Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Study shows motherhod is good for memory

Scientists have found that motherhood helps protect the brain against the ageing process - and the more kids a woman has the greater the impact. New research from Monash University has found mothers had a "younger pattern of brain activity" - particularly in the areas responsible for memory - which researchers say correlates to. a "more efficient brain".

Lead researcher Dr Sharna Jamadar, a senior research fellow at Monash's Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, said  research in mice suggesting motherhood produced a brain that was "more flexible, healthier and more resistant to age-related decline"

Their study was the first to look at the effects of parenthood on the human brain. -- "Our hypothesis was that being a parent increases the complexity of your life for a very long time. We know that when you engage in more complex behaviours you tend to have better neurological outcomes as you age," Dr Jamadar said.

They scanned the brains of 220 Victorian women aged in their 70s to find mothers had thicker brains compared to non-parents, particularly in regions associated with memory, and they had a "younger" pattern of communication across the brain. "We found that mothers with more children were less likely to show the changes in the patterns of brain function that are associated with ageing. Their brain looked younger," she said.

"Becoming a parent is generally considered to be a bad thing for your brain. And while yes, in the short term, becoming a parent is probably associated with changes in memory and concentration, these are not permanent. "Our new results suggest that in the long term these changes are good for your brain and we think it's related to having a more complex environment as you get older." The research was presented at the Australasian Neuroscience Society in Adelaide on Thursday.

From the Brisbane "Courier mail of 7 December, 2019

Islamist Cover-Up? Media Silent After Imam Fired Amid Sexual Assault Scandal

An Arizona imam has been accused of sexual assault, child abuse, misuse of funds, and falsely presenting himself as single in order to pursue female congregants while having two concealed marriages. One mosque quietly fired him after early accusations, but another has continued to employ him. An anti-Islamist Muslim reformer has condemned a media blackout on the story, suggesting that the local Muslim community is protecting a sexual predator due to radical interpretations of sharia.

"Here is the story on the imam ‘quietly’ fired from our mosque in Scottsdale," M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), tweeted. "Apparently he was also a sexual predator. So tell me again this has nothing to do with their shariah supremacism, radicalism and affinity for radical imams like [Siraj Wahhaj]?"

Jasser was referring to a Religion News Service (RNS) article about Moataz Moftah, an imam who teaches youth at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. The article cites an exhaustive report from the victims' advocacy group Facing Abuse in Community Environments (FACE) following an 11-month investigation into Moftah's alleged misconduct. FACE released the report on November 11.

The imam's "repetitive and egregious misconduct completely disqualifies him from serving as a religious leader, teacher or any professional employment within the Muslim community,” FACE founder Alia Salem declared in the report based on police reports from alleged victims and interviews with 34 people including Moftah.

The investigation began last year after a congregant of the Islamic Center of North East Valley in Scottsdale filed a complaint with FACE.

Moftah studied in Egypt before coming to the U.S. in 2012 to work as an imam in Indiana. He has been employed as a religious leader at five Islamic institutions and worked as a contractor for at least eight others.

According to FACE, he had been fired for misconduct from Ohio's Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, after he allegedly concealed a marriage to a congregant he had helped convert to Islam. In 2017, she divorced him and obtained an order of protection, accusing him of violence and claiming he had married her for immigration status.

While Moftah taught at the Scottsdale mosque, several youth and parents complained he was hitting, pinching, and throwing things at students during Quran lessons, the FACE report alleged.

One woman told FACE that when she went to the mosque seeking charitable funds, Moftah told her to clean his apartment in exchange for cash. While in the apartment, he allegedly removed her hijab, kissed her, and grabbed her tightly. He then promised to give her as much money as she wanted if she kept quiet.

According to the report, Moftah counseled one Scottsdale congregant through a divorce and then married her in a ceremony in his office. Since there were no witnesses and no public announcement of the marriage, many Muslim scholars would conclude the wedding was illegal.

A few months later, he married another woman in a ceremony conducted over the phone with no witnesses, according to FACE. Both women were unaware of the other's existence.

Meanwhile, the imam allegedly presented himself to the Muslim community as a single man in search of a wife. The report accused him of pursuing other marriage prospects, including with a woman who claimed he groped her on a date.

In March 2019, the Scottsdale mosque fired Moftah after multiple reports of misconduct. He was promptly hired by the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.

The Moftah report is only the second one made public by FACE, which Salem founded in 2017, aiming to tackle issues of accountability and abuse in American Islamic institutions. The first report, published in October, revealed the results of a yearlong investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation, clergy malpractice, and grooming of a young woman by Texas imam Zia ul-Haque Sheikh. That investigation concluded in a $2.5 million judgment for the victor, who had been counseled as a minor.

Jasser accused local media outlets of being in "a protective coma."

