Category Archives: Culture War

PC Lunacy: BBC cast black Nigerian actress as English queen

Yesterday, I watched the first of 3 Netflix DVDs of the 2016 British TV series, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses — a BBC adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Henry VI and Richard III plays on a turbulent period (1455 and 1487) in English history of foreign and civil wars when two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet, those of Lancaster and York, fought for control of the throne of England, while England fought France in the Hundred Years War.

The TV series boasts an impressive roster of actors, including Benedict Cumberbatch (he’s in DVDs #2 and #3), Hugh Bonneville (of Downton Abbey fame), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter‘s Professor Albus Dumbledore), and Judi Dench.

About a quarter or third into the Hollow Crown DVD, while on an English siege of France, the Duke of Somerset (a leader of the Lancaster “red rose” faction, portrayed by Shakespeare as one of the bad guys) came upon a “fair maiden” in a castle — Margaret, a daughter of the Duke of Anjou. Struck by Margaret’s beauty, Somerset proposed a scheme to Margaret — that she marry the young English King Henry VI, in exchange for the independence from English rule of the French regions of Anjou and Maine. England at the time had conquered and controlled various parts of northern France.

Long story short: Margaret the “fair” maiden of French Anjou would marry Henry VI and become Queen Margaret, who plotted and schemed with the Lancaster faction.

Even though the scene of the encounter of Somerset and Margaret was dimly lit and Margaret’s face was partly obscured by a hideous mop of long black hair, I could see what was wrong:

  • Margaret was not a young maiden, but a middle-aged woman. History says Margaret of Anjou was 15 when she married King Henry VI, who was 23. (Henry VI had become king when he was only 9 months old, upon the sudden death of his father, King Henry V.)
  • Margaret was not fair or beautiful by any stretch of the imagination.
  • Margaret was black, with stereotypical negroid features.

15-year-old Margaret of Anjou, France, was played by a 47-year-old actress — Sophie Okonedo, a British actress who was born in London of a Nigerian father and a Jewish mother.


In an “exclusive” to the UK Express, May 6, 2016, Hollow Crown director Dominic Cooke explained the decision to cast Okonedo in “what is considered to be a traditionally white role,” saying that Okonedo was simply “the best person” for the part:

“Well, in the theatre we’ve been doing this for donkeys years. I think Sophie is the best person in this country to play that part, I really do. Her visceral power and range is so extraordinary – that’s what I was really looking for. It might be surprising for TV audiences to adjust to the idea that what they are watching is a myth, right. So it’s the best actor and I know from the theatre that that works and I’ve done it many, many times. I don’t think that you can do a piece of work that is about who we are as a society and just have white people doing it. I hope that she is so brilliant in the part that that will be the thing people talk about in the end. I feel we should always be making sure that we’re being open-minded, when making drama, about the casting possibilities. I think the sense of impatience there is in culture about all these issues is actually very healthy. You want the world you’re showing on screen to reflect the world you’re in and we live in a plural world, so our stories have to include the widest possible range of people.”

The reporter for the Express article writes:

Sophie’s casting comes at a time when the lack of ethnic minorities within the British film and television industry is being called into question.

Recall that in the lead up to the 2016 Academy (Oscar) Awards, blacks in Hollywood complained that no blacks were nominated for an acting award.

Just you wait.

Any day now, there’ll be a Hollyweird movie with a black actress playing Jacqueline Kennedy. And if you point out that Jackie was not black, but white, you’ll be called . . . .

You guessed it.



Grinnell College warns against ‘deplorable and problematic’ costumes

what are we offended by

From Campus Reform: Grinnell College (a private liberal arts college in Iowa) is promoting a guide to help students avoid “cultural appropriation” this Halloween, warning that some costumes could be considered “deplorable and problematic.” (Gee, wonder where they got the idea for the word “deplorable?”)

The guide provides several examples of costumes that might fit the definition of “cultural appropriation,” defining the term as “the act of displaying people’s cultures in a disrespectful or condescending manner.”

The guide, called “My Identity, Not Your Costume,” goes on to list several examples of “offensive” Halloween costumes, featuring pictures of Grinnell students holding photos of costumes that would be considered disrespectful towards their culture.

In one instance, the guide shows a picture of a burly white man dressed in lingerie with a sash proclaiming “Call me Caitlyn,” referring to Caitlyn Jenner. The photo is held by a Grinnell student wearing a “National Coming Out Day” pin, and includes a caption stating, “the misrepresentation of my identity bothers me because people categorize me by my looks and may not understand my culture.”

