Wednesday, June 26, 2019


No, McDonald’s Does Not Make You Obese

Hans Bader

I lost ten pounds in the summer that I worked at McDonald’s, eating there all the time. Yet, people try to blame fast-food restaurants for their obesity. It’s one of the “myths about fast food” discussed this week in The Washington Post.

As that newspaper notes, this myth was based on the claim that poor people are getting fat because, as noted “in the New York Times back in 2011, … ‘junk food is cheaper when measured by the calorie, and that makes it almost essential for the poor because they need cheap calories.’” Based on this perception, “the Los Angeles City Council in 2008 banned new fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles.”

But as The Post points out, “Studies and surveys show that fast food is most popular among upper-middle income brackets.” Indeed, “wealthier Americans – those earning $75,000 a year or more – are more likely to eat it at least weekly (51 per cent) than lower-income groups,” according to a 2013 Gallup survey. “Those earning the least are the least likely to eat fast food weekly – 39% of Americans earning less than $ 20,000 a year do so.”

Moreover, “regular restaurants aren’t appreciably healthier than fast-food joints,” according to a comprehensive 2015 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that compared fast food with full-service restaurants. And entrees at fast-food restaurants typically have fewer, not more, calories, than those at fast-casual restaurants.

In America, obese people have so far been unsuccessful in suing McDonald’s over their weight gain. But in Brazil, a judge in 2010 ordered McDonald’s to pay an overweight employee the equivalent of $17,500, after he gained 65 pounds over 12 years of working at the restaurant and eating its food for free. That was a truly strange ruling that disregarded the fat man’s personal responsibility for his eating habits.

While restricting fast-food restaurants in places like Los Angeles, government officials have sometimes subsidized sit-down restaurants whose food is no healthier. Pancakes with butter and syrup have less nutrition and more empty calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger. But the Obama administration used federal funds to subsidize the opening of an International House of Pancakes in Washington, D.C.

Critics often have an overly negative view of McDonald’s food. To appease them, McDonald’s altered the contents of its Happy Meals, replacing some of their french fries, which do contain some vitamin C, with prepackaged apple slices that contain essentially no natural vitamin C (they do contain artificially-added vitamin C).

But my daughter did not like the prepackaged slices. She said they tasted different from a fresh apple. Such prepackaged apple slices lose virtually all of their natural vitamin C in processing. Even a fresh apple has far less vitamin C than a potato. A potato contains 40 percent of your vitamin C needs for the day, compared to about 10 percent in an apple, or 20 percent for a typical order of french fries.

Potatoes are highly nutritious, yet many people harbor irrational prejudices against them. They have a lot more vitamin C, and at least as much potassium, as a banana. And a baked potato typically has only about 110 calories, similar to a banana.

Despite this fact, the Obama administration banned white potatoes from the federal WIC program in a 2009 regulation, a ban that was repealed in 2017 after policymakers realized that potatoes were a nutritious and economical food source.

In 2010, an NIH official foolishly urged an audience of parents to stock their refrigerators with apple sauce, as a way of ensuring that kids always have access to fruits and vegetables. She made this silly recommendation even though apple sauce has no vitamin C (unless vitamin C is artificially added to it, since an apple’s natural vitamin C is lost when it is processed into apple sauce).

SOURCE  






What the UK’s Orwellian Gender Policy Gets Wrong About Men and Women

The British government has adopted a concerning new policy regulating speech. The New York Times reports a new policy banning the use of “harmful” gender stereotypes in advertising—yes, private ads.

The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority announced last week that it will “ban ads that connect physical features with success in the romantic or social spheres; assign stereotypical personality traits to boys and girls, such as bravery for boys and tenderness for girls; suggest that new mothers should prioritize their looks or home cleanliness over their emotional health; and mock men for being bad at stereotypically ‘feminine’ tasks, such as vacuuming, washing clothes, or parenting.”

The new policy was developed after a report from the agency supposedly found that ads containing such stereotypes “can lead to unequal gender outcomes in public and private aspects of people’s lives.”

I’m not even sure how this could be quantified, but that’s the springboard for these gender-neutral regulations.

There are several issues to point out here.

First, this is a dangerous incursion on free speech. Admittedly, the U.K. has always lacked the same affinity for free speech that America has, so it’s not completely surprising the public would tolerate this regulation.

But second, there is a more important cultural issue at stake here, one that is also starting to circulate in the United States.

While we can all dismiss certain stereotypes as crass and unwarranted—for instance, that women are worse than men at driving—this policy drives at something deeper and more radical.

In banning a wide range of gender stereotypes, the British government presumes that boys and girls are essentially the same and that any notion of “male” and “female” career tendencies is inherently oppressive.

In the name of equality, the state is enforcing a policy of “sameness.”

It has essentially banned private companies from operating on the rational belief that men and women really are different, and that those differences factor into how men and women buy products.

In the name of equality, the state is enforcing a policy of “sameness.”
The Advertising Standards Authority has passed similar policies before. A few years ago, it hit Gucci hard for making ads with a model who looked “unhealthily thin,” to name just one example.

I can partially appreciate where this comes from.

As a woman who has seen advertisements of airbrushed women selling makeup or clothing, I know these ads can be misleading and even frustrating. Often these ads perpetuate false stereotypes that can be harmful to a woman’s self-esteem.

And yet, I don’t think a regulation against such stereotypes is the way to go. If people don’t like the ad, they should boycott the company.

But there is a difference between unhealthy stereotypes and ordinary stereotypes that might actually reflect reality. The U.K.’s new regulations ban the latter.

There is nothing wrong with stereotypes that generally reflect reality: Women tend to be drawn to careers with more nurturing aspects; men are often drawn to careers that utilize bravado—like construction or the military, or perhaps the STEM fields.

This doesn’t mean men can’t stay home with the kids or that a woman can’t be an engineer. That’s not the point.

The point is that, in general, there is a career divide that is largely driven by innate biology, not simply society’s expectations for men and women.

There is nothing wrong with stereotypes that generally reflect reality
We know this because in countries that have tried to engineer gender “equality,” like Sweden, there is still a gender divide.

In fact, Scandinavian countries now have lower levels of women entering STEM fields than other countries considered less egalitarian, like Albania and Algeria.

Many of the careers that men and women pursue—and the accompanying stereotypes—exist, and continue to exist, because men and women are naturally drawn to them.

For starters, it’s scientifically proven that men’s and women’s brains are different, and these differences contribute to how both function in different vocational fields.

Consider this piece in Stanford Medicine, which explores the difference:

Women excel in several measures of verbal ability—pretty much all of them, except for verbal analogies. Women’s reading comprehension and writing ability consistently exceed that of men, on average. They out­perform men in tests of fine-motor coordination and perceptual speed. They’re more adept at retrieving information from long-term memory.

Men, on average, can more easily juggle items in working memory. They have superior visuospatial skills: They’re better at visualizing what happens when a complicated two- or three-dimensional shape is rotated in space, at correctly determining angles from the horizontal, at tracking moving objects, and at aiming projectiles.

These are scientific facts. Men and women are different. To neutralize all advertisements that suggest as much—or worse, to flip reality on its head—might actually produce a feeling of shame among boys and girls, and men and women, for wanting to pursue the career that comes naturally to them.

The notion that men and women are wired the same, want the same things, and can do the same things at work or at home is one of the most dangerous myths animating the social-justice left today.

Not only are these things false, but male and female differences complement one another, helping men and women to accomplish equally important, yet often different tasks.

It’s a shame to see the British government bow the knee to political correctness and go into regulatory overdrive, banning stereotypical ads from the public.

This perpetuates the myth that men and women are biologically the same, and refuses to acknowledge that their propensity toward various vocations might just be due to those innate and incredible differences.

SOURCE  






Leftists have always lied about Auschwitz

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's rhetorical strategy descends from Stalin himself

Danusha V. Goska


Cesława Kwoka was a Polish Catholic girl who was murdered at the age of 14 in Auschwitz

On Monday, June 17, and again on Tuesday, June 18, freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that the "authoritarian and fascist" Trump administration "has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying." "Concentration camps are an institutionalized practice in the home of the free … a presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist."

