Friday, July 31, 2020

Now loving on Jesus IN YOUR OWN HOME could be a 'hate crime'

A vague new hate-crime law under consideration in Scotland could criminalize something people do unwittingly in their homes.

The U.K.'s Christian Institute warns it could restrict Christians' freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation or to call people to repent of sin, "even in church."

That's because it could offend irreligious or anti-religious people.

"Conduct need not be threatening or even intended to stir up hatred for an offense to be committed. Instead, the bill captures any abusive behavior deemed likely to stir up hatred. An offense could even be unwittingly committed in the privacy of your own home," the Christian Institute said.

"And there is not nearly enough protection for free speech," the group said.

The proposal could be used as a weapon against people of faith, the institute said.

"Many who oppose biblical truth claim that disagreeing with them amounts to hatred. The proposed 'stirring up hatred' offenses would give those hostile to Christianity a new tool to try to close down debate and silence Christians."

The government's Justice Committee recently accepted comments on the idea of expanding the existing law, which covers race. Lawmakers have proposed adding other "protected" characteristics, such as sexual orientation and transgender identity.

"While Christians would never support genuinely threatening or abusive behavior, it is difficult to approve of this bill because of some of the things it includes – not least the new 'stirring up hatred’ offenses," the report said.

The bill also lacks key safeguards that appeared in similar legislation in England and Wales.

"Such laws, especially in today’s climate, would undoubtedly have a chilling effect on free speech. Think of how it could impact student evangelism, a church’s outreach work or Christians seeking to debate moral and ethical issues," the institute said.

Especially in the bull's-eye would be churches, it said.

"We know the gospel will be offensive to many. It tells people they are sinful, that their conduct separates them from God, and that there is no way to heaven except through Jesus. And what’s more, Christians can’t shy away from saying that. Romans 1:16 says 'I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes,'" the report said.

"This means if Christians stick to their convictions, standing by the gospel and continuing to explain to people what the Bible says about matters such as sexuality and diversity of religions, then they will inevitably offend. Unfortunately, in a culture where people seem increasingly unable to shrug off that with which they disagree, it is only a matter of time before the police are dragged into the matter."

The new plan does not exclude even church services from the ire of antagonists.

"A Sunday morning sermon where Christ is preached as the only savior and all religions are said to be false, or where homosexual behavior is said to be sinful, could see the preacher prosecuted for stirring up hatred," the institute warned.


Rowling Warns on Trans Therapy for Kids: ‘We’re on Brink of a Medical Scandal’

Harry Potter author Joanne ‘JK’ Rowling has weighed into the debate on “trans kids” once again, suggesting Britain is “on the brink of a medical scandal”.

Rowling, an idol-turned-hate-figure for social justice warriors since she went public with her belief that “[biological] sex is real and has lived consequences”, provoked the fury of so-called progressives on Saturday when she shared her thoughts on social media on an academic paper titled “Freedom to think: the need for thorough assessment and treatment of gender dysphoric children”.

“‘[British National Health Service] identity clinics have been functioning as if acting outside the ordinary requirement of good medical and psychiatric practice.’ Some may dismiss this paper… but they do so at their own peril,” she warned, quoting from the document directly.

“It feels as though we’re on the brink of a medical scandal,” she added.

The former Labour Party donor went on to cite a second paper, titled “Sex, gender and gender identity: a re-evaluation of the evidence”, quoting its conclusion that “Psychiatry sits on this knife-edge: running the risk of being accused of transphobia or, alternatively, remaining silent throughout this uncontrolled experiment.”

“Since speaking up about gender identity theory, I’ve received thousands of emails — more than I’ve ever had on a single subject. Many have come from professionals working in medicine, education, and social work. All are concerned about the effects on vulnerable young people,” Rowling explained.

“The writers of this letter are just two of a growing number of whistleblowers. The bleak truth is that if and when the scandal does erupt, nobody currently cheering this movement on will be able to credibly claim ‘we couldn’t have known’,” she added. She then linked to a copy of a letter sent to The Guardian in 2017 — which the leftist newspaper declined to publish — by whistleblowers at the now-infamous Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic.

“There is no such thing as a male or female brain, and you cannot be ‘born into the wrong body’,” the clinicians had written.

“You should know that there is no unequivocally shared consensus on what you are undertaking; and the evidence, such as it is, suggests no greater health or happiness,” they added, addressing a hypothetical trans child.

“Most of us at your age did not cherish our fertility, and the imagined easy alternative of adoption or surrogacy is far from that. I need you to know that you really might change your mind, as many have before you,” they warned.


America’s National Pastime Just Betrayed America

Rudy Giuliani

Major League Baseball (MLB)—America’s “national pastime” by affirmation of the U.S. Supreme Court—has turned itself completely backward. What do you get when you reverse the league’s initials? BLM for Black Lives Matter.

The hallowed New York Yankees literally got on their knees and groveled in coordination with an avowedly Marxist, anti-white, anti-family, pro-abortion-on-demand organization founded to destroy the American family, private education, law enforcement, the military, free enterprise, and private property. In short, the avowed goal of BLM is to destroy our American values and way of life. It was easily the most shameful moment in the club’s storied history. It horrified me to see the successors of my childhood heroes—Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford—pledge fealty to an organization that promulgates hatred of all things American.

The George Steinbrenner Yankees is the same organization that, after the Sept. 11th attacks, stood with me and the entire City of New York behind the heroes of the New York Police Department and Fire Department as we affirmed the strength, resilience, and indivisibility of this country.

My, how things have changed!

Nineteen years ago, at a time when the security of our nation was in question and it seemed like the viability of the American system was facing its greatest threat in a generation, the New York Yankees and MLB provided steadfast assurance that the American way of life was secure and would never yield to ideologies intent on dismantling it. Today, though, baseball has forgotten the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives to protect the citizens of New York and the United States that day and every day since.

It was Steinbrenner who initiated the practice of singing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch. Now, the MLB parrots the propaganda of a movement intent not on shoring up America, but piling fuel on the fires that threaten to divide us by identity and destroy our strongest values

The Yankees and MLB might be forgiven for not knowing exactly what they were endorsing with these gestures and the dozens of official social media posts spreading the talking points of “Black Lives Matter.” After all, half of the country has been taken in by that clever, deceptive slogan.

In reality, BLM is still the same extremist group that most of the country rejected the first time they pulled this act in 2014 and 2015. Two of the three co-founders are “trained Marxists” with a convicted domestic terrorist as their mentor. In addition, one of the for-profit company’s highest-ranking fundraisers, in fact, is another convicted domestic terrorist imprisoned for 58 years for her role in bombing the U.S. Capitol and killing police officers. There’s a reason these people are involved with BLM: they hate America, they hate white people, they hate capitalism, and they see BLM as the best vehicle for burning all of it to the ground.

I cannot for the life of me understand how an organization as profitable and professionally staffed as MLB could not know any of this. It’s right there in black and white, in a 2017 manifesto called “A Vision for Black Lives,” put out by a coalition called the Movement for Black Lives, which counts BLM as part of its coalition. Here’s the plan:

End money bail

Defund and dismantle law enforcement, including in schools and campuses

End public jails

Guaranteed minimum income for blacks only

Reparations, to include claiming any private property

Retroactive decriminalization of all drug offenders (including major drug dealers and prostitutes)

Free abortions at any stage of pregnancy, maybe even after birth

Defund the military

End all private education

Release all black prisoners

Discontinue the use of fossil fuels

Financial destruction of the State of Israel

Rejection of the nuclear family and the role of fathers as critical

I would like to believe that the Yankees’ shameful display was based on a simple misunderstanding of what they were endorsing. The media in this country has pulled out all the stops to obfuscate what “BLM” stands for, and is responsible for the funneling of millions of dollars of corporate money into a group whose leaders openly call white people “subhumans” who must be “wiped out” and advocate for the American system to be “burned down.”

Ignorance may explain such actions, but it doesn’t excuse the MLB for betraying their fans, the police, and their own country to side with violent, racist communists. Major League Baseball has it completely backward.

It’s time for the MLB to rectify its participation in an attack on our basic values with ceremonies honoring the men and women in uniform who keep them safe so they can earn millions upon millions of dollars.


Trump Administration Submits Petition to FCC in Bid to Prevent Online Censorship

The Trump administration this week submitted a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of an effort to prevent online censorship.

The Department of Commerce filed a petition to the commission on July 27 requesting clarification on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, including whether the act permits social media companies that alter or editorialize users’ speech to escape civil liability.

