Friday, August 30, 2019

Religious Freedom Win for Christians Who Refuse to Create Same-Sex Wedding Videos

On Friday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court had wrongly dismissed a case involving free speech and religious freedom. Minnesota filmmakers Carl and Angel Larsen, owners of Telescope Media Group, gladly serve all people but desire to make wedding videos that only include opposite-sex couples. Minnesota's Department of Human Rights ruled that this would constitute discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Penalties for violating the law include a civil penalty, triple compensatory damages, punitive damages of up to $25,000, a criminal penalty of up to $1,000, and up to 90 days in jail.

The Larsens sued and requested a preliminary injunction to prevent Minnesota from enforcing the law against them until their case could be decided. A lower court rejected the lawsuit and the request for an injunction, but the 8th Circuit remanded the case, insisting that the Larsens have a strong free speech and religious freedom claim and that they likely deserve an injunction.

"This is a significant win. The government shouldn’t threaten filmmakers with fines and jail time to force them to create films that violate their beliefs," Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing the Larsens, said in a statement. Tedesco argued for the Larsens before the 8th Circuit last October.

"Carl and Angel work with all people; they just don’t create films promoting all messages," Tedesco explained. "That’s why we’re pleased that the 8th Circuit has affirmed that the Larsens’ films are fully protected speech and that the state lacks a compelling interest to force them to express messages through their films that violate their deeply held convictions. All creative professionals should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment."

In Religious Freedom Case, State Says It Can Force a Muslim Tattoo Artist to Endorse Christianity
Telescope Media Group will not make films that, in their view, "contradict biblical truth; promote sexual immorality; support the destruction of unborn children; promote racism or racial division; incite violence; degrade women; or promote any conception of marriage other than as a lifelong institution between one man and one woman."

The Larsens aim to "capture the background stories of the couples' love" and "the sacredness of their sacrificial vows at the altar" in their videos. Minnesota interpreted this as a violation of the state's non-discrimination law. If Telescope Media makes wedding videos, it must make same-sex wedding videos. Yet Minnesota's Human Rights Department went even further — the Larsens must depict same-sex and opposite-sex weddings in an equally "positive" light.

The Larsens objected, pointing to the First Amendment rights of free speech, religious freedom, freedom of association, and more. The district court had rejected the Larsens' argument, saying they failed to state a claim. In Telescope Media Group v. Lucero, the 8th Circuit ruled against many of the Larsens' claims, but upheld the validity of their free speech and religious freedom arguments.

"Carl and Angel Larsen wish to make wedding videos. Can Minnesota require them to produce videos of same-sex weddings, even if the message would conflict with their own beliefs? The district court concluded that it could and dismissed the Larsens’ constitutional challenge to Minnesota’s antidiscrimination law. Because the First Amendment allows the Larsens to choose when to speak and what to say, we reverse the dismissal of two of their claims and remand with instructions to consider whether they are entitled to a preliminary injunction," the 8th Circuit ruled.

Among other reasons, the court noted that if Minnesota could force the Larsens to make videos celebrating same-sex weddings, "there is no reason it would have to stop with the Larsens. In theory, it could use the MHRA to require a Muslim tattoo artist to inscribe ‘My religion is the only true religion’ on the body of a Christian if he or she would do the same for a fellow Muslim, or it could demand that an atheist musician perform at an evangelical church service."

"In fact, if Minnesota were to do what other jurisdictions have done and declare political affiliation or ideology to be a protected characteristic, then it could force a Democratic speechwriter to provide the same services to a Republican, or it could require a professional entertainer to perform at rallies for both the Republican and Democratic candidates for the same office," the court added. This is no idle warning.

"Angel and I serve everyone. We just can’t produce films promoting every message," Carl Larsen said after the 8th Circuit's decision. "We are thankful the court recognized that government officials can’t force religious believers to violate their beliefs to pursue their passion. This is a win for everyone, regardless of your beliefs."

Contrary to the LGBT narrative, refusing to celebrate a same-sex wedding is not the same thing as discriminating against a person because he or she identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Americans have the free speech right not to be compelled to endorse an event they disagree with. This is quite different from posting a "no gays allowed" sign on a business — that would be the kind of discrimination illegal in many states.

While few gay or lesbian people might trust the Larsens to make them a wedding video, the government has already threatened to compel them to speak in favor of same-sex marriage. The 8th Circuit rightly noted that this likely violates the First Amendment, but the Larsens' battle is far from over.


The British government’s madcap plan to Britons' calories

Food reformulation is the most cretinous, authoritarian public-health policy yet.

Of all the bad policies that have flown under the radar while the country has been consumed by Brexit, none is more bizarre than food reformulation. Imagine a policy dreamt up by Caligula and implemented by the Politburo and you still wouldn’t capture the barking-mad insanity and bureaucratic dogmatism of Public Health England’s flagship anti-obesity policy.

The basic idea is cretinously simple. People are obese because they eat too much, but it is difficult to get them to eat less, so the government has instructed the food industry to remove 20 per cent of the calories from food. Food companies have been told to do this ‘voluntarily’ by 2024 or face further regulation and a legally binding target — ie, it is not really voluntary.

The calorie-reduction target is effectively a fat-reduction target, as it comes on top of a diktat demanding a 20 per cent reduction in sugar content by 2020 and a long-running salt-reduction scheme. This leaves protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners as the handful of food groups of which the government still approves, but using them as substitutes to appease Public Health England poses a number of intractable problems. Protein, fibre and carbohydrates contain the same amount of calories per gram as sugar, so they would not reduce the energy content of food even if they were realistic replacements, which they are often not. Artificial sweeteners are a hundred times sweeter than sugar and are only really useful substitutes in soft drinks where texture and weight do not matter. To be used in food, something else must be used to add volume, and that brings us back to the problem above. In any case, most people prefer the taste of sugar.

The food-reformulation scheme is presented as a collaboration between Public Health England (PHE) and the food industry, but since PHE doesn’t know the first thing about food manufacturing – or even, it seems, basic cooking – it amounts to a government agency barking orders from its bunker while the companies try to explain that it’s a bit more complicated than that. In the four years since the sugar-reduction target was set, reality has repeatedly collided with the bureaucrats’ plans. The proposal to take sugar out of jam, for example, had to be abandoned when PHE learned that it is a legal requirement for jam to contain at least 50 per cent sugar.

Initially, the idea was for industry to reformulate cakes, biscuits and sweets with magical, low-calorie ingredients, but when these proved elusive and it was explained to PHE that you can’t replace sugar in a Mars bar with aspartame, the agency allowed the companies to reduce portion size instead. Hence the shrinkflation that has been particularly noticeable in the confectionery sector in recent years. There is more to come as the 2020 deadline approaches, with Cadbury’s Fudge, Chomp and Curly Wurly among the chocolate bars that will get smaller next year.

Reducing portion size has given the industry a get-out-of-jail-free card for some foods, but for the many products that do not come in standard sizes, such as sauces, cereals and baked beans, the problem remains. Reformulating to meet PHE’s targets is either physically impossible or only possible by making a product that nobody wants to eat.

Public Health England has charged food manufacturers with the task of ‘finding innovative ways to lower the calories in the food we all enjoy’, as if this were a novel idea that had never occurred to the industry before; as if the only thing holding the industry back from finding this Holy Grail was a lack of government targets. PHE seems unaware that supermarket shelves are full of low-calorie, low-fat and low-sugar versions of popular brands, most of which do not sell particularly well because they are not as tasty as the original recipes. Any company that invented a tasty, low-sugar chocolate bar would become fabulously wealthy. The financial incentives have been in place for decades. It has not happened because it is not possible.

At the heart of the reformulation delusion is an ignorance of market forces, a deep suspicion of industry and a naive faith in the power of bureaucracy to remedy supposed market failures. One of David Cameron’s greatest mistakes as prime minister was creating Public Health England in 2013. This quango, which relieves the taxpayer of over £4 billion a year, was always going to attract ideologues and activists from the clown show that is ‘public health’ academia. These people are relatively harmless when confined to their echo-chamber conferences and rinky-dink journals, but are a menace when allowed off the leash. At Public Health England, they have real power and influence. It is telling that the only ‘stakeholders’ from civil society involved in the reformulation work are Action on Sugar and the Obesity Health Alliance, two mouthpieces of the fanatical Graham MacGregor, who flood the media with hysterical claims about the ‘shocking’ levels of various ingredients in normal, everyday food.

