Friday, September 18, 2020

After Trying to Defund Police, Minneapolis City Council Asks: ‘Where Are the Police?’

Now that Al Sharpton has lost interest in Minneapolis — after all, there are no more televised funerals of criminal suspects who died in police custody for him to hijack — the rest of his comrades in the national media have moved on as well. The vultures got what they needed from George Floyd’s corpse and flew away, so now the people of Minneapolis are left to their own devices. Their riot-ravaged neighborhoods and crime-ridden streets don’t fit the preferred narrative, so they’re being ignored.

But the residents still have to live there. They’re still trying to go about their daily lives. The people who can afford to move away from Minneapolis are fleeing in droves, but what about the people who are stuck there? What can they expect from their local leaders, who have spent months trying to #DefundThePolice because it was trending on Twitter?

Minneapolitans can expect what we can always expect from politicians: whining, blame-shifting, and cowardly ass-covering. Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio:

The meeting was slated as a Minneapolis City Council study session on police reform.

But for much of the two-hour meeting, council members told police Chief Medaria Arradondo that their constituents are seeing and hearing street racing which sometimes results in crashes, brazen daylight carjackings, robberies, assaults and shootings. And they asked Arradondo what the department is doing about it.

“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police’?” said Jamal Osman, newly elected council member of Ward 6…

The number of reported violent crimes, like assaults, robberies and homicides are up compared to 2019, according to MPD crime data. More people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than were slain in all of last year. Property crimes, like burglaries and auto thefts, are also up. Incidents of arson have increased 55 percent over the total at this point in 2019.

You want to get rid of the police? This is what it looks like. When you stop enforcing the law, you get anarchy and chaos. You get ruined lives and billions in damages. The only thing worse than cops is no cops.

And that’s after we saw nonsense like this, from Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender:

The whole “Defund the Police” movement is moronic, and the Democrats have made a huge mistake by embracing it. They can’t see past their own noses. Comedian Ryan Long sums up the “thinking” in his latest satirical video:

“Problematic police? No more police! People not obeying COVID rules? Hire more police to arrest them!”

They don’t think, they just react. It doesn’t need to make sense, it just needs to feel right. And when they’re proven wrong, again and again… “Hey, look over there!!”

And the great thing about the people who want to defund the police and now demand more policing? They’re the same people who don’t think you should be able to own a gun to defend yourself.

The single biggest misstep the media and other Biden campaign surrogates have made this year is downplaying the riots as “mostly peaceful protests” and blaming all the violence on the cops. That’s why they’re now panicking about this joke, which Trump just retweeted:

When Trump retweets a joke, it automatically becomes a hate crime. Twitter has slapped a “Manipulated Media” tag on that, and CNN and the rest of their ilk are flipping out about it being “misinformation.” But that’s not the real reason. They’re freaking out because:

1. It’s funny and they hate being mocked
2. It reminds voters that Biden spent the summer ignoring the riots and bashing the police
3. That’s it

It’s one thing to say Trump shouldn’t be RT’ing stupid jokes, about Biden or anybody else. That’s arguable. But to call this “doctored” or “manipulated,” as if there’s some effort to deceive here, is itself deceptive. That’s because they know policing is an issue where Biden is very vulnerable.

Just ask the people of Minneapolis. Their entire city and state is controlled by Democrats. The Democratic Party’s nominee is parroting BLM propaganda while their town plummets into lawlessness, along with dozens of other cities across the country. Why should they vote for this guy? Why should they keep voting for the local Democrats who got them into this mess?

For all my problems with Trump (sorry, MAGA Nation!), he’s right on this one and Biden is wrong. A lot of Americans are suffering because their leaders have forgotten this immutable fact: If you don’t enforce the law, it’s not really law at all.

P.S. Case in point: BuzzFeed just published a puff piece about the two Brooklyn lawyers who face 45 years in prison for throwing a molotov cocktail at a cop car. The two criminals are painted as victims:

They’re the children of immigrants and their friends like them? Well then, never mind! They’re free to go.

SOURCE

MacArthur Prevails – Judge Denies LA County’s Fourth Attempt to Shut Down Grace Community Church

On August 25, 2020, in California Superior Court, Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued a five-page opinion, County of Los Angeles et al. v. Grace Community Church et al., denying the County of Los Angeles’ renewed application for a temporary restraining order against the church and Pastor John MacArthur.

Thomas More Society attorneys are defending the renowned pastor and his congregation against an aggressive assault by the county over the right to hold indoor worship services.

In a very well-reasoned analysis of the prior proceedings, the court held that the county’s attempt to obtain a restraining order did not meet statutory requirements and that the Court of Appeal’s order did not justify a new temporary restraining order; rather, it simply stayed Judge Chalfant’s August 14 order and gave the county permission to enforce its own health order.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna explained, “The court correctly concluded that Los Angeles County’s renewed application for a temporary restraining order was both procedurally and substantively defective. This was their fourth unsuccessful attempt to obtain a court order prohibiting indoor worship services at Grace Community Church. We look forward to fully vindicating our clients’ constitutionally protected rights in subsequent proceedings for this important case.”

“We look forward to fully vindicating our clients’ constitutionally protected rights in subsequent proceedings for this important case,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna.

Pastor John MacArthur said of the decision, “We are very grateful to Judge Beckloff for his reasoned opinion and for taking great care to review this very important matter. As I said in my declaration to the court, we see this action against us as an illegitimate misuse of power. It should shock the conscience of every Christian that churches are coming under assault from our own government simply for holding church. Church is essential.”

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Jenna Ellis added, “This should signal to LA County that California courts will not quickly or easily trample the constitutionally protected rights of churches. We maintain that their health order is unconstitutionally burdening the right of churches to worship, and there exists no rational basis, much less a compelling interest, to try to shut down indoor services at this point, particularly when the county is allowing strip clubs to operate and massive riots to take place – and not seeking restraining orders against them. We look forward to making those arguments at a subsequent proceeding, where we will ask the court to properly check this power grab by Los Angeles County and the State of California’s executive branch.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled to take place on September 4, 2020 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

SOURCE

Voters Who Live in ‘Riot Zones’ Back Trump 2-1

Democrats and the media who’ve confidently predicted that Donald Trump’s pivot to a law and order campaign wouldn’t work should take notice.

They’re wrong.

The issue of law and order — regardless of who perpetrates the unrest and for what reason — hits every American in a personal way. Trump’s target may be “suburban moms” and ex-urban whites, but his message is resonating with those most directly affected by the issue: those who live or work in “riot zones.”

Washington Examiner:

In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, 63% of voters who have seen violent protests in their community “strongly approve” of the president — just 35% don’t.

The survey is the latest showing Trump winning the “law and order vote” as the country sees violence from the protests expand from big cities to smaller communities, such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Rasmussen, who has consistently shown higher approval for Trump than other surveys, has the president at 51 percent approval. That tops Obama’s numbers at this stage of the campaign in 2012.

The law and order vote is a big one. Rasmussen said that 42% of likely voters said that their communities have hosted the anti-police protests in their communities. And nearly half said those protests turned violent, making them a big issue, even to those who haven’t witnessed the violence.

The correlation between Trump’s approval and the support of those living in riot zones is striking.

Among all voters, 65% say the violent protests are important to their vote in the presidential election this fall, with 41% who say it’s ‘Very Important.’

“Among those who have had violent protests in their community, even more (76%) rate them important to their vote, including 54% who say they are ‘Very Important.’ Sixty-three percent (63%) of these voters ‘Strongly Approve’ of the job Trump is doing versus 35% who ‘Strongly Disapprove.’”

Joe Biden and the Democrats aren’t fooling anyone. Their “Road to Damascus” conversion to condemning the violence in the streets while saying they support Black Lives Matter is political doubletalk and voters know it. The fact is, they don’t trust liberal Democrats to keep them safe.

Voters have reached an important distinction. As long as the unrest was seen as a legitimate protest, Black Lives Matter and the Democrats had their support. But the tide has turned and now, and more people see the unrest as riots rather than protests.

New York Post:

The poll, published Sunday, found that 48 percent of likely voters surveyed described violence in New York, Portland, and Kenosha, Wisconsin to be riots, compared to 40 percent who saw them as protests.

The results break down in part along party lines, with 68 percent of Republicans calling the unrest riots, compared to 30 percent of Democrats.

There has been much discussion of a “hidden” Trump vote. Many of these law and order voters could very well say they’re voting for Biden but vote for Trump on election day. Much will depend on whether Black Lives Matter heeds the pleas of Democratic candidate and stops fomenting the violence. They know the score. They read the same polls as Trump. This is an election-winning issue for the president and Republicans and only peaceful streets will neutralize the issue.

SOURCE

Scientific American Makes an Unscientific Endorsement

They have long been a Leftist organ

“Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice,” said acclaimed MIT climate scientist Kerry Emanuel, “but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well-documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank.”

The above warning seems to have aged quite well, given that it was issued a decade ago. If anything, the leftist lurch within the scientific community has only worsened since then.

Case in point: Scientific American, which, as it proudly proclaims, had never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history, recently endorsed everyone’s favorite Man of Science, Joe Biden. But the editors don’t do it lightly, they’ll have us know.

“The evidence and the science,” the magazine’s sages somberly write, “show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people — because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.”

It’s hard to imagine Biden’s own press secretary putting together a puffier piece of political spin. But that’s what “science” has come to.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve lamented the politicization of science. As we wrote back in 2016, “There is a political party that is behind much of the so-called science we hear about these days. That of course is the Democrat Party. There is a major problem with the Party of Science™, though, and that is every time science doesn’t jive with their worldview, they ditch the evidence.”

We also noted the defenestration of Harvard President and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers for having had the temerity to suggest that there might be some intellectual differences between men and women that allow them to excel in certain areas while not reaching the highest heights in other areas. There are also the pesky realities that keep intruding on the “settled science” of the climate change crowd, and the Left refuses to so much as look at an ultrasound for fear that it might actually settle the science of life itself. We might also mention the Left’s opposition to genetically modified foods, which could’ve saved millions of Africans from starvation; or the Left’s efforts to ban animal experimentation, which would devastate the field of medical research; or the Left’s knee-jerk resistance to studying the genetic basis for human behavior; or the Left’s insistence that a man can be a woman.

After yammering on about the settled science of Donald Trump’s awfulness, the Scientific American’s Biden PAC closes with this: “Although Trump and his allies have tried to create obstacles that prevent people from casting ballots safely in November, either by mail or in person, it is crucial that we surmount them and vote. It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science.”

Got that? Joe Biden and his party are “guided by science.” Except when they’re not.

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, September 17, 2020


The Myth of Voting One’s Pocketbook

I don't entirely follow the reasoning below but I think he comes to the right conclusions.  The author is obviously right that many poor white Americans are not deceived by the promises of a better deal from the Democrats.  Being poor does not always make you a Leftist

I did quite a lot of research on just this question during my research career and it was true in both Britain and Australia at that time (70s and 80s) that around a quarter of the working class voted Tory instead of voting for "their" party, the Leftists.  But at that time the Tories were the party of the elite.  Rich and influential people tended to be conservative.  And a large part of that was fear of the Soviets.  In a Soviet takeover of America, all the rich people and most of the other elites would lose their lives.  So it made sense for rich people to be anti-Soviet and hence conservative.

The Soviet threat is now however long gone so other influences have shaped the political scene.  And that has come to a head in the age of Trump, where patriotism has become the big issue, with Trump being a most explicit champion of that.  And, as Roger Scruton has pointed out, patriotism and conservatism  are intimately associated.  What conservatives want and value is very much the same as what patriots want and value.

And patriotism has a very powerful emotional appeal -- which is why Trump came from behind in the polls to get the Republican nomination, with policies at considerable variance from the Republican establishment. Wanting to protect traditional industries is pure conservatism and pure patriotism but it completely ditched the established Republican attachment to free trade.  Trump reminded us that there are more important things than dollars and cents.

And as Lipset and others have pointed out the working class is basically conservative and patriotic so Trump has become the idol of the working class.  They love him.  But there are patriots in all levels of society so that gave Trump his majority.

The Left, on the other hand, have always been anti-patriotic.   They dislike much about the society they live in so would gladly see it all overturned.  They displayed that in the Soviet era by supporting in all sorts of ways that brutal  regime and opposing all efforts for America to build up its military defences.  And they display it today by refusing to rein in the destruction being wreaked by the rioters in Portland, Seattle and elewhere.

So the big political divide these days is between those who love their country and those who despise it.  And neither side is much motivated by their pocketbooks.  Trump in fact is supported by people who stand to be made worse off by his trade policies and China policies.  China has done nothing significant to harm America but picking at China plays well among patriots.  China did originate the coronavirus but they themselves were hit hard by it so it was clearly beyond their control



Do Americans “vote their pocketbooks?” This near-ubiquitous cliche seems at first to pass the test of common sense. Why wouldn’t people vote for the candidates under whom they’ll do the best financially? A wealthy voter should favor the candidate who will lower their taxes. A chronically unemployed voter should support the candidate promising lavish government handouts.

In the most basic economic terms, however, this logic falls apart. If one votes, for example, to maximize the present value of their future income, the answer is to not vote at all. Given the vanishingly low probability of breaking a tie, voting isn’t worth the gasoline used to drive to one’s local fire station and cast a ballot.

Perhaps this critique says more about the limits of economic modelling than it does about voting. Slogans like “It’s the economy, stupid” and “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” suggest a bigger-picture view people can take when voting their pocketbooks. But once again, this view fails to hold water.

The concept of “voting one’s pocketbook” frequently causes partisans who don’t understand the other party’s voters to make strategic errors. It also perpetuates the destructive idea that different groups of citizens are playing a zero-sum game against each other. Finally, and perhaps most insidiously, it creates the myth that the right politician can make our pocketbooks grow.

The Seduction of Joe Sixpack

In late 2004, after voters delivered four more years of George W. Bush, my parents and their progressive friends were abuzz about George Lakoff’s book Don’t Think of an Elephant. Lakoff urged earnest lefties to get more politically savvy. To summarize the book, John Kerry had lost because of those crafty Republicans who through use of buzzwords like “pro-life” and “tax relief” had mesmerized Joe Sixpack into voting against his economic interest. A couple of years later came Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?–similar in its cringeworthy myopia though subtly more scolding to Joe Sixpack himself in tone.

Unwilling to part with the idea that the GOP was fueled exclusively by the rich getting richer, progressives needed expert analysis and suburban book clubs to tell them why such a large fraction of the non-rich might be on board. The great irony is that most of the head-scratching about white working-class voters going against their economic interest was being done by upper-middle class progressives who wear their own votes against lower tax rates as a badge of honor.

These prosperous-but-perplexed progressives in turn expose the mirror-image fallacy held by Republicans–that voters on the left just want “handouts” or “free stuff.” The vanguard of socialism, progressivism, and welfare-statism has always come from relatively well-off intellectuals. Rather than wanting free stuff, they want to see themselves as the givers of free stuff.

Two Economies?

Economic outcomes and political narratives don’t play nicely together, and the results increasingly harm more than just the two parties’ strategic efforts to win converts. A 2019 study from The Wall Street Journal and the Brookings Institution characterizes the current landscape as “Two Parties, Two Economies.”

The study clearly and effectively presents the divergence of different types of voters over the last decade. Democrats are more concentrated in highly-educated urban areas that depend on professional and information-economy jobs; Republicans from rural areas built on manufacturing and agriculture. The differences have grown more stark with time.

The authors conclude that:

For at least the foreseeable future, therefore, the nation seems destined to struggle with extreme economic, territorial, and political divides in which the two parties talk almost entirely past each other on the most important economic and social issues, like innovation, immigration, and education because they represent starkly separate and diverging worlds. Not only do the two parties adhere to very different views, but they inhabit increasingly different economies and environments.

There’s an implicit idea here that, while the authors don’t explicitly endorse, I wish they would explicitly reject. The concept of two opposed and diverging economies suggests to many that government policy can help one economy prosper, albeit at the expense of the other. This is plainly false.

President Trump’s anti-trade policies, for example, have hurt the entire economy, including manufacturing, and even including the hand-picked industries he myopically sought to “protect.” Meanwhile, the Covid-19 lockdowns enforced by both parties but more enthusiastically on the left have been especially brutal on urban economies.

The political drama captured by the WSJ/Brookings study is indeed driven by economic forces. The decades-long shift in the composition of American labor demand–driven by globalization and a revolution in information technology–is likely the most important economic story of our time and defines this conflict. But the only path to resolution is an understanding that free, connected people unencumbered by the smoke and mirrors of politicians “favoring” one type of economy over another prosper together rather than at each others’ expense.

“People vote their pocketbooks” is a misleading and potentially insidious approximation of voter behavior. A better approximation for modern times is “People vote for the candidate or party that provides a better story about themselves.” That can be problematic itself, but when we bring economic performance along for the ride the problems only multiply. Putting our economic fortunes in the hands of politicians is a recipe for division and stagnation, every time.

SOURCE 






Systemic racism is not racism/b>

Tank farms are not farms. Machine gun nests are not nests. In the same way, what is called systemic racism is not a case of racism. It might include some racism, or not, but that is not part of the definition.

Racism is deliberate action of a racist nature by individuals. Systemic racism is a widespread feature of a society. Such features are often expressed as statistics. These are not statistics about the incidence of racism by individuals.

In fact whether or not a specific case of systemic racism includes some actual individual racism is a scientific question. This question may be hard to answer.

Unfortunately, these days a lot of people are simply making the false assumption that certain cases of systemic racism are full of racism, even though no one can point to any. Kamala Harris in particular stands out.

As I explain in my article “Systemic racism” is emotional semantics, the term systemic racism refers to certain kinds of unhappy statistics. Typically these are statistics where members of a non-white population look to be worse off than a white population.

For example, blacks in America are estimated to have a larger percentage homeless people than whites do. This is also true of prison inmates convicted of drug crimes.

In cases like this blacks are said to suffer from systemic racism. But whether or not there is any actual racism going on, or how much if there is, is simply unknown.

Actual racism requires specific racist actions by specific people, while systemic racism can occur for other reasons. The fact is that our complex social system may well be structured in ways that cause these unhappy statistics, even though no one is being a racist. Social systems are like that.

For example, and this is just an idea, not a claim of facts, the relative prevalence of homelessness might be due to the prevalence of a certain level of poverty. Likewise for drug use. Then that level of poverty might be a structural feature that begun under segregation.

Social structures can be amazingly persistent. We see this system persistence in the recovery from disasters, where things go “back to normal”. In many cases these underlying structures can be hard to see, and even harder to change.

Understanding that systemic racism may not be due to widespread individual racism is very important if we want to overcome it. Just as in medicine, getting the diagnosis wrong can be much worse than useless. Trying to cure supposedly widespread individual racism that does not in fact exist can simply make matters worse, not better. Blaming people for things they are not doing just makes them angry.

In fact there is a large scientific literature on systemic racism, also called institutional racism. There have been over 20,000 research articles and books on these two topics in just the last ten years. That is a lot of research!

It is here in the social sciences that we should look for solutions to systemic racism, not by name calling and guilt trips as the Democrats are doing. Kamala Harris and the rest of her party are just making things worse. They are literally inciting people to riot.

Conclusion: Systemic racism is not racism. It is not even evidence of racism. That people think it is, and are being told so, is a destructive conceptual confusion. Instead of coming together we are being torn apart.

SOURCE






Museum forced to remove shrunken heads from display after racism claims

A UK museum has removed a huge collection of human remains – including a mummy and “shrunken heads” – following accusations of racism.

The 130-year-old Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford University, which holds about 500,000 artefacts of anthropological, ethnographic and archaeological significance, said it had ditched the items as part of its efforts to “decolonise” its collection.

Among the items were 150 so-called shrunken heads, known as Shuar Tsanta to the Shuar and Achuar people of South America, as well as Naga trophy heads and an Egyptian mummified child.

Some of the museum’s items were acquired as the expanding British Empire collected and classified items from around the world and it faced accusations of racism and cultural insensitivity for continuing to display them, according to the Associated Press.

