Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Not all bad behavior, even when directed at a member of a minority group, is racist

But that seems to be a reality that eludes the internet mob.

Last week, Natasha Tynes, a commuter using the Washington metropolitan area’s Metro system, tweeted a photo of an African-American woman in a Metro uniform eating on a train—something that’s not allowed. She tagged Metro’s official Twitter account in her complaint, and later, gave Metro more details to help identify the employee.

Let me be clear: What Tynes did is reprehensible. She could have very well cost this woman her job—and what’s more, she made her complaint by posting a photo of the woman without her permission on a public internet platform. As far as we know, Tynes had no knowledge about what the woman was going through, and what circumstances she was dealing with that day. (Her union has since said Metro employees typically have only 20 minutes between jobs, and she needed to travel to the next place she was slated to work.)

But none of this means Tynes was motivated by racial animosity toward this woman whose eating offense apparently angered her—yet that is the assumption that many of Tynes’ detractors are making, and the assumption that led to her book deal being canceled.

And for that, she’s been smeared as a racist.

On the book review site Goodreads, people trashed her forthcoming book as revenge, giving it the lowest rating of one star. User Kali Villa-Leblanc wrote: “Written by a disgusting human being who would take time out of her day to put a black woman’s livelihood at risk for no reason. Wouldn’t read this book if it was being given out for free. Wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who isn’t a privileged, racist, psychopath.”

User Chris Leo wrote: “This book is written by a truly evil woman who tried to get another black woman get fired for eating in Metro,” and user Vanessa said: “Natasha Tynes is a writer without empathy or humanity, a contempt at best and vicious malice for black woman at worst.”

Tynes did apologize, reportedly tweeting, “I apologize for a tweet I posted earlier today, which I have since deleted. I am truly sorry.” She later deleted her Twitter account.

Soon, her book “They Called Me Wyatt,” which had been scheduled for publication June 11, per Amazon, was canceled, with the publishing companies behind her book also accusing Tynes of racism:

If Tynes had lost her book deal for being a terrible neighbor or a humorless tattletale, fine.

But that’s not what happened—and federal lawmakers weighing in only makes this worse. Because the lesson here seems to be that any negative comment about any minority person is racist.

If that’s the standard, race relations will only get worse in our country.

Of course, make no mistake: Racism still exists in the United States. Just ask Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who delivered a powerful speech in 2016 about how he felt his skin color made him a target of police at times: “In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement,” the South Carolina senator stated.

But there’s no contradiction between racism still existing and the conclusion that not every negative comment directed at a minority person is racist in nature.

The end of racism is stopping judging people by the color of their skin, not stopping judging people of certain races or ethnic groups entirely. It’s crucial to our American identity to judge and look at people as individuals, not fall into the trap of identity politics and tribalism.

Tynes’ critics may be celebrating now. But in the long run, they’ve hurt, not helped, race relations in the United States.


Muslim terrorist training camp found in Alabama

Authorities have discovered a second homegrown Muslim terrorist training facility owned by a terrorist organization presided over by the son of jihadist iman Siraj Ibn Wahhaj.

The FBI found the camp near Tuskegee, Alabama, and reportedly described it as containing a “makeshift military-style obstacle course.” Details are few.

Researchers at WPMI-TV, an NBC affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, uncovered the existence of the second facility after combing through legal documents and reported on it April 29 but the national media only picked up the story in recent days.

The April 29 report states:

NBC 15 News uncovered a heavily redacted court file connecting this property to an alleged terrorist training camp 1400 miles away in New Mexico. Using clues from the cryptic court filing, we found land records showing the Alabama property is owned by accused terrorist Siraj Wahhaj. The recently unsealed federal search warrant says on this two acre Tuskegee property the terror suspects built a second compound.

Researchers concluded that “the items discovered on the Macon County property mirrored those recovered in New Mexico.”

The TV station reports it “found tires, trash, children’s toys and respirators,” adding the FBI “believes the group spent at least several weeks here.”

Federal authorities appear to have made the Alabama connection with this group back in December 2017 when Siraj Wahhaj crashed his 2004 Ford Explorer on 1-65 in rural Chilton County, Alabama about an hour and a half away from the compound. The FBI says there were five guns in that car, a bullet-proof vest, and a bag of ammunition. Investigators say Wahhaj and a friend were allowed to remove the firearms from the Explorer into a box truck. They told police they were going camping 1,400 miles away in New Mexico. Eight months later, the desert compound was raided.

In March a federal grand jury in New Mexico indicted five Muslims who, among other things, allegedly trained children to carry out spree killings, formally charging them with terrorism-related offenses, conspiracy to commit murder, and kidnapping.

The defendants, all in their mid-thirties to early forties, are Jany Leveille, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhanah Wahhaj, and Lucas Morton. Leveille reportedly used to work at Imam Wahhaj’s terrorist-linked mosque, Masjid At-Taqwa, in Brooklyn, New York. All five co-conspirators are related by blood or marriage.

The quintet was arrested after authorities found 11 hungry, filthy children living in squalid conditions in a makeshift militant training compound in Amalia, Taos County, a remote part of New Mexico, during a raid by local police on Aug. 3, 2018. The children were being trained to commit school shootings, according to court documents. The remains of a three-year-old disabled boy, since identified as the son of defendant Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, were discovered on the property which was filled with weapons. The indictment accused the defendants of kidnapping the special-needs boy and transporting him from Georgia to New Mexico. The defendants were previously indicted on weapons and conspiracy charges on Aug. 31, 2018.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s father of the same name is a notorious Muslim holy man. Wahhaj Sr. was close to Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” who orchestrated the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 that left seven people (including an unborn baby) dead. Imam Wahhaj testified as a character witness for the sheikh, calling him a “respected scholar ... bold ... [and] a strong preacher of Islam,” and that he felt honored to have hosted Rahman at his mosque, according to Discover The Networks.

Imam Wahhaj used to be a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) national advisory board. He offered an opening prayer at an event called “Jumah at the DNC” at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and has been called the spiritual adviser of jihad sympathizer and Bernie Sanders supporter Linda Sarsour. The openly anti-Semitic Sarsour sits on the board of the Women’s March organization and openly admits membership in America’s largest Marxist group, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

The terrorist cell’s religious inspiration has been identified as Leveille, who is Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s wife and an illegal alien from Haiti.

According to FBI Special Agent Travis Taylor, Leveille depicted herself to children at the armed camp as a kind of prophet and claimed she was receiving divine messages from the “Angel Gabriel.” It is a tenet of Islam that Gabriel, an archangel, dictated the Koran to Muhammad.

Leveille and her husband “sought to recruit and train persons, including minor children, to be prepared to engage in jihad and train an army of jihad and to die as martyrs,” Taylor previously testified.

Leveille’s husband allegedly trained the children in the camp in military techniques, including the use of firearms and rapid reloading. He also reportedly told the children that “jihad” means killing non-Muslims.

The investigation in Alabama apparently continues.


Political Correctness Is Destroying Philadelphia

When most Americans think of Philadelphia—although probably fewer today than ever before, given the low level of history education in American schools—they probably think of the founding of the United States, the Liberty Bell, and the city’s nickname, the City of Brotherly Love.

Having been to Philadelphia at least 20 times, I am among the many Americans who have warm feelings toward America’s founding city. My daily radio show has a large and enthusiastic listener base there, and I have a son who lives nearby.

So, it is with no joy that I write about the transformation of Philadelphia into something far removed from the principles of the country it helped birth. Philadelphia’s leading institutions—such as the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Flyers—provide depressing evidence.

We’ll begin with the Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania, one of the country’s Ivy League colleges. When Harvard professor Steven Pinker, a liberal and an atheist, recently described American universities as a “laughingstock,” he could have been referring specifically to the University of Pennsylvania, which, among other Philadelphia institutions, is committed to dismantling American and Western civilization.

For decades, a portrait of William Shakespeare, the greatest English-language playwright who ever lived and the most widely read playwright in the world, hung over the main staircase of Fisher-Bennett Hall, home to Penn’s English department.

Given Shakespeare’s stature as an English-language writer, what other writer would an English department so honor? But that question only makes sense to those who believe that excellence should dictate what writer’s portrait should hang in a university English department.

The idea that excellence is all that matters in assessing artists is fundamental to Western civilization and is a primary reason for its ascent. It took a long time for humanity to transcend ethnic, racial, tribal, and economic criteria for assessing art.

But the English department at the University of Pennsylvania, dominated as it is by those who equate Western civilization with “white supremacy” (aka leftists), voted to remove the Shakespeare portrait.

As reported in The Daily Pennsylvanian, the university’s student newspaper, “The English Department voted to relocate and replace the portrait … in order to represent a more diverse range of writers, according to an emailed statement from [Department Chair Jed] Esty, who declined to be interviewed.”

A few years later, in December 2016, students took down the portrait.

In its place they put up a portrait of Audre Lorde, a black feminist lesbian poet who died in 1992.

Equally nihilistic is a story out of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. On Aug. 9, 2017, tenured Penn Law professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego School of Law professor Larry Alexander co-authored an opinion piece titled “Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.”

Its thesis was that the rejection of American bourgeois middle-class culture is the primary reason for most social ills in America today:

[American] culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Within a few weeks, a petition was signed by 4,000 people calling for Wax’s dismissal, and the dean of Penn Law, Ted Ruger, wrote an op-ed in The Daily Pennsylvanian, ostensibly about Charlottesville but really about Wax, in which he implied her views were “divisive, even noxious.”

Most significantly, he wrote, “It is important that I state my own personal view that as a scholar and educator I reject emphatically any claim that a single cultural tradition is better than all others” (referring to Wax’s position that those bourgeois values are superior values).

After hundreds of her colleagues demanded Wax be fired, Ruger forbade her from teaching any first-year required courses at Penn Law.

Now to the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the world’s greatest. The orchestra recently received more than 500 applications for the position of assistant conductor.

According to my Philly sources, the four finalists included only one male (a black male, for the record), despite the fact that males make up the overwhelming majority of orchestra conductors in the world and therefore the overwhelming majority of the applicants for the Philadelphia Orchestra position.

There is little reason to believe that, as talented as they may be, the four were chosen on the basis of artistic excellence alone. The orchestra’s gifted conductor, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, has declared this the year of the woman conductor and the year of the woman composer.

Most musicians are on the left, but Nezet-Seguin makes it more obvious than most. In a recent concert, the Philadelphia Orchestra featured the premiere of Philadelphia Voices, “a political rant put to musical garbage,” as some Philadelphians associated with the orchestra described it to me.

In the fifth movement, named “My House Is Full of Black People,” the black teen narrator chants: “The county is full of black people/ All wanting to be heard/ While old white men draw lines on maps/ To shut all of them up.” Later in the movement, he yells, “If you would all just f—ing listen!”

And this year, the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team removed the statue of American singer Kate Smith that the team had erected in 1987. Her rendition of “God Bless America” was played at every Flyers home game since 9/11, and she herself sang it for the Flyers in the 1970s.

But last month, the team learned that Smith had sung a song with racist lyrics—“That’s Why Darkies Were Born”—in 1931. That Paul Robeson, the great black singer—and enthusiastic supporter of Josef Stalin—also recorded the song doesn’t matter. To the Flyers (and New York Yankees), Smith’s whiteness undid all the good she did for America.

Will Philadelphia next remove the Liberty Bell? After all, it was commissioned by slave owners and inscribed with a verse from the Bible.


John Stuart Mill warned of the coming ‘social tyranny’ that is taking root on social media

In John Stuart Mill’s magnum opus, On Liberty, which provides one of the most compelling defenses of free speech in human history, the philosopher warned how a tyranny of the majority could impose censorship that would be “more formidable” than even governmental censorship and that it could “enslav[e] the soul” with little room for escape. Mill said, “Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of prevailing opinion and feeling…” Are we in danger of a social tyranny on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, where members of the community are being singled out and silenced because they hold unpopular views?

Mill wrote, “[W]hen society is itself the tyrant — society collectively over the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannising are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.”

Are we in danger of a social tyranny on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, where members of the community are being singled out and silenced because they hold unpopular views?

A recent example that has garnered a lot of attention recently has been actor James Woods being suspended from Twitter. Woods’ apparent crime? He paraphrased Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous response to Oliver Wendell Holmes’ criticism of Plato in 1875, where he warned against crossing giants: “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

Woods’ iteration was in reaction to the outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. That, after three years of investigation by intelligence agencies, the Justice Department and eventually, Mueller, no coordination or conspiracy by President Donald Trump, his campaign or any American with Russia was found.

Woods wrote in April, “If you try to kill the King, you better not miss. #HangThemAll.”

For the duration of the Russia collusion investigation, critics of the President have routinely gone on social media to pronounce that Trump was guilty of treason, a capital crime. The #TrumpTreason hashtag remains a popular locale to call the President a traitor.

It turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, who hired via law firm Perkins Coie Fusion GPS and former British spy Christopher Steele to pen the allegations that Trump and his campaign were Russian agents who had coordinated the hack of the DNC and publishing the emails on Wikileaks.

But, apparently, if you suggest that those who pursued the false investigation of Trump were guilty of treason and should be punished accordingly, that can be a bannable or suspendable offense on Twitter. The #Treason hashtag includes a lot of posts like that, but also goes in the opposite direction and similarly declare the President a traitor.

The question is not whether or not treason should be punished by death, for it clearly is under federal law, 18 U.S. Code § 2381, which states “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death…”

So, if you declare that somebody is a traitor of the U.S., you are at least implying they should be executed. Let’s be clear. It is a capital crime. Woods was explicit. He thought the investigation into Trump, based on concocted evidence, was treason and should be punished accordingly. But, so what?

If somebody reacts to a murder and there is a prosecution, and that person were to take to social media advocating the death penalty for that capital crime, is that an incitement to violence, or a call for the rule of law to be vindicated? Or, what if somebody advocates for a war to be declared by Congress on a country in another instance, mindful that thousands or millions of people could die?

The point is it’s all pretty subjective. As noted above, it is extremely common in political discourse for opponents to accuse each other of being traitors. It happens a lot. Even if you think Woods was over the top, it does not seem to rise to any level that would merit a suspension on a social media platform. But that’s exactly what happened here.

If anything, that’s pretty tame in comparison to some of the stuff you see online that doesn’t get banned.

In a statement to the Daily Wire, Woods said, “Twitter demanded that I rescind my tweet paraphrasing Emerson. It now seems they have chosen to delete that tweet from my account without my permission. Until free speech is allowed on Twitter, I will not be permitted to participate in our democracy with my voice.”

This is just one example, but it underscores the point that even though Woods had more than 2 million followers on Twitter that took years to build, utter the wrong words and that can come all crashing down. Your business and access to your fans can be cut off.

It is censorship, no question.

To be clear, it is not be censorship by the government. Twitter is a private institution and is not bound by the First Amendment. But it is censorship all the same. And it is not something society has to take lying down.

Now, the White House is getting into gear and urging Americans to document instances where their voices are being silence on social media at http://whitehouse.gov/techbias. The website states, “SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear ‘violations’ of user policies. No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.”

The reach of social media is undeniable. A Pew report found 68 percent of adult Americans use Facebook, or over 170 million. 24 percent use Twitter, or about 61 million. The ease of access on our phones and computers has made social media a go-to source for politicians, political parties, pundits, actors, companies and just about everybody to speak their mind.

In every way possible, social media is the “marketplace of ideas” that Mill and others championed. But now it is not upholding the spirit of free speech. Mill wrote, “Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development and, if possible prevent the formation of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own.”

Mill added, “There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs as protection against political despotism.” The question for Mill and us today is where that limit is and ought to be placed. Mill called it “the principal question of human affairs.”

Mill laid out his principle, which was that “the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

Now, terms of service on social media platforms like Twitter certainly forbid imminent threats of violence, but they also tend to forbid wishing for physical or other serious harm on others, as well. So, in the Woods example, calling for traitors to be hanged or executed — even though that is a potential punishment for treason under the law — seems like it might run afoul of the terms of use. On the other hand the terms of service that Woods supposedly violated say that the threat must be directed at an “individual or group of people.” “#HangThemAll” may not be explicit enough to warrant a violation. It does not really pose any specific or imminent harm to anyone.

But let me add that even if Woods had said a specific individual, one of the persons who investigated Trump, for example, was guilty of treason and should be tried in a court of law, convicted and punished to the fullest extent allowable, which is death, I do not think it would merit a banning. For nowhere in such an example is he calling for people to take matters into their own hands and is instead calling for due process, even if the reading of the law is not necessarily correct.

If a line needs to be drawn, I’d suggest a specific and/or imminent threat of violence would be a permissible threshold to prevent harm unto others, such as outlined in the Supreme Court decision, Brandenburg v. Ohio, in which the advocacy “is likely to incite or produce such action.”

This may not be something government regulation under our system could really touch upon under the First Amendment. Private institutions like social media platforms need to police themselves. But in their dominant market positions, they have an additional responsibility to society to find, in Mill’s words, the limit of “legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence,” for that limit is “indispensable to a good condition of human affairs.”

And even then, we should be mindful that in politics, words can get heated sometimes. In the marketplace of ideas, sometimes comments will get deleted, and not at all consistently, and if it is unwarranted, individuals in that marketplace will respond.

Mill’s antidote was discussion. Perhaps instead of deleting Woods’ tweet, somebody should have debated with it, and said erroneous prosecutions are not treasonous per se, even against a sitting President. And then those who thought it was traitorous could respond, and there’d be a debate. No harm there.

If on the other hand, we move toward more censorship of political voices, there will certainly be more calls for regulation, especially if the push seems to be aimed toward a one-party system. In April 2018, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey retweeted an article by Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira that called our political discourse a “new civil war,” with Leyden and Teixeira writing, “America can’t afford more political paralysis. One side or the other must win. This is a civil war that can be won without firing a shot. But it is a fundamental conflict between two worldviews that must be resolved in short order.”

It called for “Democratic One-Party Rule” in the U.S. as a means of reconciling the nation’s challenges and implementing the progressive agenda.

Dorsey called it a “great read.”

Is that the direction social media is moving now, to silence its political opponents? To create one-party rule? Sounds pretty undemocratic. One-party rule is the tyranny of a majority or a minority, but it does not condone dissent.

These platforms may want to come up with an industry standard that airs on the side of discussion and is more consistent. It’s easier to enforce freedom of speech than it is to effectively monitor billions of communications for fouls. User tools allow individuals to mute others already and allow groups and pages to monitor and remove objectionable communications on their own platforms.

Republics, at their core, are fragile things. To survive, the freedom from political violence must be maintained. It is not something I personally endorse. Nor do I think the power of law should be used for political ends to go after political opponents. But I acknowledge that such factionalism is an implication of free speech, and I’d rather have free speech with factions and its calls for political prosecutions or accusations of treason than a regime of censorship that seeks to police it.

James Madison wrote of this in the Federalist No. 10, “There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests. It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.”

Madison continued, “The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.”

So, too must the freedom from being silenced be maintained. Facebook and Twitter will not cure us of faction, and if that is their intent, they should stop providing platforms to anyone for what they might do with it.

There’s a good balance here and banning “#HangThemAll” may not be it.

So, let’s try free speech. Debate is the solution. As Mill wrote, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”



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

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

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


Monday, May 20, 2019

Large glass of fruit juice a day increases risk of premature death, research suggests

The academic journal referenced appears to be this one. It's a parade of a small number of studies with inconsistent and weak effects so is essentially speculative.

And the conclusions are contra-indicated by other studies.  We read elsewhere for instance: 

"Compared with no consumption, pure fruit juice consumption up to 7 glasses/week – but not consumption of ≥8 glasses – was significantly associated with reduced risk of CVD and CHD, with HR from 0·83 (95 % CI 0·73, 0·95) to 0·88 (95 % CI 0·80, 0·97). Consumption of 1–4 and 4–8 glasses/week was significantly associated with lower risk of stroke with HR of 0·80 (95 % CI 0·64, 0·99) and 0·76 (95 % CI 0·61, 0·94), respectively"

So is fruit juice beneficial or harmful?  Take your pick!

Fruit juice could be even worse for the health than drinking cola and lemonade, US research suggests. The study of 13,000 adults found that a 12 oz glass of juice a day could increase the risk of early death by almost a quarter.

Experts said the fructose content of such drinks could be driving up insulin resistance and stimulating hormones that promotes fat deposition around the waist. Both can lead to a greater chance of heart disease and diabetes.

The new research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), compared, for the first time, 100 per cent fruit juices with sugar-sweetened beverages such as cola and lemonade.

It found that higher death rates were associated with consumption of all sugary drinks.

A daily 12 oz (340ml) glass of a sugar-sweetened drink such as cola was linked to a 6 per cent increased risk of early death over the six year study.

And drinking an extra fruit juice of the same volume was linked to a 24 per cent rise in premature mortality.

Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta and Cornell University in New York, said the impact did not seem to stem just from the impact of the drinks on obesity, as the findings were adjusted to take account of this.

However, the study was observational, so it could not demonstrate that the drinks caused the increased health risks.

During an average follow-up of six years, there were 1,000 deaths from any cause. Participants had an average age of 64 at the start of the study.

British scientists said the findings were important.

They said many people drank too many juices and smoothies, disregarding their high sugar content, when they would be better eating pieces of fruit, which are more filling.

The NHS recommends a maximum of one portion of 150 ml of fruit juice daily, as part of “5 a day”.

Typically, people in the study got 8.4 per cent of their calorie intake each day from sugar-sweetened drinks and 4 per cent from 100 per cent fruit juice.

Dr Gunter Kuhnle, associate professor in nutrition and health at the University of Reading, said: "This is a very important study, especially as fruit juices are often seen as a 'healthy' alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, even though they often contain much more sugar (especially smoothies).

"Fruit juices are a poor replacement for actual fruit consumption, in particular as they can be much more easily over-consumed,” he said.

"In the UK, the general recommendation is that a 150ml glass of fruit juice can provide one of the five-a-day, but not more.

"This is less than half of the amount found in this study to result in a modest increase in mortality, so there is no suggestion from this study that one glass a day is problematic,” he said.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “This study is a reminder that consuming sugary drinks can contribute to dental caries, increased calories, weight gain, and associated ill health.

“Current advice is to swap sugary drinks for water, lower fat milks and lower sugar or diet drinks.  While fruit and vegetable juices can contribute to one of your 5 A Day, it’s important to limit juice and smoothies to a total of 150 mls each day as they can still contain high amounts of sugar.”


Mass: Jewish community centers torched at  Arlington, Needham

Authorities are investigating whether three acts of arson at Jewish institutions in Arlington and Needham within the past week are related, in what appear to be the latest in a troubling string of anti-Semitic incidents around the United States and world that have drawn widespread condemnation.

The home of Rabbi Avi Bukiet at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life Arlington-Belmont in Arlington was targeted by an arsonist on May 11 and again on Thursday, while another fire was intentionally set at the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham about one hour later Thursday night, officials said.

All three were quickly extinguished, and state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey's office described them as "arson fires."

The Arlington fires targeted "not just a Jewish center" but also "our personal family," Bukiet said at a news conference Friday with his wife, Luna, local officials, and leaders of the local Jewish community. Acknowledging that "we are hurting," Bukiet said his family is heartened by the support they have received, has no plans to move, and vowed not to be intimidated.

"It just shows us that we are in a community where we want to stay, where we plan on staying, and where we plan on thriving," Bukiet said. "We will forever hold that message up to the community around us. We will persevere with their help, and with God's help."

Rabbi Mendy Krinsky of the Needham Chabad center said that while damage from the fire Thursday night was minimal, the incident was "very concerning." His wife, Chanie, said in a post on Facebook that she "woke my kids and jumped into the car" to keep them warm and protected.

As in Arlington, the Needham Chabad received an "unbelievable outpouring of love and support from all directions," Krinsky said, and he added: "We're not going to be deterred."

The regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England sent a notice on the eve of Shabbat Friday suggesting Jewish institutions "take added precautions and exhibit a high degree of vigilance."

"Attacking any place of worship is a despicable act, but since these buildings are also family homes where children live, eat, and play, we consider the apparent attacks to be extremely serious," Robert Trestan said in his letter.

Appearing at the news conference, Trestan said the ADL has contributed toward the $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the fires.

Anti-Semitic violence has been rising sharply over the past several years, a disturbing trend that includes the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the United States ever, the October 2018 shooting at a temple in Pittsburgh that killed 11 worshipers. Earlier this month the ADL released its Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents that counted 144 incidents in Massachusetts in 2018, the second highest on record, surpassed only by 2017 when there were 177.

The first fire started around 11 p.m. last Saturday at the rear of the Arlington center, which houses the Bukiet family and hosts Hebrew classes and religious services. Acting Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty said the small fire was quickly extinguished, but a second one broke out at the rear of the residence around 9 p.m. Thursday. Flaherty said an officer used a fire extinguisher to put that one out, limiting the damage to an exterior shingle.

Flaherty said police have released video footage of a suspicious person leaving the area Saturday and urged anyone with information about the case to contact law enforcement.

The fire at the Needham Chabad center broke out not much later Thursday night, and Ostroskey's office said that blaze was "intentionally set." Needham police Chief John Schlittler said his officers and Arlington police are reviewing whether the fires are connected.

Chabad houses are the center of religious and social life of the Lubavitch Hasidic movement. The Chabad Center for Jewish Life Arlington-Belmont describes itself as "a place where Judaism is celebrated joyfully and meaningfully, where Judaism sheds relevant perspective to our daily lives," according to its website.

