Monday, November 20, 2017






Safe spaces for Leftists only

BRENDAN O’NEILL
    
We are starting to see just how ideological the so-called ‘Safe Space’ is. This is an era in which it’s considered progressive to provide Safe Spaces for 20-year-old students who don’t want to hear certain ideas, but it’s ‘transphobic’, if not demonic, to expect a Safe Space for 13-year-old girls who want to try on clothes in Topshop without some bloke with stubble and chest hair breezing in.

Feminists demand Safe Spaces against controversial speakers, but will laugh at the fact that ‘there’s no hiding place’ for men accused – only accused – of sexual harassment.

Students with the ‘right’ views get a Safe Space, but students who like Israel or Brexit or reading tabloid newspapers can expect their spaces to be invaded and policed.

It’s clear now: the Safe Space is ideological prejudice in action, granting ‘safety’ to those who subscribe to the new illiberal-liberal orthodoxies, and denying it to those who do not. If you dissent from PC, there’s no safety for you. And there might even be violence.

Via email

Brendan might have added that there are no safe spaces for men either. Clubs and bars that excluded women to provide safe spaces for men -- as with the Harvard "Final clubs" have been relentlessly attacked, until there are now very few of them left. 

For over a hundred years all Australian towns had a men's space -- the public bar of a local hotel.  Women were not allowed there.  There was a separate "Ladies' lounge" where women drank.  Feminists have completely destroyed that.  Women are now allowed in all bars, sometimes by force of law.

Many universities do however have permanent "safe spaces" for women -- from which men are rigorously excluded. My son reports that when he was recently on the campus of the University of Queensland -- of which he and I are both graduates -- he was approached by some young women who were handing out small gifts to anyone who signed a petition demanding a women's space on that campus.

He agreed to sign their petition, saying, "I think any group should have the right to exclude people they don't like".  This utterance was greeted with horror, his signature was rejected and he did not get his gift.  He was describing plainly what they wanted but they could not admit that

And Christians attract a lot of hostility on campus but where are the safe spaces for them?  Despite their constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, Christian clubs that try to set up at American High Schools and universities are often denied permission to do so (e.g. here and here).  As Brendan says, safe spaces are only for certain groups -- ones favoured by the Left






What Happened to Colonel Who Didn’t Want to Praise an Airman’s Same-Sex Marriage

The controversy started when someone approached Bohannon about signing a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for an airman in a same-sex marriage. A devoted Christian, Bohannon couldn’t, in good conscience, celebrate a relationship that violated biblical truth. After talking with the command chaplain and a staff judge advocate, he asked for a religious accommodation.

Six weeks passed. The Air Force responded to his request by doing nothing. The accommodation letter was returned without an answer, leaving Bohannon completely defenseless in what had become a major flare-up with his superiors.

After the airman complained to the Equal Opportunity Office, investigators took on the case, ultimately accusing Bohannon of “unlawful discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation.” To most people’s surprise, officials didn’t care if Bohannon had gotten an exception. Even if the “accommodation been granted,” they wrote, “Colonel Bohannon would nonetheless be guilty of unlawful discrimination.”

The colonel was stunned. Not as stunned as he would be in the coming weeks, when he was suspended, given a poor performance appraisal, and virtually guaranteed that he would never be promoted again. For Bohannon, who is a decorated combat officer, the news was devastating.

“His career is likely over,” First Liberty Institute’s Michael Berry told Fox News’ Todd Starnes, “and he will likely have to retire as a colonel instead of a general.”

Berry, who’s representing Bohannon in the case, could only shake his head. “This sends a clear message—if you do not have the politically correct viewpoint, you are not welcome in the military. The military is no longer a place of diversity and inclusion if you are a person who holds to a traditional belief on marriage.”

Unfortunately for people like Bohannon, religious hostility in the military didn’t disappear when President Barack Obama did. There are still plenty of bureaucrats and political appointees determined to carry on the intolerant legacy of the last eight years. That will be harder to do now, under a commander in chief like Trump. But, even with a new president, it takes time to identify and uproot the problem areas in a department of almost 3 million people.

The executive order is certainly a huge step, especially since the Department of Justice’s guidance included the Department of Defense. But so far, the Defense Department hasn’t issued a specific follow-up guidance like we saw with the Department of Agriculture last week.

The Family Research Council is encouraging the Air Force—and the rest of the military—to do exactly that so that people like Bohannon aren’t forced to check their faith at the base’s gates. After all, as the Family Research Council’s Travis Weber points out:

"[The DOJ’s religious freedom] memorandum relies on current law—the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 1300.17—which all protect religious freedom in the military, and thus protect Col Bohannon. Indeed, DODI 1300.17 requires an accommodation to be granted unless a military interest overrides it. All of these authorities clearly require the government to protect Col Bohannon’s religious freedom by not forcing him to personally sign the certificate."

What better way to celebrate Veterans Day than correcting this wrong to service members’ rights? With our friends at First Liberty Institute, we call on the military to make it clear through their own guidance that service members are free to exercise the same liberties they’re fighting for. Join 17,000 others who’ve signed our petition to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson on behalf of Bohannon—and every Christian brave enough to wear the uniform.

SOURCE




Louis CK and the rise of Sexual Stalinism

Like a disgraced commissar, his work is scrubbed from the record

Tom Slater

Life is messy. Everyone’s a bit of a perv. Can we separate someone’s work from their potentially sordid private life? These seemed to be the issues at the heart of I Love You, Daddy, a new film written and directed by comic king Louis CK. I say ‘seemed’ because its release has been suspended, perhaps indefinitely. And the likes of you or I won’t be able to see it, at least legally, any time soon. All we have to go on now are a handful of reviews, many scathingly written in light of revelations of CK’s ‘sexual misconduct’ towards five women – many of them other writers and comics.

In the past week, the post-Weinstein Sexual Salem has turned into a kind of Sexual Stalinism. Not only have men been outed, sacked and shamed, allegations printed as fact and due process suspended; they’re now being airbrushed out of records, like disgraced Soviet commissars scratched out of party photos. As I write, Ridley Scott is furiously reshooting Kevin Spacey’s scenes in his new thriller, All the Money in the World, with Christopher Plummer in his stead. Following a rape allegation made against actor Ed Westwick, the BBC has shelved a three-part Christmas drama he starred in.

But the memory-holing of CK has been particularly swift. As the New York Times prepared to publish an exposé alleging he had asked and then proceeded to masturbate in front of five different women, the NYC premiere of I Love You, Daddy was cancelled. FX, home of his hit show Louie, cut all ties with him. Netflix has cancelled his forthcoming comedy special. And HBO has announced it will erase all of his past specials from its archive. Various films, sitcoms and shows that the prolific CK has been involved in have been shelved or his role has been snipped out.

For what it’s worth, CK has owned up. ‘I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first’, he said in a statement. ‘But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.’ Most of the incidents were clearly consensual, though later regretted – others were more blurry. One can’t ignore the difficulty these women would have faced in turning down such a major player in their industry. But that this is being referred to as ‘misconduct’ makes it clear CK is more perv than predator.

That we are even moved to speculate over what amounts to a comedian’s awkward sexual behaviour speaks to how sordid and febrile the #MeToo debate is. As has the fact that CK has effectively been excommunicated from the entertainment industry. He’s not been accused, let alone tried, of any crime. And even if he was – as in the case of Spacey and Westwick – should our next move be to expunge his every trace? A rational, grown-up society should be able to handle an alleged abuser or philanderer’s presence on screen, to say ‘we take this allegation seriously, but the movie’s still going out on Friday’.

The history of art is full of morally ambiguous people, far more questionable than CK. Which is where I Love You, Daddy is grimly relevant. The film, going on those reviews, is both an ode to CK’s hero Woody Allen and a meditation on the moral questions that swirl around his private life, and the infamous marrying of his stepdaughter. CK plays a comedy writer whose 17-year-old daughter takes up with John Malkovich’s Allen stand-in. The film wrestles – or so I read – with whether we can separate the artist from the work; with questions about where adulthood begins and the limits of sexual tolerance.

It sounds like precisely the kind of nuanced story that is increasingly impossible to tell. And it is testament to the pearl-clutching nature of the post-Weinstein climate that CK’s work is now being re-read as suspect, littered with nods and winks to his dubious ways. The responses to the revelations make constant reference to the masturbation jokes in his stand-up. Reviews of I Love You, Daddy make dark note of a scene in which CK’s screwball sidekick, played by Charlie Day, mimes masturbation to completion. This is the kind of philistinism that was once the preserve of the religious right.

Of course, an artist’s private life or views on women, for example, may well bear some imprint on their work. And everyone comes to an artwork with their own experiences and predispositions, about both the subject and the author. Some will be unable to watch a film by Woody Allen or Roman Polanski and disregard their pasts. Others will. But while this is a question of criticism and judgement, the discussion now is more about whether they should even be allowed to work. The current climate demands not simply sympathy or understanding for victims, but a kind of vengeance against the alleged perpetrators.

Just as we balk at rappers with violent pasts being shut down by the authorities, as routinely happens in London, we should be nervous about the gleeful expulsion of people like CK due to their personal transgressions. It takes nothing away from those making allegations to say that someone’s private life shouldn’t lead to them being cast out forever from their chosen profession. No one needs to forgive these people. Nor is the ‘artistic temperament’ an excuse for bad behaviour. But it’s a sign of a civilised society that artists with dubious private lives or even heinous, criminal convictions are allowed the space to create.

Whatever his private predilections, CK is a giant of comedy – the best and most accomplished of his generation. That shouldn’t be scrubbed away. A handful of his specials are still on Netflix, for now. Watch them while you can. And make up your own mind.

