Friday, October 31, 2014

City Tells Idaho Wedding Chapel It Can Turn Away Homosexual  Couples

If I were a clergyman and a homosexual couple asked me to marry them, I would accept with gladness and insist on being prepaid in cash.  I would then begin the service with readings from the Bible -- a routine part of Protestant worship.  I would read  Leviticus 18:22, Romans chapter 1, 1 Timothy chapter 1 and Jude verse 7.  That would be a great witness to Bible teachings for people who most likely have never heard them.  If the wedding party then stormed out, I would not be at fault for quoting my holy book and homosexuals thereafter would stop bothering clergy with their nonsense

No, you can't force a minister to marry you by invoking an anti-discrimination law. Or at least that's what the Idaho city of Coeur d'Alene has told the owners of the Hitching Post, who had organized a lawsuit against the city out of concern they would be required to marry gay couples. The story got national attention at the start of the week because of fears that the couple who owned the chapel, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, would be fined or even jailed if they refused to marry gay couples.

The city originally told the couple as much, because it's a for-profit business. But now the city is backing off and has determined the Knapps can say no. Unfortunately the reason is not because a wedding ceremony is not a right and nobody of any race, sexual orientation, or religion should be able to demand that somebody must bless (in any definition of the word) their relationship. Rather, the city's anti-discrimination ordinance doesn't specify that a business has to be a non-profit in order to claim a religious-based exemption from the law.  From Boise State Public Radio:

    "Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps' attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt.

    But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn't specify non-profit or for-profit.

    "After we've looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation," Gridley explained.

    Court filings show the Hitching Post reorganized earlier this month as a "religious corporation." In the paperwork, the owners describe their deeply held beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman."

An American Civil Liberties Union representative gave the decision his nod of approval as long as the business is a "religious corporation" and as long as they don't perform non-religious ceremonies and then refuse to serve same-sex couples.

The timing of the filings and various complexities of the organization of the Hitching Post as a business prompted some additional intrigue throughout the week. Walter Olson of the Cato Institute explained it all from a libertarian perspective in his Overlawyered blog here. I decided not to engage in discussing the intrigue further because, though the technical components may matter in a legal sense, from a philosophical perspective, it shouldn't make a difference.

The reasons why the Knapps don't want to marry any couple and their status as a profit or a non-profit or whether they also offered civil ceremonies should not matter. The only thing that should matter is that they didn't want to marry a couple for whatever reason they declared.

Why? Because the idea that a wedding ceremony is a public accommodation is absolutely absurd. Is there a service that is any less of a public accommodation than an actual wedding ceremony? The whole idea of a public accommodation laws (and don't read this as a general endorsement) is that the identity of the customer is irrelevant to the business transaction. A business operator's opinions on race or religion should have no reason to come into play when selling somebody gum or a hamburger or a ticket to see a movie.

But a wedding is literally hiring somebody to tell you that you and your partner are awesome and are going to be happy and to enjoy life. A wedding ceremony is literally speech. The actual marriage certification process with the state is something else entirely. Marriage is a right. A wedding ceremony is not.


Same-sex weddings, and the right not to perform them

by Jeff Jacoby

ON OCTOBER 7, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage. On Oct. 15, county clerks in the state for the first time issued marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Then, five days later came startling news out of the Idaho resort town of Coeur d'Alene: Two Christian ministers, owners of the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, had reportedly been told by local officials that they were now required to perform same-sex weddings, or risk fines of up to $1,000 and as much as six months in jail if they refused. Under the city's antidiscrimination ordinance, the Hitching Post is considered "a place of public accommodation," and refusing to marry couples on the basis of sexual orientation was no longer a legal option.

So the two ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, filed a lawsuit, seeking to block the city from forcing them to host same-sex ceremonies in violation of their sincere religious beliefs. "The Knapps are in fear that if they exercise their First Amendment rights they will be cited, prosecuted, and sent to jail," their attorney told reporters.

At first blush, the story seemed to confirm the grimmest forebodings of those who have warned that the gay marriage juggernaut will roll right over religious liberty concerns. Was the government really threatening to jail clergy who refused to perform same-sex weddings?

The short answer: No, it hasn't come to that — at least not yet. The Knapps weren't charged with any violation, and since they recently reincorporated the Hitching Post as an explicitly "religious corporation" under Idaho law, it seems doubtful that any prosecutor is seriously gunning for them.

But Coeur d'Alene isn't ruling out the possibility, either. Only if the Hitching Post truly operates on a not-for-profit religious basis, City Attorney Michael Gridley wrote in an Oct. 20 letter, would the Knapps be legally exempted from the antidiscrimination ordinance "like any other church or religious association." Conversely, if their wedding chapel provides services "primarily or substantially for profit and they discriminate in providing those services based on sexual orientation," they could be cited for breaking the law.

Should they be?

Religious convictions haven't sheltered florists, bakers, and other vendors who have declined to provide their services for same-sex ceremonies. The Supreme Court earlier this year let stand the penalty imposed on a New Mexico photographer who turned down a request to shoot a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony. The American Civil Liberties Union argues that wedding chapels, like bakeries and photo studios, are bound by nondiscrimination law, regardless of the owners' moral beliefs. By that argument, it makes no difference that the owner of a company is an ordained minister. An operation like the Hitching Post isn't a ministry, the ACLU would say, it's a business — and the First Amendment can tell the difference.

Yet there is considerably more to the First Amendment than the unique protection it extends to churches. The freedom of expression it enshrines secures the right to speak no less than the right not to speak. Time and again the Supreme Court has confirmed that government may not force Americans to utter words they disbelieve or deny.

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation," Justice Robert Jackson wrote in a landmark 1943 decision that struck down a law compelling students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, "it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

Whatever one's views on same-sex marriage — or on nondiscrimination statutes generally — it is unfathomable that ministers could be forced by law to pronounce the words of a marriage ceremony against their will. That they are being paid to perform the ceremony doesn't diminish the significance of the words they are saying, or erode their constitutional liberty to choose not to say them.

Supporters of same-sex unions have nothing to gain by forcing anyone, least of all clergy members, to officiate at weddings when it would violate their principles to do so. That is "just something we don't do in a liberal society," insists Andrew Sullivan, a stalwart advocate for gay marriage. Concerns about what "marriage equality" is doing to religious tolerance and dissent run deep; surely the best way to allay those concerns is with respect and goodwill. As same-sex wedlock comes to Idaho, it is in everyone's interest that freedom of speech and conscience not be driven out.


The Terrorist-Sympathizing Opera

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is hardly a site for hundreds of angry protesters. But they have erupted over their current selection, an opera called "The Death of Klinghoffer."

Leon Klinghoffer was the 69-year-old paralyzed New Yorker who in 1985 was aboard the hijacked cruise ship Achille Lauro, then executed by Islamic terrorists because he was a Jew. The terrorists forced the ship's barber and a waiter to throw his body and his wheelchair overboard off the coast of Egypt.

Klinghoffer's daughters, Lisa and Ilsa, have objected to this opera for decades. In the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, they recently proclaimed, "Terrorism is irrational. It should never be explained away or justified. Nor should the death of innocent civilians be misunderstood as an acceptable means for drawing attention to perceived political grievances. Unfortunately, 'The Death of Klinghoffer' does all of this and sullies the memory of our father in the process."

The Anti-Defamation League tried a moderate approach, applauding the Met's decision to cancel plans for a global simulcast. While agreeing the opera itself wasn't anti-Semitic, it could "foment anti-Semitism globally or legitimize terrorism." That should be enough to cancel the operation, shouldn't it?

So why would the most prestigious opera company in America promote this terrorist-sympathizing production? As always is the case in instances such as this, the left pleads artistic license. In The New York Times, drama critic Anthony Tommasini proclaimed: "Of all the arts, opera can use the subliminal power of music to explore motivations, including seething hatreds. This opera tries to explore what drove these Palestinians to take that ship and murder its most vulnerable passenger."

Tommasini declared further, "To try to understand why someone does something or to appreciate the fact that evildoers do not see themselves as evildoers is not the same as glorification or promotion of that evil." He called it "a searching, spiritual and humane work."

After this artistic monstrosity, could a searching, spiritual, and humane exploration of the "seething hatreds" of Adolf Hitler be not too far behind?

No, because when it comes to the performing arts in America's cultural capital, there's a remarkable bias and selectivity among the tastemakers.

Surely there were people who despised Kennedy with every fiber in their beings in 1962 but no one's going to finance an opera sympathetically exploring the motivations of Lee Harvey Oswald. Let's face it: There were those who wanted Martin Luther King dead.

Would anyone ever countenance a performance at the Met — or anywhere else — that might be described as a "searching, spiritual and humane work" studying the motives of James Earl Ray? So why do we need a tasteless work of "art" that allows a Palestinian terrorist project the murder of an innocent American Jew as anything other than what it is — evil?

Don't get us wrong. It's not that the drama community feels any sort of affinity with religions or the religious. While the Met sympathizes with Islamic terrorists, Broadway is making a mint mocking Mormon missionaries in "The Book of Mormon."

The newspapers have lauded stage productions like Colm Toibin's "The Testament of Mary," which derided the apostles of Jesus Christ as a group of mouth-breathing buffoons, or worse. That production lasted all of two weeks on stage last year, but was nominated for three Tony Awards. Mary Gordon in The New York Times applauded how these evangelists "are portrayed as menacing intruders, with the lurking shadowy presence of Stalin's secret police."

Why provide sympathy to Islamists? It is not because these "artists" are sympathetic to the message of Islamofascism. It is because they're cowards. It's quite obvious that the theatre artists of New York have never dared to paint Muhammad and his contemporaries into a "secret police" corner of Mecca.

In a video from the Metropolitan Opera, the composer John Adams promoted his work by saying "Opera is the art form that goes to the max. It's the art form that is the most emotional, the one that goes the furthest, and in a sense terrorism is the same thing." Apparently, extremism and murder can be casually compared to opera, and extremism in the defense of opera is no vice.


‘The best answer to bad speech? More speech’

Ahead of the spiked/Newseum conference on press freedom in Washington DC on 5 November, where he is speaking, Nick Gillespie of Reason explains why he feels ‘almost utopian’ about the future of the media.

‘I think press freedom is important because human freedom is important. I don’t make a distinction between freedoms that should be enshrined for the press or the media and those for other people. The idea of free expression, which also includes other types of behaviour and other gestures that might not be covered under a more strict definition of press, all of that is vitally important. It’s our means of communication, which is the most fundamental act of humanity.’

So says Nick Gillespie, in his distinctive, effortless drawl. For those that know of the editor-in-chief of and Reason TV, his commitment to free speech will not be a surprise. This, after all, is someone the Daily Beast described as ‘clear-headed, brainy… [and] among the foremost libertarians in America’. He is not concerned with advocating a particular press-specific liberty; he is concerned with liberty in general.

‘In a good way’, he tells me, ‘the press in America is not licensed or regulated, nor does it have to seek certification from the state before it’s allowed to do what it does. I think that’s extremely important because one of the pressing issues in the US, and I think elsewhere, is that the press has a seemingly different relationship to government, to state power, to corporate power, than mere citizens. And a lot of people push this as a positive thing. As a result we have press-shield laws so that reporters won’t be put in jail for refusing to name their sources. They have been given certain exemptions from legal process. And I think that’s very disturbing.’

Given the post-Leveson interest in press regulation and the possibility of licensing the press in the UK, Gillespie’s point is worth listening to. His problem is not with protecting press freedom. ‘The idea that individuals and press organisations are allowed maximum ability to criticise or to lavish praise on people in power or out of power or whatever is really rare and unique’, he says. ‘And a lot of American journalists do not understand the situation they’ve inherited.’

His problem, rather, is with making press freedom an exception to free-speech laws as a whole. ‘The exceptionalism in America, which is great and predates the founding of the country – it started in the colonial era – is that people have a right to free expression, and they have a right to free speech and free assembly. And that is what undergirds our press freedom. The press should have no rights that the average citizen does not have.’

Unfortunately, many in the US and the UK seem to think that the press should have fewer rights than the average citizen. It needs to be pulled up and reined in; it is corrupting public debate, and determining the way too many people think. I ask Gillespie what he makes of this argument: ‘In the US, it’s conservatives and Republicans who tend to say that the press is distorted and biased in favour of left-leaning liberal Democrats. As they see it, the liberal media won’t talk about Benghazi; and they won’t talk about Hillary Clinton’s private life in the way they do about Sarah Palin. Rather, they’ll go on and on about fantasy scandals of the right. What’s interesting in the US context is that when the conversation turns to culture, the positions flip and it is the left that will say that the media – music, movies and television and other forms of entertainment – tend to reinforce really negative stereotypes towards women, towards gays, towards blacks.’

Gillespite continues: ‘I think what unites the right and the left in stupidity and error when it comes to this broad-based understanding of the media, which is really the sum of the press as well as the entertainment industries, is that they’re wedded to an old model, which grew out of the Frankfurt School, whereby the audience is assumed not really to have a mind of its own. It just kind of gets pushed along by whatever it reads and sees. And this argument is wrong, because everyone who watches a TV programme, or goes to a play, is an active participant, a person who processes information, who makes decisions every second about what things mean.’

I ask Gillespie about the perceived influence of Fox News, a familiar bête noir not just of American liberals, but of right-thinking left-ish types in the UK, too. ‘Yeah, liberals will say Fox News, or “Faux News”, as they call it, is programming people and inflaming passions among Tea Party wingnuts who bring their guns to church and shoot people on the way home from church before they watch the football. On the flipside, right-wingers will say that places like CNN stand for the “Clinton News Network”, or they used to in the 1990s. Or they’ll say that NPR is a state-funded bastion of liberal and left-wing ideology. So there is a common widespread transpartisan complaint that the other side did not win whatever position they have fairly, but that they did it through mass brainwashing. And I guess, for me, the big take-away is that the whole idea that the culture industry and the media brainwashes people is not only offensive - it’s also deeply, deeply wrong and dismissive of the way that people actually make decisions about their politics and their ideology and about their everyday life.’

Still, if particular influential media outlets are misinforming people, isn’t that a problem? ‘There’s a longstanding cliché in America that the best answer to bad speech is more speech or better speech’, he says. ‘And I think that’s what we have. If a particular news organisation or a particular university or a particular corporation is a font of stupid, misinformed, erroneous dissembling ideas or discourse, the best thing to do is to really speak back to it, and to really engage and to force its errors into the full light of day.’

It’s at this point, in the tech-enabled ability of people to speak back to ‘erroneous discourse’, that Gillespie comes over as positively happy. ‘I’m nearly utopian about the new media’, he tells me. ‘I started with Reason in 1993. At that time – we’re based in Los Angeles, but we’re virtually around the country –  we could only get easy access to about half-a-dozen newspapers housed at the UCLA library. That was our basic source for reporting on contemporary news. And then, very quickly, we got access to things like Lexus Nexus, which is a newspaper database, then the worldwide web, where we could read so much more and then of course express ourselves. The internet made it easier and easier to do whatever we wanted.

‘So you look at Reason Foundation, which is the non-profit which publishes Reason. You take a non-profit that doesn’t have a lot of money, that doesn’t have a lot of power or insider connection. And we have come from publishing a monthly magazine and occasionally writing op-eds in newspapers to now, 20 years later, when we have a complete media operation, where we’re online everyday and we reach over four million people every month. We have the ability to reach out and engage an audience as well as the people we disagree with that was virtually unthinkable when I joined the staff in 1993. And that’s why I’m nearly utopian. And every day, there are new sites of information and expression that were simply not able to exist in any meaningful way a quarter of a century ago.’

His optimism even extends to Wikileaks, Anonymous, and Edward Snowden. ‘I think that Wikileaks, and Anonymous, and later Snowden – but even more than Snowden, the platform that the founder of eBay and the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras and other people created at the intercept – I think the platform is more important than the individuals… I think it’s another reason for optimism, even giddiness. What organisations like Wikileaks and Edward Snowden did is establish a way you could work with mainstream media as well as non-mainstream media and get information out in a way that was virtually impossible before. And it doesn’t rely on the cooperation of established media, or legacy media, in the way that something like the Pentagon Papers did. That was a stolen government history of the Vietnam War and its folly which really only could be distributed by major media in the later 1960s and 1970s. So Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, the intercept, the people like Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, and the people who fund them and create a platform… this means you have journalists taking on stories that would not be taken on otherwise.

‘And what’s fascinating about a document dump is that you don’t have to wait for an established journalist or a certified journalist to come through and tell you what is important. Rather, you can sift through it yourself as a citizen journalist. That is immensely powerful and it’s great and we’re going to see more of it. And it won’t end the state, nor even necessarily make the state act better, or corporations act better - but it will constantly give us remedies for the worst things that the powerful in our society do.’

I might not share all of Gillespie’s enthusiasm for the new culture of leaking and document-dumping. But in his commitment to press freedom and freedom of expression, in his optimism about the potential of the internet, and in his refusal to bow to the ‘blame the media’ brigade, I can see some of the very things we lack in the UK right now. It’s high time we Brits rectified this.



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, October 30, 2014

Another Multicultural thief in Britain

A postman helped steal £141,000 from Royal Mail customers by swiping letters containing personal bank details, a court heard today.

Archie Johnson is accused of targeting post addressed to recipients in London's W1 postcode, encompassing the upmarket West End district, to steal personal financial information.

This was then used by accomplices to impersonate account holders and defraud their bank accounts, the court heard.

Prosecutor Warwick Tatford said: 'Post men are given positions of trust - they look after the mail and they are entrusted to deliver it to the right address and also not to steal it.

'Sadly the Crown's case is that this defendant did steal mail and he didn't just steal things like DVDs or books or money in birthday cards - nothing like that - what he stole was financial information.'

In a scam running between 2008 and 2012, Johnson felt envelopes for bank cards then passed them on to fraudsters higher up the chain, prosecutors alleged.

Jurors were told Johnson was 'acting on orders' from other people. Prosecutors said there is 'clear evidence' Johnson stole 'a lot of items'. Bank cards were found in his car, the court heard.

'What he did was target financial documents, in particular bank statements, debit cards and PIN numbers,' said Mr Tatford.

'It is probably pretty obvious to anybody that a hard rectangular shape in an envelope is some kind of bank card.

'Bank statements also are obvious pieces of post and you will know if you have bank accounts that PIN numbers come out in the post as well a few days after cards are sent.'

Johnson was 'a cog' in a wider fraud that hijacked bank cards in the W1 postcode of London, prosecutors said. Other members of the gang would allegedly impersonate the card holders to empty the accounts of cash.

'What happened in this case, and the defendant was a vital cog in this conspiracy, is that criminals were pretending to be owners of cards and they answered security questions,' said Mr Tatford.

'They have derived a certain amount of information to be able to answer security questions and they created a situation where the card was sent out to the owner.'

Johnson then intercepted the private post and the cards were rinsed of cash before the account owners noticed and alerted their banks, jurors were told.

The total losses to Santander from the allegeldy hijacked data was £93,853. Barclays suffered losses of £47,550 from the alleged fraud, the court heard.

'The defendant was a cog in the machine, he didn't, it would appear, profit greatly by this,' said Mr Tatford.

'Perhaps it is the nature of many criminal conspiracies - those in a safe position are ones that keep most of the money.

'A postman may be able to give useful information to his leaders, the people further up the chain, because the postman finds out a lot about people.

'It may well be that the reason those fraudsters were able to answer security questions is that they were able to be fed personal information that the defendant discovered simply by being a postman to this particular address.'

Johnson worked at Royal Mail premises in Rathbone Place near Tottenham Court Road in central London.  He was arrested after investigators linked his postal rounds with the stolen details, the court heard.

Johnson, of Stoke Newington, north London, denies conspiracy to steal.


Wilders: Our First Task Is to Protect Our Own Civilization

The following is the text of a speech Dutch MP and leader of the Netherlands' Party for Freedom delivered in Nashville on October 21 on behalf of the new International Freedom Alliance to stop the Islamization of the free world.

Dear friends,

Thank you for attending this very important meeting.  It is great to be back in Tennessee, the Volunteer State.

I am traveling from Los Angeles to DC, but I insisted on coming to Tennessee for a very good reason.

Two centuries ago, General Andrew Jackson was tasked with raising an army to liberate New Orleans. When he sent the call out to Tennessee,  five times the number expected from your State showed up. The Tennessean Volunteers were noted for their valor in combat.

Many things change in two centuries, but the volunteer spirit and the valor of Tennessee has not. That is why I am here tonight.

I am not going to beat around the bush. I need your help. We have a rendezvous with history here today. Outside, a war is going on. War has been declared on us. The situation is far worse than you can imagine.

For over a decade, I have been warning against Islam. This cruel totalitarian ideology wants to turn the entire world into an Islamic caliphate, ruled by Sharia law.

What this means can currently be seen in the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. There, people are beheaded and women and children are sold as slaves, in the same way as Islam's founder Muhammad did in the 7th century.

America and its allies are currently bombing the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Dutch F16 planes are part of this offensive. My party supports this wholeheartedly. We support the United States.

But there is more to be done.  The free world is in danger.

Our judeo-christian civilization is in danger. Islam is threatening our home countries. So we have to do more than eradicate the dark forces of the Islamic State in the Middle East.

As a matter of fact, our first task is to protect our own nations, our own freedoms, our own children, our own civilization, here, at home. That should be our first priority.

What is happening in Syria and Iraq today is what we will suffer in the future if we do not wake up to the danger. We have welcomed in our countries and cities an ever growing number of people whose Islamic values are totally incompatible with ours.

Islam is a mortal threat to Christianity, to Judaism, to Humanity. Islam is incompatible with democracy and freedom.

Already there are significant Islamic populations in every major city in Western Europe. And also in many cities in Australia, Canada and the United States.

Islam is taking over European societies. In my own country, the Netherlands, Muhammad is the most popular name among newborn boys in major cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

This is also the case in the Belgian capital Brussels, the Norwegian capital Oslo, the British capital London and as a matter of fact even in the whole of Great-Britain.

Of course, there are many moderate Muslims. But it would be wrong to state that the non-moderates are but a tiny minority. They are not. Recent polls indicate that over two thirds of the Islamic population in the Netherlands consider the religious rules of Islam to be more important than our Dutch democratic laws.

And almost three quarters of all Muslims in The Netherlands view Dutch Muslims who fight in Syria as heroes. Three quarters. That is an enormous amount and a huge danger to our national security.

Polls in other countries yield equally disturbing results. In France, the country with the largest Islamic presence in Western Europe, 16% of the population - this is a staggering 10 million people - have a favorable opinion of ISIS.

Last Summer, there were demonstrations of ISIS sympathizers in my own home town, The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government and parliament. The demonstrators carried swastikas and ISIS flags. They shouted "death to the Jews." These scenes brought us right back to the 1940s, to the Nazi era, the darkest period in our history - when events occured which we had vowed we would never allow to happen again.

But the police did not intervene.  The authorities do not want to provoke the forces of Islam. They are weak. They have adopted a policy of appeasement.

Thousands of terrorists with European citizenship fight for the Islamic State. These criminals cut people's heads in Syria and Iraq. An Islamic British citizen beheads American prisoners and fellow British citizens. Recently, an Islamic Dutch citizen proudly posed with the head of one of his victims on facebook. It is horrible.

In Britain, Australia and Canada, soldiers wearing their uniform in public have been attacked and even murdered by jihadis. If soldiers are not safe, then surely citizens aren't safe either.

In Germany, the authorities fear for an Islamic "holy war" in the streets of the German towns. Earlier this month, Kurds were attacked by ISIS sympathizers in Hamburg, Bremen, Hannover and other German cities.

In Belgium, a non-Muslim shopkeeper has been threatened with decapitation if he does not pay 50.000 euros to the Syria fighters. American intelligence sources fear that ISIS terrorists will try to enter Europe as asylum seekers. The Antiterrorism Coordinator of the European Union says that there are at least 4,000 citizens from Western Europe fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, indicated last week that these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. According to Johnson, the British police are monitoring thousands of potential terrorists in London alone. Meanwhile, the London deputy mayor sounded the alarm over primary school children who are indoctrinated by their Muslim families and - I quote - "trained to be junior jihadis."

The head of the Dutch secret service said last month that the number of potential terrorists who are willing to commit bomb attacks, such as the ones on the Madrid train station in 2004 and the London metro in 2005, is now far bigger than it was a decade ago. The intelligence services know how dangerous the situation is.

ISIS has called on Muslims in Europe, Australia and America to murder civilians. Jews, obviously, are prime targets. In the major dutch cities, jewish institutions are under permanent police protection.

Unfortunately, our governments are putting their heads in the sand. Three weeks ago, the Dutch minister of Justice announced that the police had confiscated the passports of 41 Islamic Dutch citizens in order to prevent them from joining ISIS in Syria. They had, however, not been arrested. Hence, these jihadists now freely walk our streets, instead of being bombed in Syria. Last week a Dutch judge released a terror suspect because he had young children. Even our judges fail to protect the people.

