Sunday, January 01, 2017
Feminism has no chance in Britain
I know a rather "modern" mother who has a little daughter who declares that she is a "princess". She didn't get it from her mother so wherefrom did she get it? Mainly from books and movies, most probably.
But feminists would love to banish all such influences. The very idea of "princess" is anathema to them: archaic, deluded, patriarchal etc. But they will never succeed in Britain while Britain is Britain. Why? Because real life there leaves all fantasies for dead. Great Royal occasions in Britain are magnificent and inspiring. Just hark back to the coronation of the present Queen. Watch for a while the video below:
Around the 11 minute mark, we see a young princess being escorted to her coronation in a real gold coach drawn by eight magnificently caparisoned horses and accompanied by a long line of men from the world's most colourful military establishment -- and all amid the great love of her people. What little girl would NOT want to be the princess in that coach? Feminists eat your heart out!
And it's not much different in other parts of the British Commonwealth. Elizabeth is Australia's Queen too -- and Canada's. Those great royal occasions are our occasions too -- JR.
Meet the Le Pens, France’s version of Donald Trump
OVER the past couple of years, a number of far-right leaders have cropped up across Europe.
From the Alternative for Germany Party to the Danish People’s Party, the “Donald Trump effect” has been gaining prominence across the continent in response to acts of terrorism and the refugee crisis.
But no western country has been hit harder by large-scale terrorist attacks than France in recent times, and National Front party leader Marine Le Pen believes she’s the answer.
Ms Le Pen is staunchly anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and pro-“Frexit” — France exiting the European Union a la the UK.
Just this month, Ms Le Pen sparked fresh controversy after proposing that the children of illegal immigrants should be refused public school places as part of tough proposals to restrict state services.
“I’ve got nothing against foreigners but I say to them: If you come to our country, don’t expect that you will be taken care of, treated [by the health system] and that your children will be educated for free,” Le Pen said. “That’s finished now, it’s the end of playtime.”
Her popularity is not to be understated, with polls in the lead-up to the French election consistently showing the far-right leader will make it to the final round against Francois Fillon.
Marine Le Pen is hailed for her far-right conservative stance on immigration — but she’s nothing compared to her niece.
But if you thought Ms Le Pen was conservative, you haven’t met her niece, Marion.
MARION MARECHAL LE PEN
Marion Marechal-Le Pen is a polarising figure, and certainly not your average millennial.
Also a member of the National Front party, the 27-year-old’s views are even more conservative than her aunt’s — so much so that she’s been dubbed Europe’s “poster child for the far right”.
At just 22 years old, Marion was elected MP for Vaucluse’s 3rd constituency in 2012, in the country’s south, making her the youngest MP in France’s modern political history.
Like her aunt, the younger Le Pen is heavily opposed to Muslim immigration.
During the Nice terror attacks in July this year, before there was any known link between the tragedy and extremist groups, she immediately gathered her followers and blamed “Islamism”.
“You are with us and against Islamism, or you are against us and for Islamism,” she said. “Those who choose the status quo become complicit with our enemies.”
In a separate instance, she organised a protest against plans to bring 30 teenage asylum seekers from Afghanistan to the nearby town of Grambois.
“It is not the hate of others, it is love for Provence, love for France,” she shouted at a rally of hundreds of demonstrators and counter-protesters, according to the New York Times.
She said asylum seekers come to France to receive generous welfare cheques at the expense of French natives struggling to find employment.
In an interview after the rally, she said she is “against this completely crazy plan to redistribute migrants”.
The European project “is a failure”, she said. “We need to build another Europe.”
The Le Pens are no longer just a right-wing fringe group. In a country where 230 people have been killed in terror attacks over the past 18 months, the party’s popularity has swelled immensely.
It doesn’t hurt that Marion is brutally outspoken. She once stood up in the French Parliament and accused then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls of behaving like a “moron”.
He was so visibly furious by her words that his hand began shaking uncontrollably as he responded to her remarks, in a video that went viral.
While her aunt refused to play a major role in the campaign against marriage equality in 2013, Marion has expressed her disdain for it, saying it will “open the door to polygamy”.
“Once you break away from the natural framework of a man and a woman, you could have other minorities who want their form of love recognised by the state,” she told the Telegraph earlier this year. “If you endorse homosexuality [in marriage], why not polygamy?”
But Marion is possibly best known for her controversial views on abortion, because it’s an issue on which she’s repeatedly clashed with her aunt.
Earlier this month, she sparked outrage after saying “France should end the full and unlimited reimbursement of abortion”.
In an interview with far-right Catholic magazine Present, Marion said: “Instead of putting in place targets, abortion quotas in health establishments, financial support should be given to centres that accompany isolated or hesitant women. “Full and unlimited abortion should be reversed, because women are responsible and should be treated as such.”
Her aunt’s right-hand man Florian Philippot issued an icy response on behalf of the party, saying the girl was “alone” and “isolated” in holding such a view. “What counts is what the presidential candidate says, what the movement says, what our presidential project says, namely no questioning of abortion, full reimbursement of abortion,” he told BFM TV.
MARINE LE PEN
Marine Le Pen has redefined what it means to be a member of the “far-right”.
She’s deliberately distanced her party from skinheads and Neo-Nazis, instead embracing left-wing causes like gay rights and women’s equality to further her central party line on stopping immigration.
As The Guardian noted in a feature last month, this is an effective strategy in that her party then depicts Muslim immigrants as the primary threat to such minority groups.
“As fear of Islam has spread, with their encouragement, they have presented themselves as the only true defenders of western identity and western liberties — the last bulwark protecting a besieged Judaeo-Christian civilisation from the barbarians at the gates,” the article read.
But this puts Marine at odds with her fiery niece. The younger, more socially conservative Marion routinely speaks at odds with the so-called “new right”, although she’s certainly won the far-right Catholic vote.
Their conflicting stances have sparked media reports of a “family feud”, with speculation the party is at risk of a major split before next year’s election.
But despite this, the National Party, often criticised as being fueled by fear and xenophobia, has the most support among French millennials according to polling.
An Odoxa report released this month found roughly one in five French people aged 18-34 back the party.
While it’s forecast to finish second in the polls, the Le Pens are hoping for new momentum after Mr Trump’s victory in the United States.
This means huge changes could be coming up for France — if the party can actually get itself together.
Note: I absolutely adore Marion in that video. I didn't understand a word she said but I agree with her. Valls is a quite moderate Leftist. He is not very friendly to immigrants or Muslims --JR.
Extreme Leftist abuse gets pushback abuse for once
About time. It turns out she was gutless anyway. Just an empty-headed blowhard
For as long as she has taught, Cox, a professor at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, has prided herself on speaking freely. Then a clip of her calling Donald Trump's election win "an act of terrorism" went viral earlier this month, unleashing a wave of violent threats that forced her to end her semester early and flee her home in suburban Orange County.
Now she's back home, but her life hasn't returned to normal. "Now, at 66, I'm paranoid," Cox said. "It doesn't feel good at all to be looking over my shoulder and wondering when an unfamiliar car pulls up across the street whether they're going to take a picture of me or something worse - but that's my life now.
"I feel like I've been attacked by a mob of people all across the country," she added. "If they're telling me over and over again that they want to shoot me in the face, how am I supposed to know if they're going to do it or not?"
The mob Cox refers to don't wield pitchforks and torches but hate-filled tweets, violent emails and threatening Facebook messages and phone calls. They are a virtual force with limited numbers but a seemingly unlimited supply of hate that has proved just as frightening for the longtime academic.
The video that sparked the hate shows Cox standing in front of her students calling the President-elect a "white supremacist" and arguing that the country has "been assaulted".
Cox, a psychology professor who teaches a class on human sexuality, referred to Vice President-elect Mike Pence as "one of the most anti-gay humans in the country". She also told her students that the nation is as divided now as it was "in Civil War times".
Cox's comments were recorded by a conservative student in her class who found her statements offensive and decided to share the video with the Orange Coast College Republicans, according to Joshua Recalde-Martinez, a political science major and president of the campus Republican group.
The video went viral, and within days, the professor - who is largely unknown beyond the campus where she has taught for more than two decades - was under fierce attack. Her inbox and voicemail were filled with hundreds of threatening messages that referred to her as "libtard", "Marxist", "nutcase", "vile leftist filth" and a "satanic cult member".
"Keep your anti-white, man-hating, traditional-values-bashing, islamophile radical views to yourself!" an emailer named Xavier Israel Matamoros wrote. "You are an intolerant Marxist terrorist who causes division by bringing up your one-sided radical viewpoints and intimidating and shaming your non-conforming students. You are a sick, demented, evil b----!"
"You professors teach that Whites are immoral and contemptible if they don't support White Genocide," a woman named Jennifer wrote. "Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White."
"Go out in the middle of the football field, pull out a handgun, put it to your temple and shoot yourself," Jim Ernst wrote. "Or better yet, douse yourself in gasoline and set yourself on fire."
As the threats worsened, she realised she was terrified of being left completely alone, consumed by the idea that around the next corner an unhinged person with a gun or a knife was waiting for her. Campus security began dropping by her classroom, and students started escorting Cox to class and sitting with her during office hours, a period when she would normally be by herself.
"Every time I walked towards my office I was afraid it might have been broken into," Cox said. "I feared that my home would be vandalised coming home from work each day. No matter what your rational side tells you, it's still really frightening."
The harassment crested when Cox received an email from a man named Tim White that showed her home address, phone number and salary and threatened to spread the information "everywhere".
The email referred to Cox as a "libtard, Marxist, hatemonger, nutcase". It was then, Cox said, that she could no longer stand to be in her home and decided to flee.
The professor turned her final week of class this semester over to a substitute, but Cox said her ordeal continued after the controversial video appeared on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. The host referred to her statements as "gibberish" and "slander" and labelled the professor part of "the totalitarian Left". "That woman needs a psychologist," he said.
Cox said she has appealed to Costa Mesa Police and the FBI seeking help, but was told by both agencies that until her property is vandalised or she is physically attacked, there's nothing law enforcement can do to help.
In a statement sent to The Washington Post, Costa Mesa police wrote that they "take the type of threats that Ms Cox received seriously and we are currently investigating this case."
An FBI spokesman wrote to the Post that the agency does not comment on information from individuals who claim to be victims of crime. "Any member of the public who feels they are being threatened may report it to the FBI, where we will attempt to determine veracity and whether an allegation falls within our purview," the statement said. "If they feel their life is in immediate danger, they need to call 911."
The Orange Coast College Republicans have filed a formal complaint with the school and hired an attorney, said Shawn Steel, a former chairman of the California Republican Party. Steel told the Orange County Register that Cox is using her power as a grade-determining instructor to "basically scare and shame students".
"It's alarming," he said. "It's scaremongering. It's irrational. It's a rant. And it doesn't belong in the classroom."
Recalde-Martinez, the president of the campus Republican group, said OCC president Dennis Harkins never responded to the complaint, which demands that OCC "immediately take steps to correct Ms Cox's behaviour and to ensure such incidents are avoided in the future".
Recalde-Martinez said he has also received threats in the wake of the video's release and that his group "doesn't endorse bullying". "I don't feel personally responsible for her situation," he said. "I do condemn the individual who emailed photos of her house and published those. I think that's unacceptable, and it's not something I endorse at all.
"We don't see those individuals as representative of what we're trying to achieve, but we still would like accountability from the college."
On the Orange Coast College campus, Cox's class on human sexuality has a reputation for being a uniquely open forum, one that functioned, at times, like a communal therapy session for hundreds of students at a time.
Cox said she spends the first 20 minutes of each class answering questions submitted anonymously by students. The questions usually involve sexuality and relationships, but in the days after Trump's election, students began submitting political questions.
Cox said many of her students - especially those who were Muslim, gay or had undocumented relatives - had begun telling her they were scared. Cox, who is gay, told her students she felt the same way. "I had an international Muslim student who told me he was afraid to leave his apartment," she said. "I cried with him and I felt so bad because he was so alone and so scared."
When Cox stood in front of class to answer questions that day, she said her rhetoric was not meant to inflame, but to help reassure her students "that OCC was safe".
"I read a message from the school president and put together a handout for coping with pain," she said. "As a therapist, these are things I share with people who are depressed. I basically said, 'Deal with your feelings and do something positive,' and I was helping them cope with their fears - that was the intent."
Cox said that if she could go back, she wouldn't change her language. She said she believes the controversy surrounding her statements has more to do with her being intentionally targeted than the substance of her words.
Her name has been added to a controversial website called "Professor Watchlist" which lists the names of about 200 academics across the country accused by a conservative group of advancing "leftist propaganda" and discriminating "against conservative students".
"This is a very carefully planned plot to attack college professors that they don't like and disagree with," she said. "This is being done all around the country. It's not my fault, and I didn't do anything wrong."
Rob Schneiderman, president of the local teachers' union branch that represents Cox, agrees that the problem is not what Cox said, but the fact that she was recorded, a violation of the student code of conduct that was expressly stated in the professor's syllabus. Schneiderman said the short, edited clip fails to provide viewers with any context for Cox's statements and could warrant punishment.
"She's known as an open teacher," he said. "There's a petition going around on campus to nominate her for teacher of the year. She's very well respected on campus, and this was an absolute violation." [How was it a violation if she was an open teacher?]
Schneiderman said the union plans to work with school officials to strengthen its free speech policies to keep students and professors safe from "Gestapo tactics". Many professors on campus, he said, have vowed to resist any attempts by the campus Republicans to dictate classroom discourse.
"Students talk about sexual assault in Olga's class," he said. "There are students who have come out in the class. The thought of that going public is really scary."
He added that OCC has a large international student body, with students from countries where it may not be culturally acceptable to be seen in a human sexuality class. Publicising the wrong student, he said, could have "serious consequences".
As much as leaving her home frightens her, Cox said she plans to return to teaching at the end of January. Before then, she plans to marry her longtime partner and continue her healing process one day at a time.
She remains in the throes of a difficult struggle, she said, but that doesn't mean she'll quit her job. To quit, she said, would be a victory for the harassers. To find strength, the professor thinks about the beginning of her family's American story.
"My parents left Cuba so we would not have this kind of harassment and so we would have access to free education," she said. "They made sacrifices to bring us here, and I'm proud to be an American."
"It's just hard to believe that this is happening to me," she added, "and if this is what America is turning into, we all need to be afraid."
Anthony Bourdain eviscerates ‘privileged Eastern liberals' for ‘utter contempt’ of working-class Americans
Anthony Bourdain says East Coast liberals like himself are the reason why Donald Trump got elected. In a new interview with Reason, the famous chef, author and host of CNN's Parts Unknown eviscerated the left for their condescension of working-class America.
'The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the up swell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we're seeing now,' Bourdain said.
Having spent a lot of time in flyover country, Bourdain said blue-collar Americans aren't all that different from Democrats concentrated in major cities.
Instead of picking apart issues we disagree on, Bourdain said we should be looking for common ground.
'I've spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love.
'When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good.
'Nothing nauseates me more than preaching to the converted. The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left - just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition - this does not win hearts and minds. It doesn't change anyone's opinions. It only solidifies them, and makes things worse for all of us.
Bourdain also said that these issues aren't specific to the U.S. He says Trump's election is part of a 'global trend' towards nationalism 'that should be of concern to everyone'.
'If you look around the world (in the Philippines, in England), the rise of nationalism, the fear of the Other. When people are afraid and feel that their government has failed them they do things that seem completely mad and unreasonable to those of who are perhaps under less pressure.
'As unhappy and surprised as I am with the outcome, I'm empathetic to the forces that push people towards what I see as an ultimately self-destructive act. Berlusconi, Putin, Duterte, the world is filled with bad choices, made in pressured times,' Bourdain said.
On this past season of Parts Unknown, Bourdain hosted President Obama on his show for a visit to a noodle shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Parts Unknown is a show in which Bourdain travels the world to explore lesser-known places and cuisines.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.