Friday, May 31, 2019

Monty Python star John Cleese sparks outrage by saying London is 'not really an English city any more'

Anybody who has been to London lately will tell you that around half the faces in the street are brown, so Cleese is simply telling the truth -- not that truth matters to the Left

John Cleese has sparked an online row by suggesting that London is 'not really an English city'.

The star of Fawlty Towers and Monty Python - who revealed last year he was moving to Nevis in the Caribbean - wrote to his 5.6 million Twitter followers that 'London was not really an English city anymore.'

His comments echo those he made in 2011, when the veteran actor told Australian television that London 'doesn't feel English.'

Cleese - who is no stranger to controversy on social media - has caused a heated debate online with this latest comment, with some people mocking the 79-year-old, while others supported his views.

The Twitter controversies of Monty Python's John Cleese
Today wasn't the first time John Cleese sparked a storm by tweeting something controversial.

In 2016, he said: 'Why do we let half-educated tenement Scots run our English press ? Because their craving for social status makes them obedient retainers?'

In November 2018, as the California wildfires raged, he wrote: 'Invited tonight to a Sacramento restaurant called Lucca, by the owner Erin. 'She said that last night several people came in to eat who were from Paradise, the place that just burned to the ground. She told me that they wanted everything they ordered flambeed. Magnificent...'

In June 2018, he listed the best audiences then followed it up by saying: 'Worst: Lazy, fat, beer-sodden, pseudo-French Belgian b******s in Hasselt.

Latest official statistics reveal the make-up of London’s population

London has the highest percentage of non-UK born residents in the country. It is also made up of the highest proportion of non-white groups in the country. 

In 2018, 36 per cent of people in London were non-UK born residents, while non-British residents were at 22 per cent.

In the local authority of Brent, 52 per cent of people were born outside of the UK, while both Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster, have 49 per cent of their population born elsewhere.

The 2011 census recorded that 2,998,264 people are foreign-born, including 24.5 per cent born in a non-European country, making London the city with the second largest immigrant population, behind New York City, in terms of absolute numbers

According to the Census, 44.9 per cent of Londoners are White British, the lowest proportion in the country. In comparison, the North East of England is 93.6 per cent White British.

Other White people make up 14.9 per cent of London's population.

7.1 per cent of Londoners are African, while 6.6 per cent are Indian. 5 per cent are of Mixed race and 4.2 per cent are Caribbean.  A further 2.7 per cent are Pakistani, 2.7 per cent are Bangladeshi and 1.5 per cent are Chinese. 4.9 per cent are Other Asian, 2.1 per cent are Other Black and 3.4 per cent are from a different Ethnic Group.  

When it comes to language, 77.9 per cent of Londoners speak English as their main language, while 0.6 per cent cannot speak it at all.

48.2 per cent of Londoners are Christian, according to the 2011 Census.

Sherlock star Amanda Abbington tweeted: 'What's happened to John Cleese...?'

TV presenter Rick Edwards wrote: 'Just when you think you can't love John Cleese any more!! It turns out you can't.

But not everyone disagreed with the veteran entertainer.

The official Leave.EU account praised Cleese, writing: 'Bravo to British comedy legend and Brexiteer @JohnCleese for speaking up about the state of London The liberal luvvies on Twitter are in meltdown over his refusal to apologise for telling the truth!'.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has responded to John Cleese after the actor made comments about London

In a statement Mr Khan referred to Cleese's comedy series Fawlty Towers, saying: 'These comments make John Cleese sound like he's in character as Basil Fawlty.

'Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub.'

Since the tweet Mr Cleese has responded to critics online who have questioned his claims about London.

He posted in response to one user on Twitter: 'I suspect I should apologise for my affection for the Englishness of my upbringing, but in some ways I found it calmer, more polite, more humorous, less tabloid, and less money-oriented than the one that is replacing it.'

According to the 2011 Census, 44.9 per cent of London is White British, the lowest figure for a single region in the country.

North East England has the highest percentage of White British people in England, with 93.6 per cent.

The highest percentage in the UK is Northern Ireland, which has 96 per cent.

Non-white groups made up 40 per cent of London’s population, while it varies from 4.5 per cent to 17 per cent in other English regions.

It is not the first time Mr Cleese has courted controversy online.

In November 2018, the British actor took to Twitter to share a joke he'd heard while dining out at a restaurant in Sacremento, California.

He wrote: 'Invited tonight to a Sacramento restaurant called Lucca, by the owner Erin.

'She said that last night several people came in to eat who were from Paradise, the place that just burned to the ground.

'She told me that they wanted everything they ordered flambeed. Magnificent...'

At the time he posted the joke California was besieged by wild fires, with the death toll currently at 50, with hundreds of animals also thought to have perished and thousands left homeless.

In another remark on Twitter made by the actor in June 2018, he listed the best audiences then followed it up by saying: 'Worst: Lazy, fat, beer-sodden, pseudo-French Belgian b******s in Hasselt.

But after an online backlash he added: 'An apology to the citizens of Hasselt. It was quite wrong of me to describe them as pseudo-French. They are, of course, pseudo-Dutch.'

How did London vote in the 2016 EU referendum?

Comedian Cleese said London voted 'strongly' to remain in the EU.

But how does the vote break down?

Across all the 33 London boroughs 59.9 per cent (2.26 million) voted to Remain in the EU and while 40.1 per cent voted to stay (1.5 million).

In some areas, such as Lambeth, proportion of the vote for Remain was higher than 70 per cent.

His latest comments echo his comments made on Australian television on 2011 that London 'is not longer an English city.'

He said at the time:  'I'm not sure what's going on in Britain. Let me say this, I don't know what's going on in London because London is no longer an English city and that's how they got the Olympics. 'They said 'we're the most cosmopolitan city on Earth' but it doesn't feel English.

'I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King's Road and say to me 'well, where are all the English people?'.

'I love having different cultures around but when the parent culture kind of dissipates you're left thinking 'well, what's going on?''


We must have the right to blaspheme against Islam

The Saatchi Gallery’s covering up of two ‘Islamophobic’ paintings is an outrage.

Thou shalt not insult Islam. Bizarrely, terrifyingly, this has become the creed of 21st-century Britain. Consider the Saatchi Gallery’s decision to cover up two paintings after Muslim visitors complained they were offensive.

In a blow to the ideal of artistic freedom, the supposedly edgy gallery in west London draped grey sheets over two new paintings that infuse verses from the shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam, with images of naked women and the US flag. The Saatchi is behaving like Saudi Arabia, hiding from public view artworks that blaspheme against Islam. Perhaps the artist responsible will now get 50 lashes for effrontery to the religion of peace.

The works are by the pseudonymous artist SKU. The aim of the paintings was to explore how individuals become subjected to ‘wider cultural, economic, moral and political forces’. But visitors were denied the ability to judge how successfully the paintings did this because they were covered up by Islam-respecting modesty sheets in response to complaints that they were ‘blasphemous’. The Saatchi Gallery said it respected ‘the sincerity of the complaints made against these works’. SKU proposed a ‘compromise’, in the words of the Guardian, with the visitors who called for the paintings to be taken down – SKU said they shouldn’t be taken down but they should be covered with sheets. Way to defend artistic freedom! This is the ‘respectful solution’, said SKU.

This wasn’t a compromise. It was a capitulation. It was a caving-in to the censorious cries of people who clearly think that public space, even artistic spaces, should be cleansed of any images that offend their religious convictions. There is no significant difference between the intolerant desire of certain visitors to have the paintings taken off the walls and the spineless decision of the artist and the gallery to cover them up instead: in both cases, actual artworks would be hidden from public view, defaced with censorious cloth, on the basis that they offend religious sensibilities. It is positively pre-modern.

It is also ironic. And riddled with double standards too. For the Saatchi art crowd has long presented itself as dangerous and sensational and willing to offend against orthodoxies. Charles Saatchi himself – the wealthy co-founder of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi who set up the Saatchi Gallery to display his immense art collection – has made a name for himself as a shower of supposedly offensive art. He famously sponsored the Young British Artists of the 1990s, who were rarely out of the headlines for their shocking works. At Sensation, the 1997 exhibition of his collection at the Royal Academy of Art in London, a painting of Myra Hindley by Marcus Harvey caused a huge storm. Some members of the Royal Academy resigned in protest at its inclusion and the painting was vandalised by visitors twice. Yet the Saatchi crew didn’t cover it up.

Even more strikingly, the Saatchi collection then included ‘The Holy Virgin Mary’ by Chris Ofili, which is an Africanised painting of the mother of Christ that rests on two big slabs of elephant dung. It caused a storm in London in 1997 and even more so when it was displayed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1999. Rudy Giuliani, then New York mayor, threatened to shut down the museum over the ‘offensive’ Ofili work. Christian organisations said the painting should be removed because it is ‘offensive to religious viewers’. The museum refused to remove it. Saatchi’s people didn’t suggest covering it up. Nor did they talk up ‘the sincerity of the complaints’. Which raises a big and awkward question: why is it okay for the edgy art world to ‘insult’ a Christian icon but not to ‘blaspheme’ against Islam?

This is where we get to the heart of the problem: Islam, uniquely among religions, is being forcefieled from criticism, ridicule and even artistic depiction in 21st-century Britain. The Saudi-style covering-up of SKU’s two paintings follows the shushing or shelving of other works of art or entertainment deemed to be offensive to Islam. Various theatres, including the Barbican and the Royal Court Theatre, have rewritten or cancelled works that might offend Muslims. Or witness the fire-and-brimstone condemnation that rains down on anyone who criticises or jokes about certain Islamic practices, whether it’s the wearing of the niqab (Boris Johnson) or the 72 virgins thing (Louis Smith).

Student unions agitate for the banning of speakers who criticise Islam too harshly (whom they of course brand ‘Islamophobic’). Charlie Hebdo continues to be shamed by British leftists as a publication that ‘punches down’ because it dares to publish cartoons that mock Muhammad or take the piss out of Islamic beliefs. Even the Metropolitan Police recently decreed that it is ‘Islamophobic’ to describe Islam in any of the following ways: as a ‘static’ belief system, as ‘other’, as ‘irrational’, ‘sexist’ or ‘aggressive’, or as a ‘political ideology’. Apparently anyone who holds these entirely legitimate views of Islam is guilty of an act of ‘phobia’ – which in essence means blasphemy.

Everyone from the police to the commentariat to the political class now treats criticism of Islam as tantamount to a speechcrime. Consider the All Party Parliamentary Group’s recent embrace of a definition of Islamophobia as any prejudice against ‘expressions of Muslimness’, which could include dislike of basically any Islamic practice. It is little wonder people feel they have the right to walk into a gallery and say ‘Take down this blasphemous work’. After all, they live in a country in which the powers-that-be have reintroduced blasphemy laws by the backdoor in order to protect one religion in particular – Islam – from harsh criticism.

This is really worrying stuff. It is bad for artistic freedom, bad for public discussion, and bad for freedom of thought. The right to blaspheme is a hard-won liberty. We should have the freedom to mock all gods, prophets, beliefs and ideas. The right of the individual to blaspheme against religion should always override religious people’s sensitivities. The worst thing is this: censorship inflames intolerance. When we say Islam must never be insulted, we play directly into the hands of Islamists who believe that anybody who does insult their religion deserves to be punished. We license their bigotry. We strengthen their belief that criticism of Islam is immoral and thus deserving of some kind of blowback. Hiding those two paintings behind sheets was an incredibly bad, illiberal and destructive thing to do.


The British Left has turned against the working class

Trade unionist and vocal Brexit supporter Paul Embery has been asked to cease using social media by his union, the Fire Brigades Union, after making comments which described Britain’s pro-Remain middle classes as ‘rootless’ and ‘cosmopolitan’. He was accused of referencing an anti-Semitic trope by prominent figures on the left, including Labour MPs Clive Lewis, Paul Sweeney and Alex Sobel. Embery was also attacked for speaking in favour of Brexit at the recent March to Leave in Parliament Square. Around the same time, many on the left were viciously denouncing RMT trade unionist Eddie Dempsey for his Brexit stance.

These rows seem to encapsulate a sharp divide within the Labour Party: between working-class, pro-Leave trade unionists and many of the party’s liberal, metropolitan, pro-Remain activists. spiked caught up with an unrepentant Paul Embery to talk about his remarks, the trade-union movement, and the future of Labour.

spiked: What were you trying to get across with your comments about a ‘rootless’ and ‘cosmopolitan’ middle class?

Paul Embery: It all started with a tweet from Gary Lineker. He said that he found it ‘baffling’ that people could see any benefit in ending freedom of movement post-Brexit. I then responded by asking, does he share his house keys with everyone on the street, or does he only ever enter other people’s homes when invited? That then stimulated a bit of online discussion. Mike Harding, the folk singer, who I remember watching on TV when I was a kid, came back and said ‘a nation is not a home’. This struck me as something that he and others might believe, but millions of ordinary people don’t.

This really captures the divide in our society, as I tweeted, between ‘a rootless, cosmopolitan, bohemian middle class’ and a ‘rooted, communitarian, patriotic working class’. In my view, it was very clear that this was aimed at a particular set of middle-class liberals and how they view the idea of a nation, in comparison with working-class people, who do see their nation as a home. I thought this was a pretty straightforward point to make, even if people disagreed with it.

Some of my opponents then pointed out that Stalin had once referred to Jewish intellectuals as ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ back in the 1940s. You would have to be something of an expert on communist history to know that. I didn’t know that. Lots of politically active and knowledgeable people have got in contact with me to say they didn’t know it. I’ve even had Jewish people contact me to say they didn’t know it. Whatever Stalin might have said, the discussion itself had nothing to do with Jews or Jewishness, and so it was clearly not an attack on Jewish people in any way, shape or form.

It was Twitter at its pitchfork-wielding worst – a classic example of people going out of their way to be offended by something that wasn’t offensive. The people attacking me were looking to take a free kick over things they disagree with me over anyway, whether it’s Brexit, my Blue Labour politics or my stance on free movement. And I have no desire to apologise. First, because I’ve done nothing wrong. Second, because an apology is never enough for these self-appointed censors. They will always demand more. You should only apologise if you are at fault for something, not because someone has decided to take offence at an innocent use of words. These scarlet-faced witch-finders are a threat to free speech, and they need to be faced down remorselessly.

spiked: You were also attacked for speaking at the March to Leave. Why was that?

Embery: The March to Leave was a cross-party rally, with speakers from left and right, that attracted thousands of people, many of them ordinary working-class people, even some trade unionists. It was a pro-democracy rally. My view is that the principle of democracy is under threat. If you look at the way the establishment has tried to obstruct the biggest democratic mandate in our history, then you cannot but come to the conclusion that democracy itself is under pressure in a way we haven’t seen before.

I don’t by any stretch agree with all of the people speaking at the rally. But I wanted to take the opportunity, as someone from the left and the trade-union movement, to speak to thousands of ordinary working-class voters, many of whom had never been on a demo before, to talk about defending democracy and Brexit from a left perspective. If that meant breathing the same air as people I disagree with on some issues, then that was something I was willing to do.

Interestingly, the People’s Vote campaign had a rally earlier this week and people from the Labour movement shared the stage with right-wing Tories. With Vince Cable… a collaborator with the Tory government who helped to push through austerity. It was telling that the same people who attacked me for speaking at the March to Leave were silent about this.

The working-class people at the pro-democracy March to Leave should be the target audience for the trade-union movement. Sadly, the left and the trade-union movement are siding with the establishment against the majority, when those people used their Leave vote to hit back at the establishment. The left has to start asking itself some serious questions as to why so many working-class people feel alienated from them. But it’s not hard to work out the answer.

spiked: How has this distance come about?

Embery: There is a chasm between the leadership of the trade-union movement and working-class people. The trade unions have effectively retreated to their public-sector comfort zone. They have very little influence in the private sector. Once upon a time, the unions were very strong in the car industry, manufacturing and heavy industry; they are almost absent now.

Of course, that’s partly down to de-industrialisation. But there has also been a political shift within the leadership of the unions. It’s more London-centric. It’s much more a part of that liberal, middle-class club that is obsessed with identity politics but less interested in the bread-and-butter issues, like pay, that affect millions of union members up and down the country.

We live in a time when unions are needed more than ever. We have zero-hours contracts, the gig economy, transient employment, sweatshop warehouses with the kind of abuses you would get in the Victorian days. But the trade unions are just not there. I think the leadership of the trade-union movement – as exemplified in the Brexit debate – is in a completely different place to ordinary working-class people.

spiked: Have there been similar trends in the Labour Party?

Embery: The Labour Party now is increasingly a bourgeois, metropolitan, liberal party. It is obsessed with students and youth. It’s very London-centric – removed almost completely from parts of this country, such as the northern industrial heartlands, where the Labour Party was once a strong presence.

Over the past 30 years, Labour has shed the pretence of being an avowedly working-class party and has become this middle-class liberal party. It thought that because working-class people wouldn’t have anywhere else to go, that they would always keep those voters on board. But I think recently – and Brexit has contributed to this – those voters no longer feel the tribal loyalty to Labour that they once did.

In the 2017 election, we saw a swing from Labour to the Tories in some of those old, working-class heartlands. We lost seats like Mansfield, Walsall North, Stoke-on-Trent South and Derbyshire North East – an old mining constituency. The polling since the election has shown that the Tories won more support among C2DEs, the occupational working class. These are really scary statistics for a party that claims to be on the side of the working class. But Labour is not asking itself why so many people feel no sense of belonging within the party. Some people feel that Labour doesn’t even want their vote anymore. Whether it is Gillian Duffy or the white-van man in Rochester with the England flag, who Emily Thornberry thought was some sort of museum piece, unless we start making those people welcome in the party or treat them as people we are proud to represent rather than as embarrassing elderly relatives, then we’re not going to win them back.


Seeing sexism everywhere

The Council of Europe’s new definition of sexism is deeply concerning.

The Council of Europe has decided to redefine the word ‘sexism’. The CoE has a decade-old definition, but the council decided to update it in response ‘to the #MeToo and other recent movements that have heightened awareness of persistent sexism in society’. Worryingly, the new definition looks set to impact on freedom of speech, with its promise to police both public and private attitudes in search of the problem of sexism.

The original meaning of ‘sexism’ as defined by the CoE was as follows: ‘Sexism is linked to power in that those with power are typically treated with favour and those without power are typically discriminated against. Sexism is also related to stereotypes since discriminatory actions or attitudes are frequently based on false beliefs or generalisations about gender, and on considering gender as relevant where it is not.’

