Friday, November 29, 2019

Hungary's right-wing government withdraws country from 'too gay' Eurovision Song Contest branding the annual event 'a homosexual flotilla'

It's about time the current worshipping of sexual abnormality was challenged

Hungary has pulled out of the Eurovision song contest because it is 'too gay' for the country's right-wing leadership, it was claimed last night.

No official reason was forthcoming from prime minister Viktor Orban but a pro-government television said Eurovision was 'a homosexual flotilla' and that Hungary's mental health would be better off if it was out of the competition.

A source inside the Hungarian public broadcaster, MTVA, told the Guardian that employees believed the long association with LGBTQ+ culture was behind the move.

Eurovision has long been a celebration of camp fun, with Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst winning in 2014.

'I was not surprised. It comes from the organisational culture of MTVA,' said the source. 

Positive coverage of LGBT rights was discouraged, the source said, except for annual coverage of Budapest Pride.

Hungarian website quoted unnamed sources in public office that saw Eurovision as 'too gay'.

In a statement, MTVA said: 'Instead of taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, we will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly.'

Since Orban started a second stint as prime minister in 2010, free speech and democracy in Hungary have been slowly eroded.

Members of his ruling party have openly compared homosexuality to paedophilia and called for a boycott of Coca-Cola after an advert featured a gay couple.

András Bencsik, the editor of a pro-government magazine, said: 'I welcome the decision, including from a mental health perspective, that Hungary will not take part in the homosexual flotilla that this international song competition has been reduced to.

'Many young people thought that this is something for people under 18, but at this event the destruction of public taste takes place with screaming transvestites and bearded women.'

Russia, which has struggled with rampant homophobia, nearly left Eurovision in 2014 after a similar call by its MPs six years after it won the competition.


The women demonised for championing men's rights: They devote their lives to a deeply unfashionable cause — helping 'downtrodden' men in the age of gender politics

A small but increasingly vocal band of women is fighting for justice — not for women, but for men.

These women have dedicated their lives to addressing what they see as a crisis of masculinity and the unfair treatment of men by society.

They come from academic backgrounds or began campaigning for women's rights before focusing on problems of the other sex.

The campaigners believe that in its attempts to rectify historical wrongs towards women, society has developed a creeping antipathy towards all things male, and this is knocking men's confidence at a time of intense cultural shift.

They fear that many men and boys are neglected, ignored and excluded. This, they say, is why men's mental health problems are on the rise. Suicide is now the biggest killer of UK men under 45.

Some of their views are highly controversial, and some activists have been accused of ignoring the harm done to women by men, or excusing it.

So who are these women, why on earth are they doing this — and what are the issues they are fighting on men's behalf?

Alison Bushell, 57, from Suffolk, runs a social work consultancy.

Britain's family courts are engaged in practices that separate fathers from their children, knowingly or not, Alison believes. She says: 'The pressure groups springing up, some of which are advising the Ministry of Justice on domestic violence cases, have an anti-male agenda.'

In 20 years as a statutory social worker she saw a lack of effort to keep families together and an 'airbrushing out' of many dads. 'I see fathers marginalised and excluded from their kids' lives,' she says, 'while mothers are supported by out-of-date gendered views of parenting within the courts, and health and social services.'

And so, she believes, custody of children is often automatically given to women even when that isn't in a child's best interests. 'False allegations are more prevalent than people realise and supervision orders disproportionately happen to fathers.'

Every day, Alison gets calls from men who haven't seen their kids for up to five years. 'Having lost contact with their children, such men sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs out of sheer desperation. 'More become depressed. I had a client who took his own life. I believe the allegations against him were a major contributing factor.'

Alison has faced several complaints of bias while representing — largely male — clients in court, but none has been upheld.

Disillusioned and concerned to highlight these inequities, she left statutory social work ten years ago to set up consultancy, Child and Family Solutions. The agency works with families going through bitter separations, and carries out assessments for the Family Court and local authorities.

She has also worked with male domestic abuse victims. 'It has given me huge respect for those daring to speak out, because there is so little help available. It is a national scandal that so few refuge places are available for men.'

In England there were more than 3,600 beds in safe houses for women in 2017, but just 20 for men. The charity ManKind Initiative, which Alison supports, has told her that only 36 of 163 beds now available in refuges or safe houses are earmarked for men.

'Since Office for National Statistics figures state that 40 per cent or more victims of domestic abuse are men, this is alarming. 'When will people realise that holding on to a gendered narrative in domestic abuse is harmful?'

As for gender politics, Alison admits she has performed a volte-face. 'In the 80s I spent time at Greenham Common and lived in a women-only house. I even had a badge declaring 'a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle'. How times change.

'I can now be found reading [neoconservative author] Douglas Murray or listening to a talk by [Right-wing psychologist] Jordan Peterson.'


Trannie regret again

A woman who decided at the age of 44 to transition to become a transgender man has revealed how she 'deeply regrets' her decision and is now 'de-transitioning' to live as a woman again.

Appearing on Newsnight, the UK woman, known as Debbie, discussed with presenter Deborah Cohen how she feels she 'mutilated' the body she was born with by surgically transitioning.

Born female, Debbie realised she wanted to be a transgender male after watching an episode of 90s television show Kilroy, in which the host Robert Kilroy-Silk was interviewing female-to-male transgender people. 

She told Cohen: 'I just happened to turn the TV on at the right time. Kilroy was on and he was basically talking to female to male transgender people and it was like a Eureka [moment]. 'I thought 'This is me, this is what I've got to do"'

Debbie, who says she was sexually abused as a child, set about taking testosterone and photographs of her three years into her transition show her clearly presenting as male.

Now in her early sixties, Debbie says in the footage that she thought she would become a different person if she became male, saying 'I thought I'd become accepted in the world.'  

After undergoing a full female-to-male surgical transition including having a penis made from skin on her forearm, Debbie lived as a man, Lee, for 17 years, continuing to take testosterone and wearing a full beard.

Now she is in the process of detransitioning after saying she deeply regrets what's happened.  She describes her realisation that she no longer wanted to live as a trans male, saying: 'I remember breaking down, it was like "'This was a mistake, it should never have happened"'.

Debbie adds: 'But what the hell do you do about it? How do you go through another harrowing transition? I've got no hair, I've got a beard, I've had my body mutilated - what do you do about it? To get back to being the Debbie that I was?'

She believes she transitioned as a result of the sexual abuse she suffered in childhood and hopes she can now change her appearance with the help of oestrogen.

She told Cohen: 'I think I'd have to wave a magic wand but I hope that my hair will grow back in time with the oestrogen and the body hair will reduce and I can get rid of this beard.'


Advance Australia’s new boss Liz Storer says political correctness is alien to Australian culture

If Bob Hawke was an early career politician today, the plain-talking larrikin would’ve inevitably offended a certain cohort on Twitter and become a victim of “cancel culture”.

That’s the view of Liz Storer, who’s settling into her new role as the boss of Advance Australia – the right’s version of left-wing activist group GetUp.

The 36-year-old former political adviser believes there are “millions more of us” than what she describes as the “radical left”.

It’s just that her potential supporters – quiet Australians, to borrow a phrase from Scott Morrison – haven’t felt a sense of urgency to get involved in “boots on the ground” activism.

Until recently, that is.

“You know what I think the vast majority of mainstream Australians miss? The straight-talking Aussies of the past. I know I do,” Ms Storer told

“This political correctness rubbish has absolutely undermined our culture – our larrikinism, our very heritage. What we’ve become … this is not us.”

Ms Storer claims the broader community has been paralysed by fear – a fear of saying the wrong thing, being shamed, having their businesses boycotted or being “bullied” online.

“I used to love watching political clips of Paul Keating, (Bob) Hawke – those guys were straight shooters before political correctness rotted the way we talk, the way we relate to each other, the way we do business, the way we conduct politics.

“These days, they would’ve absolutely been de-platformed.

“It’s why politicians now are having to dumb down their speech, to try to say things in a way that ticks the PC box.”

She believes many figures in Canberra – of all ilks – are a shadow of what they used to be – not saying or doing much out of fear of losing votes.

“Say it like it is, call it like it is. If you want to be respected by the Australian public, that’s what you’ll do. So far, the only role political correctness has played is to eat away at our heritage, our very culture as Aussies.”

It might come as no surprise who she blames for the trend.

“This culture of pandering to the radical left, can’t be seen to call a spade a spade, dance around it, we want everyone’s votes come the next election, it has such far-reaching effects,” Ms Storer said.

Ms Storer points to the recent decision by Inner West Council in Sydney to cancel Australia Day festivities on January 26 out of respect to Indigenous peoples – a decision reportedly based on just 37 survey responses.

“Whether it’s climate alarmism, cancelling Australia Day, threatening free speech … it’s this squeaky wheel getting the oil. But the radical left are not the majority.

“It’s a small contingent getting upset about what the majority of us mainstream Australians are up to.”

She also attacked the “de-platforming” of Australian tennis great Margaret Court and rugby union star Israel Folau over their religious views and homophobic remarks.

“This constant bullying by the left – you’re not allowed to have a dissenting opinion,” Ms Storer said. “People cop it because they won’t bow a knee to the PC authoritarian rubbish.

