Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dozens of companies boycott NRA over Florida shooting — but it’s backfiring big time

Democrats love government so when they are faced with multiple failures of government -- in the Florida school shooting --  what do they do?  They blame the NRA.  These are people who will never learn even the most obvious lessons.  We cannot influence them.  All we can hope to do is to block them -- JR

A multitude of companies that had longstanding relationships with the National Rifle Association have severed their relationships with the NRA in recent days, caving to pressure from anti-NRA, anti-gun advocates who place blame on the NRA for the tragic Florida school shooting on Feb. 14.

But that boycott is beginning to backfire and it appears the corporations ending their relationships will have no lasting effects on the NRA — and maybe even help the pro-Second Amendment organization pad its rolls.

What’s going on? In response to the NRA boycott, thousands of people are posting on social media they have decided to join the NRA because they believe in freedom, the Second Amendment and stand opposed to the liberal outrage mob unfairly placing responsibility on the NRA for the Florida shooting.

Others posted they had upgraded their memberships to higher levels.

The #TweetYourNRAMembership hashtag contains thousands of posts and the number of people joining the NRA is swelling. It’s not clear how many people have joined the NRA because of the boycott, but it appears the boycott will only help the NRA — not hurt it.


Here Are 5 Reasons Transgender Policies Are Harmful
Who knew that removing the federal government from debates over school bathroom policies would be considered an assault on LGBT rights?

That’s the argument activists made last week when the Department of Education announced that it would be enforcing Title IX the way the federal government always had — up until the second term of the Obama administration. That’s when the Obama Department of Education announced that the word “sex” now meant “gender identity” — and ordered schools to open up their bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and dorms accordingly.

It’s understandable why many ordinary Americans recoiled at this transgender mandate. Most Americans — including those who identify as transgender — aren’t activists and want to find ways to peacefully coexist. Most can understand why a man who identifies as a woman doesn’t want to be forced into the men’s room, but also understand why women don’t want a man in the ladies’ room. These concerns are even more heightened when dealing with students.

As I explain in my book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, new transgender policies raise five distinct areas of concern — privacy, safety, equality, liberty, and ideology — and the Trump administration is right to reject the radical Obama policies in favor of letting local officials work to find reasonable compromises.

It shouldn’t be hard to see the privacy concerns when men who identify as women can enter female-only spaces. When changing for gym class, most high school girls don’t want to see or be seen by boys who identify as girls.

The reason we have separate facilities in the first place is not because of “gender identity” but because of the bodily differences between males and females. This privacy concern is particularly acute for victims of sexual assault, who testify that seeing naked male bodies can function as a trigger.


Ex-Air Marshal Comes Forward on FL Shooting With Statement Democrats Hate

The recent mass shooting at a Florida school that left people 17 dead is once again sparking a gun control debate — and this time around, the main focus revolves around whether or not educators should be allowed to conceal carry on school grounds to protect students in the event of another shooting.

And according to Chad Robichaux, a former special agent with the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service, the logic behind arming educators is sound.

Robichaux appeared Thursday on SiriusXM’s “Breitbart News Tonight” to discuss the recent shooting as well as the steps that can be taken to deter such an incident from occurring again.

As noted by Breitbart News, Robichaux was responsible for the development and implementation of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The FFDO program, which started in 2003, trains select flight crew members on how to effectively use a firearm “to defend against an act of criminal violence or air piracy,” according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Crew members wishing to become certified in the program must undergo 56 hours of training at a state-of-the-art facility in Artesia, New Mexico.

“Upon successful completion, the pilot is deputized as a federal law enforcement officer and issued a TSA-approved firearm and federal flight deck officer credentials,” the TSA states.

Robichaux revealed that the program has proved successful at deterring hijackings, and a similar result would be seen if educators and other staff members in schools across the United States were armed.


Stop immigration! Sydneysiders don't want a bigger population. They are voting with their feet

This could apply to many large cities

Traffic jams. Housing costs. Packed beaches. High-rise living. The pace and general stress of life.

Many of Sydney people’s everyday concerns can be linked in some way to population growth. What if we could just turn it off, and keep a stable population of around five million?

It might surprise you to learn it would be relatively easy for Sydney to cut its population growth to near zero. It wouldn’t take an onerous “one-child” policy like China’s. All we’d have to do is turn off the tap of foreign immigration, to a net in-take of zero, and almost overnight the city’s population would plateau, staying basically flat right out to 2036.

At least, that’s what modelling done by the state Department of Planning and Environment in 2016 showed.

The department, which expects the city’s population to reach 6.4 million by 2036, said that the population would actually stagnate at beneath five million without any immigration (we have since already passed five million). Their projection takes into account both the loss of immigrants expected to arrive, and the babies they would be expected to have.

So it can happen. The question is, do we really want it to happen?

There would be side effects, that’s for sure, and they wouldn’t all be pretty. My colleague, Jessica Irvine, detailed some in an article in 2016. The budget would be in disarray. The ageing population would cause increase strain on working people. Education and tourism would suffer.

Ever the opportunist, Tony Abbott popped up again last week, arguing for a reduction in immigration to reduce supply pressure in the economy. His comments were immediately denigrated by Liberal colleagues, but it was hard not to suspect they were playing the man and not the ball.

The question is, is dreaming of a stable population unreasonable? Do we want Sydney to grow the population ad infinitum? Will there ever be a point when we say ‘that’s enough’? Ten million? Twenty million?

There are many first-world cities with populations much larger than Sydney, so it clearly can absorb more growth. But it would appear Australians don’t want that.

The clue is in the hundreds of thousands of people who are voting with their feet, deciding that Sydney is not for them. As the Herald reported on Monday, more people leave Sydney than arrive from within Australia every year. And it has been that way for four decades.

This seeming distaste for a bigger, more expensive Sydney seems born out in the planning department modelling also. Otherwise, why would the city’s only path to growth be via immigration?
Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of multiculturalism. But a majority don't want further population growth. The thing is, they don’t want a recession either.

Changing our relationship with population growth is complex because it requires a rethink of our economic approach.

At the moment, growth dictates our priorities. Australian rightfully celebrates going 27 years without a recession (defined as two consecutive quarters without economic growth). And politicians are no doubt determined to not be in charge when that streak ends.

However, Australia has been taking the shortcut on this by growing the population. Growing the economy while growing the population is a lot easier.

There’s another system that requires a constant input of new people to achieve returns: a Ponzi scheme. Those don’t normally end well. Unless you are prepared to grow literally forever, then such a system is set up for failure eventually.

If some day we want to consider having a stable population without an economic meltdown, it might pay to start thinking about how we do it. Japan is having to do just that, and is seemingly making an OK fist of it.

But it requires having a nuanced conversation that, in this political climate, seems somewhat optimistic. It doesn’t help if anyone who raises the idea of reducing immigration is tagged a racist or economically illiterate.

Whatever the optimum size for Sydney might be, it would be nice to get there as the result of considered decision making rather than just drift into it because we couldn’t face the hard questions of how to deal with the economic ramifications.



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, February 27, 2018

The one-sided Left

There is a rant here by an atheist who objects to the alliance between Christians and Mr Trump. He seems to think that he as an atheist knows the business of Christians better than they do. The article is basically just one long fulmination but he does get around at one point to telling us what is wrong with Mr Trump.  It is this paragrah:

"He's told transgender soldiers they can't serve in the military, he's ripped apart immigrant families through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), he's put hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients in danger of being kicked out of the country, he's made it harder for poor people to receive adequate health care, etc."

At no point, however, does he offer any reasoning behind transgenders in the military being unwelcome nor does he mention that the immigrants concerned are illegally in the country and  commit a lot of crime. And he does not consider that the current unaffordability of health care is mostly a result of Obamacare and its large deductibles.

Typically one-sided.  Leftists couldn't make an honest argument if they tried.  If he had been interested in mounting an honest argument he would have mentioned that military men generally dislike having sexual deviants among them on the grounds that it degrades unit cohesion and morale.  So if they are to do well the jobs they are employed for, deviants should be excluded from their ranks.

He might also have considered that Obamacare is unsurvivable as it stands, which is why insurers are steadily pulling out of its exchanges.  He might also mention that the Democrats have steadily resisted Mr. Trump's attempts to replace it with something more affordable.

One of the reasons why I read Leftist tracts is that I hope I might learn something from them.  I rarely do. Mostly all I find is unreasoning hate.  I strongly suspect that most Leftists are quite incapable of mounting a rational argument.

Can everyone PLEASE quit being so politically correct

When it comes to fashion-related upsets, the outage brigade is on an absolute roll this week.

First, it was the colour of the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress at the BAFTA Awards – dark green instead of black – that sparked a wildfire of fury on social media.

Then it was a picture yesterday of actress Jennifer Lawrence that elicited a response comparable to a digital riot.

