Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Charles C Johnson has found a home

If I have got the right Johnson, he started blogging about the same time I did and he at first made some good points.  He eventually drifted off into what I and other conservative bloggers saw as more Leftist territory -- so most of us lost interest in him at that time. 

He does however seem at home with the Trump message and is undoubtedly bright.  The article below tries to discredit him but only lays a glove on him when it says he was a holocaust denier.  It appears however that he was only questioning the numbers involved.  Anyone who is fully aware of the issue knows that the 6 million figure is only a rough estimate but we also accept it as a "good enough" estimate

Basically, Johnson seems to be a clever stirrer rather than a persuader so that will surely limit his future in politics

 Charles C. Johnson, one of the country’s most notorious Internet trolls, sank into a plush couch in the lobby of the soaring Trump Hotel here on a recent afternoon, sipping a jasmine green tea while chatting with a top staffer at a pro-Trump super PAC.

He’d just attended the State of the Union address as the guest of a congressman from Florida, garnering national attention, and was squeezing in some meetings at Washington’s new clubhouse for the powerful before heading back to Los Angeles to spend time with his wife and infant daughter.

It’s a stunning scene given that, during any normal era in American politics, Johnson, a 29-year-old Massachusetts native, would be radioactive — the kind of person who could end a political career by just appearing in a photo with an aspiring lawmaker.

He’s argued that black people are “dumber” than white people, questioned whether 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, was banned from Twitter for threatening a Black Lives Matter activist, and posed making a white power sign while standing next to white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.

But now he’s managed to secure himself a foothold not far from the center of influence in Washington, taking advantage of the new anything-goes environment to win sit-downs with political leaders. Johnson’s rise to prominence is a case study in the empowerment of the so-called alt-right, the white nationalist movement that has gained mainstream currency in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election.

He’s met with Trump’s interior secretary to discuss a border wall, huddled with Julian Assange and a Republican congressman on a jaunt to London, and written an article on his conspiracy-focused website, GotNews.com, that has landed on the president’s desk.

What’s also surprising is how he traces his extreme views, and his knack for grabbing headlines, to his education at Milton Academy, the exclusive prep school outside Boston, where he was a lonely conservative voice known for provoking outrage online and in person.

Like the influential Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who says his far-right worldview stemmed from being an outcast at liberal Santa Monica High School, Johnson says his views were shaped in opposition to wealthy, liberal Milton — a place where he sought acceptance but felt rejection.

In Trump, Johnson says he has found a leader he respects and wants to emulate, someone he might have looked up to when he was a downcast teen at Milton.

“He’s very aggressive and he’s very alpha male. But he’s also having fun,” Johnson said in a recent interview. “Trump is the kind of person I’d want to be. He goes in front of crowds with tens of thousands of people. Jokes around and has a good time.”

And with Trump in power, Johnson feels included.

“He enlists people in this cause,” Johnson said. “It’s very deliberate. He has a way of inviting people to join him.”

The oldest of three children of a high school history teacher and the owner of a small import gift business, Johnson was born in Dorchester and moved to Milton when he was about 6.

He said his parents wanted to keep their children in Milton public schools. But Johnson had his heart set on Milton Academy, the elite school founded in 1798 whose graduates include former governor Deval Patrick and the late senator Edward M. Kennedy. So Johnson’s parents secured a scholarship to enroll their son as a day student, he said.

At Milton, Johnson was constantly challenging his classmates’ beliefs about abortion, affirmative action, and other highly charged issues.

“He was definitely polemical, and he liked to press people’s buttons,” said Matthew Boyle, a fellow member of the class of 2007, who was co-president with Johnson of the Young Republicans Club. “I used to tell him, ‘God, let it go. You’re not going to convince people.’ But that wasn’t what he did at all.”

Johnson also got into trouble for hosting an online discussion about controversial comments made by former US education secretary William J. Bennett, who said crime rates would drop if doctors were to “abort every black baby in this country.”

Johnson said that he was merely trying to start a conversation about Bennett’s comments and never endorsed them. Nonetheless, a firestorm erupted, and the school shut down the online discussion board and canceled classes so students could attend an assembly on racial issues.

Johnson sought out some of the famous people who came to speak at Milton [school] and cultivated relationships with them — including Alan M. Dershowitz, now a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and a frequent Trump defender on cable news.

