Friday, June 30, 2017

Multicultural rape in Florida

Two suspects are wanted for violently raping a woman in Florida to 'teach her a lesson about dating black men'. Justin Akeen Fedrick, 27, Keon Dellshai Gordon, 26, are wanted for the incident at Clermont, Florida, on June 22.

Police say they are armed and dangerous and have warrants for their arrests. They are accused of raping the woman while another man, Rodney Cooper, 32, stood guard outside a room in a house where the woman was attacked. 

The woman was with friends at a house when Cooper allegedly pushed her into a room. It is not clear whether he was part of the group.

He is then alleged to have stood guard outside while Fedrick and Gordon violently raped her, authorities said.

According to a police report seen by The Orlando Sentinel, they launched their attack to 'teach her a lesson about dating black men' and threatened the 'next time would be 10 times worse'.

The pair raped then sexually battered her, according to police, and left her inside. She escaped and ran across backyards in the neighborhood, worried that they would come after her.

Police eventually found her after being called by her boyfriend who she'd managed to reach on a cell phone. He told authorities she was 'bleeding and limping'.

Cooper was arrested on a kidnapping charge and was held on a $50,000 bond the next day but police have not been able to locate the other men. They are considered dangerous and have violent pasts.


Trump gets results on illegals

A BALTIMORE restaurant has slammed the US government after more than 30 staff quit following a surprise visit from an immigration agent demanding employees’ paperwork.

Gene Singleton, co-owner of the BoatHouse Canton restaurant, posted an open letter to Facebook on Saturday describing the “saddest day for the BoatHouse family” in its three-year history.

“Based on our Government’s current practices of targeting the Hispanic Community, properly documented and potentially less than properly documented are all fearful of being separated from their families, many with small children,” he wrote.

“Many went home to pack up and leave. This was a sad, emotional, tragic event.” But he added that the restaurant’s “policies and records are in compliance”.

Mr Singleton told The Washington Post an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent walked into the restaurant at about 3pm on Thursday and asked for the manager. The agent delivered a letter demanding a list of anyone who had worked at the restaurant in the past two years along with their employment eligibility forms.

“The guy was nice and polite,” he told the paper. “There was no scene.” But he said word quickly spread through the kitchen, and that evening a manager received a call from a chef. “He told him, ‘All our people are really fearful. I’m not sure if they’re going to come back tomorrow’,” Mr Singleton said.

The next day more than 30 staff failed to show up, leaving the remaining 90 or so to run the restaurant, turning away customers without reservations and serving a stripped-down menu. “The other 90+ of our employees and managers rallied and have pulled through like champions and the team and family that they are,” he wrote on Facebook.

He added that the restaurant was creating a “Heart of the House Fund” to “assist our displaced families with their transition”. “A portion of all revenues will be contributed to this fund,” he wrote.

“Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the great experiences that the BoatHouse has become known for and support our Heart of House Fund. As a group, these people are some of the best I have ever come to know.”

Responses on Facebook were mixed, with some praising Mr Singleton as a “class act” and others vowing never to return. “You’ll never see a dime of my money,” wrote Ryan Joseph.

“Honest question here and not intended to be rude but were they legally authorised to work? Did they not have appropriate documentation?” asked Joey Freshwater.

Joseph Di Seta said people should “wake up and stop living in a fantasy where you think every place you step foot in does not have someone working who is an illegal”.

“And there is a good chance some of these workers are here legally but still afraid,” he wrote.

Some were not convinced. “I’m a legal immigrant,” wrote Shane Mummery. “Why would any legal immigrant be afraid? What fantasy world are you in? People who have not broken laws have nothing to fear. Newsflash — there are plenty of restaurants who don’t hire illegals ... you know why? They are law abiding.”

Scott Ogden hit back. “This list of comments is a sad array of racism, anger, xenophobia and vile sentiments,” he wrote. “Much of America, like the Oval Office and West Wing, have become an embarrassing s***show.”

According to the Pew Research Centre, there were 11 million illegal immigrants in the US in 2015, with around eight million in the workforce, accounting for 5 per cent of the total population of those who were employed or unemployed and looking for work.

During the election campaign, Donald Trump campaigned hard against illegal immigration, but vowed to primarily target “bad hombres” with criminal records for deportation. But Trump’s cancellation of Obama-era policies of lenience towards illegal immigrants with clean criminal records has led to a rapid increase in detentions and deportations.


Illegals fleeing from Trump to Canada not faring too well there either

You may recall from earlier this year we learned that Canada was facing a new sort of border challenge. People were actually fleeing from the United States and crossing over illegally into the Great White North. These were primarily illegal immigrants looking to escape The Wrath of Trump according to most accounts, but nobody seemed terribly upset about it at the time.

Any why not? If you’re that worried about being caught, Canada is famous for its incredibly friendly people, generally socialist environment, generous welfare benefits and back bacon. They’re generally good with almost anyone showing up provided you’re not too much of a hoser, eh? And to top it off, the new Prime Minister was no fan of Trump’s either so he pretty much rolled out the welcome mat and said he wasn’t going to be taking any new, extraordinary measures to stop the flow of illegal aliens.

So how’s that working out for them now? Apparently the reality of a flood of illegal immigrants (or should we go ahead and start calling them “undocumented” once they’re somebody else’s problem…) turned out to be a bit more than the system was prepared to handle.


Thousands of people who fled to Canada to escape President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal migrants have become trapped in legal limbo because of an overburdened refugee system, struggling to find work, permanent housing or enroll their children in schools.

Refugee claims are taking longer to be completed than at any time in the past five years, according to previously unpublished Immigration and Refugee Board data provided to Reuters. Those wait times are set to grow longer after the IRB in April allocated “up to half” of its 127 tribunal members to focus on old cases. The number of delayed hearings more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 and is on track to increase again this year.

Hearings are crucial to establishing a claimant’s legal status in Canada. Without that status, they struggle to convince employers to hire them or landlords to rent to them. Claimants cannot access loans or student financial aid, or update academic or professional credentials to meet Canadian standards.

So rather than the normal two month average, it’s taking new arrivals an average of almost six months (and in some cases nearly a year) just to get a hearing. Until then, they’re having a hard time finding a job, getting anyone to rent them an apartment or qualifying for the many other benefits the Canadian social welfare system would generally be passing out.

Remarkably, the Canadians care so little for their border security, however, that even these folks “in limbo” are still able to collect C$600 ($453) a month in government social assistance. That’s not much, but it’s better than having to hunt and fish for all your meals I suppose.

Two things immediately come to mind here. First, as far as these “immigrants” (read: illegal aliens) go, it might be worth remembering that you are still in the country illegally. Personally I’m glad that you’re somebody else’s problem now and wish you the best, but it really can’t come as that much of a shock that people don’t want to hire or rent to you when you haven’t even been vetted to ensure you aren’t a terrorist.

The final question, however, is for Canada as a nation. It’s a pretty small country by population, though they have a tremendous amount of land. Their infrastructure isn’t all that huge. Once word gets out in the illegal alien community down here than anyone can show up without worries and begin collecting a check on day one, the trip may become even more popular. How many people in that category can you afford to absorb before your resources for your own citizens become strained to the breaking point? That’s about the time that people tend to start feeling considerably less “charitable” and begin asking their government what the heck is going on.

You might want to start getting an answer ready now.


This New Law in Canada Could Remove Kids From Parents Who Reject Transgender Ideology

Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, just passed a law that could allow the government to remove kids from their home if their parents oppose the new transgender ideology.

Could there be anything more terrifying for parents than that?

It’s not hard to see why the passage of Bill 89 captured the attention of so many across the globe.

But how did this bill—which is about foster care and adoption—get caught up in politically correct ideologies about “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the first place?

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

It didn’t come out of nowhere.

Ontario has passed five gender laws in the past five years, few of which received much media attention or even opposition in the legislature. Bill 89 is the latest in this litany of bad legislation.

It was back in 2012 “gender identity and gender expression” were added to Ontario’s Human Rights Code, making Ontario the first jurisdiction in North America to pass such a law.

With that initial snowball, the avalanche got rolling.

Facilitated by a majority government and a lame-duck opposition, the following bills sailed through to provincial law in Ontario:

Bill 13, also in 2012, compelled public schools to have gay-straight alliances and demanded schools combat “homophobia” and “transphobia.”

Bill 77 in 2015 prohibited particular forms of therapy for minors who struggle with gender dysphoria or other aspects of their sexuality, against the advice of numerous psychiatrists and counsellors.

Bill 28, which passed into law in December 2016, removed the terms “mother” and “father” from Ontario law, and permits “pre-conception agreements” allowing four unrelated and unmarried people to become parents.

All of this led to the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, which passed into law just over a week ago. It is still commonly called Bill 89.

Bill 89 is a child protection bill that aims to make changes to our foster care and adoption system across Ontario. It regulates the Children’s Aid Societies, which includes over 40 organizations across the province responsible for responding to child protection concerns.

The impetus for Bill 89 was, in part, the murder of a 7-year-old girl while in the care of her Children’s Aid Society-appointed guardians.

The new law makes a number of innocuous changes and even some positive ones to how children who are abused and/or abandoned will be treated.

