Monday, October 14, 2019

The Homeless Myth

It’s not about the real estate, it’s about the drug use and mental illness

Los Angeles used to be known as the epicenter of the entertainment industry, nutty health fads, and compulsive narcissism. These days, it’s ground zero for the homeless crisis and its myths.

Every underpass harbors grimy tent cities with their own colonies of rats and roaches. Schizophrenics wander the most fashionable streets shouting at the sky. Human waste and needles litter downtown streets. Typhus and Hepatitis A spread out from these oases of misery into the general population.

It’s not that the city doesn’t care. If anything, Los Angeles cares too much.  Voters have passed multiple propositions spending over $4.6 billion on the homeless. They raised their own sales tax. They built homeless housing at as much as $500,000 per unit. That’s enough to buy a mansion in some parts of America.

Did that solve the problem? Try walking through one of those tent cities and you’ll find out.

After all this, the number of homeless is up 12% to 58,936 in Los Angeles County and up 16% to 36,165 in Los Angeles. Despite all those billions of dollars thrown at the problem, only 3 districts saw a decrease in the homeless population. Fortunately, no lessons were learned from this Sisyphean exercise.

Billboards all across the city feature a multicultural cast of young activists chanting, “Homes End Homelessness”. The only problem is that homes don’t end homelessness. Homelessness is not the problem, it’s a symptom of the problem. That’s the real news in the latest homeless numbers.

While pro-homeless activists falsely claimed that only 29% of LA’s homeless had drug and alcohol problems or mental illness, the Los Angeles Times, after reviewing the same questionnaires used as the basis for the data, found that actually 67% had a mental illness or drug and alcohol problems.   

29% to 67% is a huge difference.

But, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's acting executive director explained that it was a format issue.  The difference between a majority of the homeless have drug, alcohol issues and suffer from mental illness, and only a minority do, is a formatting issue as big as a typhus outbreak.

Fudging the numbers completely transforms reality.

Pro-homeless activists blame the homeless crisis on the free market which pegs home values and rentals to what people are willing to pay, as opposed to what a bunch of non-profits think they ought to be. But most people don’t react to being priced out of housing by staying in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country and spending the day shouting at the sky. They move somewhere affordable. Homelessness does tend to overlap with high rental prices, but those overlap with lefty cities, and the social and policy problems that come from their cultures and their political agendas.

Homelessness is not the issue. It’s a symptom of the real problems of drug abuse and mental illness.

It’s not as if we didn’t already know this. The man standing outside a supermarket and shouting that they stole his spleen in Schenectady is not suffering from high real estate prices. In modern times, vagrants, the old, more accurate term, are victims of their personal demons, not capitalism.

The homeless myth is built on denying the obvious.

Or, as the LA Times headline puts it, “Are many homeless people in L.A. mentally ill? New findings back the public’s perception.” Yes, your eyes aren’t lying to you. The activists gaslighting you however are.

That 67% isn’t the result of expert estimates. It’s self-reported. The activists conducting the ‘Point in Time’ count that is used to estimate the homeless population ask each homeless person if they have "substance abuse issues" or a "mental health problem". 46% of the homeless interviewed were willing to state that they had a substance abuse problem and 51% that they were suffering from mental illness.

The two obviously overlap quite a bit.

But the actual numbers are going to be much worse than the self-reported numbers.

The University of California’s Policy Lab interviewed 64,000 homeless people nationwide and found that 50% of homeless people said that mental illness had contributed to their homelessness and 51% said that drugs and alcohol issues had contributed to their homelessness.

Whom are you going to believe, the homeless or the activists who continue to lie about them?

78% reported that they suffered from mental problems and 75% from substance abuse problems.

Among homeless women, 95% blamed mental health problems for their homelessness.

These numbers completely destroy the myth of homelessness. The issue isn’t the availability of housing. It’s a social problem caused by drugs, mental illness and broken families. The term ‘homeless’ is wrong. It perpetuates a myth in which the issue is free market real estate and neighborhood gentrification.

The myth hurts the homeless, who are actually people with mental issues and drug problems, but boosts the billions of dollars in spending passing through groups with vested interests in diverting attention from the real problems while waging the traditional lefty campaign against capitalism.

As the numbers continue to tell the truth, the homeless gaslighting has become ridiculous.

The executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority claimed that his agency's numbers were accurate and insisted that the homeless were just like everyone else. “Most people with mental illness are housed. The vast majority of people with serious substance abuse issues are housed. They’re using their substances in their bedrooms and in their living rooms and you’re not watching it.”

Even in LA, 67% of the population isn't so mentally ill or abusing so many drugs that they can't function.

The homeless myth has created the homeless crisis by enabling dysfunctional behavior by a dysfunctional population. The measures that pro-homeless activists have claimed would help the homeless have hurt them badly. Allowing people with mental illness and drug problems to live on the streets has led to unsanitary conditions and disease outbreaks that have primarily hurt the homeless.

A fortune has been plowed into constructing insanely overpriced housing units, while the homeless population continues to grow, because the cause of homelessness has nothing to do with homes.

The homeless aren’t the victims of the free market, but of the socialists using them as political weapons.

The homeless crisis is what happened when lefty cities legalized drugs, stopped institutionalizing the severely mentally ill, while legalizing street camping and pouring billions into homeless services.

Homes don’t solve homelessness. Treating mental illness and fighting drug use does.


Muslim Drag Queen in Vice Mag: Islam Is 'Inherently Queer'

Robert Spencer

Over the years many people have asked me why Leftists so love Islam as to turn a blind eye to the global jihad, despite the complete opposition of their moral perspectives. The short answer is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend: the Left, avid to destroy America, saw a group that has been trying to destroy the free world for 1,400 years and saw an ally.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any cracks in the edifice. In an attempt Thursday to shore up the Leftist/Islamic alliance, a self-described “Muslim drag queen” named Amrou Al-Kadhi, also known as “Glamrou,” has published an article in Vice magazine entitled “why islam is inherently queer” (yes, all lower case; are capital letters homophobic?). It’s a dogged exercise in ignoring the obvious.

In an extract from their book ‘Unicorn’, Amrou Al-Kadhi (aka Glamrou) explains how they discovered the queerness in their faith

“Glamrou” starts off by implying that Muhammad himself would have been sympathetic to his behavior: “Prophet Muhammed once said, ‘Islam began as something strange and will return to being something strange, so give blessings to those who are strange.’ Amen Muhammed! ”

He might also have noted that Muhammad is depicted in a hadith as having said: “The revelation does not come to me when I am in the garment of any woman except Aisha” (Sahih Bukhari 54.7.2442). Was Muhammad himself the first “Muslim drag queen”? Imagine the paroxysms of joy this would inspire in the Vice magazine offices!

Their enthusiasm might end up being dampened, however, by the fact that despite the fact that the hadith collection Muslims consider to be the most reliable (Sahih Bukhari) quotes Muhammad talking about prancing around in the clothes of his child bride Aisha, the prophet of Islam is also depicted as saying this: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done’” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4462).

Unfortunately for Glamrou and Vice, the Qur’an contains numerous condemnations of homosexual activity: “And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’…And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals” (Qur’an 7:80-84).

It is no surprise that Amrou Al-Kadhi doesn’t mention any of that in his Vice magazine piece. It doesn’t fit his narrative. But unfortunately for him, many of his coreligionists are well aware of these passages and others like them. The ones who are unaware of them and their implications are gay rights activists in the West.

Case in point: back in 2013, when Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), of which I am vice president, ran ads on buses in San Francisco highlighting the mistreatment of gays in Islamic law, gay advocates in San Francisco and elsewhere condemned not that mistreatment, but our ads.

Theresa Sparks, a transgender who was the chief of San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission, declared that Geller was “posting these ads to suggest that all Muslims hate gays. Some cultures do discriminate, and that’s wrong. It all depends who you’re talking to. But she’s trying to generalize and cast this wide net around a diverse group of people.”

The ads actually consisted simply of quotes from Muslim leaders regarding Islam’s death penalty for homosexuality, including Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most influential Sunni cleric in the world, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former president of the foremost Shi’ite entity in the world, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The ads neither stated nor suggested that “all Muslims hate gays.” Sparks was not reported as saying anything about the anti-gay statements of the Muslim leaders quoted in the ads.

Instead, Chris Stedman, a proclaimed atheist who is assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard, published an article at Salon entitled “Stop trying to split gays and Muslims,” also attacking our ads. Noting with indignation the AFDI's “series of anti-Muslim advertisements in San Francisco quoting Muslim individuals making anti-LGBT statements,” Stedman declared his “appreciation that the LGBT community in San Francisco is standing up against her efforts to drive a wedge between LGBT folks and Muslims.”

As far as Stedman was concerned, the real problem was those who called attention to the plight of gays under Islamic law, not the actual mistreatment of gays under Islamic law.

Then in April 2017, when I appeared at the University at Buffalo. I say I “appeared,” because to say “I spoke” would be exaggerating. Rather, I spoke a few sentences and made a couple of points in between being screamed at by Leftist and Islamic supremacist fascists who think they’re opposing fascism. One young man held a sign that read “Queers Against Islamophobia.”

The crowd booed energetically when I attempted to read from Islamic authorities about Islam’s death penalty for homosexuality. Even to read from Islamic sources is hate, apparently, at the University at Buffalo – unless, of course, one endorses such penalties rather than oppose them.

Other gays also stand in solidarity with Muslims against Islamophobes. In April 2017, the College Republicans chapter at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, invited me to speak there. Eight days before the event, this invitation came to the attention of a young Kirksville resident who called himself Bella Waddle.

Waddle tweeted: “Truman’s College Repubs are hosting anti-Muslim extremist Robert Spencer on the 13th. I think y’all know what to do... #bashthefash,” followed by an emoji of a fist. Bella Waddle identified himself on his Facebook page as “Just another queer anarchist,” ending his Facebook bio with three symbols that were far more incompatible than Bella appeared to know: the hammer and sickle, the peace sign, and a heart. So this self-described “queer anarchist” thought of me as an “anti-Muslim extremist” who ought not to have been given a platform at Truman State University or, presumably, anywhere else.

I’m sure Glamrou would feel the same way about anyone who pointed out Islamic law regarding gays. I only hope that neither he nor Bella Waddle, Theresa Sparks, Chris Stedman or the editors of Vice magazine run into any true believers.


CNN Tries to Get Interior Department Official Fired for Opposing Jihad Violence

Robert Spencer

So it turns out that the acting director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, William Perry Pendley, has denied the Left’s “climate change” mythology, and opposes jihad violence and illegal immigration. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski is out for blood, trying to get Pendley for heresy, that is, for his dissent from Leftist orthodoxy.

My first reaction to this was, so what? William Perry Pendley is in the Bureau of Land Management. What does that have to do with “global warming,” unless Kaczynski thinks that the sea levels are going to rise and swallow whole cities, including Obama’s new beachfront estate, and we’re all going to be dead in 12 years? What do jihad violence and illegal immigration have to do with land management? Kaczynski here shows that he would have been a terrific Gestapo official: why no, sir, you cannot have a position as a grocery clerk, because you have shown insufficient ardor for the Führer.

And indeed, the left is increasingly open about its totalitarianism. Those with dissenting views will not be allowed to hold jobs, even if those jobs have nothing to do with the subject of their dissent. A few years ago I was invited to address an education conference in California that had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam; the hate-filled fascist Georgetown University thug Nathan Lean got the cowardly Catholic bishop Jaime Soto, under whose auspices the conference was being held, to cancel my appearance. (I spoke at the conference as scheduled, in a venue outside the bishop’s purview.) And also a few years ago, the Washington Post discovered that Qur’an-burning pastor Terry Jones was driving for Uber; they duly got him fired. I don’t approve of book-burning, but it is not illegal in the United States, and the idea that a man must be hounded forever and prevented from making a living for views that dissent from the Left’s reveals what Leftists really are.

Among William Perry Pendley’s heresies was that he “has repeatedly pushed hardline anti-Muslim views, including citing an article by anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer in a 2018 tweet to claim Islam was at war with America.”

Here Kaczynski employs the familiar smear of Leftist “journalists,” that opposing jihad mass murder and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others makes one “anti-Muslim.” That could only be true if all Muslims endorse jihad mass murder and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others. Does Kaczynski believe that? If so, he should accuse himself of “Islamophobia” and resign in disgrace from CNN. In reality, opposing such things doesn’t make one “anti-Muslim” any more than opposing the Nazis during World War II made one “anti-German.” I’ve only said that about ten thousand times, and have said it directly to Kaczynski in emails. He doesn’t take any note of it, because he is not a real journalist, he is a Leftist propagandist who is not interested in the truth, but only in shaping the world by imposing his narrative upon it. He may succeed for a while, but all totalitarian thought-control breaks down in the end under the weight of reality.

In this case, reality may break in on Kaczynski in a most unpleasant way, when he discovers that the Islamic jihadis he has enabled and run interference for are something less than grateful.

Kaczynski smeared Pendley with this: “‘Who knew? Islam’s war with America started just up the road in Greeley, Colorado!,’ Pendley tweeted. In the article, Spencer floats unfounded conspiracies about ‘leftists’ allying with ‘Islamic hardliners who adhere to Sharia, a system of laws that would have many of them executed.'”

The PJ Media article in question details how Leftist were banning the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which Muslim Brotherhood theorist and Islamic scholar Sayyid Qutb also found objectionable. That wasn’t a conspiracy theory at all. Both the Leftist hatred for the song and Qutb’s similar hatred for it are amply documented in the article and elsewhere.

What is ironic here is that Kaczynski claims that I spread “unfounded conspiracies about ‘leftists’ allying with ‘Islamic hardliners who adhere to Sharia, a system of laws that would have many of them executed.'” Yet in demonizing me for opposing jihad terror, he enables those Islamic hardliners. In claiming that the idea that Leftists would ally with Islamic hardliners is a “conspiracy theory,” the hardcore Leftist Kaczynski allies with Islamic hardliners to try to destroy those who stand against jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women and others. Conspiracy theory?

Kaczynski also objects to Pendley for saying that the Department of Homeland Security should focus on jihad terror rather than “right-wing extremism”; Kaczynski quotes acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan saying that “extremism from white supremacists” is “one of the most ‘potent ideologies’ driving acts violence in the US.” He notes that Pendley said this in 2010, but doesn’t bother to inform his hapless readers that few people were worrying about “right-wing extremism” in 2010. Nor does he bother to inform them that the idea that “right-wing extremism” is a greater threat than jihad terrorism is based on studies with numerous flawed premises.

We have just learned regarding the jihad massacre last week in Paris that the jihad murderer Mickael Harpon “had caused alarm among his colleagues as far back as 2015, when he defended the massacre of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper by two brothers vowing allegiance to al-Qaeda. But even though a police official charged with investigating suspected radicalization among the force questioned the colleagues, none of them wanted to file an official complaint.”

Why didn’t they? The answer is obvious. None of them wanted to file an official complaint for fear of the French counterparts of Andrew Kaczynski. They were afraid if they did, articles like this one about William Perry Pendley would be in their future, and their career would be in ruins.

Yes, by stigmatizing and demonizing opposition to jihad terror, Leftist “journalists” are getting people killed. If CNN were a genuine news source, it would fire Andrew Kaczynski and repudiate his hit piece on Pendley. But it isn’t, and it won’t.


Australia: ABC Chairwoman Ita Buttrose laments that the Australian media landscape is “too white” and not representative of our multicultural society. She even suggests we may need quotas

Leftist racism never stops

Quotas assume employers are biased because, whether they know it or not, they might be favouring one race over another.

Using quotas to ensure representation of racial groups on the telly, or the boardroom is a move in the wrong direction and could lead to more social division as affirmative action gives way to merit.

It used to be progressive to be colour-blind –  to focus on character over skin colour. But we have flipped this over: now we see race in everything.

If Buttrose wants to “better reflect the culture of Australia” she should focus on who we are — and not what colour we are.

We are a nation of larrikins who, regardless of where we were born, or our level of income, believe this is the best country on Earth.

This was a finding of the Australian Talks National Survey that Buttrose was spruiking while complaining about our pale media.

If we want a more egalitarian, liberal society we should resist blunt instruments such as quotas.

Australia has developed a harmonious, multicultural society by accepting our differences — and sometimes even making fun of them.

Historically, this has been the argument against the introduction of federal ‘hate speech’ laws. Dividing Australians by race would threaten social cohesion.

Racism is not accepted in Australia.  On the rare occasion a politician or commentator says something even remotely racist, they are swiftly mobbed and sometimes sacked. These are not the responses of a deeply racist country. They are the responses of a nation that has long been driven by a determination to move beyond racial differences.

Buttrose needs to do the same.



