Monday, September 30, 2019

Stop this foolish war on meat! Eating it could help save the planet

Last night, I ate a steak. Very good it was too. A plump, exquisitely marbled slab of sirloin, beautifully seasoned and cooked blushing pink. It had come from Martin Player, a proper Cardiff butcher, who takes his meat, as well as the animal’s welfare, very seriously indeed. Just like any other decent butcher.

Grass-fed, fully traceable and properly hung, it was a paean to not just fine flavour, but first- class farming practice too. Sensible, sustainable agriculture, where the welfare of the animal is every bit as important as its impact upon the environment.

Yet this magnificent piece of beef is no longer mere dinner. Instead it has become a pawn in the gathering war on meat: a hysterical, ill-informed, one-size-fits-all assault that demonises farmers, butchers and consumers alike. A weapon, if you like, of grass destruction.

Take the decision made by the University of Cambridge catering service to remove beef and lamb from its menus to cut food-related carbon emissions. The head of the service, Nick White, claimed this was because ‘sustainability is extremely important to our students and staff’ and scientists have claimed beef and lamb produce most farm greenhouse gasses.

A few weeks back, beef was also banned from the cafeteria of Goldsmiths College in London for the same reason, to ‘drastically’ cut its carbon footprint.

But the concerns are not only environmental. I have little time for witless attacks on vegans or vegetarians but there is undoubtedly a creeping spread of anti-meat militancy. This week it emerged the vice-chairman of the RSPCA – a vegan and co-founder of Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion environmental movement – was forced to step down after calling on animal rights protesters to shut down Smithfield meat market in London.

Jane Tredgett, 52, was in charge of training activists in ‘non-violent direct action’, while the group has compared its efforts to the struggles faced by Martin Luther King and the Suffragettes. Seriously.

Each week seems to bring a new threat or outrage, with meat-eaters being turned into social pariahs. Michael Mansfield, QC, a man who should know better, last week suggested that eating meat should be made illegal, with offenders thrown into jail. And he’s not alone in his extreme (and publicity-seeking) views.

Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, declared that meat-eaters should be treated like smokers and be made to sit outside restaurants. Because meat is ‘bad for the planet and our health’.

What next? Could meat become illegal, butchers forced to deal black pudding and chipolatas in back alleys and pub loos? Custodial sentences for eating chops? Life for a leg of lamb? Should we be eating meat at all?

The arguments against meat are so widespread, it’s no wonder they seem overwhelming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared that we must drastically cut our meat consumption to save the planet. We must shift towards ‘healthy and sustainable’ diets ‘based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds’. The EAT-Lancet Commission, set up to look at how the world’s growing population can eat healthy, sustainable food, goes further still. Over three years, 37 scientists came up with the ultimate ‘plant-focused’ diet ‘for planetary health’. They argue this diet, which contains virtually no meat, would ‘transform’ the planet’s future. Under it we’re ‘allowed’ no more than one serving of red meat, a couple of servings of fish and an egg or two. Per week.

It’s an argument that meat is bad, plants are good. But not everything is quite so black and white. Far from it.

Many of the militants’ reasons for ditching meat are, in fact, completely misleading. Because properly farmed meat is not only entirely sustainable, but good for the environment and economy too. We should be celebrating good farming practice, not condemning it. There’s no doubt that there are some completely legitimate concerns about food production. Not all chickens, for example, are raised equally. On the one hand, you have an old-fashioned free-range chicken, allowed to scratch and peck outside. Slow growing, traditional breeds, bred for flavour. On the other, the wretched intensively farmed bird, which is crammed into vast, stinking sheds, with no more space than an A4 sheet of paper. Profit, not welfare, is its producer’s only concern.

The same goes for intensively farmed pigs, raised in cruelly confined squalor. We should be saving our ire and ammunition to rail against this factory farming. The long-term cost of intensively farmed meat is ruinously expensive, both for our health and for the environment. It follows, then, that the best quality meat will always be more expensive than the cheap, imported stuff. British farming standards are among the highest in the world, yet another reason to buy British meat.

And it’s important to recognise that, despite all the hand-wringing about carbon emissions, livestock production can actually be good for the environment.

Grassland absorbs carbon dioxide, reducing the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere. Two-thirds of the UK is still made up of grassland, and it is essential it remains that way to preserve the carbon in the soil. At the moment, traditional grass-fed cattle and sheep, kept at a low density, are helping to maintain that status quo. But if we reduce the demand for these animals in the food chain, then this delicate balance is bound to change.

We’re also reminded frequently about all the methane produced by cows and other ruminants. So doesn’t that damage the environment? There’s an immense difference between the emissions of the grain-fed cattle in American super lots and sustainably farmed, grass-fed British cattle. Patrick Holden, CEO of The Sustainable Food Trust, explains: ‘The methane emissions from those ruminants are offset by the carbon gain in the soil.’

He also points out that, to be useful for agriculture, arable land must go through a ‘fertility building phase’ lasting three or four years which involves it – by necessity – being grazed with animals such as cows and sheep. Lose those animals, the message is, and we lose that ability to keep our farmland versatile and healthy.

Also – and more controversially – does that mean you should eat MORE beef to save the planet?

‘Yes!’ comes the emphatic response from Holden. ‘Traditional grass-fed beef and lamb can help maintain the soil carbon bank.’

For years, I’ve believed the mantra of eat less meat, but eat better. It’s certainly a good starting point. There have already been huge changes to our diets in the past 100 years. At the start of the 20th Century, Holden points out, 80 per cent of our dietary fats came from animal sources, and only 20 per cent from plants. Today, it’s the other way around.

The surprising – and often overlooked – fact is this: the production of many of those plant fats can be just as environmentally unsound as those vast US intensive farming lots. According to Frédéric Leroy, a professor in food science and biotechnology at the VUB university in Brussels, a shift from animal products to ‘plant-based’ scenarios could make things worse.

They may have vast implications that will generate their own sets of serious concerns, including limiting the land’s ability to grow more than one crop, depleting top soil, using more fertilisers, the potential for nutritional deficiencies and the disturbance of ecosystems,’ Prof Leroy argues.

As far as methane emissions are concerned, he continues, they are real but need to be put in perspective. ‘If a Westerner goes vegetarian or vegan, this leads to only about a two to six per cent drop in their carbon footprint, which is far from being the best thing one can do for the planet.’

There are other, far more effective, ways to reduce carbon emissions – by reducing our reliance on air travel, for example.

Farmer and butcher Peter Hannan agrees. ‘Compared to our appetite for air travel alone, my beef farming pales into insignificance.’

What about the rest of us, then; the responsible meat lovers, caught in the scientific and moral crossfire? Is it really necessary for vegan activists to spray fake blood around McDonald’s? Or harangue and bully butchers and farmers – even Waitrose – in real life and on social media?

Of course not. Whatever happened to decency, common sense, and the ability to listen to both sides of a debate? It is possible to eat meat and have the utmost respect for vegans and vegetarians too. In fact, a couple of meat-free days a week is eminently sensible. So buy British, and the best you can afford. Trust in your butcher. And experiment with more unusual cuts too. Eat good meat and save the planet. Now THAT really is a radical idea.


California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft

This is typical Leftist refusal to look ahead

A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons. Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of “the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail. To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft. The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.

To the great surprise of the government, people noticed this change and began taking advantage of it. They have now recorded multiple years of steadily increasing, organized robbery. These plots are known as “mass grab and dash” thefts and they generally involve large numbers of young people all entering a store at the same time, grabbing armfuls of merchandise and dashing back out to their vehicles and hitting the highway. Not only are robberies on the rise, but arrests and prosecutions are down. Who could possibly have predicted this? (CBS Sacramento)

After searching police reports and arrest records, CBS13 found that while the rate of these grab and dash crimes is on the rise, the rate of arrest is down. We turned to law enforcement and the retail industry for answers. Both blame a California law intended to make “neighborhoods safe.”

“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” said Lieutenant Mark Donaldson, Vacaville PD.

He explained these crimes have evolved into more than just shoplifting. It’s organized retail theft and he says it’s happening across the state. Cities like Vacaville, with outlets and shopping centers located near major freeways, tend to be a target for these organized retail crime rings.

Nobody is seriously contesting the numbers. The local and state police organizations blame prop 47. FBI crime data supports the contention. Retail sales organizations have tracked this trend and agree.

This is a trend that’s been building in a number of blue states and now it seems that the petty crime chickens are coming home to roost. The fact is that there are always going to be a certain number of people who will be willing to break the law if they don’t feel the risk of significant punishment is too high. An understanding of this fundamental principle is why the “broken windows” policies enacted in New York City and other municipalities in the 90s were so effective. If you crack down on even smaller crimes, you lower crime rates overall.

Sadly, liberal elected officials paint a picture of racism and inequity behind effective law enforcement initiatives. The people committing these thefts frequently end up being young black and Hispanic robbers because they are more likely to come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This leads to laws like prop 47 hoping to keep more of them out of the “school to prison pipeline.”

