Thursday, February 28, 2019

When opposition to racism is racist???

It’s 2019. Who would want to oppose a code of ethics for K-12 teachers telling them not to “segregate students according to race”? The answer is the media.

When State Rep. Mark Finchem in Arizona proposed HB 2002, a code of ethics for educators that included a ban on segregation, he was targeted with media hit pieces accusing him of extremism.

Since his bill had some similarities to the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s K-12 code of ethics, the media attacked a code of ethics opposing racial segregation with smears accusing Horowitz of racism.

Brenna Bailey of the Arizona Daily Star called David Horowitz, a “white extremist”.  Bailey was smearing a Jewish civil rights activist as a “white extremist” for opposing racial segregation.

"Is it too much to ask of our elected officials NOT to copy a so-called ethics code for teachers from an operation with racist overtones?" EJ Montini at the Arizona Republic bleated.

"It is not difficult to figure out where Horwitz is coming from," Montini wrote.

David Horowitz has written countless books, pamphlets, editorials and articles laying out his views. Meanwhile the activists misrepresenting his views can’t even bother getting his name right.

The Freedom Center fought back with an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, but not before our name had been dragged through the dirt in an attempt to falsely smear Rep. Finchem and stop HB 2002.

Columnist Tim Steller of the Arizona Daily Star claimed that HB 2002 is part of an attack on "Arizona liberals". But the bill never mentions any political ideology.  Instead it expects teachers of all ideological orientations to refrain from “engaging in political, ideological or religious advocacy in their classrooms”.

A code of ethics for educators can only be an attack on leftists if they are the ones abusing children by twisting lessons into opportunities for indoctrination. The accusation serves as its own guilty admission.

The Arizona smear campaign is typical of how local politics is being hijacked by national blacklists. The blacklist in Arizona was derived from the scam artists at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC’s blacklist is as notorious for its false claims, misstatements and smears as for its ubiquity. The SPLC blacklist has listed a bar sign and individuals (including myself) as hate groups. It put the entire town of Amana, Iowa on its hate map because an internet troll had proposed holding a racist meeting in a bookstore. It was forced to pay out $3.3 million after libeling a Muslim as an anti-Muslim extremist.

But the SPLC blacklist continues to be widely used, not because it’s accurate, but because it’s useful.

In Arizona, the media didn’t have to bother finding rational grounds to oppose HB 2002, which, in addition to tossing out racial segregation and scapegoating in the classroom, also prohibits teachers from endorsing candidates, bills and measures, and asks them to teach both sides of political issues.

Making arguments for segregation and against political indoctrination of children might have been awkward. It was easier to misleadingly link Rep. Finchem to David Horowitz and then to use the SPLC’s blacklist to accuse anyone who opposes classroom segregation and child indoctrination of racism.

David Horowitz and the Freedom Center are proud to have popularized the idea that students at every educational level have the right to be free of indoctrination and the right to be graded based on the quality of their work, and not on their level of agreement with the political views of their professor.

Their advocacy for student civil rights has provided inspiration to state lawmakers across the country.

This is no different than the way that many civil rights groups operate by laying out a policy framework and inspiring political change by local activists, organizations and legislators willing to tackle a problem.

And the leftist response hasn’t been reasoned debate, but blacklists and dirty tricks.

What happened in Arizona is happening all over America. Debate is shut down with blacklists. The blacklists are sloppy smears, but they save the leftist radicals from having to listen both sides.

That is the purpose of a blacklist.

HB 2002 asked educators to teach both sides of political issues. Its radical opponents responded by using smears to argue that the other side should not be heard from. That’s the exact mindset that is the problem. Classrooms have been hijacked by radicals who believe that every issue only has one side. Their side. And the other side is deplatformed, banned and blacklisted from ever being heard.

Every issue is polarized into the familiar dichotomy of perpetrators and victims. Open inquiry is sacrificed on the altar of social justice. The blacklist is upheld as a safe space for victims of injustice. The targets of the blacklist are dismissed as not only wrong, but wicked. They must be stopped at any cost.

This mindset got its start on college campuses where dissenting speakers were met with shouts, bomb threats and even physical violence. A rash of fake hate crimes was used to kickstart a panic over bigotry on college campuses. Administrators allowed bias response teams to create climates of political terror. Free speech by college students was smothered in a blanket of official and unofficial intimidation.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center had been ahead of its time in debuting the Academic Bill of Rights over fifteen years ago. As David Horowitz saw the battleground shifting from college campuses to the K-12 level, a new call to protect the classrooms of K-12 students from the cultural revolution was launched. And that call was also met with the same blacklists and smear campaigns all over again.

Both the Academic Bill of Rights and the K-12 code of ethics present stark choices between blacklists and open debates. They ask parents and legislators to decide whether they want the next generation to be able to engage with ideas, or to reflexively ignore, purge and shout down anyone they don’t like.

Radical teachers who replace debate with blacklists in the classroom don’t just teach students bad political and civic habits, but also bad social habits. The inability of many millennials to deal with criticism in the workplace, and to meet criticism with political attacks, can be traced back to how they were socialized in the classroom to treat any disagreement as unacceptable and dangerous.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has never called for barring political ideas from the classroom. That is a false statement repeatedly made by blacklisters who want classrooms to include only one point of view. The Center believes that a free society is built on the ability to see different points of view. The blacklisters believe that any point of view other than their own ought to be blacklisted from public life.

The blacklist has become the defining engine of politics.

“For more than a decade, I myself have been at the top of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate lists,” David Horowitz wrote of his experience being blacklisted.

But you don’t have to be David Horowitz to be blacklisted. Every conservative sooner or later will experience the force of the blacklist. And even children in the classroom will feel it too.

That’s why the Freedom Center has made fighting for the civil rights of students in classrooms across the country into its signature issue. No child should have to go through what Horowitz and many conservatives have had to endure as adults. The freedom of their minds is worth fighting for.

The K-12 code of ethics is being blacklisted, but it’s also the best defense against the blacklist.



Poll: Dramatic Shift to Pro-Life Side Among Democrats and Young People

A new, national survey on the heels of legislation in New York and Virginia to allow abortion up to the moment of birth shows a major shift to the pro-life side among Democrats and young people, according to the Marist College for Public Opinion and the Knights of Columbus.

The Feb. 12-17 survey revealed that in just one month, the number of Democrats who identified as pro-life shifted from 20% to 34%. Also, the number of Democrats identifying as "pro-choice" fell from 75% to 61%. That's a 14-percentage point swing in only four weeks.

For Americans age 45 and younger, the shift was from 28% identifying as pro-life four weeks ago to 47% today; the percentage of young people who said they were "pro-choice" fell from 65% to 48%.

“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of The Marist Poll, in a statement.

"In a substantial, double-digit shift, according to the poll, Americans are now as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as pro-choice (47 percent)," reads the statement. "Just last month, a similar survey conducted by The Marist Poll found Americans more likely to identify as pro-choice than as pro-life by 17 percentage points (55 to 38 percent)."

“The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public,” said Carvalho. “In just one month, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice.”

The Marist Poll also found that overwhelming majorities of Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- oppose late-term abortions. Sixty percent of Democrats, 72% of Independents, and 85% of Republicans said they oppose abortion in the third trimester (after 24 weeks of pregnancy).

"In addition, the poll found that 80 percent of Americans would like abortion limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy -- an increase of five points since just last month," said the survey firm.  "This includes 65 percent of those who identified as pro-choice, as well as strong majorities of Democrats (64 percent), Republicans (92 percent) and independents (83 percent)."

“Arguments in favor of late-term abortion are simply not convincing the American people,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “If anything, since these proposals have been unveiled, people are moving noticeably in the pro-life direction. It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite the opposition of the majority of Americans of both parties.”

"This survey of 1,008 adults was conducted Feb. 12 through Feb. 17, 2019 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with The Knights of Columbus," according to the polling group. "Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English or Spanish by telephone using live interviewers." The margin of error was +/- 3.5 percentage points.


Why Gender Dysphoria Must Remain a Bar to Military Service

In normal usage, “discrimination” is an ugly word. But discrimination has two meanings. The first and more familiar definition is “the treatment of a person or particular group of people differently, in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.” Discrimination of that sort is clearly unacceptable.

The second, less common usage is the “the ability to judge the quality of something, based on its difference from other, similar things.”

Earlier this month, several members of Congress introduced a bill to allow transgender individuals to serve in the military. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., one of the bill’s sponsors, said in introducing the bill, “President Trump’s ban on transgender service members is discrimination. It undermines our military readiness, and it is an insult to the brave and patriotic transgender Americans who choose to serve in our military.”

What members of Congress like the sponsors of this bill—and indeed, the American public—often seem not to grasp is that discrimination—the less common meaning of the word—takes place every day at military recruiting stations across America.

That’s neither unjust, nor prejudicial. And contrary to Gillibrand, who aspires to be our next commander in chief, it’s necessary to ensure the readiness of the military and protect at-risk individuals.

Some examples are in order. Have asthma? You’re probably ineligible to join the military. A depressive disorder? Sorry, no. Torn rotator cuff in your shoulder? Nope. Come back perhaps when it heals or is repaired.

It’s the difference between an individual who is able to serve, and those for whom service presents a risk—either of not being able to complete military service or of doing so without incurring harm to themselves. In a strict sense, that’s discrimination.  

By law, the military can accept only “qualified, effective and able-bodied individuals.” That means people who are expected to need more than routine medical care or treatment are not qualified to join.

Without this lawful ability to “discriminate,” we would place our military in jeopardy of not being able to protect the nation.

That brings us to the issue of service by transgender individuals. Anyone who wants to serve their nation is worthy of our nation’s thanks, because not enough do. A mere desire to serve, however, does not equal qualification. 

What is often described as “Trump’s transgender ban” is anything but. Underreported is the fact that the policy that the Pentagon wishes to put in place—but that has been thus far been stayed by the court system—is far more permissive and evidence-based than the policy that existed for decades prior to June 2016, when President Barack Obama’s defense secretary, Ashton Carter, abruptly unveiled a new policy.

Before that, individuals who identified as transgender were automatically excluded from the military. Under the new policy devised by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Pentagon makes a distinction between individuals who identify as transgender, and those who identify as transgender and experience gender dysphoria.

It’s necessary to get a bit technical here. An individual who is transgender is a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex. Transgender individuals who suffer from gender dysphoria often “experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.”

Unlike the previous policy, the new rules allow individuals who are transgender but not experiencing gender dysphoria to join and serve in the military.

Why does the policy prohibit service by individuals who experience gender dysphoria? It’s principally because exhaustive Defense Department clinical and U.S. survey data confirms that individuals with gender dysphoria attempt suicide at rates between eight and 10 times the average for individuals not suffering from gender dysphoria.

Individuals with gender dysphoria experience severe anxiety again at between eight and nine times the rate of individuals without gender dysphoria. What’s more, there is no evidence that medical treatment, including gender-reassignment surgery, can remedy those challenges.

Military service is inherently stressful. It takes service members and puts them in unfamiliar, lonely, austere, and often hostile areas. Stress, anxiety, and suicide are already existential military problems. Indeed, the suicide rate for active-duty military members has been slowly rising over the past couple of decades.

At one point, it was lower than the U.S. national average. In 2015, however, in the active component, it stood at 20.2 per 100,000 service members, compared with the U.S. average of 13.3 per 100,000.

It would, therefore, be reckless and ill-advised to allow individuals demonstrably at a higher risk of suicide and anxiety to join the military and be subject to the increased stresses of military duty—both for the readiness of their units and for the safety of the individual.

Critics, in raising objections, ask why then can’t transgender individuals with gender dysphoria be allowed to serve far from the front lines, perhaps in a desk or office job? Surely, they say, that wouldn’t be stressful.

But the military doesn’t work that way.

In order for the military to be effective, to borrow an analogy, every player must be able to get on the field and play their position. If there were a job divorced from stress, it would be reasonable to ask why we would need a uniformed service member to fill it at all.

Still others ask how such a tiny fraction of the military force that would be transgender, if allowed, could constitute a risk to a force the size of the U.S. military.

That ignores the fact that the U.S. military often goes to war one squad, one plane, one ship at a time. Often, the performance of a single individual can mean the difference between mission success and failure.

Finally, those opposed to the restrictions point to examples of transgender individuals who have successfully served in the military, including those who have been decorated for bravery.

Kudos to these individuals for serving, and serving well. But the military must set entrance criteria based on broad evidence, as opposed to isolated examples. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that individuals experiencing gender dysphoria, if allowed to enlist, would present unacceptable risks to both a prospective military unit and to themselves.

Thus far, the courts have seen fit to substitute their judgment on military enlistment criteria in place of that of the commander in chief. That’s unfortunate.

What would be even more unfortunate is if a decision were made to permit individuals with gender dysphoria to serve in the military, and in so doing, took a reckless gamble with both the readiness of the U.S. military and the safety of those patriotic individuals.


Life, romance and relationships, the Jordan Peterson way

Jordan Peterson is in town, and it seems like everyone wants to talk about identity politics, gender pronouns, and whether or not there’s a pay gap — but he’s a clinical psychologist.

Seems a shame not to ask him about his practice. To get his thoughts on mental health, and modern relationships?

It’s been almost a year since Peterson was last in town, and he’s lost so much weight on his infamous, all-meat diet that his wedding ring is turning. (He takes this diet seriously, to the point he now carries cold, cooked steaks in a baggie in his pocket, in case he finds himself hungry and somewhere meatless.)

He’s more famous now than he was last time, having sold three million copies of Twelve Rules for Life. His life is one of standing ovations, and of people approaching him shyly in the street, to thank him for saving their lives.

He doesn’t think it’s turned his head, and he’s often moved by “how little encouragement” can turn a person around.

“But it’s been a very two-sided experience, a lot of positive publicity and attention but also a tremendous amount of stress,” Peterson says of the impact of fame on his own equilibrium.

In an hour-long interview, he tackles a range of topics, including the rise of Trump, which he characterises more as the fall of Clinton. (Had Peterson been an American, he says he would have “held his nose and voted for her”.)

He talks about #Metoo, and the conundrum facing women in their thirties, who want both baby and briefcase. “Nobody can have it all,” he says. “My general advice to people is that there aren’t that many fundamental necessities in life. You need a job, you need intimate relationships, and you need family. If you forgo any of those, you pay a huge price.

“You may decide that your ­career is worth the price. Perhaps it is, but it’s not worth the price very often. You have to be careful. You only have one life, and if you forgo your opportunity, it’s done. And I think it’s a catastrophe for people to forgo the opportunity to spend substantial time with their young children.”

You can see how that kind of thing could quickly become: “Peterson tells women to give up their ­careers to have kids!”

It’s not what he means — he means, maybe work part-time for a bit — but he can shrug it off, having dealt with issues far more important than trolling, including a decade-long depression battle.

Peterson in his lectures likes to warn people: life is hard, and if you’ve not yet experienced a tragedy, brace yourself, because trouble is coming. In his own life, he says it’s a “toss up between dealing with my daughter’s illness, and the depression that runs through my family”.

“It’s hard to say which was more challenging,” he says. “The depression issue is a decades-long problem. We’ve made a lot of headway. My grandfather, who never received any medication, was basically immobilised by his depression. My father was struck very hard in his fifties. By the time it came to me, additional improvements had been made.

“But depression is a brutal ­enterprise. For me, in particular, it’s hard on the lecture front, professionally, because it makes it hard to move physically and interferes with the flow of my thoughts.

“There’s a fair bit of intense misery associated with it as well. It’s like severe grief (and) proclivity to tears, that has characterised me since I was young.”

Peterson’s daughter had depression; a severe form of arthritis; and an auto-immune disease that left her with brittle bones. The bone condition was agonising.

“I asked my daughter, who walked on broken legs, who had to take opiates for pain, and wanted to sleep 24 hours a day, if she would rather have the depression or the arthritis,” he says. “She said virtually immediately that she would take the arthritis over the depression any day.”

Peterson says “anxiety and depression” are by far the most common conditions he saw when people came to his clinical practice, but the most frightening ­patient he saw was a pedophile.

“He was the worst,” he says. “Unbelievably narcissistic, and completely incurable by any known means. It was like nobody existed except him. He had justifications and rationalisations for everything he’d done, not only for why his molestation of his grandchildren was OK, but why it was a positive good. He was quite the piece of work. I’ve had other clients who were malevolent in their own way. Not many. It’s rare. Most people you see clinically have hard lives. That’s why they’re there (because events) are beyond their ability to overcome.”

On modern romance, Peterson says hook-up culture, and apps such as Tinder, are virtually bound to create misery for people.

“We are still under the delusion that we can divorce sex from life,” he says. “You can’t divorce sexuality from emotion. You can’t have sex without entangling yourself, at least to some degree.

“The problem with hook-up culture, with Tinder, let’s say, is it’s predicated on the assumption that people can be partners in a purely physical sexual exchange … first of all that’s an experiment that has never been conducted in the entire human history, very unlikely to go well; and second, it’s predicated on a naive, wilfully blind view of the relationship between people. It doesn’t work.”

The sexless marriage is just as problematic, and painful for people, he says. “You get married, you have kids, you have two careers, it’s very easy for the sexual part of your relationship to settle to 11th place on a 10-item schedule,” he says. “In order to maintain an intimate relationship with sexual energy … well, it takes a lot of work, and people don’t do the work … My sense is, it’s useful if you want to keep your sex life alive, to assume that you’re going to be intimate a minimum of once a week and perhaps twice a week — but you have to agree on that, and you have to make it a priority and perhaps you have to engage in that, with that, really whether you’re in the mood or not, because you’re thinking about the long game, not the short game. Use it or lose it, shall we say?”



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


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

SPLC's Hate Hoax: A New Report on 'Extremism'

There are many good reasons to treat SPLC's work as nothing more than leftist pablum.

In the midst of the endless news cycle surrounding Jussie Smollett’s hate-crime hoax, our own Louis DeBroux highlighted just how prevalent such hoaxes are. Ask yourself a simple question: Do we really live in a nation filled with hate groups committing rampant hate crimes when the hip new thing is to perpetrate fake hate crimes to get attention?

The nation’s premier hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, laughably insists the answer is yes and that it’s getting worse under President Donald Trump. In its newest Intelligence Report (try not to laugh), the SPLC calculates that the number of “hate” groups in the U.S. supposedly increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2018. Citing the report, The New York Times warns, “The law center said the number of hate groups rose by 7 percent last year to 1,020, a 30 percent jump from 2014. That broadly echoes other worrying developments, including a 30 percent increase in the number of hate crimes reported to the F.B.I. from 2015 through 2017 and a surge of right-wing violence that the Anti-Defamation League said had killed at least 50 people in 2018.”

U.S. News & World Report laid bare the blame game with the headline “Trump ‘Fear-Mongering’ Fuels Rise of U.S. Hate Groups to Record.” Clearly, this SPLC report is political, not an honest assessment.

Two points about reports from the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). First, as we observed in November, the reason “hate” crimes are supposedly on the rise is because hundreds more law-enforcement agencies have begun reporting such a category. So if that category is to be taken seriously instead of dismissed as political and subjective, all it means is that we’re now keeping count. Second, assume for a moment that the leftist ADL’s numbers are even remotely accurate (they’re not). Fifty murders is 50 too many for any reason, but blacks kill 50 other blacks in American inner cities every week. Is it a worse crime when the race of the perpetrator is white?

That brings us back to the SPLC. The organization is a tax-exempt, charitable organization with an endowment of $432.7 million. This war chest is used to tabulate a few actually hateful groups, but much of the organization’s very uncharitable efforts are spent serving as a bludgeoning tool for the Leftmedia and the Democrat Party. Why else would the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom be listed as “hate” groups? Or why would the SPLC warn about “members of Congress who traffic in hate and extremism” but only include Republicans and not, for example, actual anti-Semite Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar? A qualification for this political hate? Opposing same-sex marriage, just as Barack Obama did until 2012.

Despite — or rather because of — all this political chicanery, the SPLC is routinely cited by Leftmedia outlets as a “nonpartisan” and “objective” source for tracking hate in America. That is the essence of fake news.


Chicago has a very political police chief who closes his eyes to the real problems in the city

Now that the Chicago Police Department has, to its credit, solved the Smollett hate hoax, the comments from CPD superintendent Eddie Johnson beg closer scrutiny.

No doubt in Barack Obama’s hometown, there was a lot of pressure on Johnson to solve the “race hate-crime” case, but his attempt to pivot to “gun violence” was unacceptable, though consistent with the party line. After all, Johnson was fast-tracked by leftist Mayor Rahm Emanuel to be his superintendent, bypassing the three candidates selected by the Chicago Police Board.

In Johnson’s remarks, after the PD investigation shifted from one of hate-crime solving to hate-hoax-crime solving, he opened with this observation: “I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention because that’s who really deserves the amount of attention that we are giving to this particular incident.”

Those lives do deserve more attention, but suffice it to say that if Johnson was sincere about that pivot, he would admit that the “gun violence” problem is actually a culture problem that is the direct result of generations of statist Democrat policies giving rise to the urban violence.

Regarding the hoax, Johnson said that the investigation shift “recognizes that [Smollett] took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.” Of course, most (not all) of the “pain and anger” in this era is the result of leftist political rhetoric to keep “people of color” beholden to the Democrat Party. Johnson may be so deep in that ruse that he actually believes it.

Johnson asked, “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?”

In the next breath he answered his own question: “This phony attack received national attention for weeks. Celebrities, news commentators, and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor.” Smollett knew he could depend on the mainstream media and politicos to make his “attack” national news. But he badly overestimated his acting skills.

The sum total of the Left’s “weigh in” became part of the farce. Johnson said, correctly, “Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city.”

He concluded, “I only hope that the truth about what happened receives the same about of attention as the hoax did.” But it didn’t and won’t. None of the Leftmedia talkingheads were as breathless in their coverage of the hoax as they were of the original hate-crime report.


Don't rant at Jordan Peterson – understand his appeal, then do better

This is one of many articles by intelligent Leftists that concede that Peterson has a point and could teach Leftists a lot

As Jordan Peterson tours Australia to promote his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, he is being met with protests every stop along the way. Peterson, whose roadshow continues on Monday night on the ABC's Q&A, has been attacked by some protesters for his purported sexism, racism, homophobia and other bigotry.

I find many of Peterson’s views appalling. From his advocacy of enforced monogamy to his  arguments in favour of social hierarchies, they can be regressive and reactionary. Yet, attending the protest in Canberra before his talk, I became confused.