Yet the controversy stems from the inclusion of language from the Ontario Human Rights Code into the new child welfare act. This takes us right back to 2012 when “gender identity and gender expression,” two nebulous terms, were added into the Human Rights Code.

Prior to Bill 89, social workers considered principles in a child protection case—principles like continuity of care, stable family relationships, and respecting cultural, religious, and regional differences.

After Bill 89, social workers attempting to assess a child’s situation must now consider the specifics of the Ontario Human Rights Code, including “[a] child’s or young person’s race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”

Incorporating the Human Rights Code writ large into Bill 89 is problematic.

The Human Rights Code is intended to be applied to commerce, not families—to employment, housing, and other services. But at the same time, the code also has protections for freedom of conscience and religion.

With Bill 89, Human Rights Code language moves into the private domain of the family, but without including specific protections for conscience and religion.

The most serious and immediate risk is not that children will be arbitrarily removed from a home by some kind of gender police, but rather that prospective foster or adoptive parents who disagree with new gender ideologies will be less likely to be chosen.

This decreases the pool of loving families who can foster children, doing those kids a disservice. While statistics are hard to come by, in some communities in Ontario, it’s estimated that half of all foster families are practicing Christians.

Parents need to be ever vigilant. The reality today across North America is that fashionable new trends are being pushed into law at a dizzying rate.

All of us need to be on the alert for seemingly small or inconsequential developments in language, policy, or law. Little words like “gender expression” can represent big ideology, and they are worth combatting wherever they crop up.

Five gender bills in five years makes Ontario’s story a cautionary tale for our friends and neighbors to the south.



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


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Wedding Cake 'Discrimination' Case

The Supreme Court on Monday finally agreed to hear a case involving a small Colorado bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, that refused in 2012 to provide a custom wedding cake for a homosexual couple.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that cake baker Jack Phillips engaged in sexual orientation discrimination under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act when he said his sincerely held religious beliefs prevented him from baking a cake for a homosexual couple.

The question before the court is: "Whether applying Colorado's public accommodations law to compel Phillips to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment."

Phillips filed his petition for review almost a  year ago, but the Justices put off making a decision on whether to hear the case until now.

The case will be argued in the fall.

The American Civil Liberties Union represents the couple, Colorado residents David Mullins and Charlie Craig:

“The law is squarely on David and Charlie’s side because when businesses are open to the public, they’re supposed to be open to everyone,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project. “While the right to one’s religious beliefs is fundamental, a license to discriminate is not. Same-sex couples like David and Charlie deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else, and we’re ready to take that fight all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Also on Monday, the Justices once again put off a decision on whether to hear a Second Amendment case testing whether law-abiding people have the constitutional right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense.


Racism: Families of dead blacks win big payouts despite no fault being found with police who killed them

In an effort to put the whole debacle in the past, the City of Ferguson, Missouri, settled a civil suit brought over the death of Michael Brown. The $1.5 million settlement will be paid out by the city’s insurance company and split between Brown’s parents. Recall that the grand jury found no legitimate reason to indict Officer Darren Wilson on any charges, and even Barack Obama’s Justice Department found nothing wrong with Wilson’s actions. But just like that, Brown’s parents won the latest round of the legal lotto. The same thing happened Monday morning in the Minneapolis suburb where Philando Castile was killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop last summer. Castile’s mother was awarded $3 million.

Like the payouts for the deaths of Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, the settlements in these cases of alleged police brutality have never been about justice.

These are now the third and fourth settlements of lawsuits for a death in which a city caved to the mob, even though no injustice was ever proven. (We’ll grant that Castile’s case is different and easily the most sympathetic, but a jury acquitted Yanez last week.) In each of these incidents law enforcement was found to have acted legally, yet by agreeing to these settlements these cities willingly perpetuate the fabrication that a culture of institutional racism exists within law enforcement. It’s important to note that Ferguson birthed the Black Lives Matter movement, which is allegedly in support of blacks. However, it’s a movement based on a lie, and its proponents have led destructive protests and riots costing millions in property damage around the country, often to the very communities they claim to represent. Baltimore, New York City and now Ferguson and St. Anthony are helping to set a precedent where if violent, rioting mobs drum up enough frenzy, then money will flow soon after to make the issue go away.


Military chiefs seek delay in allowing transgender enlistment

Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday.

After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.

How lifting of military ban impacts transgender service ..
The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Transgender people push for acceptance in military and beyond
Transgender servicemembers have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban, declaring it the right thing to do. Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system.

How lifting of military ban impacts transgender service members
But Carter also gave the services until July 1 to develop policies to allow people already identifying as transgender to newly join the military, if they meet physical, medical and other standards, and have been stable in their identified genders for 18 months. The military chiefs had said they needed time to study the issue and its effects on the readiness of the force before taking that step.

Officials said Friday that the chiefs believe the extra half-year would give the four military services time to gauge if currently serving transgender troops are facing problems and what necessary changes the military bases might have to make.

The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps discussed the matter with Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work on Thursday, officials said.

Stephen Peters, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, said the group is disappointed with the delay request.

"Each day that passes without implementing the final piece of this important policy harms our military readiness and restricts the Armed Forces' ability to recruit the best and the brightest," said Peters, a Marine veteran. "There are thousands of transgender service members openly and proudly serving our nation today, and as they've proven time and time again, what matters is the ability to get the job done - not their gender identity."

Already, there are as many as 250 servicemembers in the process of transitioning to their preferred genders or who have been approved to formally change gender within the Pentagon's personnel system, according to several defense officials.

According to several officials familiar with the matter, three of the four services wanted more time. In recent weeks, Navy officials suggested they would be ready to begin enlistment in July but asked for a one-year delay, largely to accommodate a request from the Marine Corps for more time, officials said. The Navy secretary also oversees the Marine Corps.

The Army and Air Force wanted a two-year delay to further study the issue, said the officials, who were not authorized to talk about the internal discussion publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials said there was a broad recognition that allowing transgender individuals to enlist affects each service differently. They described the biggest challenge as the infantry. They said the discussions aimed at a solution that would give recruits the best chance of succeeding, while ensuring the services maintain the best standards for entry into the military.

Service chiefs will also require that transgender recruits be stable in their preferred genders for at least two years, an increase from Carter's earlier plan to allow 18 months, the officials said. The chiefs also want to review the policy in a year to see how things are working, the officials said.

Key concerns are whether currently enlisted troops have had medical or other issues that cause delays or problems with their ability to deploy or meet physical or other standards for their jobs. Military leaders also want to review how transgender troops are treated, if they're discriminated against or have had disciplinary problems, the officials said.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee last week there have been some issues identified with recruiting transgender individuals that "some of the service chiefs believe need to be resolved before we move forward." He said Mattis is reviewing the matter.

The military services have various ways of counting the number of transgender troops currently serving. The Pentagon has refused to release any data. But officials said there are 42 servicemembers across the Army, including the National Guard and Reserve, who have been approved to change their gender identities in the personnel system. At least 40 more are in the process of transitioning, they said.

Officials said there are about 160 sailors in the Navy who are somewhere in the process of gender transition. That could include counseling, hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery. And about "a handful" of Marines have come forward to seek medical care involving gender transition, and there are possibly others going through the process with their commanders, officials said.

The Air Force refused to release any numbers, and other officials did not know those details.

A RAND study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.


"Endowment for Middle East Truth":  A David Defending Israel from a Goliath of Lies

"Thank you for taking a machete to the thicket of lies," stated Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, in praise of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) at its June 14 gala in Washington, DC. Before a Grand Hyatt Hotel ballroom filled with America's pro-Israel leaders, the exceptional speakers addressing EMET's eleventh annual Rays of Light in the Darkness dinner indicated EMET's rising importance as an Israel public advocate.

EMET founder and President Sarah Stern introduced the evening as "our most successful dinner yet," a note of optimism befitting her own personal reflections on Israel's history of triumphing over disaster. She recalled her namesake Aunt Sarah brutally massacred along with her Polish village by the Nazis in 1939. Her loss in the Holocaust manifested that before Israel's existence "Jews were left utterly vulnerable and defenseless. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people."

Fifty years after the Six Day War, Stern recalled that in 1967 the "fledgling Jewish state was left totally isolated and on her own. Just 22 years after the Holocaust, it seemed that another Holocaust might be inevitable." In her White Plains, New York, childhood home she remembered the "almost palpable tension in the air. We kept our television set on that Shabbat, something totally unheard of in my strictly Orthodox Jewish home." "It is difficult to describe the sheer relief bordering on euphoria" after Israel's miraculous victory, as demonstrated by her brother, who began proudly wearing his yarmulke without a baseball cap for concealment.

Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan and prominent public defender of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), similarly praised EMET. In this "phenomenal organization...they go from strength to strength," he stated, while noting the importance of the acronym EMET's meaning in Hebrew, namely truth. "In the Middle East, lies have become the central pillar of our enemies' efforts against us."

Kemp decried a widespread "weakness of the West," particularly in relation to Palestinian leaders who "want only destruction of the Jewish state." "For decades we have tried reasoning with the Palestinians, making concessions, patronizing them, it hasn't worked and it won't work. They see it as weakness, and weakness provokes them." In contrast, he offered a policy of strength, noting that "Israel cannot withdraw its forces from Judea and Samaria and have a hope of survival" and that therefore "there cannot be a two-state solution."

