Thursday, February 23, 2017



A Militant Secular Agenda Is Being Imposed on Americans

President Trump is considering an executive order on religious liberty, the draft of which holds much promise. But legislation is also needed: religious liberty is currently imperiled on several fronts.

The war on religion—and that is exactly what it is—is being led by agents of government and activist groups seeking to impose a militant secular agenda on Americans. What drives them more than any other issue is an irresponsible interpretation of sexual freedom.

The activists and lawmakers pushing this cause accuse many religious institutions of resisting their agenda. They are correct. Traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, and Muslims, reject abortion and homosexuality, and they find attempts by the government to encroach on their beliefs and practices objectionable. There is much to object to, especially at the state level.

Many states are considering pro-abortion legislation. In Connecticut, they are weighing a bill that takes aim at a familiar target: crisis pregnancy centers. These centers are the epitome of choice—they give young pregnant girls the choice of giving their baby up for adoption—yet the pro-choice lobby works to deny them this choice.

In Illinois and Maryland lawmakers are considering bills that would allow Medicaid and state employee health insurance to cover abortions.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing the legislature to consider a bill that makes abortion legal for any reason, and at any time during pregnancy, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned; he wants Roe codified in the New York State Constitution. Rhode Island lawmakers are studying similar legislation.

New Mexico is considering a bill that would force Catholic hospitals to pay for and perform abortions. The ACLU and other anti-Catholic organizations are lobbying for it.

Most outrageous, there is a coordinated effort going on in 18 states to expand abortion rights. They want abortion to be covered in both public and private insurance plans, including Catholic ones.

This fight is being led by pro-abortion lawmakers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In St. Louis, city lawmakers passed a bill last week that threatens to do the same.

On the LGBT front, the following states are weighing measures that would treat LGBT rights as analogous to race and religion in the workplace: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Texas. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe recently signed an executive order that protects LGBT rights among state employees, contractors, and subcontractors.

New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who chairs the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, recently sent a letter to President Trump calling on him and his administration to make religious liberty protections a priority. They also called on the Congress to do the same.

Lori specifically cited the Health and Human Services mandate issued by the Obama administration as a grave threat to religious liberty; it would make religious institutions such as the Little Sisters of the Poor pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare provisions.

The most immediate relief needed is to secure the kinds of religious exemptions in law that have been traditionally afforded. Not to do so is to allow the government to police Catholic non-profits and other religious entities.

President Trump needs to issue a strongly worded executive order on religious liberty, one that is as wide in scope as the law allows. Similarly, lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels need to pass bills that safeguard religious liberty from the heavy hand of government. At stake is the First Amendment and the beliefs and practices of millions of Americans.

SOURCE






Pawns of Liberals

Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority. That agenda makes for more black crime victims. Let’s look at what works and what doesn’t work.

In 1990, New York City adopted the practice in which its police officers might stop and question a pedestrian. If there was suspicion, they would frisk the person for weapons and other contraband. This practice, well within the law, is known as a Terry stop. After two decades of this proactive police program, New York City’s homicides fell from over 2,200 per year to about 300. Blacks were the major beneficiaries of proactive policing. According to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald — author of “The War on Cops” — seeing as black males are the majority of New York City’s homicide victims, more than 10,000 blacks are alive today who would not be had it not been for proactive policing.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other leftist groups brought suit against proactive policing. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy violated the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection because black and Hispanic people were subject to stops and searches at a higher rate than whites. But the higher rate was justified. Mac Donald points out that while blacks are 23 percent of New York City’s population, they are responsible for 75 percent of shootings and 70 percent of robberies. Whites are 34 percent of the population of New York City. They are responsible for less than 2 percent of shootings and 4 percent of robberies. If you’re trying to prevent shootings and robberies, whom are you going to focus most attention on, blacks or whites?

In 2015, 986 people were shot and killed by police. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), and 258 were black (26 percent). Liberals portray shootings by police as racist attacks on blacks. To solve this problem, they want police departments to hire more black police officers. It turns out that the U.S. Justice Department has found that black police officers in San Francisco and Philadelphia are likelier than whites to shoot and use force against black suspects. That finding is consistent with a study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, showing that the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a white officer. And little is said about cops killed. Mac Donald reports that in 2013, 42 percent of cop killers were black.

Academic liberals and civil rights spokespeople make the claim that the disproportionate number of blacks in prison is a result of racism. They ignore the fact that black criminal activity is many multiples of that of other racial groups. They argue that differential imprisonment of blacks is a result of the racist war on drugs. Mac Donald says that state prisons contain 88 percent of the nation’s prison population. Just 4 percent of state prisoners are incarcerated for drug possession. She argues that if drug offenders were removed from the nation’s prisons, the black incarceration rate would go down from about 37.6 percent to 37.4 percent. The vast majority of blacks in prison are there because of violent crime — and mostly against black people.

That brings us to the most tragic aspect of black crime. The primary victims are law-abiding black people who must conduct their lives in fear. Some parents serve their children meals on the floor and sometimes put them to sleep in bathtubs so as to avoid stray bullets. The average American does not live this way and would not tolerate it. And that includes the white liberals who support and make excuses for criminals. Plain decency mandates that we come to the aid of millions of law-abiding people under siege. For their part, black people should stop being pawns for white liberals and support the police who are trying to protect them.

SOURCE




Facebook freezes out Christian mom for quoting Bible about homosexuality

Leviticus 20:13 says:  "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them"

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to use his platform to build a worldwide “inclusive community.” However, a Christian ‘vlogger’ found out there appears to be no room in it for her as long as she quotes Bible passages about homosexuality.

Elizabeth Johnston, aka the “Activist Mommy,” says there is a big disconnect between Zuckerberg’s recent call for a global “inclusive community” and Facebook’s “censorship of Christians.” 

“They are muzzling me and my biblical message while Mark Zuckerberg claims that FB is unbiased,” she stated in a news release.

She has had her page frozen three times now, twice in seven days, because of her posts. Last week, she posted her argument that the Bible condemns homosexuality, using Old and New Testament sources. Facebook summarily removed the post and suspended her access to the page. It also stripped her of her ability to respond to private comments for three days.

Once she was unfrozen, she complained about censorship and restored the original blog. Facebook removed it again. She was frozen for another seven days and cut off from her 70,000 followers.

“The post Facebook deleted included no name-calling, no threats, and no harassment. It was intellectual discussion and commentary on the Bible,” Johnston said of her scriptural choices, which were unmistakably strong condemnations of homosexuality.

Johnston has asked Facebook to explain “why the doctrine of tolerance only applies to those who subscribe to Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley leftist ideology.”

LifeSiteNews has also asked Facebook, which 1.86 billion people use each month, if it will allow discussion of homosexuality at all, or only if the Bible is not cited.

Facebook has not responded to either query.

Johnston says she’s “very appreciative of the platform Facebook gives us to promote family values.” She told LifeSite she could understand being censored “if I were threatening people or posting slander. But this is a classic case of censorship of Christians and our First Amendment rights to free speech.”

Facebook states that it “removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation … ”

Johnston acknowledges that she depends on Facebook’s unequaled access “to connect with my supporters.” She also acknowledges that Facebook “has the right to set their own rules.” However, she notes that Zuckerberg also claims to be unbiased.

All it takes to be frozen as she has been, Johnston told LifeSite, is for a few “liberal trolls and bullies” to complain.

In response to Facebook’s action, Johnston said she has joined a new rival site, Andrew Torba’s Gab. Torba has himself been frozen by Facebook censors and is offering his platform as a “free speech alternative to Twitter, to Facebook, to Reddit.”

SOURCE





Discrimination against heterosexuals

A British couple who want their relationship recognised in law without the "patriarchal baggage" of marriage have lost the latest stage in their fight to be allowed a civil partnership.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan say they and other couples face discrimination because only same-sex couples are eligible for civil partnerships.

The High Court ruled against them last year, and on Tuesday the Court of Appeal upheld the decision by a 2-1 margin.

Since 2005, gay couples in Britain have been able to form civil partnerships, which give them the same legal protection, adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual married partners. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2014.

The couple's lawyer, Karon Monaghan, said Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan wanted "to enter into a legally regulated relationship which does not carry with it patriarchal baggage, which many consider comes with the institution of marriage".

The Government says it wants to see the impact of gay marriage on civil partnerships before deciding whether to extend them to everyone, abolish them or phase them out.

The three appeals judges agreed the situation was discriminatory, but two of the three said the Government should be given more time to decide on the future of civil partnerships.

Ms Steinfeld said that although the couple lost, "all three judges agree that we are being treated differently because of our sexual orientation".

Mr Keidan said they would appeal to the Supreme Court unless the Government agrees to change the law.

SOURCE

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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, February 22, 2017


Leftist Projection and dishonesty

Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality

By Rich Kozlovich

With the new administration taking charge more rapidly than anyone thought possibly - me too - especially so since Senate Democrats are doing everything in their power to stop or slow down the process of confirmation - I'm constantly seeing a lava flow of logical fallacies pouring out from the left. 

This has been the pattern every time a Republican is elected President of the United States, or they take control of the Congress.  That gives opportunity to expand on the membership for the Club For the Galacticly Stupid, of which Maxine Waters is a shining example. 

One of the tools used by these people is to accuse their opponents of possessing and acting on the very flaws, faults and weaknesses they themselves possess.   That's called "psychological projection [which] is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings."

