Tuesday, February 28, 2023

We Don't Need a 'National Divorce'; We Need More Federalism

Marjorie Taylor Greene says the country needs a "national divorce." "We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government," she tweeted. "Everyone I talk to says this. From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat's traitorous America Last policies, we are done."

Generally speaking, I'm sympathetic to the idea that the political left is unable to accept a truly diverse nation. Virtually every legislative policy proposal from modern Democrats -- and every policy issued by edict -- strengthens federal power and economic control over states. Modern Democrats are champions of direct democracy, an effort to undercut the choices of local communities and individuals. When they don't get their way, the D.C. bureaucracy steps in to circumvent the will of states. And when courts stop them, Democrats work to delegitimize and weaken the judiciary.

Just this week, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) argued states should simply disregard the Supreme Court when they don't agree with a decision. Ignoring the division of power is far more likely to cause a national schism than any Greene tweet.

None of that means a "national divorce" -- really secession, since other states are unlikely to concede to a split -- isn't a reckless thing for someone who took a vow to defend the Constitution to advocate. Even if we took a moment to seriously contemplate the idea, how would it be achieved? We aren't separated ideologically into large geographic regions or even states, but rather urban, suburban and rural areas. Conservatives like to share that map showing virtually the entire country painted in electoral red -- and it matters more than Democrats like to admit. But we can't discount that density also matters. A "national divorce" would create even smaller minorities and divisions, but little difference in the way of policy.

For that matter, where will Greene's Georgia, which Joe Biden won in 2020 and now has two left-wing senators, end up in this split? How about purple states like Virginia or New Hampshire? Will we have 50 separate referendums? Will there be population exchanges like the one India and Pakistan undertook in 1947? If history is any indication, it's the kind of situation that leads to political violence and economic ruin.

And, you know, you already have the freedom to move about the nation and find a place that suits your lifestyle and politics. That's one of the reasons we're a place that has room for a progressive vegan, the evangelical conservative farmer, the suburban moderate and everyone in between.

During the past 42 years, the federal government has been divided for 30 of them. Over the past three presidencies, the president's party lost at least one house after only two years. The instinct of the American public is to split power. The organic state of a divided nation is glorious gridlock -- which is why the 10th Amendment exists. Now, it's also true that leftists struggle with the notion of letting people in red states think, speak and live in ways they dislike. There is a national political and cultural effort to homogenize us.

And when Republicans appropriate the existing local power Democrats have used for decades to implement their own choices -- as Gov. Ron DeSantis has done in Florida -- leftists act as if we're on the precipice of a dictatorship. But they have no power to stop him. Only Florida voters do. This is why federalism exists. It is why some states thrive and others don't. And federalism is not only a more desirable solution than breaking the country into two, but also far more feasible.

None of this is to argue there aren't serious problems facing the nation, but Big Tech's relentless highlighting of every decisive moment, every rabid voice and every radical position clouds our view of reality. The nastier and crazier you pretend to be, the more misleading your tweets and the more partisan you act, the more followers you can expect. The incentive of social media success is corrosive. Most of it just exacerbates political divisions.

In the real world, you probably live in proximity to plenty of people with different religious, cultural and ideological values, yet, despite what you've heard, we're a nation with negligible political violence. In many ways, despite the mess politicians have made, our lives are better than ever. Let's keep it that way.


The Great Reset Is Really Great Resentment

This fairly new thing, the so-called “great reset,” is more than the political left acting out their bottled-up fury at successes of the land in which they find themselves. Infuriated at how well freedom is working—the opulence, scientific and technological achievements, personal advancements at every level—even for the “downtrodden” compared to the rest of the world—they grouse. They can see (and deny) how poorly socialist utopian schemes they hold dear are doing. Like spoiled brats they nihilistically seek to overturn everything about this nation that is good and decent and pure.

America is in mortal danger from this actual mass psychosis afflicting so many of our countrymen. The psychiatric community calls it mass formation, a term and effect worth studying if you haven’t. The most striking modern example of course was in Germany before WWII, but communist China soon afterwards under the brutal dictator Mao Tse-dung wasn’t far behind. Pol Pot in Vietnam set new standards of depravity and evil, with popular support. Our own witch hunts in New England soon after we achieved independence were a similar thing—hysteria that knows no controls.

Words Are the Key

Using principles learned from Russian, Chinese and North Vietnamese communists, along with George Orwell, whose 1949 dystopian novel 1984 spelled it out with chilling clarity, leftists understand that whoever controls our language controls us. That battle is on. An entire generation of Newthink terms have entered the public mind, infiltrated newsrooms and classrooms everywhere, and threaten our health and liberty.

It boggles the mind how easily that disease has spread. People at the vaunted Associated Press have picked up the gauntlet, and what used to be a descriptive guide for journalists, like a dictionary, the AP Stylebook has become a proscriptive mandate. It now dictates which terms are acceptable and which must be cast aside as intolerant, offensive, biased and other inaccurate derogatory slurs.

It’s not like this sprang upon us unannounced or unnoticed. As early as 1962, the earth-shaking film Manchurian Candidate, directed by John Frankenheimer, woke this nation up to the effective perniciousness of “commie” brainwashing, a tool used to implement Newthink. That was based on Richard Condon’s 1959 novel of the same name, at the height of the Cold War, filled with gut-level fears many of us still viscerally recall. Those forces have been bubbling under and metastasizing since then.

America’s consciousness of this grew in a quantum leap, especially in the enormously influential Second Amendment community with the development and release in the year 2000 of The Politically Corrected Glossary, published by Bloomfield Press, https://www.gunlaws.com/politicallycorrect.htm . It changed some dialog and terminology, jump-starting reassessments, but the powerful mainstream media steamed right ahead regardless. The terribly sexist slur, gunman, appears constantly instead of killer, murderer or even criminal. Inanimate wholesome products like pistols or sidearms became fearsome semi-automatic handguns, which anti-gun forces publicly acknowledged misleads many into thinking machinegun.

To this day, despite constant complaints, reports call mass murderers “shooters,” denigrating 100 million American shooters who shoot for fun, sport and safety. Simultaneously, this linguistic trick avoids casting any shade on the criminal psychopaths who murder innocent people by the thousands annually. Those culprits are further protected by prosecutors and a judiciary that often avoids going after the perps, a shortening of perpetrators, now also frowned upon by the great resetters.

Assault is a type of behavior, not a type of hardware, outlawed everywhere under multiple laws, as it should be. That does little to stop resetters from attaching assault to weapon, so effective in turning the public against household firearms, the commonly used kind you’ll find in millions of American homes. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment holds extra special protection for such household arms in common use, a point leftists treat with disdain.

Those usual suspects—Marxist socialist democrats and other malfeasants—are actively pushing the overhaul of our language—and our freedoms. Tough to admit, but they’re pretty good at it. You may not even know you’ve been snookered, it’s so subtle and easy to miss. That’s what makes it so effective. Merely declaring yourself pro gun plays into their hands. How? Because they’ve cast guns as horrific instruments of the devil. If you say you’re pro gun you practically are the devil, to their addled minds. Try instead thinking of yourself as pro rights, a term they avoid, because if that’s you, what are they? Anti rights, which is pure truth on a platter, intolerable to them, and now you’re catching on.

Coming next, an installment of The Politically Corrected Glossary, a lexicon of freedom. Use terms that work for you as a liberty-loving individual, and cast intolerant bigots as intolerant bigots.


Former Disney CEO privately complained to DeSantis about 'pressure' from woke left amid Florida fight

As the showdown between Florida's legislature and The Walt Disney Company heated up over an education bill that liberal activists incorrectly labeled the "Don't say gay bill," Disney's then-CEO called Gov. Ron DeSantis and complained about the "pressure" he faced.

DeSantis recounts the conversation in a chapter of his new memoir, "The Courage to be Free: Florida's Blueprint for American Revival," which will be released Tuesday by publisher HarperCollins. The chapter, shared exclusively with Fox News Digital, reveals what Bob Chapek, who was Disney CEO at the time, told DeSantis as the fight over Florida's education law heated up in the spring of 2022.

"As the controversy over the Parental Rights in Education bill was coming to a head, Chapek called me. He did not want Disney to get involved, but he was getting a lot of pressure to weigh in against the bill," DeSantis writes.

"We get pressured all the time," Chapek told DeSantis, according to the governor's book. "But this time is different. I haven’t seen anything like this before."

Chapek told shareholders that he had called DeSantis on March 9 to urge him not to sign the bill, which restricts schools from teaching gender and sexuality to children in kindergarten through third grade. Activists nicknamed it the "Don't say gay bill" despite the legislation not using those terms.

"I called Gov. DeSantis this morning to express our disappointment and concern that if the legislation becomes law, it could be used to unfairly target gay, lesbian, non-binary and transgender kids and families," Chapek said, according to FOX 35 Orlando.

According to a report from the New York Post, Chapek had privately expressed his hesitancy to involve his company in the political issues in Florida, the home of Disney World, in the months prior. But the pressure campaign within Disney and from Democrats nationwide ultimately convinced him take a stand.

DeSantis, however, issued a warning: If Disney got involved with the legislation, "People like me will say, ‘Gee, how come Disney has never said anything about China, where they make a fortune?’" DeSantis told Chapek.

The Florida governor said if Disney stayed out of the politics, Disney would face 48 hours of outrage when the bill passed. "[And] when I sign it, you will get another 48 hours of outrage, mostly online,'" DeSantis said, adding, "Then there will be some new outrage that the woke mob will focus on and people will forget about this issue, especially considering the outrage is directed at a political-media narrative, not the actual text of the legislation itself."

DeSantis wrote that Chapek and Disney "ultimately caved to leftist media and activist pressure and pressed the false narrative against the bill."

After the bill passed and DeSantis signed it into law, the governor was surprised that Disney chose to "escalate the battle" by vowing to fight the legislation in the courts. DeSantis signaled publicly that he would be willing to reevaluate Disney's special tax district and favorable corporate agreements due to their insistence on "woke" political activism.

Other reports showed that Disney had been pushing messages that conservatives blasted as "woke" — like enforcing gender and sexuality messages in movies and television shows. A show producer reportedly said on a leaked Disney staff call that she had a "not-at-all secret gay agenda" and had been "adding queerness" to kid's programming.

"Behind the scenes, I was not, as a father of children ages five, four, and two, comfortable with the continuation of Disney’s special arrangement," DeSantis wrote in his memoir. "While the Walt Disney Company and its executives had a right to indulge in woke activism, Florida did not have to place the company on a pedestal while they do so—especially when the company’s activism impacted the rights of parents and the well-being of children."

As Florida moved to strip Disney of its Reedy Creek district and revoke the company's self-governing status, DeSantis was surprised to see left-wing voices side with a large corporation.

"Even though Democrats often rail about the nefarious power exerted over politics by large corporations, and supposedly oppose special carveouts for big companies, they all dutifully lined up in support of keeping Disney’s special self-governing status," he wrote.

Chapek left Disney late in 2022, replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger, who first left Disney in 2020. At a Disney town hall in November, Iger told the company, "Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not. It can be distracting, and it can have a negative impact on the company. And to the extent that I can work to kind of quiet things down, I’m going to do that."

The lesson of the Disney saga, according to DeSantis, is that in an environment of "woke capital" where large companies employ their influence to advance left-wing political agendas, "old-guard corporate Republicanism is not up to the task at hand."

DeSantis' book aims to showcase his governing thesis that fighting for conservative principles paid off for Florida and could benefit other states and even the whole country. As a rumored 2024 presidential hopeful, DeSantis has led former President Donald Trump in a few early primary polls. He has not announced whether he will run.


Australia: Another Leftist discovers reality

Just when you think all hope is lost for the Victorian Liberal Party to ever regain its conservative political roots, along comes a candidate like Moira Deeming. Deeming is the type of grassroots politician the luvvies love to hate; young, articulate, passionate, and an ex-progressive.

Which is precisely the reason they’ve given her the moniker, ‘Labor Party Princess’. Quoting the great Robert Menzies in her maiden speech to parliament, Deeming captured something of your widespread appeal:

‘The real life of this nation is to be found in the home of the people who are nameless and unadvertised. And who, whatever their individual religion or dogma, see in their children their greatest contributions.’

In her own words, Deeming says, ‘She was born and bred on the political left coming from a long line of union leaders, card-carrying Labor Party members, and Labor MPs.’ Indeed, her great-grandfather was John Joseph Holland, a western suburbs Labor MP for over thirty-five years as well as a councillor for the city of Melbourne. All of which is to say, Deeming comes from ‘good Catholic Labor stock’.

What would motivate her then to change to the Liberal side of politics? According to Deeming:

‘There is a long tradition in Australian politics of those raised on the gospel of unity who come to learn firsthand the value of liberty and who then switch to the liberal side of politics. Sadly, they’re often referred to as “Labor rats” but in reality, they were just ordinary people who foresaw the problems which are plaguing all political parties that refuse to tolerate independent thinking and the tragic consequences of idolising economies which are controlled by the State.’

After quoting the famous examples of three former Labor politicians who switched sides throughout their careers – such as former Prime Ministers Joseph Cook and Joseph Lyons as well as Warren Mundine – a former president of the Labor Party to chairman of CPAC – Deeming commented:

‘I grew up idolising the Left, unions, and the Labor Party. But when taken to an extreme, these ideals have a “dark side”. As a teenager, I witnessed first-hand the corruption and the coordinated bullying of anyone who doesn’t think and act in “unity” with the Left.’

For Deeming, her political paradigm shifted though, by concerns she observed firsthand as a teacher in state schools. Deeming said:

‘Lessons on tolerance were being replaced with lessons on inclusion. It wasn’t enough to just accept each other’s differences with respect. Now students were required to affirm and celebrate beliefs which they just did not share. Perfectly reasonable religious and moral differences were being framed as discriminatory, intolerant, and a new vocabulary was introduced categorising people as “allies” or “enemies”.
‘Instead of being inspired by history’s heroes, students were being chastised and even told to stand up in class and apologise for historical crimes they had neither committed nor condoned.

‘They were told that the physical world is on the brink of doom. But rather than assigning research projects to find practical solutions, they were being assigned activism as work. Including, social media awareness campaigns, ideological fundraisers, and even attendance at protests during school hours.

‘Instead of being taught the life-changing value of grit and character, my most vulnerable and disadvantaged students were being weighed down and discouraged with spectres of insurmountable social forces all arrayed against them; capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy.’

These are serious issues. And every Australian citizen should be alarmed at what is occurring in Victorian schools because that particular state seems hell-bent on leading the way socially for the rest of the country. According to Deeming though, the proverbial ‘final straw’ in her deciding to challenge the government was as follows:

‘I discovered that school policies and curriculums had been radically altered to remove almost every child safeguarding standard that we had.

‘Primary school children were being subjected to erotic sexual content.

‘Female students no longer had the right to single-sex sports teams, toilets or change rooms.

‘And teachers – like me – were being forced to secretly lie to parents about their children who were secretly living one gender at school and another gender at home.

‘I realised then that my teaching career was over because I simply would not ever do the things I was being asked to do.

‘I would never ask the class which sexual experiences they’d had and which they were willing to do. I would never tell girls to bind their breasts. I would never accuse gay students of being transphobic. I would never tell my female students they had to tolerate a male teacher supervising their change room. And I was never ever going to lie to parents about what was going on with their own children at school.

‘But I also knew that if I spoke out that I was going to be vilified and that I would never work in a public school again. And that is exactly what happened.’

Somewhat surprisingly, even the Sun Herald joined in accusing deeming of promoting ‘extremist views’ whilst Daniel Andrews resorted to his usual tactic of dismissing Ms Deeming’s concerns as ‘shameful’. But listening to Deeming’s maiden speech, there is nothing extreme, let alone shameful, about it.

Deeming explicitly called on the Victorian government to amend the law in three ways. First, to protect sex-based rights to protect female-only sports, change rooms, and other activities while ‘maintaining the safety and dignity of transgender people’. Second, to make it illegal for children to be present in brothels. And third, to make it legal for parents and clinicians to seek treatment that alleviates gender dysmorphic feelings in children.

Deeming is a politician with the courage which we need right now. Sadly, though, the Liberal Party leadership have basically thrown her under the proverbial bus, distancing themselves from her convictions.

How tragic. When a former ‘Labor Party Princess’ cannot find a home in a party supposed to represent Liberal democratic values. No wonder the Liberty party lost the last election with little prospect of winning the next.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Monday, February 27, 2023

Grammys 2023: Beethoven and Bach ARE THE WEST, Not Cardi B, Kanye, Rihanna

Ilana Mercer is her usual acerbic self below but I do tend to agree with her on this

The Woke Universe is about inverting reality—turning truth, morality, ethics, and aesthetics on their heads and destroying every categorical imperative bequeathed to us by the ancients. The goal? To make The World safe for Ugly, Evil, Idle, and Aberrant.

Grammys 2023: The end of art, techno-porn caterwauling, and indecent exposure masquerading as music; an erogenous-zone centered extravaganza ~ilana

Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner, Debussy, César Franck, Dvorák, Tchaikovsky (Russian), Elgar, Fauré and more—they embody The Best of The West, not the Woke pornographers and perverts, the Covid goons; rap, reparations, and the critical race bile ~ilana

The decaying Empire symbolized some of its most putrefying, pornographic cultural products in the week when Burt Bacharach, composer of sublime pop music, departed to the heavens. The beastly bacchanalia unfolded at the 2023 Grammys and the Super Bowl (sic) halftime hump-along, showcasing zero skill, 0 imagination, 0 talent, and 0 beauty. Those vaguely familiar with my prose recognize that I'm being charitable.

Unfortunately, conservative commentators minimize the impetus and significance of this cultural foot-and-mouth, superciliously giggling over and misdiagnosing it.

The postmodern shift in the culture is positively tidal. But with their good-natured, bemused, crushingly stupid reactions to the most meaningful events and situations, conservatives normalize, even aid, and abet the decay. In this instance, the 2023 Grammys—techno-porn caterwauling and indecent exposure masquerading as music.

The staple response I refer to is the reliably diffuse and vapid "insights" offered by The Tucker Carlson Show's giggly guest, Chadwick Moore.

Why is this perennial conservative confusion so essential to correct? For one, thought mediates action. And fuzzy, foolish thoughts about important matters give rise to fuzzy, stupid actions about crucial issues.

Chadwick Moore protested the Pfizer-sponsored (alleged) Grammy performance of one Sam Smith on the grounds of "satanic panic"; that it was "devil-themed."

Moore's other redundant banality was to "reveal" that Smith is a grotesquely ugly transsexual man aiming to grab world attention. You don't say! As if my lying eyes told me otherwise!

THE ONLY SUBSTANTIVE CONSERVATIVE CASE to make over the Grammys is that it signifies the complete loss of immutable artistic standards. While artistic taste is subjective and personal, artistic standards are everywhere and always objective.

Nobody looking at and listening to the 2023 Grammys should dare talk about beauty—of melody or movement—harmony (as in accordance and counterpoint), chord progression, and a facility with musical instruments, for these were nowhere apparent. Instead, better melodic progression is found in "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" and "Three Blind Mice."

Nobody watching these erogenous-zone-centered extravaganzas, for which the celebrity Idiocracy clapped like clapped-out whores, should dare conclude anything but this:

The Grammys were about the end of art—about the loss of all meritocratic, objective standards in art.

THE TRUE MEANING OF THE WEST is not to be found in the staged acts of ugly exhibitionists and filthy pornographers who bedeck our cultural and sporting events, the likes of loud, lousy Lizzo, a mountain of meritless flesh, and the Sam Smith Sicko—demented degenerates who are all engaged in publicly tolerated indecent exposure and tuneless yelping, that not even the Auto-tune magic software, the "holy grail of recording" technology, can correct.

THE MEANING OF THE WEST is not in this dreadful culture, where our kids, liberal and conservative, can wallow in our ugly, grubby, tit-for-tat politics.

IT'S NOT in the Woke; postmodern perverts are degrading the language, literature, music, art, and sciences.

IT'S NOWHERE IN THE COVID CARTEL and its army of goons, medical and bureaucratic, devoid of intelligence and bereft of proficiency in anything but the use of force.

The aforementioned are imposters, interlopers, frauds, freaks, and fetishists.

Beethoven is The West. Men like Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner, Debussy, César Franck, Dvorák, Tchaikovsky (a Russian homosexual, whose manly music could never be queered), Elgar, Fauré and more—they embody The West. They and the many young performers furthering their work, the work of the Lord, are examples of the best of the West.

"Ode to Joy," inspired by Friedrich Schiller's eponymous poem, is but the soundbite in Symphony No. 9. Sublime as it is, "Ode to Joy" is a popular tune in a more magnificent whole.

One should not seek out exclusively the Ode of the Finale—the fourth movement—without assimilating the typically ballsy build-up by Beethoven throughout the preceding Allegro (first movement), scherzo (second movement), and Adagio (third).

MUSIC IS MAN. These men, to be precise.

Like nobody today, Beethoven instantiates this truth in all his Symphonies. Listen to No. 5, conducted by the great Herbert von Karajan, and tell me this is not the original headbangers ball.

To share with you, I have a satisfactory performance of "Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral' (1824)." It is that of The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Barenboim's intensity during the performance and the perfection he wrung so effortlessly from these young, eager musicians—beautiful in face and form, hailing from far-flung countries across the Middle East and North Africa—led me to suspect this setting was more than just a celebrity conductor, one of the greatest, for sure, parachuted in for a night.

Indeed, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a product of the vision of Maestro Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said, a Palestinian intellectual. Their collaboration's impetus was to foster peace and transmit immutable beauty through music.


To speak colloquially, not theologically, neither Allah nor Elohim has ever inspired the transcendence of Beethoven or Bach. Christianity begat the glory and genius of Bach and Beethoven. They are The West, not the Woke perverts trying to drown Western praise with no more than pelvic and genital thrusts parading as music.

A sad but inspirational anecdote: Beethoven had composed the sublime work, the Ninth, utterly deaf.

Via Britannica:

'According to one account of the event, the audience applauded thunderously after the performance, but Beethoven, unable to hear the response, continued to face the chorus and orchestra; a singer finally turned him around so that he could see evidence of the affirmation that resounded throughout the hall.'

And that's The West, too. But, alas, it has become anathema in Neurotic Nation USA to be stoic and heroic like Beethoven.

I shall close with guidance neither fuzzy nor diffuse: Honor Western civilization, not Kanye West: Do it up, parents.


Victimhood and mudslinging now define American politics

The 2024 campaign has hardly started, but the air is already filled with noxious fumes, most of it from desperate cable TV hosts and anonymous social-media posters. Don Lemon’s sexist comments about Nikki Haley are the latest example, but the vitriol has spread much wider. It reveals a dank corner of American politics, filled with mud-slinging and name-calling, degrading our public square.

Donald Trump specializes in these attacks.. He has already launched several, unsuccessfully, on the man he sees as his most formidable competitor. Calling Florida’s popular governor “Meatball Ron” and “DeSanctimonious” isn’t an argument. It’s an epithet. It has the intellectual heft of giving someone the middle finger.

Lemon’s sour attacks on Nikki Haley have attracted the most attention because he has long been a prominent media personality. Why was it sexist to say she was “past her prime?” Because Haley, now age fifty-one, is actually in her sweet spot as a rising politician. What Lemon undoubtedly meant, without actually saying so directly, is that she is past her sexual prime. That is not usually considered the best reason to pick a president. Nor has it been applied to men seeking the office. When people say Biden is “past his prime,” as they frequently do, they aren’t talking about his sex life. They are worried about his mental confusion and physical frailty.

Lemon’s rant was hypocritical, as well, because he didn’t apply that same standard to his preferred female leaders. He didn’t mention it when he backed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court. She was fifty-one at the time. He didn’t mention it when he backed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. She was born in 1947. He never used it to criticize Kamala Harris. She’s fifty-eight. The list goes on and on.

At least Lemon didn’t resort to racism. But others have, mostly the usual bottom-feeders and hustlers on cable TV. Their rage is amplified by thousands on social media, egging each other on. Their language is not only vile, it’s instructive. When leftists rely on racial attacks to disparage blacks, Hispanics, South Asians, Chinese Americans, and others, what they are really saying is, “If you don’t share our ideology, you are betraying your race. You are supporting ‘white supremacy.’” Although these attacks may be aimed at a specific person — this week, it’s Nikki Haley — they also serve as a warning to others: if you stray from the true path or support anyone who does, you will face our wrath.

These attacks have been launched repeatedly against prominent minority conservatives, including Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson and Senator Tim Scott. All conservative black intellectuals have endured them. They have been called “Uncle Toms,” whites in black faces and more. Out the window go basic standards of decency, along with coherent arguments. It’s just cursing, flailing, and name-calling.

Criticism of Asian Americans has a different tone. They are vilified as a “model minority,” as if their academic achievements, family cohesion, and rising economic status are worthy of shame. They aren’t. They are traditional bourgeois values, which have provided social stability and lifted millions out of poverty. They are worthy of praise and emulation.

The targets may differ, but there’s a shared political logic behind these attacks. The overriding goal is to sustain a progressive coalition. That coalition is grounded in identity politics, shared hatreds, and a commitment to redistributive justice, which really means transfer payments and positive discrimination for preferred groups. The coalition relies on self-identified victims and those who feel that they are, somehow, to blame.

This loose coalition is especially clear and active on college campuses. The leading victims are African Americans, whatever their socioeconomic background. Among international students, the top spot goes to goes to Palestinians and Muslims in general. Socialists of all stripes are the voice of the coalition’s vague economic ideas. Progressive gays and lesbians are active, though they are finding it harder and harder to identify ways they are discriminated against.

Given the central role of Palestinians, this loose coalition would fracture if it publicly insisted on equal treatment for gays in, say, Gaza or Pakistan. Feminism might be a slight problem there, too. Far better for the group to concentrate on shared hatreds. Israel is a particularly attractive target because it embodies everything they loathe. It is capitalist, prosperous, militarily effective, and willing to defend its territory.

Israel irritates them for another reason, too. Since its founding in 1948, one of Israel’s basic precepts has been its refusal to embrace victimhood. It is unapologetic about its existence and its success. Although it was born in the shadow of the Holocaust, its people know something that America’s progressive coalition never learned. If you define yourself as a victim, however justified that may be, you condemn yourself to lingering in that position, not rising above it.

Given progressives’ focus on victimhood and guilt, the real crimes of black conservatives are that they:

Don’t think of themselves primarily as victims and

Don’t think of America primarily as a machine of oppression, at home or abroad

Those are the unforgivable sins of Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Tim Scott, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, John McWhorter and so many more. Their refusal to embrace victimhood doesn’t mean they ignore racial injustice or slink away from the fight against it. It certainly doesn’t mean they are apologists for white supremacy. That’s malign nonsense. Rather, it means they believe they have real “agency”— an ability to act — and refuse to deny that agency to themselves by living as perpetual victims. It also means they are proud to be Americans.

Of course, they recognize the scars of slavery and Jim Crow, but they also recognize the country’s long, hard struggle to achieve equal rights, as promised by the Declaration and Constitution. They believe, as all conservatives do, that equality means “equality of opportunity,” not equal outcomes.

The apostasy of black politicians, judges, and intellectuals, together with their personal success, is why their adversaries cover them with epithets. They must be stopped before their heresy spreads. The larger goal, then, is to hold together and animate a coalition based on progressive, identity politics, victimhood, guilt, and redistribution. The same attacks have now started on Nikki Haley. They are vicious, personal, and shameful.

This racist, sexist mudslinging should be condemned and rebutted — not with more name-calling but with cogent arguments and serious analysis. Our nation is already angry and divided. More vile rhetoric, blasted from all media, only makes it worse.


I lived for years in a sexually liberated lesbian commune, but only found true peace and equality when I married a man and became a devoted mother

Up to the point where I got pregnant, I’d taken for granted that men and women are substantially the same apart from our dangly bits.

The experience of being a mother blew this out of the water.

Until then I’d bought uncritically into the idea that individual freedom is the highest good, that bonds or obligations are acceptable only inasmuch as they are optional, and that men and women can and should pursue this equally.

Then I went through the wonderful and disorienting experience of finding my sense of self partly merged with a dependent infant. The kind of absolute freedom I’d accepted as an unalloyed good was suddenly a great deal less appealing to me because I actively enjoyed belonging to my daughter.

It was obviously not in her interests to go on insisting that my obligations to her were optional. Where, pre-baby, I could do more or less what I liked, as a mother I couldn’t refuse to get up and feed my crying newborn at 3.30am just because I didn’t feel like it.

Her interests mattered more than my once-treasured autonomy.

It meant a fundamental break with my past way of thinking. I was in my early teens when I started to notice how Mum would cook dinner and after we’d all eaten, my dad would get up and leave her to clear the table. Then my two brothers began to follow his example. This seemed unfair, to say the least.

It left me with a dilemma. As the household’s other female, I felt a clear solidarity with my mum. But I also believed I had equal status with my brothers. Should I exempt myself from these petty chores like they did?

And if I did, what did that say about how we all saw my mum? In turn, as another female, what did this imply for me when I reached adulthood? Trying to answer these questions led me to feminism and a world in which women were creatures in our own right, rather than second-class support humans.

But I soon learned that membership of the feminist club comes with small print. You cannot pursue feminist goals without signing up to a larger bundle of commitments under the banner of ‘progress’, such as climate justice, racial and gender-minority rights, wealth redistribution and so on. Reject those, and you will be excommunicated from the coalition of the righteous.

I tried living my adult life according to those ideals, pursuing low-carbon life, non-hierarchical social forms and maximum sexual freedom, in a culture hell-bent on individualism and fluid relationships.

By the end of my 20s, however, I had found that being determinedly counter-cultural was taking a great deal of emotional and intellectual effort, for questionable returns. I concluded that sexual freedom brings alienation and that too little interdependence, rather than too much, is actually precipitating a collapse of social life.

A website I co-founded with four others imploded, turning out not to be the harmonious co-operative I’d envisaged but beset by muddled objectives and bitter interpersonal conflicts in which I lost my best friend and my social circle.

Around the same time, I also discovered that the supposedly egalitarian and sexually liberated all-lesbian community I lived in was in fact hierarchical and riddled with competition. Whether the issue was who was cleaning the kitchen or who was sleeping with whom, excluding males from the household did not vanquish rivalry and exploitation.

Even as I wrestled with these discoveries, I met the man who became my husband. Even as my life was falling apart, I had already started to rebuild it — in a different form.

Some years into our life together, I have found more peace and equality, not to mention more freedom from futile power games, in the countless ways we co-operate building a home and family than I ever achieved in my progressive 20s, trying to run away from commitment and constraint.

It turns out that accepting some limits is liberating, not restrictive. And getting to grips with how we divide the countless little jobs that keep a home going hasn’t stuffed me into a patriarchal box at all. Rather, it has produced a set-up that looks fairly conventional but is well adapted to each of us and our shared goals.


Biden's DOJ Charges Eight Pro-Lifers

President Joe Biden's Justice Department charged eight pro-life activists for an incident outside an abortion clinic in Michigan in 2020.

The eight people were indicted under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), who was reportedly "engaging in a civil rights conspiracy" and violated the FACE Act by blocking the entrance of the Northland Family Planning Clinic, which performs abortions.

According to the indictment, the group "did willfully combine, conspire, and agree with one another, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to oppress and intimidate patients and employees of the NFPC in the free exercise and enjoyment of the rights and privileges secured to them by the laws of the United States, namely, the rights to obtain reproductive health services."

The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to use or threaten to use force to "injure, intimidate, or interfere" with a person seeking reproductive health services. Convictions of FACE Act violations carry up to 11 years in prison and up to $350,000 in fines.

According to the DOJ, the pro-life activists physically interfered with employees and patients from entering the facility at the Sterling Heights clinic.

The DOJ also alleges that one of the people from the group advertised their "blockade" on social media while live-streaming the incident.

This is just one of many attempts by Biden's DOJ to attack pro-lifers. The escalation of enforcement of the FACE Act has surged since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Earlier this year, Mark Houck, a pro-lifer and Catholic father of seven, was acquitted of charges against him after allegedly pushing a Planned Parenthood escort outside an abortion clinic in 2021.

His attorney, Peter Breen, argued that Houck's arrest was an "outrageous abuse of power," arguing that the DOJ was out to punish and intimidate pro-life activists.

Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, condemned the DOJ for not holding those who vandalized pro-life centers and Catholic Churches responsible for their actions and how they treat pro-life activists.

"The shame is that they have no interest in equally pursuing pro-abortion domestic criminals that have vandalized and desecrated hundreds of churches and pregnancy care centers. The Department of Justice should not play favorites when enforcing the law, yet that seems to be the new policy," Burch said in a statement to Fox News Digital.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Time to Think — what went wrong at the Tavistock gender clinic

The Tavvy has always been a haunt for Leftist know-it-alls

The rise and fall of the Tavistock clinic’s gender identity development service for children (GIDS) is the story of how a well-meaning institution can go awry. Established in 1989 as the UK’s pioneering clinic in its field, it is now set to close this spring after having prescribed puberty blockers to more than one thousand children, many under 16, who were questioning their gender identity.

In the intervening decades the London clinic was the subject of increasing attention and notoriety, in particular after a court case brought in 2020 by Keira Bell, who accused it of having treated her “like an experiment” and rushing her into making irreversible changes to her body.

A book about the Tavistock could easily have been a howl of outrage. But Hannah Barnes has written a meticulously researched, sensitive and cautionary chronicle. Barnes, a BBC journalist whose dogged reporting for Newsnight prompted an investigation into the Tavistock by the NHS regulator, has trawled through scientific studies and Freedom of Information requests, interviewed almost 60 clinicians and many others, to piece the story together.

Under its original leadership, the clinic took a nuanced approach to distressed teenagers, using therapy to work out how best to help them. But it gradually became something more like a conveyor belt to puberty blockers, which were in turn the gateway to cross-sex hormones, and drastic surgery. This shift seems to have been driven by multiple factors, including money, a new chief executive and rapidly increasing demand. In 2007, the clinic was seeing about 50 children a year. By the time its closure was announced, in 2022, it was getting thousands of referrals every year.

Time to Think exposes how shockingly little evidence there was for what worked — the studies cited were based on tiny samples — and how little interest there was in collecting more data. It is not even known how many people detransition. This lack of interest seems to betray a wilful failure to safeguard the wellbeing of the children involved.

The leadership pressed on, even when its own survey showed that not all children thrived on blockers: many saw their mental health deteriorate. Barnes explains that a large number of those who sought help were suffering from multiple problems, including autism. As time went on, the number of prepubescent boys was overtaken by the number of girls, many of them self-harming or suffering from eating disorders. Yet the diagnosis didn’t change. By attending the unit, girls were on a pathway to drastic, irreversible operations such as “top surgery” — the casual phrase for the cutting off of female breasts.

The central voices in Time to Think are those of the many clinicians who became concerned, at different times and in different ways, about the direction the Tavistock was taking. It is striking how nervous they were about speaking up. The leadership seems to have been very keen to please Mermaids, a charity which keeps cropping up in this narrative, making demands.

It is astonishing how long it took for anyone to act. In 2005, concerns led the medical director David Taylor, medical director of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, to write a report — but this was not shown to staff or the public until 2020. In 2018, 10 worried clinicians took their worries to David Bell, a respected senior psychoanalyst, whose subsequent 54-page report branded the clinic “not fit for purpose”. But still nothing happened. The clinic and its overseers at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust closed ranks. It was not until 2022 that NHS England took the decision to close the clinic, after yet another report, this time by Hilary Cass. Paul Jenkins and Paul Burstow, the CEO and chair of the Trust, have both stepped down.

The book offers deeply sympathetic insights into the struggles of the ever-increasing numbers of young people who came through the doors, and of the clinicians trying to help them, amid a crumbling mental health system that was relieved to have somewhere to refer kids on to if they mentioned the word “gender”. Barnes keeps things readable by weaving in the stories of seven young people who were treated by the service: Ellie, Phoebe, Jack, Hannah, Alex, Jacob and Harriet. Some are now living happily in their new gender, others are struggling, and one has detransitioned: a range of outcomes that reflects the challenges the therapists were facing.

It is hard not to conclude that too many children were subjected to treatment that has permanently changed their bodies, without proper evidence. For me, the book also conjured up memories of other NHS cover-ups. When Barnes explained that the gender identity clinic became a money-spinner for the Tavistock Trust, I remembered the 2007 scandal at Stafford Hospital, where managers cut costs to achieve the much-coveted “foundation status”, and hundreds of patients died.


Real bigotry in Scotland

Let me get this right. In Scotland’s political class it is de rigueur to believe that someone with a penis can literally be a woman but it is the height of bigotry to think marriage should be for heterosexuals only? It is good and ‘progressive’ to say that men, even rapists, should be put in women’s prisons if they claim to be women, but it is a cancel-worthy speechcrime to say marriage should be between men and women only? Scotland, you are so lost.

We need to talk about the persecution of Kate Forbes. It is revealing so much about our febrile and unforgiving political climate. For me the big takeaway is just how disorientated so-called progressive politics has become. We’ve now reached a situation where if you discard biological science, observable reality and a truth humankind has known since the very beginning – namely, that there are men and women and they are different – you’ll be praised to the hilt. But if you express a view that was completely mainstream for millennia, which in fact was the organising principle of human society – namely, that marriage is something entered into by a man and a woman – you’ll be shamed, damned and all but hounded out of respectable society. This is not normal.

The social-media mauling of Ms Forbes has been horrendous. Simply for expressing her deeply held religious beliefs – such as that marriage is for men and women and that it’s wrong to have children out of wedlock – she has been denounced as a gross, immoral homophobe who has no place in political life. What is essentially being said here is that traditionally minded Christians should be barred from high office. The intolerance of it all is chilling.

There’s a twisted irony in the Forbesphobia. She’s branded a bigot but it’s her hectoring denouncers who are the true bigots. It’s time to remind people what the word bigotry means. Bigotry is ‘intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself’, says the Oxford Dictionary of English. Who does that better describe? Forbes, who has merely given polite and honest expression to her Christian convictions? Or the foaming Twittermobs who’ve responded to her religious utterances by calling her every name under the sun and insisting she mustn’t be allowed to lead the SNP? Bigots, heal thyselves.

The social-media mauling of Ms Forbes has been horrendous

The fire and brimstone is coming, not from Forbes, but from her haters. Forbes has been a paragon of reason and decency in comparison with her seething condemners in right-on circles. It’s they who are behaving like old-world religious hotheads, desperate to damn into obscurity anyone who dares to transgress their eccentric moral code. Surely it’s this neo-religious creed, this fundamentalist opposition to alternative ways of thinking, that has no place in political life?

The Forbes affair has got me thinking about one of the most pernicious claims in public life today – that it’s homophobic to oppose same-sex marriage. It is time to take down this myth. The branding of discomfort with same-sex marriage as a ‘phobia’, a prejudiced malady, instantly makes bigots of millions of our religiously minded citizens. Not just Christians but Muslims, Hindus and Orthodox Jews too. If support for same-sex marriage becomes a condition of engaging in polite society, of entering the political realm, then millions of people will be locked out. That backing same-sex marriage has become a new kind of religious test, a means of measuring someone’s fitness for public life, is nothing short of surreal.

What’s more, there are many non-religious people out there who think same-sex marriage is wrong, or just unnecessary. Including gay people. You can believe that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, and that the dismantling of the vile laws that discriminated against gay people was one of the great progressive gains of the modern era, and still think same-sex marriage is a strange institution that weakens the meaning of marriage and might, in the long run, have problematic social consequences. That’s my view: gay liberation, brilliant; gay marriage, a bit silly.

The ‘progressive’ elites have no idea how ridiculous they look to millions of ordinary people. They have created a world in which kids can’t read the original Roald Dahl books in case they feel offended by the word ‘fat’ but they can be read stories by drag queens with names like Flow Job. A world in which you’re more likely to do well if you believe the violent male tormentor of women is himself a woman than if you believe what the Bible says about marriage. Listen, it isn’t Kate Forbes who’s crazy.


Penguin to publish 'classic' Roald Dahl books alongside new editions after 'censorship' backlash

Publisher Penguin Random House has announced it will publish "classic" unaltered versions of Roald Dahl's children's novels after it received criticism for cuts and rewrites that were intended to make the books suitable for modern readers.

Penguin Random House said the decision was made in response to the debate over the changes

Along with the new editions, the company said 17 of Dahl's books would be published in their original form later this year as The Roald Dahl Classic Collection so "readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl's stories they prefer".

The move comes after criticism of scores of changes made to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and other much-loved Dahl books for recent editions published under the company's Puffin children's label, in which passages relating to weight, mental health, gender and race were altered.

Augustus Gloop, Charlie's gluttonous antagonist in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — originally published in 1964 — became "enormous" rather than "enormously fat." In Witches, an "old hag" became an "old crow," and a supernatural female posing as an ordinary woman may be a "top scientist or running a business" instead of a "cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman".

In Fantastic Mr Fox, the word "black" was removed from a description of the "murderous, brutal-looking" tractors.

The Roald Dahl Story Company, which controls the rights to the books, said it had worked with Puffin to review and revise the texts because it wanted to ensure that "Dahl's wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today".

Revisions to Dahl's books stokes anger about censorship
Roald Dahl's UK publisher releases a statement on revisions to his books, prompting some bestselling authors to share their thoughts about changing works to suit modern sensitivities.

While tweaking old books for modern sensibilities is not a new phenomenon in publishing, the scale of the edits drew strong criticism from free-speech groups such as writers' organisation PEN America, and from authors including Salman Rushdie.

Rushdie, who lived under threat of death from Iran's Islamic regime for years because of the alleged blasphemy of his novel The Satanic Verses, called the revisions "absurd censorship".

Rushdie, who was attacked and seriously injured last year at an event in New York state, tweeted news of Penguin's change of heart on Friday with the words "Penguin Books back down after Roald Dahl backlash!"

PEN America chief executive Suzanne Nossel wrote on Twitter: "I applaud Penguin for hearing out critics, taking the time to rethink this, and coming to the right place."

Camilla, the Queen Consort appeared to offer her view at a literary reception on Thursday.

Camilla urged writers to "remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination".

Dahl's books, with their mischievous children, strange beasts and often beastly adults, have sold more than 300 million copies and continue to be read by children around the world.


Transgender Hormone Therapy Increases the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke, New Study Shows

In recent months, several doctors, lawmakers and the like have sounded the alarm about the dangers of irreversible transgender “gender-affirming” care for minors. These treatments include puberty blockers, hormone therapy treatment, and sex reassignment surgery. Last fall, England’s National Health Service issued guidance stating that most children experiencing gender dysphoria are likely going through a “transient phase” and will outgrow it.

This week, a new study that will be presented at an American College of Cardiology conference in March found that patients who take cross-sex hormones as part of their gender-affirmation therapy face a “substantially increased risk of serious cardiac events, including stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolism.”

The study pointed out that hormone therapy use is escalating rapidly, as more than a million people in the United States identify as transgender, which Townhall covered. But, this demographic is “historically understudied,” it explained:

Researchers retrospectively examined rates of cardiovascular events in over 21,000 people with gender dysphoria from a national database of hospital records, of whom 1,675 had used hormone replacement therapy. Typically, people assigned male at birth receive estrogen and people assigned female at birth receive testosterone. Overall results found hormone replacements were associated with higher rates of cardiac events, mostly related to dangerous blood clots, but were not associated with higher rates of death.


In the study, people with gender dysphoria who had ever used hormone replacements saw nearly seven times the risk of ischemic stroke (a blockage in a vessel supplying blood to the brain), nearly six times the risk of ST elevation myocardial infarction (the most serious type of heart attack) and nearly five times the risk of pulmonary embolism (a blockage in an artery in the lung), compared with people with gender dysphoria who had never used hormone replacements. Hormone replacement therapy was not associated with any increase in deaths from any cause or with increased rates of atrial fibrillation, diabetes, hypertension, hemorrhagic stroke or heart failure.

Both estrogen and testosterone are known to increase the clotting activity of blood, which could explain the increase in clotting-related cardiovascular events, researchers said. Those taking hormone replacement therapy also had higher rates of substance use disorder and hypothyroidism.

“Starting transitioning is a big part of a person's life and helping them feel more themselves, but hormone replacement therapy also has a lot of side effects—it's not a risk-free endeavor," Ibrahim Ahmed, MD, who is a third-year resident at Mercy Catholic Medical Center and the study's lead author, said. Ahmed will present the study at the conference next month.

"Looking at a person's medical and family history should definitely be part of the screening protocol before they even start hormone replacement therapy," Ahmed added. "It is also important that people considering this therapy are made aware of all the risks."

This month, Jamie Reed, a former case manager at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, published a tell-all piece with The Free Press about the “morally and medically appalling” way children who walked through the clinic’s doors were treated for gender dysphoria.

"By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to ‘do no harm.’ Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care,” Reed wrote, adding that “anyone who raised doubts [about the care] ran the risk of being called a transphobe."

Reed explained that children were given gender-affirming care after only a couple visits, and that their mental health conditions were often overlooked.

"The mental health of these kids was deeply concerning -- there were diagnoses like schizophrenia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and more. Often they were already on a fistful of pharmaceuticals"


Australia: I’d have got a medal’: Zachary Rolfe has last word as he flies out

He was a victim of political correctess. Blacks are sacrosanct. If the thug he shot had been white, nothing would have been said

Northern Territory police officer Zachary Rolfe – who fatally shot Indigenous teenager Kumanjayi Walker at Yuendumu – has left the country after claiming that in any other jurisdiction he would have “got a medal” for protecting his partner’s life instead of being painted as a “violent thug”.

Constable Rolfe flew out of Canberra on Thursday after sharing a 2500-word open letter accusing the NT police, coroner and her counsel assisting of trying to publicly vilify him during the “biased” coronial inquest into Walker’s death, which is due to resume next week.

The 31-year-old also accused Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker of refusing to meet with him and called for his resignation.

In the letter, obtained by The Australian, Constable Rolfe says Walker was a violent abuser who tried to kill him and his police partner, Adam Eberl, when their specialist unit was deployed to Yuendumu to arrest him for attacking their colleagues with an axe.

“Walker was a young man with a violent past who abused many in his community, including young girls and boys,” he said. “When he tried to kill my partner and I … I did not think about his race, upbringing or his past trauma, I thought about defending my partner’s life, and that’s what I did.

“In a different state, I would have got a medal for it, and none of you would ever have known my name.”

Constable Rolfe apologised for sending offensive text messages that have been ventilated at the inquest but claims the communications were cherrypicked from thousands extracted from his phone and honed in on at the inquest in a deliberate attempt to paint him as “a racist, violent cop”.

“They had access to every single one of my messages and knew that I did not treat a single race differently from others. In private, I talked shit about nearly every group at times,” he said.

“Yet they released just a tiny snippet to make me out to be a racist. The parties knew that the messages had nothing to do with the death of Kumanjayi Walker.

“They knew the damage they would do once in public – they would hurt the community, the police force and the relationship between them – but they didn’t care. If the coronial’s goal was to ‘heal’, it has failed.”

Constable Rolfe, who grew up in Canberra, said the investi­gations into his actions at Yuendumu on November 9, 2019 had been “blatantly biased”.

“If all you know of me is through the media then you see me as a violent thug, an ex-soldier with a past,” he said.

The former infantry soldier – who deployed to Afghanistan – defended his policing record, ­saying he spent three years ­“protecting people” in Alice Springs before being charged with Walker’s murder. “I was a good cop; I loved the job,” he said. “I did it because I wanted to help people who needed help, to protect those who needed protection; I was good at it.”

He said his three years policing in Alice Springs were spent helping hungry children he found wandering the streets at 3am, stopping teens from committing suicide and protecting the community from violent offenders.

“You don’t see all the countless people I’ve done my best to help,” he said. “I was in the job to protect people, but if you were a violent offender, causing others harm, or you tried to prevent me doing my job to protect and defend, I make no apologies for doing my job.”

Constable Rolfe said police investigating his murder charge ignored advice from the DPP regarding their use of expert witnesses. The Australian has seen a police coronial report, the subject of a coronial non-­publication order, that substantiates this claim.

“After arresting me for murder and attempting to put me behind bars for 25 years, the NT police finalised their investigation into the shooting and decided that the only outcome is remedial advice, which I have received via email,” he said.

“Millions of dollars, thousands of wasted hours, exacerbated trauma for families and community, only for the result to be an email to me providing me with remedial advice – which doesn’t even count as a formal disciplinary breach.

“Despite this, the coronial focus is still on me rather than on areas that could improve the circumstances of the NT.”

Constable Rolfe said two weeks ago the executive tried to “medically retire” him on mental health grounds – despite a police psychologist recently clearing him to return to work – and have since served him with a new disciplinary notice for speaking to Channel 7’s Spotlight program in March last year after he was acquitted of all charges related to Walker’s death.

“As for me, I will continue to help people who need help and protect those who need to be protected; if it’s not in the police, it’ll be somewhere else,” he said. “I’ll live my life knowing I have the loyalty of those I worked with and those who know me … I was a good cop, my integrity is intact, and I am proud of that.”

Coroner Elisabeth Armitage this month extended the inquest to include two more sitting weeks from July 31 and August 21 in an attempt to get Constable Rolfe on the stand should he lose his appeal, being heard on April 11, against a decision compelling him to answer certain categories of questions.

On Thursday night, Richard Rolfe told The Australian he knew where his son was but not when or if he was coming home. “He’s gone overseas to try to deal with the trauma he’s suffered and the continuing attacks by the coroner and commissioner,” he said.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Saturday, February 25, 2023

First Congressional Hearing at the Border Turns Up the Heat on the Biden Adminstration

YUMA, Ariz. -- The city council chamber was packed with local residents and sheriffs across the state on Thursday to listen to the House Judiciary Committee hearing about the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, marking the first of such a hearing to take place with the new GOP majority.

Yuma County Supervisor District 2 Jonathan Lines, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, and Dr. Robert Trenschel, president and CEO of Yuma Regional Medical Center, each testified how the influx of illegal immigrants and drugs coming into their area has strained the resources for this remote town.

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have entered into the Yuma Sector, with many of them requiring some level of medical care. This has caused the Yuma Regional Medical Center to have $26 million in unpaid bills for services rendered to illegal immigrants. It has also caused care for U.S. citizens to be delayed or be sent all the way to Phoenix because their local hospital was full. Audience members nodded in agreement when Trenschel sorrowfully acknowledged the delay in care to U.S. citizens since they treat people based on who needs it the most.

Sheriff Wilmot testified the cartels that operate across the border in Mexico and within his jurisdiction have become much stronger due to the increase in cashflow from the thousands of people that are paying them to illegally enter the United States.  