I was a teenager the first time I visited Auschwitz. I grew up with one foot in New Jersey, and with one foot, through my parents' heartfelt stories, songs, recipes and reminiscences, in Poland and Slovakia. I met anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resisters, victims of torture and rape, all members of my own family, when I was fifteen. I sat around the table and watched my strong, resilient, subsistence farmer aunts' and uncles' faces melt with shame and terror as they recounted Nazi, and then Soviet, occupation. I watched my mother, a monument to strength and stoicism, cry when she heard, firsthand, of the fate of her beloved Jewish neighbor who had saved her from drowning in the River Nitra. She had long known he was among the millions. She had read of his fate in letters. Now back in her village for the first time since her departure as a child, she just couldn't take it when they told her to her face, as she stood in front of what used to be his home.

After the visit to Auschwitz, I met both survivors of the camp and Polish citizens who had hidden Jews in their homes. These rescuers radiated a quality I can't quite capture in words but I can say that sitting in front of them and listening to them speak was comparable, for me, to sitting in front of Yosemite's Half Dome. These Poles, senior citizens in Soviet-era rumpled clothing, who spoke few and humble words, not lush vocabulary out of any epic saga but rather monosyllabic words focused on how to dispose of human waste without detection or how to manage to cadge enough calories while living under a genocidal occupation, conveyed the aura of massive natural wonders. These rescuers' souls seemed to have outgrown their human flesh and have already transcended to the ageless, the mythic.

I grew up a child of immigrants, and, inevitably, I went on to be an immigrant myself, living and working in Africa, Asia, and Europe. I held my mother's hand as she died, seventy-two years after her forced migration to America, and I can say that she never got over the trauma of that passage. She told me about walking to school along railroad ties because the ties hurt her bare feet less than the gravel between the tracks. She was barefoot so the "cardboard" shoes she received from the "Poor Board" would not disintegrate in her walk to school. She told me about being beaten by a nun who spoke Slovak but wouldn't speak it to her because it was her job, as a child immigrant, to sink or swim. She told me about the first time she ate that most American of foods, peanut butter, out of a half empty jar encountered while foraging in a garbage dump.

So, yes, those of us familiar, even though handed-down stories from our elders about the Nazis, are also familiar with the burdens of immigration. This much we know. A decent person does not steal the vocabulary of one horror to discuss the discomforts and inconveniences, or even the heartbreaks and tragedies, of the other. As horrific as the black lung, the police chases, the incarceration, and the death all were, they were not those horrors as lived in Auschwitz, which was an experience so cursed you don't use the same vocabulary when speaking of the one about the other. You just do not do that. 

The term "concentration camp" existed before the Holocaust, and pre-Holocaust governments have set up what were called, at the time, concentration camps. During the 1899-1902 Boer War between Boers, or Dutch-speaking South Africans and the British Empire, the Empire drove Boers into concentration camps. Approximately 28,000 Boers, that is 25%, of Boers in these camps, and 10% of the overall Boer population, died of hunger and disease. Twenty thousand black South Africans also died.

No one objects to the use of the term "concentration camp" for discussion of the Boer War, or other pre-Holocaust atrocities. Why, then, do we express such revulsion when Ocasio-Cortez claims "concentration camp" to discuss facilities to house illegal immigrants?

The answer is obvious. The answer is history. In the same way that the word "apple" is heard differently in the post-Steve-Jobs world, the term "concentration camp" is heard differently in the post-Auschwitz world. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous. And to pretend otherwise is to camouflage a very real leftist agenda.

The left itself has a doctrine that should, if followed, obviate this lie. It's the doctrine of cultural appropriation. You do not take the cultural inheritance of another group and claim it as your own. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez knows about this doctrine. She was blasted for violating it on April 5, 2019, when giving a speech to Al Sharpton's National Action Network. Ocasio-Cortez, in an attempt to curry favor with her mostly African American audience, adopted a faux Ebonics rhythm and syntax. All leftist cultural appropriation stories are ridiculous; it's difficult to pick which is most exemplary of the trend. Perhaps Lena Dunham fretting over Oberlin college students' sushi consumption. Perhaps the height, or depth of cultural appropriation sermonizing took place after Keziah Daum, a Utah high school student, wore a Chinese-style dress to her prom and posted the photo on social media. In a frequently retweeted twitter post, Jeremy Lam accused 18-year-old Keziah Daum of colonizing Asians.

Since leftists preach against cultural appropriation, why are leftists now trying to appropriate the term "concentration camp" to talk about immigration? One of the most disturbing, and obvious, trends in today's Democratic Party is anti-Semitism. Not all Democrats are anti-Semites, but Congressional Democrats surrendered to the anti-Semites in their midst when, on March 7, 2019, they failed to sanction freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her frequent and egregious expressions of anti-Semitism. Ocasio-Cortez made it a point to support Omar in the midst of that controversy. Ocasio-Cortez was also happy to mouth anti-Semitic tropes, tropes she clearly did not understand and could not support when exposed to questioning. In a July 17, 2018 appearance on PBS's Firing Line, Ocasio-Cortez said she objects to "the occupation of Palestine" and a "humanitarian crisis." When questioned what she meant by these terms, she collapsed, laughing, acknowledging, "I am not the expert on geopolitics … Middle Eastern politics was not exactly at my kitchen table every night." Why the Democratic Party is currying favor with anti-Semites is a topic for another piece, but that toadying is on display for all to see. Ocasio-Cortez's attempt to claim the term "concentration camp" for her very own is part of that agenda.

And there's more. Leftists have always lied about the Holocaust. I saw those lies firsthand, during my visit to Auschwitz. In those Soviet days, visitors were shown a film. I watched the Polish language version of the film. I listened for the word "Jew" – "Zyd." I never heard it. What I do remember hearing, over and over, was the term "victims of fascism." I recognized that I was being propagandized. I wondered how many viewing this film would not recognize that. "After the war internal politics led the Soviet leadership to erase the Holocaust from historical memory," writes historian John Klier in "The Holocaust and the Soviet Union." Soviet Russia and its satellite states systematically lied about the Holocaust from the end of the war till its toppling in 1989. Communists inflated the numbers of those killed at Auschwitz. They did so in order to minimize the number of Jews murdered there.

Soviet Russians called Auschwitz "the ultimate capitalist factory where the workers were dispensable." "One of the least appealing aspects of the Soviet analysis of Auschwitz, now and later, was the downplaying of the scale of suffering endured by Jews." This downplaying constituted "a rift in historical interpretation between East and West concerning the operation of the camps that would not be resolved until the fall of Communism," writes Laurence Rees in Auschwitz: A New History. This downplaying of Jewish suffering occurred throughout the Soviet Empire. Thomas Haury writes that East Germany, "emphasized the workers, the party, and the Soviet population as having suffered most from National Socialism. The genocide of the European Jews was only one crime among many, to which the GDR hardly paid attention."

Jews were also accused of crimes said to be "just as bad as the Holocaust." "Not only Holocaust deniers but also communists used Holocaust Equivalence early, aiming at Jews. In 1953, the Soviet Union's daily Pravda published alleged information about a conspiracy of mainly Jewish doctors to kill communist leaders through wrong diagnoses and sabotage in treatment," writes Georg von Rauch. Romanian textbooks emphasized Romanian suffering and downplayed Jewish deaths.

People often criticize Poles for their apparent lack of awareness of Holocaust history. After all, Poland was the site of many concentration and death camps. But Poles, too, were taught a Holocaust history consciously distorted by Communism, and it is only post-1989 that Polish historians have been able to tell their own country's story without that distortion dominating their work. When perusing a Soviet-era history book about WW II, or watching a Soviet-era film about the liberation of Auschwitz, or listening to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's justifications for using the term "concentration camp," one must remember this core principle: "The truth is that which serves the party."

Czeslawa (ches WAV ah) Kwoka was a 14 year old Polish Catholic girl. She was murdered in Auschwitz. Wilhelm Brasse, as his name suggests, had some Germanic ancestry. But he was born in Poland and he self-identified as Polish. After the Nazis invaded, the SS "invited" Brasse to identify as German. He declined, and he was sent to Auschwitz, where he was forced to photograph prisoners. Later he was ordered to destroy those photos. Through subterfuge, he saved many of the photos.