The Chabad Jewish Center in Needham has worshipers from suburban communities including Needham, Dedham, Dover, and Westwood, and says on its website that it is "dedicated to serving the Jewish community with Ahavas Yisroel - an unconditional love and concern for every Jew, regardless of age, background, affiliation, or level of observance."


David Limbaugh: Democrats Unhinged Over Alabama's Abortion Bill

Alabama's mostly Republican lawmakers and governor passed a strong abortion ban this week, and liberals are fit to be tied.

"Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the legislature," said Gov. Kay Ivey. "To the bill's many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God."

In today's secular culture, the governor's invocation of God is almost as bold as signing the bill into law. But it's gratifying that some public officials are willing to observe that respect for life is fundamentally a spiritual issue.

I'm sure many leftists are horrified at the reference to God, but they have their hands full hyperventilating over the strictness of the law itself, and so, they will probably let this slide for now. The bill prohibits abortion except when the life of the mother is in jeopardy or the unborn child has a "lethal anomaly." The bill makes it a felony for doctors to perform or attempt to perform an abortion.

In her statement, Ivey acknowledged that the law might not be constitutional under the Supreme Court's notorious 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. But she noted that the bill's sponsors hope the bill will prompt the court to revisit this issue.

Not to be unduly pessimistic, but frankly, I'm not sure why Democrats are so exercised. Justices Roberts and Kavanaugh have both expressed their abiding respect for longstanding Supreme Court precedent, apparently even if, like Roe, its rationale was manufactured out of whole cloth. The court's decision was not only egregious in substance — inventing a constitutional right to abortion out of imaginary language in the Constitution creatively referred to as "emanations" and "penumbras"; its effect on society was just as bad.

Before the decision, the issue of abortion was the prerogative of the individual states, determined democratically by their duly elected representatives. The court's fiat was not only erroneous on its face; it tyrannically divested the authority of the states. This federal judicial travesty sparked national acrimony over abortion. Judicial tyranny, where it occurs, is just as bad as executive despotism.

Here we are almost 50 years later, and the court still hasn't overturned Roe. But when any of the sovereign states dares to pass a law outside Roe's parameters, liberals become unhinged, huffing hysterically about the state's audacity to deviate from the court's ruling.

Yet every day, liberals around the nation enact measures they know violate existing constitutional precedent with the undisguised intent that they serve as test cases and that courts, under relentless pressure from their activism, will change the law. When liberals do it, it's noble activism; when conservatives do it, it's anarchy.

The Guardian, for example, framed the Alabama law in racial and gender terms. Why not? That's what liberals do. It's almost all they know anymore. "These 25 Republicans — all white men — just voted to ban abortion in Alabama," the headline reads. The law, according to the article, "will disproportionately affect black and poor women, because they are more likely to seek abortions, and less likely to have resources to obtain an abortion out-of-state."

Not once did the article allude to the only innocent party in the equation: the unborn baby. Nor did it mention that America's abominably liberal abortion laws result in the grossly disproportionate killing of innocent black babies. Pro-life leaders in the black community have said that "the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb" and that abortion "is the most institutionalized form of racism" in America.

Planned Parenthood, the left's favorite abortion factory, was outraged at the bill. "Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across the country," said Staci Fox, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast. "Banning abortion is horrible ... We will take this to court and ensure abortion remains safe and legal and accessible in the state of Alabama." She forgot "profitable."

Democratic leaders were seemingly in a competition over who could condemn the law most harshly. Hillary Clinton said it is an example of "appalling attacks on women's lives and fundamental freedoms." We can safely infer that she was not factoring in the female babies' lives the law would protect. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the "ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel." She did not comment on whether the law is cruel to the unborn babies. Warren and Sen. Kamala Harris both noted that the law is an attack on Roe v. Wade.

Yes, that's kind of the point, and Alabama's Republicans are admitting it. Isn't it about time the court revisited Roe in earnest? What these Democrats don't say is that their best hope of preserving existing abortion law is for the court to affirm its lawless 1973 decision, either through some newly created legal fiction or in almost-idolatrous fidelity to long-standing but screamingly bad precedent.

As I say, I doubt the court, even as currently constituted, will overrule Roe outright, but it would be a glorious day for America, and for God's innocent unborn babies, if it were to do so.


Why freedom of speech should apply to Google, Facebook and the internet

“But, it’s a private company.”

It’s a familiar argument. Bring up the problem of Google, Facebook and Twitter suppressing conservative speech and many conservatives will retort that it’s a free market. The big dot com monopolies created their own companies, didn’t they? And we wouldn’t want government regulation of business.

In a FOX Business editorial, Iain Murray writes that breaking up dot coms like Google would be "a repudiation of conservative principles". He argues that "Twitter is a private company" and that "there is no positive right to free speech on Twitter or any other private venue."

“The same goes for the president’s attacks on Google and the complaints of conservative censorship," Diane Katz writes at the Heritage Institute. "These private enterprises are not obligated to abide any sort of partisan fairness doctrine."

The talking point that Google, Facebook and Twitter are private companies that can discriminate as they please on their private platforms, and that the First Amendment doesn’t apply, is in the air everywhere.

But it overlooks two very simple facts.

The driving force behind the censorship of conservatives isn’t a handful of tech tycoons. It’s elected officials. Senator Kamala Harris offered an example of that in a recent speech where she declared that she would "hold social media platforms accountable" if they contained "hate" or "misinformation".

“Misinformation” is a well-known euphemism among Democrats and the media for conservative political content. It was originally known as “fake news” before President Trump hijacked the term to refer to the media. The recent Poynter list of “unreliable” sites was stacked with conservative sites. Lists like these aren’t hypothetical. Poynter runs the International Fact Checking Network which had been empowered by Facebook and other sites to deplatform conservative content through its ‘fact checks’.

All of this got underway in response to claims by Hillary Clinton and her allies that “fake news” had cost her the election and represented a grave attack on our democracy. The call was quickly taken up by Democrats in the House and the Senate. It’s been commented on supportively by powerful Clinton allies in the tech industry, like Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google.

Dot coms like Facebook are cracking down on conservatives as an explicit response to pressure from elected government officials. That’s not the voluntary behavior of private companies. When Facebook deletes conservatives in response to threats of regulatory action from Senate Democrats, its censors are acting as government agents while engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

Free market conservatives can argue that Facebook should have the right to discriminate against conservatives. But do they really want to argue that Senate Democrats should have the right to compel private companies to censor conservatives?

What’s the difference between that and a totalitarian state?

It might, arguably, be legal for your landlord to kick you out of your house because he doesn’t like the fact that you’re a Republican. But is it legal for him to do so on orders from Senator Kamala Harris?

Defending abusive behavior like that is a desecration of the free market.

The second fact is that the internet is not the work of a handful of aspiring entrepreneurs who built it out of thin air using nothing but their talent, brains and nimble fingers.

The internet was the work of DARPA. That stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is part of the Department of Defense. DARPA had funded the creation of the core technologies that made the internet possible. The origins of the internet go back to DARPA's Arpanet.

Nor did the story end once the internet had entered every home.

Where did Google come from? "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine," the original paper by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google, reveals support from the National Science Foundation, DARPA, and even NASA.

Harvard’s computer science department, where Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg learned to play with the toys that turned him into a billionaire, has also wallowed in DARPA cash. Not to mention funds from a variety of other DOD and Federal science agencies.

Taxpayer sank a fortune into developing a public marketplace where ideas are exchanged, and political advocacy and economic activity takes place. That marketplace doesn’t belong to Google, Amazon or Facebook. And when those monopolies take a stranglehold on the marketplace, squeezing out conservatives from being able to participate, they’re undermining our rights and freedoms.

"A right of free correspondence between citizen and citizen on their joint interests, whether public or private and under whatsoever laws these interests arise (to wit: of the State, of Congress, of France, Spain, or Turkey), is a natural right," Thomas Jefferson argued.

There should be a high barrier for any company seeking to interfere with the marketplace of ideas in which the right of free correspondence is practiced.

Critics of regulating dot com monopolies have made valid points.

Regulating Google or Facebook as a public utility is dangerous. And their argument that giving government the power to control content on these platforms would backfire is sensible.

Any solution to the problem should not be based on expanding government control.

But there are two answers.

First, companies that engage in viewpoint discrimination in response to government pressure are acting as government agents. When a pattern of viewpoint discrimination manifests itself on the platform controlled by a monopoly, a civil rights investigation should examine what role government officials played in instigating the suppression of a particular point of view.