SOURCE






Stop jumping on the trans-wagon

Transgender ideology should be subjected to more rigorous debate

Naomi Firsht

Who knew the dressing-up box was such a source of controversy? Let boys wear tutus and tiaras, cried the Church of England this week, as if across the country boys with a penchant for tulle and sparkles were being forced into tool-belts and firemen uniforms. Personally, I’m looking forward to the boys’ tutu march, which must surely be imminent.

Once again, the trans agenda is dominating the news. Trans performance artist Travis Alabanza accused Topshop of transphobia when assistants at a Manchester branch refused to let him change in the women’s changing rooms. It later emerged that Topshop had recently enacted a gender-neutral changing-room policy, meaning anyone can use any changing room. So Alabanza had a point when he complained about their refusal to let him change with the teenage girls.

Meanwhile, ‘queer role models’ from the Bristol organisation Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) will be teaching nursery-age children about genderfluidity during storytime in libraries, schools and hospitals. Issues such as misogyny and homophobia will also be included. Good luck to parents trying to explain misogyny to children who don’t yet know the days of the week. No doubt those who would prefer it if their children could hear Winnie the Pooh without a side of politics will simply go elsewhere for storytime.

But there is a serious issue at stake here. The transgender agenda is creeping into public life without any kind of debate or discussion as to whether it should. New schools guidance in Scotland says teachers should not ‘overly question’ children’s gender confusion, and advises them not to inform the parents of said confusion if the child doesn’t want them to. Even worse, it advocates reporting parents to the local authorities if they struggle with their child’s genderfluidity.

In Oxfordshire, a schoolteacher has been suspended and could lose his job because he allegedly ‘misgendered’ a pupil. Joshua Sutcliffe said ‘Well done, girls’ to a group that included a girl who self-identifies as a boy. He told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I was absolutely shocked to be told by the head that I was under investigation… I didn’t know what was happening. It was surreal, Kafkaesque.’ Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Sutcliffe, said: ‘This is one of a large number of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line with the current transgender fad.’

When critics raise concerns about transgender politics, the backlash is fierce. They are instantly accused of ‘transphobia’. Times columnist Janice Turner was labelled a ‘bigot’ for daring to raise questions about how trans politics is affecting children. An academic at Bath Spa University had a proposed study into transitioned people who want to ‘detransition’ blocked, so as ‘not to offend people’. And on Wednesday this week, it was reported that the entire executive committee of a local Labour Party resigned in protest at an alleged smear campaign against their women’s officer. Anne Ruzylo was allegedly subjected to a campaign of harassment and branded a ‘TERF’ (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) after she raised concerns about government plans to change the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier legally to change genders.

Shutting down debate over transgenderism is becoming the standard response. Increasingly, it looks like trans activists are not searching for equality – they are looking to enforce an ideology. The Stonewall Trans Advisory Group’s five-year plan includes recommendations that faith groups change their liturgical language to incorporate non-gendered terms. The fact that a teacher has now been suspended for using the ‘wrong’ language shows the reach of this authoritarian linguistic policing.

Those who were offended by Janice Turner’s column say they are speaking out to stop the bullying of transgender children. My heart goes out to troubled children dealing with gender dysphoria, and to their parents, who must find things difficult. But this isn’t about ‘bullying’. Most parents and teachers want to discourage bullying and will encourage children to be kind to people of all stripes. There is a difference between promoting sensitivity between peers in schools and changing school policies to fit a particular political agenda. Some schools have already changed school-uniform policies and toilet facilities, and are policing teachers’ language in the name of transgender inclusivity.

In the workplace and public sphere, similar demands are being made over gendered facilities and language. Yet there is no mass swell of demand for these changes. Trans people are not marching in the streets demanding that society bend to their needs. So why has almost every institution, including even the CofE, jumped on the trans-wagon?

There is a kind of madness at play here. A tiny, vocal minority has managed to dominate the news and even public policy with its agenda. Politicians have joined this PC crusade in the hope of appearing ‘progressive’ – without, it seems, giving any thought to the consequences of making sex and gender so relativistic. Whatever you think of trans politics, the shifts we’re seeing raise big questions about our society and we need to be able to discuss and debate them. Moreover, we should be very wary of any political group which demands total adherence to its viewpoint and shuts down any attempts to challenge its discourse.

SOURCE

*************************

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

***************************



Sunday, November 19, 2017



The women academics who insist PMT is all in your mind

Feminism is a low-grade form of insanity.  The criterion for insanity is loss of reality contact.  We see just that below. Any man who has seen much of women doesn't need "studies" to be aware of PMT.  It is just so regular.  I remember once having breakfast with a very crabby wife.  But when I came home that night she was full of the milk of human kindness.  I said to her: "You have had your period, haven't you?"  "Yes" she happily replied

With nine out of ten women claiming to be sufferers, no wonder it's long been accepted that premenstrual syndrome will afflict us at some point in our lives.

Indeed, from adolescence onwards we are told to expect a few days every month when we will feel irrationally weepy, snappy and unable to cope with what life has to throw at us.

But is that really the case?

Increasingly, there's an argument that PMT — or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as it is now known — is little more than a figment of our imagination. One respected health psychologist, Robyn Stein DeLuca, goes so far as to say that PMS is really just evidence of modern women struggling under the burden of trying to have — and do — it all. Put bluntly, it's an excuse for women to get a break.

'Growing up, when we become women, we are told in books, on the internet and in magazines that PMS is out there. We internalise this idea that our bodies must be faulty,' she says.

'The medical community is also to blame. We see this again and again that normal life stages, such as pregnancy and childbirth, are treated as sicknesses that have to have some kind of intervention.

'That perspective encourages women to think of their bodies as instruments that cause illness. But it's more likely that women feel overwhelmed.

'Women are expected to do a lot of things these days — we work, take care of families, we make sure everyone's health is OK, we make the Christmas dinner and a lot of women use PMS as a release valve or if they just can't give any more.

'You lose your good woman crown if you say: 'I just don't feel like doing this right now,' and relinquish your responsibilities. But if you say it's PMS, it's like a get-out-of-jail-free card. It's women's excuse for when they need a break.'

It's a view that will surely have many women howling in outrage.

But, as DeLuca explains in her new book, The Hormone Myth: How Junk Science, Gender Politics And Lies About PMS Keep Women Down, there is scientific evidence that our hormones don't affect us as much as we might imagine.

'Reproductive events like our monthly menstrual cycle, pregnancy or the menopause don't mentally destabilise us,' she says. 'Most women function at a very high level throughout their lives.

'While hormones do cause some physical and emotional symptoms — women can get cramps, bloating and feel depressed — they certainly don't affect us emotionally to the point that it's a big deal. That's where the myth is. That's where it's not true.'

So where did the PMS 'myth' come from? It seems that doctors in as far back as the mid 1800s were writing articles connecting 'hysteria' and women's emotional state with their periods. The phrase 'premenstrual tension' was first coined in 1931, and the term premenstrual syndrome some 20 years later.

Subsequently, there were many psychological studies claiming to uncover how badly women were affected by hormonal changes.

However, DeLuca claims all the psychological studies done on PMS from the Fifties to Eighties had very poor methodology — for example, they failed to use control groups so they could compare one group with another — and defined PMS far too loosely, citing nearly 150 symptoms linked to hormonal changes.

'They were symptoms anyone could have — headaches, feeling tired or cranky — but everyone feels those things some of the time,' says DeLuca.

She believes the real number of women affected by PMS and other hormonal changes is substantially lower — between 3 and 8 per cent, according to the latest studies, she says, rather than the commonly held figure of 90 per cent.

Clinically, women all the time say: 'I'm feeling depressed — I don't know whether it's my hormones.' But the reality is they are overloaded with work, have ailing parents and kids to look after and a myriad reasons why they might be depressed, and yet they immediately think it's hormonal.

'A minority of women do have hormone fluctuations that cause them to suffer serious trouble so they can't function or work effectively. This is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The criteria for PMDD is much more strictly defined — there are only 11 symptoms to choose from, such as insomnia, difficulty in concentrating or a marked change in appetite.

'Women have to have at least five to be defined as suffering from PMDD. And they should be treated. But for the rest of us, it's an alteration in mood that has little to do with hormones.'

Why, then, are women so wedded to the idea that we're slaves to our hormones? DeLuca believes the idea of PMS being a debilitating disorder is drummed into us when we are teenagers — and we quickly latch on to it, using it as an excuse for a wide range of symptoms.

DeLuca doesn't just blame women for the PMS myth, however. She also says the syndrome is perpetuated by men to invalidate women's anger — to stop them from succeeding.

'If a woman is angry or complaining, men can just attribute it to her time of the month,' she says.

'Throughout time, men have used PMS, or the idea that women are hormonal lunatics and have mercurial moods, to keep them out of power. It keeps people from thinking women should be leaders. After all, how can we let women make big decisions or be dependable when their crazy hormones can strike at any time?'

In short, says DeLuca, blaming a woman's hormones is the easy — or even lazy — answer to any ill. In pregnancy, we're told they give us baby brain and we can't function cognitively. In menopause, they affect our memory and give us mood swings. When we give birth, they give us postpartum depression.

'Memory tests done, however, show very small differences between pregnant and non-pregnant women when it comes to memory,' says DeLuca.

'We attribute our behaviour to what we have learned. And as for hormones causing postpartum depression, that's the biggest myth of all. The largest predictor of whether a woman is going to have it is if a woman was depressed before she has the baby. Overwhelming research says it has nothing to do with hormones.'

DeLuca is certainly not alone in her views. Sarah Romans, professor of psychological medicine, is another female academic who wholeheartedly agrees with DeLuca's theory that PMS is little more than a dangerous fiction.

Professor Romans conducted a review in 2012 to examine the prevailing research on PMS and concluded that out of 47 studies, nearly 40 per cent of them found no association of mood with a woman's menstrual cycle.

'We weren't looking at women who claimed to have PMDD, which is a very severe disorder, but instead the general population. We discovered women who kept a diary day-by-day were experiencing mood changes all over the month, not just connected to their cycle,' she says.

