Friday, October 20, 2017





If Noah had lived in our century...








Babies develop racial bias as young as six months old, study shows

Learning to discriminate is an essential part of human life -- and that includes discriminating between different people

Before they're even old enough to walk, babies have racist tendencies, two studies found.

University of Toronto researchers found that infants as young as 6 to 9 months show racial bias — contradicting the popular view that it first emerges in a child’s preschool years. Still, bias is believed to be learned behavior.

“What this means is that we’re not really born with some kind of racial bias,” said lead researcher Kang Lee.

Lee said he believes the phenomenon is not a result of parents teaching their kids to discriminate. Instead, it’s a function of the homogenous environments in which most children grow up.

S.C. toddler explains decision to buy doll that's different race
“One very likely source of bias is our lack of exposure to other — raced individuals in the first six months of life,” said Lee, a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. “That lack of exposure sets up this bias.”

The first study found infants older than six months associate people of the same race with happy music, and those of other races with sad music. Researchers came to that conclusion after testing 193 Chinese infants, ages 3 to 9 months, who had never had direct contact with people of other races.

The babies were shown videos of six Asian women and six African women, paired with either happy or sad music. Infants less than 6 months old didn’t associate happy or sad music with members of any particular race, the study showed.

But at nine months, the babies gazed at their own-race faces paired with happy music for a longer time. They did the same for other-race faces paired with sad music, researchers found.

“This suggests that when children see an other-raced person, they already have negative associations,” Lee said.

The second study examined whether the race of an adult factors into a child’s learning skills.

Researchers showed babies videos of adults of different races either looking toward or away from photos of animals.

When the adults were looking in the direction of the animals — indicating they were reliable — the infants followed them equally regardless of race, the study found.

The same results held when the adults were looking in the wrong direction — indicating that they were unreliable.

But when the adults were only sometimes accurate, the infants were far more likely to follow the gaze of adults of the same race.

The takeaway, Lee said, is troubling: Babies are less likely to learn from people of a different race than their own.

SOURCE





Håkan Juholt: Sweden “On the way to becoming a dictatorship”

The former Socialist leader Håkan Juholt is now making sharp criticisms of social developments in Sweden, which he believes is heading for a dictatorship. He himself has moved to Iceland and does not intend to set foot in Sweden again for several years.

It is in an interview with Svenska Dagbladet that the Socialist Democrats former party leader Håkan Juholt paints a bleak picture of Sweden.

He believes that in the long run, the country will undoubtedly become a dictatorship.

– How old is your son? Four? When he is old he will not live in a democracy but in a technocracy, or a dictatorship. It’s so bad in the hell. I’m sad to say that, but I’m 100 percent confident. We are in the process of decommissioning democracy, he says to Svenska Dagbladet.

According to Juholt, tanks will not roll on the streets of the country, but the dictatorship will be more sophisticated than that.

He points out that fewer people are elected by the parties while the parties tune down their ideology. Juholt believes that Sweden’s future will be ruled by an “elite” and not by the citizens themselves.

Democracy is slipping out of the hands of Swedes, he says.

Håkan Juholt himself has been working for a while as ambassador in Iceland. He is very serious in his statements and also explains to SvD that he is not going to visit Sweden once in the next few years. He is so worried about the development here.

Håkan Juholt could today have been Sweden’s prime minister but was forced to resign as Socialist leader in January 2012 following a media campaign on parliamentary compensation for his overnight apartment in Stockholm.

SOURCE






Boy Scouts: It's Time to Look Elsewhere

Rebecca Hagelin
   
One of the finest organizations for boys used to be the Boy Scouts of America, which provided parents with amazing help in raising young men of character and responsibility.

But with the sad announcement last week that the Boy Scouts will no longer be the Boy Scouts, the organization now is going to treat boys just like another girl.

My husband and I will always be grateful for the years our sons spent in scouting and the lessons they learned on their way to achieving the Eagle Scout rank.

In addition to the hard work and community service required in scouting, the camping, camaraderie and sometimes goofiness that occur when a bunch of boys hang out together were a real hoot to observe.

I’ll always cherish the magical years of watching my husband and the other patient Scout leaders corral the often scatterbrained, hormone-driven, hysterically funny boys as they learned to focus and complete manly tasks. Awards ceremonies for individual achievement of various milestones were punctuated by the expressions of pride on the young, freshly scrubbed faces as little men stood at attention and received their patches and pins.

By doing manly things, boys became manly in their own minds, a critical component in actually becoming a man. The Scout program was successful because it helped boys truly believe that manliness was something to be achieved and treasured.

Sorry folks, but you just can’t do that when you throw a bunch of girls into the mix.

The “manly” things they did, like learning to find their way out of a dense forest with only a compass in hand, build a fire from twigs and stones, and dress themselves in a clean uniform subject to inspection, were coming-of-age rituals designed to make boys learn to be independent.

Yes, yes, yes, of course girls can learn to do those things too. But there’s something really special and important about guys roughing it on a camping trip and jumping from rope swings into a swimming hole without having to worry about what the girls might be thinking.

The major focus of Boy Scout instruction has been on the impressionable years of 11 to 16, when minds and hearts immersed in goodness, adventure and the company of men who fully embrace their masculinity can mold a boy into someone he could be proud of becoming. The opposite of today’s politically correct little cabal, a Scout troop was the crucible where a boy became a man.

And not just any ‘ol man, but a man with the character traits that our nation and families need. Consider the Boy Scout Law, enforced in every activity and which boys were required to memorize and live by in order to advance. It is a recipe for creating a chivalrous man if ever there was one: “A Boy Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

Reflect for a moment on the Boy Scout Oath, which I’m willing to bet anyone who spent even a year as a Boy Scout can still recite to this day:

“On my honor, I will do my best
"To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
"To help other people at all times;
"To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

Several years ago, however, the Scouts abandoned its time-honored principles of teaching fidelity and helping support boys to be “morally straight” when it decided to open its troops to openly homosexual leaders and students.

When the BSA decided to become “politically correct” by pandering to the homosexual activists and abandoning its principles and the families that believe in them, it was only a matter of time that it would decide to further destroy the mission of the organization by allowing girls in too.

Of course, the next step will be the removal of a pledge to God and country. Believe me, it’s coming.

Those who seek a genderless, homogenous society where everyone and every group is forced to be the same are celebrating the demise of the Boy Scouts.

But for parents who still strive to help their boys grow into men and their girls grow into women, and to celebrate the beautiful differences found in both genders, it’s time to look elsewhere for help.

Check out Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com) for your sons, and American Heritage Girls (AmericanHeritageGirls.org) for your daughters.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Thursday, October 19, 2017



An experiment

Today I placed my Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver on a table next to my front door.
 
I left 6 cartridges beside it, then left it alone and went about my business.

While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor's son across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the "stop" sign near my house.

After an hour, I checked on the gun.   It was quietly sitting there, right where I had left it.   It had not moved.   It had not killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had been presented to do that.   In fact, it had not even loaded itself.

Well you can imagine my surprise, with all the hype by the Left and the media about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people, either the media is wrong or I'm in possession of the laziest gun in the world.

The United States is 3rd in murders throughout the world.  But if you take out just 5 'left-wing' cities: Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, St Louis and New Orleans -- the United States is 4th from the bottom, in the ENTIRE world, for murders.

These 5 cities are controlled by DEMOCRATS.  They have the toughest gun control laws in the USA.   Do you think maybe the Democrats just might have something to do with all the gun violence or would it be absurd to draw any conclusions from these data?

Now I'm off to check on my spoons.  I hear they're making people fat.

Via email






Baby dies after being adopted by homosexuals

An 18-year-old baby who was allegedly murdered by her gay adoptive father died as a result of bleeding on the brain caused by a blunt head injury, a court heard today.