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

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

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


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Racial stereotypes start as young as FIVE: Kids believe white men look 'smarter' than women or black men, survey finds

This was an unrealistic task so generalizing from it is hazardous but one should note the extensive research that shows stereotypes to be highly flexible and subject to rapid change in response to new information.  So the stereotypes below in some way reflect the experience of these grade-schoolers.  The old view that stereotypes are imprisoning has been thoroughly debunked

Children associate being 'brilliant' with white men, but not black men, a shocking new study suggests.

Researchers surveyed 200 children and found that, regardless of their own race, they linked the stereotype of intelligence with white men much more than white women.

However, by contrast, the stereotype wasn't applied to black men, as black women were seen by the children as smarter.

The New York University team says the findings feed into patterns of stereotypes that discourage children of color and women from  pursuing careers like those in science and technology, where being seen as an intelligent person is valued.

'Among adults, gender stereotypes apply differently to men and women depending on their race,' said senior author Dr Andrei Cimpian, an associate professor in NYU's department of psychology.

'That's why it is important to consider how gender and race intersect when examining children's gender stereotypes about intellectual ability.'

For the study, published in the Journal of Social Issues, the team recruited 200 five and six-year-olds from public elementary schools in New York City.

Researchers showed the children photographs of eight pairs of adults - a woman and a man of the same race - in a setting such as a home or office.

The kids were then told one of the two adults was 'really, really smart' and asked to guess which adult was the smart one. 

Overall, the results showed that children named the white men in the photographs as the 'smart person' compared to the white women.

The team compared the answers of white children to  those of minority children - mostly black, Hispanic and Asian - and the responses were largely the same.       

But when it came the pairs of black men and women, the 'brilliant' stereotype was more often linked to black women than black men. 

'Overall, these findings reinforce the conclusion that the gender-brilliance stereotype is acquired relatively early on in life,' said co-first author Jilana Jaxon, an NYU doctoral student at the time of the research. 

'But they also suggest that this stereotype may "look" different depending on the ethnicity of the women and men that children are reasoning about.' 

The researchers say that we acquire stereotypes as children where we view white men are smarter than black men.

Because of this, we therefore believe that they are more qualified to pursue careers in areas such as science and technology - and white men are more likely to get promoted in these fields.

The team says that policies that help children understand what 'intellectual ability' is might 'reverse this inequity'.

'Understanding this nuance of how race modifies gender stereotypes is important,' said co-first author Ryan Lei, an NYU postdoctoral researcher at the time of the study.

'Research such as this is essential if we want to combat the effects of these stereotypes on all children's educational and career aspirations.'      


12-Year-Old Foster Child Goes on 8-Month School Strike, Begging to Return Home; CPS Refuses to Budge

Aliyah Banta has been in thirteen foster homes over the last fifteen months in the state of California. She was a normal pre-teen girl when she was taken from her father, Justin Banta, for allegations of abuse. Since then, her father has been trying desperately to get her back. About to celebrate her second birthday in state custody, Aliyah says she has suffered the worst of America’s foster system, all because she exaggerated the details of a fight she had with her dad to a teacher at school. According to Aliyah, she lied. And the punishment she has received for it is way more than any child deserves. She has been physically threatened by other residents, forced to sleep on the floor, starved, covered in bed bug bites, had her property stolen, was kept from communicating with her father, and forced to live in substandard conditions that would get any family arrested for neglect.

PJ Media has obtained audio of Aliyah being interviewed by a new foster family that is trying to get her out of the current group home she is living in. “Me and my dad were stressed out and we started arguing,” Aliyah said. “I over-exaggerated to my teacher and so she thought he was abusing me. When I tried to tell them what really happened, no one would listen to me.”

David Adams, the interviewer and potential foster father asked, “Do you feel that CPS is protecting you from your father in any way?” Aliyah answered with a strong, “No.”

Is Child Protective Services Trafficking Children?
Perhaps most shocking is that Aliyah has gone on a school strike in protest of her situation and has missed school for the last eight months. “I told them I would go back to school when they send me home,” Aliyah told PJ Media. She has been refusing to go to school hoping that Santa Cruz County will send her back to her dad. PJ Media confirmed with Aliyah that she was indeed not at school at 11 a.m. on a school day. She says she sits in her group home and plays on her phone instead of going to school. “They said they would drag me there by my hair if I didn’t go,” she said, “but they never did.”

This is the definition of educational neglect, but when the state does it, no one gets in trouble. PJ Media reached out to Aliyah’s social worker and was told that nothing could be discussed for confidentiality reasons. Supervisors referred to us were non-responsive. Within minutes of our contact with the county, Aliyah’s father received an email from her school, Kastner Intermediate School in Fresno, for the first time informing him that she is truant. He had never received communication from them about her absence before. “I think this is interesting timing,” he said. Calls to the school from PJ Media for comment went unreturned.

Aliyah said she has tried to tell all the adults responsible for her well-being that she wants to go home, including her caseworker, Wendell Stamps, and Judge Rebecca Connolly. “I’ve said it so many times I’ve lost count. The judge just ignores me in court. No one listens.”

Aliyah’s lawyer, Bob Patterson, hasn’t been responsive either. “He’s not doing anything for me,” Aliyah said. PJ Media reached out to Patterson for comment but received no response. “I’ve told him, I want to go home. No one cares. I can’t make it here another two weeks,” she said.

Judge Rebecca Connolly has dismal reviews on The Robing Room, a site where people can leave comments about judges who heard their cases. "I watched with disbelief as she made decisions to keep a child from family for a flimsy reason," wrote one reviewer. "This causes extreme expense for our county along with the extreme distress for children kept in terrible foster conditions, made worse by the piled on months of waiting between hearings."

Another wrote, "Judge Connolly is biased and guilty of child abuse by ordering forced family separation without a requested bonding study or taking evidence in consideration. One victim appealed one of her decisions and won." Some of the words to describe encounters with this judge were: "frequently late, brusque, biased, temperamental, power-hungry," among many others. This is not unusual for families who are dealing with family court judges and county workers. The same sorts of complaints come up in a majority of CPS cases.

Since being placed in foster care, Aliyah has reported serious abuse. “At the Chamberlain home I was tackled by staff and they held me down and I could barely breathe. My dad called the police but they didn’t do anything. They looked at my bruises and then left.” Her father recalled the same story: “I have contacted the police so many times. They never do anything about the abuse she is suffering.”

Recently, Aliyah reported that she got bed bug bites all over her body because she’s sleeping on a couch, afraid to go in her room after her roommate threatened her. “Everyone here is from juvenile hall on probation. I’m the only foster child here and I’m the youngest,” she said. “My roommate threatened that she was going to beat me up and so I don’t go in my room anymore unless she’s gone.”

Aliyah's 16-year-old sister Soleil is living in Alaska with her mother and spoke to PJ Media. "My dad is not abusive. He's a good dad. We used to spend weekends with him and weeks in the summer. We had a lot of fun." Since Aliyah was taken by CPS in California, Soleil hasn't seen her dad in a year. "We were a family. My sister shouldn't be there. My dad can't come home because he's fighting for her in California. We miss him. CPS tried to get Aliyah's mom in contact with her but her mom is a drug addict and my dad has had custody of her since she was two."

Banta also reported that CPS made attempts to connect Aliyah with her mother who has had major problems with drugs. "She was actually abusive. My dad never was," said Soleil. "They should have sent her home as soon as she admitted to exaggerating what happened." Soleil worries about her sister's health. Aliyah sent photographs of moldy food, dirty kitchens, and empty refrigerators to her father, a trained chef. As a result, Banta uses his visitation time with her to grill her food in the park and store it in an ice chest for her for the week. "She was only eating once a week when she would see my dad," said Soleil. "She should not be there."

Banta has no criminal record and has not been charged with a crime. He has completed anger management classes as requested by the county and passed a psychological evaluation. Even so, the county refuses to return his daughter, changing their accusations from physical abuse (when no evidence of physical abuse was found) to mental abuse, which is impossible to prove, especially since the alleged victim, Aliyah, says it never happened.

Lawsuit: Parents Say Newborns Were Illegally Seized after They Refused Non-Mandatory Procedures
“I just want my daughter back,” Banta told PJ Media. “They’re running out the clock. They want to keep her long enough so they can adopt her out and terminate my parental rights.”

Federal laws says that after 15 months in the system terminating parental rights can be fast-tracked and the states receive federal funds for each child they adopt out of foster care. This is seen by many as an incentive to terminate parental rights.

“I’ve done everything the court asked me to do. They still won’t give her back,” said Banta.

Banta’s last hope is a federal lawsuit that is being filed against CPS for violating both his and his daughter's rights. His lawyer, Stanley Goff, spoke with PJ Media.

"The fact that Aliyah's rights are being violated is reprehensible," he said. "CPS throughout the state engages in practices where kids are abused after being removed from the care of their parents." The abusive conditions that Aliyah has suffered have gone totally unrecognized. "The abuse is heightened when Aliyah confides in her caseworker, only to be ignored. We will be filing a federal lawsuit against Santa Cruz County CPS for placing her in these conditions."

The audio of Aliyah Banta being interviewed by the potential foster parents is below. After this interview, the foster parents told CPS that Aliyah doesn't belong with them and that she belongs with her father. Even so, the county refuses to let go of her. It's interesting that in California a girl Aliyah's age can have an abortion if she wants, but cannot decide she wants to live with her own father.


Applauding Child Abuse, Denying Science — The Democrats Put Their Insanity And Cruelty On Display Last Night

Last night, a number of presidential candidates took part in a lengthy CNN town hall centered around LGBT issues. It should have been a safe event for the Democrats. Had they spent the evening shouting vapid slogans like “love is love” and “equality for all,” they would have come out looking enlightened in some people’s eyes and basically harmless to almost everyone else. Gay rights — if by that, we mean the right to get married — is (like it or not) now a politically winning issue for the Democratic Party. Polling consistently shows that an increasing majority of Americans have a generally positive attitude towards gay marriage and homosexuality. Politically speaking, the Democrats are in good shape when they stay in that lane. But last night, they veered far, far outside of it — eventually careening off the highway, over the guardrail, down an embankment, and into the river below.

Even on the issue of gay marriage, the Democrats found a way to turn a political winner into a political loser. Beto O’Rourke advocated using the IRS to punish schools and churches that maintain their belief in one-man/one-woman marriage. The carefully curated crowd of radical leftists responded to the illegal and bigoted proposal with uproarious applause. And of course the moderators, who displayed staggering levels of cowardice throughout the evening, did not follow up by asking the congressman whether this initiative would extend to mosques. Most Americans are on board with gay marriage, but they’re also on board with religious liberty. “Go after the churches” may be a rallying cry that earns you applause in a CNN town hall, but it won’t win you votes in Ohio.

The real trouble came when the discussion turned to transgenderism. All of the candidates tried their best to pretend that they actually believe in the radical Left’s various superstitions regarding sex and gender. I’m not sure if their performances were convincing to leftists, but from the perspective of sane and normal people, it teetered between awkward and downright horrifying. On the awkward side of things, Kamala Harris opened up by giving her preferred pronouns. This is a sacred ritual in gender studies lecture halls across the country, but everyone else just finds it ridiculous. Even Chris Cuomo couldn’t help but crack a joke. “Fredo” promptly apologized, but there’s a reason why he instinctively responded the way he did. Introducing yourself with your pronouns is objectively bizarre. Only those who have been thoroughly brainwashed ahead of time can manage to keep a straight face when confronted by such silliness.

On the horrifying end of the spectrum, Elizabeth Warren came out in favor of forcing taxpayers to fund genital mutilation procedures for incarcerated transgenders. This is a reversal of her position only a few years ago. Indeed, every single one of these candidates have undergone a sudden and dramatic transformation on the issue of sex and gender. They all spent almost their entire adult lives believing that sex is an immutable and biological characteristic. If you could go back in time to the year 2004 and ask any of them — Warren, Sanders, O’Rourke, whomever — whether men have penises, they would look at you with stunned bemusement and then say something like, “What? Yes, obviously.” They probably would have given you that answer in 2008, 2012, and maybe even 2016. It’s only in the last couple of years that all prominent Democrats in the country have decided that men can menstruate and woman can produce sperm.

This all raises a question: Why did they change their minds on this? What accounts for the weirdest and most dramatic flip flop in the history of politics? Well, I know the answer. So do you. But they won’t give that answer. I’d be curious to hear what answer they do give. And if we had an actual news media interested in holding liberal politicians accountable, we would all get a chance to hear it. In any case, however, they came to the conclusion that biological sex doesn’t exist — whether due to collective head injury, spiritual epiphany, vision, drug-induced hallucination, or cynical political calculation. It is doubtful that a majority of voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida agree with their current position.

Most horrifying of all was the nine-year-old “transgender” child whose abuse and exploitation was heartily endorsed by Elizabeth Warren and the audience. The poor child — a girl who thinks she’s a boy — read a question that had clearly been prepared by her mother, who was standing beside her beaming with pride.  That mother apparently works with the militant leftist Human Rights Campaign. Funny, isn’t it? Radical leftist parents who subscribe to progressive gender theory are so often the ones who end up with “transgender” children. It’s almost like “transgenderism” in children is usually a product of conditioning. Parents intentionally foster gender confusion so that they can parade their kids around as fashion statements. “Hey, look at me! My kid is trans! Beat that, you woke posers!” It’s disgusting, evil, and tragic. And I am confident that most sane people recognize it as such. But the Democratic Party has no use for sane people, and is no longer trying to represent them.


Australia: Now vegans have banned MOUSE TRAPS. Store is ordered to stop selling rodent-killing devices because they are 'inhumane'

A discount store has been ordered to stop selling glue mouse traps because they are 'inhumane'.

Cheap as Chips stores in the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia have taken the product off their shelves.

The ban comes after a customer contacted animal rights organisation PETA, which urged the business to stop selling the item.

PETA spokeswoman Emily Rice told Daily Mail Australia businesses often stock the items not because they're cruel but 'because they don't know any better'.

The company confirmed to PETA that they had officially stopped selling the traps. 

'A concerned shopper initially reached out to us after seeing the glue traps in an Adelaide store, proving that if you see something and say something, you can save lives!' Ms Rice said.

'We commend Cheap as Chips for its compassionate and swift action to help animals.'

PETA said the glue traps can cause birds and small mammals to 'endure immense and prolonged suffering as they struggle to escape'.

As a result, animals can suffer from exhaustion, injury, shock, dehydration, or blood loss. The organisation has also warned the animals could suffocate and resort to chewing through their own legs to break free. 

Cheap as Chips is among other retailers, including Bunnings Warehouse, Mitre 10, Big W and Target, which have stopped selling glue traps.   



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


Friday, October 11, 2019

That study warning men to stop drinking before trying for a baby is debunked: Chinese research actually found moderate alcohol consumption LOWERS risk of killer heart defect

A study that claimed drinking alcohol is bad for men trying for a baby actually found that alcohol can help, research claims.

Last week, scientists from Central South University in Hunan, China, published the study claiming that men should abstain from alcohol for six months.

The research stated that men who drank put the infant at greater risk of congenital heart defect (CHD) - a condition that encompasses a number of different diseases affecting heart function. 

But today, a new report casts doubts on the study's findings and argues the data shows that fathers who drank 3.5 drinks a day actually had a lower risk of fathering children with CHD compared to non-drinkers.

An investigation from ArsTechnica looked at data underlying the report, which was an analysis of 55 previously published studies looking at links between parental behavior and CHD in babies.

It turns out that the six-month figure didn't actually come from data, but a statement the study's lead author made in a press release the university sent out to announce the study's publication.

The meta-analysis only collected data from studies that looked at paternal drinking for up to three months before conception, not six.

Fewer than half of the studies analyzed contained data on parental alcohol consumption of any kind, and only nine further broke down alcohol consumption to distinguish binge-drinking from other kinds of drinking.

The authors themselves noted that they had found a statistically significant increase in only one very rare subset of CHD, which was attributed to maternal drinking, not paternal drinking.

The authors wrote that they 'did not find a statistically significant association between parental alcohol exposure and the remaining phenotypes of CHDs because of the limited number of included studies for specific phenotypes.'

As noted, fathers who didn't drink at all seemed to be at higher risk for children with CHD than those who drank moderately.  

Greater risk of CHD among drinking fathers compared to non-drinkers didn't start to appear until seven drinks or more a day.

In the past, studies that have attempted to draw a similar connection between intoxicants and birth defects have been proven unreliable.

Famously, a study of 23 babies from the 1980s inaugurated the belief that mothers who used crack during pregnancy greatly increased the likelihood of birth defects.

A later longitudinal study found that it was poverty in general and not crack-use specifically that caused birth defects.


An obviously Toy Gun Prompts Lockdown of Three Florida Campuses

Welcome to the United States of Hysteria. A toy gun that would have been easy to identify as such in a bygone era when more kids were allowed to play with such things prompted law enforcement to lock down three different college campuses on Thursday.


A security alert which resulted in three college campuses in Florida going on lockdown was later revealed to be a false alarm involving a brightly colored toy gun.

An alarm was raised after a student at Florida Atlantic University reported seeing a man with a rifle on campus on the evening of Thursday, October 3. The student said the man walked towards her whilst she was in her car and pointed a gun at her.

The incident happened at night, so that has to be taken into account. Still, she was leaving a campus parking lot, so it's a safe assumption that the lighting was decent. The other thing that needs to be taken into account is the fact that the gun didn't look anything like a real firearm:


That thing looks like it was made in a Play-Doh Fun Factory.

This kind of panic and nonsensical waste of law enforcement time is brought to you by anti-gun liberals who know nothing about guns but continue to scream "ASSAULT WEAPONS!" every chance they get just to terrorize the public.

Congratulations, it worked.

There was also a time in America when we didn't sanitize our children's play experience with political correctness. Those children grew up with basic adult coping skills, like being able to identify a toy gun.

In the effort to turn out PC automatons, public education has succeeded in creating a generation of easy-to-scare idiots.

Wait until the current generation of young kids hits adulthood after having been convinced by their elders and an unhinged Swedish teenager that the weather is going to kill them.

The politics of emotion -- which are the only politics liberals have -- only work when the emotions are kept high. There are negative consequences to that. Sadly, consequences have also been tossed by the wayside in the way we educate and bring up children.


Why we MUST keep the Ladies' loos for the ladies

In her latest column Susanna Reid has come out fighting for the Ladies' toilets

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she just needs to escape to the Ladies. And I don’t mean for the obvious.

We may need some private space to collect our thoughts at a party, fix our make-up at a restaurant or, in extremis, retreat for a cry. It’s my refuge if I’m being bothered at a gathering or need to escape from a crowd.

I once went to the Mayfair club Annabel’s and the best thing about it was the Ladies. Perfumed air, exotic wallpaper, full-length mirrors — when you’ve had enough of the bustle, it’s like having a rest in a boudoir: a female sanctuary.

The Ladies isn’t just a convenience, it’s the place I’ve always gone to give myself a pep talk. One night early in my university years, the man of my dreams arrived at the student bar. I was overcome with nerves. What to say to this god (who looked remarkably like Aidan Turner in Poldark, now I come to think about it)?

I didn’t stay to make conversation. I retreated to the Ladies with my girlfriends for a serious discussion.

After 20 minutes I emerged, confident and brimming with enthusiasm. Only the toilet paper stuck to my shoe destroyed the image of a calm, collected me. Funnily enough, he wasn’t interested.

But there are fears this week that the Ladies may be on the way out after London theatre The Old Vic became one of the first to switch to gender-neutral toilets. Olivier-nominated actress Frances Barber has joined a growing number of theatre-loving women outraged about the new set-up.

While The Old Vic has put out a statement insisting that the number of toilets available to women has risen from 12 to 24, in fact these are all shared with men — who also have a toilet block with 18 urinals at their disposal. How can that possibly make sense?

You wouldn’t have thought theatre toilets were central to the audience experience — except they often are for us unlucky women, when we’re still stuck in the queue at the end of the interval.

Missing the toilet break and having to sit with your legs crossed for the second half of the performance really takes the enjoyment out of a show.

When I went to see Hamilton at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre, I shared a seemingly never-ending queue with two magazine editors. It was a good job they were entertaining company. I found out about the entire contents of the next issues of their publications before we’d even reached the toilet door.

The move towards fully unisex toilets in schools is causing concern among parents. We all remember how body conscious we felt around the opposite sex as teenagers, and youngsters going through puberty may want somewhere more private to retreat to.

In fact, a recent report revealed some girls are so anxious about sharing loos with boys when they are on their period, they are simply staying at home rather than going to school.

Others won’t use them all day and even cut down on drinking liquids at school to avoid the need to use the toilet, which one GP said increases the risk of girls suffering urinary and bladder infections.

Yes, create a gender-neutral facility, but for young people to be comfortable they should surely have the choice. There have been times I have needed to be with my girlfriends in the loo to hold back my hair after downing too many shots. Or we’ve had enough of the noise at a club and gather to make our own gossipy row by the basins instead.

Besides all that, there’s the hygiene issue. Men leave the toilet seat up — convenient for the next man, inconvenient for the next woman.

Call me squeamish but the less your hands have to interact with a public toilet seat, the better.

Men may feel uncomfortable sharing with women, too. It goes both ways.

I believe everyone should feel comfortable using the facilities and some may want gender-neutral spaces, which I support. But not at the cost of all single-sex loos.

There is no easy answer, apart from the costly refurbishment of buildings to include Ladies, Gents and gender-neutral conveniences.

Until this happens, I’d like to keep a private female space.


Charlottesville to Hear From Native Americans in Dispute Over Statue of Sacagawea

Sacagawea, the famous member of the Shoshone tribe, was crucial to the team of explorers who blazed a trail for western expansion of the United States.

More statues are dedicated to Sacagawea, it turns out, than to any other American woman.

However, how she is depicted in one statue that has stood for 100 years has created yet another stir in Charlottesville, the hometown of Thomas Jefferson. The Virginia-born president commissioned the celebrated exploration led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark from 1803 to 1806. 

The Charlottesville City Council intends to schedule a work session to hear from descendents of Sacagawea and other Native Americans about the future of the statue.

City spokesman Brian Wheeler said the tentative plan is to hold the work session in late October, though September was the original target.

The bronze statue featuring Sacagawea at the intersection of Ridge and Main streets is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city put the statue in place in 1919. It was sculpted by Charles Keck and paid for by Paul Goodloe McIntire, a stockbroker from Virginia.

McIntire also covered the original cost of the city’s controversial Confederate statues, the proposed removal of which led in August 2017 to white nationalists descending on the city, where they clashed in the streets with “anti-fascists” known as Antifa amid peaceful protesters.        

Why Some Don’t Like the Statue

The statue depicts Lewis and Clark standing and looking westward, with Sacagawea squatting at their feet as if tracking something.

Supporters and opponents of the city’s statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson are in court arguing over a Virginia state law that protects all war memorials from city interference. 

By contrast, the statue of Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea likely wouldn’t have any legal protection and could be removed based on a decision by the City Council.

“It’s a waste of time, money, and effort. The concerns I’ve heard expressed about the position of Sacagawea, [that] she’s crouching down, no, she’s tracking,” former Councilor Rob Schilling told The Daily Signal.

During the council’s June meeting, Charlottesville resident Grace Hays said that, as a Native American, the statue pained her.

“When you get close to her face, you kind of see that she looks concerned at the very least,” Hays told the council. “Maybe afraid. She’s crouching, she’s hiding, she’s there with her baby.”

“I have my feelings about the statue,” Hays said. “I also feel like her family, her descendants’ feelings, are really the most important in terms of how she’s portrayed.”

Others called for outright removal of the statue, including Anthony Guy Lopez, a Native American alumnus of the University of Virginia and founder of the university’s Indigenous Studies Center Initiative.

“Various interpretations have been offered to explain her odd position. Perhaps she was tracking something. Or she is looking downward at the waters of the Pacific Ocean,” Lopez wrote in an op-ed for The Daily Progress newspaper

More HERE 


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, October 10, 2019

The Case for Inclusion and Diversity in the Tech Sector

This article starts out talking about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) knowledge and morphs into a discussion of diversity generally.  The authors seem to miss that what happens in STEM jobs largely contradicts what they say about diversity.

Predictably, they say that diversity in top management is a very good thing and makes more money for the firm concerned.

But as they say about hi-tech, there are very few females there and yet hi-tech flourishes.  We are supposed to believe that it would flourish even more with more female managers.

Whether that is true depends on two things:  The diversity effect being significant and STEM fields being much like any other field.  Both assumptions are very questionable.  STEM expertise -- and IT expertise in particular -- requires very high levels of IQ and such levels are mostly found among males.  So STEM is different from the start.

The evidence for benefit from diversity that the writers below quote is the much belaboured report from Kinsey & Co which first came out in 2007 and was reissued in 2015. I have read the passages in that repoprt that detail their analyses.

We can dismiss the female effect straight off.  They found that having females aboard went with a 5% improvement in performance in the UK but only a 1% improvement in the USA.  So unsexy boards are not worth bothering with in the USA but have some point in the UK.

What is different about the UK and how can that difference explain what McKinsey found? This being Britain, it almost certainly has to do with social class.  In Britain, people who went to the expensive private schools are at the top of every heap.  Britain is run by "old boy" networks.  It seems likely, however, that in searching for able female managers, that network had to be broken down to some extent.  It was only by looking outside traditional talent pools that many able females could be found.  So in Britain it was opening up to "lesser" social classes that drew in more management talent rather than opening up to women.