'To claim women turn into premenstrual wrecks suggests a woman is nothing more than her biology and the political ramifications of this are enormous.

'Indeed, would you say that about a man? After all, men have a reproductive aspect to their function, but we don't say that because they may be more testosterone-driven at certain times of the month, they may not have good judgment and we should keep them out of decision-making roles in the same way people say that about women.'

Like DeLuca, Professor Romans believes women are raised to use PMS as a cause for life's woes — something she sees more and more with the rise of the 'Sandwich Generation', women who juggle work, raising children and elderly parents.

'Clinically, women all the time say: 'I'm feeling depressed — I don't know whether it's my hormones.' But the reality is they are overloaded with work, have ailing parents and kids to look after and a myriad reasons why they might be depressed, and yet they immediately think it's hormonal.

'And their husbands think it, too. It's extraordinary.' So what's the answer? DeLuca is emphatic — no matter how weepy you might feel as your period approaches, she believes women need to stop perpetuating the myth of PMS and address the real issues that are troubling us.

'Instead of using PMS as a way to get a break, women need to turn round and tell their partners and families to do the food shopping or to pick up their socks or just to do more and help,' she says. 'Women need to be more generous with themselves. If they are angry or upset, they shouldn't just blame it on PMS, but they have reasons to be moody and angry and they should express their anger and own it.

Yet others remain unequivocal about its existence.

Professor John Studd, a consultant gynaecologist who runs the London PMS and Menopause Clinic and treats about eight to ten women a day with PMS, insists: 'PMS is a very real and distressing disorder, and it's so obvious because it happens at the same time every month. Yes, the range of PMS symptoms may be large and extend from depression, anxiety and anger to exhaustion and loss of libido, but the research is not vague or unscientific and has been thoroughly proven.

'It is clearly connected to a woman's menstrual cycle with the symptoms usually starting seven to 14 days before a period starts, and ceasing when it comes.'

The cause, Professor Studd says, is usually sensitivity to the hormone progesterone. 'Some women, we're not sure why, are more intolerant to their own progesterone than others,' he says.

After ovulation, progesterone is passed into the bloodstream from the ovaries, which is where problems can begin. While the Pill is often the first line of treatment as it steadies hormone levels, treatment at Professor Studd's clinic usually involves suppression of ovulation and progesterone via gels containing oestrogen, applied to the skin.

As for the new theory that PMS doesn't exist, Professor Studd is insistent: 'If I have a patient with PMS and she has this treatment, she'll be better in two months, so to say it doesn't exist is just not true.'

SOURCE






Quid est Veritas?
   
“Quid est veritas?” Pontius Pilate asked Jesus of Nazareth. What is truth? It is in short supply in the 21st century. Western civilization is not really in decline, as many fret. It is reverting to its Greco-Roman pre-Christian norms.

It may be right that Pilate said “Quid est veritas?” but in John 18:38, Pilate is recorded as saying "Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια", in Greek. Latin was Pilate's native language but educated Romans spoke Greek

In the Roman Empire, the vast majority of the wealth was held by the top two percent. Gnosticism was on the rise with a logically incoherent worldview that echoed Christianity and promoted androgyny. “Science said” became all the rage even then. People gave lip service to the gods, but it was mostly for show. We are going full circle.

Nowadays every cultural-sociological movement has a medical doctor and a scientist with a PhD to form the basis of their claims. There are doctors who promote the idea that vaccines cause autism. There are scientists claiming having children is “scientifically proven” to harm the environment so smaller families are a moral obligation. Some doctors will tell you life does not begin until a child exits a womb. Others will tell you that it is scientifically possible for a boy to become a girl. We are even told that though we might pick whether we are a boy or girl, we are born heterosexual or homosexual.

Language then tracks the political consensus of the scientific community. And it is a political consensus. Secular liberals have worked very hard to co-opt cultural institutions so that, regardless of truth, science reflects opinion instead of the other way around. The two-parent heterosexual nuclear household may be, for thousands of years, the most stable way in which to raise kids, but get a bunch of liberal sociologists masquerading as scientists together in a room and soon they’ll tell you science says the two-parent heterosexual nuclear household is bigotry, white supremacy and part of the patriarchy.

The Associated Press has gotten in on this game. The opposite sex’s pronouns or new ones can now be used to describe people. A single person can talk about himself in the plural sense to reject the conformity of language. One boy can be they and a girl can be he or even ze instead of she. Likewise, Caitlyn Jenner always was and Bruce never was because in the mind-numbing logic of “gender conformity,” Caitlyn was always there just waiting to be revealed.

Truth no longer matters because truth can be whatever one wants. This is a disease of society that started in our culture and floated downstream into our politics. In the ‘90s, conservatives screamed that character mattered as they tried to impeach Bill Clinton for a lie under oath. The lying under oath, for which Clinton lost his law license, is overshadowed by his affair with a White House intern. In the '90s, feminists praised Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky was declared an empowered female. Conservatives who said Lewinsky was a victim were shouted down by prominent feminists who said they would have gladly performed the same sex act on the president in appreciation for what he did for feminists.

Now, decades later, many of the people who promoted the Clintons are throwing them under the bus. Bill is an abuser and Hillary his apologist. It is a sign the Clinton power is at an end. One could hardly imagine this change of heart from the Left if Hillary had been elected. But the Right is not spared the cultural rot. They served as apologists for a man caught on video bragging that famous men could grab women inappropriately among other terrible things he said and did. They excuse their own behavior by pointing to liberals defending Clinton. Only now is the Left throwing Clinton aside to provide legitimacy in their attacks against Roy Moore. Conservatives demand everyone believe Juanita Broderick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey, but they dismiss all of Roy Moore’s accusers.

Truth has, it would seem, given way to tribe. But truth has a way of reasserting itself. Pontius Pilate asked what was truth, and that truth died on a cross only to conquer death. It is that truth that will one day come calling against asking not what is truth, but what have we done?

SOURCE





Being Shoved Into Meaninglessness

David Limbaugh
   
I’m an advocate of higher education and all, but so much for assuming that the development of common sense and sound judgment are part of the package.

A Pew Research Center poll found that 77 percent of Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or more believe a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were “assigned at birth.” You’ll remember that Democrats are the party of science, and Republicans the Neanderthal science-deniers.

First we have to ask ourselves why in the world it would occur to anyone of any gender at any time or any place even to conduct such a survey. It would be like surveying people to find if they believe ears are for hearing or eyes for seeing.

It would be disturbing enough if only 77 percent of Democrats with this level of education thought gender is determined biologically. But 23 percent? That’s a whole new level of weird — unless you define “weird” as being outside the mainstream. What’s weird is how weird the mainstream has become — at least on the political Left. This doesn’t speak well for higher education in this country, does it? Then again, you wouldn’t be surprised if you had seen the core curricula of America’s “great” universities — and many of the required reading assignments in the classes.

I watched an interesting video of a young conservative from a liberal family explaining why he could dialogue with liberals and still love them because we all share common goals. It is leftists, he said, who don’t even share our goals anymore, and it is very difficult to find any common ground with them.

I thought to myself when watching the video, “Yes, we do share some of the same goals: less crime, less poverty, etc., but increasingly the mainstream Democratic Party is embracing or strongly enabling certain extremist ideas. There is just no denying that the party has lurched leftward.”

Reading these poll results, sadly, tends to validate my concerns, which is not something I’m happy about. How can a significant percentage of people of any respected group, much less of the higher-educated subset of that group, be so wrongheaded? People urging bipartisanship should explain how we find common ground with such stunningly different worldviews.

I’m hoping this chasm is partially due to the phrasing of the survey questions or fear of political correctness policing — but still, it’s seriously problematic.

I don’t doubt, by the way, that some very small fraction of a percentage of people sense they are trapped in their bodies and feel more like the opposite biological gender. I recently talked to such a person and am sure he was sincere. He has always felt like he should have been born a female. Note that he fully acknowledges, however, that he wasn’t. He doesn’t dispute the biological reality.

So I have no inclination to judge such people. If they feel opposite their biological gender, they do. It’s above my pay-grade to fully understand this. But I think we’re dealing with something more than this. Cultural activism is at work here.

Just look at the language the Pew survey uses to address these ideas: A human being’s gender is “assigned at birth.” You surely don’t believe this language is accidental, do you?

To have an assignment there must be an assignor. If they mean God, or even nature, I’d have no quarrel, but it’s clear they are talking about human agents (doctors or other health care providers) as assignors. This suggests some arbitrariness in the determination, or at least something that is subject to question.

It is not subject to question. Absent some biological aberration we are born either male or female, and no amount of linguistic manipulation can alter that reality, even though it obviously alters some people’s perception of the reality.

Yes, there is certainly an agenda at work here; with the Left everything is political. There is an effort to normalize that which is not normal, which introduces uncertainty into things certain. We have not evolved, but are being pushed headlong into moral relativism and further into post-modernism and beyond, where there is no such thing as truth and reality is just a function of the individual’s preference.

This is moral chaos, intellectual chaos and biological chaos. It is nihilism. If truth is no longer defined as that which corresponds with reality, we have completely untethered ourselves from our foundations of meaning and significance. Parents with any remaining affinity for traditional values must surely be concerned about what we are bequeathing our children.

I’m not citing these ominous trends to score political points, and I acknowledge they are not solely the fault of just one political party, though they are disproportionately prevalent in that party. This is a societal and cultural problem that has polluted downstream political waters.

Indeed, these developments transcend politics. At the risk of subjecting myself to anti-Christian scoffing, I believe we are in the throes of spiritual warfare, which is one reason I’m not attempting to unduly demonize people falling prey to it. I used not to believe in the devil, but that was then, and this is now. I have no other rational explanation for morality and truth routinely being turned on their very heads — for right being considered wrong, and unreality masquerading as reality. Satan is the first and great deceiver, and many people, most of them unwittingly, are being deceived.