“I do believe mainstream Australians are well and truly waking up to this. They’re sick and tired of the tripe.”

While she wouldn’t be drawn on whether she accepted some of Ms Court and Mr Folau’s remarks were offensive to the LGBT community, Ms Storer said it was unfair for anyone to suffer because of their personal beliefs.

“There’s no mainstream Australian who’ll look at that and think it’s fair and it’s OK,” she said. “Once again, it’s the radical left.”

Advance Australia launched about a year ago in a bid to mobilise the centre right to champion its own issues of importance.

“The centre right is best known for our thought leadership,” she said. “There are lots of groups out there doing good work, but we’re lacking in boots on the ground.”

Ms Storer, who has worked as an adviser to Liberal MPs at a state and federal level, was herself a local councillor in Perth for two years. Her efforts now will be focused on expanding Advance Australia’s membership base and campaigning efforts.

In Ms Storer’s view, “there’s no end of work to do”, but she identified free speech, climate change “alarmism” and national sovereignty as major concerns.

Advance Australia has 45,000 members across the country, she says, and they call the shots, deciding what campaigns are rolled out.

While the group might be on the right, Ms Storer isn’t shy to criticise her own side when the need arises.

“We (recently) saw our PM give $1 billion more, taxpayer dollars, to the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation). For what? These guys started back in 2012 as a Labor-created, snot wad of a useless body,” she said.

“They sunk $11 billion into it at the time. It’s done absolutely nothing, except ruin our grid with a pile of unreliable renewables.

“We’ve heard en masse from our supporters saying they elected a Liberal Government that have just enacted a Labor Party.

“I don’t care whether you’re in opposition or in government, Advance Australia is here to speak for the mainstream. Whether you’re blue team or red team, we will fight you if you’re not representing us.

“We will be speaking up and calling out hypocrisy. You certainly cannot be elected saying one thing and less than six months, change and do another. You’re not going to get away with it.”

Despite some of her pointed language when discussing “the left”, Ms Storer doesn’t believe Australians are any more divided now than they have been.

She even claimed to champion a respect for differing opinions and political views.

“We can respectfully disagree with each other – we live in a representative democracy,” she said.

“Australia is the land of opportunity. That is the best thing about this place. We (can be) a lot better than we are now.

“I’m optimistic about the future because Australia, in my humble opinion, and I’ve travelled the world, is the best country on earth.”

But Ms Storer then added: “But are the radical left undermining that? Absolutely.”



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

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

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


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Michelle Malkin on immigration

The name "America first" goes back a long way as the name of a political movement and such movements have always been critical of immigration. In modern times the name has been adopted by a variety of fringe groups. But the advent of Donald Trump has re-energized the idea.  He makes no apology for putting America first and has done all he could to slow down the stream of illegal immigration.

So that has made "America first" a mainstream attitude.  Any Trump supporter is an America firster.  That fact has tended to bring to wider attention various organizations and individuals who have always believed in America first.  They have to a degree come in from the cold that had previously enveloped immigration critics.

But some of the old hands wander far and wide in arguing for immigration limitations.  Some old-time America firsters even mention that most dreaded word: race.  And that puts them right back into the cold.  At least some of the illegal immigrants are of a different race but you must not mention that -- and you certainly must not suggest that the small brown descendants of the Aztecs might have some difficulties adapting to America's dominant civilization.

So what do we do about inconvenient allies in opposition to  immigration? Do we denounce them as the Leftists would do or do we think that we need all the allies we can get in resisting the demographic transformation that America is undergoing?

Conservatives are divided on that. Some are so desperate to deflect attacks on them from the Left that they denounce their unorthodox brethren.  Others deplore such denunciations and congratulate the old-timers for the work they have done in raising awareness of what is happening. 

In the speech below Michelle Malkin makes it clear that in her opinion, we need all the allies we can get in checking the immigration inflow -- so she refuses to denounce the more unorthodox immigration opponents,

Subsequent to the speech she was disavowed by the some of the more dainty immigration opponents.  They will probably do little to dent her popularity, however.  Like Trump, she speaks for many. Her critics are more likely to dent their own popularity

Good evening, young patriots.

We’ve got a lot to talk about tonight and I want to hear from as many of you as possible.

If you are a liberal in this audience, congratulations. Thanks for being here. Hope you learn something. Read my books. Read and watch all the things that the Southern Poverty Law Center tells you not to read and watch. Maybe you’ll learn something. Don’t be a sheep. Question authority. Save yourselves. If you are unwilling to do so, I can’t help you. Lost cause. Let’s move on.

I’ve done YAF events for nearly 20 years. Usually, such speeches are aimed at the left and the Democrats to show how they’re wrong or evil or have double standards or how they’re the real haters or the real racists. All those things are true and I have made these arguments in earnest many, many times over the years. But tonight is not about you, Lefties. Tonight, my remarks are directed at the young men and women of this country who identify as America First conservatives. How many proud Americans standing up for American freedom and sovereignty do we have in the room?

I know what it’s like to be in your shoes, feeling marginalized on a crazy college campus for standing up for your pro-life, pro-gun, pro-free speech, pro-Western values and fighting for your country. I also have two teenagers who have been through experiences like you have, sitting in classrooms where abject stupidity and emotionalism have replaced logic, reason, and the pursuit of truth.

That is why I will not be using my platform and my position to insult you, marginalize you, and shout you down. Just a couple of days ago here on this very campus, former Fox News hostess Kimberly Guilfoyle sneered that young conservative men in MAGA hats asking inconvenient questions were rude losers who could only get dates online and who were embarrassing their parents. Another YAF speaker, Ben Shapiro, repeatedly denigrated an entire movement of young men who watch a YouTuber named Nick Fuentes and are seeking answers to tough questions about where America is headed as masturbating losers in their basements who share memes. As a mom with brilliant right-thinking kids who, yes, live in my basement, and, yes, share memes, I found these obsessive references to young people’s dating lives and habits by prominent conservative media personalities much older than their targets to be tellingly defensive and touchy. Also: creepy.

Here’s my message to the new generation of America Firsters exposing the big lies of the anti-American open borders establishment and its controlled opposition operatives: If I was your mom, I’d be proud as hell.

I want you to know that you are not alone. It’s important for you to know that not everyone who belongs to generations older than you has sat idly by while America rotted from the inside. Not all Gen Xers and Boomers are mindlessly stupefied by the bread and circuses entertainment dished out by so-called conservative media. Not all of us have occupied ourselves solely with “owning libs” and reciting clunky MAGA rap anthems while America crumbles.

I am old enough to have lived and worked in California when it was a red state. I was here in the 1990s when America First patriots fought valiantly to protect it. This month marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 187, the Save Our State initiative. It was spearheaded by Boomer grass-roots sovereignty activists right here in southern California like Glenn Spencer and Barbara Coe, patriots I met in 1994 when I was a 24-year-old cub journalist at the Los Angeles Daily News. The media, Big Business, Hollywood, and the Soros smear machine labeled them hate-mongers and xenophobes. I called them heroes. I reported on their movement. I proudly voted for S.O.S.

Prop. 187 passed by a whopping 59-41 margin. We old guard patriots, we upholders of the rule of law, we conservers and preservers of one nation under God were the majority back then. That same year, Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who championed the ballot measure, won with 55 percent of the vote, including 23 percent of Latino voters who backed the measure.

The victory was illusory. A liberal federal judge struck the measure down. (The same thing happened when a similar set of Boomer-era patriots spearheaded S.B. 1070 in Arizona to turn off illegal immigration magnets in 2010). There were other noble attempts to challenge the Open Borders elites. Long before Donald Trump, America First godfather Patrick J. Buchanan ran in 1992 on the sovereignty platform and has penned prolific books and prophetic editorials and columns since he started his career in the newspaper business at the age of 23 in the early 1960s. Tom Tancredo made border security and immigration enforcement the primary focus of his presidential campaign in 2008. And many of us oldsters in the conservative blogosphere and talk radio led the battle against the Bush/Rove/Chamber of Commerce amnesties in 2006 and 2007.

These so-called conservatives in Open Borders Inc. were the ones making common cause with the radical identity politics left. Before there was Charlie Kirk there was Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Jack Kemp. The same establishment Beltway crapweasels denigrating the new generation of America Firsters now were the ones who actively obstructed and smeared the previous generations as racists, xenophobes, or anti-Semites – or who passively sat on the sidelines, at cocktail parties or in green rooms or in cruise ships, schmoozing while America burned.

But all of the efforts to beat back the tide were for naught. Math had already sealed California’s ineluctable shift to the Left by the time the Prop. 187 campaign was launched. It wasn’t a backlash to Pete Wilson that turned California blue, as Talking Points GOP stooges continue to propagandize to this day. That’s a lie and I call bullshit. And you must, too. The two numbers that matter most are 1965 and 1986. Despite Prop 187’s valiant attempt to stem the tide, Ted Kennedy’s floodgate-busting Hart-Celler Act and Ronald Reagan’s amnesty-codifying Immigration Reform and Control Act paved the way for our half-century-long demographic nightmare.

