Tuesday, February 25, 2020

‘Don’t bastardise all men… these things happen’: Pauline Hanson says cowardly Australian dad who murdered his entire family may have been ‘driven to do it’

It's good that we have sensible Australian women such as Pauline Hanson and Bettina Arndt to speak up against the hateful and totally unreasonable feminist claim that Hannah Clarke was murdered by her estranged husband because that is what "men" do. Baxter's maleness has been given as the sole explanation for his evil deeds. 

That millions of women are NOT murdered by their partner is ignored.  It is surely the vast non-murdering majority of men who tell you what "men" do. But feminists are so full of hate that they cannot see that.

So why did Baxter really do it?  Unless we know that, how are we supposed to prevent similar deeds by other troubled men?

Until we are given the full facts about the family history involved we cannot know for sure how it all worked out but from my point of view as a psychologist there is one highly likely explanation for the tragedy:  Baxter was a bully.

He was a common bully type, physically imposing and very egotistical.  The combination of a strong body and a big ego can be very problematical.  We see it in schoolyards all the time.  Some stronger kid will pick on some weak and "loser" kid.  In the course of a schooling that behaviour will usually be suppressed in some way, partly by teachers, partly by parents and partly by other students. 

I remember a question I once asked my well-built son when he was in High School  I asked him whether any other kids picked on him.  He said "No. I'm too big for them.  And if I see them picking on some smaller kid, I put myself in between them".  So the corrective role of other students should not be ignored.

Sometimes, however, the bully gets away with a lot and forms behaviour patterns that last into adulthood.  But such patterns are very limiting in adulthood.  The bully will find himself avoided if not ostracized.  The bully of course sees this and endeavours to change his ways at least superficially.  He practices being "nice". But that pretence periodically breaks down.  His real motivation comes out in hostility of some sort.

So in the end he will be mistrusted and socially excluded.  And for anyone that is very grievous.  Among Aborigines, social exclusion is the mechanism behind a wrongdoer being "sung" to death.  So the bully in any society has usually been locked into a behaviour pattern that badly hurts him emotionally. 

And when that hurts too much he may strike out fatally at the one whose disapproval hurts him the most.  He blames the other  person -- such as his ex-wife --  for his own deep unhappiness rather than himself. He sees that his life has been a failure and there is nothing left in it for him.  So death seems to him to be welcome.  So murder-suicide ensues.

So what can be done?  Just one thing:  Bullying has to be stopped at its source.  It has to be stopped during the bully's schooldays.  All Education Departments have high-sounding policies that claim to do that but enforcement is very lax.  So we cannot look at the existing system for hope.  A firmer approach is needed.

I would advocate sending bullies to a special school where bullying behavior is vigilantly watched for and heavily punished.  Bullying must be negatively reinforced, to use psychologist's jargon.  And talk is no good.  The bully has to be subjected to treatment that is a replica of what he normally does to others.

Politician Pauline Hanson has defended controversial comments about the horrific Brisbane murder-suicide, saying 'these things happen'.

In a crime which rocked Australia on Wednesday, Hannah Clarke, 31, was murdered by her estranged husband along with her three young children.

Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, were burned alive by their own father on their way to school after he poured petrol in their car and lit a flame.

But Ms Hanson said the cowardly murders shouldn't lead to people 'bastardising all men' - saying Baxter could have been 'driven to it'. 'Don't bastardise all men out there, or women for that matter, because these things happen,' she said on Monday morning.

Speaking about domestic violence murders, she added that: 'A lot of people are driven to this, to do these acts for one reason or another.'

The killings have led to calls for more protection for domestic violence victims, after Ms Clarke was emotionally, sexually and financially abused by Baxter for years.

Speaking on Today, Ms Hanson said the murders have been in the news more than if it was committed by a woman - and that Baxter may have been 'driven to it'.

'You know, this has been for a week we have been in the news nearly every day about this horrific tragedy,' she said on Today on Monday morning. 

'But we don't hear much about it when a woman has murdered her children by driving a  car into a tree, she threw out a suicide note. 'Or the woman who doused her husband with fuel and set him alight an said she was possibly driven to it.

'Hopefully the family law inquiry will get to the bottom of it.'

She also defended commentator Bettina Arndt, who made controversial comments about the Baxter murders.

Some MPs want Arndt to be stripped of her Order of Australia, after she praised a Queensland police officer for saying Baxter may have been 'driven too far'. Queensland detective Mark Thompson was taken off the case after making the comments.

'Congratulations to the Queensland police for keeping an open mind and awaiting proper evidence, including the possibility that Rowan Baxter might have been 'driven too far'," Ms Arndt wrote on Twitter. 'But note the misplaced outrage. How dare police deviate from the feminist script of seeking excuses and explanations when women stab their partners to death, or drive their children into dams but immediately judging a man in these circumstances as simply representing the evil violence that is in all men.'

Speaking about Ms Arndt's comments, Ms Hanson said she should not be stripped of her Australia Day honour.

'It was a horrendous act of what he did to his children,' she said. 'It was a tragedy and I am very deeply sorry for everyone.

'But Bettina Arndt should not be stripped of her Order of Australia. She is clearly stating what she thinks and what a police officer said.

'This is why I have pushed for the family law inquiry to get behind what is happening on this.'

The mum-of-three had desperately tried to keep her young family safe from their evil dad, but was struggling after her domestic violence protection order was watered down. 

It has since emerged that he subjected Hannah to years of domestic violence, prompting the brave mum to finally leave him last November.

There was a domestic violence order (DVO) in place, but she expressed frustration that the conditions wouldn't be enough to keep her family safe.

Despite being stalked every day by her monstrous ex, the DVO was watered down to allow her husband to be a close as 100 metres from her.

'I have to go back to court and had to drop off an application today to get the DVO conditions changed as he keeps turning up where I am,' the mother-of-three said in text message to a friend, sent on January 30.

'He got the DVO adjourned and when they did that they took off the no contact and made it just 100m from my home so technically he’s not doing anything wrong … hence why we need it changed!'

Even the female police officer who helped Hannah lodge her DVO last year told her it would do little to protect her from her evil husband.


Stab City

No one dares speak the truth about young black men stabbing each other to death on the streets of London.

Four stabbings in four East London locations within ninety minutes and it doesn’t even make the news. That tells you a lot about the state of London (or Stab City, as it is increasingly known).

The British Capital is witness to daily violence that is as unrelenting as it is overwhelming. Under the Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan, homicides are the highest in a decade and knife crime offenses are at record highs.

It is against this backdrop that these horrific stabbings have become something of everyday life for Londoners, too mundane to trouble a newsdesk and too routine for a reader to care.

Sunday’s victims were all found in East London: Barking, Dagenham, Hackney and Ilford (shown on the map below). Not the sorts of places you’ll find tourists taking selfies, but all in the vice-like grip of powerful gangs, organized by postcode (zip code) controlling the supply and distribution of drugs on their patch.

Being part of a gang is a way of belonging for young lads brought up on inner-city estates, often without a father figure, desperate to find a way to belong. For many, being part of a gang is a tenuous means of survival.

Stabbings are meted out as a mechanism of initiation, retribution or control, as ubiquitous as the mopeds used to courier their drugs, or the drill music that forms a soundtrack to their lives.

One gang member said: “I don’t even know what this war is about anymore. All I know is if I step out of my territory people want to kill me, and if people come into mine, I want to kill them. It’s as simple as that.”

And it is not just gang members or their rivals being killed. In November 2019, Jodie Chesney, a 17-year-old Girl Scout, was sitting in the park near her home with a group of friends. Two teenage boys unknown to the group, walked up and stabbed Jodie in the back in an unprovoked attack.The seven-inch wound passed straight through her body and she died screaming where she sat.

At the sentencing of her murderers, Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors these young gang members took a "casual approach to violence" in a world where knife crime was “routine.”

“The drug dealing world is one of turf wars, rivalries and pathetic claims for ‘respect'. When drug dealers fall out, they do not take their problems to the police. Instead, they take matters into their own hands.”

And so the violence continues, one death necessitating the next, like some ghoulish relay race in which the baton is replaced with a knife.

