Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Australia: Rough old feminist broad wants more imperial honours for women

Rather amusing to see a radical feminist arguing for the relevance of imperial honours. Few Australian Leftists would.  Though it is rare for anyone to refuse a gong.

But her basic argument is the same as Hitler's.  Hitler was in fact more reserved.  He only thought that Jews were unfairly privileged whereas Jenna Price thinks that men in general are unfairly privileged.

What Hitler overlooked is that Jews had earned their eminence in Germany by hard work and superior brains.  What Ms Price overlooks is that it is difficult to achieve eminence in any field while you are at home minding babies.  I am all in favour of women staying at home minding babies and I think they should be honoured for it.  They once were until feminists began deriding them and calling them "breeders".

But however you cut it, women are just not in large numbers in occupations that are likely to generate especial honour.  Some are but they are simply not there are often as men are.  And the imperial awards reflect that.  The demand from Ms Price that women be at least equally represented in the awards is then procrustean.  It seeks to impose an un-natural equality or a pretence at equality that is just not there in the real world. Procrustes would gladly have taken her as his wife.

But her demand is of course just another iteration of the manic and incessant Leftist demand for equality in all things -- an equality that has never existed, does not exist and never will exist.

I have written at greater length about Ms Price here

Once again the honours list has failed Australian women.

This cannot continue. It's a complete dishonour to the thousands of women across Australia who deserve to be recognised at the highest level.

The awards announced on Monday will show that the percentage going to women has sunk even lower than the five-year average, already an embarrassingly low 31 per cent. In the general division of the Order of Australia, it's 467 males and 206 females. Just 30 per cent women. 

That said, there's no choice but to entirely recast the Council for the Order of Australia. If the organisation that oversees the awarding of honours to Australians can't get anything close to a semblance of Australia in those who receive these awards, the entire leadership needs to go. It must be replaced by people who are agents of change.

It needs to meet the government targets for 50 per cent of women on government boards. Of the 18 councillors, four are women. Of the four women, one, Elizabeth Kelly, comes from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Two others are state reps. And community rep and former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, who must be losing her mind at the slow rate of change.

So why is this organisation failing? Here are some answers.

Chairman? Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston. Secretary? Mark Fraser. Official secretary to the Governor-General. Ex-officio representatives? Senator George Brandis. Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

All decent people but from worlds dominated by men. The military. The Liberal Party. None famous for equality. How is it possible to reshape this reflection of Australian spirit if all you see reflected is the people with whom you grew up, with whom you went to school; and now work alongside?


Queer Choirmaster Case a Major Test of Religious Liberty
Colin Collette led worship at the Holy Family Catholic Community for 17 years, but his personal life wasn’t exactly in harmony with the church’s teachings. Three years ago, when Collette announced his same-sex engagement, leaders at Holy Family had no choice but to let the music director go.

It was a difficult decision, especially for someone who’d been a part of the parish for so long. Still, Cardinal Francis George said in a statement, Colin was participating “in a form of union that cannot be recognized as a sacrament by the Church.” Hurt and angry, Collette sued the Archdiocese of Chicago for his job back, arguing that he deserved equal rights in the workplace. But this is, as the Supreme Court has pointed out, no ordinary workplace. It’s a church, where members — and more importantly, ministers — are guided by specific moral beliefs.

The reality is, Collette was treated the same way as a heterosexual would have been for entering a “non-sacramental marriage.” In the end, the conflict between Collette’s personal and professional life doesn’t just hurt Colin, it hurts the church’s witness. As the Catholic Church’s synod of bishops has said, “We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions, for example, may not simply be equated with marriage. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society.”

When the case went to court in April, Judge Charles Kocoras didn’t have to deliberate long. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Hosanna-Tabor made it clear that it’s the “right of religious organizations to control their internal affairs.” In fact, as Chief Justice Roberts wrote, meddling in the church’s business “intrudes upon more than a mere employment decision. Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs.”

Here, Kocoras wrote, “the evidence is overwhelming that Collette’s positions at the Parish were critical to the spiritual and pastoral mission of the church Defendants argue that Collette’s position as Director of Music made him a key ministerial employee of the Parish. We agree. As the Seventh Circuit noted in Tomic v. Catholic Diocese of Peoria, ‘Music is a vital means of expressing and celebrating those beliefs which a religious community holds most sacred.’ By playing music at church services, Collette served an integral role in the celebration of mass. Collette’s musical performances furthered the mission of the church and helped convey its message to the congregants. Therefore, Collette’s duties as Musical Director fall within the ministerial exception.”

For religious liberty, it may be one of the most important cases the media isn’t talking about. Above all, it reminds the government that that the First Amendment wasn’t meant to protect the government from religion, but to protect religion from government.

FRC’s Travis Weber cheered the ruling, which follows on the heels of SCOTUS’s church-affiliated hospital decision earlier this month. Travis thinks Kocoras’s opinion is just as significant. “The principle that government should not interfere in religious organizations’ internal decision making has long existed in our law — for good reason. When a religious organization decides how its faith impacts its practice, it’s exercising this long-held freedom of autonomy, which is the oxygen of our free society. This freedom is something we must guard very carefully, as it is necessary for our country to continue to thrive.”


LGBT Pride Parade Turns Away Gay Trump Supporters

Giving clear evidence of its ideological underpinnings

Gay pride parades are generally celebratory affairs, but they've also almost always had a political side too. "I'm here and want to have fun!" had an inherent political edge to it when the right to be openly gay or transgender was still being litigated in courts of both law and public opinion.

The right to be gay is all but settled as a legal matter these days, and transgender acceptance has been dramatically increasing. One might expect, then, that the pride parades of summer might start to grow less political and more like other cultural celebrations.

Apparently not. LGBT leaders' opposition to President Donald Trump has made the parades more political. In at least one case, parade organizers have rejected a float. Even though Brian Talbert is gay, the organizers of Charlotte, North Carolina's pride event have told him he can't participate with a float touting his support for Trump.

Talbert's story is picking up national attention. From The Washington Post:

Reached by email, Charlotte Pride released a statement saying the organization "reserves the right to decline participation" at events to groups that do not reflect the mission and values of the organization.

The statement said that policy is acknowledged in its parade rules and regulations, and noted that in the past, organizers have made "similar decisions" to decline participation from "other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances."

"Charlotte Pride envisions a world in which LGBTQ people are affirmed, respected, and included in the full social and civic life of their local communities, free from fear of any discrimination, rejection, and prejudice," the statement added.

But Trump has notably not espoused antigay policy stances and has, in fact, resisted efforts to do so within his administration. So far, Trump is probably the most LGBT-friendly Republican president we've had.

That doesn't mean that Trump supports the same policies that progressive LGBT leaders would like. That's really the crux of the problem: Trump's administration doesn't want to use the federal government to advance anti-discrimination policies that cover LGBT people. His Department of Justice has withdrawn federal guidance ordering public schools to accommodate transgender students' gender choices for bathrooms and other facilities.

Put in historical context, that's a relatively mild decision, though it must feel awful for transgender students who are affected (and ultimately it may be decided by the courts, not Trump's administration, anyway). Despite LGBT activists' fears, the administration is not scaling back executive orders forbidding government contractors from engaging in LGBT discrimination. Life is still improving for LGBT people.

The Los Angeles pride parade and festival is this weekend, but apparently it's no longer the same pride parade people are used to. It's been transformed into an anti-Trump "resistance" march, under the odd and incorrect assumption that being part of the LGBT community inherently requires you to embrace of a host of political positions. New York, Austin, Seattle, and D.C. are joining them. L.A. Weekly quotes one of the march organizers:

"#ResistMarch was built around the concept of standing in solidarity for all human rights," explains Brian Pendleton, a CSW board member. "The march is meant to be a celebration of humanity that is all part and parcel of the LGBTQ community. We are immigrants, we are women, we are seniors, we are communities of color, and on and on. Very few communities encompass so many different types of Americans."

That's true. But it also means the community encompasses Trump voters and other types of conservatives. Even here in the extremely liberal city of Los Angeles, I know at least one gay Trump supporter. What Pendleton is promoting isn't a celebration of humanity. It's a policing of political values. It's remarkable that parades that have revolved around an insistence that LGBT people should be allowed to participate in society and be public about who they are wants to excluding participant for their political affiliations.

This isn't ultimately about Trump himself; it's about the inability or unwillingness of people with highly different political interests to engage with each other. It's easier to cast gay Trump voters out of the movement than to engage with them over the fundamental philosophical differences that divide them. (My Trump-supporting gay acquaintance moved to L.A. from a Rust Belt state, and that no doubt influenced his vote.) There's nothing about being gay or transgender that requires support of unrelated policy positions on everything from immigration to abortion, and I say this as somebody who identifies more frequently with the left on those two issues. Making the parades into anti-Trump rallies tells tens of thousands of LGBT people that this festival that's supposed to be about them is actually deliberately excluding and opposing them.

Talbert has said he's going to sue Charlotte Pride for discrimination, which is also a terrible response. Charlotte Pride should be allowed to include or exclude any participants it wants. It's their parade. And there's already a Supreme Court decision that affirms that parade organizers have the right to exclude participants with messages they do not support.

But Charlotte Pride's organizers should remember something. That Supreme Court case was about a very long fight by LGBT groups to be included in St. Patrick's Day parades. And they're only just now, in this decade, convincing the Catholic organizers of those events to allow them in. To turn around and treat another group of gay people the same way is pretty terrible. Let them into the parade. Let the audience boo them, support them, or ignore them, and then move on. It shouldn't be a big deal.


UK attacks have UN planning global control of Internet

After London’s most recent terror attacks, British Prime Minister Theresa May called on countries to collaborate on internet regulation to prevent terrorism planning online. May criticized online spaces that allow such ideas to breed, and the companies that host them.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is time to say ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to tackling terrorism.

May did not identify any companies by name, but she could have been referring to the likes of Google, Twitter and Facebook. In the past, British lawmakers have said these companies offer terrorism a platform. She also might have been referring to smaller companies, like the developers of apps like Telegram, Signal and Wickr, which are favored by terrorist groups. These apps offer encrypted messaging services that allow users to hide communications.

May is not alone in being concerned about attacks on citizens. After her comments on Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to work with allies and do whatever it takes to stop the spread of terrorism. He did not, however, specifically mention internet regulation.

Internet companies and other commentators, however, have pushed back against the suggestion that more government regulation is needed, saying weakening everyone’s encryption poses different public dangers. Many have also questioned whether some regulation, like banning encryption, is possible at all.

Because the internet is geographically borderless, nearly any message can have a global audience. Questions about online regulation have persisted for years, especially regarding harmful information. As a law professor who studies the impact of the internet on society, I believe the goal of international collaboration is incredibly complicated, given global history.
Some control is possible

While no one country has control over the internet, it is a common misconception that the internet cannot be regulated. In fact, individual countries can and do exert significant control over the internet within their own borders.

In 2012, for example, the Bashar al-Assad regime shut down the internet for all of Syria. According to Akamai Technologies, an internet monitoring company, the country went entirely offline on Nov. 29, 2012. The internet blackout lasted roughly three days.

China aggressively blocks access to more than 18,000 websites, including Facebook, Google, The New York Times and YouTube. While there are some limited workarounds, the Chinese government regularly targets and eliminates them.

French courts have prohibited the display and sale of Nazi materials online in France by Yahoo’s online auction service. After losing a legal case, Yahoo banned the sale of Nazi memorabilia from its website worldwide, though it denied that the move was in direct response to the court ruling.

Even in the United States, local governments have shut down mobile data and cellphone service during protests. In addition, the United States reportedly either is developing or has developed its own internet “kill switch” for times of national crisis.

International collaboration

These types of regulation efforts aren’t limited to individual governments. Groups of countries have successfully collaborated to pursue common goals online.

The Global Privacy Enforcement Network, for example, is a network of representatives from nearly 50 countries including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany. The GPEN works to develop shared enforcement practices related to internet privacy and has reviewed many companies’ online privacy policies. When the GPEN discovers websites or apps that violate a country’s privacy laws, it informs the administrators or developers and encourages them to follow those laws. The group can recommend countries take enforcement action against websites or apps that do not comply.

The European Union, made up of 28 countries, has also worked to regulate harmful messages on the internet. In 2016, the European Commission announced a joint agreement with internet companies Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. Among other things, the companies agreed to create clear and rapid processes for reviewing potentially objectionable information and removing it if need be.

At the UN

In addition, the United Nations has been pursuing general global regulation of the internet. The U.N.‘s first Working Group on Internet Governance was created in 2004 to propose models for global internet regulation.

Unfortunately, the working group has not been able to agree on how to create new transnational bodies with rule-setting or regulatory power over the internet. Each country has different views on the global political issues raised by the internet’s vast reach. While some countries can find common ground, it may be nearly impossible to create a worldwide model that harmonizes all of these perspectives.

The farthest the U.N. has gotten so far has been creating the Internet Governance Forum, which brings together governments, private companies and individuals to address questions about internet regulation. The group has discussed and reported on internet access, human rights and free speech issues. These discussions are an opportunity to exchange experiences and views, but there are no negotiated outcomes, rules or laws that come from the IGF.

The ConversationFinding widespread common ground on internet-based issues will likely only become more difficult as the U.K. exits from the EU and the U.S. takes increasingly nationalist positions. Even so, the experiences of smaller groups of countries may inform a broader effort as global policies on terrorism shift, and the world’s approach to internet regulation changes with it.



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


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