"Apparently the fact that a leading Scottsdale mosque that’s a hub for the Arizona Muslim Alliance (coalition of Phoenix mosques/schools) that had an imam that exposed our vulnerable community to predatory behavior is not worth covering?" Jasser added, bitterly. "

So tell me again this has nothing to do with their shariah supremacism, radicalism and affinity for radical imams like @SirajWahhaj

Apparently the fact that a leading Scottsdale mosque that’s a hub for the Arizona Muslim Alliance (coalition of Phoenix mosques/schools) that had an imam that exposed our vulnerable community to predatory behavior is not worth covering? #Bigotry while protecting #Islamists?

Reformers like Jasser seek to emphasize the compatibility between Islam and Western norms, pushing against Islamist interpretations of Sharia (Islamic law) that support jihadist violence, state enforcement of Islamic law, and the abuse of women. To reformers like Jasser, the stories about Moftah echo medieval Islam, which sanctioned sex slavery and polygamy. He fights against the Islamism that fueled the Islamic State to carry out similar atrocities and worse.

FACE does important work, and the media should cover it. Islamic institutions should protect women, not cover for alleged abusers like Moftah.


Revealed: The Plan Behind the Transgender Assault on Parental Rights

Last week, a British journalist unearthed a document laying out the transgender movement's secretive strategy to seize control of governments, undermine parental rights, and target children for dangerous experimental drugs that lead to sterilization and genital mutilation. The document lays out a three-pronged strategy to victimize children when they are far too young to understand the ramifications of any hormone "treatment" or surgery.

As the Spectator's James Kirkup revealed, transgender activists attack parental rights by getting ahead of the government agenda, tying their issue to more popular movements to create a "veil of protection," and working in secret to "keep press coverage to a minimum." In this way, they use their status as a minority to manipulate the government into enacting policies that would be opposed by the majority.

Dentons, which claims to be the world's biggest law firm, crafted the report, working with Thomson Reuters Foundation and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth & Student Organization (IGLYO). Both Dentons and the Thomson Reuters Foundation claim the document does not necessarily represent their views, but they helped draft it, nonetheless.

"Only Adults? Good Practices in Legal Gender Recognition for Youth" warns that parental rights can damage children's self-expression. "It is recognised that the requirement for parental consent or the consent of a legal guardian can be restrictive and problematic for minors," the document argues.

In this foundational assumption, IGLYO reveals its aim: to circumvent parental consent when it comes to transgender identity. "Restricting" a child's capacity for self-harm is an essential part of good parenting, and parents should have the right to protect their children from decisions that will damage them for the rest of their lives. No good father will allow his anorexic daughter to get liposuction, and no good mother will allow her son to cut off his arm or leg because he has body integrity disorder or identifies as an amputee.

Medical Expert: Doctors Are Actually Giving Trans Kids a Disease, and It's Child Abuse

Yet when it comes to transgender identity — which can push children toward "treatments" that actually introduce a disease to healthy bodies — the document urges the government to subvert parental rights.

"For example, states should take action against parents who are obstructing the free development of a young trans person’s identity in refusing to give parental authorisation when required," the document reads. Yes, this activist handbook drafted by an international law firm and backed by one of the world's largest charitable foundations directly aims to subvert parental rights through the power of the state.

Interestingly, the handbook pays lip service to politics and culture but takes direct aim at government policies. "While cultural and political factors play a key role in the approach to be taken, there are certain techniques that emerge as being effective in progressing trans rights in the 'good practice' countries," it states.

Kirkup zeroed in on three of the handbook's pieces of advice.

"Get ahead of the government agenda," the document advises. "In many of the NGO advocacy campaigns that we studied, there were clear benefits where NGOs managed to get ahead of the government and publish progressive legislative proposals before the government had time to develop their own."

Activist groups should effectively direct any reform, the handbook encourages. "NGOs need to intervene early in the legislative process and ideally before it has even started. This will give them far greater ability to shape the government agenda and the ultimate proposal than if they intervene after the government has already started to develop its own proposals."

Powerful activist groups like the Human Rights Campaign draft model legislation and regulations, pushing them on political leaders and government agencies. When then-Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2, reserving public restrooms on the basis of biological sex, five LGBT groups sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Shortly thereafter, Lynch's deputy, Vanita Gupta, sent a letter threatening to revoke North Carolina's federal funding for education unless it ceased its "discrimination" immediately.

LGBT activist groups had circumvented the culture and politics, going straight for government policy — and the Obama administration leapt at the opportunity to condemn a Republican governor.

The handbook also encourages transgender activists to "tie your campaign to more popular reform." Activists suggest tying the subversion of parental rights to the campaign for same-sex marriage.

"In Ireland, Denmark and Norway, changes to the law on legal gender recognition were put through at the same time as other more popular reforms such as marriage equality legislation," the document notes. "This provided a veil of protection, particularly in Ireland, where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remained a more difficult issue to win public support for."

Kirkup highlighted the phrases "veil of protection" and "difficult to win public support for." Transgender activists know their advocacy is unpopular, so they tie it to same-sex marriage. Many feminists — especially lesbians — have rightly balked at this. Women who oppose opening up their bathrooms, changing rooms, sexual abuse shelters, and prisons to biological men have rightly argued that it is not possible to distinguish between a man who truly identifies as female and a man who masquerades as transgender in order to spy on, assault, or even rape women in sex-segregated spaces.

Real-Life Victims of the Transgender 'Cult'

While Kirkup did not emphasize these points, the handbook also encourages the use of "human rights arguments" to spin the narrative, and urges activists to "de-medicalise the campaign." What does "de-medicalising" entail? According to the document, it "involves separating the legal gender recognition process from the public association with medical treatment or diagnoses." In other words, activists want the legal recognition that males are "women" even if they do not undergo hormone therapy or genital mutilation.

While medical "treatments" are often scarring and usually irreversible, transgender activists are not trying to protect people from these procedures so much as trying to muddy the waters on definitions. They want legal recognition of transgender identity regardless of anatomy — the very thing lesbian feminists warn against.

Activists seem to think that public support for transgender identity will curb the devastating suicide rates among people who suffer from gender confusion. Yet by advocating legal recognition without requiring any medical changes, they are opening the doors for abuse by provocateurs like Jessica Yaniv, a biological male who tried — and failed — to weaponize human rights laws to force women to wax his genitals.

Perhaps for these reasons, the handbook also encourages activists to "avoid excessive press coverage and exposure."

"Another technique which has been used to great effect is the limitation of press coverage and exposure. In certain countries, like the UK, information on legal gender recognition reforms has been misinterpreted in the mainstream media, and opposition has arisen as a result," the document warns. "Against this background, many believe that public campaigning has been detrimental to progress, as much of the general public is not well informed about trans issues, and therefore misinterpretation can arise."

"In Ireland, activists have directly lobbied individual politicians and tried to keep press coverage to a minimum in order to avoid this issue."

As Kirkup noted, this secretiveness is extremely revealing. "Actually convincing people that this stuff is a good idea doesn't feature much in the report, which runs to 65 pages."

Sure, the handbook is a tool for activists who are already on board with the mission. Even so, a reasonable observer might expect Dentons and Thomson Reuters to be at least partially concerned with convincing people on the merits, rather than attempting to foist transgender activism on an unconvinced populace.

Tragically, these attempts to circumvent the political and cultural debate are a central facet of transgender activism. Endocrinologists like Dr. Michael Laidlaw witnessed the transgender takeover of medical establishments, resulting in the perverse situation of pumping kids with hormones that introduce disease into otherwise healthy bodies. The very same disease many endocrinologists treat — hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, which involves the brain failing to send the right signals for proper hormone development — is being fostered in children by experimental drugs.

These issues have come to a head in the case of James Younger, the 7-year-old Texas boy whose mother claims he is a girl. As the handbook warned, more coverage of the case has bolstered the argument against transgender experimentation, as the boy's father has warned that the mother would subject the boy to dangerous drugs — and eventually genital mutilation. States are considering legislation to protect children in these cases, and that effort is likely to expand next year.

The secretive strategies in this handbook are particularly revealing. If Americans want to stand up for parental rights and the protection of children, perhaps the best strategy is to shine a light on transgender activism and to note that it is separate from and more pernicious than same-sex marriage.


Australia: Neutral toilet plan could be flushed

The Queensland Labor party has always been fairly conservative and seems to be getting more so after the losses of Federal Labor in Queensland in the recent national elections

PREMIER Annastasia Palaszczuk says she will raise the issue of shared toilets at a new Brisbane high school with the Education Department, declaring boys and girls should have their own facilities.

Ms PalaszcZuk said the first she had heard of a plan to install gender-neutral facilities at the $80 million new Fortitude Valley State Secondary College was when she read it in The Sunday Mail.

"Look, I am happy to talk to the department about that," she said. "I think in our high schools we should have facilities available for both boys and girls." Asked whether she had a problem with the plan, she said "I will be making it very clear that you should have toilets for boys and girls."

Ms Palaszczuk, Who established an anti-bullying task-force last year, was asked whether she had concerns over bullying or other problem behaviours that could flourish in shared bathrooms. "Like I said, there has to be toilets for girls and toilets for boys."

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said young, impressionable teens needed privacy and protection. "I'm a mum of three teenage girls and it's deeply concerning to think that a 12-year-old girl would be in the same bathroom as a 17-year-old (boy)", she said. "When it comes to fitting out the bathrooms at schools, we need to make sure that girls have their bathrooms and boys have their bathrooms."

From the Brisbane Courier mail of 9 December, 2019


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

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

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


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