After 1986, amnesty begat amnesty begat amnesty. Mass illegal immigration was compounded by mass legal migration from the Third World and jihadist breeding grounds, supplemented by the U.N.-led refugee resettlement dump that enriched open borders religious moochers from every denomination (Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Episcopalian) and expansive guest worker pipelines, and multiplied by chain migration.

Behind closed doors, the Soros/SPLC left cackles about the grand hoodwinking of America and the success of the demographic Reconquista. In public, they attack any truth-tellers as conspiracists peddling the Great Replacement Theory – like the Soros hitmen of Media Matters who likened me to the Tree of Life synagogue shooter in September for exposing the financiers behind demographic disaster. It isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s conspiracy fact.

Who cares what the Media Matters monkeys say? I don’t. But you know who does? Conservatism Inc, the Right’s subsidiary of Open Borders Inc filled with smug and complacent coastal elites who tremble at Soros/SPLAC’s defamatory labels and who thirstily seek the approbation of leftists who will always hate them.

It used to be that conservatives were for facts and liberals were for feelings. Now it is considered “racist” or “cynical” to look at lockstep liberal voting patterns of waves of amnestied and naturalized immigrants and fear for the future. Voting patterns are malleable, we are told.
I call bullshit.

Let’s look at the exit polls on Asian-American voters who turned out for last week’s national elections.

Asian American voter ID split 51-10 Ds over Rs in Virginia; 80-16 Ds over Rs for House of Delegate votes; and 81-15 Ds over Rs for State Senate. Asian-Americans supported stricter gun control 71-20 & supported impeachment 64-17. Top presidentrial candidates for those surveyed: Biden, Warren & Sanders.

In Philadelphia, Asian American voter ID split was 65-6 Ds over Rs. They voted for the Dem mayoral candidate 74-3. Their top 3 presidential candidates: Biden, Warren Yang. Aas favored impeachment 68-7.

In Houston, AA voter ID split 33-30 Ds over Rs. Top prez candidate Trump (38), Biden (15), Warren (12). AAs in Houston SUPPORTED MORE GUN CONTROL 58-24 and were evenly split on impeachment 41-41.

Time and again, Beltway Republicans have given in on amnesty, H-1B, and identity politics appeasing initiatives. And yet, the voting numbers among Asians, Hispanics, Muslims, and blacks for that matter, have not budged and will not budge.

Do the math.

This is my gentle maternal admonition to young people involved in the movement to persuade immigrants and minorities to “exit” the Left and vote Right. Of course it’s a good thing to reach out to non-traditional constituencies. But whatever dent you make in 2020 will be inconsequential compared to the relentless influx of 80-20 immigrants – incl. the 1 million new green card holders every year on a path to citizenship and 800,000 DACA recipients hurtling toward citizenship, and 500,000 F-1 foreign student visa holders that Conservatism Inc. and Silicon Valley are itching to award green cards and citizenship to…

America First activists are now being accused of engaging in dangerous “identity politics” and “ethno-nationalism.” The hypocrisy overfloweth. It’s the detractors of America First on the Right who shamelessly indulge in identity politics tokenism promoting a rainbow of brand ambassadors who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to the most existential issues of our time and who immediately smear critics with the same old, worn brushes used by the radical Left. America First detractors indignantly demand that we young and old sovereignty advocates disavow European nationalist groups which most have never heard of.

Conservative Inkers now have their knives out for me, recycling Media Matters oppo research uncovering things I’ve never covered up in my reporting and advocacy on sovereignty issues over the last quarter century. They want me to disavow Nick Fuentes and VDARE and Peter Brimelow and Faith Goldy and Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys and Steve King and Laura Loomer and on and on. They want to do to me what they’ve done to brilliant academics who’ve told the truth – Amy Wax at the University of Pennsylvania and Darren Beattie and Jason Richwine and Steve Sailer.

No, I do not agree with every last thing they’ve said or written or published or tweeted or thought with their inside or outside voices. But I will not disavow any of them and I will not join the de-platforming witch hunters who hypocritically call themselves free speech and culture warriors. I disavow violence. I disavow hatred of America. I disavow the systematic bipartisan betrayal of American citizens, students, and families by cynical politicians who promised for 25 years to build a wall, end the diversity visa lottery, end chain migration, and other memorized talking points. I disavow Republicans who told us to hold our noses and vote for open borders sellouts because we support the Second Amendment and are against abortion and we had no other choice.

Where are the disavowals of CPAC organizers who banned young nationalists but credentialed left-wing operatives masquerading as journalists like the Right Wing Watch henchman – and who embraced left-wing Soros-funded character assassin Van Jones?

I disavow the bullshit.

Young people, left or right, if you don’t do your homework and open your eyes and join forces, you are screwed. Fight the controlled opposition, don’t become it. The torch is being passed. The populist youth movement is global. It’s bigger than being a Trump supporter or Talking Points GOP gate-smasher. Show those willing to listen how to do the math. Rise to the occasion and save this country.


Faith leaders line up against Jeremy Corbyn to back Chief Rabbi’s warning on anti-Semitism

The Chief Rabbi was backed by Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders on Tuesday after he attacked the “poison” of anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Ephraim Mirvis, the leader of Britain’s orthodox Jews, put Mr Corbyn’s record on anti-Semitism at the heart of the election campaign on Tuesday when he wrote in The Times that the Labour leader was “unfit for high office”.

He warned that the “very soul of our nation is at stake” in the general election.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was swift to express solidarity early on Tuesday morning, echoing the concerns over anti-Semitism but without singling out the Labour Party or Mr Corbyn.

The Muslim Council of Britain called anti-Semitism in politics “unacceptable” and also turned its fire on the Conservative Party, accusing it of “tolerating Islamophobia [and] allowing it to fester in society”. The council suggested that Muslims should also follow the Chief Rabbi’s call to “vote with their conscience” and not vote for the Tories.

‘Racist’ party under Corbyn

The Hindu Council UK supported the Chief Rabbi’s “comments on [the] Labour Party having become a racist party under Jeremy Corbyn”. Citing a resolution passed at the party conference criticising India’s actions in Kashmir and calling for self-determination for the region, it said Labour was “polarising Hindu and Muslim relations”.

Lord Singh of Wimbledon, the Sikh crossbench peer, told The Times that the Chief Rabbi’s criticism had been “very strong but I can understand the hurt”. He added that Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists also face a rise in discrimination, saying that this was often “left on the side” of the focus on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Senior Labour figures were divided on Tuesday over how to respond to the criticism. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, told the New Statesman: “I know the Chief Rabbi, I’ve met him many times. And I admire and respect him. But he’s wrong.”

She urged Labour supporters, however, not to “go for the messenger”, saying: “You need to think carefully about the message. And there’s no doubt that a lot of Jewish people are very angry about our seeming inability to deal with anti-Semitism in our midst.

“Everybody now accepts that we took too long to deal with it. That we weren’t strong enough about it. That is now accepted. The difficulty is that once you lose confidence or trust, it takes quite a long time to get it back.”

She added that she did not think Mr Corbyn was himself anti-Semitic.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, a Labour peer and former lord chancellor, said the Chief Rabbi’s criticism was “deserved” and that there were “a lot of cases that have not been properly investigated”.

‘Proud of my church, ashamed of my party’

He told The World at One on BBC Radio 4: “We deserved an attack that strong, we need to deal with anti-Semitism properly. We are not dealing with the cases within the party.” He said he would support Labour at the election next month, provided that the Chief Rabbi’s “extraordinary but justified intervention will be listened to”.

Wes Streeting, the Labour candidate for Ilford North in London, shared on social media the archbishop’s message, which said: “That the Chief Rabbi should be compelled to make such an unprecedented statement at this time ought to alert us to the deep insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews.” Mr Streeting wrote: “This is how a real leader responds … I am proud of my church and ashamed of my party.”

Jess Phillips, the Labour candidate for Birmingham Yardley, said: “The only response to the Chief Rabbi that is moral is, ‘I’m sorry and I’ll do whatever I possibly can to win back your community’s trust’.”

Jon Lansman, a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee and chairman of the pro-Corbyn activist group Momentum, said some Jewish groups had “refused to engage” with Mr Corbyn. He told Channel 4 News: “I acknowledge the deep concern of the Jewish community about this but I think we are doing our best to deal with it, I really do.”

Luciana Berger, a former Labour MP who is now a Liberal Democrat candidate, said she had had to leave Labour because she “couldn’t change things from within”.

“I did everything within my power,” she said. “I couldn’t change things from within and sadly, as I said then and I feel very strongly today, the Labour Party is institutionally anti-Semitic.”

The Labour Party has defended its record on anti-Semitism, insisting that in government it would “guarantee the security of the Jewish community, defend and support the Jewish way of life and combat rising anti-Semitism in our country and across Europe”.


Trump junior's book gets the dagger from the NYT

Donald Trump Jr.’s book, Triggered, has been on the top of the New York Times bestsellers list for two weeks now. As soon as the book showed up on the list, the media quickly downplayed its success by noting that its sales included bulk sales, such as when the Republican National Committee bought approximately 4,000 copies for a fundraiser.

If you visit the New York Times website, you’ll notice its entry on the list has been tagged with a dagger symbol which denotes that bulk sales are included in the book’s sales figures. A publishing industry source told the New York Post ,“It’s known in the industry as the ‘deadly dagger.’ A rare penalty that is only called for flagrant fouls.”

