Sunday, September 25, 2016

Why we should lock more people up, and it’s not what you think

The Australian writer below says "We put people in the clink more and more" and "crime is falling".  He attempts no inferences from that.  Could one be the the consequence of the other?  He is similarly insouciant in attributing the good results in Norway  to Norwegian lenience.  That there might be even better results from a less lenient system seems not to have occurred to him.  He can't get beyond his Leftist assumptions

I’VE always thought jail is mostly a bad idea: It takes young people and puts them in constant contact with society’s very worst. They eventually emerge with no skills but a tight-knit network of former criminals.

Under my theory, jail is mostly unhelpful for the people that are in there — we only send people to jail because it is hopefully scary enough to deter people from committing crime.

Australia has a jail addiction though. We put people in the clink more and more.

There are lots of explanations why this might be, including the fact we use private prisons even more than America. (And America is reconsidering whether private prisons are a good idea.)

In 2014, The Catholic Prison Ministry said: “Handing the administration of punishment over to corporations will lead to conflict between the social interests of citizens as stakeholders and financial interests of corporations to maximise profits for shareholders.”

And I thought they were probably right, because crime is falling:

It’s not just murders. Break-ins, robbery and motor vehicle theft all went down in the last five years. Sexual assault and theft rose.

(Taking the really long view, violent crime is at record lows: “Violent deaths of all kinds have declined, from around 500 per 100,000 people per year in pre-state societies to around 50 in the Middle Ages, to around six to eight today worldwide, and fewer than one in most of Europe.” Steven Pinker told the Scientific American in 2011.)

You can see why I was cold on prison. And experts agreed. “Putting more people in prison diverts resources from vital social infrastructure and cost effective initiatives which have been shown to successfully address the underlying causes of crime,” these experts said.

But some new research from Norway is making me weigh up my view. It finds prison is good, and it does so in a very clever way.

There is an obvious problem researching whether prison works. Ex-prisoners tend to commit a lot of crime. Did prison made them like that? Or were they always like that?

The clever thing this research does is comparing groups of prisoners who are otherwise the same, except for the judge they get. Some got a judge who puts away prisoners more than half the time, some got a judge that gives two out of three offenders community service or similar.

This means we can look at how much crime the two groups commit later, and the only likely difference between them is the influence of a prison environment.

This research finds jail is great. The prisoners who go to jail end up getting 10 fewer criminal charges. (The result is not due to simply being unable to commit crime in jail — the reduction starts from when the person is released, over an equivalent period of time.)

The ones that went to jail also have much better employment outcomes — they are more likely to find work.

There is an important point to make. Jail seems to really work for some kinds of people. It strongly improves the chances for people who were not employed. Jail didn’t prove to be either positive or negative for people who previously had jobs. The reason is probably that jail adds a lot of structure and training to their lives.

“Imprisonment causes a 34 percentage point increase in participation in job training programs for the previously non-employed, and within five years, their employment rate increases by 40 percentage points,” according to academics Manudeep Bhuller, Gordon B. Dahl, Katrine V. Loken and Magne Mogstad in their paper,Incarceration, Recidivism and Employment.

It’s worth pointing out this research happened in Norway, where jail can be pretty different (even “luxurious,”) and most prison sentences are under a year.

“In Scandinavian countries like Norway, the prison system focuses on rehabilitation, preparing inmates for life on the outside. This is done in part by investing in education and training programs, but also through extensive use of “open prisons” in which prisoners are housed in low-security surroundings and allowed frequent visits to families while electronically monitored. In comparison, in many other countries, rehabilitation has taken a back seat in favour of prison policies emphasising punishment and incapacitation.”

It seems like jail can be pretty useful for some people — so long as you design it to be useful. Unfortunately, Australia’s prisons are more like America’s than Norway’s.

We could make our prisons like Norway’s. But first we need to decide if we can stomach being “nice” to prisoners in order to actually stop them from committing more crime later. I’d support that. But I suspect for a lot of people, that’s not going to be acceptable — for them, punishment is what matters most.


Boy, four, is snatched off the streets by a multiculturalist as he walked home from school

Police described the suspect as a black man, who was wearing a black baseball cap with blue writing on the side. He was also wearing a long thick gold chain and a blue t-shirt

Police have launched a manhunt after a four-year-old boy was the victim of an attempted kidnapping as he made his way home from school with his mother.

The boy was snatched by a stranger near St Agnes Catholic Primary School in Bow, east London at 3.10pm on Monday.

According to social media reports he was saved by his older brother, who chased the man. 

The suspect dropped the boy and fled after bring confronted on Monday afternoon.

The suspect and the boy are not thought to be known to one other.

Police described the suspect as a black man who was wearing a black baseball cap with blue writing on the side. He was also wearing a long thick gold chain and a blue t-shirt.

Extra police patrols have now been deployed around the area and parents are being warned to be vigilant. 

Letters sent to parents and later shared across social media claimed the child's older brother chased the man and rescued the child.

Officers have now confirmed they are hunting the kidnapper and are warning parents to be vigilant.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'Police are investigating a report that a four-year-old boy in school uniform was the victim of an attempted kidnap near to St Agnes Primary School at 3.10pm on Monday.

'The boy was allegedly picked up by the suspect at the end of a school day. The suspect tried to make off with the boy before being confronted, dropping the child and leaving the scene.

'Safer neighbourhood officers have increased patrols in the area. There was an alleged attempted abduction of a child outside St Agnes Primary School on Monday.

'Police are investigating the incident. Neighbourhood police will now be present outside the school at the beginning and end of the school day.

'Tower Hamlets Council and Police are reminding parents, staff and children to remain vigilant and to report anything they believe to be suspicious to the police by calling 101.'


British anti-terror police cut back on stopping and searching passengers at airports and ports amid fears of racial profiling - despite severe terror threat

The number of passengers being stopped and searched at UK ports and airports has fallen despite heightened fears over terror attacks.

Just over 23,000 people were stopped by counter-terrorism officers while leaving or entering the country in the 12 months until June this year.

That is 23 per cent down on the previous year, despite the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warning it is now a matter of 'when, not if' an attack takes place in the UK.

It comes after a row over stop and search powers at airports, in which critics claimed 'racial profiling' was being used to discriminate against ethnic minorities.

British officials are not allowed to racially profile passengers, although some, including human rights group Liberty have claimed authorities are stopping people 'based on stereotype rather than genuine suspicion'.

The Home Office has insisted the reduced number of people stopped is not due to racial profiling or fears among anti-terror police of being accused of racism.

They say the drop in numbers is due to other techniques being used rather than randomly stopping passengers, The Times reported this morning.

Earlier this year, security expert Philip Baum praised Israel's El Al airline, which trains its workers in psychological observations techniques, which are then used as part of the security process.

Mr Baum said: 'All the money is being thrown at the screening and check process, but I believe it's vital we implement proper profiling and use behavioural analysis for security.'

He added: 'For me profiling is not about racial profiling, and should not be seen as politically incorrect.'

Terrorists set off bombs in Istanbul Airport earlier this summer, leaving 45 people dead, including 19 foreigners.


I won't let Labour's racist bullies defeat me: Jewish MP reveals the terrifying anti-Semitism that's now the norm in her Party's hard left

'One of the things that makes me most angry about this whole thing is that I've ended up as 'the Jewish MP'. And worse, a victim and a target. I should be the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, a hard-working, lifelong member of the Labour Party.'

She describes herself as 'a Labour, socialist, Jewish, woman' in that order.

'Actually, British first: British, Labour, socialist, Jewish, woman.'

Smeeth, 37, is the MP who walked out of the launch of the Chakrabarti report, an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, after being harassed by a member of Momentum, the activist group behind Jeremy Corbyn.

Since then she has been called a 'yid c***' (among other racial slurs), a 'CIA/ MI5/Mossad informant', a 'dyke', and a 'f***ing traitor'. In all, she's experienced more than 25,000 incidents of abuse, much of it racial.

As a result, two people are being investigated by counter-terrorism police — one of whom penned a 1,000-word essay on how he would kill her.

'I initially assumed [the author] was from the Far Right,' she says. 'And then someone rang to inform me it was a Corbynista.'

Chakrabarti's report (and the subsequent abuse it generated) is to be debated by Labour's National Executive Committee. It states: 'A political home, like a domestic one, should be a place where you feel comfortable and safe, even and especially when things are more difficult on the outside.'

And yet because of threats from her own party, Smeeth now has 'security' organised by the parliamentary authority and police. She can't give details but says she won't be going to Labour Conference alone on Sunday.

'I am still going — I can't let the intimidators win. Do I think it will be pleasant? No. Do I think there will be a lot of anger? Probably. But I'm sensible about what I'm doing, how I'll be and what I'll do, and I won't be by myself.'

We meet at her office in Stoke-on-Trent, decorated with photographs of former Labour prime ministers and campaign posters.

Smeeth is tall with a big laugh. She might wear a gold Star of David under the neckline of her dress, 'but I don't talk about Israel or Palestine. This [abuse] is not about anything I've said on Middle East politics. I don't participate.'

She describes herself as 'culturally Jewish' . Her husband is Irish Catholic.Her political concerns reflect her immediate constituency, one of the poorest in the country. If anything, the furore over her religion distracts from more pressing issues.