Dermer's address similarly focused on Israel's struggle with an "alternative universe of real lies with real consequences" where "Jews are the occupiers of Judea, the Western Wall is occupied Palestinian territory." "In this alternative universe, Iran's path to the bomb has been blocked. In the real world, Iran's path to a nuclear bomb has been paved." A "propaganda campaign conducted by a master of fiction manufactured moderation and filled echo chambers with nonsense" in order to achieve President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran.

EMET honoree Nadiya Al-Noor, a self-professing Muslim Zionist and "queer Muslim woman" with a Jewish father, discussed her own personal journey away from anti-Israel propaganda. "It saddens me that simply being a Muslim who does not hate Israel is considered award-worthy" today, she noted, but "unfortunately, antisemitism is a huge problem in the Muslim community, fueled by anti-Israel propaganda." "College campuses these days are hotbeds of antisemitism under the guise of anti-Zionism" where once she "believed their hateful lies: Israel was an apartheid state; Israel is Nazi Germany 2.0; Zionism was racism."

Yet EMET honoree Ashraf Halabi, a Druze IDF veteran, showed that Israel had non-Jewish allies as boisterous applause greeted his podium appearance in IDF uniform. He recounted always hearing while growing up amidst this Israeli minority Arab community that the "Jews and the Druze are blood brothers." Noting that his family has contributed over 100 years of military service to Israel, he stated that "our loyalty is unconditional. We have no other country."

Republican North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows and Democratic California Congressman Juan Vargas demonstrated strong Christian Zionism irrespective of the few Jewish voters in their districts. "My wife and I have a passion for Israel and the Jewish people," Meadows stated. "In what many would call an evangelical congressional district, I can get a standing applause when I tell them that I will unyielding and unflinching stand with the nation of Israel and the Jewish people."

Concurring with Kemp and Stern, Meadows opposed Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), as the "middle of Israel would be about the size of the Dallas airport; it would be indefensible." He also rejected the common mischaracterization as mere "settlements" of irrevocably established Israeli communities in territories won by Israel in 1967. "The image that we have of the settlement is this little tiny hut with a little lean-to. They are not settlements, they are subdivisions."

Meanwhile Vargas proudly proclaimed how he was the first Democratic legislator to oppose Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran, an action that reflected his religious background. During his five years of seminary study when he once prepared for the priesthood, "I grew up with this love for Israel and Jerusalem in particular because of what I heard and believed in every Sunday" in Old Testament Bible readings. Common calls for Israel to withdraw to the "[19]67 lines" provoke him to joke that Israel "is one of the few countries that existed in the world in 67" A.D.; "when people say we should go back to the 67 lines, I am OK with that."

The master of ceremonies, conservative commentator and "president of the Gentile wing of the international Zionist conspiracy" Cal Thomas, and a video address by Senator Jim Inhofe rounded out yet another EMET truth-telling banquet. Israel's enemies can be modern Goliaths, yet EMET's small staff and their supporters skillfully punch above their weight. Supporters of Israel and its contributions to the free world should take note of this mighty little Zionist David.



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


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Kind Word on Behalf of the Mexicans

Libertarian Robert Higgs makes below some perfectly reasonable points about Mexicans in general and I suspect that everything he says about them is true. But he is very one-sided in his comments. So I think it behooves me to restore some balance to the discussion.

His basic sleight of hand is to imply that illegal immigrant Mexicans are just like Mexicans in general. He does not consider that most Mexicans stay in Mexico and that people who break the law for their own advantage may be substantially unlike their law-abiding relatives -- and may in fact be just the sort of people that most societies would like to exclude.

And criminality among Hispanics in the USA is high. Its incidence runs about half-way between the white and black incidence, with the first-generation children of the illegal immigrants being particularly troublesome. America could certainly do without that.

And the political attitudes they bring with them are also a problem. Ones who share Higgs's libertarian views would be great rarities. Like most Latin Americans, they are instinctive socialists and reliably vote for the Democratic Party. They provide that party with one of its two big "rusted on" votes and have thus allowed that party to drift further Left than at any previous time in its history.

And that drift is a drift into authoritarianism, scarcely what Mr Higgs would wish. Latin American politics are overwhelmingly authoritarian socialist and the large Hispanic vote is bringing that to the USA too. Bipartisanship seems to have totally vanished. Mr Obama compromised on nothing.

"But we need them!" Mr Higgs says. Life in Australia is very similar to life in the USA but we have very few illegal immigrants of any kind. Successive conservative governments have cracked down on it very effectively. So I doubt that the USA needs Mexicans. If it does, however, the need could be easily met by introducing a "Gastarbeiter" (guest worker) system similar to that which applied in Germany from the 1960's on. In such a system LEGAL immigration could be allowed for a certain time and for certain occupations -- such as farm labor.

And America has a substantial population of non-working blacks -- who are the descendants of farm workers. Suitable adjustments to welfare provisions could, one imagines, get at least some of them into the jobs presently being done by Hispanic illegals.  How incorrect can I get?

“The immigration problem” or “the border problem” has been a heated topic of debate and politicking in recent years. (This recent spurt is only the most recent in a series that goes back for centuries in U.S. history.) In large part this debate pertains to the entry of Mexicans, especially undocumented Mexicans, into the USA. For those who support a strong “closed borders” or “secure the border” position, the debate often involves claims about Mexicans—what sort of people they are, what one may reasonably expect them to do if they become residents of the USA, what crimes they have committed or will commit in the future, and so forth. Anyone who is familiar with Mexicans is struck repeatedly by the sheer ignorance and the false claims that immigration opponents marshal in support of their position. The president himself has trotted out howlers about Mexican rapists and drug traffickers as important, standing problems of even the existing flow of Mexicans into the USA.

I have a working familiarity with the social science literature on immigration. (In the past I have written articles for economic history and demography journals that dealt with various aspects of immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.) More to the point for present purposes, I have considerable personal experience with Mexicans. I grew up on the rural west side of California’s San Joaquin Valley in the 1950s in a place with a population composed of about two-thirds Mexicans and their native-born children. In October 2015, I emigrated from the USA, and since then I have lived in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. I speak Spanish, though not with the fluency I would like, and in one way or another I deal with Mexicans nearly every day. So when I think or speak about Mexicans I do so with some personal as well as scholarly background.

In this light, I am stunned by how many Americans have a false impression of Mexicans. Of course, any generalization about them will be subject to qualifications. Mexico is a large, diverse country with a large, diverse population. And obviously from individual to individual great variations exist. No population consists of nothing but good people (however defined) or nothing but bad people (however defined).

Overall, I have found Mexicans—both those with whom I grew up in California and those among whom I now reside in Mexico—on average to be fine people in all relevant dimensions. They are devoted to their families and love their children. They are extremely hard workers, often under extraordinarily difficult and unpleasant conditions. They are good-natured and friendly, courteous and generous. They are also in many cases surprisingly resourceful, knowing how to build or repair all sorts of things, often without proper tools or materials. Many of them have an artistic capacity that allows them to create various products that are not only practical but also beautiful. Centuries of oppression and brutality by the ruling classes have not destroyed their hope for a better future, and they are often willing to bear great personal costs in order to make that future better for themselves and their children.

In view of the sorts of people they actually are—not as they are painted by vicious politicians and border bullies—one might well suppose that not only are they not an especially worrisome kind of immigrants to the USA, but instead exactly the kind that native-born American should welcome, the sort that among other things will do thousands of difficult and uninviting tasks—for example, working in poultry or meatpacking plants, putting on roofs, holding down building and highway construction and masonry jobs in rain and summer heat, cleaning hotel rooms, cooking and cleaning in restaurants, harvesting crops such as apples, asparagus, strawberries, and hundreds of others that demand backbreaking manual labor, and so on and on—tasks that native-born workers are not exactly clamoring to perform these days.

Moreover, not all Mexicans who come to the USA are unskilled, low-wage workers. Entrants also include highly educated people such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, and information technology workers. Mexico’s labor force is no longer a mass of unskilled or semi-skilled workers, and in many cases both the migrants and the U.S. economy stand to gain by Americans’ welcoming highly skilled people from Mexico. That such people have relatively less to gain does not imply that they have nothing to gain. In any event, it behooves Americans to recognize the existence of this type of migrants as well as those at the bottom of the wage scale.

It would be a most instructive experiment if somehow all the immigrant workers were to be removed from the U.S. economy overnight. The upshot would be calamitous for many U.S. industries and for large geographic areas of the country. Immigration opponents rarely appreciate the extent to which the U.S. economy depends on Mexican (and other immigrant) labor and the tremendous extent to which the foreign workers produce and distribute goods and services essential to day-to-day life for everyone. The oft-heard claim that the migrants come to the USA simply to sponge off the welfare state is so preposterously out of touch with reality that it staggers the mind. Yes, of course, some immigrants take advantage of the welfare state, but their taxes (not just income taxes but also property, sales, excise, and social security taxes), fees, fines, and other personal payments also prop up that system. They are not simply welfare deadbeats (as obviously many native-born persons are) and not simply consumers or competitors for jobs or housing. They are above all producers.