But when you make it easier and less risky to steal larger amounts of goods, people will steal more merchandise. Did it really take a rocket scientist to figure this out? California basically incentivized crime and potential criminals answered the call. And since many of them were only getting the equivalent of a parking ticket for stealing 900 dollars worth of goods, police frequently didn’t expend much energy trying to catch them.

The ball’s in your court, California. Do you plan on doing something about this? Or will you essentially just legalize theft and tell the retailers that they’re on their own?


Once Again, Progressive Anti-Christian Bigotry Carries a Steep Legal Cost

Masterpiece Cakeshop continues to pay religious-liberty dividends.
Last summer, in the days after the Supreme Court decided Masterpiece Cakeshop on the narrow grounds that Colorado had violated Jack Phillips’s religious-liberty rights by specifically disparaging his religious beliefs, a bit of a skirmish broke out among conservative lawyers. How important was the ruling? Did it have any lasting precedential effect?

For those who don’t recall, the Supreme Court ruled for Phillips in large part because a commissioner of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission called Phillips’s claim that he enjoyed a religious-freedom right not to be forced to design a custom cake for a gay wedding a “despicable piece of rhetoric.” The commissioner also denigrated religious-liberty arguments as being used to justify slavery and the Holocaust.

While all agreed that it would have been preferable had the court simply ruled that creative professionals could not be required to produce art that conflicted with their sincerely held beliefs, the question was whether Justice Anthony Kennedy’s strong condemnation of anti-religious bigotry would resonate beyond the specific facts of the case. For example, what would happen if, in a different case, state officials called faithful Christians who seek to protect the religious freedom of Catholic adoption agencies “hate-mongers”?

In the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, it turns out that such rhetoric has cost the state a crucial court ruling, granted a Catholic adoption agency a vital victory, and demonstrated — once again — that anti-religious bigotry can (and should) carry substantial legal costs.

The case is called Buck v. Gordon. My friends at Becket represent St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a former foster child, and the adoptive parents of five special-needs kids. The facts are relatively complicated, but here’s the short version: St. Vincent upholds Catholic teaching by referring same-sex and unmarried families who seek foster and adoption recommendations and endorsements to agencies that have no objection to providing those services. There is no evidence that St. Vincent has prevented any legally qualified family from adopting or fostering a child. In fact, same-sex couples “certified through different agencies” have been able to adopt children in St. Vincent’s care.

NOW WATCH: 'Trump's Chinese Tariffs Means It'll Cost Americans $1,000 More a Year Just to Live'

In 2015 the state of Michigan passed a statute specifically designed to protect the religious liberty of private, religious adoption agencies. In 2018, however, Dana Nessel, a Democratic attorney general, took office. During her campaign, she declared that she would not defend the 2015 law in court, stating that its “only purpose” was “discriminatory animus.” She also described proponents of the law as “hate-mongers,” and the court noted that she believed proponents of the law “disliked gay people more than they cared about the constitution.”

Then, in 2019, the attorney general reached a legal settlement in pending litigation with the ACLU that essentially gutted the Michigan law, implementing a definitive requirement that religious agencies provide recommendations and endorsement to same-sex couples and banning referrals. The plaintiffs sued, seeking to enjoin the relevant terms of the settlement, and yesterday Judge Robert Jonker (a Bush appointee) granted their motion for a preliminary injunction.

His reasoning was simple. There was ample evidence from the record that the state of Michigan reversed its policy protecting religious freedom because it was motivated by hostility to the plaintiffs’ faith. Because Michigan’s targeted St. Vincent’s faith, its 2019 settlement agreement couldn’t be truly considered a “neutral” law of “general applicability” that would grant the state a high degree of deference in enforcement.

Instead, the state’s targeting led to strict scrutiny. Here’s Judge Jonker:

Defendant Nessel made St. Vincent’s belief and practice a campaign issue by calling it hate. She made the 2015 statute a campaign issue by contending that the only purpose of the statute is discriminatory animus. After Defendant Nessel took office, the State pivoted 180 degrees. . . . The State also threatened to terminate its contracts with St. Vincent. The Summary Statement’s conclusion – that if an agency accepts even one MDHHS child referral for case management or adoption services, the agency forfeits completely the right to refer new parental applicants to other agencies based on its sincerely held religious beliefs – is at odds with the language of the contracts, with the 2015 law, and with established State practice. Moreover, it actually undermines the State’s stated goals of preventing discriminatory conduct and maximizing available placements for children.

The last point is key. As stated above, there was no evidence that St. Vincent prevented any qualified couple from adopting. In fact, if the state forced St. Vincent’s to choose between upholding the teachings of its faith or maintaining its contractual relationship with the state, then it risked shrinking the available foster or adoption options in the state of Michigan. The state demonstrated that it was more interested in taking punitive action against people of faith than it was in maintaining broader access to foster and adoption services for its most vulnerable citizens.

The judge rightly called the state’s actions a “targeted attack on a sincerely held religious belief.” Once again, Masterpiece Cakeshop pays religious-liberty dividends. Once again, a court declares — in no uncertain terms — that in the conflict between private faith and public bigotry, religious liberty will prevail.


Australia: Do sharks have a right to eat us?

That seems to be the Queensland Labor government's position

FOR almost 60 years, the State Government's shark control program has been making Queensland beaches safer. The program has been one of very few public policies to have endured for such a time while remaining blessedly free from the foibles of partisan politics.

The reason for this has been simple. Who would dare argue with the results? From 1915 to 1962 there were 36 recorded cases of shark attacks in Queensland. These resulted in 19 deaths. But since the dragnet of baited drumlines was introduced in 1962, there's been only one fatal shark attack at a protected Queensland beach.

Little wonder the program has been gradually expanded. However, the program finally found a naysayer in the shape of fringe environmental group, the Humane Society. And inexplicably, the Federal Court has agreed with the group's view that the drumlines do little to protect swimmers.

How the court came to such a view simply beggars belief. Surely, they only had to look at the statistics of recent attacks in northern NSW where there are no permanent drumlines to realise how effective the Queensland program is? What was required here was a bipartisan approach and a plan to ensure swimmers were protected

The court's decision was clearly out of step with public sentiment and requires the politicians who've supported the program to fix it. Given the long history of bipartisan support, not to mention the implications for. Queensland's tourism industry, you'd like to think it would be a relatively quick fix.

However, what has ensued instead has been an unedifying display of pointless political point scoring that has done nothing but advertise to the world that some of the Sunshine State's most famous northern beaches are less safe now than they were a few weeks ago.

Much of the controversy has centred around the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' decision to remove 160 drumlines from within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The court's decision only related to the marine park zone and that's why the department only removed drumlines in this area.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has been particularly vocal. She's accused the Palaszczuk Government of choosing "public alarm over personal safety" by removing the drumlines when the court only said caught sharks should not be killed.

"Queensland should reinstate the existing drum lines, while increasing surveillance and exploring modern complementary technologies such as drones, smart drum lines and tags," she said.

There's ample reason for Ley to be sceptical about the Palaszczuk Government's motives in ordering the removal of the drumlines within hours of the court ruling. After all, the administration isn't exactly known for doing anything at pace.

And the States handling of last year's Cid Harbour shark attacks —when it first said drumlines were the answer but then recanted and claimed all it could do was erect signs instead — hardly inspired confidence.

However, what on Earth is Ley suggesting when she says the State Government should just drop the drumlines back in and increase surveillance? Is she saying to hell with what the court has ordered? Or does Ley reckon fisheries officers should just harden up and start arming themselves with a decent set of pliers so they can simply release the sharks?

It might be news to the minister but these officers are dealing with marine life a bit bigger than the cod they catch in the Murray River in her electorate. In fact, cutting a cranky 4m tiger shark loose from a hook is nearly as dangerous as getting between Ley and a bargain Gold Coast apartment buy, something she's somewhat famed for.

Yet, while Ley is happily ordering fisheries officers back into the water, the Morrison Government hasn't come up with a timeline for a legislative fix to what the court has ordered.

The LNP Opposition might be right when they say SMART drumlines, where sharks are caught and released,should be considered as temporary solution. However, it would take time to train officers and whether that's worthwhile depends primarily on how long it's going to take their federal colleagues to come up with a legislative answer.

Dropping in new drumlines at 17 locations just outside the marine park was a prudent move by the State but that still leaves 27 beaches no longer with protection.

However, what wasn't needed was State Fisheries Minister Mark Furner's ham-fisted suggestion that Ley would be blamed if there was an attack.

While the politicians squabble, the reputation of Queensland beaches is taking a further battering, the last thing the tourism industry needs after those terrible Cid Harbour attacks.

From the start, what was required here was a bipartisan approach and a plan to ensure swimmers were protected by drumlines again as soon as practical. Instead what happened was the political sharks began circling as soon as they saw an opportunity for a cheap feed.

"Courier Mail" 27 Sept. 2019


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

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

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


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Man Behind Slogan Promoting French Preservation

"The great replacement has become a household word. I take responsibility for it. I believe in its relevance."

THOUGH the writer had already lived in his castle for a quarter of a century, it was only three years ago that he finally restored it to its original purpose as a fortress.

The writer, Renaud Camus, rebuilt the top 10 feet of the 14th-century tower, giving him an even more commanding view of his surroundings: the village of 40 souls below; the Pyrenees, faintly visible some 100 miles south despite the midsummer haze; and, in every direction, the peaceful, rolling hills of the “eternal France” that he describes as under assault from what he calls hordes of immigrants.

Up in his castle, the France that Mr. Camus imagines has made him one of the most influential thinkers on the far right in his own country and elsewhere. In his writings, he describes an ongoing “invasion” of France by immigrants bent on “conquest” of its white, European population. To him, the immigrants are “colonizing” France by giving birth to more children and making its cities, towns — and even villages — unlivable.

Others have espoused similar ideas. But Mr. Camus’s portrayal of demographic change — le “grand remplacement,” or the supposed “great replacement” of France’s original population by newer arrivals, mostly from Africa — has become an extremist talking point, cited by mass killers in distant parts of the world.

“It’s a slogan that dramatizes the situation, talking of great replacement the same way we speak of the great barbarian invasions,” said Rudy Reichstadt, an expert on political extremism at the Fondation Jean-Jaurès research institute in Paris. “Now, if you go to a horse race betting bar and talk politics, and you mention the great replacement, people will understand what you mean.”

The idea of the great replacement has directly influenced French politicians and thinkers. Interpreted and repackaged across the internet, it has resonated widely beyond France, including in white supremacist circles.

The men held in two recent mass shootings — at a Walmart in El Paso and at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand — both referred to the “great replacement” and the need to defend white populations against invading outsiders.

While decrying the killings, Mr. Camus said he had no regrets about coming up with the term.

“The great replacement has become a household word,” he said. “I take responsibility for it. I believe in its relevance.”

Stroking his white beard, Mr. Camus, who is not related to the 20th-century writer Albert Camus, sat in his expansive study — half the top floor of his castle filled with books and a handful of African masks. In contrast to the harsh words he chooses to describe France’s immigrants, he spoke softly, and sometimes with the mannerisms of another era. He and his partner of two decades, Pierre, addressed each other as “vous,” though they said they sometimes slipped into the informal “tu.”

Ensconced in his castle in southern France, in a village an hour’s drive across country roads from the nearest train station, Mr. Camus, 73, is perhaps an unlikely source of inspiration for the world’s far right and white supremacists. Until a few years ago, Mr. Camus was known, mainly by other French writers, as a novelist and a pioneering writer of gay literature. An early book about his sexual experiences, called “Tricks,” remains his most translated work.

Growing up in a conservative rural town in central France, Mr. Camus went to Paris in the 1960s and found a niche in the capital’s literary and artistic scene. He befriended Roland Barthes, who wrote the preface for “Tricks.” As a member of the Socialist Party, he became active in politics on the left.

Still, Mr. Camus longed to return to the countryside. He sold his Paris apartment and, in 1992, used the money to buy and restore the castle in Plieux, fulfilling a lifelong fantasy.

A few years after moving to Plieux, he had what he calls an epiphany that would shape his political views. While visiting a 1,000-year-old village in southern France, he said he saw a group of veiled women milling around a fountain.

“And in the ancient windows — beautiful, paired gothic windows — veiled women would appear all of a sudden,” he said. “It was really the population of eternal France that was changing.”

THAT led to the formation in 2002 of his own political party, l’In-nocence, which calls for an end to all immigration and promotes sending immigrants and their children back to their countries of origin.

But it was a decade later, when he publicly began using the term “great replacement” and wrote a book with the same title, that his influence in France began to be felt.

The great replacement, he wrote, indicates the “replacement of a people, the indigenous French people, by one or others; of its culture by the loss of its cultural identity through multiculturalism.”

He says he sees no contradiction between his earlier life as a gay writer on the left and his current role as an ideological beacon for the right, including violent extremists. He contends he has always told “the hard truths.”

Previous generations of European immigrants had been drawn by “love” for France, he wrote. But the newer arrivals since the 1970s — mostly from France’s former colonies in the Maghreb and in sub-Saharan Africa — didn’t come “as friends.” Instead, he declared, they came as conquerors, filled with hatred and a desire to punish France.

He singled out Muslims for “not wanting to integrate” into French society.

According to government data, immigrants now make up about 10 percent of France’s population, many of them nonwhite, up from about 7 percent in the 1970s, or 5 percent in 1946, the year of Mr. Camus’s birth — a steady rise, though far from the overwhelming one described by Mr. Camus…

Mr. Camus’s ideas — and his subsequent call to support Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of the National Rally party — turned him into a pariah in France’s literary and media circles.

His longtime publishers dropped him, forcing him to publish on his own. “The Great Replacement” was never translated into English. Invitations from mainstream news shows dried up. Lifelong friendships came to an end.

But even as Mr. Camus became toxic, his phrase gained traction, first on French farright websites, like “Observatoire de Grand Remplacement.” Politicians on the right and far right, including Ms. Le Pen, used the term.

Then “great replacement” slipped into the right-wing mainstream. While Mr. Camus’s books went largely unsold, best-selling writers, like Eric Zemmour, have expounded on the idea.

Jean-Yves Camus, an expert on the far right at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, said that the author of “The Great Replacement” viewed the world from the perspective of a novelist and aesthete without recognition of realworld consequences.

“He should become aware that in our universe, where everything happens in real time, what you say from the position of an aesthete or a writer, can instantly be transformed into a gun and bullets,” said the expert, who is not related to Renaud Camus.

Isolated in his castle, Mr. Camus grew even more removed from the actual France he purported to describe — one filled, he believes, with people of Arab and African descent burning with hatred for France and plotting its conquest. In fact, he acknowledged that his understanding of such people was based mainly on Twitter and Facebook.

He said he almost never read newspapers or watched television.

“Distance is very, very necessary for observation,” he said.


My Book Defending Free Speech Has Been Pulled

James Flynn

I recently completed a book defending free speech. Emerald Press scheduled it for publication but then decided not to proceed. Here’s what it said about the book in Emerald’s September 2019 catalogue:

In Defense of Free Speech: The University as Censor
Author James R. Flynn, University of Otago, New Zealand

Synopsis: The good university is one that teaches students the intellectual skills they need to be intelligently critical—of their own beliefs and of the narratives presented by politicians and the media. Freedom to debate is essential to the development of critical thought, but on university campuses today free speech is restricted for fear of causing offence. In Defense of Free Speech surveys the underlying factors that circumscribe the ideas tolerated in our institutions of learning. James Flynn critically examines the way universities censor their teaching, how student activism tends to censor the opposing side and how academics censor themselves, and suggests that few, if any, universities can truly be seen as ‘good.’ In an age marred by fake news and social and political polarization, In Defense of Free Speech makes an impassioned argument for a return to critical thought.

I was notified of Emerald’s decision not to proceed by Tony Roche, Emerald’s publishing director, in an email on 10th June:

"I am contacting you in regard to your manuscript In Defense of Free Speech: The University as Censor. Emerald believes that its publication, in particular in the United Kingdom, would raise serious concerns. By the nature of its subject matter, the work addresses sensitive topics of race, religion, and gender. The challenging manner in which you handle these topics as author, particularly at the beginning of the work, whilst no doubt editorially powerful, increase the sensitivity and the risk of reaction and legal challenge. As a result, we have taken external legal advice on the contents of the manuscript and summarize our concerns below.

There are two main causes of concern for Emerald. Firstly, the work could be seen to incite racial hatred and stir up religious hatred under United Kingdom law. Clearly you have no intention of promoting racism but intent can be irrelevant. For example, one test is merely whether it is “likely” that racial hatred could be stirred up as a result of the work. This is a particular difficulty given modern means of digital media expression. The potential for circulation of the more controversial passages of the manuscript online, without the wider intellectual context of the work as a whole and to a very broad audience—in a manner beyond our control—represents a material legal risk for Emerald.

Secondly, there are many instances in the manuscript where the actions, conversations and behavior of identifiable individuals at specific named colleges are discussed in detail and at length in relation to controversial events. Given the sensitivity of the issues involved, there is both the potential for serious harm to Emerald’s reputation and the significant possibility of legal action. Substantial changes to the content and nature of the manuscript would need to be made, or Emerald would need to accept a high level of risk both reputational and legal. The practical costs and difficulty of managing any reputational or legal problems that did arise are of further concern to Emerald.

For the reasons outlined above, it is with regret that Emerald has taken the decision not to publish your manuscript. We have not taken this decision lightly, but following senior level discussions within the organization, and with the additional benefit of specialist legal advice. I realize that this decision will come as a disappointment to you and hope that you will be able to find an alternative publisher with whom to take the work to publication."

If the book is sober and responsible, and if Emerald’s letter is correct, that poses a question: Does Britain have free speech? The above letter inspired me to change the title from “In Defense of Free Speech: The University as Censor” to “A Banned Book: Free speech and universities.” I hope that some publishers will contact me (, so they can decide whether the book is worthy of publication and whether it runs afoul of any of the U.K.’s laws. If a journalist gets in touch, I can also send them the text for their eyes only. Let me give an outline of its contents.

The benefits of free speech

First, I give a general defense of free speech and criticize Jason Stanley and Jeremy Waldron insofar as their views differ from my own. I then use the case of Charles Murray being denied a platform at Middlebury College to show what students and staff miss out on when they refuse to hear or read those who offend them:

[My] dividends from reading Arthur Jensen, Richard Lynn, and Charles Murray: a plausible case that genetic differences between the major races are unlikely to confer an advantage or a handicap for desirable personal traits; a far better understanding of black America; a method that sheds light on personal development and leaves room for personal autonomy; an understanding of how differently males and females respond to formal education; a case that genetic differences between the genders seem cognitively trivial; a somewhat better understanding of the Chinese both at home and in America; a case for affirmative action that does not depend on racial bias; and most of all, a better understanding of the dynamics of a truly humane and egalitarian society.

This is the sad fate that the mob at Middlebury wanted to save me from. If I had not read these “discredited” scholars, I would still have a half-educated mind full of passion about race and gender and class and not much else.

A history of oppression

I then chart the history of the sins of universities against free speech with an emphasis on the McCarthy era (when conservatives barred or fired those they considered suspect), through the transitional period of Vietnam, to the present (when many on the “left” do much the same, particularly student protest groups). I detail the use of speech codes, and trigger warnings, and departments that have a party line (“Walden codes”) to discipline, expel, fire, and, above all, to defend indoctrination rather than education.

I include among the latter some African American studies departments that will not assign books or papers by conservative thinkers, some women’s studies departments that reject incontrovertible social science that runs counter to the official feminist ideology, and some (almost all) education departments that define their purpose as sending out “missionaries” to convert schools to their vision of an egalitarian society. I also provide a history of America’s schoolteachers, tracing how the low status of their profession has made the schools susceptible to adopting a missionary role.

Finally, I criticize the failure of universities to provide their students with the critical intelligence they need to be autonomous human beings and good citizens, despite the fact that they all state this as their chief objective.

Is this book worth reading?

Well, it will not be read unless it is published. To discuss a point made in Emerald’s letter, every reference to a person is documented by citations of published material or material in the public domain. At present, I can only cite the testimony of distinguished scholars. Some of the following were referees who sent their opinions to Emerald and some read it to give me an informal assessment.

This book is an education in itself…It is a brilliant and courageous book.
—Thomas Bouchard

That’s shocking [the rejection] even by the standards of contemporary restrictions on free speech, and especially ironic given the subject of your book.
—Steven Pinker

It is ironic that a book critical of restrictions on free speech should itself be rejected by a publisher who is worried about the book falling afoul of UK laws on incitement to racial hatred.  In fact this is doubly ironic, given that the book is by Jim Flynn, after whom the “Flynn effect” is named, because the Flynn effect is all about the difference that culture and environment — rather than genes — makes to IQ scores. The draft I have seen has the potential to be an important and controversial work that will be very widely discussed.
—Peter Singer

I must admit I was shocked. Well, anyway, they have given you material for another chapter!
—John C. Loehlin

This is in-[expletive]-credible…Your book should not be considered even close to the fringes of politically correct discourse. If publishers are scared of your book, the censorship problem is a few orders of magnitude worse than I realized.
—Charles Murray


Discussing why free speech should extend to questions of race and gender necessarily involves presenting views (such as those of Jensen, Murray, and Lynn), if only for purposes of rebuttal, which upset those who believe that racial and sexual equality is self-evident. If upsetting students or staff or the public is a reason for banning speech, all such discussion is at an end. I end the book by quoting from George Orwell’s original preface to Animal Farm, which was itself rejected by Faber and Faber for being too critical of Stalin: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

James R. Flynn is an intelligence researcher who gave his name to the Flynn Effect. He is Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.


As Fundraising Shoots Up, Lawsuits Threaten Southern Poverty Law Center
The embattled far-left Southern Poverty Law Center flew past the half-billion-dollar mark in assets for the first time, ending the last tax year with $518.3 million in assets—after raking in $122.9 million that year, according to a newly disclosed IRS filing.

To provide a sense of scale, $518.3 million is more in assets than either the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Inc. ($452.8 million) or Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. ($446.3 million) had at the end of 2017.

Critics say the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a public-interest law firm whose founder, Morris Dees, and president, Richard Cohen, were ousted earlier this year amid accusations of racial discrimination and employee abuse, unfairly tars conservatives as racist as a matter of policy, treats all opposition to illegal or legal immigration, open borders, and multiculturalism as hate, and all political expression of those views as hate speech.

The SPLC, critics also say, deliberately lumps together all sorts of groups on America’s political right in order to intimidate and “de-platform” non-leftists. Conservative, libertarian, anti-tax, immigration reductionist, and other groups are all viewed as legitimate targets for vilification.

The group has its defenders in the media who take its work seriously. For example, in Rolling Stone, Amelia McDonell-Parry wrote that “the SPLC has developed a reputation for being an authority on extremist hate groups, monitoring and exposing their activities to the public, media and law enforcement.”

The Center appears to have brought in donor dollars by blaming something it calls the “Trump Effect” for thousands of cases of alleged “prejudice,” “bullying,” and “hate crimes” in the nation’s schools. Within weeks of President Donald Trump’s election, the group released the results “of a new survey, answered by more than 10,000 teachers across the country detailing the negative effect the election has had on school climates.”

The SPLC called on the president-elect “to immediately and forcefully publicly denounce racism and bigotry and to call on Americans to stop all acts of hate” even though there was little evidence from across the country that Trump supporters had done anything wrong. To the contrary, media reports at the time were bursting with stories of Trump supporters and Make America Great Again hat-wearers being violently set upon by angry liberals and progressives.

As part of its mission, the SPLC brings civil rights lawsuits that attack school choice, tracks so-called hate groups, publishes newsletters, and provides educational materials and grant money to teachers in hopes of reaching young minds.

Among the conservative groups that the SPLC has labeled “hate groups” are the Center for Security Policy, David Horowitz Freedom Center, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and Christians and Jews United for Israel. SPLC official Mark Potok has said, “I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.”

Some groups resist the label. In June 2018, the SPLC paid more than $3 million as part of a legal settlement to former Muslim extremist Maajid Nawaz for wrongfully placing him and his London-based counter-extremism group, Quilliam, on an anti-Muslim hate list.

Although a federal judge recently dismissed a racketeering lawsuit brought by the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) against SPLC leaders for blacklisting it as a “hate group,” other lawsuits appear to be in the making.

Liberty Counsel and 60 other organizations are considering filing defamation lawsuits against the SPLC, according to PJMedia.

In a lawsuit already filed, a federal judge in Missouri refused in July to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against the SPLC by Craig Nelsen a former heroin addict, who created the Robinson Jeffers Boxing Club (RJBC), a 13-week residency “life treatment” program for men with opioid addictions or other serious problems.

Nelsen said the program was “designed to address the specific challenges unique to white males in the United States, [but that] the program was open to, and would benefit, men in distress of any race.” True to form, the SPLC claimed Nelsen was a neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant, and racist, and that his club was for whites only.

Conservatives—and more than a few leftists—have long complained that the SPLC perennially hypes and exaggerates incidents involving racism in America in order to promote its radical agenda and raise a mountain of money.

JoAnn Wypijewski wrote in The Nation magazine that “No one has been more assiduous in inflating the profile of [hate] groups” than the center’s founder, Morris Dees.

The SPLC “spends most of its time—and money—on a relentless fundraising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate,” Ken Silverstein wrote in Harper’s magazine.

The $518.3-million figure for SPLC assets for the year ended Oct. 31, 2018, was up $41.3 million from $477 million the year before.

The Montgomery, Alabama-based SPLC also beefed up its workforce, reporting having 360 employees and 514 volunteers, compared to 302 employees and 197 volunteers the year before. As a result of the workforce expansion, the group paid out $29.2 million in salaries and benefits, compared to $23.9 million the year before, according to a Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (IRS Form 990) signed by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit’s secretary-treasurer, Teenie Hutchison on Jan. 31, 2019.

The SPLC acknowledges in the IRS filing that it “has ownership in several foreign corporations,” indirectly owns “several passive foreign investment companies,” and has financial dealings in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven in the Caribbean.

The SPLC famously ignited controversy when it labeled a conservative group, Family Research Council, a “hate group” because it opposes homosexuality on religious grounds. Liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank called it “absurd” for the SPLC to place FRC, which he called “a mainstream conservative thinktank,” “in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church.”

But gay rights activist Floyd Lee Corkins acknowledged he acted based on the dubious hate group report, shooting up FRC national headquarters in 2012, nonfatally wounding building manager Leo Johnson before he was subdued. Corkins said he wanted to kill as many FRC employees as possible, after which he planned to rub Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces as they died. Chick-fil-A became a target of LGBT protests in 2012 when its CEO, Dan T. Cathy, acknowledged he was “guilty as charged” of supporting anti-gay-marriage initiatives.

