Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Is Political Correctness Classist?

It's the language of the political elite, not of the  people

I’ve been thinking recently about political correctness, and specifically the way that many people seem to find it odious and irritating – so much so that Donald Trump’s hideously inappropriate comments seem to make him more, not less, popular with his core voters. The standard left-wing assumption is that basically white men have had the right to behave like insensitive boors for hundreds of years, and that they feel that they are being oppressed if they’re told they can’t be assholes. I’m not going to deny that that’s probably part of the equation, but I think that in some cases there’s something more valid going on.

There’s an interaction that I see over and over again that goes essentially like this:

Person A: (Makes mildly offensive – or worse, offensively stupid – remark)

Person B: (Calls out person A)

Person A: (Gets defensive/Makes a joke/Makes light of it/Calls person B uptight/Reverses the call out/Becomes unreasonably angry)

Person B: (Just can’t. Ugh.)

Just to be clear, I have been person B on more than one occasion. But I’ve been trying to think about what motivates person A. My tentative hypothesis, which I think is probably true in at least some cases, is that the objection to political correctness is not actually so much a knee-jerk defense of racist or sexist attitudes as it is an inarticulate objection to classism.

Classism is problematic, in that every intelligent person on the left knows that it is bad, bad, very bad – but none the less, leftist discourse is constantly, profoundly classist. Discussions of how to end oppression, including the oppression of poor, marginalized, and less educated people, are routinely carried on in language that can’t even by parsed by someone with a high-school reading level. As a theoretical category of social problem, the poor and underprivileged are given great respect. But when an actual person who can’t spell very well, speaks in a regional dialect from a lower-class area, and can’t express himself very articulately tries to argue that he also needs protection from oppression, he’s often dismissed as an “entitled” white man who doesn’t understand the systemic barriers endured by marginalized groups.

Part of the problem is that discussion about classism is well thrashed out in academia, but almost never discussed on the street. So whereas black people are more or less universally aware of the problem of racism, and women are all aware of sexism, and queer people know all about homophobia, lower class people are often not aware that classism is a thing. They’re aware of it as something they experience, but they don’t have a name for it. And without a name for it they can’t effectively call it out.

So they’re left saying things that sound completely incoherent like “You’re the real racist,” when what they actually mean is “What you just did there was publicly shame me for not having the educational background and middle-to-upper class social experience necessary to realize that my behaviour was potentially offensive to educated members of a particular social minority. This behaviour is not offensive, or at least it does not seem to be offensive, to members of the same minority who are also members of my class. Thus your call out is actually an expression of classism, meant to stigmatize and shame me for my lower-class upbringing and lack of education.”

Even if a person was able to articulate this sentiment, calling out classist behaviour is almost impossible because even in leftist circles lower class people, and less educated people, are routinely stigmatized. To say “I only have a high-school education. I work in a factory. That’s why I don’t know the most up-to-date acceptable word for a cripple,” is to invite classist sneering, opprobrium, and contempt (or perhaps a condescending attempt at education) from those who are supposed to be the guarantors of inclusivity.

To rub salt into the wound, slurs that stigmatize low intelligence, poor education, or a lower-class background are considered completely appropriate by almost everyone. “Idiot,” “yokel, “moron,” “boor,” “knuckle-dragger,” “troglodyte,” “ignoramus,” “hillbilly,” “bum,” “trailer trash,” “redneck,” and “mouth breather” are all fair game – and a person who really is genuinely low class, and genuinely not very well educated, is liable to be frequently and repeatedly shamed using these words if they attempt to break into higher level social discourse. This is particularly true if someone who is not of the correct class voices an opinion that is at odds with the consensus of their higher class, educated peers. Such transgressions are usually swiftly punished by collective outrage and mockery.

One of the most common justifications for such social punishment is the appeal to political correctness. I’m not talking here about cases of blatant racism, sexism, etc. but rather about behaviours which only the educated elite realize are inappropriate. In extreme cases, this can include terms or behaviours which are acceptable to the majority of a marginalized group but which are considered offensive by a small minority who are active mostly in academia (the convention that you should say that a person “has autism” rather than saying that they are autistic is a good case in point – especially since many real autistic people adamantly insist that the latter is the non-offensive option.) In such cases, political correctness becomes a weapon in the arsenal of classism. What is offensive is not that the person harbours any genuine racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, or ethnophobic views, but rather that they don’t know the proper approved behaviour that will allow them admittance into polite society.

Political correctness thus functions as a kind of etiquette and like all etiquette it serves two purposes: first, to smooth the way for conversation by making it mannerly, and second, to systemically exclude the lower classes from serious discourse and positions of power.

Lower class people may not be able to articulate this, but they experience it constantly. It almost certainly drives at least some of their hatred of political correctness, and it may be part of why they cheer enthusiastically every time Trump says something outrageously offensive. Not because they want the right to be assholes, but because they want the right to be included. They want to be able to contribute without constantly being called out for unintentionally transgressing the staggering set of politically correct rules – rules which higher class people learned in their homes, their neighbourhoods, their schools and their universities and which lower class people are expected to learn primarily by being rudely corrected on FaceBook.

SOURCE






The PC terror of the Twittermob

Jon Ronson finds something nasty lurking in the eye of the Twitterstorm

Two web developers, Hank and Alex, were sharing tech-related in-jokes about ‘dongles’ and ‘forking someone’s repo’ at a conference. It was private, jokey wordplay – or at least, that’s what they thought. A woman in front of them, Adria Richards, overheard the jokes, became outraged, took a photo of the pair, and posted it on her Twitterfeed. ‘Not cool’ ran the tweet as she ‘called out’ their ‘inappropriate’ and ‘sexist’ jokes. At the end of the conference, they were reprimanded by the conference organisers and eventually sacked from their jobs. It didn’t end there. The woman who tweeted her outrage received abuse from freelancing misogynists who themselves were outraged by the firing of Hank and Alex. Hackers attacked the IT server system at Richards’ workplace and she, too, was sacked.

It is a grim story, but it is one that, unfortunately, is becoming commonplace. Author and broadcaster Jon Ronson, in his new book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, examines the peculiar twenty-first-century phenomena of the Twitterstorm and ‘calling out’ culture. Ronson is a very good and likeable journalist. He has a talent for spotting a potentially great story and the tenacity to bring it to life. He is a journalist in the old-fashioned sense of the word. He pursues contacts, leads and interviews – many times over – until he’s scooped a decent story. And, unlike so many hotshot broadsheet writers, Ronson is always more interested in the people he’s writing about than he is in himself. It is this approach which means his contacts are often prepared to open up to him and which explains why his writing can be so compelling.

Ronson, though, has his detractors. His interest in oddballs and freaks suggests he is not someone who takes things too seriously. Yet his eye for the wacky and the strange sometimes ends up hitting on hard political topics. For example, his 2001 documentary, The Secret Rulers of the World, captured how radical lefties were embracing conspiracy theory, once the theory of choice for far-right nutters. Likewise, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed captures how the easily offended, often radically minded, have wrecked people’s lives in a manner which would make corrupt, repressive states feel proud. What’s alarming and chilling about Ronson’s case studies is that, far from being isolated incidents, they increasingly reflect a general trend towards the curtailing of free expression.

Take the case of the American, Justine Sacco. Before a trip to South Africa, she made a throwaway quip on Twitter, to her 170 followers, about how white people can’t catch AIDS in Africa. This bad joke was a dig at her own apparently cosseted existence rather than at black AIDS suffers. But sadly for Sacco, this joke was lost on one of her followers (she doesn’t know who), and by the time she had landed at Cape Town Airport she was trending on Twitter. Ronson provides an extensive list of the tweets in response to Sacco’s original post. They were a mixture of pious, indignant rage and low-level sadism. ‘We are about to watch this @JustineSacco get fired. In REAL time. Before she even KNOWS she’s getting fired.’ Ronson makes the point that Sacco was the first person he’d interviewed who had been destroyed, not by the government or big business, but by her fellow citizens.

The same was true of Lindsey Stone. She and a friend had a long-running ‘stupid joke’ that involved pulling poses contrary to what a public sign says, such as smoking in front of a no-smoking sign. At Arlington in Washington DC, the pair saw the ‘silence and respect’ sign for US soldiers who had died in combat - this prompted Lindsey to do a goofy am-dram one-finger salute pose in front of the sign. Due to Facebook settings not being as private as many of us think they are, especially for uploaded photos, this private joke became public. Four weeks after returning from Washington DC, Stone became aware of online hostility towards her and her photo. Incredibly, a ‘Fire Lindsey Stone’ Facebook page had been created and had attracted 12,000 likes. The company Lindsey worked for, LIFE (Living Independently Forever), was inundated with emails demanding her sacking – a request that was quickly met. According to Ronson, Stone ‘fell into a depression, became an insomniac and barely left home for a year’.

Public shaming in the twenty-first century, especially for mildly jokey rather than criminal behaviour, can be devastating for its victims. Ronson, who admits that he’s done his fair share of ‘calling out’ tweets, is right to say the process degrades us all. A harder question to answer is why such unhinged responses to bad jokes and legitimate opinions have become the norm rather than the exception.

In trying to answer this question, it would be easy, and wrong, to indulge in anti-human prejudices, and to his credit Ronson picks apart such lazy theories. He demonstrates how the nineteenth-century French doctor and thinker, Gustave Le Bon, was wrong with his ‘group madness’ concept, developed in The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Le Bon’s theory was that humans totally lose control over their behaviour in a crowd. Our free will evaporates and a contagious madness takes over.

Ronson notes that Le Bon is still popular because ‘we tend to love nothing more than to declare other people insane’. But the problem with theories like Le Bon’s is that they can’t explain why some people get involved in Twitterstorms and others choose not to. It seems that how people react in a crowd or on social media is based on patterns of behaviour that reflect wider belief systems. The predilection to behave in this way exists prior to the coming together of any pitchfork- or Twitter-wielding mob.

For the sociologist Émile Durkheim, the process of punishment and shaming served to change an individual’s behaviour and uphold society’s values. From Medieval times through to the nineteenth century, the authorities were willing to tie people to public whipping posts or place them in stocks for their transgressions. Local newspapers would have published a digest detailing the amount of squirming that had occurred. Punishment is primarily expressive – it expresses society’s moral outrage at the offence. Through rituals of order, such as a public trial and punishment, society’s shared values are reaffirmed and its members come to feel a sense of moral unity. Thus ‘calling out’ someone’s Twitter transgressions could be said to be motivated by a desire to do good for wider society. Ronson draws a not too far-fetched analogy between public shaming on social media and how citizens in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) informed the Stasi (the GDR’s terrifying secret police) on their neighbours – they thought this was the right thing to do.

The question today is how and why harmless jokes, or the ‘wrong’ opinions, are seen as transgressive and worthy of what the criminologist John Braithwaite calls ‘stigmatic shaming’ (which means there’s no final forgiveness for the individual’s ‘bad behaviour’). But in the twenty-first century the nature of stigmatic shaming has changed, too. Ronson notes how individuals who have been exposed to public judgement for aspects of their sexual behaviour, such as sleeping with prostitutes, are no longer social pariahs. Max Mosley or Wayne Rooney, for instance, were not cast out of public life following tabloid revelations of their paid-for sex romps. Shaming no longer involves the transgression of traditional or religious values but, instead, the transgression of politically correct codes. And it is on social media where the regulatory power of PC codes is most keenly felt.

Twenty-five years ago, the term PC was a joke, largely used by conservatives to lampoon the behaviour of liberals and lefties. Today, far from PC having ‘gone mad’, it has gone thoroughly mainstream. Critics of PC are often viewed as closet bigots, people who simply want to make racist or sexist comments without any comeback. But this misses the point about the problems with PC. PC is designed to control individual behaviour rather than create a more equal or fair society. Through PC, problems to do with racial or sexual inequality have been recast as problems of language etiquette. Justine Sacco’s family, for instance, had a long history of actively supporting the ANC in South Africa during the struggle against Apartheid; her tweet was also a joke against herself and perceptions of ‘white privileged’ Americans. But all of this was irrelevant because the politically correct use of language is considered more important than a person’s actual opinions or deeds.

Protecting other people’s self-esteem or emotional states has become important because humans are no longer seen as being able to cope with ‘disagreeable’ words. This has pretty much become the organising principle on university campuses throughout Britain and America. But the culture of limiting ‘offence’ has only encouraged people to perceive and exaggerate all manner of comments as ‘offensive’. We’ve reached the point where an individual’s subjective ‘hurt’ now triumphs over solidarity with other people. Indeed, solidarities based around work, how most of us are only one pay cheque away from penury, was once a powerful social bond among the powerless in society. It was widely recognised that handing employers a stick with which to beat an employee could be used against yourself and others. This is why, 30 years ago, nobody would call on someone else to be sacked from their job on the basis of something they had said, no matter how reprehensible they thought it was.

One of the most depressing trends covered in Ronson’s book is how calling for someone to be sacked from their job, even though a tweet is unrelated to their work, is often the first demand social-media users all-too gleefully make. It shows just how atomised and lacking in solidarity Western societies have become. Trying to get someone sacked was once considered a terrible thing to do. Now it is considered the right thing to do. Ronson’s book demonstrates how social media reflects and exacerbates such malignant trends, such as calling for the state or employers to punish people for opinions, jokes or beliefs considered offensive or inappropriate.

Nevertheless, Ronson is somewhat off the mark when he applies his criticism of public, social-media shaming to the case of author and ‘motivational public speaker’ Jonah Lehrer. In 2012, journalist Michael C Moynihan became suspicious of quotes Lehrer had attributed to Bob Dylan in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works. In fact, the quotes were completely made up. Other editors and book publishers quickly discovered that most of Lehrer’s articles and work featured fabrications, inaccuracies and evidence of plagiarism. Ronson uses the case of Lehrer as part of his exploration of public shaming, but actually it’s not entirely legitimate to compare Lehrer’s downfall with the cases of Sacco, Stone and others. In Lehrer’s case, it was a journalist, and then social media, who forced Lehrer to be held to account for his dishonesty and fakery. He was not being destroyed for bad jokes or bad opinions.

Ronson feels uneasy that Lehrer had ‘been exposed by the sort of person who used to be powerless’ and reminds the reader Lehrer had written some wonderful stuff. There’s a danger here of confusing Twittermob intolerance with stinging public criticism and ridicule. Increasingly, many journalists are hostile to ‘below the liners’, ordinary members of the public who leave ridiculing comments underneath an opinion piece or review. There’s a tendency to confuse the online public who are simply opinionated with Twittermobs and intolerance. Ronson is right to cast a weary and critical eye over the Twittermob mentality. But journalists’ views and opinions still ought to be fair game for challenge and ridicule. At times, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed doesn’t clearly make the distinction between robust public debate and intolerance.

It is also worth pointing out that shame and being shamed are not necessarily bad things. The existence of shame is a recognition that genuinely transgressive acts are problematic. Shaming, therefore, provides a check and balance on wayward behaviour. It is the mechanism through which, informally and organically, civilised boundaries are maintained by society. It is also less repressive because such informal controls do not involve the state and the judiciary. What makes the Twittermob’s acts of ‘shaming’ so brutal is that individuals who haven’t done anything wrong end up having their lives destroyed. Telling bad-taste jokes does not warrant being given unemployable pariah status. Ronson’s engrossing book, and the sorry tales he covers, is a depressing snapshot of Twitter’s tyranny of intolerance and the closing down of a free society.

SOURCE






Anti-Semitism of the progressive churches

Hal G.P. Colebatch, writing from Australia

One of the nastiest perversions of Christianity in the world today – the attempted demonisation and isolation of Israel –has been carried out by, among other bodies religious, a German Protestant Church, under, naturally, the World Council of Churches.

One would think a German church, of all things, would hesitate before sticking a toe in the filthy pool of anti-Semitism. Anyway, its Australian equivalents are some way but not all that far behind.

The WCC and liberation theology in general, Catholic and Protestant, have been singing a bit smaller since the fall of the Soviet Union, but are still with us, with hatred of Israel replacing their previous leit-motif of anti-anti-Communism, while their attitude to the almost daily Islamic atrocities remains conciliatory,

Australian academic Bill Rubinstein, writing in last October’s Quadrant, pointed out that attacks on Israel and ‘Christian Zionism’ (ie pro-Israel evangelical churches) have become the No. 1 cause of progressive churches in much of the Western worlds, in some cases trumping even homosexual marriage.

Rubinstein comments ‘the Presbyterian Church of the USA is simply obsessed with its deep hostility to Israel. Not towards, say, Saudi Arabia, where no Christian may set foot.’ In North Africa Boko Haram and other Islamic groups murder Christians wholesale – the Christian death-toll may be in six figures for the last few years -without a word of reproof from liberal clerics. The WCC’s silence is as loud now as was its silence during the Cold War regarding the Soviet Gulag.

The same double standards prevail in the equivalent Australian churches, particularly sections of the Uniting Church which attack Israel ceaselessly, but say virtually nothing about the murderous intolerance of the Islamic countries and societies or Islamc terrorism in the West.

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the WCC invited member churches and civil society organisations to join together in 2014 for a week of anti-Israel advocacy and action. PIEF supports the virulently anti-Semitic BDS movement, aimed at marginalising and de-legitimising the State of Israel, and ignores the atrocities committed by Palestinians against Israelis. Isis likewise does not seem to appear on the progressive Christian radar, despite crucifying Christian girl captives who refuse to convert.

Either spontaneously or in obedience to the diktats of the WCC, the Uniting Church in Australia has placed a ‘prayer for peace’ online which, while trying at first to give an impression of even-handedness, contains the unprayerful words: ‘In July, 2011, the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Standing Committee resolved, on behalf of the Assembly, to join the boycott of products produced in the illegal Israeli Settlements within the Palestinian Territory of the West Bank.’

The WCC helped publish a book Christians and Muslims: The Dialogue Activities of the World Council of Churches and their Theological Foundation which demands the West ‘abandon its pro-Israeli attitude.’ The latest clerical anti-Israel campaign turns upon allegations that it is stealing ‘Palestinians’’ water. To a student of religious history it may bear some resemblance to the medieval anti-Semitic libel of Jews poisoning water.

On Ash Wednesday, the WCC and its subsidiaries launched a campaign, ‘Seven Weeks for Water’ at a (German) Lutheran Church in Jerusalem, with anti-Israel activists in attendance, including someone called the Co-Coordinator of the Ecumenical Water Network (an absence of a sense of the ridiculous in its titles is one of liberation theology’s distinguishing characteristics). Israeli sources say there is a ‘water crisis’ in Arab areas but that this is due to backward agricultural methods, wastage, and failure to provide adequate infrastructure. This was also the impression I received when visiting. Israel leads the world in dry-land farming techniques.

There is also the question of how far the Palestinian Arabs’ own leaders are responsible for keeping their own people as ‘victims’ for international propaganda.

Something called the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP – how quickly one gets lost in the jungle of acronyms!), was launched in 2013 by the WCC Assembly.The Ecumenical Water Network (EWN), in 2008. The WCC’s press center advertised its Seven Weeks for Water campaign as a ‘pilgrimage of water justice in the Middle East, with specific reference to Palestine.’

Meanwhile, a woman Member of the Palestine Legislative Council, Abu Bakr, has been sheltering within the council building in Ramallah since President Abbas ordered her arrest. Her crime? Blowing the whistle on the financial corruption of a cabinet minister closely associated with the President. She claims that the minister has been privately selling water to Palestinians and has illegally taken more than $200,000 from the Palestinian budget. There has not, of course, been one word about this from the WCC.

The WCC, associated ecumenical movements, and the web of organisations and relationships between them defy an organisational chart, or accountability, unlike government corporations which are, in Western countries, subject to parliamentary or other scrutiny, or private corporations which must publish balance-sheets and be accountable.

The PJP and the EWN are closely interlinked. The intent of launching the Seven Weeks for Water campaign was made plain by General Secretary of the WCC, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, in his Jerusalem church sermon: ‘As the WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is focused on issues of the Middle East, particularly in this year, we hope your stories and struggle for justice and peace will become the stories and struggle for the churches around the world. May this Lenten season help us to reflect on these issues more deeply. May the Seven Weeks for Water during this Lent help us to highlight the water crisis in Palestine …’

Mr Dinesh Suna, the Coordinator of the EWN wrote on his Facebook page: ‘The IRG meeting of the WCC’s PJP started today at Bethlehem. To set the tone of the discussion we went to listen to stories of struggle to end occupation of Palestine by Israel’ (‘Struggle’? Suicide bombings, perhaps? Knifings of women and children?). ‘It was quite a touching moment for us to hear these stories…’

Any doubt whose side the WCC and the progressive churches are on now? While the progressive churches are losing membership hand-over-fist, in Australia, America and Europe, the demographically young, and very often pro-Israel, evangelical churches, are flourishing. The formation of the Australia-Israel Association in WA in 2014, held at an evangelical church, drew an overflow crowd.  [Real Christians love Israel]

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America’s Twenty Immigration Winks

America seems unable to have an intelligent conversation about immigration. In 1986 after over a decade of work, we finally passed immigration law reform. Senator Al Simpson of Wyoming, the Senate leader that got the legislation passed, told me he hoped we understood the enforcement part of the law is more important than the forgiving (amnesty) part of the law.

No such luck. We still remain stuck in a nation with virtual open borders pushing diversity and multiculturalism in an age of terrorist jihad absolutely oblivious to what is now happening to Europe. And our media brethren remain congenitally unable to be honest about the issues we face.

Ironically, forty years ago we almost got it right. The New York Times wrote about the then forthcoming immigration commission report and the hope for reform: "How can one seriously argue whether to increase legal immigration by 80,000 or 250,000 when maybe 6 million illegal aliens are already here and thousands more are coming daily? There can be no sensible policy without the means to enforce it." They continued: our overall immigration policy amounted to a great "big wink"-or the big pretend-a combination of minimally protecting the borders but largely doing nothing once people got into the country.  

Let us examine some basics.

Half a million people overstayed their visas last year. We have no law enforcement method to determine where these people are or who they are. So says the immigration policy directors in the US government. Wink number one.

According to Congressional hearings, the US immigration authorities have deliberately let out of custody thousands of convicted felons, many of them guilty of violent crimes such as rape and murder, and not deported them, as required by law. Wink number two.

Yes it is wonderful some policy makers want to deport convicted violent felons who are also criminal aliens. But what the commentariat has missed is that these people first have to come here to America illegally, then commit a violent felony, then be apprehended and arrested, then convicted and only then deported. Why not stop them from coming into the country in the first place at the border? Wink number three.

We have more than 300 sanctuary cities, counties and states. Violent felons, criminal aliens, finish their prison sentences but the Federales are not notified so these dangerous people can be deported. They get out of jail free and often end up murdering and raping American citizens again. Wink number four.

The arrogant ruling class says they need little people to mow their laws and wash their restaurant dishes. And people from outside the country that can work off the books, avoid taxes, and allow Americans that should be doing those jobs sit home, join gangs, drop out of school, smoke dope,  eat bon bons, watch television and yes, have babies out of wedlock. Anyone ever hear of welfare reform and work requirements? Wink number five.

Those here illegally can not only work off the books (that's illegal) but send their children to our public schools (which is legal) where we will (to be compassionate and multicultural) teach them in any number of languages (see California) at a cost to the Federal, state and local governments of $12,000-$14,000 a year just for school. (Camden New Jersey exceeds $25,000 and California averages $18,000). We pay and they don't. As Victor Davis Hanson explains we are the only successful multiracial society-E Pluribus Unum-- because we have been bound by a common language, culture and values. Wink number six.

We won't enforce the immigration laws we have. While I watched incredulously after testifying on immigration at the Maryland State House, one local Maryland state legislator told Mexican television just outside the hearing room: "There are no illegal aliens in America there are just people adjusting their status". Wink number seven.

We not only won't enforce our immigration laws we will demand that the border patrol take "dreamers" or "unaccompanied minors" and transfer them to social service agencies to settle in America. But the border patrol are highly trained law enforcement professionals who both Presidents John Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower used to escort young black students when integrating our schools. Use them for what we should be doing-protect the border. Wink number eight. When asked whether we should have an intelligent discussion of what immigration policy in America should be, do not under any circumstances reference the 1965 immigration law debate where the chief sponsors insisted the new law would not change "our primary European background".

Don't admit the new emphasis on family connections in the 1965 law deprived the American people of the ability to decide which people with which skills would be allowed to come to America or what has been described as a "transfer of policy control from the elected representatives of the American people to individuals wishing to bring relatives to this country." And as National Review correctly explained, don't bring up that prior decades long limits on the practice of importing labor to break strikes and compress wages helped create the American middle class.

Declare such discussions racist and demand that we move on, and ignore that open border enthusiasts such as La Raza and Univision insist that only certain ethic groups be favored in immigration flows because after all we all want "America to become Mexico". Wink number nine.

When confronted with the overwhelming evidence that a major strain within Islam is violent and seeks with terrorist tactics to impose shariah law on the countries where they live, claim Islam has "nothing to do" with terrorism, that Islam is a "religion of peace" and say it's just bigotry that seeks to prevent potential Islamic jihads from terrorizing America. "Radical extremists" are never Muslims. Wink number ten.

When asked what these people are being radical or extreme about, move on to the next question. Can't possibly be radical or extreme about Islam now can they? Is it vegetarianism? Even though the Islamic conquests began when Mohammed was well, conquering. But it has nothing to do with Islam. [And if you criticize the prophet we will cut your head off.] As former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich asked "How can you have an open borders policy in the age of international terrorism"? Indeed. Wink number eleven.

Make anti-bigotry and anti-racism as the watch word for and open borders immigration policy but avoid any questions whether current immigration policy that shows a preference to certain ethnic groups is itself racist. Wink number twelve.

Amnesty is of course the only desirable course for all 11 million aliens here, and well, even if it's 20 million. Avoid certain questions such as "How will you vet these people?" Or "Where are they going to get the income to pay all those back taxes we were assured they were not avoiding because they couldn't possibly be working off the books because they are all law-abiding?" Wink number thirteen.

Demand that all immigration policy come down to only the single question of whether all people now here illegally get to stay in America-amnesty-or whether you are going to support Nazi like "mass deportations". Wink number fourteen.

Avoid all questions about actually enforcing immigration and employment law-E-Verify, employer sanctions, a work requirement for welfare reform, tax avoidance scams. All if actually enforced reasonably would result in a very significant number of those here illegally going home but don't examine that question. Years ago when claiming the outflow of illegal aliens in America going home equaled the number of illegal aliens crossing our borders, the administration said the phenomenon of "self-deportation" was responsible. Avoid that topic as well, go back to the default "mass deportation" verbal racket. Wink number fifteen.

Pretend that amnesty has to be everyone or no one, compassion or evil. Don't examine whether AFTER a new immigration enforcement system, including E-Verify and employer sanctions, after a work requirement in re-instated and welfare reform is on the books, after a moratorium is in place on immigration and refugee flows from states that sponsor terrorist groups, we can then take a look at people wishing to stay in America on a case by case basis under criteria carefully vetted and examined by Congress and the American public. Instead insist amnesty has to be up front and the first and only thing you do. Wink number sixteen.

You have to replace your roof. But it can be fixed. And a huge thunderstorm is coming that day.  The contractor says let's take the roof off and in a week we can have a beautiful new roof in place. And you ask whether in the meantime the rest of the house will be flooded and ruined if the storm takes place. And the contractor again shows you pictures of a beautiful roof. Ignore that the number of illegal aliens arrested at the border from terror sponsoring states increased to 462 in 2015 alone, from 255 in 2011. Wink number seventeen.

When you dramatically increase the production of marijuana in America, pretend the Mexican cartels cannot read the papers and thus understand basic supply and demand economics. Pretend they didn't quadruple heroin production and drive the price of smack to below that of on the street prescription drugs. And pretend that the heroin isn't coming across our border brought here by criminal drug gangs-these people are just adjusting their status, remember? And pretend we do not have a heroin epidemic and it's not related at all to open borders. Wink number eighteen.

Be aghast at anyone who will suggest we build a wall. Deny the Israelis successfully built a wall of over 700 kilometers and that it cut suicide bombings and terrorist attacks by some 85%. Don't admit the cost is $2 million a mile and for $4 billion the US could do the same over the 2000 mile long southern border. And deny that adding border patrol agents and other surveillance equipment to the border would dramatically improve our ability to stop the flow of gangs, criminal aliens, drug traffickers, and coyote smugglers-don't talk about it. Remember its racists to insist that our national sovereignty allows us to say to potential immigrants both "Yes" and "No". Walls around the compounds of the liberal rich and famous are for protection. Walls on your border are racist. Wink number nineteen.

And finally, act shocked that anyone would be so callous to suggest a wall be built and actually paid for by those benefitting from hundreds of billions in remittances and free education received over the past 45 years. For only one million children costing $10 billion a year for school is a net $400 billion cost to US taxpayers since the Supreme Court decision requiring America to provide schooling for children here illegally. Take the 600,000 barrels of refined petroleum products we send to Mexico every day and add a small $7.50 surcharge. That comes to $1.6 billion a year. The wall is paid for in two and one-half years. But don't discuss this. Call everyone a racist. Wink number twenty.   

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016



Multiculturalist told 2-year-old to `put up his hands' and fight before beating him to death



The fight began with a mother and her boyfriend arguing over groceries.

At some point, prosecutors in Camden County, N.J., say, the woman's 2-year-old boy became upset that 24-year-old Zachary Tricoche had pushed his mother and began to cry, according to the Courier-Post.

That's when Tricoche attacked, prosecutors say, punching the 29-pound boy so hard that the toddler was launched into a wall, Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah said at a court hearing last week, according to NJ.com.

Then, Shah said, Tricoche instructed the 36-inch-tall toddler to "put his hands up," meaning "that he should form a boxing stance to fight this full-grown man," NJ.com reported.

At that point, Tricoche hit the boy again, "causing J.B. to again strike his head on a wall and rendering him unconscious," Shah said, according to the Courier-Post.

Both punches struck the boy - identified as Jamil Baskerville Jr. - in his torso, according to CBS affiliate WFMY.

The child's mother called 911 around 11:30 p.m. Saturday and said her toddler was unconscious, the station reported.

Citing a probable-cause statement, the Courier-Post reported the desperate rush to save the child's life:

"My boyfriend is, like, trying to get him to wake up," said the mother, who became distraught as the 911 call continued.

She mentioned bruising to the boy's chest, saying, "It's turning color," but did not refer to any alleged assault.

"He has vomit coming out his nose and mouth," the mother told the 911 dispatcher, who had already dispatched emergency responders. "Can you please hurry up?"

Tricoche, who lived at the home, took the phone at one point to receive directions on administering CPR to the child.

About 30 minutes after that phone call - after the boy had been transported to Cooper University Hospital - he was pronounced dead, WFMY reported.

A medical examiner would later determine that the child's liver has been crushed by the blows, leading him to bleed to death internally, WFMY reported. The station reported that "the official cause of death is blunt force trauma and the manner of death is homicide."

Tricoche, of Pennsauken, N.J., is facing murder charges, according to the New York Post. He was arraigned in Camden County Superior Court on Tuesday and remains in Camden County jail on a $1 million cash bail, the paper reported.

"Tricoche only spoke in court to say that he understood the charges, to tell the judge how to pronounce his last name, and to say that he had a public defender," NJ.com reported, noting that he didn't name the lawyer and appeared alone at the hearing.

Shah said Tricoche has a lengthy criminal history that includes a juvenile conviction for conspiracy to distribute narcotics and several adult convictions, NJ.com reported. In 2011, the outlet reported, he was convicted of distributing drugs in a school zone, which led him to serve a three-year prison term. In 2014, Tricoche was convicted of loitering to obtain a controlled substance, NJ.com reported.

At Tricoche's arraignment, Gerome DeShields, the child's grandfather, told reporters that there was no excuse for a man to attack a child, according to the Courier-Post.

"You're less of a man to sit there and put your hands on any type of child, no matter what age it is," DeShields said. "He was 2 years old. There should be no reason you should want to hit him."

SOURCE






Church of England parishes consider first step to break away over sexuality

A group of parishes is preparing what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over issues such as homosexuality, with the creation of a new "shadow synod" vowing to uphold traditional teaching.

Representatives of almost a dozen congregations in the Home Counties are due to gather in a church hall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, later this week for the first session of what they say could eventually develop into an alternative Anglican church in England.

Organisers, drawn from the conservative evangelical wing of Anglicanism, say they have no immediate plans to break away - but are setting up the "embryonic" structures that could be used to do so if the established church moves further in what they see as a liberal direction.

The new alliance will be viewed as a "church within a church" but founders have not ruled out full separation if, for example, the Church of England offers blessing-style services for same-sex unions - a move expected to be considered by bishops in the next few months.

Differences over sexuality have already triggered a major rift in the 80 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion and formal splits in the US and Canada after the ordination of openly gay bishops, which traditionalists say goes against the teaching of the Bible.

Congregations from three dioceses - Rochester, Canterbury and Chichester - are to become founder members of the new grouping, which does not yet have a name, but they expect others to join.

They claim the Church of England's leadership is progressively "watering down" centuries-old teaching, not just over the issue of sexuality but many core beliefs including the authority of the Bible.

Top of their agenda will be discussing founding new "Anglican" congregations in England - with or without the blessing of the Church's hierarchy.

Crucially, they may decide to withhold money from the offering plates in their dioceses, instead channelling funds towards finding their own "missionary" plans.

And they are likely to consider joining forces with an existing network of congregations outside the Church of England with links to a powerful alliance of Anglican bishops overseas, particularly in Africa.

If senior leaders of the Church of England water down the teaching of the Church of England on key issues like homosexuality then this synod could easily evolve into a new Anglican jurisdiction in England

It came as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby spoke of being "constantly consumed with horror" at the Church of England's treatment of gay and lesbian people.

During a session at the Greenbelt Christian festival over the weekend, a gay audience member asked the Archbishop when, if ever, the church would be in a position to bless their civil partnership.

The Rev Dr Peter Sanlon, Vicar of St Mark's Church in Tunbridge Wells, who is hosting this week's meeting, said: "If senior leaders of the Church of England water down the teaching of the Church of England on key issues like homosexuality, then this synod could easily evolve in to a new Anglican jurisdiction in England.

"The Archbishop of Canterbury has signalled that he is aware of the possibility that a significant proportion of the church will not accept a change in the church's teaching.  "This could be the beginning of that playing out."

He added: "I am not leaving the Church of England - but in order to stay, I need new partnerships and structures to discharge the mission of the Church of England, which is to bring the message of Christ to every postcode in England.

"We have set these structures up in a very small embryonic form across three dioceses.

"My only problem now is coping with the number of clergy contacting me wanting to know how they can join in."

The Telegraph understands that so far 11 local Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) have scheduled debates on a motion upholding a traditionalist creed-like statement known as the "Jerusalem Statement" and taken part in a new "Anglican synod of churches" committed to upholding it. Of those, five have passed the motion, and six others are due to.

Some evangelicals believe the Church is moving away from its Christian foundation itself. Eyebrows were raised earlier this year, for example, when it emerged that York Minister had introduced a Zen Buddhist meditation group.

Dr Sanlon added: "Clergy like me are not going to just leave the Church of England. However, we need new structures to establish new churches to fulfil the mission that the Church of England ought to be discharging.

"My overriding concern is to see the mission of the Church of England effectively discharged: the partnerships to do that are not possible between churches which promote ambiguity about teaching on sexuality."

The Rev Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden, a royal chaplain, said: "The energy behind this new jurisdiction comes from a growing perception that the CofE is so desperate to remain chaplain to a country that is turning its back on Christian ethics, that there comes a point when it fails to be faithful to Christ and in particular his teaching on marriage.

"At that point, and it may already have arrived, there will be a rupture and the orthodox will make arrangements to safeguard the integrity of the Church for the future."

A spokesman for the Church of England said a recent process of "shared conversations" involving bishops, clergy and laity would lay the foundations for "further formal discussions" about sexuality in the Church of England.

SOURCE







Germany stabbing: Knifeman 'shouts Allahu Akbar' as he attacks couple at music festival leaving wife fighting for life



The two victims - a 66-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man - were attacked but managed to overpower the man who was then arrested by police in Oberhausen

A couple at a German music festival have been attacked by a knifeman who witnesses claim was heard shouting "Allahu Akbar".

A 66-year-old woman, believed to be the other victim's wife, is said to be fighting for her life.

The other victim - a 57-year-old man - is seriously injured however he still managed to overpower the man who was then arrested by police officers in Oberhausen.

The attack took place just after 7pm on Saturday evening.

Police officers say the suspect is a 26-year-old from Duisburg, Germany. In a statement, police said the suspect was "apparently under the influence of narcotics".

Officers say they have also recovered a weapon from the scene.

German media reported that the suspect is homeless.

The phrase "Allahu Akbar" means "God is Great" and has been chanted by Islamic terrorists during attacks. However officers are yet to confirm a motive for the attack.

The country has been on high alert for months and has suffered a spate of chilling attacks.

In July a 17-year-old Afghan refugee seriously injured five people with a knife and hatchet on a train near Würzburg in Germany. The attacker was shot dead when he attacked police officers

SOURCE





Why do we need an obesity strategy?

Our waistlines are none of the government’s business

As long-awaited as a bus in a rural village, the government’s new childhood obesity strategy was finally published last week. The response was a wall of wailing campaigners, who accused the government of weakness and even of kowtowing to big business – despite the fact that the strategy confirms plans to impose a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks and pressure food manufacturers into reducing sugar content by 20 per cent over the next four years. To anyone with a modicum of common sense, this looks like another serious wave of state intervention in our eating habits.

So why the moaning? Well, earlier drafts of the strategy suggested even more illiberal policies, like extending advertising bans on foods high in salt, fat and sugar, and banning supermarket promotions of ‘unhealthy’ foods. Instead, a greater emphasis has been placed on encouraging children to exercise – to be paid for by the sugary drinks tax.

Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the Commons Health Committee, said: ‘I’m afraid it does show the hand of big industry lobbyists and that’s really disappointing.’ Diane Abbott similarly declared: ‘Theresa May has given in to the food and drink industry at the expense of our children’s health.’ Jamie Oliver was apparently ‘in shock’ at the strategy, saying: ‘It contains a few nice ideas, but so much is missing.’ Even the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents the big supermarkets, was disappointed, arguing that a voluntary scheme for sugar reduction would lead to some firms seeking a competitive advantage by not cutting sugar as much as others. Instead, the BRC wants mandatory reductions.

All of which confirms a much-repeated lesson of modern politics: there is simply no satisfying public-health zealots. Once upon a time, slapping a tax on sugary drinks and demanding the reformulation of foods were the key demands of anti-sugar campaigners. Now, an obesity strategy that does precisely those things shows the government has caved in to Big Food.

The sugary drinks tax is not only illiberal, it’s plain dumb. It won’t have any noticeable effect on obesity. Those who love a particular brand of sugary drink will just cough up more money to buy it. Those who like such drinks but aren’t too fussed about brand can switch to a cheaper one and probably end up paying less. In any event, so few calories come from sugary drinks that, even if people stopped drinking them altogether, it would make little impact on their waistlines, especially if they satisfy their sweet tooths with other products instead. As it happens, sales of sugary soda in Mexico, which introduced a similar tax a couple of years ago, already appear to be bouncing back. And whose consumption was affected most by the tax? Those with the lowest incomes. A sugary drinks tax means robbing the poor to soothe the anxieties of the rich.

The other major intervention in the strategy is the plan to browbeat food manufacturers into cutting sugar in their products by five per cent every year for the next four years. This will make foods less enjoyable – the sugar is there for a reason, after all. Moreover, you can’t simply replace sugar in many products with artificial sweeteners because the sugar is important in the consistency of the product. Biscuits and cakes depend on sugar, in part, for their texture. And how do you make a bar of milk chocolate less sugary? There is little alternative but to make the bars smaller. So we’ll be buying less enjoyable food or just getting less of it for our money.

What no one seems to be asking is why the government needs an obesity strategy in the first place. For most people, the problem of obesity is relatively straightforward: eat less and take more exercise. Of course, that is often easier said than done, but ham-fisted government regulation is hardly the answer. Demanding that Whitehall gets a say in what ingredients are used in our food is a recipe for, if not disaster, worse food and higher prices. If people want to cut down on sugar, all they need to do is stop eating it. The choice should be left up to us.

What’s more, we are not in the midst of some national emergency, with obesity rates skyrocketing. In fact, obesity rates among children plateaued 10 years ago, and have probably fallen since. Moreover, most people who fit the definition of ‘obese’ are merely mildly chubby – that spare tyre is unlikely to have any significant impact on your health. For a small percentage of people, their obesity is such that it could reduce their life expectancy and make day-to-day living much more difficult. Let’s devote our energies to solving their problems rather than taxing and regulating everyone.

The obesity strategy is awful, but it could have been worse. Maybe Theresa May will be a more traditionally Conservative prime minister – that is, less interested in micromanaging our lives – than her paternalistic predecessor, David Cameron. Maybe dealing with Brexit will ensure her diary is too full to worry about such trivialities. Here’s hoping.

SOURCE

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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, August 29, 2016



Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Wrong

A major new report, published today in the journal The New Atlantis, challenges the leading narratives that the media has pushed regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender.

The major takeaway, as the editor of the journal explains, is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.”

Here are four of the report’s most important conclusions:

The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property—that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.

The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh. Mayer is a scholar-in-residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

McHugh, whom the editor of The New Atlantis describes as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was during his tenure as psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins that he put an end to sex reassignment surgery there, after a study launched at Hopkins revealed that it didn’t have the benefits for which doctors and patients had long hoped.