You just don't understand this culture...

You just don’t understand this culture…

Another example of culturally appropriated Halloween costumes, according to the guide, is “using other cultures as accessories to appear more hip/interesting without adequate understanding or permission,” one example of which is a picture of someone dressed as a Hindu deity being held by an Indian student and the message that such costumes are “deplorable and problematic.”

It then warns students that if their costumes take “defining characteristics of another culture” without “permission, or understanding of the historical background behind the said culture,” then these costumes might be too offensive to wear.

The guide then concludes with two questions the school thinks students should consider before selecting a Halloween costume, asking, “Does your costume perpetuate stereotypes or inaccurately portray my culture as a joke?” as well as “Why would I find your ‘Halloween costume’ to be offensive?”

Campus Reform reached out to Grinnell for a comment on the matter but did not receive a response in time for publication.

To donate to Campus Reform, go here.


Maria Carmen, 9, heard angels sing at her foreseen death

The 2016 presidential election season is particularly vicious and vile.

Do you feel disgusted and soiled when a Hillary Clinton political ad pops up on TV? Do you feel you need, not only a bath, but a soul-cleansing?

I do.

Here’s a reminder of purity.


Maria del Carmen Gonzales-Valerio was born in Madrid, Spain, on March 14, 1930 into a noble, militantly Catholic and Spanish Nationalist family and lived during the turbulent Spanish Civil War.

Soon after her birth, baby Maria was baptized after she became very ill. She was confirmed at the age of two, and made her first communion when she was only six years old.

As a child, Maria was known for her deep piety and compassion for the poor. At the age of five, she would give the little money she had when a poor person came to the door.

In 1936, Maria’s father, Julio González-Valerio, became a martyr of the Spanish Civil War when he was taken away by Communist militiamen and executed. As he was led away, Julio told his wife, Carmen, to tell their children that “their father gave up his life for God and for Spain, so that our children may be raised in a Catholic Spain, where the crucifix reigns over in schools.”

Knowing that their lives were in danger for being Catholic, Carmen and her children sought refuge at the Belgian Embassy, where they were granted asylum when the Belgian ambassador learned that Spanish Communists planned to abduct the children and send them to Russia to be raised as Marxists. The family later sought safety in San Sebastian.

When Maria was nine, she contracted scarlet fever. She offered her sufferings and later her death for the conversion of those who had killed her father, and for the conversion of then-president of the socialist Republic of Spain, Manuel Azaña.

Maria predicted she would die on July 16, 1939, the feast day of her patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. When she learned that her aunt would be married on that day, Maria predicted she would die on the next day instead.

Maria told a nurse in the hospital: “My father died as a martyr. Poor mommy! And I am dying as a victim.” On July 17, 1939, at around 1 p.m., Maria began to pray. She said she heard Angels sing. Her last words were:

“I die as a martyr. Please, doctor, let me go now. Don’t you see that the Blessed Virgin has come with the Angels to get me? Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul with you.”

Witnesses at her death bed said her body emitted a sweet fragrance — the distinctive scent of sanctity.

On November 3, 1940, 15½ months after Maria’s death, Manuel Azaña converted to Catholicism on his death bed.

On January 16, 1996, Pope John Paul II declared Maria del Carmen Gonzales-Valerio venerable, a step before canonization.

Sources: Wikipedia, Church Pop


Fisher-Price apologizes to mom disgusted by ‘girl’ toy

First-world problems.


From Sacramento Bee: Gina Zuk Gerber did not like what she saw recently when she was shopping in the toy aisle. She shared her displeasure on Facebook, and now toy giant Fisher-Price has apologized to the Baltimore mom, promising to fix the “girl” toy that caused her displeasure.

“My son’s favorite toys growing up were Little People. I always just grabbed the fire truck or barn and didn’t think much about it. Today when shopping for toys for Anna I was disgusted to see the ‘girl’ versions of Little People,” Gerber recently wrote on her Facebook page.

“The only ones with all girl figures were all smothered in pink and purple, they worked in interesting places like the ‘home,’ and they all lacked the multiple educational elements the ‘boys’ toys had.”

The offensive toy...

The offensive toy…

But this is what really set her off: a plastic SUV with a mom doll. “Please note tagline ‘time for yoga and a smoothie.’” Gerber wrote. “It’s 2016 people. Fisher Price needs to step … up and show women working in all types of fields and in leadership roles.”

Gerber’s post quickly went viral among other moms who felt the same way. “Because all women do is yoga and sip smoothies,” one woman wrote. “Oh Fisher Price you screwed up big time!”

Redbook magazine took a swipe at the toymaker, too, writing that girls can be “more than just SUV-driving stay-at-home-moms.”

“Sure, the dutiful stay-at-home mom breaking a sweat from cooking some fatty meat has ‘progressed,’ for lack of a better word, to a health-conscious mom who cavorts about town in a care-free manner, scheduling workout classes and sucking down smoothies to better herself rather than please someone else,” the magazine noted.

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

“But it’s still representative of one kind of mom: a stay-at-home mom, which, while fine to be, shouldn’t be the only possibility illustrated to young girls. After all, they can be much, much more.”

The company told ABC News that “as a result of Ms. Gina Gerber’s advocacy, we are planning to make a running change to both the package and audio chip.”

Fisher-Price also sent Gerber a direct message on Twitter, The New York Daily News reports. “You’re absolutely right; we could have done a better job,” the company wrote to her. “You’ve inspired us to change the phrase the toy says, and also the words we call out on the package. . . We’re getting to work on that now!”

The company also reiterated its commitment to breaking down stereotypes in its toys. “You can find a female Little People firefighter, dentist, mail carrier, farmer, and in 2017 you’ll see our Little People friends branch out even more with both female and male characters in professional and community service roles such as servicemen and women, doctors and dentists, athletes, construction workers and others,” the company told Gerber.

A male writer at took Gerber to task for making much ado about nothing, “bullying” the company into making an unnecessary change and for taking her case “to the only place that would care if a dumb toy was offensive, Facebook of course.”

Gerber told ABC she doesn’t have anything against yoga, but was still offended by the insinuation that yoga and smoothies are a big part of motherhood. “Maybe it’s one relaxing moment in a day, but it’s definitely not representative of being a mom,” she told ABC.


Austrian court overturns Muslim refugee’s conviction for raping 10 y.o. boy because court didn’t prove man knew boy was saying no

Austria, like Germany and other West European countries, is determined to commit suicide.

The Supreme Court of Austria overturned the conviction of 20-year-old Iraqi refugee Amir A. for raping a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool, because a lower court didn’t prove Amir had known the boy was saying no to the sodomy.

In December 2015, former Iraqi taxi-driver Amir A. Amir was traveling with a government-appointed 15-year-old helper and translator who was supposed to teach Amir how to “integrate” into life in Vienna.

At the Theresienbad pool in Vienna, Austria, Amir dragged a 10-year-old boy into the changing room, locked the door, and violently raped the boy.

The boy, who is known by only his first name Goran, told a lifeguard he had been attacked, and the police were called. Police found Amir in the swimming pool  playing on the diving board as if nothing had happened.

Goran suffered severe internal injuries and was rushed to a children’s hospital. He has had post-traumatic stress disorder ever since. The boy’s mother, who herself is a Serbian refugee, said her son has severe panic attacks, “screams and cries” and is often frightened,” and can only sleep with the help of medication.

Kronen Zeitung daily reported that confessing to the rape in an interview with police officers, Amir admitted he knew that “such acts were forbidden in any country of the world” but that it was a “sexual emergency” because he had not had sex for four months.

In June 2016, a court found Amir guilty of grave sexual assault and rape of a minor and was sentenced to six years in jail.
Prosecutors described the boy as suffering “profound despair.” The boy’s family was awarded €4,730 (US$5,150) in compensation.

On October 20, 2016, despite Chief Justice Thomas Philipp calling Amir’s verdict “watertight,” Austria’s Supreme Court overturned the verdict, acceding to the defense lawyer’s claim that the lower court had not done enough to prove that Amir indeed had acted against the will of the boy — that Amir knew at the time that the boy was saying no.

Note: What this implies is that the Austrian Supreme Court thinks it’s okay for an adult male to sodomize a boy so long as the boy “consents,” which of course is de facto legalization of pedophilia. As the saying goes: “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” Before Austria (and West Europe) began committing suicide via Muslim “migrants,” they had already destroyed their souls.

The new trial is likely to take place in 2017, until which time Amir will remain in custody.

There have been a number of reports of similar attacks by “asylum seekers” at swimming pools across Austria and elsewhere in Europe, including:

  • A 37-year-old mother and her four-year-old son were sexually assault in the quiet southern Austrian town of Klagenfurt in March 2016.
  • Authorities in the Austrian town of Mistelbach issued a temporary pool ban for refugees following a sexual assault by a “dark-skinned’ man on a 13-year-old girl in June 2016.  According to Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, a young man followed the girl into the women’s changing room, where he forced her to perform oral sex. The attacker fled when the girl resisted and started shouting.

Sources: Daily Mail, RT

According to its website, Austria’s Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof) is the country’s “highest court in civil and criminal matters.” It has 60 members – a President, two Vice Presidents, presiding justices of panels (referred to as Senatspräsidenten and Senatspräsidentinnen) and other justices (called Hofräte or Hofrätinnen).

On criminal matters, the contact person is:

Hofrätin (or Justice) of the Supreme Court of Justice
Dr. Helene Bachner-Foregger
Oberster Gerichtshof
Schmerlingplatz 11
A-1011 Wien
Telephone: +43 1 52152 3848 (or 3315)
Fax: +43 1 52152 3710

See also:


Sunday Devotional: How to fight for what is right

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Today’s reading is a sober and much-needed reminder of the difference between being righteous and being self-righteous.

Here are the definitions from Oxford Dictionaries:

  • righteous: A person who is “morally right or justifiable”; “morally good; virtuous”.
  • self-righteous: “Having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior.

Jesus’ admonition in Luke 18 is about being self-righteous.

It’s an admonition that I especially must take to heart because I have this daily soap-box of Fellowship of the Minds.


Yes, we are to fight for what is right. But when you and I get all puffed out with righteous moral indignation, be sure that we’re not being self-righteous, for our Lord is “a God of justice, who knows no favorites.” (Sirach 35:12)

So what’s the antidote to self-righteousness?

Three things:

  1. Be sure that when we are on that moral high horse, our cause and our justice are God’s cause and justice.
  2. Humility: Don’t imagine that being righteous makes us morally superior or better than others.
  3. Love: The right kind of love. Not love of self — getting all puffy and grandiose that we are morally better than others — but love of God.

It’s always narcissism: our stumbling block is always narcissism.

Remember that the Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength.

He is our lodestar. Always.

Jesus loves us this much

Fix our eyes not on ourselves, but on Him — while we battle for what is good, and right, and true, and just.

And then perhaps someday, when it’s time for us to go, we too can say what St. Paul said:

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have competed well;
I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

May the peace and love and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,


WikiLeaks Podesta emails: Clinton Foundation works with Big Pharma to keep AIDS drug prices high

WikiLeaks is the gift that keeps on giving.

Gay men presumably are Hillary Clinton supporters. So enthused are they that when Hillary formally announced she’s running for the presidency in April 2016, a San Francisco homosexual immediately launched an “I’d Bottom for Hillary” campaign and began selling t-shirts and tank tops “that promote one’s willingness to receive anal penetration (metaphorically, of course) from the former Secretary of State who is now the top (ahem) Democratic candidate.” (See “Homosexuals join Hillary Clinton 2016 in ‘I’d bottom for Hillary!’ campaign” )

I'd Bottom For Hillary

Gay men account for most HIV/AIDS cases, so lower costs for AIDS prescription drugs are in their interest.

Well, gay men should know that a Podesta email chain on December 8, 2011, published by WikiLeaks (here), reveals that the Clinton Foundation opposed lowering the costs of AIDS drugs in the United States.

Note: “Podesta email” refers to thousands of emails of John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, which were hacked and made available to WikiLeaks. To read the Podesta emails that have been released by WikiLeaks, click here.

The particular email chain in question began with an email between two Clinton Foundation officials, Ira Magaziner and Amitabh Desai, with a cc to John Podesta.

Note: Ira Magaziner, 68, is a former senior advisor for policy development and chief healthcare policy advisor to President Bill Clinton who is currently the CEO and vice chairman of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). CHAI supposedly works to save lives in low and middle income countries by helping people gain access to essential medicines and health services.

Amitabh Desai is the Director of Foreign Policy at the Clinton Foundation.


In his email to Desai, Magaziner expressed dismay that Bill Clinton had made remarks at a World AIDS Day event urging that domestic AIDS drugs prices be lowered, without first “consulting” with the Clinton Foundation. Magaziner said the Foundation opposes publicly pressuring drug companies to lower their prices on AIDS drugs because doing so would “seriously jeopardize” the Foundation’s “negotiations” to lower drug prices in poor countries (assuming the Clinton Foundation actually does that — see “The High Cost of AIDS drugs in Africa” by Julia M. Hernandez, J.D.). Magaziner said the Foundation has “always” assured drug companies that the Foundation would not pressure them to lower drug prices because that would lead to a “slippery slope” of lower drug prices in the U.S. and Europe. He then said Bill Clinton’s intemperate remarks had ruined the many years of “positive relationships” the Foundation had labored to build with pharmaceutical companies — relationships that the Foundation must now repair.

Here’s the email:

From: Ira Magaziner
To: Amitabh Desai
Cc: Bruce Lindsey; John Podesta ( <>
Sent: Thu Dec 08 03:35:29 2011
Subject: FW: Domestic AIDS Memo


This note and the attached memo are in response to your inquiry as to whether CHAI [Clinton Health Access Initiative] has any thoughts on how to proceed on the comments President [Bill] Clinton made on lowering domestic AIDS drugs prices at the World AIDS day event. Attached is a detailed memo with recommendations on how CHAI and President Clinton could be helpful in the domestic fight against AIDS. We have been working on this memo since the last CHAI board meeting when this issue first came up and had planned to send it to President Clinton and the CHAI board in December for further discussion.

We were taken by surprise by President Clinton’s comments on world AIDS day and wish that someone had consulted with us before he made these comments. As you will see when you read this memo, we think that publicly pressuring the US and European AIDS drug companies to lower prices and bringing pressure to allow generic AIDS drugs into the United States will have limited if any success and could seriously jeopardize our negotiations to continually lower prices in poor countries. We also believe that there are other more impactful ways to address the US AIDS crisis today. We have always told the drug companies that we would not pressure them and create a slippery slope where prices they negotiate with us for poor countries would inevitably lead to similar prices in rich countries. If we were going to change our view on this, we should have informed the companies before President Clinton went public with his statement and attempted to negotiate a way for them to participate in and get credit for whatever steps we could have persuaded them to take to help the crisis in the states. We might or might not have been successful in getting them to do something, but we believe the chances of success would have been higher than by trying to pressure them through a public campaign. It has taken us many years to build positive relationships with these companies while at the same time pushing them to continually lower their prices. We will now have to try to repair these relationships.

Since President Clinton’s comments were made, we have been contacted by a number of advocacy groups who are now intending to wage a public campaign to bring in generics and lower drug prices. We do not feel we can participate in this without jeopardizing our work around the world. We cannot oppose what they might do, but we also cannot be publicly supporting it either. This campaign will not get started until January, so we have some time to figure out and act upon our own strategy. If we do try to do something in this area, we suggest that we approach the innovator companies that can currently sell products in the US with the idea of making donations to help clear the ADAP lists. For a variety of reasons, the companies will likely favor a donation approach rather than one that erodes prices across the board. I would guess that they would also likely favor a solution that involved their drugs rather than an approach that allowed generic drugs from India to flood the US market at low prices or one that set a precedent of waiving patent laws on drugs. This will be complicated to work out, but it might be possible. We would have to initiate discussions with multiple state health officials as well as HHS in addition to talking with the drug companies. If President Clinton wishes for us to be proactive, we suggest that we try a cooperative approach first. We can go to war with the US drug companies if President Clinton would like to do so, but we would not suggest it.

Whatever we decide, we need to make a decision quickly and President Clinton and CHAI need to be in synch. I do not think it is a good idea for President Clinton to be taking one position and CHAI another. Once we have decided what to do on the drug question, we can then decide if we want to work with state health authorities in the ways that the memo suggests to implement programs to expand testing and treatment. CHAI management is willing to expand the mandate of CHAI to add a focus on domestic AIDS, though this will involve having to build an organization to do the work and significant time and resources. We would need to go to the CHAI board for approval as it would represent a major add on to the strategy that we presented to the board and that the board approved at its last meeting. And of course if we do this, we need to find a way to get it funded. I do not know if President Clinton has any thoughts on funding for a domestic AIDS project. Even a negotiation on how to clear the ADAP lists by getting drug companies and state officials and the federal government to work together on a deal would take a significant amount of time and resources to accomplish. We can undertake it, but unless we can get the work funded or the board gives us leave to do it as an unfunded project, we could not move forward. Perhaps we should have a discussion with President Clinton about next steps.



In a follow-up email on the same day (Dec. 8, 2011), Ira Magaziner indicated that the Clinton Foundation also has “agreements” with big pharmaceutical companies on other drugs as well:

“we [the Clinton Foundation] have done a number of agreements with big US and European pharmaceutical companies . .  . for second and third line drugs and for new drugs in the pipeline that are coming forward,” as well as “vaccines and for TB and malaria drugs.”

Isn’t there a law against price-fixing?

To see the email chain for yourself, go to WikiLeaks.

Back in April when gay men began their “I’d Bottom for Hillary” campaign, betcha they never thought they would be BOHICAed this way.

See also: