Wednesday, September 02, 2015




The Next Front in the War on Religious Freedom

Stop bellyaching about Washington. All the country’s best fascists are on your local city council

Not long ago, Colorado became a leader in the fight against religious freedom, when its Civil Rights Commission, self-appointed ministers of justice and theology, decided that a shopkeeper who refuses to participate in a gay wedding ceremony must be smeared and fined out of business. A Colorado appeals court says this is kosher, finding that the brittle sensitivities of a cakeless couple outweigh the constitutional rights of Christian business owners.

Now, in an effort to save everyone some time, the cultural imperialists at the Denver City Council have decided to skip the pretense of some trumped-up injustice and jumped right to discriminating against a business solely because of the beliefs of its CEO.

The Denver City Council’s Business Development Committee has stalled a seven-year deal with Chick-fil-A because CEO Dan Cathy spoke out against gay marriage back in 2012. Cathy, after being flogged for this misconduct, backed off, saying he regretted getting involved. But that won’t do. There are no prisoners in this culture war. So the City Council will meet in a couple of weeks to take up the topic again. Not so the members can take time to chew over the significance of a city’s punishing its citizens for their thoughts and beliefs or even to weigh the importance of tolerance in a vibrant city such as Denver. They’re waiting to have a closed-door committee hearing with city attorneys, who will brief them on the legal implications and practicality of shutting down apostates.

The only thing that might stop Denver from pulling this concession from an apologetic Christian, then, would be a few risk-averse bureaucrats. This, even though Chick-fil-A has not been accused of any infraction or crime. No one has even suggested it’s guilty of make-believe acts of discrimination. Chick-fil-A has given assurances, in fact, as all other concessionaires at Denver International Airport restaurants have, it will follow nondiscrimination policies laid out by law, which include protections for sexual orientation.

So what’s the point? Well, Councilwoman Robin Kniech asked a concessionaire this question: “If the national corporation with which you are affiliated once again puts themselves at the center of a national debate about depriving people and their families of rights, would you as a concessionaire have any ability to influence that?”

“I don’t believe so,” he answered.  “I don’t think you would, either,” Kniech said. “And that’s my concern.”

So that’s her concern? Setting aside the oversimplification of the debate surrounding marriage, since when is it the interest of a city councilor to monitor the political activities of citizens and wonder how she deals with vendors who displease her sensibilities? Do Americans with minority opinions function under some different set of laws? The only entity with the power to deprive anyone or anyone’s family of rights, in this case, is the City Council. So please tell me how Kniech isn’t a petty tyrant.

Of course, Denver is not alone. A few years back, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supported an alderman’s efforts to block Chick-fil-A from opening in his city because of, as the media like to say, the “anti-gay views” of its CEO — which, only a couple of years beforehand, had been the anti-gay views of President Barack Obama and Emanuel, his chief of staff. The Chicago City Council didn’t go through with it, after “assurances” from the company that the virtue of Chicago would be protected.

Denver Councilman Paul Lopez, who is leading the intellectual charge for the ban — a task that meshes poorly with his skill set — says that in the end, opposition to the chain at the airport is “really, truly a moral issue.” Now, when the Founding Fathers told us that government can make no law respecting an establishment of religion, I took it to mean that the belief system of a union-installed sock puppet on a city council would be completely irrelevant in matters of expression and faith. Really, truly.

Now, people are free to boycott and protest whomever they please. Citizens and elected officials have every right to work to cut off taxpayer funding to businesses and institutions they find morally distasteful. But if the city council of Anytown, USA, were to concoct reasons to deny permits to gay business owners who support same-sex marriage, many Americans would find that rightfully appalling. If you’re OK with the idea of a city council’s denying Christians who believe in traditional marriage the same freedom, you’re a massive hypocrite — and probably worse.

SOURCE






Appalling: Planned Parenthood Didn't Report Rapes of Underage Girls

 Planned Parenthood staff did not report multiple rapes of a 14-year-old girl who got two abortions at the clinic that were four months apart, the Alabama health department found during a recently published review of the clinic.

In addition to sanitation problems, improper paperwork and a lack of caution when administering drugs to patients, the health department found the Alabama clinic failed to report the 14-year-old’s case to the authorities, and was otherwise careless with her health.

These deficiencies “require a plan of correction,” the review begins.

A 14-year-old mother of two visited the clinic in April, 2014, for an abortion, and returned that August for a second abortion. Planned Parenthood did not obtain proper consent from a guardian, as required by Alabama law, and did not take proper precautions when administering the medication abortions.

SOURCE






Carson Drops A Truth Bomb on Thug Culture

In a new USA Today op-ed, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson slammed some of the tactics used by the Black Lives Matter movement as “lunacy,” while singling out a host of liberal institutions which he says are the black community’s “real sources of our hopelessness.”

Carson singled out the entertainment industry — and the new hit movie “Straight Outta Compton” in particular — as one such institution.

“The entertainment industry…lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash,” Carson writes.  “It is time for them to pick on someone else because we have had enough.”

“Demeaning women is not art, and it shouldn’t be profitable. Neither is glorifying violence and equating prison time with authenticity. Straight Out of Compton, #1 in movie theaters, is just the latest example. You only have to watch the trailers.”

The movie tells the story of the formation of the Los Angeles-based rap group, N.W.A. The group, whose most popular song is entitled, “Fuck the Police,” was started with drug money from one of its members, Eazy-E.

Addressing policing, which has been Black Lives Matter’s main area of focus, Carson acknowledges that the activists are right “that racial policing issues exist and some rotten policemen took actions that killed innocent people.”

“Those actions were inexcusable and they should be prosecuted to deter such acts in the future,” Carson says, while adding that “unjust treatment from police did not fill our inner cities with people who face growing hopelessness.”

In the op-ed, Carson calls out Black Lives Matter for its recent focus on Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.  “There are many things to be angry about when you are consumed by hopelessness. Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them,” Carson writes.

Earlier this month members of the Black Lives Matter branch in Seattle disrupted a Sanders campaign event, forcing him off stage. The incident caused disruption within progressive circles and within the Black Lives Matter movement itself. Sanders is considered the most progressive candidate running for office.

Activists from other Black Lives Matters chapters have disrupted other events, including last month’s Netroots Nation, where Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley were presenting.

Carson, who describes the neighborhood of his childhood as one where “most Americans were told to never drive through,” pointed to his mother who helped protect him and his brother from falling victim to street crime.

“I can tell you she wasn’t worried about Socialist senators from tiny rural states,” Carson writes. “‘BlackLivesmatter’ could learn from her to focus on the real sources of our hopelessness.”

Carson calls on the protesters to march on local boards of education, city hall, the entertainment industry, crack houses, Washington D.C. and both the Democratic and Republican parties.

“The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations,” Carson says, asserting that public schools are controlled by teachers unions which focus more on helping teachers rather than teaching children.

He also calls for protests against city hall to help fight against crime and laments the federal government’s “War on Poverty,” saying that the $19 trillion spent on programs to fight poverty “have been a great American failure.”

Of the Democratic party, Carson writes: “Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.”

He also accuses the Republican party of ignoring blacks for too long. “They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.”

SOURCE






Obama Desecrates American History

Ohio lawmakers reacted angrily Sunday to the White House's announcement that President Obama would formally rename Alaska's Mt. McKinley — North America's highest peak — "Denali" during his trip to The Last Frontier this week.

"Mount McKinley ... has held the name of our nation's 25th President for over 100 years," Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "This landmark is a testament to his countless years of service to our country." Gibbs also described Obama's action as "constitutional overreach," saying that an act of Congress was required to rename the mountain, because a law formally naming it after Ohio's William McKinley was passed in 1917.

"This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action," Gibbs said.

The Ohio delegation's disappointment at the decision cut across party lines.

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, September 01, 2015



Not another one!  Another arrogant U.N. female ready to bad-mouth  Britain

Britain is so safe to pick on I guess.  The same performance in Iran or Venezuela would get her locked up for slander or some such.  Wonderful Britain just tut-tuts

The United Nations was under fire last night for sending a Costa Rican human rights lawyer to Britain to investigate ‘absurd’ claims that Government welfare reforms have violated the rights of the disabled.

Catalina Devandas Aguilar is expected to visit the UK in the coming months to spearhead an inquiry into claims that Britain is guilty of ‘grave or systematic violations’ of the rights of the disabled.

The inquiry, by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will report back on a range of issues, including whether welfare cuts have harmed disabled people. Other members of the committee include representatives from Uganda, Kenya, Tunisia and Thailand.

Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger last night described the inquiry as ‘the most absurd and offensive nonsense’.  He added: ‘We have a proud record in this country for the way we treat disabled people.

‘I am not an expert on disability rights in Costa Rica, but I suspect Miss Devandas Aguilar might be better off focusing her efforts much closer to home. The UN should keep their noses out.’

An inquiry is only ordered where the UN committee believes there is evidence of ‘grave or systematic violations’ of the rights of the disabled. It is understood Miss Devandas Aguilar is planning to lead a team of inspectors to the UK in the coming months to talk to campaigners.

Bill Scott, director of policy at Inclusion Scotland, a consortium of disability organisations, said he had been contacted by the UN after submitting a report to the Geneva-based committee.  He told Scotland’s Herald newspaper: ‘The UN have notified us they will be visiting Britain to investigate, and want to meet us.’

Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger last night described the inquiry as ‘the most absurd and offensive nonsense’

Disabled people have been affected by a number of welfare reforms in recent years. Disability campaigners claim they were hit disproportionately by the spare room subsidy. Critics say disabled people sometimes need a spare room for a carer or equipment.

Campaigners are also critical of Employment and Support Allowance. Claimants must undergo a test to see if they are capable of work and will have their payments cut by £30 a week to the level of Jobseeker’s Allowance if they are.

Ministers insist the changes have been designed to focus scarce resources on the most needy and encourage those who can work to return to the workplace.

The Department for Work and Pensions has declined to comment on the inquiry, but pointed out that the UK spends around £50billion a year on disabled people and their services. The UK also has stringent equalities legislation.

The investigation threatens to reignite the row between the DWP and the UN over ‘politically motivated’ attacks on Britain.

Last year a group of UN poverty ‘ambassadors’ attacked Britain’s welfare reforms. And in 2013, the UN’s controversial Brazilian housing ‘rapporteur’ Raquel Rolnik criticised cuts to housing benefit. Miss Rolnik, a former Marxist, was dubbed the ‘Brazil Nut’ after claims emerged that she had dabbled in witchcraft.

SOURCE





Britain's leading Leftist, Jeremy Corbyn, is an utter nut

Jeremy Corbyn described the assassination of Osama bin Laden as a ‘tragedy upon a tragedy’ that would make the world a more dangerous place.

In TV footage which emerged online for the first time last week, the Labour leadership frontrunner criticised the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist in a raid by US special forces.

He told Iranian national television, shortly after bin Laden was shot four years ago, that the 9/11 mastermind should not have received the ‘death penalty’, but should have been put on trial. Failure to do so, Mr Corbyn said, was ‘a tragedy upon a tragedy’, after the World Trade Center attacks, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Critics have described his remarks as ‘frightening’ and displaying a complete lack of understanding of difficult military operations. They will fuel the deep concerns of many voters about Mr Corbyn’s antipathy to Western foreign policy, and follow the recent chorus of criticism over his associations with Islamic extremists.

Bin Laden became the world’s most wanted man following the attacks on September 11, 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people when two jets hijacked by extremists from his Al Qaeda network were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, another hit the Pentagon and one crashed in Pennsylvania.

He was tracked down and shot dead in May 2011 at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. David Cameron and former Labour leader Ed Miliband praised the US forces for their achievement and said the world was now a ‘safer place’.

But Mr Corbyn told Press TV’s The Agenda programme: ‘There was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him and put him on trial, to go through that process. This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy.

‘The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died. Torture has come back on to the world stage … Can’t we learn some lessons from this?’

Presenter Yvonne Ridley, a controversial critic of the West, mentioned reports of a drone strike on another senior Al Qaeda figure, Anwar al-Awlaki, the following day. Mr Corbyn replied: ‘Yes and the next stage will be an attempted assassination on Gaddafi and so it will go on.

‘This will just make the world more dangerous and worse and worse and worse. The solution has got to be law not war.’ He added: ‘I think everyone should be put on trial. I also profoundly disagree with the death penalty under any circumstances for anybody.’

Kevan Jones, Labour’s defence spokesman, said: ‘This just shows you how out of touch he is with what most people’s views are.’

Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative MP on the Commons foreign affairs select committee, said: ‘Osama bin Laden was a terrorist who any sensible human being in the world would want either killed or arrested. For him to call this a tragedy and appear to compare it to what happened on 9/11 is frightening.’

Alan Mendoza, deputy director of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said the comments ‘betray a complete lack of understanding of the conditions in which an extremely difficult military mission was undertaken’.


SOURCE






Pay gap? British women earn MORE than men till their 40s

Women are paid more than men until they reach their 40s, according to an official assessment of the gender pay gap.

It found that the difference between wage levels for male and female employees leans in favour of women rather than men among workers in their 20s and 30s.

Twenty-something women have earned more than men in the same age group for the past decade.

Now, in a further sign that the gender pay gap is retreating, the figures show that for the first time women in their 30s are also paid more than their male contemporaries. Men only become better paid when they reach middle age.

The disappearance of apparent pay bias against women in their 30s comes as growing numbers of women put off having children until later and later ages.

Figures covering last year show that women in their 20s, working full-time and without counting overtime, earned 1.1 per cent more on average than similar men.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics in its national hours and earnings survey, also show that women in their 30s out-earned men by 0.2 per cent on average last year.

But a pay gap in favour of men still cuts in after the age of 40. Women in their 40s are paid on average 13.6 per cent less than men, a disadvantage that rises to 18 per cent for those in their 50s.

Girls still earn less than boys until they reach 21. Among 16 and 17-year-olds, boys earn 16.9 per cent more than girls while for 18 to 21-year-olds the gap is 4.8 per cent.

The continuing pay gap in favour of teenage boys may be connected to the greater academic success of girls, which means most able women will go to university or further education. Women have closed the gap on men under 40 at a time when education, career and home ownership have become the priority over marriage and family for millions.

The average age at which a woman has a baby is now 30 and the proportion who have a baby over 35 has trebled since the 1980s. The traditional gender pay gap is also being challenged among the young high earners of Hollywood.

In June the Mail reported that for her latest film Jennifer Lawrence, 25, is to be paid almost double what her male co-star receives. The Hunger Games actress will reportedly get £12.5million to appear in Passengers, while Chris Pratt, star of Guardians of the Galaxy, will receive up to £7.5million

In the past, Oscar-winner Miss Lawrence, a vocal critic of the gender wage gap in Hollywood, has been paid less than male co-stars.

The ONS figures were supplemented by a survey by the Press Association news agency, which said that in 2013 a woman aged between 22 and 29 typically earned £1,111 more than a male rival.

Feminist campaigners said companies should close the pay gap at older ages by offering senior jobs to part-time or job-share managers.

Sam Smethers, of the Fawcett Society, said: ‘Sadly the opposite is true. Once you get to a certain level it is a full-time role, which excludes many women from roles they would be perfectly capable of doing.’

But Patricia Morgan, an author and researcher on the family, said: ‘If the pay gap in the 20s and 30s was the other way around there would be bucketloads of experts jumping up and down demanding that we act to address this dreadful inequality. No-one seems to worry about being unfair to men.

‘This is about women and their ability to choose to have children, and to look after them themselves. There is a smack of totalitarianism about the attitude which says women cannot choose to bring up their own children rather than pursue careers.’

SOURCE






ACLU: Force Catholic Hospitals to Abandon Catholic Faith

The woefully misnamed American Civil Liberties Union is launching a crusade to force Catholic hospitals to act against Catholic moral teachings and the natural law.

This is an un-American attack on religious liberty.

The ACLU's intentions came to light this week after it threatened to sue Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California, which is operated by the Sisters of Mercy. The hospital is a part of Dignity Health, a nonprofit that operates 40 hospitals — 22 of which are Catholic — in California, Nevada and Arizona.

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, Elizabeth Gill, an ACLU lawyer, sent a letter to the hospital threatening legal action if it would not relent on its refusal to allow a woman to be sterilized in its facilities after giving birth there to a child due next month.

"In an Aug. 17 letter to Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Gill said the ACLU would go to court unless the hospital reversed course and authorized the sterilization procedure," the Chronicle reported. "By denying 'pregnancy-related care'..., Gill wrote, the hospital is discriminating on the basis of sex, as defined by California law, and is also allowing 'your corporate entity's religious beliefs' to override a doctor's medical decision, violating a state law against the corporate practice of medicine."

On Tuesday, the Chronicle published another article with this lead: "Facing a possible sex-discrimination lawsuit, a Catholic hospital in Redding reversed its position Monday and agreed to let a woman's doctor sterilize her after she gives birth next month."

Dignity Health's Mercy Medical Center then issued a carefully worded statement indicating that the center, in fact, had not and would not turn away from the Catholic bishops' moral directives on health care.

"In accordance with policy, as well as state and federal law, we respect our patients' privacy by not discussing the specifics of their care," said Dignity's statement.

"What we can share is that in general, it is our practice not to provide sterilization services at Dignity Health's Catholic facilities in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services," said the statement. "As such, tubal ligations are not performed in Catholic hospitals except on a case-by-case basis where a formal review by a committee of physicians and others gives permission to perform the procedure."

"The hospital has always and will continue to operate in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and medical staff bylaws," Dignity insisted in its statement.

The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, say this about sterilization: "Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic hospital. Procedures that induce sterility are permitted when their direct effect is the cure or alleviation of a present and serious pathology and a simpler treatment is not available."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has posted a collection of quotations from church documents on contraception, sterilization and abortion. It includes a statement from Pope Pius XII explaining that "direct sterilization" is a violation of the natural law.

"Direct sterilization — that is, the sterilization which aims, either as a means or as an end in itself, to render child-bearing impossible — is a grave violation of the moral law and therefore unlawful," said the pope.

"[W]hen sterilization began to be much more widely used the Holy See was obliged to declare openly and explicitly that direct sterilization, permanent or temporary, whether of men or women, is illicit in virtue of the natural law, from which the Church herself, as you know, has no power to dispense."

For its part, the ACLU made clear that its ultimate target was not this particular hospital or the outcome of the particular case discussed in the Chronicle. Its ultimate target is the practice of Catholic morality inside Catholic hospitals.

"While we are grateful Mercy Medical Center has agreed to provide medical care in this instance ... the reality remains that there is a clear conflict between the best interests of patients and the directives of the Catholic hospital system," said the ACLU's Gill in an ACLU press release.

"Religious institutions that provide services to the general public should not be allowed to hold religion as an excuse to discriminate or deny important health care," she said.

The ACLU then said: "The hospital's directives, written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, classify common reproductive health procedures as 'intrinsically evil."

In fact, Directive 70 published by the bishops says: "Catholic health care organizations are not permitted to engage in immediate material cooperation in actions that are intrinsically immoral, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and direct sterilization."

We now live in a country where self-proclaimed advocates of "civil liberties" believe they can get the courts to force Catholic institutions to cooperate in these evil acts.

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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Monday, August 31, 2015



The Feminist War on Family Science

Another comment on feminist "research" here.  Also see here and here

Few social science findings are as durable, consistent, and striking as the idea that children fare better when under the care of two biological parents (on a whole slew of indicators).  This is as close to a law of gravity as we have in sociology.

Unfortunately, there are a slew of scholars who have ignored the science, and instead argue that sociology cannot prove that children fare better with parents who are traditionally married.

The effect of this feminist war on family science—waged by Martha Fineman, Linda McClain, and Elizabeth Brake—has been staggering.

For example, defenders of traditional marriage recently pointed to family science facts in court proceedings on same-sex marriage and were forced to defend state laws favoring traditional marriage as if they were discriminatory.

In order to defend such laws, they had to prove that the state’s discrimination served a “compelling state interest” on behalf of children.

Social science studies are, however, as I say, on the side of traditional marriage.

Those who helped design legal strategies and briefs on this topic thought that the courts were putting a gun to the head of traditional marriage and forcing it to come up with the goods.

We hoped we could, under these unfavorable conditions, still win the argument on the basis of evidence.

For such arguments to win the day, judges and justices have to be willing to listen to the data. There were reasons not to be optimistic that they would be open to persuasion.

As I say, few findings in social science are as well-established as the idea that children raised by two biological parents are better-educated, commit fewer crimes, have more self-control, and do better on almost every measure of well-being than children living with single parents, from divorces, living with step-parents, and so on.

Long term studies beginning in the 1970s have shown this to be true. The most significant data on this has been available since the late 1980s, with more and more data accumulating as the years proceed.

There was a cascade of studies and prominent books on the topic in 2000, and subsequent work has done nothing but buttress such findings.

I hesitate to mention any single individual on this topic, but Robert Rector, David Popenoe, and David Blankenhorn were crucial in the early stages of this project, while few have been as important as W. Bradford Wilcox in the latest stages.

Before these findings were dismissed in court, feminists and contemporary liberals confronted them and denigrated them.

The various arguments that these feminist “scholars” have made reveal an ideological blindness that is not open to reason and evidence.

Liberal Scholars Ignore the Science

Exhibit A is Martha Fineman, author of “The Autonomy Myth” and professor at Emory University.  She discredits research in several ways.

First, she claims there is a “feedback loop,” within which family decline literature should be dismissed.  “The results of only some studies (those supporting the family disintegration thesis) get publicized and aggressively made part of policy discourse through think tanks and advocates with access to media.”

Then, in the usual manner, she cites countervailing studies—studies that show that kids of divorce or products of single parents do just fine, thank you.

Or, to be more precise, these countervailing studies show that “association is not causation” or that the effects are difficult to state or that decline does not necessarily lead to such effects or that they demonstrate the problem of a spurious relationship or a selection bias.  This exhausts what I remember from methods classes.

Fineman concludes that the science of family decline is still in the boyhood of knowledge and cannot be relied on or should not be relied on.

One wonders if she would have had the same hesitancy if the results had pointed in the other direction!

This brings Fineman to her second point.  “Even if” the social science on the children is correct, the “analysis fails to consider, let alone add to the equation, the cost suffered by women (and ultimately the children they care for) if we deter divorce or punish single motherhood through establishing economic and normative disincentives.”

Actually, such questions have been addressed more than once, and the findings suggest that women too are better off in marriage than outside of it.

Fineman represents the “science is not settled” strategy: if all the studies agree, she denigrates them as part of a “feedback loop.”  She pounces on the difficulty of conducting experiments in a social setting. She searches, mostly in vain, for studies that point in the other direction

Interestingly, Fineman cites New York University Professor Judith Stacey regarding the feedback loop, and then several subsequent feminist scholars cite Stacey and Fineman about the feedback loop.  It is almost as if there is a feminist feedback loop about the feedback loop.

Role of Traditional Family

Exhibit B is Linda McClain, who published a very comprehensive book on family policy, “The Place of Families,” in 2006. McClain puts “gendered” or traditional marriage in her crosshairs.

She claims that marital families should not be “the sole proxy for family forms that secure child well being” and that the traditional family promotes gender hierarchy, domestic violence, and male entitlement.

The harm to children seems to be a price McClain is willing to pay for greater female equality, understood as greater advances in an autonomous life for women.

Perhaps these harms can be minimized as we search for alternatives to the individualized, loving attention mothers and fathers pay their children.

What we need is high-quality, subsidized daycare and other public institutions that could replace the family. If these do not work, well, there is no back-up plan.

McClain affects not to trust the science. If she did trust the science, she would dismiss it, recognizing that this question presents an ultimate clash of values between female autonomy and child well-being.

On that clash of values, she chooses the autonomous self with capacity.

Even if the science is settled, McClain, without blinders and in full realization of what she is doing, does not care.  Other “values,” including the rearing of self-governing children, are more important than child well-being.  Public institutions, it is hoped, may also arise to help us mitigate the damage.

Expanding Marriage Even Further

Elizabeth Brake, author of “Minimizing Marriage” shows how the understanding of marriage at the heart of the same-sex movement cannot be cabined, and she welcomes a new, more minimal understanding of marriage that includes not only same-sex couples, but also a circumstance where “diverse care networks, urban tribes, best friends, quirkyalones, polyamorists,” and others can be accepted as marriage partners.

Brake is also brave in her recognition of social science data on family decline.  She concedes that if marriage is “‘for’ reproduction and child rearing … and traditional marriage were essential to child rearing, this could provide a justification for restrictive marriage laws.”

Now she does stack the deck a bit. “Essential to child rearing” is a high bar—one that I don’t think anyone seriously argues for. Brake backs away and adopts the language of “tends to” and “fosters.”

Can this be reasoned with? Perhaps.  Brake does think that “empirical findings of the benefits of marriage are mixed” and that the studies suffer from a “selection bias.” She mentions, as if on cue, that “correlation is not causation.”

(She mustn’t have gotten the memo on the feedback loop!)

Brake takes the science seriously in a sense. Her most serious problem with the social science as it exists is that it takes place in an environment of an almost tyrannical heterosexual, monogamous opinion.

Only if we conducted research in our world (the tyrannical one with very strong families, she thinks) and then conducted the same research in a world without a monogamous and “heterosexual privilege” could we make a judgment about the contributions of healthy marriage to the well-being of children.

Brake’s argument is that science can never really be settled, so society can run with the values it chooses to embrace.

The lesson from this confrontation is, I think, only reinforced by the experience of recent efforts to protect traditional marriage in the courts.

This is not an argument waged on the level of science. It is a question of “values.”

To be sure, defenders of the traditional family must use the findings of science, but in addition, they must introduce a deeper argument of ideas.

Let us talk as much about the ideas as we talk about the science itself.

SOURCE






Women doctors could bring Britain's NHS to its knees

Dr Max Pemberton writes cautiously below

We are facing a crisis in the NHS. It’s not a crisis caused by obesity, or dementia or binge-drinking. It’s a crisis caused by having too many women doctors.

Now, before I am inundated with accusations of misogyny, hear me out. Because I’m not suggesting for a moment that the women themselves are to blame.

Nevertheless, they are bringing the NHS to its knees — and if we don’t do something about it soon, there will be profound consequences.

This week the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health gave a stark warning that children’s wards face closure because so many paediatricians are now women and have gone on maternity leave or work part time. There simply aren’t enough senior doctors left to run departments any more.

Three-quarters of doctors training in paediatrics are women. The situation has become so bad in some areas that up to 63 per cent of shifts are being covered by locums.

In other specialities that attract women — such as general practice, where two-thirds of GPs are women — a similar staffing disaster is unfolding.

It’s affected mental health, too, which traditionally has always attracted female doctors. In my own department in the past year, four doctors out of eight have gone on maternity leave.

More and more women are coming into medicine — in some medical schools, as many as 80 per cent of students are now female, suggesting the problem is only going to get worse.

Of course, it wasn’t always like this. For years, women struggled to establish themselves as doctors. A law formally allowing them to enter the profession was not passed until 1876 and, even then, only a smattering graduated and went on to practise until well after World War II.

In the Sixties, just a quarter of medical students were female. Since then, though, the numbers rising up the ranks have rocketed. It’s predicted they’ll soon outnumber men.

But this creates challenges that, as yet, no one is addressing. Quite simply, the average male medical graduate will work full time, while the average female won’t.

In fact, a study of doctors 15 years after graduation showed that on average, after career breaks and part-time working are taken into account, women work 25 per cent less than their male counterparts.

That means, as more women enter the profession, you need more doctors. So have we seen a corresponding increase in the number of places at medical school? No.

It’s gone up slightly in recent years, but only to allow for the generally increased burden on the health service, not this fundamental demographic shift.

Areas of medicine that are not traditionally ‘family friendly’ due to the time commitments required face a particular struggle to fill posts. And I don’t just mean A&E and trauma surgery, where you need to be on constant call.

It’s also true of specialisms such as neurosurgery and orthopaedics, which can involve repeated, intensely complicated surgery — often over many years — that you can’t just dip in and out of.

I’m not for a minute saying female doctors aren’t a good thing. I’m relieved there are more women going into medicine as I think it’s precisely what’s needed to make it more compassionate and patient-focused.

Research published this week from Indiana University suggested that male-dominated working environments can be particularly stressful for women. But I’d argue they’re bad for men, too.

An aggressive, combative working environment isn’t enjoyable or productive. It causes stress and burn-out. Women in the workplace mean there is less bravado, less posturing.

In medicine they help generate a holistic, gentler approach with greater co-operation and planning. There’s less machismo. But that doesn’t wipe away the big, structural problem created by more part-time working and maternity leave. And it’s patients who will suffer, because it endangers continuity of care.

Medicine should be seen as a vocation, and with this comes the harsh reality that your patients have to be your priority.

It’s not sexist to point this out, and I don’t think this is a reason for fewer women to go into medicine. But it is a reason to think hard about the way we work.

I know some women doctors who have decided their choice of career simply precludes motherhood. Others, quite reasonably, think that’s too extreme — and make it practical by renegotiating roles at home.

After all, if you’re a female brain surgeon and your husband works in marketing, why should you be the one who has to give up when a baby arrives? Surely, when men have less important jobs, they should take on the childcare.

Flexible thinking — by both individuals and the NHS as a whole — is the only way forward. Otherwise, the welcome feminisation of our health service will simply cause greater and greater problems.

SOURCE






Ensuring a Free and Open Internet

There aren’t many things we can take for granted these days, but some things really feel as though they should be a given. A free and open Internet, for example.

Twenty years ago, it was still a novelty for many of us. But today it’s an essential part of how we live, work and play. Modern life without the freedom to find the information we need with relative ease is almost unimaginable.

But that freedom could be in jeopardy, thanks to governments in countries such as France, China, Brazil and Argentina.

To understand why, it’s important to know that the Internet freedom we enjoy comes in large part because of the fact that the United States oversees a body known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN runs the naming function of the internet under a U.S. government contract with the Department of Commerce.

So far, so good. ICANN is the Internet administrator, so to speak, and the U.S. has been ensuring that it fully protects a free and open Internet.

But the U.S. announced last year that it wants to end its oversight role, provided it can ensure that the free Internet we all enjoy isn’t damaged in the transition.

So the U.S. insisted that ICANN work with the Internet community to create an accountability structure something that would substitute for the oversight role currently performed by the Department of Commerce. And ICANN has been working toward such a model ever since then, and even make some good progress.

But some governments – “a small, but vocal minority,” note experts Brett Schaefer and Paul Rosenzweig -- are trying to take advantage of this transition process to assert more government control of the Internet. At an ICANN meeting in Paris this summer, they insisted that governments should have an “enhanced” role in running the Internet.

You don’t have to be an expert in Internet policy to know what happens when government has an “enhanced” role in anything. Quality declines, freedom erodes, and any information that isn’t stamped “approved” becomes hard to get.

Think the idea of government control is a bogeyman? Consider “right to be forgotten” rules. As regulation expert James Gattuso recently wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, they give European Union residents the right to request that Internet search engines remove links that appear in searches for their own names.

In June, France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés ordered Google to apply “right-to-be-forgotten” globally. Google refused, but what if they are forced to comply? That would censor your Internet searches and impinge on your freedom. More importantly, it shows the kind of thing that happens when governments take a greater hand in controlling the Internet.

The U.S., along with many other countries, has opposed the idea of changing the way ICANN currently does business and giving government a greater role. “But the possibility remains that the vocal minority of governments may force ICANN to seriously consider giving them enhanced authority over ICANN decisions and, by extension, in Internet governance,” writes Schaefer and Rosenzweig.

“That is a red line that must not be crossed,” they add. “The U.S. government should reject out of hand any transition proposal that grants governments more influence over ICANN than they currently possess.”

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, Congress needs to be involved. Some lawmakers realize this, which is why the House passed the DOTCOM Act (currently pending in the Senate), which would require the Obama administration to give Congress 30 legislative days to review any proposal it approves on this matter before it is implemented.

U.S. leverage is crucial. However it’s accomplished, Congress needs to put itself in a position to reject a bad deal. The alternative -- giving more authority to authoritarian countries that see the Internet as something to be controlled for government purposes -- is unthinkable.

SOURCE






‘Shut Up, Bigot!’: The Intolerance of Tolerance

Conservatives are called bigots because those who embrace the new sexual mores are beholden to the new tolerance as a plausibility structure. Postmodern liberals cannot comprehend the idea that one could simultaneously reject a belief and accept the person who holds it.

America is in the midst of a raging national debate on issues surrounding sexuality and gender. If you dare to suggest that gender is determined by sex and is immutable, that same-sex sex acts are immoral, or that marriage is a permanent, exclusive union of husband and wife, then you will be called an intolerant bigot, hater, and homophobe.

Where does the charge of bigotry come from? Is it just a passing fad, a political and social tool for power and control, or do its roots go deeper?

Bigotry is defined as “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” Notice that bigotry is not intolerance toward the opinions or beliefs of persons other than yourself, but intolerance of the other person. Bigotry is not simply disagreeing with what someone else believes; it is an unwillingness to tolerate or accept the person who holds those beliefs.

A little reflection on this definition will reveal that the vast majority of bigotry accusations populating the internet and in public discourse are not legitimate ones. On the contrary, they are the consequence of a mistaken view of tolerance that is itself a product of a warped postmodern epistemology.

Two Views of Tolerance

Under the traditional view of tolerance, two aspects were required: first, that you respected the right of the person or individual in question to hold his beliefs and voice his opinions; and second, that you had a right to disagree with those beliefs and contest them both privately and publicly. As D.A. Carson paraphrases it in The Intolerance of Tolerance, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” You do not have to like the person with whom you disagree, but you do have to respect and tolerate his right to speak.

