Friday, March 24, 2017



This Is What It’s Like To Be Wrongly Accused Of Being A Paedophile Because Of A Typo By Police

With any allegation of sexual impropriety, you are guilty until proven innocent, according to the British police. After 13 years under Tony Blair, the British police evolved from being a generally admired body of men and women to become a collection of politically correct lazybones with little or no concern for decency, justice or community service. That their pursuit of the innocent has repeatedly been thrown out by the courts seems to have produced no penitence in them whatsoever

One extra digit added to an IP address saw Nigel Lang wrongfully suspected of being a paedophile. Speaking about his ordeal for the first time, he tells BuzzFeed News how the mistake ruined his life.

On a Saturday morning in July 2011, Nigel Lang, then aged 44, was at home in Sheffield with his partner and their 2-year-old son when there was a knock at the door.

He opened it to find a man and two women standing there, one of whom asked if he lived at the address. When he said he did, the three strangers pushed past him and one of the women, who identified herself as a police officer, told Lang and his partner he was going to be arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

He knew he was innocent but was powerless to prevent what happened next, as over the coming days, weeks, months, and years, through absolutely no fault of his own, events took place that would cost him his health and his career, and put serious strain on his relationships with those he loved the most.
Lang described the arrest, and what followed, as “the most horrendous and horrific time of my life.”

What makes Lang’s ordeal all the more shocking, BuzzFeed News can now reveal, is that his wrongful arrest, and all the consequences of it, stemmed from what police called a “typing error”.

He was told that when police requested details about an IP address connected to the sharing of indecent images of children, one extra keystroke was made by mistake, sending police to entirely the wrong physical location.

But it would take years, and drawn-out legal processes, to get answers about why this had happened to him, to force police to admit their mistake, and even longer to begin to get his and his family’s lives back on track.

Police paid Lang £60,000 in compensation last autumn after settling out of court, two years after they finally said sorry and removed the wrongful arrest from his record.

Much more HERE





How far will the violence go?

By Ben Shapiro

Two weeks ago, political scientist Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute went to speak at Middlebury College. There, he was quickly surrounded by protesters chanting: "Racist, sexist, anti-gay. Charles Murray, go away!" On his way out of the venue, a violent throng surrounded him and his security, as well as one of the university professors. She ended up in a neck brace. The same week, supporters of President Trump held a rally in Berkeley, California, and anti-Trump protesters threw smoke bombs and began punching people.

This sort of political violence is becoming more and more common around the country. I've personally been smuggled onto and off the California State University, Los Angeles campus during a near-riot caused by one of my speeches. When a fellow guest on CNN's HLN grabbed me by the back of the neck on national television in 2015, leftist commentators celebrated. In Berkeley, we saw Antifa rioters run roughshod through the town in honor of an upcoming visit by provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. During the presidential campaign, we saw a Trump event in Chicago shut down by leftists who were intent on causing havoc, and we saw Trump supporters beaten in the streets in San Jose. Meanwhile, we saw Trump himself encouraging supporters to punch protesters and vowing to defend those who followed through from legal charges.

When despicable white supremacist Richard Spencer was punched on a city street in Washington D.C., the media quickly began asking whether it was OK to punch a Nazi. And many Americans concluded that it was fine. After all, Captain America did it!

Here's the problem: Once we start punching one another, there are only two ways such violence ends. First, an overarching powerful government could step in to stop the violence, to the cheers of the group represented by it. Second, one of the sides could literally club the other into submission. Both solutions are anti-American and frightening.

Not all ideas are created equal. Some are terrible and should be dismissed. But that's not the same thing as banning ideas or treating them with violence. In fact, the irony of those who claim to be doing political violence in the name of freedom is that political violence between citizens never ends in freedom — it nearly always ends in tyranny.

The rise of the Nazis was preceded by heavy violence in Weimar Germany between communist bands and brownshirts. The two sides would go to each others' rallies and speeches and launch into serious bloodbaths in which people were killed. Brownshirts deliberately started violence with communists in order to draw supporters to their cause. They used that violence to create martyrs (Horst Wessel was the most famous) and prey on the reality of communist violence to seize power.

America isn't Weimar. Law and order still prevails. But if we want America to remain a free country, we're going to have to back away from violence, condemn it roundly on all sides and kill the notion that ideas must be fought with fists rather than other ideas.

SOURCE





Germany moved to deport two terror suspects born in the country Wednesday in a first of its kind landmark case

The duo — a 27-year-old Algerian and a 22-year-old Nigerian — were arrested in February in connection to a “potentially imminent terror attack.” Police found a gun and an Islamic State flag in their homes, but the men were never charged with any crimes.

Prosecutors dropped the case due to a lack of evidence suggesting the men planned an attack. A federal court in Lower Saxony still moved ahead with a deportation order despite a legal bid to overturn it. The suspects will now be barred from the country indefinitely.

“We are sending a clear warning to all fanatics nationwide that we will not give them a centimeter of space to carry out their despicable plans,” Boris Pistorius, Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister, said after the ruling, according to Deutsche Welle. “They will face the full force of the law regardless of whether they were born here or not.”

Australia recently stripped the citizenship of an Islamic State fighter who left the country for Syria. Australian legislation allows the government to revoke passports of dual citizens who are suspected or convicted of engaging in militant acts

The Netherlands passed similar legislation in 2016.

SOURCE







Political correctness kickstarted populism in the West

Melanie Phillips

For several years now, Trevor Phillips has been on a political journey. Originally a fully paid-up member of the metropolitan liberal set, the former chairman of Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission has been regularly denouncing some of the shibboleths to which he previously subscribed.

On Friday (AEDT) he will take this further. In a documentary on Channel 4, he will blame political correctness for the rise of populism throughout the West.

The reason nobody saw the people’s revolt coming is that political correctness is too easily dismissed. At best it is viewed as a kind of idiocy that takes the avoidance of giving offence to absurd lengths; at worst, as the unpleasantly assertive politics of identity and group rights.

Phillips appears to understand that, far more damagingly, it has corroded the very basis of moral accountability. “It was a clear statement,” he observes, “that some groups can play by their own rules.”

Those PC rules derive from secular ideologies such as anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, feminism, multiculturalism, moral relativism and environmentalism. All these and more are based on the idea that the white, male-dominated, Judeo-Christian West is the embodiment of oppressive global power — the political source of original sin.

So white Western men or Christians can never be offended or hurt because they are themselves innately offensive and hurtful, while “powerless” women or minorities can only ever be their victims. In other words, such victim groups are given a free pass for their own questionable behaviour.

The reason these secular and utilitarian ideologies are unchallengeable is that, in a pattern going back to the French Revolution, they are held to represent not a point of view but virtue itself.

Therefore, anyone who opposes them must be bad. This creates a moral imperative to drive dissenters out of civilised society altogether. For daring to question multiculturalism, Phillips found himself accused of being a fellow-traveller of the far-right British National Party.

Reason has thus been supplanted by a secular inquisition, complete with an index of prohibited ideas. It is in effect a dictatorship of virtue, drawing upon the doctrine first promoted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau of forcing people to be free.

Of course it’s not freedom at all but a form of moral extortion: extracting permission to behave badly or questionably under threat of character assassination and social opprobrium.

Phillips may not appreciate the comparison but my own experience echoes his journey. For nearly two decades I wrote for The Guardian and The Observer, from which Eden I was eventually driven out by the disgrace of my political heresies.

From the late 1980s, I followed where the evidence led me to challenge one politically correct doctrine after another. Lifestyle choice, I argued, was by and large a disaster for the children involved in such fractured families.

Multiculturalism would dissolve the glue that held society together. National identity, far from being xenophobic, was essential for democracy and the defence of liberal values.

I was appalled that women, ethnic minorities and the poor were being infantilised and even dehumanised by being treated not as grown-ups with responsibility for their own behaviour but as helpless victims of circumstance.

Racism was supposedly endemic in every institution. Social-work staff were reduced to tears when told their refusal to confess to racism was itself proof they were racist. Any curb on immigration was racist. To me this was absurd, oppressive and culturally suicidal.

The understanding that education involved a transmission of the culture was regarded as an attack on a child’s autonomy. When I supported a retired head teacher who protested that teachers were no longer guiding children but abandoning them to ignorance and under-achievement, I was denounced as “ignorant, silly, intellectually vulgar, vicious, irresponsible, elitist, middle-class, fatuous, dangerous, intemperate, shallow, strident, reactionary, propagandist, simplistic, unbalanced, prejudiced, rabid, venomous and pathetic”. All that over just one article.

Nor did it stop at name-calling. I found myself in a kind of internal exile. There was no more cosy camaraderie round the tea trolley or invitations to supper. I lost work and was blacklisted by every major publishing house.

As Phillips says, the social infrastructure of advancement, rewards and status depends entirely on having politically correct views. If not, social and professional ostracism follows.

People have finally had enough of this institutionalised attack on accountability, natural justice and freedom. It turns out that what I’ve been arguing for decades is supported by millions throughout the West.

Now those millions are being vilified in turn as neo-fascist, racist and too stupid even to know what they’ve voted for. Their uprising is being called populism.

I call it a return to decency and reason.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************


Thursday, March 23, 2017



Do gooder laws not helping ex-cons in Massachusetts

Blacks are a large part of the ex-con population so now that employers cannot check a person's criminal background, they tend to make worst case assumptions about blacks.  Suppressing criminal records has hurt, not helped blacks

When Massachusetts enacted a series of changes beginning in 2010 to help ex-offenders get back into the labor force, the timing seemed fortuitous: the economy was growing again after the recession, and it was widely hoped people with criminal records would find work more easily.

Instead, in the years after the changes, the employment rate of ex-offenders went down, compared with those without records, according to a study released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

The first change to the Criminal Offender Record Information system, or CORI as it is known, in 2010 forbid employers from asking applicants about their criminal backgrounds. Employers could still conduct background checks later in the process, but that little box prospective hires checked if they have a criminal record was dropped from job applications, a move known as “ban the box.”

Yet within the first two years of that change, the average employment rate of people with a criminal record dropped by 2.6 percentage points, compared with the employment rate of people without one.

“Clearly, the ban the box provision has not resulted in the policy outcome anticipated,” the study authors said.

Then in 2012, the state shaved five years off the time period an offender had to wait before getting his criminal record sealed so it is not subject to a background check — to 10 years after a felony conviction, and five years after a misdemeanor. Again, after those changes, the Fed analysts found no improvement in the job rate among ex-offenders.

There was one bright spot: Recidivism among ex-offenders, the rate at which they committed another crime, went down slightly after the changes to the records law. The Boston Fed analysts believe ex-offenders were more likely to stay out of trouble because they had higher expectations of getting a job.

“They know that at least they’d be able to get their foot in the door,” said Robert Triest, director of the Fed’s New England Public Policy Center, which conducted the study. “And so spending their time searching for a job might seem more fruitful than falling back on criminal behavior.”

As for their actual employment prospects, Triest and his colleagues aren’t sure why that hasn’t improved, but have several possible explanations: One is that with their criminal records no longer hanging over them, ex-offenders are pursuing better, but harder-to-get jobs, and turning down lower-paying opportunities they might have settled for in the past.

Conversely, the authors theorize employers are either hiring fewer ex-offenders, or requiring more work experience or education than in the past.

There are more people with records — 1.7 million in Massachusetts in 2014, up from 1.1 million in 2010, according to the Justice Department. And the FBI has been conducting more background checks on behalf of employers and others: roughly 17 million nationwide in 2012, six times the number a decade earlier, according to the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group in New York.

Differences in the tightening labor market were factored into the study, the authors said, as were other employment trends. And still the employment rates of ex-offenders took a hit.

The changes to the records law may have also increased the competition among ex-offenders for jobs, as more sought work, said Pauline Quirion, director of the CORI and Re-entry Project at Greater Boston Legal Services. This influx of applicants, many of whom were likely weeded out later by background checks, could be affecting the employment rate, she said.

The first change in the law, to job applications, went into effect just as employers started hiring again after the recession, she noted, which meant ex-offenders were competing with large numbers of unemployed people without records. “The reality is employers don’t like to hire anybody with a record,” Quirion said.

The new Fed study is in line with a previous analysis of the “ban the box” law by the Boston Foundation in 2012. That found ex-offenders were indeed getting more interviews, but those did not necessarily leading to jobs.

But in other states, similar changes to records laws have had a positive effect. In separate studies conducted in the District of Columbia and Durham County, North Carolina, the number of people with criminal backgrounds who found work increased after legislative changes.

So far 25 states, Washington, and more than 150 cities and counties have enacted policies to limit or delay employers’ access to candidates’ criminal histories. Nine states now don’t allow private employers to ask about a person’s convictions on job applications.

However, several other recent academic studies have found evidence that “ban the box” policies are hurting black applicants. Without the ability to see a candidate’s criminal history on a job application, employers are less likely to call back black applicants, according to the studies, suggesting employers assume these applicants are more likely to have a criminal record.

The Fed authors and advocates say more changes are needed to reintegrate ex-offenders into society. The wait times to seal records are still too long, said Lew Finfer of Jobs Not Jails, a coalition lobbying to cut the time to three years for misdemeanors, and seven for felonies.

The coalition also wants dismissed cases dropped from the CORI system, and charges for resisting arrest, which currently stays on a person’s record forever, to eventually be sealed.

Massachusetts changes have been limited, Finfer said, so it’s not surprising there hasn’t been much impact. “CORI is this huge barrier to people getting jobs,” he said. “It’s almost like prison continued.”

SOURCE






Homofascists target IBM executive

Marriage equality advocate IBM Australia is being targeted by ­militant gay rights activists who have condemned the company over a senior executive’s links to a ­Christian organisation.

Activists have criticised the IT giant and Sydney-based managing partner Mark Allaby, suggesting that his role on the board of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, an internship program for young Christians, is incompatible with IBM’s public support on the issue.

The social media campaign comes after the same activists shamed Adelaide brewer Coopers into pledging allegiance to Australian Marriage Equality after its ties with the Bible Society were ­exposed.

Michael Barnett, convener of Jewish LGBTI support group Aleph Melbourne, and Rod Swift, a Greens candidate in the 2014 state election, have targeted IBM with a barrage of messages via Twitter in recent days, accusing the company of hypocrisy for ­allowing an employee to be ­involved with “an anti-LGBTI ­organisation”.

“A bad look … that IBM managing partner Mark Allaby sits on the anti-LGBT Lachlan Macquarie Institute board,” Mr Barnett ­posted on Thursday.

The next day he followed with: “As an LGBT champion @IBM­Australia, why did you employ a board member of a high-profile anti-LGBT organisation.”

Mr Swift pitched in, calling on IBM to explain whether it would “request this guy to step down” from the institute.

“If you are having a bet each way @IBMDiversityANZ then you must justify to your staff and customers why your guy is on their board,” he wrote.

It is not the first time Mr Allaby, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors who handles IBM’s financial services ­clients across Australia and New Zealand, has been targeted for his association with a religious organisation.

Last year, when employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, he was pressured into standing down from the board of the Australian Christian Lobby, which opposes changes to marriage law.

Both PwC and IBM are active supporters of Australian Marriage Equality, and their chief executives were among 20 corporate leaders to sign an unprecedented letter lobbying Malcolm Turnbull to legalise same-sex marriage, revealed in The Australian last week.

The letter has sparked heated debate about the role of business in lobbying on social issues, with conservative frontbencher Peter Dutton telling business leaders to “stick to their knitting”.

However, the increasingly ­aggressive tactics being employed by some marriage equality activists has highlighted the risks for corporations — and their employees — in taking a position on ­divisive political causes.

Leading anti-discrimination lawyer Mark Fowler said employees with religious beliefs in conflict with their employers’ stand on marriage equality were particularly exposed. “In NSW and SA there are currently no laws protecting individuals from expressing their religious beliefs,” Mr Fowler said. “Nor are there religious protections for ­individuals under commonwealth laws.”

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said the ACL, which helped set up the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, denied that the organisation was “anti-LGBTI”.

“Quite frankly we are tired of this slur being used to intimidate people because of their beliefs,” Mr Shelton said. “Corporate Australia is obviously free to have and express views on political matters.

“Sadly, same-sex marriage activists are intolerant of different views and have co-opted some in the corporate sector to assist them in enforcing this to the point where people fear for their jobs.

“All Australians, including corporate Australia, should openly and forcefully condemn every instance of bullying and intimidation.”

Mr Barnett defended his role yesterday, arguing that when an organisation such as IBM employed an individual in a high-profile leadership role who did not espouse company values, a disparity emerged. “I have no desire to see IBM sack Mark Allaby. I want the conflict to go away,” Mr Barnett told The Australian.

“Mark Allaby can make whatever decisions he needs to resolve this conflict, and if IBM needs to assist with that process then they can do that. “My goal is to see IBM, and any other pro-LGBTIQ organisation, remain strong to their stated values.”

Mr Barnett said he had nothing against Mr Allaby personally but his links with the Australian Christian Lobby meant he was a “target for equality campaigners like me”.

IBM did not respond to questions about whether staff were free to engage with external organisations, including religious groups, outside of their employment with the company. “We will not be responding on this,” an IBM spokeswoman said.

Mr Allaby, who lives in Sydney, did not return calls.

SOURCE






UK: Courts must protect men as well as women

alice thomson

The justice secretary’s plan to allow rape accusers to give video-recorded evidence does a disservice to feminists

Last weekend I was driving down the M40 discussing feminism with my 14-year-old daughter and why women are equal, if not superior, to men. It was all very relaxed without her three brothers. She was talking about a debate she had seen on gender equality with the Labour MP Jess Phillips and the women’s march against President Trump.

Suddenly the car ground to a halt in the slow lane with no hard shoulder. Lorries had to swerve around us, we couldn’t move. I rang the AA who explained we had to leave the car and call the police.

Two officers arrived promptly and I explained rather pathetically that I don’t drive often, I hadn’t quite worked out the automatic dashboard and the car might conceivably have run out of petrol.

The officers couldn’t have been more helpful; they towed us to the nearest garage, filled the car with fuel and sent us on our way. “They were very chivalrous,” I said. “That was humiliating,” my daughter replied. “You may have a career but you sounded like a useless woman who can’t do anything on her own.”

That’s the problem with sexual politics: it’s never straightforward. Emma Watson insists that Beauty and the Beast is a feminist movie because her character, Belle, has a job inventing a washing machine, but she then allows herself to swoon in the arms of the beast at the end — and to promote the film she bared her breasts for Vanity Fair.

Theresa May has become Britain’s second female prime minister yet still gave her first serious interview to American Vogue, where she says that she loves clothes and that Mr Trump held her hand down a ramp because “he was actually being a gentleman”.

Meanwhile Dame Jenni Murray, presenter of Woman’s Hour, said this month that “it takes more than a sex change and make-up” to “lay claim to womanhood”, making it sound as though female traits are always the opposite of male characteristics and the sexes share no common ground. This was while MPs were debating whether women could still be forced to wear heels at work. “What about men forced to wear ties?” one male MP asked.

The feminist discussion has become increasingly complex. How far should we be promoting women’s rights as distinct from men’s and what does equality look like?

The trickiest area is in the courts. Everyone has a right under British law to be treated equally, gender should not be an issue. This is why Liz Truss’s feminist intervention this weekend is more troubling than most. The justice secretary said that from this autumn rape “victims” would be spared cross-examination at the witness box and instead will be able to provide recorded video evidence.

Her sentiments are understandable. Women who have been raped must find it devastating facing their attacker in a courtroom and being quizzed about their ordeal. Ms Truss says she is “determined to make their path to justice swifter and less traumatic” so they can give “the best possible evidence” without having to undergo this ordeal.

Rape, domestic abuse and sexual offences now make up 19 per cent of the Crown Prosecution Service’s caseloads. The volume of rape referrals from the police rose to 6,855 in 2015-16, up 11 per cent on the previous year. Of those referred, 3,910 resulted in charges and 1,300 in convictions. However, only about 6 per cent of all reported cases result in a conviction for the perpetrator. It is important for women to have the confidence to pursue a rape case and to receive a fair trial.

But this change isn’t fair for men who may have been wrongly accused. Ms Truss calls all women who say they have been raped “victims”. But there are occasionally women who lie, for all sorts of complicated reasons. It is the wrongly charged man is these cases who is the victim.

Being falsely accused of rape can devastate a man’s life whether he is a student, a teacher, a politician or retired. The defendant will almost inevitably be vilified by some of his peers, his community and, if the case reaches the press, the country. Rape cases take on average 18 months to go through the courts; meanwhile the accused will find it difficult to get work or continue with normal family relationships.

When a jury at York crown court this month cleared Lewis Tappenden of raping a student in a drunken sexual encounter, he cried and explained his life had already been ruined. The woman told the court she was “OK with it” at first but changed her mind halfway through.

Elgan Varney, who was acquitted this week of raping a student while at Keele University, explained: “You are never allowed to move forward when the fact that you have been accused is one click away on Google.”

Women can already give evidence from behind a screen or by live link but juries need to be able to see the accuser’s face. Rape is such a serious offence they must feel confident they can weigh up whether a woman gave her consent to sex. The defendant should also be able to challenge any new evidence.

Ms Truss wants to allow judges to be able to edit evidence to exclude questions about previous sexual history but this would be treating the two parties unequally. It may also not help the accuser. Some jurors could feel reluctant to convict when they haven’t heard the complainant being examined in the court.

Not all men are beasts or women Belles; no one should be stereotyped. It doesn’t work in life and it’s even more unjust in the courts where everyone must have a right to a
fair trial.

SOURCE







Liberal boycott of North Carolina backfires

In April, the Center for American Progress estimated that the state of North Carolina would lose more than $567 million in private-sector economic activity through 2018 due to the passage of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, otherwise known as the “bathroom bill.”

But indicators show that North Carolina’s economy is doing just fine:

    Tourism has thrived: Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

    Meanwhile, North Carolina ranked fourth in the nation for attracting and expanding businesses with the arrival of 289 major projects, and seventh in projects per capita — the same as in 2015, according to Site Selection magazine, which released its 2016 rankings in the March edition.

    North Carolina finished first for drawing corporate facilities in the eight-state South Atlantic region, said Site Selection, which uses figures tracked by the Conway Projects Database.

    And in November, both Forbes and Site Selection magazine ranked North Carolina the No. 2 state for business climate.

    Also unscathed was the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which registered at 5.3 percent in January 2016 and 5.3 percent in January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ironically, those opposed to the bathroom bill are the ones hurting. The NBA moved its All-Star game from Charlotte to New Orleans in protest, and as a result suffered “the lowest ticket sales” in All-Star game history. Similarly, the ACC championship football game was moved to Orlando and attendance was the lowest in history.

Over and over again, liberal boycotts are failing. As this rate, business owners everywhere will start hoping that liberals complain about them.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************

Wednesday, March 22, 2017






Infanticide law in Australia: How is this not murder?

Comment from a reader involved in social work:

I have a particular dislike of the infanticide law. I personally know of several cases where mothers have deliberately killed their baby and never went to gaol for it. They simply got counselling.

Men are charged with murder and get 20 - 25 years for killing their babies, but women can drown them, stab them, dash their brains out on a door frame and get off free, and often without any publicity at all.

The only reason this one got publicity is because the woman was caught on tape, otherwise, like all such cases we would probably not know about it unless we worked in a counselling facility.

Feminists love the infanticide law, they want it extended to the killing of 5 years olds in states where it is only for killing up 1 and 2 year olds. Yet they protest when a father who killed his baby is released after 18 years gaol.

I have silenced a few groups of feminists -- when they are griping about the patriarchy and planning some silly protest -- by saying to them, You women want more rights but without accountability. When you are marching in the streets demanding the infanticide law be scrapped and women who kill their babies be charged with murder and sentenced just like men are, when you are demanding equal accountability with men, then I will be marching in the street with you. Until then, I find your talk about equal rights disgusting
 


IN THE days leading up to April 10 last year things had got out of hand for Sofina Nikat, a court has heard.

According to a summary of her police interview from that day, which was last week read out in court, the 23-year-old mother was struggling to cope with her 14-month-old baby girl Sanaya Sahib.

She told police the baby would “look at the roof and cry and growl”, and that she had been advised by a priest that she and her baby were possessed and had negative energy.

After initially claiming her daughter had been snatched from her pram by an African man who reeked of alcohol, Nikat later admitted to police she had put her hand across Sanaya’s mouth and nose, and hugged her tight until she couldn’t feel her daughter moving.

Nikat had killed her baby, she told police, then dropped her daughter’s body in Darebin Creek.

Yet when she answered a charge of murder in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, she pleaded not guilty. Psychiatrists agreed.

Her defence lawyer Christopher Dane QC presented the court with two psychiatric assessments by different psychiatrists who independently concluded what Nikat did was not murder, but another charge.

“The balance of mind of Sofina Nikat was disturbed,” consultant psychiatrist Yvonne Skinner wrote in her report. “She is guilty of infanticide, and not murder.”

Mr Dane told the court if Nikat had been charged with infanticide, she would have likely pleaded guilty.

In Victoria, the charge of infanticide carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, however it is believed no Victorian woman has been jailed for infanticide. A murder accused is up for 25 years behind bars.

The charge can only be applied to a woman — a mother — who “carried out conduct that causes the death of her child (under two) in circumstances that would constitute murder”, and, whose balance of mind is disturbed because she’s either not recovered from the effect of giving birth, or as a result of “a disorder consequent on her giving birth to that child”.

It’s a rare crime and one that carries different meanings and consequences in different jurisdictions. In New South Wales a mother can only be found guilty of infanticide if she has killed her child under 12 months, under similar circumstances as in the Victorian law, only the punishment will be the same as if it was manslaughter. The partial defence of infanticide is also available in Tasmania, but doesn’t feature in the remaining Australian states’ criminal codes.

When infanticide does come up in a high profile case, confusion and outrage often comes with it.

How is this not murder? Why is the sentence so light? Why should it be any different?

SOURCE






Congress passes legislation to undo Obama restrictions on drug tests for unemployed

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would repeal an Obama administration rule that limits the ability of states to prevent drug users from receiving unemployment benefits.

The rule, which was published in the Federal Register last August, was meant to implement a law that requires people receiving these benefits to be able and ready for work. The law gave states the option of denying drug users these benefits.

The Senate voted 51-48 to kill the rule.

The resolution disapproves of the rule and compels the Labor Department to write another one. It was passed under the Congressional Review Act, a law that gives Congress the ability to block recently enacted rules by passing disapproval resolutions with a simple majority vote that are then signed by the president.

Republicans opposed the rule from the Labor Department because it limited this option, by only allowing states to deny benefits to people in the transportation or pipeline management industries, those who use firearms in their job, or people in jobs that normally require drug testing.

"The final regulation defined the role of an occupation so narrowly that it basically makes it impossible for states to implement any meaningful drug-testing policy," Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said on the Senate floor Tuesday. He said with this legislation, the Labor Department will be able to rewrite the rule that better reflects Congress' intent.

Democrats worry that any changes to the rule would create too many obstacles for people to get unemployment benefits who are genuinely looking for work and who have already paid into the unemployment benefits program. They argued that lawmakers should focus on helping these people get treatment and not put down those individuals who have found themselves in a bind.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking member on the finance committee, said "this measure before us is simply bizarre." He argued that the new legislaiton "vilifies unemployed workers who are actually less likely to use drugs than the general population" and defies a bipartisan compromise in reached in 2012. He also warned of a "legal minefield" for those state who will still want to conduct the drug testing.

The Drug Policy Alliance, a group pushing for the decriminalization of drug use, said the Republican legislation is a waste of U.S. taxpayers' dollars.

SOURCE





UK: No freedom of cross examination in rape cases?

A new spasm of political correctness: Defence counsel might well have questions arising from recently revealed evidence but will now not be allowed to put those questions.  Drawing attention to new evidence can often lead to a withdrawal of allegations so this is a severe limit on justice.  And the price of a miscarriage of justice in rape cases will be high

Alleged rape victims will no longer face cross-examination live in court under reforms announced today by Elizabeth Truss, the justice secretary and lord chancellor.

From September victims will be able to give evidence in a pre-recorded video that will be played to the jury once the trial begins.

In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times, Truss revealed that she is bringing forward plans for recorded cross-examination for all adult sexual offences tried in crown courts after three cities used taped evidence in child sex cases.

She said the pilot schemes showed that defendants, when confronted with the strength of the evidence against them before the trial, were more likely to plead guilty early, reducing the trauma for rape victims.

SOURCE





Australia: Opposition to free speech won’t end happily

GRAHAM RICHARDSON

Democracy should always be defended. The essential ingredient of a true democracy is freedom of speech: that freedom is under attack from the left and even, at times, the right.

When those opposed to marriage equality tried to hold a meeting at the Mercure Hotel near Sydney airport, supporters of marriage equality so pestered and threatened the hotel that they cancelled the event. Just as I have been critical of the left for preventing Israeli speakers from going to any university in Australia to put their case, this and every attack on free speech must be resisted. If you won’t let the other side speak, you must have limited confidence in your own argument.

This week saw two attempts to further muzzle free speech on marriage equality. The fiasco at Coopers says so much about intolerance. The performance of LGBTI activists over Coopers Brewery and the Bible Society video was as cruel as it was anti-democratic. Directors Tim and Melanie Cooper looked uneasy as they tried to distance the company from the video and stave off the rapidly growing boycott of their beer.

The video itself is merely an attempt at sane, sensible and orderly debate. The reaction of totalitarians with such outrage is really sad to see. The viciousness suggests that they will never allow the slightest hint of a view different to their own to see the light of day.

This blind insistence against the exercise of the right to free speech has been on graphic display in recent times. I attended the Bill Leak memorial on Friday to honour a great and talented Australian genius. One of the kindest men I ever met had been the subject of a bitter, savage assault on social media. The attack from the Human Rights Commission had accused him of racism and one commissioner called on people to lay complaints against him.

Just to make sure that the right got in on the anti-free speech bandwagon, Peter Dutton bucketed the CEOs who had the temerity to lend their support to an open letter calling for an early start for gay marriage.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************



Tuesday, March 21, 2017






Homofascist censors don’t want us thinking for ourselves

JENNIFER ORIEL writes from Australia as follows:

In their campaign for gay marriage, some activists have developed a regrettably totalitarian strategy. It is to target dissenters, gay or straight, and silence them through persistent bullying. It is a strategy where the ends justify the means. The ends are not the formal equality of homosexuals and gay marriage. It is absolute conformity to radical queer ideology.

Like many columnists, artists and voracious consumers of the late Bill Leak’s art, I have wondered what he might have made of the past week’s events.

In a discussion of Leak’s cartoons on Monday’s Q&A on ABC, panellists praised polite speech in contrast to his politically incorrect art. The prim thought police did not deem impolite the audience member who smeared Leak as a “racist” only three days after his death. At times like these, you need Leak on the illustration and Baudelaire on the caption.

In the following days, a draft letter on same-sex marriage was leaked to the press. The corporate chiefs who signed it apparently wanted the Prime Minister to abandon his pre-election commitment to a people’s vote on same-sex marriage.

Some queer activists have celebrated the idea of politicians snatching the plebiscite vote away from the people. They seem to ­believe that denying people freedom of thought is the constitution of equality. As a justification, they imagine some hypo­thetical harm that might result from fellow citizens exercising ­independence in a free vote on the matter of marriage. We are used to hearing the PC nonsense that free and civil speech causes harm. Now sections of the activist class contend that democracy too is harmful. They are unlikely to find accord among dissidents in totalitarian states.

In the same week, Islamophobia propagandists tried to stop ­enlightenment advocate and freethinker Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at events across Australia. She too has been criticised as harmful by people whose sense of self, status and taxpayer-funded careers rely on cultivating and maintaining a victim identity.

Just as the PC naval-gazers looked like they had reached peak narcissism, along came an outrage to outrage them all; a video of civil conversation between beer-drinking blokes. If not for the gallows of political correctness, the story could rival Springtime for Hitler in hilarity.

Consider the context. The scene is set on a balmy, late summer day. Two high-profile politicians from the political right — men in the prime of their lives — want to talk marriage. They have arranged to meet on none other than Valentine’s Day at, wait for it, Queen’s Terrace. Their brief, polite conversation is filmed by a fellow who recently has come out of the closet in Newtown, a Sydney suburb brimming with students, activists, lesbians and gays. Unfortunately, he has come out as a Christian and conservative in Newtown, which is something akin to staging a drag cabaret in the Kremlin.

The chat between the conservative straight politician who supports traditional marriage and the libertarian gay politician who wants same-sex marriage legalised is amicable. It is so civilised and friendly that it enrages activists who view dissenters as an enemy class to be silenced, not ­befriended. They dislike civility and public reason because it ­exposes their intemperance.

Some outraged activists took to Twitter and any social media platform they could find to launch a queer fear blitz on beer.

The video to discuss the meaning of marriage featured Coopers beer that was produced as part of a joint Coopers and Bible Society campaign, “Keeping it Light”. The brewer has a long association with the society and the campaign ­includes a series of beer cartons with inspirational quotes from the Bible. Such quotes shouldn’t be controversial in any country, let alone a Christian-majority nation.

In the past, some wine companies have inscribed bottles with scripture. It appears that the Coopers case became controversial for two reasons. Firstly, the company has a relationship with a Christian organisation (very politically ­incorrect). Secondly, the video cele­brated public reason on the question of marriage, which is an issue the PC class wants to monopolise. It targets dissenters, regardless of whether they are gay, bisexual or straight. The aim is to shut down all debate to create ­absolute ideological conformity.

Several Coopers boycotters were associated with the Greens. Adam Bandt and Christine Milne backed the boycott, as did Jason Ball, who stood as Greens candidate in the last election. On Twitter, Ball wrote: “… conservative Christians buy up cases of alco­hol to smite gay people”. James Brechney, a Mardi Gras board member, led an online petition to boycott Coopers. It read: “Coopers recent alignment with the Bible Society, who are openly against Marriage Equality, is shameful!” Brechney described the conversation on marriage between parliamentary mates Andrew Hastie and Tim Wilson thus: “A video where two Liberal Party MPs discuss the issue of same-sex marriage. It’s horrendous!”

On the Coopers Club forum, some members decried the company’s commercial relationship with a Christian group. However, when a member asked what they thought of Coopers’ halal certification, most declined to criticise the company’s relationship with an Islamic group. It is a double standard. Boycott and divestment campaigns against Christians or Jews are commonly justified while boycotts of Islamic organisations are deemed racist.

Coopers made the critical error of capitulating to PC bigotry. ­According to sources, the legal counsel for Coopers asked the Bible Society to take down the video. It is no longer available ­online. In a filmed apology, Tim and Melanie Cooper looked like a pair of thought reform victims in a re-education camp.

If you want liberty, democracy and Christianity to survive, never submit to the PC mob. In its ­response, Coopers might have stated simply that while the company didn’t finance the video, its ­leadership believes in free speech, freedom of association and a ­vibrant Australian democracy where mates can discuss any issue over a beer.

There was little to learn from the activist campaign against free speech between mates, but irony emerged in its wake. The biblical quote on Coopers’ controversial beer read: “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (John 3:21).

SOURCE






No "safe spaces" for men?

Muirfield golf club voted by a large majority yesterday to drop its men-only policy and welcome female members for the first time. Members of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers voted by 80 per cent in favour of allowing women to join the club.

The result means that Muirfield will again become a venue for The Open, thought to be worth around £80 million

In a statement the R&A - golf's governing body - said: "In light of today’s decision by the Honourable Company we can confirm that Muirfield will become a venue for The Open once again. Muirfield has a long and important history of hosting the Open and with today's vote that will continue.

"It is extremely important for us in staging one of the world's great sporting events that women can become members at all our host clubs."

In a second ballot on the question, the motion was passed by 498 votes to 123. Following the vote the club said: "We look forward to welcoming women as members."

The rule change required a two third's majority and Tuesday's vote appears to have exceeded that with ease. More than 92 per cent of members voted.

A first postal ballot on admitting women members held last May came up two per cent short, causing the R&A, the ruling body which oversees the game’s oldest major, to tell the privately-owned links that it would no longer be considered as a host venue of the Open.

“The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and going forward we will not stage the Championship at a venue that does not admit women as members,” a statement at the time said.

At the time of the last May's vote the then Prime Minister David Cameron described the club’s policy as “outdated”, while Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, called the result of the ballot "indefensible".

