Men's rights activists have a new hero: David Leyonhjelm

This is from a Leftist source but there may be something in it. It is written from a feminist and hence unmoored from reality perspective. Evidence of that is seen in the words below: "women have gained access to a measure of equity in education and the workplace". That's just paranoia. "A measure of preference" would be more like it. 

Women these days make up roughly 60% of university admissions and get extensive job preference.  "Most new Australian jobs were filled by women over the last three years ".  Women have by now got it all -- to the disadvantage of men. Reality sure beats believing in myths, doesn't it? The writer, Jason Wilson, is just clinging to old hates. 

Wilson is also a bit of a nong in his usage of "dogwhistle". Dogwhistle refers to something understood by only one side of politics.  What Lion Helmet said was as clear as crystal to anybody

Senator David Leyonhjelm threw out a dogwhistle to the men’s rights movement, and it appears to have been answered.

First, Leyonhjelm made crude comments about Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s sex life in the Senate. Then, he reiterated those comments on the Sky News program hosted by Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean. Now, Hanson-Young is promising to sue her Senate colleague for defamation.

Leyonhjelm’s explanation for his comments tapped into a long-standing concept beloved of men’s rights activists, “pick up artists”, incels, and assorted antifeminists in all corners of the “manosphere”: misandry.

 This is Australian-style sexism brought to you by a senator and Sky News

The context was a debate arising from the murder of Eurydice Dixon, where Leyonhjelm was among those who were proposing that the right solution was to arm women with mace and other personal defence technologies

Hanson-Young voted against the motion and told the Senate on 28 June that during the debate, Leyonhjelm told her to “stop shagging men”. Interestingly, he told Sky that “what I was objecting to was the misandry, the blaming of men for the actions of individual criminals”, saying she had accused all men of being rapists, a claim she denies.

When Malcolm Turnbull called on Leyonhjelm to apologise, he said that the prime minister should call out Hanson-Young’s alleged misandry, which is “equally as bad” as misogyny.

By last Wednesday, on A Voice for Men, one of the foremost blogs of the men’s rights movement, Mark Dent had written of Leyonhjelm: “I have a new hero”. One of A Voice for Men’s tagline’s is: “Humanist counter-theory in the Age of Misandry”, and its mission statement says it exists to raise boys and men “above the din of misandry”.

Dent’s article on Leyonhjelm was titled, “A man takes a stand”.

Dent praised Leyonhjelm’s abusive characterisation of Turnbull as a “soft cock” and a “pussy”, saying “these words could not be more appropriate”. And he thanked Leyonhjelm for spotting Hanson-Young’s comments as “attack on all men which it clearly was”.

He also published the email Leyonhjelm sent in response to his fan letter, wherein it was explained that: “Apologies are only appropriate when there is fault. I am not the party at fault – misandry is not something that can be excused.”

It’s a neat trick – a debate over a murder with misogyny at its core gets turned into a petulant and stubborn insistence on the victimhood of men at the hands of women. And it plays into the hands of the large, reactionary political movement built on male victimhood.

“Misandry” is a word that means a hatred for men. It arose as a neologism in the late 19th century, modelled on the word misogyny, which has more ancient roots. As Australian sociologist Michael Flood puts it, misogyny is “an ideology or belief system that has accompanied patriarchal, or male-dominated societies for thousands of years”.

“Misandry” has been employed in antifeminist discourse as an inversion, and a kind of parody of the politicised understanding of misogyny that arose in the feminist movement. Some men saw, and still see, the gains made by women as attacks on their own rights and privileges.

So as women have gained access to a measure of equity in education and the workplace, reproductive rights, no-fault divorce, and a measure of personal and sexual autonomy, some men have seen only an attack on their prerogatives as husbands, fathers, privileged employees, etc.

For some antifeminists, the concept has extraordinary explanatory power. They see it as the motivating force for a feminist movement which, they allege, exists mostly to persecute men. And they believe it to be so powerful and widespread that it can explain not only the problems that they say affect men as a gender, or social class, it is also at the root of personal tribulations of individual men struggling with romantic problems, marital breakdown, or professional failure.

A vast ecosystem of blogs, websites, forums, subreddits, and social media accounts promote this topsy-turvy vision of gender hierarchy. Misandry, and the accompanying narrative of male victimhood, are their currency.

So it was that Leyonhjelm was praised on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the MGTOW (men going their own way) subreddit, and on Braincels (which sees itself as the intellectual end of the incel movement).

In turn, Leyonhjelm responded to the controversy – entirely created by him – by inviting antifeminist Bettina Arndt to parliament to address the topic of misandry.

Many have wondered why Leyonhjelm has kept this story alive with his own media appearances, even in the face of clear legal risks.

Part of the answer may be in the way in which his citation of one of the key concepts of organised misogyny has been noticed in key forums of that subculture.

Leyonhjelm’s ostensible core ideology, libertarianism, is not popular. He was fortunate to be elected at all in 2013. He will need to fight another election soon.

But misogyny has a constituency. His fights with mainstream media interviewers resonate powerfully among a group of men who are alienated by, and bitterly opposed to, gender equality.

By speaking to them, and being boosted in their media ecosystem, Leyonhjelm might become the men’s rights candidate.



Uniting Church of Australia consents to same-sex marriages at its premises

The Methodist church of old stood for both rationality and a serious study of the scriptures.  When they combined with the more wishy-washy end of the Presbyterians to form the Uniting Church, however, the desire for compromise seems to have led to the whole of the new denomination suddenly becoming spineless. I am pleased that the congregation of my old Presbyterian church stood outside the union

And attitude to homosexuality is the litmus test of whether a church is still a Christian church or not.  The Bible is crystal clear on homosexuality.  It is an abomination.  See Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13.  There is ZERO wriggle-room in the scriptures for any expression of approval for homosexuality.  You are for the Bible or not. "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth" (Matthew  12:30).

But the Bible is the source of Christianity so rejecting it is rejecting Christianity.  So the Uniting "church" may be many things but it is not Christian, nor are its adherents Christians.  They are pretend Christians, disciples of the Devil.

I wonder if there are some Bible-loving congregations among the Methodists who might break with their "church" and join the continuing Presbyterians.  Such independence of mind would be very Presbyterian and they would be welcomed

SAME-SEX couples wanting to get hitched in a church can now breathe a sigh of relief. This is because the Uniting Church of Australia has finally given the green light for such unions to take place inside its premises.

The church will now have two equal yet distinct views on marriage to show the “diversity of Christian belief” among its members after the denomination’s national body met on Friday night in Melbourne’s southeast.

Members of the church’s national decision-making body agreed to adopt a second statement during a seven-day triennial assembly at Box Hill Town Hall.

“Marriage for Christians is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of two people to live together for life,” the new additional statement reads.

Under the new ruling, ministers will be allowed to conduct — or refuse to conduct — same-sex marriages.

The existing belief statement reads: “Marriage for Christians is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of a man and a woman to live together for life.”

Uniting Church president Deidre Palmer said the decision came after years of reflection, prayer and discernment, thanking members for their response to “a difficult conversation for many people of faith”.

“I know that this conversation is painful and difficult for you,” Dr Palmer said while addressing LGBTIQ church members.

“We also acknowledge those who for whatever reason have not been able to support this change — and your pain and difficulty in this space. “Please rest assured that your rights to follow your beliefs on marriage will be respected and protected.

“I thank you all for modelling a loving Christian community, holding together and caring for each other, across our diversity of strongly and faithfully held views.”

Same-sex marriages in the church are expected to start taking place in coming months.



And they pick at judge Kavanaugh

2009: In an interview in the New York Times Magazine, Justice Ginsburg offers this, er, interesting comment why she was “surprised” by the Court’s 1980 decision in Harris v. McRae, which ruled that the Hyde Amendment’s exclusion of nontherapeutic abortions from Medicaid reimbursement was constitutionally permissible:

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

Gee, Justice Ginsburg, would you like to tell us more about your views on those “populations that we don’t want to have too many of”?

It's pretty clear that she is a follower of Margret Sanger, birth control pioneer, and author of the "Negro Project", who did her best to limit births among the poor, particularly among blacks

Strange that among all the invective thrown at judge Kavanaugh, we have heard not a whisper about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Why are blacks and Leftists not following her around shouting "Resign, resign"!



Smart women need to marry down to become mothers because there aren't enough smart men to go around, researchers warn

Miz Inhorn again.  A singularly unfortuate surname for a feminist, one would think.  It is however her Ashkenazi father's surname. As the originating paper is unpublished, I cannot check what she actually said this time but if it is like the report below she is under a strange misapprehension. Education is NOT IQ. There is about a 50% of shared variance between them but that is a long way from identity.

So there is NO shortage of high IQ men.  The average male IQ is in fact slightly higher than for females and the distribution is leptokurtic, meaning that at the highest levels of IQ there are a LOT more men than women. So if the women cannot find them they are looking in the wrong place.

So what is it that Miz Inhorn has missed?  She has missed the fact that women have been slower to wake up to the education racket than men have. For a lot of people a degree confers NO economic advantage -- the graduate burger flippers in McDonalds, for instance.  And for others the advantage is only slight -- often too slight to make up for the years of missed employment. The history of an advantage to education is a history of a shrinking quantum.  It is not inconceivable that it will go into reverse as all the overeducated women search desperately for jobs

As ever, it is in business and the trades where the big money lies these days -- and many men go there in various ways rather than wasting time seeking the dubious honor of a degree. So females who aspire to marry a high earner would be wise to get to know some tradesmen and business types.  If she does that she is unlikely to find a less intelligent man -- just a more realistic man.

She may of course find him "uncultured" -- in which case she will get the just reward for her snobbery.  Perhaps some Christian values might be helpful to such a woman.

It is relationships that matter not your hobbies -- intellectual or otherwise.  Concentrate on people before all else and you will do well.  You might even find that "dumb" electrician to be a nice guy who will keep you in style.  And you can have your specialized conversations with your friends.

That's roughly what I do.  As a much published Ph.D. academic and as someone who ran Sydney Mensa for a number of years, I am betting that I have even greater difficulty than the ladies below in finding similarly qualified women to relate to. I never have.  So I don't try to.  I seek and find women with a good heart and have my specialized "cultural" conversations mostly with my son.

What I have just said runs hard against what women are mostly told these days but it is also traditional wisdom. And what has worked for thousands of years may have something to be said for it.

Intelligent women should consider marrying less clever men if they want to start a family, according to researchers.

There are simply not enough brainy men to go round – so women may need to widen their search, warned the author of a report that found a growing number of professional women were freezing their eggs because they couldn’t find ‘Mr Right’.

‘There are fewer educated men in the world for educated women to partner with,’ said Marcia Inhorn, professor of anthropology at Yale University.

‘So if women want to find a partner with whom they can have children, they need a more expansive notion of who is Mr Right.

‘A good partner might not be exactly someone of similar educational background and socio-economic circumstances but there can still be really wonderful relationships with men who are interested in marriage and parenthood.’

According to the World Bank, 70 countries have more women educated to university level than men. In Britain, the proportion of female students rose from 45 per cent in 1985 to 54 per cent in 2000.

Those who graduated in 2000 are now in their mid to late 30s and, according to Prof Inhorn, many are turning to egg freezing because they are unable to find partners of similar intelligence and educational background.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said 1,173 British women had eggs frozen in 2016, a ten per cent rise on the previous year.

Professor Inhorn’s study, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s meeting in Barcelona, involved questioning 150 American and Israeli women with high levels of education who had chosen to freeze their eggs.

She found that 85 per cent of them were single and the majority had opted for egg freezing due to a ‘lack of a stable partner’.

But women may be slow to follow Professor Inhorn’s advice as her own research also shows that hypogamy or ‘marrying down’ is unpopular with women.

‘They didn’t want to marry or partner with someone less educated and of lower socio-economic status,’ she said. ‘They wanted equality in their relationship.’ In fact, another study co-authored by Professor Inhorn found women often desired men from a higher socio-economic level.

‘Traditionally, women in societies around the world have tried to achieve hypergamy, or “marrying up” in an attempt to secure a better future for themselves and their children,’ the study said, although it acknowledged that with more women in education, ‘these trends may be reversing’.



Incels: the ugly truth

There have always been both males and females who fail to find sexual partners ("Incels") -- but in the past they had Christianity to give them a reassuring perspective on it.  Sexual abstinence was even admired as holy.  But for most Western populations, Christian faith is now a relic for all but a few.  Leftists actively despise it.

But there is very little now to replace Christianity and that is tragic.  Christian thinking was an evolutionary product.  It evolved over a period of thousands of years as an authoritative answer to life's dilemmas.  It made sense of your world and guided you through it.  It was our folk wisdom, the wisdom inherited from many generations of experience

So what is to be done, as Lenin once asked?  The hope I see is only for the young.  The existing generations of incels are probably beyond help.  Teenagers are generally much more open to exploring faith.  A bigger effort to introduce teenagers to Christianity could help.  Evangelical churches do a great work in such outreach but maybe we have got to a point where the churches alone are not effective enough.  Perhaps there needs to be a general societal push to propagandize for the benefits of Christian faith.  The Left regularly preach anti-faith messages.  Perhaps conservatives need to preach pro-faith messages.

And conservatives do not themselves need to be religious. Jordan Peterson has cut a very useful mould in that connection.  He is a great advocate of traditional Christian thinking but is not himself a believer.

I have not read enough of Peterson's life history to be sure but I strongly suspect that he was a Christian in his youth -- as I was.  I was deeply religious throughout my teens.  I was in a very puritanical denomination in which everyone was EXPECTED to be an "incel" and I don't doubt that there were incel personalities -- socially inept personalities -- in the faith.  But, far from feeling inadequate, the incel personalities were praised and supported.  They had a positive role.  And, ultimately, they would marry. Community expectations would be influential and religious faith would provide an emotional bond that would lead to an agreement to marry "in the faith". Their social ineptitude would be excused as spiritual-mindedness.

And what would happen once these unlikely marriages took place?  The incels would learn.  They would learn by doing.  By being tied together they would figure out what they had to do to get on with one another.  They would eventually become a fairly normal, well adjusted couple.  Their ineptitude would mostly fade away.

I left the faith before I got to that point but have the warmest memories of my religious teens and am profoundly thankful for the guidance it gave me through the confusions of teenagerhood.  I did none of the self-destructive things that  teenagers now so often do. I drank no alcohol, used no drugs and committed no crimes. I didn't even take up smoking and to this day have not once smoked or been tempted to do so.  So even as trivial a vice as smoking I was protected from. And I still enjoy the great old hymns.

And, perhaps predictably, I see no harm that my Christian years did to me.  My years as as religious "incel" did not harm my social evolution as far as I can see.  And the fact that I have now been married four times probably makes me as far from an incel as you can get. I have had a great time.

And my son also went through a religious phase in his teens -- with my warm approval.  And it did him no harm either.  His only addiction -- and one he battles manfully -- is to flavoured milk.  He has to hurry past the flavoured milk shelves in the supermarket in order to protect his waistline.  And he is engaged to be married to a pretty woman of strong character and a good brain -- whom he lives with.

So I think Jordan Peterson has shown the way forward.  Conservatives need to do more to promote Christianity and counter the foul moral emptiness of the Left.  Regardless of your own religious beliefs -- and I have none -- one can still see Christianity as a great benefit to the person -- particularly to young persons.  It is our wisdom heritage and cannot easily be replaced.

The strange, self-loathing world of incels owes much to mainstream sexual confusion.

‘The Incel Rebellion has already begun’, wrote Alek Minassian, a self-described ‘incel’, in a Facebook post, minutes before he drove a rental van into pedestrians on a crowded street in Toronto in April, killing 10 and injuring 15. He was inspired by Elliot Rodger, whose shooting and knifing spree in Isla Vista, California killed six in 2014. Mass murders committed by incels have brought incel subculture to mainstream attention, but killers like Rodger and Minassian are a rare, extreme manifestation of the broader incel phenomenon.

Incels are ‘involuntary celibates’ – men frustrated with their inability to find a sexual partner. Estimates on the size of the incel community vary from thousands to hundreds of thousands. The forum ‘r/incels’ on Reddit had 41,000 members when it was banned in November 2017 for violating the site’s rules on violent content.

Incel forums, like the website incel.me and the message board /r9k/ on 4chan, are awash with anonymous declarations of self-pity, self-loathing and, at times, a violent misogyny directed at the women deemed responsible for their loneliness. Behind a great deal of mindless chatter and ‘shitposting’ is a shared understanding of how they came to be despised by the opposite sex, alongside a bewildering array of slang terms to describe and explain the various states of ‘inceldom’.

According to the incels, there is a ruthless sexual hierarchy, and as ‘beta males’, they find themselves at the bottom. The foil to the incel is a ‘Chad’ – a confident, attractive man with multiple sexual partners, comprising usually attractive but supposedly shallow women, known as ‘Stacys’. Chads are envied and despised in equal measure. Then there are the ‘normies’ (normal people), hated for their herd-like mentality and mocked for their ignorance of incel culture. ‘Blackpilling’ refers to the acceptance that the traits you are born with mean you are destined to be romantically unsuccessful. The term is a play on the moral dilemma presented by the 1999 film, The Matrix, in which Neo is offered a blue pill to remain in a world of illusion and a red pill to see the world as it truly is – ‘redpilling’ is a central trope in online men’s rights’ activism, while blackpilling is the incel equivalent. Physical traits such as height, facial features or penis size (sometimes posted with accompanying pictures), are said to play a big role in the incels’ low status, while a large number of them also blame self-diagnosed mental-health problems, particularly autism-spectrum disorders.

But while many incels are open about their flaws, ultimately the blame is laid on the women who overlook them. Women are seen as effectively slaves to their biology, guided by so-called ‘hypergamy’: an attraction to higher-status men linked to evolutionary psychology. Some parts of the so-called manosphere – a loose constellation of male-dominated online subcultures, including men’s rights activists and pick-up artists – believe that evolutionary psychology can be used to a man’s advantage, that certain techniques can be deployed to overcome a lack of attractiveness and confidence to manipulate women into bed or into a relationship. Incels reject even this bleak view and insist that beta males accept their place in the social-pecking order.

Incel forums are awash with anonymous declarations of self-pity, self-loathing and, at times, violent misogyny

This belief in a rigid social hierarchy inevitably produces problems when it comes to race. ‘Ricecels’ (incels of Chinese and South East Asian origin) and ‘currycels’ (of South Asian descent) are often found posting photos of ‘proof’ of a theory called ‘JBW’, that in order for them to be successful with women they should ‘just be white’. Some white incels look upon black men with envy for their perceived sexual success, while a minority rail against any kind of ‘race mixing’ – even as a form of escape from inceldom.

In addition, incels speak of an ‘80:20 rule’ when it comes to sexual competition: the most attractive 20 per cent of men are said to be sought after by the most attractive 80 per cent of women, with the least attractive 80 per cent of men left to compete for the remaining 20 per cent of women. In previous eras, this situation would have supposedly been prevented by institutionalised monogamy. Some incels call explicitly for a return to a patriarchal society. Today’s world of relative sexual freedom, contraception, no-fault divorce and dating apps, on the other hand, is blamed for offering an abundance of opportunities for Chads and women, at the expense of incels.

Ultra-conservative calls for enforced monogamy may sound like they sit uneasily with a professed jealousy for the promiscuous lifestyle enjoyed by the Chads. But the incel relationship to sex is one of extreme ambivalence. A lack of sexual contact is seen, on the one hand, as the source of all life’s misery. On the other, it is central to the construction of incel identity. Forums are strictly policed in an attempt to root out ‘fakecels’ (fake incels), who are more sexually successful than they claim. ‘Bragging’ about relationships can lead to bans or having certain posting privileges revoked. This can be devastating to those who have invested such a great deal in this identity. Take 19-year-old Jack Peterson, one of the few incels to declare himself publicly to the media. Jack was banned from the forum incel.me after another user questioned his status as an incel, accusing him of bringing up a previous abusive relationship in order to brag about it. The Daily Beast reports that he spent three days straight (occasionally passing out) producing a 30-minute video and Powerpoint presentation that outlines in extensive detail why he believes he is sufficiently ugly and sufficiently mentally ill to still be considered an incel.

Angela Nagle argues in her book Kill All Normies that several of the bizarre online subcultures, from the manosphere to the alt-right, developed in tandem with, and are defined in opposition to, the extremities of the identitarian left. This is clearly the case with incels, where the currency found in unattractiveness on incel forums finds its parallel in the so-called ‘oppression olympics’ of identity politics, where a sense of identity and social status are tied inexorably to victimhood. In the incel world, many seem to revel in their repulsiveness – not only in their frequent use of foul language and imagery, but also in their choice of profile pictures. As most users post anonymously, their avatars might feature anything from other ugly men to frogs, aliens and Hitler.

When the media attempts to account for the incel phenomenon, they rely heavily on the trope of toxic masculinity. It is true that the incels exhibit a great sense of what might be called ‘male entitlement’, to women and to sex, and that they openly lament the passing of a male-dominated world. But far from upholding masculine values like stoicism and self-reliance, the incel subculture is imbued with today’s therapeutic sensibility. Far from being buttoned-up and unwilling to discuss their feelings like the masculine men of old, incels are spilling out their deepest, darkest thoughts and frustrations to strangers. Elliot Rodger spent 14 of his 22 years visiting multiple therapists and wrote a 114-page manifesto detailing his feelings of rejection before going on his killing spree. Plus, it is not only incels like Jack who talk up the poor state of their mental health online to gain the approval of their peers. Teenagers today regularly take to Twitter or Instagram to post about a litany of often self-diagnosed disorders.

Although the incels’ own explanations for their plight border on the absurd, can the emergence of incels be traced to real-world shifts? Research by the UCL Institute of Education suggests that one in eight 26-year-olds in Britain have yet to lose their virginity, up from one in 20 at the same age a generation ago. According to Ipsos MORI, 32 per cent of US millennials (born 1980-1995) are abstinent compared with 19 per cent of Generation X (born 1966-1979). What is more, its polling shows, paradoxically, that the proportion of millennials engaged in promiscuous sex is also higher than previous generations.

Many incels seem to revel in their repulsiveness

Concerned with this mismatch, economist Robin Hanson has proposed redistributing sex, just as the welfare state redistributes income. ‘Those with much less access to sex suffer to a similar degree as those with low income, and might similarly hope to gain from organising around this identity, to lobby for redistribution along this axis.’ Some denounced the idea as effectively a ‘right to rape’ or dismissed Hanson as creepy. Ross Douthat in the New York Times and Toby Young in the Spectator both say that we will have to redistribute sex eventually and that sex robots might offer a partial answer.

But clearly there have always been lonely, loveless men in society. What these debates miss is that the growth of the incel subculture is a product not just of young men not having sex, but of a society which has no agreed-upon cultural script when it comes to sex. The sexual revolution liberated a generation from religious attitudes and superstitious understandings of sex. But now that the sexual revolution is fading from view, there are few robust defenders of sex as a fun and guilt-free source of pleasure today. Ross Douthat writes that ‘culture’s dominant message about sex is essentially Hefnerian’ and promotes ‘frequency and variety in sexual experience’, but this misses key developments of recent years.

While it is unlikely that most ordinary people believe we live in a ‘rape culture’, this idea is nevertheless accepted and promoted by many educational institutions. In the UK, consent classes have been proposed not just for university students, but also school children and even MPs. While older millennials may have escaped them, their schooling still delivered grave warnings not only of unwanted pregnancies and STIs, but also of the emotional dangers of casual sex. The #MeToo movement has led to people being punished as sexual deviants for knee-touching and telling racy jokes. That is not to say that young people are now terrified of sex, or even that they buy into what they learn about sex from school or the media. Rather, it is that mainstream society offers no coherent or compelling understanding of sex and sexuality. Cultural norms are in flux and this produces a great deal of confusion. How else would 28 per cent of young women come to believe that winking ‘usually or always’ constitutes sexual harassment, compared with just six per cent of over-55s? How else can we account for the absurdity of mutually non-consensual sex? In the absence of a coherent mainstream, the incels’ bizarre world of Chads, Stacys, blackpilling and 80:20 rules seems to fill that void for some lonely young men. Just as many young feminists can relate their beliefs to the all-encompassing theory of rape culture, being ‘blackpilled’ provides a framework through which the incel can make sense of their place in a confusing sexual landscape.

The growth of the incel subculture is a product of a society that has no agreed-upon cultural script when it comes to sex

Then there’s the question of masculinity. While it is overblown to say there is a ‘crisis of masculinity’ – talk of such a crisis has been ongoing since the mid-1980s – clearly this is another area where the modern world offers little more than confusion. For Jack Peterson, incel forums offer respite from society’s contradictory messages to ‘both “man up” and renounce your masculinity… it is like the one bright light you see is this community’. The explosion of popularity in clinical psychologist turned YouTube self-help guru Jordan Peterson (no relation to Jack) seems to confirm that the need to fill that void goes much deeper than the incels. His 12 Rules For Life is an international bestseller and he sells out arenas, preaching ‘masculine’ virtues. Peterson sets out to counter the ‘lack of an identifiable and compelling path forward’ for young people, particularly young men, who make up 90 per cent of his audience.

Overall, as strange, repulsive and extreme as the incel subculture appears, it is far from alien. Its absurd narrative of sexual politics is seized upon by misguided, alienated young men struggling to make sense of the adult world while the norms of masculinity and sexuality are in constant flux. Ironically, it channels a great deal of the excesses of the West’s therapeutic culture, identity politics and the fetishisation of victimhood – the very things that came to take the place of the old world that the incels claim to pine for.



Was it all due to Disraeli?

It was mostly in the 18th century that Britain invented the industrial society but in the course of the 19th century most of Europe had caught up and reached a degree of industrialization that was comparable with Britain. Railways were even snaking out across the vast plains of Russia.

And the social problems that industrialization brought were similar too. Economies that had mostly been populated by peasant farmers had rapidly transformed into economies inhabited by factory workers. And compared to their hardscrabble and often hungry life back on the farm, the industrial worker had a greatly improved life. He rarely went hungry and he could even keep a dog. Whippets were very popular.

No matter how good the worker had it, however, he could see that the bosses had it a lot better. And that generated anger. And anger generated unrest, including violent unrest.

So where was society going, many people asked? They were in a totally new situation so the past was no guide. The one thing that was clear however was that the old stability was gone and real violence threatened. The unrest had to be suppressed in some way if an orderly society was to continue.

But that was easier said than done. There was a lot of energy behind the unrest and a new middle class had emerged which produced a new breed of intellectuals. And Karl Marx was only one of those intellectuals. There was an intellectual ferment all over Europe. Even the Pope got involved with his encyclical "De rerum novarum".

And there was certainly all sorts of agitation in Germany. Bismarck, however, kept the peace with his tough stance and ever changing alliances and policies that kept everyone off balance. But there was nobody similar in France so all sorts of revolutionary movements rose and fell.

So if you looked just at Europe in the late 19th century, you saw what looked like an ever bubbling cauldron of unrest that had to be contained in some way lest it degenerate into total anarchy. It was not a pretty sight and it bode ill for the future. Would peace and quiet ever resume? If it were to resume, how could it be done? It looked very much like Bismarck's iron fist was the only viable model. Europe was in danger of reverting to an oriental despotism where a King of some sort kept order through widespread brutality. The energy behind the unrest was great so even greater energies had to be deployed to suppress it.

But what about Britain? The British empire was at its height in the late 19th century. For much of that time the Prime Minister was Benjamin Disraeli, a Jew by ancestry but a nominal convert to the Church of England. Nobody asked him if he believed in the CofE's "39 articles of religion" for the excellent reason that many of the clergy did not believe in them either.

Disraeli showed that democracy was viable in the industrial era. The survival of democracy was not a foregone conclusion. The world has always been ruled by kings before great flowering of democracy in ancient Greece and Rome. But vigorous and transformative though those flowerings were, they eventually succumbed to the Macdeonian monarchy and Caesar respectively. They resumed the normal human form of government: Monarchy. Would the flickering light of democracy in 19th century Europe go the same way?

With Solomonic wisdom, Disraeli saw another way. He was greatly assisted by the fact that democratic trditions were particularly strong in Northern Europe, of which Britain was a part. Disraeli built on that. The fundamental feature of democracy is consultation -- consultation with many if not all of the people governed. In Britain, that process had become pretty corrupt. Those consulted were only a small part of the population. Disraeli decided to widen that. In so doing he worried a lot of people. If you gave the vote to ordinary working people what would they do? Would they seize all the wealth for themselves?

Disraeli solved that problem by making friends with the workers. He praised Britain's great history of liberty and civility and implied that the workers were part of that. And his giving them the vote unasked was certainly a persuasive proof of his high regard for the workers. It would not be stretching it much to say that Disraeli asked all Britons to help him make Britain great again. And it worked. Disraeli made the Conservative party the party that stood for the welfare of the whole nation.

So there was unrest in Britain but it was minimal. Most workers felt proud to be part of Britain and supported the orderly functioning of British society. And to this day, Communist movements have never at anytime gained significant traction in British society. Jeremy Corbyn is doing his best but there just are not the votes in Britain for anything really destructive or extreme.

But amid all this, Britain was arguably the most powerful nation in the world They even marchied into Washington and burnt the White House down in 1848. And the British navy ruled the waves. So the picture of dynamism and power that radiated from democratic Britain was a powerful argument for all things British, including its method of government. Disraeli made democracy the ideal -- though it was often an ideal that was respected rather than implemented. So even ghastly tyrannies such as North Korea feel obliged to call themselves democratic in order to claim some shred of legitimacy.

Because we don't have access to alternative history it is difficult to know how the world would have gone without Disraeli but that he saved democracy for the world seems probable to me.


Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it

One could point out many examples of the saying that those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it.  The one that presses on us all most these days has to be the finding that a majority of Amerrican young people think well of socialism. That is not too surprising given that a modern American education usually includes little history. Even so, that there clearly is for many no memory of the Soviet or Maoist tyrannies is disturbing.

It is not socialism that is most at issue, however.  It is the culture wars.  The ferocious attacks on critics of homosexuality are a good example.  How can anybody be so dogmatic about the unattackable righteousness of homosexuality, knowing that only a few decades ago it was so execrated as to be illegal? Being informed by history, however, in particular by Karl Marx's hostility to the family, it seems to me that homosexuality is now being used by Leftist haters as a tool to attack the traditional family. I see a pretense that a perversion is being promoted as being in some way equal to normal family life.

So ignorance of even recent history  can be deplored. So what about the history of times much further back? I like to go back to Beowulf, an epic poem that is the only substantial remainder of pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon literature.  The values one encounters there are the values of our relatively recent ancestors -- people who came out of the womb very much like us -- and yet they are at huge variance with current Western values.  Formidableness in battle was the chief value then.

So Beowulf is a hugely useful corerctive to all assumptions that our culture is in any sense absolutely right.  It alerts us to the way our values are a product of our time and place and that they may be replaced by something quite different in the future.  It introduces us to humility about our beliefs.

In saying that, however, I realize that very few people are going to take time to read a poem from a thousand or more years ago.  So I am very pleased to have found a much shorter peom set to good music which has basically the same values as Beowulf.  It was written quite recently by Scottish/Canadian tenor John McDermott, well known in Canada.

I rather wonder what made McDermott able to think within a primitive pre-Christian mindset but he has done it  The values seem insanely warlike to a modern mind but they are in fact the values of our own pre-Christian ancestors so they should alert us to  how unwise it is to be dogmatic about the rightness of anything.

Below is a video and the lyrics of McDermott's version of Scotland the Brave. The values in the song probably do well represent the values of the Scots of old. They probably had to have such values to survive as an independent people.  To be a little bit Jungian about it, perhaps there was in McDermott a folk memory of how his remote Scottish ancestors would have felt.

Let Italy boast of her gay gilded waters
Her vines and her bowers and her soft sunny skies
Her sons drinking love from the eyes of her daughters
Where freedom expires amid softness and sighs

Scotland's blue mountains wild where hoary cliffs are piled
Towering in grandeur are dearer tae me
Land of the misty cloud land of the tempest loud
Land of the brave and proud land of the free

Enthroned on the peak of her own highland mountains
The spirit of Scotia reigns fearless and free
Her green tartan waving o'er blue rock and fountain
And proudly she sings looking over the sea

Here among my mountains wild I have serenely smiled
When armies and empires against me were hurled
Firm as my native rock I have withstood the shock
Of England, of Denmark, of Rome and the world

But see how proudly her war steeds are prancing
Deep groves of steel trodden down in their path
The eyes of my sons like their bright swords are glancing
Triumphantly riding through ruin and death

Bold hearts and nodding plumes wave o'er their bloody tombs
Deep eyed in gore is the green tartan's wave
Shivering are the ranks of steel, dire is the horseman's wheel

Victorious in battlefield Scotland the brave
Victorious in battlefield Scotland the brave


Greenies are cheering as research finds that air pollution gives you diabetes-- but does it?

Some rather amusing "research" below.  In summary, the controls were inadequate and the effects minute. As a bonus, sea air was found not to be especially good for you.

Two major demographics that affect health generally are poverty and IQ.  Smart people live longer and poor people die younger.  So unless you take account of both, your results could be a result of one or both instead of the cause you think you are studying.  But data on both is pesky to gather so most medical research ignores both -- thus rendering the findings moot.

So how does that work out in studies of this sort?  I have said all this before but if medical researchers keep churning out rubbish, I guess I have to churn out rebuttals.

Nobody likes breathing in polluted air, unless you like the smell of diesel of course.  And both rich people and smart people (two seriously overlapping categories) can usually manage to avoid it one way or another -- by moving to nicer suburbs or choosing a rural lifestyle, for instance. Poor people can't usually afford that and dumb people are too busy trying to get by to worry about refinements.

 So if you are living in a polluted area you are more likely to be poor and dumb. So if a polluted locality seems to be  bad for your health, it could be because of the poor and dumb people who live there, not because of the pollution itself.  And the present research is a prime example of that.  They cannot rule out that their findings were an effect of poverty and IQ and not pollution.  If they had gathered IQ and income data for each person they studied, they could have removed the influence of income and IQ from their results statistically (analysis of covariance, partial correlation etc).

They did not even attempt to gather IQ data.  They did not even measure education, which is a rough proxy for IQ and which has effects in its own right.  And their attempt to measure income was pathetic.  They looked at the percentage of poor people in the county where you lived and assigned that score as YOUR degree of poverty. That you can have both rich and poor people both living in the same county was ignored.

OK:  That's only one problem with the study.  The other problem -- regrettably common in these studies -- was the size of the effects they found.  They were tiny.  Their hazard ratio for the effect of pollution on diabetes was only 1.15.  Causative inferences normally require a HR of 2.0 or more.  To put that finding into context, compare the finding for the effect of "ambient air sodium concentration" (which I take to mean "sea-air") on diabetes.  They found a HR of 1.00, which they identified as non-significant, meaning no effect.  Yet 1.00 is only a touch behind the 1.15 ratio that the whole article is built on.  So you can summarize the study in one word:


Regrettably non-academic language, I know.  But when is this nonsense about air pollution going to stop? It's just the same mistakes repeated over and over again.  Lancet should not have published such weak stuff but they are as Green as grass so they were upholding a Greenie cause.

As you have perhaps already guessed, I am feeling a bit peevish at the moment so let me expand my comments about British medical journals.  Both Lancet and BMJ seem to be edited by kneejerk Leftists who are incapable of independent thought. I forget which one but either Lancet or BMJ published a critical article at one stage about George Bush's invasion of Iraq. Strange territory for a medical journal! They went well outside their area of expertise and their article was in consequence an heroic example of inferential boldness -- which I and others promptly pointed out.  It is too sad that Leftist bigotry has now infiltrated the medical journals.  The effect on the quality of their articles is only too well shown by the article critiqued here

Inferential boldness does in fact seem to infect medical journals across the board. The basic statistical dictum that correlation is not causation seems to be some sort of Masonic secret to their editors and authors:  Poorly controlled articles that treat correlation as causation are common.  Every time it is examined, poverty is found to have strong health correlations but there are nonetheless untold numbers of articles that fail to control for income.  One understands that asking about income is a sensitive matter but there is usually no point in doing your study unless you do.  Doing almost any health study of humans without controlling for income simply renders moot the implication of your findings

I follow the popular article below with the journal abstract

Around one in seven cases of the disease were directly caused by air pollution around the world in 2016 – about 3.2million cases in total.

Researchers say the link is ‘significant’ even for low levels of air pollution which are considered to be safe.

The study is the first to estimate the number of diabetes cases caused by pollution globally.

Although type 2 diabetes is mainly thought to be caused by obesity, several recent studies have linked it to air pollution.

Experts believe tiny particles in the air reduce the body’s ability to respond to the hormone insulin, known as ‘insulin resistance’.

This causes the glucose levels in the blood to increase which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, looked at data from 1.7million US veterans who were followed for eight and a half years.

They found the risk of developing type 2 diabetes went up 10 per cent for every 10 microgram per cubic metre increase in fine particulate matter in the air.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, also estimated 8.2million years of healthy life were lost around the world in 2016 due to pollution-linked diabetes.

Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, from Washington University, said: ‘Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally. We found an increased risk, even at low levels of air pollution currently considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organisation.

‘Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened.’

The findings are particularly worrying as many areas in the UK have very high levels of air pollution which breach safe limits. Figures from the World Health Organisation last month showed 30 towns and cities have levels of fine particulate matter above the recommended limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.



More secret men's business

Once again four of us gathered on my verandah at 6pm.  Graham was up from Victoria -- with my brother, my son and myself making up the numbers.  And we didn't mention Mr Trump once! But there were some mentions of generic politics -- i.e. not naming any particular politicians but generalizing about Left and Right.

They all got the usual dish that I cook for such occasions: Savoury mince beef with noodles and veges all cooked up together  in  my big electric frypan. Thanks to a certain flavour sachet that I use, it all turns out reliably tasty.  We also had a good dessert sent along by my brother's wife.  It was liquid chocolate with marshmallows etc to dip in it.  Unusual but good.

As usual, my brother brought along some militaria from his collection for us look at and talk about. One thing was a WWII German "coal scuttle" steel helmet.  It was probably the best of the WWII helmets from most perspectives but it was HEAVY. I guess it was just coincidence but when I put it on my head the old 1950's wooden chair I was sitting on collapsed under me.

Anne used to complain about that chair being wonky so she was clearly right.  It was made at a time when the fashion in chairs was moving to tubular steel frames so was not as strongly made as the older wooden chairs -- of which I have some excellent examples.  So I will replace it rather than trying to fix it.  Anyway, the collapse amused everybody. Lucky there were no Leftists present so I didn't have any sympathy to ward off

My contribution to the "show and tell" was a couple of old daggers, one of which was just a modern Bowie knife, totally unused since I brought it 40 years ago from "Cathay Disposals" in Sydney -- so still shiny.  The second dagger looked more impressive but was very rusty -- so Graham kindly offered to work on polishing it up and sharpening it up -- though it was already fairly sharp on both its upper and lower blades despite the rust.

A couple of the other things my brother brought along were also from WWII, a pocket knife and a belt-buckle that both bore the motto Meine Ehre Heisst Treue, so they were artifacts of the Schutz Staffeln.  The literal meaning of the motto is "My honour is called trueness", which is pretty obscure in English.  I have had various stabs at translating it into idiomatic English but it is not easy.  The big difficulty is Treue.  I have previously struggled with its translation in connection with my interest in operetta. It is cognate with the English "True" and does have some similarity of meaning but the meaning is wider in German.  It means roughly faithfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty. In the popular culture of the German-speaking lands before WWII, blue eyes were seen as a sign of Treue --  You could rely on a person with blue eyes.  Blue eyes were described that way in both Im weissen Roessl and Die Lustige Witwe, Viennese operettas.

So after all that what is my favoured translation of the motto?  The ADL translates it as ""My Honor Is Loyalty', which is pretty good but I prefer "It's my honour to be known as loyal" or, less literally but more idiomatically, "I am proud to be loyal".  The loyalty was of course both military and political, loyalty to the corps and to the national leader (Fuehrer)

I am aware that some people are critical of an interest in militaria, but seeing I am a former Sergeant in the Australian army, I might perhaps be forgiven that interest.

Another interest that has only minority support these days is hunting. The days when Bach could write Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd ("Hunting is the thing I like best") are no more.  The opening words of the first soprano aria  of the cantata really rub it in: Jagen ist die Lust der Götter ("Hunting is the pleasure of the gods"). So I can only hope that my brother might be forgiven for being a hunter.  He is the chairman (No. NOT a chair or a chairperson) of a gun club. So an interest in hunting flows easily from that.

He told us about a recent foray to shoot kangaroos. Kangaroos breed prolifically in their native land and are even seen sometimes in the suburbs (I have seen them), as well as in the vast "Outback". They are therefore a troublesome competitor for feed with cattle and sheep -- two of Australia's major industries.  So the Australian government issues permits each year for the culling of around half a million kangaroos nationwide. So hunting kangaroos is a work of national benefit. We all regretted the fact that bureaucracy makes it nigh impossible to save the excellent meat from slaughtered kangaroos for human consumption. It is a wicked waste.

We covered a lot of other topics too. We spoke of Freemasonry, Byzantium and "Greek fire", trial by combat etc.  But the highlight of the evening -- something that will be remembered when all else is forgotten -- was my chair collapsing under me!

We finished up at about 9pm


Why I favor the Equal Rights Amendment

Because it will KILL affirmative action for women stone dead. It reads:

"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

But equality between the sexes is denied if a more qualified male candidate for a job is passed over in favour of a less qualified woman.  Yet that is a continuous cry from the Left these days.  They want equal numbers of men and women in many jobs and try to set quotas which would achieve that.  But all that agitation would be pointless if men and women were equally qualified.  The whole feminist aim is to pass over a well qualified male in favour of a less qualified person with less between her legs.  You might call it genital determinism.

There is in fact a great deal of favoritism, both deliberate and narural in favour of women. Probably natural is the greater presence of women in the universities.  But that preponderance would seem to fly in the face of the ERA.  There are simply fewer men admitted and that would have to change -- presumably by easing the admission requirements for men.

The straightforward interpretation of the ERA that I have put forward, however, may not be adopted by the courts.  The courts twist the law to suit their ideology at will and you can be sure that courts would be anxious to avoid feminist rage.  The configuration of SCOTUS created by Trump, however, might very well adopt the literal interpretation that I have proposed.  That would be a great victory over feminist bigotry and bias.

The uncertainty about what courts would rule does however add to the many reasons given below about why an ERA is a bad idea

The idea that the Constitution doesn’t protect equal rights for women, or that the Founders didn’t include women in their views about individual rights, is completely wrong.

Unfortunately, some self-described members of the “Me Too” movement have embraced the so-called Equal Rights Amendment to “fix” the Constitution, including actress Alyssa Milano, who spoke at rallies to generate support in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Illinois recently became the 37th state to ratify this proposed constitutional amendment, which says, in part: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

The amendment has been a huge issue for the left for quite some time. In 2014, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called it her most favored addition to the Constitution.

“If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment,” Ginsburg said. “ … I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion—that women and men are persons of equal stature—I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.”

Ultimately, attempts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment are mostly symbolic for now.

Passage of a constitutional amendment requires 38 states to ratify it. This seemingly puts the Equal Rights Amendment one state away from passage—but most of the other states ratified the amendment in the 1970s, and five actually rescinded their vote (Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, South Dakota, and Kentucky).

When Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, it insisted that the amendment be ratified by the states by 1982, that is, within 10 years.

Only 35 states ratified the amendment by the deadline. It’s likely those states will have to re-ratify the amendment for it to pass.

The Equal Rights Amendment is likely a ways away from passing, but it’s worth noting the false premise it’s built on

Many on the left charge that the Constitution doesn’t protect equal rights for women. But that is simply incorrect, and it is misleading to portray the document as inherently sexist.

As historian Thomas G. West wrote in his book “Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America,” it’s incorrect to claim that the founding documents are inherently sexist.

“The word ‘men’ in the Declaration [of Independence] means mankind, human beings, male and female, or whatever color or race,” West wrote.

While the Founding Fathers certainly didn’t have modern views about the equality of men and women, that is not to say that they did not believe that women, too, qualified for the basic rights and dignities that the new country would be founded upon.

West noted that Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, explained in his famed “Notes on the State of Virginia” that only a barbarous society would deny women their equal, God-given rights.

In recognizing these rights, Jefferson explained, however, we must recognize that men and women are different.

This created some problems for early proponents of an Equal Rights Amendment in the 1920s. Many women, especially those working in blue-collar industries, feared they would lose special protections designed for women and mothers working in industries requiring manual labor.

“Civilized men, in Jefferson’s view, do not abuse their superior natural strength. They treat women as free beings, not as slaves compelled to toil for their male masters,” West wote.

Civilization, Jefferson wrote, “first teaches us to subdue the selfish passions, and to respect those rights in others which we value in ourselves. Were we in equal barbarism, our females would be equal drudges.”

The Constitution, following this line of thinking, makes no distinction between men and women.

“Whenever the Constitution speaks of ‘privileges guaranteed to individuals,’ women are always included by clear implication,” West wrote. “Or are we to assume that the constitutional guarantee of ‘the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus’ means that women (but not men) may be imprisoned but not charged with a specific crime? … Obviously not.”

From the time of the nation’s founding, women could give equal testimony in court, own property, and even vote in some states.

While the 19th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote nationally, many states allowed women to vote long before the law went into effect in 1920.

In fact, New Jersey allowed women to vote in the 1790s, in an era in which voting was restricted for some men, such as nonproperty holders. Many Western states in particular opened up voting to women in the 19th century.

Ultimately, the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment likely would cause more problems than it would solve, even for the people who have become proponents.

It would mean that women would have to be registered for the military draft, for one, and could eliminate laws that benefit women, such as alimony.

The late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who was instrumental in killing the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, wrote in 2007 that it would “[A]bolish the presumption that the husband should support his wife and take away Social Security benefits for wives and widows.”

“It would also give federal courts and the federal government enormous new powers to reinterpret every law that makes a distinction based on gender, such as those related to marriage, divorce and alimony,” Schlafly wrote.

The concerns of the Me Too movement have more to do with culture than anything else, and while the Equal Rights Amendment is unlikely to turn the Harvey Weinsteins of the world into angels, the goal of many of its advocates is to codify the most extreme elements of the sexual revolution into law.

Pro-life groups worry that the Equal Rights Amendment could be a method to add a constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion.

Some proponents of the Equal Rights Amendment have argued that putting any limitations at all on abortion would be in violation of the amendment and a form of sex discrimination.

Certainly, adding abortion-neutral language to the proposed amendment has been met with fierce opposition in the past.

National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis, a conservative columnist, explained why the Equal Rights Amendment is both useless regarding the specific concerns of the Me Too movement and dangerous when it comes to the Constitution.

DeSanctis wrote:

If they get their way, it will no longer be the Department of Health and Human Services forcing employers to subsidize contraceptives and abortifacients; it will be the Equal Rights Amendment. When the giants of the abortion industry insist that Congress use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, they will come carrying a copy of Madison’s founding document. Every demand for complete sexual libertinism, facilitated by the state, will suddenly have behind it the imprimatur of the U.S. Constitution. That’s what they’re after.

Schlafly and a powerful contingent of social conservatives, led by traditionalist women, killed the Equal Rights Amendment even in the culturally heady days of the 1970s, and it should remain a dead issue.

The Constitution already protects equal natural rights for women. There’s no need to revise the document to include a weapon for left-wing social engineering on a national scale.



Australian culture is backward (?)

Below is the first part of a familiar rant from an unhappy lady.  Her ethnography is correct.  Australians really are like that.

I would be regarded s a deep-dyed villain in her book. On family BBQs, my ex-wife sometimes gets me my meal, then usually gets me my dessert and then asks me later on if I would like a cup of tea. I rarely get up.

So why does she do that?  It's to a small degree because we are a pretty traditional family but the real reason is simply that she is a very kind person.  She knows that I am rather clumsy and get involved in conversations with the men present so she simply looks after me. I noted the same in Scotland when I was there. I asked one of the Scotsmen at a BBQ why they did not fetch their own meal from the BBQ.  He said: "My wife knows what I take"

There are many kind women in Australia who willingly do most of the housework. They have various expectations of their men and if those expectations are fulfilled they are happy to do their bit.  The writer below seems not to know that.

The basic truth that she misses is that all relationships are different and the mix of expectations will differ too.  As she herself acknowledes, the pattern I am familiar with is the norm.  She wants to change the norm.  That is rigid and dogmatic on her part.  She should respect differences and stop trying to impose her preferred relationship pattern on others.

In fact, she has the unshakeable conviction about the rightness of her values that one so often sees on the Left  -- a conviction that in Communist regimes regularly leads to mass murder.  How much better for all of us it would be if the values of the carpenter of Nazareth were our guide

AT A party a few weeks ago, I witnessed a blood-boiling example of inequality. Through the entire three courses of dinner — for which the women had put together salads and baked desserts, organised decorations and gifts for the birthday boy — the majority of men remained glued to their seats as we milled among them, collecting plates, serving food and effectively waited on them, hand and foot.

It was a clear example at the huge gulf between the sexes in Aussie culture.

While there’s plenty of talk about Australian men increasing their housework effort, and being ahead in their contribution of men in other countries, it’s clear women are still picking up far too much of the slack. While I am fortunate to be in the minority of women with a husband more anal than I am about germs, women continue to do up to two-thirds more housework than men, according to data from the 2016 Census. I should also point out that while neither of us cares that much about housework, both of us are aware of the fine line between pretending not to care and hoarding empty wine bottles and “Pods” packets under the bed.

In his article, “Dirty Secret: Why Is There Still A Housework Gender Gap”, Oliver Burkeman sums up the problem rather succinctly when he says: “The ‘housework gap’ largely stopped narrowing in the 1980s. Men, it seems, conceded that they should be doing more than before — but then, having half-heartedly vacuumed the living room and passed a dampened cloth over the dining table, concluded that it was time for a nice sit-down.”

I can believe it.



Barents Sea seems to have crossed a climate tipping point: This is probably what a climate tipping point looks like—and we're past it

There's lots to amuse in this article. One of those dread  tipping points happened and nobody noticed!  What if all future tipping points are like that?  Does it matter if nobody notices? Al Gore tried to frighten us with tales of sea levels rising by 20 feet -- or was it 100 feet?  You would certainly notice that happening but this is laughably insignificant by comparison.  Will future sea level rises also be not noticeable?

And then we are told that this tragic event happened only after 2011.  But Warmists say that global warming started from 1945 on.  So can this be a global warming effect when for most of the alleged warm period nothing of this frightening process happened?  The authors just explain the lateness of the change as a "tipping point" but that is just glib.  There is no known process leading up to it nor was it predicted. It is just being wise after the event.  Nobody in fact knows what caused the change.  Best guess is that it has to do with changes in ocean currents -- which do change a lot in the North Atlantic region.  Currents are at least an explanation.  A tipping point is just a description masquerading as an explanation.

And it appears that what has actually occurred is some melting of sea ice. But melting sea ice will not raise the sea level by one iota. Al Gore will not be happy! And what caused the melting of the sea ice at this late juncture?  Crickets! Could it have been an upsurge in the well-known subsurface vulcanism in the Arctic?  Along the Gakkel ridge, for instance?

I like the last two paragraphs below.  We learn that the change is not a bad thing as it will lead to better fishing.  We also read: "The future will be the sum of these events and their interactions, making it a bit harder to predict which changes we should be planning for".  So the future is hard to predict!  If only more Warmists saw that!

Many of the threats we know are associated with climate change are slow moving. Gradually rising seas, a steady uptick in extreme weather events, and more all mean that change will come gradually to much of the globe. But we also recognize that there can be tipping points, where certain aspects of our climate system shift suddenly to new behaviors.

The challenge with tipping points is that they're often easiest to identify in retrospect. We have some indications that our climate has experienced them in the past, but reconstructing how quickly a system tipped over or the forces that drove the change can be difficult. Now, a team of Norwegian scientists is suggesting it has watched the climate reach a tipping point: the loss of Arctic sea ice has flipped the Barents Sea from acting as a buffer between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans to something closer to an arm of the Atlantic.

Decades of data

The Norwegian work doesn't rely on any new breakthrough in technology. Instead, it's built on the longterm collection of data. The Barents Sea has been monitored for things like temperature, ice cover, and salinity, in some cases extending back over 50 years. This provides a good baseline to pick up longterm changes. And, in the case of the Barents Sea in particular, it's meant we've happened to have been watching as a major change took place.

The Barents Sea lies north of Norway and Russia, bounded by Arctic islands like Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. To its west is the North Atlantic, and the Arctic Ocean is to its north. And data from prior to the year 2000 indicates that the Barents acted as a buffer between the two oceans.

To the north, the Arctic Ocean has been dominated by sea ice, which spreads into the Barents during the winter. The ice acts as a barrier to exchanging heat with the atmosphere and blocks sunlight from reaching the ocean water, helping keep the Arctic colder in the summer. As it melts, the Barents also creates a layer of fresh water that doesn't mix well with the salt water below it, and it is light enough to remain at the surface. The water of the Atlantic is warmer but saltier and better mixed across its depths.

In between, in the Barents, the two influences create a layer of intermediate water. The Arctic surface water and sea ice helps keep the Barents fresher and cool. And while the Barents is warmed from below by the dense, salty Atlantic water, it's not enough to allow the two layers to mix thoroughly. This helps keep the Barents Sea's surface water cold and fresh, encouraging it to freeze over during the winter.

The researchers behind the new work say that this layered structure was "remarkably stable" from 1970 all the way through 2011. But change started coming to the area even as the layers persisted. The atmosphere over the Arctic has warmed faster than any other region on the planet. In part because of that, the amount of ice covering the Arctic Ocean began to decline dramatically. It reached what were then record lows in 2007 and 2008. As a result, the Barents Sea was relatively ice-free in the Arctic summer, decreasing the fresh water present in the surface layer.

Sea-ice drift into the Barents sea dropped enough so that the 2010-2015 average was 40 percent lower than the 1979-2009 mean. The researchers checked precipitation at some islands on the edge of the Barents Sea, and they confirmed that the loss of fresh water at the surface was due to the loss of ice rather than a change in weather patterns.

(For context, the Barents Sea is essentially ice-free at the moment, even though the melt season typically extends through September.).......

Tip of the ice

From a strictly human-centric position, the changes aren't necessarily a terrible thing. In terms of ecosystems, the authors describe the Barents as "divided into two regions with distinct climate regimes—the north having a cold and harsh Arctic climate and ice-associated ecosystem, while the south has a favorable Atlantic climate with a rich ecosystem and lucrative fisheries." The expansion of these fisheries, while coming at the cost of the native ecosystem, could prove a boon for the countries bordering the region.

But the general gist of the study is considerably more ominous: not only have we discovered a climate tipping point, but we've spotted it after the system has probably already flipped into a new regime. It also provides some sense of what to expect from the future. Rather than seeing the entire planet experience a few dramatic changes, we're likely to see lots of regional tipping points that have more of a local effect. The future will be the sum of these events and their interactions, making it a bit harder to predict which changes we should be planning for.



The true mission of the lawsuit against Harvard

Boston's ALEX BEAM is advocating racism below.  Compared to other forms of racism, affirmative action is the big gorilla.  It's amazing how brazen the Left are in their obsession with race

Alex does however slip a little bit of news into his article:  Harvard has recently started to admit more Asians.  Apparently they are feeling the heat.  Discriminating against a minority is pretty obnoxious

Harvard should probably encourage more admissions from India.  Southern Indians in particular are often quite dark and also quite bright.  The amazing Indian Mars shot was the work of South Indian engineers. And Harvard's wealth is so great that poor Indians could be supported.  So when the bigots at Harvard look out their windows they would see a satisfying  expanse of black skin -- perhaps enough to give them erections

Students for Fair Admissions couldn’t care less about Asian-American students. The true mission of SFFA and its president, Edward Blum, is to end all race preferences, not just in university admissions but also in politics and in the workplace.

Asian-Americans, a confected category that lumps in third-generation students of Indian heritage, many from prosperous families, with the children of Vietnamese boat people in Dorchester, generally fare well in elite university admissions. But for Blum, they are a useful tool in his broad-based anti-affirmative action crusade. His real targets are African-American and Latino students, for whom most affirmative action programs are designed.

Blum, a successful investment adviser, is not a gadfly litigant. He has shepherded cases to the Supreme Court, where he has won some and lost some. If his anti-Harvard lawsuit succeeds — a big if — black and Latino admissions across the country will plummet, redounding to the advantage of, well, everyone who isn’t black or brown.

Suing Harvard is cynical in the extreme. Harvard, one of the very few US colleges rich enough to afford “need-blind” admissions — meaning it can admit or reject students without considering their ability to pay the huge tuition bills — has recently increased Asian-American admissions. Present and past administrations actually care about admitting a “diverse” student body. But if Blum’s front groups sued Houston’s St. Thomas University, that wouldn’t generate the headlines that keep SFFA in the public eye, and keep its donor base motivated.

Harvard, naturally, doesn’t want pop-up pressure groups nor a federal judge telling it whom it can and cannot admit. It claims it needs to protect its admissions “trade secrets,” but it really wants to keep admitting exactly whom it pleases. That means a hefty dollop of future doctors, Supreme Court justices, captains of industry, and NFL quarterbacks, but also legacy dunderheads, i.e., the grandsons and granddaughters of the family names that bedeck its libraries, buildings, and residential halls.

I’m sure another “trade secret” Harvard doesn’t want aired out in court is their pay-to-play admission policy. (Details of its shadowy, legacy-friendly, “Z-list” for marginal admission candidates have already surfaced in connection with the SFFA suit.) Jared Kushner’s father, Charles, a convicted felon, gave Harvard $2.5 million to ease his son’s admissions path, according to Daniel Golden’s 2006 book “The Price of Admission.” “There was no way anybody in the school thought [Kushner] would on the merits get into Harvard,” according to a former official at Kushner’s New Jersey private school. “His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it.”

Charles Kushner may have overpaid. In 2015, hacked Sony Pictures e-mails revealed how then-chairman Michael Lynton “was finalizing a gift of rare photographs to Harvard’s Fogg Museum worth several hundred thousand dollars,” and simultaneously donating $1 million to Brown University while his daughter was considering applying to both schools. Brown admitted her to the class of 2019. Brown said Lynton’s dealings with its advancement office had “no connection or involvement in the admission process.”

The core issue raised by the SFFA lawsuit is relatively simple: In what many airily proclaim to be a “post-racial” world, should black- and brown-skinned college applicants still benefit from affirmative action? Blum, who declines to discuss the case, and his outriders say no. So far, America’s major universities and the Supreme Court say yes.

It’s possible this case could reach a Donald Trump-fashioned Supreme Court in three years, and — anything could happen.



There are good reasons why poor British children struggle in school

Barbara Ellen below has a point about expectations but she misses a lot.  The British class system is rather imprisoning but it is possible to break out of it and move into middle class lives.  Plenty do. They have to change their accent to do so but beyond that the main requirement is brains.

There is good evidence that for a long time now in Britain smart people have been moving into middle and upper class circles -- so that the class continuum is largely now in Britain an IQ continuum.  There are dumb aristocrats but they rapidly become poor aristocrats.

So the poorly performing working class British children are largely that way because they were born that way. Migrant children are the product of different selective pressures.

Are underprivileged migrant schoolchildren just smarter or are they harder workers than other children with similar backgrounds? Or perhaps it’s just that hope hasn’t been drained out of migrant families? Yet.

Schools in deprived areas with a high intake of white, working-class children tend to receive poor Ofsted assessments, while those with a high proportion of migrant children fare significantly better. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, puts this down in part to white, working-class communities suffering the “full brunt of economic dislocation in recent years and, as a result, can lack the aspiration and drive seen in many migrant communities”. Which sounds about right, except that nothing about this seems recent. The very problem is that it’s ingrained.

It seems farcical to pit poor “indigenous” kids against poor migrant kids (they’d have plenty in common – poverty, for one thing). It also barely needs stating that most migrant children would be dealing with many challenges that make their achievements all the more impressive. However, there’s one factor that migrant children might not have to contend with – the generation above them (maybe even two or three generations) being systemically ground down by entrenched lack of opportunity and the prevailing atmosphere of demotivation that this generates.

This could produce two markedly different environments in otherwise economically similar homes. The migrant family (still full of hope about opportunities in Britain) sends the child off to school with the incentivising message: “Work hard, and you’ll get somewhere.” Then there’s the other family, the end product of generations that have seen industry collapse, communities devastated, higher education monetised, apprenticeships disappear. Where are they supposed to find the will or the energy to say to their children: “Work hard and you’ll get somewhere”? Could they be blamed for thinking that it’s a lie?

With this in mind, it’s a miracle that so many disadvantaged families continue to encourage and support their children at school. If some don’t, the reason seems to be rather more complex than “poor Britons don’t give a toss about their kids’ schooling”, when the vast majority do. Far from being uncaring and indifferent, these parents, like their parents before them, could simply be exhausted and demotivated, not to mention ashamed and embarrassed. After all, these are communities that have been practically gaslit by a society that, for all the glaring inequality, has the gall to tell them that it’s all their own fault they didn’t get anywhere.

The result is a deeply embedded hopelessness that migrant families, for all their other challenges, have yet to experience or, indeed, pass on as a toxic inter-generational inheritance. Put bluntly, it could be that deep-rooted despair and cynicism about life chances in the UK hasn’t managed to kick the spirit out of migrants yet. Well done to migrant children for doing well at school; let’s hope that it isn’t bred out of them.



Australia’s dangerous obsession with the Anglosphere

Dennis Altman, author of the article partly reproduced below, has been queer since before it was fashionable and was also born a Jew. Both those backgrounds probably have a role in making him alienated from the Australian society in which he lives. So much so that he clearly does not understand mainstream Australians -- which could also be due to his many distinguished academic appointments.

Academe is a very different world of its own. I saw it close up in my own academic career. In that career I did a lot of social surveys using general population samples and it was amusing how different the results I got were when compared with the conventional literature of social and political science. "The people" are not as academics conceive them. Most academics live in a complacent Leftist bubble from which all dissident thought is rigorously excluded. And if a disturbing thought is forced into their consciousness, they foam with rage -- as Donald Trump has shown.

So, for various reasons, Dennis just cannot understand why our news media and cutural outlets do not focus on Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi. Geographical considerations would suggest that our focus should be there but it is not. We hear ten thousand times more about Donald Trump than we do about Narendra Modi (Who's Narendra Modi?). The fact that Dennis finds that wrong is a very interesting commentary on his thinking. He elevates geography over the social sciences. Once again we see that people are a puzzle to him.

I reproduce below only the opening blast from his very long and repetitious article but I think that that suffices to give you a very fair indication of his drift.

It's what he doesn't say that is more enlightening, however. He fails to get to grips with the ancient truth that we get on better with people like ourselves and find people like ourselves more interesting. That simple truth explains the "perversity" that Dennis sees in the world about him. Both genetically and culturally the UK and the USA are very similar to us and that is the end of it. We will always be more interested in them than in the doings at Ulaanbaatar, historically important though Mongolia has been. Dennis's claim that we should be less preoccupied by ethnic and cultural similarity is pissing into the wind. He certainly does not explain why something so normal is a "dangerous obsession"

Over the past three weeks the ABC program Four Corners has presented special reports on American politics, which involved one of our best journalists, Sarah Ferguson, travelling to the US on special assignment. I watched these programs and I enjoyed them. But in part I enjoyed them because they covered ground that is already familiar.

If the same effort had gone into bringing us in-depth special reports from, say, Jakarta or Mumbai they would have been less familiar, but perhaps more interesting. Most important they would not be stories already covered by major English language media to which we have extraordinary access.

As we struggle to make sense of a changing world order, in which the role of the US seems less defined and dependable, our fascination with things American continues to grow. It is one of the ironies of current Australian life that preoccupation with “the Anglosphere”, a favourite phrase of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s, is in practice shared by many who regard themselves as progressive.

What is the Anglosphere? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “the countries of the world in which the English language and cultural values predominate”, clearly referring to Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A surprisingly recent term, it was coined by the science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1995 novel The Diamond Age, and then picked up by a number of conservative commentators.

The Churchillian notion of near-mythical bonds created by the English language and British heritage has always attracted Australian conservatives. Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs wrote in 2012:

"Our heritage is not something to be ashamed of. It is not a coincidence the oldest surviving democracies are in the Anglosphere. Or that a tradition of liberty, stretching back to the Magna Carta, has given English-speaking nations a greater protection of human rights and private property. We ought to be proud, not bashful. Sure, it’s more fashionable to talk of the ‘Asian century’. But the Anglosphere will shape Australia’s cultural and political views for a century. It’s a shame only conservatives feel comfortable talking about it"

Both former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr and former prime minister Kevin Rudd attacked Abbott’s enthusiasm for the Anglosphere. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is far less likely to invoke the term, and the election of Donald Trump means the idea has gone out of fashion on the right, who are struggling how to respond to a US president who is both their worst fears and their greatest hopes made flesh.

Yet despite 50 years of governments talking about Australia as part of Asia, now somewhat rebadged in the concept of the Indo-Pacific, our cultural guardians continue to behave as if nothing has changed. We may be wary of Trump’s America, and a little bemused by the reappearance of Little Britain, but we still look unreflectively to the US and Britain for intellectual guidance.



Carmen Gorska Putynska, PhD student, School of Civil Engineering, University of Qld

Carmen was featured in the glossy University of Qld. propaganda periodical called "Contact".  As a graduate of U.Q. I get it mailed to me.

She was featured as part of an assembly of women students who were doing well:  Feminist propaganda, in short.

For once however I found something I liked in it.  The picture above first struck me. She has the good looks which are alarmingly common in Polish women.

In addition to my male chauvinist porcine nature, however I was struck by something else.  It is in the first line of the article below.  How improbable is that? Is it just foolish boasting?  I don't think so.

It made me think of her as a kindred spirit, in fact. I did similar things.  I taught Senior High school geography when my highest qualification was Junior school geography and I taught honors level High School economics when my highest qualification was university freshman economics. And I got a B in Senior High school Italian after studying it for only 4 months instead of the usual 4 years. So I don't think her claims are impossible at all. Some of us are born lucky.

The article below is obviously truncated so I looked for a longer version of it but could find none.  I was however able to fill out a few details

“I started tutoring for $10 an hour at age 14, and by 15 was tutoring students older than me in subjects I hadn’t yet taken myself.”

Carmen is a PhD student studying Self-extinguishment of Cross Laminated Timber and it’s potential uses in large structures.

Carmen obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, specialized in bridges and underground constructions, in 2013 in Poland, at Technological University of Poznań. Then, she was awarded with the “Erasmus Mundus Scholarship” and accepted in the “International Master of Fire Safety Engineering” program. That opportunity gave her the chance to study in UK, Belgium, and Sweden, offering her the access to the discipline of Fire Safety Engineering.

Carmen didn’t have a traditional tertiary trajectory, after excelling in high school she received a fully funded scholarship to study Civil Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

“I was one of 10 females among 200 males, all the professor were male, and the male students were not really inclusive with the female students. Feeling isolated I was unable to ask for help, worried about being judged, and I completely failed my first year.”

A charming interview with her below:



"Trim Taut & Terrific"

Have you used that expression?  I use it to describe (say) an athletic young woman.  But if you Google it you will find it as a description of a lot of things.  So where does that phrase come from?  I know but seeing nobody else seem to know, I thought I had better put it online.

Back in the 60's, when a lot of people went rather mad (I was there!), there was a washing machine manufacturer in South Australia called Lightburn. Eventually however they got bored with making washing machines and had dreams of making a motor car. And they did -- using their washing machine factory for the purpose. It was called the Lightburn Zeta.  It seems to have been inspired by East Germany's Trabant. Maybe Mr Lightburn was a Communist. About 400 of them were made

Any way the Zeta gave the Trabant a run for its money for flimsiness.  Though it was at least mainly made of steel rather than the plastic of the Trabant.  It was very small and powered by two stroke motors, presumably bought in from some motorbike manufacturer.  But it was a very light vehicle so a motorbike motor could push it along.

It's most amazing feature was that it had no reverse gear.  To reverse it you had to stop the motor and then start it again.  So that gave you four reverse gears. I did tell you this was the 60s!

Anyway, there was really only one good thing about it: The advertising slogan. Somehow their advertising agency had a stroke of inspiration and described the Zeta as everyhing it was not: "Trim Taut & Terrific".  And that then took off as a description of many things

Even the Wikipedia entry on the Zeta does not know of its slogan so it is sort of lucky that it has stuck in my aged brain -- probably because I thought it was hilarious from the beginning.

I would add the information to the Wikipedia entry except that they always wipe everything I put up.  They have got a whole team of "editors' who seem to spend all their time wiping entries they regard as "unsuitable".  I will probably add this post to my personal Wikipedia.  My personal Wikipedia has lot of information about operetta that is not elsewhere available in English but it was still not good enough for Wikipedia

A final note:  You will find here a description of something that is said to be "Trim Taut & Terrific" but also "small, but perfectly formed".  That is a rather weird  combination. "Small, but perfectly formed" was originally a description of Alexander the Great -- a Greek King from about 300 BC