Monday, May 28, 2018


An attack on Jordan Peterson by a former friend

Furious denunciations of Jordan Peterson from the Left are a dime a dozen but there is a more reasoned article here by BERNARD SCHIFF, an old associate of Jordan Peterson which has a serious claim to uncover Peterson's feet of clay.  His obviously intimate and long term association with Peterson gives his words some claim to authority.

I am not going to attempt a systematic reply to the article.  That would be absurd when Peterson himself is far better placed to do that.  So I just want to offer a few notes:

Some of the accusations Prof. Schiff makes are serious ones. He actually hints that Peterdson is behaving like a Fascist dictator.  But his principal claim is that Peterson is not a systematic thinker and that he therefore is prone to serious self-contradictions and inconsistencies.

But his own knowledge of the sort of things that Peterson discusses looks very shallow at times.  I was amused that he repeats the ignorant Leftist accusation that HUAC and Joe McCarthy were somehow one and the same.  He says:

"In the 1950s a vicious attack on freedom of speech and thought occurred in the United States at the hands of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee".

How a Senator could be part of a House committee is an abiding mystery and yet to conflate the two is a common Leftist mistake that shows how utterly shallow and unscholarly Leftist thought usually is. HUAC was a Democrat creature established in 1938 which ran to 1975. It was initially chaired by Martin Dies Jr. (D-Tex.). McCarthy was active from about 1950 to 1954 and had no association with HUAC.

Another accusatory paragraph from Prof. Schiff:

Jordan has a complex relationship to freedom of speech. He wants to effectively silence those left-wing professors by keeping students away from their courses because the students may one day become “anarchical social revolutionaries” who may bring upon us disruption and violence. At the same time he was advocating cutting funds to universities that did not protect free speech on their campuses. He defended the rights of “alt right” voices to speak at universities even though their presence has given rise to disruption and violence. For Jordan, it appears, not all speech is equal, and not all disruption and violence are equal, either.

That is a fairly absurd paragraph in several ways. It's hard to believe but Schiff really is saying that the Alt-Right should not be heard because that provokes Leftists to attack them!  Prof. Schiff admits to being a Leftist but that is singularly one-eyed for a Leftist academic.  You could justify the Nazi attacks on Catholics with that sort of argument. "He who controls the Streets is the only one with any right to be heard" is the underlying argument.

And what about Peterson's wish to de-politicize academe is inimical to free speech?  It is an argument about keeping politics out of a certain venue, not an aim to completely muzzle one kind of speech -- which is what Leftists aim to do when they ban or obstruct conservative speakers from campus. Peterson is consistently defending free speech, on campus or off.

And Prof. Schiff's other arguments are of that sort.  He sees things from a completely Leftist perspective, with all the limitations that entails, where a broader perspective would see Peterson's ideas as quite reasonable, defensible and consistent.  Schiff is simply objecting to Peterson's conservatism, nothing more. Any competent conservative writer could show that Peterson's arguments are not inchoate, inconsistent or unreasonable -- JR






Make more babies, America

by Jeff Jacoby

FROM THE National Center for Health Statistics came some disturbing news last week: The US birthrate, which has been on the skids for a decade, hit another record low.

About 3.85 million babies were born in the United States in 2017. That was down from 3.95 million births in 2016, which in turn was down from 3.98 million in 2015. For every 1,000 American women of childbearing age, there were just 60.2 births last year, the lowest birthrate ever recorded. A related yardstick is the fertility rate — the number of babies each woman, on average, will have over her lifetime. It takes a fertility rate of 2.1 just to keep a nation's population stable, neither growing nor shrinking. Last year, the US rate dwindled to 1.76, a 40-year low.

Americans are less inclined than ever, it seems, to be fruitful and multiply. That should trouble anyone who hopes that America's best days are yet to come. Nothing is more indispensable to the growth of any society than its human capital — the knowledge, skills, imagination, and energy of human beings. As the late, great economist Julian Simon famously argued, people are the ultimate resource in any society, since human beings over time create more than they destroy.

When nations retreat from marriage and children, their outlook tends to become bleaker and less prosperous. Japan, which has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, illustrates the phenomenon well. As Japanese births have dwindled, the working-age cohort has accounted for a smaller and smaller share of an older and older population. Economic decline has followed demographic decline. And with Japan's labor force doomed to keep shrinking, the worst is yet to come.

There are many reasons for the plunge in fertility rates, and some of those reasons are unequivocal blessings. First and foremost is the near-eradication of infant mortality. In the 1850s, wrote Jonathan V. Last in his 2013 book What to Expect When No One's Expecting, one-fifth of white American babies, and one-third of black babies, died during infancy. Today, by comparison, the infant mortality rate is minuscule: 5.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. When children are more likely to survive, parents have fewer children.

Other positive changes have also helped bring down fertility rates. Among them: the explosive increase in women's education, the availability of modern contraception, and the surge of women into the workforce. Added to those have been still other social transformations. The establishment of Social Security and Medicare eroded the need for children to support their parents in old age. The waning of religion in modern America has weakened the conviction that getting married and raising a family are moral imperatives. And the din by environmental alarmists about the dangers of "overpopulation" have convinced many people that childlessness is a virtue.

But it isn't.

It should go without saying that Americans are perfectly free to delay getting married or having children, or to decide that they want no part of the expense, commitment, and restrictions of parenthood. This isn't Margaret Atwood's Gilead. Individual men and women who choose not to have kids are exercising a reproductive liberty that most of us regard as inviolable.

Yet that doesn't mean we're obliged to close our eyes to the aggregate impact of those individual choices. A society that ceases to "be fruitful and multiply" is a society that sows the seeds of its own decay. The retreat from child-rearing, in columnist Ross Douthat's words, is a form of "decadence" — an attitude that "privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be." A plummeting birthrate has ramifications that go beyond the economic burden of a swelling elderly population and fewer people of working age to bear that burden. To opt out of having children is to opt out of the most meaningful investment in the future — and to thereby make it more likely that America's best days are not to come.

Government can't make people have babies, and shouldn't try to. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't encourage parenthood, or remind ourselves how important babies are to American success, enterprise, and optimism. America's children are its most valuable asset, and a persistently sinking birthrate is a warning: That asset is being dangerously depleted. Life with kids is undoubtedly a challenge. But as America is on the verge of finding out, life without them will be more challenging by far.

SOURCE






Hero cop wins almost £900k after suffering sexist bullying from female boss

A MALE cop has won £870,000 compensation after suffering sexism from his female boss. Chief Inspector Adrian Denby, 49, was in charge of a tactical unit when he was victimised by Met deputy assistant commissioner Maxine de Brunner.

She wanted to challenge the squad’s macho culture and flipped after seeing a cop with only a towel round his waist in the office on his way from the shower to the locker room.

De Brunner ordered a probe after beer was found in a fridge with a price list on the front.

The Met also investigated unfounded claims of homophobic bullying.

Mr Denby, who has nine commendations, was later removed from his post. A tribunal found he was discriminated against and the Met has paid up in an out-of-court deal.

It is also understood the London force is helping him to set up a business as part of the settlement. With legal costs, the case has cost it more than £2million, a source said.

It is thought to be the first case in which a male cop sued his force over sexist bosses.

He regretted not stopping male staff crossing the room in towels but blamed poor design of the office. He claimed he was unfairly punished for failings, while a female colleague in a similar position was not.

He is on sick leave. De Brunner has retired. The Met declined to comment.

SOURCE







The decadent ADL.

The ADL has been irrelevant for 50 years. Its full organizational name, the Anti-Defamation League, like that of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is rarely used because that identity and mission lie in another era.

The ADL was founded in 1913 to promote the acceptance of Jews in mainstream society. Its founding charter was concerned with "the caricaturing and defaming of Jews on the stage, in moving pictures". Its original plan was to fight anti-Semitic prejudice by lobbying theater managers and newspaper editors.

Jews won acceptance in mainstream society over 50 years ago. Hollywood has more Jewish caricatures than ever. The revival of Murphy Brown means that CBS now will have three sitcoms featuring grotesque caricatures that play every negative Jewish stereotype for laughs. But that’s okay.

The ADL long ceased fighting that battle. And all the others. It’s an irrelevant organization on its last legs.

Its original mission became irrelevant when Jews won mainstream acceptance. Jews are the best liked (or perhaps least disliked) religious group in America. Yet anti-Semitic hate crimes dominate the roster.

How can both be true?

As anti-Semitism declined nationally, it receded to the racial and political margins. Instead of a lukewarm prejudice of many, it became the passionate creed of political extremists. The ADL shifted to combating anti-Semitism on the margins instead of in the mainstream. Instead of critiquing movies, it monitored hate groups. But, unlike mainstream lobbying, its monitoring of the margins was ineffectual.