A crowd of maybe 20 protested, chanted and gave speeches as people entered the theatre, but didn't engage with them at all. They yelled and labelled his supporters as sexists, racists or, as one speaker asserted, "incels [involuntary celibates] and pathetic basement dwellers".

I was dissatisfied with this approach. Despite the hyperbole, if you actually look at what Peterson says, it's easy to understand why he appeals to so many people. Our society is going through massive changes that bring rising social and economic insecurity and growing distrust of  democratic institutions.

Peterson provides a framework to understand these changes. His book is part self-help, part philosophy. He argues society is finely balanced between order and chaos, the latter emerging from our loss of shared meaning and values. He attempts to give readers a way out of the chaos. While mocked, his rules, ranging from "stand up straight with your shoulders back" to "pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)", present often sensible techniques for individuals to navigate life's difficulties. In these more psychological areas, Peterson is empathetic and insightful.

He offers a level of order and certainty through self-improvement and individual action, an approach best viewed in a BBC video in which he sits with young men at a boxing ring in a working-class area of Manchester. Peterson listens and connects the dots between their challenges and broader social change.

This doesn't mean we should accept his arguments. In providing his framework, Peterson blames the wrong people, and ignores the massive economic shifts caused primarily by neo-liberal capitalism. Offering individualised solutions to big social issues, he sells snake oil.

But it's not enough to dismiss Peterson and his followers as racists, sexists, homophobes, incels and pathetic basement dwellers. Yes, reject the bigotry, but we must connect the dots better than he does, understand the root causes of societal insecurity and address them. People are disenfranchised and looking for alternatives. Offer better ones than Peterson.


Many people do not believe that Australia's Cardinal George Pell is guilty of child sex offences

Nor do I.  We must note that he has not had his opportunity to appeal the verdict yet. It is common for verdicts to be overturned on appeal. So regarding the case as closed could be most unwise and expose those who do leap to conclusions to some contempt. John Crowley of St Patrick’s College in Ballarat certainly runs that risk.

One needs to note that the case boils down to one person's word against another and that fantasies about sexual matters can be readily taken as true when they are not -- as we saw in the hugely disgraceful matter of "Nick" in Britain, who is now being prosecuted for his lies.  He wrecked the lives of several people before he was disbelieved

It is reminiscent of the Nick affair that in this matter many of the details the complainant gave were improbable, if not impossible.

That the conviction is very fragile can also be seen in the fact that the first trial of the matter left a hung jury.  It was only on retrial that His Eminence was convicted. It seems likely to me that in such a finely balanced matter knowledge of misdeeds by other Catholic clerics swung the verdict towards guilt.  That is of course guilt by association, long recognized as a grave injustice

News of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for child sex offences is being greeted with disbelief by shocked Catholics around the world.

Pell is the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be found guilty of these offences and apparently, some just can’t believe it’s true.

Ed Pentin, the Rome correspondent for the oldest national Catholic newspaper in the United States, the National Catholic Register, has pointed to conspiracy theories circulating in the Vatican that Pell was set up.

“Most people here don’t believe the verdict,” Pentin told the Nine newspapers. “Most here believe Pell is innocent, certainly those who worked with him.”

Pentin said there was scepticism about the guilty verdict because Pell was investigating Vatican corruption and there was suspicion about the timing of the charges.

Suppression orders were lifted in Australia today that has allowed the conviction to be reported, although the judgement was handed down in December and reported by some international news outlets.

In an article for the Register, Pentin notes that after news broke in December about the verdict, a source told him, “People in court saw how flimsy the evidence was.

“This is an act of outrageous malice by a prejudiced jury. The media convicted him long ago in the court of public opinion and he did not receive a fair trial.”

Pell has faced years of negative coverage over what he knew, or should have known, about the activities of paedophile priests including the notorious Gerald Ridsdale, a former friend of Pell’s who was convicted of the abuse and indecent assault of 65 children, some aged as young as four years old.

Pell’s own hometown of Ballarat had such a high incidence of sexual abuse that the city was used as a case study in the final report of the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, which Pell gave evidence at in 2016 via video link from Rome.

Some believe Pell became a poster child for all that went wrong with the way the Catholic Church handled the abuse scandal.

Victorian County Court’s Chief Judge Peter Kidd acknowledged this, telling the jury at his trial that “you must not scapegoat Cardinal Pell”.

Peter Westmore, Pell’s friend of two decades and who attended the trial, told reporters outside the court: “I think the public mind has been so contaminated by the misdeeds of the Catholic Church and by the complaints, which people have raised, which have not been dealt with, that they said, ‘Well, he must have been guilty.’”

Others believe Pell didn’t help himself by refusing to give evidence in his own defence.

“Pell didn’t take the stand, and that definitely made a negative impression; it doesn’t look good if you won’t deny it with your own lips,” one source told the Catholic News Agency in December.

However, Father Frank Brennan, a Jesuit priest who attended some of the Pell proceedings noted that the complainant’s evidence must have been compelling for the Cardinal to be convicted.

The media and public were not allowed to be present when the complainant gave his evidence, which is normal in sexual assault cases.

But the case hinged on this testimony and in the end, the verdict came down to the jury believing the complainant was telling the truth.

“I was very surprised by the verdict. In fact, I was devastated,” Father Brennan wrote in an opinion piece in The Australian.

He noted that Pell’s defence barrister, Robert Richter QC had poked holes in the complainant’s evidence but ultimately the jury had still found the Cardinal guilty.

“Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him,” Father Brennan wrote.

“The jurors must have judged the complainant to be honest and reliable even though many of the details he gave were improbable if not impossible.”

Pell’s old school St Patrick’s College in Ballarat has also announced it will remove the Cardinal’s name from a building that had been named in his honour. It will also revoke his status as a Legend of the school and a line will be struck through his name on a College honour board listing ordained former students.

“The jury’s verdict demonstrates that Cardinal Pell’s behaviours have not met the standards we expect of those we honour as role models for the young men we educate,” the school’s headmaster John Crowley said.

Mr Crowley said the college must respond to the jury’s findings, although it reserves the right to revisit the decision if the conviction is overturned on appeal.

Today Pell’s lawyers confirmed they have lodged an appeal against the conviction and Pentin does not believe it’s likely Pope Francis will take any action until this has been heard.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not commented on Pell’s conviction and either has Liberal MP Tony Abbott, a Catholic and vocal supporter of Pell in the past.

But senators Derryn Hinch and Sarah Hanson-Young are calling for the Cardinal to be stripped of his Companion of the Order of Australia.

Meanwhile, senior Catholic figures in Australia have also expressed shock and disbelief at the verdict.

“While acknowledging the judgment of the jury, I join many people who have been surprised and shaken by the outcome,” Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli said in a statement.

“I fully respect the ongoing judicial process, noting that Cardinal Pell continues to protest his innocence. An appeal against the verdict has been lodged. It is important that we now await the outcome of this appeal, respectful of the ongoing legal proceedings.”

He said his thoughts and prayers were with all victims who had been abused by clergy, religious and lay people in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

“I renew my personal commitment to do all I can to ensure victims of such abuse in Melbourne receive justice and healing,” Archbishop Comensoli said.

“I also acknowledge all in the Catholic Church who are walking with survivors and communities harmed by the scourge of abuse, and who are committed to building a culture of safety for our children and vulnerable people.

“At this time, may I assure you that I keep all involved in my prayer.”

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge released a statement on behalf of national body, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

“The news of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges has shocked many across Australia and around the world, including the Catholic Bishops of Australia,” the statement said.

“The Bishops agree that everyone should be equal under the law, and we respect the Australian legal system.”



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

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

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


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Black Pastor: New Democrat members of Congress may look diverse, but their harmful ideas are not

Most of the newly-elected Democrats are fighting for agendas that hold my community down in poverty, Rev. C.L. Bryant writes

When I served as president of the NAACP branch in Garland, Texas in the 1980s, we believed in the dignity of work. We fought for equal treatment under the law, and quality education for our children. We called on society to judge our neighbors by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

I watched with pride as President Donald Trump delivered the opening remarks of his State of the Union address to the most racially diverse U.S. Congress in history. This scene, I thought to myself, is one big, beautiful step toward achieving the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

That pride was short-lived, as I realized most of these newly-elected Democrats are fighting for agendas that hold my community down in poverty.


When President Trump announced that African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American poverty rates have reached their lowest recorded points in American history, we should have seen a standing ovation from this modern and diverse Democratic Party.

Instead, we saw outright disdain on their faces. Nobody clapped. The message wasn’t worth celebrating, because they didn’t like the political party of the messenger.

In that moment, I realized the 116th Congress is not diverse at all. The new generation of Democrats in power may look different, but their ideas are the same: big government, less freedom, and a message of entitlement and victimhood.

Our abolitionist forefathers died fighting for the freedom and self-empowerment of black Americans. They believed our rights come from God, not the government. They knew that with equal access to jobs and education, the black community would rise.

Now we find ourselves enslaved once again, this time voluntarily, to a culture of government dependency. Big-government policies have trapped us on a plantation of food stamps and welfare checks.

The modern Democratic Party needs black Americans’ lives to depend on the size of government. They want our votes, and our fear. They want us to believe that without them in power, what little we are given to make ends meet will be taken away. That we can’t thrive in this world on our own grit. That we need them to survive.

Sadly, Stacey Abrams, the first black woman to deliver a State of the Union response, perpetuated this damaging message of entitlement and victimhood in her remarks following the president’s speech.

Within a matter of minutes, Abrams accused Republicans of voter suppression, racism, elitism, hurting women and families, attacking the LGBTQ community, closing plants, abandoning children, and conspiring against blue collar American families.

She insisted hard-working families are being left behind, despite 5 million new jobs and the lowest unemployment rates in half a century. She ignored the 304,000 new jobs created in January (double what was expected), and instead painted a picture of federal employees waiting in food bank lines to get a “box of food and a sliver of hope” during a 35-day partial government shutdown.

According to Abrams, plants are closing, and layoffs are looming. More than 600,000 people with new manufacturing jobs would be surprised to hear this, especially Roy James, a black plant manager at the Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility, which was saved from having to close its doors by provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The reality is, Donald Trump’s economic policies have done more for the black community than Barack Obama’s ever did. Since President Trump took office, nearly 4 million people have left the food stamp program. Wages are rising. Unemployment for Americans without a high school diploma is at the lowest rate ever recorded.

Thanks to historic legislation like the First Step Act, black families suffering from an epidemic of mass incarceration are getting a second chance at life together. Their loved ones are getting a chance at redemption, to become productive members of society.

President Trump has loosened regulations on small businesses, empowering black business owners to keep their doors open and protect the livelihoods of their families and their employees.

Through entrepreneurship and empowerment, black America is rising to greatness. We are getting back to work. These achievements did not warrant applause from the Democrats on the House floor, or a single mention in Stacey Abrams’ rebuttal speech.

It was a painful reminder that the modern Democratic Party doesn’t want us to get woke, they want us to stay broke.


Swedish Feminists Demand State Ban on 'Dangerous' Sex Robots

Sex robots and sex dolls reinforce the view that women are objects and normalise men's violence against women, three feminist Swedish organisations claim. They're demanding legislation targeting technology that "reproduces ideas about exploiting women's bodies".

Three Swedish feminist organisations, Sweden's Women's Lobby, the National Organisation for Women's Shelters and Young Women's Shelters (Roks) as well as the empowerment organisation Unizon have published a joint appeal in the newspaper Expressen, in which they demand a state ban on "dangerous" sex robots for men.

The debaters noted that today's sex robots often have the "appearances and attributes typical of the objectifying, sexualised and degrading attitude to women found in today's mainstream pornography".

"Why are men willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a robot that obeys their smallest command?" the feminists asked rhetorically. "A female robot cannot say no to something that the man wants, if she is not programmed to do so", the feminists complained.

The leaders of the women's organisations claimed that fantasies stimulated by such technology may lead to real violence against girls and women. They also drew parallels with pornography, whose consumption, they claimed, leads to sexist attitudes and actual violence. The dehumanisation of women justifies slavery, and the exploitation of the female body through new technology is part of this, they claimed.

The three organisations demanded that an inquiry be made to produce proposals on "how technology and activities that normalise abuse can be restricted and prohibited".

The feminists also want Swedish authorities to make it difficult for "brothels with sex robots and dolls" to open in Sweden. Unlike neighbouring Denmark and Finland, Sweden has yet to open an automated brothel with no human prostitutes. The organisations drew comparisons between sex robots and prostitution.

"Sweden has for 20 years had a regulatory framework that punishes sex buyers and which has reduced the demand for prostitution. <…> Now, Sweden must take the next step and dare to address the ongoing technological developments that are driven by the sex industry at the expense of real women and girls", they concluded.

Lastly, they demanded that such dolls and robots be included in sexual education curricula and addressed from a perspective that portrays the relationship between sexuality and power as problematic.

In 2014, Sweden received its first "feminist" government, which puts a special emphasis on women's rights.


Assessing Gay Priests’ Role in Scandal

According to Vatican observer Edwin Pentin, it is "not clear" whether "the role of homosexuality in the abuse crisis" will be addressed at the Vatican summit on clergy sexual abuse; it begins today. One thing is for sure: every effort to downplay the role of gays is being made.

A front-page story in the February 18 edition of the New York Times is typical of the way most of the media are covering this subject. "Studies repeatedly find there to be no connection between being gay and abusing children. And yet prominent bishops have singled out gay priests as the root of the problem, and right-wing media organizations attack what they have called the church's 'homosexual subculture,' 'lavender mafia,' or 'gay cabal.'"

Furthermore, Cardinal Blase Cupich, who will be at the summit, says that while most of the problem is a result of "male on male" sex abuse, "homosexuality itself is not a cause." He says it can be explained as a matter of "opportunity and also a matter of poor training on the part of the people."

All of these statements can be challenged. First of all, not all studies have shown that there is no link between homosexuals and the sexual abuse of minors.

A good summary of the literature that shows the central role of homosexual priests in the abuse scandal can be found in an article by Brian W. Clowes and David L. Sonnier. The most recent research that challenges the conventional wisdom on this subject is the study by D. Paul Sullins, a sociologist who teaches at Catholic University of America. He found that the link between homosexual priests and sexual abuse was strong.

Let it be said emphatically that it is morally wrong to blame all gay priests or to bully someone who is gay, be he a priest or a plumber. It is also wrong to call on all gay priests to resign: such a sweeping recommendation is patently unfair to those gay priests who have never violated anyone.

However, it is not helpful to the cause of eradicating the problem of sexual abuse in the priesthood to dismiss a conversation about the obvious. We can begin by talking honestly about who the victims are.

Notice that the New York Times says, "[s]tudies repeatedly find there to be no connection between being gay and abusing children." This is a common way of framing the issue, and it is a deceitful one. Most of the victims were adolescents, not children. In other words, the problem is not pedophilia.

We know from one report after another, in both this country and abroad, that approximately 80 percent of the victims are both male and postpubescent. Ergo, the issue is homosexuality. This does not mean that homosexuality, per se, causes someone to be a predator (Cupich is technically right about that), but it does say that homosexuals are disproportionately represented in the sexual abuse of minors. We cannot ignore this reality.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that puberty begins at age 10 for boys. A study of more than 4,000 boys examined by a doctor, nationwide, also put the figure at age 10. The John Jay report on priestly sexual abuse found that less than 5 percent of the victims were prepubescent, meaning that pedophilia is not the problem.

The John Jay researchers try to protect homosexuals by saying that not all the men who had sex with adolescent males consider themselves to be homosexuals. But self-identification is not dispositive. If the gay priests thought they were giraffes, would the scholars conclude that the problem is bestiality?

It was the John Jay researchers who first floated the "opportunity" thesis that Cardinal Cupich picked up on. This idea is flawed. Predator priests hit on boys not because they were denied access to girls, but because they preferred males. More important, there is something patently unfair, as well as inaccurate, about this line of thinking.

It suggests that many priests are inclined to have sex with minors—and will choose the sex which offers them the greatest opportunity. There is no evidence to support this unjust indictment. Also, girl altar servers date back to 1983, after Canon law was changed. They became even more common in 1994 when Pope John Paul II ruled that girls can be altar servers.

If the "opportunity" thesis had any truth to it, we should have seen, over the past few decades, a spike in altar girls being sexually abused by priests, but this has not happened. Indeed, 80 percent of the victims are still male and postpubescent.

The notion that "poor training" is responsible for the scandal raises the obvious question: If all seminarians, straight and gay, were trained the same way (they were not segregated), then why didn't the "poor training" that the heterosexuals experienced lead them to sexually abuse minors?

Finally, every honest observer who has examined this subject knows there is a homosexual subculture in the Church. Two months ago, Pope Francis said, "homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church." Previously, he spoke about the "gay lobby" in the Church. Moreover, a 2016 decree on training for priests spoke about the "gay culture." Also, it was Father Andrew Greeley who used the term "lavender mafia."

Pope Francis is not a "right-winger," and neither was Greeley.

We need to stop, once and for all, playing politics with this issue and face up to some tough realities.


How political correctness assisted a vast con

For no particular reason, my summer has been filled with con men. Some old, some young, all charming and all cheats. Happily, it’s been from a safe distance, reading about, watching and listening to some shocking swindlers.

But the worst con wasn’t by any of these men. The worst con artist was a woman, a very young woman. She features in a mesmerising new podcast called The Drop Out. She is also the subject of John Carreyrou’s forensic book, Bad Blood — Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. She stars in a new HBO doco due out next month called The Inventor — Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Here is a poster girl for gender equality, if you will, proving women can be just as bad as men.

And the story of Elizabeth Holmes is very, very bad. Though she shares much in common with con men, another part to her story deserves scrutiny.

The rise of Holmes reveals ­another, darker side to female empowerment. Feminist warriors won’t tell you how gender works a treat for women who seek to lie, con and defraud. The feminists talk only about woeful discrimination by men against women, glass ceilings that can’t be cracked, boys clubs and men’s networks that stop women from achieving their true potential.

Holmes reached her full potential as a con artist, aided and abetted by being a woman. She dropped out of Stanford after two semesters of chemical engineering with a mission to transform blood testing across the globe. Phyllis Gardner, a professor of medicine for more than 30 years, spotted ­delusion right away. She told the freshman at their first encounter in 2002 that her idea was not scientifically possible.

Holmes moved on to another professor, Channing Robertson. The middle-aged man was mesmerised by her and not long after joined the board of Theranos, the company Holmes set up in 2003 when she was 19 years old.

Holmes used her female charm to cajole many others, to trick and defraud legions of men, young and old. And women too, mostly young women, many of whom left Theranos disillusioned and disgusted.

Plenty of men fell out with Holmes eventually, but it is striking how many men fell for Holmes and her story. She spruiked a revolution delivered via a small device to extract a pinprick of blood, the sample fed into a Theranos machine called the Edison, which would run hundreds of tests simultaneously in an hour.

Before her story turned rancid, Holmes hit all the sweet spots. She was young and gorgeous with big blue eyes, articulate and passionate about her claim to change the world. Holmes dazzled a bunch of pale, stale males who joined her board. The all-male board included Henry Kissinger, then US Marine Corps general John Mattis, who became secretary of ­defence, former secretary of state George Shultz, and other men who made their millions in Silicon Valley. Shultz was taken with her “purity of motivation”. Mattis was impressed with her “well-honed sense of ethics”. Park these thoughts.

Holmes claimed she was revolutionising blood testing, reducing medical costs, even saving lives on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Brilliant young graduates, even senior people from Apple, flocked to work with the next Steve Jobs.

Holmes raised $US700 million from investors — again lots of men, including Oracle founder Larry Ellison, venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the Walton and De Vos families, and Rupert Murdoch. Theranos also signed a game-changing deal with pharmacy chain Walgreens.

The media loved Holmes too. The blonde, self-made billionaire, worth $4bn at her height, was a ­female success story in the boys club of Silicon Valley.

Her pitch to be the modern-day cross between Marie Curie and Steve Jobs was kind of sexy. Though more Jobs than Curie. Holmes deliberately dressed like her icon, copying the Jobs uniform of black skivvies and trousers. She even changed her voice to a weirdly slow and low baritone.

A brilliant woman in a man’s world was forced to do this to get ahead? Or a cunning young woman exploiting her gender to con the world? Undoubtedly, both.

Business journalists know how this goes. A picture of a pretty young woman makes the front page, no matter how small the news value or how shallow her achievement. It breaks the long run of grey men in suits. The media, drunk on the Holmes Kool-Aid, were so excited to promote gender diversity that they didn’t listen for alarm bells. Holmes was plastered over the media, scoring covers and profile puff pieces, appearing on TV, collecting awards and addressing rapturous crowds. Introducing the ­inventor at an event, Bill Clinton was especially excited. Of course.

Did Holmes cash in on lashings of gender virtue-signalling by men too? No doubt. Just like those Male Champions of Change in Australia, male board directors who flock to promote women ­because it gives them a public glow of goodness, the men around Holmes gained gender cred by boosting her. Except their outer glow blinded them from seeing the red flags about her poor leadership and her false claims about Theranos technology and revenues. As Carreyrou observed, there was also a dose of FOMO — a fear of missing out.

That said, Holmes’s skin-deep CV piqued the interest of Carrey­rou. Why not others? There is a reason, writes The Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, that Nobel prize winners in medicine are in their 60s. It takes time to develop, test and authenticate genuine medical innovations. This Stanford dropout was in a rush, leading a company that lied to ­patients, ­investors and even staff.

Carreyrou’s first explosive report about this con woman ran in October 2015. Holmes claimed Theranos machines could run hundreds of blood tests from a single drop of blood. That was untrue. The tests that it did run were often faulty. Holmes ran fake tests to convince investors and her board.

Holmes and her chief operating officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani set up silos within Theranos, forbidding staff members from communicating with other sections. Employees were routinely sacked on the spot for raising questions about the technology. They were threatened with lawsuits, and dossiers of information on them were collected for “leakage”.

The Theranos offices were gripped by a culture of secrecy, fear and retribution

Holmes was at the centre of this cult-like story of a tech girl genius. Even as the myth exploded, she ­responded to critics by saying: “This is what happens when you work to change things. First, they think you’re crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world.” Employees chanted “f..k you, Carreyrou” over and over again at a staff meeting.

As Carreyrou continued his forensic exposes in the Journal, Theranos staff members created a Space Invader game with Carrey­rou as the villain.

The house of Holmes came crashing down in March last year when the SEC charged her and Balwani with widespread fraud.

Holmes settled with the SEC and has been banned from running a public company for 10 years. Theranos closed its doors six months later. Holmes and Balwani are awaiting trial for other offences that could put them in prison for 20 years.