So the evidence in favor of female diversity is just not there.

What about ethnic diversity? Here the report is very misleading, possibly deliberately so.  They fail to discriminate between ethnicities. From reading them we would very readily conclude that whether a firm had 3 Asian or 3 blacks on its board would not matter.  But given the vast record of black educational failure we would have to conclude that the contribution of blacks to a hi-tech firm's results would be very small.  We would have to suspect that it is only in token roles that blacks are there at all.

But, when it comes to brilliant Chinese or exceptional communicators like Indians, one can readily believe that they would make a useful difference on almost any management team.  And it would in fact mostly have been an Asian presence that made a firm "diverse" in McKinsey's study. So a more precise summary of the evidence -- that having Asians in your team was beneficial -- would have been a much more helpful guide.  As they stand, the actual conclusions are politically correct rubbish

“The uncomfortable truth is that the technology industry today is not a place in which everyone, of any gender, race, disability, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic background can thrive and succeed,” said Francesca Warner, CEO of Diversity VC, in Diversity & Inclusion in Tech’s report. In November 2018, a Guardian headline pointed to a “worrying” lack of diversity in Britain’s tech sector. Only 15% of the tech workforce are from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds, while gender diversity lies at 19%—compared to 49% for all other jobs (Diversity in Tech, 2019). Meanwhile, the proportion of men and women appointed as tech directors has remained almost the same since 2000—only 22% of tech directors were women in 2018 (Tech Nation).

And this isn’t just a problem in the U.K. The European tech community as a whole is dominated by men. Research by Atomico notes that out of the 175 large start-ups they surveyed, only one had a female chief technology officer. Even roles like chief marketing officer and chief financial officer that are often held by women, were held by men 80% of the time. The report stated that the industry was failing to make any meaningful progress, and that there had only been a single percentage point increase in the level of female participation at European tech community events in the last two years.

Check Warner from Diversity VC wrote in Atomico’s report: “Europe is not necessarily tangibly better or worse than other tech hubs. However, given that Europe has such a diverse range of geographies and people this should be a key strength.”

While looking at how funding is allocated, the gender imbalance is striking. All-male founding teams received 93% of the capital invested in 2018, compared to just 5% received by all-female founding teams. The report notes that these figures have shown little to no improvement in the last five years.

Restoring gender balance to the tech sector

Today, technology is dominated by men. But this wasn’t always the case. In fact, the world’s first programmer, Ada Lovelace, was a woman. In the 1940s, Lovelace turned a complex formula into simple calculations that could be fed into a mechanical computer. She was also the first person to realize that a general purpose computer could do anything, given the right data and instructions.

So how did we get here? And can we rebalance the gender gap in the tech sector? Tech Talent Charter—an initiative that drives organizations to deliver greater diversity in the U.K. tech workforce, is aiming to do just that. The CEO Debbie Forster said, “If everything is going to be digital and this huge disruption is coming in terms of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is essential that the minds creating these technologies are minds that represent the whole population.”

The Charter has signatories ranging from tech giants like Microsoft, Salesforce and Cisco, to banks and organizations including Lloyds Bank, the BBC, Cancer Research UK, Domino’s Pizza, and a number of SMEs and start-ups.

“All of the statistics show that companies with more diverse teams are more profitable, more sustainable, and more able to survive disruption,” said Forster. “Companies are waking up and realizing that it’s not just a good thing to do, it’s not even just a smart thing to do, it’s essential.”

“The uncomfortable truth is that the technology industry today is not a place in which everyone, of any gender, race, disability, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic background can thrive and succeed.”

According to McKinsey & Company, companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability. And it’s not just gender. The same research showed that companies with high ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability. “I’m not bothered to chase every company to join us because the market is going to reward those who do,” said Forster. “Diversity is bottom line profitability.”

More HERE 

Is cheese bad for you? You may be surprised by its health secrets

Stop cheating on cheddar. Its links to cardiovascular disease are tenuous and it may prevent diabetes

Can anyone resist a cheeseboard? Clearly not the 92 per cent of us who, according to a report on the UK cheese market, eat cheese at least once a week. Somewhat unfairly, though, the tastier a cheese, the higher in calories and fat it is likely to be, and for years we’ve been warned to resist eating much of it for the sake of our waistlines and our hearts.

Still, nutritionists tell us that cheese is a good source of magnesium and calcium, as well as vitamins A, B2 and B12. This makes it “a complete protein” food, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids needed to build and repair the body’s tissues.

The caveat has always been the saturated fat content of cheese and its less than favourable association with the health of our arteries. Now, though, some researchers claim that cheese’s links with cardiovascular disease are tenuous. In newly published guidelines based on a two-year review of recent evidence, Australia’s national health service has relaxed its view on cheese, suggesting that it’s fine to eat full-fat dairy (unless you have heart disease) and that cheese may have particular health benefits.

In the UK the latest review by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition review, published in August, recommends that foods high in saturated fat, such as cheese, should be eaten sparingly, but for how long will this view last? Research part-funded by the British Heart Foundation has questioned the guidelines about the type of fat we eat and even the most cautious observers concede that the future for cheese lovers is brighter.

“We do now know that there are different types of saturated fat and that the saturated fat in dairy and cheese is not as bad for us as was once thought,” says Linia Patel, a dietician and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association (BDA). Some recent cheese studies have shown that it may play a preventive role, warding off conditions typically associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes.

Cheese has a low glycaemic index (GI), meaning it won’t trigger blood sugar spikes. “Adding any high-protein food such as cheese to dishes like mashed potato or pasta will lower the GI of that meal, helping to counteract the rush of glucose,” says the dietician Helen Bond, a BDA spokeswoman.

In May a team from the University of Alberta published results of a trial they had carried out on pre-diabetic laboratory rats that were fed regular and low-fat cheese. Both types were found to reduce insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to high blood-sugar levels and a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. “The cheese didn’t normalise the effects of insulin, but it significantly improved them,” wrote Catherine Chan, the professor of agricultural, life and environmental sciences who led the study. “And it didn’t matter whether it was low-fat or regular cheese.”

Select aged cheeses — brie, stilton and other blues, mature cheddar, parmesan and gruyère — and it’s a step towards extending your lifespan. A compound called spermidine, found in aged cheeses as well as in mushrooms and soy products, seemed to help to prevent liver cancer in a study carried out at Texas A&M University health centre two years ago. When researchers gave lab animals an oral supplement of spermidine, the animals lived longer and were less likely to have cancerous liver tumours than untreated animals. Leyuan Liu, assistant professor in the university’s Center for Translational Cancer Research, described the increase in lifespan as “dramatic”, with the animals having the cheese compound living as much as 25 per cent longer. “In human terms,” she said, “that would mean that instead of living to about 81 years old, the average American could live to be over 100.”

Even if the effect is not that impressive, your gut will thank you for it. Aged cheeses are fermented and contain a range of beneficial bacteria that boost the microbiome and in turn ramp up immunity and all-round good health.

“Most aged cheeses contain some live microbes,” says Dr Megan Rossi, a research fellow in gut health at King’s College London. “The microbes can come from various places — some are added to the milk or to help ripen a cheese, while others are from the environment in which the cheeses are aged — and can benefit our gut health.”

Cheese is also good for your teeth. A study published in the journal General Dentistry in 2013 is one of several to report that a regular consumption of cheese may help to protect teeth against cavities.

“Cheese is slightly more alkaline so it helps to neutralise plaque acids that form after eating,” says Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation. “The acid formed by sugar in foods causes the pH level in our mouths to drop for about 40 to 50 minutes after we have eaten and you can speed up the return to balance by eating a small piece of cheese following a meal.”

And there’s no truth in the belief that you shouldn’t eat cheese before going to bed. “The only very distant link,” Rossi says, “would be that if you suffer from reflux, having large amounts of a high-fat cheese before bed may exacerbate your symptoms. Otherwise it is fine to eat it with or after an evening meal. It won’t do your teeth any harm to eat cheese in the evening.” Varieties such as cottage cheese and ricotta might even help you to nod off by aiding the production of sleep hormones, Patel says.


White supremacist problem is much exaggerated

They are largely an invention of their Leftist enemies

Considering the amount of publicity they get, one could be forgiven for thinking that white supremacists are a major force on the political landscape. Their protests make international headlines, their leaders are well known, and now, without firing a single shot, they’ve managed to take over a symbol that has been used by people around the world for decades.

Yes, that’s right, the OK hand sign, that near-enough universal finger-and-thumb indication of affirmation or assent, has now been appropriated by racists. That is according to the Anti-Defamation League, a US-based NGO, which announced last week that the OK hand sign has become a ‘sincere expression of white supremacy’. The ADL says the OK symbol has become a ‘popular trolling tactic’ from ‘right-leaning individuals’, who post images of themselves, posing while making the gesture, on social media.

How have white supremacists, these merchants of hate, managed to reach such levels of prominence and power? Is it through great marketing? The promise of a fulfilling life burning crosses in the woods? Or perhaps their racist arguments now resonate with an ever-growing number of people?

If it were any of those reasons, we would be justified in seriously panicking. But the facts tell a different story.

The biggest white-supremacist protest in recent decades, in Charlottesville, Virginia, attracted only a few hundred people. Richard Spencer, the most prominent figure in the white supremacist movement, has 77,000 followers on Twitter (and presumably not all of them subscribe to his views). And the claim that the OK symbol is white supremacist started off as a joke, on an internet messageboard, intended to troll self-styled lefties.

So who is artificially inflating this movement’s strength? Who is empowering it? Oddly enough, it is the very people who are dedicated to opposing it.

Organisations such as the Anti-Defamation League, which are dedicated to monitoring and combating ‘hate speech’, need to point to instances of it in order to justify their existence. To be fair to the ADL, when adding the OK symbol to its Hate Symbols Database, it acknowledged that ‘[t]he overwhelming usage of the “okay” hand gesture today is still its traditional purpose as a gesture signifying assent or approval’. But this raises the question as to why a media blitz warning people of its other usage was necessary.

Campaigning organisations like the ADL will claim they are raising awareness of the far-right threat in our midst. But their headline-grabbing activity is having the opposite ‘boy who cried wolf’ effect. Moreover, by finding signs of racism everywhere, even in an innocuous hand gesture, they are bringing actual racists into the mainstream by proxy.

Does this mean that white supremacists don’t exist, or should be ignored? Of course not. The US Department of Homeland Security now considers domestic terrorism, in particular white-supremacist terrorism, as being as big a threat to the US as foreign terrorism. But those of us who truly oppose racism should go to great lengths to ensure that we are not giving its pathetic perpetrators free publicity. Or else there is a genuine risk that claiming white supremacists are on the rise will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


We Must Fight the Sexualization of Children by Adults

Childhood used to be a time of innocence. But as our culture has become more and more sexualized, children have become the casualties of adult exploitation.

The New York Times just reported that more than 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused were reported by tech companies, more than double what they found the previous year.

In culture, education, and health care, American children also are increasingly targeted for sexual messages, images, and themes at younger ages. Sometimes, this is even supported by taxpayer money through government-led initiatives.

Our culture is saturated with sexual content that was once considered too risqué for children, and social media has accelerated the spread of pornography to young viewers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that in the United States, 42% of children between 10 and 17 have viewed pornography online.

Social media also has become prime hunting ground for sex traffickers. In March 2019, Instagram was reportedly the leading social media platform for child grooming by sexual predators.

A recent poll of 2,000 teens found that nearly 75% had received pornographic direct messages from strangers, even if they had a private account. And 55% of victims of sex trafficking in 2015 met their abuser through a website, app, or text.

The sexualization of children is occurring in brick-and-mortar spaces too as “drag queen story hours,” in which cross-dressing adult entertainers interact with children in taxpayer-funded local libraries, have appeared across the country.

In education, the United Nations promotes Comprehensive Sexual Education around the world. In America, groups such as Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network promote “comprehensive” sexual education, which includes instruction about homosexual practices, transgender theory, and abortion.

Colorado mandates such curriculum for students in elementary school and recently considered stripping away parental opt-out provisions.

Sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum is not limited to sex education. California, New Jersey, and Illinois passed laws requiring schools to teach about the “political, social, and economic contributions of … lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” which frequently include dubious assertions about the sexual orientation or gender identity of historical figures that are irrelevant to their achievements.

The House of Representatives recently passed the Equality Act, which would amend Title IV of the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. This curriculum could be required if the Equality Act were to become law.

The Department of Education under the Obama administration pressured schools to implement transgender policies that pose risks to children’s privacy and safety. In Georgia, Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted in a restroom at an elementary school that adopted a gender identity-based access policy without notifying parents.

Efforts to expose children to age-inappropriate content and make parental notification and opt-out difficult or impossible undermine parents’ constitutional right to control their children’s education on sensitive topics such as human sexuality. Public schools should not become a place where children are exposed to radical sexual ideology.

Finally, the increased prevalence of transgender ideology in culture and education has narrowed the treatment options for children with gender dysphoria.

Transgender activists pressure both doctors and parents to consent to “gender-affirming medical treatment” for children who otherwise likely would grow to accept their bodies. Such treatment typically starts with puberty blockers at age 8, cross-sex hormones at 14, and genital surgery for boys as young as 17. In one case, a 13-year-old girl was given a double mastectomy.

The detrimental side effects of hormones, such as increased depression, loss of bone density, and sterility, are well-known. Yet 15 states have banned counseling for gender-dysphoric children that would help them become comfortable with their biological sex.

The Equality Act, if passed, would make medical professionals liable to lawsuits for gender identity discrimination if they declined to do “sex reassignment” procedures on children, regardless of conscientious objection or best medical judgment.

The Trump administration reversed policies under the Obama administration that created the same liabilities, but parents continue to find that the medical system and the legal system are working against them. In Ohio, a couple lost custody of their daughter because they refused to allow her to take testosterone.

Combating the premature sexualization of children by adults requires focused attention from both lawmakers and courageous parents.



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, October 09, 2019

The hateful extremism of the British government

I have just had an extensive look at "Challenging Hateful Extremism", a recent emission of the British government.

There is only one form of extremism in Britain that frequently kills people and that is of course Muslim extremism. So you would think that the report would focus heavily on that form of extremism and leave other forms of extremism to be summed up in a single chapter.  That is not remotely so.

The report does mention Musim hate speech but it is most heavily concerned with the words of British patriots who resent the favoritism shown towards Muslims by the British government.  And that favoritism is surely hateful extremism. 

The Left will deny anything so will probably deny any favoritism towards Muslims but the report itself is evidence of that bias.  It was chaired by Sara Khan, a former  president of an Islamic youth organisation.  No expectation of bias there, of course.

So rather than be preoccupied with the grievous attacks from Muslims that can erupt anywhere any time, the British government wants to muzzle citizens who are concerned about such attacks.  A more hateful form of extremism would be hard to imagine -- JR

British cops covering up for one-another

It's what cops do but it must be exposed

Five detectives were cleared of wrongdoing over their handling of bogus VIP sex ring allegations following a "lamentable and inadequate" inquiry by police watchdogs, a former High Court judge has said.

Sir Richard Henriques believes the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) carried out "no effective interrogations" during its review of Operation Midland, which focused on false allegations by fantasist Carl Beech.

He also expressed alarm at the IOPC's "lack of knowledge of criminal procedure" as it prepares to publish a report explaining why it exonerated officers involved in the disastrous sex abuse probe.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Sir Richard said he finds it "difficult to conceive that no misconduct or criminality was involved by at least one officer" involved in the Midland inquiry.

"Whilst all five, absent any proper investigation, must be presumed innocent, the responsibility of the IOPC was to carry out a high quality investigation in a timely manner," he added. 

"The delay in reaching their findings of almost three years is gross and inexcusable and goes some way to inhibiting any further investigation."

Beech was jailed for 18 years for perverting justice by claiming he had been abused by Sir Edward Heath, the former Prime Minister, Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary, Lord Bramall, the former head of the Army and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.

He also claimed he had witnessed members of the gang murder three boys, prompting police to launch a £2.5 million homicide investigation.

Instead of testing the claims, the Metropolitan Police declared they were  "credible and true", something Sir Richard said had devastating consequences.

The former judge pinpointed 43 separate mistakes by officers in his own report on Operation Midland.

His scathing report says there were numerous opportunities to spot Beech's lies in the early stages of the inquiry and shut the case down.

In response, Scotland Yard's Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House admitted "mistakes were made" but said the force does not agree with "everything Sir Richard wrote in his report or indeed all of his recent statements regarding further investigations into the actions of officers".


Anger as BBC Today presenter Justin Webb says Rory Stewart should not try to be London mayor because standing against black and Muslim rivals as a white Old Etonian 'is not very 2020'

BBC Today presenter Justin Webb suggested Rory Stewart should not stand for London mayor because he is a white man and an Old Etonian.

The ex-Tory cabinet minister, 46, appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to discuss his mayoral campaign.

However Today presenter Justin Webb, 58, argued that Mr Stewart standing in the mayoral race was not 'really 2020'.  

Mr Stewart is up against Conservative Party candidate Shaun Bailey and member of the Labour Party Sadiq Khan.

Mr Webb said: 'You mention that you are proud of the diversity of the mayoral race in London, you are a white guy and Old Etonian - it's not really 2020 is it, really, to be challenging a black man who is the conservative candidate and the Muslim mayor.'

Mr Stewart added: 'You are absolutely right it is a fantastically diverse group of candidates which reflects a diverse city.'

'And you are saying don't elect them, elect a white Etonian,' said Mr Webb who was educated at private Sidcot School, Somerset.

The ex-minister said: 'I'm definitely not saying that.'

'It kind of is what you are saying isn't it because you are standing,' Mr Webb retorted.

Mr Stewart said: 'I am saying that you should not be voting for me on the basis of my ethnicity but on the basis of the fact that I feel that as an ex-cabinet minister, as someone who has run for big projects internationally, as somebody who can get things done and has proved in government that I can turn things around.

'I can make the role of mayor something bigger than it has been in the past - I think there is huge potential in the role of mayor of London.'

Mr Stewart added on the Today programme: 'I think British political parties are dragging towards the extremes. I think there is a gaping hole in the centre...'  'I'm obviously not a partisan of Sadiq Khan's or indeed of any political party - I think that mayoral roles can be done very well by independents.  'And I think the danger of mayors being part of political parties is they carry the whole damage and the baggage of those manifestos with them.' 

Mr Stewart has been highly critical of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's approach to Brexit, leading to him being sacked as a Tory MP by Mr Johnson last month - along with 20 other colleagues - for voting against a no-deal exit. 

Over the coming weeks, the Remain campaigner intends to emulate his walk across Afghanistan in 2002 - which the ex-diplomat wrote about for a travel book - by touring each borough of London on foot as part of a listening mission before the campaign kicks off.

'I can make the role of mayor something bigger than it's been in the past - I think there's huge potential in the role of mayor of London,' Mr Stewart insisted. 'I think it's something that we see in cities like New York, I don't think we've begun to see the potential of it.'

Mr Stewart insisted that he sought to position himself as the London mayoral candidate without ties to either Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson.

He added how mayors who were part of political parties carried 'baggage' of their manifestos and suggested he could 'really focus' on London's interests 'rather than being tied to Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson.'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted yesterday: 'Rory Stewart wholeheartedly backed Tory cuts that have ripped the heart out of our communities and done so much damage to our police, NHS and schools. He would be a disaster for London.'

Responding to the criticism on BBC Breakfast this morning Mr Stewart told presenter Charlie Stayt: 'You have just put your finger there on the classic thing, which is we are back to party politics again. 'But I think what we shouldn't do is get into this world of everybody throwing personal insults.'

Mr Stewart said London Mayor Sadiq Khan had 'made the most' of the role and that it was 'not clear' what his dreams are for the capital.


Australia: Journalists won't face facts over false claims of abuse in divorce proceedings


Astounding as it might seem, fact can sometimes be portrayed as fiction because politicians and journalists are more interested in their own positioning than realistically dealing with the proposition at hand.

Afteryears of campaigning for reform of the Family Court system, Pauline Hanson last month welcomed the government's decision to grant her wish of a parliamentary inquiry, complete with her place as deputy chair.

In one of her first interviews Hanson told Radio National Breakfast's Hamish McDonald that women sometimes used false domestic violence claims so as to win sole custody of their children. "I'm hearing of too many cases where children, or parents I should say, are using domestic violence to stop the other parent from seeing their children. Perjury is in our system, but they're not charged with perjury," said the One Nation Senator.

McDonald, rightly, pressed Hanson for evidence to support her claim, and she, rightly, relayed cases forwarded to her, including one involving her son, as anecdotal evidence while arguing this was one of the issues the inquiry should examine in order to establish verifiable information. Hanson went on to make similar comments on Nine Media and elsewhere, dubbing some women "liars".

Cue outrage. "One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has caused outrage after making a series of comments on ABC Radio this morning, implying women who report domestic violence are often lying," reported "Pauline Hanson sparks fury with claim domestic violence victims are lying to family court," screamed The Guardian Australia. "Pauline Hanson slammed," opened The Project while host Carrie Bickmore said Hanson "sparked outrage taking aim at domestic violence victims" — which seemed to draw a long and inflammatory bow.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, journalist David Leser wrote Hanson "has already demonstrated her lack of fitness for the job by accusing women of fabricating domestic violence claims in order to get custody of their children". The Guardian Australia's political reporter, Katharine Murphy, opined: "Hanson has kicked off with inflammation, ventilating the old chestnut that women are making up domestic violence claims in custody battles."

In Nine Media newspapers Jacqueline Maley and Bianca Hall quoted former Family Court chief justice Elizabeth Evatt: "The first-ever chief justice of the Family Court says Senator Pauline Hanson's claim that women fabricate family violence complaints is 'appalling' and 'not true."

With such outrage afoot the safest place for politicians (especially men) to be was anywhere but agreeing with Hanson. While Labor and the Greens lined up to attack her, even Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton pushed back. "Pauline Hanson is passionate about a lot of issues and she was wrong in relation to some of the comments she made during the course of the week," he said.

Surely for journalists there was one crucial question that had to be addressed — and it wasn't whether or not you agreed with Hanson's language, supported her priorities, or whether you thought false claims were the biggest problem when it came to the Family Court and domestic violence. The question was simply whether she was right.

The ABC ran a story on the second day of this controversy saying domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty had "called out" Hanson's comments, yet in the next paragraph quoted Batty saying there are "some women who abuse the system".

The Project, The Guardian Australia and others went to journalist Jess Hill, whose book on domestic violence cited, among other things, a study showing men made false claims at three times the rate of women. Hill was keen to condemn Hanson but did she disprove her claims? On The Project, Bickmore asked Hill: "Jess, what do you make of Pauline's comments? Are false abuse claims a big problem in our Family Courts?"

The response was emphatic and fascinating. "No," said Hill, "we actually have data for a really long time telling us about the average number of false claims, or deliberately false allegations — they're at about 10 per cent"

On RN Breakfast the day after his initial Hanson interview, McDonald followed up by interviewing domestic violence expert Dr Jane Wangmann from University of Technology Sydney. Asked whether or not false claims happened, her initial response mentioned that this was "a very powerful narrative that has come from men's rights groups" and she went on to say "there is no evidence to support her (Hanson's) allegations".

Yet, live to air, Wangmann cited studies in Canada and Australia tracing false claims involv-ing child abuse and family court matters. "They have found allegations that are false are very, very small, ranging between 4 and 12 per cent," she said. Wangmann clarified that the 12 per cent figure related to the Australian study but insisted: "There is no evidence to support this is a widespread concern in which we might need to have an inquiry."

So here we had RN Breakfast and The Project persisting in their outrage that Hanson was perpetrating a falsehood about women making false claims, at the same time their chosen experts confirmed false allegation rates of 10 and 12 per cent. In neither case did the interviews note that false claim rates of 10 per cent or more only under-scored Hanson's point.

Instead the media angle was to remain aligned with their guests — that is, opposed to Hanson. This is a dear case of the media maintaining their ideological position despite the facts, journalism siding with political style over factual substance.

Judging whether someone is right or wrong is not a matter of making hierarchical comparisons with other issues. Hanson did not say false claims are a bigger issue than the number of women being killed in domestic violence attacks, or that this was easy or that it was the only issue. Hanson said there was a problem with false claims and that it might be a factor in the high rates of male suicide. And while politicians rushed to distance themselves, so did the media.

But even in their efforts to de-bunk Hanson they revealed figures suggesting one in every 10 claims put before the system is false. It seems we have cultivated such a superficial public debate that participants fear conceding any point to Hanson might see them identified with her agenda. So, figures that proved Hanson
had a point were used to pretend she was wrong.

Child psychologist Clare Rowe deals in such matters daily. "People might not like Hanson's politics, or priorities, or how she speaks about these issues, but the reality is false claims are a problem," Rowe told me. "This topic should not be taboo because, while we know the court must err on the side of caution, these cases do occur, and it means hundreds of children are being denied a parent under false pre-tences."

That sounds like an issue worthy of media examination. But it requires a bit more time and effort compared to the usual Hanson backlash angle.

Story from the Brisbane "courier Mail" of 7 October, 2019


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