Thursday, August 31, 2017

Judge rules child must leave Muslim foster home

The girl had been placed with a family who she said often did not speak English at home and encouraged her to learn Arabic

A girl at the centre of a care dispute was removed from her Muslim foster parents yesterday and reunited with her family as a judge urged councils to seek “culturally matched placements” for vulnerable children.

The five-year-old, a native English speaker from a Christian family, was taken to her grandmother’s home after a court ruled that she should not remain in the placement organised by the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Judge Khatun Sapnara, a practising Muslim, said it was in the girl’s best interests to live with a family member who could keep her safe, promote her welfare and meet her needs “in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion”. The judge ordered the council to conduct an urgent investigation into issues reported by The Times.


Am I the First Victim of YouTube’s New Censorship?

Jared Taylor

YouTube has just begun its widely reported campaign against “extremist” videos, and one of mine may have been the very first to be quarantined. In a new strategy that falls short of outright removal—YouTube does that, too—the company punishes “borderline” videos by making them unsearchable, disabling comments or embedding, and never suggesting them to viewers. The only way to get to them is through a direct link posted on a different website. Then you are warned that the video “has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.” YouTube also disables view counts and up- or down-votes, so you have no idea how widely seen or favorably received the video has been.

This is how YouTube explains its censorship:

YouTube . . . prohibits content intended to recruit for terrorist organizations, incite violence, celebrate terrorist attacks, or otherwise promote acts of terrorism. Some borderline videos, such as those containing inflammatory religious or supremacist content without a direct call to violence or a primary purpose of inciting hatred, may not cross these lines for removal. Following user reports, if our review teams determine that a video is borderline under our policies, it may have some features disabled.

I’m glad YouTube doesn’t think I’m promoting terrorism, but apparently I’m pretty close. You can watch the video and see if you agree. I think you will find it is a sober, factual discussion of the evidence for the view that the races differ in average intelligence, and that there is a significant genetic contribution to that difference. The video even has a list of references at the end. It is hardly “inflammatory”—it is a recitation of facts—and if it is “supremacist,” it would have to be “yellow supremacist” because it notes that Asians have higher average IQs than whites.

It is a terrible precedent when a huge company like YouTube—with the “help” of groups such as the No Hate Speech Movement and the Anti-Defamation League—starts deciding which facts to promote and which to suppress. My video is a perfect example of what should be welcome in “the market place of ideas.” If I’m wrong, refute me. YouTube doesn’t see it that way. It gave my video the leper treatment because it doesn’t want dissent on the subject of race and IQ. Is this the kind of society we want?

I have been gratified by the number of people who, like me, deplore YouTube’s attempt at to be the gate-keeper of ideas. Julian Assange—who knows a thing or two about censorship—called the suppression of my video “a clear attempt at social engineering.”

Paul Joseph Watson, who lost a six-figure cash flow when YouTube arbitrarily stopped his ad revenue, noted that “the first video to be censored as ‘offensive’ by YouTube is political.” He has a point: Violence, obscenity, vulgarity, and the crudest forms of vituperation are not “offensive,” but facts about race are.

Popular YouTube commentator Lauren Southern also hit the mark: “Your channel is next,” she wrote. “Speak up.”

Tweets like these have been retweeted thousands and thousands of times.

It is all very well to argue that YouTube is a private company and has the right to ban any content it likes, but YouTube is essentially a monopoly; it has no real competitors. It therefore has at least a moral obligation serve the public—not preen itself in public—and to ban only those videos that violate obscenity, defamation, incitement, and other legal standards.

This video actually has a curious history; it was banned outright by YouTube before reappearing and then being cast into its current state of limbo.

My staff first posted the video in 2013, but in January 2014, YouTube took it down without warning, without explanation, and with no way to appeal. It had been a success. It got over 150,000 views and hundreds of comments. We made a few cosmetic changes and uploaded it again to YouTube, where, until two days ago, it gathered an additional 300,000 views, nearly 6,000 likes, and only 2,000 dislikes.

The leper treatment has had a predictable result. Many people want to know what YouTube now considers “inflammatory religious or supremacist content,” so I have picked up another 70,000 views in just the two days since the video was banned. This won’t always be the case, of course. Many worthy videos will be cast into the outer darkness only because YouTube and its staff of blue noses were “offended.”

See the video here

What is YouTube afraid of? If I am obviously wrong, no one will pay attention. If I left something out or misinterpreted something, those who are right will correct me. In fact, there is a lively debate here, among people who do dispute some of my facts, and who are cursing YouTube for cutting off comments. They can’t correct me!

When YouTube announced its new policy, it promised to send a notice to offenders and give them the right to appeal. I have appealed; I’m still waiting for a reply.

YouTube reminds me of what a perhaps apocryphal bishop’s wife said when she first heard of Darwin’s theory of evolution: “Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray it does not become widely known.” Our tech masters think they are oh-so-progressive and liberated; they are more like Victorians.


Antifa Is Anti-America

On Sunday, violence erupted again in Berkeley, California, when around 100 masked, black-clad antifa members jumped a police barrier and attacked a small group of peacefully protesting Donald Trump supporters. The violence resulted in 13 arrests and injuries to six people. Joey Gibson, the Japanese-American leader of Patriot Prayer, one of the pro-Trump protest groups, called out Democrat leaders for their failure to speak against the violence perpetrated by leftist groups like antifa, even as they eagerly condemn the violence of white supremacists. Gibson said, “I’m asking Mayor [Ed] Lee and I’m asking Nancy Pelosi to speak against this violence and speak against this hatred, and be consistent with your message.”

Even as Republicans and Trump spoke out against the violence perpetrated in Charlottesville, and condemned racism specifically, the reality is that many Democrat leaders have failed to disavow and reject the violence and violent rhetoric espoused by groups like antifa and Black Lives Matter. At the violent protest in Berkeley, antifa members were heard chanting, “No Trump! No Wall! No USA at all!”

Frank Somerville, a news anchor in the San Francisco Bay area, witnessed the Berkeley violence and wrote, “I have experienced hate firsthand today. It came from these people dressed in all black at a protest in Berkeley. Ironically they were all chanting about no hate.” Somerville continued, “It’s one thing to read about hate. It’s another thing to be right next to it. In my opinion, these people dressed in black are just as hateful and intolerant as the people they are protesting.”

The real threat to American freedom isn’t coming from small fringe racist groups like the KKK and neo-Nazis but from those who are actively seeking to silence the free speech rights of others through violence. It’s coming from the intolerance espoused by leftists who fail to guard — and in many cases flatly reject — America’s most foundational and cherished constitutional rights. Antifa does not seek to promote the U.S. and the freedoms Americans hold dear, rather these hoodlums seek to destroy our nation based on the false premise that the U.S. is an oppressive and racist nation. The irony is that the real oppressors are those masked, black-clad thugs who seek through violence to silence those with whom they disagree.


UK’s Channel 4 Lauds Openly Anti-Britain, Anti-White Islamist as ‘Muslim Woman Fighting Stereotypes’

UK public broadcaster Channel 4 has featured a self-described Islamist who endorses violent militancy and brands white people and Israelis “parasites” as an example of “Muslim women fighting back by rejecting stereotypes”.

Nadia Chan, who has previously called on Muslims to support “the armed resistance from the Islamic Jihad … and also Hamas” in Israel on Iranian state television, was praised in a report by Channel 4 presenter Assed Baig.

“Stereotypes portray them as weak and meek,” he crooned. “But this group of Muslim women don’t accept that.” 

“Like many people, they don’t feel like their voices are represented in the mainstream,” said Baig.

This is perhaps unsurprising, considering Chan told Baig point blank that, “I don’t wanna be represented in British society. I don’t think representation is a liberation.”

This is consistent with a public tweet to Rebel Media contributor Tommy Robinson on August 16th, in which she swore she would “gladly LEAVE this SHIT HOLE” as soon as “parasitic filth … pay up reparations for colonial loot”.

Chan does not only consider the White British population parasites. She has also branded mixed martial artist Conor McGregor “an arrogant white irish parasite [sic]”, and declared: “I strongly advocate that the parasitic entity known as ‘Israel’ MUST cease to exist. Furthermore, every single Israeli is a parasite.”

With respect to white people, Chan has left followers in no doubt that her hostility extends well beyond particular nationalities with the following quote:  “The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.” —  Robert Mugabe

Elsewhere, she writes: “[Muslims] clean themselves 5 times a day, unlike you dirty white cave parasites, muslims gave y’all soap remember”, and, “[Y]ou pasty pasty bland bitches have NO culture, no rich history, you ain’t shit, ur ancestors were cave ppl”.

Mixed race critics have been dismissed with comments such as “[your] mum’s white ew lol” and “My condolences to you bitches whith white mums, but keep any reference to PAKISTANIS out of your mf’ering mouth you SWINE!”

“These Muslim women are breaking convention, and they’re not ony doing that inside the gym [where the Channel 4 segment was shot],” notes Baig.

“They’re organising their own political discussions, because mosques don’t have the space for them to do that.”

This should prove extremely worrying for the authorities, given Chan’s political views: “We need straight up militancy, they trying to kill us and they’re getting brave,” she has written.

“These honkies will kill more unless they are stopped.”

She has also denounced the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as “made up of ex cops (pigs) … Pigs are pigs, time to get justice done ourselves” — just one anti-police tweet among many, some of which appear to call for violence.

With respect to international affairs, Chan supports the Castros in Cuba, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Moros, and even the North Korean regime, and wants to “bring about a rebellion … to uproot settler colonialism” in the United States.

The Metropolitan Police Force, Crown Prosecution Service, Channel 4, and broadcasting regulator Ofcom have yet to comment.


Australia: Same sex marriage: Network Ten fake news

Network Ten has admitted to digitally doctoring footage for a news item on the alleged spitefulness of the same sex marriage debate, digitally superimposing a homophobic image sourced online onto a stock image of a random bus stop.

A poster with the phrase “Stop the Fags”, allegedly spotted in Melbourne’s Heffernan Lane earlier this month, was seized upon by marriage equality supporters as evidence that those opposed to changing the Marriage Act were willing to resort to hateful lies and scaremongering to win the debate.