There were rare flashes of anti-Semitism under Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, 'but not like this. I've never seen anti-Semitism in Labour on this scale. There were one or two incidents before, and the reason why they were so shocking is that there were only one or two. Now the sheer volume has made it normal.'

She lists MPs — not necessarily Jewish — who have received abuse generally, from Angela Eagle to Mary Creagh, who had a brick thrown through her Wakefield constituency office last week.

'Neil Coyle had death threats when his wife was eight months pregnant. Ian Murray had threats shouted outside his office when he was in Parliament but his staff were there. Stella Creasy has had tons, as has Jess Phillips.

'There are so many it's becoming normal. And that's difficult. I've just named half a dozen MPs without trying. It's the opposite of what we promised after Jo Cox was murdered.'

Could she imagine this happening to Conservatives?

'The Tories care more about power than ideology,' she says, 'so they would squish it really quickly. They wouldn't let it get in the way of them running the country.'

Smeeth has raised the issue of racism with Jeremy Corbyn 'privately' on 'numerous occasions' from December 2015. 'Each time the same answer: 'I am anti racist, therefore it's not a problem.'

She rolls her eyes. 'It wasn't even acknowledged. Until it was a rolling news story after Ken [Livingstone made comments about Hitler supporting Zionism], he ignored it.'

Her verbal evidence was taken by Chakrabarti 'and I am cited in the report. Not by name, but there are very few female Jewish MPs: Louise Ellman, Luciana Berger and me.' And because of this, she was invited to the inquiry launch.

It took place on June 30, a fortnight after Jo Cox's murder, a week after Brexit and 'the same week we had passed a vote of no confidence in Jeremy and I had resigned'.

'The atmosphere was strange. At least half the room didn't know why they were there, just that it was 'a Jeremy event'.

'Leaflets were distributed attacking the report as 'unfounded' and 'unnecessary'. 'I said to a friend: 'This feels horrible.' It was moody. It shouldn't have been.'

Mark Wadsworth, a Momentum activist, began handing out 'press releases' calling for de-selection of certain MPs (including Smeeth). 'I asked for one. He refused. Someone said: 'It's a Jewish event, she's a Jewish MP, give her a copy.'

'He went: 'What's her name?' I said: 'Darlin', my name's Ruth Smeeth.' ' He wrote it down.

Three journalists offered her their copies, and she took the closest, from Kate McCann of the Daily Telegraph. McCann then tweeted that Labour MPs at a Labour event were getting abuse from Momentum.

'In the Q&A, Jeremy said again that he didn't believe in abuse of any form. And then Shami allowed Wadsworth to speak.

'He said: 'Ruth Smeeth is working hand-in-hand with the Right-wing media to attack Jeremy.'

'So I shouted: 'How dare you?' The audience started shouting at me — at the launch of an inquiry into how we treat Jews in the Labour Party! Jeremy said nothing. So I walked out.

'If one of my councillors was being shouted at I would have stopped it. You get involved, especially if, like Jeremy, you are standing next to a sign which says 'Standing up and not standing by' at an anti-Semitism event.'

While the incident looped on the news, Smeeth waited for a call —'from Corbyn, from his office, from the front bench, from someone, anyone.' There was silence.

So she issued a statement saying Labour was no longer 'a safe space for British Jews'.

Corbyn's office manager called and said Jeremy would be in touch that evening. 'But it never came.'

In fact he wasn't in touch for ten days, and only called 45 minutes before giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

When his office did finally arrange a meeting, at 9am one Wednesday in London, Ruth says: 'I was there. Jeremy wasn't.

'His team said: 'Jeremy understood that the meeting hadn't been confirmed', so he didn't turn up.'

Mostly she puts Corbyn's behaviour down to shambolic lack of organisation rather than anything sinister. 'I've spent a lot of time with Jeremy,' she says. 'The disconnect between the Jeremy I know and the Jeremy who his supporters think he is — and what they are prepared to do in his name or for him because they think that is what he wants — is huge.

'My biggest issue is that Jeremy knows it's happening and that it's still happening. His words about unity are fine until his surrogates go out and say things like 'People will get what's coming to them', or 'De-selections are acceptable'.

'If he has surrogates attacking parts of Labour that have supported the party for decades and decades, then he's got a problem and we've all got a problem.'

She says many of the surrogates are 'clear and upfront' about who they are. Others stay anonymous.

'It's rarely your own constituents — they are disgusted and appalled by such behaviour' — she's been sent flowers, pottery and letters of support. 'They are also getting fed up with me being called the Jewish MP.'

What should Corbyn do?

'If Jeremy highlighted three or four really offensive comments done in his name and said: 'This is the sort of thing I believe is beyond the pale', that would be good. Name and shame. Make it clear they don't speak for him.'

Many have concerns about the virulent militancy within Momentum, set up following Corbyn's election as leader to harness the enthusiasm of his grassroots supporters.

Smeeth says there are some 'good people' but that she's 'wary of the long-term aspirations of some of their leadership', including those 'who have yet to vote Labour in a general election'.

The problem is that 'they've been abysmal about racism. And this talk of de-selection is attacking colleagues instead of Tories. I'd like an alternative government. Momentum is a hindrance to that. It's disgraceful.'

Are they a cult around Corbyn?

'It's something weird. There was a 'Jeremy for leader' phone bank here on the same day as a local by-election. They were calling Labour members rather than helping get the vote out. Their priority is not the Labour Party. It's not fighting the Tories. Their priorities are skewed.'

Smeeth was born in Edinburgh, the daughter of an East London Jewish girl and a rugged Scottish trade unionist. An only child, her father left when she was three. 'And when he left, he left. But my mum is my heroine.'

Her maternal family arrived in London having escaped Tsarist pogroms in the 1890s. One of her grandfathers set up a Jewish trade union branch for carpentry.

'My grandmother was literate and wrote complaint letters for all the old dears on the council estate. It was a version of councillor surgeries.

'My favourite story was when Sainsbury's changed the cap colour of semi-skimmed milk and all the old dears were very angry. My grandmother coordinated a joint letter to say 'they've all bought the wrong milk and it's cost them a fortune'.'

They moved to Bristol, where her mother worked as deputy general secretary of the union Amicus. 'I used to earn my pocket money delivering leaflets for Labour. I door-knocked for the first time in the 1992 election. I'd have been 12.'

Today, many of her constituents are not Corbyn fans. 'They don't think he can represent the country. They don't like his past relationship with the IRA.'

She says they find it 'offensive' when Jeremy — with his middle-class upbringing — says he doesn't consider himself wealthy.

'He earns £130,000 a year. My constituents are doing well if they earn 10 per cent of that,' she says. 'Perhaps it's easy to be an ideological purist if you can afford to live under the Tories. My constituents can't.'



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Friday, September 23, 2016

Black on black shooting causes a riot for once

Because the shooter was a cop doing his job.  Note that there usually is testimony from black bystanders denying that the deceased was behaving offensively.  Such testimony has often been shown to be false

Police have insisted the man who was shot dead by a Charlotte cop was carrying a gun and refused repeated orders to drop it.

Father-of-seven Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was gunned down by Officer Brentley Vinson while standing next to his car in the North Carolina city on Tuesday night, prompting violent protests that left 16 officers injured.

His family have insisted he was disabled and was only reading a book when he was killed, but Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney says officers found a weapon in his vehicle.

Hours after the shooting, demonstrators arrived at the scene and began destroying marked police vehicles, setting trucks alight and throwing rocks at officers.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Putney said one person had been arrested and slammed the 'agitators' for turning a peaceful demonstration violent. 

He added that the story of Scott's shooting is 'very different' to how it has been portrayed in social media, and made it clear that they did not find a book at the scene.

Charlotte's Mayor Jennifer Roberts has called for 'peace, calm and dialogue' as the city braced for further protests planned for Wednesday evening.

Students started the second round of demonstrations by staging a lie-in at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. 

Video shows one protester jumping on top of a police car and officers firing tear gas to break up the crowd. Several hundred people gathered with some setting fires to block a major road, while others set trucks ablaze.

Some stole boxes from trucks before police used flash grenades in an attempt to disperse the angry crowd, an ABC affiliate in Charlotte reported.

A group of protesters then tried to break into a Walmart store before police arrived and began guarding its front entryway.

Some protesters were heard yelling 'Black Lives Matter,' and 'Hands up, don't shoot!' . They held up a sign saying 'Stop Killing Us' and 'it was a book', making reference to the object Scott was reportedly holding when he was shot dead.

Charlotte police went to the complex around 4pm looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant when they saw Scott - not the suspect they were looking for - inside a car, department spokesman Keith Trietley said in a statement.

Officers saw Scott get out of the car with a gun and then get back in, Trietley said. When officers approached, Scott exited the car with the gun again. At that point, officers deemed the man a threat and at least one fired a weapon, he said.

However, Scott's brother told reporters: 'He was waiting in the car for his son to get from school.

Detectives recovered a firearm at the scene and were interviewing witnesses, Trietley said.

Officer Brentley Vinson - a former college football player - was identified as the officer who shot Scott, WCCB reports. Officer Vinson, who has worked at the department since July 2014 and is also black, has been placed on paid on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in such cases.

Meanwhile, Scott's daughter Lyric Scott live streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.

In the video, she says that her father was parked and reading a book in his car while waiting for a school bus to drop off his son.

'My daddy didn't do nothing,' she is heard saying in the video. 'They just pulled up undercover.' She added that Scott was disabled and claimed that officers had Tasered him and then shot him four times. 

Adam Rhew said that the crowd began to disperse after police deployed tear gas. He said on Twitter that he estimates the CMPD used six to eight cans of tear gas.


Free speech destructive to Left’s stifling orthodoxies

Comment from Australia

Perhaps it was the delirium of pneumonia that allowed Hillary Clinton to speak so freely, putting half of Donald Trump’s supporters in what she called the “basket of deplorables”. Like the in vino veritas that sets in after a few drinks, Clinton’s honesty was refreshing.

They are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it”, said Clinton of the Deplorables. In one fell swoop the unplugged Democratic presidential candidate lifted the lid on the neo-fascist Left.

Clinton’s moment of ill-discipline reduced the fraud of so-called progressive politics to a simple illiberal equation: if you disagree with me on race matters, you are a racist. If you disagree with me over lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex politics, you are a homophobe. Disagree with my position on Islam, you are an ­Islamophobe. If you disagree with me on immigration, you are a xenophobe. Rather than engaging in debate, too many on the Left would rather portray disagreement on totemic issues as grounds for a mental disorder with the sole aim of shutting down any challenge to leftist orthodoxy.

The same politics of deriding deplorables is endemic in Australia, especially in the same-sex marriage debate. The Greens and LGBTI activists claim that allowing Australians to decide whether marriage should be redefined would fuel harmful hate speech from same-sex marriage opponents. Worse, the leaders of Australia’s alternative government succumbed to the lowest of low-rent politics. A plebiscite would lead to suicides, Bill Shorten said. Deputy leader Tanya Plibersek used a young boy named Eddie, the son of a same-sex couple, for political purposes. The aim is clear: shut down debate about same-sex marriage. Agree or shut up is the staple of neo-fascists. Never mind that we are debating an institution, not the sexuality of individuals.

Malcolm Turnbull exposed Labor’s thought police during question time last Wednesday. “Was Julia Gillard a homophobe when she opposed same-sex marriage? Was Penny Wong a homophobe when she opposed same-sex marriage? Of course not. The reality is, if people who opposed same-sex marriage then are not homophobes, then they are not homophobes now. The Labor Party has to stop preaching this hatred,” the Prime Minister said.

Alas, same-sex marriage activists chose hatred last Friday when they learnt that Christian groups planned to meet at the Mercure Sydney Airport hotel to prepare for the no campaign. The threats of violence, feral social media posts, including “are your children safe at Mercure” and nasty phone calls to staff showed the disdain for debate among same-sex marriage activists. Hotel management cancelled the event to protect staff. Did left-wingers in favour of same-sex marriage condemn the hate-filled campaign from their own side? No.

Whatever you may say about rigid Christian doctrinal teaching, the churches understand they operate in a liberal democracy where the marketplace of ideas will necessarily challenge their beliefs. Not so the gay-marriage zealots whose fanaticism seeks to suppress open debate and reason.

The critical question is why have so many on the Left taken this illiberal path? Whereas radical leftists in the 1960s were at the vanguard of libertarianism, challenging oppressive customs and canons, too many are now enforcers of their own stifling orthodoxies. The end of liberalism for many on the Left started more than 40 years ago when, by embracing identity politics, they untethered human rights from classical notions of freedom. Sex, sexuality, race and other forms of personal identification trumped Enlightenment freedoms and the very notion of universal, libertarian rights.

Soon enough, identity politics fuelled victimhood claims in a confected marketplace of outrage with feelings now the measurement of human rights. The right not to be offended, not to have one’s feelings hurt, marked the downward spiral of the liberal Left. Instead, a paternalistic Left set ­itself up as the arbiter of rights and freedoms based on repressive ­adherence to its feelings-based moral code rather than the universal rights of mankind.

There are few more defining moments in the Left’s long, illiberal demise than its response when Muslim fundamentalists slapped a fatwa on Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, demanding his death, burning his novel and marching in London to suppress words.

By choosing silence at this pivotal moment, left-wing elites sided with Muslim fundamentalists who understood that free speech threatened their grip on power.

Now it’s the same with the Western Left. They understand that free speech is the enemy of their illiberal, stifling orthodoxies. It explains why so many on the Left refuse to countenance any change to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, even while three students from the Queensland University of Technology are dragged through a three-year legal rigmarole of racial discrimination claims for posting innocuous comments on Facebook. The silence from most on the Left attests to the neo-fascist transformation of their politics. To speak up would expose the illiberal project that the Left has undertaken for four decades.

Those who call out the Left’s dangerous regression deserve kudos. British writer Nick Cohen marched against Margaret Thatcher and denounced New Labour’s embrace of corporate capitalism. Cohen tendered his resignation from the Left a year ago: “Slowly, too slowly, I am ashamed to say, I began to notice that left-wing politics had turned rancid.”

In Australia, Guy Rundle recently lamented the Left’s enthusiasm for the ever-encroaching state and how the aim of anti-discrimination laws “is to make the censor ‘go inside’, so that you ultimately second-guess your own impulse to challenge, to express, to be outrageous or genuinely on the edge”.

At the weekend, former minister in the Hawke and Keating governments Peter Baldwin traced the sad demise of the Left from a rational movement committed to equality of people, regardless of race, gender and class, to one of moral depravity where so-called progressive intellectuals denounce Ayaan Hirsi Ali as an “Enlightenment fundamentalist”. Hirsi Ali was born a Muslim, was subjected to female genital mutilation and escaped an arranged marriage. Shouldn’t we pay tribute to a woman who choses Western freedoms over Islamic restraints?

We need more people like Baldwin who are honest about the Left’s conversion into loathers of freedom. Half-hearted analyses don’t cut it. When former NSW Labor premier Bob Carr scolded members of the Left for intolerance in the free speech debate, he refused to acknowledge that section 18C cements intolerance in our polity. It’s like saying you support democratic nations but not the sole beacon of democracy in the Middle East, Israel. It makes no sense.

Equally absurd, the Greens can walk out on Pauline Hanson but to denounce a duly elected senator as having no place in a democracy is more offensive than anything Hanson says. It is the antithesis of democracy. We’ve tiptoed around calling out the neo-fascist mindset of many on the Left for too long. What is more deplorably neo-fascist: the clumsy words of the often ill-informed Hanson who believes in free speech or the slippery sorts on the illiberal Left who cannot stomach open debate?


Saudi Arabia condemned?

Saudi Arabia won't take ANY refugees, even though they could easily afford it, so I suppose U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (below) was condemning them.  If not, why not?  And if the Saudis won't take in their fellow religionists, why should anybody else?

The United Nations' human rights chief on Monday doubled down on his criticism of political leaders who are leery of admitting refugees due to security concerns, labeling them “racists and xenophobes” and saying they would face the judgment of humanity.

Addressing a U.N. summit on refugees and migrants in New York – one day before President Obama hosts another one – U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein took direct aim at what have become regular targets of his over recent months.

“The bigots and deceivers, in opposing greater responsibility-sharing [relating to admitting refugees from conflicts like the one in Syria], promote rupture,” Zeid said.

“Some of them may well be in this hall this morning. If you are here, we say to you: We will continue to name you publicly. You may soon walk away from this hall. But not from the broader judgement of ‘we the people’ – all the world's people. Not from us.”

Zeid did not name those he was referring to, but has done so in previous speeches. They include Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and a handful of right-wing European politicians – including some in power, such as the president of the Czech Republic and the prime ministers of Hungary and Slovakia.

Zeid said the U.N. member states present on Monday could change the suffering faced by refugees from conflicts, by promoting “respect, safety and dignity for all.”

“But not when the defenders of what is good and right are being outflanked in too many countries by race-baiting bigots, who seek to gain – or retain – power by wielding prejudice and deceit, at the expense of those most vulnerable,” he said.


Critics on Civil Rights Report: It's 'Dangerous' -- Important to ‘Push Back Against This Nonsense’

Faith leaders and religious liberty advocates are weighing in on the recently released U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report that concluded terms such as “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” were code words for discrimination and even “Christian supremacy.”

Their response is clear: The commission is out of step with the founding principles of the United States of America and its findings threaten the free practice of religion in this country.

“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance,” Martin Castro, chairman of the commission, said in a statement included in the 296-page report.

“The report was misleading in its account of the law, and dangerous in its recommendations,” Roger Severino, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told

“It is preposterous for the chair to say that laws that protect the right of Muslim prisoners to grow beards, Native Americans to use sacred eagle feathers, and Sikhs to wear turbans in government jobs, are somehow an insidious attempt to impose ‘Christian supremacy’ on the nation,” said Severino.

“Perhaps most troubling is the attempt to discredit sincere religious believers as being motivated by hate instead of faith and the implied recommendation that religious groups should change their beliefs on sexual morality to conform with liberal norms for the good of the country,” said Severino, who also worked with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

“I would expect to see such a slanted and anti-religious report come out of China or France perhaps, but am disappointed to see it come from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,” he said.

“The report of the Civil Rights Commission, alleging that First Amendment claims of religious liberty are a mere cloak for discrimination, is pure hate speech,” Bishop E. W. Jackson, founder and president of Staying True to America’s National Destiny, or STAND, told

“This Commission has become a tool of the totalitarian left to stigmatize faith in God and belief in the Bible and its moral principles,” said Jackson.

He continued, “This report turns the concept of civil rights into a tool of religious persecution. It should be denounced by the American people as a dangerous departure from the spirit, letter, and plain meaning of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Speaking to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on his Washington Watch radio show, Ken Blackwell, the senior fellow for Family Empowerment at the FRC, said it is important to “fight back” against the report and its findings.

“There is a fundamental struggle in this country between those who believe in individual liberty and those who believe in our ability to practice our faith in the public square, and those who would cleanse the public square of faith and God,” Blackwell said.

“Essentially, what these folks are trying to do is to change the meaning of our language; to change the meaning of the very foundation of words and concepts of our Constitution,” Blackwell said. “And so in the marketplace of ideas and our public dialogue, agencies and agents like this can cause confusion and lead us down a rabbit hole.”

“It very important that we push back against this nonsense,” Blackwell said.

Jesus’ Teachings

On Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCC) weighed in, refuting Castro’s claims and stating that people of faith care for those who are discriminated against.

“[Castro] makes the shocking suggestion that Catholic, evangelical, orthodox Jewish, Mormon, and Muslim communities are comparable to fringe segregationists from the civil rights era,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said in the statement.

“These statements painting those who support religious freedom with the broad brush of bigotry are reckless and reveal a profound disregard for the religious foundations of his own work,” said Lori.

“People of faith have often been the ones to carry the full promise of America to the most forgotten peripheries when other segments of society judged it too costly,” he said. “Men and women of faith were many in number during the most powerful marches of the civil rights era.”

“Can we imagine the civil rights movement without Rev. Martin Luther King, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel?” Lori said. “In places like St. Louis, Catholic schools were integrated seven years before the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.”

“Jesus taught us to serve and not to count the cost,” Lori said.

“We wish we were there in even greater numbers, but we are there to humbly offer the full promise of America to all,” said the bishop. “Rest assured, if people of faith continue to be marginalized, it is the poor and vulnerable, not the Chairman and his friends, who will suffer.”

Government Mandates

Even two members of the eight-member commission, which is chosen by the president and Congress, disagreed with the conclusion of the report, including Gail Heriot, professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

“Back when the federal government didn’t heavily subsidize both public and private higher education, when it didn’t heavily regulate employment relationships, when it didn’t have the leading role in financing and delivering healthcare, we didn’t need to worry nearly so much about the ways in which conflicts with religious conscience and the law arise,” Heriot said in her rebuttal in the report.

“Nobody thought about whether the Sisters of Charity should be given a religious exemption from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, because there was no Obamacare contraceptive mandate,” she said.

U.S. Catholic bishops at their annual meeting in Baltimroe, Md. 

“The Roman Catholic Church didn’t need the so-called Ministerial Exception to Title VII in order to limit ordinations to men (and to Roman Catholics), because there was no Title VII,” Heriot said.

“If there is any hypocrisy and intolerance, it is emanating from Mr. Castro who unfairly smears Christians, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are sincerely following their consciences out of love of God and neighbor, and who only want to be free to continue to serve the needy without government discrimination,” Severino said.

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty Institute, said he questioned Castro’s role as chairman of the commission.

"No one denigrating religious freedom should be serving on a civil rights commission, much less being its chairman,” Shackelford said. “Calling religious freedom and liberty ‘code words’ for racism, homophobia, and sexism is reprehensible. America was founded on religious freedom.”



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Born That Way? A False Hypothesis

Literature reviews are a common thing in the world of academic research. They often involve esoteric topics confined to a narrow universe of scholarly interest. Few literature reviews, however, have generated as much controversy as the recently published paper “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological and Social Sciences,” by Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh.

Among the issues attracting attention in the Mayer-McHugh paper is the claim that the causes of sexual orientation are poorly understood, but — most importantly — that genetics is not the sole determinant of sexual orientation. The hypothesis that those who have lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) orientations were born that way is found to be inconsistent with the data. Mayer and McHugh write:

There is virtually no evidence that anyone, gay or straight, is “born that way” if that means their sexual orientation was genetically determined. But there is some evidence from the twin studies that certain genetic profiles probably increase the likelihood the person later identifies as gay or engages in same-sex sexual behavior.
Mayer and McHugh reviewed research on potential environmental factors, such as abuse, but did not find the evidence convincing for any specific environmental factor. They suggest additional research on potential environmental influences.

A team led by J. Michael Bailey published a literature review on this topic at about the same time that Mayer and McHugh published theirs. At times making different inferences than Mayer and McHugh, particularly when the research evidence is ambiguous, Bailey et al. also conclude that genetics is not the most important causal factor for sexual orientation:

Based on the evidence from twin studies, we believe that we can already provide a qualified answer to the question “Is sexual orientation genetic?” That answer is: “Probably somewhat genetic, but not mostly so.”
Both of these research teams reached the same conclusion about the role of genetics in the development of sexual orientation by reviewing studies of twin siblings. With twin studies we want to know the concordance rate: If one member of a twin pair has a same-sex orientation, what is the probability that the other twin also has a same-sex orientation? Identical (monozygotic) twins share all of their genes in common. If sexual orientation is entirely due to genetics, or perhaps a combination of genetics and prenatal environment, then the concordance rate for identical twins would be one, or quite close to one. Fraternal (dizygotic) twins have the same number of genes in common as any two, non-identical siblings. If the concordance rate for identical twins is greater than that of fraternal twins, then clearly genetics plays a role. When considering studies that used the best sampling methods, Bailey and his colleagues found an average concordance rate for identical twins of .24 and .15 for fraternal twins. Yes, genetics plays a role in the development of sexual orientation, but the environment plays a larger role.

Those who desire a rigorous understanding of the science of sexual orientation should read both of the recent literature reviews. Unlike the data on the role of genetics, the data on environmental factors is often open to more than one interpretation, so considering multiple perspectives is helpful.

Epigenetics helps explain why the born-that-way hypothesis is false even though genes play a role. The epigenome affects the expression of genes. While our genome is relatively static, our epigenome is influenced by the environment. Thus some identical twins come to look different, behave differently, and have differing risk for psychological disorders. Each twin has different environmental experiences. The differing epigenomes result in different expressions of their common genes. Even if a “gay gene” exists, the born-that-way hypothesis would likely be false because interactions with the environment could affect the expression of the gay gene.

The born-that-way hypothesis is important to people on all sides. Members of the LGB community and their allies often believe that a stronger case can be made for societal embrace of the LGB lifestyle if sexual orientation is caused by genetics. Supporters of traditional morality may also feel more comfortable disapproving of behavior when they believe the behavior does not have a biological foundation.

All complex human behavior has a biological foundation. For example, sociobiology suggests that males are hard wired with a propensity to mate with many partners. Even if males are born this way and it is 100 percent due to biology, it does not follow that mating with many partners is moral. The degree to which any behavior is genetically based has no bearing on its morality, nor its benefit to society. We have considerable control over our biological predispositions; civilization would not be possible otherwise.

The nature vs. nurture question has been, in a sense, settled; the answer is (to some degree) a matter of both. Because the answer involves both, those who argue for the virtue, or lack thereof, of any behavior need to always consider legal, societal, or religious claims rather than strictly biological claims.


Karma is a wonderful thing

The monstrosity above turned a joke into an offence.  She would have been eased out long ago except for her abundant melanin

An academic who triggered a row over Sir Tim Hunt which led to Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Tim Hunt losing his job, has had her own hours cut back.

Sir Tim resigned from his honorary professorship at University College London last year after Connie St Louis’s report of his allegedly sexist remarks at a conference in South Korea.

Heatstreet reports Ms St Louis, a lecturer in science journalism at London’s City University, has had her postgraduate course downgraded, with her teaching hours severely cut.

While giving a toast at the conference in Korea, Dr Hunt joked: 'It's strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists.

'Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry. Perhaps we should make separate labs for boys and girls?'

Ms St Louis was criticised at the time for quoting Dr Hunt selectively, triggering a worldwide debate which ultimately cost him his job.

But her own cv was questioned in the wake of the debate, including claims she had written for national newspapers such as the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times and the Independent.

City University in London appears to have dropped her course, according to a timetable seen by Heat Street, and she has been given only one two hour-long class to teach every week for two months.


The wisdom of a Muslim intellectual

Media wonder boy Reza Aslan is behind the curve on this one: this particular talking point has already been debunked (not that he would care, or stop repeating it, if he knew). Back in June 2015, the New America Foundation published a study that garnered enthusiastic international publicity, as it purported to demonstrate that “right-wing extremists” and “white supremacists” were a larger threat to the U.S. than Islamic jihadis. The study was obviously skewed, as it was based on the number of those killed by jihadis and by right-wing extremists since September 12, 2001, leaving  out 9/11. The study also ignored the many, many foiled jihad plots, and the fact that jihadis are part of an international movement that has killed many thousands of people, while right-wingers and white supremacists are not. It stated that right-wing extremists had killed 48 people from September 12, 2001 to June 2015, while Islamic jihadists had killed only 26 people in the U.S. in that span. If 9/11 had been added, the tally would have been 3,032 killed by Islamic jihadists and 48 by purported right-wing extremists. And even by the New America Foundation’s rules, the Orlando jihad massacre makes the death toll stand at 76 killed by Islamic jihadis, and 48 by purported right-wing extremists (I repeat “purported” because to get to its count of 48, the NAF counted as “right-wing” attacks killings that were perpetrated by people who were obviously deranged psychopaths devoid of any ideology). Will Reza Aslan retract and apologize? What do you think?

The semi-literate and fact-free Aslan is the living embodiment of how repeating politically correct shibboleths can enable you to go far in this world. Aslan has made the ridiculous claim that the idea of resurrection “simply doesn’t exist in Judaism,” despite numerous passages to the contrary in the Hebrew Scriptures. He has also referred to “the reincarnation, which Christianity talks about” — although he later claimed that one was a “typo.” In yet another howler he later insisted was a “typo,” he claimed that the Biblical story of Noah was barely four verses long — which he then corrected to forty, but that was wrong again, as it is 89 verses long. Aslan claimed that the “founding philosophy of the Jesuits” was “the preferential option for the poor,” when in reality, that phrase wasn’t even coined until 1968. He called Turkey the second most populous Muslim country, when it is actually the eighth most populous Muslim country. He thinks Pope Pius XI, who issued the anti-fascist encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, was a fascist. He thinks Marx and Freud “gave birth to the Enlightenment,” when it ended in the late 18th century, before either of them were born. He claims that “the very first thing that Muhammad did was outlaw slavery,” when in fact Muhammad bought slaves, took female captives as sex slaves, and owned slaves until his death. He thinks Ethiopia and Eritrea are in Central Africa. A “renowned religious scholar” such as Reza Aslan should not make such elementary mistakes. But this is, of course, the man who writes “than” for “then”; apparently thinks the Latin word “et” is an abbreviation; and writes “clown’s” for “clowns.”

There is a sinister side to this sideshow: Aslan is a Board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC has been established in court as a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Said Michael Rubin: “Jamal Abdi, NIAC’s policy director, now appears to push aside any pretense that NIAC is something other than Iran’s lobby. Speaking at the forthcoming ‘Expose AIPAC’ conference, Abdi is featured on the ‘Training: Constituent Lobbying for Iran’ panel. Oops.” Iranian freedom activist Hassan Daioleslam “documented over a two-year period that NIAC is a front group lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.” NIAC had to pay him nearly $200,000 in legal fees after they sued him for defamation over his accusation that they were a front group for the mullahs, and lost. Yet Aslan remains on their Board.


Teenager, 19, accused of plotting nail bomb terror attacks at London landmarks appears before an Old Bailey judge

A teenager accused of planning nail bomb attacks on famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace appeared at the Old Bailey today.

Haroon Syed, 19, allegedly researched potential targets including the Queen's London residence and Oxford Street in London's West End. He is also looked up military bases between 12 April and 9 September this year, it is said.

Syed is accused of attempting to buy guns and bomb making material online with a view to carrying out an attack 

He was arrested on 9 September following an investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.

Syed appeared in court today via video link dressed in a grey prison tracksuit.

Listing his case for a three week trial beginning on 13 March, Mr Justice Saunders said: 'Mr Syed, I have done my utmost to make sure this comes to court at the earliest possible opportunity.

'In the meantime you are remanded in custody'.

Syed, of Hounslow, west London, is charged with the intention of committing acts of terrorism engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to that intention.

He is due back in court on 13 January for a pleas and case management hearing.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Somali Muslim attacker in Minnesota showed no emotion, says victim

THE Minnesota mall attacker showed no emotion and said nothing as he stabbed at Ryan Schliep’s scalp.

One of 10 people who suffered wounds that were not life-threatening before the attacker was fatally shot, Schliep told WCCO-TV that the man “just walked right at me” before striking quickly and penetrating the skin.

“He looked just blank in the eyes like he wasn’t even there,” Schliep said on Monday shortly before being released from a St. Cloud hospital.

Authorities are treating Saturday’s stabbings at Crossroads Center Mall, as a possible act of terrorism, in part because an Islamic State-run news agency claimed that the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State” who had heeded the group’s calls for attacks in countries that are part of a US-led anti-IS coalition.

But it wasn’t immediately known whether the extremist group had planned the attack or knew about it beforehand.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said the attack appeared to be the work of a single individual and there was no sign that the attacker, identified by his father as 20-year-old Dahir Adan, was radicalised or communicated with any terrorist group.

President Barack Obama said the stabbings had no apparent connection to weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey.

Attacker had gone to get iPhone. A community activist says Adan had gone to the mall to pick up a pre-ordered iPhone.

Haji Yusuf, community director for the social tolerance group UniteCloud, has been working with the attacker’s family.

He told WCCO-TV that Adan had gone to Crossroads Center to get a new phone and “was very happy” upon leaving home. He says Adan’s family doesn’t know what happened.

A person who answered the phone at the T-Mobile store where Yusuf said Adan had ordered the phone declined to comment or take a message for his supervisor.

Because Adan was Somali, leaders of the state’s large Somali community acknowledged the prospect of a “long winter” for their people after the stabbings, but warned not to quickly accept the terrorism connection.

“We cannot give ISIS and other terrorist organisations more airtime and propaganda without real facts,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Minnesota chapter.

Little is known about Adan, who was identified Sunday by his father, Ahmed Adan.

He had only a traffic ticket on his record, was apparently out of work after his job as a part-time security guard ended and hadn’t enrolled in college since the spring semester.

Adan was wearing a security guard’s uniform during the attack.

Federal officials released no new information on the investigation into the stabbing, which was stopped by an off-duty police officer just minutes into it.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton has said authorities were digging into Adan’s background and possible motives, looking at social media accounts and electronic devices and talking to people he knew.

Somali community braces for backlash

Minnesota has the nation’s largest Somali population, an estimated 57,000 people.

Both Anderson and Gov. Mark Dayton warned against a possible backlash due to the stabbings, especially in St. Cloud, where Somalis in the 65,000-resident city about 104km northwest of Minneapolis have spoken about mistreatment in the past.


Tony Abbott says Europe is facing 'peaceful invasion' of asylum seekers

The former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has urged Europe to adopt harsh Australian-style border protection policies to avoid “losing control” in the face of record numbers of people seeking asylum.

Abbott said the large numbers of people entering Europe “looks like a peaceful invasion” and said European countries risked losing their character if they allowed people he labeled “would-be economic migrants” to settle there.

The comments to a gathering of centre-right members of the ­European parliament in Prague on Saturday came as Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, prepared to tell the United Nations in New York that Australia has the best border policies in the world.

Both argue that tighter border protection helped convince the Australian public to accept a higher refugee intake, justifying a harsh set of policies that has left more than 1,000 people in indefinite offshore detention to deter others attempting to reach Australia by boat.

The United Nations has said that both Australia’s system of indefinite offshore detention and the process of returning asylum seekers after a summary assessment are illegal under international law.

Abbott said “the prospect of millions of new Europeans from the Middle East and Africa streaming into Britain” had pushed Britons to “vote against losing control”.

“Uncontrolled immigration didn’t cause Brexit but it did prompt Britons to take back their sovereignty.”

He said that after Brexit, Britain would need a new visa system that would “end uncontrolled movement”.

Abbott lauded the former Australian prime minister John Howard, who famously said “we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.

“Why shouldn’t each country keep the final say over who can enter?” Abbott asked.

“After all, a country or a continent that can’t control who enters its territory will eventually lose control of its future”.

Abbott said it was a “decent and a humane impulse to give a better life to people from wretched places”.

“But a million people coming by boat and almost a million people coming by land last year has the look of a peaceful invasion.”

Abbott argued that people who have gone beyond their first place of safety “[are not] asylum seekers but would-be economic migrants”. He did not address what those who were not allowed to remain permanently in transit countries should do.

Tony Abbott: Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has told European parliament MPs that their countries are facing a ‘peaceful invasion’ of asylum seekers. © Getty Images Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has told European parliament MPs that their countries are facing a ‘peaceful invasion’ of asylum seekers. Abbott said among the “would-be migrants” are “are soldiers of the caliphate bent on mayhem”, that many would “join an angry underclass” and many “are coming, not with gratitude but with grievance, and with the insistence that Europe should make way for them”.

“People in no immediate danger have to be turned back at Europe’s borders,” he said, including by intercepting people in the Mediterranean and returning them to their “starting point”.

“This crisis can’t be managed; it has to be resolved.”

Abbott lauded Australia’s border policies, which include turning boats back at sea, and intercepting boats and returning people to the countries they are fleeing, such as Sri Lanka, after only a summary assessment of their refugee claims.

“And having stopped the boats, we’ve been able to increase our genuine refugee intake because the Australian government has been in charge, not the people smugglers,” he said.

The flows of people into Europe have been hundreds of times greater than those seeking to come to Australia, including many coming by foot.

“Effective border protection is not for the squeamish, but it is absolutely necessary to save lives and to preserve nations,” Abbott said.

Abbott called for “an end to self-doubt about the entitlement of European nations, individually and collectively, to keep their character”.

He warned that if the “sensible centre scoffs at people’s real concerns” that “populism will increase”.

“Stand guard on your borders and you ease so much of the anxiety that now grips this great continent.”

In a cursory mention to another global crisis, Abbott said “we can’t do much to change climate”.

“But what’s the point of government if we can’t secure borders and control immigration?

“This is one lesson that my part of the new world might usefully offer to your part of the old one.”

Australia’s detention facilities have drawn heavy domestic and international criticism following the Guardian’s publication of the Nauru files, more than 2,000 leaked incident reports that laid bare the devastating abuse and trauma inflicted on children held there.

On Sunday immigration minister, Peter Dutton, defended conditions in offshore detention by comparing detention centres favourably to makeshift refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, areas just outside the war zone in Syria.


Australia: Poofter leadership offer their version of civil debate

"Poofter" is a contemptuous Australian word for a male homosexual.  I use it here advisedly.  I don't have the slightest interest in where homosexuals stick their dicks.  I would rather not know, in fact.  But I do object to coercion and threats of violence coming from them.  That draws my contempt. Their contempt for free speech and democracy makes them different from Hitler and Stalin only in detail. 

Not all homosexuals are thugs.  I know some decent ones.  But the decent ones should be vigorously dissociating themselves from the slime described below and demanding police prosecution of them.   And where are Tricky Gillian's 18c speech police?  If ever there was a breach of hate speech laws the one below is certainly it

The Accor Hotels group confirmed late yesterday that a function had been abandoned after a social media storm triggered phone calls that “rattled” employees and left the company concerned about the safety of staff and guests.

A ferocious campaign against Christian groups planning to meet on same-sex marriage has forced them to cancel the event at a major hotel next week, amid claims of physical threats from marriage-equality advocates.

The Accor Hotels group confirmed late yesterday that the function had been abandoned after a social media storm triggered phone calls that “rattled” employees and left the company concerned about the safety of staff and guests.

In the first test of the “civil” debate promised for a plebiscite on gay marriage, advocates for the “yes” case were being blamed last night for the kind of “hate speech” that Bill Shorten and others have claimed would come from the “no” case.

A spokeswoman for the Mercure Sydney Airport Hotel said the campaign by marriage-equality advocates had forced the company to close the hotel’s Facebook page, sparked phone calls that disturbed hotel staff and escalated the problem to the company’s headquarters. “We’ve conducted an objective review regarding the safety and security of our hotel guests and staff,” she said. “Following this review the event will no longer take place next week.”

The four Christian groups booked the hotel conference room for Tuesday to prepare for a “no” campaign in the potential plebiscite, even though Labor and the Greens appear certain to block the “people’s vote” legislation in the Senate. About 100 people were expected to attend from the Sydney Anglicans, Sydney Catholics, the Marriage ­Alliance and the Australian Christian Lobby.

Gay news website Same­ alerted readers to the event. Activist ­Pauline Pantsdown urged followers to stop the “dangerous, predatory” ACL. “Are children safe at Mercure and Accor hotels?” one post said. One follower declared it ­“utterly horrifying” that Accor would host the Christian groups while another accused the hotel of supporting the “hateful, ­deceitful and extreme” ACL.

The campaign dismayed some marriage-equality supporters. “I’m becoming a little uneasy about this kind of thing,” said one. “Will fundamentalist Christians and others start ­pressuring venues hosting ­marriage-equality functions to cancel them?”

Accor confirmed the campaign led to a number of “negative” calls to the hotel but would not confirm claims these calls included death threats. The spokeswoman would not say whether the police had been notified.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, warned that it was beneath Australians to treat supporters of traditional marriage as proponents of ­bigotry. The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, warned of the danger to free speech from the threats that shut down the meeting.

A joint statement from the conveners said the hotel staff ­received “threats of violence” after the details of the private event were published on the ­internet. “We have chosen to reconsider our arrangements for the event next week due to our concern for the safety of the hotel staff, and our commitment to a reasonable and respectful debate,” ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said.

The Weekend Australian sought comment from Australian Marriage Equality yesterday but the group was not aware of the storm over the event.

Marriage-equality advocates hailed the cancellation of the meeting late yesterday. Pantsdown accused ACL of “playing victim” and justified the campaign against the Christian groups “due to danger they pose” to LGBTI children and families.

The bill to hold the February 11 plebiscite was introduced into parliament this week but appears headed for defeat in the Senate, with the Coalition insisting on a “people’s vote” and Bill Shorten wanting Labor to vote against it.


'We won't take migrants posing as refugees': Theresa May tells the UN Britain has a right to control border

Britain has the right to control its borders and turn away the tens of thousands of economic migrants posing as refugees, Theresa May told world leaders today.

At her first United Nations summit, the Prime Minister declared that the 'unprecedented' and 'uncontrolled' wave of immigration into Europe is not in the interests of the UK, the migrants themselves or the countries they leave behind.

Mrs May rejected demands from some UN members and charities for Britain to throw open its borders.

And she criticised the inaction of global leaders that has let the crisis spiral out of control. Government sources said she would stress that – if public support for genuine refugees is to be maintained – the system must be robust in rooting out abuse by economic migrants.

The UN General Assembly, starting in New York today, will kick off two years of negotiations on a new global policy for migration and refugees. The UN is pressing for wealthy nations such as Britain to create more routes for economic migrants from poorer countries.

But Mrs May stressed that the emphasis must be on the 'right of all countries to control their borders' – not the rights of economic migrants to enter the UK seeking work. Government officials said she wanted the UN to accept this must be one of three key principles on immigration policy.

Crucially, she also demanded a distinction is drawn between genuine refugees and economic migrants. The influx into Europe has been dubbed a 'refugee crisis', but Mrs May stressed many of them are in fact seeking work and should be treated as such – with no automatic right to resettlement.

The third rule she sought at meetings with US President Barack Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and others is a declaration that refugees should remain in the first safe country they reach. In the case of Syria, Mrs May said this should be Lebanon or Jordan.

The PM also pledged tens of millions of pounds more from the foreign aid budget to support education and other projects in countries close to migrant hotspots.

The aim is to drastically reduce the numbers trying to head to the UK by illegal routes.

A restatement of the so-called 'first country rule' will also help Britain after Brexit. Brussels rules say a person must claim asylum in the first safe country they reach inside the EU, and can be sent back there if they travel onwards.

Tory Eurosceptics are lining up to join a new 'hard Brexit' group that will campaign to ensure the Prime Minister does not compromise with the EU.

Senior MPs, including former ministers Owen Paterson, Dominic Raab and Sir Gerald Howarth, have signed up to the 'Leave Means Leave' group.

They will use their position on the backbenches to put pressure Theresa May to leave the single market completely, retaining full control of Britain's borders and ending the influence of Brussels on legislation.

A report by the Overseas Development Institute has predicted the UK faces 43,000 asylum applications this year – costing the public purse £620million. There were about 39,000 asylum claims last year.

Mrs May also called for a tightening of aviation security worldwide in the wake of terrorist atrocities such as the downing of a Russian Metrojet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh last October and the attacks at airports in Brussels and Istanbul this year. The PM will also use her trip to meet US businessmen in a bid to persuade them to invest in post-Brexit Britain.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The perils of a multicultural boyfriend

A teenager who was brutally knifed by her boyfriend more than 100 times - in front of her two-year-old son - only survived by playing dead.

Lewes Crown Court heard Jamiv Usman launched the terrifying attack because the 19-year-old woman refused to get him a glass of water. At one point he stabbed her in the neck with such force the tip of the knife snapped off.

But despite being repeatedly slashed with the eight-inch blade in the neck and chest, she managed to survive by pretending to be dead and crawling into an empty bus.

The woman, now 21, suffered two punctured lungs and had 500 stitches to treat her wounds.

Unemployed Usman, of Brighton, denied attempted murder but was found guilty following a trial at Lewes Crown Court on July 20 and jailed for 20 years on Friday.

After the attack in March last year she staggered onto a nearby empty bus near her home in Brighton, East Sussex, just after midnight, where the driver alerted police and drove her to the bus depot.

Police officers boarded the bus and helped treat a life threatening wound to her neck while they waited for paramedics who took her to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.

The victim's son was found in a distressed state by a neighbour following the attack.

The knife used in the assault was found dumped in a hedge close to the victim's home.

Usman was still at large until he was spotted in a nearby street later that day and arrested for attempted murder and later charged.

Detective Inspector Andy Wolstenholme of Sussex Police said: 'This was an horrific unprovoked attack on the victim who had to fight for her life in front of her child who was just two. 'It is a miracle she survived.

'I also want to praise the bus driver for having the presence of the mind to drive the victim away from the scene and to get her help.

'The sentence means Usman will be in prison for many years, preventing other victims suffering this level of violence at his hands.'


UK Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom plans a free vote to ditch the ban on fox hunting before the next election

A new push to repeal the ban on fox hunting is set to be announced by the Environment Secretary.

Former Tory leadersh ip contender Andrea Leadsom said she wants to hold a free vote on the issue before the next election.

Mrs Leadsom had made the pledge of a Commons vote on fox hunting a key plank of her election campaign in the summer.

Aides say that even though she lost to Theresa May, she is still in a position to fulfil her pledge as she now heads up the department in charge of the issue.

However, campaigners say it is unlikely that a free vote will be won, saying the current odds are about 100 to 1.

The ban on hunting foxes and other wild mammals with dogs was implemented in the Hunting Act 2004.

The Tory election manifesto last year pledged to offer a free vote on repealing the law, meaning MPs would not be whipped on party lines, in a promise to ‘support countryside pursuits’.

There had been concerns however that the new administration would ditch the vow.

But a source at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: ‘We stand by our manifesto commitment to give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.’

Mr Cameron’s attempts to secure the change were thwarted after winning a slim Tory majority last year.

With Labour and Liberal Democrats against the move and a handful of Tory rebels, Mr Cameron argued the SNP should not vote as the change would only impact England and Wales.

But the SNP vowed to block the move – forcing him to pull the vote. Campaigners hope Theresa May will strengthen the Government’s English votes for English laws changes to bar Scottish MPs from voting.

Their second hope is an SNP change of heart. It vowed to review the law in Scotland last summer and a backroom deal remains possible.

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: ‘There is an ingrained political prejudice which means that resolving this issue will remain difficult. We will, however, work with the Government to achieve just that.’


Sir Cliff set to lobby the Lords in a bid to ban sex abuse suspects being 'named and shamed' before charge

Sir Cliff Richard is to lobby senior politicians in Parliament in an attempt to stop people accused of sex abuse being ‘named and shamed’ before they are charged.

The veteran pop star is demanding a change in the law that would give anonymity to anyone suspected of rape or sexual assault unless they were facing trial.

He hopes it will end the ‘witch hunts’ against high-profile figures who have had their reputations tarnished by unfounded accusations without ever being charged with any offence.

Sir Cliff, 75, will tell MPs and peers of his own ordeal when the BBC broadcast aerial footage of his penthouse in Berkshire being raided by officers from South Yorkshire Police, following claims he had abused a boy some 30 years earlier.

Although Sir Cliff was questioned by detectives, he was never arrested or charged, yet had to endure an investigation lasting almost two years until police finally admitted there was not enough evidence to prosecute him over abuse claims made by four men. Now the Crown Prosecution Service has been asked to look again at the cases.

The singer, who is planning to sue the BBC and police for allowing the search of his home to be broadcast, has told how he was treated like ‘live bait’ and said in July: ‘Having suffered the experience that I have, I firmly believe that privacy should be respected and that police guidelines are there to be followed.

‘That means that, save in exceptional circumstances, people should never be named unless and until they are charged.’

He has said that the law change would ‘make all that I’ve been through almost worthwhile’, if it ‘saves someone else going through the same thing’.

At a meeting in a House of Lords committee room on October 17, Sir Cliff will be joined by DJ Paul Gambaccini, who endured ‘12 months of hell’ on bail for sex abuse allegations for which he was never charged.

Also present will be the widow of Leon Brittan, the former Home Secretary who died before being told police had dismissed historical abuse allegations against him.

They will urge politicians to back changes being proposed by Lord Paddick, a former Scotland Yard chief who is now a Lib Dem peer.

His reform would mean nothing could be published or broadcast in England and Wales to identify anyone accused of a sexual offence ‘up until that person is charged with the offence, except where a judge is satisfied it is in the public interest’.

Some say the move could hamper police investigations because further victims sometimes come forward when arrests are publicised, as happened in the cases of Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall.

In July Sir Cliff and Mr Gambaccini met Tory MP Nigel Evans, who was cleared of sex abuse in court.

The former Deputy Speaker said: ‘We are all scarred by the experiences we have been through and we all came through it.

'We are talking to other people who have been through similar trauma to try to put pressure on the Government.’

The amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill will be debated by peers just weeks after Sir Cliff’s appearance in Parliament, and if voted through it could become law.

Lord Paddick said last night: ‘It’s important to hear from those who have been affected so that Parliament can have an informed debate.

‘The recent developments where we’ve had high-profile individuals, both living and dead, who have had allegations made against them have prompted at least for there to be a debate to be had.’


Corporate Social Responsibility skin-deep?

Comment from Australia

'Corporate Social Responsibility' (CSR) is becoming a prominent part of the business of business.

CSR refers to how leading companies seek to burnish their corporate reputations by endorsing social and political issues including gender equality, gay marriage, and ethnic diversity.

Indigenous affairs makes an interesting case study of how deep the commitment to genuine social responsibility actually is -- does CSR often amount to backing invariably fashionable causes while ducking the really hard issues?

Many major companies have implemented affirmative action policies to boost the number of Indigenous employees on staff.

Hiring a 'diverse' workforce will be of some benefit to the burgeoning Indigenous middle class -- who the statistics nevertheless show are generally doing as well in health, housing, employment, education, and other social outcomes as non-Indigenous peers -- including the increasing numbers of people who have only recently discovered their ancestry and identified as Indigenous.

But how much Indigenous disadvantage will these well-intentioned staffing practices really overcome?

Consider the fact that 6% of Indigenous children (approximately 15,000 children) have had to be removed from their families due to abuse and neglect, and currently live in state care. This figure is even more shocking given that only 100,000 or so of the 670,000 Indigenous Australians live in the rural and remote communities with the worst social problems.

I believe, based on the findings of my research, that we will never 'close the gap' unless more Indigenous children are rescued from squalor and are adopted (on a non-discriminatory basis) by either an Indigenous or non-Indigenous family.

Indigenous adoption is, of course, a taboo subject in the wake of the apology for the Stolen Generations. Therefore, speaking out on the subject of Indigenous child welfare entails not only advocating for otherwise advocate-less children, but also involves copping flak for supporting ill-deservedly unpopular issues and causes. In my opinion, this kind of unfashionable advocacy is thus an act of profound social responsibility.

But I wonder if corporate Australia would agree, and would wish to run the reputational risk of associating their brands with as important but contentious an issue as Indigenous adoption?

If these doubts are fair, then a fair judge might conclude that the corporate commitment to social responsibility is somewhat skin-deep.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Monday, September 19, 2016

Geheimestaatspolizei wanted in Britain

Geheimestaatspolizei translates as "secret state police" -- usually abbreviated as "Gestapo"

Britain's most senior police officers are demanding that official complaints about their conduct and behaviour be kept secret.

The Chief Constables’ Council recently discussed moves that could be made to stop the public finding out about investigations into alleged corruption and misconduct.

Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal that at a top-level meeting with the chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Dame Anne Owers, force leaders said it was ‘damaging’ for such accusations to be made public.

At the moment, when investigations into the highest-ranking officers are launched by police forces or the IPCC, the identities of those facing disciplinary action can be revealed.

But chiefs want their names to be kept out of the public domain unless they are found guilty. It could mean details of the claims against them remain secret for several years – or even concealed for ever if the charges are not proven.

Last night critics said it was a worrying development that would risk confidence in the police.

David Burrowes, a lawyer and MP on the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘There are many people like doctors and politicians who are named when allegations are made against them, so I don’t think police officers should have a special rule. It’s very important that law enforcers aren’t treated differently.’

The IPCC says it is currently investigating eight top-ranking officers, from six forces across England and Wales.

At least six more chief constables, assistant chief constables or deputy chief constables are having their conduct scrutinised by external police forces.

A record of the July meeting of the high-level Chief Constables’ Council reveals their concerns, stating: ‘Press releases can be damaging… as the media will run with big stories. It may then transpire that there is no case to answer.

'This is in contradiction to how the system protects the names of proposed criminals and the IPCC process seems out of kilter.’

Dame Anne told the chiefs’ meeting that ‘further consideration is currently being given to the issue of naming in media releases’.

But sources say that the watchdog is unlikely to place a blanket ban on their identities being revealed.


HUD Decrees That Limited-English-Speakers Are Protected Under Fair Housing Act

"People with limited English proficiency are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act," said the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday.

But they are now, by decree.  Under the heading of "national origin," HUD is making non-English-speakers a protected class.

In its announcement, HUD noted that the Fair Housing Act "prohibits discrimination on seven protected bases, including national origin, which is closely linked to the ability to communicate proficiently in English. Housing providers are therefore prohibited from using limited English proficiency selectively or as an excuse for intentional housing discrimination," HUD said.

“Having a limited ability to speak English should never be a reason to be denied a home,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Every family that calls this nation home has the same rights when it comes to renting or buying a home, regardless of where they come from or language they speak.”

The new guidance from HUD warns against discriminatory practices, such as applying a language-related requirement to people of certain races or nationalities; posting advertisements that contain blanket statements, such as 'all tenants must speak English;' or immediately turning away applicants who are not fluent in English. 

"Targeting racial or national origin groups for scams related to housing also constitutes intentional discrimination."

HUD noted that more than 25 million people in the United States -- nearly 9 percent of the population -- do not communicate proficiently in English.

Approximately 16,350,000 (65 percent) of these individuals speak Spanish; 1,660,000 (7 percent) speak Chinese; 850,000 (3 percent) speak Vietnamese, 620,000 (2 percent) speak Korean and 530,000 (2 percent) speak Tagalog.


U.N. Chief Also Slams Netanyahu’s ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Comment, While Failing to Address the Substance

Must not say bad things about Palestinians, even if it is true

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday joined a chorus of criticism directed at Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s provocative assertion that the Palestinian Authority insistence that no Jews be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state is tantamount to “ethnic cleansing.”

“I am disturbed by a recent statement by Israel’s prime minister portraying those who oppose settlement expansion as supporters of ethnic cleansing,” Ban told the U.N. Security Council. “This is unacceptable and outrageous.”

“Let me be absolutely clear,” he continued. “Settlements are illegal under international law.  The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end.”

Netanyahu’s comments, in an online video message posted last week, earlier drew an earlier State Department reprimand and widespread ridicule from his critics.

But undisputed is the fact that if P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas had his way, half a million Israeli Jews living in areas he wants for an independent state – the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem – would have to leave.

At the same time, 1.77 million Palestinian Arab citizens make up 20.8 percent of the Israeli population, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures released last May. That marked an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent for Israeli Arabs, compared to 1.7 percent for Israeli Jews.

No mainstream Israeli politician has ever suggested that those Arabs move to an envisaged Palestinian state under the “two-state” solution promoted by the U.S., European Union and broader international community.

Yet Abbas has declared unambiguously that no Jews will be allowed to live in a Palestinian state

“In a final resolution [of the conflict], we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands,” Abbas said during a visit to Egypt in 2013.

The following year, Abbas’ top negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterated that stance.

“No settler will be permitted to stay in a Palestinian state, not one, because the settlements are illegal and the presence of settlers on occupied lands is illegal,” he was quoted as saying.

When Israel withdrew unilaterally from the Gaza Strip in 2005 as part of its undertakings under the Oslo peace accords, its government uprooted all 9,000 Israelis living there in the process.

Those accords signed in 1993 left the question of Israeli communities in the West Bank unresolved – a matter for later “final status” negotiations.

Every Israeli government since, on the right and left, has indicated that it expects a negotiated final agreement will leave at least major blocs of Israeli settlements intact in the area known by Israelis as Judea and Samaria, the country’s biblical “heartland.”

Netanyahu’s video message tackled the issue in his trademark direct manner, challenging not just Abbas but unnamed foreign governments as well.

“I'm sure many of you have heard the claim that Jewish communities in Judea Samaria – the West Bank – are an obstacle to peace. I’ve always been perplexed by this notion,” he said.

“Because no one would seriously claim that the nearly two million Arabs living inside Israel – that they’re an obstacle to peace. That's because they aren’t – on the contrary.

“Israel’s diversity shows its openness and readiness for peace,” Netanyahu continued. “Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews.”

“There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing. And this demand is outrageous.

“It’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find this outrageous,” he said. “Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.”

‘Inconvenient truth’

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau slammed Netanyahu’s comments, calling them “inappropriate and unhelpful.”

“We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank,” she said.

Trudeau repeated U.S. government policy that ongoing Israeli settlement activity is “an obstacle to peace.”

While she called Netanyahu’s terminology “inappropriate and unhelpful” Trudeau – like Ban Ki-moon on Thursday – did not address the P.A. demands that no Jews be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state. She merely repeated the position that “settlements are a final status issue that must be resolved in negotiations between the parties.”

Trudeau also said the administration was “engaging in direct conversations with the Israeli government” about the comments.

Anne Bayefsky president of Human Rights Voices and director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, called Netanyahu’s ethnic cleansing charge “the quintessential inconvenient truth.”

The State Department went on offense because they have no defense,” she wrote in an op-ed. “Playing the settlements card and advocating for a Jew-free Palestine is not a move to promote peaceful co-existence. It’s an intrinsic part of a 67-year old xenophobic attempt to wipe the only Jewish state off the map.”

-- In a letter to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in April 2004, President George W. Bush recognized that any final peace agreement with the Palestinians would likely take into account the reality of at least some Jewish communities remaining in place in the West Bank.

“In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” Bush wrote.

He added, notably, that “all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”

“It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities,” said Bush.

The president read out key excerpts of that letter during a joint appearance with Sharon at the White House. The substance of the letter was subsequently endorsed in resolutions by both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.


Libs Gone Insane: Cultural Appropriation, the Ultimate Sin

Liberals don’t believe in the double standard. They believe in one standard. Anything that the left does is great. Anything conservatives, Christians or even chefs, yes chefs, do is wrong.

It’s really simple. If you’re actress Emma Stone, liberals will freak out when you play a Hawaiian/Asian, but mostly Swedish character in the forgettable Aloha. Slate called the title “cultural appropriation” and using Stone “a preposterous casting choice” even though both the actress and character were mostly white. Stone even had to apologize for “whitewashing.” Horrors.

Amazing actress Zoe Saldana, a person of color herself, was criticized for playing the role of Nina Simone because Zoe isn’t black enough. Even faux dreadlocks are controversial.

Then there’s the popular Broadway hit Hamilton. In it, people of color play the Founding Fathers -- to make them appear cool. Founding the United States wasn’t cool enough for liberals and the media. I’ll let The New York Times tell you about that:

“‘Hamilton,’ the mega-buzzy bio-musical about Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers, opened to glowing accolades unlike any in memory. It received 11 Tony Awards, including best musical, and 16 Tony nominations, the most nominations in Broadway history. It won the Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award. In his review, Ben Brantley writes: ‘Yes, it really is that good.’”

Hamilton had such an impact it’s one of the reasons why we are keeping Alexander Hamilton on the $10. While I’m fine with that, it’s is a ridiculous way to make policy.

When Hamilton was criticized for an openly racist casting call, the entirety of the left rose to its defense. Here’s The Atlantic, ever clueless.

“In an era when the lead Republican candidate is frequently understood to voice the resentment of whites who see their longstanding supremacy in American society threatened—an era where comments sections roil with apocalyptic mentions of ‘reverse racism’ and ‘black privilege’ — the notion of America’s founders de-whitened for a blockbuster Broadway show would seem like inevitable cause for a round of cultural warfare.”

Never fear, it’s OK to cast white people as People of Color, but anything white people use or do that they didn’t invent is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.

Which takes us to our latest outrages:

The Foes Of Faux Pho: Bon Appétit’s readers might have noticed a recent piece that was originally called: “PSA: This Is How You Should Be Eating Pho.” The story included a video of Philadelphia’s Stock chef Tyler Akin. Stock serves Southeast Asian food and Tyler has a problem, he’s white. The video showed how he eats Pho. And that’s a no-no. The HuffPo thought police responded with, “Why The Outrage Over Bon Appétit’s Pho Article Is Completely Justified.” Not just “justified,” but “completely justified.” They proceeded to quote every idiot they could find who was angry that a white guy might be an expert in something that white people didn’t invent. One site even called it “whitesplaining.”

Bon Appétit went grovelling and responded “how we screwed up and what we can do about it.” Actual quote: “While Akin mentions in the video that he’s demonstrated his personal, preferred way of consuming pho, the outlet’s packaging still positioned him as an authority.” This is America 2016. It’s controversial to have a white chef make ethnic food. But no one on the left refuses to use electricity or the telephone because scary old white men were involved in their invention.

“The Case Against Pets”: The left is why we can’t have nice things: ethnic food, decent movies (OK, I didn’t mean Aloha.), football or a national anthem. Now it’s pets. This might be the most ridiculous piece I have read in a while. This is Fusion-level insane. The authors are naturally professors at Rutgers. They also wrote the page-turner: Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach. They have six dogs, but they don’t call them dogs exactly. “These dogs are non-human refugees with whom we share our home. Although we love them very much, we strongly believe that they should not have existed in the first place.”

Here’s another actual quote: “A morally just world would have no pets, no aquaria, no zoos. No fields of sheep, no barns of cows. That’s true animal rights.” This is like the Peta version of John Lennon’s Imagine. I can imagine this future, too. Imagine no cute puppy videos. Imagine lefties showing up at your door seizing your pets and setting them free like they do at research facilities or mink farms. Rutgers has clearly outlived its usefulness. h/t Matt Philbin.

Dying To Get Your Death Suit: Forget the coffin. Skip that pair of pennies on your eyes, those aren’t recyclable. No, you need an environmentally friendly death suit. It’s only $999. You only wish I was kidding. The whackjobs who brought you Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth produce all sorts of lefty propaganda. Their site Take Part wants your whole life -- even your death -- sustainable. I’ll let the author’s actual quote help me out. “With the rise of electric cars, sustainable architecture, eco-friendly diets, composting, and countless other options, forging a sustainable life is often as easy as it is trendy. Now it’s even easy after death thanks to a bodysuit made from a decidedly old-school material: mushrooms.”

But wait, there’s more! Your death suit isn’t just a way to turn your carcass into a mushroom farm, it’s fashionable, too! Actual quote: “Although the mushroom suit provides a cost-effective alternative, the goal is to do so without losing the beauty of the process. The suit itself is a work of art thanks to designers such as Daniel Silverstein, who has designed clothing for Jennifer Hudson and Kristen Bell.” And you thought you were only kidding when you said you were dying to wear clothes just like the stars.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here