Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ministers' shame on killer salt: Government sabotage of drive to cut intake has cost 6,000 lives, say doctors

This is apparently politically correct but it is utter garbage -- coming from people who prefer theory to facts.   The latest academic study shows that LOW salt in your blood is most likely to lead to heart attacks.  See JAMA. 2011;305(17):1777-1785.  More here and here and here for similar findings.  Salt is harmless but a deficiency of it is not.  We need it.  See also here

Efforts to cut the amount of salt in food have been ‘derailed’ by ministers in a move which has cost 6,000 lives, doctors claim.

Experts accuse the Government of undermining a salt reduction programme which had saved thousands of lives. They say that replacing it with the controversial ‘responsibility deal’ – which focused on health initiatives led by the food industry – was a ‘major step backwards’.

As a result, efforts to reduce the amount of salt in food stalled and thousands of lives may have been lost. The experts’ damning article in the British Medical Journal says a change of policy is ‘urgently needed’ to save lives.

The Mail has previously revealed how the food industry has been given unprecedented access to the heart of government in recent years – with fast-food companies, supermarkets, restaurant chains and chocolate and fizzy drinks firms having dozens of meetings with ministers. McDonald’s, Mars, Pepsi, Nando’s and Tesco are among firms invited to ministerial meetings since the 2010 election.

The Food and Drink Federation, the lobbyist for the industry, has had 16 meetings with ministers and 99 meetings with officials since the Coalition took over, official figures reveal.

Yet health campaigners say they have been shunned.

The latest revelations prompted claims that the Government was keener on listening to the food industry than to those with the interest of people’s health at heart.

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine from Queen Mary, University of London, said the responsibility deal had been ‘responsible for a major step backwards in public health nutrition’.

He said the first voluntary salt reduction targets – set in 2006 – were a major success, resulting in the daily intake of average Britons falling 15 per cent from 9.5g per day in 2003 to 8.1g per day in 2011.

The amount of salt in everyday food products was reduced by up to 40 per cent over five years. This is thought to have prevented 9,000 deaths due to strokes and heart disease a year, resulting in healthcare savings of about £1.5 billion in the UK.

The ultimate aim of the salt targets – set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) – was to reduce intake to 6g per day among the adult population.

But despite their initial success, the Coalition Government formed in 2010 refused to agree on new targets for 2014. And they transferred responsibility for nutrition from the FSA to the Department of Health, which disrupted the salt reduction programme.

In 2011, Andrew Lansley, then health minister, launched the responsibility deal – which made alcohol and food industries responsible for reducing alcohol and improving nutrition. Many companies stopped or slowed down their planned salt reductions from 2011 to 2014, and some failed to meet targets.

Prof MacGregor claims that in this period, up to 6,000 deaths from strokes and heart attacks could have been prevented if the targets had been kept.

He said that although the salt targets were reset after Mr Lansley left his role, four years of the programme had been lost. New salt targets were set in 2014 following the appointment of Anna Soubry as health minister. But these were not as low as originally suggested – due to lobbying by the food industry, the experts believe.

Prof MacGregor was lead author on the BMJ article, which is signed by other medical experts from the campaign CASH – Consensus Action on Salt and Health. He said: ‘The food industry is the biggest and most powerful industry in the world. Robust mechanisms should be set up immediately to control the food industry in a similar way to the tobacco industry.’

The responsibility deal has been likened to ‘putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank’ by charities.

A previous report in the BMJ found that key scientists advising ministers on obesity were receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds for research from companies such as Nestle and Mars.

Barbara Gallani, of the Food and Drink Federation, said voluntary action by companies over the past decade had helped to reduce adult intakes of salt by 15 per cent.

‘It’s common sense food producers should be involved in shaping a salt reduction strategy, as only a thorough understanding of ingredients and recipes can result in stretching but realistic targets,’ she said.


The Wisconsin Left Tried to Criminalize Free Speech

Anyone still wondering how low the American Left will sink in pursuit of its agenda should turn their gaze toward Wisconsin. In a blatant attempt at political intimidation masquerading itself as legitimate investigation, police conducted a series of early morning raids at the homes of several Wisconsin conservatives. Dozens of armed officers showed up for pre-dawn raids with battering rams, swarming into houses and threatening the people inside with arrest if they didn’t cooperate, even as they seized personal property. And on the way out, the invaders gave every person they encountered the same warning: Don’t call your lawyer, and don’t tell anyone about what happened, because a gag order is in place.

How is it that people can be forced to remain silent even as police conducted large, noisy raids more suitable to taking down a drug kingpin right in front of their neighbors? Because law enforcement officials in Wisconsin are allowed to conduct John Doe investigations, defined as "an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and if so, by whom.” And unlike other investigations that require probable cause to pursue, John Doe investigations are conducted to establish the existence of probable cause itself.

Under the rubric of looking for campaign-finance violations, the investigations were initiated by Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm, a partisan Democrat — whose wife is a teachers’ union shop steward — and a man determined to find anything that could undermine the political career of rising Republican star Gov. Scott Walker. Walker has thwarted Wisconsin leftists at every turn, winning three elections, including a recall effort, in just four years.

Chisholm’s undertook his first John Doe investigation in 2010, when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive. After three years, it netted all of six individuals who pled guilty to crimes ranging from stealing money from a veterans’ fund, and sending political emails on government time, to violation of state campaign finance laws and contributing to the delinquency of a child. Walker himself? Never even charged.

Undaunted, Chisholm launched a second John Doe investigation shortly after Democrats failed to remove Walker in the recall election in 2012, an act of naked revenge precipitated by the passage of Walker's “budget repair bill” known as Act 10. Act 10 limited the collective bargaining power of unions — including the teachers union to which Chisholm’s wife belonged. The machination surrounding the passage of Act 10 included Democratic state legislators fleeing the state to prevent a vote on the issue, an effort to affect a liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the purpose of overturning the law after it was passed, and the recall election.

The second probe, led by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, targeted Walker and 29 conservative groups. Dozens of subpoenas were issued demanding documents related to the 2011 and 2012, campaign, all based on the theory that these groups had illegally coordinated their activities during recall campaigns of Walker and other Republican legislators targeted for supporting Act 10. National Review’s Rich Lowry aptly described what really occurred. "Walker’s opponents weaponized campaign-finance law, literally,” he explains.

One of those groups, Wisconsin Club for Growth (WCFG), and its founder Eric O’Keefe filed suit. In 2014, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa granted a preliminary injunction halting the investigation, and hammered prosecutors "for exercising issue advocacy speech rights that on their face are not subject to the regulations or statutes the defendants seek to enforce.” The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case on appeal, but not because they disagreed with Randa’s interpretation, but because the Anti-Injunction Act prohibited federal courts from intervening in a state criminal investigation based on the cited principles of “equity, comity, and federalism.” Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook characterized the ruling as victory for states’ rights.

Nonetheless it remain clear O’Keefe’s rights were violated and Section 1983 of the U.S. Code allows citizens to be granted relief under federal law if their rights have been violated by state officials. Last Friday, the Supreme Court began deliberations to determine if O’Keefe v. Chisholm will be heard by the highest court in the land. The Wall Street Journal insists such a hearing is critically necessary because the theory of coordination, allowing "vast investigations to be instigated on the thinnest evidence" it is part of yet another leftist effort to undermine the Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling that lifted unconstitutional restrictions on spending by corporations and labor unions. That would be the very same Citizen’s United decision that former IRS hack Lois Lerner was bemoaning at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy on Oct. 19, 2010 when she stated that the “Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it; they want the IRS to fix the problem.”

The IRS decided to “fix” the problem by denying or delaying conservative groups' tax-exempt status, and attempting to coordinate with the Eric Holder-led Justice Department to tamp down revelations regarding that scandal. Wisconsin Democrats chose to fix it by conducting two separate witch-hunts replete with dawn raids and gag orders. In a better world, lots of people would be getting disbarred and/or going to jail. In this one, the American Left will continue its attempt to criminalize speech with which they disagree — by any means necessary — until they are stopped.

Stopped from doing what? Try this, courtesy of National Review's David French:

"As I finished an interview with one victim still living in fear, still shattered by the experience of nearly losing everything simply because she supported the wrong candidate at the wrong time, I asked whether she had any final thoughts. 'Just one,' she replied. 'I’m hoping for accountability, that someone will be held responsible so that they’ll never do this again.' She paused for a moment and then, with voice trembling, said: 'No one should ever endure what my family endured.’”

Here’s hoping the Supreme Court agrees — in no uncertain terms.


After Receiving Over $100K in Donations, Bakers’ Crowdfunding Page Shut Down

Less than a day after a donation fund was set up for the Oregon bakers who the state recommended be fined $135,000 for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, the crowdfunding website, GoFundMe, has shut it down.

“The campaign entitled ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa’ involves formal charges. As such, our team has determined that it was in violation of GoFundMe’s Terms and Conditions,” a spokesman for GoFundMe told The Daily Signal in a statement.

The fundraising page was launched Friday after an Oregon administrative law judge announced the fine. Supporters of Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Sandy, Ore., raised more than $109,000 before the page was removed.

In response to being shut down, the Klein’s wrote on their Facebook page, “We have told GoFundMe that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions. We are working to get the account reinstated.”

On GoFundMe’s terms and conditions, which are available to the public, the company prohibits “campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”

Anna Harmon, attorney for the Kleins, told The Daily Signal that what happened to the Kleins “is not a crime.”  “It was heard in an administrative court and there has been no opportunity or a jury or even a final order to be issued in the case yet,” she said.

Harmon added that Melissa and her five children, who all stand to benefit from the public’s donations, have been exonerated. Melissa and her children were not present at the bakery at the time of the refusal.

GoFundMe said the money raised thus far “will still be made available for withdrawal,” which means the Kleins will be able to keep the donations. In the meantime, the family has set up a temporary donation page on Samaritan’s Purse.

“For all of you who gave to the GoFundMe account before it was shut down, we so appreciate your love and generosity,” the Kleins wrote on their Facebook page.

A similar donation page for Barronelle Stutzman, a Christian florist from Washington state who refused to make flower arrangements for a same-sex couple’s wedding, has been operating on GoFundMe for more than two months.

Stutzman, like Aaron Klein, is being held liable for violating the state’s anti-discrimination law.  So far, Stutzman’s page has raised more than $170,000 in donations.


Kentucky Court Says Printing Business Has Right to Deny Service for Religious Reasons

A Kentucky court ruled on Monday that a Lexington printing business does not have to print messages that are in conflict with its religious beliefs.

The decision runs contrary to recent high profile rulings, including ones against Oregon bakers and a Washington florist who were punished for refusing to serve same-sex weddings.

The Kentucky ruling signals that states and local governments are still divided on the question about whether public places have the right to refuse service based on religious objections.

“What this court found in this case is that no one should be forced to promote ideas—or in this case, print ideas—that conflict with their beliefs,” said Jim Campbell, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom representing the printing business. “That protection is for everyone. It’s a protection that’s for the atheist just as much as it’s for the person of faith.”

The printing company, Hands On Originals, is a small business located in Fayette County, Ky.  The company prints custom messages on items such as shirts, hats, bags, cups, and mugs.

The issue began on March 18, 2012, when Aaron Baker, representing the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, alleged that Hands On Originals denied that group “full and equal enjoyment of a service” by refusing to print official t-shirts for the organization’s 2012 Pride Festival.

The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

The Lexington-Fayette County government has a non-discrimination ordinance, which generally prohibits a public place from discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The state of Kentucky has not adopted the policy.

The county’s Human Rights Commission originally ruled that Blaine Adamson of Hands On Originals discriminated against the LGBT group.

But after appealing to the state, Adamson, co-owner of Hands On Originals won the case, when a Fayette County Circuit judge ruled he has a “constitutional right of freedom of expression from government coercion.”

“With all due respect to the Hearing Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission [the plaintiffs arguments] are not factually accurate and are in direct contrast to well established precedent from the United States Supreme Court interpreting the Federal Constitution,” wrote Judge James Ishmael.

The Hearing Commissioner agrees that these cases support a finding that when [Hands On Originals] prints a promotional item, it acts as a speaker, and that this act of speaking is constitutionally protected.

Campbell, the lawyer representing the printing business, says the case signifies that the issue of religious expression in the workplace will continue to be debated in the courts.

And in this case, he said, the judge’s ruling “affirms the right of Americans to live out their faith in the workplace.”



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, April 29, 2015

More hatred of Australia's day of remembrance from the Left

ANZAC day is the day Australia remembers its war dead.  It is a very solemn day for most Australians and there is massive participation in its ceremonies.  It is Australia's only real national day

ANZAC hatred goes back a long way on the Left.  The anti-Anzac play "The One Day of the Year" by Alan Seymour was written in 1958. It was at times set as reading in Australian High Schools.  It sought to dishonour the day by portraying the old soldiers as insensitive drunks. 

Despite the Left, however, the day goes from strength to strength with many young people involved

MORE left-wing journalists joined the anti-Anzac cause on social media yesterday, with a senior Fairfax staffer goading his employer to fire him after he posted belligerent tweets in support of sacked SBS reporter Scott McIntyre.

Following a second round of controversial statements levelled at Anzacs by journalists on social media in as many days, the RSL said the views did not represent most Australians.

The Australian Financial Review’s state political reporter Geoff Winestock tweeted on Sunday he thought, “Anzacs were racist yobs and Anzac Day is a death cult”.

He finished the post with “sack me Fairfax” in reference to SBS firing their soccer reporter for a series of outrageous tweets on Anzac Day accusing our troops of “summary execution, widespread rape and theft”.

In reply to Winestock, former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell said: “Regrettably those objectionable views would probably get you a promotion there (at Fairfax).”

A day earlier, on the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing Winestock posted: “Anzac Day wish: in next 30 years there will be no wars and in 50 years no soldiers around to honour.”

Winestock was not alone in his support for McIntyre, with The Sydney Morning Herald’s deputy news director Marcus Strom taking to social media.

“Seems some people don’t like being reminded of the brutal, genocidal, bloody legacy of racist imperialism today,” Strom tweeted.

NSW RSL president Rod White said comments critical of Anzacs did not reflect the majority Australian view: “I believe the Australian community would disagree with those comments.  “It’s out of step to see the military heritage and the service of the original Anzacs in the view they’ve taken.”

Asked if Fairfax would fire Winestock or if his views breached their Code of Conduct, a spokesman said: “No comment.”



A strong woman

UK: Government medicine at work again

Nobody cares

A nurse who faced surgery to treat breast cancer at the hospital where she worked discovered just days later that she'd never had the disease.

A mix-up at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton meant staff confused the notes of three patients. As a result, Elizabeth Dawes was wrongly told in July 2013 that she had invasive grade three breast cancer following a biopsy.

Doctors advised the 39-year-old that she needed immediate surgery, suggesting a double mastectomy.  Ms Dawes refused, but did undergo major surgery to remove a 'cancerous' tumour from her right breast as well as lymph nodes from her armpit.

The mother-of-one was also told she would need a further procedure to correct 'deformities' to her breasts caused by the first operation.

But four days later, Ms Dawes was asked to attend an appointment with her consultant.  There, he revealed there had been a mix-up with her hospital notes and those of two other patients, - and she had, in fact, never had the disease.

She said: 'I am absolutely appalled at what I have been through and am still struggling to comprehend how this could even happen.

'To be told you are facing aggressive cancer in your 30s is devastating and of course, I feared the worst and began making plans for my child, and getting my finances in order.' 'I was willing to undergo whatever treatment it took to fight the cancer so when I was told I needed surgery, I didn't think twice.'

Ms Dawes was so traumatised she needed anti-depressants and was forced to give up her job in the oncology department at New Cross Hospital.

'I was very sore after the operation and shocked by the extensive scarring, so to be recalled four days later to be told none of it was necessary was truly horrendous.

'I am still in pain now, have lost a lot of sensation in my breasts and the scarring has not improved, which hugely affects my self-confidence.

'Nothing can make up for what has happened but I am determined to see justice done and feel I at least deserve an official apology from the Trust given the huge impact this has had on my life.'

Ms Dawes, who has an 18-year-old son, is taking legal action.

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which operates the hospital, has admitted liability for the misdiagnosis and the unnecessary surgery performed.

Lawyer Louise Hawkley, of Irwin Mitchell, said: 'This is a truly shocking case that has left Elizabeth appalled at the unnecessary heartache, and extensive scarring she has suffered as a result of being wrongly told that she had breast cancer.

'There are also very serious patient safety concerns about the "mix-up" and how the other patients have potentially been affected too.'

She said aside from the 'obvious physical implications', the ordeal has had 'a devastating impact' on her client's life.

Ms Dawes had worked as a breast care nurse in the Oncology Department at New Cross Hospital but has since found herself unable to continue in her role 'as a consequence of what she has been through'.

Ms Hawkley added: 'It is also vital that the Trust identifies what improvements can be made to ensure that this never happens again to improve patient safety at the hospital.'

A trust spokesman told MailOnline it has apologised to Ms Dawes and carried out a full investigation. He said: 'The medical director and nurse director met with Ms Dawes to offer her an unreserved apology for this terrible error and inform her of the trust’s investigation into the incident.  'The findings of the investigation were shared with Ms Dawes and a further apology offered at that time.

'The incident is now part of an ongoing legal claim with which the trust is co-operating fully.  'The trust can confirm that no other patient received inappropriate treatment as a result of this incident.'


Australia: Brisbane councillors tell Muslims who don’t like the Australian way of life to go back to where they came from

A LOGAN City councillor has urged her colleagues to ensure their personal security after they condemned Islamic extremism en masse and called for Australians to stand up for their rights during a full meeting of council yesterday.

One after the other, councillors joined an anti-extremism chorus demanding the Federal Government do something now before the atrocities committed by ISIS overseas were seen being carried out in Australia.

Councillor Jennie Breene (Div 12) said she would be considering her own safety and urged her colleagues to follow suit.

"When we talk about these things, extremists don’t like it,” she said.

Councillor Cherie Dalley (Div 8) said the Federal Government had "pussy-footed” around and was too frightened to do anything.  She said the community was also too scared to speak of their concerns out of fear of being labelled racist.

"We need to have a civilised conversation about the problems perceived by the community and starting at a local level is the best way; to get real people’s feelings out. We are the grassroots, we’re about the people.”

Councillor Phil Pidgeon (Div 9) said Muslims who didn’t love the Australian way of life should go back to where they came from. "Federal members need to be more vocal and say it’s not right to kill people,” he said.

Councillor Luke Smith (Div 6) said Logan residents were making it clear they were concerned and called on Islamic leaders to publicly condemn Islamic extremism and reassure the local community.

Councillor Trevina Schwarz (Div 11) said the "lucky country was starting to go” and said Australia and Islamic leaders needed to take a stance and say extremism wasn’t wanted in Australia.