More important, however, they are in the great majority of cases good and decent people seeking what most people seek—an opportunity to work toward building a better life for themselves and their children. For those of us who know them more intimately than most, it is painful to hear the ignorant and malicious statements that circulate about them, especially perhaps on social media, where people are frequently unrestrained in letting loose the most vitriolic and baseless accusations. Individualists, above all, should know better than to judge a large group of people on grounds such as race, ethnicity, or place or birth—attributes that no one has earned but has merely been born with. Americans in particular ought to meet a higher standard than to embrace such collectivism, especially about people who in many cases are personally unknown to those making the negative appraisal. Among the highest aspirations of the American people historically has been the idea that their country would serve as a beacon of freedom and a refuge for the oppressed of other lands. It is high time that more Americans became cognizant of the desirability of reestablishing this noble aspiration.


Second life for a VERY incorrect politician

Silvio Berlusconi, 80, is set for an astonishing comeback after sweeping election victories for Italy's right-wing, as critics admit the former prime minister is 'politically immortal'

Italy's right celebrated Monday after big victories in local elections, with all eyes on a potential comeback for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi -  just months before the country holds national elections.

The 80-year-old billionaire's Forza Italia (Go Italy) party and the far-right Northern League won 16 of the 22 cities up for grabs Sunday.

Their victory was a shock setback for the governing centre-left Democratic Party.

The loss of the city of Genoa was a particularly big blow. The northern city has traditionally been a bastion of the left, but it passed to the centre-right for the first time.  

Former centre-left prime minister Matteo Renzi, dismissed the wins as having little bearing on national voter sentiment.

But the mood on the left was sombre. Editorialist Riccardo Barenghi wrote in the left-leaning Italian newspaper La Stampa that it 'couldn't have gone worse'. He added: 'Not just for Matteo Renzi, not just for the [Democratic Party]. But for the whole of the Italian left.'

'[It was] as if we'd gone back 23 years to when the left was beaten by the Cavaliere ('The Knight', Berlusconi's nickname), who appeared on the scene like a rabbit from a magician's hat, and today reappears like a castigating ghost.'

The next general election must be held by spring 2018, but the coalition supporting Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is fragile and many experts say the government could call elections for late in the year.

At the national level, the PD and the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) are running neck-and-neck in the polls, each with about 30 percent of voter intentions, while Forza Italia and the Northern League are each hovering at around 14 percent.

Political commentator Stefano Folli called Sunday's results 'a searing and very painful loss for the left.' He wrote in the left-leaning La Republica: 'Berlusconi reveals himself to be politically immortal.

Berlusconi, 80, had been largely absent from politics - though not the gossip pages - following his ousting in 2011 and his party had since struggled with internal divisions and corruption scandals.

Silvio Berlusconi's return might have seemed like an impossibility two years ago when details of his lurid sex parties surfaced. The 'elegant dinners' would take place at the tycoon's mansion in the outskirts of Milan.

An Italian court heard that they'd involve pole dancing, strip teases and erotic games performed for Berlusconi by troupes of young women. The girls all received cash and rewards in return for attending the parties.

Two women invited to a 'bunga bunga' party - Ambra Battilana and Chiara Danese - claimed women at the notorious events would grope the media tycoon's genitals while singing 'Thank Goodness for Silvio'.

They said that at one point Berlusconi brought in a statue of a little man with a huge penis. Berlusconi then 'began passing it around the girls, and he asks them to kiss the penis.'  

On Sunday it benefited in part by picking up votes from supporters of Five Star, which performed poorly in the first round and failed to make it into run-offs in any of the largest cities.

But he boasted that he injected energy into his party's efforts. He said: 'I'm back and you can see the results. 'If we remain united we will win the general election. And we will do so with a programme that I'm drawing up and will make public soon.'

Renzi, 42, limited himself to admitting that 'it could have gone better.'

Silvio Berlusconi was previously found guilty today of paying Moroccan Karima-El Mahroug, nicknamed 'Ruby the Heart-Stealer' for sex at a 'bunga bunga' party

The former media tycoon, who was also up until recently the owner of AC Milan, served nine years in three separate terms as Italian Prime Minister - making him the third-longest Italian PM since the country unified.

In 2013 he was sentenced to seven years in jail for sex and corruption offences - including having sex with 'Ruby the Heartstealer', a Moroccan nightclub dancer who was just 17 at the time.

Berlusconi was accused of using his influence to get Ruby, real name Karima-El Mahroug, released from Police custody.

The conviction, however, was later overturned.


Resident group claims women have become ‘endangered species’ in heart of Paris

IT’S supposed to be the place of liberte, egalite and fraternitie, but locals in one Paris suburb claim women have become an “endangered species” in the heart of the city.

Local activist group SOS La Chapelle, made up of residents in the La Chapelle-Pajol suburb, say the area has become a “no go zone” for women who area afraid to walk the streets of central Paris.

Together with members of another resident’s group, Demain La Chapelle, they’ve launched a petition calling for French President Emmanuel Macron, his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, to increase police numbers and clean up the area they say is dominated by drug dealers and traffickers.

An online petition titled “Women an endangered species in the heart of Paris” has gained nearly 20,000 fans on Facebook in two weeks. It claims women in the area are subject to insults in “all languages such as “b****, dirty wh*re, I’ll kiss you.”

“There are pickpockets street drinking, spitting, rubbish everywhere, The heady smell of urine,” it states. “There are the traffickers that take root: human beings, drugs, cigarettes, or false documents. “The employees of these traffickers mean to us every day that we are undesirable, we and our children.”

News of the petition has made headlines in France and sparked protests in the area as it comes amid a wider debate about immigration and cultural attitudes in the society where the burka is banned and immigration was a galvanising issue in recent Presidential and parliamentary elections.

La Chapelle has become home to a number of migrants in recent months following the closure of the Jungle refugee camp in Calais due to its proximity to Gare du Nord station from which the Eurostar travels direct to Calais and London.

It has quickly become politicised with some blaming immigrants for “hunting” women and creating a “male den” in the city.

The organisers have strenuously denied they were targeting one group or another and say they simply want to make women safe.

“Our petition written by local women does not target any particular public, it makes an inventory of various problems that overlap each other and cause problems of different natures (security, cleanliness, alcoholism, traffic, occupation of the public space ...).” the group posted in a follow-up statement online.

“We absolutely do not endorse articles and reports that make rapid amalgamations aimed at stigmatising a population.”

However those unhappy with the petition, that has led to street protests, claim it is xenophobia dressed up as feminism and has stoked anti-immigrant sentiment.

“It is a complete manipulation of the truth,” a woman known as Alice, told The Local. “The majority of the people in the area behave well”. “I have to come here everyday and if I didn’t feel safe I wouldn’t do it. This is a lie made up by the press and right-wing politicians,” another said.

Demain La Chappelle organiser Loic Guzman said the group is not “targeting migrants”, but their presence has attracted criminal gangs who sell fake immigration papers and drugs which has become the real problem.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has called for new accommodation centres “all over” the country to help address the issue of where to house the migrants moved out of Calais’ Jungle.


Meet overweight and extreme Australian feminist, Clementine Ford

She has admitted to bouts of mental illness.  She does however have a baby son -- and boy babies have a way of civilizing feminists -- simply by being themselves

Controversial feminist Clementine Ford has encouraged on a fan to 'kill men' in a handwritten note inside a copy of her latest book.

The Melbourne-based author and Fairfax columnist has regularly spoken about being the target of graphic abuse, trolling and death threats from men on social media.

But a picture shows that when signing one copy of her latest book, 'Fight Like a Girl', Ms Ford wrote to a fan: 'Have you killed any men today? And if not, why not?'

Ms Ford, 35, released her non-fiction 'manifesto' centred around her feminist views and experiences in September 2016.

In it, the mother-of-one urges 'all women and young girls - to take the emptiness and numbness they feel about being a girl in this world and turn it into rage and power'.

Previously, Ms Ford has complained about trolling and 'hate' she receives on social media and through online forums.

In one case in 2015, a man called her a 'sl**' and was sacked by his Sydney-based employer.

Ms Ford has an army of close to 300,000 fans across social media.

It comes after publisher Allen and Unwin announced on Monday it had acquired the rights to her second book.

'Boys Will Be Boys', a book Ms Ford claims will be a 'love letter to her son', is due to be released in 2018.

But within just hours of the announcement, a petition calling for the 'man hating' piece not to be published was set up on

The petition has received 300 signatures in less than 24 hours. Ms Ford hit out at its organisers on Twitter saying: 'Oh no, they will probably take my contract away now.'



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, June 27, 2017

Google Pledges $1 Million To Preserve LGBTQ Stonewall Inn Story

More valorization of homosexuality

Google announced on Sunday that it will be donating $1 million to the LGBT Community Center in New York City to preserve and disseminate the story of the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969 in digital formats.

“With our donation, my hope is we can capture and preserve their stories and, through technology, share them with the world to inspire all those who continue to strive for human rights,” said Eric Schmidt, executive chair of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, at a press conference on Sunday.

