Sunday, November 30, 2014

Leftist rediscovers Christianity

Out of all her agonizing about the fashionable "privilege" concept, the woman below extracts rules for her own behaviour that sound remarkably like what the Bible teaches.  She could repeat her advice from most church pulpits and get only nods of agreement.  In Western societies, Christian ideas still lurk close to the surface even among those who are not formally Christian

Privilege refers to the uneven distribution of power within a society. Privilege exists when that aspect of your life is seamlessly accepted into the world without scrutiny or suspicion. Personal privilege is the possession of these unearned attributes that dictate the ease and influence one will have within society.

Privilege is a fact, not an insult! You can’t help it if you have it, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.

Privilege is not absolute. Most people occupy multiple social positions with multiple levels of privilege or disadvantage.

Take me for example!  While I am mentally ill, queer, and currently occupy a non-normative internal gender identity, I occupy several positions of privilege as well:

I’m white

I pass as a cisgender [normal] woman

I am able-bodied and without cognitive or intellectual impairments

My weight and height are within the boundaries of what is considered ‘acceptable’

(this list is not exhaustive!)

Here’s how I try to be responsible in the areas in which I hold privilege:

1. I Shut  Up: I recognize that the privileged groups that I belong to historically (and currently) are the ones who have dominated discussions, created knowledge, and dictated the language, environments, and modes of conversations. I recognize that I do not always need to be heard all the time, and by insisting on my inclusion, I risk inadvertently reenforcing harmful power dynamics. If I do participate, I will carefully monitor myself to make sure I don’t hijack the conversation.

2. I Listen: I recognize that my experiences in privilege are considered normal, and that the experiences of people who do not belong to a privileged group are often silenced or ignored. I try to listen to those experiences, even if it’s hard or I don’t like what’s being said. The ability to ignore and dismiss is part of my privilege, and I will not contribute to that legacy.

3. I Educate Myself: I seek out resources, authorities, dissenting opinions, and alternate viewpoints on topics in which I hold privilege. I do not require members of disadvantaged groups to be responsible for educating me. When I have a question, I will make sure I ask it at an appropriate time and that I am not making someone uncomfortable or upset. I will not ask overly personal or intimate questions unless I know for sure that that is ok.

RH: Hey, when you were talking back there, I heard you use a term to identify yourself that I hadn’t heard before. Can I ask you a little more about that?

4. I Use It for Good: Because social power dynamics have made my voice more important than others, I will use that voice for good. I will speak up in my peer group when someone tells a racist joke or when I hear a slur. I will not tolerate discriminatory and disempowering behaviour from the people around me. I will consider how the organizations and groups that I belong to treat people who are not privileged, and I will make responsible decisions about whether to associate with them. I will opt-in or opt-out where it matters. I will always be careful to not speak FOR people, but I will stand up with them wherever I can.

RH: look, you’re my friend. I know you’re a smart, kind woman, but the jokes you make and the words you use when someone mentions immigration are really not cool. Can we talk about that?

5. I Will Learn from Messing Up: My privilege has been internalized and reenforced for my entire life. I will mess up sometimes; I will be thoughtless, misinformed, aggressive, or unkind. I will listen when people call me out on it, and figure out how I can avoid messing up again.

These personal guidelines help me make sure that the privilege I hold does more good than harm.

(person) but whenever I try to talk, someone yells ‘privilege’ at me!

Some people may use the term to bully or silence, but I would gently suggest that this happens less than people would like. When I feel attacked, I try to reflect on whether there’s some truth behind it (even if the person could have been nicer about it). Sometimes the call-out is disingenuous, but it never hurts to be a little self-critical!


Law School Humbug

The hottest new legal theories may be antithetical to the very notion of law, but their influence is growing, even beyond the ivy-covered walls.

Law schools across the country have taken on a new function: cleansing students' souls. The taint to be extirpated, of course, is racism and sexism, and in many classes the sometimes dramatic measures needed to root out such blights have driven away the more mundane task of teaching legal analysis. "I was going home crying every day," says Linda P., a law student at New York University. The source of her unhappiness was her "Race and Legal Scholarship" course. "No matter what I said, the response was: you don't know because you're white. Some students wouldn't speak to me after class. It scared me, because I thought I was this big liberal, and I was treated like the devil."

Linda's professor, Paulette Caldwell, practices the hottest form of legal scholarship today: critical race theory. While therapeutic courses such as Caldwell's remain a small portion of the curriculum at most law schools, the theory behind them has nevertheless shaken up the legal academy. Only " feminist jurisprudence" rivals critical race theory in influence and sheer sex appeal; both fashions are cut from the same cloth.

The impact of critical race theory and feminist jurisprudence doesn't stop at the ivy-clad walls of the legal academy. Feminist jurisprudence has revolutionized the law of sex discrimination and rape. Courts across the country, persuaded that legal practice is deeply racist and sexist, are conducting costly studies of their own alleged biases. Both movements are trying to limit First Amendment guarantees in order to protect female and minority sensibilities; their first success, beyond campus speech codes, has been in the workplace. These repercussions are all the more remarkable when you consider that critical race theory and feminist jurisprudence are fundamentally antithetical to the very notion of law.

Back in the law school classroom, Linda P. is not the only student crying these days. Law professors in many schools boast that their courses have reduced students to tears, sent them fleeing to the dean, and created crosscurrents of hostility in the classroom—proof that the professors are " touching a nerve." Frances Lee Ashley, a University of Tennessee law professor, faced numerous charges from students that her "Discrimination and the Law" class was simply a forum for white-bashing, that she favored black students, and that the class exacerbated racial tensions. Ashley was unrepentant. "If teachers intend to open this scary space," she writes in the California Law Review, "they need to be ready to make it reasonably safe and bearable for all members of the enterprise. . . . As a teacher in a predominantly white but desegregating institution . . . you [cannot] consistently do the right thing if by that you mean behavior that allows the average white student to avoid any feeling of being personally accused or defensive when matters of race are discussed."

Charles Jones, a professor at Rutgers-Newark Law School, asks students in his critical race theory seminar to write an essay about race relations, challenging, among other things, "the assumption that blacks, Jews, and Latinos are allies." When a black student wrote about her indelible dislike of white people, Jones knew he had struck gold. He asked the student to read her essay aloud in class; an Italian-American woman burst into tears and fled the room.

Fortunately, critical race teachers are prepared for such disruptions. "Getting in touch with your feelings is difficult," explains Jones. "We let [the Italian-American woman] experience out her grief. She sat out a class or two, and when she came back, she wouldn't talk." It was a useful lesson, Jones concludes: "She was naive to think there's not a lot of cross-racial hatred." (However open-minded critical race teachers may be about "cross-racial hatred," it is difficult to imagine this story coming out as it did had a white student written of his dislike for blacks.)

The core claim of both critical race theory and feminist jurisprudence is that law is merely a mask for white male power relations. Law, in other words, is indistinguishable from politics; the purported objectivity and neutrality of legal reasoning is a sham.

Much more HERE

How evil British social workers battled to prevent loving couple giving grandson a home: Three workers named and shamed by furious judge

Three social workers have been named and shamed by a furious judge for bias against grandparents who wanted to give their two-year-old grandson a home.  The evidence they gave to a court as they tried to prevent the couple from raising the child was described as ‘visibly biased’, ‘begrudging’ and ‘grossly overstated’.

Judge Simon Jack said in the adoption case heard in Hull: ‘I found it very difficult to give any weight at all to their evidence.’

The condemnation of the social workers – Neil Swaby, Rachel Olley and Peter Nelson – came in a hearing in which the judge ruled that the grandparents should bring up the boy, with occasional help from the child’s other grandparents.

The judge said social workers had claimed one set of grandparents – named only as Mr and Mrs G – were already bringing up two older children and the little boy’s brother, and all of the children had difficulties or behavioural problems.

The other set – named as Mr and Mrs C – were said by social workers to have problems with drink and domestic violence.

But Judge Jack said there was no evidence Mr and Mrs G had problems with the children and ‘so far as Mr and Mrs C are concerned there is no evidence that I am aware of that any domestic violence or any drinking has had an adverse effect on any children in their care’.

Mr G told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that he had asked Mr Swaby: ‘Who do you think you are, God?’ and Mr Swaby had replied: ‘In this situation, yes. Get used to it, your grandson will go for adoption.’ Mr G added: ‘The judge asked Miss Olley’s advocate to stand up and he said to her, “basically your case is a shambles”.

The social workers, employed by North East Lincolnshire council, were named under new guidance for the family courts intended to open up the habitually secret workings of lawyers, experts and social workers who decide on the future of children in the state care system.

The most senior family judge, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby, has ordered that social workers and medical experts in family courts should be named in the same way as witnesses in other courts. The Hull case came about after the death of the two-year-old boy’s mother, who had a history of drug abuse and violence with the child’s father.

Judge Jack said: ‘Neil Swaby seemed very reluctant to accept anything positive could be said about either set of grandparents. I had the clear impression... he was intent on saying only things which supported the local authority’s case.’

The judge said Miss Olley gave evidence the two-year-old had behavioural problems, but this ‘conflicted very strongly’ with an adoption social worker’s statement.

He added of Mr Swaby and Miss Olley: ‘Their concerns appeared to be grossly overstated to try and achieve their ends. I have never, in over ten years of hearing care cases taken the view, as I did in this case, that the local authority’s witnesses were visibly biased. I hope I shall never see that again.’

The judge said evidence from Mr Nelson, a new social worker who had been brought on to the case, had ‘the same bias’.

North East Lincolnshire council said it was ‘committed to ensuring the best outcomes for children and where possible allowing them to stay within their extended family’.

It added: ‘In light of this judgement, we have also reminded social workers of the importance of giving a balanced point of view whilst recognising their right to giving a professional judgment.’


Koran should be read at Prince Charles' coronation says top bishop: Critics attack proposal and accuse Church of England of 'losing confidence' in its own traditions

Prince Charles’s coronation service should be opened with a reading from the Koran, a senior Church of England bishop said yesterday.  The gesture would be a ‘creative act of accommodation’ to make Muslims feel ‘embraced’ by the nation, Lord Harries of Pentregarth said.

But critics attacked the idea, accusing the Church of ‘losing confidence’ in its own institutions and traditions.

Lord Harries, a former Bishop of Oxford and a leading CofE liberal thinker, said he was sure Charles’s coronation would give scope to leaders of non-Christian religions to give their blessing to the new King.

The former Bishop of Oxford, who continues to serve as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Southwark, made the suggestion about the Koran during a House of Lords debate. He told peers the Church of England should take the lead in ‘exercising its historic position in a hospitable way’.

He said that at a civic service in Bristol Cathedral last year authorities had agreed to a reading of the opening passage of the Koran before the beginning of the Christian ritual. He said: ‘It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation.

‘That principle of hospitality can and should be reflected in many public ceremonies, including the next coronation service.’

Lord Harries’ suggestion comes more than 20 years after the Prince first said he would prefer to be seen as ‘Defender of Faith’ rather than be known by the monarch’s title of ‘Defender of the Faith’.

Charles said in 1994 he ‘always felt the Catholic subjects of the sovereign are equally as important as the Anglican ones, as the Protestant ones’.

‘Likewise, I think that Islamic subjects, or the Hindu subjects, or the Zoroastrian subjects of the sovereign, are of equal and vital importance.’ In 2006 the Prince made known that he wanted a multifaith coronation that would be more ‘focused and telecentric’ than his mother’s in 1953.

However traditionalist Christians condemned Lord Harries’s idea.   Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute think-tank said: ‘Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey.

People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith.’

Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the CofE’s parliament, the General Synod, and head of the Christian Concern pressure group, said: ‘At a time when we are looking at what British values mean, we cannot have values in a vacuum. British values stem from our Christian heritage.

‘We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same benefits and outcomes for the nation.’

Douglas Murray, associate editor of the Spectator, said if Muslims were included in the coronation service, there must be room to for Hindus, Sikhs, and atheists.

He added: ‘If there were to be a reading from the Koran at the coronation, surely as a matter of reciprocity, all mosques in the UK should have prayers for the King and the Armed Forces every week at Friday prayers.’



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, November 28, 2014

Another scum multiculturalist in Britain

A drunk man who was arrested on a Cuba-bound Thomas Cook flight after threatening cabin crew and passengers was on his honeymoon, it has emerged.

The man, named as Mohammed Khelya, from Blackburn, Lancashire, threatened to kill cabin crew members and passengers. He was so unruly that he forced the plane to divert to Bermuda and was escorted off it by police - with his wife continuing on to Cuba without him.

Khelya had been drinking from a bottle of duty-free vodka before quarreling with his wife when he was taken in handcuffs to the rear of the aircraft and forced its unscheduled landing, prosecutors said.

Appearing on Tuesday at a court in Hamilton, Bermuda's capital, a contrite Khelya pleaded guilty to being drunk on the aircraft and to threatening flight staff.

Khelya, 22, and his wife were among 311 passengers on board a Thomas Cook flight, which set out from Manchester International Airport.

Several hours into the flight, after his wife changed seats to get away from him, Khelya appealed unsuccessfully to a crew member to see her.

'I'm going to kill you and I'm going to kill everyone after,' Khelya told a crew member, using an expletive, according to prosecutors.  When asked to stop drinking, he replied: 'So what if I f*****g am?'

As flight attendants moved a handcuffed Khelya to the back of the plane, he spat at other passengers, compelling crew members to use blankets to protect them, prosecutors said.

He further panicked passengers by taking pictures of the inside of the cabin despite being told it was against flight regulations.

Diverted to the L.F. Wade International Airport, the flight was greeted by police officers, who escorted Khelya off the plane.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo fined Khelya $2,000 (£1275) for being drunk on the aircraft and another $1,000 (£650)for his abusive behavior towards flight staff. If Khelya fails to pay the fines, he faces four months in a Bermuda jail.


Double standard over eating disorders and men's health

When John Prescott revealed he had bulimia, the world laughed. Yes, eating disorders are funny. Who knew? The former Deputy Prime Minister had revealed his struggle, no doubt hoping to help others blighted by the condition.

But one award-winning political commentator declared a misdiagnosis, saying Prescott was ‘more likely just a greedy incompetent, who gobbled every treat going’.

This wasn’t an isolated jibe. Feminist website Jezebel produced a What Prezza Was Eating… Daily Guidelines For Men – complete with fat and carbohydrate content. Would women be spoken about like this? Would it be tolerated? No way.

I thought back to Prescott’s revelation in 2008 during the recent uproar over Victoria’s Secret, which launched an advertising campaign called The Perfect Body, showcasing the variety of underwear it sells.

Women were outraged, it seems, because all the models were lithe and toned. US advertising trade publication Adweek reported that within days of posters going up, 10,000 people had signed a petition demanding the company ‘apologise for and amend the irresponsible marketing of your new bra range’.

Complainants said the advert played on women’s insecurities, sent out damaging messages, and failed to celebrate diversity.

Can you imagine if men made a similar response to the David Gandy posters for Marks & Spencer?

Many of the same women who later went on to denounce Victoria’s Secret used their newspaper columns to leer at the images in ways that would make a builder blush. ‘Well done M&S on that autumn ad campaign. I’ve spent most of the past fortnight alternately lusting over David Gandy in his pants and that orange coat. But mainly David Gandy,’ said one.

A broadsheet interviewer spent an entire article making jokes such as: ‘I’ve just buried my face in David Gandy’s underpants… it was heaven.’ And one famous feminist added: ‘It’s nice to see that objectification sometimes runs both ways.’

But a diet of David Beckham and Gandy, or whichever Hollywood muscle man of the moment is gracing the cover of Men’s Health, is unarguably as damaging to male self-perception as The Perfect Body is to females.

More than 1.6million Britons suffer an eating disorder, ten per cent of whom are men. We have to contend with ‘bigorexia’, which sees men pump their bodies with hormones and protein shakes to get a bigger chest and arms.

One leading rugby coach told me that anabolic steroid abuse was endemic among teenage players, desperate to emulate the muscular physiques of their sporting heroes.

And at least two British teenage boys have died over the past few years after taking the banned slimming pill called DNP. One was apparently trying to get a ‘six-pack’.

Ultimately, there is a wider malaise surrounding male health in general. Not only is there a lack of empathy for our health concerns, there is also a lack of medical care. For example, women are screened for breast, ovarian and cervical cancer, which is great. But there’s no screening programme for prostate cancer, even though it kills four times more men than cervical cancer does women.

Research from Cancer Research UK illustrates that men are 16 per cent more likely to develop every form of unisex cancer in the first place, then 40 per cent more likely to die from it. Despite cases of oral cancer having risen by 50 per cent among UK men since 1989 – accounting for almost 2,000 deaths annually – there is no vaccination for young men against HPV, which causes it.

Between 2007 and 2012, NHS Primary Care Trusts in the London boroughs of Haringey, Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent and Camden ‘spent £4,830,095 commissioning women’s services outside the NHS… and nothing on men’s’. It’s a trend that is visible nationally, with female care almost constantly ranked above that of men.

Rather than being the subject of sympathetic public concern or the odd fundraising gala, men are repeatedly told it’s all their fault. But in truth, men aren’t dying sooner because they’re ignorant or proud.

When men don’t discuss their health concerns it’s not because they’re wired this way – it’s because if they say anything, they’ll be greeted with shaming tactics to stop them, just like Prescott.

I shall leave it to Dr Timothy Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at London’s King’s College, to summarise: ‘Compared to women, men have shorter markers of longevity, called telomeres – suggesting there’ll always be a biological difference [which justifies the need for men to get greater care]. The state needs to realise men are discriminated against by the set-up of the current UK system.’ I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Labour has clearly reverted to being a 1980s-style party of anti-capitalist class warriors obsessed with taxing and regulating everything that moves

When it comes to the public finances, the Tory approach, while imperfect, is hugely preferable to Labour’s. The Coalition wants to get rid of the budget deficit by 2018-19, which while far too late would be a great step forward; Labour, by contrast, only wants to eliminate the current deficit, excluding all capital spending, which means that the Government would still be adding to the national debt. It would eventually balance the whole budget but the target appears to have been slipping.

The Tory position is also far more preferable for another very important reason: the belated return to fiscal rectitude is meant to be reached entirely through cuts and without hiking taxes; Labour is preparing a set of sweeping, nasty tax hikes on homeowners, big companies and high earners.

Unfortunately, the fiscal credibility of all parties has been on the wane over the past six months. In the case of the Coalition, it has presided over a deficit that has been increasing again, rather than shrinking, casting grave doubt on its deficit pledge. Its inability to cut faster and harder also now means that the Tories’ tax cut plans are beginning to lose their credibility. Spending, taxes and the deficit can all be reduced at the same time – but that requires a very tough strategy, a genuine operational grip on government departments and a real understanding of supply-side economics. It is unclear whether a Tory government would have the courage to slash spending by the amount required.

As for Labour, it has clearly reverted to being a 1980s-style party of anti-capitalist class warriors obsessed with taxing and regulating everything that moves. Its war on the City, entrepreneurs and executives would end in tears and damage the country’s fiscal base; its closeness to the unions and other vested interest groups means that it would not be able to reduce spending by anything like enough. The party’s claims that it would raise a significant amount of money through the so-called mansion tax and by hiking the top rate of tax are risible.

It is in this context that George Osborne’s plan to pledge a new law stipulating that the cyclically adjusted current deficit should be eliminated by 2017-18 should be seen. The idea is that this would be unveiled in the Autumn Statement; it is intended to trip up Ed Balls, who realistically would probably only be able to pull this off a few years later. It is a purely political stunt but one that is meant to expose the Labour party as soft on the budget deficit. Labour will be forced to vote against it – and if it were to hold power in a minority government, could end up finding itself in deep trouble.

I have a lot of time for constitutional restraints to the executive’s power to persecute taxpayers. But this particular idea isn’t the best way forward. The difference between the current and overall budget deficit is a very Brownite concept; it allows cunning politicians to say that they are balancing the books while in fact they are still adding to the national debt.

Another problem is that nobody really knows how to adjust deficit figures for the economic cycle. Every economist could come up with a different estimate of the extent of spare capacity in the economy, the trend rate of growth or any other relevant variable. The Government would rely on the Office for Budget Responsibility to rule on whether or not the budget was cyclically balanced, of course, but that wouldn’t necessarily make its verdict right or uncontroversial. A better solution would be to decree that the current budget (if that is what it had to be) would have to be balanced, as long as the economy was still growing. Such a target would be much simpler: barring a recession, the Government would have to spend no more than it raises by 2017-18.

It may well be that no legal restraint will ever stop a government from spending, borrowing or taxing. Figures could always be fudged or laws changed back whenever they start to actually bite. But for those of an optimistic frame of mind, there are plenty of ideas to try to force the Government to be fiscally responsible, many of them discussed in the US over the years.

My favourite would be to limit public spending as a share of GDP, with emergency provisions in case of a recession; another would be to set legally-binding targets for the national debt, again with various caveats in the case of an economic catastrophe. One could construct various combinations of this to ensure that the budget deficit were balanced over a rolling five-year period, and that spending remained under control. Unfortunately, Osborne’s plan isn’t that sophisticated. It’s good politics – and the Labour Party needs exposing – but won’t provide the UK with a sustainable, workable fiscal rule for the long-term.
Paradox of growth

Two good pieces of news on the growth front. First, US GDP: it rose by an annualised 3.9pc in the third quarter, which was pretty good going and faster than expected. Second, world trade: volumes jumped 1.9pc month on month in September, taking the three-month year on year growth rate to 3.4pc. Both these results are really good. Yes, plenty of weaknesses remain, and there are lots of problems, but if we forget all of the usual caveats for a minute the main point here is that the global economy is roaring ahead.

All recoveries are plagued by years of excessive pessimism. In 1997, five years after the UK economy had bounced back from a nasty recession and following quarter after quarter of very strong growth, large swathes of the public still thought the country was in recession, one (of many) reasons why Labour triumphed.

But the disconnect between the public’s generalised negativity – in Britain as well as America – and the real state of the economy is different this time around. There are plenty of rational reasons: in the UK, real wages have been hammered, even if the figures that are usually cited probably exaggerate the extent of the actual decline on existing cohorts. In the US, far fewer people are employed than used to be the case and wages are also under pressure.

Some of this is cyclical but much is structural. Technological change and globalisation are shifting the returns to skills: some workers are able to earn a lot more but others are suffering. It’s the great economic challenge of our times, and yet too many of our politicians have little useful to say on the subject.


Small dairy farmer battles Florida regulators over ‘misleading’ milk labels

State regulators took on a third generation family-owned dairy farm in one of Florida’s smallest counties and gave it an offer the owners had to refuse: call a natural milk item imitation milk or inject it with additives.

When Mary Lou Wesselhoeft, owner of the Ocheese Creamery, didn’t comply, the result was a stop sale order issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

That was two years ago.

Now, Wesselhoeft is taking on regulators with the help of the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm. A federal lawsuit filed last week accuses state officials of infringing on the small business’s First Amendment rights by forcing it to mislead its customers.

In 2012, new food labeling regulations no longer allowed the Ocheesee Creamery’s natural pasteurized skim milk to be called “pasteurized skim milk.” Instead, state officials insisted the creamery call it “Non-Grade ‘A’ Milk Product, Natural Milk Vitamins Removed.”

Wesselhoeft, a Calhoun County resident, said the labeling requirement is confusing and inaccurate.

The only other option was to artificially inject its popular product with vitamin A, effectively undermining the essence of the small business, the lawsuit explains.

Wesselhoeft has for years produced dairy products in ways similar to her family forebearers: glass bottles, grazing grass fed cows and hard work. A Bible verse on creamery’s websites reads, “‘The hills shall flow with milk,’ Joel 3:18.”

The three-employee farm also includes a storefront where guests can peek at how the family bottles its milk.

“Many older people enjoy our items because it reminds them of their growing-up days when milk in glass bottles was the norm,” reads the Ocheesee Creamery website.

But when regulators changed the rules, one of the creamery’s signature items legally became imitation milk.

Natural skim milk is produced by skimming cream off the top of whole milk. The cream contains vitamin A. Since most of the vitamin A is lost in the skimming process, regulators determined Wesselhoeft’s skim product no longer met government standards.

“Your skim ‘milk’ product is therefore nutritionally inferior to the federal standard of identity for ‘milk’ making it less than Grade ‘A,”’ states a Dec. 2013 letter from Gary Newton, head of the state Bureau of Dairy Industry.

Wesselhoeft asserts her product never changed, only the rules.

“The government is censoring me from telling my customers what is in the milk they want to buy,” she said in an IJ statement. “I have a right to label the skim milk I want to sell as exactly what it is: pasteurized skim milk.”

According to the lawsuit, Wesselhoeft offered alternate labels, including “Pasteurized Skim Milk: No Vitamin A Added,” and “Pasteurized Skim Milk: Most Vitamin A Removed by Skimming Cream from Milk.”

The suggestions were denied, but not without a cost.

The farm continues to sell dairy items containing cream, but since the left over skim milk cannot be sold, it’s discarded.

Last month, officials said they would compromise and allow the phrase, “The State requires us to call this,” normally required to be printed ahead of the official skim milk label, to be optional.

“Ordering businesses to confuse their customers is nothing more than flat-out censorship,” said Justin Pearson, managing attorney of IJ’s Florida office. “And consumers suffer when the government forces businesses to replace simple and truthful information with confusing words.”



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, November 27, 2014

Ferguson disgrace: Violent rioting and looting erupts for second night

Despite ample warnings of violence, the authorities clearly used a softly-softly approach where a firm hand was needed.  The violence and looting should have been promptly suppressed using any means necessary -- water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets etc -- even live fire if all else failed.  Instead political correctness meant that blacks had to be allowed to do what no white group would ever be permitted to do. 

Protecting citizens from gratuitous violence and property destruction is one of the most basic functions of government.  Clearly, that function is often very poorly discharged in the USA where blacks are concerned.  There is no "right" to destroy other people's property in a civilized society so the fact that such a right seems to be conceded to blacks in the USA earmarks the USA as a civilization in decline

And irrepressible ad-man Gavin McInnes had a germane comment on Twitter:  "I'm guessing about 300 black kids were murdered by black kids in NYC so far this year. Can they get a riot too?"  The political correctness is anti-white, not pro-black

Protests in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson have erupted for a second night after charges were not laid against a white police officer over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.

It comes after Missouri's governor ordered National Guard reinforcements into the area following violent scenes on Monday night (local time) in which protesters fired guns at police, lit patrol cars on fire and hurled bricks into their lines.

Several shops in Ferguson were looted and about a dozen buildings burned in the immediate unrest that followed the grand jury's decision not to lay charges against officer Darren Wilson.

More than 60 people, mostly from the St Louis area, were arrested for crimes including burglary, illegal weapons possession and unlawful assembly, police said.

President Barack Obama called for calm.  "Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk - that is destructive and there's no excuse for it, there's no excuse for it," Mr Obama said.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon said he was meeting with law enforcement and bolstering the National Guard deployment to ensure that people and property are protected in the days ahead.

"Violence like we saw last night cannot be repeated," Mr Nixon said on his Twitter feed.

While news channels aired president Barack Obama's live remarks calling for restraint from the White House on one side of the screen, they showed violent scenes from Ferguson on the other.

Although no serious injuries were reported, St Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the rioting on Monday night and early Tuesday morning was "much worse" than the disturbances that erupted in the immediate aftermath of the August shooting.


Political correctness really HAS gone mad: Multicultural Christmas jumper goes on sale that represents Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Atheism

Over the years, political correctness has slowly eroded the the outlandish displays of festive cheer that occur around Christmas time.

Numerous offices have banned decorations over concerns that it would make certain parts of the population feel left out and others have stopped Christmas booze raffles in case it offends people of religious faiths where alcohol and gambling are forbidden.

So, with the huge growth sales of festive sweaters over the last few years, it was only a matter of time before someone invented the 'Multicultural Christmas Jumper.'

And the website are the first past that particular politically correct finishing post.

Their multicoloured offering features several different signs of faith including; Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikh, a form of scientific atheism, Chinese philosophy and also the peace sign.

The woolly garment can be pre-ordered from the site for £40, with the company shipping the prodcuts from December 1 onwards.

A spokesperson for the company said: 'For us, the festive season is a time for celebration and togetherness. And we think that now more than ever, the world could use a little more unity.

'Which is why this year, British Christmas Jumpers has made the Multicultural Christmas Jumper. 'It is a Christmas jumper for modern Britain.'

The website reads: 'Britain has never been more multicultural, so we thought we’d create a Christmas jumper with a twist

'We think everyone should be able to wear a British Christmas Jumper and celebrate the festive season - however they wish, no matter what their colour, creed or culture.

'This is why you’ll see all the world's major religions represented on this Christmas jumper, proudly made in Britain


Feminist outrage in Australia

Below is an article by a former Leftist Prime-ministerial candidate which has outraged feminists.  Following that article I have reproduced one of the protests

Why left feminists don't like kids

"Biffo" (Former ALP leader Mark Latham) has a go below. There have been shrieks of protest from feminists over this article  but I think he is pretty right.  I am impressed by and agree with his child-orientation --  and his past as a Leftist leader should earn his words serious consideration among Leftists.  He is a perpetually angry man but I think that, at the end of the day, he does have a heart.  I think he is a man I would like to meet.  I am sure his wife never has a dull moment with Mark around

I love a social experiment, so last Saturday, I broke the habit of a lifetime and read the agony-aunt pages of The Sydney Morning Herald. I should have done so years ago, as an exercise in political awareness.

It nearly knocked me off my chair, as I confronted the core arguments of left-feminism. The inner-Sydney writer Lisa Pryor said the only way in which she can cope with "raising two small children while studying medicine full-time" is through "caffeine and anti-depressants".

Apparently, this is her standard answer whenever anyone asks: "How do you do it all?"

I felt depressed myself, at the thought of a Fairfax columnist describing one of life's great responsibilities, the raising of infant children, as requiring "neurochemical assistance".

Why do people like this have children in the first place? How will the children feel when they grow up and learn that they pushed their mother onto anti-depressants?

The sadness of these circumstances is aggravated by a broader political point. A major part of left feminist campaigning has involved the demonisation of children.

You know the refrain: men have rigged the rules of society by dominating the workforce, while women are left with the agony of domestic duties, the nightmare of raising kids.

Women in western Sydney with no neuroses

It's widely assumed that home-based life is pathetically menial. So much so, in Pryor's case, that only a cocktail of little red pills and caffeine-overload can ease the burden.

Yet, in truth, this is a political hoax. Women I speak to in western Sydney, who have no neuroses or ideological agenda to push, regard child-rearing as a joy. Financially, if they can avoid work, that's their preference.

Home life gives them the freedom to pursue their recreational interests and bond with the most important people in their lives, their children.

Other than for money, why would anyone want to commute and toil long hours for businesspeople?

With only 2 per cent of Australian men serving as the primary carers of their children, the left-feminist orthodoxy has been allowed to dominate the political debate. Men have been sucked into thinking that work life is inherently superior to a life raising children. From a male perspective, alternative views have not been aired.

So let me explain another experiment. What happens when an opposition leader quits politics, decides that he hates the prospect of working for other people and becomes the primary carer of his three children?

In my case, the results, for nearly a decade now, have been splendid. Sure, there's the odd hiccup and flash of frustration in full-on parenting, but the rewards are immense.

Left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder

My lifestyle has never been more satisfying. Whether it's my daughter's smile, my eldest son's Aussie irreverence or the belly laughter of my youngest son - these are my anti-depressants, every hour, every day. What is Pryor going on about?

I'm sure I'm just as busy as her: looking after a huge native garden at home, cooking gourmet meals for my family, pursuing a few business interests, writing books and The Australian Financial Review columns and, most crucially, preserving time for my children's homework, conversation and love. When I explain this reality to my male friends, they are incredibly envious. Each of them wants to swap places.

But the inner-city feminists know little of this. They spend a lot of time complaining, ostensibly on behalf of other women, yet their real priority is themselves. More often than not, they don't like children and don't want to be with them. They use political feminism as a release valve, trying to free themselves from nature's way.

Thus left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder: externalising personal feelings of distress and deficiency into the demonisation of children.

This is why people in the suburbs, especially women, distrust the likes of Pryor. Their political agenda is seen as unrepresentative and self-serving. At a personal level, it's also cowardly: popping pills as an easy way out, instead of facing up to the responsibilities of adulthood.


There's a petition for the Australian Financial Review to remove Mark Latham's op-ed and apologise to Lisa Pryor

A petition has been created calling on the Australian Financial Review to remove and publicly apologise for an article in which former Labor leader Mark Latham criticised Fairfax columnist Lisa Pryor and working mothers, and used fairly insane sentences like "left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder".

Last week, the AFR - owned by Fairfax Media, which also publishes the SMH - ran an article from Latham titled ‘Why Left Feminists Don’t Like Kids’. In the piece – a response to a Good Weekend column from Pryor, in which she stated she manages her workload as a journalist, medical student and mother of two with the help of “caffeine and antidepressants” – Latham essentially attacked Pryor and “inner-city mothers” for, uh, not appreciating motherhood as much as he does? (sorry, it's hard to tell what he's actually going on about through all the humble-brags about his "huge native garden" and "gourmet cooking" prowess). 

The petition, launched by Daily Life contributor Jenna Price, is directed at the AFR's editors Michael Stutchbury and Paul Bailey.

“AFR – remove Mark Latham’s disgraceful attack on medical student and mother, Lisa Pryor, from your website and force Latham to apologise. Ask this year’s winners of AFR’s ‘100 Women Of Influence’ to say enough is more than enough,” the petition states.

Latham's piece - already widely ridiculed across social media - also brought rebuttals over the weekend from fellow Fairfax contributors Jacqueline Maley and Annabel Crabb, who described Latham's statements as "at least borderline defamatory".



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, November 26, 2014

Shooting in a college library by a Christian lawyer!

He was a multiculturalist

A student believes a book he was carrying in his back pack saved his life during a shooting at a Florida State University library.

Two students and an employee were wounded in the attack by gunman Myron May, a lawyer convinced that the government was 'targeting him', who opened fire at 12.30am on Thursday morning.

The paranoid 31-year-old, who officials said was in a 'state of crisis' at the time, was then shot dead by police outside of the Stozier library which was full of students studying for their exams.

Since the incident police have unearthed journals and videos that showed May believed he was being targeted. A former girlfriend also believes that he had developed a severe mental disorder and was taking medication.

According to a Las Cruces, New Mexico, police report last month, May was a subject of a harassment complaint after a former girlfriend called to report he came to her home uninvited and claimed police were bugging his house and car. Danielle Nixon told police May recently developed 'a severe mental disorder.'

'Myron began to ramble and handed her a piece to a car and asked her to keep it because this was a camera that police had put in his vehicle,' the report said.

The report also said May recently quit his job and was on medication.

However there is still no indication as to why he chose to return to the university and why he decided to attack.

May had been working for the DA in Las Cruces, New Meixo, before deciding to move back to Tallahassee.

His old law school room mate from Texas Tech told Fox News that May sent her a cryptic Facebook message the day before the rampage, saying she should expect something in the mail.

She added that she was not aware about any break-ups of fractious relationships, but said he had lost a lot of relatives over the summer. 

On his Facebook page, he often wrote biblical verses and made a number of references to Christianity.  His last post. two days before the shooting, read: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 5:3.'


The Wrong Stuff

Mankind lands rocket onto a comet, in a brilliant statement of revolutionary 21st century technology. Badass scientist who helped make it possible forced to publicly grovel because of his choice of shirts:

One of the scientists responsible for successfully landing the Rossetta probe on a comet millions of miles away on Friday responded to outrage directed at a shirt he wore earlier this week during the televised landing.

“I made a big mistake and I offended many people and I am very sorry about this,” the scientist, Dr. Matt Taylor, said during a press briefing, choking back tears and struggling to speak.

As news of the probe’s successful landing shot around the world, so did outrage directed at Taylor’s shirt, which featured images of provocatively dressed women with guns.

“No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt,” The Atlantic’s Rose Eveleth complained in a tweet.

Really, the Atlantic, you say? The home of excitable Andrew Sullivan at the peak of his uterus detective phase, infomercials promoting Scientology and bad Photoshops comparing John Boehner to an IRA terrorist? Not to mention this recent sexist cover?

Could America have won World War II if the Army Air Force had to waste time dealing with a left throwing hissy fits over all of the provocatively dressed women being painted onto B-17s and B-29s as nose art?

As Sonny Bunch writes in his chapter on “Forbearance: Opting Out of the Politicized Life,” in the new anthology of conservative writers on The Seven Deadly Virtues, The Two Minutes Hate of George Orwell’s 1984 “is real today. Here’s how it works:”

An enemy is identified, a crime is announced, and vitriol spews forth. The specifics of the crime don’t really matter. It could be someone saying something nasty—or just unpleasant, or even suspiciously nice—about a protected group. It could be a business executive donating to an outré cause. All that matters is that we are presented with a face to hate. But our Two Minutes Hate is actually worse than Orwell’s, because (1) it’s not directed at constructs like “Eurasia” and (2) the government doesn’t orchestrate it. No, the modern Two Minutes Hate is directed at living, breathing people. And its targets are designated by a spontaneously created mob—one that, due to its hive-mind nature, is virtually impossible to call off.

One of the most unsettling aspects of the politicized life is that those who embrace it are not un-self-aware. They know what they’re doing and they believe it is right, just, and necessary. Impulsivity is no vice for the self-righteous. And for the self-righteous, forbearance is no virtue. After all, these people are trying to fix the social order! And the sooner they can fix it the better. Patience? That’s for the privileged. “Be patient” is what the powerful tell the marginalized to keep them quiet. As the bumper sticker says, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” And bumper stickers are never wrong. (You might even think of them as the ancient progenitors of Twitter.)

How many of these twitter-based Alinsky-style attacks from leftwing social justice warriors (aka, the John Birch Democrats) will society take before the form wears itself out?

Update: “Just to be clear, Rose Eveleth of The Atlantic is a horrible person, who took what should have been one of the best days of a man’s life, a day of doing something no human beings had ever done before, and ruined it in order to feel important,” Glenn Reynolds writes. “She should be apologizing, not taking Twitter victory laps.” Exactly.


'Lads' have become the most hated people in Britain

Twenty years since the birth of 'laddism' the enemies of lad culture are more vocal than ever, but are fighting a battle they can't win

Lads! Panic on the streets! They’re the cancer at the heart of British society! They’re drinking, raping, pillaging! Quick! We need to ban them! RIGHT NOW!

History has a funny, if depressing, way of repeating itself.  Twenty years ago, loaded – the magazine I edited for seven and a half years – was debated in Parliament for its corrosive effect on young men – or “lads” as they had been christened after the magazine’s very first cover line. Today, we’re in exactly the same boat, as the Home Secretary bans toxic pick-up artist Julien Blanc from entering the UK.

And, of course, after much liberal rumination, it was concluded that Blanc’s very existence is propped up by today’s lads, who once again are fast becoming the most vilified sector of British society.

For if you believe Twitter, the liberal press or your more toxic feminists – never a wise idea – you’d think young, white, heterosexual males were the root of all evil in Britain.

To seasoned observers of British culture, it’s Groundhog Day: it’s 1994 all over again – but with internet access. Only this time, it feels much, much worse.

It seems hard to imagine now, but thanks to loaded’s huge success – it sold 500,000 mags a month at its peak – by 1997 it felt like practically everybody in the UK was a card-carrying lad, even the girls (affectionately known as ladettes).

The new Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was a lad, and his new, top-lad mate Noel Gallagher sniffed Charlie in the bogs at Number Ten during that infamous New Labour election party.

You couldn’t move on late-night BBC arts shows for luvvie-lads. Liberal comedians like David Baddiel donned their England tops and EVERYBODY shouted “lager, lager lager!” without fear of career suicide thanks to a petition.

Laddism’s only detractors were a small, grizzled coven of old-school feminists, mostly employed by the Guardian and Independent newspapers. Of course, they protested loudly, as is their wont, but struggled to be heard over the collective popping of corks and blaring of Now That’s What I Call Britpop CDs.

But fast forward a mere 17 years and the bovver boot is now firmly on the other foot – and set on revenge.

So it is that in 2014, the most widely hated sub-section of British society aren’t jihadists, child rapists or even politicians, but young, white, heterosexual men who drink too much, make ill-thought-out but usually harmless jokes and occasionally use the word “moist”.

The lad had become a lightning conductor for all that is wrong with our country – and it would be almost funny if it weren’t such a tragically misplaced deployment of energy.

Because what the lad’s critics fail to recognise is, like acne, being a lad is just another phase the overriding majority of young men grow out of.

In my job as the longest-ever serving Editor of “lad’s bible” loaded, I was once somewhat embarrassingly labelled “the King of the Lads”.

I left the title four years ago, and now I choose a family, choose Farrow & Ball paint, choose to educate young lads on the pitfalls of pornography and sometimes even choose to attend feminist seminars.

Despite being exposed to more “lad” stimulus than perhaps anybody, ever, I got out more or less completely unscathed.

The same is true of practically all former lads out there, for laddism is not some weird brain virus that consumes previously free-thinking men and turns us into misogynistic rape zombies. It’s not like being in the Hitler Youth.

Rather, being a lad is just something to do: a way of making friends at uni, of fitting in at the football, a perhaps unsavoury rite of passage before we grow up, something we dabble with before we realise we actually prefer carp fishing, triathlons, steady relationships, getting on at work, being a dad or watching Countryfile.

Lads’ many critics would also be wise to note that if you publicly attack something loudly enough it not only creates huge intrigue – loaded’s success was sealed the day it was vilified in Parliament – but demonise it for long enough and it becomes a call to arms.

Loaded’s original lads were a two-fingered salute to the papoose-wearing, New-Man-cum-castrato the liberal newspapers extolled the virtues of, yet whom hardly any of us wanted to be.

Today’s lad is no more than a superannuated variant with access to the internet, where they spend their time watching porn between acute outbreaks of Twitter Tourette's.

Hating today’s lads helps justify their very existence. The current explosion in numbers – and their extremes of behaviour – is directly proportional to the venom with which they are attacked by non-believers.

Every God needs its Satan: an antagonistic force to kick back against. And feminists need lads. What else would they rage about? Without lads, they’d be out of work. They can’t “solve” serious feminist issues like FGM, rape, or equal pay any time soon, so they fritter away energy on minutiae like getting sexist comedian Dapper Laughs sacked, banning Julien Blanc, or making Rosetta scientist Dr Matt Taylor publicly cry after wearing a “laddish” shirt.

These hollow, token victories not only make modern, online feminism seem increasingly toxic, petty and anti-man: they further fuel the lad’s persecution complex, add to their anger and drive them to more extreme acts of anonymous Twitter hate.

And so the cycle depressingly repeats.

If we just ignored laddism, it might go away. After all, it almost happened in the noughties. But with a plethora of angry women lambasting lads' every politically incorrect act on social media, and drawing angry return fire, there’s zero chance of that happening any time soon.

As a fully reformed and rehabilitated former lad, it makes me sigh wistfully.

Their venomous critics need to wise up to the fact that lads are the cockroaches that cannot be squashed. There are simply too many of them, and every fresh attack spawns a fresh wave of radicalised LadBible followers. In that sense, you can “win” the war on lads no more than you can win the war on IS.

By demonising lads and attempting to ban their entertainment – porn, Page 3, the London School of Economics Rugby Club, Dapper Laughs or even Julien Blanc – you perversely make the lifestyle choice just that little bit more attractive. Prohibition has never – and never will – work.

Twenty long years on from the birth of laddism, it seems today’s vocal enemies of lad culture haven’t learned a bloody thing from history – namely that they are fighting a pointless war they cannot win.


Fairness – is it really so hard for our snobbish political elite to understand?

The most shocking thing about Labour’s spectacular mishap is that it should have come as a surprise to anybody. Did it really take the Thornberry “just-look-at-these-ridiculous-proles-ha-ha-ha” tweet not only to illuminate the gap between the Labour Party leadership and working-class voters, but also to illustrate what is wrong with the whole self-obsessed Westminster establishment? That revelatory little episode summed up precisely why Ukip is doing so well, and neatly justified its claim to be the only party in touch with ordinary people’s feelings and views.

Yes, in case you were in any doubt, Mr Working-Class Voter, the party that used to belong to you really does despise you. It thinks you are absurd, ignorant and probably a bigot – as Gordon Brown famously made clear in his encounter with poor Mrs Duffy in Rochdale. It may have a commitment in the abstract to what Ed Miliband describes as people “who work really hard”, but it generally prefers them in the forms that its ideology finds manageable: either in unionised public-sector employment or in low-paid insecure jobs that make them grateful for the in-work benefits that Labour is happy to dispense. Self-employed tradesmen with their white vans, bloody-minded independence and resentment of imported cheap labour do not compute.

For Left-wing intellectuals, this is about more than snobbery. The totemic White Van Man is a traitor to class solidarity and socialist ideals: his vulgar materialism and determination to get on in life under his own steam are an affront to the concept of the collective good.

Unlike his north London betters, he is inclined to blame those who are poorer than himself for their own disadvantages, which he believes are likely to result from their own bad choices. So he resents those who live on benefits, rather than feeling compassion for their hopelessness, and that resentment extends as much to indigenous British people as to immigrants – which is why he approves overwhelmingly of the Government’s welfare reforms. (Benefit cuts are most popular with working-class and lower-middle-class voters who do not suffer from bourgeois guilt, are proud of their financial independence and resent any kind of paternalism.)

So far as the soft Marxists of Islington are concerned, their instinctive loathing of the wrong sort of working-class people is not just a question of manners and taste. The voters they hold in such contempt are politically dangerous because they reject the basic Labour principle of “social fairness” that seems to mean redistributing wealth from those who have earned it to those who haven’t, which is the exact opposite of what the word “fair” means in everyday language.

And this may be the key to the Great Alienation that now dominates our national political life. Everybody in the Westminster club is going around saying that the “normal rules of politics don’t apply any more”. Well, yes, actually, they do. The most fundamental rule of democratic politics is that when voters find that the governing parties do not respect them, they will look around for somebody who does.

The excuse from Labour and the Left-wing of the Conservative Party for not paying due attention to what Ukip supporters are saying is that what they are saying is morally repugnant: the party is implicitly exploiting racist or xenophobic sentiment and must be repudiated, even if that means that a large section of the electorate has to be disregarded.

Which would be a plausible – even admirable – judgment if Ukip was advocating the rounding up of immigrant incomers for mass expulsion, or a forced sterilisation programme. In fact, the party is so conscious of the danger of being interpreted in this way that Mark Reckless immediately retracted his vague, ambiguous comments that seemed to hint at possible repatriation. What Ukip officially demands is nothing more than the simple – and to most voters, unimpeachable – right for Britain to have control of its own borders.

But this is really giving too much credence to the Westminster verdict that the attraction of Ukip is all about immigration, about resentment of the outsider – for which the benighted British population must be taught to be ashamed.

By treating their concerns as unfounded and unworthy, the major political players miss the real point. Resentment of migrants is just one facet of a much wider anger with the consensus that now dominates respectable political discourse and that revolves around that significant issue of “fairness”.

What is deserved and what is undeserved is at the heart of this. The fact that migrants can receive out-of-work or in-work cash benefits (such as tax credits) as soon as they arrive is a source of considerable bitterness. This is not, as Ukip’s critics rightly say, a problem created by the EU. It is caused by Britain’s unusual non-contributory welfare system and the anger it provokes applies as much to native-born British recipients as continental European incomers.

Then, on top of that, those who have worked and striven hard enough to haul themselves out of poverty are taxed, by a Conservative Chancellor, as if they were officially “rich” in order to pay for it all. Not to be outdone, Labour threatens a “mansion tax”, which would have devastating, life‑changing consequences for many people who are certainly not rich but simply have the misfortune to have lived in a house that has increased in value wildly due to forces that are completely outside of their control. Where is the “fairness” – in any recognisable meaning of the word – in any of this?

A truly fair society is something that it is within the power of government to provide: a society in which everyone has a decent chance to make his own way and do well. But “chance” is the operative word. This common-sense idea of fairness involves people getting from the state what (but not more than) they deserve and contributing what (but not more than) they should. It is because any sense of that balance seems to have been irretrievably lost that the political settlement is in a genuine crisis of confidence.

What is particularly dangerous to civil order is the closing down of argument and legitimate opposition. At the moment, the Conservatives are torn between staying loyal to the pact of the governing elites who want to blame the electorate for their own discontents, and making vague noises about understanding people’s anxieties.

Castigating voters when they refuse to agree that their complaints are unacceptable leaves them nowhere to turn but to the very outsiders who are threatening to fracture the system. Instead of asking what they can learn from this diffuse, complicated frustration that is fuelling Ukip’s rise, the Westminster club simply denigrates it and belittles anyone who gives it the time of day. That is a recipe for disaster.



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, November 25, 2014

Negligent multicultural driver maims motorcyclist

A motorist with a health condition which made him fall asleep at the wheel left a motorcyclist paralysed in a 'sickening' head-on crash after ignoring doctors' guidance not to drive.

Imtiaz Shah ploughed his 4x4 into Steven Hayes's motorbike in April last year, leaving the former mechanic unable to walk or talk.

The 42-year-old from Nelson, Lancashire, was jailed for 30 months at Preston Crown Court and banned from driving for three years, but is likely to be released from prison after half that time.

Mr Hayes, 48, is now permanently confined to a wheelchair and requires round-the-clock nursing in a care home.

His horrified family have spoken of their outrage at Shah's sentence, saying: 'That is not justice'.

'He condemned my dad to a life sentence dealing with those injuries yet he'll be out of prison in a little more than a year,' Mr Hayes's 21-year-old daughter, Jenny, said.

'This incident has had a devastating impact on my dad and our entire family.  'In a split second, my dad was robbed of his independence, much of his ability to communicate and to enjoy his life and his hobbies.  'He will need the support of carers every hour of every day for the rest of his life.'

The mechanic's wife, Linda, said she was 'grieving' for the loss of her husband's former-self.  'He'll never be the Steven I fell in love with. We are grieving for the Steven we lost that day.'

The court heard how Shah, a former council worker, had been told by doctors to refrain from driving after complaining of sleep apnoea - a condition which causes throat muscles to relax and narrow, putting sufferers into a deep sleep.

Despite doctors' advice, Shah continued to drive for months, and had clocked up 200miles on the day of the crash.

He had fallen asleep at the wheel when driving in Blackburn, Lancashire, while negotiating a roundabout. His Honda CRV narrowly avoided crashing into a Range Rover before he crashed into Mr Hayes, throwing his body into the air 'like a rag doll', the court heard. The vehicle was eventually stopped when it crashed into a wall.

'You were falling asleep at the wheel and losing control, narrowly missing a black car as you were veering towards the centre line,'  Recorder Simon Earlam told him.   'You continued to veer over the centre line. The driver of a Range Rover realised you were not going to straighten up.  'He and his passenger described how your head was down. I find you were probably asleep at this stage.

'It was a sickening collision head on. He was thrown into the air like a rag doll by the force. 'The impact was such that his helmet came off. Mr Hayes hit your windscreen leaving hair and flesh where he struck. He then hit the road surface leaving a trail of blood on the ground.

'The injuries to Mr Hayes have been most serious and permanently life-changing. They have ruined his life and that of his immediate family.'

Mr Hayes was in a 'deeply unconscious' state for months before being released from hospital and admitted to a care home.  The 48-year-old needed surgery to have part of skull removed. His family plan to launch a civil case against Shah.


Rape culture? There’s no such thing

Rape culture. It is a phrase that has slipped into public discourse with barely a peep of criticism, and it is referred to in feminist missives as if it were an objective, observable phenomenon. For the uninitiated, rape culture is the idea that modern culture – from pop songs to pornography to catcalling – is normalising sexual violence. But contemporary feminists are wrong: there is no such thing as rape culture, and the current obsession with this deeply misanthropic idea is doing more harm then good.

The suggestion that young men in particular can be slowly brainwashed into thinking rape is acceptable diminishes the seriousness of rape. Rape is a specific act of violent assault in which someone is forced into an act against their will or without their knowledge. Aside from murder, it is the ultimate burglary of individual freedom and, most commonly, an expression of the attacker’s desire for power rather than sexual satisfaction.

Let’s get this clear: one does not slide down a slippery slope towards rape. Yes, we live in a society that withholds total freedom and, furthermore, limits freedom for women. But this does not mean that we live in a society of rapists. No individual is entirely a product of their environment. Therefore, the contemporary argument that all men are potential rapists as a result of a society that sexualises women is inherently wrong. Rape is not something that can happen in ignorance; a man cannot rape a woman because he watches too much porn or because he isn’t sure if she’s up for it.

Underpinning the rape-culture hysteria is another wrongheaded idea: namely, that unwanted attention from men – from catcalling to arse-groping – is on the spectrum of sexual violence. This charge is bolstered by the worthless, anecdotal evidence that modern feminists rely on to make their case. Women and girls across the world are encouraged to share their experiences of unwanted male attention on social media - a superficial new women’s movement unified only by a hashtag and a pressurised need to declare oneself a victim of the evils of men. It’s like watching a modern feminist interpretation of Monty Python’s ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ sketch. Women are choosing to portray themselves as vulnerable, victimised and helpless.

It’s easy to see why the dodgy ideas of modern feminism aren’t being challenged. If you even try to unpick the idea of rape culture, you’re instantly called a rape apologist – or, worse still, a mens’ rights activist. Criticising this new orthodoxy is met with almost the same level of vitriol as expressing a dislike of feminism. But this belligerence only reveals how hollow the new feminism is. In the past year, support for feminism has boomed, but only in the manner of a Live Aid campaign, manifesting itself in the form of hashtags and t-shirt slogans. This new wave of feminism everyone is talking about has not furthered any coherent demands or ideas. All that binds it is a shared image of women as put-upon victims in need of one another’s fist-pumping Twitter solidarity.

The assertion that all young people are in thrall to a culture beyond their control underestimates their ability to exercise their human agency and negotiate sexual relationships. And, in the process, the severity of rape is diminished. Feminists who describe themselves as being ‘mentally raped’, as victims of rape culture and ‘rapey’ behaviour, undermine the specific act of rape as an isolated and distinct thing. While unwanted sexual attention towards women is a problem in society, there is a fundamental difference between an idiot grabbing your behind and being raped.

If we want to challenge the existing inequalities in society, then young women need to start answering back. This means demanding total freedom of expression, and using it – not seeking to limit the supposedly ‘rapey’ speech of others. Asking for protection from the nasty patriarchy through tear-brimmed tweets only wins you feminist-blogger brownie points. It’s no substitute for the uncompromising political battle that is really needed to achieve women’s liberation.


Women, liberate yourself from this feminism

When it was revealed that Elle magazine’s ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ t-shirts were actually made in Mauritian sweatshops, by women paid the princely sum of 62 pence per hour, there was shock and outrage. Although the retailer, Whistles, claimed this was above the minimum wage for Mauritius, it was hardly a triumph for women’s lib.

Elle had spent weeks chasing UK prime minister David Cameron for a photo in the infamous t-shirt for its feminism issue. You wonder how much time it would have taken to place a few calls and find out a bit more about the origins of the clothes. But, sadly, this kind of skin-deep display of ‘fighting for the cause’ has become commonplace among today’s so-called feminists.

For several years now, I have proudly stood up and said, hand on heart, ‘I am a feminist’ – even while living in Paris, where such statements are met with derision and sympathetic glances at your male partner. I did so because I believed feminism meant equal rights for both sexes and a fairer world for everyone. But these ideals bear little resemblance to today’s publicity-stunt feminism, which is based more around viral-video campaigns, Twitter feeds and t-shirts, which work to limit freedom, not expand it.

From the outside, campaigns like the Everyday Sexism Project, which seeks to raise awareness about sexism in everyday life, and the US Hollaback! campaign, which aims to stop men harassing women on the streets, seem admirable. But look beyond the Twitter feeds and the angry blog posts and what these campaigns are really doing is calling for censorship and diminishing women rather than empowering them.

Everyday Sexism initially looked like a good idea – a way of raising awareness of some of the more irritating and sometimes intimidating aspects of the female experience. But two years and 60,000 entries later, it just feels self-pitying. A constant stream of ‘look at what we have to put up with’ complaints, it paints women as perpetual victims. And while some of the entries describe genuine cases of sexual harassment, others merely seek out subjective instances of sexism, taken completely out of context. A post from last week read:

Recently, t-shirt company FCKH8 had a viral hit with its video, ‘F-bombs for feminism: potty-mouthed princesses use bad word for good cause’, which featured little girls dressed as princesses shouting feminism ‘facts’ at their viewers, along with a liberal sprinkling of the f-word. The ‘facts’ turned out to be discredited statistics, and the effect was downright risible. ‘Is a little girl saying “fuck” more offensive than pay inequality?’, the pre-teens yell at their viewers. Well, no, but watching women try to advance gender equality by broadcasting children having a tantrum is.

Similarly, Hollaback!’s own viral video, in which actor Shoshana Roberts is seen being catcalled on the streets of New York City, lacks any depth of message. It has been used by many commentators as evidence that street harassment of women is a huge issue. In reality, it is a video clip of under two minutes in which, aside from a couple of creepy men who briefly follow her down the street, a woman is told she’s hot by a lot of men. Annoying? Yes. Grounds for a worldwide campaign? Hmm, not really.

Something that these campaigns have in common is a tendency to vilify men. In this distorted feminist world, men are rapists, stalkers and chauvinists. One of the potty-mouthed princesses says: ‘How about teaching boys not to rape?’ The idea that all little boys are potential rapists is the underlying assumption.

This new wave of feminism has reduced the issues women face to a battle of good v evil, with women as the victims and men as the exploiters. Ironically, it is exactly this image of a poor, vulnerable woman who needs to be protected from the big, bad world that the potty-mouthed princesses seek to parody.

And if men aren’t being accused of victimising women they are being patronised. Actress Emma Watson, UN Women’s newly appointed goodwill ambassador (whatever that means), gave a cringeworthy speech in which she invited men to join the feminism discussion.

Watson claims she first encountered sexism at the age of eight, when she was told she couldn’t direct a play because she was ‘bossy’ and a boy was given the coveted position instead. Give me a bloody break! Are we really supposed to believe a child of eight understood the concept of sexism? She also won’t have been the first little girl (or boy!) to be shouted down by fellow classmates for being overly officious.

When did fighting for equal pay and opportunities translate into piously whining about sexism and telling men how to behave? This constant portrayal of women as weak and helpless is not what I signed up for.

This feminist is looking for more than superficial posturing. I am a woman. I am not a victim. So I won’t be joining the current crusade; and I certainly won’t be buying the t-shirt.


Topless models set a good example, says Clarkson's girl

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is known for his outspoken views, but now it’s his daughter who is courting controversy.

Emily Clarkson, 20, has decided to speak out against the feminists she claims are ‘killing the curvy woman’ with their campaign to ban images of semi-naked models.

‘For years we have acknowledged and tried to fight the Size Zero Society that we have become so accustomed to, recognising its hold over us, but perhaps not looking deep enough to find its cause,’ declares aspiring photographer Emily, who claims that skinny women are being turned into role models as result.

The cause of society’s obsession with unhealthily thin models is women themselves, she alleges in her blogpost. Emily, one of Clarkson’s three children with his estranged second wife Frances, claims that women shun magazines when fuller-figured women are on the front page.

‘Did you know that Adele was on the cover of the worst-selling issue of Vogue?’ she asks. ‘Ladies, it’s not the men amongst us buying these mags, it’s us.’
Of the feminist campaign to ban pictures of topless models from red-top newspapers, Emily says: ‘These girls aren’t porn stars, they aren’t half starved and they certainly aren’t a size 6. What do all of these women have? Boobs, hips and smiles. They are gorgeous, healthy, confident and smiling, so why do we have such a beef with it? Why are “feminists” criticising it all the time? Do you know what really, really annoys me? That women, every day, are calling Page 3 girls horrible, horrible things.’

Prompted by rake-thin actress Keira Knightley posing semi-naked for an American fashion magazine, Emily says: ‘Keira took off her top and the whole world screams, “Oh, my God, you’re so brave, you’re so beautiful, go you, oh, my it’s so tasteful . . .”

Women’s rights supporters the world over have shared Keira’s photos on Facebook, telling her what an inspiration she is. Why? Because we can see her ribs? Because she’s an actress? Because she’s classy?’

Of former teen starlet Miley Cyrus, she remarks: ‘I look at Miley, with every rib jutting out, rubbing herself on things like a dog with worms and I just despair.’


Is fake fur even worse than the real thing? From destroying the planet to supporting sweatshops, why experts say faking it isn’t nearly as ethical as you think

Dazzlingly colourful and irresistibly fluffy, faux fur is taking over the High Street. From Bon Marché to Marks and Spencer, retailers are selling a wide range of stoles, hats, coats and bedspreads this winter. And shoppers are snapping them up after seeing celebrities such as Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham swathed in the fabric.

But far from concealing the fact the fur isn’t real, they’re flaunting it as a way of proving their ethical credentials. No wonder: fur has been demonised to such an extent by animal-rights campaigners that wearing the real thing is likely to earn you a few severe looks at best, and public rants by strangers at worst.

However, the fur industry is now fighting back with a devastating — and intriguing — suggestion that faux fur is actually far less ethical than real fur.  And the campaign is working: sales of real fur are booming again.

To understand the contentious issue, we have to go back to 1994, when five supermodels took off their clothes, sat on the floor and told the world: ‘We’d rather go naked than wear fur.’  The campaign, by animal-rights charity Peta, was a triumph. Sales of mink, sable and chinchilla plummeted.

Since then, all but one of the five models (Christy Turlington) has failed to keep their word: Naomi Campbell, for example, posed in a £120,000 Russian sable coat in 2009, and Cindy Crawford promoted mink coats in 2004.

Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, both Middleton sisters, Beyonce, Cara Delevingne and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have worn fur in recent years.

And real-fur sales have increased globally by 58 per cent since the end of the Nineties, says the British Fur Trade Association (BFTA).

Indeed, almost 500 designers, including Diane von Furstenberg, Yves Saint Laurent and Roberto Cavalli, currently use fur in their collections. And some furriers claim almost three-quarters of this year’s catwalk shows feature fur.

TV stylist Mark Heyes says: ‘Without question, it’s becoming more fashionable. I’ve never seen so much fur on the High Street. Faux or real, it’s on almost every item going, from dresses to tops and even keyrings.’

So, what on Earth has happened to change our minds on fur so radically?

The battle between the anti and pro-fur lobbies is still being fought vehemently. But Mike Moser, chief executive of BFTA, thinks that the new generation of fashionistas is waking up to the environmental impact of faux-fur production — and deciding that climate change is their main concern.

‘Younger people in particular want to hear all the facts then make up their own minds,’ he says. ‘The argument that we should replace real fur with fake is completely wrong. For environmental reasons, it should be the other way around.

‘There isn’t any doubt that the environmental impact of fake fur is profoundly worse than fur-farming.’

It’s undeniable that fake fur is made from non-renewable petroleum-based products, such as nylon, acrylic and polyester, then treated with heat and chemicals to improve its look and feel.

These industrial processes use three times as much non-renewable energy as real fur, according to the International Fur Trade Federation.

But fashion-conscious consumers often dump their faux-fur garments after just one season. Many end up in landfill and, just like petroleum-based plastic bags, can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

Real fur, meanwhile, biodegrades naturally within six months to a year, and can even be composted in the garden, says Mike Moser.

Washing fake fur may harm the environment, too. With every machine wash, says a 2011 paper for the Environmental Science & Technology journal, each garment releases an average of 1,900 tiny particles of plastic, which are then swilled into rivers, lakes and, eventually, the sea.

It’s feared these particles may kill marine life and disrupt food chains.

Pro-fur lobbies also point to the unethical working practices of some faux-fur manufacturers. It’s already widely known that disposable fashion often relies on Third World sweatshop labour, paltry wages and toxic working conditions. But the International Fur Trade Federation claims that the manufacture of fake fur doubles the risk of ill-health in workers due to the emissions of carcinogenic substances during production.

And American Fur Commission spokesman Michael Whelan says: ‘Fast fashion is promoting dependence on foreign oil and exacerbating child-labour issues in the Third World.’ Given all this, should we not be buying the real deal instead?

Costume designer Minna Attala, who has worked for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Asos and is a life-long vegetarian, says it’s a grey area. ‘I’m not pro-fur but, because I’ve been educated on the subject, I’m not against it either,’ she says.

‘Killing animals for vanity is not right, but there are whole communities of people who rely on this industry for employment, and, in the majority of cases, the animals are treated well, so that they’ll have healthy coats.

‘Animals are treated horrifyingly in the meat industry, and nobody is throwing cans of red paint at steak-eaters.’

Around 20 per cent of fur comes not from farms, but trapping wild animals. These creatures, claim the pro-fur campaigners, are often killed quickly and humanely. Some are culled to help balance animal populations and native ecosystems. In New Zealand. for example, the government has encouraged people to buy what they call ‘the world’s most ecological fur’ — that of the paihamu, a small, non-native, furry animal that has been wreaking havoc on native species.

Meanwhile, fur-friendly companies, such as the Gucci Group, insist that all their furs are vegetable-dyed and tanned via traditional, non-toxic methods. However, this comes at a price — a mink scarf from Gucci costs £1,500.

The BFTA advises consumers to buy only garments marked with the ‘Origin Assurance’ label, a scheme launched in 2007 to ensure that fur ‘comes from a country where welfare regulations or standards governing fur production are in force’.

Mike Moser is adamant that almost two-thirds of fur traded internationally is from Origin Assurance countries.

Yet none of this will convince Peta’s UK director Mimi Bekhechi that real fur is anything other than abhorrent. She maintains that the pro-lobby have got it wrong on the environmental impact of faux fur, and says there are plenty of eco-friendly faux options available.

She also claims that a cocktail of carcinogens, such as ammonia, chromium and formaldehyde, which is often used in dressing and dyeing real fur, negates its biodegradability.

‘Fur is only “natural” when it’s on the animal who was born with it,’ says Mimi.

‘Recent independent studies have found that the impact of production of a mink coat on climate change is three to ten times higher than the impact of a faux-fur coat.

‘We all have the choice to be cruel or kind. So, when real fur involves electrocuting a fox, or slitting the throat of a rabbit for fur trim, choosing one of the many soft, warm and luxurious faux or fur-free options, which are also more eco-friendly, becomes a no-brainer.’

Meanwhile, Minna Attala says: ‘If someone was to be truly to-the- letter ethical, they ought to forego both real and faux fur — and also fast fashion in general.’

No wonder the great fur debate remains as heated as ever. But, as the weather gets chillier and we reach for our Cossack hat and warming stole, it seems there’s no easy answer.



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