She said a public forum was needed with leaders in a controlled environment. "We need to protect our society and our city,” she said.

Councillor Don Petersen (Div 4) said if someone wanted to go and fight with ISIS overseas, then they should be left alone to stay over there.

Councillor Steve Swenson (Div 3) said residents were rightfully concerned and said he did not want his children growing up under Sharia Law.

He moved a motion to have the issue of Islamic extremism placed on the next agenda of the Sport and Community Services Committee for discussion.

Mayor Pam Parker said she supported the move for further discussion to provide a better understanding between Islamic extremists and Muslims who embraced the Australian way of life.

Councillor Russell Lutton (Div 2) said while disengaged Australian youth "got on the grog” or "stole a car” young Muslims who did not feel part of a community had the potential to turn to extremism.

He said it was up to Islamic leaders to reach out and engage with their young people.

Logan City Safe Communities spokesman Chris Newman said the organisation had received a ground swell of support since their community meeting opposing a new mosque at Slacks Creek on April 8.  He said the councillors’ comments yesterday were a sign that Logan City Council was starting to respond to the concerns of the community about Islam which he described as a "terror culture”.

"It’s very encouraging that this council has a heart and soul. People have been afraid to speak their minds in their own country.  "People are now becoming more educated and seeing what is going on in the community.”

Mr Newman said the organisation had more public meetings planned but could not confirm the date of the next one yet.

Muslim community spokesman Ali Kadri said he was happy to discuss the issues with councillors and the community it was done objectively and genuinely.  He said it was sad to be asked to condemn Islamic extremism when Muslims were the biggest victim of extremism. "There are more Muslims fighting against ISIS than there are fighting with them.” [A half truth.  It is a war between Muslims of different sects]



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, April 28, 2015

UK: Hopkins Hate and the inhumanity of political correctness

The latest Twitterfury with Katie Hopkins exposes the ugliness of PC

What kind of twisted society would be made more irate by 400 words in a newspaper column than by the deaths of 400 human beings at sea? Our society. Britain in 2015.

When it was reported earlier this week that 400 migrants fleeing poverty and war died in the Mediterranean after their boat from Libya capsized, there was some shaking of heads, sure, and a few handwringing newspaper articles that were shared by a smattering of briefly mournful tweeters. But that was nothing compared with the response to Sun columnist Katie Hopkins’ article about the migrants, in which she said we should send gunships rather than rescue boats to deal with them: that caused the media and Twitter and sections of celebville to go into meltdown. It’s official: we’re now more offended by words than by death. Behold the otherworldliness, even inhumanity, of political correctness, which bristles more at the terms used to describe a horrific event than it does at the event itself.

Hopkins’ article was nasty, yes. Not only did she say she felt nothing for the sort of migrants who find themselves at the mercy of the seas between Africa and Europe — she also described them as ‘cockroaches’ and said they pose a threat to European cities, which are already ‘swamped’ by migrants. Horrible stuff. Nonetheless, a burning question must be asked of the Twitterstorm her piece provoked, in which everyone from Russell Brand to pretty much all Guardian hacks raged against her, accusing her of being a ‘Nazi’, setting up a petition demanding she be dumped by the Sun, and, in some cases, even shopping her to the police. And the question is this: Where was this searing anger, this keyboard-busting fury, when the 400 were reported dead? When, as a direct consequence of the policies of the EU, with its unhinged fear of African and Middle Eastern migrants, these people were actually perishing at sea? If you were made more furious by Hopkins’ article than you were by the deaths themselves, if you tweeted and wailed and petitioned against her but said maybe just an ‘Oh dear’ about the deaths, then it isn’t only Katie who’s fucked up.

What we can see here, clear as day, is the moral turpitude of PC, the warped nature of modern society’s obsession with speech at the expense of everything else, its myopic focus on the appearance of things rather than on things themselves. Ours is an era in which supposed progressives care far more about policing and correcting people’s speech than they do about transforming and improving the real, physical, social world. Left-leaning campaigners devote infinitely more time to keeping an eye on the words politicians and newspapers use to talk about immigrants — insisting that they must ‘change the language’ — than they do to agitating for the dismantling of strict immigration controls. Radical student activists are now wholly concerned with the terms used to describe oppressed people and have nada, zilch, zero to say about how still-existing oppression might be ended.

Ours is a world in which radicals in Australia recently went berserk over PM Tony Abbott’s use of the word ‘lifestyle choice’ to describe the situation of extremely rural Aboriginal communities, yet cannot propose any solution to the depravity of Aboriginal life, the fact that Aborigines are the only people in a Western country who live in Third World conditions. And a world in which, now, numerous people have become obsessed with fixing the problem of Katie Hopkins — via a sacking or censorship or maybe police involvement — yet cannot utter a word about fixing the institutions and policies that caused the deaths of those 400 people she said stupid things about.

What this reveals is that PC is not only censorious, clamouring endlessly for the punishment of those who used wicked or simply wrong terminology — it is also profoundly conservative. It seeks to maintain linguistic order, and in the process pacify public passions, rather than transform the political conditions that cause division, oppression or poverty in the first place. Many on the right foolishly think of PC as some kind of left-wing conspiracy, a case of ‘Cultural Marxists’ overturning institutions and imposing a new, revolutionary rhetoric and outlook. (Where the left is conspiratorially convinced that a ‘neoliberal cabal’ runs the world, the right prefers to fantasise about sects of ‘Cultural Marxists’ conquering our lives.)

But this is nonsense. PC is better understood as a kind of social scaffolding, the new form of unforgiving authority that replaced the collapse of traditional values and which now seeks to hold our fraying societies together. It does not seek to overturn the world; rather, it largely accommodates to the world as it exists, inventing new terms and phrases that excuse or, worse, celebrate the already existing divisions of life in the 21st century.

So rather than overturn racism, it rehabilitates it, through progressive-posing talk of the need for increased racial awareness and consciousness. Far from ending the divide between the sexes, it updates it, replacing the Victorian idea of female weakness with new-fangled notions of women’s fair, feminine qualities in contrast with men’s blinkered competitiveness and machismo. And far from challenging the many great problems that still face humanity — from economic sluggishness, to the profound development gap between North and South, to the mass movements of people that are provoked by such harsh realities — it concerns itself far more with how we talk about these things than it does with how we might tackle and end them. Economic slothfulness becomes ‘eco-friendliness’. Slow growth, or rather no growth, in the Third World is re-imagined as ‘sustainable development’. And the PC watch as the mass and great movements of humanity across the globe are stopped or crushed by government forces and they say: ‘Hey, hey! Whatever you do, don’t call those migrants a “flood” or a “swarm”.’ In short, use nice words as you enforce the global order against them. PC is both an apology for division and poverty, and a distraction from meaningful debate about real, proper change.

And now, the immorality of PC, the baseness of it, has led to the surreal situation where a columnist who said horrible things about migrants is grassed up to the police — the same police who play a key role in throwing out of Britain anyone deemed to be an illegal immigrant and in the process contribute to the criminalisation of migration. Worse, the right-on tweeters who fulminated most loudly against Hopkins come from those sections of public life that are most pro-EU, most enamoured with the very political structure whose policies of keeping out any immigrant with dark skin led to those deaths. They probably even mix in circles that include generous smatterings of EU officials and Brussels-based activists.

There you have it, PC summed up: observers rage against a columnist who called migrants from Africa ‘cockroaches’, and then probably logged off from Twitter to have dinner and drinks with the very people whose power, whose clout, whose laws reduce those migrants to the level of cockroaches in the actual world, the real world, the physical world of borders and seas.


Lauren Southern: Why I am not a feminist

Obsession with Poldark's chest is 'sexist and undermines the whole show', female co-star claims

Why did they hire such a jealous shrew?

As Captain Ross Poldark, his brooding good looks and rippling muscles have sent women around the country into a frenzy.

But Aidan Turner's Poldark co-star Heida Reed has claimed the obsession with his body is sexist, and is unintentionally undermining the BBC1 series.

Miss Reed, 27, who stars in the period drama as Poldark's former lover Elizabeth, said Turner, 31, was being 'objectified' in a way that would not be tolerated if he were female.

Claiming it is evidence of reverse sexism, Miss Reed said: 'I think there should be the same standard for both sexes when it comes to things like this.

'Of course it's nice for everyone involved that he's viewed as a sex symbol or very attractive man. But it's getting a little bit ridiculous. I think it just undermines the rest of the show.

'I don't think it should be any more allowed than if a woman was in the same situation. And if she was, the media would have a field day that she's being objectified.'

Reed said she knew 'for a fact that [Turner is] completely baffled by the amount of interest' in the popularity of images that show him scything in a field.

'The producers had no idea that was going to happen either,' she explained. 'They never said 'let's have his shirt taken off and everyone will go nuts'. It wasn't a strategy.'

The Icelandic actress's comments follow overwhelming interest in Turner's physique from Poldark's avid fans.

Hundreds of viewers have taken to Twitter to marvel at his strapping form, as scenes showed him swimming naked in the sea and scything a field topless.

One joked on Twitter: 'If Poldark gets any hotter we'll have to call the fire brigade.' Another told MailOnline: 'There isn't a single woman I know, who doesn't think he's absolutely gorgeous.'

And they even complained after last week's episode failed to feature Turner's bare chest. One posted: 'All bad news on the Poldark front tonight. @Aidan didn't get his shirt off once.'

However while fans' interest might be taken for flattery, Miss Reed said Turner, who is reportedly engaged to his girlfriend of four years, actress Sarah Greene, is 'completely baffled' by the level of attention, which has included online marriage proposals.

