Monday, March 31, 2014

A Sinophile looks back

When I set out for China [from Australia]  in 1978 I was aware that I may well spend the rest of my life here. The necessity of finding a mate suitable to that prospect was uppermost in my mind. However my fellow students in the Beijing Language Institute made it clear they lacked both traditional Chinese and modern Education due to the Cultural Revolution. As a result I avoided them.

When I moved into the Beijing Hotel in 1980 there was a large number of Hong Kong Chinese living and working  there with both a traditional upbringing and a modern education. Within six months I had made my choice. I now look back on more than thirty years of contented marriage and two wonderful loving sons.

I must say have never regretted it. We have watched China modernize and at the same time grope for what aspects of traditional culture can be quietly restored. It has been a great experience for both of us watching our chosen homeland regain its former status in the world as a great nation, and the people discover their cultural roots while participating in the wider, global culture. I truly believe I could not have gained the insights, the compassion, and commitment to China without a traditionally raised wife.

Traditional Chinese wives have a total dedication to the welfare of their husbands. Each meal contains medicinal herbs designed to overcome the perceived malaise of the day. For Chinese wives their husband is a resource which needs to be sent out each day ready to earn at the maximum level each day.

Via Facebook

World Vision rediscovers the Bible

I abandoned WV years ago when I asked to donate to help a poor Jewish child in Israel.  They refused my money

Poor stupid World Vision. Having offered incense at the shrine of the Spirit of the Age, giving the tick to homosexual “marriage” amongst its employees (while, inexplicably, still rejecting cohabiting heterosexual couples) it now bows to pressure from the Mammon of market forces and reverses its decision.

When the AOG churches and others threaten to withdraw support, WV has a sudden fit of orthodoxy. I was on the verge of cancelling twenty years of support for the great work of WV – my tolerance already pushed to the brink by CEO Tim Costello’s embrace of every leftist fashion from climate salvation to Gonski redemption – but will now reconsider.

We don’t expect parachurch organisations to be sinless, but it is unforgivable where they are spineless.

This was yesterday’s letter from the WV international leaders – and they are genuinely contrite about their stupidity and faithlessness. The second-last paragraph states the obvious, but it is stated well:

Dear Friends,

Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our national employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 to express your concern in love and conviction. You share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.

In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, ” We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. ” And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.

While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.

Please know that World Vision continues to serve all people in our ministry around the world. We pray that you will continue to join with us in our mission to be ” an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God .”


Free Exercise Clause Does Not Protect Kosher Meat Companies

 U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)—which Congress enacted to guide the Executive Branch and courts in defending that right—would not directly protect kosher or halal meat-processing corporations from a hypothetical federal rule that by generally banning certain meat-processing practices effectively banned kosher and halal meat processing by incorporated businesses.

Verrilli told the court that the customers of a kosher or halal meat-processing company--not the company itself--would have cause to sue in such a situation.

But he did not directly say whether the Obama Administration believed that the customers of a kosher meat-processing corporation should prevail in such a case.

At the end of an exchange that takes up three pages in the transcript of the court’s oral arguments in the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, Justice Stephen Breyer pinned Verrilli down on a question first brought up by Justice Sam Alito.

“Take five Jewish or Muslim butchers and what you’re saying to them is if they choose to work under the corporate form, which is viewed universally, you have to give up on that form the Freedom of Exercise Clause that you’d otherwise have,” Breyer said to Verrilli.

“Now, looked at that way, I don’t think it matters whether they call themselves a corporation or whether they call themselves individuals,” said Breyer. “I mean, I think that’s the question you’re being asked, and I need to know what your response is to it.”

Verrilli’s answer to Breyer was to repeat the Obama Administration’s opinion that the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion does not apply when people are doing business through a corporation.

“Well,” said Verrilli, “I think our response is what the Court said in Part 3 of the Lee opinion, which is that once you make a choice to go into the commercial sphere, which you certainly do when you incorporate as a for-profit corporation, you are making a choice to live by the rules that govern you and your competitors in the commercial sphere.”

In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, the administration is trying to force the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, to comply with a regulation issued under the Affordable Care Act. This regulation, promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services, says that health-insurance plans must cover, without copay, all Food and Drug Administration-approved methods of contraception.

These methods include two types of IUDs and the Plan B and Ella “emergency contraceptives" which can act as abortifacients, terminating a human life after conception.

The Greens, who are required under the Affordable Care Act to insure their employees or face at least $26 million in annual penalties, argued that by forcing them to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs the government is forcing them to violate their Christian faith, which tells them to protect, not destroy, innocent life.

The administration has conceded in court that the regulation does force the Greens to act against their Christian faith. However, the administration argues that because the Greens operate their business through a corporation, they have no First Amendment right to practice their Christianity while doing business.

The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on the side of the Green family and Hobby Lobby. This brief--written by attorney Nathan Lewin—presented an actual scenario played out in New York State that more closely mirrors the Green family’s situation than the case of an incorporated kosher slaughterhouse.

The situation in New York involved a medical and dental clinic owned and operated by Orthodox Jews. The question: Could the state force this clinic to open on the Sabbath—thus forcing its Jewish owners to directly violate the teachings of their faith?

“An observant Jew may not direct his or her employee—be the employee Jewish or gentile—to labor on the Sabbath,” says the brief for the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs.

“A federal government directive to a Jewish employer—be he the owner of a business operated for profit or the manager of a non-profit charitable entity—requiring the employer to have employees work on the Sabbath would substantially burden the Jewish employer’s religious exercise,” says the brief.

“Under the Jewish Law the same religious prohibition that bars certain proscribed activity on the Sabbath in a for-profit business applies to a non-profit activity,” says the brief. “The religious sanction for violating the Sabbath is not reduced if the actor has a non-profit motive.

“A graphic illustration of the arbitrary impact on Orthodox Jewish observance that could result from the Government’s construction of RFRA is a complaint filed in 2006 before the New York State Division of Human Rights,” says the brief, citing Trotman v. The Ben Gilman Spring Valley Medical and Dental Clinic. “The complainant alleged that the operators of the clinic, which provided medical and dental help, discriminated unlawfully by closing the clinic’s Spring Valley and Monsey offices on Saturdays because of ‘the extremity of their own religious beliefs.’

“The Orthodox Jewish owners and operators of the clinics filed a verified answer based on rabbinic instruction that the clinics could not open on the Sabbath,” says the brief. “The religious freedom rights of the owner and operators of the clinics resulted in dismissal of the complaint.

“Could such clinics, operated by Sabbath-observing Orthodox Jews, be compelled to stay open on Saturdays if they were for-profit medical centers?” asked the brief. “Such a result is surely a blow to religious freedom but it would be possible under the Government’s interpretation of RFRA."

The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs’ example of forcing a clinic owned by Orthodox Jews to stay open on the Sabbath—thus forcing the owners to act directly against the teachings of their faith—was not brought up during the oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby case.

Toward the end of the arguments, however, Justice Alito did bring up the example of a Danish law that prohibited kosher and halal meat-processing methods.

“Let me give you this example,” said Alito. “According to the media, Denmark recently prohibited kosher and halal slaughter methods because they believe that they are inhumane. Now, suppose Congress enacted something like that here. What would a corporation that is a kosher or halal slaughterhouse do? They would simply…have no recourse whatsoever. They couldn’t even get a day in court. They couldn’t raise a RFRA claim. They couldn’t raise a First Amendment claim.”

In his initial response to Alito, Verrilli incorrectly assumed the law Alito was suggesting was specifically and narrowly targeted at kosher and halal slaughterhouses.

“Well, I’m not sure they couldn’t raise a First Amendment claim, Justice Alito,” said Verrilli. “I think if you had a targeted law like that, that targeted a specific religious practice, that—I don’t think it is our position that they couldn’t make a free exercise claim in that circumstance and so—.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy interjected: “Well, but you’re getting away from the hypothetical.  Justice Alito’s hypothetical was that the impetus for this was humane treatment of animals. There was no animus to religion at all, which in the Church of Lukumi, there was an animus to the religion. So, we’re taking that out of the hypothetical.”

“Exactly,” said Alito.

“Right,” said Solicitor General Verrilli. “Well, I think if it were targeted only at the practice of the kosher and halal practices, then I think you would have an issue of whether it’s a targeted law or not. But even if it is-- .”

