Monday, February 26, 2018

My compromise offer to the politically correct

Yep. Donald Trump’s tweets are childish, his speech is vulgar and insensitive. But what the victim-centric left refuses to acknowledge is that the backlash to the insanely politically correct society they’ve created rewards him for it.

In our hyper-sensitive culture, where it’s not what you say but the words you use to say it, enough Americans needed to elect a president proved they’re sick and tired of feeling censored. Middle America voters can only be told their white-privileged micro-aggressions are triggering some victim’s oppression so often before Trump’s crudeness becomes a welcome and needed relief.

Really, when a coffee shop’s tongue-in-cheek sign, “Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014,” causes near race riots, it’s gone too far. The message sent is if whites move into downtown, they’re gentrifying it, making them racists. If they move out of downtown, it’s white flight, and they’re racists.

And somehow NPR-listening elitists still can’t figure out how Trump was elected?

Most of the politically correct terms we’re now mandated to use, or else be ridiculed for being ignorant or hateful, have been manufactured via well-meaning intentions. People want to accurately describe others without seeming to disparage or judge them. Seems honorable enough. But do we have to call an average chick a “cisgender demisexual female”?

I’d like to offer a very sincere compromise in the escalating war of terminology. Let me introduce the Caldara Compromise this way:

My son has Down syndrome.

Words could never come close to describing the love I have for him or just how far I’d fight for his right to be treated as an equal, with respect.

And we should celebrate how far we’ve come accepting people like my son, Chance. When I was his age, kids like him were warehoused in a windowless school room all day until escorted to the short bus. No other students knew their names, interacted with them, or played with them. It’s no wonder kids like Chance were teased, mocked and isolated for being different.

Today is different. My son is welcomed throughout school. Kids and adults there love what makes him special. And I wouldn’t have thought it possible when he was born, but my Downs kid has lots of normal friends.

Did you see it? I just broke two rules of the PC code for the disabled. According to the PC police, I don’t have a “Downs kid,” I have a “kid with Downs,” because the “person” is always supposed to come before the modifier. This of course makes no sense in the English language. You want a cold beer, not a beer cold. Charlie Brown loves the redheaded girl, not the girl with redhead.

My son doesn’t have “normal” friends, he has “typical” friends. “Typical” is required because “normal” is a value judgement.

He isn’t “disabled,” he is “differently abled,” because we all have abilities, some just might be different. My son can’t use the toilet without assistance, but somehow, he’s not disabled.

Note that in nearly every case in the PC tyranny, it takes longer to say the things we want to say. It’s PC word inflation that drives us crazy — I mean, mentally ill.

Every PC term requires more syllables. “Undocumented worker” is longer than “illegal alien.”  “Gender reassignment surgery” is longer than “sex change.” “Developmentally delayed” versus “retarded.” We could go on all day.

But there’s a notable exception. An acceptable term for “homosexual” is “gay.” Even those who hate the gay agenda use the word “gay.” Why? It’s one-fifth the amount of syllables! The PC left won. They got their opponents to use their own terminology!

So here’s my sincere compromise offer: We boorish ignorant anti-PC bigots will accept whatever terms you hyper-sensitive social engineering snowflakes want to describe whatever victim group or situation you want. We have only one small condition. The new term must be shorter than the one you want us to stop using. It would also be great if you’d stop changing the words every other year, but that’s not a deal killer.

Or keep doing what you’re doing and risk more Trump.



Catholic Bishop Bars Democratic Senator from Receiving Communion Due to Abortion Vote

Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield responded in a very strong way last week to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) voting against legislation that would’ve banned abortion after 20 weeks, the point at which science increasingly shows unborn babies can feel pain. Paprocki said Durbin could not receive communion until he “repents of this sin.”

“Fourteen Catholic senators voted against the bill that would have prohibited abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization, including Sen. Richard Durbin, whose residence is in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois,” Bishop Paprocki said in a statement.

“In April 2004, Sen. Durbin’s pastor, then Msgr. Kevin Vann (now Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, CA), said that he would be reticent to give Sen. Durbin Holy Communion because his pro-abortion position put him outside of communion or unity with the Church’s teachings on life,” he wrote. “My predecessor, now Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, said that he would support that decision. I have continued that position.”

Paprocki went on to cite the official teaching of the Catholic Church on the matter as well as guidance from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those ‘who obstinately persist in mani­fest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,’” he said. “In our 2004 Statement on Catholics in Political Life, the USCCB said, ‘Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.’”

“Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,” the determination continues that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin,” the bishop concluded. “This provision is intended not to punish, but to bring about a change of heart. Sen. Durbin was once pro-life. I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life.”

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed in the Senate in January with a vote of 51-46 in favor, failing to reach the 60 votes required to advance to a final vote.

The legislation passed the House of Representatives in October by a 237-189 vote mostly along party lines with three Democrats voting in favor of the measure.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had initially announced the bill alongside Micah Pickering, a five-year-old boy who was born prematurely at 22 weeks gestational age (20 weeks).

Shortly after the bill’s passage in the House, The Washington Post fact checked the claim that the U.S. is one of just seven countries in the world to allow elective abortion after 20 weeks gestation and found it to be true.


BBBB - The Biased Better Business Bureau

Mark Fitzgibbons, President of Corporate Affairs at American Target Advertising (ATA), America's oldest and largest cause-related direct response agency founded by political direct mail pioneer Richard A. Viguerie, issued the following statement about a February 7 smear of Veterans in Defense of Liberty (VIDOL) by the Better Business Bureau's St. Louis office:

"The BBB's issuance of, then refusal to take adequate actions to correct, its false and reckless smear of VIDOL is an indication that the BBB may be biased against conservatives in the same way as disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner.

"The bias of the BBB against those who don't pay them money was well documented in the ABC News show 20/20 and reported in March 2013 by Time magazine: Why the Better Business Bureau Should Give Itself a Bad Grade.

"The BBB February 7 release is the latest example of its continuing bias and questionable integrity. The release recklessly misleads the public about the mission of VIDOL, which is NOT a charity established to distribute funds to veterans, but is a social welfare organization established to educate and inform the public about the plight of veterans, lobby on their behalf – especially with regards to the VA health care system, and to promote the constitutional values shared by millions of veterans who have graced our country and our flag with their service. VIDOL is tax-exempt under tax code section 501(c)(4). Charities are exempt under section 501(c)(3), and have substantially different purposes.

"The BBB seems to have used one standard to judge a liberal organization, and a different standard for a conservative organization. It claimed, for example, with regard to the controversial leftwing 501(c)(4) organization Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, an imitator of the now-defunct ACORN, that the 'organization is also not a charity and therefore BBB would not issue a BBB Charity Report.' The treatment of VIDOL is so inconsistent with what the BBB claims to be its standards that this smells of partisan politics from another large institution whose national headquarters are tightly within the Washington, D.C. swamp.

"The BBB's evaluation of expenditures by VIDOL for its grassroots education and advocacy program is unprofessional, misleading, and legally incompetent. The BBB failed to attempt to properly verify the information in its libelous smear of VIDOL and ATA. The BBB's Michelle Corey and principals within the national headquarters were advised of the falsity of this BBB smear, but have stubbornly refused to cure this libel many days later, causing one to seriously question their true motivations and integrity.

"VIDOL was founded by a true patriot and veteran, Dr. William Scott Magill. Dr. Magill and his team take no salary from VIDOL. VIDOL receives no taxpayer dollars, and is not funded by billionaires, unions, corporations, or wealthy foundations that finance leftwing organizations attempting to destroy the constitutional values shared by millions of our hero veterans.

"The BBB release begins with misleading readers to believe VIDOL is a charity: 'A Galena, Mo., man recently turned to BBB for advice after receiving dozens of charity mailers … A Springfield, Mo.-based group called Veterans in Defense of Liberty was among the more than dozen organizations which sent the man donation forms.'

"The BBB knows full-well that the public would be shocked and disturbed if a professional fundraiser "kept 94 percent of the money raised for" a charity, and positioned and pushed its whole ambush to harm the reputation and finances of VIDOL and Dr. Magill.

"Since the BBB was 'caught,' it has removed an inappropriate negative rating of VIDOL from its release, but the release remains misleading, and its publication, and the BBB's active encouragement and participation with news agencies in this smear, remains forever on the Internet.

"Consistent with the BBB's bullying conduct, last week I 'coincidentally' received in the mail a letter from the BBB asking for information on ATA, sent just one day after I complained to the BBB about its February 7 release. The letter included a warning that if I did not reply, that has an effect on our 'rating.' Strange that I received the first BBB letter I can recollect within days after I complained about the BBB's lack of integrity. Perhaps the BBB's website should carry a warning: 'Question or criticize us, and you'll pay.'"

Via email

Jordan Peterson: six reasons that explain his rise

Why has an obscure Canadian academic become a phenomenon across the Anglosphere? The man seems genuinely surprised at his 18-month transformation. Hence his tweet asking why so many people have watched the interview he did on Britain’s Channel 4. On March 8, Jordan Peterson kicks off his Australian speaking tour. At sold-out events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane he will talk about his bestselling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

One way to explain this rise of a man who has been described as a cowboy psychologist and an egghead who gives practical advice is that he drives many on the left bonkers.

There are at least a dozen reasons for this, but this is a column, not a book, so here are six.

Reason 1. Peterson reckons that listening is good for our soul and even better for human progress. Sounds banal, but in an age when campus outrage and an angry mob mentality have seeped into our broader culture, listening to those we disagree with is a truly revolutionary message.

The University of Toronto psychology professor is old school. He gathers information and builds knowledge the Socratic way, by listening and testing ideas. That’s how he developed a fascination with why totalitarian regimes murdered millions in the quest for utopia. He’s suspicious of ideology, dogma and the doctrinaire. Ideology is dangerous, he says, because it’s too certain about things and doesn’t allow for dissent.

Moral relativism is equally dangerous because it makes no judgments and is blind to the greatness of Western civilisation. Human beings need a moral compass. The demise of religion has left a vacuum, and it has been filled by rigid ideologues and nihilistic moral relativists. Well-timed, given so many millennials are bunkering down with socialism or moral relativism.

If you want to ignore Peterson, that’s your right. But he is a symbol of what’s rotten within parts of our culture. When he speaks, his critics try to howl him down. Students scream over him, university administrators try to censor him.

Last year, Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University, played one of Peterson’s YouTube videos in a communications class. In a meeting with university honchos, one professor, Nathan Rambukkana, accused her of breaking Canadian law and creating a toxic environment for students. Another said her decision to show a Peterson debate clip was akin to the Nazis relying on free speech. The meeting was taped. It’s literally crazy. An uproar led the university to apologise to Shepherd.

Some of this explains why, as of Thursday, Peterson’s cracker interview with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman has attracted 7.4 million views since it aired on January 17. Sure, some of us have watched it more than once, because it’s funny, it’s serious and it ought to be shown in the first lesson of a journalism 101 course.

As reported in Inquirer last month, the interview is a 30-minutes precis of what happens when you don’t listen. Peterson was calm, measured, respectful. He used science and evidence when explaining the differences between men and women. He raised obvious questions about dogma on the gender pay gap. And he smiled politely when a woman who brought him on to her show wasn’t interested in listening.

There are now memes about Newman’s closed-ears interviewing style. Like this one. Peterson: “Women want strong and competent men.” Newman: “So what you’re saying is women are incompetent.” And this. Peterson: “I’m a clinical psychologist.” Newman: “So what you’re saying is I need therapy.” But none is as humiliating as the interview.

Reason 2. Peterson believes in free speech. He’s worried about the illiberal direction of modernity, not just on campus. That’s another reason this solid-gold cultural disrupter, with a quiet but firm tone, drives many on the left nuts. The professor attracted headlines at home in Canada when he said he wouldn’t abide by Bill C-16, introduced in May 2016, amending the Canadian Human Rights Act and making it illegal to use the wrong pronoun. It became law last June. Peterson baulked at being told by the state to use the pronoun “ze” for transgender people. He said if someone asked him to use it for them, he’s a polite guy and he’d do it. But when the state tells you what to say, the state has crossed the line into forced speech.