The SPLC has tried to spread its radical views to the education sector through its Teaching Tolerance program, which critics say is a means of ideologically indoctrinating students.

In late 2017, the group started handing out money as part of its Educator Grants program “to support projects that promote affirming school climates and educate youth to thrive in a diverse democracy.” The grants “support social justice work at the classroom, school and district level.”

“Teachers and administrators know best how to come up with innovative ways to teach their students to fight bigotry and hate,” Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance said. “We want to help them turn those ideas into projects that will have a big impact on the way students see themselves and how they view and treat others.”

“Our hope is to build, over time, a network of educators who are enthusiastic about learning from each other and who will share their experiences fighting injustice in their schools with the broader Teaching Tolerance community,” Costello says. “Instead of allowing prejudice and hate to fester in the minds of our young people, we want to cultivate future generations with greater empathy, kindness and understanding for one another.”

On its IRS form, the Center disclosed having given more than $600,000 in grants.

What are educators doing with the money?

Grant recipient Amy Dickerson worked with her students in New Orleans on what should replace Confederate statues.

“We started the project with reflecting on our own identity and generating adjectives to describe ourselves,” Dickerson said. “Students studied the artist Nick Cave, who creates wearable pieces of art called Soundsuits that express his identity and views on social justice.”

In Boston, a grant was used to “empower” “black and brown girls” to “practice self-love, self-advocacy and sisterhood.” Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman elected to the Boston City Council, addressed the crowd. Pressley, a far-left Democrat, is now a U.S. representative from Massachusetts who is a member of the radical so-called Squad headed up by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist from New York.

Teaching Tolerance embraced the Global Climate Strike protest event Sept. 20.

“From the civil rights movement to recent youth-led movements to stop gun violence, we have asked educators to learn from young people’s activism and to instill students with an understanding of their power and value.”

Educators were encouraged to “introduce students to young people around the world who have truly been at the forefront of the fight for environmental justice—and made a difference in the face of apathy. Perhaps most famously, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has helped inspire global action and conversation through her activism.”

Educators “should consider introducing students to the diverse coalition of young people calling for climate justice.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center did not respond to a request for comment.


Australia: Abortion is decriminalised in New South Wales after weeks of contentious debate and heated protests

This is a storm in a teacup.  Abortion has been decriminalized in NSW for years -- ever since the Heatherbrae case. The 1971 case of R v Wald ruled that abortions do not contravene the laws in certain circumstances.

That case involved a criminal trial of five people – most of whom were health care professionals. The five defendants were involved in performing an abortion at the Heatherbrae clinic in Bondi. All were charged under section 83 of the Crimes Act.

The trial judge found that an abortion is lawful if there is an ‘economic, social or medical ground or reason’ upon which the doctor could honestly and reasonably believe that an abortion could avoid a ‘serious danger to the pregnant woman’s life or her physical or mental health.’

All five defendants were ultimately found ‘not guilty’ on that basis – and the ruling opened the doors to women seeking to terminate a pregnancy for reasons such as financial disadvantage or instability, or fears of social stigma and judgment – factors which may negatively affect a woman’s mental wellbeing.

The judgment also affirmed that abortions do not need to be performed in hospitals – paving the way for women’s health clinics around the state.

NSW parliament has passed laws decriminalising abortion following a marathon debate and weeks of protest. There was applause in the lower house on Thursday as the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 passed its final hurdle.

It comes after the controversial bill passed the upper house 26 votes to 14 on Wednesday night following nearly 40 hours of discussion - making it the third longest debate in the state's house of review.

The bill, presented to parliament in August by Independent MP Alex Greenwich, takes abortion out of the criminal code and allows terminations up to 22 weeks.

'Thank you to all members for the role you have played in this historic reform ... we can feel proud that part of our legacy will be the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW,' the Member for Sydney said. 

An amendment passed in the upper house recognised doctors performing abortions after 22 weeks could seek advice from a multi-disciplinary team or hospital advisory committee.

'With the passing of this bill, our parliament affirms that we trust women,' Labor MP and bill co-sponsor Jo Haylen said just before the final vote. 'We trust women to make decisions about their own lives and about their own bodies.'

The legislation was opposed by religious groups, anti-abortion activists and several MPs who raised concerns about late-term and sex-selective abortions, conscientious objection and the way the bill was introduced. 

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce, and former prime minister Tony Abbott were both outspoken in their opposition of the bill.

Joyce described it as the 'slavery debate of our time,' while Abbott accused the NSW government of putting forward 'the most radical abortion laws in this country.'

Liberal and Labor MPs were allowed a conscience vote on the bill.

Tensions in the government reached a climax last week when Liberal MPs Tanya Davies, Mathew Mason-Cox and Lou Amato said they would move a leadership spill motion against Premier Gladys Berejiklian over her handling of the bill.

The rebel MPs, who ultimately withdrew the motion, said it had been made clear that 'at an absolute minimum' four key amendments were required to ensure continued Liberal Party membership.

Ms Davies on Thursday supported amendments made to the bill, saying they created more safeguards and brought the bill to a better place.  

Abortions after 22 weeks are allowed with the approval of two 'specialist medical practitioners.'

All terminations after 22 weeks will now have to be performed in a public hospital.

'Many of us within the Parliament, and also outside in our communities, had concerns with the original bill ... concessions, amendments, changes to the original bill were moved through both houses of Parliament and that is a good thing,' she said.

The legislation that passed on Thursday is more conservative than the initial bill that Greenwich introduced after changes were made following opposition.

Labor MP Penny Sharpe, who is one of 15 co-sponsors of the bill, on Wednesday night said the vote was 119 years in the making.

'The current law has meant women and doctors have a threat of 10 years in jail for making this decision and that not okay,' she told parliament. 'This is a massive step forward for women in this state.'



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

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

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


Friday, September 27, 2019

How Israelis could benefit from US-style politics

by Jeff Jacoby

FOR THE SECOND time in five months, Israeli voters last week reached the end of a hard-fought election campaign and went to the polls to choose a new government. And for the second time in five months, nobody knows what the new government will look like.

The complexity of Israeli elections can make even hardcore political junkies whimper. Since there are 120 seats in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, a government must have the support of at least 61 members. But no Israeli party has ever won an outright majority: After last week's election, the Blue & White party, headed by former general Benny Gantz, had 33 seats, edging Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party with 31.

Which means that Gantz or Netanyahu must assemble a coalition with smaller parties — or form a unity government and take turns as prime minister. So far, the obstacles to either path are formidable. Blue & White has vowed not to share power with Netanyahu as long as he faces potential corruption charges. Netanyahu has promised to keep the religious in any coalition he joins. Gantz says he will only a join a "secular" unity government that excludes religious parties. Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin, is pushing the two men to find a way to break the stalemate. And if they can't? Well, there are already rumblings about a third election.

What should Americans make of all this? What are the most important takeaways from the election? Here are four:

1. There are worse things than a two-party system.

With rare exceptions, every US election campaign is contested by Republicans and Democrats. The two parties have dominated American public life for more than 150 years, and the shortcomings of our system are well known — from the polarizing of political debate to the stifling of independent voices.

Yet for all its flaws, our two-party structure means that minor parties can never thwart the will of the electorate. In Israel, mainstream parties with broad public support are routinely held hostage by tiny parties more committed to their ideological purity and narrow parochial concerns. Indeed, it was the intransigence of just such a minor faction — Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party, which prevented the formation of a coalition after the April election — that forced Israel to hold a second election.

2. Prime ministers, like presidents, should be term-limited.

No American president can run for a third term — period. Even presidents who believe themselves indispensable must leave office after a few years. But there is no time limitation on Israeli prime ministers, and it was never Netanyahu's intention to step down voluntarily.

In many ways, "King Bibi" has been a first-rate leader. But his determination to stay in power led him to the belief, in the words of Israeli analyst Yossi Klein Halevy, "that his personal interests and the interests of the state converged." Instead of grooming potential successors, he repeatedly undercut anyone who seemed to be a rising Likud star. That kept Netanyahu unchallenged at the helm of the party. But it ensured that once his appeal faded, the party would pay the price. Which is just what happened: Likud effectively lost eight seats between the April election and last week's do-over.

3. On the biggest issue — security — Israelis aren't divided.

The media have been describing Blue & White, which is now the Knesset's largest party, as "center-left." That is true in some areas, especially when it comes to the influence that religious authorities and Orthodox Jewish rules should have on Israeli life. But Blue & White is led by three former Israel army chiefs of staff: Gantz, Moshe Ya'alon, and Gabi Ashkenazi. They are not starry-eyed peaceniks prepared to squander the country's security."Netanyahu's remarkable staying power," writes Halevy, "comes from one source: his ability to project power, to embody the Jewish will to survive." Many voters felt comfortable making the switch to Blue & White because they think Israeli safety and deterrence, so effectively tended to by Netanyahu, will be just as well maintained under new management.