Now Alito interjected: “Well, they say no animal may be slaughtered unless it’s stunned first, unless the animal is rendered unconscious before it is slaughtered.”

“Well, I think in that circumstance,” said Verrilli, “you would have, I think, an ability for the customer to bring suit. I think you might recognize third party standing on behalf of the corporation—on the corporations, on behalf of customers. So a suit like that could be brought.

“But even if you disagree with me at the threshold,” said Verrilli, “even if you disagree with us with respect to the kinds of risks that we think you will be inviting if you hold that for-profit corporations can bring these claims, when you get to the compelling interest analysis, the rights of the third party employees are at center stage here.”

Verrilli then made clear he was thinking about the “rights” of  third-party employees who want their employer to give them  insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients—not the rights of employees who are thankful their employer is protecting them from having to violate their own religious faith by buying coverage for these things.

It was then that Breyer forced Verrilli to clarify if it was indeed the administration’s position that if “five Jewish or Muslim butchers” formed a corporation to do business they would have to “give up on that form the Freedom of Exercise Clause that you’d otherwise have.”

In reaction to Verrilli’s statement to the Court, Nathan Lewin, author of the brief for The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs, pointed to the Supreme Court’s 1961 cases of Braunfeld v. Brown and Gallagher v. Crown Kosher Super Market. These cases examined whether state laws could force Jewish-owned businesses to close on Sunday, even though they were also closed on Saturdays for the Jewish Sabbath.

None of the justices in those cases, Lewin said, took the position that a for-profit corporation could not make a religious freedom claim on behalf of its owner.

“In response to Justice Alito’s question regarding kosher slaughter the Solicitor General gratifyingly indicated that kosher consumers would be able to challenge restrictions on kosher slaughter under the Constitution and federal law even if corporate merchants could not,” Lewin told

“It was discouraging, however, that, when answering Justice Breyer, he said that kosher butchers who have gone ‘into the commercial sphere’ must live by the same rules that govern their ‘competitors,’” said Lewin. “Justices William Brennan and Potter Stewart did not agree with that proposition when, more than 50 years ago, they voted to uphold the constitutional right of Orthodox Jewish store-owners to keep their stores open on Sunday because their faith forced them to be closed on Saturdays.

“And the other Justices in 1961 only denied the Sabbath observers’ claims because if they were open on Sundays the Sabbath observers would have a competitive advantage over stores that complied with Sunday Laws,” said Lewin. “No one took the position that a corporate for-profit business could assert no claim to religious freedom on behalf of its religious owner.”

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, author of Push Back: Reclaiming Our American Judeo-Christian Spirit, was also critical of the argument that the Obama administration made to the court in the Hobby Lobby case.

“If in order to maintain religious freedom, religious people can not incorporate, then religious people are being denied a fundamental economic right,” said Spero. “One cannot safely be in the market place if he is told by the government that he can not incorporate. That is what Obama is basically enacting. He penalizes people for being religious. If they can't incorporate, many are not able to go into business, and it's certainly impossible to really expand your business beyond a mom-and-pop store.

“Obama is saying he and his administration have the right to tell religion how that religion can be practiced,” said Spero.

“Obama and colleagues believe, as they phrase it, only in 'freedom of worship' not freedom of religion,” said Spero. “They confine religious freedom to the four walls of a building for worship. They do not believe that outside these walls, one is free to practice beyond what Obama decides.

“Obamacare is unconstitutional precisely because it removes freedom of religion,” the rabbi said.


CAIR Gets Muslim TV Show Killed Over Ethnic, Religious Stereotyping

The terrorist front organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has repeatedly proven that it wields tremendous power in the Obama administration and now the group is flexing its bulging muscles in Hollywood, successfully killing a new show on a major television network over negative stereotypes of Muslims.

This is the same nonprofit that got the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to purge anti-terrorism training material determined to be "offensive" to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal last summer and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents revealing that a group of "Subject Matter Experts" determined certain anti-terrorism training curricula contained material that was offensive to Muslims. The excised files included references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that "young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance ... may fit the terrorist profile best."

CAIR also got several police departments in President Obama's home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called "Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy" and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR's demands. The group responded with a statement commending officials for their "swift action in addressing the Muslim community's concerns."

Founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, CAIR has also wielded power in a number of other cases during the Obama administration. It has impeded an FBI probe involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S., pressured the U.S. government to file discrimination lawsuits against employers who don't accommodate Muslims and forced American taxpayers to fund "Islamically permissible" meals for Muslim prison inmates.

Last fall an Obama-appointed federal judge ruled that a Muslim woman's civil rights were violated by an American clothing retailer that didn't allow her to wear a head scarf as required by her religion. CAIR represented the woman, 19-year-old Umme-Hani Khan, who got fired for wearing a hijab at the store which has a policy against head covers of any kind for its employees. The federal agency that enforces the nation's workplace discrimination law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), used CAIR's language in its lawsuit, alleging religious discrimination, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Clearly, the Muslim "civil rights" group is on a major power trip so why not hit the entertainment industry, which undeniably influences public opinion. CAIR got ABC Family to cancel a teen drama called "Alice in Arabia" by playing the race card, according to a Hollywood trade newspaper. The script was written by a former U.S. Army translator named Brooke Eikmeier and the storyline focuses on an American teenaged girl kidnapped by her royal Saudi Arabian family. The series may lead to stereotyping that can result in bullying of Muslim students, according to the director of CAIR's southern California headquarters, Hussam Ayloush.

"As the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, we are concerned about the negative impact this program could have on the lives of ordinary Arab-American and American Muslims," Ayloush writes in a letter to the TV network's president. Ayloush goes on to "urge" the network to meet with representatives of the Muslim and Arab-American communities to "discuss this important issue." In other words, get rid of the show.

Though it may seem inconsequential, it's a telling cultural battle fought and won by CAIR. President Obama is the group's lapdog in the name of political correctness and diplomacy, but a private entertainment conglomerate has no reason to cave into its demands. Here is the explanation offered by ABC: "The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we've decided not to move forward with this project." CAIR pounded its chest after coercing a major TV network to cancel a "program that had the potential to promote ethnic and religious stereotyping."



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


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mr Bean on free speech

Liberal UK signs its own death warrant

So now we know the names of more than 200 ‘leading UK cultural figures’, from luvvies and lords to authors and academics, who have signed Hacked Off’s declaration demanding that the UK press signs up to the politicians’ Royal Charter on press regulation. It makes remarkable and revealing reading.

No, not the Hacked Off statement itself, which is just the latest familiar attempt by the elitist little lobby group fronted by Hugh Grant to tame the popular press. What is revealing is the collection of eminent writers, filmmakers, professors, actors, human-rights campaigners and others from the intelligentsia and creative industries – even including top liberal journalists such as John Pilger and Nick Davies - who have proved willing to put their names to such an illiberal demand.

Looking down the long list of names (reprinted in full below, from Press Gazette) I was immediately reminded of George Orwell’s prescient words from his 1946 essay, The Prevention of Literature. Orwell observed ‘that in England the immediate enemies of truthfulness, and hence of freedom of thought, are the press lords, the film magnates, and the bureaucrats, but that on a long view the weakening of the desire for liberty among the intellectuals themselves is the most serious symptom of all’.

Just such a ‘weakening of the desire for liberty among the intellectuals themselves’ has been the hallmark of the debate about press freedom in Britain ever since the phone-hacking scandal broke. While celebrities and victims of hacking fronted the campaign for tighter regulation of the press, it has been the liberal and left-wing intelligentsia and media that have driven the crusade to curb the popular press. It was they who formed Hacked Off, used the hacking scandal to demand and get the Leveson Inquiry into the entire ‘culture, practice and ethics’ of the UK media, and wrote the report’s demands for statutory-backed regulation.

Now more than 200 prominent members of what are sometimes called the chattering classes have publicly signed up to the demand for the press to bend the knee to the Royal Charter. It would be difficult to overestimate the abandonment of liberty that represents. The Royal Charter deal, stitched up by all the main political parties in an infamous late-night meeting with Hacked Off, seeks to impose a regulator using the ancient anti-democratic instruments of the Crown, the royal prerogative and the Her Majesty’s Privy Council. As I noted on spiked at the time when the Royal Charter was first proposed in February 2013: ‘Anybody with a passing knowledge of the history of the struggle for press freedom in Britain should recoil from the merest suggestion of the Crown and the Privy Council becoming once more involved in press regulation, however formal their role. It evokes grim shadows of the old system of Crown licensing of the press, started by Henry VIII in 1529 and expanded under successive monarchs, under which nothing could be published without official permission.’ Those who defied the Crown licensers could expect to be sent to the Tower or the gallows.

There are no immediate plans to reintroduce such harsh punishments for errant journalists and publishers (much as some might like to). But the Royal Charter is backed by a new law which threatens those who do not sign up to the politicians’ system with the prospect of suffering ‘exemplary damages’ in court. Despite this, most major newspaper and magazine publishers have understandably rejected the politicians’ system and are setting up their own Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Now we are faced with the shameful spectacle of those who claim to be liberal-minded intellectuals openly demanding that the press accept a system of state-backed regulation via the Royal Charter. If these people had even a ‘passing knowledge of the history of the struggle for press freedom’ in Britain, they might know that it was those who wanted freedom of thought and social change that fought for the right to write, publish and read what they chose.

By contrast, the dominant view among today’s illiberal liberals is ‘I believe in press freedom, BUT…’. It is a consensus captured by the author Ian McEwan, who said in support of the Hacked Off declaration for regulation by Royal Charter that ‘The right to freedom of expression is the bedrock of our liberty. Without it, none of our other cherished rights could have been talked or written into existence. But no freedom is absolute and all rights carry responsibilities.’ They want freedom of expression and of the press of course, but only for those considered ‘responsible’ – such as themselves.

The truth is, however, that freedom of speech and of the press are indivisible liberties, and unless we defend them for all we will be able to do so for none at all. Nor should anybody’s right to freedom of expression be deemed dependent on the fulfilment of responsibilities or duties imposed from without. There might be plenty of problems with the UK press. But contrary to the myth at the heart of the debate about regulation today, it is not and never has been ‘too free’.

Some 80 years ago, George Dangerfield wrote his famous history, The Strange Death of Liberal England. Today, it seems we are witnessing the strange suicide of liberal Britain, as those who like to think of themselves as free-thinking radicals and champions of human rights publicly declare their ‘weakening of the desire for liberty’. They have effectively signed a death warrant for liberal Britain by tossing away the most fundamental liberty of all, freedom of expression and of the press.

Remember their names, and the next time any of these illiberal liberals tries to claim that they are radicals, rebels or freedom fighters, let us remind the world that they are fully signed-up supporters of an unfree press by order of the Crown.


Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate crime” watchdog partner

Robert Spencer   

This is indeed a shocker, as it goes against the consistent policy line of Obama’s FBI and Justice Department. But it is a most welcome development. The SPLC is one of the Left’s foremost propaganda organs, tarring any group that dissents from its extreme political agenda (such as our American Freedom Defense Initiative, and this website) as a “hate group.” Significantly, although it lists hundreds of groups as “hate groups,” it includes hardly any Islamic jihad groups on this list. And its “hate group” designation against the Family Research Council led one of its followers to storm the FRC offices with a gun, determined to murder the chief of the FRC. This shows that these kinds of charges shouldn’t be thrown around frivolously, as tools to demonize and marginalize those whose politics the SPLC dislikes. But that is exactly what they do. Its hard-Left leanings are well known and well documented. This Weekly Standard article sums up much of what is wrong with the SPLC.

“Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as ‘hate crime’ watchdog partner,” by Paul Bedard for the Washington Examiner, March 26:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as “hate groups” for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a “resource” on the FBI‘s Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group.

The Web page scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group — SPLC — that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council.

“We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC,” Tony Perkins, FRC President, told Secrets.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission to push anti-Christian propaganda is inconsistent with the mission of both the military and the FBI, which is to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” he added.

The FBI had no comment and offered no explanation for its decision to end their website’s relationship with the two groups, leaving just four federal links as hate crime “resources.” Neither eliminated group had an immediate comment.

SPLC has been a leading voice against hate crimes, and has singled out evangelical and traditional family groups as advocates of hate against gays. It has even gone after a local official, Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, who also heads a group that promotes traditional, opposite sex marriage.

In August 2012, a Washington area man guided by the SPLC’s “hate map” that cited FRC, entered the group’s headquarters and shot a security guard. The guard survived and the shooter, a volunteer with a gay group, pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism.

In their letter, the 15 conservative groups argued that the FBI website’s inclusion of SPLC as a resource “played a significant part in bringing about an act of domestic terrorism.” It added, “It is completely inappropriate for the Department of Justice to recommend public reliance on the SPLC hate group lists and data. The links to the SPLC as a FBI ‘Resource’ must be taken down immediately, leaving only official, trustworthy sources listed on the agency’s webpage.”


Explaining the Causes of Poverty Is Racist

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan has long been the go-to guy for GOP budget strategy. As such, he earns opposition from all sides – including many conservatives for not going far enough. Recently, Ryan waded into a discussion on the endemic nature of poverty and how it relates to government spending, leaving politically correct leftists fit to be tied.

“[W]e have got this tailspin of culture and her inner cities in particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value in the culture of work,” Ryan said in a radio interview. “And so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.” He was advocating a broader approach to fighting poverty than just throwing government money at it. “If you're driving from the suburb to the sports arena downtown by these blighted neighborhoods,” he added, “you can't just say: 'I'm paying my taxes, government's going to fix that.' You need to get involved.”

Predictably, Ryan's comments set off leftist accusations of – wait for it – racism. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) angrily lectured, “My colleague Congressman Ryan's comments about inner-city poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let's be clear: When Mr. Ryan says 'inner city'; when he says, 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black.'” The fact is, this is about culture and not color, but the “colorblind” Left makes everything about color.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote a rejoinder absurdly titled Paul Ryan's culture attack is an excuse to do nothing about poverty. He explained, “My problem is that when you identify something so amorphous as culture as the fundamental issue, you excuse yourself for not proposing concrete solutions.”

Well, our problem is the federal government has been waging its “War on Poverty” for more than half a century with little to show for it beyond exploding debt. Indeed, Ryan has done extensive work reviewing the results of government intervention, and found that the benefits are underwhelming. But if anyone dares to suggest such a thing, or that cultural problems are interwoven with poverty, retribution is swift. Real solutions, on the other hand, are left on the altar of political correctness.

Ryan conceded that his comments were “inarticulate,” but his point stands. And as columnist George Will more eloquently writes, “To say that poverty can be self-perpetuating is not to say, and Ryan did not say, that poverty is caused by irremediable attributes that are finally the fault of the poor. It is, however, to define the challenge, which is to acculturate those unacquainted with the culture of work to the disciplines and satisfactions of this culture.”


The real gay marriage bigots are its intolerant supporters

By Amanda Platell

A wedding day is always a special occasion and especially so, of course, for the first homosexual couples marrying today.

I wish them every happiness for the future. But that does not alter the fact that I still disagree with the concept of gay marriage.

No doubt I’ll receive a barrage of abuse for even admitting as much. For surely the saddest legacy of the whole gay marriage debate is how it has brought about the most appalling bigotry — not against homosexuals, but against those who oppose the new law.

For evidence of that, you only had to watch BBC Question Time on Thursday. One audience member, Marilyn Barmer, was booed and hissed for even having the temerity to ask: ‘Why do we need to change the definition of marriage that has existed for thousands of years, when equality already exists?’

A perfectly reasonable question, you might think. Yet from the outraged response of the audience, it was as if she’d been proposing the execution of every first-born. Others who echoed her views were similarly subjected to jeers, sneers and contempt.

I can’t help wondering if that’s the reaction the BBC — our self-appointed Ministry for Political Correctness — sought to provoke by hosting the show in Brighton, the gay capital of Britain.

But then this was just a microcosm of the way the gay marriage legislation has been forced through by our political masters. Anyone brave enough to voice unease has been branded a bigot whose views were so beneath contempt they didn’t even deserve to be heard.

In modern Britain, the chattering-class thought-police have decreed that their liberal value system is morally superior to the traditional beliefs of millions of ordinary Britons.

A poll that went out at midnight after Question Time said two-thirds of people support gay marriage, but a third still do not. That doesn’t make them homophobes. Indeed, I suspect the vast majority welcomed the introduction of civil partnerships, yet simply feel that gay marriage is a step too far.

Do they not have a right to a voice? The gay community has fought all along for tolerance, and rightly so. But surely it should extend both ways.