It was a photo call for her new film Red Sparrow, that saw the talented thespian pose among her male co-stars on a terrace in London, on a chilly late winter’s afternoon.

The blokes were all rugged up in cosy coats and jackets, while Lawrence wore a plunging Versace gown with a thigh-high split.

No sooner had the photographer clicked his camera and a controversy was erupting, with cries of sexism, that she had been forced to freeze in a frock, that it was typical Hollywood double standards and the continued mistreatment of women in the entertainment industry.

The response was an overreaction, symptomatic of our growing tendency to become distracted by the unimportant and whip it up into a poo storm of epic proportions.

Can we please, in Lawrence’s own words, get a grip?

As she later explained, she selected that dress herself. She loved that dress. She wanted to wear that dress and doing so was her choice, and hers alone.

“This is sexist, this is ridiculous – this is not feminism,” she wrote of the furore.

“You think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for five minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.”

Can we please stop being offended on behalf of others? Can we all take a collective breath the next time there’s a sense that we should be outraged… and just not be?

There’s plenty going on in the world to be upset about at the moment. A woman’s dress isn’t one of them.


Ministers too 'politically correct' to enforce hijab policy in schools, former Ofsted boss warns

The Government is too politically correct to enforce rules on hijabs in schools, leaving teachers "alone, isolated and vulnerable", the former head of Ofsted has warned.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said a lack of formal policy from the Department for Education on whether children should be allowed to cover their heads in lessons has led to angry clashes.

He also highlighted concerns that there are 150 schools around the country which make it compulsory for children to wear hijabs, adding that "the country has enormously changed" and some communities hold very conservative views which cannot easily be challenged.

It follows a public outcry after a primary school in east London announced it was banning children from wearing hijabs but was forced to reverse the decision after complaints from parents.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday Sir Michael said: " There’s something like 150 schools…. which in short make it compulsory for youngsters to wear a hijab - so what’s happening about those schools?

"The country has enormously changed. When heads want to change things, they have now to take into account deep-seated and sincere feeling of communities, some of whom who have conservative views.

“The Government needs to step in. It can no longer say it’s up to the headteachers. That head might be faced with an opposition which says, well hang on, you made this decision, but there’s a school half a mile away which does allow [wearing hijabs for primary aged children].”

Asked if a fear of being politically incorrect was stopping the Government from developing a national policy on hijabs in schools, he said:  “Yes absolutely. There is a reticence, and it’s leaving headteachers alone, isolated and vulnerable.”

Currently schools are expected to set their own policy on uniform, but critics have warned some feel unable to do so because of strong held views about religious attire, and have called on ministers to help by setting national guidance.

The Government is expected to come under further pressure to publish formal guidance on hijabs later this month, after the education select committee said it would hear evidence from the current chief inspector of schools about the issue.

Amanda Spielman will be questioned by MPs after she backed the Newham school's decision.

Earlier this month she said some religious fundamentalists want to "actively pervert the purpose of education ... and in the worst cases indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology".

She added: "Schools must have the right to set school uniform policies as they see fit in order to promote cohesion. It is a matter of deep regret that this outstanding school has been subject to a campaign of abuse by those who want to undermine the school’s position.”

Sir Michael also raised the issue of the Trojan Horse scandal which prompted 21 schools in Birmingham to be investigated amid fears Islamist groups were seeking to have teachers removed and sex education lessons banned.

He said: "The Trojan Horse issue showed what can happen, and it’s really up to the Department for Education to say this is now an ongoing issue that is affecting more than a few schools. You need to come up with some policies."

Lord Agnew, minister for schools, condemned the "vitriolic abuse" and "intimidation" staff at the primary school in east London experienced after proposing a hijab ban.

He said: "As the minister responsible for faith and counter-extremism in the Department for Education, I wanted to send out a clear message: bullying or intimidation of school staff is completely unacceptable.

"Our teachers ... are completely within their right to make decisions on how to run their schools in the best interests of their pupils — in line with the law and in discussion with parents, of course — and we back their right to do so."

But a spokesman for the department for education stopped short of promising to develop guidance to help teachers who want to ban religious attire, despite Sir Michael's calls.

The current chief inspector of schools in England, Amanda Spielman, will be questioned by MPs later this month after she backed the Newham school's decision.

She said some religious fundamentalists want to "actively pervert the purpose of education ... and in the worst cases indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology".

She added: "Schools must have the right to set school uniform policies as they see fit in order to promote cohesion. It is a matter of deep regret that this outstanding school has been subject to a campaign of abuse by those who want to undermine the school’s position.”

Ofsted added: "Inspectors visited St Stephen’s to look at the appropriateness of decision making - including the leadership team’s ability to make and implement decisions as they see fit, what support the school received, and the way the school communicates with parents. Ofsted will publish the outcome of this inspection shortly."


Fred Siegel on the long history of liberal elitism

Collins: Do you think the liberal elite today see themselves self-consciously as the ruling class of one nation, as Americans primarily, or do you think they see themselves as distinct from other Americans, maybe feeling they have more in common with the global elite? Are they almost embarrassed by their own society?

Siegel: Very much so. Something happens in the 1990s. The elites of Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles meld together. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Washington and Wall Street all come together, and for the first time you have something like the British establishment. The British establishment could organise itself more easily because it was centred on London. For decades the American elite was divided among different coastal cities, plus the ‘third coast’ of Chicago, and it wasn’t until space collapses due to technology that you have the creation of this unified American elite. That unified elite is overwhelmingly liberal. Three hundred people who work for Google were part of the Obama administration at one time or another.

So this elite comes together, it looks across the Atlantic, it looks across the Pacific, but it doesn’t look at the heartland. The rest of the country recognises that. Whatever you want to say about Trump, he was the only candidate in either party who recognised that globalisation and immigration are the burning issues for much of America. One of the things he talked about early in the campaign, which was largely set aside, was the enormous mistake of allowing China into the World Trade Organisation in 2001. President Clinton pushed for this, President George W Bush pushed for this, and I supported it at the time. In retrospect it was an enormous mistake. If you draw a map of the places where jobs were lost due to competition from China, and look at the areas of Trump support, there’s a tremendous overlap.

Collins: In the past, Republican presidential candidates would use liberalism’s anti-middle-class tendencies as a foil – I’m thinking of Nixon and Reagan in particular. A good portion of Trump’s support, I believe, was down to his ability to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton’s brand of liberalism. How would you compare Trump with other explicitly anti-liberal presidents?

Siegel: I think Trump is better compared with Nixon than with Reagan. Reagan was a free-trader, he had ideas about immigration that Trump wouldn’t agree with. But the hard edge of Nixon in denouncing George McGovern, with McGovern said to be representing ‘acid, amnesty and abortion’, that’s something you could hear from Trump. The elements of what we think of as Trumpism were coming for a long time. They were there in the 1992 Perot campaign, where he campaigned against free trade. I was working for the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) at the time, and I remember watching Al Gore, who was at one time the head of the DLC, debating Perot. In retrospect, Perot scored serious points (I don’t think either man was entirely correct, as is often the case in a debate). But it was interesting, it was a reasoned debate, and I haven’t heard reasoned debates over trade and immigration in recent years. People don’t debate, they exclude, especially the liberal-left. They cut people off, rather than debating them. The recent events at Evergreen College are an extreme example of that.

Identity politics has risen twice in this country. It rose to an apex in the early 1990s, but then it was diminished by a series of scandals. Some people may remember the Sokal hoax. Alan Sokal was a physicist who wrote an article for a postmodern magazine called Social Text, in which he claimed to prove that gravity was a social construction. And the magazine published it! It was obviously a parody.

But then identity politics fades. Bill Clinton is a moderating influence – he creates a broad coalition that sidelines an identity-based approach. But then Bush’s decisions in the Iraq War revive the left, and it slowly begins to gain force, until it rises again with Howard Dean, even before Obama. Howard Dean was a white male version of Obama. He barely considers Republicans human (even though – or maybe because – his father was a famous Republican fundraiser on Wall Street).

Collins: How do you view the liberal response to Trump’s election? You wrote in The Revolt that, ‘Liberalism is sufficiently adaptable, that even in failure, self-satisfaction trumps self-evaluation’. That sounds to me like a pretty good description of the past year. Liberals have struggled to come to terms with Trump, and to take responsibility for their losses – not just the presidency, but in both houses of Congress and in state governments.

Siegel: Liberalism has taken on a religious aspect. It’s a belief system, and not a system that represents political interests. Liberalism is seen as a source of grace, in religious terms. It is hard to talk to people, when you are effectively suggesting they are not among the blessed (or, to use Thomas Sowell’s phrase, the ‘anointed’), that they are in fact mistaken. Trump is wrong about many things, but you can argue with Trumpism. But it is very hard to argue with contemporary liberalism, especially in its West Coast incarnation.

When I was a kid, to be liberal was to be open-minded and highly educated. Liberalism doesn’t represent that today. It represents a secular version of baptism

Collins: Yes, I am surprised how very few liberals were willing to engage in self-criticism after the election, not even to try to understand why they have been losing in recent years.

Siegel: On the contrary, liberals’ idea is to push forward. One of the elements of liberalism is environmentalism. Now, environmentalism has its virtues. The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts under Nixon (interestingly enough) were great successes. But over the years environmental regulations cost more and more money for less and less in return. Environmentalism is increasingly a way to undercut the middle class – and in that sense it fits perfectly within liberalism. As one writer has pointed out, the environmentalists in Oregon have undercut the jobs traditionally filled by less-educated white males – ranching, lumber, fishing. These industries have been essentially regulated out of existence. It’s hard to see how that population can vote for Democrats in large numbers down the road.

What happened in coal country is interesting. Hillary foolishly said she wanted to shut down the coal industry, then she changed her mind. When I tell people that the US coal industry is thriving, in part because of exports to China, they look at me like I’m crazy. How can I say that? It’s officially dead, case closed. Then I say, ‘You do know that the Germans, who in their self-righteousness closed down their nuclear industry and moved away from coal, are now importing American wood blocks to heat themselves – which has a terrible effect on CO2 emissions?’.

Or, when you tell them that Trumpism is not peculiar to America. In the Czech Republic, in Hungary, in Poland, in the Baltic states – you have variations on Trump. Liberals are incredulous. First of all, they don’t pay much attention to Europe, which I think is unfortunate. Second, the idea that there is something larger at play, that it’s not all about Trump’s venality, is inconceivable for many American liberals. When I was a kid, to be liberal was to be open-minded and highly educated. Liberalism doesn’t represent that today. It represents a secular version of baptism.

Collins: Yes, this new populism, or whatever we might call it, takes different forms in different countries, and influences the mainstream parties as well.

Millennials, who are so crazy about Corbyn and Sanders, are the dumbest generation. They know nothing. History began the day they were born. The collapse of our educational system has political consequences

Siegel: Even Macron in France has moved towards Trumpian positions. He has talked to people in West Africa about the need to constrain their population growth. Not very liberal. Macron will be the subject of the first state dinner at the White House. Macron is one of the few foreign leaders Trump has a certain rapport with. So even Macron, who is supposed to be anti-Trump, has been forced to move in his direction, because globalisation creates pressures we haven’t seen since 1914.

Collins: You write in the book how, at different times, the liberal elites express fears that the masses are going to turn to right-wing populism or fascism. We talked about Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here. Do you see any similarities in today’s liberal response to Trump, viewing the Trump voter as problematic?

Siegel: The continuity is quite stunning. The same arguments, the same dispositions. But the difference today is the geographic dimension, and the number of people who are part of the liberal axis. Liberals have created a top and bottom alliance: the upper middle class, much of the well-to-do, and the subsidised poor and immigrants, legal and illegal, are all pulled into liberalism. In places like New York and California, this is a very powerful coalition. It’s interesting that when people say that Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary, which he did, what’s not noted is that the entire popular vote loss came from two places – New York City and Los Angeles.



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, February 26, 2018

My compromise offer to the politically correct

Yep. Donald Trump’s tweets are childish, his speech is vulgar and insensitive. But what the victim-centric left refuses to acknowledge is that the backlash to the insanely politically correct society they’ve created rewards him for it.

In our hyper-sensitive culture, where it’s not what you say but the words you use to say it, enough Americans needed to elect a president proved they’re sick and tired of feeling censored. Middle America voters can only be told their white-privileged micro-aggressions are triggering some victim’s oppression so often before Trump’s crudeness becomes a welcome and needed relief.

Really, when a coffee shop’s tongue-in-cheek sign, “Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014,” causes near race riots, it’s gone too far. The message sent is if whites move into downtown, they’re gentrifying it, making them racists. If they move out of downtown, it’s white flight, and they’re racists.

And somehow NPR-listening elitists still can’t figure out how Trump was elected?

Most of the politically correct terms we’re now mandated to use, or else be ridiculed for being ignorant or hateful, have been manufactured via well-meaning intentions. People want to accurately describe others without seeming to disparage or judge them. Seems honorable enough. But do we have to call an average chick a “cisgender demisexual female”?

I’d like to offer a very sincere compromise in the escalating war of terminology. Let me introduce the Caldara Compromise this way:

My son has Down syndrome.

Words could never come close to describing the love I have for him or just how far I’d fight for his right to be treated as an equal, with respect.

And we should celebrate how far we’ve come accepting people like my son, Chance. When I was his age, kids like him were warehoused in a windowless school room all day until escorted to the short bus. No other students knew their names, interacted with them, or played with them. It’s no wonder kids like Chance were teased, mocked and isolated for being different.

Today is different. My son is welcomed throughout school. Kids and adults there love what makes him special. And I wouldn’t have thought it possible when he was born, but my Downs kid has lots of normal friends.

Did you see it? I just broke two rules of the PC code for the disabled. According to the PC police, I don’t have a “Downs kid,” I have a “kid with Downs,” because the “person” is always supposed to come before the modifier. This of course makes no sense in the English language. You want a cold beer, not a beer cold. Charlie Brown loves the redheaded girl, not the girl with redhead.

My son doesn’t have “normal” friends, he has “typical” friends. “Typical” is required because “normal” is a value judgement.

He isn’t “disabled,” he is “differently abled,” because we all have abilities, some just might be different. My son can’t use the toilet without assistance, but somehow, he’s not disabled.

Note that in nearly every case in the PC tyranny, it takes longer to say the things we want to say. It’s PC word inflation that drives us crazy — I mean, mentally ill.

Every PC term requires more syllables. “Undocumented worker” is longer than “illegal alien.”  “Gender reassignment surgery” is longer than “sex change.” “Developmentally delayed” versus “retarded.” We could go on all day.

But there’s a notable exception. An acceptable term for “homosexual” is “gay.” Even those who hate the gay agenda use the word “gay.” Why? It’s one-fifth the amount of syllables! The PC left won. They got their opponents to use their own terminology!

So here’s my sincere compromise offer: We boorish ignorant anti-PC bigots will accept whatever terms you hyper-sensitive social engineering snowflakes want to describe whatever victim group or situation you want. We have only one small condition. The new term must be shorter than the one you want us to stop using. It would also be great if you’d stop changing the words every other year, but that’s not a deal killer.

Or keep doing what you’re doing and risk more Trump.



Catholic Bishop Bars Democratic Senator from Receiving Communion Due to Abortion Vote

Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield responded in a very strong way last week to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) voting against legislation that would’ve banned abortion after 20 weeks, the point at which science increasingly shows unborn babies can feel pain. Paprocki said Durbin could not receive communion until he “repents of this sin.”

“Fourteen Catholic senators voted against the bill that would have prohibited abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization, including Sen. Richard Durbin, whose residence is in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois,” Bishop Paprocki said in a statement.

“In April 2004, Sen. Durbin’s pastor, then Msgr. Kevin Vann (now Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, CA), said that he would be reticent to give Sen. Durbin Holy Communion because his pro-abortion position put him outside of communion or unity with the Church’s teachings on life,” he wrote. “My predecessor, now Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, said that he would support that decision. I have continued that position.”

Paprocki went on to cite the official teaching of the Catholic Church on the matter as well as guidance from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those ‘who obstinately persist in mani­fest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,’” he said. “In our 2004 Statement on Catholics in Political Life, the USCCB said, ‘Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.’”

“Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,” the determination continues that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin,” the bishop concluded. “This provision is intended not to punish, but to bring about a change of heart. Sen. Durbin was once pro-life. I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life.”

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed in the Senate in January with a vote of 51-46 in favor, failing to reach the 60 votes required to advance to a final vote.

The legislation passed the House of Representatives in October by a 237-189 vote mostly along party lines with three Democrats voting in favor of the measure.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had initially announced the bill alongside Micah Pickering, a five-year-old boy who was born prematurely at 22 weeks gestational age (20 weeks).

Shortly after the bill’s passage in the House, The Washington Post fact checked the claim that the U.S. is one of just seven countries in the world to allow elective abortion after 20 weeks gestation and found it to be true.


BBBB - The Biased Better Business Bureau

Mark Fitzgibbons, President of Corporate Affairs at American Target Advertising (ATA), America's oldest and largest cause-related direct response agency founded by political direct mail pioneer Richard A. Viguerie, issued the following statement about a February 7 smear of Veterans in Defense of Liberty (VIDOL) by the Better Business Bureau's St. Louis office:

"The BBB's issuance of, then refusal to take adequate actions to correct, its false and reckless smear of VIDOL is an indication that the BBB may be biased against conservatives in the same way as disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner.

"The bias of the BBB against those who don't pay them money was well documented in the ABC News show 20/20 and reported in March 2013 by Time magazine: Why the Better Business Bureau Should Give Itself a Bad Grade.

"The BBB February 7 release is the latest example of its continuing bias and questionable integrity. The release recklessly misleads the public about the mission of VIDOL, which is NOT a charity established to distribute funds to veterans, but is a social welfare organization established to educate and inform the public about the plight of veterans, lobby on their behalf – especially with regards to the VA health care system, and to promote the constitutional values shared by millions of veterans who have graced our country and our flag with their service. VIDOL is tax-exempt under tax code section 501(c)(4). Charities are exempt under section 501(c)(3), and have substantially different purposes.

"The BBB seems to have used one standard to judge a liberal organization, and a different standard for a conservative organization. It claimed, for example, with regard to the controversial leftwing 501(c)(4) organization Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, an imitator of the now-defunct ACORN, that the 'organization is also not a charity and therefore BBB would not issue a BBB Charity Report.' The treatment of VIDOL is so inconsistent with what the BBB claims to be its standards that this smells of partisan politics from another large institution whose national headquarters are tightly within the Washington, D.C. swamp.

"The BBB's evaluation of expenditures by VIDOL for its grassroots education and advocacy program is unprofessional, misleading, and legally incompetent. The BBB failed to attempt to properly verify the information in its libelous smear of VIDOL and ATA. The BBB's Michelle Corey and principals within the national headquarters were advised of the falsity of this BBB smear, but have stubbornly refused to cure this libel many days later, causing one to seriously question their true motivations and integrity.

"VIDOL was founded by a true patriot and veteran, Dr. William Scott Magill. Dr. Magill and his team take no salary from VIDOL. VIDOL receives no taxpayer dollars, and is not funded by billionaires, unions, corporations, or wealthy foundations that finance leftwing organizations attempting to destroy the constitutional values shared by millions of our hero veterans.

"The BBB release begins with misleading readers to believe VIDOL is a charity: 'A Galena, Mo., man recently turned to BBB for advice after receiving dozens of charity mailers … A Springfield, Mo.-based group called Veterans in Defense of Liberty was among the more than dozen organizations which sent the man donation forms.'

"The BBB knows full-well that the public would be shocked and disturbed if a professional fundraiser "kept 94 percent of the money raised for" a charity, and positioned and pushed its whole ambush to harm the reputation and finances of VIDOL and Dr. Magill.

"Since the BBB was 'caught,' it has removed an inappropriate negative rating of VIDOL from its release, but the release remains misleading, and its publication, and the BBB's active encouragement and participation with news agencies in this smear, remains forever on the Internet.

"Consistent with the BBB's bullying conduct, last week I 'coincidentally' received in the mail a letter from the BBB asking for information on ATA, sent just one day after I complained to the BBB about its February 7 release. The letter included a warning that if I did not reply, that has an effect on our 'rating.' Strange that I received the first BBB letter I can recollect within days after I complained about the BBB's lack of integrity. Perhaps the BBB's website should carry a warning: 'Question or criticize us, and you'll pay.'"

Via email

Jordan Peterson: six reasons that explain his rise

Why has an obscure Canadian academic become a phenomenon across the Anglosphere? The man seems genuinely surprised at his 18-month transformation. Hence his tweet asking why so many people have watched the interview he did on Britain’s Channel 4. On March 8, Jordan Peterson kicks off his Australian speaking tour. At sold-out events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane he will talk about his bestselling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

One way to explain this rise of a man who has been described as a cowboy psychologist and an egghead who gives practical advice is that he drives many on the left bonkers.

There are at least a dozen reasons for this, but this is a column, not a book, so here are six.

Reason 1. Peterson reckons that listening is good for our soul and even better for human progress. Sounds banal, but in an age when campus outrage and an angry mob mentality have seeped into our broader culture, listening to those we disagree with is a truly revolutionary message.

The University of Toronto psychology professor is old school. He gathers information and builds knowledge the Socratic way, by listening and testing ideas. That’s how he developed a fascination with why totalitarian regimes murdered millions in the quest for utopia. He’s suspicious of ideology, dogma and the doctrinaire. Ideology is dangerous, he says, because it’s too certain about things and doesn’t allow for dissent.

Moral relativism is equally dangerous because it makes no judgments and is blind to the greatness of Western civilisation. Human beings need a moral compass. The demise of religion has left a vacuum, and it has been filled by rigid ideologues and nihilistic moral relativists. Well-timed, given so many millennials are bunkering down with socialism or moral relativism.

If you want to ignore Peterson, that’s your right. But he is a symbol of what’s rotten within parts of our culture. When he speaks, his critics try to howl him down. Students scream over him, university administrators try to censor him.

Last year, Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University, played one of Peterson’s YouTube videos in a communications class. In a meeting with university honchos, one professor, Nathan Rambukkana, accused her of breaking Canadian law and creating a toxic environment for students. Another said her decision to show a Peterson debate clip was akin to the Nazis relying on free speech. The meeting was taped. It’s literally crazy. An uproar led the university to apologise to Shepherd.

Some of this explains why, as of Thursday, Peterson’s cracker interview with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman has attracted 7.4 million views since it aired on January 17. Sure, some of us have watched it more than once, because it’s funny, it’s serious and it ought to be shown in the first lesson of a journalism 101 course.

As reported in Inquirer last month, the interview is a 30-minutes precis of what happens when you don’t listen. Peterson was calm, measured, respectful. He used science and evidence when explaining the differences between men and women. He raised obvious questions about dogma on the gender pay gap. And he smiled politely when a woman who brought him on to her show wasn’t interested in listening.

There are now memes about Newman’s closed-ears interviewing style. Like this one. Peterson: “Women want strong and competent men.” Newman: “So what you’re saying is women are incompetent.” And this. Peterson: “I’m a clinical psychologist.” Newman: “So what you’re saying is I need therapy.” But none is as humiliating as the interview.

Reason 2. Peterson believes in free speech. He’s worried about the illiberal direction of modernity, not just on campus. That’s another reason this solid-gold cultural disrupter, with a quiet but firm tone, drives many on the left nuts. The professor attracted headlines at home in Canada when he said he wouldn’t abide by Bill C-16, introduced in May 2016, amending the Canadian Human Rights Act and making it illegal to use the wrong pronoun. It became law last June. Peterson baulked at being told by the state to use the pronoun “ze” for transgender people. He said if someone asked him to use it for them, he’s a polite guy and he’d do it. But when the state tells you what to say, the state has crossed the line into forced speech.

Reason 3. Peterson is a force because he’s also damn good at getting his message across. He uses our most important stories, drawing from history, psychology, neuroscience, mythology, poetry and the Bible to explain his thinking.

The man described as an “ardent prairie preacher” grew up in the small town of Fairview, Alberta, watched some of his friends succeed while others ended up drug addicts. He spent years searching for answers to big questions such as what makes life more meaningful and, going back a step, why meaning even matters.

His 12 Rules book, extracted in Inquirer earlier this month, sprang from an online free-for-all forum called Quora, where anyone could ask questions and provide answers. His answers attracted a huge online crowd, then a curious publisher, and this week his book is topping Amazon’s bestseller list in Australia.

Why storytelling matters calls for a divergence. Last December Jonathan Sachs, a rabbi and member of Britain’s House of Lords, said we need an army to defend a country. And to defend our civilisation we need a conversation between generations. “We need to teach our children the story of which we and they are a part, and we need to trust them to go further than we did, when they come to write their own chapter,” he said.

This is not woolly idealism, Sachs said. “It’s hard-headed pragmatism.” Understanding our own story, our history, where we went wrong and what we got right, allows children to face the challenges and the chaos of a rapidly changing world. “We need to give our children an internalised moral satellite navigation system so that they can find their way across the undiscovered country called the future,” he said.

Peterson is a navigation system with a twangy Canadian accent, trying to direct us towards meaning. Wrong way, go back, he’ll tell you when you’re heading down a dead-end street.

Reason 4. Peterson is secretly feared by utopians on the left. Life is full of unexpected and unavoidable suffering, he says. We get sick, we get betrayed, we lose jobs and friends and a sense of order. Get used to it. Deal with it.

This starting premise is where he departs so spectacularly from cultural Marxists. The utopian imaginings of socialism and communism created great suffering. So stop dreaming, Peterson says, accept that life can be hard. Accept, too, that each of us is capable of being monstrous and marvellous in all our human complexity. And make choices about that. Accept individual responsibility.

Start by standing up straight because it can “encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence”. If people around you see you as strong and capable and calm, you might too — and vice versa.

Face your problems with honesty, he says. Choose friends who are good for you. Pursue what’s meaningful rather than what’s expedient. It’s the kind of advice given a generation ago when people talked more about responsibilities than rights and parents warned their children that life is tough. Today it offends our rights culture, not to mention our mollycoddling parenting. So three cheers for common sense from this Canadian disrupter.

Reason 5. Get your own house in order before you start lecturing others or presuming to know how to fix other problems. Peterson’s message is a direct challenge to two particularly rank strains of modernity: victimhood and virtue-signalling. Both are cop-outs. Much harder, and more important, says Peterson, is to fix what you can at home because if we all did this there would be fewer victims and less misery in the world.

Reason 6. Men need to grow the hell up, he says. A whiny guy who blames others for his poor life choices is of no use to himself, no use to women, no use to children and no use to a world that has prospered from those who take responsibility. A boy who never grows up can’t possibly deal with the periods of chaos we all must face. And parents shouldn’t bother children when they’re skateboarding, meaning let them take risks so they can manage them as adults.

Maybe now you’re seeing why the mild-mannered Canadian psychologist is attracting brickbats and bouquets.

Those living in a women’s studies world can’t bear him and wail about him entrenching the patriarchy. Men especially want to listen to him, and plenty of women, to be fair, because he makes a reasoned case, based on evolutionary science and evidence, for men to be men, in all their masculine complexity. The “patriarchy” hasn’t hampered human progress, he says, but helped it.

Peterson, who is the only member of his department to maintain a clinical practice, draws on his work with patients when he says that being “agreeable” doesn’t drive achievement. Instead, it’s being assertive, even aggressive.

And there’s this. He said recently he has figured out how to monetise social justice warriors. The more they scream and go crazy over what he says, the more money he makes.

They just keep feeding him material to work with and he’s making a motza each month from a crowdsourcing fund that pays for his YouTube videos.

If this information leads some of them to change their tune, it will mean they have listened after all.



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, February 25, 2018

Race/ethnicity and criminal behavior: Neurohormonal influences

This is an amazingly "incorrect" paper.  It is no wonder that the author is semi-retired. In plain words, what he shows is that blacks are hormonally different and that makes them more criminal

Lee Ellis


Evolutionary neuroandrogenic (ENA) theory asserts that brain exposed to androgens plus the brain's ability to learn accounts for most of the sex and age variations in criminal behavior. Here, the theory is extended to explain race/ethnic variations in offending. The article documents that among seven different racial/ethnic groups, blacks have the highest and East Asians have the lowest criminal involvement. Strictly social environmental explanations for race/ethnic differences in criminality appear to be inadequate for explaining these differences. Two main elements of ENA theory are offered in the present context: (a) criminal behavior is promoted by exposing the brain to testosterone and other androgens. (b) rapid postpubertal declines in offending depend heavily on learning ability. Ten lines of evidence concerning average racial/ethnic variations in androgen exposure are reviewed, and four lines of evidence of racial/ethnic differences in learning ability are reviewed. With some exceptions and qualifications, currently-available evidence seems to support the idea that racial/ethnic variations in offending could be at least partially explained by ENA theory. Closing comments are offered to suggest that biosocial approaches to the study of racial/ethnic variations in criminal behavior can help to supplement strictly social environmental theories in criminology


For over a century, scholars have struggled to explain racial and ethnic differences in criminal behavior (reviewed by Gabbidon, 2015; McNulty & Bellair, 2003). In just the past five years, eight scholarly books have been published dedicated to this topic (Barak, Leighton, & Cotton, 2014; Delgado & Stefancic, 2012; Gabbidon, 2015; Glynn, 2013; KaluntaCrumpton, 2012; Rowe, 2012; Unnever & Gabbidon, 2011; Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2011). And, in a fairly recent presidential address to the American Society of Criminology, Peterson (2012, p. 303) called for “placing race and ethnicity at the center of the study of crime and justice”.

As will be shown, nearly all past and contemporary explanations for racial/ethnic variations in criminal behavior consider only social environmental variables as relevant. The present article proposes that the inclusion of neurohormonal variables along with learning ability and sociocultural variables can provide a more complete explanation for the race/ethnic differences in offending that have been documented.


Out with "nation of immigrants" and "customers," in with "lawful system" and "protecting Americans."

“America First” has been President Donald Trump’s message from the beginning, and it’s what resonated with so many voters tired of Democrats putting Americans last. Trump’s message isn’t just a slogan — it’s now part of the mission statement of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Out with the old: “USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”

And in with the new: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”

In a memo explaining the change, USCIS Director Lee Cissna wrote, “We are … responsible for ensuring that those who naturalize are dedicated to this country, share our values, assimilate into our communities, and understand their responsibility to help preserve our freedom and liberty.” That’s what U.S. immigration policy should be all about. Americans, by and large, have always welcomed immigrants who love this country and want to make it and themselves better. The problematic ones come in illegally, commit other crimes and create an economic drain by demanding services they don’t pay for. How hard is it to tell the difference when discussing policy? Impossible if you’re a demagoguing Democrat.

In related news, as we reported in January, California is now a “sanctuary” state because Democrats there put illegal aliens first. Trump fired a shot across the bow yesterday, saying the situation is “a disgrace” and that he’d even consider pulling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) out of the state. “If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,' in two months they’d be begging for us to come back,” the president said. “And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.” To be sure, this is far more likely Trumpian hyperbole meant to make a point than it is his actual policy recommendation. But it sure does make that point, does it not?

It’s pretty simple, really. Trump puts America first and Democrats don’t.


‘Dictator,’ ‘Idiot’: Tempers Flare Over Hungary’s Anti-Migrant Campaign

Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, has called his counterpart from Luxembourg an “idiot” who wants to “flood” Europe with migrants, illustrating again a widening rift between the country’s populist government and the liberal European establishment over immigration policies.

Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, had earlier likened Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to a “dictator,” in response to his government’s campaign targeting NGOs that support asylum-seekers.

Asselborn also urged the European Union to punish Hungary by triggering a far-reaching provision of E.U. law that could led to suspension of a member-state’s voting rights.

Responding to the criticism of his government, Szijjarto said in a statement Asselborn had “crossed all possible boundaries” and clearly “hates Hungary.”

Szijjarto charged that Asselborn, who he lumped with the Hungarian-born billionaire philanthropist George Soros, wants to “flood” Europe and Hungary with migrants.

“Jean Asselborn is an idiot, but the Hungarians are not,” he said. “The people of Hungary have no need of the Luxembourgian foreign minister’s crazy ideas to know what’s good for them.”

Szijjarto said the government was working to protect the country’s security while “extremist liberals” like Asselborn and Soros want to demolish Hungary’s security fence. The government erected the barrier along Hungary’s southern border in 2015 to stop a flow of migrants from mostly Mideast and African countries.

The flare-up comes ahead of elections in April which Orbán’s populist Fidesz party is expected to win easily.

In a weekend state of the nation speech, Orbán painted Hungary and its allies as a last line of defense against Muslims wanting to inundate the continent in pursuit of “the conversion of Europe to what it calls the true faith.”

In contrast, “the great old European nations in Western Europe have become immigrant countries,” he said. “Day by day their cultural foundations are being transformed, the population raised in a Christian culture is declining, and the major cities are undergoing Islamization.”

Orbán charged that “politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris” want Hungary to adopt policies which in their own countries “opened the way for the decline of Christian culture and the expansion of Islam.”

Nationalist opposition was coming not just from Hungary, he said, but from its partners in the Visegrad Four group – Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Orbán also suggested that Austria, Croatia and the German state of Bavaria were moving in the right direction and that Italy’s elections next month could bring that country onboard if the party of the populist former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wins.

Orbán’s government accuses Soros of wanting to flood Europe with millions of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. The Hungarian-American financier has denied the allegations, accusing the government of trying to “create an outside enemy,” to divert attention away from issues such as healthcare and education.

A draft bill under consideration, dubbed the “Stop Soros” law, builds on controversial legislation passed last summer that targets NGOs who receive foreign funding.

The earlier legislation is being challenged by the E.U. Commission in the European Court of Justice, but the new proposals go further.

NGOs identified as “supporting migration” would be required to apply for a permit from the interior ministry, a process that could take months. Those determined to pose a “national security risk” could be outlawed.

Any foreign funding determined to be promoting migration would incur a 25 percent tax.

A spokesman for the U.N. human rights apparatus on Friday called the draft law an “assault on human rights” and said the proposed tax would likely lead to reduced budgets,  “thereby undermining NGOs’ ability to carry out their activities and services.”

Szijjarto told reporters on Tuesday that anyone who criticizes the “Stop Soros” bill is questioning the right of the government to take sovereign decisions.

He said NGOs promoting migration and open borders were acting against Hungary’s national security interests, and it was the government’s duty to respond.

A senior official at the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR urged Hungarian lawmakers to reject the proposed bill.

“Seeking asylum is a fundamental human right,” Montserrat Feixas Vihé, UNHCR’s Central Europe regional representative, said in a statement Friday.

“People should have access to seek protection and no one should be punished for helping those who seek asylum.”

The E.U. mechanism which Luxembourg’s Asselborn is recommending that the E.U. institutes against Hungary is Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union.

Sometimes dubbed the “nuclear option,” it provides for suspension of voting rights for a member-state deemed to have committed a “serious and persistent breach” of E.U. norms and values. No country has yet lost its voting rights under the mechanism.

Getting it implemented would be an uphill battle for advocates: it would need to be endorsed by a two-thirds majority in the European Parliament as well as four-fifths of the members of the “European Council,” a group comprising the heads of state of the 28 member-states plus two top E.U. officials.


Comedy Central’s Latest Outburst of Bigotry

Last week we noted how the Comedy Central show, "Corporate," assaulted Christ. That was bad enough, but after we flagged what happened on the February 14 episode, Jake Weisman, co-creator and writer of the show, responded by making incendiary remarks about the Catholic Church on Twitter.

Weisman was so incensed by our decision to report him to Viacom president Robert Bakish (Viacom owns Comedy Central), that he went on an obscene Twitter rampage against me. Personally, I really don't care what he says about me, but I do care about his filthy tirade against Jesus Christ.

The worst of Weisman's tweets was a remark he made about Christ, saying that our Lord "sucked his own d---."

We live in a time when Hollywood is engulfed in one sexual scandal after another, and while this has provoked a responsible pushback, stars like Weisman continue to defile Christ with impunity.

If someone spoke about his mother the way he does about Jesus, he would go ballistic. But maybe I overestimate him—he is so crude that he may not care.

Bakish needs to have someone call this guy in and hold him accountable. To do nothing is to say that when it comes to vile hate speech directed at Christianity, Hollywood is incapable of being shamed.



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, February 23, 2018

Max Hill: An official British ostrich

Britain's terrorism watchdog, Max Hill QC (Queen's Counsel), recently told a parliamentary committee that it is "fundamentally wrong to attach the word 'terrorism' to any of the world religions," and suggested that the term "Daesh-inspired terrorism" should be used instead of "Islamist terrorism" to refer to attacks carried out by Muslims ("Daesh" is the Arabic acronym for ISIS). His recommendation comes despite the fact that Hill himself, whose official title is Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, referred to the "threats from Islamist terrorism" in his first report, released in January.

In that first report, Hill also argued that "what [Islamic terrorists] claim to do in the name of religion is actually born from an absence of real understanding about the nature of the religion they claim to follow."

How impressive that he knows more about their religion than they do, despite the fact that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, received a PhD in Koranic Studies from Saddam University for Islamic Studies in 2007.

Although Hill's statements ostensibly put him at odds with Prime Minister Theresa May, she too has mystifyingly called terrorism "a perversion of Islam."

There are two problems with this expression of political correctness. One is that although the Quran and Sunnah contain inherently contradictory texts, most jihadi leaders and ideologues follow and act upon the most extremist and violent interpretation of them. Therefore, constantly apologizing for the religion is worse than counter-productive: it is incorrect. The other, related, problem is that British policy is forged and implemented on the basis of ideas; so when those ideas stem from a fear of offending Muslims, the policy is necessarily flawed.

In October, for instance, Hill told BBC Radio that Britons "possibly [brainwashed] in their mid-teens... who travelled [to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS] out of a sense of naivety... and return in a sense of utter disillusionment" should be spared prosecution upon their return home.

"Really," Hill said, "we should be looking at reintegration and moving away from any notion that we are going to lose a generation from this."

Meanwhile, also in October, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker delivered a speech in London, during which he talked about the threat of Islamist terrorism. He said that jihadists are increasing the speed at which they plan and carry out attacks, many of which security services have thwarted. In 2017 alone, there were four ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in the UK.

Hill's skirting this issue impairs his ability to carry out his highly important and sensitive role, which is to review terror legislation for the British government and the public. His aim to ban the term "Islamist terrorism" indicates that political correctness is more important to him than strengthening Britain's counter-terrorist efforts.


Art should not have to bow down to political correctness

Grammy and Oscars rows are based on a puritanical idea about the function of artists

To hear many critics tell it, last weekend’s Grammy awards got the pick of winners all wrong. Not because they overlooked deserving performers or tracks on artistic grounds, the kind of complaint you’d expect to be levelled at an event dedicated to the subjective business of judging popular culture. No, the consternation stemmed from the event’s supposed failure to send the correct message about inequality and sexism, particularly during a period of reckoning around sexual harassment.

To many, the decision to award Ed Sheeran the award for best pop solo performance ahead of four female performers – Lady Gaga, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Kesha – was a case in point.

Writing at Splinter, an American news website, one critic described Sheeran’s win as a damning comment on the “music industry’s commitment to highlighting the work of underrepresented and oppressed women”.

Over at Cosmopolitan, another writer lamented that, in a night with few female winners, Sheeran had beaten a field of women with a song containing the refrain “I’m in love with your body”.

Oscars run-up

The run-up to the Oscars has similarly been overshadowed by controversies to do with the political connotations of various nominated films.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, has been singled out for its supposedly “problematic” depiction of race.

In the UK Independent, one commentator complained that the “vitriolic racism” of one character “is not condemned or tackled in the film”. A white, male director such as McDonagh, he continued, should be “sensitive and truthful” when tackling a subject such as racism.

Fintan O’Toole: If theatre is not a safe space, what is left?
Truthful? A prerequisite for a documentary, no doubt, but a work of fiction?

In our current age of warring internet tribes and social media-fuelled outrage, such moral criticism dominates discussions of popular culture.

Barely a day seems to pass without another book or film being taken to task by critics, professional and armchair-rank alike, because it does not conform to a certain world view or brand of politics.

Embedded in these critiques is a curiously old-fashioned and indeed puritanical idea: that art exists only, or at least primarily, for our moral betterment. Forget the local priest or university philosopher professor – the instructions for a good life should be laid out in easy-to-follow steps in your favourite Netflix series or romance novel. To this mindset, it seems, entertaining or engaging the audience is an afterthought at best.

Much as religious censors demanded that art be wholesome in times past, our contemporary moral arbiters reject as impure any narrative, fictional or otherwise that contains even a hint of the “incorrect” politics.

More often than not, this includes anything that doesn’t belong unambiguously on the liberal-left edge of the political spectrum. The sins may have changed, but the underlying impulse to view people as easily-corrupted moral simpletons remains much the same.


While resurgent, the idea of art as a moral guide isn’t new. In fact, it’s literally ancient, fittingly described by a word, “didacticism,” that has its origins in ancient Greek. It’s also an extremely limiting principle on which to moor the creative impulse. By the 19th century, artists had accordingly begun abandoning the notion that art had to function, in the words of literature professor Carolyn Burdett, as “a means of self-improvement or a spur to good works”.

Oscar Wilde, a man who knew a thing or two about puritanism, wrote, in a similar vein, “A work of art is useless as a flower is useless. A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

One doesn’t need to look hard to see the chilling effect on artistic expression that has resulted from applying political purity tests to every facet of popular culture.

Last year, an article in US entertainment outlet Vulture detailed the rise of vitriolic social media campaigns aimed at ensuring that certain “problematic” works of young adult fiction don’t see release. Tellingly, the piece noted that many of those leading the charge against texts that “engage improperly with race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and other marginalisations” had never read them.

The artistic realm is surely the very place where contentious, dubious or even blatantly offensive ideas and scenarios can be explored without harm. Since when does a depiction constitute an endorsement of real-world behaviour?

Micro-parsing everything we watch, listen to and read for its moral connotations is a recipe for dull, staid art. Worse, it risks making us all dull people, too.


Steven Pinker at Davos: excessive political correctness feeds radical ideas

At the January 25th panel of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Steven Pinker, popular science author and cognitive psychologist who teaches at Harvard University, made the case that political correctness may be responsible for feeding some of the most odious ideas out there, developed by tech-oriented loners who grow such thinking in isolation from the mainstream discussion.

Pinker pointed out that by treating certain facts as taboo, political correctness helped “stoke” the alt-right by “giving them the sense that there were truths the academic establishment could not face up to.” He said the alt-right feeds on overzealous political correctness, pushing back with wrong-headed ideas that develop in their own bubbles - ideas on differences between the genders or capitalist and communist countries or things like crime statistics among ethnic groups.

Pinker thinks all discussion should be in the open so the bad ideas can be weeded out instead of inadvertently fueling movements like the alt-right and making them grow.

“If those beliefs are allowed to fester in isolation,” said Pinker, then people who hold them can “descend into the most toxic interpretations” of them. If such beliefs were in the open, then “they can be countered by arguments that put them in perspective that don’t allow them to become fodder for some of the more toxic beliefs of the alt-right”.

Pinker also argued that members of the alt-right are not necessarily all torch-carrying “knuckle-dragging brutes,” but often quite intelligent and literate, with some studying at Harvard University. He does think they “stay under the radar,” afraid of being put in professional jeopardy.

The professor related the story how at a previous panel held at Harvard University, he expressed such thoughts and immediately became praised by the alt-right for supposedly supporting their views, while being blamed by the left for somehow giving the alt-right cover. Of course, no such thing really happened as Pinker’s thoughts were grossly misrepresented by the opportunistic alt-right websites. But the incident illustrated how quickly even the meta discussion of political correctness was attacked by the “political correctness police” who distorted his views and misdirected the discussion.

Should there be some views that are taboo and that cannot be legitimized through discussion? Pinker thinks we should be “mindful of excessive taboos” on opinions because the demonization could “backfire by sapping the credibility” of academics and journalists, especially when discussing certain topics that are self-evident to many people. This can only help poisonous opinions grow.

Pinker explained that this problem extends further because it can make the knowledge offered by academia and experts less legitimate. If there are some opinions that are squashed and proper debate is not allowed, then who is to say that the bigger claims from the experts like climate change should be trusted?

“If only certain hypotheses can be discussed, there’s just no way that you can understand the world because no one a priori knows the truth. It’s only by putting hypotheses out there and evaluating them that you can hope to increase your knowledge about the world,” said Pinker.

Pinker warned against “left-wing orthodoxy” as much as any radical movement from the right, because there has to be a “range of opinions” to preserve the credibility of academia and journalism.

He also proposed that students are not necessarily more intolerant today towards dissenting opinions. The students in the 60s were much the same in their practices. “Free speech is highly unintuitive,” remarked the author.

"Everyone understands why there should be free speech for themselves. The idea that there should be free speech for people that you disagree with is a major accomplishment of the Enlightenment and one of the things America should be proud of,” pointed out Pinker.

He elaborated that the idea of free speech in a way goes against human nature and always deserves fighting for. This is why the rationale for free speech needs to be articulated and people need to be reminded that the principle is important for our society.

“Human beings are highly fallible," proposed Pinker. "Most of the things we think are right, history will show to be wrong. A lot of human progress was advanced when people voiced heterodox opinions in the face of opposition.”

Our world today has features, like improved civil rights, that were banned just recently, pointed out the professor. And many of these changes that we experienced in our society began as opposition voices that were allowed to be heard under the commitment to free speech. For that reason, it's important to not sink into tribalism or make free speech “an alt-right issue."

He also cautioned that societies which enforce their version of political correctness are often the ones experiencing a “descent into totalitarianism.” Just look at Soviet Russia, Maoist China, and Nazi Germany. They all began by criminalizing speech, said Pinker.


Whither political correctness?

A striking illustration of lunacy perpetrated in the name of political correctness is the banning by some US cities of two classic American novels, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, from their schools.

The first novel describes a principled white lawyer fighting a losing battle for the life of a colored man wrongly accused of murdering a white woman, and Mark Twain’s story tells of two boys, one white and one black, who run away together, and the white boy’s affirmation of friendship over racial discrimination.

It does not require a bachelor’s degree in literature to grasp that these books are two of the most forceful and dramatic arguments against racial discrimination.

Beautifully and, in the Harper Lee novel, heart-wrenchingly written, one does not have to search for a hidden message to understand that these powerful writers bent their creative skills to making people understand that the dignity of the human being is blind to color and race.

That the ban on these books should be praised by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) makes me wonder whether the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

What do the burgomeisters of the cities issuing these proscriptions imagine is the meaning of a free world?

It is bad enough that university students in Hong Kong think it is acceptable to shout down a speaker with whose opinions they disagree, forgetting that for free speech to have legitimacy it must apply across the board.

It used to be that civilized communities were based on consideration for others, in every form of social intercourse

What is meant by political correctness? It does not help that the very concept is highly subjective. From where does it spring?

May I respectfully suggest that at bottom, it is a question of good manners. Before Donald Trump erupted on to the scene, there was an almost universal norm of accepted behavior. Quite distinct from criminal behavior, it was not permitted to insult people for no good reason or describe people in derogatory terms just for the sheer hell of it.

It used to be that civilized communities were based on consideration for others, in every form of social intercourse.

When societies experienced discriminatory practices, it became necessary for those discriminated against to take a public stand against such practices. Inevitably, some of those advocating non-discrimination expressed themselves in a manner that offended parts of those societies. In so doing, these overzealous advocates alienated part of the community they wanted to win over, leading to a backlash.

Again, each situation had to be looked at through the prism of those discriminated against, and where the discriminators were themselves excessively vocal, it required equal emphasis to overcome it. Thus the oppression of America’s black communities demanded powerful advocates. But it was voices of reason like Dr Martin Luther King who achieved the results, rather than those of the Black Panthers and their ilk.

The quest for equal opportunities and rewards for women is an ongoing evolution, but it is not strident feminism that wins the day but the reasoned professionalism of successful women that will succeed eventually.

Underlying all these movements are fundamental principles that the liberal Western democracies recognize as givens.

At its heart, the battle against discriminatory practices is a quest for balance in society. It is no less true for being trite that moderation in most things is to be preferred.

If a rabid Christian sets fire to a mosque, that is no cause to blackguard all Christians any more than condemning all Muslims for an attack on a church. This leads to blind, indiscriminate hatred and anarchy.

Humor is a particularly interesting area in the context of political correctness.

John Cleese has gone on record asserting that only humor that is intentionally hurtful should be considered politically incorrect. Think of the countless jokes that Englishmen tell about Irishmen, Jews tell about Gentiles, indeed the whole cornucopia of jokes that involve one nationality poking fun at the idiosyncrasies of another. Unless they are manifestly cruel, why can there not be an equality of humor by one race at the expense of another?

Or are we to live in a world where only Chinese can tell jokes about Chinese and only Irishmen can tell jokes about the Irish?

It is both sad and mad to see students at universities, places where people go to have their minds opened, to learn to think and reason, insisting on statues of historical figures being removed lest the students’ sensitivities be offended.

Historical figures have to be viewed through the lens of the norms of civilization of their time, not with eyes that no longer see or understand the complexities of the age in which they lived and achieved pre-eminence. Oliver Cromwell was responsible for beheading King Charles I, but Cromwell’s statue still stands, albeit in a ditch. It is historical fact and if we allow others to select what parts of history accords with their current philosophy, we will never learn from history.

In a world whose principles and priorities are being thrown into such turbulence, it is even more important for children to have the opportunity to have their minds opened to the events of the past.

Political correctness, improperly applied, is the greatest threat to our civilization.



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


Thursday, February 22, 2018

ABC Pays the Price After Joy Behar Attacks Christianity on ’The View’

“The View” co-host Joy Behar’s comparison of Christianity to a mental illness on last Tuesday’s program has prompted over 25,000 calls to flood into the ABC network in protest.

The Media Research Center watchdog group reported that this tally had come in as of Monday morning.

The segment where Behar made the comparison centered around a back-and-forth regarding Vice President Mike Pence’s faith, based on some recent comments made by former White House staff Omarosa Manigault.

“He’s extreme,” Manigault told Vanity Fair. “I’m Christian. I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. And I’m like, ‘Jesus ain’t say that.’”

First, co-host Sunny Hostin observed, “I think what’s interesting is she says that Jesus tells Mike Pence things to say.”

“When you have a Mike Pence that now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we’re in a dangerous situation,” she added. “Look I’m Catholic. I’m a faithful person, but I don’t know that I want my vice president, um — speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”

Behar chimed in, joking, “Like I said before, it’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.”

“Exactly. That’s different,” Hostin replied.

“That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices,” said Behar.

The Bible, in fact, records in the Gospel of John that Jesus said regarding born-again believers, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

He further described Himself as a good shepherd, “And when (a good shepherd) brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Pence responded to Behar’s put down of his faith in an interview that aired on Fox & Friends on Monday.

Host Ainsley Earhardt asked the vice president, “Is it hypocrisy that Liberals, Democrats, mainstream media, they preach tolerance, but yet when someone wants to be a Christian and says that God speaks to them, they have a problem with that?”

Pence responded that he is used to criticism, “But when I heard that ABC had a program that likened my Christianity to mental illness, I just couldn’t be silent.”

He continued, “Look, my Christian faith is probably the most important thing in my life. I do try and start every day reading the Bible. My wife and I try and have a prayer together before I leave the house every morning. But I do think I’m a very typical American.”

 “I think (Behar’s comment) is evidence of how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people,” Pence stated.


Clarence Thomas Decries Victimhood Culture in Rare Public Remarks

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas decried the contemporary culture of victimhood during public remarks, telling an audience at the Library of Congress that constant aggrievement would exhaust the country.

Ever a touchstone for controversy on racial issues, Thomas related a story from a recent trip to Kansas, where a black college student told him she was primarily interested in school work, and less interested in the political tumult gripping college campuses.

“At some point we’re going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim,” the justice said Thursday at the library event.

Thomas has struck similar chords throughout his public life. He appeared on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program in November 2017, and suggested contemporary activists could learn from the example of his grandparents, who exhibited quiet fortitude during the heady days of white supremacy.

He made his remark last week in the context of a broader discussion about his childhood. Thomas was born in Georgia’s coastal lowlands among impoverished Gullah speakers, and spent his childhood working his grandfather’s farm. He likened his upbringing to Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel “The Help” as most of the women in his life, including his mother, were domestics in white households.

Given the few options open to blacks in the Jim Crow South, Thomas’ family felt they had no choice but to do the best with what they had. The justice detects the hand of providence in those select opportunities open to him, like parochial education and Savannah’s Carnegie Library, which served the black population.

“You always have to play the hand you’re dealt,” he said. “If you’re dealt a bad hand, you still have to play it.”

As detailed in his 2008 memoir, Thomas inherited these sensibilities from his grandfather. The future Supreme Court justice was sent to live with his grandparents after a fire ravaged his mother’s home during his childhood.

By Thomas’ telling, his grandfather was the defining figure of his life. When he joined the Supreme Court in 1991, his wife commissioned a bust featuring his grandfather’s favorite quote.

“His favorite quote was, ‘Old Man Can’t is dead. I helped bury him,’” Thomas said.


The Anti-Religious Agenda Behind Gun Control

Leftists continue their hostile denial that Christian morals have anything to do with solving "gun violence."

After every mass shooting, America succumbs to recycling the same old tropes, a process that inevitably devolves into social media attacks, public shouting matches, vitriol and polarization. The subject, regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, always ends up revolving around guns because even those who believe there are evil outside forces at work when mass shooters commit their carnage are faced with dispelling the shortsighted and erroneous notion propagated by the Left — namely, that the culprit is guns.

To be fair, Democrats occasionally concede that cultural depravity is partially to blame. Even Barack Obama admitted that the lack of fatherhood and family structure affects cultural norms. For example, in June 2010, he declared, “I can’t legislate fatherhood — I can’t force anybody to love a child. But what we can do is send a clear message to our fathers that there is no excuse for failing to meet their obligations.” And in May 2013, during his commencement address at Morehouse College, he observed, “Everything else is unfulfilled if we fail at family, if we fail at that responsibility.”

But that’s about as far as most Democrats are willing to go. And most are certainly not willing to even touch on any spiritual angle, though in some ways, the opposite is true — naysayers have increasingly berated conservatives for invoking God. To put it another way, while leftists will admit that fatherhood is important, they don’t want to acknowledge that every human needs a father figure in the form of Christ. What used to be a bipartisan call for “thoughts and prayers” upon news of a shooting is now extreme anger and agitation toward people who yearn for providential peace and healing.

Just consider the invective Keith Olbermann spewed at Paul Ryan after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas: “Speaker Ryan, bluntly: shove your prayers up your a— AND DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE BESIDES PLATITUDES AND POWER GRABS.” Or the mockery from Neil deGrasse Tyson after last week’s shooting: “Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children.”

The Left’s plea for gun control stems largely from its refusal to acknowledge the connection between cultural depravity and America’s throwing away Christianity. The reason organizations like the Freedom From Religious Foundation are so successful is because too many Americans share the view that God is either nonexistent or is ill-suited to fulfill our idea of what faith demands.

Pornography has been mainstream for decades now, and the consequence is that women are utterly objectified, not respected, and the hostility it creates toward them is burgeoning. But that doesn’t mean the industry is going anywhere — the demand for it is too strong. Moreover, much as guns are blamed for mass shootings, “toxic masculinity” is blamed for the objectification of women.

Both America’s long relationship with guns and “toxic masculinity” are scapegoats the Left uses because it objects to moral changes. On the issue of gun control, for all the talk of how conservatives don’t offer ideas to curb violence, the truth is that we do; they’re just meaningful and religious-oriented ones leftists reject.

The Second Amendment, like other rights codified in our Constitution, is inalienable. And that’s another problem leftists have with it. They hate the idea of a “God-given right.” They believe the government is god and, therefore, should have the authority to dictate our rights. To do otherwise exhibits certitude toward a higher authority.

If America wants to see an end to mass shootings, it’s literally impossible to do so without a return to the moral standard set forth through Christianity. Most leftists believe in a lot of coincidences — the big bang, for example — and their argument against guns implies that the lack of mass shootings before God was stripped from schools is also coincidental. In reality, it’s the unavoidable outcome of engendering a godless society. Our national discussion must take on and rebut the secular approach to stop the bloodshed. Otherwise, our rights will continue to be undermined with absolutely nothing to show for it.


Christian Schools Australia defends right to hire and fire teachers over beliefs

Schools must retain the ability to hire and fire teachers and other staff based on their beliefs and adherence to religious codes, Christian Schools Australia has said.

It also called for “the right to select students”, including to eject them from a school community, in a joint submission with Adventist Schools Australia to the Ruddock religious freedom review.

During the marriage law postal survey campaign the Catholic church threatened to sack gay teachers, nurses and other staff if they engaged in civil same-sex weddings in breach of church doctrine.

Submissions from LGBTI organisations and Amnesty International called for a repeal or narrowing of religious exemptions to discrimination law, which the Rationalist Society called an example of “religious privilege”.

Christian Schools Australia warned that “removing the ability of Christian schools to employ staff who share the school’s values and beliefs would undermine the essential nature of the school”.

“If freedom of religion is to remain a legitimate hallmark of Australian education then the rights of school communities to operate in accordance with religious beliefs must be upheld.

“This must include the right to choose all staff based on their belief in, and adherence to, the beliefs, tenets and doctrines of the religion concerned.”

CSA proposed giving schools a power to choose staff by defining it as a legal form of “differentiation”, rather than merely an exemption to discrimination law.

It warned that existing exemptions were “narrow in scope” and did not necessarily allow religious organisations to deny their services or facilities based on belief nor to “separate from families” when their values did not accord with the school’s.

CSA took aim at Queensland’s anti-discrimination laws, which require that a religious objection must be an “inherent requirement” of the religion, and staff can only be discriminated against if they “openly act” in contravention of religious beliefs.

It warned that meant schools could not take any action against staff who “may have a fundamentally antithetical faith position” to the school.

Staff leading a “double life” undermines their duty of fidelity and good faith to the school and was a form of “duplicity and deceit” that was “not in anybody’s interests”, it said.

The CSA called for the creation of a new religious freedom commissioner in the Australian Human Rights Commission and for protections that mirror the amendments in the conservative Paterson same-sex marriage bill, including to guarantee free speech about what a marriage is and to secure religious organisations’ charitable status.

The National Council of Churches in Australia, in a submission written by its president, the Melbourne Anglican bishop Philip Huggins, said the right to freedom of religion was “in reasonable shape” in Australia.

But the submission said religious people had been subjected to more “verbal and physical abuse”, including Christians who supported the “no” case in the postal survey – which it compared to the abuse of Muslims after the 11 September terrorist attacks.

The NCCA recommended that the government consult about the benefits of a human rights bill and suggested a review of school curricula to counter “a growing level of religious ignorance in the Australian population”.

The LGBTI rights group Just Equal called for the abolition of all laws that allow discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

“This includes those provisions that allow discrimination and vilification by religious individuals and faith-based organisations such as schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and aged care facilities,” it said.

The Rationalist Society, which advocates for secularism, accused religious groups of seeking an “unfettered right to manifest [their] beliefs, even if this involves breaching the fundamental rights of others”.

A permanent, belief-based exemption to discrimination law “promotes and entrenches traditional prejudice and harm against women and LGBTI communities”, it said.

Amnesty International suggested a prohibition on religious vilification and the removal of an exemption that allows civil marriage celebrants who profess a religious faith to refuse to solemnise a marriage on religious grounds.

Amnesty International recommended that religious organisations, including educational institutions, in receipt of public funding be prohibited from “discriminating in the provision of those services in ways that would otherwise be unlawful”.

In January the deputy Labor leader, Tanya Plibersek, said Labor had “no plans … at the moment” to change discrimination law exemptions but downplayed the likelihood religious schools would sack staff over sexuality.

In November a Baptist school in Rockingham, Western Australia, sacked a relief teacher who revealed his sexuality in a Facebook post.



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