Anti-Trumpers on social media pounced on reports like this, arguing that Donald Trump Jr. isn’t a legitimate bestselling author, and that he cheated and manipulated his sales to get on the bestseller list.

But, according to other publishing industry experts, the RNC’s bulk purchase was inconsequential to the book’s performance on the bestsellers list.

In fact, according to a book publishing industry expert who spoke to CNN Business, the suggestion the RNC purchase put Trump Jr. on the best-seller list is "all a big fuss over nothing."

"People are making way too much of something that has no basis in fact," said the person, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss the matter. "The math is obvious."

A second person who works in the book publishing industry agreed, telling CNN Business, "It would have been impossible for them to not give it number one -- even excluding the bulk copies."

According to NPD Bookscan, which analysts in the industry use to track book sales, "Triggered" sold 70,730 hardcover copies in its first week. The second book on The Times' list that week, "Finding Chika," sold 30,678 copies.

In its second week, "Triggered" sold 44,337 copies. The second book on The Times' best-seller list that week was "Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers," which sold 23,654 copies.

While it is not known exactly how many books the RNC purchased, even with the most liberal estimates subtracted from the total sales, Don Jr.’s book would have hit number one by a large margin.

Despite this, even the Times joined in on the pile-on of Donald Trump Jr., claiming the book “topped the best-seller list thanks in part to a big order from the Republican National Committee,” a claim they know very well to be false.

Considering the bulk sales were inconsequential, why tag the book with the infamous “deadly dagger” at all? In simple terms, if the New York Times feels it should tag books with bulk sales, they’ve got every right to do so. Naturally, I decided to click through months of lists to see what books got daggers and which ones didn’t. There’s a long history of politicians buying their books in bulk. Presidential candidates release a book while they campaign, and buy books in bulk to give with a donation. Nonprofits supported by or founded by a politician will often do the same. Public figures in all fields and on both sides of the aisle are known to do this.

As I kept digging, one trend stuck out: the books tagged with daggers (and there generally weren’t many) were mostly conservative books. Could this just be a conservative phenomenon? Even I was starting to wonder, until I got all the way back to April 21, 2019. Number 14 on the list was Valerie Jarrett’s memoir, Finding My Voice, a book industry experts virtually all agreed had its sales numbers inflated by bulk and bogus sales.

No "deadly dagger." That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? We reported on the suspicious sales of this book back when they were discovered. Sales were so suspicious that Publisher’s Weekly didn’t even chart the book. “According to an industry insider, a big chunk of the book’s sales was suspect, and there was likely an effort to game the system,” I reported. “This insider believes that a single company was likely hired to buy as many as 11,000 copies of the book in such a manner that makes it appear like legitimate sales. “

The suspicious nature of Jarrett’s sales was widely reported in conservative media, but Jarrett’s book still appears on the list, dagger-free. Is it possible the New York Times was simply duped? Well, let’s see what they say about bulk sales, and how they’re reported.

Sales are defined as completed transactions by vendors and individual end users during the period on or after the official publication date of a title. Institutional, special interest, group or bulk purchases, if and when they are included, are at the discretion of The New York Times Best-Seller List Desk editors based on standards for inclusion that encompass proprietary vetting and audit protocols, corroborative reporting and other statistical determinations. When included, such bulk purchases appear with a dagger (†).
This methodology seems quite comprehensive—between the suspicious sales and media reporting on it, it seems as though Jarrett’s book should be flagged with the “deadly dagger.” The fact that it doesn't suggests a bias in the process where conservative books are getting flagged and liberal books are not. If the New York Times is gonna provide cover for Valerie Jarrett, what other books by liberal authors have not been given the "deadly dagger" as well?

PJ Media reached out to the New York Times about this discrepancy. “The Times’s best-seller lists are based on a detailed analysis of book sales from a wide range of retailers who provide us with specific and confidential context of their sales each week,” said Jordan Cohen, the Executive Director of Communications at the New York Times. “These standards are applied consistently, across the board in order to provide Times readers our best assessment of what books are the most broadly popular at that time.” Jordan then provided a list of conservative-leaning authors who have ranked on their bestseller lists since June 2008, noting that not all of them received daggers—which wasn’t what I was suggesting. Cohen did not respond to follow up inquiries before publication.

Without any sort of transparency in their process, we won’t know what kind of bias there may or may not be in how the New York Times flags books as being “manipulated” by bulk sales, but so far, the evidence suggests they’re willingly turning a blind eye to bulk sales of liberal books on their list while conservative books that are far outselling the competition are getting “deadly daggers.”


Australia: Bunnings' iconic sausage sizzle raises $600k for bushfire victims after hardcore vegans demanded the hardware giant CANCEL the fundraiser

I have no objection against people believing anything they like.  They can believe the moon is made of green cheese as far as I care.  It is when they want to impose their beliefs on others that I object

Bunnings raised more than half a million dollars for bushfire victims with a national sausage sizzle, despite a flock of irate herbivores campaigning for the fundraiser to be cancelled.

The hardware giant hosted the fundraising event last Friday with all stores across Australia raising money for those affected by bushfires that ravaged the eastern states.

The sausage sizzle raised more than $580,000 and Bunnings contributed an extra $20,000.

But the event drew criticism from the vegan community.

'Why oh why are people selling sausages to raise money when it's known that meat is a contributing factor to climate change? Which is a contributing factor to these fires!', one woman wrote on a vegan Facebook page.

'It honestly baffles my mind and makes me so sad. It's a heartbreaking cycle.'

The post went viral and has since been deleted, but dozens agreed with the woman's notion. 'They can shove their sausage where the sun don't shine,' one said.

But others believed they were looking at the fundraiser in the wrong light. 'Right now, helping those fighting the fires is more dire than fighting the meat industry for climate change,' one user posted.

'Sorry what? There is nothing they can do about the sausages already produced but they can sell them to raise funds for fire fighters who are actually facing the real fires happening right now,' another comment reads.

Despite the uproar, Bunnings Chief Operating Officer Debbie Poole thanked the thousands of people who supported the cause.

'We are so grateful that people from across Australia dropped by their local Bunnings' on Friday to buy a snag and donate to help those in need. The result would not have been possible without their generosity,' she said.

Hardware store employees in fire-affected communities helped support evacuation centres.

The funds will be donated to GIVIT - a charity that assists communities during disaster. GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said the money will be used to to buy items for farmers and communities in drought-affected regions, and supporting households and communities affected by bushfires.

'We will be working closely with our charity and community service partners on the ground to ensure people are getting what they require, whether that be a fridge, a table, school uniforms, or fuel and grocery vouchers.'

Four people died in unprecedented fire conditions across the eastern seaboard. 

More than 600 homes were destroyed in New South Wales since bushfire season began on October 1.



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

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

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


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Legacy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

I often read articles by that wise old New York Irishman when I was a kid (Yes. I was that sort of kid) and always thought he made good points. He was a great ornament to the church. He was the clear thinker that Pope Francis is not.

The church was however not much impressed with Sheen at the time.  He was made only an honorary archbishop -- over a diocese that did not exist.  And he never got a red hat, immensely deserving of that though he was. 

That the church is now on the way to canonizing him is however fitting.  They are recognizing that they may have dishonoured a saint.  That has been the lot of many saints however. Sheen will be beatified in Peoria on December 21, 2019.

Kathryn Jean Lopez on Sheen:
“Discouragement is a form of pride; sadness is often caused by our egotism.” That sort of leaped off the page as I was recently doing a little reading of the work of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, to mark the news that before the year is through, he will have made a big step toward being an official saint of the Catholic Church. The sentence was the linguistic equivalent of a five-alarm fire, to be perfectly honest, not just for our current culture but for my life.

As you might be aware, there was a protracted court battle involving Archbishop Sheen’s remains between his hometown diocese of Peoria, Illinois, and my hometown of New York, where he served in the role for which he is most well-known. Sheen was a communicator — on prime-time television, at that medium’s beginning — of the faith to the world. And I was downright sad about the move of his remains earlier this year to the Midwest. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where he served and where his remains had been, happens to have the closest tabernacle to my office at National Review’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan. And rarely would I be in that church without praying above his remains — for his canonization, and for his help. Reading Sheen’s words about pride made me realize my own pride — my native pride had certainly been stung by the move to Peoria.

Why do we constantly cling to things of this world instead of thinking about the next? While I do think more people might be impacted by having Sheen’s earthly remains just steps from Rockefeller Center, what do I know? God has some kind of plan here. And God doesn’t want us to be sad or discouraged. He wants us to be living the fullest freedom in His wisdom.

Writing about happiness, Sheen goes on to say: “If you will whatever God wills, you will always have exactly what you want. When you want anything else, you are not happy before you get it, and when you do get it, you do not want it. That is why you are ‘up’ today and ‘down’ tomorrow.”

This is relevant especially during this time of year, and it’s why the timing of the Sheen beatification probably couldn’t be better. The holiday season tends to be hectic. But it should be reflective. It should be a time of self-examination and the giving not of material gifts but of more of our hearts. Sheen can help.

Here’s Sheen’s advice for making adjustments to how you think and live: “You will never be happy if your happiness depends on getting solely what you want. Change the focus. Get a new center. Will what God wills, and your joy no man shall take from you.” Be not afraid, in other words.

Sheen advises: “Think not that you could do more good if you were well, or that you could be more kind if you had more money, or that you could exercise more power for good if you had another position! What matters is not what we are, or what we are doing, but whether we are doing God’s will.”

And how’s this for a mantra for change? “It is not so much what happens in life that matters; it is rather how we react to it.” In his chapter on hope in a book reissued in the last year under the title “Remade for Happiness,” Sheen writes: “You can always tell the character of a person by the size of the things that make him mad. Because modern man lives in a world that has reference to nothing but itself, it follows that when depression, war, and death enter into his two-dimensional world, he tumbles into the most hopeless despair.” Talk about another apt comment for our lives in this time — it routinely takes but a tweet to get us worked up and angry.

Finally, I think this is key for us today, and it needs to be heard and digested, made a part of our lives: “There is another way out than suicide, frustration, and anonymity, and that is the way of hope, not natural hope, but supernatural hope that settles your soul in God, and directs your will toward Him. And for that to happen, you need to pause, you need to reflect, you need some silence in your life. Fight for a little silence. Fight for time for meditation and prayer. Give God some exclusive time and you may be pleasantly surprised how it changes your life. How it, indeed, settles your soul.”

Fulton Sheen should be most well-known for his devotion to a carving out a daily hour for divine contemplation. A little time every day with God, even simply communicating with him at a quiet spot at home or work or anywhere in the world. That could be the greatest gift you give yourself and everyone in your life as we wind down the year.


Popey Cites French Epic Poem to Prove Christianity Is as Violent as Islam

A French fiction writer in the 11th century imagines an occasion when Christians treated Muslims the way Muslims treat Christians. That proves that Christians are violent?  Pope Francis is a practitioner of Latin-American liberation theology, not Catholicism as it has developed over the ages

The indefatigable apologist for Islam Pope Francis on Monday issued yet another mea culpa to Muslims, saying: “A scene from The Song of Roland comes to me as a symbol, when the Christians defeat the Muslims and line them up in front of the baptismal font, with one holding a sword. And the Muslims had to choose between baptism or the sword. That is what we Christians did.”

Was it really? The Song of Roland is actually a work of fiction, a French epic poem loosely based on the Battle of Roncevaux Pass between Muslim invaders and Christian defenders in the year 778. As The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS shows, in the eleventh century, three hundred years after the battle, The Song of Roland appeared, describing the heroism of Charlemagne’s nephew Roland, who is leading the rear guard of Charlemagne’s forces and is caught up in the Muslim ambush.

Roland has an oliphant, a horn made of an elephant’s tusk, which he can use to call for help, but he initially declines to do so, thinking it would be cowardly. Finally, Roland does blow his horn. Charlemagne, way ahead of the rear guard, nonetheless hears Roland’s horn and hurries back, but it is too late: Roland and his men are dead, and the Muslims victorious. Charlemagne, however, pursues and vanquishes the Muslims, and captures Saragossa.

Thus the legend. The Song of Roland was enormously popular and inculcated in the Christians who sang and celebrated it what came to be known (in the European Middle Ages) as knightly virtues: loyalty, courage, and perseverance, even in the face of overwhelming odds. These were virtues that would be needed if Europe was to hold out against the ever-advancing jihad.

But those days are long gone, and Europe is no longer holding out against the jihad. Now the pope is much more interested in defending Islam than Christianity. In September 2017, Pope Francis met in the Vatican with Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), a group that has been linked to the financing of jihad terror. During the meeting, al-Issa thanked the pope for his “fair positions” on what he called the “false claims that link extremism and violence to Islam.”

Pope Francis Just Compared the Great Commission to Jihad
Nor was that the first time a Muslim leader has thanked the pope for being so very useful. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar, thanked him for his “defense of Islam against the accusation of violence and terrorism.” The Associated Press reported that the pope “embraced the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull and at a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians.”

Why had there been this “five-year lull”? Because “the Cairo-based Al-Azhar froze talks with the Vatican to protest comments by then-Pope Benedict XVI.” What did Benedict say? Andrea Gagliarducci of the Catholic News Agency explains that after a jihad terrorist murdered 23 Christians in a church in Alexandria 2011, Benedict decried “terrorism” and the “strategy of violence” against Christians, and called for the Christians of the Middle East to be protected.

Al-Tayeb was furious. He railed Benedict for his “interference” in Egypt’s affairs and warned of a “negative political reaction” to the Pope’s remarks. In a statement, Al-Azhar denounced the pope’s “repeated negative references to Islam and his claims that Muslims persecute those living among them in the Middle East.”

Benedict stood his ground, and that was that. But in September 2013, al-Azhar announced that Pope Francis had sent a personal message to al-Tayeb. In it, according to al-Azhar, Francis declared his respect for Islam and his desire to achieve “mutual understanding between the world’s Christians and Muslims in order to build peace and justice.” At the same time, Al Tayyeb met with the Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt, Mgr. Jean-Paul Gobel, and told him in no uncertain terms that speaking about Islam in a negative manner was a “red line” that must not be crossed.

So Pope Benedict condemned a jihad attack, one that al-Azhar also condemned, and yet al-Azhar suspended dialogue because of the pope’s condemnation. Then Pope Francis wrote to the Grand Imam of al-Azhar affirming his respect for Islam, and the Grand Imam warned him that criticizing Islam was a “red line” that he must not cross. That strongly suggests that the “dialogue” that Pope Francis has now reestablished will not be allowed to discuss the Muslim persecution of Christians that will escalate worldwide, especially since an incidence of that persecution led to the suspension of dialogue in the first place.

What’s more, his dialogue partner, al-Tayeb, has shown himself over the years to be anything but a preacher of peace, cooperation and mercy: he has justified anti-Semitism on Qur’anic grounds; and called for the Islamic State murderers of the Jordanian pilot to be crucified or have their hands and feet amputated on opposite sides (as per the penalty in Qur’an 5:33 for those who make war against Allah and his messenger or spread “mischief” in the land. Al-Azhar was also revealed to be offering free copies of a book that called for the slaughter of Christians and other Infidels.

Francis, for his part, proclaimed that “authentic Islam and the proper understanding of the Koran reject every form of violence,” doing his bit to ensure that as many Christians as possible would remain ignorant and complacent about the jihad threat that his precious “dialogue” does nothing to mitigate.

And now he is attacking Europe’s Christian heritage and tradition. He is nothing less than a disgrace to the Church, to Judeo-Christian civilization, and to the free world.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)


Even Tony Blair does not like what the Labour party has become

He successfully showed the British Left the benefit of moderation but all that is lost on the Labour party under the Marxist Corbyn

TONY Blair today sensationally revealed he does not want Labour to win the election - and warned a Jeremy Corbyn government would pose a risk to the UK.

The former Prime Minister hammered the leftie Labour boss' revolutionary politics and urged Brits to vote tactically for moderate candidates, even if that means voting Tory.

In a blistering intervention, Labour’s most successful ever leader accused Mr Corbyn and Boris Johnson of both “peddling fantasies”.

And he suggested he hopes no party gets a majority on December 12 and that Britain gets another hung parliament – an outcome which would mean yet more political deadlock.

He told a Reuters event in London: “The truth is, the public aren’t convinced either main party deserve to win this election outright.

“They’re peddling two sets of fantasies and both, as majority governments, pose a risk it would be unwise for the country to take.”

He added: “I don’t think a majority government of either side is a good thing.”

Instead he urged Brits to abandon their party allegiances and vote tactically for moderates whatever their political colours.

The former PM said he will still vote Labour – but said others might want to switch to the Lib Dems or Tories.

He said: “There are good, solid mainstream, independent minded MPs and candidates in both parties.

“Like many, I have been campaigning for great Labour candidates because we know parliament will be poorer without them.

“I am sure the same is true of the Conservative Party and there are those who were expelled for their moderation also standing.”

Although he said he will vote Labour, Mr Blair also took a swipe at Mr Corbyn’s hard-left agenda, warning “the problem with revolutions is never how they begin but how they end”.

And he refused to say if Mr Corbyn is fit to lead Britain. He said: “My differences with Jeremy Corbyn have been pretty well documented and my views haven’t changed, let me put it like that.

“But I think if the polls are right there is a negligible chance of a Labour majority.”

But the Tories seized on the former PM’s comments, saying he would condemn Britain to years more political deadlock in the hope of cancelling Brexit.

Tory Party chairman James Cleverly said: “Tony Blair’s comments make clear that a vote for anyone other than the Conservatives is a vote for another deadlocked Parliament and more dither, division and delay, meaning we can’t move on and focus on people’s priorities.”


The Democratic Party Faces a Choice on Israel

A few years ago, it would have been unimaginable: the Democratic Party, the party supported by the overwhelming majority of American Jews and with a long record of pro-Israel figures — Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Frank Church, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and so on — is now fielding presidential candidates calling for cutting aid to Israel.

Those include Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. All three have called for making US annual military aid to Israel conditional on Israel embracing the so-called “two-state solution” — that is to say, establishing an unreconstructed, unreformed Palestinian Arab terror state on Israel’s doorstep.

Senator Sanders has said that he would “absolutely” consider cuts to American military aid to Israel in order to pressure Israel, which he described as having “an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies … $3.8 billion [a year] is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government. If you want military aid, you’re going to have to fundamentally change your relationship [to Gaza].”

Senator Warren has said: “Right now, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements. That does not move us toward a two-state solution. It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction then everything is on the table.”

Mayor Buttigieg states: “I think that the aid is leverage to guide Israel in the right direction … If, for example, there is follow-through on these threats of annexation, I’m committed to ensuring that the US is not footing the bill for that.”

Only in recent days has there been any notable repudiation of this position from prominent Democrats. Queried by a reporter, former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden responded, “Look, I have been on record from very early on opposed to the settlements, and I think it’s a mistake. And President [sic] Netanyahu knows my position. But the idea that we would draw military assistance from Israel, on the condition that they change a specific policy, I find to be absolutely outrageous. … Anyway, no I would  not condition it and I think its’ a gigantic mistake.”

Also, Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, has criticized his Democratic colleagues: “We have a $38 billion commitment over 10 years for military aid to Israel … The Israelis need it for defense … Whether we approve or disapprove of specific policies, we shouldn’t use military aid as a pressure point on specific policies — because Israel’s security is paramount.”

Welcome as Biden and Nadler’s disavowals are, it remains astonishing that so few Democrats have come forward to repudiate these suggestions.

Allies do not issue dictates to one another. Disagreement among allies are usually handled delicately and privately, not with grandstanding threats about withdrawing aid — all of which clearly suggests that Israel is viewed in hostile terms by an increasing number of Democrats.

Consider the draconian implications of their insistence on economically and militarily penalizing  Israel to end its development of Jewish communities beyond the 1949 artistic lines. They are not only saying that these territories should be free of Jews, but revealing that they do not regard Israel as an ally.  And anyone who demands that Israel establish a Palestinian terror state ala Gaza is blind to the reality of the Arab Islamic war against the Jewish State.

The Sanders–Warren–Buttigieg trio display either hostility or ignorance, or possibly both, when they assert that US policy supports creating a Palestinian Arab state. To the contrary, the Trump administration, while not ruling it out, has explicitly not adopted this position — and it is the executive branch that sets foreign policy.

It is additionally deeply hypocritical that Senators Sanders and Warren have called for cutting aid to Israel over an issue of policy when, in September this year, both senators opposed President Trump’s cuts in aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

The PA has refused negotiations for nearly a decade and insists it will never return to them, refused to dismantle terrorist groups, refused to end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps, and has refused to stop paying salaries to blood-soaked, jailed terrorists and stipends to the families of deceased terrorists who murdered Jews. (These payments totaled $318 million in 2016).

The PA, moreover, has made the astonishing declaration that it regards US aid as a “political and moral right” on account of US support for Israel’s establishment in 1948. These policies adhered to by the PA diverge massively from the US position — unless Sanders-Warren-Buttigieg mean to changer that too. Yet none of these positions attracts even the suggestion from these Democrats that the PA deserves no or less US aid.

These new, diametrically-opposed positions will not long coexist in the same party. The Democratic Party is fast reaching the point where it must either succumb to the new radical leftist positions on Israel espoused by Sanders-Warren-Buttigieg (not to mention ‘The Squad’) or reassert its traditional, liberal support for the Jewish 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


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The End of Babies

The NYT article excerpted below does a good job of showing that  there is a shortage of babies in all sorts of modern countries -- from Denmark to China.  And many possible explanations are canvassed for the phenomenon. Some of them no doubt have some role to play but none of the explanations fit all the cases.  And all are highly theoretical. So we are left with a mystery.  Why is it happening?

The explanation is in fact perfectly simple if you take a long-term view.  In earlier times when mothers routinely had 8 children or more the main reason for that was very poor contraceptive strategies.  The babies kept coming because nobody knew to stop them.  The sexual urge is a strong one and very little can stop it acting out.  Even celibate Roman Catholic priests often managed to father a baby.

Then came the contraceptive pill. It was an effective baby-blocker.  And women worldwide started blocking their babies.  Childbirth became optional.

But the interesting thing is that the pill did not block all births.  It was mainly the unwanted pregnancies that were blocked.  And among the unwanted pregnancies were  pregnancies in women who were not maternally inclined.  In the past, many women were not keen on getting pregnant but got pregnant anyway. So a large part of the population was the product of unmaternal women. Even unmaternal women reproduced. 

And because of that there were very many women in the population who were born with missing or reduced maternal motivation.  They were born to unmaternal women and inherited that motivation. And after the pill, they could live as they wished -- without children. So they did.  It was largely the unmaternal women who stopped having babies.

But the maternal instinct is strong in many women so such women  were very different.  They actively sought a life with children in it. They were willing to give up a lot to have children.  So they too did what they wanted and had children.  They kept the population alive

So we are left with a situation where it is largely maternal women who are reproducing.  The unmaternal women are editing themselves out of the gene pool. In future all the women alive will be the descendants of maternal women and the rate of childbirth will recover.  The dead-weight of unmaternal women will have been removed from the statistics by their own choices.

It is true that families across the board are much smaller than they were but there is considerable variation, nonetheless.  Some women have one child, some have four (etc.) so it seems likely that if we did not count unmaternal mothers who have deliberately refrained from giving birth we probably would have a population that is reproducing itself.

So we live at the moment in a transitional phase, when unmaternal women have mostly not yet edited themselves out of existence and it is their lack of babies that is weighing down the birth statistics.  They will be gone before long and society will rejoice again in mostly child-filled homes

I may be criticized for not mentioning fathers above.  But it is another feature of the modern world that fathers have become optional.  It is the women who decide to have the babies

Fertility rates have been dropping precipitously around the world for decades — in middle-income countries, in some low-income countries, but perhaps most markedly, in rich ones.

Declining fertility typically accompanies the spread of economic development, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. At its best, it reflects better educational and career opportunities for women, increasing acceptance of the choice to be child-free, and rising standards of living.

At its worst, though, it reflects a profound failure: of employers and governments to make parenting and work compatible; of our collective ability to solve the climate crisis so that children seem a rational prospect; of our increasingly unequal global economy. In these instances, having fewer children is less a choice than the poignant consequence of a set of unsavory circumstances. Decades of survey data show that people’s stated preferences have shifted toward smaller families. But they also show that in country after country, actual fertility has fallen faster than notions of ideal family size. In the United States, the gap between how many children people want and how many they have has widened to a 40-year high. In a report covering 28 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, women reported an average desired family size of 2.3 children in 2016, and men wished for 2.2. But few hit their target. Something is stopping us from creating the families we claim to want. But what?

There are as many answers to this question as there are people choosing whether to reproduce. At the national level, what demographers call “underachieving fertility” finds explanations ranging from the glaring absence of family- friendly policies in the United States to gender inequality in South Korea to high youth unemployment across Southern Europe. It has prompted concerns about public finances and work force stability and, in some cases, contributed to rising xenophobia.

But these all miss the bigger picture.

Our current version of global capitalism — one from which few countries and individuals are able to opt out — has generated shocking wealth for some, and precarity for many more. These economic conditions generate social conditions inimical to starting families: Our workweeks are longer and our wages lower, leaving us less time and money to meet, court and fall in love. Our increasingly winner-take-all economies require that children get intensive parenting and costly educations, creating rising anxiety around what sort of life a would-be parent might provide. A lifetime of messaging directs us toward other pursuits instead: education, work, travel.

These economic and social dynamics combine with the degeneration of our environment in ways that hardly encourage childbearing: Chemicals and pollutants seep into our bodies, disrupting our endocrine systems. On any given day, it seems that some part of the inhabited world is either on fire or underwater.

To worry about falling birthrates because they threaten social security systems or future work force strength is to miss the point; they are a symptom of something much more pervasive.

Something is stopping us from creating the families we claim to want. But what?

It seems clear that what we have come to think of as “late capitalism” — that is, not just the economic system, but all its attendant inequalities, indignities, opportunities and absurdities — has become hostile to reproduction. Around the world, economic, social and environmental conditions function as a diffuse, barely perceptible contraceptive. And yes, it is even happening in Denmark.

Danes don’t face the horrors of American student debt, debilitating medical bills or lack of paid family leave. College is free. Income inequality is low. In short, many of the factors that cause young Americans to delay having families simply aren’t present.

Even so, many Danes find themselves contending with the spiritual maladies that accompany late capitalism even in wealthy, egalitarian countries. With their basic needs met and an abundance of opportunities at their fingertips, Danes instead must grapple with the promise and pressure of seemingly limitless freedom, which can combine to make children an afterthought, or an unwelcome intrusion on a life that offers rewards and satisfactions of a different kind — an engaging career, esoteric hobbies, exotic holidays.

“Parents say that ‘children are the most important thing in my life,’” said Dr. Ziebe. By contrast, those who haven’t tried it — who cannot imagine the shifts in priorities it produces, nor fathom its rewards — see parenting as an unwelcome responsibility. “Young people say, ‘Having children is the end of my life.’”

There are, to be sure, many people for whom not having children is a choice, and growing societal acceptance of voluntary childlessness is undoubtedly a step forward, especially for women. But the rising use of assisted reproductive technologies in Denmark and elsewhere (in Finland, for example, the share of children born via assisted reproduction has nearly doubled in a little more than a decade; in Denmark, it accounts for an estimated one in 10 births) suggests that the same people who see children as a hindrance often come to want them.

Kristine Marie Foss, a networking specialist and event manager, almost missed out on parenthood. A stylish woman with a warm smile, Ms. Foss, now 50, always dreamed of finding love, but none of her serious boyfriends lasted. She spent most of her 30s and 40s single; those were also the decades in which she worked as an interior designer, created several social networks (including one for singles, “before it was cool to be single”) and expanded and deepened her friendships.

It wasn’t until she was 39 that she realized it might be time to start thinking seriously about a family. A routine visit to the gynecologist prompted an unexpected revelation: “If I become 50 or 60 and I don’t have kids, I know I’m going to hate myself the rest of my life,” said Ms. Foss, now the mother of a 9-year-old and 6-yearold via a sperm donor. Ms. Foss has joined the ranks of what Danes call “solomor,” or single mothers by choice, a cohort that has been growing since 2007, when the Danish government began covering IVF for single women.

There are those who have always sought to lay the blame for declining fertility, in some way, on women — for their individual selfishness in eschewing motherhood, or for their embrace of feminism’s expansion of women’s roles. But the instinct to explore life without children is not restricted to women. In Denmark, one out of five men will never become a parent, a figure that is similar in the United States.

Trent MacNamara, an assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University, has been pondering human attitudes toward fertility and family for over a decade. Economic conditions, he notes, are only part of the picture. What may matter more are “the little moral signals we send each other,” he writes in a forthcoming essay, “based on big ideas about dignity, identity, transcendence and meaning.” Today, we have found different ways to make meaning, form identities and relate to transcendence.

In this context, he said, having children may appear to be no more than a “quixotic lifestyle choice” absent other social cues reinforcing the idea that parenting connects people “to something uniquely dignified, worthwhile and transcendent.”

In a secular world in which a capitalist ethos — extract, optimize, earn, achieve, grow — prevails, those cues are increasingly difficult to notice. Where alternative value systems exist, however, babies can be plentiful. In the United States, for example, communities of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, Mormons and Mennonites have birthrates higher than the national average.

Lyman Stone, an economist who studies population, points to two features of modern life that correlate with low fertility: rising “workism” — a term popularized by the Atlantic writer Derek Thompson — and declining religiosity. “There is a desire for meaning-making in humans,” Mr. Stone told me. Without religion, one way people seek external validation is through work, which, when it becomes a dominant cultural value, is “inherently fertility reducing.”

Denmark, he notes, is not a workaholic culture, but is highly secular. East Asia, where fertility rates are among the lowest in the world, is often both. In South Korea, for example, the government has introduced tax incentives for childbearing and expanded access to day care. But “excessive workism” and the persistence of traditional gender roles have combined to make parenting difficult, and especially unappealing for women, who take on a second shift at home.

The difference between life in tiny Denmark, with its generous social welfare system and its high marks for gender equality, and life in China, where social assistance is spotty and women face rampant discrimination, is vast. Yet both countries face fertility rates well below replacement levels.

If Denmark illustrates the ways that capitalist values of individualism and self-actualization can nonetheless take root in a country where its harshest effects have been blunted, China is an example of how those same values can sharpen into competition so cutthroat that parents speak of “winning from the starting line,” that is, equipping their children with advantages from the earliest possible age. (One scholar told me this can even encompass timing conception to help a child in school admissions.)

After decades of restricting most families to just one child, the government announced in 2015 that all couples were permitted to have two. Despite this, fertility has barely budged. China’s fertility rate in 2018 was 1.6.


Israel's Right to Its Ancient Land
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced U.S policy toward Israel’s “settlements” is reverting to one held by the Reagan administration; that is the right of Israelis to settle in the ancient lands of Judea and Samaria “is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

This is good news, not only for Israel and its right to national security and sovereignty, but after seven decades of enemy attempts to eradicate the Jewish state it says to the world, “time’s up.”

Israel’s enemies have had the most generous offers to live in peace, including the relinquishing of land captured by Israel after many aggressive and unprovoked wars and terrorist attacks. With ongoing propaganda statements by Israel’s enemies, the firing of rockets into civilian areas from Gaza and elsewhere, and ongoing sermons attempting to justify the violent overthrow of Israel and the murder of Jews, a reality check is long overdue.

Israel, under all of its prime ministers, has gone more than halfway trying to make peace. The responses have been as if no outreaches were ever made. Israel and the West have a right to question the sincerity of those Arab and Muslin nations when they continue to denounce and defame Israel and the Jewish people as illegitimate occupiers of “Palestinian” land. As long as such denial continues, there can be no opportunity for peace and Israel is well within its rights to defend itself against such ominous and ongoing verbal, theological and military threats.

It is and always has been wishful thinking to believe that people motivated by hate, a mandate from Allah to conduct what would amount to genocide against Jews and revisionist history as to the original owners of “occupied land,” would miraculously change their minds and agree to reverse decades of provocations and proof of their ultimate objective.

This has always been the danger when Westerners believe all humans are alike and given the right incentives can be persuaded to act in ways consistent with Western values and practices.

The next step is for the Israeli Knesset to validate the Trump administration’s new policy, which aligns with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultimate goal.

As reported in the Jerusalem Post, “Likud MK Sharren Haskel proposed the bill weeks ago, but decided to fast-track it in light of the change in U.S. policy. Haskel submitted a request to exempt her bill to annex the Jordan Valley from the mandatory six-week waiting period for any new legislation, so that it can go to a vote in the plenum next week.”

Columnist Caroline Glick wrote for the publication Israel Hayot, “In the interest of promoting peace, Pompeo instead told the truth. Not only are Israeli settlements not illegal. Pompeo noted that they are arguably more justified than civilian settlements built in other disputed territories.

"In his words, the administration’s determination ‘is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.’ That is, it is based on the historic ties of the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria. These ties lay at the heart of Jewish history and religion.”

Indeed, they do. Now if the European Union, whose hatred of Israel goes back to the shameless days of Nazi anti-Semitism, and is now resurging, would only see the light and end its recently announced policy to require “goods from illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories to be labeled as such,” perhaps some real steps forward might occur.

As long as a religious motivation for wiping out Israel persists, there will be no peace, and no two-state solution. It is why the Trump administration’s position on the legality of settlements in Judea and Samaria is not only correct, but a necessary contribution to Israel’s security and any true peace, or at least stability.


UK: Stop apologising for the past

Labour’s promise of an inquiry into Britain’s imperial history is pointless.

The Labour Party’s much-trailed manifesto is reported to include a promise to inaugurate an inquiry into ‘the legacies of British imperial rule’.

The backdrop to this proposal is a growing campaign to challenge traditional ideas about the virtues of the British Empire, and shine a new light upon the darker chapters – like the Bengal famine of 1943, which killed three million, or the torture and execution of Mau Mau fighters in Kenya’s struggle for independence.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has raised similar ideas before. Last year in Bristol he proposed a special Emancipation Education Trust to teach about slavery and Empire in schools.

The new proposal is not without precedent. Government inquiries into the Empire were commonplace in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Colonial Office published the reports of colonial governors on a regular basis. Historians have been blessed with millions of pages of official reports put out by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and raw records kept at the Public Records Office at Kew.

However, the thinking behind the Labour Party proposal is complicated. It perhaps springs from a recognition that the Labour Party in government has long been an enthusiastic champion of imperialism, from the Great War right through to the Iraq War of 2003 and beyond.

If, as many people believe, Labour is making this new proposal because it wants the country to come to a moral judgment about the British Empire, that raises significant problems.

Governments ought to make available as much of the historical record as is practicable. One of the significant complaints made against the Colonial Office is that they appear to have kept large amounts of material hidden. They destroyed a lot, too.

Historical knowledge is constantly being deepened and nuanced, and often significantly transformed. Historical inquiry is a valuable part of the way that a community relates to its past and its goals today.

When it comes to governments casting judgment on historical events, however, the value is more doubtful. The Labour proposal is part of a movement to pass a negative judgment on the history of the British Empire. There is good reason to criticise Britain’s imperial record, which is indeed steeped in oppression and cruelty. But the virtue of the British government making pronouncements about the past is less clear. In the case of most of the events in question, the conflicts are long since passed, and the protagonists dead.

For the British government today, to strike a moral position on governments of the past is an empty kind of gesture politics. In 1997, Tony Blair apologised for not doing enough to help Irish victims of the Potato Famine of 1847. But Tony Blair was in no position to do anything about the Potato Famine, since he wasn’t born for another century.

(It was poor history, too. The problem in 1847 was not that the British government did too little to stop the famine, but that British absentee landlords did too much to promote famine. Their predatory attitude to rents left their tenant farmers dependent on a single crop — the potato — while their other produce, including wheat and beef, continued to leave the country as a form of payment of rent to the landlords.)

This year, Britain’s high commissioner expressed his deep regrets for the Amritsar Massacre by British forces in India a century ago, in 1919.

These expressions of regret fail to satisfy because everyone can see that they are tailored to meet the needs of present-day statecraft, not to fix problems from the past. Just as the British governments of 1847 and 1919 defended their actions to silence criticism, the governments of 1997 and 2019 made expressions of regret to meet their policy goals today – principally to advance Britain’s claim to moral authority in the world.

Many Britons resent the apologetic attitude to the past. They think that the willingness of Labour Party politicians, Foreign Office diplomats and university lecturers to find fault with Britain’s military past is aimed at them. The hundreds of thousands who took part in Remembrance Day services are less interested in collecting evidence of war crimes and more in honouring the sacrifice of British servicemen. Their patriotism arises out of a common commitment to the country they live in.

Many of them suspect that the rewriting of the past is about making them feel guilty for Britain’s imperial record today. They hear the apologies as saying that they should have something to feel bad about or say sorry for. The point seems to be that, as British citizens, they were privileged and pampered at the expense of the colonies’ subjected peoples. Telling people who are themselves working hard to get by that they should be sorry about the past is just a way of putting them down.

It is perhaps an indication of the judgmental implications of the contemporary anti-colonial mood that many commentators and academics wrote of the result of the 2016 referendum as a malingering sickness of imperial nostalgia (see, for example, Fintan O’Toole’s book Heroic Failure). Leave voters struggled to understand this judgment, wondering how it was that these wise owls heard ‘bring back the Empire’ when they voted to leave the European Union.

No doubt people in the future will look back at us today and wonder at the things that we are doing wrongly. But sadly, we cannot tell what judgment the historians of the future will make of us. Will they condemn us for burning fossil fuels, or will they perhaps condemn us for encouraging children to undergo sex-change surgery? Only time will tell.

To imagine that the moral judgments we make today are the last word is to make the error of ‘presentism’. Just as we are astounded by the shocking things our forebears said, so too will our descendants be shocked by us.

In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the protagonist Winston Smith has a job rewriting past editions of the official newspaper to match the policy alignments of the present. The story is meant to shock us as a dishonest and philistine treatment of the truth. Britain’s record of imperial domination of hundreds of countries and peoples across the world cannot be expunged. Nor should we want it to be. A future Corbyn government could go through the motions of apologising for things that it did not do, but what would be the point of that?


Australia: A friend of free speech bows out, integrity intact

In the final months of 2016, a jaded Cory Bernardi was cooling his heels on a 12-week parliamentary secondment to the UN in New York.

The conservative Liberal senator was fed up with the leftward drift of the party under the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull, who had limped across the line at an election earlier that year having wrested the leadership from Bernardi’s good friend Tony Abbott the year before.

Bernardi, a lifelong Liberal supporter, was having dark thoughts. Through circumstance, he was now living in the same city as his mentor, former Howard government minister Nick Minchin, who was then the Australian consul-general in New York.

Minchin had sponsored Bernardi’s rise through South Australian Liberal ranks in the early 2000s as a powerful and intelligent young conservative, challenging the state’s historic moderate domination. Minchin knew where Bernardi’s mind was at, and he set to work. “While Cory was in New York we spent many a while together talking it through,” Minchin tells The Weekend Australian.

“There were quite a few of us who had difficulties with Malcolm’s view of the world. But I did a lot of work to persuade him not to leave. I wanted him to grit his teeth and hang in there. I understood what he was thinking because I had also been shattered by the Turnbull coup against Abbott, but I was desperate to keep him in the party.”

Minchin’s pleas failed to convince Bernardi, who on his return home in 2017 quit the party in ­disillusionment at Turnbull’s lead­ership and founded the unsuccess­ful Australian Conservatives.

“I understood why he did it. But he sacrificed what would have been a long and successful senior ministerial career. He could have gone all the way,” Minchin says.

This week, Bernardi announced he was leaving politics for good, but with no sense of ­regret at having quit the Liberals or derailing his own career. “I remember those chats with Nick and he definitely did sound a cautioning note in our conversations,” Bernardi tells The Weekend Australian.

“I had confided in a couple of people about where I was at. He said that I needed to realise what it would mean for my life and my ­career. It was a mentor’s concern, that I needed to understand the implications of leaving. But like all my good friends he understood the motivations for my decision. And I can console myself in the fact that the people who said bad things about me after I quit were already saying bad things about me before then ­anyway.”

Bernardi may be unique in the annals of Australian political betrayal in that he is the only politician to have “ratted” on his party and still received a warm send-off from many of the people he abandoned.

Bernardi, who turned 50 this month, will leave the parliament at the end of the year, with the SA Liberals to hold a fresh preselection to find his replacement.

The announcement came almost three years after he walked away from the Liberal Party, for whom he was elected a senator for South Australia back in 2006.

Unlike most other famous political defections and departures, Bernardi’s was motivated by ­neither spite nor self-interest.

He wasn’t Mal Colston walking out on Labor in 1996, enraged at having been denied the glorious honour of elevation to the Senate deputy presidency.

Bernardi’s reasons — like Bernardi himself — were 100 per cent ideological.

He had come to regard his relationship to the Liberal Party, then under the leadership of Turnbull, as akin to a bad marriage, where he felt that his own role was pointless and that he was living a lie ­remaining in a party that, he believed, was swinging leftward away from its traditional values.

And rather than acting out of self-interest, he acted against his own interests, in that the party he founded on his departure, ­Australian Conservatives, endured what Bernardi described with trademark bluntness as “an unmitigated disaster” at this year’s election, polling just 16,000 first-preference votes in his home state, less than one-third the result enjoyed in South Australia by One Nation.

The fledgling party had been caught in a pincer movement with traditional Liberal conservatives returning to the fold once Scott Morrison replaced Turnbull, and the headline-grabbing Pauline Hanson scooping up disaffected blue-collar and regional right-wing voters.

“The inescapable conclusion from our lack of political success, our financial position and the re-election of a Morrison-led government is that the rationale for the creation of the Australian Conservatives is no longer valid,” Bernardi wrote on the party’s website in June on announcing its deregistration.

Bernardi is now in the business of cleaning out his office in the inner-eastern suburb of Kent Town ahead of a return to the family business where he received his start in the 1990s, as publican of the now-defunct hotel Bernardi’s, a rollicking city pub propped up by an army of drunken journalists from the neighbouring Advertiser building.

Bernardi became famous for a string of so-called controversies that stemmed from his enthusiasm for plain speech, be it on ­issues such as banning the burka or his defence of the traditional family unit. While in New York, he had a front-row seat for the unheralded rise of Donald Trump, deliberately goading his lefty critics back home by posing on social media wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap.

He says this week he has been reflecting on the battles he has had during the past 13 years, most of which emanated from his lived commitment to freedom of speech. He fears that censorship, self-censorship and a growing inability to agree to disagree are now the biggest threat to the exchange of ideas.

“A lot of the battles I had were really because people weren’t ready for the conversations,” he tells The Weekend Australian.

“In the fullness of time we can now have mainstream talk about the problems with China and its interference in our political system, the merits or otherwise of high immigration levels, or altering our cultural norms. I am happy to have participated and in some cases led those ­debates.

“If we stifle free speech or the battle of ideas we will go backwards as a country. I know it’s not what Australians want.

“When I consider the relationships I have formed in Canberra, there are people I respect on all sides of the political divide. It’s because I respect their intellect, their consistency, their application of principle, and the fact that they are prepared to counter the political battle in a rational and sensible way. The ones I have the least ­respect for are those who are reactive, emotionally driven, rather than driven by an actual factual nature.

“We can’t have a society where we say ‘we are going to denigrate your character because we disagree with what you say’.

“Now too often it’s about shrillness and denigrating others. Any society where 100 per cent of the people are agreeing 100 per cent of the time is a false one. You can go to North Korea for that.”

Minchin says that when Bernardi emerged on the SA political scene in the late 1990s, he was keen to enlist him to the cause in a state where the party had been historically dominated by small-l Liberals. At the time, Minchin was at the height of his enmity with moderate powerbroker Christopher Pyne. The Howard cabinet also replicated the SA factional split, with Minchin and foreign minister Alexander Downer flying the flag for the Right in a sometimes uneasy coalition with moderate ministers Amanda Vanstone and Robert Hill.

“When I got to know Cory I was struck by our common judgment on a whole range of issues,” Minchin says. “He and I shared a common view of the world. He was a fellow traveller for me, a fellow conservative. He was also a very commanding figure, and a good mate. A loyal mate. Someone who was keen to get stuck in and help the party.

“My friends and I were always on the lookout for young conservative talent to bring through the ranks. He wasn’t someone who was there out of ego or a thirst for self-promotion. At the time the moderates did have a bit of a grip on the younger side of the party and Cory helped challenge that. He did it by being honest and ­direct. He was never a game-player, he was never devious, he was what you see is what you get, not like some of the cockroaches that scurry around.”

Bernardi feels no qualms about ending his career the way he did. “I don’t take any angst or unhappiness out of this. I’ve had a wonderful journey and I’ve met some extraordinary people. Your opponents often make you better. The qualities I admire in others — integrity, honesty, resilience — are all enhanced by your opponents picking on you when they think you’re wrong.”

And while he won’t name names, he confirms that there are several farewells planned in Canberra by his former party colleagues. “There are a lot of dinners,” he says. “They’re all secret though.”



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