Sunday, September 10, 2017

Another charming multiculturalist

Police in Delaware say two day care workers prevented a stranger from walking out with two infants.

State Police say a man pushed a worker at Happy Kids Academy in Newark early Friday to enter the facility.

Spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz says the man went to the infant room, punched another worker in the face, and picked up two infants.

Bratz says when the man tried to leave with the babies, a worker stood in front of the door to stop him. Another worker grabbed one baby.

Troopers say a worker caught the second baby before the child fell to the ground. The suspect ran away. Bratz says police arrested the man nearby.

Bratz says 47-year-old Calvin Davis will be charged with kidnapping and other offenses.


In major Supreme Court case, Justice Dept. sides with baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple

In a major upcoming Supreme Court case that weighs equal rights with religious liberty, the Trump administration on Thursday sided with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The Department of Justice on Thursday filed a brief on behalf of baker Jack Phillips, who was found to have violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to created a cake to celebrate the marriage of Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012. Phillips said he doesn’t create wedding cakes for same-sex couples because it would violate his religious beliefs.

The government agreed with Phillips that his cakes are a form of expression, and he cannot be compelled to use his talents for something in which he does not believe.

“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief.

The DOJ’s decision to support Phillips is the latest in a series of steps the Trump administration has taken to rescind Obama administration positions favorable to gay rights and to advance new policies on the issue.

But Louise Melling, the deputy legal counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the couple, said she was taken aback by the filing.

“Even in an administration that has already made its hostility” toward the gay community clear, Melling said, “I find this nothing short of shocking.”

Since taking office, President Trump has moved to block transgender Americans from serving in the military and his Department of Education has done away with guidance to schools on how they should accommodate transgender students.

The DOJ also has taken the stance that gay workers are not entitled to job protections under federal anti-discrimination laws. Since 2015, the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission has taken the opposite stance, saying Title VII, the civil-rights statute that covers workers, protects against bias based on sexual orientation.

Federal courts are split on that issue, and the Supreme Court this term might take up the issue.

Indeed, lawyers for Jameka Evans, who claims she was fired by Georgia Regional Hospital because of her sexual orientation and “nonconformity with gender norms of appearance and demeanor,” on Thursday asked justices to take her case.

Citing a 1979 precedent, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit rejected her protection claims.

Taking that case, along with Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, would make the coming Supreme Court term the most important for gay rights issues since the justices voted 5 to 4 in 2015 to find a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry.

The case of Phillips, a baker in the Denver suburbs, is similar to lawsuits brought elsewhere involving florists, calligraphers and others who say providing services to same-sex weddings would violate their religious beliefs. But these objectors have found little success in the courts, which have ruled that businesses serving the public must comply with state anti-discrimination laws.

Mullins and Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012, along with Craig’s mother, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriages were legal at the time, and then hold a reception in Colorado.

But Phillips refused to discuss the issue, saying his religious beliefs would not allow him to have anything to do with same-sex marriage. He said other bakeries would accommodate them.

The civil rights commission and a Colorado court rejected Phillips’ argument that forcing him to create a cake violated his First Amendment rights of freedom of expression and exercise of religion.

The court said the baker “does not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law.”


The Book Was Right: Breasts Are Meant to be Sexy

If you want to get your books sold, you have to be careful not to raise the ire of the social media mafia. Take poor old Alex Frith, the author of Growing Up for Boys, a guide to puberty. His publisher has just decided to pulp all the remaining copies because a wowser named Simon Ragoonanan raised a Facebook storm over three sentences: "Girls have breasts for two reasons. One is to make milk for babies. The other is to make the girl look grown up and attractive."

Shock! Horror! How could he say such a thing? It makes it sound like women are wired for sex appeal. It's a pity they don't show the same outrage towards those sex education books which encourage unchastity.

    Well, as a trained behavioural scientist, I've got news for Mr Ragoonanan. The book is right!

     If you stop to think about it, certain biological principals should be obvious. In order to perpetuate your genes to the next generation, you not only have to be in good breeding condition, but you have to advertise the fact to the opposite sex. You also have to be able to recognize the same status in potential mates. Thus, animal species have evolved various signs to indicate their status.

     It is not only breeding status. A baby chimpanzee has a tuft of white hair on his bottom. That means, when he annoys an adult and runs away, he flashes a signal saying: I'm a baby; don't hurt me.

