Friday, December 29, 2017

NZ singer Lorde talked out of performing in Israel by Leftist lies

Lorde announced on December 18 that she was going to play concerts in Moscow, St Petersburg and Tel Aviv next May as part of her Melodrama world tour. But it didn't take long for many of her fans to urge a rethink.

"Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation," wrote two female fans in New Zealand, one an Israeli Jew and the other a Palestinian. "Please join the artistic boycott of Israel, cancel your Israeli tour dates and make a stand. Your voice will join many others and together we can and will make a difference."

The issue they were highlighting was the continued occupation of Palestinian lands and the illegal construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It has spawned the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign, which in part urges artists not to appear in Israel because doing so helps "create the false impression that Israel is a 'normal' country like any other". In fact, the Palestinian-led campaign insists, Israel is an apartheid state pursuing policies that amount to ethnic cleansing.

It's powerful, heavily charged stuff, complicated further by the fact that some within the BDS movement think the state of Israel has no right to exist at all.


Christians Sign Statement of Christian Faith, Left Goes Nuts

The Bible could not be clearer that homosexuality is an abomination to God

Christians aren’t supposed to believe what the Bible teaches; Christians are instead supposed to believe what 21st century social justice warriors allow them to believe. That’s essentially the message of progressives in the wake of the signing by many prominent Evangelical Christians of the Nashville Statement.

National Review’s David French, who was among the signers, sums it up: “It’s a basic declaration of Christian orthodoxy on sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. Its 14 articles can be boiled down to a simple statement: We believe the Bible is the word of God, and the word of God declares that sexual intimacy is reserved for the lifelong union of a man and a woman in marriage. It acknowledges the reality of same-sex attraction as well as the reality of transgender self-conceptions, but denies that God sanctions same-sex sexual activity or a transgendered self-conception that is at odds with biological reality. In other words, it’s basic Christianity.”

Naturally, that’s vile bigotry to many on the Left. In addition to the leftist Christians whose politics often trump their belief in the Bible’s teachings, Nashville’s Democrat Mayor Megan Barry weighed in, tweeting, “The @CBMWorg’s so-called ‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville.” But given the large conservative Evangelical presence in Nashville, we’d say that the statement is in fact a fair and accurate representation.

But as French notes, Barry’s proclamation, as representative of Nashville’s government, is “a declaration of state against church.” It’s the mayor telling many of her own citizens that they do not represent their city. This line of totalitarian thinking is exactly what drove the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, among other things. Americans are being told what to think by the Rainbow Mafia and its Big Media enablers. Or should we say feel? Because that’s what this is — emotion-driven, “love wins” policymaking that subjects those who disagree to disdain, mockery and even criminal penalty. Is that the kind of religious liberty the Pilgrims came here to establish?


Banning Media Mega-Mergers May Protect First Amendment

By Rick Manning

The First Amendment to the Constitution protecting the right to engage in speech is fundamental to a free country. The past few years have seen multiple attempts by the Democratic Party and their far-left supporters to create a new definition of this right - the freedom from speech that one doesn't like.

While this trend toward the left trying to redefine rights as being freedom from activity they don't like is not new, it has taken hold as the dominant philosophy of the Democratic Party in the past few years. It was just in September of 2014, that Senate Democrats voted to repeal the First Amendment and replace it with language that would end protections for political speech.

Now, violent left-wing protesters shut down speeches of those they don't agree with on college campuses and spent last year attacking Donald Trump supporters with the acquiescence of local officials and the police they direct in places like Chicago and San Jose, California.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all come under fire for restricting speech from individuals and groups on the right with which their internal political culture disagrees.

It is this new, intolerant attitude toward speech that is leading to a re-examination of the wisdom of allowing the consolidation of media outlets that control both the pipelines for distributing and the content they distribute.

Into this mix, AT&T and Time Warner attempted to merge and candidate Donald Trump warned against the creation of this corporate behemoth saying in October of 2016, "As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."

After exhaustive review and more than a year later, the Justice Department announced that they would be filing a lawsuit against the merger writing, "As AT&T itself has expressly acknowledged, distributors with control over popular programming "have the incentive and ability to use . . . that control as a weapon to hinder competition."  And, as DirecTV itself has explained, such vertically integrated programmers "can much more credibly threaten to withhold programming from rival [distributors]" and can "use such threats to demand higher prices and more favorable terms."  This merger would create just such a vertically integrated programmer and cause precisely such harms to competition."

The legal challenge to the merger creates a new marker for big media that the Justice Department will not be a rubber stamp. But most importantly, it should force other potential mega-media mergers like the just announced Disney and 21st Century Fox acquisitions to worry about the stifling of competition inherent in behemoth companies and the new DOJ sensitivity toward media monopolies.

Disney Corporation, for instance, has been at the forefront of legally attacking VidAngel, a small Utah company, that allows movie purchasers to automatically fast forward past offensive materials. VidAngel encourages its customers to purchase Disney or other movie products and then use the filtering invention to protect their family from content that parents believe is inappropriate without having to miss the entire movie. In the wake of the new DOJ scrutiny of mega-media mergers, it is not a good look for Disney to be seeking to legally use its money and power to squash a small competitor.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' DOJ decision to challenge giant media companies seeking to harm competition may turn out to be one of the most consequential decisions of the Trump Administration. And what's more, it may be the turning point in assuring that the First Amendment does not get washed away in media merger mania.


Too bad if working mothers deprive their chidren of needed attention.  Just give them a pill

Earlier this year I reviewed various topics covered in psychotherapist Erica Komisar’s much-needed book Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters. The book covers the culture of motherhood in such a profound way that I’d line it up with Ina May Gaskin’s Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Stephen Camarata’s The Intuitive Parent in a trifecta of required reading for all new parents.

Komisar’s book is focused on the mental health of both mother and child during the first three years of a child’s life. Focusing on the mother-child relationship, Komisar delves into the reasons why ADD/ADHD, depression, and anxiety diagnoses have skyrocketed among children over the past decade. Her conclusion is simple: Culture pushes mothers away from their children long before children are ready to separate. This cultural demand puts the psychological health of both mother and child at serious, even long-term risk.

Komisar’s book became popular enough to attract the attention of the Wall Street Journal. Her profile in the paper then attracted even more attention, this time in the form of accusations Komisar originally received from publishers who rejected her manuscript, fearing feminist backlash. You’re setting women back! You’re making women feel guilty!

Komisar’s call for a child-centric culture was screamed against by feminists, the irony being twofold. One, mainstream feminists proved themselves to be the single-issue anti-child movement they’ve been accused of being since Roe v. Wade. Two, perhaps more frighteningly, these feminists favor '60s politics over current scientific data. If it is children who are being sacrificed on the altar of the former, the latter is an altar on which today’s women are being burnt alive by their own sisterhood.

The government is well aware of the toll cultural pressures have taken on the mental health of today’s mothers. So aware, in fact, that they’re right ready to step in with a new program called Healthy Steps, “ a national program designed to improve the delivery of developmental and behavioral services to young children through primary pediatric care.”

It is worth noting that Healthy Steps is managed by ZERO TO THREE, an organization that began as a pet project of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Clinical Unit in the 1970s. By the '90s, ZERO TO THREE was a corporation so intertwined with government agencies that then-First Lady Hillary Clinton was featured at their 20th anniversary gala honoring Senators Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Jim Jeffords and John Kerry, all hearty advocates of universal healthcare.

Healthy Steps is being praised in parent media as a program that allows mothers to have mental health screenings at their children’s pediatric appointments. The belief is that through these screenings maternal depression that might otherwise go ignored can be diagnosed and treated before it has a long-term negative impact on the family.

What the Healthy Steps press doesn’t dive into is the fact that most general practitioners, given a limited window with patients, will simply prescribe antidepressant medication if their patient fits the bill. Hence, “the use of antidepressants increased nearly 400 percent between 1988 and 2008, mostly among women between the ages of 40 and 59.”

Instead of seeking out the right mental health experts to address mental health issues, busy mothers are more apt to take the pill at a timely appointment and keep going. And because general practitioners have become the primary prescribers of antidepressant medication, “the increasing trend in long-term antidepressant use was almost entirely in adults who received their medications from general medical providers.” And because drugs are cheaper than therapy, insurance companies prefer you just take the medication, regardless of the dangerous side effects of taking these medications long term.

Research indicating that “ important data about the safety of these drugs — especially their risks for children and adolescents — has been withheld from the medical community and the public,” doesn’t surface in Healthy Steps literature. This, combined with current medical practices leads one to conclude that if you’re planning on using Healthy Steps to address your own maternal health issues, you’ll just be given a prescription to pop a pill.

Ironically, Komisar was driven to write her book based on the dramatic increase in mental health diagnoses among children. Now we’re learning that the government’s response to addressing the child mental health crisis is to medicate mothers. Instead of addressing the real issue, culturally forced maternal-child separation at far too young an age, we’re sedating ourselves into acceptance of a cultural norm that is anything but normal.



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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