Neo-Nazis wouldn’t be dissuaded by the ADL. Neither would any other fringe group. The ADL’s monitoring only fed into their anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and gave them an enemy to fight. But the ADL also needed an enemy to fight, a reason to exist and an incentive to keep the donations coming.

Meanwhile it was ignoring the threat of a breakout from the margins becoming mainstream.

The far right had been growing less relevant for most of the ADL’s existence. The Klan had gone from marching in the tens of thousands and dominating entire cities to being unable to fill a small room. But the far left had been steadily growing in influence. And its takeover would change everything.

By the sixties, anti-Semitism in America was profoundly changing. But the ADL didn’t change.

Anti-Semitic violence was now largely a feature of urban life. The new Jewish middle class, many of them Holocaust survivors and accented immigrants who had worked tirelessly in sweatshops to put their kids through college, was driven out of its comfortable urban enclaves by racial violence.

Jewish neighborhoods and businesses built by the immigrant generation vanished in riots, firebombs, muggings and stabbings. The second act of the civil rights movement was an anti-civil rights movement that, had it been directed at blacks, would have been met with protests and outrage. Instead the left defended the perpetrators and condemned the victims. Black leadership jettisoned Martin Luther King’s calls for equality and co-existence, replacing them with nationalism and racial supremacism.

And the left cheered.

That’s how Al Sharpton went from leading anti-Semitic pogroms to addressing the DNC. It’s why Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus met with Farrakhan. It’s why Bernie Sanders backed Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson despite his anti-Semitism. It’s why anti-Semitic black literature is celebrated.

That is how Tamika Mallory ended up in the audience at a Farrakhan speech. And that’s how Eric Holder likely contrived to help Mallory boot the ADL from Starbucks for calling out her anti-Semitism. When two black men were kicked out of Starbucks, there was outrage. When a Jewish organization was kicked out of Starbucks at the behest of the fan of a black supremacist who admires Hitler, there were shrugs.

The left has been dismissing concerns about black nationalist anti-Semitism for 50 years.

Defenders and condemners of this phenomenon will blame the unique issue of race in America. But that doesn’t hold up. The left did the same exact thing with pogroms in Russia. Whether it was Russian peasants or urban thugs, the left defended the violence as the outcry of an oppressed class or race against the privileged Jewish bourgeoisie, even though the targets were inevitably the Jewish poor.

American Jews, whose ancestors largely arrived from Russia before the Communist violence, were under the impression that anti-Semitic violence was a feature of Czarist life being combatted by the left. This distorted view of what was really going on was encouraged by lefty propaganda rags like The Forward.

Both sides opportunistically encouraged anti-Semitic violence (while occasionally condemning it) when it served their political interests. One mob would shout, “Death to the Jews and the Commissars!” The other mob would shout, “Smash the Jews and the bourgeoisie!” And often, they were the same mob.

Few American Jews have ever heard of the Glukhov pogrom by the Red Army in which leftists massacred 450 Jews, including children, to shouts of, "We are going to slaughter all the bourgeoisie and the Yids." The Communist Pravda described this anti-Semitic massacre as a victory over the “counter-revolution.”

Soviet anti-Semitism was not a break from its revolutionary principles, as some liberals liked to think. It was the execution of those principles. The Bolsheviks had repeatedly hounded their Menshevik rivals as the “yids” or “kikes”. As they consolidated power, they discouraged pogroms by individual bands and instead implemented a national Jewish pogrom of gulags, torture, execution and religious repression.

The attacks on Jewish neighborhoods and stores by black nationalists like Sharpton were a carbon copy of the pogroms that had been organized in Russia and Ukraine, by the same leftist ideology. A decade after the Glukhov pogrom, the Young Communist League and the Young Liberators were already working Harlem trying to stir up riots against Jewish storeowners.

The glamorization of Hitler in the black community did not begin with Farrakhan. Back in the thirties, Sufi Abdul Hamid, now known as a “pioneering labor leader”, but then dubbed the Black Hitler, was vowing, "an open bloody war against the Jews who are much worse than all other whites."

Neither Tamika Mallory, nor Sharpton, are a break with a mythological past dominated by a black-Jewish civil rights alliance that the ADL and its base are obsessed with, instead they are the fulfillment of a the long, ugly alliance between the left and anti-Semitic black nationalists that grew on the ADL’s watch.

The left’s anti-Semitic tactics have been consistent across countries and cultures. When its regimes rise, they persecute the Jews, whether it’s in the USSR, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela or the United States.

But the ADL’s liberalism was its undoing. Like most American Jews, it viewed the rise of the left as a progressive phenomenon. It did not matter that the same mistake had been made countless times with the same outcome. There could be no harm in the Democrats leaning further and further to the left.

Except maybe to Israel.

The debate about lefty anti-Semitism centers largely on Israel. And that’s how the left wants it.

Unlike nationalist anti-Semitism, transnationalist anti-Semitism is cloaked in in abstractions. The Red Army pogromists were fighting the bourgeoisie. Sharpton was fighting racism. BDS is battling Zionism.

Leftist anti-Semitism identifies Jews with an ideological abstraction and then attacks the actual people.

The Red Army thugs, Sharpton’s thugs and BDS thugs are anti-Semitic. Capitalism, racism and Zionism are excuses. Lefty anti-Semitism neither began with Zionism nor will it end there. The Jews who were murdered by the Soviet Union, who fled Nicaragua and Brownsville, had nothing to do with Israel.

The ADL wants to be a lefty organization fighting anti-Semitism. Replacing Abe Foxman with Jonathan Greenblatt was meant to adapt it to the new landscape. But the left doesn’t want to fight anti-Semitism.

There is no future for an organization fighting anti-Semitism on the left.

The left has built its own Soros lobby coalition of anti-Jewish organization staffed by activists with Jewish last names. Like their counterparts in the Soviet Union, the Yevsektsiya or Jewish Section, they redefine anti-Semitism as a ‘bourgeois’ phenomenon that the left is immune to. These activist groups seek to destroy Israel and the Jewish community because they interfere with their task of mobilizing Jews as lefty activist cannon fodder. They defend lefty anti-Semitism and accuse the right of anti-Semitism. 

Despite the ADL agreeing with 99% of their agenda, the left is determined to destroy or control it. And the ADL still refuses to confront the left because, like most liberals, it believes that it is on the left.

The leftward drift of the people who were once liberals had left them incapable of confronting lefty illiberalism. They know that they agree with the left’s causes, they only question some of its tactics. They talk a great deal about extremism, but they only whisper about the extremism on their own side.

And when the argument becomes about tactics, instead of worldview, the left wins.

The left’s tactical illiberalism isn’t impatience or passion; it’s the product of an illiberal worldview. Anti-Semitism isn’t an aberration on the left. It’s inevitable. A fundamental difference between liberalism and the illiberal left is that the latter defines solutions to social problems through destroying groups.

Destroy the bourgeoisie, smash the deniers, eliminate religion, crush whiteness and wipe out the Jews.

The left needs an “other” to personalize its abstract hatreds. Jews fill the traditional role of the “other” as scapegoat. And anti-Semitism serves the same function on the left as it did throughout history.

It’s no accident that the star of 1984’s Two Minutes Hate was Emmanuel Goldstein.

Multiculturalism doesn’t mean that there is no “other”. It means that there are a plethora of “others”. And when there are a thousand “others”, an “other” that everyone can agree on is urgently needed.

The left can make Jews embody capitalism, whiteness, nationalism, war crimes, exploitation and every evil. The Jews control the weather, a lefty councilman claims, and the left rushes to defend him. The Jews are killing Palestinian babies, stealing organs, training police to shoot black people and controlling the world’s wealth. It’s the same old bigotry in a keffiyah. And it serves the same tawdry function.

Anti-Semitism is the sewer, sausage factory and the boiler room of the leftist soul.

The ADL has tried to find common ground with the left. But the left is not in the common ground business. Where the left takes institutional power, in a country, a state, a college or a profession, ideological diversity quickly vanishes leaving behind its ruling activists and a silent majority.

As a liberal consensus vanishes, the ADL is becoming an organization with no base. The ADL is too pro-Jewish for the left and not pro-Jewish enough for the right. The left has its own collection of organizations that it wants to impose on the Jewish community. The Soros lobby’s JFREJ, Bend the Arc and If Not Now were hurled into action against the ADL. Eventually they will cannibalize the ADL.

The ADL failed to stand up the left. And like other liberal collaborators, it will be replaced with a leftist Yevsektsiya that will divide its time between condemning Israel and denouncing Jews as bigots who need to be reeducated about their privilege and their complicity in whiteness. And then it will get ugly.

When the ADL was founded, there was a mainstream consensus for it to influence. The consensus has been replaced by political and racial tribalism. The margins are becoming mainstream. And it’s dying.

The ADL may choose to shut down. Or like HIAS, it may jettison its Jewish identity and join the anti-Jewish left. Or it can do what it should have done all along. It tried colluding. It promoted Black Lives Matter and signaled softness on BDS. But its efforts to collude with intersectional anti-Semitism failed.

Now an irrelevant organization in its final years has one last chance to stand up to the left.

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

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Sunday, May 27, 2018




Trump gets it

Speaking at the annual gala of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump cited Jeremiah 1:5 in explaining his belief that “every life is totally worth protecting.”

“As the Lord says in Jeremiah, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart,’” said Trump. “When a mother and a father hold a new baby in their arms, they are changed forever.”

“When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, there is no doubt we see the beauty of the human soul and the mystery of God’s great creation,” said Trump. “We know that every life has meaning and that every life is totally worth protecting.”

“When we stand for life, we stand for the true source of America’s greatness,” said Trump. “It’s our people. Our people are great.”

Here is an excerpt from Trump’s remarks:

"As the Lord says in Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart.” When a mother and a father hold a new baby in their arms, they are changed forever. When a child says “Mommy” or “Daddy” for the first time, there is nothing like it anywhere in the world. No matter what you do, there is nothing like it. And when parents watch their children thrive and grow, they’re filled with joy beyond words, and a love beyond measure. You know that—everybody in this room.

"When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, there is no doubt we see the beauty of the human soul and the mystery of God’s great creation. We know that every life has meaning and that every life is totally worth protecting. Thank you. Thank you very much.

"When we stand for life, we stand for the true source of America’s greatness. It’s our people. Our people are great. It’s the people who grace our lives, who sustain our communities, and who make America a nation, a home, and this magnificent land that we all love so much.

"As long as we have faith in our citizens, confidence in our values, and trust in our God, then we will never, ever fail. Our nation will thrive. Our people will prosper. And America will be greater than ever before. And that’s what’s happening.

SOURCE






Hungary’s maverick prime minister, Viktor Orban, is questioning current Western values

Four years ago, Orban gave his critics ammunition when he said he was constructing an “illiberal democracy.” This month he doubled down, declaring liberal democracy dead and urging other European leaders to stop trying to revive the corpse.

Instead, Orban exhorted them to get busy invoking a new democracy based on Christian principles.

“Liberal democracy is no longer able to protect people’s dignity, provide freedom, guarantee physical security or maintain Christian culture,” he said in Hungary’s parliament earlier this month. “Some in Europe are still tinkering with it, because they believe that they can repair it, but they fail to understand that it is not the structure that is defective: The world has changed.”

The response, he added, is “to replace the shipwreck of liberal democracy by building 21st-century Christian democracy.”

For many reasons, Orban deserves our attention when he says his ambition—“now we want to hunt really big game” is precisely how he put it—is to change the course of Europe.

He is flushed with an electoral victory in which his party last month captured more votes than all of the opposition combined. He has defeated German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the important philosophical debate over immigration (Orban says it should be lowered). And he has vanquished the leftist billionaire George Soros, who just announced his nongovernmental organization is leaving Hungary.

Most importantly, the question of values is the fundamental issue confronting the Continent. Unlike the United States, modern European states are not founded upon creedal documents that lay out the constituting character and culture of the nation, and how to preserve them.

When “Europe” was more or less coterminous with “Christendom,” that text was the Bible. The culture that defined all the European nations—the paintings, the music, the festivals, the folk wisdom—was suffused with Christianity and its imagery. Greco-Judeo-Christian ethics bonded Portuguese and Finns in the absence of DNA or language links.

As Europe has de-Christianized, at best it has evolved into a values-free, empty husk. At worst it has become a supranational entity that pretends adherence to hate-speech codes, mandatory work rules, open borders, and coercion of everyone into publicly affirming lifestyles they find repugnant—all violations of different freedoms, and ironically of liberalism itself—now form “European values.”

Orban thumbs his nose at European Union pieties with gusto, which is why he can be forgiven if he uses provocative terms to attract attention to an important project.

But first it is important to note obvious downsides. Orban is no Thomas Jefferson, and his emphasis on ethnicity, not civic nationalism contained within borders, is sui generis.

If you believe that all men are created equal, are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are instituted “to secure these rights” and “the blessings of liberty,” then the type of state that Orban wants to build is likely not your bag.

He says he believes that Hungarians are exceptional innately, not as a result of national traits that are acquirable. “We are a unique species,” he said last week. “There is a world which we alone see.”

This Hungarian nation is not geographically defined within juridical and electoral boundaries. The Hungarian nation, Orban said four years ago, “sometimes coincides with the country’s borders, sometimes doesn’t.”

Most important, securing individuals’ liberties is most assuredly not the central purpose of the state he is busy creating. As he said, again, in the 2014 speech:

“The new state that we are constructing in Hungary is an illiberal state, a non-liberal state. It does not reject the fundamental principles of liberalism such as freedom, and I could list a few more, but it does not make this ideology the central element of state organization, but instead includes a different, special, national approach.”

There is good reason why ethnic, rather than civic, nationalism gives us pause. Though ethnic nationalism is unassailable from a natural rights perspective, it does de-emphasize the individual’s agency by making citizenship (belonging) non-volitional.

All of this is less of an indictment of Orban than one would think, however. First, he’s building a state for Hungarians, not Americans—and we must remember that even though safeguarding freedom must be our central animating spirit, to do that, we too, must preserve America’s unique culture.

Also, Hungarians are more ethnically separate than­­­­­ most. They are descended from seven tribes that emerged out of Central Asia more than a millennium ago and settled eventually in the Carpathian Basin.

Surrounded by a sea of German and Slavic, they continue to speak a language that is Asian in origin, not European, and to have distinct foods and customs. They are highly homogenous at home, and have enclaves in neighboring countries who are still considered part of the “Hungarian nation.”

And Orban is not—with due respect to his critics—vowing to pursue his project by depriving Hungarians of their freedom or property. He really doesn’t have a beef with liberal democracy, if understood as a system of representative government where the rule of the majority is checked by constitutional guarantees for minority rights and checks and balances prevent tyranny. Though he does not make freedom “the central element” of his project, he does secure people’s rights. He’s not Putin, Castro, or Xi Jinping.

It is instructive that for Orban, the inflection point for systemic change was the 2008 financial crisis. What he saw, what many saw, was intellectual and financial elites, transnational in outlook, suffering less than their working-class compatriots. He is trying to reconstruct a sense of nation.

By attempting to reintroduce the Judeo-Christian ethic into a secularized Europe, Orban arguably is giving Europe a chance to do just that. Even if the ethnic model he and his electorate may be pursuing is irreplicable in America or most of Western Europe, the values model could have a lot to offer.­­­

SOURCE






Morgan Spurlock’s Alcoholism Confession Casts Doubt on His ‘Super Size Me’ Health Claims

Just another Leftist crook

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock caused waves with Super Size Me, the 2004 film in which he claimed eating McDonald’s gave him multiple health problems — but his recent admission to decades of heavy drinking call into question his dramatic claims about his health ailments being the result of fast food.

With his film, Spurlock won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was even nominated for an Academy Award. Phelim McAleer reminded readers of Super Sizes Me’s theatrical acclaim in a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal.

Spurlock’s super-sized claims were quite dramatic. Before he started filming the expose about the effects of McDonald’s food on a human body, the filmmaker said that he was in a “good spot” with his health. But after a full month of eating fast food, Spurlock insisted that his health took a dramatic, downward turn.

In that one month, the filmmaker insisted that he gained an unhealthy amount of weight, he said he got “the shakes” from the burgers and fries, felt depressed, lost sexual function, and he even made the claim that his liver was damaged by the temporary fast food diet.

In a subsequent interview, Morgan Spurlock congratulated himself on “opening people’s eyes” on the ills of fast food. He also claimed that the experience hurt his body to the point where he gains weight easily.

But, the liver problems were his most dramatic claims. Did eating McDonald’s for a month straight really do so much harm to his liver? He has always maintained that his liver problems were a result of Super Size Me. But new information raises important questions.

Phelim McAleer found that Spurlock himself recently made a statement that seems to put his earlier health claims in doubt. McAleer notes that after he was accused of sexual harassment, Spurlock made a shocking admission:

Fast-forward to December 2017, when Mr. Spurlock issued a #MeToo mea culpa titled “I Am Part of the Problem,” detailing a lifetime of sexual misdeeds. As a result, YouTube dropped its plans to screen his Super Size Me sequel, and other broadcasters cut ties. But overlooked in all this was a stunning admission that calls into question the veracity of the original Super Size Me.

After blaming his parents for his bad acts, Mr. Spurlock asked: “Is it because I’ve consistently been drinking since the age of 13? I haven’t been sober for more than a week in 30 years.”

“Could this be why his liver looked like that of an alcoholic? Were those shakes symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?”McAleer asked.

McAleer also pointed out that Spurlock’s admission about his drinking raises a question about earlier claims:

Mr. Spurlock’s 2017 confession contradicts what he said in his 2004 documentary. “Any alcohol use?” the doctor asks at the outset. “Now? None,” he replies. In explaining his experiment, he says: “I can only eat things that are for sale over the counter at McDonald’s — water included.”

Morgan Spurlock’s recent admission about a possible chronic alcohol problem appear to be at odds with the claims he made that eating fast food damaged his health.

Naturally, Spurlock has refused to respond to questions about these contradictory statements.

SOURCE





Fake Black Activist Rachel Dolezal Accused Of Welfare Fraud

She's just a fraud, period. She'll make a good Leftist

Rachel Dolezal, the former Washington state NAACP president thrust into the spotlight after media revealed she was a white woman posing as black, is facing welfare fraud charges.

Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, could face up to 15 years in prison after authorities say she received thousands of dollars in public assistance. She’s accused of welfare fraud, perjury and false verification for public assistance, TV station KHQ reports.

Rachel Dolezal faces felony theft charges illegally receiving $8,747 in food assistance and $100 in childcare assistance from August 2015 through November 2017.  She could face 15 years in jail.

FOX News reported:

Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter leader who resigned after her parents revealed she’s not African-American, is facing a felony theft charge in Washington state after she allegedly made false statements to secure nearly $9,000 in food and childcare assistance.

The charges against Dolezal, who changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in October 2016, were first reported by KHQ-TV.

According to court documents, investigators with Washington state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) started looking into Dolezal’s finances in March 2017 after the publication of her autobiography, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.”

DSHS investigator Kyle Bunge said Dolezal had claimed that “her only source of income was $300.00 per month in gifts from friends.” However, the department found that she had deposited nearly $84,000 in her bank account between August 2015 and September 2017 without reporting it.

According to the investigation, the money came from sales of Dolezal’s autobiography as well as “the sale of her art, soaps, and handmade dolls.”

Authorities say Dolezal illegally received $8,747 in food assistance and $100 in child care assistance from August 2015 through November 2017.

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

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Friday, May 25, 2018



Why American men are getting less marriageable

The article below is rather naive -- perhaps blinded by feminism.  The author is male but does look rather epicene.


Drake Baer

The decline in marriage is no mystery at all. Feminist-inspired  divorce laws have made marriage into a financial disaster for most men. And hardly a day goes by without some story appearing in the papers that features such disasters.  Men now know what they are in for and choose to cohabitate rather than marry. Cohabitation is the new marriage. Nearly 50% of births are now ex nuptial in some jurisdictions.

The point about employment made below does however also have some validity -- but it is not limited to manufacturing jobs. ANY man without a job or in a low paying job is unlikely to be a target for a marriage-minded woman.  It's simply practical.  The less money you have, the fewer are your options in life.  Using Occam's razor, that's all there is to this issue.

OK, I will admit that instincts have a lot to do with it too. Women do like to look up to a man and see him as a good provider. And he's hard to look up to if he is not a good provider. And that instinct would go back to our cave-man origins. Feminism has been a total failure at changing human nature.

One cause of male unemployment that bears mentioning is the heavy push to get women into remunerative "male" jobs, particularly STEM jobs.  Women are now often given preferential access to such jobs.  But that is a zero sum game.  The more women in any job  the fewer will be the men.  So some unhappy ladies will have more money but no man. And lots of them regret that quite acutely --  as the Mulvey saga reminds us

I remember a singles party I was at decades ago.  There was a quite attractive lady there whom I knew.  She said to me: "Where are all the men?"  I remarked that there were actually more men present than women.  She replied: "Not THOSE men". She wanted a man she could respect and regretted the lack of one. She went home with me



We're in the middle of a great marriage decline in the US.
This phenomenon is partially explained by economic forces that are making men less appealing partners. Traditional gender roles are also to blame.

If it seems like the number of complaints from your female friends about not being able to find a man is growing, we may finally know why. Somewhere between 1979 and 2008, Americans decided it was much less worth it to get hitched: the share of 25- to 39-year-old women who were currently married fell 10 percent among those with college degrees, 15 percent for those with some college, and a full 20 percent for women with a high-school education or less.

This great American marriage decline—a drop from 72 percent of U.S. adults being wed in 1960 to half in 2014—is usually chalked up to gains in women's rights, the normalization of divorce, and the like. But it also a lot to do with men. Namely, economic forces are making them less appealing partners, and it ties into everything from China to opioids.

The most revealing data comes from University of Zurich economist David Dorn. In a 2017 paper with an ominous title ("When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men"), Dorn and his colleagues crunched the numbers from 1990 to 2014. They found that employability and marriageability are deeply intertwined.

The flashpoint is a sector of the economy that politicians love to talk about: manufacturing. It used to be a huge slice of the employment pie: In 1990, 21.8 percent of employed men and 12.9 percent of employed women worked in manufacturing. By 2007, it had shrunk to 14.1 and 6.8 percent. These blue-collar gigs were and are special: they pay more than comparable jobs at that education level in the service sector, and they deliver way more than just a paycheck. The jobs are often dangerous and physically demanding, giving a sense of solidarity with coworkers. Not coincidentally, these jobs are also incredibly male-dominated—becoming even more so between 1990 and 2010. But since 1980, a full third of all manufacturing jobs—5 million since 2000—have evaporated, making guys less appealing as husbands.

Dorn and his colleagues find that when towns and counties lose manufacturing jobs, fertility and marriage rates among young adults go down, too. Unmarried births and the share of children living in single-parent homes go up. Meanwhile, places with higher manufacturing employment have a bigger wage gap between men and women, and a higher marriage rate.

"On simple financial grounds, the males are more attractive partners in those locations because they benefit disproportionately from having those manufacturing jobs around," he tells Thrive Global.

It underscores how in the U.S., the norms around money, marriage, and gender remain—perhaps surprisingly—traditional. Marianne Bertrand, an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, has found a "cliff" in relative income in American marriages at the 50-50 split mark. While there are lots of couples where he earns 55 percent of their combined income, there are relatively few where shemakes more than he does.

While the pay gap is certainly a factor here, Bertrand and her colleagues argue that the asymmetry owes more to traditionalist gender roles and remains a class issue. They reference recent results from the World Values Survey, where respondents were asked how much they agreed with the claim that, ‘‘If a woman earns more money than her husband, it's almost certain to cause problems.'' The results broke along socioeconomic lines: 28 percent of couples where both parties went to at least some college agreed, while 45 percent of couples where neither partner went beyond high school agreed. Spouses tend to be less happy, more likely to think the marriage is in trouble, and more likely to discuss separation if the wife outearns her husband, as well.

"Either men don't like their female partners earning more than they do," Dorn says, or women feel like "if the man doesn't bring in more money, then he's an underachiever."

As manufacturing jobs are lost, there are also increases to mortality in men aged 18 to 39, Dorn says, with more deaths from liver disease, indicative of alcohol abuse; more deaths from diabetes, related to obesity; and lung cancer, related to smoking—not to mention drug overdoses. (These "deaths of despair" have taken over a million American lives in the past decade.) Ofer Sharone, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts, has found that while Israelis blame the system when they can't find a job, Americans see themselves as flawed when they can't find work, which sounds a lot like perfectionism. And remarkably, half of unemployed men in the U.S. are on some sort of painkiller. Unremarkably, all that makes long-term monogamy less appealing. "This is consistent with the notion that males become less attractive partners because they have less money and start doing drugs," Dorn says.

The precarious situation that American men face has a lot to do with the nature of the jobs they're doing. Germany and Switzerland, which are bleeding manufacturing at a much slower rate, do more precision work (read: watches and cars), which is harder to ship overseas to hand over to robots and algorithms. Traditionally masculine, American blue collar jobs tend toward repetitive tasks, making them easier to replace. (One British estimate predicted that 35 percent of traditionally male jobs in the UK are at high risk of being automated, compared with 26 percent of traditionally female jobs.) There's a race to automate trucking, a traditionally male role, but not so much nursing.

