city) only and did not go to some of the outer areas and refugee camps where the bombing in the 2014 war was the heaviest and where, I understand, destruction was massive.

People were certainly not in rags. Men were mostly in chino-type pants and button-down shirts. With very few exceptions, women were covered with the hijab and burka. Perhaps 10-20 percent of them were in black with their faces totally covered. Incidentally, this sort of veiling was not a traditional practice in Palestinian society; it is very much a product of the "new fundamentalism."

The fascinating people I met during the day actually related to Israel in what I considered a very interesting fashion. In conversation after conversation, there was a kind of by-the-way acknowledgment of the destructiveness of Israel’s policies and, for sure, a general hatred for Israel. But what was striking was how everyone quickly went on from those sorts of almost off-handed comments to criticize how the Hamas government or the people themselves are also responsible for the state of affairs. There was no obsessing about Israel, which I found interesting. Indeed, there might even be a general acceptance of Israel in terms of realizing that Israel will long be part of their future.

Even a professor of international studies had no idea that Gaza didn’t look like the most poverty-stricken parts of Third World countries. The power of anti-Israel propaganda and one-sided media coverage is immense.

And Hamas is building….lots of mosques.
 …My final meeting was with a fascinating character, Atef Abu Saif. Atef holds a Ph.D. in political science from the European University Institute in Florence, having worked with a friend of mine, Professor Phillipe Schmitter. Atef is also a novelist. He now teaches political science at Al-Azhar Gaza University and writes frequently, including for the New York Times and Slate. An open member of Fatah (although critical of the Fatah leadership), he has clashed with Hamas on a number of occasions, landing him in jail for short stints.

Atef’s main contention is that there are actually two Gazas. One is the one run by Hamas and includes its supporters. He noted, for example, that there has been a mosque-building binge, leading to a total of 879 mosques in the Strip by 2014, as compared to two public libraries. In his words, "Gaza has become one huge mosque." The second Gaza consists of the Palestinian public in Gaza, engaged in all sorts of cultural and social activities outside Hamas’s orbit. If not quite a civil society, he intimated, there is a lot that goes on beneath the radar.

My guess is that those libraries were built when Israel controlled Gaza.


Keeping Kids at Harms Length

Liberals like to say they’re pushing these gender-neutral bills for the kids, but new research suggests they’re doing it despite the kids. Every day, it seems like another city or school board is pushing a policy that tells children to ignore the anatomy that classrooms should be teaching! The waves of gender-neutral bathroom and athletic proposals keep coming, no matter how devastating it can be for students. Gender isn’t a matter of self-determination, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) is arguing, and suggesting otherwise can harm kids for life.

This isn’t about helping children "find themselves" or accepting them for who they are, it’s about glamorizing a disorder with life-long consequences. When legislatures or educators indulge and even encourage this confusion, ACP warns, it’s child abuse. In a strong response to the transgender ideology marching across America, U.S. pediatricians are urging a complete and total rejection of these so-called "non-discrimination" bills. "Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse," they write in a statement released [Monday]. In an eight-point dismantling of the trans-movement, they remind Americans that gender confusion is a "mental disorder" — a fact, ACP points out, that has never been disproven.

"When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such," they write. No one, the pediatricians explain, "is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. People who identify as ‘feeling like the opposite sex’ or ‘somewhere in between’ do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women." For the vast majority of students, this kind of sexual expression is just a phase. "According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty."

Yet here we are, as a society, crafting entire policies and putting whole populations at risk for a tiny minority of students who have a fleeting flirtation with another gender. That isn’t just a disservice to these young men and women, but to the other students who are left to cope with the invasion of their privacy, the un-level playing field, or worse — the risk to their personal space and safety.

Instead of helping these children and adults, we’re sentencing them to a miserable life because we refuse to address the underlying issues. Even in places that embrace this alternate gender universe, people still stuffer. "Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT-affirming countries," the pediatricians note. "What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?"

It’s time for Americans to wake up from this spell of political correctness and fight for what’s in the best interest of kids — which, as the American College of Pediatricians points out, is not a radical gender ideology. Let’s hope the leaders of North Carolina take this into account [today], when they convene a special session on Charlotte’s extreme bathroom ordinance.

Thanks to House Speaker Tim Moore and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, state leaders are making good on a promise to take legislative action if the city dared to implement a measure that puts children, public safety, and religious liberty at risk. Under the Charlotte measure set to take effect on April 1, not only would grown men be allowed in women’s public restrooms and showers, but businesses would be ordered to cater to same-sex weddings, even if it violates their personal beliefs.

In a joint statement, Moore and Forest were clear: "We aim to repeal this ordinance before it goes into effect to provide for the privacy and protection of the women and children of our state."

Of course, liberals like Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) are criticizing the special session as a "waste of money." But I think most parents would agree — $42,000 is a small price to pay for the safety of even one child. With majorities in the state House and Senate expected to override the controversial ordinance, it will fall to Governor Pat McCrory to live up to his end of the bargain and take steps to protect North Carolina from an agenda that many Americans will live to regret. If you live in the Tar Heel State, contact your leaders today. Urge them to listen to science and repeal Charlotte’s ordinance.

But just because you aren’t in North Carolina doesn’t mean the threat isn’t real where you are. There are a whole host of sexual identity and gender identity bills introduced under the radar in states like Minnesota (H.B. 3215), Louisiana (S.B. 332, H.B. 501), Kentucky (S.B. 176), Michigan (H.B. 4538), Idaho (S.B. 1196), Arizona (H.B. 2414), Missouri (H.B. 1924), and countless local school board and city council measures. Make sure you’re tracking these proposals and calling your elected officials to oppose them.



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