Liberals have abandoned the Public Forum Doctrine, once a popular ACLU theme, while embracing censorship. But if the Doctrine could apply to a shopping mall, it certainly applies to the internet.

In Packingham v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court's decision found that, "A fundamental principle of the First Amendment is that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen."

The Packingham case dealt with government interference, but when monopolies silence conservatives on behalf of government actors, they are fulfilling the same role as an ISP that suspends a customer in response to a law.

When dot com monopolies get so big that being banned from their platforms effectively neutralizes political activity, press activity and political speech, then they’re public forums.

Second, rights are threatened by any sufficiently large organization or entity, not just government. Government has traditionally been the most powerful such organization, but the natural rights that our country was founded on are equally immune to every organization. Governments, as the Declaration of Independence asserts, exist as part of a social contract to secure these rights for its citizens.

Government secures these rights, first and foremost, against itself. (Our system effectively exists to answer the question of who watches the watchers.) But it also secures them against foreign powers, a crisis that the Declaration of Independence was written to meet, and against domestic organizations, criminal or political, whether it’s the Communist Party or ISIS, that seek to rob Americans of their rights.

A country in which freedom of speech effectively did not exist, even though it remained a technical right, would not be America. A government that allowed such a thing would have no right to exist.

Only a government whose citizens enjoy the rights of free men legally justifies is existence.

If a private company took control of all the roads and closed them to conservatives every Election Day, elections would become a mockery and the resulting government would be an illegitimate tyranny.

That’s the crisis that conservatives face with the internet.

Protecting freedom of speech does not abandon conservative principles, it secures them. There are no conservative principles without freedom of speech. A free market nation without freedom of speech isn’t a conservative country. It’s an oligarchy. That’s the state of affairs on the internet.

Conservatives should beware of blindly enlisting in leftist efforts to take regulatory control of companies like Facebook. The result would be a deeper and more pervasive form of censorship than exists today. But neither should they imagine that the ‘free market side of history’ will automatically fix the problem.

As the internet has devolved from its origins in academia to a set of handheld devices controlled by one of two companies, and then to a set of smart assistants controlled by one of two companies, it has become far less open. Even if Google were to lose its monopoly, Silicon Valley hosts a politicized workforce which allies with the media to compel any rising new company to toe the same line.

And if that fails, there are always House and Senate hearings and harder laws coming out of Europe.

We have an existing useful toolset to draw on, from anti-trust laws to civil rights investigations to the Public Forum Doctrine. This will be a challenging process, but we must remember through it all, that we have a right to freedom of speech on the internet. Our tax dollars, invested over generations, built this system. It does not belong to the Left. Or, for that matter, the Right. It belongs to all of us.



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

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

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


Sunday, May 19, 2019

AG Barr Urges Return to 'Comply First, Complain Later' in Dealings With Police

This is hugely important advice that could save lots of lives. The media are full of police treating blacks harshly, even killing them.  But it regularly emerges that the black concerned was being defiant to the police.  As defiance is always seen as potentially dangerous to the police officer, bullets then fly

In a speech marking National Police Week, Attorney General William Barr said resisting police officers -- an increasingly common phenomenon -- puts everyone in danger.

Barr said it's time to "get back to basics" when it comes to public dealings with police:

One of the factors that is increasing the danger to police officers these days is increasing toleration of the notion that it is okay to resist the police. It was once understood that resistance is a serious crime because it necessarily triggers an escalation of violence that endangers the life not only of the police office, but also the suspect.

It was not too long ago that influential public voices – whether in the media, or among community and civic leaders – stressed the need to comply with police commands, even if one thinks they are unjust. “Comply first” and, if you think you have been wronged, “complain later.”

But we don’t hear this much anymore. Instead, when an incident escalates due to a suspect’s violent resistance to police that fact is almost always ignored by the commentary. The officer’s every action is dissected, but the suspect’s resistance, and the danger it posed, frequently goes without mention.

We need to get back to basics. We need public voices, in the media and elsewhere, to underscore the needs to “Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.” This will make everyone safe -- the police, suspects, and the community at large. This will save lives.


Women's Institute banned from baking cakes for local hospice due to council health and safety rules

This old idiocy again.  WI food is probably safer than some commercial foods

The Women's Institute has been banned from baking cakes for a local hospice after council health and safety bosses said that volunteers would need kitchen inspections.  

The Leicestershire and Rutland WI was told by the hospice that they cannot accept cakes from their members unless individual kitchens had been visited by health inspectors and issued with a hygiene certificate. 

The WI had been providing the hospice Loros (Leicestershire and Rutland Organisation for the Relief Of Suffering) with baked treats for 40 years.  

Glenice Wignall, vice chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Leicestershire and Rutland Women's Institute, said: "It is all very sad. We started baking cakes for Loros when they set up. Our groups took it in turns to bake the cakes but now that will all have to stop." 

Mrs Wignall, 75, has worked for the Women’s Institute for 30 years and had never encountered problems with health and safety before.

However, this is not the first time health and safety have prevented people from enjoying the delights of home baking.

Last year Prue Leith, a judge on Great British Bake Off, said that staff were not allowed to take home leftover treats. “We’re not allowed to take anything home though, because of health and safety, which is sad really,” she told OK! Magazine.   

Loros cares for 2,500 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and runs 29 charity shops.   It is believed that bar began after Leicester City Council food safety experts inspected the kitchen of the Loros hospice in February and told staff about the regulations. 

A member of the Cossington WI, who did not want to be named, said this is “health and safety gone mad.”  

Loros facilities and operations manager, Helen Williams, said: "We did receive an inspection from Environmental Health and if we don't comply with their report then we could risk jeopardising our own food rating certificate here at Loros. 

She added: "We have loved receiving donations from so many generous supporters, just like the WI, but unfortunately, this is a decision made by the local authority, not by our organisation." 

A Leicester City Council spokesperson said: "The most recent food hygiene inspection of Loros rated the establishment as five - very good, the highest possible rating. 

"However, to comply with current food safety regulations, the cake maker that supplies the snack bar must be registered with the council as a food establishment.   "This process is simple, free of charge and registration cannot be refused." 


More on the fantasist the British police believed

Credulous police who ignore the rules of evidence are a danger to us all

The man who sparked Scotland Yard’s £2 million VIP sex abuse inquiry after claiming to have been raped and tortured by a group of prominent public figures is a convicted paedophile himself, it can now be revealed.

Carl Beech, 51, who was known as Nick throughout the Operation Midland investigation, was convicted of making and possessing indecent images of young boys and of voyeurism earlier this year.

On the second day of his trial for perverting the course of justice and fraud at Newcastle Crown Court, the jury was told that Northumbria police had found the child porn images on various devices when they were investigating him on suspicion of lying about his own abuse.

Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, described Mr Beech as a "committed and manipulative paedophile", and said he had even tried to blame his own teenage son when he was confronted with the evidence.

On Tuesday, the court heard how Mr Beech had gone to Scotland Yard in 2014 claiming to have been sadistically sexually abused by a group of powerful public figures including, Sir Edward Heath, the former prime minister, Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, Field Marshall Lord Bramall and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.

He even claimed the group had murdered three boys in front of him.

But despite Scotland Yard initially describing the claims as "credible and true", a subsequent investigation by the Northumbria Force had found his "most heinous" allegations were "totally unfounded" and "hopelessly compromised".

Mr Badenoch explained that as part of the police investigation, officers had seized a number of electronic devices belonging to Mr Beech and found indecent images of young boys, secretly taken photographs of school boys a covert recording of a boy using the lavatory at his house.

The barrister said: "These child sex offences were committed whilst he was speaking to investigating police officers. At the same time he perpetrated these lies about Harvey Proctor and so many others, he was also viewing indecent images of the gravest kind and spying on small boys".

The jury was told that when confronted with the evidence Mr Beech had initially pleaded not guilty, even suggesting that his son might have been responsible for the material.

But just as the trial had been about to get going in January he had changed his plea and admitted the offences.

The prosecutor said: "This evidence demonstrates that Carl Beech is a committed and manipulative paedophile, capable of deceit to investigators and limitless manipulation when required, including if necessary, framing his own child.

"The sort of individual concerned only for himself, unconcerned with the impact on others, whether it is falsely accusing them of heinous crimes, seeking to attribute blame to his own son for child pornography or gathering covert indecent images of small boys visiting his house."

Mr Badenoch suggested it was Mr Beech’s interest in child pornography that had prompted him to go to the police with his own allegations in the first place.

He told the court: "It all suggests that he also wants to be a part of it, and so he talked about it to the Metropolitan Police, intending for them to take it seriously and enable him to continue to do so."


Busybodies ensure gender bias has now gone full circle

It is now men who are heavily discriminated against but sexist policies continue to rule.  Comment from Australia:

Reworking a suggestion by US Chief Justice John Roberts, the way to stop gender discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of gender. The judge was dealing with race discrimination in a case before the US Supreme Court just over a decade ago. But it is high time we draw some honest conclusions about gender discrimination. Have we turned the tables of injustice so that we now punish men? Are we OK with that?

Parents with sons and daughters about to enter the workforce ought to be particularly concerned. Those with young sons should be especially troubled if the search for fairness for one sex causes unfairness towards the other sex.

For years, gender warriors, corporate social engineers and motley bands of busybodies have been preoccupied with dismantling unconscious bias against women in the workplace. Unconscious bias is said to take place when recruiters prefer candidates who are similar to them, or when there is group pressure to conform with the decisions of others. A wider culture of appeasement by people who don’t want to make waves has sustained this agenda, regardless of whether unconscious bias is real.

In fact, the idea that many employers fall back on a deep-seated bias that discriminates against women has become so ensconced that gendered recruitment has sped in reverse. Corporate fashion now favours conscious bias, system-wide positive discrimination that gives young women a terrific boost into jobs. The flip side is that the job prospects of young men, and their careers, are being damaged. Unconscious bias is bad enough, if it exists. But is cementing real conscious bias the answer?

Feminist warriors talk about corrective justice that addresses historical wrongs. The weak-willed go along with this social justice narrative and virtue-signalling men, including those Male Champions of Change who advocate for positive discrimination in favour of women, relish the halo effect of sounding so damn good.

But are any of these people doing good? Recruiters will tell you, sotto voce, that women continue to make very different career choices at key points in their ­careers, and without a hint of ­coercion. Recruiters won’t say this publicly because dissenting from social justice orthodoxy is certain social death, and a likely career-killer too.

But anecdotally, they explain cases where the numbers of young women applying for certain graduate jobs are dramatically lower than for young men. Take XYZ Investment Bank with an annual program to recruit 100 new graduates, split 50-50 for gender equality. The bank will often receive applications from 300 men and 100 applications from women (a not unrealistic difference in some professions).

This means that the 300 men will have a one in six chance of ­securing a job and the 100 women will have a one in two chance.

Are we OK with that gender inequity?

Clumsy quotas ignore the real­ity of women’s choices. From sociologist Catherine Hakim’s extensive research, we know that for every woman who regards work as the centrepiece of their lives, there are three men. In other words, men and women are not competing in equal numbers. Rather than some misogynistic conspiracy to clip the careers of women, women are deciding to work differently from men.

Social engineers don’t like facts that expose the new injustice against men in the workplace. Rather than a nuanced debate, the activists and their appeasers continue to artificially engineer a 50-50 gender representation in the workplace despite drawing from a pool that is not made up of equal numbers of men and women.

Corrective justice for past injustices is not a sound reason to discriminate against young men today. If XYZ Investment Bank has a pool of 300 male applicants, compared with 100 young women, the pool of 300 young men will necessarily reflect a wider slice of Australia, from exclusive inner-city private schools to public schools in the country. Are we OK with preferring private school girls from Abbotsleigh over working-class boys from Newcastle High?

Many are so wedded to conscious bias in favour of women that they reject moves that might dismantle it. This week, The Australian reported on a study that found removing names from public service job applications to confront unconscious gender bias has backfired. The trial was conducted by a behavioural economic unit established when Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister. The study of more than 2100 public servants from 14 agencies found that when recruiters reviewed gender-neutral applications, meaning names were removed, men fared better than they did under recruitment processes that included names of applicants.

In other words, gender-neutral applications expose the ­entrenched gender bias in favour of women that exists when gender is included on job applications. ­Instead of calling out conscious bias in existing recruitment processes, the study urges “caution” as de-identification of gender may “frustrate efforts aimed at promoting diversity”.

In a cute twist, last week, after being mobbed by school girls at St Joseph’s Catholic School on the NSW central coast, Bill Shorten committed a Labor government to gender-neutral resumes in the public service. The man should be mobbed by schoolboys who will benefit from an end to conscious bias that favours women. That’s not what Shorten had in mind, of course, as he committed his Labor caucus to 49 per cent women. But it points to the determined ignorance of facts over gender agendas. The indifference to facts gets worse the higher up you go in corporate Australia. The reality of women’s preferences is reflected in higher attrition rates among women who have different work-family preferences as they enter their late 20s and 30s. More women than men choose to leave jobs to raise children or to simply work less for other reasons, or to work differently. Sometimes that is not voluntary, but often it is.

The knock-on effect of this higher attrition rate is that an even smaller pool of privileged women reap even larger rewards at the expense of a bigger pool of men. Yet quota-seekers never address how quotas, drawing from different sized pools of men and women, inevitably deliver unjust outcomes.

By the time you get to the level of corporate boards, women become the Golden Skirts of corporate Australia. Good on them. But let’s not pretend it is fair or just.

The Golden Skirts phenomenon originated in Norway following laws that mandated 40 per cent of women on boards. The shallow pool of talented women means a few privileged women sit on ­multiple boards. In Australia, as of last year, 38 female directors from a smaller pool of female talent sat on three or more ASX 200 boards while only 25 men from a larger pool held the same number of board seats.

Conscious bias, at the graduate level or at higher levels, is not the high road to equity. It is a racket for a few lucky women at the expense of a large number of men. And Labor’s Andrew Leigh says a Shorten government will legislate that low road by mandating quotas for women on ASX-listed companies, cementing injustice into corporate Australia.

It is profoundly demeaning for women to be given a job because they are female rather than because they are the best person for the job. Sadly, ideas like this will remain unfashionable until more of us agree that the best way to stop gender discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of ­gender.

Which reminds me. At a small lunch in a salubrious Melbourne club last week, Institute of Public Affairs chairman Rod Kemp told us that he had an announcement.

He prefaced his news, that I will take over as IPA chairman come July 1, by saying he must surely have joined the saintly crowd of Male Champions of Change.

Then Rod burst out laughing, as did others, at the utter nonsense of those virtue-signalling men. Just as well. If Rod were serious about this appointment depending on my gender, I might have decked him.



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

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

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


Friday, May 17, 2019

Why you SHOULDN'T buy free-range eggs: Top vet says chickens prefer tight spaces and some don't like going outdoors

Free-range egg farming can actually be worse for chickens than being kept indoors, veterinarians have revealed. 

The shift from caged eggs to free-range has become more widespread in recent years based on the idea that the latter is the more ethical and animal-friendly choice.

However, Australian vets have debunked that myth, revealing free range can actually be harmful to chickens and cause welfare problems.

Dr Charles Milne, a chief vet from Victoria, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the birds, who are related to forest-dwellers, are more comfortable in closed spaces.

He said humans have assumed chickens prefer wide open spaces, only because they live in such a way.

RSPCA scientific officer Dr Kate Hartcher also agreed that chickens could live happily and healthily even if they are kept indoors. 'We don't say free-range is better,' she said. 'They can be perfectly healthy and have good welfare in an indoor system.'

However, the organisation maintains battery cages, the most controversial of chicken-keeping methods, are 'horrible', and endorse cage-free barn systems.

Cage-free eggs differ from free-range as the chickens are kept indoors, but they are not confined to tight and crowded spaces.

Figures show, however, these types of eggs make up only a small percentage of the ones sold at supermarkets.

In 2018, 45 per cent of all eggs sold in Australia were free-range - more than a 13 per cent increase from previous years.

In order for eggs to be sold with a free-range label, farmers must keep them in an outdoor range, have a stocking density of 10,000 hens or less per hectare,  according to ACCC guidelines.

But researches say being able to roam free isn't all that appealing to hens and it can even put them in predators' way. 

Professor Tamsyn Crowley, who runs research institute PoultryHub told SMH that having them outside all every day is 'not a good decision for welfare'. 'A chicken does not really like running around in a field where an eagle can come down and go "thank-you very much"', she said. 

In fact, she suggests it is more likely they would prefer to be cared for inside a bar as studies show the birds like shaded areas, indoor or outdoor.


NYU Journalism Teacher: The GOP Is 'A Terrorist Organization'

Just the usual Leftist abuse of language

Journalist Lauren Duca speaks during the Rise Up For Roe national tour. 

No stranger to controversy, the 28-year-old Fordham grad and author of How to Start a Revolution tweeted last year on the death of evangelist Billy Graham, "The big news today is that Billy Graham was still alive this whole time. Anyway, have fun in hell, bi*ch."

Me, I'm with Twitter user "VillainsMatter" who replied, "You know this whole acting like a complete asylum inmate bit, people look at it and vote trump 2020 because of it."

This summer, Duca will teach a class at NYU called "The Feminist Journalist." According to Wikipedia, the class will "focus on intersections of feminist ideology and the practice of journalism."

If Duca's work is any indication, feminism and journalism -- at least as journalism was once practiced -- make up a Venn Diagram of two circles with zero overlap. That NYU finds someone so viciously partisan worthy of training tomorrow's journalists tells you everything you need to know about the actual worth of an NYU journalism degree.


Don't let this hate group succeed!

By David M. Frankel, Chief Executive Officer, American Friends of Magen David Adom

You may have heard that a fundraising event we’re hosting this Sunday in Teaneck, New Jersey, has been targeted for a protest by a group that has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active Holocaust-denial hate group.

Among the most frustrating aspects is that the protest is focused entirely on the fact that Magen David Adom is Israel-based, while completely ignoring the more significant and overriding fact that MDA is an organization that saves lives — Israelis, Palestinians, and people around the world.

In fact, on countless occasions Magen David Adom EMTs have risked their lives to save Palestinians. MDA also works cooperatively with the Palestinian Red Crescent and periodically conducts joint training drills with the PRC and with the Jordanian Red Crescent to prepare to respond to potential natural disasters in the region.

In other words, planning a protest for a fundraising event for an EMS organization is very telling about the nature of the group’s ideology.

The fundraising event is being held Sunday at Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck. The best way to counter this protest is to show your support for MDA — and Israel — and show up. Or you can donate. Because hate groups won’t succeed if they see their methods are counterproductive.

As always, I thank you for your support.

Via email

Leftists reject the axiom that everyone is entitled to legal representation

I have no love for left-wing, Hillary-promoting Hollywood producer and accused #MeToo villain Harvey Weinstein. Nor am I a fan of those who perpetrated the cop-bashing "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" fiction involving social justice martyr Michael Brown. But I do strongly believe that a grave injustice has been committed by Harvard's witch-hunt mobsters against a law professor who joined Weinstein's legal team and had represented Brown's family in a civil suit against Ferguson, Missouri.

Too bad Ivy League elitist bubbles have purged themselves of people with the backbone, integrity, and courage to end the madness.

Ronald Sullivan, faculty dean of the undergraduate dorm Winthrop House, was terminated from the honored position after hysterical student protesters condemned his decision to take on Weinstein's case as "trauma-inducing." Protests, sit-ins, temper tantrums, an online Change.org petition and even litigation by offended female students created pressure on the university for months. The administration sought to appease the mob with a "climate review," no doubt hoping to quell the rebellion against Sullivan as the school year came to a close. No dice. Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana announced over the weekend that both Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, co-faculty dean at Winthrop House, will be removed on June 30.

It is worth noting a few things about Sullivan that you would think would provide an immunity shield from the SJW pot-stirrers. Sullivan boasted impeccable liberal credentials: president of the Black Law Students Association in the 1990s and current adviser to the group; director of the law school's Criminal Justice Institute; former lead counsel at the Washington, D.C. Public Defender's Office; and head of the Brooklyn, New York, conviction review unit, which has exonerated 25 men to date and remains a model for similar units across the country.

"When he was first appointed," exoneration lawyer Oscar Michelen recounted this week, "I dropped everything I was doing and drove up to Otisville Correctional Facility to meet with my then-client David McCallum to tell him that finally, after years and years of struggle to prove his and his deceased co-defendant's Willie Stuckey's innocence, we at last were finally going to be heard. I couldn't guarantee his exoneration, but I could guarantee that we would be treated fairly with Sullivan at the helm. And we were right — not just because he agreed with us and recommended vacating the convictions, but because we were treated with respect and given all the time we need to plead our case. Sullivan set the tone and demeanor of the Unit, which was that justice would be served regardless of the outcome and with dignity and respect for all participants. And this — this is the man Harvard students don't trust?!? He makes you uncomfortable?!?"

Yes, this is the man that feminist mau-mau-ers accused of posing a threat to their well-being because honoring due process and the presumption of innocence shows he "does not value the safety of students he lives with in Winthrop House."

Danukshi Mudannayake, a staff member of the Harvard Crimson, spearheaded the lynching of Sullivan — and, in a flabbergasting demonstration of guilt-by-association vindictiveness, his wife. An ecstatic Mudannakaye told The New York Times she was "proud" of her school, which she said was indulging in a "celebratory" climate after the axe fell on Sullivan and Robinson. Scalpers love blood.

Never mind the horrific implications for any criminal defense attorney, any wrongfully accused defendant and any professor who genuinely believes in and practices the Sixth Amendment. Or the First, Fifth, Eighth or 14th amendments. All it takes is for unhinged rabble-rousers to heat up the "climate" and bam, you're outta there.

First, they came for Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. Now, they come for model leftist lawyers with unassailable credentials. Lawlessness reigns in the ivory tower. Cowardice trumps sacred constitutional principles. This is the inevitable consequence of decades of identity politics uber alles indoctrination.

The "progressives" are eating their own. And, after persecuting constitutional conservatives among faculty, students, speakers and donors, there is no one left to stand guard against the rabid hounds. Good luck with that.



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

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

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


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Rabbi Shmuley: Rep. Tlaib 'Is a Brazen Liar,' Arabs 'Brutally Opposed' the 'Jews Fleeing Hitler'

House Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) remarks that the Holocaust produces a "calming feeling" in her because some of her Palestinian ancestors "lost their lives" to "create a safe haven for Jews" in Israel are deceitful, said the world-renowned Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  Tlaib is a "brazen liar," he said, because the Arabs of Israel "brutally opposed" the "influx of Jews fleeing Hitler and in many cases massacred them."

On a related note, the New York Times reported on May 13 that, "Tlaib’s comments made others deeply uneasy because she was wrong on the facts. Far from a safe haven, pre-independence Palestine was wracked by violence, culminating in Israel’s war for independence during which both sides suffered civilian deaths."

In a May 14 tweet, Rabbi Shmuley said, "⁦@RashidaTlaib⁩ is a brazen liar. The Arabs of what is today Israel brutally opposed the influx of Jews fleeing Hitler and in many cases massacred them. The Jews did not steal Arab lands. They drained the swa[m]ps and built their cities."

Discussing Israeli-Palestinian issues on the podcast "Skullduggery," on May 11, Tlaib had said, "There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports."

"And, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time," said the congresswoman.

"I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways," she said. "But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right? And it was forced on them."

Tlaib said critics were "twisting & turning" her words to "ignite vile attacks" on her. In a statement, her office said, "Once again, Republican leaders and right-wing extremists are spreading outright lies to incite hate."

In addition to the comments by Rabbi Shmuley, Middle East expert Aaron David Miller told the New York Times, “Palestinians suffered as a consequence of the state of Israel, but the relationship between the Holocaust and the creation of the State of Israel is highly arguable. Every institution for what would become the state of Israel was in place well before Hitler started killing any Jews.”

"Moreover, Mr. Miller noted, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, had allied himself with Nazis and fiercely opposed the creation of the Jewish state," said The Times. "Of Ms. Tlaib, Mr. Miller said: 'She recognized the horrific nature of the Holocaust. Then she deployed it to make a series of confused, unaware and even ignorant assumptions with respect to what that means for the Palestinians.'"

Another critic of Tlaib, Prof. Benny Morris, one of the leading scholars of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the War of Independence in 1948-1949, told Haaretz, “Rashida Tlaib is either completely ignorant of the history or is a deliberate liar."

"Morris said Tlaib’s ancestors, meaning Palestinians, 'did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the Jews at Nazi hands,'" reported Haaretz.  "'Rather, the opposite: The Arabs of [British Mandatory] Palestine, during the whole period — and supported by the neighboring Arab states — did all they could to prevent Jews trying to escape Nazi hands from reaching the (relatively safe) shores of Palestine.'”

Morris further said that the leader of the Palestinian Arab nationalist movement, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was in exile in Berlin 1941-45, "called for the massacre of Jews in the Arab world on Nazi radio stations — an anti-Jewish ‘jihad’ — and helped the Nazis recruit Muslims from the Balkans for the SS and Wehrmacht," said Haaretz.


Pence: ‘Loudest Voices for Tolerance Today Have Little Tolerance for Traditional Christian Beliefs’

“Stand firm” in your faith when pressured to endorse things that violate it, Vice President Mike Pence urged the 2019 graduating class of Liberty University at Saturday’s commencement ceremony in Lynchburg, Virginia.

It used to be unthinkable that Americans could be persecuted for holding Biblical views, but, times have changed, Pence warned. Today, those who profess to be tolerant are anything but – when it comes to Christian values – the vice president said:

“Throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian. It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.

“But, things are different now. Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs. So as you go about your daily life, just be ready. Because you’re going to be asked not just to tolerate things that violate your faith; you’re going to be asked to endorse them. You’re going to be asked to bow down to the idols of the popular culture.”

Be prepared to face opposition to your beliefs, but respond with love, Pence told the graduates:

“So, you need to prepare your minds for action, men and women. You need to show that we can love God and love our neighbor at the same time through words and deeds. And you need to be prepared to meet opposition.

“As the founder of this university often said, quote, ‘No one ever achieved greatness without experiencing opposition.’”

By standing strong in faith and delivering a “message of grace and love” through word and deed, the graduates will be a blessing to the nation, Pence concluded:

“So, Class of 2019, my word to all of you is decide here and now that you’re going to stand firm, that you’ll put into practice all the things you learned here on Liberty Mountain, that you’ll never give up, that you’ll persevere, and that you’ll always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have, and you’ll do so with gentleness and respect. Because our nation and our world need that message of grace and love maybe more now than ever before.

“And as you do these things, in increasing measure, I promise you, you’ll be blessed, you’ll be a blessing to your family, to your coworkers, and you’ll be a blessing to this nation.”


Allen West: The Progressive, Socialist Left’s Latest Tactic – Economic Terrorism

We have seen it before, but now it has become fully recognizable in Georgia with calls from the Hollywood elite to boycott the Peach State. When the progressive, socialist left is confronted with speech, thoughts, perspectives, insights, commentary, and opinion of which they disagree, they call for boycotts. It has happened to countless conservative commentators as the left pressures what we must term as economic terrorism. It amounts to this: if you say anything that we deem offensive, we will call for economic sanctions against you.

We should not be surprised though. After all, this is what the progressive, socialist left has embraced and condoned when it comes to the state of Israel too. How inconceivable that the left would align itself with Islamic jihadism, terrorism, and seek to punish a multicultural nation. Yes, that is what the BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement is all about, economic terrorism by the left. How can one justify that when it is Israel that is under assault from rockets and missiles of a designated Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas?

But, that is how the left rolls. If you disagree with their ideological agenda, regardless of how abjectly delusional and irrational it is, they will leverage any means necessary to punish you.

And so, once again, this is playing out before our eyes, this time in state of my birth, Georgia. It appears that the progressive, socialist left, the maniacal, radical lovers of murdering our unborn babies are throwing a fit.

As noted in Townhall.com,

“Filmmakers are now vowing to boycott the state of Georgia after the governor signed a controversial abortion bill earlier this week. The boycott is a big deal because, according to the state’s website, more top-grossing films are produced in Georgia than anywhere else in the world.

“So far, at least three major production companies have said they will no longer be filming in Georgia. One of those is Christine Vachon’s Killer Films, which produced the Oscar-nominated movie ‘Carol’ and Oscar-winning film ‘Still Alice.’

“‘Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned,’ Vachon tweeted Thursday.

“David Simon, whose Blown Deadline Productions is responsible for ‘The Wire’ and HBO’s ‘The Deuce,’ also announced on Twitter that he will no longer consider shooting in Georgia ‘until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.’

“‘Add my company to the list,’ Neal Dodson of CounterNarrative Films tweeted soon after Vachon and Simon announced their own boycotts. Many in the film and TV industry praised the production companies, and urged others to follow suit.

“The legislation in question is House Bill 481, otherwise known as the ‘fetal heartbeat bill,’ which was signed into law by Governor Kemp on Tuesday. The bill bans all abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected--usually at around 6 weeks. There are exceptions for cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed ‘medically futile.’ The law is slated to go into effect in January 2020.”

What is the message these entertainment elites are sending? Simple, you will acquiesce, surrender, to our ideology, our beliefs, and our whims, or else. The “or else” is simple to identify. They will enact economic terrorism against an entire state in order to ruin its economy. Who are these people that believe they have the right to control our thoughts, perspectives, principles and values? What these production companies are saying is that they – the elites – are the ones who determine what we can believe. And the punishment for such is siege warfare. They will seek to decimate you and your way of life. This has played itself out elsewhere, such as in North Carolina. When the Tar Heel state decided it did not want the Obama administration dictating who uses what bathroom, the entertainment elites decided that they would not do concerts in the state. In Georgia, previously, there were threats to not have the Super Bowl in the Peach State.

One must ask, who decided that these individuals determine our values, set the rules for culture in these United States?

The President and CEO of Levis Jeans has decided that he will support anti-Second Amendment organizations. He is also incentivizing his employees that do so. How does this CEO bestow upon himself the power to undermine one of our individual constitutional rights?

What could be next, some progressive, socialist elitist deciding what we can say, how we can express ourselves? We have already seen what happens to Christian business owners who dare to not acquiesce to the religion of the left and its radical elements. Who would have ever thought that a Christian baker, Jack Phillips, would have to appear before the highest court in the land to defend his constitutional right to freedom of religion, and the free exercise thereof? Mr. Phillips, Aaron and Melissa Klein, Hobby Lobby, and the Little Sisters of the Poor have found themselves having to stand in defense of their personal constitutional rights, their faith, against the onslaught of the left’s declared religion, same-sex marriage. In the case of the Oregon-based Klein’s, their lives have been destroyed, and their business decimated, due to the economic terrorism of the left.

You must ask yourself in the case of these movie production companies, are they so intent on murdering unborn babies that they would threaten to harm the economic opportunities for the citizens of Georgia? Just think about the second, third, and fourth order effects, consequences on other small businesses, and the locals in the Peach State. Can these elitist leftists be so tyrannical that they would seek the economic ruination of an entire state?

Why is it that the immediate response of the progressive, socialist left when they do not get their way, their ideological dominance, is to punish those in opposition? The answer is self-evident. The policies and ideological agenda of the progressive, socialist left can only be implemented by way of coercion, intimidation, threat, mandate, or violence, direct or indirect. The leftist tactic of economic terrorism, one of their favorites, is nothing more than indirect violence against their political opposition.

What amazes me is that when the Trump administration seeks to enact strong economic sanctions against the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, Iran, the left balks. Yet, the same leftists prefer economic sanctions against Israel. And the same leftists use economic sanctions, terrorism, against American citizens who refuse to bow down to their philosophy of governance and ideological domination – their tyranny.

Kudos to Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia and those legislators who are taking a stand. There is one thing the progressive socialist needs to learn: real Southerners, Americans, don’t knuckle under to threats; we steel our resolve.


Democrats' Growing Problem With God

A House Dem omits "so help me God" from an oath — symptomatic of a larger issue.

The U.S. was founded upon the assertion espoused in the Declaration of Independence that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” These rights are bestowed by the highest of all authorities, God, and therefore no mere human government or institution has the authority to remove these rights. No government has greater authority than God, and all humanity, including governments, are ultimately answerable to God.

The Left asserts that the separation of church and state is essential to keep God out of government, but that is in fact the opposite of the Founding Fathers’ rationale in the First Amendment. The intention was to keep the state from dictating to the Church what it could teach and believe concerning God, faith, and religious practice. The Founders recognized that if the Church was not protected from the state, the state would eventually seek to use the Church to dictate what was taught about the nature of God and the relationship of God to the state.

That setup leads us to the recent controversy reported by The New York Times. House Republicans objected to Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee, leaving off “so help me God” from the honesty oath she administered to a witness. DeGette’s response was dismissive: “This is the oath we use and that’s the oath we’re going to use today.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) defended DeGette’s decision, arguing, “I think God belongs in religious institutions: In temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque — but not in Congress. God doesn’t want to be used.” It is true that God doesn’t want to be used, but diminishing His authority and presence is something He doesn’t want either. He is present not merely in houses of worship but everywhere, including the halls of Congress.

The fact that God’s existence and authority was recognized by our Founders in instituting our government is the very rationale that undergirds the rights that all Americans enjoy. Failure to acknowledge God as the source of our rights will inevitably lead to statists seeking to usurp divine authority on behalf of the state. The rule of men always leads to the eventual loss of rights and tyranny.

Democrats sought to remove any acknowledgement of God from their platform at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, only reversing course after an outcry from their own constituents. Clearly, there are those within the party leadership whose aim is to remove any reference to God, and by doing so remove any notion of an authority higher than the state. If the statists are successful, the Founders’ declaration of “unalienable Rights” will be attacked as a dangerous usurpation of religious interference into government. In fact, it already is.



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