Elsie Scully-Hicks was allegedly labelled 'Satan in a Babygro' by her adoptive father who denies killing her at their home in in Llandaff, Cardiff, on May 25.

She was  formally adopted by Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, and his husband Craig Scully-Hicks, 36, two weeks before she died.

Matthew Scully-Hicks from Delabole, Cornwall, is accused of inflicting serious injuries on the toddler and denies murder.

On Tuesday, Cardiff Crown Court heard how Elsie was rushed to University Hospital of Wales after Scully-Hicks dialled 999 reporting Elsie was unresponsive at around 6.20pm. She died in the early hours of May 29.

Pathologist Dr Stephen Leadbeatter carried out the post-mortem examination following her death.

He concluded Elsie died from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain following cardiac arrest 'in a child with acute and chronic subdural haemorrhage', or bleeding on the brain.

Dr Leadbeatter said the cardiac arrest was caused by a blunt head injury including a fracture of the right lambdoid suture - a join in the skull bones.

Examination of Elsie's ribs revealed evidence Dr Leadbeatter said was 'suggestive of a healing microfracture'.

He said there were no external injuries apart from a small fading bruise above Elsie's left eye.

Dr Leadbeatter said he had not heard of any explanation given by Scully-Hicks which would explain how Elsie's skull was fractured and why there was bleeding in her eyes.

Consultant paediatric radiologist Dr Sarah Harrison was asked to look at X-Rays of Elsie's chest and abdomen after she was hospitalised on May 25 and examined a full skeletal survey carried out after she died.

She told the jury the survey was X-Rays of all the bones in the body and showed 'no abnormality to support evidence of any underlying bone disease that would make her more likely to suffer a fracture than the next child and there was no evidence of fracture either'.

Dr Harrison said she noticed a 'small line' on an X-Ray of Elsie's skull which she believed was an accessory suture - a normal variation in the pattern of joins between skull bones.

Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC said two pathologists including Dr Leadbeatter had since examined Elsie's skull and they did find a fracture.

Mr Lewis asked if Dr Harrison was surprised she had not seen it on the X-Ray.

Dr Harrison said: 'No I am not surprised. The thing we were looking at was very small and it is difficult to be 100% certain of things when they are quite small.

'It is well recognised that even when there is a larger fracture we can miss them.'

Dr Harrison told jurors she also re-examined an X-Ray taken of Elsie's leg on November 12, 2015 when she was taken to hospital having suffered a leg injury a week earlier.

The court previously heard Elsie was found to have fractured her leg above her right ankle and was placed in a full-leg cast which she wore for three weeks.

Dr Harrison said she found not one fracture but two during her review of the images; the lower leg fracture and a second fracture in Elsie's right femur, just above the knee.

She said they were not 'toddler's fractures', such as might be suffered by a child learning to walk and were more likely to have been caused by a child running and falling with more force.

Mr Lewis said: 'As far as we are aware, the child could not run.'

Dr Harrison said: 'It is very unusual to see two fractures in adjacent bones... without evidence of significant trauma... I have never seen fractures of both bones like that in a child of this age.'

Robert O'Sullivan QC, defending Scully-Hicks, asked if the fractures could have been caused by Elsie falling and twisting her right leg while pushing a walker.

Dr Harrison said she would expect the injuries to have been caused by a 'significant amount of trauma' but said if the foot was held 'perhaps between two objects and then the child twists and falls that fracture could be seen'.

Scully-Hicks is also accused of describing Elsie as 'a psycho' and 'Satan dressed up in a Babygro' in messages to his husband and friends.

Elsie, who was removed from her natural mother within days of her birth in November 2014, went to live with the couple in September 2015.

She fractured her right leg in November that year and suffered bruises to her head in December and January 2016.

On March 10, she was taken to the University Hospital of Wales after falling down the stairs.

Scully-Hicks denies murder and the trial continues.

SOURCE





'Czech Trump' Andrej Babis poised to deliver latest blow to EU order

Europe's year of political upheaval isn't over. In the Czech republic, a charismatic, controversial billionaire dubbed the 'Czech Berlusconi' – and more recently the 'Czech Trump' – is poised to take power.

Hot on the heels of Austria's hard shift to the right, this weekend's legislative election in the Czech Republic could be another shock to the EU which is still digesting the results in France and Germany, not to mention Brexit.

In his 2017 book What I Dream About When I Happen to be Sleeping, Andrej Babis set out an agenda that would transform, and some claim destroy Czech democracy.

He wants to abolish institutional checks and balances such as the Senate and regional government, he wants to ditch proportional representation and have the country vote first-past-the-post.

While he doesn't oppose the European Union, he has denounced EU-imposed migrant quotes and other "EU meddling", and favours an end to sanctions against Russia.

He admires the kind of centralised power enjoyed by Hungary's Orban, and he dislikes journalists (except the ones he employs).

He said he wants to run the country "like a family firm".

And the people love it – or at least some do. According to the polls, Babis' ANO party will get close to 30 per cent of the vote, while none of the seven other parties likely to get into parliament would top 15 per cent.

Those other parties include far-right populist Tomio Okamura's Freedom and Direct Democracy, an increasingly popular group with an anti-Roma, anti-Islamic message.

Andrej Babis is the second richest person in the Czech republic, a local financial paper calculated. His agriculture and media empire is worth 88 billion crowns ($5 billion) – and his worth had doubled in the four years he's been in politics.

"Babis is a populist," Sean Hanley, senior lecturer in East European politics at University College London, wrote this week.

"His folksy self-presentation as the plain-spoken practical businessman finally disgusted by corruption… taking on a decrepit and corrupt party establishment who have failed ordinary people since 1989, is textbook stuff".

Emily Mansfield, analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit says Babis is likely to lead coalition-building talks after the election as head of the biggest party.

But a number of controversies are swirling around him, Mansfield says. Earlier this year he was forced to place his business interests in a blind trust.

Babis was finance minister and deputy prime minister in the coalition government until May, when he was dismissed due to allegations he had avoided paying tax as CEO of Agrofert in 2012.

Since then his legal woes have deepened. Earlier this month he was charged with fraud over the use of €2.3 million in European subsidies in the construction of his Stork Nest Farm ten years ago.

And a court case in Slovakia has reopened over his possible collaboration with the former communist secret police (though a court previously ruled there was no proof of the collaboration, and Babis denies it).

But mud just doesn't seem to stick to him.

"He's very charismatic," Mansfield says. "He's a big character with a very big public profile. The ANO movement doesn't have much ideological basis to it, it's very much based around Babis' personality and his leadership.

"He's been described as the Czech Trump, but he' s not the kind of nationalist ideologue, he's very much a pragmatic businessman, he's not a nationalist or far-right leader.

"He says he wants to clear out corruption… he's much more technocratic and pro-business. You could perhaps compare him to (France's Emmanuel) Macron – a charismatic anti-establishment person coming into the political scene and pretty much exploding it."

It was primed for such an explosion. Though the Czech economy has been ticking along nicely (it has the lowest unemployment in the EU), the Social Democrats, for most of two decades the country's biggest party, have a reputation for low-level rent-seeking.

"People have got worn down by the impression that politicians are always acting in their own interest, with business interests in the background," says Mansfield. "Babis came in and said 'I'm too rich to steal'. That's attractive."

Miroslav Mares, professor of political science at Masaryk University in Brno, says Babis is a symptom of the dissatisfaction with political development in the post-Communist country.

"This is irrational dissatisfaction, the people… have better expectations," he says. "Salaries are not as high as in Germany or Austria, for example. People compare themselves with these countries, they don't compare themselves to the worse situation in other eastern European countries such as Hungary or Slovakia.

