Tuesday, November 24, 2020

24 November, 2020
<b>New Jersey police chief won't enforce governor's 'draconian' coronavirus order limiting holiday gatherings to 10 people because it's 'detrimental to our relationship with our community'</b>

A New Jersey police chief has said he will not enforce some of Gov Phil Murphy's 'draconian' COVID-19 orders ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Last week, Murphy imposed a 10-person limit on indoor gatherings just before the holidays. The order went into effect on November 17. 

'Keep Thanksgiving plans as small as possible. The smaller the gathering is the less likely it is that someone is infected and putting loved ones at risk,' the order from the governor's office reads.  

In an interview with Fox & Friends Weekend, Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick, Jr explained why he wouldn't be enforcing parts of Murphy's restrictions.   

'Our community is hurting,' Kudrick said. 'I live here. I grew up here. I shop here. I go out to dinner here. And I talk one-on-one with our business owners… and I see how much they're hurting.' 

'So as a police chief, in charge of 100-plus police officers, I felt it was just incumbent upon me just to let them know, and let my community know, that we're not going to enforce some of these executive orders which I feel are basically draconian,' he told Fox & Friends Weekend. 

Kudrick also released a statement regarding his department's position on the new restrictions. 

According to the statement, Howell police officers will not go door-to-door to enforce the governor's restrictions. 

'We the police will not be used to carry out orders I feel are detrimental to our relationship with our community,' Kudrick said. 'Or, will put officers in a no-win predicament such as being called for a social distancing or mask complaint.'

Kudrick said that 'the only time we will consider a response would be for an egregious violation such as a packed house party'. 

New Jersey, which has a positivity rate of about 7.9 per cent, has reported 4,679 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the state's total to 302,039.

The state recorded 34 new deaths, bringing the total to 14,934.

'The numbers speak for themselves. Please take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance. Avoid large gatherings,' Murphy said in a tweet on Saturday. 

A New Jersey police chief has said he will not enforce some of Gov Phil Murphy's 'draconian' COVID-19 orders ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Last week, Murphy imposed a 10-person limit on indoor gatherings just before the holidays. The order went into effect on November 17. 

'Keep Thanksgiving plans as small as possible. The smaller the gathering is the less likely it is that someone is infected and putting loved ones at risk,' the order from the governor's office reads.  



<b>Newsom Wanted Snitches to Turn in Thanksgiving 'Scofflaws' But Several California Sheriffs Say They Will Not Comply</b>
Snitches need not bother to inform on their neighbors who choose to flout California Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 lockdown orders this Thanksgiving because many of the sheriffs won’t enforce it.

The governor announced a month-long, pre-Thanksgiving lockdown this week, following his COVID rule-busting dinner party at The French Laundry restaurant on November 6th.

Newsom said case numbers are rising, though death counts are not.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm. It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”

But despite the alarm bells, which we’ve all heard before, sheriffs, in ever-growing numbers, apparently believe that enforcing Thanksgiving dinner and COVID curfews doesn’t make much sense when they’re freeing prisoners because of COVID.

The Sacramento police and sheriff departments said they won’t enforce Newsom’s new orders — even in the seat of the state capital.

Newsom issued a ban on “non-essential businesses” and personal gatherings in the 41 of California’s 58 counties in the so-called “purple tier” – the worst category in the state’s new color-coded coronavirus alert system. Newsom also imposed a one-month-long 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. curfew that is scheduled to end on December 21st. 

Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles County Sheriffs have all announced they will not be the Thanksgiving police. Orange County Sheriff Dan Barnes put it this way:

Let me be clear – this is a matter of personal responsibility and not law enforcement. Orange County Sheriff’s deputies will not be dispatched to, or respond to, calls for service to enforce compliance with face coverings, social gatherings or stay-at-home orders only. Deputies will respond to calls for potential criminal behavior and for protection of life or property.

In the Central Valley where four county sheriffs will not be playing Thanksgiving police, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said she had no desire to make “criminals out of normally law-abiding citizens.”

We have got our hands full with crime real crime issues and this is not a law enforcement issue.

She’s joined by Merced, Kings, and Tulare County sheriffs.

In Northern California, ABC 10 reports that 13 counties there won’t be enforcing the Thanksgiving dinner rules or the month-long curfew, including Sacramento County, home of the state capital where all of these rules are coming from. Sacramento police won’t be enforcing them, either.

In addition to the Sacramento law enforcement, eleven other county sheriffs and police departments will be focusing on actual criminal behavior during Newsom’s post-French-Laundry meal diktats.

San Diego is the skunk at the garden party, threatening to send out two-man enforcement teams to crack down on Thanksgiving revelers and curfew breakers.

The state’s huge homeless population is exempt from the rules. And, of course, as Instapundit points out, what are lockdowns anyway? Someone needs to make, deliver, and serve the people who stay at home or go to The French Laundry in violation of his own rules.



<b>UK: Labour will never win power until it stops hating the working class!</b>

<i>Ex-union official PAUL EMBERY accuses the party of despising its natural supporters for their traditional values and opposition to mass immigration</i>

I warned them until I was blue in the face. At Labour Party gatherings, in trade union meetings, in the media, I tried to convince my colleagues on the Left that we were close to meltdown. The schism between us and millions of working-class voters was widening and, unless we took drastic action, Labour would be destroyed at the polls.

Yet every time I sounded the alarm, I was accused of being some kind of ‘reactionary’ with a nostalgic view of the working class. Fellow activists told me my Labour Party was dead and gone. It was now a modern, mass-membership party. Jeremy Corbyn, the glorious leader, was playing to packed houses everywhere.

And then came December 12, 2019 – Labour’s worst election result since 1935. Lifelong Labour supporters in the party’s working-class heartlands voted in their thousands for a Conservative Party led by an Old Etonian. 

Today, Labour has become a middle-class party with a militantly cosmopolitan world view.

Disavowing its roots, it is a movement almost exclusively for the managerial and professional classes, graduates, social activists and urban liberals. And many inside the party have started to look upon old-fashioned values with contempt.

There is no place on the modern Left for the small ‘c’ conservatism of the traditional working class, with its love of community and nation and its desire for social solidarity and belonging. Instead, this shiny, progressive, bourgeois Labour elevates things such as personal autonomy, open borders and identity politics over all that ‘faith, family and flag’ nonsense.

There had always been a compromise between the worlds of Hartlepool and Hampstead, but today it is almost all Hampstead and no Hartlepool. For some time, Labour has been travelling the road to the imagined sunlit uplands of cosmopolitan liberalism and global market forces. Now it’s in a quagmire, flirting with irrelevance.

I had no interest in seeing the British Left collapse. On the contrary, I wanted it to succeed. I still do.

I joined a trade union at 16, when I landed a Saturday job stacking shelves in a supermarket. I signed up as a member of the Labour Party at 19 and became an activist in the Fire Brigades Union when I began my career as a professional firefighter at 22, going on to serve on the union’s national executive as a full-time official.

My dad was a shop steward for the old Transport and General Workers’ Union at his works depot and my mum was a secretary for the GMB. I knew from an early age which side I was on. I learned about the history of the labour movement and its proud role in advancing the interests of ordinary working people. And I wanted to be part of it.

But the historical thread linking the movement to the working class was already starting to fray.

I witnessed the fallout between Labour and the working class at the closest quarters in the early years of this century. In my home borough of Barking and Dagenham in East London, where I was born and brought up – a proud, stable, blue-collar community centred on a sprawling 1930s council estate – the impact of globalisation and a liberal immigration policy was profound.

Today Labour is almost all Hampstead … and no Hartlepool 
Dagenham’s world-famous Ford motor plant had become a shell of its former self as production was shipped abroad and the area was undergoing change at breakneck speed.

Between 2001 and 2011, the area’s foreign-born population grew by 205 per cent – by far the highest increase of any London borough. I have no criticism of them as individuals but their arrival in such large numbers not only placed considerable pressure on local services but compromised the continuity and the cultural familiarity that are the rocks on which stable, working-class communities are built.

As the borough’s social cohesion began to fall apart, residents pleaded for respite. Locals were disorientated and bewildered.

But whenever they called for better control over immigration, they were patronised with lectures about how their new environment would bring cultural enrichment and improved Gross Domestic Product.

Worse, they were often dismissed as ‘bigots’ and ‘nativists’ by a political class – including Labour politicians and activists – who knew nothing about their lives and couldn’t be bothered to learn.

This attitude drove thousands to vote for the British National Party (BNP) at the council elections in 2006, propelling that party to its best-ever performance in local government. A Labour heartland had turned to the far Right, and I watched it happen.

It was a vote driven by alienation. The people of Barking and Dagenham were not anti-immigration but they were most certainly opposed to the type of mass and uncontrolled immigration that had transformed their neighbourhoods – and their lives – so quickly.

When, eventually, the BNP also failed them, many decided to simply up sticks and leave.

In the years 2001-11 there was a mass exodus from Barking and Dagenham, with 40,000 residents departing for pastures new. Many of my friends and neighbours were among them.

A working-class community once at ease with itself had, in a few short years, become a toxic political battleground.

In 2014, Barking played host to BBC1’s political discussion programme Question Time.

A woman in the audience, Pam Dumbleton, asked: ‘Isn’t it time the Government listened to the people about the impact immigration is having in changing our communities? The Government need to come and walk through our town and just see how we now live.’

Another audience member, a middle-aged local man, agreed: ‘Listen to the indigenous people here, the people that have been here all their lives,’ he pleaded. He went on to criticise what he felt was the disproportionate Government assistance afforded to newcomers, at which point he was noisily rebuked.

Desperate still to make his case, the audience member explained he was homeless and saw it as unfair that, as a local man, he was being neglected by the Government in favour of others. He had applied unsuccessfully for a hundred jobs, he said.

But panellist and Times columnist David Aaronovitch – a loyal foot soldier of the liberal elite army, if ever there was one – upbraided him for ‘blaming the wrong people’.

‘Why is a street not yours because some of the faces in it are black?’ Aaronovitch said, illustrating that he had completely missed the point. No one mentioned black faces.

Seconds later, the man in the audience gave up. He put on his coat and walked off the set – an example in microcosm of how the people of places such as Barking and Dagenham are patronised by the liberal and cultural elites.

I knew what I was seeing was a portent of things to come. And I said so openly – not a terribly popular thing to do when you are an active member of the Labour movement and hold a senior position in a trade union.

When I dared to criticise leaders of the Labour movement for their attempts to overturn the referendum result at a Friday night pro-Brexit rally – in my own time – I was sacked from my position with the union. 

I realised that unless my colleagues across the movement started acknowledging the legitimate anxieties of working-class folk and stopped treating them as though they were some kind of embarrassing elderly relative – in some cases actively despising them and dismissing them as small-minded racists – then divorce was on the cards. And so it proved.

At the 1997 General Election, 59 per cent of Labour votes came from the C2DEs (the working class) and 41 per cent from the ABC1s (middle class). In 2010, for the first time, Labour won more votes from the ABC1s than it did the C2DEs.

Labour had abandoned the working class and now the working class was returning the favour. The 2019 Election marked the nadir in the relationship, with the Tories securing the votes of 48 per cent of C2DEs compared with Labour’s 33 per cent.

When I speak to voters in Barking and Dagenham and other working-class communities, they want the conversation to be about their own anxieties and concerns.

They prioritise things such as family, law and order, immigration and national security – the type of issues that, when they are raised on the doorstep, cause Labour activists to look down at the ground and shuffle their shoes in embarrassment.

These activists are usually much happier obsessing over LGBT rights, Palestine, climate change and gender identity – issues that, while not unimportant, are not uppermost in the minds of hard-pressed working-class voters suffering the stresses of everyday life.

And while it is true that Labour under Corbyn began to talk more of the need to tackle wealth and income inequality – a welcome step – what the Corbynistas failed to appreciate is that promises of economic security are not enough. Traditional voters want cultural security, too.

Labour must change itself before it can even think about winning power. And, in particular, its members must stop hating large sections of the nation’s working class.

Voters in the Labour heartlands don’t demand miracles. But they do want a chance to secure dignified work and decent wages. For their children to get a foot on the housing ladder. For the streets to be safe.

They may well have socially conservative views and probably object to being viewed as museum pieces in their own country. And when they speak through the ballot box, as they did with Brexit, they expect their wishes to be implemented. They want to live in a nation characterised by stable families and communities, and of which all citizens feel proud to be a part. It isn’t complicated.

Once upon a time, these communities were perfectly comfortable about voting Labour. And, in turn, the party was proud to have their support. 

For Labour was a patriotic, communitarian party that understood the importance of tradition and place in our society – a party that, in the words of Harold Wilson, ‘owed more to Methodism than to Marx’. 

But then it went and made a catastrophic error and forgot the politics of belonging. It paid the price in millions of lost votes.

There is, for Labour, no route back to power that does not pass through its lost working-class heartlands. I hope, as someone rooted in the movement for more than a quarter of a century, that it is not too late. But I fear it might be.

And if it proves to be so, then the damage would have been entirely self-inflicted.



<b>Australia: The next Uluru? Fears iconic mountain could be shut to climbers after local Aboriginal tribes said it was a sacred place</b>

<i>Why all this catering to Aboriginal superstition?  Why is Aboriginal religion privileged?

Australia does not have an explicit separation of church and state but there is no doubt that such a separation is widely agreed as proper. There should be no favoritism shown to any particular religion.

 Many churches have aims that they would like government support for.  So why are Aboriginal aims given such respect?  It is quite simply racist and wrong</i>

An iconic mountain could be the next Australian landmark banned to hikers for good after it was named as an Aboriginal sacred place.

Mt Warning, on the Tweed Valley coast in northern New South Wales, was closed to tourists in March this year as a precaution against crowds spreading Covid-19.

The popular scenic destination, traditionally known as Wollumbin, was scheduled to allow to sightseers back in May 2021, however, the re-opening will now be reviewed, according to The Courier Mail. 

Since the last tourists ascended Uluru in 2019, debate has arisen around whether climbers should be allowed on other natural landmarks such as Wollumbin and the nearby Mt Beerwah on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. 

The National Parks and Wildlife Service said the delay to re-opening Wollumbin was to assess safety issues around landslides and the chain section of the hike, but also said they would be holding discussions with Indigenous groups. 

'NPWS will now consider the future of the summit track, in consultation with key community and tourism stakeholders, including local Aboriginal Elders and knowledge holders,' a spokesperson said.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


23 November, 2020

<b>The Great Reset: Wild new coronavirus conspiracy theory takes hold</b>

<i>This is not a conspiracy theory.  It is perfectly mainstream Leftist doctrine.  The Left has always wanted to reform everyone else -- by revolution if need be.

The only difference these days is the terminology used: "New world order", “The Great Reset”. etc  But it is just new names for socialism

And people are right to see in it a threat to their way of life.  That's what Leftism is.  Leftists mean to upset existing arrangements</i>

COVID-19 conspiracy theories are rife. While some people question its origins, others outright deny that it exists.

Microchips in vaccines, sovereign citizens, a new world order under the cover of a crisis – the pandemic has been fertile ground for the nurturing and dissemination of conspiracy theories.

Talk of nefarious, underground plans by evil cabals of the elite have spread like, well, a virus.

And now a new theory is doing the rounds. A theory that, depending on what you read, posits that after the pandemic a “fascist” regime will take over that will “enslave” mankind – all with a healthy dose of communism to boot. Naturally, your guns – if you have them – will be taken away.

It’s called “The Great Reset”.

But there’s a novel twist about this theory. Whereas many other conspiracies rely on adherents being persuaded terrible things are happening just out of sight; the Great Reset, by contrast, has its own official website and branding.

Apparently leaders, from Prince Charles to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, just keep talking about it. Time magazine has an entire section of its website dedicated to it.

If it is a plot, it’s the most in the open yet underground, secret plot yet.

Interest in the Great Reset conspiracy theory began to surge in recent weeks following a video featuring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau giving an online speech to the United Nations where he mentions a “reset” of the economy.

The speech was actually in late September, but has been widely circulated in recent weeks. “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset,” Mr Trudeau said.

“This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts, to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.”

Mr Trudeau also spoke of “building back better” by supporting the vulnerable in society and achieving sustainable development goals.

If that slogan seems familiar, it was used by the Biden-Harris presidential campaign with the website claiming it would give “America’s working families the tools, choices, and freedoms that need to build back better.”

In Britain, Mr Johnson has also been sliding in the “building back better” slogan here, there and everywhere. Just last week, Mr Johnson used the hashtag #buildbackbetter in a tweet.



<b>Gavin Newsom's "French Laundry" Outing Crystallizes the Arrogance of the Left</b>

On November 6, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) sat down for a fancy dinner party at the tony Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry, the state was in the midst of a COVID-19 surge. Newsom and other state officials were emphasizing the importance of following social distancing rules and wearing face masks in public places, as mandated by an order that the governor issued in June. They were urging Californians to forgo Thanksgiving dinners and other private social gatherings, which they had identified as an important source of virus transmission.

Yet there was the politician behind those policies, sitting shoulder to shoulder with people outside his household, celebrating the 50th birthday of his friend Jason Kinney, a prominent political strategist. To Newsom's right was Dustin Corcoran, CEO of the California Medical Association (CMA). To the governor's left was CMA [medical] lobbyist Janus Norman. There was not a mask in sight, although state rules required diners to wear face coverings except when they were "actively eating or drinking."

After the dinner party came to light last Friday, Newsom apologized while suggesting there were extenuating circumstances. "It was in Napa, which was in the orange status, relatively loose compared to some other counties," he told reporters on Monday, and "it was to be an outdoor restaurant." 

But photos obtained this week by KTTV, the Fox station in Los Angeles, show that Newsom and company were in fact dining indoors, at a table near sliding glass doors the led to a courtyard. According to a witness, the doors were initially open but were closed because the birthday celebrators were making a lot of noise.

"As soon as I sat down at the larger table, I realized it was a little larger group than I had anticipated," Newsom said, "and I made a bad mistake. Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back, got in my car, and drove back to my house. Instead I chose to sit there with my wife and a number of other couples that were outside the household. 

We can quibble about the guidelines, etc., but the spirit of what I'm preaching all the time was contradicted, and I gotta own that. So I want to apologize to you, because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice. And I've done my best to do that. We're all human. We all fall short sometimes."

Please be patient as I "quibble about the guidelines" a little bit. The actions that Newsom presented as violating "the spirit of what I'm preaching" actually violated the letter of the rules he imposed. According to the California Department of Public Health, restaurant patrons "must wear face coverings" unless "they are eating or drinking." Even then, they are allowed to remove their masks only if "they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence." Newsom broke both of those rules.

As J.D. Tuccille notes, this sort of double standard is par for the course during the COVID-19 epidemic, when politicians such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.), Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) have felt free to flout the disease control safeguards that mere mortals are told to observe. "We're expected to suffer discomfort, economic pain, and emotional distress or else pay fines and even serve jail time," Tuccille writes. "Government officials, meanwhile, take offense when called out for violating the standards they created."

The paper also noted that Newsom's children are attending private school while most public schools remain shuttered. "Newsom and the First Partner eschewed state public health guidelines to dine with friends at a time when the governor has asked families to scale back Thanksgiving plans," the Bee observed. "If the governor can eat out with friends—and if his children can attend their expensive school—why must everyone else sacrifice?"

Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said he was "shocked" that the dinner also included top CMA officials. "The message is to forget the pandemic, sit as close as you can, no face coverings, no masks, no social distancing," he told KTTV. "This is the state's medical association. They speak for the doctors in the state, and their chief lobbyist and the president are sitting shoulder to shoulder with the governor as though it's any time in American history."



<b>The 'Scandal' of a Christian Congressman-Elect</b>

You might want to sit down for this. North Carolina Congressman-elect Madison Cawthorn is a Christian. Worse, he has confessed to having “tried to convert Jews and Muslims to Christianity.” And you thought voter fraud was the real problem!

That quote comes from the headline to a story by an intrepid reporter at The Daily Beast (an awfully ironic name given the subject matter). The Beast quotes Cawthorn telling his Jewish Insider interviewer, “If all you are is friends with other Christians, then how are you ever going to lead somebody to Christ? If you’re not wanting to lead somebody to Christ, then you’re probably not really a Christian.”

That’s Evangelism 101, of course, and it’s straight from the Great Commission that Jesus Christ gave his disciples in Matthew 28. Cawthorn began taking this seriously after a terrible car accident several years ago left him paralyzed from the waist down. He doesn’t appear ready to set it aside as the youngest person ever elected to Congress.

But that isn’t our main point here. Nor is the story about how Jewish Insider dishonestly merged some of Cawthorn’s comments to make him seem anti-Semitic. We all know the real congressional anti-Semites reside on the Democrat side of the aisle.

What makes this story newsworthy is actually the Left’s relentless and intolerant proselytizing. It’s one thing for Evangelical Christians to share their faith in the hopes of persuading someone else to accept it. It’s a totally different thing for the Left to silence anyone who does not accept, espouse, and celebrate certain ways of thinking or speaking. You will be made to conform or you will be “canceled.” This is proselytizing by the proverbial sword, and it’s akin to how, well, some Muslims are known to operate.

Moreover, in what do leftists put their faith? We believe humans are created by God to worship Him. When we don’t worship our Creator, we inevitably worship something else. It’s how we’re made.

Leftists — even the radical leftist Christians who often merely serve a god made in their image — ultimately put their greatest faith in government and cultural power. Call it the unification of church and state. Want to know what someone’s idols are? Take them away or challenge them. Want to make leftists hysterically angry? Challenge their power over speech, thought, or government action. Or, worse, win an election.

The Madison Cawthorns of the world are not the problem. That designation belongs to the hateful and intolerant radicals of the Left.



<b>South Dakota’s Governor Just PISSED OFF Every Liberal In America With Thanksgiving Announcement</b>

As Democrat tyrants around the country essentially ban their citizens from attending Thanksgiving and, soon Christmas, gathering because muh coronavirus! — Noem is taking the opposite tact, via the Washington Examiner:

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem laid out a ‘common sense’ plan for families to spend time with their loved ones during Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Thanksgiving is around the corner, and across the country families are planning how to celebrate with their loved-ones in the midst of #COVID19,’ Noem said in a lengthy Twitter thread on Friday. ‘In South Dakota, we won’t stop or discourage you from thanking God and spending time together this Thanksgiving.’

Noem continued: ‘Some states across the country are imposing restrictions on Thanksgiving celebrations. Some in the media are even looking ahead and planning to cancel Christmas. I’ll continue to encourage each and every one of you to exercise personal responsibility and make smart choices.’

As you dig in to enjoy that delicious turkey and stuffing, make sure that everyone in your household is practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands. If someone in your family is in the vulnerable population, take extra precautions to keep them safe. 

Let’s all take the time to remember what Thanksgiving is all about – thanking God for everything that he has blessed us with in our lives. During difficult times, it’s important to be extra thankful for what we have. (5/)

— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) November 20, 2020

The Republican governor then reminded South Dakotans to use ‘common sense’ and suggested families should not visit each other on Thanksgiving if a family member is experiencing symptoms typically associated with the coronavirus.

Noem encouraged residents in her state to reflect on what Thanksgiving is ‘all about.’

‘Let’s all take the time to remember what Thanksgiving is all about — thanking God for everything that he has blessed us with in our lives. During difficult times, it’s important to be extra thankful for what we have,’ Noem tweeted.

In case you were wondering what American-style individual freedom and decision-making look like, those qualities are alive and well in Kristi Noem’s state of South Dakota.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) Saturdays only 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)



22 November, 2020   

<b>Cancel culture and the tyranny of the righteous</b>

One of the most famous works of art to emerge from the French Revolution is The Tennis Court Oath, Jacques-Louis David’s pen-and-ink sketch of the June 20, 1789, meeting where more than 600 deputies of the Estates-General pledged their “unwavering resolution” to create a new constitution for France.

Five historical figures stand out from David’s sketch. At the centre is the man who’d administered the oath: astronomer, and future Paris mayor, Jean-Sylvain Bailly. To his right is Maximilien Robespierre, the austere teetotaller who would go on to briefly rule France as dictator. Seated before Bailly is the pamphleteer Abbe Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes. Off to Sieyes’s left, striking an extravagant pose, is the Comte de Mirabeau — who had become a political linchpin of the revolution’s short-lived constitutional period — and Antoine-Pierre-Joseph-Marie Barnave, a member of the revolution’s ruling triumvirate at the time David created his sketch in 1791.

Within three years of taking their oath, all but one of these five men would be dead. Bailly was guillotined in late 1793. Barnave’s head came off two weeks later. Robespierre lost his own the following summer, having already shot away half his jaw in an unsuccessful suicide attempt the day before. Mirabeau, who died of natural causes in 1791, was dug out of a crypt at the Pantheon by a revolutionary mob and flung into an unmarked pit. Of the quintet, only Sieyes would survive to witness the counter-revolutionary period, having had the good sense to give up politics and lie low. When it came to what we now call cancel culture, the Jacobins were world-class experts.

The ideological witch-hunts of our own era, whose victims take centre stage in the Quillette essays reprinted in this anthology, do not herald any kind of equivalent bloodbath. The French Revolution took place against a backdrop of apocalyptic war, famine and devastating economic crises. Life was cheaper then, and it was possible for extremists to justify murder in the name of their beliefs.

The victims of modern cancel culture may lose their jobs, their friends and their reputations. But none will lose their head. Nevertheless, it is useful to look to the French Revolution, as well as similar periods of upheaval, as a means to help us understand today’s radicalised cliques. While Twitter mobs do not command the powers of life and death, their social and ideological dynamics carry unsettling historical overtones. The problem we are experiencing now is not to be confused with literal censorship (except as that term may be applied loosely). Unlike Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety, modern cancel-culture enforcers typically do not rely on government edict.

Instead, they pursue crowdsourced social-media campaigns aimed at shaming heretics and threatening their professional livelihoods. In this way, such mobs yoke progressive ideology to the inherently conservative social instincts that lead all of us to conform to expectations and align our ideas with those of our neighbours.

Even in the 1940s, George Orwell noted, “the sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary.” Yes, you could publish unfashionable opinions, “but to do so was to make sure of being ignored or misrepresented by nearly the whole of the highbrow press. Both publicly and privately you were warned that it was ‘not done’.” Orwell focused on the intellectual cultism that infected the world of high arts and letters not only because this was the world he knew best but also because these rarefied domains lie upstream from education, media, party politics and, ultimately, public opinion.

The radicalisation of today’s progressive left, like the countervailing transformation of the populist right, can’t be described as revolutionary because it doesn’t offer any real alternative to traditional politics. Look beyond the street protests, the vandalised statues, the cancellation campaigns, the exotic theorems of intersectional identity, and one finds that the actual political demands are ludicrous (“abolish the police”), meaningless (“decolonise our cities”) or simply represent further extrapolations of established progressive policies, such as hiring quotas, affirmative action in education and enforced equity-training sessions.

This helps explain why modern social-justice proponents typically seem dour and artistically lifeless compared with their hippie grandparents. They dwell on the theme of oppression but have no realistic theory about how to alleviate it. And since their power typically extends only to the representational aspects of life — the hashtags we are allowed to use, the books we are allowed to write, the clothes we are allowed to wear, the acceptable names for buildings and streets, the pronouns people must recite — these are the subject of their most passionately expressed grievances. Unlike the progressive counterculture of the 1960s, which encouraged sexual openness, flamboyant individualism and euphoric cultural mixing, today’s social-justice crusades are built around joyless rites of self-interrogation, announced publicly but conducted inwardly.

As many have noted, these rituals bear an unsettling resemblance to ersatz religious ceremonies, complete with rites of devotion, penitence, excommunication and even martyrdom. This is not a coincidence. Like the religions they displace, political cults offer adherents a totalising theory of good and evil that conflates ideological correctness with moral worth. Robespierre himself made this connection explicit in his final months, presenting Parisians with an elaborate “Festival of the Supreme Being” (in which he of course presided as high priest). In a speech delivered during this period, he claimed the power to strike down the sinful, defending “terror” as a species of justice that was “prompt, severe and inflexible”, and therefore “an emanation of virtue”.

But, as Orwell noted, political cults diverge from true religions in that their “doctrines are not only unchallengeable but also unstable”. In 1789, a Frenchman could lose his head for denying the legitimacy of monarchism. In 1792, he could suffer the same fate for asserting the opposite. By 1793 and 1794, even the slightest deviation from republican orthodoxy drew furious denunciation by one-time friends and colleagues, which in turn generated a climate of paranoia that destroyed longstanding friendships and empowered the most sociopathic revolutionary elements.

One reason the French Revolution comes up often in any discussion of broad political and ideological trends is that it set the template not only for modern classical liberalism but also for its rejection. In its liberal form, the revolution peaked with the constitution of 1791, which created a democratic constitutional monarchy. But following the execution of Louis XVI, a new constitution was drafted, one whose provisions were permanently suspended amid the Reign of Terror. As with communists, religious fundamentalists, Cold War McCarthyites and autocratic populists, the architects of this terror argued that the republican project was too urgent to be constrained by the need for due process, free speech, the right of assembly or other civil liberties. It’s a theme one often detects among today’s most ardent progressives, who view themselves as vanguard elements in a Manichean battle against racism and fascism.

Another lesson of the French Revolution is that the same communications technologies that permit political dissent and intellectual pluralism also can be co-opted by tyrants and mobs. The seeds of the revolution were planted in the arcades of the Palais-Royal, then under the control of the liberal-minded Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orleans. It was a sort of proto-Reddit in bricks and mortar, an anything-goes zone where rabblerousers could distribute scandalous anti-royalist pamphlets and newspapers, or harangue one another in cafes with political speeches. And it was this plucky ethos that guided the revolution in its early years, and which inspired the Jacobin Club to throw open its doors to the public, so that anyone could walk in and cheer or jeer at speakers. Over time, however, the speakers began reacting to the mob, instead of vice versa. And newspapers published fatwas against any politician deemed guilty of moderantisme.

We often say that Quillette is a place where “free speech lives”. But we also understand that laws and policies that nominally protect free speech don’t guarantee that people can say what they think or that the marketplace of ideas will remain functional. The current wave of crowdsourced dissent-suppression campaigns provides just one of many historical examples that show how free speech depends as much on a hospitable intellectual culture as on legal codes. Education and intellect do not, on their own, protect against ideological autocracy. Just the opposite; habituated to the respect and deference of hoi polloi, the little Robespierres who control university faculties and social-media cliques tend to include some of the most educated members of our society. It is not ignorance that fuels their inquisitions, but hubris and an appetite for power.

One of the problems we face is that intellectual liberty has no dependable constituency, since those who are most in need of it tend to be those who have the least power. Free speech and due process are now often described as conservative values. But not so long ago they were proudly claimed under the liberal banner. As anyone who remembers the rise of the religious right in the 1980s can attest, the reins of cultural power get tossed back and forth in cyclical fashion. And only by internalising history’s lessons can partisans on each side remain grounded in principles that transcend their own fleeting, parochial self-interest.

As in many other spheres of human behaviour, lessons on mob justice learned by one generation must be relearned, the hard way, by the next. As journalists, we find that the best way to explore such lessons is by telling the stories of men and women who’ve been branded, in one way or another, as heretics. Whether or not readers embrace the substance of the heresies described in the essays, we hope their narratives demonstrate why we should not permit ideologues to decide which viewpoints may or may not be expressed. Whether on the hunt for Catholics, Protestants or Jews, royalists or republicans, capitalists or communists, all mobs present themselves as virtue’s servants.



<b>Woke women are killing marriage and dating</b>

Several days ago, I posted a story on Facebook highlighting the inflated expectations many women have of men and marriage. The purpose was to show how simple most men’s needs are when compared to women’s. To drive the point home, I suggested women lower their standards. Until recently, this message would not have been met with so much as a raised eyebrow. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, this story, officially entitled The Husband Store, has been told for some time as a joke of sorts. I’ve known people to laugh about it but never to get mad.

So I was somewhat surprised when a group of woke women (not my usual readers) discovered my post. It went semi-viral, garnering almost 1,000 (mostly angry) comments. Reading their responses, you’d think I had suggested women marry any ’ole man off the street. Some made the leap that I said men shouldn’t have to do housework (not sure of the connection there). Others said I told women not to have any standards at all. And still others were convinced I’d said it’s okay for women to accept abuse from a man!

This is what the far-left culture has produced: a generation of women whose anger and resentment toward men and marriage precludes them from not only having a sense of humor but from acquiring any critical thinking skills. There’s no middle ground anymore, no place for cogent conversation. It’s just hate.

With so many women conditioned to believe that women are irreproachable and men are toxic, the future of marriage and family is bleak. Some women will learn, down the road, that they’ve been fed a mountain of lies. Those are the women I coach. They are in desperate need of a new relationship roadmap, one that works and that welcomes understanding the very real and very deep biological differences between the sexes.

Others leave perfectly good husbands and glorify their decision, convinced men are nothing but Neanderthals. In truth, these women simply never learned how to love and to bring out the best in a man.

“It’s true that modern men are doing more than they once did, but their efforts do not come close to evening the scales,” writes Liz Lenz in “It Took Divorce to Make My Marriage Equal.” “When they do chip in, they expect not just credit but lavish praise.”

Lenz should read the wildly successful book How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. If she did, she’d learn that “lavish praise,” rather than complaints and recrimination, is the key to human engineering, or the ability to understand and to get along with others.

Indeed, lasting love requires a dramatically different understanding of men and women, not to mention empathy toward men, that at the moment is nonexistent. It isn’t men and marriage that hold women back. It’s the narrative women have been sold.

It’s not a coincidence that the erosion of marriage and successful dating occurred at the same time women were encouraged to harbor inflated expectations for life and for love, as though women are the prize and men should be lucky to “land” them.

“All of my friends are attractive and successful. Almost every single one of them has an issue with men,” said commentator Tomi Lahren in a recent video. “If all of these women, including myself, are having issues, then I have to think it might not be us. It might be you. It might be men.”

That's what woke women think, too. They are wrong.



<b>Democrats' Tyrannical Elitism Is Destroying Lives</b>

This week, photos surfaced of California Governor Gavin Newsom dining at one of the most expensive restaurants in the world. He wasn’t alone, and he wasn’t in a mask.

Newsom was in a tightly packed, indoor room with a dozen other people. It was a birthday party for longtime lobbyist Jason Kinney, and a number of California Medical Association members attended. That’s right, doctors described as “top brass” were in attendance and also flouting the rules — the same rules doctors and politicians have been demanding everyone else comply with in the name of “science.”

But getting caught red-handed didn’t deter Newsom or cause him to reevaluate whether the rules were purposeful or simply put in place to “do something.” Instead, just days later, his government imposed additional, harsh closure measures as cases of Wuhan coronavirus increase. The measures likely won’t stop the spread of the disease, but they will continue to crush businesses and kill off desperately needed jobs. He's also reinforcing "private gathering" rules, which police people's private homes, just ahead of Thanksgiving.

These actions have been reported as “hypocrisy,” but it goes well beyond that. Newsom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and others, are engaged in tyrannical elitism. They get to do whatever they want, justify it and then punish citizens for daring to think or do for themselves. After all, they’re “important people” with “important things” to do.

In California alone, thousands of businesses have closed permanently thanks to Newsom’s harsh lockdown orders. Business owners and their workers have been forced to comply with orders, fearing criminal action and hefty fines from authorities. The businesses that remain open are suffocating.

“According to Yelp's local economic report, restaurants and retail continue to struggle, and total closures nationwide have started to increase. The September report noted more than 19,000 businesses in California have permanently closed,” ABC10 News in San Diego reports.

That’s the destruction of 19,0000 dreams and livelihoods. Those closures represent real people as owners and countless employees.

Across the country, suicide rates have skyrocketed, and drug overdoses are on the rise.

ABC News reports that stay-at-home orders “created downstream consequences such as social isolation, eroding support networks and additional financial strain” and that “all of these factors are contributing to more suicides, overdoses and violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

One-size fits all policies have been a complete disaster. All Americans should be able to behave in the same way their elitist politicians do by making decisions for themselves. The problem isn't with Newsom and others like him going to dinner or another social event; it's that they tell everybody else not to.

It’s been 10 months since Wuhan coronavirus came to America. We know now, according to CDC data, the survival rate for even the most vulnerable populations who contract the disease is 94 percent. Americans can decide for themselves whether the risk of going to dinner, to the gym, the grocery store and wherever else they choose is worth it.

Simple hypocrisy is frustrating and infuriating, but tyrannical elitism is destroying people’s lives.



<b>Sorry, ABC, we can see your bias</b>

<i>The ABC is Australia's public broadcaster</i>

It is revealing that in attempting to demonstrate that the ABC is not biased against the views of mainstream Australians, ABC board member Joseph Gersh, writing in The Australian on Tuesday, used as proof the composition of the panel on the ABC’s premier discussion and current affairs program, Q&A.

He described Paul Kelly and Malcolm Turnbull as conservative, which is false. They would not describe themselves as such. They would be more accurately termed small-l liberal.

What Gersh did not mention was that the other three panel members were former NSW Labor premier Bob Carr, left-wing activist Jan Fran and left-wing academic Jenny Hocking, not to mention left-wing host Hamish Macdonald. Not a single conservative among them. (At most maybe one of those six might be an occasional Coalition voter.) The point of mentioning this is that last week’s display is representative of the bias the ABC presents daily.

This, after seven years of Coalition government, reveals the truth of Gersh’s comment that many on the right side of politics are realising the ABC cannot be reformed.

Throughout its history the Institute of Public Affairs has always supported more freedom of speech and more diversity in the media. A media organisation owned and operated by the government that every taxpayer is forced to fund is incompatible with a free society. The IPA supports the continued existence of the ABC, but not one that is controlled by government and funded by taxpayers.

If the ABC is as necessary, popular and trusted as Gersh makes it out to be, then ABC staff have nothing to fear in operating a successful media business in the private media market. A subscription service, as is being proposed for the BBC in Britain, is a sensible policy the government should adopt.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


20 November, 2020   

<b>McConnell Is Confirming More Judges, Prompting a Democrat Meltdown</b>

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has moved forward to confirm a number of federal judges this week and praised President Trump for their nominations. 

“While our committees are working, the full Senate is keeping busy with one of our core constitutional responsibilities: continuing to confirm well-qualified men and women to lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary," McConnell said from the Senate floor Tuesday. "Yesterday, we voted to advance the nomination of Kristi Haskins Johnson, the current Solicitor General of Mississippi with multiple impressive clerkships under her belt, to serve as a District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi. She’ll make history as the first woman to join the bench in that district."

“This is just the first of several nominations we’ll consider this week. We’ll also vote today on Benjamin Beaton, a Kentuckian who has been nominated to be a District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky," he continued. “Mr. Beaton received a first-rate education from Kentucky’s Centre College and then Columbia Law School, where he edited the law review. He clerked on the D.C. Circuit and on the Supreme Court for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

McConnell's agenda and focus on judges prompted a meltdown from Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown. 

Yesterday President Trump sent two additional nominations to the Senate for confirmation, including a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals: 

Joseph L. Barloon, of Maryland, to be a Judge of the United States Court of International Trade, vice Leo Maury Gordon, retired.

Thomas L. Kirsch II, of Indiana, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit, vice Amy Coney Barrett, elevated.



<b>Georgia recount ‘error’ nearly gave Biden 9600 extra votes, as more uncounted Trump ballots discovered</b>

Three previously uncounted batches of votes have now been discovered in Georgia, narrowing Joe Biden’s lead over Donald Trump by more than 1400.

The three caches of votes in Floyd, Fayette and Walton Counties, turned up during the state’s recount, heavily favoured the President, although they are still not enough to overcome his deficit of more than 12,000.

Meanwhile, Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer said a 9626 vote error had been picked up during the hand recount in DeKalb County.

“One batch was labelled 10,707 for Biden and 13 for Trump – an improbable margin even by DeKalb standards,” Mr Shafer said on Twitter.

“The actual count for the batch was 1081 for Biden and 13 for Trump. Had this counting error not been discovered, Biden would have gained enough votes from this one batch alone to cancel out Trump’s gains from Fayette, Floyd and Walton.”

In a sworn affidavit, the Republican observer described how he only picked up the error by observing the numbers written on the sheets attached to the boxes of ballots.

DeKalb County chief executive Michael Thurmond said in a statement he had launched a preliminary investigation into the accuracy of Mr Shafer’s “unsubstantiated tweet”, and that elections officials “have not verified the allegation”.

“Based on Chairman Shafer’s Twitter storm, the alleged ‘vote error’ was discovered, reported to DeKalb elections officials and corrected prior to the transmission of the official audit report to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office,” he said.

“If the scenario occurred as Chairman Shafer alleges, this is evidence that the checks and balances, established by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ensure the accuracy of the election results, performed as designed.”

Mr Shafer replied, “The affidavit that we submitted identifies the batch of ballots by scanner and box number. What does it mean when DeKalb County says it cannot ‘verify’ our account of the error? Is the paperwork missing? Are the ballots gone? Where have they looked? Who have they interviewed?”

Separately, lawyer L. Lin Wood has filed a number of affidavits in his lawsuit against the Georgia Secretary of State, as he seeks an emergency order blocking the certification of the results.

Nine of the witnesses to the recount process claimed to have seen suspiciously pristine mail-in ballots, almost all for Mr Biden, with voting bubbles perfectly filled in – as though they had been printed or machine stamped.

“I observed that the markings for the candidates on these ballots were unusually uniform, perhaps even with a ballot marking device,” poll worker Susan Voyles said in one statement.

“By my estimate in observing these ballots, approximately 98 per cent constituted votes for Joe Biden.”

Republicans have touted the ongoing developments in Georgia as evidence that Mr Trump still has a chance.

Earlier this week the head of Arizona’s Republican Party has insisted “the election is far from over”, while the President hailed a “big victory” in Nevada.

“Do not lose heart,” Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Dr Kelli Ward said in a video message on Monday.

“Do not allow the negativity and the fake news to bring you down. Arizona is in this fight 100 per cent. We are out to make sure that our elections in our state have integrity.”

Mr Biden currently leads Mr Trump by 10,377 votes – just 0.3 percentage points – in Arizona, which has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996.

It’s one of a number of key battleground states where the Trump campaign and Republicans have alleged widespread voter fraud, and are attempting to overturn the results through a combination of legal challenges and requests for recounts and audits.

Unlike many other states, Arizona does not allow recount requests and its threshold for automatic recounts are much stricter, requiring the vote difference to be less than 0.1 per cent.

In the video, Dr Ward referred to a viral 2017 tweet from Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs – responsible for overseeing elections – who described Mr Trump’s base as neo-Nazis.

“That doesn’t speak to being unbiased to me. Does it to you?” she said.

“I think it’s something that we have to be very, very cognisant of. We’re going into the canvassing phase of this election. That means we’re assuring that the votes cast are cast as the voter intended and counted appropriately. We have questions that have to be answered.”

Dr Ward said she was working “hand-in-hand” with the Trump campaign and his legal team, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, “to make sure that the elections in Arizona have integrity”.

“So stay strong, stay firm, understand that this election is far from over,” she said.

“We do not have a president-elect at this time. States have not certified elections, and that’s what makes a president-elect – not the media, not the pundits, not the talking heads, not the fake news.”

On Tuesday, Mr Giuliani made his first appearance in court for the Trump campaign’s Pennsylvania lawsuit, where he alleged “widespread national voter fraud”.

At the same time, the state’s Democratic-majority Supreme Court knocked back a separate case which alleged poll watchers were illegally prevented from observing the counting process.

The Arizona Republican Party filed a lawsuit last week demanding a hand recount of votes by individual precinct rather than “voting centres”, which were introduced by the state’s most populous county, Maricopa County, for the 2020 election.

A hearing in that case is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

That came as a separate lawsuit requesting reinspection of ballots with “over votes”, which occurs when the voter marks more candidates than is allowed, was tossed out by a judge.

Meanwhile, three Arizona Republican Congressmen, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and David Schweikert, have called for a “100 per cent audit” of all ballots in Maricopa County.

In a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Friday, the trio said “hundreds” of residents had signed affidavits alleging their ballots “may have been discounted”.

“While the election margins may not be narrow enough to trigger a recount, you are permitted to conduct a 100 per cent manual audit,” they wrote.

They cited the narrow margin between the two candidates, “together with questions regarding anomalies and potential errors”, as “more than enough” justification to commence an audit of the ballot images.

“Although Arizona conducts elections with far more transparency and accountability than other states, there have been some issues raised about the integrity of some of our election systems within the state,” Mr Biggs said in a statement on Monday.

“For this reason, I am calling on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to go above and beyond to assure the public of the integrity of Maricopa County’s elections. Let’s leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of accountability and transparency.”

In a video released this week, which also raised questions about Dominion Voting Systems, Mr Biggs described the election as “a joke”.

On Monday, Mr Trump hailed a “big victory” in Clark County, Nevada – which takes in Las Vegas – after election officials threw out the results of a county commissioner race due to voting “discrepancies”.

“Big victory moments ago in the state of Nevada,” the President tweeted.

“The all Democrat County Commissioner race, on same ballot as President, just thrown out because of large scale voter discrepancy. Clark County officials do not have confidence in their own election security. Major impact!”

The Clark County Commission cited the narrow 10-vote margin between Democrat Ross Miller and Republican Stavros Anthony, as well as a number of discrepancies including six people who voted twice, as justification for a possible re-run of the single local election.

“We have found discrepancies that we can’t explain that would cast a doubt on whether or not that margin of victory is solid,” Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria told commissioners.

“That’s the only race in the entire election we have any concern related to the outcome. And it’s because of the margin.”

They certified the presidential election results, where Mr Biden beat Mr Trump by 33,596 votes.

Still, Mr Trump’s allies have seized on the news.

Former Nevada Attorney-General Adam Laxalt said the election represented 153,000 votes, or one sixth of the county’s total.

Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, who is working with Mr Laxalt on the Trump campaign’s legal challenges in Nevada, said “you have to suspend common sense to believe fraud only happened on one race of a long ballot”.

“They didn’t have faith in their election – there were too many discrepancies,” he tweeted. “They threw out 150,000 ballots over 10 cases? Absurd.”

The Democratic candidate was declared the presumptive winner of the 2020 election after edging ahead of Mr Trump in key battleground states including Pennsylvania and Georgia in the days after the election, as batches of absentee ballots continued to be counted.

Mr Trump has so far refused to concede, claiming the election was “rigged” and vowing to exhaust his legal avenues.

Time is running out for the President, with the electoral college due to meet in each state on December 14 and formally vote on the winner.



<b>Pennsylvania Governor Mandates Mask-Wearing in Your Own Home</b>

With another COVID-19 wave on the horizon, several states are restricting the number of guests you can have over for Thanksgiving.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, however, is adding several new measures, including testing and quarantining for people coming into the state (with some exceptions) and requiring the wearing of masks in your own home if you have company over.

Pennsylvania already has a statewide mask mandate and other social distancing guidelines. But these new mandates are in response to a spike in cases despite their existing coronavirus-fighting efforts.

It’s a good time to move to Florida.



<b>Here’s Something You Can Lock Down</b>

What is this weird, unseemly delight these same people who have totally failed to date regarding the virus have in trying to tell us what to do? Oh right, they are power hungry creeps who we should laugh at and ignore. Also, the time of the purging is coming!

Viral Load

The fact that they have been allowed to get away with their idiotic dictates for so long has only encouraged them in trying to grab more power. They approach the idea of telling us what to do and how to live with the same icky glee that Jeffrey Toobin experiences looking forward to a Zoom call. They like this. This is fun for them. They are experiencing the giddy thrill of unchallenged power and it’s time we challenged it.

Oh no, Kurt, you’re denying science and you don’t care if a zillion people die and blah blah blah.

Um, we’ve been doing what these pint-sized Mussolinis wanted for nearly a year and guess what? The virus is still here and it’s spreading.

Now, if you go back to the beginning of this pandemic, the doctors were saying things that made sense, to wit, that it’s a pandemic. Almost everyone is going to get it eventually and the idea is to keep everyone from getting it all at once. And weird – everyone is getting it. But somewhere along the way the alleged goal changed to keeping people from getting it perpetually. Not just at-risk folks but everyone, and that’s never been doable.

Here’s the sad fact – you’re probably going to get it if the vaccine does not come out soon. That’s just a fact. So why are we compounding this problem by destroying businesses and kid’s lives and generally wrecking everything?

Sure, the notion that the Establishment is conspiring to do it in order to weaken us and prep us for further tyranny is certainly intriguing, but these clowns aren’t competent enough to pull that off. Yes, they like the idea of disrupting families by banning holidays, but the idea of some sort of ideological scheme is much less likely than the simplest explanation, that they just get off on bossing people around.

How about we choose? How about we assess our own risks?

I have people I know who are very vulnerable to the virus. They need to protect themselves, and that means that I can’t hang around them sometimes. Others, well, they can roll the dice. Life is about balancing risk, not about eliminating it. If my forefathers had refused to take risks then they would have stuck around Stuttgart and now I’d be one of those tiresome Germans who eat schnitzel and refuse to pay their fair share of NATO. No one wants that.

I am not saying ignore the virus and pretend it doesn’t exist. I know firsthand that it does. But I am saying that society cannot come to a halt every few months because people are going to get sick. People are going to get sick, people.

We’ve been following their advice for nearly a year and people are still getting sick. So, now we are going to fix things by…continuing to do the same things that got us here?

I’m tired of the lies. I’m tired of the dictator vibe. I’m tired of it all and I refuse to be a part of it. 

So Done With The Sissies

Right on time, here come the weak-sister RINOs congratulating Biden on the election he has not won yet. Why? Why do they do this? Because they want to keep “credibility” with people who hate them.

Elections get litigated. This one is being litigated. Trump will win or he will lose. That’s the reality. But the bizarro world of the left is one where Trump and his pal Putin “hacked” the 2016 election and he was not a legitimate president and blah blah blah – there’s a lots of blahs in this week’s column, huh?e – and the goal is to somehow establish an official narrative.

And these simps keep falling for it.

How hard is it to say the true and actually principled thing, which is “There’s a process and when it’s done we’ll know who won?” If these people were actually principled, instead of faux-principled, that would be their answer. But they aren’t. They want to suck up to people who hate them. The people who hate them will still hate them, though, and now so will we.

Basically, they abandoned their vaunted principles for a handful of magic beans. Smart!

We’ve been culling the lame and treacherous for a while, and there are more to cull. Cheer up – the wheels will grind finely and soon we will be rid of even more of them. The fact is that the softcons have no home. We don’t want them (except the ones who must be soft to survive, like Susan Collins) and the Democrats don’t want them. Their time is running out. And it’s all their own fault.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


19 November, 2020   

<b>Leftist Math: Add 'Hate Crimes,' Divide Country</b>

Cue the fundraising letters from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League — the FBI’s latest report on so-called “hate crimes” is out. Since the SPLC and ADL exist primarily to perpetuate their own existence, the rise in “hate crimes” means the only solution will be to send them a check. Right?

Let’s do something the media won’t and offer some clear perspective about this report on crimes that, it should go without saying, should not occur at all.

First, we put “hate crimes” in quotes because it’s a phony special designation invented by the Left to enhance the victim standing of favored constituencies — minorities, homosexuals, and now the so-called “transgendered.” These crimes are not usually different in kind from run-of-the-mill crimes, except they are committed against certain identity groups, and they are increasingly being categorized (keep that in mind when you hear about “more” of these crimes). You won’t find the MAGA-hat-wearing victims of leftist assaults in the tally, either, despite the obvious hate that motivated those attacks. Nor does the FBI count most of the hundreds of thousands of black-on-white assaults as “hate crimes.” But the FBI does say that 52.5% of “hate” offenders were white. For the math-challenged, that means 47.5% weren’t.

Second, it won’t surprise you to learn that the rise in these crimes is all President Donald Trump’s fault — at least according to the deceitful mass media. After all, the Leftmedia has been beating the “Trump’s a racist and a Nazi” drum for more than four years now, including flat-out lying about things like his remarks about Charlottesville and his supposed refusal to disavow white supremacists (fact check: he’s done so repeatedly). The media’s aim is to lay every one of these crimes at Trump’s feet. Newsweek, for example, headlined: “Hate Crimes Under Trump Surged Nearly 20 Percent Says FBI Report.”

The truth? The Leftmedia bears the blame for flooding the nation with false “news” about a supposedly white supremacist president. If — if — actual white supremacists are truly emboldened to commit crimes, it isn’t because of Trump; it’s because the media told them they run the country.

Meanwhile, which party’s constituents spent much of this year rioting and burning down cities?

Third, much is being made about the number of “hate-motivated murders.” Aside from the question of who’s ever heard of a love-motivated murder, the number troubling the media is 51. But stop and think about that for a minute. Out of 16,425 homicides nationwide, 51 of them were “hate crimes.” And 22 of those 51 were killed in a single El Paso shooting. A huge chunk of the other 16,374 murders were black-on-black killings in America’s Democrat-run urban centers. Yet that inconvenient truth draws a collective yawn from the same media outlets hyperventilating at the chance to blame Trump for some of the 51 “hate” murders. Every one of these lives is sacred, but, outrageously, some tell a better political narrative.

Fourth, it’s frankly quite remarkable that in a nation of roughly 330 million people — especially one that’s reportedly a rampantly racist backwater — there were just “7,314 criminal incidents and 8,559 related offenses motivated by bias against” certain groups. We certainly don’t belittle those crimes, but this isn’t quite the shocking crime wave you’d be led to believe. And it’s to say nothing of the cottage industry of “hate crime” hoaxes, the most famous of which were Jussie Smollett and Bubba Wallace.

Finally, it’s worth noting, as Newsweek does, that “a majority of the hate crime incidents occurred in California, New York, Washington, New Jersey and Texas.” Draw your own conclusions.

Crime is wrong. Murder is especially horrific. But let’s dispense with this divisive garbage about some crime being worse just so leftists can score political points. Maybe if they want “unity” so badly, they could try not using FBI stats to justify calling half the country Nazi racists.



<b>Major Institutions Earned Our Distrust</b>

Higher education, tech companies, news outlets, large corporations, organized religion, and government in general are all showing signs of depleted trust from the American public. This corrosion is a big problem, and we should worry.

Parents are sending their children to colleges and universities with the hope that they will be equipped and prepared for a career, profession, or vocation, but only 50% surveyed by Pew Research in August 2019 agreed that higher education had a positive impact on the direction of America, while 38% attributed a negative influence on current events.

Pew found that lost trust wasn’t just in our nation’s learning institutions. Americans are losing trust in each other. Those adults surveyed who stated they had lost trust in their fellow man and woman totaled 64%, and another 70% believed this distrust to be the key factor preventing solutions for our nation’s serious problems. The media was noted to have a negative effect on our nation by 64%, while big tech companies and higher ed came in around 50%. Very sadly, the respondents who have lost trust in others say that individuals “have become more lazy, greedy and dishonest.”

Elections, universities, religion, and media don’t fail in and of themselves. Each of these gain morality or immorality — a set of virtues or vices — based on those who populate them and are charged with their operations. Our leaders must inspire, set standards, and instill the framework for excellence while modeling integrity for others to follow. Harvard Business Review declared, “Trust is essential to developing relationships with individuals. Leaders who cannot inspire trust cannot lead; there will be no followership.”

News networks need not wonder why Americans are no longer consuming information from biased outlets when “journalists” make no effort to actually report the facts. Schools shouldn’t question parents preferring education to indoctrination and academics to activism. Voters should be able to trust that every legal vote will count. When we have no way to validate the authenticity of mailed ballots, it destroys the confidence and trust of the American electorate.

“Credibility is your best currency,” read the subtitle to a 2017 Inc.com article discussing ways credibility is earned. “With it you are solvent, without [it] you are bankrupt.” The enviable state of trustworthiness is made stronger through one’s credibility — reliability, integrity, and the ability to inspire belief.

Anti-American philosophies that mock faith, patriotism, and a good work ethic have infected our institutions, which, because they cannot be trusted, lose business and must be funded by taxpayers. These institutions should not be surprised when the American people are angered by their failure, conniving, corruption, and deception.

At the same time, there’s an awakening of Americans who realize the greatness of this amazing land. Millions are becoming wise to the garbage being peddled as truth and will fight those who beat down America while profiting from her greatness. But trust doesn’t come with a refill. Institutions that are important to our society are populated with individuals who have lost credibility and trustworthiness. To rebuild, we must encourage the next generation of leaders to rise up and step in with the currency of credibility and truth that returns integrity and trust to so many of America’s critical institutions



<b>Another episode in the war beteween feminists and fake females</b>

The newspaper which presents itself as a bastion of liberalism and tolerance, and which openly stands in judgement of other media, was hoist by its own petard after one of its top columnists quit amid a 'transphobia' row.

Suzanne Moore today announced her shock departure from The Guardian after a career there spanning more than 25 years.

She later appeared to take a swipe at the left-wing newspaper by changing her Twitter bio to: 'She left because she understood the value of defiance'.

It comes after the award-winning journalist was thrust into the centre of a 'transphobia' storm earlier this year over a column about feminists being abused by trans extremists.

In the article, published in March under the headline: 'Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced', she wrote about gender being a biological classification and, 'not a feeling'.

But the comment piece prompted some 338 Guardian employees to write to editor Katharine Viner, complaining about the paper's 'pattern of publishing transphobic content'. 

Ms Moore, who won the Orwell Foundation's Journalism Prize in 2019 and has written consistently for the paper for the last 10 years, having had a stint at the paper earlier in her career, also revealed she and her children had received death and rape threats. 

Her departure comes amid a number of high-profile rows between feminism and transgender lobbies, with Harry Potter author JK Rowling being criticised earlier this year after she mocked an online article using the words 'people who menstruate' instead of 'women'. 

Others to face criticism from transgender rights groups include Oxford University Professor Selina Todd and feminist blogger Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull. 

Announcing her resignation on Monday evening, Ms Moore tweeted: 'I have left The Guardian. I will very much miss SOME of the people there. For now that's all I can say.' 

Suzanne Moore's column titled, 'Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced', was published in the Guardian on March 2 this year. 

In it, she addressed how an Oxford historian had been barred from speaking at a feminist history event.

Selina Todd, a professor in Modern History at St Hilda's College, was provided with security following 'transphobia' row. 

Trans-rights campaigners were believed to have taken issue with her ties to the women's rights group Woman's Place UK – which some claim to be 'transphobic'. 

The group, which denies being transphobic, has pushed for ministers to consult more widely about changing the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow people to self-identify as a man or woman without approval from a doctor. 

Professor Todd, who has always denied having transphobic views, was due to give a two-minute speech at an event at Exeter College.

But the day before Professor Todd was due to speak, she was 'no platformed'.

Ms Moore wrote: 'I feel a huge sadness when I look at the fragmentation of the landscape, where endless fighting, cancellations and no-platformings have obscured our understanding of who the real enemies are.'

Her column concluded: 'Women have the right to call out the violent men who rape.

'We have the right to speak and organise without being told that speech is itself dangerous.

'You can tell me to "die in a ditch, terf" all you like, as many have for years, but I self-identify as a woman who won't go down quietly.' 

She added: 'It was entirely my choice to go. I will tell you all about it one day. For now thank you for these lovely messages. I feel like I am at my own funeral or something.

'Anyway, I will keep writing of course! The efforts to shut me up seem not to have been very well thought through.' 

Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh, ex-footballer Gary Lineker, rock band Primal Scream and MP Jess Phillips were among those sharing their support for Ms Moore. 

Journalists Polly Toynbee and Ian Dunt, and the author Giles Paley-Phillips have also expressed their sadness at Ms Moore's departure. 

Ms Moore's Twitter bio now reads, 'She left because she understood the value of defiance'. 

The staff letter denouncing 'transphobic content', which did not name Ms Moore, was leaked to Buzzfeed and Pink News in the wake of her column. 

Ms Moore later named the signatories online. 

The row began after Ms Moore addressed how Oxford historian Selina Todd had been barred from speaking at a feminist history event.

Ms Todd, a professor in Modern History at St Hilda's College, was provided with security over a 'transphobia' row.

Trans-rights campaigners were believed to have taken issue with her ties to the women's rights group Woman's Place UK – which some claim to be 'transphobic'.

The group, which denies being transphobic, has pushed for ministers to consult more widely about changing the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow people to self-identify as a man or woman without approval from a doctor.

Professor Todd, who has always denied having transphobic views, was due to give a two-minute speech at an event at Exeter College.

But the day before Professor Todd was due to speak, she was 'no platformed'.

Defending her in a column, written on March 2, Ms Moore said: 'We have gone through the looking-glass and are being told that sex is a construct. 

'It is said that sex is merely assigned at birth, rather than being a material fact – actually, though, sex is recognisable in the womb (which is what enables foetal sex selection). 

'Sex is not a feeling. Female is a biological classification that applies to all living species. If you produce large immobile gametes, you are female. 

'Even if you are a frog. This is not complicated, nor is there a spectrum, although there are small numbers of intersex people who should absolutely be supported.'

She adds: 'The materiality of having a female body may mean rape or it may mean childbirth – but we still seek liberation from gender. 

'In some transgender ideology, we are told the opposite: gender is material and therefore can be possessed by whoever claims it, and it is sex as a category that is a social construction. Thus, sex-based rights, protected in law, can be done away with.

'I know from personal experience the consequences of being deemed transphobic by an invisible committee on social media. It has meant death and rape threats for me and my children, and police involvement. I also know that the most vicious stuff takes place online and not in real life. Still, I can't stand by.

'Most people want the tiny percentage of the population who are trans to have the best lives they can. 

'Male violence is an issue for women, which is why we want single-sex spaces.' 

'My offence was to say that biological sex is a thing. Scientists tend to think it is. 

'After all the online abuse, I thought someone might ring me and see if I was OK, but they didn't. But then I never go to the Guardian office. There had been melodrama, apparently. 

'A trans woman who had seemingly resigned some weeks earlier resigned again. My words had made her feel unsafe, she said. More than 300 employees at the paper signed a letter condemning the decision to run my article. 

'I like freaks. I like fluidity. I just don't like one set of rules being replaced by another. 

'I was hurt that so many of my 'colleagues' denounced me, but I suppose everyone needs a hobby.' 

A Guardian News and Media spokesperson said: 'We wish Suzanne all the best with her future career and are sorry to see her leave.'

Meanwhile, Professor Todd has today praised Ms Moore in a tweet, saying: 'Thank you to Suzanne Moore for standing up for me (despite fact we disagree on many things), letting me know that my story mattered, that what happens to women is news, worth understanding, analysing, representing.

'The Guardian just lost a brave female voice.'



<b>Facebook apologises to Australian MP falsely accused by conspiracy theorist of being in 'paedophile network'</b>

<i>A rogue organization</i>

Facebook has apologised to Nationals MP Anne Webster over months-long delays in responding to reports of abuse she received from an online conspiracy theorist that led to an $875,000 defamation payout order.

In September, federal court justice Jacqueline Gleeson ordered the payout to the first-term Mildura MP over Facebook posts in April by Australian conspiracy theorist Karen Brewer. The posts were shared hundreds of times and falsely accused Webster of being “a member of a secretive paedophile network” who had been “parachuted into parliament to protect a past generation of paedophiles”.

Webster’s husband and the not-for-profit they set up to help single mothers were also included in the payout.

Gleeson in her decision said Brewer’s posts were “disgraceful and inexplicable”.

Brewer’s account was not deleted by Facebook until Guardian Australia reported on the case in August.

Webster installed security cameras at her home because she feared being physically attacked.

In a parliamentary committee hearing on family, domestic and sexual violence, Webster questioned whether Facebook could support people subject to abuse online if it took around five months for Facebook to take action in her case.

“It took till August until anything was done, after several court hearings and Facebook being reminded that they were part of the contempt of court if they continue to post it – if you continue to post it,” she told Facebook’s Australian director of public policy, Mia Garlick.

“So I’m concerned that the responsiveness is actually not there. If it’s not there for me, then is it there for people who are abused in domestic relationships, or relationships that are over?”

Garlick apologised for how Facebook had handled the case.

“I do want to apologise for the experience that you had on our platform and I understand how upsetting and damaging untrue accusations that were said must have been for you.

“And I think that there are a number of claims that are made particularly about public figures – and primarily, it’s often female public figures – that will violate our community standards that we will be able to take action on and remove promptly,” she said.

But Garlick differentiated between Webster’s experience on Facebook and the experience of people who are not public figures. She said content was not automatically removed in cases where public figures are accused of crimes, but said Facebook reviews applicable laws to see if the content could be found to be in breach of the law, and then it is blocked.

“I think one of the difficulties that arise in relation to the current state of defamation law is where we have to make a judgment about whether the person posting the content could rely on the defence of truthfulness,” Garlick said. “And recent court decisions have also changed the standard for the content to be considered unlawful.

“And so we actually engage with local counsel to work through that legal analysis.”

Garlick said posts were blocked, and the account was removed for “repeatedly violating community standards”, but blamed “legal complexities” for Facebook not acting faster.

“There were some additional legal complexities in that case. And certainly, you know, we’re actively engaged in advocating for reform of defamation law to try to assist in more swiftly addressing those kinds of issues.”

Webster pointed out the defamatory posts also targeted her husband and a charity, and she said Facebook’s abuse reporting tools were not fit for purpose.

“If they are to guard the safety of the users, I don’t think it’s doing a very good job,” she said. “The fact that it takes maybe 48 hours – maybe three days – for a response to come at all and then for any action to be taken really was only after a court finding that meant Facebook would be held in contempt of court.

“I’m just assuring you that I am absolutely focused on ensuring that people in Australia are not harmed in the way that I was harmed, and that my organisation was harmed and that my husband was harmed – it is not OK.”

The MP said the policies were not working and needed to be improved.

Garlick said Facebook’s machine learning and AI processes were developing to ensure that abusive content was caught before it was posted, but it was hard to hard code in potentially defamatory content.

“Our goal is to try to remove harmful content before people even see it, because that removes the harm,” she said.

“I very much understand and I’m very sympathetic to your case. And I do think that our ability to sort of code for defamation law is a much more complex thing.”



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


18 November, 2020   

<b>Contesting Election Results in Court Isn’t the End of Democracy. Quite the Opposite</b>

Is a disputed presidential election the end of democracy as we know it?

That’s what many pundits and members of the legacy media are claiming as President Donald Trump has challenged election results in a number of states—both legally and rhetorically.

It seems that much of the media hivemind now insists that voter fraud never happens, that it’s equally impossible for an election to be stolen or tainted in any way, and that going a few weeks with two rival candidates both declaring victory (including one they really don’t like) means we are witnessing the end of America as a free country.

It’s amazing that this is the case after countless Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, insisted that Trump colluded with Russians to steal the 2016 election, a story that most major media outlets ran with for years without providing any hard evidence.

It’s also amusing to see so many in the media praising former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams for her work to flip the Peach State into the Democrat column in 2020.

Abrams lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election to Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, in a race Kemp won by almost 55,000 votes. 

Abrams insists that voter suppression is the only reason Republicans came out ahead and never conceded defeat. Yet she has received, literally, glowing profiles in The Washington Post and countless other media outlets.

Whatever the results of Trump’s legal challenges, the situation hardly portends a slip into dictatorship.

Truth be told, these sorts of electoral disputes aren’t even uncommon in our history.

Americans have been blessed with a marvelous political system that has stood the test of time. And it has been tested. Not every election has been entirely free and fair, and they certainly haven’t all gone smoothly.

As my colleague, Fred Lucas, the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections,” wrote for The Daily Signal, there have been at least five highly contested presidential elections.

The 1876 election between Democrat Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was perhaps the most dramatic example.

Much like 2020, turnout for the election was incredibly high, a U.S. record of 82% of eligible voters. But there was widespread, often violent, suppression of black voters—who then were largely Republicans—in the South, and ballot stuffing was common throughout the country.

Tilden’s supporters literally called for blood if their candidate was not installed in the White House.

Neither candidate conceded defeat until just before Inauguration Day, which at the time was in early March. So, the country spent over four months without knowing who the president would be.

The mess was only “resolved” by a last-minute, so-called corrupt bargain between Democrats and Republicans that handed Hayes the presidency in exchange for ending Reconstruction in the South.

That may seem like ancient news from a far-off and alien time, but one doesn’t really have to dig that deep into political history to find examples of contested elections and candidates refusing to concede.

The 1960 election was a narrow race between Sen. John F. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Vice President Richard Nixon, and it was rife with accusations that Democratic political machines—in Chicago, in particular—manufactured votes for Kennedy.

Hundreds of election officials in Illinois were indicted, but only a handful were convicted in 1962, after admitting to witness tampering in Chicago’s 28th Ward.

Nixon did in fact organize to challenge the election results in Illinois and a number of other states, but ultimately decided to concede for the sake of the country and his political career. Nixon was a young man and had every intention of running for president again—which he did in 1968, winning a three-way race.

It took then-Vice President Al Gore more than five weeks to acknowledge defeat in the 2000 election to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, decided by just 537 votes in Florida. That was after more than a month of legal battles, recounts, and the famed Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case that ultimately delivered the election to Bush.

Gore hardly went away without a fight, calling for selective recounts in heavily Democratic Florida counties while attempting to block the inclusion of military absentee ballots.

When all avenues for victory had been closed, Gore finally called it quits on Dec. 13, 2000—over a month after the Nov. 7 election.

Many Democrats around the country refused to accept that Bush had been legitimately elected—or reelected in 2004.

What we are seeing here in 2020 is hardly unique, nor does it signal the end of democracy. To the contrary, this is democracy in action, in all its messiness.

The way to quell electoral disputes is not to simply expect politicians to immediately concede close and hotly contested races, but to ensure that our voting system is safe and secure, and that it’s designed to minimize impropriety, fraud, and unintentional errors that could throw elections into dispute.

Maybe elected officials should take that more seriously in 2022 and beyond.



<b>The Genteel Authoritarian</b>

A lot of folks, some whom may not think of themselves as populists, are going to be fed up when they board that full flight home for Thanksgiving in a few weeks. Despite all the warnings and all the proclamations, America is still doing its annual November migration, though in fewer numbers and with diminished gatherings and less to be thankful for. In the city of Pittsburgh this year on the holiday before Thanksgiving, Mayor Peduto echoed CDC guidance in declaring to his citizens that trick or treating was permitted – encountering dozens of strangers and exchanging food – but private gatherings with a single group of people, also known also as costume parties, were banned. That’s right, the government told you who you could have in your own home. 

The point is this: if you think we’re living in a populist moment now wait until you see what happens as Democratic leaders move forward with another round of lockdowns or a real mask mandate. Wait until you see what happens if more local governments follow the example of New York City and forcibly break up religious worship or, as more governors seek to prevent blood relatives from gathering at their Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas tables. 

Several states this week did in fact announce limitations on the number of guests in the homes of their citizens, and a number of other byzantine rules that I’ll refrain from spending a few sentences mocking because of the serious nature of this level of intrusion. While details on enforcement of the in-home gathering rules are unclear, this is a degree of overreach that cannot square with the First Amendment right to free assembly. We have already seen in the state of New York police entering the homes of citizens to break up parties and religious gatherings. COVID is an insidious terror and close to a quarter million of us are dead, but Americans were not meant to be ruled this way, even in extremis. Even the suggestions that any government body – state, local, or federal – within any square inch of their jurisdiction have this type of power is inherently dangerous. 

If Joe Biden comes into office and calls for a national lockdown or, even worse, tries to implement a national mask mandate, we may learn what a real resistance looks like. He’ll seek to use his age and demeanor to lure Americans via fireside chat-style missives for common sacrifice. However, we need to ask ourselves one question: yes, we’ve seen movement up and down the phases as denoted by number (1, 2,3) and colors (red, green, yellow), but has any state that declared one ended their state of emergency? 

This is an incredibly painful time, and it’s about to get worse. More than 100,000 businesses have shuttered permanently, and our right to peaceable assembly is suspended, all while people are dying at an alarming rate. But we cannot let our state of emergency remain so. What will sound like common sense measures today become the precedents and justifications for permanent bans and mandates, and the subsidies that are supposed to make submission bearable. That will not bode well for how we mark our response to the other crises we’ll face this decade. 

As early indications come in on the type of staff Biden will surround himself with, make no mistake this rule-by-experts – on COVID and across the policy landscape – is too top-down, too sanctimonious, and too divorced from the populace to be successful. The DNC was successful in controlling their primary process and maneuvering to get in place a candidate who offended the sensibilities of the fewest, and at the time of writing, it appears they got this guy across the finish line. Assistance with distribution networks for an available vaccine, yes. But this is not the time or place in our history for the federal government to take on an even bigger role in our lives via new and sweeping rules and mandates. That will not be unifying, and it may be dangerous. 



<b>Gov. Kristi Noem Reacts to Obama's 'Ridiculous' Election Message</b>

Former President Obama (D) has written a new book called "The Promised Land" in which he imagines an America that can one day "finally align with all that is best in us." He shared an adapted excerpt with The Atlantic, which they published last week.

He starts by regretting what has become of the country.

The country is in the grips of a global pandemic and an accompanying economic crisis, with more than 230,000 Americans dead, businesses shuttered, and millions of people out of work. Across the nation, people from all walks of life have poured into the streets to protest the deaths of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of the police. Perhaps most troubling of all, our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of crisis—a crisis rooted in a fundamental contest between two opposing visions of what America is and what it should be; a crisis that has left the body politic divided, angry, and mistrustful, and has allowed for an ongoing breach of institutional norms, procedural safeguards, and the adherence to basic facts that both Republicans and Democrats once took for granted. (The Atlantic)

Obama's skepticism about America's future is a theme throughout the piece. Toward the end of the excerpt, he wonders if we Americans "can actually live up to the meaning of our creed."

"The jury's still out," he answers.

It couldn't help but remind us of when former first lady Michelle Obama said she was finally proud of her country after so many Americans had voted for her husband in the 2008 presidential election.

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country — and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change," Mrs. Obama said. Obama would later defend his wife and claim she was talking about American politics.

But Americans like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) reject the Obamas' way of thinking. On Twitter, she argued that Obama's new book is "ridiculous" considering that in his eight years as president, he singlehandedly upended the American Dream.

Gov. Noem is one of what seems like only a handful of governors that truly get it when it comes to both keeping citizens safe and protecting their livelihoods. She refused to lock down her state, even when it seemed like the trend. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for instance, just shuttered Michigan again over the weekend after a rise in COVID cases. But Noem has kept businesses open. In doing so, she likely saved thousands of jobs.

And that's why she's sending a warning about a Biden-Harris administration.



<b>No sex please, we’re feminists</b>

<i>Louise Roberts comments on some recent Australian partings</i>

It’s ironic that after decades of telling them that they are strong, empowered goddesses who can make their own choices, the feminist left is now calling for society to protect women from their own ­occasionally bad choices.

It doesn’t make it right, but those who claim to speak for all women need to accept that sometimes those same women will make bad ­choices.

They’ll sleep with the boss, hook up with a junior staffer after too many after-work wines or implode their textbook spouse and kids set-up when they’re caught indulging in a long term affair.

If we are going to accept that women and men are equals, then the fact is they will do equally dumb things.

Yet consensual sexual relationships seem to only become scandals if it is man having an affair with a subordinate female — the line is that he must be somehow exploiting her, never mind her own choice in the matter.

It’s all so puritanical, and thanks to the overreach of modern woke feminism someone has to pay the price for the weakness of an office romance, preferably the bloke.

Even better if both parties have to resign their lucrative positions because then someone can play victim, a bonus point for the sisterhood.

In recent days we’ve seen dragged into the open a secret 2017 affair between former Coalition media adviser Rachelle Miller and then Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.

Both were married at the time and both have since separated from their partners.

And the chief executive of Channel 9 Hugh Marks has quit after his relationship with the company’s former commercial director Alexi Baker was publicly revealed on Saturday. Baker left the business on October 1, the suggestion being that she was keen to avoid any allegations of ­favouritism.

But isn’t it something amid the personal carnage we’ve witnessed in federal politics and at Channel 9 to see the left side of politics defend ­traditional marriage again.

If we want equality then we have to accept that there is, what some might regard, a downside to the celebrated war on gender — personal ­responsibility.

Miller has gone one step further by lodging a formal complaint regarding the way she was treated in the office post affair, alleging federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash forced her out with a fake redundancy.

The Liberal Party had a “women problem” and was rife with “sexism”, is the message on high rotation.

In effect, Miller says she was punished for an affair that she “bitterly regrets” and performance at work was in question as a result.

“I lost a lot of self-confidence because I didn’t feel I had any power at all to be able to stand up for myself,” she said.

“I knew I was leaving a job that I really loved, but I didn’t see that there was any other way out.

“You know, I actually at that time viewed myself as damaged goods and I was really worried about this coming out and impacting our chances at the election.”

A workplace relationship has the sisterhood salivating for a witch hunt.

Lust must be punished, you don’t have a right to a private life and so on.

But the truth is this — we wanted equality and sometimes the results of that aren’t fabulous.

So how exactly do we see women? We need to make up our minds as a society.

Do we support a woman’s right to have an affair and make her own mistakes or do we want to be the new ­morality police and crowbar every woman into the victim slot?

As one colleague noted, according to the new rules you can only sleep with people at your level on the org chart.

Feminism is held up as a blueprint for life and we’re all supposed to conform. But is this the space we want to occupy with our daughters — raising them to be a victim and someone without sexual agency?

While neither Miller nor Baker have gone this route, what we’ve seen too often in others is women having affairs and blaming men when it all goes wrong, no matter the real victims such as wives who have been discarded and the bewildered children scarred for life.

The so-called “sexual revolution” was never really about sex but overthrowing staid bourgeois institutions like the nuclear family.

That having been achieved, now the left is anti-sex again.

George Orwell, in his way, predicted this in his novel 1984, which featured a “junior anti-sex league” that promoted complete celibacy for both sexes.

And that means that professional women are victims in an illicit affair, as despite all their achievements, they have no will of their own or power to resist the entreaties of men.

So how is it that women can have total free choice as decreed by the feminist yet absolutely none at all? It makes no sense.

Cheating is no more of a hardwired tendency for males than for females. We need to stop treating women as shrinking violets.

And file modern feminism where it belongs — as the annoying friend who stops you doing what you desire.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


17 November, 2020   

<b>Win or lose in 2020, President Donald Trump, his administration, campaign and supporters have a whole lot to be proud of. </b>

This is a President who has fought tirelessly for the American people: to get better deals on trade, to take on the Washington, D.C. establishment, bring jobs back to the U.S. and get the economy moving after eight years of the Obama-Biden stagnation.

Whatever happens, President Trump’s America First Revolution is only just beginning.

And in 2020, Trump dramatically built on his 2016 coalition by garnering more than 68 million votes, far more than any other Republican candidate in history.

To get there, according to the CNN exit poll for this year, Trump significantly improved his standing amongst numerous demographics compared to 2016: white women by 3 points, blacks by 4 points, shrank Biden’s margin on both black men and women by 7 points, shrank Biden’s margin on Latino men by 6 points and on Latina women by 2 points.

What Trump has done, and Republicans might not appreciate this right now, is create a new way for the GOP to win national elections by expanding the Republican base: by appealing to poorer, working class Americans of all races, creeds and colors.

In doing so, President Trump has not only put the lie to the media falsely portraying him as a racist, he has guaranteed a competitive two-party system at a time when Democratic one-party rule is a real danger.

2020 has produced more votes than ever in American history across the board.

But, in the Rust Belt states of Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump was narrowly beaten by Biden this time. Interestingly, the key to Biden’s wins there was on the President’s core constituency: Trump lost a small and yet highly significant ground with white men, and specifically white, no-college nationally and at the state level.

In 2016, Trump won whites generally 57 percent to 37 percent. In 2020, he only won it 57 percent to 42 percent. Biden improved by 4 points there.

On white men, last time Trump won 62 percent to 31 percent. In 2020, he won it 58 percent to 40 percent. My sense is Trump didn’t lose any support, it’s that Biden increased turnout amongst the D-leaning white men.

It went from a 31-point edge to an 18-point edge. Devastating.

Finally, on white, no-college, Trump won 66 percent to 29 percent last time. In 2020, Trump won 64 percent to 35 percent, going from a 37-point edge to a 29-point edge.

And, the killer, on white, no-college men, Trump won 71 percent to 23 percent in 2016. In 2020, Trump won it 67 percent to 30 to percent.

If Biden happens to eke out a victory, when Trump improved every one of his weaknesses on women and minorities but lost ground on his major strength, that will be the biggest reason why.

To be fair, it’s not that Trump was necessarily losing support among this group, it was that Biden was able to improve on his own Democratic-leaning voters in this demographic, essentially bringing his numbers among whites back to former President Barack Obama’s 2008 levels.

This is something the President’s campaign data team should have identified as a group that the Biden campaign was explicitly targeting — and moved to register more voters in this key demographic — even if it appeared to the GOP that it was already maximized.

“The President may regret following the advice of conventional GOP consultants,” Market Research Foundation President Bill Wilson commented, adding, “They, as a group, have never understood the impact of the white, no-college voter.  While the President may be able to off-set the lost among this core constituency with increased support from Hispanics and African Americans, it is a danger for him to have failed to equal the 2016 levels of support.”

Clearly, the President’s road to victory in 2020 could have been considerably smoother by getting more out of higher-propensity potential base voters registered in order to offset Biden’s surge among whites.

Additionally, here, Wilson makes a key point, which is that but for Trump’s successful outreach to women and minorities — given Biden’s improvement among men and whites — the President and Republicans would have been slaughtered in Election Day. They weren’t. And if Trump wins, that will surely be why.

Instead, Trump is still in the running in Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania, has decisively carried Ohio, Florida and Texas, and Republicans appear to have held the U.S. Senate.

In an election on the razor’s edge in a year when almost every poll said Joe Biden had this thing locked up, that is a remarkable accomplishment. It’s something Republicans can and should build on in the coming years. President Trump, since he started his historic run in 2015, was showing the GOP establishment something important all along — that the Republican Party can and must grow if it is to remain competitive.



<b>Trump Blows Apart the Left’s Identity Politics</b>

While votes in key swings are still being counted for the presidential race, one thing is crystal clear: President Trump has badly damaged the Left’s weaponization of identity politics.

During his tenure in the White House, we’ve heard endless accusations of racism, xenophobia and white supremacy lodged against Trump. In a new low just this week, CNN compared his policies to those of Hitler.

“This week, 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened. It was the Nazi’s warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity. And in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and truth. After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to normal,” CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour said.

On the campaign trail, former Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic Senator Kamala Harris continued to falsely claim President Trump took the side of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. This is a lie easily debunked by providing the full context of Trump’s remarks on the situation.

“I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly,” Trump said from Trump Tower in August 2017.

But despite the endless smears, President Trump made significant headway with Latino and Black voters.

In all seven of Texas’ most Hispanic districts, President Trump improved his vote totals by an average of 20 percent.

“After losing the county by 60 percentage points to Hillary Clinton, President Donald Trump lost it by just 5% to Joe Biden. In neighboring Zapata County, which Clinton won by 33 percentage points in 2016, voters didn’t just swing more to the right — the county flipped all the way red,” the Texas Tribune reports. “And that trend continued all the way up and down the Texas-Mexico border, where Trump won 14 of the 28 counties that Clinton had nearly swept in 2016 while winning by an average of 33 percentage points. This year those same counties went for Biden by an average of just 17 points.”

Among African-American men and women, he also saw improvements, not just at the ballot box but in popular culture. Compared to 2016, Trump saw a six percent increase from Jewish voters. As a whole, the Republican Party not only gained new voters but sent a number of women, minorities and veterans to the U.S. Congress.

Ironically and unfortunately for the leftist media narrative, Trump lost the most votes among white men.

If the trend continues in future elections, this demographic shift represents a significant problem for the Left, which thrives off of group-based divide and conquer strategies to win elections. It puts a dent in the Left’s attitude that they are entitled to the votes of women, minorities and further opens the door for the Republican Party to prove its policies are best for all Americans. Well done, Mr. President.



<b>Ivanka and Don Jr. call for an end to violence against conservatives after physical clashes broke out between pro and anti-Trump protesters at the Million MAGA March </b>

Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. defended their father's most staunch supporters on Sunday as they excoriated those who exhibit violence against conservatives and lashed out at the media for exacerbating the problem by not covering these violent clashes enough.

'The media's near total silence about the physical violence being perpetrated against conservatives is shameful & dangerous,' Ivanka Trump, who serves as a White House senior adviser, tweeted Sunday morning.

'Just image (sic) the outrage and indignation if this went the other way,' she continued. 'Violence is never the answer and instigators must be condemned and prosecuted.'

Her older brother, Don Jr., also tweeted his outrage Sunday and said the press has emboldened this violence by likening Trump supporters to Nazis and essentially putting a target on their backs.

'By not covering all of the violence from the left over the last four years the media has allowed this to continue and to get worse,' he claimed.

'If they even did a little bit of 'journalism,' public sentiment would be against these piece of sh** fascists pretending to be anti-fascists,' Don Jr., who helps lead his father's campaign, continued.

In another tweet he added, 'The media's silence on the violence against Trump supporters is deafening.'

'After four years of calling them Nazis, at this point they might as well just dox them all or add the (sic) to AOC's lists for the Gulags,' he wrote. 'They are complicit in the violence. They are the worst of the worst.'

The president's two eldest children and closest advisers sent these tweets the morning after violent clashes ensued between pro- and anti-Trump protesters in Washington D.C. 

Thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Nation's Capital Saturday for the Million MAGA March, which both aimed to show their continued support of the president and protest the election results as the president insists it was 'rigged'.

The tweets also came the morning after Trump called on cops to 'do your job' as he blasted counter protesters who turned up at the Million MAGA March as 'Antifa scum'.

The president joked on Twitter that they 'ran for this hills' after violent scenes erupted in Washington D.C. Saturday night.

The president claimed 'Antifa' had waited until the end of the march to attack 'elderly people and families' as he praised his supporters who 'aggressively fought back'. 

'Antifa SCUM ran for the hills today when they tried attacking the people at the Trump Rally, because those people aggressively fought back,' he tweeted. 

'Antifa waited until tonight, when 99% were gone, to attack innocent #MAGA People. DC Police, get going — do you job and don't hold back!!!' 

Trump was referencing a mass brawl that broke out at about 8pm just five blocks from the White House as counter protesters clashed with a group of Proud Boys and Trump supporters. 

A man in his 20s, believed to be a Black Lives Matter protester, was left with serious injuries and rushed to the hospital after being stabbed in the back during the altercation and two police officers were also injured. 

The ugly scenes lasted for several minutes as the two groups wielded batons and pushed and shoved each other until cops intervened. 

Another female Black Lives Matter protester was knocked the ground where she was left lying with blood covering her face as the pro-Trump group filmed her and screamed 'F*** Antifa'. 

She was eventually helped from the ground and carried to a nearby bench by a police officer as the violence continued around her and cops rushed to try and separate the two groups, according to a video shared by Daily Caller contributor Matthew Miller. 

Earlier, anti-Trump protesters were seen throwing fireworks and bottles at his fans as they dined outside a restaurant at around 6pm, with one Trump supporter throwing a chair back in retaliation after a firework exploded right beside him. 

The Trump supporters initially tried to shout back at the large group of protesters gathered around them chanting 'people are dying while you are dining', before being forced to flee inside when the fireworks began.   

D.C. police reported at least twenty arrests as of Saturday night. The tensions appeared to die down after cops successfully separated the groups and Trump supporters gathered around their hotels to celebrate. 

The violence erupted after tensions mounted through the day as thousands of Trump fans flocked to the Capitol to support the president's longshot legal challenges to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's election victory. 

Trump spent Saturday night slamming the counter protesters who came out to march against them, accusing them of violence and claiming that the media was ignoring the crowds who came out to support him. 

President Trump called on cops to 'do your job' as he blasted counter protesters who turned up at the Million MAGA March as 'Antifa scum' on Twitter on Saturday night
President Trump called on cops to 'do your job' as he blasted counter protesters who turned up at the Million MAGA March as 'Antifa scum' on Twitter on Saturday night

He also blasted D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, with whom he has an ongoing feud, and accused her of not doing her job. 

'Radical Left ANTIFA SCUM was easily rebuffed today by the big D.C. MAGA Rally crowd, only to return at night, after 99% of the crowd had left, to assault elderly people and families. Police got there, but late. Mayor is not doing her job!' Trump wrote. 

He then went on a tweeting rampage about the media who he said had not covered the march, despite a heavy press presence.

'The Free and Fair Press is gone in our country. They only write about what they want to write about. SUPPRESSION!' he fumed.  

'The Fake News Media hardly even discussed the tens of thousands of people that came to D.C. Formed organically, and in many parts of the Country!'

Pro-Trump groups gathered in Freedom Plaza at noon on Saturday afternoon, listening to speeches before marching toward the Supreme Court. Left-wing activists also arrived to counter-protest, and minor skirmishes of pushing and shoving broke out, but police formed lines to separate the two groups. 

Multiple police lines blocked Trump supporters from entering the Black Lives Matter Plaza area as night fell and tensions rose. 

Those who managed to get inside the area were doused with water and saw their MAGA hats and pro-Trump flags snatched. Videos posted on social media showed some demonstrators and counterdemonstrators trading shoves, punches and slaps. 

A man with a bullhorn yelling 'Get out of here!' was pushed to the street by a man who was then surrounded by several people and shoved and punched until he fell face first into the street. Bloody and dazed, he was picked up and walked to a police officer. 

The ugly scene pictured above continued for several minutes until police arrived to break up the groups +82
The ugly scene pictured above continued for several minutes until police arrived to break up the groups

As the night wore on, the clashes turned more and more violent as groups of Proud Boys organized and were joined by tens of Trump supporters as they claimed: 'We're not done cleaning the city tonight, let's go'. 

Just as many left-wing protesters faced off with them, targeting the president's fans who remained. The group were dressed all in black and attacked anyone wearing Trump attire. 

Cops surrounded the entrance to The Capitol Hilton near the White House after a confrontation with the anti-Trump protesters. Inside were the president's supporters who held up flags to taunt those outside and rallied outside to sign the national anthem. 

One man was detained after a Trump sign was set on fire outside the hotel, according to USA Today, while protesters slashed the tires and defaced a truck with a red Trump hat inside.  

Police were eventually forced to use a chemical agent on the protesters as they tried to push them back from the hotel and more arrests were made. 

The Proud Boys held their own rally from about 9pm after several altercations between them and protesters. They chanted 'Break out Kyle!' in reference to Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with shooting dead three protesters during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Wisconsin in August. 

The group concluded the march at several hotels where large unmasked groups gathered and further speeches were delivered as the crowds chanted 'Four more years,' 'USA!' and 'Fox News sucks'.  

Fear of brawls had emerged earlier in the day as the pro-Trump crowd marched through the heavily Democrat federal district. 

Tensions rose as the afternoon wore on, with sporadic but heated screaming matches between participants in the pro-Trump rally and groups of masked counter-protesters bearing signs supporting Black Lives Matter and Antifa. 

Cops were quick to intervene, and there were no immediate reports of major violence until later in the evening.

DC Metropolitan Police said they made at least twenty arrests as of 10pm Saturday, on charges including simple assault, assault on a police officer, and weapons violations. 

Four people were arrested for firearm violations, two for assault, one for not having a permit, one for assaulting a police officer and two for disorderly conduct, according to public affairs officer Alaina Gertz.  



<b>Brooke Boney's one wish for all non-Indigenous Australians</b>

<img src="https://i.imgur.com/lG3rZhC.jpg">

<i>She wants other Australians to look up their family history.  She apparently thinks that will change attitudes.  I have looked up my family history and it has indeed affected my attitudes.  I am amazed and proud at how quickly they brought civilization to Australia.

She says that Aborigines have not ceded title to Australia.  But they did not have to. Title to Australia was gained by right of conquest.  If that right is of no consequence we should ask the English to go back to Germany, which is where they came from around 500AD.  And all Arabs should certainly be ejected from Palestine</i>

Before she studied journalism, Today reporter Brooke Boney would often read inaccurate stories about Indigenous Australians, or ones that failed to include their perspective.

Even now, Boney, who made history last year when she became commercial breakfast television's first Indigenous star, said she faced a "big uproar" from the public when she did give the Indigenous perspective on topics.

At an event to mark NAIDOC's week at Sydney's Botanic Gardens on Tuesday, chaired by Boney, Indigenous panellists discussed this year's theme, "Always Was, Always Will Be [Aboriginal land]".

Boney said if she had one wish it would be for non-Indigenous Australians "to go back through their own family history and see how their family has benefited from the oppression of black people."

“If everyone did that, we might have a better chance of moving forward," said Boney, who made headlines in 2019 when she said her family would not be celebrating Australia Day.

Indigenous rights activist Teela Reid said this year's theme recognised that "First Nations people had never ceded sovereignty to this country, to this land and to these waters." And she said non-Indigenous Australians needed to face this difficult and uncomfortable truth.

NAIDOC week was an opportunity to celebrate and embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, said the panellists. But they also called on non-Indigenous Australians to educate themselves about the oldest surviving culture on the earth.

Ms Reid, a Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman, also said there was an obligation for non-Indigenous people to own up to their truth of the history - one of bloodshed - of what "their people did to our ancestors".

"It is also about unfinished business that we have to confront as a nation," she said. "We have to be very mindful, as a nation, that we have not gone on a journey of truth-telling, and that journey would be a dialogue between non-Indigenous and First Nations people."

She said starting these conversations was a difficult process. "That's a sign of maturity. We are not expected to feel good, because the truth is that our history is one of bloodshed. Confronting the truth is an uncomfortable process."



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


16 November, 2020

<b>Therapist in Canada says bill before Parliament would prevent counselors from affirming patients who reject gender transition</b>

Ann Gillies, a Canadian psychologist, says a bill before her nation's Parliament would ban therapists and parents from affirming people, including children, who consider but reject gender transitions.

The proposal, called Bill C-8 would ban conversion therapy, which it defines as any "service, practice or treatment designed to change a person's sexual orientation to heterosexual, gender identity to one that matches the sex assigned at birth, or to repress or reduce non heterosexual sexual attraction or sexual behaviors."

Gillies says this definition of conversion therapy differs from that used by the Canadian Psychological Association. The phrase "repress or reduce non heterosexual sexual attraction or sexual behaviors" does not reflect the CPA's definition.

Gillies says this additional language would likely make it illegal to affirm people who seek counseling and decide not to transition to another gender or decide to remain celibate.

A press release on Gillies's website includes video footage from therapy sessions that she says would be illegal if Bill C-8 becomes law. In the sessions, a girl identified as "Rachel" talks about her own decision not to pursue a gender transition, despite considering such a transition at one time. At 12, Rachel began dressing and acting like a boy at school. She says she began to consider a physical transition under pressure from teachers and peers. But she experienced rejection when she decided not to go through with it.

"When you come out as transgender, everyone is so accepting. But when you come out as cis, everyone turns their back on you," Rachel said in one of the videos.

Cisgender is a term used for people who identify as the gender they were born as.

During these sessions, Gillies encourages Rachel, whose face is blurred out in the videos, to accept herself as a female.

"We need to support Canadians, regardless of how they choose to identify," Gillies said in the press release. "This law discriminates against 'Rachel,' preventing people like her from choosing their support."



<b>Philadelphia Vietnamese Baptist Church is a "total loss" after thugs burned it</b>

The Vietnamese Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was burned on Tuesday night as the Black Lives Matter protests continued in Philadelphia following the police shooting of a Black man Monday.

"I have no idea why they attacked our church. They burned it from the roof. They threw flammable chemicals on the roof and [flames] burned through the roof, said Pastor Philip Pham, adding that the building is a "total loss."

The latest protests are in response to the shooting death Walter Wallace, Jr., a black man who brandished a knife in a confrontation with police on Monday.

Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., several officers have been injured during an attack involving fireworks. Other incidents between protesters and police resulted from the death of Karon Hylton, a man who was killed on a moped last Friday. Hylton was fleeing from police when he collided with a vehicle..



<b>AOC Exposes the Underbelly of Leftist Tyranny</b>

It's clear that if given the power, AOC and her ilk would punish and destroy political opponents.

Will the real fascists please stand up? Prior to any mainstream media outlets calling the presidential election for Joe Biden, extreme leftist “Squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) posted the following statement on social media: “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future.”

Several people responded to AOC’s speech-chilling statement by pointing out its obvious allusions to some of history’s most brutal dictators. One commenter wrote, “Joseph [Stalin] is proud of you!” Another posted an image of Mao Zedong captioned, “Big shoes to fill but you’ll get there.” Still another simply stated, “Archive this: You are insane.”

Maybe the best rebuke came from liberal academic Bret Weinstein, a staunch free speech advocate. “You are an elected representative in a democratic republic and you are setting the stage for retribution against fellow citizens for the crime of holding a different opinion,” he warned. “It’s un-American, you should stop it and council others to do the same.”

Even Whoopi Goldberg of “The View” responded, “We don’t go after people because of who they vote for. … We don’t print out lists. … The last time people did this, people ended up killing themselves. Do not encourage people to print out lists because the next list that comes out, your name will be on, and then people will be coming after you.”

In fact, AOC had also linked to a website run by leftist anti-Trumpers called The Trump Accountability Project. The site advocates collecting the names of anyone who directly worked to support Trump’s presidency so as to target them for harassment. The site states, “The world should never forget those who, when faced with a decision, chose to put their money, their time, and their reputations behind separating children from their families, encouraging racism and anti-Semitism, and negligently causing the unnecessary loss of life and economic devastation from our country’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” She later deleted the posting, but it’s patently clear that if given the power, AOC would use that power to destroy those with whom she disagrees.

For AOC, like all totalitarians, anyone who fundamentally disagrees with her views on government and “justice” are not merely political opponents. They are evil enemies that need to be attacked and eradicated. As Weinstein noted, this is un-American. And the great irony is that while AOC claims to be fighting for greater democracy and against racism and bigotry, she is actually engaged in doing the exact opposite. What is truly amazing is how apparently blind she is to it.



<b>Australia: Calls for 'class quotas' in Young Labor to bolster party's blue-collar ranks</b>

<i>What an air-headed proposal!  How would it work? Are they going to get working class kids by the collar and drag them along to Labor party meetings?

That most young Labor members are kids from affluent families going to elite universities, means that it is hard to see how anything could change.  The plain fact is that conservative parties now have most appeal to the workers.  That is particularly seen in the USA where Trump mopped up most of the working class vote

Youthful inexperience still does ensure that most young people do vote Leftist but it is unlikely that that tendency will flow through to party membership.  The cultural climate in meetings dominated by rich kids would leave most working class kids very uncomfortable</i>

Labor must fill its ranks with more working-class young Australians and TAFE students to help it reconnect with suburban and blue-collar voters, the head of an ALP-aligned think-tank says, proposing a major overhaul of the party's youth wing ahead of the next election.

The federal opposition has been plagued by infighting during the past 18 months over attempts to turn around its electoral fortunes following three successive poll defeats and to balance its climate change credentials with attempts to win back its traditional base.

Nick Dyrenfurth - executive director of the John Curtin Research Centre - says the party should introduce new quotas for Young Labor (representing ALP members aged between 15 and 26) to recruit and retain more non-university students into its ranks.

Dr Dyrenfurth, who was the ALP's national policy forum secretary between 2016 and 2019, said there had been no effort to recruit "actual working people" such as tradies, assembly-line workers, train drivers, cleaners, retail employees or plumbers into the party's membership.

He said the narrowness of the party's membership had contributed to the cultural problems and electoral weakness at the federal level.

"Labor was once a working-class party that needed middle-class votes to win elections; it has since become a university-educated, socially-liberal, white-collar party that needs blue-collar, non-tertiary educated, precariously employed votes to win," Dr Dyrenfurth writes in The Tocsin, the centre's quarterly publication.

Young Labor draw upwards of 95 per cent of its members from university campuses, mainly from the top-ranking institutions he writes, and not from the 72 per cent of non-tertiary degree holding Australians.

Dr Dyrenfurth wants a Young Labor membership ratio of one-third university students, one-third TAFE and vocational students and one-third young workers not studying by 2022.

"Such an approach would bolster the role of Labor's affiliated trade unions, which currently shoulder the load in keeping the party connected to its working-class base but find themselves all too often ignored by an arrogant parliamentary wing," he writes.

"Too many Labor MPs and especially its young activists look and sound the same as their ostensible Greens rivals: university-educated, socially liberal and likely non-religious or atheist, and destined for white-collar, higher-income secure work, living in the inner-cities."

Former Labor minister Craig Emerson, who now chairs the ALP-aligned McKell Institute, backed Dr Dyrenfurth's idea but with some reservations.

"The idea of getting more young people from working class backgrounds is fine and quotas have been effective in the past, especially in relation to getting more women into Parliament," he said.

"But I don't think that it's a good idea to tell university students they are [worth less] ... A lot of university students come from working class backgrounds. There are a lot of first-in-family university graduates and I wouldn't want to be signalling to working-class kids who want to go to university they are less valuable [to Labor] for doing so."

Emma Dawson, executive director of progressive think tank Per Capita, said she agreed with the aim of broadening the party's membership but quotas were not the way to get there.

"It's really important the Labor Party remains a labour party, but you can't coerce people into joining a political party," she said.

"The key thing is to devolve some of that decision making and some of that gatekeeping and listen more responsively to what people need, and that's different in different parts of the country."

Long-time frontbench MP Joel Fitzgibbon quit shadow cabinet this week after 18 months of disagreement over climate and energy policy, which he said had alienated its blue-collar constituency and cost it millions of votes outside capital cities.

He said the party had provided too much focus on progressive issues while ignoring its traditional base and the policies that working people need to "help them meet their aspirations and the aspirations for their families".

Labor's post election review found the party had moved to address political grievances of a vast and disparate constituency during its time in opposition and warned working people experiencing economic dislocation would lose faith if they do not believe the party was responding to their needs.

Low-income workers swung against Labor at the May 2019 election with the review finding its ambiguous language on the Adani Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland, combined with anti-coal rhetoric, devastated its support in the coal mining communities of regional Queensland and the Hunter Valley.

But it found higher-income urban Australians concerned about climate change swung to Labor, despite the effect Labor’s tax policies on negative gearing and franking credits might have had on them.

Labor's assistant climate change spokesman Pat Conroy said on Friday the party could only govern when it unites it two bases of working class Australians university educated, progressive voters. "We're at our best when we represent both of those groups," he said.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


15 November, 2020

<b>HHS Secretary Azar Secures Trump Healthcare Victory</b>

Implementing price transparency will save families thousands of dollars and bring free market forces to bear on healthcare.

Who said President Trump didn’t have a health plan?

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is implementing the president’s healthcare agenda and improving the way health insurance companies operate by requiring more price transparency. This will likely prove to be the most effective healthcare reform ever enacted.

“We want every American to be able to work with their doctor to decide on the healthcare that makes sense for them, and those conversations can’t take place in a shadowy system where prices are hidden,” he said when announcing the recent rule change that will change healthcare for virtually all Americans, and change it for the better.

The finalized rule change requires private health insurers to disclose in real-time and prior to treatment the cost of medical services. Effectively, the rule requires insurers to put a price tag on medical services so consumers can shop around and plan accordingly.

The rule also requires private insurers to disclose the exact dollar amount they pay healthcare providers for specific services. Consumers can then gauge whether they’re being charged too much for a particular procedure or treatment and look elsewhere.

As Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia says, “American workers in employer-sponsored health plans will now have access to real-time, personalized cost-sharing information that empowers them to shop and compare costs between specific providers before receiving care.”

Implementing price transparency, moreover, will relieve pressure from the many Americans who have been financially hurt by COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, 16% of Americans had received a surprise medical bill, and 22% were scared to go to the doctor because they didn’t think they could afford it.

Timothy Regan's story shows why many Americans are afraid to seek care even during a global pandemic. Mr. Regan went to the ER after experiencing coronavirus symptoms but, instead of receiving a COVID-19 test, he underwent a regime of unrelated diagnostic tests. Because he never took a COVID-19 test, his insurance company tried to deny him coverage and left him with a bill for $3,200.

Forcing insurers and hospitals to tell patients how much treatment costs will alleviate these types of worries and drive down prices by increasing competition. Americans should feel they can go to the hospital when they need care, and we should encourage people to get tested, not hit them with surprise bills.

No one goes to the Apple Store to buy an iPhone without finding out how much the phone and its contract cost. If a company like Apple doesn’t reveal its prices, it would soon go out of business. Price tags exist when we buy a phone or eat out; there is no reason this same basic principle shouldn’t apply when Americans shop for healthcare.

Empirical research shows price transparency could save the average family approximately $11,000 annually and cut healthcare costs by more than 30%. Insurers and hospitals would have to compete with each other to offer the lowest prices. If a patient is being charged thousands for routine tests, like an MRI, they could go elsewhere and receive the same care for less.

These savings would boost our economy while we recover from COVID-19. The esteemed economist Arthur Laffer argues, “The rules will unleash a real market in healthcare, usher in competition and choice, dramatically lowering the costs of care and coverage. Fewer dollars going to health care and more going to wages, jobs and small businesses in our local communities will help boost our nation’s economic recovery.”

Secretary Azar has helped President Trump achieve a huge victory for the American people. Implementing price transparency will save families thousands of dollars and bring free market forces to bear on healthcare. This reform couldn’t be more timely and wouldn’t have been possible without Secretary Azar’s relentless effort.



<b>Will Christian Conservatives Be Prosecuted and Removed from Society?</b>

I want to assure you that the title to this article is not click bait. Rather, it reflects the very open sentiments of the extreme leftist, political commentator Keith Olbermann. He has made himself perfectly clear.

Before I share his exact words, though, I want to be perfectly clear as well. My answer to the question of whether Christian conservatives will soon be prosecuted by the millions and removed from American society is an emphatic (but qualified) no.

It is an emphatic “no” because there is no way that tens of millions of Christian conservatives would simply stand by and let this happen. Not a chance.

It is a qualified “no” because, in part, it has happened already. Christian conservatives have been prosecuted for their Christian beliefs. We have been imprisoned for our beliefs, right here in America in the 21st Century.

More broadly, we have been marginalized and muted by the cancel culture and the spirit of intimidation. And the more we cower and capitulate, the worse it will get. Now is the time to stand up and speak out. And while Olbermann’s sentiments may be extreme, they are not isolated. 

I have documented for years how Christian conservatives have been likened to Hitler, to the Nazis, to the KKK, to ISIS, and that was long before Donald Trump appeared on the political scene.

I have supplied verbatim quotes of protesters wishing that we would be thrown or the lions or killed in other ways.

And, again, this had been totally unrelated to hostility towards President Trump. The hatred was in response to our conservative, biblical ideology, most particularly, when it came to LGBTQ activism. And no matter how loving or gracious or compassionate we were, we were still branded haters, people who were a danger to society. People who should be removed.

As one reviewer on my Facebook page stated, “It’s people like this so called ‘Doctor’ are what are wrong with the world.

“People like him need to be bound and tied by their hands and feet, beaten repeatedly in the head with their book of fairy tales until they are twitching from never [sic] damage and bleeding profusely from their ignorant heads.”

Yes, “people like him,” meaning, people like you, too, if you share my beliefs. By no means was I the sole target of this demented person’s rage.

As for Olbermann, whose words reach far more people than that Facebook review, he said this on October 9: “The task is two-fold. The terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box. And then he, and his enablers, and his supporters, and his collaborators, and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs and the Sean Hannnitys and the Mike Pences and the Rudy Gulianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try to rebuild it and rebuild the world that Trump has nearly destroyed by turning it over to a virus. Remember it.” (He also referred to Trump supporters as “maggots” and “morons” in his rant).

Of course, this is beyond unhinged, and I pity Olbermann more than anything. He is certainly zealous. And I’m sure there are good things he stands for. But this is completely beyond the pale, totally irresponsible, and very dangerous.

Thankfully, this was not delivered on network TV but rather on Olbermann’s new YouTube channel (which now has 123K subscribers). And while the clip has 8.6K thumbs up, it also has 7.3K thumbs down.

But without question, his words reflect the seething hostility that exists toward Christian conservatives in many quarters in America today. We dare not underestimate it.

And even though this clip is more than one month old, I bring it up today because of the attitudes already surfacing in the apparent electoral defeat of Trump. No need to hold back any longer!

Yet this is not simply because many of us voted for Trump. As I noted, the hostility was there long before he came on the scene, and it will be there long after he is gone.

It is an ideological hatred more than a political hatred, a hatred based on deep moral differences, a hatred that can easily turn violent, as it often has through the centuries and in recent months.

That’s why it’s fair to ask: on what charges will people like us be prosecuted and convicted? (Let’s be more specific: on what charges should Amy Coney Barrett be prosecuted and convicted?)

And, how, exactly, will people like us be “removed” from society? Prison? Concentration camps? Something worse?

Again, I haven’t the slightest fear of something like this happening in the immediate future here in America. The country would have to fall to depths beyond our imagination for that to happen so quickly. But every step in that direction is a dangerous step, and every step should be resisted.

It is true that Trump has inflamed hostilities with his own irresponsible rhetoric. We must continue to separate ourselves from those words and sentiments.

But let’s not deceive ourselves. Trump is not the ultimate issue. It’s our beliefs. Our faith. Our values. Our Bible. Our God.

It’s about to get really ugly here in our land. Resolve to stand strong. Resolve to speak the truth. Resolve not to be moved by fear. Resolve not to live for the praises of people. Resolve not to be marginalized.

And determine not to respond to hatred with hatred. Let’s show the Keith Olbermanns of the world who we really are. Let’s overcome evil with good.



<b>Organization That Made Public Blacklist of Trump Supporters Shuts Down After Massive Backlash</b>

The "Trump Accountability Project" was created shortly after media outlets declared Democratic nominee Joe Biden the winner in the presidential election, with its mission being to list those who worked in President Trump's administration to hold them "accountable."

Attention was first brought to the Trump Accountability Project after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) asked if there was such a list being created since Trump did not do everything Democrats perceive as being wrong.

People then started to post links to the project's website and people were already being listed to make potential employers aware the applicant worked in the Trump administration, which drew heavy criticism from Republicans.

In a new post on their site, the Trump Accountability Project said they will be shutting down to be in accordance with "the President-elect's call to build a more united country":

"The Trump Accountability Project was started because we believe restoring democratic norms are vital to protecting America's future. A critical part of making sure the nation never finds itself in this position again is to make sure those members of the Trump administration responsible for loosening the guardrails of our democracy are not rewarded with book deals, TV contracts, or six-figure salaries in the private sector based on that experience. Ultimately, however, the goal of the project was to play a part in restoring the soul of the nation, and we'll follow President-elect Biden's lead to get us there. 

Accordingly, in the spirit of the President-elect's call to build a more united country, this project will no longer be active."



<b>Jobs for the girls</b>

<i>Bettina Arndt on the feminist scene</i>
Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan is working on legislation to force our recalcitrant universities to properly tackle free speech on campuses. But it’s one thing to find ways of stopping students throwing tomatoes at a Prime Minister’s car and quite another to take on the current feminist culture which encourages blatant discrimination against men in academic appointments, and censors publications or scholarship which challenge their preferred narrative.

<i>The Henrekson study</i>

Across the Western World, universities kowtow to these orthodoxies. I have recently been corresponding with Swedish economist Magnus Henrekson, a professor and president of the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Stockholm.
Professor Henrekson told me about an exciting study he completed recently. It was based on an extremely large and exhaustive data set covering the entire Swedish population, used state-of the art econometric techniques and their hypothesis was confirmed, with strong empirical support.
Henrekson and his colleague Carl Magnus Bjuggren sent it to various top economic journals – only to receive endless rejections. “We have gotten pushbacks everywhere. It is obvious that the issue is not the quality of the paper per se. The problem is that the research question and the results are controversial (i.e., politically incorrect). We just get desk rejects where editors say that this is not an interesting question, or we get twisted reviews where reviewers go out of their way to conjure up outlandish alternative explanations to our findings.”
Findings about what? Well, the first version of their paper was entitled “Avoiding the housewife stigma: Self-employment as a female career choice”. So, the crux of the Swedish research is that women who marry men with extremely high incomes often start their own businesses which then underperform.
Isn’t that a hoot? In this elevated social set, it goes down better at cocktail parties for these women to mention they are importing matsutake mushrooms or designing diamond nose studs than simply raising rug rats.
It’s clearly not singing from the feminist songbook to suggest that the presence of a well-heeled husband could result in women choosing to dabble in unprofitable businesses rather than pursuing careers. Hence no one is allowed to publish research showing this is the case and even the most eminent journal reviewers meekly toe the party line.
I’ve been hearing such stories for decades. Research challenging the current cultural dogma simply doesn’t get published and students writing theses on the wrong topics can’t find supervisors or end up not qualifying for their degrees.
<i>Unfair treatment of Colin Brown</i>

Students like Colin Brown who has been fighting a mighty battle for a proper hearing after his PhD thesis on workplace male age discrimination was failed by a Melbourne university. Although it was initially passed by the two required examiners, the Dean of Graduate Research - a self-proclaimed feminist - then managed to disqualify one of these passes. 

Eventually the Dean had his thesis failed after a number of strange "accidents” which included  stalling on submitting his thesis for examination for 4½ months and then sending out a mangled version which the university had distorted in printing, leading to a negative response from two new examiners. The whole ghastly saga has been published here.  
<i>Bias in astronomy</i>

One of the most striking essays included in Janice Fiamengo’s book, Sons of Feminism, was written by an Australian astronomer who ultimately decided to leave the country due to the invasion of his discipline by feminist and social justice politics.
Janice has given permission for me to share his thoughtful analysis with you – see here – as he explains exactly how the playing field is being systematically tilted to favour women.
Here, in his own words, is what life is like for an academic dealing with this climate:
“Before telescope-time or grant application meetings, we are now commonly subjected to patronizing speeches by diversity figureheads, who remind us how important it is to be fair to female applicants, how we should think twice before rejecting their applications, and how we should be mindful of gender balance and role models in our selection. It is a low-level form of brainwashing. We know that if we select too many male applicants (even if we do it on merit) our choice and motives will be scrutinized, monitored, criticized. Instead, if we select a few more female applicants (even if not all on merit), we will be praised and left in peace. Most astronomers unsurprisingly choose the path of least resistance.”
And this is the result:
“Some astronomers still spend most of their time researching and monitoring the sky; others instead spend most of their time researching and monitoring gender balance within astronomy departments, setting up equity-and-diversity committees, writing 200-page reports on discrimination, conferring awards to themselves for their social-justice work, making up new types of privileges, and running blogs full of political propaganda. Unfortunately, funding is shrinking for the former class of astronomers like me and is ever-expanding for the latter.”
Before this academic left Australia, the writing was already on the wall: “To obtain a good job, a male astronomer needs to be in the top 10% of male applicants, while a female astronomer only needs to be average.”
The astronomer also comments on the feminist claim that astronomy departments are rife with sexual assaults and harassment. He points out there have been examples of inappropriate behaviour – famous male professors duly shamed for having relationship with young post-docs or students. But, as he says, no one ever calls out the female students who flirt with senior male professors whose careers have benefited from such interactions. And female professors have relations with younger male post-docs and nobody complains.

A steady stream of men have been shamed as creepy aggressors on the Women in Astronomy blog which the writer suggests has become similar to the Red Guards' Dazebaos during the Cultural Revolution.

“As a male, I could be anonymously accused of sexual harassment on that blog without a shred of evidence, and my career would be over in a frenzy of online lynching before I had a chance to defend myself. No wonder we all choose to toe the line in public.”

<i>Change in Australian politics?</i>

Reading his words, I naturally thought of the ABC television’s latest public lynching – the 4 Corners programme this week on sexual misconduct by government ministers. What was quite extraordinary was staffer Rachelle Miller accusing her former boss and lover, now immigration minister Alan Tudge, of hypocrisy for having an affair with her whilst espousing family values. The programme allowed Miller to play the victim, complain bitterly about feeling used by Tudge and not one word about her responsibility in conducting the affair, risking the breakup of two families.
But that point aside, it will be interesting to see whether this constant narrative inflating the risks for women of working with potentially predatory powerful men will eventually misfire on the sisterhood.  
Earlier this week I was in Parliament House, meeting with various parliamentarians and advisers, talking mainly about the campus kangaroo courts. It was encouraging to learn our efforts to alert the public to what’s going on here are much appreciated by key people in government.
At one point I was directed through the labyrinth of offices by a gorgeous young woman, tottering along on towering stilettos showing off her shapely bottom. You wonder how long prominent men will dare offer jobs to such beautiful creatures, or any young women. In this current climate we are already hearing women complain of being excluded from out-of-office socialising.
Was it just a coincidence that there seemed to be more young male staffers in some of the offices? Perhaps this is one area where feminist overkill might actually benefit men - if male employees become the safer bet for men in power.

<i>Bettina Arndt newsletter: newsletter@bettinaarndt.com.au</i>


My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


13 November, 2020

<b>The Party of Hate Feigns Unity</b>

Democrat firebrands have batted around the words “healing” and “unity” in the days since Joe Biden was declared (at least for now) the president-elect. For example, in his disingenuous Saturday night speech, Biden declared:

I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. Who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States. And work with all my heart with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you. … I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class, and to make America respected around the world again. And to unite us here at home.

We genuinely wish that was the case. But the Democrat Party is defined by division and hate, and the party’s pre- and post-election remarks offer little in the way of consolation. If anything, the rhetoric has worsened. Below you will find a compendium of some of the most hateful language from the Left in recent months:

“It’s not enough to just send Donald Trump packing, or even just to repair the damage he’s done. We’ve got to unrig and rebuild the systems that made his rise possible to begin with, and that allowed his administration to hurt so many people in so many ways.” —Elizabeth Warren

“We have the most dangerous person in the history of our country sitting in the White House.” —Nancy Pelosi

“I used to wonder how could the people of Germany allow Hitler to exist. But with each passing day, I’m beginning to understand how.” —James Clyburn

“You know, since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen not only the spreading of the virus but also a rapid spreading of racism and xenophobia.” —Ayanna Pressley

“Trump wants to instigate a race war. So he can rise up and say, ‘I’m the real grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan and I’m the President. Reelect me.’ That’s what he’s trying to do.” —Bobby Rush

“I want to acknowledge that much of the violence and destruction, both here in Seattle and across the country, has been instigated and perpetuated by white men.” —Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

“Bull Connor may be gone, but today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans. George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.” —Barack Obama

“Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division. We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us.” —Michelle Obama

“The people who were very transparent about, like, voting because they wanted a tax cut — okay. But, like, you knew you also were voting for a racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, transphobic, human being who was going to have a lot of power to manifest those, like, hateful bigoted values into the world. So that may be what is your motivation.” —Chelsea Clinton

“You are inbred racist trash. Please f—k off.” —Democrat strategist Adam Parkhomenko to Marsha Blackburn

“He’s gonna get his fat a— beat. … The idea is not just to defeat Trump. You have to defeat Trump-ism. You have to defeat the idea that the United States of America is a place and not an idea.” —James Carville


“[Trump voters] have revealed themselves for the racists that they are, the tribalists that they are. … It’s almost a level of fanaticism that I’ve only seen in cult groups and Middle East terrorist groups.” —MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance

“This is about white people who saw a president who was corrupt and sexist and violent and mismanaged an entire pandemic that’s killed over 230,000 people by the election and they said, ‘I want some more of that.’” —MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson 

“Do any of you guys trust Uncle Clarence and Amy Coney Barrett and those guys to actually follow the letter of the law?” —MSNBC’s Joy Reid

“We intellectually understand what America is at its base, right? That there is a great amount of racism, anti-blackness, anti-wokeness. This idea that political correctness is some sort of scheme to destroy white America, right? … I think part of your heart says, ‘You know what? Maybe the country’s going to pay off all of this pain.’ As the night wore on … I realized … that’s not happening. We are still who we thought, unfortunately. … It’s disappointing, and I emerge from this disappointed.” —Joy Reid

“Can we talk about 1 of the few topics I may actually know too much about: homicide? Specifically, whether Donald Trump may have criminal exposure for some level of negligent homicide or voluntary/involuntary manslaughter for the way he’s mishandled the Coronavirus crisis. … ALL criminal charges will have to be investigated and, if the evidence dictates it, prosecuted come Jan. 2021.” —MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner

“Donald Trump would kill reporters if he could get away with it.” —MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough

“All of this [minority support for Trump] to me points to the power of the white patriarchy and the coattail it has of those who depend on it or aspire to it. It reaches across gender and sexual orientation and even race. Trump’s brash, privileged chest trumping and alpha-male dismissiveness and in-your-face rudeness are aspirational to some men and appealing to some women. Some people who have historically been oppressed will stand with the oppressors, and will aspire to power by proximity.” —NYT’s Charles Blow

“May be relevant to note that there is a long, close association between right-wing activism and medical quackery.” —NYT’s Paul Krugman 

“I hope people realize that there are many white Republican voters in this country if they’re given a choice between renting a room in their house to a person of color or burning down the house, they will elect to burn down the entire neighborhood. It’s not just a small fringe.” —NYT contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali

“You can’t heal or reform the GOP who are now an extremist party. They have to be broken, burned down and rebuilt. When Biden is in power treat them like the active threats to democracy they are. If those who committed crimes aren’t punished then they will be more emboldened.” —Wajahat Ali

“The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved by Evangelicals.” —Katherine Stewart in The New York Times

“The white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world.” —1619 Project guru Nikole Hannah-Jones

“These days, I am reminded quite often that you do not have to be white to support white supremacy.” —WaPo’s Eugene Scott

“If you quote the Trump admin you are an enemy of the people.” —WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin

“Any R[epublican] now promoting rejection of an election or calling to not to follow the will of voters or making baseless allegations of fraud should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into ‘polite’ society. We have a list.” —Jennifer Rubin

“The only patriot on the Right … to me is Romney. He’s the only one who stuck his neck out. The rest of them are trash.” —"The View’s" Joy Behar

“The terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box and then he and his enablers and his supporters and his collaborators and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs and the Sean Hannitys and the Mike Pences and the Rudy Giulianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society.” —Keith Olbermann

“When this nightmare is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It would erase Trump’s lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.” —Robert Reich

“If you vote for Donald Trump, you are a racist. You have no wiggle room.” —Jemele Hill

“If Trump wins re-election, it’s on white people. No one else.” —Jemele Hill 

“[America is] a private club founded by old rich white men, for rich white men.” —Charlamagne tha God

“There is a lizard brain in this country. Donald Trump is a product of the white man’s, the anguished, nervous white guy’s lizard brain.” —Jon Meacham

Academia & Glitterati

“Donald Trump is not an Adolf Hitler. At least Hitler improved the daily life of his followers, had discipline, and required more of himself to gain the respect of his followers. … A refusal to make comparisons has been a problem, when they have such similarities. Donald Trump’s death count is higher than Hitler’s at the same period.” —Yale University professor Bandy X. Lee

“We’ll be saying this name a lot I’m sure because she’s a f—ing nut. Religion — I was right about that one too. I’m sorry, but Amy [Coney] Barrett, Catholic — really Catholic. I mean really, really Catholic — like speaking in tongues. Like she doesn’t believe in condoms, which is what she has in common with Trump because he doesn’t either.” —Bill Maher

“It’s a very weird thing to watch these old creeps congratulate a handmaid on her clown car vagina.” —Lauren Hough

“When you’re born in this country, we all drink the poison that is white supremacy. Social justice is not just a literacy, it’s a lifestyle.” —Lady Gaga

“Donald Trump is actively trying to kill our children.” —Rob Reiner

“It’s insane what our fears are if we lose, compared to their fears if Biden wins. like we will prob all die or be handmaids and they’re worried about bathroom safety.” —Chrissy Teigen

“What more did Trump have to do to show us that he’s insane and not fit to lead this country? I feel like I overestimated the American people, and I underestimated the Village People.” —Jimmy Kimmel

“I can only imagine the envy with which [Donald Trump] watched Derek Chauvin’s casual cruelty and monstrous indifference as he murdered George Floyd. I can only imagine that Donald wishes it had been his knee on Floyd’s neck.” —Bette Midler

“The closeness of this election is showing just how many decided racism is ‘not a big deal.’” —Wesley Snipes

“F—k Donald Tromp [sic] and every American citizen, celebrity, white woman, black man, ETC who supported him burnnnnnnnnnn.” —Janelle Monáe

* * *

As The Babylon Bee satirically but oh so accurately puts it: “Study finds connection between getting your way and calling for unity.” The Federalist’s Sean Davis astutely adds, “When Democrats say they want ‘unity,’ what they really mean is they want submission.



<b>A Veteran's Reflections</b>

Grateful for a life spared, and thankful for those who paid the ultimate price.

It was as hot as I remembered, nearly 120 degrees under cloudless skies. It was 1989 and 23 years had passed since I last stood on this spot. Twenty-three years earlier we often came into this little fishing village on the Perfume River five kilometers south of the Imperial City of Hue, South Vietnam. My squad of Marines almost always took enemy fire as we approached this village.

The last time I walked into this village, nine Marines and a Navy Corpsman died violently when we were ambushed by a large group of Viet Cong guerillas. Two other Marines who had been critically wounded were taken by helicopter to a hospital. I was told the next day both had died. I carried the guilt of surviving that night for 23 years.

Today, there was no gunfire, just a crowd of villagers, many of whom had not seen an American before. The older villagers stood silently watching to see what was going to happen. Our group of returning veterans knelt with me as we had a Memorial Service for my fallen friends. Standing with me were my wife and children. My emotions were overwhelming.

But this time, gone was the guilt of surviving as well as the grief I had worked through. By God’s amazing grace in my life, He had healed the deep wounds of my Vietnam experience and I could only weep tears of gratitude. But there remained an unanswered question: Why me? Of the 13 men on that patrol, why was I spared? I silently prayed for an answer, but Heaven was silent.

Then, as if in answer to the searching of my heart, I heard what the Bible calls “the still small voice of the Holy Spirit” say, “I spared you for my purpose. Now, be faithful to what I called you to do.” That event took place 31 years ago in a place I never wanted to return to again. Vietnam had taken so much from me in the lives of those I had the honor of serving alongside.

On my last combat tour, I was critically wounded by a grenade, shot, and burned. I was only 22 years old, and as I lay in that open field bleeding heavily, I knew I was going to die on that trail. Suddenly, I was being pulled to safety. A 19-year-old Lance Cpl. and a 21-year-old Navy Corpsman pulled me to safety while exposing themselves to enemy fire. It’s true what Jesus said in John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

Every day in our country is a gift. What we do with that gift is our gift to God. No nation on earth has the freedoms secured for us by our Constitution and guaranteed by the blood, sweat, and tears of our veterans. Every day since, I try to keep that promise I made. The promise to live my life in a manner worthy of the sacrifice made for me to be here. And to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Please don’t take those freedoms for granted. The price paid for them was greater than you can imagine.



<B>Fire Insurance Regs Hurt California Homeowners</B>

The unintended consequences of California’s price restrictions on insurance rates leave insurers unable to cover losses after catastrophic wildfire damage.

For hundreds of thousands of California homeowners, access to quality wildfire insurance has never been more important. Already, more than 8,100 structures in California have burned, and the fire season isn’t over.

So why, when demand for coverage is at an all-time high, have so many homeowners lost their fire insurance?

The answer lies in the unintended consequences of California’s price restrictions on insurance rates, which leave insurers unable to cover losses after catastrophic wildfire damage.

Unless these restrictions are removed or reduced, homeowners will continue to lose access to fire insurance and be driven to the last-resort, bare-bones coverage offered under the California FAIR plan.

Under Proposition 103, the California Department of Insurance regulates insurance premiums to keep prices artificially low. While the CDI has approved some rate increases in high-risk areas, insurance companies still contend that they are unable to charge premiums that reflect true risk.

This may seem like a cost-saving boon for California homeowners, but if premiums don’t keep up with risk, insurance companies have no choice but to stop offering coverage in high-risk areas.

Following recent catastrophic fire seasons, that’s exactly what’s happening. In 2017 and 2018, covered losses from unprecedented wildfires overwhelmed what insurers could legally charge in premiums.

Since insurers were barred from adjusting premiums to reflect the increasing risk—even for homeowners willing to pay to protect themselves against that risk—insurers began pulling out of the market. Since 2018, there has been a 10 percent increase in fire insurance non-renewals across seven counties, leaving an estimated 350,000 homeowners without insurance.

With homeowners left without quality coverage at the worst possible moment, the CDI responded by placing a one-year moratorium on fire insurance non-renewals.

But only for the 800,000 homes in areas affected by the 2019 California wildfires, perpetuating insurance companies’ inability to cover risk in those areas while allowing a greater majority of people in potentially soon-to-burn areas to be dropped.

Following this year’s record-breaking fires, we can only expect the number of non-renewed policies to increase if current premium restrictions remain in place.

To protect California homes in high-risk areas, the CDI should remove or reduce its binding price controls, allowing private insurance companies to use risk-based pricing to insure people willing to pay for the risk they face.

Not only will this allow more insurers to reenter the California markets, creating safety nets when homes burn, it will also send a price signal to homebuyers about which areas are most dangerous. Homeowners and developers facing higher fire insurance rates will then have an incentive to invest in home-hardening efforts and develop in less risky areas.

Most importantly, allowing rates to rise will provide necessary funding for insurance companies to act on their incentive to tie private fire suppression services into their policies, which can add protection for people and property in the event of a wildfire.

Allowing insurance companies to adjust premiums to reflect true fire risk will almost surely increase rates. To mitigate this effect and keep insurance affordable, the CDI and insurers should also work together to develop premium discounts for homeowners who adapt to the increased wildfire risk and engage in mitigation efforts to make their properties more resilient.

These steps will ensure that Californians not only gain access to quality, private insurance, but it will reduce overall losses when wildfires rage.

With home losses in the thousands and months left in the fire season, there is much to do in both the short and long term to prevent another season like this one.

The CDI can start by finding solutions that allow premiums to adjust to reflect the increased risk facing development in fire-prone areas. These changes would keep more people on better insurance plans and align incentives for individuals to adapt, protecting themselves against the day when smoke, again, blackens their skies.



<b>Florida’s governor drafts laws that would allow people to shoot looters</b>

Florida’s governor has drafted “anti-mob” legislation to expand already controversial Stand Your Ground laws – to allow people to shoot looters, according to a report.

A draft of Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed bill expands the list of “forcible felonies” under Florida’s self-defence law to include criminal mischief causing “interruption or impairment” of a business, according to the Miami Herald, which obtained a copy through a records request.

It also specifically allows force against those looting, which the draft defines as burglary within 500 feet (150 metres) of a “violent or disorderly assembly”.

Mr DeSantis also wants to make it a third-degree felony to block traffic during a protest – and offer immunity to drivers who accidentally kill or injure protesters who do so, according to the Herald.

Numerous other sections enhance criminal penalties for people involved in “violent or disorderly assemblies,” and withholds state funds from local governments that cut law enforcement funding, the report said.

Mr DeSantis has long threatened to introduce the “strongest pro-law enforcement, anti-rioting, anti-looting legislation anywhere in the country” – even though the Sunshine State has not been a hub of violent protests.

While a draft version of the bill was circulated to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, it has not been filed in either the House or Senate – but has already sparked outrage, the paper said.

“It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” Denise Georges, a former Miami-Dade County prosecutor who had handled Stand Your Ground cases, told the paper.

“It also allows for death to be the punishment for a property crime – and that is cruel and unusual punishment. We cannot live in a lawless society where taking a life is done so casually and recklessly.”

Former Miami-Dade prosecutor Aubrey Webb warned that the draft was far too vague and could lead to justifiable deaths after minor infractions.

“It dangerously gives armed private citizens power to kill as they subjectively determine what constitutes ‘criminal mischief’ that interferes with a business,” Mr Webb told the Miami paper.

“Someone graffiti-ing ‘Black Lives Matter’ on a wall? Urinating behind a dumpster? Blocking an entrance? The Boston Tea Party members would have been lawfully shot under Florida’s law by the British East India Tea Company.”

Civil rights attorney Melba Pearson warned that the proposals would “have a chilling effect on free speech”. “These are not mobs running around the street. People are using their First Amendment rights. This is a democracy,” she told the paper.

Mr DeSantis’ office did not respond to the Herald’s requests for comment.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


12 November, 2020   

<b>Restricting Immigration Makes Americans Richer, Not Poorer</b>

Over the summer, President Trump suspended many guest-worker visas for the duration of 2020.

Business groups like the Chamber of Commerce howled in outrage. Immigration and guest-worker programs grow the economy, they claim -- so by cutting off the flow of roughly 500,000 guest workers this year, President Trump is impeding the economic recovery and hurting Americans.

This is at odds with reality. Restricting the influx of foreign workers makes Americans better off, especially during times of high unemployment.

On the most elementary level, it's true that immigration grows the economy -- but only because it increases the total population. Measuring a country's economic wellbeing based on GDP alone, without factoring in population size, is silly.

Consider an example. Luxembourg's 2019 GDP totaled nearly $72 billion. That's 71st in the world -- far behind poverty-stricken nations like India and Nigeria, which have the world's fifth and 27thlargest economies, respectively.

But with a population of only 626,000, Luxembourg's per capita GDP exceeded $113,000 in 2019 -- making it the world's third-richest country on a per-person basis. India and Nigeria reported per capita GDPs of roughly $2,400. America's GDP per capita, for reference, was $67,000.

So the relevant question isn't whether high levels of immigration and guest-worker programs boost GDP. They do, in the same way that annexing Canada would boost U.S. GDP. What we need to take into account is that bigger isn’t always better. 

Does importing millions of foreign workers make Americans better off? For tens of millions of Americans, the answer is no.

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that immigrants contributed about $743 billion to U.S. GDP in 2011, a little less than 15 percent of total GDP. Almost all of that money went to immigrants themselves as income.

Most of the remainder was captured by businesses, who benefit from cheaper labor. Harvard professor George Borjas finds that for every 10 percent increase in the size of a given labor pool due to immigration, workers' wages in that pool decline 3 percent.

Writing in 2016 based on then-current figures, Borjas concluded that "immigration has barely affected the total wealth of natives at all. Instead, it has changed how the pie is split, with the losers -- the workers who compete with immigrants, many of those being low-skilled Americans -- sending a roughly $500 billion check annually to the winners."

In other words, immigration is a boon for CEOs and shareholders. For regular American workers, it's an enormous drag on their earnings.

The National Academy of Sciences has reached a similar conclusion. It published an exhaustive report in 2016 examining the economic impact of immigration and found that American workers with similar skills as foreigners "may experience a wage reduction as a result of immigration-induced increases in labor supply."

No one, least of all me, will deny that many immigrants are hardworking and contribute to the United States. No one else should deny, either, that high levels of immigration drive down wages and displace American workers, who can and will do any job in the United States. The solution isn't to end immigration. What Congress needs to do is to reduce the overall level of immigration, and reform the system so that employers can’t use it to undermine the standing of American workers.

In order to bring about genuine immigration reform, the federal government needs to enforce the law to stop illegal border crossings and to hold criminal employers who hire illegal aliens accountable, as was the compromise that accompanied the 1986 amnesty. The laws are already on the books. What's lacking is political will. Congress also needs to finally follow the recommendations made by the Jordan Commission in 1996 and reduce annual admissions of legal permanent residents.

These are commonsense reforms that would benefit the American people, as well as allow newly arriving immigrants the opportunity to more easily assimilate, both economically and culturally.

America's economy is slowly recovering from COVID-19 -- but the unemployment rate remains above seven percent. Importing more foreign workers would boost GDP, but only at the cost of tens of millions of Americans' financial wellbeing. President Trump was right to suspend guest-worker visas. Whoever the next President is, he should keep in mind that "growth" is not substitute for an economy in which the average American has the chance to prosper.



<b>Church of England paves the way for same-sex marriages after three years of behind-closed-doors arguments on issue </b>

<i>Satan worshippers Now</i>

Archbishops have apologised for the 'damage and hurt' caused to the LGBT community as the Church of England yesterday paved the way for same-sex marriages after three years of behind-closed-doors arguments on the issue.

Leaders admitted 'talk of truth, holiness and discipleship has been wielded harshly' and promised to make a decision within two years on changing Anglican rules that say gay sex is sinful. 

A group led by the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Sarah Mullally, will devise a 'way forward for the Church in relation to human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage'. 

Church leaders have produced a 480-page book, with accompanying films, podcasts and education courses to explore the issue.

The Church has been deeply divided over gay rights since 1987, when its parliament, the General Synod, first voted to reinforce traditional teaching that gay sex is sinful. Earlier this year bishops restated the teaching that sex is for married couples only and that civil partnerships should be 'sexually abstinent friendships'.

Same-sex civil marriages were introduced in 2014 and their predecessor, civil partnerships that carry the rights of marriage in all but name, were brought in in 2005. However the legislation gave faith groups an effective opt-out.

Archbishop Welby said in a foreword to the book, written with the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, that the Church should be ashamed of causing hurt to gay people.

They said: 'As soon as we begin to consider questions of sexual identity and behaviour, we need to acknowledge the huge damage and hurt that has been caused where talk of truth, holiness and discipleship has been wielded harshly and not ministered as a healing balm. 

'Especially amongst LGBTI+ people, every word we use – quite possibly including these in this very foreword, despite all the care we exercise – may cause pain. 

'We have caused, and continue to cause, hurt and unnecessary suffering. For such acts, each of us, and the Church collectively, should be deeply ashamed and repentant. As archbishops, we are personally very sorry where we have contributed to this. 

The Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Christopher Cocksworth, who helped produced yesterday's new material, said: 'There is no doubt that there are certain decisions in 2022 that the Church will have to face.'

He added: 'There are some who feel this doctrine of marriage is ripe for development.'

Discussions are expected to be completed next year and to lead to 'a timely conclusion in 2022 which would then be put before Synod.'

The Synod has the power to enact legally-binding rules but its deliberations are lengthy. They could mean the first Church of England same-sex marriages would be solemnised by 2025.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, attempted a reform in 2017. But his scheme, which would have allowed blessing services but not marriage for gay couples, went down to an ignominious defeat in the Synod. It satisfied neither gay rights supporters nor conservative evangelicals, who combined to defeat it.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, attempted a reform in 2017 (File image of Justin Welby) +2
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, attempted a reform in 2017 (File image of Justin Welby) 

The years since have been devoted to the secretive production of yesterday's book and films, called Living in Love and Faith. 

The archbishops added: 'Defensiveness is felt, and aggression is experienced, both by those who long for change and by those who believe, sincerely, that change would be wrong and damaging.'

A further statement signed by all the CofE's bishops said: 'Disagreements are to be found among us as bishops. We do not agree on a number of matters relating to identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.

'Some of those differences of view relate to the ethics and lifestyle of opposite sex relationships and some relate to questions around gender and pastoral provisions for transgender people. Most pressing among our differences are questions around same-sex relationships, and we recognize that here decisions in several interconnected areas need to be made with some urgency.'

Any new deal on gay rights and same-sex marriage may follow the same pattern as the row over women priests and bishops, which also ran for decades and ended in compromise. While women are now appointed as both priests and bishops, parishes where traditionalists hold sway continue to maintain men-only clergy.

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent LGBT campaigner and former member of the Archbishops Council, told the Telegraph she welcomed the Archbishops' apology, adding: 'But, listening and learning is not enough. We need to act now to ensure that safeguards are put in place to protect LGBT+ people.'



<b>Ric Grenell Reacts as News Outlet Claims Buttigieg Will Be First Openly Gay Cabinet Member</b>

A headline making the rounds on Twitter on Monday appeared to be a downright lie. "Joe Biden 'almost certain' to make Pete Buttigieg America's first out gay cabinet official. Here's where he could land," wrote PinkNews.

As social media users quickly noted, that milestone has already been checked off. Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, served as President Trump's U.S. ambassador to Germany and then as the acting Director of National Intelligence. 

The most hilarious part about it is that PinkNews itself touted Grenell's historic appointment at the time.

Grenell, never one to shy away from a confrontation, demanded a fact check.

But, of course, no fact check came and the updated headline on PinkNews clarifies that Buttigieg would be the first full-time cabinet official. This screenshot shows that the words "full-time" were not in the original title.

"If confirmed, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay person ever to hold a full-time cabinet post – though controversial gay Trump official Richard Grenell previously held the cabinet-level role of Director of National Intelligence on an interim basis," the article now reads.

Buttigieg is reportedly being eyed for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations or a key role in the Department of Veterans' Affairs.



<b>Australian government shuts down proposal to fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait flags in parliament during important week for indigenous culture</b>

The Morrison government has blocked a push to fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in federal parliament's Senate chamber.

Three Indigenous senators moved a motion to coincide with NAIDOC Week to have the flags hoisted on the floor of the upper house.

Labor's Malarndirri McCarthy and Pat Dodson, along with Greens senator Lidia Thorpe wanted them raised alongside the Australian flag.

But coalition senators opposed the move, narrowly defeating the motion 29 to 28 votes.

Cabinet minister Anne Ruston said there were many other circumstances to fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. 'The government believes the Australian national flag, which represents all Australians, is the only appropriate flag to be flown in the Senate chamber,' she told parliament.

The coalition then denied Senator McCarthy a chance to make a short statement on the issue, angering Labor frontbencher Murray Watt. 'This is NAIDOC Week. To deny a First Nations senator leave to speak for one minute on this motion is I think something the government will regret,' he said.

The government then relented, allowing Senator McCarthy and Senator Thorpe a chance to speak. 'Thank you so very much for allowing black people to speak about the black flag,' Senator Thorpe said.

Senator McCarthy said NAIDOC Week was a chance to show Australia politicians could unite the country. 'The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are also national flags,' she said.

Senator Thorpe said she wasn't sure where other senators had come from, but her people had been in Australia for thousands of generations. 'Can I remind you all that we are on stolen land? The Aboriginal flag represents the oldest continuing living culture in the world,' she said.

'The Aboriginal flag is what we identify with, what we connect with, just as you connect with the colonial flag that you love and you appeal to.'



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


11 November, 2020   

<b>Donald Trump May Have Lost This Battle, But Trumpism Will Win The War</b>

Though Democrats pulled out every conceivable stop in order to ensure the defeat of their "Bad Orange" arch-nemesis, they aren’t crowing about it quite like you’d expect. If President Trump were Satan himself or even "literally Hitler," as we’ve been told for years, one might expect his removal to be met with the level of jubilation appropriate for such a monumental accomplishment, no? Sure, there’s been some (pretty bad) dancing in the streets, but for the most part, the response from media figures and Democratic politicians has been quite muted, if not a bit depressed, as if they’d lost something in their "victory."

The reason is obvious, of course. In the end, this was never about Trump. It was about power, and the ability to dominate the lives of people they disagree with ideologically. And instead of the "blue wave" the left was hoping for that would have allowed them to parlay their victory into irreversible power grabs that would have ensured their hegemony forever, they got more of a blue trickle, even WITH what many considered super-suspicious shenanigans, if not full-on election fraud. The result? A Biden "victory," yes, but also a likely GOP Senate hold, unexpected GOP gains in the House that had Democrats backbiting at each other, GOP gains at the State legislature level, and hurt feelz from Van Jones and Joy Reid.

Though the Trump team is hanging by every possible thread, sadly the fat lady has sung. Still, it’s good that Republicans are attempting to expose shenanigans where they happen, if only to maybe make them think twice in the future. Special elections in Georgia will decide who controls the Senate, but Republicans are historically good at special elections, and I think America overall is pretty cool with divided government. So both should - minus anything crazy - stay red. Democratic donors dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into failed Senate campaigns in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky only to see their hoped-for ‘blue wave’ turn into a ‘blue mirage.’ Hopefully, a similar pattern will play out in the Peach State. That means no court-packing, no end to the Senate filibuster, no new states, no Green New Deal, no Medicare-for-all, and no crazy tax hikes. No, a Democrat in the White House is never good, but it won’t be nearly as bad as it could have been. And now, assuming Perdue or Loeffler can hold on, the Murder Turtle himself says he’s going to help Biden pick his cabinet. How ‘bout them apples?

All this is pretty much what I expected when I wrote “Four Silver Linings To A Trump Defeat” last week. It was meant to make the argument that, while Trump has done a LOT of good, his exit from the White House wouldn’t be the end of the world. I got hammered pretty hard for that one by many who I suspect never even bothered to read the post. Some told me to stay in my lane (don’t worry, I’ll be getting back to the ‘ro very soon). Others who had quite obviously never read anything I’ve ever written called me a (gasp) “Never Trumper.” If I’m completely honest, that one stung a bit, especially considering how much grief I’ve given real Never Trumpers over the years. Yet here we are, staring down the barrel at four years of a Harris/Biden, I mean, Biden/Harris presidency. Hey, when silver linings are all you’ve got, it’s probably a good idea not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I know this is a tough pill to swallow, and I’m as disappointed as anyone, but the reality for conservatives is - to use a football analogy - it's 4th and 30, and we're on our own 30-yard line. It’s time to punt, play defense, and live to fight another day. But don’t forget to look on the bright side, because there is one. Thanks to Donald Trump and the movement he started, the GOP is in a prime position to take the House in 2022 and, with the right candidate, take the whole bag in 2024.

But what kind of GOP will this be? If the Never Trumpers and the neocons think we’re going back to the days of support for outsourcing manufacturing, foreign wars, endless immigration, and stabbing the American middle class in the heart, they’re sorely, sorely mistaken. After two straight losses, Donald Trump showed us how to WIN in 2016 in the only way possible, by appealing to ordinary, middle-class working Americans and breaking the blue wall. The problem, as we’ve always known, is his many strengths also came with many weaknesses, weaknesses that turned off millions of voters, particularly suburban moms in swing states he needed to repeat his victory in 2020. Yes, more people turned out to vote for Donald J. Trump last week than for any Republican in U.S. election history, but it was largely Trump’s POLICIES that scored the accomplishment. 

However, the other side of that coin also applies. We all know about Trump’s rough edges, so I won’t belabor them here except to say that it was arguably Trump himself who was also largely responsible for turning out the most votes cast AGAINST a Republican in U.S. election history. Think I’m wrong? C’mon, man! Other than the dead folks and bogus "harvested" ballots, do you really think Sleepy Joe drove that kind of turnout by hiding in his basement?

And yet, compared to how bleak things looked in 2016 when we were on the verge of losing the Supreme Court for at least a generation, I would take now over then anytime. I would also take now over exactly 12 years ago, when Democrats added the presidency (365-173), eight (!!) Senate seats, and 21 House seats. For a while there, the filibuster didn’t even matter because Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority. As far as things looking bleak went, THAT looked bleak. Yes, losing is hard, but perspective is important.

For all his faults, Donald Trump finally showed conservatives how to win, and it’s up to us to make sure they don’t forget it. A candidate WITH Trump’s winning policies but WITHOUT his personality drawbacks could quite possibly skate to victory in 2024. (Hey, Pence, Noem anyone?) Just as much as they know they got nothing even remotely close to a mandate this election, the left also knows this, and I believe that’s why their gleeful cackling isn’t quite as obnoxious as it otherwise might have been.



<b>'America Lost': The Stories of Three Cities After Decades of Decline</b>

Christopher Rufo didn’t mean to make a movie about religion. He set out to make a documentary about the lives of people in what he calls “forgotten America,” people the economy had left behind. Trillions of dollars in government aid hadn’t changed their lives. The number of poor hadn’t gone down. The cities that lost their industries 50 years ago hadn’t bounced back.

He found that the real source of hope for the poor in these cities isn’t government spending, but the social institutions that gave people purpose, meaning, and a real community. Highest among these are the churches.

His documentary America Lost recently aired on PBS, a rare conservative appearance on that reliably liberal network. It tells the stories of three cities after decades of decline. It begins with the white working class of Youngstown, Ohio, “the poorest city in America,” where the steel industry collapsed in the ‘70s. It moves to the black ghettos of Memphis, Tennessee, which also lost its major employers. It ends in the Latino and black ghettos of Stockton, California, a small city in central California that became famous a few years ago by becoming the largest American city to go bankrupt.

Rufo directs the Documentary Foundation, which produces “storytelling for a free society.” Among his other movies is an award-winning documentary called Age of Champions, telling the story of five people — including an 86-year-old pole vaulter and a 100-year-old tennis player — who competed in the Senior National Olympics. He’s also a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty and the Heritage Foundation.

Yet people survive, even with the challenges. Rufo doesn’t portray the people in these towns merely as victims. He wants to highlight the people who fight back. “Even in the bleakest situations, human beings have agency,” he insists. “We all have the capacity to make life a little better.”

Rufo’s a free-market partisan, and America Lost doesn’t tell quite the story he thinks it does. “At heart the crisis of American cities is a crisis of meaning,” he says early in the documentary. “All the old structures that once provided a solid foundation: faith, family, work, and community, have slowly fallen apart. The real problem is not just economic, but deeply personal, human, even spiritual.” 

He delivers the movie’s lessons in several long voiceovers, but not in the stories he tells. The movie shows people in trouble, and a few people who struggle to get out of trouble. The movie treats their situation as something that just happens, without considering the system in which it happened, and happens. It never mentions the effects of race or the sometimes very stark limits to human agency. It tells the poor to “rediscover community,” but does not address the forces that have shattered it. 

Government is treated only as a failure, though even in the movie its value is shown. One of the people America Lost show struggling to succeed depends for her life on very expensive treatment for MS, which no private entity could supply.

Yet the stories Rufo tells are moving and sometimes revealing of the shape of people’s lives. They push back against the assumption mainstream liberals can have that the poor are entirely victims, without agency. They point to the complexity of the subjects’ world.

One is a man in Youngstown who goes through wrecked, abandoned houses looking for things he can sell to a recycling center. He gets $42 for one day’s work. People’s “dreams ain’t coming through and they’re getting cast away,” he explains. “It’s going to be up to the individual, to whoever’s going to hold their ground, to make their own space better.” He also uses the things he finds to create collages and paintings and tries to sell those.

In Memphis, a young black man named Joseph talks about his two brothers being killed. He’s been in prison. He doesn’t want to go back. “My brothers were my friends, man,” he says, as a tear runs down his cheek. “Losing these two brothers the way I have, the way we grew up, how close we were, man, that’s a pain, man, that’s really hard to bear. But through the grace of God, I made it, I’m still here, and I’m here for a reason.”

Michael doesn’t want to go back to prison either. A heavily tattooed Latino young man living in Stockton, he has a wife and daughter, but can’t find a job. “It breaks my heart inside to sometimes I can’t provide for my family.” Life in the city feels like a pressure cooker, he tells a counselor at a ministry called Friends Outside. “All those times I was arrested, those times I went away, it’s like the pressure cooker just blew.” He’s left picking up the pieces, he says.

It sounds half like an excuse or a reason to give up. The counsellor gently corrects him and challenges him to begin each day with a purpose. He also comforts him. Taking care of a family, he says, “is a responsibility that most men in this population we come from cannot maintain.” It gets too stressful and they give up. “But you’re not going to give up.” Michael nods. Later he’s shown getting a job with a company willing to hire someone with a record, and keeps at it. Near the end of the documentary, he and his wife have a second child. His life seems to be working out.

It’s in Stockton that Rufo comes to see the importance of social institutions, especially religious ones. He hardly mentions churches in Youngstown or Memphis. Pentecostal pastor Armando is shown telling the congregation, including Michael, that Jesus will pick them up, even if they fall 100 times. He tells Rufo that everyone who comes to his church, “they come in hurting, they come in empty, they come in broken, they come in need of a miracle, in need of a healing, in need of a touch, in need of someone loving them.” If they find that, they can change their lives.

“We’ve tried to solve our problems through top-down public policies,” Rufo says in the concluding voiceover. Twice he wryly intercuts his explanation with clips of politicians who promise economic revival but don’t deliver. In one, Clinton, Bush, and Obama are shown speaking in Youngstown, promising economic revival. Obama promises a new one million square foot plant and all the jobs that would bring. It was never built. 

“I’ve learned that real change doesn’t happen from the top down. It happens from the inside out,” he continues. “It starts within each individual human heart and then slowly works its way outward.” That requires helping the poor “rediscover the traditional sources of meaning: faith, family, work, and community, and adapt them to the modern condition. As a society, we must ensure that being poor doesn’t mean being disconnected from the primary sources of human happiness, so that those at the bottom can lead dignified, meaningful lives.” While remaining, one notes, at the bottom.

“If I didn’t have a family, I wouldn’t be alive right now,” Michael says. His wife and children and the life they’ve created give him a reason “to keep moving forward. They give me a purpose. The thing I’ve been looking for my whole life is to be here for them. … That changed my heart. It’s a miracle.”



<b>Report: Big Tech, Media 'Stole the Election' by Burying Biden-China Scandal</b>

In the critical weeks before Election Day, Big Tech and the legacy media took extreme measures to bury the unfolding story of Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s personal ties to his son Hunter’s notorious business deals in China, Ukraine, and elsewhere. Facebook and Twitter suppressed a New York Post story even before a fact-check, and legacy media outlets refused to cover the story even as evidence mounted. According to a blockbuster new poll, this unprecedented suppression of a bombshell story arguably cost President Donald Trump his reelection.

A Media Research Center (MRC) poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates found that 36 percent of Biden voters were not aware of the evidence behind claims that Joe Biden was personally involved in his son Hunter’s business deals with China. Thirteen percent of those voters (4.6 percent of Biden’s total vote) said that if they had known the facts, they would not have voted for Biden.

Such a shift away from Biden would have given Trump the election, according to MRC’s analysis of the preliminary — and contested — election results predicting a Biden win. Had the Biden-China story seen the light of day, Trump would have won the election with 289 electoral votes.

“It is an indisputable fact that the media stole the election,” MRC President Brent Bozell argued. “The American electorate was intentionally kept in the dark. During the height of the scandal surrounding Hunter Biden’s foreign dealings, the media and the big tech companies did everything in their power to cover it up.”

Bozell noted that Twitter and Facebook limited sharing of The New York Post‘s bombshell report, while legacy media outlets largely ignored it. After the Post story failed to get the kind of traction many expected it would, Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, came forward with firsthand knowledge — and evidence — tying Joe Biden to the notorious deals.

Democrats, former intelligence officials, and even the Biden campaign claimed — without evidence — that the story was “Russian disinformation.” Not only did numerous sources debunk that claim, but Vladimir Putin himself came out to vouch for Hunter Biden.

Even so, many media outlets refused to cover the story in the lead-up to the election.

“Now we know the impact of that cover-up,” Bozell argued. He noted that “4.6% of Biden voters say they would not have voted for him had they been aware of evidence of this scandal. This story would have potentially changed the outcome of this election. The media and Silicon Valley were fully aware of this, so they actively tried to prevent it from reaching the American public. The American people deserved to know the truth; now it’s too late.”

MRC and McLaughlin surveyed 1,000 actual voters (including early voters).

“At the time you cast your vote for President, were you aware that evidence exists in emails, texts, eyewitness testimony and banking transactions that the FBI has been investigating since last year directly linking Joe Biden to a corrupt financial arrangement between a Chinese company with connections to the Chinese communist party and Hunter Biden’s business, which may have personally benefitted Joe Biden financially?” the survey asked.

Perhaps surprisingly, 73 percent of respondents said they had heard about the allegations, while only 27 percent said they had not heard of them — a rather impressive showing for conservative media breaking through the Big Tech and legacy media efforts to bury the story. Yet 36 percent of Biden voters said they had not heard of the allegations.

MRC and McLaughlin asked that subset of Biden voters, “If you had been aware of this actual evidence in emails, texts, testimony and banking transactions being investigated by the FBI, would you have…” still voted for Biden?

Not surprisingly, most of the Biden voters said they would still have voted for Biden (86.9 percent) if they had known about the story. Yet a handful (5.6 percent) said they would have voted for a third-party candidate, while some said they would have not voted for any presidential candidate (4.7 percent), not voted at all (1.7 percent), or even voted for Donald Trump (1.1 percent).

In other words, 13.1 percent of the voters who did not know about the scandal (4.6 percent of Biden’s overall vote) said they would not have voted for Biden if they had known about the allegations.

It is impossible to know whether or not this survey accurately represents Biden voters, much less whether or not the knowledge of the corruption scandal would have had the same impact in each state, including swing states.

However, MRC applied this 4.6 percent drop in Biden votes to the most closely-contested states and concluded that a knowledge of the Biden-China corruption scandal among Biden voters alone would have turned Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin red, giving Trump a 289-vote margin in the Electoral College and handing him the presidency.

While Trump is currently contesting the reported preliminary results of the election, it is unlikely that he will be able to switch enough margins in enough states to pull ahead of Joe Biden, to whom most media outlets already refer as the “president-elect.”

It is quite plausible that the Big Tech and legacy media efforts to suppress the Biden-China scandal may cost Trump the election. This is utterly unconscionable, considering the legacy media’s rush to publish any salacious Trump-Russia rumor for years, even when those rumors turned out to be unverified and untrue.



<b>Issues with China in Australia</b>

A public hearing held over three weeks ago as part of the Senate inquiry into issues facing diaspora communities in Australia has sparked ongoing controversy after Senator Eric Abetz repeatedly demanded that three Chinese-Australian witnesses “unconditionally condemn the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] dictatorship”.

His demands were made in the context of the Party’s persecution of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang and its extra-territorial attempts to intimidate and silence Uyghurs living in Australia.

The trio — Wesa Chau (a deputy lord mayor candidate for Melbourne), Ormond Chiu (a research fellow at think tank Per Capita) and Yun Jiang (an ANU researcher and co-editor of China Neican) —  made it clear they did not endorse the Party or its actions and re-affirmed their support for universal human rights and democratic values.

But they rightly refused to be hectored into making blanket public condemnations, arguing that this amounted to an unfair “loyalty test” based on ethnicity.

The exchange has only served to highlight the undue pressures some Chinese-Australians face. These pressures cut both ways.

It is intolerable that some citizens cannot criticise the CCP without being stalked and harassed and/or fearing for family members back home. It is equally intolerable that others may feel they need to self-censor or stay silent to avoid being tarred as a CCP sympathiser.

And from a national security perspective — as Natasha Kassam and Darren Lim recently argued — such a line of questioning may make it harder for security agencies to investigate foreign interference, if it alienates rather than engages the very communities that are not only the most targeted by such interference but also the most important to countering it as a major source of knowledge, understanding and intelligence.

We must ensure that genuine concerns about CCP interference do not lead to over-reactions that undermine liberal values and community cohesion, undercutting ritual claims that Australia is one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


10 November, 2020   

<b>Feminism rebutted</b>

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<b>'I adore being objectified': Single radio producer, 36, reveals why she secretly loves being wolf whistled at by men in a 'shameless' confession</b>

A single radio producer has made a 'shameless confession' that she secretly enjoys getting wolf whistled at and being 'objectified'.

Jana Hocking, 36, from Sydney, explained why a good old fashioned wolf whistling should be perceived as a cheeky compliment.

'I adore being objectified. Now before you get out the pitch forks and scream at me for letting down the female tribe, let's all take a big deep breath and ponder on this for a second,' the Triple M radio producer told news.com.au.

'Have you ever had a day where you feel bloated, puffy, and generally blaaaaah. Then you go for a coffee and the barista takes your order while staring at your chest, or that bloke down the road walks past and boldly gives you the ol' up and down.

'I don't know about you, but it sure lifts my spirits.'

To back up her statement, Jana praised Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley for saying in an interview in 2016 that wolf whistling is a 'compliment'. 'How can wolf whistling be offensive to women? It's a compliment, they're saying "Cor. you look all right, darlin" What's wrong with that?' Lumley said at the time.

'We were tougher in the 60's. You knew someone would whistle in the street and you weren't insulted. We have become more sensitive flowers nowadays, people are very offended by everything.'



<b>Sir Winston Churchill's legacy is reviewed by the Imperial War Museum with bosses examining his views on 'sensitive topics' in wake of Black Lives Matter protests</b>

Internal documents reveal discussions are taking place at the museum that holds the Churchill War Rooms.

Museum bosses have called for examination into the wartime leader's views after his statue in Parliament Square, London, was defaced with the word 'racist' graffitied on to it.

The move comes after it was revealed the National Maritime Museum would review Lord Horatio Nelson's legacy as part of its efforts to challenge Britain's 'barbaric history of race and colonialism' last month.

The Imperial War Museum does not plan to reinterpret Churchill's legacy, the institution said last night. It said it is always considering 'complex subject matter' and work is ongoing.

Staff were told in an email: 'We must continue to have conversations around sensitive and difficult issues. 'We must have conversations in which we reflect upon and examine our own biases and preconceptions,' reported the Telegraph. 

The museum began talks the day after Churchill's statue was defaced during an Extinction Rebellion protest in central London on September 10.

Last month Benjamin Clark, 18, was fined more than £1,500 after admitting to spray painting the statue with the words 'is a racist'.

Some campaigners have criticised Churchill for racism, colonialism and his handling of the Bengal Famine to the dismay of the politician's supporters.

An email from one Imperial War Museum staffer said they should 'chat further' about looking at Churchill’s views. 'This is one I'm very keen to get ahead of,' the email read.

In a statement, the Imperial War Museum said: 'Like any world-leading museum, IWM is always considering how its complex subject matter is presented to audiences across all of its branches and is always prepared to answer any questions which may occur as a result of political or social protest.

'At Churchill War Rooms, the Churchill Museum tells the detailed story of arguably one of our country's greatest leaders, from his role in the First World War and the Second World War, through to his death and legacy.

'We have no plans in place to reinterpret how we present him at any of our branches, including Churchill War Rooms.'

The Imperial War Museum's move comes amid widespread reappraisal of Britain’s revered historical figures across British museums.



<b>Australia: Furious parents blast 'creepy' gender fluidity test asking young teenagers 'when they discovered they were straight'</b>

Parents have been left outraged after Year 8 students were given a 'creepy' survey questioning their sexuality. The students from Kirrawee High School in southern Sydney were given the questionnaire as part of personal development, health and physical education studies. 

Questions on the test include: 'When and how did you first decide you were heterosexual?' and, 'Is it possible your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?'

It is designed to help straight people understand the questions often asked of gay and lesbian people and appreciate how intrusive they can be.

But shocked parents contacted One Nation MP Mark Latham to complain about the 'completely inappropriate and outrageous' questions, the Daily Telegraph reported. 

The Heterosexual Questionnaire was created in 1972 to help heterosexuals understand how a gay person is often treated, and aims to demonstrate how unpleasant such questions can be.

Offensive questions include asking if their sexuality is a 'phase' and implying people like them are more likely to suffer mental health problems.

Mr Latham slammed the test as 'creepy'. 'As if you'd want your 13-year-daughter to be answering these questions to some male teacher — what, when, and how you decided to be heterosexual?' he said. 

'It's creepy. You're trying to shame the kids for being heterosexual to make a point that no one should shame anyone for being homosexual.' Latham said the test was 'pushing gender fluidity'. 

The young students were also shown a video called 'The Sexy Sliding Scale', presented by American TV star Bill Nye, which explores gender identity and claims there is a 'kaleidoscope' of gender.

Mr Latham said the video was also inappropriate to show to such young students. 

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the department will review the school's Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) learning materials. She said the material was not suitable for or relevant to any Year 8 PDHPE class. 



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


9 November, 2020

<b>UK: Why are so many clever, privileged teenage girls on antidepressants? They and their parents describe the drugs as life-savers - but HOW will they ever get off them?</b>

<i>Depression is indeed a serious illness.  It is often fatal.  I myself have some tendency to it if I have relationship difficulties. But I solve it mainly by solving the difficulties and not every one is in a position to do that. It is a quarter of a century since I took any pills for it.

And from the stories below it does seem that relationship difficulties are also the main problem for young British women.  And the particulr relationship difficulty seems to be competitivesness about social success.

But success is the mantra that feminists preach.  They want women to be as successful in their jobs as men are and claim that women can "Have it all".  So as feminism becomes ever more normalized, competion to succeed must be expected to increase.

By contrast the Judeo Christian message is one of humility and gratitude, with the admonition against envy being one of the Ten Commandments. So as Christianity fades and feminism becomes the new faith for women what we see is what was to be expected

A slight comfort is that not everyone seems to be equally prone to depression. Some people are more readily thrown into it than others.  Fortunately, I am one of those whom it takes a lot to depress.

The fact that it is a physical predisposition can be seen in the difficulty usually experienced when one tries to talk the depressed person out of it.  You can point out how lucky they are by world standards or national standards and it does no good at all.  The physical inclination remains.

So it would seem that for some people medication is the only way out.  It did once help me long ago.

The big problem is of course dependance.  The terrible example of that is Jordan Peterson.  When he seemed about to lose to cancer a wife who had been with him since his teens, he turned very heavily to medications to cope.  But he could not get off them and they were  badly hurting him in some ways.  Even when the health challenge to his wife went away he was still stuck and needed very heavy therapy to get back to normal health.  

So the lesson is to use medications as sparingly as possible.  They are not a route to happiness, they just allow life to go on.  And Christianity is a great comfort for those who can believe</i>

Every weekday, Ella Wilson wakes up at 7.30am and opens the Instagram app on her iPhone, checking for 'likes' on her latest selfie, before getting ready for school.

After packing her rucksack, the 16-year-old A-level student heads downstairs and picks at a few strawberries from the fruit salad her mother prepared the night before – and takes her daily capsule of the antidepressant fluoxetine.

On paper, Ella would seem to be the envy of many her age – slim, undeniably attractive and a gifted dancer with hopes of studying drama at university. She comes from a secure, loving family, with professional parents and two siblings with equally rosy prospects.

But following an attempt to end her life last spring, the teenager has been on medication for depression for more than a year.

It came after six months of therapy which, ultimately, failed to halt the intrusive thoughts that plagued her. That she'd never be pretty enough, or popular enough, or clever enough, and was destined for a lonely, miserable life.

'I just wanted all the bad thoughts to stop,' says Ella, who lives with her mother Andrea, 52, father Duncan, 52, sister Sasha, 22, and brother Jack, 20. 

'The pressure of trying to keep up with everyone else never stops. I never feel good enough. I go on to Instagram and see my friends meeting up together and think: why aren't I there too?

'I used to text them and ask what they were doing at the weekend. They'd say nothing, then I'd see pictures of them together online – I just wasn't invited. I see boys commenting on pictures of girls at school, saying how hot they look, so I think I have to look like that too.'

Exams, of course, are a constant pressure.'Girls lie about their marks, because everyone's in competition with each other, and then we get found out and it causes rows,' she says.

One evening in April last year, while her parents were out, she collected up a cocktail of over-the-counter medicines in the house and swallowed them, alone, in her bedroom.

Three hours later she rang her mother in a panic, who called for an ambulance.

Talking about it today, Andrea is understandably still shaken: 'Ella said she hated herself, and I don't know why. There's nothing wrong with her – she's beautiful and wonderful.'

It is, without doubt, a sad story. But, tragically, it's also one that is increasingly common. Almost 190,000 young people aged between ten and 19 are now, like Ella, on antidepressants, according to the latest NHS figures – over a fifth more than four years ago. Girls are twice as likely than boys to be prescribed them.

Ella's older sister – who previously suffered an eating disorder – and several of her friends have taken them, too.

Andrea says: 'They all talk about what pills they're taking with each other, and they have so much of the information at their fingertips. I worry it's almost become normalised.'

Meanwhile, sleeping pill prescriptions for under-18s have increased by a third in two years, while the number of teens being treated for addiction to anti-anxiety medication doubled between 2017 and 2018. Experts raised the alarm, warning that GPs are handing out psychiatric drugs too freely, creating a medicated generation unable to cope with the usual highs and lows of life.

There's also growing awareness in the medical community about the risk of coming off antidepressants, which alter the amount of mood-stabilising hormones in the brain. At the end of last year, health watchdog NICE changed their guidance for antidepressant treatment, warning that withdrawal symptoms – including suicidal thoughts – may be 'severe and protracted' in some patients.

Of course, teenagers have always suffered angst.  So are GPs simply quicker now to reach for the pills, or is there something deeper going on?

A wealth of studies show that deprivation is the leading risk factor for mental illness. Those from poorer families are twice as likely to suffer a lack of support, inadequate education and parental neglect – all factors that contribute towards poor mental health.

And yet teenage girls from privileged backgrounds, with all the odds in their favour, are also more likely to suffer than the norm.

Those with parents on an annual income of more than £100,000 show worryingly high rates of substance use, depression, anxiety and eating disorders, according to a recent study.

So what is it that makes our nation so toxic for our children – and in particular our daughters?

Behind every case of depression – and subsequent antidepressant prescription – is a complex mix of genetic, biological and environmental factors. But as a parenting author who tracks the factors affecting child wellbeing, it seems to me there are several themes that keep cropping up.

For one thing, British children spend more time online than almost any others in the world, according to a survey of more than half a million 15 year-olds from 34 countries, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a global organisation whose goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being. More than one in three British youngsters are 'extreme' users, who spend at least six hours a day online. Tellingly, the heaviest users are girls – more vulnerable to being sucked into a toxic culture of self-comparison.

For instance, on TikTok – a social media platform on which you'll find short videos of youngsters dancing or doing comic skits – videos of users deemed unattractive or with an 'abnormal body type' are suppressed by the app's moderators, according to documents leaked to online publication, The Intercept. Inevitably, images of slim, attractive people are promoted to the top of users' feeds.

It's just one example among so many of how social media skews young users' perception of what's a normal way to look.

Then there's friendships – key for happiness and self-confidence.

Studies show that British children's social relationships are more tense and fractious than any other nation's – in part due to the amount of time they spend online. Research at the University of Sheffield found interacting mainly online increases the risk of cyberbullying and social comparison, which can lead to jealousy and conflict.

Take 18-year-old Lucy Waite, from Surrey, who wrote her first suicide note aged just 12 – and has attempted to end her life twice.

'Even if my mum tells me I'm fine as I am, deep down I'm thinking, no, fine is not enough,' says Lucy, who lives with parents Gill, 52, a human resources manager and Doug, 53, who works in sales, and younger sister Sophie, 14. 'I've got to be the best, otherwise I've failed.'

Lucy's mood first dipped in the first year of secondary school when she was 12, when classmates began picking on her.

'It was weird, they said they were my friends but they were also picking on me. They'd say mean things about the way I looked, throw things at me, or call me a 'suck up' if I did well on a test,' she says.

'I started to withdraw, spent more time in my bedroom after school and would cry myself to sleep most nights. I'd dread going in from the minute I woke up.'

After a year of spiralling depression, Lucy reached her lowest ebb, and wrote of her disturbingly dark feelings – and the lengths she'd go to, to stop them – in a notepad. 'I didn't have a plan, as such, but I could've acted on impulse in that moment. I just wanted it all to stop,' she says.

Thankfully, Lucy's mother Gill found the note and stepped in, taking Lucy to the GP immediately, before she had a chance to act. The doctor referred Lucy to the local child and adolescent mental health service, and she began therapy. Things improved – to some extent.

'I started to really struggle with my appearance. I was too tall. And I had muscly legs, not like the other girls' in my class who were skinny,' says Lucy.

'And around the same time, Instagram became popular, so I was in this world of insanely pretty girls, talking about how they stayed really skinny by eating healthily.

'I thought I want to be like that and thought the way to do it is to lose a load of weight. So I got down to an unhealthy weight, until my parents noticed and intervened to get me to eat.'

The GP prescribed antidepressants – first, sertraline, followed by amitriptylin, along with sleeping pills.

Intriguingly, Lucy knows other girls her age on medication, but says: 'It's not really something people talk about.'

Gill was 'hesitant' to put her 12 year-old child on antidepressants at first. But having taken the pills herself in the past, she 'at least knew what to look out for, in terms of side effects'.

Lucy believes the medication has been 'a lifesaver'. She says: 'Everyone is different. But for me, it was the right mix. It allowed me to get me through my GCSEs.'

Lucy and Ella are, indeed, the sharp end of the spectrum of mental ill health.

But sadly, suicide among teen girls and young women is rising fast – almost doubling in just seven years, according to Government figures. And without antidepressants, these figures could be far higher.

The general medical consensus is that giving teens antidepressants should be a last resort.

For Ella's mother, Andrea, medication gave her daughter the 'breathing space' she needed to think rationally again.

'I felt like a failure because I couldn't help her do it through lifestyle and exercise. But the truth is, depression is an illness, and these drugs can help.'



<b>Competence versus style</b>

<i>A medical correspondent writes:</i>

Concerning Donald Trump, I believe my life as an Anesthesiologist has been invaluable in evaluating people I don’t “like”, but are good in their jobs.

Trump - obvious - he is an “asshole” at times, likely difficult to get along with at times. He does not try to hard to be “nice”, but his record as President speaks for itself.

In the surgical environment, there is much gossip about personality, and most of it is not based on logic - it is mostly about “feelings”.

Nurses, especially, can be prime examples of “a little knowledge is a bad thing”. Most are professional, but some can be toxic in their comments about doctors and others. Mostly without basis in truth.

Because of my background, I have had an advantage at choosing doctors for myself and my family.  Several were “assholes” by anyone’s observation, but “the best” at their job.

In truth, the same “drive” that makes them “the best” may appear offensive to others, but I look at it as “positive energy”.

This may explain some dislike of Trump that, unfortunately makes people vote “with their heart” and not with “their head”.


<b>Affirmative Action Goes Down in Flames in Deep Blue California</b>

Even in the deepest of deep blue progressive states, it appears racial preferences are unpopular once voters go into the voting booth.

On Tuesday, Californians rejected Proposition 16, a ballot measure that would have essentially ended California’s decadeslong ban on racial preferences for government and public institutions. 

This ban was enacted by Proposition 209, which was passed in 1996. It mandated, according to Ballotpedia, that the state of California “cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, and public contracting.”

Proposition 16 would have officially allowed state institutions to return to the policies of affirmative action.

But despite the seeming headwinds in a year of protests, riots, and the 1619 Project—which essentially posits that America was founded on slavery and racism—Proposition 16 went down in defeat.

Its proponents say the issue was defeated because of unclear ballot language and messaging. Even if that was even a little bit true, it’s hard to see the double-digit defeat in one of the bluest states in the union as anything less than a rebuke and a landslide.

As I highlighted in my roundup of ballot initiatives around the country, affirmative action undermines the concept of equal rights.

There is also little evidence it provides a real boon to struggling minorities, and in many cases makes things worse.

There was certainly evidence of this following the passage of Proposition 209, as a Heritage Foundation paper noted of college admissions in 2015:

While minority students did drop from 58.6 percent of the student body to 48.7 percent, white students made up a bare majority, and Asian-Americans came in second at 38 percent. What happened to the other minorities?

They went to institutions like UC-San Diego, UC-Riverside, and UC-Santa Cruz. These schools are all part of the prestigious University of California System, attended by only the top 12.5 percent of California high school graduates.

At UC-Riverside, the results were impressive: African-American and Hispanic student admissions skyrocketed by 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Failure rates collapsed, and grades improved.

When affirmative action became a popular issue in the 1960s and 1970s, it was billed as a way to give black Americans a leg up following the passage of the Civil Rights Act. But over time, many Americans concluded that swapping out racial discrimination with more racial discrimination was the wrong way to go about things.

But with the left moving away from equality to “equity,” which switches out equal rights for the concept of equal outcomes, it seems that issues like affirmative action may be back on the table.

It certainly works well with the ideology of so-called anti-racists like Ibram X. Kendi, who has received an enormous amount of press and money in the last year to preach his ideas to the American people.

Kendi has been quite open about the fact that he thinks racial discrimination is a good thing if, in his judgment, it levels modern and historic inequities between races.

Proposition 16 was a perfect example of a convergence between the so-called anti-racist social justice warriors and “woke” corporations.

It makes perfect sense that in a year of nonstop sermonizing by the media that America is a structurally racist country that affirmative action would be back on the menu for state policy.

The proposition received backing from a slew of corporate entities. This list includes Facebook, Uber, Lyft, United Airlines, Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente, and many more.

Twitter was also on this list. No surprise since Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has given millions to Kendi’s center of anti-racism at Boston University.

Proposition 16 even got endorsements from most of the San Francisco Bay Area’s professional sports teams, like the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors, and Oakland Athletics.

Believe me, as a native of Oakland, it pains me to see my beloved A’s on this list.

But even with all that backing and support, Prop 16 went down by a pretty wide margin. It was deeply unpopular outside of only the most far left-wing bastions.

There can certainly be many reasons for this rebuke. Perhaps even many left-leaning Californians worry that a law allowing racial discrimination will ultimately hurt themselves and their children.

But as we’ve seen in many parts of the country, despite the nonstop drum beat from the press, and protests and riots around the country, a huge number of Americans still reject the poisonous ideologies of critical race theory and anti-racism.

They still cling, even if tenuously, to the principles of 1776.



<b>The Wokery vs. profits</b>

Every so often the myth that corporations adopt woke policies because it is ‘the right thing to do’ is punctured — this time thanks to comedian, podcaster (and Biden critic) Joe Rogan.

The Joe Rogan Experience podcast interviews celebrities, politicians and sports stars, and has over 2 billion views, and 10 million subscribers on YouTube.

After Rogan announced he signed a $100 million deal with Spotify for the exclusive rights to his insanely popular podcast some employees expressed disquiet.

The Spotify snowflakes were concerned about some of Rogan’s previous guests and “some …asked for editorial supervision of Mr Rogan’s podcast.”

One executive claimed, “It doesn’t matter if you’re Joe Rogan…we do apply [content] policies and they need to be evenly applied.” You must wonder if he said this with a straight face — of course it matters if you’re Joe Rogan.

Amidst the flurry of recent successful cancellations, it is easy to forget companies have one priority goal: profit.

Since Rogan announced the deal, Spotify’s stocks have increased 50% and his podcast is now the number 1 show on Spotify; as his millions of fans have followed him to the new platform.

If Spotify thought people would abandon their platform because Rogan’s podcast was now there, they would not have embarked on the deal. If people had actually abandoned the platform because Rogan was hosted, Spotify would have cancelled it.

If any business leaders thought changing the name of Coon cheese, Eskimo Pie, Redskin lollies or Colonial Brewing; kicking out a Boeing executive for what they wrote three decades ago; removing Chris Lilley’s back catalogue of shows or axing the Coco Pops monkey would lose them money, they would not do it.

This is why the attempted cancellation of J.K. Rowling was quite amusing. It’s laughable to think any publisher would refuse to work with a woman whose novels were so successful she became richer than the Queen because some Twit heads were upset.

It is quite easy for companies to jump on the woke cancelling bandwagon if they think they can earn money through their wokery – or at least not incur any losses.

As was written in The Australian recently about ANZ’s intervention in the climate change debate: “They are better at sanctimony than morality.”

Like a child finally learning the truth about where the tooth fairy money comes from, woke employees are going to get a rude reality lesson — profit does not care about their feelings.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


8 November, 2020

<b>Are all white people racist? Why Critical Race Theory has us rattled</b>

<i>The article below is a reasonable summary of the claims and counter-claims of the currently influential "Critical race theory".

It is however a theory in search of something to explain.  It arose as an attempt to explain the immovably "disadvantaged" state of American blacks.  It sought to find an explanation of that state in the way white society operates.  Society was at fault as the cause of black poverty etc.

But if society is inherently racist and oppressive to minorities, how come most minorities in America do very well?  The highest-paid ethnic group in America is in fact Indians, with Japanese, Jews, Koreans and Chinese not far behind.  If the mechanisms of American society are so oppressive, how do we expain the stellar record of those minorities?  White society may not have given them a bed of roses but its "oppressive" mechanisms would appear to be in fact very weak, far too weak to explain the badly depressed state of black achievement.

So why are blacks such a standout? Is there anything in white society which affects only them?  The reality tends in fact to be the opposite of that.  There is a great deal of prejudice in their favour, usually under the rubric of "affirmative action".  Yet still they fail as a group both economically and in other important way such as the crime-rate and disruptive male-female relationships.

So it is clear that the cause of the uniquely bad state of American blacks has to be found in something unique to blacks.  And from a scientific point of view what that is could hardly be clearer.  But "clear" does not mean socially acceptible.  Around 100 years of scientific research showing that blacks on average have markedly low IQs just cannot be accepted.  And East Asians of course have markedly high levels of average IQ.  Average IQ is the critical variable.  The very low level of black IQ explains perfectly the very low level of black achievement

So "critical race theory" is a tortured attempt to explain black disadvantage in a way that defies clearly  established scientific facts.  As such it deserves no respect.  The "racist" nature of American society is a desperate delusion -- as the great success of most racial minorities in America shows</i>

There's a good chance you've never heard of Critical Race Theory. But if its opponents are to be believed, this niche academic discipline poses the biggest threat to Western civilisation since the Dark Ages.

Donald Trump has called it "toxic propaganda" that threatens to destroy America. British Conservative MP Kemi Badenoch, a black woman of Nigerian parentage, last month told Parliament it leads to a "segregated society" and makes everything "about the colour of your skin"; teaching it in British schools without offering an alternative view, she added, was "illegal". In Australia, the Murdoch media has railed against it for "reducing people to a racial essence", and judging them on the basis of "group identity" rather than "individual character, behaviour and merit".

Its advocates say it lays bare the hidden machinery of "systemic" racism, but its critics say it is itself racist, pitting white against black, peddling damaging notions of "white privilege" and "white supremacy" and making a virtue of victimhood.

But what exactly is Critical Race Theory — CRT for short — and is it really as dangerous as all that?

CRT has its origins in US law schools in the mid-1970s, as researchers began to ask why the legal advances won by the Civil Rights movement had produced so little improvement in the lives of minorities. The answer, they came to believe, lay in the way these new laws that supposedly guaranteed equal opportunity were being applied — and effectively resisted or undermined — by the courts. This was, they argued, "systemic racism" in action.

"Think how our system applauds affording everyone equality of opportunity," wrote Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic in their 2001 book Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, "but resists programs that assure equality of results."

The term Critical Race Theory was coined in 1989, and the discipline has ebbed and flowed in the years since. In Britain and the United States it has found its way into the education system and workplaces in explicit terms, prompting Badenoch's speech in parliament and Trump's September edict that no government funding would go to federal diversity training programs that drew upon it "because it's racist".

But in Australia it remains a minor field, cropping up in the odd humanities, law or politics department, though only occasionally labelled explicitly as CRT. For the most part, it's only in the occasional flare-ups on social media that we see its influence in this country.

The language deployed around the Mukbang controversy at the Sydney Film Festival in June was typical. In drawing upon a Korean internet phenomenon and featuring a briefly seen anime-style drawing of a white girl strangling a black boy, the short film (directed by a young white woman) was guilty of cultural appropriation and racism, critics insisted. In awarding it a prize, and allowing the offending anime image to be removed after the fact, the festival was even more guilty, of both whitewashing and of upholding a "white supremacist" system (never mind that the festival’s director, Nashen Moodley, is a South African-born person of colour).

Condemnation flared again in August when the candidates for the Rob Guest Endowment, a $50,000 scholarship offered to an up-and-coming star of musical theatre, were announced — all of them white. There was outrage, a botched apology, and finally the mass withdrawal of “the 30 former semi-finalists" in solidarity with "artists identifying as First Nations and People of Colour".

This masthead found itself in the crosshairs in May when it appointed five emerging book critics — again, all of them white. Amid outrage at yet more evidence of "white supremacy" in action, two resigned, labelling the selection process "a missed opportunity to support non-white voices in arts criticisms in Australia". In August two new reviewers from diverse backgrounds were appointed.

The accusations are typically fierce, and the apologies that follow often reek of the re-education camp.

It's easy to be dismissive, to chime in with the tired observation that each one of these outbursts is just another case of "political correctness gone mad". But focusing on the doctrinaire nature of the language only obscures and distracts from the critique that informs it — and it's a critique that perhaps ought to be taken seriously if we are to avoid the ructions currently splitting American society.

Broadly speaking, Critical Race Theory argues that the laws and institutions of Western societies only appear to be neutral; in truth, they discriminate against black, indigenous and other people of colour in myriad ways, often invisible to the naked eye. The job of the antiracist is to expose the workings of this systemic racism, no matter how incremental, and call them out.

The key insight of CRT may be that it locates racism not just in the acts of individuals — the white supremacists of bedsheets and cross burnings, say — but in a system that upholds, deliberately or not, inequality of outcome on the basis of race. It might manifest as racial profiling in policing, say, or failing to get into university because of the way eligibility is assessed (favouring tutored wealthy white kids over under-resourced kids in Indigenous communities, for example), or in the lack of diversity in particular kinds of workplaces.

Tim Soutphommasane, professor of sociology and political theory at the University of Sydney and Australia's former Race Discrimination Commissioner, says CRT is not the only model for dissecting racism, and nor is it "beyond reproach". But for many people concerned with combating racism, "there has long been the view that a liberal approach that focuses on individual attitudes and behaviours only gets you so far ... you can't understand racism without understanding how it involves power."

Plenty of white people who think of themselves as non-racists might find it hard to accept the idea that our institutions — education, employment, policing, the law, even health and welfare services — might be shot through with racism, and that they benefit from it. And for working-class whites struggling to pay the bills, the idea of "white privilege” is even harder to swallow (one reason why the issue has been so divisive in the US, and prompted many traditionally Democrat voters to swing to Trump).

"Many people still think you shouldn't be tagged as racist unless you subscribe to racial supremacist doctrine," Soutphommasane says. "Many don't understand that racism is as much about systemic impact as it is about individual intention."

One of the key criticisms of CRT, particularly from those on the Right, is the way it identifies "whiteness" as an object of study — and a problem. But advocates insist there's an important distinction to be made between "whiteness" as a system of power, and "white people", who may or may not be "allies" in dismantling that structure in order to end racism.

"Any decent critical race work doesn't focus on the individual, it focuses on the system, the structure," says race critical scholar Alana Lentin, an associate professor at the University of Western Sydney. "As soon as we can see that, we also see that no one benefits from a divided society."

One of the most widely cited "proofs" of CRT's inherent racism is history professor Ibram Kendi’s assertion that to declare oneself "not racist" while doing nothing to actively combat racism is the same as actively being racist.

"Being antiracist is not harmful," Claire Lehmann, founder of the liberal politics and philosophy website Quillette, has said. "What is harmful is this notion … that everything is either racist or antiracist. That's a really damaging idea because it doesn't allow for neutrality."

Kendi's version of CRT — as articulated in his book How to be an Antiracist — would argue that neutrality is anything but. It would, for instance, cast the recent assertion by Wallabies coach Dave Rennie that players taking the knee before a match would be a "political move" in a very different light. Given the rise of the gesture around the world as a display of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the campaign against racially motivated police violence against people of colour, not taking the knee would be seen as the real political statement.

It's not only conservatives who have issues with CRT, though. Writing on the broader subject of cancel culture in the most recent issue of The Monthly, Waleed Aly observed that the insistence on calling out "microaggressions" (the tiny daily instances of discrimination, none prosecutable in their own right but collectively degrading) was counterproductive.

"In this world view, no act or comment is too small to be considered part of a system of oppression," Aly writes. "[But] when nearly everything can be found problematic, when labels like 'white supremacist' can be hurled at most social behaviour and people, they flatten out the very idea of oppression."

For James Lindsay, host of the New Discourses podcast and a staunch critic of CRT, its real intent is nothing less than to overthrow liberal society. It aims, he says, to "awaken ... that awareness of oppression ... agitating people to see how bad their lives are even when they liked them, so that they would want to effect a revolution".

Or, as Australian writer, actor and Twitter activist Michelle Law put it in June, it seeks not to reform the system so much as to "burn it all down".

White supremacist groups such as Proud Boys are clearly racist. But is failing to speak out against such groups and their beliefs similarly racist? 
White supremacist groups such as Proud Boys are clearly racist. But is failing to speak out against such groups and their beliefs similarly racist? CREDIT:AP

Not everyone who identifies with CRT holds that view, though. Just as liberalism is a broad church encompassing everything from anti-government libertarians to pro-welfare interventionists, so CRT hosts a range of views.

"I haven't read anything in CRT literature that argues that white people are the only people who can perpetuate racism," says Amy Maguire, associate professor in law at the University of Newcastle. "Whiteness theory situates whiteness in Western societies as the neutral or non-raced position, and situates non-white people as racialised/other. My read is that it would be possible for a non-white person to engage in racism against racialised communities in this type of framing."

CRT isn't a prescriptive set of rules, says Dr Tess Ryan, president of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association and an Indigenous woman of Birapai descent from Taree in NSW. "There are a lot of learnings from the US and Europe and the UK that need to be nuanced and adapted to the Australian situation. I think it's about taking what you need at a particular time and in a particular context. It's a toolkit situation — or a dilly bag, if you will."

It would at any rate take a very great effort of will to pretend inequity and racism do not exist in Western societies (or in non-Western societies for that matter). And if we agree on that point we have a choice: to accept it as the natural order of things, or to try to change it.

CRT demands change. In some versions it seeks to force people into extreme positions - of black victim and white supremacist, or of self-flagellating white ally - that do little to encourage faith that we might find a middle path to a better, post-racist society.

But, says Dr Ryan, it doesn’t need to be that way. "You don't have to walk down the street slapping yourself with a whip," she says. "It's about recognising and acknowledging, and that's not hard to do."



<b>Trump, the 'Racist,' Won More Minority Votes Than Any GOP Candidate Since 1960</b>

Everyone knows that Donald Trump is a racist. How do we know? ‘Cause media says so, that’s how. Every single statement or off-the-cuff remark by Trump that could be deliberately misinterpreted or taken out of context, or twisted into meaning something entirely different, has been used to paint an ugly racist picture of the president.

With black Americans, it’s worked. A poll earlier this year found 83 percent of blacks believing Trump is a racist. How could they not with every media outlet telling them it’s so and many prominent blacks in politics, entertainment, and sports reinforcing the narrative every chance they get?

The so-called “leaders” of the minority communities were virulently opposed to Donald Trump’s re-election. It was nearly unanimous. There were notable exceptions, but brave it was for any black or Hispanic notable to back Trump in public.

But as it turns out, many minority voters tuned out the anti-Trump noise and made an independent decision to back the president.

New York Post:

Team Trump and Republicans nationwide made unprecedented inroads with black and Hispanic voters. Nationally, preliminary numbers indicated that 26 percent of Trump’s voting share came from nonwhite voters — the highest percentage for a GOP presidential candidate since 1960.

In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the heartland of Cuban America, Trump turned a 30-plus point Hillary Clinton romp in 2016 into a narrow single-digit Joe Biden win. Texas’ Starr County, overwhelmingly Mexican American and positioned in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, barely delivered for the Democrats. Biden’s Hispanic support in other key swing states, like Ohio and Georgia, tailed off from Clinton’s 2016 benchmarks.

Cuban-Americans have been loyal Republican voters since the 1980s and Ronald Reagan’s strong opposition to Fidel Castro. But they were particularly energized in 2020 to vote for Trump. Conversely, Mexican-Americans in Texas had probably never voted Republican before but were drawn to Trump’s “opportunity agenda.”

And surprisingly, young black men voted for Trump in unprecedented numbers. We won’t know the particulars of how that vote broke down for a few days, but ambitious young men who see a future in a capitalist America were no doubt repelled by the Democrats’ anti-capitalist agenda. They’re also tired of being used by Democrats as props in their little morality plays and are weary of unkept promises.

But what does this say about the Democrat-Media information complex? Looks like someone blew a circuit or two.

It turns out that minorities aren’t so infatuated with the brand of unrepentant progressive “woke-ism” now peddled by the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the Democratic Party. The political, legal, media, corporate and academic establishments have gone all-in on the woke agenda, peddling a toxic brew of intersectionality, socialism lite and Black Lives Matter anarchism. Latinos and many blacks aren’t buying it. As one Twitter wit quipped, Democrats may have won the “Latinx vote,” but they didn’t fare well with actual Latinos.

The cognitive dissonance on the part of our bicoastal ruling class is, and will be over the ensuing months, astonishing. The ruling elite is incapable of processing the notion that the MAGA hat-clad Bad Orange Man is not, in fact, an avatar for racist whites and a harbinger of impending fascism.

The bottom line is that it isn’t only white voters who don’t listen to the media about Trump’s faults. Many in the minority community can judge Trump and what he can do for them all by themselves and don’t need to be instructed on how to vote by those who really don’t have their best interests at heart.

It takes guts to be a black or Hispanic Trump supporter in a lot of places in America. You would wish that wouldn’t be the case, but it is. Are they the harbinger of a movement by the minority community toward the Republican Party? Time will tell, but the electoral earthquake that would ensue if that were the case would be felt even among the coastal elites.



<b>UK: The demonisation of lockdown sceptics</b>

Supporters of the Zero Covid orthodoxy will not tolerate any dissent.

It is apposite that it is Nigel Farage who has stepped forward as the party-political voice of lockdown scepticism, with prospective Brexit Party rebrand, Reform UK. After all, it was as the leader of UKIP that he started to give expression to a similar anti-technocratic sentiment a decade ago.

And now here he is again, challenging the ‘barrage of lockdowns, rules, regulations and threats’ implemented in response to Covid just as he once challenged the rules and regulations imposed by Brussels.

There is more to Reform UK than just criticism of the government’s lockdown-happy response to the Covid crisis – it is also calling for the reform of Britain’s governing institutions more broadly. But the response to Covid is its current focus. And so, referencing the lockdown-sceptical Great Barrington Declaration, he and his Reform UK comrade Richard Tice issued a joint call in the Telegraph for an alternative Covid strategy based around the ‘focused protection’ of those most at risk, which would allow the rest of the population, ‘with good hygiene measures and a dose of common sense’, to ‘get on with life’. They cap off their appeal to the public with a promise to challenge ‘consensus thinking and vested interests on Covid’.

Whether Reform UK is the right vehicle, Farage or Tice the best people, or the Great Barrington Declaration the most suitable basis on which to take on the technocratic orthodoxy on Covid is up for debate. But what is not is the need for precisely that concerted challenge to the ‘consensus thinking on Covid’ that Reform UK claims to provide.

And make no mistake, it is a consensus – and a lazy, barely questioned one at that. Yes, there are arguments about the efficacy of test-and-trace systems or the wisdom of this or that particular social restriction. But on the underlying objective of suppressing viral transmission to near-enough zero and sitting tight until the ghost in the machine provides a vaccine (the so-called Zero Covid strategy), there is widespread agreement.

So where is the challenge to this view?

It is certainly not being provided by party politics at the moment. Labour, under the pointless, pedantic leadership of Keir Starmer, is doing a lot of shrill posturing. But its approach to Covid differs from the Tories only in the haste and harshness with which it promises to lock us all down. Like a couple of bald men fighting over a comb, Labour and the government bicker over who is ‘following the science’, but they never question where it is ‘the science’ is taking them, let alone what ‘the science’ actually is.

However, the challenge facing Reform UK, and all those other groups and individuals also seeking to take on the Covid orthodoxy, is, ironically enough, similar to that which faced first UKIP and then the far broader coalition of Brexit supporters taking on the EU — namely, the determination of their powerful opponents to delegitimise them. Hence no sooner had Farage made his re-entry than Labour’s shadow justice secretary David Lammy called him a ‘shameless opportunist’, ‘risking lives’ in the search for votes. These defenders of the dominant approach to Covid, occupying positions of political and cultural power, do not want to debate their opponents. They want to dismiss them. Ridicule them. Even demonise them.

Indeed, the echo of then prime minister David Cameron’s characterisation of UKIP as ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’ can be frequently heard in the blithe disdain meted out to those questioning the social restrictions under which we have been living since March. They are labelled ‘cranks’, ‘Covidiots’, and ‘Covid deniers’. And their views are dismissed as ‘far-right’, ‘libertarian’ and ‘conspiracy theory’.

Such insults are not only being hurled at predictable liberal bêtes noires like Farage or Toby Young. They are also being hurled at anyone, no matter how left-wing or credentialled, willing to put his or her head above the parapet, and question the wisdom of devastating our social and economic life in the name of battling a virus. Think of the treatment of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, such as Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford University, or Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. They have not only been subject to a shocking level of hostility and abuse; they have also been accused of being ‘co-opted by shady ideological interests’ by the Guardian; of being ‘scamademics’ by Byline Times; and of representing no more than a ‘fringe viewpoint’ outside the ‘scientific mainstream’ by their colleagues.

Given the level of abuse that established and esteemed academics have received for challenging lockdowns, it is hardly a surprise that many younger, less institutionally secure scientists are, according to the New Statesman, ‘afraid to speak out for fear of being vilified’.

And that is a profound problem right now. Dissent is being stifled, and not just by the explicit censorship of Big Tech. It is also being stifled by a growing climate of fear created by the hostility and abuse dished out to those who dare to question the political orthodoxy. Suggest that Covid is seasonal, as epidemiologist Stefan Baral did in March, and you will be called ‘Trumpian’. Propose protecting the vulnerable, as trade unionist Paul Embery did this weekend, and you’ll be damned to hell by a Sky News correspondent. Interrogate the scientific basis of Zero Covid, as Professor Gupta has done throughout the pandemic, and you’ll be dismissed as a ‘fringe’, ‘non-mainstream’ scientist by your academic peers.

Which is absurd, given that questioning the prevailing scientific consensus has always been the engine of scientific progress. Likewise, political argument is the lifeblood of a democracy. Get rid of it, through the stifling and suppression of alternative points of view, and you no longer have much of a democracy.

Those now cleaving to the technocratic Zero Covid consensus with even more intolerant zeal than that with which they cleaved to the technocratic EU consensus should remember what happened in 2016. People don’t like being demonised for holding different views. And they really don’t like having their lives dictated and devastated by a distant, technocratic elite that treats them with disdain.



<b>Christian magistrate sacked for saying children should be raised by a mother and father and NOT same-sex couples denies being biased as he fights 'religious discrimination' at Appeal Court</b>

A Christian magistrate who was removed from the bench and sacked from his NHS job after saying children should have a father and a mother and not same-sex parents has today started a new legal challenge.

Richard Page claims he was removed from the magistracy and dismissed from his senior role at an NHS trust in 2016 after expressing his views on same-sex couples and adoption.

In 2014, when considering the case of the adoption of a child by a same sex couple, Mr Page said that as a Christian it was in a child's best interests to be raised by a mother and a father. 

He was reprimanded by the UK's top legal officials, before giving an interview to the BBC in which he claimed had been discriminated against for his opinions on the issue.

Mr Page, 74, was later removed from the magistracy by then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and sacked from his non-executive director role on the NHS.

Now he is bringing a legal challenge against the Government and the NHS Trust Development Authority, which started today at the Court of Appeal. He attended today's hearing.

Mr Page's challenge, in which he claims he was discriminated against and faced victimisation because of his religion and beliefs, is opposed by the Government and the NHS Trust Development Authority. Both argue that the appeals should be dismissed.  

Today Mr Page's lawyers said his 'world was turned upside down' in 2014, when he was one of three magistrates considering an adoption application by a same-sex couple.

He objected to the adoption order being made and claimed it was better for children to be bought up by a father and mother rather than a gay couple.

Complaints were made, alleging Mr Page was prejudiced against same-sex couples - which he denied. 

Mr Page was reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice in December 2014 and ordered to undergo training. He later took part in a number of media interviews about his case. 

Mr Page was told he should follow advice given to magistrates about their conduct in private and public life - which included advice in 2012 that the general guidance for all levels of the judiciary was to not communicate with the media.

Mr Page was referred to a conduct panel after taking part in a 2015 BBC interview, without seeking advice on his involvement, about workplace religious discrimination. 

The conduct panel recommended his removal from the magistracy and he was removed from office in March 2016, by then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who said his comments suggested he was 'biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters'.

He was suspended from his role as non-executive director at the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust after the BBC interview, having previously been told that he should inform the trust before contacting the media.

He was told his contract would not be renewed after June 2016.

Mr Page is challenging two rulings of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) which upheld previous Employment Tribunal decisions rejecting his discrimination claims.

The EAT concluded that Mr Page had lost his positions due to the manner in which he had expressed his beliefs, including giving interviews without speaking to his employers, rather than his views.

At a hearing on Tuesday, lawyers for Mr Page argued that he had been dismissed from his roles for suggesting on television that he had been subjected to discrimination for expressing his views on parenting, and said the EAT was wrong to conclude this was not a 'protected act' under equality laws.

Mr Page's barrister, Paul Diamond, said: 'The appellant decided to appear on the news report as he felt he had been subjected to both discrimination and detriment for the expression of the view that a child needs a father and a mother, views premised in his religious and philosophical beliefs.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


6 November, 2020   

<b>Louisiana Passes Amendment Saying There Is No Constitutional Right to Abortion</b>

Louisiana voters passed an amendment to the state constitution Tuesday evening establishing that there is no constitutional right to an abortion.

The New York Times reported that 62% of Louisiana voters supported Amendment 1, “Love Life Amendment,” an amendment stating that nothing in the Louisiana state constitution protects the right to abortion or abortion funding. Louisiana also has a trigger law automatically banning all abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to NBC News.

“We are protecting our state’s taxpayer dollars and reaffirming Louisiana’s pro-life stance. We also believe that our people should have a say in this,” said the sponsor of the measure, Democratic state Sen. Katrina Jackson, NBC News reported.

“We’ve been working hard to get the word out about what this amendment does and what it doesn’t do,” added Louisiana Right to Life Associate Director Angie Thomas. “This amendment will make sure that Louisiana’s current pro-life laws are protected and can’t be undermined by a couple of judges.”

Abortion advocates argued that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the amendment unfairly impacts access to abortion.

“We have several cases heading towards the Supreme Court, and any one of them could be a case that undermines abortion rights or overturns abortion protections,” Associate Director of State Issues at the Guttmacher Institute Elizabeth Nash told NBC News.

Michelle Erenberg, executive director of the abortion rights group Lift Louisiana, said the amendment is part of a long strategy to strip the right to an abortion.

“This is a critical moment for an amendment like this to be on the ballot,” added Erenberg. “If we do see Roe v. Wade overturned, it would be used to bolster and solidify the Legislature’s efforts to outright ban abortion in the state.”

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<b>History Demands We Wake Up the Woke</b>

Editorial cartoonist Branco recently designed artwork showing an Antifa donkey with BLM explosives in its hand threatening America with, “Biden wins or the country gets it.”

At first blush, it seems extreme. But is it?

Most liberal “woke” do not participate in violence. But their blind silence on riots and authoritarianism perpetrated by their fellow leftists is a mindless stab in the heart of their own future liberty. 

They refuse to view anything that doesn’t fit what they believe is their compassionate narrative, and seem oblivious to the human cost of socialism and its better-dressed uncle, communism. Thinking Constitutional protections only apply to them, they holler “love not hate” while normalizing censorship and threats to anyone who disagrees with their left-wing talking points. 

It is almost as if history doesn’t exist for the woke. Yet Americans who have fled oppressive regimes know the erosion of human rights at the core of leftism and socialism doesn’t occur overnight.

Like Katarina Lindley, a successful family physician who is a leader in the osteopathic family physician community, and a board member for DPC Action, an organization supporting doctor/patient-based healthcare reforms. 

She started out as Katarina Sokolic, a Croatian girl born in Soviet Yugoslavia in the 1970s behind the Iron Curtain of hunger and despair. 

Katarina learned about oppression early when instructed to keep her family’s religious faith secret as it could cause her father to lose his job in a time of unrelenting unemployment. She escaped her homeland in its early post-Soviet phase, trading violence and suffering under a different leftist regime for America. 

According to Katarina, “it took years to realize Yugoslavia was not ‘utopia.’ Eventually, everything was controlled by government, and freedom of thought was highly discouraged.”

Midwest physician “Elizabeth Williams” fled Liberia at 14. Her family was chased off ancestral lands by leftist Liberian president Charles Taylor after her father spoke against Taylor’s suppression of speech. 

As Elizabeth notes, “first they didn’t allow us to air our views. That led to their stealing our entire lives.”

Left-wing violence destabilized Colombia for decades, and led to wholesale murder of hundreds of thousands and displacement of millions. Young “Enrique Velez,” who now lives in the Washington, DC area, recalls “my family saw kidnapping and extortion of friends and family. 

“My parents made the difficult decision to join millions of displaced people after my father was held up and threatened by leftist groups. In America, we finally felt safe. Many families do not get the opportunity to flee here. We pray this country never experiences the same thing.

These now-liberated Americans have real fear for our future. The obliviousness of the woke heightens that fear.

Socialism was previously abhorrent to Americans, but has been sold to America’s youth as “progress,” thanks in part to the false, glorified view Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders presents of central control. It has permeated the ranks of the Democrat’s progressive leaders.  

The socialism embraced by the wokes has a history of global oppression. Chairman Mao “freed” Chinese peasants by murdering 45 million of them. National Socialist Adolf Hitler harnessed his leftist power base by murdering six million Jews. Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to “Mass killing under communist regimes.”

Totalitarianism starts out as the rhetorically more benign socialism. First they come for books and newspapers, then guns, then property, then people’s lives.

The woke may argue these horrors would never come to America. But if they opened their eyes and their minds, they’d know it’s already here, and they are ushering it in. 

Social and mainstream media are suppressing and censoring content critical of the Democrat candidate for president. Citizens participating in a New York Jews for Trump convoy were attacked and children threatened with pepper spray by a leftist demonstrator. Liberal officials are closing houses of worship but allowing leftist riots.

Antifa and Black Lives Matter are radical left/Marxist groups who do not embrace peace. Their rioting and blind eye toward looting has cost countless billions and robbed minority and immigrant business owners of life savings and livelihoods. These groups and their woke supporters do not free people—they enslave them to tyrannical mobs and oppressive government. 

History is a lesson book. Americans who lived it, or understand it, must explain to the woke that they are sleeping through a montage that heralds an oppression which will eventually include them. 

Thanks to liberal educators and entertainment culture, young people are not even aware that socialism is the precursor of abject misery, and the loss of even the smallest of freedoms. 

Kat Lindley says America is a beacon of hope. Katarina Sokolic fears a nation that loses its liberties to the deliberately misinformed will never get it back. 

That would leave freedom seekers nowhere left to go. 



<b>The tyranny of ‘misinformation’</b>

The term is being used by politicians, the press and Big Tech to dismiss opposing views.

The term ‘misinformation’ is not what it was. It used to be a simple designation for a statement that was misleading or inaccurate, regardless of the intentions of said statement’s source. But now, like ‘truth’ and ‘facts’, it has now been politically mobilised by a centrist establishment determined to reassert the absolute control it lost in 2016.

And so, in the hands of anti-Trumpers, Brexit-bashers and pandemic fearmongers, misinformation, like post-truth and conspiracy theory, is always that in which the other side indulges. It is always what Trump and his supporters spread. It is always what those challenging lockdown purvey. And it is always that to which the undereducated, overrepresented masses are in thrall.

The most obvious recent example of the political weaponisation of ‘misinformation’ arrived in the near unanimous response of the political and media class to the New York Post’s exposé, complete with alleged email evidence, of the relationship between Joe Biden’s son Hunter and a Ukranian energy company. The NYPost claimed that in 2015 Hunter took cash from Burisma Holdings (a business for which Hunter was also a board member), in exchange for granting access to his father, who was then US vice president.

There might well be good reasons to be sceptical of a story Biden has always refuted, and to doubt the new evidence, coming as it did from the unreliable duo of Trump’s ex-aide Steve Bannon and former NYC mayor Rudy Guiliani. But to dismiss it as ‘misinformation’, as the uniformly anti-Trump press did? And, most shocking of all, to censor it as ‘misinformation’, as Facebook and Twitter did? That goes way beyond casting doubt on the story, and even attempting to refute it. That is to do something else entirely; it is to attempt to rule it out of public discussion. It is to try to disappear it.

Can you imagine the situation in reverse? Can you imagine the meltdown if a uniformly Trump-supporting media and political class dismissed the New York Times’s endless claims that Russia got Trump elected as pure misinformation? Can you imagine the outcry if Trump’s friends in Big Tech refused to allow stories on its platforms that reported the Democrat-commissioned Steele dossier, which claimed Putin had a video of Trump engaged in a spot of golden-age erotica?

It could never have happened, of course. Not because the Russia-collusion guff wasn’t misinformation – it was, and entirely politically motivated to boot. No, it couldn’t have happened because Trump, with few friends in the media and fewer still in Big Tech, does not have that sort of power. And the attempt to dictate what is true and false, what is to be communicated as information and what is to be censored as misinformation, is a strategy of the powerful.

Indeed, the Democrat machine, in its attempt to wheel Biden into the White House, has even turned this strategy into an actual anti-misinformation operation, internally called the ‘Malarkey Factory’. Employing dozens throughout the US to monitor social media, its aim is to stop opposing views, or ‘misinformation’, as they’re now being called, from gaining traction among voters. As one participant boasted, ‘[We] find and identify the misinformation that is actually moving voters, even if it is a small number of voters, then find who those voters are and see if we can intervene’. Do they not realise how sinister that sounds?

Whether such a strategy works is debatable. After all, the NYPost’s rather run-of-the-mill tale of corruption on Capitol Hill is generating far more heat, thanks to the attempts to suppress it, than it otherwise might have done. But that it exists as a strategy at all is what ought to worry us.

We can also see the strategy again being deployed in the politics of the pandemic. So last week it was announced that Wikipedia would follow in Google’s footprints, and work with the World Health Organisation in the attempt to ‘disarm the misinformation’ about Covid. Likewise, YouTube has said it is expanding its ‘misinformation policy’ to remove claims from its platform that contradict health authorities, such as the NHS in the UK, or the World Health Organisation.

It sounds sensible, especially when the examples of misinformation given include conspiracy theories about the potential vaccine for Covid being used to implant microchips in recipients’ bodies. But the justification for censoring the more demented fringes of the public sphere never stops at the fringes. It always applies throughout. One week it might well be the 5G nutters and anti-vaxxers being damned as agents of misinformation. But the next it could be those who doubt the efficacy of face masks, or who question the UK’s official Covid-related death toll – which, as spiked reported, is precisely what Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, proposes as examples of misinformation. This despite many medical experts, including for a time the WHO itself, casting doubt on the efficacy of face masks; and the UK’s official death toll being subject to official revision. It doesn’t take a wild leap to envisage a situation in which ‘misinformation’ encompasses political criticism of lockdown, and the raft of social restrictions that now lie across the land.

As it is currently being deployed, the term misinformation is not a neutral and objective description of that which misleads; rather, it is a politically partisan description of that with which the powerful disagree. Its function in public and political life, like the newly politicised concepts of ‘truth’ and ‘facts’, is too often tyrannical. It is used to suppress opposing arguments and views, perhaps even to cast them into discursive exile.

Little wonder Harry and Meghan, the King and Queen of Wokezania, seized on this weaponised concept of misinformation last week to advance their views on ‘racial justice, gender equity, climate change and mental health’. As they see it, people don’t hold opposing views; they hold misinformed views, wrong views, views that need to be changed. Or as Harry himself put it, ‘What I see is the digital space [of misinformation] hampering the progress that needs to be made’. In other words, we will make you progress. Such is the tyranny of truth, or ‘information’, in politics.

This is not, as Harry and Meghan have it, a ‘global crisis of misinformation’. Rather, it is the arrogant refusal of the ‘informed’, the woke and the expert to tolerate divergent opinions.



<b>Revealed: The new values statement immigrants have to sign before they are granted any Australian visa - and it sends an important message to non-English speakers</b>

Immigrants applying for permanent, provisional or temporary visas now have to sign an updated Australian Values Statement before being allowed into the country. 

The Australian Values Statement was first introduced in 2007 but has not been substantially updated until October 30, when the new statement came into effect. 

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said the new statement has 'a greater focus on values like freedom, respect, equality and the rule of law'. 

Immigrants must now read a 'Life in Australia' booklet available in 41 languages to educate themselves on Australian history, culture and society. 

After completing the required reading, immigrants can then sign the Australian Values Statement. 

The Values Statement itself requires immigrants to confirm they have read or had explained the provided materials and that they understand Australian society values.

All immigrants must accept respect freedom in all forms, commitment to the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, equality of opportunity for all people, a 'fair go' for all and the English language as the national language as part of the statement. 

Permanent visa applicants sign the same statement with two additional pledges. 

They must make reasonable efforts to learn English if it is not their native language and an understanding they will need to pledge their loyalty to Australia if they become an Australian citizen in the future. 

​The declaration that Australian citizenship applicants sign as part of their application has also been updated to mirror the wording of the Australian Values Statement. 

Mr Tudge said: 'The updated statement better reflects the importance we place on these values.  

'There will now be one statement for both temporary and permanent visa applicants that confirms they understand and will conduct themselves in line with our values and our laws.

'Those who want to settle in Australia permanently will also commit to make reasonable efforts to learn English, so they can fully participate in the community and have the best possible chance to get a job. 

'There is no new test or threshold associated with this change.' 

The changes are part of the Morrison Government’s $62.8 million investment in creating social cohesion, which builds on the $71 million social cohesion package announced in March 2019.

A new Australian Citizenship Test​ with a stronger focus on Australian values will also come into effect on November 15. 



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


5 November, 2020   

<b>Vote No to 1984</b>


Thought crimes, ministries of truth, and memory holes belong in Oceania, not America.

If we were to wake up in 2022, would we be more likely to see a 15-person Supreme Court, a Senate without a filibuster, a nation without an Electoral College, and an effort to admit two more states and with them four more senators if Joe Biden or Donald Trump were president?

Why would we blow up a nine-justice Supreme Court after 151 years, or a 233-year Electoral College, or a 170-year Senate filibuster, or a 60-year 50-state Union? And why now? What is the theme, the argument, the momentum for shattering these traditions, other than that progressives see them as ancient impediments to their radical ends?

Hey, What Ever Happened to Jaime Harrison in South Carolina?
Who, if president, would alter our ways of governance, and who would resist? Why are the proponents of these radical changes to the way we are governed so fanatical and yet so quiet about their intentions?

We know that about 99.7–99.8 percent of those under 60 who are infected with the coronavirus survive the disease. We know that the more we lock down everyone under quarantines, the more we risk scattering our resources to cover everyone — many of whom do not need such investment — only to short the vulnerable and elderly who most certainly do need the protection.

In which administration — Biden’s or Trump’s — will more Americans die or become ill under quarantine from increased substance, familial, and spousal abuse, from missed medical procedures and surgeries, from depression and suicide, and from the loss of their livelihoods than will die from the virus itself?

Will the forced loss of school time and ensuing economic lethargy hurt the future of today’s youth, the 20-year-olds and younger Americans, who are nearly immune from infection? Are we nuts to wonder why our “health-care professionals” swear to us in petitions that demonstrating in the streets — packed with people screaming, often without masks and sanitizers, and in phalanx-like ranks — benefits the mental health of the oppressed but sitting in a pew in church is insurrectionary and nearly felonious?

Are we crazy who watch the violence in our streets and scream at our TVs that that masked man, this hooded woman on the screen is, in real time, assaulting the police, looting a family’s store, tossing a firebomb at a police car — and all with virtual immunity? Did Americans miss out on some new state or local law decreeing that it’s now legal to ransack a store or demolish a business?

Are we callous and uncaring to expect the police to arrest those who destroy the livelihoods and property of others, or are those who commit such violence the real merciless ones? And which candidate is more likely to support the equal enforcement of the law, and with it the present and future of the those cannot protect themselves and their own?

Is this even an election year, a campaign with two candidates? Is there a media Left, or is it a Big Tech/Big Media ministry that rents itself out to the most opulent left-wing candidate, and now assures that what is aberrant is perfectly normal?

Is Joe Biden even campaigning in the American tradition of an election year? Does he go hammer and tongs with the press, wake them up at rallies, bring the press into his hectic traveling circle?

Has any reporter asked him to just assure us that Hunter’s emails are indeed Russian disinformation, that he never met a single one of Hunter’s foreign lobbyists/agents, that none of his income came from foreign interests via his son — in other words, that all that he has assured us in the past is not a complete fabrication?

Which septuagenarian, Biden or Trump, is more likely to allow a journalist’s question and then give an answer? To crisscross the country? To take flak and return it? Who will seek victory through meeting the people, and who by avoiding them? Are we unhinged to trust our senses that in the year 2020, for the first time in 100 years, a candidate simply stayed home and outsourced his campaign to an obsequious media?

When they tell us that abortion does not kill the living, that our elite follow the science that nonetheless shows that life is viable in the womb if not ended by the scalpel, who is crazy, who sane?

For a generation so prone to damn the past by the standards of the present, what will our grandchildren say about us in 50 years, we who have aborted 2,000 to 3,000 infants a day? Will they scream that we were racists to allow 1,000 African-American lives to be extinguished every 24 hours? And which current presidential candidate would be more likely to say, “Please, don’t do this” and which to boast, “Who are you to object?”

When listening the other day to the senatorial furor directed at Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder and CEO, I thought of the 19th-century agrarian venom against the railroad monopolies that rigged freight rates when farmers had no other way to ship their produce. Dorsey essentially admitted that, as a private tech baron, he too can do as he pleases. And as he pleases means censoring conservative content on all he owns.

Dorsey, like the late-19th-century railroad conglomerates, operates a virtual octopus, as do Facebook and Google. Their tentacles squeeze out all their competition. They are vertically integrated. Long ago they strangulated competitors and censored and rigged their operations in a way that assumes that they are neither operating in the public domain like a utility nor subject to antitrust and anti-monopoly laws that tend to reappear when moguls express open contempt for their customers.

Which candidate, Joe Biden or Donald Trump, is more likely to rein in Big Tech? In 2023, will our Google searches, Twitter accounts, and Facebook postings become more massaged and warped under a President Trump or a President Biden?

What memory hole have we fallen into? If any of us did what Hunter Biden has for 20 years, what jail would we be in now? We thought we had seen, read, and heard evidence that Joe Biden and his brood have for decades crafted a family influence-peddling syndicate, in which his family sold the Biden name to help foreign and domestic profiteers gain an advantage over their competitors, as “Pop” Biden raked in 50 percent of Hunter’s profits. Is there yet any argument that Joe Biden has not done this?

At least for now, no Biden has sued the peripatetic Rudy Giuliani for libel and character defamation. No forensic analyst from famed CrowdStrike had stepped forward to say that the “metadata” prove that Hunter’s emails and texts are fake. No recipient of Hunter’s communications has said they were forged. No Silicon Valley sleuth had dedicated his progressive services to prove the Hunter laptop is a fiction, a tool of Russian disinformation.

Yet we are told by the ruling classes, the media, and the elite that there is no such scandal. We, not the Bidens, are unethical for asking about crimes; they are ethical for committing them. Who is more likely to allow justice to play out: Joe Biden or Donald Trump? Will John Durham continue pursuing his investigation of criminal activity at the FBI, DOJ, and CIA in 2021 if Joe is president, or if Donald is?

Whom does the top of the Fortune 400 prefer for president? Who promises to spend $50, $70, $100 million of his fortune to warp the way we vote? Does the progressive term “dark money” still apply when all that it now entails is spending in order to nullify the will of the middle and lower-middle classes? Is Michael Bloomberg or George Soros now the topic of an exposé about the corrupting influence of money on politics?

For three years, our elites cried “Russians, Russians” under every American bed — a chorus sung by the very architects of the “reset” who preached to us in 2009 that we needed to reach out to Vladimir Putin.

But by 2020, we had seen the corruption of the DOJ, the FBI, and the CIA in their joint quest to cobble together a Hillary Clinton–concocted hoax to smear Donald Trump as an illegitimate president because he “colluded with Russia.” Or so we were instructed by our media Big Brothers.

Were not FISA courts lied to and deceived? Certainly, evidence was altered by the FBI. Names of the improperly surveilled were unmasked and leaked to toadyish reporters — as the lawbreaking became a sort of sport, a plaything, this ruining of lives.

American citizens, in government and in campaigns, were spied on by their public servants, unlawfully, unethically, and unscrupulously. We were told, after 22 months and $40 million, that the greatest collection of supposedly stellar American legal talent — just think of it, Robert Mueller and his all-stars, the dream team, the hunter-killers of the courtroom — would crucify the president on a cross of Russian gold.

All for what? A lie of Hillary Clinton’s, constructed in part to help her win a “sure thing” presidency? A way of hiding her own various email lies and scandals? A way of justifying her defeat? What were all those firewalls for? What did the DNC, Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele nexus seek to hide? How many lies were told and lives ruined as the price for seeding and growing the colossal farce? Who would be more likely to hold all those culpable accountable: Donald Trump or Joe Biden?

Most Americans appreciate that, in real dollars at the pump or in heating costs for their homes, their energy bill is cheaper than ever. Who is upset that in places such as rural Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and rural Pennsylvania and Colorado, once-forgotten young men and women now earn good money in the energy business?

It was once a source of pride not only that the United States was the world’s largest producer of oil and gas, but that we had reduced our carbon footprint far more and at less cost to the economy than have many of the loudest signatories of the Paris climate accord.

But most important, Americans saw fracking as a way out of the labyrinth of the Middle East, where for 75 years Americans have sent expeditionary armies, usually on the subtext that Middle East energy was key to the world and especially to the American economy.

What country had the post-war U.S. not sent troops to in the wider region? Iraq? Syria? Lebanon? Libya? Kuwait? Somalia? Sudan? What crises were we warned might lead to world or at least regional war — Suez, the Iranian hostage debacle, the Straits of Hormuz? Who then would wish to revert to the pre-fracking status quo? Joe Biden or Donald Trump?

We live in a new age of iconoclasm. The ignorant have harvested all the low fruit of Confederate-general statuary and are now knocking down any totem deemed more illustrious than any other, from Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln to Cervantes, Columbus, and Father Junípero Serra. Do the statue-topplers hate their betters, or do they wage war on the past because they, by comparison, fall so short in the present? Do they fear, when they get their ropes and chains out, that they might be arrested for destroying something not their own? Could any of them sculpt or cast what they deface and topple?

One day a school, an eponymous building, a street retains its traditional name; the next, it does not. New nouns appear out of nowhere; old ones are Trotskyized. New rules of capitalization within hours dictate that some words are now proper nouns; other similar terms, not so much. Who is more likely to say, “No more, we are not going to mindlessly wage war on our past in a fit of frenzy” — Joe Biden or Donald Trump? When and how did yesterday’s NBA star become today’s Socrates?

Professional sports used to be an escape from the conundrum and conflicts of modern life. Not now. Viewership of all the major sports has dived. Must Americans swallow yet another woke dose from mostly vain athletes before they can watch them bounce, throw, or catch a ball for an hour or two? Who is more likely to say, “Stand for the flag!” Who is more likely to see race as incidental not essential to character — Biden or Trump?

The 2020 election is — but is not — about hapless Joe Biden and his surrogate hard-left agenda.

Instead, 160 million are voting not on whether we will soon have Orwell’s 1984 but on how in the world we can end the nightmare that is already here upon us.

Put more bluntly, the choice is either Donald Trump, who is trying to rid America of Oceania and its thought police, or Joe Biden, who will give us still more thought crimes, memory holes, and ministries of truth.



<b>A Judge Just Dethroned California COVID Dictator Gavin Newsom</b>

Gavin Newsom may want to mask up for the news. The California governor was just dethroned by a Superior Court judge who reminded him on Monday that he’s not a king, but a servant of the people – people who elected a legislature to make laws.

Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman barred Newsom from making new coronavirus laws that use the “California Emergency Services Act [which] amends, alters, or changes existing statutory law or makes new statutory law or legislative policy.”

The decision Monday afternoon was a pointed reminder to Newsom that there’s such a thing as a legislature, whose job, after all, is to make laws. It forbade him from exercising, as my colleague over at RedState Jennifer Van Laar characterized, “one-man rule.”

That assessment was echoed by California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who said, “the judge has ruled in our case against Gavin Newsom. We won. The Judge found good cause to issue a permanent injunction restraining the Governor from issuing further unconstitutional orders.”

The ruling was met with delight by people sick and tired of the governor’s heavy-handed coronavirus diktats, such as the state legislators that brought the lawsuit.

The lawsuit centers on one of the Newsom diktats from June that rewrote the laws on holding elections, which the legislature later adopted. Though it’s too late for Tuesday’s election and doesn’t apply because the legislature ratified Newsom’s diktat, the court reminded the governor that, going forward, he can’t rewrite the law even under his emergency powers.

Newsom wanted the lawsuit issue declared moot, but that didn’t fly with the judge, who issued a permanent injunction.

Assemblyman James Gallagher said the ruling was a victory for the separation of powers.

“This was never politics; it was never partisan. This ruling will affect whoever is governor, not just this governor, but those in the future. It’s about respecting that balance of power ad the fundamental separation of powers that is fundamental to our system of government.”

Gallagher and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley argued that Newsom arrogated to himself the job of making laws, which is the job of the legislature, which has taken a back seat during COVID.

Assemblyman Kiley kept a running tally of laws the governor had changed under the auspices of emergency COVID powers without the legislature. They included extending “deadlines for businesses to renew licenses, file reports, or pay taxes; delayed consumers’ late fees for paying taxes or renewing drivers licenses; suspended school districts’ deadlines and instructional requirements; suspended medical privacy rules…”



<b>Hatred of Trump vs. Hatred of the Left</b>

Dennis Prager

One way in which today's presidential election can be summarized is this: It is a contest between those who hate Donald Trump and those who hate the left (as I always point out, I am referring to the left, not to liberals or liberalism).

This is so accurate an assessment I suspect even most Democrats would agree with it.

They know they hate President Donald Trump. And they know conservatives (and a few courageous liberals) hate the left.

When you put it this way, it shows how superficial the anti-Trump electoral argument is. We who are not on the left base our opposition to the Democratic Party on ideas, values and our love for America, not on antipathy toward an individual. And let me assure Democrats: Most Republicans had just as much contempt for former President Barack Obama and have as much contempt for Joe Biden as Democrats have for Donald Trump. But we don't obsess over personalities; we obsess over America.

Leftists -- and the naive liberals who do not recognize the left as the mortal enemy of liberalism -- are obsessed with the president's persona. In their endlessly repeated, hate-filled descriptions of him, he is the apotheosis of evil: a dictator, narcissist, misogynist, racist, xenophobe, anti-Semite and white supremacist. He is morally and financially corrupt. He is mentally incompetent. He's unrefined. He uses the presidency solely in order to enrich himself. His reelection will mean the end of American democracy. He has told more than 22,000 lies. He loves dictators and has contempt for America's allies. His 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to undermine and "steal" the presidential election. He said there are "very fine" Nazis. To top it all off, he is responsible for more than 200,000 American deaths due to COVID-19.

And that's just a partial list.

Virtually every charge is either wildly exaggerated or outright false. For instance, regarding Trump's alleged responsibility for the American deaths due to COVID-19: Do these people hold the leaders of Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador -- all of whom have a higher rate of death from COVID-19 than America -- responsible for all of their respective countries' deaths?

Do these people hold any other leaders in the world responsible for the COVID-19 deaths in their countries?

Do these people hold New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responsible for the deaths in New York, the state that has had by far the highest death rate in America?

If one cared about truth, one would hold Cuomo far more responsible for New York City's virus deaths than Trump for America's virus deaths. But what is truth compared to hatred of Trump?

To those who hate Trump because they regard him as such a defective human being, there is nothing good he can do.

A particularly pathologic example is American Jewry, which is expected to vote 3 to 1 for Joe Biden. Presidential candidates since Bill Clinton have vowed to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which would entail moving our embassy there. Israel was the only country in the world in which the United States had its embassy in a city other than the capital. Only Donald Trump kept his promise by actually moving the embassy. And he did so despite the dire warnings of "experts" -- a group that is frequently wrong on almost every issue -- that the Arab and Muslim worlds would erupt in violence. The opposite happened: His policies have led to peace between Israel and three Arab countries, with more likely to follow unless Biden and the Democratic appeasers of Iran and the Palestinians come to power.

But peace between Israel and Arab countries, moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, and the fact that Trump has a Jewish daughter, Jewish son-in-law and Jewish grandchildren all mean nothing to most American Jews, for whom The New York Times means far more than the Torah. (The proof, if needed, is that the Jews who believe in the Torah will vote overwhelmingly for Trump.) Meanwhile, 70% of Israel's Jews support Trump.

In addition, Trump did more for black America than any president since Abraham Lincoln -- but, of course, that's only true if you think the lowest black unemployment rate ever recorded, prison reform, opportunity zones, support for school choice and second chances for those convicted of crimes matter. But none of this matters to Trump haters. Their only concern for blacks is that blacks be as angry at America as possible. Angry blacks are Democratic voters. Blacks grateful to be Americans are Republican voters.

Which brings me to the competing hatred: hatred of the left.

Those who hate the left do so not because of dislike for any individual but because everything the left touches it ruins. As I have written about this at length, I will only list examples:


High schools.

Elementary schools.


Art, music, architecture.

Late-night comedy.

Mainstream Christianity and Judaism.


Marriage and family.

Happiness -- especially among women.

The police.

Crime rates.

Children's innocence.

Freedom of speech -- for the first time in American history.

Law and order.

Race relations.


Nothing in life is left unscathed. In a nutshell, liberals build; conservatives build; leftists destroy. And the Democratic Party is now the party of the left.

So, while the Democrats and their media focus on Donald Trump, the rest of us focus on the left and the list above.

That strikes me as the more moral concern. Between Donald Trump's narcissism and the left's assault on liberty; left-wing elected officials standing by as leftists smash windows and burn cities; and the left's rewrite of American history to ensure that our children have contempt for America, a vote for Trump should be an easy call to make for anyone who loves this country.



<b>Can a Disintegrating America Come Together?</b>

Pat Buchanan

On the last days of the 2020 campaign, President Donald Trump was holding four and five rallies a day in battleground states, drawing thousands upon thousands of loyalists to every one.

Waiting for hours, sometimes in the cold, to cheer their champion on, these rallygoers love Trump as few presidents have been loved. This writer cannot recall a president and campaign that brought out so many and such massive crowds of admirers in its closing days.

And who are these cheering, chanting loyalists who have brought their children out with them to see and remember "the great Trump" -- in the eyes of our dispossessed elites?

They are people who belong in a "basket of deplorables," sneered Hillary Clinton: "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic" bigots, and a sub-species of humanity that is "irredeemable."

Today's election is an us-versus-them choice unlike any other, for the issues in dispute are broader and deeper than ever before.

And those issues raise questions: No matter who wins, can this nation come together again? And if it cannot -- a real possibility -- what form will America take as it disintegrates?

Even as voters were mailing in ballots in the millions, stores in our great cities were being boarded up against rioters, looters and arsonists.

Suburban residents, fearful that the urban mobs may one day be coming for them, were stockpiling guns and ammunition.

How divided are we?

The New York Times "Sunday Review" devoted its entire section to Donald Trump, as seen from the eyes of its columnists. On the cover page of the Review ran the headline, "All 15 of our columnists explain what the past four years have cost America, and what's at stake in this election."

Each of the 15 trashed Trump from his or her perspective.

Since World War II, America has held elections where the country seemed at sword's point. Not all were like 1960, where scholar Arthur Schlesinger Jr., felt compelled to write the book, "Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference?"

Schlesinger felt he had to explain that despite the similarity of the candidates, both in their 40s, it made a difference who was elected.

Yet, even after the most divisive elections of the post-war era -- 1952 and 1968 -- the country pulled back together. President Dwight Eisenhower, from 1952 to 1956, and Richard Nixon, from 1968 to 1972, restored unity to the nation during their first terms by ending the Asian wars into which their predecessors had taken the nation.

New leadership ended the wars and brought the United States together.

The difference today?

Americans are not divided over war. One of Trump's successes has been to keep us out of new wars, even if he has not yet extracted us from the wars he inherited.

Today, we are divided over ideology, morality, culture, race and history. We are divided over whether America is the great nation we were raised to revere and love or a nation born in great sins and crimes -- such as the near annihilation of indigenous peoples and their cultures and the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Black peoples from Africa.

Are we the nation of 1776 and 1789, or the nation of 1619, whose institutions are still infected with the "systemic racism" of our birth?

In this divided country, at times, Americans seem to detest each other.

Indeed, if the United States did not exist as one nation, would this diverse people ever agree to form a compact to come together, or would we seek to retain our separate identities?

In tearing down the statues of explorers such as Christopher Columbus or the Founding Fathers and their successor presidents, from Andrew Jackson to Abraham Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the contempt for the country these men helped to bring into being, and for what this country stands for today, is manifest.

A significant slice of America's young believes that the nation to which they belong was detestable from its birth, and that the Western civilization from which it sprang is not worth saving.

In his farewell address, President Ronald Reagan spoke of the America where he was raised and which he cherished:

"The hope of human freedom -- the quest for it, the achievement of it -- is the American saga. And I've often recalled one group of early settlers making a treacherous crossing of the Atlantic on a small ship when their leader, a minister, noted that perhaps their venture would fail and they would become a byword, a footnote to history. But perhaps, too, with God's help, they might also found a new world, a city upon a hill, a light unto the nations."

How many Americans still believe what Reagan believed? How many yet see America as "a city upon a hill, a light unto the nations"?



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


4 November, 2020   

<b>Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at 2:00 am Sunday, November 1, and most Americans will again suffer the consequences</b>

The consequences are not limited to the time and trouble of moving the hands of analog clocks back one hour in the fall, only to be forced to move them forward again in March when DST returns.

The annual rituals of “falling back” and “springing forward” impose very real costs on the economy and stress the human body physiologically, both worrisome during normal times but even more so in the midst of a pandemic to which governments have responded with draconian lockdowns that have crippled business operations, thrown millions out of work and forced many people to avoid or delay routine medical care.

What’s the big deal? Why should we worry about losing just an hour of sleep in the spring, only to gain it back in the fall?

The time regime under which people live and work does not affect the number of hours of daily sunlight, which depend mainly on the season of the year and latitude (distance from the earth’s equator).

In the Northern Hemisphere, days lengthen in summer and shorten in winter no matter whether DST or standard time is in effect.

DST apparently shifts an hour of sunlight to later in the day, and standard time claws that hour back.

Since schedules for work and other daily activities do not adjust for most people, they experience the equivalent of jet lag without traveling to another time zone. Their body clocks (circadian rhythms) are jolted two times a year.

The jolt reduces productivity on the job for days after the time changes in either direction. Heart attacks and strokes spike. Traffic accidents increase, especially in the spring when drivers have lost an hour of sleep.

In the fall, more carnage undoubtedly occurs as people adjust imperfectly to commuting home in the dark; pedestrians (even in crosswalks) and bicyclists wearing dark clothing especially are at risk of being hit by inattentive motorists. The effects tend to be more severe in “vulnerable populations.“

The economic and healthcare costs of time traveling every year are not offset by any material benefits.

The energy savings once claimed to be associated with DST typically are small, at least since air conditioning became widespread. The reverse likely is true: DST results in more energy consumption.

Sure, it’s nice to push dusk back an hour at the end of the day during warm weather, but why force everyone to put up with a one size fits all policy?

The Uniform Time Act of 1966, as amended, sets the dates on which DST begins and ends; in the United States “standard time” is now confined to just over four months every year.

The law permits the several states to remain on (or revert to) standard time year-round unilaterally but does not allow any state to adopt DST for 12 months of the year. Some states, like Florida, Oregon and Washington, want to do that. (Oregon’s law becomes effective only if California also adopts year-round DST.)

As a matter of fact, 34 of the 50 states want to make DST permanent. Such action requires congressional approval. Physiologists, on the other hand, would opt for standard time year-round.

In March 2020, the European Union voted to end biennial time changes for good, providing for one final adjustment next year, either in March or October, allowing its 28 member countries (minus Britain) to choose DST or standard time permanently.

Eighty-four percent of Europeans supported scrapping mandatory springing forward and falling back. Perhaps memories of Britain’s double summertime, which moved clocks forward by two hours during the Second World War, remain fresh.

It’s time for Congress to respond to popular demands for ending the tyranny of government time by allowing states to choose the time regime under which people want to live permanently, stopping the nonsense of twice-yearly assaults on our economic and bodily well-being.



<b>Should Government Build and Finance Affordable Housing?</b>

Government affordable housing policy can be separated between “demand-side” and “supply-side” solutions. I have described for Catalyst the demand-side ones—such as rent control policies that aim to suppress prices, or Section 8 vouchers that aim to boost spending power—and why they are problematic.

Here I will describe supply-side ones, which, per their name, are an effort to boost housing supply, rather than fiddling with the demand equation. I find similar problems with supply-side solutions, and will unpack two of the more prominent ones over the last century—public housing and low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC).  

Public Housing

Public housing became mainstream in the U.S. during and after the Great Depression, when the federal government passed several bills to construct it for the working- and middle-classes. The means to build the housing were extreme, as the bills allocated hundreds of billions in today’s dollars to tear down functioning old neighborhoods, via “urban renewal,” creating space for new towers. But the ends didn’t turn out well. Projects that were thought to be great innovations of their day became notorious within years. By 1972, St. Louis’ Pruitt-Igoe complex was already being torn down, and by the 1990s the federal government made demolition of these projects mainstream.  

A number of problems caused public housing to fail. One is that it was racially-segregated. Another was that it was poorly-designed, following the towers-in-a-park fad that created dead space and harbored crime. But the main problem was that it was government-run, subjecting it to poor outcomes. 

One tenet of classical liberal economics is public choice theory. It posits that government bureaucracies don’t perform well because they are not incentivized to do so. Unlike private firms, there isn’t a unifying goal (profit) that encourages bureaucracies to act efficiently. There are instead competing actors who pursue their own interests, often at the expense of the whole. Public choice theory, rather than supporting the notion of the selfless, idealistic public servant, attributes common human traits to these workers, like the pursuit of money and power. But because civil servants aren’t subject to the corrections of the private sector—and because agencies themselves are not results-oriented—they grow infused with corruption, patronage and inertia.  

I will go more into public choice theory in a later article about government transit, because it explains many failures there. But it also explains the flaws of public housing. When HUD took control of the Chicago Housing Authority in 1995, for example, it described an agency that, despite receiving $350 million in annual federal funds, couldn’t maintain its buildings, ensure safety, or explain its millions in missing pension funds. That is because no one in the agency was set to lose financially due to those failures. 

Nowadays, NYCHA still makes headlines for its severe under-maintenance of New York City public housing. The popular excuse is “underfunding,” but it has more to do with labor rules that protect entrenched unions. This prevents the agency from conducting open procurements, causing high construction costs and low service quality.

These public choice flaws have been common for decades within PHAs, and are predictable. That doesn’t mean public housing is always bad—it is, after all, still housing. But its track record should throw cold water on the renewed optimism among urbanists for “decommodifying” housing and making more of it “public” or “social.” Even if the model adequately houses some people, it is still suboptimal relative to the money spent.   


Due to public housing’s flaws, the federal government privatized affordable housing. In 1986, congress authorized LIHTC, a tax credit that’s given to qualified developers, who then sell the credits to financial institutions looking to reduce their tax burdens. Developers use that money to underwrite housing projects, with the stipulation that some units remain affordable. LIHTC is an $8 billion subsidy underwriting 107,000 units, making it America’s largest affordable housing finance source.  

LIHTC’s perceived benefit is that by enlisting private or nonprofit entities to run housing, it creates incentives for good quality. I can verify from experience that LIHTC accomplishes this. 

One magazine I write for, Tax Credit Advisor, specializes in covering LIHTC projects. I have visited many projects and seen how well-maintained they are. Low-income units are often placed in upscale projects and locations, and are fairly indistinguishable from market-rate housing. 

But this has actually fed my criticism of LIHTC. The policy produces affordable housing in the most expensive way possible, sticking units in nice neighborhoods and building them to an unnecessarily high standard. LIHTC also follows the flawed premise that affordable housing must be newly-built, whereas in a natural market process, a city’s older housing stock is what is more likely to be affordable. Many of the stories about overly-expensive affordable housing—such as the $500k+ units throughout California—involve LIHTC financing. This prevents the money from stretching further and helping more people. 

LIHTC instead helps interest groups, causing the same public choice problems as government-run housing. As different critical reports have shown, developers overstate their project costs to win more allocation, syndicators lop off money from the credits by serving as middle men, and lawyers benefit from the program’s complexity. This is all money that, again, cannot be used for housing. 

“LIHTC is producing fewer new units of housing each year while costing taxpayers 50 percent more in tax credit dollars—even after accounting for increasing construction costs,” wrote NPR in 2017.

For these reasons, governments should not be in the business of creating new housing, either through public processes or public-private ones like LIHTC. It is not their comparative advantage, nor something they do in a cheap and scalable manner. 

The best affordable housing strategy is to allow broad market liberalization, so private developers can build enough housing to meet local demand. In U.S. metros that do this, older housing stock, often in decent locations, has in fact “filtered down” and become affordable. If some families still can’t afford housing under a liberalized model, Section 8 vouchers can fill those gaps and be used to rent the older housing. But using socialized models to finance and build new affordable units has been a public choice problem, riddled with waste, corruption, and mismanagement.



<b>The Blue-Collar Billionaire</b>

Donald Trump is all that stands between We the People and an increasingly intolerant world.

Perhaps you’ve noticed: The world ain’t what it used to be — at least not for folks of a particular political persuasion.

There was a time not too long ago when we on the Right could proudly support our president even while the other side dismissed him as a “B” actor, a warmonger, and an “amiable dunce.” More recently, we could confess to having thrown a lever for Chimpy Bush Hitler and still be accepted in polite company. Today, however, try telling folks outside your circle of friends that you voted for the Orange Guy. And that you’re voting for him again this year.

Free speech and populism used to be popular among Democrats. Theirs was the party of blue-collar America, after all. Macomb County’s “Reagan Democrats” were, in fact, Democrats. Republicans? They lived in Grosse Pointe and in the tony northern suburbs, while the Democrats lived downriver. These Republicans thought “business casual” meant leaving the diamond cufflinks in the dresser drawer, and their elected representatives used Queensbury Rules to fend off a sucker-punching press.

Since then, the parties have done a switcheroo. Not a fake one, like the Democrats say happened in the Civil Rights ‘60s, but a real one with real consequences. The culture and the counterculture have switched sides, and there’s no denying it. Democrats are now the elites, the paternalists, the Chardonnay-sippers, the theater-goers, the media darlings, the foundation favorites, the advanced-degree types, and the party preferred by Wall Street. Republicans, on the other hand, have welcomed in the workers, the grinders, the hog butchers, the middle-managers, the guys and gals in the field and on the shop floor. The Republican Party is diverse, but the common thread is Patriotism. We love our country, and we don’t apologize for it.

We’re okay with this rearrangement, too, because we know we’re riling up the right people. As our Thomas Gallatin noted recently, “Hillary Clinton once again reminded everyone why she was such an odious and unlikeable candidate. In comments resembling her infamous ’basket of deplorables‘ slander from 2016, Clinton went low, accusing most elected Republicans of being 'cowards’ and ‘spineless enablers’ of President Donald Trump. ‘Most Republicans are going to want to close the page,’ she asserted without evidence while robotically botching the metaphor. She added, ‘They want to see him gone as much as we do, but they can’t say it publicly.’”

Suffice it to say: We want to be taking fire from the likes of Hillary Clinton. When she calls us deplorables, we take it as a compliment.

A vote for Donald Trump is thus a vote for the resistance. However quietly or noisily, when we support the president, we become dissidents, revolutionaries, anti-establishment types. Even if you’re disinclined to grab a torch or a pitchfork, there’s something inside you that’s looking around and wondering how we got to this awful state of affairs; something inside you that feels like a young John McEnroe at stodgy old Wimbledon. Joe Biden for president? You cannot be serious!

As National Review’s Rich Lowry put it in a piece perfectly titled “The Only Middle Finger Available”: “Besides the occasional dissenting academic and brave business owner or ordinary citizen, Trump is, for better or worse, the foremost symbol of resistance to the overwhelming woke cultural tide that has swept along the media, academia, corporate America, Hollywood, professional sports, the big foundations, and almost everything in between.”

Yes, you’re now part of the counterculture. And the old counterculture of the ‘60s has become today’s de facto culture. Think about it: The free speech movement began among long-haired college kids in the mid-1960s, and now free speech (along with freedom of religion and freedom of the press) is under withering assault by those same people more than a half-century later. In a way, the revolution has come full circle.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Donald Trump is leading this revolution, and were it not for us, he’d be all alone. Okay, he’d still have the NRA and the cops and the state of Israel, but who else? Never in our nation’s history has an American president had so many powerful forces so resolutely arrayed against him: Big Tech, the media, Hollywood, the schools, the colleges and universities, the foundations, the increasingly woke large corporations, and the list goes on.

And yet Trump goes on, too.

And one wonders: Why? What’s his angle? What’s his play? He certainly didn’t do it for the money. He’s already lost, what, a billion dollars by taking on the world’s toughest and most thankless job? Heck, he’s not even drawing a salary. Previous presidents could afford to sacrifice the short-term monetary shortfall because they knew they’d be able to make it up on the back end with book deals, speaking engagements, and the like. But the Trump brand is now toxic among the elites. What corporation would dare book him as a speaker or hold its client conference at one of his properties?

This is the thanks he’ll get for having led a rebellion against a government that’s gotten too big and too meddlesome and too oppressive, and against a culture that’s become downright hostile toward the very things that made this nation great.

Our tireless blue-collar president still has plenty of work to do.



<b>The Assault on Religious Freedom During COVID-19</b>

During the course of the COVID-19 crisis, an ongoing, and very legitimate, national debate has continued about the wisdom of lockdowns.

The decision to shut down social and commercial activity in the name of health is itself arbitrary. Then, the decision to decide what to shut down and what not to shut down, what activities are more essential than others, adds more arbitrariness.

These decisions reflect the values and priorities of those with power who are making them. In our increasingly secular society, this is posing enormous problems and challenges for religious freedom.

Earlier this year, Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in Nevada failed in its attempt to get the Supreme Court to rein in Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order that arbitrarily clamps down more severely on churches than on gambling casinos.

Nevada’s policy holds that restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms can operate at 50% capacity, while houses of worship are limited to a maximum of 50 people regardless of their capacity.

In a 5-4 vote, the court refused injunctive relief for Calvary Chapel.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh got to the heart of the matter in his dissent.

“Nevada’s rules,” wrote Kavanaugh, “reflect an implicit judgement that for-profit assemblies are important and religious gatherings are less so; that moneymaking is more important than faith during the pandemic.”

But rather than the fight being over, it is continuing and picking up steam.

A few weeks ago, a federal district court judge ruled in favor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in its complaint against Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser’s executive order prohibiting religious gatherings of over 100 people, indoors or outdoors.

The church, in its complaint and request for relief, noted that the mayor herself appeared and spoke at an outdoor gathering of “tens of thousands of people” in downtown Washington.

A federal district court judge in Colorado has just ruled in favor of two local churches who filed a suit challenging the state’s rules requiring masks and limiting the size of indoor gatherings. The judge found that the rules for religious institutions were more severe than for secular ones and, therefore, unconstitutional.

However, a lawsuit filed by Orthodox Jews and Catholics in New York against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on indoor gatherings was met with less success, as a federal district court judge ruled in favor of the state.

Lockdowns present a formidable test and challenge to the country. Our Constitution, with its Bill of Rights, was formulated with the idea that a legal fence could be built to protect individual freedom from arbitrary violations.

One of America’s Founding Fathers, John Adams, used the phrase “a government of laws, not of men” to capture the idea that we should aspire to limit arbitrary power given to men.

But a government-mandated lockdown is all about giving politicians enormous arbitrary power.

America was founded by those seeking religious freedom. Recall the famous sermon in 1630 by Puritan John Winthrop, founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, one of the nation’s first colonies.

“For we must consider,” said Winthrop, “that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and by-word through the world.”

But the religion, and the freedom to practice it, that was most important to Winthrop and many of the founders of this country is least important to many people with political power making lockdown decisions today.

According to a 2015 Pew Research Center report, 36% of Americans attend religious services weekly.

Legal challenges must continue everywhere constitutional protections for religious freedom and equal treatment are being violated.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


3 November, 2020   

<b>The Girl Scouts Don’t Actually Support Women Anymore</b>

The Girl Scouts of America used its Twitter account this week to tweet out congratulations to Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the first woman with school-age children to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

The Girl Scouts’ Twitter post read simply: “Congratulations Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the 5th woman appointed to the Supreme Court since its inception in 1789.” 

The post seemed innocuous enough, and appropriate for an organization dedicated to the betterment of girls. Unfortunately, the tweet did not last even a day.

After receiving some predictable social media retaliation, the Girl Scouts deleted their tweet and posted not one but two groveling apologies masked as explanations.  

Notice the second tweet, which declares that the Girl Scouts of America is  a “nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization” and “neither red nor blue.”

This is interesting, telling even, because as most Americans should know, the Supreme Court is not a political party and a justice is not a politician, nor should he or she be actively political in that role.  

In posting and abruptly deleting the tweet, which also pictured the previous four female members of the high court, the Girl Scouts created an unusual predicament: The organization revealed its own partisan nature, as the projection at play here clearly suggests.  

As most people know, the Girl Scouts of America is not just a brand that sells cookies. It’s an organization that purports to help girls thrive and develop leadership skills.

The Girl Scouts’ website states:

Research shows that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment. Girl Scouts is a place where she’ll practice different skills, explore her potential, take on leadership positions—and even feel allowed to fail, dust herself off, get up, and try again.

As good as that sounds, they’re certainly not living up to their own mission statement, or at least not on their Twitter account, which boasts nearly 100 million followers.  Again, the original post didn’t highlight only Barrett, but all of the four women previously seated on the Supreme Court. Since there’s only been five, each one is historic.  

The Girl Scouts joined with gusto the swath of social media accounts that exude political and historical ignorance when the organization equated its own tepid celebration of these five women—who happen to include Barrett, a mother, a Catholic, an originalist, and a scholar in the mold of her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia—with partisanship and criticism.

Surely Barrett would exemplify the adult version of the Girl Scouts’ mission statement: She is the mother of seven children—including two she and her husband adopted from Haiti—and a dedicated wife, law professor, federal judge, and now Supreme Court justice.  

As far as politics goes, despite—or perhaps because of—her commitment to “originalism,” Barrett is far less partisan than progressives would paint her to be. Certainly less partisan than the leftist politicians who interrogated her proved themselves to be during her Senate confirmation hearing just a couple of weeks ago. 

In fact, it was Barrett who made her own confirmation process far less political, tempering what had become a chaotic, highly partisan atmosphere brimming with accusations, conflict, and fear mongering. She exhibited a calm demeanor, a firm grasp on law, and strict boundaries wherein she adhered to the “Ginsburg Rule,” which prohibited her from indicating how she would rule on issues the Supreme Court likely might hear.  

Given Barrett’s personal accomplishments, excellent jurisprudence, and unwavering commitment to professionalism under scrutiny, it’s hard to overestimate how significant of an achievement this is for her, for women, and for an entire generation of girls who may want to try to balance both a thriving career and happy family.

As the first woman on the court with school-age children, Amy Coney Barrett proves it can be done with help, patience, perseverance, and grit.  

The Girl Scouts of America says it is committed to championing girls, yet as soon as it had the opportunity to applaud a woman who could be a role model to girls—and stand by the applause—the organization caved under pressure.  

The Girl Scouts also lacked the chutzpah needed in this unfortunate, toxic environment to stand by the acknowledgement of four other inspirational women.  

If the first rule of friendship is to stand by your girlfriend, even, and especially when, she’s criticized, then the Girl Scouts have failed.  

For years, conservatives have been accused of igniting the culture wars, yet at every turn supposed cultural icons start new battles just fine on their own. Whether it’s “woke” branding, outright progressive indoctrination through commercials, or in this case, a slew of tweets gone wrong, the culture wars are getting stoked by the very people who claim to want unity.  

If that’s what the Girl Scouts wanted, they not only failed to create that opportunity, but made it worse. 



<b>British government will ensure women have access to female-only lavatories in public buildings after surge in 'gender neutral' loos across the UK</b>

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick launched a review today of lavatories which could prevent women having to queue ages for the loo.

It comes after the Old Vic theatre in London sparked controversy last year by abolishing its female-only toilets.

Evidence reveals increasing numbers of public toilets are being switched to 'gender neutral', leading to problems for women and the elderly.

The review will look at signage, which should be clearer and use sex-specific language to avoid confusion. 

It will also consider the ratio of female toilets needed versus those for men, and will address misconceptions that equality legislation requires the removal of sex-specific toilets.

The Department of Housing said the removal of sex-specific toilets has sparked concern over recent years and is against legislation which stipulates public authorities have a duty to provide safe spaces for women in lavatories in buildings.

Mr Jenrick said: 'The review that I have launched today will help women be assured of the necessary provision of toilets.

'This is a necessity, and I have listened to the concerns raised by many women and the elderly in relation to this issue.

'I have launched a review to establish the best way to deliver this as a priority and make sure that women can expect a sense of dignity, security and safety when using facilities.

'We want to maintain safeguards that protect women and the proper provision of separate toilets, which has long been a regulatory requirement, should be retained and improved.'



<b>We Lizard Brains Love Our POTUS.  Kvetching COVID Joe Must GO!</b>

Ilana Mercer

In 2016, Hillary Clinton called Trump voters Deplorables. The year 2020 finds Jon Meacham likening us to lizard brains. Meacham, one of the left’s favorite historians, mused that white America has retreated into unthinking limbic mode.

A patrician from Texas, an oil man, responded politely, on Martha MacCallum’s Fox News show: "If putting food on my family's table and worrying about my employees makes me a lizard brain, then call me iguana."

Iguanas-cum-deplorables are with Trump, and he with them. And he, President Donald J. Trump, is leaving everything he’s got on the battlefield. 

Trump is not merely showing up, standing upright, looking out nervously upon a few oddly encircled, masked supporters, as his rival, Joe Biden, is doing. 

Oh, no! Be it in Bullhead City or Goodyear, Arizona, or Circleville, Ohio, or Lansing, Michigan—Trump has been turning in the kind of performances that come from the heart, cocking a snook at the media establishment, while throwing himself into each and every rally with as much joy, exuberance and optimism as went into the rally before and the one to follow. 

Here is a president who loves the thousands upon thousands of constituents who cling to him, to their guns and their God. He draws his strength from them and engages in repartee with them. 

America will … be the first … to land an astronaut on Mars … maybe we will make that a woman,” taunted POTUS, in Arizona.  

“Make it Nancy Pelosi,” came a retort from the crowd. Trump thought this was peaches: “Who said that? That's pretty good. Stand up, please. Look at this guy. That's pretty good,” came the president’s happy-warrior reply.

Breaking protocol with the colluding quislings of cable news, Michael Smerconish, a CNN commentator, could not contain his admiration for the president’s energy and stamina, following the commander-in-chief’s bout with COVID, as he charged headlong into battleground states. The anchor gushed spontaneously about the four rallies a day POTUS has been putting on: Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, on and on, while Biden tiptoed in and out of the basement. 

While Trump riffs easily about football with His People; “Sleepy Joe” carries on about COVID, which is a bit of a downer, wouldn’t you say?  

"We're not living with it; we're dying with it. We're not profiting from it; we're croaking from it," he keeps yelling.

(Actually, the Bidens are profiting handsomely. “Sleepy Joe’s” experience as a "blue-collar" type was short-lived. Once he headed for the fleshpots of Washington, D.C., Biden, it would appear, morphed into an oligarch. By the looks of it, he parleyed his political influence into a wealth-making juggernaut.)

If Biden’s miserable message works, America is no longer America. 

POTUS’s message is positive in the way only he can be. To Biden’s “dark winter” warnings, Trump offered the prospect of “a great winter” and “a great spring”: “No, it’s not going to be a dark winter. It’s going to be a great winter. It’s going to be a great spring.” 

"We can't lock ourselves in the basement like Joe does,” countered the president during the second and last debate, on Oct. 22, calmly, forcefully, and substantively. “We can't close up our nation or you're not going to have a nation," he declared. 

And always the humor, so hated by maudlin media, who subject the Great Communicator to a critical mauling with each fabulous joke he tells.

"If a plane goes down with 500 people [God forbid], CNN, MSNBC are talking about ... COVID." 

Or, Biden is the first presidential hopeful in U.S. history to run on “raising your taxes.” 

About racial scold and president-in-waiting Kamala Harris: 

"We're not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president. We’re not going to have it. We’re not going to put up with it,” roared Trump in a rally in Florida.  When he's right, he's right. A socialist who is also a woman is a double whammy.

The Associated Press has framed Trump's record as one of "four years … of unfinished business." To read the article is to be struck by the magnitude of the finished business: 

By the AP’s own lamentations, Trump has significantly scaled back the number of soldiers stationed abroad. Not the U.S. media, but the liberal British Economist, has, in fact, credited President Trump for trying to bring an end to America’s “unproductive conflicts.” 

Also by the AP’s telling, a good section of the Wall has been built, and the courts have been stacked with constitutionalists. 

As I see it, Trump has brokered much more than a peace agreement in the Middle East. He has set in motion a regional dynamic. Listen: 

In the past, America imagined it must and can be a decisive force for good in the Middle East. It can’t. The region’s players march to their own drumbeat, which is why America ought to foster regional politics, or geopolitics, in the Middle East. 

By shifting the emphasis away from the dysfunctional Palestinian-Israeli axis, Trump has done just that: He has returned power to the players in the region. 

Currently, three Arab states are normalizing relations with Israel. What do you know?! This healthy shift away from one stagnant Middle Eastern mire has created a demand among other warring nations. Kosovo and Serbia are clamoring to get on the peace train. 

But, but, “Trump’s a threat to national security,” screeches ventriloquist dummy Joe Biden, who represents not the war-weary people, but America’s anti-Trump, never-won-a-war, treacherous general officers and admirals and the military-industrial-complex. 

In “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed,” my June 2016 book, I made the case that understanding President Donald Trump demands a shift to process mode. 

It means jumping a level of abstraction to look, not at a particular Trump tweet, claim, or verbal thrust and parry. Rather, consider you must their combined, devastating effects on oft-subversive, extra-constitutional, managerial and administrative state structures, to say nothing of the media mafiosi.

Our president was the candidate to kick the crap out of the political class. He never embarked on that apology tour. And like lizard brain Trump Nation, the president reflected just how sick and tired we all are of racial sadomasochism. Trump is synonymous with testosterone. We like that. 

On a personal note: POTUS is why I became an American Woman. I naturalized because of Donald J. Trump. Naturally, I had always been down with the founding documents and the Founding Fathers. But because of Uncle Sam’s depredation and unjust wars, I wasn't feeling it. 

Until ... POTUS.



<b>Under Trump’s Administration Black Prison Rate Lowest It’s Been In 31 Years</b>

Under the administration of President Donald Trump, our nation’s black prison rate has dropped to the lowest numbers we’ve seen since 1995. This is a testament to the commander-in-chief’s commitment to much-needed criminal justice reform, as he pushed through the First Step Act. One of the purposes of that bill was to relieve the mandatory sentencing set by Joe Biden’s 1995 tough on crime bill called the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.

But it seems that Trump’s reforms have reversed the effects of Biden’s bill which ended up targeting minorities for extra prison time.

Per the Washington Examiner:

For blacks, the imprisonment rate in state and federal prisons is the lowest in 31 years, and for Hispanics, it is down 24%.

“Across the decade from 2009 to 2019, the imprisonment rate fell 29% among black residents, 24% among Hispanic residents and 12% among white residents. In 2019, the imprisonment rate of black residents was the lowest it has been in 30 years, since 1989,” said the report.

Explaining the rate, Justice said, “At year-end 2019, there were 1,096 sentenced black prisoners per 100,000 black residents, 525 sentenced Hispanic prisoners per 100,000 Hispanic residents and 214 sentenced white prisoners per 100,000 white residents in the U.S. Among sentenced state prisoners at year-end 2018 (the most recent data available), a larger percentage of black (62%) and Hispanic (62%) prisoners than white prisoners (48%) were serving time for a violent offense.”

For the sake of the report, the Justice Department counts individuals who are in prison for more than a single year.

The report itself did not give specific reasons for the drop in the imprisonment rate.

This is definitely a strong policy point for the president and he’s made sure to point to this part of his record on various occasions. And well he should, particularly as the Democratic Party continues to push the issue of race in an attempt to try and shut him and the GOP down in not only this election, but all the ones to come as well.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


2 November, 2020   

<B>Lefty Journalist Quits Leftmedia Outlet Over Censorship</B>

On Thursday, journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote, “I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013.” You might ask, So what? Some leftist reporter has called it quits. Well, he’s done so because of the rampant media censorship of stories investigating Joe Biden’s corruption. Greenwald explains:

The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression.

The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct. Not content to simply prevent publication of this article at the media outlet I co-founded, these Intercept editors also demanded that I refrain from exercising a separate contractual right to publish this article with any other publication.

I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would. But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose.

Greenwald expands that critique not only to The Intercept but to the Leftmedia as a whole:

Like anyone with young children, a family and numerous obligations, I do this with some trepidation, but also with the conviction that there is no other choice. I could not sleep at night knowing that I allowed any institution to censor what I want to say and believe — least of all a media outlet I co-founded with the explicit goal of ensuring this never happens to other journalists, let alone to me, let alone because I have written an article critical of a powerful Democratic politician vehemently supported by the editors in the imminent national election.

But the pathologies, illiberalism, and repressive mentality that led to the bizarre spectacle of my being censored by my own media outlet are ones that are by no means unique to The Intercept. These are the viruses that have contaminated virtually every mainstream center-left political organization, academic institution, and newsroom. I began writing about politics fifteen years ago with the goal of combatting media propaganda and repression, and — regardless of the risks involved — simply cannot accept any situation, no matter how secure or lucrative, that forces me to submit my journalism and right of free expression to its suffocating constraints and dogmatic dictates.

“Suffocating constraints and dogmatic dictates” — that about sums up the Left these days. And leftists are even silencing their friends if they dare to get “off message.” (Ask former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.) Greenwald is no conservative (he was Edward Snowden’s pal on the NSA revelations), but he is a real journalist. And he published his Biden piece here, much of it centered on how the Leftmedia has become Biden’s Praetorian Guard, pushing demonstrably false information rather than asking even basic questions of the man who wants to become president of the United States.

What should journalists be curious about? Greenwald explains in his censored draft story:

All of these new materials [on Hunter Biden’s laptop], the authenticity of which has never been disputed by Hunter Biden or the Biden campaign, raise important questions about whether the former Vice President and current front-running presidential candidate was aware of efforts by his son to peddle influence with the Vice President for profit, and also whether the Vice President ever took actions in his official capacity with the intention, at least in part, of benefitting his son’s business associates. …

The publicly known facts, augmented by the recent emails, texts and on-the-record accounts, suggest serious sleaze by Joe Biden’s son Hunter in trying to peddle his influence with the Vice President for profit. But they also raise real questions about whether Joe Biden knew about and even himself engaged in a form of legalized corruption. Specifically, these newly revealed information suggest Biden was using his power to benefit his son’s business Ukrainian associates, and allowing his name to be traded on while Vice President for his son and brother to pursue business opportunities in China. These are questions which a minimally healthy press would want answered, not buried.

The Intercept’s response? Greenwald is a “grown person throwing a tantrum.” And it is he, not The Intercept, its editors claim, who has “strayed from his original journalistic roots.”

We quoted Greenwald’s friend and fellow real journalist Matt Taibbi earlier this week. Taibbi marveled, “The least curious people in the country right now appear to be the credentialed news media, a situation normally unique to tinpot authoritarian societies.”

Indeed, as we have written before, the corrupt alliance between the Democrat Party and the Leftmedia is the biggest threat to American Liberty we face today.



<b>UK: Labour SUSPENDS Jeremy Corbyn after he DOWNPLAYS damning anti-Semitism report that found party 'harassed and discriminated against Jews' under him</b>

The charges against Labour in damning 130-page report:

Labour breached the Equality Act 2010 by committing 'unlawful harassment' in two of the complaints investigated.  They included 'using antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of antisemitism were fake or smears'.

One of the cases involved Ken Livingstone, who in 2016 defended MP Naz Shah over claims of anti-Semitism by claiming there was a smear campaign by 'the Israel lobby' to undermine and disrupt Mr Corbyn's leadership. He later resigned from the Labour Party after being suspended.

A further 18 cases were 'borderline', involving local councillors, local election candidates and Constituency Labour Party (CLP) officials. 

Analysis of 70 anti-Semitism complaint files found 23 incidences of 'political interference' by Mr Corbyn's office and others.

This included 'clear examples of interference at various stages throughout the complaint handling process, including in decisions on whether to investigate and whether to suspend' party members. 
The party's complaints process was 'inconsistent, poor, and lacking in transparency'. 

In cases where a complaint of anti-Semitism was upheld, it was 'difficult to draw conclusions on whether the sanctions applied were fair and consistent'. 

Recommendations made by the watchdog include commissioning an independent process to handle anti-Semitism complaints and acknowledging the effect political interference has had and implementing clear rules to stop it happening again. 
Jeremy Corbyn became the first former Labour leader to ever be suspended by the party today after he downplayed a damning report into anti-Semitism that ruled that it illegally harassed and discriminated against Jews under his leadership. 

A landmark 130-page report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found  'significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years' with 'specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference'.

Among the charges levelled at Labour were the fact that out of 70 anti-Semitism complains analysed, 23 showed signs of 'political interference' by Mr Corbyn's office and others. 

They also blasted 'a lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues', which it said was 'hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism'. 

Additionally they broke equalities law over two cases, including one which involved former London mayor Ken Livingstone 'using antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of anti-Semitism were fake or smears' in 2016, before he quit the party.

Mr Corbyn was not directly censured by the report, which looked at the party as a whole. But in a statement he released late this morning, he sparked fury by saying the 'scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media'.

New leader Sir Keir Starmer had initially side to sidestep the issue of whether he would take direct action against his predecessor in the wake of the report as he addressed reporters this morning. 

This was despite saying: 'If - after all the pain, all the grief, and all the evidence in this report - there are still those who think there's no problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, that it's all exaggerated, or a factional attack, then, frankly, you are part of the problem too. And you should be nowhere near the Labour Party either.'

But the comments in the statement forced the party to act, and threatening to see Labour embroiled in another civil war over anti-semitism.

A spokeswoman for the Labour Party said: 'In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. 

'He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.' 

The EHRC served Labour with an unlawful act notice under the Equality Act over two cases - one of which involved comments made by former London major Ken Livingstone - and has been given until December 10 to act on recommendations in the report or find itself in court. 

This afternoon Mr Corbyn denied he was 'part of the problem' and told broadcasters he would not quit Labour: 

'Of course not. I am proud to be a member of the Labour Party, I joined the Labour party when I was 16, I've fought racism all my life, and I'll fight racism for the rest of my life,' he said.

He later tweeted that the suspension was a 'political intervention'. 

But Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said: 'This is the right decision following Corbyn's shameful reaction to the EHRC report.  'Labour is finally saying enough is enough, anti-Semitism can never be tolerated in our party. Now we can finally move on.'



<b>Can Hate Win an Election?</b>

I don’t understand why this election is even close. Donald Trump draws huge crowds whose energy and enthusiasm is palpable. When Joe Biden ventures from his basement, the handful of onlookers not only look bored, they look like they may have been paid to be there.

In a normal election, even a hint that a presidential candidate is showing signs of dementia would be lethal. A credible accusation that a candidate may have traded access for dollars would be impossible for the candidate to ignore.

So why are polls showing Joe Biden in the lead?

The answer, I am told, is that no one is actually for Joe Biden. They are against Donald Trump. They’re so much against Trump that they are willing to overlook almost any Biden deficiency or transgression.

For the first time in the history of American politics, an entire presidential campaign is being managed by a strategy of sitting on the sidelines. Why is Biden not campaigning? Because it appears that nothing he can say or do would change a single vote.

At Trump rallies, adoring supporters are now yelling “We love you.” Biden supporters don’t attend Trump rallies. But if they did, they would be yelling “We hate you.”

Is hate enough to win? The politics of hate is closely connected to the politics of identity.

The Democratic Party has a long history of race baiting as elections draw near. No, Trayvon Martin was not killed by a white assailant with an animus toward blacks. No, Michael Brown did not say “hands up, don’t shoot.” No, George Bush did not side with the racists who chained James Byrd to a pickup truck and dragged him to his death

But if you are an African American, you have probably heard these myths repeated time and again – on black radio, on black TV, and perhaps even in church. They are repeated often at election time. Hillary Clinton even had the mothers of Martin and Brown sitting on the stage with her at the national convention when she was nominated to be the Democratic candidate for president.

No, Donald Trump did not say white supremacists are good people. But that doesn’t stop the latest message conveyed by the hatemongers: If Donald Trump and the Republicans have their way, you could end up like George Floyd.

All this rhetoric has one and only one purpose: to make black voters angry enough to vote for Democrats. 

And it has one very sad side effect. It completely distracts us from a rational look at public policies that need change.

Consider two statements:

There is systemic racism.

There are public policies that systematically harm low-income minorities.

The first statement is false. The second statement is true.

Low-income black families in inner cities all too often must send their children to the worst schools. They tend to live in the worst housing. They tend to receive the worst city services. They are subject to the worst environmental harms.

Yet, as Donald Trump has repeatedly reminded everyone, almost all these cities are run by Democrats. Often by black Democrats. The idea that black city managers are harming fellow blacks because they are racist is simply not credible.

Here is what is true. Liberal Democrats believe in special interest government. Their whole approach to politics is based on it. The idea is that each interest group agrees to support the outcome as a whole so long as the group receives benefits that are especially important to it.

Here is what that means in practice. In return for support of the teachers’ union, the political leaders agree not to fire bad teachers. In return for the support of the police union, the leaders agree not to fire bad cops.

Agreeing to pay higher salaries is hard. Money is scarce. Budgets are tight. But it’s easy not to fire bad apples. Well, it’s easy unless a mishap gets on national TV.

Other policies follow the same pattern. The reason why California has the highest homeless population in the country is because liberals in San Francisco and other California cities want zoning laws that protect their wealthy enclaves from inexpensive housing that threatens to arise next door.

The reason why environmental externalities are not evenly spread throughout the city is because the wealthy liberals have more influence over public decisions than low-income blacks.

No one sets out to harm poor people. Politicians are merely pursuing their own interests. Inner-city minorities get the short end of the stick because they are the least influential special interest around.

In the current race, Donald Trump is approaching black voters with a different message: school choice, safe neighborhoods, enterprise zones, liberating the job market, etc. This message is focused on public policies, not on race-baiting rhetoric.

In fact, Trump is the first Republican candidate in modern times to seriously compete for black votes at all. Will that strategy work? We’ll see.



<b>Trump’s Growth In Support Among Minorities Destroys Racism Narrative</b>

Liberals are tying themselves in knots trying to explain President Trump’s growing popularity among Black and Hispanic voters.

The left is heavily invested in the narrative it has constructed of Donald Trump as an unrepentant “white nationalist” whose supposedly “racist” rhetoric is driving minorities away from the Republican Party in droves. The president’s critics have repeated this lie so many times that they’ve actually started to believe it — which is making for some highly amusing logical contortions as they try to navigate their own cognitive dissonance.

At first, all they had to do was dismiss the accuracy of polls showing that President Trump has been steadily gaining support in both the Black and Latino communities. But the phenomenon didn’t disappear, and with no time left to reverse the trends, liberals have begun to acknowledge that “In the Trump era, the U.S. electorate has become less divided by race.”

This directly contradicts one of the central articles of faith within today’s Democratic Party. Based on the presupposition that Donald Trump is the most openly racist politician in living memory, common sense dictates that conservative-leaning non-white voters should be fleeing the GOP in droves, disgusted by the president’s alleged appeals to “white supremacy” and “xenophobia.” Meanwhile, the white voters whom Trump is supposed to be wooing with his “divisive” rhetoric are actually shifting toward the Democrats.

As Nate Cohn observes in The New York Times, “The decrease in racial polarization defies the expectations of many analysts, who believed a campaign focused on appeals to issues like Black Lives Matter or ‘law and order’ would do the opposite.”

“So what gives?” the Democrats have begun asking themselves. Their unwillingness to let go of the “racist Trump” fantasy is leading them to some rather ridiculous conclusions.

The consensus seems to be that President Trump’s efforts to divide the country along racial lines have simply been a spectacular failure — the dolt!

“His appeals to white nationalism haven’t worked with most white voters,” The New York Times declares in its October 30 morning briefing newsletter. “But Trump’s white nationalism hasn’t driven away many voters of color who didn’t already oppose him. Instead, his confrontational style and tough talk on crime and national security seem to have appealed to some Latino and Black voters.”

This has the advantage of reassuring liberals of their own superiority while explaining away the president’s popularity among non-white voters as a product of the authoritarian inclinations of some Blacks and Hispanics — a line of reasoning that is uncomfortably close to the racist “Uncle Tom” attacks that self-styled “progressives” have long used against conservatives of color.

The problem with this explanation — apart from its being profoundly incorrect — is that it studiously overlooks the real reason for Donald Trump’s growing appeal to minorities.

Over the course of his first term, President Trump has consistently embraced and implemented policies designed to uplift and empower Americans who had previously been forgotten by the political establishment — a category that specifically includes Blacks and Hispanics.

In defiance of influential members of his own party, for instance, the president secured a bipartisan majority in Congress to pass the FIRST STEP Act, effecting the most momentous reform to America’s criminal justice system in a generation. The legislation reversed some of the most discriminatory policies that had been implemented in the 1980s and ‘90s, recommitted the federal prison system to rehabilitation, and released thousands of deserving inmates — the overwhelming majority of them Black — who had been serving excessive sentences for non-violent crimes.

The Trump administration also engineered a broad-based economic boom that greatly improved the prospects of minorities, achieving all-time lows in the unemployment rates for Black and Hispanic Americans. The “Opportunity Zones” initiative created by the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, moreover, is promoting long-term prosperity in economically distressed communities all over the country, driving massive amounts of private investment to struggling neighborhoods that are disproportionately home to Americans of color.

More recently, the president has outlined his plans to build on that success during his second term, releasing the “Platinum Plan” for Black Americans and the “American Dream Plan” for Hispanic Americans.

The left’s portrayal of President Trump is a caricature, but liberals treat it like a portrait. Their inability to comprehend why Blacks and Hispanics are increasingly embracing Donald Trump’s vision and agenda for American Greatness is the direct and inevitable result of the left’s devotion to its own inaccurate narrative.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


1 November, 2020

<b>Biden Pledges to Gut Religious Freedom Protections, Saying They Give 'Hate' a 'Safe Harbor'</b>

<i>The only hate I can see is Biden's hatred of religions</i>

Joe Biden made no bones about it: If he wins the presidential election, he will gut religious freedom protections that allow faith-based homeless shelters, charities, and small business owners to act according to their consciences. Specifically, he will shove LGBT ideology down the throats of religious Americans in the name of fighting “discrimination.”

On Wednesday, the Democratic nominee told Philadelphia Gay News that President Donald Trump has given “hate” a “safe harbor” by protecting religious freedom and enabling what Biden condemned as “discrimination.”

“Donald Trump and Mike Pence have given hate against LGBTQ+ individuals safe harbor and rolled back critical protections for the LGBTQ+ community,” the Democrat alleged. “By blocking the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country, denying LGBTQ+ people access to critical health care, proposing policies allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people and federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, and failing to address the epidemic of violence against transgender people — particularly transgender women of color — the Trump-Pence Administration has led a systematic effort to undo the progress President Obama and I made.”

Throughout his interview, Biden condemned as “discrimination” the idea that faith-based homeless shelters, adoption agencies, and other charities would refuse to endorse same-sex marriage, transgender identity, and experimental cross-sex drugs and surgeries. He acted as though any desire to follow a traditional Christian, Jewish, or Muslim view of sexuality and gender must be rank “discrimination.” This falls in line with the radical pro-LGBT Equality Act, which Biden said he would pass in his first 100 days, should Democrats win the Senate and hold onto the House.

“It’s wrong to deny people access to services or housing because of who they are or who they love,” Biden argued.

Philadelphia Gay News asked the Democrat a question about religious freedom that demonized the very idea. “The idea of ‘religious freedom’ as a reason to allow discrimination has stoked divisiveness in this country. What can we do as a country to ensure that discrimination against LGBTQ people, no matter how it’s justified, does not happen?” the paper asked.

Biden responded by condemning Trump, accusing the president of having “deliberately tried to gut protections for the LGBTQ+ community by creating broad religious exemptions to existing nondiscrimination laws and policies that allow businesses, medical providers, and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.”

“We need to root out discrimination in our laws, institutions, and public spaces. Religion should not be used as a license to discriminate, and as president I will oppose legislation to deny LGBTQ+ equal treatment in public places. I will immediately reverse discriminatory practices that Trump put in place and work to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people widely,” Biden pledged.

The Democrat’s pledges may sound positive and inclusive — he wants “protections” for people and he wants to fight “discrimination,” right? — but this rhetoric is deceptive.

Democrats have twisted the notion of discrimination in order to force Christians to violate their beliefs.

Christian baker Jack Phillips, for example, refused to bake a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, although he gladly sells all sorts of pre-made cakes to LGBT people in his shop. Yet the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that he had discriminated against people on the basis of sexual orientation. He appealed the case all the way to the Supreme Court and won — because members of the commission displayed animus against his religious faith, comparing his views to those of the Nazis.

Even after this Supreme Court victory, Phillips again faced the commission. A transgender lawyer asked him to bake an obscene custom cake celebrating the lawyer’s gender transition. Phillips refused, citing his free speech right not to be forced to endorse a view with which he disagrees. The commission again found him guilty of discrimination, but it dropped the complaint in March 2019. The lawyer promptly sued Phillips. Christian florists, farmers, and other bakers have faced government sanctions for “discrimination” when they refused to celebrate same-sex weddings, exercising their rights to religious freedom, freedom of association, and free speech.

This year, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) signed legislation that will force Christian schools and ministries to hire people who oppose their religious convictions on sexuality and gender. The laws will also force these ministries — which hold that God created humans male and female — to open women’s sports and women’s restrooms to biological males, to refer to biological males by female pronouns if they “identify” as female, and to pay for transgender surgery in their health care plans.

A lawsuit challenging the new laws as unconstitutional charged that Virginia’s LGBT statues force “people of faith to adopt a particular government ideology under threat of punishment.”

Indeed, it seems Biden aims to force transgender ideology on the American people.

“I believe every transgender or non-binary person should have the option of selecting ‘X’ as their gender marker on government identifications, passports, and other documentation. I will support state and federal efforts to allow for this accurate representation,” he said (emphasis added).

In other words, Biden claims that transgender identity, not biological sex, is an “accurate” representation, even though biological males do not become female and vice versa. In one particularly tragic case, a pregnant mother who identified as transgender arrived at the hospital in labor. Because her documents falsely listed her as male, the doctors assumed her issue was not pregnancy and her baby died.

Yet the Democrat endorsed transgender identity as “accurate” and seems intent on forcing that ideology throughout the federal government.

Biden’s mischaracterization of Trump’s policies
Biden illustrated just this kind of logic by demonizing Trump’s commonsense policies and religious freedom protections.

Trump required the military to admit soldiers according to their biological sex, not their gender identity. This was not a “ban” on transgender people but an acknowledgment of biological sex, which might be extremely important in the military and in health care, since men and women physiologically react to certain medications differently.

Similarly, Trump protected religiously affiliated medical groups from having to pay for transgender surgery — an experimental and divisive medical operation that Obamacare appeared to mandate businesses must cover in insurance. This is what Biden referred to as “denying LGBTQ+ people access to critical health care.” Many former transgender people have regretted surgeries that left them permanently scarred.

Finally, many homeless shelters and adoption agencies are run as religious charities. Mandating that homeless shelters must house biological men who claim to identify as female with vulnerable women is a recipe for disaster — and it violates the religious freedom of faith-based shelters that do not accept transgender ideology. Similarly, adoption agencies should be able to abide by their own standards and many adoption agencies do place kids with same-sex couples.

Violating the religious freedom of homeless shelters and adoption agencies will only gut these critical services. Many adoption agencies have shut their doors rather than violate their consciences, so Biden-style government policies leave needy children in the lurch.

Biden did not just pledge to fight religious freedom at home, however. In his interview with Philadelphia Gay News, he pledged to “restore America’s global leadership on LGBTQ+ issues and actively combat violence and discrimination that is far too rampant. … If governments restrict the rights of LBGTQ+ individuals, or allow violence or discrimination, my Administation, working with partners, will use America’s full range of diplomatic tools to influence that government’s behavior, including private diplomacy, public statements, and multilateral initiatives at United Nations agencies.”

Of course, America should stand up for human rights across the world, and too many countries make homosexual activity a crime punishable by death. The Trump administration has launched a global effort to end the criminalization of homosexual activity.

Yet it seems Biden is intent on pushing his radical anti-religious freedom vision of opposing “discrimination.” In fact, he argued that “the Trump-Pence Administration’s treatment of LGBTQ+ Americans… signals a tolerance for abuses by other countries.”

Tragically, all of this radicalism is of a piece with Biden’s public statements, notorious statements from a staffer, and his party’s increasing hostility to religious freedom.

One of Biden’s staffers said that a woman like Amy Coney Barrett should be “disqualified” from serving on the Supreme Court because she believes marriage should be between one man and one woman. Biden has demonized those who oppose LGBT activism. His running mate has endorsed the “anti-LGBT hate group” smear that the scandal-plagued smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center levels at conservative Christian groups.

While Joe Biden identifies himself as Roman Catholic and claims to abide by the Greatest Commandment, he would vehemently oppose religious freedom in office.



<B>'Eradicate this plague': French politicians demand action to 'wipe out Islamo-fascism' after three die in Nice terror attack</B>

French politicians lined up to demand tougher action against Islamist terrorism today after three people were murdered by a knifeman in Nice. 

The triple murder is the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France in recent years, including the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and the beheading of a school teacher two weeks ago after he displayed some of the magazine's cartoons. 

Nice's mayor Christian Estrosi said today that 'enough is enough... it's time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our country'. 

One of Emmanuel Macron's party colleagues called for 'total mobilisation' against extremism in what another called a 'war that the Islamists are waging on our nation'. 

Macron's prime minister Jean Castex said France's alert level had been raised to its highest 'attack emergency' setting after today's violence. 

Within hours of the Nice attack, a gunman had been shot dead by police in Paris while a knifeman was arrested for attacking a guard at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia.  

Speaking in parliament, where he had earlier been talking about France's new lockdown, Castex said the Nice attack was 'as cowardly as it is barbaric'.  

French anti-terror prosecutors have opened an inquiry into what mayor Estrosi called an 'Islamo-fascist attack.' 

Estrosi, a member of the conservative Les Republicains party, called for churches around the country to be given added security or to be closed as a precaution.

David Lisnard, the conservative mayor of Cannes, called for a 'fierce and cold determination to eradicate this plague' after an 'abominable Islamist attack'. 

'The action against Islamist fanaticism must be methodical, flawless, adamant, relentless,' Lisnard said. 

'More than ever, we must defend France and our values, and also our civilization. Because the fight is civilisational.' 

Members of Macron's LREM party also joined the call for a tough response today, with MP Sacha Houlié saying that 'our mobilisation against Islamist terrorism is total'.

'The unity of the country, the defence of the rule of law and of our common ideals is absolutely necessary,' he said. 

Marseille MP Said Ahamada, also a member of Macron's party, said that 'incredible acts of violence have targeted France today'. 

'These Islamist terrorists will not have the war of civilisation that they seek,' Ahamada said.  

Another LREM lawmaker, Sophie Beaudouin-Hubiere, called for France to 'stand united and determined to fight'. 

'It is a war that the Islamists are waging against the [French] nation, against each of us,' she said, referring to previous attacks including the 2015 Bataclan massacre. 

In the wake of Samuel Paty's murder earlier this month, the French government shut down a Paris mosque and raided other Islamic associations.  

Macron has vowed to stamp out extremism in France but his staunch defence of the right to publish blasphemous cartoons has drawn anger in the Middle East.  

Abdallah Zekri, director general of the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM), also condemned the attack in Nice today. 'I can only denounce as strongly as possible this act of cowardice against the innocent,' he said. 

Zekri called on French Muslims to cancel festivities to mark Mohammed's birthday, which end on Thursday, 'in solidarity with the victims and their loved ones.'

There was also condemnation of today's attack from abroad, with UK prime minister Boris Johnson saying he was 'appalled' by news of a 'barbaric attack'. 

'Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the UK stands steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance,' the PM said. 

Angela Merkel's spokesman said the German chancellor was 'deeply shocked about the gruesome murders in a church in Nice'. 

Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte condemned a 'vile attack' but vowed it 'will not shake the common front defending the values of freedom and peace.' 

The attack it comes amid anger at France from across the Islamic world after president Macron staunchly defended the blasphemous Mohammed cartoons which led to the teacher's beheading.

Turkey has led the confrontational rhetoric with France after Charlie Hebdo magazine published an offensive cartoon of its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Erdogan called the cartoonists 'scoundrels' and accused the West of wanting to 'relaunch the Crusades' by attacking Islam after the image appeared on the front of this week's magazine. 

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani also took aim at France by warning that insulting the Prophet would encourage 'violence and bloodshed'. 



<b>Acceptable Anti-Semitism?</b>

Leftists attack a "Jews for Trump" rally and no one seems to care.

Last Sunday, a “Jews for Trump” convoy of hundreds of cars draped with American flags and Trump 2020 banners paraded from Coney Island in Brooklyn to the Trump Tower in Manhattan, prior to heading for a rally at Brooklyn’s Marine Park. The rally was organized by Boris Epshteyn, an adviser to the Trump campaign and co-chair of Jewish Voices for Trump.

And how did a city where 68% of registered voters are Democrats — Democrats who view themselves as some of the most “tolerant” people in the nation — react?

“Vehicles in the convoy were attacked at certain points along the route, some of which was documented,” World Israel News reported. “Eggs and rocks were thrown at cars, a car window was punched by an angry bicyclist and in one case a family of seven was pepper-sprayed on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The suspect was arrested.”

That family of seven included four kids, and one member of the family stated they were driving down 5th Avenue in Manhattan with their car’s windows rolled down and sporting a Trump flag. A car pulled up alongside and spewed pepper spray into the family’s car. “Immediately the kids started crying and screaming and I jumped out of the car after I was peppered [sic] sprayed as well,” the victim said. The victim also said the attacker pursued him down the avenue trying to pepper-spray him again. At that point, his mother flagged down a cop who arrested the suspect. Following the incident, the man said that his kids were “left traumatized” and “coughing from” the residue.

Contemptible? Undoubtedly. Yet far more troubling — and far more indicative — was the fact that the man would only speak to Fox News on condition of his anonymity, because he feared his family could be targeted for reprisal.

A video shows the equally tolerant behavior directed at rally participant and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had his own vehicle pelted with eggs, even as “protesters” shouted obscenities including “F—ing scum,” “F—k you, Rudy,” and “You f—ing coward. Go back to f—ing Long Island.” Another video shows Trump supporters being attacked in Times Square, while yet another shows a Trump supporter being attacked and his vehicle vandalized by red paint while cops struggle to maintain order.

All of them show how comfortable leftists are with shutting down opposing points of view — even to the point of violence.

A spokesperson for the New York Police Department stated that 11 people were taken into custody. Six were charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction of government administration, and harassment. A seventh person was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. Apparently still at large is a gang of thugs in Brooklyn that hurled rocks at cars from a Prospect Expressway overlook as the convoy passed beneath it.

According to the Associated Press, the Jews for Trump website indicated that Sunday’s rally was aimed at showing solidarity with “the beleaguered Red Zone community,” a reference to the coronavirus hot spots designated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as areas where schools and what the city deems nonessential businesses are required to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “The rally follows weeks of tensions in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods over the coronavirus restrictions,” the AP adds.

Perhaps those tensions have something to do with the capriciousness of Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who have both made it clear that “nonessential” applies far more forcefully to people seeking religious freedom than those protesting “systemic” racism.

On Monday, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser and himself Jewish, called for Joe Biden to condemn the thuggish response to people exercising their First Amendment rights. “I really hope that Joe Biden, his campaign, will come out and condemn these anti-Semitic actions that were taken against Trump supporters and be respectful again,” Kushner stated.

That’s not likely to happen for a number of reasons. First, reports indicate that Biden has only one in-person event (in Georgia) scheduled between now and the election, along with several online events that won’t require him to leave his home. All of those will be tightly scripted. Yet more to the point, even though religious Jews support Trump by a margin of 83% to 13%, Jewish Americans overall, most of whom are secular, support Biden by a margin of three to one. Since neither camp is likely to see any mass defections at this point, it’s hardly necessary for Biden to weigh in at all.

Rudy Giuliani believes the Trump campaign should put the issue front and center. “I would love to have had a campaign commercial of it and put it on in the middle of America and say, ‘Who would you prefer for the next four years?’” he stated. “This group of foul-mouthed people who don’t seem to have a vocabulary beyond three words, or these very nice Jewish people who are driving in the car and not saying anything back and not doing anything other than exercising their right to say they’re for Donald Trump”?

Giuliani is naive. At the 2012 Democrat National Convention, party efforts to insert references to “God” and “Jerusalem” back into the party platform were met with a loud chorus of boos. Moreover, two different surveys reveal astonishing realities. In New York City, which has the largest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel, the first survey showed that nearly 20% of Millennials and Gen Z-ers believe Jews caused the Holocaust. The second survey revealed that nearly half of all Americans in the entire nation don’t know what the phrase “anti-Semitism” means.

Thus, ignorance is as great a pandemic as coronavirus — if not more so.

Yet far more ominous is the progressive mindset inadvertently revealed by Jewish comedienne Sarah Silverman. In her recently launched podcast, Silverman criticizes progressives for refusing to offer redemption to victims of the Cancel Culture. Victims, she explained, who will ultimately “go where they are accepted, which is the motherf—ing dark side.”

The arrogance is breathtaking. Silverman believes she and other progressives own the franchise on “enlightened” thinking to the point where everyone else requires their forgiveness, lest they be “canceled.”

Canceled to what degree? Columnist Jennifer Fitz, who finds Trump “abhorrent” but is “probably” voting for him anyway, offers a warning. “From the right, I continue to see the usual callous indifference to the lives of ordinary people, but it’s just indifference,” she writes. “The message I am getting from the left is that I am a target they mean to destroy.”

Jewish New Yorker Dov Hikind, who served as a Democrat state assemblyman for three decades, attended the Jews for Trump rally in Marine Park, and didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, gets the same feeling. “The values of this country,” he asserts, “are being destroyed by a small group of people on the radical left who are deciding what you can say, what you can believe in, and what’s right for everyone.”

Not just deciding. Enforcing — to the point of violence. And if that sounds familiar, it’s because those who know history have heard it all before:



<b>What Amy Coney Barrett Means to Conservative Women</b>

If the last four years taught us anything, it’s that Americans love politics but they hate politicians. Thankfully, the country has a new, non-political figure to admire: Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Barrett was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. The optics alone were historic. Clarence Thomas, a black, conservative justice, administered the swearing in oath for the first female originalist justice—and the first justice who’s a mother of school-aged children.

During the swearing in ceremony at the White House, Barrett made her judicial philosophy clear: She will not legislate from the bench. “It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them,” she said, adding:

This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government. A judge declares independence, not only from Congress and the President, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The Judicial Oath captures the essence of the judicial duty. The rule of law must always control.

Barrett’s respect for the separation of powers, coupled with her unflappable determination to stay above the political fray, perhaps explains her popularity among voters. She answered grueling questions with nothing more than a blank notebook, all the while displaying a level of patience and grace that could only be matched by a working mom of seven. (It’s safe to assume Barrett is used to dealing with temper tantrums and long days.)

Minutes after being sworn in as an associate justice to the Supreme Court, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News’ “Hannity” that Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination was a triumph not just for the rule of law, but also for conservative women.

“To all conservative women who go through hell for being conservative, who get beat up by the mainstream media for embracing your faith, being pro-life… you’re a winner tonight. There’s a seat at the table for you,” he said.

Graham’s remarks stood in direct contrast to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who hours earlier called Barrett’s confirmation “one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.”

Sure, it might have been one of the darkest days for a leftist, establishment guy. But for the millions of hardworking conservative women seeking an example of what it can look like to balance faith, family, and a fulfilling, successful career, Barrett’s confirmation was one of the brightest days in all of history. 

It was especially bright for those of us who are exhausted and demoralized by the ugly rancor and political rhetoric. And it was encouraging for those of us who are told we are traitors to our sex if we don’t vote a certain way. It was also historic for those of us who hear, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women,” but then watch as so-called feminists turn around to destroy women who don’t follow their explicit agenda. Indeed, they didn’t hold back for Barrett. 

When a figure like Amy Coney Barrett walks in the door and earns a seat at the table, she establishes a new vision for feminism and reminds conservative women who—and what—we’re fighting for.

The significance of her example cannot be overstated. Whether we’re single, stay-at-home moms, career women, or a mix, Barrett shows what’s possible for us to achieve. Her story rejects the tired notion of traditional feminism and replaces it with a bold version that embraces womanhood for all its glories: marriage, motherhood, faith and a fulfilling career.

And in a year of political burnout, Barrett’s story reminds us of another important thing: Nice guys don’t always finish last. Sometimes, she even finishes first.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM) 

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC) 

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)