Lines testified he was given new numbers from sources with U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealing Border Patrol was now seizing 48 percent of fentanyl being smuggled into the country, meaning between the ports of entry, because the recent decrease in illegal crossings allowed them to go back to patrolling the border. That number is significant since most of the fentanyl being seized was at a port of entry.

Perhaps the biggest round of applause from the audience was when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he supported the articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that have already been introduced in this session of the House. The purpose of the border hearings is to strengthen the GOP's case for impeachment against the Secretary.

None of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee decided to attend the official hearing. Their absence was brought up multiple times during hearing and it did not go unnoticed by the audience, even the liberal ones.

Yuma resident Manuel told Townhall he thought the Republicans were being hypocrites for saying they support law enforcement but have not shown their support for the Capitol police officers on January 6, but he still thought Democrats should have come to the city.

"I think there should've been a few, yeah, but unfortunately that's the state of politics right now. And I do fault them for it," said Manuel.

"I would hope [Democrats] would come here...We need them to come here, we need them to see it firsthand. More than just being angry, I think they really missed an opportunity to come and see firsthand what's going on here at the border," Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb told Townhall, noting he believes the GOP members were very sincere in their mission to hear what has been happening at the border and their resolve to fix the problem.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) promised more hearings will take place to further investigate how poorly the Biden administration has handled the issues of the border and immigration so legislative action can take place. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has stated impeachment for Mayorkas is not out of the question.



My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)
http://awesternheart.blogspot.com.au/ (THE PSYCHOLOGIST)
http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Friday, February 24, 2023

Biden To Roll Back Safeguards for Student Religious Groups on Campus

The Biden administration’s plan to repeal a key religious liberties protection for college students could launch an epic struggle aimed at the Supreme Court over whether religious groups on campus can restrict leadership positions to students who follow the groups’ religious tenets.

At issue is an effort to force student religious groups to open leadership positions to “all-comers” — say, an abortion-rights activist as leader of a Catholic student group or a polytheist as leader of an Orthodox Jewish club. The Biden administration wants to appeal protections, known as the “Religious Liberty and Free Inquiry Rule,” established by the Trump administration in 2020.

The question of First Amendment protections for religious student groups first came to a head in 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of “all-comers” in a case out of the Hastings School of Law in California. The vote, though, was five to four, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia dissenting in favor of religious students.

The Nine ruled that the university had the right to deny student organization status and privileges to a Christian group.

Since then, though, the makeup of the Supreme Court has changed dramatically, with a six-to-three majority that favors stronger religious freedom rights.

In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, UC Hastings said it had an “all-comers” policy that required all official student groups to accept any willing participant as a member or leader.

UC Hastings said the legal society was ineligible for official school sanction because its statement of faith — required for all members to affirm — upheld traditional Christian teachings on marriage and sexuality, which the school said violated its non-discrimination policy.

In the majority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the school’s “all-comers” policy was “a reasonable, viewpoint neutral condition” that did not violate the First Amendment. The Christian Legal Society could exist as an unofficial group on campus, the court ruled, but the school was within its rights to deny its status as a registered student organization.

In 2020, the Trump administration sought to bolster federal support for religious student groups facing similar pressures through the Free Inquiry Rule, tying federal funding to protections for religious student groups.

According to these regulations, “students are allowed to say that they only want to have leaders of their student groups who are practicing members of their faith on campus,” the general counsel for the Jewish Coalition on Religious Liberties, Howard Slugh, says.

“Religious student organizations should be able to enjoy the benefits, rights, and privileges afforded to other student organizations at a public institution,” the Trump-era regulations say. “Accordingly, public institutions cannot exclude religious student organizations from receiving neutral and generally available government benefits.”

The Free Inquiry rule in its current iteration allows schools to maintain all-comers policies but notes that schools “may not selectively enforce” policies to target religious student organizations. Political groups would need to accept students who may not align with their missions.

“With respect to a true all-comers policy, pro-choice groups could not bar leader positions from pro-life individuals,” the final rule said, raising the question whether a true all-comers policy is possible. Mission-driven organizations are likely always to select mission-aligned leaders.

On Tuesday, though, the Department of Education announced its intention to open comments on a proposed amendment to the regulation, one that would strip its power to condition funds on the basis of protections for religious student groups.

The Biden administration says these rules are “not necessary” for the protection of First Amendment rights and have “caused confusion” for schools — particularly at the intersection of religious liberties protections and anti-discrimination policy.

The administration noted concerns that the Free Inquiry Rule could mandate “preferential treatment to religious student groups” and “allow religious student groups to discriminate against vulnerable and marginalized students.”

The Department of Education said it was “unduly burdensome” to be involved in investigations about the treatment of religious student organizations and wants to hand these cases back over to the judicial branch.

“Where complex questions over the First Amendment arise, Federal and State courts are best equipped to resolve these matters,” the administration said in its announcement. “In its proposed rule, the Department is proposing to return to this longstanding practice of deferring to courts.”

Should the question reach Supreme Court again, the nation could see the precedent established by Christian Legal Society overturned, given the court’s more conservative leanings — especially at the intersection of religious liberty and education.

The move to overturn protections for religious student groups in higher education comes as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit prepares to hear a case en banc on the topic at the high school level, Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. San Jose Unified School District.

At a California public school, a Christian athletic group was stripped of its official club status because its student leaders were required to affirm certain principles of faith — including traditional Christian teachings on marriage and sexuality. The case represents an opportunity to relitigate nearly the same principles at stake in Christian Legal Society.

Oral arguments will take place next month


Fox News’s ‘silent ban’ on Donald Trump

It’s by now well-established that Fox News, the American media behemoth, is no longer on the Trump Train. Trumpworld’s union with Foxworld was never altogether easy and, ever since that fateful election in November 2020, it has fallen apart. Trumpists despise Fox for, as many see it, helping Joe Biden steal the election. And the top brass at Fox News have sought to distance themselves from the Trump movement and what they regard as its increasingly toxic politics. Rupert Murdoch has had enough of the Orange One, by all accounts.

What hasn’t been made entirely clear is the extent of the break-up. One senior Fox figure has let slip, however, that Donald Trump is effectively ‘banned’ from appearing on Fox News at present. He hasn’t been seen on the main channel since he declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential in November and other Fox sources have confirmed that there’s a reason Donald is not appearing on their network.

A source familiar with Fox insisted that ‘the network would never apply a ban on any presidential candidate’. No doubt that is true.

But, as another source with deep contacts inside the company put it: ‘Fox News digital will write about Trump and give him little phone interviews. But he has not been on the actual channel since he announced. Rupert doesn’t want him to win.’

Other American media insiders say it’s a not very well-kept secret that Fox won’t have Trump on anymore. ‘Everybody knows you just can’t say it out loud,’ said one.

The wider Murdoch empire is showing favour to the Republican hopefuls hoping to beat Trump in the 2024 primaries. The New York Post, Murdoch’s leading American tabloid, has been notably positive in its coverage of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Along with Murdoch’s other big US paper, The Wall Street Journal, the Post has made its editorial line clear: it’s time for the party to move on.

But DeSantis, the just-declared Nikki Haley and even the gonzo newbie runner, Vivek Ramaswamy, have all appeared on Fox in recent weeks. But the Donald remains persona non grata.

Trumpworld is seething with their sense of being snubbed. ‘There is definitely a soft or silent ban on Trump,’ says a source close to Trump. ‘They have clearly gone all in for Ron DeSantis, judging by their fawning coverage of his events week.’

Trump echoed the sentiment this week on his Truth Social Platform, as he said:

So interesting to watch FoxNews cover the small and unenthusiastic 139 person crowd in Staten Island for DeSantis, but stay as far away as possible from coverage of the thousands of people, many unable to get in, at the Club 47 event in West Palm Beach, Florida. I call FoxNews the RINO Network, and their DOWN BIG Ratings accurately reflect the name.

But there is no denying that Trump’s invisibility on Fox represents a significant obstacle to his re-election: it is still easily the nation’s most-watched cable news network.

Media eco-systems are always changing, of course, and right-wing channels, such as Newsmax and OAN, have prospered since 2020. But Fox is the biggest beast in conservative media – a fact that the MAGA movement can’t change.

The Trump ban is not formal policy, of course, more an understanding between senior people at the network that Trump is not somebody they should be booking. But, with the 2024 election starting to take shape, and Trump still easily the frontrunner for the nomination according to most serious polls, how long can Fox afford to freeze him out? ‘They have to be careful,’ says another source close to Trump. ‘They are the most important network on the conservative side, but it’s not their job to be too obviously picking the Republican nominee. People don’t like that.’

Many of Fox’s biggest stars, including their most-watched hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, have often interviewed Trump in the past and have by no means switched their editorial line to favour DeSantis. As one regular Fox guest who is close to the 45th President put it, ‘I’m pretty sure that if one of the big guys, like Hannity, say, said ‘F*** you I’m putting Trump on, nobody would stop them.’ But the fact remains that Trump hasn’t appeared on Fox since November, which suggests the anti-Trump forces are holding sway. “It’s all the mid-level guys who are terrified of losing their jobs who don’t want to upset Murdochs,’ says a Trumpworld source. ‘But if they obviously bash Trump, they get roasted by his fans, many of whom are Fox viewers, on social media. They went quite anti-Trump after the election and their ratings tanked.’

There’s a long way to go. It’s worth remembering that Murdoch is nothing if not adaptable when it comes to siding with the winning ticket. In 2016, as it became obvious that Trump would win the Republican nomination, Fox quickly became his biggest cheerleader. Trump and Murdoch, two billionaires with quite a bit in common, had some kind of relationship, back then. Today, not so much.https://www.spectator.com.au/2023/02/fox-newss-silent-ban-on-donald-trump


Vimeo Removes ‘Affirmation Generation’ Documentary Revealing the Medical Scandal of Transgenderism

The video platform Vimeo locked the account hosting the documentary “Affirmation Generation,” a film exposing the medical scandal of experimental transgender interventions.

“Our film represents that which is currently being silenced because it’s unpopular with the tenets of the mainstream media,” Joey Brite, the film’s executive producer, told The Daily Signal in a statement Wednesday. “First, it was the author J.K. Rowling followed by comedian Dave Chappelle. Vimeo and other platforms have banned many such projects as ours based on newly constructed hateful narratives that cast truth, science and common sense as enemies of the State. We need to move towards conversation and stop fomenting the conflict.”

“This is an issue of free speech and Big Tech removing it from American citizens. Is THIS the America we want to live in?” Brite asked.

Vera Lindner, the film’s producer, sent The Daily Signal a photo of Vimeo’s announcement that the documentary’s account “has been disabled due to a violation of Vimeo’s Terms of Service and/or Guidelines.”

The film had been up for three days and had racked up 19,000 views in that time, Brite said.

“The filmmakers of AFFIRMATION GENERATION – all lifelong West Coast Liberal Democrats, parents and community leaders – made an extraordinary effort to cite peer-reviewed medical research and evidence, to present the issue with deep compassion toward the gender-dysphoric youth, and to back up every argument in the film with science,” the filmmakers said in a statement. “AFFIRMATION GENERATION is the first non-ideological, non-religious documentary focused on the impact of transgender medical practices for youth. Censorship of dissenting voices is incompatible with democratic values, and especially with diversity and inclusion.”

Vimeo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Brite told The Daily Signal that the filmmakers “expected to get kicked off of Vimeo because of what happened to Dead Name,” a documentary about the parents who struggle when school staff and doctors push experimental medical transitions for their children. “Dead Name” has not been restored to the platform.

Brite also said she posted videos of a large gender-critical conference she hosted in August 2020, and Vimeo removed those videos five months after she posted them.

Brite, a lesbian, said she first witnessed people offering testosterone near lesbian bars in California in the 1990s. She said the “T” in the LGBT acronym “was a Trojan horse.”

“This is all about money, Big Pharma,” she said. “This is just like the opioid crisis except that it is global, and embedded in governments, education, law.”

She said the film features the stories of six detransitioners, interviews with twelve experts, including clinicians, and the findings of over 45 peer-reviewed scientific studies and journal articles in order to expose the medical scandal of the transgender interventions.

Brite criticized the suggestion that transgender identify affirms a person’s “authentic self.”

“Your ‘authentic self’ is now happening through drugs, sterilization, possible surgeries that are all experimental, all in mind with changing to this amorphous thing called gender, which is a social construct, not biology,” she said.

Linder told The Daily Signal that she hopes Vimeo’s ban will have the “Streisand Effect,” the phenomenon whereby banning something actually draws more attention to it.

She said the film has not found an alternate hosting platform because the filmmakers aim to get it distributed more widely.

“Currently we are contacting big distributors for worldwide distribution,” Lindner explained. “For this reason, we will not put the film on alternate platforms as that would preclude Distributors from wanting to pick it up. Instead, we will continue to email it to our focus groups (parents, doctors, gay/lesbian advocates).”

“If fans post it on alternate platforms, these would be bootlegged versions,” she added. “I hope they would not preclude Distributors from considering our film. The Social Media accounts for Affirmation Generation will always have a link where people can see it.”


The ‘Great Awokening’ Is Transforming Science and Medicine

The “great awokening” touches every elite institution in America, mostly radiating out from our compromised system of higher education. One of the most disturbing and illuminating aspects of this cultural revolution is how much it is transforming science and medicine.

A video of medical students at Columbia University reciting an updated version of the Hippocratic oath that injected elements of critical race theory made the rounds on social media recently. As many have noted, this “student-led initiative” sounds cult-like.

Fox News reported that “the August 2021 ceremony was the first time in the medical school’s 255-year history that the incoming medical students recited their personalized class oath, a spin on the Hippocratic Oath to ‘better reflect the values [students] wish to uphold as they enter their medical training.’”

“We enter the profession of medicine with appreciation for the opportunity to build on the scientific and humanistic achievements of the past,” the oath begins. “We also recognize the acts and systems of oppression effected in the name of medicine. We take this oath of service to begin building a future grounded in truth, restoration, and equity to fulfill medicine’s capacity to liberate.”

All I can say is if you have serious health problems, I suggest looking for an older doctor.

This effort to transform even the most elite institutions of science and medicine into temples of wokeness isn’t just being led by a few radical students. It’s part of a widespread and, yes, systemic effort to convert elite institutions into revolutionary political organizations.

A recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine highlights how our most prestigious research and medical institutions are being transformed into engines of fanatical wokeness.

“Calls for the National Academies to pursue such a report had been building for years, the authors write, but took off after the murder of George Floyd and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests in 2020,” Stat News reported. “The authors note that they first started with a literature review ‘to illuminate how historical policies, practices, and laws can have lasting effects’ and note that they use the term racism ‘because it is scientifically accurate … even if it makes readers uncomfortable.’”

The National Academies report doesn’t specifically cite critical race theory or the works of Ibram X. Kendi—the leading public proponent of “anti-racism”—but it clearly relies on a similar network of ideas.

The central premise of this ideology is that the United States and Western societies in general were founded in racism, that their basic institutions inculcate white supremacy, and that racial disparities in nearly any profession or societal outcome proves that structural racism exists. Therefore, it dodges the need to prove individual or literal acts of racism and instead pins the discrepancy of outcomes on “unconscious bias” and other structural barriers.

To correct what is defined as a “systemic problem,” Kendi and the National Academies suggest anti-racism, which often actually means racial discrimination against whites and Asians in the name of equity.

“Racial disparities in [science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine] careers do not rest on individual deficiency in candidates or even primarily on the individual racism of institutional and organizational gatekeepers,” the National Academies report says in its preface. “Racism is embedded in our society.”

Even the mushrooming number of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs that are taking over higher education aren’t enough, according to the authors of the report.

“It is incumbent upon organizations and institutions to address racial biases that individual decisionmakers are unlikely to notice, identify, or prioritize because, as evidence shows, they may not recognize how their own, perhaps inadvertent, individual decisions contribute to overall patterns,” the report says.

Got it? The ways of systemic racism are so obscure and mysterious that we need a class of hyper-dedicated inquisitors who can read the tea leaves and stamp out racist heresies. Science be praised.

Notice how seamlessly—and ludicrously—ideology has been wedded to science and medicine—fields once thought to be objective and removed from cultural debates.

Remember the whole “the real pandemic is racism” stuff that was used to justify lifting COVID-19 restrictions for Black Lives Matter protests and creating race-based medical treatment programs? That’s the mentality that dominates elite institutions and continues to accelerate.

Gutting actual science, wearing it as a skin suit, and yelling that this is “scientifically accurate” doesn’t make it so. Instead, our society’s revolutionary vanguard relies on institutional bureaucratic power to simply overcome any opposition to their political designs.

This is the crisis that looms over all other political debate in America.

What kind of country will we live in if this continues to be the guiding ideology of every serious institution? We won’t be a serious country. Eventually, the incredible advances we’ve made in science, technology, and medicine will fall into ruin. We will become a society in which opportunities for advancement and “success” rely on historic grievance and arcane knowledge of a rapidly evolving ideology.

The Soviet Union tried something like that. It didn’t end well.

That’s why we need to use the power we have now to reverse this institutional takeover while enough Americans still have the common sense to understand just how pernicious it is.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs