Friday, November 16, 2018

If You Live in Freedom, Thank the British Empire

A most "incorrect" video

A "caring" human rights lawyer

Lawyer Simone O'Broin. The Irish take their drinking seriously

A 50-year-old woman has been arrested for abusing Air India staff on a flight from Mumbai to London after she was denied alcohol on the plane.

The business class passenger, who is believed to be Irish, demanded to speak to the pilot after cabin crew denied her another bottle of wine due to her level of intoxication.

Video shows the blonde-haired barefoot woman, who claims to be a human rights lawyer, swearing at crew, threatening to 'p*** on them' in court, and calling a female staff member an 'Indian f***ing money-grabbing b*****d'.

The shocking incident took place on an Air India flight from Mumbai to London Heathrow last Saturday.

The footage sees the woman, hurling abuse at a crew member who is believed to be one of the pilots, shouting:'I work for all you f***ing people...

'The f***ing Rohingyas, the f***ing people of all Asia, for you, I'm an international criminal lawyer.

'Don't get any money for it by the way. But you won't give me a f***ing glass of wine, is that correct?'

She also claims to be a 'leader of the f***ing boycott movement', clapping in the air in front of the crewmember, before adding: 'If I say "boycott" - f***ing Air India, done.

'Do you understand me? You can't give me a wee bottle of wine?'

The man remains calm throughout her shocking tirade, after which she turns on another crew member, asking them if they are writing a report about her.

'F*** off! I'm a f***ing international criminal lawyer and a barrister. You will be p***ed on in court!'

She then calls the female crewmember an 'Indian f***ing moneygrabbing b*****d' before walking off back to her seat, shouting that she will 'turn you inside f***ing out, you f***ing stupid c***s! 'Give me a bottle of wine and game over!'

Otherwise, she claims, she will cause issues for the staff member upon landing, however the woman appears to be too inebriated to remember where they are flying to.

The video clip ends with the 50-year-old having a rant at her fellow business class passengers for not 'standing up against injustice'.

Another video showing the continuation of the argument, which has been shared on social media by local journalist Tarun Shukla, captures the woman claiming to be the lawyer 'for the Palestinian people'.

'So, you think I'm scared when you threaten me with lawyers? Also, Irish Republican Army. You'll be f***ing shot. All you had to do was to give me a f***ing drink.'

London Metropolitan Police has confirmed that the woman was taken into custody at Heathrow Airport upon landing.

'At approximately 1.30pm on Saturday, 10 November, a 50-year-old woman was arrested after an Air India flight had landed at Heathrow Airport,' a police spokesperson told MailOnline.

'She was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order, common assault and drunk and disorderly and taken to a west London police station. 'She was subsequently released under investigation.'


Trump: 'There's a Limit to How Many People a Nation Can Responsibly Absorb Into Their Societies'

As companies return to the United States, they need workers, but those workers must be in the country legally, and they must come into the country based on merit, President Donald Trump said in an address to the nation Thursday afternoon.

And there have to be limits, said Trump:

Mass uncontrolled immigration is especially unfair to the many wonderful law-abiding immigrants already living here who followed the rules and waited their turn. Some have been waiting for many years. Some have been waiting a long time. They've done everything perfectly, and they're going to come in. At some point they are going to come in. Many cases very soon.

We need them to come in because we have companies coming into our country, they need workers, but they have to come in on a merit basis, and they will come in on a merit basis. The communities are often left to bear the cost and the influx of people that come in illegally. We can't allow that. There's a limit to how many people a nation can responsibly absorb into their societies.

Trump said roughly 1,500 to 2,000 people try crossing into this country illegally every day, and the Border Patrol does a "good job of catching them," despite flawed laws.

The laws are old and "just bad," "and we can't get any Democrat votes to change them," Trump complained. "It's only the Republicans that are in unison, they want to change them. They want to make strong borders. They want to get rid of any crime because of the borders."

Trump said the border jumping is a "perilous situation, and it threatens to become even more hazardous as our economy gets better and better." He said the strong U.S. economy is drawing job seekers.

Trump also said he will take "every lawful action at my disposal" to seal the border and deal with the overwhelming number of asylum claims, most of which eventually are rejected.

"No nation can allow itself to be overwhelmed by uncontrolled masses of people rushing their border. That's what's happening."

Trump said "there's nothing political" about what he's doing. He said his crackdown is in response to the caravan now coming and others now forming. "We have no idea who they are. All we know is they're pretty tough people when they can blast through the Mexican military and Mexican police. They're pretty tough people. Even Mexico said, wow, these are tough people."


Gov’t Should Not Punish People for Disagreeing with State-Mandated Sexual Orthodoxy

It’s a tactic followed by all totalitarian regimes: To control people’s thoughts, begin by controlling their speech. Require them to verbally affirm the regime’s dogmas—even if they disagree with those dogmas.

Anyone who has read books like George Orwell’s 1984 is familiar with the technique of coerced speech. But maybe you did not expect it to be used by the American government.

Welcome to the Orwellian world of sexual politics, where state universities are compelling professors to use the language of transgender ideology.

Fortunately, a few brave souls are fighting back. A philosophy professor is suing Shawnee State University in Ohio after the university punished him for refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred pronoun.

It started in January 2018, when Nicolas Meriwether called a student “sir” in his political philosophy class. (He calls all his students “sir” and “ma’am.”) Afterward the student confronted Meriwether, demanding the use of female pronouns. When the professor did not immediately acquiesce, the student became verbally abusive and threatened to get him fired—then promptly filed a complaint with the university.

Administrators accused Meriwether of creating “a hostile environment” and placed a written warning in his personnel file. They also threatened “further corrective actions” unless he capitulated to the student’s demands.

But compelled speech is a violation of liberty. Words express a worldview. To be forced to use transgender pronouns like “ze” and “zir” is to be forced to affirm the underlying transgender ideology—that gender is a social construction divorced from biological sex. Gender is reduced to a mental state, a question of how much you feel like a girl or a boy.

Transgender people are clearly biologically male or female from birth. They have typical sex markers—e.g., genetics, gonads, genitals—that all align with each other (unlike intersex people, whose biology is ambiguous). Gender dysphoria means their feelings are in opposition to their biological sex.

A BBC documentary says at the heart of the transgender debate is the idea that your mind can be “at war with your body.” And in that war, it’s the mind that wins.

A Princeton university professor wrote a book offering a philosophical defense of transgenderism, yet even she admits that it involves “disconnect,” “disjunction," "self-division," "self-estrangement"—the mind in opposition to the body. Her solution is to deny that the body has any relevance or significance: The physical body “tells us nothing … . It has no meaning at all.”

Compelled speech forces professors to affirm that the body gives no clue to our identity, that it is not part of our authentic self.

Where did such a negative view of the body come from? Transgender ideology rests on the assumption that human life is a product of mindless, purposeless forces. The implication is that the body has no intrinsic purpose that we are morally obligated to respect—and the mind is free to use it any way it wants.

But such an extreme devaluation of the body ultimately dehumanizes all of us. For if our bodies do not have inherent value, then a key part of our identity is devalued.

In his lawsuit, Meriwether states that he holds a Christian ethic, one that honors the body by calling people to live in harmony with their biological sex. This is a wholistic ethic—our mind and emotions are meant to be in tune with our body. Christianity presents the human body as fundamentally good, with intrinsic dignity and purpose. And we respect that purpose by taking it into account when discerning our gender identity.

That gender philosophy has as much right to be heard in the classroom as the social constructivist view.

Meriwether’s suit against Shawnee State was filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). “This isn’t just about a pronoun; this is about endorsing an ideology,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer. “Public universities have no business compelling people to express ideological beliefs that they don’t hold.”

The lawsuit charges that Shawnee State is engaging in viewpoint discrimination, which the Supreme Court has held to be unconstitutional: Professors who endorse social constructivism in regard to gender are permitted to express their views, while professors who do not profess that philosophy are punished.

A small number of people suffer genuine gender dysphoria, and in our public spaces we should be sensitive to the difficulties they face. But the state should not seek to regulate other people’s perspectives or punish them for disagreeing with a state-mandated sexual orthodoxy.

Words reflect worldviews. A free society will remain free only when people have the liberty to use the terms that express their own worldview.



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


Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Wealth of Nations Begins at Home

Economics has its roots in the Greek word “oikonomia,” which means the “management of the household.” Yet economists across the ideological spectrum have largely neglected the links between household family structure and the macroeconomic welfare of nations. With economics professor Joseph Price, IFS senior fellow W. Bradford Wilcox sought to remedy this oversight by examining the association between family structure and global economic growth in a chapter in the new book, Unequal Family Lives.

According to Wilcox and Price:

A stable marriage matters in part because it allows couples to make decisions over time that maximize the economic prosperity of their family unit. Stably married persons have incentives to invest in their marriage and benefit from specialization and economies of scale; their households also tend to earn and save more than their peers who are unmarried or divorced.

They argue that because of the economic benefits of marriage, “the more children are born and raised in stable, two-parent families, the more a society should experience economic growth.” To test their theory, they utilized marriage statistics, historical data on children, and gross domestic product (GDP) data from over 90 countries between 1968 and 2014. In a fixed-effects regression analysis, they found a positive relationship between marriage and economic growth around the world. Specifically:

for every 13-percentage-point increase in the proportion of adults who are married, there was an 8 percent increase in per capita GDP, net of controls for a range of sociodemographic factors. Likewise, every 13 percentage point increase in the proportion of children living in two-parent families is associated with a 16 percent increase in per capita GDP, after controlling for education, urbanization, age, population size, and other factors.

They conclude, "There is clearly a link between family structure and economic growth.”

But why would married, two-parent families help to boost the wealth of nations? Wilcox and Price pinpoint three specific mechanisms that may explain the family-wealth connection, showing that more two-parent families 1) foster more household savings, 2) decrease crime, and, 3) improve children’s academic success across the globe.

Household Savings

Consider savings. Using data from the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to examine the household savings rate in 90 countries, Wilcox and Price find that the proportion of children living in two-parent families is associated with higher savings rates in the countries examined. In fact, the savings rate is nearly double in countries with the most two-parent families, compared to the countries with the fewest two-parent families.

Public Safety

Because safer communities are more prosperous, Wilcox and Price also explored the connection between two-parent families and violent crime in countries around the globe. We know that marriage and stable families help to reduce crime in two primary ways: 1) by discouraging men’s involvement in criminal activities and 2) by reducing children’s risk of involvement in delinquency and crime as adolescents and young adults. They point to neighborhood-level data from the U.S. and Canada, which indicates an association between more married families in a community and less crime. But what about violent crime at the country level? Using data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), they found a strong negative association between the proportion of children raised in two-parent families and homicide rates in 83 countries, including countries in Africa, North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

As the figure above illustrates, the average homicide rate is more than four times larger in countries in the bottom third in terms of children living with two parents compared to countries in the top third.

Educational Achievement

Another way more marriage and two-parent families may lead to higher economic growth is by boosting human capital for children. As Wilcox and Price explain, “children may benefit from the higher levels of time, money, and stability found in two-parent families, compared to single-parent families,” resulting in better educational outcomes that improve their future career success. In the U.S., there is ample research linking children’s academic success to married families. For example, children in married-parent families are more likely to graduate from high school, earn a college degree, and get a good job as adults than children from single-parent families.

Similarly, in other developed nations, children raised in two-parent families are less likely to repeat a grade and more likely to perform well on standardized testing. Wilcox and Price point to Sweden, Singapore, and Indonesia, where children in single-parent homes are “at least 70 percent more likely to be held back in school compared to their peers from two-parent families.” Moreover, in Europe, children from single-parent families are more likely than those from two-parent families to skip school.

Overall, Wilcox and Price show that marriage and two-parent families may help to foster global economic growth by increasing household savings rates, decreasing crime, and boosting children’s educational attainment in developed nations. While they acknowledge that their “results cannot definitively prove that family structure has a causal impact on economic growth,” they note, "if nothing else, the patterns documented in this paper suggest that stronger families, higher household savings rates, less crime, and higher economic growth may cluster together in mutually reinforcing ways."

These findings demonstrate that we cannot fully understand the forces fueling the wealth of nations without also paying attention to the health of the families that call those nations home.


Women who disappoint feminists

According to exit polling, in U.S. House races, white women split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, 49% each. But in the Georgia gubernatorial race that's still being delegitimized by Oprah's pick, Stacey Abrams, 75% of white women voted for Republican Brian Kemp. Clearly, in this critical race between a white, southern man and a black, professional, and educated woman, the only reason these while women voted for the archnemesis of Democrat women is because they're all racist.

Yet Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke, the latest Democrat candidate who has reporters swooning, lost to incumbent Senator Ted Cruz with the backing of almost 60% of white women and a treasury that outspent Cruz by up to $30 million. How could these supposedly racist white women vote for a Hispanic man whose family immigrated to this nation legally with a story of the American Dream?

In the case of the Caucasian Chick Caucus going for Cruz, angry feminists spewed that white women were "foot soldiers of the patriarchy." By now, we hope that these hundreds of thousands of female voters have had their apron strings untied and they're released from their caveman husbands. While the Women's March of the Left Ladies hoists the banner of feminism high, what they're peddling is anything but feminism. The women on the Left seem to be a mass of malcontents who view every man through some experience of betrayal dripping with anger toward all who don't echo the same sentiments.

Feminism was originally the theory that both sexes are equal in their political, economic, and societal rights and function. It was and is supposed to be about the advocacy of feminine independence and the fair treatment of women. Well, the only modern women who use that approach are on the Right side of the political spectrum.

When a progressive gal talks about reproductive rights and free birth control, the female voters on the right hear, "I want abortion on demand and the government to be my caretaker with free contraception and abortion services." When angry Democrat females verbally assault men as privileged oppressors, the women on the Right have the capacity to bring to mind most men they've known through life — husband, father, brother, friend, co-worker, etc. — to understand that, while there are certainly some scoundrels with XY chromosomes, most have roles of personal and professional significance that just don't fit the truly despicable portrayal by the Left.

It's a serious miscalculation for leftists to make feminism and progressivism mutually exclusive. In the Brett Kavanaugh trial by pitchfork and torches, Democrats broadcast to the world that "all women" were in solidarity with their despicable tactics. That strategy yielded Republican gains in the Senate.

Democrats can only redefine feminism to fit their politics, not reality. It often works because it's based on emotion and rooted in the hatred of Donald Trump. It's especially effective among college-educated women living in urban-suburban areas — women who subscribe to this perverted observance of feminism that demands that the government serve as source and sustenance while marginalizing almost all men.

In reality, the authentically independent women who are treated as equals are leading on the Right. These are the candidates and elected officials who articulate economic policy that focuses on free markets, individual empowerment, and attainment with an emphasis on self-reliance, not becoming more dependent upon the government for any list of government-funded and controlled services.

It's Republican women like UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Governor-elect Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and Congresswoman-elect Carol Miller of West Virginia who focus on real policy issues. None of these women ran on the treadmill of tired identity politics that beats down men while, essentially, clamoring for the government to be their key provider.

Election cycles will come and go. The 2020 elections are sure to contain higher stakes, louder rhetoric, and even more hate coming from the ever-aggrieved Left. But a critical difference will always remain between Democrats and Republicans, both male and female: Leftists strive for equality at the finish line with blame and shame as key ingredients for failure. Republicans strive for equality at the starting line with the expectation that the outcomes are best when self-determined and fueled by personal responsibility. Both men and women can appreciate that.


Women’s March Stripped Of Human Rights Award For Its Blatant Antisemitism

For all the harping the left does about how the rhetoric from Trump and the right is fueling antisemitism, one organization has at least accurately pinpointed one of its sources.

The Women’s March, a radically left feminist movement is often present at every high-profile protest you’ve seen over the past months, leading women in one chant or another. They claim to be for every social justice narrative you’ve ever heard such as equality and justice but have proven to be highly anti-white, anti-male, anti-rich, and very anti-Republican.

Among the “anti’s” they subscribe to, you can also add anti-semitic.

Among their leadership is Linda Sarsour, a pro-Sharia activist who has spouted some very anti-semitic hate on numerous occasions, and even considers rabid anti-Semitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan among her mentors. Sarsour’s anti-Semitism and the resulting hate that leaked into her own movement is now starting to get attention.

According to Ashe Schow at the Daily Wire, The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a German socialist think-tank, was set to reward the Women’s March with a human rights award but has now rescinded the award after members of the organization wrote a very public letter denouncing the Women’s March.

“We believe that the Women’s March USA does not meet the criteria of this award, as its organizers have repeatedly attracted attention through antisemitic statements, the trivialization of antisemitism and the exclusion of Zionists and Jews since Women’s March USA’s establishment in 2017,” wrote foundation members. “Women’s March USA does not constitute an inclusive alliance.”

The members noted the anti-Semitic actions by the organization such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel, Linda Sarsour’s repeated insults towards the Jewish peoples, and Women’s March leadership being friendly with Farrakhan as proof that the Women’s March is an anti-Semitic organization.

“Just as important the struggle for feminism still is, so is the fight against other forms of discrimination, as well as to work inclusively and to not exclude Jews,” the members added.

“An organization that may support feminism, but discriminates against Jews and Zionists and denies Israel’s right to exist should not be honored by a democratic foundation that advocates diversity and speaks out against discrimination,” the group concluded.

It’s good to finally see the Women’s March being pointed out as the incredibly hateful movement it is after the American media and U.S. politicians have spent so much time making it seem like the group is pure as the driven snow.


Australia: Collateral damage of the debased #MeToo crusade

Janet Albrectsen  is generally right below but her claim that no conservative should copy the unscrupulous tactics of the Left is rather idealistic. A prophet long ago warned "Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7).  The Left deserve a taste of how their bad behaviour affects people

In the latest outpouring of #MeToo miasma, former ABC managing director Michelle Guth­rie claims former chairman Justin Milne touched her inappropriately on her back. It was “unprofessional” and “icky”, she told ABC’s Four Corners on Monday evening. Guthrie has gone public amid a war of words over who said and did what to whom just before she was sacked and he resigned.

Let’s just say that Guthrie is a woman in her early 50s who stood on equal footing with the former chairman. She chose not to make a formal complaint at the time. Who knows what happened? And, quite frankly, who cares?

More of us are concerned about Ashleigh Raper. The ABC journalist became an innocent ­casualty when powerful men ­decided to exploit the #MeToo zeitgeist for their brutal political games. Before we get to that, if it is true, the alleged behaviour of ­former NSW Labor opposition leader Luke Foley towards Raper at Christmas drinks in 2016 was shameful. More than that, if a man puts his hand on a woman’s back, slides his hand inside her dress and rests his hand on her backside without consent, that is assault. At a press conference last week, Foley denied the allegations and said he planned to launch defamation proceedings. Given there was a witness, this sordid tale has a way to go yet.

Women are right to be just as outraged about Foley’s alleged ­behaviour as the contemptible and uncontested actions of NSW Liberal minister David Elliott and federal Liberal MP Eric Abetz who exploited the #MeToo zeitgeist for their partisan political pur­poses. A month ago, under the coward’s cloak of parliamentary privilege, Elliott alluded to Foley’s actions against an unnamed ABC journalist. Elliott’s actions made it impossible for Raper to remain ­silent.

A week later Abetz also mentioned an alleged “assault”, “sexual assault” and “indecent assault” while grilling ABC management at a Senate estimates committee. His base motives forced the ABC’s acting managing director into the ridiculous position of saying the matter would be investigated, even though Raper had not made a complaint.

Who gave these two men the right to set the hares running about an ABC journalist who was allegedly harassed or assaulted by Foley?

Elliott and Abetz knew that Raper had chosen to stay silent. She did what many, many women do in the same circumstances. She decided to get on with her life, in her case as a political journalist. She did not join the public #MeToo campaign that started a year later. Up until last week, Raper made no public comment or formal complaint.

These were not men in shining armour acting on behalf of Raper when they pursued Foley and the ABC respectively. The two Liberal politicians were acting for their own craven purposes; they knowingly disregarded her choice to ­remain silent. It is especially rank behaviour from two men who dress daily in the moral garb of ­social conservatives within the Liberal Party.

On Friday morning Elliott ­requested privacy. What a joke. Elliott and Abetz ignored Raper’s right to privacy, forcing her into the public domain against her will to damage Foley and embarrass the ABC.

Elliott’s late apology on Saturday only compounds the stench. This is politics 101: a politician apologises only when it becomes untenable not to do so. And even then the apology is predictably lame, a means of deflecting bad behaviour rather than serious reflection about what he did wrong.

We can all agree then that Raper became collateral damage when two senior Liberal men ­exploited the #MeToo crusade for their own political purposes.

But here comes the part that will cause some women conniptions, as is often the case with #MeToo: many women have man­ipulated the social media campaign for their own purposes, corrupting its focus and undermining its credibility. That doesn’t excuse the mistreatment of Raper by the men involved in this sleazy saga. It adds insult to injury that both sexes have used #MeToo for their own ulterior motives.

When millions of women, each with their own agenda, jumped aboard the #MeToo movement early on, it became a train wreck waiting to happen for men and women alike. This early exploitation was an open invitation to others to use the same confected emotion and rage for their personal and political purposes too.

Perhaps if the early champions of #MeToo had demanded a more disciplined focus on serious harassment and sexual assault, their campaign would not have gone off the rails in the way it has. Those who are so outraged over Raper’s treatment should have had the foresight to see this coming. Some unintended consequences are predictable even early on.

Instead, #MeToo became a shoddy conduit for political causes and trivial episodes. And a clique of female supporters would not countenance debate that veered from their fast-forming orthodoxy. They discouraged discussion about how we define sexual harassment and treated those of us who suggested some nuance, context, due process and less prudery as traitors to the sisterhood. The same women so quick to condemn men for exploiting claims of sexual harassment will not concede that women have done the same. Outing a man ­because he didn’t turn out to be Prince Charming and the sex was bad was lumped in the #MeToo basket with everything from a wink and a wolf-whistle, leaving their cause badly damaged.

Three key words suffice as evidence of the wicked manipulation of the #MeToo movement: women, Democrats and Kavanaugh. Even the American Civil Liberties Union exploited the emotion-laden #MeToo zeitgeist to try to stop Brett Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court justice. A group that includes civil liberties in its name is prima facie dedic­ated to due process. Not when it came to Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court. Here, the ACLU used unproven and highly contested claims by women to ­oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The debasement of the #MeToo movement made it ­inevitable that it would be exploited by men and women and people of all political persuasions. Last week, during a fiery White House press conference, a Trump aide took the microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta. Later that day Acosta’s press credentials were suspended and Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern”, calling it “absolutely unacceptable”. The video shows Acosta’s hand brushing the intern’s shoulder as she takes the microphone from him. But in an age of confected #MeToo outrage, everyone gets a shot at emoting over even the most trivial #MeToo matter.

Now that a Republican president and two Liberal politicians in Australia have exploited this hashtag crusade for their own tawdry ends, maybe more backers of #MeToo will concede that its early corruption encouraged precisely this outcome: a political free-for-all where women have become collateral damage too.



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, November 14, 2018

The silencing of Gab

Gab is a micro-blogging social network, built as a direct response to Twitter's brutal affront to Free Speech, and the nefarious practices of Silicon Valley as a whole. For the last few years, Gab has existed and thrived, attracting hundreds of thousands of marginalized and silenced conservatives, patriots and all-around defenders of one of the most fundamental human rights: freedom of thought and expression. I've had an account there for about 2 years, and it's in many ways a better platform than Twitter.

Of course, such a thorn in the aggressive monopoly of Big Social, and its ubiquity in the biased political machine wasn't just going to be allowed to exist. Before last week, Gab had already been banned by both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, making it de facto inaccessible on mobile by conventional means. It had its domain seized, forcing them to move to another registrar. More recently, they were booted from their host, Microsoft Azure, forcing to scramble to move to another provider. Stripe, their main payment processor for subscriptions, repeatedly threatened to ban them over the presence of adult content on their platform, and finally pulled the plug recently.

That was all before last week. Last Saturday, an attack was perpetrated on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Why is that relevant? Well, it just so happens that the shooter had an account on Gab, on which he expressed anti-semitic views. Despite Gab CEO Andrew Torba doing everything in his power to assist law enforcement with all information available to aid in the investigation following the attack, nearly every single third-party provider Gab used has used this as a excuse to essentially purge the platform from the Internet, all in the span of about 48 hours.

They were summarily banned by:

Paypal, one of their payment processors.
Joyent, the hosting provider they switched to just a few weeks ago after being banned by Microsoft.
GoDaddy, their domain name registrar.
Medium, which they used for their official blog.

In effect, Gab has been no-platformed from the Internet. They have been deprived of many — if not all — of the essentials needed to run an internet business, in a spectacularly coordinated attack.

The "shooter had an account" excuse

So he did. But if they are going to use that as an excuse to shutdown or refuse service to a social platform, it would be reasonable to play for the same rules for the perpetrators of every violent shooting and terrorist act. Omar Mateen, The Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooter, had made his intentions clear on Facebook, the same platform where several beatings and murders were broadcasted LIVE. The Islamic State uses Twitter to recruit. It's also not unreasonable to assume GMail and other Google services were used to plan and coordinate attacks.

Yet, we never once have seen any of these platforms get in any sort of trouble for the actions of their users. No external provider has, to the best of my knowledge, refused service to the three giants of Big Social. Stripe, who banned Gab, still does business with Facebook, which as I mentioned, lets users broadcast murders, among other questionable-at-best practices.

Interesting timing

Beyond the precise coordination of the attack, it's interesting to note the context in which it happened. In just a few days, on November 6, the U.S. will hold midterm elections. In the 2016 Presidential election, Gab, among others, was instrumental in providing a platform to otherwise censored conservatives and supporters of then-candidate Donald Trump. Ever since, censorship on mainstream social media platforms and attacks on alternative sites have considerably ramped up. In the last few days, Voat (Reddit alternative) and 8chan (4chan alternative) have also been hit by massive DDoS attacks.

The American Left underestimated the sway that Free Speech platforms had in 2016, and are clearly intent on not making the same mistake twice. In my view, the timing and scale of these attacks is no coincidence.

The silencing of Gab also comes on the heels of the historic victory of Jair Bolsonaro, the new President of Brazil. During the Brazilian election, Gab became a haven for Bolsonaro's supporters, following a massive wave of censorship on Facebook, Twitter and local media. In recent weeks, Brazil accounted for as much as 25% of Gab's traffic.

Sordid precedent

Gab isn't the first alternative voice to be brutally and utterly de-platformed. We remember the same treatment being dealt to Alex Jones just a few weeks ago. We remember the countless conservative accounts booted of Facebook and Twitter. But what is happening to Gab right now marks a turning point. This is the first time that this many providers, all at once, terminated service for a client for the flimsiest and most hypocritical of excuses. This is the most relentless I've ever seen the dictatorship of Silicon Valley in action, and it's chilling.

In effect, just a few companies control your right to be present on the Internet. Access to every single layer of infrastructure needed exists at the whim of a few people, and now we've all seen what happens when you don't share their political inclinations, and how easily they can be swayed by the screeching mob.

This is happening to companies that threaten their monopoly, this is happening to individuals who disagree, who just want a place to share their thoughts and opinions, and whether you realize it yet or not, this is happening to you. The Internet is not a cartel, but it's certainly being run like one.


Leftist demonization of whites bears fruit

Jada Campbell

A 71-year-old woman was the victim of a physical and intimidating attack on a Boston-area train after she asked a fellow passenger to move her personal belongings off an otherwise vacant train seat.

According to WBZ-TV, the incident occurred during a recent afternoon commute.

The victim, who would identify herself only as Linda, said that she asked a fellow passenger to remove a pocketbook from an empty seat in order to sit down.

The suspect, 23-year-old Jada Campbell, responded by allegedly calling Linda an "ugly white person" and hitting and tripping her.

"It had been a long week," Linda explained. "I said, 'Excuse me' three times, then I got into her face and asked her to move her bag and she said, 'No, I don't want anyone sitting next to me.'"

What happened next shocked Linda.

"You're an ugly white person," Campbell reportedly told Linda. Campbell reportedly went on to strike the woman on her back, and intentionally tripped her while she was on the train.

Linda said that she obviously felt threatened and got off at an early stop in response.

Campbell reportedly followed Linda. "[Campbell] was abusive, ranting and raving, 'I'm going to take you down and have it out,'" Linda said.

Two other passengers reportedly followed Linda off the train in an apparent effort to defend the older woman. "I had two good Samaritans come off with me and they were protective," Linda said. "Campbell] came up and said, 'Let's have it out here and now,' took off her earrings, and threw stuff down."

When police arrived on the scene, Campbell reportedly resisted arrest, and told witnesses, "If I see you on the streets, I'll murder you."

Police charged Campbell with charged with assault, witness intimidation, and disorderly conduct.

"We were all shaking afterward," Linda said. "She was such a force."


'Sanctuary' refuses to take blame after triple homicide, says ICE responsible for illegal immigrant

Feds say three people would be alive today but for sanctuary policy

An illegal immigrant released by a “sanctuary city” county in New Jersey was charged last week with a triple homicide halfway across the country in Missouri, authorities said Friday.

Luis Rodrigo Perez stands accused of being the gunman in a shooting rampage last week that claimed the lives of two men and one woman at two homes.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had tried to deport Perez after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Middlesex County, New Jersey, last year.

But the county, which has a noncooperation policy with ICE, refused to alert federal agents when it released Perez in February, ICE said.

“Had ICE’s detainer request in December 2017 been honored by Middlesex County Jail, Luis Rodrigo Perez would have been placed in deportation proceedings and likely sent home to his country — and three innocent people might be alive today,” said Corey Price, acting ICE executive associate director.

John Tsoukaris, ICE’s deportation operations field director in Newark, New Jersey, called Middlesex County’s policy reckless.

He said Perez had a history of violence and would have been a clear candidate for cooperation.

“We hope that this tragic turn of events forces Middlesex to reconsider its policy and that the local elected officials stop protecting criminal aliens,” Mr. Tsoukaris said.

In a statement, the county government rejected blame and said it was ICE that dropped the ball.

Officials said they repeatedly have told ICE that they will cooperate only in some instances, such as when someone is convicted of a first- or second-degree offense. They said Perez’s case didn’t reach that level.

Still, they said, ICE had 51 days while Perez sat in jail during which the agency could have tried to get a deportation order for him. The county said it would have honored that order.

“Instead ICE officials chose to do nothing, which places all responsibility of Mr. Perez’s actions squarely upon ICE,” the county government said in its statement.

Police in Missouri say Perezattacked a home from which he had been kicked out. The victims were heard “begging for their lives,” The Associated Press reported, citing charging documents.

Perez later returned and fired on yet another person, authorities said.

Perez still had outstanding warrants from New Jersey, The Associated Press reported.


Men have had their careers ruined by fake rape claims, and they can’t defend themselves, a former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission has said

Gillian Triggs finally says something sensible

There is a danger that comes with airing allegations of sexual harassment and assault in the public domain, such has become increasingly common in the #MeToo movement.

That’s the view of Gillian Triggs, former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, who said those kinds of matters should almost always be dealt with in the safety of a confidential setting.

In an appearance on the Q&A panel on ABC television, Ms Triggs was responding to a point that men who are falsely accused of inappropriate conduct have few avenues of recourse.

“One of my concerns as a lawyer is far too many of the men have no ability to defend themselves, they’re simply resigning and using the tool of defamation to come back against the woman concerned,” Ms Triggs said.

“For those men, if they feel they’ve been unjustly accused, they have no other vehicle because they’ve lost … the reputation with their colleagues and lost their job very often, and they have no other option.”

Matters needed to be examined “from both perspectives”, which made trying to “solve this problem in the public arena” highly problematic, she said.

“We really need safe confidential and private ways in which to resolve matters long before we go anywhere near the courts, by which time the matter is way out in the public arena.”

Ms Triggs is currently chairing a committee organised by a United Nations body exploring the issue of sexual harassment, she said.

Communications consultant Parnell Palme McGuinness said examples in the United States where men were found to have been falsely accused of rape of sexual assault highlighted the need for caution.

The speed with which the #MeToo movement had taken hold, encouraging victims to publicly air accusations, meant only one side of the issue was being examined, she said. “We can’t have this discussion about women ignoring what happens to men when allegations are raised that are false,” Ms McGuinness said.

“That is not in any way, in any circumstance, to imply that a woman is not telling the truth, but there have been cases, most notably in the States recently with some football players who had their careers ruined on the basis of a fake rape allegation, that go beyond the pale.”

The conversations sparked by #MeToo should consider “both genders”, she said.  “It’s important that this debate be about … how we can ensure that one person, one side’s attempt at being able to speak out more, doesn’t become a way of oppressing the other side.”

Moving away from a tendency to air accusations in private was beneficial for all parties, Ms Triggs said, not just for men who may have been falsely accused.

“Most importantly, and I do go back to my experience with the Human Rights Commission, it must be a safe and confidential environment for women. If they feel their allegations are going to be put into the media … they’re not going to do it.

“We know they’re not going to do it. So it’s key that we establish safe, confidential environments, possibly external to the organisation, where these issues can be safely considered.”

Research conducted in the US in 2010 estimated that between two to 10 per cent of rape accusations were found to be false.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes the number of “unfounded” accusations is about eight per cent.

However, as the Q&A panellists also pointed out that a significant number of women do not come forward after experiencing sexual assault, harassment or rape.

In the US and UK, authorities believe between 30 and 40 per cent of victims never come forward to make a formal complaint.

During her time at the Human Rights Commission, Ms Triggs said “hundreds” of matters a year dealt with sexually based allegations. “We would resolve (them) quietly in the small rooms at the Commission, bringing in perhaps an executive of a major company, and you would get a face-to-face examination of the issue,” she said.

“And you would have the matter, in 76 per cent of cases in formal complaints, we would resolve them quietly and confidentially.”