And our political leaders are no better. They do nothing, except constantly repeating the sickening mantra that Islam is a religion of peace. Whenever an atrocity is committed in the name of Islam, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and their colleagues hasten to declare that it has nothing at all to do with Islam.

After the beheading of British aid worker David Haines by ISIS in mid-September, the British Home Secretary Theresa May declared about ISIS - I quote: "Their actions have absolutely no basis in anything written in the Quran." End of quote.

She is either blind, stupid or dishonest.

The Koran is full of commands such as sura 47 verse 4 "When ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks and cause a bloodbath among them."

All the atrocities by ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Khorasan - they all find their inspiration in the Koran. They show the true face of Islam.

Friends, my message is unpleasant, but there is no running away from it. The task of defending our home countries against Islam has fallen on our shoulders. My shoulders. Your shoulders. Today is one of the most crucial moments in our history. This moment, whether we like it or not, spells duty.

If we shirk away from our responsibility, our children will perish and we will live the rest of our lives in shame. It is not enough to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq; we must stop Islam from spreading here, in our own land. The less Islam, the better. It is as simple as that.

Ordinary people know it well enough. According to an opinion poll, two thirds of the Dutch are of the opinion that the Islamic culture does not belong to the Netherlands. But our leaders do not want to hear it. They try to silence everyone who speaks the truth about Islam.

During the past ten years, I have been living under constant police protection, because Islamic terrorists want to kill me. I have been threatened by al-Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban, jihadis in Syria, and others. I live in a safe house, policemen accompany me wherever I go. But it looks as if the Dutch Public Prosecutor is trying to silence me as much as the jihadis are.

Three years ago, I was taken to court on hate crime charges. After a grueling court case, that lasted almost two years, I was fully acquitted. Now, the Dutch judiciary is going after me again. I am said to have insulted a population group because I asked people whether they want more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.

Moroccans are the major Islamic group in the Netherlands. They are overrepresented in crime and welfare statistics. 65 percent of Moroccans between 12 and 23 are suspect of a crime.  Moroccans account for 75% of all the Dutch who leave for Syria to wage jihad.

Nobody wants more Moroccans in the Netherlands.  My party - which by the way is the largest or at least the second largest party in the polls - wants to restrict the number of Moroccans in three ways: by stopping immigration from Islamic countries, by sending back all convicted Moroccan criminals to their country of origin, and by stimulating voluntary re-emigration. They intend to prosecute me again. They want me to stop telling the truth about Islam.

However, I will never be silenced. Not by jihadis, not by political opponents, and not by anybody. "Live free or die" - that is my motto.

Friends, I count on you. We have to liberate the Western world from Islam.  Islam is threatening the whole world. We have to stand together. America, Europa, Australia, Canada and certainly also the state of Israel.

Israel is the cradle of our civilization. Defending Israel is defending ourselves. We must support our friend and ally Israel. Israel is one of us.

In the past years, I have been traveling the world. I have been to several European countries, to Israel, to the United States, to Canada and Australia, to encourage people to stand up against Islam. But more needs to be done.

The time has come to combine our efforts. I have taken the initiative to establish an international organization - the International Freedom Alliance IFA. Its goal is to combine our efforts, to spread the truth about Islam, to preserve our freedom and stop the islamisation of our societies. IFA aims to be a network of resistance fighters in all the countries threatened by Islam.

We must join forces on a global scale, because the specter of Islam is haunting the entire world.

I told you at the beginning that we have a rendezvous with history here today. Our generation has been entrusted with a huge task: To defend freedom and defeat Islam. I say it without exaggeration: the future of human civilization depends on us. It depends on you and on me. Now is a time when every man must do his duty for the cause of liberty. Help me to combat Islam. We have to save our children from centuries of darkness that will befall them if we fail to do our duty today.

Islam should know that we, the free men of the West, will never apologize for being free men. We will never bow in the direction of Mecca. We will never surrender. Freedom is the birth right of every man. Your great Republic was built on this principle.

Help me to defend this birth right, all over the world. Help me to defend this sacred principle.  Help me to secure freedom for future generations


Progressives coddle rapists, while smearing innocent people as predators

By Hans Bader

The Talmud says that “he who is kind to the cruel is cruel to the kind.” That aptly describes many “progressives,” who coddle rapists while seeking to brand innocent people as rapists by redefining consensual, wanted sex as rape merely because it occurred without verbal authorization. Fourteen hundred girls were sexually assaulted in Rotherham, England, while the left-wing ideologues in the local Labour Party government looked the other way out of political correctness (because the perpetrators were Pakistanis, while the victims were working-class white girls):

“Children as young as 11 in the Yorkshire town of Rotherham were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated, by groups of mainly Pakistani men from 1997 to 2013, a troubling new report claims.  The inquiry team found examples of “children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.”  Revealing details of the inquiry’s findings, Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the latest report, said: “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered.” The report pinned the blame on the leadership of South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham council. Despite calls for him to quit over the sex abuse scandal, South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright … vowed to stay in his job. Wright was a Labour cabinet member for children and young people’s services at Rotherham Council from 2005 to 2010, when he received three reports about widespread abuse but failed to act.”

Meanwhile, California’s left-wing legislature recently enacted a law, SB 967, that apparently requires colleges to treat some consensual sexual encounters as “sexual assault.”  Progressives have long exhibited this sort of political schizophrenia. Education expert Stuart Buck, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School and Ph.D. in Education Policy, describes “one of the women I knew (and was actually good friends with) at Harvard Law School: She got into a heated argument with me once over her contention that rape was a systematic patriarchal tool that benefited all men, but then she would spend her spare time working for the Prison Legal Assistance Project (known as “PLAP”) where one of her projects — I kid you not — was helping a local rapist to get out on parole.”

As I noted earlier, some supporters of California’s new “affirmative consent” law regulating campus sexual encounters say it requires “state-mandated dirty talk.” Now, they are getting even more explicit about how they want to use “affirmative-consent” rules to force you to discuss explicit sexual details (like  agreeing in advance on each touching of intimate areas) during sexual encounters. They want to require such discussion even when it would serve no useful purpose, such as where the touching is almost certain to be welcome, based on nonverbal cues and the fact that it was also welcomed by the recipient in past encounters (many campus “affirmative consent” rules require “agreement” in advance, even if the sexual contact or activity is welcomed after it is initiated).

For example, the progressive commenter dgm23, a frequent commenter at Mother Jones and the Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, endorsed Antioch College’s expulsion of a male student merely for touching his partner while making out without reaching verbal agreement prior to the touching (the student asked “does this feel good” while doing it, to see if she wanted him to stop, rather than saying “may I touch your breast” before doing it). What does this commenter think the student should have done instead, given the reality that most couples don’t want to discuss every touch or escalation of intimacy right before it happens?  After all, there are few women who would want a man to ask  “may I touch your breast” before doing so, and almost none who would want a man to ask “may I massage your clitoris” before doing so.  (Imagine how embarrassing it is for a shy person to ask such a question, or to have to answer it. My wife, who is quite modest, would be extremely embarrassed if I asked her such things. She would much rather have sex than talk about it, which makes sense, because sex is itself a form of communication, not a vacuous activity that needs to be accompanied by endless chatter and discussion).

Dgm23 says that if it’s not feasible for a man to discuss every individual touching of a woman’s intimate areas in advance (as some “affirmative consent” policies literally require for a couple taking things on a step-by-step basis), he should instead seek consent from his date to a wide array of touching and licking in advance, using this disturbingly graphic example:  “Listen, I think you’re hot, I’m really attracted to you. Someday, maybe even tonight, I hope to run my hands, my mouth all over your body, over all your parts. But we might not be there yet, and I need to know that if I start to touch you in a place you’re not comfortable with, you’ll just tell me to stop, and we’ll stop immediately. You’ll feel okay, you won’t feel assaulted.”

How many women would ever want to hear that from their date?  (“I hope to run my hands, my mouth all over your body, over all your parts”). It would freak many women out, and few men could bring themselves to say something so awkward (except maybe an egotistical jerk doing so on a dare).  My wife says that if a man had told her something like that on a date, she would have gotten out of the room as fast as possible.

The impracticality of “affirmative consent” rules, and the unwelcomeness of the questions men end up asking women under them, it’s not surprising that men who have tried to incorporate “affirmative consent” into their own personal life have generally found that it doesn’t work: It winds up offending women by leading to men making all sorts of awkward requests for consent.

At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf quotes from the misadventures of a man raised by feminist parents who tried to follow “affirmative consent” in his dating relationships with women, who discovered just how much it annoyed them:

I was raised by a left-leaning, feminist family who (at least I thought at the time) were relatively open about sex. But while I arrived at college with a healthy respect for women, I was totally unprepared for the complex realities of female sexuality.

“Oh,” sighed one platonic female friend after we had just watched Harrison Ford grab Alison Doody and kiss her is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “Why don’t guys do that kind of thing anymore? Now days they are all too scared.”

On our second night together, one of my first partners threw up her hands in disgust. “How am I supposed to get turned on when you keep asking for permission for everything like a little boy?” She said. “Just take me and f– me already.”

As we discussed earlier, the California “affirmative consent” law actually requires an “agreement” for “sexual activity,” not just consent in a less legalistic sense. This “agreement” requirement is misguided: There are lots of things in this world that I like, and view as consensual, that I never “agree” to, such as when my wife or daughter suddenly hug me without asking for permission.

This “agreement” requirement could intrude deeply into people’s private lives.  Ezra Klein, a former Democratic operative and leading supporter of the new law, says it will define as guilty of sexual assault people who “slip naturally from cuddling to sex” without a series of agreements in between, since

it tries to change, through brute legislative force, the most private and intimate of adult acts. It is sweeping in its redefinition of acceptable consent; two college seniors who’ve been in a loving relationship since they met during the first week of their freshman years, and who, with the ease of the committed, slip naturally from cuddling to sex, could fail its test.

The Yes Means Yes law is a necessarily extreme solution to an extreme problem. Its overreach is precisely its value….

If the Yes Means Yes law is taken even remotely seriously it will settle like a cold winter on college campuses, throwing everyday sexual practice into doubt and creating a haze of fear and confusion over what counts as consent. This is the case against it, and also the case for it. . . . men need to feel a cold spike of fear when they begin a sexual encounter. . . To work, “Yes Means Yes” needs to create a world where men are afraid.

Creating a “world where men are afraid” constitutes precisely the sort of sexually hostile educational environment that the Fourteenth Amendment forbids state officials to create.  (Courts have held that government officials violate the Fourteenth Amendment when they sexually harass people, in court rulings like Bator v. State of Hawaii and Hayut v. State University of New York, and creating an anti-male climate constitutes sexual harassment, see Hartman v. Pena, 914 F.Supp. 225 (N.D. Ill. 1995), a case in which a judge allowed male employees to sue over an intimidating, anti-male sexual-harassment sensitivity training seminar).

Moreover, affirmative-consent rules that require “state-mandated dirty talk” before intimate touching and sexual activity should also be recognized as violating the First Amendment freedom from compelled speech, recognized in the Supreme Court’s 1977 Wooley v. Maynard decision.

Not all liberals or progressives support California’s “affirmative-consent” law, which was criticized by Batya Ungar-Sargon at the New Republic, Michelle Goldberg at The Nation, and Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine. As we noted earlier, California’s law, also known as SB 967 and the Yes Means Yes law, was opposed by the Los Angeles Times, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, former ACLU Board members Wendy Kaminer and Harvey Silverglate, and the Orange County Register.  It was also criticized by many columnists, such as Megan McArdle at Bloomberg News, Cathy Young at Real Clear Politics, and Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner.


Republican Candidate Attacked For Being Catholic

Mark Miloscia, a Republican running for state senate in Washington state, is fending off attacks on his Catholic faith.

Miloscia, a former Democratic state legislator running for senate as a Republican in Washington’s 30th District, converted to the GOP over social issues. His campaign is encountering some old-school opposition: An anti-Miloscia attack website believed to be run by a Democratic Party member supporting Democrat Shari Song posted a piece of propaganda portraying Miloscia as a Vatican stooge. The Daily Caller has also learned that copies of the image were placed beside Song’s campaign literature at a recent candidate forum.

“Republican Mark Miloscia comes from the Deep South…with plenty of baggage,” the image read. “‘Mississippi Mark’ has always worn his church on his sleeve. Rather than represent the people of Federal Way, he has best represented the people of The Vatican.”

The image then listed five socially conservative positions that Miloscia has taken that apparently make him a Vatican stooge, and called him a “Lobbyist for the Catholic Church.” Miloscia has lobbied for the Washington State Catholic Conference of Bishops.

“It’s unconscionable that that website is up,” Miloscia told TheDC. “People say to me, ‘Didn’t they do this against Kennedy?’” Miloscia noted that religion is a hot-button issue in parts of Washington state, where people of faith are sometimes viewed with suspicion.

The proprietor of is unidentified. But Song, who condemned the image, wrote on Facebook that she told the activist to stop the anti-Catholic attacks, writing, ”I understand one of my supporters may have crossed the line of what is appropriate in that regard, and I’ve asked them to stop.”

Song’s campaign manager Alex Hendrickson told TheDC that “rumors” led her to believe that local Democratic Party member Keith Tyler is responsible for the website.

“It’s a very small town here and he’s involved in the local Democratic Party just as a member. He’s not a politician or a campaign worker,” Hendrickson said, adding that the campaign does not condone the image. Hendrickson said that she left voice mail messages at all the phone numbers that she has for Tyler but has not been able to reach him.

Keith Tyler is a figure in local Democratic Party politics, serving on the King County Democrats’ Endorsement Committee for Song’s district. “Keith Tyler” recently referred to Miloscia as “Mississippi Mark” in an online comment defending Song. Tyler also “liked” an official Song Facebook photo showing her posing with campaign volunteers.

In fact, Tyler is even photographed standing directly behind Song, holding a Song sign, in the main featured background photo on Song’s campaign Facebook page (in glasses, seen just above Song’s left arm).

Tyler did not immediately return a request for comment on Facebook.

“He is a big activist, a big-time volunteer for them,” Miloscia campaign manager Keith Schipper told TheDC, referring to Tyler, but noted that the identity of the website proprietor has not been confirmed. The image, meanwhile, was not merely posted to the Internet.

“They let us put literature out on the table,” Schipper said, describing protocol at a debate-style candidate forum at Twin Lakes Country Club hosted by the local newspaper The Federal Way Mirror. “Right next to her literature was the graphic in question. That was right next to it. So for her campaign to say they didn’t know about it, I find it hard to believe that that’s true.”

“I never saw it personally” at the forum, Hendrickson shot back. The Democratic campaign manager said that literature from all groups and organizations were placed on the same six-foot table. “I was there all evening and I never saw that literature period.”



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, October 29, 2014

Revealed: How British council tried to keep baby's death a secret to protect its bungling social workers

Facts about the death of a 13-month-old girl should be kept a secret because of the risk of embarrassment to social workers or police officers, a council demanded in court.

Lawyers for Cumbria County Council tried to suppress all information about the death of Poppi Worthington on the grounds it would be unfair to reveal shortcomings of public agencies, it was revealed yesterday.

Details of how the local authority pressed for the death to be hushed up to protect its own staff were made public as High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson ruled that the facts must still remain secret, nearly two years after Poppi died.

The judge said this was to prevent interference with any future criminal trial and to avoid identification of Poppi’s five siblings. However, the information blackout demanded by lawyers for Cumbria went much further and was aimed at protecting its own staff from criticism, according to the papers highlighted by the judge yesterday.

In its call for secrecy in July, the council wanted to keep all facts about the death and the name of the child from public knowledge for 15 years.

The council’s demands at a family court fact-finding hearing ‘would have had the effect of concealing for the next 15 years the names of any of the family members, including the child that died and any of the agencies concerned and the geographical area in which the events occurred’. The council’s legal submissions aimed at restricting access to any information warned that ‘disclosure of alleged shortcomings by agencies might be unfair to the agencies’.

The continued secrecy over Poppi’s death in December 2012 comes against a background of a troubled police investigation.

Police inquiries into the circumstances of the death are still ongoing. A man and a woman have been arrested, but the police inquiry itself is now under investigation and an officer has been suspended.

The official reticence surrounding the case has attracted growing criticism in recent days. Poppi’s name was unknown until last week, when an inquest recorded an open verdict and a coroner described her death as ‘unusual and strange’.

Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who campaigns against secrecy practised by social workers and the courts, said: ‘It is reasonable to hold back publication of information until a criminal trial is over.