"(Babis) promises that he is able to stop the corrupt system, and people believe they will then receive more money from the system."

Professor Mares says Babis has retained support despite his legal problems because he has presented them as a conspiracy against him.

"His supporters feel they should fight for their leader," Professor Mares says. "On the other hand you can see lower support than one or two months ago."

Babis is likely to be in the best position after the weekend to lead a coalition government.

Unfortunately, he doesn't like coalitions. The necessary negotiations and compromises are neither his business nor political style, local financial paper Hospodarske Noviny wrote.

And some potential coalition partners may demand that Babis should not lead a government they join, due to the scandals hanging over him.

But whether Babis ends up prime minister or elsewhere in government, this election is likely to see another big change in Europe's halls of power.

SOURCE





Feminists bash actress for saying she tries to "dress modestly," doesn't "act flirtatiously"

'Big Bang Theory' star Mayim Bialik has opened herself up to some sharp ridicule from fans after give her point of view on the ever-growing Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal.
Mayim Bialik targeted for victim blaming
Fox411: 'Big Bang Theory' star Mayim Bialik has opened herself up to some sharp ridicule from fans after give her point of view on the ever-growing Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal.

In an effort to give her point of view on the ever-growing scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein and sexism in Hollywood, “Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik has opened herself up to some sharp ridicule from fans.

The star clarified in a Facebook live video Monday that she regrets how her lengthy op-ed for The New York Times about the Harvey Weinstein scandal has been received. In the piece, the actress condemned a culture that puts women in situations like the ones Weinstein’s accusers found themselves in.

"It has become clear to me that there are people that think I implied, or overtly stated, that you can be protected from assault from the clothing you wear," Bialik said in a Facebook live video with the NY Times. "That is absolutely not what my intention was and I think that it is safe for me to [say]...there's no way to avoid being the victim of assault by what you wear or the way you behave."

She later added, "I really do regret that this became what it became."

Fans took issue with a portion of Bialik's op-ed in which she wrote how she avoided harassment in Hollywood by presenting herself in as a modest person.

While describing how she avoided such things by getting into the business at a young age and not being the typical Hollywood pretty-girl archetype, she mentioned how her choices in the business as an adult have helped her get by.

“I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy,” she wrote.

Bialik immediately qualified the above statement by saying, “Women should be able to wear whatever they want. They should be able to flirt however they want with whomever they want. Why are we the ones who have to police our behavior?”

However, many still took her words as evidence that she was shaming the women who fell victim for the way they dressed or acted.

Bialik clarified on Monday, "How you dress and how you behave has nothing to do with you being assaulted. Assault and rape are acts of power...I really do intend to convey that I understand that."

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017



Trump Pulls the U.S. Out of UNESCO

This particular UN organization has done little more than stoke the fires of anti-Israel bias   

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced that the U.S. will pull out of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by the end of this year. The reason for Donald Trump’s decision? The fact that UNESCO has for decades existed as little more than an anti-Israel organization. UNESCO has gone out of its way to “erase” Jewish history in Palestine, often referring to Israel as an “occupying power.” Essentially, UNESCO has promoted a false narrative on the Jewish state that has proven to increase tensions and hostility between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East.

While this is a good first step, there is a long way to go in weeding out the anti-Israel bias that has corrupted the UN. For example, since its creation in 2006, the UN’s ironically named Human Rights Council has condemned Israel more than 60 times. That’s more than all other nations on the planet combined. Following that logic, both Syria and North Korea are bastions of justice and human flourishing compared to Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the decision as “moral” and “brave” adding, “UNESCO has become a theatre of absurd. Instead of preserving history, it distorts it.”

SOURCE





In defense of the Confederate dead

Alex Beam writes from Massachusetts

Right about now, the state plans to remove from Georges Island the memorial to 13 Confederate prisoners who died there during the Civil War. The offending headstone is going to the state archives, away from public view.

After ordering that the grave marker be boarded up this summer, Governor Charlie Baker justified its removal as a “symbol . . . that [does] not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts.”

I find this decision abhorrent, but I understand why Baker did it. Who needs the headache, and the ferocious headwinds of willful ignorance, naivete and lack of imagination swirling around the debate over Confederate memorials?

It’s now received wisdom that the Civil War was “about” slavery from Day One, and that everyone who fought for the South was either a slaveholder, or a racist, or most likely both. But the Civil War became about slavery only in the fullness of time. Abraham Lincoln’s declaration of war against the refractory states never mentions slavery. He disdained slavery, but had no intention of eradicating it in 1861, when he hoped some southern border states would support the Union cause.

It’s odd that the memorial is said to commemorate rebel soldiers, when you can plainly see one of the deceased described as a “citizen” of Virginia, one is a ship “passenger,” and two are merchant seamen. Do we so hate the mate of the steamer Nita, which was ferrying food and hospital supplies from Havana to Mobile, Alabama, that we have to plow up his gravestone?

To think that every one of those men was a fire-breathing racist is as silly as thinking that every Union soldier was a glorious abolitionist anxious to lay down his life for Americans of African descent. In every war, men enlist for a variety of reasons — patriotic, economic, and social. The guy next door is enlisting; maybe I should, too. Right here in Boston, men enlisted because other men paid them to. These were the famous “substitutes,” mercenaries at the service of well-to-do young men seeking to avoid military service.

There is no reason to assume that the Confederates who died in captivity here were any more eager to serve in the Civil War than the men and women who participated in the notorious Boston Draft Riot of July 1863, when militia commander Stephen Cabot opened fire on a largely Irish crowd of protesters sick of being impressed into Mr. Lincoln’s war.

Cabot’s men, eventually bolstered by two Harvard classes holding reunions in Cambridge — a nice touch — killed several protesters, including a 12-year-old boy. All this to say: It’s hard to know who your dead enemy is. Maybe it’s someone who had no interest in fighting against you at all.

Not far from the Normandy beaches, where 2,500 American soldiers lost their lives on D-Day, there are Canadian, American, and German war cemeteries commemorating the tens of thousands of men who died in the ensuing battle for the liberation of France. A sign at the entrance to the German cemetery reads:

“With its melancholy rigour, it is a graveyard for soldiers not all of whom had chosen either the cause or the fight. They too have found rest in our soil of France.”

Death is inglorious enough already. Finger-in-the-wind politicians exploiting deaths for political gain is simply disgusting.

SOURCE





Dave of Dave’s Soda and Pet City posed with President Trump. Now he’s under fire

Another victim of the vicious Left.  Stalin's heirs are among us

HOLYOKE — Business owners in Western Massachusetts apparently associate themselves with the 45th president at their peril.

Just ask Dave Ratner, owner of Dave’s Soda and Pet City, a small chain of shops selling the unlikely combination of pet supplies, birds, fish, and beverages for humans. Ratner attended President Trump’s signing of an executive order authorizing changes to the Affordable Care Act designed to create cheaper — and less comprehensive — health insurance plans. An Associated Press photograph of the event, with Ratner smiling broadly behind Trump, has come back to haunt him, big time.

“It was 42 years of building a wonderful brand and having it destroyed in one day,” said Ratner, interviewed Sunday morning after what he terms “the worst two days of my life.”

Ratner has been excoriated on social media, and many customers are calling for store boycotts. He was not prepared for the strong reaction.

“I feel like I walked into a room, and somebody shot somebody when I was in the room, and so people are looking at me,” he said.

Ratner, a Springfield native who opened his first store in Hadley in 1975, said he built his brand on the idea that customers want to feel connected to the owners of the shops they patronize.

“My theory on doing business is that all things being equal, people do business with people they like,” he said.

