Monday, May 25, 2015

Multicultural Poisoner in Britain

A cleaner who was angry with a worker for walking in on the canteen while she was there took revenge on him by spraying toxic chemicals over his sandwiches.

Sharon Edwards was cleaning the kitchen in an office building when she was disturbed by Mohammed Omar Islam, who wanted to put his lunch in the communal fridge.

When he left the room again, she muttered 'mind how you go' and then sprayed telephone cleaning fluid and air freshener over his food.

Islam later noticed a smell of chemicals coming from his sandwich, and spat them out after a single bite because of the disgusting taste of the air freshener.

Edwards, 44, from Aston in Birmingham, today pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to administering a poison with the intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy.

The cleaner, described as a 'decent and hard-working woman' by her lawyer, was given a 26-week suspended jail sentence.

Joanne Barker, prosecuting, said both Edwards and her victim were working at an office block in Hagley Road, Birmingham on February 16 when the incident happened.

'Mr Islam entered the canteen to put his food in the fridge and the defendant was inside cleaning,' she said.  'Ms Edwards was clearly unhappy with him entering the area as she tried to clean and, in fairness to her, had put a chair against the door.

'There was a verbal altercation - Mr Islam told the defendant she was rude, and put his food in the fridge and left.'  Ms Barker added: 'But as he left, the defendant muttered something along the lines of "watch how you go".

'Ms Edwards then opened the fridge door and opened the lunch-box with Mr Islam's food inside, and sprayed it several times.'

At lunchtime, Mr Islam, a customer service worker, collected his food but noticed 'a strong chemical smell' coming from his sandwiches, Ms Barker said.

He passed the food around colleagues for them to inspect then took 'a small bite', which he immediately spat out.

The Selsafe telephone sanitiser had a label on the bottle saying, 'Warning: Harmful. May cause lung damage, if swallowed.'

Mr Islam went to hospital after vomiting, but did not suffer any long-term effects.

Edwards was identified thanks to CCTV footage and confessed as soon as she was arrested, telling police she did not intend to hurt Mr Islam.

Her barrister Henry Spooner described the affair as 'unfortunate and foolish', adding: 'This incident occurred from what she perceived, at the time, as his arrogant and in-her-face behaviour.

'He accused her of being rude, and she, him. Whatever the truth - and maybe they're both right - it didn't excuse her complete overreaction to that.

He added his client had been 'very angry' and accepted she 'behaved in a way that was totally inappropriate for what was, when all is said and done, a very trivial incident indeed''

Judge Francis Laird QC said: 'That spiteful moment and the potential consequences, had he consumed all the food, make this a serious offence which crosses the custody threshold.'


The equality tyranny of the ‘gay cake’ judgment

“Equality as an aim in itself through government action is doomed not merely to defeat but to totalitarianism.” So observed the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year at the Trinity Institute symposium ‘Creating the Common Good’. His context was wealth creation and disparity, and the needs and means of redistribution. But his principle holds for the extremist pursuit of all equality: as a political vision and civil imperative, it inclines toward totalitarian injustice because it denies liberty to difference.

The court ruling in the case of the ‘gay cake’ against the McArthur family and Ashers Bakery is really quite astonishing (if not at all surprising). It appears that by refusing to make a cake with a political slogan agitating for a change in the law of Northern Ireland to permit same-sex marriage, Ashers Bakery discriminated against Gareth Lee by on the grounds of his sexual orientation, despite the fact that they would have declined an order to make such a cake for a heterosexual. And so, once again, we see gay ‘hurt feelings’ targeting a Christian business, and a court ruling which diminishes religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Ashers’ decision was never about the Gareth Lee’s sexuality (if the McArthurs ever knew it: can’t heterosexuals order pro-same-sex-marriage cakes? Isn’t it possible to be gay and opposed to the redefinition of marriage? Can’t those inclined to same-sex attraction choose to marry a person of the opposite gender?): it was about a political slogan which offended against their Christian beliefs. Are businesses now to be compelled to produce materials or convey messages which are incompatible with their owners’ deeply and reasonably held beliefs?

Peter Lynas, a former barrister and Northern Ireland director of Evangelical Alliance (and guest writer on this very matter), commented:

“This judgment will cause great concern for all those in business. It turns out the customer is always right and businesses have no discretion in deciding which goods and services to produce. The law rightly protects people from discrimination, but it has now extended that protection to ideas. While it’s absolutely vital to keep this case in perspective, this ruling will come as a shock to the vast majority of people who, polling shows, supported Ashers. While the case will hopefully be appealed, that will lead to a prolonged period of uncertainty and nervousness among business owners. It will no doubt lead to further calls to change the law.”

It is important to note that the McArthurs discriminated not only on the grounds of sexual orientation, but also on the basis of religion and political opinion. Presiding District Judge Brownlie was very clear on this in her ruling (which merits reading very carefully in its entirety). As Peter Lynas further observes:

“With respect to religion, a law designed to protect the belief of the customer or employee had been extended and used against a business owner. Mr Lee’s beliefs were not relevant to the decision not to produce the cake – they were and remain unknown. To extend the law to include the religious beliefs of the supplier is we believe a significant change in the law that will have wider implications. It seems that religion has been effectively banished from the commercial sphere. Even the right to freedom of religion under the European Convention of Human Rights could not save the McArthurs.”

“It is important to remember there was no mention of political opinion in the original letter of claim. The Equality Commission, which supports same-sex marriage and is by definition a political organisation, added this ground later. Will it now regulate which political opinions are allowed under equality law and which are unacceptable?”

And this is the very crux of the matter. We are dealing with ‘protected characteristics’ and political campaigns which agitate for a change in the law. What are the limits of these? If a gay man asks a Christian baker to make him a cake iced with the slogan ‘Abolish the Gay Age of Consent’, is the Christian baker now obliged by statute to become complicit in the propagation of pederasty? If a Christian man asks a Muslim printer to produce leaflets declaring ‘Jesus is Lord; Mohammed is a false prophet’, is the Muslim obliged by statute to become complicit in blasphemy?

How can it be, as District Judge Brownlie decrees, that the exercising of the Christian conscience must be restricted to ‘religious institutions’? How, then, is the Christian supposed to ‘walk in the spirit‘ (Gal 5:16) or ‘worship in spirit and in truth‘ (Jn 4:24)? Is our worshipping to be confined to Sunday church? Is our walking to be restricted by the walls of a ‘religious institution’?

If Joseph & Son had their carpenter’s shop not in first-century Nazareth but 21st-century Belfast, would they be obliged by statute to produce a wooden sign saying: ‘Support Gay Marriage’? If so, isn’t it clear that the law must now be changed so that people may not be coerced into supporting political causes to enact laws which offend against the religious conscience? The @HolyVote campaign is embryonic, but if there is to be no reasonable accommodation of religious belief, we are indeed being increasingly subject to a statist totalitarian equality.


Christian-owned bakery found to have discriminated against gay marriage will now only make cakes for 'birthday and baby-related celebrations'

The Christian-owned bakery which was found to have discriminated against a gay man has announced it is limiting its services - and will only bake birthday and baby cakes.

Ashers Baking Company will only provide birthday and baby-related celebration cakes, according to the firm's general manager.

Daniel McArthur said: 'Due to the recent legal developments we have decided to limit our celebration cake range to certain birthday and baby-related celebration cakes while we consider our policy and talk with our lawyers.'

The decision comes after a judge at Belfast County Court ruled that Ashers had acted unlawfully by declining an order from gay rights activist Gareth Lee last year.

Mr Lee, a member of the LGBT advocacy group Queer Space, wanted a cake featuring Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie with the slogan Support Gay Marriage.

It had been ordered for a private function in Bangor, County Down, to mark International Anti Homophobia Day last May.

Mr Lee, who paid in full when placing the order at Ashers' Belfast branch, said he was left feeling like a 'lesser person' when he was told his request could not be fulfilled.

The publicly funded Northern Ireland Equality Commission - which has a statutory duty to monitor the region's anti-discrimination laws - brought the legal action on his behalf.

Ashers, which is owned by the McArthur family, employs almost 80 people across six branches and delivers throughout the UK and Ireland.

The family said they opposed same sex marriage on religious grounds and could not produce the cake with a message that was contrary to their deeply held Christian beliefs.

In her judgement delivered on Tuesday District Judge Isobel Brownlie found the bakers had discriminated against Mr Lee on grounds of his sexual orientation and his political beliefs.

Ashers was ordered to pay agreed damages of £500.

Mr McArthur said the firm's website was being re-worked to reflect the changes. He added: 'The department represents a small part of the business and no jobs will be impacted.'

The high profile case has divided public opinion in Belfast and beyond.

Throughout the case, the McArthurs, who are considering an appeal, were supported by the Christian Institute which paid their defence costs.


Why I love 'hate speech'

By Mallory Millett, sister of the deranged feminist Kate Millet

I love Pamela Geller.  I have known and loved her for years.  She is a great American!  If only everyone who has the honor of calling himself American could grow courage like hers we would be un-terrorizable as a nation.  Pamela gets that we are at war and stands as an example for those of us who have lost our way. 

Many of you under fifty have been educated by the whackerino indoctrinators crowding reality out of our High Schools and Universities.  These liars and fantasists are so busy obliterating, truncating or revising history (when they're not entirely ignoring it), that our true history has drifted out the window like so much smoke wafting in the wind. As a consequence there are few Americans left to say, "Hey, whoa, that's not the way it goes...that's not the way it is"; especially when it comes to our Constitution.

The First Amendment is in the Constitution because not one scintilla of it could be taken for granted; it's an anomaly which needed to be boldly, emphatically, unequivocally stated due to it's being nonexistent in all of the places from which we ran to reach sanctuary on this continent.  There seems to be some grand misunderstanding that human rights or free speech has ever existed anywhere else

But, the thing didn't!

Forget about Greece.  I'm talking post-ancient.

The first time such rights came to be was the English Magna Carta, which mildly inspired such thinking. (Remember, many in 16th Century England lost their heads over "thought crimes.") It was America which took rights from that document and others and greatly elaborated on them. For this reason, the First Amendment needed to be drawn out most carefully so as not to be misconstrued. 

The entire point is that we have freedom of thought which flowers into freedom of speech.  Otherwise, if my speech can be curbed then so may my thought be curbed and then, of necessity, we will have "thought police."  America is where one comes to escape "thought police" who, to this day, predominate in the world.

Millions have died over this exact amendment. And here's the kicker:  the whole point is to cover detestable speech, the most hateful speech.  There would be no reason for its formation, were it just to cover acceptable speech.  It had to be put in there first and laid out meticulously as all the other freedoms are dependent upon it. 

Jonah Goldberg says, "She (Pamela) is contending that in America people are allowed to say offensive things (i..e. hate speech) without risking execution.  I am at a loss as to why anyone would disagree with that".

I wholeheartedly stand behind that along with Judith Miller and Alan Dershowitz. As Jeanine Piro says, "The First Amendment is "an ABSOLUTE".  This is contrary to Leftists, who would  re conform our culture of liberty to please the tastes of savage, knife-wielding hordes. According to a report, one-half of Democrats and one-third of Republicans want to ban "hate-speech".  Whaaaa? Let’s just get rid of our sacred free thought amendment?

Has everyone forgotten Nazis are allowed to march in Skokie?  The KKK has the right of assembly and, by the way, Broadway just hauled in millions and many awards ridiculing, mocking and mercilessly pillorying The Book of Mormon.  If we harbored constraints against such stuff Don Rickles would have been separated from his head before we knew of him (wouldn’t you love to hear his riff on this?)

What is this new idea being put out by that wrecking-ball throng of teachers that anything is all right except hate speech!  Hate speech is the most protected speech. We're at liberty to spew hate-speech at anyone or anything.

Except the Muslims? ...because they are threatening to murder us because we object to their murdering us?  You are kidding me! We are free to object to whatever we wish and to hate whomever we wish. Because some primitives are holding a knife to our throats we should just throw it in and say, "Aw, shucks, guys, we never really meant free-free?

The smartest thing to get rid of these clowns and their love of menace would be regularly to hold a "Mohammad cartoon contest" in every town in the USA with every newspaper and outlet publishing them.  They will either go away and show themselves so we can dispatch them; or develop an ability to laugh at themselves and their shibboleths like every other person living in this motley nation.  We've had the foul-mouthed "Book of Mormon", the infamous piss-Christ, the Polish jokes, the Irishmen jokes, the Jewish and Catholic jokes.  It's an all-inclusive culture.  Everyone and everything is fair game in America.

We should become a nation of Pamela Gellers.  "Je sius Pamela Geller" needs to be our battle cry just as "Je suis Charlie Hebdo" came out of Paris in the same fashion as the Danes in WWII, who, to the one, put on The Star of David to stymie the Nazis.  Oops! I forgot history's been erased from our mind-screens.  Look it up. Denmark, WWII, Star of David.  Google it, millennials.  

Pamela sussed these beasts out of the woodwork.  They were here and planning horrific violence.  Let us drag the "lone wolves" and “terror-cells” who have come to invade and butcher us out into the open so we can weed them from our garden.

They came to kill and got killed.  Perfect! 

Pamela saved each life of those they would have massacred in whichever mall, theatre, school, hospital, church or gathering they had in their sights.  These men were planning a big hit like the ones in Australia or Paris; the bazaars, mosques and schools where they've wreaked havoc on their fellow Muslims.  Never forget: they are murdering Muslims by the hundreds of thousands.  But Pamela brilliantly provoked them and voila! they showed themselves. She deserves a medal. 

That's well-executed warfare.

Where are the men?  Where are the Christians?  Where are the Jews?  Where are the sane non-homicidal Muslims about whom we hear?  The war is upon us now and we have no choice but to win. Who, in this nation, is ready to face losing to these cutthroats?  They are already secreted among us.  Daily, hourly, we are being infiltrated...Ann Arbor, Florida, Minnesota, Idaho, the more innocent the place the better for entrenchment.

To win we must become inventive and clever like Pamela.

We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with her just as the Obamaless heads of state marched shoulder to shoulder through Paris. And anyway, this has nothing to do with speech. These radicals are here for the express purpose of murdering every one of us at random regardless of who we are, what we have done or what we say! 

What has happened to Americans? You listened to the liberals for forty years and now you have Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and the radical jihadists.  Oh, yeah, you liberals, you "free thinkers" who never saw provocative art you didn't now have the gall to denounce Pamela?  Yeah, we want you governing us as we face marauders...we want to stand shoulder to shoulder through the Revolutionary, Civil, and WWs I & II with such as you?

An Imam, in defending the fatwa on Pamela, had the gall to say, "You have to know that when you say such things there will be consequences!"  Pamela exploded, "Not in America, sir!  There are no punishing consequences for speech here."  She was forced to talk over his incessant shrieking to be heard.  "I am an American, sir, and, in America, you don't threaten my life over something I say."  The Imam was covering her words because the very idea of such freedom makes him hysterical.  He can't stop chattering as it's unbearably threatening to him.  Terrorists are terrified people.

There is only one thing we tolerant Americans absolutely will not tolerate and that is the startling intolerance of these religious radicals. We are in the throes of a great war, perhaps one of the last great wars on Earth and we must win it at all costs...but never at the cost of our consciences, standards or souls.

We, every man and woman, must be ready to rise to the occasion, well-armed, to defend our dear land. We got relaxed; brain-washed by fools in our Universities and Media which opened up voluminous vacuums and, of course, the rapacious invaders have arrived.  It's a simple law of physics:  "Nature abhors a vacuum." Nothing new!  Millennia old!  Are we really so ignorant as to insist on turning a blind eye to this monstrous assault?  We owe it to everyone who’s given life or limb in preserving this exact same liberty to close ranks against our predators.

The other day a Japanese statesman was quoted as saying that the thing the Japanese most feared about America throughout WWII was that so many individuals were armed.  They said they believed they could never conquer a country where every citizen was armed and ready.  Nuff said!



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Sunday, May 24, 2015

It takes a woman  .... to scratch another woman's eyes out

Feminists prattle on about the "sisterhood"  -- but it just ain't so.  Women can be as destructive to other women as they are supportive to their female friends. 

I first became aware of that many years ago when I was married to an exceptionally bright woman.  I was reading an article about Margaret Thatcher that excoriated Margaret from head to toe -- from shoes to hair.  I remarked to my wife what an amazingly savage article it was.  She replied:  "Probably written by another woman".  I checked the byline.  She was right.

Below we have another example of the phenomenon.  Katie Hopkins is actually amusing in her vitriol but she can be quite unfair.  And we see that below.  She is very scathing about a perfectly attractive woman whom she seems to have taken a dislike to.

Kelly Brook

Katie Hopkins

Katie Hopkins has taken yet another swipe at Kelly Brook.  Writing in her weekly column for The Sun, the Celebrity Big Brother runner-up pointed out that Kelly had been seen 'hobnobbing with the rich, famous and exceptionally thin' in Cannes.

'Given that she is none of those things, I am guessing she is there to give a sense of scale - like using a coin near a small insect,' she added.

This is only the most recent vitriol that Hopkins has unleashed on poor Kelly.

In a New Years 'saints and sinners' roundup in December last year, Katie put the former Big Breakfast host in the latter category of being a 'chubber'.

'I think she does look like a chubber. I get the whole boobs thing - she's got amazing boobs - but the rest of it? No. And there isn't anything between the ears,' she wrote in New magazine. 'If you looked through you could see the other side of her head,' she said.

Kelly is just the latest celebrity that the acid-tongued Katie has made an enemy of, after attacking everyone from Denise Welch and Danny Dyer to Chloe Madeley. Last week, she used her column to brand Charlotte Church a 'fat, Welsh Russell Brand'.

[The bibulous Welsh singer Charlotte Church has taken part in far-Left demonstrations, as has addled "comedian" Russell Brand -- so the deeply wounding part of that description was, of course, "fat"]


Another multicultural sex attacker in Britain

An illegal immigrant who should have been kicked out of the country has been jailed for 16 years for three sex attacks on lone women.

Lamin Touray, 36, forced one of his victims to the ground and attempted to rape her in a car park after following her home from a Christmas party in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

He also sexually assaulted another woman in the entrance to her flat after following her home in the Leeds area and carried out a smiliar sex assault on a student in Newport, south Wales in 2009.

The Gambian national, who gave a false name and date of birth after he was arrested over the latest attack in December 2013, has now been handed a 12-year prison sentence with an extended licence of four years.

The judge at Leeds Crown Court imposed the extended licence because Touray 'posed a serious risk of committing offences against women in the future.' It means he will spend a total of 16 years behind bars.

It came after he admitted attempted rape, two offences of sexual assault and attempting to pervert the course of justice at yesterday's hearing.

Touray had originally been granted temporary permission to enter the UK to attend a relative's wedding but failed to return to Africa and was living in the country illegally.

He was detained after following a young student home following a Christmas night out in the early hours of December 2013 and attempting to rape her.

The court heard how a CCTV operator was so concerned after spotting Touray following the woman that he abandoned his post and ran to the scene in a bid to help her.

The attack came just two days after he sexually assaulted a woman outside her flat in the same area of Leeds, and four years after he targeted a young woman in south Wales.

Sentencing Touray, Judge Neil Clark told him: 'You present a significant risk because you are a man who will randomly attack females who are strangers to you.'

The judge said he had no powers to order Touray's deportation upon completion of the sentence but requested that his sentencing remarks be passed to the parole board and the Home Office.

He added: 'You are entirely detrimental to the public good in this country.'

Judge Clark also praised the 'remarkable bravery' of all three of Touray's victims in their efforts to fight him off.

Each one was also prepared to attend the court to give evidence, which resulted in Touray entering the guilty pleas.

The judge said: 'It is quite refreshing to see that there are young women in this country as brave and resilient as that.'

After the case, detective superintendent Jon Morgan, from West Yorkshire Police, said: 'Touray is a predatory sex offender who targeted women walking alone in Leeds city centre and put them through frightening ordeals. He is clearly someone who presents a very real danger to women.

'He was brought to justice through a combination of excellent detective work, forensic science and information from the public generated by appeals in the media.

'We hope the significant sentence he has received will provide some degree of comfort to the victims and some reassurance to the wider community.'


Another damaging false rape claim

Reality-deprived feminists commonly claim that there are no false rape claims.

A former Britain's Got Talent finalist has told how he lost out on a £1million record deal when an ex-girlfriend falsely accused him of as sault.

Singer Adam Chandler, 30, from Kent, was on the brink of stardom when his swing band Jack Pack wowed Simon Cowell and his fellow judges.

An hour after appearing in the TV talent show final last year he found out his former partner Amy Evans had gone to police accusing him of assault.

She claimed Adam had hit her during a row five months earlier and he was charged with assault before being cleared by a jury in just 20 minutes.

But the case came at a cost as his band mates threw him out of the group and replaced him with another member.

Despite losing out to boy band Collabro in the 2014 series, Jack Pack have signed with Simon Cowell's record label SyCo and are due to release their first album.

Speaking for the first time since being cleared in March, Adam, who also goes by the last name of Diplock, said he is 'gutted'.

He said: 'It is gutting to think that someone else is now taking my place, a position I had earned and had spent nearly 20 years crafting my trade to achieve.

'I know it is tempting to feel bitter. Of course it hurts. I was accused of being a woman beater and I knew I never did what I was accused of.

'I was genuinely petrified about being in a court and I found the whole thing surreal and a very lonely place to be.'

Despite his ordeal Adam, from Maidstone, Kent, says he feels no anger towards his former partner.  He added: 'I'm not that kind of person. I never want revenge.  'Life is too short to store up resentment and anger. It happened. I have just had to deal with it.'

He admits he still finds it hard to see his former band without him, considering how much of himself he'd given to achieving the dream the group now live.

'The band have their first album out soon, but I don't think I will buy a copy,' said Adam.  'It is still a little raw but I wish them every success.'

Since leaving Jack Pack, the singer has formed a new band, with whom he performs at weddings and corporate functions.


EU to decide on military action against traffickers as European Council boss admits it needs a migrant policy of 'sending them back'

The EU cannot welcome all migrants fleeing to its shores and will have to work out a new return policy to tackle the problem, European Council president Donald Tusk has said.

'I am realistic and I think that first of all we have to work out a new return policy, which would be a policy of sending them back,' he said in an interview in Polska The Times on Monday.

'In a responsible manner we can talk about welcoming only a defined group of immigrants. Those who say let's open the door widely are cynical since they know it is not possible.'

A series of disasters in the Mediterranean in which hundreds of migrants from North Africa have drowned after attempting to cross the sea in overcrowded and unsafe vessels has sharpened international focus on the issue of migration into Europe.

The European Commission is planning to legislate before the end of the year to ensure the burden of housing immigrants is shared across the bloc, according to binding quotas based on criteria such as economic health and population.

His comments come a day after the EU's foreign policy chief pushed for a naval mission in the Mediterranean to target Libyans smuggling people to Europe.

The European Union ultimately wants to capture smugglers and destroy their boats off the Libyan coast to help it tackle the rising number of migrants fleeing war and poverty in North Africa, but many EU countries want United Nations authorisation to act.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said EU foreign and defence ministers 'will be taking the decision to establish the operation at sea to dismantle the criminal networks that are smuggling people in the Mediterranean'.

'Once we adopt a decision today, it will be more urgent and clear for the (U.N.) Security Council,' she told reporters.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Friday, May 22, 2015

Sleepy multicultural doctor in Britain

Except for his ethnicity, he would have been given the boot ages ago.  He clearly should not be on a ward

A doctor who fell asleep during a meeting held to discuss the death of a youngster on a children's hospital ward was also caught napping three times in one night shift, it has been claimed.

Dr Chinedu Bosah, 39, faces disciplinary action after apparently falling asleep on five occasions while working at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

The second year junior doctor also faces questions about his performance after shocked colleagues reported his alleged lack of 'basic medical knowledge', the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester heard.

The tribunal heard yesterday how Dr Bosah first fell asleep at work between September 2012 and December 2012 and was caught nodding off in various places on the children's unit including the seminar room and the parents' room.

He is also accused of falling asleep in a meeting with a panel of medics as they held a debrief about the treatment of a child who died while on the paediatric unit.

On one occasion when confronted, he claimed that he was tired because he had been 'studying for exams' but was found sleeping on the job again within a week and fell asleep three times during a night shift on December 22, 2012 it was claimed.

Dr Bosah, who was training in paediatrics, also took unauthorised breaks and days off work and was often difficult to contact, the tribunal heard.

He allegedly shocked senior doctors with his lack of medical knowledge - on one occasion offering to send a baby suffering with jaundice home when it was clear the infant required treatment.

On another occasion he left a medical student to administer oxygen to a newborn baby, even though it required a special 'technique' not taught to students.

Dr Bosah was called into various meetings about his performance and was offered help with his e-portfolio – a case file he had to complete as part of his training plan as required by medical and health care organisations. However, he refused help from senior colleagues telling them he was 'doing well with it'.

He later failed a number of Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health exams and was sacked from the training programme in February last year.

He admitted a catalogue of failings during his training but denies charges of ordering incorrect blood tests for patients and refutes claims his basic medical knowledge was inadequate for a doctor of his experience.

Between September 2012 and July 2013, Dr Bosah also attended training programmes on a 'rotation' at the University Hospital of North Durham and another hospital in the north east of England.

Representing the General Medical Council, Robin Kitching said: 'Things didn't go well from the outset of that rotation.

'It's fair to say the discipline of paediatrics was not something Dr Bosah was suited to and that played a part in his poor performance during the relevant period. But his problems weren't just restricted to paediatrics, the issues were more wide-ranging than that.

'He seemed to be blind to the fact things were going as badly as they were despite all the meetings that took place. For someone struggling as badly as him, he failed to appreciate he was in real difficulty and the problems were not being resolved.

'Every training course will have doctors who struggle and the nature of the courses is to identify doctors who are struggling and to offer them help to ensure they improve. These are issues which ought to be ironed out at a local stage. Despite best efforts, he was simply unable to improve his performance.'

Mr Kitching also said highlighted the meeting about a child's death in which Dr Bosah fell asleep. He told the tribunal: 'The nature of the meeting is a review held in the wake of the death of a child.  'There is no suggestion Dr Bosah played any particular role in the care of the child and no suggestion he or anyone else failed to treat the child appropriately, but these are important departmental meetings.

'Dr Jonathan Wylie noticed he had fallen asleep during the meeting and spoke to him about his behaviour. Dr Bosah said he had been studying for exams, which is something all trainees have to do.

'He also fell asleep three times during one overnight shift. This was behaviour reported to Dr Wylie by another witness, Mrs Sarah Brooks, a senior nurse often in charge of the neo-natal unit.

'While in charge she found Dr Bosah asleep on various occasions during the same shift. She was concerned and asked if anything was wrong that made him not sleep through the day.

'She was worried why he was sleeping so much she reported it to the consultant. He had slept in various places on the unit including the seminar room and the parents' room. It was pointed out to him at the time that this was inappropriate.'

Mr Kitching also told the tribunal how Dr Bosah left a newborn baby in the care of a medical student while he contacted his supervisor during a shift on November 9, 2012.

He said: 'He left a student to administer positive and expiratory pressure. It is admitted by the doctor and demonstrates poor judgement and a lack of knowledge or skill on the part of the doctor. 'He admitted it at the time and acknowledged he ought not to have left a baby with a medical student.

'He went to contact his supervisor and that suggests he didn't know the process involved more than merely holding the mask on the face. It is particularly technical.'

Dr Bosah is also accused of not knowing how to administer pressurised air to twins born at 29 weeks gestation.

The tribunal also heard how he was required to attend at least 70 per cent of teaching sessions but attended none of a possible seven.

Dr Bosah has admitted not responding to the efforts of the Trainee Support Services to assist him following a referral in June 2013, where he declined to attend a problem solving workshop, declined to attend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and declined help with his e-portfolio.

He has admitted taking unauthorised absences from work on July 17, 2013 and November 27, 28 and 29 of the same year and accepts he failed the first part of his Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health exams on six separate occasions.

However, he denies that he failed to perform as a trainee because he was unable to carry out baby checks in a reasonable amount of time, was unable to formulate adequate management plans for the complex patients, his patient handovers were inadequate and the information he provided to colleagues about patients was sometimes contradictory.


The Battle of Indiana and the Promise of Battles to Come

The dust is clearing from the Twitter and Facebook battlefields, the people of Indiana are out from under the white-hot glare of the national media, and both sides are taking stock. Who won the Battle of Indiana? Who lost? What’s next for religious liberty in America?

While conservative pessimists looked at Indiana, watched its politicians immediately compromise, and saw defeat, a closer look shows something else: a cultural stalemate. Nobody truly won in Indiana. From the grassroots to the intellectual elite, conservatives are girding themselves for the long war, and a long war it will be.

Four truths are emerging: First, the battle is not between gay rights and religious liberty—although religious liberty is certainly at stake—but between the sexual revolution and Christianity itself. This means that Christians are faced not with allegedly “minor” or “insignificant” theological changes to gain leftist acceptance, but with wholesale changes to the historical doctrines of the church.

Second, not a single orthodox denomination is making or even contemplating such changes. This means that tens of millions of Americans will remain—indefinitely—opposed to the continued expansion of the sexual revolution.

Third, rather than going quietly, cultural conservatism is showing increasing strength at the grassroots—opposing leftist campaigns at the ground level, bypassing politics to support those most embattled by radical hate campaigns.

And fourth, the conservative grassroots and conservative public intellectuals are united—from Ross Douthat at his lonely perch at the New York Times to the pages of National Review and the Weekly Standard, from First Things to the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, there is no wavering among America’s most influential conservative writers and thinkers.

In short, if the cultural Left is hoping to dominate the culture—and feels strong in its coastal bastions—it is overreaching, extending beyond the limits of its power. It is exposing itself to embarrassing cultural defeats and succeeding mainly in hardening conservative resolve. In the fight over religious freedom, the Left will not prevail.

* * *

First, a bit of history. The battle of Indiana began when Indiana’s legislature passed a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), an act that provided, simply enough, that any state action that substantially burdens religious exercise is lawful only if it is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest. In other words—as Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner recently tweeted—when you can, you should avoid compelling people to act against their consciences.

This legal standard was common enough. In fact, it’s the same general legal standard in the federal RFRA and in similar RFRAs in 19 other states. There were, however, two differences from the norm. First, the statute explicitly allowed for-profit businesses to assert religious liberty rights (something the Supreme Court allowed Hobby Lobby to do in its challenge, under the federal RFRA, to the Obamacare contraception mandate). Second, the statute allowed a religious individual to utilize RFRA in defense against a lawsuit brought by a private party. In other words, if a person believed that his religious liberty could be substantially burdened by a court order resulting from private litigation, that person could assert that the court order would be lawful only if it met the RFRA test.

Neither provision is particularly groundbreaking. The Supreme Court allowed Hobby Lobby and other closely-held private, for-profit corporations to assert RFRA claims. Additionally, multiple federal circuits provide for the use of federal RFRA as a defense against a private right of action.

Moreover, RFRA and the compelling interest standard more broadly have long existed in American law. The compelling interest standard was not something invented by Congress when it passed RFRA in 1993. RFRA was passed to restore religious liberty to the same level of protection it received prior to the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Employment Division v. Smith (1990), which rejected decades of precedent to hold essentially that religious liberty claims are inferior to rules of general applicability. Smith caused a bipartisan outcry, and Congress moved quickly to overturn the decision, passing RFRA with overwhelming majorities. President Clinton proudly signed it into law.

Conservatives saw Smith as a threat to the constitutional order, a dangerous derogation of our nation’s “first liberty.” Liberals saw Smith as a threat to smaller, minority religions. The dispute in the case arose over the use of peyote, a hallucinogenic drug, in Native American religious rituals. It’s safe to say that there was no sense at the time that RFRA was a threat to civil liberties or civil rights. Indeed, RFRA was seen as necessary—again, by liberals and conservatives alike—to protect civil rights.

There was good reason for this belief. For decades, the compelling interest standard in religious liberty claims had existed side-by-side with the explosive growth of nondiscrimination laws, and religious liberty claims had never been successfully used to strike down nondiscrimination statutes. In fact, in Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises (1968), the pre-Smith Supreme Court called a business owner’s argument that he had a free exercise right to deny service to black customers “patently frivolous.”

This comes as no surprise to religious liberty attorneys who actually read the law and know how it operates in real-life litigation. It’s a historical fact that religious liberty claims did not protect or legally enable Jim Crow. The Civil Rights Acts were passed and prospered under the pre-Smith religious liberty regime.

Regardless, the sexual revolution marches on and the Left’s definition of “civil rights” has expanded—not only does it prohibit class-based discrimination in places of public accommodation, it now requires conscription into the revolution itself.

For example, it’s no longer enough for employees to have access to low-cost contraceptives and abortifacients. It’s the Obama administration’s position that employers must provide them free of charge. It’s no longer enough for bakers, florists, and photographers to provide service to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. They must participate in and facilitate any kind of action or ceremony their customers desire—no matter how offensive to their beliefs—so long as those ceremonies further the ideals of the sexual revolutionaries.

So, when Indiana passed its RFRA, the bipartisan consensus of years past was gone—long gone. The mainstream media exploded. Twitter exploded. Major corporations like Apple and Cummins—and Wal-Mart, when similar legislation passed the Arkansas legislature—condemned RFRA. The NCAA followed suit. Deep-blue city governments, including those whose states had RFRA laws on the books for years, banned official travel to Indiana.

When reporters went searching for an Indiana business—anywhere in the state—that wouldn’t cater a gay wedding, it found Memories Pizza, a small-town pizza joint that had never been asked to cater a gay wedding, but whose owner answered that if it was, it couldn’t participate. An avalanche of hate, including alleged death threats, caused the owners temporarily to close their doors.

Critics disingenuously raised the specter of Jim Crow, recalled memories of the old South, and otherwise claimed that gay people were about to be sent to the back of the bus. Facts didn’t matter. Legal precedents didn’t matter. All that mattered was the thought that someone, somewhere, might try to raise RFRA as a defense for refusing to participate in a gay wedding.

Under pressure from activists and the national media, Indiana modified its law to state that it could not authorize a provider to deny services to anyone on the basis of multiple protected criteria, including race, sex, and sexual orientation. The “Indiana fix” soon led to a different “Arkansas fix.” Both fixes mollified the media and most gay rights activists, infuriated many conservatives—who saw them as cowardly—and placated the major corporations. The battle was over.

The battle may be over, but the war rages on. While many conservatives saw the quick capitulations by Indiana and Arkansas politicians and despaired (just as leftist activists exulted), the reality was far more complex and the presumed leftist victory far less clear. In reality, the battle lines are drawn, and there is little or no reason to believe that either side will triumph anytime soon.

Browbeating Christians into submission is not a new tactic, and it is a tactic that has largely failed in the abortion arena—despite the existence of legal doctrines that are dramatically skewed against the pro-life movement. Yet the pro-life movement is as strong as it has ever been, and political outcomes are finally starting to reflect that strength, with jurisdiction after jurisdiction passing ever-stronger pro-life laws.


A totally "incorrect" diet that works perfectly well

The food freaks wouldn't believe this but there have also been previous examples of obsessional people surviving quite well on extremely narrow diets. Where are the 5 veg a day we are all supposed to "need"?

Many of us enjoy beans on toast as a simple and comforting dinner.   But Gary Watkinson eats three plates of the snack a day, and claims he has never eaten anything else.  And despite his bizarre addiction, doctors have told the 25-year-old he is perfectly healthy.

Mr Watkinson, from Huddersfield, said: 'Ever since I can remember, from when I was a kid, I have only eaten beans, toast and chips.

'My mum used to give me plates of other food for me to try and I would just throw it on the floor. I would only eat beans.'

* He doesn't eat any fruit or vegetables, or any other kind of carbohydrates or cereal.*

'I get up in the morning and have beans on toast for breakfast, then again for lunch and dinner,' he said.  'I don't even have cheese on it. When I tell people they can't believe it.'

He became worried about his restricted diet after reading a story about a girl who died aged 22 from eating a similar diet.  But booked a medical check-up with a doctor, and was told he was in good health.

He said: 'They took my blood sample but it all came back healthy.  'They told me I was fine. I'm actually quite slim and only weigh 11 stone.'

According to the NHS, three heaped tablespoons of baked beans counts as one of the five portions of fruit and vegetables the Government recommends eating every day as part of a healthy diet.

Baked beans contain around 164 calories per half a can and contain protein and fibre as well as calcium, potassium and some iron.

Nutritionists said high levels of fibre in the beans means he will not be constipated, which can lead to ill health and cancer.

They also contain enough fat to provide him with energy, although his levels are likely to be low.

'I don't know why I won't eat anything else, I just never have and can't stomach the thought of other foods.  'When I socialise with my mates and they all order pizza, I don't take part. They can't understand it.'

The only time he has ever eaten another food group in his life is when he went travelling in Indonesia, and was forced to eat chips.

He said: 'When you go abroad, beans just aren't on the menu. So when I go travelling I just eat chips.  'If I go into a fish and chip shop I always carry about £30 worth of cash on me so they don't think I'm just a tramp ordering chips on their own. 'If I'm in a restaurant too, that's all I'll eat.'


Stalinist British social workers again

Their Marxist social work education makes them hate normal families

Relaxing at their lovely family home this week, Victoria Seymour cuddles her daughters Georgia and Grace as though she will never let them out of her sight.

Life is beginning to get back to normal for the family after a nightmare ordeal in which — after a throwaway remark from Georgia at school — social workers seized the girls, put them in foster homes and threatened never to let them return to their parents.

The two children had been told off by Victoria for squabbling in the kitchen. She ordered them to stay indoors for the weekend, with no computer games or TV.

Faced with this dreary prospect, Georgia, the eldest, complained to her primary school teacher that she was ‘frightened’ to go home.

As 38-year-old Victoria explained to the Mail this week: ‘Georgia concocted the story to try to avoid a boring Saturday and Sunday. Without even checking the truth with me, the social workers just stepped in and tore our family apart on the word of a naughty child.’

Victoria and her husband Alan found themselves being investigated for emotionally and physically abusing the girls, then aged 11 and nine, by child protection staff, health workers and even the police, after they had returned from their home in Australia to care for Alan’s mother in England.

It was only after a three-month battle that the couple won the girls back and then fled to Australia. There’s one thing of which they are certain: they will never again set foot in Britain, where they were both born.

The Seymours have begun legal action against Bridport social services in Dorset for breaching their human rights and causing their children mental anguish.

During their stay here, they came within a whisker of losing their beloved girls.  This couple are speaking out because they want to warn other families what could happen to them.

Forcibly seizing children for adoption — which is what the Seymours were told was on the cards for Georgia and Grace — is unheard of in other countries.

England and Wales stand alone in Europe in their readiness to take away children without their parents’ consent.

A damning Council of Europe report on child protection, published last month, warned: ‘England and Wales are unique in placing so many children for adoption, in particular in the young age group which is “popular” in its adoption market.’

It said 80 per cent of babies and under-fives ‘forcibly taken’ from their families by social workers are never returned, but are adopted by ‘strangers’.

Olga Borzova, a Russian member of the council’s social affairs committee, who wrote the report after a fact-finding visit, criticised the number of children removed from parents in Britain, including those from foreign families visiting or working here.

The numbers have provoked protests to the Government and to Sir James Munby, the head of the family courts, from ambassadors and government representatives of 34 countries, including Russia, Nigeria, Latvia, India and the Czech Republic.

In France, the Senate (the upper house of parliament) has approved a change in the Republic’s law to stop French children here being removed for adoption.

The legislation says: ‘Children of French families living abroad must be returned to France... in particular to avoid forced adoption without permission of the biological parents. This type of situation exists in particular in the UK.’

Slovakia’s Ministry of Justice is threatening to take the UK to the European Court of Human Rights after at least 30 of its young citizens — including babies — were taken from their mothers.

And the Latvian government has written in protest to the leader of the House of Commons because in the past three years, 136 Latvian children living here have been ‘illegally or forcibly’ adopted by British families.

In response to the international furore, Sir James has said judges and social workers must not ‘seize control’ of foreign children and their future must be decided by courts in their own country.

But his words have a hollow ring for the Seymours, who so nearly lost their daughters within weeks of arriving in England.

Alan, 58, emigrated down under with his parents in 1967. While on holiday in the UK in 2006, he met Victoria, who had two daughters — Georgia and Grace. The couple married in 2010 and settled in Canberra, where the girls enjoyed — as their parents say ruefully — all of life’s so-called ‘essentials’, including iPads and their own computers.

They admit their daughters were spoiled, precocious and, though intelligent, academically lazy.  ‘Both spent far too much time at school socialising and being disruptive in class,’ says Alan.

The family’s terrifying brush with social services came after Alan’s father, who retired back to Britain, died suddenly on Christmas Day 2011, aged 81.

Alan’s ailing mother was left in shock and unable to look after herself at her home in Salwayash, near Bridport.  Alan felt he had a duty to step in. He resigned as an account manager in Australia, and the family travelled back to Britain the following year.

They moved into his mother’s four-bedroom house and, in the autumn of 2012, the girls started at Bridport primary school. There were problems from the start.

The children found themselves struggling to cope at school because the system was different to Australia. The girls say they were bullied by other pupils over their accents and soon began to resist going to school.

Alan’s mother was also unhappy with what Victoria and Alan call the ‘invasion of her home by two young, vibrant, energetic and extremely vocal girls’.

It was not a perfect situation for any family. Meanwhile, short of money, Alan and Victoria were trying to set up a business as freight-forwarding agents.

The girls were missing their friends and their laissez-faire Australian lifestyle. And then, only a few weeks after the start of term, social services in Bridport began to take an interest.

‘Our youngest, Grace, said something at school about it being “torture” at home,’ says Alan.  ‘The next thing, a social worker was on the phone to Victoria and, at a meeting later that day, threatened to take not just Grace, but both our girls away if necessary.’

Of course, there are always two sides to any story and the social worker — having been alerted by the school — must have been alarmed that a nine-year-old child had made such a remark.

The Seymours see it differently. ‘We kept asking ourselves: “How can a servant of the state act in such an aggressive, offensive, invasive and draconian manner on the uncorroborated word of a disorientated small girl?”’ says Alan.

Yet as a result of the couple’s honesty, Victoria was ordered to attend a series of ‘Child in Need’ meetings with both girls to have her parenting skills assessed by Bridport children’s services.

She was warned by social workers that if she did not turn up or was deemed to be ‘unco-operative’, the state had powers to take the girls into care and put them up for adoption.

When the meetings did not materialise on three occasions because social workers failed to arrive, had not been briefed or were on holiday, the Seymours dared to hope their nightmare had passed and would prove to be just a hiccup in their lives.

But they could not have been more wrong. The girls were increasingly unhappy and disruptive in class. At home, the Seymours were also battling with their behaviour. Less than a year after the family had arrived from Australia, in early June 2013, Georgia started the social services’ ball rolling again when she told a teacher she was ‘too frightened to go home’.

The night before, she and her sister had been warned they would be grounded the following weekend without TV or computers. ‘We think the threat of being grounded was the catalyst,’ says Alan. ‘Normally we would tick them off and the whole incident would be forgotten within an hour.

‘Because they had been squabbling loudly in the kitchen, we had said they should stay in and spend the weekend helping us clean the house.’

To the horror of Victoria and Alan, immediately after Georgia’s unfortunate remark, the girls were marched out of school and sent to a foster home.

A fortnight later, there was a conference called by Bridport social services, which decided they would be placed under a care protection order.

A report afterwards stated: ‘We are of the view that while there was no specific injury to either of the children, there are clearly issues around child safety according to statements made by the girls.’

Frustrated and upset, Alan and Victoria wrote to Bridport children’s services saying they wanted the girls returned to them ‘within 24 hours’. The response was ‘swift and merciless’, they say. Social workers successfully applied for an emergency protection order, formalising the fostering arrangement at the local court.

During the rest of the summer, the girls were moved from one foster placement to another, and were begging, in phone calls, to come home.

‘Our girls had come to realise that life in foster care is stricter than at home, with even more restrictions on tidiness, access to TV and standards of behaviour,’ says Victoria.

Allowed only occasional weekend visits to their parents, the girls were saying they were frightened at the foster homes.  Twice, they had bruises on their faces and bodies, which social workers insisted was because they had been fighting each other.  The girls told an entirely different story to their parents.

In an email to social workers, the Seymours said that younger daughter Grace was ‘petrified at night and crying until she vomited’, while the only reaction from her foster mother was to ‘bang on the door and tell her to be quiet’.

The email added: ‘Grace says she feels very sad, lonely and missed not having one of us to come in and cuddle her.’

Alan and Victoria hired a lawyer, bombarded Bridport social workers with emails, and put up a determined fight.

Their solicitor was so worried the children would never be returned that he privately advised the family to escape to France, taking Georgia and Grace with them, when they next made a weekend visit.

However, the family had another plan — they had decided to escape Britain and return to their home in Australia, taking the girls and Alan’s mother, too.

But then something dramatic happened. The couple had just told the girls and social workers they had bought flight tickets back to Canberra when Victoria received a phone call from Bridport social services’ department.

It was from a senior social worker asking if the girls could be returned to their parents that very afternoon between 5pm and 6pm.   The care protection order was about to be lifted — without any apology or explanation.  At 5.08pm that day in September, Victoria sent Alan, who was at work, a text message saying simply: ‘They are home.’

Within a week, the whole family had left for Canberra, leaving the house and their pet dogs behind.

Last night, Dorset County Council, which oversees Bridport children’s services, said of the Seymour family’s experience: ‘We do not comment on individual cases.  ‘The council always considers the best interests of the child and any decision is carefully scrutinised through the proper legal processes.’

Today, Alan says from Australia: ‘We admit we were very lucky compared with other families living in or visiting your country.

‘We fear the vast majority of children taken by social services never get back to their birth families again.

‘Until very recently, Victoria was reluctant to allow the girls out on their own for fear of losing them again if British social workers turned up out of the blue.  ‘She would drive them to school and pick them up, even though it is less than a mile away.

‘Victoria constantly checked on the children, at various times of the day and night, to reassure her they were still safe and had not been snatched.’

Finally, he adds: ‘We believe the only reason we got back the girls is because we fought the social workers every step of the way.’



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Old age makes a realist out of a far Leftist

A move from Left to right is normal as people progress through life and find out there are no simple answers -- but it normally happens long before age 80.  Good at any age, however.  And he's spot-on in this case

I recall back in the 1980s that you could always count on Duke political scientist and “Sovietologist” Jerry Hough to take the wrong line on everything. Reagan was a dunce, the Soviets are normal folks just like us, d├ętente is dandy, the arms buildup is bad—the whole catechism. You wondered sometimes whether he was on the Soviets’ payroll.

So it is with some delight to see this octogenarian grandee of liberalism get into all kinds of trouble for writing to the New York Times to criticize one of their post-Baltimore editorials. Here’s what he wrote to the Times, in full:

"This editorial is what is wrong. The Democrats are an alliance of Westchester and Harlem, of Montgomery County and intercity Baltimore. Westchester and Montgomery get a Citigroup asset stimulus policy that triples the market. The blacks get a decline in wages after inflation.

But the blacks get symbolic recognition in an utterly incompetent mayor who handled this so badly from beginning to end that her resignation would be demanded if she were white. The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.

In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.

So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.

I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.

It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.

Cue all hell breaking loose at Duke! Hate speech! Hough is a racist! Fire him! (He’s already on a long-planned leave, but who can doubt this will transition into “retirement”?)

Duke University issued a statement, naturally:

“The comments were noxious, offensive, and have no place in civil discourse,” said Duke Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Affairs Michael Schoenfeld. “Duke University has a deeply-held commitment to inclusiveness grounded in respect for all, and we encourage our community to speak out when they feel that those ideals are challenged or undermined, as they were in this case.”

Just curious: has the Duke administration ever apologized or censured the “Gang of 88” racist professors who judged the Duke lacrosse team guilty without any facts merely because of their pale skin color? Or perhaps not issuing a statement was part of the financial settlement Duke had to make with the wrongly charged players. (Heh.)

Hough is not backing down, sending a follow up comment to a local TV station:

“Martin Luther King was my hero and I was a big proponent of all the measures taken at the time, including Affirmative Action. But the degree of integration is not what I expected, and it is time to ask why and to change our approach. I am, of course, strongly against the toleration of racial discrimination. I do not know what racial intolerance means in modern code words and hesitate to comment on that specific comment.

“The issue is whether my comments were largely accurate. In writing me, no one has said I was wrong, just racist. The question is whether I was right or what the nuanced story is since anything in a paragraph is too simple.

“I am strongly against the obsession with “sensitivity.” The more we have emphasized sensitivity in recent years, the worse race relations have become. I think that is not an accident. I know that the 60 years since the Montgomery bus boycott is a long time, and things must be changed. The Japanese and other Asians did not obsess with the concentration camps and the fact they were linked with blacks as “colored.” They pushed ahead and achieved. Coach K did not obsess with all the Polish jokes about Polish stupidity. He pushed ahead and achieved. And by his achievement and visibility, he has played a huge role in destroying stereotypes about Poles. Many blacks have done that too, but no one says they have done as well on the average as the Asians. In my opinion, the time has come to stop talking incessantly about race relations in general terms as the President and activists have advocated, but talk about how the Asians and Poles got ahead—and to copy their approach. I don’t see why that is insensitive or racist.”

This isn’t going to go down well. So liberals are about to eat up another one of their own.

Remember: when leftists say they want a “conversation about race,” they mean—you shut up and confess your white guilt. Oh, and raise taxes.

SOURCE. See details of the backlash against Prof. Hough here

Multicultural Corrections Officers Accused of Looting Store During Baltimore Riots

Two female Baltimore corrections officers were caught on tape last month allegedly looting a 7-Eleven store during the riots, according to a CBS affiliate.

According to police, they reviewed the surveillance footage after receiving a tip and saw Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard leaving with merchandise while the store was closed.

"Our Intelligence and Investigative Division did an outstanding job, immediately following up on this tip," said Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Stephen T. Moyer. "We will not allow the vast majority of our employees who are honest and hardworking to be tainted by the actions of a few."

The pair - who were assigned to a downtown Baltimore Division of Correction facility - have been suspended without pay and charged with theft and burglary.


America's favorite guy to hate: George Zimmerman

The name George Zimmerman has been one of the most well-known names in American media outlets.  Since his acquittal in 2012 in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, he has been caught up again and again in the news.  Since his not "guilty verdict", he has had had three separate girlfriends accuse him of abusive behavior (one even claiming he smashed an iPad in a fit of anger), he has been caught up in a road-rage incident with a man named Matthew Apperson, and now, most recently, he has been shot at.  George Zimmerman's attacker in the recent event, the same Apperson as the road rage incident, has since been arrested and is in custody with several serious charges pending.  So far, the legal system has yet to find any evidence of this man doing anything wrong in ANY of the previously mentioned events. 

This has not stopped the court of public opinion from finding him to be a criminal who always sleezes his way out of trouble.  Is this what American justice has come to today?  Trials be damned and courts need not intervene, the people know all they need to know.  The people have already found him guilty of being a racist, murdering, abusive little troll who deserves to be the victim of whatever some vigilante wants to do to him. 

The most recent incident has ignited the Twitter world with an entire hashtag #WhenIHeardZimmermanGotShot posting over 12000 tags and his name being mentioned closed to 300,000 times.  In the vast majority of cases, people lamented that Zimmerman wasn't a blood splatter on the pavement of Lake Mary, Florida.  People celebrate his attacker, and feel a sense of poetic justice in anything awful that happens to the man.  This is the new America, unfortunately.  A white-man (though even that is in question) has been dubbed a racist by the mainstream media and thus he is no longer deserving of due process and protection under the law. 

Has vigilante justice made a come back?  Can we expect more lynching by anti-racist mobs?  Why don't we just take Zimmerman out to a sycamore tree and string him up?  The behavior of the media and twitterverse is shameful at best.  It shows not only a bias that 21st Century public opinion has on those dubbed "racist", it also shines a light into a bigger problem of a lack of faith in the American people towards our justice system. 


The decline of manners

SOME Twitter users have been up in arms over this normal looking photo, but what is it that’s got them worked up? Can you spot the problem?

The Mirror reports that the photo isn’t some kind of optical illusion. But as some users noted, the man is allowing the woman to walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk — the side closest to the road.

“I’m sure half of you guys don’t even know what’s wrong with this picture. Smh (shake my head),” Twitter user ibi said on the original post.

Many were utterly clueless as to what the issue was, but many, such as Denzell Lowery saw it straight away.

“He should switch sides with her and hold her hand,” he commented. “I think it’s just the ‘gentleman thing’ to do. just like opening doors. some women may not like that, but it doesn’t change,” another said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Some fruit of "There's no such thing as right and wrong

Leftists constantly preach that there's no such thing as right and wrong and also deny that there are differences between men and women.  Why would anyone be surprised that their students act on that gospel?  The loss of traditional standards of male/female  behaviour has been replaced by zero standards -- just waffle

Having fulfilled her dream of a place at Oxford to study law, Claire Foster couldn’t wait to get started. But within just weeks, the straight-A student found that while the academic opportunities on offer could not be faulted, there was a deeply worrying undercurrent to student life.

Browsing a newsletter produced by male undergraduates at her college, the 18-year-old was shocked to find it filled with detailed stories of sexual encounters between second year students and female freshers.

In one, a student described in deeply derogatory terms how he had slept with one young woman while she was menstruating.

Worse was to come at the end of Claire’s first year when the undergraduates posed for a set of college photographs. After the formal shot had been taken, the students were invited to take part in a more light-hearted picture.

For this ‘fun’ photo, a group of the second year male students stripped naked. Two then posed at the very front of the group, one on all fours, simulating a sex act. ‘You would have thought that would have caused all sorts of outrage,’ said Claire (whose name the Mail has changed to protect her anonymity). ‘But in fact it was put on sale alongside the formal one, in a frame with the college name and crest at the top.’

Uneasy about this ‘laddish’ culture, Claire spent more time working and less socialising.

The following year, as a second year student, she was renting a house with fellow undergraduates. Claire claims that one Saturday lunchtime, while alone at home, a male student visiting the shared house — an aquaintance from her college — came into her room and raped her.

Initially stunned into silence by what had happened, a week passed before she reported the alleged attack to their college.

But far from supporting her, she says the college authorities’ failure to help her deal with the matter was as traumatic as the rape itself. Claire developed severe depression and ended up having to move to another college after the university refused to take any action against her alleged rapist when he denied the allegations.

‘I have spoken to several people who have had similar experiences with the university,’ she says. ‘They simply want to brush these things under the carpet so that no one finds out what really goes on there.’

Of course there are two sides to every story, and university authorities are clearly placed in an invidious position when confronted by completely contradictory testimony. But Claire’s claims cannot be dismissed lightly.

Last week, former Oxford student Elizabeth Ramey, 29, waived her anonymity to bring a case in the High Court challenging the university’s policy on how it deals with cases of rape and serious sexual assault.

Like Claire, Miss Ramey claims she was raped by a fellow student, then badly let down by the university’s internal disciplinary process.

Instead of any action being taken against the man, he was simply warned that in future he should be more careful ‘about putting himself in situations with female students which are open to misinterpretation’.

Although the judge declined permission for judicial review of the policy, the case will undoubtedly fuel concerns about what is going on at Oxford.

This week, it emerged that the principal of Margaret Thatcher’s old college had warned that female students there were facing an unprecedented barrage of ‘excessively harassing and intimidating behaviour’.

Her warning was prompted by numerous reports of groping at college parties, rape jokes being overheard in communal areas and students being coerced into sexual activity.

In an email to undergraduates, Dr Alice Prochaska, the head of Somerville College, wrote: ‘Rape is not a joke, as those who have been victims of it could tell you.

‘Any level of sexual harassment is also not a joke; it is not acceptable that members of the college and their friends should be made to feel uncomfortable and disrespected here.’

According to the National Union of Students, women in full-time education are now more likely to experience sexual violence than those from any other social group.

Surveys by the NUS have found that one in seven female students have been the victim of serious sexual or serious physical assault, while more than a third of female students have faced unwelcome sexual advances.

At the same time, there is a growing acknowledgment that a culture of misogynistic ‘laddish’ behaviour has also taken root on campuses.  Oxford, Cambridge and other top British universities are far from exempt from these goings-on.

In 2013, an Oxford college rugby club was banned from competing and its leaders dismissed after an email entitled ‘Free Pussy’ was sent out, encouraging players to pick a fresher and spike her drink for a social challenge.

In the same year, members of a drinking society at St Hugh’s College were branded ‘repugnant and sexist’ for organising a pub crawl in which girls dressed as foxes in short skirts had to ‘evade mauling’ from male students dressed as ‘Huntsmen’ in red jackets.

Earlier this year, another college publication sparked outrage after printing a joke about punching women during sex. The quote — ‘No I haven’t punched a girl during sex, but never say never’ — was highlighted at the top of a page.

A high-profile example of a student cleared of a rape allegation is the case of Ben Sullivan. The then president of the Oxford Union was arrested last year on suspicion of rape and attempted rape. Having spent six weeks on police bail, the case against Mr Sullivan was dropped. He was told that he will face no further action.

While it emerged earlier this year that one of his alleged victims, a fellow student, has exercised her right to request a review of the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute, he has never been charged and those closest to him continue to insist he was falsely accused.

But even allowing for the boisterous humour long familiar at universities, and the feminist student groups who challenge it, concern over a rise in sexual harassment is growing.

Experts say it is impossible to say how many sexual assaults are committed at British universities, as in most cases they won’t be reported — not to the police or to university authorities, and not even to family and friends.

This is because of a belief that even if they do make a formal complaint, nothing will be done; a belief that is reinforced by the notoriously low conviction rates.

As for Claire, having switched college and taken a year out to recover from her ordeal, she left the university with a 2:1 and is now doing well in her chosen career.

 An Oxford spokesman said: 'Oxford University absolutely condemns any form of abuse, harassment or inappropriate behaviour by any members of its community.

'We take allegations incredibly seriously: college and university staff are committed to supporting students who have experienced harassment or abuse in every way they can.

The new policy and procedure on harassment was designed precisely to ensure students feel supported in pursuing complaints in a safe environment.'


Anti-terror: the perversion of tolerance

The announcement by prime minister David Cameron today that a new counter-extremism bill is to form part of the Queen’s Speech on 27 May, providing the authorities with new powers to tackle terrorism, confirms that, as early as the first week of his new government, all pretence at inspiring and engaging has been set aside in favour of legislating and coercing.

When home secretary Theresa May told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that she wanted to ‘bring people together to ensure we are living together as one society’, she omitted to say that this ‘bringing together’ is to be made mandatory, with severe penalties for those who will not comply with what the authorities define as British values.

The window for free speech has now been firmly shut just a few months after so many political leaders walked in supposed solidarity for murdered cartoonists in France. Yet, it was only just over 200 years ago that the very British poet William Wordsworth, observing the spirit of liberty that had just been unleashed in France, exclaimed: ‘Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven!’

Today, we face the twilight of freedom, and to be young is to be cowed and scrutinised, as the government implicitly reveals that it has given up on trying to understand the reasons why growing numbers of youths are disengaged from society, leading at the margins to the vexatious violence of a small minority. Interception and incarceration are to be the bold new vision for the future of Britain.

Most strikingly of all, the BBC reports that May will tell the National Security Council that the government will empower institutions to ‘challenge bigotry and ignorance’. Lest we forget, it was only five years ago that the previous PM, Gordon Brown, castigated a traditional Labour voter as a bigot. And, presumably, old-fashioned Church of England adherents opposed to gay marriage on principled religious grounds will also face the need to be re-programmed under Cameron’s new regime, just as much as the many who don’t know their Sunni from their Shia?

Cameron states that for too long ‘we have been a passively tolerant society’ and is presumably ‘pumped-up’ at the possibility of actively changing this image. But, in truth, Britain has strayed a long way from the Enlightenment conceptualisation of tolerance, which advocated robust engagement with others over matters of principle while recognising and accepting the need to live side-by-side.

In recent years, British society has become not tolerant but indifferent to the mores of others, preferring to turn a blind eye to outlooks and activities deemed not too threatening. You can believe anything you like, so long as you don’t believe in it too much, has been the unstated outlook of the authorities. Now, Cameron seeks to shift gear from passive indifference to active authoritarianism.

Of course, deep down, neither Cameron, May nor any other person in power truly believes that this approach can work. At best, it is a form of containment. And, as the security services know full-well, there can be no security solutions to social problems. Their capacity is already fully stretched monitoring the active few. Presumably, then, our ignorance is to be challenged by local authority-led training workshops?

What this will achieve, though, is to mandate bad faith across society. The government legislates to be seen to be Doing Something. Institutions and individuals will act and speak accordingly – to be seen to be in compliance. No wonder so many voted Tory without telling the pollsters; to say what you really think is no longer a constituent of British values.

Meanwhile, a generation of young people in search of purpose and meaning in their lives, looking for something to believe in, will find this in all manner of bizarre and, sadly, occasionally twisted avenues. It is not ideas on the internet that radicalise. To presume so is to view people as mindless sponges. Rather, it is the gaping hole at the heart of where real values ought to be that these young people actively seek to fill – a hole best exemplified through the recent election, where no party sought to provide any strategic or principled vision for society.

Sadly, it really is through the prism of an authoritarian form of child protection that the government now views the populace, and especially the young. Successive heads of MI5 have alluded to how these people are ‘vulnerable’ and ‘groomed’ online by vicious malcontents. While feeding off and into contemporary anxieties and fears of paedophiles, this formulation also presents the next generation (who, oddly it would seem, manage to get to Syria quite easily) as lacking any agency, autonomy and – inadvertently perhaps – accountability for their actions.

A far more useful approach would have been to challenge the therapeutic culture that has now infected our education system – a culture where children are taught from kindergarten on that their feelings are sacrosanct and that having their personal beliefs challenged is a form of offence. It is a culture that has spread right through society leading to a situation where the impulse to ban ideas and activities that some find unacceptable has become the mainstream solution. In his announcement today, Cameron has shown that the government now best exemplifies this new and dangerous trend.


Ex-Muslim: Koran Revealed a Religion I Did Not Like

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Mona Walter is on a mission. Her mission is for more Muslims to know what is in the Koran. She says if more Muslims knew what was in the Koran, more would leave Islam.

Walter came to Sweden from Somalia as a war refugee when she was 19. She says she was excited about joining a modern European nation with equal rights for women. But as a young Muslim woman, that was not the Sweden she encountered.

A Real Introduction to Islam

It was in Sweden that she first experienced radical Islam on a daily basis.

"I discovered Islam first in Sweden. In Somalia, you're just a Muslim, without knowing the Koran. But then you come to Sweden and you go to mosque and there is the Koran, so you have to cover yourself and you have to be a good Muslim."

Walter says she grew up in Somalia never having read the Koran.

"I didn't know what I was a part of. I didn't know who Mohammed was. I didn't know who Allah was. So, when I found out, I was upset. I was sad and I was disappointed," she recalled.

And it was in Sweden that Walters says she discovered Allah is a god who hates, and that Islam is not a religion of peace.

"It's about hating and killing those who disagree with Islam. It's about conquering. Mohammed, he was immoral. He was a bloodthirsty man. He was terrible man, and Muslims can read that in his biography -- what he did to Jews, how he raped women, how he killed people. I mean, he killed everyone who didn't agree with him," she explained.

Discouraged, Walter left Islam and became an atheist, until one day a family member encouraged her to read the Bible. She still remembers the first time she read Matthew 5:44, where Jesus said to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Christianity, a New Perspective

"It was very strange for me to 'love your enemy,' because in Islam it is 'kill your enemy.' 'Kill your enemy and anyone who refuses Islam.' But Jesus Christ was all about love and peace and forgiveness and tolerance, and for some reason, I needed that," she said.

She went to see Pastor Fouad Rasho of Angered Alliance Church, a Syrian immigrant who ministers to former Muslims in Sweden.

"She started to believe and she came to me. And that was the beginning of her trusting," he said.

When she accepted Christ, Walter said she felt "so happy" and "filled with joy."

Walter says the Lord gave her a burden for Muslims who still do not know the truth about Islam.  And she began to study the Koran, and began copying verses from the Koran and handing them out on the street to Muslim women.

Rescuing Muslims with Truth

"Sometimes they listen and sometimes they become very upset, and I tell them, 'You know your husband has a right to beat you if you don't obey him?' And they say 'No, It does not say that.' 'Yes, it does say that.'  I thought if I tell them about Muhammed and about the Koran and about this god of Islam who hates, who kills, who discriminates against women, maybe they will have a choice and leave," she explained.

But in politically correct Sweden, Walter has come under attack for simply repeating what is in the Koran.

"I've been called an 'Islamophobe,' and yeah [they tell me], 'You've been bought,' 'You're a house nigger,' and stuff like that, terrible things, " she said.

She has also been called a racist. Walter warns that Islamic radicalism is a serious threat in Sweden, and says Swedish society should care more about women trapped in Islam.

"[Swedes] will think, 'Oh, we're in Sweden; we have freedom of religion,' but Muslim women don't have freedom of religion. They live under the law of Allah, not under Swedish law. So they will suppose everyone has freedom of religion. We don't have freedom of religion. It's not for Muslim women. It's for everyone else," Walter argued.

Walter lives under death threats and sometimes travels with police protection.  She wanted to show us Muslim areas around Gothenburg, but had to first dress as a Muslim. She believes if she were to show her face, she would be attacked.

"I can never go to those areas just being me, flesh and blood Mona. I would never get out of there alive," she said.

"I mean, Muslims are normally good people like everyone else," she continued. "But then when they read the Koran, then they become a killing machine."

"This so-called ISIS or el Shabab or Boko Haram, they're not like extremists. They're not fanatical. They're just good Muslims, good Muslims who follow the teachings of Islam. The prophet Mohammed, he did that. They're doing what he did," she explained.

Walter now uses videos and speaking appearances to spread her message. And she says she won't stop, even though her life is in danger.


How the Illiberal Left Uses Silencing Tactics

In March 2014, pioneering Internet company Mozilla announced the appointment of co-founder Brendan Eich as CEO. That same day, a Twitter mob exploded with criticism of Eich. Gay rights supporters were angry about a 6-year-old donation of $1,000 to the “Yes on 8” campaign, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California in 2008.

It’s OK to be angry about Eich’s donation. Screaming for Eich’s head on a pike for his failure to conform to Mozilla’s majority view on same-sex marriage is not.

Liberals are supposed to believe in protecting minority views, even when they disapprove of those views.

Instead an online mob of presumably “liberal” people tweeted about Eich’s donation, many calling him a bigot and homophobe for supporting Prop 8. Remember, this proposition passed the same year Senator Barack Obama sat in Rick Warren’s church to explain his religious based opposition to same-sex marriage. Eich took the time to address the criticisms.

On his blog he wrote, “I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion.”

Such assurances proved inadequate, however. Almost 70,000 people signed a petition organized at Credo Action, a progressive social change organization, telling Eich to renounce his beliefs or resign as Mozilla’s CEO. They accused him of “advocat[ing] for inequality and hate” and ordered Mozilla to fire him if he refused to resign.

Finally, just over a week after his appointment, Mozilla announced that Eich would be stepping down as CEO. “While painful,” wrote Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, “the events of the last week show exactly why we need the Web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.”

It’s not necessary to support Eich’s donation to recognize something deeply disturbing occurred here. Pushing someone out of his job for dissenting on an issue that has nothing to do with the mission of the company and then portraying the purge as a “free” conversation that boosted humanity is creepily Orwellian.

The writer Andrew Sullivan—who is gay and was one of the earliest public advocates of same-sex marriage—wrote at the time of Eich’s ouster, “When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance.”

Sullivan correctly acknowledged that Mozilla had not violated any laws in punishing Eich for his opposition to same-sex marriage and that they had the right to take the actions they did. But that didn’t make what they did consistent with the liberal values Mozilla claimed to embrace.

Liberals are supposed to believe in protecting minority views, even when they disapprove of those views.

In discussion of the controversy on ABC’s “This Week,” Democratic strategist Donna Brazile concurred with Sullivan, saying, “We have to be very careful that we are not practicing a new McCarthyism.”

Yet, this is exactly what the illiberal left is regularly doing right under everyone’s noses. They don’t have the force of the government behind them (though some would like it in the form of “hate speech” laws), but they don’t need it.

Because of the outsized influence this crowd enjoys in today’s culture—along with the ubiquity and reach of social media—reputations and livelihoods can be destroyed with the push of a button.

Because many of the silencing tactics employed by the illiberal left do not involve the government though some do, particularly at public universities—the illiberal left will often claim they are not infringing on anybody’s right to free speech. This willfully misses the point.

Freedom requires more than the “structures” of freedom such as a liberal Constitution and a just legal system. It requires the “spirit” of freedom, which is passed from generation to generation.

This insight, which comes from the 18th century philosopher Montesquieu, was famously applied to the United States by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book “Democracy in America,” in which he observed that America owes its freedom not so much to the law as to the “habits of the heart” of freedom-loving American citizens.

The illiberal left is eradicating these “habits of the heart” so Americans won’t even remember what it was like to be able to speak freely without fear of retaliation from a silencing mob or a few disgruntled lefties.

“Mankind ought to have a rational assurance that all objections have been satisfactorily answered; and how are they to be answered if that which requires to be answered is not spoken?” asked British philosopher John Stuart Mill in “On Liberty.” “Or how can the answer be known to be satisfactory, if the objectors have no opportunity of showing that it is unsatisfactory?”

The more success the illiberal left has in terrorizing people who express dissenting views, the fewer objections there will be. Most people understandably just want to do their jobs and support their families. Given the choice between being shunned by their peers or losing their job for a personal view, they will almost always choose silence over confrontation.

Because of this, society should always err on the side of respecting people’s right to determine their own beliefs and express them without fear of official or unofficial retribution. Debate and persuasion should be the reflexive response to disagreement and even harmful propositions, not an authoritarian impulse to silence. It should be so not only because it is just, but because no society can flourish without the clash of ideas.

Harvard psychology professor and bestselling author Steven Pinker invoked the critical role free speech plays in a democratic system in a 2014 speech. We acquire knowledge through a “process that Karl Popper called conjecture and refutation,” said Pinker. “We come up with ideas about the nature of reality, and test them against that reality, allowing the world to falsify the mistaken ones. The ‘conjecture’ part of this formula, of course, presupposes the exercise of free speech. We offer conjectures without any prior assurance they are correct. It is only by bruiting ideas and seeing which ones withstand attempts to refute them that we acquire knowledge.”

The illiberal left seeks to short-circuit this process. They don’t want to defend their views, nor do they want to allow forums for other people to present views that are at odds with the conclusions they have drawn on an array of issues. Sometimes, the mere suggestion of holding a debate is cast as an offense.

Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in a September 2014 interview of those who deny climate change, “I wish that there were a law you could punish them under.”

Pinker singled out university campuses for their hostility to free speech, likening them to the worst authoritarian regimes in history. “It may seem outlandish to link American campus freedom—which by historical and global standards is still admirably high—to the world’s brutal regimes,” Pinker said.

“But I’m here to tell you that the connection is not that far-fetched. This morning I woke up in Oslo, after having addressed the Oslo Freedom Forum, a kind of TED for political dissidents. I met people who escaped from North Korea by walking across the Gobi Desert in winter; people who were jailed for a single tweet; people whose families were thrown in prison because of their own political activity. These stories put the relatively minor restrictions on campus speech in perspective.

But the American commitment to unfettered speech, unrivaled even by our democratic allies in Europe, stands as a beacon of inspiration to the world’s dissidents, one of the few features of the American brand that still commands global admiration. At least one speaker at the Forum singled out speech codes and other restrictions on expression in the United States as a worrisome development.”

The behavior of the illiberal left flies in the face of decades of jurisprudence forged by liberal Supreme Court justices who argued for an expansive view of the First Amendment and treated free speech as a precious commodity to be guarded jealously. “Those who won our independence believed … that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis in 1927. “The path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones.” This does not become less true outside of Uncle Sam’s shadow.

Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr.—a liberal lion known for his outspoken progressive views—was perhaps the strongest First Amendment advocate of the modern era. Appointed in 1956, Brennan participated in 252 free speech cases during his 34-year tenure on the Court. In 88 percent of these cases, Brennan sided with the free speech claim. In New York Times v. Sullivan, likely Brennan’s most well-known free speech opinion, he wrote: “We consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open … ”

The illiberal left does not share this commitment. Their burgeoning philosophy in favor of government power to curtail freedom of thought, speech, and conscience is troubling. Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—a graduate of one of the nation’s most elite law schools, the University of Virginia—said in a September 2014 interview of those who deny climate change, “I wish that there were a law you could punish them under.”

Accusing the libertarian Koch brothers of “treason” for disagreeing with his view of climate change, he said they should be “at the Hague with all the other war criminals.” He asked rhetorically, “Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is a criminal offense and they ought to be serving time for it.” Kennedy’s penchant for arguing for state action against those who do not share his view of climate change is not new. In 2007, he said in a speech at Live Earth that politicians who are “corporate toadies for companies like Exxon and Southern Company” had committed treason and needed to be treated as traitors. In 2009, he deemed certain coal companies “criminal enterprises” and declared that one company’s CEO “should be in jail … for all of eternity.”

In a 2014 speech, Floyd Abrams, one of the nation’s top First Amendment scholars, himself a lifelong liberal, noted, “It stuns me how many people—educated people, including scholars—seem to believe that the First Amendment should be interpreted as nothing but an extension and embodiment of their generally liberal political views.”

He told me in an interview, “It is accurate to say that … conservative jurists have moved strongly in the direction of more First Amendment protection and liberal jurists have moved markedly in the other direction.” Abrams founded the Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression at Yale Law School and noted that of the liberal legal scholars who come to his center, most view the First Amendment as an impediment to progressive policy goals. He says, “Their definition of liberalism is so imbued with their devotion to egalitarianism that they are willing to pay some First Amendment prices to get there.”

Cornell Law School professor Steven H. Shiffrin is a leading scholar of the First Amendment and co-author of a widely used First Amendment casebook. He is also an evangelist for the new progressive view of the First Amendment. Shiffrin gave a 2014 lecture called “The Dark Side of the First Amendment” in which he proclaimed, “The First Amendment is at odds with human dignity” and complained that racist speech was protected despite “its undermining of racial equality.”

University of Chicago Law School professor Eric Posner expressed a similar contempt for free speech when he wrote in Slate, “For the left, the [First] amendment today is like a dear old uncle who enacted heroic deeds in his youth but on occasion says embarrassing things about taboo subjects in his decline.” The time had come to put the nutty uncle back in the attic. Posner was writing in the wake of the riots in the Middle East attributed to a YouTube video. He expressed dismay that the U.S. government was prevented by U.S. law “from restricting the distribution of a video that causes violence abroad and damages America’s reputation.” As he wrote, “The rest of the world—and not just Muslims—see no sense in the First Amendment.”

Posner and Shiffrin are influential legal scholars and they are not alone in their views. Their intolerance of free speech that leads to what they deem the wrong policy conclusions or offends the wrong people is frankly typical of the illiberal left. Today’s progressive legal policy is less likely to treat the First Amendment as a bulwark against government infringement on the free expression of Americans than a roadblock to a progressive ideological agenda.

“What’s coming up through the pipeline should have everyone who cares about freedom of speech very concerned,” FIRE’s President Greg Lukianoff, a graduate of Stanford Law School, told me in an interview. “I’m afraid that a lot of these more tenuous theories that law schools have come up with—that have grown up on campuses—that allow them to punish speech they dislike, while protecting speech they like are going to have increasing presence on the bench at every level and, I’m afraid, eventually on the Supreme Court.”

The more suppressive view of free speech seems to be gaining currency more broadly, especially among younger Americans. According to the 2013 First Amendment Center annual survey, “This year there was a significant increase in those who claimed that the First Amendment goes too far in protecting individual rights.”

The older you are, the less likely it is that you believe the First Amendment’s protections are too robust. Only 23 percent of people over 60 and 24 percent of those between 46 and 60 hold that sentiment. But an astonishing 47 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds say the First Amendment goes too far, and 44 percent of 31- to 45-year-olds agree.

If younger Americans are that accepting of government interference in speech, then how much more tolerant will they be of unofficial silencing?



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here