Monday, March 19, 2018

Evidence From Norway Shows Gender Quotas Don't Work For Women

The country of Norway has many American admirers, from President Trump to Sen. Bernie Sanders. Progressives like Sanders consider Norway a progressive paradise, because it has implemented almost every progressive policy under the sun, from universal health care to government mandated gender equality policy in the work place.

But have these policies achieved the desired outcome that the progressives are seeking? The latest data on gender quotas in the work place from Norway and some other European countries shows a policy with a good intention doesn't necessarily translate to a good outcome.

We've all heard the argument, especially in these days, that women are well represented in the educational system and the labor force, but at the top of the power hierarchy they are still surprisingly poorly represented.

UK Channel 4 journalist Cathy Newman repeatedly said "only seven women run the FTSE 100 companies" in a recent interview of Jordan Peterson, to back up her view that male dominance in the workplace prevents women from reaching the top.

Ten years ago, Norway, the progressive paradise, took a drastic step to address this gender gap at the top of corporations. Its Minister of Trade and Industry Ansgar Gabrielsen of the Conservative Party introduced a mandatory gender quota of 40 percent for the boards of all public limited companies. The passing of this draconian law means, "If a company breaks the gender quota rules in Norway, it will be denied registration as a business enterprise in the Bronnoysund Register Centre and be subject to forced dissolution by the courts."

 Following Norway's example, a dozen other European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, adopted similar gender quotas- - 30 to 40 percent of corporate boards must be made up of women.

Ten years later, The Economist reported how the policy turned out based on data from Norway and other European countries with similar gender quota policies. On the surface, it seems the gender quota mandate achieved its desired outcome - female representation on corporate boards in these European countries increased. "In some countries the share of women among directors of large companies has increased four- or fivefold since 2007." But as always, the devil is in the details.

The Devil In The Details

Did the higher female representation on corporate boards improve corporate profitability and corporate governance as proponents promised? The data is inconclusive. Some companies saw improvement in both areas but some didn't. Did the higher female representation on corporate boards improve board's decision making as supporters claimed? Data shows that although decision making processes might have changed, the substance of the decisions and the quality of decision didn't improve by simply having more women on boards.

Now corporations in Europe are facing a shortage in finding qualified women to fill the gender quota mandates on their boards. Some reached for less qualified and less experienced women to meet the quota, which doesn't help improving corporate performance or governance. Since the law in Norway only applies to public companies, some Norwegian companies became private. The number of public limited companies in Norway dropped from 452 in 2008 to only 257 in 2013. The number of board seats dropped from 2,366 in 2008 to 1,423 in 2013. So there are fewer seats for women to fill.

The `Golden Skirts' Are Stretched Thin

But what everyone is most interested in answering is the question of whether the quota really benefited women. The answer depends on who you ask. The quota has certainly benefited a small group of women who are already high achievers and are at the top of corporate hierarchies. They are called the "golden skirts" and their numbers are very limited. Since the quota mandate led to a surge of demand for these women, many of them found more opportunities and higher pay, but they also found themselves stretched thin by serving on multiple boards.

As The Economist reported, the most puzzling information revealed by the data is that the quota mandate "had no discernible beneficial effect on women at lower levels of the corporate hierarchy." Proponents of such a policy have long promised that more women in leadership positions would translate to more career opportunities and promotions for women in the lower levels, which in turn will lead to better paying jobs and a shrinking gender pay gap. But that promise turned out to be wishful thinking.

Data shows that in France, Germany and the Netherlands, which all mandate women taking 30 to 40 percent of corporate board seats, only 10 to 20 percent of senior management jobs (one level below the board of director position) are held by women and that number has been consistent for the last 10 years. The Norwegians own study shows eight years after Norway introduced the law on gender equality in boardrooms, there are zero female CEOs in the country's 60 largest companies.

There is no data to demonstrate any higher pay or more career advancing opportunities for the vast majority of women in the workforce. Thus, having more women on the board has done little to benefit 99 percent of women in the workforce. Rather, it failed to lure more women to climb the corporate ladder and it failed to open up more mid-career opportunities and better pay.

In fact, Norway is seemingly going the wrong direction. In 2015, the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap ranked Norway as the world's second most gender equality place, with a score of 0.85, where 0 is inequality and 1 is complete equality. But in 2016, Norway's ranking dropped to the third place with a lower score of 0.84.

The logical conclusion, as The Economist presented, is that "gender quotas at board level in Europe have done little to boost corporate performance or to help women lower down." Like so many progressive policies, the mandatory quota benefits a very small elitist group at the expense of the masses, despite its slogans on "equality."

One of the reasons that we don't see more women at the top of corporate hierarchy is the choices that women make. For example, some women choose to become stay-home moms for a period of time due to the high cost of childcare. When women make that choice, they end up paying a price in their career advancement. So if society wants to see more women taking leadership roles in any organizations, one sensible policy is to make childcare more affordable.

Given the fact that the high cost of childcare is the result of government policies, getting rid of those ruinous policies will likely lower the cost of childcare, which in turn helps more women stay in workforce to climb corporate ladders. The last thing women need is a useless gender quota at the board level that does nothing for the majority of us except window dressing.


No More Crosses? A case before the Supreme Court may settle whether memorial crosses are "unconstitutional."  

Imagine Arlington Cemetery with no crosses. Imagine the word “God” sandblasted from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Imagine Biblical verses removed from the U.S. Capitol. This is the world the radical atheists want. This is the world they almost have.

First Liberty Institute, the nation’s largest legal organization dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom, is currently appealing a case to the Supreme Court so this doesn’t happen.

Here’s how it began. In 1925, Gold Star families and the American Legion (the largest veterans service organization in the U.S.) built the 40-foot-tall Bladensburg Veteran’s Memorial, also known as the “Peace Cross,” in memory of the 49 men of Prince George’s County, Maryland, who died in World War I. The names of the 49 deceased veterans and the words “Courage,” “Valor,” “Endurance” and “Devotion” appear on the monument.

The cross stood as a peaceful memorial to the fallen veterans until February 2014, when the American Humanist Association (AHA) claimed that the monument unconstitutionally violated the Establishment Clause because of its public ownership and demanded that it be demolished, altered or removed. The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled in favor of the monument’s constitutionality citing the cross as a military symbol for sacrifice, courage and remembrance. However, in December 2015, the AHA appealed the decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the memorial was unconstitutional. On March 1, 2018, the Fourth Circuit denied the en banc rehearing, leaving an appeal to the Supreme Court as the final option.

Hiram Sasser, chief counsel for First Liberty, notes, “If [the Fourth Circuit] decision stands, other memorials, including those in nearby Arlington Cemetery, will be targeted for destruction as well.” If the decision from the Fourth Circuit stands, and the Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal case, it would mean that all crosses on public property are “unconstitutional.”

The case rests on whether the Establishment Clause — the first sentence of the First Amendment, which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” — prohibits the public display of crosses.

The establishment of a religion means having an official, government-sponsored religion. Some have also interpreted the Establishment Clause as meaning government “neutrality.” According to the American Humanist Association’s website, the Establishment Clause also prohibits the government from “entangling itself in religious matters without a religiously neutral reason.” Government ought to be “neutral” toward religion and not favor one over the other. But a big difference exists between “neutrality” and “hostility.”

While the AHA claims “Good Without A God,” as its motto, is it fair or tolerant to force that belief on everyone else? Radical atheism does not say, “I believe in nothing, and you can believe in God if you want.” Rather, it says, “I believe in nothing and it is my right to not see, hear or experience anything about God anywhere.” Whether it is “No, you can’t pray,” or “No, you can’t put a Bible verse there,” or “No, I don’t want to see a cross” — even if it’s in the middle of the desert — the radical atheists do not seek to live in mutual tolerance. They cannot rest until they have converted all of society into a religiously sterile culture. Our legal system should not bow down to this dogmatic, anti-tolerant behavior as the “neutral” option. Rather, radical atheists should practice the tolerance they demand from others.

Following their Fourth Circuit win, AHA Senior Counsel Monica Miller, who argued the case, stated, “This is a big win not only for separation of church and state, but for all non-Christian veterans who are excluded from an enormous Christian cross war memorial.”

But how many of the fallen men were actually atheists? The families of the fallen soldiers decided on that particular shape to remember their fallen sons, brothers and husbands. Would it not dishonor their choice to remove or destroy it? If, in fact, the non-Christian veterans feel excluded, why do they not build their own non-cross memorial?

Further, while the AHA argues that the cross represents a sectarian, exclusionary religious symbol, the cross also represents military heroism. Some of the highest military honors include crosses such as the Distinguished Service Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Navy Cross, and others granted for exemplary military service. The cross also stands as an internationally recognized symbol of bravery and sacrifice as exemplified in the Victoria Cross in England and the Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) in France.

The cross also represents a memorial. These men lost their lives in a foreign war on foreign soil. While some of their bodies were later repatriated, many were buried overseas. For several families, the “Peace Cross” stood as the only place where grieving families could pay honor to their loved ones.

Michael Carvin, lead counsel for The American Legion and partner at Jones Day, notes, “This memorial has stood in honor of local veterans for almost 100 years and is lawful under the First Amendment. To remove it would be a tremendous dishonor to the local men who gave their lives during the Great War.”

The case also has bipartisan support. Eight Republican and Democrat members of Congress joined in support of the memorial by filing an amicus brief with the Fourth Circuit Court.

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty, states, “Memorials are living reminders of our country’s history and the cost of war. How will we remember the fallen or teach the next generation about service and sacrifice if we start bulldozing veterans memorials and cemeteries across America? We will continue our work to overturn this decision and defend the memory of those who preserved freedom.”


Identity Politics Insanity

Perhaps nothing offers greater insight into the progressive mindset than what its adherents deem proper and improper expressions of identity politics   

Perhaps nothing offers greater insight into the progressive mindset than what its adherents deem proper and improper expressions of identity politics.

“Rachel Dolezal, the troubled former NAACP leader who claimed to be African-American, is the subject of an upcoming Netflix documentary that’s already causing major backlash,” Fox News reports.

The Twitter-verse was rife with derogatory comments. “There are millions of black femmes and non-binary people in the world that deserve to be heard … and the fact that I have to see her name on my screen makes me so so so angry,” stated Lorazepam Grier. “Rachel Dolezal’s choice to play pretend in black culture has now destroyed the lives of two black children,” tweeted George M. Johnson. “Hey @Netflix, Rachel Dolezal doesn’t need a documentary streamed on your site. She’s fraudulent and problematic. Why don’t you take all that money and put it towards projects made by real black women?” asks Breniecia.

Netflix isn’t paying Dolezal anything, but they remain the eye of the leftist storm for “giving the 40-year-old a spotlight with a film that explores how she portrayed herself as African-American for years, despite being born biologically white,” Fox explains.

Biologically white? The use of biology to define one’s identity left the progressive train station long ago. So much so, that even the assertion it is a defining factor has real world consequences for those insufficiently attuned to the progressive worldview. “A student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania has been barred from attending a religious studies class required for graduation after pointing out that there are only two genders,” Campus Reform reveals.

Senior student Lake Ingle was ultimately barred from class for questioning the worldview of IUP Professor Alison Downie following a video presentation featuring a transgender woman name Paula Stone. The 15-minute video was replete with tiresome progressive tropes asserting the reality of “mansplaining,” “male privilege” and “systematic” sexism.

Following the video, Downie asked the women attending the class to share their thoughts. When none of them spoke up, Ingle rocked the proverbial boat.

“I objected to the use of the anecdotal accounts of one woman’s experience to begin a discussion in which they were considered reality,” Ingle told Campus Reform. “It was during my objection that Dr. Downie attempted to silence me.”

The next day Downie did more than that. She referred Ingle to the school’s Academic Integrity Board (AIB) and presented Ingle with a document illuminating his alleged violations: “Disrespectful objection to the professor’s class discussion structure; refusal to stop talking out of turn; angry outbursts in response to being required to listen to a trans speaker discuss the reality of white male privilege and sexism; disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience; [and making a] disrespectful claim that a low score on any class work would be evidence of professor’s personal prejudice.”

The “Documented Agreement/Sanctions,” part of the document reveals conditions Ingle must fulfill to be reinstated in class. They include a letter of apology to the professor, an apology to the class, and the acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility for “inappropriate behavior” that has “severely damaged” the class’s learning environment and the “safety” of its “atmosphere.” Moreover, when Ingle is done groveling, he is expected to “listen in silence as the professor and/or any student who wishes to speak shares how he or she felt during Lake’s disrespectful and disruptive outbursts on 2-28.”

He or she? What about “ze,” “zir,” “ve,” “tey” or the panoply of other “gender appropriate” pronouns being force-fed to the American public, even to the point where one could be fined as much as $250,000 for failing to acquiesce? Apparently IUP’s administration is as insensitive to “reality” as Ingle himself. Regardless, Ingle’s hearing is set for tomorrow and a decision will be announced on March 19. If the administration rules against him, he won’t graduate in May.

So why would progressives pillory a woman like Rachel Dolezal who insists biology doesn’t matter and pillory a student like Lake Ingle who insists it does? Because some identity politics are “more equal” than others. Identity politics that advance the progressive agenda are embraced, and those that threaten it are vilified.

Dolezal represents a mortal threat to a racial spoils system that began relatively nobly enough, with the concept of affirmative action to redress a litany of historical wrongs, perpetrated mostly by Democrats, beginning with their establishment of the Ku Klux Klan and their enforcement of Jim Crow laws. It has deteriorated to the point where black students have demanded and received segregated dorms on University of California campuses, courses on “white privilege” have become part of the public school curriculum, and the enforcement of a policy where “students of color” cannot be disciplined in school at rates disproportionate to their statistical representation in the student population engendered the calculated disinterest in the Parkland shooter until it was too late.

Yet even the racial spoils system has its “subsets.” While Dolezal is a pariah, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren remains a respected member of the Democrat Party, despite tenuous claims of Native American ancestry and the dismissal of a DNA test to prove it, one way or the other. “I know who I am because of what my mother and my father told me,” Warren insists. “It’s part of who I am and no one’s ever going to take that away.”

Still more subsets? As a discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University indicates, Asians also remain on the outside looking in. That’s because minority groups who excel without an ideological thumb on the scale to assist them represent a threat to progressive efforts to convince the nation that victimization requires the elevation of diversity over meritocracy.

The searing irony? Meritocracy still matters — in terms of determining the hierarchy of victimization among leftist grievance groups. And nothing would roil that hierarchy and its orchestrated pity parties more effectively than “trans-racialism,” and the ominous potential that anyone could claim to be a victim, based on the exact same premise as transgenderism: self-identification is the sole standard for determining reality.

So why is transgenderism championed? Because it aligns itself quite neatly with the progressive project to “fundamentally transform” America. And nothing says transformation better than the attempt to replace biological reality with gender “fluidity.” In stark contrast to racial fluidity, which threatens progressivism’s identity politics agenda, gender fluidity enhances that agenda, because it undermines traditional religious and family values.

Values that don’t require the expansion of coercive government power to enforce them.

As the Left’s contrasting reactions to trans-racialism and transgenderism indicate, intellectual consistency and honesty can be tossed aside if they don’t serve progressive interests. Thus the same CNN that put Bruce Jenner on the air to speak about his “path to womanhood” is the one that speaks to the “scandal” of Dolezal “presenting herself as black for years” — and presents a link to yet another CNN column that calls racial fluidity a “con.”

Nothing is more of a con than the contemptible notion that reality itself can be determined by whether it accrues to the Left’s twisted identity politics agenda.


The Crisis of Fatherless Shooters

In the wake of the Parkland massacre, the age-old question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” has a newfound relevance.

As another mass school shooting stuns Americans, it is time to talk about not just how to protect students from shooters, but also about what must happen so that fewer students become shooters in the first place.

It is crucial to talk about how more American children can grow up with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual security that comes from relationships where one is deeply cared for, connected, and known.

For what lies inside so many school shooters is a deep void of identity and relationship that they tragically seek to fill through nihilistic violence.

There is a sobering theme repeated over and over in the biographies of school shooters—the fatherlessness of a broken or never formed family.

Among the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes. Psychologist Dr. Peter Langman, a pre-eminent expert on school shooters, found that most came from incredibly broken homes of not just divorce and separation, but also infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence, and child abuse.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, scholar Brad Wilcox called attention to the work of criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi, which found the absence of fathers to be one of the “most powerful predictors of crimes .” He explained that fathers are role models for their sons who maintain authority and discipline, thereby helping them develop self-control and empathy toward others, key character traits lacking in violent youth.

The late rapper Tupac Shakur said, “I know for a fact that had I had a father, I’d have some discipline. I’d have more confidence. Your mother can’t calm you down the way a man can. You need a man to teach you how to be a man.” Shakur, who was murdered in 1996, started hanging out with gangs because he wanted to belong to a family.

In addition to structure and discipline, a boy’s relationship with his father can be a profound source of identity—or not. Dr. Warren Farrell, author of the “The Boy Crisis,” says that when a boy asks “Who am I?” the answer is that his identity is comprised of half his dad and half his mom. If he thinks his father has abandoned him, he fears he is not worthy. Boys who do not have a strong relationship with their fathers may lack a model of healthy masculinity. Many of the school shooters struggled with a sense of “damaged masculinity” and sought to become “ultramasculine.” Langman says that at the end of this spectrum  is “getting a gun to suddenly have power.”

In fact, the fathers of three of the most infamous school shooters were absent from their sons’ lives. The father of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, had not seen his son in two years and later told reporters he wished his son had never been born. The adoptive father of Nikolas Cruz died when Cruz was 5 years old. And the father of 6-year-old Dedrick Owens, the country’s youngest school shooter, was in jail when his son killed his first grade classmate. Dedrick Owens’ father has said that he suspects his son’s crime was a reaction to his absence.

Since the 1965 Moynihan report, the breakdown of the American family has been hotly debated. Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s finding that fatherlessness would lead to poorer outcomes for African-American children was published at a time when only 25 percent of African-American households were led by a single parent. Today, 24 percent of white non-Hispanic families are headed by a single parent and the rate has reached 66 percent among African-Americans. If we don’t reverse current trends on marriage, the number of fatherless children will only grow.

Ultimately, if we make fatherlessness and family breakdown a partisan issue, we all lose. Both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush promoted a National Fatherhood Initiative in their administrations. Because strong marriages promote strong bonds between fathers and their children, the Trump administration should emphasize both.

A good starting place would be to reduce the marriage penalties that have been built into our welfare system. A next step would be to elevate the contributions of ordinary men doing the extraordinary work of fathering. And if we directed 1 percent of the attention and media coverage we give to athletes, musicians, and movie stars toward fathers, perhaps more boys would grow up seeing them as role models. President Donald Trump, his Cabinet, Congress, and other leaders can also use their bully pulpits to lead in this direction.

And the good news is that communities are devising creative ways to help make up for the absences of dads. One example is in Dallas, where Billy Earl Dade Middle School held its annual “Breakfast with Dads.” To ensure that all 150 male students who wanted a mentor would have one, an organizer put out a request on a Facebook page for 50 “volunteer fathers.” Nearly 600 men from all different walks of life and careers answered the call.

We cannot provide every fatherless boy with a dad, but we can start by respecting the unique role that fathers play in the lives of boys and encouraging more men to step into the lives of children who need a male role model.

To understand the brokenness of our children, Americans must take a deeper look at the brokenness of our families. We must do this together. We must be the keepers of all our country’s sons so that they can grow up to be one another’s. If we are going to prevent the next Parkland, we need to take seriously the need all our young boys and men have for a dad.



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

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

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


Sunday, March 18, 2018

What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong About Jews

I have reproduced below what I see as a very good reply to  antisemitic thought.  In looking at why Jews tend so strongly Left, however, the authors manage only the most conventional explanation -- that the Jewish history of persecution is the key.  It has made modern-day Jews paranoid about ideas associated with past persecutors. And they associate conservative ideas as the ones that are most reminiscent of the ideas held by past persecutors.

But that is utter nonsense.  It was Protestant and ultra conservative Prussia (in North-Eastern Germany) that legislated to "emancipate" the Jews on March 11, 1812, and the tolerance of Jews in Prussia is why there were so many Jews prospering in pre-Hitler Germany, and why indeed many Ashkenazi surnames are to this day German ones. 

And the all-time pinnacle of antisemitic policy, Nazism, was a socialist creed, as almost any reading of Nazi documents will reveal.

So the record of tolerance for the Jews was ultra-conservative Prussia and the record of intolerance for the Jews was the socialist Hitler!  What in that would make Jews attracted to socialism?

It is true that Soviet disinformation has portrayed Nazism as Rightist but I think Jews should be generally well informed enough to see through that.  Jews have strong reasons to want to understand Nazism and even a cursory study of it will inform them where Nazism really lay on the political spectrum.

And discrimination against Jews in the Western world today is a fleeting thing so is a poor explanation for a huge and continuing political bias.

So I think the Jewish attraction to Leftism requires a better explanation than a memory of persecution. 

I have no doubt that a memory of an adverse past can be retained for a long time.  In Ulster they still sing about the Battle of the Boyne of 1690 and the Scots still haven't got over Edward Longshanks in the 13th century -- so political memories can last a long time.  What I ask is WHY some memories persist, what need does retaining such memories serve? And I see no reason why fear of conservatives and Christians persists among Jews. 

In Ulster each side sees the other as a dangerous rival and in the case of Scottish attitudes towards the English the matter is all too clear if rarely expressed: The English find the Scots amusing. And there is nothing more enraging than that. But what problem to Jews are American Christians and conservatives today? American Christians and conservatives are in fact the bedrock upon which American support for Israel is based. Rationally, Jews should vote for conservatives.  Instead they voted two thirds for Obama, who was no friend of Israel.  It took a strong conservative to give official recognition to Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

But, despite all that, Jewish American support for the Donks remains strong.  Why?

I think there is better explanation for Jewish Leftism, one founded firmly in the present and recent past. It flows directly from the known high average IQ of Jews.  Because of the huge potency of IQ in meeting life's challenges, Jews have risen to the top of most niches in society.  They are an elite people. 

And what do we know about the elites? Superior attitudes.  Because they have done well they tend to think that they know it all and are in a far better position to guide society than are the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory -- as Bill Buckley put it.  And the Democrat allegiance of America's present elites has been thrown into sharp focus by the ascendancy of Donald Trump. 

So I think Jews are Leftist because elites generally are Leftists. They have the attitudes of their class. Marx would understand. That seems to me to be a simple and straightforward explanation and as such has the benefit of Occam's razor. I have written at some length previously on why elites tend Left, which see.

written by Jonathan Anomaly and Nathan Cofnas

For many on the alt-right, every grievance is, at root, about Jews. Andrew Anglin, host of the most popular alt-right/neo-Nazi website, explains: “the only thing in our movement that really matters [is] anti-Semitism.” If only the Jews were gone, he argues, the white race, freed from bondage, would immediately overcome all of its problems. Where does this attitude come from?

Jews are a conspicuous people, small in number but large in footprint. As Mark Twain wrote in 1899:

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race….Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk….What is the secret of his immortality?

For many people throughout history, the answer to Twain’s question was simple: Jews conspire among themselves to dominate and disadvantage gentiles. This answer fell out of fashion, at least in polite society, after World War II. Since the 1990s, however, the conspiratorial account of Jewish prominence has taken on a new, more meretricious form in the work of (now retired) California State University, Long Beach psychologist Kevin MacDonald, known affectionately among alt-righters as “KMac.” According to Richard Spencer, the inventor of the term “alt-right” and unofficial leader of the movement: “There is no man on the planet who has done more for the understanding of the pole around which the world revolves than Kevin MacDonald.” And: “KMac…may be the most essential man in our movement in terms of thought leader[ship].” To understand the alt-right’s anti-Semitism, we must understand MacDonald’s ideas, particularly as outlined in his most influential book, The Culture of Critique.

According to MacDonald, Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy.” Jews possess both genetic and cultural adaptations (including, on the genetic side, high IQ and ethnocentrism) that allow them to develop successful intellectual movements that undermine gentile society and promote their own group continuity. “Jewish intellectual movements,” MacDonald argues, are led by charismatic figures analogous to rabbis. They attack white nationalism while promoting Jewish nationalism, and use pseudoscience to “pathologize” anti-Semitism, which in reality is a justified response to “Jewish aggression.” According to MacDonald, Jewish intellectual movements include Freudianism, Frankfurt School critical theory, and multiculturalism. These movements, MacDonald claims, taught white gentiles to reject ethnocentrism and accept high levels of nonwhite immigration to their countries while tolerating Jewish ethnocentrism and racially restrictive immigration policies in Israel.

MacDonald’s theory and the anti-Semitism of many on the alt-right are largely reactions to the perceived liberalism of Jews. One of us (Cofnas) has just published an academic paper that examines MacDonald’s most influential book, The Culture of Critique, and finds that it is chock full of misrepresented sources, cherry-picked facts, and egregious distortions of history. MacDonald and the alt-righters are, nevertheless, correct that many liberal leaders over the last hundred years have been Jewish. We’d like to offer an explanation for this phenomenon, as well as determine whether Jewish liberalism is the cause or the result of anti-Semitism.

People who learned everything they know about history from MacDonald’s books may be under the impression that traditional gentile society was marked by “hierarchic harmony” (his term) before Jews began their intellectual assault after the Enlightenment. This is a gross distortion of history. Gentile radicals have been around for centuries, doing exactly what MacDonald thinks is characteristic of Jews. Consider Edmund Burke’s comments on European (gentile) radicals at the time of the French Revolution:

Nor is it in these clubs alone that the public measures are deformed into monsters. They undergo a previous distortion in academies, intended as so many seminaries for these clubs, which are set up in all the places of public resort. In these meetings of all sorts every counsel, in proportion as it is daring and violent and perfidious, is taken for the mark of superior genius. Humanity and compassion are ridiculed as the fruits of superstition and ignorance. Tenderness to individuals is considered as treason to the public.

The French Revolution itself was an entirely successful movement to overturn whatever “hierarchic harmony” had existed in France, and it was led by gentiles and inspired by gentile philosophers. (Many of the gentile philosophers who laid the groundwork for the Revolution, such as Voltaire, were committed anti-Semites.) Radical French thinkers like Rousseau are completely ignored by MacDonald.

MacDonald analyzes the Frankfurt School in great detail and argues that the ideology of the school was constructed to advance Jewish interests by promoting nonwhite immigration and in general undermining white culture. (MacDonald does not mention that, incidentally, many of the Frankfurt School’s fiercest critics were Jews, like Karl Popper, who mocked their work as pseudoscience.) But French existentialism was a movement that was analogous to the Frankfurt School in every important respect…except that the leaders—Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus—were white gentiles.

Sartre was a leading critic of France and America, and strongly supported nonwhite immigrants in France. The French existentialists produced radical critiques of traditional gentile society and, like the Frankfurt School, advanced pseudoscientific ideas (making demonstrably false claims about human nature and refusing to subject these claims to any test).

It is easy to find gentiles independently developing ideas virtually identical to those promoted by “Jewish intellectual movements.” MacDonald quotes Foucault’s statement: “If I had known about the Frankfurt School in time, I would have been saved a great deal of work. I would not have said a certain amount of nonsense and would not have taken so many false trails trying not to get lost, when the Frankfurt School had already cleared the way.” For MacDonald, this shows how influential the Jewish-dominated Frankfurt School was. But it also reflects the fact that, while the gentile Foucault was influenced by the Frankfurt School, he was independently thinking along the same tracks.

Still, in the past hundred years or so Jews have clearly been overrepresented among the leaders of liberal movements. They were overrepresented among communist leaders and revolutionaries, among prominent immigration advocates, and so on. Even if liberalism is not the Jewish invention that MacDonald claims it is, we still should explain why Jews appear to be disproportionately attracted to it. And is anti-Semitism a response to Jewish liberalism?—or could it be the other way around?

IQ, Persecution, and Political Identity

Mark Twain’s explanation for Jewish intellectual prominence was that “Jews have the best average brain of any people in the world.” Though they make up far less than one percent of the world’s population, Jews have comprised more than half of all world chess champions, about a quarter of Fields medalists in mathematics, and more than a fifth of all Nobel Prize winners. Social scientists have found that Ashkenazi Jews score, on average, around 110-112 on IQ tests (compared to a mean of 100).

Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, and Henry Harpending argue that high Ashkenazi IQ evolved during the Middle Ages in Europe due to gene-culture co-evolution. Prohibited from entering many blue-collar occupations like farming, Jews turned to finance, particularly money lending, to survive. Records from around the year 1270, for example, report that almost 80 percent of adult male Jews in Roussillon (what is today southern France) made their living as money lenders. Finance requires a relatively high level of verbal and mathematical intelligence, and the hypothesis is that Jews who could not cut it in business tended to drop out of the community or starve.

On Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending’s thesis, these restrictive conditions selected for verbal and mathematical intelligence, not for the ability to engage in the sort of conspiracy against gentiles described by MacDonald. If Cochran et al. are right, we would expect Jews to be overrepresented in science and in the leadership of political movements, as these are both cognitively demanding activities. There is no particular reason to expect Jews to be overrepresented only in liberal movements.

Indeed, MacDonald and other anti-Semites largely ignore the fact that Jews have been conspicuously overrepresented among the leadership of all sorts of right-wing movements: anti-communists like Herman Kahn, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller; libertarians like Milton and David Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Robert Nozick, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Israel Kirzner; traditional conservatives like Allan Bloom, David Horowitz, and Richard Posner; and Donald Trump’s senior policy advisor and perhaps the most influential anti-immigration activist in the United States, Stephen Miller.

But MacDonald seems to be right that Jews were disproportionately involved in radical leftist political movements in the twentieth century, and in the US Jews tend to vote Democrat. We think this can be explained by the high average IQ of Jews in combination with their being a persecuted minority, which has tended to push them toward political views that emphasize social toleration and the free movement of people. In other words, MacDonald reverses the correct order of causation: rather than Jews inviting persecution by advocating cosmopolitan policies that thwart the interests of Europeans, Jews advocated cosmopolitanism as a predictable response to persecution.

Persecution of Jews began for religious reasons in the Middle Ages and morphed into political persecution as Jews began to climb the social ladder, and political leaders saw them as a useful out-group to use as a scapegoat for people’s economic and social woes. For example, when Italian traders inadvertently brought the Black Plague from Asia to Europe, thousands of Jews were murdered in retaliation when Christian peasants decided that the Jews had deliberately infected them.

George Orwell understood the psychological benefits of directing disdain toward an out-group in order to foster social cohesion among an in-group. In his great novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he gives the character who would receive “two minutes of hate” every day among the proletarians a Jewish name: Goldstein. It is obvious why. Orwell’s implication was that the Soviet Union and other regimes were capitalizing on a human need to have some group to hate in order to foster loyalty and obedience to the leader of the in-group.

There is some evidence in political psychology for a correlation between high IQ and liberal political beliefs. So we might suspect that Ashkenazi Jews, with the highest average IQ in the world, would lean liberal. Interestingly, though, IQ correlates positively with classical liberalism, which emphasizes both social and economic liberty. This seems to be because those with higher intelligence tend to exhibit personality traits like openness to experience and tolerance for different ways of living. But those with higher IQ are more likely to support free-market economic policies (“liberalism” in the old sense of the word). Intelligence is required to understand how trade can be a positive sum game, and how order can emerge from individuals freely interacting with one another.

There are also obvious historical reasons why Jews would tend to gravitate toward liberal and cosmopolitan political philosophies that emphasize the protection of minority rights. In the early twentieth century, socialists rejected natural human hierarchies and urged persecuted minorities to overthrow their oppressors. To many Jews, socialism meant doing away with the legal and social barriers they had faced for more than a millennium. While socialist societies didn’t live up to their promises in practice, the values they espoused were easy for Jews to identify with. The Holocaust reinforced the feeling among Jews that nationalistic movements were dangerous, and that salvation lay in liberal cosmopolitanism.

Can MacDonald Save His Theory?

Popper’s famous criterion to distinguish science from non-science was “falsifiability.” Any legitimate scientific theory, he said, should specify some state of the world which, if it is observed, would make us logically compelled to reject the theory. One of the problems with Popper’s criterion is that there is no such thing as falsification in the strong sense that he envisaged. Any theory can be salvaged in the face of any evidence, though this may require some fanciful theorizing. In practice, we just have to use our judgement to decide which of the competing theories we are considering explains our observations in the most sensible way. As far as MacDonald goes, no single one of the numerous factual errors documented in Cofnas’s paper can be said to “falsify” his theory. Nor can any single example of right-wing Jews or radical gentiles. We just have to use our judgment to decide whether his conspiracy theory is a better explanation of Jewish liberalism than the simpler high-IQ-plus-persecution theory that we advocate.

No amount of evidence can disprove a theory. But as the influential Jewish philosophers of science Thomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos argued, eventually the number of ad hoc assumptions we have to make in order to sustain a theory in the face of counterexamples becomes so large that the theory shows itself to have no predictive or explanatory value. Maybe MacDonald has an ad hoc explanation for why the most liberal countries in Europe, which in the past few years accepted the largest number of immigrants relative to their population—Sweden and Germany—have a very small number of Jews. Maybe he has another ad hoc explanation for why Jews like Noam Chomsky are the world’s leading critics of Israel. And for why gentiles who were not under the influence of Jews, like Rousseau and Sartre and countless others over the past couple thousand years, have been political radicals. As to whether these ad hoc explanations are convincing, we will have to use our judgment.

We don’t think MacDonald will be able to rescue his hypothesis, built as it is on misrepresented sources and distortions. But for some dishonest alt-right leaders, the literal truth of his ideas is probably not that important. They need an enemy to unify their movement. There is no more convenient a people to play this role than Jews.


Navy medics embed in a Chicago hospital to get battlefield experience because the city's gun violence 'is not unlike a warzone'

Since 2014, the Navy has been operating a pilot program where they train medics for the battlefield at Chicago's Stroger Hospital
Located in one of the most violent cities in America, Stroger's trauma unit sees a lot of gunshot wounds - the type of injury Navy medics need to prepare for

This year, the Navy will be expanding the program to make it mandatory for all medics before going into action

For years, the first time many Navy medics saw their first gunshot wound was on the battlefield. Not anymore. The Navy is now expanding a program to train medics at Chicago's Stroger Hospital.

Because Chicago has been plagued recently by a spike in violent crimes, the hospital's trauma unit sees more than its fair share of gunshot wounds, creating an environment not unlike the battlefields of the middle east. 

'The experience here can't be replicated elsewhere, unless you have a major land invasion,' Dr. Faran Bokhari, who chairs the trauma & burn surgery unit at the hospital, told the Wall Street Journal in a story published Wednesday. 


Hollywood Heaps Praise on Movie Promoting Pedophilia

"Call Me By Your Name" is celebrated by Hollywood hypocrites during their #MeToo activism.   

With one single statement while hosting the Oscars, comedian Jimmy Kimmel openly admitted what any American with a pulse and an IQ above room temperature has known for years; namely, that Hollywood has declared open war against the values and sensibilities of everyday Americans.

Anyone who has watched the Oscars in recent years (and that number has seriously dwindled) has seen films nominated for Best Picture that most Americans have never even heard of, much less seen. Kimmel explained why, declaring, "We don't make films like `Call Me By Your Name' to make money. We make them to upset Mike Pence." Vice President Mike Pence, a quietly devout Christian, has become a favorite target for the anti-Christian vitriol vomited by the pro-LGBT Left.

Why such critical acclaim for a movie that earned less than $16 million nationally? Because Hollywood loathes traditional values and rejects morality, and has worked for decades to normalize sexual deviancy. Just months after (rightfully, if true) vilifying Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore for dating teenage girls while in his twenties and thirties, Hollywood heaps adulation on a movie that glamorizes almost the same thing.

"Call Me By Your Name" is the story of Elio, a 17-year-old American boy living in Italy with his parents in the summer of 1983. His father is a professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and Oliver is a 24-year-old American scholar pursuing a doctorate, who has come to Italy to serve as an intern under Elio's father. Elio becomes smitten with Oliver and pursues him romantically, and the two eventually engage in a sexual relationship under the nose of Elio's father. In the end, Elio's heart is broken when Oliver reveals he is engaged to a woman, and the relationship ends.

What is so grotesque and mind-boggling about the leftist Hollywood acclamation for this movie is that it occurs at the same time Hollywood elites are congratulating themselves for their bravery for the #MeToo movement, which has exposed a culture of rape and sexual exploitation of women and young boys by powerful men in Tinseltown.

"Call Me" normalizes and glorifies pedophilia, attempting to justify it by arguing the younger man is the pursuer, as if the adult was helpless to do anything but capitulate to the lustful advances of the boy. The movie portrays this as a beautiful coming of age story, a story of first love.

Those defending the movie (and the underlying question of morality) point out that Elio is 17, and therefore above the legal age of consent. Yet if we change the sex of the youth from male to female, is this not the exact exploitation of power and influence that the #MeToo movement rages against? Young women essentially selling themselves to powerful male producers and directors for personal gain? So why pursue this narrative in the movie?

Again, it's about normalizing deviancy. As writer Chad Felix Greene, who is homosexual, laments, "This film has now entrenched in gay male culture and validated the idea that a teenage minor is not only entitled to his sexual impulses but should be celebrated for pursuing them at all costs. It positions the reluctant older man as demonstrating kindness and compassion to the intense desires of the younger man by giving into and indulging his impulses and manufactures a fantasy of true and powerful love resulting. It tells a generation of men in their 20's and older that pursing sexual relationships with teenagers is not only beautiful and empowering to the younger partner, but perfectly acceptable as long as it is legal."

For the Left, maturity and autonomy are shifting sands. The Left argues that elementary-age school children should be taught the intricacies of various types of sexual behavior, and girls as young as 13 should be able to have abortions without parental notification or consent. They argue that our youth are mature enough to vote and have a voice in advancing gun control laws. Yet they also argue that our youth should be banned from owning a firearm, that they should be able to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26, and that they should not be subject to the death penalty as punishment for heinous murders because their brains are not full developed.

Emotional immaturity and impressionability is exactly why the pro-LGBT, pro-pedophilia Left is pushing this theme, especially with the youth. This is not some conjured conspiracy theory of the Religious Right; this is the open declaration of the Left. They are seeking to indoctrinate our children into the LGBT agenda, and "the younger the better." These are not just angry campus activists screaming to silence conservatives, these are millionaires and billionaires pushing the LGBT agenda in order to "punish the wicked" Christians.

It should come as no surprise that the three men who started the transgender movement - which includes Alfred Kinsey, the sexologist celebrated by the Left - were all pedophilia activists.

Hollywood is infested with sexual predators who are tirelessly working to normalize and legalize their predatory, sexually deviant behavior. When they are exposed, they use faux victimization as a shield to deflect criticism and anger, as Kevin Spacey did by "coming out" as homosexual when it was revealed that he had sexually assaulted multiple boys.

Keep this in mind as you watch Hollywood praise those who glorify pedophilia, and seek to destroy the morals and values that strengthen individuals, the family, and by extension, the nation.


Australia: Must not mention child abuse in Aboriginal families

The usual unbalanced response to the issue is coming from the Leftist Aboriginal industry.  The official policy is to leave abused black children with their families and if that does not work the kid is left with other black families, usually relatives. Where all that has been tried the kid may in rare cases be fostered by a white family. 

Adoption is usually considered only as a last resort.  Of the four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children adopted between 2016 and 2017, three went to white families, according to government figures.

The protesters act as if the latest call is to place ALL abused black kids with whites, which is not being proposed at all. The proposal is for the most endangered kids to be placed with white families.  There have been deaths among children whom the authorities have simply shuffled around among black families.

A protester below says: "Aboriginal children are being taken away at exponential rates and these rates have grown every year"  --  as if that exonerates the existing procedures.  Surely it in fact shows that the problem is getting worse and in need of fresh thinking

The real driver behind the protests is of course the strange leftist belief that "All men are equal". Mentioning that child abuse if rife among blacks defies that foolish gospel

[TV program] Sunrise has sparked intense backlash after a commentator suggested Indigenous children should be taken from their families

The comments were made on Tuesday morning as part of the breakast show's 'Hot Topics' segment. Samantha Armytage kicked off the discussion by bringing viewers up to speed on assistant minister for children David Gillespie calling for non-Indigenous families to adopt at-risk Aboriginal children.

"It's a no-brainer", Sunrise commentator Prue MacSween supports federal minister David Gillespie's proposal for white families to adopt at-risk Aboriginal children.

"Post-Stolen Generations there's been a huge move to leave Aboriginal children where they are, even if they're being neglected in their own families," she said.

The Sunrise co-host then asked controversial commentator Prue MacSween and Brisbane radio host Ben Davis what they thought. MacSween made headlines last year after she said she was "tempted to run over" former ABC host Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

McSween claimed there was a "fabricated PC outlook" among some people who believed it was better to leave Aboriginal children in abusive homes than have them adopted by white families.

"It's just crazy to just even contemplate that people are arguing against this," she said. "Don't worry about the people that would cry and handwring and say this would be another Stolen Generation. Just like the first Stolen Generation where a lot of people were taken because it was for their wellbeing... we need to do it again, perhaps."

The comments have been slammed as false and misleading by prominent members of the Indigenous community.

South Sea Islander and Darumbal journalist Amy McQuire said the two minute segment was "packed [with] so many mistruths". "The idea that Aboriginal children are not being placed in white families is a lie," she wrote. "The greater lie is that Aboriginal children are not being taken away and are being kept in dangerous situations for fear of a 'stolen generation'.

"That does not gel with the statistics: Aboriginal children are being taken away at exponential rates and these rates have grown every year since Kevin Rudd gave his apology to the Stolen Generations and promised it would never happen again."

Black Comedy's Nakkiah Lui, meanwhile, has accused Sunrise of "bottom-feeding off people's pain". "If you're talking about the removal of Aboriginal children from their families, communities and culture, maybe speak to Aboriginal children, families and adults that have been affected," she wrote. "Not white people who have zero knowledge."



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

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

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


Friday, March 16, 2018

Dear Sadiq Khan

The mayor of London used a speech in the US to read out six abusive tweets, saying he “could go on and on”, as he accused the government of a “dereliction of duty” for leaving big technology companies unregulated. Addressing the South by Southwest technology conference in Austin, Texas, Khan said he was not listing the messages in order to be portrayed as a victim, or to ask for sympathy

By Shazia

Dear Mr Khan,

You have used one of my tweets in your speech at the Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, accusing me of hate speech. When I constantly receive so called hate speech from the Muslim community, the very community that is being protected under the guise of `hate speech,' which has actualised into threats to my person whereby I live with a panic button and a personal alarm, both provided by the police. I live under this constant threat and for asking you a valid question about FGM you have endangered me further.

I am a woman who has experienced the brutality of a forced marriage in which I was vaginally and anally raped for the best part of three years. I speak out in order to give a voice to those who still live under this.

And while you are using the narrative of hate speech to silence people like me, young Muslim women, men and in fact anyone who lives under the harmful cultural practices of Islam find themselves further isolated and unable to talk about what is going on in the community.

I also raise awareness on the rape of Muslim children by Muslim men. We both know this is a huge problem in the community and that honour and shame stops many from speaking out and even fewer from reporting this horrific crime against children.

Rather than encourage growth, integration and harmony in the community you are being divisive for who knows what reason.

Thanks for naming me as a hate preacher, alt right and far right, of which I am neither, and giving all those who allegedly suffer from mental health issues ammunition to come after me. Unlike yourself I am a vulnerable woman from the minorities and do not have the security of 24/7 protection.

You won't silence my voice though; I too am the daughter of a Pakistani bus driver and not just the gori's [white person] daughter.


Child sex abuse: Sarah Champion MP says 'consider race and culture'

A fear of being called racist is preventing authorities investigating the reasons behind child abuse cases, an MP has claimed. Rotherham MP Sarah Champion was speaking after 17 men were convicted of forcing girls in Newcastle to have sex.

Mostly British-born, they are from Iraqi, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Iranian and Turkish communities.

Ms Champion said asking if there were "cultural issues" was simply "child protection".

Northumbria Police said society "can't be afraid to have this discussion".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Champion, Labour's shadow women and equalities minister, said gang-related child sexual exploitation involves "predominately Pakistani men" who were involved in such cases "time and time and time again".

"The government aren't researching what is going on. Are these cultural issues? Is there some sort of message going out within the community?" she said.

Ms Champion said the "far right" would attack her comments for "not doing enough" and the "floppy left" would call her racist.

"This isn't racist, this is child protection," said the MP for Rotherham, where at least 1,400 children were found to have been exploited between 1997 and 2013.

'White girls worthless'

The issue was not being dealt with because "people are more afraid to be called a racist than they are afraid to be wrong about calling out child abuse", Ms Champion said.

Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation said the debate needed putting in context. "Amongst these criminals there is a mindset that they think that white girls are worthless," he said.

"They don't have any regard for their standing within society and therefore they think they can be used and abused in that way.

"But the vast majority of child sex abuse carried out in this country is carried out by white men - through the home, through family networks and through the internet."

Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman said the force did not ask about religious background on arrest.

As those arrested under Operation Sanctuary were from a number cultural backgrounds, "who do I point that finger towards to say you have an issue here, culturally?" he said.

Some communities' attitude to "women, principally white women" needed addressing, he said. "But the discussion has to take place beyond policing."

Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald said there had been a reluctance in the past to investigate gangs from some Asian communities targeting vulnerable white girls.

"Some recognition that this is a problem" was needed, he said.

All communities needed to address it, "not pretending it's something else, not shying away from it, recognising it for what it is, which is profoundly racist crime", he said.


Jordan Peterson on corporate virtue signalling

Clinical psychologist, author, professor and easy-on-the-eye cultural critic, Jordan B. Peterson, took a break from his sold out speaking tour to chat with Miranda Devine. 

He had some sage words of advice for the likes of Qantas, Telstra, PWC, KPMG et al:

"People who are doing this at the corporate level will rapidly get their comeuppance . If you're operating within a capitalist environment like let's say the executives and management of Qantas, who are being paid disproportionately well, you don't also get to be a social radical. And you don't get to salve your conscience for receiving a pay cheque that's 300 times the pay cheque of the average worker by pretending you're a social revolutionary. It's an appalling sleight of hand.

"In addition, you don't get to invite the radical leftists into your corporate utopia without opening the door to a major fifth column. If you are naive enough to think that the demand of the radicals for the transformation of your company is going to end with a few requests for language transformation then you're a complete bloody fool.

"It's staggering to me to watch the corporate elite types kowtow to the radical Marxists. They do it to virtue signal or because they're feeling guilty or maybe because they're facing genuine pressure and don't want to stand up against it. But they're playing a game that will punish them intensely."

"In the early 1970s when it became absolutely untenable for anyone with any moral intellectual pretensions to be on the side of the Communists . the same doctrine went underground and transmuted into this postmodern dogma that completely dominates the humanities and social science end of the university curriculum and increasingly plays a determinative role in the legislative process at every level of government in the West. It's the same old wolf in new sheep's clothing.

Isn't it curious that corporate heavyweights never virtue-signal about issues such as national security, energy prices, crime or homegrown terrorism; it's always some topic high on the Leftist agenda.

Companies should focus on serving their client base, taking care of their employees and increasing value for their shareholders and avoid becoming entangled in contentious social and political issues that can alienate existing and potential stakeholders.


Racist HuffPo
The HuffPost Opinion section made it a personal goal to limit the amount of white writers contributing to its pages, according to one opinion editor.

HuffPost Deputy Opinion Editor Chloe Angyal explained the opinion section focused on the goal of lifting up writers of color and making sure less than 50 percent of the writers are white.

Angyal also said she kept tally of the numbers throughout the month to ensure the opinion page was staying on track in ensuring the representation of minority, trans and gender non-binary writers was on track.

"This is definitely 100% how it works, mate," Angyal responded when a Twitter commenter asked her if the policy meant qualified white writers were passed over for other writers.

The editor in chief for HuffPost did not return request for comment in time for publication.



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

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

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


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bill That Protects Freedom of Those for and Against Same-Sex Marriage Angers Some on Left

Sen. Mike Lee has introduced a religious freedom bill that is designed to protect Americans who believe in traditional marriage from punishment by the government.

“What an individual or organization believes about the traditional definition of marriage is not—and should never be—a part of the government’s decision-making process when distributing licenses, accreditations, or grants,” Lee, R-Utah, said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

The newly introduced version is different from the original version, introduced in 2015, in that it also includes protections for “those who support any federal legal definition of marriage between two people, including same-sex marriage,” CNN reported.

Lee says his bill, reintroduced Thursday, would help protect Americans from being penalized for their religious beliefs.

“The First Amendment Defense Act simply ensures that this will always be true in America—that federal bureaucrats will never have the authority to require those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage to choose between their living in accordance with those beliefs and maintaining their occupation or their tax status,” Lee said.

Groups on the left have attacked the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Ian Thompson, a legislative representative, said the bill would promote “taxpayer-funded discrimination.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s Sarah Warbelow told CNN of the change to the legislation: “It appears to be a false attempt or a failed attempt to make this legislation constitutional by making it seem they’re not just targeting LGBTQ people.”

Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, which works to “secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide,” was similarly negative.

“Any changes made to this bill can’t hide its true animus: to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people,” Davis told CNN.

Emilie Kao, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that she believes the legislation would provide protection for those who believe in traditional marriage as well as those who believe differently.

“Sen. Lee has introduced much-needed legislation to protect the freedom to act according to the view that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Kao said. “Even though the Supreme Court described this view as ‘decent and honorable’ in Obergefell v. Hodges, we have seen a wave of litigation against people who hold a belief that has been shared by people around the world for millennia. In a pluralistic society, there should be room for civil disagreement on marriage.”


Abortion Advocates Can’t Stand It: Need More Proof the Mexico City Policy Works?

When abortion advocates complain about a policy morning, noon, and night—that’s a win!

Many rituals are associated with Inauguration Day in the United States: the Oath of Office, inaugural balls, and Washington-area residents whose party lost the election listing their homes on Airbnb, just to name a few. And then there’s a lesser-known ritual that’s just as established but even more important: the argument over the Mexico City Policy.

First instituted in 1984 by Ronald Reagan, the Mexico City Policy derives its name from the venue of that year’s U.N. conference on “Population and Development.”  The policy states that, as a condition of receiving federal funds, non-governmental organizations agree they will “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”

Every time the White House changes party hands, the Mexico City Policy also changes. Like clockwork. So when Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama move in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they rescind the Mexico City Policy. When Republicans like George Bush and Donald Trump come to town, they restore the policy in some form.

Each time the policy is restored, abortion advocates start wringing their hands, warning that the U.S. is putting women’s lives at risk. They cite figures about deaths from “preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.” And recently, they’ve claimed that the latest iteration of the policy is forcing organizations to choose between treating HIV/AIDS and providing “life-saving reproductive health services.”

It’s not clear, of course, how in the world a policy specifically directed at abortion prevents anyone from addressing real health issues. And they conveniently omit the fact that the policy specifically exempts referrals in cases of “rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the woman.”

As Elisha Dunn-Georgiou of Population Action International, recently acknowledged, “the policy does not reduce U.S. funding for health or family planning.” But it does take money from what she calls “the most competent providers of ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’”—that is, pro-abortion advocacy groups like hers or Planned Parenthood.

So what’s really behind the dire warnings that accompany the reinstatement of the policy is funding. Groups that equate “women’s health” with “abortion rights” attack the Mexico City policy as a “health threat,” even if the only real threat is to their own bottom line.

But there’s also another reason for the hand-wringing over the Mexico City policy, one that even critics have been forced to admit: it’s a policy that works! The policy has forced non-governmental organizations to decide whether their priority is going to be abortion advocacy or women’s health.

In the process, local people are questioning why so many foreigners and government officials consistently present abortion as a solution to all of their problems, when the U.S. government does not support it?

Well, here’s why.  First, abortion really isn’t a solution for women’s health. The all-too-many deaths from pregnancy-and childbirth-related causes in developing nations have little to do with legalizing abortion, a point critics of the policy seem intent on obscuring.

Second, because Christian institutions provide one-third of the medical care in Africa, and they want to promote health, physical and spiritual, not a “culture of death.” That’s why they support the Mexico City Policy.

On the other hand, we shouldn’t be a bit surprised that groups like Planned Parenthood hate it. It denies their funding, and directly challenges their deep, historic, and ideological commitment to abortion on demand.

Which is why denying them funding overseas is a positive development. Now if we could only find a way to deny that funding here at home.


Hollywood Admits It Hates Heartland Values
I was disappointed but not surprised that Tyler Perry’s “Boo 2” and “Let There be Light” were not nominated for an Oscar. The films that my friends and family enjoy watching are typically overlooked by the Hollywood elites.

For whatever reason the folks who play make-believe for a living prefer their cinema to be a bit more provocative.

“The Shape of Water” won the 2018 Oscar for Best Picture. It’s the story of an inter-species romance between a mute woman and a half-man/half-fish creature who lives in an aquarium.

It’s a movie about embracing others. Consider Vox’s description of the movie’s only villain: “an angry, bitter, cruel boss-man who’s certain of his own superiority to everyone who isn’t a white man like himself, and whose religion hasn’t helped him learn anything like love.”

“Call Me By Your Name” also won an Oscar. It’s the story of a “romance” between a 24-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy.

“Variety” heralded the film as “the lyrical sensations of erotic and emotional discovery.” The Los Angeles Daily News called it “refreshingly fun, erotic, non-judgmental and both intellectually and emotionally smart.” And the Los Angeles Times declared it “a powerfully erotic and affecting love story.”

For some context, Fox News reports a 23-year-old North Carolina school teacher was arrested in 2017 for having a “romantic” relationship with a 17-year-old boy.

What Hollywood calls a love story the police would call a sex crime.

So why is there a disconnect between the films that tug at the heartstrings of the heartland and the vulgar offerings churned out by Hollywood?

“Out of the nine best picture nominees, only two made more than $100 million. That’s not the point,” Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel explained. “We don’t make films like ‘Call Me By Your Name’ for money. We make them to upset [Vice President] Mike Pence.”

Oh, so they’re doing it on purpose. They are intentionally flaunting their contempt for our values and basic human decency. In other words, Hollywood wants you to fork over 20 bucks to have a radical agenda shoved down your throat.

That’s why one of Hollywood’s most celebrated movies promoted man-boy pedophilia and the other was about a woman who had sex with a fish.

And it wonders why America would rather stay home, pop a bowl of extra buttery Orville Redenbacher and watch a “Last Man Standing” marathon.


America Is the Best Place in History for Racial Minorities

Dennis Prager   

At the City College of New York in the late 1930s, my father, an Orthodox Jew, wrote his senior class thesis on anti-Semitism in America.

He delineated common realities of the era, such as Jews’ admission to law firms, country clubs and colleges being denied or restricted, and various other manifestations of popular and institutional anti-Semitism.

Yet he taught his two sons—my older brother and me—to believe that we, as Americans, were the luckiest Jews in Jewish history.

With the obvious exception of Jews living in Israel, he was right. I can state this with some authority, having written a book on anti-Semitism and taught Jewish history at Brooklyn College.

Despite the existence of anti-Semites and anti-Semitism in America, American Jews are indeed among the luckiest Jews in Jewish history. Even with the re-establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel, many more Israeli Jews have moved to America than American Jews have moved to Israel.

This is not a reflection on Israel, which is a country with a high quality of life that is an unparalleled blessing in Jewish life; rather, it is a reflection on America and how good it is for Jews.

Likewise, despite the existence of racists and racism in America, black Americans are among the luckiest blacks in the world. A distinguished black journalist, Keith Richburg of the Washington Post, fully acknowledged the horror and cruelties of slavery. Nevertheless, he thanked God his ancestors made it possible for him to be born and live in America, not Africa.

After covering Africa for the Washington Post, Richburg put it this way in his newspaper: “Let me drop the charade and put it as simply as I can: There but for the grace of God go I.”

Somewhere, sometime, maybe 400 years ago, an ancestor of mine whose name I’ll never know was shackled in leg irons, kept in a dark pit … and then put with thousands of other Africans into the crowded, filthy cargo hold of a ship for the long and treacherous journey across the Atlantic. Many of them died along the way, of disease, of hunger. But my ancestor survived … He was ripped away from his country and his family, forced into slavery somewhere in the Caribbean.

Then one of his descendants somehow made it up to South Carolina, and one of those descendants, my father, made it to Detroit during the Second World War, and there I was born, 36 years ago. And if that original ancestor hadn’t been forced to make that horrific voyage, I would not have been standing there that day on the Rusumo Falls bridge, a journalist—a mere spectator—watching the bodies glide past me like river logs.

… And so I thank God my ancestor made that voyage. … I empathize with Africa’s pain. I recoil in horror at the mindless waste of human life, and human potential. I salute the gallantry and dignity and sheer perseverance of the Africans. But most of all, I feel secretly glad that my ancestor made it out—because, now, I am not one of them.

That is why millions of Africans prefer to live in America than anywhere else. That is why more than 2 million Africans immigrated to the United States in the recent past (compared with the 388,000 who came as slaves).

Unlike the many Americans—black and white—who believe the leftist libel about America oppressing blacks and all other nonwhites, the millions of Africans who want to come to America know how lucky they would be to be a black in America, as do the millions who already live here. They know they are, or would be, among the luckiest blacks in the world.

And what about Latin Americans? Like American Jews and American blacks, they are among the luckiest Latinos in the world. How could they or anyone else deny this given the fact that tens of millions of Latin Americans left their families, friends, culture, language, and very homes to live in America? And given the fact that tens of millions more ache to do the same?

What kind of lie must a person embrace to flee to a peaceful, prosperous country whose people treat him generously and beautifully and not think he is lucky to live there?

And, finally, there are the many white Americans—people born and raised in America, many of whose ancestors also fled war, poverty, and oppression in Europe—who not only deny how lucky they are to live in America but also vilify the founders of America who made their blessed life possible. Their attitude transcends mere lying; it enters the realm of pathology.



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

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

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


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hillary disrespects American women

Hillary took part in the India Today Conclave over the weekend and her contempt showed.  No conservative would go as far as she did in her downgrading of women.  Conservatives tend to like women -- even love them -- but Hillary just despises them. But she is a feminist!  A hater, more likely

Former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton let loose in a conversation with the India Today Conclave over the weekend, calling Trump voters and residents of heartland states 'backwards," telling the audience that Americans "didn’t like black people getting rights," and "didn't like women," and claiming that white women only voted for Trump because they were told to do so by their husbands.

Clinton waited until she was well overseas to give the shocking speech, rehashing some of her greatest hits into a single, televised rant, delivered largely to an audience of Indians gathered for the innovation conference.

Asked about the 52% of white women who voted for Donald Trump in the Presidential election, despite being faced with the possibility of having the first woman President in American history, Clinton did not concede that women could have voted based on their own political preferences. Rather, the failed Democratic candidate claimed that white women were under the spell of their husbands, fathers, and sons, who forced them to pull the lever for Donald Trump.

"We do not do well with white men and we don’t do well with married, white women,” Clinton told the audience, about the Democratic Party. “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

Yep. That's right. A majority of white women in America are merely the pawns of their male betters, the willing tools of a massive Patriarchal conspiracy that sought to keep Clinton out of the White House because she happened to be a woman.

That's not all though. Clinton went on to claim that then-FBI director James Comey, now a liberal hero, destroyed her "momentum," and "decreased my vote," when he suddenly re-opened an investigation into her mishandling of classified information just days before the November election.

At some point, Clinton's habit of excusing her campaign performance simply because pathological. She no longer accepts any rational explanation for her loss that is at odds with her own carefully curated reality, and she'll likely carry these same explanations with her to her deathbed, always believing that America was too backwards, to brutish, and too misogynistic to see the paradise she promised.


Gun-Control Activist Finds Picture of ‘Scary’ Gun… Silenced After Learning What She Really Posted

An airhead

Gun control activists have been doing their worst again in recent weeks, demonizing law-abiding gun owners and the National Rifle Association as they seek to undermine and infringe upon the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms.

As such, they are also pushing yet another legislative attempt to ban “assault weapons,” a made-up term that essentially constitutes any sort of firearm that looks like something the military would use, but in actuality is a standard semi-automatic firearm with certain cosmetic features, of which there are millions upon millions in common use.

Unfortunately for them, their fear and loathing when it comes to firearms runs so deep that they can’t even keep straight what kinds of weapons they claim they do and don’t want to ban — likely because they don’t even know the basics of firearms and how they operate in the first place.

Case in point is the following tweet from Shannon Watts, leader of the Bloomberg-backed Moms Demand Action gun control advocacy group, who posted a picture of a “scary” looking rifle and fretted that an 18-year-old adult could purchase one at a sporting goods store, according to The Daily Wire.

In the eyes of Watts and her small but vocal coterie of liberal moms demanding gun bans, the above rifle should be classified as an “assault weapon” and ripped from the hands of law-abiding citizens, largely because of its black “tactical” appearance that resembles a military-issue firearm.

But in reality, the gun Watts is apparently so fearful of is nothing more than a bolt-action .22 long rifle caliber firearm, the sort of firearm that legions of gun owners learned to shoot with and grew up around as children. Deadly with a well-placed shot, yes, but still barely a step above a BB gun, and largely suitable for target practice or hunting small game like rabbits and gophers.


Why More Men Than Ever View Marriage as a Bad Deal

Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a revolutionary change in the way marriage works in America.

In your great-grandparents’ heyday, relationships were more about raising a family and making a living than love. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any love involved; it just means the motivations were often a little different than they are today. Women wanted to get out from under the same roof as their parents and have kids. When a woman found a decent man who treated her well and seemed like he could provide for her and her children, that was often enough of a foundation to build a marriage. After all, the country was much poorer then, so her parents couldn’t necessarily support her and she didn’t have a lot of job options. A husband was the best financial option most women had back then.

Today, most women can take care of themselves and those who can’t have the federal government helping them, so they don’t NEED a man to take care of them financially. Combine this with the fact that financial opportunities for uneducated and unskilled men are dramatically reduced from the pre-shipping container/pre-computer age and marriage has been forever changed. That male dockworker can no longer support a family by himself and even if the wealthier, more educated female executive were to marry him (and she probably wouldn’t because he has less status than she does), the marriage would be far less stable because financial need wouldn’t hold them together.

This has a lot to do with why divorce happened much less frequently in the past. Not only was it a little scandalous to get divorced, a woman had a lot more worries about how to pay her bills if she decided to go her own way. That combination of financial need and social stigma held people together. Consider that “the 1967 crude (divorce) rate was 8.7 times as large as that for 1867” and it becomes obvious that marriage was a much more certain bet for previous generations of Americans.

As the need for financial security has fallen away, “love” has become the primary motivator of people who want to marry. The problem with that is that love can be one fickle b*tch.

For most people, that hot, passionate love driven by hormones that makes you crazy for someone else typically doesn’t last forever. Additionally, as people say, “familiarity breeds contempt.” When a woman is on year three of sex with the same person, she just picked his stained underwear off the floor again and what she thought were cute little idiosyncrasies early on have started to get on her nerves, “love” has turned out to be a much less effective cement than financial necessity. That’s very important because almost 70 percent of the time the woman is the one who files for divorce.

Given that we have a justice system that rewards women and punishes men at every opportunity during and after a divorce, it’s no surprise that women are more likely to be the ones ending the marriage. Courts heavily side with women over men when it comes to custody of the children. Chances are if you’re a man in a battle for custody, you’re going to lose and then you’re going to be forced to pay through the nose for the privilege of not getting to spend as much time with your kids as you like. Speaking of which, financially, the courts still act as if we’re in the thirties. Certainly, there could be a situation where a significant alimony payment would be the only fair solution, but that should be a fairly rare occurrence in this day and age.

Imagine a secretary who makes $30,000 a year who marries a CEO making 10 million dollars a year. Five years later, they get divorced. How much does she deserve? Most women would say “half.” At least “half” of what he made while they were together. The honest answer a lot of men would give you would be “nothing.” You know how much she contributed to the man’s success in his career? Nothing of significance. How much is she worth in the working world after the marriage? About the same as she was before, plus she’s had the advantage of having her much richer husband buy her things for years that she’ll take with her. Do you know what he should owe her in that situation after five years of marriage that didn’t work out in the end? Nothing, just like she owes him.

Yet and still, in many states, her husband would be expected to keep her living in the “style to which she has become accustomed.” This is exactly the reason that any MAN WHO ALREADY HAS MONEY is crazy if he doesn’t insist on a prenuptial contract before a wedding. Is that romantic? No, but neither is giving a woman who hates your guts half your money. Does it imply you’re not 100 percent sure the marriage will last? Yes, it does, but in a world where divorce is so common, no one can really be sure a marriage will last anymore. You can claim otherwise if you like, but you’re just whistling past the graveyard. I’ve known women who divorced a husband because he lost his job and had trouble finding another one; because she wanted to relive her party years at 35 years old with two kids; because she decided her husband wasn’t manly enough; it goes on and on and on. What I am telling you is that there are no guarantees and your sweet, reasonable honey who loves you to death may decide she wants out of the marriage and turn into a monster once she has a lawyer whispering in her ear during the divorce. Guess what? Usually, the guy never sees it coming.

This can lead to a situation where you’re paying for the lifestyle of a woman who doesn’t want to be with you anymore and is using your kids as a weapon against you while you struggle financially. I know more than one man who has been in this situation. Almost every man does these days. Some people would tell you that’s just the price of marriage. “Hey, if she’s not worth that, then don’t get married.” But how often does the opposite situation happen? How often is a woman stuck paying the bills for her ex-husband while he has the kids after he decided he “just wasn’t in love” anymore? I’ve never heard of a situation like that, although I’m sure it has probably happened. This is an enormous risk that marriage entails for men, but generally not for women.

You also can’t underestimate the impact of having reliable female birth control and women pursuing their careers. Between college and many women trying to climb the career ladder, marriages are occurring later than ever. There was a time in American history when 80% of people were married by 21. That is no longer true.

Barely half of all adults in the United States—a record low—are currently married, and the median age at first marriage has never been higher for brides (26.5 years) and grooms (28.7), according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.
In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years.

The longer you wait to get married, the less of a chance there is that the marriage will produce children. Take the potential of having children out of the equation and marriage is even less appealing to many men. Keep in mind that single women can now easily avoid pregnancy and have become much more promiscuous than they used to be. Does that mean every single guy is getting laid left and right? Not at all, but it does mean that sex is much more available to the average single man than it was 100 years ago. In other words, even if a man never gets married, he doesn’t have to forego sex. In fact, he has the opportunity to have sex with multiple women, an attractive proposition to most men that would be denied to him if he were married. On top of that, he doesn’t have to take on any burdens. He’s not financially responsible for his girlfriend. He doesn’t have to take care of the kid she had with another guy five years ago. There’s no potential for a brutal divorce if things don’t work out. Typically, women are the ones who grew up dreaming of the perfect wedding and the commitment that followed. Most men just grew up dreaming of having sex with beautiful women.

At one time, those two fantasies had to merge. When our society was less promiscuous, the man needed to get married to have regular access to sex. He got what he wanted and she got what she wanted. Is that still true today? The numbers say “No.”

Back in the early 1990s, the average American had sex about 60 to 62 times per year, but that number dropped to less than 53 times per year by 2014. Among married couples specifically, the drop was even more dramatic - from about 73 times per year in 1990 to 55 in 2014. This actually brings the sex lives of married couples below people who've never been married, who have sex about 59 times per year as of 2014.

So if you’re a man, getting married may very well mean LESS SEX and with the same woman instead of potentially sleeping with multiple women. It also means risking a soul-ripping divorce where the court system will be stacked against you. Oh, and don’t even mention the old, “Getting married? Wow, I’ll be treated like a king!” fantasy that men had once. Today, you’re more likely to be treated to demands that you do half the weekly housework.

When you look at that sort of thing, it’s easy to understand why some men are simply opposed to marriage. I am not one of those men, but I will tell you the scales have tipped too far against men in marriage. By that, I mean that unless something changes that shifts the institution of marriage back onto more favorable ground for men, marriage will have great difficulty recovering in America. Since marriage is one of the most important building blocks of a successful society, that’s something none of us should want.


Britain's odd housing regulations

Restricting whether you can build, rather than what, drives up prices

Matt Ridley

Sajid Javid, the Housing (etc) secretary, is right – and brave -- to go on the warpath about Britain’s housing crisis in his new national planning framework, to be launched today. Britain’s housing costs are absurdly high by international standards: eight times average earnings in England, 15 in London. A mortgage deposit that took a few years to earn in the early 1990s can now take somebody decades to earn. Average rents in the UK are almost 50% higher than average rents in Germany, France and crowded Holland.

Britain really is an outlier in this respect. Knightsbridge has overtaken Monaco in rental levels. Wealthy, crowded Switzerland has falling house prices and lower rents than Britain. Over recent decades, most things people buy have become more affordable – food, clothing, communication – and the cost of building a house has come down too. Yet the price you pay for it in Britain, either as a buyer or a tenant, has gone up and up.

Speculation exacerbates the problem. British people, and foreign investors here, borrow money to invest in housing on the generally valid assumption that it will rise in value. This distorts our economy, diverting funds from more productive investments and exacerbating labour shortages in expensive places like London and Cambridge.

The fastest take-off in house prices relative to earnings has been in the last two decades, when cheap money has further fuelled the house-price spiral, rewarding the haves at the expense of the have-nots. The high cost of housing is by far the biggest contributor to inequality. The reason some people have to turn to food banks is not because of high food prices, but because of high housing costs. It is a rich irony that the Attlee government’s town and country planning act of 1947 is probably as responsible as anything for the continuing prosperity of most dukes.

But seeking out profiteers misses the point. At root of the problem is supply and demand. Britain restricts the supply of housing through its planning system far more tightly than other countries. That keeps prices going up, enabling developers, landlords and speculative buyers to make gains. We are building not much more than half as many houses each year as France, despite a faster population growth rate, and a quarter as many as Japan.

So why is British planning so restrictive? Until 1947 Britain regulated house building in most cities the same way other countries did: by telling people what they could build, rather than whether they could build. As Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets told a recent conference at the Legatum Institute, in the centuries following the Great Fire of 1666, “There was a series of pieces of legislation that set down very tight parameters: ratio of street width to street height, the fire treatment of windows etc. That is how most of Europe still manages planning. They have not taken away your right to build a building.”

Britain switched to deregulating what you could build, but nationalized whether you could build, by adopting a system of government planning, in which permission to build was determined by officials responding to their own estimate of “need”. This brought great uncertainty to the system, because planning permission now depended on the whims of planners, the actions of rivals and the representations of objectors. Today local plans are often years out of date if they exist at all, and are vast, unwieldy documents, opaque to ordinary citizens and subject to endless legal challenge and revision.

This makes Britain both far more subject to centralized command and control and far more dominated by big corporations than other countries. It is a good example of how socialism and crony capitalism go hand in hand. Barriers to entry erected by planning play into the hands of large companies and make it hard for small, innovative competitors to take them on. In turn, this leads developers to produce unimaginative, repetitive designs to get the best return on their huge investment in land and permission.

Getting planning permission to build houses in Britain requires you to spend big sums on consultants, lawyers, lobbyists and public relations experts, as you wear down the councils’ planning teams and their ever growing lists of questions over several years. Not that the two sides to such debates are really antagonists: it is more like a symbiosis, a dance in which both sides benefit, because the fees to be earned by everybody from ecologists to economists are rich. And that is because at the end of the process the reward can be huge: a 100-fold uplift or more in the value of a field that gets turned into housing.

As a property owner, I have experience of this system and, I freely admit, a vested interest in it. I should be arguing for it, rather than against. However frustrating planning authorities can be, the rewards they bring to property owners can be large, either through upward pressure on prices and rents by their restrictions on permissions, or through uplifts in the value of land zoned for development.

Our mostly centralised taxes make things worse. In Switzerland, cantons compete for the local taxes that residential property owners pay, encouraging them to agree promptly to building bids, whereas here development brings headaches for local councils in providing infrastructure and services, only partly redressed with “section 106” agreements that make developers pay for schools and roads.

The system also creates opportunities for nimbyism on a greater scale than elsewhere. Opposing new development because it blocks your view, increases congestion on the roads and crowds the doctor’s surgery and local school, is rational everywhere. But it is much easier to organize a protest when the decisions are taken by council officials and the permissions are for big projects, rather than where many small decisions to build are taken by many dispersed owners and builders.

If Sajid Javid is to succeed in revolutionizing Britain’s housing market, he must tackle the underlying causes. Rent control, help-to-buy, affordable housing mandates and bearing down on developers’ land banks mostly address the symptoms. Forcing councils to set higher targets for house building is a start, but if he were to succeed in unleashing a building boom across the country sufficient to bring down house prices he would create a debt crisis among those with negative equity. So it will not be easy to cure Britain’s addiction to property, but he must try.



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

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

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