Pray for America. Pray for mankind.

SOURCE





No, Colin Kaepernick Is No Muhammad Ali


   
GQ magazine named former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its 2017 “Citizen of the Year.” In doing so, GQ overlooked NFL Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, who raised some $37 million for hurricane relief. Many of Kaepernick’s supporters liken his protest to that of boxer Muhammad Ali, who refused to be inducted into the military. The comparison is not well-taken.

For whatever reason, Kaepernick chose not to give the magazine an interview, passing up an opportunity to clearly explain the purpose of his protest. At first, Kaepernick insisted his protest was about the alleged epidemic of police brutality against blacks. Shortly after he started his protest, Kaepernick said: “There’s a lot of things that need to change. One specifically is police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. The cops are getting paid leave for killing people. That’s not right.”

Contrast this with Muhammad Ali’s protest. He argued that his religious beliefs made him a conscientious objector who ought not be forced to join the military. In doing so, Ali faced up to five years in prison and was stripped of his ability to fight in the U.S. for more than three years, his prime years as an athlete. While the heavyweight title-holder avoided prison during his appeals process — that ended up in the Supreme Court — he was forced to hand over his passport, which prevented him from fighting overseas, as well.

Banned from boxing and stripped of his world heavyweight title, Ali argued his case on the road, speaking at a number of colleges and universities, where he repeatedly stated that he would rather abide by his religious convictions rather than violate them in order to make money. Martin Luther King Jr. urged his followers to “admire [Ali’s] courage. He is giving up fame. He is giving up millions of dollars to do what his conscience tells him is right.”

By contrast, Kaepernick wants to have it both ways. The NFL allows players to stand or not, depending upon their own choice. So the league actually gives players permission to stand or not to stand for the national anthem. In Ali’s case, his refusal to join the military cost him the ability to earn a living in his chosen profession.

The Supreme Court eventually sided unanimously with Ali, ruling that the appeal board failed to properly specify the reason why Ali’s application for a conscientious-objector exemption had been denied. The ruling required Ali’s conviction to be overturned, and the court said the record shows that Ali’s “beliefs are founded on tenets of the Muslim religion as he understands them.” After his Supreme Court victory, Ali could have sued for lost wages, arguing that he was illegally forbidden from working as a fighter. Ali refused, arguing that he would rather look ahead than exact revenge.

Kaepernick, on the other hand, filed a grievance against the NFL, claiming the owners “colluded” against hiring this mediocre-quarterback-turned-locker-room distraction.

What about the merits of Kaepernick’s argument? Is there an epidemic of police brutality against blacks? The answer is no.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, police shootings against blacks have declined almost 75 percent since 1968. Of the 963 people shot and killed by police in 2016, 233 were black, and 466 were white. Most people could not name a white person killed by the police, because the media are far less interested in a white person killed by a cop than a black person killed by one. Last year, a grand total of 17 unarmed blacks were killed by the police, according to The Washington Post. Contrast this with the approximately 6,000 to 7,000 blacks killed annually, almost all — as many as 90 percent — by other blacks. Where is Kaepernick on the fact that the No. 1 cause of preventable death for young blacks is homicide, while the No. 1 cause of preventable death for young white men is “unintentional injuries,” or accidents?

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who supports Kaepernick, said: “It’s easier for white people because we haven’t lived that experience. It’s difficult for many white people to understand the day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with. …

"When somebody like Kaepernick brings attention to this, and others who have, it makes people have to face the issue because it’s too easy to let it go because it’s not their daily experience. If it’s not your daily experience, you don’t understand it.”

As to Popovich’s assertion about the “day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with,” what of the 1997 Time/CNN poll that found 89 percent of black teens found little or no racism in their day-to-day lives? And more black teens than white teens agreed that “failure to take advantage of available opportunities” was a bigger problem than racism. And this was 20 years ago, before the election and re-election of a black president.

Kaepernick’s protest was bogus from the start, and it only helped to create greater unnecessary tension between the black community and the police. “Citizen of the Year,” indeed.

SOURCE

*************************

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

***************************

Friday, November 17, 2017






GQ Honors the Wrong Kneeler



In a pitiful homage, the rag names malcontent Colin Kaepernick its "citizen of the year."

GQ magazine named Colin Kaepernick its “citizen of the year” for his launching the last year of NFL kneeling protests. The magazine noted that Kaepernick refused to be interviewed for the cover article, explaining, “As his public identity has begun to shift from football star to embattled activist, he has grown wise to the power of his silence.” Seeking to suggest that Kaepernick is sacrificing himself for the cause, GQ quotes rapper J. Cole, who states, “Had [Kaepernick not taken a knee], this guy would be making millions of dollars right now. Period, point blank. And more important than the money, he was living his dream. He sacrificed his dream.” World’s smallest violin, please.

In Linda Sarsour’s adoring GQ tribute, she wrote, “I always tell Colin: ‘You are an American hero. You may not feel like a hero right now, but one day, people will realize the sacrifices that you made for so many others.’ There might even be a day when we’ll be walking down Colin Kaepernick Boulevard and people will remember what Colin Kaepernick did, just like we remember Muhammad Ali.”

Ironic how little respect and honor Kaepernick and his sycophantic scribe have for genuine American heroes – those who literally sacrificed their very lives to ensure that pro football kneelers and other celebrities enjoy the freedom to make millions of dollars doing what they love to do while making a mockery out of our nation’s flag. If Kaepernick is truly concerned about sacrificing for the cause of others, he can contact the nearest military recruiter’s office and sign up to fight for much more than his sophomoric narcissistic ego – fighting as genuine heroes do for American Liberty.

In the meantime, Kaepernick may want to read up on famed abolitionist and escaped slave Frederick Douglass’ perspective on this nation Kaepernick so clearly despises. While Douglass was not shy about criticizing that “peculiar institution” of slavery, he encouraged black Americans to sign up with the Union to fight for freedom. He was also known to regularly play “The Star-Spangled Banner” on his violin, and in an 1871 speech at Arlington National Cemetery he said that “if the Star-Spangled Banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army.”

The problem for leftists like Kaepernick and GQ is that they no longer believe, and may have never believed, that the United States of America is a noble nation that has consistently espoused and defended the ideals of justice and Liberty. So on the heels of Veterans Day, GQ honored the wrong kneeler.

SOURCE






Supreme Court Will Review California Law Requiring Pro-Life Groups to Promote Abortion

California's Reproductive FACT Act requires crisis pregnancy clinics to post a bulletin informing patients that the state offers subsidized abortion access. (Photo: iStock Photos)
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a challenge to a California law requiring pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to post information about state-funded abortions.

A coalition of pro-life groups challenging the law say it explicitly targets and coerces religious counseling centers into pro-abortion expression with which they disagree.

The law, called the Reproductive FACT Act, requires crisis pregnancy clinics to post a bulletin informing patients that the state offers subsidized abortion access. The FACT Act requires that the advisory appear in large font in a “conspicuous place” within the clinic.

“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women,” the bulletin reads. “To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [phone number].”

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative public interest group representing a crisis pregnancy network challenging the law, says the FACT Act forces pro-life organizations to promote a state-sponsored advertisement for the abortion industry

“It’s unthinkable for the government to force anyone to provide free advertising for the abortion industry,” said Kevin Theriot, senior counsel at ADF. “This is especially true of pregnancy care centers, which exist to care for women who want to have their babies. The state shouldn’t have the power to punish anyone for being pro-life. Instead, it should protect freedom of speech and freedom from coerced speech.”

Providers that fail to comply with the law are fined $500 to $1,000 per violation, roughly the cost of an abortion in California. As such, the clinics say they are forced to chose between promoting abortion and subsidizing abortion through the state.

Similar laws adopted in New York and Maryland were struck down by the 2nd and 4th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, though the 9th Circuit upheld California’s law in 2016. The Supreme Court is more likely to hear a case when circuit courts “split” or reach different conclusions on the same question.

The 9th Circuit concluded that California has a compelling interest in protecting the health of its citizens by regulating the medical profession.

“California has a substantial interest in the health of its citizens, including ensuring that its citizens have access to and adequate information about constitutionally protected medical services like abortion,” Judge Dorothy W. Nelson wrote.

A separate provision of the FACT Act requires crisis pregnancy centers that do not have a state medical license or access to medical professionals to post a second disclaimer, advising patients as to where they might receive medically supervised care.

The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, is the second of the new term involving a conservative group’s challenge to a liberal state law. The other is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, involving the rights of religious objectors and state anti-discrimination laws.

SOURCE





How Elite Liberals Have Sold Out the Black Community

Walter E. Williams

When hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their prey. They would synchronize their steps on the side of the horse away from their prey until they were close enough for a good shot.

A stalking horse had a double benefit if the prey was an armed person. If the stalkers were discovered, it would be the horse that took the first shot.

That’s what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America—stalking horses. Let’s look at it.

I’ll just list a few pieces of the leftist agenda that would be unachievable without black political support.

Black people are the major victims of the grossly rotten education in our big-city schools. The average black 12th-grader can read, write, and compute no better than a white seventh- or eighth-grader.

Many black parents want better and safer schools for their children. According to a 2015 survey of black parents, 72 percent “favor public charter schools, and 70 percent favor a system that would create vouchers parents could use to cover tuition for those who want to enroll their children in a private or parochial school.”

Black politicians and civil rights organizations fight tooth and nail against charter schools and education vouchers.

Why? The National Education Association sees charters and vouchers as a threat to its education monopoly. It is able to use black politicians and civil rights organizations as stalking horses in its fight to protect its education monopoly.

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was the nation’s first federally mandated minimum wage law. Its explicit intent was to discriminate against black construction workers.

During the legislative debate on the Davis-Bacon Act, quite a few congressmen, along with union leaders, expressed their racist intentions. Rep. Miles Allgood, D-Ala., said:

Reference has been made to a contractor from Alabama who went to New York with bootleg labor. This is a fact. That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.

American Federation of Labor President William Green said, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

The Davis-Bacon Act is still law today. Supporters do not use the 1931 racist language to support it. Plus, nearly every black member of Congress supports the Davis-Bacon Act. But that does not change its racially discriminatory effects.

In recent decades, the Davis-Bacon Act has been challenged, and it has prevailed. That would not be the case without unions’ political and financial support to black members of Congress to secure their votes.

Crime is a major problem in many black neighborhoods. In 2016, there were close to 8,000 blacks murdered, mostly by other blacks. In that year, 233 blacks were killed by police.

Which deaths receive the most attention from politicians, civil rights groups, and white liberals, and bring out marches, demonstrations, and political pontification? It’s the blacks killed by police.

There’s little protest against the horrible and dangerous conditions under which many poor and law-abiding black people must live. Political hustlers blame their condition on poverty and racism—ignoring the fact that poverty and racism were much greater yesteryear, when there was not nearly the same amount of chaos.

Also ignored is the fact that the dangerous living conditions worsened under a black president’s administration.

There are several recommendations that I might make. The first and most important is that black Americans stop being useful tools for the leftist hate-America agenda.

As for black politicians and civil rights leaders, if they’re going to sell their people down the river, they should demand a higher price. For example, if black congressmen vote in support of the Davis-Bacon Act, they ought to demand that construction unions give 30 percent of the jobs to black workers.

Finally, many black problems are exacerbated by white liberal guilt. White liberals ought to stop feeling guilty so they can be more respectful in their relationships with black Americans.

SOURCE





Using Grand Jury Testimony, ‘Ferguson’ Stage Play Challenges Media Narratives

When it came time for Darren Wilson to testify about what happened after firing his gun from inside his vehicle, the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer told the grand jury that his assailant “had the most intense, aggressive face.”

Wilson, then 28, is the white police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black male on Aug. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, a northern suburb of St. Louis.

It’s all part of the stage play performance of “Ferguson,” which ran from Oct. 23 through Nov. 5 at the 30th Street Theater, located between 7th and 8th avenues in New York City, and makes use of a storytelling technique known as “verbatim theater.”

The Advantage of Verbatim Theater

All of the play’s dialogue is taken verbatim from the 25 days of  grand jury testimony. Phelim McAleer, the Irish-born filmmaker and investigative journalist who wrote the play, has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to help finance the play’s production, which expired on Nov. 9. If enough funds are raised, the play could be restaged.

“This is as much about journalism as it is about the activists involved with the Ferguson incident,” McAleer told The Daily Signal after the Saturday afternoon performance of the play. “This is about checking primary sources and looking into what these people actually saw and not what they said they saw. That’s something many journalists failed to do.”

The media narrative built around the widely reported “Hands up, don’t shoot” scenario that fueled protests from Black Lives Matter and other groups directed against the police was contradicted by key witnesses and by physical and forensic evidence, according to what the grand jury heard.


Ian Campbell Dunn, the actor who played Darren Wilson. (Photo: The Daily Signal)
The confrontation between Wilson and Brown “took place over an approximately two-minute period of time at about noon,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice report on the shooting. Brown had stolen several packages of cigarillos from a nearby convenience store a few minutes earlier and had strong-armed the store clerk when the clerk tried to stop him, the report explains.

Wilson’s radio transmissions and dispatch records make it clear that he was aware of the robbery and had a description of the suspects.

The police officer first encountered Wilson and his friend, Dorian Johnson, 22, when they were walking eastbound on Canfield Drive in the “middle of the street,” according to the Justice Department report.

After Wilson noticed that Brown had cigarillos in his hand and that Johnson was wearing a black shirt, consistent with the description he had of the suspects, the police officer reversed his vehicle and then angled the vehicle to cut Brown and Johnson off in the street. That’s what Wilson told prosecutors and investigators, that’s what he said in his testimony to the grand jury and that’s what it says in the Justice Department report.

Of all the witnesses, McAleer said he was particularly impressed by Ciara Jenkins, a young black woman, who was positioned behind Wilson and Brown in the moments leading up to the shooting.

“What she delivered was just incredibly powerful,” McAleer said. “She had been avoiding the subpoena and didn’t want to testify, but when she did, she said Michael Brown did not raise his hands to surrender and that he charged the officer. This is a very intense, emotional part of the play. But that’s what’s in the grand jury testimony, and the media did not tell the truth about what happened.”

Philadelphia College Students Bail Out at Last Minute

“Ferguson” is a 90-minute courtroom drama unfolding in one room on stage with 13 actors and with some of those actors playing multiple roles.

A staged reading of the play was first presented in 2015 in Los Angles, but nine of the cast members walked out in protest over the script. None of the New York City cast members walked out, but the Saturday afternoon performance did not escape controversy. A representative from the Community College of Philadelphia had contacted McAleer to see if accommodations could be made for about 50 students. McAleer obliged, but he was informed on Saturday morning that almost all of students had decided to back out at the last minute.

The Irish playwright explained what went down in an email that was sent to The Daily Signal and other interested parties.

“I was really excited, and so were the cast, so I organized a group discount and a Q&A afterwards with the cast and myself so we could all discuss the issues raised by the play,” McAleer said in his email. “I thought the students would really benefit to hear verbatim what went on in the grand jury room during the Michael Brown investigation. In the end, 53 tickets were booked—almost all the house.”

A handful of students from the college did show up individually.

In the email McAleer received from the college’s representative, he was informed that “almost all of the students decided not to come because of the controversy surrounding the play,” he explained in his own email commenting on the incident.

“Don’t forget Ferguson is verbatim theater. It creates the drama using only actual words from the grand jury transcripts,” McAleer continued. “That is what these snowflake students were afraid of—the actual words of eyewitnesses—and many of these witnesses were minorities.

“What kind of country is this where students are scared of the ‘controversy’ created by the verbatim recreating of minority voices?”

The Daily Signal contacted the college representative who had been in touch with McAleer to ask if he wanted to comment for this article, but the representative did not respond.

Standout Performances Capture Divergent Testimony

Brown was under the influence of marijuana at the time of his confrontation with the police officer, a forensic toxicologist told the grand jury.

“I can tell you the drug is present at a significant concentration that represents a large dose into Mr. Brown,” Dr. Brian Wilcox said in his testimony. “How he would have behaved and what he would have done, I cannot predict. I know the drug was having an effect and was impairing his nervous system.”

Ian Campbell Dunn, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, played the part of Officer Wilson. He poured a lot of emotion and intensity into his performance and even stepped off stage and into the audience during the climactic, final moments of the play.

“There’s a difference between simply retelling the story and reliving it,” Dunn told The Daily Signal. “As an actor, you are trying to bring out the humanity of each individual involved.”

The altercation reached a critical turning point when Brown reached into Wilson’s car, punched the officer several times, grabbed the officer’s gun, and attempted to get control of the weapon, according to Wilson’s testimony.

This happened after Wilson had tried opening his car door, only to have Brown slam it shut, the officer said in his testimony.

Johnson, the 22-year-old who accompanied Brown that night, said in his testimony that “the first, initial contact” Wilson and Brown had was when the officer’s “arm came out of the window” and “grabbed a hold of Big Mike’s shirt around the neck area.”


Actor Cedric Benjamin, who played Dorian Johnson. (Photo: The Daily Signal)
Cedric Benjamin, who is from Florida and moved to New York to pursue a career in acting, played the part of Johnson. He sympathizes with his subject.

“Throughout the entire process, Johnson is the only one who is really unbiased,” Benjamin told The Daily Signal. “He sees Mike [Brown] stealing in the store, and he testifies about what happened and what he saw, but what happened in the store and what happened with the shooting were two different incidents.”

Benjamin used highly pronounced facial expressions as part of his portrayal of Johnson to help capture his subject’s growing anxiety while he was being questioned by lawyers.

Johnson acknowledged in testimony that he had his own checkered history with the law and had been in jail before. When he recognized that “Big Mike” was not going to pay for the cigarillos, Johnson said in testimony that he tried to exit the store because he “didn’t want any part of it.”

Johnson also saw that “Big Mike kind of reverses the grab” when the store clerk tries to stop him.

“The grand jury was there to determine if there was enough evidence to go to trial,” Benjamin told The Daily Signal. “That was the purpose, but the entire time it just felt like the lawyers were prosecuting Michael Brown. The injustice of the justice system is the story that needs to be told.”

The testimony of Wilson and Johnson diverge sharply. Wilson tells the grand jury that it was Brown who reached into the police vehicle.

There was physical and forensic evidence presented to the grand jury that backs up Wilson’s version of events. McAleer told The Daily Signal he does not view Johnson as a credible witness.

“Johnson was caught several times telling stories that just didn’t hold up under scrutiny,” McAleer said. “When he said the officer reached out of his car to grab Michael Brown, he was describing a physical action that defied common sense and one that didn’t happen.”

Oliver D’Anna, 13, a precocious eighth-grader from Westport, Connecticut, with an acute interest in theater, wanted to know why Wilson didn’t just drive off when the situation escalated.

“Why didn’t he just push on the gas pedal and drive away?” D’Anna asked. “It seems like he could have done something to avoid the situation.”

Finally, after the shots were fired, Wilson is able to exit his vehicle and pursue Brown on foot while calling for backup.

Jenkins, the witness who made a strong impression on McAleer, was in a minivan with her family members when the final confrontation leading up to the shooting takes place. Jenkins tells the grand jury that Brown did not raise his hands to surrender and continued to charge the officer.

“I’m not, you know, really big on talking to the police or defending the police. I’m just being real honest with you,” Jenkins said to one of the lawyers during testimony. “I feel like the officer was in the right, and that is a lot of saying. Because other than that, I ain’t got nothing to do with them.”

In one of his final dramatic testimonies, Wilson describes how Brown kept charging toward him even after Wilson fired his weapon.

“Well, he keeps coming at me after that again, during the pause I tell him to ‘get on the ground, get on the ground,’ he still keeps coming at me, gets about 8 to 10 feet away,” the officer said. “At this point, I’m backing up pretty rapidly, I’m backpedaling pretty good because I know if he reaches me, he’ll kill me.”

Dunn, the actor who played the part of of Wilson, expressed skepticism toward the officer’s testimony.

“I personally did not believe him, and I don’t think the shooting was justified,” he said. “The burden should be on the police to defuse the situation. But as an actor, you don’t get to make a choice about whether or not you believe someone. You want to capture as much of what it must have been like in that situation, which was traumatic for everyone involved.”

Benjamin, the actor who played Johnson, sees value in the verbatim approach to theater, but thought more of the verbatim material could be been used to show that Brown was a genuine victim in the shooting.

The Daily Signal asked McAleer if that was an option.

“No such additional verbatim material exists,” he said. “Any more verbatim material I put in would have made Brown look more guilty and Wilson look more innocent.”

SOURCE

*************************

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

***************************


Thursday, November 16, 2017



Hate Crimes Data: Similar Numbers, Different Percentages

FBI hate crime data shows little change in the number of crimes, but significant changes in race of offenders.

With the mainstream media blaming Donald Trump for promoting hatred and all the talk of America being a society steeped in “white privilege” and racist nationalism, one might expect to see hate crime statistics support such claims. The FBI has released its “hate crimes” data for the year 2016. Now, as we have argued in the past, the designation of “hate crime” injects a rather subjective standard into motivating factors for crime and it’s often used to artificially increase the level of guilt beyond the actual criminal act. Moreover, leftist social justice warriors love to implicate the criminal’s entire social, religious or racial group, so long as it’s white or Christian. But for the sake of argument, let’s accept the FBI’s designation and look at some things.

According to the data, over the past decade the total number of reported hate crimes has changed very little, with anti-black crimes remaining the highest reported percentage at 50.2%. However, over that same period there has been a significant shift in the percentage of white offenders. In 2007 — before the Age of Hope ‘n’ Change™ — nearly 63% of all known offenders were white; by 2016 and the rise of that big “hater” Donald Trump, that percentage had dropped to 46.3%. And while the percentage of white offenders has decreased, the percentage of anti-white crime saw an increase in 2016 to 20.5%, the highest level recorded since 2006.

It’s not surprising to see an uptick in the number of anti-white hate crimes, since those who have been widely demonized by politically motivated leftists will tend to see a greater backlash against them by other groups who feel newly justified in their anger.

Finally, one interesting stat not noted by the FBI were the number of crimes committed against politicians, particularly of the Republican variety. With all the rhetoric about Trump and Republicans supposedly fomenting hatred, it was Republicans who were violently attacked this past year, specifically when a Bernie Sanders-supporting leftist targeted and shot GOP House members practicing for a baseball game. And more recently there is Sen. Rand Paul, who is sporting six broken ribs after a blindside attack at the hands of his leftist neighbor. Are we the only ones detecting a pattern here?

SOURCE





Islamophobia? Jews Represented 54% Of ALL Hate Crimes In 2016

With the constant refrain of Islamophobia parroted by the mainstream media, it might be interesting for them to note one telling statistic from the FBI as they tallied hate crimes in 2016: Of the 1,538 hate crimes motivated by religious bias that were reported by law enforcement, a whopping 54% were anti-Jewish; more than double the 25% that were anti-Muslim. After the precipitous drop from the anti-Jewish crimes to the anti-Muslim crimes, there was another huge drop to the third-most targeted group: Catholics, at 4%.

15,254 law enforcement agencies participated in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

834 hate crimes were counted against Jews; 318 against Muslims, and 63 against Catholics. Hate crimes against Jews rose 9% from 2015.

In 2014, Jews in the United States were targeted 40.7% more than Muslims.

Interestingly, despite the fact that Jews were far more targeted than Muslims, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, speaking at the Muslim Advocates annual dinner on December 3, 2015, focused on anti-Muslim acts, saying, “Since 9/11, we’ve had over 1,000 investigations into acts of anti-Muslim hatred, including rhetoric and bigoted actions, with over 45 prosecutions arising out of that. I think sadly that number’s going to continue.”

As Carol Brown wrote at the time in The American Thinker:

One would think that as the attorney general, she would have a few basic facts at her command. For starters, the largest percentage of hate crimes against people based on religious affiliation are committed against Jews. According to 2014 FBI stats, 63% of all hate crimes against a religious group were committed against Jews, compared to 11% against Muslims. But I’ve never heard Loretta Lynch express her concern about anti-Semitism. Have you?

SOURCE






Questioning gender fluidity is the new blasphemy

The capitulation of the establishment to the politics of transgenderism has been astonishing. I’m struggling to remember any other time when a new and contested ideology has been so uncritically embraced by the powers-that-be.

We have a Tory government pushing a Gender Recognition Act that would allow anyone to change his or her gender without so much as popping a hormone pill. An established Church which yesterday issued guidelines to its schools encouraging them to let kids ‘explore gender identity’. Police forces exchanging helmets for caps because ‘gender-based headgear’ is disrespectful to trans people. And of course a university system — the nurturer of future leaders — in which women’s colleges are throwing themselves open to people who were born male, students are told to use gender-neutral pronouns, and anyone who says ‘Men cannot become women’ can expect to be hounded off campus.

From the stuffy Tories to the armed wing of the state to the actual Church of England, one by one the core institutions of the nation have accepted an idea that we really should have more debate about, no? Namely that gender is fluid. And that children should be allowed to decide if they’re male or female. And that men who transition into women are actual women — full-on, legally recognisable, going-into-women’s-changing-rooms women — rather than transwomen, as they were respectfully referred to for many years. Anyone who claims that trans politics is edgy is kidding themselves: it is one of the most established, protected ways of thinking of our time.

Indeed, raise so much as a peep of criticism of the ideology of gender fluidity, or the wisdom of chest-binding for teenage girls who think they are boys, or whether primary schools really should let little lads wear dresses to school, and you will be shot down with accusations of ‘transphobia’. Even to suggest there are two sexes and that one cannot really become the other, to state what many people consider to be biological fact, is to risk being branded with the phobia tag.

So protected is the dogma of transgenderism that it now effectively enjoys its own blasphemy law. Suggesting people who were born male shouldn’t use women’s changing rooms in clothes shops is the 21st-century equivalent of saying ‘the Bible is nonsense’, as the Times’ Janice Turner discovered this weekend when she was subjected to a metaphorical tarring and feathering by the Twitterati for criticising trans thinking. In essence for being that thing that established and intolerant ways of thinking have always had a problem with: a woman who doubts, a woman who thinks. Trans activists should ask themselves how their campaigning came so closely to resemble old, unforgiving religions.

The institutionalisation of trans thinking is making critical debate tantamount to heresy. An elite, eccentric idea that has its origins in the rarefied land of Gender Studies department, whose language — cis, ze, gender fluidity — is the language of academic cliques rather than of pubs or bus-stops or barbershops, is being foisted on the land by religious and political institutions now more keen to cosy up to tiny groups of influential campaigners than to connect with the concerns of ordinary people. And this is wrong. The unilateral reorganisation of the basic categories of social life by aloof institutions is undemocratic and worrying. And it is not transphobic to say so.

Nowhere is it more worrying than in schools. The trans outlook increasingly holds sway in education. The CofE’s guidelines instruct teachers to let kids explore gender identity ‘without…comment’. That is, say nothing, pass no judgement, exercise no reason: just stand back and nod as the boy tells you he is a girl. Teachers who want to keep their jobs have little choice but to accept this advice. A Christian teacher in Oxford currently faces disciplinary action allegedly for ‘misgendering’ a female student who identifies as a boy. Worse, the teacher believes biological sex is defined at birth. This is heresy now. No matter that most people believe this, or that society has been organised upon this basis for centuries: overnight it has become the great unsayable.

We need to ask questions about the importing of trans thinking into schools because it shows how far down the rabbit hole of relativism our society has gone. I fear for the future if we will not even tell boys they are boys and girls they are girls. If teachers lack the authority even to say, ‘You’re a boy and should wear a boy’s uniform’. We are cultivating a new generation that will expect its every instinct to be instantly respected, and worse that the social infrastructure, from bathrooms to uniform policies, should mould themselves around their instincts. It’s so bizarre: we don’t trust kids to walk past chicken shops or read difficult literature, but we think it’s cool for them to choose their sex.

Well, ‘we’ don’t. ‘They’ do — the new trans-friendly rulers of society and policers of public discussion. More of us need to blaspheme against their eccentric strictures. Let me make this as clear as possible: trans adults should enjoy the same rights as every other adult, and by the same token, their ideas, their beliefs, their faith, should be subjected to the same levels of criticism and even ridicule as everybody else’s. People have rights; their ideologies do not.

SOURCE





SEIU’s Sexual Harassment Scandal

While so much attention is being focused on the allegations of sexual harassment in Hollywood, there’s another sexual harassment scandal that is not getting anywhere near as much coverage. That scandal is at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a major campaign supporter of Democrats, and its Fight for $15 campaign.

SEIU, which is composed of janitors, security guards, child care workers, government employees, grad students, and adjunct professors, among others, is one of the largest unions in the country; its Fight for $15 campaign advocates for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The scandal began with allegations against Scott Courtney, formerly an SEIU Executive Vice President. Seven SEIU staffers accused Courtney of having sexual relationships with young staffers who were then promoted. Just last month, Courtney married an SEIU staffer. Furthermore, “more than a dozen current and former staffers … said complaints about top-level staff on the Fight for $15 were an open secret.” They also alleged “that complaints about abusive behavior by organizers who reported to top strategist Courtney led to no action.” Amidst an investigation, Courtney resigned from the SEIU late last month.