Miss Reed, who is currently starring in a play about revenge porn called Scarlet, in which she appears on stage in just her underwear was speaking to the Daily Telegraph.

Poldark, which is based on the books by Winston Graham, has followed Ross Poldark since he returned from the American War of Independence only to find that his father has died and his former fiancée, Elizabeth, has married another man.

He rescues Demelza, played by Eleanor Tomlinson, 22, from life as a street urchin and takes her in as his maid.

And their relationship develops from a working one to one of passion, climaxing with a steamy bedroom scene.


Female sex offenders

Report from an international conference held in Australia

WHEN Theresa Goddard touched down at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, she thought she was meeting the man of her dreams to start her “incest family”.

The 45-year-old whose online avatar is “pervstepmom”, had been chatting with a 51-year-old father-of-two online for months, sharing photographs, messages and plans to have a baby of their own.

Only after she quit her job at a lumber mill and flew south, she was arrested in an undercover sting led by US Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Kevin Laws, who had been working undercover to capture the woman in the unusual case. “I was the dad pimping out my children,” Mr Laws told

“She posted an ad looking for an incest family. I responded. She wanted to do a number of things. [For me] to get her pregnant. To adopt a child to keep in the basement.”

Ms Goddard is now serving 10 years in jail and Mr Laws used the example as part of his keynote address at a Gold Coast conference focussing on the underreported and often misunderstood realm of female sexual offending.

The Youth, Technology and Virtual Communities Conference is attended by more than 300 delegates from around the world and is focusing on female sexual offenders as its main theme.

“They’ve always been out there but this conference is centred around them. It’s good to get people to think outside the box,” Mr Laws said. “A lot of the females are worse than the males, as far as deviants go.”

The conference takes place over the next three days and aims to provide those in law enforcement and protective services with international expertise to tackle a difficult and evolving issue.

Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, from Taskforce Argos, the Queenland Police unit responsible for hunting down sexual predators said feedback from previous years meant delegates wanted more information on what motivates female sexual offenders.

“We are certainly seeing an increase in our arrests for female sexual offenders,” he said.

“In 12 months we arrested 172 sex offenders - three have been female. The proportion is very different, we are interested in what drives this to happen.”

“Also the variance in sentencing we see …. What is the society view? What is the media view? What is the judiciary view? We’re black and white, but the sentencing regime tends to be very interesting.”

The Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault estimates female offenders are responsible for just 5 per cent of all offences, but it’s a hugely undocumented area made difficult by the lack of research and victims’ reluctance to report crimes.

Studies show that female sex offenders are likely to be known to the victim and male coercion can be an important part of their offending. Detective Rouse said as in all cases, there is no typical profile of a sex offender.

“They come from all walks of life. There’s no way you can put them in a box and say that is the threat. There are always common denominators …[but] there is no single common denonimator.”

The role of technology is also a major component with speeches by representatives from Facebook and Google. Detective Rouse said the rise of online dating has provided would-be offenders with plenty of opportunity, however it’s also given greater scope to police to catch criminals.

“We’re quite patient. We spend several years on a lot of our operations. It comes with that element of risk.”

He said parents and children need to remember not to post photographs of themselves or accept friend requests from strangers.

“We really need mums and dads to educate themselves about the technology they’re providing their kids. You’ve got to remember it does more than ring — it’s a mobile computer now. Threatening that you’re going to take device away and block them from the internet, that’s not going to work, you’re much better off supporting them.”



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

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

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


Monday, April 27, 2015

Multiculturalists SNATCH cellphones from women walking on the pavement

These are the dramatic scenes as a pair of criminals, part of a south London gang, snatch a woman's mobile phone while she walked along a busy street.

The footage is captured by a cyclist who is riding along the road outside Lambeth College in south London.

The woman is talking on her smartphone when the men spot her. They perform a highly-illegal u-turn before mounting the pavement. The pillion passenger twists his body as the moped pulls up beside the stunned woman and wrenches the handset from her grasp.

The cyclist turns his head to continue filming the brazen theft, which was one of a growing number of similar crimes where gangs use speed to snatch high value items such as mobile phones, handbags and items of jewellery.

The Metropolitan Police has issued an urgent warning to members of the public to make them aware of this type of crime.

The Met and the City of London police have deployed vehicles with automatic number plate recognition systems to identify stolen mopeds which are used in such attacks.

They have just released dramatic new footage of the theft outside Lambeth College on July 31, 2013.

Courtney Morgan and Walid Hnida saw their victim and ruthlessly targeted her for her mobile.

Detectives discovered that Morgan and Hnida formed part of an organised criminal network.

The gang targeted mostly women during their crime spree, including one who was heavily pregnant.  They operated across Wandsworth, Lambeth, Richmond upon Thames and Hammersmith and Fulham in south and west London.

One woman was punched in the face and another was dragged along the pavement as she tried to keep hold of her phone which was eventually stolen.

Another woman was pulled onto the hot exhaust of the bike and her leg was so badly burnt she needed hospital treatment.

Officers believe that during the spate of thefts, the gang managed to steal phones and other electronics worth an estimated £120,000.

A spokesperson for the Met said: 'The team, who drove a high-powered scooter to steal phones from their victim’s hands, were responsible for a total of 46 offences - and stealing the moped - all committed over an 11 day period.

'They targeted members of the public for their smartphones - predominantly iPhones, Samsungs and iPads. Whilst the majority of the offences resulted in no injuries being sustained by the predominantly female victims, on at least eight occasions violence was used to force victims into giving up their property.'

Hnida, 18, was jailed for three years and four months while Morgan received two years after a hearing at Kingston Crown Court.


Gavin McInnes on politically correct terrorism

Blue-eyed Australian medic who appears in doctor's scrubs in latest ISIS video is a Muslim

His actions show the power of Islam to fry the brain.  Religion can be very influential and when the religion preaches hate, the result can be very deplorable.  The way he travelled from one job to another in Australia does suggest a restless soul.  From his name he seems most likely to be of Egyptian origin

UPDATE:  He has also shown some of the sexual deviancy often found among Muslim males.  We read:  "Dr Kamleh also had a crude party trick that involved sneaking up behind seated women and placing his exposed penis on their shoulder.  That trick reportedly left a female secretary in shock during an official function to farewell overseas doctors, but he showed no remorse afterwards and saw it as one big joke"

Other reports: "The Australian doctor appearing in a video on behalf of ISIS was a “fraud”, “sleazeball” and a “creep” who had slept with nurses, doctors and even patients — one of them a sex worker — former colleagues claim.

The former Adelaide University medical student was previously referred to as a “womaniser” and a drinker; however, according to The Australian, Kamleh was also a “sexually manipulative fraud” whose “immorality” led him to exploit patients and girlfriends in the name of sexual gratification.

“That was typical of him — impulsive, reckless, immature, absorbed with himself and with a total lack of concern about social consequences for his actions.”

The colleague said Kamleh admitted to being forced out of a shared house following “improper conducts” towards a female housemate. “I could tell he was a bit conflicted and confused about himself

It has been revealed the blue-eyed, Australian doctor who's been hailed the 'new face' of the latest Islamic State propaganda videos was reportedly a 'womaniser' who was thought to be a 'pretty normal guy'.

In ISIS's most recent video, a young doctor, identified as Tareq Kamleh, called on foreign medics to travel to the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa to help launch the ISHS (the Islamic State Health Service).

The video of Kamleh, who refers to himself as Abu Yusuf, showed him handling babies in a maternity ward while wearing western-style blue surgical scrubs and a stethoscope.

Once the propaganda video went viral, people from Kamleh's past started to recognise the previously unidentified doctor.

It was revealed Kamleh, who is believed to be in his late 20's, completed his medical degree at Adelaide University.

Upon completing his degree he reportedly worked as a paediatric registrar at the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital until 2013.

Kamleh then moved to north Queensland where he worked at Mackay Base Hospital, the Age reported.

He completed his final stint in the Australian medical system working in Perth until late 2014.

A university student who knew Kamleh, but did not want to be named, said he showed no signs that he would defect to the radical militant group.  'He was a pretty normal guy, he didn't have any IS related interests,' she told She said the 'clean cut' doctor was well known in her social circle as a 'womaniser' who didn't shy away from drinking alcohol.

Kamleh was also recognised by Dr Stephen Napoli, co-owner of the Mannum Medical Centre in South Australia. He told the Age the 'intelligent' doctor had interned with him for 10 weeks back in 2010.  'As a doctor he worked quite well; he was quite intelligent, he presented to our practice as quite a sound doctor with good medical knowledge,' Dr Napoli said.

Dr Napoli agreed that Kamleh had shown no signs of holding extreme Islamic views.   'There was no indication I'd be worried about his other associations when he was with us.

'There was nothing that I saw of his work as a medical practical that would suggest he would have any of these sorts of views.'

A former college from Adelaide Hospital also came forward reporting that he recognised Kamleh in the footage immediately.

'I was taken aback as much because I certain certainly wouldn't have associated him with an association like IS. His principles seemed to be sound and focused on the care of his patients,' he told the Age.

The collegue, who also chose not to be identified, said Kamleh's behaviours were not consistent with the Islamic State's conservative views on drinking or dating.  'I know he dated a few nurses and other doctors over the years… he was heterosexual and certainly interested in the ladies, with some success.'

He claims to be sad he delayed travelling to Syria for so long.