Originally uploaded on Twitter on August 19 by a childcare worker Dan Leach-McGill, the image of the poster soon went viral, sparking extensive news coverage and commentary on both social media as well as in the mainstream press. Even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten weighed in, condemning the image and its message.

Yet when a Channel Ten news crew visited the alleged site on August 22, there was no sign of the offending poster.

And with a member of a global online forum for fascists claiming credit for the artwork, which has allegedly appeared on flyers across the US in recent months, and Mr Leach-McGill conceding that he had not personally viewed it, doubts have emerged over its existence.

“The poster in question had been taken down when our film crew visited the laneway in question so we were forced to source a copy online,” a spokesman for the network said yesterday.

“Unfortunately, an oversight in briefing our graphics department interstate may have created a false impression about its size and location.

“This was not a deliberate attempt to mislead our audience, but a creative error which we regret.”

The poster in question, which claimed that children of LGBTI parents were likely to be abused and of poor health, appears to derive from the US, with a member of the online fascist forum claiming credit.

Similar posters have emerged recently in various neighbourhoods in Minnesota in the US, according to anti-fascist website It’s Going Down.

Coalition for Marriage, which is campaigning for the No vote and was forced to deny any connections to the poster last week, has expressed disappointment that a major television news program relied upon a photoshopped image as evidence of “hateful” campaigning ahead of the postal plebiscite.

“After an unsubstantiated allegation that anti-LGBTI posters were displayed in Melbourne, Network Ten – instead of doing its job to investigate the facts and report on them – used manufactured images in its broadcast,” coalition spokeswoman Sophie York said.

“Other news outlets, while not as brazen to use manipulated images, still ran with the story without testing the veracity of the claims.

“There is a lot at stake when it comes to changing the laws on marriage. Instead of accurately and fairly presenting the ‘no’ case, including the very real consequences for ordinary Australians if the law is changed, media outlets have instead used manufactured stories to favour the Yes case.”



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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, August 30, 2017

Statue phobia

Low female representation in STEM fields is NOT due to selection bias

Recruiters in fact lean over backward to hire females.  Female candidates are just not there in the numbers that would enable equality

I don’t agree with everything in the infamous “Google Memo” written by James Damore, but I can understand why one might write such a memo after sitting through one too many training sessions on unconscious bias. I’m a professor in a STEM discipline, and like many STEM fields mine has substantially fewer women than men. Like every STEM professor that I know, I want my talented female students to have fair chances at advancing in the field. I’ve served on (and chaired!) hiring committees that produced “short lists” of finalists that were 50 percent women, I’ve recommended the hiring of female job applicants, I’ve written strong reference letters for female job applicants and tenure candidates, and I’ve published peer-reviewed journal articles with female student co-authors. At the same time, I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the official narratives promulgated about gender inequities in my profession arising from our unconscious biases. These narratives are, at best, awkward fits to the evidence, and sit in stark contradiction to first-hand observations.

My field is smaller than many other STEM fields, so for the sake of anonymity I will not name it, but all available data shows that the proportion of women in my discipline remains stable from the start of undergraduate studies and on through undergraduate degree completion, admission to graduate school, completion of the PhD, hiring as an assistant professor, and conferral of tenure. There have even been statistical studies (conducted by female investigators, FYI) showing that the number of departments with below-average proportions of women is wholly consistent with the normal statistical fluctuations expected from random chance in unbiased hiring processes. I cannot say that everyone in my field is perfectly equitable in all of their actions, but I can at least say that available evidence strongly suggests that the sexist actions of certain individuals do not leave substantial marks on the composition of our field. This should be a point of pride for us: Whatever sins might be committed by some individuals, as a community we have largely acted fairly and equitably in matters with tangible stakes for people’s careers.

Nor is my field unusual. In 2015, Professors Wendy Williams and Steven Ceci of Cornell University published a series of experimental findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and in their experiments they found that faculty reviewing hypothetical faculty candidates consistently preferred female candidates to male candidates. Moreover, Williams and Ceci cited literature showing that in real-world hiring women have an advantage over men.

My guess is that many readers will be surprised to hear me describe such findings. (After all, we’ve all sat through training sessions on purported biases in hiring processes.) Not being a social scientist myself, I cannot offer an in-depth defense of the work of Williams and Ceci, but I have searched in vain for informed critiques by experts. Alas, every critical summary that I’ve found reveals that the author did not actually read the paper. For instance, many people express incredulity at the assertion that real-world hiring data supports the finding of an advantage for female scientists in academic hiring. However, references 16 and 30-34 of the Williams and Ceci article make exactly that case. Are these references representative of the wider literature? Do they show data that was collected and analyzed via sound methods? I have yet to see a critic make that case, but if an informed expert can point to flaws in those references I would gratefully read their analysis.

Another common criticism is that Williams and Ceci ignored the famous “Lab Manager Study” of Corinne Moss-Racusin et al., also published in PNAS in 2012, which found that faculty were willing to offer higher salaries to hypothetical applicants for a lab manager position if the name on the resume was male rather than female. However, Williams and Ceci did not ignore this study; they actually cited it in the main text of the article (reference 6) and then discussed it at length on page 25 of the supplemental materials. The response of Williams and Ceci is that faculty hiring involves highly-accomplished applicants for high-status jobs, not less-accomplished new college graduates applying for lower-status jobs, and so different psychological factors may come into play when people are evaluating the prospective hires. Are they right? I don’t know enough about the relevant psychological literature to venture an informed opinion, but I’d love to read a response by a critic who acknowledges that Williams and Ceci actually discussed these findings, rather than one who dismisses them by asserting that they ignored the work of Moss-Racusin.

So, although I cannot assert with complete confidence that STEM fields are wholly free of sexism, I can point to strong evidence that disparities in STEM are not driven by hiring bias, and I must regretfully note that there has been little informed engagement with such findings. It is not intellectually healthy to have so little informed, critical dialogue around work with potentially high significance for such an important issue. Meanwhile, for those of us working in STEM, it is demoralizing to see that when researchers find evidence that we are working actively and fruitfully to remedy gender gaps in our profession, the response is not to celebrate our success but rather to offer uninformed critiques. It seems to be impermissible to question whether our purported sexism continues to drive inequality in our community.

If this were just about one study then we could (and should) react with stiff upper lips, and not let it colour our perception of the debate around gender in the STEM disciplines. Alas, there is a pattern (bias?) in research on bias in academic science. For instance, in the same year that PNAS published the work of Williams and Ceci, they also published a study of gender bias in science by van der Lee and Ellemers, purportedly showing that female scientists in the Netherlands are more likely than male peers to have their grant proposals rejected. However, the numbers provided in the article clearly show that the disparities in funding success result from how women are distributed among disciplines, not differential treatment of men and women in the review process: Women in the Netherlands are more likely to be in fields like biology (with low funding success rates) than physics (with comparatively higher funding success rates), but within each field women and men have similar success rates for their grant proposals. This point was quickly noted by a reader, and the editors of PNAS published a critical comment within two months of the original article’s publication.

Perhaps it is a sign of healthy scientific communication when published work sparks informed discussion of alternative explanations and the journal editors make room for that discussion, but it is worrisome that such a basic error was allowed to slip through the initial review process. It’s even more worrisome when one examines the “Acknowledgments” section of the Williams and Ceci article, which I will quote in part: “We thank [names of colleagues who provided advice], seven anonymous reviewers, one anonymous statistician who replicated our findings, and the editor.” It is very unusual for an article to be reviewed by seven separate peer reviewers before publication (the most I’ve ever had was four, and I’ve published in some rather high-impact journals), and even more unusual for a journal to insist that the raw data be sent to an anonymous statistical consultant for independent verification of the results. One cannot help but wonder if Williams and Ceci were held to a higher standard than van der Lee and Ellemers because Williams and Ceci offered work that contradicted a common narrative while van der Lee and Ellemers offered work that allegedly affirmed the conventional wisdom.

To put these articles in context, keep in mind the place that PNAS occupies in the hierarchy of academic journals. PNAS is not merely a high-status, high-impact, widely-read journal. There are many such journals; indeed, every field of science has at least one such publication venue (and often more than one). What makes PNAS stand out is that it’s one of the few well-respected journals to publish work spanning the entire breadth of science and engineering, ranging from psychology to materials engineering to marine biology. My colleagues and I don’t usually read psychology journals but we do read PNAS. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever have a lunch conversation about an article published in a specialty venue for social scientists, but it’s entirely possible that we’ll pass a lunch time discussing some social science finding published in PNAS. An editorial slant in such a respected and well-read journal will have consequences for the narratives that gain traction in our field.

So much for the big picture. What about the small scale? Everyone has heard anecdotes about sexist treatment of women, and I confess that I’ve witnessed a few such incidents. (I tried to do what I could when I witnessed them, but it isn’t always easy to process what you’ve seen quickly enough to respond in a timely fashion, especially when issues of power and status loom large.) At the same time, I’ve also witnessed compensatory measures, and even over-compensation. I’ve seen “diverse” colleagues get away with conduct bordering on fraud because nobody wanted to call them out for it. I’ve seen middling female students lavished with praise and encouragement when they were ambivalent about whether to apply to graduate school, while similarly weak male students were met with (quite appropriate!) skepticism about their interest in graduate study. I’ve seen hiring committees bend over backwards to paper over a female applicant’s weaknesses while rigorously critiquing a male applicant.

Of course, I’ve seen white and male colleagues get away with certain things as well, so I can’t say that the situation is entirely one of “reverse sexism” or “political correctness” or some such thing. What I can say is that my ground-level observations are largely consistent with the big-picture data: Sexist things do happen, but people work conscientiously to compensate and even over-compensate, resulting in an employment landscape that is at the very least level and often somewhat favorable to women. But it is impermissible to vocalise this observation, so we are left with no choice but to nod and agree as we are scolded for shameful internal biases that allegedly leave their mark on our professional community, a community that many of us care deeply about improving.

This can only go on for so long before people push back. I certainly have my criticisms of Damore’s arguments, and I would be the first to agree that he is clueless about how to navigate workplace politics. Nonetheless, if we keep hearing that conscientious and hard-working people are at fault for gender gaps, disparities that they themselves have actively worked to combat, and that have even seen peers perhaps over-correct for, eventually people will start responding with something other than enthusiastic confessions of privilege and bias. People will start pointing to contradictory data, and even sympathetic people might start grumbling about excesses of political correctness that they may have witnessed. Some of us will do it pseudonymously, both for our own comfort and the comfort of co-workers, but some people will do like James Damore and speak out under their own names, making the workplace uncomfortable (to put it mildly).