    For breeding status it is usually an emphasis on the practical ability to breed, but sometimes it is arbitrary. For instance, you will recall that, when you were growing up, you not only filled out in the right places, but also developed pubic hair. There are good practical reasons why a man should have broad shoulders and a woman broad hips, but the only reason for pubic hair is to reveal that you are no longer a child, but are now a potential father or mother. The hair also retains scent secretions from the apocrine glands, but the scent is also a social signal of maturity.

    Likewise, a man's beard serves no practical purpose except to convey to the world that he is a man - and not a boy or a woman. You perhaps haven't noticed - although the ancient Greek sculptors certainly did - that a man also possesses a low ridge of bone over his eyebrows. This, along with his normally bushier eyebrows, produces a mini-frown, and lends an air of toughness to him - because a woman needs to know that a man can not only give her a baby, but can protect her. His large "Adam's apple", which gives him a deeper, louder voice has the same effect.

     Now let us move to the female of the species. If you watch any group of monkeys and apes long enough, you will notice a couple of things. The first is that the females are sexually receptive only for a relatively short time around the time of ovulation. They usually signal this by their bottoms swelling and, as often as not, turning red. It drives the boys wild.

Human females have dropped this signal for a number of reasons. Firstly, as explained in an earlier article, they have evolved the method of keeping the father of their child by their side by offering sex during their infertile period. Secondly, the large muscles in the human buttocks, which hold us upright, tend to make swelling difficult. Also, being upright, humans tend to mate face to face.

   The other thing about monkeys and apes is that the females are  pretty much flat chested when not nursing a baby. Humans are the only primate whose non-lactating females possess prominent breasts. They are there as a social signal to demonstrate that she is no longer a girl, and can now feed a baby. They are also an erogenous zone.

     So, there you have it: the book was right. If you have boys approaching puberty, go out and order a copy before the publisher destroys them all. If, as a grown up, you wish to know about the origin of human instincts, see if you can obtain a copy of Desmond Morris' bestseller, The Naked Ape. Although it was written fifty years ago, most of its contents have stood the test of time. Indeed, it was instrumental in my taking up ethology, the study of animal behaviour.

For a more modern title, try Love Signals by Dr. David B. Givens (1983), which explains in detail the body language used in courtship, how to interpret it, and even how to dress in order to be sexy.


Southern Poverty Law Center Distorts the Legacy of Confederate Statues

In the wake of the ongoing controversy over Confederate monuments, many who would like to see them removed immediately have pointed to one chart that shows when the statues were put up, presumably to prove they are inherently hateful.

A widely cited study, created by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, claims that most of the Confederate statues were constructed specifically in the period under “Jim Crow” laws that targeted black Americans, or in opposition to civil rights.

The fact that they were erected during these two time periods supposedly proves the case that they were meant to intimidate or to “remind” Southern blacks of continuing white supremacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center then further implies that defending these statues amounts to buoying hate groups, like the one that caused a riot in Charlottesville. The far-left group then one-upped itself by warning that the continued existence of Confederate monuments and symbols could “unleash more turmoil and bloodshed.”

This is an astoundingly paranoid claim given how few people even noticed or cared about the existence of the statues until about a month ago.

Moreover, by making unverified claims about the reasons the statues were built, the Southern Poverty Law Center simplifies the meaning of thousands of monuments that were actually built for a variety of reasons, simply to impugn the motives of a majority of Americans who don’t want to see them removed.

According to a Marist poll, a large majority of Americans (62 percent) favor keeping the Confederate statues, while only 27 percent said they want to take them down. Even a plurality of black Americans also believe the statues should stay.

It would likely shock the 44 percent of black Americans who support keeping the statues to learn that they are supporting white supremacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been careless in the past about the way it labels “hate groups,” lumping in mainstream conservative organizations with neo-Nazis, which at least in one case has led to actual violence.

The broad brush with which it treats these statues is yet another example of how it muddles reasonable differences of opinion. While some monuments were undoubtedly built for sordid and ugly reasons, many others were not, or leave a more complicated legacy than the Southern Poverty Law Center wants to portray.

The Confederacy died when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

Nevertheless, the story of the Americans who fought on both sides of that conflict did not begin or end in the horrible four years of war that nearly destroyed our nation and killed 1 in 4 fighting-age men in the country.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the global consensus was that America was finished. Even after the Union triumph in 1865, there were extreme doubts that the country could reunite.

It’s a miracle that it did.

In the years immediately after the war, the period when the Southern Poverty Law Center seems to suggest erecting monuments made the most “sense,” most Americans had bigger priorities than statue building.

But as time went by, many in both the North and the South wanted to pay tribute to the generation that went through perhaps the most defining moment in our nation’s history. Much of the bitterness toward old foes began to dissipate, and many tried to rebuild an American consensus.

The anger that existed between the North and South cooled, and the wisdom of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous second inaugural address—“with malice toward none and charity for all”—began to take hold in earnest as decades passed.

As the country began to truly heal from the scars of the Civil War, the monuments and memorials it built varied, and in spite of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s insinuations, were not all created as symbols of white supremacy or to glorify the cause of the Confederacy.

For instance, Charles Francis Adams Jr., a direct descendent of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, was born in Massachusetts and fought for the Union Army.

Adams was an anti-slavery man who had put his life on the line to destroy the Confederacy, but in a powerful speech delivered at Harvard University in 1903, he argued that it would be reasonable and positive to build a statue of Lee in the nation’s capital.

He noted that Lee was not the one-dimensional bogeyman that he and many in the North thought of when they fought his Army of Northern Virginia.

Though the war had, thankfully, banished the twin evils of slavery and secession, Adams argued that it was important to remember that good men often fought for bad causes, and to give dignity even to the defeated.

Ultimately, in the end, Lee and the boys who fought in grey “were our countrymen.” Adams argued that depicting Lee atop his steed in Confederate uniform would be educational, and show a once “dreaded and respected” opponent accepting the consequences of defeat.

Rather than a glorification of the Confederacy, some monuments are rightly understood as tributes to the greatness and endurance of the United States, which had come through a bloody trial still capable of reuniting Americans on the same side once more.

A statue to Confederate Gen. Joe Wheeler stands in the Capitol Building and was recently targeted by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi as one of the monuments that needs to go.

But, like many of the targeted monuments’ subjects, Wheeler’s legacy is complicated. After the Civil War, he rejoined the United States military and fought for our country with distinction in the Spanish-American War. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Shall Americans destroy a statue to a man buried in our most hallowed ground?

The Atlanta monument attacked by protestors in the days after the Charlottesville incident is yet another good example of how extremism and dehumanization of history leads to misdirected rage and destruction.

The monument, constructed in 1911, depicts a Confederate soldier being guided by an angel to lay down his arms in a sign of peace and unity, not glorification of the Confederate cause. The construction had been spearheaded by former Southern soldiers who had toured the North and wanted to create a symbol of healing.

It was among the many monuments built during the supposedly racist spike that the Southern Poverty Law Center pinpointed, which, by the way, also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the war. Americans wanted to pay tribute to their parents and grandparents in much the same way modern generations do for the World War II generation that is now passing on.

Is this a symbol that deserves destruction?

Adams and many others who erected or supported the statues across the battlefields and once war-ravaged cities that dot the South hoped they would stand for more unity, not less.

They knew the price of fraternal feud more than we, hopefully, ever will. But still, they chose forgiveness.

Once Confederate, Now American

The legacy of many Civil War monuments, both Northern and Southern, extends far beyond the four years of the Civil War.

Unionist regions, which recovered faster from the war, began building monuments within several decades. The massive statues to Union generals that rise over the streets and squares of New York City and Washington, D.C., are the legacy of this movement.

The South rode the coattails of Northern industrial monument construction, relying on its new and cheaper mass-production techniques to construct the monuments themselves at a more affordable expense to small groups and towns. This explains the curious fact that statues to soldiers in the North and South often look identical.

Southerners were buying statues mass-produced in Northern factories—an almost comical symbol of how the regions were rebuilding a national consensus.

It’s clear from the opinion of most Americans that our society still sees value in keeping Confederate monuments. Whether honoring fallen ancestors, seeing the humanity in foes, or in remembering the evils of slavery, they can serve many purposes to our generation, and future ones who will undoubtedly interpret the statues in different ways than we will.

A few heinous extremists don’t deserve to define the debate for the rest of the country, and the Southern Poverty Law Center does a disservice to paint Americans—of many generations—with such sweeping and one-dimensional strokes.



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


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