If we overlay the area of London where four stabbings happened (on Sunday 16 February) with the gangs alleged to operate there, the scale of the problem becomes clear. Each colored block represents a gang and its territory. These demarcations are invisible to a stranger in the street, but a kind of no man's land for rival gangs just the same.

Which begs the obvious question; if kids are being stabbed in the street because of the gangs and we know where the gangs are located, why isn’t something being done?

There is a simple answer, but no one dares say it.

These gangs are mostly young black men; some of their foot-soldiers are as young as ten. But because they are mainly killing each other, isolating the problem to their own kind, no one in power needs to care.

Politicians know these black lads are not voters. They have no voice in the media. No one is howling with indignant rage. Even the mothers of the slain are silenced by the gangs they fear. Those who should be held to account can look the other way.

And they do. Sadiq Khan (who is about as effective as Mayor Bernard Young of Baltimore) is desperate to talk about anything other than the young black lads being knifed on his streets.

Khan has obstructed the Metropolitan Police in their efforts to grip the gang problem in London.

Elected into office on the promise of reducing stop-and-search in London playing on his BAME (black African minority ethnic) credentials, he reduced the abilities of officers on the street to check suspects for weapons. The sharp fall in stop-and-search corresponds with an equally steep rise in knife crime.

When the Metropolitan Police created a Gang Matrix as part of its War on Gangs, Sadiq Khan set up a task force to review whether this matrix was racist in its intent.

The Met claims the matrix, informed by intelligence, helps identify and assess the most harmful gang members in each of London’s boroughs, based on violence and weapon offenses.

Individuals are classified – given a computer-generated harm rating of red, amber or green, meant to reflect the risk an individual poses to others.

So far, so sensible. But of course, the left, Amnesty International, and other bleeding-heart liberals were outraged by this sensible approach, calling it: “Racist policing in its purest form. Of the almost 4,000 names on the matrix at any given time, 78% are black and 9% are other ethnic minorities.”

They demand to know why this shocking disproportion exists.

And there is no answer to give, because the numbers are not disproportionate. They are representative. They are an accurate picture of the demographic makeup of gangs.

In London, two-thirds of knife offenders under 25 were black or minority ethnics. Almost half of murder victims and murder suspects in the capital are young black men -- way out of proportion to London’s population, in which 13% are black.

Fearful of this truth, Sadiq Khan demanded gang names be removed from the matrix, obstructing the work of the Met Police, enabling the gang leaders. The Metropolitan Police have been forced to remove 374 names after the UK's data watchdog found they breached data protection laws.

It is a measure of the madness in which we live. While black lads as young as twelve are being stabbed to death in London, the Muslim mayor is more concerned with the privacy rights of members of the gang.

No one dares speak the truth of this slaughter for fear of being called a racist. It's racist to say these London gangs are mostly young black men. It is racist to say most don’t have a father figure. And it is racist to point out most have no education or qualifications. It is racist to say it is young black men killing each other. Even when the statistics prove this to be true.

Until you can be honest about a problem you cannot begin to solve it. And until a leader is willing to defy the racist label and speak the truth, the stabbing will continue.

In the words of one young gang member from South East London: “This is the only life we know, we just have to keep doing it -- there’s nothing else for us to do.”

And while Sadiq Khan knows he can rely on the votes of others voting by religion, the death of children, young black children, is no cause for alarm. It looks like Stab City is here to stay.


The global Left is utterly adrift in this alien populist landscape

Both British Labour and the Democrats are yet to grasp the new ideological dividing line

By a remarkable coincidence, the main opposition parties in Britain and the United States find themselves trapped in extraordinarily similar dilemmas. In America, the Democratic party is now running through the ritual slaughter known as the “primaries” in which prospective candidates do their best to undermine each other irreparably. Mike Bloomberg – who has been doing a plausible impersonation of Donald Trump as the billionaire outsider – crashed spectacularly in his first public debate last week when faced with a professional hit squad of experienced politicians.

Meanwhile, in the quieter backwaters of British political life, the candidates for Labour party leader determinedly discredit each other, and contradict themselves, on the irrelevant margins of public consciousness.

The Democrats in the US, and Labour here at home, both appear to be adrift in an alien political landscape, utterly at a loss as to how to respond to what they see as an incomprehensible change in the electorate. In their desperate confusion, they veer between condemning the voters, and trying to lure them with offers that totally miss the point.

Most often they end up with a mix of the two which is both incoherent and insulting, because the one thing they absolutely will not accept is that people might have had perfectly rational reasons for making the political choices that they made. But for the social democratic Left (which now includes the leading Democratic contender), there can be only one definition of rationality and only one morally acceptable way for society to go forward.

That is why they call themselves “progressive”: implying that any remedies or programmes or inclinations which countermand their own must be steps backwards to a time when social attitudes and living conditions for everyone except a privileged few were worse – and thus such inclinations are inherently immoral or benighted. Policies that do not involve, for example, state-enforced equality of outcomes and redistribution of wealth are simply not a matter for ethical debate.

So what happens when the opinions and proposals that you regard as beneath contempt become, not just debatable, but electable? Answer: you are left with nothing to say. Or you try to say too many things, but nothing that would count as actual argument against the new popular political wave – because you are still compelled to dismiss it as unfit for discussion.

But to the ordinary voter, this sounds like arrogant contempt: as if you cannot conceive of why anybody with any conscience could prefer lower taxes and a smaller state, or why the desire for private prosperity could be anything more than greed. So in the US the new social democratic prophets, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, offer the outright cancellation of all student debt (the cost of which would be staggering for taxpayers) or universal free healthcare which countries (like ours) with much higher levels of general taxation than the US are struggling to maintain.

This is done in the name of an amorphous notion of “enlightened progressivism” whose most fundamental principle is hatred of the rich. Never having experienced the actual effects of redistributive policies, American youth cheers ecstatically – and threatens to put the Democratic party even further out of touch with that mystifying mob who elected Donald Trump.

But, as you may have suspected, I do not really believe that the uncanny similarity between the present conditions of Labour and the Democrats is a coincidence. In fact, I would say that the kinship which commentators – particularly in the US – try to make between Trump and Boris Johnson is almost completely absurd.

The genuine – and historically significant – parallel is between the flailing Democrats and their Labour counterparts. This is part of a larger crisis in centre-Left politics throughout the West but in our two countries it is especially critical because they have both traditionally been two-party democracies rather than coalition-based governing systems. So the collapse of the only viable alternative party of government is very serious.

There have been some – not many, but some – attempts to address this problem from within the moderate British Left even if its actual leadership candidates seem either clueless or disingenuous. One of the more illuminating contributions has come from Tony Blair who might be expected to have some useful insights into a problem to which he was once the answer.

What Mr Blair did in a set piece speech last week was lay out the case for a Labour-Liberal Democrat “progressive coalition” which, he argued, could revive the centre Left project and regain power. That bit was wildly optimistic and implausible. But there was a historical analysis of the problem of the Left which bears proper exegesis. In order to resolve the differences between Labour and the Lib Dems, this coalition would have to discard the old Left ideas based on “class, industrial organisation, the role of the state and individual liberty, all of which are time bound”. (For time bound, read “outmoded”.)

What the two parties had in common was “social reform, advancement of opportunity and passionate commitment to fighting poverty and injustice, all of which are timeless”. (For timeless, read “relevant to modern life”.) Yes indeed, these principles certainly are timeless and relevant. They are, in fact, the precepts which no political party in a modern democracy could possibly disclaim. The debate now is not about whether there should be advancement of opportunity or a commitment to fighting poverty and injustice.

Nobody in his right mind would argue with those objectives. The question is, what is the best way of achieving them? As it happens, quite large proportions of the populations of both our countries have been persuaded that free markets are more likely to deliver mass prosperity, and that a less intrusive state will actually improve opportunities for the individual. In setting out a prospectus for a new New Labour, Mr Blair has only succeeded in making it clear that the Left has nothing new to contribute.


The Jihad Murder in Florida You Heard Nothing About

A 17-year-old, Corey Johnson, murdered a 13-year-old, Jovanni Alexander Sierra, and stabbed two others in Florida in 2018, and this week it was reported that the victim’s family is suing the Publix grocery store chain for selling Johnson the knife, as the sale violated a Florida law that prohibits the sale of knives to anyone under age 18. That’s all well and good, but there is a good deal more to this story: this was a jihad massacre committed in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings, but it has been swept under the rug. Apparently it doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative.

According to The Blaze, “Johnson, who had converted to Islam prior to the attack, had been under investigation by the FBI because he was viewing radicalization propaganda online, including beheading videos.” Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Police Chief Clint Shannon explained: “Corey Johnson has confessed his actions to our investigators stating that he stabbed the victims because of his religious beliefs. Our understanding is he had converted to Islam and had been watching violent videos online.”

In the immediate aftermath of the murder, the Palm Beach Post reported that “in January 2017, several local law-enforcement agencies and the FBI came together with the staff at William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, where he was a student at the time. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received information that Johnson supported the terrorist organization ISIS and had reached out to the group online, expressing his desire to join them.”

Not only that. “The FBI told Jupiter police that a counter-intelligence agency in Europe investigated Johnson’s connection to several threats made on Instagram to McAuley Catholic High School in Doncaster, England. Though the report does not say what the threats were, authorities said they ‘were so severe in nature that up to 100 students were removed from the school fearing some kind of attack.’ British news outlets reported that in October 2016, a threat posted on Instagram stated ‘we will kill every single infidel student at this school.’”

Yes, you read that right: he reached out to ISIS, wanting to join them, and likely sent threats of a jihad massacre to a school, and yet over a year later he was still running around loose and unsupervised to the extent that he was able to buy a knife, even though he was underage, and use it on three people, killing one.

No “watch list” for Corey Johnson. No nothing. So the kid wanted to join ISIS! Who cares! It’s just a phase! And anyway, it’s all right: “a sheriff’s detective interviewed Johnson for a mental-health assessment.” What a relief! His judgment? The sheriff’s detective “said the teen sympathized with terrorist organizations.” No kidding, really?

Johnson’s mother and grandparents said that the boy had “recently began discovering religion.” Which one? You guessed it: he had started, they said, studying the Qur’an. Sierra’s throat was slashed. Maybe Johnson got the idea to do that from one of his scripture studies: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike necks…” (47:4). Local10.com reported at the time of the attack that “in his statement, Johnson advised he stabbed the victims because of his Muslim faith,” and that “just before the attack, Johnson was reading the Quran from his phone ‘to give him courage to carry out his intentions.’”

So now Jovanni Alexander Sierra is dead, and there is no bringing him back, but surely authorities have learned from the blunders that led to his being killed and have taken steps to make sure that nothing like Johnson’s jihad attack happens again, right? Of course not. In the years immediately following 9/11, counterterror agents were taught that one sign of a potential jihad killer was a sudden turn to devout observance of Islam. Devout Muslims weren’t all jihadis, but all jihadis, especially those who were converts to Islam, were devout. During the Obama administration, however, all that was removed from counterterror training: it was “Islamophobic” and “singled Muslims out,” as if some jihad terrorists were Methodists, yet Methodism wasn’t being studied.

All these years later, Corey Johnson showed all the signs of being a dangerous jihadi. Nothing was done because to have acted upon those signs would have been “Islamophobic.” Sierra’s family is suing Publix for selling Johnson the knife; they should be suing law enforcement for not watching Johnson more closely, and the establishment media for relentlessly demonizing anyone who ever suggested that selling Johnson his Qur’an may have been just as dangerous as selling him the knife.

How many people even know that this incident happened at all? The murder of Jovanni Alexander Sierra should have been the occasion for a national discussion about the phenomenon of converts to Islam becoming violent, which keeps happening, and what should be done about it. Instead, the whole thing was hushed up, as always.



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

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

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


Monday, February 24, 2020

'Woke' Media Fail to Notice Historic Cabinet Appointment by Trump. Of Course They Did.

These days we're often regaled with news stories highlighting  firsts – "she's the first LGBTIQ++ Latinx to graduate from the Che Guevarra School of Global Warming who has devoted her life to petting same-sex kittens, tilling community gardens while simultaneously running Riverkeeper kayak trips for one-legged dogs found on the streets of Portland."

You get it.

So it was rather surprising to discover that mainstream news stories about the first openly gay White House Cabinet member – ever, ever – were left on the newsroom floor.

Rick Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, was just named to head the Department of National Intelligence by President Trump.

For those of you not into identity politics, we can understand why you cared not two cents about the state of Grenell's private life.  However, the media hypocrisy shouldn't go by without comment.

To CNN, Grenell was merely a "staunch loyalist," without mentioning this Trump first.

The Daily Beast was upset over something completely different. The naming of Grenell to DNI "blindsided" intelligence apparatchiks. The news site didn't mention the "first" involving Grenell, either.

The BBC highlighted: "Trump criticised for appointing loyalist"! How dare Trump appoint a loyalist to an intelligence agency whose previous leader under President Obama helped try to frame Trump as a "Russian asset"? Codswallop, I tell you!

Yes, the media will try to memory-hole this move as they did when George W. Bush named Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit Court with the objective of putting him on track for the Supreme Court. Democrats couldn't abide having – while not technically first – a Latino put on the court by a Republican. His nomination languished for years. We got far-Left Sonia Sotomayor, "the wise Latina," instead.


Liberals Oppose Equal Status for Faith-Based Organizations

Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., must really miss the days of Barack Obama, when faith-based groups were treated like second-class citizens when it came to government programs.

Every time a member of President Donald Trump’s team rolls back a rule and levels the playing field, the two Northwest Democrats kick and scream. For people who talk about equality so much, Senate liberals sure don’t understand it.

Nothing really sums up the left better than the first line of their protest letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar: “We write to strongly oppose the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule, ‘Ensuring Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Organizations.”

In other words, what they support is the unequal treatment of faith-based organizations—something the Obama administration had become quite good at. The pair of senators tries to argue that Trump’s policy reinstating religious freedom is actually a secret attack on it—a suggestion that would be funny if it weren’t so outrageous.

“The proposed rule—developed under the guise of religious liberty is actually … yet another step taken by President Trump to green-light federally-funded discrimination,” their letter claims.

No one is quite sure how, since the whole point of the regulation is to make sure every organization—religious or not—is treated the same.

What Obama’s team liked to do was burden religious groups with special reporting or referral requirements, creating ridiculous hoops that no secular organization had to jump through. Of course, the idea was to persuade faith-based groups it was too much trouble—or worse, too steep a compromise—to comply.

The new rule, just posted last month, guarantees that every qualified government organization has a seat at the table—no matter what they believe.

It appears by the words of Murray and Wyden not everyone believes in that kind of neutrality. They want religious groups to be disqualified from any government interaction before it starts.

“We demand the Department put the American people first and withdraw the proposed rule,” they write.

But putting the American people first means engaging all of the diverse options for health care, education, adoption, and disaster relief. If the Trump administration listened to those on the left, it would be jeopardizing billions of dollars in social services.

The Catholic Church spent roughly $97 billion in 2010 alone on health care networks, about $47 billion on colleges, and $4.6 billion on “national charitable activities. Does the government really want to pick up that slack? And, more importantly, where would the government find the resources to try?

Faith-based groups carry the load in this country for humanitarian work—feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, housing the poor. Do liberals really want to be responsible for elbowing out a sizable chunk of our drug rehabilitation programs, prison work, adoption placements, and foster care?

On top of that, HHS is actually bringing itself in line with the Supreme Court’s insistence that “The Free Exercise Clause ‘protect[s] religious observers against unequal treatment’ and subjects to the strictest scrutiny laws that target the religious for ‘special disabilities’ based on their ‘religious status.'”

Just because a group is operating in the government’s domain doesn’t mean it has to give up its convictions. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those on the left doesn’t agree.


Trump’s plan is our hope, says Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has supported US President ­Don­ald Trump’s controversial peace plan as creating hope for building trust between Israel and the ­Palestinians, as he arrives in Australia for an extensive state visit.

Mr Rivlin, in an interview with The Australian, said the Israeli­-Palestinian relationship was “a tragedy for us both” and Mr Trump’s controversial plan, widely seen to favour Israel, offered a chance to break the pattern of the past. “We have had enough of the cycle of violence … but we cannot hope for a better future if we continue to use the same approaches and tools that have failed time after time in previous rounds.”

Mr Rivlin will meet Scott Morrison, Governor-General David Hurley and the premiers of NSW and Victoria in his six-day visit. He is the third serving Israeli president to visit Australia.

He hailed the Australia-Israel friendship and the strong support given to Israel by the Morrison government, in particular at the UN: “Israel and Australia share values of democracy, equality and liberty, which are the foundations for our longstanding and strong relationship.”

The President lauded the long history of Australia’s connection with Israel. “Israelis remember with gratitude the bravery of Anzac forces, including the charge of the Australian Light Horse in the Battle of Beersheva in 1917, a critical turning point in the war,” he said.

Mr Rivlin expressed gratitude to Canberra for support in rejecting a Palestinian effort­ to bring charges of war crimes against the Israeli Defence Force at the International Criminal Court.

The Morrison government expressed the view that it did not recognise the Palestinian Authority as a state and therefore the PA did not have standing to bring such an action at the ICC. The US and a range of European nation­s took similar views.

Mr Rivlin said: “We deeply appreciat­e Australia’s stance. The IDF has a strong moral code and alleged breaches are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. We must stand together to oppose the politicisation of the ICC and the abuse of international institutions to resolve political differences that should be address­ed in direct negotiations.”

The Israeli President had harsh words for Iran, saying Israel would not allow Tehran “to grow and to breed and to export terror, instability and threats to the state of Israel”.

He said Iran was the greatest threat to regional and global stab­ility today. “Its malign influence extends across our region, and around the world,” Mr Rivlin said.

He said Iran funded and direc­ted Hezbollah, and the Shia militias in Syria, and supported Hamas and Islamic Jihad across the Middle East. “Iran destabilises the region,” he said. “Its regime is publicly committed to our destruct­ion and is openly pursuing the realisation of its aims.”

Mr Rivlin said Israel’s enem­ies should understand the Jewish state had the capacity and ­obligation to defend its citizens, “and will not hesitate to do so if necessary”.

Israel goes to the polls for the third time in a year on March 2, because no leader has been able to form a governing coalition after the past two elections. The President will be required to deter­mine which leader gets the first chance to try to form a government, should no party or bloc win a majority in the Knessett, as is normal in ­Israeli politics.

Mr Rivlin described Israeli society as consisting of “four tribes”: religious Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Arabs and secular citizens.

Although in pre-presidential life, as a Likud politician, he was regarded as a right-winger and a strong supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, he has also been an outspoken champion of the rights and interests of Arab Israelis, and speaks fluent Arabic. “My father, a professor of Arabic­ at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, translated the Koran into Hebrew to create deeper understanding between us,” he said. “Our agreements with Egypt and Jordan, once our greatest enemies, have endured, bringing benefits to us all.”

Mr Rivlin also stressed the need, with the election looming, for the divergent groups within Israeli society to have a more fruitful dialogue with each other.


Australia: The strange saga of Fireman Paul

Volunteer firefighters, like volunteer life savers, hold an almost sacred status in the Australian community and the hearts and minds of its citizens.

Nobody forces or even asks them to do what they do, nor do they gain any material reward. Instead they sacrifice their time and sometimes even their lives to save others. And they do it purely because they choose to.

Little wonder that they are so universally venerated and little wonder that they almost always awkwardly eschew it.

Even though they are the ones who are most literally on the ground and are almost always characterised as “down to earth” they are also seen to float above politics and personal pride. They are the closest we have to real-life superheroes.

It is for this reason that Rural Fire Service member Paul Parker’s expletive-laden spray against the Prime Minister was so shocking – despite also being pretty forgivable.

Parker was obviously a man under an enormous amount of stress – even as his own home was damaged by the bushfires that ravaged NSW he was out saving others, fighting the flames to the point of exhaustion. He is also obviously something of a character – a vital prerequisite for an unlimited bar tab.

But it is equally understandable that many of his comrades were angry and felt he had brought the unimpeachable status of volunteer firefighters into momentary disrepute.

It is, after all, a fiercely protected convention in Australia that uniformed personnel such as police and military officers are never seen to be remotely political or partisan. And so having a member of the RFS – which is arguably held in even higher regard – tell the Prime Minister to “get f***ed” is clearly pretty jarring.

But obviously not to everybody.

Through no fault of his own, Fireman Paul was instantly elevated to Messianic status by green-left social media warriors who seemed to see him as some kind of revolutionary hero. And then when he claimed this week to have been sacked by the RFS it was instantly seized as further proof he was a glorious martyr to the cause.

The only catch was that within 24 hours it emerged that the cause Paul Parker was fighting for wasn’t the Greens but One Nation.

As Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlmann so archly observed while posting a more fulsome interview with the man, the only politician Parker didn’t think should “get f***ed” was Pauline Hanson.

This, needless to say, caused a bit of cognitive dissonance with the hard left social media warriors who had ridden the #IStandWithFiremanPaul hashtag like drunken bar room cowboys on a broken mechanical bull.

Of course it had never occurred to any of them that Parker was attacking the PM from the opposite end of the political spectrum. It’s easy to forget that a conservative has enemies on both sides when you define a fascist as anyone who sits to the right of Fidel Castro.

As a result the groundswell of woke activist support for poor Fireman Paul has now disintegrated – so much for solidarity forever.

And yet the hard left unquestioningly flocked in their thousands to support him purely because he publicly swore at the PM only to just as quickly desert him when it emerged his politics didn’t match theirs. This tells you everything you need to know about both their intellect and their loyalty.

Again, for all their talk of solidarity, loyalty has never been the hard left’s strong point – just ask Comrade Trotsky.

For even the most passingly critical mind it was obvious from the outset that this story was crude, inconsistent and illogical and yet it was swallowed wholesale. No wonder it is so easy for the Hansons of this world to cry “fake news”. And no wonder the #IStandWithFiremanPaul movement sank beneath the waves quicker than a Swedish surfer.

All of this is just more evidence, were any needed, of the aching stupidity of so much of the social media commentariat and the tidal lunar idiocy of hashtag activism. All it took was a supporter of the far right to tell the PM to “get f***ed” and the far left just assumed he must be one of them. It’s hardly a Mensa-level entry threshold.



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

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

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


Sunday, February 23, 2020

Why ARE so many midlife women having children alone? In the past five years Britain’s seen a boom in solo motherhood

For a child to grow up with neither a father nor brothers and sisters is bound to be upsetting to the child at some stage and the deprivation is real.  A father and siblings can contribute a lot to a child's mental and emotional development.

So why the solo mothers?  The core reason is that some women fail to find a male partner.  Why that failure? Circumstances will vary but very often there will be a mismatch between what the women want and what is available.

So how come the unrealistic expectations?  A large part of the blame must lie with feminist attacks on men.  Women are likely to see something in whatever is attacked in men and want to avoid it.  That could mean avoiding normal men.

And then on top of that feminists tell women that they can have it all. As many women have found, they cannot. But some women  are nonetheless reinforced in demanding "all".  It is very unwise to expect any approach to "all" but the bombardment of feminist talk from the media and elsewhere about it must have an effect.

Little Olivia Coy loves drawing pictures of her family. There’s Mummy, sister Isobel and her grandparents, all with their stick arms and triangular bodies. There isn’t a daddy in the picture.

Even though she understands what one is, Olivia knows some families, like hers, don’t have one. She knows that ‘a nice man had helped Mummy’ make her, and that’s good enough for her . . . for now. This is her family, and she’s happy with it.

Olivia is a sperm donor baby. Her mother Jennifer wasn’t prepared to let the absence of a partner stand in her way of becoming a mother and decided to go it alone.

Moral or ethical concerns aside, no one can deny such families are a growing trend. According to NHS figures, in 2007, there were only 351 treatment cycles in Britain for single women. The latest statistics show this has risen to 1,290 — accounting for about 3 per cent of all cycles. When the women who were inseminated with donor sperm but did not have full in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are added, 2,279 women tried to start a family on their own in 2017. And this isn’t the full picture, with plenty more procedures being carried out privately.

Last month the singer Cheryl announced she would use a sperm donor to have her next child. The reality TV judge who has a son — Bear, who turns three next month — with former One Direction band member Liam Payne, said she feels she is running out of time to find a partner and plans to have ‘more than one’ child through fertility treatment.

She isn’t the only celebrity to consider going it alone either. In October, singer Natalie Imbruglia, 45, announced the birth of son Max. She had already posted on Instagram in July that she was expecting ‘with the help of IVF and a sperm donor’.

Yet not everyone thinks single women should be pursuing fertility treatment. Indeed, nine years ago documents were leaked revealing health chiefs for South London had created a policy to only fund fertility treatments for couples ‘living in a stable relationship’ because single women having children would ‘place a greater burden on society’.

The statement caused uproar — but it’s a conviction many NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) hold.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, all women under 40 should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment. But at a local level, it is individual CCGs who make the final decision about who is eligible for NHS-funded IVF in their local area.

Yet for those single women with enough cash, there is always hope. It has led to the creation of a fertility industry worth £320 million, offering to help single women become mothers — for the right price.

Increasing numbers are freezing their eggs while they pursue careers or look for Mr Right.

Treatment cycles with frozen eggs rose from 410 in 2012 to 1,462 in 2017. Now the Department of Health and Social Care is considering whether to allow them to store eggs for longer; currently, the cut-off point is ten years.


Moving to a new state and finding a job could soon be a lot easier

Moving homes is stressful enough, but millions of people face another burden when moving to a new state: having to acquire a new, costly license just to keep working in the same job.

Last year, Arizona made it easier to move there by passing legislation to recognize occupational licenses from other states. This means that workers in licensed industries, such as teaching, nursing, and cosmetology, can now move to Arizona and continue their careers without having to go through the burdensome and often expensive process of obtaining a new license. Their old license moves with them.

The Arizona model, known as “universal recognition,” is now catching on like wildfire in state capitals across the country. It could lead to a sweeping wave of occupational licensing reform — all that’s needed is for more lawmakers to embrace this common-sense reform.

Occupational licensing is the practice by which governments, predominantly at the state and local level, require workers to obtain a government license or permit to engage in a certain profession. Licensing laws are often justified on the grounds of protecting public health and safety, with defenders evoking images of unlicensed amateurs conducting brain surgery.

But the reality is that licensing requirements have spread far beyond occupations where they can make sense, such as licenses for doctors and engineers, and now apply in fields as innocuous as floristry and blow-drying hair. Today, 1 in 4 jobs requires a license, up from 1 in 20 in the 1950s.

Even when licensing serves to protect public health or safety, it has become harder for the most economically disadvantaged among us to acquire a license due to the time, fees, and education necessary to acquire one. The result is that millions of would-be workers are locked out of the workforce because they lack the means to obtain a license. Consumers also suffer, because restricting the number of workers in an occupation limits competition, which in turn raises prices.

Worse yet, licensing often doesn’t even improve safety standards as supporters claim.

For example, just consider the rampant health problems in nail salons, a heavily licensed industry whose professionals have to complete hundreds of hours of training. This may be due in part to the fact that much of the mandatory training required to obtain a license in many fields is rarely even related to health or safety issues.

Licensing laws also restrict mobility.

Research has shown that interstate migration rates for individuals to states with licensing exams are more than 30% lower than states without such a requirement. Impinging on mobility is particularly harmful, as the ability to move for work has traditionally been associated with higher levels of income growth.

Given the growing political consensus against excessive occupational licensing (both the Trump and Obama administrations have voiced concerns over the practice), policymakers nationwide have started to ramp up efforts to overhaul licensing regimes. At first, much of the focus was on repealing or reducing individual licensing burdens in specific industries. Recently, additional attention has been given to the plight of military spouses who often must cross state lines, and therefore apply for a new license, as a result of their significant other’s military career requiring frequent moves.

While these discrete reforms are vital, Arizona’s universal recognition reform is the most comprehensive occupational licensing reciprocity model to date.

The idea has caught on: Pennsylvania followed suit with similar legislation last year, and so far in 2020, universal recognition bills are being pursued in Virginia, West Virginia, California, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, New Hampshire, Indiana, and New Jersey. If these are enacted and similar laws continue popping up around the country, as is likely, movement between states could become a lot easier for millions of people.

To be sure, there is plenty of room for reforming and ridding ourselves of unnecessary licensing regulations beyond just granting universal recognition. The ideal fix for most licensing laws is to get rid of them altogether, or to use less-burdensome regulatory alternatives such as private certification or inspection regimes.

But in the meantime, laws that streamline the ability to move beyond state lines without dropping out of the workforce should be embraced by policymakers across the ideological spectrum. Greater workforce freedom is knocking at the door — politicians just need to heed the call.


‘We’ve been branded “hateful” for defending women’s rights’

Lucy Masoud on the British Labour party’s dangerous capitulation to trans ideology

Three of the four candidates for the Labour leadership have signed a controversial pledge card drawn up by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights (LCTR). Some of the 12 pledges include ‘accepting’ that ‘that trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non-binary’ and that ‘there is no material conflict between trans rights and women’s rights’. The pledge card also calls on Labour to expel ‘transphobic’ members from the party and for candidates to ‘fight against’ what it calls ‘hate groups’ such as Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance – groups which were established to defend women’s and lesbians’ rights against an increasingly authoritarian transgender movement. Lucy Masoud is a former firefighter and trade unionist, who has spoken at Woman’s Place UK meetings. spiked caught up with her to find out more.

spiked: What did you make of the LCTR pledge?

Lucy Masoud: When I first saw it, I assumed it had been put together by overactive teenagers. But then Angela Rayner signed it and Rebecca Long-Bailey signed it, and more and more started to sign it. I am utterly astounded. Firstly with the tone and the aggression of the statements. It shows no attempt to understand the view of females in this debate and where we are coming from.

Secondly, I was astounded that it name-checked Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance as ‘hate groups’. To suggest that those involved in those groups should be expelled is nothing short of ludicrous. We are talking about people like Kiri Tunks and Ruth Serwotka. These are giants of the trade-union movement. These are people who have been fighting for the socialist cause their whole adult lives. They have dedicated their lives to fighting for LGBT rights, for people of colour, for women, and for the working class. And for them to be threatened with expulsion! The people making those threats are not fit to lick their boots.

Calling us ‘transphobic’ or a ‘hate group’ completely misses the point of the debate and fails to recognise what our argument is. We are not anti-trans. We fight for the rights of trans people. But we are also fighting for the rights of females. And the whole reason Woman’s Place UK was founded was to protect the single-sex exemption in the Equalities Act. We are called a ‘hate group’ simply for trying to protect female-only spaces, for saying that we want domestic violence centres, refugee centres and centres for the victims of sexual violence to remain female-only. It shows those people’s political naivety and downright dishonesty.

The labour movement has a long and proud history of people with different ideas, different opinions, being able to hash those ideas out and come to some kind of an agreement. And if you don’t come to an agreement, that’s fine, we carry on. But for us to be singled out in this way is unbelievable.

spiked: One of the pledges calls for Labour leadership candidates to accept that there is no material conflict between trans rights and women’s rights. Is there a conflict?

Masoud: There is absolutely a conflict when you have this mantra of ‘trans women are women’ being forced down your throat. We should be having a conversation. I do not believe trans women are women because I believe in biology. Some people do believe that and we should be able to have that conversation. To say there is no conflict between trans rights and female rights, is basically saying that trans women and females are the same. And they are not.

Being trans doesn’t mean what it used to mean five years ago. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation because back then being trans meant ‘transsexual’. Now trans is an umbrella term. It basically covers anyone who feels that they are a woman. They could even present as a man and make no attempt to be a female. They could have all the benefits of being male, but if they feel like a woman, that apparently makes them a woman.

The LCTR pledge calls for such people to be accepted legally as women and to be allowed into female-only spaces, which is of course is very concerning for women like myself. I don’t want to have to go into certain areas that are female-only and be faced with a male-bodied individual.

From my own personal experience of working on a fire station for 12 years, females fought tooth and nail to get female living facilities on fire stations. For decades we didn’t have them. We had to share our dormitories and showers with men. Many women left the job because they didn’t feel comfortable getting changed with men or sleeping in the dormitories with men. There was also a culture there where women felt ostracised, even bullied sometimes. Female firefighters would often end up sleeping in their cars or getting changed in offices, and ultimately leaving the job.

Eventually, we managed to secure female-only facilities on every fire station in London. And that’s essential. They need this when they’ve been out on a big job and they come back and they need a shower, or it’s a night shift and they are sleeping in dormitories. Women need to have their own space. And now that’s being threatened because anyone who self-identifies as a female would be able to have access to those spaces.

Now we’re also allowing male-bodied individuals to use the female-only changing space at the Hampstead Heath swimming ponds. Women are using the shower at six o’clock in the morning, and they’re having to stand next to people with penises. Muslim women who have joined a female-only gym are not going to use those gyms anymore because they can’t be sure that at any given time someone male isn’t going to walk into the changing room. People can no longer be sure that their children, when they are getting changed or in a shower area, aren’t going to be presented with a male-bodied individual.

So there is a massive conflict. A frank, honest and open discussion needs to be had because there has to be a compromise out there. But Labour is not even allowing us to have that discussion. It is saying that if you even step out of the echo-chamber view that trans women are women, or if you think that female rights need to be protected and not include men, then we will be expelled from the party that we have campaigned for our whole adult lives.

spiked: Is there a misogynistic element in the attacks on trans-critical feminists?

Masoud: For sure. This argument isn’t coming from trans men, it is mostly from trans women and their supporters, though many trans women agree with us too, like Debbie Hayton and Kristina Harrison.

It is generally not transsexuals but usually people under this ridiculous umbrella term of trans who are attacking us. It is those who think anyone who is non-binary, genderfluid, pansexual or whatever could be deemed to be a woman even if they are clearly a male, present as male and have male genitalia. They are quite a small minority but they have a lot of supporters. And they are the ones hijacking this agenda.

And it is very misogynistic. Women are going to be impacted by this. But we are being completely shouted down. We are being told that they know better than us and that our rights aren’t as important. If you listen to us, we can tell you why trans rights and women’s rights conflict. We can tell you that a female who’s been the victim of sexual abuse and rape may not want to share a centre for sexual violence with someone who is male-bodied, and that little children or teenagers may not want to share shower space with a full-bodied male.

As a lesbian, I do not want to include trans women in my dating circle because I am attracted to females. That’s what makes me a lesbian. And I should not have to be bullied and forced to accept trans women into my dating circle. But if I don’t, I’m cast as transphobic.

It’s funny because it is also homophobia. We are basically being told that there’s no such thing as same-sex attraction. We are being told that gender identity is what matters and we shouldn’t discriminate based on sex. But that is what makes me a lesbian. I discriminate against men. I do not have sex with them. But now I’m being told that is not okay anymore and my sexual preferences should not be based on sex. To me, that is pure homophobia.

spiked: Can Labour survive if it antagonises women in this way?

Masoud: It hasn’t got a future if it carries on down its current path. It has learned no lessons from the General Election. It had a disastrous policy on Brexit. It ignored the working-class voter and trumpeted the second-referendum nonsense and we saw where that got them. What Labour is doing now is alienating 51 per cent of the population and they don’t care.

I keep thinking about why the hell any Labour leadership candidate would want to sign this pledge. They know there will be a backlash. They have seen the #ExpelMe hashtag sweep Twitter. So why do they do it?

Most likely it is because they know they’re not likely to win the next election in five years’ time, or the one after that, either. So they’re not thinking about winning elections or winning over the general public. All they are thinking about is appealing to the Labour membership who they think will gobble this up.

Each candidate wants to be the most woke. They are appealing to this tiny, tiny minority of the electorate that is obsessed with identity politics. But they do not realise the damage they are doing. I didn’t even vote Labour at the last election and I’ve been a Labour member my whole life. And for someone like me not to vote Labour means it has a massive problem.


Australian veterans' organization bans Aboriginal flag and welcome to country ceremony

ANZAC day is when Australians remember family members who have died in war.  Intruding other concerns into that solemn occasion is offensive

A state branch of the RSL has taken the extraordinary step of banning the Aboriginal flag and traditional indigenous ceremonies on Anzac Day.

The Western Australian branch of the RSL has taken the extraordinary step of banning the Aboriginal flag and performance of welcome to country at its ceremonies honouring war heroes.

A report by the ABC today claimed that some RSL members last year were upset after an Aboriginal professor read the Ode of Remembrance, traditionally recited on Remembrance Day ceremonies, in an indigenous language last year.

The reading on last year’s Anzac Day ceremony by Professor Len Collard in the Noongar language reportedly sparked the change in rules. Professor Collard had translated the Ode himself. Members told John McCourt, the chief executive of the RSLWA, that reading poem in another language wasn’t appropriate.

After receiving complaints the RSLWA board developed new policies to control Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies held in the state.

“While having utmost respect for the traditional owners of land upon which such sites and memorials are located, RSLWA does not view it appropriate that a Welcome to Country is used at sites that were specifically established to pay homage to those who died and who came from a wide range of cultural backgrounds,” the new policy reads.

The new policy includes guidelines that all content be delivered in English (except the New Zealand National Anthem); only flying the Australian, New Zealand and WA flags and; having no welcome to country ceremonies.

The policy, which outlines rules for the RSL’s commemorations regarding “culture”, recognises Australia as a diverse and multicultural nation, before going on to acknowledge a “trend among sectors of the Australian community to seek to include specific cultural and ethnic elements into major commemorative events” including Anzac and Remembrance Day.

“While it is important to recognise cultural and ethnic contributions to the defence of Australia, it is also important to maintain Anzac Day and Remembrance Day as occasions to express unity, a time when all Australians – irrespective of race, culture or religion – come together to remember and reflect.”

A welcome to country is performed at the beginning of events in Australia to bring awareness about the traditional history and cultural owners of an area. A welcome to country is usually performed by an indigenous elder.

Mr McCourt said these ceremonies are only banned on Anzac and Remembrance Day. “All the RSL is asking for is two days,” he told the ABC.

He said the RSLWA “remains appalled” at the discriminatory treatment of indigenous Australians who returned after serving in World War I.



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

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

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


Friday, February 21, 2020

UK: The purge of the unwoke

The Labour party is plotting a Stalinist purge of anyone who questions the cult of transgenderism

So now we know. If you believe in biology, Labour isn’t the party for you. If you think people with penises are men, not women, Labour isn’t the party for you. If you believe women should have the freedom of association to set up their own spaces and institutions, Labour isn’t the party for you. If you believe in reason, truth and freedom of thought, Labour isn’t the party for you. This is the loud-and-clear message of the disgraceful purge proposed by Labour members yesterday, and swiftly endorsed by some of the leadership candidates, against anyone who questions the cult of transgenderism – that Labour really has become an irrational, intolerant party of extreme identity politics.

The proposed purge has been given the deceptively liberal-sounding title ‘Labour Campaign for Trans Rights’. This gives it the appearance of being a decent, pro-minority campaign, but it is nothing of the kind. In truth, it is a deeply illiberal attempt to cleanse Labour of any individual or group that believes in biological reality and which thinks that women must have the right to speak freely and to set up their own spaces for association and debate.

So the purge demands unquestioning loyalty to one of the key orthodoxies of identitarian extremism: that ‘trans women are women’ and ‘trans men are men’. Fail to bow before this eccentric dogma and you will be branded a ‘transphobe’ and expelled from the party. As the purge makes clear: there should be the ‘expulsion from the Labour Party of those who express bigoted, transphobic views’. What this would mean in practice is that if you think people with penises are men, and if you think biological sex is immutable, and if you think big blokes should not be allowed to beat the crap out of women in sports such as boxing – all views that are now described as ‘transphobic’ – you will be purged.

The Stalinist vindictiveness of the purge is made clear in its demonisation of two perfectly reasonable campaign groups: Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance. The former is an organisation of feminists concerned that gender self-identification could lead to born males entering women-only spaces – such as changing rooms, rape-crisis centres and female prisons – and which campaigns for the preservation of women’s sex-based rights. The latter is a gay-rights group concerned that transgenderism erases the specificity of the homosexual experience – of same-sex attraction – for example by allowing people with actual penises to identify as lesbian. Scandalously, the purge refers to these two organisations as ‘hate groups’. It says Labour members should ‘organise and fight against’ these despicable, hateful outfits.

This is deeply sinister. It effectively gives a licence to the use of violence, or certainly harassment, against women and gays and lesbians. After all, if Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance are ‘hate groups’, a term normally reserved for racist or fascistic movements, and if they must be ‘fought against’, doesn’t that green-light the use of force against them?

For a few years now, woke leftists have depicted trans-sceptical women in particular as witches, essentially, as dangerous, hateful creatures whose very words and ideas are a mortal threat to trans people’s safety and self-esteem. They have dehumanised these women as ‘TERFs’, a term that means ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’ but which has really become shorthand for scum, bitch, someone who is beyond the pale. This has helped to generate some awful hostility and in some instances violence against trans-sceptical feminists. Now, the branding of these feminists as a ‘hate group’ takes the demonisation a step further: it risks endorsing hostility towards any woman who raises questions about the cult of gender self-ID. It sanctions the misogynistic harassment of free-thinking women.

That many of the figures running for Labour leadership positions – including Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Dawn Butler – have given their blessing to the purge is disgraceful. It confirms that Labour is doubling down on its embrace of intolerant identitarianism and PC groupthink. Anyone who thought that in the wake of its catastrophic defeat in the December election Labour might rethink its abandonment of class politics in favour of the divisive, destructive cult of identitarianism has now had a rude awakening. Labour is clearly going even further down the road of self-destruction.

Strikingly, even Tribune, George Orwell’s old magazine, has endorsed the purge of free-thinking women and critically minded homosexuals. That the magazine which published Orwell should now support such an Orwellian move confirms what a mess the modern left is in. Orwell raged against systems of intolerance that demand unflinching intellectual conformity and the suppression of doubt and dissent – now Tribune endorses such intolerance. In supporting the expulsion from Labour of anyone who questions the idea that ‘trans women are women’, Tribune plays the role of Big Brother demanding that we believe 2 + 2 = 5.

This purge suggests Labour is finished. A party that supports trans intolerance and which punishes any questioning of PC orthodoxies is a party that has absolutely nothing important or useful to say to the people of this country. Former Labour voters must be looking at this nonsense and congratulating themselves for abandoning this lost, deluded party.


LA Mayor and Police Chief Assure Illegals They Can Get Away With Breaking American Laws

In what can only be described as giving the middle finger to the United States of America and law and order, the mayor of Los Angeles and his equally law-breaking police chief recorded a public service announcement letting illegal aliens know they will not be held accountable to U.S. laws while living in .LA.

"Regardless of your immigration status, I want every Angeleno to know your city is on your side," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Here in Los Angeles, our police department does not coordinate with ICE or participate in immigration enforcement."

It's amazing to me that he found a lawman to stand next to him and agree with this anarchist garbage, but indeed he did. The police chief, Michel Moore, weighed in with his thoughts: "Our police force does not do the job of federal law enforcment...we will not enforce immigration laws."

Watch the whole thing if you can stomach it. Will nothing ever happen to the ringleaders of sanctuary cities who are wantonly and openly flouting the laws of our land? It's outrageous that this is allowed to continue with no consequences. Why is California still receiving federal funds? Which federal laws do you think you, American citizen, can break at will without facing jail time?

We now have a three-tiered justice system: one for the elite Democrats, who never face time no matter what they do; one for the rest of us, who never get a break; and one for illegal aliens, who are exempted from all federal crimes based on their political importance to the Democrat voting block. How much longer can this go on?


There Is No Bending of Gender

Regardless of what the activists say, there are two biological sexes. It's science.

“The Dangerous Denial of Sex: Transgender ideology harms women, gays — and especially feminine boys and masculine girls.” This recent Wall Street Journal headline for a column co-written by a Penn State evolutionary biologist and a University of Manchester developmental biologist serves as additional information in the battle to protect children from adults.

Brutal, you say?

Some suggest kids know they’re born in the wrong body or that their behavior demonstrates a mistake of their God-given biology. But the growing demand for sex-change efforts for minors, even young children, is a result only of the warped adults in the lives of these children, not independent decisions by children themselves.

NBC is following the “courageous” story of one family with a nine-year-old girl now taking puberty blockers to help fight off nature and science. The one identifying as the father claims, “He’s [sic] becoming educated on what future choices he’ll [sic] need to make” knowing that the next step is surgery. The family insists that the girl has known since she was a toddler that she is really a boy. Hogwash. Mom has books to sell — that’s why this is happening.

Meanwhile in South Dakota, courage was being sought in a recent state government attempt to protect children from the irreversible impact of sex-change surgery. The Vulnerable Child Protection Act would have prohibited chemical hormone interference or surgical removal of a child’s body parts because of how their behavior, tendencies, or whims can be supported through the swarm of social media. The proposal passed the South Dakota House 47-23 but failed to exit a Senate committee despite shocking testimony from actual patients who regret surgical and chemical reversals.

Among those testifying was Scott Newgent, a 47-year-old “transgender” man-born-female who pursued complete chemical and surgical transition. Newgent’s testimony before the South Dakota Senate was that, after $1 million for operations and care, the result is to be “dependent on drugs and doctors for the rest of my life.” That is clearly not something a child can consent to. Newgent declared, “A hundred medically transitioned adults [are] standing behind me with a signed petition that they are also against medically transitioning children.”

The heartbreaking comments from Elaine Davidson, an Oregon mother whose daughter had both breasts surgical removed and a complete hysterectomy at age 17, point the finger of blame at therapists who steered her child toward sex transition rather than address the mother’s concerns about autism. She learned of her child’s surgeries via social media, as her estranged daughter could obtain life-altering interventions in Oregon as young as age 14 without parental consent.

Face it: There are activists, therapists, “healthcare” providers, and opportunists who contribute to the deception of some spectrum of sex or gender. Biologically, there are two sexes.

There is a spectrum of behavior that uses stereotypical actions to fuel the deception of this social construct of gender identity, rather than a binary sex determined at birth by the presence of either the XX or XY chromosomes along with corresponding sex hormones matching the reproductive anatomy.

Behavior is not biology as it relates to sex determination. Some men enjoy what could be argued are more feminine activities. Similarly, some women enjoy activities more traditionally performed by men. It doesn’t matter to biology: Men are still men, and women are still women.

As for the biologists writing in the WSJ, their words demonstrate the simple fact that it is our culture that has created gender confusion: “The evolutionary function of these two anatomies is to aid in reproduction via the fusion of sperm and ova. No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex ‘spectrum’ or additional sexes beyond male and female. Sex is binary.”


Australian Labor party rediscovering the workers

Joel Fitzgibbon and Anthony Albane­se met at a Young Labor conference in 1985. Both were elected to federal parliament on March 2, 1996, the day that John Howard became prime minister.

Even though they hail from differen­t ends of the party, as is often the way with MPs elected at the same time, Albanese and Fitzgibbon­ became and remain friends. Despite everything.

That “everything” includes the dinner for 20 right-wing Labor MPs — held at Kokomo’s in Canberra­, not Otis — on the Sunday­ in between sitting weeks, now cast as a sub-faction to pursue the interests of workers, residing­ within the party explicitly created to pursue the interests of workers, raising all sorts of questions for modern Labor.

Attendees have since told colleagu­es they thought it was an invitation to socialise or that they were trying to find ways of helping the Opposition Leader, something Albanese has struggled to see. They also insisted it was not driven by malice, there was no intent to undermine Albanese, and nor did they mean for it to become public.

It leaked because of the accid­ental inclusion of a government staffer on a group email. Oops. The idea for the group originated at a much more intimate dinner at Otis, the favourite restaurant of powerbroker Don Farrell.

The group subsequently opted to call itself after the venue where it was conceived, rather than after the more funky Kokomo’s, both in the hope of avoiding the puns and word games which could flow from a classic cock-up rather than conspiracy, and because the founders have a serious mission which they want taken seriously.

Revelation of their existence became a mitigated disaster. Both sides of politics took comfort from the other’s misery. Labor MPs were consoled by the fact that at least they weren’t plotting to get rid of their leader or his deputy while Coalition MPs rejoiced that at last Labor’s differences had erupted to the surface.

If anything good has come out of the exposure for Labor (and many senior opposition figures say none has) courtesy of The Australian’s Peter van Onselen, who broke the news on the Ten Network, it is that Albanese has got the message. Because if he hasn’t by now, he never will.

Sensible Laborites see clearly where the party went wrong. They saw what happened with Bill Shorten, a deeply flawed politician with flawed policies to match. They saw what happened with Jeremy Corbyn, also a flawed politician with flawed policies. And they can foretell Bernie Sanders’s fate if he wins the Democrat nomination.

They are entitled to ask how many suicide missions do there have to be before progressive-socialist leaders accept they have strayed too far from the centre, desertin­g the workers their parties were born to represent.

In the wake of the bushfires, Australians profess to care more about climate change and are less wedded to coal. But at the ballot box last May they showed they care more about their hip pockets, their jobs, their tax, their cost of living and their economic security.

Otherwise Shorten, regardless of his shortcomings, would have been elected. Labor would have won Higgins and Kooyong, Kerryn­ Phelps would have held on to Wentworth and perhaps Trevor Evans would have been turfed out of Brisbane. They cared about climate, but not enough to choose higher taxes and a leader they neithe­r liked nor trusted.

This is what Albanese’s colleagues, including Fitzgibbon, have been trying to tell him, believing that while sentiment in some parts of Australia has streng­th­ened, in other parts it hasn’t.

The right worries that despite its greater numbers in caucus it has lost its clout, and Albanese will be more susceptible to the arguments of his natural allies in the left.

Reflecting the tensions, Alban­ese has struggled to articulate a convincing position on coal. Early in his leadership he flew to Queensland to begin the tricky task of repositioning, trying to sound more accepting of it. Yet when Fran Kelly asked last week if he would support a coal-fired power station funded by industry, he replied: “You may as well ask me, Fran, if I support unicorns.”

Albanese risks being branded by the government as Bob-Each-Way Albo, or as Mr Inbetween, the likeable hit man on the TV series who tricked up a horse to look like a unicorn so he could impress his daughter.

Morrison, his authority weakened by his sorry summer, is trying to reweight his arguments with greater emphasis on climate change and less on coal. Thanks to the pressure from rebel Nationals, and his fight to save Michael ­McCormack’s leadership, he faces greater risks in the short and medium­ term.



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, February 20, 2020

NHS will refuse to treat patients who are sexist and racist

Translation: If you go to a British public hospital, you are likely to get a poorly trained Third World doctor -- but you have got to cop it sweet

The NHS will refuse treatment to racist, sexist and violent patients, amid warnings that rising numbers of staff are facing “appalling” abuse.

From April, any patient or hospital visitor found to be inflicting discriminatory or harassing behaviour on staff could be barred from receiving care, unless the case is an emergency.

Previously, patients could only be refused help if they were aggressive or violent.

It comes as new figures show the percentage of staff who say they have experienced discrimination has risen by a quarter in five years, from 5.8 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

Racism was the most common form of discrimination, but the new figures also show the highest levels of reported sexism and intolerance of religion and sexuality....


The Moral Bankruptcy of the BSA's National Board

Mark Alexander

"On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." —Oath, Boy Scouts of America

As a former Scout, a Scout leader, the father of two Eagle Scouts, and a BSA Executive Council member, it grieves me to report that the national BSA board has, as I estimated it would a year ago, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The declaration was the result of lawsuits brought by the victims of sexual predators, who concealed their predatory behavior in decades past in order to access a virtually unlimited field of young boys. According to The Washington Times, this "could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies" ever. A lawyer for more than 300 victim plaintiffs, Michael Pfau, asserts, "You're talking about tens of thousands of victims. This will be the largest bankruptcy the country has ever seen."

For clarity, there is a significant distinction between the national BSA board and local Scouting councils — the latter effectively operate as autonomous, setting their own standards for leadership and membership. As the national board has made clear, the local councils "are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization." Most councils, as is the case with the one I serve, have very high standards for troop and pack leadership and membership.

On the other hand, the national BSA board sold out in 2015 when, against all reason and logic, it voted to allow local councils to admit adult homosexual leaders. That was an apparent appeasement by wealthy national BSA board corporate types, who did not want their own companies boycotted by leftist "heterophobic gender deniers" accusing the BSA of being "homophobic" because the organization did not allow homosexual leaders. And in leftist-controlled states, there were legal actions against this once-highly esteemed private organization for not allowing gender disoriented leaders.

So, today the Boy Scouts of America national board is declaring bankruptcy because of homosexual predation on boys by Scout leaders over the last 40 years — and at the same time revelations about this history of abuse were surfacing five years ago, the BSA board, in its detached and warped sense of obligatory social justice, opened its doors to homosexual leaders. What could go wrong?

No organization can fully protect itself from pedophile predators, but inviting those with deviant sexual predilections into the ranks of Scouting was a grossly negligent decision. While the Boy Scouts oath is still the standard by which Scouts are held, the national BSA board abandoned its "morally straight" mandate and will pay the price well into the future.


History: 1776 vs. 1619

There's now an alternative to the New York Times's revisionist, race-baiting project.

A wide-ranging group of writers from ideologically diverse backgrounds has come together to challenge leftist assertions in the New York Times’s 1619 Project that the United States was built on slavery. In response, the educational series 1776 was recently launched by the Woodson Center under the guidance of longtime activist and scholar Robert Woodson.

The Woodson Center was founded in 1981 to raise awareness and funding for neighborhoods seeking to solve critical community problems through innovative initiatives. Robert Woodson began 1776 as a direct response to the misguided and harmful history put forth by the Times.

Woodson described the 1619 Project as a “lethal” narrative that perpetuates a culture of victimhood in the African American community by claiming that life for blacks in America has been predetermined by slavery and Jim Crow.

“This garbage that is coming down from the scholars and writers from 1619 is most hypocritical because they don’t live in communities [that are] suffering,” said Woodson. “They are advocating something they don’t have to pay the penalty for.”

Glenn Loury, economics professor at Brown University and 1776 contributor, added, “The idea that the specter of slavery still determines the character of life among African Americans is an affront to me. I believe in America, and I believe in black people. Something tells me … the 1619 Project authors don’t. They don’t believe in America … and I’m sorry to have to report, I get the impression they don’t believe in black people.”

Since its launch last year, the 1619 Project has been widely criticized by numerous academics and journalists. It pushes glaring historical inaccuracies through a leftist-driven narrative about slavery in America and the supposed lack of progress of black people since 1865.

Despite the criticism The New York Times has faced, the rag continues to push the 1619 Project, which, unfortunately, has been embraced countrywide by thousands of schools. When Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson called upon the Times to issue a correction regarding its claim that the Revolutionary War was fought to maintain slavery, New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein refused. He responded, “Historical understanding is not fixed; it is constantly being adjusted by new scholarship and new voices.” Spoken like a true leftist.

By comparison, the 1776 initiative seeks to tell a more balanced story about African American history. Contributors include academics, journalists, and activists across the political spectrum. Among the topics addressed in several essays are the moral meaning of America; what the new morality of “stain” and “purity” seeks to accomplish; Black America’s algorithm for entrepreneurship and success; critical race theory’s toxic impact on America; acknowledging slavery’s limits in defining America; and several others.

These essays, according to Woodson, “counter the false history that the 1619 Project espouses and has disseminated as a school curriculum. Our focus will be to identify and highlight solutions, models of success in reviving our streets and communities, and actionable goals that should be pursued.”

1776 will not refute every ugly anti-American lie that the 1619 Project has perpetuated. That would take too long. Instead, 1776 offers an inspirational alternative that encourages people about the history of the greatest country on earth.


Israel reduces humanitarian supplies that can enter Gaza after rocket fire

"Hamas is responsible for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip," COGAT said in a statement. "Unless the peace is maintained, the State of Israel will act accordingly."

The expected improvement in humanitarian conditions following an informal agreement between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has been cancelled following the continuation of rocket fire, according to a report from Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). Some of these humanitarian measures include the expansion of the fishing zone for Gazan fisherman and the transfer of infrastructure supplies into Gaza.

COGAT said that trade permits would be reduced by 500 and that cement shipments can no longer enter the Strip. "Hamas is responsible for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip," COGAT said in a statement. "Unless the peace is maintained, the State of Israel will act accordingly."

COGAT is the unit in the Defense Ministry that manages coordinating civilian issues between the State of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces, international organizations, diplomats and the Palestinian Authority.

Over the weekend, Israeli fighter jets and helicopters struck multiple Hamas targets near Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel. No casualties were reported from the rocket attacks.



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