Author Archives: Denyse O'Leary

Hollywood wants a more positive image for abortion

From Brent Bozell and Tim Graham at Townhall:

Rina Mimoun, who scripted an abortion plot for the drama “Everwood” back in 2003, is still upset the main doctor character on the show wasn’t an abortionist, as they wanted. She’s upset that abortion is relegated to a Very Special Episode.

“The goal for all of it — network, streaming, everything — is to stop making it the one-off episode or the arc,” Mimoun said. “It would be nice if it was just part of the conversation and didn’t have to be so special and so earnest and so important.”

Her feminist ideal came on the CW show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” A woman has an abortion, and the pizza delivery driver rings her doorbell. In response, her son says, “Mom, I’ll get it, since you just had an abortion.”More.

Reality check: Not very likely dialogue, that.

Hollywood probably does not get the fact that the #MeToo revelations have robbed it of moral authority. People may not care what the celebs do but they don’t look up to them the same way either. Abortion chic will probably go the way of the many PC duds currently hitting the sod. There is just so much else nowadays to watch, see, and do, stuff that represents more accurately how real people think.

See also: Gallup: Most Americans favor abortion restrictions, have not become more liberal. As Kathy Shaidle has pointed out, the ultrasound on the fridge means that “the fetus” has a face.

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Profs: Females should get higher STEM marks because they put in more perceived effort

From Tony Airaksinen at Campus Reform:

Based on surveys of 828 STEM students, the professors conclude that female students believe they work harder than their male classmates for similar grades, indicating that “women’s higher perceived effort levels are not rewarded.”

Lead author Anna Young told Campus Reform by email from South Africa that “grade discouragement is demotivating students.”

“I think there are different ways to work on that issue, such as keeping feedback on student work but reducing the frequency that work is given an official grade,” Young said.

When asked about a common practice in STEM classes—grading on a curve—Young suggested that “setting the average higher or doing away with that system are both options that could help bolster motivation in STEM.” More.

Reality check: If progressives are in power long enough, in enough jurisdictions, they will probably find a way to make equal grades a legal requirement for universities, followed by a sort of legal right to a STEM job. Competence, where it is important, will likely be determined surreptitiously by other means.

See also: Journal: Indigenous knowledge is bullied by modern medicine We need to come to grips with the fact that the war on science is a war on standards. Facts are the first casualty but they will certainly not be the last.

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American Medical Association gives up opposition to assisted suicide

From Paul Bois at Daily Wire:

The cause for physician-assisted suicide keeps stampeding forth and the American Medical Association (AMA) just handed it a major victory by deciding against reaffirming its opposition to the deathly practice. The AMA’s decision was in opposition to the recommendation of its own Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

America’s top doctors have long waged a war against both euthanasia and assisted suicide, knowing it could lead to cost-containment strategies along with a culture that discourages treatment in favor of suicide. It seems they have given the so-called “Death with Dignity” advocates a foothold in the debate by taking a neutral position.More.

Reality check: “A neutral position” is a loud hint that they hope the Supreme Court will legalize it, so they can just say, “What can we do? It’s legal!”

Meanwhile, “Forced to Lie About Assisted Suicide,”:

Several state laws legalizing assisted suicide force MDs who assist suicides to falsify death certificates — an important public document needed for the accrual of accurate vital statistics — to the effect that the cause of death was the underlying disease and not a self-administered drug overdose.

Think about this: MDs compelled by law to lie in order to prevent transparency, inhibit oversight, and thwart accurate independent scientific studies of the deadly practice.

It gets worse. The bill would specifically legalize assisted suicide — doctors prescribing drugs for the purpose of a patient taking them to cause an overdose death — but claims mendaciously it isn’t legalizing assisted suicide…

Once euthanasia is fully legal, compulsory deception could one day prove a useful instrument for those in power.

See also: Fatal Flaws: A Canadian film chronicles the march of euthanasia

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An immigrant filmmaker on American progressive culture

From Irish documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer, thoughts on 12 years in the United States, at Townhall:

In Europe everyone is told and we all believed that there are these weird American conservatives, who want to tell you what to do – particularly in the bedroom.

I got here and all I saw were so called “progressives” who want to interfere with you in every other room in your house and garden and holiday and travel and grocery store, you name it they’re everywhere, controlling. They want to tell you what kind of car you can drive, what kind of house you can live in, what kind of fertilizer you can use in you garden, how long you stay in the shower, even how you flush the toilet. They want to ban your light bulbs. I never thought coming to America would involve Standing Up and shouting Get Out Of My Light bulbs but it’s a cry for freedom and it is actually a cry for progress. More.

Reality check: Progressivism will give us Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World ruled by Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four bureaucrats. If people vote for progressives, that is.

The Americans don’t stand a chance, any more than the rest of us, unless the Dems get beaten so badly in the next few elections that they must go back to being a workers’ party and not a party of the totalitarian elite fomenting grievances among the useless entitled.

See also: For Noam Chomsky, Christians and Republicans are the real threat to peace It’s simpler than we sometimes think. Christians are losing social power, so they can be heaped with abuse. If you want to know who is gaining social power, look for groups who are engaging in systematic violence without apology, but none who would be Cool dare assail them openly.

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Gallup: Most Americans favor abortion restrictions, have not become more liberal

From Lauretta Brown at Townhall:

Recent Gallup polling shows that a majority, 53 percent, of Americans believe in restrictions on the legality of abortion. The poll also found that 48 percent of Americans believe abortion is “morally wrong.”

Gallup notes that “abortion is the moral issue among those tested on which the public is most closely divided” and abortion is also “one of a more limited number of moral issues about which Americans’ views have not become more liberal over the past two decades.”More.

Reality check: As Kathy Shaidle has pointed out, the ultrasound on the fridge means that “the fetus” has a face. Too bad that, with more liberal views on euthanasia, we are all “the fetus” now.

See also: The real reason for demanding that groups approve abortion if they want funds to hire students: Trudeau is advised by clever people and what they wanted to see was how many Catholic organizations took the money Many did and, to my knowledge, the bishops have not censured them. So everyone sees that the Church is without witness here.

and

Fatal Flaws: A Canadian film chronicles the march of euthanasia

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Journal: Indigenous knowledge is bullied by modern medicine

From Alex Berezow at American Council for Science and Health:

Evidence-based medicine, which is supported by a bedrock of biomedical science, literally has saved the lives of billions of people. Yet, modern medicine has been sustaining an assault from multiple fronts in recent years.

And now, a fourth front has opened: A war on biomedical knowledge itself.

A new paper, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, argues that modern medicine has bullied indigenous knowledge, and it needs to be protected. The authors write, “[T]raditional medicine treatments and practices have long been subjugated, devalued, co-opted, and in some cases decimated across the globe within the context of European colonization.” Furthermore, the authors lament that this issue “frequently goes unaddressed.”

There’s a reason for that: It’s historical revisionist nonsense. When the British colonized what became the United States, they brought all their kooky 17th Century medical practices and theories with them. Benjamin Rush, one of America’s Founding Fathers, summarized the cutting-edge therapies of the time as “bloodletting, sweating, physicking, diuretics, vomiting and blisters.” In other words, whatever “knowledge” colonists had at that time was probably not much better than whatever indigenous peoples were practicing at the time.

Therefore, it is entirely absurd to conclude that colonialism had any role in “devaluing” local traditional medical practices. Stone-cold facts, generated by modern science and clinical trials, are why we can embrace Western medicine and reject most traditional medicine as the garbage that it is — including traditional medicine that originated in Europe.More.

Reality check: True, of course, but we need to come to grips with the fact that the war on science is a war on standards ingeneral. Facts are the first casualty but they will certainly not be the last.

See also: Academic conferences on sensitive topics now held in secret. Other academics hope it won’t happen to them but then they mustn’t say anything that would offend a progressive, now or in the future.

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Academic conferences on sensitive topics now held in secret

From Sumatra Maitra at the Federalist:

I have previously met academics, who stopped meeting students individually for feedback, ever since the MeToo movement started. But this was the first time I attended an academic colloquium held in utmost secrecy. The event was held without any advertisement or social media promotion. Nothing, none at all.

The reason is understandable, though. The context: Gilley wrote and published a paper on the cost benefit analysis of colonialism. His argument was fairly simple, although by no means simplistic. Gilley argued that the effect of colonialism was overall liberalizing, and is far more nuanced, than what is taught in post-colonial circles at universities.

The result was a predictable meltdown. Half of the journal editorial board resigned, and the outrage and social justice mob pressure ultimately led to the retraction and withdrawal of the paper from the journal. Gilley’s tenure saved his job, though he claims to be under “investigation.” To his credit, he has decided to continue further research, or as he says, “offend away.” (Download the full paper here.)More.

Reality check: We can be pretty sure the secret conferences are the only ones worth attending in the contested subject areas. Maybe it’s time for a tax revolt against the U ‘crats who sponsor the Toxic Twenties. Let them serve coffee! At woke-till-we-croak Starbucks. When the latest protest mob shouts in their face through a megaphone, they at least will know what to do.

See also: The growth of an authoritarian centre in politics

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Can failing elites be replaced?

From Frank Cannon at Townhall:

In previous generations, America’s elites shared with the rest of its citizenry a common worldview, one animated by the Judeo-Christian values first articulated in America’s founding documents. More recently, Ronald Reagan summed up those values in his famous five words: Family, Work, Neighborhood, Peace, and Freedom. Although the elites of our nation’s past may have inhabited a separate socioeconomic sphere than most other Americans, they still at least accepted the same basic vision of the social good as their fellow citizens.

Today, that is no longer the case. In recent decades, the “meritocratic” elite has cast aside their former Judeo-Christian framework and instead adopted a pseudo-religious progressivism, a relentlessly zealous ideology which seeks to subdue or punish all who oppose its aims. The widespread acceptance of the ideology by American elites has put them squarely at odds with the rest of the country, much of which still holds to the values of America’s founding.More.

Same here, of course, and it spells disaster. The elites have nothing to offer that can replace what they destroy, they don’t see that and if they did, they wouldn’t care as long as they can still run the show. Prying the show loose from them will take heroic effort, assuming it is still even possible, because so many people have come to depend on the governments they run.

See also: The real reason for demanding that groups approve abortion if they want funds to hire students

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Pew study: Christianity is slowly evaporating in Europe

From Andrea Tornielli at MercatorNet:

The survey, conducted between April and August 2017 in 15 Western European countries, shows that 91% of the population is composed of baptized people, 81% of people who grew up as Christians, 71% of people who say they are currently Christians, with a 22% who attend religious services at least once a month.

In most cases, the adults interviewed consider themselves Christians, even if they rarely attend church. The survey shows that non-practicing Christians (people who identify themselves as Christians, but participate in religious services only a few times a year) represent the largest share of the population in the region concerned.

In all countries except Italy, non-practicing Christians are more numerous than practicing Christians (i.e. those who participate in religious services at least once a month). In the UK, for example, there are about three times as many lapsed, or non-practicing Christians (55%) as practicing Christians (18%), according to the definitions used in the survey. More.

Reality check: This won’t be good for intellectual freedom in Europe because serious Christians were one of the groups that simply had to take a stand against the authoritarian secular state on many issues.

See also: The growth of an authoritarian centre in politics

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The growth of an authoritarian centre in politics

From Michael Barone at Townhall:

“Across Europe and North America, centrists are the least supportive of democracy, the least committed to its institutions and the most supportive of authoritarianism.” So wrote political researcher David Adler in The New York Times after analyzing responses to two multi-country surveys on values.

Adler found that centrists are less likely to regard democracy as “very good” and to consider free elections and protecting liberties from state oppression “essential” features of democracy. His study is subject to criticism, notably that his classification of centrists is overbroad, but it contains at least a kernel of truth.

The most vitriolic critics of electoral decisions in recent years around the world have been long identified — and celebrated — as centrists. They have been arguing that extremists, mostly on the right, are undermining the foundations of democracy. Democracy, in their view, is becoming dangerously undemocratic. More.

Reality check: The trend follows from the growth in the number of people who work for the government or for industries fully funded by government (education and health care, for example) and individuals and companies that depend on government. Increasing numbers of such people don’t even understand why anyone would oppose whatever the government wants, unless the government won’t give them free drugs or something. This’ll get worse in the foreseeable future.

See also:  Progressives wonder what happened to civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

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Anthropologists oppose laws against child murder

File:Kinderopfer 2.jpg

Aztec burial of a sacrificed child at Tlatelolco/Wolfgang Sauber, GNU

From Hank Berrien at the Daily Wire:

A law under consideration in Brazil that would outlaw ritual infanticide and child killings by indigenous groups, called “Muwaji’s Law,” is vehemently opposed by the the Brazilian Association of Anthropology, which called it “the most repressive and lethal actions ever perpetrated against the indigenous peoples of the Americas, which were unfailingly justified through appeals to noble causes, humanitarian values and universal principles.” The association disparaged the proposed law as placing indigenous peoples “in the permanent condition of defendants before a tribunal tasked with determining their degree of savagery.”

The Brazilian Association of Anthropology is not the only depraved participant in the drama; Brazil’s National Indian Foundation, according to Davidson, won’t “collect data on child-killing among indigenous tribes, resists even acknowledging its existence in public, and said in a 2016 press release that raising the issue at all ‘is in many cases an attempt to incriminate and express prejudice against indigenous peoples.’”

Davidson tells the horrifying story from The Telegraph in 2007 about Márcia and Edson Suzuki, a pair of evangelical missionaries: … More.

For a materialist, that’s a reasonable stance. Humans are not special in their view. They make a point of asserting that. Some cultures kill unborn children in great numbers; others kill born ones. Lots of other animals kill their own offspring too.

So?

It’s further along than some may think. In Canada, traditional religious groups cannot hire students for the Summer Jobs program unless they sign a statement essentially agreeing to live baby dismemberment. In Quebec, Canada, there is pressure to extend killing to born individuals who cannot give consent. That sort of thing is starting to happen, slowly but surely, in other Western countries as well.

A world run by materialists (naturalists) is a very different place.

See also: Killing Innocent Children: Yes or No? Barry Arrington: (quoting) “… a handful of indigenous tribes in Brazil that engage in the ritual killing of infants and children—namely, those with a disability, twins, and the children of single mothers, all of whom are considered to be a bad omen—and the legal efforts underway to end the practice.” But, he asks, on what basis do materialists say this is wrong?

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Fatal Flaws: A Canadian film chronicles the march of euthanasia

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A peek at the future of science, SJW-style

 

Abstract: This article addresses questions in human geography and the geographies of sexuality by drawing upon one year of embedded in situ observations of dogs and their human companions at three public dog parks in Portland, Oregon. The purpose of this research is to uncover emerging themes in human and canine interactive behavioral patterns in urban dog parks to better understand human a-/moral decision-making in public spaces and uncover bias and emergent assumptions around gender, race, and sexuality. Specifically, and in order of priority, I examine the following questions: (1) How do human companions manage, contribute, and respond to violence in dogs? (2) What issues surround queer performativity and human reaction to homosexual sex between and among dogs? and (3) Do dogs suffer oppression based upon (perceived) gender? It concludes by applying Black feminist criminology categories through which my observations can be understood and by inferring from lessons relevant to human and dog interactions to suggest practical applications that disrupts hegemonic masculinities and improves access to emancipatory spaces. – Helen Wilson, Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon, Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography Received 27 Nov 2017, Accepted 19 Feb 2018, Published online: 22 May 2018 

Maybe Bret Weinstein’s former students could get a job doing this kind of research? Better this than teaching, health care, or cancer research.

One hopes this will turn out to be a hoax or that they are kidding. One fears not.

In other news, Big Science frets about Ken Ham’s Creation Museum, as if it could possibly have the same cultural impact as their tacit acceptance that this stuff above is science.

See also: Weasel words about teaching students to think like scientists. “Likewise, STEM majors’ college experience must be integrated into a broader model of liberal education to prepare them to think critically and imaginatively about the world and to understand different viewpoints.” Realistically, today, that would mean valuing witchcraft and astrology to the same extent as science.

Algebra is not racist.

and

The war on freedom is rotting our intellectual life: Intersectionality

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You can’t be an honest atheist and a progressive at the same time.

At MercatorNet:

She worries about the fact that some prominent atheists are attracted to the intellectual dark web, “an alliance of heretics” making “an end run around the mainstream conversation” (New York Times). The dark web includes figures like Jordan B. Peterson,, Steven Pinker, and Bret Weinstein,) who want to discuss research findings and contemporary events without the muzzle of political correctness. New atheist Sam Harris, a dark webber, has recently been accused of “pseudoscientific racialist speculation” by assorted progressives. Why? Having finally read sociologist Charles Murray’s controversial book on IQ, The Bell Curve (1994), Harris doesn’t think it is mere “racist trash” but an argument from a body of data that a scientist like himself should answer. His attackers prefer that the book be denounced unread.

… atheists face a brutal choice: to remain honest truth seekers, they must part company with serious progressives. For example, atheists believe that it is true that there is no God. Serious progressives believe that all “truths” are constructs created by power-seekers. Whether or not progressives claim to be atheists, they are nihilists. For all they know, there could be a God as long as he is not in their way when they force others to think, say, or do something. The post-modern progressive is as deadly an enemy to atheists as he is to theists. He is deadly to the intellectual life, period.

A paper given at this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Canada) offers an interesting angle on the atheist movement’s future. Comparative religion student Chris Miller took on the best-known trait of public atheists: mocking the beliefs of others. … More.

See also: Sceptic asks, why do people who abandon religion embrace superstition?

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Tanya Gracic Allen says vote Conservative to stop the NDP

Despite Ford dumping her as a candidate. At Parents as First Educators:

Given the last few weeks of polling data from numerous public sources, it looks like the NDP actually has a chance of winning the current Ontario election.

I know Doug Ford’s team have run a weak and scattered campaign. Yes I know he’s getting bad advice from his team, like promising to release a fully-costed platform, and then breaking that promise. And, yes I know promoting “buck-a-beer” seems an odd campaign priority in the 21st century. And, yes, Ford’s promise to sell beer and wine – and possibly marijuana (this is still unclear)- in every corner store in Ontario is not exactly a “family friendly” policy. And yes, I know Doug Ford looked weak when he capitulated to the Liberals and left-wing media and discarded me as a candidate, while Horvath has easily stood by her “controversial” candidates. And it was a further slap in the face to conservative families to appoint a former sunshine girl/lingerie model as the PC candidate in my place. I know all of these things. We all do.

But an NDP government will be a disaster for Ontario parents. More.

Reality check: Wynne has virtually conceded, which means that if Ford loses or gets a minority, there will likely soon be an NDP-Liberal coalition. If you didn’t like high hydro rates, wait till you get used to walkouts. And blackouts. All while you are drowning in reams of jet set sanctimony about the environment.

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Skeptic asks, why do people who abandon religion embrace superstition?

Astrology Signs Chart From Denyse O’Leary at MercatorNet:

Belief in God is declining and belief in ghosts and witches is rising.

… It is a robust, longstanding phenomenon that liberals/progressives (especially millennials), including the “sciencey” ones, show more interest in occult ideas than others do. Is that counterintuitive, as many imply, or are we missing something? Vyse offers an interesting take …

He is right about the liberal world being “rocked” by 2016. A number of commentators at, for example, CNN, BBC, and Newsweek, have noted that the fading, reliably liberal traditional media seemingly cannot just process the unforeseen results and get on with things. 2020 is not far away, yet they hammer vainly on a locked glass door back in 2016.

So many media seem obsessed with the role that fake news or the Russians might have played in the results when demographics and party strategy can account for the outcome. In other words, there has been a marked preference for occult explanations as opposed to transparent explanations of the 2016 election.

While I think Vyse is right about the immediate cause of a current surge, an underlying cause is also worth considering: Superstition feeds on itself. Like a drug habit, it at once satisfies and creates an appetite for more — in this case, an appetite for occult knowledge, as opposed to transparent knowledge. That appetite can affect a person’s perception of everyday reality.

In the case of liberals/progressives/millennials, transparent facts such as the decision of the Democratic Party to ignore white working-class voters in 2012 feel dreary compared to rumours of top-secret international machinations that “really” made the difference. More.

See also: And now for something completely different… Darwinian PZ Myers laments the sad state of atheism today

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