And the working-class jobs that are being added tend toward what's traditionally taken to be "women's work." Care-oriented jobs like home-care aides continue to go up—a trend that's only going to continue as America gets older and boomers move into retirement. These are not trends that add to the marketability of guys. "The lack of good jobs for these men is making them less and less attractive to women in the marriage market, and women, with their greater earnings, can do fine remaining single," says Bertrand, the Chicago economist. "For gender identity reasons, these men may not want to enter into marriages with women who are dominating them economically, even if this would make economic sense to them."

So what's a man to do within change like this? Dorn recommends, if one is able, to specialize in areas that are harder to automate—jobs that require problem-solving and creativity. But those jobs also often require more education. Then comes the much woolier, complex issue of gender norms. There are individual choices to be made at a personal level for men to take on traditionally feminine work, or for heterosexual couples to settle on a situation where the wife brings home the bacon. But these individual choices don't happen in a vacuum—they're necessarily informed by the broader culture.

"Traditional masculinity is standing in the way of working-class men's employment," Johns Hopkins sociologist Andrew Cherlin said in an interview. "We have a cultural lag where our views of masculinity have not caught up to the change in the job market." (This was captured in a recent New York Times headline: "Men Don't Want to Be Nurses. Their Wives Agree.") Parents and educators will play the biggest role in teaching more gender neutral attitudes regarding who belongs in the home and who belongs in the marketplace, Bertrand says. And eventually, she adds, gender norms "will adjust to the new realities" that are already present in the economy: women are getting better educations and are more employable, and the work opportunities that are growing are—for now—thought to be feminine.

SOURCE





Want to fire your congressman? There's a fund for that

by Jeff Jacoby

A new, nonpartisan political action committee aims to help candidates who challenge incumbent members of Congress.

NORBERT RICHTER, an engineer whose business is the construction of ultra-light turbine helicopters, has a knack for getting innovative contraptions off the ground. That skill may prove handy as he attempts to gain altitude for a different sort of vehicle: a scheme to disrupt the shield of incumbency that makes it almost impossible to dislodge a sitting member of Congress.

Richter has created Fire Your Congressman, a political action committee designed to help candidates of any party who challenge incumbent senators and representatives.

The near-invulnerability of congressional incumbents is one of the most demoralizing phenomena in US politics. Richter, a resident of Gainesville in Florida's 3rd congressional district, got a first-hand taste of that demoralization in 2016. He had been thinking of running in the Republican primary against US Representative Ted Yoho, and was astonished at how the party mobilized to shelter the incumbent from challenge.

"I was aghast," Richter told me in a recent conversation. "The party had no interest in allowing competition." The GOP establishment made clear, he says, that it would thwart his efforts to raise funds or schedule debates. Yoho had a hefty campaign war chest, name recognition, and access to party loyalists with deep pockets. Richter soon realized that he couldn't hope to raise enough money to run a credible race. In the end, Yoho faced no primary opponent. In November, he was easily re-elected from his safe GOP district.

And that, Richter learned as he analyzed his experience, was typical.

Though Americans despise Congress, most incumbents are routinely returned to office. On Election Day in 2016, congressional job approval averaged a miserable 15 percent in national polls. Yet only eight of the 388 members of the House of Representatives running for re-election that day were defeated; five others had previously been ousted in primaries. In short, 97 percent of House incumbents seeking another term had been re-elected. And of the 29 senators on the ballot, 93 percent prevailed.

"In a year that was defined by a political outsider, Donald Trump, winning the presidency," wrote political scientist Larry Sabato, "it was still a really good year to run as an incumbent."

It's always a really good year to run as an incumbent. In the abstract, Americans cherish their power to throw the bums out. But the bums rarely have anything to worry about, so barricaded are they behind the advantages of incumbency — gerrymandered districts, local media coverage, franked mail privileges, government-paid staff, and, perhaps most important, the flow of campaign contributions from those willing to pay for access and goodwill.

The only way to curtail the lopsidedly pro-incumbent dynamic in American elections, Richter decided, is with a counterflow of contributions to challengers. That's the idea behind Fire Your Congressman, his newly launched PAC.

Here's how it works: Donors wishing to remove incumbent members of Congress contribute to the PAC, which creates pools of money to be spent in support of challengers. Donations can be made to pools targeting specific incumbents, or to a general pool that will be used against a "Top 10" list of sitting lawmakers — five Democrats, five Republicans — that PAC researchers determine to be the highest priority for defeat.

In its first weeks, the fledgling PAC has received only contributions from small-dollar donors, but those dollars are trickling in. (The total to date, according to Richter, is in "the low tens of thousands.") Most of the money has been earmarked for pools to defeat two Florida House members: Yoho, the Gainesville Republican, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the South Florida Democrat. "I haven't had a million-dollar donor come up to me yet," Richter says, but he is hopeful that as word spreads, Fire Your Congressman will become a significant vehicle for challenging heretofore untouchable incumbents.

Richter emphasizes the PAC's nonpartisan structure. "Libertarian, Berniecrat, super-right-winger, conventional liberal — it doesn't matter" where a donor falls on the spectrum, he stresses. "If you are fed up with incumbents, if you want to support challengers, we can help."

Why would donors funnel campaign contributions through Fire Your Congressman PAC rather than give directly to the campaigns of individual challengers? For two reasons, says Richter.

First, so a war chest can be amassed against an incumbent even before a credible challenger emerges. In some cases, the knowledge that a pool of funds already exists may give challengers the reassurance to get into a race that might otherwise be unrealistic.

The second advantage to channeling contributions through the PAC? To prevent angry incumbents from taking revenge.

The PAC's website makes the point explicitly: "Challengers can find fundraising particularly difficult, because potential donors are concerned about losing favor with their incumbent representative if they publicly donate to an opponent." Since money given to the PAC is not reported to the Federal Election Commission as a donation against any named lawmaker, donors can "maintain their relationship with incumbents, while making undisclosed donations against them."

The pro-incumbent bias in American politics won't be dismantled overnight. Ultimately it can be whittled away only by emboldening and strengthening challengers. Fire Your Congressman gives fed-up voters a way to leverage the power of money against the fortress of incumbency. Can Richter make it fly? It's too soon to know for sure, but I'm rooting for the engineer.

SOURCE







Social Justice Warrior Accuses Conservative Women of ‘Appropriating’ Feminism—but We’re Not Having It

Kelsey Harkness

Fake news, move over—there’s a new con (wo)man in town. It’s called fake feminism, and according to a woman on the left, conservative women are the culprits.

Liberal feminist writer Jessica Valenti, author of books such as “Sex Object: A Memoir,” and “Why Have Kids?”, took to The New York Times Sunday to argue Republicans are “appropriating” feminist rhetoric in their use of the term. How dare they not ask for permission?

In her article, “The Myth of Conservative Feminism,” Valenti writes:

Conservatives appropriating feminist rhetoric despite their abysmal record on women’s rights is, in part, a product of the president’s notorious sexism. Now more than ever, conservatives need to paint themselves as woman-friendly to rehab their image with female voters.

In an attempt to justify the hypocrisy of feminists refusing to celebrate historic achievements such as Gina Haspel becoming the first female to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, Valenti argues, “Feminism isn’t about blind support for any woman who rises to power.”

Pay no mind to the many faces of the Democratic Party who have long argued women should vote based on their reproductive body parts.

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in support of the Democrats’ nominee on the 2016 campaign trail.

Women supporting President Donald Trump are “publicly disrespecting themselves,” woman-splained Hillary Clinton.

“Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,” said Michelle Obama just last year.

So which way is it—does feminism champion individuality and free thought, or is it “my way or the highway”?

Conservative women have long been divided on whether they identify as a feminist. Speaking on a 2018 women’s panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference, I publicly embraced the term to acknowledge that women throughout history were not always equal, and to honor all the work of the first-wave feminists who came before us.

Others argue the term was so badly hijacked to mean supporting an anti-male, pro-abortion without limits agenda, that it’s a lost cause to use the term.

“It’s difficult for me to call myself a feminist in a classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male, and it certainly is very pro-abortion, and I’m neither anti-male or pro-abortion,” White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said at CPAC in 2017. “I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances.”

Disagreement among right-leaning women about the feminist identity exemplifies a healthy debate seldom seen or allowed on the left. As the world witnessed at the inaugural Women’s March, unless you unequivocally support abortion, you’re not welcome to be one of them.

In response to the threat posed by right-leaning women who identify as feminist, Valenti said:

Now we have a different task: protecting the movement against conservative appropriation. We’ve come too far to allow the right to water down a well-defined movement for its own cynical gains. Because if feminism means applauding ‘anything a woman does’—even hurting other women—then it means nothing.

In truth, Valenti is right to feel threatened by those of us who’ve embraced the term “feminism.”

We’re reaching out to young women and explaining that disagreement is OK, and we’re showing that standing up for women can also mean standing up for issues such as tax reform, and a strong national defense.

After all, the Trump administration has one of the most pro-women foreign policy agendas we’ve seen in decades. Instead of sending planes filled with cash to regimes such as Iran who arrest women for taking off their hijabs, we’ve exited the Iran deal, sending the message that we stand in solidarity with women and no longer excuse violations of their most fundamental human rights.

And despite being pariahs within the culture, conservative women have played a healthy role in the #MeToo movement, proving that feminism can accomplish so much more when everyone’s involved.

Feminism has evolved, and it appears we’ve reached a breaking point. Lined with Planned Parenthood’s pocketbook, the left’s goal is to define it based on the single issue of abortion.

Conservatives, on the other hand, argue it’s time for a more inclusive version of feminism that focuses on the plights of women worldwide—not just here in the United States.

Valenti and her allies can work overtime trying to discredit our perspective and accuse us of “appropriating” the term. But those of us who embrace it aren’t backing down to her school girl bully approach.

Instead, we’ll use the attack as an opportunity to have a conversation, not just with America but the entire world, about why feminism is about so much more than the single issue of abortion.

We’ll show that real feminism is about furthering equality for all women around the world. And how selecting Gina Haspel as the first woman to lead the CIA was a great first step.

SOURCE






Sexism? Australian Medical clinic comes under fire for charging patients an EXTRA $7 to see a female GP

Patients have been left outraged after a medical centre charged MORE money for them to see female GPs.

The Melbourne clinic, Myhealth North Eltham, has come under scrutiny after it was found charging patients more for standard consultations with female GPs than it does for a consultation with male GPs.

A sign displayed in the clinic showed the discriminatory pricing policy - and it's attracted criticism online.  

The photograph was uploaded to Twitter with the caption: 'This is so f***ed. My friend goes to Eltham North Clinic in #Victoria, and they've just instituted extra fees for female doctors because "women's issues take longer". Surely this is illegal ... if it's not illegal, it's still outrageously sexist.'

The post was shared online by the user's followers, who also vented their anger.

One user said: 'If you're asking people who are paid 30 per cent less to fill that 30 per cent wage gap, it doesn't help. It means even greater financial inequality for those at the bottom.'

Another added: 'I don't think this is the scandal you think it is. I'd pay more to see a female colleague knowing they get ~30% less take home pay than their male counterparts. On top of fewer opportunities, and institutional/societal sexism.'

According to Fairfax, Federal Health Minister Greg is calling for an urgent investigation of the matter.

Kristen Hilton, Victoria's Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner told The Guardian, the Melbourne clinic may be breaking the law and it can be considered discriminatory for charging patients more to see female GPs.

'It is against the law for doctors to treat someone unfavourably because of their gender,' Ms Hilton said.

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

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Thursday, May 24, 2018



Canada: What we learned at last weekend’s “political correctness” debate, starring Jordan Peterson

The Munk debates are not monk debates.  They are a dignified Canadian phenomenon.  With immodesty unusual in Canada they announce themselves as:  "The Munk Debates are the world’s preeminent public debating forum. From gender and geopolitics, to nuclear weapons and neoliberalism, the Munk Debates tackle the most important questions of our time with passion and critical thought"

They are prestigious within Canada and attract a large paying audience so are very orderly and civilized.  They often feature well-known speakers


Venue: The Roy Thompson hall


On Friday, the city’s culturatti spent the first night of the May 24 weekend packed into Roy Thomson Hall for the latest Munk Debate, where the topic couldn’t possibly have been more timely: “Be it resolved that what you call political correctness, I call progress.” On the pro side: New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg and African-American academic and author Michael Eric Dyson. Arguing against: British thespian Stephen Fry and Jordan Peterson, who became the Justin Bieber of internet free-speech zealots after he posted YouTube lectures decrying PC culture on university campuses. The debate was moderated by Munk Debates chair Rudyard Griffiths.

All four debaters presented impassioned, intermittently effective, occasionally off-topic arguments. But who won? Who came to blows? And which two debaters should definitely be starring in a postmodern buddy cop movie? Here’s what we learned:

Toronto’s elite are anti-PC

Upon entering RTH, the crowd was asked to fill out a survey where they voted for or against the resolution. Going into the debate, 36 per cebt of attendees agreed that political correctness was a form of progress, while 64 per cent were opposed.

It may be politically incorrect to identify political correctness
One of the most remarkable things about the debate was that actual political correctness didn’t get discussed a whole bunch. On stage was Peterson—the guy who has famously refused to use they/them pronouns to address gender non-conforming students (at his job at a publicly funded university). And yet, that didn’t come up. Instead, the debaters discussed why perceived censorship is different from censorship (Goldberg), how the right are the true perpetrators of identity politics (Dyson), the value of hierarchies and the sovereignty of the individual (Peterson) and why nobody on this continent seems to have any bloody idea what political correctness is (Fry).

A New York Times profile of Jordan Peterson loomed large
On the day of the debate, the New York Times published a profile of the prof, in which the author lays out Peterson’s support for “enforced monogamy” and patriarchy based on innate male superiority. Goldberg quoted from the profile in her opening statement—presumably as a way of articulating the dangerous ideologies that could prevail in the absence of PC culture. Peterson accused her of attacking him personally.

It’s okay not to like your teammate

While Goldberg and Dyson were essentially coming from the same place on the Pro side, the men on the Con side were not exactly two anti-PCs in a pod. Fry, who is gay, opened his argument by noting that he was “standing next to someone with whom I have, you know, differences.” He appeared to be avoiding Peterson’s attempts at comradely eye contact throughout.

It’s also okay to call Stephen Fry offensive names

Or so says Fry himself. He argued that the problem with PC culture is that we have become too uptight about words, including a certain unprintable epithet for gay men. This would have been a great time for one of the Pro debaters to jump in and point out the myriad ways in which language influences thought and indicates societal values—but alas, that may have been a little too on-topic.

But it’s not okay to call Jordan Peterson white

The evening’s emotional climax came during a heated exchange between Peterson and Dyson, in which the former asked if there was a tax he could pay so he could stop hearing about his white privilege. Dyson responded by asking, “Why the rage, bro? You’re doing well, but you’re a mean white man. I have never seen so much whining and snow-flaking—there’s enough whine in here to start a vineyard.” The mean-white-guy thing earned Dyson the night’s only boos. Peterson came back saying that while he may indeed be mean, he was not okay with being called white: “The fact that race got dragged into that comment is a better example of what’s wrong with the politically correct left than anything else that could have happened,” he said, prompting a big cheer from the audience.

Nobody wants to appear dead-set against #MeToo

When Griffiths asked the debaters to address whether #MeToo has gone too far, Goldberg made the point that, in fact, the punishments have largely fit the crimes: “When you look at who has actually lost their jobs—it’s not based on random McCarthyist rumours, it’s people who took their dicks out at work…and now they’re staging comebacks!” Fry said that post-#MeToo political correctness has lead to a “genuine fear” in his industry amongst men who feel like they can’t say what they think. “It’s worrying,” he said, before adding that the revelations of decades of rampant and institutionally condoned sexual assault and harassment perpetrated against women are…also worrying.

Following a heated exchange, Dyson suggested that Peterson might better understand the notion of privilege if he accompanied Dyson to a black Baptist church. Peterson accepted the invitation, and Griffiths vowed to make sure this real-life buddy cop movie would actually happen.

Toronto’s elite are still anti-PC

In the end, the Cons were the winners by a significant margin—a result that probably had a lot to do with Stephen Fry’s wit, Michael Eric Dyson’s name calling and the particular biases of the well-heeled audience.

SOURCE






Australia: "Righteous" critics of a reasonable statement

In the age of Twitter, you must emote appropriately.  A plea for balance is not possible amid grief

Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman is standing by a series of tweets he made about police "creating total and utter chaos" around the Brisbane CBD when responding to a pedestrian hit and killed by a bus this morning.

A woman was crossing Ann Street near the intersection of Wharf Street just before 7:00am when she was struck by a bus. She died at the scene.

Police closed the intersection for hours and asked motorists to avoid the area.

In response, Mr Newman shot out a series of tweets, saying police could have handled the situation better to minimise traffic disruptions:

"There must be a better way for the Qld Police to deal with a tragic pedestrian death than to shut down the entire northern side of Brisbane and create total and utter chaos extending more than 5 km from the CBD."

"And for those of you who don't agree, what about the surgeons and doctors who didn't get to the hospitals on time, the cancer patients who were heading for treatment, the kids who had exams, the people who missed job interviews etc. etc.

 Gee. What would they say if someone had died in the back of an ambulance this morning that had been injured in an incident elsewhere but couldn't get to the RBH in time due to the traffic? Let's stick to the point rather than name calling and invective"

They were quick to attract criticism.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr Newman's criticism was uncalled for. "Someone has lost their life, a family will be grieving tonight and I think it's very sad to hear that Campbell Newman has come out and criticised police," Ms Palaszczuk said. "The police have to undertake an investigation as quickly as they can where that event occurred."

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said police took appropriate action at the scene.  "I must say that I was appalled by comments made by former premier and former Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman about the police management of traffic while they were taking the necessary steps to investigate and respond to this morning's tragedy," Mr Ryan said.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington also voiced her disappointment at the comments made by her party's former leader. 

Speaking to the ABC, Mr Newman said he stood by his tweets, that he recognised the tragedy of the situation, but there was a need to examine if there was a better way of handling such incidents.

Mr Newman said police needed to consider the potential danger of delaying medical staff on other urgent tasks elsewhere in the city. He said if he were still premier, he would have invited the Police Minister and Police Commissioner to his office to discuss the matter.

A Queensland Police Service (QPS) spokesman said it handled the scene of Tuesday morning's fatality by the book. "It is standard procedure to close a road where a fatality has occurred while investigators from the Forensic Crash Unit conduct thorough scene examinations without interference from traffic," the spokesman said. "The QPS is also conscious of ensuring scenes of fatalities are managed with dignity and respect for the victims and their families.

"On this occasion, a traffic alert was issued to the public within minutes of the incident and local diversions were put in place while the intersection was closed to traffic for two hours."

SOURCE 






'Just work a little bit harder': Australian Liberal Party politician is heckled by an ABC audience for calling on women to stop being 'bitter' about not being promoted at work

A female politician was heckled by an ABC studio audience for declaring women needed to work harder and stop being bitter if they had failed to get promoted in the workplace.

First-term Victorian Liberal senator Jane Hume told the Q&A program that women, being half of the population, needed to stop thinking of themselves as a minority.

'I really dislike being patronised as if I am a minority,' she said.

The 47-year-old Melbourne-based senator, who is opposed to gender quotas, stirred up the Monday night audience when she suggested women needed to get by on their abilities instead of demanding special treatment. 'We are capable of anything but we are entitled to nothing,' she said.

'We have to work for what we want and for women that don't get there, the trick is work that little bit harder.

'Don't get bitter, get better. Work hard. Nothing that is worth getting doesn't come without hard work.'

Senator Hume's call for women to work harder antagonised the Q&A audience, where 41 per cent of the studio spectators identified as either Labor or Greens voters, compared with 32 per cent who declared themselves as Liberal or Nationals supporters.

The panel discussion took a tense turn when Senator Hume, a former banker, suggested an African schoolgirl in the audience from Melbourne's western suburbs, Sarah Ador Loi, could get ahead if she joined the Liberal Party and was mentored.

Macquarie University research fellow Randa Abdel-Fattah hit back by referencing the senator's skin colour. 'Spoken like a white, female politician,' she said as she sipped on a glass of water.

The Muslim academic, who grew up in Melbourne, suggested Sarah would not have the same connections to become a politician as someone who came from the wealthy suburb of Toorak.

The discussion had also focused on how just 21 per cent of federal Liberal Party politicians were women, compared with 44 per cent in the Labor Party, which has had gender targets since the mid-1990s.

SOURCE 





Catholic Therapist Allegedly Fired For Her Religious Beliefs Against Gay Marriage

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) filed a federal lawsuit against HealthSource Saginaw, Inc., on behalf of social worker Kathleen Lorentzen who was fired, apparently, because her Catholic religious beliefs precluded her from providing marriage counseling to a homosexual couple.

In addition to HealthSource Saginaw, Inc., defendants Mark E. Kraynak and Mark Puckett are also being sued. The Thomas More Law Center contends in its May 11 filing that Lorentzen's civil rights were violated under federal law and Michigan law, that there was a breach of contract, tortious interference, and termination in violation of policy.

"Kathleen Lorentzen, a Catholic and licensed clinical social worker was told by her supervisor that she had to be 'a social worker first and a Catholic second,' and was fired because she refused to compromise the Catholic faith which teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman," said the TMLC in a press release.

"Mrs. Lorentzen had an exemplary employment record of providing psychological counseling for over 20 years to a diverse group of patients," said the TMLC. "But despite her outstanding record, her former employer, HealthSource Saginaw (“HealthSource”), located in Michigan, terminated her."

“This case shows that people of faith are under assault in the workplace," said TMLC Senior Trial Counsel Tyler Brooks. "The fact is, however, that Christians need not choose between their faith and their jobs. Despite what many would have us believe, discrimination against Christians is a civil rights violation that will subject employers to legal liability.”

In the summer of 2017, Lorentzen -- who worked under contract as an Outpatient Behavioral Therapist and had treated many patients for HealthSource since 2011 -- provided some counseling on two occasions. She then decided that, as a Catholic, she could not provide further "marriage" counseling to a gay couple because such unions are contrary to her religious and moral beliefs.

On Aug. 23, 2017, Lorentzen asked her supervisor, Mark E. Kraynak, "if she could refer the couple to another therapist in the practice because of the conflict with her religious beliefs," reads the lawsuit. "In response, Mr. Kraynak became very angry. Mrs. Lorentzen then excused herself and left the meeting."

On Aug. 29, 2017,  Lorentzen "was summoned into a meeting with Mr. Kraynak and Colton Reed, HealthSource's outpatient manager," reads the lawsuit. "Mrs. Lorentzen was then interrogated in an aggressive and condescending manner about her faith and her work at HealthSource. During this exchange, Mrs. Lorentzen objected that she felt like she was being harassed and discriminated against because of her religion. Mr. Kraynak told Mrs. Lorentzen that eh had to be 'a social worker first, and a Catholic second.'"

When Lorentzen tried to her explain her views further by referencing certain clergy, Kraynak "hatefully said, 'They are just priests!'" reads the lawsuit.

On Sept. 6, 2017, Lorentzen received a letter form HealthSource's Program Executive Mark Puckett stating that she would be terminated in 30 days. After she received the letter, according to the lawsuit, Lorentzen "was subjected to a number of actions that undermined, embarrassed, and humiliated her" by Kraynak and Reed.

These actions reportedly included pushing Lorentzen, blocking her from walking down the hallway, and eavesdropping on her.

The lawsuit further states that when HealthSource's "medical director found out the actual reason Mrs. Lorentzen was leaving, he told Messrs. Reed and Kraynak that the gay couple seeking counseling could have simply been referred to another therapist and that they should not have terminated her without consulting him first."

The TMLC, on Lorentzen's behalf, is seeking a trial by jury on all claims, compensatory damages, past and future medical expenses, "damages for past and future mental and emotional distress," punitive damages, attorney's fees, tax costs of the legal action, and "other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper."

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on May 11, 2017.

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

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018




Black surgeon who gave bride-to-be 'permanent brain damage' during a tummy tuck filmed videos of herself dancing and singing during surgeries

She sounds hebephrenic. There is a high incidence of mental illness among blacks.  Most probably an affirmative action graduate



An Atlanta plastic surgeon is facing a slew of lawsuits after it was revealed she had filmed herself singing and dancing over her exposed patients during surgeries.

Dozens of videos have been found that show Dr Windell Boutte cavorting in the operating room, even while making incisions on her patients.

In one video Boutte sings the to the rap lyric 'I'm 'bout to cut it', from an OT Genasis rap song, before slicing into one of her patients.

'You could not present a patient in a more undignified manner,' Susan Witt, an attorney representing one of Boutte's former patients, told WSBTV. 

More than 20 videos of Boutte's antics were found on YouTube. She is now facing seven malpractice lawsuits.

Ojay Liburd, 26, has blamed Boutte for leaving his mother Icilma Cornelius with permanent brain damage.

Cornelius was just weeks away from getting married and earning her PhD when she visited Boutte for a tummy tuck and liposuction in 2016.

Cornelius was just weeks away from getting married and earning her PhD when she visited Boutte for a tummy tuck and liposuction in 2016

But Cornelius' heart stopped after she was left on the operating table for more than eight hours. She will now need care for the rest of her life.

'She just wanted to be perfect for her wedding dress,' Liburd said. 'She had everything going for her.' 'That was the first time I ever saw my mom helpless.' 

Mitzi McFarland, who also underwent an operation with Boutte, said the results looked 'more like Freddy Krueger cut my stomach'.

This isn't the first time Boutte has come under fire for her work. In 2013, a woman who went to see Boutte at Premiere Dermatology and Surgery for a scalp irritation said she contracted MRSA during the treatment. She said she suffered permanent scars on her scalp as a result.

SOURCE






Refugee slowdown under Trump

The flow of refugees to the United States has slowed nearly to a halt, demonstrating that what President Trump’s administration could not achieve by executive order, it is accomplishing by bureaucracy.

The administration has cut the staff that conducts clearance interviews overseas, intensified the screening process for refugees, and for those people it characterizes as high-risk, doubled the number who need to be screened. As a result, if the trickle of refugees admitted continues at its current pace, just 20,000 are projected to enter the United States by the end of this year, the lowest figure since the resettlement program was created with passage of the Refugee Act in 1980.

The machinery of refugee resettlement has ground down accordingly.

“Every stage in the process works like the assembly line in a factory — each station knows exactly what to do and how to do the handoff to the next step,” said Barbara Strack, who retired in January as the chief of the Refugee Affairs Division at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. “This fiscal year,” she added, “the administration essentially ‘broke’ the assembly line in multiple places at the same time.”

The steepest decline has been in the number of Muslims who have been resettled. In fiscal 2016, 38,900 Muslim refugees came to the United States, according to statistics from the State Department. The following year, that number fell to 22,861. This fiscal year, just 2,107 have arrived.

A total of 13,051 refugees of all backgrounds have been admitted, making it unlikely that the administration’s originally planned cap of 45,000 — about half the number that came during the last year of the Obama administration — will be met.

“It’s death by a thousand papercuts,” said Jennifer Sime, senior vice president at the International Rescue Committee, one of the nine national resettlement agencies contracted by the State Department. “Little by little — until you get to the point where nobody is coming.”

A State Department spokesperson did not dispute that there was a slowdown and said that processing times may be slower as the government implements new screening procedures. And refugee resettlement, the department insisted, was not the only way to help displaced people.

“The United States will also continue to lead the world in humanitarian assistance and support displaced people close to their homes in order to help meet their needs until they can safely and voluntarily return home,” Carol T. O’Connell, principal deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, said in a statement.

Even before Mr. Trump took office, resettlement of refugees was a protracted, interagency process, with vetting often taking two years.

Soon after Mr. Trump became president, he moved to shut down the flow of refugees to the United States through a series of executive orders, an effort that was initially stymied by the federal courts. Still, in June 2017, the Supreme Court allowed the administration to pause admissions for 120 days. In October, the administration then put into place another 90-day pause for refugees from countries the administration identified as “high-risk,” of terrorism, including the mainly Muslim nations of Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Sudan. That hold ended in January, at least on paper.

Refugees from all nations who had already been through initial screenings waited to be interviewed by officers of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at camps and cities around the world. But the frequency of those interviews slowed considerably.

One of the reasons was a large backlog in applications from immigrants seeking refuge in the United States under a different process — filing applications for asylum from persecution in their homelands, mainly Central America. Under international law, the United States cannot turn away or place caps on applicants who, unlike those applying for refugee status from the other side of the world — actually show up at the border.

In recent months, the immigration agency diverted 100 of its 215 refugee officers to conduct asylum interviews. That, said Jennifer Higgins, associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is part of “an effort to address the massive asylum workload.”

Refugees interviewed overseas undergo extensive background checks by United States law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The administration has now required refugees to list phone numbers and addresses going back 10 years, instead of five, as well as social media and email accounts, adding to the paperwork. And it has ordered an additional layer of vetting for refugees from 11 high-risk countries, meaning that many in the pipeline already approved had to be rescreened, leading to further delays.

Previously only male refugees were subject to such vetting, but now it includes females ages 14 to 50, which has exacerbated the backlog.

During the Obama administration, Ms. Strack, the former head of the Refugee Affairs Division, said there was pressure to reach the 85,000-person cap, but under Mr. Trump, there is no commitment to attain the allowed number.

“What is strikingly different this year is that there is no apparent urgency to address the dramatic backlog in completing security checks,” she said. The backlog has left refugees in limbo abroad.

Few refugees from the designated high-risk countries have arrived in the United States since January: 11 from Syria, 36 from Iraq and 22 from Sudan.

SOURCE






Democrats Love Playing Sexism Games

Hillary Clinton’s blame-everything-but-me tour is continuing in Australia, where she called a large part of America a bunch of sexists. Again. In an interview Down Under, Clinton pontificated, “There is still a very large proportion of the population that is uneasy with women in positions of leadership, so the easiest way to kind of avoid having to look at someone on her merits is to dismiss her on her looks.” Clinton further opined, “There is this fear, there is this anger, even rage about women seeking power, women exercising power, and people fall back on these attacks like you’re a witch or you should go to prison.” She added, “It’s not a majority, thank goodness, it’s not, but it’s a very vocal minority, at least in my country. And sometimes these tropes are very much part of the press coverage.”

This latest Clinton excuse comes straight out of the Democrats’ gender warfare playbook. You see, the real reason Hillary lost was not because of her record of dishonesty and leftist politics, but because conservatives — a.k.a. the “vocal minority” — just didn’t want a woman to become president, full stop. It’s pure sexism at play, they say; nothing else could possibly explain it.

The trouble is the excuse is simply not true. There are numerous examples proving that the charge of sexism is fraudulent as well as that the reason for conservatives not voting for Hillary and Democrats in general is primarily due to character issues (especially when it comes to Hillary) and policy reasons. How else does one explain, for example, the popularity of Nikki Haley? A recent Quinnipiac University Poll showed that a whopping 63% of American voters approve of Haley and her handling of the job of U.S. ambassador to the UN.

Secondly, two can play this “blame everything on sexism” game. Are the vast majority of Senate Democrats opposed to confirming Gina Haspel because they don’t want a woman heading the CIA? Clearly, they must be uncomfortable with a woman leading an agency that has only always been directed by a man.

The truth is, Democrats seek to elevate the lowest and least significant factors of an individual, such as their sex or ethnicity, as the issue of primary significance, while lowering and degrading those uniquely meritorious aspects of an individual that should be the basis upon which they are judged. That mindset and political strategy explains why Hillary is so keen to direct attention away from her many glaring faults to focus on non-factors.

SOURCE






Southern Baptists Are at It Again, Providing Disaster Relief During Hawaii's Volcano Eruption

Time and time again, we hear the refrain from progressives that conservative Christians fail to love their neighbors. And time and time again, stories emerge that reveal conservatives Christians quietly and faithfully loving and serving their neighbors. Southern Baptists in Hawaii are doing just that during this most recent eruption of Kilauea.

As the eruption of Kilauea continues, more and more people on Hawaii's Big Island have been displaced. Geologists are now warning that a large, explosive eruption could happen soon, sending ash and rocks miles into the sky. The dangerous gases being released by one of the world's most active volcanoes poses the greatest threat to the most people. Presently, close to 2,000 people have been evacuated. However, as the eruption event continues, it's difficult to estimate just how many people are going to be affected by Kilauea.

Chris Martin, executive director of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press:

"Congregations on Hawaii's Big Island have banded together to pray, secure housing for some of the area's 2,000 evacuees and, beginning next week, operate a mobile shower unit.
"The main focus of our people so far," Martin told Baptist Press, has been ministry "to the needs that are immediate. But our history and our practice has been a long-term presence with those that have been affected by disasters."

"Stepping in to meet needs," Martin added, will "open great doors" for Gospel witness.

The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts have been well-documented, and the HPBC is proving to be no exception. On top of the official relief aid being provided, individual pastors and church members have been busy assisting families displaced by the volcano eruption. Using trucks and other vehicles, they have been helping move belongings out of homes threatened by the lava flow.

Members of area Baptist churches have been affected alongside their fellow community members,

At Puna Baptist Church in Pahoa, Hawaii, 10 member families have had to evacuate their homes and two of those homes have been destroyed by lava, associate pastor Rob Thommarson told BP.
"What we've done immediately is try to help all the families get into some immediate emergency housing," said Thommarson, himself among the evacuees. "Everybody is staying with family, friends and church members."

If the evacuation "continues for weeks or months," Thommarson said, Puna will attempt to move its evacuated members into "intermediate housing" with more privacy.

The local Big Island Baptist Association's mobile shower unit has been moved onto Puna's parking lot and likely will begin serving residents early next week, said Thommarson, a retired International Mission Board missionary. A prayer tent nearby will be manned by volunteers available to pray with evacuees.

Local churches of various denominations will band together to provide evacuees with food and clothing, Thommarson noted. A community prayer meeting is scheduled for Friday evening.

As the eruption continues—with the possibility that the worst is yet to come—it's great to hear stories about Christians demonstrating the love of Jesus to those who have been affected by Kilauea's eruption.

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

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