The Washington Free Beacon talked to a former Fight for $15 organizer. She spoke of the “the broad environment of misogyny at [the union],” and stated that she had “personally experienced sexual harassment from two people in supervisory positions.” The organizer claimed that, although she reported her harassers to human resources, it did not seem to accomplish much. Speaking of one of the harassers, she said, “His behavior didn’t change. He had an attitude of entitlement and misogyny and the feeling he could get away with really egregious comments.”

Caleb Jennings, who led SEIU’s Fight for $15 campaign in Chicago, was fired late last month. Jennings was accused of creating a toxic work environment and having a “sexist and aggressive” attitude. Over a year ago, 50 staffers signed a letter urging his firing. Included in the letter was an allegation that he had shoved a staffer into a doorframe and subsequently fired her. That former staffer, who is also an immigrant, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB found that she was wrongly fired and awarded her $20,000 in back pay. She declined to take her old job back and stated, “I wouldn’t want to work for someone who assaulted me.” If the allegations against Jennings are true, it is unclear how he managed to keep a job at all, particularly one at an organization that claims to fight for workers’ rights.

Although no explanations have been provided publicly, two other Fight for $15 leaders have recently left their jobs. Mark Raleigh, who led the Detroit chapter of Fight for $15, was fired; and Kendall Fells resigned earlier this month. Fells departure is notable because he was the national organizing director for Fight for $15 and was a leading spokesman for the campaign.

After the latest departures, an SEIU spokeswoman stated the following. “These personnel actions are the culmination of this stage of the investigation which brought to light the serious problems related to abusive behavior towards staff, predominantly female staff.”

What makes the scandal even worse is the Fight for $15 campaign’s hypocrisy. On its website, the campaign asserts that “four in ten women working in fast food restaurants deal with sexual harassment on the job… This has to stop. WE have to stop it.” Yet, while the campaign was busy crusading against sexual harassment in fast food restaurants, it was ignoring serious problems in its own organization.

It is good that SEIU is finally decided to investigate its scandal and admit that it has had “serious problems,” but the union is still rather late in arriving at this conclusion. Because SEIU’s sexual harassment scandal was so widespread and reached so high into the organization, the Department of Labor should investigate to see whether any dues money from hard-working SEIU members was used to buy the silence of sexual harassment victims.

SOURCE

*************************

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

***************************

Wednesday, November 15, 2017



No, Vox, ‘Small Government’ Does Not Mean White Nationalism

According to a recent article in Vox, conservatives who denounce government overreach aren’t really concerned about burdensome regulations. No—it turns out the “language of small government” is really just “a handmaiden to ethno-nationalism.”

Proof? The author, David Roberts, points to a 2016 New York Times story that depicted a few white men in rural America venting their anger over regulations against “coal rolling”—the practice of modifying diesel truck engines to spew thick black smoke.

Apparently, being a blue-collar white man who likes spewing black smoke into the air makes you a white nationalist. And apparently, spewing black smoke into the air is the essence of liberty and of limited government.

Roberts is both misguided and self-deluded, as he conveniently overlooks a few important factors.

Most worrisomely, he ignores the fact that bureaucratic red tape and regulations are a burden to everyone, regardless of race—and they impose particularly heavy costs on poor people and minorities.

Why Limited Government Matters

The Constitution dictates that the American government is one of limited, enumerated powers, separated into three distinct branches with three distinct roles.

Any branch granted power by the Constitution can do only what that particular power grant authorizes it to do, and the Constitution does not grant powers generally to the government “as a whole.”

The powers not granted expressly to one of the three branches of the federal government are reserved to the state governments.

This principle of vertical power sharing between the national and state governments is called “federalism.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy once beautifully explained the principle, even if he has not always been consistent in upholding it:

Federalism is more than an exercise in setting the boundary between different institutions of government for their own integrity. State sovereignty is not just an end in itself. Rather, federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from a diffusion of sovereign power. … Federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power. When government acts in excess of its lawful powers, that liberty is at stake.

When a branch of government steps beyond the limits of its power—when it “overreaches” the words of the Constitution itself—it tramples onto the liberties of the American people. Not just white people, but all people.

Further, conservatives generally believe that just because a federal, state, or local government may act under its constitutional authority does not mean it is prudent for it to do so.

This is often expressed as the principle of “small government.” Small government necessarily correlates to a freer people. In the words of President Ronald Reagan, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

The idea that conservatives use the language of “limited government” to oppress others is exactly backward. Conservatives support limited government precisely because they understand the oppressive nature of a large and centralized power that seeks to regulate every aspect of life.

The Problem With Government Overreach

The New York Times piece about “coal rolling” featured a tiny portion of Americans giving voice to a specific grievance.

For Vox to cite that grievance as somehow indicative of an entire political philosophy’s relation to white nationalism is not just bad journalism—it’s intellectual dishonesty.

Government overreach neither begins nor ends with the inability to spew black smoke from a truck. Its impact is not limited to white nationalist men, or white men broadly, or even white people at all.

The grip of overregulation and overcriminalization suffocates everyone, without exception. It is not about white nationalism. It’s about liberty.

Government overreach is about John Duarte, a farmer in California who was threatened with the loss of his farm for plowing his fields without a government permit.

It’s about the 500 people who almost lost their jobs because the Environmental Protection Agency insisted that temporary, shallow pools on Duarte’s land were “navigable waters” under federal jurisdiction.

It’s about the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Roman Catholic religious institute for women, who the federal government would force to choose between compliance with the Affordable Care Act and compliance with the sincere and deeply held dictates of the Catholic Church.

It is about powerful and prohibitive occupational licensing systems that keep people from making an honest living, requiring them to get the costly and time-consuming consent of state and local governments.

These systems burden poorer Americans and minorities by inserting arbitrary obstacles between them and the ability to earn a living or start a business—obstacles like the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars in licensing fees, or the time off to complete dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of hours in training—not to become lawyers, or dentists, or real estate agents, but to braid hair. To run a food cart. To act as a tour guide, to do landscaping, and to put together flower bouquets.

It’s about the more than 400 federal agencies, 5,000 criminal laws, and literally uncountable number of federal regulations that have made the law inaccesssible to even the most diligent of citizens.

It’s about the absurd prison sentences handed down on everyday people, acting in morally blameless ways, who never could have anticipated their actions were against the law.

It’s about the $2 trillion in regulatory costs imposed every year on Americans, based on an erroneous presumption that large, unaccountable government bureaucracies are the best means of protecting the public.

Limited Government Is Not White Nationalism

Limited government is a concept embraced by men and women of all backgrounds, races, ages, and religions. Its proponents include accomplished African-Americans like economist Thomas Sowell, renowned surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, and Kay Coles James of the NASA Advisory Council.

The philosophy is defended by prominent Latinos, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Wash., Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Asian-Americans groups have also organized around the call for lower taxes and reducing excessive government regulations.

So no, limited government is not about angry white nationalists. In fact, white nationalism could not accomplish its goals with a truly limited government, nor has it ever really supported limited government.

Why? Because oppressive philosophies like white nationalism require a large government powerful enough to enforce the philosophy.

The most egregious instances of oppression have always been carried out with the power of a strong, centralized government: slavery, the disarmament of African-Americans during Reconstruction, the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II, the segregated public schools of the Jim Crow South.

In each of these instances, federal and state governments undertook to impose laws and regulations in excess of both their constitutional authority and the limits of public necessity. They were the result of government power grabs, not the result of limited government.

Similarly, the racist Aryan supremacist oppression imposed by the Nazi Party in Germany depended on a big, overreaching government that routinely violated individual liberties.

History speaks plainly to this issue. Decrying government overreach and appealing to principles of limited government, confined to its constitutionally directed boundaries, has nothing whatsoever to do with the ideology of white nationalism.

Asserting otherwise is a tactless, lowbrow non-argument that refuses to engage honestly with the philosophy of limited government as it is articulated by conservatives.

It also prevents the kind of honest conversations about reducing government overreach that could actually help the very people that white nationalists abhor. This, more than the mischaracterization itself, is tragic and unacceptable.

SOURCE






Stop Forcing Taxpayers to Fund Public Broadcasting

This month marks the half-century of one of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs.

It’s not the War on Poverty, Medicaid, or the Voting Rights Act. It’s public broadcasting. And it’s high time Congress stopped forcing taxpayers to subsidize it.

When Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act on Nov. 7, 1967, he spoke of a future in which non-commercial broadcasters would function as nationwide replicas of ancient Greece’s “agora,” or marketplace.

But he added a dark warning: If mishandled, they could “generate controversy without understanding … mislead as well as teach.”

Conservatives quickly realized it was not going to be the agora.

PBS wasn’t yet a year old in 1971 when a 35-year-old White House lawyer warned President Richard Nixon that they were being “confronted with a long-range problem of significant social consequences—that is, the development of a government-funded broadcast system similar to the BBC.”

That lawyer was future Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As usual, he was right on the money. Since then, there have been efforts under every Republican administration except Gerald Ford’s to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the vehicle for funding PBS and NPR.

President Donald Trump’s experience is typical. His original 2018 budget would have ended federal grants for public broadcasting, but the budget Congress recently passed punts on the issue. It does not provide new funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but does allow for appropriations bills with advance appropriations for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to move in the Senate.

That means the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will receive a nearly half-billion dollars in advance appropriation included in the fiscal year 2017 omnibus bill.

Republican presidents keep trying to stop taxpayer funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for a simple reason: While PBS, NPR, Pacifica Radio, American Public Media, and all the other public broadcasters create what is unquestionably a quality product, that product skews to the left.

