Thursday, November 30, 2017

Canada Couple Denied Adoption Because They Oppose Homosexuality

An evangelical Christian couple in Alberta, Canada, has taken the provincial government to court, charging that they were denied the right to adopt a child because of their conviction that homosexual behavior is a sin.

As reported by Canada's National Post, the unnamed couple said that they had initially received a recommendation to adopt, with a Catholic Social Services worker whom the couple had worked with saying in her report that she was “pleased” to recommend them for adoption. The report noted that the couple was employed, owned their own home, and had a happy and healthy family and community network. The couple's hope was to adopt a child, or up to three siblings between the ages of seven and 17.

However, the report also recommended that a “homosexual child” not be placed with the couple, because of their religious opposition to that lifestyle. That information prompted the Alberta Child and Family Services department to put the brakes on the couple's application, and to call for further home study.

According to Canada's Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative legal organization that is representing the couple, when it was found that the couple were evangelical Christians with biblical views on marriage and sexuality, the door for adoption quickly closed on them.

In March 2017, Catholic Social Services advised the couple “that it was reversing its recommendation that they be approved for adoption,” related the Justice Centre in a press release on the case. “The rejection letter enclosed a revised Home Study Report that stated the couple should not be approved as adoptive parents because they would be unable to 'help' a child who 'has sexual identity issues.' The rejection letter did not explain how or why the couple would be unable to 'help' a child that they valued, loved and respected. The couple asked Catholic Social Services to reconsider their decision, but were refused.”

During a follow-up meeting with officials from Alberta's Child and Family Services office, a caseworker explained to the couple that Child and Family Services considered their religious beliefs regarding sexuality to be a “rejection” of children with LGBT sexual identities. At the meeting the couple was informed that the denial of their application was final.

“I was angry at the injustice of the situation,” the wife stated in a court affidavit. “Despite our stability, our kindness, our dedication to helping people, despite our willingness to take a child in who needed parents, and consider him or her our own for the rest of our lives, we were being discriminated against based on our religious beliefs.”

John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre, said that “making determinations about who is suitable to adopt on the basis of their sincere religious beliefs violates this couple’s right to religious freedom and equality under the law as guaranteed in the [Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] and in Alberta’s own Bill of Rights and Human Rights Act.”

He added that if not successfully challenged, “this decision would have grave consequences for the freedoms of all Canadians, not to mention adverse consequences for the many children who will never be adopted if the government continues with this discrimination.”

The Justice Centre is seeking a court declaration that the decision by Alberta's Child and Family Services to deny adoption for the couple is “unreasonable and void by virtue of arbitrariness, bias, bad faith, as well as breaches of procedural fairness and natural justice.” The Centre is also seeking a court order to approve the couple as adoptive parents.


Florida jury’s verdict thrown out because they weren’t tested for homophobia

A federal court has thrown out a Florida jury’s verdict clearing police of misconduct charges, claiming the jury hadn’t been vetted for homophobia and may have been biased against the gay plaintiff.

Raymond Berthiaume accused Lt. David Smith of the Key West Police Department of framing him for battery by forcing his friend to make false testimony in 2013, the Miami Herald reported. While the jury cleared Smith of wrongdoing, a federal appellate court tossed out the verdict because the district court had “refused” to ask potential jurors questions about potential bias based on sexual orientation. Berthiaume will now receive a second trial.

“The district court here asked the jurors multiple questions about any biases or prejudices they might have against law enforcement,” reads the decision by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. “But the district court refused to ask any questions at all about prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation. Therefore, we have no way to discern whether the jury was biased against the plaintiff for that reason.”

The original incident took place in 2013 when Berthiaume — clad in a loincloth and flip-flops — was leaving “Fantasy Fest 2013” along with several friends. The group got into an argument about whether they should call it a night, and Berthiaume’s then-partner stole the group’s car keys to force them into staying out later. Berthiaume smacked a street sign in frustration and Smith knocked him to the ground and arrested him for domestic battery, but the man was never charged.

Smith retired from the force in 2015 after 25 years with the department. Berthiaume filed a lawsuit against Smith the same year, claiming he had attempted to get one of his friends to lie about the incident. He demanded $15,000 in compensation for surgeries he apparently had to repair injuries suffered by being knocked to the ground.

While the jury ruled against Berthiaume in 2016, its verdict has now been revoked.

“Berthiaume noted that homosexuals had only recently begun to gain acceptance in society, and many people still harbor bias or prejudice against homosexuals,” the ruling reads. “Accordingly, Berthiaume contended that in a case such as his, involving both a gay party and gay witnesses, it is necessary for courts to inquire into prospective jurors’ potential biases against homosexuals to ensure a fair trial.”


The Freddie Gray police hearings are over. What did we learn?

When Lt. Brian Rice was cleared of wrongdoing at the Baltimore police disciplinary boards recently, that left only one more officer to go. Sgt. Alicia White was the last of the officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray to face the board. Even though she’d been found guilty of no crime, the possibility existed that official misconduct could have resulted in administrative discipline up to and including losing her job.

Now that process has concluded as well. White was found guilty of nothing, received no discipline and will return to her beat.

So that’s the end of years worth of angst, accusations, anger and riots. This was one of the most closely scrutinized police encounters in the country and in the end, no wrongdoing was found either in criminal trials or before disciplinary boards composed of both police officials and community leaders. There was, as it turned out, nothing to find.

Sadly, the local paper is still describing this as “an end to efforts to hold police officers accountable…”

Seriously? How much more accountable could they be at this point? The media is getting plenty of help in trying to roil up the masses. Here’s Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund:

    “A young man entered the custody of police and within an hour his spine was broken, his voice box crushed,” she said. “Our city has been defined by this. Now Baltimore must decide how to go forward. Baltimore must commit itself to whatever changes to policing, to internal police discipline, to our legal system are needed to ensure that this cannot happen with impunity ever again.”

Obviously, nothing happened “with impunity” except for cops using outdated safety and operating procedures during an arrest. But that doesn’t mean that things haven’t improved. The procedures for arrests and transport have been modernized. Body cameras are in use by police virtually everywhere in the city now.

Perhaps things might get a bit better now. There’s room for hope, anyway. But did we learn anything? Dan Rodricks at the Baltimore Sun asks and answers the question of whether or not there were any lessons taken away from all of this. And he even manages to find room to agree with Sherrilyn Ifill (quoted above), at least to a degree. The city is at a crossroads and might come out of this better for the process.

    Here are a few: That insinuation is not evidence, and that the burden of proof is a heavy one, and even more so when the defendants are police officers being tried for actions in the line of duty. That videos have the power to reveal truth, but we still can’t jump to conclusions about criminal intent. That there was a perfect-storm nature to the reaction to Freddie Gray’s death, coming as it did after the deaths of other black men at the hands of police.

Nothing was ever going to improve in terms of civilian cooperation with law enforcement in the city with the worst per capita murder rate in America without getting the communities and the police talking to each other. It’s been a rocky road to travel, but that conversation has begun and continues to this day.

Hopefully the residents of Charm City feel like their concerns are being heard. And on the other side of the coin, perhaps they can be a bit less suspicious of the men and women in uniform who are trying to protect them. That might be the beginning of some actual healing. Let’s all hope so, because Baltimore is in desperate need of help.


Planned Parenthood Is in Deep Trouble With the Law. This Could Be a Turning Point

We are living through a remarkable time in history. Almost daily, those in influential positions who once appeared untouchable are falling out of popular favor as their abuses are exposed.

Earlier this month, one particularly corrupt institution was dealt back-to-back blows: Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business.

On Nov. 13, The Hill reported that the FBI may be investigating Planned Parenthood and its associates for the sale of aborted babies’ body parts for profit. It’s the latest development yet in a scandal that began in 2015 with the release of explosive undercover videos.

Those videos showed abortion industry executives haggling over the price of hearts, livers, brains, and kidneys and describing, in chilling detail, their techniques for crushing late-term babies to get the freshest organs.

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives spent almost one-and-a-half years conducting a national investigation, reviewing 30,000 pages of documents, and hearing hours of testimony.

They found enough evidence to refer several Planned Parenthood affiliates and tissue procurement companies for potential prosecution. Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested that if the FBI concurs, charges might be filed.

Then came the second punch.

Just as news of the FBI inquiry broke, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declined to revisit its ruling that the state of Arkansas can redirect Medicaid funds away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which the state is completely justified in doing considering the ongoing baby parts scandal.

These two major breakthroughs would have been inconceivable under the Obama administration, which repeatedly abused federal power to prop up the abortion industry.

President Barack Obama’s aggressively pro-abortion administration put the “bully” in “bully pulpit.” Under Obama, the Justice Department became a tool to harass and intimidate pro-life advocates, labeling them domestic terrorists alongside groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Instead of investigating Planned Parenthood for the shocking, potentially illegal practices exposed in the videos, pro-abortion Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided to investigate the whistleblowers.

The Obama administration also actively interfered with state efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Kansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina—all these states tried to get taxpayers out of the abortion industry, only to have the federal government bypass local officials to directly award lucrative contracts to Planned Parenthood or threaten to withhold federal Medicaid funds unless they kept tax dollars flowing.

As one last parting gift, during Obama’s final weeks in office, his administration issued an order banning states from defunding Planned Parenthood under Title X, which took effect two days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Through it all, Obama’s court appointees have generally been reliable backers of abortion. One Obama appointee even compared an abortion to a tonsillectomy in a recent case that would have created new “rights” to abortion on demand for illegal immigrants.