“Our audience research has shown that visitors often saw the museum’s displays of human remains as a testament to other cultures being ‘savage’, ‘primitive’ or ‘gruesome’,’’ museum director Laura Van Broekhoven said, according to AP.

“Rather than enabling our visitors to reach a deeper understanding of each other’s ways of being, the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the museum’s values today.’’

The museum said it began ethically reviewing its collection in 2017.

Removed human remains are being held in storage as the museum talks with descendant communities around the world about how to care for them.

It’s the latest example of the global Black Lives Matter movement forcing communities and institutions to reckon with their colonial past.

A number of “racist” names and logos – across food brands, musical artists and even sporting teams – have been dumped around the world this year amid the wave of protests that followed the May death in custody of African-American man George Floyd in Minnesota.

In Australia, they included name changes for Nestle’s Red Skins and Chicos lollies, Sydney’s Captain Cook Hotel (now The Captain Paddington), and Western Australia’s King Leopold Ranges, which was named after a notorious Belgian monarch who was responsible for the deaths of around 10 million people in the Congo.

SOURCE





The COVID-19 Pandemic Keeps Proving Deadly to Liberty

This week, the British government announced limits on gatherings of people who don't live together to groups of no more than six. Although the restriction seriously attacks freedom of assembly, it barely raised an eyebrow in an era of similar intrusions. How could it stand out when countries around the world are tightening the screws on speech, movement, business, and social connections in the name of public health?

As many people feared, the COVID-19 pandemic—or rather, the government response to it—is proving quite deadly to liberty. And too many people seem happy to go along.

"From Monday, we're introducing the 'Rule of 6'," tweeted Matt Hancock, U.K. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. "If you meet socially in groups of more than 6, you will be dispersed, fined & possibly arrested by the police. If we work together in the national interest, we can defeat this unprecedented #coronavirus."

The "Rule of 6" does allow for some exceptions, including "protests and political activities," but only subject to government guidance that makes in-face meetings privileges under nanny's scrutiny.

While authoritarian governments commonly criminalize gatherings of potential dissidents, meeting to oppose the current batch of seat-warmers in favor of your own lot is essential to the democratic experience in nominally free countries. It's also a fundamental right to gather with friends, co-religionists, colleagues, and family as part of civil society—the sections of the world that matter, beyond the boundaries of government.

But Britain's restrictions on assembly pale in comparison to the pre-crime arrests police in the Australian state of Victoria made of those who just advocated public demonstrations against government policy.

Zoe Buhler, a pregnant woman who had called on social media for peaceful protests against the state's draconian pandemic lockdown, live-streamed her own arrest. Police hauled her off even after she offered to delete the offending post.

At least Buhler's door is still on its hinges. Victoria police broke into James Bartolo's home and tackled him to the floor. Again, his crime was openly advocating protest against government policy.

The protests proceeded anyway, in defiance of the law. Of course, attendees criticizing government policy were arrested.

These days, you don't have to assemble or even advocate assembly to get arrested in France; you just have to insult a mayor. The elevated penalty of community service plus a €7,500 fine for those who express "contempt" for mayors is being imposed after local officials complained of 233 physical attacks, up from 198 during the same period last year.

Then again, France has always frowned on harsh words directed at government institutions and officeholders, criminalizing speech defined as defamation and contempt. The extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 provide an opportunity to impose extraordinary penalties further shielding the delicate feelings of government officials from the scorn of their subjects.

In July, David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, warned that "in the past three months, numerous governments have used the COVID-pandemic to repress expression in violation of their obligations under human rights law." But the countries he cited were mostly the usual suspects, such as Belarus, China, and Turkey. To see Australia, Britain, and France take advantage of the pandemic to impose restrictions and penalties on free speech and assembly is to see established and theoretically stable liberal democracies follow a path blazed by authoritarian countries.

To-date, free speech seems safer for Americans than for some of our overseas friends—we can still say pretty much what we want about government officials and their policies. Events in Portland and elsewhere suggest that we can even gather to do so publicly, if sometimes more violently than might be advised.

Still, Americans have been subject to lockdown orders, travel restrictions, mask mandates, and other requirements and prohibitions supposedly intended to protect our health, but definitely injurious to our liberty.

"In halls of power across the country, the growing novel coronavirus pandemic has sometimes been used to stretch, bend or ignore established law and policy," Jenny B. Davis wrote for the ABA Journal back in April, even before some of the worst strictures were in place. "Fundamental freedoms, privacy protections and access to justice have been curtailed in the name of public safety, with legal justifications ranging from appropriate to patently inaccurate."

Alleged public safety measures, unrestrained by limits on power, can inflict their own costs on health as well as freedom.

"Dangers looms when one person tries to regulate the lives of millions," writes physician assistant Jordan Warnsholz, who is suing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her restrictions. "Whitmer's orders are a case in point. One banned any 'non-essential' medical procedures and elective surgeries… There's no doubt that banning these procedures harmed the health and safety of my patients."

The damage is worse, though, when frightened people imagine that the curtailment of liberty is a good thing and become complicit in the oppression of themselves and their neighbors.

Pollsters find that a majority of Michigan voters actually approve of Whitmer's heavy-handed mismanagement of the pandemic response. They also oppose repealing the 1945 law that allows the governor to unilaterally declare an emergency and rule without legislative input.

In Australia, Victoria's voters also cheer on the restrictive regime under which they live. "Overall, public opinion seems solidly behind the curtailment of civil liberties that would have been unthinkable a month ago," reports The Guardian.

It's difficult to imagine government officials—having exercised unprecedented control over our lives, often to popular applause—willingly restoring our freedom. The big takeaway from the pandemic era might not be the ease with which governments steal away our freedom by invoking the alleged necessities of a crisis. The real revelation is how little effort it takes to make many people like it.

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, September 16, 2020



We live in the time of the weirdos

You know, I am still not tired of all the winning. Imagine having a Republican president conserva-woke enough to issue an executive order banning the poisonous lies of critical race theory from being inflicted upon our federal workforce. Well, we do have a president fearless enough to fight back, boldly and publicly, against the noxious propaganda of the academic left we taxpayers have been shelling out millions to pay commie consultants for. And he did it in the face of the utterly predictable narrative that “Trump is racist for prohibiting indoctrinating government employees with the idea that people are good or bad based on their race!”

Do you think a Jeb!, or a Mitt! or even a Nikki! would dare stand up to that kind of heat? No, they’d be kneeling, begging for absolution from the NYT and WaPo for the sins of the GOP base not wanting to pay moral and/or financial reparations for slaves they never owned to people who were never owned.

Thanks to Donald Trump, the culture war is back on and instead of General McClellan we have General Patton, and he’s up to RINO-slap a squish.

The culture war is that thing the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” smart set of spineless Fredocons, who are all in on the “socially liberal” part but never get around to the “fiscally conservative” part, have told us for decades is a sure loser. Now, normally one should defer to the Fredocons on losing since they are the indisputable experts, but the fact that for decades the GOP establishment refused to fight about things that our base was concerned with led to a society where people tell you their pronouns and insist dudes can get preggers.

Fiscal and foreign policy stuff is important, but when some dude dangles his doings in your daughter’s locker room because now he insists that he is no longer Charlie but is, instead, Charlotte, that’s a problem. And the geniuses kept telling us “Hush, knuckledraggers, we’re too busy trying to ship your job to China because Milton Freidman told us to and we don’t have time to icky fights over the things you care about that might get us called hayseeds at the next Georgetown mixer.”

All this garbage the left has pushed on us – from racial self-loathing to gender idiocy to killing babies – has catastrophic real-world consequences on real people and the people who presumed to lead us didn’t want to risk the kool kidz of kultur wagging their collective fingers at them. Trump not only cares but counterattacks.

That’s why the executive order getting the government out of the racial grievance business is so important. Finally, we are able to exercise our brand of power – political power, since we control the executive branch – to push back against the unaccountable and totally left cultural power of the establishment. And it’s not only the president.

We’re all supposed to applaud the kneeling zillionaires of the NFL – the most spoiled bunch of jerks on planet earth – and yet when they came out and tried to rub their cultural power in our faces, when they tried to make us just sit there and silently be insulted presented by the felons, losers, and accused sex offenders whose names were emblazoned on their helmets, tons of us refused to tune in and those who showed up live booed these pretentious twits. How dare those peasants refuse to submit to the cultural commandments of their betters!

And then there was the reaction to the despicable Netflix Cuties film, a child molester’s fantasia that disgusted the nation. Look, far be it from me to stop the blue bubble-dwelling cultural elite from selecting “You dumb Jesus people don’t appreciate why pedophilia is no big deal” as their hill to die on. As long as they die on some hill I’m not too picky about which one, but if they want to choose the one that’s even going to creep out a lot of the Democrat Party’s voters, go for it.

The simple and indisputable fact is that within the liberal bubble there is not only huge pressure, but an ideological need, to defend any perversion that comes along. The logic of the liberal ideology makes it impossible to say “No” – if you can’t tell a dude who is manifestly a dude that “Sorry, but you are a dude,” you are probably going to have a hard time coming up with a consistent reason why it’s bad for an adult to have sex with a 14-year-old. And, at least in California, the Democrat governor just signed a bill to substantially cut the penalties for a 24-year-old to have sex – of any kind – with someone 10 years younger. Sick.

Oh, it occurs to them that normal people are disgusted and appalled, but this does not cause them to rethink their disgraceful actions but to insist we are somehow mischaracterizing what they are doing. We say they are trying to penalize pedos less, and they are. And based on their grotesque rationalizations, if you follow their twisted logic there is nothing that creates a boundary between the lessened penalties they want today and the total abandonment of the idea of the age of consent. The leftist perverts get their perversion and the rest of the leftists get to further undermine the family and society – to people who hate you, it’s a win-win.

But we’re now fighting back. People are furious with Netflix, and it seems as if the Obama-affiliated VOD service was actually stunned that people objected. After all, cultural decency rarely penetrates into the deep blue bubble, and the idea that telling someone “Hey, your perversion is not okay” is totally alien to their caste. The cultural critics adored Cuties and were scandalized that anyone might be offended by the horrific sexualization of pre-teen girls. Alyssa Rosenberg of the WaPo fumed: “If conservatives, who have jumped on the debate over #Cuties, want to be taken seriously as cultural arbiters, they have to be able to talk about the *text* of a movie like this in an honest, responsible way.” Well, if the price of the total rejection of pedo exploitation of kids is having people in blue metro enclaves not take us seriously, we’re ready to pay it.

Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton have gotten involved and attacked Netflix and, by extension, the leftist luminaries involved. Note that Obama, who is deeply connected with Netflix, has said zero. And, of course, there’s no outrage from the creepy, hair-sniffing weirdo who lives in a basement. But it would be no surprise to see the president tweet about it: “Many are disgusted by failing Netflix (Obama has a big-money deal with it) exploiting kids. We will investigate and prosecute perverts. Sick! LAW AND ORDER!”

The culture war is not some niche distraction for Bible thumpers and repressed weirdos channeling Chris Cooper in American Beauty. It is not an inconvenience to our GOP establishment and a frivolous distraction from the serious business of managing America’s decline to keep it at a slightly slower rate than under the Democrats. It is the battle over the things that we normal Americans live with every day.

The nature of our country and society is vitally important, and we demand a say in it.

Under Trump, we have that say again, finally, and in his second term look for Donald Trump’s administration to stay on the cultural offensive.

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Straight Out of Marxism: BLM Protesters Take Over Grocery Store to Protest Lack of 'Access' to Grocery Stores

Black Lives Matter activists occupied a Trader Joe’s in Seattle this week, claiming to be protesting “lack of access to grocery stores” and explaining to patrons “how capitalism exploits the working class.”

That “capitalism” line is straight from Marxism. BLM founders do admit to being “trained Marxists.” Their training is trickling down.

Socialism and communism exploit the working class and everyone else under their bootheel. Free speech, free press, and freedom of religion tend to die under socialism and communism. Gulags and concentration camps for punishing wrongthink replace them.

Socialism and communism are forms of slavery, though they have seldom been called that.

If you’re a Uighur sent to a concentration camp in Xinjiang against your will and for having committed no crime by your unchecked rulers in the Chinese Communist Party, and you are forced to make products, what are you?

You’re no longer a Disney fan, that’s for sure.

Back to Trader Joe’s in Seattle:

This comes as leftists conflate Trader Joe’s and gentrification, according to The Atlantic in a 2019 article on the “conflicts between white Portlanders and long-time black residents” over “widening bicycle lanes” and “the construction of a new Trader Joe’s.”

So…leftists block Trader Joe’s from building stores, and then protest the “lack of access” to those stores.

Why doesn’t this compute? Were there guards blocking these protesters from entering the store they protested over “lack of access?” Were there any actual impediments to them entering?

Were the roads blocked? If they were, it was probably by another of these protest groups. Blocking people from doing things is their jam.

Trader Joe’s is a great store. They offer fantastic products at very competitive prices. Their staff are always friendly and helpful. The stores are always clean. The produce tends to be a bit cheaper than other stores in the area and it’s just as fresh. These stores provide jobs, help the tax base, and tend to increase property values around them.

All of which reminds me, I need to go to Trader Joe’s soon.

The patrons of this Seattle store are probably left-of-center affluent BLM supporters. Their temporary kidnapping surely left them with a positive impression of the organization.

The protesters are probably affluent too.

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MA Senator: “We Must Disarm” Police Of Their “Weapons Of War”

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, fresh off a successful primary fight against challenger Joe Kennedy III, isn’t tacking to the center as he heads into the general election. Instead, the Democrat is embracing one of the most far-Left positions when it comes to the calls for police reform. On Monday, the senator declared his support for disarming police of  “weapons of war” to tear gas, rubber bullets, and other less-lethal means of defense and crowd control.

“Peaceful protesters,” he says. No mention of the riots, looting, and unrest that have rocked Portland for more than 100 days. Markey makes it sound like police in Portland are just randomly attacking people at prayer circles, instead of responding to riots where would-be revolutionaries try to set fire to the mayor’s apartment building.

Markey and his Democratic comrade-in-disarmament Bernie Sanders have introduced something called the No Tear Gas or Projectiles Act, which, in their words would “prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement officers’ use of tear gas and rubber bullets by banning federal officers’ use of riot control agents and kinetic impact projectiles, and by restricting the allocation of federal funding to state and local entities that do not ban riot control agents and kinetic impact projectiles.”

“Our streets are not meant to be battlefields, and law enforcement shouldn’t be using weapons of war against protestors and other Americans,” said Senator Markey. “Law enforcement’s use of tear gas also compounds the effects of structural racism, because we know communities of color are already suffering disproportionately during this global respiratory pandemic. It’s time we stop using these potentially lethal weapons against our own people. I thank Senator Sanders for his partnership on this legislation and urge our colleagues to join us in protecting the health and rights of the American people.”

I find it fascinating that some on the Left like Markey are now declaring that less-lethal methods of crowd control are now “weapons of war” that should be banned for use by police, even while Markey is apparently okay with law enforcement using the semi-automatic firearms that his fellow Democrats have described as “deadly and dangerous weapons of war that belong on battlefields—not our streets.”

You’d think if Markey wanted police to stop using tear gas and rubber bullets he’d also be calling for law enforcement to be disarmed of their “assault weapons” as well, but the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2019,” which was co-sponsored by Markey, contained an exemption for law enforcement to continue to use the rifles while on the job.

At this point, I’m not sure why Markey doesn’t just embrace the idea of disarming police completely; no sidearms, no stun guns, no ASP wands, no tear gas, no pepper spray. Maybe he’s waiting until after Election Day. In the meantime, don’t be surprised if Markey’s Republican challenger, attorney Kevin O’Conner, hammers Markey on the issue during the pair’s upcoming debate.

If Markey doesn’t want police using less-lethal means of crowd control, what exactly are his recommendations when officers are facing hundreds of agitators who are throwing rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails at law enforcement who are trying to keep the peace and quell riots and unrest? Police in Portland say that Mayor Ted Wheeler’s decision to ban the use of tear gas is going to lead to officers using impact munitions, as opposed to hugging it out with those trying to burn down the city’s center.

“Banning the lawful use of CS will make it very difficult to address this kind of violence without resorting to much higher levels of physical force, with a correspondingly elevated risk of serious injury to members of the public and officers,” the statement reads. “CS, while effective, is a significantly lower level of force than impact weapons, which would very likely be necessary to disperse riotous groups with its prohibition.”

In short, because of Wheeler’s decision, police will be forced to shoot members of the public at protests with pepper balls, rubber bullets, flashbang grenades, or other “impact munitions.”

This is what happens when a politician’s desire to pander to their base takes precedence over offering any real solutions to improve the tenuous situation in too many of our Democrat-controlled cities. Police have an obligation and a duty to ensure public safety, and as cops in Portland point out, the Left’s push to disarm police of less-lethal means of crowd control is likely to only escalate confrontations and lead to more force being used against those “peaceful” protesters who are trying to burn down their cities.

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Two Ambushed LA Deputies Are Fighting for Their Lives

After another assault, the Left is increasingly becoming the enemy of law and order

A surveillance video caught the attempted assassination of two LA County Deputies Saturday evening. Even by today’s libertine standards, what it depicts is both depraved and deeply disturbing: A lone man walks up to the passenger side of a parked patrol car and opens fire at point-blank range, then races away down the street. As KABC reports, “A massive search for a gunman is underway as two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies are ‘fighting for their lives’ after they were shot in the head in an ambush at the Metro station in Compton.”

Both deputies sustained multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition after having undergone surgery. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the deputies, a 31-year-old female and a 24-year-old male, were shot multiple times but were able to radio for help. “That was a cowardly act,” Sheriff Villanueva said. “The two deputies were doing their job, minding their own business, watching out for the safety of the people on the train. To see somebody just walk up and start shooting on them. It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time. There’s no pretty way to say it.” There is a $100,000 reward for the capture of the assailant.

The subsequent actions of protesters were disgraceful. As the Wall Street Journal notes, “No one other than the shooter is responsible for the gunfire ambush Saturday of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as they sat in their patrol car. But the same can’t be said for the protesters who blocked the entrance to the hospital where the two are being treated, and chanted ‘we hope they die.’ The latter is a cultural poison nurtured by the left-wing anti-police movement sweeping the country.”

We’re not inclined to link to profane footage of these protestors yelling “we hope they die,” but do so in order to demonstrate just how depraved certain Democrat identity politic groups have become.

Despite that obscenity, LA’s leftist Mayor, Eric Garcetti, could not comment on the incident without prefacing his remarks with some race-bait rhetoric: “Of course, there’s an important conversation going on about policing in this country, but these are folks who put their lives on the line for us, and we will find justice for them.”

Black conservative commentator Candace Owens was more direct in affixing the blame: “Why does this happen? Because pea-brained celebrities that are idolized like [LeBron] James tell young black men that they are ‘literally being hunted.’ This is the natural result of such hyperbolic, dishonest rhetoric. The racist, anti-police, black lives matter LIE is to blame.” She slam-dunked James.

The brazen nature of the crime is reminiscent of one that took place six years ago. As the Journal continues, “Police haven’t identified a suspect, but the randomness of the ambush suggests someone looking for any available police target. We’ve seen this before when anti-police fever is hot. [An assailant] shot and killed two officers in their car in New York in 2014 following the death of black suspects being arrested in Ferguson, Mo., and New York.”

This is the rotten fruit of the Left: Its demonization — indeed, its dehumanization — of our law enforcement professionals has all but put a bounty on their heads.

When it comes to Rule of Law, we as a people will reap what we sow. As leftist activists and even mayors push to cut police budgets, there will be fewer cops on the beat, and those who are will reduce what they do. The people who will suffer most are the very people leftists claim to care about most.

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, September 15, 2020


Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is among several Republican senators urging the Food and Drug Administration to remove the abortion pill from the market

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, recently tweeted a piece from National Review reporting that he and other Senate Republicans had asked the Food and Drug Administration to remove the abortion pill mifepristone (also known as RU-486 or the brand name Mifeprex) from the market.

Cruz made additional comments in his tweet that sparked outrage. Many accused the Texas senator of misinformation, misogyny, and more.

However, Cruz’s comments are accurate and persuasive, and abortion advocates should reconsider supporting not just abortion, but their effusive praise of this particular drug.

Let’s address Cruz’s brief tweet, line by line, and see if it holds up against science—and the outrage.

“Pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness.”

Critics took note of this phrase and overreacted, spouting on social media that women die every year due to pregnancy or complications from giving birth, so Cruz must be devastatingly wrong.

Some even pointed out that pregnancy mortality rates in Texas are unusually high.

To be sure, there is a pregnancy mortality rate in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2018, it was about 17.4 deaths per 100,000 births. By this statistic alone, it’s clear Cruz is correct: Pregnancy is not an illness that ends disproportionately in death.

While the number is higher than I’d like it to be, as a woman who has given birth to four children, I must say pregnancy is not an illness that needs to be treated.

As trivial as this point might sound, it’s a key aspect of the abortion debate when it comes to inducing abortion: Abortion advocates, and particularly supporters of the drug mifepristone, support the drug given to women early in pregnancy because pregnancy, to them, is inherently something to be wary of—or perhaps even despise—because it carries with it a baby who is unwanted or inconvenient.

To pro-life advocates, however, none of these things is  true.

“[T]he abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease.”

Cruz made this point specifically because he and the other senators are asking the FDA to focus on its duty, which is recognizing and labeling safe medicines that help treat illnesses or cure diseases.

Since pregnancy is not an illness, the FDA has no business approving the use of mifepristone, which is designed to end the life of the tiny embryo growing inside mom. The FDA should not be in the business of supporting the use of drugs that can harm or kill people.

“Mifeprex is a dangerous pill.”

What most abortion advocates and supporters of the use of mifepristone don’t know is what the drug actually does to a pregnant woman. They know it can cause an abortion and often many just reflexively support that since it’s consistent with their position. But mifepristone itself is exactly what Cruz said it is, a dangerous drug that induces abortion in a messy, sometimes harmful way.

Dr. Anthony Levatino, an OB-GYN who has performed more than 1,200 abortions, explained how the “abortion pill” works. After the mother takes mifepristone at the clinic, it blocks progesterone, a natural hormone that women produce when pregnant, which breaks down the lining of the uterus. This cuts off “blood and nourishment to the baby, who then dies inside the mother’s womb,” Levatino says.

It gets worse. Mom must take a second pill, misoprostal (or Cytotec), which forces the woman into labor, causing “severe cramping, contractions, and often heavy bleeding, to force the dead baby out of the woman’s uterus,” Levatino said, adding:

The process can be very intense and painful, and the bleeding and contractions can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

The pregnant woman then finally expels the dead baby and can bleed for at least two weeks, sometimes longer, afterward.

The abortion pill has even been known to cause maternal deaths due to infection or undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.

Now can abortion advocates understand why so many pro-life people, including Cruz and the other senators, are against the FDA’s approval of this drug, which causes the death of an unborn life and so much pain and suffering for the baby’s mother?

In his comments, Cruz is hardly being misogynist, cruel, or indignant. In asking the FDA to reconsider its support, he’s actually being pro-woman, pro-safety, pro-life, and pro-medicine.

If abortion advocates cared about women as they insist they do, they would reconsider their support of such a harmful drug.

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Parenting: Beware overpraising your average child

The gushing compliments and a prize-for-all attitude, regardless of a kid’s real skill level, has to stop. Parents and teachers need to help children accept that they aren’t the best at everything – and that’s OK.

I had an interesting email from a reader who was worried about her 7-year-old daughter.

She’s concerned about her self-esteem with her peers, particularly as she’s starting to use terms such as ‘better than’ and ‘cooler than’ when discussing her friends. Aware of the impact of reduced confidence, she wanted some advice to help when her daughter’s self-comparison gives her doubt.

Great question, but to answer it, let me back up a little to explain the current landscape of building self-esteem in children.

The praise push

In the last 40 or so years, parents and educators have been much more aware of making sure children feel good about themselves, to help them be able to go out in the world with a level of confidence. As a result, adults don’t only give feedback about what children are doing badly, but also what they’re doing well. This has been shown not to overly dishearten them and give a sense of accomplishment that keeps them persisting in their efforts.

This idea has been taken on with so much gusto that praise is almost revered as the only way to build children’s confidence. And many parents and teachers have embraced it fully, taking it upon themselves to give children almost timetabled regular compliments, regardless of their actual efforts or genuine skill level.

We also provide more opportunities for children to win, with every layer of pass-the-parcel revealing a prize so no one feels like a loser. Furthermore, we give more extreme praise about their accomplishments when they are successful.

The real trouble is that these pumped up children will occasionally encounter others with better skills. So, if a child has always been told what a wonderful artist they are, to build their confidence, they will eventually get to school and likely find other children equally or more talented than they are. If the child’s self-esteem has been truly dependent on being the ‘best artist’ then it is likely to crumble at that point and they are likely to come home in tears because Riley’s artwork was chosen over them.

Self-supplied self-esteem

But does that mean that you need to tell them they’re ‘barely OK’ at things to prepare them fully? Well, no. But, over time, you need to deliberately pull back on excessive applause and start to give measured praise, and occasional constructive criticism, so they are ready for times when they are not the best, prettiest, or most talented at activities.

Ideally, give praise with thought rather than as a continual top up of their self-worth. If a child regularly asks for more compliments, then they might be too dependent on them. To help them, don’t go over the top when they request your approval, and sometimes get them to self-assess their efforts instead.

When they point out that others are better at tasks, avoid racing in to refute it, because your denial suggests that being second is unacceptable. If it’s true, then agree with them with a shrug and a head nod. You don’t even need to come in with high praise of other things they are good at. This is not to be cruel, but to help them accept that they aren’t the best at everything – and that’s OK.

Sure, giving children a life of permanent triumph as a means of supplying self-confidence will help them currently feel better about themselves. But it’s important to remember this action only prepares them for a life of perpetual success – and that’s not really possible.

Children have to be confident that they’re OK as average, acceptable despite coming fifth, adequate despite not being the coolest child in the class. A belief in their ability to cope with wherever they appear on the supposed scoreboard, will make the child’s self-esteem more ‘self-supplied’ than ‘another person’ supplied. That’s going to be a much more dependable and ongoing foundation for them.

SOURCE






Forgetting History and Misrepresenting History is America's Real Pandemic

By Rich Kozlovich

Nineteen years have passed since Islamic terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center Towers.  For someone my age (74), that was just yesterday.  Although it shouldn't be, it is a bit startling to realize how many adults today don’t remember that event.  While my generation knows a lot about Pearl Harbor, we have no personal memory of it.  However, when it comes to remembering Pearl Harbor for my generation, and 9/11 for the modern generation, there's a difference between my generation and the current crop of young people?  What is it?  Societal paradigms and education!  I will cover that later.

Just as those who were alive when Pearl Harbor was attacked, I vividly remember 9/11.   The west became complacent when it seemed the Cold War was over and everything was fine.  I knew that wasn’t true.  I knew the cold war wasn't the end of concerns. I knew Islamists were going to be a problem.  What I didn’t know is we would have Presidents - Clinton, Obama and supported by efforts by Jimmy Carter - who would actually help America’s enemies, such as Iran, N. Korea and China especially.

Although we all should have known.

Nixon was the key to understanding what was going on, but I wasn’t old enough, experienced enough, or knowledgeable enough to understand his foreign policy toward China was fundamentally flawed and practically treasonous.  Because of Nixon, we’ve been funding their economic and military expansionism, which is in direct conflict to the good of the United States.  And that was their intention from the beginning.

When Kissinger went to China while talking with Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zedong) and his number one henchman, Chou En- Lai (Zhou Enlai), Kissinger said to Mao, paraphrasing:

The nice thing about this is we don't want anything from each other.  Mao said to Kissinger: If I didn't want something from you I wouldn't have invited you, and if you didn't want something from me you shouldn't have come.

But all those weaknesses in my understanding changed, and I later clearly understood the reason for Mao's invitation. China was in serious internal trouble, and its economy was disastrous, and it seems to me, the Chinese communists were in deep trouble.   Nixon bailed them out and made them a world trading partner.  What Mao wanted was to save his economy, stay in power, and eventually force the west into an inferior economic and military position to China, and get the west to fund it. And it happened, and there are those who are leaders in industry, government and politics who want it to continue for their own benefit.

As a result, none of what’s happening now should surprise us, except for one thing: We finally have a President that sees the problem as it is, and not as the media and ruling classes attempt to present it.

Having had to deal with the EPA, environmentalists and other misfits for many years representing my industry, I knew the bureaucracy was corrupt, and that corruption was created by elected representatives from both parties, especially starting with - again - Nixon, who created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration  (OSHA), passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and a host of  other "green” laws.  All of which have been out of control for years.  All of which are anti-capitalist.  All of which are anti-American. All of which impose fundamentally unconstitutional regulations.  All of which the nation is struggling with today.

But here's what has taken me by surprise.   The extent and depth of treason going on within all these government agencies, and throughout every level of government in America by government officials, elected and un-elected, military and civilian.  There’s a reason the phrase “The Deep State” has been coined to explain them.

Its been known for years the government of the United States during the Roosevelt years was the most heavily infiltrated government in the history of the world.  Senator Joe McCarthy was contemptible in many ways, accusing innocent people of being communists, but he was right in his contention the federal government was filled with communists, socialists, Stalinist agents and fellow travelers.  All of which was proven by the release of the VENONA intercepts, and by the release of the Soviet Union's files after it's collapsed.   Information FDR, Truman and Eisenhower all had to know about.

Their intellectual and philosophical progeny are still there! 
The breadth and depth of that infestation is shocking!
The politicians embrace of them is stunning!
 
The media’s defense of them is the most shocking of all!

Much of our domestic problems are startling, however, all of the reactions by the world’s nations should have been predictable!  All one has to do is just take a look at the history of Islam and the West for hundreds of years.  Nothing has changed.  These “leaders” today are just as spineless and self-serving as were the rulers in Europe all during the Middle Ages, the Crusades, and during the incursions into Europe by the Ottoman Empire.  In some cases actually supporting the Ottomans against their fellow Christian kings for their own gain.

Our “leaders” in industry and government are just as spineless and self-serving as they were.  What took me by surprise is how easily America’s ruling classes became just as corrupt, conniving and treasonous as were those in Rome and Byzantium, all to the detriment of their societies, and ultimately their very existence.   If this continues, America’s existence will be in question.

Another thing that has surprised me is how easily Americans became lemmings over this coronavirus scare mongering con job.  Knowing how scare mongering molds societies intellectually from history books is one thing.   Seeing it as a living reality is entirely another.  Seeing how easily these misfits have manipulated members of our society against each other seems to be nothing short of a practice run for bigger take overs.
Quebec city will isolate 'uncooperative' citizens in secret corona facility

I have grave concerns for the continued existence of America.   George Friedman's book, The Storm Before the Calm, covers the cycles of American transformations,  and how America still remained America.  And that’s because all those generations were taught history as it should be taught.

Education in America now teaches America’s children to hate America, and that it needs to be “fundamentally transformed” into Cuba.  And these kids believe it, and they’re acting on it by burning down America’s cities, with threats to burn down the entire nation if Biden isn’t elected, and the media and elected officials enable and excuse them.

As for remembering Pearl Harbor versus remembering 9/11, this is a twofold problem:

Social Paradigms: There was a huge number of movies made about WWII and Pearl Harbor, and American's knew we were the good guys.  How many have we seen about 911, or for that matter Islamic terrorism?  Not that many! And not enough to override the constant politically correct drumbeat.  How many movies and documentaries are there telling us Islamists are our enemies?  Current posturing makes it appear we brought this on ourselves and we deserved to have these terrible things happen to us.  We're the bad guys, not the terrorists. And any commentary in conflict with that narrative is railed against as racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic.

Education:  The real number one issue in America is public education and higher education. If that’s not fixed, America will not be America in this next cycle, and if the Democrats manage to steal this election, it will happen much sooner than later.   That is the absolute number one issue that needs to be emphasized and dealt with.  The Politically Correct crowd are using our own values against us.  They're using the education system to destroy America by teaching America's children to hate America.

America is in crisis, and we need to remember 9/11 for the horrors suffered by the 2,977 who died there.  But we need to define it for what it truly was:  A symptom of a terminal political cancer eating away at the vital organs of the nation.

SOURCE






A plea for humility from America's first superstar

On Sept. 17, 1787, the federal convention in Philadelphia completed its work. Originally convened to draft improvements to the flawed Articles of Confederation, the delegates had quickly shifted gears, deciding instead to develop an entirely different system of government. Over nearly four months of grueling debate, they crafted something brand new: the Constitution of the United States. On Sept. 15, the text was engrossed on parchment. Two days later, the document was presented to the delegates for their approval.

Many Americans have heard the story of the woman who approached Benjamin Franklin as the delegates emerged from their proceedings in Independence Hall, which had been conducted in secret. "Well, doctor," she asked, "what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin famously replied: "A republic, if you can keep it."

Far more profound than that tossed-off rejoinder, however, were the less well-known words spoken earlier that day, in Franklin's extraordinary closing address to the convention. His message of political compromise and intellectual modesty is one our society, so angrily uncompromising and immodest, badly needs to hear.

At 81, Franklin was by a considerable margin the oldest delegate to the convention. He was the only man present who had signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. As a statesman, a scientist, and an intellectual, he was the most famous American in the world, and, with the possible exception of George Washington, the most respected member of the convention.

The Constitution incorporated provisions that Franklin had opposed. He had strongly favored a plural executive, for example. He had advocated for the direct election of judges, and argued that federal officials should serve without pay. The final document by no means represented what he considered ideal. The same was likely true for every other delegate.

Indeed, some members of the convention regarded the new system's shortcomings as so wrongheaded that they had walked out before the final vote. There were fears that the coming fight over ratification of the Constitution might be so bitter, it would end in violence. Worried "that a civil war may result from the present crisis," Elbridge Gerry described the political acrimony in his home state of Massachusetts: "In that state there are two parties — one devoted to democracy, the worst . . . of all political evils, the other as violent in the opposite extreme."

But Franklin thought nothing could be worse than for the new Constitution to make its appearance amid open dissension among its drafters. Drawing on his skill as a diplomat, he urged his colleagues to set their differences aside and accept the document in a spirit of cooperation.

"I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them," Franklin began. "For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects. . . . [T]he older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others."

People have a bad habit of falling in love with their own opinions, said Franklin, and of sneering at the unsoundness of other people's views — a phenomenon even truer in the 21st century than it was in the 18th. He implored the delegates to resist that temptation and to support the Constitution despite their misgivings.

"I agree to this Constitution with all its faults," he said. "I doubt too whether any other convention we can obtain may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? . . . I consent, sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die."

Franklin moved that a line be added to the final document, declaring that it had been accepted "by the unanimous consent of the States present" — a formulation that would allow even the minority of delegates who had voted No to sign. It was his wish, he said, "that every member of the convention who may still have objections to it, would, with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and . . . put his name to this instrument."

They did. All but three of the men present acceded to Franklin's wish and stepped up to sign the Constitution.

The stakes in 1787 were no less grave than those Americans fight about today. Then as now, disunity and polarization threatened to tear the nation apart. The difference is that those men in Philadelphia agreed to work through their ideological differences, while our ability to do so seems to diminish by the day. More than ever, we are in need of leaders like Franklin, and of lessons like the one he conveyed so effectively 233 years ago next Thursday: that we strive to be less hostile to the views of others, and learn to doubt a little of our own infallibility.

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, September 14, 2020


I Hate Men is the title of a young woman's new book which officials tried to ban as an incitement to hatred - but the author (a French bisexual blogger) is a mass of contradictions who happily makes brownies for her mild-mannered husband

Let's face it:  The penis is a love machine.  Once a woman has sex with a man, she will be open to a relationship.  And that comes naturally to all women, feminists included.  And there will be some regret if a relationship is not offered.

Feminist convictions may of course create difficulties in a relationship but most of the time they can be negotiated away. The convictions are mostly nothing more than a wish for kind and considerate treatment and if that is forthcoming a shell of convictions may remain but it will do no harm to the relationship.  Kind and considerate treatment will triumph over most other things.  As we probably see in the story below

In my own long life I have been struck by how rarely I have encountered anything but vague feminist convictions -- and they have certainly never blocked the path to bed.  Women can in fact be remarkably flexible and tolerant if they really like the man. As just one instance, I was for a while in the position of sleeping with two different women most nights -- with both women aware of it.  And both were desirable ladies.

Feminists tear your hair out.



It is the clarion cry of many politically active young women: ‘Down with the patriarchy!’ But for Pauline Harmange, a 25-year-old, bisexual French blogger, the call to arms has had more far-reaching consequences.

Her decision to wade into the gender wars by writing a book entitled I Hate Men has sparked a fierce debate not only about the differences between the sexes but also about freedom of speech.

The book is actually more a tub-thumping pamphlet, in the tradition of Paris’s bohemian and outspoken Left Bank, the haunt of great feminist philosophers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Colette and many others.

It is a passionate denunciation of men, of their violence and oppression and entitlement.

It opens with a quote from poet Sylvia Plath: ‘The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way.’

Harmange deplores the role of men in society. ‘I witness every day the immense indifference of men towards women. I witness the sh*t about rape, harassment, feminicides, debates on social media, conversations from men I meet or interact with.’

Despite being distributed by a tiny publishing house run by volunteers called Monstrograph, her 96-page essay attracted the attention of a ‘mission manager’ at France’s Ministry of Women and Men’s Equality, named Ralph Zurmely. To him, it was clear. The title of the book, Moi Les Hommes, Je les Deteste, was an obvious incitement to hatred.

You can see his point: if any racial group had been substituted for the word ‘men’, there would have been uproar.

Mr Zurmrly said: ‘This book is obviously an ode to misandry [hatred of men]. I would like to remind you that incitement to hatred on the basis of sex is a criminal offence! Consequently, I ask you to immediately remove this book from your catalogue under penalty of criminal prosecution.’

He might have expected congratulations for rooting out ugly, divisive hate speech – the kind of thing online social media sites are being urged to stamp out.

Instead, something else happened. Mr Zurmely found that he had misjudged the public mood. The first edition of I Hate Men has sold out and the book is now being reprinted.

Is it that France had decided it hates men or that it likes freedom of speech more?

On the other side, Harmange is feeling the wrath of many men and women who detest her opinions.

She is accused of vicious prejudice against a group of people who are not commonly considered society’s victims – the entire male population.

Harmange, who describes herself on Instagram as the ‘harbinger of the feminist storm’, appears a little unsettled by the ferocity of the tempest she has whipped up and has retired to her home in Lille, in northern France.

Her publisher Colline Pierre, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Pauline is taking a step back at the moment.

‘There are a lot of issues and offers surrounding her book. And sometimes violent reactions.’

A tempest is not a bad thing for sales, of course.

Before Harmange went into hiding, she gave an interview assuring men that their existence was not under threat, merely their entitlement. ‘Eradicating men is not my aim,’ she said, generously.

‘Ideally, the book would help bring men down to a normal position alongside the rest of us, and at the same time liberate women from the weight of that all powerful patriarchy.’

There is another tantalising aspect to this story of our times.  The term ‘lived experience’ these days often prefaces political and social argument. It has Marxist roots and emphasises the importance of ‘personal knowledge about the world gained through direct, first-hand involvement in everyday events rather than through representations constructed by other people’.

In other words, you have the right to talk about sexism or racism or classism or ageism, for example, only if you have experienced it.

Harmange says that working with rape victims has coloured her rhetoric.

The number of cases of domestic violence in France is high. But her own experience contradicts the All Men Are Rapists notion.

This is what she says in her book about men: ‘Even as they dump us, rape us and kill us... boys will be boys. Girls, on the other hand, will become women and learn to cope with being hit, because there is no escaping our narrow view in the crystal ball of patriarchy.’

She may hate men, but it is nothing personal, as she coyly adds: ‘Come on, I’m going to confess: I detest men. All, really? Yes, all of them. By default, I hold them very low in my estimation. It’s funny because I apparently have no legitimacy in detesting men.’

And then the knockout admission: ‘I chose to marry one anyway, and to this day, I have to admit that I love him very much.’

A scroll through her Instagram page shows something close to domestic bliss. Harmange is happily married to Mathieu, 29, who appears in a series of notably unthreatening poses on her Instagram feed. More often than not, he is asleep.

Indeed, Harmange’s Instagram generally is an idyll of contentment, and cats.

Her pictures are of calm sunsets, hot water bottles, knitting, coloured pens, home-baked bread and jam, cakes, yoga mats, and masses of cats. Her fierce rhetoric is matched only by her childlike pleasures.

She is reading Sylvia Plath, but also Harry Potter. She posts a notice that ‘injustice demands revolution’ but then settles down to making advent calendars and painting her fingernails. A tattoo on her arm reads Myself, a statement of defiance but also the solipsism of being 25 years old.

She has pictures of flowers and wedding dresses. She quotes the French writer Albert Camus, who was not known for his chivalry towards women.

Her husband, when awake, is pictured drinking coffee or curled up in corners – or just curled up with the cat. He does not display a tyrannical bone. Even his tattoos look like William Morris wallpaper.

There is a further plot twist: as well as being devoted to her husband, Harmange is bisexual. She says: ‘This choice is not devoid of all context. As a bisexual woman, who can say what my life would be like today if I hadn’t been confronted early on by the homophobia in society and those around me.’

For me, the key to understanding Harmange is not merely that she is young, but that she is very French. Her approach to the relationship between men and women is based on philosophy – which is almost more of a national sport across the Channel than rugby.

Harmange’s cri de coeur echoes one of the tenets of the original Women’s Liberation movement: the fear that men are strong enough to kill you.

She fears and loathes men as a species. She loves individual men.

She does try to address the discrepancy: ‘Although I love my partner and do not consider parting for a second, I continue to think about and claim my fairness to men.’ In other words, she has mastered the art of reconciling two incompatible truths: the empirical (based on experience) and the emotional. How very French!

France is a country of magnificent contradictions: a place of liberty and revolution that has resorted to heavy-handed state powers; a country that ordered Muslims to remove their hijabs at work and now tells everyone to cover their faces with a mask. Swift to worship women, slow to understand the importance of the #MeToo movement.

It is the home of the femme fatale and ‘le cinq a sept’, that golden happy hour when the British go to get two drinks for the price of one, but when French go to lie down with their loved ones – before going home to their spouses.

She is pulling down the temple of patriarchy to rebuild a new society. At the same time, though, she is cooking brownies for herself and beloved ‘enemy-husband’ Mathieu.

It is what we call in plodding old Britain ‘having your cake and eating it’.

This curious, wholly French row should revive the spirits of a country cast down by Covid and castigating Britain over Brexit.

What better than a young woman blazing rhetoric and yet with a playful demeanour?

Her defence is that hating men is a philosophical construction rather than a hate crime.

Of course, I Hate Men should not be banned. It is not bigotry but a cry against the Establishment by a young woman who is part of a generation who are seeking cultural latitude instead of demanding power. They are much less aggressive than my generation, despite the furious words. They hate men but they love cats.

And Harmange has stumbled upon a greater cause.  Hers may be a generation that is quick to take offence but she has come to represent the fundamental right to give offence.

Freedom of speech is of profound constitutional significance in the land of Voltaire and it is also in peril in this country.

SOURCE






 UK: Our children are being brainwashed by a divisive new dogma that I fear will stoke, not heal, racial tensions

Children across the country have finally returned to school, but in their five months away there has been a cultural sea-change.

With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, headteachers have come under increasing pressure to signal that they are on the ‘right side of history’ on a wide range of issues.

This has meant modifications to school curricula and pastoral policies that have been rushed through with little consultation with parents or staff. As a result, pupils are being subjected to an even more suffocating form of ‘woke’ education.

For their part, many teachers have attended ‘unconscious bias’ training sessions, despite the fact that the science behind such courses has been largely discredited.

Others have been advised to read up on books such as White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (which claims that all white people are racist and that their denials are further proof of racism) and How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi (its thesis being self-explanatory).

One teacher told me about a school assembly over Zoom in the early days of the lockdown in which pupils were berated for their ‘white privilege’.

Prestigious schools such as Eton and Eltham College in South-East London have promised to ‘decolonise’ their teaching practice and combat ‘systemic racism’.

Other private schools have pledged their support for Black Lives Matter, despite the fact that this explicitly anti-capitalist movement objects to their existence and would happily see these institutions razed to the ground.

Perhaps all this was to be expected. For several years, a notably one-sided form of politics has been creeping into the classroom.

For example, 70 per cent of teachers in the UK opposed Brexit, and those who supported it quickly learned to keep their opinions to themselves.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with teachers having a political view, or even communicating such views to their charges, so long as they are encouraging pupils to think critically about these ideas rather than treating them as dogma.

But when politics has a direct influence on the curricula itself, critical thinking in a whole range of areas of life is unlikely to be fostered.

Last year, the charity Youth Music called for pupils to be taught about the work of the rapper Stormzy instead of Mozart. The idea that young black pupils are inherently incapable of appreciating classical music is not only wrongheaded, it is about as patronising as it gets.

This is the bigotry of low expectations. As a former teacher, I understand the temptation to assert one’s own politics to the captive audience of the classroom. But when it comes to contentious issues, it’s important for teachers to take the impartial approach. They should be teaching pupils how to think, not what to think.

Instead, too many young people are being taught a partisan narrative in which complex issues are reduced to uncritically ‘good’ (the NHS, the EU, immigration, identity politics) and ‘bad’ (gentrification, capitalism, Brexit, Donald Trump).

And now that the Black Lives Matter movement has gone mainstream – unquestioningly supported by celebrities, football stars and all major corporations – the divisive ideas of many of its proponents are being imposed on children throughout the country.

I am convinced that the consequences of such hasty overhauls could be extremely damaging, both for the children and society at large. This is not simply a case of taking a firm stance against the poison of racism, as schools are already legally obliged to tackle racist incidents and teachers understand the importance of challenging prejudice.

The problem lies with what is known in academic circles as ‘anti-racism’. The phrase itself sounds noble. Who isn’t opposed to racism? But regardless of all good intentions, it is based on a divisive ideology that I believe sets race relations back by decades.

At the heart of all these sudden changes is a relatively obscure field of study known as Critical Race Theory. According to this worldview, society is divided into the oppressors and the oppressed, and all white people are complicit.

If you’ve been wondering why we keep hearing phrases such as ‘white privilege’ and ‘systemic racism’ from politicians and other public figures, this is the reason.

Ironically, many believe that these theories are in direct opposition to the ideal of colour-blindness espoused most famously by US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, who dreamed of a future in which people would be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Critical Race Theory, by contrast, insists that race should be uppermost in our minds at all times, and that every human interaction involves an element of racism.

Indeed, white people who deny their racism are said to be suffering from ‘white fragility’.

To many, it seems like a theory almost designed to exacerbate racial tensions in society.

Take, for example, Channel 4’s recent documentary The School That Tried To End Racism, in which 11-year-old pupils were separated by race and asked to reflect on their ethnicity. Leaving aside the obvious trauma this caused to these impressionable young people – with one boy breaking down in tears and fleeing from the classroom – the entire premise of the show was based on the deeply flawed tenets of Critical Race Theory.

What looked like a one-off televised experiment is now being rolled out in schools across the country. It goes without saying that all ideas should be up for discussion, but when schools are teaching highly contested theories as though they were irrefutable truth, we are now in the realm of indoctrination.

The Chartered College of Teaching, the professional body for teachers, has distributed resources to schools that focus on identity as seen through the lens of Critical Race Theory.

These help them teach about ‘whiteness, including white racism, white identity, privilege, power and intersectionality’. (The Oxford Dictionary defines intersectionality as ‘the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage’.)

These attempts to enforce identity politics onto children are potentially in violation of the 1996 Education Act, which insists on political neutrality in teaching.

The risk that these developments pose cannot be overstated.

How absurd that the skewed logic of Critical Race Theory might suggest that a mixed-race child should perceive one parent as the oppressor and the other as the oppressed.

Children who had once been taught that treating people differently on the basis of skin colour was morally wrong are now be encouraged to see everything through the prism of race. In other words, the achievements of social liberalism and the civil rights movements are being unravelled in the name of anti-racism.

Most teachers are complying –some reluctantly – with the new dogma. This is to be expected, given that those who dare to question the validity of Critical Race Theory are leaving themselves open to false allegations of racism.

With teaching staff caught in a storm of half-baked academic theories and the increasingly shrill demands of activists, it is hardly surprising that so many are left bewildered or, worse, are quitting the profession. And if the teachers are struggling, how can we expect children to keep up?

It isn’t just the teaching profession that has been affected. Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed that MPs are to be given lessons on woke language and history by consultants who declared the words ‘lady’ and ‘pensioner’ to be offensive.

Recently, too, BBC staff were instructed to take a day’s paid leave to ‘educate’ themselves on diversity, inclusion and Critical Race Theory.

Kerris Bright, chief customer officer and member of the BBC Executive Committee, provided a list of resources for staff, including texts on ‘Whiteness’, ‘The End Of Policing’ and ‘The Urgency Of Intersectionality’.

So much for BBC impartiality.

This kind of knee-jerk response is understandable. Nobody in a civilised society approves of racism, or would tolerate it in the workplace. But the unthinking application of Critical Race Theory is having the unintended consequence of making our society more racist, not less.

Healthy working relationships are being corrupted by an insistence that race should be at the forefront of every discussion.

Theories that should have remained in the realm of academia have escaped into the mainstream, like a virus from a poorly secured laboratory.

Many will be surprised to hear about the extent to which these pseudo-academic ideas have spread to schools, but this focus on the young hasn’t come out of nowhere. For years, social-justice activists have understood that the indoctrination of children is the best way to ensure that their orthodoxies are embedded in society.

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote that ‘there is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five’. He was right. This explains why the genre of woke children’s literature is thriving.

Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide To Gender Identity, by Brook Pessin-Whedbee, aimed at three-year-olds and over, takes readers through the multiplicity of fashionable new identities, such as ‘genderqueer, non-binary, bigender, neutrois and two-spirit’. (‘Neutrois’ refers to a gender identity that is neutral or null. ‘Two-spirit’ refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit.)

Children from a very early age are being taught that the whole concept of gender is a total fiction, despite it being the most essential aspect of their existence.

No wonder so many of the young generation are confused.

Other recent bestselling woke children’s books include Feminist Baby, by Loryn Brantz, Antiracist Baby, by Ibram X Kendi, and The Little Girl Who Gave Zero F*cks, by Amy Kean.

Afua Hirsch, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper, has penned a paean to Supreme Court judge Lady Hale, whose controversial ruling on Brexit delivered a devastating blow to Boris Johnson’s Government.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the book appeared to be ‘deliberate propaganda to bend the minds of children’ – which was, of course, the whole point.

With children’s authors, headteachers, politicians, many sections of the media, HR departments and the managerial class almost universally on board with these divisive ideas, it will prove difficult to undo the damage.

And now that this ideology is irrevocably embedded in school curricula and distorting young minds, the matter has taken on an even greater urgency.

Increasingly, parents are seeing for themselves the results of this sudden politicisation of the classroom. They may even find that they are having to deradicalise their own children after school hours, and explain to them why the lessons they have learnt from their teachers are so wrong-headed.

It will not be easy to challenge this trend and re-establish the primacy of liberal values and the dream of Martin Luther King.

But for the sake of the next generation, we have an obligation to try.

SOURCE







Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia were last night sung by a choir at the Last Night of the Proms following furious backlash over the lyrics being pulled due to 'imperialist ties.'

The BBC previously said the controversial British anthems would be performed without lyrics at the Royal Albert Hall in London, but made a dramatic U-turn following a heated debate over the decision.

A reduced orchestra of 65 rather than the usual 300 performed live at the venue on Saturday – but without an audience due to coronavirus restrictions – with the singers placed in the stalls to ensure social distancing.

The highly-anticipated concert featured South African soprano Golda Schultz, 36, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under its principal guest conductor Dalia Stasevska.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti stepped in to perform during The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams after Lisa Batiashvili pulled out due to illness.

South African soprano Golda Schultz, 36, was the featured soprano in the Last Night of the Proms.

The vocalist trained at New York’s Juilliard School and Bayerische Staatsoper’s Opernstudio in Bavaria.

She was a journalism major at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa when she took her first music elective and became immersed in the art.

Her debuts include critically acclaimed performances at the 2012 Bayerische Staatsoper, the 2015 Salzburger Festspiele  and the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival.

She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2017-18 season as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte under the lead of James Levine.

Introducing the show, host Katie Derham said: 'Our orchestra, singers and some very special guests are standing by for an evening of classical treats, show songs and all your traditional favourites.'

The show was screened in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea to a socially distanced audience of hundreds.

The original plan would have seen the traditional pieces, seen by some as controversial because of their perceived ties to imperialism, performed without lyrics.

But a decision was made to include lyrics performed by a 'select group of BBC singers' - after the MailOnline petitioned for the songs to be included.

Some of the lyrics deemed controversial include the Rule, Britannia lines: 'Britons never, never, never shall be slaves', and: 'The nations, not so blest as thee / Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall / While thou shalt flourish great and free: The dread and envy of them all.'

Ms Stasevska, the conductor, spoke out amid the controversy to say she played no role in the decision to strip the pieces of lyrics.

The BBC Proms later said that 'both pieces will now include a select group of BBC singers. 'This means the words will be sung in the hall, and as we have always made clear, audiences will be free to sing along at home.

'While it can't be a full choir, and we are unable to have audiences in the hall, we are doing everything possible to make it special and want a Last Night truly to remember,' the broadcaster added.

'We hope everyone will welcome this solution. We think the night itself will be a very special moment for the country – and one that is much needed after a difficult period for everyone.'

The BBC's initial decision to play instrumental versions of the anthems prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to weigh in on the debate, insisting 'it's time we stopped out cringing embarrassment about our history.'

BBC sources cited in the Sunday Times claimed Dalia Stasevska, 35, was one of those keen to 'modernise' the event and reduce the patriotic elements involved.

Ms Stasevska, who has voiced her support for Black Lives Matter, was swept up in controversy following reports that she had concerns about the words to Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.

But Ms Stasevska has now spoken out in a statement, issued on her behalf by management company HarrisonParrott, insisting she had no part in the BBC's decision to not have the patriotic anthems sung.

She said: 'I am so honoured to be part of this year's BBC Proms and its iconic Last Night. 'I understand its prominence in the UK classical music calendar and wider cultural landscape. It is incredibly exciting to be part of an event with such long-standing tradition. 'It is testament to the unfailing work and commitment of the organisers that the Proms can proceed at all this year.

'However, in recent days there has been a good deal of inaccurate speculation about my role in determining the format of this year's Last Night Of The Proms.

'This false speculation has led to abuse and threats towards me and my family which is why I am speaking out.

'For the record I have played no role in deciding the traditional elements of the programme, I recognise these are an important part of the event.'

After the U-turn, Downing Street told the BBC the Prime Minister 'welcomes the decision' to include lyrics during the Last Night performances of the two anthems.

Mr Johnson later added: 'I do think this country is going through an orgy of national embarrassment about some of the things that other people around the world love most about us.

'People love our traditions and our history with all its imperfections. It's crazy for us to go around trying to censor it. 'It's absolutely absurd and I think we should speak out loud and proud for the UK and our history.'

BBC insiders had also criticised the corporation's initial decision to only include instrumental versions of Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia following the furious racism row.

A source told The Times the BBC's handling of the programme at times felt like 'white guys in a panic' trying to appease the Black Lives Matter movement because of the songs' apparent links to colonialism and slavery.

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant added: 'I think it's all very sad, there are some lovely words in Rule Britannia, it's not all about Britain not being slaves.

'You've got "other nations not so blessed as thee must in their turn to tyrants fall while thou shalt flourish great and free". Isn't that lovely?

'It was written in 1740. What was happening then? There was the War of Austrian Succession in which Britain was involved but it was also a time when the British allowed nationality to Jews and Huguenots overseas, so Britain was a great Liberal, trading nation.

'The National Anthem will be sung and Jerusalem will be sung so it seems like they are trying to pick out just these two songs. Confident, forward-looking nations do not erase their history, they add to it.

'And Britain's history is not all bad, we abolished slavery in 1807, more than 50 years before America got round to it, so that is something we could be proud. I can live with that [songs being sung by one person].

'When you hear some of these opera singers belting it out I don't think you'd say it's a thin voice. Let's just have one voice singing these songs loudly, why not? It's a tradition and it's a beautiful tune.'

SOURCE






Hollywood Decides It’s Not Woke Enough, Sets Oscars Diversity Quotas

Since Hollywood apparently isn’t woke enough already, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that it will add hard diversity requirements for movies to qualify for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Best Picture is considered the highest-level award a film can receive.

As Kyle Smith wrote in the New York Post, the move is essentially the academy “announcing it was formally rejecting the pursuit of artistic quality in favor of a byzantine quota system.”

The requirements are extensive, though they can be achieved through a variety of means.

One lead or significant actor in the movie must be from a list of “underrepresented” racial or ethnic groups.

Or at least 30% of secondary actors must be from a list of “underrepresented” groups, including women, “LGBTQ+,” or disabled people.

Or the storyline of the movie must be about one of the listed underrepresented groups.

The requirements also include a diversity quota for department heads and technical jobs relating to the movie, and an “audience development” requirement, again geared toward that list of underrepresented groups.

You can read the entire list of requirements here. The rules are set to take effect in 2024.

Anyone who has paid even the slightest attention to the Oscars in recent years—an increasingly small and no doubt further shrinking group—would have little illusion about the fact that the awards are already heavily biased toward wokeness.

The Oscars awards ceremony typically includes a heavy dose of left-wing lecturing. Modern Hollywood, aside from a few, mostly underground corridors, is hardly a place of diverse intellectual thought.

But after the “#OscarsSoWhite” Twitter barrage in 2015, it seems that Hollywood is absolutely desperate to signal to the world that wokeness shall henceforth be mandatory.

Forcing artists to adhere to a prescribed list of politically correct actions and ideas in the name of diversity is a blow to art and a sure way to water down and sully the work even of the people belonging to the underrepresented groups they seek to promote.

Will it now be impossible for a historical film to win the Best Picture Oscar without distorting the truth or engaging in absurdity to reach the minimum quota?

It’s notable that a historical movie like “1917,” about two British soldiers fighting in World War I, might struggle to meet the Oscars’ code, but “Cuties,”  a Netflix movie that sexualizes children with a racially diverse cast of girls, easily qualifies.

Such is the moral spectrum of our global cultural elite, it seems.

David Sims, a staff writer for The Atlantic, suggested that there are so many ways for studios to comply with the new rules that there is simply “no excuse” not to follow them.

“The academy has introduced a new standard of accountability in an industry where financial success—which can be boosted by a Best Picture win—is the only real yardstick by which everything is measured,” Sims wrote. “The Oscar rules themselves may not be rigorous, but they’re Hollywood’s latest concrete step toward what could be significant change.”

Of course, it’s easy to see how studios may cleverly hit the bare minimum requirements by adding pointless scenes, fulfilling most requirements off-screen, or using other gimmicks to make sure the quotas are met.

If that’s the case, will the standards then become more extensive and draconian?

The bottom line is, a checklist quota system is terrible for the art of filmmaking.

It amounts to little more than virtue signaling, another example of how America’s most elite cultural institutions all drink from the same poison of critical race theory and identity politics that was once confined to radical circles in academia.

And in many respects, it’s outright insulting to talented actors, who now must wonder if they are simply being used to fulfill the quotas.

On top of that, the monomaniacal obsession with race and gender will further diminish the universality of great art and will further silo Americans into various groups, rather than help us understand our common humanity and human nature.

If there’s a silver lining to the Oscars’ forthcoming quotas, perhaps it will further loosen Hollywood’s grip on America’s cultural imagination and lead to a rebellion against the ideologically calcified, increasingly predictable wokeness we’ve become so accustomed to from La La Land.

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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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