Brasse took the photograph we have of Czeslawa Kwoka. He described the process to an interviewer, who said that Brasse trembled while speaking. "She was so young and so terrified. The girl didn't understand why she was there and she couldn't understand what was being said to her. So this woman Kapo took a stick and beat her about the face. This German woman was just taking out her anger on the girl. Such a beautiful young girl, so innocent. She cried but she could do nothing. To tell you the truth, I felt as if I was being hit myself but I couldn't interfere. It would have been fatal for me. You could never say anything."

I do not begrudge anyone the compassion they feel for immigrants. I do not begrudge anyone for actually extending aid to immigrants. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her leftist allies are not expression compassion, and they are not helping anyone, by appropriating the term "concentration camp." Rather, they are appropriating cultural material that does not belong to them, and that no decent person would want.

They are doing this as part of the left's current and growing anti-Semitic program. Stalin, we are told, said that one death was a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. If the deaths of the eleven million leave Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her allies cold, I ask them to look into the face of Czeslawa Kwoka, who was murdered at 14 because she was the wrong ethnicity.

SOURCE  






Australia: Ads highlight CSR concerns

In the past two weeks, we have witnessed full page newspaper ads proclaiming that a slew of big companies “support the Uluru Statement from the Heart”. This followed the announcement of support for Recognition by 21 investment banks, super funds and accounting firms.

This renewed bout of corporate politicking was clearly planned in anticipation of an election victory by the Labor party, which had pledged to fast-track a constitutional referendum on a Voice to Parliament.

In the wake of the Morrison government’s re-election, big business — like many commentators and pundits — have found themselves on the wrong side of history … and found out just how tin their political ear is.

The election result offers a timely opportunity for those operating within the corporate bubble to reconsider what is being done by companies in the name of CSR.

I hope my book encourages such a reconsideration through the critique it offers of the current — highly political — approach to ‘social responsibility’ that is being enthusiastically embraced at the highest levels of business.

What the election result has demonstrated is the validity of the insider vs outsider thesis about modern politics.

The Quiet Australians’ rejection of Labor’s embrace of identity politics and progressive ideology has exposed the cultural divide between so-called inner city elites and ordinary Australians in the outer suburbs and regions holding mainstream views.

What the election result also ought to burst is the insider bubble —the propensity for corporate elites to live, work, and socialise with like-minded elites and not question self-reinforcing progressive agendas.

Bursting the bubble surrounding CSR exposes the contradiction that lies at heart of the CSR philosophy.

The standard argument for CSR is that that in order to earn a ‘social license’ to operate, companies must fulfil a range of social obligations beyond their traditional profit-making role, by considering the social impacts of their activities on the interests of broader groups of stakeholders in the community.

The book turns around the reputational and branding arguments for CSR to make the case against CSR by pointing out what the election result has now made even more obvious.

This is that corporate involvement in divisive social questions on which there is no community consensus among shareholders, stakeholders, employees and customers, can have negative brand and reputational consequences for companies that risk acquiring reputations for being ‘being political’.

The book, therefore, argues that because CSR politicking can be bad for business, corporate leaders should be encouraged to take a more hardheaded approach.

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, June 25, 2019


Meetings are a plague

I reproduce below the core message of a VERY long-winded article in the NYT.  The authors looked at different groups in Microsoft with a view to finding out which group were the happiest and why.  They found that meetings were the big bugbear. Lots of big meetings were seen as boring and stealing time from the main work that the employees were doing. Fewer and smaller meeting were needed for happy workers. 

I have always hated meetings myself.  Sitting around for hours listening to other people who I think have got it wrong was very hard for me to bear when I could be doing other much more interesting things



To figure out why the workers in Microsoft’s device unit were so dissatisfied with their work-life balance, the organizational analytics team examined the metadata from their emails and calendar appointments.

The team divided the business unit into smaller groups and looked for differences in the patterns between those where people were satisfied and those where they were unhappy.

It seemed as if the problem would involve something about after-hours work. But no matter how Ms. Klinghoffer and Mr. Fuller crunched the data, there weren’t any meaningful correlations to be found between groups that had a lot of tasks to do at odd times and those that were unhappy. Gut instincts about overwork just weren’t supported by the numbers.

The two kept iterating until something emerged in the data. People in Mr. Ostrum’s division were spending an awful lot of time in meetings: an average of 27 hours a week.

That wasn’t so much more than the typical team at Microsoft. But what really distinguished those teams with low satisfaction scores from the rest was that their meetings tended to include a lot of people — 10 or 20 bodies arrayed around a conference table coordinating plans, as opposed to two or three people brainstorming ideas.

The issue wasn’t that people had to fly to China or make late-night calls. People who had taken jobs requiring that sort of commitment seemed to accept these things as part of the deal. The issue was that their managers were clogging their schedules with overcrowded meetings, reducing available hours for tasks that rewarded more focused concentration — thinking deeply about trying to solve a problem.

SOURCE  






John Lennon’s Son Slams Politically Correct Leftist Intellectuals As ‘Embarrassing… It’s Pathetic’

The son of the famed Beatles member John Lennon has publicly made it clear that political correctness has destroyed the left he once knew and respected.

Sean Ono-Lennon took to Twitter on Friday and tweeted out a message that stirred controversy within the left.

“When I was young the most interesting people were left-wing intellectuals. Believe it or not,” tweeted Lennon.

One person identifying themselves as a leftist intellectual attempted to argue that they still are the most interesting people he could meet, but Lennon flatly shot that idea down and dropped a major bomb.

“No we’ve become the church lady as person below says. It’s embarrassing. We’re offended by comedy and science. It’s pathetic,” tweeted Lennon.

He’s not wrong. The left has become so anti-science that what they now believe can be considered something along the lines of fantasy land. They believe in a limitless number of genders despite there being only two and will punish anyone who disagrees with them. Their stances on climate change rely on inaccurate sensationalism despite many scientists coming out and saying the doom isn’t upon us.

Their hot takes on abortion are even in direct defiance of science.

Now, the left’s primary goal isn’t knowledge and understanding, it’s finding where you stand on the victim hierarchy and asserting your power based on your place in it. It is, as Lennon described, pathetic. More importantly, it’s boring, and it causes boredom to arise in everything it touches. Introduce a bit of social justice into escapism and people immediately begin to tune out.

What’s more, is that the left doesn’t allow discussion that may ruin their narrative. Free thought isn’t allowed to exist. You have to subscribe to the body politic or be punished. Nothing grows, everything stagnates.

Now the counter culture consists of those willing to actually question the mainstream narrative with logic. Those who actually respect things like the constitution and individualism are considered the “fringe.” It’s within these circles, where speech can actually go unfettered, that you’re going to find the most interesting conversations and intellectual thought.

SOURCE






Peaceful death threats

Threatening me over Mohammad cartoons provokes more Mohammad cartoons

Bosch Fawstin

Were it not for my Mohammad cartoons, some Muslims believe that they would be peaceful, and they act as if my “terrorism”, (yes, they call my Mohammad cartoons “terrorism”) must be responded to in kind, with terrorism, even though they’re “peaceful”.

If you want to maintain your illusions that “Islam means peace” and that “99.9% of Muslims are peace-loving”, then my book, Peaceful Death Threats, is not for you, as you’re either a Muslim or you might as well make it official and become one. If you can’t imagine threatening to murder cartoonists over cartoons, then my book is for you.

Islam wasn’t “hijacked” by jihadists, peace was hijacked by Muslims. In my acceptance speech after I won the Mohammad cartoon contest, I asked the audience, “Why do you think we have this kind of security?”, and as the audience started to applaud, and even laugh, as they had a good idea where I was going with it, I said that it was because Islam did not mean peace. The Only reason any of us are talking about Islam is because it doesn’t mean peace. Islam hasn’t given us any reason to talk about it outside of our concern over it.

When a lone evil scumbag goes on a shooting spree in America, the “national conversation” is that it has something to do with America, that it says something about us, and that we all have to answer for it in some way. Only self-loathing leftists would define America by a small minority of evil scumbags. Yet when daily atrocities are committed by Muslims across the world, the “national conversation” crowd tells us that it “has nothing to do with Islam”, while also saying that we had it coming. They live for a chance to condemn America for things it’s not responsible for, and to exonerate Islam for things it is responsible for. These “national conversationalists” don’t want a conversation about Islam, about jihad, or about the truth. And the “national conversation” that needs to take place is about Islam and its calls for violence against non-Muslims. As for “nice Muslims”, especially those in the West, they embody Western values that they fancifully attribute to Islam, and it’s left to “mean” people like me to have to point that fact out.