‘However in the case of the death of Peter Connelly, Baby P, it took little more than a year for the people responsible to be prosecuted and convicted. In this case nothing appears to have happened after nearly two years.’

Mr Hemming added: ‘It is very clear in the case of Poppi Worthington that the authorities are putting all the effort they can into ensuring that none of their failings become public. As usual, they justify this by saying it is in the interest of children, when really it is in the interest of paid employees of the state.

‘The real interest of children is in seeing those employees held properly to account.’ Mr Justice Jackson said in the High Court yesterday that he would make a ‘limited’ order banning publication of information about the death.

He said this was ‘essential’ to allow any criminal prosecution to take place without interference and without prejudice to the trial.

The second reason was that if Poppi’s siblings were identified publicly it would harm them. The judge said: ‘I will consider whether the fact-finding judgement can be published as soon as it is possible to do so.’

Cumbria County Council said it was ‘unable to comment at this time’.


Obama Says The Execution of a Black Man Who Shot and Buried White Teenage Girl Alive is Racist and “Deeply Troubling”?

A foreign reporter asked Obama about the execution of Clayton Lockett who shot a teenage girl, laughed about it and buried her alive.

While questioning him, the reporter compared America to Iran, Saudi Arabia and China. Instead of disagreeing with him, or at least taking issue with such a description, Obama agreed with him.

After conceding that the death penalty might be appropriate in a very “terrible” crime such as “mass killing” or “the killings of children”, Obama went on a rant about the death penalty.

“The application of the death penalty in this country, we have seen significant problems — racial bias, uneven application of the death penalty, you know, situations in which there were individuals on death row who later on were discovered to have been innocent because of exculpatory evidence. And all these, I think, do raise significant questions about how the death penalty is being applied. And this situation in Oklahoma I think just highlights some of the significant problems there.” Obama said.

Obama doesn’t directly state that Oklahoma’s execution of Clayton Lockett was racist, but he implies it by saying that it highlights these problems.

He continued, “So I’ll be discussing with Eric Holder and others, you know — you know, to get me an analysis of what steps have been taken, not just in this particular instance, but more broadly in this area. I think we do have to, as a society, ask ourselves some difficult and profound questions around these issues.”

That last part is ObamaSpeak for “I’m going to unilaterally enforce my way of doing things without regard to the law and you should think deeply about why I’m right.”

Remember that is the monster that Barack Hussein Obama is empathizing with.

The men beat her and used duct tape to bind her hands and cover her mouth. The men had also beaten and kidnapped Neiman’s friend along with Bobby Bornt, who lived in the residence, and Bornt’s 9-month-old baby.

Lockett later told police “he decided to kill Stephanie because she would not agree to keep quiet,” court records state.

Neiman was forced to watch as Lockett’s accomplice, Shawn Mathis, spent 20 minutes digging a shallow grave in a ditch beside the road. Her friends saw Neiman standing in the ditch and heard a single shot.

Lockett returned to the truck because the gun had jammed. He later said he could hear Neiman pleading, “Oh God, please, please” as he fixed the shotgun.

The men could be heard “laughing about how tough Stephanie was” before Lockett shot Neiman a second time.

“He ordered Mathis to bury her, despite the fact that Mathis informed him Stephanie was still alive.”

Stephanie was guilty of not only being murdered, but of being the wrong race to be worthy of Obama’s empathy.  Unlike Clayton Lockett. Another one of Obama’s many hypothetical sons.


Nigel Farage: White people blacking up 'not offensive'

White people should be allowed to “black up” their faces without causing offence, the Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said.

Speaking on the ITV show The Agenda, the Ukip leader claimed political correctness on race issues had “gone too far”.

The former Radio One DJ Mike Read recently pulled a song dedicated to Mr Farage - which was sung in a faux-Jamaican accent and made reference to immigration - after it triggered a backlash.

Discussing what makes something offensive, host Tom Bradby asked Mr Farage: "Is any white man blacking up his face and pretending to be a black man of its nature offensive?"

The Ukip leader answered: "I don't think it is, no. We have really gone too far with all of this. There's a huge difference between people causing offence and people doing what Mike Read did and having a bit of fun.

“Or the other day when David Cameron was photographed with some people who were blacked up."

Earlier this month, David Cameron posed with a group of blacked-up Morris dancers at a folk festival in Banbury. The Prime Minister was on a day out with his family when the dancers asked him to pose for a picture with them.

The image was immediately shared on Twitter, with Mr Cameron drawing widespread criticism.

In April, Mr Farage took out a newspaper advert insisting his stance against Romanians was not racist, adding that he planned to lead a “carnival” for black and ethnic minority voters.

During the ITV show broadcast on Monday evening, Mr Farage was also asked by host Tom Bradby if he preyed on fear of immigration. He answered: "If you go to Lincolnshire or parts of the Fens where UKIP is strongest you will see migration into those towns and cities on a scale that people simply can't believe.

He added: "It's all well and good for people in central London who earn lots of money and live in expensive houses and have a very nice life, for them immigration has been brilliant because it means cheaper nannies, cheaper chauffeurs and cheaper gardeners."


The Oncoming Human Rights Crisis...Caused by the LGBT Movement

It started, as so many human rights disasters do, in the name of love.  It was commonplace in the antebellum Americas to hear of plantation owners expressing love for their slaves.  Even Frederick Douglass admits that many times slaves, while alone, vied to see who could praise his master the highest.  Did not Robespierre begin with love for his countrymen?  For that matter, didn't Castro?

History repeats. The movement to liberate same-sex love began because people loved each other.  Somehow, through convoluted digressions, it has become a tyrannical octopus seeking to control life and death itself.

The Rubicon was crossed when the gay movement sided with human trafficking; graft-ridden dirty deals with warlords for orphanages; bio-engineering, baby-farming, and emotional deprivation of innocent children by forcing them to replace a biological parent with a fictional same-sex partner.  Naturally, any child forced into such a psychically traumatic origin fantasy who feels resentful about it will be cursed by its caretakers as not only ungrateful, but also a homophobe.

A year ago, I was afraid to fight what is happening in the LGBT community.  Unaware of  what the response would be, I published some articles about being the product of gay parenting and received hundreds of e-mails from around the world pleading with me to fight against a growing human-rights crisis caused by the LGBT movement. 

They wrote from so many places, so many countries; they had such eloquence and force; they were children of sperm donors, troubled adoptees, people agonized by the baby-farming in India and elsewhere, gays horrified at what is being done in the name of "gay families," religious people, atheists, people who know for whatever reason that buying babies and erasing fatherhood or motherhood is not the fruit of love.

I cannot stay silent anymore.  My race forbids it; perhaps, being the descendant of Puerto Rican slaves and knowing that the LGBT movement is reducing people -- children, sperm donors, surrogate mothers -- to chattel.  I have assembled a document listing the main points of urgency.  I fear that the only movement that can take action would have to be global; in the United States, as I explain, the academy, the fourth estate, the democratic process, and the judiciary are all ill-equipped to stop what the LGBT movement is doing.

It didn't have to happen this way.  As a child, I lived in a gay community that was still struggling and embattled.  My mother, a lesbian, was a survivor of tremendous repression and taught me to be a survivor, too.  It ended up that we were a gay household when nobody had a name for that.  If Wordsworth is right and the child is the father of the man, then I was molded as a sexual outsider looking in, gazing from a jealous fringe upon a world full of people who had the luxury to take their mannerisms and interactions for granted.

As a teenager, I remember when AIDs came.  To see people you love wither alone, forgotten, staving off death while also still crippled by stigmas -- such moments teach you the importance of love in social change.

But then a funny thing happened to the gay world.  Love started to give way to hate.  There was a poignancy and grace about surviving in the earlier days of gay history.  By the late 1990s, an overfunded and politically connected elite had taken over gay rhetoric, claiming to speak in the name of everyone who had ever felt a forbidden love.  The elite stentorian agitators didn't have elegance.  They hit people over the head.  They rounded up heaps of money, hobnobbed with celebrities and well-heeled politicians, and started spending too much time at galas to have any sense that they were becoming, to put it bluntly, disgusting.

Suicides committed by teenage boys they'd never otherwise deign to speak to, let alone think of, became martyrdoms to be brandished like sacrificial goats.  Then there was a reign of terror about sexual categories, which still persists: people who leave the gay lifestyle, people who had homosexual pasts but don't wear them on their sleeve, people who want to have a choice about how to identify or at least allow choices to others, were all suddenly the enemy.

I saw the loving part drift off, the anima of a living soul being gently carried away like a cloud of mist, leaving only the animus behind.  I'd have to blink and remind myself I was simply looking at Hillary Rosen or Rachel Maddow.

What is the slogan that I speak of with greatest horror?  "I deserve the same rights as anyone else."  That might be a harmless slogan, except not when the "right" you are referring to is the right to "build a family" to show that "you are capable of love."

"I deserve the same rights" eventually means that a same-sex couple deserves to have a child provided to them, even though they can't conceive it themselves.

If straight couples get to have undiluted custody of such a child, so should gay couples.  So they must have the "right" to enforce contracts preventing surrogate mothers from wanting their babies back, the "right" to have sperm banks operate and sell them sperm, the "right" to jump the queue in line for Catholic Charities, the "right" to farm babies in the third world, the "right" to extort gratitude from the children they've placed in these situations, and the "right" to blind a child to at least one of his or her biological parents.  If any of these "rights" is not held up with the full force of a state apparatus, then the slogan fails.  Hence, we see the case of Dred Scott revived.  To be treated as first-class citizens, gays need the government to cow their chattel into submission.

Underneath the appeals to "love" lies a morass of brutally gory market mechanisms, approaching science fiction.  The changes in gay culture have created a large pool of same-sex couples who not only want children without involving themselves with the opposite sex, but also feel that any qualms are banned forms of hate speech.  Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll found that each generation of Americans is becoming gayer: now, over 6% of citizens under the age of 29 identify as LGBT.  As recently as three years ago, polling consistently found LGBTs to make up less than 2% of the population.

The fight for marriage has never been about marriage.  Marriage is the only way to have legal cover and shield themselves from criticism for their bioethical stunts.

Market demand is a powerful thing, and it is growing because of the increase in LGBT couples as well as the cultural messages convincing young gays that they will be given children or else society is oppressing them.  Here in Los Angeles, I've seen the eerie proliferation of designer babies in gayborhoods, and the increasingly anesthetized reaction of gay couples' friends.  People go to third-world getaways to pick out babies, place ads for surrogates who can give them a certain eye color, and even collaborate with human trafficking.  Never forgetful of my own pains as a lesbian's son in the 1970s, I see the faces of these gay couple's children, and sometimes, I have to run away and cry.  I know the dazed glare, the powerlessness of these children, their helpless desire to please their parents, their fear of showing their parents any sign that the arrangement has been hurtful.

And yet, I can scarcely forget, this is only the beginning.  While some say "it gets better," all signs show that it will grow far worse.  LGBT activists have been frustrated so far by the largest Western nations' resistance to legalizing gay marriage.  In this table, a Francophone researcher discusses the gay-marriage statistics from Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Quebec.  Remember that France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy, the more populous nations of Europe, have still resisted full marriage equality.  Already in tiny Belgium, 5% of marriages are same-sex.  What will happen with the combined populations of Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, and the United States -- 570 million people in all -- legalize gay marriage, with 5% of that mass being same-sex couples looking to buy babies?

We are staring into the dawn of a new slave trade.  Rather than let the Middle Passage happen and then spend centuries trying to exonerate our nation, we must be "on the right side of history."  Stop gay marriage -- not because of hate for gay people, but because the machine that is turning people into chattel must be stopped.  The only way to break the cycle and wake everyone up is stop gay marriage.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Barry Spurr hounded by moral crusaders of the new inquisition

Brendan O'Neill

WHY is it bad to hack and expose photographs of a woman’s naked body but apparently OK to steal and make public the contents of a man’s soul?

This is the question that should burn in our minds in the wake of the Barry Spurr scandal.

For just a few weeks ago, when a hacker invaded the iCloud ­accounts of female celebs and ­rifled through their intimate snaps, there was global outrage.

This theft of explicit private photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence and others was a sex crime, we were told. It was an act of misogynistic tyranny, proof that even women’s private lives were not safe from the bulging eyes and clasping hands of a hateful, macho culture.

To peer into a woman’s most intimate moments was a “sexual violation”, said a writer for Guardian Australia. Just because these women were in the public eye, just because they “offer their image to public consumption”, that didn’t mean they were “trading (in) their intimacy”, she said.

Fast forward to last week, and some of the same people whose jaws hit the floor at the audacity of those who leaked these women’s private, unguarded pics were cheering the hacking of Spurr’s private, unguarded words.

Spurr, a professor of poetry at the University of Sydney, has had his private emails pored over and published by pseudo-radical, eco-miserabilist website New Matilda. In some of his emails, in what he has since claimed was a cheeky competition between him and his friends to see who could be the least PC, Spurr used words that would no doubt cause pinot gris to be spilled if they were uttered at a dinner party.

He described Tony Abbott as an “Abo lover”, referred to a woman as a “harlot”, called Nelson Mandela a “darky”, and used “Mussies” for Muslims and “chinky-poos” for Chinese. He now has been suspended by the university.

Many people will wince on reading those words. Just as we will have winced if we happened upon those photos of well-known women doing porno poses or ­engaging in shocking sex talk in videos shot by their boyfriends.

And that’s because these behaviours, both Spurr’s knowingly outrageous banter and the act­resses’ knowingly sluttish poses, share something important in common: they were private acts, not intended for public consumption. They were things done or said between intimates, far from the eyes and ears of respectable ­society. Yet where right-on commentators and tweeters stood up for the right of famous women not to have their private nakedness splashed across the internet, they have relished in the exposure of Spurr’s soul to the panting, outraged mob.

Spurr’s private thoughts are fair game for public ridicule, they claim, because of his position as a specialist consultant to the federal government’s review of the national curriculum.

New Matilda says Spurr’s standing as someone who could “influence what will be taught to every child in every school” means his intimate chatter is a legitimate target for moral policing. His private thoughts clash with his public duties, it says.

Imagine if this tyrannical insistence that everyone should have a spotless private life were taken to its logical conclusion. For a start, we might argue that it was legit to leak those female celebs’ intimate photos on the grounds that they exposed the women’s hypocrisy. Many of these actresses and singers are role models to young girls and pose as demure creatures in their work lives. But behind closed doors they get up to stuff that wouldn’t look out of place in Hustler. Their private lives run counter to their public personas. Does that mean they should be exposed, mocked, ridiculed, made into quarry for pitchfork-wielding moralists? Of course not. And neither should Spurr.

No amount of faux-progressive lingo about exposing “institutional racism” in the upper echelons of Australian society can disguise the fact Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, McCarthyite hounding of someone for having a private life and private thoughts that fail to adhere to new orthodoxies.

The hounding of Spurr by an army of intolerant tweeters and hacks is Salem-like intolerance dolled up as a radical exercise in tackling racist attitudes.

New Matilda rather gave the game away when it said it had one aim — “cleansing the national curriculum review of the toxicity of this man’s views”.

Cleansing. What a word. It speaks to the true driving force behind the assaults on Spurr: an incredibly authoritarian instinct to rid the public realm of anyone whose outlook is not 100 per cent pure and decent, as defined by the new self-styled guardians of moral probity: so-called progressives, with righteousness in their hearts and rotten tomatoes in their hands.

We need to face up to the seriousness, to the sheer intolerance, of the creeping new trend for punishing people for their private thoughts. It isn’t happening only in Australia. In the US, Donald Sterling, a business magnate and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, was expelled from basketball earlier this year and turned into an object of international ridicule following the leaking of an ­entirely private phone conversation in which he said something disrespectful about black people.

In Britain, two football managers were sacked following the leaking of private emails in which they made juvenile jokes about gays and black people.

There is something Stasi-like in this moral policing of private speech. In the wake of the Sterling scandal, a columnist for The Washington Post said: “If you don’t want your words broadcast in the public square, don’t say them … Such ­potential exposure forces us to more carefully select our words and edit our thoughts.”

This is terrifying. It is a straight-up celebration of the kind of public denunciations of private deviancy that were encouraged under Stalinist regimes. Why don’t we just put a Nineteen Eighty-Four-style telescreen in everyone’s homes? That’s surely the only way to ensure that no one misspeaks privately, and instead edits their thoughts and suppresses their more “toxic views”, or risks finding themselves a target of “cleansing” by their betters. The haranguing of Spurr and others turns the clock back to a darker moment in human history.

During the Inquisition, people were regularly tried and punished for their private beliefs. The Enlightenment thinkers who came in the wake of that calamity insisted that such tyranny should stop. In the words of the great enlightened 17th-century English jurist Edward Coke: “No man, ecclesiastical or temporal, shall be examined upon the secret thoughts of his heart, or of his secret opinion.” Spurr is being punished for his ­secret opinion.

Coke’s enlightened view, his conviction that individuals must be free to think and say what they want in their private lives, is in mortal danger today. It’s being crushed by a New Inquisition, staffed by members of the chattering classes, inflamed by Twitter and assaulting not only individuals such as Spurr but also the very principles of privacy, autonomy and freedom of thought.


Spurr a scapegoat of those who would shut down free expression


A RECENT graduate of the University of Sydney with a bachelor of arts in English and international and comparative literary studies, I have read every article concerning professor Barry Spurr.

The unauthorised exposure of his private emails, his suspension and, worst, the overreaction of the ­ignorant public and apathy of his fellow academics who have stood by in silence grieve me more than words can say.

Spurr is one of the very few lecturers I unreservedly admire. When I began my degree I was a lone Asian face in a sea of fair-haired and clear-eyed Australians. I struggled to understand my lecturers. Their tendency to nominalise common adjectives rendered familiar words alien to me. Their habit of monotonously reading pre-prepared scripts and their inability to interact with students left me dissatisfied. Yet when I audited Spurr’s lectures on modernism, I saw, for the first and last time, every inch of the lecture hall, including the stair­cases, occupied by students. He spoke with confidence, clarity, eloquence, humour, pacing the room with a stately gait, quoting from a copy of Yeats (apparently unannotated) that always seemed to open at the right page. He took me on a breathtaking journey through Irish literature and revolution. They were classes to remember and set the bar by which I measure all teaching.

I never found Spurr patronising or discriminatory. I never felt undermined or underestimated. Contrary to the unapproachable, unsympathetic professor New Matilda eagerly paints, Spurr is actively involved in student societies: from poetry and religion to the defence of animal rights.

At his lectures, student-society talks and charity functions, I met some of the kindest, most intelligent and open-minded of my friends. The surprise and joy we felt at the congregation of such an unlikely combination of people was immense.

I cannot say that I have never experienced racism from academic staff at Sydney although most racism we encounter in life is very subtle. But if we were to investigate every staff member’s private correspondence we might overhear a few grumpy words that could be labelled racist or sexist. If we take words out of context, truth is distorted and the author’s intention misunderstood.

Moreover, any comment not published in accordance with the will of the author, or delivered as a personal attack towards an individual, has no impact on social mores, however distasteful the language, so ought not be grounds for punishment.

Freedom of expression is fundamental to academe and democracy. Deprived of it, Australia is headed down the perilous path towards totalitarianism. At Sydney University students and staff enjoy, as well as suffer from, the great freedom using or abusing their languages to express their views. When it is acceptable to use the most vulgar language in student campaigns, on T-shirts, pavements, when f. k and bitch are used throughout the student newspaper, Honi Soit, and the groups campaigning for its editorial control last year were named Sex and Evil, how could politically insensitive terms in personal correspondence cause offence?

We are all entitled to our beliefs (however antiquated, unpopular or prejudiced) and to say things we may or may not believe — sometimes merely for social purposes. Our growth as a person and as a society terminates when we allow pride to triumph over our thirst for knowledge and truth. If an opinion offends us, we should respect the right of expression but beg to differ. The aim of education is not to silence people into kind whispers and innocuous small talk but to provoke thought. It’s all part of an ongoing discussion, without which learning is impossible.

The exaggerated outrage at Spurr’s emails is centred on his role in the reform of the English school curriculum, insinuating his judgment on the dominance of indigenous literature in Australian textbooks is coloured by a racist antagonism towards Aborigines. Yet Spurr spent more time in his emails criticising the hypocrisy of the political establishment in its endless gestures towards the Aboriginal community than diminishing the Aboriginal contribution to Australian literature.

In China we boast of our literary heritage and classical Chinese is compulsory in high school, but we have not forgotten the brilliant galaxies outside our own. One of the brightest is Anglo-American literature. To deny its place in the literary universe or reduce the number of masterpieces in the curriculum of an English-speaking country to include an excessive number of texts from another literary tradition would be sacrilege.

If the Australian government and people can garner the energy they’ve wasted on being politically correct and displays of gratitude or guilt, and channel it into constructing better community facilities, education and support services for Aboriginal people and all the sons and daughters of Australia, they would heal more wounds than random “racist” remarks can inflict.

All I know for sure is Spurr’s personal linguistic choices are none of our business. None of the emails prove him guilty of any sin other than a sardonic sense of humour and childlike whimsicality — the common vices of a poet.

To me he is someone who dedicates himself to the noble cause of restoring the beauty of a civilisation that people have too lightly cast away: good manners, respect for the elderly, a sound knowledge of English, modesty of dressing in public. His intentions are honourable, even if they make him unpopular with opponents.

He should not be made a scapegoat for an ideology of which he is not an advocate. He is not the parody the media presents. The university should not lose a jewel in its crown. If I, a small, sensitive, feminist, patriotic Chinese girl, am not offended by these leaked emails, why should anyone else be?


Bureaucratized British bird charity

A group of landowners has accused Britain’s biggest nature charity of misleading donors over how it spends its money.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds claims to spend 90 per cent of its income on conservation work.

But the landowners – led by former cricketer and keen shot Sir Ian Botham – said the charity was more interested in political lobbying than protecting wildlife.

Yesterday they reported the RSPB to the Charity Commission, claiming the organisation, which received £122million in grants, donations and commercial income last year, spent just £30million (24 per cent) on its bird reserves.

Sir Ian, who runs a commercial shoot at his home in North Yorkshire and is one of the leaders of the You Forgot The Birds campaign, said: ‘It is a massive bureaucracy where donations are spent on homes for office workers not homes for birds.

'Birds don’t need hundreds of campaigners and lobbyists in suits – they need people with spades building habitat.’

Ian Gregory, the campaign’s director, said: ‘The RSPB seems to be more interested in political lobbying than conservation, which they seem to think is a bit boring.’

RSPB spokesman Grahame Madge said last night that managing nature reserves was only a tiny part of the charity’s conservation programme and that other activities, such as research and advising farmers, were also important.

A total of £69million is spent on conservation, a further £19million on education and political lobbying, and £32million on fundraising, he claimed. It is the latest in a series of clashes between the charity and rural campaigners.


‘I support same sex marriage’: Bill Shorten says he ‘cannot stay silent’ on Australia’s in action over marriage equality laws

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has confronted a crowd of conservative Christians, saying he is a Christian and a supporter of same-sex marriage.

'I am a Christian and a supporter of marriage equality under the law,' Mr Shorten told the Australian Christian Lobby national conference in Canberra on Saturday.

The move drew a mixed reaction with some gay marriage advocates saying he shouldn't have given the ACL credibility by addressing them.

The opposition leader began his speech as if was a sermon - by quoting from the scriptures.  He went on to say when the scriptures are used to attack blended families like his own, demonise people based on who they love or claim marriage equality is a step towards bestiality, 'I cannot stay silent'.

'No faith, no religion, no set of beliefs should ever be used as an instrument of division or exclusion,' Mr Shorten said. 'Freedom of worship does not mean freedom to vilify.  'These prejudices do not reflect the Christian values I believe in.'

These attitudes sent a message that Christianity was incompatible with modern life, he said.  He added that the current laws in Australia are discriminatory, and it was time they were changed.

Mr Shorten was applauded on the conclusion of his speech and ACL managing director Lyle Shelton thanked him for his 'fearless and frank' speech.

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who made comments linking bestiality and gay marriage, said no one would take Mr Shorten's comments seriously.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the issue wasn't even on the table for the government which has the more pressing matters of national security and the economy.

But his colleague, Josh Frydenberg, who supports the idea of a conscience vote in the Liberal party, admitted there had been a shift in attitudes.

Australian Marriage Equality acting director Ivan Hinton-Teoh congratulated Mr Shorten on his 'powerfully-worded address' and said the speech marked a powerful moment in history.

But Equal Marriage Rights Australia said Mr Shorten's attendance was hypocritical after Labor's motion against Liberal politicians attending the 'extremely anti-gay' World Families Congress in August.  '(His attendance) is completely outrageous and extremely hypocritical,' spokesman Ben Cooper said in a statement.



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.

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