But there’s a new sheriff in Washington now, and a palpable sense of terror is gripping Planned Parenthood and its camp. Without their defender-in-chief or the courts to bail them out, they are finally being held accountable.

Trump has busily set about undoing his predecessor’s destructive pro-abortion legacy. He has filled his Cabinet with pro-life officials, and has filled court vacancies with outstanding judges like Neil Gorsuch who faithfully interpret the Constitution.

Right away, Trump signed legislation (H.J. Res. 43) rolling back Obama’s parting gift to the abortion industry—something that, on a personal note, I was proud to witness in the Oval Office.

Trump’s strong commitment to pro-life policies has helped embolden state governors and legislatures. Texas has now applied to reclaim the federal funding it was denied under the last administration. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster in August successfully defunded Planned Parenthood and requested a waiver from the Trump administration so that the state can do the same with Medicaid, which is where the abortion business gets most of its taxpayer funding.

The next step is for the Trump administration to issue new guidance to the states restoring their freedom to prioritize Medicaid funds the way they believe will best serve their citizens. The administration must be prepared to defend that policy vigorously should the case go to the Supreme Court.

The pro-life majorities in both houses of Congress should also fulfill their promise to redirect half a billion dollars in annual taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood using budget reconciliation, where they have the best chance of succeeding.

Sometimes justice is a long time coming, but as two of our nation’s greatest thinkers—Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr.—pointed out, it “cannot sleep forever” and “the arc of the moral universe … bends toward justice.”

There are good reasons to hope that for America’s abortion giant, justice is right around the corner.



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.  Email me (John Ray) here


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lone Democrat Says Conyers Should Resign; Asks Why Are Rules for Politicians Different?

Kathleen appears to be a dear little soul but she has somehow overlooked the race obsession of her party. Conyers will skate because he is black

Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York is the first, and so far the only Democrat to publicly call for Rep. John Conyers' resignation from the congressional seat he's held for 27 terms.

Conyers (D-Mich.) announced on Sunday that he will step down as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, but he denies the sexual harassment allegations against him and has made no announcement about leaving Congress.

One day after issuing a statement saying Conyers should resign, Rice told CNN's "New Day" on Friday that “enough is enough.”

“At this point, what I am voicing publicly is what every single private citizen is saying across America,” Rice said. “Why are the rules for politicians in Washington different than they are for everyone else? And the list is endless. Compare what happened to Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Mark Halperin. All appropriate consequences.

“And yet once we get into the realm of politicians, well, get the ethics commission into it. And you know, let's investigate this, and you know, and take forever to come up with a conclusion.”

Rice said people are sick and tired of the fact that the rules for politicians in Washington are different than they are for “regular people.”

Rice, a former prosecutor, said she experienced sexual harassment 30 years ago in her first job in Brooklyn:

“And it was brutal. Ultimately you don't make things like that public. Because as a woman in the workplace, if you say this is happening to me, you’ve become a professional pariah. You don't have any choice but to accept it if the workplace is not going to address the issue.”

Rice said many men facing sexual harassment allegations are never going to answer for the accusations in a court of law, and many of the victims aren’t going to have their day in court, either.

“Right now, what we're talking about is, is there going to be any level of accountability.  And saying that we're going to have these allegations against politicians go before an Ethics Committee that can sometimes take a couple of years, no offense to my colleagues who are on the Ethics Committee, but that's not real. That's not real. And that's not accountability," Rice said.

Rice said in the case of the House Ethics Committee, “you’re asking people, colleagues, to judge their colleagues.”


Welcome to Our New Age —the Victorian Feminist Era

The sexual predators like Weinstein show by default how important Christian morality is

We are in the midst of a powerful cultural shift that is dramatically changing the way we view power and sex.

So how should conservatives view the current environment: as a threat or an opportunity?

In a sense, it could be both. Rich Lowry put it very well at National Review when he acknowledged the tradeoffs: “Any revolution has its pitfalls. There will be false allegations that will be believed. There will be a conflation of relatively minor infractions with criminal acts. And, in all likelihood, there will be an over-correction that will create its own wrongs. But a model of predation practiced by scruple-less powerful men is getting destroyed before our eyes, and it’s a very good thing.”

For years, old-fashioned conservative values about comportment seemed antiquated. Today, it might be time for us to revisit them with our sons—especially in an era where shared civic and religious institutions that once served to informally shame and civilize us have largely disappeared.

I recently went back and re-read an old speech that conservative leader Morton Blackwell delivered in the late 1980s on the very topic of “survival values.” As Blackwell noted, views about sex are not linear. The man who takes his cues from today’s norms might soon find himself dangerously out of step: “In ancient Rome, Marcus Cicero’s thundering denunciations of the sexual behavior of Marc Anthony were followed in the next century by the open depravity of Nero and Caligula. And in England, the licentiousness of the Stuart restoration period was followed two centuries later by the Victorian era. The pendulum swings back and forth over time.”

The pendulum, it appears, is now swinging back in a more puritanical direction. To be sure, this is a secular movement that was the product of left-leaning feminists. But rather than resisting the it, social conservatives should perhaps be cheering it on.

Maybe this is an opportunity for Christian conservatives to step back from partisan politics and spend some time talking about masculinity, chivalry, and old-fashioned virtues that used to be called “gentlemanliness. Rather than seeing these old-fashioned attributes of gentlemanliness as a sign of weakness, we should see them as the definition of masculinity. Modernity made them look silly, but maybe it’s time they were back in vogue.

Would feminists welcome this? Twenty years ago, groups like the National Organization for Women used to criticize groups like the “Promise Keepers” for being paternalistic. Today, the Promise Keepers’ mission seems both quaint and needed. I found an old New York Times article about the group from 1997. “Promise Keepers extols a man who is a leader, while also possessed of characteristics once stereotyped as feminine: a nurturing parent, a model of marital fidelity and a churchgoer who cultivates close friendships and likes to sing,” the piece said.

Bill McCartney, the group’s founder, was quoted in that same article making a pretty obvious point: “If men are a principle cause of family meltdown, crime and racial strife, then men also are central to the solutions to those problems.''

Changing the world will require good women and men working together. Feminists and Christian conservatives should unite around shared goals.


Psychologist Says Too Much Christmas Music Is Bad for Your Mental Health

So I am one psychologist who believes that Christmas music is GOOD for your mental health.  Where does that leave us? Skeptical, I hope

It’s beginning to look — and sound — a lot like Christmas. And while some people (like me) think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, others, apparently, find it crazy-making. Literally. According to psychologist Linda Blair, listening to too much Christmas music too early in the season can drive you insane. “People working in the shops at Christmas have to learn how to tune it out,” says Blair, “because if they don’t it really does make you unable to focus on anything else. You simply are spending all your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”

But why would anyone not want to not hear what they’re hearing? Jingle Bells. Silver Bells. (All the other kinds of bells.) Sleigh Ride. White Christmas. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Let It Snow. Come on people, where’s your Christmas spirit?!

Really I think the problem is the particular Christmas songs stores choose to play. I mean, honestly, Feliz Navidad? Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime? (Um, no.  Not if I have to listen to that song over and over again.) Oh, and don’t get me started on Happy Christmas (War Is Over). If ever there was a piece of sanctimonious garbage it was Happy Christmas (War Is Over). (Who even puts parentheses in the title of a song?) “And so this is Christmas/ And what have you done?” Ugh, gag me. What have I done? I’ll tell you what I’ve done. I’ve punched the next person in the face who turns on that song. That’s what I’ve done. God, I hate that song. Oh. Hmm. That psychologist may have a point.

But no! Baby It’s Cold Outside! I’ll Be Home For Christmas! Santa Claus Is Coming to Town! Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas! Not to mention all the wonderful traditional carols. I mean, sure, there are some really terrible versions of these songs. Versions that make me want to stab myself in the ear with an ornament hook. And, sure, those are the versions they tend to play in stores for some reason. But, I mean, honestly. We can’t condemn all Christmas music just because some idiot chose to play Justin Bieber’s version of The Christmas Song instead of Bing Crosby’s.

According to Sky News, a British workers union says, “We ask employers to consider the staff who have to listen to Christmas music all day, because playing the same songs repeatedly can become very irritating and distracting.” No, no! Not the same songs! These songs! I could listen to O Holy Night over and over again, couldn’t you? I mean, not the way Christina Aguilera sings it. But somebody (anybody) else. Don’t blame the songs! Blame Christina Aguilera! And Justin Bieber! Yes. Blame Justin Bieber. If we blame him, everyone will believe us. No one likes Justin Bieber.

Oh. And now I’m remembering that there are all those terrible, sappy Christmas songs that are so bad but they make you cry anyway. So then you’re standing in the produce section of your local grocery story, waving a green pepper in the general direction of the store’s speaker system and yelling “no fair!” as you bawl your eyes out. (He just wanted to buy his mom a pair of shoes! So . . . so she could look beautiful! When she went to heaven! But . . . but he doesn’t have enough money! And . . . and . . . No fair!) Yeah, okay, I guess I can see how Christmas music might drive you crazy.

Okay, so look. Yes. There may be some Christmas music that’s bad for your mental health. And it’s probably the Christmas music that’s playing in all your local stores, and on your Christmas music radio station, and at your weird Aunt Mindy’s Christmas party. So, I guess, basically, you’re screwed. But hey, if you’ve got to go crazy, there are worse ways to do it. So, grab some eggnog, put on your light-up sweater, and turn on some Justin Bieber. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!


Hospital Nurse ‘No Longer Employee’ After Tweeting Against ‘Evil’ White People

An Indiana hospital no longer employs a nurse at the center of outrage over a tweet calling for white women to sacrifice their sons, the hospital announced Sunday.

The nurse in question, Taiyesha Baker, is “no longer” an employee at Indiana University Health after a tweet of hers blaming white women for the evil in the world surfaced this week, according to a statement from a hospital spokesperson.

“A recently hired IU Health employee tied to troubling posts on social media this weekend is no longer an employee of IU Health,” a hospital spokesperson said in a statement.

Baker was recently at the center of an investigation after declaring that white women are raising potential rapists and murderers.

“Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves Bitch,” Baker allegedly posted over Twitter while she was an employee at the hospital.

A hospital spokesperson confirmed over the weekend that Baker was a recently hired employee at Indiana University Health and that Baker would not be able to work with patients during the course of the investigation.

“IU Health is aware of several troubling posts on social media which appear to be from a recently hired IU Health employee. Our HR department continues to investigate the situation and the authenticity of the posts,” a spokesperson said at the time, adding that despite Baker’s claims, she does not work in at the Riley Hospital for Children.



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.  Email me (John Ray) here


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nick Cave vs the anti-Israel bigots

Three cheers for the Oz rocker performing in Israel on principle

Not content with being the coolest man in rock, now Nick Cave wants to be the most principled, too. The Aussie rocker, of Bad Seeds legend, has said he is performing in Israel this week not only in spite of the BDS movement, but because of it. Yes, it is precisely because self-righteous Israel-bashers in the worlds of art and entertainment are forever imploring the likes of Cave not to set foot in the apparently uniquely wicked nation of Israel that he is determined to do just that. As one headline put it: ‘Nick Cave: BDS is the reason for my trip to Israel.’ Now that’s what I call rock’n’roll spirit.

Cave played in Tel Aviv last night and will play there again tonight. At a press conference bigging up the rock god’s arrival in the Holy Land, he said: ‘I like Israel and Israelis.’ That’s a borderline revolutionary statement these days, when hating Israel stands alongside crying over Brexit and fearing the Daily Mail as a baseline requirement for entry into the closed, strange world of the chattering class.

Yet while Cave might like Israelis, he doesn’t like censorious campaigns telling musicians which nations — and more importantly which peoples — they may perform for. He describes the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) pressure on singers and bands to dodge the Jewish State as an attempt to ‘shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians’. And so he decided to take ‘a principled stand’. ‘You could say, in a way, that BDS made me play Israel’, he brilliantly quipped. This might be the first time Israelis should be grateful to BDS: it has brought them Mr Cave and his Bad Seeds.

Cave saved much of his ire for Roger Waters, prog-rock dullard turned fumer against Israel. It was Waters and his Artists for Palestine who wrote an open letter to Cave last month imploring him to call off his Tel Aviv dates. Hilariously, the letter — also signed by Ken Loach, John Pilger, Mike Leigh, Judith Butler and other luminaries of the Israel-fearing dinner-party set — threw Chomsky in Cave’s face: ‘Noam Chomsky has recently said he’s opposed to any appearance in Israel that is used to cover up the denial of Palestinian human rights. We hope you will agree with him.’

Cave doesn’t agree with him! Blasphemy, I know. ‘Stand for freedom’, the letter contradictorily implored — it’s a funny freedom that wants to deprive one nation and one nation only of the right to enjoy the art and ideas of outsiders — and Cave has stood for freedom. He has stood for his freedom to perform in Israel and the freedom of Israelis to hear him. Cave said musicians shouldn’t have to suffer this ‘public humiliation from Roger Waters and Co’ every time they flirt with the idea of performing in Israel.

Cave’s defiance of the increasingly nasty cultural pressure to avoid Israel — and Israelis — should be cheered. For however much the BDS lot try to present their erection of a censorious moral forcefield between Israel and the rest of the world as a progressive campaign, on a par with artists’ refusal to play in South Africa during Apartheid (the impact of which has always been vastly overstated by self-loving cultural types in the West), in truth BDS is a species of bigotry.

In singling out Israel for special censorious treatment — they wouldn’t raise a peep if Cave played in China, or Britain, for that matter, which has caused more destruction in the Middle East in recent years than Israel has — they enact a special demonisation of this nation and its inhabitants. They depict it as uniquely foul, uniquely problematic, a disproportionate source of the world’s ills. They exercise explicit double standards, heaping on Israel an unforgiving judgement that they do not apply to any other nation on Earth, including nations whose militarism is far more destructive than Israel’s.

And in engaging in acts of censorship — whether they’re shutting down Israeli film festivals in London, forbidding Israeli academics from coming to our universities, or getting musicians to cancel trips to Israel — they chill international engagement and stymie the exchange of ideas and art. They speak the language of freedom while executing acts of global censorship designed to deprive Israelis of our culture, and us of theirs.

This is nothing like a progressive movement. It is prejudiced, intolerant agitation for the treatment of Israel as different to all other nations, and for the shutting down of any mingling between Western artists and Israeli people. The bottom line is this: if your movement jeers and boos as a violinist plays Max Bruch’s beautiful concerto just because that violinist is from Israel — as happened at the Proms a few years ago — then you are doing something dreadfully wrong.

These philistines for Palestine do nothing to advance Palestinian people’s interests, or art and culture; they’re only interested in making a showy display of their Israel-loathing credentials and thus their adherence to what the new cultural elite considers to be moral decency.

More musicians and thinkers and writers should join Cave in engaging with Israel precisely because it has become so worryingly verboten to do so. Because boycotting Jewish things and people is never, ever a good idea.


Just Be Honest, Millennials, and Say You Don’t Want Kids

“We can’t afford it.”

“We live under crushing student loan debt.”

“We can’t take on a mortgage.”

“We like the weather.”

Just admit it already, millennials: You don’t want children. I say this as someone who did want children and made life choices and personal sacrifices when I was still single that put me on the path to having children. I also say this as someone with more than one couple in her life who wants children they are thus far unable to have. I know what struggles they are going through emotionally, mentally, and physically that stem from the ache of that want. Because of them, I know what it means to truly want something versus to feel obligated to want something you couldn't care less about. And also because of them, I can rightly call anyone who makes up an excuse for why they “can’t” reproduce a hypocrite and a liar.

By now I’m plenty familiar with the money woes of millennials. “We’re buried by student debt!” “We can’t get jobs!” “How are we supposed to pay for new lives when we can’t pay for our own?” The whole financial argument is based on the presumption of responsibility. As in, “Look at how responsible I am, choosing not to have children until I can afford them!” Bull. Look no further for proof of hypocrisy than Kylie Ora Lobell’s reasoning as to why she and her husband couldn’t possibly give up their expensive L.A. lifestyle for a cheaper neck of the woods:

    "LA is one of the most expensive cities in the country, but for our careers, we have to be here. It’s either here or New York, and we tried that. We were way worse off there.

    Sometimes we fantasize about moving to Phoenix or Las Vegas, where huge houses rent for less than $2,000 a month and we could maybe even save up and buy something in a few years.

    And then I think about how few opportunities I would have to meet important people, and how nobody there is in my industry. I know it would be a huge loss. Plus, I love the weather in LA, we have lots of friends here, and, as Orthodox Jews, we can thrive. There are many synagogues and kosher restaurants."

Sure, they’d have kids, but man, that L.A. weather. Who can give up sunny skies for kids? Who can resign themselves to being a webmaster anywhere other than L.A.? Who can choose to prioritize kids over career goals? And the restaurants, oh the restaurants!

If you really wanted a child and had to move to Alaska in order to make that happen, you’d build a cabin under the Northern Lights and freeze together in perfect pregnant bliss. Just ask the couples who have gone tens of thousands of dollars into debt to schedule IVF treatments around tough work schedules and angry bosses. They’d take an Alaskan yurt in a snap if it meant having the baby they truly wanted.

When I arrived, my parents did yard sales to buy diapers and danced their way to the pharmacy, grateful for a healthy, happy child. Money, or the lack thereof, isn’t the governing force behind the decision to have a child. A willingness to put that child ahead of every other goal or personal preference (yes, even the average temperature) is what makes you choose to have a child.

Reducing a baby to a budgetary line-item is absurd. Justifying yourself as a responsible adult for choosing not to add another expense to your account is idiotic. And constantly seeking my approval for your poor life choice illustrates how immature you truly are.

Dear Millennials: You aren’t fooling anyone but yourselves. You’re just not ready for children. Perhaps you don’t think you ever will be. Or maybe you’re just too contented with yourself right now to bother with the idea of putting someone else’s life ahead of your own. Whatever your true motive is, stop masking it behind this sudden obsession with fiscal responsibility.

If you truly cared about your finances, you wouldn’t have wasted so much money on a useless degree to begin with. Try pontificating on that instead, will you? Maybe then, at least our children might not make the same life-wrecking mistakes you apparently did.


Workplace gender quotas are an insult to women

Five years on from the European Commission’s failed attempt to boost the number of women on company boards, it has again announced proposed legislation, which if implemented, would lead to the introduction of gender-quotas for company boards.

The commission tried to introduce gender-quota legislation back in 2012, with a proposal that 40 per cent of non-executive board positions at publicly listed companies must be occupied by women. The legislation was not received well. Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden rejected the law arguing that Brussels was intruding into domestic affairs, while, according to one report, Hungary and Poland rejected it on ‘ideological’ grounds.

The commission’s latest proposal echoes this previous, unpopular attempt to get women into top jobs. But this time, the legislation will propose that companies whose non-executive directors are over 60 per cent male will be required to prioritise women when considering candidates of equal merit for director posts.

It is a typically and, in this case, ironically paternalistic piece of EU legislation, and, therefore, an affront to any woman who takes her autonomy seriously. In the UK, for example, women face few actual barriers when it comes to education and employment – more women than men study at university, and women under the age of 45, when taking hours and type of employment into account, earn the same as men. And, of course, actual discrimination on the basis of gender is illegal, so women who seek high-paying, top-jobs are already at no disadvantage to their male counterparts.

But what this legislation suggests is that the only way women can become company directors is thanks to the helping hand of the European Commission. This does down women, rather than lift them up. If women aren’t taking up top positions in companies, it is not because they are being held back educationally or professionally.

Indeed, if there is an issue, it is to be found in the arena of child care, where women are still expected to take responsibility for childrearing. So, maybe, instead of thinly veiled insults about our womanly ability to secure top positions, we should be asking questions about how better to balance professional and family life for working women and men?

Quotas to redress gender-balance in companies are antithetical to the idea of women’s liberation, especially at a time when women are doing better than ever before in professional and public life. I cannot imagine anything quite as insulting as knowing I was hired for the job on the basis of my genitals, rather than my credentials. We don’t need a leg-up, least of all patronising quotas, to succeed in the workplace.


Goodbye Goldilocks? Calls for Australian parents to ditch traditional fairy tales in favour of gender-neutral books showing 'men in caring roles and women as scientists'

Children should be read gender-equal books instead of fairy tales of knights and princesses.

That's the view of former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, who believes exposing children to gender-neutrality at preschool could help solve issues of pay disparity and violence towards women later in life.

'A lot of what our children see and are taught is subconscious gender stereotyping and what we have to do is really shift that, and we won't shift that until the social norms change,' she told The Sunday Telegraph.

Ms Broderick said children's literature in Scandinavian countries helps 'children understand that boys and girls can do anything.

'Their picture books are ones which show men in caring roles and women as scientists, through to looking at the division of unpaid work and the role of women in building the economy.

'I think we really need more of that approach here and it's not just putting all the men in caring roles and all the women as scientists. It is showing men and women in the diversity of roles,' she said.

Critics have slammed Ms Broderick's call as 'political correctness gone mad'.

Kevin Donnelly, director of the Education Standards Institute, told the publication that there was a real risk of 'damaging boys'.

'It is wrong to try and attempt to indoctrinate children with a politically correct gender agenda. 'It runs counter to human nature and what most parents want for their children - and it could be damaging to boys and their development'. 'Biologically girls and boys are different. Girls have a more nurturing role as mothers and wives which is different to what men are.'

Critic and entrepreneur Dick Smith told the paper: 'I'd much rather we weren't trying to make young girls aggressive by changing the messages they are getting. I'd much rather young girls continue to be nurturing, kind and understanding.'

Sam Page, CEO of Early Children Australia, told the paper he applauded Ms Broderick's call to introduce children to gender-equal ideas through books at school and wants parents to get board too.

'We've had examples where parents and dads have been really upset when boys dress up in dresses or traditional girls clothing as part of their normal play.

'While I don't think we should get rid of fairy tales altogether, we do need to contextualise and balance them with contemporary stories as well,' she said.



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.  Email me (John Ray) here


Monday, November 27, 2017

Fascism is back in Austria

It's as authoritarian and as anti-democratic as it was when it was the "Ostmark des deutschen Reichs".  That Islamofascism is the form of Fascism that they now support is just a matter of detail

1. November 17, 2017 was literally a Black Friday.

Reinhard Fellner, a card-carrying Social Democrat as well as chief of “Initiative Social Austria,” was sentenced in provincial court to three months (three years on probation) for denigration of Islam (§ 283 StGb). Any ever-so-small criticism of Islam in the next three years will lead to the completion of the sentence. This is so much more shocking, since he made a very mild criticism, which is far below the level of criticism which would be possible and necessary in a free and open society, to call attention to the dangers endemic to Islam. He simply began to investigate to what extent (terrorist) acts of violence as well as sexual abuse of women, children and animals are connected to Islam. Fellner’s conviction is so much worse because he undertook this attempt in the course of participating in the assessment of a bill published on the Parliament’s homepage. So he was legally convicted for performing the honorable task of an active citizen, participating in the process of parliamentary lawmaking.

The proceeding against Fellner can certainly be called a scandalous trial. The court did not examine several expert assessments by experts on Islam offered by the accused as proof of the truth of his statements. Likewise, witnesses named by the defense were not allowed to testify. Although the document gives no indication of a complainant, the state prosecutor suddenly claimed that the charge had been brought by the IGGiÖ (Islamic Faith Community in Austria) which “had felt insulted” by Fellner. The defendant was also confronted with a newspaper article which had not been in the document before the trial began. To Fellner’s indication that Ayatollah Khomeini, the most significant Shi’ite of the 20th century, had given approval to sexual intercourse with animals, the judge responded that this was not significant and had nothing to do with Islam, since Khomeini was already dead. Altogether, there was no serious effort by the judge or the state prosecutor[2] to formally align the evidence of Fellner’s criminal activity with the charge. Instead, the judge and the state prosecutor voiced the opinion that hate speech would apply even if the defendant’s claims were true.

The verdict does not concern just a number of oddballs who have chosen Islam-criticism as their strange hobby. It is an expression of the continued pushing of a blatantly political and subjective system of justice being established to enable the unresisted installation of a multicultural dictatorship, population replacement and Islamization. And it is a landmark in the transformation process which is morphing our disappearing democracy into an autocratic rule by mob.

This arbitrary judicial act is the inglorious apex of the years-long persecution of political undesirables using religiously- and subjectively-based punishment. The trail of devastation of the right to free expression extends over several prominent victims of political justice: from Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and Pro Vita head Dr. Alfons Adam to the former Muslim convert Laila Mirzo, whose trial for “denigration of religious teachings” (§ 188 StGb) was adjourned, to be sure, but who was afterwards — because of her Islam-critical stance — denied her right be designated a journalist and Islam expert (February 5 of this year) by Kurier editor Karl Oberacher. An ultimate in judicial partisanship and scurrility is the recent verdict of an Innsbruck court of a €480 fine against a former district head of the “Ring of Free Youth” (RFJ, the Freedom Party’s youth movement), whose Facebook entry celebrated a “piglet barbecue” for Ramadan. (Der Standard of November 15, 2017)

For years, justice has applied subjective and religious law selectively and one-sidedly. While the Christian faith, its God, its commandments and its symbols may be besmirched and denigrated at will without a single prosecution in three decades, let alone a conviction, critics of Islam are habitually legally persecuted, even if their conclusions can be meticulously documented with reference to high religious sources.


ACLU targets ‘restrictive’ Maine abortion law

Julie Jenkins was on the job as a nurse practitioner recently in northern Maine when she got a call from the Maine Family Planning clinic’s headquarters in the south part of the state, asking if she could help oversee an abortion that day.

Jenkins, a 44-year-old clinician with specialized training in women’s health care, said she was ready to go. To get the abortion, the patient would drive to the nearby clinic in Presque Isle in far northern Maine, where Jenkins would check her ultrasound to confirm she was 10 weeks pregnant or less and eligible for a medication abortion in the form of five pills — one taken in the office and four at home.

But because of a decades-old state law, the clinic also needed to locate a licensed physician who could watch via video conference while the patient initiated the abortion in the clinic. No doctor was available, Jenkins said, so the patient was rejected for treatment that day.

“I was there. I had the ultrasound. I would’ve been able to provide the service,” she said. “We couldn’t find a doc to essentially watch her swallow the pill.”

Jenkins is now a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed in September targeting the state law that allows only physicians to induce abortions, a requirement shared by 40 other states.

Because of Maine’s vast rural expanse and often difficult travel conditions, the American Civil Liberties Union has settled on the state as promising terrain to challenge the law, which carries criminal charges for people who perform an abortion without a physician’s license.

In carving out this next frontier in the battle for abortion rights, advocates are hoping to build on a Supreme Court ruling in 2016 that struck down a Texas law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital near where the abortion is performed and mandating clinics to meet the standards of surgical centers.

If successful in Maine, the plaintiffs in the case, filed in US District Court for the District of Maine, expect similar legal challenges across the country.

Advocates of preserving the status quo argue that requiring physician involvement in abortions is important for patient safety. But the lawsuit argues that the law places an “undue burden” on women in Maine seeking to terminate their pregnancies. Allowing certified nurse midwives and advanced practice nurse practitioners like Jenkins to perform the procedure, they argue, would give women the access they are entitled to under the Constitution.

US Representative Chellie Pingree, who lives on the island of North Haven in Penobscot Bay, where obtaining an abortion can require multiple days of travel to and from the mainland, said she sees no reason to keep the law.

“The bottom line is, what’s the point?” said Pingree, a Democrat. “This is an allowable service, and to say it can only be performed by a doctor is clearly just a way to make it more restrictive.”

The law wasn’t always seen as an ideological tool. It passed the Maine state Legislature in 1979, six years after the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion across the country. According to local press accounts from the time, while other laws restricting abortions sparked emotional debates among politicians in Maine’s capital, the physician-only statute passed with little controversy.

The law was originally drawn up to protect women from back-alley providers, so there was little to argue over then, said Kathy Simmonds, an assistant professor of nursing at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, who lives and practices in Maine.

Antiabortion advocates in the state still argue that expanding the universe of people allowed to perform abortions would present a health risk for women. Teresa McCann-Tumidajski, executive director of the nonprofit Maine Right to Life Committee, called the legal challenge a profit-driven move by the “abortion industry.”

“We don’t like Maine women used as test markets or guinea pigs for the rest of the country,” she said.

Abortion rights advocates say that fear of medical risk is unfounded, pointing to evidence that advanced practice nurse practitioners have similar results to physicians when performing the procedures in other states. The Maine Medical Association has no safety concerns about advanced practice nurse practitioners performing abortions, said Gordon Smith, the organization’s executive vice president.


Controversial Proud Boys embrace ‘Western values,’ reject feminism and political correctness

In May, eight men met at Mackesey’s Irish Pub in downtown Madison to drink beer and talk politics. The men, all of them white and most in their 20s, had met online and were getting together for the first time.

The meeting would establish the Wisconsin chapter of an emerging national group called the Proud Boys. For Thaddeus Pall, it was a rare opportunity to openly express his support for President Donald Trump in liberal Madison.

As the men were leaving the bar for a member’s apartment, Pall, then 26, separated from the group to buy cigarettes. According to Madison police, as Pall was returning to his new friends, he was approached on the street by men in hoodies with what Pall described as baseball bats or wooden sticks. He told police the men had targeted him as a Trump supporter because of his T-shirt, which read: “Basket of Deplorables 2016.”

Pall said one yelled, “He is wearing a Trump shirt! He’s a Nazi!” and three surrounded him, pummeling his head, hands and arms and shattering his cell phone. Pall told the officer he did not know who the attackers were but thought he knew what they were: anti-fascist activists known as “antifa.” An “antifa” website later published a blog post detailing the attack and claiming responsibility.

After the beating, Pall tweeted a photo of his face and hands covered in blood. As a member of the Proud Boys, a libertarian men’s club that conveys special status on members who are attacked by anti-fascists, Pall had just achieved the highest degree of membership.

But Pall, a former Madison resident who now lives in northern Michigan, said in an interview that he is no longer active in the Proud Boys, although he said the attack did not alter his feelings about the group.

“I think people need to calm down. It’s just politics. People can have different views. We all want the same things — we all want a better planet, a better world, a better future. This disagreement is really about how you get there,” Pall said.

The Proud Boys were founded at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign by Gavin McInnes, a New York-based conservative online talk show host and co-founder of Vice Media who has since cut ties with the company. He estimates the membership at about 5,000 men nationwide.

McInnes and his followers believe there are 10 ways to “save America”: Abolish prisons, give each American a gun, legalize drugs, end welfare, close borders to illegal immigrants, outlaw censorship, venerate the housewife, glorify the entrepreneur, shut down the government and declare “the West is the best.”

Members also traffic in inflammatory language. A female reporter arranging an interview for this story with Wisconsin Proud Boy members in September was asked by the interview subject whether he should bring condoms. In a later interview, McInnes told the reporter she should give up her career, that “you need to find a man,” and that she would run out of eggs if she did not get pregnant soon.

Several Proud Boys members say they joined the group after watching founder Gavin McInnes on his online talk show.
In McInnes’ view, there is a demand for men’s clubs like the Proud Boys because, “There’s a real war on masculinity in this country that starts in kindergarten and goes all the way to adulthood. And it’s not natural.”

The Proud Boys call themselves “proud Western chauvinists” who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Initiation into the group is a multi-step process. A first-degree member simply declares he is a Proud Boy. Initiation at the second degree involves getting punched by other members while naming five breakfast cereals. Third degree is earned by getting a Proud Boy tattoo. Fourth degree is a “consolation prize” if a member “endures a major conflict related to the cause,” as Pall did.

Members often greet each other with the group’s ironic rallying cry, “Uhuru!” The word is Swahili for freedom and was taken from a video showing an activist calling for whites to make slavery reparations to African-Americans.

The Proud Boys also have a “no wanks” policy urging members to avoid masturbation and pornography to motivate them to get “off the couch” and meet women.

Group members have participated in recent rallies that drew anti-fascists in Portland and Berkeley that turned violent. The attack on Pall in Madison has been investigated by the FBI; federal authorities have called “antifa” members domestic terrorists. No charges have been filed.

McInnes has fiercely distanced the Proud Boys from white nationalists and the recent deadly demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. But experts say some of the group’s beliefs overlap with so-called alt-right ideology.


Australia's seniors say the political correctness of millennials is ruining society

Older Australians are sick of the younger generation's manners, obsession with technology and political correctness, which they say is ruining society.

That was the verdict on the nation's young which emerged from a study commissioned by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency (ASIA).

Of 1,000 people aged over 50 surveyed by CoreData for the ASIA, 88 per cent thought people in modern Australia were too politically correct.

As well, 74 per cent of seniors said people who strived to be politically correct annoyed them, and 45 per cent said they tried to avoid being politically correct just for the sake of it.

And 86 per cent of those surveyed said the drive to be politically correct was ruining society.

Study findings:

85 per cent of older Australians found millennial social etiquette confusing

88 per cent thought people in modern Australia were too politically correct

86 per cent said the drive to be politically correct was ruining society

Employment etiquette included putting phones away in meetings, punctuality, personal hygiene

Posting online when tired, intoxicated or emotional in the top 3 no-nos

Nan Bosler, president of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, said seniors found it difficult these days when it came to simple things, such as certain words they used day to day.

"Names we have known things by all our lives, they weren't there out of disrespect or anything like that, it was just a name we knew things by," she said.

"And if we have to always modify what we're saying, it's a little distracting, it's a little bit frustrating.

"We of course do respect other people, so we understand about political correctness. "But we don't always think it's the way we want to go — we want to be true to ourselves."

Ms Bosley said too much sensitivity about the meaning of words and phrases acted as a barrier between younger Australians and people aged over 50. "I think we can just be too politically correct," she said.

"I suppose it's for the majority that the minority have to sometimes think well 'ok, can't say that anymore, I must remember that'."



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

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

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


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Bannon and the anti-Israel establishment

Speaking at the Zionist Organization of America's annual dinner, Steven Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former chief strategist and current CEO of the Breitbart news website, said the US political establishment has "lowered the bar on what [pro-Israel] is supposed to be."

Bannon invited the pro-Israel activists to join what he referred to as the "insurgency movement against the Republican establishment and against the permanent political class in Washington, DC."

Bannon argued that it is because of the Republican establishment that then president Barack Obama was able to implement the nuclear deal with Iran.

Bannon is correct. Had a non-establishment senator such as Ted Cruz chaired the Senate Foreign Affairs committee in 2014 and 2015 instead of Senator Bob Corker, in accordance with the US constitution, Obama's radical nuclear deal would have been treated like a treaty. It would have required the approval of two-thirds of the Senate and it would have gone down in flames.

Instead, Corker stood the Constitution on its head, co-sponsoring the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which required two-thirds of the Senate to reject the deal in order to block its implementation.

As for US financing of Palestinian terrorism, the blame lies mainly at the feet of the permanent political class - particularly the denizens of the State Department.

With the support of Democratic and establishment Republican lawmakers, for more than 20 years the State Department has successfully watered down or canceled legislative initiatives to end US support for the terrorism-supporting, PLO -led Palestinian Authority. State Department officials have similarly led every effort to water down or cancel Congressional initiatives that strengthen the US alliance with Israel.

For instance, it was the State Department that fought tooth and nail to overturn the 2002 law that permitted US citizens born in Jerusalem to list their place of birth as Israel. It was the State Department that insisted the 1996 law requiring the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem include a presidential waiver.

The power of the State Department and its colleagues in the permanent bureaucracy to maintain US policies that are substantively anti-Israel and pro-PLO is being exerted today in the lead up to the publication of Trump's "peace plan" for Israel and the Palestinians.

According to a report published in The New York Times last weekend, sourced to White House officials, Trump intends to announce his "peace plan" in January.

Later reports disputed that claim, saying the plan would be announced in March.

Whatever the case, according to the Times' story, Trump's "peace plan" will look similar to - and be substantively indistinguishable from - "peace plans" adopted by the last three presidents.

Like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama, according to the Times' account, Trump's plan will be based on the assumption that for peace to be concluded between Israel and the PLO , a Palestinian state must be established on land now controlled by Israel.

Trump's plan will reportedly also discuss the partition of Jerusalem and address the Palestinian claim that the 450,000 Israelis living beyond the 1949 armistice lines in Judea and Samaria must be expelled from their homes and communities for peace to be achieved.

In a manner similar to Bush's "Roadmap to Peace," analysts told the Times that Trump's plan will include two stages. In the first stage, Israel will be required to block construction of homes for Jews in united Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria; to transfer control over land in Area C to the PA ; and to restate its commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

This account was disputed by White House officials.

But, despite the denials, there are indications that the Times' account is accurate. For instance, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has justified all his recent moves to curtail construction for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, to provide funding to the PA and to suspend initiatives to expand Jerusalem's municipal borders as necessary to prevent a fissure in US-Israel relations.

Trump's team is led by his senior adviser and sonin- law, Jared Kushner, and run by his chief negotiator, Jason Greenblatt. Members of Greenblatt's team include deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

According to the Times, Greenblatt and his team "are consulting with Donald Blome, the consul general in Jerusalem, and others from the State Department and the National Security Council."

And this is where the problem begins.

Ahead of Trump's visit to Israel in May, Channel 2 reported that Blome lobbied heavily for Trump to cancel his plans to visit the Western Wall. While Trump did visit the Wall, Blome - supported by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster - blocked Netanyahu from accompanying Trump on his visit.

In a press briefing, McMaster refused to say that the Western Wall is located in Israel.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to Tel Aviv as the "home of Judaism" on the plane ride to Israel.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said at his Senate confirmation hearing that Tel Aviv is Israel's capital.

In other words, Blome, Tillerson, McMaster and Mattis have all embraced the view that the US should not treat Israel with the same respect it treats other countries - let alone other allies. Instead of deserving respect, Israel, in their view, deserves unique reproach to the point where even acknowledging its capital city and basic geographic facts is considered unacceptable.

This then brings us back to the "peace plan" that Greenblatt and Kushner are putting together in consultation with Blome, the State Department and McMaster's National Security Council.

If Greenblatt and Kushner compose a "peace plan" that satisfies the State Department and its governmental counterparts, and if Trump adopts it as his official position, they will guarantee that he will fail to advance the cause of peace; will harm Israel; will empower the PLO ; and will diminish the US's standing as a power in the Middle East.

This is the guaranteed outcome of any plan that is supported by the State Department because any plan that the State Department and its allies support will be based upon the core assumption regarding the Arab-Israel conflict that the State Department embraced in 1993.

In 1993, Israel and the PLO concluded a peace deal in Oslo based on the European assumption that Israel is to blame for the Arab-Israel conflict.

According to the European narrative, the Arab conflict with Israel - and indeed, all the pathologies of the Arab world - are rooted in the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

The Palestinian conflict, in turn, owes to the absence of a Palestinian state. And there is no Palestinian state because Israel refuses to surrender sufficient land to the PLO to appease it.

Until 1993, this was not the US's position. From 1967 through 1993, the US position was that the Palestinian conflict with Israel was a function of the Arab conflict with Israel. The Arab conflict was rooted in the Arab world's rejection of Israel's right to exist in secure and recognized borders - or really, in any borders. So long as this remained the position of the Arab world, there would be no peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan are based on this pre-Oslo process assumption.

But when it assumed leadership of the Oslo process, the US also embraced the European narrative it was predicated on: Everything is Israel's fault.

The US's continued funding of the PA , despite its support for terrorism, owes to the State Department's adherence to the European narrative. The US's refusal to treat Israel with the respect due an ally by, among other things, locating its embassy in its capital, owes to the State Department's power to dictate US policy.

We saw that power brought to bear in 2003 with the drafting of the Roadmap.

In 2002, Bush said he would not support Palestinian statehood unless new Palestinian leaders who didn't support terrorism took over the PA from Yasser Arafat.

Rather than take Bush's position seriously, the State Department emptied it of all meaning.

US officials crowned Arafat's deputy of 40 years, Mahmoud Abbas, as a reformer and peacemaker, despite the utter absence of any evidence pointing to this conclusion.

Having done so, the State Department declared that reform had been achieved. In support of that reform, they expanded US support for the PA and intensified US pressure on Israel.

Bush's State Department was able to subvert Bush's position because neither then secretary of state Colin Powell nor then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice supported it. Both were more than happy to pretend that the US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians had shifted toward Israel, when the opposite was the case.

We see a similar situation unfolding today with Trump.

While Trump has not called for new leadership, he has called for an end to Palestinian financing of terrorism. This demand will clearly not be met now that the PLO has reached a power-sharing agreement with the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza. Every cent transferred to Gaza is a cent that supports terrorism.

And yet, according to the Times account, and judging by Netanyahu's behavior, the Trump administration is preparing a "peace plan" that will bring no peace but will harm Israel and empower the PLO .

The thing of it is that it is hard to imagine that Trump is engaged sufficiently in discussions of the issue to be aware of what is likely taking place. Bush certainly was not aware that his positions were being undermined by his advisers.

This brings us to Greenblatt and Kushner.

Whereas Rice and Powell were consummate Washington insiders whose careers were made in the bosom of the foreign-policy establishment, Greenblatt, Kushner and Friedman are all consummate outsiders. They owe the establishment nothing. Dina Powell is the only member of Trump's team who is an establishment figure.

Trump brought in his team of outsiders to run his Middle East policy because he understood - and repeatedly remarked on the fact - that Washington's foreign policy establishment has failed for decades to develop successful Middle East policies.

If we are to believe the Times story and heed the signals Netanyahu has sent, Kushner and Greenblatt have surrendered to the establishment and are poised to conclude a peace plan that will be substantively identical to those of the past three administrations.

And, as a consequence, it will fail just as badly as the policies of the past three administrations.

Bannon is right that pro-Israel forces should fight to diminish the power of the Washington foreign- policy establishment - first and foremost the State Department - to empty the term pro-Israel of substance. The question is whether that fight needs to be directed at the White House or whether Trump's team of outsiders is willing and able to stand up to that establishment and adopt a policy not based on hostility toward Israel and support for Palestinian terrorists and, therefore, not guaranteed to fail.


UK: Kent grammar school creates ‘unsafe space’ to combat political correctness

The Simon Langton Grammar School for boys in Canterbury is in the spotlight again, this time over plans to create an “unsafe space” where Sixth Form students get to read texts like Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and openly discuss controversial matters.

The forum borrows from the concept of a “safe space”, which is where individuals feel safe in the knowledge that they can speak freely without fear of harassment, discrimination, abuse, criticism or any other forms of harm on their person and mental well-being. Safe spaces are also often attached to the ‘snowflake’ phenomenon, in which millennials are accused of being overly sensitive and emotionally fragile.

The school was criticised last year when it invited controversial right-wing speaker and former student Milo Yiannopoulos to deliver a speech there. According to The Guardian, the event was cancelled because of “the threat of demonstrations at the school by organised groups and members of the public”.

Its move to create the “unsafe space” is now stirring debate again. Mashable in its report said the scrutiny is due to reasons “loosely connected to the alt-right movement in the US”.

Reports say Professor James Soderholm, who organised the Yiannopoulos event, is the teacher in charge of the forum. He is the director of humanities at the school, which despite being all-boys in the lower school, becomes mixed at sixth form level.

The school describes the “unsafe space” as “an antidote to the poison of political correctness”. It adds that it is being put in place to display “the most beautifully disturbed and disturbing ideas, all of them presented without trigger warnings”.

According to The Guardian, Professor Soderholm said: “The ‘unsafe space’ is a much-needed forum for debate about a host of issues seen from both sides of the ideological spectrum.

“We are not interested in fomenting xenophobia, racism or sexism. We are interested in evaluating arguments, not putting stilts under postures.”

Headteacher Matthew Baxter also explained to the UK daily that the programme would incorporate Mein Kampf in the “wider debate”, rather than have students directly studying it.

Classes will be optional and offered only to students in the sixth form (aged 17 and 18).

According to reports, Soderholm informed pupils their first session would be about the wildly controversial claim from fired Google employee James Danmore that “women are less capable as engineers” than men.

Eighteen-year-old student Sarah Cundy told The Guardian: “When [Soderholm] was talking about doing this, he said we’ll look at the memo and highlight the pros and cons of his argument. To hear a teacher say there are any pros at all in the argument did make me feel pretty uncomfortable.

“I think female and minority students are going to face more issues. I think there will be a rise in sexism, which I would say is already an issue at the school – especially with it being an all-boys school except sixth form.”


The Hope of Women
“It seems undeniable at this point that Hugh Hefner’s death broke open some sort of seal.” My former colleague at National Review magazine, Ian Tuttle, tweeted this the other day, referring to the avalanche of accusations and confessions of men behaving badly in some of the highest echelons of power that has occurred since the death of the Playboy founder. A reckoning appears to be occurring in Hollywood, accompanied by a widespread acknowledgment that something has gone very wrong when it comes to men in power and sex.

Why is it that men would ever presume to take what is not theirs? Why is it that women have been too afraid to speak up? Could it be that the expectations of the culture have forced both men and women into untenable positions? Could it be that we’ve been breathing an air that has us believing the other gender exists for gratification rather than awe and reverence?

There was something in that Donald Trump infamous hot-mic incident — where he described this profane mindset of men in power — that was clarifying and almost set the stage for all these recent stories. The now-first lady dismissed it all as “what boys do.” One gets the impression that she’s trying to raise her son otherwise. So why would Melania Trump or anyone else tolerate it or otherwise explain it away?

When the U.S. Catholic bishops gathered in Baltimore for their annual meeting this past week, there was a presentation noting, among other things, the upcoming 50th anniversary of “Humanae Vitae,” a document that in 1968 seemed to do what my own magazine’s founder was inspired to do vis-a-vis the Cold War, among other things: “Stand athwart history, yelling ‘Stop,’” as it says in the 1955 National Review mission statement. Paul VI, the author of “Humanae,” saw a radical revolution afoot that was going to make the world worse, for women in particular.

Speaking before his brother bishops, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan highlighted prophetic passages from Paul VI’s letter, including: “[A] man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”

And so it happened. And so we live among the ruins.

While there are men who have come out to accuse prominent actors of assault and other boorish behavior, the majority of the #MeToo movement testifying to abuse of power has been women, talking about men. Some 30 or so years ago, Pope John Paul II wrote about the role of women in changing the world. He focused on two things in particular, as Mary Rice Hasson, founding director of the Catholic Women’s Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, put it in a talk:

“The first is to bring ‘full dignity’ to the ‘conjugal life and to motherhood.’ The second and related task is that women are called to ‘assure the moral dimension of culture … a culture worthy of the person.’”

Hasson issued a challenge to her sisters in the faith:

“Women must be front and center in evangelizing the culture because, as a Church, we must live that truth of complementarity. We believe that there’s something of value created when men and women work together, and we know that the Church needs us — men and women — to witness to the love of God in a powerful way, together. And the world needs that witness from us as much, if not more, than it needs the actual work that we do.”

I’ll add this: Everyone is welcome to join in leading a way out of the misery of seeing others merely as means to instant pleasure or another selfish gain.

Besides “Humanae Vitae,” Paul VI also issued this message that has resurfaced in recent years:

“Women, you do know how to make truth sweet, tender and accessible, make it your task to bring the spirit of this council into institutions, schools, homes and daily life. Women of the entire universe, whether Christian or non-believing, you to whom life is entrusted at this grave moment in history, it is for you to save the peace of the world.”

With this light shining on the darkest places in Hollywood and elsewhere, there’s a tremendous opportunity to turn the ship around. Women can save the peace of the world, by expecting better for themselves, their sisters, their daughters — and the men who ought to love them (thank you, those who do!) for all the beauty they bring to existence.


Groupthink at Apple is called "diversity"

Steve jobs was a genuine maverick. One wonders what he would think about the present mental rigidity at Apple

Denise Young Smith, Apple’s diversity chief, is stepping down, reports say. The move is strange. Young has only been in the job for six months. But reports suggest her departure is linked to “recent controversial remarks about white men.”

Several weeks ago, at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia, Young suggested that diversity of thought is important, too.  “I focus on everyone,” Young told the audience. “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”

Young continued: “And I’ve often told people a story– there can be 12 white blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

Quartz reports that Young’s statement “was met with a round of applause at the session.” Not everyone was pleased, however. Young, who has worked at Apple for two decades, soon felt compelled to walk back her comments, issuing  a lengthy apology to staff in an email obtained by TechCrunch.

“My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it,” she wrote. “For that, I’m sorry.”

The announcement that Young will be leaving Apple comes a week after the release of the company’s first public “diversity report.” TechCrunch offers a summary:

“Apple is still 32 percent female worldwide. In the U.S., Apple is 54 percent white (down two percentage points from last year), 13 percent Hispanic (up one percentage point), nine percent black (no change), 21 percent Asian (up two percentage points), three percent multiracial (up one percentage point) and one percent other (no change).

From July 2016 to July 2017, Apple says half of its new hires in the U.S. were from historically underrepresented groups in tech (women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander). Apple’s new hires also reflect more diversity than its current employees. For example, 11 percent of Apple’s new hires were black compared to its current black employee population of nine percent.”
One can see the issue here. Apple, which employs some 130,000 people worldwide, is facing heat to get more diverse. Prominent shareholders have expressed concerns “that low levels of diversity at the Company’s senior management and board level… are a business risk.”

Diversity at Apple

To not be sufficiently diverse is a great shame to corporations, especially those in Silicon Valley. And when the company’s own diversity chief starts talking about “diversity of thought” instead of the numbers, that’s a problem for Apple.

As I wrote before, in 21st century America, diversity is not just a virtue; it is a tenet of faith—“one that must be observed at all times and cannot be questioned.”

Young, a long-time HR exec, questioned the faith. Now she’s out.



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.  Email me (John Ray) here


Friday, November 24, 2017

Ratko Mladić convicted of war crimes and genocide at UN tribunal

The massacre of innocents can of course never be condoned and it seems clear that Mladic is a thug but I wonder if it could have been taken into consideration during his sentencing that it was Muslims he was fighting and killing?  His Republika Srpska was essentially the frontline of Serbs against the Muslims of Bosnia.

Both in the former Yugoslavia and worldwide Muslims have shown scant regard for the lives of others and retribution is very much a part of Yugoslav culture generally.  As the report below notes, he is seen as a hero by his countrymen.   He is adored, his portrait adorns bars and office walls in Bosnia and Serbia, his name sung at football matches.  Was he just a typical Yugoslav? His men appear to have followed him unhesitatingly.

Had my people been the victim of centuries of Muslim oppression, I imagine that I might feel similarly. Scots still remember Edward Longshanks (King of England from 1272 to 1307) with bitterness.  Serbs have to remember back only to 1812.  And are we allowed to mention the large number of Serbs killed by the Muslim KLA?

Finally: What Mladic did seems to have been no worse than what Muslims do frequently. Yet has anyone in the KLA or the Middle East been prosecuted for their deeds? Were Mladic a Muslim, would he have been prosecuted at all?

The one-time fugitive from international justice faced 11 charges, two of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four of violations of the laws or customs of war. He was cleared of one count of genocide, but found guilty of all other charges. The separate counts related to “ethnic cleansing” operations in Bosnia, sniping and shelling attacks on besieged civilians in Sarajevo, the massacre of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and taking UN personnel hostage in an attempt to deter Nato airstrikes.

The trial in The Hague, which took 530 days across more than four years, is arguably the most significant war crimes case in Europe since the Nuremberg trials, in part because of the scale of the atrocities involved. Almost 600 people gave evidence for the prosecution and defence, including survivors of the conflict.

Delivering the verdicts, judge Alphons Orie said Mladić’s crimes “rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination”.

In evaluating Mladić’s culpability for genocide, the court pointed to his command and control of the Bosnian Serb army and interior ministry forces, which carried out almost all of the executions, his presence in the area, and his frequent remarks about how the country’s Muslims could “disappear”.

Once Mladic has exhausted any appeals, he could, theoretically, be sent to the UK to serve out the rest of his life behind bars. Britain is one of the countries that has signed up to the tribunal’s agreement on the enforcement of sentences.

The hearing, broadcast live, was followed closely in Bosnia. The Bosnian prime minister, Denis Zvizdić, said the verdict “confirmed that war criminals cannot escape justice regardless of how long they hide”.

In Lazarevo, the Serbian village where Mladić was arrested in 2011, residents dismissed the guilty verdicts as biased. One, Igor Topolic, said: “All this is a farce for me. He [Mladić] is a Serbian national hero.”

Mladić’s home village of Bozinovici retains a street named after the former general, where he is praised as a symbol of defiance and national pride.

Mladić’s defence lawyer, Dragan Ivetic, announced that he would appeal against the convictions.


For God's sake let boys be boys, and girls be girls, and stop this charge to turn them all into 'non-binary, gender fluid creatures of indeterminate sexuality'

By Piers Morgan

I'm a man.

There, I've said it. At the risk of offending the world's increasing army of hypersensitive PC-crazed snowflakes, I am proudly and unapologetically identifying as a male.

I realise that for some people, this admission alone is currently tantamount to having me fired, arrested and possibly publicly executed.

Think I'm being ridiculous? Think again.

Last night, popular US Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin tweeted this to her 22,000 followers: 'Here's an unpopular opinion. I'm not actually at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.'

So yes, for some people like Ms Lindin, just being a man right now is enough to warrant a career and life being wrongly destroyed.

She is the very worst kind of radical feminist, the kind that hates men so much it blinds her even to basic fairness and justice.

Yet Ms Lindin's tweet wasn't even the most outrageous gender-related thing I read today.  No, that accolade goes to a speech by Natasha Devon, former British government mental health tsar, to the UK Girls' School Association annual conference. In it, she advised that teachers should no longer refer to female students as 'girls' or 'ladies', or to male students as 'boys'.

Ms Devon explained: 'I would never walk into a room in an all girls' school and say girls or ladies because it would be patronising.'

She added: 'I don't think it's useful to be constantly reminded of your gender all the time and all the stereotypes that go with it.'

Warming to her theme, Ms Devon stated that 'boys' holds connotations of being macho and not talking about feelings, whereas 'girls' prompts a sense that everything must be done perfectly, which can stress them out.

Today, she doubled down on her comments after they sparked a furious reaction.

'There are several unfortunate, negative and largely unconscious connotations attached to gender,' she tweeted. 'In that context, the words 'boy' and 'girl' can come with a whole heap of invisible expectation which can stifle and cause anxiety in young people.'

Sorry, what? I've never heard such utter garbage in my entire life, and given I judged talent shows for six years that is a very high bar of garbage.

Speaking as a father of four children - three boys and a girl - I'll tell you what I think might just cause young kids more anxiety than being called 'boys' and 'girls' – and that is telling them they CAN'T be called 'boys' and 'girls'. The simple reason is they were born boys and girls.

Yes, they were all handed to the their proud parents at birth with the words 'Congratulations, you have a little boy' or 'Congratulations, you have a little girl.'

Not, 'Congratulations, you have a non-binary, gender fluid creature of indeterminate sexuality.'

These children will have spent years happily being boys and girls, and for the vast majority of them that's exactly how they wish to remain.

To banish these descriptive terms now is to the first step to banishing gender altogether, thus disrupting and destroying one of society's strongest and until now, least contentious norms: i.e. that we're all either male or female.

I suspect the real reason for Natasha Devon's speech can be found buried away as almost an afterthought. She said she was also advising the abandonment of the terms 'boys' and 'girls' to protect the feelings of transgender children. 'You can't presume that because somebody presents as a gender,' she insisted, 'then that's what they are.'

Erm, yes you can actually. A girl 'presenting' as a girl is a girl and a boy 'presenting' as a boy is a boy.

This belief doesn't make me transphobic, as some seem to think.

I fully understand and respect that some people genuinely feel they were born to the wrong biological sex.

I recently spent three hours interviewing Caitlyn Jenner for my Life Stories show and came away massively impressed by her extraordinary courage and determination in transitioning from all-American male Olympic gold medal hero Bruce Jenner to a woman.

This is not something anyone does lightly and those who do it should be treated with full rights, respect and equality.

But what I don't support is the creeping eradication of conventional gender altogether, as if somehow it is a bad thing.

This new gender war is being driven by the radical transgender community, which - like radical feminism to non-radical feminism - is a very different, far more aggressive, loud and extreme group to the non-radical transgender community.

They basically want anyone, including very young children at school, to be free to identify how the hell they like, and their campaign has been undeniably successful.

That's why Facebook currently provides over 70 different gender 'options', from 'two-spirit person' to 'neutrois' and 'transmasculine'. One is simply: 'neither'.

Now, I don't care if adults want to identify themselves as giraffes or parrots if it makes them happy. That is their right, so long as they abide by the laws of the land.

But I do care when massive pressure is applied on the rest of us to stop using words like 'boys' and 'girls' because it may offend the gender fluid brigade.

I also care that kids as young as five are being encouraged to embark on a journey to change their gender and/or sex before they even really know what either of things even mean.

Anyone who's had children knows they go through all kinds of confusing emotional turmoil before, during and after puberty.

Why add to that confusion by making them think that 'boys' and 'girls' are offensive terms?

There are so many obvious unresolved problems with this surging transgender activism.

Some schools have begun eliminating gender distinction in their sports programmes, so any boy who feels he's a girl can play on the girls' team. This obviously puts most female athletes at an immediate physical disadvantage.

Other schools now allow boys who identify as girls (apologies to anyone offended by those words…obviously) to use the female bathrooms.

How can that do anything but create huge unease and discomfort?

Companies are being bullied and harangued into converting to non-gender-specific merchandise lest they get branded 'trans bigots' on social media. We see it in our high street stores and on our TV commercials.

The problem gets even more acute when we consider sexual offenders in prison.

Already, we are getting cases of male rapists identifying as female so they can switch to female prisons. It doesn't take a genius to work out why they may want to do that.

So self gender identity is a very complex and potentially very dangerous thing.

We're told this this is the new civil rights movement, that gender is the newskin colour. But is it? What does the word 'gender' even mean?

Well, check any dictionary and it will provide a simple answer something like this: 'The state of being male or female.'

Therefore we are all either boys or girls, men or women.

If, on reaching adulthood, someone like Caitlyn Jenner reaches an informed, mature and unchanging belief that they were born to the wrong sex, then I will be the first to offer respect and encouragement for them to transition and fight for them to have equal rights.

But until then, for God's sake enough of this madness. Let our boys be boys, and our girls be girls.


Little Sisters of the Poor Are Returning to Court

The Little Sisters of the Poor is returning to court to defend itself against lawsuits from two states that seek to remove the order of nuns’ religious exemption from the Health and Human Services rule.

“Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro and California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra have now filed lawsuits trying to take away the rights that the Little Sisters just won,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm that seeks to protect free expression of all religious traditions, said in a media call Tuesday.

“It is a shame that some folks want to dredge up the last administration’s culture war-fighting, and threaten the Little Sisters [of the Poor] and other religious charities,” Rienzi said.

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services rolled back the Obamacare mandate that employers cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

According to an email from Becket, the firm representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, “shortly after the new mandate was issued, the states of California and Pennsylvania sued to take away the religious exemption the Little Sisters just won.”

Becket is “asking the court to ensure that they can continue their vital ministry of caring for the elderly poor without violating their faith,” according to the firm. 

Rienzi said the lawsuits from Pennsylvania and California “are obvious political grandstanding.”

“These lawsuits actually talk about all of the other ways that these states already have and already are using to distribute contraceptives to women who want them, which of course proves that they don’t need Catholic nuns to do it for them,” he added.

Hearings will commence in mid-December, Rienzi said, and some of the Little Sisters of the Poor will be present.

Melanie Israel, a research associate for the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that the litigation from California and Pennsylvania shows hostility to religious freedom.

“In expanding exemptions to one of Obamacare’s most egregious assaults on rights of conscience and religious liberty, the Trump administration provided meaningful relief to Americans like the Little Sisters of the Poor who do not wish to be complicit in choices that would violate their religious or moral convictions.”

“You don’t have to share the Little Sisters’ beliefs to recognize that the government should not be able to force Americans to set aside their conscience when they step outside the four walls of a church to serve the poor, heal the sick, or educate the next generation,” Israel concluded.

The Obama administration’s rule, finalized in February 2012, mandated that employers cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees, whether or not it  went against the conscience of employers. Places of worship were left out of the mandate, but religious-affiliated groups that objected still had to bring in a third-party administrator to handle the contraception coverage.

The Trump administration’s new rule offered conscience protections for religious reasons and covers religious nonprofits such as churches. The moral exemption included in the rule covers employers who cannot provide contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs due to their conscience and convictions, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

Rienzi is confident the Little Sisters of the Poor will prevail:

The Little Sisters will tell the judges in these new cases what they have successfully told the Supreme Court time and again, that governments do not need nuns to give out contraceptives, that our big country has room enough and space enough for diversity of ideas, that we can have both people who want contraceptives and nuns who can’t give them out and that the Constitution surely does not require the federal government to punish the little sisters or any other religious person for living out her faith.



Anti-Police Hypocrisy & Ignorance on Full Display in House Oversight Hearing

Lawmakers’ attacks took a brief pause during Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee grilling of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to allow their colleague Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee a few choice moments to showcase her personal bias, anti-police animosity and general ignorance of the federal components she purportedly oversees.

Jackson Lee’s tone was a slight departure from that of several of her committee colleagues which was contemptuous and working hard to paint the attorney general as a liar.  By contrast, Jackson Lee was principally just contemptuous.

The Texas congresswoman dispensed with the hypocritical niceties of thanking Sessions for his service and agreeing to testify at the hearing.  Instead, she waved a pocket-sized Constitution and asked whether the attorney general believed in that book and what it stood for.

Then, without the introductory drumroll, her staff began lifting a poster-sized blowup of an August 2017 FBI intelligence assessment cautioning recipients on the very real threat posed by Black Identity Extremists toward law enforcement.

The congresswoman could barely contain her disdain as she began her questioning on the assessment:

“It is interesting to me that you are opposing individuals who are opposing lethal force, similar to the attack on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in COINTELPRO, but there seems to be no report dealing with the tiki torch parade in Charlottesville chanting, ‘jews will not replace us.’  Why is there an attack on black activists versus any reports dealing with the alt-right and the white nationalists?”
Jackson Lee’s tone was thick with contempt but not so thick that her own anti-police bias and ignorance of internal DOJ processes weren’t fully exposed.

Had the congresswoman or her staff taken just a moment to read any part of the threat assessment, they may have actually recognized it as an FBI intelligence product, not one initiated by, processed by, or released by the DOJ.  Here, even a very basic understanding of the intelligence cycle and the roles of the various intelligence agencies might serve a congressperson; however, actual understanding of a process or of a threat or of an organization was, evidently, not part of this congressperson’s priorities. 

Perhaps Rep. Jackson Lee chose to read no more than the first three words of the assessment’s title, “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers” before she had her issue.  The FBI had the audacity to write about blacks who were targeting law enforcement and were successful in repeated deadly attacks.  How dare the FBI!

In her words, “you are opposing individuals who are opposing lethal force.”  Really?

Perhaps Rep. Jackson Lee should have perused page four that recounted the deadly ambush attack on Dallas police perpetrated by Micah Johnson who “expressed a desire to kill white people, especially white officers” and who “searched and liked social media pages of B[lack] I[dentity] E[xtremists] and black separatist groups and had been ousted from a local BIE group for being too radical … .”

Possibly, on that same page, she might have seen the reference to the brutal October 2014 hatchet attack by Zale Thompson on four New York Police Department officers, and how Thompson was reportedly angered by recent deaths at the hands of police.  Or that Thompson’s own writings advocated for armed struggle against “the oppressors” and “mass revolt” against U.S. systems.

Just maybe, Ms. Jackson Lee could have flipped to page five of the assessment to find intelligence on BIE ideologies and how those ideologies may have pushed on Gavin Long to ambush and shoot six law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge in 2016 or on another man who mowed down a group of police officers with his vehicle in Phoenix later in 2016.

Or maybe not.

Instead of reading the entire FBI assessment and understanding the very real threat posed by people and groups who adhere to hateful, racist ideologies, including Black Identity Extremists, this congresswoman chose an alternate path.  Somehow, hate-driven killers and would-be killers of law enforcement officers must be among Rep. Jackson Lee’s constituency and must be protected, here, from an overreaching FBI that, in their misguided way, chose to warn about hate-driven killers and would-be killers of law enforcement officers.

Politics, hypocrisy and ignorance were on full display in the House oversight hearing on Tuesday.  It was one sorry version of a civics lesson and one that arrogant, party-serving politicians like Ms. Jackson Lee will never apologize for.



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.  Email me (John Ray) here