Indeed, Ratner is a big presence in Western Massachusetts. He appears in zany television commercials, prompting strangers to stop him on the street to say hello. He makes robo-calls to a large customer base — it’s not uncommon for his customers to come home from work to a message with Dave’s voice informing them of a sale. His distinctive voice answers the phone at all the stores, from Stafford Springs, Conn., to Agawam, Ware, Northampton, Ludlow, and Hadley.

He tracks what customers purchase in order to provide better service.

So why did he kick this hornet’s nest?

Ratner says he didn’t fully understand what he was going to the White House to witness. He said his wife now tells him that was naive, and he’s deeply regretful of his actions.

He’s tried to explain this to his customers, and he’s pained that many of them won’t even listen.

For those willing to hear it, here’s the back story: Ratner is an active member of the National Retail Federation, a trade association supportive of small, local businesses. For years through this federation, his company and others negotiated for cheaper group insurance rates, giving them some of the advantages large companies have. With the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, this negotiating power vanished. Since then, he has trekked to Washington, D.C., annually, talking to anyone who will listen about how unfair that is.

Fast-forward to two weeks ago. Ratner received a call from the federation, inviting him to a ceremony in which Trump would sign an order restoring that power to small businesses.

“My first reaction was ‘Holy smokes, he’s doing something good,’ ” Ratner said. He didn’t think long or hard about whether to attend. He said he had no idea the scope of the rollback of the ACA included in the executive order.

Trump’s Thursday order was swiftly followed by a second move, halting a subsidy that makes health coverage affordable for many low-income citizens — an action which drew a lawsuit from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, among others.

“I absolutely abhor what he did, and I would not have been there had I known what was happening,” Ratner said.

For some of Dave’s customers, that explanation is not good enough. Comments on the company website and on social media have been brutal. Some have called him a scumbag or a fool. In an interview with the Globe, Ratner was moved to tears several times.

Ratner’s Northampton store manager, Shannon Durand, said her shop has been swamped with angry phone calls. Most people, she said, “just wanted to yell.”

Durand said her boss acted out of a desire to obtain better insurance coverage for his 150 employees. “I really believe that he was motivated to do a very good thing for all of us.”

On Sunday morning, nearly every dog owner interviewed at an unofficial dog park on the grounds of the former Northampton State Hospital was familiar with the controversy.

Asked if he is a Dave’s customer, Northampton resident Eric Olsson, out walking his 8-month-old puppy, Mochi, said simply, “I was.”

He said the image of Ratner standing behind Trump while he signed the order caused him to reconsider his patronage, even while he acknowledges that Ratner is in a tough position.

SOURCE






Australia: Senate urged to reject mandatory sentences in bills

I don't have much respect for the Law Council but they are right on this -- JR

The Law Council of Australia is urging Senators to reject new mandatory minimum sentences included in bills to be debated this week, due to the very real risk of unintended consequences with potentially life-shattering outcomes.

The bills, targeting sex crimes against children and firearms trafficking, are intended to better protect the Australian community from the dangers of such grievous conduct.

Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, said that while these aims were laudable, mandatory sentencing has been shown to have no effect on crime rates, while undermining the independence of the judiciary and creating unjust and unintended consequences.

“Sex crimes and gun trafficking are all patently serious offences and it is absolutely appropriate that harsh maximum sentences are available to our courts,” Ms McLeod said.

“But mandatory sentencing is always likely to trigger unintended consequences that are at odds with the intention of the laws and fundamental principles of justice.

“The idea of a standardised mandatory sentence may be appealing on a theoretical level, but in practice, mandatory sentences can see people doing life-shattering stints in prison for actions that might have significant mitigating circumstances.

“For example, a 15 and 17-year-old might be sharing sexual images with each other in a consensual relationship, yet the day the older partner turns 18, under this legislation that 18-year-old would be looking at an automatic five-year sentence,” Ms McLeod said.

“Teenage years can often be marked by rash decisions and regrettable mistakes. A blunt instrument like a mandatory minimum sentence will not take this into account.”

In the case of the firearms bill, Ms McLeod pointed to other potential unintended consequences.

“Former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland, inadvertently carried a magazine containing live rounds of ammunition on a flight from Melbourne to Canberra in 2010. Prior to travelling, Mr Overland had removed a firearm from his bag, but forgot to take out the magazine. Under the proposed laws he could be facing a mandatory five-year jail term,” Ms McLeod said.

“Judicial discretion is a core principle of our justice system for a very good reason.

“When you take away the ability of a judge to take into account the seriousness of the offence, the degree of culpability of the offender, their personal circumstances or the explanation for offending, you generate disproportionate and, often, unconscionable outcomes.

“Furthermore, there is no evidence that mandatory sentencing is effective at driving down crime, but ample evidence of its long-term criminogenic effect. The US and other jurisdictions are winding back mandatory sentencing regimes because they don’t work.

“Mandatory sentences actually make it harder to prosecute criminals, by removing the incentive for anyone to plead guilty or to provide information to the police. There is every incentive to fight on and appeal against convictions,” Ms McLeod said.

Media release from the Law Council

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

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

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

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017



The reality of women in the Israel Defence Force

A friend of mine in the army serves with women (a unit in the IDF called “Lions of the Valley”) and he says it’s a hell which is being silenced and completely ignored by the media as well as other government organizations.

So during boot camp/basic training, the field and combat units always do journeys for a respectable amount of kilometers. (Infantry typically do 70–80 km and elite units can even reach for 120 km, if I remember correctly, our famous Shayetet 13 do the three 40s which is 40 km long walk, 40 kg of weight on your back, 40 cm deep in the water). These journeys are done with weight on your back. Again, depends on the unit, but the minimal is 10 kg (vest+ mags+ full canteens).

During one of the first journey’s he was shocked to see how many of the girls simply fell behind and needed to get evacuated by a medic because they couldn’t withstand the pain and in the end of the journey, all the guys were there, while only 5 girls (out of 17 girls) have made it.

The doctors afterwards diagnosed most of those girls with stress fractures, womb related damages, other leg injuries, etc.

Afterwards most of those girls cried and begged to be put in a less combat job and were denied, for the sake and glory of our great liberal,feminist,accepting state of course.

Our news channels (the “big” ones) are mainly liberal and leftist and they keep posting articles about how “chauvinist male organizations want to try and stop women from serving in combat units and making their dreams come true” and how females are showing that they are “strong as men” by serving in the mixed infantry units. Well yeah, they really showed us…

They keep romanticizing this b.s while they blatantly hide the statistics of injuries per female during boot camp, and the number of girls who dream of dropping out of combat.

And what most irritates me is that crazy feminists literally ignore scientific facts that men are physically stronger than women, and maybe, just maybe that’s why we would prefer them in the battlefield.

All these injuries only lower the army’s standards which only lowers our combat availability and hurt the girls in the army more. And what people don’t understand is that the army is a serious tool and should not be used to promote any sort of agenda because it may cost us our lives in the long term

But hey! At least we have gender equality! :)

SOURCE





More black racism

Symone Sanders, CNN's resident Berniecrat, says white people aren't allowed to criticize the NFL protests. What does that sound like? Maybe systemic racism??

The tactic isn't a new one for the Left, as they have made that argument about men and abortion for a long time. They've been claiming for decades that, if you don't have a uterus, you shouldn't be able to be pro-life (because, let's face it, if a man is pro-choice, they don't really have a problem with that).

So now Sanders is making it about standing for the National Anthem too. If you're white, you can't have feelings on the matter. And it's even worse if you're Vice President Mike Pence. Maybe her former boss who's white, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D/I-VT), shouldn't be able to have strong feelings on anything either?

And check out this other heated exchange on CNN. A black conservative contributor told them that the only political stunt was the kneeling, not the fact that Pence left the game. All hell broke loose.

SOURCE






A RESTAURANT has been forced to close just 72 hours after praising Trump

Leftist hate asnd aggression again

AN ARIZONA restaurant was forced to close its doors indefinitely this week after a politically charged Facebook post the eatery’s owners wrote prompted mass criticism from social media users.

Christopher Smith and Jay Warren, the owners of Cup it Up American Grill in Tucson, posted a statement on the restaurant’s social media page last week with a list of things the two support and resent, including the president, kneeling for the anthem and late night hosts, Fox News reports.

The post stated: “We believe in and support 100% in the following: OUR President, Always Standing for the National Anthem, repealing Obama Care …”

The post also listed, God, the Bill of Rights, drug screening for welfare recipients and the US Armed Forces among others they praised.

Their list of things they don’t believe in or support included: “Those that DON’T respect our President, Armed Forces and First Responders, kneeling for the national anthem, Antifa, fake news, global warming and late night hosts getting political …”

The post concluded with: “If you like this post, please share it with 5 friends and we look forward to your next visit! If you disagree with this post, please share it with 100 friends and we won’t be expecting you anytime soon!”

The restaurant’s post also mentioned the eatery would not broadcast NFL games until “the organisation got it together.”

The post, which went viral, was met with widespread backlash and criticism, forcing the restaurant to delete it and all its social media accounts.

The restaurant received “so many angry phone calls” that several employees chose to quit, reports say.

“People threatened to burn down the restaurant with the owners in it. It’s a crazy world we’re in,” Ron Sanchez, whose daughter worked at the eatery, told ABC15.

Ericka Ayup, a regular customer of the restaurant, told ABC15the post was not “smart” but respected their opinion.

“I respected their decision to speak up and be patriotic whether people agree or not,” Ayup said. “It wasn’t smart for them to do what they did from a business aspect especially being down here in the University — which is more liberal and young.”

The restaurant apologised for the post but social media users flooded the eatery’s Yelp page with negative reviews.

Last Monday, the restaurant posted a statement on its door, announcing it would be closing indefinitely.

“We have made a decision to close our doors indefinitely as of today, Monday, October 9, 2017. The safety of our employees, and our families is of great concern and is our #1 priority at this time,” the statement said.

“We would also like to extend a special thanks to our Military and First responders. Thank you all and God Bless.”

SOURCE






First, They Came For The Biologists

The postmodernist left on campus is intolerant not only of opposing views, but of science itself.

By Heather Heying

Who would have guessed that when America cleaved, the left would get the National Football League and the right would get uncontested custody of science?

The revolution on college campuses, which seeks to eradicate individuals and ideas that are considered unsavory, constitutes a hostile takeover by fringe elements on the extreme left. Last spring at the Evergreen State College, where I was a professor for 15 years, the revolution was televised—proudly and intentionally—by the radicals. Opinions not fitting with the currently accepted dogma—that all white people are racist, that questioning policy changes aimed at achieving “equity” is itself an act of white supremacy—would not be tolerated, and those who disagreed were shouted down, hunted, assaulted, even battered. Similar eruptions have happened all over the country.

What may not be obvious from outside academia is that this revolution is an attack on Enlightenment values: reason, inquiry and dissent. Extremists on the left are going after science. Why? Because science seeks truth, and truth isn’t always convenient.

The left has long pointed to deniers of climate change and evolution to demonstrate that over here, science is a core value. But increasingly, that’s patently not true.

The battle on our campuses—and ever more, in K-12 schools, in cubicles and in meetings, and on the streets—is being framed as a battle for equity, but that’s a false front. True, there are real grievances. Gaps between populations exist, for historical and modern reasons that are neither honorable nor acceptable, and they must be addressed. But what is going on at institutions across the country is—yes—a culture war between science and postmodernism. The extreme left has embraced a facile fiction.

Postmodernism, and specifically its offspring, critical race theory, have abandoned rigor and replaced it with “lived experience” as the primary source of knowledge. Little credence is given to the idea of objective reality. Science has long understood that observation can never be perfectly objective, but it also provides the ultimate tool kit with which to distinguish signal from noise—and from bias. Scientists generate complete lists of alternative hypotheses, with testable predictions, and we try to falsify our own cherished ideas.

Science is imperfect: It is slow and methodical, and it makes errors. But it does work. We have microchips, airplanes and streetlights to show for it.

In a meeting with administrators at Evergreen last May, protesters called, on camera, for college president George Bridges to target STEM faculty in particular for “antibias” training, on the theory that scientists are particularly prone to racism. That’s obvious to them because scientists persist in using terms like “genetic” and “phenotype” when discussing humans. Mr. Bridges offers: “[What] we are working towards is, bring ’em in, train ’em, and if they don’t get it, sanction them.”

Despite the benevolent-sounding label, the equity movement is a highly virulent social pathogen, an autoimmune disease of the academy. Diversity offices, the very places that were supposed to address bigotry and harassment, have been weaponized and repurposed to catch and cull all who disagree. And the attack on STEM is no accident. Once scientists are silenced, narratives can be fully unhooked from any expectation that they be put to the test of evidence. Last month, Evergreen made it clear that they wanted two of its scientists gone—my husband, Bret Weinstein, and me, despite our stellar reputations with the students they claimed to be protecting. First, they came for the biologists . . .

Science has sometimes been used to rationalize both atrocity and inaction in its face. But conflating science with its abuse has become a favorite trope of extremists on the left. It’s a cheap rhetorical trick, and not, dare I say, very logical.

Science creates space for the free exchange of ideas, for discovery, for progress. What has postmodernism done for you lately?

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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



Monday, October 16, 2017


More Americans are living alone after recession

The reasons why given below are all fair enough but the elephant in the room is being neglected:  The influence of feminism.  In that connection, I will simply recycle something I have said several times recently:

An obvious culprit would be feminism and the gradual breakdown of traditional sex roles.  We have evolved to be sexual specialists. At it simplest men did the hunting and women looked after the babies.  And evolution is slow to change.  We are still born with those old cavemen specialisms.  That is who we are and how we feel. 

That all that specialization has become of little importance to survival in the last half century will have had no impact on our genetic propensities whatever.  We will still be most comfortable in traditional roles.  But women in particular have had ferociously preached at them that such roles are now WRONG.

And that can only result in discomfort and dissatisfaction for all concerned. Expectations will continuously be at odds with natural inclinations. Human beings are very flexible so some degree of accommodation to modern reality is possible but all flexibility has its limits.  So in many cases relationships will break down, leaving both parties alone



The number of Americans living with a spouse or partner has fallen notably in the last decade, driven in part by decisions to delay marriage in the wake of a recession that hit new entrants into the workforce especially hard.

Forty-two percent of Americans live without a spouse or partner, up from 39 percent in 2007, according to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau figures. For those under the age of 35 years old, 61 percent live without a spouse or partner, up 5 percentage points from a decade ago.

The higher number of spouseless households comes as the marriage rate declines precipitously. Just half of American adults are married, down from 72 percent in 1960.

The average American woman gets married just after her 27th birthday, while the average man waits until he is 29.5 years old to marry — significantly higher than the median ages half a century ago.

“The median age of first marriage has gone up significantly over the past several decades,” said Kim Parker, who directs research on social trends at the Pew Research Center. “But it’s not all about delayed marriage. The share of Americans who have never married has been rising steadily in recent decades. So, part of it is a move away from marriage.”

Pew researchers said the rise in those households without a partner or spouse is not a sign that more marriages are breaking up; the divorce rate has been stable, or even declining, since the 1980s.

Instead, analysts said, the decline in both marriage and partnerships is likely a result of the declining ability of men to earn a salary large enough to sustain a family.

“All signs point to the growing fragility of the male wage earner,” said Cheryl Russell, a demographer and editorial director at the New Strategist Press. “The demographic segments most likely to be living without a partner are the ones in which men are struggling the most — young adults, the less educated, Hispanics and blacks.”

Russell pointed to data that shows marriage rates increase for younger Americans in connection with salaries. Fewer than half of men between the ages of 30 and 34 who earn less than $40,000 a year are married. More than half of those who make more than $40,000 a year are married, including two-thirds of those who make between $75,000 and $100,000 a year.

“The point at which the average young man becomes ‘marriageable’ appears to be earnings of $40,000 a year or more,” Russell said.

The Pew data underscores the economic marriage gap: Adults who do not live with partners are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than those who have partners.

“Our surveys show us that one of the things that’s holding unmarried adults back from getting married is that they feel they’re not financially stable enough,” Parker said.

SOURCE






Will Co-Ed Boy Scouts Still Have Honor?

The Boy Scouts crossed the Rubicon and announced that girls can begin to become full members in 2019.

After breaking down the “barriers” within the male gender over the last few years by accepting boys who claim to be homosexual or transgender, this week the Boy Scouts crossed the Rubicon and announced that girls can begin to become full members in 2019. What’s in a name, anyway?

Starting that year, girls will be placed in separate-gender individual Cub Scout dens consisting of about a half-dozen members, with the local pack having the option of combining dens of each gender or maintaining separate groups. Once girls cross the bridge to become Boy Scouts, they will have a separate but equal track that could lead them, too, to become Eagle Scouts, the pinnacle of the Scouting experience.

It appears the Boy Scouts are trying to walk a very fine line here by allowing girls to join but without placing them in many situations where they will interact with boys. “This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families,” said the Scouts in a release. They also claimed a survey showed that 90% of parents whose families were not involved in Scouting would like to get their daughters into a program like the Cub Scouts.

This may have been news to the Girl Scouts, whose Brownie and Junior programs cater to girls who are about the age of Cub Scouts. Understandably, they were less than thrilled. “We’ve had competitors come and go and this is yet another competitor,” said Girl Scouts Chief Customer Officer Lisa Margosian. “This is a direct response to boost their declining membership. At this point we’re just about reminding people that we have an expertise in serving girls that the Boy Scouts just don’t have.” They have cookies, too.

Faced with a decline in numbers and under increasing pressure from organizations like NOW to modify their rules, the Boy Scouts caved once again. Perhaps this structure is in answer to worries some Boy Scout parents have and could appeal as a “one-stop shop” of sorts, but this also gives parents of young girls an option to avoid the “all-in for the progressive agenda” Girl Scouts.

Another casualty will be male bonding. Boys behave differently when girls are present, and thus will lose something only found in a single-sex environment.

It’s not an overstatement to call this a radical move, but the vote among their Board of Directors was unanimous and the die is now cast. As BSA’s Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh stated, “The values of Scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women.”

That much is true, and as membership rolls decline for both Boy and Girl Scouts it was perhaps inevitable the two groups come together somehow — and the Boy Scouts blinked first. The question can and should be asked, though: How much of the decline in membership is from the national organizations succumbing to the leftist cultural agenda? In catering to pressure groups, the Scouts are now losing the parents who would once sought out the unique and wholesome experience of Scouting.

In fact, what’s happening to the Scouts is a microcosm of what’s happening to boys around the country — feminization. Rabid feminism says that in order for girls to be equal, they have to be just like boys. Which is odd given how much feminists hate men.

As Nicole Russell put it, “This decision is not only indicative of the toxic hold third-wave feminism has on large organizations and the people who run them, but demonstrative of a consolidated effort to eradicate the influence of boys and men on society. Simply put, it’s not enough to emasculate men or categorize them as predators or toxic, now we must equate them with girls in order to remove gender differences, and eventually men, altogether.”

With this change by the Boy Scouts, just imagine their Scout camp. If “boys will be boys,” how long do you think it will be before a girl (or, more specifically, the parents of a girl) will be offended? It may have been harmless fun when the parents or grandparents were in the Boy Scouts many ago, but in this era of triggered snowflakes it may not be long before the Boy Scouts are neutered for good.

SOURCE





A Cultural Cold War Gets Warmer
   
This past week, in an update to its style guide, the Associated Press decided to declare the transgender debate settled, despite a growing body of scientific research showing it really is a mental issue. The AP will now reject such phrases as “gender transitioning” and go with “gender conforming.” So Bruce Jenner was always Caitlyn and he, over time, conformed instead of transitioned.

This sort of Orwellian wordplay is one of many reasons that the American public increasingly rejects the American media. It made it dreadfully easy for Russia to spread fake news because the media is already playing at the game themselves when they do things like embrace “they” as a singular pronoun, which the Associated Press will now do. This may seem like a minor issue, but it is just another data point in the ongoing march toward another civil war.

John Davidson, writing at The Federalist, took note of new Pew Research Center data that shows the nation’s politics are more divided than ever before. And, on the political left, there is a massive intolerance for anyone on the right. In fact, there are more people on the left in America today who would be angry with a conservative neighbor than there are conservatives who would be angry with a liberal neighbor.

Not just that, but the left increasingly believes the entire American experiment is illegitimate. Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer for The Atlantic, has started openly pondering a French Revolution in the United States. Though he is not yet brave enough to say what he wants, it is clear from his writings that he hopes or is moving toward openly hoping for some level of violence in this country to purge the stain of the American Revolution. Others on the left now demand we upend the first, second, fifth, and other amendments to the constitution. On the right, President Trump too wants to upend the first amendment at a time we need to protect speech as much as possible.

In California, the Governor just signed legislation that decriminalizes the knowing transmission of HIV. So if you happen to go to California and need a blood donation, because the law applies to blood donations as well, you just might go home with HIV. But it is OK because the left has decided HIV and AIDS need to be de-stigmatized.

Then there are the NFL protests, which President Trump has seemingly won. What started with Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem because he does not care for the United States turned into a more expanded social commentary by players intent on politicizing football. When President Trump responded, suddenly to stand for the flag was racist. It has been funny first to see President Trump get so many NFL players on their knees before him only to now have them stand, privately seething in the knowledge President Trump just beat them at this.

Now, the Boy Scouts will admit Girl Scouts. That, to be sure, is just as well. The Girl Scouts have increasingly become just a teen meeting for Planned Parenthood between cookie sales. But in addition to the left forcing men into women’s bathrooms, they want no safe places for boys to learn how to be men of good character. Everyone must conform to androgynous, amoral illiberalism.

On and on it goes in a cultural suicide. If nothing else, this shows that the fight over confederate statutes was really not about the statues at all, but about rewriting history and engaging in Orwellian tactics to move a debate about the future of the country onto turf more friendly to the left. Then Harvey Weinstein happened.

The media and liberal elite who have excoriated President Trump and conservatives for bad behavior turn out to have been knowingly protecting a sexual predator. “But Harvey is not the president,” they say as they post selfies with Bill Clinton. After years of moral preening from Hollywood in the culture war, it turns out they have been preaching one thing and doing another. They are the hypocrites they told us we were and ever closer we creep to heating up this cultural cold war.

SOURCE





Californication Reaches New Lows

California has just made blood transfusions dangerous

Never let it be said that the state of California lets logic get in the way of its decisions. Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown signed a law last week that reduces from felony to misdemeanor the act of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV. Also, people who donate blood are no longer obligated to let blood banks know that they are HIV positive. The reason for doing this is because … well, let’s face it — there is no logical reason for doing this.

Nevertheless, State Sen. Scott Wiener, one of the bill’s authors, tried: “Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals. HIV should be treated like all other serious infectious diseases, and that’s what SB 239 does.”

Really? Was California treating HIV positive people like criminals before this law was passed? This statement sounds like an example from the Barack Obama Straw Man 101 manual.

There’s no question that carrying HIV is a significant burden. It’s a disease for which there is currently no cure, only treatments for symptoms. Patients must adhere to a lifelong diet of drugs and therapy to keep the virus in check. But thanks to medical advances, the effects of HIV can be reduced, and the virus is no longer automatically assumed to lead directly to AIDS, which just a few years ago was considered a death sentence.

Yet the price of carrying this illness is a responsibility to keep from spreading it to others. Some states carry heavy penalties for people who knowingly spread HIV to unsuspecting sexual partners. California is now saying that committing such a heinously selfish act is no big deal. It’s hard to comprehend a worse signal to be sent by the nation’s most populous state, though that’s not for the state’s lack of effort to send terrible signals.

With this kind of backward thinking among the nation’s leftist elite, it’s no wonder that STDs are on the rise again after years of meaningful declines. Gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia were at historic lows just a few years ago, but the CDC warns that incidences of all three sexually transmitted diseases are rising again nationwide.

Part of the reason is because of a reduced lack of focus in communicating the ravages of these illnesses. But it cannot be denied that dumbing down the moral and medical cost of promiscuous lifestyles is also to blame. It’s often said that as California goes, so goes the rest of the nation. Let’s hope that’s no longer the case, because that state is going off the rails and the rest of the nation shouldn’t follow.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017






Men find their 'bromances' are MORE emotionally rewarding than relationships with their wives and girlfriends

The article below is wildly overgeneralized -- based on the responses of 30 students at a prestigious British university! That men of different ages and different social classes might be different seems not to have been contemplated.

Age is particularly important. The teens and early 20s are ages when men tend to be "chased" by women.  And the women are right to do that.  If they don't nab a desirable man in that age bracket, some other woman will grab him -- and the more reserved women will be left with other women's rejects.  So you get single women in their 30s wailing that there are no good men left.  They are right. Other women have got the good men and they have missed the boat. 

So the "sample" -- if you can call it that -- in the study below would have been finding women rather predatory and demanding -- and could easily have been unnerved by that -- or at least made uncertain about the wisest way forward.  So they retreat into social relationships that are less puzzling and challenging.

But that is just a phase.  As they gain more experience and confidence they will find what normal humans have always found -- that the closest relationship they ever have is with a member of the opposite sex

So why was the extraordinary uninsightful article below published?  One would have hoped that academics from the Department of Sport and Exercise at the University of Winchester knew young men rather well.

There is an old warning not to explain as evil what can equally well be attributed to stupidity but I will give the authors the benefit of the doubt when it comes to stupidity.  So I think the article does fit well into the Leftist attack on conventional sex roles.  It tends to show that the differences between men and women are decreasing and that maybe one day they will vanish forever.  Fat chance!

The journal article is "Privileging the Bromance: A Critical Appraisal of Romantic and Bromantic Relationships"



It is something that many long suffering wives and girlfriends have long suspected.

Many men find `bromances' - close friendships with other men - more emotionally rewarding than their romantic relationships with women.

Whether it is the lure of going down the pub, to the football match, fishing or just helping a pal with DIY many women feel they play second fiddle to a best mate.

Examples abound, from celebrity pairs like One Direction's Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, to Hollywood royalty George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

Now researchers looking into close male friendship among straight men may have an answer as to why they form such close bonds.

Experts have found that many men find `bromances', like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's, more emotionally rewarding than their romantic relationships. Of 30 men questioned, 28 said they would rather discuss important emotional issues with their 'bromantic' partner

As awareness of homosexuality grew, peaking in the 1970s and 1980s, `straight men began to fear being homosexualised for displaying physical or emotional intimacy.'

This `interfered with the development of close male friendship' and research in the British Social Attitudes Survey found it was a high-water mark for homophobia.

Researchers studying male friendships found men did not like to talk about their feelings, and `instead young men knew they had a friendship with another male when they engaged in activities together, like playing sports, drinking, fixing things or gambling'.

In contrast during the same time, `women have maintained friendships through sharing emotions and disclosing secrets'

Boys during this time could be tormented by peers and teachers for performing feminine behaviours `such as skipping and poetry readings'.

Young men today are much less like Rambo and more similar to One Direction, the authors say, with much more interest in art, music and fashion.

Experts found that men felt `less judged' by their close male friends than their girlfriends.

They also found it easier to solve conflicts and speak openly about their emotions in their bromances.

Male friendships used to be considered lacking in many of the qualities seen in close female friendships, particularly emotional and physical intimacy.

But this has changed in recent years, the study found, with young men `openly pronounce love' to their male friends in a way that would be socially prohibited in previous years, partly out of fear of appearing gay.

The authors of the study say that strong friendships may be a progressive development, as men become less worried about appearing effeminate.

But they warn that strong bromances could challenge traditional domestic living arrangements between men and women.

Speaking to MailOnline the author of the study, Adam White of Winchester University, said: 'The key thing that we found was that bromances were somewhat more flexible and judgement-free relationships comparable to romances.

'The guys that we spoke to were clear that the only differences, other than sex, were that bromances were less judgemental, easier to resolve problems or arguments, and much more emotionally open, than romances. 

'These guys found it easier to talk to their bromances as there was less judgement and regulation in their bromantic relationships.

'They didn't feel like there was a standard to be kept or adhered to. 'Therefore, they could express their feelings, anxieties and worries without being judged by their girlfriends.

'And on the occasions where conflict did occur, it was seen as easier to fix with their bromances rather than their romances.'

Mr White and colleagues interviewed 30 British male undergraduates for the study, published in the journal Men and Masculinities.

Male friendships, like Brad Pitt and George Clooney's, used to be considered lacking in many of the qualities seen in close female friendships but this has changed in recent years, the study found. Young men feel able to `openly pronounce love' to their male friends

Of the men, 28 out of 30 said they would rather discuss important emotional issues with their `bromantic' partner than their girlfriends.

One study participants, `Brad', said: `There are absolutely things I tell my bromances and not the girlfriend.

'She expects so much from the relationship and will have a go if I say something out of line, and with Matt we just tell each other everything.'

Up to the early 20th century, men would often write `endearing letters' to one another, and even sleep in the same beds.

Tripp (2005) highlights that, for four years, President Abraham Lincoln shared a bed with his intimate male partner, Joshua Speed, and that President George Washington wrote endearing letters to other men.

But as awareness of homosexuality grew, peaking in the 1970s and 1980s, `straight men began to fear being homosexualised for displaying physical or emotional intimacy.'

This `interfered with the development of close male friendship' and research in the British Social Attitudes Survey found it was a high-water mark for homophobia.

Researchers studying male friendships found men did not like to talk about their feelings, and `instead young men knew they had a friendship with another male when they engaged in activities together, like playing sports, drinking, fixing things or gambling'.

In contrast during the same time, `women have maintained friendships through sharing emotions and disclosing secrets'

Boys during this time could be tormented by peers and teachers for performing feminine behaviours `such as skipping and poetry readings'.

Young men today are much less like Rambo and more similar to One Direction, the authors say, with much more interest in art, music and fashion.

Another subject `Beck' said: `Guys nowadays, in my generation, there is so much kissing between guys because it's showing affection.

SOURCE




Delaying Sex Makes Better Relationships, Study Finds

Delaying sex makes for a more satisfying and stable relationship later on, new research finds.

Couples who had sex the earliest — such as after the first date or within the first month of dating — had the worst relationship outcomes.

"What seems to happen is that if couples become sexual too early, this very rewarding area of the relationship overwhelms good decision-making and keeps couples in a relationship that might not be the best for them in the long-run," study researcher Dean Busby, of Brigham Young University's School of Family Life, told LiveScience.

Busby and his colleagues published their work Dec. 28 in the Journal of Family Psychology. The study was supported by research grants from the School of Family Life and the Family Studies Center at Brigham Young University, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Mormon Church.

The intricate nature of sex

Past research on sex and its link to relationship quality has revealed two different paradigms. In one, sex is considered essential to a developing relationship since it allows partners to assess their sexual compatibility. Following this line of thinking, couples who marry before testing out their sexual chemistry are at risk of marital distress and failure later on.

The opposing view posits couples who delay or abstain from sexual intimacy during the early part of their relationships allow communication and other social processes to become the foundation of their attraction to each other. Essentially, early sex could be detrimental to a relationship, skewing it away from communication, commitment and the ability to handle adversity, this thinking suggests.

And past studies have shown the sex-relationship link is a complex one. For instance, a 2004 study of nearly 300 college students in dating relationships showed that when couples were highly committed, sex was more likely to be seen as a positive turning point in the relationship, increasing understanding, commitment, trust and a sense of security. However, when commitment and emotional expressions were low, the initiation of sex was significantly more likely seen as a negative event, evoking regret, uncertainty, discomfort, and prompting apologies.

Sex comes early nowadays

In the new study, Busby and his colleagues looked specifically at timing of sexual relations. They recruited 2,035 heterosexual individuals who had an average age of 36 and were in their first marriages. Participants reported when they first had sexual relations with their current spouse; they also answered communication questions, which evaluated how well they could express empathy and understanding toward their partners, how well they could send clear messages to their partners, and other questions. [10 Things Every Woman Should Know About a Man's Brain]

Other items on the questionnaire focused on relationship satisfaction and stability, with the latter gauged by three questions: how often they thought their relationship was in trouble; how often they thought of ending the relationship; and how often they had broken up and gotten back together.

Individuals were categorized as either having:

Early sex (before dating or less than one month after they started dating).

Late sex (between one month and two years of dating).

And those who waited until after they married.

Relationships fared better and better the longer a person waited to have sex, up until marriage, with those hitting the sack before a month showing the worst outcomes.

Compared with those in the early sex group, those who waited until marriage:

Rated relationship stability as 22 percent higher

Rated relationship satisfaction as 20 percent higher

Rated sexual quality as 15 percent better

Rated communication as 12 percent better

"Curiously, almost 40 percent of couples are essentially sexual within the first or second time they go out, but we suspect that if you asked these same couples at this early stage of their relationship – 'Do you trust this person to watch your pet for a weekend many could not answer this in the affirmative' – meaning they are more comfortable letting people into their bodies than they are with them watching their cat," Busby said.

He added that those couples who wait to be sexual have time to figure out how trustworthy their partner is, how well they communicate, and whether they share the same values in life "before the powerful sexual bonding short-circuits their decision-making abilities."

Right now, the team is repeating the study on a larger sample in a longitudinal design – in which participants are followed over time. "We are particularly curious about people who report wanting to wait to be sexual but then they don't follow through on their beliefs, this may be a unique group with unique outcomes," Busby said.

SOURCE






Boy Scouts Are Now Allowing Girls to Join

The Boy Scouts of America will now allow girls to join their well-known Cub Scout program, which will enable them to advance to the highest rank of Eagle Scout, according to a statement released Wednesday.

The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to make the historic change to the group that has been for boys since its founding over 100 years ago.

“Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout,” the group said in a statement Wednesday.

“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting—trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example—are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the Boy Scouts of America’s chief scout executive.

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best—developing character and leadership for young people—to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders,” he continued.

Starting in 2018, young girls will be able to join Cub Scout units. The historic decision reportedly comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls.

SOURCE





Market trader, 56, is BANNED from town centre after selling Knights Templar coffee mugs that are 'offensive' to Muslims

The Knights Templar are an honourable part of Christian history

A market stall holder has been banned from having a stand in a town centre because she was selling 'offensive' Knights Templar coffee mugs.

Tina Gayle has been prohibited from having a stall in Loughborough Market after someone complained about the mugs.

She said the complainant had told the council the £6 Knights Templar mugs were offensive to Muslims and so she was asked to remove them from her stall.

When she refused to do so she was sent a letter and informed she had been given an outright ban.

The offending mugs feature a drawing of a knight and are branded with the Latin motto which translates to: 'Not to us Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give the glory'

Speaking to MailOnline Miss Gayle, 56, said: 'It's very unfair. The council told me about the complaint about the mugs and them being offensive to Muslims. They asked me to remove them. I said that was ridiculous and told them "no".

'They then printed off a letter on Friday at 4pm and said I'm banned. You're meant to have three written warnings before expulsion and they didn't do that. It was apparently something so bad they were banning me completely.'

She added: 'They have only given me three days to appeal which is nowhere near long enough.'

Miss Gayle, who lives in Didcot, has been travelling to Loughborough and selling rare books there for the last three years.

She started selling the Knights Templar mugs to try and make more money, as she pays the council £22 to rent the stall.

She said: 'I provide a service no one else provides. I find books that people can't find and are out of print...I make a lot of people very happy. People know I am there and that I can find books they can't find anywhere.

'My customers think it's terrible what's going on and that the council are saying what they can and can't buy.'

Referring to the mugs she said: 'The complainant said they were offensive because the Knights Templar killed Muslims in the crusades 710 years ago.

'The Knights Templar were fighting monks, used to protect pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem. They stopped them being robbed...they weren't an army who were killing.

'It's a very important week for the Knights Templar as October 13 is when all the Knights Templar were arrested by the King of France and then slowly slaughtered. 'That's where the saying 'unlucky for some' comes from.

'A lot of my customers are Knights Templar, it's a Christian Masonic Order. It's about swearing a vow to protect the Christian faith.

'Richard the Lionheart killed thousands of Muslims and I've had items relating him, and the Romans, and no one has ever complained.

'No Muslims have ever complained...in fact I don't think I've ever sold a book to a Muslim. 'If I only sell books on people who haven't killed someone, I'd be reduced to Alan Titchmarsh.'

Miss Gayle had previously been warned by the council for selling Nazi memorabilia.

She said many of her customers are actors who take part in WWII re-enactments and explained how items she sells, such as a book that shows detailed descriptions of soldiers' uniforms, can help them accurately portray characters.

Speaking at the time she said: 'It will be such a shame if they take away the chance for an ordinary citizen to research whatever historical information they wish. You're taking away an individual's rights.'

She claimed the complainant was the same person who was angry about the mugs. 

A spokesman for Charnwood Borough Council said: 'We received a complaint in August about the trader selling Nazi memorabilia.

'We want the public to have a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting our markets and we have a duty to ensure that items sold do not cause public offence, a threat to safety or that could bring the market into disrepute.

'We visited the trader at her stall and found that some of the items being sold were modern mugs with Nazi symbols, and not historical or vintage items.

'We spoke to the trader and advised that she would need to remove the mugs from the stall.

'The trader agreed to remove the mugs and stop selling new items or items which could be offensive to customers. 'We sent a letter on August 18 to the trader to confirm this decision.'

She added: 'On Friday, October 6 we received a further complaint that the trader was selling contemporary Knights of the Templar mugs. 'We visited the stall and spoke to the trader again to ask her to remove the mugs.

'It's not for us to comment as to why the mugs were offensive to the complainant, however we had previously asked the trader not to sell contemporary mugs or items which could cause offence so we asked for them to be removed.

'The trader refused to remove the mugs from the stall so we issued a second letter which excludes the trader from all Loughborough markets.

'This decision is in line with our market regulations which state that if a trader has displayed serious misconduct, they can be immediately excluded from trading, with no further warnings required.

'Serious misconduct includes bringing the market into disrepute and selling items which could be offensive.

'The trader can appeal this decision, and we would ask her to write to us to confirm she wishes to do so.'

SOURCE

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

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

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

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