Thursday, December 21, 2017

Victoria Beckham under fire over traditional nursery rhyme

Victoria Beckham – designer, businesswoman and mum in the spotlight – is being criticised for sharing a 'sexist' nursery rhyme.

Beckham posted a photo on Instagram on the weekend, of a collage she'd done with daughter Harper, 6, and London illustrator Tatiana Alida. "Mummy and Harper having so much fun," she wrote.

But some Beckham's followers were seriously unhappy with the traditional poem on the collage: "Boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails," it read. "Girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice."

In 2017, many commenters seemed to think, we should be warier of these kind of 'pink and blue' stereotypes – especially Beckham, who's been a staunch advocate for female empowerment since her Spice Girl days.

"'Sugar and spice and all things nice' is not girl power, it's gender stereotyping and cultural rules that are telling girls what they are 'supposed' to be," wrote one.

"So girls shouldn't be mischievous or act out, cause they are supposed to be sweet and nice. But it is ok for boys to do that because that is how they are born. It is crap and we really need to move away from such stereotypes that are harmful for our girls."

"This is whete[sic] conditioning begins," wrote another. "I've always hated this poem."

Plenty of others disagreed, and accused these commenters of being too 'politically correct'.

"Why do things need to be taken so literally?" said one. "She's a child having some fun."

"The more creative thing that artist could have done is compose an original poem," one of the original commenters responded. "Not a dig at VB at all."


‘Politically correct do-gooders’ preventing debate over Muslim grooming gangs

The co-founder of counter-extremism think tank Quilliam said “politically correct do-gooders” were responsible for preventing “moderate voices” from having an evidence-based debate about the issue.

This has effectively silenced many reasonable people, who are worried about being branded anti-Muslim, Islamaphobic or bigoted, the LBC presenter said.

As a result, he said, more extreme far right views were “rising to the forefront”.

His comments come after a study by the Quilliam Foundation found 84 per cent of all people convicted for gang grooming since 2005 were Asian.

And a series of high-profile cases, which have resulted in British Pakistani men being convicted for targeting vulnerable white young women and girls, has raised questions about the link between ethnicity and the offenders.

Speaking on his LBC show, Mr Nawaz said: "Why are we still, despite the years of evidence mounting up, uncomfortable talking about this issue? And accepting that there is a hugely disproportionate number of British South Asian Muslim men involved in what can only be described as a despicable crime?

"The fact is that since 2011 these sort of crimes have occurred in cities up and down the country, they are spreading.

"They have occurred in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford, Telford, Leeds, Birmingham, Norwich, Burnley, High Wycombe, Leicester, Dewsbury, Middlesborough, Peterborough, Bristol, Halifax and newcastle and only in two of those cases were the men not of British South Asian Muslim heritage.

"All of the victims, in all of those cities and the list was very long, except three were white teenage girls.”

The research by Quilliam found out of the 264 people convicted for gang grooming over the last 12 years, 222 were Asian.

This is in stark contrast to the ethnicity of child sex offenders in paedophile rings, 100 per cent of whom were white, according to the most recent figures from the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command which were released in 2012.

Mr Nawaz went on: ”The fact that 84 per cent of these cases involve British South Asian Muslim men must beg the question, why?

"If we are not asking the question, I can guarantee you somebody else will be asking the question.

"Then you sit back and wonder 'why is the far right rising?'

"I'll tell you. When you silence those liberal, secular, humanist and reasonable voices who are attempting to have a rational conversation around facts, when you call those voices anti-Muslim, Islamophobic, bigoted or racist, and moderate voices are intimidated from speaking up, what happens as a result is the fringes, the extremists, then those extremist voices rise to the forefront.

"That is the consequence of those do-gooders who are attempting to be politically correct."


Trump Policy Recognizes That ‘Israel Is Not the Cause of the Region’s Problems’

President Trump in his National Security Strategy released Monday laid out two very different foreign policy positions from those of his predecessor – a priority on countering Iran’s behavior, and a challenge to the notion that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the primary cause of instability in the Middle East.

The stances are in contrast to President Obama’s prioritizing of the nuclear program in his dealings with Iran, and his administration’s view that the Palestinian issue was central to problems in the region.

Trump’s NSS identifies Iran, along with North Korea, as one of three main sets of foreign security challenges facing the United States, the other two being jihadist terrorism and the “revisionist powers of China and Russia.”

“Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, has taken advantage of instability to expand its influence through partners and proxies, weapon proliferation, and funding,” it says, going on to highlight ballistic missile development, cyberattacks and “harm to civilian populations” in regional violence.

“Iran supports terrorist groups and openly calls for our destruction,” the document says.

The NSS underlines steps the U.S. is taking to counter Iran’s “malign” activities and influence, including working with regional partners and NATO allies, deploying missile defense systems – which it says “will include the ability to defeat missile threats prior to launch,” implying preemptive strikes – and denying the regime “all paths to a nuclear weapon.”

It also takes a swipe at the Obama administration’s decision to set aside other Iranian activities as it pursued the nuclear agreement, saying the U.S. is now “confronting the danger posed by the dictatorship in Iran, which those determined to pursue a flawed nuclear deal had neglected.”

Trump repeated that criticism in his speech Monday at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, introducing the NSS.

Enumerating what he called “the failures of the past,” the president said his predecessors had “made a disastrous, weak, and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran.”

‘Centrality’ of Israeli-Palestinian dispute challenged

Trump’s NSS also counters the view that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is central to the problems of the Middle East.

“For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region,” it says. “Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems.”

“States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats,” it adds, without elaborating but likely referring to Egypt’s challenges with ISIS-affiliated jihadists in the Sinai, and the seething hostility between Iran and some Arab Gulf states.

The reference to Israel not being seen as “the cause of the region’s problems” pushes back on what has been called “the theory of Palestinian centrality” – the belief that resolving the Palestinians’ grievances will dramatically boost stability in the region.

It’s a view long promoted by some Western policymakers and also championed by Arab governments, often in a bid to divert attention from repression and corruption at home.

Even before he entered the White House, Obama described the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “constant wound” that “does infect all of our foreign policy.”

Its lack of a resolution, he said in a 2008 interview with The Atlantic, “provides an excuse” for anti-American terrorists.

In response, the Jewish Institute for National Security Policy countered that jihadists battle against the West “for reasons that are unlikely to change either with our new president or with the creation of a small, corrupt state wedged between Jordan and Israel.”

Buoyed by such sentiments expressed by the new president, Islamic leaders in the run-up to Obama’s promised address “to the Muslim world” urged him to use the speech to tackle the Palestinian issue as a “root cause” of terrorism.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in an open letter to the incoming president, attributed terrorism to “deprivation, poverty, despair and, most importantly, political injustice.”

“The decades-long suffering of the Palestinian people provides only the most recent and potent illustration of the link between oppression, injustice, and violence,” added the OIC, calling for “an urgent and just remedy.”

Even as Arab societies exploded in so-called “Arab spring” protests in 2011, the Obama administration continued to stress the urgency of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement – despite the fact the issue played little if any part in driving the protests in Arab streets.

“With the winds of change blowing through the Arab world, it’s more urgent than ever than we try to seize the opportunity to create a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” Obama said in early April. In previous months popular protests had erupted in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Jordan.

The State Department echoed that view. Asked if the Arab upheavals indicated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was now “on the backburner” or whether it remained “central to Mideast stability,” spokesman Mark Toner replied, “It’s always central to Mideast stability.”

Secretary of State John Kerry in mid-2013 met with Arab government ministers in Jordan, and was told that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute was the “core” reason for regional instability – even as Syria’s deadly civil war raged, Egypt had just weathered a military takeover after months of violent protests, and more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in the course of one month by Sunni jihadists.

Kerry did not challenge the assertion, telling reporters afterwards that many ministers had told him “that the core issue of instability in this region and in many other parts of the world is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

“The only way to resolve that,” he continued, “is through direct negotiations …”


Australia records its highest ever immigration rate – with the population tipped to reach 25 million in months

This is insane. What will we do with them all?  Housing prices will be pushed up.  Traffic congestion will increase. Law and order will decline and hospitals will be stretched even more. Time to move out of Sydney and Melbourne if you want a convenient life

Australia's population is set to reach the 25 million milestone within a matter of months.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the nation adds a new person every one minute and 26 seconds, making Australia the world's fastest growing developed nation.

With Australia's population standing at 24,772,437 people as of Tuesday night, the 25 million milestone is set to be reached in 2018.

Australia's net immigration soared by a record 27 per cent in the year to June 30, 2017, compared with the previous year, as 245,400 new foreigners arrived.

Sydney and Melbourne are choking with new residents, with the ABS's director of demography Beidar Cho pointing out overseas migration grew by 31 per cent in New South Wales and 23 per cent in Victoria.

Both states recorded their highest ever net immigration pace surpassing a growth level last experienced in 2008, the ABS said.

In the year to the end of June, NSW added 98,600 new migrants while Victoria absorbed 86,900 new overseas residents.

Growth was slower in the other states, with Queensland's net migration rate up by 31,100 while Western Australia took in 13,100 new migrants.

Australia has the fastest population growth pace of any developed nation in the Organisation for for Economic Co-operation and Development with an annual growth pace of 1.6 per cent.

That is more than double the annual population growth pace of the United States (0.7 per cent) and the U.K. (0.6 per cent), and above the expansion rate of The Philippines and Singapore (1.5 per cent).

Only Papua New Guinea, a poor nation to Australia's north, posted a faster population growth pace, expanding by 2.1 per cent.

Australians are also retiring later, with the ABS's chief economist Bruce Hockman revealing on Tuesday the planned retirement age for those aged over 45 had stretched out to 65, up from 63 in 2007.

'This is consistent with the continuing trend of people staying in the workforce for longer,' he said. 'A decade ago, around 9 per cent of people aged 65 and over were employed. This has increased to around 13 per cent in 2016-17.'

In 1998, the ABS forecast Australia's population wouldn't reach between 23.5 and 26.4 million until 2051.



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


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