It may or may not be all that "subconscious" since it happens so often from the same people over years of political conflict.  I say in these cases it's a deliberate pattern to discredit their opponents, which means they're deliberately dishonest and corrupt in their thinking and actions.  By framing the discussion in this way this forces their opponents to defend themselves against unfounded accusations regarding their character and integrity.  Once they've managed to do that it keeps their opponents off balance, and ineffective.  Especially with the help of the media.

Only this time they've found someone who doesn't play by their rules - Trump and his team, and his supporters, are attacking back - and they don't care what the left thinks or the media.  They've now framed the left and the main stream media as corrupt, incompetent and totally unconcerned about what's really good for the nation.  And they're winning at it.  In short - they've framed all this discussion in the same way I've done for years while being involved in my industry's affairs - "it's not about me, it's about the mission" - so take your best shot.

Actually, I think they want the left to attack them.  Why?  Because if the left doesn't attack them they can't defeat them!

As the next four years roll out these attacks will become even more intense because what will happen is the left will continue to see their control and power erode.  The insanity will only increase, because the left has no moral foundation other than the need and desire to acquire and hold power over everyone's life.  There can be no compromise with them because they believe nothing, and destroy everything.  Accusations filled with righteous indignation will fill the propaganda machine of the left - the main stream media - especially the electronic media because print media can't capture emotion as well as television or even radio.  As those old enough to remember the Kennedy - Nixon debates.  Those who watched it on TV thought Kennedy won.  Those who heard it on the radio thought Nixon won. 

All this concern about the poor in our nation, the starving people of the world, the suffering immigrants, the disenfranchised - these are all emotional cat's paws to elicit strong feelings in the general public to justify allowing them to control the laws, the Constitution, the government and our lives. 

Once they get that control they'll deliver equality alright.  Everyone will be poor, suffering, and miserable - except them!  As in all socialist societies the ruling elite live like Russian Czars and the people live like Russian peasants.  In North Korea they have a little 300 pound "monarch", they call their president, living on the finest foods imported from all over the world telling his people they're going to have to eat roots to keep the "revolution" alive.  

We need to get past the rhetoric, hand wringing and what looks like a torment of their souls and remember - it's all a big emotional tear jerking show filled with logical fallacies and projection.

That's history and reality and both are incontestable.  Get over it!

SOURCE






What's scarier than Trump? The elite revolt against him

Commentators, celebs, the bureaucracy - all are in open revolt against democracy.  They are doing everything short of an armed revolution to destroy the duly elected Trump presidency

It is a historic time. Not because Trump is the saviour of the `forgotten' men and women of America, as he put it outside the Lincoln Memorial. Nor because he's some sort of white-supremacist counter-revolutionary about to awake an army of goose-stepping pussy grabbers, as his more vociferous critics would have it. But because, in plumping for Trump, the electorate dealt a blow to technocracy, to a narrow, elitist status quo, to a caste of people who openly revile them, and who are now in open revolt against them.

The word `unprecedented' is chucked around a lot in relation to Trump. And indeed he is. Not only has he crashed like a tangerine wrecking-ball through the modern political consensus, he's potentially the first president-elect to be sworn in while the question of whether he wanted to be president is still an open one. In spite of his colossal ego, its likely he never thought he would win.

But what's also `unprecedented', and far more destructive, is the reaction to him. Ever since Trump arrived on the political scene commentators have chided him for breaking `democratic norms' - from his spreading of `birther' conspiracy theories about Obama to his threat to lock up Hillary. But the American elite, in a post-vote fit of pique, has decided to break the biggest democratic norm of them all: respecting the result of a freely held election. Because there's another word that has been flung at Trump in the days approaching his inauguration: `illegitimate'. And this isn't just being uttered by trustifarian protesters, due to descend on Washington en masse in a tantrum-like demo against democracy. It's being uttered by broadsheet commentators and respected political leaders.

Dozens of congressmen boycotted the inauguration, following the lead of civil-rights leader John Lewis, who told CNN that `I do not see this president-elect as a legitimate president'. He said `the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton'.

But this is only a convenient excuse. The allegations about Trump being in league with or in hock to Russia amount to a whisper campaign. The infamous dossier which alleged collusion between Russia and Trump, and the existence of a certain, urine-drenched video tape, is completely unsubstantiated, a collection of memos about things that ex-MI6 man Christopher Steele - collecting `oppo research' for Trump's Republican and Democratic opponents - was told by unnamed sources in Russia's FSB.

And every step of the way, the campaign against Trump has been aided by the US intelligence agencies. The CIA was in open warfare with him. Whether or not the CIA leaked the dossier to the press - as Trump claims - we may never know. But it both lent credence to these claims and triggered their publication when the CIA and FBI decided to brief President Obama, Trump and certain members of Congress on the claims.

The dossier had been lying in journalists' in-trays for months, as they all struggled to corroborate it. Though Buzzfeed was wrong to print what remained little more than intelligence-community rumours, it was effectively given an excuse to do so when news of the briefings broke; a semi-public-interest defence could now be cobbled together.

The liberal-left and Republican Never Trumpers are effectively colluding against a democratically elected president. Their fury is startling. `Saying that the election was tainted isn't a smear or a wild conspiracy theory; it's simply the truth', writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times, declaring Trump `illegitimate' in a self-touting `act of patriotism'. Fellow columnist Charles Blow dialled up the literary drama, telling Trump `You will wear that scarlet "I" on your tan chest for as long as you sit in the White House'. (Apparently, in this version of Hawthorne's classic tale, Trump is the wayward woman and the media are the moralising Puritans.) What we're seeing here is an alliance between anti-democrats and sections of the secret state. And some on the Hill are already talking up impeachment.

There are plenty of reasons to criticise Trump. He's an authoritarian and a charlatan. The fact that we've ended up with this accidental president shows the depth of anti-elite feeling in the US, and the lack of viable alternatives. But the anti-Trump plotting is not about principled disagreement, let alone concern about Russian meddling: the US elites screech when Trump talks about deporting two million migrants, but looked the other way when Obama deported two-and-a-half million; they talked non-stop of Trump's gropey exploits, but cried foul when he threw the Clintons' dirty laundry back at them. Having been unseated by the fly-over rubes they'd long ruled in spite of, they are in a fight for their own survival. And they're willing to fight dirty.

In the congressmen boycotting the inauguration, in the celebrities railing against Trump at award shows and on social media, you glimpse a group of people who act and think like an aristocracy. In rendering Trump illegitimate, they are really refusing to confer their legitimacy on him. Who do they think they are? In a democracy, it is the demos who confers legitimacy, who lends leaders their power. If there's one positive thing about President Trump, it's that his election has revealed just how detached, anti-democratic - how `illegitimate' - the American elite is.

SOURCE





Sponsors of Anarchy

By Michelle Malkin

I've covered the left's criminal anarchist element for more than 20 years - from the animal rights terrorists who have harassed, threatened and firebombed scientific researches across the U.S. and Europe to the anti-capitalist thugs who wreaked havoc on downtown business owners at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and the 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto to the ANSWER Coalition and Code Pink's not-so-peaceful peaceniks who disrupted congressional hearings and menaced veterans memorials and military recruiting stations throughout the George W. Bush years to the Occupy Wall Street vagrants and rapists of 2011-12 to the rent-a-rioters who hijacked Ferguson, Baltimore and other Black Lives Matter demonstrations against police.

My favorites over the years? I'll never forget the seditious mother in Olympia, Washington, who tied bandanas over her kids' faces and recklessly planted them in the middle of a street 10 years ago to block trucks carrying military shipments. She was so caught up in the excitement of her "direct action" that she dropped her baby on the ground as her anarchist compatriots threw rocks at police and soldiers driving around them.

Then there were the "progressive" nitwits who handcuffed themselves to concrete-filled barrels in January 2015 and shut down traffic in the Boston area (risking the lives of crash victims waiting for an ambulance that was blocked) to protest ... something or other.

Clenched-fist troublemakers will use any mass gathering as an excuse to undermine civil society. Social media and the irresistible lure of virality have only strengthened their incentive to "FSU" (f- s- up). Here's another thing you can take to the bank: "Mainstream" protesters on the streets of D.C. will look the other way at these lawless vandals who leech onto any available cause. Their common goal is not "social justice." It's destabilization and disorder.

In Oakland, California, far-left "activist" Mayor Jean Quan groveled to Occupy agitators and refused to crack down as small businesses were destroyed and cops were attacked.

Oberlin grad Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Democratic mayor of Baltimore, infamously created a safe space for rioters sabotaging inner-city businesses.

The American Civil Liberties Union has written the literal playbook for redefining violent protest as "free speech" and obstructing police planning efforts to defend cities against left-wing chaos.

Kory Flowers, a North Carolina-based law enforcement expert on domestic anarchists and criminal subversive groups, describes the persistent pot stirrers as "cause parasites." In 2012, at the Democratic National Convention, where international media coverage was assured, Flowers reported that anarchists had manufactured "urine-filled eggs, acid-filled Christmas ornaments, and water guns containing urine, all meant to be used against the law enforcement security forces throughout the city."

Five years later, investigative journalist James O'Keefe exposed D.C.-based anarchists associated with the #DisruptJ20 (Jan. 20) movement on tape this week as they were plotting to invade inaugural balls with stink bombs, trigger sprinkler systems to force attendees out in the cold, chain themselves to Metro trains and hunt down city officials who act against them.

"If you try to close us down, we will look for your house. We will burn it. We will physically fight the police if they try to steal one of our places. We will go to war, and you will lose," one plotter threatened.

Many of these guerrilla punks employ "Black Bloc" tactics, Flowers notes, wearing all-black clothes "to appear as a unified assemblage, giving the appearance of solidarity for the particular cause at hand," which allows "virtual anonymity while conducting criminal acts as a group." They may be a fringe minority, but it's the continued tolerance of these vandals, looters and terrorist wannabes on the ground by "mainstream" community organizers and politicians that gives them cover - and power.

Lee Stranahan, an independent journalist and blogger who covers protest movements for Breitbart, adds: "It's important that Americans not be lulled into a false sense of security by such an oversimplification. While it's been proven that funders like (billionaire George) Soros and the Democrat party have paid protest organizers and some protesters, groups like the violent Black Bloc typically aren't motivated by money, but instead come to protests because of their anti-American ideology, base criminal desires and thrill seeking."

Opponents of Donald Trump's have accused him of "inspiring violence" and bringing out the worst in people. Wrong. The active and passive sponsors of left-wing political mayhem are the ones guilty of enabling it over the past quarter-century. Restoring peace and justice starts with restoring law and order. Either you're against the rule of the mob or you're with it.

SOURCE





Meat Plant Raises the Steaks for Freedom

Donald Vander Boon has been operating a meatpacking center in Michigan for almost 15 years — but thanks to the federal government, it’s his freedom that’s getting butchered. The Christian family, who proudly says on their website that the company “seeks to glorify and honor God in all we do,” were shocked to find out during a visit by the USDA that it wasn’t their beef that was being inspected but their beliefs.

While officials were touring the plant, they noticed a handful of brochures on the breakroom table about natural marriage. As Don tells it, the article was mixed in with the stacks of newspapers celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision redefining marriage. Even so, the on-site officers took offense to the literature, walked into Don’s office, closed both doors, and told him they’d call off the inspection if the material wasn’t removed.

He was stunned. “From the very beginning, we started the business in faith, and made it clear to employees that we run our business according to Christian principles.” But, he said, the company was in an impossible situation. “Within a few hours, I’m being threatened with the closure of my business. [And] if the USDA removes its inspectors, then I’m immediately unable to operate.”

According to inspectors, Don’s article was “offensive” and had violated a new rule from the Obama administration that gave government officials (including these inspectors) the right to take “immediate and appropriate corrective action” when dealing with anything they considered “harassment.” Vander Boon’s position on marriage, he was told, qualified.

That weighed heavily on the dad of three’s mind, especially since the West Michigan Beef Company employed 45 people whose families also relied on them. To keep his doors open, Don made the difficult decision to pull the information on natural marriage.

“It’s made me realize how quickly we can lose our religious liberty. I never dreamed that I would have this experience, and that I would have USDA personnel telling me that I had to choose between putting an article on the breakroom table or my business.” Now, almost two years later, the family owned company is still under threat.

Despite filing a complaint with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Don never got a response. That not only bothers the Vander Boons but their attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). After all, this is exactly the nightmare that an executive order on religious liberty sitting on President Trump’s desk would prevent. ADF President Michael Farris argued as much in a letter to Donald Trump, urging him to weigh cases like this one carefully.

Eighteen months have passed, and Don has not received any relief from this unjust and unlawful targeting of his religious expression by the federal government. He remains under a constant threat of closure, nervous about saying or doing something that might result in the USDA censoring his religious beliefs, silencing his speech, and forcing [he and his wife] to close down their only source of income that benefits their family, their 45 employees, and the broader community.

We therefore ask that you direct the Department of Agriculture to rescind its unlawful harassment policy and lift the restriction on Don’s speech.

Obviously, policing the beliefs of small businesses isn’t the job of the USDA — or any government agency. But unfortunately, after eight years of Obama, Washington has been trained on religion like a disease that needs to be eradicated. Frankly, there’s no difference between this and the IRS stripping a nonprofit of its tax exempt status. Both are using the government as a club to beat conservatives into submission on core values. No American — Christian or otherwise — should have to choose between their careers and their convictions.

If anyone wonders why we need an executive order protecting religious liberty, wonder no more! The Vander Boons are the perfect example of the climate of intimidation affecting businesses and organizations across the country. Every American, regardless of their beliefs, should agree: This kind of runaway government censorship is exactly what needs to be reined in by President Trump. It’s what the Constitution demands. It’s what supporters of Mr. Trump wanted. And it’s what the nation deserves.

SOURCE

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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

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017



Christian florist vows Supreme appeal in same-sex war
'The government cannot use its power to force someone to promote a message'


Lawyers for a Christian florist vow a vigorous appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after a state supreme court ruled unanimously Thursday that their client violated anti-discrimination laws by refusing to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

All nine justices ruled for the state of Washington and plaintiffs Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed and against Baronelle Stutzman and her store, Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts.

“Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” wrote Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud in the court’s opinion.

The court further stated that the state’s anti-discrimination law does not infringe upon Stutzman’s freedom of religious expression.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Stutzman, begs to differ.

“They’re wrong,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued Stutzman’s case before the Washington state Supreme Court.

“We’re deeply disappointed with today’s court decision,” Waggoner told WND and Radio America. “The First Amendment protects Baronelle’s rights as a small business owner and a creative professional. She has loved and respected everyone who has walked into her store. She served this gentleman (Ingersoll) for nearly 10 years and simply declined an event, one ceremony that was a religious ceremony because of her religious convictions.”

Who put the American family in the bull’s-eye? Read “Takedown, From Communists to Progressives How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage” to read the origins of the war.

While not stunned by a liberal court ruling against her client, Waggoner said it’s a mind-boggling ruling when the state conceded the crux of Stutzman’s case.

“Even in oral arguments, the attorney general of the state of Washington conceded that Baronelle’s design of custom arrangements was expression. The court’s opinion says she intended to convey a message. The First Amendment clearly protects this activity and these designs as pure speech,” said Waggoner.

He said Stutzman will appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

SOURCE







People Are Standing Up For Ivanka Amid Boycott By Buying Her Best-Selling Perfume

As the Daily Dealer has previously discussed, Ivanka Trump has been the target of several boycott attempts by activists on the left. While stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus have caved to liberal demands, other outlets, such as Amazon, have refused to drop Ivanka’s products. This was smart, as, the Washington Post writes, one particular product is becoming the lodestone of support for Ivanka Trump and her business.

That product is Ivanka’s very popular perfume, which has sold so much in recent weeks that it is now Amazon’s #1 bestselling item in its entire “Beauty” section.

Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum Spray for Women, 3.4 Fluid Ounce — $34.99

The second best selling product in Amazon’s “Beauty” category? A roller ball application of the scent: Normally $20, this roller ball is 25 percent off. Ivanka Trump for Women 0.20 EDP Roller Ball on sale for $15

As liberals attempt to wage a commerce war to fight the Trumps, it is clear that those on the right will not fold so easily. Those who stand with Ivanka also want to make their voices heard, both by punishing the stores that removed the First Daughter’s products and by rewarding those who have not.

SOURCE





J K Rowling asked to take in refugees in her 18 spare rooms

An online petition has asked Harry Potter author J K Rowling, who has been an ardent supporter of allowing refugees from the Middle-East, to give shelter to 18 refugees in each of her 18 spare rooms. The petition has been started on the platform change.org, and the name of the petitioner is shown as Marcus Aurelius, from France.

The petition first details Rowling's continued advocacy for open borders and allowing refugees into Europe and then alleges her and other rich elites to be 'disconnected from the ugly reality.' The petitioner claims Rowling has a total of 18 spare rooms combined in all her mansions in Britain, and then makes the case that she should provide long-term housing to 18 refugees, and also provide refugee shelters at the space available on her property.

The strongly-worded petition further states, "The refugee crisis will require 250,000 homes to be built every year in her homeland Britain. Helping refugees in Europe will cost 10 times as much as helping them in neighbouring countries would.

Donations by the superrich, even in the millions, are a drop in the ocean, as the taxpayer will have to pay billions for the following decades. Elites, that echo the MSM narrative, defending open borders, are hypocrites that will never share the outlook of the working class, which has to encounter refugees every day. So let's bring one of the loudest virtue-signaling apologists of globalism back to reality and give her some new roommates." The petition currently has 7,366 supporters, with the number increasing by the minute.

SOURCE





Illegal Immigrant Family Shocked at Immigration Laws Now Being Enforced

The family of an illegal immigrant arrested during a recent roundup of criminal aliens seems shocked that immigration laws are being enforced.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested Miguel Angel Torres, an illegal immigrant living in Austin, Texas, for the past fourteen years, during the recent Operation Cross Check roundup of criminal aliens. It appears immigration officers arrested Torres while they were looking for his brother-in-law, a previously deported illegal alien, the Texas Tribune reported.

“[My husband] is a person who’s never done anything wrong and who complies with the law,” Irma Perez, the wife of the illegal immigrant, told the Texas news outlet. “We don’t know why they detained him. He was driving his own car, not my brother’s. He has nothing to do with my brother.”

Texas law does not allow a person who does not have legal status in the U.S. to obtain a driver license or legally operate a motor vehicle.

Perez, who admitted she is also an illegal immigrant, said her husband drove to their daughter’s school to deliver a Valentine’s Day box of chocolates. Agents who stopped Torres asked if he was Jose Manuel Perez, his wife’s brother. It appears officers checked his identity and learned he was in the country illegally and placed him in custody.

Operation Cross Check is a law enforcement action planned to round up criminal aliens and process them for removal proceedings. While the operation targets criminals, gang members, and others who violate immigration laws, ICE officials acknowledged that non-criminals could be caught up in the net.

“During targeted enforcement operations ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws,” ICE officials said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriated, arrested by ICE.”

In this case, it appears the ICE officers were searching for Perez’ brother, Jose Manuel Perez, an illegal alien she admitted had been previously deported. She did not say why he had been deported, or how many times he faced deportation.

When ICE officers stopped Torres, they asked if he was Perez. Irma Perez said she believe the officers had followed Torres from their home to the school. She believed they might be staking out her home because she had provided her address to law enforcement officials when she paid off her brother’s traffic fines.

Perez’ immigration lawyer Mark Kinzler told the Texas Tribune reporter, “They were looking, apparently, for someone else, and he wasn’t that person, but then they took him anyway.” He seemed to expect that immigration officers would just ignore the law when they found out Torres was illegally present in the U.S.

“Even though ICE’s PR campaign is that they’re picking up criminals and picking up people with prior deports, and I’m sure some of them are, it already seems like a lot of them are not those people,” Kinzler continued. “People who work every day and try to take care of their families are getting swept up.”

The targeted immigration enforcement operation picked up 51 foreign nationals in the Austin area during the two-day action, Breitbart Texas reported. At least 23 of those arrested had criminal convictions. Those included a Mexican national previously deported following a conviction for aggravated assault; a Salvadoran national who pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child; and another Mexican national convicted of domestic violence as a repeat offender, information obtained by Breitbart Texas from ICE officials revealed. In addition to criminal aliens, the officers were also targeting those with pending court-ordered removal status and those who had been previously deported, like Perez, and known to be back in the country.

SOURCE

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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, February 20, 2017



Selective bigotry on the Left: New Yorkers accept homosexuals -- but not conservative homosexuals

Chadwick Moore, a 33-year-old journalist who lives in Williamsburg, had been a lifelong liberal. Then, last September, he penned a profile for Out magazine of Milo Yiannopoulos — a controversial and outspoken critic of feminism, Muslims and gay rights (despite being openly gay himself). Although the Out story didn’t take a positive stance — or any stance — on Yiannopoulos, Moore found himself pilloried by fellow Democrats and ostracized by longtime friends.

Here, he tells Michael Kaplan his story — including why the backlash drove him to the right.

When Out magazine assigned me an interview with the Breitbart.com rabble-rouser Milo Yiannopoulos, I knew it would be controversial. In the gay and liberal communities in particular, he is a provocative and loathed figure, and I knew featuring him in such a liberal publication would get negative attention. He has been repeatedly kicked off Twitter for, among other things, reportedly inciting racist, sexist bullying of “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones. Before interviewing Yiannopoulos, I thought he was a nasty attention-whore, but I wanted to do a neutral piece on him that simply put the facts out there.

After the story posted online in the early hours of Sept. 21, I woke up to more than 100 Twitter notifications on my iPhone. Trolls were calling me a Nazi, death threats rolled in and a joke photo that I posed for in a burka served as “proof” that I am an Islamophobe.

I’m not.

Most disconcertingly, it wasn’t just strangers voicing radical discontent. Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened.

I hope New Yorkers can be as accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.
I laid low for a week or so. Finally, I decided to go out to my local gay bar in Williamsburg, where I’ve been a regular for 11 years. I ordered a drink but nothing felt the same; half the place — people with whom I’d shared many laughs — seemed to be giving me the cold shoulder. Upon seeing me, a friend who normally greets me with a hug and kiss pivoted and turned away.

Frostiness spread far beyond the bar, too. My best friend, with whom I typically hung out multiple times per week, was suddenly perpetually unavailable. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he sent me a long text, calling me a monster, asking where my heart and soul went, and saying that all our other friends are laughing at me.

I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in. What I saw was ugly, lock step, incurious and mean-spirited.

Still, I returned to the bar a few nights later — I don’t give up easily — and hit it off with a stranger. As so many conversations do these days, ours turned to politics. I told him that I’m against Trump’s wall but in favor of strengthening our borders. He called me a Nazi and walked away. I felt awful — but not so awful that I would keep opinions to myself.

And I began to realize that maybe my opinions just didn’t fit in with the liberal status quo, which seems to mean that you must absolutely hate Trump, his supporters and everything they believe. If you dare not to protest or boycott Trump, you are a traitor.

If you dare to question liberal stances or make an effort toward understanding why conservatives think the way they do, you are a traitor.

It can seem like liberals are actually against free speech if it fails to conform with the way they think. And I don’t want to be a part of that club anymore.

It used to be that if you were a gay, educated atheist living in New York, you had no choice but to be liberal. But as I met more Trump supporters with whom I was able to have engaging, civil discussions about issues that impact us all, I realized that I like these people — even if I have some issues with Trump himself. For example, I don’t like his travel ban or the cabinet choices he’s made.

But I finally had to admit to myself that I am closer to the right than where the left is today. And, yes, just three months ago, I voted for Hillary Clinton.

When I was growing up in the Midwest, coming out to my family at the age of 15 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Today, it’s just as nerve-wracking coming out to all of New York as a conservative. But, like when I was 15, it’s also weirdly exciting.

I’ve already told my family, and it’s brought me closer to my father. He’s a Republican and a farmer in Iowa, and for years we just didn’t have very much to talk about. But after Trump’s inauguration, we chatted for two hours, bonding over the ridiculousness of lefties. But we also got serious: He told me that he is proud of my writing, and I opened up about my personal life in a way I never had before to him.

I’ve made some new friends and also lost some who refuse to speak to me. I’ve come around on Republican pundit Ann Coulter, who I now think is smart and funny and not a totally hateful, self-righteous bigot. A year ago, this would have been unfathomable to me.

I even went on a date this past week with a good-looking Republican construction worker, someone I previously would not have given a shot.

I hope to find out that it pays to keep an open mind.

And I hope that New Yorkers can be as open-minded and accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.

SOURCE






SPLC Hides Behind Its Own Hate

If there’s one defamatory term that gets thrown around more than any other today, it’s “hate.” Politics has devolved to the point in which simply disagreeing on anything is cause for getting thrown into the Doghouse of Hate. That’s not to say there aren’t factions whose sole purpose is to promulgate hurtful and harmful rhetoric and deeds. That’s what ISIL does. And the KKK. And numerous other groups. Some are obviously more hostile than others, but there’s no limit to the extremes people will go to on both sides of the political and social divide. However, the “hate” label can also be used to script narratives, which the Southern Poverty Law Center does in its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” publication.

This week, the center reported that 2016 saw a three-fold increase in what it calls “anti-Muslim hate groups.” By it’s metrics, the U.S. now contains 101 so-called Islamaphobic groups whose retaliatory crimes include wrecking “a mosque in Victoria, Texas, just hours after the Trump administration announced an executive order suspending travel from some predominantly Muslim countries.” Moreover, it adds, “In the first 10 days after [Trump’s] election, the SPLC documented 867 bias-related incidents, including more than 300 that targeted immigrants or Muslims.” All told, SPLC currently identifies 917 hate groups whose ideologies vary anywhere from neo-Nazism to black separatist advocacy to “general hate.”

To its credit, The Washington Post’s coverage describes SPLC as “a liberal-leaning advocacy group.” But the reasons for skepticism toward the group go far beyond that. For one, “general hate” can be construed to mean anything in this world of moral relativism. The thresholds that delineate meanings now can and most certainly will change in the future. And all conservatives have bona fide reasons to fear falling victim. Secondly, if we’re playing by the same rules, the SPLC itself could be described as a hate group. As Family Research Coincil’s Tony Perkins wrote in a recent column, “For years, the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) bragged about its work with the FBI. Their partnership on issues like ‘hate crimes’ helped fuel the Obama administration’s fierce targeting of mainstream pro-family groups. That abruptly ended in 2014, when the agency distanced itself from the controversial organization.”

He adds, “Despite being linked in federal court to domestic terrorism, SPLC, the self-anointed authority on ‘hate,’ had remained a go-to ally of the Obama administration. That all changed, emails reveal, when FRC took our concerns to Congress about the ties between SPLC and the gunman who walked into our lobby in 2012 and shot Leo Johnson. … The concerns we expressed to our friends in Congress was not just about FRC and our safety, it was about the dozens of pro-family groups and Christian organizations that the SPLC has targeted because of their biblical view of human sexuality. Just how outside the mainstream are the claims of SPLC? This was the Obama FBI that distanced itself from SPLC.”

There is no justification for those who intentionally target anyone merely because of ideological differences. And the SPLC is right to call them out. But there’s also no justification for the SPLC’s true motive, which is to purge America of conservatism and anything else it considers “not inclusive.” When your own rhetoric results in getting good people like Leo Johnson shot, there’s a serious need for self-reflection. Because that’s the very definition of hate.

SOURCE






Turning journalism into a crime

Britain's proposed new Espionage Act would devastate press freedom

Journalists and whistleblowers in Britain could be treated as spies and imprisoned for years under proposals for a new Espionage Act. The Register revealed on Friday that the UK Law Commission’s latest recommendations to the government include treating journalists and leakers as foreign agents, in an attempt to ban future reporting of large data leaks, like the Edward Snowden revelations.

The 326-page consultation paper, titled Protection of Official Data, proposes that the ‘redrafted offence’ of espionage would be ‘capable of being committed by someone who not only communicates information, but also by someone who obtains or gathers it’. The paper proposes ‘no restriction on who can commit the offence’. Had this proposed law been in place in 2013, it could have led to the jailing of Alan Rusbridger, the then Guardian editor who published the Snowden data leaks, for the crime of handling the information passed to his reporters by Snowden.

As if press freedom in Britain wasn’t in a dire enough state. While handling the Snowden story, Rusbridger was threatened with jail and a gagging order when the government attempted to block the story. These new proposals would result in a further chilling effect on press freedom, scaring investigative journalists out of doing their jobs properly.

Under the new proposals certain government offices would become completely off-limits for reporters and whistleblowers. The Register noted: ‘British Embassies abroad, intelligence and security offices, and data centres not officially publicised by the government would be designated as “prohibited places” or “protected sites”, making it an offence to publish information about them or to “approach, inspect, pass over or enter” for any “purpose prejudicial” to national security.’ This gives free rein to certain agencies of the state, which would never have to worry about being held to account. They would be protected from investigation.

The proposals would replace four Official Secrets Acts and would remove ‘public interest’ as a defence for anyone accused of offences. This is insidious. The public-interest defence in the realm of leaks is the one legal tool that provides protection for lowly reporters when faced with the full force of state power.

The report suggests blocking one of the fundamental tenets of journalism: holding the powerful to account. If certain areas of state are cordoned off, so that penetrating them becomes punishable by long jail terms, then who will dare to criticise and attempt to uncover the farthest reaches of state power? To fulfil their role in a democratic society, journalists must be free to delve into the darkest recesses of government influence.

Beyond the contents of the consultation, the methods used to carry it out appear to have been decidedly underhand. By the Commission’s own admission, the consultation was devised without any meaningful input from journalists or rights groups. This is despite law commissioner David Ormerod QC claiming in the Telegraph that, ’We’ve scrutinised the law and consulted widely with… media and human-rights organisations’. Open Rights Group (ORG) was one of the NGOs listed by the report as having been consulted, yet ORG’s chief executive Jim Killock told the Register: ‘There was no consultation. There were some emails with our legal adviser about having a meeting, which petered out without any discussion or detail being given.’ Similarly, the Guardian said it attended a ‘high-level, very general chat’ about the consultation last year, and then heard nothing more.

This unwillingness to consult both sides in the debate, and the neglectful gaps in the report, highlight how one-sided the proposals truly are. The document suggests removing the historic public-interest defence in an apparent bid to protect national security, yet it fails to define what it means by ‘national security’.

The bias in the document speaks to a wider attitude among those in power, who are becoming far too comfortable with imposing themselves on the press. This can be seen in the allegations that David Cameron attempted to get Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre fired in the run-up to the EU referendum, as well as in the recent Royal Charter for press regulation.

Should these proposals come to pass, they would destroy investigative journalism as we know it. The Leveson Inquiry has already proposed various measures that would stifle press freedom and investigative journalism; these proposals go even further, making it virtually impossible for journalists to investigate the powerful. Investigative journalism relies on a delicate balance of relationships with contacts or whistleblowers. Those whistleblowers speak to the press if they are confident journalists will protect their sources. But journalists can only offer that protection when they are assured of their own protection under a public-interest defence. If the state gets to decide what constitutes public interest, or indeed that there is no such thing, what’s to stop them blocking all news stories about state-run offices? While, for now, we are talking about ‘national security’ level stories, there is no reason to assume the government won’t find a way to broaden this undefined term to cover all manner of state-controlled sins. That would put an end to NHS whistleblowers, for example, who rightly highlight poor care and sometimes even abusive treatment.

The Law Commission’s proposals should alarm anyone who believes in a free and democratic society. If these proposals were to become law we would effectively be passing a huge chunk of journalism into state hands, and it is the public who will lose out. Knowledge is power, and by attempting to criminalise certain kinds of journalism the government is seeking to control how much the British public can know about the state they live under. These proposals, if acted upon, would take Britain a leap closer to authoritarian rule — they must be scrapped.

SOURCE






There's no shame in being a Mrs!

As Miriam kicks up a fuss over being called Mrs Clegg, LAURA PERRINS says the successful 48-year-old lawyer's aggressive feminism does her no favours

Well, I hate to say this, but Miriam Clegg might be a bit sensitive. The wife of our former Deputy Prime Minister has gone off the deep end on social media after being invited to an event to mark International Women's Day - in her married name.

The lawyer, known professionally as Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, posted on Instagram the offending missive with its handwritten `Dear Mrs Clegg', and added a withering caption bemoaning the `irony' that the event was a celebration of `women's success'.

It was clearly a mistake on the part of the organisers, but did she need to be so cross and make such a fuss?

Here we have a successful 48-year-old glamorous mother of three boys with a fulfilling, lucrative career in commercial law, and a happy marriage. So why the grand-standing and public humiliation of the event organisers over what was, in all likelihood, an error made by some unpaid intern?

She's not the only feminist making a fuss about the `insult' of being referred to by her husband's surname this week. Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, complained to the Speaker when the Prime Minister referred to her in a Commons debate as Lady Nugee, which is her married name as the wife of High Court judge Sir Christopher Nugee. Mrs May was forced to apologise.

In this latest case, I'd say the one who needs to apologise is Miriam Clegg.

Instead of dealing privately with a clerical error, in a letter which said the organisers would be `honoured' if she took part, she chose to act with breathtaking rudeness. She might have been at a feminist boot camp as they handed out good manners.

She claims to be independent, and made noises when her husband was in office about being too busy to accompany him on official engagements.

Then last year she published her cookbook, Made In Spain, in which, incidentally, she was photographed on the front cover resplendent in Liberal Democrat yellow.

It was a clear case of wanting her paella and eating it too. No publisher would have been remotely interested in her book if she hadn't been able to mix a sprinkling of spice in with her recipes, slagging off Samantha Cameron for putting Hellman's on the table rather making her own mayonnaise and telling how she refused to cook for George Osborne when he came to dinner. The only reason she was able to meet SamCam and the former Chancellor was through her husband.

Whether she likes it or not, it was their marriage that gave her professional profile a boost.

Are we supposed to believe that International Women's Day would have been interested in Miriam Gonzalez Durantez if she wasn't also Miriam Clegg?

There are hordes of clever, successful female commercial lawyers in City of London firms like hers. I know because I was once a lawyer, too, a criminal barrister.

While never in Miriam's league, I've met plenty of women who are. I doubt any of them get the same invitations and opportunities that she does.

Feminists used to campaign under the slogan that women were entitled to `have it all'. Miriam Clegg wants to have it both ways - as the wife of a powerful man when it suits her, but her own woman when dealing with fellow feminists.

And I do wonder why it is such an unforgivable crime to take your husband's surname? I did, though I never think of Perrins as my husband's name. For me it is now our name - as a family unit that includes our three children.

If there was any loss for me in becoming Perrins, it was losing my identity as a single woman and gaining an identity as a married woman, which I was happy to do. In our wedding vows, my husband pledged to protect and provide for me. It didn't seem like a lot to ask me in return to take the name Perrins.

Another lawyer, Amal Alamuddin, had no problem in taking her husband's surname when they married - but then he IS George Clooney. Now, the once little known human rights lawyer is feted around the world.

The kind of aggressive feminism displayed by Miriam Clegg and Lady Nugee does them no favours.

Instead of making them appear stronger, it turns them into victims; women who are so brittle they mistake even the smallest slight for an outrageous attack.

Take Emily Thornberry, again. `I have never been a Lady and it will take a great deal more than me being married to a Knight of the Realm to make me one,' she complained to the Speaker on Monday after the Prime Minister had `insulted' her and demanded an apology.

This minor infringement of parliamentary rules led to an absurd spectacle, in which the most powerful politician in Britain, a woman who has risen to the top in spite of having taken her husband's name 36 years ago, was compelled to say sorry to someone who was throwing her toys out of the pram.

Perhaps if Miriam, Emily and their ilk weren't wasting so much energy feeling outraged at perceived slights, then they might one day aspire to the heights of Mrs May, and a certain Margaret Thatcher (nee Roberts) before her.

Their agenda is entirely self-serving. In the real world, the rest of us are too busy getting on with it to care.

SOURCE

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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

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Sunday, February 19, 2017


Should Twitter and Facebook be Regulated as Utilities?

 Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of free speech. But what happens when the most effective channels for that speech are corporations such as Twitter and Facebook? Does the government have an obligation to make sure those companies are not limiting free speech for some classes of users?

My sketchy understanding of the law is that the government is only responsible for making sure the government itself is not abridging free speech. I think most of us agree that we don’t want the government volunteering for any more work than the constitution says it should be doing.

But shouldn’t the federal government get involved if a few monopoly corporations start to control the national conversation by filtering out voices that disagree with them?

That seems to be the situation right now. For example, Twitter is apparently “shadowbanning” me because of my past Trump tweets, or so I assume. That means my tweets only go out to a subset of my followers. The rest don’t know I tweeted. My followers tell me this is the case. They have to visit my timeline to see my tweets.

Realistically, can I quit Twitter and be a successful media personality without it? Not in today’s world. The only way I could make that work is by having a huge presence on Facebook or Instagram.

But that might be a problem too. Instagram (owned by Facebook) just removed my girlfriend’s (@KristinaBasham) blue verification badge – on inauguration day – without explanation. Was that politically motivated? She has 2.7 million followers and lots of imposters pretending to be her. The blue verification badge was invented for situations like hers. We have no way to contact anyone at Instagram to fix it.

The same thing happened a few months ago and we worked through a friend-of-a-friend to get her verification badge back. The official explanation was that removing it the first time was just a glitch. This time my contact didn’t reply to my email.

I can’t be 100% sure that Twitter is shadowbanning me to limit my political speech. They might have a bug in their system, for example. But it would be a big coincidence if they are not, given how many Trump supporters were targeted by Twitter in the past year.

Likewise, I can’t be 100% sure my girlfriend is being punished by Facebook/Instagram for her association with me. But it seems like a big coincidence that she lost the verification on Inauguration Day. That lack of transparency is just as much of a problem as an actual abridgement of free speech. if I can’t know whether my freedom of speech is being limited by corporate overlords, how can I have trust in the Republic? And without trust, the system falls apart.

I want to trust my government, but without freedom of speech, I find that impossible. That’s why I support creating a law requiring the government to audit the major social media sites to certify that freedom of speech still exists for all classes of users. (Within reason.)

You might think there is not much risk of losing the right of free speech in the United States. But keep in mind that I have already lost my free speech in a practical sense. The social media tools you take for granted are not available to me in their full form.

Update: Kristina got her blue verification badge back from Instagram after several days. No explanation given.

SOURCE





HISPANICS BACK TRUMP ON SANCTUARY CITIES

According to a new poll, more than half of Hispanic voters support Donald Trump’s vigorous new effort to deport criminal illegals and punish sanctuary cities:

The survey for Secure America Now found that 56 percent of Hispanic voters approve of deporting criminal illegals. Some 31 percent don’t.

What’s more, they back the president’s executive order to end the Obama administration’s “catch and release” policy at the border....

On cutting off federal grants to sanctuary cities, 46 percent of Hispanic voters agreed, 43 percent opposed.

This should come as no surprise, except for privileged white liberals who don’t actually know any Hispanics. Illegal aliens attract illegal alien gangs, like MS13. Those gangs also prey on legal immigrant and Hispanic citizens. Hispanics back Trump’s policies because they mean a safer Hispanic community.

According to a statement from Homeland Security Chief John Kelly, recent immigration raids across the country resulted in more than 680 arrests. Of those arrested, approximately 75 percent were criminal illegals.

SOURCE






Fake news about fake news

The war on fake news is just another pretext for the elite to impose censorship on what people see and hear

The fake-news panic can be exposed as misleading on various levels. For instance, the notion that it is an entirely new problem ignores the fact that fake news is at least as old as the Trojan Horse. In more modern times, it is not only the likes of Vladimir Putin’s Russia that have used fake news reports to justify their wars. Western states have deployed similar falsehoods to aid their efforts in every major conflict, from the war-porn fantasies about German soldiers raping and bayoneting Belgian nuns in the First World War to the sci-fi fantasy of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in 2003. What is new now is not the faking of news, but that the internet means governments and their tame media no longer have a monopoly on making up such stories.

The notion that fake news somehow poses an external threat to the West’s Enlightenment values of truth and reason also ignores the extent to which, as previously analysed on spiked, those values have already been thoroughly trashed from within Western cultural elites. Postmodern academics preaching that there can be no such thing as a single truth; news media practising the ‘journalism of attachment’ in which emotions can count more than evidence and objectivity is abandoned even as a goal (in which case, as I once told objectivity-scorning journalism students, they might as well switch courses and study to be poets or playwrights instead); and the many apostles of ‘identity politics’, for whom how you feel about something – especially if you feel offended or victimised in any way – overrides such small matters as the facts. These and other influential Western voices had done much to undermine Enlightenment values long before anybody starting posting fake news stories from the former Soviet bloc.

The cutting edge of the current panic is the argument, recently repeated by top politicians and prominent commentators on both sides of the Atlantic, that ‘fake news poses a threat to our democracy’. It is this that exposes the fake character of the kind of democracy that these forces want to defend.

How exactly could fringe fake-news websites and stories threaten the fortress of Western democracy? Only if you believe that the masses are sufficiently stupid or suggestible that they will believe whatever they are told, and act accordingly; that because some blowhard politician claimed that Brexit would fix the NHS, that must be why millions of Brits voted to Leave; and that some blogger accusing Hillary Clinton’s campaign of being involved in a child-abuse scandal explains why millions of Americans voted for the dreadful Trump.

In other words, the elevation of the problem of fake news is the flipside of the denigration of the intelligence and independence of the electorate. What these elitists and experts really object to is the wrong kind of democracy – voters inexplicably having the gall to reject their advice and support policies and candidates that are not to their taste. They blame the electorate for being unfit for the democratic system, rather than the other way around. They see the solution as tighter policing of public discussion – that is, more controls on what people can see and how they see it — through new systems of gatekeeping and fact-checking guardians on the web.

In this worldview, the political and media elites become modern priest-like keepers of The Truth, and any who question their authoritative version of events can be dismissed as heretics and deniers. This apparent defence of democracy goes against everything that the D-word should mean.

The essence of democratic politics is freedom of speech and no-opinions-barred debates. It is a clash of competing moral values and political visions. It is up to the demos – the people – to take in all the evidence and arguments, take part in the debate, and then judge for themselves what they believe to be true and choose whose side – if any – they want to be on. In a democracy, experts can always give advice, but not give orders about what the demos should do.

The idea of imposing gatekeepers and fact-checkers assumes that there can only be one correct way of viewing an issue. That sounds like the stuff of Orwellian news-control. Thus in its critical report into the EU referendum campaign, the Electoral Reform Society suggested an ‘official body’ should be created to intervene and correct falsehoods in future political campaigns. Perhaps they could call it the Ministry of Truth?

President Trump’s spokesperson was justifiably ridiculed for suggesting that the administration’s inflated estimate of the inauguration ceremony crowds was simply based on ‘alternative facts’. Yet in politics there really are always competing interpretations of reality, different versions of the truth. What you see depends which side of the battle lines you are on. Who really believes that gatekeepers imposed by the political and cultural elites would somehow be neutral seekers of truth, floating on a cloud above the fray with no agenda to pursue or axes to grind?

How does a democratic society decide on what it believes to be true? By the fullest possible debate, not by having it handed down from above. The media have an important part to play in countering fake news, by maintaining a core of properly sourced professional journalism. However, some now apparently see their role as policing what others publish.

Thus the new ‘Countercheck’ scheme for countering fake-news stories during the French presidential election campaign involves the liberal Le Monde, BuzzFeed and Agence France Presse working with Facebook and Google to help French voters ‘make sense of what and who to trust online’ by offering users the option to flag news stories as ‘real’, ‘satire’ or ‘fake’.

Leaving aside the small matters of why they assume voters should automatically trust the judgements of media outlets that are widely seen as part of the French establishment or, in the case of Buzzfeed, as a scandal-monger, the political motives behind this patronising effort to guide the French away from the far-right Front National should be clear to all. If anything, this appears even more explicit in Germany, where Facebook has launched a gatekeeping initiative in response to state officials’ concerns that, as the BBC puts it, ‘online “hate speech” could influence the parliamentary elections in September in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term in office’. In other words, they are trying to protect Ms Merkel from the possible revenge of the masses whom they all fear and loathe.

The only way to counter Trump in America or the FN in France is through a political battle, an open democratic debate to try to win people over and decide what society believes to be true. But instead, the Western establishment wants to close down discussion through internet policemen or the courts, in the false belief that banning a critic is the same thing as beating them. They have learned nothing from Brexit and Trump’s election except for the need to double down on their prejudices about the ‘under-informed’ (aka under-intelligent) electorate.

The elites have effectively redefined defending democracy to mean defending the status quo – if necessary, against unfettered free speech and the unruly demos. Their crusade against fake news is only the latest stage of their war to maintain a fake version of democracy that depends on trying to dictate the speech, thoughts and votes of the demos in whose name they claim to rule.

SOURCE





A Canadian judge has been forced to capitulate to feminist groupthink

In December 2011, some homeless youths gathered in a house in Calgary in Canada for a party. One was Alexander Wagar, aged 23, who had recently come out of prison. Another was a 19-year-old woman, Ms A. Also present were Wagar’s brother, and a friend. Much drink was taken, and Wagar was said by some present to have exposed himself while dancing at one point. Then four of them, including Wagar and Ms A, went to the bathroom to smoke some cannabis.

Ms A then intimated to the others and that she and Wagar wished to have sex, so the others politely left the room. What happens next became hotly disputed in a series of court cases. Wagar said he helped Ms A pull down her jeans, and they started having sex, with her sitting on top of a washbasin. They then moved to the shower, where they made out. Wagar’s brother then came into the bathroom, and Ms A told him to ‘fuck off’. Later, Wagar’s brother told others at the party that Ms A was a ‘slut’.

Later, Ms A complained to the police that Wagar had raped her. He denied this, saying she was a willing participant in their sexual encounter. She claimed that she had been drunk and was unable to resist. Wagar was charged with rape. The trial came before Judge Robin Camp in September 2014. He sat without a jury. Camp had practised law in South Africa and Botswana between 1979 and 1998, before emigrating to Canada.

During the case, Camp made some unfortunately phrased comments. A number of times, he referred to the complainant Ms A as the ‘accused’ (possibly, he meant to say ‘accuser’?). He also asked her to clarify how the assault happened, given her evidence that her bottom was in the washbasin.

‘Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?’, he asked her at one point. Ms A replied, ‘I was drunk’. The judge also asked Ms A, who testified that her jeans were around her ankles: ‘Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?’ Ms A did not reply at first, then said: ‘I don’t know.’ He said she failed to explain ‘why she allowed the sex to happen if she didn’t want it’. Ms A accepted that she did not resist Wagar, either verbally or physically.

Camp annoyed the prosecution counsel by making the comment, ‘Sex is very often a challenge’. But in ‘he said/she said’ or drunk sex/rape claims, that is a legitimate comment. These difficult scenarios have exercised very many reputable academics and legal practitioners.

Camp acquitted the defendant, concluding that he could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ms A did not consent. Wagar’s lawyer argued that she evinced consent by her cooperative conduct. Ms A had told Wagar’s brother the morning after: ‘I didn’t care that [Wagar] did that to me, like I wanted him to do it.’

Camp’s verdict caused an outcry about alleged victim-blaming. Four law professors reported the judge to the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), complaining of the way he had questioned Ms A. Two of them started a media blitz by penning an attack on him in the Globe and Mail. The Alberta minister for justice and solicitor general followed with a request for a formal inquiry, which forced the CJC to act. Perhaps unwisely, the judge issued a grovelling public apology which, predictably, his critics seized upon as evidence of guilt.

In an ominous move, which challenges the independence of the judiciary, Camp was disciplined because of his interpretation of the law: the ‘rape shield’ law which governs what evidence may be adduced of a complainant’s sexual activity with others. Ms A was alleged to have been flirtatious with another person at the party. He was also accused of ‘belittling’ sexual assault, simply because he showed a willingness to question the complainant’s version of events.

Even more alarmingly, the judge faced attacks from a horde of activists who were granted intervener status in the inquiry: the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre; the Ending Violence Association of British Columbia; the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women; the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence against Women and Children; the West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund; the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund Inc (LEAF); Women Against Violence Against Women; and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic.

The CJC’s inquiry has now recommended that Camp be stripped of judicial office. It remains to be seen whether this recommendation will be submitted to the justice minister, and if so, whether Camp will challenge this in court. Only two Canadian judges have been relieved of their office since 1971.

The 112-page report on Camp is interesting for its abject deference to feminist ideology. It found Camp guilty of unconscious bias and thoughtcrime, in essence, because he: ‘Made comments or asked questions evidencing an antipathy towards laws designed to protect vulnerable witnesses, promote equality, and bring integrity to sexual-assault trials. We also find that the judge relied on discredited myths and stereotypes about women and victim-blaming during the trial and in his Reasons for Judgement.’

It complains that he asked questions of the complainant ‘rooted in stereotypical, biased reasoning’. The report claims that he damaged public confidence by evincing ‘a profound failure to act with impartiality and to respect equality before the law, in a context laden with significant and widespread concern about the presence of bias and prejudice’. These are astonishing and contemptuous findings to make about a judge.

Disturbingly, Camp was forced to grovel during this process, admitting that some of his comments were ‘insensitive’ and ‘inappropriate’. In an abject display of capitulation to feminist groupthink, he also confessed: ‘My thinking was infected.’

As an illustration of his supposedly infected thinking, one of the judicial questions to counsel which he was hauled over the coals for making was: ‘Is it unreal for me to accept that a young man and a young woman… want to have sex, particularly if they’re drunk?’ Meanwhile, the prosecutor, Hyatt Mograbee, was arguing for affirmative consent:

THE COURT: Well, tell me about that. Must he ask?
MS MOGRABEE: He must ask.
THE COURT: Where is that written?

Judge Camp was found guilty for this exchange. The report concluded that he was ‘expressing disdain’ by being flippant.

This is nonsense. Such judicial interrogation is the meat and drink of courtroom interactions. Crown counsel whose cases have been dismissed should not be allowed to accuse a judge, who rejects their case, of thoughtcrime. The proper and indeed the only way to challenge a judicial decision, which the losing party does not accept, is to appeal. This is a deeply sinister development: the state is attacking the judicial arm of government for failing to adhere to the ideology of the executive arm of government.

Interestingly, this report acknowledged at the outset that there was some evidence supporting the inference that Ms A might have fabricated the allegation of sexual assault, because she believed that Wagar had later had sex with another woman at the party, and because the complainant was upset with the accused’s brother for embarrassing her by telling others at the party that she had sex with the accused. Should not that have been a valid reason for the judge to have adopted a questioning approach, testing the prosecution’s claims and assumptions, instead of blindly accepting them?

The Crown appealed Wagar’s acquittal. In 2014, in Wagar’s absence, the Alberta Appeal Court overturned the acquittal, claiming that Camp had failed to address the law on consent correctly. ‘We are also persuaded that sexual stereotypes and stereotypical myths, which have long since been discredited, may have found their way into the trial judge’s judgement.’

Wagar’s retrial took place last November before Judge Jerry LeGrandeur. But in a dramatic twist, on 31 January this year, LeGrandeur acquitted Wagar for the second time, essentially on the same grounds as Camp did. The complainant lacked credibility. The point is: when subjected to forensic scrutiny, this rape complaint just didn’t stack up.

But, predictably, the commentariat has been grumbling, and the Crown is talking of yet another appeal. As one experienced commentator says: ‘How many kicks at the can do prosecutors get before they find the decision, not to mention the language, they like?’

SOURCE

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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

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Friday, February 17, 2017



What the elite mean by Fascism

Brendy is pretty right about current usage below but his definition of historical Fascism is weak.  As a retired Marxist, he relies largely on Trotsky for a definition of it.  And that definition is conventional rather than history-based.  The classic Marxist lie is that Fascism/Nazism was middle class.  Yet the most fanatical Nazis -- the "Sturmabteilung" -- were overwhelmingly working class.  And Hitler's origins as a hobo are also not middle class.

The defining characteristics of Fascism are socialist rhetoric and extensive government control of industry.  And those things are true of most developed nations to this day. Control of industry these days is done by laws and regulations rather than by having a party representative on-site at major business  establishments but the result is very similar.  There is great government control in both cases.  So does Fascism still exist in the world today?

It does to a considerable degree.  The overt hostility to other countries is gone but that is about it.  Historical Fascists had great national pride and tried to take over territory from other nations  -- but America's many wars abroad are not so different.  The propaganda is better but there has been an obvious intention to reform other nations along American lines.  America has tried to Americanize the world.

And it may be noted that most of America's wars have been entered into by people who also espouse socialistic rhetoric.  Socialistic rhetoric was joined with war by Hitler and the same is largely true of the USA. Democrat President Woodrow Wilson got America into WWI. FDR got it into WW2.  Kennedy got it into Vietnam.  Only the Iraq intervention was the work of a Republican and that was in response to a direct attack on the U.S. homeland -- so was essentially a defensive war.

And, as with past Fascist military adventures, American interventions abroad have had very poor success.  The last clear success was in Korea and even that succeeded only in the South.

But in a sense America's military efforts are incidental to American dominance.  American mass culture has conquered the world.  Guns and bullets are a crude instrument of influence compared to that.

So I do think that real Fascism is not only alive and well but is the dominant form of government today.



Having divorced politics from popular opinion as a way of keeping in check the presumed fascist tendencies of the masses, it is not surprising that the political class views the public’s recent attempts at ‘taking back control’, at joining back together opinion and democracy, as a return of fascism. Their great fear is that the lid they put on the masses’ latent fascism, their distancing of the political machinery from public prejudices, has been lifted. They are screaming ‘fascism’ because they see fascism in us, in ordinary people. Thus the accusation of fascism expresses a profound hostility towards democracy itself, and to the demos. It is pure elitism to see fascism in the new politics. Which is why the most elite sections of society — archbishops, princes, heads of global institutions — are often to the fore in the fascism frenzy.

And of course, what they describe as ‘fascism’ — Brexit, people worried about immigration, Trump — is nothing of the sort. These things don’t even come close to fascism. As Weismann argued, even ‘dictatorship, mass neurosis, anti-Semitism, the power of unscrupulous propaganda, the hypnotic effect of a mad-genius orator on the masses, and so on’ do not necessarily constitute fascism. Fascism, he said, was something different to all that, something more than all that. Fascism, in essence, is a mass, paramilitary movement that acts as a stand-in for normal politics and normal statehood when that politics and statehood cannot deal with a threat it faces, primarily the threat of revolution or of organised, agitating labour. As Trotsky put it, fascism occurs when the ‘police and military resources’ of a society, and its parliamentary process, ‘no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium’. In such circumstances, as happened most notably in Italy and Germany, the rulers of society give way to, or rather push to the front, a mass violent movement fashioned to crush the threatening force. Fascism, basically, is when a society in crisis green-lights civil war as a means of stabilising itself in the longer term.

This fascist movement is made up from the ‘crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralised lumpenproletariat’, in Trotsky’s colourful, cutting phrase. Brought to ‘desperation and frenzy’, this mass, paramilitarised section of society sets about ‘annihilating’ workers’ movements and of course executing anti-Semitic savagery. The consequence is that ‘a system of administration is created which penetrates deeply into the masses and which serves to frustrate the independent crystallisation of the proletariat’ — ‘therein precisely is the gist of fascism’, said Trotsky. This is why those who say ‘the Nazis were left-wing, you know’ are wholly wrong. Fascism fundamentally represents the violent marshalling of a certain strata of society to the end of crushing the left and the working class. Yes, the Nazis in particular used socialist terms, even calling themselves the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. But as Trotsky says, that was merely the means through which a mass movement could be built. Fascism’s leaders ‘employ a great deal of socialist demagogy’, he said, for this is ‘necessary to the creation of the mass movement’.

Nothing even remotely like this exists today. None of the conditions or groups that make fascism, and which make it distinct from hatred and demagoguery and even from dictatorship, exist in Europe or the US in 2017. There is no powerful workers’ movement posing such a threat to the stability of capitalism that it needs to be destroyed. No ‘crazed’ petty bourgeoisie is being armed and goaded into civil or class war as a means of ‘annihilating’ vast numbers of their fellow citizens. People — well, ordinary people — have not been whipped into a frenzy. Indeed, it is the patience of Brexit and Trump voters in the face of incessant defamation by the media and political set that is most striking.

It is a fantasy to claim fascism has made a comeback. And it’s a revealing fantasy. When the political and media elites speak of fascism today, what they’re really expressing is fear. Fear of the primal, unpredictable mass of society. Fear of unchecked popular opinion. Fear of what they view as the authoritarian impulses of those outside their social, bureaucratic sphere. Fear of the latent fascism, as they see it, of the ordinary inhabitants of Nazi-darkened Europe or of Middle America, who apparently lack the moral and intellectual resources to resist demagoguery. As one columnist put it, today’s ‘fascistic style’ of politics is a creation not so much of wicked leaders, as of the dangerous masses. ‘Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you’, he says. ‘Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you.’ In short, not leaders but the led; not the state but the people. This, precisely, is who terrifies them. This, precisely, is what they mean when they say ‘fascism’. They mean you, me, ordinary people; people who have dared to say that they want to influence politics again after years of being frozen out. When they say fascism, they mean democracy.

SOURCE






A successful media hit job on a Trump associate -- BEFORE General Flynn

Colonel Ken Allard

When CNN and Politico charged last month that Monica Crowley - my longtime friend and editor at The Washington Times - was a serial plagiarist, the sickening headlines left me angry. And more than slightly confused.

Had the well-known Monica Crowley - soon slated to become deputy national security adviser to President Trump - really plagiarized large portions of her doctoral dissertation from Columbia University as well as her 2012 best-selling book? Because headlines are often crafted with the deliberate intent of silencing the victim, the unchallenged evidence seemed doubly damning. She stepped away quietly from her prestigious White House position and could no longer be found in the familiar climes of Fox News or The Washington Times. Her once-prominent persona had seemingly vanished in the whiff of scandal.

Or so you might have thought - unless you really know her and appreciate the skullduggery of her attackers. I do because our two-decade friendship was forged in a far-away galaxy, back when MSNBC was a respectable news network. It then employed Ms. Crowley and Tucker Carlson as conservative commentators and me as an on-air military analyst. Both then and ever since, Monica has been a woman of great character and a consummate professional, both a tough editor and a good friend.

So it was gratifying but not really surprising when Andrew McCarthy recently wrote in National Review that the CNN attack on Monica Crowley had been a "major hit job" with many mistakes "being blown wildly out of proportion, to the point of smear." Mr. McCarthy's argument became even more interesting when reinforced by the detailed analysis conducted by Lynn Chu, a highly experienced and authoritative literary copyright attorney. Her conclusions: "I found CNN's splashy "plagiarism" accusation to be ill-supported - a heavily exaggerated, political hit job. Instead, after reading texts side by side with footnotes, I came away impressed by the very high quality and care taken by Ms. Crowley in her writing, scholarship and research overall." How's that for plagiarism?

That irony runs even deeper because those same tactics were perfected in a now-forgotten prologue. In 2008, I was one of the network military analysts accused of corruption in a 7500-word New York Times "expose" splashed across its front pages. Written on the eve of the 2008 presidential campaign, The New York Times story accused the Rumsfeld Pentagon of stage-managing news about the war on terror, suborning television's military analysts with privileged access and trips to the combat zones. Precisely on cue, over 40 congressional Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama among them, loudly demanded investigations.

Eventually we were exonerated after repeated investigations by three federal agencies, lasting almost four years and costing millions of taxpayer dollars. The New York Times even won the Pulitzer Prize for its story, despite the aura of plagiarism. Eighteen months earlier, I had written a book, "Warheads," a first-person memoir about the supposedly secret program so heroically exposed by the Times. Despite extensive interviews with me about the book's contents, the Times' story somehow failed to mention its existence. Was that plagiarism-by-omission or just deliberate distortion? As The Wall Street Journal noted in announcing our final vindication, "those investigations have now shown that the liars weren't at the Pentagon."

But where do you go to have your reputation restored? Our oppressors at The New York Times never apologized and neither did Congress, under whose authority those federal investigations were launched. Instead, we were simply exiled, just as Monica Crowley is today. It's nothing personal, as Tony Soprano would assure us, it's just business - the sometimes regrettable but essential business of the leftist media cabal now systematically corrupting this country's once-proud institutions.

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." Today, media objectivity is a politically incorrect ideal, possibly even an invitation to hate-speech. Rather than restraining the powerful, Big Media is largely indistinguishable from Big Government, 90 percent of its practitioners lifelong Democrats eager to extend its already intrusive powers.

After Donald Trump's election, they didn't lose a moment organizing the hysterical resistance now dominating every news cycle. CNN and Politico did their bit by going after Monica Crowley - like a burglar trying back-door locks in an exclusive neighborhood. (Had they applied more timely diligence to either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden could well be our president.)

But Americans can no longer underestimate the dangers that "journalistic jihadis" pose for a representative democracy. In addition to trashing old soldiers and all who disagree with them, they are ideologues and propagandists who have far more in common with Joseph Goebbels than Joseph Pulitzer.

SOURCE






German police hunt knife-carrying Muslim 'sex pest who said victim was asking for it'

Since the advent of the Muslim invasion of Europe …. comes the rape epidemic. And the Democrats wants this for Americans

POLICE in the German city of Hamburg are hunting a Tunisian man who failed to show up at court to face allegations over an alleged armed sex attack.

A judge issued an arrest warrant two days ago after the man, identified as Anter B, absconded.

The suspect is believed to have used a knife to detain a woman at a bus stop before making her walk to a petrol station before making sexual threats.

While the woman was kidnapped, she claimed the man told her the reason for his attack was because she was German and she was asking for it.

The 24-year-old man, who is said to have achieved permanent residence status in Hamburg, was charged with 'verbal abuse and coercion' according to prosecutors.

However after being freed from custody the man failed to show up for a scheduled court appearance. A judge issued an arrest warrant for the individual on Tuesday but it has not been confirmed whether he has been apprehended.

The arrest warrant was issued just one week after German chancellor Angela Merkel announced far-ranging immigration reforms.

Bundestag politicians have instigated an Asylum Procedures Acceleration Act in a bid to speed up the process of deportation.

The German parliament has banned family reunion for two years, meaning battles to bring relatives of migrants over to Germany, as currently happens in Britain, will no longer take place.

And they have introduced a new law to allow for the easier expulsion of offenders in the case of asylum seekers suspected of committing a criminal offence.

Mrs Merkel's Government says this law will allow them to identify "strange behaviour of foreigners" that could put them at risk of expulsion.

Angry campaigners held placards with slogans reading 'Merkel not welcomed' and 'Merkel must go' following a spate of terror attacks against Germany.
   
However it is not clear if these new laws will apply to those who have already been granted leave to remain.

Germany is also digitising its immigration protocols as they implement an 'introduction of proof of arrival' scheme to identify those who have no paperwork.

SOURCE





Trump is right: Settlements don't impede peace

by Jeff Jacoby

THE WORLD'S restless fixation with where Jews live has flared up again.

On Monday evening, Israel's parliament passed a law authorizing the government to legalize thousands of homes built in the West Bank, in many cases on land against which there are claims of prior ownership. The measure allows the homes to remain, while compensating the previous owners with their choice of an alternative parcel of land or a payment equal to 125 percent of the land's value.

The new law, highly controversial in Israel, is sure to be challenged in court. Many experts predict that Israel's aggressively independent judiciary will strike the law down. It wouldn't be the first time Israel's government has lost a litigation battle - and if it comes to that, the country's elected officials will bow to the court's authority. Just days ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following orders from the Supreme Court, sent in security forces to remove hundreds of Jewish residents from Amona, an unauthorized hilltop community in the West Bank.

Stories about Israeli settlements invariably generate breathless international headlines, as though there is something uniquely newsworthy about Jews in the Jewish state building homes and schools to accommodate a growing population. When those homes and schools are constructed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - land Israel seized from Jordan in the Six Day War 50 years ago - there is inevitably much handwringing about the harm they pose to the prospect of peace with the Palestinians and the "two-state solution" on which an end to the conflict supposedly depends.

Actually, the two-state solution is a chimera. The explicit goal of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is the elimination of the Jewish state, not the building-up of a Palestinian counterpart. That is why they have rejected multiple offers of statehood, why they insist that Jews cannot live in any territory claimed by Palestinians, and why the Palestinian Authority regards the sale of land to Jews as a capital crime punishable by death. When Israel relinquished all of Gaza to Palestinian control, the new owners used the territory not to develop a constructive and peaceful new State of Palestine, but to launch rockets and terror raids against the state of Israel next door.

It takes a curious derangement to conclude from this that all would be well in the Middle East if only Israel would stop enlarging Jewish neighborhoods. Yet that is the mindset of the UN and much of the international community. It was also the mindset of the Obama administration, which rarely missed an opportunity to condemn Israeli settlements - going so far as to facilitate a Security Council resolution declaring even East Jerusalem, with its storied Jewish Quarter, "occupied Palestinian territory."

To its credit, the Trump administration rejects that paradigm. The Republican platform adopted last summer made no reference to the "two-state" unicorn, and Trump's ambassador to Israel firmly backs the expansion of Jewish communities in the historic Jewish heartland. Last week the White House spokesman, while advising caution toward the construction of new settlements, made a point of emphasizing that the new president and his foreign-policy team "don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace."

Bizarrely, those words were spun in the media as a sign that Trump had come to embrace Obama's way of thinking about Israel and the Palestinians. That interpretation strikes me as thoroughly wrong-headed - and when Trump warmly welcomes Netanyahu to Washington next week, I expect it to seem more outlandish still.

Anything can change, of course, especially given Trump's volatility and impulsiveness. But on the evidence so far, Obama's frostiness toward Israel is anathema to the new administration. Palestinian rejectionism, not Jewish housing, has always been the insurmountable impediment to ending the Middle East conflict. Obama could never bring himself to acknowledge that fundamental truth. I'm guessing Trump won't have that problem.

SOURCE

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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

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