The most despicable con was inflicted on people who used dodgy Theranos blood tests to make decisions about their lives.

So, the next time someone says that more women are the antidote to a toxic culture, remember that women can be bullies, harassers, and fraudsters too.



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

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

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


Monday, February 25, 2019

Man Accused of Pulling Gun on Sam’s Club Customer All Because of MAGA Hat

A Tennessee man faces a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment after allegedly pulling a gun on a Sam’s Club customer in Kentucky for wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

James Phillips, 57, told police he made an obscene gesture with his finger towards Terry Pierce and his wife inside the store because they were wearing MAGA hats, according to a police citation obtained by WKNY.

After Pierce returned the gesture, Phillips, who was wearing a veterans hat, “pulled a .40 caliber out and stuck it in my face, backed up and said, ‘It’s a good day for you to die,'” Pierce told WBKO.

“I said, ‘Then pull the trigger. Put the gun down and fight me or pull the trigger. Whichever one you want,’” Pierce added. “And he backed up and he said it again, he said, ‘It’s a good day for you to die.'”

Phillips then left the store and waited in the parking lot for his mother, who was still inside shopping, according to Pierce.

“I went out the front of the store to confront him again and that’s when I got him in his car,” Pierce told 13 News. “He tried telling me I assaulted him and I said, ‘I never touched you.’”

Pierce said the impetus for the altercation was the MAGA hat he was wearing. “I have as much right to wear that hat and support my country and my president as he has not to,” he said.

Surveillance video captured inside the store confirms that Pierce did not lay his hands on Phillips, according to the police citation. However, footage of Phillips allegedly pulling his gun on Pierce was not captured due to him backing away from the view of the camera.

Police arrived on the scene after multiple witnesses called in to report Phillips pulling a gun on the couple, according to the citation.

Phillips had a concealed .40 caliber Glock with a bullet chambered in one pocket and two additional magazines in another, according to police.

He has concealed carry permit from Tennessee, according to WKNY.


Moment Brazilian immigrant, 41, 'drunkenly assaults a man, 23, wearing a MAGA hat at a Mexican eatery before being arrested' - but claims SHE is the victim

A woman accused of assaulting a fellow diner at a Mexican restaurant because he was wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat claims that she was actually the victim of the confrontation caught on video.

Rosaine Santos, a 41-year-old Brazilian immigrant living in Falmouth, Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery following the row at Casa Vallarta Mexican restaurant last Friday.

Police say Santos approached 23-year-old Bryton Turner and began yelling at him about his red hat with Donald Trump's 2016 campaign slogan emblazoned across it.

A video recorded by Turner shows Santos walking behind him and knocking the hat off his head. 

'That's the problem – the problem with American these days, people are just ignorant,' Turner says in the video.

The incident escalated to the point that the police were called, and when they arrived at the restaurant Santos reportedly told them that Turner should not be allowed to eat at a Mexican restaurant because he supports the President, who is hellbent on erecting a wall at the US-Mexico border. 

Santos took one last swipe at Turner while police were escorting her out of the restaurant. 'She just tried to grab my hat in front of four officers, not smart,' Turner said in the video.

Bartender Geo Macarao told local TV station Boston 25: 'I couldn’t imagine somebody just coming up and hitting them when there’s cops right here.'

Santos defended herself after the fact, telling Boston 25 that she had been provoked. 

'I had a little bit to drink maybe that’s the reason that I couldn’t walk away but being discriminated for so many times in my life, I just had to stand up for myself,' she said.

'He’s not a victim. I am the victim. I have been bullied, okay?' 

Macarao said Turner didn't do anything to provoke Santos and had just walked in an ordered his food when she confronted him.


A British police force 'discriminated against a white heterosexual male'

A police force which rejected a "well prepared" potential recruit because he is a white, heterosexual male has been found guilty of discrimination.

Matthew Furlong, 25, whose father is a detective inspector in Cheshire Police, applied to join the force in 2017.

When he lost out to other candidates, his father lodged a complaint.

An employment tribunal ruled the force had used "positive action" to recruit people with different characteristics, but in a discriminatory way.

Mr Furlong, who studied particle physics and cosmology at Lancaster University, said he was told at the interview "it was refreshing to meet someone as well prepared as yourself" and that he "could not have done any more".

Employment lawyer Jennifer Ainscough said: "Matthew was denied his dream job simply because he was a white, heterosexual male.

"This is the first reported case of its kind in the UK where positive action has been used in a discriminatory way."


The tribunal in Liverpool ruled Mr Furlong had been a victim of direct discrimination on the grounds of his sexual orientation, race and sex.

It ruled that while positive action can be used to boost diversity, it should only be applied to distinguish between candidates who were all equally well qualified for a role.

The force's claim it had seen 127 candidates who were equally suitable for the role of police constable was a "fallacy", the tribunal ruled, and imposing such an artificially low threshold - assigning candidates a pass or fail rather than any kind of score - was not a proportionate response to addressing the force's lack of diversity.

Cheshire Police was among a number of forces criticised in 2015 for having no black officers, but has since taken steps to improve opportunities for those of different ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

The case has been adjourned until later this year for a remedy hearing to determine the amount of compensation to be awarded.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: "We have been notified of the outcome of the tribunal and will review the findings over the coming days."


Take responsibility for your life

Prominent intellectual and speaker Jordan Peterson’s current Australian tour could well be the first time many millennials have heard a message of personal responsibility.

For most of their lives, millennials have been coddled by the narrative of having rights without responsibility. For many millennials, individual accountability was obsolete in western culture, until people like Peterson revived the discussion in a new way for a new generation.

As an unintended consequence of the cultural change in the 1960s, there has been an overemphasis on group identity and intersectionality in our culture.

The most important aspect about an individual has become their group identity — characteristics such as race, gender, cultural background, and sexuality, take primacy over the individual.

This has led to people being classified as belonging to either an oppressor or a victim group. Being a white person meant that you had to forever reimburse the sins of western imperialism and slavery. Because you share the characteristics of those who did wrong in the past, you must pay in the present.

Meanwhile, being a minority victim group meant that you can ‘never be guilty’ or be responsible for any suffering in your own life. If you belong to a victim group, your problems were caused by the oppressors.

Peterson’s message directly counters this narrative. For the first time, many young people are being told they have control over their life. You are not responsible for the sins of your ancestors. Nor are you a victim because of the trials of your ancestors.

Take control of what you can. Start small, slowly build competence, and your life will drastically improve. This is how you build a meaningful life.

As Peterson says in his book, 12 Rules for Life, “We must each adopt as much responsibility as possible for individual life, society and the world”.  

We must bring personal responsibility back onto the table.



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

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

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


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Lesbians are FAT

A popular stereotype confirmed.  My late sister was a Lesbian and her "friend" was certainly large.  But why is it so?  The explanations advanced by the authors below are typically Leftist grievance explanations.  The real explanation is probably simple.  Many Lesbians think like men and men are much less careful of their appearance than women are.  So lesbians "let themselves go" as men often do but as women rarely do

It is however a puzzle that the Lesbian sample was much younger than the normal sample.  What do we conclude from the expected fact -- which was also the observed fact -- that the older women in general got, the fatter they got (Table 2)?  That finding seems wildly contradictory to the headline finding.  Going  by age, the lesbians should have been slimmer. The two findings could be resolved by saying that young Lesbians tend to be HUGELY overweight but that is seemingly not so. The percentage overweight for lesbians was given as 59.3 versus 57.0 for normals, which is a fairly small difference.

So some puzzles there

Sexual orientation identity in relation to unhealthy body mass index: individual participant data meta-analysis of 93 429 individuals from 12 UK health surveys

J Semlyen et al.



Lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are more likely than heterosexual adults to experience worse health outcomes. Despite increasing public health interest in the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight, no study has considered sexual orientation identity (SOI) and unhealthy BMI categories among adults in the UK population.


Individual participant data meta-analysis using pooled data from population health surveys reporting on 93 429 adults with data on SOI, BMI and study covariates.


Adjusting for covariates and allowing for between-study variation, women identifying as lesbian (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.16, 1.72) or bisexual (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.48) were at increased risk of overweight/obesity compared to heterosexual women, but men identifying as gay were at decreased risk (OR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.61, 0.85) compared to heterosexual men. Increased risk of being underweight was seen for women identifying as ‘other’ (OR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.56), and men identifying as gay (OR = 3.12, 95% CI: 1.83, 5.38), bisexual (OR = 2.30, 95% CI: 1.17, 4.52), ‘other’ (OR = 3.95, 95% CI: 1.85, 8.42).


The emerging picture of health disparities in this population, along with well documented discrimination, indicate that sexual orientation should be considered as a social determinant of health.

Journal of Public Health, 2019  Also here

Catholic Church Leaders, Homosexuals, and Abuse

By ignoring the sin of homosexualty among its priests, the church has enabled child abuse    

The Bible is clear: Homosexual behavior is wrong and a sin. It’s not an acceptable alternative lifestyle, let alone a practice in which to take pride or a choice that others must celebrate. From the Old Testament to the New, Biblical writers call it an “abomination” and “dishonorable,” listing it among the sins that will keep its practitioners from inheriting the Kingdom of God.

To be fair, sometimes conservative Christians elevate homosexuality as a particular bogeyman because they’d rather not deal with their own idolatry, greed, adultery, or other sinfulness. Homosexuality is not the cause of the epidemic of broken man-woman marriages in Christendom, for example. Neither is it beyond the reach of redemptive grace. Yet unlike many other sins, homosexuality is also a sin of disorder. It’s not too much of a good thing; it’s a perversion of what God created — something the Apostle Paul calls “contrary to nature.”

Nevertheless, liberal Christians have handled the issue by declaring that the Bible doesn’t actually say what it says, or that Scripture’s prohibition is now culturally irrelevant. In any case, our culture’s brazen embrace and outright promotion of gender disorientation presents particular challenges for Christians.

One of those manifestations is that the Catholic Church has for decades struggled to come to grips with the sin of sexual abuse among its clergy. Unfortunately, many Catholic leaders flatly reject the notion that this is a homosexual problem. “Anyone who tries to make the argument that homosexuality is a root cause does so against all the research that has been out there,” insisted Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago. The Washington Post claims research shows no connection between sexuality and abuse.

Yet the empirical evidence is crystal clear: This abuse is disproportionately perpetrated by men upon boys.

Pope Francis, who in December said homosexuals should “leave the priesthood,” is leading a four-day summit to address the problem of sexual abuse. “Listen to the cry of the young, who want justice,” and “transform this evil into a chance for understanding and purification,” Francis declared. “The holy people of God are watching and expect not just simple and obvious condemnations, but efficient and concrete measures to be established.”

Francis’s newfound zeal for stopping and punishing this abuse is welcome, though it remains to be seen what concrete actions will result from this summit. That depends on the effectiveness of his 21-point plan.

Regarding the prevalence of homosexual priests, the Catholic Church must come to grips with how it hates the sin but loves the sinner. Perhaps those tempted by homosexual desires are drawn to the priesthood because they hope the ordered celibacy will provide needed guardrails. If so, it’s evidently a yoke too heavy for some to bear, and rather than finding grace and healing, they’re finding rules and restraints they can’t abide. Perhaps others are drawn to the dirty little secret — what some cardinals fear is a cabal of homosexuals bent on advancing an agenda.

The truth is in there somewhere, and we hope the pope and other Catholic leaders can deal with it honestly and forthrightly.


Dear Feminists, Stop Ruining Life for the Rest of Us

I realize that it comes from a good place: Empowerment. Confidence. Success. But your way of achieving this has caused some real problems. Take, for example, men. Can women only achieve “empowerment” by destroying men, masculinity, and male leadership? Gender is not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to pick a team. It’s not a “cat’s rule, dogs drool” situation. Being pro-woman should not mean being anti-man.

We both live on this planet and we need each other. On a basic level, men and women need each other to make the human race continue. Men and women also bring different things to both family and work dynamics. For all the talk of unity, where is the unity of male-female relations?

And what about the “toxic masculinity” thing? What does that even mean? To be sure, there are some terrible men in this world. There are abusive men, chauvinist men, cheaters, and oppressors. But are these men inherently terrible because they are male or because they are simply toxic people making bad choices?

On the flip side, there are some terrible women in this world: abusive, manipulating, and vengeful women. Was it due to their femininity? Was it due to their gender? Or were they terrible because they were toxic people making bad choices? It does not seem reasonable to claim a person’s bad behavior is an inherent quality of their gender. Where is the personal responsibility in that? It seems more reasonable to call people (of either gender) toxic because of their poor choices.

And here’s another irony. With all your talk of discrimination and victimization, what about the guys? Are they victims of their gender like women are? It’s not like they had a choice in the matter. It’s XX chromosomes for females and XY chromosomes for males. None of us had a choice. So to discriminate against all men based on something they couldn’t help is wrong. To accuse every man of being an abusive, misogynist, patriarchy-obsessed warlord — without evidence — is not fair, either.

Further, our legal system is based, among other things, on the presumption of innocence. To shift that system into one that finds women to be inherently innocent and men to be inherently guilty compromises the rule of law for everyone.

Shaming men for masculinity attacks them for being strong, for being protectors, and for being providers. Yet what does that accomplish? Do we really want a society with weak, passive men who won’t stand up for their families?

In the end, most women still prefer strong men who act as able leaders, protectors, and heroes. To the feminists who are destroying the last remaining vestiges of chivalry in this county, please stop the anti-man crusade. If you want to turn your guy into a passive man, do that on your own time. But stop ruining life for the rest of us.


UNREAL: Lib Magazine Says It’s Racist For Trump To Pressure Iran Into Decriminalizing Homosexuality

The Trump administration has recently launched a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality with a focus on countries such as Iran, where it is currently illegal to be gay.

This completely destroys the Democrats argument that “Trump hates gay people.”

Check out what NBC reported:

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

This campaign is focused mainly on decriminalizing homosexuality and came in response to a recent execution of a gay man in Iran.

Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it’s likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights. Other U.S. embassies and diplomatic posts throughout Europe, including the U.S. Mission to the E.U., are involved, as is the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Narrowly focused on criminalization, rather than broader LGBT issues like same-sex marriage, the campaign was conceived partly in response to the recent reported execution by hanging of a young gay man in Iran, the Trump administration’s top geopolitical foe.

Pretty good of the Trump administration to make this a priority, right? Maybe the Left will finally get behind President Trump on an issue, right?

Well according to a far Left magazine, “Trump’s plan to decriminalize homosexuality is an old racist tactic.” Seriously? You can’t make this up!

"The Trump administration is set to launch a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in dozens of nations where anti-gay laws are still on the books, NBC News reported Monday. While on its surface, the move looks like an atypically benevolent decision by the Trump administration, the details of the campaign belie a different story. Rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda"

Instead of praising President Trump for standing up for gay people all around the world, Out Magazine finds a way to make the news about Trump being a “racist.” How pathetic!

No matter what your views are on gay marriage, it’s good that The Trump Administration is taking the lead in ending the criminalization of homosexuality.

Instead of constantly attacking him, the Left should agree with the President, especially on an issue that they claim to care so much about.


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