“Provide clearer guidance to courts, platforms, and users, on what content falls within (c)(2) immunity, particularly section 230(c)(2)’s ‘otherwise objectionable’ language and its requirement that all removals be done in ‘good faith,'” the petition states.

The FCC was also asked to provide transparency requirements on the moderation practices that platforms use.

“Many Americans rely on online platforms to stay informed and connected, sharing their thoughts and ideas on issues important to them, which can oftentimes lead to free and open debate around public policies and upcoming elections,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

“It has long been the policy of the United States to foster a robust marketplace of ideas on the Internet and the free flow of information around the world. President Trump is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans to express their views and not face unjustified restrictions or selective censorship from a handful of powerful companies.”

The petition came after President Donald Trump issued an executive order in May aimed at preventing people from being censored online.

Trump said social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook wield immense power to shape how the public sees events and are using the power to censor, delete, and disappear information.

Twitter in particular has ramped up censorship of Trump himself, hiding some of Trump’s tweets from users or attaching a warning to them, while not touching the account of former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

In a statement drawing attention to the petition, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump “will continue to fight back against unfair, un-American, and politically biased censorship of Americans online.”

Section 230 is widely seen as shielding social media companies from liability but is coming under scrutiny because of tech giants’ escalation of censorship.

According to the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan group that provides reports to Congress, Section 230 generally prevents some companies from being held liable for hosting content that someone else created.

“For example, if someone writes and posts a defamatory statement on Twitter, the defamed person could sue the tweet’s author,” a report (pdf) from June stated.

“Section 230, however, would likely require a court to dismiss any lawsuits against Twitter or a second Twitter user who merely retweets the original statement without comment—so long as neither Twitter nor the second Twitter user helped to develop the initial tweet.”

The law was enacted in 1996 after a trial court ruling opened up an online platform to liability for hosting defamatory speech because the platform had said it would police its site for unwanted speech.

The service said it remains an open question whether the FCC is authorized to issue rules interpreting Section 230, a question that may only be resolved by a court ruling.

The FCC is an agency overseen by Congress that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. It has five commissioners, including Chairman Ajit Pai.

Trump administration efforts to clarify Section 230 drew mixed reviews from the commissioners.

The rules the Department of Commerce proposed “are ill-advised, and the Commission should dispose of this Petition as quickly as possible,” Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said in a statement.

The department “seems to have failed to grasp how vast and diverse the ecosystem of interactive computer services is,” he said. “Every comment section on the Internet would be subject to scrutiny. Imposing intermediary liability on those services—or creating an environment in which those services have an incentive not to moderate content at all—would prove devastating to competition, diversity, and vibrant public spaces online.”

Commissioner Brendan Carr said he welcomed the petition, which he described as providing “an opportunity to bring much-needed clarity to the statutory text.”

“And it allows us to move forward in a way that will empower speakers to engage in ‘a forum for a true diversity of political discourse,’ as Congress envisioned when it passed Section 230,” he said in a statement.

There is no set time for dealing with petitions, according to the FCC website. Reviews of petitions include examining whether a new rule is necessary or if less burdensome alternatives could fix issues that arise.



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, July 30, 2020

About Those Unarmed Black Men Killed by Cops...

Contrary to media implication, "unarmed" doesn't mean incapable of killing a cop.  

There’s some debate about how many unarmed black men were shot by cops last year. Some sources list eight, some nine, others 13, and still others 14.

These are distinctions without a difference, however — especially when one considers the tens of millions of encounters that our law enforcement officials have with good people and bad during the course of a year. But let’s go with 14 to prevent the busybodies at USA Today from having another hissy fit.

Fourteen deaths, of course, is 14 too many. But this number is just two-tenths of 1% of the nation’s 7,300 black homicide victims in 2019, whereas more than 90% of those victims were killed by other blacks. Clearly, if all black lives truly mattered to the Marxist shakedown artists at Black Lives Matter, they’d be paying a lot more attention to the plank in their own eye.

But back to those unfortunate 14. Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire did the additional work of looking up the circumstances of each of these deaths, and he found the cops’ track record to be even more clear-cut, more compelling in terms of its judiciousness.

“According to the DOJ,” writes Walsh, “police make about 10 million arrests each year. As a rough average, 7 million of the arrested suspects are white and 3 million are black. Out of that number, last year, 25 unarmed white people were killed by police, compared to 14 unarmed black people, according to the Washington Post database of police shootings. That means about .0004 percent of all blacks arrested were killed while unarmed. The percentage for whites is comparable. In total, 1,000 people were shot and killed by police in 2019, the vast majority of whom were armed.” In any case, those 1,000 shootings amount to just 0.01% or one-ten-thousandth of all arrests made.

“We know that number [14 unarmed shootings] is already quite low,” Walsh continues. “But a closer inspection of the actual cases shows that it’s even lower than we think. Indeed, it appears that the whole category of ‘unarmed’ shootings is severely misleading. I looked up all 14 cases included in the Post’s 2019 database. A few are straightforwardly unjustified.”

Walsh goes on to list those unjustified cases: one horrible hair-trigger decision, another accidental discharge during search and confiscation, another during a scuffle, one when a suspect reached for his waistband, one when a cop fired shots into a fleeing car, and another during an attempted arrest.

As Walsh notes, “These six shootings range from outrageous to questionable. But these are still only six out of the approximately 3 million black suspects arrested in 2019. Half of the officers have been charged with crimes, so it’s not as though cops are given legal license to kill on a whim. Only one of these cases is murder. Two might be manslaughter.”

As for the other eight, one was killed when he tried to run over the responding officers with his car. Another was shot when he choked a cop and used his taser on him. Two others were shot by cops defending themselves from vehicles being used as weapons, three others were shot after violently assaulting an officer, and the last of these eight was killed when he emerged from his home after having threatened to “blast” the cops and “kill every last one of them.”

Thanks to these additional details from Walsh — and no thanks to the legions of willfully incurious journalists and editors out there — we now know without a doubt that our nation’s cops are remarkably and overwhelmingly judicious in their use of deadly force. And this despite the fact that, as Heather Mac Donald notes, “A police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”

Next time you pass by a cop, consider thanking him for what he does.


The Double Standard of the Menu Police

Equal enforcement of the laws should be the rule, not the exception.

If you want evidence of the double standard that’s been applied to the Wuhan coronavirus lockdowns, just look at the way the protests over the death of George Floyd have been handled and the rise of the “menu police” in New York bars and restaurants. This double standard speaks volumes to many Americans.

In the case of the bars, it was obvious. New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo had issued a directive designed to keep people from congregating while waiting to order drinks, thereby helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The directive said that alcohol could only be sold to patrons who first ordered food, but the governor’s regulators quickly stepped in when many New York bars began offering chips, fruit, or a few pretzels with drinks — and thereby minimally complying with the order. And who can blame these business owners? They’d suffered under the state’s shutdowns for months in what was arguably the most massive regulatory taking in American history.

New York’s liquor-regulating authorities, however, quickly declared that even chicken wings with beer were not acceptable — that a legitimate food order had to include at least a sandwich. In California, a similar directive was instituted.

We mentioned the apparent callousness shown by the likes of Cuomo some three months ago, when many were protesting the lockdowns. That was bad enough, but then we learned that these same experts were playing favorites.

The restrictions went far beyond food and drink, however. In New Jersey, for example, two men who owned a gym were taken down in a major law enforcement operation when they restructured their gym’s floor plan to allow more spacing between patrons and then defied their Democrat governor’s lockdown order. Many Americans have had to surrender not just their livelihoods, but their ability to comfort a dying family member in a hospital or to grieve for the loss of a loved one.

And all the while, we see video of massive “social justice” protests in these same states — with no regulatory concern for social distancing. The favoritism shown these events is palpable — as was the Supreme Court’s disappointing ruling (with Chief Justice John Roberts being the deciding vote) against a Nevada church seeking relief from a clearly discriminatory set of rules.

These double standards come at a great cost. The pain and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus has been bad enough, but Americans also understand that the virus doesn’t care if it’s being spread at a funeral or a gym or a protest. So when the state cracks down on one set of activities while granting a free pass for politically favored activities, it’s only natural for the people to ask questions.

When those questions are brushed off at best, and actively derided at worst, it leads us to rightly conclude that our elected officials are not providing us with equal protection under the law, but instead are playing favorites. Liberty, then, becomes a casualty — as does our confidence in those we trust with power.