The reason why many of us choose to define Islam by the behavior of its least devout Muslims is because devout Muslims who model themselves after their warlord prophet, Mohammad, are monsters. “But what about Muslims who support Israel and condemn jihad?” It’s not Islam that leads some Muslims to support Israel and condemn jihad. I give credit to these individual Muslims and their embrace of Western values, even though they themselves usually deny it, and falsely credit Islam. We need to stop pretending that the anti-Islam positions of some Muslims somehow derive from Islam. They don’t, no matter what these Muslims tell us, or what we tell ourselves. Like the so-called “Imam of peace”, he represents the West in his criticisms of Islam, and he’s naturally rejected and condemned by most Muslims, and embraced by the West. The best Muslims are the least Islamic, and the most Western. But of course, in this increasingly truthless world we’re living in, merely pointing that fact out makes me a monster.

In the summer and fall of 2018, I got a wave of death threats from Muslims the likes of which I’ve never experienced, and my life has not been the same. Thousands of Muslims from across the world, with many from Pakistan, threatened to murder me after I was announced as the judge for a Mohammad cartoon contest that Geert Wilders announced in the summer of 2018 (and which ended up being canceled). Many of the threats were monotonous and I couldn’t keep up with all of them, as they came from all corners of the internet, from social media, email, YouTube, my blog, and I even got audio death threats in Facebook messenger. So the “peaceful” death threats in my book are the “best” 400 of them.

I’ve been called a “dangerous” cartoonist, and Peaceful Death Threats has the potential to be my most “dangerous” book yet, as it will make it more difficult for some among us to maintain their illusions about Islam and its “peaceful” followers. My “co-writers” in this book are average, everyday Muslims who think it’s normal to threaten to rape and murder a cartoonist over Mohammad cartoons. They are not to be “understood”, but condemned. This book is a good document to show that Islamic culture, at large, is a problem, and that Muslims at large want cartoonists who draw Mohammad to be murdered, by their hand, or by the hands of their more devout co-religionists. All of the thousands of Muslims who wrote me death threats want me dead, and those who didn’t write me would likely celebrate if I were murdered, or at “best”, would “understand” why I had to die. “Not all Muslims”? Not One Muslim wrote me to say, “I may not like what you do, and I may even hate it, but you have the right to draw whatever you want, and you shouldn’t be threatened or killed over it.”

Not one.

When the Muslims who’ve threatened me hear of this book, what do you think their response would be that their threats were published, and that they inspired my 60 new Mohammad cartoon that are in my book? More threats. The threats in this book are from Muslim students, doctors, engineers, musicians, etc., and I think that will be a revelation for some, for those who still cling to the idea that it’s only “extremists” who are the problem, because seeing is believing. Seeing death threats along with the names and pictures of average Muslims might open some eyes.

After years of getting death threats, they’ve become white noise to me, in a way. They’re meant to scare me into silence and inaction, but I’m more likely to laugh at them than be terrified. But I do pause at times, at the casual, decadent evil of it all, and the mass support that it gets from far more Muslims than many would like to believe. What did Muslims do after the massacre of Charlie Hebdo? They callously ran over the dead bodies of the murdered innocents to defend Mohammad. Islam didn’t teach them to live and let live, despite whatever criticism came their way, Islam taught them that the answer to criticism is to silence critics, by any means necessary.

Regarding my new Mohammad cartoons in my book: I think it’s important to show Mohammad, the murderous figure who inspires Muslims to murder, alongside screenshots of the death threats over my Mohammad cartoons, which inspired even more Mohammad cartoons by me.

The threats in Peaceful Death Threats will be a revelation for some, and a confirmation for others. And to those who’ve dismissed me when I say that Hitler is Islam’s favorite Infidel, there were endless Muslims who expressed their admiration for Hitler to me, and I have a page of the “best” ones in my book, where I draw Hitler as Mohammad.

I’m well aware that most of these threats are just talk, however obscene that talk may be, but unlike members of other groups, Muslims are more prone to back up their threats with violent action, and so I take their threats more seriously than I do the threats of others. And some of them get very specific and personal. It’s one thing for Muslims to have their prohibitions, but it’s quite another thing for them to try to force their prohibitions on us. Since 9/11, we’ve waged war the way Muslims wage peace, and we’re gong to have to learn how to wage war, in order to have peace.

Peace.

SOURCE  






Socialism appeals to the young but many don't know what it means

Red is the new black, right? Jeremy Corbyn leads the British Labour Party. Bernie Sanders came close to winning the Democratic Party's nomination for the US presidency describing himself as a "democratic socialist".

And the 2018 US midterm elections saw a surge of enthusiasm for Democratic candidates running on policy platforms at least as leftist as Mr Sanders espoused in 2016.

That the young are thought to lead the revival for socialism is not surprising.

The most prominent face of the leftward turn among Democrats is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, just 29 years old and only four months into her legislative career.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez is one of the sponsors of the Green New Deal, a suite of social-democratic and pro-environmental proposals, supported by several of the Democratic presidential candidates (eg Senators Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders, Warren).

It's happening here too. Australian public opinion also exhibits an unmistakable age gradient, with younger Australians more likely to support Labor — and especially the Greens — than older Australians.

But what do people — and younger people in particular — mean when they say they favour or oppose socialism?

New polling by the United States Studies Centre and YouGov reveals considerable confusion and ignorance about socialism in both Australia and the United States.

We asked: "What is your understanding of the term socialism?"
Respondents could provide any answer they liked, in their own words.

Twenty-eight per cent of Australians fell at the first hurdle, with "don't know", "unsure" or "no clue" responses.

Another 13 per cent of Australians gave answers indicating they understand socialism as being sociable (eg "spending time with friends", "talking with people").

Just 59 per cent offered a response that was even close to any conventional definition of socialism (greater equality, public control of the means of production, etc).

Younger Australians are more likely to offer "don't know" or the "being sociable" classes of responses.

Less than one in three of our youngest Australian respondents could offer an even vaguely correct definition of socialism, a rate that rises to about two in three or better for respondents in their 50s or older.

The "s" word has been thrown around far more frequently in America than in Australia in recent years. Seventy-four per cent of Americans respond with something close to a conventional definition of socialism.

Although younger Americans were less likely than older Americans to be able to define socialism, more than 60 per cent of even the youngest US respondents could do so, compared to less than 30 per cent of young Australians.

Socialism is generally much more popular in Australia than America, but there are nuances in what Australians and Americans like and don't like about socialism.

Despite plenty of Australians being unable to define socialism, Australians do have strong views on the components of socialism, whether specific sectors of the economy should be owned and operated by the government, by the private sector, or if respondents were indifferent.

Here Australians report more socialist preferences than Americans, with clear majorities for government control in six out nine cases, spanning roads and highways (70 per cent), health care and hospitals (67 per cent), public transport (62 per cent), schools and universities (59 per cent), electricity, gas and water (58 per cent) and aged care (53 per cent).

A much different picture emerges in the United States.

In one only case out of nine — roads and highways — do a majority of Americans prefer government to private sector control or indifference, and only barely, with 51 per cent support.

Australians are more likely to support public ownership and control than Americans, but not because young Australians are embracing socialism. Just the opposite.

In six out of nine sectors we asked about, older Australians support public ownership and operation at rates of around 75 per cent or higher, typically outpacing younger Australians on this score by more than 20 percentage points.

Perhaps older Australians are pining for the "pre-privatised" Australian economy of their youth, while younger Australians have known nothing else.

It's the opposite in America

In the United States we see not only less enthusiasm for government ownership across the board, but a reversal of the age gradient we observe in Australia.

Younger Americans are almost always more enthusiastic about government ownership than their elders, typically by about 15 percentage points. There's is the only sector of the American economy with majority support for public ownership and control among any age cohort: roads and highways.

This finding helps explains the political headwinds encountered by advocates of public-private partnerships in the United States, including the Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey.

Roads and highways have been the domain where public-private partnerships have had some acceptance in the US, with Australian institutions prominent among the private investors and operators.

Americans sure aren't socialist, but roads and highways is the domain where support for public ownership runs the strongest and support for private ownership is weakest (just 23 per cent, compared to 11 per cent in Australia).

While generally quite sceptical about socialism, Americans need further convincing of the utility of "Australian style" asset recycling and public-private partnerships as a model for transport infrastructure.

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, June 24, 2019



Ex-Dem Staffer Who Doxed Republicans During Kavanaugh Hearing Sentenced To 4 Years In Jail

The former Sheila Jackson Lee staffer who posted the private information of Republican senators during the final hearing for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been sentenced to four years in prison for his crime.

Jackson Cosko was described by prosecutors as having “self-righteous entitlement” and believing “that he could violate the sanctity of the United State Senate at will and threaten individual Senators as he pleased,” The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosniak reported. Rosniak further wrote prosecutors sought to make an example of Cosko because his crime allegedly led to other incidents of attacks on political opposition.

Cosko is the son of the CEO of a major construction company who has ties to House Speaker Nance Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Cosko previously worked as a staffer in Sen. Maggie Hassan’s (D-NH) office, but had since moved on to working for Lee. While senators questioned Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused the now-Associate Justice of groping her while they were both in high school some 30 years ago, Cosko snuck into his former boss’ office to use a computer to publish the private information of some of the Republican senators who supported Kavanaugh.

Another staffer in Hassan’s office recognized Cosko and reported him, so he sent the staffer an email threatening to “leak it all” if the staffer told anyone what he had done.

“Emails signal conversations gmails. Senators children’s health information and socials,” Cosko wrote to the staffer.

Cosko pleaded guilty in April “to crimes related to an unparalleled effort to ransack a Senate office, extorting a Democratic senator, illegally harming Republicans for their political views, and blackmailing a witness,” Rosniak reported.

Prosecutors, according to Rosniak, asked for a five-year prison sentence.

“The government believes that a significant sentence would help to make clear that difference of political opinion do not entitle people to engage in politically motivated, criminal attacks threatening elected officials with whom he disagrees, and would thereby encourage respect for the law, and deter future criminal conduct,” they wrote.

Rosniak reported that new details about Cosko’s crimes were released in a sentencing memo, including the fact that the senate learned later — because Cosko told them — that the offices were being spied on due to his keylogger devices.

Prosecutors wrote that Cosko laughed about his crimes and said he planned to use the data he stole from the senate offices “to punish people who disagreed with his politics.”

“The defendant operated under the belief that he was entitled to inflict emotional distress upon United States Senators and their families, simply because they disagreed with the defendant and had different political views,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo. “The government believes that there appears to have been an increase in similar criminal harassment, particularly through social media channels, by people across the political spectrum.”

On Wednesday, a second former Hassan staffer was charged for acting as Cosko’s accomplice. Politico reported that Samantha Deforest Davis, a former staff assistant for Hassan who left in December, was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges for helping Cosko. Davis allegedly tampered with evidence and aided and abetted computer fraud by allowing Cosko to use her keys to repeatedly return to Hassan’s office after he was let go.

SOURCE  




Overthrow the Prince of Facebook
    
Peggy Noonan

I’ll start with a personal experience and then try to expand into Republicans and big tech.

In the spring of 2016, Facebook came under pressure, stemming from leaks by its workers, over charges of systemic political bias. I was not especially interested: a Silicon Valley company that employs thousands of young people to make decisions that are often ideological will tilt left, and conservatives must factor that in, as they’re used to doing.

My concerns about Facebook had to do with its apparently monopolistic nature, slippery ethics and algorithmic threats to serious journalism.

Soon after, I received an email from Mark Zuckerberg’s office inviting me and other “conservative activists” to attend a meeting with him to discuss the bias charges in an off-the-record conversation. I responded that I was not an activist but a columnist, for the Journal, and would be happy to attend in that capacity and on the record. That didn’t go over too well with Mr. Zuckerberg’s office! I was swiftly told that wouldn’t do.

What I most remember is that they didn’t mention where his office is. There was an air of being summoned by the prince. You know where the prince lives. In the castle. Who doesn’t know exactly where Facebook is?

In February 2018 Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein of Wired wrote a deeply reported piece that mentioned the 2016 meeting. It was called so that the company could “make a show of apologizing for its sins.” A Facebook employee who helped plan it said part of its goal—they are clever at Facebook and knew their mark!—was to get the conservatives fighting with each other. “They made sure to have libertarians who wouldn’t want to regulate the platform and partisans who would.” Another goal was to leave attendees “bored to death” by a technical presentation after Mr. Zuckerberg spoke.

Predictably, the conservatives “failed to unify in a way that was either threatening or coherent.” Many used the time “to try to figure out how they could get more followers for their own pages.”

After the meeting, attendees gushed, calling Mr. Zuckerberg and his staffers humble and open. Glenn Beck praised the CEO’s “earnest desire to ‘connect the world.’”

Never were pawns so happily used.

I forgot about it until last summer, when Mr. Zuckerberg’s office wrote again. His problems were mounting. I was invited now, with an unspecified group of others, to “an off the record discussion over dinner at his home in Palo Alto.” They used that greasy greaseball language Silicon Valley uses: Mr. Zuckerberg is “focused on protecting” users and thinking about “the future and how best to serve the Facebook community.”

I ignored the invitation. They pressed. Their last note reached me at an irritated moment, so I wrote back a rocket, reminding him of the previous meeting and how it had been revealed to be a mischievous and highly political enacting of faux remorse. I suggested that though it was an honor to be asked to cross a continent for the privilege of giving him my time, thought and advice, I would not. I added that I was sorry to say he strikes me in his public, and now semiprivate, presentations as an imperious twerp.

For a second I actually hesitated: The imperious twerp runs the algorithms, controls the traffic, has all the dark powers! But I am an American, and one with her Irish up, so I hit send.

And I’m still here, at least at the moment, so I guess that’s OK.

Facebook’s famous sins and failings include the abuse of private data, selling space to Russian propagandists in the 2016 presidential campaign, starving journalism of ad revenues, monopolistically acquiring or doing in possible competitors, political mischief, and turning users into the unknowing product. I once wrote the signal fact of Mr. Zuckerberg’s career is that he is supremely gifted in one area—monetizing technical ingenuity by marrying it to a canny sense of human weakness.

None of this is news. We just can’t manage to do anything about it.

Now there are moves to push back. The House Judiciary Committee will hold antitrust investigations into big tech. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning that “unwarranted concentrated economic power in the hands of a few is dangerous to democracy.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren has made a splash with her pushback on big tech; Sen. Amy Klobuchar included it in her presidential announcement speech.

The New York Times this week had a breakthrough report, from Cecilia Kang and Kenneth Vogel, on how the tech giants are fighting back. They are “amassing an army of lobbyists.” Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple spent a combined $55 million in lobbying last year, about double what they spent in 2016. They “have intensified their efforts to lure lobbyists with strong connections to the White House, the regulatory agencies, and Republicans and Democrats in Congress.” Facebook hired Mrs. Pelosi’s former chief of staff. The speaker herself has received major campaign money from employees and political-action committees of all the tech giants. Google pays lobbyists who worked on the Republican staff of House Judiciary.

They’ve got it wired, haven’t they?

But the mood in America is anti-big-tech. Everyone knows they’re too powerful, too arrogant, loom too large in public life.

And something else: This whole new world of new technology was born in the 1970s and ‘80s. We still think it’s new and we’re figuring it out, but we’re almost half a century into it and we can see what works and what doesn’t, what’s had good effects and hasn’t. It is time to move.

We’re Americans and we love money and success and the hallowed story of the kid in the garage who invents the beautiful product that changes the world.

And Republican officials—they can’t help it, they don’t just rightly love business; they love big business, they love titans. It’s almost romantic: Look what people can do in America! He started it in his dorm room! And now we’re at lunch!

It’s all too human, and of course greedy: Maybe these guys will start giving me money! I mean Pelosi-size money!

Here’s what they should be thinking: Break them up. Break them in two, in three; regulate them. Declare them to be what they’ve so successfully become: once a pleasure, now a utility.

It all depends on Congress, which has been too stupid to move in the past and is too stupid to move competently now. That’s what’s slowed those of us who want reform, knowing how badly they’d do it.

Yet now I find myself thinking: I don’t care. Do it incompetently, but do something.

Why are Republicans so slow to lead? The Times quoted Republican Sen. Josh Hawley as saying “the dominance of big tech” is a “big problem.” They “may be more socially powerful than the trusts of the Roosevelt era, and yet they still operate like a black box.”

He’s right.

But I read about lobbyists coming at Republican congressional leaders and I think, it’s going to be like Mr. Zuckerberg’s meeting with the conservatives in 2016. A tech god will give them some attention, some respect, and they’ll fold like a cheap suit.

If they are as stupid and unserious as their critics take them to be, they will go to the meeting and be used.

They should say no and hit send.

SOURCE  






Another crooked cop in Britain

A police officer groomed, raped and sexually abused a string of teenage girls, bragging about his role on the force, a court has heard. In one case David Waller, 33, raped a 16-year-old girl minutes after she had spotted his police uniform hanging in his wardrobe, it is alleged.

He also groomed another teenager by bragging about being a police officer, owning a new BMW and being a glider pilot.

Waller, it is alleged, abused his positions of responsibility as a Cleveland Police officer between 2006 and 2010, as a gliding instructor and as a member of theatre groups.

Throughout a 12-year period from 2004 to 2016 he ignored his duty of care towards the girls and used his position to groom them into sexual activity with him.

He also began a sexual relationship with a woman after meeting her when she went to his force to report a crime.

In total he faces 13 charges with eight complainants, seven of them being girls aged 13 to 16.

Nine of the offences encompass the four years he was as a serving police officer working in Stockton on Tees.

One of his alleged victims later told police that the attentions of the older man made her feel "dead grown up," unaware that she was being deliberately targeted and groomed for sex.

Waller denies three charges of rape, three charges of grooming under age girls, two charges of inciting sexual activity with a child, one charge of sexual assault, three of sexual activity with a child and one of misconduct in public office.

The latter alleges he had a sexual relationship with a complainant in a case being investigated by the police. The trial continues.

SOURCE  







Albo, take faith seriously

One of the first things new Australian Labor Party leader, Anthony Albanese, needs to emphasise to his demoralised party is that they will not return to government without showing they take religion seriously.

Albo’s own seat of Grayndler — which Labor holds with a margin of nearly 16 per cent — is one of a number of Labor-held Western Sydney seats where the electorate includes many voters who are about God.

It matters to Australia’s Muslim, Christian, and Hindu voters — and all the others who have a religious affiliation — that they are free to practise their faith; and, if they wish, to talk about it openly.

No wonder Labor frontbenchers have warned Albanese that Labor needs to work constructively with the Morrison government to address concerns about religious freedom by passing new laws.

It sounds like simple and sensible advice. But the problem for the new Labor leader is that a decision to cooperate with the government on matters of religion is likely to further divide his party.

For a deep and possibly irreparable fissure has opened up — and runs right through the heart of the ALP.

On one side stand Labor’s traditional blue-collar and middle-class voters respectful of belief in God. But on the other side stand the battalions of Labor’s inner-city intellectuals who sneer at religion, dismiss faith as primitive superstition, and wield the cudgels of identity politics.

It is not the deity that commands the unswerving devotion of the elites, but diversity. And they impose on the rest of us what political scientist, Kenneth Minogue, once described as “a dictatorship of virtue”.

The ALP is going to have to get to grips with God if it hopes to occupy the government benches in the House of Reps again. But in order to do that, Albanese is going to have to work a miracle of his own.

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

***************************

Sunday, June 23, 2019



Former NFL Player Burgess Owens Uses Testimony on Reparations to Highlight the Dem Party’s Racist Past

Former NFL player Burgess Owens called out the Democratic Party for its dark past of suppressing black Americans during his testimony on reparations.

House Democrats held a hearing on HR 40, a bill that would fund a commission to study reparations and deliver policy proposals to Congress about how to repay black Americans for the injustices of slavery and Jim Crow.

While Democrats who sponsor the legislation feel as though reparations are necessary for America to move past its racist history, those who oppose reparations believe that Americans who were not alive during slavery should not have to pay for the sins of their fathers.

Owens is in the latter party. During his testimony, he described the success of black Americans like his grandfather, who escaped slavery to become an entrepreneur. Owens noted that racism is an ideology and highlighted its ties to the Democratic Party.

Owens’ testimony:

“This is not about black and white, rich and poor, blue collar, white collar. We’re fighting for the heart and soul of our nation. We have a very, very special country instilled with the Judeo-Christian values that allowed every single generation to become better than the last. That has not ended. That has not stopped — until now. We’re telling our kids a little bit something different. That they don’t have the opportunity that we had. I’m going to talk about some ideologies. When I talk about them, I’m not talking about people. People change. I used to be a Democrat until I did my history and found out the misery that that party brought to my race. So when I talk about these ideologies, ideologies don’t change, people do.”

Owens covered the racism of Karl Marx and other socialists all the way to the struggles of young black men in present-day California. The former NFL safety doesn’t believe pitting white Americans against black Americans through reparations is the answer. He believes reparations do nothing but paint white Americans as “evil” and black Americans as “beggars.”

He said that Democrats who feel “guilty” can feel free to pay for the sins of their party, but he doesn’t want to see Americans divided over race because of reparations:

“Let’s point to the party that was part of slavery, KKK, Jim Crow, that has killed over 40 percent of our black babies, 20 million of them. The state of California, 75 percent of our black boys cannot past standard reading and writing test. A Democratic state. Yeah, let’s pay [reparation]. Let’s pay restitution. How about a Democratic Party pay for all the misery brought to my race, and those — after we learn our history — decide to stay there, they should pay also. They are complicit. And every white American — Republican or Democrat — that feels guilty because of your white skin, you just need to pony up also.”

He claimed that would allow those who feel guilty to “get past” reparations and acknowledge that “this country has given us greatness.”

Owens concluded his testimony by stated that he believes reparations send a message that black Americans cannot get ahead without payment from reparations, a position he could not disagree with more.

SOURCE  






UK: Man successfully sues Brewer for £1,000 after being told beer was only on sale to women

A drinker won a discrimination case against a popular brewery after he was stopped from buying its women-only beer.

Brewdog last year offered discounts on a “pink” craft ale to anyone identifying as female at its bars, as part of a campaign to highlight the gender pay gap.

However, the “satirical” initiative backfired when a male customer at a branch in Cardiff decided to launch legal action after being told he could not order the drink.

Thomas Bower, 27, said he “felt forced to identify as a female” to convince bar staff to serve him the £4 Pink IPA rather than the £5 Punk IPA in March 2018.

The software engineer complained to Brewdog but was told his treatment did not amount to discrimination - prompting him to sue the brewery in a small claims court.

He was awarded £1,000 after a judge agreed he had been unfairly treated because of his gender.

District Judge Marshall Phillips, sitting at the Civil Justice Centre in Cardiff, said in his judgment: “It is clear that in this case the claimant has been directly discriminated against by the defendant because of his sex.

"The fact that by identifying as female he was still able to purchase a Pink IPA, makes no difference.

"I accept what Dr Bower says, namely that identifying as female was the only way he could purchase a Pink IPA at a cost of £4."

Brewdog argued it had not discriminated against Dr Bower because he had identified as female and was allowed to purchase the drink.

Dr Bower, who represented himself in court, said he did not want to profit from the case and donated his money to charity.

He said: "After taking into account my costs, I donated equal amounts of this award to the Young Women's Trust, which aims to help women negotiate for better pay, and the Campaign Against Living Miserably, which runs a male suicide prevention line, among other things."

SOURCE  







Why America’s Declining Marriage Rate Affects Everyone

Families are the building blocks of civilization.

They are personal relationships, but they greatly shape and serve the public good. Strong families make for strong communities. Conversely, family breakdown harms society as a whole.

That’s why America’s declining marriage rate is a real problem.

While on the surface this might not seem like an issue that you and I need to care about, the decline in marriage has a significant impact on each and every one of us—from the amount of taxes we pay to the level of crime in our neighborhoods.

How do we know?

Decades of statistics have shown that, on average, married couples have better physical health, more financial stability, and greater social mobility than unmarried people.

Other studies show that the children of those couples are more likely to experience higher academic performance, emotional maturity, and financial stability than children who don’t have both parents in the home.

The social and economic costs of family breakdown are paid by everyone. Studies show divorce and unwed childbearing cost taxpayers over $110 billion each year. But the real victims are children.

Children raised in single-parent homes are statistically more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, exhibit poor social behaviors, and commit violent crimes. They’re also more likely to drop out of school.

And when it comes to fighting poverty, there is no better weapon than marriage. In fact, marriage reduces the probability of child poverty by 80 percent.

So what can and should be done?

When it comes to public policy, one way government can help is by eliminating the marriage penalty. That’s the part of the tax code where two people are taxed more if they’re married than if they’re single.

Second, government assistance programs should provide temporary help to families in need, not welfare that spans generations. For too long, these programs have encouraged the formation of single-parent families by taking the place of breadwinning fathers or mothers. 

But more family-friendly public policies like these are only part of the solution.

Civil society—including community organizations, schools, and places of religious worship—must do its part to make sure the next generation understands the hard facts about the benefits of marriage and the costs of broken families. Armed with that knowledge, people can make better choices.

Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty, anti-crime, pro-health institution. It’s an undeniable fact that the best chances for financial success, emotional well-being, and good health for both parents and children happen when parents are married and families are intact.

SOURCE  






PC terminology distorts the truth

Comment from Australia

Do readers remember when the term “political correctness” was on every conservative’s lips and at the fingertips of every commentator? That term, used as a phrase to denote intimidatory “right think”, is unfortunately fast leaving the lexicon. This is because so much of what was once scoffed at as political correctness has been absorbed into the mental and psychological landscape.

Today almost every political and social problem is looked at through a set of ideological prisms, and opinions on even the most serious issues are conveyed through a menu of acceptable tropes. The result is superficial, ideologically motivated mumbo jumbo.

Take violence against women. Lately the union boss John Setka got himself into a lot of trouble about this issue. Why? Not just because he himself has been charged with harassing a woman through phone and text messages, nor because he has publicly threatened Australian Building and Construction Commission inspectors, claiming their children will be made to feel “ashamed” of them, nor because he is the boss of a union that has used systematic bullying at building sites for years.

No, this is not why Setka has been threatened with expulsion from the ALP and his job. It is because he was perceived to criticise Rosie Batty, whose campaign against gender-based domestic violence has turned her into an untouchable icon of the virtuous right-thinking elite. Does anyone see the irony of this?

Of course, no one should criticise Batty, who had the hellish experience of seeing her child killed by his mentally deranged father. Her son was the victim of the most appalling laxity on the part of the police. Her husband had four outstanding arrest warrants and two intervention orders against him. He should not have been let loose to murder that child. At the inquest the police lack of action was criticised by the judge as revealing “a disturbingly relaxed attitude and a failure to accord an appropriate degree of urgency to the situation”. Obviously.

However, despite her devastating personal experience, Batty’s campaign will be fruitless, doomed to empty breast-beating. This is because it is a direct product of political correctness. The campaign, which was started during the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull with $100 million of taxpayer money, was never going to have any effect on the real causes of domestic violence, because it is seemingly not about looking at the real causes.

It has been hijacked as an ideological campaign by ambitious feminists, harnessing the mantra of gender inequality, to attack something that does not originate in gender inequality.

Rather, domestic violence has its origins in the twin social evils of alcohol and drug abuse, combined with poverty, large-scale family breakdown, and of course inadequate policing. Hence domestic violence is most acute in Australia in Aboriginal communities. However, that fact does not play to the anti-racism ideology. So while the professional feminists are using domestic violence as a vehicle to promote yet more talkfests and paid lectures, Aboriginal women and children are being continually subjected to the most degrading physical and sexual violence.

Meanwhile, in the alternative universe in which we white educated types live, the men are not allowed to question any of this. Instead, they are encouraged to pay homage to the phony gender rubric that frames any discussion about domestic violence by flinging off the scourge of their maleness and sporting white ribbons.

Women are too hamstrung by the platitudes of feminists to query this agenda. So we are all obliged to treat domestic violence not as a practical problem of the drug culture and of policing, but as a seriously vague “gender issue” about which men have to beat their breasts and women take the high ground as victims and then demand that governments should do something, even though government can do very little.

Domestic violence is not the only area where the demands of political correctness have skewed the mental landscape interfering with the truth of the matter. So-called identity politics is rife with this. The language is carefully policed and anyone going outside to call a spade a spade, even in the mildest terms, invites condemnation. Witness what happened to Barry Humphries when he was shunned by the very festival he helped to set up. His fault? He had called the current epidemic of transgenderism “a fashion”.

Then there was the fearless duo of Germaine Greer and the equally acerbic Julie Burchill, special subjects of the bleedin’ obvious, who pointed out, not in mild but in scathing terms, that you could “put on a dress and cut off your bits” but it doesn’t turn you into a woman — unless of course you live in Tasmania, where you don’t even have to cut off the bits.

Despite their “transgressions”, these people are safe by virtue of their fame and intelligence. However, look what happened to Israel Folau, who as a contracted football player was doing the only thing he can do. He was not safe. His case has a strange inverted relationship to that of Setka — who was condemned because he slipped up on the politically correct line rather than his transgressions.

Folau is a good man, a model family man who has nevertheless been pilloried as a bad man, an undesirable and lost his job.

Why?

The brouhaha surrounding his posts was caused by one thing. His employers did not sack him because of his religion, nor was it an employment issue. Folau’s big mistake was a political correctness transgression.

He crossed a threshold that the commissars of political right think will not allow. He should have left only one category [homosexuals] out of his list of sinners.

We are not interested in the salvation of drunks and adulterers, or anyone else for that matter. After all, there are people who have been taking drugs still playing for the Wallabies — not to mention the footballers of various codes charged with rape.

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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Friday, June 21, 2019


It isn’t Leavers who are authoritarian

Dubious surveys have been used to give a misleading picture of Brexit voters.

Kevin Baldeosingh below concludes that it is British "Remainers" who are authoritarians.  I agree. "Remainers" are people who like big government and the EU is a VERY big government.  And a liking for big government is ipso facto authoritarian. But a liking for  big government is also Leftist.  Authoritarianism and "Remainerism" are, then, both part of the good old Left-Right dimension.  Both are Leftist, not something new or unusual.

Kevin's reference to there being two dimensions of politics is an idea popular among libertarians but is not supported by factor analytic explorations of political statements.  That also shows that authoritarianism is part of a single Left-Right dimension, not something independent of it.

For more on the absurd RWA scale also referred to by Kevin, see here.  In terms of current politics it does not measure ANYTHING Right-wing




It has been scientifically confirmed that Brexiteers are bigots, ignoramuses and, above all, really, really authoritarian.

How do we know this? Because just under a year ago, something called the Online Privacy Foundation published an updated version of its 2016 psychological survey of 11,225 Britons. It found that Leavers were more authoritarian, less open and more conscientious than Remainers. It then explained that ‘intelligence has been found to be positively correlated with the… trait of openness… and negatively correlated with conscientiousness’.

The findings were reported in the New Statesman, the New Scientist and The Sunday Times, which even cited the findings as proof that ‘Brexit voters are less bright than Remainers’.

But there is a problem. The standard questionnaire that tests people for authoritarianism is designed to discover only right-wing attitudes. In fact, the survey actually uses something called the right-wing authoritarianism scale (RWA). According to the RWA, authoritarians are characterised by obedience to authorities which the individual considers to be established and legitimate, general aggression against groups considered undesirable by these authorities, and a high degree of adherence to social conventions.

Now, characteristics such as these could apply far more to the woke crowd than any other cohort. Yet, although the RWA was developed by psychologist Robert Altemeyer in 1981, it was not until 2017 that a team of American political psychologists used Altemeyer’s questions, albeit modifying their content, in order finally to create a left-wing authoritarian (LWA) test.

So, a statement designed to measure obedience to authorities in the RWA – ‘It’s always better to trust the judgement of the proper authorities in government and religion than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers in our society who are trying to create doubts in people’s minds’ – was changed in the LWA test to read: ‘It’s always better to trust the judgement of the proper authorities in science with respect to issues like global warming and evolution than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers in our society who are trying to create doubts in people’s minds.’

Similarly, references to ethnicity and race in the RWA were replaced with references to fundamentalist Christian groups in the LWA.

So what did the psychologists find? ‘Not only did LWA show a significant correlation with liberalism in both a sample of US college students and a separate nationwide sample of US citizens, it also showed overwhelmingly significant correlations with dogmatism, prejudice, and attitude strength.’ In other words, left-wingers are pretty much just as authoritarian as right-wingers.

Yet, as spiked editor Brendan O’Neill has argued, even the concepts of left and right are now becoming obsolete in Britain. ‘The left v right feels increasingly like a relic’, he writes. ‘The divide now is between Leavers and Remainers; between those who have a strong sense of nationhood and those who see globalist institutions as the best means of organising political life.’

Interestingly, this split was predicted more than two decades ago by British political scientists in a paper entitled ‘Measuring left-right and libertarian-authoritarian values in the British electorate’, which noted that the common assumption that ‘political attitudes are arranged uni-dimensionally along a left-right ideological continuum… has been shown to be implausible in numerous studies’.

The authors went on to say that ‘issues associated with the libertarian-authoritarian dimension may in time compete with the traditional left-right dimension for a central position in British political conflicts’.

This libertarian-authoritarian dimension informs, often unconsciously, the elitist narrative about Brexit (and Trump). So, in conclusion, the Online Privacy Foundation claimed that ‘many voters lack the skills to evaluate critically the information which is being presented’. This prompted it to ask questions with authoritarian implications: ‘Should access to and the use of social media and other personal online data be better regulated?… [H]ow do we ensure that we unleash the power of personal data for social good?’

That reflexive disdain for the average Briton has informed several supposedly data-driven analyses. So, in a survey conducted soon after the Brexit vote, the European Journal of Political Economy concluded that Leavers were old, white, uneducated, technologically incompetent, on welfare, in poor health, and unsatisfied with their lives. Alternative viewpoints from academia came later, with, for instance, political scientists from the London School of Economics finding that ‘the profile of Brexit voters is more heterogeneous than initially thought, and includes voters with high education and “middle class” jobs’.

However, no amount of research has changed the narrative in the mainstream media that Leavers are all authoritarian thickos. Thus, in April this year, the Guardian ran a report with the dire headline ‘UK poised to embrace authoritarianism, warns Hansard Society’. Yet the Hansard Audit 2019, on which the Guardian report was based, does not even have the words ‘authoritarian’ or ‘authoritarianism’ in it.

In fact, what the audit actually reveals is widespread disillusionment with politicians, following their failure to adhere to the decision made by the 17.4million voters in the 2016 referendum. Hence, according to the audit, only 25 per cent of the public have confidence in MPs’ handling of Brexit; 47 per cent feel they have no influence at all over national decision-making; and 72 per cent feel that the system of governing needs quite a lot or a great deal of improvement.

Indeed, according to Hansard, it is Remainers, rather than Leavers, who are more willing to defer to civil servants, judges, and peers in the House of Lords. Which tells you pretty much all you need to know about who are the real authoritarians today.

SOURCE  






Feminism has destroyed the relationship between fathers and their daughters

I myself have always said (I’ve said it here) that a “Daddy’s Girl” relationship is one of the most beautiful human relationships there is so I am glad to see the agreement below

There are no sweeter words for a daughter to hear than, “Daddy’s little girl.” Those words can put a smile on any girl’s face as it touches her very essence of who she is. These words cultivate her, comfort her, and make her feel like she’s the most special human being on God’s earth. Every daughter should experience the love of her father, but this is not the reality. In the world we live in, she’ll be fortunate to develop a meaningful bond with her father. Most likely she’ll have a “complicated” relationship with her dad and won’t realize the impending danger facing her in future relationships with boys and men because of this. Sad, but true, and it’s not her fault.

Dads, for the most part, have kneeled on the sidelines and watched their daughters grow into womanhood without really teaching them the intimate details of the game of love, sex, relationships, or even marriage. The seeds of fear, ignorance, and indifference kept dad in the dark.

When daughters grow up in homes where the father is emotionally absent they feel less confident, less secure, and less beautiful. They grow up feeling they have no voice or no choice to pursue their God-given destiny. It’s a feeling of powerlessness that speaks to their subconscious mind that they are unworthy. If a daughter is rejected love from her father, she learns to love rejection. Being rejected is love to her and love is being rejected. This might sound strange, but think about it. When a daughter is rejected love, she’s learning that rejection is her love language. So the more she is rejected love by her father, then by boys and men, the more she pursues love from them. Once she discovers that her thirst for love can’t be quenched through the opposite sex and once she realizes her father failed her emotionally, she looks for empowerment from within. Enter feminism, the “F-word.”

Feminism is the belief that a patriarchal system was methodically designed for girls and women to live beneath their means. The term patriarchal comes from patriarch, which comes from pater or father. This feminism strongly suggests that fathers are the problem, not the solution. Well, I happen to agree that dads are both the problem and solution for feminism. When dads are indifferent towards their daughters, they create women who seek to be what their dads weren’t — men. These women grow up to prove their worth by performance, promiscuity, and power. However, when dads are emotionally engaged with their daughters they don’t seek to prove themselves through feminism. They already know who they are and can simply be feminine. Femininity is attractive! Feminism is foul. Dads who create good relationships with their daughters teach them that their identity is not based on how they perform or what they look like, but who God created them to be.

The father daughter relationship determines so much of how girls and women see the world around them.

SOURCE  






More bigotry in British TV

ITV will no longer commission comedy shows with all-male writers' rooms, the broadcaster's head of comedy has said.

Saskia Schuster said she realised last year that "an awful lot of my comedy entertainment shows are made up of all-male writing teams". She said: "Too often the writing room is not sensitively run. It can be aggressive and slightly bullying."

She has now changed ITV's contracts, and female writers have been hired to join shows like ITV2's Celebability.

There has been "a significant lack of shows written by women or with women on the writing teams", she said.

Last year, when reviewing the gender balance of sitcom scripts she was sent, she realised that for every script she received from a female writer, she got five from men.

After consulting writers, producers, agents and performers, "the first thing I did was I changed my terms of commissioning," she told Channel 4's Diverse Festival in Bradford on Monday. "I won't commission anything with an all-male writing team."

Ms Schuster has launched a scheme called Comedy 50:50 to encourage more female comedy writers. She said female writers struggle because:

It is difficult to compete for jobs with men who have more writing credits

They can't find producers who "get" their voice and can develop their script to its full potential

They don't thrive as the lone female voice in a writers' room

"There can all too often be a sense of tokenism towards the lone female," she wrote on the Comedy 50:50 website. "Or the dominant perception is that the female is there purely so the production can hit quotas."

She has now changed ITV's contracts so any shows that are commissioned or recommissioned "must aim towards 50:50 gender representation".

Comedy 50:50 has set up a database which currently has details of 460 female writers. Many producers had complained that "there aren't any female writers [or] we don't know where to find them", she said.

Ms Schuster also runs events where she says she "forces" her producers to have 10-minute conversations with three female writers. She has set up confidence workshops and is launching a mentoring network next month.

"If you have the same type of writers in terms of race or sexual orientation or gender, then you're only getting one kind of joke, and if you've got different voices in the room, you're getting different kinds of jokes," she said.

"You want to represent the wide audience that's watching. You want diversity in voice, or else it won't be as funny because it won't be appealing to as many people."

SOURCE  






New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs Bill Granting Driver’s Licenses To Illegal Immigrants

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday night signed legislation granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants — shortly after the controversial measure passed the state Senate.

Cuomo’s action came despite throwing supporters a last minute curveball by asking the state’s top civil attorney, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, to review the measure for possible safety concerns — threatening to veto it if he didn’t like her assessment.

The New York Post Reports:

“You could create a database for the feds to use to actually track down undocumented people,” Cuomo said on WAMC radio. “California passed a law, and they are now in litigation.”

But Underwood’s boss, Attorney General Tish James, later released a statement amid the Monday-night vote arguing that the bill is legally sound.

“The legislation is well-crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses. If this bill is enacted and challenged in court, we will vigorously defend it,” she said.

The law takes 180 days to go into effect, meaning the first licenses will be available in December.

The measure on Monday passed the state Senate by a 33-29 count, often eliciting emotional remarks from both sides of the aisle during the floor vote.

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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