As Josie Appleton showed in her superb report for the IEA last week, these activist groups are the outriders of reformulation, working hand in glove with PHE to soften the public up for further interventions in the food supply. The bone-headed approach of these extremist pressure groups has been bought wholesale by the apparatchiks at PHE. They allow no room for personal autonomy. As they see it, the public will buy whatever products the food industry throws at them. For some mysterious reason, the industry has traditionally chosen to put lots of unnecessary fat, sugar, salt and, er, calories in these products. Therefore, all the government needs to do is to tell them to use saccharine and brown rice instead and the British public will lose weight without even noticing.

It is the kind of idea you might hear from someone who owns a collection of bongs, but thanks to Public Health England it is official government policy. As if to mask the essential stupidity of the scheme, PHE has introduced layers of bureaucracy and issued hundreds of pages of technical notes to give it the veneer of science. Once the calorie programme is fully underway, there will be no fewer than 299 different targets, covering most food products sold in shops and supermarkets as well as the dishes served in pubs, cafés and restaurants.

The preposterous way in which these targets are created is a classic illustration of the dead hand of the state. PHE bundles a bunch of dissimilar products together, takes the average calorie count and knocks 20 per cent off. Voila! There’s the food industry’s target for cakes or sandwiches or whatever. This often leads to targets being set far below anything the market can withstand.

In an effort to demonstrate that such radical targets are achievable, PHE’s henchmen at Action on Sugar issue frequent press releases applauding whichever brand has the lowest sugar content and demanding every other brand drop to the same level. These are usually chalk-and-cheese comparisons, putting cheap, artificially sweetened ice cream up against delicious, luxury ice cream, or contrasting specialised biscuits for diabetics against market-leading brands.

PHE adds to the confusion by throwing fundamentally different products into the same category to create meaningless averages, taking off 20 per cent and handing the final figure to food companies as an evidence-based target. For example, PHE’s ‘sweets’ category includes nougat (which contains nuts and egg whites), popcorn (which is 50 per cent fibre) and boiled sweets (which are almost entirely made of carbohydrates, mostly sugar). The amount of sugar in these ‘sweets’ ranges from 0.1g to 99g per 100g, leading to a nonsensical average of 60.6g per 100g and a ludicrous target of 48.4g. If enforced, this would mean taking a large part of the confectionery market off the shelves.

Could the government not simply advise people to avoid eating sweets if they are trying to lose weight instead? A crazy idea, I know, but it has the advantage of recognising human agency and respecting free choice. It is also less likely to end in tears than Public Health England’s madcap attempt to remake the food supply according to arbitrary numbers spewed from a spreadsheet.

Britain is the only country to be attempting such an assault on the food supply, and no wonder. Its many absurdities are only beginning to come to light. The public has only begun to encounter the fruits of reformulation and they are not impressed.

State control of recipes is what you get when the ‘public health’ lobby is given free rein. In the next few years, it will become clear that ‘reformulate’ is a euphemism for degrade and destroy. By the time this farce has played itself out, the British public will be ready to reformulate Public Health England.


Mormon church warning: Beware of those fancy coffee drinks

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a warning to members that coffee is prohibited no matter how fancy the name, that vaping is banned despite the alluring flavors, and that marijuana is outlawed unless prescribed by ‘‘competent’’ doctors.

The new guidance in the August issue of a church youth magazine does not include fundamental changes to the religion’s strict health code, but the clarifications are significant and seem to reflect growing concern about young Latter-day Saints’ adherence to the rules.

The article says it aims to clear up issues that could be confusing for young people within the religion’s ‘‘Word of Wisdom,’’ a set of rules about what foods and drinks are good for members and what substances they should avoid.

The rules prohibit alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and coffee and tea. They are based on what church members believe was a revelation from God to founder Joseph Smith in 1833. The faith’s rejection of coffee has long generated curiosity and more than a few jokes, including a scene in the biting satirical Broadway musical called ‘‘The Book of Mormon,’’ where dancing cups of coffee appear in missionary’s nightmare.

The new instructions about coffee make clear that there’s no gray area allowing coffee-infused drinks and allude to the wide variety that could tempt members of the faith, widely known as the Mormon church.

‘‘The word coffee isn’t always in the name of coffee drinks. So, before you try what you think is just some new milkshake flavor, here are a couple of rules of thumb: One: If you’re in a coffee shop (or any other shop that’s well known for its coffee), the drink you’re ordering probably has coffee in it, so either never buy drinks at coffee shops or always ask if there’s coffee in it,’’ the article said. ‘‘Two: Drinks with names that include cafe or caffe, mocha, latte, espresso, or anything ending in -ccino usually have coffee in them and are against the Word of Wisdom.’’

As coffee shops have become common in the United States, more young church members feel comfortable going to places like Starbucks and drinking iced coffee, said Patrick Mason, a church member and religious scholar who is the Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. For past generations, just entering coffee shops was considered taboo, he said.

The guidance will dash the hopes of some members who hoped the church would loosen the rules about coffee, he said. Starbucks announced recently that it would open its first stand-alone shop in the heavily Mormon city of Provo near the church-owned Brigham Young University next year. Starbucks does offer some non-coffee drinks, including hot chocolate and lemonade.


Australian conservative politicians who backed homosexual marriage now back religious protections bill

The Liberal Party architects of Australia’s same-sex marriage laws have broadly backed Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination bill.

North Queensland MP Warren Entsch led the push towards the legislation of marriage equality from within the Liberal Party when it returned to power in 2013. WA Senator Dean Smith wrote the bill that was ultimately passed after 7.8 million Australians voted in favour of same-sex unions.

Today’s draft Religious Discrimination Act partly exists to address concerns from religious Australians who feared same-sex marriage could encroach on their beliefs and rights.

Senator Smith and Mr Entsch both said Attorney-General Christian Porter’s decision to avoid enshrining freedom of religion and instead molding his laws in the image of other anti-discrimination was the right move.

“I wholeheartedly support the introduction of a religious discrimination bill,” Senator Smith told The Australian.

“Pursuit of a religious discrimination bill was initially proposed by the Senate Select Committee which examined same sex marriage and has been comprehensively examined and endorsed by the Ruddock Review.

“Substantively the draft bill is a faithful expression of the Government’s response to the Ruddock Review released in December last year.

“The case for a positive rights approach has been poorly made and the Attorney-General is correct to have rejected the idea as inconsistent with Australia’s legal approach and fraught with inherent legal risk.

“Australia’s anti-discrimination architecture has served Australians well and enjoys broad endorsement across the community and it would be careless to dismantle it now.

Mr Entsch told The Australian today he was pleased the Attorney-General had avoided a freedom of religion bill, but he was still to read the full bill and wanted to consult with LGBTI groups.

“This bill is always what was intended. That’s what the Ruddock Review recommended and it couldn’t be anything else, otherwise we’d need a whole other review,” he said.

“I have to say Mr Porter has been good and he’s always kept me up to scratch. There is no reason to think the Attorney has done anything other than his absolute best on this.

Attorney-General Christian Porter has unveiled laws to protect Australians from discrimination on the basis of their religious belief, but the laws do not go as far as many church leaders want.

The Attorney-General’s Religious Discrimination Bill will take the form of similar anti-discrimination laws on gender, age, race and disability, and be brought before parliament in October.

It will not be a broader “religious freedom” act which Mr Porter said today would be too vague and lead to courts ultimately deciding what rights matter more in Australia.

“Australia has a strong anti-discrimination framework with specific protections for people against discrimination on the basis of their age, sex, race and disability,” Mr Porter said.

“This draft Bill released today extends those protections to provide protection for people against discrimination on the basis of their religion or religious belief, or lack thereof.

“The Bill would make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of religious belief or activity in key areas of public life. The Bill does not create a positive right to freedom of religion.”

The Religious Discrimination Act would create a new Freedom of Religion Commissioner and provide comprehensive protection on religious belief and activity.

“Whilst there will always be competing views on issues such as this, the government considers the draft Bill presented today strikes the right balance in the interests of all Australians,” Mr Porter said.

“Consultation has already been undertaken through my office and the office of the Prime Minister with a range of stakeholder groups, including religious organisations.

“Further consultation with a wide range of stakeholders will now follow the release of the Bill and I look forward to working constructively with interested parties in settling a final Bill over the coming weeks. The first of these consultations will take place next week.

“I expect the Bills can be introduced in October and considered by both the House and Senate before the end of the calendar year, allowing time for a Senate inquiry.”

Some religious leaders boycotted the speech by Mr Porter at Sydney’s Great Synagogue because of his inclination against a broader act enshrining freedom of religion.

Mr Porter today said he was always opposed to such a broad law and this religious discrimination bill would provide courts with a better structure by which to weigh up religious issues.

He also said that some religious leaders did not understand the fallout any religious freedoms bill could entail.

“Aside from not being what was recommended from the extensive consultative analysis of the Ruddock Review, or indeed what was taken and promised at a full federal election, there are several obvious problems with the positive rights approach,” he said in Sydney.

