Friday, November 13, 2015


Writing on TONGUE-TIED, I recently made some very summary comments on feminism so I thought that it may be time to say something more systematic about the subject.  I have actually done some academic survey research into feminism so I do have some claim to being aware of the issues.

The first step in any science is taxonomy so I must offer some thoughts in that direction:  Some women are not feminist at all.  They are happy ladies who think that being a stay-at-home wife and mother is a great racket and that it's the men who bear the heaviest burdens.  I married such a lady. She was a working mother when I met her and she jumped at my offer to "take her away from all that", to use an old and sometimes mocked expression.  She is a keen cook too so the outcome was very beneficial to me too.  I have told that little story in the knowledge that it will fill real feminists with disgust and anger, which is rather amusing.

But most women do subscribe weakly to feminism.  They like equal pay for equal work and the opportunity to choose any occupation etc.  As a libertarian I agree with that too.

Amusingly, they also often try to give their baby sons dolls and their little girls toy trucks.  The children concerned educate them, however. In something like 95% of the cases, the boys go for the guns and the girls go for the dolls. Loving their children as they do, the mothers concerned rapidly admit the defeat of their  experiment and conclude that "boys will be boys" -- as indeed they always will be.

One little anecdote a mother recently told me concerned her family of three boys, all fairly close together in age.  Being fairly traditional, she gave her little boys the normal boy's toys but it is difficult to avoid the yammerings of feminists so she felt that maybe they would like a doll too.  So she gave them one.  They promptly tore its eyes out and ignored it thereafter.  Normal boys do NOT like dolls!

But I happen to know a couple of little girls who really like trains!  How come?  Are trains not a boy thing? I certainly like trains.  I can at times feel quite weepy with happiness about a magnificent steam train tearing along with its conrods flashing -- such as "Mallard" and "Bittern".

See also here and here.

So how do we account for the little girl below?  She is enjoying being near a train whilst holding a toy train. That is pretty trainy! So does the "stereotype" fall down there?

Not at all.  As her insightful mother explained to me, it is all about Rev. Awdry's "Thomas the Tank Engine" stories, now very widely circulated.   Thomas stories humanize  trains and give them very recognizable faces and emotional lives.  So the girls concerned see and like that side of Thomas and some tend to generalize that to all trains.  So the inborn male/female differences ARE still at work in the photo

So that's normal people for you

Then we come to the radical feminists -- the women of the sort who appear in print claiming to be feminists and at the same time being obviously very Leftist.  It is they who do all the howling at the moon and despise the normal divisions of labour between men and women that have always occurred and always will occur.  As with all Leftists, the impossible ideal of "equality" is their watchword.

I think such women are mentally ill.  Kate Millett being a good example.  Loss of reality contact is the key feature of mental illness and these females seem to me to be in an advanced state of that. No facts are allowed to interfere with their conviction that they only difference between boys and girls is merely "something in the underwear" and that men systematically oppress women.  The idea that men might love women is deeply alien to them.  And they abhor marriage! A housewife is a "parasite," Friedan said: Such women are "less than fully human".  And all the evidence from neurology about structural differences between male and female brains is simply ignored.

So how does such insanity arise?  Mostly, I think, it is inborn.  All the evidence shows that our level of happiness is inborn.  Some of us are born cheerful and positive and become conservatives.  Some of us a born with dysphoria and become Leftists -- whiners and miseries to put it plainly.  And feminism is simply a subset of that.

That it is NOT about women is plain. It is about their own hangups only. Real crimes against women  such as the genital mutilation practiced by many Muslims leave them silent  -- even when such things are happening in their own country.  And is there ever a whisper from them about the real oppression of women in such Muslim countries as Saudi Arabia? If feminists were really focused on the welfare of women, they would be unrelenting critics of Islam -- but in fact they ignore it

So all Leftists find in their environment things that are not ideal but, instead of adapting to it or bypassing it, they rage about it. Leftist men find things in their environment that enrage them and Leftist women find things in their environment that enrage them. And, because women are inherently more relationship-oriented, the often-difficult relations between the sexes drive Leftist females wild.  "Men are the enemy" is seriously believed by many of them.

One subset of what makes women anger-prone is however hormones. Elevated levels of Progesterone, in particular are a known cause of irritability.  So a small subset of feminists could presumably  be "cured" by some sort of hormonal rebalancing.  Men who have seen much of the normal hormonal cycle in women will readily identify the sorts of verbal outbursts they get at "that time of the month" with what one hears from the mouths of feminists.  But the causes of chronic hostility are presumably various so many feminists are presumably normal hormonally.

OK.  Another little illustrative anecdote: I particularly remember breakfasting one morning with a very grouchy wife. When I got home that night, however, I found a happy little thing sitting there.  I said, "You've had your period, haven't you?".  "Yes", she replied happily.  Men who don't know about hormones don't know anything.

For whatever reason, however, hormones or not, Feminists have no perspective about male and female lives.  They cannot see that men have hardships too.  They think their own hardships are unique.  They are narcissists.  They are incapable of looking beyond themselves and their own experiences.  Their evaluation of the world is totally lacking in balance. So they would never understand what is behind the Leibnitzian contention that we live in "the best of all possible worlds".

The truth is that "men" and "women" are mostly inadequate generalizations when it comes to privilege or lack of it.  As the old saying goes:  "One Man's Meat is Another Man's Poison".  It all depends on individual likes and dislikes. Exactly the same situation or the same behaviour may seem fine to one woman and intolerable to another.  What feminists see as "patriarchy" might seem to happier women as "womens' privilege".

For instance, many conservative women not only decry the eclipse of old-fashioned courtesy between men and women but in fact insist in their own lives that the courtesies be maintained or revived. I have had a lot of women in my life and I have yet to meet one who did not appreciate having a car door opened and closed for her! I suppose it is rather silly in some sense but feminists miss the point of it: It is a form of fun.  We enjoy doing it. From a woman's POV it is a token of esteem and respect and those are very desirable things indeed.

So feminists are basically misfits lashing out mindlessly -- seeing as faults things that are made faults only by their own inadequacies and incomprehensions.

But have not feminists done some good things for women?  They have, though not as much as one might think.  Giving women the vote was once claimed by both sides as something that would bring about great social change.  It does not appear to have done so.  The old divisions still bubble on.  We still have Leftists proposing solutions to problems that will only create further problems and we still have conservatives trying to prevent such follies.

And some of that continuity is probably due to what I noted above:  The folly of treating women as an undifferentiated whole -- a fallacy feminists are much prone to. For instance, in recent U.S. Presidential elections, married women have tended to vote Republican while unmarried women have tended to vote Democrat -- to oversimplify a little.

And the "liberation" of women can go too far for the good of the society. With the possible exception of Muslims and Tasmanian  Aborigines, all human societies have tended to protect their women.  They try to keep their country's mothers out of the line of fire.  Mothers and their children are seen as the future of the nation.  These days, however, that is under heavy attack from feminists.  They want to see women in the front lines of their national armies.  They WANT their women to be shot at.  And in the U.S. army that day seems to have come close

And the great feminist urge that women should have a career has been immensely destructive.  Many men can't understand that at all.  Men have careers to get money.  Lucky ones are in jobs that they would do for nothing but most have to spend a lot of time doing things that they do not much like amid people whose company they would not normally choose in order to get on in their career.  Why wish that on women too?

But many women are taken in by the feminist gospel and prioritize a career over having children.  And by the time they are "ready" to have children they find that nature will not co-operate, with even IVF not helping to bring forth a baby in many cases.  And those  women who undergo the travails of IVF clearly want children badly, so their disappointment at missing out on children is very great. Children are undoubtedly the best thing in life -- even though there is no gain without pain -- so missing out on children is to miss out on a large part of life.  And there are many women who bitterly regret being lured into that dead-end by feminist propaganda.

For some useful documentation of feminist insanity see here

UPDATE:  I specified above that I was speaking of radical feminism but did not formally define that so I probably should expand my treatment a little there:

1). As with most Leftism, there are sects, schisms and theological disputes among radical feminists.  Although I have read some of that literature, I don't think any sect in radical feminism is worth attention. It is the people who adopt the "gender feminist" stance (that biology does not matter) who seem to me to be mentally ill -- and most radical feminists are in that category.

2). There is of course a form of feminism that is well-accepted among conservatives:  "equity feminism", as argued for by Christina  Hoff Sommers and others.  That form of feminism simply says that women should not be restricted in their choices by society simply because they are women. As I mentioned above, that view is just a form of libertarianism, and one with which I see no difficulty.  If a woman CHOOSES to enlist in the Marines and can meet the same physical and mental standards as the men (normal women cannot) she should be given the opportunity to try out.


DEBATE Recap- Who Came Out on Top in the latest GOP debate?

Kevin Boyd reports

The Republican presidential candidates met in Milwaukee for the fourth debate on Fox Business. The candidates clashed largely on economic issues, but both immigration and foreign policy were mentioned.

Unlike the CNBC debacle, the moderators came off very professionally. They asked substantive questions, but they did lose control at times. They even got filibustered by Rand Paul before a commercial break.

Here’s how the 8 candidates performed tonight in order of the best to worst performance.

1) Ted Cruz -- Tonight’s clear winner. Outside of a gaffe where he mentioned the Department of Commerce twice when he said he wanted to eliminate five departments. In fairness, Cruz said he unveiled it today and the “Five For Freedom” only mention four departments plus the IRS. He also intervened in the Rand Paul vs Marco Rubio foreign policy debate and essentially rolled both men up while making the argument that he was the only true consensus candidate. Cruz also said the stage for future attacks on Rubio. He made a good argument for combatting illegal immigration when Trump was being attacked by Jeb Bush and John Kasich. Cruz also smacked down Kasich on bank bailouts when Kasich challenged his opposition to them. Finally, Cruz came off as very substantive and used storytelling to make his points.

2) Carly Fiorina -- She’s back. She handled herself very well on most issues and gave probably the strongest defense of the free market out of all of the candidates. She was making a clear play for the warhawk vote with her stance on Syria and Russia. However, it is still hard to see Fiorina make a serious play outside of the very early states.

3) Marco Rubio -- He did well for the most part. Rubio demonstrated that he is a very gifted and talented speaker. He wisely stayed out of the Trump, Cruz, Bush, and Kasich immigration battle. He also addressed foreign policy competently enough. But after tonight he looks mortal. Rubio lost his cool when Rand Paul attacked him on tax credits and defense spending. Rubio’s biggest asset is his personal likability and that may have taken a hit tonight. Cruz had to bail him out, but in doing so he rolled both Paul and Rubio by essentially saying a “pox on both of your houses.” Question is, can someone exploit Rubio’s new found mortality?

4) Rand Paul -- His best performance so far. Paul was assertive without coming off as overly obnoxious. He made strong points on the Federal Reserve and how Democrat controlled areas have the highest income inequality. Paul also made strong points on it wasn’t enough to just cut taxes, spending had to be cut as well. He also beat Trump in an exchange when he interrupted a Trump anti-China/anti-TPP rant by pointing out that China was not a part of the TPP. He also challenged Rubio on tax credits and defense spending. The facts were on Paul’s side that tax credits were ineffective policy and Rubio’s defense spending plans weren’t offset with cuts. However, Paul made those points in such a smug fashion that likely turned off neutrals. Rubio losing his cool and Cruz’s intervention bailed Rand out. Paul probably didn’t win any converts, but he gave his supporters something to be happy about for once and forced a much needed debate in the Republican Party.

5) Donald Trump -- He didn’t do anything wrong. He commanded the presence without interrupting like Kasich did. Trump wasn’t very substantive tonight, but he didn’t come off as overly shallow. Trump also used Kasich as a punching bag whenever he was challenged by him on numerous issues. His only weakness was that he allowed himself to be challenged and essentially be shushed by Rand Paul to end one of his anti-China rants. Trump though is running on the brand, not on any specific policies and he didn’t hurt himself tonight and remains the front runner.

6) Jeb Bush -- He needed a great performance and he only delivered an acceptable one. No major gaffes, no beta male moments, but no real highlights either. Spoke well about the economy and the need for higher growth rates, but didn’t really distinguish himself.

7) Ben Carson -- Outside of talking about his life story and his criticisms of the media, he didn’t show much passion. Nor was he very substantive on the issues. This writer doesn’t understand Carson’s appeal at this point.

8) John Kasich -- The one guy who really hurt himself tonight. Kasich’s only decent point was that when he said Republicans over promise on tax cuts just as Democrats over promise on spending. Other than that, Kasich’s attempt to be the adult in the room fell flat. He was obnoxious and kept trying to interrupt numerous speakers. Worse than that, he was used as a punching bag by Trump all night and Cruz clearly got the better of the exchange on bank bailouts when Kasich was a supporter of them. Kasich may not get another chance on main stage.

The next and final GOP debate of 2015 is on December 15 in Nevada. That one is a joint production between CNN and Salem Radio Network.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Another picture update

2015 is rapidly vanishing before our eyes so I thought I had better put up my selection of "best" pictures and video clips for the first half of this year.  You can access them  HERE  or  HERE


Obama Ignoring 5th Circuit, Giving Amnesty Anyway!

The Circuit courts are just one step down from SCOTUS

A panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that the injunction against the Obama administration’s amnesty program will stand.

As you remember, Judge Andrew Hanen issued the injunction last year, effectively putting a stop to the Obama administration’s plans to legalize millions of illegal aliens.

At face value, this is a huge success. An appeals court – one step below the Supreme Court – has agreed that Obama’s amnesty program will remain mothballed pending a lawsuit.

But last week, we learned that the Department of Homeland Security was secretly moving forward with its plan to “legalize” millions of illegal aliens by handing out work permits in clear violation of Judge Hanen’s injunction!

Here’s the DHS memo. Not only does it extend work permits to lawful resident aliens, but it also does the same for illegal aliens who overstayed their visas and those who “Entered Without Inspection.” Apparently that’s what the Obama administration is calling illegal aliens now…

Just to be clear, both a Federal Judge and an Appeals Court Panel have ruled that the Obama administration cannot move forward with this amnesty plan. On top of that, Federal law literally prohibits illegal aliens from working in this country. By ignoring the law and these court rulings, what Obama is doing is unconstitutional!

But, the Obama administration doesn’t care. They are moving forward with amnesty in clear violation of the law and now TWO court orders.

What is Congress doing so far to stop this? Nothing. Actually, that’s not true. Democrats and even some Republicans are hard at work pressuring Conservatives to hold an immigration reform vote. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is pressuring Rep. Paul Ryan to hold an amnesty vote. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is also pressuring Conservatives to give up and just accept amnesty.

Last March, Boehner and McConnell said that they had to let the courts figure this out. Now that two courts have upheld the injunction and Obama is still moving forward with his amnesty program, it is time for Congress to act!

Homeland Security is implementing this regulatory change now. They are already printing work permits for illegal aliens as we speak.



The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees

The choice: Bring 1 here or help 12 there

 Resettlement in the United States for one Middle Eastern refugee costs American taxpayers an estimated $64,370 over the first five years, 12 times the UN estimate for caring for one refugee in a neighboring Middle Eastern country.

This conservative estimate is one of the findings of a new study by the Center for Immigration Studies. The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance. Costs also include processing refugees, assistance given to new refugees, and aid to refugee-receiving communities.

Dr. Steven Camarota, the Center's Director of Research and lead author of the report, commented, "Given limited funds, the high costs of resettling refugees in the United States means that providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East is more cost-effective, allowing us to help more people."

View the entire report here

Among the findings:

  On average, each Middle Eastern refugee resettled in the United States costs an estimated $64,370 in the first five years, or $257,481 per household.

  The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has requested $1,057 to care for each Syrian refugee annually in most countries neighboring Syria.

  For what it costs to resettle one Middle Eastern refugee in the United States for five years, about 12 refugees can be helped in the Middle East for five years, or 61 refugees can be helped for one year.

  The UNHCR reports a gap of $2.5 billion in funding that it needs to care for approximately four million Syrians in neighboring countries.

  The five-year cost of resettling about 39,000 Syrian refugees in the United States is enough to erase the current UNHCR funding gap.

  Of Middle Eastern refugee households that have arrived in the last 5 years, 91 percent  receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash welfare.

  The five-year costs of resettlement in the United States include $9,230 spent by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within HHS and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) within the State Department in the first year, as well as $55,139 in expenditures on welfare and education.

  Very heavy use of welfare programs by Middle Eastern refugees, and the fact that they have only 10.5 years of education on average, makes it likely that it will be many years, if ever, before this population will cease to be a net fiscal drain on public coffers - using more in public services than they pay in taxes.

  It is worth adding that ORR often reports that most refugees are self-sufficient within five years. However, ORR defines "self-sufficiency" as not receiving cash welfare only. A household is still considered "self-sufficient" even if it is using any number of non-cash programs such as food stamps, public housing, or Medicaid.

Email from CIS


Hillary Blames GOP for Mess Created by Bill

Hillary Clinton, saying that the biggest issue of the 2016 election will be the economy, insists that Republicans have offered no solutions, only complaints, while also bearing the blame: “They say, ‘Well, this recovery is so slow.’ Really? Why did we need a recovery? What was the original sin here? It was bad Republican policies!”

Two points. First the “original sin” was not “bad Republican policies” but Bill Clinton’s mortgage policies. Clinton’s rules, in effect, applied affirmative action to the lending industry — which is to say the economic crisis was not a “free market failure” caused by “Republican policies” but was instead the result of socially engineered financial policy by the central government. The mortgage markets welcomed their new customers with open arms, fueling a real estate boom across the board. Eventually, the housing market of cards collapsed, which in turn led to the collapse of financial markets — just in time for Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

In 2008, Bill Clinton admitted, “I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rests more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress … to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Second, Hillary Clinton’s comments are also an admission that over the last seven years a Democrat president’s policies are in fact why “this recovery is so slow.”



Rep. Rohrabacher: `What We Are Witnessing is the Destruction of Western Civilization'

"What we are witnessing is the destruction of Western civilization, not by an armed invasion, but by envelopment," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said Wednesday during a hearing on Capitol Hill on the growing refugee crisis in Europe.

"What we have seen over the past few months is unsustainable, and if not checked, will change the fundamental nature of European countries which are now being inundated," said Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.

"What we are witnessing is the destruction of Western civilization, not by an armed invasion, but instead through envelopment. The effects of this will not soon disappear, but instead could well turn out to be an historic change in the nature of many European countries."

"Migrants fleeing to Europe have been an issue of humanitarian concern for several years, but a wave of immigration erupted into a tsunami this summer when the German government announced it would ignore the Dublin Rules and accept all Syrian refugees that made it to the German border," Rohrabacher said.

The Dublin Rules are a European Union (EU) law that establishes which EU member states are responsible for taking in refugees from outside the EU.

"Earlier this week, the United Nations announced that 218,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe just last month. That is more than were recorded in all of 2014. It is expected that around a million asylum seekers of all origins will reach Germany in this year alone," Rohrabacher noted.

He traced the current refugee crisis to a decision made earlier this year by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to grant political asylum to 800,000 migrants from the Middle East even though "Europe has been struggling to assimilate large Muslim populations."

"Even the most optimistic scenarios say that Europe will have to re-direct billions and billions of dollars from supporting their own citizens to accomodating the needs of these refugees," Rohrabacher stated.

"Europe was not prepared for this tremendous influx of thousands and thousands of other people," agreed Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX).

"Some countries take various positions on what to do with the migrants: let them pass through, or maybe not even let them come into their country.

"One such example is Hungary, who is trying to protect the national sovereignty of its own country. And the United States, rather than try to understand the situation in Hungary, even last week the U.S. ambassador dressed down the Hungarians for what the State Department believed was not the right course in dealing with migrants," said Poe.

"Hungary was totally justified in what it is doing to try to stem the flow," Rohrabacher added.

"And frankly, if our European allies are not willing to stem the flow of large numbers of people who are not native to their territory, they will lose their territory. And let me note, that's true of the United States as well."

Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) also discussed the need for a better screening process for refugees coming from the Middle East, recounting what the process was like when he immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba: "The influx has been so quickly, so many, that the security issue is very important.

"I remember as a boy when my father was taken away when we first arrived for about four or five days, and my father went through a whole process - 'Did you participate in the Communist Party? Were you involved in the Communist Party?'- back then, and after about four or five days he was returned to us.

"I don't think these countries have any way of screening the people that are going through there like what we went through when I first arrived here."



Iran's Mirage: More Humiliation to Follow

    The Rouhani-Zarif façade of civility toward the West was enough to persuade the vain, delusional and acquisitive in Western leadership circles that change had finally come again to Iran. However, no amount of Persian tea or Iranian rosewater-drenched ice cream shared between Kerry and Zarif can drown out the deceptive hoax of the JCPOA. Before the ink was dry, Khamenei and the security services announced that the agreement has no standing in Iran.

In the end, it matters little what the government, people, or even the theocratic institutions think is in Iran's best long-term interests.

Unfortunately, for those U.S. career diplomats, hopeful politicians, and international businessmen, normative incentives, such as money, sanctions relief, and better foreign relations take a back seat in a regime such as the Islamic Republic. It is a regime where one man, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, supported by a clique of militants, makes all the critical decisions.

Just this week, it was announced that Iran's so-called "resistance economy" will not permit any U.S. consumer goods to be imported into Iran -- and just to punctuate the point, Tehran arrested a prominent Iranian-American businessman, Siamak Namazi, and a Lebanese-American, Nazar Zaka, to add to its collection of fraudulently charged hostages: Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian; former marine Amir Hekmati; Pastor Saeed Abedini, and retired FBI agent Robert Levinson.

For the Obama Administration, there will be more humiliation to follow. This President has been poorly served by his Iran "experts" and untutored diplomats.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Can Absolutely Turn the Tide

Michael Brown

For some time now I’ve been saying that gay activists will overplay their hand and that the bullying will backfire. I’ve also said that we can outlast the gay revolution and ultimately, by God’s grace, turn the moral tide in America.

Of course, to speak like that is to invite all kinds of scorn and ridicule, not to mention the ugliest death wishes you could imagine. How dare we not roll over and die!

But events from the last 7 days remind us that, even though the cultural battles promise to be long and difficult, many Americans are ready to push back.

To begin with, the significance of the election results from last Tuesday can hardly be overstated.

In Kentucky, while the liberal media mocked Kim Davis the people of her state stood with her, electing Matt Bevin as governor in a crushing and unexpected victory over Attorney General Jack Conway.

And make no mistake about it: This was a direct statement about religious freedoms and redefining marriage.

After all, it was Conway who rose to national fame last year when he refused to defend the state’s ban on same-sex ‘marriage,’ despite his oath of office, explaining to Time magazine that, “Once I reached the conclusion that the law was discriminatory, I could no longer defend it.”

I guess the people of Kentucky didn’t get the memo that the ship has sailed and the culture wars are over.

Then, in Houston, lesbian activist mayor Annise Parker suffered a stinging defeat when her “anti-discrimination” bill, which focused on LGBT “rights,” was crushed by the voters.

In the aftermath of the massive defeat – 62 to 38 percent – Parker was reduced to insulting those who voted against the bill, calling them “transphobes” and more.

So, the people of Houston, America’s fourth largest city, are a bunch of transphobes.

Or, perhaps the triumph of LGBT activism is not so inevitable and there are real issues that having nothing to do with “homophobia” and “transphobia”? And perhaps there’s something to the fact that some strongly conservative Republican presidential candidates are polling better than Hillary Clinton?

Perhaps this really is time for pushback?

And what should we make of the fact that the NFL has decided to bring the Super Bowl to Houston in 2017 despite the defeat of Parker’s bill, even though proponents of the bill had warned that Houston would lose the Super Bowl if the bill was defeated? Perhaps even the NFL, well-known for preaching LGBT “inclusion,” sees the bigger picture?

In the aftermath of the Houston defeat, there were also small signs of a breach between gay activism and transgender activism, as indicated by a petition launched on by “a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community; in essence, we ask that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices, etc., stop representing the transgender community as we feel their ideology is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.”

The petition was named “Drop the T,” and it’s a reminder of the fact that transgender activists have often felt left out by mainstream gay activism, as reflected in headlines like “Why The Transgender Community Hates HRC” (2007) and “Even After All These Years, HRC Still Doesn't Get It” (2013).

This too is noteworthy, reminding us that there are cracks in the foundations of LGBT unity that could become wider in the coming years.

There’s one more story from Houston which is of interest, providing yet another example of LGBT overreach, this time in a case involving two Christians who were fired from the daycare center at which they worked when they refused to call a little girl a boy.

The girl in question, just 6-years-old, is being raised by two gay male parents, and we can only wonder if that has something to do with the child’s gender confusion.

As explained to Breitbart Texas by one of the fired workers, Madeline Kirksey, “the problem was not so much with the transgender issue as it was with telling young children that the little girl was a boy when she was not, and with calling her ‘John’ (not the name given) when that was not her name.”

Kirskey also noted that, “sometimes the little girl refers to herself as a little boy, and sometimes she tells the other children to not call her a boy or to refer to her by her masculine name.”

This child is clearly confused and needs professional help.

Instead, rather than getting help for the child, two Christians have lost their jobs, and I cite this example to say again that Americans will only put up with madness like this for so long, just as the selection of Bruce Jenner as Glamour’s woman of the year drew sharp criticism from a wide spectrum of women, including one well-known feminist.

The pushback continues, and the more that LGBT activists overplay their hand, the quicker the tide will turn against them. It’s only a matter of time.

And so, while as followers of Jesus we should seek to be peacemakers in our communities, loving our neighbors (including our LGBT neighbors) as ourselves, we should also stand tall against aggressive LGBT activism.

This too is part of our calling to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16).



The Richer Are Getting Richer, But So Are the Poor

With Republican and Democratic contenders seeking their respective parties’ 2016 presidential nominations, it’s no surprise to see a variety of economic issues in the headlines. In every national election it’s the same story: the minimum wage, unemployment, health care, and other issues are trotted out in front of candidates, and each explains how he or she will fix all these problems and the universe as a whole.

One issue that tends to come up every election cycle is the supposed problem of income inequality. Although the presidential primary and caucus season is still months away, candidates are already talking about inequality. For example, Democratic contender Bernie Sanders says, “The gap between the very rich and everyone else in America is wider today than at any time since the 1920s.” On the other side of the political aisle, Republican hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz makes a similar claim.

The numbers regarding income inequality in America are certainly noteworthy. Between 1967 and 2014 the total share of income in the top quintile, or 20 percent of income earners, rose from 43.6 to 51.2 percent, according to theCensus Bureau. During that same period those in the bottom quintile saw their share of total income decrease slightly from 4 to 3.1 percent.

But these figures don’t tell the whole story. They say nothing about changes in absolute income—that is, if the poor earn more today in real terms than they did in 1967. They also tell us nothing about which households are the poorest. Are the people who were poor in 1967 the same as those who are poor today? Are the people atop the economic ladder the same as 50 years ago?

The rich have certainly gotten richer. The mean income for the top 20 percent of earners increased a whopping 75 percent between 1967 and 2014 (in 2014 dollars), from around $110,000 to just over $194,000. But the poorest got richer too. Adjusting for inflation, those in the bottom quintile made about $9,900 in 1967. In 2014 they earned about $12,000.

Moreover, the people who were poor in the 1960s are not the same people who were poor in 2014. Even the poorest people in 1996 are not the same as the poorest today. More than half of all U.S. taxpayers moved into a different income quintile between 1996 and 2005. Half of those in the poorest group in 1996 moved to a higher quintile by 2005. Only a quarter of the top 1 percent in 1996 were still in that group by 2005.

What about children born into rich and poor families? Are they destined to live the same lifestyle as their parents? According to data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), a survey that has been collecting data since 1968, 90 percent of children born to individuals in the bottom quintile are better off than their parents. Many children born to the top 20 percent fared better as well, with about half surpassing their parents. The other half have the same or a lower standard of living.

There is still another piece to this puzzle. What consumer goods do the poorest people in America have today? To take one example: 80 percent of the poorest Americans have air conditioning. Yet in 1970 only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population could say the same. About 75 percent of the poorest Americans have a car, and 31 percent have two or more. Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV, and half have a personal computer. The story is similar for a wide array of products. Being poor is not like it used to be.

This is not to downplay or dismiss the plight of the America’s poor. Without a doubt, many struggle to make ends meet. But we should be careful in claiming that the rich are wealthy only at the expense of the poor and that the gap between them is inherently problematic. While those at the top may have a lot, those at the bottom have more today than ever before. Just as important, even those at the bottom have a great chance of getting out.



Sen. Rubio is right about Zero for Zero (?)

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued a fatwa applauding Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for coming out in favor of a zero for zero approach to eliminating U.S. sugar subsidies.

That policy is politically realistic but not economically rational.  Why should Americans object to other countries giving them cheap sugar?  If tariff and other barriers were removed, sugar prices in America would halve and many American candy factories would move back from Mexico and such places.  It would lead to a boom in the many American industries using sugar. And the present inefficient American sugar producers would move to crops that are more high value

"Sen. Rubio has exactly the right approach to zero for zero sugar subsidies policies, which is to say, the U.S. should get rid of its subsidies when the rest of the world gets rid of theirs. This is the same exact approach akin to reciprocal tariff reduction that has been in place since the end of Smoot-Hawley. Everyone knows in a negotiation, that if you unilaterally cede ground, you lose all leverage. Unilaterally offering to end U.S. sugar and other agricultural subsidies would be like unilaterally offering to end tariffs on imported goods, without expecting anything in return. Why would we do that?

"Such an approach would wreck U.S. domestic production of sugar in favor of foreign competitors like Brazil who subsidize their sugar and want to dump it all over the market the minute we remove our subsidies. The same exact thing happened in the European Union, where after they took down their subsidies in the mid-2000s, foreign competitors dumped subsidized sugar onto the market, dramatically reducing domestic production. The Europeans went from being the second largest exporter to the world's largest importer, according to a 2012 ProSunergy study.

"All this because world trade rules grant favors — special and differential treatment — to so-called developing nations like Brazil. Why would we continue with an approach that already subsidizes foreign competition with unfair rules, and then offer them even more subsidies on top of that by eliminating domestic protections?

"This is why we need zero for zero. In a true free market, there would be no subsidies. U.S. producers must not be asked to bow to foreign industries that are bankrolled by their governments. This is not about sugar, it is about what is fair.  And it is not fair to tell our farmers that their livelihoods are being outsourced to a foreign country that is subsidizing and cheating the system.

"We all want a free market. Not just in sugar, but for all industries. But unilaterally disarming America's subsidies and hoping our heavily subsidized competitors follow suit is not a realistic way to achieve a free market. That is just wishful thinking and it is naïve. Yes we should eliminate U.S. sugar subsidies, but we need to do it in a way where we can use it as leverage to actually achieve global reform and, then only when other governments are getting out of the market, too. It's called negotiating, and it's time we stopped losing those negotiations."



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Childish attack on Trump from the Left

The attack uses children and it is childish in its intellectual level.  The obscene abuse involved should be no surprise. Attacks are what Leftists do.  They kill their opponents if they gain untrammeled power (as in Communist countries)  but if the situation does not allow physical attack, they resort to verbal attack. And the attack is usually just abuse. It's all they have.  Reasoned argument is alien to them.  They have no patience for it.  Venting their hatred is their constant motive.  That's all that matters to them and all that drives them. 

It tends to amaze conservatives that the emails and blog comments we get from the Left consist almost entirely of abuse. If we get a reasoned argument it tends to come from a fellow-conservative over a matter of detail or emphasis. We should not be surprised.  The Left are hostility-driven, not reason-driven, compassion-driven or anything else.  Any apparently reasoned article or argument they put up ignores whatever needs to be ignored in order to lead to the conclusion that their hostility requires. The hostile conclusion is what matters to them.  They are interested in destruction, not in truth or in the good of their country and its people

The guy described below is Leftism made plain.  Note how he is just brimming with hate, anger and hostility

Luke Montgomery, formerly known as “Luke Sissyfag,” the director behind an anti-Donald Trump video featuring Latino children yelling obscenities, is defending his film and lashing out against Breitbart News.

“We’re fighting fire with fire. It’s a legitimate position,” Montgomery, who temporarily changed his name to “Luke Sissyfag” in the 1990s, told The Wrap. “If I had a nickel for every bad comment I saw on Breitbart, I’d be a rich man. I saw everything from ‘You should be deported’ to ‘Get out of our country’ to some really vile things. These are American citizens!”

As Breitbart News’ Lee Stranahan reported Thursday, Montgomery is a veteran of using children to swear in political videos. In addition to being the founder and treasurer of Deport Racism, the political action committee (PAC) behind the anti-Trump video, Montgomery is also the director of a pro-Hillary Clinton PAC called “Bill for First Lady 2016.”

FEC records show that Montgomery is also the founder and treasurer of a pro-Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) PAC, “Feel the Bern.” The “Deport Racism” website links directly to “Feel the Bern” under a banner reading, “So, which 2016 candidate’s not an asshole on immigration?”. Both “Bill for First Lady 2016″ and “Feel the Bern” are officially unauthorized, which means they are independent of the main campaigns themselves.

None of Montgomery’s PACs have filed financial documents with the FEC; Bill for First Lady 2016 was sent a warning letter on August 19.

Montgomery is also behind an offer to pay $5,000 to anyone who disrupts Trump’s appearance this weekend on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He told The Wrap that the children in his anti-Trump video were merely “using a bad word for a good cause,” and that their parents approved of the use of profanity.

Asked whether he feared a backlash from conservative media, he said: “Sean Hannity is a racist idiot. Fox News stokes racists xenophobic opinions.”



‘Peak Leftism’?

It’s late 2015, and the left is on the march. Or perhaps one should say—since the left presumably dislikes the militarist connotations of the term “march”—that the left is swarming. And in its mindless swarming and mob-like frenzy, nearly every hideous aspect of contemporary leftism is on display.

We see a French Revolution-like tendency to move with the speed of light from a reasonable and perhaps overdue change (taking down the Confederate flag over state buildings) to an all-out determination to expunge from our history any recognition or respect for that which doesn’t fully comport with contemporary progressive sentiment. The left’s point, of course, is not to clarify and sharpen appreciation for our distinctive history; the point is to discredit that history.

And the point is not to advance arguments and criticize alternative views; it is to deny the legitimacy of opposing arguments and to demonize opponents and purge them from the public square.

We see a pitiful aversion to standing up to barbarism abroad and a desperate willingness to accommodate and appease. This requires an amazing ability to shut one’s eyes to reality, and an extraordinary refusal to make tough decisions and assume real responsibilities. As Harvey Mansfield put it in the 1970s, “From having been the aggressive doctrine of vigorous, spirited men, liberalism has become hardly more than a trembling in the presence of illiberalism. .  .  . Who today is called a liberal for strength and confidence in defense of liberty?”

We see a wanton willingness on the part of leftist elites to use sophistic arguments to override democratic self-government when the people might not endorse the outcome (say, “marriage equality”) that the left has decided “progress” requires. We see a desperate desire to find a secular substitute for religious belief in the embrace of abstract doctrines (“global warming”) that are appropriately renamed (“climate change”) when the facts complicate matters. And we see a cavalier willingness to impose costs on others less fortunate and less well-protected for the sake of the left’s moral self-regard (by, for example, pledging to end “the era of mass incarceration,” also known as the era of crime reduction).

But as Alexander Hamilton (another recent object of the left’s perpetual discomfort with human achievement) wrote in Federalist 70: “There can be no need .  .  . to multiply arguments or examples on this head.” All the trends and tendencies, the pathologies and perversities that have made the modern left so corrosive of national spirit, so corrupting of self-government, so damaging to Western civilization, are on display front and center in today’s America. As the title of a brilliant article by Kevin D. Williamson in National Review puts it, “We Have Officially Reached Peak Leftism.”

Williamson interprets this moment hopefully, as one of leftist desperation, as a sense on the part of the left that time is running out: “The hysterical shrieking about the fictitious rape epidemic on college campuses, the attempts to fan the unhappy events in Ferguson and Baltimore into a national racial conflagration, the silly and shallow ‘inequality’ talk—these are signs of progressivism in decadence. So is the brouhaha over the Confederate flag.” It’s all, he concludes, “a fraud.” And, Williamson posits, “some scales are starting to fall from some eyes.”

Let’s hope so. The term “Peak Leftism” first came to our notice in an interesting essay several months ago by Robert Tracinski, “Have We Already Reached Peak Leftism?” Tracinski points out just how bad things have gotten in the academy, just how lopsided the left’s dominance is. And he suggests, “There are two ways to look at this trend: as evidence that we are doomed because the left has taken over the key institutions of the culture—or as evidence that the left has reached such a high degree of saturation that they have nowhere to go but down.”

Tracinski argues that we may well have reached peak leftism. He sets forth various factors, most notably a deep tendency for institutions and trends to revert to the mean, that indicate things will get better. But he also acknowledges, “I don’t mean to suggest that a cultural reversion to the mean is inevitable.”

Of course the very term “peak leftism” makes that point. The term plays off the claim that America, or the world, had reached “peak oil.” But it turns out that “peak oil” wasn’t a peak. Fracking means we’re producing more oil than ever before. So, to pursue the analogy, will the left’s cultural fracking take it to new heights?

The only way to ensure leftism has peaked, and to ensure that it doesn’t drag us further down into the abyss, is to fight it and defeat it. We either overcome peak leftism, or we’re doomed.



The future of the Jews

Dennis Prager

Forgive me, dear reader, but virtually all the trends are negative.

1. To understand Jewish life outside of Israel, it is crucial to first understand the most important development of the last 100 years: The most dynamic religion in the world has not been Christianity, nor Islam, nor even Mormonism, let alone Judaism. It has been a secular religion, leftism and its offshoots, such as environmentalism, feminism, socialism and egalitarianism.

Far more Jews outside of Israel (and some inside Israel) embrace leftism as their value system than Judaism. While individual Jews of all backgrounds have resisted leftism, the only Jewish group to do so has been Orthodoxy. And modern Orthodoxy has not been immune.

Most American Jews are far more influenced by, and far more frequently attend, the secular left-wing temple — the university — than their local Jewish temple; and far more seek guidance from The New York Times and other left-wing media than from the Torah.

Yes, there are left-wing Jews who are religiously affiliated. Indeed, they dominate non-Orthodox Jewish denominations. But their Jewish future is not bright. Most young Jews want authentic leftism, and that usually precludes synagogue attendance, as leftism is radically secular.

2. Israel will have to choose between doing what the world demands and becoming increasingly loathed and isolated. Either choice bodes poorly. The world wants Israel to give Palestinians an independent state. I have always supported a two-state “solution,” but an independent Palestinian state at this time can lead only to another haven for violent Islam, which would mean constant attacks on Israelis and the probable end of Jordan as an independent state.

3. Europe will have to choose between civil war and becoming increasingly Islamicized. The acceptance of more than a million Muslim-Arab refugees from Syria, Libya and elsewhere — added to the 20 million Muslims already in the European Union — will only hasten this outcome. This will likely mean no more Jews in Western Europe.

4. One of the great falsehoods of our time is that “Islam is a religion of peace.” From Muhammad’s time until today, Islam has almost never voluntarily been a religion of peace. How many people know, for example, that during their thousand-year rule over India, Muslims killed between 60 and 80 million Hindus? India doesn’t talk about this, because the Indian government fears Muslim-Hindu violence. And few in the West talk about it because Western academics and others on the left fear that talking about it would divert attention from their anti-Western narrative.

Needless to say, the ascendance of a virile Islam bodes poorly for Jews. The violent end of Christendom in the Arab world — which bothers Western elites considerably less than carbon emissions — is what a vast number of Muslims seek for the Jews living in the Arab world, namely the Jews of Israel.

5. Outside the United States, Christianity has rarely been good for the Jews. The Christians (cultural and theological) who founded America and led the country from its inception have constituted a unique blessing to the Jews. But most American Jews, consistent with their left-wing faith, have joined and often led the left’s battle to weaken American Christianity. These foolish people think that a godless, Christianity-free America will be good for the Jews. They do not understand that America has been a unique blessing to Jews precisely because it has been the one truly Judeo-Christian country.

So, then, there is little reason for optimism. Will Jews be around in 50 years?  Of course, they will. There may well be a Chabad House on the moon. But the purpose of Jewish life is not to survive, any more than the purpose of any of our own lives is to survive. Survival is a necessity, not a purpose.

The purpose of the Chosen People is to bring the world to the God of the Torah, more specifically, the God of the Ten Commandments. Unless we do, the future is bleak. But who will do this? The only vibrant Jewish group, the Orthodox, is still — Chabad and some Orthodox individuals notwithstanding — committed to Jewish insularity, preserving the shtetl, and to religious laws designed to keep Jews insulated from non-Jews.

Is there a solution?

Yes. Above all, Jews need to abandon secularism and leftism and adopt God-based, Torah-based values — even without necessarily becoming Orthodox — and influence the world to live by the Ten Commandments. Imagine what would happen to Jewry and to society at large if Jewish professors abandoned leftism and embraced ethical monotheism.

Admittedly, there are few examples of God-centered, Torah-based non-Orthodox Jews. But unless this begins to happen, and unless the Orthodox become as preoccupied with bringing the world to the God of Sinai as they are with what’s kosher for Pesach, the future looks bleak.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Monday, November 09, 2015

Liberals Losing the Culture Wars?

The libertine left has done a lot of boasting over the last several years about the inevitability of History vanquishing every corner of American social conservatism. Election Day 2015 was a terrible day for these revolutionaries, as so often it is when it's the American people, not liberal elites, making the decisions.

Let's assess the damage:

— In Kentucky, incoming Republican governor Matt Bevin won despite proudly embracing the cause of country clerk Kim Davis, a clear rebuke to the cultural let's agenda to impose gay "marriage" on every conservative Christian jurisdiction.

— In Virginia, two GOP state senate candidates were targeted by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg's group "Everytown for Gun Safety." One won and one lost, leaving the state senate in Republican hands.

— The city of Houston thumped outgoing lesbian leftist mayor Annise Parker by voting overwhelmingly (61 to 39 percent) to refuse the "HERO" — Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — a 31-page packet of mumbo-jumbo that among other things would have fined businesses up to $5,000 for refusing to allow men who "identify" as women from using the women's restrooms.

— Ohio rejected marijuana legalization by a 2-1 margin. "Issue 3" would have legalized recreational marijuana for anyone over 21, and in medicinal form for those of any age with a doctor's note. Some "progressives" didn't like a provision allowing a growers' monopoly system for the first four years.

— Even in ultraliberal San Francisco, the sheriff who steadfastly defended the city's outrageous "sanctuary city" policy after Kate Steinle was murdered by an immigrant here illegally, went down to defeat.

One journalist is analyzing the elections correctly (for the most part) and it's noteworthy it comes out of The Atlantic, clearly a liberal venue.

In her article "Liberals Are Losing the Culture Wars," Molly Ball acknowledges that the left can attempt to diminish the results by saying this was "an off-off-year election with dismally low voter turnout, waged in just a handful of locales. But liberals who cite this as an explanation often fail to take the next step and ask why the most consistent voters are consistently hostile to their views, or why liberal social positions don't mobilize infrequent voters."

There is clearly a "passion gap" between the secular left and the religious right. The conservatives are mobilizing, spurred by an increasing liberal authoritarianism since the last presidential election, as the left puts "religious liberty" in scare quotes.

Ball offers an analysis far outside the liberal media's conventional "wisdom" that the Republican Party is fractured between the religious right determined to commit political suicide with their ancient positions and a country-club establishment that understands it's time to surrender.

Ball said GOP divisions show "an ideologically flexible big-tent party, while Democrats are in lockstep around an agenda whose popularity they too often fail to question." Democrats want to believe Americans completely share with their radical vision of social change, but end up losing elections.

There's a reason liberals always think they're winning. It's because in both "news" reporting and entertainment propaganda, they incessantly evangelize for gun safety, marriage equality, legalized marijuana, transgender civil rights protections and untrammeled amnesty for illegal immigrants as if only the leftist position is acceptable. The only days they get a reality check are election days.



The Emmaus Code and the God-Void

David Limbaugh

Some of you, especially those on the left side of the political aisle, are scratching your heads over Ben Carson's recent surge in the polls. I get why you're surprised, but you shouldn't be.

This has definitely been the year of the outsiders in the Republican race, but this "outside" group may be more multifaceted than you think. Many people supporting outsiders are not just tired of business as usual from the beltway establishment. They are not just aghast at the disastrous direction in which this nation's economy and foreign policy are headed. They are also heartsick and horrified over the nation's moral and spiritual decline — their defeat after defeat in the ongoing culture war that is raging in this country.

Actually, it may be too charitable to our side to say there's a war going on. It's more like a relentless one-sided assault from the secular left on Judeo-Christian and traditional values, and conservatives have yet to declare war in return.

Despite the mainstream media's anti-religion propaganda, it is Christians who are more tolerant, societally, while leftists want to force Christians not just to tolerate their cultural preferences, but also to embrace them. Christians aren't the ones who are trying to turn long-standing societal mores upside down, and they aren't the ones who've declared war against the left's cultural or "spiritual" practices.

Consider some recent examples.

Item: President Obama, as commander in chief of the leftist cultural army, has trampled on the religious and conscious rights of Christians — e.g., forcing employers to offer abortifacients — after promising he wouldn't and while still denying he has.

Item: Big Brother has investigated and punished a high school football coach for praying on the 50-yard line even though the coach did not force any of his team or students to join him. This is not only a gross perversion of the Establishment Clause of the federal and state constitutions; it is an attack on religious liberty. I don't care what any crazy court may say in the future. This is a ludicrous and outrageous abuse of authority by any standards of sanity.

Militant secularists and many atheists are especially nervous when people exercising their religious rights attract others, by their wonderful examples, to voluntarily join them, as students and players did with the coach — even players from opposing teams. Let's not be naive. For these militant leftists, it is not "live and let live." It is "we'll live the way we want to, but we won't allow you to."

Item: These groups have called for boycotts of the city of Houston after the sensible citizens recently rejected an objectively offensive measure allowing transgender people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite biological gender.

Disgracefully, CBS is supporting them, as is The New York Times, which has called Houston voters "bigots" and "haters" who are "destined to lose one day." Are we really talking about this?

People are rightly appalled and are crying out for someone in power to fight back. Ben Carson and certain other Republican candidates are doing just that in defending Judeo-Christian values, and this is another reason for their appeal.

A recent Pew poll shows there has been a modest drop in overall rates of belief in God and participation in religious practices among Americans. But an already overlooked aspect of this poll is that religiously affiliated Americans are as observant as before.

Many Christians have finally awakened from their slumber and understand their values are under assault and that their opponents are less innocuous than they earlier assumed. They realize they have to do more than complain to their neighbors. They need political leaders who will respect faith-based voters and will fight for religious liberty in the government and in the culture.

Many are beginning to realize that we are suffering from what some have called a God-void in our society. God created us in His image as spiritual creatures, and if we don't honor Him as individuals and as a society, we will find substitutes to fill this God-shaped void in our souls.

I am obviously passionate about politics, but I think we sometimes lose sight of the most important things in life. Sometimes in the midst of our political battles we Christians must take a deep breath and remind ourselves of transcendently important matters. We need to know what and why we believe and especially the divine written source of those beliefs.

That's one reason I've written a new book that is coming out Nov. 9: "The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament." It is a companion to my last book, "Jesus on Trial," in which I trace my own spiritual journey from skeptic to believer and present the evidence that convinced me of Christianity's truth claims.

The Emmaus Code is a laymen-friendly Old Testament primer, and shows the foundational importance of the Old Testament to the New Testament, its ongoing relevance for Christians, and its Christ-centeredness. For Christians the entire Bible is about Jesus Christ and this book attempts to demonstrate that with abundant proof.



Dalton Trumbo Had It Coming

"Dalton Trumbo was a socialist, but he loved being rich."

So says Bryan Cranston, who stars in "Trumbo," out this week, and plays the screenwriter who went to prison with the Hollywood Ten in the time of Harry Truman.

Actually, Trumbo was not a socialist. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Trumbo was a Stalinist, a hard-core Communist when the Communist Party USA was run from Moscow by the Comintern, agents of the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century.

Trumbo was not what Lenin called a "useful idiot," a liberal simpleton. He was the real deal, a Bolshevik who followed every twist and turn in the Moscow party line.

When Hitler signed his infamous pact with Stalin, and Germany and Russia crucified Poland and Hitler overran France, Trumbo justified the Nazi brutality, "To the vanquished all conquerors are inhuman."

As Churchill led his country in defying Hitler, Trumbo, in his 1941 novel, "The Remarkable Andrew," trashed Britain as no democracy, as it had a king, and charged FDR with "black treason" for seeking to aid the Brits in their desperate fight to stave off defeat by the Nazis.

A talented screenwriter who wrote "Roman Holiday," "Spartacus" and "Exodus," Trumbo was attracted to revolutionary violence.

Invited to do a screenplay of William Styron's "Confessions of Nat Turner," about the Virginia slave who led a rampage of rape and murder in 1831, Trumbo wrote back:

"[I]n carrying through his rebellion Turner did nothing more than accept a principle of white Christian violence which had enslaved all of Africa, and used it for the first time in American history as a weapon against white Christians."

Biographer Larry Ceplair quotes Trumbo as describing America as "fundamentally" racist, with racism "the keystone of national policy both domestic and foreign...

"How many gooks have we killed in Korea? How many slopes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia? Millions, and we're still killing more of them. Our thirst for the blood of dark-skinned sub-humans is insatiable."

Why is Hollywood making a movie about Trumbo?

To whitewash the traitor and his comrades who were blacklisted for refusing to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee about their Communist Party membership and affiliations.

In promoting "Trumbo," Hollywood's flacks write of the late 1940s as the "darkest days" in American history.

They were dark all right. But probably less dark for Tinseltown Bolsheviks than the hundreds of millions who fell under the rule of the revolutions and regimes they supported in those years.

Between 1946 and 1950, Stalin murdered the Russian POWs we sent back in Operation Keelhaul, imposed his barbarous rule on 10 Christian nations of Eastern Europe, blockaded Berlin, built an atom bomb with the aid of American traitors Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, helped Mao Zedong conquer China and begin a slaughter of Chinese that would exceed the millions attributed to Stalin himself.

In 1950, Stalin backed Kim Il-Sung's invasion of South Korea that left millions dead, including 33,000 Americans. The film script, "An American Story," found in Trumbo's papers, reveals deep sympathy for North Korea during that war.

As Allan Ryskind, son of Hollywood writer Morrie Ryskind, writes in "Hollywood Traitors," his definitive new book published by Regnery, "There appeared to be no corkscrew twist in the Soviet line [Trumbo] wouldn't embrace."

With all its attendant favorable publicity, "Trumbo," is designed to accomplish several goals. No only to heroize the Hollywood Ten, but to demean John Wayne and the other patriots who, along with Ronald Reagan of the Screen Actors Guild, helped clean the treasonous vermin out of their town and industry.

The villainess of "Trumbo," played by Helen Mirren, is Hedda Hopper, the anti-Communist columnist who had considerable clout in Hollywood and backed Ronald Reagan, Ryskind Sr. and John Wayne, who eventually drove the Communists from their midst.

Larger issues are raised by this film.

If one has been a Communist, or a Nazi, and supported that evil ideology and its aims, what is one's moral obligation to one's country? Is it not to step forward, and tell the truth?

What was the duty of Congress, if not to expose ideological treason in the most powerful cultural force in the America of that day?

What was the duty of the leaders of a great industry that found a nest of traitors in their midst, whose deepest allegiance was to our mortal enemy?

For remaining mute, refusing to testify before the Congress, the Hollywood Ten are portrayed as martyrs to the First Amendment.

Yet, as Communists, they were providing aid and comfort to the greatest enemies free speech and freedom of the press ever had.

Had the Hollywood Ten supported a subversive party in Stalin's Moscow, what would have happened to them might have been slightly worse than not getting screen credits for the movies they wrote.

By joining a criminal conspiracy dedicated to the overthrow of the government established to protect our freedoms, and the imposition of Communist tyranny, the Hollywood Ten got what they deserved.

By their treason, they blacklisted themselves.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Sunday, November 08, 2015

21st century Nazis are now mainstream in the British Left

They're socialist Jew-haters

It was never hard to predict the effects of the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the British Labour party. Although some people wondered whether the candidate of the far-left might soften some of his opinions once in power, most observers never doubted that someone who had cherished such opinions almost alone on the backbenches for three decades was hardly going to change them overnight just because he had become party leader. For someone such as Corbyn, an elevation to a position of leadership is a vindication of those years in the wilderness, not an opportunity to find an ideological replacement.

To the surprise of nobody who was familiar with his politics, Corbyn has spent his time so far surrounding himself with figures arguably even more hard-core than him. He immediately appointed IRA-supporter John McDonnell as his Shadow Chancellor and more recently appointed Seamus Milne as his spin-doctor. Milne's support for absolutely anyone so long as he is anti-British made him too extreme in recent decades even for many of his former colleagues at Britain's Guardian newspaper.

But the most predictable and worrying result of Corbyn's election was always the effect it was going to have on the growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activism in the UK. During Corbyn's election campaign, his sympathetic attitude towards his whole milieu of anti-Semites, terrorists and Holocaust-deniers became an issue. Having spent many days of his life standing on platforms alongside such figures as Paul Eisen, Dyab Abu Jahjah and Raed Saleh, media criticism of such relationships came as a surprise only to the youngest among Corbyn's supporters, who chose to dismiss such serious questions as "press smears." During that period, Corbyn was careful not completely to drop his most extreme friends. Instead, he pretended his relationships with them was less than it was, or that they had only connected because of a concern to further 'peace' or 'inter-faith issues'. And he certainly did nothing to suggest that his views of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute -- a dispute in which Corbyn has only ever supported the most intransigent and extreme forces on the Palestinian side -- had in any way changed.

As it was clear that Corbyn's views would not have changed, and as the only people he can rely on to be loyal to him are people who have views as extreme or even more extreme than him, there was only one possible result to his election: that Corbyn would end up bringing into the mainstream views that ought to be at the farthest fringes of politics.

Take the UK view of Hamas. The terrorist organization is proscribed in Britain, but Jeremy Corbyn has been friendly with the group for years. Indeed, he has been on record describing its members as "friends" and has repeatedly appeared alongside the group's representatives in the UK and the Middle East. Now, a sympathetic stance towards proscribed groups such as Hamas is one of the hallmarks of bigots in the UK, and also of the interminably naïve and ignorant. One of the reasons Hamas supporters spend so much time trying to speak to university students in the UK is because they hope such students will demonstrate a naïveté about them and their goals that might be unusual elsewhere in society.

