Sunday, June 25, 2017







Court Dismisses Bogus Charges Against David Daleiden for Exposing Planned Parenthood

In a huge victory, a California court today dismissed almost all of the criminal charges abortion activists filed against the pro-life advocates who recorded undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling the body parts from aborted babies.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed 15 felony charges against both David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Becerra is a longtime abortion advocate with financial connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion company that the two pro-life Advocates exposed in the videos for selling body parts such as fetal brains and livers.

At the time, pro-life advocates said Becerra’s 15 felony charges were bogus charges meant to belittle the expose’ campaign and to cast aspersions on Daleiden and the organization behind the videos. They said the attempt was about drawing attention away from Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby parts.

The San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday dismissed 14 of 15 criminal counts but the pair are still charged with one count of conspiracy to invade privacy. However the court dismissed the charges with leave to amend — meaning Becerra could re-file the charges with additional supposed evidence against the pair.

The court ruled that counts 1-14 were legally insufficient. The state has the opportunity to amend if it can plead a more legally sufficient and specific complaint. The California’s Attorney General filed 15 criminal counts against Merritt, with counts 1-14 for each of the alleged interviews and count 15 for an alleged conspiracy. San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite gave the state attorney general’s office until mid-July to file a revised complaint.

In a statement to LifeNews, pro-life attorney Mat Svaer of LibertyCounsel, representing Merritt, said, “This is a huge victory to have 14 criminal counts dismissed.”

“We will now turn our attention to dismissing the final count. Sandra Merritt did nothing wrong. The complaint by the California Attorney General is unprecedented and frankly will threaten every journalist who provides valuable information to the public. This final count will also fall,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel argued that the criminal complaint for illegally recording supposedly “private” conversations (in restaurants, hotel lobbies and other public places) – the first ever filed against undercover journalists – was legally deficient for numerous reasons, not the least of which was the Attorney General’s decision to prosecute Merritt in secret proceedings, without identifying even the names of her accusers or purported “victims.” The complaint did not provide Merritt with the minimum notice required by the Constitution and California law as to what she supposedly did wrong, so that she can mount a proper and vigorous defense. The complaint was also vague and full of inconsistencies.

“Today we asked the San Francisco Superior Court to dismiss these outrageous and baseless charges against Sandra Merritt, and the court agreed to dismiss 14 of the 15 counts” said Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel, who appeared with Sandra in court today. “Sandra did not break any law and the criminal complaint against her is legally deficient, vague and full of inconsistencies. No other citizen journalist or organization has ever been charged with a crime for undercover recordings,” said Mihet.

These charges where the second set of charges filed against Daleiden and Merritt as the first were filed by pro-abortion prosecutors in Houston. Those charges were also eventually dropped and we’re condemned as bogus political charges.

Today’s decision by the San Francisco Superior Court seems to lend additional credence to the fact that abortion advocates and their pro-abortion friends in politics are filing the charges for political rather than substantive reasons.

SOURCE






James T. Hodgkinson: Just Another Well-Intentioned Progressive

R. Emmett Tyrrell

Have you followed the drift of the mainstream media as to what provoked James T. Hodgkinson to attempt the massacre of the Republican House baseball team as it practiced in Alexandria, Virginia, last week? Not the Democratic team, not the Washington Nationals but the Republican team. Well, it was not necessarily Hodgkinson’s politics, we are told. After all, they were pretty much mainstream progressive. According to the MSM, Hodgkinson had a “Volatile Home Life in Illinois.” That is the way The New York Times put it on the front page on Sunday.

There was an allusion to strong drink. Anger and violence were also mentioned as features in his rural Illinois home. Moreover, Hodgkinson was described as abusive toward the foster children that he and his wife of 30 years had under their care. One of the children committed suicide by lighting herself afire. Another died of a drug overdose. And he reportedly dragged his grandniece around by her hair. Hodgkinson was also charged with property damage and a couple of misdemeanor counts in recent years. It makes one wonder what the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services — which the Times mentioned in blasé fashion — is good for.

Yet, as I say, the MSM is soft-pedaling this lunatic’s politics, and I can see why. There was nothing particularly unusual about them. He could have been one of Bernie Sanders’ nondescript supporters at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last summer. In the world of the American Left, there is nothing extreme about carrying placards denouncing the rich or the giant corporations. There is nothing too extreme one might say about the environment, or the plight of the poor, or the fate of the LGBT community.

And why not bring the whole family down to Central Park in New York for a little Shakespeare in the Park? This month is “Julius Caesar,” and featured in place of Caesar is the president of the United States, who dies of multiple knife wounds onstage. Why didn’t someone, say, The John Birch Society, think of such a skit back in President John F. Kennedy’s day? On the other hand, the whole family can curl up in front of the TV and watch the comic geniuses Stephen Colbert or Bill Maher test the limits of the First Amendment.

The fact is that Hodgkinson was, in many ways, just another progressive — note that they do not call themselves liberals anymore. I wonder why. Is the word “liberal” too tainted by defeat or too moderate? Or is it that the Left pretty much agreed with me when I titled my obituary for liberalism “The Death of Liberalism” in 2011?

Actually, that Hodgkinson is pretty much a standard-issue progressive ought to give everyone the creeps. His politics are no different than those of a local librarian, a schoolteacher or a union guy back in 2014, when it was so fashionable to be a member of the angry Left. In 2011, there was the Occupy movement, and now, in 2017, there is the Black Lives Matter movement. What separates Hodgkinson from Bill Ayers, the bomber of the Pentagon, except that Ayers tried to kill more people? The Left has been on a steady evolution toward homicide, and there are a lot more Hodgkinsons out there than we care to contemplate.

Truth be known, the American Left, and that includes most of the MSM, has become quite morbid in its fascinations. The whole way it talks about poverty, the environment, immigration, race — practically any social problem — is morbid. I look at The New York Times and The Washington Post every morning. They sit there on my breakfast table. Rarely does their front page not feature what the political philosopher Kenneth Minogue called a “suffering situation”: several starving Africans; a corpse or two from some hellhole; an impoverished Appalachian family with at least one child, his head shaved because of cancer or some other horrible malady; a gay couple that has suffered a setback. I could go on, but you get my point. The MSM is obsessed with misery, social strife and — dare I say it — political correctness.

As long as these values dominate and there is no mitigating alternative, the public had best be armed.

SOURCE






WHERE ARE THE MEDIA? Innocent Muslim girl killed by illegal alien draws silence from networks

A young Muslim girl was tragically beaten to death and dumped in pond Sunday, a horrific crime that would normally draw 24-hour coverage from mainstream news networks.

But not this time.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, is an El Salvadoran in the United States illegally.

17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was eating at a Northern Virginia McDonald’s with friends at 3:00 a.m. Sunday before heading to a nearby mosque for an all-night Ramadan sleepover.

As the group walked and rode bikes to the mosque, they noticed a car speeding toward them.  It jumped the curb, parked in a nearby lot, and Torres leaped out.

Wielding a baseball bat, he savagely beat the innocent girl to death, then fled with her body into Loudoun County, which was on the other side of the road.

Hassanen was later found, dead, in a Loudoun County pond about two and half miles away.

“Please pray for me, please pray for me,” her mother Sawsan Gazzar told The Washington Post. “Pray for me that I can handle this . . . I lost my daughter, my first reason for happiness.”

“Why did you kill my daughter? For what? She didn’t do anything to anybody. I raised my kids to love everybody,” her heartbroken father Mahmoud Hassanen told a local TV station.

Dozens of her classmates at South Lakes High School have been visiting the family’s apartment to offer their support.

“I just can’t think of a worse instance to occur with the loss of a 17-year-old on Father’s Day. As a father of a 17-year-old myself, I can’t think of anything worse than confronting that on this particular day,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman.

Hassanen’s funeral was held Tuesday at the mosque at which she hoped to worship on the morning she was killed.

Torres was quickly arrested and has been charged by Fairfax County authorities with murder.

He has not been charged with a so-called “hate crime,” which is drawing public skepticism. Torres claims it was an act of “road rage” and he was angry about traffic. The attack occurred at 3:40 a.m.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement now has a detainer on Torres, whom they claim they have not encountered since he entered the U.S.

Despite the unspeakable, horrific tragedy of the crime the mainstream media are virtually silent.

When narratives collide, the victims suffer.

SOURCE





Circuit Court Win for Religious Freedom on Gay Marriage

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Thursday that a Mississippi law that protects religious liberty and the rights of conscience in light of the redefinition of marriage may go into effect.

In the decision, the circuit court overruled a previous judgment from a district court judge who had declared the Mississippi law unconstitutional for violating the Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection Clause.

But as the circuit court pointed out, the challengers to Mississippi’s law lack standing because they “have not clearly shown injury-in-fact.” In other words, they did not show how the Mississippi law protecting liberty for people who hold to the pre-Obergefell v. Hodges definition of marriage harmed them.

The court explained that the “failure” of the “plaintiffs to assert anything more than a general stigmatic injury dooms their claim.”

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

While the ruling focused on the lack of standing of the plaintiffs, there are plenty of reasons to rule in favor of the constitutionality of laws like Mississippi’s on the merits.

As Sherif Girgis and I explain in our new book, “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination,” there is nothing scandalous about protections for particular views that are at odds with those on which the government acts.

When the government takes Americans to war, exceptions cover pacifists. When the government guarantees abortion, exceptions cover pro-lifers. These exemptions don’t amount to establishments of any religion, and neither do laws protecting dissenters after Obergefell.

Indeed, as law professor Richard Epstein explains, the Establishment Clause—meant to “knock down state coercion for religion”—can’t be used to invalidate “a statute whose whole purpose was to insulate private parties from any form of coercion.”

So, what does the Mississippi law do? As previously explained at The Daily Signal:

Religious organizations, like churches, cannot be forced to use their facilities to celebrate or solemnize weddings that violate their beliefs.

Religious convents, universities, and social service organizations can continue to maintain personnel and housing policies that reflect their beliefs.

Religious adoption agencies can continue to operate by their conviction that every child they serve deserves to be placed with a married mom and dad.

Bakers, photographers, florists, and similar wedding-specific vendors cannot be forced to use their talents to celebrate same-sex weddings if they cannot do so in good conscience.

State employees cannot be fired for expressing their beliefs about marriage outside the office, and individual state clerks can opt out of issuing marriage licenses so long as no valid marriage license is delayed or impeded.

Counselors and surgeons cannot be required to participate in gender identity transitioning or sex-reassignment surgeries against their faith and convictions, while guaranteeing that no one is denied emergency care or visitation rights.

Private businesses and schools, not bureaucrats, get to set their own bathroom, shower, and locker room policies.

This is a reasonable bill. It protects the consciences of people who hold to the historic definition of marriage in the aftermath of the Supreme Court redefining marriage, and it does so while avoiding the awful outcomes that critics fear. The bill provides that the government cannot punish, fine, or coerce specific people and organizations, in specific contexts. It doesn’t harm anyone.

Other states should follow Mississippi’s lead in protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience after the redefinition of marriage. So, too, should Congress pass protections at the federal level.

Longstanding Precedent on Abortion

There is great precedent for such protections on the abortion issue, as Girgis and I explain in “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination.”

In 1973, just months after Roe v. Wade was handed down, Congress passed the Church Amendment, named for Sen. Frank Church, a Democrat from Idaho.

While Roe shielded the choice to have an abortion, the Church Amendment protected doctors’ and nurses’ choices not to perform one. It provided that health care organizations receiving federal funds could not force their doctors or nurses to perform or assist abortions.

Some 20 years later, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Coats–Snowe Amendment. It prohibits the government from discriminating against medical students who refuse to perform abortions and medical residency programs that leave out abortion training.

And in 2004, Congress passed the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which keeps the government from discriminating against health care institutions that don’t offer abortions.

Since 1973, then, U.S. policy has protected a right to choose an abortion right alongside an individual and institutional right to choose against facilitating one.

Our law should now do the same on marriage. It needn’t and shouldn’t penalize private associations for their beliefs on this issue. Doing so would make no appreciable difference to the ability of same-sex couples to receive the goods and services they seek, but it would undermine conscience rights for some.

So lawmakers can and should grant a categorical accommodation.

Current Legislation

A proposed federal law would do that. Much like the Church, Coats-Snowe, and Hyde-Weldon amendments, the First Amendment Defense Act would protect the freedoms of citizens and organizations who hold a belief at odds with one enshrined by courts.

Protecting pro-life consciences did not violate the Constitution—by establishing a religion or engaging in viewpoint discrimination or otherwise. Nor do laws protecting pacifists. Their only aim is peaceful coexistence in the face of disagreement.

The same goes for the First Amendment Defense Act. It would enact a bright-line rule to keep government from penalizing someone just for acting on her belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife. It would protect people who hold that belief for religious or secular reasons, and it would shield organizations from losing nonprofit tax status, licensing, or accreditation for operating by these beliefs.

But even the First Amendment Defense Act’s categorical protections reflect a careful balance. They protect individuals, nonprofit charities, and privately held businesses, but not publicly traded corporations, or federal employees or contractors in the course of their work.

The First Amendment Defense Act makes clear that it does not relieve the federal government of its duty to provide services, medical care, or benefits to all who qualify. It must simply respect conscience in the course of doing so.

Mississippi has shown the way forward on this issue at the state level. And on Thursday, the 5th Circuit allowed that law to go into effect.

Other states should offer similar protections at the state level, and Congress should do the same at the federal level.

Protecting a New Minority

America is in a time of transition. The Supreme Court has redefined marriage, and beliefs about human sexuality are changing.

During this time, it is critical to protect the right to dissent and the civil liberties of those who speak and act in accord with what Americans had always previously believed about marriage—that it is the union of husband and wife.

Good public policy is needed at the local, state, and federal levels to protect cherished American values. Good policy would help achieve civil peace amid disagreement and protect pluralism and the rights of all Americans, regardless of what faith they may practice.

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

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Friday, June 23, 2017



WHITE LIBERAL PRIVILEGE

There is one privilege the white liberal does not want to check . . . the privilege to say any offensive thing that would destroy a conservative’s career and just keep on keeping on. See below:







Poland Shuts Border to Islamic Migrants to Keep Potential Terrorists Out

Despite the threat of sanctions from the European Union (EU), the Polish government has decided to not allow any more Muslim migrants into its country to help reduce the risk of radical Islamic terrorism.

“We, Poland, are learning from the mistakes of others … and we will not open our doors to Islamic migrants,” said Ryszard Czarnecki, the Polish European Parliament deputy, in early June after the terrorist attack in Manchester, England on May 22. 

Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have refused to take in their designated share of some 160,000 migrants, who apparently are overloading Italy and Greece. The EU could take the three states to the European Court of Justice, which could impose heavy financial fines on them.

“Other countries have led to a situation in which those trained on Islamic State territory in Syria, Iraq – young people with French, Belgian, Dutch, British, German citizenship – return to Europe … and somehow [the authorities] were incapable of monitoring them,” Czarnecki said after the attack in Manchester, according to Radio Poland.

The Manchester attack at an Ariana Grande concert killed 23 adults and children and injured 119 people.

“We, Poland, are learning from the mistakes of others … and we will not open our doors to Islamic migrants,” said Czarnecki.

According to Breitbart, Czarnecki also stated:

“When it comes to reducing the chances of Poland being hit by [Islamist] terror attacks, the only proven method is to not allow in Muslim migrants.

“With regards to Britain, we have already told them on several occasions they need to deport, not tolerate, radical migrants.

“If a radical Muslim cleric in a mosque calls on his brothers in the faith … to fight the infidels, well, I think that there are grounds to expel such an imam.”

BBC News stated that, in 2015, the EU voted to redistribute a total of 160,000 refugees from countries with the largest percentages of immigrants, especially Greece and Italy.

Although Poland initially agreed to the quota, the current administration has rejected it. Poland has not accepted any of their allotted share of immigrants, according to BBC.

The Czech Republic and Hungary are also resisting the flood of immigrants, reported the Express. Express quoted a letter from Polish leaders defending Poland’s refusal:

“In 2016 Poland took in over a million migrants and refugees from Ukraine and the East, thus easing the migrant pressure on other EU countries.

“We would also like to emphasise that no EU member state has so far fulfilled its commitments stemming from the 2015 relocation decisions.

“We reiterate our position that migration policy falls within the competence of nation states.”

According to Breitbart, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that receiving immigrants would be “much worse” than the EU sanctions.

"Each decision to relocate groups of migrants encourages thousands or millions more at the borders of Europe, to come to Europe, to get on boats and pontoons and risk their lives to reach the European continent," said Polish government spokesman Rafal Bochenek, according to BBC News.

“Fortunately, Poland does not make these mistakes that other countries have made when it comes to our immigration policy, and so we don’t have these headaches,” said Czarnecki.

SOURCE






The Double Murder of Otto Warmbier

Michelle Malkin knows Leftist hate:

We may never know what brutal torture and malign neglect American student Otto Warmbier suffered at the hands of North Korea's dictatorship before losing his life this week at the age of 22.

But it wasn't the first time the free-spirited Ohio native died.

More than a year before succumbing to the unknown illness or injury that left him in a coma thousands of miles away from home, Otto Warmbier's own countrymen murdered his reputation. His character. His humanity.

Click-hungry media ghouls knew nothing about Warmbier's small-town upbringing, his family life, politics, personality, disappointments or dreams. But they gleefully savaged a young man who made a mistake on a doomed trip to a totalitarian hell.

Warmbier's thoughtless taunters instantly transformed him into a bigger, badder villain than the barbaric DPRK goons who beat, starve, rape and kill enemies of the state for such offenses as listening to foreign radio broadcasts, possessing Bibles and disrespecting Dear Leader — in Warmbier's case, by attempting to steal a propaganda sign that read "Let's arm ourselves strongly with Kim Jong-il's patriotism!" as a souvenir.

The Huffington Post published an acid rant by "Blogging While Black" writer La Sha titled "North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal." She rejoiced at Warmbier's sentence because, she gloated, it taught him that "the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad."

Instead of faulting a repressive socialist regime, La Sha blamed Warmbier for "being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country." The HuffPo's megalomaniac millennial had the gall to compare her daily plight of living and breathing freely in America to Warmbier's captivity:

"The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense."

But it wasn't just babbling diversity bloggers who exploited Warmbier's imprisonment.

For a few cheap yuks, liberal black comedian Larry Wilmore plowed ahead with smug disregard to how Warmbier's parents, family and friends must have suffered as photos and videos of their son and loved one were plastered all over media. To canned laughter, Wilmore mocked Warmbier on his Comedy Central show with a graphic labeling him an "ASS," which spelled out a fake frat name, "Alpha Sigma Sigma."

"It's just tough for me to have much sympathy for this guy and his crocodile tears," Wilmore snarked as he roasted the "Frat Boy."

Left-wing website Salon added another layer to the white male-bashing echo chamber:

"This might be America's biggest idiot frat boy: Meet the UVa student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea."

Not to be outdone, Affinity Magazine (a "social justice" online magazine for teens) stomped on Warmbier's grave after his death was announced:

"Watch whiteness work," the publication tweeted. "He wasn't a 'kid' or 'innocent' you can't go to another country and try to steal from them. Respect their laws."

This from a rag that had deified Black Lives Matter icons Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin as downtrodden youth whose extensive rap sheets must remain unmentioned at all costs.

Otto's saboteurs engaged in the very same bigotry and stereotyping they recklessly accuse everyone else of at every turn. The far left learned nothing from leaping to conclusions about the Duke lacrosse players or the wrongfully accused members of Phi Kappa Psi at University of Virginia — where Warmbier was a junior double-majoring in commerce and economics.

By all accounts, Warmbier was a charismatic and caring human being whom one high-school classmate called "Everyone's friend." He was a lover of cultures and intellectually open-minded — "a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds," according to his family.

Utterly consumed by malignant identity politics, the left-wing intelligentsia have become the intolerantsia. They are bent on dehumanizing individuals, fomenting racial, ethnic and class division in the name of "progressivism," and never taking responsibility for the damage done.

Contrast the no-regrets policy of these "Frat Boy"-bashers, with a former North Korean prison guard, Lim Hye-jin, who escaped recently and recounted the horrors of life in the camps.

"We were manipulated not to feel any sympathy for prisoners," she said. The guards of the totalitarian state "do not see them as human beings, just as animals." After realizing she had been brainwashed by ideological monsters, she spoke out. "Now I know they were normal people, so I feel very guilty."

Will the short, slandered life and double death of Otto Warmbier prompt the American left's cruel character assassins to admit the same?

Soul-searching, alas, requires a soul

SOURCE





Steve Scalise, Nancy Pelosi and a Return to Civility

By the optimistic Lawrence Kudlow

Sometimes terrible tragedies can bring us together, and I'm hopeful that somehow a lasting good will come out of the ballfield shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. And maybe even a rebirth of civility, which has virtually disappeared from politics, and perhaps our culture as well.

Rep. Steve Scalise, who's currently fighting it out in a hospital in Washington, D.C., is an old friend of mine. I watched as he rose through the House ranks to become the majority whip. Like everyone else, I'm praying for his full recovery. He's a wonderful man.

And, like most everyone else, I was happy to hear President Donald Trump talking about unity in the wake of the shooting. He said, "We are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good."

I can say the same for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who, true to form, spoke beautifully and passionately from the House floor, saying, "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. ... I ask each of you to join me to resolve to come together."

But I want to put a spotlight on one person who really surprised me with unexpected remarks. She got me thinking — praying — that maybe, just maybe, some lasting good will come out of this tragedy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also spoke on the House floor in the hours after the shooting. She said her prayers were with Scalise, the Capitol Police and the others hit on that ballfield.

And she said much more. "You may not know this, my colleagues, but every time I pray, which is very frequently, and certainly every Sunday, I pray for all of you. All of you, together," she said. "In the earlier years, I used to pray for your happiness, for the fact that we would work together, heed the words of President Kennedy in the closing of his inaugural address, when he said ... 'God's work must truly be our own.'"

That's a central theme in my book "JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity," which I wrote with Brian Domitrovic. Presidents Reagan and Kennedy were civil in public, as they sought to persuade their opponents, not smear them. And they both reached across the aisle to achieve their policy goals.

It's something we need to return to — desperately. And Pelosi spoke in that spirit.

"How do we view what God's will is for us?" she asked. "How do we come together to give confidence to the American people? As our founders intended, we would have our disagreements and we would debate them, and we would have confidence in our beliefs and humility to listen to others."

To listen to others.

For a long time, I have been talking about the need for a rebirth of civility. We cannot continue the meanness, the personal slurs and the polarizing attacks, all of which are doing great harm to America.

And now, sparked by tragedy, Pelosi seems to have said: Let us come together. Let us have civility in our discussions. Let us have a sense of humanity, and maybe even a sense of caring. Let us pray for ourselves and the rest of the country. Let's do this together.

She did add: "And I pray for Donald Trump, that his presidency will be successful, and that his family will be safe. Because it is about family."

When did you ever think you would hear her say that? It was a welcome surprise.

No, I'm not here to defend her politics. I'm a conservative. She's a liberal. I have my beliefs. She has her beliefs. The battle of ideas must go on.

But our tone, our style, our civility, our ability to listen — it seems to me that those have been missing for so many years.

The blame is on all sides. It's in the executive branch, the Senate, the House. Let's add the media and academia, as well. No one in this game is clean.

The political divide is large — across taxes, health care and a whole raft of tough agenda items. I get that.

I'm just saying, if Nancy Pelosi, who has been in Washington a good long while, is coming out and speaking of unity, civility and humility, it's worth giving it a listen.

Many of my friends disagree with this Pelosi kudos. Some believe I am hopelessly naive. They may be right.

But right now, today, I choose to believe that she means for all of us to be calm, to be humble, to be civil and to work together.

I'm praying for that because, if that's the case, we will get important things done to help this country and one another.

Let's hope and pray that something is changing here.

SOURCE







Australia: The REAL cost of dole bludgers: How the long-term unemployed are costing taxpayers a staggering $222,000 EACH

The average taxpayer would need to work for 14 years to pay the $220,00 welfare bill racked up by a single long-term dole bludger.

Over 100,000 welfare recipients are taking hardworking Australians for a ride, failing to turn up to job interviews and reaping the benefits of generous dole schemes.

The latest figures were released by Social Services Minister Christian Porter ahead of introducing a suite of changes to the welfare system to parliament on Thursday.

The widespread changes to the welfare system will include a two-year program to drug test 5000 new recipients of Newstart or Youth allowances in three locations.

'If you are part of that group of 100,00 people who persistently don't turn up to job interviews, you stay on welfare for much longer,' Mr Porter told The Daily Telegraph.

'An average person on an average wage is going to work for a great number of years to support someone in the welfare system who isn't doing the right thing.'

The new legislation will target 'non-compliant' welfare recipients - people who consistently fail to show up for job interviews or welfare appointments.

'Too many people are not meeting the requirements attached to their welfare, such as attending appointments, and most suffer no penalty,' Mr Porter said.

'This not only puts a burden on taxpayers who face a higher long-term cost to meet these people's welfare bill, but does nothing to help them achieve self-reliance by securing work.' 

The Turnbull government insists its proposed trial to drug test people on welfare is not about stripping payments off vulnerable Australians.

'This trial is not about penalising job seekers with drug abuse issues, it is about finding new and better ways of identifying these job seekers and ensuring they are referred to the support and treatment they need,' Mr Porter told parliament on Thursday.

It was part of a range of measures announced in the May budget.

The reforms would make the system simpler, more sustainable and focused on supporting people to move from welfare into work, Mr Porter said.

Central to that is a new single JobSeeker payment, to be introduced in 2020, replacing or consolidating seven different payments.

'The bill demonstrates that the government is completely committed to improving the integrity of the welfare system and ensuring that recipients receive the necessary support incentives to address barriers to employment, to look for work and take a suitable job when it's available,' he sai

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

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


Thursday, June 22, 2017


The scripture that the mainstream churches can't find

Here it is:

"Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Their theologians can find it though.  It's in 1 Corinthians 6:9. So what do liberal  theologians say about it?  How do they wriggle around it?

They say that the word "Arsenokoitai" (meaning homosexual) in Paul's original Greek is of uncertain meaning.  And it is true that Paul's use of it in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 is the only mention of the word in the NT.  And my Liddell & Scott Lexicon of ancient Greek notes it as being found only in the NT. So let us look at the complete passage in the original Greek:



Tricky, Huh?  The word we are interested in is the last one on the third line.

Not really tricky.  Liddell & Scott give the word as a pair:  "Arseno-koitees".  And "arseno is the normal Greek word for a male. And "koitees" means to sleep. So the word clearly means "male-sleeper'.  Paul just jammed two common words into one -- with  perfect confidence that his meaning would be obvious. Only a liberal theologian could doubt what he meant.

Curiously, when academics talk about sexual intercourse, they often refer to it as "coitus".  They actually use an Anglicized spelling of the same Greek word that Paul used in referring to sex with men. The Left really are pathetic in their flight from reality. 

There is a very extensive coverage of the whole issue here.  They are more polite than I am but come to the same conclusion.

And if there were any doubt about the NT condemnation of homosexuality, Paul makes it REALLY clear whom he is talking about in Romans 1:27.  They are among those who have been abandoned by God.

A small footnote: In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul does not in fact refer to homosexuals generally. He specifically refers to MALE homosexuals, people whom Britons and Australians still sometimes call "poofs" or "poofters". I won't repeat the American slang term as it is rather more excoriating than the British one. Lesbians don't get off entirely, however. See Romans 1:26.

UPDATE:  While we have a large body of writings on which to base our understanding of classical Attic Greek, we have nothing like that for the "koine" Greek of Christ's day.  The NT is just about all we have of it.  So it could obviously have been common for "Arsenokoitai" to be widely used at that time without  our having any surviving evidence of that.  And I get the feeling from Paul's casual use of the term that it was in fact common.  I think that it was most likely to have been the contemptuous term of its day.  "Male-sleeper" is not as contemptuous as "f***ot" or "poof" But I think it probably served a similar function.

And, if I can build speculation on speculation, we can perhaps see an explanation for why Paul was so explicit in his description of homosexuality in Romans 1:26,27.  Why did he not simply use "Arsenokoitai", as he did elsewhere?  Possibly because it was Greek slang that would not be well understood in Rome. Greek was perfectly well understood in grand Roman society but Paul was probably addressing poor Romans whose native language was Latin.  Was the epistle to the Romans in fact originally written in Latin?  For an educated man like Paul to understand Latin would not be surprising.  And we know that he did once say something important in Latin: "Appello Caesarem".

UPDATE:  While we have a large body of writings on which to base our understanding of classical Attic Greek, we have nothing like that for the "koine" Greek of Christ's day.  The NT is just about all we have of it.  So it could obviously have been common for "Arsenokoitai" to be widely used at that time without our having any surviving evidence of that.  And I get the feeling from Paul's casual use of the term that it was in fact common.  I think that it was most likely to have been the contemptuous term of its day.  "Male-sleeper" is not as contemptuous as "f***ot" or "poof" But I think it probably served a similar function.

And, if I can build speculation on speculation, we can perhaps see an explanation for why Paul was so explicit in his description of homosexuality in Romans 1:26,27.  Why did he not simply use "Arsenokoitai", as he did elsewhere?  Possibly because it was Greek slang that would not be well understood in Rome. Greek was perfectly well understood in grand Roman society but Paul was probably addressing poor Romans whose native language was Latin.  Was the epistle to the Romans in fact originally written in Latin?  For an educated man like Paul to understand Latin would not be surprising.  And we know that he did once say something important in Latin: "Appello Caesarem".



A multicultural father



A Brooklyn man who allegedly punched his 16-month-old daughter into a coma said he told the baby's mother to get an abortion when she was pregnant.

'Feel mad disrespected,' Shaquan Taylor, 19, wrote in a Facebook post in February 2016 around the time his daughter Nylah Lewis was born. 'Told that lil b***h to get abortion (and) she tells me she is but still keep it. Exactly why I hate that lil b***h.'

The child's injuries are so extreme that prosecutors said in court early Tuesday they don't expect her to live another 24 hours according to the New York Daily News.

Little Nylah was rushed to Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn on Sunday.

Police arrested Taylor for allegedly cracking Nylah's skull and blackening her eye during a horrific attack on the baby.

Little Nylaha suffered a bleeding in the brain and two skull fractures and bruising on her legs face and other parts of her body at the hands of her father, police say.

Taylor often ranted about the girl's mother, Tammy Lewis, 17, on Facebook. 'I didn't even want to have a baby by her (and) it's sad to say, but f*** it, s*** happens,' he wrote in February 2016. 'Please don't ask who Nylah's moms is nor do I still f*** with her cause NO,' he wrote. 'Just f***ed (that) hotty a**, that's it.'

Sometime Sunday afternoon, Taylor sent a Facebook message to Lewis telling her there was a problem and that she needed to pick up Nylah, police sources said.

When Lewis arrived, her daughter was face up on the couch and struggling to breathe. 

Taylor, 18, allegedly injured the poor child on Sunday after her mom, Tammy Lewis - who was formerly in a relationship with Taylor - dropped her off at his home, so they could spend some time together.

Lewis left the pair alone and came back to find her daughter covered in bruises and gasping for air, police say.

'He said that about a year ago he was going to hit the baby if she brought [her] around,'  Christine Munford, Nylaha's aunt, told the New York Daily News.

 And [Sunday] he threatened her and said he was going to punch her in the face when she got there. And then obviously that happened.'

The alleged incident unfolded in the afternoon at Taylor's apartment in Coney Island. Taylor messaged Lewis on Facebook to tell her she needed to come to the apartment to take their daughter.

Lewis immediately picked up her daughter and run out of the apartment upon seeing the state of her.

But Taylor run after her, and allegedly punched her to the ground, leaving the defenseless mum in the apartment lobby unconscious.

The disgraced father then picked the baby and gave it to a friend who then called the ambulance.

When authorities questioned Taylor, he claimed the baby was injured because she had fallen off the bed but doctors confirmed that Nylaha's bruises did not come from a fall.

He was charged on Monday with felony assault for beating both Lewis and her child.

Taylor was charged with sexual misconduct in 2015 because he was in a relationship with Lewis, who was only 14 at the time. A year later, he was arrested again for harassing her, the Daily News reported.

SOURCE






What Feminist Camille Paglia Says About Transgenderism

Feminist and Bernie Sanders supporter Camille Paglia isn’t toeing the liberal party line when it comes to transgenderism.

“The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible. Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one’s birth gender for life,” she told The Weekly Standard in an interview published June 15.

The author of “Sexual Personae”, Paglia identifies herself as “a registered Democrat who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary and for Jill Stein in the general election.”

“It is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender,” said Paglia.

Ryan Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, agrees about the importance of biology to the discussion.

“The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry, and we need a sober and honest assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong,” said Anderson, author of the forthcoming book on transgenderism, “When Harry Became Sally.”

Paglia also condemned calls for “special rights, protections, or privileges” for  transgender men and women:

In a democracy, everyone, no matter how nonconformist or eccentric, should be free from harassment and abuse. But at the same time, no one deserves special rights, protections, or privileges on the basis of their eccentricity. The categories ‘trans-man’ and ‘trans-woman’ are highly accurate and deserving of respect. But like Germaine Greer and Sheila Jeffreys, I reject state-sponsored coercion to call someone a ’woman’ or a ‘man’ simply on the basis of his or her subjective feeling about it. We may well take the path of good will and defer to courtesy on such occasions, but it is our choice alone.

Paglia, the daughter of Italian immigrants, is a professor at The University of Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has authored several cultural critique books such as “Sexual Personae” and “Free Men, Free Women”.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Binghamton University and a graduate degree from Yale University where she claims she was the only openly gay student. An enduring figure in academia, she has not shied away from criticizing Democrats, including comparing Bill Clinton to Bill Cosby.

SOURCE






Australians should show 'sensitivity' to migrants whose cultures 'don't value women's and child's rights' claims new domestic violence study

A taxpayer funded study has made the audacious claim that Australians need to show 'cultural sensitivity' towards migrant men who physically abuse their wife and children.

The study conducted over a three year period was funded by the Australian Research Council and points out that some human rights affect migrants' integration and 'successful settlement in Australia', specifically those in relation to women and children.

The study refers to some refugees claiming that these rights 'contravene the cultural values, norms and mores' of their ethnic groups, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Yet the study has faced strong resistance in the shape of federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash who has stated Australia is categorically against family violence.  'Violence against women is unacceptable in any circumstances,' Ms Cash told The Saturday Telegraph.

The study has however called for 'cultural sensitivity and understanding of the impact on male refugees' who suffer a sense of separation and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment when their views are repulsed by society.

The report did point out refugees' appreciation for the factors of Australian life such as healthcare and education that were not available to them in their home nations, yet a 'major point of contention' was the differing views on women's and children's rights.

What was most upsetting for many refugees was the strong stance Australians had when it came to domestic violence. 

It will be this Australian ethos that will repel the study's findings with many in union with Prevention of Domestic Violence Minister Pru Goward who insists wife beaters must 'change their ways.'

A recent example of the nation's position on the matter was its reaction towards Sydney primary school teacher Reem Allouche telling the women's arm of hardline political group Hizb ut-Tahrir that men are permitted to hit women with sticks.

The practice was widely condemned across Australia with Ms Cash again denouncing the violence.

The research has come at a time of migrant change, where Malcolm Turnbull's government has tightened immigration by implementing an 'Australian values' test for hopefuls in search of citizenship.

The government has been accused of 'racial profiling' after grilling prospective citizens on domestic violence and forced marriage, with The Settlement Council of Australia raising concern.

The study which was orchestrated by UNSW that the issue of domestic violence could be worsened if male refugees are ignored.

It also argues that women and children who do make attempts to adopt an Australian way of life and its values will be 'cruelly punished'.

Many migrant victims of the abuse are oblivious to the support they can receive or avenues they can take to rectify their problems such as divorce according to Shakti migrant women's support group national co-ordinator Tamana Mirzada. 'Often they don't have the capacity­ to leave,' Ms Mirzada revealed.

She also pointed out seeking help indicates weakness in a marriage, something which is strongly frowned upon within their community.

Ms Cash did reiterate the constant efforts to provide ongoing support for migrant women who need 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

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017



Britain needs hard money, hard Brexit

On June 8, Theresa May’s Conservatives came close to losing an election they should have won easily. The commentariat, all of whom like the Brussels bureaucrats and love the Brussels restaurants, claimed she had lost because of her firmness on Brexit and the Tories’ excessive devotion to fiscal austerity. Actually the Tories, not notably devoted to fiscal austerity, lost because they have tolerated the Bank of England’s appalling monetary sloppiness, with its devastating effect on the economy and on house prices. A hard Brexit and hard money are now needed to right the ship.

May is not a good campaigner, though she has other virtues, and she did not run a good campaign. However, the election result if looked at appraisingly was not a disaster; the Conservatives lost only a net 13 seats, and picked up twelve glorious new seats in Scotland, cementing the Union for at least the next decade or so. Almost all the parts of Scotland one would conceivably like to visit are now Conservative, ending a troubling period when some of the most beautiful places in the world were represented by either socialists or Scottish Nationalists (also in practice socialist.) Aesthetically, one really doesn’t care how Glasgow votes.

If May had lost another six seats, the result would have been a true disaster as the Conservatives would have been unable to form a government, but she didn’t; with ten staunch Democratic Unionists from Ulster she has a solid majority. Given that seven Sinn Fein MPs will not take their seat and the Speaker does not vote, and assuming the Independent Unionist Sylvia, Lady Hermon votes with the opposition, as do the LibDems, Greens and Nationalists, the vote in a full House vote of confidence would be 327 votes to 315. All May has to do is avoid losing too many by-elections.

The reason for the Conservatives’ unexpectedly poor result can be clearly seen when we examine individual constituencies which swung strongly to Labour or unexpectedly to the Conservatives, in an election in which swings differed markedly from region to region and even from seat to seat. One factor alone explains the poor Tory performance and, contrary to media commentary, it is not Brexit, which tended to push voters towards the Conservatives. It is house prices.

Since the middle 1990s, and especially since 2008, the Bank of England has followed an exceptionally loose monetary policy, with interest rates close to zero for almost a decade. This has tracked monetary policy in other countries, notably the United States under Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, but also Japan and more recently the Eurozone.

The policy, reinforced by Mark Carney since he took over as Bank of England Governor in 2013, has had two unfortunate economic effects everywhere it has been tried. It has caused a massive misallocation of capital, which has pushed productivity growth far below historic levels all over the rich world (less than 0.2% per annum since 2008 in Britain.) Second, and most especially in Britain, it has caused an explosion in house prices to levels completely unaffordable by anybody under 40, or who did not buy their house a quarter-century ago.

Apart from Kensington and Chelsea, surely a special case with average house prices around £2 million, you can look at another London Conservative loss, Croydon Central. Here the average house price was a relatively affordable £380,000 in 2016 – but this was up a full 26% in the preceding two years. The result was a 5.2% swing to Labour and another lost Conservative seat. Again, the problem wasn’t London’s Remain vote; there was a 3% swing to Labour in 2015; it was the excessively high level of house prices compared to incomes, even in scruffy Croydon.

In 2016 London was a special case in the Brexit referendum, but in 2017 it wasn’t a special case on house prices and electoral swings to Labour. Canterbury, Labour’s most famous seat gain, saw a house price rise of 21% between 2014 and 2016 and a 10% swing to Labour. Brighton Kemptown, another big Labour gain with a 10,000 majority and an 11% swing, saw house prices up 20% between 2014 and 2016. Bath, a surprise Conservative loss to the Liberal Democrats on a 10% swing, saw house prices rise 23% between 2014 and 2016. In all these constituencies, as a result of the Bank of England’s lunatic monetary policies, house prices had risen by more than 20% in two years, dashing the hopes of younger people for home ownership. No wonder these places saw a massive increase in youth turnout against the Tories.

Turn it around, and look at the constituencies where the Tories won from Labour, against the national trend (ignore Scotland, where special factors were at work.) In Mansfield, home of an unexpected Conservative victory with a 7% swing, house prices rose only 10% in 2014-16 – and only averaged an affordable £145,000 in 2016, less than half Bath or Brighton. Stoke on Trent South, with average prices up 12% in 2014-16 to a level 10% below Mansfield, saw another Conservative gain with a 4% swing. Walsall North, slightly more expensive but with only a 6% house price rise in 2014-16, was a Conservative gain with a 6% swing.

In summary, the Conservatives won marginal seats where house prices were modest and price rises equally so; they lost badly to Labour in places where house prices were exorbitant and rapidly getting more so. Exorbitant house prices are almost entirely the result of a decade of near-zero interest rates; to modify a famous Sun headline: “It was Carney wot lost it.”

If May wants the Conservatives to win the next election, she must fire Carney forthwith, and find a Bank of England Governor who will push interest rates up rapidly to their natural level of around 5% (since UK inflation is currently running at 3%.) That will crash house prices, probably by as much as 75% in London, making housing once more affordable for the under-40s. This will cause a massive pro-Tory swing among younger voters, who will thank the government for their huge improvement in real living standards. It will also restore British productivity growth to its historic level of 1.5% annually, pushing up output and wages for everybody. May or a Conservative successor will need to hang on five years to outlast the inevitable economic downturn and the house price crash, but by 2022 things should be looking good.

I have previously written how the main criterion for Brexit should be that Britain regains the ability to write its own trade treaties, liberating it from the protectionist EU bureaucracy. When the referendum passed, I thought the best British negotiator would be the smooth and pleasant David Cameron, who if negotiating with the equally pleasant Donald Tusk, should be able to reach a deal satisfactory to both sides. That option is no longer on offer, partly because EU negotiating policy is being set by Michel Barnier, an abrasive Frenchman and Jean-Claude Juncker, whose antipathy to all things Anglo-American is well known. In addition, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, the leaders of Europe’s two most important political and economic powers, appear determined to make Brexit as unpleasant for Britain as possible. Therefore May, in her “bloody difficult woman” mode is ideal as Britain’s negotiator, along with the no-nonsense David Davis.

A “soft” Brexit is neither desirable nor attainable. Juncker in particular is determined to make Britain pay an “exit tax” of some 100 billion euros. Were Britain to agree to this, the government that agreed it would rightly be booted out by the electorate, to be replaced by Jeremy Corbyn, who would crash Britain’s economy. Overall therefore, an ideal outcome from the Juncker viewpoint. Hence there is probably no negotiated settlement that could be reached, short of electoral suicide. In those circumstances, no deal is indeed better than a bad deal; Britain should exit the EU in March 2019, and seek to negotiate trade agreements with the EU afterwards, when there is no question of an exit tax.

That’s not to say that there may not be some small part of the 100 billion euros that is legitimate; British lawyers of a suitably euro-skeptic frame of mind should examine the small print of the various treaties, and tell May what if any bill it is reasonable to pay.

The worst possible outcome, which I still fear, would be a British wimp-out, in which its negotiators decide that the cost of exit is simply too high, and so crawl back to Juncker and his minions asking to be let back in again. That would almost certainly be the outcome if May is replaced by the odious, untrustworthy and inept Euro-madman Kenneth Clarke, for example. Armed rebellion should be the response if this is attempted.

We must remember that the EU is not the free trading association Britain thought it had joined in 1973, but has morphed into a centralized unitary state that in authoritarianism and economic counter-productiveness increasingly resembles the late unlamented Warsaw Pact. Fortunately, this should become all too clear within the next few weeks, when Juncker’s mob sues Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to force them to take some of the Middle Eastern refugees, terrorists, and riff-raff that Merkel has so unwisely welcomed into Europe. Should that occur, I think it likely that Britain will not be alone in seeking to escape the Euro-Leviathan; it should do all it can to help its Eastern European friends join it in freedom.

The British public appears to have voted on June 8 in search of a soft option, a very common electoral failing in that country. No soft option is available in either economic or Brexit policy that will not impoverish and enslave Britain’s voters. Accordingly, May’s new government must remember Enoch Powell’s famous question to her great predecessor “the Lady herself will learn of what metal she is made” and seek to make both its monetary and Brexit policies follow his post-Falklands description: “ferrous matter of the highest quality, of exceptional tensile strength.” Only with such policies, monetary and Brexit, can success for the British people and May’s Conservatives be achieved.

SOURCE





Coach Kennedy, Who Lost His Job After Praying, Makes His Case to 9th Circuit Court

Coach Joe Kennedy took his fight to be allowed to pray with his high school football players back to court this week, appealing to a bench with a liberal reputation.

“My hope is that, at the end of the day, the court will let me get back to the sidelines and back with my team,” Kennedy said in a statement after his appearance in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In late October 2015, Kennedy lost his job with the Bremerton High School football program in Bremerton, Washington, after administrators repeatedly told the Marine veteran to stop praying on the 50-yard line.

Kennedy’s lawyers argued Monday before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in Tacoma, Washington, asking the judges to overturn a U.S. District Court ruling against him, also in Tacoma.

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His lawyers want the appeals court to order the Bremerton School District to stop discriminating against Kennedy based on his “brief, private religious expression” and reinstate him, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The superintendent of the Bremerton School District first told Kennedy in September 2015 that he must stop praying because the public display of religion by a public school employee could be misconstrued as the district’s endorsement of religion.

The school district said it based its decision on the Supreme Court’s 2000 ruling in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe.

Kennedy, 48, is not seeking monetary damages, saying he wants to be back on the sidelines, coaching his players, while maintaining his First Amendment rights.

In response to questions from the three judges on where the line is between private and public prayer, one of Kennedy’s lawyers, Rebekah Ricketts, said the coach never coerced students to participate in his 15- to 30-second prayer on or off the field.

The school district’s attorney, Michael Tierney, argued that teachers and coaches do have influence over students, whether subtle or not. So, Tierney said, teachers and coaches must refrain from religious expression that could be perceived as coercive, or risk violating the Establishment Clause, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The judges questioned why the school district didn’t take action earlier, since this had been Kennedy’s ongoing practice since 2008, shortly after he was hired.

Tierney said district officials had thought Kennedy was making an inspirational speech to the crowd gathered around him on the field.

The 9th Circuit has a disputed reputation as one of the most liberal courts in the nation.

If the appeals court allows the lower court’s ruling to stand it essentially will be “affirming the school district’s discrimination” and affecting “millions of Americans, especially teachers,” Jeremy Dys, senior counsel at First Liberty Institute, which represents Kennedy, said after the oral arguments.

In a telephone interview with The Daily Signal, Dys said the lower court ruling also would mean that “the Muslim teacher cannot wear her hijab, the Jewish teacher cannot wear his yarmulke, the Catholic teacher cannot wear her crucifix to work.”

“This is an overwhelming burden on the free exercise of religion by a free people in the United States that ought to be rejected,” he said.

“I just want the ability to go back out there and help these young men, and also have my constitutional rights that I fought for in the Marine Corps for 20 years,” Kennedy said in a telephone interview last year with The Daily Signal. “That’s it—it’s pretty simple.”

Prior to losing his job, Kennedy served as head coach for the junior varsity football team and assistant coach for the varsity football team for seven years.

In a video created by First Liberty Institute, Kennedy hints at his own rough childhood, and says he believes that “all the hard times I had in my life were really setting the stage for exactly this battle that I’m at right now.”

He adds: “And that’s why I really love coaching, it’s because I understand what those kids are going through.”

Kennedy says he chose to fight the legal battle because “we need to fight for our freedoms, we need to fight for the things that are right in society, and for America.”

Ryan T. Anderson, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation who studies religious liberty, told The Daily Signal in an email:

Americans do not give up their right to the free exercise of religion simply because they work for the government. Religious Americans need not become secularists anymore than secularists need to become religious in order to lend their services to our government.

Upon taking his position at Bremerton High, Kennedy previously told The Daily Signal, he made a promise to God to pray after each game for his players, for the opportunity to play, win or lose, and for his ability to coach. He did just that until 2015.

That October, First Liberty Institute sent what is called a demand letter to the school district, seeking a religious accommodation for Kennedy. When the district refused, the group filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which issued a “right to sue” letter in December 2015.

Following the District Court ruling against Kennedy, two professional football stars filed a friend-of-the-court brief on his behalf to be included in the arguments before the 9th Circuit.

One was Steve Largent, a former congressman from the state of Oklahoma and Pro Football Hall of Fame member who played for the Seattle Seahawks, the other Chad Hennings, a former Air Force pilot and defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys.

SOURCE






The Medical Evolution of Gender

A doctor who incorrectly diagnoses patients just to keep them happy deserves not praise but rebuke.

Well-known blogger Matt Walsh recently recounted a difficult conversation with his son after he caught the lad attempting to climb over the second-floor balcony railing. It seems little Walsh Jr. thought he could be Spider-Man. Walsh writes, “I knew it was time to explain that he doesn’t really have super powers. He seemed pretty devastated by the news, but for his own health it was necessary to put an end to this particular fantasy. ‘But I want to be Spider-Man,’ he protested. ‘I know, buddy,’ I said. ‘I wish I could be Spider-Man, too, but Spider-Man is just pretend. If you try to jump over the railing like Spider-Man, you’ll get very hurt.’”

This seems a logical parenting approach: Stop the kid from jumping off a balcony and address the incorrect belief that made him think a leap was a good idea in the first place. Hardly revolutionary. But apparently, it’s radical when kids imagine themselves not a super-hero but a gender not their own.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has this week adopted policies endorsing transgenderism — despite enormous evidence of the physical, emotional and psychological harm experienced by those who fantasize themselves the opposite sex.

The Washington Free Beacon reports the AMA’s policymaking group has embraced the belief that gender is “incompletely understood as a binary selection.”

According to the official AMA statement, “Acknowledging that individuals’ gender and sexual identities do not always fit neatly into binary paradigms, delegates to the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago took several actions that support broadening how gender identity is defined within medicine and how transgender patients are treated by society.” The group went on to state that “gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and genotypic and phenotypic sex are not always aligned.”

As Walsh pointed out, saving someone from harm often means telling them when their beliefs and feelings don’t align with truth.

But the AMA would rather gain political points than save lives.

Indeed, the group also came out against so-called bathroom bills, claiming, “Laws and policies that restrict the use of public facilities based on biological gender can have immediate and lingering physical consequences, as well as severe mental health repercussions.” Of course, they conveniently ignore the mental health repercussions of transgenderism. Transgender and gender non-conforming adults have a suicide attempt rate of more than 40%, compared with 4.6% for the overall U.S. population.

But please, let’s talk instead about how transgender individuals can now battle suicidal thoughts in any bathroom they choose.

Sadly, this latest descent into madness shouldn’t be too surprising. As Mark Alexander has recounted in detail, the spiral from recognition to acceptance and now endorsement of self-destructive sexually deviant behaviors by the medical community has been at play for decades.

In the 1950s, the first edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) recognized homosexuality as a sociopath personality disturbance. And the 1968 DSM II was updated to classify homosexuality as a sexual deviancy.

This is significant because only by acknowledging that homosexuality and gender dysphoria are concerning and have negative consequences can people in the throes of sexual addictions and confusions be best helped. When we validate harmful behaviors, we close the door on help and hope and instead confine individuals to the statistics of higher suicide attempt rates as well as higher instances of sexually transmitted diseases, not to mention the psychological trauma of those who pursue sex changes and live to regret it.

And that’s to say nothing on the trauma suffered by family and friends of transgendered people.

Yet, amid the sexual revolution, the AMA abandoned any pretense of caring for people and instead caved to political pressure and removed homosexuality as a mental disorder in DSM III in 1973. Now, they’ve gone a step further and rejected the reality of gender entirely by basically saying it’s whatever someone fantasizes it to be.

A doctor who incorrectly diagnoses patients just to keep them happy deserves not praise but rebuke. The AMA may be congratulating itself on its progressivist acceptance of transgenderism. But the result will be thousands of people who desperately need help and instead are prodded to jump off the second-story balcony, where the fantasies they embrace will not save them.