She said: "Muirfield is a private club and they’re in charge of their own rules and regulations, and I accept that, but this is 2016.

“Scotland has women leaders in every walk of life, in politics, in law, in business and everywhere else.  I think this decision is wrong and I hope there’s a way of looking at it again and overturning it.

“As well as being wrong, it’s damaging to Muirfield as a club. I want to see The Open played at Muirfield – it’s a fantastic golf course – so this really is a regrettable decision.”

With politicians, golfers, media and, more pertinently, the public heaping their derision on Muirfield, the embarrassment was so great that another vote was quickly planned.

SOURCE





On 6th Anniversary of Syria Civil War, UN Body Releases Report – Accusing Israel of ‘Apartheid’

On the day that the Syrian civil war entered its seventh year, a United Nations body focusing on the Arab world launched a report in neighboring Lebanon charging that Israel is “guilty of the crime of apartheid” in its dealings with the Palestinians.

A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that the report released Wednesday did not reflect Guterres’ views, but U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the secretariat should go further and withdraw it altogether.

Haley criticized both the body that commissioned and released the report – the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) – and one of the document’s two co-authors, a Princeton international law scholar notorious for criticism of Israel and controversial statements on Islamist terrorism against the U.S.

Richard Falk worked as U.N. “special rapporteur” on the Palestinian territories from 2008-2014. His harsh condemnation of Israel, remarks on an “apparent cover up” over the 9/11 terror attacks, and suggestions that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was an understandable consequence of the “American global domination project,” prompted calls by the Obama administration for his removal.

But Falk served out his six-year term, before being commissioned by ESCWA to co-author a study into something that he had previously alleged in his reports for the U.N. – that Israel’s policies in the disputed territories bear characteristics of apartheid.

Apartheid was the system of statutory, harshly-enforced racial segregation introduced by the white minority Nationalist government in South Africa in 1948, until formally ended in 1994.

Falk and co-author Virginia Tilley argued in the report that the legal prohibition of apartheid had not been rendered moot by the collapse of the system in South Africa, and determined that “Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid.”

The report went a lot further than make that determination: It recommended action from U.N. member-states’ governments including implementing “boycott, divestment and sanctions” against Israel; taking legal action “including allowing criminal prosecutions of Israeli officials demonstrably connected with the practices of apartheid against the Palestinian people”; and exploring “ways of cooperating in the discharge of their duty to oppose and overcome the regime of apartheid.”

It also recommended the revival of a U.N. “special committee against apartheid” (which existed from 1962-1994) and said Guterres should recommend to the Security Council and General Assembly that a “global conference” be held to discuss further action against Israel.

‘Propaganda’

Headquartered in Beirut, ESCWA comprises 18 Arab countries. (Its membership overlaps that of the 22-member Arab League, but excludes Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti and Somalia.)

In a hard-hitting statement responding to the report, Haley noted that most of those countries do not recognize Israel.

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” she said.

“That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising,” Haley continued.

“The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether. The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the U.N. system and around the world. ”

The report’s release comes at a sensitive time for the world body, as the Trump administration reportedly mulls deep cuts to U.S. contributions to the U.N.

Guterres’ spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, was quick to distance his boss from the report when asked about it at a regular briefing in New York on Wednesday.

“We just saw the report today which, as you say, was published by ESCWA,” he said. “It was done so without any prior consultations with the secretariat, and the report, as it stands, does not reflect the views of the secretary general.”

Dujarric also pointed out that the report itself carries a disclaimer: “The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its officials or member-states.”

(Nonetheless, ESCWA at a meeting in Qatar last December passed a resolution stressing the need to disseminate the report widely.

And at Wednesday’s launch in Beirut, ESCWA executive secretary Rima Khalaf of Jordan embraced a report which she said was the first of its kind published by a U.N. body that concludes Israel has established an apartheid regime.)

A reporter pointed out to Dujarric that Falk was for many years attached to the U.N. (special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council) but the spokesman noted that he was no longer in that role.

He added that U.N. special rapporteurs “are independent.”

In 2011, Falk in a blog posting wrote about an “apparent cover up” over the 9/11 terror attacks, and said mainstream media were “unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events.”

Then-U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice in response called on the U.N. to remove Falk from his special rapporteur post.

In 2012, Rice again called for his removal, after Falk recommended in a report that U.S. and other businesses operating in the disputed territories should be boycotted, and face “legal and political” measures.

Then-U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was critical, but said he could not dismiss Falk, since special rapporteurs are appointed by HRC member-states, not the secretariat.

In 2013, Falk linked the Boston Marathon bombing to U.S. policies, citing its support for Israel in particular.

“The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world,” he wrote.

Rice again called for Falk to go. Instead, he doubled down on the Boston comments, telling the Daily Princetonian, “The U.S. is really the only country that projects its military power to all parts of the world,” and adding that “engaging in military undertakings around the world is bound to produce some kinds of resistance, and that resistance as in the Boston incident can assume a pathological form.”

Earlier controversies included a 2007 article entitled “Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust,” in which Falk compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to Nazi atrocities against European Jews.

“Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity?” he asked. “I think not.”

Less than a year later the U.N. Human Rights Council named Falk as its special rapporteur. He reportedly was picked from more than 180 potential candidates.

SOURCE






Study Debunks Oft-Cited Research Alleging Voter ID Laws Are Racist

New research suggests a widely cited study that claimed proof of the racist effects of voter ID laws was false.

“The results on voter ID laws are in — and it’s bad news for ethnic and racial minorities,” ran a September 2016 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, authored by University of California San Diego Professor Zoltan L. Hajnal.

“My colleagues Nazita Lajevardi and Lindsay Nielson and I analyzed validated voting data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study in order to follow voter turnout from 2006 through 2014 among members of different groups … in states with and without strict ID laws,” Hajnal wrote. “The patterns are stark. Where strict identification laws are instituted, racial and ethnic minority turnout significantly declines,” he wrote.

“Strict voter ID laws may reduce turnout, particularly among minorities, but the evidence presented [by the original authors] does not constitute reliable information documenting such a relationship.”

In February of this year, following President Donald Trump’s win and the installation of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Hajnal recycled his op-ed in The Washington Post — this time with the other two co-authors of the study on the byline.

"Hispanics are affected the most: Turnout is 7.1 percentage points lower in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primaries in strict ID states than it is in other states. Strict ID laws mean lower African-American, Asian American and multiracial American turnout as well. White turnout is largely unaffected," Hajnal, Lajevardi, and Nielson wrote (note: in Zoltan's original LA Times op-ed, he claimed that voter ID laws actually increase white turnout).

The bottom line, according to the authors, is that voter ID "laws have a disproportionate effect on minorities, which is exactly what you would expect given that members of racial and ethnic minorities are less apt to have valid photo ID."

Unsurprisingly, the professors' op-ed and their study was enthusiastically repeated across much of the mainstream media. "New study confirms that voter ID laws are very racist," ran a Think Progress headline. "Study: Those Allegedly Racist Voter ID Laws Are Actually Pretty Racist," proclaimed GQ.

It paints a dark picture indeed — a shocking reminder of America's unspoken racial divides. Or it would if it were true. New research by scholars at Stanford, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania suggests the claims are not true at all.

"To study how voter identification laws affect participation in elections, Hajnal, Lajevardi and Nielson (2017) examines validated turnout data in five national surveys conducted between 2006 and 2014," noted the authors of the new study, published on Friday.

"The study concludes that strict ID laws cause a large turnout decline among minorities, especially Latinos. Here, we show that the results of this paper are a product of large data inaccuracies, that the evidence does not support the stated conclusion, and that model specifications produce highly variable results," the authors wrote.

"When errors in the analysis are corrected, one can recover positive, negative, or null estimates of the effect of voter ID laws on turnout. Our findings underscore that no definitive relationship between strict voter ID laws and turnout can be established from the validated CCES data," they said.

"Strict voter ID laws may reduce turnout, particularly among minorities, but the evidence presented [by the original authors] does not constitute reliable information documenting such a relationship," the authors of the new study concluded.

The results of the new study aren't surprising to advocates of voter ID laws and election integrity protections.

"If ever you wanted a good example for the term 'alternate facts,' look no further," said Public Interest Legal Foundation spokesman Logan Churchwell.

"For years, activists and academics have been searching for the silver bullet to prove voter ID is harmful to minorities, despite broad support for the laws across every demographic. Many federal courts have been asked to do the same: find a causal link between voter ID and intentional decreases in minority turnout. All eventually failed," he said.

"Despite this, too many in the media are willing to report an initial study as gospel before peer reviewers can weigh in," Logan continued.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Monday, March 20, 2017






More on privilege

I have written previously on white privilege and privilege generally.  I pointed out recently that the "white privilege" concept is racist -- very similar to Hitler's  thinking about Jews.  In both cases we see hostility to people purely on the basis of their race and their success.

I also pointed out here that privilege is not random and is generally earned.  As an example I offered an example of "Jewish privilege" being thoroughly earned.  Apropos of that one might note the flyer below that was being circulated recently at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Privilege discourse has a continuing malevolent life.



But I think I need to say a little more about what might be called "unearned" privilege.

Some privilege is plainly inherited.  If you have inherited wealth that is undoubtedly a great privilege.  But is it really unearned privilege?  Someone earned that wealth.  And their choice to pass that wealth on to a descendant rather than give it to the stray dog's home was a choice they were entirely entitled to make. 

One may deplore that privilege can be gained by inheritance rather than by personal exertion but that is a somewhat separate issue.  In many places, swingeing inheritance taxes have been enacted to knock such privilege on the head but various destructive results of doing that have mostly led to the taxes concerned being withdrawn or greatly reduced. But whatever you think of it, earned privilege can be gained by inheritance

And there is such a thing as group privilege.  If you belong to a certain group, some favourable or unfavourable expectations may be held towards you.  There is, for instance, no doubt that a white car-driver pulled up by the police in America will be much more likely to survive the experience than a black driver would be.

But that too is earned. Why do blacks cop so much bad treatment?  It is perfectly clear why.  Blacks are hostile to the police so the cops are hostile to blacks.  It's tit for tat.  No doubt some people will argue that the cops started it and blacks are simply retaliating but I don't think that is so.  It is very commonly reported that blacks resist arrest, sometimes very vigorously.  Many blacks do not "go quietly".  And that is a big problem to the police.  It makes them nervous of blacks and resentful towards them. 

Given their experience, cops are always going to be quite reasonably on hairtrigger alert when approaching a black -- and that trigger will sometimes be inappropriately pulled through no fault of either party.  Making cops fearful and nervous of you is seldom going to end well even when neither party has ill intent.

So the behaviour of many blacks is going to rebound on all blacks to their disadvantage.  They gain a negative privilege.  But it is again earned.  Others like you have earned it for you.  It is easy to deplore that but deploring it is about all that you can realistically do.  And deploring it will get you nowhere.  To change anything, you have to go to the root cause of the privilege/anti-privilege.  And that may be unalterable.  Blacks are never going to become pacifists overnight.

Any idea that privilege is earned or deserved is however anathema to the Left.  There are none so blind as those who will not see.

So railing against privilege is just another version of the old Leftist claim that all men are equal.  If you believe that all men are equal, the obvious inequalities of real life are going to seem unfair or obnoxious in some way.  Since there is obviously no basis to believe that all men are or have ever been equal, however, the perception of unfairness is based on a delusion.  So a condemnation of white privilege or any other privilege will simply be a condemnation of deep-rooted inequalities in society.  And attempts to erase inequalities have a history of ghastly outcomes.  Check with "uncle Joe" Stalin or the "Great Helmsman" Mao Tse Tung -- JR





How odd that they placed her with a WHITE family!



A little girl whose biological parents were jailed for horrifically abusing her as a baby has now been adopted by a new family.

Faith Mason was dubbed Baby Faith back in 2013 when she was found in Southeast Texas with injuries so severe authorities had compared it to falling from a two-storey building.

Now three years on, Faith is still recovering but has a permanent home after being official adopted by her new family on March 10. 

The little girl has been living with her adoptive parents and three teenage siblings for the past six months, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Faith is still recovering from her horrific abuse injuries, but authorities say she has already improved much more than anticipated.

During a court hearing last year, prosecutors said Faith was still being fed through a feeding tube and her left arm had still not healed properly in the three years since the abuse was uncovered.

Faith was taken to a hospital in Southwest Texas back in 2013 by her mother Christine Johnson.

An emergency room nurse who was on duty when Faith was brought in called the abuse the worst case she had ever seen, the Port Arthur News reported. 

Doctors found she had suffered at least 40 broken bones and fractures, including two broken arms, two broken legs, a broken neck and dislocated shoulder.

They said many of the one-month-old's fractures were about three weeks old at the time she was examined. 

The little girl had an IV drip placed in her neck as doctors tried to stabilize her. Her injuries were so extensive, a team of doctors from a children's hospital in Houston had to fly down to help treat her.  

Her biological parents, Christine Johnson and Darrell Mason, were both charged with child abuse.  Johnson was found guilty in 2015 and sentenced to 65 years in prison. Faith's father Darrell Mason reached a plea deal and was sentenced to 25 years in 2016 for failing to stop the abuse.

The thing below is the "loving" father of the little girl.  With ancestry like that, she is bound to disappoint her adoptive family in her teenage years



SOURCE






Americans for Truth About Homosexuality: LGBT Push for ‘Equality’ is ‘Satanic’

Peter LaBarbera, founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, gave a talk on Saturday about the destructive agenda of the LGBT movement and how it manipulates language in particular to disguise its evil intentions and spin them in a positive light -- darkness to light -- which, he added, is truly "satanic."

LaBarbera presented his talk at the Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Expo and Conference in Wausau, Wisc., on March 10. In a discussion about how "Words Lose their Meaning" when adopted and manipulated by the LGBT movement, LaBarbera gave the example, "Come Out of the Closet."

"This is one people don’t think about," he said.  "But think about it – come out of the closet. Come out of the dark closet of lies and self-hatred into the light of truth, right? You come out."

"But what is it really?  said LaBarbera. "You come in, into darkness. You’re embracing spiritual darkness as a personal identity, as who you are. Then you’re selling it to everyone you know. You’re doing Satan’s work in the name of light.”

“We don’t think about these things anymore because we’ve been – because they’ve been pounded into us through this powerful sin movement," said Labarbera.

Another example is "marriage equality."

“Marriage equality – it’s not equal," he said. "It’s not marriage. It’s not marriage, it’s not equal.   It’s really 'radical egalitarianism' pretending that things are equal that are not equal, which is cultural Marxism of a sort, right?"

“Radical egalitarianism," said LaBarbera.  "Now, egalitarianism is at the root of a lot of evil. If you look back, communism, Pol Pot, got to make everybody equal. Pol Pot, do people know that story of Cambodia? He was against the intellectuals. He was a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary."

"He had the people who wore glasses [intellectuals], he marched them out the fields and they slaughtered them," sid LaBarbera.  "That was done in the name of equality. Can’t have some people who are intellectuals, the bourgeoise – everybody’s got to be equal. So that word “equal” has probably been responsible for more murders in the world than anything else. Yet we’re rallying around ‘marriage equality’?

"And you notice now the left, and some of the elites in our culture, they don’t even say marriage equality anymore," he said. "It’s a code word now, they just say ‘equality.’ ‘I’m for equality.’ That’s supposed to symbolize this issue."

“For some reason, homosexuality has become the issue for the left,” said LaBarbera. “The issue. It’s satanic.”

Homosexuality is satanic because it is a complete rejection of nature -- the natural design, order of one's body, male or female -- and an attack on the natural world (biology) that was created by God to function in a specific way. The principal entity that rejected God and His creation from the start was Satan, Lucifer. As he said, "I will not serve." 

Satan also was a big promoter of a false "equality."  He promised Adam and Eve that if they rejected God the Father, they too would become as gods.

SOURCE





It’s Not Fake News: Predators Are Taking Advantage of Target’s Fitting Room Policy

In April 2016, retail giant Target waded into the raging national debate about whether bathrooms should be maintained as exclusively single-sex.

In a post on its blog titled “Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity,” the company announced, “we felt it was important to state our position” that in Target stores “team members and guests” are permitted “to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

No doubt the corporate executives behind the move were prepared for some blowback. But not quite at the decibel level that ensued. Target was in the headlines for weeks, its stock plunged by almost 10 percent the following month, and a boycott petition aimed at the retailer garnered over 1 million signatures.

Target insisted it was just stating a long-standing policy, and blamed everything but the boycott and the bad public relations. In one interview about declining sales, Target’s CEO actually blamed the weather.

‘An Inclusive Place to Shop’

Rather than address many customers’ apprehensions about its policy—specifically, how a company that boasts 1,800 stores would ensure that predators would not take advantage of a policy that permitted anyone to use the restroom of their choice—Target doubled down.

Its spokeswoman brushed off such concerns and reiterated that Target strives to be an “inclusive place to shop,” and that some Targets offer “single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option.”

When a Wall Street Journal story announcing Target’s move popped into my Facebook newsfeed, I had just returned from shopping there with my 4-year-old daughter. We were in the middle of the shoe aisle looking for sandals for her when she clutched my hand in panic with a familiar cry: “Mommy, potty! I have to go potty!”

We sprinted to the bathroom, making it without a moment to spare, not even a second to shut the stall door. My daughter relieved herself in plain view of about seven other women, all of whom smiled understandingly. After she went, I had to go, also with the door open, because my very mobile 18-month-old son was still in our cart, which would not fit in the stall. And there was no “single-stall, family [restroom] for those who may be more comfortable with that option.” I was grateful for our privacy.

To be specific, I was grateful for a place where my daughter and I could use the bathroom in a rather public way but still with the privacy afforded by being exclusively among members of our own sex.

sex-scandal-cover

The members of Target’s higher echelons do not seem to understand this everyday reality.

Moms like myself were mocked to kingdom come for registering even the slightest concern about what such a sweeping policy means for our privacy and safety. A wave of articles rushed to point out how silly it is to worry about an assault in the bathroom, forgetting the glaringly obvious reality that since the dawn of civilization, relieving oneself has overwhelmingly been practiced only among members of one’s own sex.

Until recently, bathrooms were one of the remaining places in society where men were not permitted to be with women and vice versa. Because of that clear barrier, even the sight of a man pushing open the door to a women’s restroom would raise eyebrows—and deter any would-be assailant with half a brain.

But all that is changing, as rules designed to protect privacy between the sexes are upended. Shortly after Target made its big announcement, a man recorded himself walking into his local Target and asserting his new right to use the women’s restroom. He did not state that he identifies as a woman; he simply said he wanted to make sure he had the right to use the women’s restroom. In the video, a manager assures him that he does, and when asked what the store will do if any women are upset, the manager says he will “take care of it.”

Apparently it was not long before Target’s lawyers got wind of the viral video; it was taken down almost immediately.

But the video was not an isolated incident. The following month, The New York Times ran the headline “Men Are Posting Videos of Themselves Testing Target’s New Bathroom Policy.” The piece reported, “Multiple videos have popped up on YouTube showing men confronting store managers about the policy and asking what would stop them from entering the women’s bathroom inside the store. In the videos, the managers can be seen (or heard, since some of the video is poorly shot) patiently saying that nothing would stop the men from using the women’s room.” Nothing.

This Report Is Real

Two weeks after Target announced that its women’s bathrooms were open to anyone whose “gender identity” led him there, police in a town in Texas issued a warrant for what was unmistakably a man who was spotted by a girl in a Super Target fitting room recording her as she undressed. The warrant charged him with “invasive visual recording.” A month later, the same thing happened at a Target in New Hampshire: A man was charged with filming women in the fitting room.

The following month, it happened again. In July, an Idaho paper reported that a “man dressed as a woman” was caught filming a young woman removing her clothes in the dressing room of a local Target. The predator was booked as a male under the name Shaun Smith, and according to a New York Times article on the incident, “Both the victim and her mother described the voyeur as a white male wearing a dress and blond wig.”

Nevertheless, the Idaho Post Register referred to Smith as “she,” reporting that “Smith admitted to committing similar crimes in the past, saying she makes the videos for the ‘same reason men go online to look at pornography,’ court documents show. Smith [said] she finds the videos sexually gratifying.”

It was the third such episode since Target had announced its policy, once for every subsequent month.

The Idaho incident prompted an entry on the rumor-investigating website Snopes, because the story was easily confused with a fake story that had been published on a comedy site just two months before, mocking concern over the possibility that unisex bathrooms might result in … exactly what happened in Idaho.

In the fake news story, a man who self-identified as a woman was captured photographing minor females in the bathroom. The only difference between the fake story and the real one was the location: In the real story, the snooping took place in the fitting room.

As Snopes was forced to admit in a post about the fake story, “This fake news article was later confused with a somewhat similar real-life incident that subsequently transpired at a Target store.” On the post about the real story, Snopes had to clarify, “Unlike a fake news report from April 2016 involving a woman supposedly arrested for taking pictures of underage girls in a Target bathroom, this report is real.”

But Target should not have needed these incidents to know that voyeurism is a real problem, because it was an issue even before the retailer broadcasted a policy that makes it easier for male predators to access women’s restrooms and fitting rooms.

Just one month before Target announced its policy, a 14-year-old girl noticed a man photographing her under the door as she changed clothes in a Target fitting room in Florida. She said that when she saw the camera, “I didn’t know what to do about it. So my body just locked up and I started shaking. … I don’t feel safe in a dressing room anymore.” Target knew that even its family restrooms were vulnerable; in 2015, a California man was caught hiding a camera in one.

Just a couple of weeks after Target’s announcement, a woman who was being verbally harassed in the swimsuit section of a Target in Florida videotaped herself chasing her harasser out of the store and into the parking lot. The man, it turned out, had a history of bothering women in public places and a previous conviction for photographing women in dressing rooms.

Under Target’s policy, men exactly like him can now walk right into the women’s restroom or fitting room, and any startled woman is the problem to be handled—not the offending man.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Sunday, March 19, 2017



Politically correct court ruling against Trump travel restrictions reveals judicial tyranny

Under the ridiculous ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson of the District of Hawaii, temporary travel restrictions on immigration — grants of power to the president enacted by Congress decades ago — from any Muslim-majority countries somehow violate the First Amendment.

But only if the restrictions are issued by President Donald Trump.

Citing “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation of the Executive Order,” including Trump campaign statements purported to be discriminatory of Islam, the court found special First Amendment rights to immigrate to the U.S. to Muslims throughout the world who neither live here nor have any protections under the Constitution.

But not for Jews, Christians, Hindus or anyone else, apparently, because Trump had not promised announce to block immigration from Israel, Europe or India on the campaign trail. Presumably, Trump could restrict immigration from any country that is not predominantly Muslim, since there were no statements from the Trump campaign in 2016 about doing so.

And, under the ruling, any other president besides Trump might be able to exercise these same powers against predominantly Muslim countries, delegated to the president under the 1952 immigration statute.

There’s only one problem. That is not what the law says, which is a broad grant of power to the president. Not certain presidents based upon a judicially ascertained motive determined by what might have been said on the campaign trail.

Under 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), enacted in 1952, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

In other words, the law is blind to motive. It does not matter why Trump wants the travel restrictions, just that he finds certain immigrant entries would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” It is a subjective determination, a political question with which the executive has discretion.

Discretion is the key component there. Congress has authorized the president to close down the entire border if he feels it is necessary. It does not matter why. The court has overstepped its bounds.

Americans for Limited Government President in a statement noted the absurdity of the ruling, saying, “If it would be constitutional if issued by former President Obama, then it must then be constitutional under President Trump. The rule of law means equal application of the law and by the judge’s own words, that is not what we have here.”

The judge even acknowledged that “the Executive Order does not facially discriminate for or against any particular religion, or for or against religion versus non-religion.” But never mind what the order actually said. Or that other presidents could issue the order under Judge Watson’s precedent.

And never mind the fact that the government had narrowly tailored the order to apply to just six countries, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, thought to be of higher risk of exporting terrorism — leaving the vast majority of Muslim-majority countries unaffected by the order.

Not finding any evidence of any actual religious discrimination in Trump’s order, the court decided to invent some out of whole cloth, ruling against the order the court wished Trump had issued so that it could overturn it, relying on statements from the president on the 2016 campaign trail to somehow deduce a discriminatory motive by President Trump.

Which, by the way, even if Trump had issued an order barring new non-citizen Muslim entry into the U.S., as he had proposed on the campaign trail, it still would not have violated the Constitution or the statute, because those constitutional protections do not extend overseas.

As Manning concluded in his statement, “It is now clear that federal courts do not intend to hold the acts of President Trump to the same standards as other presidents past or future, instead imposing a separate body of law simply for his administration. In essence, by denying the powers of the president to Trump, the courts are attempting to render their verdict on the outcome of the 2016 election, an intolerable abuse by the judicial branch that Congress must now rein in.”

That is, the exercise of executive power in the conduct of foreign relations — in this case in the area of immigration — under the Constitution and as authorized by Congress, has absolutely zero recourse in courts of law. And it is time Congress said so, by limiting the jurisdiction of federal courts not to examine travel restrictions or any other executive functions where the rights of foreigners who have never set foot on U.S. soil are being invoked.

SOURCE







Politically correct media lies and misrepresentations

John Stossel

Has the media gotten worse? Or am I just grouchier? Every day I see things that are wrong or that so miss the point I want to scream. Four examples:

Storm Coverage

As this week’s storm approached the East Coast, the media reverted to breathless hype: “monster storm … very dangerous.” Here I blame my beloved free market: Predicting scary weather works. Viewers tune in.

What galls me more is the reporters' government-centric thinking. “Everything is closed,” they say. “Employees can’t get to work.”

But the corner grocery stayed open. So did many gas stations and restaurants.

Why is it that when government buildings close, so many private businesses stay open? Because their own money is at stake.

The store’s employees probably make less money than government workers. They are less likely to own all-wheel-drive cars. But they get to work. Some sleep there. Their own money is on the line.

Reporters don’t think about the distinction.

The Deep State

Monday, The New York Times ran the headline “What Happens When You Fight a ‘Deep State’ that Doesn’t Exist?”

The article explained that unlike Egypt or Pakistan, America doesn’t really have a powerful deep state, and to claim that it does “presents apolitical civil servants as partisan agents.”

Give me a break. “Apolitical civil servants”?

A deep state absolutely exists. Some call it “administrative state” or “regulatory state.” These are the people who crush innovation and freedom by issuing hundreds of new rules. Regulators, if they don’t pass new rules, think they’re not doing their job.

Even “anti-regulator” President George W. Bush hired 90,000 new regulators. Calling them “nonpartisan” doesn’t make them harmless — it just means we put up with them through multiple administrations.

Even if you exclude the military and post office, more than 20 million Americans work for the government. Because of civil service rules, it’s almost impossible to fire them.

The Times calls these 20 million people “apolitical”. Please. Most are just as partisan as you or I. Maybe more so, as leaks and signs of bureaucratic resistance to presidential edicts demonstrate.

People who choose to work for, say, the EPA, tend to be environment zealots. This should surprise no one. Somehow, New York Times reporters don’t see it.

“Chief of EPA Bucks Studies”

Speaking of the EPA and the Times, its front page claimed President Donald Trump appointee Scott Pruitt is “at odds with the established scientific consensus.” That makes Pruitt sound like an anti-science idiot. But the headline is bunk.

Pruitt only said that he does not agree that man is “the primary contributor to global warming.”

That’s “at odds” with Times reporters and government flunkies on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but many scientists say there is so much uncertainty to climate measurements that no one can know if man’s greenhouse gases are the “primary” cause of warming.

The earth warmed similarly last century, well before we emitted so much carbon dioxide.

John Oliver

British comedian John Oliver hosts one of the better political talk shows. He’s like Bill Maher but funnier and not as mean. Yesterday, on an airplane, I watched an episode that led with a report on the chaos in Venezuela.

I perked up, expecting Oliver to at least mention Venezuela’s caps on corporate profits, abolition of property rights, media censorship, regulation of car production “from the factory door to the place of sale,” etc. In other words: socialism.

But no, Oliver didn’t mention any of that.

He mocked President Maduro’s speeches but said Venezuela was in trouble because its economy depends on oil and oil prices dropped. What?

Kuwait, Nigeria, Angola and other countries exported more oil than Venezuela. But they survived the price drop without experiencing the misery that Venezuela suffers. The suffering was created by socialism.

America’s leftists cannot see the horrors of socialism even when they are right in front of them.

SOURCE





European Populism Not ‘Going Away’ Despite Dutch Election Result

Wilders actually increased the number of seats he won. Another such increase next time and he might be in the box seat

A far-right nationalist party in the Netherlands led by charismatic and controversial leader Geert Wilders failed to score a decisive victory in what was billed as the first electoral test for European populism since last year’s “Brexit” referendum and Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States.

Indeed, Wilders did not meet expectations in the Dutch election Wednesday, according to unofficial results, failing to earn the support of a majority of voters to back his platform of barring Muslim immigration and leaving the European Union.

Though the Dutch result dulls populist momentum—with elections involving rising nationalist parties still to come this year in France and Germany—political observers and experts say Wilders’ defeat does not signal that European populism is waning.

“People will see this result demonstrating that the populist balloon has busted a little bit,” Mathew Burrows, who studies Europe at the Atlantic Council, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “I don’t see populism going away.”

Center Keeps Power

To be sure, the Dutch vote was a relief to centrist and anti-populist politicians across the region.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy retained power despite possessing fewer seats than in the last Parliament. The left-leaning Green Party, led by 30-year-old Jesse Klaver and his anti-populist platform, at least tripled its seats.

In the Netherlands’ fractured political system—28 parties ran and 13 are likely to have positions in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament—Rutte will have to form a coalition with others.

But that coalition isn’t likely to include Wilders’ Party for Freedom despite the fact he is expected to finish second, with 20 seats, an increase of eight.

That’s because other parties consider Wilders’ views to be so toxic that they have refused to govern with him in a coalition.

“The center is holding—that’s the essential message of the Dutch election,” Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

“The politics in Europe over the last year and a half seemed to be running away from the center, and away from the establishment and elite,” added Daalder, who previously was the U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and served on the National Security Council as director for European Affairs.

“But the Dutch voted for pro-system parties that are pro-EU [European Union] and support sensible immigration policies and free trade,” Daalder said. “So an essential part of the message of the post-World War II period is retained, and that’s an important message.”

‘Move to the Right’

Yet observers based in the Netherlands say Wilders’ proposed policies have had impact, forcing politicians such as Rutte to shift their positions to the right—especially on immigration—to appease a portion of the electorate that is apprehensive about rising migration from non-Western countries.

Wilders has called for banning the Quran and for closing mosques and Islamic cultural centers and schools.

“His radical positions have forced parties ideologically close to his to try to accommodate those stances,” Bert Bakker, a communications professor at the University of Amsterdam, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “Other parties moved a bit to the right on immigration.”

The Netherlands’ immigration policy is among the toughest in the EU, Bakker says, and Rutte’s rhetoric and recent actions—which have included a spat with Muslim-majority Turkey—have become more hardline.

Bakker notes that Wilders—a veteran of parliament who first got elected in 1998—is not the first Dutch politician to target immigration and Islam.

List Pim Fortuyn, a party led by Pim Fortuyn, a gay conservative critical of immigration and Islam, won 26 seats in 2002, more than Wilders’ peak of 24 seats in 2010. Fortuyn was assassinated on the campaign trail, just days before the 2002 election.  “We have seen a revolt against multiculturalism earlier,” Bakker said. “That’s part of our brand as a country.”

Addressing Anxieties

Like other European countries, the Netherlands has been affected by the surge of asylum seekers and refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

According to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, a government research agency, non-Western immigrants rose from 7.6 percent to 12 percent of the Dutch population between 1996 and 2015.

The total population of the Netherlands grew by more than 110,000 in 2016, driven by a net migration of 88,000—mostly from Syria—according to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics.

Conservative politicians in some European countries—and Trump, among others in the U.S.—have criticized the EU for its initial response to the refugee crisis, especially Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Merkel, who is scheduled to meet with Trump in Washington on Friday, allowed tens of thousands of asylum-seekers from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East to enter Germany. Merkel’s governing coalition praised the Dutch election result.

“One of the biggest takeaways from this election is that mass immigration, border control, and the Islamist threat will remain as major issues in elections across Europe, especially in France,” said Nile Gardiner, an expert on transatlantic relations at The Heritage Foundation.

James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Turkey who also has held diplomatic posts in Europe, predicts that populists in Europe, including France’s Marine Le Pen, will face challenges in actually taking power despite their growing sway.

“The far right will not be successful in seizing power,” Jeffrey told The Daily Signal. “They will continue to scramble politics, but many of these European countries are far more left wing and international and multicultural than the progressives we see in the U.S. These people are gonna fight like hell to preserve that. For them, these are values, this is peace, and they see themselves as the alternative to the 19th and 20th century in Europe.”

While cheering the center’s hold on power in the Netherlands, Daalder, the former ambassador to NATO, says politicians should pay attention to the underlying grievances that are inspiring populism and resistance to an integrated Europe.

“The sentiment of these people doesn’t disappear in any one election,” Daalder said. “The task of all governments whether populist or not is to address that anxiety. There is no doubt the next Dutch government will continue to demand a clawback of power from Europe. The reality of politics hasn’t changed.”

SOURCE




Why I, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, think anti-Semites should be allowed on YouTube

STEPHEN POLLARD

Should you choose to believe what has been written about me on social media, you will think I am a paedophile who threatens to rape women who disagree with me. I suppose I should point out that these are lies.

Unfortunately for me, so too is the assertion that I control the media, which is also said about me. That’s not just Jews generally controlling the media – but me, personally.

According to some posts on Twitter and Facebook, I determine not only what other Jews write, taking orders from my Israeli masters – I also order around the many non-Jews in my (heavily moneyed) pocket.

So the accusations contained in a now infamous video by the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, titled “Jews admit organising white genocide”, are pretty standard fare to anyone who has ever seen what Jew hate looks like.

The video was posted on YouTube in 2015 but has only attracted attention this week when it was used as a stick by the Home Affairs Select Committee with which to beat Google, which owns YouTube.

Giving evidence to the committee on Tuesday, Peter Barron, Google’s vice-president for communications, said that the video was certainly antisemitic but that YouTube nonetheless had no intention of removing it.

Cue gasps of astonishment and ridicule.

Yvette Cooper, who chairs the committee, told Mr Barron: “Your answers feel like a bit of a joke.” And every right-thinking person has seemed to join in the pillorying of Mr Barron and Google.

It’s clear that the video is indeed antisemitic. In it, Mr Duke says: “The Zionists have already ethnically cleansed the Palestinians, why not do the same thing to Europeans and Americans as well? No group on earth fights harder for its interests than do the Jews. By dividing a society they can weaken it and control it.” So there’s no debate that this is Jew hate in all its traditional poison.

And I’m sure Ms Cooper is right when she says: “Most people would be appalled by that video and think it goes against all standards of public decency in this country.”

But the near universal assumption among politicians and policymakers that because the video promotes repellent views it should therefore be banned takes us into very dangerous territory. Had the video told viewers that their duty was to seek out Jews and attack them – as many posts on social media do – then clearly it should be banned. Incitement to violence is an obvious breach of any coherent set of standards.

But banning views simply because many, or even most, people them find abhorrent is a form of mob rule dressed up in civilised clothes.

My penchant for chicken soup doubtless sickens vegetarians. Some vegetarians have compared the slaughter of animals for human food with the murder of human beings for pleasure. I find such a comparison grotesque, as I imagine do most meat eaters. Should we ban vegetarians from making the comparison because it so offensive to so many people?

You say no, because the Duke video is different altogether. So who decides just what we are sufficiently appalled by to ban: Yvette Cooper? A judge? An algorithm? A popular vote? Since we are talking about Jews, the most obvious example of this is Holocaust denial.

In some countries, such as Germany and Austria, it is illegal to deny the Holocaust. Given their particular histories, one can understand why.

But understanding why a view might be banned is not the same as accepting it should be. Silencing the Holocaust-denier David Irving and his ilk through the law achieves nothing except a larger prison population. Silencing them through the destruction of their reputation and the exposure of their lies actually defeats them.

It was not Irving’s incarceration in an Austrian cell that destroyed his reputation. It was his lost libel action against the legitimate historian, Deborah Lipstadt.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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