In 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, was raided by police for serving liquor without a license. The scene turned violent as bar-goers began rioting against the police.

The Stonewall Riot drove the formation of the Gay Liberation Front and other LGBTQ civil rights activist groups.

The announcement about Google’s donation was made by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and West Side Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), at a press conference on June 18, the start of Pride Week in Manhattan.

Schumer posted on his Facebook page on June 18 to celebrate the donation. He said, “the lessons of [Stonewall Riots’] history can reach tens of millions of people across the nation, and across the globe.”

The $1 million grant, according to a written statement from the Center, will allow it to partner with the National Park Foundation (NPF) to create “a digital experience that broadly shares the story of LGBTQ civil rights, firmly establishing LGBTQ history in the fabric of American history.”

“This announcement sends an unmistakable message to Washington: that the America we know celebrates and cherishes its diversity; it doesn’t hide from it or fear it,” Schumer said. “Google’s generous pledge could not come at a more vital time.”

However, the founder of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, Peter LaBarbera, said he sees a more “deviant” aspect of the movement that is being “whitewashed.” He said the event in 1969 was a violent protest against police and that there were “hustlers that would have sex with teenage boys.”

“In my eyes, the whole homosexual activist movement is about normalizing a sexual perversion and turning it into a civil right,” he said. “And to do that, they have to overlook or change or rewrite history because there’s a lot of unsavory aspects to the early gay history, just as there are to the current homosexual movement.”

On June 24, 2016, then-President Barrack Obama issued an executive proclamation to create a national monument in Christopher Park, across the street from the historical landmark.

“Obama already started it. He was trying to make Stonewall as powerful a civil rights event as SELMA, but in SELMA, Americans were all unified against racism,” LaBarbera said. “(Stonewall Inn)’s probably the most pornographic historical landmark in America. It just doesn’t fit what you would normally associate with noble history.”

Schumer said during the press conference that there are “people in Washington who would see our country backslide on equality.” He pointed to more than 100 anti-LGBTQ legislations passed by state and local governments since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency.

“We’ve only had gay marriage for 2 years in the United States but is that now part of history? If you’re against gay-marriage, you’re just a bigot and a homophobe and a hater?” said LaBarbera.

Schumer’s press office has not responded to’s request for an interview.

Glennda Testone, the Center’s executive director, called the funding “inspirational” and said it will “lift up LGBTQ history on a global platform, further magnifying the Stonewall Uprising’s place in the overall story of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.”

According to National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth, Google’s donation accounts for half of the amount needed to “effectively launch” the national monument. 

“The national parks community is grateful for Google’s support to develop education programs for New York City students — and eventually students worldwide — that focus on the important issues of equality, human rights, civil rights, and more,” Shafroth said.

But LaBarbera believes homosexuality is not a civil rights issue, but a moral issue.

“They want to force it, not just on the rest of the country, but especially on students,” LaBarbera said. “They want to teach LGBT history as real civil rights history to kids so they want to propagandize and indoctrinate kids of this mythical narrative to turn this moral issue into a noble civil rights.”

LaBarbera believes the riot in 1969 accomplished what it set out to do, which, he said, is to radicalize the movement.

“It’s been very bad for our society, though. It’s terrible to have immoral sexual behaviors normalized to a culture and especially to kids,” LaBarbera said.

The idea for Google’s donation, according to the New York Times, originated from William Floyd, Google’s openly gay New York external affairs director.

Others present at the press conference on Sunday include openly gay city council member Corey Johnson, and Public Advocate Letitia James, who did not respond to’s interview requests.

American Express has also pledged a $100,000 donation to the campaign. The projected completion date is June 2019, the Stonewall Rebellion’s 50th anniversary.


The mainstreaming of the terror prejudice

Islamists and ‘liberals’ are united in their contempt for the demos

There are many disturbing things about the Finsbury Park Mosque attack. The most disturbing, of course, is the thing itself. This was a grotesque assault on our fellow citizens and on freedom of religion. To mow people down as they congregate outside their place of worship is to display a murderous disregard for the liberties that make secular, democratic society possible.

But there’s another disturbing thing and one that deserves far more interrogation: the media response to the attack and its confirmation of a coming-together of the Islamist and so-called liberal outlooks, of a fusing of Islamist and leftist contempt for the demos.

The response to the Finsbury attack has been striking for its double standards. Observers and politicos have done all the things they warn us not to do after Islamist attacks. After Islamist terrorism they instruct us not to get angry, not to hold any community or culture responsible, and not to fall for the apparently foul, racist idea that the Koran or certain imams might have inspired this violence. In fact, they ringfence Islam from criticism and frown on efforts to discover the possible scriptural source of the terror. They wield the insult ‘Islamophobe’ against anyone who suggests there might be a broader cultural problem behind such violence. ‘It’s just an individual with warped ideas’, they insist.

This time, in response to a suspected act of far-right violence, they’ve changed their tune. They’ve ditched their usual pacifying cry of ‘Keep calm and carry on’ in favour of inviting the nation to look in the mirror. This act of violence does have a communal base, they claim. It speaks to an ‘increase in Islamophobia all over the country’, one Labour MP insists. This violence does have an intellectual origin we should all worry about: it is the tabloid media’s ‘addiction to Islamophobia’ that nurtured it, we’re told. This violence does raise questions about certain communities in Britain, especially tabloid-reading ones, described by one columnist as ‘the vulnerable’, easily whipped into ‘crazed hysteria’. We know who they mean: the white working class.

Suddenly, it is okay to see an act of individual violence as a signifier of social and communal problems. It is bad, apparently, to raise any questions about Muslim communities after Islamist attacks. But after Finsbury it is absolutely fine, important in fact, to query the rank, media-fuelled prejudices that apparently lurk in certain communities ‘all over the country’. This amounts, pretty explicitly, to saying, ‘We must never criticise the Muslim community, because we might hurt their feelings, but we should definitely criticise the tabloid-addicted, “vulnerable” sections of society that refuse to respect religious difference’.

There’s a profound paternalism here. This approach both infantilises the Muslim community, treating them as incapable of robust discussion, and criminalises the white working class, who are presumed to be one newspaper editorial away from ‘crazed hysteria’.

But the double standards also point to a deeper problem: the commonalities between the extremist Islamist outlook and what passes for ‘liberal’ commentary today. (It isn’t genuinely liberal, of course, but that’s for another column.) Reading some of the commentary on the Finsbury attack, about the ‘poisonous narrative’ spreading through Britain and creating ‘hateful bigots’ all over the country, it is hard to tell where mainstream thinking ends and Islamist intolerance begins. Because that outlook, that idea that vast numbers of Brits despise Muslims and are on the cusp of bigoted hysteria, is precisely the underpinning of the extreme victim narrative of modern Islamist violence.

From 7/7 to the Manchester Arena bombing, we know that one of the key ideas uniting Britain’s successful or failed Islamist terrorists is that the modern West hates Muslims. There’s a deep strain of censorious self-pity: Western armies hate Muslims, Western citizens hate Muslims, the Western media mocks Muslims, and so perhaps we deserve to be punished.

This easily crosses the line into haughty contempt for the demos, who are presumed to be morally slovenly and, of course, Islamophobic. Recall the arrested terror cell of 2006, who wanted to blow up those ‘slags dancing around’ at London nightclubs. Or the 2007 car bombs left outside the Tiger Tiger club in London. There have also been planned or attempted attacks on airports and football stadiums. And of course a pop concert. It is reported that Salman Abedi, the Manchester concert bomber, was very concerned about Islamophobia: he thought Brits were ‘unfair’ to Muslims.

Every single one of these self-pitying prejudices, these narcissistic beliefs that modern Britain is packed with horrible slags and idiots who are unfair to Muslims, will have been emboldened by the post-Finsbury commentary. The media’s wildly inaccurate depiction of Britain as a hotbed of anti-Muslim hate, which lurks ‘all over the country’, is of a piece with the Islamist prejudice against British citizens.

What unites the extreme Islamist and the modern liberal observer is a profound discomfort with the demos, a deep fear of ordinary people and their emotions and beliefs. In different ways, one via violence, the other via peaceful demands for greater policing of people’s views on Islam, these two groups problematise sections of the public and depict them as ripe for either punishment or re-education.

The communion between Islamist and mainstream media thinking was perfectly captured in the figure of Piers Morgan yesterday. He had Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League, on his ITV show Good Morning Britain. When Robinson criticised the Koran, Morgan blasted him, and was cheered by virtually the entire media for doing so. ‘To mock [Islam] and its holy book is an outrage’, Morgan said. ‘Show some damn respect!’

This is the Islamist outlook, too. In fact this is the thinking behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre: that it is an ‘outrage’ for anyone to criticise Islam. In responding to Finsbury by demonising people ‘all over the country’ as ignorant or hateful towards Islam and insisting the Koran should never be mocked, it is possible these observers have written the script for the next act of extremist, victim-politics Islamist violence.


Human rights: the friend of foreign criminals

How human-rights law demeans democracy and citizenship

Last week, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of two foreign criminals seeking to resist deportation to their countries of citizenship. Although the case turned on a narrow issue of whether it was lawful to deport the foreign criminals before they had exercised their appeal rights – the so-called ‘deport first, appeal later’ policy – the case highlights broader issues about the nature of rights. Are rights determined democratically or is the sovereignty of the people curtailed by human rights? And if rights are not determined democratically, then what is their source?