SOURCE






Let’s stop treating the young as political sages

We should be challenging the naive, unaffordable views of many under-25s, not kowtowing to them

Clare Foges

‘Respect your youngers,” tweeted the pop star Lily Allen after the shock election result driven by a high youth turnout. But have we come to respect the youngers and their opinions too much?

Recent years have involved increasing youth worship in politics. Come election time, TV producers fall over themselves to put together panels of young people to offer up vacuities about “choosing hope over fear” and other quotes they may have spotted on Instagram. Grey-beard presenters nod deferentially at every complaint offered up by youthful contributors, however inane or ill-informed (the passion of youth requires no substantiation). Millennial mouthpieces on social media rouse the tribe with talk of reclaiming their future and how dreadfully they have been let down by older generations.

Then there are the politicians engaging in something akin to dad dancing; loosening the tie to get down with the kids. Ed Miliband making a midnight visit to be interviewed by Russell Brand, Corbyn shooting the breeze with a grime artist, Theresa May grimacing her way through a Snapchat interview. You’ve got to engage with the young, see, however unstatesmanlike the process.

And since Thursday people have been falling over themselves to congratulate the younger among us for doing their democratic duty; a five-minute detour to the polling station given the same weight as going over the top at Ypres. Young people posted selfies taken after the event and wore stickers saying “I voted!” Should they get lollipops too?

Yes, an increase in turnout at any age is to be welcomed. Only 43 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in 2015. Although we are yet to see the hard data, the “youthquake” this time was doubtless real. And, of course, many people born post-1990 are spectacularly well-informed, public-spirited, energetic and the rest. Yet what is galling is the veneration of youthful opinion regardless of the sense it makes; this growing idea that being under 25 confers some special sagacity that the rest of us might benefit from. A generation reared to revere the words “empowerment” and “respect” is demanding that they are empowered and their views respected.

The argument goes that because they have more decades ahead, they are the best judges of how that future might be shaped (hence the rather distasteful suggestion that oldies should have refrained from voting in the EU referendum because they’ll be dead soon). In recent days we have heard that The Youth Has Spoken, with the implication that we should jolly well sit up and listen. But should we?

Last week’s election revealed the judgment of many young voters to be as we might expect of those with relatively limited experience: hopelessly naive. They turned out in their droves for a man who became a kind of millennials’ prophet; promising to lead them out of the badlands of austerity and towards a future where everything is nicer, cheaper, or indeed free. They voted for a man who would have endangered our economy, the whisper of whose name can send the pound on a swan-dive.

There is no wisdom here, no great lesson to be learnt; just the insight that many young people rather like being offered free stuff and ask few questions about how, ultimately, that stuff is funded. It has been suggested that the great turnout of the youth vote is an argument for lowering the voting age to 16. Given who they voted for en masse, I would say it’s an argument for raising it to at least 21.

This is not to suggest that the young have no cause to desire real change. It’s true that many have it hard: qualifications that don’t get you anywhere, work that is tenuous, homes that are impossible to afford. Serious action on these fronts would be welcome, within the constraints of our debt-laden public purse.

Yet the passionate sense of grievance among many young people — that theirs is a generation uniquely betrayed by the generations above — should not simply be “listened to” as though it were true; it must be robustly challenged. The phrase “intergenerational unfairness” has a lot to answer for, conjuring up a picture of the baby boomers and Generation Xers scrabbling up the ladder of opportunity and booting those below in the face. It hasn’t happened like that. Those older generations simply took whatever chances were on offer, from £50,000 family homes to university grants, and this does not make them the deniers of opportunity for young people today.

What should be challenged too is the youthful expectation of a free lunch. For instance, many 18 to 24-year-olds — reared on the language of rights — believe it their right to receive a free university education, as Corbyn exploited so successfully. What must be communicated to young people is not congratulations for backing wish-list politics but the reality that public resources are finite.

Wishing for a better world is nothing to be derided, and there is always something appealing about youthful enthusiasm. As Churchill reputedly said; “If you are not a liberal at 25 you have no heart.” But when it comes to the way we run our country, we have a duty not to kowtow to youthful dreaming but to confront some of the myths that underpin it. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Socialism is a proven disaster. These might not make for inspiring Facebook posts but they have the virtue of being the truth.

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

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



Tuesday, June 20, 2017



Happy couple



Husband with Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in the movies.  Incorrect?






The Left were the guardians and champions of segregation -- and they still are

Separate but Equal: How Regressives Are Reviving the Racist Segregation Movement

"Cultural appropriation" is the new bugaboo, and it's resulting in greater segregation along racial lines.

In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke these immortal words: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of the creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.’” Under recent academic meddling, however, this dream has little likelihood of coming true. Not because we didn’t have Brown v. Board of Education (1954-school integration) or Loving v. Virginia (1967-interracial marriage), but because there exists an entire political movement that judges people not by “the content of their character,” but “by the color of their skin.”

Bent upon regressing toward a separated, stratified society, this group continues to fan the flames of suspicion and division across racial lines, all under the guise of “sensitivity,” “openness” and “diversity.” Calling themselves “Progressives,” in actuality, they progress toward nothing, but only regress backwards to a racist, suspicious and violent time in our nation’s history. Using the terms “cultural appropriation” and “unity among the African Diaspora,” the Regressives seek to separate our nation into piles, as with dirty laundry. For in doing so, they break the collective power of the people to bind together and to positively effect change. They have found a way to disenfranchise the citizen’s voice in order to grant themselves the awe-inspiring task of ideological control.

Experts define cultural appropriation as adopting parts of a culture or ethnic group without the permission of the originating culture, thereby “violating” their collective intellectual property rights. It has now become a popular way for a person to claim “rights” to fashion, customs, food and culture. Yet, claiming “rights” to customs, transforms us into tribalistic groups that refuse to acknowledge the reality of our blended world: that for all time, we have shared and borrowed ideas, thoughts and traditions to which no one owns the patent or trademark.

Recently, Kooks Burritos, a Mexican food truck in Portland, Oregon, was forced to close because opponents claimed that the two white woman owners “appropriated” the recipes from Puerto Nuevo, Mexico. The two women traveled to Mexico on vacation, asking the cooks how they made their burritos and watched them through the windows. They used these recipes to make their burritos for their food truck. However, under the pressure of the community, they stopped their business.

In the case of Kooks Burritos, the cultural appropriation police did not clearly define their terms. Would this have been different if the owners were Mexican or Mexican heritage? What if they had received the recipes from their friend’s grandmother? Perhaps in order to sell ethnic food, you need to be of that ethnicity.

By this standard, Julia Child, the American chef whose monumental work, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” which brought hidden French recipes to the American market, would be counted among the worst cultural appropriators in modern times. Her autobiography, “My Life in France,” tells of how she made friends with French people, went to their cooking school and learned their methods — only to turn around and (gasp!) write a cookbook and start a cooking show. Yet everyone applauds Child’s cookbook not as cultural “stealing” but rather cultural sharing that benefits everyone.

Another recent example took place at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. In March of this year, the wall of free speech, where students can write whatever they want, read, “White girl, take off your hoops!!!” This statement referenced hoop earrings, which, according to the artist of the statement, belonged exclusively to non-white people. She stated in an email thread sent to the entire student body that “white people have exploited the culture and made it fashion.” She fails, however to note that hoop earrings have historically been worn by Roman women in the first century, as well as Russian and Swiss women in the 18th century.

In addition to the emphasis on cultural appropriation, the Regressives have revived segregation (yes, really). Recently, the New York chapter of Black Lives Matter hosted a “black only” Memorial Day party. Harvard hosted a black graduate school graduation initiated by black members of the class of 2017, to celebrate the achievements of black students and those from the “African Diaspora.” Several universities across the country including California State University, Los Angeles; University of Connecticut; University of California, Davis; University of California, Berkeley; and University of Colorado, Boulder now offer segregated black dorms as “safe” and “protected” spaces.

The Regressives do not have to separate people based on race, but rather have cleverly convinced people to separate themselves. In that separation and isolation, there exists no unity on basis of family, faith or patriotic values but rather a unity in the hatred of those who disagree — unified in the hatred of dissidents, all in a disingenuous effort to be “sensitive.” In reality, we are now seeing the true colors of the diversity movement that assumes ethnicity determines ideology while denying people the freedom to think on their own, to unite with others and to be citizens for a positive future.

SOURCE






The Left Was Wrong: Trump Did Not Produce Anti-Semitic Hysteria

Dennis Prager   

As I document in my book, “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” which is an explanation of Americanism, leftism, and Islamism, hysteria is a major tactic of the left.

If you think about it, there is never an extended period of time—one year, let’s say—during which society is not engulfed by a hysteria induced by the left.

The mother of them all is global warming, or “climate change,” as the left has come to call it (because the warming was not quite enough to induce widespread panic).

Hysterics like billionaires Al Gore and Tom Steyer, along with virtually all the Western news media, warn us that the existence of life on Earth is threatened by carbon emissions.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

But in its longevity, global warming is almost unique among left-wing hysterias. In general, left-wing hysterias last for much less time, from a few months to a year or two.

And when they end—because the hysteria is widely recognized as fraudulent—they’re immediately dropped and completely forgotten. The left never pays a price for its hysteria.

Take, for example, the hysteria the left created by charging President Donald Trump’s election with the unleashing of unprecedented amounts of anti-Semitism and racism in America.

Being attuned to the left’s use of hysteria, I knew it was hysteria at the time. In the March 7 issue of the Jewish Journal, I wrote a column titled “There Is No Wave of Trump-Induced Anti-Semitism or Racism.”

It was all a lie. That’s why you hardly hear anything now about an alleged wave of racism or anti-Semitism in the country.

What rankles those who have a passion for justice is that the mendacious fomenters of the hysteria have gotten away with it.

So, as a Jew who understands how much damage left-wing Jews have done to the real fight against anti-Semitism, some of these people are worth mentioning.

Perhaps the individual who most spread the lie of Trump-induced anti-Semitism was a previously unknown man named Steven Goldstein, executive director of the previously unknown Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York.

They became famous for a few months when the media had to trot out a Jew with an official title—and no Jewish title is as sacrosanct as one with the name Anne Frank on it.

Goldstein has publicly commented on “the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration.” He said: “Make no mistake: The anti-Semitism coming out of this administration is the worst we have ever seen from any administration.”

And he said to Trump, “The most vicious anti-Semites in America are looking at you and your administration as a nationalistic movement granting them permission to attack Jews, Jewish institutions, and sacred Jewish sites.”

Almost as hysterical about anti-Semitism in America was Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of a considerably more significant Jewish institution, the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL.

As reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in December:

Anti-Semitic rhetoric in the United States has reached levels unprecedented since 1930s Germany, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt warned a gathering of Israeli lawmakers in Jerusalem on Monday.

“Anti-Semitism has wound its way into mainstream conversations in a manner that many Jews who lived through Nazi Germany find terrifying,” he said at the Knesset meeting, which was convened to discuss the plight of American Jewry under the incoming Trump administration.

(Note Haaretz’s inflammatory description, “the plight of American Jewry under the incoming Trump administration,” made six weeks before there was a Trump administration.)

Aside from fomenting hysteria about an almost nonexistent outbreak of anti-Semitism, all Greenblatt’s allusion to Nazi Germany did was diminish the evil of Nazism and the Holocaust.

In December, Greenblatt told NPR, “We found it so deeply problematic when some of the images and some of the rhetoric seemed to evoke longstanding anti-Semitic conspiracies.”

And Greenblatt repeated this charge in February in an op-ed he wrote for The Washington Post. He said:

Trump could have said he condemns anti-Semitism and takes incidents, such as the dozens of threats made to Jewish Community Centers, seriously. But instead, he lashed out against those asking the question. …

Last year, we watched as the Trump campaign repeatedly tweeted and shared anti-Semitic imagery and language, allowing this poison to move from the margins into the mainstream of the public conversation.

Well, guess what. It turned out that Trump was entirely right: There was no eruption of anti-Semitism in America, let alone one emanating from the White House. Furthermore, “those asking the question” did indeed deserve to be “lashed out” against.

And why aren’t we hearing any more about Trump-induced anti-Semitism in America?

Because law enforcement officials reported that a disturbed Israeli-American Jewish teenager in Israel was the source of nearly all the threats against Jewish community centers—and that a handful of other threats to them came from an angry, obsessive black radical trying to frame an ex-girlfriend.

Will any of those who spread the lie and hysteria about Trump-induced anti-Semitism now apologize?

I wrote the answer to that question about 35 years ago: “Being on the left means never have to say, ‘I’m sorry.'”

But the greatest lesson is this: Next time the left gets hysterical, just assume the hysteria is fraudulent. There has been no exception to this rule in my lifetime.

And that includes the hysteria about Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia.

SOURCE






2 Cases Threaten to Shut Down Public Prayer. Why the Supreme Court May Need to Act

Two federal appeals courts are considering whether elected leaders throughout the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions must abandon the 200-year-old practice of opening local meetings with an invocation. Both cases could end up before the Supreme Court by Christmas time.

In one case, a self-described pagan sued the board of commissioners of Jackson County, Michigan, arguing that its tradition of beginning monthly board meetings with an invocation violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, the First Amendment provision disallowing government from establishing an official religion.

In 1983, the Supreme Court in Marsh v. Chambers examined Nebraska’s practice of employing a salaried Christian chaplain who offered the Legislature’s invocations for 16 years, and held that “legislative prayers” at policymaking-body meetings are constitutional.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

The court noted that the first Congress wrote the Establishment Clause in the same week it passed laws to create a House chaplain and Senate chaplain, whose public duties included offering invocations every day that Congress is in session.

Over the next three decades, some lower courts and academics speculated that Marsh might be a one-off exception to normal Establishment Clause rules. Some argued that invocations must be generic, and therefore mentioning Jesus Christ or making other sectarian references would be unconstitutional.

In 2014, the Supreme Court addressed this confusion by taking another case concerning a New York town where the invocations are offered by local volunteer clergy—all of whom were Christian.

In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the court held that these invocations, too, are constitutional, even if all the prayer-givers happen to be Christian and include sectarian content from a single faith.

But litigation persisted, now focusing on the identity of the prayer-givers.

Plaintiffs argued that invocations given by government officials are unconstitutionally coercive because they might imply that lawmakers will use their official powers against those who refuse to participate in the invocations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit rejected that argument when a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 for the government in Lund v. Rowan County, North Carolina.

However, the Richmond-based appeals court reheard the case in March in a rare en banc proceeding in which all 15 judges participated. It is very possible the en banc court will invalidate Rowan County’s invocations in the next few weeks.

The opposite situation is currently unfolding in Michigan in the case of Bormuth v. County of Jackson.

There, a Clinton-appointed district judge upheld the county’s practice of allowing each of its nine commissioners to rotate having an opportunity to deliver an invocation, each according to his or her personal faith.

Because all nine commissioners are Christian, the plaintiff argues that the resulting Christian invocations violate the Establishment Clause.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed the lower court’s ruling in a divided 2-1 decision, ruling that such practices are unconstitutional.

But on June 14, attorneys with First Liberty Institute will present arguments as all 15 judges of the Cincinnati-based appeals court rehear that case en banc.

It is very possible that by late this year, a “circuit split” situation could occur between en banc appeals courts.

If that happens, one or both of these cases will become prime candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear in 2018 as a major religious liberty case.

Legislator-led invocations fall within a broad historical tradition going back to the founding of the republic. The Town of Greece decision made clear that the Establishment Clause must be interpreted consistently with what the framers of the Constitution understood to be establishing religion.

Because these invocations do not establish an official religion, as “establishment” has been historically understood, and because the invocations do not require or coerce anyone to participate, they are perfectly constitutional.

If the Supreme Court means to enforce its decision in Town of Greece that centuries-old prayer traditions do not violate the Establishment Clause, then these cases may be at the forefront of a fundamental restoration of religious liberty in America.

SOURCE





Think ... don't just groupthink

Inconsistent, irrational, illogical, downright silly -- and often with disastrous consequences. That just about sums up almost every idea being slavishly adopted by today's youth. When did we forget that maybe we should try 'think' rather than flow with populist rhetoric?

Multiculturalism is just one example of another cult-like idea championed by almost all young people across Western schools and universities around the world. Yet how many of those youth know what multiculturalism truly is in reality? Those who have seen the true results will know --Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Sri Lanka are perfect examples.

Yet its advocates maintain that diversity and equality of cultures is the quintessential nature of multiculturalism. But when was modern Western culture -- which is so often the focus of hate from its own youth -- not diverse?

Like most other cultures, we have borrowed aspects from others because that culture is more effective and efficient at performing a certain task. Take paper (Chinese), numbers (Arabic) or the thousands of foreign-sourced words in the English language (myriad countries).

That is why cultures evolved and developed throughout the centuries: because they interacted and learnt from each other. Western civilisation is not so strictly white and discriminatory as many multiculturalists claim -- it is made of influences from at least 100 cultures.

Of course there is never a case for discrimination. But there is no logical case to give other cultures priority over our own Western culture. If there were, we may as well revive Roman culture, Ottoman culture ... even Canaan culture.

There is always a clear distinction between what sounds good and what actually does good. Sadly this is ignored by the fad followers, who -- with their feeling of moral superiority as they 'save' the masses -- disregard reason and logic.

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

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