We have a choice before us. One option is to celebrate the progress that has been made, stop pointing the blame at the alleged biases of conscientious people, and steer the conversation to the true origin of disparities, earlier “in the pipeline” as they say. The other option is to keep admonishing generally well-meaning professionals to stop behaving in such an allegedly biased manner, and then act shocked and scandalised when somebody draws attention to the countervailing data. The first path will mean fewer silly training sessions, but it might also mean awkward conversations about how and why people become interested in different paths of work and study.  Whether these factors arise from nature, nurture, or the interaction thereof, they come into play long before anybody gets to a STEM career, and moving past bias explanations means that people who are concerned about the makeup of the profession will have to be able to confront these questions. The second path will avoid those awkward conversations, but at the cost of resentment that might occasionally pour out. I can’t speak for everyone in STEM, but as a scholar I’d rather see conscientious people confront data and discuss its implications, not paper over it with misplaced blame.


Politically correct princesses?

This month, Disney’s Dream Big, Princess initiative launched its “global photo campaign” on social media in yet another attempt to foist its politically correct message on young girls. According to its website, the campaign “collaborated with professional photographers from around the world to create a series of empowering images showcasing real-world girls and women” in order to encourage kids to “dream big.”

Each photographer will post her images on social media with the hashtag DreamBigPrincess. For every like a #DreamBigPrincess photo receives, and every photo published publicly with #DreamBigPrincess (the initiative encourages the public to share their own images of their daughters’ big dreams using the same hashtag), Dream Big, Princess will donate $1 to GirlUp. The campaign will continue until October 11, 2017.

According to its website, GirlUp is an organization that aims to give girls in struggling nations “an equal chance for education, health, social and economic opportunities, and a life free from violence.” Which is a big dream. And a worthwhile one too. But it’s a little unclear who exactly is meant to see these photos and be inspirited by them since, presumably, the impoverished girls who will benefit from the funds raised for GirlUp aren’t viewing and sharing images on Twitter.

So, essentially, the idea seems to be that this campaign wants Disney princesses to inspire young girls here in America to follow their dreams which, in turn, will raise money to help girls in less affluent countries to follow theirs. A bit complicated, perhaps, but not necessarily a bad idea. Disney princesses have been inspiring girls to follow their dreams for over seventy years. Why should they stop now?

Disney princesses are nothing if not dreamers. Pretty much every Disney princess begins as a girl who longs for something more than the life she is currently living. All that Dream Big, Princess (and their photo campaign) should have to do to effectively speak to an audience of girls, whose dreams are myriad and varied, is highlight the attributes these princesses embody that allow them to achieve their dreams. Courage, tenacity, independence, curiosity, sacrifice, hope — the kind of inner strengths that turn a dream into a reality. And then, no matter what each girl’s individual dream happens to be, there will be (as Dream Big’s promotional materials state) “a princess to show her it’s possible.”

But, instead of showing girls how to achieve their dreams (whatever their dreams may be) Dream Big, Princess co-opts the princesses (and their dreams) and uses them to disingenuously promote the types of dreams they think little girls ought to have.

In the central ad of the Dream Big, Princess initiative, Disney princesses are paired with little girls who are, supposedly, inspired by them to follow their own (very specific dreams). Ariel swims through the ocean, a girl dives into a pool. Cinderella twirls in her homemade ball gown, a little girl performs a dance routine. Rapunzel swings by her hair, a little girl swings on a rope swing. “Be students, be teachers, be politicians, . . . be astronauts, be champions,” the accompanying song commands them.

And, sure, these are all dreams a little girl could have. But she might also want to be a mother. Or a wife. Any number of other things. Why does she have to be an athlete?

The dreams this campaign is projecting on young girls certainly aren’t the dreams of the princesses being used to inspire them. Ariel’s dream was not to be a champion swimmer. Cinderella’s was not to be a professional dancer. Rapunzel didn’t hope to make hair swinging an Olympic sport. In fact, none of these things had anything to do with their dreams at all. A little girl who longs to be a professional dancer isn’t going to take much away from Cinderella’s time at the ball. The connections that Dream Big, Princess is making between a young girl’s potential dreams and the dreams of Disney princesses are, at best, a stretch.

Dream Big, Princess is using the princesses to promote their own agenda because they know how much little girls love Disney princesses. But the dreams of the princesses aren’t the kinds of dreams this initiative approves of for young girls.

The narrator in the ad for the photo campaign actually says it best: “When I think about all the girls . . . that are influenced by the idea of the Disney princess, you know that this is an opportunity to inspire girls to do something more.”

No, Dream Big, little girls love Disney princesses because they already encompass the things girls long for. Because they show us the way to be whatever it is we yearn to become. Because they accept all our dreams, no matter how small, and teach us the virtues we must embody to achieve them. To those little girls, the princesses are perfect just the way they are. And to the princesses, so are those little girls. Shame on you, Dream Big. We want our princesses back.


Tennessee Theater Cancels ‘Gone With the Wind’ Screening After 34 Years Over ‘Racist’ Content Complaints

The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, will no longer screen Gone With the Wind after the theater’s board said it had received “numerous comments” from viewers who called the 1939 film “insensitive” and “racist.”

A statement from The Orpheum Theatre Group reads:

    While title selections for the series are typically made in the spring of each year, the Orpheum has made this determination early in response to specific inquiries from patrons. The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community. The recent screening of Gone With the Wind at the Orpheum on Friday, August 11, 2017, generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them.

The group said the film was ultimately pulled because it was “insensitive” to local patrons.

“As an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves,’ the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population,” the group said.

The theater’s decision to pull the film ends a 34-year tradition at the Orpheum. The removal apparently stemmed from a post on the Orpheum’s Facebook page from an early August screening, in which someone deemed the eight-time Academy Award-winning film “racist.” Another Memphis resident said of the news that “slowly but surely, we will rid this community of all tributes to white supremacy.”

The iconic film, set around a southern plantation during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, follows the lives of several black and white characters of the historic era. Actress Hattie McDaniel, who played a house servant named Mammy, became the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role in the film.

What’s more, the film’s producer David O. Selznick went out of his way to avoid offending black audiences and consulted with black leaders at the time to insure the film would not be insensitive to blacks — in the way that, for example, Birth of a Nation was.

Selznick had refused to allow the N-word in the film. He wrote a letter to the NAACP president explaining that as a Jew he was painfully aware of what was happening in Europe (at that time, in the 1930s) to Jews and would not do anything to increase racial tensions in America. The NAACP wrote a corresponding letter to Selznick, thanking him for taking care not to include objectively insensitive material in the film.

Alas, the Orpheum said it will soon be “announcing an exciting movie series in the spring of 2018 that will, as always, contain both classic films and more recent blockbusters.”


A brainless but vicious "comedian"

HBO’s alleged comedian-host John Oliver (I’ve never found him to be particularly amusing) has the same problem a lot of wealthy Leftists have.

God has blessed Oliver (whether Oliver realizes it or not) – Oliver is wealthy. He makes a whole lot of money – in a field where maybe one in a thousand can even buy groceries plying their wares. Making it in entertainment is catching lightening in a bottle – twice.

Oliver makes huge coin – for a less-than-imperative service. He isn’t curing cancer. Nothing wrong with it – but he’s a court jester. Making as much as he does for what he does – leaves a lot of people in his position feeling almost like they’re cheating at life.

Many thus feel the need to crusade for causes – to make up for the incredible good fortune they enjoy. And when you aren’t a signally deep or practiced thinker – that oft means falling for the shallow facility of Leftism.

Oliver has fallen hard. And there’s no diving in his thought pool.

But Oliver ain’t alone with this particular affliction. Oliver isn’t even alone in the same tiny little sliver that is his “entertainment” genre.

Oliver is a rote copy of what passes today for cable television comedy. An endless parade of snide, cynical females and beta males. All taking nigh identical crass, classless, unfunny shots at capitalism and capitalists, conservatives, Republicans – and any American who doesn’t live in Manhattan or Beverly Hills.

Because, you know, they’re champions of the Little Guy. Or something.

If you miss Oliver – fret not, you can tune in to the exact same show, only presented by Trevor Noah. Missed Noah? Dial in Samantha Bee. Missed Bee? Punch up Jim Jeffries. The only variable – is the accent in which the undifferentiated pseudo-comedy is delivered.

Oliver is British – if that’s your intonation of choice. But by his own admission – Britain didn’t find him funny. So he limped across the Pond to try his luck here in the States.

And like America has done time and time again, our country rewarded Oliver well beyond what his limited talent would garner him anywhere else on the planet. And yet somehow, Oliver appears to be perpetually angry at the nation that took him in and has made his ridiculous life possible.

Oliver – just like so many others – rails against all the same Leftist bogeymen. Using all the same cheap, witless and personal attacks they all do.

After leaving his palatial, well-lit abode and driving his petroleum-mobile to his lavish, Klieg light-blasted television studio – Oliver does hilarious things like:

“(M)ake fun of (Murray Energy Corporation CEO Robert) Murray’s age, physical appearance and, according to Murray, falsely suggested that Murray had put profits over the safety of his workers. At one point, Oliver held a fake check that read ‘Eat sh*t Bob!’ and included the phrase ‘kiss my a—‘ in the memo. The HBO host also referred to Mr. Murray as a ‘geriatric Dr. Evil….’”

Wow – that’s high-brow, funny stuff. Especially considering Murray is in declining health and is reliant on oxygen to even breathe.

And what are Murray’s high crimes and misdemeanors? He runs a company that makes available to all of us coal – the substance that provides half of America’s electricity.

The stuff that makes Oliver’s palatial, well-lit abode – well-lit. That gives his studio’s energy-sucking Klieg lights – the ability to be energy-sucking.

Speaking of Oliver’s Home of the Common Man:

The John Oliver Property Tax Scam: HBO Comedian Secretly Buys Manhattan Mansion: “Liberal deity avoids taxes by using loophole created by Donald Trump.”