If rights were determined democratically, then the Immigration Act 1971 would have concluded the Supreme Court case in favour of then home secretary Theresa May. This act, passed by the people’s representatives in parliament, empowers the home secretary to deport a foreign criminal if he is a non-British citizen convicted of a serious criminal offence. In the two appeals before the Supreme Court, these conditions were satisfied. The appellants are non-British citizens: Kevin Kiarie is a Kenyan citizen and Courtney Byndloss is a Jamaican citizen. And each had committed serious offences which warranted prison sentences of two and three years respectively. Since the statutory conditions were satisfied, the home secretary should have been entitled to deport them.

If rights were determined democratically then the case would never have gone to court, since the principle that the home secretary relied on had been settled law for over a hundred years: the power to deport a non-British citizen (then referred to as an ‘alien’) was contained in the Aliens Restriction Act of 1914. As a court noted nearly a hundred years ago, when a foreign criminal tried to impugn the home secretary’s decision to deport him, ‘parliament has expressly empowered the secretary of state as an executive officer to make these orders’ (1). That wise court needed to say little more because that judgement was given in an era that recognised the democratic basis of rights.

But in recent years, the democratic nature of rights has been challenged. The Human Rights Act 1998 made the European Convention on Human Rights an integral part of domestic law. This ushered in two competing models of rights determination: one based on democracy and the other based on human rights. The former draws its power from the democratic arms of the constitution (parliament and government, empowered by the people), while the latter draws its power from the legal arm of the constitution (the judiciary, empowered by law). A constitutional conflict for supremacy between democracy and human rights results.

The deportation of foreign criminals illustrates this constitutional conflict. From time to time, human rights assert themselves with the court declaring that a particular deportation would be unlawful on human-rights grounds. Democracy then seeks to assert itself with legislative reforms on substance and procedure. One such recent round in this conflict resulted in the Immigration Act 2014, which enabled the home secretary to certify that certain foreign criminals would be subject to ‘a deport first, appeal later’ procedure. Last week’s decision by the Supreme Court means that this latest skirmish has seen human rights win out over democracy.

Despite Theresa May doing in 2014 what home secretaries had done for decades, the Supreme Court declared her deportation orders to be unlawful. The court proceeded on the basis that democracy is not the ultimate source of rights, as democratically determined rights can be overturned by human rights that stand above the demos. In other words, whatever specific national laws parliament passes to deal with specific problems, these laws can be trumped by human rights that have a greater status.

In these particular appeals it was the right to respect for family life, set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, that caused the Supreme Court to trump the home secretary’s decisions. The Byzantine route by which the court used a vague ‘right to respect for family life’ to trump a specific power, exercised for decades without legal or political objection, arises because human rights are, in law, fundamental. They are rights that have quasi-constitutional status. In short, human rights have a status that enables them to trump decisions authorised by parliament’s laws. By one route or another, no matter how tortuous, a human right will find a way of asserting its quasi-constitutional status. This conflict between democracy and human rights will always be resolved in favour of the latter, until parliament repeals the Human Rights Act and re-establishes the democratic model of rights determination.

But since parliament has no current intention of ending the human-rights model of rights determination, it is worth considering the nature of human rights. A former top judge and fervent supporter of human rights, the late Lord Bingham, observed in 2010 how the most likely beneficiaries of human rights would include ‘immigrants, asylum seekers… prisoners and criminals’ (2). He was right: human rights do befriend foreign criminals.

This is because human-rights advocates have a sense of the values they must challenge. In other words, in the conflict between democracy and human rights, those who champion the latter recognise that the foreign criminal can be used to challenge values that underpin democracy. The central feature of the foreign criminal facing deportation is not that he is a criminal or that he is a foreigner – it is that he is not a British citizen. It is this quality that makes him liable to deportation.

Citizenship is the bedrock of democracy. Citizenship is the quality that means that those who have it are political equals within a nation. Citizens have an innate sense of the value of this quality. For most of the 20th century, the state also recognised the importance of citizenship and hence had no hesitation in deporting those who lacked it in furtherance of ‘the public good’, words defining the home secretary’s power to deport that can be traced back to 1914. But in recent decades, the state has been conflicted between a belief in democracy, and the citizenship on which it is based, and a belief in human rights, which are premised not on citizenship, but on an abstract view of ‘humanity’.

Human rights cannot recognise citizenship. For the human-rights advocate, rights are derived not from a political community of equals, but from ‘a common humanity’. In her postwar critique of totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt referred to this approach as drawing on ‘the abstract nakedness of being human’. She concluded that ‘the world found nothing sacred’ in this abstract nakedness because rights are meaningless in the absence of a political community that is able to define and give effect to rights.

Human rights befriend the foreign criminal because he is a non-British citizen. He has the abstract nakedness of being human and hence is suitable for being smothered in the human-rights protections that seek to deny a meaningful distinction within a nation between citizens and non-citizens. The human-rights discourse cannot recognise that Kiarie and Byndloss are citizens of other nations and hence that it is to Kenya and Jamaica that they should now look for the fulfilment of their rights.

In the ongoing conflict between democracy and human rights, the Supreme Court has resolved the latest skirmish in favour of the latter. It is easy for human-rights law, empowered by the Human Rights Act, to side with foreign criminals by treating citizens and non-British citizens as essentially the same. But citizens cherish their status as full and equal members of a democracy and they do not expect foreign criminals who are non-British citizens to be treated on a par with them. The conflict between democracy and human rights goes on.


The ACLU must fight for liberty, not social justice

The civil-liberties group has become bogged down in ‘progressive’ causes

‘Healthcare access is a civil-rights issue’, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) declared in a 2017 email blast, opposing Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare. ‘Tell your representative to vote NO on repealing the ACA.’ Stressing that the Republican-sponsored repeal would ‘gut’ Medicaid, while ‘24million people would lose coverage’, the ACLU’s call to action was indistinguishable from urgent emails issued by other progressive advocacy groups – which is what made it so remarkable. Once, the ACLU did not engage, much less seek the lead, in social-welfare debates. Once, it was a non-partisan organisation focused on liberty and equality under law. Today the ACLU trumpets an expansive, progressive commitment to social and economic justice.

The social justice warrior’s gain is the civil libertarian’s loss. The ACLU still engages in the fight for civil liberty, especially in opposition to the post-9/11 security state and as part of the anti-Trump ‘resistance’. But the 21st-century ACLU has chosen its battles with a progressive sensibility that devalues free speech and due process for all. Most notably, it has shied away from confronting campus-censorship crusades and the threat of an ideology that equates allegedly hateful speech with discriminatory action, subordinating the right to speak to the imagined rights of particular listeners to suppress what offends them.

This anti-libertarian dogma dates back some 30 years, and in the beginning the ACLU publicly opposed it. But as progressive hostility towards free speech widened and deepened, its influence spread to the ACLU. The First Amendment’s future is at stake. As generations of students schooled in the ‘virtues’ of censorship become policymakers, the US may follow Western Europe in criminalising speech that authorities deem hateful or discriminatory.

When asked, ACLU officials are still apt to critique this approach to speech, and if you look for it, you can find a page on its website opposing campus speech codes. You can find instances of ACLU state affiliates opposing free-speech zones on campus and other acts of censorship. You can hear an ACLU attorney defend the speech rights of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. But you will also see the ACLU attaching trigger warnings to a blog post, in tacit agreement that speech can be a form of assault. You’ll see it describing allegedly harassing speech as ‘verbal conduct’ – the first rhetorical refuge of the censor. The ACLU, once devoted to free speech, has effectively been a quiet friend more than an active opponent of campus speech-policing. For over a decade, more often than not, the ACLU has exercised its right to remain silent while campus-speech controversies raged.

It’s difficult to discern much less document what an organisation fails to say or do, but ask yourself: how often have you heard the ACLU speak out against progressive censors? How often have you seen ACLU officials quoted defending speech in coverage of censorship news, like the violent protests of Charles Murray’s talk at Middlebury College or demands for the firing of a liberal Evergreen State College professor who questioned the tactics of anti-racism protesters? Did you hear it criticise former University of Missouri professor Melissa Click when she tried to bar a young journalist from covering a campus protest? Did you hear the ACLU condemn the vilification of former Yale instructor Erika Christakis and her husband, Professor Nicholas Christakis, after Erika suggested that students ‘think critically’ about regulating ‘offensive’ Halloween costumes?

Instead, the ACLU responded to the censoriousness of the Yale protesters by sympathising with their concerns and chastising their free-speech critics for a ‘refusal to confront… discrimination and inequality on campus’. And, when the Northern California ACLU affiliate belatedly conceded Ann Coulter’s right to speak at Berkeley, it did so equivocally, taking care to condemn ‘hateful’ speech and asserting with questionable accuracy that the US Constitution does not protect verbal harassment. In fact, the Constitution protects quite a lot of speech labelled harassment on liberal campuses.

National ACLU legal director David Cole subsequently issued a stronger statement about the Coulter controversy criticising the heckler’s veto, which may signal a new willingness to intervene in free-speech battles in explicit opposition to student censors. The need to defend mass anti-Trump protests is re-engaging the ACLU in free-speech battles extending beyond periodic defences of right-wing speech. The ACLU has long defended the rights of the occasional outré political enemy, like Yiannopoulos, or Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, who organised vicious anti-gay protests outside military funerals. Defending the First Amendment rights of wingnuts, while deploring their ideologies, buttresses the ACLU’s credibility as a free-speech advocate, while avoiding the political and financial risks of directly attacking its censorious friends – allies in a fight for social justice.

A commitment to free speech requires political independence and also a certain hard-heartedness when confronting claims of emotional harm. But amid heightened progressive concern about bullying and its effect on equality, the ACLU has anxiously demonstrated compassion for students deemed disadvantaged and vulnerable to verbal offences. It has, for example, endorsed the Obama administration’s anti-bullying initiatives, which defined harassment more expansively than it was defined by the Supreme Court, and could conceivably make schools liable for controversial references to racial, ethnic or sexual stereotypes. Reasonable people will disagree about efforts to balance free expression with the regulation of public-school bullying, but civil-libertarians must err on the side of speech. In recent years, the ACLU has too often erred on the side of social justice.

It has even sided with a progressive vision of justice that includes a crusade against due process in campus controversies over alleged sexual assaults. The ACLU has not simply been silent about the widely documented proliferation of kangaroo courts on campus - it has been quietly complicit in their abuses, offering approval of the Obama administration’s Title IX directives, which are largely responsible for them. (Perhaps not coincidentally, the official who oversaw these directives for the past four years was a former ACLU attorney.) ‘Title IX is pretty awesome because it is expansive’, a remarkably naïve ACLU blogpost declares. ‘By addressing the various needs and challenges faced by survivors, Title IX pushes universities to do a better job of creating a campus environment that discourages and, ideally, prevents sexual violence.’

Once the ACLU defended the presumption of innocence. Now it approves of rules effectively presuming guilt, requiring minimal standards of proof in campus assault cases, and treating accusers of unproven assaults as ‘victims’ or ‘survivors’. It seems poised to oppose any efforts by the Trump administration to reform Title IX rules that favour the demands of accusers over the rights of the accused.

How did the ACLU end up on the wrong side – or no side – of urgent debates about due process and speech? In part, the ACLU’s transformation is a result of generational shifts. The old liberal guard of ACLU leaders is ageing out. The new guard is progressive, shaped partly by campus politics and the left-leaning culture of the late 1980s and 1990s, with its expansive definitions of discrimination and restrictive approaches to speech.

It’s worth noting that generational changes have wrought policy changes before. The ACLU adopted its civil-rights agenda in the 1960s and 1970s in response to an influx of younger leaders shaped by the civil-rights movement. For decades, that agenda focused more discreetly on discrimination. The dual and sometimes duelling commitments to advancing equality and defending free speech created occasional internal conflicts, exemplified by a heated debate in the 1990s over policy governing workplace harassment. But the ACLU managed to balance a civil-liberties agenda with a commitment to civil rights. Periodically, its left wing, concentrated in Southern California, introduced resolutions formally adopting an economic-justice agenda, and periodically the resolutions were defeated. Today, however, the left wing is the organisation’s centre of gravity, and achieving its vision of economic justice is an explicit ACLU mission.

Partisanship is an obvious pitfall for this newly progressive ACLU, as its comprehensive (and enormously profitable) opposition to the Trump administration makes clear. Trump’s picture adorns the the ACLU’s homepage, and ACLU sidewalk canvassers invite passers-by to join it in opposing him. Executive director Anthony D Romero tried to preempt or defuse charges of political partisanship with an unusual statement defending the ACLU’s anti-Trump initiatives, like the creation of a grassroots ‘people power’ project led by a former adviser to Democratic Congressional leaders. ‘We will be moving further into political spaces across the country as we fight to prevent and dismantle the Trump agenda’, Romero acknowledges. But this effort remains non-partisan, he argues circularly, because Trump poses unique and pervasive threats to liberty. It is therefore the ACLU’s non-partisan obligation ‘to fight him at every step – both on traditional civil-liberties fronts and new ones – to prevent the litany of human carnage in the making’. (The echoing of Trump’s inaugural reference to American carnage is probably not coincidental.)

This is not to suggest that the ACLU should refrain from challenging the Trump administration’s policies. From a civil-libertarian perspective, many of the ACLU’s actions opposing Trump are necessary and laudable. Its litigation opposing the travel bans, for example, is a justified defence of due process, as well as religious liberty. But the ACLU’s profound concern for the due-process rights of visitors and immigrants trying to enter the country starkly contrasts with its shameful obliviousness to the due-process rights of citizens fighting charges of campus sexual assault. They can’t rely on the ACLU to defend liberty and justice for all, regardless of politics or ideology, and, as a consequence, neither can you.



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, June 26, 2017

Bigoted Leftists

Angus Penfold

I was walking down Castlereagh Street in Sydney during my lunch break and I saw a group of people chanting with signs. I continued walking towards them, half looking down at my phone, half looking up towards them.

No big deal. They're performing their democratic rights. Fair enough, I thought.

To paint you a picture, I was wearing a navy blue suit, black dress shoes, a white business shirt, a navy tie, and a Tag Heuer Grand Carrera watch. Regular work attire, but probably looking like someone who does okay for themselves.

Anyway, I got closer to the group and I began to see what was written on their signs. “White privilege needs to stop”, “No more gender pay gap”, and “Patriarchy is wrong”, amongst a series of more offensive remarks. People were screaming and carrying on, until one remark left me speechless.

A woman (I'm assuming. Gasp!), early twenties, short hair, politically motivated shirt, stepped out towards me and said, “YOU are what's wrong with this country!”

Me? Why me? Judging by the signs I knew what she meant.

Firstly, she assumed my gender and my race, which if you know Australian politics, is a big no-no.

Secondly, this person didn't know me. She didn't know my story, my background or my education. She didn't know my political beliefs or my take on society.

She judged me by the colour of my skin, on the basis of gender, and assumed that my appearance confirmed me as a sexist and racist piece of shit.

I'm sorry. But I wasn't the one being sexist and racist. I was going about my day, and I was vilified on the basis of race and gender.

NB: For those of you wondering, it is possible for white men who have money to be vifilied on the basis of gender and race. Don't believe what the Huffington Post tells you. Racism and sexism is never acceptable, no matter the gender or race.


Angus comes from a rich and distinguished family and regards himself as a style guru so he may have given out vibes that the female who accosted him accurately read.  That still does not excuse her behaviour, however.  I know some immaculately groomed people who are quite poor

The Leftist obsession with group identity

They categorize people relentlessly and mercilesly, apparently because dealing with individuals constructively is too hard for them.  Comment from Australia below:

Clementine Ford, a columnist at Fairfax newspapers, proudly reminded a live television audience this week that she had called News Corp columnist Miranda Devine a c.... It was a trademark shock moment from her; all heat, no light.

Her original term actually was “f..king c...” and it was just one of a string of obscenities she has hurled in public debate before being in­vited, again, to join an ABC debate. Ford has slighted Iranian-born commentator Rita Panahi with a racist barb: “No matter how hard she tries, she’ll never be a white man.” None of this seems to disqualify her as yet another spokeswoman for the left.

Our public debate is becoming increasingly coarsened and superficial and, as I argued last week, this is partly because digital splintering of media is shrinking the shared public square. What few are prepared to point out, perhaps for fear of sounding plaintive, is that the poor standards and green-left jaundice of the media/political class are also largely to blame.

Abuse, vulgarity and ad hominem attacks have become standard weapons of the so-called progressives. Such transgressions are not unheard of from the right, of course, especially the hard right, but in mainstream political debate, the aggression comes primarily from the left.

This tendency also leaves many on the left with a blind spot for transgressions against conservatives. ABC radio host Jonathan Green tweeted this week that “there may well be a moment (soon?) when the hate and anger licensed by social media and fanned by politics will play out in physical reality”. Staggeringly, he shared this thought days after conservative commentator Andrew Bolt was attacked by leftist activists on a city footpath. Just a week earlier, near Washington, DC, a gunman who hated Donald Trump asked whether the politicians he was watching train for a charity baseball match were Republicans before he opened fire on them. We can only presume these examples of “hate and anger” that did “play out in a physical reality” escaped Green’s attention because they didn’t fit the narrative he had in mind.

Since Trump’s victory sent the left into a funk we have seen pop star Madonna cheered for proclaiming she thought about blowing up the White House, comedian Kathy Griffin pose Khaled Sharrouf-like with Trump’s decapitated head, theatre­goers in New York treated to Trump being stabbed to death in lieu of Julius Caesar and actor Johnny Depp applauded for joking about assassinating the President. We can only imagine the reaction of the media/political class if such monstrous contributions to public debate had targeted Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Back on our shores, CFMEU Victoria boss John Setka, told a rally his union would track down government officials charged with enforcing workplace laws and harass them so that they “will not be able to show their faces anywhere” and “their kids will be ashamed” of them. He has attracted less condemnation from the commentariat than Tony Abbott did for not noticing some cranky pensioners with a “ditch the witch” placard a few years ago.