'It is disappointing to think how many fellow Muslims brothers and sisters in the medical field, who are doctors and nurses, physios, who are still living in the West and unfortunately the Muslims living here are suffering, not necessary from a lack of equipment or medicine but a mainly a lack of qualified medical care.'

Yusuf urges foreign Muslims with medical training to come forward and join the latest caliphate initiative.  'We really need your help. It is not the equipment that we are lacking, it is truly just the staff. Inshallah see you soon.'

In Defense of Private Civic Engagement: Why the Assault on ‘Dark Money’ Threatens Free Speech – and How to Stop the Assault

Being able to speak freely and donate money anonymously has a long and distinguished history in the U.S. The Declaration of Independence, the campaigns for approval of the U.S. Constitution and the end of slavery, and the modern civil rights movement all relied for their success on the right to keep private the identities of persons expressing their opinions or financing unpopular causes.

Today, that right is under attack by groups on the Left using Alinskyite tactics and campaign finance laws to silence and intimidate anyone who disagrees with them. The right to participate anonymously in debates over matters of public policy is more important than ever.

In a new Heartland Policy Study, “In Defense of Private Civic Engagement: Why the Assault on ‘Dark Money’ Threatens Free Speech – and How to Stop the Assault,” constitutional scholar Nick Dranias notes, “private civic engagement serves a critically important purpose in keeping the marketplace of ideas focused on the message, not the messenger. It also protects the messenger from retaliation when speaking truth to power.”

To protect individual liberty, we must find ways to reinvigorate our nation’s heritage of protecting the right to engage anonymously in civic causes. Dranias provides a roadmap for doing just that.



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

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

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


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Multiculturalism is a racist ideology

Below is a rather intellectual essay from Britain.  I will try to give the gist of it in plain words:

Extensive immigration of incompatible minorities makes middle class people uncomfortable but they are heavily into righteousness so regard racism as immoral and cannot express the discomfort and alarm that they really feel. They need to deny that there is anything problematic about the incomers.  But they have to have some outlet for the real discomfort and anger that they feel so displace that anger on to those who do not share their unrealistic beliefs.  They blame those who DO express discomfort with the immigrant influx and and who thereby upset the middle class denial that anything is wrong.  They vent their anger on more natural and straightforward people.

And those who express discomfort with mass immigration and a longing for the pre-immigration state of affairs are mostly the working class, who are less uptight about righteousness.  So the former Leftist glorification of the workers is all gone now.  The workers are now the despised enemy.  They have lost their bourgeois Leftist defenders and champions.

But there is a lot to deny -- such as the high rate of black and Gypsy criminality and the high rate of Muslim hostility, so the preoccupation with denying racial differences becomes a daily  obsession. It is very race conscious and is therefore racist in that sense alone.  Their avowed belief that all races are equal is itself a racist belief -- or at least a rigidly held and race-obsessed belief. Stereotypes are normally very flexible and responsive to new information, but when they are driven by emotional needs, they can become very rigid indeed.

And, like all racism, it has its victims -- it is just that the victims are not minorities but rather the straightforward people who are not so uptight about racial righteousness. It is as hostile and intolerant as any other form of racism.  The slightest deviation from the middle-class norm is punished.  The desperate middle class need to think well of themselves leads them to despise others.  And in England the working class has always been looked down on anyway.

While I mostly agree with that account, I think it does not go deep enough.  I think we need to ask WHY some people have such a powerful need for an appearance of righteousness.  And since the hard core of the people concerned are Leftists, I think the answer is obvious.  They need an appearance of righteousness and compassion as camouflage for the real evil and hostility of their actual intentions and wishes  -- evil very plainly seen when they gain unrestricted power -- as in Soviet Russia, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, the French revolution etc.

Note that "indigenous" is used below to refer to the English

by Stephen Moriarty

We live in a world in which ethnic conflict is a problem of immeasurable seriousness. Swift had it right when he hinted that humans would fight over which end of their boiled eggs they broke first. How do we explain this? Most arguments make out that ethnic conflict is either inexplicable or immoral or both. Yet there must be an explanation, and since such conflict is conducted by human beings, there is clearly a point at which people overcome their scruples about it.

I think one of our difficulties is that it is usually assumed that a persuasive moral case is a persuasive political case, but it is not, as Machiavelli pointed out long ago. People do not act in line with even their sincere moral beliefs. We fully accept this with regard to things. We know the world would be a better place if possessions were shared and cared for by everyone, but we also know that our sinful nature makes us incapable of this. Capitalism is founded on this concession to “sin”. Marriage and “just war” are similar concessions by Christianity.

The conviction that human nature is essentially good, or can be made so, is a “bourgeois ideology” in the Marxist sense. Sensitive people who live in comfortable circumstances can benefit from the exploitation of those less fortunate with an easier conscience when they believe that life in poorer parts of society is only poorer, rather than also more vicious. This is important because it is difficult otherwise to understand the actions of the Left in destroying the only practical basis for socialism – national identity – by its actions after 1997. The answer is that it was never genuinely socialist in the first place. Its socialism was a bourgeois pose, a display of status by those who never wanted to face its consequences.

Indeed Marxism is a bourgeois ideology in the Marxist sense: the insight was hardly new that people tend to believe what suits them, and Marx excluded sexual motivation and thus relieved prudish people from having to think about the intractability and universality of human evil. This unwillingness to face the reality of universal evil leaves Marxists (and we are all Marxists now) prone to believe in evil in a religious sense (as supernatural) and therefore also prone to witch-hunting and wishful thinking.

The blogger Steve Moxon says that the PC project is a reaction to the failure of the Marxist prophesy of a proletarian revolution. The proletariat, stereotyped as white working-class males, has been rounded-on by its erstwhile champions (a Marxist/Dickensian sentimentality about the working-class was widespread until very recently), who now fetishise anything that is notwhite, working-class, or male, he says. Nevertheless low-status males remain, he says, the least privileged group in all societies; he says there is now a “runaway” bias against them such that their manifestly rough deal, in particular with regard to access to sex and reproduction, is not addressed. I think it is interesting that the two groups involved in the “grooming gangs” were low-status males and white girls from the British underclass.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the “grooming” cases was its show-casing of anti-white prejudice, although one should also mention the long paralysis of the authorities in the face of the problem. Such prejudice is common, as I once heard a brave black caller to BBC Radio 5 attest. The existence of this prejudice is like the existence of Saturn’s moons: it blows a whole world-view to pieces. As Albert Memmi describes in his book Portrait du colonise, portrait du colonisateur, the indigenous population becomes stereotyped as lazy. This is partly because indigenous people have usually established a civilisation in which there is some room for leisure and sharing and because they make up a full spectrum that includes the old, the sick and the feeble, whereas immigrants are obliged to work very hard (and all due credit to them for this) and are almost by definition dynamic. They also often have an ambassadorial pride in their birth-identity.

Furthermore, civilisations have strong hospitality codes that dictate self-effacing generosity to newcomers. Thus it tends to be the host civilisation that breaks down when confronted by mass immigration, because this self-effacement interrupts the normal process of inter-generational acculturation (see the “diversity agenda” in schools and on the BBC, for instance). Yet, in the unconscious of the colonisers, a people who have allowed themselves to be colonised are contemptible, all the more so perhaps when they have previously dressed up their cowardice as charity and thus insulted everyone by condescension.

The black lady who responded calmly to Emma West said that she was here to do the work people like Emma West didn’t want to do. This opinion is understandable because it must be difficult for immigrants to find an explanation for their being invited here in such numbers and under so little compulsion to assimilate if it was not because there was something wrong with the indigenous population. Many immigrants must have the impression that the British ruling class has decided to replace its people despite all the obvious risks, and that therefore the English working-class must have been truly useless.

The English working-class are thus in grave danger of becoming the “Other” to the “British”. They are, to many, the main moral, ideological and practical obstacle to the New Britain (Peter Mandelson’s phrase). They are subject to negative stereotyping on the grounds of culture, class, race, and “loser” status in the current colonial process (and as the descendants of the foot-soldiers of imperialism). The less the New British have in common (and multiculturalism is an ideology that celebrates division), the more they need a scapegoat; and the more the English attempt to resist, the more they will prove their savage incompatibility with modernity.

It is this that partly explains the oft-noted anomaly of greater hostility to immigration in low-immigration areas. In a society based on the notion of relatedness, inherent but taboo negative qualities are projected onto outsiders (“the Other”). When there is sufficient immigration, this ideology becomes untenable, not so much because it has been debunked (which it is to a degree), but because it becomes taboo: people suppress their fear in order to be able to go on with life. It becomes necessary to believe that the new situation is alright, that a society without kinship bonds is not less secure than one with them, and that the enemy is now those atavistic individuals whose persistence in regretting the change is a painful reminder that all may not be well. These become the scapegoat for all the fear and repressed “longing for the tribe”. They become the Other onto which the new taboo of racism can be projected. Racism becomes almost the only sin (and it is indeed a kind of original sin because it is inherent in all of us – we have an instinct to preserve local adaptation by mating with people like ourselves) because, in the effort to believe everything is alright, newcomers are sanctified, and since they are really normal, sinful, people, this means that much normal human sinfulness is placed beyond criticism. Only racism remains as “wrong”. This is “liberalism” and “multiculturalism”.

Thus the natural tendencies of human beings are inverted, rather as gravity holds up the arch. Perhaps societies always function in this masochistic way. As Roger Hicks has pointed out, we can see parallels with the Communist taboo on possessiveness, the Catholic taboo on sex and the general religious taboo on reason: they all use “prestige suggestion”, the bold denial of obvious truth, combined with Girardian group-psychology, to instil guilt and fear. While societies based on kinship can scapegoat outsiders (harmlessly?), those based on “anti-racism” (see below for why this is in quotation marks) will always need an internal scapegoat because they are based on the idea that there is no such thing as an outsider.

I am trying not to romanticise tribal society here. It is probably true that scapegoating was a normal part of tribal life, and an individual or group within the tribe might have found themselves accused of treachery, of being an Other, but in general the natural function of Othering was probably to keep the tribe alert to the very real danger that other tribes posed whilst maintaining “civilised” behaviour within the tribe. I suppose I am trying to trace out what happens when this natural function of Othering is frustrated by the guilt-mechanism of “anti-racism”.

While multicultural societies intend to treat all groups equally, in fact it is the indigenous population, as a consequence of its nostalgia, which provides the scapegoats. In practice it is only the indigenous population, initially in the majority, that has to adopt the new paradigm: in-coming groups, whilst ostensibly treating “racists” as the Other just like everyone else, remain able to “to other” foreigners, since they are one and the same people: indigenous individuals.

Thus the culture of indigenous population comes under an intense assault. Any attempt to maintain that culture is rejected by many of the indigenous because such loyalty is implicit evidence that the ideology of multiculturalism is flawed and that the new structure is dangerously unstable. Unable to face their situation, they instead redouble their efforts to believe that everything is alright: there occurs a frenzied fetishisation of the foreign and a further stigmatisation of the domestic culture, bringing about its collapse.

Thus what appears to be the apogee of progressive politics – multiculturalism – is in fact its nemesis. Every progressive cause is sacrificed upon its altar: manners, feminism, gay-liberation, child-welfare, animal-rights, rationalism, free-speech, economic equality and, most ironically of all, anti-racism. The mechanism by which (admittedly limited) progress is possible – rational debate leading to consensus – is wrecked by the apparatus of multiculturalism (which is, of course, merely relativism writ large): speech laws (they “creep” because any controversial opinion is a metaphor for the taboo); patronising, indeed racist, sensitivity to “cultural practices” (which become totemic – provocatively assertive); the fragmentation of the demos.

At the bottom of this catastrophe is hypocrisy. Richard Millet has quoted Moliere: “L’hypocrisie, c’est un vice a la mode, et tous vices a la mode passent pour virtus.”

Multiculturalism is a racist ideology.


The amazing Gavin McInnes on Spring Break rape -- and why it sucks not being a liberal

Another perverted Muslim

Harley Street plastic surgeon 'molested patient in his surgery after plying her with vodka

The eminent plastic surgeon who treated acid attack victim Katie Piper molested another patient after getting drunk in his surgery, a tribunal was told yesterday.

Mohammad Ali Jawad, 56, allegedly dimmed the lights, shut the blinds and asked her to dance to the music of Julio Iglesias before massaging her neck and touching her breasts.

To the strains of the Spanish singer crooning on his iPhone, he is claimed to have asked her: ‘Do you see me as a man or a surgeon?’

The woman, known as Patient A, told a hearing considering Dr Jawad’s fitness to practise that when she went to him for a consultation about treatment for facial scarring, she took a bottle of vodka from her native Poland as a gift.

He opened it in front of her, brought out two shot glasses and when the next patient cancelled his appointment, he gulped down some vodka, Patient A said.

‘We had a shot first and I think he had a few, then he put the vodka in the bigger crystal glasses,’ she added. ‘The more he drank, the more he kept staring at my cleavage and telling me I looked pretty. He asked about my employment. He offered me a job at the clinic.

‘I was a little bit uncomfortable. I wouldn’t say I was distressed, but it was becoming a little weird. He was becoming increasingly drunk.’

Patient A, a former personal assistant in her 30s, said: ‘He re-entered the room and dimmed the lights, pulled the blinds down and played Julio Iglesias on his iPhone.

'He then opened a bottle of red wine, then he asked me to dance with him. He didn’t really say anything – he grabbed me.

‘I didn’t stop him, I was paralysed. I pushed him away and managed to remove myself from his grip. I told him I would show him something on the internet, so he let me go.

‘I showed him pictures of my friends on Facebook and that’s when he stood behind me and started massaging my neck. He then moved his hand from my neck to my collarbone and the front of my chest. I was paralysed.’

She added: ‘He then sat down on the chair next to me, facing me. He pulled his legs round one of mine and squeezed my leg with his. He put his hands on my knee and asked if I thought he was pretty. He then asked me if I saw him as a man or a surgeon.

‘When I said I saw him as a surgeon, he said: “Well if that is the case, there is nothing for us to discuss.” I got up, took my bag and coat and left in a hurry.’

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester was told the incident happened in October 2012 during a three-hour consultation at his Nip n Tuck surgery in Marylebone, London.

The tribunal heard Dr Jawad and Patient A first met for a consultation in January 2010 and had at least two other meetings before the incident, but they communicated by text message and email.

The surgeon denies all of the allegations of misconduct and will give evidence via videolink from Karachi, Pakistan, where he is currently living and working.


UKIP leader admits he has a 'preference' for Australian immigrants over Somalis and Eastern Europeans

Nigel Farage has admitted that he has a 'preference' for Australian immigrants over Eastern Europeans and Somalians.

The Ukip leader said he had to 'confess' that he was happier accepting migrants from Commonwealth countries such as Australian and India because they could speak English and understood Britain's legal system.

The controversial remarks come after Mr Farage demanded that refugees fleeing to Europe across the Mediterranean are sent back.

Mr Farage, who has also admitted today that he went 'a bit wonky' and made mistakes at the start of Ukip's election campaign, was asked on BBC Newsnight whether he was anti all immigration or preferred some foreigners to others.

The BBC presenter Evan Davis asked: 'Let's suppose one from Mogadishu with the same skills, the same ability to speak English, but not as a first language from one from Melbourne do you have a preference?'

Mr Farage said: 'I have to confess I do have a slight preference. I do think, naturally that people from India and Australia are in some ways more likely to speak English, understand common law and have a connection with this country that some people that come perhaps from countries that haven't fully recovered from being behind the Iron Curtain.'

The remarks are the latest in a series of pointed interventions Mr Farage has made on the issue of immigration.

During the live leaders' TV debates Mr Farage said the NHS should not be treating foreigners with HIV.

Speaking to the BBC tonight, Mr Farage admitted that he purposely ramped up the rhetoric to 'wake people up'. He said: 'Sometimes have to say things in a way to get noticed, of that there's no question.

'In order to get the public aware of some of these issues perhaps at time that tone had to be used. But you are not you are not hearing, and you're interviewing me now as we approach a general election, you are not hearing that tone from me.'

Earlier Mr Farage admitted that he had 'made some mistakes' in the campaign insisted he was looking forward to the rest of the campaign and had 'a bit of the old vim and vigour back'.

Speaking to Channel 4 News tonight he said: 'I started the campaign and think I make some mistakes.  'My desperation for Ukip to do well meant that I really packed the diary and the day in a way that frankly wasn't very bright. I have now trimmed it back a bit. I'm being a bit more selective.'

Asked if he was 'exhausted' he said: 'No, I'm now actually rejuvenated and enjoying it again.'

But told he had looked 'a bit wonky' earlier in the campaign, Mr Farage said: 'I was. No, no. Hands up I was. I had completely overdone it.  'I wasn't getting it right. I feel a bit of the old vim and vigour back and I'm looking forward to the next fortnight.'

The admission came as the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg accused Mr Farage of being an 'odious Victor Meldrew' character.

It came after Mr Farage called for any migrants rescued from the Mediterranean to be sent back to Africa.

The Ukip leader said 'millions' of refugees could arrive on boats in Europe over the next few years unless they are intercepted and turned back now.

Mr Farage urged Prime Minister David Cameron to resist pressure at an emergency summit of EU leaders in Brussels tomorrow for Britain to take in large numbers of refugees brought across the Mediterranean by people-smugglers.

He insisted the UK could not take more than 'a few thousand' genuine refugees.

However, a major survey published today suggested Mr Farage's hard-line immigration stance was popular with the public.

Barely one in ten electors say they are satisfied with Conservative border policies over the past five years.

The poll by Ipsos MORI suggests this unhappiness may be the key factor behind large numbers of Conservative voters switching to Ukip.  For all voters, six in ten electors say they are unhappy about the Tories handling of the nation's borders.

A significant number of voters also insist immigration is still not being discussed enough by the politicians.

During the current campaign, the Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats have all avoided talking about the subject.

The poll will now put pressure on the Prime Minister to change course and begin promoting his policies – which are far tougher than any advocated by Labour.



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, April 24, 2015

Are women who don't want children blue lobsters?

I probably don't need to say so but lobsters are normally red

A long but amusingly uninsightful essay below.  It appeared in "The Atlantic" under the heading "Why Women Aren't Having Children".  The author, Sophie Gilbert,  praises the attitudes and feelings of women who do not want to have children -- without apparently realizing that she is praising destruction of the attitudes concerned.  Attitudes and personality are highly hereditary so what is happening is that non-maternal women are breeding themselves out of existence.  With no children their particular genes will perish. 

There have always been some non-maternal women, some of whom became the well-known category of "maiden aunts".  But, in the absence of contraception and amid social pressures to marry, many did reproduce and passed on their anti-survival instincts.

So it is surely a very good thing that non-maternal women now feel free to breed themselves out of existence.   Future generations will look back on them with wonder and pity.

So an apt reply to the disturbed Shulamith Firestone, who believed that “childbearing was barbaric and pregnancy should be abolished”, is surely that she is more than welcome to abolish herself -- which she duly did in 2012, leaving no-one behind like her

Women who don't want children are evolutionary duds  -- and we are now seeing the last of them.  They are a "sport" (a genetic accident).  They are not as unusual as blue lobsters but result from a similar process.

A methodological note:  With regard to the fact that highly educated women are less likely to have children, one must offer the classic caution that correlation is not causation.  Not having children is not the same as not wanting them and for the subset who actually do not want them, it must be allowed that such women may be more likely to fill their lives with extra education.  The direction of the causal arrow between more education and childlessness is not in general known and subjective reports may be unreliable

A personal note:  What I have said above is undoubtedly politically incorrect and, if I were in employment, attempts would probably be made to get me fired.  What I have said is, however, I believe, entirely objective and, as such, is not intended to hurt,  offend, disparage or condemn.  And it is undoubtedly scientifically accurate. I cheerfully admit however that I have a great love of children and had a great time helping to bring up four of them.  I am not a blue lobster

Pope Francis is widely believed to be a cool Pope—a huggable, Upworthyish, meme-ready, self-deprecating leader for a new generation of worshippers. “He has described himself as a sinner,” writes Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Pope Francis’ entry on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world,  “and his nonjudgmental views on … issues such as sexual orientation and divorce have brought hope to millions of Roman Catholics around the world.”

But there’s one issue that can make even Cool Pope Francis himself sound a little, well, judgy. “A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society,” the pontiff told an audience in St. Peter’s Square earlier this year. “The choice not to have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished.”

Not Wanting Kids Is Entirely Normal

Ignore the irony of a man who’s celibate by choice delivering a lecture on the sacred duty of procreating, and focus instead on his use of the word “selfish.” This particular descriptor is both the word most commonly associated with people who decide not to have children, and part of the title of a new collection of essays, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed, by 16 different writers (both female and male) who fall into exactly that category. While the association appears to be so deeply embedded in the collective psyche that it’d take dynamite to shift it, if the book reveals anything, it’s that there’s an awful lot more to not wanting children than the impulse to put oneself first. “People who want children are all alike,” writes editor Meghan Daum in the book’s introduction, with apologies to Tolstoy. “People who don’t want children don’t want them in their own way.”

The 16 essays—variously funny, devastating, infuriating, insightful, and, yes, occasionally smug—not only dismantle the assumption of selfishness, they shed light on a stigma that’s remained stubbornly pervasive well into the 21st century, even as other formerly taboo lifestyles have become thoroughly mainstream. In 2015, thanks in no small part to the success of various works of fiction, it’s more acceptable to talk about wanting to be beaten by a sexual partner than it is to express honestly and openly a deliberate intent to not procreate.

“Shame,” writes the psychotherapist Jeanne Safer in one essay, “—for being selfish, unfeminine, or unable to nurture—is one of the hardest emotions to work through for women who are conflicted about having children.” In 1989, Safer wrote a magazine article about her “conscious decision not to have a child,” but was so aware of the thorny territory she was wading into that she published it under a pseudonym. The article became a book, Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children, and Safer became a figurehead for all the likeminded women who felt, she writes, “that someone was speaking for them at last.”

Twenty-six years later, the women Safer interviewed tell her they’re more than happy with their choices, but still the shadow of shame lingers. “Any person who marries but rejects procreation is seen as unnatural,” writes the author Sigrid Nunez in another essay. “But a woman who confesses never to have felt the desire for a baby is considered a freak. Women have always been raised to believe they would not be complete and could not be thought to have succeeded in life without the experience of motherhood.”

The concept of the innate biological desire to have a baby is a familiar one, repeated throughout books and television shows and emotional anecdotes about how friends and family members were suddenly gripped with a burning desire to get pregnant. But for women who’ve never felt such an urge, and who keep waiting for it to happen without ever experiencing any such stirrings, the notion can be alienating. “I finally said to myself, I don’t really want to have a baby, I want to want to have a baby,” writes Safer. “I longed to feel like everyone else, but I had to face the fact that I did not.” If you're of child-bearing age, it can indeed feel like Facebook feeds are flooded with bump selfies and sonograms and baby pictures. In the 1970s, one in ten women reached menopause without giving birth to a child. But by 2010, it was one in five, according to data gathered by the Pew Research Center, and one in four for women with a bachelor’s degree. A quarter of educated American women are getting through life without ever having children.

The inextricable links between increased education and intelligence, and opting out of procreation, are underscored by Laura Kipnis, a cultural critic who writes one of the more explicitly feminist essays in the book. Referring to the activist Shulamith Firestone, who believed that “childbearing was barbaric and pregnancy should be abolished,” Kipnis ponders the value of equating motherhood with “such supposedly ‘natural’ facts as maternal instinct and mother-child bonds,” which, she writes, “exist as social conventions of womanhood at this moment in history, not as eternal conditions.” The concept of profound maternal affection, she argues, was invented in the 19th century after both birth and child mortality rates started to decline. Before that, women couldn’t afford to get attached to infants that had a 15 to 30 percent chance of not reaching their first birthday. Ditto the concept of mother-child bonding, which coincided with the rise of industrialization, “when wage labor first became an option for women” and it became important to impress upon them the significance of staying home. The reason why fewer women are giving birth in Western countries, Kipnis says, is education.

Though no one exactly says it, women are voting with their ovaries, and the reason is simple. There are too few social supports, especially given the fact that the majority of women are no longer just mothers now, they’re mother-workers. Yet virtually no social policy accounts for this. Interestingly, women with the most education are the ones having the fewest children, though even basic literacy has a negative effect on birthrates in the developing world—the higher the literacy rate, the lower the birthrate. In other words, when women acquire critical skills and start weighing their options, they soon wise up to the fact that they’re not getting enough recompense for their labors.
That critical thinking plays a role in falling birthrates is backed up by a study conducted at Kansas State University, in which researchers found that “people’s desire to have children is most influenced by the positive and negative interactions, and the trade-offs.” These are detailed elegantly in an essay by Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, a book in which a mother’s life is ruined by her psychopathic son. “I could have afforded children, financially,” Shriver writes. “I just didn’t want them. They are untidy, they would have messed up my apartment. In the main, they are ungrateful. They would have siphoned away too much time from my precious books.”

Shriver acknowledges that this attitude could be interpreted as selfish. But, it seems, her feelings are indicative of “a larger transformation in Western culture no less profound than our collective consensus on what life is for.” In other words, she's saying, an existential shift in the way educated humans approach living—a switch from living for the (possibly celestial) future to enjoying the present—has led humans to think much more carefully about having children, since the drawbacks tend to outweigh the benefits. “As we age,” she writes, “we are apt to look back on our pasts and question, not, did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.”

That attitude might indeed be selfish, but is it any more selfish than bringing ever more humans into an overpopulated world? Is it more selfish than having a baby simply because you want to, which is often the case? Has anyone in recent memory declared that they were procreating out of a selfless desire to perpetuate the human race, when the human race has never, ever, been less in need of perpetuation? The sense that having children is the most worthy of human activities is questioned by the writer Tim Kreider, who argues that it’s “a pretty low-rent ultimate purpose that’s shared with viruses and bacteria.” Ditto Geoff Dyer, who writes in his very funny essay that “not having children is seen as supremely selfish, as though the people having children were selflessly sacrificing themselves in a valiant attempt to ensure the survival of our endangered species, and fill up this vast and underpopulated planet.”

Has anyone in recent memory declared that they were procreating out of selfless altruism?
Not having children isn’t selfish. Not having children is a perfectly rational and reasonable response given that humans are essentially parasites on the face of a perfectly lovely and well-balanced planet, ploughing through its natural resources, eradicating its endangered species, and ruining its most wonderful landscapes. This might sound misanthropic, and it is, but it is also true.

Maybe the world would be a better place if fewer women weren’t compelled to have children while their resources are stretched unreasonably thin. Maybe fewer sweet, chubby-cheeked toddlers would grow up to be surly, resentful adults because they always had the lingering sense their presence wasn’t wanted. Many of the writers in Shallow, Selfish, and Self-Absorbed discuss their own traumatic childhoods, and how they were made to feel responsible for their parents’ failed careers, or failed relationships, or unhappy lives. But there should be no shame attached to the decision not to participate any further in the great human experiment, whether or not it comes from the fact that that experiment has failed a person in the past. “To me, the lack of desire to have a child is innate,” the Fusion culture editor Danielle Henderson writes. “It exists outside of my control. It is simply who I am, and I can take neither credit nor blame for all that it may or may not signify.”

As a compilation of writing, Shallow, Selfish, and Self-Absorbed is generally very strong, bringing together a diverse range of voices and styles to riff entertainingly on a subject that has seemed, up until now, unriffable. But as a collection of manifestos, it’s hugely significant. It won’t influence anyone hell-bent on children away from having them, nor will it dissuade people who feel eternally conflicted about the subject. But what it does, more crucially, is refuse to accept the perpetuation of the myths that have surrounded childbirth for the last 200 years—that women have a biological need to procreate, and that having children is the single most significant thing a person can do with his or her life, and that not having children leaves people sad and empty. Try telling that to Oprah Winfrey, or Ellen DeGeneres, or Jane Austen, or Queen Elizabeth I. Or George Washington, or Nikola Tesla. The argument that lingers after having read the book is that the sooner having children is approached from a rational standpoint rather than an emotional one, the better for humanity, even if the result is that there are slightly fewer people left to enjoy it.