Well that’s fabulous. I don’t need to tell you how often Oliver has railed specifically against now-President Trump.

Oliver has definitely whined generally about wealthy people making wealth – and then trying to hold on to it after: “Back in July 2014, in an episode in which he lamented the ‘Wealth Gap in America’…Oliver said, ‘At this point the rich are just running up the score…What sets America apart is that we are actively introducing policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy,’ such as tax cuts and loopholes like trusts.”

And now Oliver is ducking taxes on his palatial estate. Do as he screeches – not as he does.

Because Oliver’s comedy is so low-level guttural – I mean, “Eat sh*t Bob!” and “Kiss my a—“ ain’t exactly Shakespeare – he tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator. (Which isn’t even close to the same as being for the Little Guy – for many obvious reasons.)

So when Oliver went on a funny-free tirade against Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for working to undo the Barack Obama Administration Internet power grab known as Network Neutrality – things quickly went awful, as only dumb Leftist things can. (See also: Saturday’s Left-on-Left violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.)

How the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) manage their networks – and what Net Neutrality means to it – is…fairly sophisticated stuff. It was quite obvious Oliver doesn’t understand it. And he knew the assembled nit-wittery tuning in to him – would have zero idea about which he was speaking.

So Oliver’s rhetorical assault – never ethereal in its reach or tone – was particularly low-lying. Oliver’s audience – managed to worm their way under the ridiculously low bar he set.

Alleged uber-racist Trump has named as his FCC Chairman – son-of-Indian-immigrants Ajit Pai. Oliver’s allegedly enlightened audience – flooded the FCC with death threats and racist slurs:

“Just a few weeks ago, for example, (Oliver) had to issue a plea for calm and restraint after he urged his audience to target top officials at an obscure federal agency…over a policy with which he disagreed. His plea was too little too late.

“Ajit Pai, the first person of Indian descent to run the agency, became the target of death threats, racial attacks, and a litany of other abuses hurled by progressives in the so-called Netroots movement who shared Oliver’s objections to Pai’s policy.”

Oliver and his Nutroots share a disdain for – but not an understanding of – said policy. Oliver’s minions – like Oliver – keep it classy:

“One commenter said, ‘{F]—k you Ajit Pai for what you’re are trying to do and I hope you die a horrible painful death with no remembrance to your name you cocksucka [sic].’

“Another said failure to keep net neutrality would ‘cause me to pray for the slow and painful death of Chairman Ajit Pai and every living member of his family, direct or indirect.’

“’Save internet and f**k this Ajit guy,’ said another. ‘He’s from India, deport that asshole. We will take care of him when he’s back.’

“Other comments used racial attacks against Pai, the son of Indian immigrants.

“Can you guys stop being complete greedy little s–ts and work for the American people and not for your wallets,’ said one commenter using the name ‘Andromeda Titan.’ ‘Also, f–k you Ajit Pai (a disgrace to all Indians). And f–k Trump too.’

“Another commenter said, ‘Ajit Pai looks and sounds like an Indian fraternity brother who exclusively f–ks underage women.’

“‘Ajit Pai looks like the lone Indian who rushed an all white bro frat and only got in because they needed someone to clean up after their weekend bender,’ said another, who added, ‘It’s not racist because I’m Indian and white privilege absolutely exists.’”

Again, see also: Saturday’s Left-on-Left violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Oh – and remember: Oliver’s Net Neutrality is favored and backed by – because it is a huge government cronyism gift for – tiny little companies like Google (market cap: $924 billion), Facebook (market cap: $488 billion) and Amazon (market cap: $465 billion).

Because, again, John Oliver – with his massive salary, his massive Manhattan mansion with its massive tax breaks and his massive government policy preferences that favor massive corporations – is definitely all for and about the Little Guy.

Oliver’s dumb-ness, dullness…and obscene wealth – prove yet again what a great country America is.

It matters not that Oliver is intellectually incapable of grasping that fact.



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.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Toxic masculinity and privilege

A comment by Renna on Twitter:  "If he's still single by nightfall, I'll be disappointed in you Texas ladies"

Feminists eat your heart out. He's a Houston SWAT officer

The Equal Rights Amendment is again on the table

Lena Dunham hadn’t even been born when the Equal Rights Amendment movement sputtered and died. Today, she’s among the activists and celebrities trying to revive it, mugging for a social media campaign in a T-shirt bearing an iconic photo of feminist activists Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes.

Elise Bouc has long prepared for such a campaign. Four decades after watching the ERA debate as a teenager, she is the spokeswoman for the effort to stop it, using some of the same arguments as her predecessor, the late Phyllis Schlafly .

“I feel a little bit like a time traveler sometimes,” said Bouc, chairwoman of Stop ERA Illinois and spokeswoman on the ERA for the conservative Eagle Forum.

This is where women find themselves in 2017: revisiting a movement that predated disco. At least a half-dozen states have fielded new proposals to ratify a constitutional amendment on equal rights for women. In March, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify it, 35 years after missing the deadline.

The throwback movement picked up speed even before Donald Trump’s inauguration prompted massive protest marches and feelings of vulnerability among women. Activists believe women are now starting to appreciate that the policy gains of the past four decades could be wiped away without explicit constitutional protections. Moreover, women still don’t enjoy the equality promised from hard-fought victories: more than a half century after the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, women still make less money than men.

“I’m just tired of fighting all the time on things that should be moving forward,” said Jessica Neuwirth, president of the ERA Coalition. “What we really need is this constitutional amendment so it can’t be rolled back.”

The ERA would expressly prohibit discrimination based on gender, enshrining equal rights in the Constitution and providing a sturdier foundation for legal challenges, advocates say. “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” the amendment says.

Many young women, groomed to be soccer stars and scientists, may be surprised to discover their rights aren’t already constitutionally protected. A poll conducted by the ERA Coalition last year found that 80 percent of people believe they are.

But as activists point out, unlike other groups that have historically been discriminated against — based on race, religion, or national origin, for instance — courts have not found that women are specifically protected.

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex,” the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once said. “The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

That means women do not get the same “strict scrutiny” standard of judicial review that those groups receive before the Supreme Court.

Moreover, many assume that women have constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment that was adopted in the wake of the Civil War to provide equal protection to former slaves. But that clause has been applied inconsistently to sex discrimination cases.

In other words: Women often lose.

That’s the case laid out in Neuwirth’s 2015 book, “Equal Means Equal,” and a 2016 film by the same name, directed by actress Kamala Lopez, that helped spur some of the celebrity interest in a social media campaign for the ERA.

Whether a Hollywood message is helpful in the current cultural climate, though, is another question.

Joan C. Williams, founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, argued the ERA failed in the 1970s because of class conflicts — and would fail again today.

That’s because attitudes toward gender roles differ substantially by class, and the ERA tends to appeal to those on the higher end of the economic spectrum.

“Non-elite women tend to look back with nostalgia and longing on the homemaker role because that’s really still one of our hidden cultural ideals,” said Williams, author of “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.’’

Women who opposed the ERA in the 1970s framed it as “an attack on homemakers” whose personal choices would be threatened, Williams added. “There’s little doubt in my mind that they would do that again. And that this would be another example of sort of coastal elites attacking the American family.”

Though it’s closely associated with the cultural tumult of the 1970s, the ERA dates to 1923, when suffragist Alice Paul introduced it as the logical next step toward equality, three years after women won the right to vote.

Nearly five decades later, the ERA passed Congress in March 1972 and was sent to the states for ratification. It picked up support from 22 states within the first year but failed to garner the required three-quarters of states, even after Congress extended the deadline to 1982. The measure expired with only 35 states on board, three fewer than needed.

Some activists think that, after Nevada’s recent approval, they only need ratification from two more states to make the ERA a reality. However that would likely require another extension from Congress and also face legal challenges, in part because some states later rescinded support. The 15 states that have not ratified it are largely clustered in the South and lower Midwest.

The divisive debate of the 1970s nearly turned “equal rights” into dirty words. Schlafly led the opposition through her conservative Eagle Forum and warned the ERA would lead to taxpayer-funded abortion; force women into combat; give gay couples rights; and allow anyone into any public bathroom.

Opponents are still employing some of those same arguments today.

Though women can now serve in military combat, Bouc raises concerns about the draft. “While the military draft has not been used since Vietnam, it’s always a real possibility,” Bouc said. “Right now, we are in the situation women from the ’70s wanted: Women now can choose whether or not they want to place themselves in that vulnerable position of being in combat.”

She also warned that an amendment intended to help women would end up hurting them, by invalidating gender-specific benefits that already exist, such as workplace accommodations for pregnant women; alimony; and federal funding of nutrition and health initiatives. Housewives would lose their claim to half their husbands’ Social Security benefits, Bouc said. Gender-specific bathrooms and women’s shelters could be rendered obsolete.

“In essence, it will turn us into an androgynous society where even when it makes sense to make a distinction based on our gender, we will not be allowed to,” she said.

ERA advocates dispute those points and say the current laws don’t sufficiently protect women. They point to the nation’s largest-ever sex discrimination case, which the Supreme Court threw out in 2011. Despite evidence of disparities in female Walmart employees’ pay and promotions, the court found the women had provided “no convincing proof of a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy.”

Neuwirth noted that the Equal Pay Act was practically negated by the Supreme Court, which found that a woman had to file suit within 180 days of being hired. (The Obama administration subsequently eased that time constraint.)

“There are laws that protect women in theory, but in practice they don’t work,” said Neuwirth. “What this would do effectively is give women more adequate remedy.”

Still, the remedies would depend on the cases, said Williams. “ERA is a bit of a cipher,” Williams said. “Equal means equal to somebody, and it’s unclear to whom. It would all be decided in the courts.”


Christian girl, 5, is forced into foster care with Burka-wearing Muslim carers who 'took away her crucifix and stopped her eating bacon'

A Christian girl aged five was forced to live in conservative Muslim foster homes where nobody spoke English and she was encouraged to learn Arabic, it was reported.

The girl, who was white and a native English speaker, spent the past six months in two Muslim households after being placed into foster care in Tower Hamlets, east London.

Local authority reports describe how the little girl sobbed and begged not to be returned to her niqab-wearing carer’s home, telling a social worker: ‘They don’t speak English.’

The reports, seen by The Times, detail how the child was ‘very distressed’ and claimed the foster carer had removed her Christian cross and encouraged her to learn Arabic.

It was even suggested that the carer had forbidden her from eating a carbonara meal, because it contained bacon – which Muslims do not eat.

The two placements were made by Tower Hamlets borough council against the wishes of the girl’s family.

According to the newspaper, the girl also told her mother that ‘Christmas and Easter are stupid’ and that ‘European women are stupid and alcoholic’. Local authorities are required to give due consideration to a child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background’ when placing them into a foster home.

The girl’s mother is said to be horrified by the circumstances her daughter has been placed in.

A friend told the newspaper: ‘This is a five-year-old white girl. She was born in this country, speaks English as her first language, loves football, holds a British passport and was christened in a church. She’s already suffered the huge trauma of being forcibly separated from her family.

‘She needs surroundings in which she’ll feel secure and loved. Instead, she’s trapped in a world where everything feels foreign and unfamiliar. That’s really scary for a young child.’

The girl lived with her first carer, who is believed to have worn a niqab outside the family home, for four months. Her current carer wears a burka, which covers her face entirely, when she is out in public with the child. Tower Hamlets council reportedly refused to respond to requests to explain why the girl had been fostered in the households.

The Daily Mail have contacted the council for comment.

It’s not the first time Tower Hamlets has been embroiled in scandal. In 2014, a leaked government report suggested the mayor Lutfur Rahman and his finance minister, Alibor Choudhury, had links to Islamic extremist groups, including one seeking to set up a Sharia state in Europe.

A document handed to The Sunday Telegraph alleged that three community centres owned by the council, or by their housing authority, were used for meetings of radical groups including Al Muhajiroun, the banned Islamist terrorist organisation founded by Omar Bakri Mohammed and Anjem Choudary.

A third was used by political hate group Hizb ut-Tahrir and ‘may still be’ in use, according to a report which was prepared for David Cameron in 2013.

In 2011, it was reported a 31-year-old Asian woman who worked in a local chemist’s had received death threats for refusing to wear a veil, even though she was not a practising Muslim. The woman’s boss was later approached by an Asian in his 40s who told him his employee must cover her head and wear longer robes.


Leftists condemn a Confederate gentleman but love a racist goon

While the Left claims the violent, racist, history of the Confederacy warrants the removal of all depictions of its military commanders, they simply can’t get enough of the violent, racist, military commander Che Guevara.

Whether it’s denouncing blacks as less than human, brutally executing children or leading a militant force dedicated to enslaving millions, Che Guevara is the bloodthirsty racist liberals see in Robert E. Lee.

In many ways, Guevara was the original Social Justice Warrior.

The rich, privileged kid of well-off white Argentine parents, Guevara became radicalized in college.  Traveling around Central America in one of the first “poverty tourism” trips, Guevara treated blacks and indigenous people with the condescending contempt now synonymous with American liberals.

In fact, he could have easily passed for a KKK member. Writing in his diary in 1952, Guevara sneered:

"The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations".

Yes, the people who want to rip down statue of Robert E. Lee are erecting icons to the man who wrote that.

After leading Cuban Communists to military victory, Guevara made it clear people with black skin would be treated as second-class citizens in the new regime.

“We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing,” Guevara promised in 1959.

True to his word, to this day Cuban blacks are treated as chattel — by a racist slave empire liberals openly admire.

And if liberals want to express opposition to a military commander dedicated to hate, they simply need to look down at the grotesque face on their trendy t-shirts.

In a 1966 speech, Guevara screeched:

Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred that is intransigent…hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine…We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! These hyenas are fit only for extermination. We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm! The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!

If Robert E. Lee is a racist mass murderer who led the fight to build a slave empire, it appears the only problem liberals have with that is that he didn’t persecute racial minorities to advance socialism.

If liberals want to condemn to the ash heap of history a violent, psychotic, anti-black bigot who led an army expressly dedicated to hate and human slavery, they can start with their most cherished, blood-soaked bigot — Che Guevara.


UK: Jeremy Corbyn’s talk of ‘kinder politics’ isn’t matched by Labour’s actions

Katie Glass

I would rather spend a night with the Mogginator [Popular but very old-fashioned Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg] than endure a soy latte with Laura Pidcock. Most of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s voting record appalls me, but at least he’d be a laugh and rather more charming than the Labour MP Pidcock. She informed us last week she had "absolutely no intention of being friends" with Tories because they’re "the enemy". Which sounds like the ridiculous fighting talk of someone who’s been playing too much Call of Duty rather than the sentiments of an elected MP.

Pidcock, the member for North West Durham, says she would never "hang out" with Conservative women, who are "no friends of mine". She followed this up by tweeting the message that "it’s visceral. I’m not interested in being cosy with Tories". Well, that’s going to disappoint her local WI.

I’m not militant about who I’ll hang out with. I’m as easy with leftie, lentil-munching fake hippies as with blue-blood Tory boys. I’m as comfortable at the Glastonbury festival as at . . . well, other parts of the Glastonbury festival.

Still, hearing Pidcock reminded me why I’d rather be friends with Conservatives. Tories always get their round in and are much less judgmental, partly because they are so much more confident about their own views.

Right now I’m staying in the house of a One Nation Tory who bakes bread for me every night in his Aga. It sure beats the time I went to stay with my "leftie" mates and they spent the whole week slagging off my job, even as they suggested I "expense" the drinks.

I feel increasingly alienated by lefties who call themselves liberal, but refuse to listen to different opinions; who claim to be compassionate, but use the smallest political difference — or none at all — as an excuse to resort to personal abuse.

At its "funniest" it’s hearing people joke about dancing on Margaret Thatcher’s grave or finding T-shirts with the Nye Bevan quote about Tories being "lower than vermin" for sale on leftie websites such as RedMolotov, with text in the shape of a rat. At its worst it means watching the hard left viciously troll the soft left on social media, particularly if their targets are female and Jewish.

It is no less distasteful when their victims are unappealing, as when Owen Jones, a Guardian columnist, tweeted "few things more beautiful" alongside a video of the US alt-right activist Jason Kessler being swung at violently by a mob.

How would Pidcock respond to someone spouting such offensive nonsense towards any other group? She’d (rightly) call it hate speech. Yet look how Amina Lone, a Muslim Labour councillor in Manchester, has been treated by her own side after daring to speak out against the abuse of children by grooming gangs. She has been barred from standing for re-election after seven years on the council because of her "outspoken" campaigning for gender equality within the Muslim community.

The Tories are supposed to be the Nasty Party, but it’s hard to believe in Corbyn’s "kinder politics" while listening to chants of "Tory scum". I can’t trust a movement where actions don’t match words. If you’re going to bang on about how caring you are, that compassion must be inclusive. As the Labour MP Jess Phillips bluntly observed, when it comes to sexism, left-wing men are the "actual worst".

After the murder of MP Jo Cox proved political rhetoric had real consequences, Pidcock should be ashamed for peddling what the Tory MP Nadine Dorries rightly calls the "politics of hate". You have to build a rapport to wield influence in a parliamentary democracy. It takes cross-party collaboration and adult debate.

This is, after all, how Corbyn justifies sharing a platform with terrorists. If the Labour leader can talk to Hamas and the IRA, can’t Pidcock give Norma Major a chance?

It took reporting on the Grenfell fire to make the Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow wonder, mournfully, if he is part of a disconnected elite. I could have told him that he is.

As a cub reporter, new to London, I once approached him nervously at a National Portrait Gallery party. He was dismissive and rude, ridiculing me in front of his female fans for not recognising a portrait of the former Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez.

"If he was a singer in a rock band called Up your Jumper, you’d know who he is," he said, pleased to have embarrassed a girl 30 years younger, and 30 times poorer, than him.



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


Monday, August 28, 2017

UK: Sarah Champion and the silencing of debate

Chilling any discussion about Muslim pedophile gangs is an insult to victims

This week, Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, resigned as shadow minister for women and equalities. Why? Because she wrote an article in the Sun last week raising questions about Pakistani grooming gangs.

It was the headline to Champion’s piece that caused most controversy: ‘British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls… and it’s time we faced up to it.’ Critics of Champion said she was making a racist generalisation about the Pakistani community. Champion later claimed the opening paragraphs of her piece had been ‘stripped of nuance’ by the Sun’s editors, though the Sun says her people checked the piece twice and said it ‘looked great’.

Let’s get one thing straight: Champion is not a racist. Aside from the questionable headline, her article made an important point. She was writing about two things: the independent inquiry into the scale of abuse of women in the Rotherham area, and the conviction of 17 men in Newcastle under Operation Sanctuary. The inquiry, commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, revealed that 1,400 girls and young women had been abused in the area over a period of six years, and that ‘the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage, including the five men convicted in 2010’. The men convicted in Operation Sanctuary were from a mix of backgrounds: Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish.

Champion, as MP for the area, had been party to discussions about the abuse cases in Rotherham and Rochdale, and had worked to change the law on grooming in response to police negligence. She is familiar with this subject and how contentious it is. The inquiry Champion wrote about said that both police and social services had wilfully ignored data and failed to protect vulnerable girls — and one of the reasons this happened is because the issues of race and religion were seen as too sensitive for open, frank discussion.

Champion’s resignation sends out a clear message: discussing the significance of race or religion in these cases is frowned upon. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the resignation was Champion’s decision. But she really only started to receive criticism after her piece was quoted in a Sun column by Trevor Kavanagh this week — a column which attracted the ire of many MPs for its critical comments on Islam. It wasn’t Champion’s original argument that got her into trouble: it was the fact that they were later cited as part of a criticism of Islam. Criticising Islam is a no-no today.

‘You cannot blame an entire community, an entire nation or an entire ethnic community’, Corbyn said in response to Champion’s resignation. She didn’t do that, and outside of the crazier sections of the alt-right, nobody does that. It seems quite clear that Champion’s resignation wasn’t voluntary; she seems to have been pushed out for saying unacceptable things.

The abuse scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Newcastle are ugly and deeply complex. As Luke Gittos has argued on spiked, to focus on one element, including the perpetrator’s religion or ethnicity, ignores other factors that led to thousands of young working-class girls being repeatedly abused. The inquiry Champion mentioned pointed out that, in the UK, ‘the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE [child sexual exploitation] are white men’. But it also said that, in the Rotherham area, race and religion are a significant factor in such cases. ‘The majority of perpetrators were described as “Asian” by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councillors did not engage directly with the Pakistani heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue.’

Champion herself pointed out that the ‘irony of all of this is that, by not dealing with the ethnicity of the abusers as a fact, political correctness has actually made the situation about race’. The first miscarriage of justice happened when the authorities in the area failed to deal with the full facts of the case. To carry on in this vein, by silencing any uncomfortable discussion about race or religion, as has happened with Champion, adds to this miscarriage and is a further insult to the victims.

No one is arguing that all Pakistani men, or all Muslim men, are child abusers or rapists — that would be absolutely absurd. Parts of Champion’s article did sail dangerously close to making such an accusation, and people should of course feel free to criticise her: that’s free speech. But in resigning over her ‘extremely poor choice of words’, Champion has proven one of the points she and others have been trying to make: that discussing the ethnic or religious make-up of these grooming gangs is pretty much forbidden in polite society.

The silencing of discussion is worrying. It sets a dangerous precedent, possibly discouraging other vulnerable working-class girls from coming forward if they are abused. It tells them they will cause controversy and embarrassment if they speak up about their experiences. But it also demeans Muslim and Pakistani communities, through suggesting they cannot handle scrutiny or debate about some of their community members’ behaviour. This clearly isn’t the case: Muslim leaders and members of the Rotherham Pakistani community publicly condemned the actions of the perpetrators and have welcomed dialogue.

By chilling discussion, we deny ourselves the ability to consider all aspects of these cases. Maybe the fact that these men are Muslim and had a tendency to view white working-class women as ‘trash’ had something to do with their actions – maybe it didn’t. Only open debate will let us find out, and will ensure that where there are problems between communities, we can try to do something about them.


From the BBC school of history... why everything is Britain's fault

Everything is your fault. But there’s no need to say sorry, because the BBC is busy apologising on your behalf.

Barely a week goes by without its guilt-ridden liberals blaming Britain for all the world’s woes. Self-loathing is their hobby — it makes them feel better.

Film-maker Gurinder Chadha, brought up in Southall, London, was at pains throughout India’s Partition: The Forgotten Story (BBC2) to emphasise that Britain alone was responsible for millions of deaths and decades of conflict following the separation of Pakistan in 1947.

She returned to this theme repeatedly, even though all her evidence contradicted the claim. Whenever the facts indicated that the sundering of India was due to ego clashes between its leaders or the aftermath of World War II, Gurinder nodded grimly and blamed Britain.

She especially accused Sir Winston Churchill, who she said despised Hindus. He was the epitome of the British Establishment, she sneered — though anyone who knows the first thing about Churchill will realise he was an outsider in every society.

As fake doctor Cath Hardacre (Jodie Whittaker) confessed that she had stolen another woman’s identity in Trust Me (BBC1), we saw her face multiplied into three, through the prism of a glass lamp. Nicely done.

The British Raj deliberately promoted hatred between Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, she claimed, in a policy of ‘divide and rule’. But to prove her point she travelled to Delhi and Calcutta, two of the most multi-cultural cities on Earth — a living legacy of British policies for a united India.

Unforgiveably, she claimed that when rioting broke out in Calcutta in 1946, the British government could have stopped the violence ‘like that’ — snapping her fingers. The hundreds of deaths were ‘a real victory for Divide and Rule’, she jeered.

Yet moments earlier, Gurinder had been explaining that this country with its vast population was uncontrollable, and that the Raj was hopelessly undermanned.

The historians she interviewed were just as biased. One claimed that the British ‘scuttled the ship of India and swam away like rats’. That’s very moderate language!

Her family history seemed to fuel her anger: her Sikh mother and aunts were forced to flee Kashmir following partition.

Her Aunt Balwant said with tearful poetry: ‘People write in golden and silver words, but this history is written in blood.’ But the family sought refuge in London and found it. Britain welcomed them and saved their lives.

Pakistan, on the other hand, still refuses to give Gurinder a visa, even to film this programme.

If the Beeb blames Britain for everything, the Yesterday channel’s documentaries, made mainly for the U.S., seem barely aware that we exist. Impossible Engineering (Yesterday) felt it had to point out that Bristol and Coventry are in England.

Perhaps because they are aware that the show will mostly be watched by Americans, the writers also make sure that any complicated concepts are explained by animated cartoon characters.

I feel much more knowledgable about the economics of mass production, now that I’ve seen Impossible Engineering’s doodles of knights in armour and blacksmiths.


White liberal arrested on terrorism charges after attack on black Trump supporter

A white liberal activist has been arrested after punching a man for being a black Trump supporter, then bragging about it on Twitter.

Laguna, California police arrested 20-year-old Richard Losey Tuesday evening for Sunday’s videotaped assault.

Losey is charged with battery, and with making terrorist threats.

The Trump supporter, R.C. Maxwell, was surrounded by a liberal mob Sunday, who targeted him for his beliefs and skin color. Some in the crowd called him a “sellout” before Losey stepped in and began a KKK-style beating.

Losey then got on Twitter to brag and laugh about punching a black man.

“I did what I had to do. He ran and left us alone when his input wasn’t wanted. We all told him to leave and he didn’t. He had it coming,” Losey said, doing his best impression of a neo-Nazi.

“Please arrest me lmao,” he then taunted.

So that’s what police did.

Maxwell knows that, as a black conservative, he is a target for media hatred and liberal violence.

“If the optics were completely different and I was a black lives matter supporter and I was attacked on the Trump side of a protest I would be in the spotlight on CNN right now,” Maxwell told local station Fox 11. “I went over to the left side to see if I could engage them with dialogue and I was instantly encircled by the so called anti fascists.”

“I think the fact that I’m a black conservative causes a lot of problems for the left side because there’s no way they can really resolve that according to their narrative of what they think trump supporters are, so I think that was a bit triggering to the other side,” Maxwell said. “I was getting lots of specific comments like you’re a sellout, you’re an Uncle Tom.”


Segregation lives on

Sag Harbor Hills and the neighboring districts of Ninevah Beach and Azurest are unique among beach communities in the Hamptons, the collection of affluent towns on the eastern end of New York’s Long Island long known for attracting wealthy summer residents.

Founded in the village of Sag Harbor after World War II, in an era of deep segregation in the United States, they were home to a robust African-American population. Developers offered parcels of land in parched areas of the village for just a few hundred dollars or more. Working-class black families purchased much of the land, eventually creating several communities linked by dirt roads along Route 114.

Though their roots are working class, these neighborhoods of modest ranch houses and bungalows today are a haven for middle-class and upper-middle-class black families, populated by doctors and lawyers, artists and academics. They rank as the oldest African-American developments in the Hamptons and are among a handful of beach communities in the United States with African-American roots, including Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard.

The racial makeup of the districts kept home prices down for decades with many white buyers choosing to live in other parts of the village.

Yet that is changing as home prices in the Hamptons continue to rise, says Dianne McMillan Brannen, a broker with Douglas Elliman who has lived in Ninevah for more than 25 years. “Investors are being lured to these areas now and are looking for bargains,” she says. She estimates that about a dozen homes sold to investors last summer, up from four or five the previous year.

Sag Harbor is not alone. Across the country, some historically black beach communities that have long escaped major property development and an influx of real estate investors are increasingly fending off both.

As values soar in surrounding locations, pricing out many second-home buyers, historically black beach enclaves from American Beach near Jacksonville, Fla., to South Carolina’s rural Sea Islands are seeing sharp increases in development and new home buyers.

Like gentrification debates raging in largely urban areas across the nation, the increase in new money, along with a generational shift, is sparking concerns in some historically black beach communities about the possible loss of their culture and identity.

“The irony is that many of these places were deemed undesirable when African-Americans first moved there,” says historian Andrew W. Kahrl, author of “The Land Was Ours: How Black Beaches Became White Wealth in the Coastal South.” “Some of these areas are gold mines today, but those luxury resorts in parts of coastal Georgia, South Carolina, and around the Chesapeake were havens for African-American life and culture.”

Historically black beach communities date back as far as the 1930s in a handful of coastal areas across the United States. Many sprang up during segregation when blacks were either barred from whites-only beaches or simply unwelcome. While most were in the South, many took shape in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, evolving into beachheads for thriving economic and social life for African-Americans.

Audrey Davis grew up spending her summers in Highland Beach, a historic African-American enclave near Annapolis, Md. The town was a haven for affluent black Washingtonians seeking refuge from segregation and drew many black intellectuals including Paul Robeson, Booker T. Washington, and Langston Hughes.

Her grandfather, teacher and author Arthur P. Davis, purchased the land in the 1940s and built the wooden, two-story home that her parents still own today. “It was actually made from reclaimed wood from a whites-only hotel across the street,” says Davis, who is director of the Alexandria Black History Museum in Virginia. “Our whole family would gather there in the summer because we cherished the sense of community.”

But, she says, there is not a month that goes by that her parents do not receive a letter or two in their mailbox asking if they would consider selling the house. Though the waterfront community is relatively small — about 100 year-round residents — there has been a gradual uptick in home sales the past few years. The once-remote location of Highland Beach is slowly growing more integrated, with about 20 white and five Hispanic residents making Highland Beach their home, according to census data.

African-American homeownership along South Carolina’s Sea Islands dates to 1865 when the Union army issued orders to give freed black men the island chain and abandoned rice plantations. Despite decades of decline, fueled by ravaging storms and overzealous development, a dwindling number of black families still live and work on the islands today.

Known as the Gullah, they are descendants of enslaved Africans who lived in the Lowcountry regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

A firm population count of blacks on the Sea Islands is difficult to obtain. But as part of an application for protected status in 2005, the Gullah/Geechee estimated their total population in the Carolinas, Georgia, and northern Florida at 200,000, according to Marquetta Goodwine, cofounder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.

Though much of the island chain in South Carolina has been declared a Cultural Heritage Corridor by the National Park Service, that has not stopped developers from chipping away at waterfront locations. Property projects large and small now dot many locations, and some locals fear it will eventually resemble Hilton Head, the upmarket waterfront resort in South Carolina that was once home to the Gullahs.

“They’re communicating with the developers, but when you have a multimillion-dollar development coming into an area, it’s always going to be an unequal conversation,” says Bernie Mazyck, president of the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations.

Oak Bluffs, a sliver of Martha’s Vineyard that is home to a lively African-American population, has long attracted wealthy second-home buyers. But the town holds a unique history for African-Americans.

Its harbor drew freed slaves and laborers in the 18th century, and white locals sold them land. The town eventually became a popular destination for freed blacks, who came to work in the fishing industries.

In the late 19th and 20th centuries, middle-class blacks began buying and renting summer homes in Oak Bluffs, eventually turning the town into a mecca for successful African-Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. vacationed in Oak Bluffs, as did Joe Louis, Harry Belafonte, and Dorothy West, a Harlem Renaissance writer. Barack Obama vacationed on the Vineyard every summer but one during the eight years of his presidency.

Oak Bluffs Beach, known as the Inkwell, is a famed stretch of sand some say was named by Harlem Renaissance writers who came to the Vineyard and found inspiration near the water and thus named the beach that was once segregated from the white beach.

Yet despite its history and oceanfront location, Oak Bluffs has not experienced the same kind of real estate squeeze as other historically black beach communities, says Richard Taylor, a real estate executive and director of the Center for Real Estate at Suffolk University in Boston. He is also the author of “Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property, and the Power of Place.” He credits local officials, who have tightened already demanding rules on residential development to fend off new buyers’ dreams of building larger homes closer to the ocean.

And while the town has seen a fair share of new buyers — white and black — the Vineyard’s long history of celebrating African-American culture has kept it as a vibrant location for black homeowners, Taylor says. “We have film festivals and book clubs and churches all dedicated to the history and culture of African-American life,” says Taylor, who has owned a home in the East Chop section of Oak Bluffs since the 1970s.

In Sag Harbor, the influx of money underscores the challenges facing many historically black beaches. While home prices and the pace of sales are falling across the Hamptons, Sag Harbor is bucking the downward trend.

Last year, the median price of a house in the Hamptons fell 5.3 percent from 2015, while the number of sales was down 13.7 percent, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller. But Sag Harbor saw a 25 percent increase in the median home sale price in 2016 compared with a year earlier, rising from $1.2 million to $1.5 million.

Though homes in the historically black sections of Sag Harbor have not yet reached those sales levels, prices are rising, says Frank Wimberley, a 90-year-old artist who has kept a home in Sag Harbor Hills almost half his lifetime. Still active today, the abstract painter creates new works in a studio at the back of his modest beach bungalow.

“It’s worrisome because it’s beginning to feel like a takeover,” he says. “These areas were born when blacks were unwelcome in a lot of places. And for me and many longtime residents, they will always be places of special significance.”

Brannen, the broker with Douglas Elliman, is more blunt. “Rising home values are good, but eventually this part of Sag Harbor will look like just another upscale beach resort,” she says. “And I don’t think anyone wants that.”



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, August 27, 2017

"Trump’s transgender ban is based on hate" (?)

The above headline and the article that follows are by Michael A. Cohen, a columnist with the Boston Globe.  It is the sort of hate-filled argument that we have come to expect from the Left. Cohen projects his own hate onto Trump.  But it's not a convincing projection.  Can anyone reading his words doubt how consumingly Mr. Cohen hates Mr. Trump?

And his argument is a typically Leftist one in another way:  its extreme selectivity.  Of all the things that Trump and his many military advisers might have had in mind when they decided to limit sexually disturbed people in the military, Cohen considers only one:  Medical costs.  But anyone who knows anything about the argument knows that the main costs are psychological -- part of what Trump referred to as "disruption". 

It is many years since I was an army psychologist but I am still confident that I can tell you what is involved.  In "Vom Kriege", Clausewitz stresses the importance of morale in a military unit and that is the basic issue.  High morale often means the difference between defeat and victory. And closely linked to morale is unit cohesion.  Morale is highest when all the members of a unit have strong brotherly feelings towards one another.  That is so much so that psychologists generally conclude that it is most unusual for a man to fight for "King and country".  Instead he fights for his brothers -- the men in his unit whom he has trained with and with whom he has experienced stresses of various sorts. Australia's most admired military hero Ben Roberts-Smith has tattooed across his broad chest:  "I will not fail my brothers".

And all that is seriously disrupted even with normal women in a  unit -- let alone a sexually confused woman.  Units that are normally well away from the frontline have long included women.  They are not under the frontline stresses where morale and unit cohesion make all the difference.  But, even so, women in any unit create problems.   Sexual intercourse will always take place within mixed units. -- with varying degrees of consent. Army personnel tend to be  vigorously healthy and their sex-drive will be too.  And rivalry for the "affections" of the woman will tear "brothers" apart, which is why women were historically barred from battlefield roles even in the Israel Defence Force, though that has been watered down in recent times in Israel.  Mixed units will substantially damage frontline cohesion. 

I was for a time married to a woman who had spent 9 years in the army transport corps.  Fortunately, she was a big strong woman (though pleasingly shaped) and she needed to be.  She repeatedly had to fight off approaches from both males and females.  She remembers kicking a lesbian across the room to get her off herself and she once expelled a male officer from her tent at the point of a pistol. Since she and I had a very pleasing heterosexual marriage, I can vouch that she was not herself a lesbian but she says that most of her fellow female troops were.

Do you begin to get the issues once you introduce complexity into a simple all-male environment?  Mr Cohen can probably not even imagine them but we can be sure that the many generals Trump has advising him know those issues very well.  Trump's decision was a sound military one based on military realities and requirements.  The hate comes not from Mr Trump but from Mr Cohen

Tuesday night, President Trump traveled to Phoenix and delivered perhaps the most unhinged speech of his presidency, which for Trump is no small accomplishment. The nation’s 45th president spent most of the time focused on the only person who truly matters to him — Donald Trump. Indeed, much of his speech was spent airing his abundant grievances about how the reporters he calls un-American truthfully cover the things he says. But one section of his remarks stands out.

In praising his supporters and contrasting them with the D.C. establishment, Trump said, “You always understood what Washington, D.C., did not. Our movement is a movement built on love. It’s love for fellow citizens.

“We believe that every American has the right to live with dignity. Respect for America demands respect for all of its people. Loyalty to our nation requires loyalty to each other. We all share the same home, the same dreams, and the same hopes for a better future. A wound inflicted upon one member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all.”

These are lovely words that bear no relation to the policies endorsed by the man who uttered them or the audience who applauded them.

Indeed, less than 24 hours after Trump’s speech, a proposed White House directive on the transgender ban was leaked to The Wall Street Journal.

The ban, which reverses the Obama administration’s decision last year to allow transgender troops to serve openly, would instruct the military to stop admitting transgender Americans. It lays out criteria for expelling them and would even force the Pentagon to stop paying for transition medical regimes already underway.

When Trump first announced this ban on Twitter, he claimed that allowing transgender individuals to serve would lead to “tremendous medical costs and disruption” to the military.

I know this will come as a shock, but there is no evidence to back up Trump’s claims. In fact, according to a study by the Rand Corporation, approximately 10 to 130 members of the active force could have “reduced deployability as a result of gender transition-related treatments” each year. Considering there are more 100,000 nondeployable soldiers in the Army alone this is hardly a major burden.

In addition, health care costs for transgender service members would be around $6 million a year — or approximately 14 times less than the amount of money spent by the Pentagon on Viagra.

Trump’s transgender ban is policy in search of a point. In fact, the real reason Trump initially announced it is that he thought it would help him get congressional Republican support for a bill appropriating money for his border wall. Hate begetting more hate.

However, even if allowing transgender Americans to openly serve was a burden, shouldn’t that be a small price to pay for a political movement built on love and the belief that every American has a right to live with dignity?

To be sure, politicians resort to these kinds of platitudes all the time, even as they implement policies that operate in direct contradiction. But the chasm between Trump’s words and the policies he endorses is a mile wide. Rare is it in American history when actual rights are taken away from Americans. Trump’s ban is the rankest form of prejudice — imposing discriminatory policies that are born solely out of intolerance and hatred.

Ideally, court challenges will block Trump’s transgender ban, but it shouldn’t block the reality of what this effort says about Trump and his political “movement.” The president and his supporters can talk all they want about love and unity but the truth is evident: their agenda is one born out of hate.


The rationale behind Google censorship

It's fine in theory but, as always, the devil is in the details.  It would be reasonable if it were only genuinely hateful content that was hit but when support for the President is put in that basket, America clearly has a problem

In recent months, YouTube has been pulling ads from videos with controversial messages, a costly policy known as “demonetization.” It has echoes of the debate over political speech happening all over the country, including here in Boston last weekend. But the YouTube crackdown is being pushed by advertisers dismayed at being associated with hateful videos.

Watson, Black, and many others say demonetization is a form of censorship. Dissenting voices are still free to publish, but if they can’t get paid, many will fade away. These critics might be right. But YouTube and its advertisers say demonetization is good business, and they are definitely right.

On traditional television, an advertiser buys time on specific shows that appeal to specific audiences. If you want to sell shaving cream, you buy time during baseball games; if you’re selling denture cream, you run ads during the NBC Nightly News.

It’s different with YouTube, which hosts hundreds of millions of videos on every imaginable topic. Even a giant company like Procter & Gamble has no way of knowing which videos ought to carry its ads, because unlike traditional TV, it doesn’t have great data on who watches what.

All that data is held by YouTube. Its parent company, Alphabet Inc., also owns the search engine Google, probably the world’s richest trove of marketing data. Alphabet combines YouTube and Google data to generate precise profiles of each person’s tastes and interests. So the ads you see when you visit YouTube are uniquely tailored to you.

Alphabet doesn’t share the data with advertisers. Instead, they say, just tell us the audience you seek, and we’ll figure out the best videos for reaching them. And that’s where the trouble began.

Ryan Bonnici, senior director of global marketing at Cambridge-based advertising software company HubSpot Inc., told me that advertisers have tried to buy YouTube ads using the same methods they’d applied to TV. They would target certain demographic groups—say, women age 18 to 35. Or certain interest groups, like foodies or car racing fans.