Ironically, many of the most vicious attacks have not come from the gay community — many of whom remain ambivalent about gay marriage — but from politicians cynically trying to parade their touchy-feely credentials.

And never mind that this meant trampling over the beliefs of many Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and others opposed to gay marriage.

That’s not social progress, it’s a form of intolerance every bit as ugly as homophobia.



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


Friday, March 28, 2014

Franklin Graham: Some Administration Officials Are ‘Anti-Christ’

Some of the people working in the Obama administration and in the White House are trying to “completely secularize our military” and are “hostile to Christians,” to the point that they “are anti-Christ in what they say and in what they do,” said Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of world-renowned preacher Rev. Billy Graham.

Franklin Graham made his comments during a Mar. 24 interview with Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, which published an updated report on religious persecution in the U.S. armed forces this month.

During the interview on Washington Watch Weekly, Perkins asked Graham, “I would have to believe you’re also tracking, in fact I know you’re tracking because you were a part of it – when you were scheduled to speak at the Pentagon a few years ago they disinvited you – are you concerned about this intense religious hostility that we see manifesting in our nation’s military?”

Graham said, ““No question. And my son just got back from his seventh [military] tour this weekend.  So, I love the military. There has been huge pressure on the chaplains in our military – and our chaplains have been a wonderful thing for the military. But there is a move to get rid of the chaplains in our country, and to completely secularize our military. Actually, they are hostile to Christians.

“A lot of this is coming from this administration and is being pushed by people within the White House,” said Graham.  “And when I say White House, I’m not saying the president, because I’m not sure how much of this he’s aware of.  But it’s people that work for him that have power, that are sitting in offices, and they are hostile to Christ.”

“They are anti-Christ in what they say and in what they do,” said Graham.  “And they are pushing this agenda into the military. It’s scary.”

Earlier in the interview, Perkins had briefly discussed religious liberty in the military and spoke of moral decline in America. He had also asked Graham, “what will it take for America to come back to our moral principles?”

Graham said, “This is a good question. When you look at scripture, when Israel turned their backs on God – and that’s what we as a nation have done and are doing – there was usually some type of calamity. There was a famine, there was a persecution from their neighbors, nations would come in and overrun them and destroy them.”

He continued, “And it’s, kind of, when they were beaten down to the ground, that they would turn their hearts toward God once again. And they would cry unto the Lord, and He would hear them and He would deliver them. And I don’t know what’s going to have to happen in this country, but my prayer is that America will wake up before that [persecution] happens.”

In their updated report, A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military, the Family Research Council says there has been “a growing hostility to religion within the armed services in the last decade. Unfortunately, pressures to impose a secular, anti-religious culture on our nation’s military services have intensified during the Obama administration. This pressure exists across the armed services, bit it has become extremely acute in the United States Air Force. The Air Force has had the great misfortune to be targeted by anti-Christian activists.”


Over 600 People Walk by Two Lost Girls: Can You Blame Them?

In the Daily Mail, there is a story about an experiment where two little girls say they are lost and more than 600 people at a shopping mall walk by them:

Hidden cameras recorded Uma, seven, and Maya, five, who took it in turns to look lost.

Astonishingly, over the whole hour only one person, a grandmother, took a moment to find out if there was a problem. All of the 616 other passers-by completely ignored the girls.

Heartbreakingly for the mother of the sisters – who was watching from a hiding place nearby – passing couples even split apart to walk around either side of the ‘lost’ girls and people wheeling suitcases took evasive action to avoid Maya and Uma, not thinking to check if they needed help.

Who can blame them? The authorities have spent years making it clear that adults, in particular male adults, are suspect –and now they want those same adults to stand up and help kids with no regard for their own welfare:

Experts said the reluctance of the passers-by was partly explained by people being busy, and partly a fear – especially among men – of any help they offer a child being misinterpreted.

But the NSPCC said a child’s welfare was more important than worrying about being labelled a ‘stranger danger’.

A spokesman said: ‘We have got to get a message out to adults that they have a responsibility to protect children and that must supersede any concern you have for other people’s perception of why you are reaching out to help that child.’

Bullshit — responsibility is a two-way street. It’s not just a “perception by people” that men and even women are a danger to kids, it is a reality that men (and some women, but mostly men) are charged with abuse and face real jail time, job loss and separation from their families for sex abuse charges so readily that they have become immune to the cries of kids. Who can blame them? I can’t. Can you?


MI: Federal court halts homosexual marriage in Michigan

A federal appeals court on Tuesday put an indefinite halt to gay marriage in Michigan while it takes a longer look at a judge’s decision overturning a 2004 ban on same-sex nuptials.

The court granted the state’s request to suspend a ruling by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, who declared the voter-approved ban unconstitutional on Friday. Hundreds of same-sex couples in four counties were married Saturday before the appeals court stepped in with a temporary stay that had been set to expire Wednesday.

The 2-1 decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a victory for Attorney General Bill Schuette, who had pledged to rush to the U.S. Supreme Court if the court turned him down.

Judges Karen Caldwell and John Rogers said a stay is appropriate, especially because the Supreme Court ordered a similar time-out in January in a gay marriage case in Utah.

‘‘There is no apparent basis to distinguish this case or to balance the equities any differently than the Supreme Court did’’ in Utah, Caldwell and Rogers said. ‘‘Furthermore, several district courts that have struck down laws prohibiting same-sex marriage similar to the Michigan amendment at issue here have also granted requests for stays made by state defendants.’’

Appeals court Judge Helene White disagreed.

It will be months before the next major step by the Cincinnati-based court. It set May and June deadlines for additional filings by the state and attorneys for two Detroit-area nurses who had challenged the gay marriage ban. The court has yet to schedule a day for arguments.

‘‘We will now focus on preparing an appeal in defense of the constitution and the will of the people,’’ Schuette spokeswoman Joy Yearout said.

Friedman, a judge in Detroit, ruled last week in favor of Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who live with three adopted children. They can’t jointly adopt each other’s kids because joint adoption in Michigan is tied to marriage.

The judge held a two-week trial, listening to experts mostly talk about the impact of same-sex parenting on children. Friedman said conservative social scientists and economists who testified for Michigan were ‘‘unbelievable’’ and ‘‘clearly represent a fringe viewpoint.’’

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.

Attorneys for Rowse and DeBoer had urged the appeals court to allow gay marriages in Michigan while the case was under review.

‘‘The public interest in this case lies on the side of ending discrimination, promoting equality and human dignity and providing security for children,’’ they said.

Nearly 60 percent of Michigan voters in 2004 approved adding an amendment to the constitution that says marriage only is between a man and a woman. Friedman, however, said the election result was no defense to discrimination against gays and lesbians.

What remains unclear is the legal status of more than 300 couples who were married Saturday in Washtenaw, Ingham, Oakland and Muskegon counties. Supporters of same-sex marriage are urging the Obama administration to recognize the marriages for purposes of federal benefits as it has done in other states.

Gov. Rick Snyder has not signaled if the state will recognize the marriages.


The Medal of Honor and Race

The other day, I caught some breaking news on Fox. On March 18th, President Obama awarded 24 Medals of Honor to individuals who had been denied the honor due to racism. That’s all I needed to hear. I was enraged. Why? Because, the Left assiduously sustains the mechanisms of racism and hate. They’ve developed it into a smoke stack industry and have constructed assembly lines of malice, churning out classes and victims twenty four hours a day. An endless variety of discontent, racial subversion, and agitation.

Racism is a multi-million dollar business and business is good. Well, it’s good for the plutocrats at the top of the pyramid: the Jessie Jacksons, Al Sharptons, Louis Farrakhans, Reverend Wrights, and Barack Obamas of the world. Their power is generated and sustained by the friction between the classes, particularly between races. The heat feeds the furnace of their avarice and the burning discontent creates the chimera of antagonists by which they inflame the passions of their dupes. And, passionate fury demands change. These Leftists will sacrifice any object to their ritual cauldrons so long as it feeds the infernal machine. Now, dangling above their smelting pots is the gleaming Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor was first commissioned by President Lincoln during the Civil War. Since that time there have been 3,487 recipients, including one woman. It is bestowed on those who display gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty. 88 Medals of Honor have been bestowed on African-Americans, the first being awarded to William Carney, July 18, 1863, during the Civil War. 59 have been awarded to Hispanic-Americans, 33 to Asian-Americans, and 32 to Native-Americans.

