Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Son, Don’t Marry a Feminist


If I had a dollar for every email or comment I've received from you about what has happened between the sexes over the past 40 years and how it has affected your life, I could retire.

Okay, that's a bit of a stretch. But it is not a stretch to say that since I began writing about America's gender war, the number of men I've heard from has far exceeded the number of women. You have a lot to say on the subject, and very few outlets to do so. When you do try to share your thoughts on sex and gender, you’re branded a misogynist.

As a woman, I want you to know I hear you. I get it. And it’s wrong.

Because of your stories that now crowd my computer, I feel I have great insight as to what's going on inside the mind of the modern man. I also have a 14-year-old son who I worry will face the same struggles you have. Out of deference to you and the stories you’ve shared, and because I too have been on the receiving end of feminist vitriol, I wanted you to know what I plan to tell my son.  I’m going to say: Don't marry a feminist.

Don’t marry a feminist, son, because she has an ax to grind, and someday you’ll become her target.

Don't marry a feminist because she’s unable to give for the sake of giving. Feminists always tally up a score.

Don't marry a feminist because family will not come first. Her career will.

Don't marry a feminist because equality, not marriage, is her ultimate goal. And for marriage to work, the focus and commitment has to be marriage.

Don't marry a feminist because if you get divorced, which you likely will since competitive relationships don’t last, she'll blame you -- and then use your kids as a weapon.

Don’t marry a feminist because you’ll never be happy. Feminists are perpetually angry and dissatisfied and have no sense of humor. Here’s a great 30-second video to explain what I mean.

The bottom line, son, is that a feminist will not love you the way a real woman will. What’s a real woman?

A real woman is a nice, soft, feminine creature who respects everyone, including men. She has character and a strong moral fiber. For her, marriage and family come first. Work is important, too; but it’s not the be-all-end-all.

A real woman will want and appreciate a real man like you. A real man is a kind, strong, masculine creature who respects everyone, including women. He has character and a strong moral fiber, like your father. For him, marriage and family come first. Work is just a means to an end.

I know you’ll have to wade through a lot of feminists to find a real woman today, but you will find her.

Don’t settle.


There's nothing 'sexist' about a handful of women-only Wonder Woman screenings

The woman below tries to square the circle by denying that a women-only event is sexist

A popular Austin, Texas-based movie theatre chain known for its strict no talking and no texting policy has caused quite a stir with its latest event announcement: The Alamo Drafthouse will host at least a handful of women-only screenings of the upcoming superhero movie Wonder Woman.

I wish I could say I was surprised that the announcement was like a siren call for sexists, but, well, I've used the internet. We've seen these sorts of things play out before.

Not long after the first screening was announced, social media was abuzz. Many cried sexism. Some suggested suing Alamo Drafthouse for discrimination. Others asked for men-only screenings of upcoming movies like Thor: Ragnarok, which stars a male lead. Many are calling it a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Some people took the approach of arguing that they were men who wanted to see Wonder Woman with their wives, daughters, sisters or other women. One man asked, "So if I arrive with my wife and our four sons, will you turn 5 of us away because of our gender?" (The answer, of course, is yes. That's kind of the point.)

It's a bad argument to make because these few women-only screenings of the movie are not the only screenings in existence. Not by a longshot. They're not even the only screenings at the Drafthouse. If you're a man who wants to see Wonder Woman there, nobody is stopping you. Just don't go to that particular screening at that particular time.

Of course, another thing happened shortly after the screening was announced: It sold out. The Drafthouse is adding more showings, and the event is expanding beyond Austin into Dallas, and New York too. Proceeds from the Dallas screenings will go to the Genesis Women's Shelter.

It's not like screening gimmicks are unusual. This weekend the Alamo Drafthouse has a showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales for which attendees are required to be dressed as a pirate. They have family-focused screenings of movies with all-you-can-eat cereal. They host singalongs. They've hosted screenings exclusively for veterans and active military. A women-only screening of Wonder Woman makes perfect sense for them.

Admittedly, "No boys allowed" feels like a dated policy on paper. When we're trying to break down unnecessary gender barriers, I understand the sentiment that a women-only movie screening just puts another barrier up. Why, indeed, should we separate ourselves when the goal is to come together and be more inclusive?

Some critics of the event have pointed out that "white people only" screening could cause serious issues and would probably be a bad idea. But the issues aren't one-to-one.

The problem is that men complaining about this event haven't had to live a life as a female comic book fan.

You don't have to look very hard to find stories of women in geek culture being harassed or bullied for no reason other than their gender. Sometimes that comes in the form of sexual harassment. Other times it's the need to answer to constant accusations of being a "fake geek girl" who just wants attention and doesn't actually care about the material.

This is a problem I've never had to deal with as a male walking the floor of a comic book convention, yet I've watched it happen to women who are more knowledgeable about comics than I am.

On May 24, a woman tweeted a picture of herself in a Wonder Woman outfit asking if she should go to the movie dressed up as the heroine, "even if I do end up getting teased." The tweet went viral and spawned many tweets of encouragement from people who were total strangers to her. But her anxiety is a real issue, and is it really so bad if Alamo Drafthouse wants to offer just a handful of movie screenings at which she might feel more comfortable?

Even in the social media comments about these screenings, these sexist ideas are far too common.

"I really do not see why you'd have a 'Woman's Only' for Wonder Woman," said Ray Wallman on Facebook. "50 Shades of Grey. Yes. Magic Mike. Yes. A Twilight movie marathon. ABSOLUTELY!"

"I don't know any women who read comic books. They know nothing about wonder woman. You ignored a huge fan following," @jay-babyboi said on Twitter, again implying that the Drafthouse would only be showing the movie to women.

Of course, those were the tame comments. The ones we can print here.

For their part, the Drafthouse social media employees are handling the controversy especially well. One of the more humorous responses they've given to complaints on their Facebook page says, "We've never done showings where you had to be a man to get in, but we did show the 'Entourage' movie a few years ago."

In an ideal world, sure, there would be no need for a women-only screening of Wonder Woman, because we all live in perfect harmony and sexism wouldn't exist. But this is not the hill to die on, fellow men.

If you want to see Wonder Woman, you have plenty of chances to do exactly that, wherever you may live. If you want to act like a sexist, please do it somewhere else. Far away from here.


Let them run wild! New research reveals getting children outdoors and away from their tablets is the best way to ensure good health into adulthood

Whether it’s a camping holiday in the countryside or a weekend bike ride, the experts are in agreement: the healthiest thing you can do as a family this summer is to simply step outdoors – and get moving.

To maintain a basic level of health, children aged five to 18 should get at least one hour of physical activity every day, according to the NHS. However, new figures show that only 22 per cent of children in England achieve this. In children under five, less than one in ten meet the guidelines for their age.

Children are paying a huge cost for sedentary lifestyles encouraged by the huge time they spend on social media, in front of computer screens, televisions and devices, putting them at increased risk of conditions in later life such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Effects can be emotional too: numerous studies have found that British children are some of the unhappiest in the world. A recent international study put the UK 38th out of 48 countries for overall happiness of 15-year-olds.

The good news is that meeting the daily exercise and screen-time requirements can make a huge difference.

Last week, a US study found that children who follow government advice on physical activity, screen time and sleep have an 89 per cent lower risk of being obese. Here, our experts reveal why it’s time to get your children and grandchildren to put down their iPhones, tablets and game controllers and get busy outside…

Build emotional resilience

Sue Palmer is a former primary school headteacher and author of the groundbreaking book Toxic Childhood. She also campaigns for the introduction of a kindergarten stage for three- to seven-year-olds. She says:

Children are trapped between cool – iPads and other devices – and school from the age of four or five.

Playing outdoors, doing things for yourself, like building dens or making perfume from petals, is incredibly important in developing emotional resilience. If a task doesn’t work the first time, the child tries it again a different way until they succeed. Studies have shown that the satisfaction a child gets from achieving self-made play goals outdoors has enormous repercussions for mental health.

Playing outside with other children increases adaptability and social skills. It teaches them how to collaborate to get things done. That’s why I’m campaigning for a Nordic-style kindergarten system until the age of seven which allows children to play in an unstructured way for those crucial early years.

Camping with children is a great way to do this. Or just go to the local park after school.

Leading neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield is a broadcaster and writer of numerous books including Mind Change, which looks at the effects of technology use on young minds. She says:

Studies have shown that physical activity can boost cognitive skills. We know that exercise enhances neurogenesis – the growth of brain cells. A raft of different studies has shown that executive function – the mental skills that get things done – is enhanced really significantly with exercise.

Recent data suggests that physically active children have more active brains. Researchers found that after 20 minutes of activity, children scored better in reading, spelling and maths, while just one active lesson at school resulted in a 21 per cent reduction in the time teachers spent managing behaviour.

Technology engages only two senses – hearing and vision. Being outside stimulates all five. By interacting with nature you learn that, unlike in a computer game, actions have consequences.

For instance, if you’re climbing a tree you modify your behaviour to achieve that goal.

