Friday, November 22, 2019


Do the Irish really want unification?

I’ve come back from three recent trips to Ireland marvelling: this is what a grown-up country looks like. A giant, potentially divisive issue comes along — the sudden prospect of a united Ireland, a republican dream since long before Irish partition in 1921 — and instead of treating it as a winner-take-all, biff-bang argument as in certain countries one could mention, almost all Irish seem determined to move slowly, seriously and fairly.

How to reassure mostly Protestant Unionists in Northern Ireland, who for generations have identified as British? I’ve seen a hall full of Irish people applaud a woman urging them “to be open and inclusive to Unionists”. The 4.8m Irish in the Republic and 1.9m in Northern Ireland still face a scary decade. Irish unification could revive the north’s violent Troubles. But blessedly, most Irish people realise that. Here’s a rare case of a country learning from history.

English politicians and Northern Ireland’s Unionists have done more to unite Ireland in three years than Irish republicans managed in a century. “Brexit has catapulted this issue forward,” says Padraig Ó Muirigh, adviser to the republican Sinn Féin party. “There is a real sense that we’re living in historical times.”

Last month, Boris Johnson agreed to place the de facto future border in the sea between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland. That put both Irelands in one economic zone, and showed Unionists that the English nationalist Conservatives considered them expendable. In fact, some Unionists feel they’ve had more understanding from the Dublin government.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement stipulates that if both sides of Ireland vote in a referendum to unite, it will happen. That could be soon. Next year a hard Brexit, or a Scottish vote for independence, could encourage Northern Ireland to escape the British mess. Then, the 2021 census would become the first ever to show self-described Catholics — who traditionally back Irish unification — outnumbering Protestants in the north.

It’s as if a genie appeared and told the Irish: “Here, have your national dream.” But the Irish now aren’t sure they want it. Inching towards unification is like “juggling with china”, says Noelle O’Connell of the European Movement Ireland. For many people, it’s heart against head, explains Neale Richmond, senator for the ruling Fine Gael party. The heart says: yes. The head says: not yet, just 21 years into the generations-long process of healing sectarianism.

Does the Republic really want to import several hundred thousand hard-core Unionists, some of whom may kill for their identity? “The boys haven’t gone away,” as some there put it. And after nearly a century apart, even northern and southern Catholics have different identities.

Then there’s money. Northern income per capita is about half that of the Republic. Northern Ireland now gets about €10bn in annual British subsidies. Replacing that would cost the average person in the Republic more than €2,000 a year, possibly for decades (Germany still hasn’t closed its divide). In a poll commissioned by the broadcasters RTE and BBC in 2015, 66 per cent in the Republic supported a united Ireland in their lifetimes. But if it meant higher taxes, support dropped to 31 per cent.

As Britain has shown, there’s a simple way to settle a complex question. However, Brexit has been a crash course in the pitfalls of romantic nationalist referendums in which you vote first and discuss details afterwards. The Irish have developed a more sophisticated method: citizens’ assemblies. An assembly of 100 people was created in 2016 to study, consult broadly and report on several national issues. It’s a tool suited to a small country. The assembly’s recommendations drove a widely accepted outcome to last year’s referendum legalising abortion. One day, another assembly could prepare for unification.

But even then, the outcome could be a united Ireland containing an irreconcilable minority of mostly working-class East Belfast Protestants, some of them tattooed with queen’s heads and Union Jacks. To my surprise, even Sinn Féin doesn’t seem to want to defeat Unionists outright. The movement that spent a century fighting British rule now says it’s open to the possibility of a united Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth. Ó Muirigh hopes a new Ireland will be “a warm house for Unionists”. His father Sean “Spike” Murray, a senior Sinn Féin figure jailed for 12 years during the Troubles, told me: “We don’t want people who feel British put in a situation where their Britishness is left adrift. How can I assure that your Britishness is guaranteed?”

Murray insisted he didn’t want Unionists to “feel abandoned” by a united Irish state the way nationalists had felt under British rule. Would he or people around him have talked like that 30 years ago? “No,” he admitted. “Things were more polarised then.” The educational effect of 21 years of cross-community discussions had been “unbelievable”, he added.

Such Republican talk may simply be a bad-faith bid to gull Unionists. Things could end badly. However, I suspect the Irish will keep prioritising peace over unification. In fact, they could teach Britons and Americans something about reaching out across divides.

SOURCE 






The counterproductive cruelties of occupational licensing

by Jeff Jacoby

An applicant for a Massachusetts cosmetology license must log 1,000 hours of education, plus two full years of hands-on experience.

COSMETOLOGISTS AND emergency medical technicians don't have much in common.

Cosmetologists treat skin, style hair, and paint nails. EMTs respond to 911 calls, administer urgent medical care, and rush patients by ambulance to hospitals.

Cosmetologists are beauty-industry professionals who help people feel good about their appearance. EMTs are first responders who help people survive violent traumas and heart attacks.

Cosmetologists rarely face a life-threatening crisis on the job. EMTs make life-or-death decisions every day.

But there is one thing cosmetologists and EMTs do have in common: Both must be licensed by the state. The amount of training and experience needed to obtain those licenses, however, could hardly be more different. An applicant for a Massachusetts EMT license has to complete just 150 hours of education in order to qualify. But anyone seeking a cosmetology license faces a far higher hurdle: An applicant must log 1,000 hours of education, plus two full years of hands-on experience, before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will allow them to go into the beauty business.

The gaping disparity seems bizarre. You can do the critical lifesaving work of an emergency first responder after little more than a month of study, but you can't color hair and give manicures without years of training?

That's just one of the perversities highlighted in a new reporton occupational licensing in Massachusetts from the Pioneer Institute, a Boston think tank. Building on the work of the Institute for Justice, a liberty-oriented law firm that mounts legal challenges to oppressive occupational licensing rules, the Pioneer report notes that the state's licensing laws for lower-income occupations — not surgeons and airline pilots, but barbers and massage therapists — are among the most burdensome in the nation. "On average," researcher Alex Muresianu writes, "one has to pay $309 in fees, spend roughly 513 days in education and training, and take at least one exam to receive an occupational license in the Bay State."

The steep barriers to entry for cosmetologists are heavier here than in any other state, and that isn't the only profession for which Massachusetts law makes it especially difficult to acquire a license. Commercial sheet metal contractors, for example, must undergo five years of training and pay hundreds of dollars in fees to get the government's permission to work. Why? There is nothing particularly complex or dangerous about working with clients to install and repair sheet metal products. In 24 states, no license to do such work is required at all.

Similarly, Massachusetts is one of only three states that makes funeral attendants obtain a government license. It's one of only nine to require licensing for dental assistants. State law even authorizes municipalities to license fortune tellers.

And lawmakers always want to go further. Bills to impose new licensing requirements are introduced regularly. "Currently unlicensed professions legislators have tried to license," the think tank observes, "include associate home inspector, interior designer, swimming pool builder or service contractor, refrigerator technician, speech pathologist, drain cleaner, personal care attendant, and, most strangely, art therapist."

Years of empirical studies prove that requiring licenses for such occupations does little to protect public health or consumer welfare. The nation's well-being is not being eroded by all the funeral attendants and art therapists doing their work without government approval. Yet occupational licenses aren't merely ineffective; they are affirmatively harmful.

Pioneer itemizes the many negative consequences: Licensing laws sharply reduce mobility of workers between states. They depress low-income entrepreneurship. They disproportionately hurt young people, by protecting incumbent workers and obstructing those just entering the workforce. They have a particularly negative impact on minorities and the poor. In some states, including Massachusetts, they even exacerbate the student loan crisis: Occupational licenses can be stripped from borrowers who default, making it even harder for them to pay their debts.

Under Massachusetts law, cities and towns are authorized to license even fortune tellers.

Add it up, and the financial impact imposed by occupational licensing is staggering. The data compiled by Pioneer suggests that such laws cost Massachusetts more than 64,000 jobs, and deprive the state of at least $411 million in economic activity.

For any licensing requirement, there will always be a small but fervent cohort of defenders: Those already in the field who want to minimize competition. The benefit they enjoy is very real — but it comes a heavy cost to everyone else.

Pioneer puts the stakes bluntly: "Occupational licensing laws make it a crime to engage in simple behaviors like cutting hair, doing someone's nails, or arranging flowers in exchange for payment." Government shouldn't be in the business of keeping people from making a living. After all, you don't need the state's permission to be a politician or a journalist. Why should you need its approval to be a dental assistant?

SOURCE 






Shock — Some Women Still Choose Motherhood

Women who take paid leave often end up choosing to be stay-at-home moms.

A recent study of the paid child leave law in California is proving one thing — if you subsidize something, you get more of it. The Left is none too pleased and is now pivoting away from paid leave to paid childcare.

Yeah, that motherhood thing just can’t be tolerated! So, what happened?

An analysis of tax and employment data from 2001 and 2015 by economists of the University of Utah, the University of Michigan, Middlebury College, and Chicago’s Federal Reserve reviewed the impact of the Golden State paid leave law launched in 2004. The state program uses a payroll tax aimed at encouraging women to return to work following a window of time receiving part of their salary while nurturing their newborn child at home. Both parents are permitted to take up to six weeks of paid leave.

Yet this payment to first-time mothers didn’t prevent a 7% reduction in the employment rates of these women. When these women were permitted to remain home, they ultimately decided to take themselves out of the workplace, as demonstrated by an overall reduction in wages paid to the aggregate of first-time mothers by $24,000 that did not occur to men who took advantage of the law but went back to work. Men chose to return to work, if they took time off, as evidenced by no reduction in lost wages as experienced by women abandoning their work outside the home.

Oof. That is not what the militant feminists wanted to see! In another look at this data, a MarketWatch article included this revealing opinion: “As more states follow California’s lead and enact paid leave laws, the study is a reminder about the potential for unintended consequences.”

Absolutely! Who would want women to make a personal decision to remain in the home, if possible, and care for her child?

But a finding in the study makes a piercing statement: “If investment in parenting is increasing in time spent with infants … additional leave may encourage women to invest more in their children (and less in their careers) — even if treatment by employers at the time they return to work is the same.”

Put simply, paying to spend time with their babies is resulting in … wait for it … mothers spending time with their babies! Even if women and men are treated equally with access to paid leave and treated equally to resume their work and wages upon return, it’s the women who are choosing to be a stay-at-home Mom and abandon or delay their careers.

Ruh-roh.

Law professor Ann Althouse captures the commentary of an economist at Stanford, Maya Rossin in-Slater, who praised the study’s design and large data set but also warned that the California leave law didn’t fix the need for postpartum mothers to return to work: “They have fantastic data and large sample sizes relative to the prior papers, and that’s a big advance. This paper cautions us that paid leave is not a silver bullet. There are other policy tools we need to implement.”

As has been noted consistently here in our humble shop, the value of motherhood cannot be assigned with monetary currency. The time invested in children by mothers, whose fingerprints leave the indelible marks of a legacy of love, cannot be measured. Yet the work of the militant feminist movement is to minimize this value and disincentivize the choice women may make to “stay home.”

Reality proves that not every woman has that ability, but the fascinating aspect of this data was that even when barriers are removed for women to remain home and return to work, the trend is to stay home.

Just as men and women are not the same, nor are women uniform automatons.

As has also been discussed at The Patriot Post, the stated goal of the angry leftist women to achieve sameness sure does come with a lot of special demands and rights that are many times not afforded men. This sameness is not equality. It typically comes by mocking men, working to feminize them or ridicule them as dangerous, testosterone-driven oppressors. True equality values the difference but treats the equal contributions of all. That’s called merit.

One other finding in the study of the California leave law has the Left confused. Only about 15% of the claims for parental leave were by men and, when fulfilled, were for only two or three days off work, not the full benefit of up to six weeks.

What? How dare these men not allow the mother of their child to return to work immediately!

What’s wrong with these women? Choosing motherhood instead of employment is a decision that must be made in the home.

So, while this large study found that women with access to paid leave demonstrated no more likelihood of sticking with their employer than those without paid leave, one of the trials researchers, University of Michigan’s Professor Martha Bailey, told MarketWatch, “Subsidized child care would be one possible solution.”

Barriers to employment exist. Childcare is among those real issues for women who are needing employment. But mothers choosing to stay home should be honored and seen as a value to our society, not subsidized out of existence.

SOURCE 





Uncaring Australian army top brass

Maybe just another bureaucracy but if he had been female you would never have been able to shut them up.  They are very politically "correct" these days and real heroism such as we saw from Ben are old hat or even contemptible in that mindset

The country's most decorated soldier, Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, has lashed out at the nation's defence chiefs for failing to publicly back him as his reputation and military record suffered sustained attacks over allegations he committed war crimes during his service in Afghanistan.

Mr Roberts-Smith said be had recently been contacted by .the Australian Defence Force to conduct a "welfare check", seven years after he left the army and nearly two years after he first appeared in a series of media reports accusing him of war crimes.

The call came just days after he publicly criticised the leadership of the ADF for failing to look after soldiers after they left the military.

Mr Roberts-Smith confirmed he had been contacted by the ADF, telling The Weekend Australian: "While I appreciate the sentiment of a welfare check, it does highlight the issue at hand — it is a reactive step that occurred after my public comments."

Mr Roberts-Smith said the ADF culture "has always been this reactive self-protection from the senior leadership" and criticised the lack of support offered to transitioning Diggers, who were statistically at a higher risk of suicide after they left the military.

Mr Roberts-Smith is locked in a personal battle to clear his reputation after being accused of war crimes in a series of stories by Nine Media. He is also being investigated by the Australian Federal Police over a possible war crime committed in the Afghan village of Daman in 2012.

Mr Roberts-Smith vehemently denies any wrongdoing and is suing Fairfax Media, now owned by Nine, over the stories. He said he was loathe to compare his own troubles with those of struggling former soldiers, who he said were at greater risk. But he noted that at no point had his former bosses offered any public comment of support; despite the allegations against him being unproven.

"Given the public scrutiny I've faced and the false accusations made against me, I would have assumed the Defence Force, which created my profile and placed me on a pedestal in the public arena, would have made some public comment about my good character and service given that at no stage have I ever been approached by law enforcement," Mr Roberts-Smith said.

Mr Roberts-Smith clarified he was. not calling for Defence chiefs to be sacked after being quoted on Friday morning saying he "absolutely" believed new leadership was needed at the top of the ADF.

National president of the RSL Greg Melick said there was no need for ADF leadership to step down because of their treatment of veterans. Mr Melick said if this was the view of Mr Roberts-Smith, then "I don't agree with him".

From the "Weekend Australian" of 16/11/19

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

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

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

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Thursday, November 21, 2019



Academic research confirms that overdone political correctness made Trump President

Abstract below

Donald Trump as a Cultural Revolt Against Perceived Communication Restriction: Priming Political Correctness Norms Causes More Trump Support

By Lucian Gideon Conway, Meredith A. Repke, Shannon C. Houck

Abstract

Donald Trump has consistently performed better politically than his negative polling indicators suggested he would. Although there is a tendency to think of Trump support as reflecting ideological conservatism, we argue that part of his support during the election came from a non-ideological source: The preponderant salience of norms restricting communication (Political Correctness – or PC – norms). This perspective suggests that these norms, while successfully reducing the amount of negative communication in the short term, may produce more support for negative communication in the long term. In this framework, support for Donald Trump was in part the result of over-exposure to PC norms. Consistent with this, on a sample of largely politically moderate Americans taken during the General Election in the Fall of 2016, we show that temporarily priming PC norms significantly increased support for Donald Trump (but not Hillary Clinton). We further show that chronic emotional reactance towards restrictive communication norms positively predicted support for Trump (but not Clinton), and that this effect remains significant even when controlling for political ideology. In total, this work provides evidence that norms that are designed to increase the overall amount of positive communication can actually backfire by increasing support for a politician who uses extremely negative language that explicitly violates the norm.

Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Vol 5, No 1 (2017)






Creepy New Sprite Commercial Sells Transgenderism and Breast Binding, Not Soda

In an inexplicable move, Sprite has released a new commercial that has nothing to do with soda and everything to do with force-feeding the public transgender theology dressed up as love and acceptance. What this has to do with quenching thirst, I have no idea.

Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire makes an interesting point. "Someone please explain the ethical difference between an ad that promotes breast binding and an ad that promotes anorexia. I bet you can't." First, both conditions are mental disorders. Body dysmorphia is nearly indistinguishable from gender dysphoria. Both people look into a mirror and see something that is not there, but only one will be treated properly for it. The other will be sent off to butchers who will remove healthy body parts to indulge the patient's delusion. Worse, minor children suffering from gender dysphoria are given sterilizing drugs that are not fully understood nor studied.

Corporations that get on the LGBTQWTF bandwagon are not new. Every June we must put up with the endless rainbow logos and virtue-signaling that takes over everything. But the choice to release this commercial in November, several months after Pride Month, is one more signal that the Transgender Mafia is stepping up their game and you will not be getting a reprieve for the rest of the year.

It's not enough to inundate people with transgender propaganda in the month of June. We must be subjected to it every single day of the year until we all conform and celebrate mental disorders. Those who suffer from similar disorders don't think this approach of accepting and celebrating illness is helpful.

"I have anorexia. Currently under control but in my 20's it nearly killed me...If a surgeon had decided the best way to treat me was to cut my body to match my diseased self-image, I'd obviously be dead. Why accept the same madness for gender dysphoria?" wrote a responder. It's a very good question and one that doctors should be asking themselves before rushing to treat an illness that has deep psychological roots with hormones and surgery.

Perhaps the most disturbing message this commercial is sending, as subtle as a sledgehammer through glass, is that parents should be affirming and helping their children hurt themselves. In one scene, a mother is helping to bind her daughter's breasts. This is a practice that can cause internal injuries and tissue damage. Telling parents they should assist their children in inflicting self-harm is the sickest thing I ever saw. Full stop.

Watch it on mute so the happy music doesn't blind you to the absolute evil on display here. And as for Sprite, it's is a crappy drink anyway that will give you diabetes, so toss it in the garbage and pass it up at the store.

SOURCE 





This Web Designer Shouldn’t Have to Wait to Be Free to Create

They say anything worth having is also worth waiting for. We should know. We waited over three years for the Arizona Supreme Court to rule that the city of Phoenix cannot use fines and jail time to force us to create custom artwork that violates our beliefs.

Issued in mid-September, that court decision was a major win not just for us and our Arizona-based art studio (Brush & Nib Studio), but for the freedom of all Americans.

As the Arizona Supreme Court recognized, our art studio serves everyone regardless of who they are. We just can’t convey certain messages or celebrate certain events, no matter who asks us to.

Other creative professionals exercise that freedom on countless subjects all the time. We just wanted the same freedom for the subject of marriage. 

Our art studio decides what art to create based on the message of the requested art, not the requestor’s personal characteristics. But when we realized that Phoenix’s ordinance ignored this distinction and would force us to create artwork promoting same-sex marriage in violation of our beliefs, we had no choice but to file suit.

The Arizona court ruled in our favor because it recognized that disagreement with certain views is not discrimination against a class of persons. Yes, we can disagree on certain things and still respect and serve each other. And yes, we can disagree with each other without the government forcing us to say things that violate our core convictions.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of artistic freedom sent an unmistakable signal to courts all over the country that “the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion … are for everyone.” These are timeless principles that should apply coast to coast.

Yet, even in the midst of our victory, we are reminded that some, like our friend Lorie Smith, are still waiting for their turn for freedom.

Lorie is a wife, mother, artist, and entrepreneur in the Denver area. For over a decade, Lorie has offered her graphic arts and web design services through her web design studio, 303 Creative.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission holds that Lorie Smith can’t explain, on her own website, her religious beliefs about marriage and why she can’t create websites celebrating same-sex marriage. (Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)
As a Christian, Lorie takes great joy in working with all kinds of clients. She serves all people, but she cannot create all messages that are requested of her.

For example, she states on her website that she is “always careful to avoid communicating ideas or messages, or promoting events, products, services, or organizations, that are inconsistent with [her] religious beliefs.”

So if a local pro-life pregnancy center reached out to Lorie to design a website discussing the group’s pro-life views, she’d be more than willing to take on the project. If, on the other hand, Planned Parenthood requested a website promoting abortion, she would politely decline.

She just wants that same freedom to choose what messages she conveys about marriage. Because Lorie believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, she only can lend her artistic talents to create websites celebrating that view. Yet the fact that Lorie wants to make artistic decisions consistent with her faith makes her a target for punishment by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Yes, that Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The one that sought not once, but twice, to punish Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips under the very same law.

Because of the way the commission reads the law, Lorie must be willing to design and publish websites celebrating a same-sex wedding if she creates websites celebrating an opposite-sex wedding.

In fact, the commission even reads the law to ban Lorie from explaining, on her own website, her religious beliefs about marriage and why she can’t create websites celebrating same-sex marriage. So the website designer is no longer free to speak on her own website.

Lorie doesn’t want the commission punishing her as it did Jack Phillips. That’s why she chose to challenge the state’s interpretation of its law. Her next step is an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which her attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom filed Oct. 25. (Alliance Defending Freedom also represented us.)

You don’t have to agree with Lorie’s views to see that your freedom is at stake along with hers. “After all,” as the court in our case put it, “while [y]our own ideas may be popular today, they may not be tomorrow.”

So a government that can threaten Lorie today can threaten you just as easily tomorrow. That’s not freedom, and that’s why Lorie will continue to seek a just ruling in court.

We are hopeful her journey ends the same place ours did—a place with freedom for everyone.

SOURCE 





Australia's religious freedom bill expands cover to protect hospitals, aged care providers

Christian Porter will grant religious hospitals and aged-care providers the same protections as faith-based schools and organisations to employ staff according to their beliefs in his final religious discrimination bill.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, the Attorney-General confirmed he will apply the same level of protections for religious health and aged-care companies, which were not included in the draft bill released on August 29.

Mr Porter, who has held two-hour consultation meetings with more than 90 stakeholder groups since releasing the draft legislation, said religious hospitals and aged care providers should have the “ability to take into account religion in staffing decisions”.

He said religious hospitals and aged care operators had stressed the importance of retaining a “religious ethos and culture” within their organisations and had “reasonably sought an exception to the general prohibition on religious discrimination in employment that allows them to make staffing decisions in accordance with their faith”.

“The religious hospitals and aged care providers themselves recognise that competing objectives of providing access to health services and maintaining a faith-based identity must be reconciled, and seek to maintain the balanced position they themselves have arrived at reflected in the bill,” Mr Porter said.

“In the Bill that will be introduced, I can flag that one significant change from its first draft will be that religious hospitals and aged-care providers will be given protections equivalent to those given to other religious bodies, in relation to employment of staff.”

Mr Porter said consultation with religious hospitals and aged care providers had made clear that they do not “make decisions about the admission of patients based on any given patient’s religion or absence of religion, and do not seek to do so”.

“Likewise for aged care providers (with very few exceptions) they do not appear to consider religion or lack of religion before making a decision to accommodate a person,” he said.

No deadline for final vote as Senate inquiry looms

Mr Porter, who will table his final bill in parliament before December 5, confirmed he had no deadline for a final vote in parliament to push through the religious discrimination bill.

The Australian understands the legislation is likely to be referred to a Senate inquiry, and drag well into next year.

Responding to criticism from the nation’s most powerful religious groups, Mr Porter said he was seeking a “stable result and better outcome than the circumstance we have at the moment”.

“It would be a bad outcome if everyone felt that they got everything that they wanted out of this process. It is ultimately the most grinding process of balance and compromise.”

Mr Porter said he didn’t expect all religious groups and stakeholders to be “deliriously happy” once the process was finalised.

“If you imagine a continuum of happiness that goes from very unhappy to deliriously happy somewhere on that continuum is endorsement. Where while the bill doesn’t do everything that everyone might like, people nevertheless think that it’s at a reasonable point that’s worth supporting.”

Discretion ‘not viewed as discriminatory’

Mr Porter said a “particular challenge in the religious context is freedom of association”.

“Where we seek to protect people from being excluded because of their religion, we equally recognise that for religion to exist at all; religious bodies must be able to maintain a chosen level of exclusivity to their premises or composition or services.”

“For instance a religious school may admit students of many faiths or it may prefer students only of its own faith; but that discretion is not viewed by other faiths as discriminatory because they understand and accept its existential importance to all faiths.”

Mr Porter, tasked by Scott Morrison to deliver the Coalition election pledge to deliver the religious discrimination bill, said the draft legislation had adopted a “broad approach” informed by the exception in section 82 of the Victorian legislation.

“The effect is to preserve the status quo whereby a defined religious body can, in dealing with the exclusivity of its premises or composition or services, apply its own determination of the best application of its own doctrines and beliefs; and does not discriminate by acting in good faith on that basis.”

“So, for example, in Victoria it would not be discriminatory for an Islamic school to decline to employ catholic teachers (or vice versa). Or for the same school to decline to employ an irreligious person.

“For the avoidance of any doubt it cannot be stressed enough that this type of exception for religious bodies applies only in respect of decisions on matters of religious doctrine that pertain to people of different religious beliefs.”

Mr Porter confirmed his bill did not “affect the current exemptions that exist for religious bodies within other Discrimination Acts, at either State or Commonwealth level”, which has attracted criticism from religious and other groups in their submissions to the Attorney-General’s Department.

‘People will disagree’

He said religious groups had stressed to him during the consultation process that the “definition of religious body is important because of the reasonable autonomy it provides any organisation that falls inside its ambit”.

“One thing is clear, people will disagree on which rights are more important than others and where to draw the lines between them. Consultations, while constructive, inevitably end at a point where it is factually obvious that freedoms collide.”

“The unavoidable fact is that the colliding nature of rights means there is simply no way to exhaustively define their boundaries with each other in a way that sees them perfectly contour with neighbouring rights.”

Mr Porter said freedoms to associate would need to be balanced “against the right for individuals to access places and institutions free from the arbitrary exclusion of others”.

“In a structural sense the four existing Commonwealth Discrimination Acts dealing with race, sex, disability and age actually give expression to the most traditional conception of rights.” “That laws should protect us from others infringing on our natural rights as far as is reasonable.”

He said a balance needed to be struck “between anti-discrimination clauses of any type and other rights including rights to free expression and free association”.

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019



Chinese-made condoms too small, Zimbabwe’s health minister complains: Rushton vindicated

This report may seem to have humorous value only but it does in fact have a bearing on a substantial academic theory. J.P Rushton's r/K theory proposes that penis size is one of a set of covarying characteristics that differentiate blacks, whites and Asians, with blacks having the largest endowments and Chinese the smallest.

Rushton's claim that blacks have larger penises is not at all original. Knowledge of the difference existed in ancient times -- going as far back as Greek physician Galen. Africa has never been far from Europe.  And in the contemporary world there is much talk of white women liking black men for their larger endowment.  I have myself heard women praise bigger penises.

Most academics furiously reject the theory (e.g. here).  All men are equal, don't you know?  But their principal objection is about Rushton's data quality. Measurements not reported in peer-reviewed academic journals are scorned.  But academic journals in the social sciences  are famous for using non-samples as their databases.  The data underlying academic journal articles is rarely a representative sample of any known population. So criticizing Rushton for his data quality is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

As is constantly borne upon us in sociology, there is no such thing as a perfect dataset and the very act of doing sociology is a claim that we can feel a way through what data we do have to arrive at useful conclusions.  And Rushton's theory is well within that conventional category of an interesting theory based on imperfect data.

But the theory clearly needs more evidence before it becomes widely persuasive and the report below is surely just what is needed: A clear statement from an authoritative source.  Black penises ARE larger than Asian ones.  Rushton was clearly a good sociologist in that he threaded his way through imperfect data to arrive at a correct conclusion. He stands vindicated.

In thinking about Rushton's theory I am reminded of the late Napoleon Chagnon, a leading anthropologist who was in the beginning  widely mocked for his accounts of primitive people.  In the end it is his critics who have fallen by the wayside and he is seen as having made an important and correct contribution



A Chinese condom manufacturer says it is considering making its products in different sizes after Zimbabwe’s health minister complained that contraceptives made in China and exported to the African nation were too small for its men.
Health Minister David Parirenyatwa made the comments at an event in the capital Harare last week to promote HIV/Aids prevention, according to the website New Zimbabwe.com.

“The southern African region has the highest incidence of HIV and we are promoting the use of condoms,” Parirenyatwa was quoted as saying. “Youths now have a particular condom that they like, but we don’t manufacture them. We import condoms from China and some men complain they are too small.”

Zhao Chuan, the chief executive of the condom manufacturer Beijing Daxiang and His Friends Technology Co, told the South China Morning Post the firm was planning to make contraceptives in different sizes.

“As to the different demands from customers such as in Zimbabwe, Daxiang, as a Chinese manufacturer, has the ability and the obligation to make a contribution, so we have started to do some surveys on users’ data in the region to make preparations for future products with different sizes,” Zhao said in an email.

Zhao said that customers around the world had different requirements, with Chinese men preferring thinner condoms while not worrying about the size, while customers in North America liked a softer contraceptive.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa worst affected by HIV/Aids, with an estimated 13.5 per cent of its adult population infected with the virus.

The use of condoms is a key way to limit the spread of infection. The country has become one of the top five condom importers in the world, according to local media reports.

China is one of the world’s largest condoms producers, according to National Health and Family Planning Commission.
The nation has about 300 condom manufacturers producing about 3 billion of the contraceptives each year.

SOURCE 





Planned Parenthood Whistleblower Guilty of Whistleblowing

Activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were found guilty — for exposing crimes

Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill that receives half a billion American taxpayer dollars every year, engages in the illicit trafficking of body parts from aborted babies — some of them live births. The nation learned this gruesome truth in 2015 only through the undercover work of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt via the Center for Medical Progress. Yet perhaps nothing better illustrates Planned Parenthood’s power and influence than the fact that a federal jury in a San Fransisco district court found guilty not Planned Parenthood’s butchers but Daleiden and Merritt for reporting the story.

In a case that originally was launched by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a 10-person jury found Daleiden and Merritt guilty of racketeering, conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of contract, and trespassing. Unbelievably, Planned Parenthood and several affiliates were awarded punitive damages that may exceed $2.3 million. The pair will appeal the verdict, and there’s reason to think it may reach the Supreme Court. While the case drags out, Planned Parenthood will continue to receive your tax dollars.

Daleiden said in a statement, “While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid pro quo basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks influencing the jury with pre-determined rulings and by suppressing video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attack on the First Amendment. This is a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts criticizing the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions.”

Judge William Orrick did indeed prove his own pro-Planned Parenthood bias. “I just want to be very clear that I want these witnesses to be able to testify as to what their reasonable state of mind was with respect to the specific defense … but we’re not going into the truth of abortion procedures. I’ve excluded that,” Orrick said in October. And he also instructed the jury that they must only decide damages, saying, “I have already determined that these defendants trespassed at each of these locations.”

Furthermore, The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland reports, “Judge Orrick was a founder and a longtime officer and director of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, an organization which, according to Daleiden, houses and participates in a joint venture with one of the named Planned Parenthood affiliates.”

It seems that the only thing separating this show trial over trumped up charges from the Democrats’ impeachment charade is that, this time, the whistleblower is the “criminal.”

SOURCE 





One Year After Sex Change, This Teen Regrets His ‘Frankenstein Hack Job’

Less than a year after having gender surgery, Nathaniel now says, “This whole thing was a bad idea. I am 19 years old, and I feel as though I have ruined my life.”

It’s heartbreaking each time I get a letter from someone who underwent gender-change surgery and regrets it, especially someone as young as Nathaniel.

With his permission, I’m telling a bit of his story to raise awareness of the young lives being ruined by the rush to surgery, and hoping that hearing the testimony of this young man will influence others on this path to slow down and consider the consequences before consenting to surgery.

In Nathaniel’s case, he says he was bullied by the boys in elementary school because he was sensitive and preferred playing girl games. When he was a bit older, he discovered internet pornography, heard about transgenderism, and as he says, “convinced myself that’s what I was.”

When he finally worked up the nerve to tell his mother in the summer after eighth grade, she made an appointment with, in his words, “a doctor at an informed-consent clinic.”

He started seeing the doctor a week after his 15th birthday, and from how he describes the next years of his teens, I’d say going to the clinic didn’t improve his life.

“From then on,” he says, “I slowly detached from everything until I was just staying home, playing video games, and going on the internet all day. I stopped reading, drawing, riding my bicycle. I surrounded myself in an echo chamber that supported and validated my poor decisions, because the others were also, unfortunately, stuck in that pit, too.”

A month after his 18th birthday, Nathaniel had what’s euphemistically called “bottom surgery.” For a male like Nathaniel, that means refashioning the male genitalia into a pseudo-vagina. He suffered some complications that required a second surgery a few months later, and he had facial surgery to further feminize his appearance.

Nine months later, he says:

Now that I’m all healed from the surgeries, I regret them. The result of the bottom surgery looks like a Frankenstein hack job at best, and that got me thinking critically about myself. I had turned myself into a plastic-surgery facsimile of a woman, but I knew I still wasn’t one. I became (and to an extent, still feel) deeply depressed.

The unpopular truth, which Nathaniel unfortunately learned the hard way at a young age, is a man is not a woman and can’t ever become a woman, even with surgically refashioned genitals and feminizing facial surgery.

Nathaniel is a bright young man who never had the benefit of sound, effective counseling, which would have prevented this horrible mistake from happening. He will deal with it for the rest of his life.

No one will help this young man to detransition. The so-called “informed-consent clinic” (as if a teenager can give informed consent) washed their hands of him. The reckless ideology claims another life.

Nathaniel’s story is not unique. Specifics may vary, but I’ve found that everyone who regrets can point to something that happened that caused them to not want to be who they are and attempt to become someone else.

For Nathaniel, “what happened” was bullying about not being male and viewing pornography on the internet. When he sought help in his distress, the transgender ideology and the gender clinic and surgeons affirmed his false thinking and enticed him down the primrose path.

Another young person with a story of medical malpractice I’ve come to know is Sydney Wright. Born female, Sydney “transitioned,” also at age 18. Now 21, she recently told her story: “I Spent a Year as a Trans Man. Doctors Failed Me at Every Turn.”

She clearly articulates the absence of counseling prior to being prescribed the powerful male hormone testosterone and the horrible effects taking it for even a short time had on her female body.

As more and more people seek help from gender clinics, we’re seeing a tidal wave of those who regret sex change. So many contact me that I wrote a book with 30 of their stories, “Trans Life Survivors.”

In an article, “Observations in a Gender Diversity Clinic,” published in Ethics and Medics, Dr. Monique Robles, a board-certified pediatric critical care physician, observed that children and adolescents are put on the path to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and “sex reassignment surgery” at gender clinics, but receive no psychological counseling.

She says that this practice is widespread and growing among gender clinics, even though a review of the medical literature shows that none of this treatment regimen is supported by strong scientific evidence. 

The reckless gender medical practitioners have blood on their hands. Both Sydney’s and Nathaniel’s young bodies bear the penalties.

It isn’t society’s fault that these teenagers suffered harm. The blame lies with the gender clinics and the medical staff who practice there.

By turning a blind eye to the scientific and ethical aspects of their chosen profession, they are directly responsible for poor outcomes, regret, detransitioning, suicides, and families torn to shreds by unnecessary surgeries.

We should be outraged at doctors and surgeons who carve up distraught people, especially teens, and leave them looking like, as Nathaniel says, “Frankenstein hack jobs.”

National public outcry is a powerful force, as we saw in the custody case of Jeff Younger in Texas. We need to support all who are battling the destructive practice of transitioning children.

Nathaniel will need proper medical care to get his life back and funds to pursue legal action, if indicated. If you’d like to help, visit sexchangeregret.com and contact me.

The good news for both Nathaniel and Sydney is that they are revitalizing their faith in Jesus and, as I know well from my lifetime of transgender experience, faith in God leads to restoration, if we allow it.

SOURCE 






Australia's mad feminists attract international attention

Robert Franklin from the US-based National Parents Organization has been writing an excellent series of blog posts about the way the Australian feminists are “howling like banshees” over the focus of this new inquiry:

“I’ve read article after article all aimed at the same thing – casting doubt on the latest Australian Governmental review of family law and courts in the Land Down Under. Those who oppose children having full, meaningful relationships with their fathers post-divorce don’t like the new review for the simple reason that they fear the truth may at last come out.”

Franklin points out that the previous review, by the Australian Law Reform Commission, was much more to the feminists liking. He’s written very detailed blogs about what was wrong with that review - and why the women’s groups were so keen on it. Franklin’s forthcoming blog will expose misinformation and distortions included in a dreadful article by Griffith University law lecturer, Zoe Rathus, published recently in The Conversation. Rathus’ title says it all: “Parental alienation: the debunked theory that women lie about violence is still used in court.”

Former WA Law Reform Commissioner, Augusto Zimmerman, has published an excellent Spectator Australia article: "How abuse of violence orders corrupts our family law system". Zimmermann points out there is an undeniable correlation between apprehended orders, false claims of domestic violence, and parental alienation. He mentions an analysis of NSW court files, which reveals that these domestic violence cases, on average, are dealt with in less than three minutes – a shocking statistic proving that absolutely no attempt is made to investigate whether such allegations have any validity. For the woman alleging violence the system is fool proof, with no risk at all that her lies will be exposed.

Via email from Bettina Arndt: Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au

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

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

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

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019



The progressive revival of family values

This is a nice bit of optimism below but it totally overlooks the fact that about half of British births are now ex-nuptual.  Marriage these days is limited to the brave and the incurable optimists.  The correct perception of marriage as much rarer and more special than it was could account for the findings below

Researchers at King’s College London have found that Brits are more socially liberal than they were 30 years ago.

For instance, they are more accepting of gay relationships. And they are more supportive of abortion. However, there is one area of behaviour of which they are now more disapproving — extramarital affairs. This is merely the latest evidence to suggest that long-term, monogamous relationships are becoming the new social norm.

The researchers found that in 1989, 40 per cent of adults considered gay relationships between consenting adults to be morally wrong. Asked the same question this year, just 13 per cent said gay relationships are wrong. Again, in 1989, when asked if homosexuals should be treated like other people, 52 per cent of respondents said they should, while 24 per cent said they should not. Today, a massive 82 per cent believe gay people should be treated equally. The same shift is discernible in attitudes towards abortion. Thirty years ago, 35 per cent thought abortion morally wrong, compared with only 18 per cent today.

This change in attitudes is a fundamentally positive development in British society. The survey shows that Britons are becoming far less bigoted and intolerant than so-called progressive commentators tend to suggest.

As to why Brits are becoming more socially liberal, Bobby Duffy, professor of public policy at King’s College London, points out that liberal baby boomers have simply moved into old age. This means the preceding, more socially conservative generation has been replaced by a more socially liberal one. At the same time, baby boomers’ liberal values have become accepted by younger generations, too.

Which makes it all the more striking that British attitudes towards infidelity have become less liberal. The proportion who thought it was wrong to have an affair with a married man or woman rose slightly, from 52 per cent of respondents in 1989 to 55 per cent today. This attitudinal shift is reflected in the year-on-year decline in the UK divorce rate since 2010. We are witnessing, perhaps, a revival of married-for-life family patterns. Curiously, liberal social commentators appear reluctant to investigate such a pattern as a good-news story – possibly because the decline in divorce rates and the increased social disapproval of sexual infidelities simply doesn’t fit with the #MeToo narrative of men as sexual predators and serial ‘womanisers’.

But it is a good-news story. The decline in the divorce rate, and the increased disapproval of sexual infidelity, are a product of women’s improved position in society and, consequently, of the greater equality within heterosexual relationships. In the recent past, men’s extramarital affairs were often premised on a disrespectful and misogynistic attitude towards women. Women were primarily valued and pursued as sex objects, not as equal partners within a marriage. Such sexist attitudes tacitly rendered male philandering socially acceptable. The growing acceptance of women’s equality has changed this.

Women today are also far less economically dependent on men and marriage than at any time in the recent past. In the late 1980s, the growing economic independence of women was used to explain the increase in divorce and family breakdown. So the fact that today the divorce rate has declined, and that both men and women tend increasingly to frown on extramarital affairs, indicates that other non-economic factors are shaping a change in attitudes.

The sociologist Anthony Giddens can shed some light here. He argued that relationships in the late 20th and early 21st century were increasingly built on what he called ‘confluent love’ and the ‘pure relationship’. This means that individuals are more likely to create meaningful relationships based on love and respect, rather than economic necessity.

In many ways, such a development runs counter to the permissive attitudes associated with the sexual revolution. The poly-sexual utopia promoted in the late 1960s no longer seems that appealing to many people. Indeed, much mainstream pop culture in the past couple of decades (from Sex in the City through to Peep Show and Fleabag) centres on the endless disappointments of fleeting hook-ups and non-returned texts (aka ‘ghosting’). They are marked, too, by a sense of loneliness. Faced with such anguish and disappointment, married couples are likelier to feel relieved at having the certainty of a long-term relationship.

In an increasingly anomic society, where social solidarities and shared national values have declined, the dependability of a stable relationship seems ever more appealing. Sociologist Chris Jenks once argued that being a good parent had become a major way to reinforce adult identities for single women. The renewed focus on long-term marriages and child-rearing indicates that, for couples, family life has also become a source of adult identity.

The King’s College survey reveals many progressive changes, particularly on attitudes to gay relationships and abortion — and the slight rise in disapproval towards extramarital affairs and infidelity is just as progressive. It is a testament to the improved position of women in society, and it shows that the ongoing #MeToo panic misses the really important positive changes affecting men and women in 21st-century relationships.

SOURCE 





California bans sale and manufacture of fur and use of animals in circuses

Many animals used for fur -- such as mink -- are in fact farmed for the purpose so are no different from sheep, beef animals etc.  So this is  in fact an attack on all animal husbandry

California will be the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products and the third to bar most animals from circus performances under a pair of bills signed Saturday by Governor Gavin Newsom. The fur law bars residents from selling or making clothing, shoes or handbags with fur starting in 2023.

Animal rights groups cheered the measure as a stand against inhumane practices. The proposal was vigorously opposed by the billion-dollar US fur industry, and the Fur Information Council of America has already threatened to sue. It follows Newsom’s signing of legislation that makes California the first state to outlaw fur trapping and follows bans on sales of fur in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement.

“But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames.”

The fur ban doesn’t apply to used products or those used for religious or tribal purposes. And it excludes the sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cow hides, deer, sheep and goatskin and anything preserved through taxidermy.

It could mark a significant blow to the fur industry that makes products from animals including mink, chinchillas, rabbits and other animals. The U.S. retail fur industry brought in $1.5 billion in sales in 2014, the most recent data available from the Fur Information Council.

Fashion designers including Versace, Gucci and Giorgio Armani have stopped or say they plan to stop using fur.

Under the California law, there is a fine of up to $1,000 for multiple violations.

Animal rights groups have said animals may be subject to gassing, electrocution and other inhumane actions to obtain their fur.. Picture: AP /Rich PedroncelliSource:AP

Advocacy group Direct Action Everywhere said it’s working with activists to pass similar bills in cities nationwide, including Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, and it’s optimistic California’s law will spur action.

“Ordinary people want to see animals protected, not abused,” said Cassie King, an organiser with the Berkeley-based group.

Opponents of the legislation have said it could create a black market and be a slippery slope to bans on other products.

The ban is part of a “radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat,” spokesman Keith Kaplan of the fur information council said in a prior statement. He further said fake fur is not a renewable or sustainable option.

SOURCE 






Another false claim of sexual abuse

Three women contestants on CBS’ 'Survivor' admit they made false claims of 'inappropriate touching' to win the game.

“Survivor: Island of the Idols” was rocked by scandal on Wednesday, when two contestants admitted they exaggerated a complaint of “inappropriate touching” in order to win the game.

The CBS reality competition got heated in its latest episode after Kellee Kim claimed that fellow contestant Dan Spilo had developed a pattern of inappropriate touching. When Missy Byrd and Elizabeth Beisel alleged they had similar experiences with Dan, she began to cry.

With the support of the other women, Kellee brought her complaints to producers, who mediated the situation off-camera with all the show’s cast. However, once Kellee was out of earshot, Missy and Elizabeth admitted to each other that they exaggerated their reactions to Dan’s behavior in order to better position him for elimination.

According to People, Elizabeth even brazenly admitted that she didn’t feel uncomfortable but said if she “can play up that card in whatever way possible, I’ll do it.”

She added: “Honestly, I’ve felt safe this entire time and if I had felt uncomfortable I would have said, ‘Please stop.'”

Later, Missy and Elizabeth also voted for Kellee to be kicked off the island instead of Dan.

Dan, a Hollywood agent, was given the chance to apologize for his actions during the Tribal Council.

“I work in an industry in which the #MeToo movement was formed and allowed — thank God — to blossom and become powerful and strong,” he said. “My personal feeling is if anyone ever felt for a second uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done, I’m horrified about that and I’m terribly sorry.”

“If that person was Kellee — if Kellee ever felt that in the freezing cold rain, or in tight shelters… or in all the ways we have to crawl around and through each other in this game — if I ever did anything that ever even remotely made her feel uncomfortable, it horrifies me, and I am terribly sorry.”

“True, untrue, it doesn’t matter what I feel,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter whether I’m aware of it. It doesn’t matter whether I ever sensed it. It doesn’t matter whether I knew it happened or it didn’t happen. If someone feels it, it’s their truth.”

He concluded by apologizing, but lightly chastised those who used the sensitive situation to better position themselves in the game.

“I couldn’t be more sorry. I couldn’t be more confident in that I’m one of the kindest, gentlest people I know,” he said. “I have a wife, I have been married for 21 years, I have two boys, I have a big business, I have lots of employees. I think what upset everybody here is that this has somehow turned into gameplay.”

SOURCE 





Anti-Catholic bigotry from the Australian Human Rights Commission

Catholic schools have attacked the Australian Human Rights Commission for mischaracterising exemptions to anti-discrimination laws and suggesting religious communities were seeking to operate outside modern-day standards.

As debate ramps up around the federal government’s religious freedom bill, the National Catholic Education Commission has taken issue with “assertions” made by the commission in a ­recent policy document and its framing of exemptions as an “impediment” to human rights.

In a sharply worded letter to AHRC president Rosalind Croucher, Catholic commission executive director Jacinta ­Collins said the organisation ­rejected the AHRC’s characterisation of exemptions as “freezing in time community standards”.

“The statement is … with ­respect, a misstatement and suggests a lack of appreciation about the purposes of exemptions in anti-discrimination laws,” she writes. “We are concerned this language has the effect of ‘othering’ those with religious beliefs. It suggests that religious believers and communities which may rely on these exemptions sit apart from society and operate outside community standards.”

Othering refers to singling out a minority on the basis that their culture and beliefs are fundamentally different and therefore a risk to the majority.

The Catholic Church and education sector, which includes almost 1800 schools across the country, have been lobbying to retain their religious rights, currently afforded via religious ­exemptions to anti-discrimination law. For schools, exemptions enable them to operate in ­accordance with their faith, including preferencing enrolment of baptised students and hiring staff who support their teachings.

As the Attorney-General seeks to introduce religious discrimination laws by the end of the year, the AHRC has run a concurrent inquiry into the status of human rights, examining religious freedom protections and the operation of exemptions to anti-discrimination law.

A discussion paper outlining the AHRC’s priorities for reform, released last month, argues that “permanent exemptions have the effect of ‘freezing in time’ community standards in relation to sex, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity”.

“Accordingly, what was appropriately exempted from the operation of discrimination law 35 years ago … may not be appropriate today,” it said.

“The commission considers that all permanent exemptions need to be considered in light of the overall purpose of discrimination law to promote equality and fair treatment.”

Ms Collins’s letter points out that, in the absence of other legislation protecting religious freedom, the exemptions were effectively “balancing clauses … crucial to ensuring the freedom of all to act in accordance with religious beliefs and mission”.

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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Monday, November 18, 2019



Rural Americans are 'Bad People' Who Deserve to Be Shamed, Says Berkeley parasite

It's rural Americans who keep him fed.  What has he done for them?  I think farmers are heroes. They pin their livelihood and fortunes to the weather and constantly fluctuating prices.  And we'd starve if they didn't

If you live in the farmlands of America, or in the vast mountainous regions far away from cities, a University of California Berkeley instructor wants you to know you're a bad person who has made bad choices and you deserve to be uncomfortable. The obviously brilliant person who came up with these groundbreaking conclusions is named Jackson Kernion, a self-described "Graduate Student Instructor at University of California." The since-deleted tweet that got him in trouble read, "I unironically embrace the bashing of rural Americans. They, as a group, are bad people who have made bad life decisions. Some, I assume are good people. But this nostalgia for some imagined pastoral way of life is stupid and we should shame people who aren’t pro-city.”

Campus Reform reported,

Kernion began the thread by advocating against affordable healthcare solutions in rural America, saying that “Rural Healthcare Should be expensive! And that expense should be borne by those who choose rural America!”
He argued that promoting a need for “affordable rural healthcare” is equivalent to arguing for rural Americans “to be subsidized by those who choose a more efficient way of life.”

“Same goes for rural broadband. And gas taxes,” Kernion added.

“It should be uncomfortable to live in rural America. It should be uncomfortable to not move,” he wrote.

Kernion tried to justify his statements with economic arguments about not making rural life “*artificially* cheaper,” but quickly devolved into personal attacks against rural and not “pro-city” Americans.

The good news is that Kernion had the self-awareness to realize he had insulted half of America and deleted his inflammatory statements, issuing a half-hearted apology. “Pretty sure I did a bad tweet here. Gonna delete it,” he wrote. “I’ll want to reflect on it more later, but my tone is way crasser and meaner than I like to think I am.” We've all put out a bad tweet here and there, but Kernion's long rant about rural folks sure seemed like he meant every word and that his tone was exactly how he meant it.

Since the online kerfuffle, Kernion has either been banned from Twitter or has left, because his page no longer exists. But the Twittersphere isn't going to let it go any time soon.

I'd like to invite Kernion to come spend some time in the woods in rural America with the locals and see how long he lasts without a latte and a salon appointment. It's a shame that the young men of today don't seem to understand what is necessary and good about knowing how to survive without modern conveniences. Rural America isn't looking back and pretending to live some nostalgic former pastoral life. That life never stopped.

I have chickens that need food and water every day or they'll die and I won't be able to trade fresh eggs for produce. My neighbors have livestock to feed and care for so that our community can fill our freezers with fresh meat that never sees the inside of a grocery store. Small farmers were concerned about hormones and corporate farming abuses for years before PETA got involved.

The vineyard owner across the way tends his vines like small children so that wine can be sent across the country to the parties of the elites who sip it while trading insults about the man who made it and others like him while they themselves could never turn grapes into fine wine, let alone sell it for profit.

This is actual everyday life on the farms across America, filling the plates of the city-dwellers who can't imagine traversing a road that hasn't been plowed and salted and don't know the first thing about how to get the milk they rely on for their half-caff cappuccinos if it doesn't get delivered to them via app.

I don't look forward to the day when, say, the power is shut off for millions of Californians and they have no idea what to do without Candy Crush. If that day ever comes, we here in the rural lands of America will not be here criticizing the poor choices that soft men like Kernion made by relying too heavily on smartphones and take-out instead of honing his basic human skills of survival and self-reliance. We will be here, willing to show people like Kernion what's great about us and our chosen way of life while we pull them out of darkness and chaos.

SOURCE 






Rewriting Disney's 'Woke' Wrongs

It’s still sort of a big deal when Disney re-releases one of its classic animated movies. In years past, the parents of the six-year-olds who loved “Frozen” swooned over “The Lion King,” while their own parents were likely taken in by “The Jungle Book.” Yet in introducing its new streaming service, the Disney conglomerate has caved to political correctness by running a disclaimer at the beginning of many of its classic movies and warning us that they may contain “outdated cultural depictions.”

But some people are never satisfied. Those who complain that “The Lion King” had “racist hyenas” and “The Jungle Book” was full of its own racial coding don’t think Disney went far enough. Naturally, they’ve taken to Twitter and are comparing Disney’s disclaimer to a stronger one issued by Warner Brothers for its “Looney Tunes” cartoons a few years ago — a warning that the animated depictions were “wrong then and they are wrong today.”

On the surface, it’s surprising just how reasonable Disney’s disclaimer is given how quickly it’s running to placate the Rainbow Mafia with scenes of same-sex kisses and kids “coming out” on the Disney Channel. But the movie studio that brought us Mickey Mouse has already sanitized a significant portion of its history, editing out a character in “Fantasia” and essentially forever erasing the “Song of the South,” with only its classic “Zippity-Do-Dah” tune still in circulation. Disney apparently believes these parts of its past are just too offensive for the sensibilities of today’s audiences. We suppose the company is right.

One thing Disney doesn’t reveal with its disclaimer, though, is just which “outdated cultural depictions” are the trigger within these movies. In that respect, it can be argued (and eventually believed) that the entire movie is an “outdated cultural depiction.” So what happens when the hero is a white, straight male who gets the girl in the end? Is that outdated because today’s heroine must be a woman of color with a same-sex partner?

The other problem is that Disney’s disclaimer implies that the cultural norms of our past — which included things like the nuclear family, faith in our Creator, and a strong work ethic — are now somehow suspect. And in a society that’s theoretically more colorblind than ever, some of these “outdated cultural depictions” might well pass unnoticed by younger audiences that were never exposed to those stereotypes.

Perhaps we should hang onto all those old Disney titles on VHS, because It’s a Woke World, After All.

SOURCE 






Hate crimes are a snark

"Hate crimes" are so loosely defined these days that it is a wonder that there are not hundreds of thousands of them reported

In a nation of more than 325 million people, there were 7,120 “hate crimes” reported to the FBI in 2018. That isn’t to minimize those crimes; it’s to put this in perspective. This represents a slight decrease from the prior year (7,175), which should be good news. Of course, the Leftmedia only sees fit to push the false “woke” narrative that America is the “land of bigotry.” NBC’s headline reads, “Nearly 1 in 5 hate crimes motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias, FBI finds.” CBS blares, “FBI: Hate crime murders hit record in 2018; crimes targeting transgender people soar.” (That record is 24 murders out of more than 16,000.) And The Mercury News states, “FBI report shows surge in hate crime murders and crimes against Latinos, transgender people.”

With headlines like these, one is led to believe that “hate crimes” are a major and pressing problem. Hyperbole sells. But more significantly, it shifts perceptions.

First and foremost, American conservatives by their very value system utterly reject these “hate crimes,” irrespective of how the MSM may caricature them. Despite how exceedingly tiresome it is, it bears repeating that any group that elevates race and ethnicity as primary to one’s political ideology, i.e. white nationalists, is no more conservative than is Louis Farrakhan.

The truth is, America today is far from a racist and bigoted nation. America is also a nation with a vibrant political system in which roughly half the population adheres to a relatively conservative perspective on the role of government.

Unfortunately, rather than seeking to honestly and impartially recognize this reality, much of America’s mainstream media, following the lead of leftist Democrats, regularly demonizes conservatives as being motivated by hatred and bigotry. That supposedly serves as the explanation for conservative political perspectives and rejection of socialism.

Frankly, it’s amazing that there aren’t more “hate crimes” given the Left’s constant promulgation of divisive identity politics. Indeed, if Democrats’ and the Leftmedia’s characterization of conservatives were actually true, then one should expect to see “hate crimes” numbering in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Just think of how many firearms conservatives own. But we digress.

Demanding that everyone not only tolerate but embrace lifestyle choices that directly attack the core values of millions of people — and then crying foul and destroying lives when people refuse — is an attitude and expectation that is itself contentious, provocative, and an invitation for conflict.

When the Rainbow Mafia verbally attacks and labels people as “homophobic” and bigoted for refusing to bow to their sexually deviant dogma, there will unfortunately be a few who lack the patience and good sense to not criminally hit back.

SOURCE 






Australia: Ludicrous new rule could see thousands of firefighters BANNED from battling deadly bushfires

Yet another case of toxic bureaucracy in firefighting

A 'ludicrous' new rule requiring volunteer firefighters to receive a work-with-children check could see thousands of them banned from battling blazes.

Queensland volunteers will be required to lodge a Blue Card application before December 1. or they will not be able to continue helping battle fires.

This new rule could see 15,000 volunteers banned from fighting fires from January 1 if they failed to apply for work-with-children checks.

Deadly fires have been burning throughout Queensland and New South Wales for more than a week resulting in four deaths.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner, John Bolger, recently broke the news to volunteers.

'Any QFES volunteer who is required to have a Blue Card, but refuses to apply for one, or is unable to hold a current Blue Card, will not be able to continue their role,' Mr Bolger said.

'As a member of the Rural Fire Service, you are likely to come into contact with children while performing your role, so are required to have a Blue Card. It is the law.'

Volunteers from NSW or Victoria do not need similar credentials. 

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland boss, Justin Choveaux, is concerned the new law will result in fewer people available to fight deadly fires.

'They defend the state for free and do dangerous things. Getting rid of 75 per cent of the membership of the truck brigades is not a good plan,' Mr Choveaux told The Courier Mail.

He also said many rural firefighters felt offended by the new law because they were being treated like potential paedophiles.

Veteran volunteer firefighter and grandfather, Ian Swadling, said he would refuse to comply with the new rule. 

'I think it would be very foolish to start dismissing trained firefighters in the worst fire season the state's seen in 60 or 70 years,' Mr Swadling said.

The volunteer from Villeneuve near Toowoomba said his only contact with children in the 30 years of firefighting was showing off the truck at the local show. 

In correspondence obtained by The Sunday Mail, acting Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Mike Wassing said volunteers needed Blue Cards in case they came across students who had been evacuated or were on their way home.

He said these checks will be required because firefighters are classified as a health service. 

Mr Wassing also criticised volunteers who questioned the working-with-children check.

'Let me be clear that disrespectful conversations regarding the Blue Card process, including questioning the integrity of those people who are currently reluctant to apply, is not acceptable,' he said.

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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Sunday, November 17, 2019



Running can help you live longer. And more isn’t always better

Here we go again.  As usual, the researchers did not ask WHY people were in their various categories. In particular, who were the non-runners?  Many were probably not very well, and that would swing the overall averages for their category  -- so all we have here is a finding that people who were not very well had shorter lives -- how astounding is that?

All these correlational studies fall because of the basic statistical dictum that correlation is not causation.  So they will never deliver watertight conclusions. But that is not a counsel of despair.  By controlling for likely confounders (such as health, above) they can still deliver persuasive evidence on their question

But very few researchers make much of an attempt at controls. Income and social class are the big lacunae.  Both are of course politically sensitive so that is part of the reason for the gap but I think another one is laziness.  Once they have done enough to get into the journals they think they have done enough

But it is not enough.  Every study of the subject that I have ever seen shows poverty to be a big influence on health. So even in the present study that could be at work.  Jogging and other running exercise seem to be a mainly a middle class activity.  So the researchers below were probably contrasting poorer people with middle class people.  So all they showed was nothing more that what we have always known -- that the poor die younger.  Big deal!

Education is a reasonably easy datum to get and that is often controlled for and presented as evidence of demographic control -- but that is a very feeble attempt.  As a measure of social class, for instance, it overlooks the big role of subjective class

It is true that getting income and social class data is the hardest part of survey research.  But I nearly always got that in my research career so it just depends on how much you are invested in your research.  I really wanted to find out what is going on rather than just producing something that was "publishable".  And I got lots published anyway.



One major reason americans don’t get enough exercise is they feel they don’t have enough time. It can be difficult to squeeze in the 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week that federal guidelines recommend; only about half of Americans do, according to the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But new research suggests people may be able to get life-lengthening benefits by running for far less time.

In a new analysis of 14 studies, researchers tracked deaths among more than 232,000 people from the U.S.,

Denmark, the U.K. and China over at least five years, and compared the findings with people’s self-reports about how much they ran. People who said they ran any amount were less likely to die during the follow-up than those who didn’t run at all. Runners were 27% less likely to die for any reason, compared with nonrunners, and had a 30% and 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer, respectively. This was true even for those who didn’t log a great deal of time. The analysis grouped people into clusters, with 50 minutes or less per week representing the group that ran the least—but still ran.

“Regardless of how much you run, you can expect such benefits,” says Zeljko Pedisic, associate professor at the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University in Australia, and one of the authors of the new analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine ("Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis")

The analysis is The latest to illustrate the benefits of running on the human body. “It’s what we evolved to do,” says Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University (who was not involved in the new research). People may no longer chase down prey for their next meal, but running is still helping us survive: as leisure-time exercise, it keeps us healthy. “One of the best ways to avoid having to see a doctor,” Lieberman says, “is to stay physically active.”

The physical demands of running “affect just about every system of the body” in a beneficial way, Lieberman says. Take the cardiovascular system. Running forces it to adapt by “generating more capacity,” he says. “You grow more capillaries and small arteries, and that helps lower your blood pressure.” (High blood pressure is a major cause of health problems and death.) Running is good at guarding against cancer partly because it uses up blood sugar, starving the cancer cells that rely on it for fuel. And it protects you in other ways not necessarily measured in the latest research: by decreasing inflammation, for example, which is at the root of many diseases, and stimulating the production of a protein that improves brain health, Lieberman says. “Vigorous physical activity has been shown to be by far—with no close second—the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s,” he notes.

The good news for people who want the maximum longevity benefits—while spending the least amount of time slapping one foot in front of the other—is that running more than 50 minutes per week wasn’t linked to additional protections against dying. Neither were how often people ran and the pace they kept. As long as you’re running, more isn’t always better, especially given that the risk of injury increases with repetition.

SOURCE 






Want Children? Pick Mr Good Enough! Fertility experts warn when it comes to having children women should stop hanging on for Mr Right

When it comes to having children, a fertility expert says women should stop looking for Mr Right and settle for ‘Mr Good Enough’.

Those who hang on too long, waiting for the ideal father, may run out of time to have a baby, according to consultant gynaecologist Dr Meenakshi Choudhary.

Dr Choudhary spoke after presenting a talk on IVF at the Ovarian Club’s annual meeting in Paris.

She said women should stop looking for ‘fairytale’ relationships and be aware of their biological clocks.

Her comments came as the number of women freezing their eggs has doubled since 2013, with more than 1,300 procedures carried out in 2016.

British experts reported last year that women often did so to avoid ‘panic parenting’ and having a baby just to avoid running out of time.

Dr Choudhary, of Newcastle Fertility Centre, said: ‘It is a myth that women leave it later to have a child until they have climbed the career ladder, with studies showing it is much more likely to be because they have not met Mr Right.

‘I would advise women not to wait for Mr Right but to go for Mr Good Enough if they want to have children.’

She is studying how the amount and quality of women’s eggs changes as they age, and needs women aged up to 44 to donate eggs.

SOURCE 





Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats overtake the Social Democrats to become the country's most popular party for the first time, new opinion poll reveals

Anti-immigrant party the Sweden Democrats have become the country's most popular party for the first time, a poll released today revealed.

The far-right group overtook the Social Democrats, nine years after winning its first seats in parliament.

A new opinion poll showed the Sweden Democrats would get 24.2 per cent of the votes if an election was held now.

But the Social Democrats would get 22.2 per cent, the lowest ever polled by Swedish pollsters Demoskop.

This newest survey was published in the the Swedish daily newspaper, Aftonbladet.

The Social Democrats, who are in a coalition government along with junior party The Greens, have been criticised in recent months for failing to deal with a gang-related crime wave.

In the 2018 election the Sweden Democrats won 17.5 per cent of the vote, trailing the Social Democrats on 28.3 per cent and the Moderates on 19.8 per cent.

Jimmie Akesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats, attributed the new figures to crime and immigration.

He told Aftonbladet today: 'I'm not surprised. I've long argued we would be the biggest party sooner or later.

'We've been talking constructively over gang criminality, escalating insecurity, and a migration policy that doesn't work for so many years.'

Lena Radstrom Baastad, party secretary for the Social Democrats, blamed their dip in popularity on the compromises the party made to form a coalition in January.

She said: 'It's a damned tough situation right now, so I'm not surprised when you consider what we've got against us, with gang murders, shootings and explosions. It's us, as a the ruling party, who has to pay the price.'

Following a general election in September 2018, the Social Democrats formed a coalition with The Greens and formed a policy agreement with the centre-right parties, the Liberals and the Centre Party.

Right-wing parties The Moderates, Sweden Democrats and Christian Democrats now have a combined 49.4 per cent of the vote, putting them well ahead of the left-liberal bloc of Social Democrats, Green Party, Centre Party and Liberal Party.

SOURCE 






Australia: The Queensland government is to legislate every tenant's dream

And guess who will be most badly affected by that?  Tenants.  Like most do-gooder legislation, it will hurt most those it tries to help.

Why do landlords impose restrictions that tenants dislike?  They have to in order to remain in business.  I am a very experienced landlord (now ex) so let me give you a crystal clear example of why the present restrictions are in place

Pets:  Most landlords do not allow them.  Why?  Because pets shit and piss and even well behaved ones will occasionally do it on the landlord's carpet, which will then stink. 

So what happens when the pet owners move out?  The landlord has to try to re-let a place that stinks of pet excreta.  Very few people will move into such a place.  Smell-removing treatments achieve little so the ladlord has to rip up and replace the carpet -- costing thousand of dollars, far more than can ever be covered by a bond.  The landlord would have been better off never to let the pet owners into his place

And guess what?  The new legislation will tell landlords that they MUST allow pets

So what would every rational landlord do in that case?  Stop renting the property out. Sell it instead.  And the supply of rental accomodation will steadily dry up from that point on.

So the only way poor people will in future be able to get accomodation will be to move into accomodation that is priced to cover the risks -- at a much higher rent.  So people who once were able to afford their own house or apartment will have to share -- and thus experience a much more crowded and trying accomodation experience.

Well done, do-gooders!  An editorial from the "Courier Mail" below:



PROPOSED sweeping changes to tenancy laws in Queensland should be given close scrutiny to ensure the right balance is struck between the rights of renters and landlords. Under plans revealed in today's The Courier-Mail, tenants would get greater rights to keep pets and make changes to rental properties to make them safer or more homely.

In what are the most extensive changes to residential tenancies laws in four decades, renters would be able to improve the safety of their home — such as by installing grab rails in bathrooms, furniture anchors, child safety gates and dead locks — without seeking permission from the owner.

Tenants would also be able to make changes that make the accommodation more inviting or energy efficient such as by hanging pictures or using water-saving taps — after seeking approval from the owner. In a dramatic boost to the rights of tenants, this permission would be granted automatically if the owner does not respid within seven days.

As part of the changes, it would also be more difficult for owners to refuse a pet, but renters would also be forced to pay a pet bond to cover costs of potential damage.

These measures, to be announced today, will be introduced in two phases, the first of which will deal with safety measures, accessibility and rights for renters to break a lease to escape domestic violence.

It's encouraging that these wide-ranging reforms will be introduced in phases. But we urge close analysis of the changes to guard against unintended consequences. It may be laudable to improve the rights for tenants, who make up more than one-third of all Queensland households, but if these changes are rushed or not thought through properly, they could end up harming both owners and renters.

The State Government already concedes that rents could rise by between $5 to $18 a week as a result of the changes. The new laws will also require better communication between real estate agents, landlords and tenants.

Allowing tenants to alter the property if they make a request and do not get a response within seven days seems to be a short notice period, particularly if the owner is away or the property manager fails to pass on the message promptly.

And while safety improvements seem reasonable, is it fair to allow tenants to alter a property without at least consulting the owner? Housing Minister Mick de Brenni says the changes will bring in minimum standards inspired by Lyn and Ken Diefenbach, who lobbied for changes after their granddaughter Bella died in an accident involving a rotten floorboard in a rented property.

Its clear that landlords should ensure their property is safe. Tenants have a right to feel secure and comfortable in the homes they pay to rent. But some of these proposals appear to go much further than improving safety and verge on aesthetic and lifestyle changes, which should only be allowed with great care. What one tenant thinks is a positive change to a property may not be what the owner thinks.

If these changes go too far, they could damage the value of owners' investments, push up rents and even harm property prices just as the housing market appears to be improving.

From the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" of 16/11/2019

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

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

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

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