This conception entails tolerance toward the person while allowing intolerance toward beliefs. Since beliefs are abstract objects communicated through propositions in written or spoken language, they have no inherent dignity in themselves. It does them no harm or offense to disagree with them or offer a rebuttal. Disagreeing with or being intolerant of a belief, in this view, is fundamentally different from being intolerant or hateful toward the person who holds that belief. In other words, this definition is built on a clear and obvious distinction between a person and his beliefs.

The traditional understanding of tolerance reflects a certain epistemology: namely, that there is such a thing as truth, it can be known, and the best way to discover the truth is through debate, reflection, and investigation. The pursuit of truth requires mutual cooperation, serious consideration of opposing beliefs, and persuasion through the use of reason. Coercion, exclusion, slander, and threats of force have no place in the search for truth.

Over the course of the last century, however, the old view of tolerance has been slowly transformed. The emergent new tolerance holds that persons who are truly tolerant accept the views of others and treat these individuals fairly. The key distinction is that under the old tolerance, one would accept the existence of other views even while rejecting some views as false; but under the new tolerance, one accepts these other views. In other words, all views are seen as equally valid and true.

The new tolerance rejects “dogmatism and absolutism,” affirms that each person has the right to live by his convictions, and eschews imposing one’s views upon others. Yet underlying this view of tolerance is a fundamental contradiction. Is not this concept of tolerance being imposed on all peoples and cultures, in direct violation of one of its own tenets? And as Carson points out, “does not the assertion, ‘Tolerance . . . involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism’ sound a little, well . . . dogmatic and absolute?"

Therefore, despite its appeal and aplomb, the new tolerance is both intolerant and internally incoherent.

Intolerance: The Supreme Sin

A critical error of the new tolerance is that it conflates beliefs and persons. In this view, to accept divergent beliefs is to be accepting and respectful of the person who holds them; conversely, to reject a belief as untrue is thought to be a rejection of the person who holds that belief. To say, “I think your view is false,” is akin to saying something unkind and insensitive about the person with that belief.

Thus according to the new tolerance, to be intolerant toward another’s beliefs is to be intolerant toward the person. And intolerance toward persons, incidentally, is the definition of bigotry. So when traditionalists voice dissent against the array of beliefs held by sexual liberals, this is interpreted as a rejection of the people who hold those views. Thus, within the incoherent paradigm of the new tolerance, the accusation of bigotry appears justified.

For practitioners of the new tolerance, intolerance is thought to be the supreme sin because it offends and disrespects persons. No one deserves to be offended or disrespected, and such an offense is considered an assault on their very dignity as a human being. This is why the rejection of same-sex marriage, homosexual practice, and transgenderism is believed to be an attack on the dignity of people with such attractions and lifestyles. This is why Justice Kennedy, in his majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, appealed repeatedly to the dignity of LGBT individuals as a basis for their inclusion in the institution of marriage (as opposed to the metaphysical nature of marriage). To exclude them would have been an intolerant act, a defacing of their human dignity, and a supreme vice.

The claims of bigotry that stem from the new tolerance are moral claims: To reject the beliefs of the new sexual mores is to be intolerant of persons and to attack their dignity, and this is wrong. It is impossible to be a virtuous citizen if you are intolerant in this manner, and unvirtuous citizens who are bigots have no place in the public square; they are to be ridiculed, excluded, and publicly shamed.

This is why the battle for religious liberty and freedom of conscience is so important. There is the very real possibility that conservative voices and freedoms will be stamped out just as racist behaviors and attitudes have been. Some individuals naively claim that Obergefell v. Hodges will have no effect on issues of religious liberty, but such views ignore the current attacks against those who hold to traditional sexual norms.

If the current view of tolerance retains its cultural grip, conservatives will be systematically discriminated against and socially ostracized. Teachers will be excluded from faculty at liberal universities or denied tenure altogether. Businesses will be forced to abide by laws that conflict with their religious beliefs and consciences. Commencement speakers and guest lecturers will be uninvited to academic events, publishing houses and journals will refuse to print certain perspectives, colleges and universities will be denied accreditation and federal funding, and on and on. In other words, while the letter of our First Amendment rights might be upheld, their spirit and practice will be rejected by the greater society that is still functioning according to the mistaken view of tolerance.

Due to such repercussions it is imperative that conservatives, libertarians, and traditionalists work together to dislodge the new view of tolerance from its cultural pedestal.

The New Tolerance’s Rotten Postmodern Foundation

The conceptual underpinnings of the new tolerance can be traced back to postmodern epistemology. Postmodernism is complex, to be sure, but at its heart it is a form of cultural relativism. It rejects metaphysical realism in favor of the claim that reality is a social construct.

Objective and universally binding truth claims are thought to be impossible.

The only way to discredit the new intolerance is by attacking the philosophical foundations of postmodern theory. Unfortunately, postmodernism has thoroughly worked itself into Western culture, shaping Western assumptions and plausibility structures. “Plausibility structures” is a phrase coined by sociologist Peter Berger, referring to structures of thought widely and unquestionably accepted throughout a given culture. They dictate what individuals in that culture will consider to be possible or impossible, plausible or implausible.

Over the past half century, the new view of tolerance has become a foundational plank in the conceptual structure of Western thought. This means that individuals who act according to the old understanding of tolerance will be met first with befuddlement, and then with scorn. The old tolerance is unrecognizable in a culture that has embraced the new vision of tolerance and adopted it as a plausibility structure.

Conservatives who dispute the views of sexual liberalism are called bigots because those who embrace the new sexual mores are beholden to the new tolerance as a plausibility structure. Postmodern liberals cannot even comprehend how one can simultaneously reject a belief and accept the person who holds it. Thus, the charges of bigotry that spew forth reveal the intellectual and interpersonal poverty and dysfunction in which these persons live.

The Way Forward

The new tolerance turns out to be just as intolerant as the intolerance it abhors. By demanding that all views be considered equally valid, it cannot tolerate the old but correct view of tolerance, and it therefore becomes the intolerance of true tolerance. In the end, tolerance itself is destroyed, yielding instead to tyranny. When this happens, the new tolerance wields the libel of bigotry in order to intimidate and silence dissenters and impose conformity.

We must challenge postmodern thought at a fundamental level and reintroduce the old vision of tolerance into society. This will be most effective if we practice the old tolerance, visibly and powerfully demonstrating that it is possible to hold to objective truths and dissenting views while being respectful and loving toward those with whom we disagree. Such interpersonal virtues are rarely seen in a culture where social media exchanges and comment threads overflow with vitriol. Only by consistently and unfailingly teaching and practicing the old tolerance—and defending its epistemological foundations—will there be any chance of overturning the new tolerance.

So what will the future of American society and culture be? Will it be a place for true tolerance, where competing ideas and visions of human flourishing are openly and respectfully debated in the public square? Or will the new tolerance create a totalitarian regime that controls both private thought and public engagement through accusations of bigotry while masquerading as enlightenment and progress?

It’s up to American citizens to decide. We must not be intimidated, and we must not be silenced, for the freedom and flourishing of an entire culture and her people are at stake.

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, August 30, 2015



Scientists discover a way to reverse racial bias in young children.  But how firm is the effect?

I am not sure that the authors of the baby studies below  realize what they have shown.  They showed that in initial encounters babies are biased.  They simply prefer familiar appearances. But that is very temporary.  Given just a little extra information, biases vanish. People recognized as individuals tended to be accepted as individuals, despite differences in appearances.

But that is only the beginning of the story.  What happens in real life outside the deliberately limited context of a psychology laboratory?

What we do see from the experiments described below is that   "Stereotypes" are highly malleable and responsive to extra information.  They are not mentally imprisoning.  Even a little information makes a big difference to impressions.  That is in fact what the whole stereotyping literature shows.  See here, here  and here

So people do respond cautiously to differences in appearances BUT the response is very plastic.  Caution will evaporate if and only if  nothing important is associated with the different appearance.  That is the opposite of the old claim that stereotypes are rigid mental straitjackets.  Given extra information prejudgments  will in fact change rapidly -- for better or for worse.  They are very reality-sensitive.

A rather good example of that process is on view daily in Australia.  Australia has a large East Asian minority, mostly Han Chinese.  And it is so common to see young East Asian women on the arms of tall Caucasian men that one looks with some surprise at couples who are both Han.  In such couples the man will, however, invariably be a TALL Han man.   The little East Asian ladies go for tall men and they get them.  They like height and they want tall children.

And relaxed Australian whites are fine by them.  The ladies are probably in general a bit smarter than the Caucasian whites they grab but they know that the men concerned are easy-going in the  traditional Australian way so they can live with that.

But the tallest population group in Australia are dark-skinned East Africans.  Many are very tall indeed. And so many of them have come to Australia as refugees that it is common to see them lounging around the streets and shopping centres.  But I have yet to see ONE of them partnered with ANY kind of an Asian lady.

The lesson?  Easy.  Interracial relationships may start out from a simplistic base of preferring familiar appearance but the real characteristics of people rapidly come to dominate relationships. African men are generally poor, dumb and aggressive and nobody but their own women wants them, except for a very few socially marginal or foolish white females.  No Asians want them.  So the Asian ladies are racist in that they recognize real racial differences -- but they are not bigoted.  They in fact prefer a race different from their own.  They respond to important differences and ignore unimportant ones.

Reality is so much more complex than the simplistic formulas used by the Left.



Children as young as three months old have been found to have a bias towards women who are the same race as themselves.

Now, a University of Delaware scientist has discovered a simple exercise that he claims can undo this unconscious racial biases in young children.

Using the technique of measuring how much time the babies spend looking at pictures of faces, Paul Quinn has spent a decade studying how infants classify race and gender.

At six months, Quinn said, the infants were classifying faces into three groups - Caucasian, African and Asian.

He has found that, by nine months of age, infants not only distinguish racial categories but also become less able to tell different individuals apart if they are members of a less-familiar race.

For example, white infants can identify white faces as belonging to different individuals, but they are less likely to see Asian or African faces as distinct individuals.

'Might these perceptual biases we see in infants be related to the social biases that we see in older kids, beginning at three or four years of age, and adults?,' Quinn said.  'And if they are, can we use a technique to reduce bias?

'As we tried to answer this question, we hit on the idea that if the perceptual and social biases are linked, we might be able to reduce the social bias by perceptual means.'

In their latest study, published in July in the journal Developmental Science, Quinn and his collaborators in China used photos of African and Asian faces and morphed them together to create ambiguous images that looked equally African and Asian.

Some of the faces had pleasant expressions, while others looked more severe.

When researchers showed the images to four- to six-year-olds in China, the children identified the happy faces as Asian - the category they were used to seeing - and the angry faces as African, a group they rarely saw in daily life.

The scientists' wanted to see whether the children's unconscious racial biases could be disrupted. They showed the youngsters five different African faces and gave each of the individuals a name, repeating the process until the children could identify each of the five faces by name.

When the children then looked at the happy and angry ambiguous-race photos again, their bias in favour of their own racial group had dropped dramatically.

'This process of getting the kids to respond to the [five African] faces as individuals, not as a category, only takes 15-30 minutes, and it made a significant difference,' Quinn said.

'It suggests that what is a social bias has [visual] perceptual components and that it can be disrupted.'

Another, related study that Quinn conducted in his lab at UD with babies from the Newark, Delaware, area has been published online by Developmental Science, with print publication expected in the future.

In this study, researchers worked with Caucasian babies to explore how and at what ages they began forming categories of people based on the racial characteristics of faces.

SOURCE






Denver Corruptocrats' Chick-fil-A Smokescreen

Holier-than-thou liberals on the Denver city council are waging war on Chick-fil-A in the name of tolerance and diversity. Now, let me tell you what the squawking is really all about: It's a distraction, a feint, a mile-high smokescreen.

Spiteful Democrats claim they are upholding progressive "Denver values" by delaying approval of an airport concession contract with the Christian-owned restaurant chain. But the politically correct storm over same-sex marriage (which Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy personally opposes) is convenient cover for the local government's serial mismanagement, bloated spending and shady contracting practices.

Denver International Airport concessionaires raked in more than $322 million in gross revenue last year amid longstanding complaints of political favoritism and dirty dealing that date back to the facility's construction in the mid-1990s.

You should know that while Denver's city council leftists falsely accuse Chick-fil-A of discriminatory practices, they've been embroiled in litigation over bid-rigging allegations involving a separate $53 million airport concessions contract. Last fall, a retail group filed suit against the city council rubber-stampers and Denver International Airport officials for allegedly conspiring to help the winning bidder snag a seven-year deal to run the airport's duty-free shops.

The plaintiffs in the case, DIA Retail, uncovered what they call "systemic" misconduct and manipulation of the award process, including multiple violations of rules prohibiting contact between the winning bidder, Hudson Group, and government officials after submitting their request for proposal.

Then there's the city's own audit of the airport's "disadvantaged concessionaire program" released in May, which showed that Denver officials are much better at preaching to others about "diversity" than practicing it themselves. After finding that half of DIA's food and beverage revenue was concentrated in the hands of three operators, the auditor exposed "questionable" financial wealth claims by some concession owners certified by the city as "economically disadvantaged."

Gaming the airport contract system is as popular a Colorado pastime as skiing and rock-climbing.

In April, a jury indicted city employee Larry Lee Stevenson, a supervisor in Denver's Excise and Licensing Department, for allegedly accepting a cash bribe to help a local business get a deal to run parking operations at the airport.

DIA's nearly $40 million "minority-owned" mechanical construction contract, which the city awarded to black female businesswoman Denise Burgess, is a massive front for non-minority subcontractors, according to a Denver Post investigation last year. "Burgess Services is not equipped to carry out a mechanical project. It subcontracts the construction work to other companies," the paper found. "Yet the entire contract value counts toward the airport project's overall minority- and women-owned business-enterprise participation goal of 30 percent. In reality, minority- and women-owned businesses are doing only a fraction of the work on Burgess' contract."

And the cost of that work keeps soaring.

DIA overspending is epidemic. Another scathing audit identified skyrocketing cost overruns in the airport's hotel and transit construction project — scheduled to soar from an initial estimate of $500 million to at least $730 million — thanks to shoddy recordkeeping and nonexistent oversight.

What kind of financial controllers are at the wheel? Fraudulent accountants like Laura Trujillo, who was fired earlier this summer after the Mountain States Employers Council concluded that "there was no record of Trujillo ever having a CPA license, no record of her ever having applied for such a license, and no record of her ever having applied to take the CPA exam in Colorado."

Perhaps the sanctimonious Denver city council should spend less time finger-wagging at other businesses and more time minding its own sordid henhouse.

SOURCE






Canadian "Hate Speech" Proposal Threatens Free Speech

Thirteen years,thirteen honor killings, all in Muslim families, all of them in Canada. But if you should condemn those murders, you might find yourself the subject of investigation and convicted of a crime.

Quebec Human Rights Commissioner Jacques Frémont has proposed a bill "to prevent and combat hate speech and speech inciting violence."

If adopted, the law known as Bill 59 would allow Quebec's Human Rights Commission or members of the public "to initiate a 'hate speech' lawsuit against a person who makes a statement considered discriminatory against a group," Marc Lebuis, director of Point de Bascule, an organization that tracks Islamist activities in Canada, said in a recent interview.

In addition, the bill would grant the commission power to investigate people alleged to have uttered hate speech, said Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée. Those convicted of promoting hate could be fined up to $20,000 and their names would be made public and posted indefinitely to a list available online.

Most view Bill 59 as a response to pressure from Muslim groups, who have filed several complaints of "Islamophobia" and anti-Muslim hate speech in recent years. In many ways, the bill resembles UN Resolution 16/18, an initiative of the 56 Islamic States who comprise the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and which restricts speech that could be considered "discriminatory" or which defames religion and can be considered "incitement to violence." Only Bill 59 is worse: it pertains to personal, subjective, emotional responses that an individual has to something that he reads, hears, or encounters.

That this proposed statute flies in the face of everything we in the United States as well as in Canada believe to be fundamental to human and civil rights and the sanctity of free speech is not the only challenge the proposed bill presents. But it presents its greatest threat to democracy and the values the West holds sacred.

Ironically, Lebuis says, supporters justify the bill by suggesting it will protectdemocracy against terrorism. They reason that "terrorism is a reaction towards people who criticize their religion," he explains, "so by banning the criticism of Islam, we would end terrorism." Such arguments have been made both by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and by Muslim groups such as the Association of Muslims and Arabs for a Secular Quebec (AMAL). "Hate and Islamophobia drive certain people in groups subject to discrimination toward another form of extremism and violence,"said AMAL President Haroun Bouazzi in a recent presentation to the National Assembly during a debate over the bill.

But Canada's federal criminal code already calls for imprisonment (up to two years) for "anyone who incites hatred against any identifiable group," as the Montreal Gazette points out. Though the proposed bill addresses hate speech against individuals, not groups, it fails even to define what "hate speech" is. As attorney Julius Grey testified, "Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Voltaire could all be found to have incited violence and hatred. Should they have been censored?"

Moreover, because there is no clear definition of "hate speech" and no standard by which it can be measured, the bill leaves the door wide open for prosecution. "It is based on what people feel or could feel," Lebuis said. "Public interest, the truth, facts or even intentions are no defense."