What happens when a pro-Hamas speaker is confronted by an anti-Hamas speaker? The anti-Hamas speaker may rightly say that Hamas is an extremist organization. The pro-Hamas speaker or naïve student might easily come back by asking how an organization can be deemed extreme if the leader of Her Majesty's opposition is a friend and supporter of the group. Obviously, this does not make Hamas non-extreme, but it certainly makes it easier to depict its terrorists as tolerable and its racism as acceptable.

This effect -- the Corbynization of British politics -- has already had one notable effect. Last week Sir Gerald Kaufmann, a man with a track record of anti-Semitic comments, said something crazed even by his own high standards. Speaking at an event organized by the Hamas-affiliated "Palestine Return Centre" in Parliament, Kaufman claimed that the Conservative party had been influenced by "Jewish money." Asked why the UK government had allegedly become more pro-Israel in recent years he said, "It's Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party -- as in the general election in May -- support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things bias the Conservatives."

What Kaufman said next is in some ways even more extraordinary. He claimed that the Palestinians "are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn't care." He went on to claim that the recent stabbing attacks on Israeli citizens had been fabricated by the Israeli government in order to allow it to "execute Palestinians."

There have already been complaints about this statement from other MPs, including other Labour MPs. But what can be expected of the Labour leadership? Jeremy Corbyn is an old friend and ally of Kaufman's. They have shared anti-Israel platforms for years. However, whereas ordinarily a party leader would discipline an MP for such outrageous and false claims, nothing has happened -- nor will happen -- to Kaufman. It is a failure that should bring shame on the party. Even the Liberal Democrats managed eventually to withdraw the whip from their Baroness Jenny 'Boom' Tonge, who has repeatedly spread blood-libels about Israel. But Kaufman is part of Corbyn's Parliamentary base, and the kind of people who lap this sort of thing up are part of Jeremy Corbyn's wider base in the country. What is a leader like him to do?

This, then, is one of the already jolting effects of the Corbyn leadership. Wholly predictably, it has begun to mainstream anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, and it has encumbered the political left with few defences to the accusation that it is they who now harbour the proponents of the greatest racism of our time. Is it too much to hope that an alliance of Jews and non-Jews of every imaginable political stripe will push back to ensure this does not happen?



Is the Pope Toying with Heresy?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Are Catholic truths immutable? Or can they change with the changing times?  This is the deeper question behind the issues that convulsed the three-week synod on the family of the 250 Catholic bishops in Rome that ended Saturday.

A year ago, German Cardinal Walter Kasper called on the church to change — to welcome homosexual couples, and to permit cohabiting and divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Retorted traditionalists: This is heresy.

Had the pope followed his friend Cardinal Kasper and ordered Catholic teaching and diocesan practice changed, he could have provoked a schism inside the Church.

Such a change in doctrine would have called into question papal infallibility. Defined at the Vatican Council of 1869-70, that doctrine declares that when the pope teaches ex cathedra, on matters of faith and morals, he is protected from error by the Holy Ghost. Doctrinal truths, taught by popes in communion with the bishops, down through the ages, cannot change.

But if Catholic truths about the indissolubility of marriage and intrinsic immorality of homosexual unions can be changed, then, either the Church has been in grave error in the past, or the Church is toying with heresy today.

Saturday, The Washington Post described the synod as a "brawl over Francis' vision of inclusion."

Reporter Anthony Faiola compared the synod deliberations to a Tea Party rebellion in John Boehner's House caucus, and the pope to a change agent like Barack Obama who finds himself blocked and frustrated by conservatives.

Saturday's document from the synod ignored the call for a new Church stance toward homosexual unions. And it did not approve of giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, whom the Church considers to be living in adultery.

Yet, in Sunday's sermon the pope seemed angered by both the defiance of the resisting bishops and the conclusions the synod reached. To Pope Francis, the traditionalists appear to be placing the strictures of moral law above the Gospel command of mercy.

"None of the disciples stopped, as Jesus did" said Francis of the blind man. "If Bartimaeus was blind, they were deaf. His problem was not their problem.

"This can be a danger to us. ... A faith that does not know how to grow roots into the lives of people remains arid and, rather than oases, creates other deserts."

The pope seems to be saying that the dissenting bishops, no matter their command of moral law, are lacking in charity, the greatest of the three theological virtues.

Where does the bishops' synod on the family leave the Church?

In confusion, and at risk of going the way of the Protestant churches that continue to hemorrhage congregants.

Recall. With its acceptance of birth control at the Lambeth conference of 1930, the Church of England started down this road, as did its sister, the Episcopal Church. The process led to the decline of both.

From birth control, to divorce and remarriage, women priests, gay clergy, homosexual bishops, same-sex marriage, the Episcopal Church first broke apart, and now appears to be going gentle into that good night.

Indeed the Church of England began in schism, when Henry VIII broke with Rome after Pope Clement VII refused to approve his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his marriage to Anne Boleyn. According to Cardinal Kasper, Clement should have cut Henry some slack.

In this battle between traditionalists in the synod and the bishops who favor acceptance of some or all of Kasper's recommendations, the pope seems to stand squarely on the side of the reformers.

Yet, it was the Protestant Reformation that destroyed the unity of Catholicism, five centuries ago, as it divided nations and led to conflicts of religion and nationalism, such as the Thirty Years War.

How the Catholic Church can avoid greater confusion among the faithful — after the pope's virtual blessing of the Kasper recommendations, and the synod's rejection of them — escapes me.

What does the pope do now?

If he ignores the synod's dissent and moves the Church toward the Kasper position, he could cause a traditionalist break, a schism. Third World bishops might well refuse to change.

If he does nothing, he will disappoint Western bishops, priests and secularists who have seen in his papacy hope for an historic change in Catholic teaching and practice.

If he permits the bishops to follow their consciences in their dioceses, he will advance the disintegration of the Church.

The inevitable result of any of these courses that the pope chooses will be, it seems, to deepen the confusion of the faithful.

As for Pope Francis himself, he, too, must choose.



British/Indian doctor who agreed to abort a foetus because it was a girl is suspended – but for only THREE MONTHS

The actions of the Crown Prosecution Service in blocking a criminal prosecution show on which side the British establishment stands

A doctor who allegedly agreed to abort a foetus simply because it was a girl - and then lied about the reason he terminated it - has been suspended for only three months by a medical tribunal.

Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan, who worked in Birmingham, was found to have agreed to arrange the termination 'based on the gender of the foetus' by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

He then 'immediately volunteered' to list the reason for the abortion as 'too young for pregnancy' on the woman's medical records - and sought her 'agreement' for this, the panel said in a hearing.

But despite his actions, the medic, who was filmed approving the abortion at the Calthorpe Clinic in Edgbaston as part of a sting operation, has had his registration suspended for just three months. This decision was made based on his dishonesty, the panel said.

Dr Rajmohan had originally faced a criminal prosecution after the uncover sting by The Telegraph.  However, the case was later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which claimed it ‘was not in the public interest to pursue’.

And in March, the CPS stepped in to prevent a private prosecution against Dr Rajmohan, and Manchester doctor Prabha Sivaraman, by pro-life campaign Aisling Hubert.

As part of The Telegraph sting, a pregnant woman, known as Ms A, visited Dr Rajmohan and told him she wished to have an abortion because he and her husband did not want to have a baby girl.

In response, the doctor allegedly said: 'That’s not fair. It’s like female infanticide isn’t it?'

However, when the woman then asked if he could list an alternative reason for the termination, he said: 'That’s right, yeah, because it’s not a good reason any time ...,' according to the newspaper.

He reportedly added: 'I’ll put too young for pregnancy, yeah?'

A probe was launched by the police and Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service following the visit, which was videotaped secretly.



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