And they wonder about the “shy Tory” factor. This is the tendency of conservative voters not to declare their allegiance or inclination in surveys or public forums, thereby leaving pollsters and pundits exposed when elections show higher than expected conservative votes. We saw the latest example just this week when, in a by-election seen as a referendum on Trump’s presidency, Republican candidate Karen Handel delivered a victory that disrupted the accepted media narrative of Trump’s premature demise.

Anybody who tries to argue publicly for, say, tough border protection or cuts in government spending knows these are not easy rows to hoe, no matter their merits or broad support.

People arguing so-called progressive cases tend to be aggressive and personal. To disagree with them, apparently, is to cede moral authority. Why risk abuse for defending the integrity of our immigration system when you can just nod your head and deal with it in the privacy of the polling booth?

Most people tend to go with the flow, accept the generally left media narrative and take the path of least resistance, at least publicly. Pointing out the futile self-harm of our emissions reduction targets or saying Clinton was the appalling candidate that gave Trump his chance will ruin the dinner party consensus and have people switching to less divisive topics such as State of Origin deciders.

The flip side of this socialised conservative timidity is that it shelters the left from robust debate. Whether they are at a barbecue or on ABC’s Q&A, they are surrounded by affirmation.

Unpractised as they are in civil debate and basking as they do in their moral superiority, they seem to feel entitled to attack the character of anyone who disagrees with them. And surrounded by agreeable peers, they are seldom pulled up for their ad hominem indulgences. Imagine, for instance, if Bolt or Sky News’s Paul Murray denounced a feminist commentator as a c... — they certainly wouldn’t be inundated with requests to appear on the ABC.

It is this double standard, this sheltering from personal responsibility and public accountability that helps to cheapen and degrade public debate. There should not be different rules depending on what side you are on.

When activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied spoke at the Australian National Univer­sity this week, rather than engage in debate about her political posturing over Anzac Day she assumed victim status and blamed media and political organisations. “Those sorts of power, those institutions of power are geared against people like me,” she said, “because they see votes in it and because fear is so much easier to sell.”

It was a lazy effort, as it was when she suggested our parliamentary democracy “doesn’t represent anyone” yet rejected the idea she should give it a go. “You know how to get to office,” Abdel-Magied said. “I have to go to preselection, which works really well, and I have to go through all these other systems which for women and for people of colour are actually biased.” What a cop-out.

Also this week, Australian Press Council chairman David Weisbrot resigned because he couldn’t stomach the controversy over appointing a GetUp! campaigner as a member. Rather than fix the mistake (GetUp! is an activist group that is the antithesis of what journalism aspires to be) Weisbrot exited the stage. Is it real­ly that hard to stand up to self-serving arguments from the left?

Ford’s crassness, Abdel-Magied’s laziness, Green’s myopia and Weisbrot’s cowardice should not cut it in public debate. But when are they corrected or contested except in a column such as this, pricking their bubble from another universe? Too much of the debate is caught up in identity. Ford and Abdel-Magied promote themselves almost entirely on who or what they are rather than on the power of any ideas or arguments they may proffer. Green is one of a breed of middle-aged white men who win plaudits from the green left for their sense of shame or self-loathing. “Our political leaders must surely have some sense of this country’s deep, and growing, incapacity to service its sense of self,” writes Green. We don’t know exactly what he means but we know it is supposed to be bad.

So debate is characterised by echo chambers on the left and right, diminishing quality of conversation in the mainstream clearance houses, moral superiority feeding personal aggression from the left and a resort to profanity over plain speaking. We are in an age where people are retreating from those things that connect us and create a sense of community; fewer join churches or other community groups, increasingly we shun mainstream media, and the memberships of major political parties are in decline.

The growing tendency is to target a foe by virtue of their presumed identity — male or female, gay or straight, black or while, Muslim or Christian, left or right — and give them both barrels. We need to do better.


Religious Americans Are Pro-Trump

On June 20, Pew Research Center released the findings of a new poll on President Trump's job performance. It found that 39 percent of the public approves of his performance in office, while 55 percent disapproves. But among those who attend church weekly or more the respective figures are 48 percent and 45 percent. This suggests that it is secularists who are driving down his approval ratings.

Among white non-Hispanic Evangelical Protestants, Trump wins the approval of 74 percent; 20 percent disapprove. Among white non-Hispanic Catholics, he wins the support of 52 percent; 42 percent disapprove.

Overall, 48 percent of Protestants approve of the president's performance, while 45 percent disapprove. Among Catholics, the figures are 38 percent and 56 percent. The drop-off in support overall is clearly due to the Hispanic input. Here's more proof.

White non-Hispanics, independent of religious affiliation, approve of Trump's handling of the job by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent. But among Hispanics, the figures are 20 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

Trump's lack of support among Hispanics is well known, but more controversial is his support among the faithful. To take a line from President Bill Clinton, he feels their pain.

Two weeks ago, President Trump told religious Americans that the "bitter voices" of elites are responsible for the "hatred" and "prejudice" toward religion. Saying the faithful are "under siege," he vowed to "put a stop to the attacks on religion," pledging to "end discrimination against people of faith."

This is a welcome change from the Obama years where the executive branch used its powers to challenge the autonomy of churches and religious non-profits. The faithful are taking note, redounding to the favor of President Trump.

With regard to the role of religion, two conclusions seem plain. One, religious Americans like the president. Two, secularists don't like him. A third conclusion, based on other data, is also warranted: militant secular activists are the "bitter voices" of hatred and prejudice against the faithful.

This is one more reason why the culture war is not going away, and why practicing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims must stand up to the bullies who are leading the attacks against them.


Mike Pence assures evangelicals Trump is their "unwavering ally"

Vice President Mike Pence popped into the 40th anniversary celebration of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family to remind members he’s a devout Christian politician who has his back. And, he says, so is President Donald Trump.

After the group’s president Jim Daly introduced Pence as “one of us,” the vice president spoke for 30 minutes on Friday, on both foreign policy and domestic issues. Unsurprisingly, Pence focused quite a bit on abortion, reiterating the Trump administration’s commitment to what he characterized as the "timeless values” Focus on the Family advocates first.

He repeatedly referred to the president himself as both an “unwavering ally" of Christian evangelicals and a believer himself — calling him “a leader, a believer, a timeless defender of the values that will make America great again.” He described Trump as someone who “advocated in the public square for values our public needs to hear, now more than ever.”

Pence’s comments are hardly surprising: after all, his evangelical faith and religiously-motivated stances on abortion and LGBTQ rights are well-known. But the intensity in expressing them on Friday was striking. Pence announced that he would donate an ultrasound machine in his own name to a faith-based crisis pregnancy center. (These centers, which are marketed like typical abortion clinics, but are set up to persuade women to avoid abortions, make up a major part of Focus on the Family’s efforts).

Yet Pence’s remarks seemed particularly designed to remind his evangelical audience that, policy-wise as well as personally, the president stood in their corner. He repeatedly appealed to the president’s personal convictions — referring to Trump and Trump’s family as yet another family “personally grateful” for the faith-based philosophy of marriage that has traditionally stood as the cornerstone of the organization’s advocacy program. Elsewhere, he referred to Trump as a “good friend.” He highlighted the president’s executive order on religion and churches’ freedom of expression (which a number of critics, including Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson, have pointed out is more symbolic than useful), characterizing it as an example that the president has “been standing for the things that the people in this room and this ministry have stood for.”

He said signing the order showed the president “stood without apology for the God-given right of every American to live out convictions in their faith….whatever the country they call home or the creed they profess.” He said Trump stood for the “vulnerable: the aged, the disabled, and the unborn.” He promised a full de-funding of Planned Parenthood, as well as a new post-repeal approach to health care based on “freedom,” “personal responsibility” and the free market — all to raucous applause.

At other times, however, Pence’s remarks seemed to subtly reassure evangelicals of his influence in the White House to bolster religiously-motivated policy. He told the story of how Trump “personally” sent him to the January anti-abortion March for Life highlighting that Pence first brought up the possibility of attending. The way Pence framed the story highlighted the fact that the president, busy with affairs of state, was having a “hard time figuring out how he could get away” to make the customary phone call to the organizers of the March.

"I said rather sheepishly, ‘Well, you know, they invited me to speak too,’ and the president looked up at me…he just pointed at me and said, ‘You should go.’ And I went because Donald Trump wanted me to go!” This year, Pence became the highest-ranking member of government ever to attend the annual march.

It was a skillful rhetoric move: one that conveyed Trump’s support for the evangelical agenda even as it cemented the role of Pence — a more natural evangelical mouthpiece — in shaping Trump’s decision. The delicate tight rope Pence walked reflects the complexity of the relationship not just between Donald Trump and his evangelical voter base, but also the much broader one between Focus on the Family and Washington.

Ultimately, Pence’s speech signals a return of the compact between the Reagan-era style of evangelicalism and the GOP. He’d give Focus on the Family victories both concrete and symbolic, but he wanted something in return: "The President and I are counting on your support. We need your energy, your enthusiasm, your conviction.”



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