Dershowitz confirmed he first met Johnson when he spoke at Milton, where his daughter was a student. After Dershowitz delivered a talk on civil liberties in the gymnasium, a red-headed 16-year-old with glasses who had been sitting in the audience suddenly pounced.

“Charlie Johnson asked me an extremely critical, difficult question, very negative, and kind of hostile,” Dershowitz said. “He was kind of rude. The teachers looked at him because he was treating me as an equal, which I felt very comfortable with, but the school didn’t.”

Although he can’t recall Johnson’s question, Dershowitz said the two had a “good discussion” and Johnson approached him after the talk.

“He came over to me and said, ‘You know, you’re one of the first liberals who has ever taken me seriously and answered my question. I’d love to work for you one summer,’ ” Dershowitz said. “So I hired him.”

Johnson became one of Dershowitz’s summer research assistants, a position that allowed the high school student to spar with the famously pugilistic attorney five decades his senior.

The two still talk once or twice a year when Johnson calls for advice, Dershowitz said, and they last saw one another about three months ago outside the Fox News building in New York, as Dershowitz was headed in for an interview.

“It seems to me he hasn’t changed much,” Dershowitz said. “He’s a provocateur — very smart, very opinionated, and he was that way when he was 16.”

Johnson cemented a reputation as an Internet troll when Rolling Stone published an inaccurate account of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia in November 2014. Johnson publicly named the accuser in the case after taunting her on social media. He turned out to be right that the rape wasn’t substantiated, but it wasn’t a total victory. At one point, Johnson posted a photograph of someone he believed was the victim, but it was actually somebody else.

In 2015, he was banned from Twitter for asking his followers to help him “take out DeRay McKesson,” a Black Lives Matter activist.

None of this bars him from trying to cozy up to power in Trump’s Washington. And Johnson feels he can contribute to the administration by helping Trump win funding to build the border wall.

“I do everything I can to support his agenda,” Johnson said. “He has changed the game in how politics is done. It’s deeply entertaining.”

Johnson says he believes the Nazis had a systematic program to kill Jews. But he’s offered a number of different opinions about the number of Jews killed.

“I think the Red Cross numbers of 250,000 dead in the camps from typhus are more realistic” he wrote on Reddit.

In an interview with the Globe, he gave another answer.

“It’s probably like 3 to 4 [million],” Johnson said. “Somewhere in there. It was a war. And people were not keeping detailed records.”

In a demonstration of how flexible his views can be (another hallmark of Trump’s Washington), Johnson said his thinking on the matter has evolved further. He said this week that he has “new information” that’s led him to believe the 6 million figure, after all.


"A society dominated by a victim mentality cannot flourish for long."

I actually read a non-politically correct piece at Psychology Today about the rise of Jordon Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The author makes good points about why Peterson's work is so important:

There is a decent chance, of course, that you still haven’t heard of Jordan Peterson. After all, the general public doesn’t get as excited about psychology professors as they do about the solar eclipse, the Super Bowl or President Trump. But if you care about psychology, especially the way it’s influencing education, culture, politics, history and general mental health, do a search on Jordan Peterson. You will discover that he is currently the most sought-after psychologist in the world. He went viral not only in cyberspace, a “relatively” easy accomplishment, but also in the concrete worlds of print and TV....

Why Peterson’s time has come

"In my previous article, I noted that society tends to correct itself when it goes in a destructive direction for too long, and that we are now in the early throes of this correction.

With the admirable intention of creating a society in which no one feels offended by anyone else, academic psychology has been campaigning for the noble-sounding but nebulous goal of “social justice,” based upon left-wing political ideology rather than upon science and well-established wisdom. Academia has become increasingly oppressive, shaming into silence anyone who dares to defy its left-wing political agenda and denying faculty positions to anyone who expresses conservative sentiments.[2]

It has successfully fought for laws, most notably anti-bullying laws, that undermine the precious right to freedom of speech, define as hate speech any utterance that doesn’t conform to official diversity etiquette, and require schools and other organizations to apprehend and punish anyone that displays insufficient sensitivity. Unfortunately, one area of diversity academia stopped championing is diversity of opinion.