That situation is made worse by the fact that conviction is based on the determination of the Human Rights Commission tribunal, overriding federal laws which require a determination of guilt "beyond reasonable doubt." As columnist Don MacPhersonobserves in the Montreal Gazette:

"The federal Criminal Code defines 'hate propaganda' as advocating or promoting genocide, inciting hatred against an identifiable group [that is] likely to lead to a breach of the peace,' or 'willfully' promoting hatred against such a group ... And an accused can't be convicted 'if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true" (as would be the case, say, with any condemnation of an honor killing).

But Bill 59 makes no such provisions.

Others, including (surprisingly) AMAL's Bouazzi, have objected to the proposed creation of a permanent, public record of those found guilty of "hate speech" - a gesture that is not only defamatory but could even become dangerous should anyone seek retribution. Further, "hate speech" is not defined in the bill, so such a conviction has Machiavellian potential: For example, were you, to ascribe honor violence or terrorism to cultural or religious beliefs, you could be subject to prosecution. This would be the case even if the actual perpetrator claimed to act in the name of culture or religion. And while a terrorist will go to prison for his deeds, should you be found guilty of violating Bill 59, your name, not his, will be indelibly included on that list visible to the world.

As such, the potential for political parties to silence - let alone criminalize - those who oppose them lurks ominously within the reaches of such a law.

Among Muslims, according to Pakistani-Canadian activist Tarek Fatah, opinions seem to be split. "Ironically, some Islamist-promoting organizations and mosques have welcomed Bill 59, notwithstanding the fact they violate it every week when they start their Friday prayers with a ritual invocation that asks, 'Allah to give Muslims victory over the "kufaar"(Christians, Jews and Hindus),'" he writes in the Toronto Sun.Others like himself, he says, "everything we can to make sure Quebec's Bill 59 does not pass." And if it does pass, he adds, "the first complaint to the QHRC will be against Islamist mosques for spreading hatred against Jews and Christians.

That is a promise."

Judging from past efforts to legislate such issues in Canada and from the apparent opposition to Bill 59 being voiced in editorials around the country, the measure seems to have little chance of passing. A measure to legalize sharia tribunals, for instance, failed in 2005, though ironically, these tribunals - opposed vehemently by Muslim women, who recognized that such tribunals tend to discriminate against women in cases of marriage, forced marriage, domestic abuse and inheritance - were denounced by many as "Islamophobic." (One has to wonder what the Quebec HRC tribunal would have to say about that issue: Islamophobia or misogyny? And what of the person accused of "Islamophobia" who in turn declares the term "Islamophobic" offensive and presses charges against his accuser?)

Pierre Trudel, a lawyer and professor of law at the University of Montreal, also feels that the bill in its current form stands limited chance of succeeding. But, he added in an interview, "it's fair to expect that it will be amended to answer the objections of many opponents." Otherwise, he said, the result will be "a significant chilling effect on speech."

Ironic, then, that nothing else could better hand a victory to those very terrorists the bill was written to subvert. In the words of Benjamin Franklin (as Silence Dogood), "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."

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, August 28, 2015



Why Female Army Rangers Are Not Cause for Celebration

Inter alia, it will reduce combat effectiveness -- thus leading to avoidable military deaths

by DIANA WEST

My thoughts -- more apostasy from brave new world -- on the anticipated graduation of two female Army Rangers tomorrow are encapsulated in the column below. I wrote it in January 2013 in response to the decree by SecDef Pannetta and JCC Dempsey that turned combat into an "opportunity" for women, making tomorrow's ceremony, and others like it, inevitable. 

"When Women Fight, Civilization Loses"

And so it came, the coup de grace. The final "barrier" to "opportunities" for women in combat is no more. With a stroke of their pens, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey decreed that no battlefield mission or military role is off-limits to the female sex. The defense secretary and the general thus liberated mothers, daughters, sisters and wives to kill and be killed in the infantry, commando raids, even in Obama administration "overseas contingency operations." In so doing, they also slashed away at that last institutional protection for the space that separates men and women, where civilization once grew.

It (civilization) has been struggling there for decades, as social engineers and radical feminists - all heirs to Marx - have been cutting away at elemental human instinct, social grace, language and thought itself. This overhaul of manners and mores, the family structure and marriage - even private aspects of the relationship between men and women - has been successful to a point where the cultural argument against women in combat (women in the military being a lost cause) is rarely voiced, not even on the right. (I watched Fox News on women-in-combat announcement day, listening in vain for just one culture warrior.)

We are left to make only the utilitarian arguments - body strength and speed, unit cohesion, even urinary tract infections and other hazards that front-line deployment pose to females. These are compellingly logical points, but they are unlikely to reverse an ideological juggernaut. When the secretary of defense says putting women in combat is about "making our military ... and America stronger" and no one says he's lying to further a Marxian ideal via social engineering, the cultural argument is lost, and the culture it comes from is bound and gagged, hostage to what we know as "political correctness."

I still see threads of the cultural argument in emails and some blog responses to the Pentagon's latest whack at creating "gender neutrality." It erupts like a reflex against the conditioning to deny differences defined, at their essence, by muscle mass and womb. Such conditioning erodes the male protective instinct - which, surely, is what war is supposed to arise from - and the female nurturing instinct, which surely is what a civilization depends on.

No more. Women with wombs and without manly muscle mass now count as Pentagon-approved "warriors," modern-day knights in Kevlar, soon to be humping 80-pound packs over mountain and desert.

Or maybe not. Didn't Gen. Dempsey indicate that dropping some of those old-fashioned strength and speed requirements might be in order? "If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it," Dempsey said last week, "the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?" Of course not! Why train Navy SEALs when Navy OTTERs will do as well?

And what about their children, when these front-line warriors bear them? And their pregnancies, when they decide it's better for their mission, for their country, to terminate them? Don't think Daddy Government, once again, won't be a steady provider to his womenfolk.

And why not? "It is women who pass on the culture," my daughters' pediatrician - a font of human wisdom after six of his own kids and endless patients - used to tell me, his voice rising over baby girls screaming. But what kind of "gender-neutral" culture will they pass on?

Rather, what kind of gender-neutral culture have women already passed on? After all, this penultimate shift at the Pentagon (will the NFL be next?) is just the tail end of something, not the beginning - the rewiring of the human spirit. In other words, the whole movement in the name of "equal rights" has no more to do with women being legally able to apply for a credit card and other aspects of equality before the law than ordering women into combat is about making the military and America stronger.

No, it's about behavioral manipulation and transformation - the Equal Rights Amendment by executive fiat. These changes have been a long time coming. In my lifetime, I have watched even post-1960s standards of femininity, for example, plunge to a point where female tendencies toward privacy, intimacy and modesty have given way to norms of clinical-style revelation and numbing brazenness - and I'm talking about today's "nice" girls, the ones who soon will be considered eligible for Selective Service.

Yes, I know, only 15 percent of our all-volunteer military is female - even after decades of active government courtship to woo women into the ranks and make "a force that looks like America" (not Obama's Cabinet), as Bill Clinton has put it. But don't think this "opportunity" for the few comes without strings to the many. As Army Col. Ellen Haring pointed out on "PBS NewsHour" last week, "With full rights come full responsibilities."

And then what? Will gender-neutral raw recruits soon be brawling outside the bar (with the man "beating the snot" out of the woman, as one Iraq veteran recently suggested to me in an email)? Will gender-neutral male soldiers be trained out of their protective instinct toward women? Do we want to live with the results?

One senior officer with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan wrote this to me: "I would never want my mother, sisters, wife or daughter to have to experience the ravages of combat or, worse, become a prisoner of war. It goes against every fiber of my being."

Yesterday's man. For a better tomorrow, we need more like him.

SOURCE






Houston’s Proposed Bathroom Ordinance for Transgenders ‘Endangers Women and Girls,’ Group Says

 A group opposed to a proposed ordinance that would allow transgendered people to use any bathroom they consider consistent with their gender identity has launched a radio campaign in Houston, Texas, to defeat the so-called “bathroom ordinance.”

Campaign for Houston, which was organized to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), kicked off its campaign, called No Men in Women’s Bathrooms!, on Monday.

The bathroom ordinance was part of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s effort to extend discrimination protections to the LGBT community through HERO. It specified that “no business open to the public could deny a transgender person entry to the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity,” the Houston Chronicle reported on May 14, 2014.

“Parker’s Bathroom Ordinance would force businesses and public establishments to allow troubled men, or men who want to start trouble, to use women’s public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities. This endangers women and girls and places them in harm’s way,” Campaign for Houston spokesman Jared Woodfill said in a press release.

“There are 8345 registered and convicted sexual predators in Harris County. This just scratches the surface of this dangerous problem. These men could use this ordinance as a legal shield to threaten our mothers, wives and daughters,” Woodfill added.

A clause in the original ordinance would have exempted businesses from the ordinance in cases where they had a “good faith belief” that someone was disingenuous about his or her claim of being transgender, the Houston Chronicle reported. The LGBT community expressed outrage at the time about the clause.

“At one point in time, there was a good faith defense to the businesses,” Woodfill told CNSNews.com “That was removed by the mayor and council – it was amended – so private businesses no longer have that defense available to them under the ordinance.”

According to Woodfill, the group collected signatures in an effort to let voters decide on the issue. After the signatures were challenged, the case went before the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that the group had collected enough signatures to put the issue to a vote, which will take place on Nov. 3 this year.

The group faced another challenge though when the city council crafted ballot language, which the group said was “inconsistent with the city charter.”

According to Woodfill, the ballot language said, “‘If you’re opposed to the ordinance, vote yes. If you’re for the ordinance, vote no.’ That’s completely inconsistent with what the charter says how it should be framed.”

Campaign for Houston went back to the Texas Supreme Court to force the city to change the language of the ballot initiative, and they won.

“We took that issue to the Supreme Court, and they recently said, ‘No, you have to do it the way that we had argued,’ that if you are opposed to the ordinance, you vote no. If you’re for it, you vote yes,” Woodfill told CNSNews.com.

“So that has been rectified now by the Supreme Court, but again we felt like the mayor was being deceptive and working to trip folks into how to vote on this ordinance, and so for a second time in 30 days, we had to take her back to the Texas Supreme Court to force her to follow the law,” he said. “So now it’s right.

“Now it is if you’re opposed to the ordinance, you vote no, if you’re for the ordinance, you vote yes,” Woodfill added.

The group spent $100,000 for the first two weeks of the radio campaign, and they have an overall budget of just over $2 million for Campaign for Houston.

SOURCE






Cardinal: U.S. ‘Creed’ on Gay Marriage Like Sharia Law

Cardinal Francis George, head of the Catholic archdiocese of Chicago, said the levers of power in government, education, entertainment, and media are enforcing a “public creed,” a “fake church” that requires all citizens to approve of gay marriage and related sexual anomalies or be punished by the State, just “as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

Cardinal George, who was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2007-10, made his remarks in his Sept. 7 column for the archdiocesean newspaper. In his commentary, the cardinal explains that America, despite social frictions at certain times, had always strived to ensure religious freedom and respect for different religions.

The State, in the past, had “kept its promise to protect all religions and not become a rival to them, a fake church,” said the cardinal.

But that has now changed, he said. “In recent years, society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered ‘sinful,’” he continued.  “Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes.”

“What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval,” said Cardinal George, whose archdiocese includes about 2.2 million Catholics.  “The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone.”

“We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family,” he said.  “Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.”

The cardinal then noted that Americans who objected on religious grounds to the Obamacare mandate on contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs, were chastised by many in the media, including the liberal Huffington Post, which claimed the opposition, and the six Catholic judges on the Supreme Court, raised “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen.”

This was not the anti-Catholic voice of nativists, or the Know-Nothing Party, or the Ku Klux Klan, said the cardinal, but, “rather, the self-righteous voice of some members of the American establishment today who regard themselves as ‘progressive’ and ‘enlightened.’”

“The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics,” said Cardinal George.  “Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be.”

“This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god,” he said.  “It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to ‘swim against the tide,’ as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.”

The cardinal continued, “Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers.”

“Nor will their children, who will also be suspect,” he said.

“Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics,” said Cardinal George.  “It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

Cardinal George went on to argue that U.S. civil law has done much to weaken and destroy the family, which in turn has forced the State to impose more and more restrictions on people and their activities that are unloosed from the “internal restraints that healthy family life teaches.”

He also says that many of the “tenets of the official State religion” are largely dictated by elements of a certain social class, noting that “’same-sex marriage,’ as a case in point, is not an issue for the poor or those on the margins of society.”

How the situation may end, said the cardinal, is unclear because there are many Americans, “even among the ruling class, who do not want their beloved country to transform itself into a fake church.”

Catholics and traditional Christians know by faith, said Cardinal George, that Christ will return to judge the living and the dead and the church “will be there to meet Him.”

However, “[t]here is no such divine guarantee for any country, culture or society of this age or any age,” concluded Cardinal George.

SOURCE






Australian Leftist leader silent in the face of Leftist racism

POUR a little acid on Labor’s lies about free trade, the ­environment and same-sex marriage and the Abbott ­government’s policies shine as beacons of hope in a landscape dominated by malevolent propaganda.

With scandalous entrenched dishonesty within the trade union attack dog the CFMEU being exposed by the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, Labor and its union puppeteers have responded with all the virulence and venality of a cornered rat.

That Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his acolytes have failed to check the falsehoods being promulgated by the union movement ­reflects their lack of character.

The union movement’s racist and extraordinarily xenophobic advert about the China free trade agreement plays to the historic fears of the “yellow peril” on which the formation of the ALP was based.

Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong, who has supported this campaign, must revisit her party’s history and note how relatively recently former Labor leader Arthur Calwell felt quite comfortable joking that “two Wongs don’t make a white”.

He went on to write in his 1972 memoir “and any man who tries to stigmatise the Australian community as racist because they want to preserve this country for the white race is doing our nation great harm ... I reject, in conscience, the idea that Australia should or ever can ­become a multi-racial society and survive”.

Labor played the race card before the NSW state election and it is playing it again now.

Wong, who believes same-sex marriage is the most pressing issue facing the nation, although the people must not be permitted to decide the matter, needs reminding it was the Liberal Party, not Labor, which encouraged the building of trade and cultural bridges to our Asian neighbours through the successful Colombo Plan.

This plan gave many students from around the region the opportunity to study in Australia and take home the values of our liberal democratic society — and it is the conservative government, again, not Labor, which has revisited the Colombo Plan to restore foreign ties destroyed by successive Labor governments.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was correct to point out last week that the China free trade agreement being mendaciously attacked by the historically corrupt CFMEU was supported by former NSW premier and former foreign minister Bob Carr, who said: “There will be more jobs and higher wages in Australia if the China free trade agreement goes ahead.”

“We know that the Labor Party takes the CFMEU’s money, but they should never take the CFMEU’s dictation,” Abbott told parliament.
“If they do take the CFMEU’s dictation, the ghosts of the White Australia policy will come back to haunt the Labor Party. The Leader of the Opposition should make sure that the slime of an earlier age does not come back to contaminate this parliament.”

Contrary to the racist lies broadcast in the union adverts — supported by the taxpayer-funded ­national broadcaster the ABC — the Chinese free trade agreement does NOT open the doors to Chinese workers on 457 visas.

The union adverts and arguments state that (and this is from the ACTU’s website): “The FTA allows Chinese companies to bring in their own workforce for projects over $150 million and removes the requirement that jobs be offered to local workers first.”

This is an absolute falsehood designed to be a distraction from the royal commission.

Unsurprisingly, it has been swallowed by many in the Labor-aligned Canberra press gallery and the ABC’s perpetually biased Fact Check Unit.

To assist the ABC’s editor-in-chief Mark Scott with his overdue correction and apology (as if), I direct him to the protections for Australian workers spelled out in the agreement’s outlined investment ­facilitation arrangements.

They clearly state that employers must show the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that there is demonstrated labour market need, that Australians have been given the first opportunity through evidence of domestic recruitment activity (i.e. labour market testing) and there are no suitably qualified Australians available.

In addition, they must demonstrate that they are a direct employer, are lawfully operating for at least 12 months, are financially viable, have no adverse information, have had no redundancies in the past six months, and meet training requirements.

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash has ­debunked Labor’s claims in the Senate, while pointing out that multiple ­unions have employed sub-class 457 visa holders in an act of incredible hypocrisy and ­duplicity.

Cash noted that the trade unions have been employing overseas workers as workplace relations advisers and copy-writers on 457 visas — to help orchestrate the misleading and damaging campaign against foreign labour provisions in the China Australia free trade agreement.

“Not since (Briton) John McTernan was ­employed as a communications director on a 457 visa in Julia Gillard’s office, from where we witnessed a political campaign against 457 visas, have we seen such blatant hypocrisy from the union movement,” Cash said.

Labor’s totally dishonest campaign threatens thousands of much-needed jobs which would add billions to our economy and result in higher living standards for Australians.

This is economic vandalism from an irresponsible party. The unions are expected to spew such rubbish but Shorten and Wong should know better.

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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