Psychologist and acclaimed parenting guru Steve Biddulph has written bestselling books including Raising Boys, Raising Girls and his latest, 10 Things Girls Need Most. He says:

I work with many parents around the world, and I sometimes ask: ‘What is your best memory of your teenage years?’ And so often, they say it was being on holiday somewhere wild and natural, a wild beach or mountains, with their dad and mum. Our eyes, ears, hands, limbs, feet and our brains need the complex and richly sensory world that only nature can provide. Rough ground makes our feet and limbs grow stronger, our brains more agile.

The message isn’t just it’s healthy to get outdoors. It’s that in the complexity and richness of the natural environment, a child’s senses begin to work at a significantly more refined and detailed level. Added together, these experiences might immunise your children – even just a little – against the stupidities of social media, from being cruel to friends, or from needing to take drugs to feel good.


Ex-Navy SEAL Tells Katy Perry: 'Hold One of Your Concerts in Syria and See How It Goes'

Former Navy Seal Carl Higbie dared pop singer Katy Perry to hold a concert in Syria, if she believes Americans can just “hug it out” with Muslim terrorists.

Appearing on Fox News, Higbie responded to Perry’s public claim that “open borders” and “love” will protect Americans from terrorism. Celebrities who excuse terrorists intentionally misunderstand the situation he said:

“We don’t have people who respect the culture of the United States of America. You have people like Katy Perry, for instance. I mean, this woman has said ‘oh we need to give them hugs, hug it out. Go to hell Katy Perry. “Hold one of your concerts in Syria and see how it goes.”

“These people fundamentally don’t understand what’s going on here.

“They don’t understand any of this - and they don’t want to understand, too. And that’s why I’m so strong against these celebrities who speak out, saying ‘Oh, we can fight this through love, it’s not really violent, they don’t really mean it.’”
This type of political correctness endangers the lives of American citizens, Higbie warned:

“We’re putting the political correctness of the Islamic culture over the lives of our citizens - and we need to stop that immediately”



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


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Eurocrats resent the spread of the English language​

Never before has the world had a common language. English is not the first imperial lingua franca: Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Spanish, French, Dutch and Russian were all spread by conquest and settlement. But none of them continued to expand beyond their old borders after the colonists had departed.

English is different. An Inuit in Indonesia or a Chechen in Chad will use it to communicate. It has been adopted by almost every international association, from APEC to OPEC. It is the official language even of most global bodies that contain no English-speaking countries, such as the European Free Trade Association.

To get a sense of how Anglobalization is spreading, consider the Eurovision Song Contest. If you haven't lived in Europe, you might be lucky enough to have escaped this kitschy monstrosity. Since 1956, European TV companies have run a joint music competition that is broadcast simultaneously to participating nations, whose viewers then vote by phone for the winner. Countries tend to vote at least as much on the basis of national prejudice as of content – Greece and Cyprus always give each other full marks, for example – which is bad news for Britain.

But if the U.K. loses electorally, it wins linguistically. This year's contest, which has just taken place in Kiev, featured 42 songs of which 35 were sung wholly in English, the highest proportion in the contest's history. In 1956, not a single piece was entered in Shakespeare's language, and there was something of a stir in 1965 when the Swedish entrant became the first to discard his native tongue. By 2014, 75 percent of the entries were in English. This year it was 83 percent – or 90 percent if you count songs that were partly in English and partly in another language.

That spread has been commercial, not political. The reason contestants are singing in our tongue is not as some sort of tribute to Churchill and Eisenhower; it's to maximize their chances of being understood.

You can see why the phenomenon annoys Eurocrats. Earlier this month, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, began a speech by saying "English is gradually losing its importance in the EU, so I will speak in French." I suppose it's to Juncker's credit that he has that facility. Like all Luxembourgers, he was educated partly in French (the official language in the Grand Duchy) and partly in German (the language of business and of most newspapers). Counting his native idiom, Luxembourgish, that makes English his fourth language.

Still, what a bizarre thing to say. English, as the Eurovision Song Contest underlined a few days later, is not losing ground in Europe. Au contraire, regardless of Brexit, it is becoming universal. Indeed, it has become so widespread as a medium between nonnative speakers that a new kind of creole, a Euro-English, has evolved in EU institutions.

Euro-English is a meager dialect – functional, short of adverbs and largely present-tense. It has its own peculiar vocabulary and syntax, generally lifted from other European tongues. For example, the Euro-English for "current" or "contemporary" is "actual," borrowed from, among others, the Dutch "actueel" and the French "actuel." Similarly, when a speaker of Euro-English says "foresee," he doesn't mean "predict," he means "plan for" or "anticipate" (again, based on the French "prévoir," the German "vorsehen" and others).

I have heard native English speakers, once they have been in Brussels long enough, dropping into the dialect. Where they might say, in standard English, "Shall we have a coffee?" they will, when speaking Euro-English, say, "We take a coffee, no?"

Brexit will, of course, mean that there are fewer native speakers in the EU institutions. Ireland and Malta are Anglophone, but have small populations. Linguists will no doubt enjoy watching the sparse vernacular draw further away from the language in which you are reading these words.

Still, I can't help feeling that Juncker's petulant outburst was a symbol of something else – a perfect demonstration of what is wrong with Eurocrats' thinking. Juncker's linguistic protectionism, his determination to stand in the way of what people want, is the authentic expression of the Euro-federalist doctrine: illiberal, anti-British, anti-American, backward-looking and ultimately doomed.

It was that ideology, mes amis, that Britain voted to break away from last year. We love Europe, and we love Europeans, but we have had enough of being dictated to by unelected officials whose worldview – whose Weltanschauung, we might say, in the spirit of European linguistic harmony – is stuck in the 1950s.


Time to get angry about Islamist terror

First Islamic terrorists chose to kill Jews in their homeland and beyond. Then they murdered Americans working in New York’s tall buildings. They murdered people travelling on London trains and buses, too, then French journalists and cartoonists.

Islamic terrorists struck Paris again, slaughtering people at a rock concert and in nearby restaurants. Islamic terrorists blew up people at an airport and a train station in Brussels and drove into people strolling along Nice’s promenade, people walking along London’s Westminster Bridge. A Copenhagen street, the Boston Marathon, a Sydney cafe, Berlin’s Christmas markets, a pedestrian mall in Stockholm, Christians, Yazidis and Muslims across the Middle East. Thousands slaughtered by Islamic terrorists with no borders, physical or moral.

On Monday, Islamic terrorists murdered children in Manchester. One image sticks. A little girl with a headband, the kind little girls like. Her leather jacket makes her look older than her tender years. Her eyes are glazed, wide with shock. She’s hand-in-hand with a woman, hopefully her mum.

One voice sticks, too. The raw agony of another mum ringing CNN pleading to hear from her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, who went to the Ariana Grande concert but hasn’t been seen since. Olivia, along with 21 other children, teenagers, young people and parents, has been murdered by a 22-year-old Islamic terrorist.

Where does this end? How? When? It being Britain, many are saying “keep calm and carry on”. Politicians reach for a formula of pacifying words every time Islamic terrorism strikes. We are united. Terrorists will be defeated. Love conquers hate. Freedom stands up for itself.

Keep calm and carry on? Not this time. Keeping calm has promoted a comatose citizenry. Light a candle or tweet a hashtag, talk of unity, love and strength. Gather at a vigil, then go home. Don’t ask hard questions about why Islamic terrorists are able to keep murdering us. Love did not save the lives of eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos or 18-year-old Georgina Callander. Unity did not save the lives of the two mothers waiting in the foyer of the concert hall for their daughters or teenage sweethearts, Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.

And unity around what ex­actly? Too many in the West refuse to unite behind the most basic moral clarity about Islamic terrorism. This week, of all weeks, our public broadcaster made light of Islamic terrorism, invited on to its television shows commentators who mocked terrorism and who told us not to jump to conclusions about terrorism. The ABC’s own journalists struggle to mention the Islam element. Our politicians talk about terrorists as marginalised and vulnerable, as if we are to blame for the murders of young children in Manchester. Keep calm about these useful idiots? Not a chance.

In Riyadh this week, US President Donald Trump reminded more than 50 Arab Muslim leaders that “the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them … A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists.”

“Drive. Them. Out,” he said. “Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.”

Trump offered up the kind of moral clarity that drove the West to defeat Nazis and Soviet communists. What has happened to us in the interim? Paralysed by political correctness, we walk on eggshells so as not to offend. Ask hard questions about immigration? You’re a racist. Talk about Islam and terrorism? You’re an Islamophobe. Keep calm and stay quiet? Not any more. It’s time to get angry.

Examining the causes of terrorism without reference to Islam, the Prophet and the Koran is as intellectually vacuous as looking at the causes of World War II without reference to Nazism, Hitler and Mein Kampf. It’s no coincidence that those who are angry are making the most penetrating observations. Morrissey, the former lead singer of the Smiths, was angry when he posted this: “Sadiq Khan (London’s mayor) says ‘London is united with Manchester’, but he does not condemn Islamic State — who have claimed responsibility for the bomb … Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an ‘extremist’. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?”

Brendan O’Neill from Spiked is angry, too: “The terrorist seeks to weaken our resolve, the powers-that-be want to sedate our emotions, retire our anger, reduce us to wet-eyed performers in their post-terror play. It’s a dual assault on the individual and society.”

British commentator Piers Morgan funnelled his anger into more questions that demand answers. The bomber, Salman Abedi, was someone’s son, friend, brother and neigh­bour. His behaviour changed in recent times. He grew a beard, wore Islamic garb, dropped out of university and retreated from his youthful drinking days. Mohammed Saeed El-Saeiti, a local Manchester imam recalls seeing “the face of hate” on Abedi after a sermon against Islamic State. Abedi’s cousin said Abedi’s parents were concerned their son was turning to violence. “We knew he was going to cause trouble. You could see that something was going to happen, sooner or later,” said the cousin. A family friend told The Times that Abedi had been “radicalised by mosques in south Manchester; there are many people who are suspicious about him”.

Who raised an alarm? Rather than staying calm and carrying on as usual, it’s time to ask Muslim communities to step up some more.

At the Albert Square vigil after Monday’s atrocity, Tony Walsh recited his poem: “This is the place that has helped shape the world, And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride.” That’s nice. But the Manchester suburb is better known as the home of Islamic bombers, Islamic State recruiters and jihadists than the home of a suffragette. Another 16 convicted or dead terrorists lived within 4km of Pankhurst’s birthplace.

Keeping calm and carrying on encourages more sweet-nothings. Where and when will the next terrorist attack happen?

Keep calm and carry on? No. Not again. Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing more than offer up platitudes, light candles, post hashtags and recite poems.


Why the Free Market Is Diversity’s Best Friend

Walter E. Williams

Millions of people love Apple computers and wouldn’t be caught using a PC. By contrast, there are many millions of PC users who feel the same way about Apple computers.

Many men like double-breasted suits, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Some people swear by Cadillac cars, but my favorite is Mercedes-Benz.

Despite these strongly held preferences, there’s no conflict. We never see Apple computer lovers picketing firms that serve PC lovers. Mercedes-Benz lovers don’t battle Cadillac lovers.

In free markets, people with strong differences in preferences get along and often are good friends. The reason is simple. If you like double-breasted suits and I like single-breasted suits, we get what we want.

Contrast the harmony that emerges when there’s market allocation with the discord when there’s government allocation.

For example, some parents want their children to say a morning prayer in school. Other parents are offended by that idea. Both parents have a right to their tastes, but these parental differences have given rise to conflict.

Why is there conflict? The answer is simple. Schools are run by government. Thus, there are going to be either prayers in school or no prayers in school.

That means parents who want their children to say prayers in school will have to enter into conflict with parents who do not want prayers in school. The stakes are high. If one parent wins, it comes at the expense of another parent.

The losing parents have their preferences ignored. Or they must send their children to a private school that has morning prayers and pay that school’s tuition plus property taxes to support a public school for which they have little use.

The liberty-oriented solution to the school prayer issue is simple. We should acknowledge the fact that though there is public financing of primary and secondary education, it doesn’t follow that there should be public production of education.

Just as there is public financing of M1 Abrams main battle tanks and F/A-18 fighter jets, it in no way follows that there should be government production of those weapons. They are produced privately. There’s no government tank and fighter jet factory.

The same principle should apply to education. If state and local authorities annually spend $15,000 per student, they could simply give each parent a voucher of that amount that could only be used for education. That way, the parent would be free to choose.

If you wanted to send your children to a school that does not have morning prayers, you would be free to do so. And I could send my children to a school that does.

As a result, you and I would not have to fight. We could be friends, play tennis, and have a beer or two together.

Free market allocation is conflict-reducing, whereas government allocation enhances the potential for conflict.

But I’m all too afraid that most Americans want to be able to impose their preferences on others. Their vision doesn’t differ from one that says, “I don’t want my children to say morning prayers, and I’m going to force you to live by my preferences.”

The issue of prayers in school is just a minor example of people’s taste for tyranny.

Think of the conflict that would arise if the government decreed that factories will produce either double-breasted or single-breasted suits or that there will be either Cadillacs or Mercedes-Benzes built or that there will be either Apple computers or PCs built.

Can you imagine how otherwise-peaceable people would be forced into conflict with one another?

Government allocation is mostly a zero-sum game, in which one person’s win necessarily means another person’s loss.

The great ignored and overlooked feature of market allocation is that it is what game theorists call a positive-sum game. In positive-sum games, you get what you want, say an Apple computer, and I get what I want—a PC, in this case.

My win does not come at your expense, and your win doesn’t come at my expense. And just as importantly, we can be friends.


SCOTTISH NASTY PARTY ‘Foodbank’ nurse who exposed Nicola Sturgeon’s shocking record on NHS attacked by nationalist trolls

A nurse who was 'smeared' by the SNP after daring to challenge Nicola Sturgeon over under-funding the NHS has hit out at the trolls who abused her.

Claire Austin tore into the Scottish First Minister for spending her time relentlessly pursuing independence while hospitals are struggling and nurses like her have to survive on foodbank hand-outs.

But she faced a barrage of criticism online and was smeared by SNP frontbencher Joanna Cherry who falsely accusing her of being married to a Scottish Tory councillor.

And some questioned if she really was so hard up as pictures emerged of her sipping champagne and enjoying a holiday in New York.

Miss Austin hit out at the 'abuse' her critics had thrown at her in a post on Facebook.

She wrote: 'I am truly saddened by what has been said about me tonight. 'When I spoke tonight I spoke on behalf of all NHS staff, not just myself but all NHS staff.'

She revealed that she is not married and the man the SNP claimed was her husband was just another audience member on an episode of Question Time.

She said: 'I am sad, although in this climate not surprised, at the verbal attack and abuse I have suffered from other nurses tonight, in my view are they are disgrace to our profession, and we wonder why so many want to leave.'

But some Twitter users questioned whether she really was struggling financially after photographs surfaced of her enjoying dinners in flash restaurants.

Miss Austin insisted these treats were paid for by friends and family.

The A&E nurse from Edinburgh, has a Twitter profile which includes the message: 'They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like, moderately rich just moody?'

Ms Cherry, the SNP candidate for Edinburgh South West and the party justice and home affairs spokesman, was forced to apologise after briefing that Miss Austin was a Tory plant.

She wrote on Twitter: 'Sorry I was wrong about Twitter rumours. Entirely right that your voice is heard.'

She was accused of using 'dirty tricks', but today Miss Sturgeon defended her.

The SNP leader told BBC Scotland: 'She made a mistake, an honest mistake, and she apologised for that.

'In terms of the wider social media reaction, I don't think it's acceptable to make judgements about somebody's background.

'The nurse on the debate last night was absolutely entitled to raise the issue that she did.

'She raised an issue that is one of the biggest issues in this campaign - the level and value of real wages not just in the public sector but in the private sector.'

Scotland's First Minister was left squirming in her seat during the confrontation on a televised Scottish leaders debate last night. 

Confronting the SNP leader, Miss Austin said: 'Do you think your perceived obsession with independence might cost you your seat in this election?

'And the NHS, you say that you have ploughed millions into it, I'm a nurse and I can't manage on the salary I have. 'I have to go to food banks, I am struggling to pay bills. I want you to explain to me, do you know one area where that has gone?  'You tell me, because I can absolutely assure you nurses are seeing none of it on the ground floor.'

The nurse described how hospitals are unable to recruit because wages are so low. She said: 'There's thousands and thousands of nurse positions unfilled and the reason for that is it's such low pay. It's just not a sustainable income, we can't live on it.'

She added: 'You have no idea how demoralising it is to work within the NHS.'

She made a direct plea to the First Minister, saying: 'Don't come on your announced visits, come in in the middle of any day to any ward, to any A&E department and see what we're up against.'



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


Monday, May 29, 2017

Top scientist says all you've been told about salt is WRONG: It won't give you a heart attack - while having too little will make you fat and ruin your sex life

For more than 40 years, we’ve been told eating too much salt is killing us. Doctors say it’s as bad for our health as smoking or not exercising, and government guidelines limit us to just under a teaspoon a day.

We’re told not to cook with it and not to sprinkle it on our meals. The white stuff is not just addictive, goes the message — it’s deadly. Too much of it causes high blood pressure, which in turn damages our hearts. We must learn to live — joylessly, flavourlessly but healthily — without it.

Well, I’m here to tell you that all of that is wrong. As a leading cardiovascular research scientist — based at Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute, Missouri — I’ve contributed extensively to health policy and medical literature.

I am associate editor of the British Medical Journal’s Open Heart, published in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society, and I sit on the editorial advisory board of several other medical journals.

In my work, I’ve examined data from more than 500 medical papers and studies about salt. And this is what I’ve learned: there was never any sound scientific evidence to support this low salt idea. What’s more, as I explain in my new book, eating too little of it can cause insulin resistance, increased fat storage and may even increase the risk of diabetes — not to mention decreasing our sex drive.

Current daily guidelines limit you to 2.4g of sodium, which translates to 6g of salt (or sodium chloride) or slightly less than a teaspoonful.

If you have high blood pressure, or belong to a group considered to be at greater risk of developing it — such as being over 60 or Afro-Caribbean — doctors even advise you to cut your intake to two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt per day.

Yet salt is an essential nutrient that our bodies depend on to live. And those limits go against all our natural instincts. When people are allowed as much salt as they fancy, they tend to settle at about a teaspoon-and-a-half a day. This is true all over the world, across all cultures, climates and social backgrounds.

If you’ve been struggling to cut your intake, it may come as a relief to learn your salt cravings are normal, a biological need akin to our thirst for water.

We are essentially salty people. We cry salt, we sweat salt and the cells in our bodies are bathed in salty fluids. Without salt we’d not be able to live. And it’s not only our bodies that work this way.

A yen for salt drives the elephants of Kenya to walk into the pitch-black caves of Mount Elgon to lick sodium sulphate salt crystals off the walls. Gorillas have been known to follow elephants to eat the salt-rich droppings, while monkeys that groom one another don’t do so to eat fleas, but to enjoy their salty skin secretions.

Salt is so fundamental to life that a deficiency of it acts as a natural contraceptive in all sorts of animals, including us.

A diet low in salt reduces the sex-drive, inhibits the chances of getting pregnant and affects the birth weight of infants. Clinical studies show that low-salt diets can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction, fatigue and the age at which females become fertile.

Salt helps the body withstand accidents and other traumas. Besides excessive bleeding, we experience a loss of other fluids in states of shock — for example, from burns. As the injured areas soak up fluids to speed healing, the body needs its salt reserves to keep the blood circulating and fend off vascular collapse.

So why do almost all doctors tell us that salt is bad for us?

The orthodox medical view on salt is based on a straightforward hypothesis, which says eating higher levels of salt leads to higher levels of blood pressure — end of story.

Although this makes sense in theory, there’s a problem: the facts don’t back it up.

Evidence in medical literature suggests approximately 80 per cent of people with normal blood pressure (that is, a reading of below 120 over 80) do not suffer any signs of raised blood pressure — none at all — when they increase their salt intake.

Among those with prehypertension, or higher blood pressure, three quarters are not sensitive to salt. And even among those with full-blown high blood pressure, more than half — about 55 per cent — are totally immune to salt’s effects.


Trump in Israel: An education in Islamic terror

Daniel Greenfield 

Nice smiles!

When President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu met on the tarmac, they and their spouses chatted easily. The two conservative leaders have much in common. They are political insurgents who draw their support from a rougher working class overlooked and despised by leftist elites.

The polls said that Netanyahu and Trump would lose their respective elections. Instead they won big. They prevailed despite accusations of bigotry, attacks by celebrities and a torrent of fake media scandals. The media decided that the big story of Trump’s arrival in Israel would be their claim that Melania Trump had swatted her husband’s hand away. A few months ago, Netanyahu was in court testifying against a lefty journalist for spreading fake news that his wife had kicked him out of the car.

Like so much of the fake media news aimed at Trump, it was sourced from an anonymous source through another anonymous source who knew someone’s dog.

And, sure enough, Sara Netanyahu and Melania Trump bonded on the tarmac over the media’s hatred.

Trump and Netanyahu are political pragmatists with a strong economic focus who run to the right. Trump is a developer. Netanyahu has a degree in architecture. Trump has a Queens accent and Netanyahu still has his Philly accent.  And they prevail despite the opposition of leftist elites.

Subtract the geography and this news story from Netanyahu’s victory would sound familiar to Trump. “Leftist, secular Tel Aviv went to sleep last night cautiously optimistic only to wake up this morning in a state of utter and absolute devastation.”

But there is one difference between the two men.

An hour before President Trump landed in Israel, a car struck people in Tel Aviv. Usually when a car hits people, it’s an accident. But in Israeli and in European cities, car ramming has become a terrorist tactic.

And so the incident was one of the first things that Trump heard about when he landed.

Police decided that it was an accident, but as the presidential visit got underway, there was the usual litany of violence; stonings, a fatality and a stabbing. And the question that so many of us now ponder across the civilized world rose unspoken each time blood was shed. Was it Islamic terrorism?

The efforts of conservative Israeli prime ministers to contain the fallout of a disastrous peace process with terrorists set into motion by leftist prime ministers have reduced the violence so that it no longer touches the lives of most Israelis on a regular basis. But it is always there. And it never truly goes away.

That is what must be understood when we talk about “peace”.

No amount of outreach to Muslim terrorists ends the violence. Not in Europe or America. And not in Israel; the country that has become the test case for whether Muslims and non-Muslims can coexist.

President Trump’s itinerary of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome is a gamble that “the three Abrahamic Faiths” will join in a coalition to take on Iran and ISIS. It’s a better plan than Bush’s push for regional democracy or Obama’s violently destructive backing for Islamist political takeovers in the Arab Spring. A common enemy is more likely to get different groups behind the same cause. But having a common enemy should not be confused with having peace. At best it means a very temporary truce.

Netanyahu understands this because he has far more experience with Islamic terrorism. When it comes to Islamic terrorism, there are few countries that have faced it as consistently and constantly as Israel.

Muslim terrorists have struck America before. But only in the last decade were the Islamic colonies in the United States large enough and young enough to mount a constant drumbeat of attack plots.

Thousands of terrorism investigations are still new to America. They’re a way of life in Israel.

Terrorism is a bloody education. Trump knows far more about Islamic terrorism than Bush did. And Bush knew far more than his father. Most Americans still can’t conceive of the idea that peace is impossible. It’s too grim and hopeless. We’ve come a long way since the Obama years. But we aren’t there yet.

In the spring of his first year, Obama traveled to the Middle East to seek a “new beginning” with the Muslim world. He stopped off first in Saudi Arabia, but saved his speech calling for political change until his arrival in Egypt. Trump delivered his key speech in Saudi Arabia disavowing calls for political change. Instead America’s relationship with the Muslim world would be defined by its national security needs.

Obama blamed colonialism for the poor relations between the West and the Muslim world. His solution was to dismantle Western power. Trump defined Islamic terrorism as the problem and unity against it as the solution. Obama had bypassed Israel and traveled on to Germany making a heavily publicized visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp. Trump continued on to Israel instead.

The difference was profound.

Obama was more comfortable engaging with Jews as victims and, in a typically egotistical manner, envisioning what the victims of the Holocaust might have made of his visit. “They could not have known that one day an American President would visit this place and speak of them.” His Cairo speech reduced Israel to a byproduct of the Holocaust. If so, Israel’s capital might as well be in Buchenwald.

Trump however is ready to interact with the living Jewish present in Israel. His trip to the Western Wall, the first by a sitting president, and a cancelled visit to Masada, sought to engage with Israel’s national and religious identity. They signify a recognition that Obama never offered to Israel.

In Saudi Arabia, President Trump rolled out a vision of relationships based on national interest. And no such relationship can be built without recognizing national identity. Trump’s recognition of Israel’s national identity adds a note of respect. But Israel is one of the few nations in the region.

Nations can make peace. They can put aside their bloody past and at least learn to ignore each other. And in the West, religion has come to act as a moral operating system within the infrastructure of nations. Religion provides guidelines that transcend the law. The legal system can only tell us what we must do or may not do to each other. Religion tells us what we ought to do or not do to each other. It is a personal conscience and a relationship to a higher authority than mere government.

Saudi Arabia isn’t a nation. Neither is “Palestine”. They’re powerful extended families whose form of worship is terrorism. Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam.

Islam provides the morale and motive for the conquest. And once the conquest is complete, it provides the framework for the kingdom. Islam’s message is the inferiority of Muslims to non-Muslims. War affirms the message. Oppression internalizes it. Islam is meaningful only when it is killing and oppressing infidels. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

President Trump deserves credit for refusing to let the Saudis pretend that some Islamic terror groups are more legitimate than others by classing together ISIS with Hamas. But the only Islamic terrorism that the Saudis will reject is that which does not serve their interests. And even if they wanted to, they could no more end popular support for Islamic terrorism than Iraq could become a multicultural utopia through the magic of democracy.

Nor can Israel make peace with Islamic terrorists no matter how many more concessions Prime Minister Netanyahu offers them. President Trump calls it a tough deal. But you can only make a deal with someone who follows some of the same rules you do. You can’t make a deal with Islamic terrorists whose only rules are that the Koran lets them say anything they want to you.

President Trump called Islamic terrorism evil. And it is. But it’s not just evil. Its codes and ethics are utterly incompatible with our own. The only way to negotiate is through threats. And even threats only go so far with fanatics who believe that if they die, they will earn 72 virgins in paradise.

Islamic entities will tell any lie and commit any crime to accelerate their objective of conquering us. Whether they tell a lie or commit a crime depends on whether they’re moderates or extremists.

Yesterday, I heard Geert Wilders speak. And I recognized a leader who understands this grim reality. Few of his fellow Europeans do. Even fewer American politicians share that understanding. Europe is facing a deeper threat than America. And Israel has been confronting a bigger threat than Europe.

Every act of Islamic terror educates us. It is a difficult and bloody education. We graduate when we realize who our enemies are and how impossible it is to achieve any peace with them.

President Trump's walk to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre required thousands of police officers, closed stores and houses filled with snipers while their residents were evacuated.

That is life under the shadow of terrorism.

It’s not only presidents who have to live this way. It’s all of us in Jerusalem and Paris, in Manchester and in Rome where there are soldiers in the street and cries of “Allah Akbar” in the air. And then a car speeds up, a knife slashes, a plane crashes or a bomb goes off.

And the education continues.


Media protecting Muslim terrorism again
Ann Coulter

The latest Muslim terrorist attack ripped apart little girls at a concert in Manchester, England, on Monday, killing 22. The death and body-part count is still rising.

This is not a game. When young British girls are the targets of a suicide bombing, can we take a short break from the posturing, political correctness and Russia conspiracy theorizing? Won’t the hatred of Trump keep for a few weeks?

Channel-surfing on Monday night was like watching broadcasts from different countries. While Fox News and CNN covered the terrorist attack, MSNBC concentrated on the real news of the night — TRUMP’S COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA — as children screamed in the background in footage from Manchester.

It was a big enough step for MSNBC to stop claiming that the “explosion” was just popping balloons. The hosts reasoned, We know that Islam is a religion of peace, so what else could it be?

CBS and NBC News finally produced the name of the suicide bomber — the next day. (After any terrorist attack, the media like to keep us in suspense for as long as possible about whether it was a Muslim or a Christian.)

Even then, the answer was difficult to find on either network’s Twitter feeds, which were bristling with minute-by-minute updates on former CIA Director John Brennan’s congressional testimony about Russia and Trump: Yes, collusion was investigated. No, Brennan is not aware of any evidence to support the theory. BREAKING NEWS!

The media didn’t gaudily broadcast the bomber’s name, religion or ethnicity in their headlines, but at least they finally coughed up the information. He was Salman Abedi, son of Libyan “refugees.”

Apparently, the media think you can’t be trusted with that information. You might notice that the West is deliberately importing people who enjoy killing kids.

According to ABC News, the bomber’s father, Ramadan Abedi (not to be confused with Huma Abedin), was a member of an al-Qaida-linked Islamic group in Libya. For this, he was accepted as a “refugee” by the British government.

Liberals' main reaction to the attack was not to demand the toppling of the terrorist-friendly British government, but to worry about an upsurge in Islamophobia. They say there’s nothing we can do about terrorism and we probably shouldn’t do anything anyway, because we deserve it.

These were teen and preteen girls! Is there any fuel left in the gas tank of humanity, or are we just running on fumes now?

While liberals are impatient to get back to their murderous immigration policies, conservatives are pining for war. And really, who wouldn’t want to send ground troops to Syria after our tremendous successes in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Why do we need to fight ISIS in Syria again? I forget. How about we NOT send U.S. troops to some godforsaken nation of primitives?

My reasoning is: It will cost us trillions of dollars; we will sacrifice the lives of an untold number of our best young men in combat (and little girls — thanks, liberals!); and we will accomplish absolutely nothing, apart from creating a new stream of “refugees” and making the primitives even angrier with us, if that’s possible.

Historically, starting wars in the Third World has not proved salutary.

Trump was elected for one reason: Because he promised to put Americans' interests first. If only he’d stuck to his campaign promises, he’d be a hero right now.

The one promise Trump has kept is the so-called “Muslim ban” — and he’s looking prophetic on that. The Ninth Circuit was probably just about to release its opinion affirming a Hawaii judge’s revocation of Trump’s travel ban, but after Manchester, they’ll have to sit on it for a few weeks.

Wouldn’t you rather be defending Trump for imposing a travel ban, building a wall and deporting “Dreamers,” than for idiotic leaks about nothing? If Trump started removing undesirable foreigners, liberals would rush back to the airports, en masse, and forget all about Russia.

The most humane response to terrorist attacks in the West is to kill a bunch of them for revenge, and then concentrate on our own problems. Instead of sending ground troops to Syria, we should be sending them to San Diego.

Our policy following every Islamic terrorist attack anyplace in the West should be the following:

1) We drop a nuke on some majority-Muslim city involved in terrorism.

2) We add six months to the immigration moratorium (which Trump promised us in his Aug. 16, 2015, immigration policy paper, the greatest political document since the Magna Carta).

3) We deport one Ninth Circuit judge.

Since Trump, politics has become a game to liberals. The media is a game. Hollywood is a game. Islamic terrorists are killing little girls in England. This isn’t a game.


More Multiculturalism

A man is charged in the death of a mother of two and actress after surveillance video of him pawning pieces of her jewelry two hours after her murder surfaced.

Dominic Sanders, 30, of University Park, faces first-degree murder, home invasion and armed robbery charges in connection with the death of Andrea Urban, 51, according to CBS Chicago.

Urban was found by her son Sasha, 17, on the floor of her kitchen in her home on the 700 block of Town Place in the Hinsdale neighborhood of Chicago on May 4.

She'd had her neck and throat cut with a knife, according to police.

'This was a violent, horrific attack on a completely innocent victim who had every right to feel safe in her own home,' said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin.

Authorities say Sanders allegedly entered her home around 10am that morning and a struggle ensued and he stabbed her to death.

Sanders was seen on security cameras walking towards Urban's home with a reflective vest on and walking away around 11am. Urban had texted a friend about 10:00am but then failed to show up at a friend's house hours later, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Her body was found about 3:30pm by her teenage son. Her daughter, Daria, who also lived with her in the house, is in fifth grade. Both are reportedly being cared for by relatives.

About two hours after her death, Sanders was seen at a Melrose Park pawn shop selling rings that had inscriptions on them that Urban's family were able to identify.

At first, cops say Sanders told them he was not at the pawn shop, but later said he had stolen the rings by reaching into Urban's home through a front door and taking them from a shelf.

Police do not know if the pair knew each other somehow but have not yet been able to make a connection between them, reported the outlet.

Sanders reportedly had no fixed address and lived with various friends and relatives.

In the days following the murder, Sanders was active on Facebook, posting pictures of a car he called his 'baby' and making plans with friends and family.

Urban is described as an actress, leukemia survivor and medical marijuana advocate. She had lived in both New York and Russia before returning to her hometown of Hinsdale.



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


Sunday, May 28, 2017

There really is such a thing as 'daddy's girl': Fathers are MORE attentive to their daughters than they are to their sons

Fathers are more responsive to their daughters than to their sons, researchers found. As well as being more attentive, they are also more likely to sing to their daughters and use words associated with their body such as 'belly,' 'cheek,' 'face,' 'fat' and 'feet.'

Fathers of sons engage in more rough-and-tumble play with their child and use language related to power and achievement - words such as 'best,' 'win,' 'super' and 'top.'

The research shows how unconscious ideas about gender influence the way we treat people - even when they're very young children.

Fathers of daughters were more likely to sing to their daughters and use words associated with their body such as 'belly,' 'cheek,' 'face,' 'fat' and 'feet.' They also used more words associated with sad emotions such as 'cry', 'tears' and 'lonely'.

But with sons, they used more analytical language - words such as 'all,' 'below' and 'much' - which has been linked to future academic success.

Fathers of daughters had stronger responses to their daughters' happy expressions in areas of the brain important for processing emotions, reward and value.

In contrast, the brains of fathers of sons responded more robustly to their child's neutral facial expressions.

The study focused on fathers because there is less research about their roles in rearing young children than mothers.

The findings are consistent with other studies indicating that parents - both fathers and mothers - use more emotion language with girls and engage in more rough-and-tumble play with boys.

The discovery comes from brain scans and recordings of parents' daily interactions.

'When a child cried out or asked for Dad, fathers of daughters responded to that more than did fathers of sons,' said Jennifer Mascaro, who led the research from from the Woodruff Health Sciences Centre in Atlanta.

'We should be aware of how unconscious notions of gender can play into the way we treat even very young children', she said.

'It's important to note that gender-biased paternal behaviour need not imply ill intentions on the part of fathers', said James Rilling, senior author of the study.

'These biases may be unconscious, or may actually reflect deliberate and altruistically motivated efforts to shape children's behaviour in line with social expectations of adult gender roles that fathers feel may benefit their children', he said.

The study collected behavioural data in a real-world setting through an electronic activated recorder (EAR), which clipped onto participants' belts.

The participants included 52 fathers of toddlers (30 girls and 22 boys) in the Atlanta area who agreed to wear the EAR for one weekday and one weekend day.

The device randomly turned on for 50 seconds every nine minutes to record any ambient sound during the 48-hour period. 

In addition, fathers underwent functional MRI brain scans while viewing photos of an unknown adult, an unknown child and their own child with happy, sad or neutral facial expressions.

It is unclear whether these differences are due to biological and evolutionary underpinnings, cultural understandings of the way one should act, or some combination of the two.

The use of more emotional language with girls by fathers, for example, may help girls develop more empathy than boys.

'The fact that fathers may actually be less attentive to the emotional needs of boys, perhaps despite their best intentions, is important to recognise,' Dr Mascaro said.

'Validating emotions is good for everyone - not just daughters.'

Restricted emotions in adult men is linked to depression, decreased social intimacy, marital dissatisfaction and a lower likelihood of seeking mental health treatment.

Research also shows that many adolescent girls have negative body images.

'We found that fathers are using more language about the body with girls than with boys, and the differences appear with children who are just one-to-three years old,' Dr Mascaro said.

And while they use more words about the body with girls, fathers engage in more physical rough-and-tumble play with boys, an activity that research has shown is important to help young children develop social acuity and emotional regulation.

'Most parents really are trying to do the best they can for their children,' Dr Mascaro said.

'We need to do more research to try to understand if these subtle differences may have important effects in the long term', she said.


Migrants lose their 'strong work ethic' after just two years in Britain

The corrupting influence of the welfare staste

Complaints that British workers are lazy compared to Eastern Europeans are ‘misconceived’, a ground-breaking study has found.

Academics discovered that the ‘strong work ethic’ identified among migrants by bosses actually disappeared after just two years. By then, foreign workers are taking as many sick days as their UK counterparts.

It means native workers could be missing out on jobs because their nationality is wrongly not associated with hard work, say researchers from the University of Bath.

The paper comes as ministers are urged to put in place policies to wean businesses off cheap foreign labour after Brexit.

Employers have warned that some sectors of the economy, such as construction, agriculture and horticulture, rely heavily on EU workers and could struggle if the labour supply dries up.

But campaign groups have argued what the latest study shows - that, beyond the short-term, UK workers are as diligent as Eastern Europeans.

Research carried out for the first time found that workers from Poland and seven other eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 were initially more than three times less likely to be absent from work than native UK workers.

Economists equate work attendance – one of the most valued attributes for employers – with work ethic.

The report suggests that the extra effort put in by migrant workers is intended to ‘signal their worth’ to employers – compensating for limited English language skills and to reflect higher pay relative to their homeland.

But after a little as two years, the number of sick days taken by them has increased to levels recorded by those from the UK.

Dr Chris Dawson, senior lecturer in business economics at the University of Bath, said: ‘This is the first study with concrete evidence on the existence of the migrant work ethic.

‘It backs up managers’ perceptions that Polish and other Central and Eastern European migrants are harder working than UK employees, but importantly only for around two years from their arrival in the UK.

‘The study shows that the common view that UK workers are lazy compared to migrant workers is misconceived: In fact migrants are temporarily working extra hard to offset the challenges they face when they first enter the UK job market.

‘We clearly see in the research that migrants new to the UK put in a couple of years of hard work, before a better understanding of our culture and job market means they adopt the same work ethic as native workers.’

The research studied 113,804 people, of which 1,396 were workers from the so-called A8 ex-Eastern Bloc countries – Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The study, published in the Journal Work, Employment and Society, used data from the Office for National Statics UK Labour Force Survey from 2005 to 2012.

Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of think-tank Migrationwatch which campaigns for balanced immigration, said: ‘It is a fallacy that UK workers are any less keen, diligent or hard-working than any other nationality. If anything, they are harder workers.

‘But companies often use this as an excuse to have access to cheap labour, who are also more likely to be pushed around.’

Recent figures showed that manufacturing in Britain employs some 332,000 EU nationals while the wholesale and retail trade has 508,000.

In March, Pret A Manger bosses told a House of Lords committee that only one in 50 applicants for jobs at the chain was British.


Nobody knows how best to tackle obesity

Even optimists admit that some things are undoubtedly getting worse: things like traffic jams, apostrophe use — and obesity. The fattening of the human race, even in middle-income countries, is undeniable. “Despite sustained efforts to tackle childhood obesity, one in three adolescents is still estimated to be overweight or obese in Europe,” said a report last week to the World Health Organisation. That means more diabetes and possibly a reversal of the recent slow fall in age-adjusted cancer and heart disease death rates.

Perhaps we should remind ourselves first that it is a good problem to have, a symptom of abundance. In Britain a century ago and in much of Africa today, the poorest people were or are the thinnest people. For hundreds of thousands of years it was very difficult to get fat, and very easy to starve or be stunted by hunger and malnutrition. Let’s be thankful that, despite quadrupling the global population in less than a century, we now have a problem of obesity, because of a global cornucopia of fine food unimaginable to past generations.

In western countries, obesity is worst among the poor, so it cannot be a matter of affluence alone. Urban areas of England with the highest levels of income deprivation are also the places with the highest obesity rates among young children. By contrast, among the most affluent people, anorexia is a more lethal disorder, and is increasing fast.

At the weekend Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum claimed implausibly that obesity now costs the state £24 billion a year. The Institute of Economic Affairs puts the cost at less than £2.5 billion, and argues that “while claims of a crippling cost are a good way to get media attention . . . they irresponsibly incite resentment of a vulnerable group”. Also, if you die younger, you cost the state less, so the financial perspective is the wrong way to look at it.

Recognising that something is a problem is not the same as knowing what to do about it. Obesity is one of those cases where “demands for urgent action” go unheeded, not because of the callousness of our leaders but because there’s no agreement on what action to take. The range of suggestions for dealing with obesity — sugar taxes, bans on junk food on public transport, bans on junk food advertising before 9pm, health warnings on fast food, mock-up pictures of what kids will look like as fat adults, gastric balloons — only serves to remind us that nobody knows how best to reverse the obesity trend. Jamie Oliver, the TV chef, argues that the proposed Conservative policy of means-testing free hot school lunches for infants would worsen obesity.

Advising, hectoring and bribing people to eat less and exercise more appears to be ineffective. We have just about tested that idea to destruction. It isn’t working, and it probably will only work if it becomes fully totalitarian, with police raids on home kitchens to seek out and destroy secret stashes of biscuits.

The one thing we do know is that the simple equation so beloved of the medical profession is not the answer. It is not as simple as an in-out calorie balance sheet: eat less than you burn and lose weight. This fails to take into account a thing called appetite, and the way some people lay down fat while eating not very much, while others burn it easily while eating quite a lot.

As Gary Taubes, the heretical science writer who has made a career out of this issue, put it in the British Medical Journal a few years ago, “efforts to cure the problem by inducing under-eating or a negative energy balance, either by counselling patients to eat less or exercise more, are remarkably ineffective”. Even The Handbook of Obesity, the doctors’ textbook, admits that the result of such dietary therapy is “poor and not long-lasting”.

We all know friends who have shed the pounds through superhuman efforts of self-denial, and then gradually put them back on again afterwards. The public health lobby hardly helps by censoriously attacking all “fat and sugar”, or all “processed food”, and often “red meat” too. Which leaves a diet as depressing as it is unrealistic: steamed cod and boiled kale. The public health lobby must make up its mind whether it thinks carbs are bad or fat is bad: attacking both is silly.

Having spent decades urging people to adopt low-fat diets and watched obesity explode, the nannies cannot bring themselves to admit that this was terrible advice which almost certainly made the problem worse. Why? Because fat is satiating in a way that carbohydrates are not, and the body generally synthesises fat from dietary carbs, not from dietary fat. In the Stone Age, eating fat probably signalled a time of plenty, when laying down stores around the midriff was not urgent.

Logically, the heredity of obesity is almost certainly rising. In a world of food shortages, the only way to get fat was to be rich, so obesity was mainly an environmentally determined trait. In a world where so many can afford lots of cheap food, the ones to get fat will often be the ones who inherit some tendency to eat more or lay down more of their food as fat. Given ad-lib food, a greyhound will stay slim while a labrador balloons — it’s in their genes. Not all the variation in obesity between individuals will be explained by genetics but, statistically speaking, there will be greyhound tendencies and labrador tendencies.

Frankly, we just do not know why some people lay down fat more easily than others. Is it because they burn fewer calories even when not exercising? Is their digestion more efficient? Is their appetite greater, so they do eat more? Do they seek out carbs? Is the difference genetic, with some people having variants of genes that encourage fat deposition? Is it because fat people’s gut bacteria are different — a real possibility supported by increasingly persuasive experiments and transplants? All of these theories have something going for them. But not enough to justify the moralising tone and adamantine certainty that so often accompanies medical professionals’ pronouncements on the topic of obesity. We do not know enough.

What should a government do when there’s great uncertainty about both causes and the right course of action? Experiment, of course. Come up with five policies, ask for volunteers in five different parts of the country, and carefully measure the waistlines of people affected.


After the Confederates, Who's Next?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On Sept. 1, 1864, Union forces under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, victorious at Jonesborough, burned Atlanta and began the March to the Sea where Sherman's troops looted and pillaged farms and towns all along the 300-mile road to Savannah.

Captured in the Confederate defeat at Jonesborough was William Martin Buchanan of Okolona, Mississippi, who was transferred by rail to the Union POW stockade at Camp Douglas, Illinois.

By the standards of modernity, my great-grandfather, fighting to prevent the torching of Georgia's capital, was engaged in a criminal and immoral cause. And "Uncle Billy" Sherman was a liberator.

Under President Grant, Sherman took command of the Union army and ordered Gen. Philip Sheridan, who had burned the Shenandoah Valley to starve Virginia into submission, to corral the Plains Indians on reservations.

It is in dispute as to whether Sheridan said, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." There is no dispute as to the contempt Sheridan had for the Indians, killing their buffalo to deprive them of food.

Today, great statues stand in the nation's capital, along with a Sherman and a Sheridan circle, to honor these most ruthless of generals in that bloodiest of wars that cost 620,000 American lives.

Yet, across the South and even in border states like Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri, one may find statues of Confederate soldiers in town squares to honor the valor and sacrifices of the Southern men and boys who fought and fell in the Lost Cause.

When the Spanish-American War broke out, President McKinley, who as a teenage soldier had fought against "Stonewall" Jackson in the Shenandoah and been at Antietam, bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War, removed his hat and stood for the singing of "Dixie," as Southern volunteers and former Confederate soldiers paraded through Atlanta to fight for their united country. My grandfather was in that army.

For a century, Americans lived comfortably with the honoring, North and South, of the men who fought on both sides. But today's America is not the magnanimous country we grew up in.

Since the '60s, there has arisen an ideology that holds that the Confederacy was the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany and those who fought under its battle flag should be regarded as traitors or worse.

Thus, in New Orleans, statues of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, and General Robert E. Lee were just pulled down. And a drive is underway to take down the statue of Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and president of the United States, which stands in Jackson Square.

Why? Old Hickory was a slave owner and Indian fighter who used his presidential power to transfer the Indians of Georgia out to the Oklahoma Territory in a tragedy known as the Trail of Tears.

But if Jackson, and James K. Polk, who added the Southwest and California to the United States after the Mexican-American War, were slave owners, so, too, were four of our first five presidents.

The list includes the father of our country, George Washington, the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, and the author of our Constitution, James Madison.

Not only are the likenesses of Washington and Jefferson carved on Mount Rushmore, the two Virginians are honored with two of the most magnificent monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C.

Behind this remorseless drive to blast the greatest names from America's past off public buildings, and to tear down their statues and monuments, is an egalitarian extremism rooted in envy and hate.

Among its core convictions is that spreading Christianity was a cover story for rapacious Europeans who, after discovering America, came in masses to dispossess and exterminate native peoples. "The white race," wrote Susan Sontag, "is the cancer of human history."

Today, the men we were taught to revere as the great captains, explorers, missionaries and nation-builders are seen by many as part of a racist, imperialist, genocidal enterprise, wicked men who betrayed and eradicated the peace-loving natives who had welcomed them.

What they blindly refuse to see is that while its sins are scarlet, as are those of all civilizations, it is the achievements of the West that are unrivaled. The West ended slavery. Christianity and the West gave birth to the idea of inalienable human rights.

As scholar Charles Murray has written, 97 percent of the world's most significant figures and 97 percent of the world's greatest achievements in the arts, architecture, literature, astronomy, biology, earth sciences, physics, medicine, mathematics and technology came from the West.

What is disheartening is not that there are haters of our civilization out there, but that there seem to be fewer defenders.

Of these icon-smashers it may be said: Like ISIS and Boko Haram, they can tear down statues, but these people could never build a country.

What happens, one wonders, when these Philistines discover that the seated figure in the statue, right in front of D.C.'s Union Station, is the High Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Christopher Columbus?


Australian spy boss sparks row over refugees

ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis has declined to elaborate on his claim that there is “absolutely no evidence” of a link between Australia’s refugee intake and ­terrorism, despite multiple Islamic terrorist acts in the past three years involving individuals on ­humanitarian visas, or their children.

One Nation seized on Mr Lewis’s comments, with Queensland senator Malcolm Roberts tweeting: “If ASIO can’t see a link between refugees and terrorism we are in far greater danger than I thought.”

Labor MP Anne Aly, an Islamic radicalisation expert, supported Mr Lewis, while Philip Ruddock, a former Liberal immigration minister and attorney-general, said while one could not ignore the issue, “simply to blame all refugees is over-simplistic”.

On Thursday, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson grilled Mr Lewis, a former special forces commander, in a Senate estimates hearing about Islam, radicalisation, refugees and terrorism.

She first asked Mr Lewis if he could confirm that the four terrorist attacks and the 12 foiled on Australian soil were “committed by Muslims”.

Mr Lewis replied: “Certainly of the 12 thwarted attacks, one of those indeed involved a right-wing extremist, so, the answer is ‘no’, they have not always been carried out by Muslims.”

During the exchanges, the ASIO chief said: “We’re not interested in religion. We are interested in whether an individual is exhibiting or practising violence.”

Senator Hanson then asked: “Do you believe that the threat is being brought in possibly from Middle Eastern refugees that are coming out to Australia?”

Mr Lewis replied: “I have abso­lutely no evidence to suggest there is a connection between refugees and terrorism.”

Islamic State-inspired gunman Man Haron Monis, who took hostages and killed one of them during the Lindt cafe siege in 2014, came to Australia on a business visa before successfully applying for asylum.

Abdul Numan Haider, the Melbourne 18-year-old killed after attacking police with a knife three months earlier, was an Afghan-born Australian citizen whose family arrived as refugees.

Farhad Jabar, the 15-year-old jihadist who killed NSW police civilian accountant Curtis Cheng in Sydney in 2015 was an Iranian-born Australian citizen of Kurdish-Iraqi background whose family came as refugees.

At least a dozen other first or second-generation Muslim ­mi­grants have been convicted of terror-related charges.

Senator Roberts last night told The Weekend Australian: “We see a lot of terrorism around the world from refugees who have come in particularly from Islamic countries. Most people so far have hidden the obvious correlation between Islam and terrorism and refused to discuss it.

“We’re stunned that ASIO doesn’t do that, and that the Australian Federal Police doesn’t.”

Mr Lewis declined to answer questions requesting he expand on his statements in Senate estimates. He has previously sparked controversy for what some conservative Coalition MPs saw as an effort to play down the threat of ­Islamic radicalisation.

In 2015, The Australian revealed Mr Lewis had telephoned MPs publicly critical of attitudes within the Australian Muslim community, asking them to use the “soothing language favoured by Malcolm Turnbull in their public discussion of Islam”.

Speaking from Liberia last night, Mr Ruddock said it would be unrealistic to say immigration and refugee questions “play no role in relation to trying to resolve difficult issues”, but he said “integrity in selection is always of the ­utmost importance. Some of the people you cite were never refugees and deceived us in relation in to their entitlements.

“Monis was never a refugee. He clearly had difficult psychological problems.”

Mr Ruddock noted many of those who had committed ­Islamic-inspired terrorism here had been born in Australia, and said the question was “why have we failed to pass on our values”, particularly respecting the law.

Dr Aly said: “I think Duncan Lewis knows more than Pauline Hanson, and if Duncan Lewis is saying that, we should be paying attention to him.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton declined to comment.



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


Friday, May 26, 2017

End the propaganda myth that Jerusalem is holy to Muslims

It's not even mentioned in the Koran

Upon the 50th anniversary of the Jewish state of Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem, there is no better time to end the propaganda myth that Jerusalem is a holy city to Muslims.

The Muslim fixation and clamor on Jerusalem is actually a very recent historical development—a product of political conflict, not historical truth.

Jerusalem rates not a single mention in the Quran, and Muslims face Mecca in prayer. In the 7th century A.D., the Damascus-based Umayyad rulers built up Jerusalem as a counterweight to Mecca. This is when the important Muslim shrines, the Dome of the Rock (691) and the Al-Aqsa mosque (705), were intentionally built on the site of the destroyed biblical Jewish temples—a time-honored practice to physically signal the predominance of Islam.

Yet references in the Quran and hadith to Muhammad’s night journey to heaven on his steed Buraq from the “farthest mosque” couldn’t mean Jerusalem, because the Quran refers to the land of Israel as the “nearest” place. It couldn’t have been a reference to the Al-Aqsa mosque, for the simple reason that Al-Aqsa didn’t exist in Muhammad’s day.

With the demise of the Umayyad dynasty and the shift of the caliphate to Baghdad, Jerusalem fell into a long decline, scarcely interrupted by occasional bursts of Muslim interest in the city during the Crusader period and the Ottoman conquest. Mark Twain, visiting in 1867, described it as a “pauper village.”

Jerusalem did, however, become a Jewish-majority city during the 19th century. The 1907 Baedekers Travel Guide lists Jerusalem with a population of 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Muslims and 7,000 Christians. Jerusalem meant so little to the Ottomans that, during World War I, they let it fall into British hands without a fight and even contemplated entirely destroying the city before pulling out.

When did Jerusalem become a passionate Islamic issue? Only with the Arab confrontation with Zionism in the 20th century. It was Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, a vociferous anti-Semite and later Nazi collaborator, who expended enormous energy to focus Islamic attention on the city.

Seeking to foment a Muslim war on British Palestine’s Jews, he fabricated a tradition that the wall to which Muhammad was believed to have tethered his steed Buraq was not the southern or eastern walls, as Muslims had asserted for centuries, but the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site. (The Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian status quo agreement forbids Jewish prayer at the religion’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.) This turned the Western Wall into a flashpoint.

The massive Arab assault on Jews across British Palestine in 1929, in which 133 Jews were murdered and hundreds more maimed, was triggered by false rumors that Jews had attacked, or were intending to attack, the mosques atop the Temple Mount.

Strangely, even under the mufti, the Temple Mount was still recognized by Muslims as the site of the biblical Jewish temples. Thus, the Jerusalem Muslim Supreme Council’s publication, “A Brief Guide to the Haram Al-Sharif,” states regarding Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.” (After 1954, all such references to the biblical temples were excised from this publication.)

During Jordan’s illegal occupation and annexation of eastern Jerusalem from 1948-1967, Amman remained the Jordanian capital, not Jerusalem. No Arab rulers, other than Jordan’s kings, ever visited.

Neither the PLO’s National Charter nor the Fatah Constitution (the latter drafted during Jordanian rule) even mention Jerusalem, let alone call for its establishment as a Palestinian capital.

But today, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials deny Judaism’s connection to Jerusalem. PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein sneers at Jews’ “alleged Temple” and insists “Palestinians have an exclusive right…which they share with no one” to the Temple Mount. Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, former chief justice of the PA’s religious court, insists he does not “know of any Jewish holy sites” in Jerusalem.

Today, the PA uses Jerusalem as a propaganda instrument to incite violence. In 1996, Yasser Arafat used Israel’s opening of an archaeological tunnel near the Temple Mount to incite riots on the basis of the lie that the tunnel threatened the stability of the Al-Aqsa mosque. Twenty-five Israeli soldiers and 100 Palestinian rioters were killed in the ensuing violence.

In 2015, PA President Mahmoud Abbas urged violence over Jews visiting the Temple Mount, borrowing from Haj Amin al-Husseini’s playbook the fabricated claims of Jewish assaults on the mosques. More than 30 Israelis were murdered and more than 200 Palestinians, the vast majority terrorists or rioters, were killed in subsequent attacks and clashes.

When a senior White House official told Bloomberg News this month that President Donald Trump—reneging on his pre-election promise—would not move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem “at this time” because “we’re not looking to provoke anyone when everyone’s playing really nice,” it gave the Palestinians their latest reason to believe violence over Jerusalem reaps rewards. Far from aiding the cause of peace, the fabrication of Jerusalem’s importance to Islam enables the instigation of bloodshed. If the propaganda myth persists, expect no change.


Strange memory failures

For now, everyone knows the sonorous name and cherubic face of 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.

She's the littlest known victim of Monday night's jihad attack in Manchester, England. Her doe-eyed image spread as rapidly across social media as the #PrayForManchester hashtags and Twitter condolences from celebrities.

But I guarantee you that beautiful Saffie Rose will evaporate from the memories of those most loudly proclaiming "Never forget" faster than a dewdrop in the desert.

Look no further for proof of the West's incurable terror attack amnesia than the reaction to the Manchester massacre. Reporters, politicians and pundits expressed shock at the brutality of Muslim murderers targeting children and young people.

Labour Party leader Yvette Cooper posited on BBC Live that it was a "first."

"The architects of terror have hit a new low," a Liverpool newspaper editorialized.

U.K. columnist Rosie Millard described the bloody bombing as an "attack unique in its premeditated targeting of the young."

What planet have these people been living on for the past 16 years? How quickly the blind, deaf and dumb virtue signalers forget.

Last year, the Orlando, Florida, nightclub jihadist purposely targeted young people simply having a good time. Among the youngest victims cut down in their prime: Jason B. Josaphat, 19, and vacationing high school honors student Akyra Monet Murray, 18.

Somali jihadist Abdul Razak Ali Artan plowed his car into Ohio State University students last fall before stabbing several of them. The attack was swept under the rug as the usual, terror-coddling suspects worried more about a nonexistent "backlash" against Muslims than they did about the steady infiltration of refugee jihadis and Islamic extremists at colleges and universities across the country.

In 2004, Islamic baby-killers attacked a school in Beslan, Russia, during a three-day siege that took the lives of 186 young children.

At Fort Hood in 2009, soldier Francheska Velez and her unborn child were murdered by jihadist Nidal Hasan with 13 other victims. Her last words: "My baby! My baby!"

Eight children were murdered on airliners that jihadists hijacked and crashed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Christine Hanson, 3, was on United Airlines Flight 175 with her parents. She was on her first trip to Disneyland. Juliana McCourt, 4, was traveling with her mom — also on her way to Disneyland. David Brandhorst, 3, was traveling with his adoptive dad and his companion.

Sisters Zoe Falkenberg, 8, and Dana, 3, were headed to Australia with their parents on American Airlines Flight 77.

Bernard Brown Jr., 11; Rodney Dickens, 11; and Asia Cottom, 11, all from Washington, D.C., were also on the Falkenbergs' flight. They were public schoolchildren traveling with their teachers on an educational trip.

An additional 10 pregnant women and their unborn babies died as the Twin Towers toppled. Eight years before, during the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, one pregnant woman and her unborn child also perished.

The Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 injured 263 and claimed three lives, including 8-year-old Martin Richard. Authorities recounted at trial that Martin suffered "visceral pain" in nearly every part of his body as shrapnel — metal, wood, nails and pellets — from the jihadists' pressure cooker bomb ripped into him.

Yes, the same type of sadistic torture bombs suspected of maiming and killing kids and teens in Manchester this week.

Newsflash: There is nothing new or unique about the barbaric soldiers of Allah executing premeditated attacks on our young. History teaches us there is no appeasing the unappeasable. They will not be bought by welfare subsidies, sensitivity programs, college educations or diversity-is-our-strength platitudes. The slaughter of the innocents will continue unabated as long as the West's useless last responders to jihad violence — addled by short-term memories and child-like comprehension of the Islamic imperialism imperative — prevail.


The ‘Trump Effect’ Is Becoming Evident In the States

Human rights legislation is quickening in the states: protections for the unborn are gaining across the nation. Similarly, there is a determined effort to secure religious liberty.

Progress against child abuse in the womb is so strong in Kentucky that it may become the first state not to have a single abortion clinic. Planned Parenthood efforts to house new abortion clinics have been stopped, and it is now illegal to kill children after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Requiring doctors to inform pregnant women of ultrasound details is also law.

On May 12, Tennessee made it illegal to end the life of an unborn baby beyond viability. The law is different from the more than 20 other states that ban abortion beyond viability: it actually requires doctors to assess viability beginning at 20 weeks.

Indiana has tightened its parental consent law by allowing a judge to inform an underage girl's parents that she wants to abort her child. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are up in arms over this expansion of parental rights.

Lawmakers in Iowa passed a bill denying reimbursement to abortion clinics that rely on Medicaid; starting July 1, they can no longer expect to be refunded for such expenses. True health services—unrelated to killing—will still be refunded.

Catholics have sued St. Louis for disrespecting the religious liberty rights of employers and landlords opposed to abortion. The law mandates that all employers—including Catholic institutions—must respect the "reproductive health decisions" of its employees. In practice, this means that pro-abortion teachers could sue if denied a teaching job at a Catholic school.

The Texas legislature has passed a bill that respects the autonomy of foster care and adoption agencies that receive public monies. Radical homosexuals, as well as men and women who have undergone surgery to adopt the genitals of the opposite sex, are unhappy with this religious liberty legislation.

A lot of good things are happening. Is this the "Trump Effect"? If so, the pope should have been very pleased when they met.


The Leftist race obsession

MORE THAN half a century after Martin Luther King Jr. exhorted Americans to judge each other by the content of their character, obsessive racialists continue to insist that people must be judged by the color of their skin.

These days, the racialists aren't usually motivated by notions of group supremacy; they are more likely instead to march behind banners emblazoned "Diversity" or "Inclusion." Nonetheless, the race fetish — the regard for skin color or ethnicity as a supremely meaningful factor in human behavior — is as pernicious as ever. Few superstitions could be more illiberal. After all, the noblest teaching of 20th-century liberalism was that human beings must be treated by society without regard to the shade of their skin or the shape of their eye. A preoccupation with racial and ethnic categories is nearly always irrational and primitive.

And yet, from sea to shining sea, the pressure to discriminate on the basis of race never seems to let up. Some recent examples:

In Minnesota, every state agency has an affirmative-action plan for increasing the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities it employs; the state's official goal is for 1 of every 5 employees to be nonwhite.

In Washington, school districts are required by law to draft a blueprint for hiring more racial minorities; a government body, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, is in charge of determining the "ideal" number of minorities each district should have.

In Massachusetts, developers bidding to construct a hotel on state-owned land must meet a "diversity" threshold by including racial minorities among their investors and reserving significant chunks of the work for black- and Asian-owned subcontractors.

The leitmotif that links these stories, and so many like them, is that racial identity is more important than character, personality, or merit. They are premised on the belief that individuals matter less than the demographic group they belong to. They deny the great truth that beat at the heart of the Civil Rights movement — that "classifications and distinctions based on race or color," as Thurgood Marshall expressed it in a 1948 brief for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, "have no moral or legal validity in our society."



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