A few decades of teaching children that no one is permitted to hurt their feelings, and that it is society’s responsibility to protect them from each other and to punish anyone who upsets them, has produced a generation of what I’ve been calling “emotional marshmallows” and others like Peterson and Jonathan Haidt have been calling “snowflakes.” Our young adults have learned to think like victims, blaming others for their difficulties rather than taking personal responsibility for their feelings and problems. They have learned that it’s legitimate to denounce as “bullies” – and even to physically attack – anyone who dares to challenge their beliefs. It’s even become mainstream to express the wish to have bullies killed.[3]

A society dominated by a victim mentality cannot flourish for long. While its citizens may feel comforted by laws that protect their feelings and by the belief that they are not responsible for either their misery or for ending it, their chances for achieving successful, happy lives are eroded."

And this is the social soil that has become ripe for someone like Jordan Peterson. The massive support he gets from young adults – especially males – is an indication of their hunger for truth and responsibility. Feeding them with good science and wisdom of the ages, he dispels the irrational, counterproductive beliefs with which they have been inculcated and provides them with instructions for taking charge of their lives. His teachings offer salvation not only for individuals but also for society as a whole.

Let's hope that we are in the throes of a correction of the victim mentality that has caused so many to become weak, fragile and downright mean. Peterson's work and popularity shows that it is possible.


UK Midwife Forced Out for Refusing Abortion Participation

Religious and pro-life doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are under increasing threat of being forced to choose between their careers and not committing what they consider to be grievous sin or otherwise violating their consciences:

A Victoria, Australia MD was punished for refusing to perform or refer for a sex selection abortion in contravention of a law requiring all doctors to abort or refer on request.

A Swedish midwife was forced out of her career for refusing to participate in abortion.

An Ontario court has ruled that all MDs must either euthanize legally qualified patients who ask to be killed or refer to a doctor they know will do the deed–meaning forced complicity in homicide.

The usual suspects howled when the Trump HHS gave notice that it intends to reverse Obama priorities and emphasize protecting medical conscience in the enforcement of existing law.

The ACLU has sued several hospitals for refusing to violate the Church’s moral teachings at the institutions.

Some of the world’s foremost bioethicists writing in the most prestigious medical and bioethical journals advocate shattering medical conscience rights.

And now in the UK, an experienced midwife has gone public in support of conscience rights by discussing how she was forced out of her profession for refusing to violate her Catholic faith by supervising the performance of abortions. From the Daily Mail story:

It was in 2014, after a gruelling six-year battle that had taken Mary, now 63, and a fellow midwife, Connie Wood, all the way to the Supreme Court in London that they finally lost their case.

The judgment effectively decreed that while midwives can opt out of ‘frontline’ abortion work, those in senior positions — like Mary and Connie — still have to supervise

The ruling overturned an earlier decision, in an Edinburgh court, which supported the women’s claim that they were ‘conscientious objectors’. 

As the law now stood, they could be disciplined for refusing to take part. So, having delivered some 5,000 babies over three decades in a job she adored, Mary felt she had no choice but to take early retirement.

So, an experienced professional who has delivered thousands of babies can deliver them no more, nor mentor younger colleagues, because she refuses to help kill the unborn.

I call this phenomenon “medical martyrdom.” It is so wrong. Here’s the thing: Very powerful forces want to drive people who refuse to violate their religious faith, Hippocratic Oath beliefs, and/or pro-life principles out of medicine–but note, not those who for reasons of conscience, refuse to maintain wanted life-extending treatment.


Australian churches and their institutions are generally legally free to hire and fire on religious grounds regardless of anti-discrimination law

The article below by Brian Morris deplores that.  It is said to be based on a Religious Freedom Review submission by NSW barrister, Dean Stretton.  Something has got lost along the way, however, as the article is founded on a belief that is wrong at law. He says "the constitution was framed on secular principles, with the foundational concept of separation between Church and State."

That is utter rubbish.  The separation of church and State is not even in the American constitution, though it has been read into the anti-establishment clause of the 1st amendment.  But nothing like that exists in the Australian case because our head of State, the Queen, is also head of the Church of England.  In her person, the Queen embodies both the church and the State. Try to split that up! So the claim that Australia should be wholly secular is without legal foundation.  It is just the preference  of the writer

And in the end it all comes down to politics.  The churches believe that their mission requires certain freedoms from restrictions and they have the political heft to ensure that they get those freedoms from the politicians.  Enough people believe in freedom of religion to ensure that the politicians go along with it. 

Australians are for the greatest part happily secular but they are not dogmatic about it.  They are happy for AustrAlia to be only partly secular.  "One size fits all" is a great Leftist prescription in the simple-minded tradition of Procrustes but not everybody is trapped in that rigid mindset.  They can allow exceptions to even a generally good rule where circumstances seem to warrant it.

Quite remarkably, a public majority will be unaware of the likely impact of Prime Minister Turnbull’s decision to empower the Religious Freedom Review. Few will grasp its social implications. Some may recall the PM appointing Philip Ruddock to head an ‘expert panel’ to take public submissions on ‘religious freedom’ — and to identify freedoms believed “lost” when same-sex marriage was legalised.

On 31st March, Ruddock will recommend to parliament measures to restore those “lost” freedoms.

For most, this rather solemn-sounding review will be seen simply as one more political committee — with Ruddock sifting through a few submissions to appease Christians, Muslims, and other faiths who continue to feel aggrieved about gay marriage.

But fundamentalists of all faiths see this as a rare opportunity to win new concessions. One has only to view the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) website, with its 15-point rallying cry for devout Christians to swamp the Review with submissions.

Indisputably, religion asserts its current raft of freedoms through exclusive exemptions from Australian law. They are privileges not accessible to the 78 per cent of citizens who believe the constitution was framed on secular principles, with the foundational concept of separation between Church and State.

Under federal law, protection of ‘religious freedom’ and legal exemptions include: the Fair Work Act; Migration Act; Age Discrimination Act; Sex Discrimination Act; Evidence Act; and Section 116 of the Constitution. And religions pay no tax under the Charities Act and Tax Act — based on the sole criterion of “Advancing Religion.” International and State laws double this list of entitlements to all faiths!

Here’s the problem. Religion is now, collectively, one of the largest employers in the nation. Private religious schools currently enrol close to 40 per cent of all children — that alone is a huge workforce. Include, too, all the private hospitals, aged care facilities, employment agencies, charities, shelters, and a raft of commercial enterprises, and the total number of religious employees is staggering.

Church institutions are already free to “hire and fire” on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and marital status. Without question, submissions to the Ruddock Review will call for further entitlements to discriminate in employment in favour of the faithful — the Australian Christian Lobby website makes that clear. The truth is that most of the duties performed are not religious in nature — they are secular.

Ironically, these religious institutions will argue vigorously that it should be illegal to discriminate against them — because of their religious beliefs — but in the same breath insist they should be given further employment entitlements to discriminate against people who do not share those beliefs!

Certainly, it is fair to say many roles within private religious enterprises require training suitable to their ‘mission’. Those engaged in overt religious practice, in pastoral care, theological positions, and for advocacy, will need to meet church criteria. But for the majority of ‘secular’ positions, employment opportunities should not be barred to those who do not meet their strict standards of biblical faith.

It would be wrong for the Religious Freedom Review to extend faith-based exemptions for secular positions in education, health or social services. In fact, exemptions should be wound back for all ‘public services’ run by religious organisations.

These exemptions are not a matter of genuine religious freedom, because there is no religious law or doctrine that requires its followers to run education, health or social service facilities! Our constitution rejects a ‘religious test’ for public office; why not also for secular roles in ‘publicly funded’ religious enterprises?

If religious adherents cannot follow laws that apply to all other citizens — and without privileged legal exemptions — they should consider withdrawing from those activities and focus solely on their beliefs and religious worship. One clear example is private religious schools which are free to discriminate against secular employees, while the institutions are publicly funded to the tune of $12.8b.

Religious exemptions undermine our secular constitution; they weaken the basic rule of law that must apply to all people; and they deny the non-religious the right to their own beliefs. Why do we give exclusive entitlements to people of faith when all religion is purely a matter choice? Believers are not compelled to believe — particularly when “doubt” is uppermost in the minds of many. Every religion cannot, by pure logic, be equally true. It raises questions for people of faith to contemplate.

Special entitlements, based on arbitrary faith, are necessarily problematic. Such privileges should be equal to all — or to none. However, there seems little doubt the Ruddock Review will make a number of recommendations to parliament, to rectify the perception of “lost” freedoms.

We can only trust parliament does not acquiesce to further religious entitlements. Indeed, the process needs to be reversed — specifically for non-theological positions in faith-based institutions funded by taxpayers. The level of religious privilege and authority is already inappropriately high — in a nation that claims to be a secular democracy.



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


No comments: