Friday, December 06, 2019



The Battle of Yarmuk: History’s Most Consequential Muslim/Western Clash

by Raymond Ibrahim

On this date, August 20, in 636, the first major military clash between Islam and the West was fought. The Battle of Yarmuk is now little remembered, but its outcome forever changed the face of the world, with ripples felt even today.

Four years earlier, in 632, the prophet of Islam had died. During his lifetime, he had managed to rally the Arabs under the banner of Islam. On his death, some tribes that sought to break away remained Muslim but refused to pay taxes, or zakat, to the caliph, Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s successor. Branding them all apostates, the caliph initiated the Ridda (“apostasy”) Wars, which saw tens of thousands of Arabs beheaded, crucified, or burned alive. In 633, these wars were over; in 634, so was the life of Abu Bakr. It would fall to the second caliph, Omar bin al-Khattab (r. 634–44), to direct the full might of the once feuding Arabs — now one tribe, one umma — against “the other.”

Almost instantly, thousands of Arabs flooded into Christian Syria, slaughtering and pillaging. According to Muslim historians, they did that in the name of jihad — to spread Allah’s rule on earth. Emperor Heraclius, who had just experienced a decade of war against the Persians, proceeded to muster his legions and direct them to Syria, to quash these latest upstarts. Roman forces engaged the invaders in at least two significant battles, Ajnadayn (in modern-day Israel, in 634) and Marj al-Saffar (south of Damascus, 635). But “by Allah’s help,” writes Muslim chronicler al-Baladhuri (d. 892), “the enemies of Allah were routed and shattered into pieces, a great many being slaughtered.”

On the eve of battle, writes historian A. I. Akram, “the Muslims spent the night in prayer and recitation of the Quran, and reminded each other of the two blessings that awaited them: either victory and life or martyrdom and paradise.”

No such titillation awaited the Christians. They were fighting for life, family, and faith. During his pre-battle speech, Vahan explained that “these Arabs who stand before you seek to . . . enslave your children and women.” Another general warned the men to fight hard or else the Arabs “shall conquer your lands and ravish your women.” Such fears were not unwarranted. Even as the Romans were kneeling in pre-battle prayer, Arab general Abu Sufyan was prancing on his war steed, waving his spear, and exhorting the Muslims to “jihad in the way of Allah,” so that they might seize the Christians’ “lands and cities, and enslave their children and women.”

The battle took place over the course of six days. (For a more detailed examination of Yarmuk, see my master’s thesis, 2002, The Battle of Yarmuk: An Assessment of the Immediate Factors behind the Islamic Conquests.) The Roman forces initially broke through the Muslim lines and, according to colorful Muslim sources, would have routed the Arabs if not for their women. Prior to battle, Abu Sufyan had told these female Arabs that, although “the prophet said women are lacking in brains and religion” (a reference to a hadith), they could still help by striking “in the face with stones and tent poles” any Arab men who retreated from the battle to camp. The women were urged to persist until the men returned to battle “in shame.”

Sure enough, whenever broken ranks of Muslims fell back, Arab women hurled stones at them, struck them, and their horses and camels, with poles, taunting them: “May Allah curse those who run from the enemy! Do you wish to give us to the Christians? . . . If you do not kill, then you are not our men.” Abu Sufyan’s wife, Hind, is said to have fought the advancing Romans while screaming “Cut the extremities [i.e., phalluses] of the uncircumcised ones!” On witnessing her boldness, the Arab men are said to have turned and driven back the advancing Romans to their original position.

On the fourth day, the Muslims managed to reverse the tables and advance against a broken line of retreating Christians. No women were present to chastise the retreating Romans, and a multitude of archers unleashed volley after volley on the rushing Arabs. “The arrows rained down on the Muslims. . . . All one could hear was ‘Ah! My eye!’ In heavy confusion, they grabbed hold of their reins and retreated.” Some 700 Muslims lost an eye on that day.

Concerning the sixth and final day of battle, Muslim sources make much of the heavy infantry of the Roman army’s right flank, referring to its soldiers as the “mightiest.” These warriors reportedly tied themselves together with chains, as a show of determination, and swore by “Christ and the Cross” to fight to the last man. (The Arabs may have mistaken the remarkably tight Roman phalanx for fetters.) Even Khalid expressed concern at their show of determination. He ordered the Muslims at the center and left of the Arab army to bog down the Christians, while he led thousands of horsemen and camel-fighters round to the Roman left faction, which had become separated from its cavalry (possibly during an attempt at one of the complicated “mixed formation” maneuvers recommended in the Strategikon, a Byzantine military manual).

To make matters worse, a dust storm — something Arabs were accustomed to, their opponents less so — erupted around this time and caused mass chaos. The Romans’ large numbers proved counterproductive under such crowded and chaotic conditions. Now the fiercest and most desperate fighting of the war ensued. Everywhere, steel clashed, men yelled, horses neighed, camels bellowed, and sand blew in the face of the confused mass. Unable to maneuver, most of the Roman cavalry, carrying along a protesting Vahan, broke off and withdrew to the north.

Realizing that they were alone, the Christian infantry, including the “chained men,” maintained formation and withdrew westward, to the only space open to them. They were soon trapped between an Islamic hammer and anvil: A crescent of Arabs spreading from north to south continued closing in on them from the east, while a semicircle of the Wadi Ruqqad’s precipitous ravines lay before the Christians to the west. (Khalid had already captured the only bridge across the wadi.)

As darkness descended on this volatile corner of the world, the final phase of war played out on the evening of August 20. The Arabs, whose night vision was honed by desert life, charged the trapped Romans, who, according to al-Waqidi and other Muslim historians, fought valiantly. The historian Antonio Santosuosso writes that

"soon the terrain echoed with the terrifying din of Muslim shouts and battle cries. Shadows suddenly changed into blades that penetrated flesh. The wind brought the cries of comrades as the enemy stealthily penetrated the ranks among the infernal noise of cymbals, drums, and battle cries. It must have been even more terrifying because they had not expected the Muslims to attack by dark."

Muslim cavalrymen continued pressing on the crowded and blinded Roman infantry, using the hooves and knees of their steeds to knock down the wearied fighters. Pushed finally to the edge of the ravine, rank after rank of the remaining forces of the imperial army, including all of the “chained men,” fell down the steep precipices to their death. Other soldiers knelt, uttered a prayer, made the sign of the cross, and waited for the onrushing Muslims to strike them down. No prisoners were taken on that day. “The Byzantine army, which Heraclius had spent a year of immense exertion to collect, had entirely ceased to exist,” writes British lieutenant-general and historian John Bagot Glubb. “There was no withdrawal, no rearguard action, no nucleus of survivors. There was nothing left.”

As the moon filled the night sky and the victors stripped the slain, cries of “Allahu akbar!” and “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger” rang throughout the Yarmuk valley.

*****

Following this decisive Muslim victory, the way was left wide open for the domino-like Arab conquests of the seventh century. “Such a revolution had never been,” remarks historian Hilaire Belloc. “No earlier attack had been so sudden, so violent, or so permanently successful. Within a score of years from the first assault in 634 [at the Battle of Ajnadayn], the Christian Levant had gone: Syria, the cradle of the Faith, and Egypt with Alexandria, the mighty Christian See.”

It bears noting that if most Westerners today are ignorant of that encounter and its ramifications, they are even more oblivious as to how Yarmuk continues to serve as a model of inspiration for modern-day jihadis (who, we are regularly informed, are “psychotic criminals” who have “nothing to do with Islam”). As the alert reader may have noticed, the continuity between the words and deeds of the Islamic State (ISIS) and those of its predecessors from nearly 1,400 years ago are eerily similar. This of course is intentional. When ISIS proclaims that “American blood is best and we will taste it soon,” or “We love death as you love life,” or “We will break your crosses and enslave your women,” they are quoting verbatim — and thereby placing themselves in the footsteps of — Khalid bin al-Walid and his companions, the original Islamic conquerors of Syria.

Indeed, the cultivated parallels are many. ISIS’s black flag is intentionally patterned after Khalid’s black flag. Its invocation of the houris, Islam’s celestial sex-slaves promised to martyrs, is based on anecdotes of Muslims dying by the Yarmuk River and being welcomed into paradise by the houris. And the choreographed ritual slaughter of “infidels,” most infamously of 21 Coptic Christians on the shores of Libya, is patterned after the ritual slaughter of 1,000 captured Roman soldiers on the eve of the Battle of Yarmuk.

Here, then, is a reminder that, when it comes to the military history of Islam and the West, the lessons imparted are far from academic and have relevance to this day — at least for the jihadis.

SOURCE 





Reversing the Roles of Crusade and Jihad

A critique of some fake history

From beginning to end, Crusade and Jihad: The Thousand-Year War between the Muslim World and the Global North by William R. Polk is paradigmatic of all the misrepresentations and errors of history that have caused the West to become clueless of the sources behind its conflict with the Muslim worldview. Worse, such blatant distortions of the past leave the West unable to provide solutions for the present.

Title vs. Content

For starters,  the book’s title and ambitious subtitle present it as a comprehensive history.  The jacket cover claims that “Crusade and Jihad is the first book to encompass, in one volume, the entire history of the catastrophic encounter between the Global North … and Muslim societies.” The book reportedly “explain[s] the deep hostilities between the Muslim world and the Global North and show[s] how they grew over the centuries” (emphasis added).

Rather bizarrely, however, the first thousand years of history are allotted only some 30 (out of 550) pages of coverage; that is, only 5% of the book deals with the many centuries of conflict between the eighth and eighteenth centuries.

What explains this lopsided approach?  After all, that initial millennium contains all the seeds of conflict.  As historian Franco Cardini explains,

If we … ask ourselves how and when the modern notion of Europe and the European identity was born, we realize the extent to which Islam was a factor (albeit a negative one) in its creation.  Repeated Muslim aggression against Europe between the seventh to eighth centuries, then between the fourteenth and the eighteenth centuries … was a ‘violent midwife’ to Europe.

While these “violent midwives” are known today as Arabs, Moors, Turks, and Tatars, their invasions and subsequent atrocities were all conducted under the same jihadi logic used by contemporary groups such as the Islamic State: as “infidels” (or kuffar), Christian Europeans were always free game for rape, enslavement, or slaughter.

Or to quote Bernard Lewis:

We tend nowadays to forget that for approximately a thousand years, from the advent of Islam in the seventh century until the second siege of Vienna in 1683, Christian Europe was under constant threat from Islam, the double threat of conquest and conversion. Most of the new Muslim domains were wrested from Christendom. Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa were all Christian countries, no less, indeed rather more, than Spain and Sicily. All this left a deep sense of loss and a deep fear.[i]

A Twisted Vacuum

Not only are these formative centuries largely ignored, but what Polk does present is often distorted to Islam’s favor.  As the book’s succinct description explains, “Polk shows how Islam arose and spread across [euphemism for violently conquered] North Africa into Europe, climaxed in the vibrant and sophisticated caliphate of al-Andalus in Medieval Spain, and was the bright light in a European Dark Age.”[ii]

Similarly, after effusively praising Islamic Spain, Polk writes (rather disdainfully) that “The contrast to the rest of Europe was stunning.  Few in Europe could read, and those few were holed up in monasteries….  It is hard to find evidence of more than a few men or women of culture or even of a degree of social refinement.  In al-Andalus, in contrast, the arts flourished, new forms of poetry were invented, and musical tastes” advanced.[iii]

The problem here is not that these descriptions are false but that they are presented in a vacuum.  In fact, the prosperity of Islamic Spain, as with all premodern Islamic states, was built almost entirely on plundering its non-Muslim neighbors of their wealth and bodies (Córdoba was a slave emporium of white flesh for centuries).  As earlier and more sober historians, such as Louis Bertrand, explained:

To keep the Christians [of northern Spain] in their place it did not suffice to surround them with a zone of famine and destruction. It was necessary also to go and sow terror and massacre among them. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, an army sallied forth from Córdoba to go and raid the Christians, destroy their villages, their fortified posts, their monasteries and their churches….  If one bears in mind that this brigandage was almost continual, and that this fury of destruction and extermination was regarded as a work of piety — it was a holy war [jihad] against infidels — it is not surprising that whole regions of Spain should have been made irremediably sterile. This was one of the capital causes of the deforestation from which the Peninsula still suffers. With what savage satisfaction and in what pious accents do the Arab annalists tell us of those at least biennial raids. A typical phrase for praising the devotion of a Caliph is this: “He penetrated into Christian territory, where he wrought devastation, devoted himself to pillage, and took prisoners.”…  The prolonged presence of the Muslims, therefore, was a calamity for this unhappy country of Spain. By their system of continual raids they kept her for centuries in a condition of brigandage and devastation.[iv]

Likewise, Polk fails to mention that the “stunning” illiteracy of Europeans was itself a byproduct of the jihad.  After the Muslim conquest of Egypt (circa 641), papyrus ceased to be imported into Europe, causing literacy rates to drop back to pre-Roman levels. Indeed, Christian Europe’s “Dark Ages” came about largely “because Islam had destroyed the ancient unity of the Mediterranean,” as eminent medievalist/archaeologist Henri Pirenne showed.

“Victimhood”: The Blame-All to Islam’s Problems

About 520 of 550 pages (or 95%) of Polk’s book on The Thousand-Year War are confined to the last two or so centuries, when Europe ceased being on the defensive and went on the offensive against Islam.  Here Polk meticulously describes in vivid (and hyperbolic) detail every conceivable sin the West committed against Muslims:

Beginning at various times after Christopher Columbus led the way across the Atlantic and the Portuguese plunged down the West African coast, the actions of the North have been uniformly destructive and sometimes genocidal….  The first cause of the danger and insecurity [i.e., Islamic terrorism] we feel today is the long history of imperialism.  A century or more of invasion, occupation, humiliation, and genocide has left scars that are still not healed, and cannot heal if they are constantly reopened.[v]

Having whitewashed the first millennium of jihad on the West, it’s easy for Polk to make Europeans appear as unprovoked aggressors—greedy monsters come to destroy the glories of Islam.  Yet he fails to mention that Columbus sailed west precisely because the Mediterranean was an Islamic terror zone; and he presents Russian expansion into Tatar regions as a merciless enterprise without explaining that the Tatars—known as the “heathen giant who feeds on our blood”—terrorized and enslaved Russians for centuries earlier.

As more balanced historians, such as Bernard Lewis, have long known:

[T]he whole complex process of European expansion and empire … has its roots in the clash of Islam and Christendom.  It began with the long and bitter struggle of the conquered peoples of Europe, in east and west, to restore their homelands to Christendom and expel the Muslim peoples who had invaded and subjugated them.  It was hardly to be expected that the triumphant Spaniards and Portuguese would stop at the Straits of Gibraltar, or that the Russians would allow the Tatars to retire in peace and regroup in their bases on the upper and lower Volga—the more so since a new and deadly Muslim attack on Christendom was underway … threatening the heart of Europe.  The victorious liberators, having reconquered their own territories, pursued their former masters whence they had come.[vi]

Regardless, Polk habitually harps on how “Memories of [Western] imperialism are deep [among Muslims], and they helped create much of the world’s disorder and danger today….   [T]he humiliation and wholesale massacres of populations carried out by imperialists, though largely forgotten by the perpetrators, remain today vivid to the descendants of the victims.”[vii]   As such, every Islamic terror group—including the Islamic State—are products of “the anger and frustration of Muslims.”[viii]

Again, one need only look to real history to appreciate the folly of this deterministic reading which sees Muslims as perpetual victims of an imagined history.  After a millennium of actual European victimhood—a millennium of Muslim invasions that saw the conquest of three-quarters of Christendom’s original territory, the enslavement of five million Europeans (between just the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries), and the slaughter of untold millions—“backwards” Europe still managed to rise to the top of the world, and without any apologies or appeasements from Muslims.

Why can’t Islam?  Could it be that its problems are intrinsic and have nothing to do with the purported sins of Europe? 

For instance, in Polk’s chapter, “Somalia, the ‘Failed State,’” imperialism is again cited as the blame all.  Yet in 1855, decades before Europeans colonized it, adventurer Richard Burton described Somalia in decidedly unappealing terms, adding that Somalis “are extremely bigoted, especially against Christians … and are fond of Jihading.” Today Somalia remains a “failed state,” Al Shabaab (“the Youth”) is its jihadi vanguard, and any Somali outed as a Christian is beheaded.  Is European colonialism really necessary to explain such continuity?

“What Went Wrong?”

This is the crux of the issue: in order to exonerate the problems plaguing and emanating from the Muslim world—from socio-economic-political  difficulties, to rampant Islamic radicalization and terrorism—Islamophiles like Polk are committed to two premises: 1) that for centuries Islam was a beacon of light in a dark world (and thus something must have gone wrong since) and 2) that which went wrong begins and ends with Western meddling via colonization.

As should be evident by now, the reverse is true: Islam always did what Islam does, and was constrained only during that brief era of Western assertion.  The greater irony is that whereas jihads often culminated in slavery, depopulation, and devastation, European colonialists abolished slavery and introduced their Muslim subjects to the boons of modernity, from scientific and medicinal advances to the radical concepts of democracy and religious freedom.

“In a word,” writes a Copt around the turn of the twentieth century concerning British rule, “we say that the Egyptian State was at the highest degree of justice and good order and arrangement.  And it removed religious fanaticism, and almost established equality between its subjects, Christian and Muslim, and it eliminated most of the injustice, and it realized much in the way of beneficial works for the benefit of all the inhabitants.”

Or consider how North Africa was among the most prosperous and civilized regions of Christendom in the seventh century, but centuries of “jihading,” ransacking, and the enslavement of literally millions turned it into a desert.  Then, for some three centuries before the colonial era, its Muslim population subsisted entirely on enslaving Europeans.

In fact, the United States’ first war as a nation was with these “Barbary States.”  When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams asked Barbary’s ambassador why his countrymen were enslaving American sailors, he said nothing about “open scars” or the “anger and frustration of Muslims.” Rather the “ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that … it was their right and duty to make war upon them [non-Muslims] wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners….”[ix]

Sticking to the “Narrative”

Sadly, Crusade and Jihad is reflective of both academic and popular opinion concerning the relationship between Islam and the West.  As is typical of the social sciences—and increasingly the hard sciences as well—reality, in this case history, has been recast in conformance to the accepted narrative, one which follows a familiar matrix: anything white and Christian = hypocrisy, intolerance, greed, exploitation; anything nonwhite and non-Christian = honesty, tolerance, fair-mindedness, dignity.

The double standards required to make this narrative work are often stark.  Thus and despite how Muslims persecuted Spain’s Christians for centuries, here is how Polk describes the indigenous liberators vis-à-vis the invading occupiers:  “Over the centuries … the warlike Christian states … pushed south until, in 1492, they drove away tens of thousands of Muslims … and put an end to one of the most advanced societies in Europe.”[x]

The lesson is clear: from a historical point of view, Islam can do no wrong—even when it invades, conquers, and persecutes; and the West can do no right—even when it defends, liberates, and civilizes.  While we are to exonerate contemporary Muslim terrorism as a product of “grievances” against (an imagined) history, only censure remains for those premodern Christians who set wrongs to rights (but to Islam’s disadvantage).

Such are the pseudo-histories that have long plagued the West’s understanding of its relationship to Islam.  It is in part to combat these false narratives that I wrote my new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.  Not only does it document the politically incorrect facts of history, but every century gets its fair due.

SOURCE 






The Cult of Color

Is it okay for people of certain persuasions to discriminate? Not exactly.

Notorious for its hypocrisy, the woke community strikes again, this time excluding white girls from being involved in a music video. Beyoncé, heralded as a sort of goddess to the Woke “people of color,” had no issue openly discriminating for her music video casting call. Interestingly enough, she seeks diversity among brown and black people, but there are no people of European descent in her video — despite the video being recorded in London, which still has a white population of about 60%.

Responses to the casting call were mixed. White people were baffled at the attempt at segregation. After all, white westerners fought to include black and brown people into society. On the flip side, woke worshippers see Beyoncé’s “rule” as no big deal; that discrimination happens all the time anyway.

It’s strange that the same people who cry out against being left out of job opportunities have no problem with people of a white persuasion being left out of said opportunities. These individuals claim oppression at every instance yet slam down the iron fist of discrimination when the opportunity presents itself.

The Golden Rule (“Do unto others…” See Matthew 7:12) had become a widely accepted moral attitude in our society regardless of faith. But what does this mean to this woke generation that conceals supremacy under the cloak of compassion (for only select races, of course)?

And while this is just a casting call, how far will progressives go to push white people out of other areas — employment, lending opportunities, and so on?

Diversity is the raggedy crutch that Democrats and liberals lean on heavily. Their lies and special interests weigh down the definition of the very term, transforming it into something different entirely. This leaves white people scratching their heads, wondering what it was we fought for over the past century. Did the Civil Rights movement even have a point?

The answer: It did, and it still stands for something today. But diversity and acceptance are a two-way street. We meet in the middle when we acknowledge the following:

That diversity doesn’t exclude, no matter how you frame it.
That all peoples are capable of racism and unjust discrimination.
That a society that is truly moving forward must do away with “skin worship.”

People say that the parties and ideologies switched sides, but what they aren’t addressing is how racial supremacy has done the exact same. It’s time we do away with supremacist mentalities as a whole — that is, if we are to truly leave racism behind.

SOURCE 






Australia: Animal rights activists are ordered to tear down 'misleading' billboard calling for captive dolphin breeding at Sea World to be banned

I'll stop eating animals as soon as animals stop eating one-another

Days after launching a campaign against dolphin breeding at Sea World an animal rights group was told their 'misleading' billboards would be taken down.  

World Animal Protection launched the campaign on December 2 targeting Sea World's use of dolphins and allowing them to breed in captivity .

But just days after the billboards went up on the Gold Coast advertising company JCDecaux announced they were taking them down.

The decision to remove the billboards came after Sea World proprietor Village Roadshow slammed the signs as 'false and misleading'.

A Sea World spokesman told the Gold Coast Bulletin preventing dolphins from breeding in captivity would impact negatively on the animals.

'Reproduction is a natural process which enriches the lives of the animals and helps contribute to positive welfare of the animals, which is our utmost priority,' the spokesman said.

'All management strategies to stop breeding are against best practice and decreases the welfare of the dolphins.'

World Animal Protection Head of Campaigns Ben Pearson said he was disappointed by the move. 'It's disappointing our education billboards on the Gold Coast are being taken down after just two days, but our campaign will continue,' he said.

Mr Pearson said the group was fighting to make the current generation of dolphins at Sea World the last.

'With Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour having already made this commitment, Sea World is now on its own and out of step with the growing public awareness that keeping dolphins in captivity is cruel,' Mr Pearson said.

'There are currently around 30 dolphins at Sea World, most of which were born and bred there, with breeding to continue in future to provide entertainment for tourists.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted World Animal Protection, Village Roadshow and JCDecaux for further comment. 

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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Thursday, December 05, 2019


A British police force spent £23,000 on gender-neutral caps - only to get rid of them 18 months later after public outcry

A police force spent £23,000 on gender-neutral 'Burger King' caps to replace traditional helmets only to get rid of them 18 months later following a public outcry.

Northamptonshire Police introduced the US-style 'bump hats' in May 2017 to attract more transgender officers, claiming that 'gender-based headgear' was acting as 'a barrier to the non-binary transgender community'.

But they were largely scrapped in November last year after critics said they made officers 'look like Jimmy Krankie' and replaced with the traditional helmets that have been a symbol of British policing for more than 150 years.

'No longer will male and female officers be issued different headgear with varying safety ratings simply on the basis of gender', a spokesman said after their launch    +3
Northamptonshire Police introduced the US-style 'bump hats' in May 2017 to attract more transgender officers

Announcing on Twitter that the controversial caps would be phased out, Chief Constable Nick Adderley accepted they 'did not portray the right image' and that 'the public supports this view'.

The failed experiment cost £23,417 over two years, according to a Freedom of Information request by MailOnline.

The caps were introduced after research suggested the new headwear would eradicate the issue of transgender officers having to decide between custodian helmets for males and bowler hats for females.

A spokesman for the force had said: 'Not only will the new bump caps offer a better level of protection, the new headgear means that no longer will male and female officers be issued different headgear with varying safety ratings simply on the basis of gender.

'Engagement has also shown that having to choose gender-based headgear is a barrier to the non-binary transgender community joining the police service.

'By introducing this new hat we provide a single protective hat to all police officers, Special Constables and PCSOs for general duties.'

The caps replaced the 'gender-based' helmets and bowler hats previously worn by officers    +3
The caps replaced the 'gender-based' helmets and bowler hats previously worn by officers

Bump hats, which have a reinforced frame, are more lightweight than the helmets and allow officers to clamber in and out of vehicles without removing them.

But they are regularly ridiculed by critics – who claim the caps make officers look more like Burger King workers.

After Mr Adderley announced the reversal on Twitter, officers took to social media to endorse the move, with one saying the 'bump cap' made her look like Jimmy Krankie.

One user said: 'Excellent decision. The standard of dress, uniform and appearance has plummeted over the last decade or so. It's about time we got back to basics and started looking professional.'

Another said: 'Absolutely fantastic decision. Have been the commander on many event and the image of a public order officer wearing a baseball cap has not been a good one. High uniform standards for our officers is a must.'

SOURCE 





More  money than sense

I remember the time not so long ago when NOBODY carried around bottles of water.  How did we survive?

Daniela Finlay had known for a while that water bottles had become a big deal.

But it wasn’t until she watched a fellow student break down after dropping and denting her stainless steel Hydro Flask earlier this fall that she understood just how big.

“Crying may be a little bit of an exaggeration,” says Finlay, a freshman at Wellesley College, recalling the moment. “But she was very visibly upset.”

And can you blame her?

Once an afterthought, the humble water bottle has emerged as a designer product — the “it” accessory of the moment.

The trendiest bottles retail for around the same as a car insurance payment, selling — in some cases — for more than $100. The popular brand BKR has taken to billing its water bottles as beauty products, selling them in store beauty departments.

Earlier this year, the water brand Evian held a New York City release party for its limited-edition glass water bottle — designed by Louis Vuitton’s men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh.

“We don’t just see water,” Abloh said in the marketing material for the bottle. “We see infinite possibilities and inspiration.”

American consumers have long been discerning about the water they drink, as evidenced by the rise of pricey brands like FIJI and Smartwater. But with disposable plastic bottles falling out of favor, perhaps it was only a matter of time before permanent containers became the focus.

In the last three years, Americans bought roughly 287 million water bottles, says Joe Derochowski, who serves as home industry adviser for the market research firm NPD Group.

And in just the past year, sales of bottles in the $30-$40 range have jumped a whopping 15 percent.

“It’s people saying, ‘If I’m going to buy a water bottle, I want it not to just be functionally good, I want it to look good,’ ” says Derochowski. “And in a selfie world, that’s kind of what is happening.”

Indeed, on a recent afternoon inside Boston University’s George Sherman Union, atop nearly every table was some sort of colorful bottle. Pricey Hydro Flask bottles have become part of the official uniform of so-called VSCO girls — trendy cliques of middle- and high-school-age girls who favor baggy sweat shirts, Vans sneakers, scrunchies, and — apparently — high-priced water bottles.

Even those still in elementary school are suddenly jostling for fancy water bottles over toys.

When her 7-year-old son asked for a Hydro Flask for Christmas, Shalyn Sherman had to look up what, exactly, he was talking about.

“He’s all about the Hydro Flask,” says Sherman, of Lynn. “It’s on his Christmas list, it’s on his birthday list. That’s the main thing he wants right now.”

The ascent of water bottles to status symbol probably began with the vilification of the disposable kind. When Nalgene’s jewel-colored bottles exploded onto the scene in the 2000s, it was amid growing national concern over environmental sustainability of single-use plastic. In short order, they became fashion standards on college campuses across the country.

But those hard-plastic bottles, selling for about $10, were cheap compared to the market’s offerings now. S’well bottles — available in various sizes and designs — go for as much as $60. Hydro Flasks can range in price from $30 for a smaller 18-ounce bottle to $65 for a 64-ounce wide-mouth version.

Then there’s the Soji Black Obsidian Crystal Elixir Water Bottle — retail price, $94 — which, according to the company’s website, includes “a powerful grounding stone that quickly blocks all forms of negativity . . . [and] shields against psychic attacks, mental stress and tension.”

For acolytes of the craze, such high-brow bottles are worth the hefty price. The high-end bottles can keep water cold for extended periods, and many say it’s one thing they’ll have with them pretty much every minute of every day.

But even those happy to make such an investment admit that, all told, there isn’t much fundamental difference between the latest popular brands and cheaper varieties.

“I think the mass appeal effect is that you’re able to heat or cool something for 24 hours,” says Ramsha Arshad, a senior computer science major at BU who owns a high-end S’well water bottle. “But most water bottles these days can do that.”

Which is not to say, however, that everyone is sold.

As bottles have gotten increasingly high-tech and pricey, some have resisted the urge to upgrade.

Seated at a table inside BU’s student union on a recent afternoon, junior Jay Li defiantly pulled a massive blue Nalgene bottle from his backpack — a bottle that, among today’s flashier alternatives, appeared downright ancient.

Li purchased the bottle two years ago, for around $10, and it has served him well, he said, always holding enough water to get him through the day.

He’s aware that it’s not the trendiest of bottles, but he is comfortable with that.

“It does the job,” he says. “At the end of the day, it’s just water.”

SOURCE 







The Marine Corps’ annual birthday video included only six seconds of women in an eight-minute tribute

So what?  It's mostly a male organization

To celebrate the upcoming birthday of the U.S. Marines, the service’s top brass sent around a special video message—and drew a barrage of criticism. Women service members are visible in roughly six seconds of the eight-minute video.

Current and former Marines rebuked Marine Commandant General David H. Berger and Sergeant Major Troy E. Black, the top enlisted Marine, for the lack of inclusion and for a failure of leadership.

The backlash comes as the U.S. Marine Corps continues to wrestle with its internal culture in the wake of the Marines United scandal less than three years ago—when a male

Marines-only Facebook group shared nude photos and obscene comments about women service members—and amid continuing battles over whether women should be allowed to serve in ground combat units that historically have been all male.

“It is a self-indulgent ‘love me and my grunts and everyone else can pound sand in the corner’ video,” said former Marine Sergeant Erin Kirk-Cuomo, who co-founded “Not In My Marine Corps,” a group dedicated to fighting sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. military.

“It’s 10 steps back from where it should be and just an all-around boring birthday message with no motivation,” said Kirk-Cuomo. “But the lack of diversity regarding women is a deliberate hit at them and how they have been given more opportunities recently,” said Kirk-Cuomo. “The vitriol towards female Marines is at an all-time high right now and this video just shows it.”

Kirk-Cuomo said that many female Marines are not happy with the video and responses they are receiving from some of their male Marine counterparts has been disheartening.

One active-duty female Marine officer told Newsweek that she was “sick of this ‘oversight’ happening over and over again as in, how it always seems to be a ‘mistake’ or ‘accident,’” for not including women. “It’s not an accident to eliminate an entire demographic from a product intended for the force,” said the officer, who asked for anonymity due to fear of reprisal from her chain of command.

Kirk-Cuomo said she attributed the attitude toward women within the rank-and-file directly to top leadership. “If the Commandant can’t even bother to bring up the strides women have made in a birthday message or have a female voice in it even for a 20-second clip, what does that say to Marines? That leadership doesn’t care and doesn’t feel the need to be inclusive to women, so why should anyone else?”

Some current and former Marines speaking out online said the lack of women in the video is a non-issue and is being overblown, with many praising the video for its depiction of combat forces.

The Marine video begins with images of the heartland—moving the audience from the Rust and Bible Belts of the Midwest and southern United States to major metropolitan cities and suburbs. An American morning begins as a radio dial scans through the airwaves to find CNN’s Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr telling Wolf Blitzer that the Marines will be ready to go if and when the order comes.

Hard cut to a naval aircraft carrier navigating the seas where Marines can be seen gearing up, while narration from General Berger plays over the picture.

“Every Marine trains, prepares, 24-7 to get the phone call in the middle of the night that your unit’s deploying,” Berger says in the video. “The phone call that you weren’t expecting, but you’re ready for.”

The video shows Marines running out onto the flight deck to board MV-22 Osprey helicopters: quick cuts in the video show Marines racking bullets into their rifles just before the music shifts from an inspiring melody to Michael Bay dramatic.

Tanks fire their main cannons offscreen as amphibious assault vehicles roll onto a beachhead with fighter jets flying high over land and water.

Sergeant Major Black’s narration focuses on the camaraderie between Marines and how their bond supports their ability to complete the mission. The overall theme of the video ties into Berger’s vision of how the U.S. can compete with adversaries such as China and Russia—a show of force on the world stage via naval strength and agility.

As in past birthday videos, this one, for the Corps’ 244th birthday on November 10th, pays homage to the Marines’ legacy with short interviews with veterans. “Once a Marine always a Marine is not just a slogan,” Berger reminds viewers. The veterans interviewed in the video are both male.

The video has been viewed more than 112,000 times since being published.

Asked for a reply to the controversy, a Marine spokesperson told Newsweek, “The USMC will not have a comment for you on this topic.”

SOURCE 






Australia: Police "strike" on going into Aboriginal settlements?

Just the charging of constable Rolfe has created tension. If the Rolfe trial leads to anything but complete exoneration, police may well in future refuse to go into Aboriginal communities.  Armchair judgments on police actions in the heat of the moment are intrinsically unfair and basing a prosecution on them tells police not to bother in future

One of Australia's longest-serving former police commissioners believes the shooting of Indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker in a remote Northern Territory community could have widespread consequences for the future of policing.

Western Australia's ex-police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said officers felt unsupported after Constable Zachary Rolfe was charged with murder and many will be watching the outcome of the case "very closely".

Dr O'Callaghan also expressed sadness at the low number of Aboriginal people involved in law enforcement and the failed efforts to recruit them.

The comments come amid fresh scrutiny on policing strategies in isolated townships and the relationship between Indigenous people and the law.

Too risky for officers

As the state's highest-ranking officer for 13 years, Dr O'Callaghan has extensive experience in overseeing policing strategies in some of the most isolated places on earth.

He said the decision to charge Mr Rolfe with murder over the shooting sent ripples of dismay through the policing fraternity.

"I think [officers] feel they are not supported," he said. "[Officers] go out and do their job, something happens in a split second and they end up getting charged with a very serious offence.

"I think police in Western Australia and the Northern Territory will be very, very concerned about what this means for trying to support those Aboriginal communities."

He said the case had the potential to change the way officers approached policing in these places — and not necessarily for the better.

"The outcome of this will be watched very closely all over Australia," he said. "It will have an impact on the best of our police officers, on their decision to go to those communities.

"It will be a bad thing if police officers who are qualified and very skilled at their work decide that they don't want to go there because of this risk."

Policing in the far-flung regional centres of Western Australia and the Northern Territory has long presented a logistical and cultural challenge for officers.

A handful of staff are often responsible for between several hundred to 1,000 residents.

Small communities can be easily inundated by visitors who travel thousands of kilometres, many from interstate, to attend family commitments.

In addition to layers of complex social problems, there are language and cultural barriers to navigate, and support is usually hours away.

Law enforcement in these conditions requires a unique approach, according to Dr O'Callaghan, because officers, "are trying to deal with a lot of complex social issues".

"It can have an enormous impact on a police officer because of the complexity of what they're dealing with and I think even the best-prepared officers are not prepared or trained to deal with what they find in those communities," he said.

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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Wednesday, December 04, 2019



Tim Allen slams 'alarming' political correctness, saying comedians shouldn't have to censor their material for the 'thought police'

Actor and comedian Tim Allen has criticized political correctness, saying the 'thought police' holds him back during his routines.

The Last Man Standing star, 66, who has previously faced a backlash for advocating using the N-word in his standup, said it was 'alarming' that comedians have to censor their material so as not to offend their audiences.

He told ABC's The View: 'What I've got to do sometimes is explain, which I hate, in big arenas, and this is a thought police thing and I do not like it.

'When I use these words, this is my intent behind those words.'

The Toy Story actor added: 'As long as you understand my intent, I still get people: "Well, just don't say it", and I said, "I'm not going to do that".'

Co-host Joy Behar, who is also a comedian whose career started at a similar time to Allen, said that PC culture makes it 'really hard' for comedians, and that their jokes are often taken out of context and posted on social media.

She said: 'I think my act, if I ever brought that old act back, I'd be driven out of town.'

Later in their conversation, Allen indicated that political correctness was 'an alarming thing for comedians.'

Several standups have fallen victim to the trend of cancel culture, which sees them blacklisted or deplatformed for controversial remarks.

Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after previous jokes which were deemed homophobic were unearthed.

While Allen's fellow Republican comedian Roseanne Barr had her eponymous sitcom cancelled after facing a backlash for a tweet which was deemed racist.

Later on in the interview, Allen, who has previously voiced his support for President Trump, said a part of his act where his family mocks Democrats gets a different reception in different parts of the country.

In 2013, Allen, who spent two years in federal prison for drug trafficking in 1978, faced condemnation after saying in an interview that he uses the N-word in his standup routine and maintaining that white people should not be afraid of saying it - so long as it's not being used as a racist slur.

He used the word several times in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times and said he strongly disliked the phrase 'the N-word' - which is often used in its place.

'If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist, then how can 'n*****' be bad coming out of my mouth?'

He also expressed support for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He said the billionaire businessman 'might be able to do the stuff that really needs fixing'.

In an interview last year with Indiewire, Allen said it was fun to mock liberals. He said: 'Liberals have a very small window of sense of humor about themselves, so I love poking at it.

'If you don't agree with them, if you don’t agree with that position, then you hate women, and you hate gay people, and you hate pro-choice people, whatever.'

SOURCE 






The Victims of Race-Focused Liberals Are Blacks

Walter E. Williams

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said that racism in America is “foundational” and that people of color were under “mortal threat” from the “white supremacist in the White House.” Pete Buttigieg chimed in to explain that “systemic racism” will “be with us” no matter who is in the White House. Sen. Cory Booker called for “attacking systemic racism” in the “racially biased” criminal justice system.

Let’s follow up by examining Booker’s concern about a “racially biased” criminal justice system. To do that, we can turn to a recent article by Heather Mac Donald, who is a senior fellow at the New York-based Manhattan Institute. She is a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author.

Her most recent article, “A Platform of Urban Decline,” which appeared in Manhattan Institute’s publication Eye On The News, addresses race and crime. She reveals government statistics you’ve never read before.

According to leftist rhetoric, whites pose a severe, if not mortal, threat to blacks. Mac Donald says that may have once been true, but it is no longer so today. To make her case, she uses the latest Bureau of Justice Statistics 2018 survey of criminal victimization.

Mac Donald writes:

According to the study, there were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) between blacks and whites last year, including white-on-black and black-on-white attacks. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90 percent, and whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10 percent.

That ratio is becoming more skewed, despite the Democratic claim of Trump-inspired white violence. In 2012-13, blacks committed 85 percent of all interracial victimizations between blacks and whites; whites committed 15 percent. From 2015 to 2018, the total number of white victims and the incidence of white victimization have grown as well.

There are other stark figures not talked about often. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting for 2018, of the homicide victims for whom race was known, 53.3% were black, 43.8% were white, and 2.8% were of other races. In cases where the race of the offender was known, 54.9% were black, 42.4% were white, and 2.7% were of other races.

White and black liberals, who claim that blacks face a “mortal threat” from the “white supremacist in the White House” are perpetuating a cruel hoax. The primary victims of that hoax are black people. We face the difficult, and sometimes embarrassing, task of confronting reality.

Mac Donald says that Barack Obama’s 2008 Father’s Day speech in Chicago would be seen today as an “unforgivable outburst of white supremacy.” Here’s what Obama told his predominantly black audience in a South Side church: “If we are honest with ourselves,” too many fathers are “missing—missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.”

Then-Sen. Obama went on to say, “Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”

White liberals deem that any speaker’s references to personal responsibility brands the speaker as bigoted. Black people cannot afford to buy into the white liberal agenda. White liberals don’t pay the same price. They don’t live in neighborhoods where their children can get shot simply sitting on their porches. White liberals don’t go to bed with the sounds of gunshots. White liberals don’t live in neighborhoods that have become economic wastelands. Their children don’t attend violent schools where they have to enter through metal detectors.

White liberals help the Democratic Party maintain political control over cities, where many black residents live in despair, such as Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago.

Black people cannot afford to remain fodder for the liberal agenda. With that in mind, we should not be a one-party people in a two-party system.

SOURCE 






We want freedom, not freebies

UK political parties want to give us 'free' stuff while undermining our fundamental rights.

The main UK political parties are competing with one another on how many ‘free’ (taxpayer-funded) things they will provide to the public if they win a majority in next month’s General Election. Free broadband, free university tuition, free childcare, and, no doubt, free cheese, too. Whether any of these ‘promises’ will actually be delivered remains to be seen. However, what is striking is the main parties’ deafening silence regarding freedom itself.

Over the past couple of decades, we’ve seen a significant erosion of our fundamental rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. Yet few political parties seem to consider this erosion of freedom a problem. This is not surprising, as both main parties have long sought to drastically expand the scope and power of the state at the expense of individual liberty. In my opinion, a society that promises ‘freebies’ without defending our fundamental rights is one that has lost its way.

In recent years, it has become unfashionable to discuss civil liberties in the public domain. When the issue is raised, it is quickly met with concerns about terrorism and the threat of the far right. Yet there is no evidence to show that the curtailment of civil liberties, in and of itself, counters terrorism or militates against the rise of far-right extremism.

In fact, all the curtailment of our civil liberties achieves is the further erosion of the freedom of everyone. It does very little to tackle the root causes of threats and problems. In the case of neo-Nazis and Islamist extremists, for example, online censorship actually makes the problems worse. It pushes prejudiced views underground, where they persist and develop, unchallenged, in echo chambers. Censorship is the equivalent of a doctor attempting to treat the symptoms while leaving the underlying health condition unaddressed. Far-right and Islamist extremism are complex problems that require equally multifaceted solutions. Censorship has not meaningfully tackled either.

Take the police’s new crusade against hate crime. Never mind that ‘hate’ is a poorly defined and entirely subjective concept. What is more disturbing is how this crusade has been pursued. A whole host of people have been accused of committing a ‘hate crime’, such as the Christian preacher arrested for calling Islam an ‘aberration’, or the man investigated for retweeting a transgender limerick. These cases may be extreme, but they are also the logical result of giving the state the power to arrest people on the grounds that they have expressed hatred. Indeed, the Metropolitan Police’s £2million Online Hate Crime Hub has investigated 1,612 cases (and facilitated six convictions) in just two years.

We used to be told that ‘sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you’. Now it seems words do hurt you. We are increasingly being told that disagreeable speech is akin to violence. This contention is absurd and dangerous. Offence is taken, not given. Freedom of speech is our most powerful tool for advocating for change and raising awareness of wrongdoing. We must end this baseless moral panic over hate speech and encourage resilience, passionate debate and the free exchange of ideas.

Both the Tories and Labour disagree with this, it seems. The Tory government’s Online Harms White Paper was published for consultation earlier this year. It wants to tackle ‘online content… that harms individual users…or threatens our way of life in the UK’. The definition of ‘harm’ is so vague and ambiguous that one can only imagine the chilling effect it would have if it actually becomes law. I consider state regulation of the online world to be a bigger threat to ‘our way of life’ than, er, Pornhub.

The government has made little secret of its intention to expand state powers. The Investigatory Powers Act (aka the Snoopers’ Charter) increased drastically the powers of the intelligence services. According to Liberty, ‘The Snoopers’ Charter allows the state to hack computers, phones and tablets on an industrial scale, and collect the content of people’s digital communications. It also allows the creation and linking of huge “bulk personal datasets”.’ Liberty added: ‘The government failed to provide evidence that this was “necessary to prevent or detect crime”.’ Article 19, a freedom-of-expression campaign group, concluded that the Snoopers’ Charter ‘offers a template for authoritarian regimes and seriously [undermines] the rights of its citizens to privacy and freedom of expression’. The Chinese Communist Party even pointed to the Snoopers’ Charter as a defence of its own surveillance tactics.

Labour is no better. Its proposal to introduce a ‘free’, state-controlled internet service will only bolster our existing Big Brother-style surveillance state. Labour has even announced that it plans to make misogyny a hate crime.

Defenders of proposals to increase the surveillance and regulation of our everyday lives will often say that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear. But many good people do have something to hide, such as whistleblowers or people trying to discover what powerful institutions do not want them to know. More importantly, the UK government, especially under its Prevent counter-terrorism strategy, has wrongfully investigated numerous individuals on the basis of what they were reading online. People, that is, with nothing to hide but plenty to fear.

I am sympathetic to plans for the state to provide its citizens with basic necessities. But without promising to protect our fundamental rights, such ‘freebies’ threaten to be part and parcel of the broader assault on liberty.

SOURCE 





PIERS MORGAN: Most terrorists don't change their evil spots so it's time Britain stopped going soft on hate-filled jihadis to please the PC hand-wringing brigade and does what Americans do - lock them up forever

What does it take these days for a nihilistic terrorist to get locked up in prison for the rest of his life?

In America, that's a relatively simple question: if you're a convicted Al-Qaeda or ISIS operative, you're led to a small cold foreboding window-less cell and you don't come out again. Ever.

Well not back into society, anyway.

That's your punishment for deciding to align yourself with the worst terror groups in modern history - responsible for mass murder and carnage on a grotesque, heinous scale.

Americans take the view that if you're part of an organization that beheads aid workers, throws gay people off roofs, sets victims on fire in cages, or flies planes in to sky-scrapers, then you're unlikely to rehabilitate to an extent where you can be trusted not to carry on doing such diabolical things.

But in Britain, we take a rather different approach.

If you're a convicted Al-Qaeda terrorist in my country, then you get to walk free after just eight years, without anyone even bothering to check if you're still dangerous.

Sounds insane, right? Well that's because it IS insane.

And to illustrate just how insane it is, the Al-Qaeda terrorist I am referring to committed an appalling act of terror in London last Friday, murdering two brilliant young Cambridge-educated people in their 20s, and wounding three others, during a violent rampage that only ended when heroic members of the public stopped him with a fire extinguisher, whale tusk and their fists before police arrived to shoot him dead.

The horrifying attack came less than a year after the terrorist was released.

And by cruel irony, his victims were trying to help ex-prisoners like him at a rehabilitation conference when he mercilessly stabbed them to death.

The murderer was a man named Usman Khan. And it's worth examining exactly who he was and what he did prior to his deadly attack.

Khan was a British-born son of Pakistani immigrants.

When he was just 14, he used to walk around his school, Haywood High in Stoke-on-Trent with a photo of Osama Bin Laden attached to the front of his exercise book, and he was spotted laughing at videos of the 9/11 attacks in a café.

Later, he began preaching Islamic extremism on the streets, on behalf of infamous hate preacher Anjem Choudary's banned terror group al-Muhajiroun.

Khan, who called himself Abu Saif, was photographed waving an Al Qaeda flag as he ranted into a megaphone. He distributed disturbing extremist literature until it attracted the attention of anti-terror cops who raided his family's home when he was 17.  'I ain't no terrorist,' he insisted.

And the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to press criminal charges due to lack of hard evidence that he was.

An emboldened Khan vowed: 'We are going to carry on until the last breath, because we believe this to be true.'

He spoke at a conference about why Britain should adopt Sharia law and campaigned to stage a march through a military town where British soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan were honored.

Khan became a member of Islam4UK, another of Choudary's banned extremist groups, which led to security services launching a second covert surveillance operation against him in 2010.

And that's when his real nefarious intent was uncovered.

Bugs installed in his home recorded Khan talking how to make a pipe bomb after seeing a 'recipe' in an Al Qaeda magazine. He was heard calling non-Muslims 'dogs' - and talking about buying weapons and attacking pubs and clubs with explosives.

He and two other jihadists from Stoke made contact with other extremists in London and Wales, and the nine of them met up to discuss how to train terrorists in a camp, embark on letter-bomb campaigns, blow up civilians, and attack targets including London's Stock Exchange, the US embassy in London and Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

When they were arrested, Khan pled guilty to planning a terror camp, advised he would get a reduction in sentence by doing so.

At his trial, the judge singled Khan out from the others. Justice Wilkie, sentencing him to just 16 years in prison, wrote that Khan's 'ability to act on a strategic level' and to plan terror attacks meant he should only be released if and when a parole board was convinced he was no longer a threat.

Wilkie warned that the nine jihadis, including Khan, 'would remain, even after a lengthy term of imprisonment, of such a significant risk that the public could not be adequately protected by their being managed on license in the community.'

Yet just eight years later, Khan was released on license into the community.

How the hell did this happen? It started when the cunning terrorist began playing the deradicalized card immediately he was imprisoned.

'I don't carry the views before my arrest,' he said, 'and can prove at the time I was immature, and now want to live my life as a good Muslim and a good citizen of Britain.'

His strategy worked, and a year later, three Appeal Court judges led by Sir Brian Leveson inexplicably concluded it was wrong for him to have received such a 'tough' indeterminate sentence and gave him a determinate one instead that meant he would automatically be released after eight years.

So, last December, Khan was let out of prison without any formal assessment of his potential risk. He was just electronically tagged and ordered to report twice weekly to a parole officer.

He was able to hoodwink everyone into believing he was a changed man, even joining Learning Together, a program run by Cambridge University, that rehabilitates prisoners. And it was at their conference on Friday that he carried out his barbaric attack. Khan had been given a day-release to attend the event without any escort.

His victims, Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were two young people working with the ex-cons that day who cared passionately about criminal justice.

'Jack was an intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic person (who) lived by his principles,' said his family.

'Saskia was a funny, kind, positive influence... and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people,' said her family.

My heart breaks for them both and their poor families.

I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child in such disgusting circumstances.

Although actually, I can. Imagine hearing your child had been stabbed to death by a convicted Al Qaeda terrorist who'd served just eight years in prison and not even seen a parole board before his release to properly assess his current danger levels?

The British justice system is a hot, shameful mess.

The prisons are over-crowded and woefully under-staffed.

The probation service is also creaking at the seams and totally incapable of keeping up with all the serious criminals they are charged with keeping an eye on.

Police numbers have been drastically and disastrously slashed in recent years.

And supine politicians who predictably raced to score cheap, petty and utterly insensitive points against each other after Friday's attack, have all conspired to substantially reduce our capacity to defend the country from murderous jihadists.

As I write this column, there are 73 other convicted terrorists who've been released early back onto the streets of Britain. One of them was re-arrested after the London Bridge attack because police found new evidence he may be planning a terror attack.

Another 400 battle-scarred Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters have returned from war zones like Iraq and Syria to also freely roam around.

And police estimate there may be a further 20,000 jihadists in Britain, brainwashed and radicalized.

Who are they?

Where are they?

What danger do they pose?

The most shocking and disturbing thing about those questions is that the authorities don't seem to really know.

What we do know is that releasing Usman Khan after just eight years proved to be a bloody fiasco.

And it was always going to be a bloody fiasco.

As Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, said: 'Nobody apologizes for the fact the liberal elite have given us a ridiculous sentencing system. I don't care if you were in prison for six years or 12 years, if you have committed mass murder or planned to commit mass murder, you are not just an ordinary criminal, you have got the virus of jihadism. I don't think these people should ever be let out of prison unless we are absolutely convinced they do not have a jihadi virus. But political correctness stops us doing that.'

I agree with him.

It's not like we don't already do this for some violent offenders.

There are currently 74 prisoners in Britain who've been given 'whole life' sentences, meaning they will never come out.

They include serial killers like Peter 'Yorkshire Ripper' Sutcliffe, murderous pedophiles, and a far-right fanatic named Thomas Mair who assassinated female Member of Parliament Jo Cox in 2016.

Yet extraordinarily, Usman Khan and his Al Qaeda mates were not deemed to be in that category. They'd only plotted to commit mass murder, to train terrorists, to assassinate politicians, to kill and main civilians in pubs and clubs – and were caught before they got the chance to do any of it.

So Khan gets out after eight years, and of course, then gets the chance to do what he had craved for many years. It's an absolute disgrace that he was released.

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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Tuesday, December 03, 2019


Starbucks FIRES barista who printed the word 'Pig' on the cups of five Oklahoma police officers working on Thanksgiving

On Thursday an officer with the Kiefer Police Department did a Starbucks run for emergency dispatchers working on the holiday and was shocked to find the word 'PIG' printed on the labels for all five drink orders.

The officer reported the labels to Police Chief Johnny O'Mara, who shared a picture of one of the offensive coffee cups on Facebook, where the incident went viral and led to public outrage.

Following the incident the officer who did the Starbucks run says the barista behind the 'Pig' label contacted him and apologized, saying the label was meant to be a joke.

Starbucks issued a company wide apology as well condemning the label and announcing that the barista was fired.

'The Starbucks partner who wrote this offensive word on a cup used poor judgement and is no longer a partner after this violation of company policy,' the company said Friday.

'This is absolutely unacceptable and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this. We have also apologized directly to him and we are working to connect with the police chief as well as to express our remorse,' Starbucks said in a statement.

'This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe,' the statement added.

Police Chief O'Mara was on vacation when the officer called to flag the 'Pig' labels. O'Mara then called the Starbucks location to demand an apology and the Glenpool store manager offered to reprint the cups, but it wasn't enough for O'Mara.

He shared pictures of the cups on Facebook saying: 'So... one of my on-duty officers decides to do something nice for our dispatchers.

'It's Thanksgiving Day; our dispatchers are under appreciated as it is. My officer goes to Starbucks to get the dispatchers coffee as a thank you for all they do (especially when they're working a holiday.)'

'What irks me is the absolute and total disrespect for a police officer who, instead of being home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game, is patrolling his little town.'

'As a side note, I called the store and was told they'd be happy to 'replace the coffee with a correct label.' The proverb 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me' came to mind.

'Thank you, first responders, for risking it all this Thanksgiving away from your families.

As a result of the spat, Starbucks and the Kiefer Police Department plan to host a 'Coffee with a Cop' event where local law enforcement can meet with baristas and members of the community to discuss the role that dispatchers and officers play in keeping the city safe.

Kiefer is a small town with a population of less than 2,000 located about 20 miles south of Tulsa.

SOURCE






Congress warns E.U. against ‘Warning Labels’ for Jewish-made products
Nazism revived

Leading lawmakers in Congress are warning the European Union that issuing a mandate that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel carry consumer warning labels could trigger American anti-boycott laws and jeopardize U.S. trade with Europe.

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) is expected to issue an opinion this week on a long-running case brought by an Israeli winery challenging a requirement that Israeli-made products be labeled as coming from "settlements" and "Israeli colonies."

The decision is expected to be issued early Tuesday and follows a recent opinion by the E.U. court's advocate general stipulating that European law requires these Jewish-made products to be labeled. Critics said the law is reminiscent of Nazi-era boycotts of Jewish products and have viewed such requirements as a win for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

Ahead of the decision, Senator Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) petitioned E.U. ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis to raise concerns about a potential ruling in favor of the warning labels and said it could create policy tension with the United States.

Senators Benjamin Cardin (D., Md.) and Rob Portman (R., Ohio) sent a similar letter to U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer expressing concerns that the ruling holds Israel to a standard no other country is subjected to.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D., Calif.) sent a letter to U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland warning that the ruling would lead to discrimination against Israel.

The lawmakers also said such a ruling could trigger multiple U.S. anti-boycott laws and damage the nearly $1.3 trillion in trade between America and the E.U.

"The regulation in question is problematic for a number of reasons, including because it targets specific businesses based on the ethnicity and national origin of their owners," Menendez wrote in the letter he sent to Lambrinidis.

Menendez described the pro-BDS effort as an act of discrimination against Israel and Jews and said the ruling could open a "Pandora's Box" of labeling litigation.

"I am deeply concerned that if the CJEU decision empowers the EU to require or allow its Member States to label Israeli and Palestinian products in the manner proposed, it will allow and encourage the politicization of EU rules of origin labeling with potential adverse unintended consequences, including by opening the door to near-unlimited use of ‘ethical considerations' in food labeling which would enable Member State protectionism and nationalism, and be unhelpful for the EU single market," Menendez wrote.

"Additionally, it could facilitate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics and de facto boycotts and discrimination against Israel, and its products, and potentially lead to discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion and nationality, contrary to existing EU policies and laws against BDS campaigns, Israel boycotts and discrimination," the letter states.

The lawmakers warn that if American anti-boycott laws are triggered by the decision, it will elevate tensions between the United States and E.U.

"If these unfair requirements are mandated or allowed by the CJEU, European countries would be forced to choose whether to single out the world's only Jewish state for distinct, defamatory treatment, and thereby create policy tensions with the United States, or to continue to delay implementation while finding an appropriate approach," Menendez wrote in a letter that strikes a similar tone to the other congressional missives.

A decision mandating the labeling of Jewish goods also would be seen as an effort by the E.U. to interfere in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"The U.S. Federal Government and many U.S. states have enacted strong anti-boycott provisions that impose severe penalties and restrictions on companies that participate in boycotts or other economic pressure campaigns against Israel," Menendez wrote. "If the CJEU decision empowers the EU to mandate or allow Member States to implement such labels which target Israeli businesses and exports there will be serious and far-reaching implications and unintended consequences."

SOURCE






New York Law Forces Abortion Orthodoxy on Pro-Life Employers, Even Churches

A New York law would force abortion orthodoxy on pro-life employers, including crisis pregnancy centers and churches. The law would undermine the very reason many pro-life centers exist — to prevent abortion and protect the lives of the unborn. Two pregnancy center groups and a church have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the law from going into effect.

Early this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) signed SB 660, the so-called "Boss Bill," which prohibits New York employers from firing, demoting, or taking other action against employees based on "reproductive health decision making." The law also bans any "waiver" or code of conduct preventing an employee from making "reproductive health care decisions" — code for getting an abortion. Finally, the bill requires employers to cite this law in any employee handbook and allows employees to sue if this "right" is infringed.

Curiously, Cuomo signed the bill with little fanfare. His office did not even put out a press release related to the bill on the date of the signing (November 8), despite many press releases on funding for an animal shelter, a vaping investigation, and a new engineering facility. In January, by contrast, Cuomo signed New York's radical abortion bill with great fanfare, including lighting up the One World Trade Center in pink.

Less than a week after Cuomo signed the bill, three pro-life organizations filed a lawsuit to prevent it from going into effect. CompassCare Pregnancy Services, a pro-life pregnancy care center in Rochester, teamed up with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a pregnancy center membership organization with 41 member centers in New York, and First Bible Baptist Church located in Hilton.

According to the lawsuit, "SB 660 intentionally and by design sacrifices the associational, speech, and religious freedom of employers in New York State—including religious non-profits, churches, and schools— to the government’s desire to promote abortion rights by gutting the ability of pro-life employers to hire to their pro-life missions."

Denise Harle, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents the plaintiffs, explained the dangers of the Boss Bill in a New York Post op-ed.

"The Boss Bill tells employers they have to be willing to employ people whose beliefs and behavior as to 'reproductive-health decisions' run counter to their own," she wrote. "That’s bad enough if you run a family-owned restaurant. It is intolerable if you run a church, a Catholic school or a pregnancy care center — and now are required by your own state government to hire people who have no ­respect for your faith and who ­oppose your pro-life convictions."

It would be bad enough if the government were merely requiring pro-life employers to hire women who had abortions or support abortion. Yet since the bill does not bother to define "reproductive health decision making," Harle argued that it may restrict employers' ability to set rules on a whole host of complex moral and sexual issues, such as "sexual conduct, procreation, pregnancy, contraception, surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization or sexually transmitted disease."

"Under SB 660, an employer can’t even require workers to sign a code of moral conduct. Adding insult to injury, employers are forced to ­include these reproductive-health rights in their employee handbooks — effectively compelling them to communicate the government’s ideological message," she lamented.

Indeed, the Boss Bill was first introduced to combat the religious freedom of employers like Hobby Lobby to refuse to pay for certain kinds of contraceptives for their employees. State Senator Jennifer Metzger drafted the bill after the Supreme Court struck down the Obamacare contraceptive mandate in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014). She condemned that decision as a "dangerous, slippery slope."

In remarks this past January, Metzger condemned the "over 100 lawsuits ... filed by employers determined to deny workers coverage of reproductive health services and products based on the employer's own personal and political beliefs." She explained that "the Boss Bill seeks to prevent this further encroachment by employers into the private decisions of employees."

Yet Hobby Lobby had good reason to oppose the specific kinds of contraception the company refused to pay for. Hobby Lobby did not refuse to provide any contraception, but only the forms of contraception that arguably constitute abortion.

"Further proof of SB 660’s stark animus toward, and its intentional targeting of, religion is provided by the complete absence of any religious exemptions, even for churches," the lawsuit claims.

Tragically, this is not the first case in which NIFLA fought a law forcing crisis pregnancy centers to support abortion. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a California law mandating that these pro-life centers must advertise abortion. In NIFLA v. Becerra, the Court ruled that the law "imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill [the centers'] protected speech."

In both California and New York, liberal states passed laws quashing dissent on abortion following Planned Parenthood's playbook.

Abortion advocates argue that crisis pregnancy centers are not real clinics, and therefore they must advertise for abortion clinics. They also claim that employers should never be able to fire employees for getting abortions or advocating for abortion, even if the employees work at companies that exist to save unborn babies from abortion. These amount to quasi-religious tests forcing pro-life centers to violate the very reason for their existence.

The Constitution protects free speech, religious freedom, and free association for all people, religious and secular alike. The Supreme Court rulings in the Hobby Lobby and NIFLA cases suggest the Boss Bill should lose in court, but abortion advocates will continue to push legislation like this. Both the LGBT and abortion movements are targeting religious freedom to force their views on those who disagree.

SOURCE





From farms and coal mines to airports and water supplies: How China is buying up millions of acres of land, vital infrastructure and companies - as part of its 'disturbing' plan to exert greater influence and control over Australia

This is just racist paranoia. China is not particularly targeting Australia.  It is buying up assets wherever it can worldwide.  And what harm is there in it?  China can't just pick up Australian farms and take them back to China.  And if they don't manage their assets commercially, they will send them broke, which is hardly what they would want.  They are in the business of acquiring assets, not destroying them.

So why the worldwide buying frenzy?  It's simple.  They may be communists but they are following orthodox Western economics.  Most economists are freaked by the huge issue of new American dollars that began under Obama and is continuing under Trump.  Such actions normally lead to inflation and in a sense MUST lead to inflation.   The inflation has been inexplicably delayed but the longer the unfunded spending  goes on the more likely it becomes. And inflation means that any greenbhacks you possess become steadily worthless.

So what would you do if you owned a trillion of such unsafe greenbacks?  China sells so much to America that they have earned greenbacks by the billion.  But just saving it is out of the question.  Even the banks don't do that.  They lend it out. The bubble  in the value of the dollar could burst any time and leave China with nothing in return for all the stuff they have sent to Amerrica.  So they need to spend it NOW while they can get worthwhile things with it -- things that will tend to retain their value.

They have been doing it for years. They put their trust in real things, not bits of printed paper.  So they told their millions of keen businessmen to buy overseas and their government would give them the dollars.  And they really ramped that up in the Obama years.  And they mostly like what they have got: Assets with  both a future and a present that will be a reliable store of value.

So why is Trump continuing the Obama excess?  Because he can.  He has a distinguished economics degree so he can analyse the situation for himself.  And he obviously thinks he can use the bubble while it lasts.  Just printing money instead of raising it in taxes has a lot of appeal to any politician.  Conservative econmists are squawking but Trump is ahead of them.  Just look at how he has revitalized the economy



China is buying up Australian land, infrastructure and businesses at an alarming rate as it seeks to project power and influence beyond its shores.

The communist nation of 1.4billion people owns an airport in Western Australia, nine million hectares of Australian land, several Aussie coalmines and wind farms and even the Port of Darwin, a key strategic asset.

China is also the largest foreign owner of Australian water and has projected soft power Down Under by planting Communist Party-approved Mandarin teachers in schools and universities.

Last week 'disturbing' stories emerged that China tried to install a spy as a federal MP - and it is also suspected of carrying out major cyber attacks on Parliament.

In November 2015, the Northern Territory government decided to lease the Port of Darwin - now known as Darwin Port - to a Chinese company for 99 years.

Landbridge Australia, a subsidiary of Shandong Landbridge, won the lease with its bid of $506 million.

The territory's Country Liberal Party government decided to lease the port - a key strategic asset because of its location at the top of the country - because it was desperate for investment in the absence of federal funds.

Executive director of the Australia Defence Association (ADA), Neil James, called the leasing of the base a 'seriously dumb idea'. And Labor MP Nick Champion called for the lease to be scrapped so the port can be returned to Australian control.

Land

China is the second largest foreign owner of land in Australia with Chinese companies in control of 2.3 per cent of the nation's soil.

Investors from the the United Kingdom own more with 2.6 per cent and buyers from the US are third with 0.7 per cent, according to the 2018 Register Of Foreign Ownership.

Most of the foreign-owned land is in Western Australia and the Northern Territory and is used for cattle farming. 

When the land register report was released in December, federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that foreign investment was important for growth.

But he also warned: 'It is important to ensure that foreign investment is not contrary to the national interest'.

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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Monday, December 02, 2019


Cancel Culture Hypocrites on Left and Right

Michelle Malkin

Cancel culture is metastasizing. No one is safe anymore, including yours truly.

On Tuesday afternoon, I was informed that Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, had pulled the plug on my book discussion of "Open Borders Inc." with the Center for Immigration Studies' Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan. The event had been scheduled for this Friday and co-hosts from Bostonians Against Sanctuary Cities were expecting a crowd of about 300 people.

University officials gave pale excuses for the last-minute cancellation, citing local organizers' request for an audio box to accommodate media outlets. Anti-sanctuary activist Lou Murray condemned the decision as "malarkey," vowing that "the show must and will go on." The Bentley University administrators who squelched our open discussion of who's subsidizing and profiting on the mass migration agenda, Murray said, "are the new politically correct Puritans. I thought 'Banned in Boston' died long ago." Liberal opponents of book burning change their tune when the book topics don't fit their narratives.

This isn't the first time that immigration enforcement advocates have been targeted in the Bay State. In 2017, Vaughan's talk on sanctuary policies at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Franklin, Massachusetts, was canceled after a vehement protest by left-wing illegal immigration supporters recycled the Southern Poverty Law Center's smear that CIS is a "hate group." Vaughan is scheduled to speak next week at a community center in Sharon, Massachusetts. Protesters are already organizing online to disrupt the event.

Marginalizing all champions of secure borders and sovereignty as "haters" is SPLC's bread and butter. Even after its hate-manufacturing character assassins have been discredited as poverty palace scam artists by liberal journalists, the group succeeds in executing attacks on political opponents through willing and able media surrogates. The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, PBS and MSNBC have all regurgitated SPLC's release of leaked emails between senior White House adviser Stephen Miller and a former editor for the conservative Breitbart website. Miller, who is Jewish, has been attacked repeatedly as a "white nationalist" for recommending immigration restrictionist books and websites that the powers that be don't want anyone to read. Miller's frank discussions of "demographic Armageddon" wrought by mass, uncontrolled migration have been deemed beyond the pale. Unhinged Sen. Mazie Hirono called on Miller to resign.

But math doesn't lie. The unrelenting numbers of amnestied illegal immigrants, guest workers, foreign students and green card holders on a path to citizenship—who vote overwhelmingly, stubbornly and immutably Democratic—do indeed spell doom. This week, both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times reported on the obvious electoral impact of open borders on Virginia and California and the rest of the country, which will be majority-minority by 2045.

No one called on the journalists reporting the facts to be fired or smeared them as "conspiracy theorists." When I delivered the same message on Fox News two months upon my book launch, however, globalist billionaire George Soros's lying henchmen at Media Matters compared me to the Tree of Life synagogue shooter and hurled "anti-Semite" epithets at me. More recently, when I defended conservative nationalist students who confronted establishment GOP representatives at campus events held by Turning Point USA and the Young America's Foundation with serious questions about the detrimental consequences of mass migration, the Keepers of the Gate called on me to be de-platformed and cast out of the conservative "mainstream."

After delivering two speeches at Lock Haven University and UCLA on the important battle between grassroots "America first" activists and big business , open borders Republicans, YAF issued a statement this weekend, asserting: "There is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists."

Yes, my friends, they were talking about me.

Both the open borders left and right don't want to address immigration-induced demographics. They just want to demagogue, while joining together in D.C. to push expanded guest-worker pipelines (S.B. 386), agribusiness amnesties (H.R. 4916), and massive "Dreamer" work permits (H.R. 6). Employing the very witch hunt tactics of the left that so many conservative pundits purport to abhor, YAF and others (including Jonah Goldberg, David French, various snot-nosed libertarians from the Washington Examiner and elsewhere) demand that I disavow the young nationalist disrupters who have captured social media attention over the past three weeks. Don't rely on slanted summaries of what they've said and done. Go to the original sources, as I have done in communicating with many of these earnest students who think for themselves.

Because I named their chief strategist and organizer, 21-year-old YouTube show host Nick Fuentes [Tweet him] I was accused of promoting "Holocaust denialism" and "white nationalism" based on brief clips of Fuentes accumulated by anonymous sources culled from 500 of his hours-long shows. I have done no such thing. The rabid reaction pearl-clutching Beltway elites are having to a kid in his basement exposes how desperate they are to protect the "America last" racket.

Several of the establishment conservatives now smearing America-firsters have themselves espoused identitarian ideas and ethnic nationalism of one flavor or another. But because they are controlled opposition, they are safe.

The only thing I disavow is the hypocritical disavowal mob on both sides of the aisle. I cancel you.

SOURCE 





Slavery? we were a footnote

Liberals are trying to rewrite American history, teaching our children that the only thing that ever happened here–until they came along a year or two ago!–was slavery. The New York Times’s 1619 Project, which is being enthusiastically adopted by the nation’s public schools, is the culmination of years of left-wing propaganda. The liberals’ task is made easier by the fact that world history is mostly terra incognita to America’s young people. Thus, there is little fear of anyone putting American slavery into a global, historical context. But let’s do it anyway.

Slavery has existed since time immemorial on every continent except Antarctica, as Thomas Sowell wrote years ago. An estimated one-third to one-half of the inhabitants of the Roman empire, for example, were slaves. For more than 1,000 years, slaves (few of them Africans) were one of the basic commodities of trade across most of the world. But let’s focus specifically on African slavery.

Sub-Saharan Africa had a slave economy long before Europeans came along. But the external African slave trade of the early modern era had two basic components: Eastern and Western. The Eastern slave trade went to Arab countries. For a long time, the Arabs bought or captured European slaves, but when that supply dried up, they turned to Africa. Numbers are hard to come by–weirdly, the Arab slave trade hasn’t been as widely studied as the Western trade–but this source estimates that 17 million East Africans were sold into slavery in Islamic countries. If that number is correct, the Eastern slave trade was considerably larger than the Western.

To my knowledge, the best data source on the Western, or trans-Atlantic, slave trade is the Trans-Atlantic and Intra-American slave trade database, which is a product of the Emory University Center for Digital Scholarship, the University of California at Irvine, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This chart, from that source, shows how many slaves disembarked at various locations between 1501 and 1875.

The database shows a total of 10,702,654 slaves transported in the Atlantic trade. Of those, only 388,747 arrived in mainland North America, what became the United States–3.6% of the total in the trans-Atlantic trade, and well under 2% of the total slaves exported from Africa. Trans-Atlantic slaves went primarily to Brazil and the Caribbean. Portuguese Brazil imported more than 12 times as many slaves as North America. Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. Meanwhile, importation of slaves into what became the U.S. declined dramatically beginning in 1776 and terminated in 1807, pursuant to the Constitution, although a few were imported illegally thereafter.

This graphic, from the same source, shows the magnitude of the Atlantic slave trade to various regions. You can easily see what a minor factor the North American colonies and, in the final stage, the United States were:

Does this mean that slavery, here or elsewhere, was A-OK? Of course not. Through all of human history, slavery has been a horror. But virtually no one seriously opposed slavery in principle (as opposed to hoping that his own group would not be enslaved) until the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when Christians in England and America, with a powerful assist from Jews, argued for the first time that slavery was wrong per se. Thereafter, the British Navy played the lead role in suppressing the slave trade. I am going from memory, but I believe the last time a British war ship chased an Arab slave trader off the coast of East Africa was in 1902. And the Arab slave trade, and slavery in Arab countries, continued long after that–in fact, to this day.

Here in the U.S., the Republican Party was founded principally to combat slavery, which the Democratic Party fought bitterly to preserve. After the loss of 600,000 lives–far more than the number of African slaves who were brought to the colonies, although of course others were born here–abolition was achieved. When I was growing up, the abolition of slavery was justly celebrated in America’s public schools. Teachers in those days had a better grasp of history. Today, American children are being force-fed an ahistorical narrative in which America is somehow responsible for the entire phenomenon of African slavery, which extends back into pre-history and in which we have played a minor role.

By such lies do leftists seek to undermine our country. We shouldn’t let them get away with it. When it comes to slavery, America, along with Great Britain, is on the side of the angels. As is manifested by the fact that most Africans have come to the U.S. not as slaves, but rather voluntarily as immigrants, seeking freedom and a more prosperous life.

SOURCE  (See the original for links and graphics)






Hallmark Channel Under Assault by Race Hustlers and LGBTQ Cult, 'Too White'

Every Christmas season, it appears we have to endure listening to the race hustlers and the gay patrol complain about the one channel left in America that does not partake in envelope-pushing. The Hallmark channel really is the last known entertainment that does not engage in the culture wars by pushing "diversity" for the sake of pleasing the agitators and instead focuses on its demographics; white moms and grandmas. But these days, being white and enjoying things white people like is a cause for concern and mockery. I'm white, and a mom, and Hallmark doesn't particularly appeal to me except in the sense that I know I can turn it on and not be concerned that my children will be exposed to clown world morality that is on every other channel. It's safe.

The Hollywood Reporter penned an article called "Hallmark Channel Struggles to Give Diversity a Home For the Holidays." In it, author Lesley Goldberg takes aim at white people liking to watch other white people as if it's some kind of mortal sin. "While other networks are viewing the holidays with an eye toward inclusion, Hallmark is delivering the dream of a white Christmas, just like the one's audiences used to know." I doubt Goldberg would ever complain about the lack of diversity on Black Entertainment Television (which, by the way, I happen to think is a great idea and caters to a specific audience that likes what they do. What a concept!)

As bad as the acting generally is on the Hallmark channel, the stories are blissfully devoid of any toxic cultural stew pushing politics with every line. There was a time in America where television censors would never allow any sex scenes as graphic as what you would see on Cinemax after dark but today it's old hat to have to watch people groaning and panting (and swearing) at 7 pm on NBC. It's gross. As a result, I've given up cable and only subscribe to online services with access to movies and shows the cultural elites now call "unwatchable." I've completely lost the desire to watch any new programming.

In an article from 2017 in the Walrus entitled "The Unwatchable Whiteness of Holiday Movies," Hallmark fans give reasonable explanations for why they like the channel.

“It’s clean and I just don’t enjoy cussing,” a Georgia grandma told E! News in October. The sentiment was echoed by a North Carolina senior who said, “There is no profanity nor any offensive sex acts in any movie I have ever seen.” A middle-aged Minnesotan added, “There are no politics, there is no crime, no hate, no war.”
But in a culture that values offensive sex acts, profanity, and violence overall, the Hallmark channel is doomed. The diversity activists will never be satisfied until everything white people like is canceled, including white people themselves. And they will eventually get their wish because white people in America will become a minority in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, however, whites are still the majority population. Even so, if that majority wants to watch entertainment that represents them or doesn't include a constant assault on morality and decency, they're relegated to one cheesy channel that plays nothing but sappy Christmas movies most of the year. But when the social justice soldiers get done with Hallmark, they won't even have that.

The sustained campaign against the Hallmark channel will work, as illustrated with the channel's CEO, Bill Abbot, signaling that they are open to gay stories. It's only a matter of time until the panting and groaning comes to Hallmark. "While the film and TV industries, among others, are embracing inclusion onscreen, in the executive ranks and among writers, producers and directors, Abbott says Hallmark is 'open' to doing any type of movie — including with gay leads (which it currently lacks, too)," says Goldberg.

This leads me to believe that Hallmark is not interested in pleasing its base of "moms and grandmas" and will instead try to please the outrage mob that doesn't watch their channel. That reminds me of the current Chick-fil-A controversy where after years of standing up to the agitating gay mob, it caved to please people who don't patronize their business. Get woke, go broke, the saying goes. It remains to be seen whether there will be a financial hit to the companies who go to the dark side capitulating to protesters instead of customers. Gillette didn't do so well but still seems to be sticking with their new corporate policy of bending over for clown culture, ranting against toxic masculinity. Perhaps these companies don't want profits. Perhaps the people directing these boards are more invested in shifting our culture leftward, profits be damned.

All I know is that I don't care if Hallmark gets woke. It's terrible writing anyway. I have an entire library of classic movies starring Cary Grant and Maureen O'Hara and Dorris Day to enjoy whenever I want. The censors can't stop the signal now that everything is digital. If nothing worthwhile ever gets made going forward, we will always have old Hollywood, and that's more than enough for me.

SOURCE 





Unchecked rise of democracy deniers

Comment from Australia

They simply will not learn. They refuse to admit error, concede defeat or offer the crucial loser’s consent on which democracy hinges. Political opposition and public protest are fundamental in democracy. But there is a balance to be struck between such rights and the will of the majority as exercised through the ballot box.

That balance is out of kilter now. There are phonies in parliament, on campuses, all over social media and spewing erroneous groupthink from our public broadcasters. When facts don’t suit or reality confounds them, they console each other in the carefully constructed safe zones of university seminars or public radio forums. This cohort, for all its errors and misjudgments, dominates the public discussion; largely because of the heft of the taxpayer-funded media, university and quango sectors. They dominate now just as they did before this year’s election, before Don­ald Trump won and before Brexit.

On the ABC’s Insiders last week all three panellists agreed with the assertion Malcolm Turnbull had put forward that he would have won the election. Could they make such assessments if they understood what had transpired at the polls?

Having misjudged the electoral dynamic, you would expect a recalibration of perspectives might be unavoidable. Perhaps there would be a realisation from the media/political class that they had over-estimated the public appetite for climate action, underestimated resistance to increased taxation or missed anxiety about a return to ambivalent border security.

But no. There are no lessons. The ideological and policy settings of the media/political class remain unadjusted. They wander right up to the cheese again, take another bite, and get jolted again by the electoral shock.

They are the democracy deniers. Their version of public debate is one of virtual reality; their views are constantly reaffirmed, it is only the voters who get it wrong. For VR goggles, they can blinker themselves by watching the ABC, perhaps SBS for variety, reading Guardian Australia and discussing events at the Wheeler Centre or on Q&A.

The real world is kept at bay. When elections confound them, as conservative victories invari­ably do, they can blame strangers from the suburbs and the regions, demonise the barbarians at the commercial end of the broadcast spectrum or invoke that hardy perennial of the defeated leftist, the Murdoch conspiracy theory (as we have heard from Turnbull, Kevin Rudd and others). Anything but confront the truth. Ultimately this is futile, as Winston Churchill suggested: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

So, at the May election the Coali­tion picked up an extra seat, won more than 41 per cent of the primary vote and generated a 1 per cent swing towards it on a two-party-preferred basis, crushing Labor’s 33 per cent primary vote and snaring another term of government. Given the damage the government had inflicted on itself over the term, and the fracturing of the right-of-centre vote by One Nation and Clive Palmer, this result is full of foreboding for Labor. It is understandable that this would disappoint and dismay many people. But it is fundamental that they accept it.

Denial started on day one. The Ten Network’s Lisa Wilkinson wrote a strained open letter to Scott Morrison, apparently not comprehending that many people, most in fact, felt the country had dodged a bullet.

“Prime Minister, you may have noticed we’re all feeling just a little broken right now — broken-hearted in fact, at how toxic the Australian body politic has become — and a return to basic civility in public discourse would be a great start to that healing,” she wrote, apparently not sensing that the Prime Minister’s mainstream views and the way he had weathered attacks based on his religion might have been seen as a repudiation of the green-left, Twitter-fuel­led politics of abuse.

After a fiercely contested “climate election” Wilkinson seemed to want the losing party’s policies to prevail: “We know, too, that the climate is sick and tired. And things are getting worse.”

The campaigning to ignore the election result and adopt the defeated green-left agenda has only escalated. Politicians, activists and journalists have exaggerated, embellished and fabricated climate hysteria to justify the kinds of extreme climate policies rejected at the election.

Extinction Rebellion protesters have superglued themselves to roadways in Brisbane, children have skipped school, and local and state government workers have been given time off to “strike” for the sorts of climate policies federal voters avoided.

The Senate has rejected union integrity measures taken to the election, and medivac laws, passed against the government’s wishes by a coalition of Greens, independents and Labor before the election, still may not be repealed despite the government’s renewed mandate and strong border security record. What would voters know?

Undeniably, Energy Minister Angus Taylor used grossly erron­eous figures in a charged letter to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. But given the letter was inconsequential and the figures were a misquote of the mayor’s own figures back to her, it is difficult to interpret the hysterical reaction from Labor and the media except as an exercise in retaliation: Taylor must be punished for winning a climate election.

Anthony Albanese, Greens leader Richard Di Natale, Turnbull and Australian Republic Movement chairman Peter FitzSimons pushed this week to rid our Constitution of the monarchy — as if voters had not just passed judgment on Labor, and its election promise of another republic referendum within three years.

Labor went to the election criticising the Coalition’s economic plans and promising remedies that included almost $400bn in additional tax revenue. Yet to abandon those tax grabs, it still critiques the Coalition’s economic management but proposes additional fiscal stimulus now.

It all smacks of an election result denied. It replicates the politics of the US and Britain, where not for a single moment have members of the media/political class accepted the will of the people as expressed through the election of Trump or the referendum vote for Brexit.

In this manifestation of democracy denial by the green left, elections are reduced to markers that deliver no lessons and in which the losers refuse to concede a point. Opposition merely morphs, through electoral rejection, into resistance.

Sure, we recognise the checks and balances. In Australia we have a bicameral system in which the government, typically, does not carry a majority in the Senate.

A narrow election win does not mean a government rules unencumbered. But for democracy to operate effectively, people such as Wilkinson and her fellow travellers must comprehend some sense of mandate. There must be some element of loser’s consent. Instead we see loser’s bitterness and loser’s revenge.

No party or individual should be expected to surrender their entire agenda because of electoral admonishment. But somewhere a lesson must be learned; the will of the voters must endorse or reject something.

Otherwise what is an election other than a well-funded and formulaic phase in a perpetual saga of toxic politicking? Besides, mainstream voters will not change their minds based on the bloody-mindedness of Senate crossbenchers or Extinction Rebellion stunt masters, the agendas run by media or tub-thumping of protest parties such as the Greens.

For Labor, a party of government, there is a crucial balance to be struck between causing mischief and learning lessons, between accepting democracy and standing on principle, between advocating an agenda and listening to constituents. Because if the will of the people is thwarted, disregarded and ignored between elections, voters might be more emphatic next time.

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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