4. A vibrant Middle East democracy? Only in Israel.

No other country in Israel's neighborhood has anything like the Jewish state's boisterous and entrenched democratic tradition. There are no competitive elections in Egypt and Syria. Voters have no influence in Lebanon and Jordan. Dictatorial regimes, not the people, control Iran and the Palestinian Authority. Only in Israel do the people go to the polls to chart their nation's course, in elections that are heatedly contested and democratic to the core. That core includes Israel's Arab citizens, who turned out in near-record numbers to vote, and won 13 seats — more than a tenth of the Knesset.

Americans stand with Israel because in it they recognize a liberal democracy much like their own. Last week's election leaves Israelis trying to figure out their immediate political future. But about their enduring commitment to liberty and self-government, there is no doubt at all.


Girls vs. Boys: Brain Differences Might Explain Tech Behaviors

Many parents of both boys and girls have witnessed striking differences in the way their kids use technology, with their sons generally gravitating to videogames and their daughters often spending more of their screen time scrolling through social media.Emerging research indicates that brain differences between males and females help account for the split.

“It is entirely plausible from a neurological perspective that there’s an underlying biological component to this difference people are seeing,” said Larry Cahill, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, Irvine, who has spent decades researching gender differences in the brain.

In this column I’ve chronicled the aggression some boys exhibit when they have to shut off videogames as well as the problems some young men face when they go to college and have to juggle game time and school work without mom and dad’s help.

That led some readers to question why girls don’t appear to be having these problems. Of course, girls have issues of their own, such as smuggling “burner” phones to keep up with forbidden social media accounts. It’s just that when it comes to videogames, most girls seem to have a better handle on when to stop.

According to a 2017 survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 41% of teenage boys said they spend too much time playing videogames while only 11% of girls said they do.

Marc Potenza, a psychiatry professor at Yale University, teamed up with researchers at universities in China to find out why. Using functional MRIs, which measure brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow, the team studied neural responses in young male and female gamers, particularly in the parts of the brain associated with reward processing and craving— a motivating factor in addiction.

When the men and women were shown photos of people playing videogames, those parts of the men’s brains showed higher levels of activation than those parts of the women’s brains.

Brain regions that have been implicated in drug-addiction studies also were shown to be more highly activated in the men after gaming.

The researchers said the results suggest men could be more biologically prone than women to developing internet gaming disorder.

But girls and women aren’t free from problems when it comes to digital media. Data from Pew shows that, in general, women use social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest far more than men. Many girls and women are drawn to those photo-sharing sites because they like to form bonds and find similarities, says Rosanna Guadagno, a social psychologist at Stanford University.

Even if women only use those sites more than men because that is where their friends are, many experts and parents say they have found that girls appear to have a greater fear of missing out, which compels them to keep up with what their friends are posting.

Some studies show that girls feel the ill effects of too much social media use, such as depression and anxiety, more than boys do.

Liz Repking, a cyber safety expert and mother of three in suburban Chicago, has seen the differences in her own sons and daughter. This summer, her 15- year-old daughter said her phone was driving her crazy. She told her that she felt pressured to follow her friends’ Instagram stories and like and comment on their posts, and that it was eating up a lot of her time, Ms. Repking said.

Her sons, 18 and 21, use social media—Snapchat, in particular— mostly to communicate with friends but don’t feel compelled to keep up with what people are posting.

“There’s more peer pressure and validation I see with it for her than for the boys,” she said.In August, Ms. Repking’s daughter decided to impose some limits, such as being on her phone no more than three hours a day and checking Instagram less frequently.

“When I asked her a week later how that was going, she said, ‘I’m only looking at Instagram three times a day but I can’t catch up,’ “ Ms. Repking said.

One might argue that multiplayer videogames are the way boys connect with friends online.But it’s different. “Videogames can be social but there’s also a physical distance because you don’t see photos, and communication is largely through text, which is more consistent with the direct way men tend to communicate with each other,” Dr. Guadagno said.

Researchers at the University of Zurich looked at how differences in brain functioning can help explain why women tend to be more prosocial—that is, helpful, generous and cooperative—than men. In the 2017 study, they hypothesized that the areas of women’s brains related to reward processing are more active when they share rewards and that those areas in men are more active when receiving selfish rewards. Brain scans conducted on men and women, in which they chose between receiving a monetary reward only for themselves or one that involved sharing money with others, supported their theory.

Game Overload

Far more boys than girls say they spend toomuch time playing videogames

The Lego Group learned a lot about the prosocial nature of girls more than a decade ago when it conducted research on who buys the brick building kits. At the time, about 90% of the Lego sets purchased in the U.S. were intended for boys. That led the company to conduct more research with girls which revealed, among other things, that girls wanted more role-playing opportunities. Lego created a pastel-colored line called Friends, which sold well but was criticized by some consumer groups for reinforcing gender stereotypes.

Academics who study gender differences also have faced backlash for pointing out that boys and girls aren’t the same.”It’s not a debate that there are sex influences throughout the mammalian brain,” said Dr. Cahill.

“How they all play out is what we should responsibly explore.” Scientists say understanding those differences is critical to parents’ ability to help kids navigate the fast-changing world of tech.

Our brains haven’t caught up to modern times, says Dr. Guadagno, which is why kids’ digital behavior can feel so confusing and overwhelming to parents trying to manage it. “Human brains are wired for survival on the savanna,” she said. “They’re not wired for social media and videogames.”


Hundreds of doctors call for an urgent inquiry into risky treatment of children who believe they are transgender - as website of man who led the petition is sabotaged

More than 200 doctors have called for an urgent inquiry into the risky medical treatment of children who believed they were transgender.

John Whitehall, a professor of paediatrics at Western Sydney University, is taking a stand against minors being prescribed puberty blocker hormones as a precursor to getting a sex change in adulthood.

His petition to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, calling for a parliamentary inquiry into childhood gender dysphoria, received 131 signatures on its first day earlier this week.

That number grew to 200 within three days, with doctors concerned about children as young as nine being rendered infertile as a result of taking the controversial medication.

Their Word Press site, however, has been sabotaged with hackers preventing it from accepting new signatures.

'The site has been subject to an attack, subsequent to it being publicised in the media, and the signatory page is suspended until we can work out how to prevent this,' it said on Wednesday. 'Apologies – watch this space for developments.'

Professor Whitehall also wants the inquiry to determine if puberty blockers had the potential to cause 'the irreversible loss' of fertility.

'I write to thank you for your concern about the rapidly increasing number of Australian children reported to be suffering from gender dysphoria and to express my concern at the lack of a scientific basis for the medical pathway of treatment of childhood gender dysphoria,' he said in his letter.

Shortly before noon on Wednesday, his Word Press website was sabotaged.

Transgender activists and the ABC's Media Watch program have been critical of Professor Whitehall, even though he has a medical career spanning 50 years.

Puberty blockers are a relatively new treatment but there is evidence they can affect fertility, with Professor Whitehall concerned at children as young as nine getting the medication.

He is leading the charge against the sharp rise in the number of children being prescribed these puberty blockers.

In his letter to Mr Hunt, he referred to evidence from Dr Robert Kosky, a former director of psychiatric services at Perth's Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the state director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services.

He noted that between 1979 and 1984, only eight gender-confused children sought help.

Now, two to three children were being presented to the Perth children's hospital every week.

'I respectfully propose that a parliamentary inquiry would be the best forum for the proper consideration of a social phenomenon that has emerged with such speed and caused such consternation,' Professor Whitehall said in his letter.

'It seems that public policy and medical "best practice" is being declared in haste without a sufficient foundation of fact and reflection, and a formal parliamentary inquiry could provide that foundation.'

The spokesman for the doctors' letter, Rob Pollnitz, a retired paediatrician with 50 years' experience, said he believed gender confusion in children and adolescents was chiefly a psychological issue, not biological.

'Before we give them unproven treatments with hormones and surgery, we ought to do our very best to sort out their psychological issues,' he said.

World-renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist Christopher Gillberg said the unproven treatment of gender-confused children was 'possibly one of the greatest scandal¬s in medical history'.

Last month Carlotta, Australia's first transgender woman to star in a TV drama show, spoke out against teenagers being prescribed puberty blockers.

The 76-year-old cabaret singer, also known as Carol Spencer, told the Studio 10 program she was 'strongly against' doctors approving hormone treatment for children before they had a true grasp of who they were.

The former television actress, who had a sex change in 1971, said children 'should not be put on treatments' until they have 'matured and are of age'.

Kirralie Smith, the director of the grassroots Binary group concerned about the de-gendering of society, said doctors needed to be allowed to speak frankly about puberty blockers.

'We need these doctors to be able to do the research, do the studies without being labelled or threatened in any way as bigots or bullies,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'This enquiry needs to go ahead so that doctors can have the unhindered ability to look at the research without activists trying to shut them down.' 