Ms Triggs said in the majority of cases, once an allegation was brought into the public arena, “women almost always came out second or third best”.

Ms Triggs said all organisations had a responsibility to deal directly with matters when they were raised.

“It’s a health and safety issue at minimum. But it’s also an environment in which there’s huge risks to the organisation, to the ability to carry out its objectives,” she said.

However, more work needed to be done to encourage victims of sexual assault, harassment or rape to feel safe enough to come forward. At the moment, far too many don’t, she said.

“It is absolutely typical — the woman concerned will raise the issue at particular levels, perhaps test the waters, see what kind of response she’s getting, and very rapidly retreat and not make a formal complaint,” Ms Triggs said.

“And that is typical globally. Women simply don’t proceed because they see it as too dangerous, because they know, there’s a very high probability, they’ll be the ones that suffer.”



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, November 13, 2018

UK: New head of CPS under fire for refusing to use phrase 'Islamist terrorism'

Elite arrogance again.  How can someone so adrift from reality be a good Crown Prosecutor?

The new head of the CPS has been accused of adopting "deeply unhelpful” language about terrorists after spending 90 minutes with CAGE, the group that described ISIS executioner Jihadi John as “a beautiful young man".

The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) has criticised Max Hill QC's appointment as the Director of Public Prosecutions, claiming he has "aped" the rhetoric used by CAGE and its supporters.

Mr Hill, who replaced Alison Saunders [long overdue] last week, held a 90 minute meeting with CAGE last autumn - a month after the organisation's international director, Muhammad Rabbani, was convicted of a terrorism offence and fined for refusing to give police the PIN number of his mobile phone when he was stopped and searched at Heathrow Airport.

It came after the group had held a press conference following the February 2015 killing of ISIS’s chief executioner Mohammed Emwazi describing the brutal killer as “beautiful” and “extremely gentle”. The 27-year-old from Queen's Park, London, is thought to have been responsible for the beheading of western hostages including US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Accusing the QC of being "influenced, inaccurately, by the Islamist group's agenda", the HJS pointed out similarities between Mr Hill's refusal to refer to "Islamist terrorism" and CAGE describing the use of the word "Islamist" as a smear on the religion.

In February, Mr Hill - then head of the Government’s terror watchdog - declared that it is “fundamentally wrong” to use the phrase “Islamist terrorism” to describe attacks carried out in Britain and elsewhere.

He said that the word terrorism should not be attached “to any of the world religions” and that the term “Daesh-inspired terrorism” should be used instead.

His comments put him at odds with Prime Minister Theresa May and the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who have both spoken about the threat posed by “Islamist terrorists”.

The HJS claims Mr Hill’s rhetoric appears “almost identical” to wording used by CAGE in 2017 to criticise Mr Hill’s predecessor David Anderson for his use of the “Islamist” term.

CAGE said: “This ‘Islamist’ smear is an ad hominem attack reminiscent of neoconservative “think-tanks” that seek to whitewash Prevent (the Government’s anti-terrorism strategy) and delegitimise community concerns.”

In his 2018 independent review of terror legislation, published last month, Mr Hill refers to "the perception and experience of racism and stigmatization in the workings of Schedule 7 and Prevent, whether repeat stops at borders or undue focus on Islamist extremism”.

Again CAGE have used very similar language, declaring on its website: “This follows the racial profiling of Muslim primary schoolchildren under the BRIT project, which had the effect of stigmatising nine-year-old Muslim children as prone to violent extremism.”

CAGE has also accused Prevent of having a counterproductive effect, quoting UN special rapporteur Maina Kiai as saying: “by dividing, stigmatising and alienating segments of the population, Prevent could end up promoting extremism, rather than countering it”.

According to the HJS, Mr Hill has also held meetings with other organisations which have been outspoken in their criticism of Prevent including MEND, Just Yorkshire and The Cordoba Foundation, once described by David Cameron as a “political front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. Its founder, Anas Al Tikriti, has openly supported the brotherhood and Hamas stating: “I believe that if you are occupied you need to fight back”.

Mr Hill has also met with the Friends of Al Asqa, founded by Ismail Patel who has stated that “Hamas is no terrorist organisation…we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel”, and was a spokesman for the British Muslim Initiative which has links to the terror Group. Friends of al-Aqsa’s bank account was closed by the Co-op to ensure that funds “do not inadvertently fund illegal or other proscribed activities”.

MEND were once described as “Islamists masquerading as civil libertarians” while Just Yorkshire is an anti-Prevent group funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, which has also funded CAGE.

Emma Webb, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society said: “In the wake of negative publicity damaging the CPS, Max Hill has vowed that through his appointment he will “restore trust”. But it is difficult to see how this will be possible given his habit of meeting disproportionately with extremist and intolerant groups.

“Meeting with such groups is bad enough, but his apparent aping of their divisive rhetoric is a step to far. Their fingerprints are all over his own positions.

“He has shown himself to have bad taste and judgement in the company he keeps. This is certainly not a man who can be trusted to ensure justice is done when it comes to Islamist extremism.”

A CPS spokesman said Mr Hill has always been clear about his desire for “the need for consultation with the community, particularly Muslim communities, and awareness of the full range of what different organisations are bringing to the field, not just the government favoured ones”.

He added: "Max Hill QC was appointed by the Attorney General after a rigorous and open competition, overseen by a Civil Service Commissioner‎."


Ignorant hounding of Roger Scruton

Douglas Murray

There are times when you wonder whether our culture is too stupid to survive. The thought has kept occurring over recent days as I have watched the cooked-up furore over the appointment of Sir Roger Scruton to chair a British government commission looking into beauty in architecture.

What are Scruton’s qualifications for this unpaid job? Well, he has written two exceedingly influential books on architecture, The Aesthetics of Architecture (1980) and The Classical Vernacular (1995), as well as numerous papers and articles on the subject. He has spent more than half a century thinking about the question. And he is also Britain’s most famous living philosopher, respected in – and honoured by – many other countries and finally honoured in this country two years ago with a knighthood. Not only does Scruton have no betters: there are very few who come anywhere near to him.

But stupid ages get policed by stupid people along ever stupider lines. And so after Sir Roger’s appointment was announced, various minnows decided to do what they could to tear him down. One who led the charge was somebody who must – against very stiff competition – count as among the laziest journalists in Britain. Now at BuzzFeed News, Alex Wickham also contributes a tiny monthly political ‘gossip’ column to GQ magazine which stands out even in that organ for its sheer pointlessness, unoriginality and vacuity. It is so derivative and thin that you can see through it.

Anyhow, perhaps Wickham is hoping his new BuzzFeed colleagues will someday forgive his years spent at the right-wing Guido Fawkes website. Whatever the cause, Wickham has led a crusade to have Scruton fired from his unpaid job. Wickham’s latest offering promises an ‘exclusive’. It then goes on to misrepresent a single statement – which is wholly justifiable as it happens – about the nature of sex and regret. He then goes on to claim: ‘BuzzFeed News has unearthed footage of a lecture he gave in the US in 2005.’ ‘BuzzFeed News’ has done no such thing. Wickham has merely – clearly stretching his own investigative skills close to breaking point – gone on YouTube and found a lecture that has been freely available for years.

Inevitably various low-grade MPs have found it impossible to resist justifying their own occupation by destroying someone else’s. A Liberal Democrat MP called Wera Hobhouse – who has made absolutely no mark on the world to date – expressed ‘deep concern’ about Scruton’s ‘offensive views’. To which someone should reply, ‘And what do you think of his work on Kant? Or Spinoza?’

The Labour MP Wes Streeting also boarded the outrage bus. Streeting claimed that ‘It beggars belief that [Scruton] passed a vetting process’. Let me tell readers of something that beggars belief even more. What beggars belief is that a person as compromised as Wes Streeting was ever allowed to stand for Parliament. Because of the size of the Jewish community in his own constituency (and after defeating a distinguished Jewish MP in a squalid campaign) Streeting poses as a great friend of the Jewish community.

In fact his track record shows him to be interested only in his own career-advancement. I first encountered Streeting a decade ago when he was the head of the NUS. Back then the recently stood-down head of the Islamic Society at University College London had just tried to bring down a plane over Detroit by blowing up a bomb he had brought on board. I was among those who took a dim view of this, as I and others did of the university and student societies who had turned a blind eye to the bomber’s extremism during the time he was at university.

But did Streeting try to go for the source of the problem? Not at all. A typical NUS shill, he merely spent his time (including in a public debate with me at UCL still available – sorry, ‘unearthed’ – on YouTube here) attacking anyone pointing out the problem that existed on campuses. He spent his time eye-rolling, giggling and throwing around accusations of ‘Islamophobia’. On another occasion during his presidency Streeting – who is gay – sat in a room with a virulently homophobic Islamic cleric and spoke after that cleric’s speech, making no attempt to either correct, nuance or chastise the extremist’s views.

If Roger Scruton cannot be an unpaid chair of a small commission I have no idea how Wes Streeting should pass as suitable to be a member of Parliament. Once again we get into the Dawn Butler / Toby Young problem.

Streeting’s Labour colleague Andrew Gwynne (shadow communities secretary), meanwhile chose to get even further ahead in the outrage stakes. After jumping on a set of Scruton’s comments on Jews, Muslims, gays and much more – all of which have been provably misrepresented – Gwynne declared that ‘Nobody holding [Scruton’s] views has a place in modern democracy.’ Gosh. Well perhaps once all the philosophers have been cleared from the national stage we can rely on the mind of Andrew Gwynne to guide us through all the big questions of life.

Finally we have the New Statesman (where Scruton wrote a wine column for many years). According to somebody called Ben Brock, whose qualification is that he ‘works in publishing’, Scruton is merely an absurd figure. ‘A man obsessed with 18th century fork handles’, apparently, who as a result ‘is not going to solve the housing crisis.’ One wonders what crisis, if any, Ben Brock might solve. Despite working in publishing, he cannot even address the problem of his own flamboyant ignorance. For instance he dismisses Scruton’s views on architecture as mere ‘Nimbyism’ and then writes, ‘This is all – aside from his beloved foxhunting – that Scruton has ever really been interested in.’ Sometimes you wonder how anyone can write a sentence that ignorant and still get up in the morning.

For example, if ‘all that Scruton has ever really been interested in’ is ‘Nimbyism’ and foxhunting, how are we to explain his more than 40 books? If he is uninterested in philosophy why has he written so many important works on it? Why did he write the seminal Modern Philosophy (1994), a book Brock might have trouble picking up, let alone reading? If Scruton is so dull and uninterested in other things why has he written several of the most important books of recent decades on music and aesthetics (including The Aesthetics of Music (1999) and Understanding Music, (2009))? Why the book-length studies of Tristan and Isolde and the Ring cycle? Why his absorbing 1987 book on Lebanon or his hugely influential book The West and the Rest (2002) which emerged from Scruton’s study of Farsi and Arabic? Why the many other books and papers on religion, sexual desire and the environment? And this isn’t to get started on the novels, memoirs and more. Including a remarkable book of short stories (Souls in the Twilight) published just last month which is a moving and deeply humane insight into a range of complex, diverse characters.

I could go on. It appears that Scruton’s detractors will continue to mine the columns Scruton has secretly published in all the national papers in order to expose his wrong-think. They will continue to ‘unearth’ his public lectures. And they will continue to pretend that none of the complex things in life – including the complexity of human relations – should ever be opened up or explored by anyone. Especially not philosophers. Perhaps they will have their way. Perhaps they will ensure that nobody who has thought seriously about anything important (and gained international acclaim for doing so) must ever be allowed anywhere near our increasingly ignorant and stupid public life. But I hope that Scruton does remain in his small advisory role. If he doesn’t then it would be the strongest demonstration possible that as a country we have got to a stage you might summarize as ‘the survival of the thickest’.


EU corruption at work

My biggest beef with the European Union has always been the way it stifles consumer-friendly innovation in the interests of incumbent businesses and organisations. Today’s victory for Sir James Dyson at the European General Court lays bare an especially shocking example.

Dyson’s case, which has taken five years in the courts, reveals just how corrupt and crony-capitalist the European Union has become. It is no surprise that Sir James was and is a big supporter of Britain leaving the EU. Essentially, the rules have been bent to allow German manufacturers to deceive customers about the performance of their vacuum cleaners, in a manner uncannily similar to – but even worse than — the way mostly German car manufacturers deceived customers about the emissions from diesel vehicles.

In today’s decision – a very rare case in which the EU courts have had to back down — the EU’s General Court said it would uphold Dyson’s claim and that “tests of a vacuum cleaner’s energy efficiency carried out with an empty receptacle do not reflect conditions as close as possible to actual conditions of use”. Yes, you read that right: until now, in Europe only, vacuum cleaners were tested without dust, the better to suit German manufacturers.

The case concerns labels on vacuum cleaners stating how much energy they use. The Energy Label for corded vacuum cleaners is mandated by the EU’s Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations. The purpose is to encourage energy efficiency in such products and the job of the Energy Label is to make sure that consumers get clear information about product performance. Dyson was the first manufacturer to support limits on the power consumption of motors in vacuums. Why wouldn’t it be: its Cyclone product is very efficient?

The Energy Label was introduced throughout the EU in September 2014 and updated in September 2017. It covers overall energy rating, rated A to G, with A being best and G being worst; annual energy usage in kWh; the amount of dust in air emitted from the machine’s exhaust (A to G); the noise level in decibels; how much dust the machine picks up from carpets (A to G); and how much dust the machine picks up from hard floors and crevices (A to G).

All very reasonable, until you find that the European Commission stipulated that under these regulations, vacuum cleaners are tested empty and with no dust. This flies in the face of the methods developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), an international standards organization, which have been adopted by consumer test bodies and manufacturers worldwide. It is out of line with the way other appliances, such as washing machines, ovens and dishwashers are tested “loaded”, not empty.

Why would the EC have made this strange decision? Because the big German manufacturers make vacuum cleaners with bags. Sir James Dyson invented ones without bags. And the bag ones gradually become clogged with dust so they have to use more power or lose suction. The decision to test them empty plainly benefits the bag-cleaners. Behind the scenes the German manufacturers lobbied for this outcome.

The result of this is that you can buy a bag cleaner with an A rating, take it home and find that most of the time it performs like a G-rated cleaner.

So in 2013 Dyson challenged the labelling rules in the EU General Court, arguing that, to reflect real-life experience, the performance of a vacuum cleaner should be tested in real-world conditions, and that might actually include – God forbid – encountering dust. In November 2015, the EU General Court dismissed Dyson’s claims saying that dust-loaded testing is not reliable or “reproducible” and therefore could not be adopted, despite the fact that the international standard does use dust. Nonsense: in its labs and in houses, Dyson tests its own machines using real dust, fluff, grit and debris including dog biscuits and Cheerio cereals – of both the European and the American kind.

Dyson appealed to the European Court of Justice in January 2016 and on 11 May 2017 it won. The court said that to reach the conclusion it had, the General Court “distorted the facts”, “ignored their own law”, “had ignored Dyson’s evidence” and had “failed to comply with its duty to give reasons”. The ECJ said that the test must adopt, where technically possible, “a method of calculation which makes it possible to measure the energy performance of vacuum cleaners in conditions as close as possible to actual conditions of use”. The case was passed back to the General Court, which was given time to reconsider its verdict at leisure. Today, after eighteen months of cogitation (what do judges do all day?), and with nowhere to go, the court capitulated.

Dyson has this to say about the case: “the EU label flagrantly discriminated against a specific technology – Dyson’s patented cyclone. This benefited traditional, predominantly German, manufacturers who lobbied senior Commission officials. Some manufacturers have actively exploited the regulation by using low motor power when in the test state, but then using technology to increase motor power automatically when the machine fills with dust – thus appearing more efficient. This defeat software allows them to circumvent the spirit of the regulation, which the European Court considers to be acceptable because it complies with the letter of the law.”

How much more shocking does the crony-capitalist corruption at the heart of Brussels have to get before people rebel against this sort of thing? They did already? Ah yes, Brexit, true Brexit, cannot come soon enough.


Security expert says we’re ‘feeding the beasts’ of terror with shoot-to-kill policy

As happens every time, somebody says the terrorist was mentally ill.  And that is true in one way.  He was certainly deviant from the norm.  The important point however is that when a Muslim feels out of sorts in some way for some reason he tends to see that as a call to Jihad.  Jihad provides an answer to your truobles that will send you straight to Paradise. Attacking unbelievers rewards people with problems.  So Islam is still the problem in these attacks

The claim that his actions were a cry for help is comoplete BS.  You don't load your car up with gas cylinders and try to explode them in a busy street as a cry for help.  He wanted to kill unbelievers and go to Paradise.  That is all

Karl Stefanovic has launched a scathing attack on the “timid” critics who wanted police to refrain from shooting a knife-wielding terrorist.

As a debate rages over Australia’s response to Friday’s sickening terror attack in Melbourne, Karl Stefanovic has backed police and launched a scathing attack on their “timid” critics.

The Today co-host praised said he felt sorry for the young police officers who were forced to shoot the knife-wielding terrorist dead.

He said they were “consumed” by a “politically correct” message from the public — which dictates that they should try to keep the terrorist alive.

“People (were) yelling, ‘Shoot him, shoot him’ they tried their best not to,” he said this morning. “I reckon, on second thought, someone comes at police with a knife you shoot them dead straight away?

“You know what the courage of the cops, this is a reminder again of what our police do. The first there, first to deal with it, fighting back. I’m amazed. Who would be a police officer? Who would be a police officer and they do it and they do it without complaint.”

“They do it sometimes with the public hating them. But they’re the first you call when you need them and they were the first to respond. I salute them this morning.”

The rant came after a counter-terrorism expert said Australia is leaving itself wide open to future attacks by training police to shoot terrorists dead.

Dr Allan Orr, a counter-terrorism and insurgency specialist who is researching and writing on the Sydney cafe siege — said Australia is “feeding the beasts” of terror and failing to prevent future attacks by giving cops shoot-to-kill advice instead of shoot-to-injure training.

He recommended creating a British-style rapid response anti-terror unit — with high powered weapons and access to helicopters — and powers to track people on terrorist watch lists to prevent more extremist attacks.

“These specialist police would be completely armed, unseen and just minutes away from the scene of an attack,” he told Fairfax.  “In the UK these frontline officers don’t deal with anything else but counter-terrorism, so they’ve got their play book down to response times of two minutes.”

The call comes in response to a deadly attack in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Friday by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali — a Muslim refugee from Somalia. Ali crashed his car full of gas cylinders before stabbing three people, killing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina.

As Melbourne mourns over the tragic consequences of the deadly attack, a fierce debate is raging over how tough our immigration laws should be.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is advocating a tough-line approach which would allow the government to more easily deport residents before they become ­citizens. “I’ve been very open about the cancellation of visas, the numbers have ramped up, because there are some people who should not go on to become Australian citizens,’’ he said yesterday.

“The law applies differently, ­obviously, to someone who has ­Australian citizenship, by conferral or births, as opposed to someone here on a temporary status because they are the holder of a particular visa category.”

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has backed the call, according to the Herald Sun. “Deportation and the cancellation of visas are matters for the Commonwealth government, but we certainly support this action being taken against extremists and those who wish to do us harm,” he said.

Ali was known to federal police and had his passport cancelled in 2015 amid fears the Somali-born man would travel to Syria.

“It is important for us to get as much information from the imams, from spouses, family members, community members, council workers, people that might be interacting with those that might have changed their behaviours, that they think have been radicalised,” Mr Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backs religious freedoms but has also called on Islamic leaders to call out the attack.

Those remarks that have in turn been labelled divisive by Muslim groups who say their community is not to blame for the actions of an individual and fear it could stoke Islamophobia.

“It is extremely disappointing in such difficult times and during a national tragedy, when all Australians of all faiths and backgrounds should be called upon to unite and stand together against any form of extremism and violence, to see our nation’s leader politicising this incident and using it for political gain,” the Australian National Imams Council said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Dutton says the government’s community engagement programs have worked in building solid relationships with members of the public who have provided critical intelligence that has helped stop other attacks, but that there were still gaps in information gathering.

The family of a popular Melbourne restaurateur who was killed in the Bourke Street terror attack has been offered a state funeral as the city continues to mourn the tragedy.

Hundreds of flowers and cards line the footpath outside of Pellegrini’s restaurant as staff let mourners know the tributes would be passed on to the family of Mr Malaspina.

The 74-year-old man was walking down Bourke St, just a few hundred metres from the business he had run for more than 40 years, when he was caught up in the horrific attack.

Mr Andrews spoke to the family of Mr Malaspina and offered a state funeral.

Tasmanian businessman Rod Patterson and a 24-year-old security guard were also injured in the attack.

The attacker’s family has said the man had mental health problems in a note to reporters.

“Hassan suffered from mental illness for years and refused help. He’s been deteriorating these past few months,” a note given to Nine News showed. “Please stop turning this into a political game. This isn’t a guy who had any connections with terrorism but was simply crying for help,” it read.



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, November 12, 2018

Transgenerational advantage

Summary below of a particularly dumb TED talk from a New School professor. The New School is far Left from wayback so the idea presented is as dumb and impractical as you would expect of that. It's true that economic advantage tends to be passed on from father to son but why and how?  The Newschooler doesn't know.  He just knows that it is.  So he resorts to vague generalities -- which apparently sounded clever to his audience. 

That wealth is transmitted in some automatic way once you have it is absolute bunkum.  How many times have we read of people winning big in a lottery and blowing the lot in short order?  Having money does not even encourage you to keep it, let alone pass it on.

But there is no need for "cleverness" in order to explain the phenomenon that our Newschooler has noticed.  It's perfectly plain why rich men tend to have economically successful children.  It's because you have to be pretty smart to get rich (As Charles Murray showed decades ago) and IQ is highly hereditary.  Both father and son get rich because they are both  smarter than the average. 

Giving a son money will do nothing to alter the main operative factor in wealth acquisition: IQ.  If he is smart he doesn't need it and if he is dumb he will simply blow it.

Economists often point out the simple truth that having wealth makes it easier to get more wealth, which means those who have a lot of money pass on an advantage from one generation to the next.

To adjust for that, economist Darrick Hamilton, a professor at The New School in New York, recently proposed a kind of baby trust fund system. His idea is to give all kids in the US a chunk of cash when they’re born, ranging between $US500 and $US60,000 based on their family’s wealth. That would help give all of thems a fair shot at a prosperous future, he said.

“Wealth is the paramount indicator of economic security and well-being,” Hamilton told a crowd at the TED Conferences headquarters in New York in September. “It is time to get beyond the false narrative that attributes inequalities to individual personal deficits while largely ignoring the advantages of wealth.”


Good News for Americans Who Object to Obamacare’s Contraception Mandate

Those who cherish religious liberty can celebrate a major victory this week.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services published final rules that provide much-needed relief from one of Obamacare’s most egregious assaults on rights of conscience and religious liberty: the mandate that nearly all health insurance plans cover abortion-inducing drugs and contraception.

One rule provides an exemption for religious beliefs, and a second rule provides an exemption for moral convictions. Together, they provide meaningful relief to Americans who have long been burdened by the onerous mandate. These exemptions bring to a close a yearslong saga that never needed to happen in the first place.

Obamacare requires insurance companies to cover certain kinds of preventive services with no enrollee cost-sharing, and it gives the Department of Health and Human Services the task of specifying the types of preventive services for women that health insurance plans must cover.

According to guidelines issued by Health and Human Services following Obamacare’s enactment, insurance plans must include all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods and sterilization procedures, which include certain abortion-inducing drugs.

In other words, the statutory text of Obamacare itself does not require that plans cover contraceptives. That policy detail, among others, was left to the discretion of the executive branch. Furthermore, plans that already covered millions of women were “grandfathered” and exempted from the requirement to provide preventive services with no cost-sharing.

In the years that followed, Health and Human Services eventually included a very narrow religious exemption to the contraception mandate that effectively applied only to houses of worship. The Obama administration later extended that exemption to houses of worship and their integrated auxiliaries, such as church-run soup kitchens.

But other religious employers like hospitals, schools, social service organizations, and even businesses remained responsible for complying with the mandate, notwithstanding their sincere moral or religious objections.

The Supreme Court gave relief to closely held businesses in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and to certain other religious institutions in Zubik v. Burwell. Yet many individuals, employers, and organizations are still subject to the mandate.

In October 2017, the Trump administration issued interim final rules—very similar to the ones finalized this month—that finally provided an adequate moral and religious exemption for those who objected to the mandate. Those rules were designed to go into effect immediately, with a public comment period following, but they were blocked from being implemented in court.

The finalized rules issued this month take into account the public comments that were received since the interim final rules were issued, and the changes made are technical in nature.

The administration estimates that the exemptions should affect “no more than approximately 200 employers with religious or more objections, with many entities not being affected because they were already permitted not to cover contraception under the previous rules, or are protected by permanent court injunctions.”

The estimated number of women whose coverage may be affected is 6,400—a fraction of the 165 million women in the United States.

Many on the left are characterizing the rules as denying women access to contraception. In reality, they do no such thing. Rather, they allow those with objections to not be complicit in choices that would violate their religious or moral convictions.

Women will remain free to make their own decisions about the drugs and devices listed in the mandate, and will be able to purchase or find coverage for them without trampling on the sincere moral or religious objections of those who wish not to be implicated in subsidizing them.

Moreover, these rules leave untouched the multitude of programs that subsidize contraception for women at the federal, state, and local levels.

The rules simply mean that groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns committed to serving the elderly poor and who operate 30 homes in the United States, will not be forced to be involved in the provision of employee health insurance that covers drugs and devices that directly contradict their religious convictions.

You don’t have to share the beliefs of people like the Little Sisters to recognize that the government should not be able to force Americans to set aside their moral and religious convictions when they serve the poor, heal the sick, or educate the next generation outside the four walls of a church.

America has a proud tradition of respecting the rights of conscience, which enable us to act in harmony with our sincerely held beliefs in the public square. The final rules issued by the Trump administration recognize this foundational principle and give much-needed, meaningful relief from an unnecessary assault on the rights of conscience.


White Women Don't Need Saving by arrogant feminists

Allie Stuckey

Republicans foiled Democrats’ dreams of a Senator O’Rourke, a Governor Gillum and a Governor Abrams, and, apparently, white women are to blame for it.

One Twitter warrior deemed white women “footsoldiers of the patriarchy” for voting Republican, claiming that their decision is based on a desire to submit to their husbands. Jemele Hill, staff writer for The Atlantic, argued that white women are not “the face of feminism,” because they voted for Ted Cruz and, in 2016, for Donald Trump. A viral tweet listed Republicans for which white women voted in the midterms and concluded, “white women gonna white.”

Don’t worry, though. The Women’s March is here to help us out: “There’s a lot of work to do, white women. A lot of learning. A lot of growing. We want to do it with you.”

Phew! For a second there I thought we were going to have to continue navigating these scary political waters on our own. I’m so relieved to know that, instead of thinking for ourselves, we’ll have obscure liberal Twitter activists and Linda Sarsour guiding us. I’m hoping my tyrannical husband won’t be too upset with me for going against his commands. Last week he gave me an extra fifty cents in my allowance and told me to “buy something pretty,” so maybe he’ll be just as gracious when I tell him I’ve started forming my own opinions.

The irony is, of course, rich. Leftist feminists, long-asserting the strength and independence of women, now argue that some women are so weak that they need to depend on liberals to tell them how to vote. They cannot fathom that we Republican “white women” may actually have different values than they do. It must be because we are “foot soldiers of the patriarchy.” (That’s newspeak for “self-hating idiots.”)

When certain demographics vote majoritively for Democrats, those people are smart, brave, strong, important. Ninety-seven percent of black women voting for Abrams has nothing to do with identity politics or the belief in the false narrative that big government policies will benefit them. No, they’re wise. White women who vote for Republicans, though—they’re idiots.

So much for judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin or their sex. I’m old enough to remember when this was considered racism and sexism. Today, on the left, it’s considered thoughtful analysis.

The claim is that we are voting against our own interests. But this assumes our interests are liberal interests—abortion, closing the “gender pay gap,” gun control, etc. And they’re just not. We women who vote Republican do so because, in general, we believe in things like the Second Amendment, lower taxes and restrictions on killing the unborn. We are not oppressed. We’re just not progressive.

For as much as feminists say they hate the patriarchy, they do a darn good job of patronizing women with whom they disagree. They are demeaning, self-righteous and condescending. They deemed women who supported Kavanaugh “gender traitors.” They called Susan Collins and other senators who voted “yes” on the now-justice “rape apologists.” They claimed women who voted for Trump did so because of “internal misogyny.” They think we’re pro-life because we want to set women back. They think, simply because we don’t align with their agenda, we’re controlled by men.

These are the same people who completely ignore successful conservative women like Nikki Haley, Condoleezza Rice, or Carly Fiorina–not to mention the Republicans who ran in the midterms. Martha McSally, colonel in the Air Force, congresswoman and Arizona senatorial candidate certainly isn’t trying to repress women. The first female governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, doesn’t seem to be relegating women to the kitchen. Young Kim, Congress’s first Korean-American representative, isn’t exactly a slave to the patriarchy. These women, though, just don’t fit the narrative.

Progressive feminists fancy themselves rebellious disruptors, but it’s a fantasy. They’re mainstream, their platform is tired, their hypocrisy is predictable and their constant bullying of women on the other side of the aisle is nauseatingly unattractive. It is obviously the underrepresented, constantly shoved-aside conservative women who are really countercultural. It takes much more fortitude to stick to your values despite being condescended than it does to acquiesce to emotional manipulation and the leftist politics of guilt.

They may never realize that it’s this very attitude repelling the women they so desperately want to “help.” Oh well. Better for us.


Australia's little socialist republic in Canberra goes rogue on religion

This week the ACT has proved yet again that Canberrans are living in a world of their own.

Our little socialist republic has gone ahead and passed a bill aimed at eliminating the legal exemptions to the anti-discrimination laws pertaining to freedom of religion aimed at schools and other religious institutions.

The exemptions have been branded by the Barr government as “loopholes” although they were deliberately included in the original anti-discrimination legislation to give religious institutions freedom to run the institutions on religious principles. What is more, the ACT has gone its own way, despite the commonwealth government having yet to respond to the Ruddock review, pre-­empting any changes the commonwealth may make.

It has always been the stated aim of the Greens and the left of Labor to get rid of the exemptions to anti-discrimination law. The last thing Mark Dreyfus did as­ ­attorney-general was to eliminate the never-used exemptions in religious aged care. That was a warning for Labor’s future conduct.

The timely leaking of parts of the Ruddock review and the “who knew?” outrage that accompanied the leak were deliberately engineered and have given the green-Left the impetus it was seeking to eliminate the exemptions.

In Canberra, where 40 per cent of children are in independent schools, it will have the effect of restricting the freedom of parents in the choice of school, accomplished under the mantle of eliminating “discrimination” and encouraging “diversity”. It limits parents’ right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, all of which are part of the international covenants to which Australia is a signatory.

This was blatantly admitted in an accompanying speech by Shane Rattenbury, who sponsored the bill: “The amendments will engage and limit the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief. They engage and potentially limit the right of parents to ensure the religious and moral education of a child in conformity with their convictions. However, in the context of the scheme of the Discrimination Act as a whole, these limitations are reasonable and proportionate in accordance with s28 of the Human Rights Act.”

This is Rattenbury’s interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

No one should forget what happened to Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous, who was hauled up to a human rights board for disseminating Catholic doctrine on marriage. The archbishop was a victim of the human rights apparatus that has redefined and limited our rights. Advocates of human rights, and especially advocates on human rights commissions, are very keen to talk about “balance”.

However, the real problem is that the human rights apparatus, encompassing all the various commissions and boards, has been allowed to override fundamental human rights in favour of the rights of special interest groups. The Porteous case was the most blatant example of this.

All rights are important — religion, speech and right of minorities not to suffer discrimination — but the legal structure is skewed in favour of rights that appeal to identified groups (24 in fact), not the broader community. We have given priority to a handful of rights while ignoring the impact on rights that are just as important. Hence, the fundamental right of parents to educate their children in accordance with their moral and religious views is potentially compromised by the palaver about “balance” in the ACT legislation.

Freedom of religion is one of our foundation constitutional principles. Despite talk of the “private” practice of religion and those whingers of the freedom-from-­religion camp, the manifest practice of religion cannot be separated from freedom to “private” practice of religion. One must accept religion is not something separate from daily life. Belief must be manifest in thought, in conscience, which guides morality, and in speech.

Silencing religion in the public square is not just about silencing bishops; it is about silencing lay men and women. Governments have already begun to interfere in individual conscience in ways acceptable only in the worst totalitarian regimes. Victoria has overridden the right to freedom of conscience by requiring doctors to refer patients for abortion.

Religious bodies should not be subject to legislation that affects their foundation principles but, then, religious bodies should not have to rely on exemptions. The anti-religion activists have been allowed to set the terms of the debate by accepting the outrageous assertion that manifestations of religious freedom are, at law, mere incidents of discrimination that are permissible only because of exemptions in the law. Once they fell into that error, a bad outcome for religious freedom was assured.

The starting point for the debate must be that religious freedom is a fundamental human right — the position in international law. If this right is given only lukewarm recognition, the inroads on religious freedom will get only worse. Using the interpretative clauses in anti-discrimination laws to refer to the importance of religion is much weaker than a stand-alone act that asserts that everyone has the right to privateand public manifestations of religious belief.

This would change the debate as manifestations of religion would no longer be an exemption from laws against discrimination but a manifestation of a right accepted by federal law. Schools would no longer be allowed to “discriminate” but would be allowed to exercise a right to religious freedom.

The leaking of the Ruddock review was part of a campaign to scare the government in advance of the report’s full release. There seems little appetite to declare freedom of religion as a full right. However, those who fear such a law as the harbinger of a bill of rights should think again. There is a greater fear we will have a half-hearted ­response to the issue and lose a vital part of our freedom.



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