“At several points of the consultations, I might respectively say, on this issue it appeared people had not thought through the positive rights approach — including those in church groups who were calling for it.

“I have always found vague and unconvincing ... a list of rights and leaving the courts to determine the outcomes.”



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, August 29, 2019

French waiter shot dead over slow sandwich service, witnesses say

This is a curious story.  It sounds like something out of Chicago rather than suburban Paris.  So what do we make of it?  I can think of only one explanation: The shooter was a Muslim.  The shop is in a rough multicultural area so that could be. From what I have seen, many Muslims are sensitive about their "honour".  They fly off the handle if they think you are "disrespecting" them.  They have very fragile egos.

But who knows what the unfortunate waiter said or did? French waiters have a sometimes deserved reputation for rudeness and arrogance so it could be that the waiter was just being his normal self when he offended the Muslim.  Will French waiters up their game after this?  Unlikely.

The offender has now been arrested  but all we have so far been told about him is that he is a 34-year-old man, described as a "small local bully" ("petite frappe locale").  He is known to the courts for drug trafficking and gun violence, according to a source close to the investigation.  His religion is so far unknown

Police in France are hunting for a customer accused of fatally shooting a waiter at a restaurant near Paris because, witnesses said, he was upset over the wait for his sandwich.

The killing took place Friday around 9:15 p.m. at a pizza and sandwich restaurant named Le Mistral in Noisy-Le-Grand, east of Paris, police said. The customer, who has not been identified, had been waiting several minutes for a sandwich — it was unclear what kind — and became angry because he thought it had not been prepared quickly enough, restaurant employees and other witnesses told the local news media.

The man insulted the 28-year-old waiter before producing a 9mm handgun, shooting and seriously wounding him in the shoulder, according to the news network BFMTV. Colleagues who witnessed the shooting called the police. Paramedics arrived quickly, but were unable to revive the waiter. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The gunman fled the restaurant and was still on the run as of Sunday. A police spokesman, Raphaël Biron from the Paris Police Prefecture, confirmed the events, but declined to provide further details because the investigation was continuing.

Paris’s suburbs are replete with many fast-food restaurants, and waiters often work under pressure to deliver customers’ orders quickly and efficiently. But most killings in restaurants have been tied to score-settling and feuds, the authorities said.

On Saturday, stunned residents and shopkeepers gathered outside the pizza and sandwich restaurant after the killing. One woman told reporters that the restaurant, which opened a few months ago, had been quiet and previously had no problems.

Amid growing competition from other global tourist destinations, France over the years has started campaigns to burnish its image, including improving its reputation for gruff dining experiences. Paris’s tourism board, for example, had begun a charm offensive by handing out thousands of pamphlets to cafes, hotels, shops, and taxi ranks titled “Do You Speak Touriste?” in a bid to make travelers feel more welcome.

But the shooting in Noisy-Le-Grand had all the markings of a singular burst of violence. It is part of the Seine-Saint-Denis department, on the outskirts of Paris, where poor social conditions have often led to crimes and social unrest.

News of the killing drew angry reactions on Twitter, including from Jean Messiha, a top member of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, who linked the shooting to “mass immigration.”

But Sylvain Thézard, chief of staff of Noisy-Le-Grand’s mayor, pushed back at any link between the killing and immigration.

“We are shocked by the comments on social networks that make a lot of confusion,” he said. “Crime rates are declining in our city. This murder is by no means the result of a deeper problem. It’s nothing but sad news.”


Trump Cautions Jewish Voters Who Support Democrats

His comments on Jewish loyalty highlight the growing problem of leftist anti-Semitism.    

Once again the Leftmedia had a conniption fit over President Donald Trump’s latest comments. And once again much of the mainstream media was focused on the question, “How could he say such things?” while seemingly ignoring the deeper question, “Why is Trump saying such things?” It’s no mystery that Trump is a troll, meaning he intentionally drops rhetorical bombs to stir the pot and direct the conversation. This has been his modus operandi going back decades.

Trump on Tuesday asserted that Jewish people who vote Democrat are being “disloyal.” On Wednesday, he further clarified his comments, explaining that he meant they were being “disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel.” In other words, Trump’s comments were clearly not the anti-Semitic trope of “dual loyalty” expressed by Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. However, it’s easy to see why Trump’s remarks could be taken as offensive, particularly since the vast majority of Jewish Americans vote Democrat and have done so for decades.

Trump’s comments ring similar to those expressed by leftists for years. How many times have Democrats accused women who don’t support their leftist policy positions on women’s issues of voting against their own interests? How many times have black conservatives been told they are working against their own interests? In other words, this is yet another instance of Trump playing politics like a Democrat.

Clearly, Trump is attempting to put a spotlight on the growing and very real problem of anti-Semitism currently metastasizing within the Democrat Party. His calling out of Jewish Americans for supporting Democrats raises a question that has often puzzled many conservatives: Why support a party that is seemingly hell-bent on building a socialist road toward a totalitarian state, especially given the history of how socialist states have treated Jews? And why continue to support a party whose members leading this socialist crusade espouse such anti-Semitic views? Obviously, there’s great nuance involved in the reasons behind anyone’s political opinions, but the question is still valid.

And it is clear that anti-Semitism is a growing problem, specifically in the West. The European Union is poised to enact a rule that eerily harkens back to the Holocaust era. As The Washington Free Beacon reports, “The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice recently issued non-binding opinion arguing that EU law requires Israeli-made products to be labeled as coming from ‘settlements’ and ‘Israeli colonies.’”

While Trump’s methods of political engagement can be grating and off-putting, he is effective in focusing a lot of attention on issues that the MSM might otherwise choose to ignore.


VA Lifts Ban on Bibles in Move to Support Religious Freedom

As a kid, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie recalls, he visited a VA hospital at Christmastime. “One of my fondest memories growing up, we used to sing Christmas carols at the VA hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina,” Wilkie told The Daily Signal, sitting in a 10th-floor office at VA headquarters on Vermont Avenue Northwest, overlooking the White House.

“Something as simple and as decent as that was being stopped,” he said. “With the support of the president, we just said enough is enough.”

Wilkie grew up at Fort Bragg, the son of an Army artillery commander. He himself served in both the Navy and Air Force reserves, and as a Pentagon official.

Since becoming VA secretary a little more than a year ago, he has returned to North Carolina.

“I was in my hometown. We have a beautiful chapel in the old VA hospital. And I walked in and there were no Bibles,” the secretary said. “It had been stripped of the symbols of religion.”

The VA revised directives to permit religious literature, symbols, and displays at agency facilities following a string of incidents in recent years in which individual medical centers banned Christmas carols and a Christmas tree, chapels removed Bibles, and chaplains faced restraints on religious expression.

Generally, the VA had inconsistent policies across the country.

Officials designed the changes to protect the religious freedom of veterans and their families. 

The new guidelines, which went into effect last month, referred to the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing a cross-shaped memorial to World War I dead to continue standing on public land in Bladensburg, Maryland.

The high court’s decision highlighted the important role that religious symbols plays in the lives of Americans and their consistency with constitutional principles.

“The military culture has been part of my being, an important part of what I believe,” Wilkie told The Daily Signal. “I’ve seen the effects of combat, both in uniform and out of uniform.”

That military culture in which he grew up, Wilkie said, also prioritizes the “ability of our troops to worship, their right to worship, their right to have access to chaplains, and to be free to celebrate their faith.” He added:

Now, moving over to VA, I consider the spiritual well-being of our veterans, their spiritual health, to be just as important as the medical competence and technical competence of our doctors and nurses. They should have that fundamental right available to them to access chaplains, to access their Bibles.

The new guidelines call for “inclusion in appropriate circumstances of religious content in publicly accessible displays at VA facilities,” and allow “patients and their guests to request and be provided religious literature, symbols and sacred texts during visits to VA chapels and during their treatment at VA.”

The guidelines also allow the VA to accept donations of religious literature, cards, and symbols at its facilities, and to distribute them to VA patrons “under appropriate circumstances.”

“Under the old regime, you couldn’t have those outward symbols,” Wilkie said. “You could not have religious texts in the chapels unless you brought them. The chaplains could not walk the halls seeking people to talk with. There had to be a specific request.”

The allowed literature may include the Bible, the Quran, the Talmud, or any other religious text, VA officials noted.

Still, the policy faces opposition.      

“The VA’s actions undermine our Constitution, which intentionally establishes a secular government in order to preserve religious freedom, a right enjoyed by individuals,” Sam Grover, associate counsel for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote in a letter to Wilkie objecting to the standards.

“Were the VA truly concerned about protecting the religious freedom of veterans, it could simply do what the Constitution prescribes and keep its facilities free from government-endorsed religion,” Grover wrote.

Wilkie said he doesn’t anticipate litigation over the policy because it is based on the recent Supreme Court ruling.  

“What Justice [Neil] Gorsuch said in the Maryland cross case was absolutely on target,” Wilkie said. “Because you might be offended doesn’t give you standing to stop other people from worshiping. For me, this is not only a military issue. It’s a religious liberty issue, and one that is vitally important to those we serve.”

The high court’s ruling should reaffirm the VA’s policy, said Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

“On the heels of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision that reaffirmed the Constitution’s protection of the tradition of public displays of religious monuments, symbols, and practices, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs took a much-needed step to clarify that religious symbols as well as spiritual and pastoral care are welcome at VA facilities,” Kao told The Daily Signal.

“Millions of soldiers from different religious backgrounds have relied upon their faith and gained encouragement from religious literature, symbols, and displays,” Kao continued. “No member of the military should have to hide their faith when they put on a uniform. Nor should our public square be devoid of religious symbols.”

In January, the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Hampshire removed a Bible on display at a “Missing Man” table after a secular group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, objected.

The Bible had been carried by a prisoner of war from World War II, but the group said some veterans had complained about its display.

After receiving new complaints about its removal, hospital officials restored the Bible the following month. In May, however, a Vietnam veteran sued to have the Bible removed.

“A Bible that was owned by a survivor in the Battle of the Bulge had to be put under lock and key because several people unknown had complained that this was an affront to them,” Wilkie said, adding:

It’s incongruous to me [because] we send our young people to some pretty rough places. The notion that someone who would have been in those situations is so offended by the sight of a Bible that he wants to sue and deprive his comrades of that comfort is just beyond the pale.

In late 2015, a VA clinic in Salem, Virginia, initially blocked a Christmas tree from the premises, stating in a letter to employees that “trees have been deemed to promote the Christian religion and will not be permitted in any public areas this year.”

The clinic reversed course in late November after public pushback, and allowed the Christmas tree. 

In January 2014, then-House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., wrote then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, citing a VA medical center in Augusta, Georgia, that banned high school Christmas carolers.

Miller also wrote that VA officials in Iowa City, Iowa, had told the American Legion not to hand out gifts if the wrapping paper said “Merry Christmas” and a VA hospital in Dallas had refused a delivery of handwritten Christmas cards from schoolchildren because they included the words “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You.”

Such matters are important beyond individuals’ freedom of religion, affecting the health of veterans in the VA’s care, Wilkie said.

“The issue of Christmas carols is about simple courtesy, the ability to make people smile at a time in their lives when they are in a hospital for whatever reason, for groups to come in and spread comfort,” he said. “Emotional sustenance is absolutely something that we should be allowing, not standing in the way of.”


World's first transgender actress Carlotta slams 'ridiculous' bill that allows people to change their sex on birth certificates - and says children should NOT be allowed to transition

Her appearance on the Australian soap Number 96 in 1972 marked the first time a transgender actress played a transgender character on TV anywhere in the world.

And Carlotta shared her opinion on a major trans issue on Monday, slamming a decision by the Victorian legislative assembly to pass a bill that allows transgender and non-binary people to change the sex listed on their birth certificate without gender reassignment surgery.

Speaking on Studio 10, the 75-year-old trans icon and cabaret performer claimed the whole bill is 'ridiculous'.

'It is a different generation today, but I really believe that unless you've had the sex change [you shouldn't] have your papers changed… because anyone can do it,' she said.

Emphasising that transitioning is far more complex than simply changing information on legal documents, Carlotta turned to host Sarah Harris and said: 'You could go in and say, "I want to be a boy", and you're not a boy. It's ridiculous!'

The TV personality, who rose to fame in the stage production of Les Girls in 1962, went on to say that she doesn't believe children should be allowed to transition either.

'I have a lot of people writing to me about little kids - a little girl wants to be a little boy, or a little boy wants to be a little girl - and they go to school dressed that way,' she said.

Carlotta added that she is 'strongly against' doctors approving hormone treatment for children before they have a true grasp of who they are.

The outspoken star said that children 'should not be put on treatments' until they have 'matured and are of age'.

'Your hormones change... they could get to 15 or 16 and decide they don't want to be [a different gender],' she added.

Carlotta acknowledged that her views reflect her own experience growing up transgender in a less permissive age, saying, 'I'm only being sensible because I did it the hard way.'

According to Carlotta, when she went overseas for her own gender reassignment surgery, she was forced to get a new passport issued to reflect the fact she had become a woman.

At that time, she was still obliged to have a separate page in her passport with her old identity, so as not to cause confusion.

She concluded: 'I do not believe that [transgender people] have the right to go and have their birth certificates changed when they haven't had the changes.'

Carlotta's return to Studio 10 comes after she dramatically quit the show last year, claiming at the time that the show's producers had treated her 'unfairly'.

Announcing her comeback last month, she said: 'I thought mummy needed to comeback with a bit of political incorrectness! Mummy's here because you know I say it how it is. I'm back, honey, but I'll behave.'



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, August 28, 2019

Feminists think stereotypes are only bad when other people use them

The Left is awash in bigotry.  They are bigoted in favour of women, blacks, Hipanics any type of sexual deviant and any group that has problems.  And they are bigoted against middle class white males. And they call conservatives racist!

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned two adverts for ‘promoting gender stereotypes’. Ironically, while the ASA was railing against gender stereotypes, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was reviving them when calling for an emergency female-only cabinet ‘to work for reconciliation’ – because only women, so the stereotype goes, are ‘able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions’.

These two examples highlight feminists’ hypocrisy around the use of gender stereotypes. They usually criticise them when the stereotypes are associated with male success, but celebrate them when they’re deployed in pursuit of female opportunity, such as accessing the levers of state power. That is, feminists are happy to use gender stereotypes to further the interests of a few top women.

The ASA’s feminism is not a surprise. Since 2017, it has been campaigning to challenge any claim by advertisers that associates men with success in the workplace or which associates women with playing a domestic or care-giving role. Two years ago it published a report into ‘gender stereotypes in advertising’. Ella Smillie, who led the research, with ‘passion and energy’, is now head of policy and campaigns at the Fawcett Society, ‘where she is determined to fight sexism and gender inequality in all its forms’.

Passion and energy and a determination to fight sexism and gender inequality are the attributes of a campaigner, not a sober researcher. But then, the ASA’s report was always intended to be the product of a campaign rather than a dispassionate inquiry. The terms of reference assumed that gender roles were a problem, hence the report begins by explaining that the project considered whether ‘the ASA is doing enough to address the potential for harm arising from the inclusion of gender stereotypes in ads’. So, from the outset, the ASA’s only concern was how much to meddle in what it took to be a problem. The project listened to ‘experts’ and ‘stakeholders’, from the likes of the Women’s Equality Party and Stonewall, who told the ASA what it wanted to hear.

As a result of the report, the rules on advertising were changed in late 2018 to outlaw advertisements that included ‘gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm’. And, last week, as a result of this rule, the ASA was able to ban two ads (both of which can be viewed here).

Exhibit one: an advert for a Volkswagen eGolf, a car with an electric motor. Volkswagen sought to draw attention to the car’s innovative nature with the strap line, ‘When we learn to adapt, we can achieve anything’. It illustrated this with a male rock-climber sleeping on a sheer cliff face, male astronauts performing mundane tasks in an extreme environment, a male para-athlete with a prosthetic leg doing the long jump, and a woman adjusting to life with a newborn. The point being that when the eGolf appears at the end of the advert it becomes clear that its designers had risen to the challenge of manufacturing a car with a quiet engine. In fact, it’s so quiet that it doesn’t wake the baby or register with its mother sitting on a park bench as it passes them.

The ASA ruled that the ad depicted men ‘as extraordinary and adventurous – scientific and career-based in the case of the astronauts and physical in the case of the athlete’, whereas the ad featured a woman sitting on a park bench next to a pram. The ASA concluded that the advert gave the impression that only men could be in extraordinary environments, ‘carrying out adventurous activities’, while giving the impression that women had to be ‘passive’ or engaged in a ‘care-giving role’. Accordingly, the ASA ruled that the ‘ad must not appear again’.

Exhibit two: an advert for Philadelphia cheese. It features two men, each with a baby, meeting in a restaurant by a conveyor belt of food. One says to the other, ‘New dad, too?’, and the other nods. The men then get distracted by offerings of Philadelphia cheese. Meanwhile, their babies are harmlessly travelling on the conveyor belt before the fathers notice, move across the room and pick them up. And to make light of it one of the men says to his baby, ‘Let’s not tell mum’.

The humorous indiscretion of two men in the face of Philadelphia cheese was evidence to the ASA of the stereotype that men are ‘unable to care for the children effectively’. This is such a calumny on the care-giving abilities of fatherhood, argued the ASA, that the ad had to be banned, before other men are led to believe that caring for children is only for women.

Stereotypes have received a bad press, but they are invariably based on truth. Hence, the use of men when an advertiser wants to appeal to our sense of adventure or physical prowess, and the use of women when an advertiser wants to create a sense of calm or empathy. If the gender roles in each of the two offending adverts had been reversed, the ads would have jarred with public perception and reality, and have been less funny.

In reality, men and women play different roles in society and these differences give rise to stereotypes. There are behaviours and characteristics that are associated with being male, just as there are different ones associated with being female. These gender roles develop from a combination of nature, nurture and self-will. This process happens within a framework of social need. The process of socialisation from birth onwards shapes individuals to play the roles that society needs. As society’s needs change, so the roles of men and women change. In other words, gender roles reflect the social needs of the day.

Most people have no problem with the differing roles played by women and men. For example, only three people complained to the ASA about the Volkswagen advert. And most people don’t feel trapped by gendered roles portrayed in adverts.

But the ASA, and much of today’s political elite, is not interested in gender roles that meet the needs and concerns of most people; its focus is on the aspirations of a few top women. And to this end it reshapes society, through ad bans, to serve their narrow interests.

Lucas wants women (and only women) to run the country. At least Ella Smillie only wants ‘equal representation’ for public-office holders. But both are seeking privileges for top women like them. They seek to challenge the notion that promotion should be based on effort and merit in favour of an approach that rewards top women because they are women. This self-serving clique with its associated ideology is harmful for society. Men and women should be left alone to perform the roles they choose, without any nannying oversight from those engaged in social engineering.


Brexit has defined elitism in Britain

And shown what a nasty and hate-filled lot the elitists are. Just as abusive as  Trump's "swamp"


Until last Thursday, when an EU lawyer uncovered and published my identity on Twitter, I tweeted under the name of CKB.

I’d started tweeting in January 2019 after becoming increasingly frustrated by the response of the British elite to the decision of the electorate in 2016 to leave the EU.

As a lawyer myself, I tweeted mostly about EU and UK constitutional law, but I also attempted to critique the ideology and behaviour of a Remainer fundamentalist group that is active on Twitter – known as #FBPE (Follow Back, Pro-EU).

I must have done something right, as by July 2019 my Twitter account had almost 9,000 followers. I made traditional, moderate, liberal, Eurosceptic arguments centred on the freedom of the individual, the legislative supremacy of parliament, the rule of law and the democratic ideal.

The #FBPE people didn’t like it. They were quite open about the fact that they organised mass reporting of my tweets in an attempt to get my account suspended. Ultimately they were successful and my account was permanently suspended last Thursday.

While I regret being unable to participate in the Brexit debate on that platform, I realise that ‘Leaver gets thrown off Twitter’ is hardly big news. Twitter is becoming a notoriously censorious and pitiful place to attempt to discuss anything remotely controversial.

A substantial group of (probably sociopathic) elitists have seized the opportunity provided by Brexit to insult, humiliate, degrade and belittle strangers.

Aside from the tedious daily allegations of racism, hyper-nationalism, xenophobia, empire-fetishism and British exceptionalism, I was frequently compared to automata (‘Brexit bot’), swine flesh (‘gammon’), body parts (‘Brectum’), and pre-human hominids (‘Neanderthal’, ‘knuckle-dragger’), and accused of being mentally deficient (‘Brextard’) and morally reprehensible (‘Brexit jihadi’).

All of the insults used by the #FBPE set against Leavers have one thing in common – they deprive the Leave supporter of his or her basic humanity. They are all dehumanising insults.

I believe that for the first time in many years, a substantial section of our society has become possessed by a supremacist ideology. The Remain Übermensch is utterly convinced of his or her inherent intellectual, educational, moral, philosophical, social and even aesthetical superiority.

I work in the legal profession and I live in uber-woke Chorlton, an affluent, lefty, hipster-ish suburb of Manchester. All three environments – the legal profession, Chorlton and the Twittersphere – are riddled with a nasty (and new) kind of snobbery. I’m not talking about Mrs Bucket-style social climbing and affectation. That is harmless enough. I’m talking about a cruel and immoral belief that one’s own class is immeasurably superior to another. The #FBPE set hates the ‘Gammon Mass’ with a passion reminiscent of the Indian caste system.

At a posh bar in Chorlton not so long ago, I found myself sat at a table with five of the mums from the school my children attend. One said with disgust on her face that she ‘could never live in one of those awful, sh****y towns full of hideous Brexity types’. The other mums all agreed.

As a person who grew up in a pit village in the north-east, I felt a surge of anger towards them. I’m not ashamed to admit it. It was born of love for my family and my lifelong friends from home. It was born of a sense of injustice that this privileged and fortunate group of mums could talk so spitefully about people who are dear to me.

When did this group of self-proclaimed progressives not only stop caring about the interests of the British poor, but come to actively hate them? It seems that the answer is at the point when they dared to vote for Brexit.

Leaving the EU is a big political, legal, economic, constitutional, geopolitical, financial, trade and commercial decision. It is the type of decision traditionally taken by political, legal and business elites – the people who sit in the first-class compartment on the train of our national life.

In June 2016, the train was de-classified and millions of ‘gammon’ plebs invaded the quiet, middle-class comfort of the elites. They have still not recovered from it. It has driven them half mad with fury. They are overwhelmed by spite and malice. Their response has been brutal and swift, and we haven’t seen the last of it yet.


Loony Psychiatrist: Trump 'May Be Responsible for Many More Millions of Deaths' than Hitler. Stalin, and Mao

Couldn't he have just called Trump "crazy" and let it go at that? pparently, no. The former chairman of the Psychiatry Department at Duke University, Dr. Alan Frances, said on CNN it was an insult to the mentally ill to call Trump crazy.

"Well, I think 'medicalizing' politics has three very dire consequences. The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I’ve known thousands of patients, almost all of them are well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these. Lumping that is a terrible insult to the mentally ill and they have enough problems and stigma as it is," he said.

I'm sure they're "well behaved" and "good people" -- until some voice in their head tells them to shoot up a mall or a bar. Patients who go off their meds are wildly unpredictable. Not all become violent, of course. But the number of mass shooters who had no business walking the streets and ended up bringing tragedy to communities is more than we can bear.

So, rather than "stigmatize" mentally ill people, it's better that they murder a few people rather than hurt their feelings.

But don't call Trump "mentally ill," said Dr. Frances:

"Second, calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist," Frances went on. "Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were."

For the record, Mao murdered at least 45 million in his "Great Leap Forward" that included the "Cultural Revolution" where tens of thousands of students and workers blanketed the countryside holding drum head trials of those they considered insufficiently devoted to the cause.

The body count for Stalin is still being toted up. It's believed that about 20 million Kulaks died as a direct result of "forced collectivization" of farms and prisoners in labor camps. Purges of the military and Communist Party resulted in tens of thousands of more deaths.

Hitler murdered another 11 million while being solely responsible for starting a war that killed 50 million more.

Wow. Trump must have been busy these last few years.

The ease with which Dr. Frances casually dropped the "many million deaths" charge is astonishing. And CNN host Brian Stelter let him get away with it.

Stelter later apologized claiming he never heard the comment, but he was "distracted by tech difficulties."

Brian Stelter: I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that's why the show open didn't look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault.

I'm sure that if Stelter actually heard what the doctor said, he would have cut off Dr. Frances immediately and forced him to back that claim up with facts. Aren't you sure too?

It appears that in the case of Dr. Frances, the lunatics are running the asylum.


Australia: Nina Funnell has been very busy

Bettina Arndt 

Nina Funnell is a rape survivor who has built her journalism career exaggerating the risk of rape to young women at our universities. She’s the key spokesperson for End Rape on Campus which played a significant role in prompting the Human Rights Commission’s survey on sexual assault and harassment. Then, when that proved a fizzer, her organisation still bullied universities into measures to tackle ‘sexual violence’ – like sexual consent courses, rape crisis lines and so on. She’s currently trying to persuade universities to do new surveys, trying to cook the results more to her satisfaction.

In the past two years Funnell has published nine articles which attack me or include material designed to damage my professional reputation – plus there was a Sixty Minutes programme, a recent ABC 7.30 Report and numerous other newspaper reports based on the damaging material she has been promoting, using material she has clearly supplied to the journalists.

Last year she linked the rape and murder of the La Trobe student Aya Maarsarwe to my campus tour in an article in The Saturday Paper. I posted a detailed analysis of the many inaccuracies in that article on my Facebook page and encouraged my readers to report her to the Press Council.

Clearly my loyal followers did their homework because I then suddenly received a letter from a female law firm threatening defamation action over that post. This petered out following a letter from the formidable Brisbane QC Tony Morris, who is well-known for successfully defending the QUT students in the indigenous computer lab scandal.

Morris wrote to Funnell’s lawyers saying we did not wish to discourage her from commencing legal proceedings. “Ms Arndt cannot conceive of a better way to ventilate the issues about which she is passionate, than at a trial where the focus of the tribunal of fact will be as to your client’s honesty, integrity and professionalism as a journalist.”

Yet most of the Funnell attacks relate to a YouTube video I made with Nico Bester, a Tasmanian teacher who went to prison for having a sexual relationship with one of his students. I decided to interview Bester after a judge spoke out against vigilante justice when feminist activists were targeting him following his release from prison, trying to stop him studying for a PhD at the University of Tasmania. In that interview I condemned Bester’s criminal actions, we discussed the seriousness of his crime and agreed his prison sentence was absolutely appropriate.

Funnell is persistently using carefully selected edits from that video, taking comments out of context to suggest I’m a pederast apologist. See the blog in which I explained all this following the ferocious 60 Minutes attack on me last year, where Funnell launched her  “Let Her Speak” campaign to allow Bester’s victim to speak about what happened. Tasmania has now changed its laws to allow sexual abuse victims to go public – which has enabled Funnell to launch a new wave of attacks on me as part of the victim’s new version of events involving Bester, which differ significantly from the evidence presented in the criminal trial.

Apart from all this, there have also been two complaints in the last six months to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission claiming I am misrepresenting my professional qualifications. Both times the Commission dismissed the complaint. I am always careful when describing my qualifications to say that I “trained as a clinical psychologist,” rather than suggesting I am currently practising.  I haven’t worked in this field for over 40 years but it’s difficult to avoid inaccurate descriptions appearing occasionally in the media.

It’s obvious that people are gunning for me. My next campus talk is in September at UNSW and social media chat from one of the feminist campus groups revealed End Rape on Campus has “confidential damning information” on me which they plan to release prior to the event.

Via email from


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, August 27, 2019

Progressives promote disrespect for cops — at our peril

This week, one of the many repeat offenders allowed to walk our streets unleashed a barrage of bullets on Philadelphia police officers.

What started as the execution of a narcotics warrant turned into a seven-hour standoff punctuated by shootouts that left six officers wounded. While many Americans were glued to their televisions or phones awaiting the outcome, some who had gathered near the scene in Philly’s (not-so) Nicetown neighborhood taunted and laughed at the officers whose colleagues had just been wounded.

Just days earlier, in The Bronx, a rowdy crowd swarmed NYPD officers while they were attempting to make an arrest. Now-viral cellphone video captured one officer being pelted with an open container of Chinese takeout. That was preceded by two separate incidents — both captured on video — in which NYPD officers were doused with water, cursed at and assaulted in Brooklyn and Harlem.

Unfortunately, such disdain for the police isn’t just confined to rowdy crowds in bad neighborhoods — there’s an institutional element to it. “Progressive” leaders in cities across the country have been contributing to a culture of disrespect for police for some time now, and it’s starting to show.

Take, for example, news of ThriveNYC’s recent snub of the pro-police organization Blue Lives Matter. According to City Councilman Joe Borelli, Thrive — a billion-dollar program headed by Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray — pulled its offer to participate in a mental-health awareness event for first responders because it was being cosponsored by the pro-police group.

Borelli told The Post that the event was canceled “because of the PC environment that de Blasio has caused.”

Mind you, all of this went on in the middle of a sharp uptick in the number of NYPD suicides (seven since June of this year, compared to an annual average between four and five).

Given the mayor’s history of anti-police rhetoric, it’s not hard to imagine why some city worker somewhere might not like the idea of cosponsoring an event with a pro-police group — even a mental-health event for members of a police department whose officers have been committing suicide at alarming rates.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” in 2014, Hizzoner endorsed the view that parents “who have children of color” should “train them to be very careful when they have . . . an encounter with a police officer.” This prompted police to turn their backs on the mayor after two officers were shot and killed that same year.

Last month, de Blasio’s son, Dante, told readers in USA Today that “young black people” are taught (as he was) “to fear the people meant to protect us.”

The disdain shown toward the officers in Philly isn’t all that far removed from that city’s leadership, either. As US Attorney William McSwain of Pennsylvania’s Eastern District pointed out in a recent statement, this “new culture of disrespect for law enforcement . . . is promoted and championed by District Attorney Larry Krasner.”

Krasner has been a harsh critic of the criminal-justice system and campaigned on a platform of radical reforms. McSwain’s statement pointed to the DA’s victory party, which featured chants of “F - - k the police” and “No good cops in a racist system.”

There is a growing tension between the public and police — particularly in cities headed by “progressives” like Krasner and de Blasio.

That is not good for police morale; and it could have negative implications for the public’s safety as well. We’ve seen what happens when police departments back off and become less proactive.

In Chicago, one study suggested the sharp drop-off in police stops led to an additional 239 murders and over 1,100 more shootings in 2016 — a year in which Windy City homicides jumped 58 percent. The police back-off in Baltimore has also been well-documented, as crime continues to rise in that benighted city.

Police all around the country have been given a bum rap, and a growing portion of the public is buying into it. Simply put, police are an integral part of any functioning city.
We alienate them at our peril — and everyone else’s.


Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins was sued for cooperating with an ICE detainer request

What should we do with illegal aliens who break local criminal laws?

Most people would agree that, once they’ve served their time, they should be removed from the country rather than sent back into the community where they can commit more crimes.

But the Legal Aid Justice Center of Falls Church, Virginia, disagrees. So when Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins turned Francisco Guardado Rios over to the Department of Homeland Security, the center filed a class-action lawsuit against the sheriff, claiming his actions violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

Thankfully, a federal judge has now thrown out that suit. Here’s how it went down.

In August 2017, Rios was arrested for driving without a license and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Culpeper County Jail then received a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an administrative arrest warrant for Rios from the Department of Homeland Security, as there was “probable cause to believe Rios was a removable alien.”

The detainer asked the jail to notify ICE at least 48 hours before Rios’ release, and requested that the jail also maintain custody of the alien “for a period NOT TO EXCEED 48 HOURS beyond the time when he/she would otherwise have been released from custody to allow [the Department of Homeland Security] to assume custody.”

Further, the administrative warrant directed immigration officers to arrest Rios and take him into custody “for removal proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

Rios was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. After serving his sentence in the Culpeper County Jail, he was held for an additional two days by Jenkins before being turned over to ICE agents.

Rios claimed that being held in custody after completing his sentence violated his constitutional rights. He alleged that Jenkins had held nearly 100 other illegal aliens past their release dates in 2017 and 2018, based on ICE detainers.

Senior District Judge Glen E. Conrad ruled, however, that Jenkins acted lawfully in cooperating with Homeland Security.

A key factor was the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2013 ruling in Santos v. Frederick County Board of Commissioners. The court held that state and local authorities can’t arrest or detain an illegal alien based solely on an immigration charge “absent federal direction or authorization.”

The judge noted that Rios was arrested for committing a local crime, not an immigration violation, and that Homeland Security had, indeed, provided the sheriff with specific “federal direction” and “authorization” to detain him.

Further, he observed that no federal court of appeals has “held that it would violate the Fourth Amendment to comply with an ICE detainer and administrative warrant.”  

Rios’ lawyers argued that Culpeper County could not comply with a detainer warrant because it had no written agreement with Homeland Security (such as exists under the 287(g) program) to do so.

Under the 287(g) program, local law enforcement can enter into a “memorandum of agreement” with the Department of Homeland Security to assist the agency in identifying and detaining illegal aliens. Homeland Security then provides training and other resources to the local agency.

But Conrad rejected that argument, too. Even without a written agreement, he said, “local law enforcement officials may cooperate with ICE in the detention or removal of aliens not lawfully present in the United States … when such cooperation is expressly ‘request[ed]’ or authorized by ICE.”

Further, Conrad stated, Rios and other detained illegal aliens have no claim under the 14th Amendment because “the due process clause is not the proper lens through which to evaluate the validity of Rios’ continued detention at the request of ICE. ‘Compared to the ‘more generalized notion’ of due process, the Fourth Amendment ‘provides an explicit textual source of constitutional protection.’”

Rios’ final claim was that he was “falsely imprisoned in violation of Virginia law.” Because Conrad held there was no federal cause of action, he declined to exercise jurisdiction over this state law claim. Instead, he dismissed that claim without prejudice, meaning that Rios can file a new lawsuit in state court making that claim, if he wishes to do so.