The Epochal Challenge of Mass Immigration

Wolfgang Kasper

Allow me to begin on a personal note. When I was a child, my family was “ethnically cleansed” and, soon after that, we became refugees because my father had to flee for his liberty from the Soviet effort to “harvest” German engineers for the post-war reconstruction of the Russian Fatherland. Later, we became migrants. As an adult, I have been a guest worker in half a dozen countries. And over the past forty-six years I have lived in Australia, the country with the biggest share of foreign-born residents, bar Israel.

I therefore claim to know a thing or two about migration.

Migration and integration

The most important thing I know is that one cannot and must not discuss the act of migration without considering the subsequent process of integration. To me, integration means that the newcomers must make every effort to learn the host community’s rules of conduct in the public domain, and obey them. What meals they cook at home, to what gods they pray—that is left to their own private choice. Integration, though personally gratifying and potentially rewarding, is a huge challenge. It touches on deeply held feelings of personal identity and demands the adaptation of normally persistent cultural norms[1].

Insisting on the newcomers adopting the habits and modes of public behaviour of the host community is not racist. Racism is abhorrent, because it amounts to discrimination according to what we have been given by nature, characteristics which we cannot change. By contrast, habits and modes of behaviour come from nurture; they are cultural features, which are learnt and can be relearnt.

In this article I shall use the shorthand “the West” to describe the countries of Western Europe, North America and Australasia, which are the three pillars of Western civilisation. By and large, they are democratic and have capitalist market economies. I shall speak summarily of “the South” when I refer to Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Latin America, namely the regions that are the main sources of the new mass migration.

The new mass migration

As of 2017, an unprecedented 260 million people (or 3.4 per cent of the world’s population) were living in nations other than where they were born. Among them are about 40 million illegal migrants, who are poorly adjusted to life in the West and have little prospect of being allowed to stay. It is these people that I am mainly concerned with here[2]. They are mainly young men from dysfunctional communities and polities. They are not dirt-poor, and they have some, albeit idealised, notions about life in the West. They are able to raise the US$10,000 to $30,000 that one has to pay people smugglers to be conveyed to the West. Last year, I had a long chat with two Nigerians in front of converted steel containers at the edge of a forest in Bavaria, which were their home. One of them had sold his trucking business to bankroll the journey after people smugglers had told him that Germany welcomed people like him. His friend had paid $30,000, which about twenty family and friends had pooled to get him on the way.

Traffickers play a big role in motivating people to migrate. They are well organised and well resourced thanks to previous experience in the international drugs and arms trades[3]. And they are alert entrepreneurs when it comes to finding customers and discovering new migration routes. For them, smuggling people is a good business model: unlike arms or drugs, smuggled people do not come with the costs and risks of distribution in the destination countries. People take care of themselves once landed on a beach or moved across a border. Moreover, the traffickers can often rely on the cost-saving help of do-gooder NGOs and government agencies who act as accessories to this criminal business.

If we look at recent trends, take account of opinion polls in Southern countries about intentions to migrate to the West[4], consider the prospect of chain migration—followers taking advantage of compatriots having created a beachhead, and family reunions[5]—I would guess that 5 per cent of the 2 billion people in the South, some million souls, could join us in the West over the next three to five years. This is the potential if nothing resolute is done. We may soon hum a new version of the Beatles song: “All the many people, where do they all belong?”

My two Nigerians looked, based on my research, typical of the new type of illegal mass migrant. Unemployed and bored, they dreaded their second Bavarian winter. They were disgusted with the selfishness of the Germans, who had huge television sets at home, but had given them only tiny sets on which it was hard to watch the soccer. Most people in the South come from a sharing culture; they have little or no understanding of private, exclusive property rights; people who do not share what they have are regarded as selfish and punished with contempt. The two migrants also expressed testosterone-infused disgust with the immodestly dressed German women. And I heard about frequent fights with their Iranian neighbours in the container settlement, because the Iranians were Shia unbelievers. Moreover, the German police were remiss in their duty to side with them, true Sunni believers. Despite all these misgivings, my two interlocutors would not return home, because that would amount to admitting failure and be insufferably shameful.

Most migrants from the South lack the basic behavioural attitudes, let alone the life and work skills, to fit into modern Western society. A recent study by an intelligence unit of the German criminal police about the many Arab and Turkish criminal clans now making headlines concluded that “archaic anarchism, inclinations to take violent revenge and contempt for outsiders … have led to ethnically shuttered communities”. The imported culture among an estimated 200,000 illegal Middle Eastern immigrants makes it near-impossible for clan members to escape the control of the elders and to refuse to engage in criminal activities. In return, young clan members are rewarded with status symbols, for example big BMWs to drive, despite being on the dole. While these cases are of course extreme, lesser but similar obstacles to integration are widespread. There is a real danger that a new underclass, hostile to the host country’s culture, will establish itself[6].

Some 10 per cent of migrants are genuine refugees in the definition of the original Geneva Convention, having justified fears for their life and liberty. These people deserve our sympathy and our support. However, many of them, once in a safe place, begin shopping for a more advantageous host country and then become illegal migrants.

The remainder of the newcomers from the South are either illegals or are accepted under orderly, official settlement programs to stay permanently or temporarily. Concepts such as “asylum seeker” and “economic refugee” are poorly defined weasel words, which should be avoided when discussing rational immigration policies.

Differing reactions

The reactions of the incumbents in Western societies are asymmetric.

On the one hand, the affluent elites and the social-media class, who benefit from globalisation, rarely come into direct contact with illegal migrants. They are aware of the demographic decline in most Western nations and see the newcomers as a cheap new workforce, as well as customers for run-down real estate. Many in the left-leaning and the libertarian elites also plead for open borders to signal their virtuous political correctness, some even falling prey to “noble-cause obsession”. Some insist that the newcomers add diversity and need not integrate themselves in the new country[7]. Many, who move in circles that consciously or unconsciously share neo-Marxist or postmodern worldviews and therefore reject our egalitarian democracy and the market economy, welcome destitute immigrants as yet another identity group of victims who demonstrate just how unjust and objectionable our society is[8].

On the other side of the spectrum are those whom some in Washington call “the deplorables”. In Australia we have a nicer expression: “the battlers”. Already struggling to come to grips with accelerating technical, economic and social changes, they now encounter illegal immigrants in their midst and discover that these strangers often behave in off-putting ways[9]. This causes additional stresses, real or imagined. Only visit places like downtown Palermo, police no-go zones in the banlieu of Paris, Lisbon’s Afro bairros or the inner West of Sydney, and you will understand that the ordinary folk who call these places home find it difficult to cope with the newcomers. The battlers regard the many new immigrants as competitors for affordable housing, in many places competitors even for sheer living space. They also see them as competitors for scarce, tax-financed health and education services[10]. And they get angry when illiterate and rebellious students from a migrant background lower the standards in the local school and teachers leave. Unsurprisingly, they feel dispossessed, confused and marginalised when they discover that traditional norms no longer apply—that the familiar order, which they treasured and trusted, is no more. These uncertainties may turn into existential fear[11].

The battlers feel particularly threatened when politicians, civil servants, police officers and judges treat the migrants preferentially or tolerate their breaches of familiar norms and laws. They are deeply upset when, as is for example the case in Germany, they see that 240,000 illegals have exhausted all appeals against deportation, but have their deportation suspended. They perceive this as a gross dereliction of the core duty of government, namely the protection of the citizens. They feel betrayed and let down. No amount of clever regression analysis in ivory towers and no argument by the media will convince them that their fears are irrational. Only orderly, limited immigration will restore their confidence.

The rise of atavistic populism

Add to this mix a few opportunistic, populist political entrepreneurs who appeal to our deep-seated, atavistic tribal instincts, offering salvation and protection[12]. They can be found mainly on the nationalist Right, but ever so often we now also encounter left-wing and Green populists who preach primitive paleo-Marxist ideas. This new crop of populists presents itself everywhere as the only legitimate voice of the people. They depict the opposite side of politics, as well as more moderate democrats, as outright enemies and reject all compromise. Long before Twitter and other social media, Thomas Hobbes—writing in Latin—described this type of political actor as puer robustus, which I’d translate as “immature elbow politician”, an unyielding, self-centred stirrer and, by being unpredictable and erratic, always in the limelight. These operators endanger the tender institutions of democracy and the decent, free society.

Add—on top of this—a drift towards populism in the major political parties, whose DNA in any case contains but few liberal genes, and you have to conclude that the liberal, open democratic order enjoyed by recent generations can no longer be taken for granted. The “Fukuyama moment” of the 1990s has passed. History and ideological conflict have resumed with a vengeance.

Shared institutional assets

To understand what is happening, we get no help from standard economics or the econometric models, which the UN and World Bank use to argue for open borders. We need Austrian economics, an approach that is based on realistic assumptions about psychology and sociology and that above all takes account of the central role of institutions, namely the informal, evolved rules of social co-operation, such as customs, habits and unwritten conventions, supplemented by the formal rules designed by legislation and administrative practice. What matters in particular are respected and enforced property rights and their free use under the law. There is of course not only private property. Clubs own shared property rights, as do wider communities and nations[13].