Reason 3. Peterson is a force because he’s also damn good at getting his message across. He uses our most important stories, drawing from history, psychology, neuroscience, mythology, poetry and the Bible to explain his thinking.

The man described as an “ardent prairie preacher” grew up in the small town of Fairview, Alberta, watched some of his friends succeed while others ended up drug addicts. He spent years searching for answers to big questions such as what makes life more meaningful and, going back a step, why meaning even matters.

His 12 Rules book, extracted in Inquirer earlier this month, sprang from an online free-for-all forum called Quora, where anyone could ask questions and provide answers. His answers attracted a huge online crowd, then a curious publisher, and this week his book is topping Amazon’s bestseller list in Australia.

Why storytelling matters calls for a divergence. Last December Jonathan Sachs, a rabbi and member of Britain’s House of Lords, said we need an army to defend a country. And to defend our civilisation we need a conversation between generations. “We need to teach our children the story of which we and they are a part, and we need to trust them to go further than we did, when they come to write their own chapter,” he said.

This is not woolly idealism, Sachs said. “It’s hard-headed pragmatism.” Understanding our own story, our history, where we went wrong and what we got right, allows children to face the challenges and the chaos of a rapidly changing world. “We need to give our children an internalised moral satellite navigation system so that they can find their way across the undiscovered country called the future,” he said.

Peterson is a navigation system with a twangy Canadian accent, trying to direct us towards meaning. Wrong way, go back, he’ll tell you when you’re heading down a dead-end street.

Reason 4. Peterson is secretly feared by utopians on the left. Life is full of unexpected and unavoidable suffering, he says. We get sick, we get betrayed, we lose jobs and friends and a sense of order. Get used to it. Deal with it.

This starting premise is where he departs so spectacularly from cultural Marxists. The utopian imaginings of socialism and communism created great suffering. So stop dreaming, Peterson says, accept that life can be hard. Accept, too, that each of us is capable of being monstrous and marvellous in all our human complexity. And make choices about that. Accept individual responsibility.

Start by standing up straight because it can “encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence”. If people around you see you as strong and capable and calm, you might too — and vice versa.

Face your problems with honesty, he says. Choose friends who are good for you. Pursue what’s meaningful rather than what’s expedient. It’s the kind of advice given a generation ago when people talked more about responsibilities than rights and parents warned their children that life is tough. Today it offends our rights culture, not to mention our mollycoddling parenting. So three cheers for common sense from this Canadian disrupter.

Reason 5. Get your own house in order before you start lecturing others or presuming to know how to fix other problems. Peterson’s message is a direct challenge to two particularly rank strains of modernity: victimhood and virtue-signalling. Both are cop-outs. Much harder, and more important, says Peterson, is to fix what you can at home because if we all did this there would be fewer victims and less misery in the world.

Reason 6. Men need to grow the hell up, he says. A whiny guy who blames others for his poor life choices is of no use to himself, no use to women, no use to children and no use to a world that has prospered from those who take responsibility. A boy who never grows up can’t possibly deal with the periods of chaos we all must face. And parents shouldn’t bother children when they’re skateboarding, meaning let them take risks so they can manage them as adults.

Maybe now you’re seeing why the mild-mannered Canadian psychologist is attracting brickbats and bouquets.

Those living in a women’s studies world can’t bear him and wail about him entrenching the patriarchy. Men especially want to listen to him, and plenty of women, to be fair, because he makes a reasoned case, based on evolutionary science and evidence, for men to be men, in all their masculine complexity. The “patriarchy” hasn’t hampered human progress, he says, but helped it.

Peterson, who is the only member of his department to maintain a clinical practice, draws on his work with patients when he says that being “agreeable” doesn’t drive achievement. Instead, it’s being assertive, even aggressive.

And there’s this. He said recently he has figured out how to monetise social justice warriors. The more they scream and go crazy over what he says, the more money he makes.

They just keep feeding him material to work with and he’s making a motza each month from a crowdsourcing fund that pays for his YouTube videos.

If this information leads some of them to change their tune, it will mean they have listened after all.



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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