When local jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, they create de facto sanctuaries for criminals like Rios. It makes no more sense to release those aliens back into the community than it would make sense to release a convicted criminal who is a U.S. citizen but who is wanted in another state or by federal authorities.

For Jenkins, job No. 1 is safeguarding the citizens of Culpepper County. Providing sanctuary to criminal illegal aliens isn’t in the job description.


Mystery Solved: Why Evangelicals Support Trump


Why do some evangelical Christians support President Trump? What's the appeal, to people who profess family values, of a man whose life includes multiple marriages and affairs and who tends to be crude?

Let's dive into this alleged mystery.

Turn with me if you will to the book of Isaiah, chapter 45. We come to the story of Cyrus the Great. He was not a king of Israel or Judah. He was emperor of Persia from 539-530 BC. Persia tended to be an enemy of the children of Israel. It's now called Iran, and continues to be an enemy of Israel.

But Cyrus himself was not; God called Cyrus "my servant" and Cyrus followed through. Cyrus decreed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon could return to their homes and re-establish their country. He also allowed them to rebuild the temple. This was a big deal; Judah had been subjugated and exiled for 70 years, their ability to worship disrupted by the destruction of their temple in Jerusalem. Yet here was Cyrus, who was not one of them, playing a major role in fostering the Jews' return home.

I do have a point.

NeverTrumper Ben Howe has a book out called The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power over Christian Values. Howe has been doing a lot of TV, MSNBC included, defending that incendiary title.

I have not read the book. I've seen him defend, it including the title, which suggests it reflects what he really thinks.

The thesis smears evangelicals.

It's fair to say Donald J. Trump is not an evangelical. He's never been called one and has not called himself one. Technically, he's Presbyterian. As a New York liberal for most of his life, he had no conservative credibility prior to 2016. This conservative evangelical was very skeptical of him, and did not support him in the 2016 primary. I initially thought his candidacy was Seinfeldian — about nothing.

But by the time he won the Republican primary in 2016, and he wasn't my first or second or third choice then, a few things were clear.

One: Donald Trump could win the presidency (though it looked unlikely).

Two: He seemed to have grasped a fact that eluded Jeb Bush and John Kasich; namely, that if you run as a Republican you shouldn't spend most of your time insulting Republicans. Not, at least, if you want them to vote for you (or applaud your speeches). You should probably spend the bulk of your time articulating a positive conservative vision and lambasting the left's rage and socialism. Trump did that. His passion suggested he might actually put up a fight against the left. The worse they treated him, the more he seemed to be readying for a fight.

Three: However flawed Trump might be, and he is, he was obviously better for the country and for evangelicals than any Democrat would be.

Recall that Trump was running after eight years of President Obama. Those eight years saw the federal government attempt to force nuns, literally the Little Sisters of the Poor, to violate their consciences and fund birth control. Obama took 'em to court over that. The eight years of Obama saw activist leftists haul Christian cake bakers to court and destroy their livelihood. The eight years of Obama saw a very emboldened left vent its hatred for everyone to their right, and evangelicals knew we were in their crosshairs. They went after Christian-owned Hobby Lobby, they used our tax dollars to fund abortion, they made their disdain for our faith abundantly clear. The Democrats' 2016 appeal to us amounted to "Vote for us, you stupid, racist, bucktoothed haters!"

That's terrible marketing anywhere outside the New York Times newsroom.

Their 2020 message is worse. They're pushing failed 19th-century socialism paired with anti-Semitism (while calling us "racist"), along with the policy plan that just finished killing Venezuela. They want to erase our borders and take away our guns. They'll betray Israel at the first opportunity. Remember — Rep. Eric Swalwell (D) threatened to nuke gun owners, fellow Americans! Plus: they still hate evangelicals and want us to pay for abortion on demand.

Hillary Clinton did not offer a break from any of that. She called us "deplorable" and relished cranking Obama's hostility up a notch. The third-party guy, Evan whatever, also spent too much time attacking to his right, not his left. That's not a good look. Ditto for the NeverTrumpers.

Facepalm. Stupid.

So Trump emerged as a kind of Cyrus figure: Not necessarily "one of us," but not someone who would not go out of his way to smear or hurt us either.

Somebody is going to misread that previous line, so as Obama would say, let me be clear: Trump would be benign toward evangelicals, and might even be helpful, as Cyrus was helpful toward Israel. The previous is not meant to suggest Trump would literally become an emperor. We're not interested in that.

Speaking for myself and the evangelicals I know, Trump earned our votes by articulating many of our ideals fearlessly. This suggested he might actually follow through, unlike many who have called themselves "conservative" for their entire lives but "grow" left once they get to Washington. If we got some policy wins out of him, all the better.

Trump has been strongly pro-life, strongly pro-American, strongly pro-Israel, strongly pro-capitalism, and he has pushed back against the freedom-robbing regulatory state. He cut taxes and he left evangelicals alone. He didn't sue the nuns. He doesn't want our guns.

Voting for Trump is not "trading Christian values for political power." It's voting in self-defense against the radical, evangelical-hating left and hoping for the best - and getting more than expected.


Australia: Religious freedom proposal passes cabinet, draft bill imminent

Cabinet has backed Attorney-General Christian Porter’s proposals for a religious discrimin­ation act, with minor changes to be made before a draft bill is released in the coming weeks.

Mr Porter on Tuesday outlined his ambition for the bill to come to a vote in both houses of parliament by the end of the year, ­enshrining it in law if it wins support from a majority of politicians.

After facing calls from the Catholic Church and some ­Coalition MPs for wider-ranging “positive right” protections than were being considered, Mr Porter said his reforms would act as a “shield” against discrimination and not a “sword” allowing ­religious people to discriminate.

“The laws will protect people from being discriminated against, but will not give them a licence to discriminate against other ­people,” he said.

“The draft bill will deliver a ­religious discrimination act that reflects other existing anti-­discrimination laws, such as those covering age, race and disability.”

Mr Porter said he would release a draft bill before the next September sitting weeks and hold consultations with Labor, ­religious leaders and LGBTIQ groups.

“It is my expectation that a bill can be introduced and considered by both the house and Senate before the end of the calendar year.

“Naturally, this will include time for a Senate inquiry,” Mr Porter said.

Opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus attacked Mr Porter for the short time for consultation.

“The Liberals have been arguing about this for two years but now want to give the rest of the country just weeks to debate this important bill,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Every Australian is affected by this, not just the Liberal Party, and all Australians deserve to be given the chance to properly scrutinise what’s being proposed, and not have this rushed through parliament because of the government’s internal divisions.”

The Australian reported on Tuesday that Scott Morrison was headed for a showdown with the Catholic Church over the breadth of the religious discrimination laws.

The proposals that were mostly supported in cabinet aim to provide religious groups with exemptions from discrimination laws, while also banning discrim­ination on the basis of faith in areas such as employment, housing and the use of services.

The country’s largest church demanded the government go further than an exemption-based law and take a “positive approach to recognise religious rights” that would protect schools, hospitals and charities adhering to church teachings.

Catholic bishops, while supportive of an anti-discrimination act, are also asking for changes to the Sex Discrimination Act to provide positive protections to faith-based institutions to act ­according to their teachings.

Current protections under the act exempt religious groups from adhering to sex discrimination laws.

Mr Porter said the rights of faith-based institutions to teach issues such as marriage according to their doctrines would be investigated in a separate process.



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, August 26, 2019

The New York Times Is Trying to Rewrite History to Fit Its Biases

Remember the controversy in 2012 when President Barack Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

In context, the president was trying to make the point that in addition to our own hard work, others contributed to whatever level of success we have attained. The president suggested no one achieves success on his or her own. Republicans took his words as just another indicator that Democrats want more government control over our lives and businesses.

The New York Times appears to have endorsed Obama’s view and gone a step further.

The newspaper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, recently called a staff meeting to announce “The 1619 Project,” named for the year the first African slaves were brought to Virginia. Someone recorded the session and leaked it to Slate, which published a transcript. The Washington Examiner reported on it.

“The goal of the 1619 Project,” says a statement from the newspaper, “is to reframe American history.”

More like rewrite it. This is the stuff of totalitarian regimes where the media serve as a propaganda organ for the state, in this case the surging left wing of the Democratic Party.

No more America beginning with the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, and the Constitution. Africans had no say in these, though Jefferson’s brilliant line about all of us being created equal would resound nearly a century later in a Civil War that led to the freeing of slaves and the long road to achieving Jefferson’s noble statement.

Not satisfied with practicing what used to be called journalism, it appears the newspaper’s ultimate goal is to change what is taught in public schools so that children will no longer think highly of their country because of the “stain” of slavery, a stain that has been more than paid for in blood and federal programs, which have attempted to lift some descendants of slaves out of poverty.

In many cases those programs have failed, poverty having many causes, but liberals continue to promote them because it seemingly makes them feel better about themselves.

The Examiner’s Byron York writes: “The basic thrust of the 1619 Project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race. The message is woven throughout the first publication of the project, an entire edition of the Times magazine.”

One excerpt reveals their drift: “If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.” Never mind that “brutal” capitalism has lifted more boats than any other economic system.

There’s much more.

We are led to believe that America is evil, soulless, that those at the top have always exploited those at the bottom. There appears to be advocacy for bigger government, reparations, and never-ending guilt for things we today had nothing to do with. Is this what we want to impose on our children?

The New York Times, despite Donald Trump’s criticism, carries influence with broadcast and cable networks like CNN and MSNBC, and these networks in turn can have a collective effect on the American psyche, particularly when there is no counterbalance.

No wonder private and homeschools are growing at such a rapid pace. The National Home Education Research Institute projects that by next year the number of homeschools will be 2.3 million, a major increase over recent years. According to the Department of Education, about 10% of children in grades K through 12 now attend private schools.

If politicians allowed for school choice, the number would likely be higher.

The Times’ attempt to shape history to fit its own biases is not journalism. If public schools follow its lead, they will begin to resemble schools in countries where freedom is not the prevailing tenet and antithetical to what the Founders gave us. America’s greatness eventually led to the freeing of slaves and a chance at a better life for their descendants.


Tax Drink: Hurt the Poor

Sean Gabb

There are two cases for taxing alcohol. The first is that government must somehow be paid for, and that drink can and should be taxed more heavily than food and books and clothing. The second is that drink is bad for us, and should be made so expensive that we buy less of it. Ignoring this first case, I will take issue with the second.

It is not the business of government to tell us how to live. That is for us to choose for ourselves. We all ought to know that drinking too much is bad for us. If some do not or will not, that is sad for them. If they make a nuisance of themselves, let there be laws against the nuisance. Let there be laws against being drunk and disorderly in public, and let punishments be greater for criminals who offend while drunk. But it is a disagreeable belief that fools can be made wise, or criminals deterred, by treating all of us like children. It is disagreeable for the reason already given, that we should be left to live as we please, and for the further reasons given below.

First, so far as they are enforced, higher prices will mainly hurt the poor. If drinking too much is an evil, moderate drinking is a good. It dulls unhappiness. It takes away stress. It makes company more enjoyable. There is a reason why, in every civilisation, drink is older than writing, and perhaps religion. Now, double the price from where it is, treble it, multiply it tenfold – will it keep the higher classes in a country from opening almost as much wine as before? Probably not. But it will take that comfort away from the poor. They have rights too. Their needs may be greater. Prohibitionists talk much about morality. But where is the morality in laws that only hurt the poor?

Second, higher prices cannot in practice be enforced. Anyone can make his own wine and beer. It needs only sugar and vegetable fibre and yeast. If people do not make their own, it is because current prices are less of a burden than time and effort. Raise prices, and the poor will make their own drink.

Third, if making wine and beer at home is harmless, distilling is not. Distilling produces several kinds of alcohol, only one of which is safe. Knowing what can and cannot be drunk needs more attention than most people can manage. Make spirits too expensive for the poor, and they will start poisoning themselves.

Fourth, So far as they do not make their own, the poor will buy drink illegally made by others, or illegally imported. This will subsidise the growth of criminal conspiracies that would not otherwise exist. These will tyrannise over their customers and corrupt law enforcement and politics. It is hardly ideal to live in a community of heavy drinkers. Living with organised crime is always worse.

In brief, the advocates of higher prices for drink look only to benefits that they have no right to demand, and little chance of achieving – and that, if achieved, would be outweighed by the costs. On moral grounds, and on grounds of the public good, people should be left to drink as they please.


Left-wing Antisemitism rising

Evidence is mounting that antisemitism is on the rise. For a recent example, a CNN poll found that “more than a quarter of Europeans say Jews have too much influence in business and finance, while one in five said Jews have too much influence in the media and politics.”

Antisemitism has, in the past, frequently been associated with the political Right; but the rise of antisemitism on what is frequently called the ‘New Left’ is closely linked to the combined forces of identity politics, anti-colonialism, and anti-imperialism unleashed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Left-wing antisemitism is not new. What has made it front-page news is the manifestation of blatant, institutional antisemitism in the British Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Repeated failures to address antisemitism within the party has now brought Labour to the point where even its supporters believe the party to be systemically antisemitic.

Left-wing antisemitism is intimately linked to a fervent form of anti-Zionism — the view that the State of Israel should not exist — which denies both the very concept of Jewish peoplehood entitled to self-determination. This form of anti-Zionism arose from a determination amongst a generation of people who came of age after WWII to oppose racism and colonialism.

Israel, according to the New Left, is an illegitimate remnant of Western colonialism in the Middle East — a view endorsed by the United Nations as it added newly decolonized states to its membership. Opposition to racism and colonialism — and thence, to Israel — is also interwoven with a deep-seated hostility to the USA and its allies.

Yet Corbyn refuses to concede the existence of antisemitism within Labour ranks because he refuses to accept that opposition to racist colonialism is equivalent, in the case of Israel, to Jew hatred. As Labour’s scandal of antisemitism worsens, many Jewish leaders in the UK now consider the party — long the home of British Jewry — a threat to Jewish life in that country.

Labour’s antisemitism is not an isolated instance. Extreme antisemitic views are also being expressed more frequently on the Left of American politics — as in the case of the so-called ‘Squad’ of Democratic members of Congress. And although the Australian Labor Party has been spared the scandal of its British counterpart, antisemitism still seeps into our political life.


Australia: Thousands gathered in Sydney to protest against the abortion legalisation bill

Opponents of a bill to decriminalise abortion gathered in their thousands near the NSW parliament for a rally so loud it could be heard from inside the chamber where the draft laws were being debated.

Holding aloft crosses, pictures of Jesus and signs saying 'stand for life', thousands gathered in Sydney's Martin Place on Tuesday evening to listen to MPs and religious leaders who oppose the bill.

Pro-choice activists had rallied on Macquarie Street earlier in the day.

Some had hoped the bill would go to an upper house vote within days but Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Tuesday confirmed that wouldn't happen amid reports Premier Gladys Berejiklian had buckled to pressure from conservatives.

It means the upper house debate, which began on Tuesday, is likely to drag into September.

Liberal MP Tanya Davies told the crowd they had been given a 'stay of execution'.

She asked them to 'gather a tsunami of opposition to this bill' [and direct it] to Ms Berejiklian, Mr Barilaro and upper house MPs.

The crowd chanting 'abort this bill' and 'love them both' were so loud they could be heard in the upper house chamber, where the bill was being debated.

Chantal Czeczotko, who is 26 weeks pregnant, took to the rally's makeshift podium, a bench in the middle of Martin Place, where the heartbeat of her unborn child was broadcast over speakers for the crowd to hear.

'This baby's heart is beating strongly for us tonight and if MPs have their way in the house behind us, a baby with this strong a heartbeat has no right to life,' said Right to Life NSW chief executive Dr Rachel Carling, eliciting boos from those gathered.

Sydney's Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher said the draft legislation was the 'abortion industry's dream bill'.

He called for more people power and more 'God power' - more prayer, fasting and lobbying - to ensure those opposed to the bill had their voices heard.

Melkite Catholic Bishop Robert Rabbat said the rally had gathered in response to 'the call to defend life'. 'Abortion is not simply a religious or philosophical issue, abortion is not an a la carte menu to choose from. It is a matter of rights and the pre-born do not have fewer rights than the powerful or the outspoken or the legislators,' Bishop Rabbat said.

Federal Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce was the last to speak, telling those gathered the clause requiring two doctors to sign off on an abortion after 22 weeks 'is not a reflection of a civilised society'.

'I am not here to try and espouse a religion. I'm not here saying I'm some saint. I'm here because I'm trying to argue to those people on logic,' Mr Joyce said.

Speaking after the rally, Mr Joyce said people turned up to the rally because they are angry. 'If you keep on working on angry people, they vote for somebody else and the next thing you know, you've got another job,' he told AAP.

His message to the premier was to be 'really focused on this'. 'You thought the greyhound debate was bad - the greyhound debate was for the bush, this is one for the city.'

A petition calling for upper house members to vote against the bill, signed by more than 77,000 people, was handed to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak who will table it to parliament on Wednesday.

Maketalena Afeaki, 33, travelled from Liverpool with a contingent of the Tongan Catholic Youth who she said were at the rally to 'give our voice for the unborn children'. 'We're all here to just vote no against the abortion bill only because we strongly believe in our faith that abortion is murder,' Ms Afeaki told AAP.



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