NPR and PBS insist they just report the news with no bias. And it is true that NPR, PBS, et al, do not broadcast government propaganda. (If they did, they wouldn’t be so hard on the Trump administration.)

What they do represent are the views of a particular group—those of the politically correct elite left—whose assumptions frame public affairs programming on public broadcasting.

This group is comprised of a bien pensant coalition of government bureaucrats, academics, entertainers, philanthropists, ethnic group activists, corporate leaders, etc., many of whom control America’s cultural institutions.

This coalition is an updated version of the “managerial elite,” which the political theorist James Burnham warned would come to rule industrial societies. The views of this group almost always favor government control of or involvement in everything from health care to the environment to the media.

Many, if not most, journalists (not just taxpayer-funded ones) echo the opinions of the elites, whom they tend to use as sources. And because the national ones are based inside the Acela Corridor, they will reflect the liberal views prevalent in New York and Washington.

The difference here is taxpayer involvement.

These problems were well understood by both sides 50 years ago, when Congress held hearings on public broadcasting. Conservatives demanded no editorializing or even any type of public affairs programming.

Even the liberal godfather of public broadcasting, the legendary network veteran Fred Friendly—by this time working for the Ford Foundation—told a House hearing in 1967, “We must avoid at all costs any situation in which budgets of news and public-affairs programming would be appropriated or even approved by any branch of the federal government.”

Friendly’s point was that “public television should not have to stand the test of political popularity at any point in time. Its most precious right will be the right to rock the boat.” As he understood, with government appropriations comes accountability.

So why the persistent failure of all previous efforts to relieve the half of the country that votes conservative from paying for public broadcasters? As Scalia warned Nixon, defunding would be “politically difficult in view of … the generally favorable public image which [the Corporation for Public Broadcasting] has developed.”

The reason for that is that PBS, NPR, and the others hide behind their original educational remit. As George F. Will put it earlier this year, “Often the last, and sometimes the first, recourse of constituencies whose subsidies are in jeopardy is: ‘It’s for the children.’”

But NPR and PBS are not really for the children anymore, if they ever were, which is why conservative leaders must now find the intestinal fortitude to free Americans from the tax obligation to fund them.

Thomas Jefferson, who never heard a broadcast, was undoubtedly right when he observed that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagations of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”

SOURCE





Democrat Who Accused Trump Of Harassment Is Now Accused Of Sexually Harassing Women

A Democratic state senator who accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment is now facing calls to resign after facing multiple sexual harassment allegations of his own.

Several women accused Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen of “persistent and unwanted” invitations to meet and allegations that Schoen grabbed them from behind and sent them photographs of male genitalia on social media, the MinnPost reported.

Schoen, a first-term senator who previously served in Minnesota's state house, knew of each alleged incident when the MinnPost approached him for comment, but called the allegations either false or taken out of context.

“It was never my intention to leave the impression I was making an inappropriate advance on anyone,” Schoen told the MinnPost. “I feel terrible that someone may have a different interpretation of an encounter, but that is the absolute truth. I also unequivocally deny that I ever made inappropriate contact with anyone.”

DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk condemned Schoen and called for him to resign over the allegations.

“I have discussed these allegations with my leadership team and we are united in our call for Sen. Dan Schoen to apologize, step aside, and seek care to address these actions,” Bakk said in a statement.

The MinnPost detailed one of the allegations against Schoen:

[Rep. Erin] Maye Quade had just become a candidate for the state House, and had never met Schoen, she said, but he nevertheless offered up his advice about how to handle the situation at the 4th Precinct. “Be careful about posting anything about BLM and if you want a police officer’s side of this, feel free to ask,” Maye Quade said Schoen texted.

He then asked her multiple times if she wanted to meet and have a drink and talk about it. Maye Quade said she respectfully declined.

Later that same evening, Schoen texted her again, this time suggesting she should come over, telling her his children weren’t home. She thought the messages were strange but didn’t think much of the invitation until she got another text that was “clearly meant for someone else.” It said, “'I almost got her. Working on her pretty hard, but I almost got her,'” according to Maye Quade. “My blood went cold.”

Schoen accused President Trump of sexual assault in October 2016 and appears to have judged him from a place of moral superiority.

Schoen apologized for his past behavior saying that it does not represent who he is and indicated that he has no plans to resign.

SOURCE






Finding Relief on the Streets and at the Office

Terrorists are much weaker than we feared in 2001. And sexual harassers are suddenly more vulnerable

Peggy Noonan
   
In 2001 I thought it would be a suitcase bomb, a homemade nuclear device, not airplanes going into buildings. I’d felt something coming, had written of it, but that day, amid all the grief and carnage, I felt a lurking relief. I’d feared worse — tens of thousands gone, parts of the city rendered uninhabitable.

I feel a version of that relief now, after the recent truck attack downtown, within the shadow of the Freedom Tower. Barely three hours later, on Lexington Avenue from the 90s through the 70s, the streets were crowded with kids and parents out for Halloween. The mood was not a sag-shouldered “This is the new normal,” but a collected sense of “We can handle this.” There was an air of gallant enjoyment. It made the emotionalism of the mayor’s remarks — “We will not be cowed”; “This action was intended to break our spirit” — seem both hyped up and rote, and appropriate to another time.

Yes, ISIS is here; yes, this will happen again, and security was appropriately high for the marathon. But it’s obvious, and has been for some time, that we’re in a different moment, a different part of the battle. For months and then years after 9/11, we feared al Qaeda would hit us again, harder. Sixteen years later what we see is a series of single, random-seeming acts by weak, stupid, highly emotional men who read propaganda sites and become excited in the way of the weak, stupid and highly emotional. Their attacks are low-tech, limited.

Graeme Wood had a smart piece for the Atlantic hours after the attack. “The details strongly suggest that the man was a complete idiot,” Mr. Wood wrote of the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov. “I harp on Saipov’s apparent stupidity for one reason: As long as Islamic State’s attackers are idiots like Saipov, our societies can probably handle them… . The Idiots’ Crusade is a manageable problem. Much less tolerable would be a campaign of competent terror — the kind of mayhem enabled by training, like the 2015 Bataclan killers in Paris had, or by patient planning, as Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas did.”

Continued vigilance is in order: “As Islamic State loses territory, the greatest danger remains the prospect that some of the battle-hardened fighters will return home, raising the average IQ of attackers, and making possible attacks that would be many times more deadly than this one.”

The bad guys now seem incompetent. But the bad guys will never go away, and it is to the deep and everlasting credit of U.S. law enforcement, especially the New York City Police Department, that they have been so contained. Some day they’ll hit us hard again, so no relaxation of efforts is possible. But right now it feels more like Britain’s long struggle with the Irish Republican Army than an existential threat, and we must be thankful when feelings improve. This was my small epiphany as I moved among people dressed as bumblebees, Pharaohs, Godzilla and an angel with black wings. I liked the gallant enjoyment. I shared it.

* * *
Here we shift to another thing that has changed, this one permanently. Before it goes away as a regular front-page story — and it will, because as Thoreau said, once you’re familiar with a principle you become less interested in hearing of its numerous applications — it must be noted that what has happened the past month regarding sexual harassment in the workplace is epochal, a true watershed and long overdue.

The revelations will have a huge impact, not because men now understand that sexual abuse and bullying are wrong — they always knew, and for many the wrongness would have been part of the enjoyment — but because they now know, really for the first time, that they will pay a terrible price if their misbehavior is revealed. And from here on in, there’s a greater chance it will be revealed, and believed.

The price to be paid was the real lesson of the past few weeks of resignations and firings. Celebrity abusers understand the first paragraph of their obit will now include something like, “… but fell from his position of power in the sexual-abuse scandals of the 2010s.”

That there is a price to be paid will have a deterrent effect. Human sin won’t stop; harassment will continue — but something important happened here.

In July 2015 New York magazine put 35 women on the cover who alleged that Bill Cosby had sexually violated them. Until then it had been a cloudy, amorphous story. Suddenly it was no longer he-said/she-said: You saw the faces, read the testimony, and knew what Mr. Cosby really was. A year later Gretchen Carlson, and later others, went up against Fox News’s Roger Ailes ; her lawsuit was settled for $20 million. Then came the revelation of the Bill O'Reilly settlements.

But Black October for sexual harassers began with the New York Times stories by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuses and payoffs, followed by Ronan Farrow’s lengthy investigation in the New Yorker, and then on to other men in show business and the news media.

Something happened. Media outfits made a commitment — expensive in terms of resources, personnel and legal costs — to get the story. What they found was numbers — the sheer number of abusers and the number of accusers who’d testify. They discovered details that established patterns.

This is all good. And one of the things that fell is the phrase “everybody knew.” That is now a self-indicting phrase.

I close with a point that may grate on those who, like me, are glad at what has happened and wish to see just revelations continue.

The challenge is to pursue justice while keeping a sense of humanity. Human-resources departments terrified of costly lawsuits will impose more and stranger rules that won’t necessarily thwart bad guys but will harass good men. This is the way of things. Two recent anecdotes: At a yearly checkup, a male doctor went through his short list of how to stay healthy in New York. It included: don’t stray onto the curb, stay on the sidewalk, keep back from careening trucks that take a corner too tight and knock people down. I got it, I said — I take the arms of cellphone zombies and guide them a step back to keep them safe. I’d done it recently with a young woman. He got a poignant look. “I can’t do that now,” he said. If he put his hand on a strange woman’s arm, it might be misunderstood.

I was told the other day of a news executive who complimented his co-worker on her boots. He was later taken aside by a colleague: You can’t talk like that now! He hurriedly called the woman and apologized: He meant no offense, didn’t mean to sound leering. She said: Are you kidding? I knew it was a compliment, no offense at all.

That was human. Common sense is better than antihuman edicts.

It’s good the pendulum has swung. You want it to hit the bad guys hard, and leave the good ones untouched.

SOURCE

*************************

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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

***************************