Thursday, December 19, 2019

Why the Left Doesn't Like Christmas

Many on the left (as opposed to liberals) have been warring on Christmas for more than a generation. Leftists always deny there is a war on Christmas and mock those who claim there is.

There is a mind-blowing chutzpah or lack of self-awareness when people do something and yet deny that they are actually doing it. But the evidence is overwhelming. The left has stopped schools from calling Christmas vacations by that name -- the name schools called them throughout American history until the last couple of decades. Almost every non-Christian school in America now calls Christmas vacation "winter break." Fewer and fewer Americans, stores, companies or media wish people "merry Christmas," preferring the neutered "happy holidays" (despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas). And in but one generation, virtually every American business has gone from having a "Christmas party" to having a "holiday party."

Having written in the past about the falsehood of "merry Christmas," "Christmas vacation" and "Christmas party" not being "inclusive," I will not reiterate the point here. Suffice it to say that it takes a breathtaking level of narcissism for a non-Christian to be offended by mentions of Christmas and a breathtaking level of meanness to seek to deprive the vast majority of fellow Americans of the public mention of their holiday.

Rather, I want to try to explain why this has happened.

The "inclusive" argument is so absurd -- I am a religious Jew and cannot even fathom being offended or feeling "not included" by an invitation to a Christmas party -- that there have to be other, or at least additional, reasons for the left's neutering of Christmas.

There are.

One is that the left sees in Christianity its primary ideological and political enemy. And it is right to do so. The only large-scale organized opposition to the left comes from the traditional Christian community -- evangelical Protestants, traditional Catholics and faithful Mormons -- and Orthodox Jews. Leftism is a secular religion, and it deems all other religions immoral and false.

From Karl Marx to Vladimir Lenin to George Soros, the left has regarded religion in general and Christianity in particular as the "opiate of the masses" -- a drug that dulls the masses into accepting their oppressed condition and, thereby, keeps them from engaging in revolution.

The left understands that the more people believe in Christianity (and Judaism), the less chance the left has to gain power. The left doesn't concern itself with Islam, because it perceives Islam as an ally in its war against Western civilization, and because leftists do not have the courage to confront Islam. They know that confronting religious Muslims can be fatal, whereas confronting religious Christians entails no risks.

Second, the left regards Christianity in America as an intrinsic part of American national identity -- an identity it wishes to erode in favor of a "world citizen" identity. The left has not only warred against Christmas; it has sought to undermine other national identity holidays. For any number of reasons, not only including the left, Americans no longer celebrate George Washington's birthday (it has de facto been replaced by the utterly meaningless "Presidents Day") or Abraham Lincoln's birthday, as they did when I was a child, my father was a child and his father was a child. The only American celebrated in a national holiday is Martin Luther King Jr., which is acceptable to the left since he is not white. One proof of the left's desire to undermine specifically American national holidays is its war on the two remaining specifically American holidays: July Fourth and Thanksgiving.

The left deems Thanksgiving a historical fraud and an immoral celebration of "genocide" of the American Indians -- which is what American children are now taught in many American public schools. And "happy Thanksgiving" has been replaced by "happy holidays." As for July Fourth, The New York Times is leading the undermining of the celebration of America's birthday by declaring that the real founding of America was 1619, the year, The Times asserts, African slaves first arrived on the American continent.

Of course, there is still Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but they are not specifically American national holidays; just about every country has such holidays.

But Christmas is a problem for the left. It celebrates religion, and it does so in quintessentially American ways (take American Christmas music, for example).

The third and final reason is that the left is joyless. Whatever and whomever the left influences has less joy in life. I have met happy and unhappy liberals, and happy and unhappy conservatives, but I've never encountered a happy leftist. And the further left you go, the more angry and unhappy the people you will encounter. Happy women and happy blacks, for example, are far more likely to be conservative than on the left.

Christmas is just too happy for the left. "Holly, jolly" is not a left-wing term.


Why today’s leftists are so pre-disposed to anti-Semitism


How deep does anti-Semitism run in the Labour Party? One of the few points on which there is consensus – from the Labour leadership itself to its harshest critics – is that the party contains some anti-Semites. But the debate about the prevalence and significance of anti-Semitism within Labour still rages.

The evidence

The recent submission on the subject by the Jewish Labour Movement, an organisation established in 1903 and affiliated to the Labour Party since 1920, certainly makes for grim reading. The 53-page dossier submitted to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, an official government body, documents numerous types of anti-Semitism inside the Labour Party, including verbal and online abuse of Jewish members; the exclusion of Jewish members from participating in party activity; the failure to implement procedure to protect Jewish members from anti-Semitism; hostile responses to those calling out anti-Semitism; and the appointment of anti-Semites to positions of power.

The official Labour Party line is of course that it abhors all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. It also insists it will take firm action against anyone propagating such views. Some Jewish members of the Labour Party support the leadership in its stance.

One line of defence for Labour is to suggest that anti-Semitism in the party reflects a broader trend across society. There is certainly evidence that lends credence to this view. For example, a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism by YouGov, and analysed by Daniel Allington, a lecturer at King’s College London, found that anti-Semitic views exist among a significant minority in British society. The pollsters asked a representative sample of adults how they would react to different anti-Semitic tropes. The results were worrying. For instance, five per cent of the British population said the statement that ‘British Jewish people chase money more than other British people’, was ‘definitely true’, while another 15 per cent said it was ‘probably true’. Similarly four per cent said it was ‘definitely true’ that Jewish people have too much power in the media while 10 per cent said it was ‘probably true’.

A parallel survey included in the same report showed striking levels of fear among Britain’s Jewish population. For example, 42 per cent of Jews have considered leaving the country, of which 85 per cent pointed to anti-Semitism in politics as a reason.

As with all surveys, such results have to be treated with caution. For instance, many religious Jewish men still seem comfortable walking the streets wearing kippot (skullcaps). Physical attacks on Jews do happen, such as the recent beating of a rabbi in London’s Stamford Hill district, but they are mercifully rare. The two teenagers reportedly responsible are said to have shouted ‘kill Jews’ and ‘fuck Jews’.

However, there are several reasons why the official Labour defence that anti-Semitism in its ranks merely reflects wider society is not convincing. For one thing, Labour makes great play of being an anti-racist party. It is all too quick to condemn what it sees as racism perpetrated by other organisations or individuals. Yet, to put it mildly, the prevalence of anti-Semitism in its ranks suggests a blind spot towards hatred of Jews.

There is also a strong case to be made that anti-Semitism in the Labour Party permeates from the leadership downwards. This was the claim made by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who represents Britain’s orthodox Jewish congregations, in The Times. He argued that ‘a new poison – sanctioned from the very top – has taken root in the Labour Party’.

The Jewish Labour Movement report also includes the claim that the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has frequently signalled that anti-Semitic views are acceptable. For example, he infamously supported the artist Mear One, after he painted a mural in East London containing several anti-Semitic tropes. These included a depiction of hook-nosed bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the world’s poor. Once publicly exposed, Corbyn took four days to apologise, claiming he did not look closely enough at the mural.

In another incident in August 2018, a video emerged showing Corbyn in Tunis in 2014, laying a wreath on the grave of the Black September terrorists responsible for murdering Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. At first Corbyn claimed he ‘was present, but not involved’. When video footage appeared to prove otherwise, he made no further comment. Several other instances are included in the report, and spiked has also commented on the same subject.

The explanations

However, to understand contemporary anti-Semitism it is necessary to go beyond pointing to its explicit instances, even among the Labour leadership. The problem today runs much deeper. Anti-Semitism has become central to the identity of many of today’s self-proclaimed radicals. In some cases, this echoes old themes, some of which would have been recognisable in the 19th century. But this anti-Semitism also expresses new developments in politics.

Clearly, the political situation today is very different to that of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, today’s anti-Semitism shares some common elements with its earlier form.

* A key development from the late 1980s onwards was the almost universal acceptance that there is no alternative to the market. Almost everyone, even those who define themselves as socialists, accepted that the only viable economy is based on production for profit. Under such circumstances, traditional socialism, in the sense of the abolition of the market economy and its replacement with a different social system, had lost credibility. The old-style socialist movement was no more.

However, since the 1990s a new form of ‘anti-capitalism’ has emerged, sometimes referring to itself as the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement or as a campaign for social justice. In important respects, it reproduces some of the old anti-Semitic tropes. As Tim Black has recently argued on spiked, the anti-capitalist perspective relies heavily on the idea that the world is controlled by conspiracies. It also lays great emphasis on the role of international bankers in manipulating the economy and society more generally. Many supporters of this outlook would recoil at the idea that they are hostile to Jews, but acceptance of this worldview predisposes its adherents to key anti-Semitic themes.

* Compounding this degraded form of anti-capitalism is the rise of identity politics. At a time when identity is politicised, it has become increasingly common to portray Jews ‘as powerful, privileged and the aggressor’. In this worldview Jews become not a group that has suffered oppression, but the embodiment of ‘white privilege’. So anti-Semitism comes to be seen, not as a form of discrimination, but as a radical act.

Echoes of this worldview were apparent in one of Labour’s election campaign videos celebrating diversity as the party’s strength. The clip featured virtually every group that could reasonably be seen as the victim of some form of discrimination – including LGBT+, gays, Travellers, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, blacks, Asians, the disabled, the elderly, the young, the working class and carers. But not Jews. For some reason Jews were not included in the list of those the video said would be worthy of equality, dignity and respect, and therefore valued by a Labour government. Evidently, Jews are not eligible to be, as Labour puts it, their ‘authentic selves’.

* Of course, no discussion of contemporary anti-Semitism can be complete without reference to Israel. Some of this debate is well-worn but it is easy to miss the new ground that is apparent here, too. Clearly, it is widely accepted, including among the vast majority of British Jews, that it is legitimate to criticise Israeli policies. There is much about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and treatment of Gaza that is worthy of criticism. But all too often criticism of Israel is used as a coded way of attacking Jews. Israel is subject to incredible double standards. It is criticised for actions for which other nations around the world get a free pass. For example, Israel is criticised for the separation wall that runs through the West Bank, yet few condemn ‘Fortress Europe’, the ring of defences around the European Union that restrict freedom of movement on a far greater scale.

Another way in which such double standards are expressed is through the notion of Israeli ‘apartheid’. It is important to recognise that this criticism is not based on an understanding of the old discriminatory regime in South Africa. Most proponents of this charge probably cannot even pronounce ‘apartheid’ properly. Rather, it is a moral category. It expresses the idea that Israel should be singled out for its actions. In this sense, the Israeli state is seen as uniquely evil.

From such a starting point, the proponents of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) feel obliged to single out Israel for their campaigns. Criticising Israel above all other nations becomes a central element of this warped form of radical identity. Boycotts of Israeli products, or Israeli culture, provide them with a high-profile opportunity for virtue-signalling.

* There is also a new element to anti-Israel criticism that demands further attention. The existence of nation states is increasingly frowned on by elites. Instead, they see themselves as cosmopolitans who prefer trans-national organisations, such as the EU. Under such circumstances, Israel, as a Jewish nation state, runs into additional criticism. It is seen, at best, as an anachronism, and, more often, as a force destabilising the surrounding region.

So Jews have become the victims of today’s degraded form of radicalism. They are seen by many of today’s self-identified radicals as part of a conspiracy to control the world, with international bankers playing a particularly prominent role. They are alleged to be at the pinnacle of a hierarchy of privilege, with the bulk of the world’s population suffering beneath them. And they are attacked for supporting a uniquely malevolent nation state in a world in which nations are increasingly seen as problematic.

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party goes way beyond a few errant individual matters. Today’s degraded form of anti-capitalism pre-disposes its adherents to a conspiratorial worldview. From this starting point it is all too easy to lapse into anti-Semitism.

However, there is one important point on which the defenders of the Labour Party are right. Anti-Semitism should not be singled out as a purely Labour phenomenon. Self-proclaimed radicals outside the Labour Party, like those within it, often share a similar worldview. These can include leftists who do not support Labour, as well as some of those who define themselves as greens.

* But perhaps the most striking parallels are with Islamism. Extreme forms of Islam may use a different idiom to that of Labour radicals – Islamists are religious rather than secular, after all. But there are significant overlaps in their worldviews. Both, for example, share a conspiratorial perspective on the world. Islamists, like many of today’s radicals, also tend to focus on what they see as the pernicious power of international finance. That is why the World Trade Center in New York was targeted by al-Qaeda in 2001 – because it symbolised international finance. Nor should it be forgotten that Usman Khan, the London Bridge terrorist, was previously convicted of a plan to bomb the London Stock Exchange.

The visceral hatred against Israel from Islamist radicals is clear. For them, the existence of the Jewish State is an affront to Islam. Less well understood is the hostility of many Islamists to the nation state in general. Their ultimate goal is the creation of a worldwide caliphate that will replace nation states. In their transnationalism, at least, Islamist radicals share an important element in common with many contemporary leftists.

Anti-Semitism is a complex form of discrimination which can, in principle, exist in different sections of society. However, a terrible paradox of contemporary society is that those who consider themselves the most radical are often most prone to anti-Semitism. It is a tragedy that the radicalism of fools is gaining ground.


Indian girl in Britain gets highest possible IQ score in Mensa test

Indians outside India often do remarkably well in many ways.  A brown skin does not seem to hinder them.

A primary schoolgirl has achieved the highest possible score in a Mensa IQ test - beating Albert Einstein and the late Stephen Hawking.

Freya Mangotra, of Moseley, Birmingham, sat the test the when she was 10 and a half in October - the youngest allowed. Einstein is believed he have had an IQ of 160, the same as the late Hawking.

Proud dad Kuldeep Kumar said Freya's result of 162 in the Cattell III B test - which examines verbal reasoning - means his only child is officially 'a genius' according to officials at Mensa.  'They said it's the highest you can get under the age of 18,' said Dr Kumar, a psychiatrist.

'I don't want to put too much pressure on her but we knew from an early age, two or three, that she was gifted. 'She grasps things very fast. She can concentrate very quickly and remember things - she only needs to read or do something once to remember. We are blessed.'

Her proud dad says she is also a voracious reader just like he and his wife, Dr Gulshan Tajuriahe, who is currently studying for a PhD in child development.

The family is often to be found with their heads buried in books at home with the TV on in the background.


Former US President Barack Obama says it’s time for men to hand over power to women

Says the man who prevented a woman (Hillary) from becoming President. He is a smiling smooth talking hateful trouble maker, just trying to stir further divisions and trouble between women and men, young and old, and everyone else versus white people

Former US President Barack Obama has a simple solution to the world’s problems: let women run the joint. Mr Obama said women would do an “indisputably better” job running the world than men, and blamed many of the problems around the globe on “old people”, mostly male leaders who don’t want to give up their power.

“Now women, I just want you to know, you are not perfect. But what I can say pretty indisputably is that you’re better than us [men],” he said at a private leadership conference in Singapore.

“I’m absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything... living standards and outcomes.

“If you look at the world and look at the problems it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way. It is important for political leaders to try and remind themselves that you are there to do a job, but you are not there for life, you are not there in order to prop up your own sense of self importance or your own power.”


Australia: Vegan activist group who wreaked havoc in Melbourne have their charity status REVOKED because 'veganism is not in the public interest'

A vegan activist group who caused traffic to come to a standstill in Melbourne in April has had its charity status revoked.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission on Tuesday revoked Vegan Rising's charity tax concessions and registration, which it has held since September 2017.

The group had been registered with the purpose of preventing or relieving the suffering of animals.

ACNC Commissioner Dr Gary Johns said revocation of a charity's registration was reserved for the most serious of cases.

'Our approach to regulation focuses on education and guidance first. However, when charities are unwilling to comply with their obligations, or fail to demonstrate commitment to their governance, then we will take stronger action,' he said in a statement.

Although the revocation is displayed on the charity register, the ACNC is prevented from publishing the findings from the investigation.

They also cannot reveal the the nature of the concerns raised due to secrecy provisions in its governing laws.

Dozens of vegan activists obstructed the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in Melbourne during peak-hour on April 8, demanding an end to animal husbandry.

They used three rental vans as part of the blockade, chanting for 'animal liberation', with some also sitting on tram tracks and linking arms to stop police attempts to break them up.

Dozens of vegan activists obstructed the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in Melbourne on April 8    +6
Dozens of vegan activists obstructed the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in Melbourne on April 8

Tow trucks were fielded to move the stationery vehicles while other protesters chained themselves to cars and their counterparts waved placards that read, 'vegan rising' or 'this is a peaceful protest'.

Thirty-eight people were arrested for obstructing a roadway and resisting or obstructing police.

Similar protests were also staged at regional Victorian abattoirs, condemned by farmers and some politicians.

Vegan Rising's website describes the organisation as having one objective - 'to help create a vegan world'.

Last month the charity status was stripped from Aussie Farms, which has similar aims to Vegan Rising.



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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