New York Times Accidentally Tells the Truth About the Palestinians

To read the New York Times, one would think that the situation in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) region in 2015 is the same as it was in 1985 or 1975. Israel is “occupying the West Bank,” Palestinians are denied the right to vote, and Palestinian violence is inevitable because Israeli control makes them feel hopeless. That was more or less the theme of the Times‘ March 31 feature story on the situation in the territories today.

But every once in a while, a Times reporter accidentally lets the cat out of the bag, and a discerning reader discovers that the truth is almost the exact opposite of what the Times is trying to convey.

Correspondent Diaa Hadid began her lengthy March 31 article on what was (for her) a hopeful note, pointing out that “the United States and Europe seem ever more ready to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank.”

Then, in the 12th paragraph, Hadid mentioned a fact that must have been confusing to Times readers. The Palestinian Authority held “a presidential election in 2005,” she noted in passing.

Wait a minute. We thought that the Palestinians have all been disenfranchised by the Israeli “occupation.” We were told –by the Times and most of the international news media– that Israel is preventing the Palestinians from exercising their democratic right to vote. Now it turns out that the Palestinian Authority did have an election in 2005 –and the only reason they haven’t held another once since then is because, as Hadid wrote, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas “has systematically snuffed out any challenges to his rule.”

In other words, it is the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, that is preventing Palestinian democracy. Interesting!

Then, another fascinating fact, this one in the 13th paragraph. A Palestinian critic of Abbas told the reporter, Ms. Hadid, that he “would only give the nickname Abu Mohammed, because he feared harassment by security forces.” She was referring, of course, to the Palestinian security forces. Remarkable! So it’s not the Israelis who are suppressing Palestinian dissidents and protesters–it’s the Palestinian Authority’s own security forces.

And if a reader managed to make it all the way down to paragraph 23, he would find Ms. Hadid mentioning that “Mr. Abbas was once praised for establishing security, cracking down on gunmen who terrorize Palestinian communities…” So it is Palestinian, not Israeli, “gunmen” who have been “terrorizing” the Palestinians. Who knew?

But the real kicker was in the 14th paragraph. “The Palestinian Authority,” Ms. Hadid reported –again, in passing– “governs Palestinian communities in the West Bank.”

How can that be? She had referred at the beginning of the article to “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.” Now she is reporting the exact opposite–namely, that it is the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, which governs “Palestinian communities” there.

And she was right. Because although the Times and other supporters of the Palestinian cause are loathe to acknowledge it, Israel (under Yitzhak Rabin) in 1995 withdrew from the areas in Judea-Samaria where more than 95 percent of the Palestinians reside. The “occupation” ended twenty years ago. You can’t blame Israel for the way the PA mismanages the areas that it occupies.

By the 31st paragraph, however, Ms. Hadid managed to come full circle and find a way to blame Israel. Even though it is the Palestinian Authority that governs the Palestinians; even though the Palestinians do indeed vote, when the PA consents to hold elections; and even though it is the PA’s security forces that “terrorize” the Palestinians–nevertheless, it’s all Israel’s fault: “While many Palestinians acknowledge their system is broken” –a generous way of describing the situation– “they worry that it is being used as an excuse by Israel and other countries to allow their statehood hopes to wither.”

The truth is that the Palestinian Authority’s self-rule regime is already a state in every major respect but two: it does not have full control of its borders, and it does not have a full-fledged army. Not surprisingly, Israel is not anxious to have terrorists pouring across a PA-controlled border, or PA tanks and jet bombers a few miles from Tel Aviv.

So if Diaa Hadid and the New York Times want to make the case for supplying tanks to the PA, let them be open about it and say so–but please, stop pretending that the problem is some mythical Israeli “occupation.” It’s not 1985 any more.


Congress Looks to nobble DC's Intolerance

The U.S. Constitution is a six-block walk from the D.C. City Council — but it’s light years away from the District’s policy making. For years, members of the D.C. government have pretended that the First Amendment in their neighborhood doesn’t apply to their lawmaking, especially when it comes to social issues.

The latest example is the city’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), which it raced through in January against the warnings of its own legal team. Under the bill, it would be a crime for groups to not only refuse to pay for abortion coverage — but to refuse to hire a pro-abortion activist. Of course, everyone is familiar with the first part of the measure, thanks to the ObamaCare mandate. But ordering groups like FRC to set aside its beliefs and hire members of the opposition? That’s as unconstitutional as it gets!

Imagine if Congress passed a law demanding that Muslim organizations hire Jews? Or that an atheist group put Christians on the payroll? It’s the same concept here — but the D.C. Council has somehow bypassed the controversy in the name of “tolerance.” Or so it thought. Thanks to the Republican House, Congress is planning to remind D.C. that it has legislative power over the Council. As part of its oversight powers, the House and Senate have 30 legislative days to review the District’s laws and strike them down, if necessary. Both Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) have resolutions designed to do exactly that. For Congress, it would be a rare muscle-flexing over the District. According to records, it’s been 23 years since a disapproval measure has actually been taken up by both chambers.

Right now, conservatives' biggest enemy is time. With the review period set to end on May 2, the clock is ticking on a potential counter-punch. Then, of course, there’s the matter of the White House’s approval. Even if the House and Senate overrule D.C., it still needs the President’s signature. Not to worry, says the Republican Study Committee. There are plenty of ways to make RHNDA toothless without the White House’s help. “Should the President fail to sign a resolution of disapproval … the committee should ensure that any Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations measure contains language that would prohibit funds to implement or carry out any rule or regulation associated with the [bills].”

One strategy would be to load up the resolutions with policy riders that handcuff how the District’s “reproductive health” monies can be spent. Republicans in the House will consider all of their options when they mark up the resolution tonight.

In her press conference [Monday], D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said that the debate “needlessly pits reproductive freedom against freedom from discrimination.” We agree. Religious groups should be free from the same “discrimination” this bill unleashes on men and women of faith. Her measure is a slap in the face of the First Amendment, religious freedom, and employers' rights.

Disagreement isn’t discrimination, as David Wuerl and John Garvey point out. H.J. Res. 43 agrees with D.C.’s own Attorney General — and hundreds of years of constitutional law — that forcing people to surrender their deeply-held beliefs is “legally insufficient.” We applaud the conservatives in the House and Senate for going to bat for Americans' freedom to live and work according to their faith.


Childish attempt at censorship by leader of Canada's liberals

Warren Kinsella

Forget about Justin Trudeau and Ezra Levant. Difficult, we know, but try.  Reflect, instead, on David Akin.

David Akin is a journalist, a real one. Unlike Ezra (or Yours Truly), David is not a purveyor of infotainment. He is a real reporter, one who chases facts, and I would not be surprised if he has actual ink running through his veins.

David has worked as a journalist at the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, Canwest and CTV News. At CTV, he won a Gemini Award for his work. At the Globe, he was a National Newspaper Award finalist.

David presently works at the Sun News Network, where he covers elections on his Battleground show. I can tell you, without qualification, that he is one of the most respected journalists on Parliament Hill.

And Justin Trudeau won’t talk to him.  Not because Ezra Levant called Trudeau’s parents names on his TV show last week. After Ezra did that, Trudeau announced that he would not be talking to anyone associated with the Sun News Network.

No, Justin Trudeau hadn’t been talking to David Akin for long, long before that. Simply because he was associated with Sun.

I know this because, last Christmas, Sun execs asked me to interview Trudeau on-air. I’d been a Special Assistant to Jean Chretien, I’d run as a Liberal, and I wasn’t Ezra Levant. So I called up Trudeau’s most senior advisor, who I’ve known for years.

The senior advisor laughed. Not a chance, he said. Why, I asked. “Because,” he said, “Ezra Levant put my name on a list of the most dangerous people in Canada.”

I tried to point out that being called “dangerous” by Ezra Levant is the highest compliment a Liberal could receive. I argued that I’d run all the questions by them in advance. To no avail.

No interview, I was told. No access to a (possible) future Prime Minister by the (actual) largest newspaper chain in Canada.

I told David Akin about all this. He shrugged. “Don’t feel bad,” he said. “Trudeau won’t ever talk to me, either.”

Real journalists are never afraid to correct the record. So, let’s do so: Justin Trudeau refusing to talk to anyone associated with Sun News – a diktat that will soon be embraced by every Liberal seeking to curry favour with him, just watch – isn’t news. He’s been refusing to do so for a long time.

Which brings us to this week, when Justin Trudeau formalized his Sun ban.

“We have raised this issue with the appropriate people at Quebecor Inc., the owners and operators of Sun News Network, and have asked that they consider an appropriate response. Until the company resolves the matter, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, will continue to not engage with Sun Media,’’ said a Liberal Party spokesperson.

Lots of journalists thereafter jumped into the fray. Their commentary can be summarized thusly: one, Ezra Levant is a “clown” (as one Globe writer put it). Two, even if Ezra is a clown, Justin Trudeau is wrong to stop talking to real journalists like David Akin.

Me? Well, I do infotainment, like Ezra does. But I think that Trudeau had no reason, none, to ignore Sun folks before now. It made him look petulant and thin-skinned.

Now, however, he has all the excuse he needs to ignore us. (Oh, and if someone called my Mom that name? I’d beat them until they had to eat dinner through a straw.)

This one looks bad on everyone: Trudeau, for never speaking to a great reporter like David Akin; and Levant, for making it harder for a guy like David Akin to do his job.

Because – and this isn’t infotainment, folks, it’s fact – if reporters like David Akin can’t do their job, democracy itself suffers



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