These simple criteria work fine on traditional TV, but not on YouTube. What if that foodie also likes videos of antifa radicals fighting with alt-right racists? What if the Nascar buff also enjoys how-to videos on how to build homemade bombs?

Sure enough, the world’s biggest companies discovered their ads on videos produced by terrorists and hate-mongers. And since the producers of these videos get paid whenever an ad is run, the companies were financing their repulsive activities.

“A lot of advertisers didn’t realize that was possible,” said Bonnici. But when the Times of London ran a story in February that highlighted the issue, corporate reaction was swift and merciless. Big names such as PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson and Volkswagen pulled their ads, costing YouTube a tub of money. The company hasn’t said how much, but Bonnici estimated it might be as much as $700 million.

Since then, YouTube has announced new features to keep ads from extremist videos, such as artificial intelligence systems and human inspectors to spot the worst offenders more quickly. It’s also making it easier for advertisers to target their ads more precisely.

It all makes perfect sense, and YouTube has no choice in the matter anyway. No respectable company wants its ads to accompany hate videos. But the demonetization has gone a lot farther, ravaging the revenues of many sites that contain the merely controversial. These range from popular videos by Diamond and Silk, two black women who avidly support President Trump, to the work of left-wing humorist Jimmy Dore.

Under its “advertiser-friendly content guidelines,” YouTube gives itself wide latitude to demonetize a vast amount of material, including “video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown.”

That sounds like it could rule out the nightly news. And while these restrictions have been around for a long time, many YouTubers say that a newly aggressive enforcement policy is strangling them.

YouTube is clearly walking a tightrope here. The company doesn’t want to ban controversial material altogether; but it doesn’t want to scare off the advertisers who keep the cash rolling in.

Tim Black told me that demonetization is a deliberate effort to stamp out independent political commentary, from the left or the right. “It’s not about specific videos,” he said in an email. “It’s about pushing out diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.”

Since cutting his advertisers, Black said “YouTube has gutted my ability to fund my independent reporting. My viewers are buying t-shirts, mugs and donating to keep my voice alive.”

A YouTube spokesperson said video producers can appeal demonetization. “Many creators, including Diamond and Silk, have submitted and successfully won appeals,” the spokesperson said.

YouTube also rejected claims it’s censoring people. Advertisers “can choose the kind of content that they feel is suitable for their ads. Providing advertisers this choice is not censorship.”

That won’t mollify Diamond and Silk, who are planning to sue YouTube. I wouldn’t bet on their success. It’s advertisers who want YouTube to hook them up with inoffensive videos that generate sales rather than outrage. If that’s censorship, it’s the same kind you’ll find on TV, where the free, ad-supported fare on the broadcast networks is bland as oatmeal, and the daring, edgy stuff is found on the pay channels such HBO or Amazon Prime.

For now, YouTube features as much rabble-rousing as ever. Now let’s see what happens when the rabble has to start paying for it.


Australia: Fruitcake  pushes politically correct plan to rename Father’s Day ‘Special Person’s Day’

Surely this discriminates too.  Dogs are people, as we all know.  So why not a "Special creatures" day? Why limit it to bipedal persons?

AN EARLY childhood activist has been labelled “offensive” after suggesting Father’s Day be renamed ‘Special Person’s Day’ so kids without dads wouldn’t feel left out.

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet, an activist with a doctorate in early childhood studies, is pushing for the name change to the annual holiday.

During an interview on Today Tonight Dr Scarlet denied it was case of excess political correctness.

“Why are we calling this political correctness when in fact it’s about our rights?” Dr Scarlet told host Rosanna Mangiarelli.

She went on: “There’s a lot of Australian research that has actually informed a lot of international research ... that has demonstrated children’s capacity to be really inclusive once they know about these ideas and they think, ‘Wow, why are people seeing this as a controversy?”

Dr Scarlet, who insisted that was her real name, said that many families without fathers supported the idea.

“We have single parent families, satellite families, extended families, lesbian and gay families,” she said.

Her ideas were met with a stern rebuke from New South Wales Liberal minister David Elliott, who called them “rubbish”.

“Can’t believe that someone who professes to be ‘enlightened’ would advocate such crap,” Mr Elliott wrote on Facebook.

“People still celebrate fatherhood even after their father and grandfathers have passed away, in fact for many people Father’s Day is a wonderful time of reflecting and remembering.”

He went on: “Dr Red Ruby Scarlet — you are the offensive one. Maybe we should start a campaign to address that.”


Russia Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible As Extremist Literature

I have a copy of the Jehovah's Witness translation of the Bible and can testify that it is in fact an especially literal translation of the original texts.  To condemn it is to condemn all Bibles

Russian courts banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible as extremist literature Thursday, after deeming it not a bible.

The Vyborg City Court banned the New World Translation of the Bible after an expert study from Moscow’s Center for Sociocultural Expert Studies (CSES) deemed that it was not a bible. The ruling, which ended months of litigation suspended since July 26, contradicted Russia’s Federal Law on Extremism, signed by Vladimir Putin in 2015 that prohibits the Bible from being labeled extremist literature.

The CSES experts did not have any religious studies degrees, nor were they familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses literature, according to Dr. Roman Lunkin, head of the Center for Religion and Society Studies at the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

“In defiance of all good sense, Russia’s law-enforcement system generates completely ridiculous expert studies (and, it appears, they encourage loyal supporters to open expert centers). Regarding the Center for Sociocultural Expert Studies commissioned to analyze the Witnesses’ Bible, not one of the experts has a degree in religious studies and they are not even familiar with the writings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their analysis included quotes that were taken from information provided by the Irenaeus of Lyon Centre, a radical Orthodox anti-cult organization known for opposing Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as many other religions and denominations,” Lunkin said.

The Irenaeus of Lyon Centre, headed by a man named Alexander Dvorkin, is the Russian member association of FECRIS, the French NGO entirely funded by the office of the French Prime Minister, dedicated to destroying any religious minority that contradicts the doctrines of the Russian Orthodox Church. (Related: The French Conspiracy With The Russian Orthodox Church That Destroyed The Jehovah’s Witnesses)

The prosecution’s case hinged upon the argument that the New World Translation (NWT) Bible was not a bible at all, because the Jehovah’s Witnesses referred to it as the Holy Scriptures, instead of specifically calling it a bible. CSES used that technicality to skirt around article 3 of the Federal Law on Extremism, which states: “The Bible, the Quran, the Tanakh, and the Kangyur, and their contents, and quotations from them cannot be recognized as extremist materials.”

The court’s ruling legally legitimized the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church’s efforts to completely purge the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion from Russia. The ruling also paved the way for the purging of any other religious minority, so long as the government deems said minorities to be extremist and label their scriptures as something other than a Bible, Quran, Tanakh, or Kangyur, regardless of whether or not they actually are those books.

The prosecution used CSES’s counsel twice in this case, using the CSES’s original conclusions about the NWT bible as the basis for their initial arguments. Russia’s Supreme Court precedent disqualifies an expert from being used more than once in the same case to address the same issue. With the final nail in the coffin of the Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses on the line, the court ignored that precedent.


Another false rape accuser jailed in Britain

She is a great fat slob -- too repellent for me to post her picture -- so why the police ever believed that she was so tempting to men I will never know.  Britain is however fairly good at jailing false accusers when it catches them

A SERIAL rape accuser who claimed she had been sexually assaulted by 15 men in three years has been jailed after her sick lies were finally exposed.

A judge slammed Jemma Beale as a “convincing liar” and “manipulative” while sentencing her to ten years behind bars in the UK on Thursday.

The 25-year-old claimed she had been seriously sexually assaulted by six men and raped by nine, all strangers, in four different encounters over the space of three years.

She was found guilty in July at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of perjury and four counts of perverting the course of justice.

Sentencing her today, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “This trial has revealed, what was then not obvious, that you are a very, very convincing liar and you enjoy being seen as a victim.

“The prosecution described your life as a ‘construct of bogus victim hood’.”

Prosecutor Madeleine Moore told the court police spent 6400 hours investigating Beale’s claims at a cost of at least AUD $450,000, and the trial cost at least $177,000. Investigating Beale cost about AUD $390,000. The cost of other trials brought the total cost to taxpayers to AUD $1.45 million for her deceit.

Lawrence Henderson, defending, said Beale still maintains her innocence, and she was considering appealing against sentence.

He told the court: “Ms Beale stands by the claims she made in this matter and if she had her time again she would again plead not guilty to these matters and contest the trial.”

Beale from Bedfont, west London, sat with her arms crossed as she was jailed for a total of 10 years, with the judge branding her behaviour as “manipulative”

He said: “These offences usually began as a drunken attempt to get your partner’s sympathy or perhaps to arouse her jealousy.

“They each began impulsively, but what is particularly chilling is the manner in which you persisted in making allegations which you knew were untrue even to the extent of committing and repeating perjury.”

Detectives launched an investigation into Beale in December 2013 after they learned of a claim by one of her former girlfriends that a man had been wrongly jailed after Beale lied about being raped by him in November 2010.

Police said the information came to light when officers were investigating a separate allegation by Beale, where she claimed to have been raped by a number of men during an incident in November 2013.

With concerns over Beale’s account, officers carried out a review of four investigations into allegations of rape and sexual assault made by Beale.

Police found common discrepancies and similar circumstances within the allegations, which strengthened their suspicions that Beale may have fabricated them.

The Metropolitan Police said one of the rape allegations made to police by Beale in 2010 led to the conviction of a man, Mahad Cassim, who was jailed for seven years.

After the CPS and his defence team were alerted to the fact there were serious doubts over the validity of Beale’s allegations, the man subsequently appealed against his conviction and it was quashed at the Court of Appeal in July 2015.

In a victim impact statement Mr Cassim told the court he had been hugely effected by the false claim. He added: “One of my goals is to be a successful businessman, to have a nice family and be happy. “I am working on the happiness — I have a long way to go.”

Her ex-girlfriend told how she was a sadistic bully who gloated about the money she made from her vile fake accusations.

Anuska Pritchard said Beale, 25, duped her into giving evidence on her behalf at the trial of Mahad Cassim, jailed for seven years in 2012 after being found guilty of rape.

But to Anuska’s horror, just weeks later Beale gleefully told her how she had completely made up the rape claims in order to get AUD $18,000 in criminal compensation.



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