Implications for Policy

The report focuses exclusively on what scientific research shows and does not show. But this science can have implications for public policy.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that ‘only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.’

Take, for example, our nation’s recent debates over transgender policies in schools. One of the consistent themes of the report is that science does not support the claim that “gender identity” is a fixed property independent of biological sex, but rather that a combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely shape how individuals experience and express themselves when it comes to sex and gender.

The report also discusses the reality of neuroplasticity: that all of our brains can and do change throughout our lives (especially, but not only, in childhood) in response to our behavior and experiences. These changes in the brain can, in turn, influence future behavior.

This provides more reason for concern over the Obama administration’s recent transgender school policies. Beyond the privacy and safety concerns, there is thus also the potential that such policies will result in prolonged identification as transgender for students who otherwise would have naturally grown out of it.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that “only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” Policymakers should be concerned with how misguided school policies might encourage students to identify as girls when they are boys, and vice versa, and might result in prolonged difficulties. As the report notes, “There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”

Beyond school policies, the report raises concerns about proposed medical intervention in children. Mayer and McHugh write: “We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.”

They continue: “We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” But as they note, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

Findings on Transgender Issues

The same goes for social or surgical gender transitions in general. Mayer and McHugh note that the “scientific evidence summarized suggests we take a skeptical view toward the claim that sex reassignment procedures provide the hoped for benefits or resolve the underlying issues that contribute to elevated mental health risks among the transgender population.” Even after sex reassignment surgery, patients with gender dysphoria still experience poor outcomes:

Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

Mayer and McHugh urge researchers and physicians to work to better “understand whatever factors may contribute to the high rates of suicide and other psychological and behavioral health problems among the transgender population, and to think more clearly about the treatment options that are available.” They continue:

In reviewing the scientific literature, we find that almost nothing is well understood when we seek biological explanations for what causes some individuals to state that their gender does not match their biological sex. … Better research is needed, both to identify ways by which we can help to lower the rates of poor mental health outcomes and to make possible more informed discussion about some of the nuances present in this field.

Policymakers should take these findings very seriously. For example, the Obama administration recently finalized a new Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires all health insurance plans under Obamacare to cover sex reassignment treatments and all relevant physicians to perform them. The regulations will force many physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers to participate in sex reassignment surgeries and treatments, even if doing so violates their moral and religious beliefs or their best medical judgment.

Rather than respect the diversity of opinions on sensitive and controversial health care issues, the regulations endorse and enforce one highly contested and scientifically unsupported view. As Mayer and McHugh urge, more research is needed, and physicians need to be free to practice the best medicine.

Stigma, Prejudice Don’t Explain Tragic Outcomes

The report also highlights that people who identify as LGBT face higher risks of adverse physical and mental health outcomes, such as “depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and most alarmingly, suicide.” The report summarizes some of those findings:

Members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.

Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41 percent, compared to under 5 percent in the overall U.S. population.

What accounts for these tragic outcomes? Mayer and McHugh investigate the leading theory—the “social stress model”—which proposes that “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations.”

But they argue that the evidence suggests that this theory “does not seem to offer a complete explanation for the disparities in the outcomes.” It appears that social stigma and stress alone cannot account for the poor physical and mental health outcomes that LGBT-identified people face.

One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

As a result, they conclude that “More research is needed to uncover the causes of the increased rates of mental health problems in the LGBT subpopulations.” And they call on all of us work to “alleviate suffering and promote human health and flourishing.”

Findings Contradict Claims in Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling

Finally, the report notes that scientific evidence does not support the claim that people are “born that way” with respect to sexual orientation. The narrative pushed by Lady Gaga and others is not supported by the science. A combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely account for an individual’s sexual attractions, desires, and identity, and “there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation.”

Furthermore, the scientific research shows that sexual orientation is more fluid than the media suggests. The report notes that “Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80 percent of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults.”

These findings—that scientific research does not support the claim that sexual orientation is innate and immutable—directly contradict claims made by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in last year’s Obergefell ruling. Kennedy wrote, “their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment” and “in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”

But the science does not show this.

While the marriage debate was about the nature of what marriage is, incorrect scientific claims about sexual orientation were consistently used in the campaign to redefine marriage.

In the end, Mayer and McHugh observe that much about sexuality and gender remains unknown. They call for honest, rigorous, and dispassionate research to help better inform public discourse and, more importantly, sound medical practice.

As this research continues, it’s important that public policy not declare scientific debates over, or rush to legally enforce and impose contested scientific theories. As Mayer and McHugh note, “Everyone—scientists and physicians, parents and teachers, lawmakers and activists—deserves access to accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity.”

We all must work to foster a culture where such information can be rigorously pursued and everyone—whatever their convictions, and whatever their personal situation—is treated with the civility, respect, and generosity that each of us deserves.

SOURCE





Comedian Aries Spears: ‘Women … Rape Men Financially’ Through Child Support Demands

There's something in that.  Divorce settlements can be huge

Comedian Aries Spears told a New York City radio show that women “rape men financially” with their child support demands.

In an Aug. 19 interview with “The Breakfast Club,” on Power 105.1 FM radio, Spears said he wants men to band together to “rewrite the laws” so that child support is based on what the child needs instead of how much the man makes.

“The way women in the courts rape men financially is ridiculous, and until men start banding together, and say enough is enough and rewrite the laws, it’s going to continue,” said Spears, who was a regular on “MADtv.”

Spears said the child support laws “won’t be rewritten until men get together and decide to make a movement, but the problem is, we don’t want to make the movement.”

When asked what is “fair when it comes to child support,” Spears said, “What’s fair? What’s realistic? A kid should get what’s necessary, not what’s entitled based upon how much you make. That’s what the system does. The system pays a woman based on what you make instead of what’s necessary.”

Spears, who pays child support for two of his three children, said he pays more than $5,000 a month for child support.

SOURCE





Doctors Sue Obama Administration for Forcing Them to Perform Gender Transition Procedures

Five states and a group of religiously-affiliated hospitals and physicians are suing the Obama administration over a federal mandate that forces doctors to perform gender transition procedures on adults and children against their medical judgment.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Texas federal court, attempts to roll back a rule imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services in May that expanded the interpretation of “sex” under the Affordable Care Act to include “gender identity.”

In doing so, the Obama administration added transgender people to the list of protected classes under the Affordable Care Act, which states that individuals can’t be denied certain federally-funded health benefits because of their “race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.”

The move was part of a broader push by President Barack Obama to further transgender rights in the U.S.

The implications of the HHS mandate are broad. By its own estimates, HHS said the rule would “likely cover almost all licensed physicians because they accept federal financial assistance.”

For example, HHS said a doctor “specializing in gynecological services that previously declined to provide a medically necessary hysterectomy for a transgender man would have to revise its policy to provide the procedure for transgender individuals in the same manner it provides the procedure for other individuals.”

“It’s a very rare moment in history when the government would force doctors to go against their conscience and their medical judgment and perform procedures that may be deeply harmful to patients,” said Luke Goodrich, a lawyer at the Becket Fund, which is representing Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, two of the parties involved the lawsuit.

Also challenging the HHS mandate is Specialty Physicians of Illinois, along with the states of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Kansas, which are all led by Republican governors.

Notably, the Obama administration does not require coverage of gender reassignment procedures under Medicare or Medicaid for children or adults because a government review of the clinical evidence available for gender reassignment surgery was inconclusive on whether it was helpful or harmful to patients with gender dysphoria.

“Based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence available at this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria,” a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated.

Instead, decisions for transition-related surgeries under Medicaid are made individually on a case-by-case basis.

“So you have doctors reaching one conclusion, and then you have politically zealous bureaucrats in the Office of Civil Rights—a different branch of HHS—saying science be damned, every private health care provider in the country has to cover this stuff in their health insurance and the doctors have to perform it,” Goodrich told The Daily Signal. “It’s deeply hypocritical.”

The lawsuit challenging the HHS mandate was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which is the same court that temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s bathroom mandate on Sunday. In putting a halt to the policy that mandates public schools must open their restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to transgender students based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor argued the administration overstepped its authority.

When HHS issued the new gender identity rule on May 18, the agency cited as authority the Obama administration’s bathroom mandate, whose legitimacy is now in question.

In the HHS mandate case, plaintiffs argue that the Obama administration curtailed the voice of the people in issuing such sweeping regulations, and didn’t follow standard rulemaking procedures under the Administrative Procedure Act and multiple other federal laws. This argument is similar to the one brought by the 13 states challenging the Obama administration’s bathroom mandate in the same Texas court.

Plaintiffs are also arguing that the HHS rules violate doctors’ ability to exercise their best medical judgement and their religiously-inspired desire to care for patients.

“The new mandate forces doctors to perform gender reassignment procedures on individuals including young children, even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful and may violate the doctors’ faith and medical judgment,” Goodrich said. “These organizations care for transgender individuals all the time in lots of different respects but they cannot in good conscience or in their own medical judgment do procedures that would be harmful, so they felt like they had to get relief from the new regulation.”

Jillian Weiss, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, suggested the lawsuit against HHS was unnecessary in a statement to The Associated Press.

“The only thing a doctor is obliged to do is treat all patients, including trans patients, with dignity and respect and to make treatment decisions free from bias,” Weiss said. “If a doctor has a sound, evidence-based, medical reason to delay transition care for a specific patient, that would be respected under the regulations.”

SOURCE






When a Briton defends free speech in Australia

In Q&A, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship political panel show, spiked editor Brendan O’Neill once again prompted the right-thinking first to tweet their spleen, and then to fire off snarky op-eds. And the reason for the riling? Was it O’Neill’s criticism of the Australian state’s incarceration of migrants on the micro-island of Nauru, ‘a kind of purgatory, a limbo where aspiring migrants are stuck between a place they don’t want to be and a place they want to be’, as he described it? Or was it perhaps his criticism of pro-refugee campaigners, whom, as The Australian reports, O’Neill accused of ‘infantilising’ migrants, treating them as weak, helpless, other?

Nope, none of the above. What got up the nose of the unthinkingly politically correct was O’Neill’s attack on Section 18C of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits speech ‘reasonably likely… to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people’ because of their ‘race, colour or national or ethnic origin’. Or, to put it another way: Brendan O’Neill defended free speech. And, it was this, this defence of one of the cornerstones of radical, liberal, enlightened thought, that outraged the nominally liberal and leftist.

Here’s what O’Neill said: ‘I love hearing hate speech because it reminds me I live in a free society.’ Got that? O’Neill loves hearing hate speech, not in itself, not because he just loves vitriol, as some of his detractors really seem to believe. No, he loves hearing it because of what hearing it means: namely, that we live in a society that is confident enough in itself, in its liberal values, that it can tolerate dissenting and hateful views. O’Neill then went on to explain why freedom of speech is precisely the mechanism through which we can challenge racism: ‘The real problem with Section 18C is it actually disempowers anti-racists by denying us the right to see racism, to know it, to understand it and to confront it in public. Instead it entrusts the authorities to hide it away on our behalf so we never have a reckoning with it.’

For anyone faintly familiar with a liberal and radical tradition of thought, from Voltaire to Frederick Douglass to Karl Marx, O’Neill’s argument shouldn’t be controversial: it is only through the airing of prejudice that it can be reckoned with. And it certainly shouldn’t be difficult to understand. But sadly it seems that, for too many, it is. To these, the liberal-ish and the right-on, it is an anathema, thought from another planet.

First came the high-profile Twitterers, the attack dogs of elite sentiment. Celebrity chef Georgina Dent said: ‘See, if hearing hate speech is the bit you love most about living in a “free country” you’re doing it wrong.’ Commentator Jane Caro quickly joined in: ‘Brendan O’Neill may not be aware of how privileged he is to “like” hearing hate speech. I’ve seen it intimidate people into silence.’ And in chimed the widely retweeted campaigner and columnist, Mariam Veiszadeh: ‘Those who argue that S18C should be repealed have the privilege of never having to seek its protection.’

Then came the op-eds. A Sydney Morning Herald writer declared: ‘The audience of Q&A has exercised its freedom of speech to call BS on a white man who courageously declared, among a panel of fellow white folk, that he loves hearing hate speech.’ And 9News talked of ‘a white male free-speech crusader’ being ‘mocked online after declaring on last night’s Q&A programme that he “loves hearing hate speech”’.

What’s immediately striking about the response to O’Neill’s defence of free speech is the incredulity. ‘An extraordinary statement’, remarked one commentator, as if O’Neill had just proclaimed the Earth’s flatness. Another said it was ‘ridiculous’. All of which shows just how removed today’s liberals and lefties are from their own liberal, left-wing traditions.

Then of course there is the substance, if you can call it that, of their criticism. That is, O’Neill, as a white man, is in no position to criticise the criminalisation of racist hate speech. Why? Because, as a white man, he has not experienced racial hate speech; he does not know how it feels to be subject to racial hate speech, and therefore he has no authority to comment on it. Where do you start with this steaming pile of emotivist, particularist proverbial? First, O’Neill is making a universalist case for free speech. Not for himself. Not for white people. And not for middle-class tweeters. He is making a case for free speech for everyone. Second, O’Neill’s own background – a son of working-class Irish immigrants, as it happens, which is hardly a marker of privilege in Britain - is not important. What matters is the argument, not its propagator. If a ‘person of colour’, as O’Neill’s critics have it, had made the same argument, would it suddenly have become more persuasive, more legitimate?

And third and finally, who exactly do they think is empowered by Section 18C? Is it indigenous Australians? Is it the wretched of the Earth? Or is it the Australian state, complete with its retinue of privileged white judges and civil servants who, thanks to this pernicious bit of legislation, are now authorised to adjudicate on what is illegal and what is legal speech? And here we come to the miserable irony of those who are mocking O’Neill for his defence of free speech: they would rather support the state, the most powerful and, yes, privileged force in the land than give people the freedom to say what they think. It seems there are none so dangerous as the unthinkingly self-righteous.

In his Crikey column, Guy Rundle captured well the irony of the anti-O’Neill, anti-white-privilege backlash, particularly as it came from O’Neill’s fellow panellist, the comedian Corinne Grant: ‘It’s particularly counterproductive when people from a creative background — playwrights, comedians — take so easily to the task of censoriousness and state control of speech. It is an invitation to hand over freedom on the promise that the state will guarantee it for you – and reach the point where you positively welcome having judges “authorising” speech. Nothing much can be achieved while this attitude persists, unexamined, unreflected upon, among people who should be challenging elites, not forming new ones.’

And it’s precisely the freedom to challenge elites and elite views that animates O’Neill’s defence of free speech. As the man himself put it in that heated TV studio: ‘It’s very important when it comes to expressing opinion, even if it’s ugly opinion, to protect people’s right to do that. Otherwise you’ll end up in a situation where the state has the right to decide what’s a good opinion or a bad opinion. And least of all minority groups should support that. Every marginalised group in history has seen free speech as their greatest friend. It’s the means through they can express themselves, can argue against their oppression, through which they can challenge the authorities. We have to defend the right for free speech for everyone, particularly for marginalised groups.’

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Sunday, August 28, 2016




Controversial election-favourite Geert Wilders calls for all mosques to be shut and the Koran banned in Holland

Dutch right wing politician Geert Wilders has called for all mosques and Islamic schools to be closed down and the Koran banned in a one-page election manifesto.

The Freedom Party leader, who is topping the polls ahead of next year's elections, also wants a ban on all asylum seekers and migrants from Islamic nations, as well as a Dutch exit from the European Union.

The divisive politician has been leading the polls in Holland for several months, although he may find it difficult to form a coalition due to his extremist views. 

Wilders' manifesto was the first published by a major political party ahead of elections for the lower house of Dutch parliament which are due by March 15 next year.

The party also called for a ban on headscarves for those who work in public and a ban on all other Islamic symbols deemed to be contrary to the interests of public order.

As a preventive measure, radical Muslims would be locked away in jail while criminals with a double nationality would lose their Dutch passport and face deportation.

The party summed up their programme saying 'instead of financing the whole world and people we do not want to see here, we will spend money on ordinary Dutchmen'.

Wilders said the manifesto was a response to '1,400 years of Jihad'. 

In polls, the PVV is on course to take 35 seats in the 150-seat Dutch Parliament, about ten seats more than the ruling Liberal party of PM Mark Rutte.

SOURCE






Extreme Position of Pro-Choice Politicians Contradicts American Consensus

Lurking behind the annual split among Americans over the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” is a new reality. The fact is that today, whatever label they choose, Americans overwhelmingly support abortion restrictions.

Pro-choice politicians who typically support unrestricted, or almost unrestricted, abortion share the extreme view of a tiny minority of the American people.

Consider this. A majority of Americans who identify as pro-choice (62 percent) say that abortion should be restricted to—at most—the first trimester of pregnancy. Less than a quarter of them (22 percent) want unrestricted abortion.

Among Americans as a whole, the number who want such abortion restrictions is about eight in 10 (78 percent). Only about one in 10 of this group (13 percent) would leave it unrestricted.

Almost twice as many American voters would limit abortion to—at most—saving the life of the mother (24 percent) as would allow it any time.

It’s not a partisan issue either. Strong majorities regardless of political identity would restrict abortion to the first trimester, at most. This includes about two-thirds of Democrats (65 percent), as well as eight in 10 independents (80 percent), and nine in 10 Republicans (93 percent). There are few issues in our country on which you find such a strong consensus from across the political spectrum.

The polling we commissioned on this issue was done by the gold standard in public opinion research: Marist. That’s the same pollster used by NBC News, McClatchy, and The Wall Street Journal.

The numbers have been consistent on this for nearly a decade. Americans overwhelmingly support substantial restrictions on abortion. “Pro-life” politicians typically support bills consistent with this national consensus.

Nevertheless, self-identified “pro-choice” politicians generally hew to a policy orthodoxy that allows for no restrictions at all on abortion—even though it’s a view hardly ever shared by their constituents.

The typical “pro-choice” politician today represents the most radical view of abortion in the country—a view they share with only about one in 10 Americans (13 percent).

Some of these politicians celebrate abortion as a right that should not be restricted in any way. That’s the same line taken by the abortion industry, whose livelihood depends on performing this destructive procedure.

Other politicians hide behind the idea that they are “personally opposed” to abortion, but cannot impose their will on the majority. What majority are they talking about? Nearly everyone in the country wants solid restrictions on abortion, making such a position either ignorant or dishonest.

If a politician is really “personally opposed,” he should have the decency to follow his conscience and not block the vast consensus on this issue.

Better yet, he could take John F. Kennedy’s advice, who said when running for president in 1960 that he would resign if his conscience came into conflict with what he saw as the public interest. Kennedy said he hoped “any conscientious public servant would do the same.” That’s still good advice, and a worthy wish, five decades later.

Instead, the opposite is occurring.

Despite the American consensus on this issue, more and more extreme positions are being proposed by pro-abortion politicians.

Some are pledging to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions—contrary to Americans’ view that tax dollars should not be used this way.

Nearly two in three Americans would prohibit the use of tax dollars for abortion (62 percent). This includes more than four in 10 Democrats (44 percent), more than six in 10 independents (61 percent), and more than eight in 10 Republicans (84 percent).

Those who identify as pro-choice are split too, with 45 percent saying tax dollars should not be used for abortion.

Abortion is now the number one cause of death in America. With more than 50 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, no other issue comes close in scale. And yet, each year, another million abortions are allowed to occur by politicians who turn a deaf ear to the will of the people and oppose restrictions.

It’s time for the abortion extremism among these politicians to end. It’s time for “pro-choice” politicians to begin supporting policy proposals that restrict abortion consistent with our national consensus.

SOURCE






Popular Australian hardware chain is now pandering to Muslims

Beef OK, vegetarian OK but no bacon in their sizzles!  And DEFINITELY no pork sausages!   They say defensively they are just trying to keep it simple.  If so, how is vegetarian allowed? And what is complicated about pork sausages?  Good that Woolworths still includes bacon & eggs in their sizzles.  I had some recently

For many Australians, a Bunnings sausage sizzle is an institution, a reminder of being dragged to the hardware store on a Saturday morning by your partner or parents.

Others see the tradition as a way to raise funds for local sports clubs or community groups.

However shoppers have been left confused after it was revealed the sausage sizzles, which are a fixture at the hardware giant, also come with a strict set of guidelines.

The most baffling rule to one social media user was that bacon is not allowed to be sold at the BBQ's.

'I went to Bunnings yesterday and as you do I stopped at the Rotary sausage sizzle on the way out,' Dave wrote on Facebook.

'There was three or four blokes about my age working on the BBQ and I couldn't help myself, I just had to find out if it was true or an urban myth. 'So I asked; Is it true that they can't cook bacon on those stalls?

'I'm sad to say it is true, if you want a bacon sanga don't go to the Bunnings sausage sizzle, anywhere in Australia!,' his post finished.

Bunnings said they keep the barbecues 'simple' to allow all community groups equal opportunity.

'Our reasons behind keeping the offer simple and offering meat sausages is to ensure that all community groups are able to host a fundraiser sausage sizzle with the greatest amount of ease, along with providing a consistent offer for customers across all our stores,' Michael Schneider, Bunnings Managing Director told Daily Mail Australia in a statement.

'On a case by case basis, we also allow community groups to have a vegetarian fundraising sausage sizzle if that is their preference, which is supported by appropriate customer signage,' he added.

SOURCE






'Born This Way'? New Study Debunks LGBT Claims

Among leftists, it is at convenient times an accepted fact (“settled science,” you might say) that homosexuals and transgendered people are “born that way” — that their sexual attractions or gender identities are not the product of choice, but a matter of genetics. (When that’s not convenient, of course, it’s a perfectly acceptable “life choice.”) A new report, instantly controversial, torpedoes that understanding of homosexuality and gender dysphoria, the medical term for transgenderism.

The report, entitled “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by two of the most well respected experts on mental health and human sexuality. Dr. Paul McHugh, described as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and served for 25 years as psychiatrist in chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital. And Dr. Lawrence Mayer, Psychiatry Department scholar-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University, is a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

While, not surprisingly, many on the Left and in the LGBT “community” immediately raged against the report as anti-LGBT, it should be noted that Johns Hopkins was the first medical facility in the U.S. to perform sex-reassignment surgery, and did so for decades until a growing body of peer-reviewed studies, including an analysis of how Hopkins' own transgendered patients fared over time, led the hospital to end those types of surgeries. Furthermore, McHugh is no far right-wing ideologue or Bible-thumper; he’s a self-described “politically liberal” Democrat.

Yet it was his long-term experience with patients who suffer from gender dysphoria that led him to his conclusions, summarized in a report that analyzed more than 200 peer reviewed studies. McHugh and Mayer are also very up front about what the science does and does not show. They freely admit the gaps in the available research, which they argue underscores the need for more research before establishing medical standards, public policy guidelines, and laws, based on “settled science” that is not at all settled.

So what did the study find? A few excerpts:

“The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property — that people are ‘born that way’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.

Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.

Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.”

One of the most shocking findings in the report is that not only do people who suffer from gender dysphoria experience far higher rates of social pathologies (depression, substance abuse, suicide) than the general population, but sex-reassignment surgery does not offer the relief those on the Left claim.

One study finds that “compared to [the general population], sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.” The study finds a staggering 41% of transgendered individuals will attempt suicide in their lifetime.

The duo investigated the underlying causes of these tragic statistics, and found that while “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations … [this theory] does not seem to offer a complete explanation for the disparities in the outcomes.” Even in social environments where transgendered people are accepted, they still suffer from above-normal rates of these social pathologies. McHugh and Mayer encourage additional research be done to study the correlation between childhood sexual abuse and sexual orientation (studies have shown non-heterosexuals to be two to three times more likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse as compared to heterosexuals).

Far from offering condemnation or judgment, they stress the need for greater understanding of the science behind gender dysphoria, and a more thoughtful, science-based approached to treating it. “More research is needed to uncover the causes of the increased rates of mental health problems in the LGBT subpopulations,” McHugh and Mayer say, calling on society to work to “alleviate suffering and promote human health and flourishing.”

All the more reason to base medical treatment and public policy on sound science, which is not currently the case. The authors declare they are “disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children. … We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” The pair notes, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

The Obama administration has used (and abused) its vast power to dismiss the concerns of parents, policymakers and medical professionals in implementing policy in the furtherance of its ideological goal — forced social acceptance of gender dysphoria as normal, all under the guise of medical science.

Part of that effort was Obama’s announcement earlier this year that schools receiving federal funding were prohibited from requiring students to use the restroom and shower facilities of their birth sex, while threatening a loss of funding for any school that didn’t comply with his imperial decree. Essentially, this meant boys who think they are girls would get to shower with female classmates.

Luckily, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has injected some sanity into the debate, issuing an injunction against implementation of this policy, stating that Obama exceeded his authority in his attempt to reinterpret Title IX. As O'Connor said, “It cannot be disputed that the meaning of the term ‘sex’ [in Title IX] meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined by their birth.”

Gender dysphoria is a real and debilitating problem for a tiny minority of the population, and we should treat those who suffer from it compassionately. At the same time, we do not show true compassion by pretending it is not an illness, or by encouraging those who suffer from it to embrace and celebrate it.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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