That Other Minneapolis Police Death

Calls to defund or even abolish the police are ringing out across the country, sometimes accompanied by violence. The anti-police squads point to cases such as the shooting of Rayshard Brooks during an arrest attempt in Atlanta. On the other hand, a police shooting in Minneapolis three years ago, for which an officer has been tried and convicted, has not drawn the media attention it deserves.

In 2017 Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual citizen of Australia and the United States, heard a woman being assaulted and called 911. When Minneapolis police arrived, Damond approached their car and officer Mohamed Noor shot her dead. The 40-year-old woman was to be married within a month.

Noor claimed he fired to protect the life of his partner, Matthew Harrity. Three days after the shooting, Harrity claimed he heard a loud bang on the squad car. None of the forensic evidence showed that the victim had even touched the car.

“The use of force was objectionable, unreasonable and violated police policies and training,” expert witness Derrick Hacker testified during the trial in April 2019. “No reasonable officer would have perceived a threat by somebody coming up to their squad.”

Another expert witness, Timothy Longo, who like Hacker has a law-enforcement background, told the court that a string of bad decisions led to the shooting death. “I don’t believe they were logical or rational at all,” Longo explained. “This was an unprovoked, violent response.”

The officers had turned off their body cameras and unholstered their firearms. They also failed to telephone Damond, who had called 911 a second time to check on their arrival. She “did nothing wrong,” Hacker told the court. “Police are approached daily, this happens routinely.”

Noor’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, told the court that what “really caused” the shooting was “the fear that continues to permeate our society. The police are afraid of the people, the people are afraid of the police.” The Minneapolis jury didn’t buy it and found Noor guilty of third-degree murder.

In June 2019 Noor drew 12-and-half years in prison. Supporters claimed the term was excessive, but across the nation that is the average sentence for a cop convicted of a murder committed on duty. In Colorado, James Ashby received a 16-year sentence for killing Jack Jacquez after a confrontation in 2014. Roy Oliver, the Texas officer who shot Jordan Edwards, 15, was sentenced to 15 years.

The Somali-born Noor had been on the force for only two years, and his case raises issues of police training, procedure, and discipline. Plenty to see here, but—no surprise—national media and politicians neglected the case.

In 2019 police killed nine unarmed African-Americans. That same year police killed 19 unarmed whites, and the number of cops killed on duty also outnumbers the unarmed black victims.

According to the FBI, 89 law-enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2019, including 48 “felonious deaths.” In those cases, 40 officers were white, seven were black and one Asian. “Offenders used firearms to kill 44 of the 48 victim officers,” the FBI explains, including 34 slain with handguns, seven with rifles, and one with a shotgun.

If embattled Americans believed that police reform should be based on facts not fantasies, it would be hard to blame them.


Is Racism Responsible for Today's Black Problems?

I doubt whether any American would defend the police treatment of George Floyd that led to his death. But many Americans are supporting some of the responses to Floyd's death -- rioting, looting, wanton property destruction, assaults on police and other kinds of mayhem by both whites and blacks.

The pretense is that police conduct stands as the root of black problems. According to the NAACP, from 1882-1968, there were 3,446 black people lynched at the hands of whites. Today, being murdered by whites or policemen should be the least of black worries. In recent times, there is an average of 9,252 black-on-black murders every year. Over the past 35 years, that translates into nearly 324,000 blacks murdered at the hands of other blacks. Only a tiny percentage of blacks are killed by police. For example, in Chicago this year, there were 414 homicides, with a total of 2,078 people shot. So far in 2020, three people have been killed by police and four were shot. Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald reports that "a police officer is 18 1/2 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer." Crime is a major problem for many black communities, but how much of it can be attributed to causes such as institutional racism, systemic racism, and white privilege?

The most devastating problem is the very weak black family structure. Less than a third of black children live in two-parent households and illegitimacy stands at 75%. The "legacy of slavery" is often blamed. Such an explanation turns out to be sheer nonsense when one examines black history. Even during slavery, where marriage was forbidden, most black children lived in biological two-parent families. Professor Herbert G. Gutman's research in "The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750-1925" found that in three-fourths of 19th-century slave families, all the children had the same mother and father. In New York City, in 1925, 85% of black households were two-parent. In fact, "Five in six children under the age of six lived with both parents." During slavery and as late as 1920, a black teenage girl raising a child without a man present was a rarity.

An 1880 study of family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of all black families were nuclear families. There were only slight differences in family structure between racial groups. The percentages of nuclear families were: black (75.2%), Irish (82.2%), German (84.5%) and native white Americans (73.1%). Only one-quarter of black families were female-headed. Female-headed families among Irish, German and native white Americans averaged 11%. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, only 11% of black children and 3% of white children were born to unwed mothers. As Thomas Sowell reported: "Going back a hundred years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, we find that census data of that era showed that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. This fact remained true in every census from 1890 to 1940."

The absence of a father in the home predisposes children, especially boys, to academic failure, criminal behavior, and economic hardship, not to mention an intergenerational repeating of handicaps. If today's weak family structure is a legacy of slavery, then the people who make such a claim must tell us how it has managed to skip nearly five generations to have an effect.

There are problems such as grossly poor education, economic stagnation, and poverty that impact the black community heavily. I would like someone to explain how tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson and Confederate generals help the black cause. Destruction of symbols of American history might help relieve the frustrations of all those white college students and their professors frustrated by the 2016 election of President Donald Trump. Problems that black people face give white leftists cover for their anti-American agenda.



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

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

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Another case of abuse by child "protective" services

Authoritarian social workers hate to admit that they were wrong

An Australian dad has abducted his son from a children's home and fled across Europe with the boy's mum after their autistic seven-year-old was placed into care.

Martin den Hertog's non-verbal autism was mistaken as the result of psychological abuse, his parents Conrad and Katya have claimed. 

Martin was five years old when he was taken into Dutch state care after a neighbour reported them to Child Protective Services in February 2018.

The couple, 49 and 34, fought a lengthy custody battle, but eventually made the dramatic decision to snatch their son from the children's home, south of Amsterdam.

They have been on the run and are now in hiding after taking their son from the De Hondsberg Institute on June 24, The Australian reported.

The desperate parents feared their son, whose autism is severe, would spend his life in 'an institute for the mentally disabled' after a 'misunderstanding'.

'The decision to take Martin was simple when faced with no alternative. He showed us how to escape and we fulfilled his wishes,' Mr den Hertog said.

The couple had only been allowed to see Martin 13 times since February 2018, and a court dismissed their last effort for the family to be reunited in Australia.  

Mr den Hertog, originally from Port Stephens on the NSW mid-north coast, said the family were forced to seek asylum in Poland after losing faith in the Dutch justice system.

The family have now abandoned their businesses, friends and home to start a new life with Martin after what they believe was a terrible misunderstanding.

'The Dutch CPS revealed their plans in court to lock up Martin in a Dutch institute for mentally handicapped people for the rest of his life, until he dies as an old man, despite the fact he's only ever being diagnosed with autism,' he explained.

Mr den Hertog said Polish police were searching for them under a European arrest warrant, but his lawyers had arranged preliminary agreement for an asylum meeting.   

The father-of-one said the couple spent weeks planning Martin's abduction before taking him during an unsupervised visit at the De Hondsberg Institute.

'What really motivated us was Martin expressing his desire to escape from the Dutch institution with us during family visits, by repeatedly running out of the property through an escape route he had found himself and beckoning us to follow,' he explained.

Mr den Hertog, who relocated to the Netherlands in 2002, said they followed Martin's escape route and had driven to Poland before police even raised the alarm.  

The couple were initially reported to police for keeping Martin, who was not yet been diagnosed as autistic, in a room with closed curtains - a cultural faux pas in the Netherlands interpreted as a sign of abuse. 

Five police officers, a judge, and social workers stormed into the family's Amsterdam home in the middle of the night and wrenched him away from his parents.

Authorities noticed that he had a development delay and presumed it had been caused by neglect or abuse. 

Despite several experts identifying autism as the cause, Mr den Hertog said the CPS refuse to confirm their opinion in a bid to avoid embarrassment.  

The family have not revealed their current whereabouts but confirmed that Martin was happy and healthy. 

A Polish police spokesman said authorities were investigating the den Hertogs' situation but could not provide details. 

The Aust­ralian Department of Foreign ­Affairs and Trade have also said they were unable to discuss the case for privacy reasons. 


Refugees who gang-raped an 18-year-old girl after spiking her drink in an attack that sparked far-right protests in Germany are jailed for up to five years

Some justice at last

Refugees who gang-raped an 18-year-old girl after spiking her drink in an attack that sparked far-right protests against foreigners in Germany have today been jailed.

Ten men were handed down sentences at the district court in Freiburg, following the assault on the teenager outside a nightclub in 2018.

The main suspect, named only as Majd H, was jailed for five and a half years, while seven others received between three and four years in prison.

Two others received suspended sentences and one man was acquitted.

The court heard how the victim, who was 18 at the time, had her drink spiked at a nightclub and was then led to some nearby bushes where she was gang-raped in an ordeal that lasted more than two hours.

It emerged after the attack that police waited 13 days to apprehend the main suspect, despite there being a warrant out for his arrest which specifically warned he was dangerous.

German newspaper BILD reported at the time that an arrest warrant for the suspect, who was known to police and had a prior conviction for assault, had been issued on October 10.

According to BILD, the warrant clearly noted how dangerous Majd H is and categorized him as a multiple offender.

It went on to say that there was a high probability he might commit other significant, similar offenses, including grievous bodily harm, sexual coercion and exhibitionism. Finally, it issued a stark warning: To prevent worse, arrest him urgently.

The police waited 13 days until October 23 to arrest Majd H. along with other criminals, at first citing investigative tactics as the reason.

Eight of the accused who appeared in court today are refugees from Syria, while the others come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany.

The case, one in a series of high-profile sexual crimes by immigrants in Germany, triggered huge debate about the government's liberal refugee policies.

Supporters of the anti-Islam, far-right AfD party took to the streets of Freiburg in anti-foreigner protests at the time, triggering large counter-demonstrations.

The city of Freiburg had already been shaken by the 2016 rape and murder of a young German woman by an asylum seeker who claimed to be from Afghanistan.

The mass sexual assault of hundreds of women by mostly immigrant men during New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne in 2015 also stoked opposition against Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision that year to open the country's borders to those fleeing conflict.

Freiburg mayor Martin Horn told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the gang rape had horrified the city, but he praised the way the majority of residents had resisted casting blanket suspicions on immigrants.

'It was right and important that Freiburg, as a cosmopolitan city, took a considered stance: the perpetrators have to be punished according to the rule of law, while at the same the vast majority distanced itself from populist instrumentalisations.'


5 Arguments Against ‘America Is a Racist Country’

Dennis Prager

The left-wing charge that America is a racist country is the greatest national libel since the Blood Libel against the Jews. America is, in fact, the least racist multiracial, multiethnic country in world history.

Neither the claim that America is a racist society nor the claim that it is the least racist country can be empirically proven. Both are assessments. But honest people do need to provide arguments for their position. I have found every argument that America is racist, let alone “systemically” racist, wanting. For example, the police almost never kill unarmed blacks, and on the rare occasions they do (about 15 times a year), there is almost always a valid reason (as in the infamous 2014 case in Ferguson, Missouri); police kill more unarmed whites than blacks; the reason there are proportionately so many more blacks in prison is that blacks disproportionately commit violent crimes; and so on.

There are very powerful arguments against the charge that America is a racist society.

I offered one in my column last week:

No. 1: If there is so much racism in America, why are there so many false claims of racism and outright race hoaxes?

I offered 15 recent examples. Moreover, there were probably no racist hoaxes when America really was racist, just as there were no anti-Semitic hoaxes in 1930s Germany, when there was rampant anti-Semitism. You need hoaxes when the real thing is hard to find.

No. 2: The constant references to slavery.

If there were a great deal of racism in America today, there would be no reason to constantly invoke slavery and the Confederacy. The very fact that The New York Times, the leader in racist dishonesty, felt it necessary to issue its “1619 Project,” which seeks to replace 1776 as the founding of America with 1619, when the first African slaves arrived in America, is a perfect illustration of the point. The fact that “The 1619 Project” was labeled false by the leading American historians of that era (all of whom are liberals and at least one of whom led a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump) adds fuel to the argument. Even regarding the past, the promoters of the “America is racist” libel need to lie to paint America as bad as possible.

No. 3: The reliance on lies.

“The 1619 Project,” which will now be taught in thousands of American schools, is based on lies. All Americans who care about America and/or truth should inquire if their children’s school will teach this and, if so, place their child in a school that does not.

Two of the biggest lies are that preserving slavery was the real cause of the American Revolution and that slavery is what made America rich.

Even the charge of endemic racist police brutality is a lie. There are undoubtedly racist police, but racism does not characterize police interactions with blacks.

No. 4: The large African immigration to the United States.

Nearly 2 million black Africans and more than 1 million blacks from the Caribbean have emigrated to the United States in just the last 20 years. Why would so many blacks voluntarily move to a country that is “systemically racist,” a country, according to the promoters of the “America is racist” libel, in which every single white is a racist? Are all these blacks dumb? Are they ignorant? And what about the millions more who would move here if they were allowed to? How does one explain the fact that Nigerians, for example, are among the most successful immigrant communities?

No. 5: The preoccupation with “microaggressions.”

According to the University of California’s list of racist “microaggressions,” saying, “There is only one race, the human race,” is a “racist microaggression.” This is, of course, Orwellian doublespeak. Anyone who believes there is only one race is not, by definition, a racist. If everyone in the past had believed there was one race, the human race, there would never have been racism, let alone a slave trade based on racism.

The very fact that the left came up with the intellectual farce known as “microaggressions,” like the race hoaxes, proves how little racism there is in America—because the entire thesis is based on the fact that there are so few real, or “macro,” aggressions.

The race riots, the ruining of people’s careers and lives over something said or done at any time in their lives, the ruining of professional sports (especially basketball and football), the tearing down of America and its history, the smearing of moral giants like Abraham Lincoln—all of this is being done because of a lie.

As I wrote in a column three years ago: “The Jews survived the Blood Libel. But America may not survive the American Libel. While the first Libel led to the death of many Jews, the present Libel may lead to the death of a civilization. Indeed, the least oppressive ever created.”


Another 'Mostly Peaceful' Protest: 49 Chicago Police Officers Injured

Chicago has devolved into something that resembles the opening scene of the Sylvester Stallone movie Demolition Man where Los Angeles is crime-ridden and on fire.

The lack of care for the law, or law enforcement, is at an all-time high in the real world and on Friday night 49 Chicago police officers where injured in a scrap with protesters, The Daily Mail reported.

The Chicago Police Department released the video of the incident this week as the city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, continues to insist that she does not want help from the feds and President Donald Trump.

When the protest got to the statue of Christopher Columbus, which the officers were protecting, the crowd began hurling objects at the police.

Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown said that the mob of protesters “deliberately sought to injure officers.”

“This is what our officers faced on Friday night at Grant Park. Criminal agitators pelted fireworks, frozen water bottles and other projectiles at our officers, injuring 49 of them,” he said on Twitter. “This is unacceptable and we cannot stand for this.”

“We do not want to engage in violent clashes with protesters, but when the law is being broken, our oath demands that we act to uphold the law,” he said.

“The rule of law has always been, and remains today the essence of policing and the foundation of our democracy,” he said.

“We deeply respect an individual’s right to peacefully protest and we will do everything we can to protect that right.

“But, we will not stand by, and in fact we are obligated to act, while City or private property is being damaged or while violent acts are being committed,” he said.

The protesters were all clad in black, the antifa uniform, and were apparently peaceful until they got to the statue.

“Chicago Police officers had fireworks, frozen water bottles and other projectiles thrown at them in what started as a peaceful protest,” the police department said.

“49 CPD officers were injured, and 18 were sent to area hospitals for their injuries during this violent mob action,” it said.

The group was under a canopy of umbrellas it brought to protect itself as it started firing fireworks and other objects, like rocks and bottles, at the police.

But on Tuesday Mayor Lightfoot said she would take President Trump to court if he sent the feds into Chicago.

“Unfortunately there’s been a lot of saber-rattling about that coming from the president and members of his team,” she said.

“What I understand at this point, and I caveat that, is that the Trump administration is not going to actually deploy unnamed agents in the streets of Chicago.”

The mayor is letting politics get in the way of the safety of her citizens. Trump Derangement Syndrome is real.



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

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

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Women board members increase businesses' profits tenfold, report finds

"Pull the other one" was my immediate old-fashioned reaction to seeing this claim. It appears to emanate from this document

The document concerned, however, is primitive from an academic POV. It has lots of pretty grapics but no details of its methodology: no definitions of the terms it uses, no breakdown into categories of economic activity, no breakdown into the recency or otherwise of the company and no breakdown into whether it served a poor, rich or medium clintele. It appears in fact to have no controls at all. I would very much like to see the raw data. I am sure that the influence of feminist management would be much reduced if all other plausibly relevant factors were taken into account.

Just off the top of my head, let me suggest that firms selling cosmetics are exceptionally profitable. The prices charged for some such products would certainly suggest large profit margins. Women as a whole are very gullible about products that allegedly increase their beauty. And beauty-promoting firms would undoubtely have a strong female presence in their management. So such female-led companies were not highly profitable because they were led by women. They were exceptionally profitable because they were operating in an exceptionally profitable business sector

The method of analysis is important too. Are we looking, for example, at extreme quintiles? This is a lamentably common practice elsewhere and normally means that there is no overall relationship in the data as a whole.

So much more information is needed before these findings can be accepted

Companies with greater numbers of female board members bring in 10 times greater profits, a study has revealed.

The research found that executive committees composed of more than a third of women have a net profit margin of 15.2 per cent, while those with none make just 1.5.

The ‘Women Count 2020’ report claims that this performance gap is costing the UK economy a potential £47 billion of pre-tax profit.

Lorna Fitzsimons, co-founder of The Pipeline, which commissioned the report, said the difference is driven by the fact that companies that are more representative have a "better understanding of clients and customer need”.


Samantha Yardley: Fitness writer slammed for refusing to work with fat people

A 34-year-old fitness writer has sparked outrage after claiming she wouldn’t work with anyone overweight as it shows a “troubled mind”.

A UK fitness journalist has sparked outrage for claiming she wouldn’t work with an overweight person because it shows they have a “troubled mind”.

Samantha Yardley has doubled down on claims being overweight shows someone “lacks self-control” — despite outrage over her fatphobic comments.

The 34-year-old said she didn’t believe in fat-shaming but claimed society shouldn’t be “validating” people who are overweight.

“As a businessperson myself and former employer; would I work with (extremely) fat people? No, I wouldn’t. Harsh but true (I’m sorry),” she wrote a blog post earlier this month.

“For me, at best it demonstrates a troubled mind, lacking self-control and at worst it shows a severely disturbed individual who is likely to be lacking energy and suffering poor health.”

Appearing on UK talk show This Morning on Wednesday Ms Yardley continued her comments by claiming obese people should “take responsibility”.

She also argued that plus-sized clothes should be made more difficult to buy to encourage people to lose weight.

“We are all judged on how we look. I wouldn’t judge someone for being a little overweight,” she said.

“But if it was someone who was extremely obese, I would think they are lacking in self-esteem, maybe they have the wrong lifestyle, maybe there’s an underlying problem.”

Ms Yardley then made unsubstantiated claims that people who are obese “take nearly twice as many days off” and are also “more lethargic and more lazy”.

Ms Yardley’s comments have sparked fury, with people tweeting that a person’s size is “none of her business” and weight can be impacted by number of factors, such as illness and medication.

Since her blog post first went viral Ms Yardley has address some of the controversy on Instagram, writing that she was “sorry to have caused offence” but had no regrets about the article.

“Like it or lump it, I got people talking about a pivotal issue,” she wrote.

“A tirade of abuse is all worthwhile if I can help extend just one person’s life. That’s a huge privilege and so many people have reached out asking for help.”


The origins of the ‘white privilege’ myth

An essay which made little sense in the 1980s has defined how we think about race today.

In today’s world, where news is fed to the masses in pre-moulded and bite-sized pieces, important fundamentals are often taken for granted once a narrative has been built.

The recent protests and riots in response to the death of George Floyd are such an example. The idea that the police in the US are systematically racist and licentiously murder black people is accepted as a self-evident truth, despite multiple studies and endless statistics which call this oversimplified narrative into question.

Ironically, the rioting which has been partly inflamed by this narrative, built on quicksand though it is, has resulted in the destruction of black neighbourhoods, countless businesses and the deaths of at least 28 people, including black children.

The narrative of Black Lives Matter and its proxies is this: the current republic of America, conceived as it was by white people, is ineradicably and comprehensively racist. In the maelstrom of outrage, few have paused to examine where this now flourishing narrative came from.

At the bottom of all the presumptions of institutionalised racism is what is known as ‘white privilege’ – the idea that white people axiomatically have easier lives due to unearned privileges granted to them by their skin colour, at the expense of those who are not white. One of the most influential sources of this idea is the 1989 essay, ‘White Privilege: Unpacking the Knapsack’, by Dr Peggy McIntosh. McIntosh’s essay is well worth a read. As a piece of academic literature, it has been cited over 5,000 times and is only a few pages long.

But McIntosh’s thesis is built entirely on assumptions. McIntosh asserts white privilege as a phenomenon, extrapolating from her assertion of male privilege. She fails to provide any statistics or even anecdotal case studies to back up either of these claims. Nevertheless, she describes white privilege as an ‘invisible package of unearned assets’. Having not really described this invisible phenomenon in any concrete way, she then asks: ‘having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?’

McIntosh lists 26 statements that attempt to buttress the ‘white privilege’ she experiences in her own daily life. It starts with the gem: ‘I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.’ It also contains the self-fulfilling prophecy: ‘If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.’

Much has improved for race relations since McIntosh’s essay. But it still came out at a time when Eddie Murphy, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were among the world’s biggest stars. In 1988, Jesse Jackson won seven million primary votes in his second bid to run for the presidency. In the same year, Lenora Fulani ran as a third-party candidate for president and won the most votes of any woman in a national presidential election until Jill Stein in 2012. And in 1984, Ben Carson became the youngest ever director of paediatric neurosurgery in the US. Yet McIntosh still seemed adamant that black people were unlikely to find success.

McIntosh makes the kind of racial generalisations – and zero-sum arguments – that would not be alien to a Klan member. For example, she states: ‘In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable and alienated.’ It seems impossible for McIntosh to envision a place where both white and black people can be happy simultaneously. The logical conclusion from this casuistry is that for black people to be happy, whites have to be made less happy. And we can see some of this sentiment today, with the increasing demand of BLM for white people to step out of the way.

Even McIntosh’s assertion of ‘male privilege’ – the assumption on which the narrative of white privilege is based – is questionable. Most people who are homeless in the US are males (around 70 per cent), as are the majority (93 per cent) of the prison population. White males alone made up almost 70 per cent of suicides in 2018. Men also consistently make up over 90 per cent of work-related injuries and deaths and are the vast majority of those who have died in wars. Some privilege.

Christopher Hitchens once remarked that the job of a public intellectual for the most part is to say ‘it’s not quite as simple as that’. In comparison, McIntosh’s instinct for generalisation is quite astonishing. In her use of ‘white’, she seems oblivious to the different circumstances and fortunes of different ‘white’ peoples who live in the US.

Among the American ‘whites’ are Jews who fled the Nazis from Poland, Germany, Austria and elsewhere in the 1930s and 1940s; the large Greek immigrant population which escaped economic and political devastation in Greece from the 1950s to the 1970s; and the Bosnian Muslim refugees who escaped attempted genocide in the early 1990s. These are some of the world’s most brutalised and persecuted peoples. But according to McIntosh’s thesis, a Bosnian refugee arriving in the US in the early 1990s with no money, no family and who didn’t speak English has some inherent advantage over Eddie Murphy.

And one wonders what McIntosh would say to the fact that today, the highest earning Americans are ethnically Asians. Indian Americans come out on top (with a median household income of $100,000). Japanese ($74,000) and Chinese Americans ($70,000) also earn more than whites ($67,800).

The number of whites living below the poverty line in 2018 (15.7million) is almost double that of blacks (8.9million). While the proportion of black people in poverty is higher than whites, the sheer volume of destitute white people should at least give pause to the sort of sweeping theory that McIntosh espouses and which has now become one of the most entrenched narratives in American politics.

It’s time to bury the myth of white privilege once and for all.


"A&E" Network Went Woke and Now They're Going Broke

Being ‘woke’ is not good for business—and A&E found that out the hard way. The network has come a long way from its days of dry programming. Shipping Wars, Storage Wars, Longmire, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and other series have boosted ratings for the network. Live PD, created by Dan Abrams, was a better version of COPS that began airing in 2016. It had dozens of crews following police officers from all over the country, allowing them to cut

After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, another wave of political correctness, mob antics, and anti-police fervor took to the streets. Black Lives Matter was back on the scene and the Live PD offered something that could not be allowed to survive because it showed a) that cops are decent human beings; b) at times offered how hard this job can be in certain situations. Remember, there can be no nuance with the far left. The show ran against the narrative that cops were all quasi-Nazis, so the network axed it. As a result, A&E lost nearly half its viewers (via WSJ):

Ratings for A&E Network have plummeted since it canceled the hit police reality show “Live PD” on June 10, a sign of how much the network relies on law-enforcement programming.

Average prime-time viewership for A&E between June 11 and July 19 was 498,000 people, down 49% from the same period last year, according to data from Nielsen. In the key demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54, the declines are 55% and 53%, respectively.

The show, which follows police on their rounds in multiple cities simultaneously, averaged about 1.9 million viewers for its Friday and Saturday night episodes, repeatedly re-aired on other days. It spawned several successful spinoff shows, also canceled.


Before A&E pulled the show, its prime-time viewership was up 4% from the same period in 2019, according to Nielsen. The network has other popular shows, including “The First 48”—which follows the first two days of a criminal investigation—and “Court Cam,” about outbursts inside courtrooms, but none as successful as “Live PD.”

A&E’s ratings declines go beyond prime time. Total daily average viewership in the weeks since the show was pulled is down 36% from a year earlier, to 319,000 people. In the 18-49 and 25-54 age groups, the declines are even larger: 42% and 46%, respectively.

While I love the toxicity of Twitter, the merciless fisticuff aspect of the platform, it’s not real life. It’s Thunderdome for us insane people who love hyper-partisanship, who thrive on poking the bear, triggering the Left, and collecting their tears in our MAGA mugs. And yes, there are some lefties on there who can dish it out just as well. But again, it’s not real life. Catering to the ‘woke’ legions on Twitter is a horrible business model and A&E might have discovered that in brutal fashion. Going ‘woke’ seems to be a path to going broke.



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, July 27, 2020

'Dead Wrong': Historian Calls Jihad a 'Myth'

Johan  Norberg,  a noted libertarian, calls Islamic aggression a myth. Norberg is a libertarian supporter of open borders who likes to sneer at “nativists” who oppose this insane policy. Like Chris Berg, another libertarian supporter of open borders, he thinks there is nothing special about nations.

I agree with libertarian thinking in general but some libertarians make it into a cult.  They become very rigid. They see liberty as the only needed explanation of human behaviour. That ignores important influences on behaviour -- such as genetics -- without which we cannot understand what is going on or influence what is going on

The electoral success of "Make America great again" should tell him that there really is something important about national identity -- and emotions generally

An especially stark example of how Leftists thrive on distorting history -- a tactic pivotal to their very being -- recently appeared.  In a video titled “Dead Wrong: The Anti-Muslim Myth,” Johan Norberg, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who holds an MA in “the History of Ideas” from the University of Stockholm, begins as follows:

The Nativist right likes to tell the story of the West through the prism of a conflict between Christendom and Islam.  One of the founding myths is the Battle of Vienna in 1683, when the united Christian armies defeated the Muslim Ottoman Turks.  This historical narrative is dead wrong, because back then, people concerned themselves with other divisions.

The rest of the brief video -- one minute, forty-two seconds are devoted to proving the “anti-Muslim myth” -- tries to substantiate this, primarily by arguing that there were divisions within Christendom, specifically infighting between Catholics and Protestants, which prompted some of the latter to ally with the Ottomans against Vienna.

This argument fails on many levels.  For starters, Norberg overlooks two simple and interrelated facts: 1) realpolitik -- prioritizing the practical over the ideal -- is as old as human society; 2) that does not mean that ideals do not exist and motivate politics, including war.  It’s not a question of “either/or.”

Naturally, as northern Protestants and southern Muslims had the same common enemy between them -- Catholic Christendom, particularly in the guise of the Holy Roman Empire -- the timeless adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” was evident during the siege of Vienna, as well as previous conflicts.  Elizabeth I of England (r. 1558–1603), for example, formed an alliance with the Muslim Barbary pirates -- who during her reign had enslaved hundreds of thousands of Europeans -- against Catholic Spain.

Even so, Norberg ignores the fact that it is precisely because of the Catholic/Protestant schism -- which was entirely religious -- that Catholics and Protestants came to fight each other in the first place.  While he lumps them together as “Christians” in an effort to show that Christian unity against Islam never existed, Catholics and Protestants did not see each other as “fellow Christians” but religious enemies of the first order -- worse than Muslims.  It is because of this ideological divide that one could ally with Islam against the other without breaking faith.

In short, during the siege of Vienna, realpolitik was evident only in the very limited sense that the Catholic king of France, Louis XIV -- who once said “If there were no Algiers [to terrorize his competitors, particularly Spain] I would make one” -- sided against Catholic Vienna.

Other than that, most if not all of the Christians and Muslims involved at Vienna saw the conflict in distinctly religious terms, beginning with the battle-hardened Catholic king of Poland, John Sobieski III. Although he had little to gain by fighting on behalf of and eventually delivering Vienna, he still lamented how Islamic “fury is raging everywhere, attacking alas, the Christian princes with fire and sword.”  He also believed that “it is not a city alone that we have to save, but the whole of Christianity, of which the city of Vienna is the bulwark. The war is a holy one.”  Before setting off, he sent a message to Imre Thokoly, the Hungarian Protestant who was stirring trouble around Poland’s border, “that if he burnt one straw in the territories of his allies, or in his own, he would go and burn him and all his family in his house.”

Similarly, although the Ottoman pretext for war was support for their ally, the aforementioned Thokoly, the grand vizier who eventually led nearly 300,000 Turks to conquer Vienna, Kara Mustafa -- reputed to be “fanatically anti-Christian” -- exposed his mind earlier: “They ought,” he had told Ottoman high command, “to take advantage of the disorders of the Christians [Catholic-Protestant schism] by the siege of the place [Vienna], the conquest of which would assure that of all Hungary [currently the Turks’ “ally”], and open them a passage to the greatest victories.”  Later, during an elaborate pre-jihad ceremony, Sultan Muhammad IV, “desiring him [Mustafa] to fight generously for the Mahometan faith,” placed “the standard of the Prophet… into his hands for the extirpation of infidels, and the increase of Muslemen.”

There are many other examples highlighting the religious/ideological nature of the Ottoman siege of Vienna: before initiating its bombardment, Kara Mustafa offered the city the standard Islamic ultimatum (convert, capitulate, or else); and the Ottomans are constantly depicted as crying out typical jihadi phrases, such as “Allahu Akbar.”

So much for Norberg’s categorical claim that “back then, people concerned themselves with other divisions [than religion].”

In the end, however, Norberg’s greatest failure is that his is a classic strawman argument.  Recall the title of his video: “Dead Wrong: The Anti-Muslim Myth.”  Recall his opening sentence: “The Nativist right likes to tell the story of the West through the prism of a conflict between Christendom and Islam.”  Yet, while pretending to debunk the religious nature of the perennial conflict between Christendom and Islam -- which dramatically manifested itself in countless ways and battles over the course of a millennium before the siege of Vienna in 1683 -- he talks only about that one encounter (and fails even there).

The reason is evident: before the aforementioned Catholic-Protestant rift began in the sixteenth century, Christian unity against Islam was relatively solid, providing little material for people like Norberg -- such as John Voll and William Polk, professors of Islamic history -- to manipulate in an effort to show that  the “anti-Muslim myth” is “dead wrong.”

Such are the Left’s tired tricks when conforming history to its narrative: take exceptions and aberrations, exaggerate and place them at center stage, and completely ignore the constants.  Above all, offer no context.


BLM blind to today’s trafficking

It is much easier to rage against dead white men than the issue of modern slavery.

The idea of slavery is born of the darkest human impulse. It is a denial of inherent human dignity. It breeds grandiosity in the master while engendering subservience in the slave. Over generations, the enslaved come to believe they are born into degradation because they are slaves by nature. It is the very opposite of the modern Western belief derived from Christian scripture that we are all born equal with an inalienable human right to thrive. As such, many Westerners have a reflexive sympathy with groups that claim to work against slavery such as Black Lives Matter. But the empathy is not readily reciprocated.

To remove a statue because it commemorates a slave trader is defensible. However, a movement that unilaterally decides to destroy property without the consent of the people is anti-democratic. In the US, Australia and Britain, activists marching under the BLM banner have taken it as their right to destroy property, tear down monuments, vandalise public works, smear opponents and in some cases, assault dissenters. They have violated the law and flouted the social distancing rules designed to prevent COVID-19 transmission. They have been granted privileges not afforded other citizens. But no matter how many special rights are offered, it is never enough.

Many activists indulge a sense of entitlement without demonstrating due regard for civic duty, including the responsibility to advance the democratic project by engaging in reasoned debate. Indeed, among some critical race theorists, rational debate – the basis of modern democracy – is relegated to the sin bin of “white culture”.

It might be excusable if the activists hellbent on destroying the past were capable of leaving something better in its wake. They believe the future is brighter for erasing the past. Evidence suggests otherwise.

After the statue of merchant and slave trader Edward Colston was toppled in Bristol, BLM activists celebrated the erection of a temporary monument to Jen Reid dressed in Black Panther chic. She had joined the BLM march where Colston’s statue was dragged down. British artist Marc Quinn was inspired by an image of her climbing on top of the forcibly vacated plinth and putting her fist in the air. The heroes of popular culture are adored for what they represent, not their contribution to humanity. They are the idols of a narcissistic age. To get some measure of the artistic standard, consider Quinn’s most well-known work; a cast of his head made from his own frozen blood. In the hands of politicised artists, the sublime harmony of human form is rendered grotesque. In an amusing turn of events, Quinn was later described as a modern day Colston for colonising the plinth instead of giving a Black artist the pleasure.

I did not mind seeing the Colston statue removed, but it should have been brought down by a popular vote not a minority movement. People arguing against the removal of such statues contend that we should not judge historical figures by contemporary standards. They point to Colston’s substantial philanthropy as a mitigating factor against his sustained support for the slave trade. It is not a defensible position. Colston oversaw the enslavement of thousands of men, women and children. He profited handsomely from the trade and had no need to invest further in it but continued to do so despite the obvious brutality involved.

The transatlantic slave trade was an atrocity. The depth of its depravity stands as a permanent warning to humanity against the devastation wrought by the sin of greed. An estimated 10-15 million Africans were sent across the Atlantic from 1525-1866. The conditions were shocking, and the horror was driven by the worship of money. The light at the end of the tunnel was the end of the trade and the people who chose to shut it down. They included many of the group that contemporary race activists like to denounce, namely white people of Christian faith. They were men and women who stood to gain from the continuation of slavery but set aside profit and power for moral good.

It is one thing to hold dead white men historically culpable for the transatlantic slave trade and argue against their veneration in the public square. It is quite another to use the distant past as a weapon of collective guilt against one ethnic group, especially when members of that group rose up to end slavery not only in the West but across the world.

The fuller history of slavery shows it arises from human nature, not race. Many ethnic and religious groups traded in slaves. The Arab slave trade lasted for centuries and its quarry included white people. Historian Robert Davis estimates more than a million Christian Europeans were enslaved in North African trade from the 16th century to the 18th century. It was notorious for the high percentage of girls and women trafficked into sexual slavery.

In more recent years, Islamic State sexually enslaved Christians and Yazidis. Girls as young as 10 were abused by the Islamist army. Slaves were sold at market. It was an institutionalised practice defended in IS literature by appeal to sharia law.

It would be absurd to hold all Muslims responsible for IS slavery, yet race activists hold white people responsible for a slave trade that ended centuries ago. If they really cared about the injustice of slavery, they might focus on the modern day trade. There are an estimated 40 million people suffering in slavery today. Common forms of the trade in human beings are forced marriage, sex slavery, child slavery and forced labour. The Global Slavery Index reveals that the countries with the highest number of slaves are India, China, Pakistan, North Korea, Nigeria, Iran, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, and the Philippines.

Why does BLM focus on slavery that ended centuries ago rather than the 40 million strong slave trade today? Is it because much of the trade is concentrated in non-Western countries and arises from traditional cultural practices in India, the Middle East and Africa?

It is much easier to rage against dead white men than brave the might of modern slavery. If all the youthful energy spent on tearing down statues was directed towards the liberation of living slaves, the young would leave this world much better than they found it.


Religious Liberty Is Important, but It’s Not Enough

The past two weeks brought welcome rulings from the Supreme Court on religious liberty. We should celebrate these victories, because religious liberty is an authentic natural and human right. But it’s not enough. And even the best of religious liberty wins can’t adequately contend in a proxy war over substantive issues.

We must do more politically to protect human flourishing and the authentic common good. This is particularly true with respect to the court’s Bostock ruling, which read progressive gender ideology into our nation’s civil rights laws. A good ruling on the ministerial exception in Our Lady of Guadalupe, while important, does not even begin to address the many concerns there.

Religious liberty, after all, doesn’t protect people who aren’t religious but reject progressive gender ideology. It doesn’t protect other goods and interests threatened by progressive gender ideology. And it doesn’t respond on the merits to the underlying disputed questions of truth.

We need a more holistic response in terms of legislation and litigation to protect all people and all the various goods and interests at stake. We need to contend about the truth of the matter.

Before turning to that, consider the three recent Supreme Court religious liberty victories. First, in Espinoza, the court struck down the application of the notoriously anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments as applied to public funding for private education.

As the court ruled, the Constitution doesn’t require funding for private education, but if the government opts to fund students attending private schools, it can’t exclude those attending religious schools just for being religious.

The court’s logic is likely to apply to all government funding—the government can’t exclude a group simply because it’s religious from funding for which it would otherwise be eligible.

Second, in Little Sisters, the court ruled that the Trump administration had the authority to protect the religious liberty of the Little Sisters of the Poor from the Obamacare Health and Human Services mandate on contraceptives and abortifacients.

And third, that same day, the court ruled in Our Lady of Guadalupe that the constitutional doctrine known as the ministerial exception provides broad protections for religious schools to make staffing decisions for themselves based on their own religious criteria.

The details in all of these cases are important, but we need not dig too deeply into them now. For even on the most generous and expansive readings possible, these rulings—while correct, good, and important—are not sufficient.

Nor, I should note, are they intended to be.

Why Aren’t These Wins Enough?

Take, for example, the school choice victory. As important as protecting equal access to government funding for religious schools is, it does nothing to address what is going on at the government-run schools we call “public.”

If the public schools are indoctrinating students with the “Gender Unicorn,” allowing access to single-sex facilities based on “gender identity,” and forcing girls to compete athletically against boys who identify as girls, equal access to government funding (when it exists) isn’t enough. It’s not enough for the vast majority of American children—including the majority of religious children—who are trapped in our public school system.

Likewise, the ruling in favor of the Trump administration’s protections for the Little Sisters is a significant win. But the unjust mandate still exists. The states that sued the Trump administration will continue to do so—indeed, the attorney general of Pennsylvania has already announced that he will.

And, as soon as the Trump administration leaves office and an administration hostile to religious liberty comes to D.C., the regulations protecting the Little Sisters will likely be watered down or simply eliminated.

Even today, under the Trump administration, the federal government tells employers their health care plans must provide cost-free coverage of twenty contraceptives, four of which carry Food and Drug Administration labels saying they can cause an early abortion. Our government is mandating the coverage of pills that can kill unborn babies.

That’s not merely a religious liberty issue. And in the not too distant future, the safe harbor protecting those who object to this mandate is likely to be eliminated. Indeed, Joe Biden responded to the Little Sisters’ win by stating, “If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling.”

Finally, consider the ruling on the ministerial exception. It’s a great ruling, protecting the ability of religious institutions to continue their missions by staffing with people who share those missions. In that sense, it potentially limits some of the damage from Bostock’s redefinition of sex to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

The ministerial exception likely protects a religious school from being forced to employ teachers who reject the virtue of chastity by engaging in same-sex sexual conduct, entering same-sex unions, or adopting a “gender identity” at odds with their bodies, if the school judges such activity to be contrary to their religious teaching and mission.

Yet even here, there will likely be costly litigation to achieve these legal victories, and the litigation process will be part of the punishment.

Even worse, Bostock still governs everywhere else, including religious employers of non-ministerial employees (where Title VII’s own religious staffing provisions will be litigated), and all non-religious employers.

Will it now be employment discrimination in benefits if the health care plan that the religious owners of a retail arts and crafts store offer to employees does not cover testosterone therapy for their female employees who identify as men but does cover it for male employees with low testosterone? Will we need a lengthy and costly Religious Freedom Restoration Act battle to find out?

Furthermore, activists are likely to sue to extend the logic of Bostock to other areas of law that forbid discrimination on the basis of sex, such as education, housing, and health care. And in all of these areas, religious liberty isn’t the only—or even the primary—concern.

Limiting Harm of Bostock Beyond Religious Liberty

While the ministerial exception does nothing for student conduct policies at religious schools, Title IX itself contains a religious exemption, so many religious schools’ campus policies could be protected from the logic of Bostock.

But what about non-religious schools? What about shelters for homeless—or abused—women? What about medicine?

The simplistic logic of the Gorsuch opinion in Bostock suggests some pretty bad outcomes in these situations. Here’s how Justice Neil Gorsuch summarizes his own test:

If the employer intentionally relies in part on an individual employee’s sex when deciding to discharge the employee—put differently, if changing the em­ployee’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the em­ployer—a statutory violation has occurred.

Now change the word “employer” to teacher, principal, coach, doctor, health care plan, or homeless shelter, and change the word “employee” to student, athlete, patient, or housing guest.

“If the coach relies on the athlete’s sex—if changing the athlete’s sex would yield a different choice … ” “If the homeless shelter relies on the guest’s sex—if changing the guest’s sex would yield a different choice … ” The outcomes don’t look very good.

Privacy and safety at a shelter, equality on an athletic field, and good medicine are at stake for everyone—religious or not.

We can—and should—resist Gorsuch’s simplistic logic. And we can—and should—defend commonsense policies that take seriously the bodily differences that provide valid bases in some areas of life (locker and shower rooms, athletics, women’s shelters, health care) for treating males and females differently (yet still equally).

An unstated, frequently unexplored aspect of any “discrimination” claim is that two instances be “comparable,” that the two employees, or athletes, or patients, or shelter guests be “similarly situated.” Perhaps in the employment context Gorsuch couldn’t see this, but health, education, and housing provide starker instances.

Start with health. Consider a case where a patient accuses a doctor or hospital or health care plan of “discrimination” because they won’t perform or offer or pay for breast removal as part of a “gender transition” procedure.

The first thing to note is that Gorsuch’s test “if changing the patient’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the doctor” doesn’t apply. Change the patient’s sex and there are no breasts to remove. Indeed, as I point out in “When Harry Became Sally,” recognizing differences between the sexes is increasingly regarded as vitally important for good medical practice, because scientists have found that male and female bodies tend to be susceptible to certain diseases in different ways, to differing degrees, and that they respond to treatments differently.

These differences do not have to do with how people choose to “identify.” They have to do with what men and women are: males or females of the human species.

The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences published a report in 2001 titled “Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?” The executive summary answered the question in the affirmative, saying that the explosive growth of biological information “has made it increasingly apparent that many normal physiological functions—and, in many cases, pathological functions—are influenced either directly or indirectly by sex-based differences in biology.”

Because genetics and physiology are among the influences on an individual’s health, the “incidence and severity of diseases vary between the sexes.”

Far from its being discrimination to “rely on a patient’s sex,” it is a requirement of good medicine, which is sex-specific to the male or female body of the patient.

But that’s not all. Suppose the argument is that the doctor/hospital/insurer covers double mastectomies in the case of cancer, but not in the case of gender dysphoria. For a discrimination claim to be successful, you’d have to argue that a patient with cancerous breast tissue is comparable, similarly situated to a patient with healthy breast tissue.

Perhaps some physicians will argue that the non-cancerous breasts are in fact unhealthy because they are the cause of the gender dysphoria. That will only further highlight that what we really have here is a disagreement about the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria.

And policies—like the Trump administration’s recent regulation on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act—are entirely defensible for refusing to treat a disagreement on medical care as if it were discrimination based on identity.

Something similar is true for the Trump policies on Title IX and school sports. For an argument about discrimination to succeed, you’d have to say that an athlete with male muscle mass, bone structure, and lung capacity (to take just a few specifics) is comparable, similarly situated to an athlete with female muscle mass, bone structure, and lung capacity.

If you can recognize that these are not in fact comparable, similarly situated individuals, then it’s hard to make a claim that “discrimination” in the pejorative sense has occurred.

Yes, we’ve treated males and females differently—we have an NBA and a WNBA—but that is precisely in order to treat them equally. Equality—fairness—in athletic competition frequently requires taking the bodily differences between males and females seriously.

By comparison, it never requires taking skin color into account. Thankfully, the days of racially segregated sports are over. Our skin color makes no difference to what we do on the athletic field. Nor does it make a difference in the bathroom, locker room, or shelter. That’s why bans on racial discrimination did away with separate facilities for black and white.

But bans on sex discrimination did not do away with separate facilities for male and female—a reality that Gorsuch’s simplistic test for discrimination fails to account for.

The reason? A person with male genitalia is not comparable, not similarly situated to a person with female genitalia when it comes to an emergency shelter or locker room. As a result, this aspect of the Trump administration’s recent Department of Housing and Urban Development rule on sex-based housing is eminently defensible.

All of these administrative actions, of course, can be readily undone by a future hostile administration. Just look at what Joe Biden has already promised.

Thus, we’ll need litigation and legislation not solely on religious liberty, but on the substantive issues at stake: privacy and safety in single-sex facilities, equality and fairness in single-sex sports, and good medicine based on the realities of our biological make up as male or female human beings.

Through litigation and legislation, we need to make it clear that it’s lawful to act on the convictions that we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, that no institution has to let males compete against females in sports, that no institution has to allow males into women-only locker rooms and shelters, that no physician has to engage in so-called “gender-affirming” care.

The religious liberty triumphs of the past several days are important. But they’re not enough. Not nearly so.


Trump has a big heart with years of giving to the disadvantaged

Trump has a big heart with years of giving to the disadvantaged
Over the last several decades, Trump has given generously to heroes, the sick, and those in need. While the liberal media would have you believe that Trump is a virulent racist, it should be noted that a majority of the individuals who were recipients of these acts of kindness were racial or ethnic minorities. Trump has a big heart, and these stories are proof of that. Because the liberal media is bent on attacking and defeating Trump, it is up to conservatives and Trump supporters to counter the liberal narrative and make certain the public knows the truth about the President instead of just the left’s negative narrative.

The Steele dossier paid for by Clinton, DNC was not Russian disinformation, it was British disinformation—from Steele
The intelligence in the dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele, paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, was not from a well-placed source in the Russian government, but a paid-for employee of Steele’s firm, Orbis, who disputed the findings of the dossier when they were published on Jan. 10, 2017 by Buzzfeed. This, from the bombshell now declassified Jan. 24, 2017 interview by the FBI of the sub-source that was only undertaken two weeks after the false allegations against President Donald Trump and his campaign — that they were Russian agents who had helped Moscow hack the DNC and put its emails onto Wikileaks — became public. In it, the sub-source told the FBI that the allegations were “rumor and speculation,” that his contacts were “too far removed” from the matter to know anything substantial and that he “did not recall any discussion or mention of Wikileaks” with his contacts, contradicting Steele’s allegations of a “well-developed conspiracy” between Trump and Russia. And “he was nervous about the Russians finding out about” his efforts to corroborate Steele’s reporting, meaning they didn’t know about it. The Steele dossier was not Russian disinformation, it was British disinformation — from Steele.

China hawks familiar with the finer details of U.S. labor law argue the Trump administration has the power to do far more than name and shame U.S. companies that opt to work with Beijing in order to gain access to China’s vast consumer market. The Labor Department in the next few weeks has the opportunity to cut off a main spigot of U.S. funds flowing to China by barring private U.S. retirement plans from investing in Chinese companies, an unprecedented step that would cost China billions in U.S. investment.

In fact, those advocating the bold move argue that the Labor Department has a fiduciary responsibility to do so, as well as the perfect opportunity in a pending regulation governing these investments. The Labor Department is currently finalizing changes to the regulation governing private retirement funds and could simply decide to disqualify all companies that don’t adhere to current U.S. banking and investment transparency laws, which would automatically prevent investment in Chinese companies. In late June the department released changes to the rule for ‘financial factors in selecting plan investments’ and will finalize it in the coming weeks.  ‘It is sickening to think that American pensions and 401(k) investors are capitalizing [on] the gross abuse of helpless and oppressed Chinese religious minorities and political dissidents,’ Richard Manning, a former senior Labor Department official during the Bush administration who served on Trump’s presidential transition team, recently wrote to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. ‘Americans would be appalled to learn that they were effectively providing the capital for the enslavement of their fellow man, and you can stop it.’”



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