Friday, January 31, 2014

Another Black hate crime covered up?

The shooter was black;  The victims were white

As suspected from the beginning, the media outlets suggesting that the Maryland mall shooting was the result of some sort of a love triangle were merely speculating. According to the Washington Post today, they still have not established any links between the shooter and his two first victims (Aguilar shot at multiple people after killing his first two victims, wounding one who was treated and released).

They also conducted a lengthy interview with the store owner where Aguilar purchased his shotgun, and the interaction seemed quite routine.

The Post then notes this potentially very relevant detail almost in passing:

    "Two law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of ­anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said Aguilar kept a journal in which he described suicidal thoughts. When the young man’s mother reported him missing Saturday, they said, a police detective was sent to the home. He began reading the journal, but Aguilar’s mother demanded he stop.

    Later, after authorities identified Aguilar as the shooter, police seized the journal. In addition to the references to suicide, it contains notes expressing hatred of certain groups, according to the officials, who did not elaborate in detail."

Let’s be very clear: we do not know if those targeted and shot in the mall belonged to those “certain groups” that Aguilar expressed hatreds towards. It is interesting, though, that a mainstream media so obsessed with attempting to link “certain groups” to gun crimes, is so incurious here.

Frankly, one has to wonder if the MSM fears that a minority vegan skateboarder might have hatred towards the very same groups that the Washington Post and other media outlets would like to scapegoat if they could, undermining their preferred narrative.


11-Year-Old Girl's Cupcake Business Shut Down by Government Officials

After-school jobs are tougher to keep, apparently, than they used to be.  On Sunday, a Belleville News-Democrat story featured 11-year-old Chloe Stirling of Troy, Ill., a sixth-grader at Triad Middle School who makes about $200 a month selling cupcakes.

On Monday, the long arm of the law - in this case, the Madison County Health Department - put an end to that.

"They called and said they were shutting us down," Chloe's mother, Heather Stirling, told the Post-Dispatch.

Furthermore, Heather Stirling said the officials told her that for Chloe to continue selling cupcakes, the family would have to "buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have."

"Obviously, we can't do that," Heather Stirling said. "We've already given her a little refrigerator to keep her things in, and her grandparents bought her a stand mixer."

Heather Stirling said she wasn't looking for special consideration for her daughter and would be willing to get the necessary licenses and permits to run a business.

"But a separate kitchen? Who can do that?" Heather Stirling said.

Amy Yeager, a health department spokeswoman, said the county was only applying the law governing all food-selling businesses.


The latest Leftist attempt to revise history

There is only one answer to the Labour demand that David Cameron apologise for Margaret Thatcher’s handling of the 1984-85 miners’ strike, and it is the one the lady herself would have given: ‘No, no, no!’

To judge from his robust response yesterday at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Cameron seems in no mood to say sorry.

It may suit Labour to perpetuate the myth that Mrs Thatcher pursued a vendetta against the miners. The truth is quite different.

In reality the mines had long been uneconomic and had been sustained by huge state subsidies for decades before the strike.

The previous Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan closed many more pits than Mrs Thatcher. Curiously, Mr Miliband is not offering to apologise on their behalf.

The more militant miners used violence to intimidate those who wanted to work, culminating in the so-called Battle of Orgreave, where thousands of picketing miners fought police at the Orgreave coking plant in Yorkshire.

Yesterday, with shameful cynicism, Labour moved to put pressure on the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to conduct a Hillsborough-style inquiry into police tactics.

Orgreave was not a tragedy like Hillsborough. It was a pitched battle between 10,000 miners and 5,000 police resulting in dozens of injuries and hundreds of arrests.

Police were bombarded with bricks and stones. A few officers may have used excessive force, but they were under extreme provocation.

Some miners later sued the police, with 39 of them receiving nearly £500,000 in compensation for assault, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution. But this cannot be compared to Hillsborough, where 96 died and there was a systematic police cover-up.

There is no justification for the IPCC to mount an investigation of Orgreave, let alone a ruinously expensive inquiry, because the main facts are known and always have been.

I have no doubt Labour has mounted this campaign because they would like to change the subject from the present state of the economy — which is at last booming again — to old grievances.

It is in their interest to claim the Tories deliberately engineered and escalated the strike in order to crush the unions.

Their argument has been given a spurious plausibility by secret papers recently released under the 30-year rule, which makes public Cabinet papers three decades after they were created. Yet the new documents do not substantially alter what was already known.

No one should be surprised that contingency plans were made to declare a state of emergency and use troops to move coal stocks or food supplies if the strikes continued. It would have been irresponsible for any government not to prepare for the worst.

Nor is there anything shocking about the ‘secret’ proposal by the chairman of the National Coal Board, Ian MacGregor, six months before the strike, to close 75 pits over three years.

The pit closure programme was no secret. It was dictated by dire economic necessity.

There is nothing in these new documents to justify Labour’s conspiracy theory that the Conservatives deliberately sought to escalate the dispute ‘guided by a complete hostility to the coalfield communities’, as Labour MP Michael Dugher put it earlier this week.

The state of crisis was caused by the impossible demand by the miners’ leader, Arthur Scargill, to keep all pits open, even if they were losing huge amounts of money.

Those who do not remember the miners’ strike may find it hard to understand how desperate Mrs Thatcher’s predicament then was. Her predecessor, Ted Heath, had tried to take on the miners, imposing a three-day working week to conserve electricity.

He called a general election in 1974, asking voters: ‘Who governs Britain?’ He lost and a broken-backed Labour government, which lived in fear of the trades unions, took office.

In 1977, as a young reporter, I met the leader of the Scottish miners, Mick McGahey.

He was an unashamed Communist and boasted openly of his comrades’ determination to turn Britain into a socialist paradise. Many others saw the miners as the vanguard of socialism, including Ed Miliband’s father, Ralph.

Mrs Thatcher came to power in 1979 with the explicit aim of curbing union power. Even in her first term, however, she was forced to yield to the threats of the National Union of Mineworkers. She reluctantly granted new subsidies to uneconomic pits, because she was warned that they could bring the country to its knees.

No sooner had Mrs Thatcher, newly confident after the Falklands War victory, been re-elected, than the militant new leader of the NUM, Arthur Scargill, sought to call a national strike intended to bring down her government.

Scargill was a Stalinist who did not believe in democracy. He sought to intimidate his members, at first by mass picketing and later by mob violence, aimed not only at ‘scabs’ who crossed the picket lines but at their families and anyone who helped them.

One taxi driver, for example, was murdered for driving miners to work by having a concrete slab dropped onto his car from a road bridge.

In June came Orgreave, which marked a new escalation of violence by Scargill and his men. This is the pivotal moment in the highly charged battle which has been seized upon by today’s opportunist Labour Party.

Scargill continued to hold the country to ransom, though he was losing ground. Then, in March 1985 the leadership of the NUM defied Scargill and voted to call off the strike.

It must be admitted that Margaret Thatcher was not entirely magnanimous in victory. She could not forgive ‘the enemy within’, those militants who had sought to derail the stability and prosperity of their own country, and her enemies have not forgiven her.

This has left a bitter legacy in our culture — think of films such as Billy Elliot.

But such criticism of our greatest peacetime Prime Minister should not be allowed to obscure her achievement. Thirty years later, we can see clearly that the defeat of the miners’ strike was a blessing for the whole nation.

It made possible the Thatcher revolution — both economic and social — of which we are still the beneficiaries.

Labour’s call for an inquiry is nothing but a cynical ploy. Orgreave was no Hillsborough. And David Cameron has nothing to apologise for.


Chuck Schumer is a fascist

“It is clear that we will not pass anything legislatively as long as the House of Representatives is in Republican control, but there are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies — we must redouble those efforts immediately.”

That was Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), speaking at the Center for American Progress on January 23, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

This statement did not occur in a vacuum, and there is context. It was a speech about how to “weaken” and “exploit” the tea party. And he is not referring to hypothetical rules the IRS might implement, he is telling the Obama Administration to move forward with new IRS rules proposed in November that will severely restrict the speech of tea party and other 501(c)(4) organizations.

Even though Congress has not voted to change rules governing these groups that have been in place decades. In fact, Congress explicitly rejected doing so when the issue came up in 2010 via the DISCLOSE Act. To say nothing of the fact that suppressing political speech clearly violates the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution.

Let’s be clear. Schumer thinks — like Obama who at a recent cabinet meeting said “we are not just going to be waiting for legislation” to act — that somehow the executive branch has the power to make and change law as it sees fit. And that one of the laws this all-powerful executive can enact is to restrict the speech of political opponents.

A clearer statement in favor of fascism — the ceding of legislative powers to the executive and the suppression of dissent — cannot be found in recent American discourse by an elected official.

New agency rule will squelch dissent

Merriam Webster defines fascism as “a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government.” There’s actually a bit more to the ideology, but let’s just take the plain meaning of the word.

A government where the executive can make laws without approval of the legislative branch is by definition dictatorial. The new IRS rule, which was brought to no vote in Congress, clearly falls into that category.

And that the new rule will suppress political speech of government opponents is beyond question.

It disregards the statute itself that only explicitly prohibits electioneering of 501(c)(3) charities, but not (c)(4) social welfare groups. Instead it seeks to modify a 54 year old agency rule that currently allows (c)(4) organizations to engage in electioneering activities so long as it does not constitute a majority of their activities.

Now, limitations will be imposed not simply on advocacy for or against a candidate for public office, as has been the case for decades, but on any communication that even mentions a public official who happens to be a candidate. Specifically, the regulations will define “certain communications that are close in time to an election and that refer to a clearly identified candidate as electioneering communications.”

This would be a return to the “functional equivalent of express advocacy” that was struck down in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC (2007).

The rule also applies blackout periods 60 days prior to the general election and 30 days prior to primary elections at the federal, state, and local level. Such blackout windows have been repeatedly ruled unconstitutional in federal court, in South Carolinians for Responsible Government v. Krawcheck, et. al (2012) and in Citizens United v. FEC (2010).

Now, the agency will no longer consider the costs of communications in determining eligibility for the 501(c)(4) tax status. It will use a far more subjective, content-based standard: “the expansion of the types of communications covered in the proposed regulations reflects the fact that an organization’s tax exempt status is determined based on all of its activities, even low cost and volunteer activities, not just its large expenditures.”

It will even consider past advocacy that occurred prior to the rule change in an ex post facto manner:  “The Treasury Department and the IRS intend that content previously posted by an organization on its Web site that clearly identifies a candidate and remains on the Web site during the specified pre-election period would be treated as candidate-related political activity.”

For organizations that operate websites that go back years or even decades, this might require purging archives of articles written that might mention an official who happens to be a candidate in particular election cycle.

To put the new rule into perspective, this particular article criticizes Chuck Schumer. But he is not up for reelection again until 2016. Under the new rule, it might be okay to leave this piece up in 2014 and 2015, but once he’s on the ballot again, we might have to take it down.

That is, lest anyone come to the realization close to the election of the indisputable fact that Chuck Schumer is, by definition, a fascist — whose views on speech and political dissent he disagrees with have no place in a free society, let alone qualify him for the elected office he seeks.

Schumer himself in the speech specifically said who the targets of the new rules are. They are meant to silence, as he put it, “Tea Party elites [who] gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government.”

That is, the truth as he sees it. And if Chuck Schumer represents the government’s position on free speech, or the lack thereof, then Obama has truly succeeded in transforming America into a system that will punish its opponents with the force of law, political violence, or worse.

The Friends of Abe

The Schumer speech came the same week it was revealed that a group of conservative and traditionally minded entertainers in Hollywood applying for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status wherein donations are tax-deductible had been put on the IRS “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) target list.

Called the Friends of Abe — named after Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president — the group is claiming that in the application process, which has still not been approved after two years, the agency demanded access to its membership list. The group refused.

What makes this significant is that if the list had been made a part of the application process, it could have risked the information becoming public. Once a 501(c)(3) application is approved, it is a matter of public record.

What are not public are groups’ donors and members who, in the case of Friends of Abe, fear professional repercussions in Hollywood for being conservative.

This is precisely the sort of disclosure that the Supreme Court struck down in NAACP v. Alabama (1958). Then Justice John Marshall Harlan’s majority opinion stated, applying the First Amendment via the Fourteenth to Alabama, “We hold that the immunity from state scrutiny of membership lists which the Association claims on behalf of its members is here so related to the right of the members to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in so doing as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

In so doing, the Court said that a group’s membership lists could not be forcibly disclosed. Here, the Court protected a constitutional right to anonymity particularly when a disclosure requirement threatened the ability of a group’s members to speak freely.

There is no allegation that Friends of Abe was engaged in electioneering. There were no ads it purchased or mailings that were sent out endorsing candidates. Having meetings and expressing conservative values, or even engaging in a limited amount of issue advocacy — which are allowed by both the statute and rules governing 501(c)(3)s — comes nowhere near the electioneering activities prohibited under those rules.

There are thousands of (c)(3)s across the country that do the same exact thing on all sides of the political spectrum that have never had trouble getting their applications approved.

What can be done?

The only leverage Republicans in Congress have is to insist that the IRS regulations be prohibited as a condition of increasing the debt ceiling or funding the government at all.

Their refusal to do so lest there be a government shutdown is nothing short of weakness. They are in effect standing by and do nothing, making them little better than those who stood by silently in the 1920s and 1930s as political dissent was systematically squelched in Italy, Germany, Russia, and elsewhere.

Is that unfair? In the least, Republicans appear content waiting for courts to act on this issue while the censorship goes on unabated. This is not a case of the Federal Election Commission enforcing the congressionally enacted McCain-Feingold campaign finance statute, as in the past. That has already been overturned.

This is a rogue agency creating rules out of whole cloth to squelch dissent and enforcing them as if they were law in defiance of repeated court rulings calling those very rules censorship. To sit idly by now is inexcusable.

Do Republicans defend the American people’s right to dissent against government injustice, or not?

Perhaps Aldous Huxley was correct, when he wrote to George Orwell in 1949 that “the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.”

Maybe elected Republicans are content being serfs, and they are no longer the party of Lincoln that once fought slavery in all its forms. The Friends of Abe would do well to take note.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Liberalism Embraces the Soul of the Soviet Union

American liberalism, like all such political philosophies that ultimately rely on coercion for policy implementation, has completed its historical journey from altruism to totalitarianism.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), like the Obama Administration, recommends that the Internal Revenue Service be used to suppress the activities of the Tea Party because its members engage in political speech with which he disagrees.

Schumer proves that it is not unintentional bureaucratic malpractice, but brute governmental force perpetrated by one political party against those holding alternative political beliefs in order to restrict free speech and impose its own ideology on the country.

Liberals, deeming themselves morally superior, have developed the capacity to ignore a record of consistent failure because they mistakenly equate intentions with results. For liberals, public policy becomes an extension of their own self-deception and intellectual dishonesty.

Like the Soviet politburo i.e. "just one more five-year plan and we will be there, comrade," liberals are driven to retain power in order to prove that if extensive government intervention is tried often enough the results will eventually match their intentions.

It is a form of fanaticism which leads liberals to adopt an ends justify the means mentality and to apply an increasing amount of force to elicit outcomes that are not possible using the strategies they employ.

Liberals cannot win arguments on the basis of empirical evidence or logic. In a debate, they must resort to lying about their own policies, personally discrediting their opponents or suppressing the truth.

To explain their policies liberals speak in euphemisms, vague expressions or outright lies used to disguise their intent and obscure the harsh reality that will result through the implementation of those policies. It is the expropriation of language as a prelude to the expropriation of property and individual liberty. It is the fictional "Newspeak" of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four come to life, a political construction to make lies sound truthful and tyranny appear acceptable.

Liberal morality is based on the selective exploitation of, but not a belief in words like "justice" and "rights." Whether it is social, economic, racial, immigrant, reproductive or whatever faux-noble camouflage is required, it is little more than a means to leverage the politics of tribalism.

Liberal policies can only succeed in an atmosphere of totalitarian uniformity of thought and behavior, where we celebrate our collective indoctrination and genuflect at the altar of leftist orthodoxy.

Common Core, for example, is being marketed as a national standard for educational excellence, not the lowest common denominator for socialist brainwashing and homogeneity.

Abortion becomes reproductive rights, racial quotas become diversity, illegal aliens become undocumented workers, socialized medicine becomes healthcare reform, taxes become investment, propaganda becomes news, lies become spin and free speech becomes hate speech.

In Mountain of Crumbs, a memoir of childhood in the 1960s and 1970s Soviet Union, Elena Gorokhova explains the meaning of "vranyo", the Russian word for a lie or half-truth:

"In Russia we played the ‘vranyo' game on a daily basis. The government lied to us, we knew they were lying, they knew we knew they were lying, but they kept lying anyway and we pretended to believe them. "

During the Soviet era, "vranyo" became the de facto way of life, an instrument of governmental coercion as well as a coping mechanism to endure both unbearable calamities and trivial annoyances of life in a totalitarian state.

A society cannot be built on a foundation of lies. In America today we are asked to accept Liberalism's promises of a bright future, which bear no resemblance to its disastrous present.

It is time to puncture that delusion.


Money talks

Obama’s Ambassador to Norway Knows Nothing About Norway

Norwegians are not happy about the next U.S. ambassador to their country—and for good reason; he’s a top Obama bundler that knows absolutely nothing about Norway, a country he admitted he's never even visited.

    Asked by Senator John McCain what he thought it was about the "anti-immigration" Progress Party that appealed to Norwegian voters, Greek American businessman George Tsunis seemed unaware of the party's role in the ruling coalition.

    "You get some fringe elements that have a microphone and spew their hatred," he said in the pre-appointment hearing. "And I will tell you Norway has been very quick to denounce them."

    McCain interrupted him, pointing out that as part of the coalition, the party was hardly being denounced.

    "I stand corrected," Tsunis said after a pause. "I would like to leave my answer at... it's a very,very open society and the overwhelming amount of Norwegians and the overwhelming amount of people in parliament don't feel the same way."

    The blunder came after a faltering, incoherent performance from Tsunis, in which he made a reference to Norway's "president", apparently under the impression that the country is a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy.

The New York businessman and lawyer donated $50,000 to McCain in 2008 before switching parties and bundling nearly $1 million for the president in 2012. So his performance during the recent Senate confirmation hearing is utterly unsurprising but infuriating nonetheless. Tsunis is glaringly unqualified for this position and didn’t so much as read Norway’s Wikipedia page to know the slightest bit about the country’s history, politics, and culture before the hearing.

“The nomination (of Tsunis) is nothing less than an insult against Norway,” one Norwegian wrote in an online debate on, NewsInEnglish reports. “This makes it clear that the US kisses up to its enemies while it’s condescending towards its friends.”

Money talks, folks, and Harry Reid’s new rules for the Senate mean there’s no possibility of a filibuster, either. Perhaps this is why McCain sarcastically signed off the way he did: “I have no more questions for this incredibly, highly qualified group of nominees.”


British voters now as worried about immigration as the economy

Immigration is now the most important issue of concern to the British people, a poll has revealed.  It came joint top with the economy in an Ipsos MORI poll of the public’s priorities for the Government.

Strikingly, in a single year, the proportion identifying immigration in their top priorities to Ipsos MORI has nearly doubled.

In the same period, the number citing the economy as their main concern fell by 11 percentage points, as unemployment and growth have picked up.

The poll is a double-edged sword for David Cameron. He will be boosted by confirmation that worries over the economy are declining.  At the same time, it will embolden both his backbench opponents, who want much tougher action to reduce migrant numbers, and Ukip.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister was accused of complacency over immigration after he said the numbers arriving from Romania and Bulgaria were ‘reasonable’.

It later became clear that Mr Cameron has no idea how many are coming into the country because official figures will not be available until May.

The poll found that 41 per cent of those questioned raised immigration or race relations in their first two answers when asked: ‘What do you see as the most important issues facing Britain today?’ The economy was raised by the same proportion.

In the past 12 months, the number citing the economy has fallen by 11 points, from 52 per cent. Immigration, by contrast, has risen from 22 per cent to 41 per cent.

It is the first time since 2008 that immigration has come out on top, Ipsos MORI said. The economy has remained at the top since then.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘This is a most remarkable outcome. At last people feel free to give their true opinion about the impact of mass immigration on this country.’

The poll emerged as Mr Cameron was engaged in last-minute negotiations with rebel Conservative MPs demanding changes to the Immigration Bill when it returns to the House of Commons tomorrow.

Backbencher Nigel Mills is calling for rules restricting access to British jobs for workers from Romania and Bulgaria, which expired in January, to be restored.

Last night, government whips were said to be backing a compromise set of amendments proposed by another Tory backbencher, Stephen Phillips – which would give a vague duty to the Home Secretary to assess whether EU immigration is excessive in future.

A further rebel amendment, proposed by Tory MP Dominic Raab, would beef up laws on booting out foreign criminals. Last night, a Home Office memo blew a hole in the Government’s case for blocking his amendment.

Ministers have been resisting the amendment, which would make it all but impossible for overseas convicts to claim they have a right to a ‘family life’ in the UK.

They have insisted that the rules would flout the European Convention on Human Rights because they do not include sufficient safeguards.

Home Secretary Theresa May warned Downing Street last March that it could lead to a huge number of appeals being logged at the European Court of Human Rights.

She predicted the court could respond by issuing ‘a Rule 39 injunction’, which would halt up to 4,000 deportations a year for several years while all the appeals were heard.

But a memo prepared by the Home Office’s own officials, seen by the Mail, states that this is not the case. Officials working on the Bill say: ‘We do not expect interim measures under Rule 39 to be issued routinely, if at all.’

In the wake of her warning, Mr Raab failed last year in his attempt to get the amendment passed.

Last night, he said: ‘I welcome the fact that the earlier legal objections have been overcome. I hope this clears the way for the Government to accept this practical, common sense amendment, which will stop killers, rapists and drug dealers from running rings around our border controls.’

But the amendments face being defeated by being ‘talked out’. There are only around four hours set aside tomorrow to debate the Bill, including a raft of Home Office amendments.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are already passing legislation in the Bill to ensure judges don’t regard the right to a family life as an absolute and unqualified one.

‘Those who commit serious crimes have no place in Britain and we are determined to see more of them kicked out of the country.’


Meet Ukip, Britain's most working-class party

Ukip have been a firm feature on the electoral map for several years now, but they remain badly misunderstood by their fellow politicians, pundits and the media. This week, we kick off UkipWatch with a series of posts dispelling the five most popular myths about the party. We start today by looking at the politics of Ukip's supporters.

Myth No 1: Ukip's supporters are all grumpy Tories

It is certainly true that new recruits to Ukip are more likely to have voted for the Conservatives in 2010 than any other party. But portraying the Ukip rebellion as simply a split on the Right glosses over two important facts.

First, focusing on trends since 2010 is misleading. Ukip has only recruited most strongly from the Conservative Party since the Cameron-led government began. When Labour were in charge of the country under Tony Blair, and then Gordon Brown, Ukip picked up more support from Labour than from the Tories. Our chart below, which shows the previous vote choices of new Ukip recruits in the Labour and Coalition governments, illustrates this.

This is important, as it provides evidence that this revolt on the Right can mobilise hostility to whoever is in charge. Labour may currently be smiling as Ukip drains support from the Conservatives, but the tables may soon turn if Ed Miliband enters 10 Downing Street in 2015, and his party again becomes the focus of voter resentment. Even now, around one third of new Ukip recruits report backing someone other than the Conservatives at the last election – a fifth of their new support comes from former Lib Dems.

New Ukip voters' recalled vote in the previous general election: Labour government 2004-10 (light bars) and Coalition government 2010-13 (dark bars)

Focusing only on vote choices at the last general election is also misleading for another reason. The media like to portray Ukip as a revolt among traditional grassroots Conservatives, who feel neglected by Cameron's more centrist and socially liberal approach. But not everyone who backed Cameron's Conservatives in 2010 was a "true blue Tory", committed to the party for life. Many, for example, were former Labour voters who had steadily lost faith in the party over its long term of office, and who by 2010 felt willing to give Cameron’s Conservatives a try.

Framing Ukip’s voters as disillusioned former Tory loyalists misunderstands the movement. Some of these voters are certainly ex-Conservative "true believers". But others are people with much weaker links to Cameron’s party.

This leads us to our second point: the social background of Ukip supporters (and we’ve looked at thousands of them). Their profile is very different to the popular image. If Spitting Image were still around they would most likely portray the average Ukipper as a ruddy faced, middle-class, middle-aged golf club bore, who lived in a suburban semi-detached house in the Home Counties, wore lots of tweed and bored his neighbours to death by droning on about the evil Eurocrats in Brussels. But this stereotype could scarcely be further from the truth.

Ukip's supporters look more like Old Labour than True Blue Tories. Ukip's supporters tend to be blue-collar, older, struggling economically, and often live in poorer, urban areas, with big pools of support in the Labour heartlands of the North. Middle-class suburbanites do not dominate Ukip. They shy away from it.

In fact, Ukip are Britain’s most working-class party. Blue-collar workers are heavily over-represented. Middle-class professionals are scarce. Such voters often express as much hostility to the Conservative party as they do to Labour. This news should not be surprising. Earlier research on Goldsmith’s Referendum Party in the mid-1990s found that they too came from across the spectrum. But despite this research the “disaffected Tory thesis” has become entrenched in the Westminster village, and now dominates misguided coverage of the party.

Why is the myth of Ukip as an army of angry, middle-class suburbanites who are obsessed by Europe and having a referendum so widespread and persistent, when the reality is so different? Most likely because of the difference between Ukip's activists and their voters.

Committed activists and politicians, the kind of Ukipper the media are most likely to encounter, very often are middle-class, Southern and suburban former Tories (particularly the Ukippers you are likely to stumble across in the Westminster village, where most journalists congregate). Add to this the continual fascination in the media with Conservative splits over Europe and it is easy to see how the “Ukip = angry Tories + Euroscepticism” formula has taken hold.

But political activism, in any party, is a minority pursuit, and those who engage in it often look very different to the voters they represent. Most Westminster journalists have been around long enough to know that the figures who loiter in the halls of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative party conferences look, think and behave very differently to the voters who back these parties. Ukip are in many respects different from the established parties but this basic political rule – don't mistake the activists for the voters – applies to them too.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yet More Sexual Insanity

One can argue that the past century has been one grand social experiment to see what life would be like if we kicked God and transcendent moral values out of the West. Well, the results are in, and it is not looking very good. When we ditch the one certain source of objective morality and absolute truth, mankind is simply left to its own devices.

We end up making things up as we go along, and everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Anything goes, and this is especially true in the area of sexuality. All boundaries are cast aside, and every kinky and bizarre thing imaginable is engaged in and sanctioned.

Everywhere we see the brave new world of unbridled sexuality. And despite what the sexual libertines say, we all suffer as a result – especially children. When we manage to foolishly convince ourselves that absolutely anything goes when it comes to sexuality, then there will always be plenty of losers.

So let me offer another handful of cases, beginning with this shocker from Italy: “Italy’s highest court has overturned the conviction of a 60-year-old man for having sex with an 11-year-old girl, because the verdict failed to take into account their ‘amorous relationship’.

“Pietro Lamberti, a social services worker in Catanzaro in southern Italy, was convicted in February 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison for sexual acts with a minor. The verdict was later upheld by an appeals court. But Italy’s supreme court ruled that the verdict did not sufficiently consider ‘the “consensus”, the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the girl’s feelings of love’.”

So in Italy the judges have no problem with paedophilia. Great. Of course we are doing our best to turn young children into sexual dynamos, so I guess this should come as no real surprise. Consider what they are doing to little children in New Zealand:

“A new graphic sex education program aimed at five-to-12 year-olds has been launched in New Zealand, drawing sharp criticism from parents who are shocked at the material covered. The Every Body Education program provides both in-school and out-of-school programs for children aged between 5 and 12-years-old.”

Basically nothing is left to the imagination here it seems. And never mind that no 5-year-old that I know even remotely has sex on the brain. These sexperts think we must fill our kids’ heads with all things sexual. But some parents at least are fighting back:

“One mother Carla Smith, who attended a Health Curriculum Community Evening at her child’s school in November, was disturbed the program was even being considered by her children’s school. Smith said she believes that a ‘one size fits all approach’ is ‘inappropriate’ in the school setting.

“Discussion around sexuality ‘should be introduced at home by parents at an age they determine appropriate for their individual children,’ she told 3News. ‘I just think you’re placing seeds in their head which they may not know what to do with. Who knows where those seeds are going to go in the future, and in what directions they’re going to turn?’ Smith said.”

And elsewhere we see the bitter fruit of all this. With so many Western men addicted to porn, the worldwide trafficking of children into sexual slavery is on the rise. A recent report from Cambodia makes for sickening reading, but we must be aware of what is happening. It begins:

“When a poor family in Cambodia fell afoul of loan sharks, the mother asked her youngest daughter to take a job. But not just any job. The girl, Kieu, was taken to a hospital and examined by a doctor, who issued her a ‘certificate of virginity.’ She was then delivered to a hotel, where a man raped her for two days.

“Kieu was 12 years old. ‘I did not know what the job was,’ says Kieu, now 14 and living in a safehouse. She says she returned home from the experience ‘very heartbroken.’ But her ordeal was not over. After the sale of her virginity, her mother had Kieu taken to a brothel where, she says, ‘they held me like I was in prison.’

“She was kept there for three days, raped by three to six men a day. When she returned home, her mother sent her away for stints in two other brothels, including one 400 kilometers away on the Thai border. When she learned her mother was planning to sell her again, this time for a six-month stretch, she realized she needed to flee her home.”

Just how many Westerners are fuelling all this? Other forms of sexual insanity can be found in Europe. They are also, in their own way, so very destructive of children. I have written often before about the sexual madness in Sweden. A recent article begins this way about their creepy social engineering:

“On a sunny afternoon in September, a 5-year-old girl played in a sandbox. The box contained more mud than sand, and as she whacked at it with a plastic shovel, globs of dirt stained her pink dress. But at the Nicolaigarden preschool in Stockholm, no teacher chastised her, and certainly no one told her that girls aren’t supposed to play like that. In fact, at Nicolaigarden, they try not to use the word girls at all.

“Or boys either. One of the most popular toys at the school, for both sexes, is a set of dolls designed to teach about emotions. Each wears a different expression–one smiles broadly, another frowns–but that is almost all they wear. Except for the homely knit hats that top their Nordically blond heads, the dolls are completely naked, which makes it easy to see that they have no distinguishable gender.

“And that just might be a metaphor for what this school, and perhaps Sweden as a whole, is trying to achieve. This is a country in the midst of a dramatic new experiment in gender equality–call it gender neutrality.”

This manic push for total and complete androgyny of course has to simply ignore the basic facts of biology. But radical social engineers do not let such facts stand in the way of pushing their ideological agendas. These coercive utopians will seek to implement their agendas no matter what.

And in the US more evidence of the damage we are doing to children, the family, and society. Consider this amazing news report: “A man who provided sperm to a lesbian couple in response to an online ad is the father of a child born to one of the women and must pay child support, a Kansas judge ruled Wednesday.”

Yes you read that right. The story continues: “Topeka resident William Marotta had argued that he had waived his parental rights and didn’t intend to be a father. Shawnee County District Judge Mary Mattivi rejected that claim, saying the parties didn’t involve a licensed physician in the artificial insemination process and thus Marotta didn’t qualify as a sperm donor, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

“’In this case, quite simply, the parties failed to perform to statutory requirement of the Kansas Parentage Act in not enlisting a licensed physician at some point in the artificial insemination process, and the parties’ self-designation of (Marotta) as a sperm donor is insufficient to relieve (Marotta) of parental right and responsibilities to the child,’ Mattivi wrote.”

What can I say? Welcome to the brave new world of sexual insanity. And it is getting more and more insane each passing day. A decade ago Al Mohler wrote a piece addressing such sexual suicide, referring to all this as “polymorphous perversity”. His thoughts are well worth adding here in conclusion:

“‎The subversion of marriage and the family has extended to law and morality, to authority and to custom. The very habits of human life–the customs and traditions on which civilization is grounded–are now being reversed, marginalized, and discarded in an effort to eliminate all norms by normalizing the abnormal. For those whose agenda is to undermine Judeo-Christian morality and to disconnect Western civilization from biblical norms, there is no better strategy than to subvert marriage, family, and sexuality, and unleash on society an age and culture of polymorphous perversity.”


Cleared in 20 minutes: Businessman who defended his property from fuel burglars and fighting against them with a fence post

A landscape gardener who attacked two thieves he caught trying to steal from his business was cleared of grievous bodily harm in just 20 minutes today.

Andrew Woodhouse, 44, was accused of using excessive force when he broke the arms and legs of one and rugby tackled the other, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

But today the jury decided he had every right to defend his property from criminals Kevin Green and Timothy Cross, who ended up with £75 fines.

The father-of-five had faced a possible life jail sentence - but was found not guilty of two grievous bodily harm charges for the citizen's arrest of two raiders.

After being cleared at Cardiff Crown Court, a relieved Mr Woodhouse said: 'The verdicts show we have a criminal justice that works.  'When people act to defend themselves and their property it will not be considered unlawful.  'The last 10 months have been very harrowing for me, my family and the people I employ.'

Mr Woodhouse has been battling a spate of crime at his company - and sprang into action when his alarm rang after midnight as two thieves were stealing diesel.

Mr Woodhouse grabbed a fence post one was carrying as a weapon - and used it to fight back against them.

He left one with two broken legs and grappled with the other until police arrived.

But he was shocked to be charged with using excessive force in his citizen's arrest - and hauled to court four times before being cleared by a 12-strong jury of the public.

Mr Woodhouse was today celebrating his acquittal after a jury heard the case against him and ruled he was no criminal.

He also runs a machinery and tyre depot two miles from his home near Abergavenny, South Wales, which have been plagued by criminals.

'I have striven to to build businesses to provide a living for me and my family and to provide employment to others,' he said.

'On the evening in question I went to bed hoping to enjoy a good night's sleep. But I was disturbed by a call indicating intruders had entered my business premises.

'I acted to retrieve property stolen from my business and to detain the two people and in the course of the struggle it was unfortunate one of them got injured.  'It was never my intention to to injure anyone that night.

'But it might serve as a reminder to other burglars and thieves that there are sometimes unintended consequences to entering property in the dead of night.

'When in the past I have suffered thefts and burglaries I have called the police. On this occasion I did not have the chance to call them.  'I am pleased I managed to apprehend the thieves asnd pleased they were brought to justice.

'Over the last 10 months I have been fortified by the enormous support from family, friends and others who were aware of my case.   'Their support helped me no end and allowed me to gather the strength to stay strong and focus on defending myself.

'I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have assisted me in very difficult circumstances.'

Mr Woodhouse said he has repeatedly been a victim of crime at his gardening company costing him £30,000 over the past five years.

He proclaimed he was fully justified in keeping hold of the two burglars until police arrived.

Kevin Green, 53, and Timothy Cross, 32, tried to escape into a neighbouring field with jerry cans full of stolen fuel.

But Woodhouse chased Green - and caught him near their getaway car. He then attacked Green leaving him with two broken legs and a broken arm.

The court heard he then chased Cross before rugby-tackling him. He lay on top of the raider until police arrived.

Prosecutor James Wilson described it an 'unreasonable and unlawful assault.'  He said: 'It was not reasonable self-defence. Mr Woodhouse lost his temper and went over the top.  'He is a hard-working businessman but he has let his frustration get the better of him. He lost it.'

Mr Woodhouse said he was 'gutted and sickened' to learn the extent of Green's injuries.

The court heard officers found Green lying injured under a blanket - and Cross claiming the businessmen had gone 'over the top'.

Mr Woodhouse employs six staff including two of his sons at the family business, which was set up 20 years ago.

The court heard how he didn't feel like officers had given him enough assistance when he had been the victim of crime.

Green and Cross were charged with theft and later given £75 fines by magistrates.

Mr Woodhouse's eldest son, marine Josh, 24, said afterwards: 'This prosecution should never have been brought.

'My father was doing what every right-minded person would do- protecting his family and his property.

'The stress it's caused him and the whole family has been unbelievable.'

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said later: 'Andrew Woodhouse was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent after careful consideration of all the available evidence.

'Our decision to charge Mr Woodhouse was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, which requires us to be satisfied that that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to bring charges.

'In light of the evidence, including the injuries suffered by one of the intruders, it was the prosecution case that Mr Woodhouse's actions during the incident went beyond what the law allows for in terms of self-defence.

'We therefore decided that it was appropriate to bring the matter to court so that a jury could determine the issue.

'Ultimately, all evidence relating to criminal cases is tested during the trial process, with the jury being the final arbiters of guilt or innocence.  'We respect the jury's decision on this matter.'


Keep your wife happy... spend more time at work: Husbands should do longer hours at the office, study says

The key to a happy marriage is spending less, not more time with each other, it seems.

For if he wants to improve his wife’s quality of life, a husband should spend longer hours at the office, researchers claim.

The more overtime he does, the healthier she becomes, with wives benefiting most when husbands work more than 50 hours a week.

However the study, published in the journal Social Forces, found that men are doomed to the short straw either way.

For when wives work long hours, house-husbands’ health suffers – because the weight of domestic chores means they do not get enough time to exercise.

The US study set out to discover the effect on family life of greater labour market equality between the sexes since the 1970s.

Researchers studied the relationships of nearly 4,000 middle-aged men and women between 1979 and 2004. Healthiest were women whose husbands worked more than 50 hours per week, while the lowest scores were for men whose wives worked between 41 and 49 hours.

‘The greater income brought in by men’s longer hours may be protective of women’s health,’ the study said.

‘In contrast, men whose wives work moderately long hours are particularly less likely to spend as much time on vigorous exercise or sports, such as running, swimming, or bicycling.’

The authors, from the Universities of Texas and Indiana, said wives whose husbands work long hours may have enough money to pay cleaners, giving them the time to get fit – but women’s wages may not be high enough to afford house-husbands the same luxury.

Campaign group Mothers At Home Matter said: ‘This underlines the true value of the work which women have traditionally done. It remains a huge and all-consuming job.’

David Cameron has come under pressure to bring in transferable tax allowances that would mean a full-time mother could give her income tax-free allowance to a working father.

A limited version for some married couples is due to begin next year, but will be worth only £3.85 a week at most.

Analysis has shown the majority of married couples with children who will be helped will benefit by only £1.30 a week.

A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed that the traditional family, with stay-at-home mothers and fathers who work, is now more likely to be existing below the poverty line than any other type.

In all 10.5 per cent of women now work more than 45 hours a week, up from 9.5 per cent in 2009 - an extra 186,000 people.

For men, the figure has risen from 19 per cent to 19.6 per cent.

The typical male working week is now 36.8 hours compared with 26.8 for women.


Australia:  Censorship by Poetry Editor of Leftist "Little Magazine"

It is a cliche, the way conservatives and so-called progressives are said to regard each other. On the starboard side of political opinion the general view is that the left is simply misguided, many members of its various tribes perhaps capable of better things and deeper thoughts if only someone with time and patience would make an effort to explain it all.

And on the left, where perceptions tend to be rather more simple? Well they just think we’re evil.

Then again, there are also those on the left who might normally be dismissed at a glance but, due to some act of arrogance or idiocy, draw your attention by virtue of sheer, antic inanity. That whine of unctuous self-righteousness, their grasp of higher moralities which they alone may interpret and adjudicate, the tendency to believe that “shut up” amounts to an argument – well, you know the type. Normally, you wouldn’t worry too much about these sorts, as sooner or later most will nod along with some or other epistle in The Age until they are deeply and silently asleep. The 11,381st lecture about the perils of climate change or the joys of gay marriage can have that effect, even on the most ardent.

When such a featherhead is in a position of influence, able to advance or retard reputations and careers at the stroke of a pen, a closer look is warranted, unpleasant though it may be to pore over spite and pettiness in the fetid quarters of their native environment. In this instance the individual is Peter Minter, poetry editor and academic, whose pulpit for proclaiming on the moral worth of lesser mortals is that little-read and much-subsidised quarterly Overland, “the most radical of Australia’s long-standing literary journals.”

As singer, songwriter, poet and sometime-Quadrant contributor Joe Dolce noted on our website over the weekend, Minter informed him in writing and on the record that his verse would no longer be published in Overland, which just by the way of background was blessed with $399,000 in Australia Council grants between 2010 and 2013. The reason: his association with Quadrant. Dolce, who admits to voting Labor last September, was taken aback by Minter’s zeal in appointing himself Australian poetry’s blacklister-in-chief and, as the policy of exclusion sank in, by the thought that the policy might be at odds with the Australia Council’s goals, standards and procedures. He would seem to be right about that, going by the organisation’s mission statement in regard to literary journals:

“The Literature Panel aims are to encourage the writing and reading of Australian literature, to open up opportunities for our writers to earn from their creative work, and to keep the avenues of debate, discussion, analysis and criticism open.”

Nowhere does the Australia Council state or hint that it is acceptable to bar writers who do not happen to hate and detest the same people as the magazine’s editors. Legal minds might also have opinions on whether or not such a threat constitutes a secondary boycott.

Students of the left and its conceits will need no prompting to guess at Minter’s defence of his edict. Writing on the Facebook page of  theatre critic, “best-selling author” and friend Alison Croggon, herself  a recipient of $40,000 in 2013 from the Australia Council’s Literature Board, chaired by Twitter buddy and fellow traveller on the writers’ festival circuit Sophie Cunningham,  Minter in his prolix style laid out a case that might be summed up thus: Quadrant and Nazis, same thing really.

But don’t take our word for it. In his contributions to an entertaining, if increasingly unhinged, debate, Minter stands revealed in his own words. Note the snide jabs at Quadrant’s poetry editor Les Murray in this talk-to-the-hand response to Dolce:

Peter Minter – ” Joe, let me end with a very simple (perhaps brutal) analogy. I hope this goes to the heart of the debate raised about whether poems should be judged on merit, or whether they should be judged also on their political context. Let’s imagine we are in Germany in the 1930s. We are writing what we think are good poems, free of any overt political substance, and we decide to send them to the “Nazi Literary Weekly” for publication, because the poetry editor loves poetry and everyone thinks he is going to win the Nobel Prize and so they all suck up to him in order to gain the satisfaction of feeling that they are being ordained by the holy poet. The Big Poet publishes the poems and everyone feels nice. Nevertheless, and this is the crux, history will shine its irrevocable truth upon the poets who submitted their poems to the “Nazi Literary Weekly” and they will be forever stained by the association.

Have you heard of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger? Heidegger’s philosophy is certainly wonderful and extremely influential and should be considered “on its merits” in the same way people argue that poetry should simply be judged “on its merits”. And yet, Heidegger joined the Nazi party and his reputation, and the reputation of his philosophy, is forever stained by the association.

So you can say whatever you like about how wonderful it is to be published by Les Murray (those of us who know also know that this is not what it seems!!) the fact remains that those who choose to publish in Quadrant will be forever stained by the association (or by being published in Overland, depending on your perspective). You need to get over the adrenaline rush of seeing your name in print, and start thinking about where you want to see your name in print, and what it means.

This is not about limiting freedom of expression. We are in a free society and anyone can start any kind of magazine they like and publish what they want. What this is about is editorial responsibility and making ethical decisions about how and where you chose to publish.

No more correspondence will be entered into. Bye! “

There is undoubtedly compelling evidence of original thought in Minter’s  academic work, but the dog-eared equivalence he preaches between Hitler’s followers and Quadrant’s contributors suggests one would need to wade through it with a keen eye to be sure. By contrast, only an open ear is needed to absorb the pointed inquiries made by then-Opposition spokesman on the arts, Senator Eric Abetz, at an Estimates hearing about funding allocations .

As Abetz observed, it is either a remarkable coincidence that left-wing literary journals keep scoring bags of Australia Council cash while, year by year, Quadrant sees its stipend shrink. Or maybe, as the Senator intimated, the fix is in.

After this latest episode, perhaps someone in Tony Abbott’s government might like to weigh in on a taxpayer-supported literary magazine brazenly refusing to publish the work of those it identifies, to quote Minter’s pontification, as those “who choose to publish in Quadrant [and are] forever stained by the association.”

After that, who knows? Perhaps a full, sweeping review of arts funding, who doles it out and how, and why do some seem more blessed by the Australia Council’s largesse than others.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry

By hormonal feminist AMY GLASS.  She must dislike her own mother and her own birth and her own upbringing.  If she does she deserves our pity

Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.

Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.

Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?

You should follow Thought Catalog on Facebook.
If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?

I want to have a shower for a woman when she backpacks on her own through Asia, gets a promotion, or lands a dream job not when she stays inside the box and does the house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance. The dominate cultural voice will tell you these are things you can do with a husband and kids, but as I’ve written before, that’s a lie. It’s just not reality.

You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.

I hear women talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to “manage a household.” They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are “important.”

Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business. This word play is holding us back.


The Court, the buffer zone, and the marketplace of ideas

by Jeff Jacoby

FOR ANYONE having trouble understanding why the Massachusetts law requiring a 35-foot "buffer zone" at abortion clinics is so offensive to the First Amendment, there was a moment during the oral arguments in McCullen v. Coakley — the Supreme Court case challenging the law — that crystallized the issue perfectly.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley talks to reporters outside the Supreme Court following oral arguments in the abortion-clinic buffer zone case.

Massachusetts officials have always justified the 2007 buffer law as a narrow, impartial response to the problem of obstruction, disorder, and intimidation of women seeking abortions. That concern is understandably taken seriously in the state where John Salvi murdered two employees of Planned Parenthood clinics in 1994.

But federal and state statutes already make it illegal to interfere with anyone's access to an abortion clinic, let alone to terrorize or harass women with violence or the threat of violence. No one disputes the constitutionality of those statutes, just as no one challenges Section (e) of the Bay State's buffer-zone law, which allows anyone who "knowingly obstructs, detains, hinders, impedes or blocks another person's entry to or exit from a reproductive health care facility" to be punished with fines and prison.

It is only the 35-foot exclusion zone that raises serious free-speech concerns.

Public buffer zones aren't unknown in American life — courts have upheld speech and protest restrictions around funerals, political conventions, and polling places. Even the Supreme Court plaza is off-limits to demonstrators and protests. But such "time, place, and manner" regulations must be scrupulously neutral. What pro-life advocates and even pro-choice civil libertarians have maintained all along is that this buffer zone isn't.

Jennifer Miller, the Massachusetts assistant attorney general who was lead counsel for the state, tried to persuade the justices that this was only a "congestion case." The buffer zone is aimed only at "conduct" occurring within 35 feet of clinic entrances, she said. Any effect on speech "is simply incidental to the permissible conduct." When Justice Stephen Breyer prompted Miller to explain why Massachusetts lawmakers had enacted a buffer zone far larger than the 8-foot bubble the Supreme Court had upheld in a 2000 Colorado case, she cited evidence of "pro-choice advocates swearing and screaming at pro-life advocates. . . . You had the Pink Group, which is a pro-choice organization, pushing and shoving and jockeying for position."

Well, that was a novelty: You don't usually hear the most draconian abortion-clinic buffer zone in the country defended as a response to disorderly behavior by pro-choice rowdies. But it didn't change a fundamental problem with Massachusetts' law: It explicitly exempts "employees or agents" of abortion clinics from the restrictions that apply to pro-lifers.

That was the point that Justice Samuel Alito deftly drove home in the oral argument's most memorable exchange.

Let's imagine, he said to Miller, that a patient about to go into an abortion clinic is approached by two women. The first, who works for the clinic, says: "Good morning, this is a safe facility." The other one, who isn't an employee, says: "Good morning, this is not a safe facility." According to Massachusetts law, the first woman has done nothing wrong, while the second has committed a crime.

"And the only difference between the two is that they've expressed a different viewpoint," Alito observed. "Now how can a statute like that be considered viewpoint-neutral?"

Eleanor McCullen, who challenged Massachusetts' buffer-zone law, at the US Supreme Court building on Jan. 15.

Miller gave it her best shot, insisting that the law isn't focused in the two speakers' opinions — only "on what they're doing in the buffer zone." The pro-life speaker wasn't guilty of expressing a disfavored opinion, Miller said; she was guilty of being within the 35-foot perimeter without a permissible reason.

But that only begged Alito's question, and Justice Anthony Kennedy didn't let Miller get away with it. Of course the Massachusetts law doesn't overtly ban people with anti-abortion viewpoints from crossing into the buffer zone. But in practical terms, that's the law's inescapable consequence, Kennedy said. "Are you saying that the consequences of what [legislators] write are irrelevant to this argument?" Ouch.

McCullen v. Coakley is bound up with abortion politics, but it could just as easily be a case about a buffer zone that barred pro-union activists from getting within 35 feet of a worksite where there was a labor dispute. It could be about antinuclear politics or animal welfare or gun control. Governments have the right to preserve public order, but only as a last resort may they do so by interfering with the marketplace of ideas. Is a 35-foot buffer zone really the last resort? I'd be surprised if the court says yes.


The death of humility is nothing to boast about

I have been writing a series of essays for Radio 3 about national characteristics that have, for better or worse (usually worse), been dispensed with in the past 30 years. These include respect for manual labour, regarding Sunday as special, not being greedy about food, gentility… and the regarding of modesty or humility as significant virtues.

Of all of them, I now realise, the last is the most striking change. It is self-evident that modesty is not prized highly in this age of the selfie, Simon Cowell, the celebrity memoir, the first-person blog, and industry awards. (For reasons too strange to go into, I used to be a regular attender of what were called “The Oscars of the Bus Industry”, until the organisers received a legal letter from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.)

I do not claim to be very humble myself. In fact, part of my animus about these changes is that they have occurred, so to speak, without anyone asking me, and in defiance of injunctions drummed into me as a child, such as – in the case of modesty: “Keep your voice down”, “Don’t draw attention to yourself”; or, if I’d already drawn attention to myself and it was too late to do anything about it, “You’re a right bighead, aren’t you?”. What was the source of these injunctions? Perhaps the New Testament and “the meek shall inherit the earth”. (The American humorist Kin Hubbard once wrote, “It’s going to be fun to watch and see how long the meek can keep the earth after they inherit it.”)

The virtue of modesty was also constantly promoted in the literature I read. Whenever I see the manager of Chelsea, José Mourinho, the self-styled “special one”, who begins every sentence “I sink” (“I think”), I recall the sporting heroes of the comics I read as a boy, such as Billy Dane, hero of the strip called Billy’s Boots. Billy knew there was nothing special about him; that all his skill was down to the ghostly properties of his boots, which had formerly belonged to a brilliant striker. Billy was a modest lad, who took a stoical attitude to failing his 11-plus. Or there was Alf Tupper, The Tough of the Track, a welder who slept on a mattress in his auntie’s kitchen, but competed to the highest of Corinthian ideals. He made a habit of rescuing little old ladies in distress, and celebrated his victories with a plate – or newspaper – of fish and chips.

Billy and Alf were working-class variants of the Victorian public-school ideal of manly reserve and stoicism, qualities thought necessary for running an Empire. They are said to have been summed up in Kipling’s poem, If (“don’t look too good nor talk too wise”). The mindset reached its peak in the First World War, currently being commemorated with a degree of hype that contrasts with the reticence shown by the survivors, of whom there are none left.

In his book, The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell discusses the style of “utter sang-froid” or “British phlegm”. The danger is minimised, and the effect could be dryly comic. Fussell quotes the war diary of one A Surfleet who (referring to howitzer rounds) wrote, “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to these 5.9’s”, and a general who noted, “On my usual afternoon walk today a shrapnel shell scattered a shower of bullets around me in an unpleasant manner.”

In my late teens, I read John Buchan’s novels featuring Richard Hannay, which are very much informed by the First World War. In Greenmantle, Hannay introduces his friend Sandy Arbuthnot. “Sandy’s not the chap to buck about himself,” he observes, having just discovered that Arbuthnot has been governing Turkey from behind the scenes. In The Three Hostages, the chum is Tom Greenslade: “Nothing came amiss to him in talk… everything in the world except himself.” In The Island of Sheep it’s Lombard who “never paraded his learning”, and who, furthermore, appears to have no Christian name.

Sometimes all modern life seems a refutation of those ideals of self-effacement and humility. Then again, those men probably did not need to boast, whereas we, in our ultra-competitive globalised world of short-term contracts and job insecurity, cannot afford the luxury of reticence. So, in my profession, everyone must be “bestselling” or “award-winning”. If you’re neither of the above, you might be able to survive for a while as “much loved”.

The bighead is now the norm, whereas in the books of my youth, the boastful character was a freak, who pointed up the virtues of the hero, as Falstaff does with Prince Hal. So Tintin had Captain Haddock; Winnie-the-Pooh had Tigger; and Ratty and Mole had self-described “handsome, popular and successful” Mr Toad, and his self-advertising motor car. I think of that vehicle when I note that, in my boyhood, personalised number plates were an extreme rarity; but there are now four million, many sported in combination with smoked-glass windows. The driver seems to be saying, “Don’t look at me” and “Look at me” at the same time, although clearly the latter message predominates.

Of course, Mr Toad is life-enhancing, as was Kenneth Grahame’s role model for the character, Oscar (“nothing to declare but my genius”) Wilde. Wilde was challenging the inhibitions of society, and a modest character is, admittedly, sometimes an oppressed character. This is true of many of Dickens’s simpering women. Charlotte Brontë described Esther Summerson of Bleak House (“I have not by any means a quick understanding”) as “weak and twaddling”, and she is actually one of Dickens’s more interesting females. Enshrinement of humility also offers the temptation of simulating that quality, hence Uriah Heep: “ 'Be ’umble, Uriah,’ says father to me, 'and you’ll get on.’ ”

There’s little danger of anyone trying that trick in 2014, when humility – the genuine article, I mean – cuts so little ice.


The ABC in their own charming words

Larry Pickering has some interesting hate-filled quotes from Australia's public broadcaster below

While Left-Green commercial media drowns in red ink, the taxpayer funded ABC, still pining for Gillard, continues to defy its charter, openly seeking to discredit and undermine the Abbott Government... and not a murmur of disapproval from the responsible Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

Decent journalists have departed the dying Fairfax Press in droves leaving the dross free to practise their treachery and disdain for middle ground politics.

Left-Green journalists have now taken to cannibalising their own with tweets regarding respected centre-ground journalist, Gerard Henderson with:

“Henderson…What a pompous, pretentious turd you are.” - Mike Carlton.

“What a haughty flapping half-arsed buffoon he is” - Malcolm Farr.

“You are a fool, Henderson, a malicious and mendacious piece of shit… Now F_ck off.” - Mike Carlton again.

“Old Australian saying. ‘He wouldn’t know a tram was up him unless the bell rang’. Wholly appropriate to Gerard Henderson” - Phillip Adams.

“Gerard [Henderson] is a complete f-ckwit”- Malcolm Farr again.

“The nation mourns Gerard Henderson. He’s in perfect health.” - Peter Van Onselen, SKY. I guess that means they disagree with "The Australian's" Gerard.

Sacked Left-Green scribes have drifted to the ABC, The Conversation, The Guardian On-line and other far Left media.

Sky gives Green Senators (the insane Milne and loopy Hanson-Young) exposure way beyond their political station.

Channel 7 is a rats’ nest of anti-Australian Lefties.

Channel 10 persists with "warmist" Bongiorno and his crazy pro-illegal immigrant stance.

Who really cares, they will die by their own swords soon enough, but the ABC belongs to us... and we want it back.

The pro-Jakarta public broadcaster has now placed itself firmly within the Indonesian crime syndicates’ interests and has incredibly implied the Australian Navy has insisted illegals hold on to hot pipes!

    Only a demented fool or a Green would believe the RAN practises torture.

The ABC has been allowed to run riot for far too long and the Gillard-appointed Leftie Chairman, Spigelman, and his co-conspirator, MD Mark Scott, are past their Labor Party use-by dates.

If the fiery anger in Morrison’s and Abbott’s eyes means anything then the guillotine is about to fall and Turnbull had better quickly decide what he wants to do...

...fiddle with the NBN and his donger at the same time or begin acting like a responsible Minister.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Monday, January 27, 2014

Rugby joins ranks of the politically correct with 'no winners' rules for children

Rugby union would seem to be one of the least likely games to be influenced by political correctness.

But the sport has risked damaging its macho image, with new rules being brought in insisting children’s “mini rugby” teams can no longer play to win.

The changes are being introduced by Surrey Rugby, a constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), for those in the six to 11 age group.

Under the rules, teams must also be “mixed ability”, and must be weakened if they are winning too easily and there must be no overall winner.

The scheme has provoked anger from many in the game. Simon Halliday, an ex-England international and board member at Esher rugby club, told the Financial Times: “We are appalled and have withdrawn from all Surrey rugby competition.

“In sport there are winners and losers. As long as you don’t demean the loser, it’s straightforward.”

Mini-rugby was developed in the 1970s to encourage children to take up the sport. They tend to play on smaller pitches, in smaller teams and with smaller balls.

The rules vary depending on the age group, but have always been scaled back to make it less physical than the adult game. However, the new changes being introduced in Surrey have led to accusations that children are being mollycoddled.

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “This is a depressing confirmation of the stranglehold these misguided ideas have on our education system in the broadest sense, and it will betray generations of children.

“This is not in the interests of children. It will rob them of motivation and incentive, and does not prepare them for the real world.

“If you talk to five- or 10-year-olds they like competitive sport because children are naturally competitive.”

Mr McGovern, a retired head teacher who coached sport for 35 years added: “Rugby is a competitive sport by definition, otherwise it isn’t rugby it is just exercise.

“Children can learn from failure and they have to lose sometimes. These new rugby rules are misplaced and out-of-date, because in the 21st century our children have to compete in a global market.”

Surrey Rugby refused to discuss the new policy and referred all inquiries to the RFU.

Steve Grainger, the RFU’s development director, said: “It’s a fine line – when you allow the experience to be driven by what the adults want rather than what the kids want.

“If we are not meeting children’s needs and not presenting them with a format that suits them, we are not delivering to our customers.”

The governing body is keen to increase the sport’s popularity on the back of next year’s Rugby World Cup, which England is hosting.

Prominent internationals who came up through the mini rugby system include Jeremy Guscott, Jeff Probyn and Ben Clarke.


You can't park here... you're not fat enough

By Richard Littlejohn

Two stories stood out for me this week. Both are damning indictments of modern Britain and proof positive of the idiocy of the soft-headed, socialist imbeciles who run so much of what passes for our ‘world class public services’.

The first comes from Walsall, where obese motorists are being issued with disabled parking badges so they don’t have to waddle too far from their cars to the nearest kebab shop.

The second hails from York, where people arrested for being drunk and disorderly are being sent on courses to boost their ‘self-esteem’.

Let’s start in the West Midlands. What possessed Walsall Council to hand out ‘blue badges’ to gutbuckets? OK, so there is a minuscule number of people suffering from rare medical and genetic conditions which make it difficult to control their weight. Some of them belong in mental hospitals.

But most of those categorised as ‘obese’ are not genuinely disabled. Nor are they ‘victims’ by any stretch of the imagination. They are just fat and greedy and won’t stop stuffing their faces.

Already, the NHS spends a fortune treating patients suffering from a variety of ailments caused by self-inflicted gluttony. Diabetes and heart trouble brought on by pigging out on fast-food is said to have reached epidemic proportions.

Oh dear, how sad, never mind. Stop eating so much and start taking exercise every day, you hideous hippos. Obesity isn’t like a flu epidemic. You can’t catch obesity. It isn’t inflicted on people by dark forces beyond their control.  These selfish individuals are grotesquely overweight because they lack willpower and moral fibre.  They have the option to diet or die, but they do not deserve special  treatment funded by taxpayers.

No one should have an automatic right to an expensive gastric band provided by a hard-pressed public health service, already struggling to provide life-saving drugs to patients  suffering from real illnesses.

It is estimated that up to two million people could qualify for bariatric surgery and that by 2050 half of us will be officially ‘obese’.

By then, Britain’s population will be over 70 million. At this rate there won’t be enough gastric bands to go round and the whole country will be one giant disabled car park.

You can bet, however, that where Walsall leads, other councils will follow in the name of ‘compassion’ and being ‘non-judgmental’. They’ll be handing out blue badges by the tens of thousands to anyone who can prove they have ‘mobility issues’.

The reason these XXXXL monsters have ‘mobility issues’, though, is not because they were born with chronic disabilities, or have lost limbs in an accident or while serving their country on the battlefield.

No, their ‘mobility issues’ are caused by a revolting, self-inflicted excess of flab which their podgy little legs will no longer support over a distance of more than a few yards.

In Nottingham, they are already reinforcing the pavements to cope with the increasing bulk of the legions of Teletubby lookalikes squelching their way to the chippie, via the pub or off-licence.

One of the other curses of contemporary Britain is how the centres of our towns and cities have been blighted by binge drinking.

Every weekend, police have to deal with an orgy of vomit-splattered violence and drunken disorder.

How many times have we seen pictures of young women with their frocks round their waists and their knickers round their ankles wallowing in a pool of their own puke and urine?

This isn’t because the young men and women involved are ‘victims’ of alcohol. It’s because they set out deliberately to get utterly bladdered on cheap booze served in ghastly drinking barns. They enjoy getting mortally intoxicated.

But now York Council has decided that it’s not really their fault, poor darlings. Those legless louts and lasses lying in the gutter are actually suffering from ‘low self-esteem’ which forces them to down pint after pint and cocktail after cocktail against their will.

So anyone arrested five times for being falling-down drunk and disorderly will not be thrown in the slammer, they will be sent on a course to reflect on their ‘behaviour and self-image issues’.

Don’t you just hate that word ‘issues’, a weasely catch-all expression to excuse anyone who is unable to control their own base impulses?

Why should we be expected to accept that they are somehow victims of a disease or compelled by societal pressures to act as they do? And that they can only be ‘cured’ or indulged by a cuddle and lashings of taxpayers’ dosh? Who dreams up this drivel?

Step forward York Council’s Linsay Cunningham-Cross, who styles herself ‘Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities’ and compares the scheme to sending speeding motorists on safer driving courses. For her scintillating contribution she receives an allowance of £21,892.50 a year, plus expenses. Nice work if you can get it.

There are armies of these grandiosely-titled busybodies in Town Halls, social services departments and quangos across Britain, creating ever-expanding categories of ‘victim’ groups to justify their own superfluous existence and inventing exciting new ways of spending our hard-earned on undeserving wastrels.

This is how we end up paying for ‘self-esteem’ classes for violent drunks and handing out disabled parking badges to morbidly obese slobs.

We are all going to Hell in a handcart.


Yes, I'm a hypocrite who stopped going to mass at 13, but I'm certain church is the best place to learn right from wrong

By Tom Utley

My original plan for last week was to write about a survey from Manchester University, which had found that people who visit a place of worship regularly are less likely to commit low-level crimes than those who don’t.

But then I thought this was so unsurprising — so bleeding obvious, not to put too fine a point on it — it wasn’t worth wasting a drop of ink on discussing it.

My feelings were summed up in a sarcastic remark appended by ‘Peter, Harrogate’ to the story on Mail Online: ‘Researchers have also discovered that people who enjoy swimming in the sea are more likely to get wet than those who hate water.’

But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realised it may be a more interesting finding than it first appeared.

Have parents, teachers and politicians been wilfully overlooking what must surely be the most potent weapon in the battle against crime, even though it’s been staring us all in the face since the day we were dangled over the baptismal font (or not, as is increasingly the case)?

Of course, many will be quick to point out the logical flaw in my argument.

Yes, we all knew, without having to be told by a PhD student from Manchester, that churchgoers are markedly less likely than Sunday morning lie-abeds to indulge in shoplifting, drug abuse or music piracy (though I’ve met some very naughty worshippers in my time, I can tell you).

But it doesn’t necessarily follow that church-going — in which I include synagogue-going and mosque-going — cuts crime.

Indeed, my immediate reflection on reading the report last week was that the sort of people who go to church these days tend to be goody-goodies in the first place, drawn to the pews by the same moral impulse that makes them inclined to obey the law.

This is what persuaded me to write instead about the only-very-slightly less obvious discovery that drinking too much alcohol does long-term damage to the memory.

But it wasn’t always so. In the days before organised religion went out of fashion and the social pressure to attend church was much more powerful than it is today, the pews were crammed with people of all sorts, not just the firm believers you would naturally expect to obey the law. Yet the undeniable fact is that Britons in general were much more law-abiding then than they are today.

In 1932, for example, only 208,175 crimes of any kind were recorded in England and Wales. Yet this was during the Great Depression — a time of real poverty (as opposed to the sort Ed Miliband cited in the Commons this week, when he claimed preposterously that 13 million Britons live ‘in poverty’ in 2014).

Now fast forward to yesterday, when the Home Office announced the comparable figure for 2013. The tally of crimes recorded in England and Wales came to a blistering 3.7 million — and that was even after the figures had been systematically fiddled to minimise the scale of the problem, as senior officers have confessed and the Office for National Statistics has confirmed.

True, the population has almost doubled since 1932, and politicians have been busy inventing new crimes, from driving without a seatbelt to smoking in the pub. But this doesn’t begin to explain why the crime rate has increased more than tenfold (and that’s discounting yesterday’s Crime Survey of England and Wales, which estimated there were eight million offences against households and adults last year).

You might think that in the desperate year of 1932, when so many were barefoot and hungry, the temptation to commit crimes would have been irresistible. Yet overwhelmingly, the population resisted it ten times more stoically than the well-shod, well-fed Britons of today. Why?

Again, it’s not strictly logical to say that because crime was much rarer when church attendance was much higher, the one fact follows necessarily from the other. But surely it cannot be altogether fanciful to suggest there may be a connection between the two?

I’m not suggesting it was fear of eternal damnation that kept my grandparents’ generation on the straight and narrow. Indeed, I strongly suspect that most of them had quite as much difficulty believing in the literal truth of Hell as the majority do today.

But from my own experience of being marched off to Mass every Sunday of my childhood, I can testify that regular churchgoing does have the subtle effect on even the most Godless mind of making one look at the world through a moral prism of right and wrong.

I should admit at once that I write as a raging hypocrite, who gave up going to church regularly when I was about 13, just as soon as my mother gave up the unequal struggle to force me out of bed on Sunday mornings. And I never made any effort to encourage our four sons to go (I left that, like so much else, to my wife).

But in the words of Francois de la Rochefoucauld, which I never tire of quoting: ‘Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.’ And it’s all the better for that.

I should also stress that I’ve often done things that I know perfectly well are wrong. But what I find so striking in my sons’ generation is that many among them who have never darkened a church doorstep in their lives, except to attend weddings or funerals, don’t even put the question to themselves: ‘Is the course of action I’m proposing right or wrong?’

Like MPs fiddling their expenses, they ask instead: ‘What are my chances of getting away with it?’ And if the answer they give themselves is anywhere between 95 and  100 per cent, they reckon that’s the clincher. No further objections.

I vividly remember trying to explain to one of my sons’ friends — a very polite and pleasant middle-class lad — that it was wrong to download music without paying for it. He was simply baffled, telling me: ‘But there’s no way you can be caught.’

Then there was his other schoolmate, from an equally nice family, who thought he was just being helpful when he told me there  was no need to give my son money for a train ticket, because they always left the side gate to the station open at that time at night and no one ever checked at the other end.

And don’t get me started on motorists who put in vast, fraudulent claims against my insurance after the gentlest conceivable touch on their bumpers (a very sore point with me at the moment, as I may have mentioned before).

As so often, P. G. Wodehouse put it brilliantly when he said: ‘Golf . . . is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.’

Remove even God’s restraining influence from the equation, and what’s left to  stop any of us from sneaking the ball onto the fairway?

We can argue until the cows come home about whether or not the Almighty exists. And I’m not denying for a moment that countless non-believing, non-churchgoers have a finely tuned sense of right and wrong, while many regular worshippers are less than model citizens. The ‘Crystal Methodist’ Rev Paul Flowers springs to mind.

All I’m saying is that the habit of attending a place of worship — hate preachers aside — is almost certainly a significant factor in turning people away from crime.

So whether or not God exists, isn’t it in everyone’s interests to encourage as many people as possible to go to church?

Why does almost every modern politician seem embarrassed even to talk about something so obvious?


Fascist tendencies in Australia

Salute exceptionalism in Australia...well, hardly. We are becoming suffused with an intrusive public health mantra that is the antithesis of exceptionalism. For those who believe there are proper standards for the relationship between authority and liberty, beware of post-modern Australia, where public health (sometimes known as population health) has become a role model jealous of uniformity and groupthink.

Australian public health authoritarianism manifests as funding of interventionism, premised on some valued 'public good' for which myopic individuals are neither personally accountable nor 'willing to pay.' The maintenance of 'civil society' hence becomes an excuse for meddling bureaucracies to save us from ourselves and for government interfering - usually at considerable unrequited cost - so prescriptively and in so many aspects of our lives.

Domestic swimming pool fencing is one of the most egregious examples. Australia has become a world leader in self-righteously enforcing costly pool fencing standards with scant regard to evidence of commensurate net social gain.

Well-intentioned post-natal nurses routinely follow up new mothers with intrusive questions in quite evidently innocent family settings about domestic violence.

Baby capsules (now costing some hundreds of dollars) must be fitted in motor vehicles by authorised fitting stations and need comply with stringent criteria without parallel in comparable countries (although paradoxically, taxis remain exempt).

Rather than prioritising risky road behaviours that constitute discernible threats to welfare, police are applauded for random breath testing for alleged alcohol misuse or for relentlessly apprehending minor technical transgressions of ever changing speed limits - without yielding differences in road safety statistically significant to comparable high income countries that concentrate simply on targeting reckless driving. Small wonder the time cost of metropolitan travel has become so burdensome.

The folly of poison scheduling in Australia restricts to pharmacies the sale of many non-prescription medicines of infinitesimal risk that are generally available in most other countries at a fraction of the cost in supermarkets.

Because of diminishing personal accountability, it has become judgemental and politically incorrect to 'stereotype' or target the source of readily identifiable human risks such as foetal alcohol syndrome. Analogously, in the early 1980s authorities ran their HIV/ AIDS 'grim reaper' campaign by inefficiently targeting the whole country.

Australia should seek to engender authentic personal accountability. Instead it celebrates the tyranny of costly and inefficient paternalism that stifles a willingness to weigh our own risk exposures. Obesity is one of the principal sources of Australia's burden of disease yet, although highly social patterned, its control and prevention strategy is a conspicuous failure - principally because of neglect to acknowledge it is ultimately much less a realm of public policy than of personal or parental responsibility (or ill-chosen parents).

Australia's bureaucracies should reflect upon the limits of power that society may justifiably exercise over individuals. John Stuart Mill called this liberty.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here