The new definition shifts the parameters in a striking way. It points to the possibility of total surveillance as part of the crusade against sexism. It describes sexism as: ‘Any act, gesture, visual representation, spoken or written words, practice or behaviour based upon the idea that a person or a group of persons is inferior because of their sex, which occurs in the public or private sphere.’

The most concerning aspect of the new definition is the hint at some kind of monitoring of what is said and done not only in the public sphere, but in the private sphere too. The reason given for this new wide-ranging approach is that ‘online sexism is rampant throughout Europe, with women disproportionately affected – especially young women and girls, women journalists, politicians, public figures and women’s human-rights defenders’.

This is a problematic development. The threat of sexism and its impact is being ramped up. Worse, the council suggests some kind of punishment for those who fail to adhere to its preferred way of speaking about or engaging with women. It proposes institutionalising ‘legal and policy frameworks, measures and best practices that address sexism, sexist behaviour, gender stereotyping and sexist hate speech, in particular in public spaces, the internet and media, the workplace, the public sector, the justice, education, sport and cultural sectors, and in the private sphere, including tools for reporting sexist behaviour, as well as disciplinary processes and sanctions.’

One of the main problems with feminism in 2019 is its moving of the goalposts in relation to the issue of sexism. So much behaviour and speech is now collapsed under the title of ‘sexism’. For example, last month German adverts for cycle helmets were condemned as sexist by politicians because they featured a glimpse of naked female bodies. This was despite the fact that the same adverts featured men in an even more extreme state of undress.

And we have the creep of sexism charges into the private sphere. In 2017, it was revealed that ex Brexit secretary David Davis, in a private conversation, expressed disdain at the idea of kissing Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbot. He was branded sexist by several MPs and made to apologise.

When more and more public images, forms of speech and private comments are redefined as ‘sexist’, and when the Council of Europe proposes some kind of sanctions against those who do or say any of these things, the possibility of a new kind of authoritarianism becomes very real.

One theme that runs through the council’s recommendations, and through feminism more broadly today, is a view of women as being constantly under threat. It does seem ironic that in the efforts, ostensibly at least, to bring about equality between the sexes, officials effectively argue that one sex, the female one, needs to have the world sanitised on its behalf just in case its members ever encounter a questionable idea or statement. The eager search for sexism everywhere looks like an attempt to keep feminism relevant. And it is proof of today’s insatiable desire to produce victims and villains.



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 30, 2019

A new study shows that religious involvement leads to stronger families. Who knew?  

We’ve been conditioned for decades to believe the key to a happy and enduring marriage is one based on “progressive” values and a rejection of the traditional religious views of the relationship between husband and wife. But new studies reveal otherwise.

That’s right: Married men and women are happier when religion is part of their lives.

Of a new report on marriage, faith, and families by the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institution, authors W. Bradford Wilcox, Jason S. Carroll, and Laurie DeRose write in The New York Times Sunday Review, “The happiest of all wives in America are religious conservatives, followed by their religious progressive counterparts. Fully 73 percent of wives who hold conservative gender values and attend religious services regularly with their husbands have high-quality marriages.”

But even left-leaning couples are typically happier and enjoy stronger marriages when religious sentiment is part of their lives.

Wilcox, Carroll, and DeRose add that secular women “compared with religiously conservative women” do not “enjoy the social, emotional and practical support for family life provided by a church, mosque or synagogue.”

This seems to fly in the face of a feminist philosophy that religion prevents women from realizing true happiness, and that quality of life is attained only by rejecting religious principles — the patriarchy! — in favor of “progressive” values and a secular worldview.

But a society without religion can leave some people searching in the wrong places for happiness. This includes Millennials who have spurned marriage and family in favor of individual happiness, careers, and wealth. There’s certainly nothing wrong with these goals — except that marriage is actually one of the best ways to achieve them.

As Suzanne Venker suggests in the Washington Examiner, “By turning away from marriage, as understandable as it might have been at the time, millennials set themselves up to fail. Married people are significantly better off (financially, emotionally, even on the happiness scale) than any other group of Americans. The data are indisputable. To be sure, a culture of divorce scares people away from marriage. But what we’ve learned the hard way is that without marriage, a nation crumbles. Just because your parents failed at love doesn’t mean you will. Rejecting marriage outright was the real mistake.”

Of course, many factors have contributed to our nation’s high divorce rate, but there’s no doubt that secular progressivism has been one of them. (Frankly, we’d argue that failed marriages among Christian conservatives are a result of not living up to the biblical ideals they espouse.) When young people believe that everything in the universe is random and that abandoning religious values is the pathway to a happy life, it’s no wonder they reject marriage and family in pursuit of the false promises of secularism.

And while non-religious liberal women tend to celebrate marriages in which male spouses are engaged in family life, this isn’t a new concept in conservative religious homes, where husbands have always endeavored to embrace their role as fathers. At the same time, many feminist women who consider themselves progressives are less likely to have children in the first place.

There are many benefits to a religious life. “Faith is a force for good in contemporary family life in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania,” say the report’s authors. “Men and women who share an active religious life, for instance, enjoy higher levels of relationship quality and sexual satisfaction compared to their peers in secular or less/mixed religious relationships. They also have more children and are more likely to marry.” They add, “This report suggests the family-friendly norms and networks associated with religious communities reinforce the ties that bind.”

Makes sense. And it’s no wonder that more Americans admit they’re suffering from depression, anxiety, isolation, and other afflictions at a time when we’re abandoning the very religious values that held our society together for so long.

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center conducted a study with similar findings. According to Pew’s analysis, “In the U.S. and many other countries around the world, regular participation in a religious community clearly is linked with higher levels of happiness and civic engagement (specifically, voting in elections and joining community groups or other voluntary organizations). This may suggest that societies with declining levels of religious engagement, like the U.S., could be at risk for declines in personal and societal well-being.”

After so many years of social and moral chaos, it’s interesting that we’ve come full circle and finally realized that maybe we had it right all along. After having been told that a rejection of religion would strengthen our society, we’re now realizing the powerful and beneficial affect that religion has on our marriages and communities.

Let’s hope it’s not too late to convince millions of young people that they’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places.


FAA Investigating 2 Airports For Religious Discrimination After Booting Chick-Fil-A

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reportedly investigating two airports for religious discrimination after they booted Chick-fil-A from their food courts.

The airports — San Antonio International and Buffalo Niagara International — are under investigation by the Department of Transportation after the department received multiple complaints, Fox News reported.

"The Department of Transportation has received complaints alleging discrimination by two airport operators against a private company due to the expression of the owner’s religious beliefs," the agency said in a statement to Fox News."The FAA notes that federal requirements prohibit airport operators from excluding persons on the basis of religious creed from participating in airport activities that receive or benefit from FAA grant funding."

The San Antonio Express-News reported: "Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched a separate state inquiry a week after the City Council vote, intended to determine whether the city violated Texas laws. At the time, he encouraged the U.S. Department of Transportation, which oversees the FAA, to look into the matter as well."

Chick-fil-A has long been a target of the political Left and Democrat politicians who despise the wildly popular restaurant.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Buffalo Niagara International Airport was booted after leftist Democrat Assemblyman Sean Ryan urged hospitality company Delaware North and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to deny the restaurant a place in the terminal.

In a statement to Fox News, Chick-fil-A wrote:

"Recent coverage about Chick-fil-A continues to drive an inaccurate narrative about our brand. We do not have a political or social agenda or discriminate against any group. More than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand. We embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."

FOX 8 noted that as the FAA's investigation takes place, "the 'Save Chick-fil-A bill,' as it has been deemed, is headed to the Texas governor’s desk for expected signature. The proposed law would reportedly prevent discrimination based on a person’s religious beliefs and conscience, including biblically based views of marriage."

Aside from its delicious food and pro-family values, Chick-fil-A has a reputation for going the extra mile when it comes to providing excellent customer service and serving local communities.

Just this week, a Chick-fil-A employee changed a customer's flat tire in the drive-thru line, according to FOX 8. The customer wrote about the experience on his Facebook page:

"Bunch of saints over at the chickfila in east ridge! My tire somehow went flat in the drive through so they rushed out to replace it for me with their hydraulic Jack. They brought my food out to me then after it was done replaced my food with new fresh food so it wouldn't be cold and put two cookies in there for free! Those people are truly doing the lord's work over there!"

During Hurricane Harvey, an elderly couple called a local Chick-fil-A and asked for help as they were trapped in their flooded home. USA Today reported:

"The restaurant manager, Jeffrey Urban, recognized Spencer’s number, and answered the phone at the store. He was the only one able to reach to store because of flooding, according to the company. He passed on Spencer’s cry for help to a coworker, Cindy Smith. She called her husband, who got his fishing boat and hit the water. The crew arrived at the Spencers’ home, with two men on jet skis in tow."

After the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, Chick-fil-A opened the following day, which was a Sunday when the restaurant was normally closed, to serve law enforcement and people who were donating blood to the victims.


Why European Populism Is on the Rise

Leftist supremacism is being rejected as the arrogance it is    

Over the weekend, the countries making up the European Union held elections for representatives to the EU parliament. As the results came in, it became clear that Europe is becoming increasingly divided. Nationalist parties gained significant ground, though pro-EU groups still maintained a sizable majority. In Britain, the months-old Brexit Party was the big winner, garnering 32% of the vote, clearly sending the message that Britons are not happy with the soon-to-be-departing Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to secure a Brexit deal. May’s Conservatives and the left-wing Labour Party were routed.

In Italy, Matteo Salvini, leader of the conservative League Party, celebrated a big election victory by declaring, “There is a wind of positive energy. It has brought in fresh air.” Salvini’s populist party campaigned heavily against the EU’s pro-migrant policies. After years of nearly uncheck mass migration from mainly Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, many Europeans have tired of being relegated to the status of second-class citizen by their elitist, globalist-minded leaders. They’re turning to new populist/nationalist parties to fix it.

Writing for The New York Times, Bret Stephens observes why these parties are gaining ground around the world, as well as why he believes President Donald Trump will win a second term: “The common thread here isn’t just right-wing populism. It’s contempt for the ideology of them before us: of the immigrant before the native-born; of the global or transnational interest before the national or local one; of racial or ethnic or sexual minorities before the majority; of the transgressive before the normal. It’s a revolt against the people who say: Pay an immediate and visible price for a long-term and invisible good. It’s hatred of those who think they can define that good, while expecting someone else to pay for it.”

It certainly would seem that rejection of left-wing elitism is becoming a worldwide phenomenon.


Joe Hildebrand explains violence against women

As Joe points out below, people are just flapping their lips about this and achieving nothing by doing so.  The only thing I can think of that might reduce such crime is horrific pubishment for the perpetrators -- burning at the stake, for instance

This week on Studio 10 I was asked what I thought about Victoria Police’s comments that men should reflect upon themselves in the wake of yet another brutal murder of a woman in Melbourne.

“Violence against women is absolutely about men’s behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said.

I gave what I thought was a fairly unremarkable and commonsense answer: “I thought it was a really nonsensical thing to say.

“I don’t see how me reflecting on myself is going to stop women being bashed or murdered.”

And, as usual when I think I have said something fairly unremarkable and commonsense, all hell broke loose.

And, as usual when all hell breaks loose, I have been asked to write a piece about it. So here it is.


There is no doubt that men are more violent than women. There is no doubt that they commit more homicides and more assaults. The vast majority of murderers are men, as are the vast majority of prison inmates.

However, that does not mean that all or even most men are violent or potentially deadly, nor that murder or violence is inherently caused by masculinity.

Firstly, homicide in Australia is incredibly rare and at a record low. The latest comprehensive report from the Australian Institute of Criminology states that the rate in 2014 was one per 100,000 people, the lowest since data collection began in 1989.

The report, published in 2017, tallied 487 homicides over the two years to July 2014. At the time Australia’s population was a bit over 23 million, so around 11.5 million males.

To project the absolute worst case scenario, if every single murderer was male and every single victim was female and applying over two years, that would make around one in 23,000 males a killer, or 0.0042 per cent of the male population.

In fact around twice as many homicide victims are male rather than female, homicides are usually calculated on a yearly basis and some killers are women. And so you could divide that figure by a third, then half and then take some more off to get the true annual rate of men killing women.

But let’s not — let’s use that absolute maximum figure of one in 23,000. Obviously it is still one too many but is that evidence of chronic violence among men towards women and, more importantly, is a mass reflection of this going to stop that one man from killing?

Frankly — and sadly — I doubt it. There are already pretty powerful disincentives against murdering people — namely jail — and yet people still commit murder. It is difficult to conceive of how asking would-be murderers to reflect upon their attitudes to women would be a greater deterrent.

Indeed, it would seem self-evident that criminals of all persuasions don’t pay much attention to what the police tell them to do, least of all the very worst and most violent among them.

And that is the problem with the public posturing on men needing to respect women. No reasonable man disagrees that women deserve respect — on the contrary it is obvious to any decent man that they do, which is why the vast majority of men do it.

The difficulty is that those who abuse women to the point that they kill them are hardly likely to be swayed by a police press conference or a government ad campaign.

Even so, the supposition appears to be that these murders are merely the final blow in an escalating trajectory of disrespect to abuse to death. That is most certainly the case in many violent relationships but the spate of brutal murders in Victoria springs from far more varied sources, including an abject failure of the Victorian criminal justice system.

In the notorious and unbearably awful case of the murder of Jill Meagher, it emerged that her killer was a serial sexual offender of the most horrendous and violent kind and yet he was allowed to walk free on parole during which time he abducted her and ended her young life. He had never met her before.

Likewise, the young Eurydice Dixon was stalked and killed by a total stranger, as was La Trobe student Aiia Maasarwe. Maasarwe’s alleged murderer was reportedly known to police.

He was also homeless, as was the latest tragic victim Courtney Herron. Her alleged killer Henry Hammond too was reportedly living out of a van and described as having major mental health problems — he apparently told people he was both Jesus and Odin.

Which of these men do police imagine would have taken heed of their message of “reflection”? Which of them do police imagine would have abandoned their murderous plans if another man had told them they should show more respect to women?

This is the only issue I have with such well-meaning platitudes — I’m not offended by them or threatened by them and I don’t even disagree with them. I just think they’re absurd, especially in this case. Good men don’t need to be told and bad men won’t listen.

And you don’t have to stretch your mind too far to realise how absurd they are.

There was the horrendous case in Sydney last week of a mother killing her toddler in a murder suicide. According to another report by the AIC released earlier this year, the number of mothers murdering their children is on the rise while fathers doing it is declining. Was there a suggestion after that last unthinkable crime that all mothers ought to reflect on their respect for their children? Of course not.

Likewise, there has been a spate of so-called “African” gang crime in Victoria. Did police suggest that young African-born males ought to reflect upon their or their peers’ propensity for violence? Of course not — in fact they denied such a problem even existed.

And in the wake of every terrorist attack police are at pains to stress that this is a tiny minority of Muslims and in no way reflective of the Muslim community as a whole. And they are right.

Why then is there such an unthinking reflex to say in the wake of exceptionally extreme murders that all men ought to reflect upon their attitudes? It is bizarre to say the least.

As for violence against women generally, every statistic indicates that it is not so much maleness that is the problem but chronic disadvantage. As with virtually all other indicators of crime, it is concentrated in areas of poverty and all the other problems that both cause and flow from it.

Reclaim Princes Park vigil for murdered comedian Eurydice Dixon. Picture: Mark Stewart
Reclaim Princes Park vigil for murdered comedian Eurydice Dixon. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia

Yes, violence and domestic violence occurs everywhere and yes, it is overwhelmingly men who perpetrate it but the rates are comparatively low in wealthy areas and skyrocket in areas where people are doing it tough. This is no surprise to any serious student of crime.

For example, official NSW Bureau of Crime and Research statistics show the lowest rates to be on Sydney’s north shore and northern beaches and the highest rates to be around Blacktown in western Sydney, and the rural west and north west of the state.

This is a variable that ranges from 115 per 100,000 to 1290 per 100,000. In other words you are up to 10 times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence in the poorest parts of the state than in the wealthiest.

And as many brave Aboriginal women have sought to highlight, there is an even greater spike in remote and regional indigenous communities — up to 30 times the non-Indigenous rate. Do police call upon all Aboriginal men to reflect upon their attitudes to women? Of course not.

And that’s because it makes no sense. If you really want to fix a problem there is no point tarring whole populations with the same brush or just telling everybody to try harder or be nicer. You need to drill down into what is really causing it.

Who are the men committing these awful crimes? What is their background? What are their surroundings? How can we make women safer? How can we liberate them and whole communities from disadvantage and dysfunction? Where is the problem the worst and why?

These are often diabolical problems that are difficult to solve but the nature of the problem is clear and the solution requires housing, health services, education, employment and time. In the meantime, we need a justice system that keeps known perpetrators behind bars and known victims safe — something that Victoria’s justice system has clearly failed to do.

Or you could just go on TV or Twitter and say that it’s men who are the problem and they should stop harming women.

We all know how well that’s worked out so far.



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, May 29, 2019

European Parliament shaken up after election results

Europe has been stunned by unexpected election results, with emerging parties surging to victory in Britain, France, Italy and Poland.

Far-right parties topped the votes in Italy, France, Britain and Poland in the highest voter turnout in 20 years, as leaders rode a wave of anger at EU officials over immigration and economic policies.

The European Parliament represents more than 500 million people in 28 countries.

Italy’s Interior Minister and leader of the far-right League party, Matteo Salvini, scored one third of the national vote and hailed the results by saying “a new Europe is born”.

“Not only is the League the first party in Italy, but also Marine Le Pen is the first party in France, Nigel Farage is the first party in the UK,” he told reporters. “The results confirm our expectations, the celebration won’t be long, it’s time for responsibility.”

Poland’s eurosceptic Law and Justice party won 45 per cent of the national vote, while Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration National Rally beat President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party by a one point margin, with both scoring 23 seats in the European Parliament.

Ms Le Pen said the result “confirms the new nationalist-globalist division” in France and called for Macron to “dissolve the National Assembly”.

In Germany, far-right party Alternative for Germany emerged as the strongest party in the country’s east, with the Greens winning large support among urban voters.

Overall, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union received the largest share of votes in Germany.

In Britain, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which was launched just six weeks ago, scored 36 per cent of the vote with a hardline message to take Britain out of the EU on October 31.

The Liberal Democrats and Greens also gained as projected, while the results were a disaster for the governing Conservative Party that scored less than 10 per cent of the vote.

Mr Farage said it showed a “massive message” for politicians and said his party was ready to stand for a UK general election.  “We want to be part of the negotiating team. We want to take responsibility for what is happening and we’re ready to do so. I hope the Government is listening.

“We’re not just here to leave the European Union but to try and fundamentally change the shape of British politics, bring it into the 21st century and get a parliament that better reflects the country.”

Conservative leadership hopeful Boris Johnson described the result as a “crushing rebuke” for the Government. “If we go on like this, we will be fired: dismissed from the job of running the country,” he wrote in The Telegraph.

The results have been met with disbelief across Europe. The Sun in England led with the front page headline “Panic at Farage rout: Brexs*it hits fan”.

When the Brexit Party leader — whose party decisively beat both major parties in the UK vote — turned up for an interview on Good Morning Britain, he was asked to look at the results more carefully.

Host Charlotte Hawkins did some hasty maths on the results and used it to claim that parties advocating to remain in the EU actually won the majority — not Mr Farage’s party.

“If you add up all the pro-remain parties they did get a bigger percentage - 35.8 per cent versus the Brexit party 31.6 per cent,” she said. “So the pro-remain parties altogether did get a bigger percentage.”

However, the question clearly annoyed Mr Farage who blew up immediately — saying “I’m sorry this is absolute tosh,” he said. “It is not a fact. [It all depends on how you categorize the parties]


Nigel Farage Could Be Prime Minister Of The UK With The BREXIT Party

Nigel Farage has warned the Brexit Party will ‘stun everybody’ in a general election if Britain fails to leave the European Union on October 31. The former Ukip leader has called his European elections 2019 results ‘one hell of an achievement’ after the Brexit Party secured a plurality with 31.7 per cent of the votes in the UK.

But could Nigel Farage become prime minister? He told Good Morning Britain during his glory rounds this morning: ‘When people woke up on March 30 this year, and realised we hadn’t left the European Union, that’s when in large numbers they became ready to vote for a different party. ‘The Brexit Party is only six weeks old, think about it that context, this one hell of an achievement. ‘I would say this looking ahead, the next date we are supposed to leave on is October 31, and that date will become a bigger and bigger factor in people’s minds as these next five months go by.

‘If we don’t leave on October 31, then the Brexit Party will go on to a general election and stun everybody there too.’ After the 2016 referendum, Farage retired as leader of Ukip with intentions to stand down as a member of the European Parliament.

However, when he realised the UK would be forced to take part in the European Elections he founded the Brexit Party. Farage shocked, then prime minister, David Cameron into calling for a referendum after winning four millions of the votes and securing 24 MEPs for Ukip in the 2014 European elections. This year, with the Brexit Party, he took it one step further and secured 28 seats in Brussels. So yes, if the European elections results are anything to go by, Farage could win a majority if a general election is called later this year and land in the leading seat.

But if this is his plan, Farage still has a long way to go. The current plan is to have fresh Tory leadership by the end of July, where the candidate will automatically become Britain’s next prime minister. Conservatives secured just 9 per cent of the votes and lost 15 seats. Labour has threatened to call for a vote of no-confidence in the next PM, which could result in a general election. Farage’s ‘primary goal’ is for the UK to leave EU, and has warned the ‘ball is in their [the Government’s] court’, to deliver Brexit or face humiliation by his party.

However, he admitted he had ‘absolutely no idea’ what will happen over the next months, but said they were ‘getting ready’ for a general election.


German Jews warned not to wear kippas after rise in anti-Semitism

Skullcaps - or kippas - are traditionally worn by Jewish men

The German government's anti-Semitism commissioner has urged Jews to avoid wearing skullcaps in public.

Felix Klein warned Jews against donning the kippa in parts of the country following a rise in anti-Semitism.

He said his opinion on the matter had "changed compared with what it used to be".

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said the recommendation amounted to "an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil".

A sharp increase in the number of anti-Semitic offences was recorded by the German government last year.

Official figures showed 1,646 hate crimes against Jews were committed in 2018 - an increase of 10% on the previous year.

Physical attacks against Jews in Germany also rose in the same period, with 62 violent incidents recorded, up from 37 in 2017.

Speaking to the Handelsblatt newspaper, Justice Minister Katarina Barley said the increase in anti-Semitic crimes was "shameful for our country".


It’s the word police who threaten harm

Comment from Australia

Bill Shorten offered a comprehensive social vision and was rejected. This is consistent with a renewed commitment by Australians to freedom of expression and relig­ion. Three-quarters of us strongly support legal protections for freedom of thought, conscience and belief, according to a YouGov/ Galaxy­ opinion poll of 1033 people on behalf of the Institute for Civil Society before the federal­ election. At that time the Israel Folau controversy was runnin­g hot.

Yet if free speech advocates are to prevail, they must answer the most serious case in favour of speech restrictions: that speech can harm. The argument against Folau’s words is that they are detrimental to others’ mental health. In our therapeutic culture this means that words, as well as sticks and stones, can be judged harmful.

John Stuart Mill’s doctrine that government can restrict our actions only “to prevent harm to others” was intended to protect us from ­coercive moralism. Nowadays, the principle is invoked for precisely the opposite reason: to restrict freedom — freedom of speech and religion in particular.

Citing Folau’s social media post, gay former rugby league player Ian Roberts said: “These types of remarks can and do push people over the edge … There are literally kids in the suburbs killing themselves.”

Similarly, Greens leader Richard Di Natale­ condemned the 2017 postal survey on same-sex marriage because­ it could lead “young people (to) take their lives on the back of a hateful and divisive debate in the community”.

But it is not merely with LGBTQ issues that indirect-harm arguments are used to condemn or silence speech. Progressive leftists seized on the Christchurch massacre of 51 Muslims to launch an all-out attack on conservative critics of Islamic immigration and multiculturalism. TV presenter Waleed Aly said he wasn’t surprised by the March 15 massacre, given the anti-Islamic sentiments of the media and politicians. Former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs called for a new “hate speech” law in response to former senator Fraser Anning’s comments blaming Muslims themselves for the mass shooting.

Di Natale went further and called for new “laws that regulate our media”. Speaking of “people like” Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, and Chris Kenny, Di Natale said “if they want to use hate speech to divide the community then they’re going to be held to account for that hate speech”.

To be blunt, suicide, social division­ and terrorism are being weaponised to silence conservative speech. There are three serious problems with the justifi­ca­tions offered for the restrictive speech laws so beloved by many progressives.

First, the causes of social traged­ies such as gay suicide and anti-Muslim terrorism are com­plex­ and diffuse, making it impossible to determine the exten­t to which speech is responsible. Surely drug addiction, relationship break­down, isolation and mental health issues play significant roles.

Second, banning speech that allegedly feeds into a dangerous atmosphere seriously under­estim­ates how much speech would be silenced. As well as the Kennys and Bolts, shouldn’t we ban leftist critics of Israel and US foreign policy, whose ideas resonate with the justifica­tions of many anti-Israel terror attacks? Why stop there — what about climate change? Greens MP Adam Bandt has declared we need to announce a state of climate emergency in Australia. If anything justifies the banning of speech, it’s the possibility that the world could end if we listen to climate change deniers. What about sexism that feeds into systemic inequality and even domestic violence? Let’s ban everything that perpetuates sexist stereotypes: Disney cartoons, Barbie­ dolls, the Koran, the Bible, sexist jokes and hip-hop music.

Third, criticism of Islamic immigr­ation or policies on gender and sexuality is political speech, and what speech is more valuable to a democracy? No doubt such debate sometimes degenerates into abuse, but even then regulation must be relucta­nt lest it morphs into the wholesale suppression of controversial speech.

The attitude of Di Natale and Triggs, among others, shows how real this danger is. Folau’s criticism of homosex­ual­ity is religious expression, and freedom of religion is foundational to any liberal democracy. Get rid of it and you are left with a kind of progressive atheocracy.

Conservatives and liberals need to learn how to respond to “harm arguments” against basic freedoms because these are rhetor­ically powerful and will become only more frequent. It is necessary to point out that such arguments render valuable speech open to censorship.

A potential, indirect link betwee­n contentious speech and actual harm is not enough to justify incursions into freedom of expression. The public policy emph­as­is must be on a realistic approach to social problems, focusin­g on evidence of the many contributing factors, while keeping in mind the importance of our liberal democratic freedoms.

Of course there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech any more than there is absolute freedom of association (I cannot join the mafia) or freedom of movement (I cannot just move into my neighbour’s house). Yet all too often calls to regulate speech look like opportunistic attacks on conservatism and religion, or exasperated attempts to create the appear­ance of control over intract­able social problems.

Enemies of free speech and religiou­s freedom have been maddene­d by the Coalition’s May 18 victory. But they have not been beaten. Defenders of fundamental freedoms need to arm themselves with good arguments for, as progressives have just learned, empty slogans are never enough.



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, May 28, 2019

The rise of the blue-collar patriots

What the Brexit, Trump and Australian revolts share in common.

The political rise of Donald Trump to the office of the US presidency sent shockwaves throughout the Western world, as did the UK’s decision to leave the EU in June 2016. These were political earthquakes in their own right. And the National-Liberal coalition’s surprise victory in the Australian federal election this week has quite rightly been labelled by the country’s prime minister Scott Morrison as ‘a miracle’.

For the opposition Australian Labor Party, this was an ‘unlosable’ election. They were consistently ahead in the polls and were widely expected to end their six years in opposition.

There are striking parallels to be drawn between these seismic political events.

All three events, completely unexpected by the swathe of metropolitan sophisticates in the spheres of politics, media and research, have what I call ‘blue-collar patriots’ at their core.

In Western liberal democracies such as the UK, US and Australia, blue-collar patriots have traditionally pledged their support to established parties of the left. These are patriotic people who have a deep love for nation and family, as well as a strong sense of community. And they are traditional working-class folk who live in industrial and rural regions, which have not fared so well under the rampant market forces of globalisation. Socially conservative, they are disconnected from the generally relaxed attitudes of the metropolitan political classes towards immigration and their celebration of ‘multiculturalism’.

The response of metropolitan ‘progressives’ to these shock results speaks volumes, and highlights a broader crisis of social democracy. The revolts in Britain, America and Australia should have prompted mature calls for a period of serious introspection. Instead, blue-collar patriots who voted for Brexit, Trump and Morrison have been crudely labelled ‘racist’, ‘thick’, ‘xenophobic’ and ‘bigoted’ – depicted as frustrated simpletons who were acting on nothing more than their irrational jingoistic impulses.

In the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election, Democratic Party candidate Hilary Clinton – the epitome of an establishment metropolitan sophisticate – slated supporters of The Donald as a ‘basket of deplorables’. In an act of sheer arrogance and complacency, Clinton was the first Democratic nominee not to visit Wisconsin since 1972 – and became the first one to lose the Midwestern state to the Republicans since Ronald Reagan’s electoral mauling of Walter Mondale in 1984. With his ‘America First’ message of trade protectionism and job creation, Trump breached the Democratic Party’s supposedly impenetrable ‘Midwest firewall’ in spectacular fashion – carrying the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa and Ohio (as well as Wisconsin) in the process.

The policy agenda of the Australian Labor Party under Bill Shorten’s leadership was ultimately defined by its ‘climate-emergency radicalism’. The Liberal National Party (LNP) of Queensland (where the coalition partners are consolidated into one party), capitalised on Labor’s confused stance on a proposed Adani coal-mining project in Queensland. Feeding into a broader sentiment that Labor was not prioritising the interests of its working-class base, the party suffered disastrous results in the ‘Sunshine State’. This included a huge swing away from Labor in the industrial and agricultural hub of Rockhampton, and the loss of thousands of votes in Mackay in the eastern coastal part of the state. Affectionately known as the ‘sugar capital’ of Australia, Mackay was a longstanding Labor stronghold.

It is also important to note that the nationalist-populist One Nation Party, founded and led by Pauline Hanson, polled 17 per cent in Rockhampton’s electoral division of Capricornia, as well as winning 13 per cent of the popular vote in Mackay’s electoral division of Dawson – with traditional Labor voters shifting to One Nation in large numbers.

Then we have the British Labour Party. After winning back a shedload of working-class voters from UKIP in the 2017 General Election, it is running the risk of being humiliated in its Leave-voting heartlands tomorrow when the UK votes in the European Parliament elections. Labour’s embarrassing fudging of Brexit, along with its putting up of Remainiac MEP candidates like Lord Adonis, reflects a fundamental disregard for many of its own traditional working-class Leave voters across northern England and the provincial Midlands.

Blue-collar patriots are held in contempt by the political establishment and even seen by many within their natural parties as an inconvenience. And so they have no choice but to adopt a more ‘flexible’ approach to elections. Tribal loyalties, which saw traditional working-class voters repeatedly pledge their support to established parties of the left, are fraying. Their tolerance for not only being unheard, but also ridiculed by ‘representatives’ of parties they traditionally supported, is understandably wearing thin.

The British Labour Party can never win a functioning parliamentary majority without the support of its industrial heartlands in northern England and the provincial Midlands. The Democrats cannot regain control of the White House without the industrial Midwest. And to end its spell in opposition, Labor must reconnect with regional Australia and rebuild working-class support in its former Queensland heartlands.

Whether it is the UK, US or Oz, the picture is clear: without cultivating strong support among blue-collar patriots, parties of the left will struggle at the ballot box – an uncomfortable truth for the chattering-class cosmopolitan elites of Islington, Manhattan and Canberra.

Critiquing the inequalities reproduced by market capitalism, and promising a fairer economic model, is not going to be a magic bullet when it comes to restoring strong ties between blue-collar patriots and parties of the left. Their socially conservative nature – patriotic, family-oriented, community-spirited – must be better appreciated, and certainly not subject to the level of abuse and ridicule that has been displayed in recent times.

Post-materialist over-indulgence and an unhealthy obsession with identity politics is costing the political left dear across the West. Blue-collar patriots, who have demonstrated astonishing party loyalty over the generations, have had enough.


In praise of the ‘Skateboard Hero’

Ignacio Echeverría gave his life in the fight against extremism – why aren’t we celebrating him?

This week, we heard the moving story of a man who died fighting neo-fascists on the streets of London, just two years ago. A man who did not run away from murderous intolerant extremists, but who ran towards them to attack them with a makeshift weapon. A man who gave his own life in a short but brave struggle with fanatics. Why isn’t his name more widely known? Why isn’t he being celebrated? Why hasn’t his story gone viral? It’s because the extremism that he bravely confronted is the kind of extremism people just don’t want to talk about – Islamic extremism.

The man’s name was Ignacio Echeverría. He was a Spanish national working in London with HSBC. He had moved to London to be closer to his sister and his nephew. On the evening of 3 June 2017, he was walking along Borough High Street with his friends after a day of skateboarding on the South Bank when he saw the London Bridge terror attack unfolding. There were three bearded men wearing explosive belts (which turned out to be fake) and using knives to stab wildly at passers-by. So even to those, like Echeverría, who happened upon this barbaric scene quite suddenly, it will have been clear what was going on. Echeverría saw one of the terrorists stab a woman repeatedly. He ran over to this bloodbath and used his skateboard to beat the terrorist. This week an eye-witness told the inquiry into the London Bridge attack that you could ‘hear the sound of the skateboard hitting [the terrorist’s head]’. The terrorist stopped stabbing the woman and started stabbing Echeverría. The woman survived. Echeverría died.

This is just one of the stories of heroism and suffering to come out of the London Bridge inquiry this week. Survivors of the attack and the family and friends of the eight people who were killed have been giving evidence about that terrible Saturday night in June 2017, when three radical Islamists drove a van into pedestrians, then leapt out and stabbed people to death.

We’ve heard of Saturday-night revellers throwing chairs at the attackers. We’ve heard of the man, who was out for a drink with friends, who threw pint glasses at the terrorists and yelled at them: ‘You cowards, you cunts, come and get me.’ And we’ve heard horror stories too. Like the woman who pleaded with the terrorists not to stab her. ‘This is for Allah’, one of them said. And then he stabbed her.

And, of course, we’ve heard about the ‘Skateboard Hero’, as Echeverría has come to be known, who used the only thing he had to hand to defend someone he didn’t know in a city that was not his own home. It’s the definition of heroism – a man armed only with a skateboard standing up to Islamic fanatics armed with knives and a murderous contempt for life, liberty and democracy.

But where are the accolades? Why aren’t progressives and anti-fascists wearing t-shirts with Echeverría’s face on them? Will a street be named after him? In two weeks’ time, on the second anniversary of the London Bridge attack and of Echeverría’s brief but valiant struggle with a breed of religious neo-fascism, will antifa hold a vigil for him? It seems unlikely.

There have absolutely, and rightly, been tributes to Echeverría. He was awarded the George Cross, the second highest award in the British honours system, which is given for ‘acts of the greatest heroism’. His parents travelled from Spain to London to accept the award from the queen last year. And in Madrid there has been a skateboard vigil for him: people gathered to hold their skateboards in the air in memory of the Skateboard Hero. But more broadly, online, in political circles and activist circles, among those sections of the political and media classes that spend a great deal of time warning of the rise of extremism and the return of fascism, no serious tribute has been paid to Echeverría – a man who did more in 10 seconds to confront violent extremism than many of these people will do in a lifetime.

The silence of anti-extremists towards this man who gave his life fighting extremists is sadly not surprising. It speaks to an almost pathological reluctance among the chattering classes to discuss, far less confront, the worst, most intolerant and most murderous extremism in the UK right now – Islamic extremism. Today is the sixth anniversary of the butchering of solider Lee Rigby in Woolwich by two Islamist fanatics. It is also the second anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing, in which 22 people at a pop concert were slaughtered by an ISIS-inspired terrorist. In a fortnight it will be the second anniversary of the London Bridge attack that killed eight. That attack took place shortly after the Westminster Bridge attack, which killed five people right outside the Commons – a clear assault not only on life but on our democracy.

Scores of people have been murdered by hateful, intolerant extremists in the space of a few years. And yet here’s the perverse thing: when members of the political and cultural elite wring their hands over rising hatred and extremism in the UK, they aren’t talking about these acts of fanatical, hard-right, religious violence. They are talking about citizens who voted for Brexit. They are talking about MPs receiving mean tweets. They are talking about handfuls of blokes shouting ‘Nazi’ at Anna Soubry outside parliament. This is the extraordinary situation we face in Britain today: observers see extremism absolutely everywhere, in every citizen they disagree with and every opinion they dislike. But they look away when it comes to genuine, bloody extremism, of the kind that massacres people for the ‘crime’ of living in a relatively free, open society in which people enjoy pop concerts and Saturday nights out and democratic rights.

Indeed, if you talk too much about that extremism – that is, about actual extremism – you can expect to be branded ‘Islamophobic’. Not only is the most clear form of violent extremism in 21st-century Britain not openly talked about – discussion of it is actively demonised and silenced, pushed beyond the pale with accusations of racism and ‘phobia’. Apparently, it is the people who are worried about this extremism who are the real extremists. Extraordinary.

Brexit Britain is a hateful place, we’re often told. There has indeed been a rise in hatred, even violent hatred, over the past three years. But it hasn’t come from Brexiteers and ordinary voters – it’s come from nihilistic extremists of an Islamist persuasion, who despise our freedoms and our society. And the people who have stood up to this extremism deserve our thanks and our praise. How about it – a monument to Ignacio Echeverría on Borough High Street, as a thank you for the sacrifice he made in the fight against a neo-fascistic worldview.


'My vegan diet brought on early menopause': She’s a poster girl for the meat-free revolution. But in a shocking confession, cookery author and social media guru VIRPI MIKKONEN admits it ruined her health

Early last year, Virpi Mikkonen was alarmed by the appearance of a rash on her face.

There were other problems: a bout of flu that was hard to shift; crumbling nails; feeling low; and, most worrying, her periods stopped. A blood test revealed her follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels had sky-rocketed to the level at which women hit the menopause. Virpi was 37 and having hot flushes.

‘I thought, what’s wrong with me? I am healthy, I exercise,’ Virpi says. ‘I was really scared.’

At the time, Virpi believed herself to be eating the healthiest of all diets: gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, meat-free, refined sugar-free. And what’s more, she’d built a career inspiring others to eat it, too.

As ‘Vanelja’, Virpi is an award-winning blogger and entrepreneur championing plant-based eating. She has written four cookbooks, which include vegan alternatives for ice cream, pizza and cakes, and has 164,500 followers on Instagram.

Though based in Finland, she writes her blog and best-selling books in English, and this, together with pretty photos of her recipes on Instagram, has earned her a sizeable following among British foodies. Vogue called her ‘social media gold’.

Think of her as the Finnish equivalent of Deliciously Ella, the British food writer and creator of the coconut-and-oat energy ball which costs £1.79 a piece. Virpi’s version: Dreamy Blueberry Thyme cake, a ‘raw cheesecake’ made from dairy-free oat milk.

Yet the ‘clean’ vegan diet that she was promoting as a route to health was making her sick. She sought help from a specialist in Chinese medicine, who diagnosed a ‘yin deficiency’ (health depends on a balance of yin and yang, according to traditional Chinese medicine). She said Virpi should stop eating so much raw food — yet salad, juices and smoothies were the backbone of her diet.

Breakfast, for instance, consisted of a cold-pressed juice of celery, cucumber, fennel and parsley. Lunch was a salad of spinach leaves, watercress, cucumber, fennel and chickpeas with a sprinkle of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

‘She said everything had to be cooked, warming and earthy,’ Virpi recalls. Even more radical, the specialist said Virpi had to start eating animal products — daily. Virpi hadn’t eaten meat for 15 years, apart from when pregnant with her daughter Alva, now seven.

She admits she was ‘shocked’. But now she’s given up veganism, she feels much better.

‘I felt I had run out of fuel, totally,’ she says. ‘I was empty.’ She is now particularly fond of bone broth, a bone stock she has as a hot drink or adds to stews and soups. She’s also eating eggs, which is a major departure because she used to refer to them as ‘miscarriages of chickens’.

The effects have been dramatic. ‘It’s amazing. I feel energetic, motivated. I’m sleeping better, the hot flushes and aching in my body have stopped.’ Best of all, her periods have returned. She was so relieved she danced round her flat. ‘I thought, OK, now I am back on track.’


One in seven young Australians think men can force sex if a woman changes her mind

One in seven young Australians think a man can force a woman to have sex if she initiated the interaction but then changed her mind, a survey has revealed.

According to the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) Youth Report, released today, high numbers of Australians aged 16-24 hold disturbing beliefs about sexual consent and abusive relationships.

When asked if a man was "justified" in continuing to have sex with a woman who had taken him into a bedroom and started kissing him before pushing him away, 14 per cent of respondents said yes, with men and women equally likely to hold this view.

The results also showed one in three young men believed "many" women who say they have been raped actually had consensual sex and later had regrets. In reality, false rape accusations are believed to be incredibly uncommon (often cited as two per cent of total allegations, although a 2013 AIFS report found the variety of contexts in which an allegation can be declared "false" means care should be taken when trying to quantify the occurrence).

Lead researcher Dr Anastasia Powell, lecturer in legal studies at RMIT, said the knowledge gaps were "concerning".
"Australian law emphasises active and communicative consent, and consent is something that should be occurring throughout an encounter," she said.

The report is the latest data set to come from NCAS, a national telephone survey conducted by Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth in 2017 commissioned by the federal government.

While young people's understanding of physical domestic violence had improved since a previous community attitudes survey was undertaken in 2013, large numbers did not recognise emotional abuse and controlling behaviour as forms of domestic violence.

A quarter of the young men surveyed blamed women who had experienced image-based abuse (colloquially known as "revenge porn") for sending the pictures in the first place, while one in five did not think using technology to track their partners' movements, or reading text messages without their knowledge, amounted to domestic violence (over double the number of women who held this view).

Forty-three per cent of young people agreed it was "natural for a man to want to appear in control of his partner in front of his male friends", with men and women equally likely to believe this.
"That's a substantial number of young people who have normalised the idea of male control at a time when they are learning and practicing what a normal relationship should look like," Dr Powell said.

Nicole Juniper, 22, was in a year-long emotionally abusive relationship in her late teens. While she was originally shocked by the survey results, after reflecting on her own experience, she said she was less surprised.

"[It was] my first serious relationship, I couldn't see red flags," she said.

The Moonee Ponds student took months to recognise her ex-partner's behaviour, which included reading her emails without her knowledge and not letting her see male friends, as abusive, and stayed in the relationship once she did.

"I thought he would be in danger without me; he said he would end his life multiple times."

Ms Juniper said there needs to be better education about emotional abuse in schools, to empower young people to speak up when they think their friends could be in an unhealthy situation.
"There's not a lot of understanding around abuse when it isn't physical," she said.

Renee Imbesi, principal program officer for mental wellbeing at VicHealth, said, although failure to recognise emotional abuse as domestic violence occurs in all demographics, it can be a particular problem for young people without much experience in intimate relationships, who might confuse controlling behaviour with care.

"There's the attitude that, 'Oh, they want to know where you are because they love you.'"

Sixty per cent of young people surveyed indicated that they don't know where to go for help in a domestic violence situation.
"[Services] need to start talking about 'control', because a lot of young people aren't calling it domestic violence or abuse," Ms Imbesi said.

From a health policy perspective, Ms Imbesi said the benefits of achieving gender equality in the home are "significant".
"Intimate partner violence is still the leading contributor to women's ill health and disease in women aged 18 to 44, and the majority of that burden of disease is mental health related: anxiety, depression, and also suicide," she said, noting gender norms can also take a toll on men's mental health.
"When you're promoting equal relationships between men and women, you're promoting mental wellbeing."



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 27, 2019

Patrick Buchanan: Has the Day of the Nationalists Come?

Soon, Europeans may be able to gauge how high the tide of populism and nationalism has risen within their countries and on their continent.

For all the returns will be in from three days of elections in the 28 nations represented in the European Parliament.

Expectation: Nationalists and populists will turn in their strongest performance since the EU was established, and their parliamentary group — Europe of Nations and Freedom — could sweep a fourth of the seats in Strasbourg.

Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party is predicted to run first in the British elections, winning two to three times the votes of the ruling Tory Party of Prime Minister Theresa May.

In France, Marine Le Pen's National Rally is running even with the party of President Emmanuel Macron, who pleads for "more Europe."

Matteo Salvini, interior minister and leader of the League, predicts his party will finish first in Italy and first in Europe.

At Salvini's invitation, a dozen nationalist parties gathered in Milan this weekend. A week from now, they could be the third-largest bloc in the European Parliament. If so, their gains will come at the expense of the center-left and center-right parties that have dominated European politics since World War II.

Speaking before tens of thousands in front of Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Salvini threw back in the faces of his enemies the taunt that these new parties are rooted in the old ugly politics of the 1930s.

"In this piazza, there are no extremists. There are no racists. There are no fascists. ... In Italy and in Europe, the difference is between ... those who speak of the future instead of making trials of the past."

Tomorrow versus yesterday, says Salvini.

While the European establishment draws parallels between the populist parties of the present and what happened in the 1930s, it fails to recognize its own indispensable role in generating the mass defections to the populist right that now imperil its political hegemony.

The populist-nationalist parties are energized and united by both what they detest and what the EU has produced.

And what is that?

They resent the inequities of the new economy, where the wages of the working and middle class, the core of the nation, have fallen far behind the managerial class and the corporate and financial elites.

People who work with their hands, tools and machines have seen their wages arrested and jobs disappear, as salaries have surged for those who move numbers on computers.

The disparities have grown too great, as has the distance between national capitals and national heartlands.

Then there is immigration. Native-born Europeans do not welcome the new ethnic groups that have come uninvited in considerable numbers in recent decades, failed to assimilate and created enclaves that replicate the Third World places whence they came.

If one could identify a cry common to populists, it might be: "We want our country back!"

Whatever may be said of populists and nationalists, they are people of the heart. They love their countries. They cherish the cultures in which they grew up. They want to retain their own unique national identities.

What is wrong with that?

Patriotism is central to nationalist and populist movements. Globalism is alien to them. They believe in De Gaulle's Europe of nation-states "from the Atlantic to the Urals," not in the abstract Europe of Jean Monnet, and surely not in the Brussels bureaucracy of today.

The nation, the patria, is the largest entity to which one can give loyalty and love. Who would march into no man's land for the EU?

Europe's nationalists are not all the same. The ruling Polish Law and Justice Party disagrees on Putin's Russia with the ruling Fidesz Party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Hungary.

While the EU Parliament does not possess great power, these elections are not without great meaning.

Consider Farage. Should his Brexit Party run first in Britain, how can the Tory Party not carry through on the 2016 vote to withdraw from the EU, without betraying its most loyal constituency on its most critical issue?

Nationalism in Europe is spreading, even deepening rifts between the premier powers in the NATO alliance.

Germany will not be reaching the promised 2 percent of GDP for defense President Donald Trump has demanded. And Berlin is going ahead with a second natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany from Russia, Nord Stream 2.

Turkey is taking possession of a Russian-built S-400 air defense system this summer, despite a U.S. warning that our sale of 100 F-35s will not go through if the Turks go forward with the Russian system.

Have the nationalists of Europe caught the wave of the future?

Or will the future see the revival of the idea of One Europe, a political and economic union that inspired the dreamers of yesteryear?

From here it looks like Matteo, not Macron.


U.S. Cardinal Burke: To Oppose ‘Large-Scale Muslim Immigration’ is Patriotic

In contrast to the largely open border views of Pope Francis and other liberals at the Vatican, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke said that resisting large-scale Muslim immigration "is the responsible exercise of one's patriotism," and added that you do not have to be a "rocket scientist" to know that many Muslims immigrate because they are "opportunists." After all, said Cardinal Burke, Islam "by its definition believes itself to be destined to rule the world."

Cardinal Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis and former chief judge at the Vatican's highest court, made his remarks at the Roman Life Forum, held in Rome, Italy, May 16-17.

At the forum, an audience member submitted the question, "Should a politician who opposes large-scale Muslim immigration be refused a papal blessing?"

Card. Burke replied, "I think the fundamental question here is [whether] someone who resists large-scale Muslim immigration [is] committing an immoral act and therefore should be, let's say, denied Holy Communion or in some way recognized as a public sinner?"

"To resist large-scale Muslim immigration, in my judgment," said the cardinal, "is to be responsible in the sense of making sure that those who are immigrating to the country -- remember that the definition of the Church's teaching is that the individuals are not able to find a way of living in their own country and this is not true of immigrants who come who are opportunists, and in particular in the case of Islam, which by its definition believes itself to be destined to rule the world --  coming in large numbers to countries."

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what's happened," he said.

"For instance, in Europe, in countries like France and Germany and also here in Italy and it's also happening in the United States," said the cardinal.  "There's a very interesting book written called No-Go Zones and which records places in the United States where, in fact, Muslim immigrants have set up their own legal order -- in other words, they resist the authority, the legitimate authority of the state."

He continued, "And so, to be opposed to wholesale, or large-scale Muslim immigration is, in fact, as far as I'm concerned, the responsible exercise of one's patriotism in the sense that we -- yes, people are true refugees who can't live in their own country we must receive them and help them in every way. But this is not the case when you have simply a large-scale immigration."


Newt Gingrich: HUD Chief Ben Carson protects poor Americans and enforces the law – Why is that a problem?

In a bold move, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is both helping poor Americans and enforcing the law.

Some in Congress may consider enforcing the law and prioritizing help for poor Americans (including people who immigrated to the U.S. legally) over help for people in the country illegally controversial or unacceptable. The solution for their position is for Congress to change the law. Until then, it is pretty hard to complain that a cabinet officer is enforcing the law which Congress wrote.

Helping poor American families is a core mission of the HUD. One lifeline HUD extends to vulnerable families is housing assistance.

Yet, 75 percent of Americans eligible for housing assistance – many of whom are children, seniors, or persons living with a disability – are prevented from receiving the financial aid to which they are legally entitled.

In fact, millions of qualified American families are stuck on waiting lists that have unending queues – the average of which stretch on for years.

In Los Angeles, Calif., the waiting list is more than four years long. In Miami-Dade County, Fla., thousands have been waitlisted since July 2008 – more than a decade. In other localities, such as Orange County, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., Since 2015, public housing authorities have decided to simply close their waiting list and abandon new applications altogether.

Despite these waiting lists for American citizens, there are an estimated 32,000 households occupied by people in the country illegally, who have no right to be getting taxpayer assistance. This is 32,000 households that could be occupied by American citizens who qualify for the assistance but cannot get it.

In effect, thousands of Americans are being discriminated against in favor of people who are here illegally – or are unlawfully receiving taxpayer aid they do not deserve and should not be getting.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has investigated this injustice and discovered that HUD has long been prohibited from granting federal funds to people in the country illegally. That prohibition – which Congress enacted, and Congress has the power to change – includes a mandate to end assistance whenever a leaseholder knowingly allows a person in the country illegally to reside in HUD-supported housing.

These rules constitute more than a mere functional necessity for law and order; they are a moral necessity for any nation that takes care of its own vulnerable citizens. After all, public assistance is paid for and subsidized by taxpayer dollars.

But these crucial rules are easily skirted by a loophole that lets people in the country illegally who are living with qualified residents declare themselves “ineligible.” This means they do not have their immigration status checked, and they continue to live in taxpayer-funded housing.

If members of Congress do not like how the law is being enforced, then they should change the law. Until that happens, federal agencies, like HUD, should continue to do its own constitutional duty and enforce the laws as written by Congress.

Today, to assist agencies in the enforcement of existing – and binding – law, legal status can be easily verified through a fast, secure, and efficient screening, using the SAVE system of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This screening process is already used by one-third of public housing agencies and needs only to be expanded to end the “illegible” loophole.

To this end, last week, HUD unveiled a proposal that would require all residents living in HUD-supported housing who are under the age of 62 to be screened through the SAVE system. It is a simple, egalitarian amendment that promises to restore proper enforcement and accountability to supplement the spirit of existing law.

As a result, the new measure HUD has championed is a meaningful step toward protecting our nation’s forgotten men and women and promoting the rule of law. There is no legitimate reason – or any excuse – to keep hundreds of thousands of American families waiting in line, when a lifeline could be extended instead.


Ralph Northam: Proof That Liberals Excuse Racism If You’re One of Them

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam came under a firestorm of scrutiny last February when a photograph surfaced from his college yearbook page depicting two men dressed in racist costumes. One man wore a KKK robe, the other man wore blackface.

Northam immediately apologized, saying, “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in the photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”

Yet less than 24 hours later, Northam retracted his apology and said he was not either man in the photo. So we are to believe that his admission of guilt the day before was just him misremembering being part of an extremely racist photo.

In the months since, private law firm McGuireWoods conducted an investigation into whether Northam was in fact in the photo. It determined there was no conclusive way to confirm or deny whether Northam was one of the two men. The firm interviewed more than 52 people. Now, Northam is sticking to his ridiculous story of misremembering.

So, is this investigation the last word for residents of the Commonwealth? Is it time to move on and let the governor serve out the rest of his term in office with no more talk of blackface photos? 

If Northam were a Republican, we know without question what the answer would be. The mainstream media would not stop until Northam packed his bags and left the governor’s mansion. He would be gone.

It doesn’t take a four-month investigation to see through Northam’s deception. One does not admit to a wrong so deplorable as dressing up in blackface or a KKK outfit, only to realize he misremembered. Such behavior is extremely damaging to any politician, and Northam had no earthly reason to admit any wrongdoing unless he was actually guilty.

Ida B. Wells-Barnette, an African-American investigative journalist who uncovered the injustice of lynchings in the early 20th century, said, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” So it is in this case.

As Bible-believing Christians, we believe in forgiveness. But forgiveness does not mean letting a man keep his public office if he denies the wrongdoing that he clearly committed. The fact that Northam refused to take responsibility for his actions is reason enough to ask for him to leave.

When the photo was taken, Northam was a 25-year-old medical student. Does he really expect us to believe he cannot remember dressing up in a KKK outfit, or blackface? He really can’t remember if he or a buddy stood smiling in a picture with shoe polish all over his face to demean African-Americans?

Does he remember that his nickname was “Coonman”? Were these actions so run-of-the-mill for Northam that behaving in such a manner was not significant enough to remember?

When Northam finally is able to own up to his actions from 30 years ago, he should also own his actions during the 2017 governor’s race. He had the audacity to label his opponent, Ed Gillespie, a racist, with far thinner evidence than being caught in a photo dressed as a clansman. Northam routinely cast Gillespie a racist because of his opposition to sanctuary cities.

Modern-day “woke” liberals weaponize race when it suits their interests, and ignore actual racism when it cuts against their narrative. The same liberals who would call Dr. Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., sellouts are now mum over blackface and KKK photos.

The left is sending a clear message: Be one of us, and we’ll overlook the worst of your sins.



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