Obama’s actions are not without precedent. The first President to presumptively attempt to right wrongs was Jimmy Carter, followed by George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Obama's recipients were awarded our nation’s second highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross. Additionally, several white service men where identified during the review of military records to be deserving of the upgrade. But, in Obama's words, "some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal."

Once again, race has been foisted on us and threatens to overshadow the deeds of the heroic, contorting the fabric of reality to fit a bigoted narrative; leading us to perceive a noble nation as fractious and contradictory, instead of a unity bound by the most noble ideals. This is the great evil of the Left. And, the Medal of Honor has become a pretext, a foil for their demented narrative. Have there been instances of racism? Certainly. Any nation, as large and complex as ours, will produce instances of inhumanity and bigotry. However, what society on the face of the earth has not? America, unlike any other nation, has enshrined the ideal of equality under the law and has made it real through the blood of its patriot sons and daughters. Through a civil war and a civil rights struggle we have gained the prize. We are all the inheritors and beneficiaries of these ideals--a classless society. It is what Martin Luther King Jr. meant when he longed for a day when a man would only be judged by the content of his character. But, this does not serve the Left, the agitator, or the useful fool who militates for the destruction of our republic and the institution of a socialist order.

I am indignant at Obama’s submersing the Medal of Honor in the urine of bigotry. This attitude is the hallmark of his administration. If Obama's objective was to honor those who performed olympian deeds, then why taint these magnificent acts with the stink of racism? In a post-racist America, what object does it serve to besmirch a solemn ceremony, except to gain the subversive advantage of perpetuating an exploitable antagonism? Melvin Morris, of Cocoa, Florida was one of the black recipients. He said that it never occurred to him that his race might have prevented him from receiving the Medal of Honor. It never occurred to him until a subtle minion whispered the calumny in his ear.

Obama has presided over one of the most divisive administrations in American history. This reality is in stark distinction to his campaign promises to foster unity. And, it is in stark contrast to the expectations of naive liberals who viewed their vote for Obama as some sort of mea culpa for white guilt. Booker T. Washington explains President Barack Hussein Obama’s race-obsession: "There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” —from My Larger Education



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, March 27, 2014

Great News! NJ Immigration Enthusiast Officials Congratulated By President Of Guatemala!

Recently, NBC 10 News Philadelphia ran the usual “Robbery Gone Wrong” story (Teen Beaten to Death While Walking Home With Groceries, by David Chang, February 17, 2014) about a killing in Trenton NJ. The victim was Julio Cesar Cruz, an “immigrant” from Guatemala.  Two black teenagers allegedly beat him to death. 

The original story included the MSM weasel phrase “Police have not yet released a detailed description of the suspects,” which apparently now means that the police told the reporter that all they know was that it was “two black teens”, but the reporter isn’t going to tell you that, because it’s not news and will just give you bad feelings about black teens.

When the perps were caught and charged, the same station did run a picture—but no description, of course:

 BLACK Teens Charged in Trenton Beating Death, NBC February 28, 2014

This is a common story in Trenton. Guatemalans, who have recently begun flooding into Trenton, are viewed by the Black underclass as easy marks.  They are small of stature and, being mostly illegals and working for cash, carry a lot of money.   There have been literally hundreds of such robberies.

But this one triggered something different:

Cruz’s murder galvanized the community as they rallied and coordinated with law enforcement seeking justice. Days after Cruz’s death, a rally of 350 people seeking justice took place on the steps of City Hall.  And on Tuesday community leaders met with the Trenton Police and the prosecutor’s office to coordinate efforts.

[Guatemalan president joins those reacting to arrests in Cruz's murder, By Carlos Avila, The Trentonian, Posted: 02/28/14, 3:03 PM EST

And thus the two young black American thugs were hunted down by a combined taskforce composed of local, county and state police.

What set all the gears in motion?  The local power structure is as Democrat as it is possible to be.  Hispanics of various types (as we are incessantly told) are the coming demographic.  They fill the many urban service jobs local black Americans “will not do.”  They have many advocates within the power structure in New Jersey (including, notoriously, GOP Governor Chris Christie).

So the Guatemalan “community,” which is overwhelmingly illegal, can feel safe in organizing like citizens and demanding their (non-existent) rights.

Note that The Trentonian, the prosecutor, and the police chief, all use the term “immigrants” although they know for a fact that the people they are helping are themselves criminal trespassers. 

Indeed, the local County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini went further.  He is quoted in The Trentonian story as claiming:

“The fact of the matter is that those who control these types of events (referring to elected officials) need to do something to make immigrants be able to become documented somehow…Let them get a driver license, let them open savings accounts, let them pay their taxes, and their [sic] willing to.  We as a society need to wake up.”

And no, Bocchini isn’t an immigrant from Central America.  He actually talks like that.

We also learn that the victim’s brother got a call “from the office of the Guatemalan Presidency congratulating the local Guatemalan community for coming together for justice.”

So, in the state capital of New Jersey, we have a complete inversion of the legal process.  The government is taking up the cause of one set of foreign criminals against another set of domestic criminals. 

Of course the illegals are committing a status crime and the resident blacks are committing murder, so there is a question of proportion to be considered.  But, to state the obvious, if the illegals weren’t here in gross violation of our law, they wouldn’t be the targets for our resident savages.

There is another aspect of this story to consider.  The Trentonian reporter, the chief of police and various community leaders quoted, are all Hispanic.  The Mayor of Trenton, who is black, was convicted on federal charges and evicted from his office while all this was going. [New Jersey judge orders convicted Trenton mayor to step down, By Dave Warner, Reuters, February 26, 2014]

There is an inexorable changing of the guard in the New Jersey’s capital.  Guatemalans are moving into whole neighborhoods while Blacks are being displaced out to the margins of the city. 

Trenton just may become the first State Capital in America with an illegal majority population.

It already appears that the President of Guatemala feels himself to be a councilman of sorts.


The Right Not to Be Implicated

“Everything not forbidden is compulsory,” or will be soon enough under our “liberal” regime.

The Left would not have it that way: Homosexual behavior is not to be tolerated, or homosexual unions recognized under law — rather, homosexuality is to constitute a special class of blessedness, and the failure to celebrate it is to be a sin, which in the liberal mind must be identical to a crime. It is not enough for religious conservatives, such as the ones who own Hobby Lobby, to tolerate the legal sale and use of things such as the so-called morning-after pill — rather, they are expected to provide them at their own expense. Abortions are not to be legal, but legal and funded by the general community, with those funds extracted at gunpoint if necessary.

This is not merely, or even mainly, a question of economics. A monthly dose of emergency contraception (which seems like a lot) paid entirely out-of-pocket would run less than the typical cell-phone bill. One does not suspect that Americans would find it very difficult to locate gay-friendly firms in the wedding-planning business. The typical first-trimester abortion costs less than an entry-level iPad — hardly an insurmountable economic barrier for a procedure that is, if we take the pro-choice side at their word, absolutely fundamental to a woman’s health and happiness.

The economics are incidental. The point is not to ensure that we all pay, but that we are all involved.
The Left may be morally illiterate, but it is not blind. The effects of the pathologically delusional tendency that once styled itself “the sexual revolution” are everywhere to be seen. In the 1960s and 1970s, our cultural discourse was dominated by the benefits side of that revolution’s ledger; since then, we’ve had sufficient time to have a good long look at the cost side, too, and the tradeoffs are more severe than our bell-bottomed Aquarian prophets had predicted. It reads like an Old Testament genealogy: Sexual chaos begat family chaos, family chaos begat social chaos, social chaos begat economic chaos, economic chaos begat political chaos. And so the generations unfold. The relevant political reality is that those costs and benefits are not distributed equally: The benefits of license accrue mainly to the well-off and educated, who have the resources to make the most of their enjoyment of them; the costs accrue mainly to the poor, who cannot afford to live, economically or morally, beyond their means. Kate Moss can afford to be a single mother in her $20 million London townhouse. Not everybody can. Our so-called liberals find themselves in the queasy position of having created a moral culture that has destroyed millions of lives and many communities among the very disadvantaged people they claim to care most about, but they are incapable of criticizing a culture of license that none of them can imagine living without, even if they themselves are square as houses in their sexual habits. 

The result of that is, if not guilt, at least a nagging awareness that this all turns out to be a great deal more morally complex than our liberationist-latitudinarian forebears had imagined. The way to assuage the collective liberal conscience is to institutionalize and normalize liberal social preferences: There is nobody to be blamed for social anarchy if that’s just the way things are. And if everybody is involved — as taxpayers or as employers providing health insurance — then everybody is implicated. They are a little like those addicts who are uncomfortable in the social presence of abstainers, taking that abstention as a rebuke, whether it is intended as one or not. In the United Kingdom, the government-run hospitals are burning the corpses of aborted children for heat, and we are all expected to get cozy by the fire.

The Hobby Lobby case is in part about private property and whether we are to have it. If we hold capital only at the sufferance of the politico-sexual whims of those who hold power, then we do not really hold capital at all — we only rent property from our rulers, serfs in the world’s most sophisticated fiefdom. The property right is the fundamental right upon which all other political rights have their foundation. But there is a separate question — the right of conscience, which is, at minimum, the right not to be implicated, to at least stand apart from that which is no longer forbidden but is not yet, as of Tuesday morning, compulsory.


What Kind of Fool Am I?

by Mark Steyn

Daniel J Kornstein's Order of the Crown of Romania. Unlike Michael E Mann's Nobel Prize certificate from Kinko's, this is genuine.

Ever since I ended my joint representation with National Review and fired my lawyers on Boxing Day, the endlessly reprised refrain has been that "Mark Steyn has a fool for a client". As I wrote here:

That's an old English joke, of course. Circa 18th century, I believe, when English life was very lightly lawyered. Whether it applies a quarter-millennium on in a sclerotic dungheap of a system that, as my old boss Conrad Black likes to point out, employs as many lawyers as the rest of the planet combined, who between them invoice ten per cent of GDP, is an interesting question. My own view is that, if the lawyerization of American life needs to snort up its nose the entire GDP of Australia every year, then you're doing it wrong.

I wrote that after a hugely enjoyable and inspiring day in Madam Justice Matheson's courtroom in Toronto watching a performance that would be impossible in the objection-choked procedural swamps of American "justice". I have come to the conclusion that the system here is, in fact, evil - which is perhaps not the most helpful perspective when one is on the receiving end of it.

So I am pleased to be able to announce today that several other fellows also have a fool for a client - see here, here and here.

Daniel J Kornstein and his co-counsel Mark Platt were the driving force behind the most consequential free-speech legislation this century. Dan is an expert libel lawyer and a principled freedom-of-expression fighter whose clients have included Vanessa Redgrave, Bill Clinton, the Monkees, Harvey Keitel, Wilford Brimley, Fatal Vision author and sometime Sarah Palin neighbor Joe McGinnis (who died earlier this month), and King Michael of Romania, who made Dan one of the first inductees into the Order of the Crown of Romania in over 60 years. I've promised Dan that if we win this case I'll get him made a Knight of the Garter or at least a Companion of the Order of Canada. Where I fall on that spectrum of clients, I'm not sure - I'd like to think somewhere between King Michael and Wilford Brimley, but it may be closer to the Monkees, and Peter Tork at that.

Dan also has a touch of the poet about him. He delivered a speech on Balzac and the law at the Palais de Justice in Paris - in French. Which will come in very useful when I flee across the New Hampshire border to Quebec and Dr Mann applies to have me extradited.

Dan and Mark's most important client in the last decade or so was Rachel Ehrenfeld, whose book Funding Evil happened to include rather more details of Khalid bin Mahfouz's bankrolling of al-Qaeda than the Saudi billionaire cared to have revealed to the world. So he sued her in a London court. Dan and Mark got Dr Ehrenfeld to countersue in New York to prevent Mahfouz from ever collecting, and, when the court declined to acknowledge it had personal jurisdiction over Mahfouz, they got the legislature to take up the issue and pass "Rachel's Law". This law prevents New York courts from enforcing libel judgments from other countries with lower standards of freedom-of-speech protection.

It was and is a big issue. A few years ago, Dr Ehrenfeld and I participated in a conference hosted by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and The New Criterion on "Free Speech in an Age of Jihad". The litigious end of the jihad had been skilfully using "libel tourism" to pick and choose the most favorable venues in which to strike at their opponents. It was a particular challenge for authors. I wrote in 2007 about another American book, Alms For Jihad, that attracted Sheikh Mahfouz's attention:

Last week, the Cambridge University Press agreed to recall all unsold copies of "Alms for Jihad" and pulp them. In addition, it has asked hundreds of libraries around the world to remove the volume from their shelves. This highly unusual action was accompanied by a letter to Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, in care of his English lawyers, explaining their reasons:

"Throughout the book there are serious and defamatory allegations about yourself and your family, alleging support for terrorism through your businesses, family and charities, and directly.

"As a result of what we now know, we accept and acknowledge that all of those allegations about you and your family, businesses and charities are entirely and manifestly false."

Yeah, right.

Had this kept up, it would have severely constrained the kinds of things American authors and publishers were permitted to write and publish on Islam and other controversial topics. Instead, "Rachel's Law" made it impossible for the likes of Mahfouz to use "libel tourism" to hollow out the First Amendment. It was replicated by several other state legislatures and eventually in 2010 by the United States Congress, after a unanimous vote by both the House and Senate. As Jerry Gordon wrote, "Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the stubborn perseverance of Dr Ehrenfeld and the unsung hero in this fight her counsel, Daniel Kornstein, a pillar in the First Amendment bar." But it goes beyond that. The first serious reform of English libel law (last year's Defamation Act) was in part the result of "Rachel's Law" and Dan's discrediting of London as the first resort of libel tourists.

Sheikh Mahfouz made the mistake of taking on Dan Kornstein and Mark Platt and lost comprehensively. Obviously, I don't think anyone's going to be passing Marky's Law any time soon, but there are certain similarities between Mahfouz and Mann in respect of "libel tourism". When the Sheikhdown maestro sued in the English courts, he did at least have a pad in London (and, mysteriously, an Irish passport). Michael E Mann doesn't live or work in the District of Columbia, and nor do I. Nevertheless, his Amended Complaint states:

Mr. Steyn's writings are widely read and circulated in the District of Columbia. Accordingly, Mr. Steyn is transacting and doing business within the District of Columbia and is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court pursuant to DC Code §13-423(a).

By that definition, if "I'm A Believer" by Dan's old clients the Monkees is played on a radio station in, say, Tuvalu, the Monkees are "transacting business" in Tuvalu and subject to their jurisdiction. This kind of procedural flimflam is what gives American "justice" its appallingly bad odor.

At any rate, joining Messrs Kornstein and Platt will be Michael J Songer, co-chair of the Litigation Group at Crowell & Moring in Washington, DC. Mike won a big $919.9 million payout for DuPont over a trade-secrets theft case involving Kevlar, which I was planning to wear to court anyway. A critical element of that case, interestingly enough, was the other party's deletion of emails. Mike is also a freespeecher, who teaches a course on the Law of Cyberspace at Georgetown University. He's big on issues of copyright and intellectual property, which Mann has frequently hidden behind in his attempts to avoid disclosing the data and research that produced his "hockey stick". In addition, Mike is a science graduate, so he understands both the technical jargon and, just as importantly, how to distill it for a jury.

So I'm no longer an out-of-control full-bore crazy. Instead, I'm an out-of-control full-bore crazy who's lawyered up to the hilt. This will leave me free to concentrate on my core activities of insulting judges and mocking Mann's self-conferred Nobel Prize, while Dan, Mark and Mike do the boring stuff like looking up precedents and knowing what a tort is. It would not have been possible to put this team together without your patronage of the SteynOnline bookstore. I said that I wanted this to be a jurisprudential landmark - the first legal campaign entirely funded by sales of my Christmas disco record. Sadly, there seems to be a certain resistance to my intoxicating rhythms from some readers, so we're also having to rely on book profits, commemorative mugs and mousepads, attitudinal T-shirts, gift certificates and the full cornucopia of delights at the Steyn store. But we're keeping our heads above water, and for that, as we prepare to mount the first serious forensic investigation of Mann and his work, I'm enormously grateful.

I'm also overwhelmed by the number of lawyers from across America who have offered their services and advice pro bono or at steeply discounted rates. It is heartening to know how many understand the stakes for free speech in America. Dan, Mark and Mike believe in this case, understand its importance, and together we will prevail.


Dianne Trussell and human mating

I knew Dianne Trussell over a quarter of a century ago.  I was her  landlord for a while.  And she was into diving -- with airtanks and other diving stuff prominent among her possessions.  She was happy and optimistic in a fixed-smile, brittle sort of way.

I could see where she was going wrong then but said nothing.  But perhaps now I should say something.

Psychologists have been interested in human relationships for a long time and they have converged on a "trading" view of relationships.  Each partner brings to the relationship something of equal value.  The value will be subjective but is nonetheless real.  The subjective does matter.

And the valued items are very upsetting for those who believe in romance.  Both males and females value physical things highly. Women are particularly fixated on height.  Few women will tolerate their man being shorter than them. This is particularly bad for short men -- making their prospects of offering value to a woman very poor.  So many short men will end up going to  the Republic of the Philippines for brides -- because Filipinas  are usually only 5' or 5"1" tall.

There is one group of women who value the physical above all else  -- Chinese women living in the Western world.  Australia is about 5% Chinese so one sees a lot of Chinese ladies about the place.  And if the lady is attached to a man, he will normally be a Caucasian man  -- a TALL Caucasian man.  If you see one with a Chinese man, he will be a TALL Chinese man.  So lots of unremarkable Australian men get devoted wives that way.  Chinese ladies will put up with a lot in order to get tall fathers for their children.  They know how genetics works and they think ahead.

Men are slightly less rigid.  They look for an hourglass figure in a woman but insecure men will accept a relatively flat-chested woman because they don't like other men looking at her.

But the whole process often grinds to a halt because individuals overestimate the value of what they offer.  There are skinny, gangly, flat-chested  women who think that their own wonderful self is sufficient to interest a man.  So they aim for high value men -- good looking, competent men.  But such men are not interested in them.  Such men can get a much higher value woman -- probably one with a good figure.  So the woman concerned wonders:  "Where are all the men?"  And they keep up that misjudgement into their 30s, by which time most of the good-deal men of their age and circle are married off.

I remember a singles party for people in their 40s and 50s that I once went to.  I was talking to a lady who said:  "Where are all the men?"  I pointed out that there was actually a majority of nen present. She replied: "No, not THOSE men".  She was looking for men much younger than herself.

And I think Dianne Trussell was one woman who valued herself too highly.  She was mixing with divers  -- who would generally be very fit and confident men.  And such men would have a lot to offer and would want a woman with a good figure.  But Diane was flat-chested.  So she would have sparked only fleeting interest from the men she mixed with.  She was fairly tall so could have got herself a short man but her value of herself was too high for that.  Short men will have almost any tall woman who will have them.  They know how genetics works too.

I gather it is the selfsame Dianne who now does alternative things down at Byron Bay.  Alternative things are a way of coping with the fact that you are not getting what you want in life.

I knew she was fishing in the wrong pool all those years ago and it has always bothered me that I said nothing to her about it  -- JR.


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, March 26, 2014

CA: Political fight is brewing on race-based preferences

Until this month, supporters of racial preferences in California have enjoyed a cozy narrative. They were able to dismiss the 55 percent of voters who passed Proposition 209, which barred race and gender preferences in university admissions, hiring and public contracts in 1996, as over-entitled fear-obsessed white folks with little understanding of and sympathy for the obstacles that daunt minority students.

That ended Monday when state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina (Los Angeles County), was forced to put a hold on a measure to allow voters in November to restore racial preferences in public education. It was a huge about-face. His Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 had won a supermajority of the Senate vote, all from Democrats. Hence, SCA5 should have sailed through the Assembly, but perhaps that was the problem.

Hernandez blamed "scare tactics and misinformation" for his retreat. Same stuff critics said in 1996. But I doubt Hernandez was enjoying himself, because this time he was responding to pressure from fellow Democrats who also are people of color.

There's an emerging Latino-Asian split in the Democratic caucus. In an ugly case of voter remorse, three state senators - Southern Californians Ted Lieu and Carol Liu and Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who had voted for SCA5 - asked Hernandez to halt it.

"As lifelong advocates for the Chinese American and other Asian Pacific Islander communities, we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children," they wrote. They said they had heard no opposition prior to the vote, but having heard from thousands of unhappy Californians, they were getting wobbly. (OK, maybe they didn't use the word wobbly, but you get the idea.)

They didn't hear any opposition? "That's no defense at all," countered S.B. Woo, a former Democratic lieutenant governor of Delaware waging a campaign to rally Asian Americans against SCA5. "In the future, don't ever use that argument. You are supposed to find out," said Woo, now in retirement in Florida.

Although, to be fair, there wasn't much of a fuss before the vote.

I mentioned to Woo that in 1996, most Asian American voter groups opposed Proposition 209. What happened?

Over the years, Woo told me, many Asian parents complained that their children had to surpass white, Latino and black students to get into good schools. Still, his Asian American political action committee did not take a position on college admissions until about two years ago. His community thought, "Maybe we should be more noble." But when post-209 research suggested that racial preferences ill-served African American, Latino and Asian students, Woo said, "We thought there is no sense in being noble."

Gail Heriot, a UC San Diego law professor and Proposition 209 co-chair, argues that racial preferences pushed some underprepared underrepresented minority students into top universities in which they languished toward the bottom half of their class. The results were higher dropout rates for African American and Latino students and more of those students abandoning science and engineering in favor of other majors.

"Some of the liberals believe in theories but don't look at empirical data," Woo concluded.

Roger Clegg of the pro-Proposition 209 Center for Equal Opportunity believes that universities funded by taxpayers cannot sort out people "according to their skin color" or their parents' country of origin. It's as wrong to tell deserving Asian students that their best work might not count as it is to shortchange white students. It turns out black and white representation at UC relative to population has dipped since Proposition 209 passed, while Asian participation is up.

With SCA5 on hold, affirmative-action supporters might begin to suggest that Asian opponents are racist and selfish. Sens. Lieu, Liu and Yee, welcome to my world.

Even without an Assembly vote, an Asian American voter revolt has begun. On his Web site, Woo urged voters to "register as Republican voters today, they'll really get your message. They'll never touch SCA5 again!"

As a Republican, I would love to see Democrats put SCA5 before California voters. Let the Democratic machine feel what it's like to be branded as racists for standing up for their principles. Will the media consensus spin then be that with their old-school grievances, Democrats are chasing away hard-working Asian American and immigrant voters, and the party better change to stay competitive? What do you think?

Mismatch in academia

UC San Diego law professor and Proposition 209 co-chair Gail Heriot argues that racial preferences pushed some minority students into top universities in which they entered and stayed toward the bottom half of their class. The disparity set off a chain reaction that resulted in higher dropout rates for African American and Latino students as well as a flight from science and engineering majors.

In their book, "Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It," Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor write, "The total number of black and Hispanic students receiving bachelor's degrees were the same for the five classes after Prop 209 as for the five classes before."


Sex taboos

We cannot talk about sex in polite company

Rulers and law makers throughout history, around the world, including here and now, prohibit all sorts of sexual conduct among the non-politically-connected in their typical “Do as we say; not as we do” fashion.

There are special forces in most large police agencies devoted to sex – that is, arresting those whose appetites run counter to the political rules.

Sex outside a theoretical norm is distasteful, prurient, embarrassing, not to mention disastrous if caught by public exposure or police intervention. Yet most of it, no matter how outlandish it seems to any of us individually, is actually quite normal.

But we cannot talk about it, fight the Puritanical legislation against it or explain our way out of any criminal prosecution for it.

Clear-headed, open discussion about sex is taboo.

This all comes to my mind because of the combination of stories in today’s Rational Review Digest – a fine news source that arrives daily in my e-mail box. I encourage you to subscribe to it as well.

Imagining a world where the political / ruling / enforcement classes stayed out of things that were none of their business, including SEX, perhaps none of the stories below would take place over and over around the world… or would at least become quite rare.

3) General avoids jail time in case involving affair with subordinate:

“Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was fined $20,000 and reprimanded but avoided jail time Thursday after he acknowledged committing adultery and mistreating his former mistress, an Army captain. The former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division originally had faced sexual assault charges involving the junior officer. But the case against him fell apart after the trial judge ruled that the decision to seek trial might have been influenced by political considerations.” (03/20/14)

7) Mozambique: Protesters march against rapist marriage law
Source: Raw Story

“Rights activists in Mozambique Thursday marched through the capital Maputo to protest a colonial era law still included in new legislation that allows rapists to go unpunished if they marry their victims. The ‘marriage effect’ clause sees convicted rapists slapped with a five-year suspended sentence if they marry their victims. It stipulates that the perpetrator should stay married to the victim for at least five years. Though it had fallen into disuse, the clause has been retained in a new legislation replacing the colonial Portuguese penal code of 1886, which is currently before parliament.” (03/20/14)

8) HI: law allows undercover police officers to have sex with prostitutes
Source: Fox News

“Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations, touching off a heated debate. Authorities say they need the legal protection to catch lawbreakers in the act. Critics, including human trafficking experts and other police, say it’s unnecessary and can further victimize sex workers, many of whom have been forced into the trade. Police haven’t said how often — or even if — they use the provision. But when they asked legislators to preserve it, they made assurances that internal policies and procedures are in place to prevent officers from taking advantage of it.” [editor's note: It ain't rocket science -- legalize prostitution for everyone, not just cops. Problem solved! - TLK] (03/21/14)

India: Four convicted for Mumbai gang rape
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A court in the Indian city of Mumbai has convicted four men of the gang rape of a photojournalist last year. The men have been found guilty of five offenses, including gang rape, unnatural sex and destruction of evidence. Sentencing is set for Friday. The 22-year-old woman was attacked by five men while on assignment in a deserted mill in August. The fifth accused, believed to be under 18 at the time of the incident, is being tried in a juvenile court.” (03/20/14)

An e-mail just arrived with the following list of sex crimes. It fit in too well with this morning’s post for me to ignore it. I have read some of these ridiculous laws, customs and tolerated legislation.

I didn’t research, nor can I vouch for any of them. However, they are all credible to me. Here you go:

In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals,
but…. the animals must be female.
Having sexual relations with a male animal
is punishable by death.

(Like THAT makes any sense.)


In Bahrain, a male doctor
may legally examine a woman’s genitals,

is prohibited from looking directly at them during the examination.
He may only see their reflection in a mirror.

(Do things look different reversed?)


Muslims are banned
from looking at the genitals of a corpse.
This also applies to
undertakers. The sex organs of the deceased
must be covered with a
brick or piece of wood at all times.

(A brick?)


The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia
is decapitation.
(glad I don’t live in Indonesia)

(Here you just ‘go blind!’)


There are men in Guam whose full-time job
it is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins,
who pay them for the privilege of having sex for the first time.

Reason: under Guam law, it is expressly forbidden for virgins to marry.

(Let’s just think for a minute;

Is there any job anywhere else in the world, that even comes close to this?)


In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed
to kill her adulterous husband,
but may only do so with her bare hands.

The husband’s illicit lover, on the other
hand, may be killed in any manner desired.

(Ah! Sweet Justice!)


Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England -
but only in tropical fish stores.

(Makes perfect sense, what!)


In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have
sex with her husband, and the first time this happens,
her mother must be in the room to witness the act.

(Makes one shudder at the thought.)


In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, it is illegal for a man
to have sex with a woman and her daughter, at the same time.

(I presume this was a big enough problem
that they had to pass this law?)


In Maryland, it is illegal
to sell condoms from vending machines
with one exception: Condoms may be dispensed
from a vending machine only in places
where alcoholic beverages are sold
‘for consumption on the premises.’

(Is this a great country or what?)

Well,…. Maybe not as great as Guam



Must not show tears on TV?

A crying boy became the symbol for Kansas University’s loss to Stanford in the NCAA tournament.

University of Kansas fans were shocked by their team’s loss to Stanford in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday. You could see looks of disappointment throughout the stands at Scottrade Center in St. Louis where the No. 10-seeded Cardinal beat the No. 2-seeded Jayhawks 60–57.

One young boy looked more devastated than anyone else. Tears streamed down from his blood-shot eyes and over his flush cheeks as the Cardinal knocked down the Jayhawks.

A CBS camera crew spotted the sullen fan in the last minute of the game when Kansas was down seven. They zoomed in for an extended shot and the boys tearful face appeared on national television. Twitter erupted. Many attacked CBS and accused the TV network of harassing the child.

@cbs that was unnecessary, did anyone think how much that kid’ll get teased?

What in the world was freaking CBS doing, leaving that poor child on camera for like 20 seconds

School is going to be a lot of fun for that crying Kansas boy tomorrow.

At the end of the game, CBS went back in for another close-up. Twitter exploded.

Shot of young KU fan crying again: “That kid going to be the head coach at North Dakota State someday.” – (Perfect timing)

Which crying fan will make it into the One Shining Moment montage at the end of March Madness?

That little kid almost makes me feel bad about #JayhawkTears. Almost.

I give it 15 minutes until someone makes a Crying Kansas Kid parody account.

Twitter fans bring up a good point. Was zooming in on this kid and making him the face of the game appropriate? This certainly isn’t the first time network television has shown a tearful kid to represent the devastation around a team’s loss. But today, with the power of the Internet and social media, a  kids’ face can spread across Twitter and Facebook like wildfire, giving the greater public the opportunity to mock and tease him.

It turns out that the boy happens to to be the son of KU assistant athletic director for communications Chris Theisen, and Theisen told that he isn’t upset over CBS focusing in on his son and said the boy’s a huge KU fan.


Tories will raise inheritance tax threshold, Cameron pledges

Inheritance tax should only really be paid by the rich, it shouldn't be paid by those people who have worked hard and saved'

The Conservatives will pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold at the next election to ensure it only hits the rich, David Cameron has suggested.

The Tories pledged to raise the threshold to £1million at the last election but the policy was abandoned after Liberal Democrat opposition.

Mr Cameron was today said that the Conservative are likely to revive plans to raise the threshold after being confronted by a pensioner over the issue.

He said inheritance tax should only be paid by the rich rather than hard-working families who have brought a family home with their savings.

His intervention came after the Office for Budget Responsibility warned last week that the number of families hit by inheritance tax is set to double in the next five years.

The independent financial watchdog said the proportion of estates attracting Inheritance Tax would double from one in 20 today to almost one in 10 by 2018/19

Mr Cameron said: "We put in our manifesto that we wanted to take it to £1million but we did not win an outright majority [and] the pledge did not make it into the Coalition agreement.

"Would I like to go further in future? Yes I would. I believe in people being able to pass things down through the generations and onto our children, it builds a stronger society.

"Inheritance Tax should only really be paid by the rich, it shouldn't be paid by those people who have worked hard and saved and brought a family house.

"The ambition is still there, I would like to go further. It's something we'll have to address in our election manifesto."

In 2007 George Osborne, the then shadow chancellor, energised the Conservative campaign with a dramatic pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1milliion.

The move was credited with halting plans by Gordon Brown, the then Labour Prime Minister, to call for an early election.

The Tories were unable to secure the agreement of the Liberal Democrats to make the pledge Coalition policy.

Mr Cameron said: "George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, made this speech and promise to radically lift it to £1m.

"Straight after that Gordon Brown realising what a brilliant pledge it was changed the rules so you could pass between husband and wife and civil partners.

"The effective threshold went from £325,000 to about £700,000. We put in our manifesto that we wanted to take it to £1m but we did not win an outright majority. That pledge didn't make it into the Coalition agreement."

Mr Cameron also hinted that the Conservatives will make a manifesto pledge to protect pensioner benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and free TV licence at the next election.

He said: "We will set out our policy for the next Parliament at the next election. The only thing I would say is that people who think you save lots of money by not giving these benefits to upper rate taxpayers, you save a tiny amount of money and always introduce another complexity in the system.

"We made our promise in this Parliament [not to scrap pensioner benefits], we kept our policy and I'm very proud of that. I don't think older people in Britain should be asked to suffer for the difficult decisions that we have to make. Making promises and keeping promises is a very important part of politics.

"Woe betide the politician that makes one of these big promises and then says 'oh, sorry I didn't really mean anything by that."

Mr Cameron said he will not commit to minimum alcohol pricing under the present economic conditions.

He said: "I did look at the idea of minimum unit pricing for alcohol, saying that a unit of alcohol however its consumed should cost, say, 40p, and that wouldn't put up the price of a pint in a pub nor a bottle of wine in a supermarket.

"We will wait and see how it goes in Scotland. At a time when families are having to take difficult decisions about budgets and everything else it's a change too many."



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