These institutions, which most of us take for granted and which therefore seem invisible to most observers, form valuable, intangible capital. If shared and broadly obeyed, these rules create confidence and trust, reducing the transaction costs in interacting with each other. They also encourage creative discoveries of good solutions to emerging problems. Most of these shared assets have evolved in the light of experience, and some may have been hammered out in conflicts, even civil wars. Our time-tested institutions make us feel safe and at home. The right institutions make the difference between wealth and poverty, social harmony and discord, confidence and distrust, joie de vivre and angst.

The institutional order breaks down when numerous newcomers cannot or will not spontaneously comply with the prevailing rules or when newcomers profit from breaking rules. Sustaining a good order is thus to a large extent a matter of numbers. What follows from this for immigration policy is that the number of immigrants needs to be limited, and orderly immigration needs to be enforced to uphold the loyalty of the entire resident community. Border crossers who have thrown their ID papers away or who come with invented, impossible-to-verify hardship stories are not welcome.

Upholding a good order also means that the laws must be enforced. This will often require resolute government action, but freedom and security are not always cost-free. Immigrants who have been found to be illegals must be promptly repatriated. The current weak-kneed attitude of most Western governments to deportations, because they are difficult or are opposed by international bodies such as the UN and do-gooder NGOs, makes a joke of the law. It destroys the confidence of the citizenry in democratic government.

Much more must and can be done. A combination of bribery in the form of foreign aid to persuade corrupt Southern governments to take returnees back and robust measures to protect the external borders can be highly effective in stopping mass migration. Disappointed deportees would spread the word that the traffickers are telling lies. Information campaigns in Southern source countries that tell potential migrants the truth have also proven effective. The Australian policy of ensuring that no illegal migrant attempting to come in by boat will ever be granted settlement rights—though criticised by open-border advocates at home and abroad—has de facto stopped people-smuggling. Yet, most Western governments have so far been reluctant to act resolutely.

Governments who want to limit how many migrants to admit per year have of course to be selective. This necessarily involves profiling, something liberals are rightly uncomfortable with. But I know no alternative. Based on experience with migrant integration around the world, families and young people, especially educated professionals, tend to integrate themselves better than singles and older people. Also, people from neighbouring cultures tend to fit in relatively easily. Immigrants from societies with cultural flexibility normally make better fellow citizens than those from communities with rigid cultural norms. To be candid: experience in all Western nations tells me that East Asians fit in better than West Asians, who often organise themselves politically to impose the rules of their failed home countries on the new hosts[14]. It should also be acknowledged that host societies with free-market economies fare better with peaceful integration than regulated economies, such as those of Europe. Mass immigration to welfare states causes endless political headaches.

If immigrant selection is pragmatic, if the host country invests in the human-capital formation of selected new residents[15], and if the markets for labour and capital, goods and services are open and competitive, then an annual migrant inflow equal to 1 per cent of the resident population can in my opinion be sustained, with 1.5 per cent as an upper limit, judging by historic experiences in successful immigrant nations.

Orderly migration policy also requires a resolute commitment to repatriating illegal migrants. That is difficult, but not impossible. The governments of source countries are often opposed to accepting their citizens, never mind that this breaches national and international laws. The UN and other international bodies, instead of promoting the law, tend to exert pressure to stop deportations. This should not deter governments that are committed to defending liberty from acting robustly. They can stop development aid to recalcitrant governments and suspend the issue of visitor visas to the elites of those countries, or make these favours conditional on co-operation in accepting failed illegal migrants back. The latter are of course reluctant to admit failure and return voluntarily. Policies to bribe them with resettlement grants have had limited effect, but drastic reductions of welfare hand-outs, as for example Swiss authorities now implement, and the forced expulsion of those who commit crimes would seem measures that signal to the citizens that their government is committed to upholding the law and a confidence-inspiring order.

All this reinforces the conclusion that immigration must be limited, selective and orderly. It does not mean zero immigration. After all, the lesson of history is that openness to newcomers has been a key driver in the progressive evolution of the rule of law and individual freedom, which are now the hallmarks of Western civilisation. European rulers had to constrain their predatory instincts when they tried to attract talented people and capital by guaranteeing newcomers certain rights. Inter-jurisdictional rivalry in providing reliable, citizen-friendly rules played, for example, a big role when thuggish Renaissance princes tried to attract Jewish merchants and artisans from Iberia, or later when princes rivalled with each other to attract well-to-do, skilled Huguenots in order to foster the growth of their tax base[16]. More recently, the freedom they offered was a critical factor in turning Switzerland, the United States and Australia into prospering places where migrants thrive and, in turn, where openness helps to foster freedom.


The rejection of open borders and the advocacy of limited, selective and orderly immigration meet with a number of objections.

First, radical libertarians argue that every person should have complete freedom to live where he wants. They deny that communities and nations have legitimate rights to exclusive group property. However, may I settle in the living room of their family and help myself to the contents of their fridge? May I just walk into their club to use the swimming pool and the tennis court? They tend to march in demos demanding the sovereign self-determination and secure living spaces for Palestinians, Tibetans and Uighurs, but deny the same rights to their own fellow citizens! This school of thought peddles childish, utopian tripe, only acceptable to people who appreciate neither history nor reality. In the final analysis, such anarcho-libertarianism is inimical to freedom because it drives voters into the populist camp.

Charitable souls want more open borders, possibly inspired by Judeo-Christian guilt feelings for the good life they enjoy. They argue that we must share our wealth. I applaud charity, but not when it comes at the expense of others. Moreover, I am reminded of Milton Friedman’s insight that the choice of equitable sharing over freedom ultimately leads to less that can be shared, whereas the choice of freedom over charitable sharing produces more resources, including some which may then be willingly shared. And besides, let’s not forget that Jesus said: “Love thy neighbour”—not all and sundry from far and wide!

Some argue for open borders because they are inspired by the successful immigration story of the US in the nineteenth century or the more recent example of Australia’s transformation and enduring prosperity. They overlook the fact that the cultural gaps between the new mass migrants and us in the West are much wider than in the above cases, mainly because the economies of the West now rely on complex technology. The Polish peasant who had walked behind an ox could quickly become highly productive when deploying four Clydesdales pulling a multi-furrow plough through Iowa soil. The English-speaking Irish immigrant could easily become a good publican or railway worker in the colony of New South Wales. The son of a Honduran witch doctor, by contrast, is unlikely to make a good Canadian pharmacist. And would you entrust a migrant Pakistani truck driver with a Greyhound bus on the US Inter-State?

Yet another objection one hears is that, admittedly, there are evident integration problems, but these are temporary. Eventually, the new migrants will become ordinary members of the host society. Yes, eventually! The Goths, Vandals, Avars, Franks, Saxons and Vikings, who finished off the internally weakened Greco-Roman civilisation, eventually became champions of Western civilisation—a few Dark Age centuries later.

Radical libertarians and UN econometricians object to migration limits with the argument that immigration controls prevent huge increases in world per-capita incomes, which could be realised if only poor people were able to move freely to areas where great wealth is being created[17]. Border controls prevent an almost effortless gain, they tell us, similar to “picking up hundred dollar bills from the pavement”. That assertion, which has a long standing in the literature, is based on the classical Marxist-materialist conceit that only material gain matters. But man does not live for GDP alone! Social harmony, peace, justice, freedom and security are fundamental values that matter as much to people as material prosperity. An immigration policy based on the assumption that these fundamental values do not matter is as rational as a transport policy based on the assumption of zero gravity. In reality, completely open borders would come with huge transaction costs—cultural fragmentation and societal fractiousness, social mayhem, linguistic cacophony, civil conflicts, dislocation and the destruction of all that is valuable in Western civilisation[18]. The only additional income generated would be through the employment of more security guards, more policing and profits from selling barbed wire and screening devices.

A better, less disruptive alternative to opening the borders to uncontrolled migration from the South is free trade. Economists have long shown that the free trade of goods and services is a substitute for the movement of people[19]. Of course, if Western protectionism prevents the produce and products coming in from the South, then the farmers and the workers will come. If US tariffs hinder the import of cars from Mexico, then Mexican workers will dig tunnels under the border wall to come in.

Finally, objections come from political pragmatists who see the demographic divergence between the South and the West and who believe that a migrant avalanche is by now inevitable[20]. These are lazy political opportunists who have given up on defending our freedom. We must expose them for what they are and we must explain anew the merits of a free society.

 A stress test for Western civilisation

The free, humane political order—inspired by the likes of John Locke, David Hume and our other heroes of the Enlightenment, given shape by the Fathers of the US Constitution and promoted by generations of members of the Mont Pèlerin Society—is now more threatened from within and without than at any time since the late 1940s, when Friedrich Hayek brought together some concerned friends on that mountain in Switzerland[21].

In this era of polarised politics and societal tribulations, migration-triggered populism subjects Western civilisation to a mighty stress test. No one can be sure that Western civilisation will be able to survive it intact. After all, the big lesson of history is that civilisations rise and fall.

We face an epochal challenge. Only the force of argument for freedom and a robust commitment to protective government will decide whether and where Western civilisation will survive.



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.

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