Friday, September 25, 2020


The Anti-Religious Dogma of the Democrats

“The dogma lives loudly within you.”

So said Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein on September 6, 2017, as she “questioned” Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals confirmation hearing. Feinstein must’ve forgotten about the Constitution’s Article VI “no religious test” clause, and she must’ve had no idea that her catchy little anti-Catholic smear would one day be a potent rallying cry for Barrett’s supporters.

But here we are.

President Donald Trump will announce his nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court on Saturday, and Barrett has emerged as the strong favorite. “I’m saving her for Ruth’s seat,” the president had reportedly said when he decided on Justice Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat in 2018.

At the time of Feinstein’s bigoted comment, a few leading voices spoke out against it. These included John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, where Barrett was then a law professor. “I am one in whose heart ‘dogma lives loudly,’ as it has for centuries in the lives of many Americans, some of whom have given their lives in service to this nation,” wrote Jenkins in an open letter to Feinstein. “Indeed, it lived loudly in the hearts of those who founded our nation as one where citizens could practice their faith freely and without apology.”

We could end this column right here, with those potent words. But we’ll soldier on a bit longer, because we need to explore the real dogma here, which is the religiously intolerant dogma — even the atheistic dogma — that today “lives loudly” both on the Left and within the Democrat Party.

The attacks on Barrett began in earnest yesterday, with the mainstream media taking the lead. As National Review’s Zachary Evans reports, “Barrett is reportedly a member of People of Praise, an interdenominational Christian community organization. A Tuesday article from Reuters questioned whether the group was similar to a totalitarian cult from the novel The Handmaid’s Tale, while a story from Newsweek initially asserted that Margaret Atwood, the author of the novel, used People of Praise as inspiration for the book’s fictional cult.”

That was a shameful and reckless falsehood, perhaps even an outright lie, and Newsweek was forced to correct it. But you’ll have to scroll and scroll and scroll to find where Newsweek “regrets the error” in a story that still smears Barrett and those Catholics.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, though, had already heard enough. “These ugly smears against Judge Barrett,” he said, “are a combination of anti-Catholic bigotry and QAnon-level stupidity. People of Praise is basically a Bible study — and just like billions of Christians around the world, Judge Barrett reads the Bible, prays, and tries to serve her community. Senators should condemn this wacky McCarthyism.”

The secular religion of the Left is nothing new, but its numbers are growing, and so is its intolerance for people of faith. These days, leftists don’t merely reject Christianity; they ridicule it. Unless they can use it to take power — in which case they embrace it. As columnist Elle Reynolds puts it, “The media loves to fawn over the pious and heartfelt Catholicism of Joe Biden. Now they’re talking about the Catholic faith of Amy Coney Barrett, the frontrunner to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But you’ll notice a very different tone. The key differences are their adherence to their faith’s actual teachings, as well as their political leanings.”

Joe Biden is a fake Catholic, an abortion-on-demand Catholic. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, on the other hand, is a real Catholic, an honest adherent of the faith. Which is why the Left is hell-bent on destroying her.

SOURCE

The Coming Political Apocalypse

If the reelection campaign of Donald Trump didn’t have enough drama already, mix in the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and we’re facing the end of the world as we know it. At least if you believe the mainstream media. Leftists have gone into crisis mode (have they ever left it since Trump became president?) and are having fainting spells over what Republicans might do with an open seat on the Supreme Court.

I have a question. If the shoe was on the other foot, if there was a Democrat president and a Democrat Senate and a position on the Supreme Court opened up, do you think they would hesitate one minute to fill the spot? I didn’t think so.

The hyperbole on the Left is astounding! Democrats claim any attempt to fill Ginsburg’s position on the Court will be met with violence unlike anything we’ve seen so far. That’s a little hard to imagine. But what we saw during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings pales in comparison to what we’re about to see. This is not going to be for the faint of heart.

What’s the endgame here? Leftists would have you believe that if they lose an election, it was because of fraud by the Republicans. They refuse to believe people would vote for someone like Trump. I mean, Hillary Clinton was such an incredible candidate, how could she have lost except by Trump’s cheating? The irony of the matter is leftists were the ones doing all the cheating.

They say Trump might not accept the results of the election. They’ve never accepted the results of the last election. Anyone remember that Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier? In a recent interview, Hillary said the Russians interfered in the last election and they are still interfering with this one. And she said it with a straight face. Bill Clinton, sitting off to the side, looked at her like she was losing her mind. I can’t read his thoughts, but his face was saying, Really? You’re still going with that excuse?

What conservatives face right now are veiled threats that the violence in Democrat-run cities won’t stop until Trump is voted out of office. We’re being blackmailed to vote against our own best interests! Leftists are overplaying their hand. I’m not sure what genius came up with the idea that threatening patriotic Americans with violence if they don’t just surrender is a winning strategy.

How long do they think they can lay the blame for all of the COVID-19 deaths, loss of jobs, and the violence in the streets of Democrat-run cities on President Trump? I know there are a lot of low-information voters out there, but this election has more people paying attention than anytime I can remember in my lifetime. Personally, as a veteran, I don’t take kindly to those who think they can threaten me to accomplish their political goals.

With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, leftists think there’s blood in the water. Like sharks, they’re circling the prey (us) and believe they can overthrow the election results in their favor. Let’s pray they’re wrong!

Something to think about?

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The Dishonest Lunacy of Claiming ‘Systemic Racism’

“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals can believe them.”

To listen to the unhinged bloviation of elite academia regarding racism in America is to personify George Orwell’s axiom: “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals can believe them.”

Today’s political discourse is saturated by claims that America is a “systemically racist” country. Allegedly, this virulent racism pervades every major American institution — academia, the justice system, government, business, education, etc.

Where is the proof?

Regarding the justice system, the “anti-racist” progressive Left looks at the disproportionate rates of black men incarcerated as evidence of systemic racism, as if crimes are committed in direct proportion to the racial makeup of society. This completely ignores differences in the behaviors that lead to incarceration.

Black people make up 13% of the population, yet, according to Justice Department statistics, in 2018 (the latest year available), blacks committed 53% of murders/non-negligent homicides, 54% of robberies, and 34% of aggravated assaults. In 2016, blacks committed 29% of all rapes. And keep in mind, the majority of the victims in these cases are black.

By contrast, Asians make up 5.6% of the U.S. population but are arrested for just 1.3% of murders, 1.4% of robberies, and 2.1% of armed robberies.

Is this, therefore, proof of a pro-Asian bias in law enforcement, where Asians are actually committing more crimes, but police are overlooking them because they are Asian? Or is it more likely that, due to cultural differences, Asians commit far fewer crimes both overall and as a percentage of the population?

What role do individual decisions play in incarceration rates? There is a direct correlation between having a father in the home and crime rates, and there is a greater than 70% unwed-pregnancy rate in the black community.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, one of the nation’s foremost legal minds, exposes the fallacy of claiming systemic racism. “Enforcement authorities, defense counsel, and the court frequently bend over backwards to plead cases out to softer versions of the criminal conduct’s harsh reality,” he writes. “They do so precisely to rationalize the avoidance or reduction of jail time.”

If these arrests are racially driven, where are the mountains of motions by defense lawyers arguing a racial motivation in their clients’ arrests? Where are the complaints against racist judges?

The self-flagellating claims of pervasive racism in academia are even more ludicrous. After all, American universities are overwhelmingly run by progressive administrators, with courses overwhelmingly taught by leftist professors.

If institutional racism is so deeply embedded in the university system, which is overwhelmingly dominated by “anti-racist” progressives, who is to blame for the systemic racism?

The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald asks the same relevant question we posed above: namely, where is the proof? If such academic racism exists, she asks, “Which faculty members do not treat black students fairly? If that unjust treatment is so obvious, why weren’t those professors already removed?” How have we tolerated an admissions process that apparently lets in thousands of student bigots?“

If racism, as Middlebury College President Laurie Patton claims, “happens in our residence halls and in our classrooms, at the tables of our dining halls and in our locker rooms, on our sidewalks, within the offices where we work, and in our town,” why have these woke administrators and professors allowed it to fester and take root?

Of course, every sane person knows these ridiculous declarations are nothing more than pseudo-pious virtue signaling.

Those rare brave souls — like Penn Law Professor Amy Wax — who dare depart from leftist orthodoxy and speak truth are immediately forced to recant, or they are personally and professionally destroyed.

The truth is that there is a racial bias in academia … in favor of minorities. Black students have much lower thresholds for entrance into college than white or Asian students. Universities are appointing vice presidents and chancellors of diversity to make sure no minority ever has their tender little feelings hurt, intentionally or unintentionally. The mere hint of an allusion to a possibility of racism sends the entire university administration structure into a panic, pleading forgiveness, launching witch hunts to find offenders, and prostrating themselves before the anti-racist woke mob and begging for mercy.

This leads to such insanity as UC-Davis starting an “anti-racist reading group” for faculty and students in order to combat the “structural racism that pervades” the field of geology. You read that right — geology, the study of rocks.

The journal Nature declared the mission of science should be to “amplify marginalized voices,” and the American Mathematical Society declared “equity, diversity, and inclusion” as a core component of its mission, where mathematicians have an “obligation” to “help create fundamental change.”

This is all utter and complete lunacy.

To be sure, American universities are indeed hotbeds of virulent bigotry — just not in the way they claim. They are openly hostile of and contemptuous toward conservative political thought and Judeo-Christian beliefs (though quite tolerant of Islamic beliefs). Conservative, Christian students are routinely mocked, harassed, denied free speech, persecuted, and even physically assaulted.

The saddest part of all of this is that we are raising generations of minority children who are taught to be victims, who are taught that the world hates them and actively seeks to oppress them, and that they can never achieve their goals because of it.

This destroys hope, ambition, and a sense of personal responsibility. It stokes despair, hatred, and rage. Eventually, cities burn.

What a reprehensible and destructive thing to do to a young mind, all in the name of a phony narrative of “systemic racism

SOURCE

Australia: The terrifying police state Daniel Andrews wants to create: How innocent Victorians can be arrested and detained indefinitely without evidence – on the word of power-hungry public servants

The “Chairman Dan” nickname is well earned. Communist party bosses were usually named as chairmen

Innocent Victorians could be arrested in the street or at work and detained indefinitely by power-crazed officials under a new law Daniel Andrews wants to pass, top lawyers have warned.

The proposed new law, which will be debated in the Victorian parliament next month, would allow the government to give anyone it chooses – such as public servants – the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions and make arrests.

The unprecedented plan would also allow officials to detain people they suspect may spread coronavirus even if they have done nothing wrong.

Officials would also be able to follow up on tip-offs that Covid rules have been breached at a home or a workplace without needing the police to accompany them.

Eighteen esteemed former judges and lawyers have written an open letter warning that the law is ‘unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse’.

One of those lawyers, Ross Gillies QC, told Daily Mail Australia he fears power-hungry officials who enjoy exerting authority may abuse the powers given to them.

‘I don’t trust someone who is nominated by a public servant with the power to make arrests. I have real abiding concern that power is a very dangerous thing,’ he said.

‘Some people are excited by power and the ability to exert authority over someone else. There is the potential for enormous injustice.’

‘Someone might grab someone and say “I have reason to believe you are a Covid carrier or know someone who has Covid and I apprehend you”.

‘There would be no remedy in that situation. That may be the worst-case scenario but we know that can happen.’

Mr Gillies described the law, which has passed the lower house, as ‘draconian’ and urged the upper house to vote it down or amend it next month.

James Peters QC, who also signed the letter, expressed similar concerns. ‘Power is very intoxicating and only some people can exercise it carefully such as very well trained groups,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

Asked if the new law could see innocent Victorians being arrested in the street, he said: ‘That’s right, that’s a very big risk.’

Mr Peters said normally when somebody is arrested they are brought before a bail justice but the proposed law does not say that would happen.

Asked if it allows officials to indefinitely detain people under state of emergency powers, he said: ‘It could be read that way, yes.’

He also said it was unclear what redress people who are wrongfully arrested would have. ‘We have a traditional understanding of police power and redress to the courts if you have concern about how powers are exercised,’ he said.

‘But how are you able to effectively test the belief upon which you were restrained? ‘You might not find out about it [why you were arrested] until you get to court.’

He flagged that there could be a legal challenge if the law passes, saying: ‘When excessive powers are legislated, there is often a legal challenge.’

Asked if all 18 signatories to the letter would launch legal action together, he said: ‘I can’t speak for everyone I can only speak for myself.’

The proposed law does not specify who will be authorised to make arrests.

‘We just don’t know, that’s one of the vices. They could be anybody,’ said Mr Peters.

‘It’s not enough to say the problem can be managed without specifying who could be given the powers.’

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr Andrews suggested the power to make arrests would be given to WorkSafe officials and health department workers.

At the moment police need to be present to make an arrest but Mr Andrews wants public servants to have that power on their own.

He said currently when a workplace is inspected to see if it is abiding by Covid-19 rules ‘there’s got to be someone from police, someone from WorkSafe, somebody from the Health Department, that doesn’t make any sense.

‘If we can essentially double or triple the resource available to you, it stands to reason that we’ll have more people doing the right thing. ‘

Mr Andrews said he wants to make sure supermarkets, abattoirs and other workplaces are adhering to strict rules including social distancing and limits on the number of workers on the premises at once.

Asked why he needs to give powers to detain people before they do anything wrong, he said: ‘They’re based on a reasonable belief principle and proportionality principle about the risk of spreading Covid.

‘There are some people who are not compliant, refuse to act in a responsible and safe way. Those powers would not be frequently used. They would be, I think, rare. But they are important.’

Those who could be arrested include positive patients or close contacts who officials suspect may refuse to self-isolate, such as protesters or people with mental health difficulties.

They could be taken to a hotel for mandatory quarantine for as long as the authorised officer believes is necessary.

Critics say Mr Andrews wants to create his own version of the Stasi, the East German secret police force which spied on citizens through a network of informants and arrested more than 250,000 people between 1950 and 1990.

The measures are outlined in the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020, which will meet resistance when read in the upper house next month.

Liberty Victoria president Julian Burnside has raised concerns that government workers authorised to make arrests may not be able to accurately determine whether someone poses a risk of spreading Covid-19.

‘The bill introduces a preventative detention regime which appears to have little protections or oversight, and provides far too much discretion to people who may lack the necessary expertise to determine risk, including police officers,’ he said.

Victoria’s state of emergency and disaster powers, extended until October 11, give police the power to detain someone ‘for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health’.

Police officers can also search people’s homes without a warrant and restrict movement between locations such as between regional Victoria and Melbourne.

Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs told Daily Mail Australia the legislation was ‘extremely dangerous’ and would create the ‘Daniel Andrews Stasi’.

‘It will allow Dan Andrews to effectively appoint anyone he wants as an authorised officer, with extraordinarily broad discretion to enforce Victoria’s emergency powers,’ he said.

‘Union leaders could be appointed to unleash retribution on small business owners who speak out against lockdowns.

‘Labor Party officials could be appointed to intimidate political opponents. ‘I Stand With Dan’ types could be appointed to spy on their friends and neighbours.

‘Not since East Germany have we seen such a monstrous web of government surveillance. The Victorian Parliament must vote down this bill and say no to the Dan Andrews Stasi.’

SOURCE

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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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Thursday, September 24, 2020


Identity Issues: Probing Woke Culture

Randall G. Holcombe

We are all different and all unique, and I try to treat everybody as an individual rather than stereotyping them as belonging to some group. I do my best to treat everyone with the same respect I’d like them to extend to me. But I confess to being un-woke and not understanding the logic behind some aspects of woke culture and identity issues.

I’m focusing on two of those issues here, prompted by this article in The New Yorker.

The article begins by talking about cultural appropriation, relating a story about a blue-eyed singer dressed in Jamaican carnival garb, which apparently is cultural appropriation. Why is it “cultural appropriation” to admire and adopt the fashions that originated in a different culture? If this is cultural appropriation, would it not also be cultural appropriation if someone of African descent wore a suit and tie–a fashion that originated in Europe? Why should dressing a certain way be celebrated when done by some people and the object of criticism when done by others?

Cultural appropriation seems to apply to clothing, but not to music, as far as I can tell. Blues music has its origins in African American culture, but many white blues musicians are highly respected. Meanwhile, there is a push to increase the number of minority musicians in symphony orchestras, which is not considered cultural appropriation even though the orchestra repertoire is heavily European in its origins.

The main focus of The New Yorker article is not about cultural appropriation, however, but about people misrepresenting their race. The article focuses mostly on a George Washington University history professor who claimed to be Black, but as others discovered more about her background, was pushed into confessing she “assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim.”

The article also mentions Rachel Dolezal, the woman who headed the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, until 2015, when she was outed as actually being white.

What seems illogical to me, an un-woke observer of woke culture, is that it appears that it is acceptable and commendable for people to be able to choose the gender with which they identify, but is unacceptable to choose their racial identity. People can grow up identifying themselves with one gender, and at any point in their lives can decide they now identify with a different gender. Not so with race. Why?

People decide they want to change their gender identity and have major surgery to alter their body to more closely conform with their new identity, all supported by woke culture. But, if someone changes their hair style to one typically identified with a different race, that is labeled cultural appropriation. Why?

One possibility could be that people want to identify with a race that is perceived to have advantages other races don’t have. Despite sustained moves toward racial equality, “white privilege” still exists. But that doesn’t apply to the two cases mentioned in The New Yorker article, because both individuals who were mentioned were trying to shift their identities from white to the marginalized and disadvantaged identity of Black.

They were both white women, and if they said they now identified as men, woke culture would accept and embrace that identity change. But woke culture strongly rejected their attempted change in racial identity.

As contradictory as these (and other) aspects of woke culture appear to me, I try to treat everybody as an individual and everybody with respect. We are all unique and all different. Don’t take anything I’ve said here as a criticism. I’m just making an observation about aspects of contemporary culture that seem to embody obvious contradictions

SOURCE

Kenosha Riots Hit Minority Communities Hardest

Callous disregard of property rights creates long-term instability that scares away business investment and reduces economic opportunity

On August 23, the police shooting of an African American man named Jacob Blake sparked national unrest yet again, in a pattern that has become all too common. Blake survived the shooting, and the incident was murky—not a clear-cut injustice. Yet rioting and looting broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, nonetheless.

Now, as the dust settles and locals begin to sort through the rubble, the scale of the destruction that rocked the city after Blake’s shooting is becoming clear.

At least 56 businesses were damaged or destroyed by looting or arson, according to the Wall Street Journal. Current assessments report more than $50 million in damage.

“The destruction has left shop owners in one of Kenosha’s oldest business districts grappling with why their businesses became casualties of the destruction that has followed protests against racism and police brutality, and whether they will have the money to rebuild and stay in the neighborhood,” the Journal reports. “While Kenosha’s population is 79.5% white and 11.5% Black, according to census data, locals say the Uptown neighborhood is one of the city’s most diverse areas, with a majority of minority-owned businesses.”

It appears that in Kenosha, just as in Minneapolis and Chicago, the fallout from rioting and looting will disproportionately harm minority communities.

“I always think that people have the right to protest—to peacefully protest—but this goes beyond that,” La Estrella Supermarket owner Abel Alejo said. “They were destroying the neighborhoods that they want to protect.”

Even a local Black Lives Matter leader denounced this destruction, saying “We’re not into doing anything to damage our community… it waters down our message.”

This damage is significant, but defenders will no doubt seek to downplay it, explaining that “businesses have insurance.” Yet the damage goes beyond cold cash. There is also the enormous human and emotional toll involved in having your property destroyed and having to pick up the pieces that even a premium insurance plan can’t account for. What’s more, lost income and unpaid labor inevitably await any entrepreneur victimized by vandalism.

Plus, many small businesses don’t have insurance or are underinsured. They will have to bear the costs themselves.

Ultimately, the destruction in Kenosha and its disproportionate impact on urban, minority communities reminds us of a timeless lesson: Property rights are the fundamental basis of a market economy. Yet, despite how critics often portray them, property rights are not simply a matter of protecting the wealthy and big corporations. The protection of private property is what ensures immigrants, minorities, and poor people are not derailed on their climb up the economic ladder in pursuit of the American dream.

Moreover, the protection of property rights uplifts everyone by setting the stage for long-term economic success that benefits all. It is the engine of our prosperity and is integral to freedom.

Nobel laureate economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek once wrote that, “The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.” Similarly, the economist Thomas Sowell has said that property rights, “belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights.”

What this means is quite simple: Callous disregard of property rights creates long-term instability that scares away business investment and reduces economic opportunity. Often, this manifests itself in the form of lower property values, higher insurance rates passed on to consumers, reduced tax revenue, and fewer jobs in an area.

You don’t have to just take my word for it. Studies examining the long-term economic impact of the 1960s Civil Rights Era riots and the 1990s Los Angeles Rodney King riots document these exact effects.

So, when looters descend on urban communities like Kenosha in a wave of destruction, even liberal supporters of criminal justice reform shouldn’t fall for the narrative that rioting is harmless, justified, or helpful. The evidence is clear. “Social justice” agitators who cross the line past peaceful protest and engage in violent vandalism are only sabotaging the same minority communities they claim to care about.

SOURCE

Uh Oh: High-Ranking Democrat Takes Aim at Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and “The Squad” – consisting of her, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) – have made a name for themselves as progressive darlings. They’re a firebrand that has ignited grassroots progressives. While that’s great in theory, it also exposes one issue: the middle-of-the-road Democrats, you know, what the Democratic Party used to be.

In the past, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, defended Omar’s comments about 9/11, when she said “some people did something.”

“I think she was trying to say that some people in her community feel like they’re being targeted,” Peterson said last year.

Earlier this week the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) asked Peterson why he defended Omar’s comments. Now, it looks as though he’s doing his best to distance himself from the freshman congresswoman, the New York Post reported.

“Do you have any comment as to why you defended Ilhan Omar?” an NRCC staffer asked.

“I don’t defend her. She doesn’t belong in our party,” Peterson, who has served Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District since 1991, told the NRCC.

Peterson was asked to clarify and expand on his position.

“She doesn’t belong in our party,” he said as he walked away.

It’s clear that Peterson is attempting to distance himself from Omar and the rest of “The Squad.” He’s facing a tough election against Republican Michelle Fischbach, the former Minnesota Lieutenant Governor.

It’s not surprising that people like Peterson are distancing themselves from people like Omar. The Squad’s rhetoric and policy stances are harmful to people to rural America. The Green New Deal threatens farmers’ way of life. “Defunding” the police (when it is really about abolishing law enforcement) gives small towns and communities across the Midwest anxiety. It means that riots like what took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, can come to a place near them. It’s no longer just something that happens in major cities. It’s now something that can – and will – happen in small towns and cities no one has ever heard of. Embracing people like Omar means they support this kind of agenda, even if their constituents don’t. That’s a liability in an election year.

SOURCE

Pastors Promote Workplace Training as Alternative to ‘Divisiveness’

“It is so important that our pastors, especially in communities of color, begin to offer an alternative to the narrative that is being pushed by certain groups [and] we can’t really quantify what [their] goal is besides anarchy and divisiveness,” the Rev. M.J. Reid says. (Photo illustration: Getty Images)

A group of minority pastors is asking employers to adopt a new training program that counters the narrative promoted by Black Lives Matter activists.

The group, called Conservative Clergy of Color, developed a six-step “Getting to All Lives Matter” in what it calls a fact-based program that operates on the “assumption all Americans want to build a better society.”

The group wants to offer the program to both government workplaces and those in the private sector, the Rev. Aubrey Shines, founder of Conservative Clergy of Color, said Wednesday at a virtual press conference.

“We have already contacted numerous corporations, simply saying we have an alternative as it relates to this type of divisiveness that we are seeing unfolding, unfortunately lived out, in our agencies. Not just federal agencies,” said Shines, pastor of Tampa-based Glory to God Ministries, or G2G.

“We are seeing it in the athletic realm, in various corporations that are indoctrinating employees to what we believe is something that has no historical basis, that requires historical revisionists to speak to these types of issues,” he said.

Many corporations, particularly in light of the demonstrations and riots sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, adopted diversity training programs based on “white fragility” theories presuming an “implicit bias,” according to Conservative Clergy of Color.

Both such training and the lecture circuit on anti-racism issues reportedly has become lucrative for white academics.

The six steps in the program offered by Shines’ group are:

—Why the ‘All Lives Matter’ approach means stronger teams.

—“How we get race wrong.”

—How responsible is the media?

—Fact-based talk on equity and opportunity.

—What’s working, what didn’t, and what should be tried.

—Focused minds and open hearts.

The Rev. Francisco Vega, an Atlanta pastor with Awakening and Reformation Center, said the conservative clergy’s curriculum will challenge notions of the liberal view known as critical race theory.

“We have to deviate from the rhetoric of critical race theory, which is now being coined as critical social justice,” Vega said at the press conference. “It is really embedded through Marxism and European socialistic ideas.”

“And, really, we need to remember American exceptionalism and all of the one becoming the whole,” Vega said. “I believe that will bring a better perspective of honor and respectability among whites and African Americans and Latinos.”

The Rev. M.J. Reid, of Detroit, said he sees little reason for the divisive narrative that groups such as the main Black Lives Matter organization push.

“We understand that many people that are in corporate America also sit in pews,” said Reid, pastor at The River Church. “It is so important that our pastors, especially in communities of color, begin to offer an alternative to the narrative that is being pushed by certain groups [and] we can’t really quantify what [their] goal is besides anarchy and divisiveness.”

“The purpose of this curriculum,” he said of the clergy’s program, “is to put tools in the hands of leaders [and] anyone who is an influencer, to give the information that will counteract and diffuse this chaotic state we see America go into more and more.”

Shines said his organization has seen “pushback,” but that was to be expected:

In the words of Booker T. Washington, ‘There is a group of individuals that need race problems to continue. Why?’ He asks and answers the question. He said, ‘It keeps them lucrative. It keeps them prominent.’

We are seeing pushback because we are upsetting the narrative, not because we are pushing an agenda. We are simply saying, ‘Look at the facts.’

SOURCE

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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2020


SCOTUS Showdown: A Case for Nominating Barbara Lagoa

It has got to be Lagoa. Collins and Murkowsi are the weak links in the Senate. Both have said they will not vote for any candidate at this juncture. But will they be able to resist voting against an Hispanic woman? It would look very bad for them. And Lagoa is Cuban so should be pretty solidly conservative. And even Leftists might find it hard to oppose a woman

The alternative is Amy Coney Barrett, who is solidly against the baby killers so will attract real fury from the Left. Leftists love deaths — of others. So where Collins and Murkowski might relent and vote for Lagoa, they will not have the fortitude to stand up for Barrett and be forever branded as pro-abortion.

Not that Murkowski and Collins are totally needed. Lagoa could still get through with the aid of Pence’s casting vote

President Trump will select a Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg within a matter of days. We know that it will be a woman. And based on multiple reports, the top two potential finalists are Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit, and Judge Barbara Lagoa of the Eleventh Circuit. A law professor at Notre Dame, Barrett was confirmed 55-43 (nearly exactly along party lines) to her current post in the fall of 2017, following a contentious process. To be clear, I believe Barrett is a brilliant and capable jurist and would be thrilled if President Trump picks her. She’s young (48), smart, and rock solid. She is the frontrunner for good reason.

That being said, it’s simply a reality that this nomination will be the subject of a pitched battle no matter who is named. And against that backdrop, I am coming around to the view that Judge Lagoa might be the more strategically savvy choice under the present circumstances — and should at least get a very serious look for the top spot on the list. Consider:

(1) Lagoa’s credentials are strong. Like Justice Ginsburg, she’s a graduate of Columbia University’s law school. She began her career on the bench as a lower court judge in Florida starting in 2006 (appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush) after serving as an Assistant US Attorney. She was elevated to the Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Ron DeSantis (who takes the issue of the courts very seriously) in January 2019, serving in that capacity for most of the year, until she was plucked from the state bench by Trump. The president nominated her for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Her resume practically screams “well qualified” — which is how she was unanimously rated by the left-leaning American Bar Association.

(2) Her personal story is also compelling, which is — like it or not — a relevant factor in an era of identity-focused politics. Lagoa is the daughter of Cuban-Americans who fled their homeland during the Communist revolution. She is young (she’ll turn 53 the day before the November election), the mother of three daughters, and is said to have a vivacious personality. If confirmed, this “wise Latina” would be the second-ever Hispanic member of the Supreme Court and only the fifth woman (the latter would also be true of Barrett). Democrats are likely to be extremely aggressive in opposing this nominee (just look at their outrageous conduct during the Kavanaugh nomination), but the optics of beating up on a Latina would be less than ideal — especially at a moment when Democrats are anxiously watching President Trump over-perform among Latino voters in the polls.

(3) Did I mention she’s a Floridian? I’ve heard that state is a pretty important one.

(4) Chuck Schumer famously once said, “I always use the word ‘extreme'” to discredit conservative ideas or nominees. Democrats will undoubtedly play that card against whomever Trump taps for this seat, but their go-to moniker would ring especially hollow if deployed against Lagoa. Why? She was overwhelmingly confirmed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals late last year. The final tally was 80-15 in favor. Senate Democrats voted to confirm her by nearly a two-to-one margin. The following Democratic members of the judiciary committee supported her confirmation: Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). That’s right, the four most senior Democrats on the committee voted Yea, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate. The only Democratic member of the committee who voted against her was Mazie Hirono (several others who were busy running for president did not vote). Also, every GOP senator voted in the affirmative, including Collins and Murkowski. Democrats will stomp their feet and say “but the Supreme Court is different!” Fine. But it’s awfully hard to frame a nominee as dangerously radical and extreme when a large majority of your own party recently backed her confirmation to another powerful federal court. This is a serious asset for Lagoa. Her nomination could be framed as a more consensus and ‘moderate’ pick, which could raise the odds of a successful confirmation under difficult, high-pressure conditions.

(5) A conservative source who’s long known Lagoa attests that her conservative credentials are strong, despite a relatively thin record on hot-button cases. Conservatives often fear David Souter-style betrayals, and for good reason. This source says there is “zero chance” Lagoa, whom the source likens to Clarence Thomas, is a risk to become an Anthony Kennedy, let alone a Souter. She is said to have won the confidence of several very strong conservatives who are very familiar with her work. But let’s say for the sake of argument that she could end up becoming, say, a John Roberts, who disappoints conservatives, sometimes seriously, on occasion (I have no reason to believe this would be the case, and it merits a mention that Lagoa has been involved with the Federalist Society for years). That would still be an immense ideological upgrade from Justice Ginsburg. Which is to say, I’m less fixated than I typically would be on the demonstrable philosophical bona fides of this particular nominee at this particular moment in time. Republicans will need to thread a needle, given the timing of this vacancy. A huge strategic consideration, under these conditions, must be making opposition as difficult as possible. A Barbara Lagoa nomination could present some real optics landmines for Democrats, and it would align with the Trump campaign’s aggressive courtship of voters of color at the Republicans’ August convention. In other words, it would play to Trump’s instincts and strategy.

I’d like to see more assurances about the underpinnings and consistency of her judicial philosophy (I’ve spoken to some plugged-in conservatives I trust who at least have questions about the depth of her commitment to conservative jurisprudence) — and it’s especially crucial that she’s totally buttoned up from a vetting perspective. Yes, she just passed through a very recent confirmation process with flying colors (some of the conservative doubters ask why she received 80 votes, including the support of some extremely liberal Senators). But SCOTUS is a different beast with different stakes. Just ask Justice Kavanaugh. But time is of the essence. If Lagoa is determined to be a sufficiently vetted and conservative jurist, I believe she may be an ideal candidate for the position, in light of all the emotionally-charged and politically-fraught dynamics at play. And if not ideal, she’s at least worthy of a very, very serious look.

SOURCE

Possible AI futures

A Harvard Business School presentation on artificial intelligence by Professors Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti this week was fascinating but creepy. While the technology is empowering numerous new businesses, most of those businesses seem to be in China. Gradually, as the capabilities of artificial intelligence combined with Big Data sank in, I came to a chilling realization that in the wrong hands, the technology may be very dangerous indeed. We had better make sure our defenses are raised against this possibility.

The presenters gave a number of examples of AI in action, which certainly stimulated thought. The first example was a reproduction Rembrandt painting – they loaded all the existing Rembrandts into a computer and asked the AI algorithm to produce a Rembrandt of a 30-40-year-old man, and it produced a picture that was quite convincing. However, I’m no art expert, but I’m not sure the AI result was definitively a Rembrandt – it was a little flat.

That is however not surprising; the great man himself employed a studio full of assistants to finish his paintings and add the easy bits. Hence if you load all the Rembrandts into a computer, you will have work that is part-Rembrandt, part “school of.” This painting was definitely “school of” and might have been “Rembrandt on a bad day” but you certainly wouldn’t have rated it as a top-quality Rembrandt masterpiece. Similarly, the little AI-Mozart that I have heard never sounds like the best Mozart, but more like some random 18th Century tiddly-pom.

The second AI example they gave was a Chinese insurance company’s program for counting pigs. The insurance company provides farm insurance on some large percentage of China’s 850 million pigs, and naturally wants to check how many pigs are in a particular farm, and whether the same pigs are being shuttled from farm to farm to defraud the insurance company (I once knew someone whose family pulled that trick for EU sheep subsidies). The clever AI could not only count the pigs, but also use pig facial recognition to determine which pig was which. Clearly, this is a highly valuable capability, which can replace lots of human pig counters; being AI it has a learning capability and positive economies of scale (the more pigs it sees, the better it gets at recognizing them). Of course, China being China, one is forced to recognize that the same capability would work on people….

The final example the presentation gave was Ant Financial, the Chinese payments system that has expanded into a financial services conglomerate with 1.4 billion customers and only 10,000 employees. (Only Chinese marketing people could name a consumer-oriented financial services company after that most un-libertarian of insects. “Pussycat Financial” would at least have pretended that the company’s customers would be allowed to flourish independently, each in their own way!)

Ant Financial clearly benefits from the increasing economies of scale that AI can provide. It also uses AI algorithms and Big Data on its customers to generate new product offerings for its gigantic customer base. Naturally, AI can also be used to predict whether the customers will accept those offerings, and what might tempt customers into new offerings that might prove risky for them but carry higher commissions.

Up to a point, this is harmless and good marketing. However, it comes close to the Chinese government’s “social credit” scoring, which is used to determine who can travel, who gets particular job opportunities etc. Given Ant’s own close connections to the Chinese authorities, its data-gathering must be highly concerning for residents of China, and at least moderately concerning for the rest of us.

That is the problem with the current level of AI – “Weak AI” as it is called. It allows control-freak humans to gather information on citizens at a level never previously possible, then use that information for social control. We see it even in the United States, where the social media companies – Google, Twitter and Facebook – have ceased to be neutral platforms for the populace to express themselves, and have become machines whereby the “woke” Silicon Valley executives who run those companies can control the information allegedly free Americans send to each other.

President Trump announced last week that he would ban the purchase of the Chinese social networking services Tik-Tok and WeChat, because of their ability to collect information on U.S. consumers and in WeChat’s case on their conversations and funnel that information to the Chinese commissars. That is a useful protection, but it will last only as long as President Trump does. A Biden administration would doubtless eventually wake up to the problem, but very probably too late.

Naturally, it is less concerning that a bunch of leftist ex-hippies in Silicon Valley control the information flow than that the Chinese government has the potential to do the same. But really, it makes very little difference to me: my philosophical outlook differs almost as much from that of Silicon Valley as it does from that of Beijing, so my First Amendment rights can as easily be infringed by Silicon Valley’s gentle dweebs as by the jackbooted thugs of Beijing. In my own case, I can avoid such control by avoiding almost completely going on social media, but then, I am 70 years old and live a hermit-like existence here in Poughkeepsie. Were I 50 years younger and interested in interactions (ideally with the opposite sex, you never know!) an entire absence from social media in today’s world would seriously cramp my style, so I would surely get tempted.

“Weak” AI does not have the potential to become a Hitler itself; it is nowhere near powerful enough – it lacks the “intelligence,” artificial or otherwise. It is simply an unpleasant tool that the world’s Hitlers can make bad use of, and that therefore grants them a new and undeserved springtime. Strong AI, the Nirvana to which Silicon Valley looks forward in a decade or two, is another matter; that has the capability to become a Hitler itself, without humans needed to direct its tyranny.

I cannot help believing that the entire technological progress of the last 25 years has been misguided. Almost 20 years ago, I wrote for UPI a two-part essay “The Business of Playing God” that looked at the possibilities that then appeared to be approaching rapidly in the field of genetic engineering. Alas, spurious ethical objections to human genetic engineering and the monstrous flow of capital and talent in a different direction have prevented those possibilities from coming to fruition. I thought at that stage we were only around a decade from human cloning and from an even more exciting possibility: the artificial creation through genetic engineering of human beings with superior intelligence. Alas, those possibilities are no closer today.

Skeptics of genetic engineering, particularly in the George W. Bush administration, raised fears of the damage that could be done by genetic engineering technologies in the hands of bad guys. Yet those threats to freedom have already appeared, brought to us by AI, with no genetic engineering needed. The idea that the People’s Liberation Army could advance upon us with a regiment of human clones, or that an evil genetically engineered Einstein could destroy the world, were always far-fetched. The genetically engineered clone or genius humans would be human, subject to all the same desires and moral impulses as the rest of us, and as difficult to order about as a non-engineered army or genius.

Human intelligence is not a very useful tool for tyrants, because the humans will fight against the tyrants for their own freedom. Genetically engineered humans thus offer us a huge prospect of improving the world, allowing us to take advantage of their superior capabilities for scientific and other advances in a huge number of areas. You don’t need very many genetically engineered geniuses, provided they are geniuses.

Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, offers us few possibilities of genuine improvements to human thought, because it is not independently sentient – its Rembrandts, unlike those produced by genetically engineered humans, are mere copies of the originals. However, AI is an appallingly powerful force multiplier for those, whether Hitlers, Chinese commissars or Google geeks, who want to control our speech, thoughts and actions.

Let us therefore reverse the direction of scientific research, to produce more life-enhancing genetic engineering, and fewer Orwellian AI threats. Thereby we can produce nighttime for Hitler and the Chinese commissars, and springtime for Shakespeare, Mozart and Einstein.

SOURCE

Lone white woman viciously attacked by angry black guy

A Miami metro rider has been caught on camera viciously assaulting a lone female traveler in an unprovoked, random attack.

Joshua James King, 25, is accused of beating up Andrea Puerta, 29, during the incident on September 4, leaving her with a concussion, a broken rib and bruising.

Surveillance footage shows King walking onto the metro before launching the sustained attack on Puerta. The clip shows him kick her, slam her head and punch her more than 20 times.

Puerta told Local 10: ‘I remember that I closed my hands and I said, “stop, stop”. He did not stop. There was a moment when he said, “Sorry” and I looked at him and he punched me and after that, I don’t know what happened.’

She said of her attacker: ‘I’ve never seen him in my life. I never know him until that moment.’

After passing out, Puerta managed to get up and leave the train before calling 911, footage shows. Her attacker remained on the metro; where he is said to have assaulted two more men later that same day.

King was arrested and is now facing three counts of aggravated battery charges. He was released on a $1,500 bond on September 10 and will next appear in court on Friday.

Pictures of Puerta’s injuries show the attack left her with a black eye and a swollen jaw. ‘I don’t know how I am alive’, she added.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Puerta pay for her medical needs, legal help and therapy bills.

It states: ‘Andrea Puerta was attacked, without provocation, by a stranger in the metro mover in Miami. The man beat her over and over, breaking her ribs, blacking her eye and giving her a concussion before beating her nearly unconscious.

The minute-long footage begins with the man, named by police as King, stepping onto the train, before walking off and then reappearing.

Without warning he then begins repeatedly punching Puerta before pushing her across the car and launching her headfirst into a chair.

Dad-of-one King was arrested later that day and is now facing three counts of aggravated battery charges.

SOURCE

Opposing feminist attacks on men in Australia and Canada

By Bettina Arndt, writing from Australia

See my thinkspot conversation last week with Diana Davison, who is working in Canada helping falsely accused men in rape cases. Diana has a group of lawyers involved in her Lighthouse Project, trying to restore due process for the accused.

Here’s the video of our discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KXs1WNZJZI. I hope you will make time to listen to our fascinating chat.

Diana has been tracking the incredibly successful efforts of feminist lawyers in Canada to tilt laws towards ‘believe-the-victim’ justice, undermining normal legal protections for accused men to ensure more rape convictions.

Diana revealed that Canadian feminists are working with law academics in the UK, USA and Australia, drafting new legislation and using the media to lean on politicians and law makers to enact laws to further this mighty enterprise. Interestingly she has evidence showing that Australia often leads the way in pushing these desired changes into law, which are then monitored by the feminists in the other countries before following suit.

We can observe this process in action in the current push for affirmative consent laws. Look at this revealing article in The Conversation, published late last year by Rachael Burgin, Executive Director of Rape and Sexual Research and Advocacy, who has conducted research on getting affirmative consent standards into law. In her article she proudly tracks the progress of this feminist endeavour to tilt the law to redefine normal sexuality so that every stage in every sexual encounter must be accompanied by constant checking for a green light.

It’s pretty funny how blatantly Burgin reveals her disappointment that Victoria’s changes to the laws haven’t come up to scratch in making it harder for alleged rapists to prove they had consent and her eagerness to bully NSW into line.

Terrible mistakes of feminism

Yet this is an endeavour which some feminist scholars now see as one of the “terrible mistakes” of the otherwise laudable project of entrenching feminist power.

In our conversation Diana recommended a powerful new book, Governance Feminism which offers a very frank assessment of the prevailing culture where feminists “walk the halls of power.”

“One can get a job in the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, the local prosecutors office and the child welfare bureaucracy for espousing various strands of feminism,” say Janet Halley and co-authors in their introduction. The authors see this as cause for celebration yet are refreshingly willing to properly examine who wins and who loses from feminism in governance.

There’s a brilliant chapter by the late London School of Economics law professor Helen Reece, which exposes the way feminists have found their way into the Crown Prosecution Service, or Judicial Training Board, allegedly not to propagate feminist propaganda but simply to instruct lawyers and judges on how to avoid “rape myths.”

Reece writes most entertainingly about an incident where UK television presenter Judy Finnigan dared to suggest on a TV discussion show that a rape involving professional footballer Ched Evans having sex with a woman too drunk to consent was not the most heinous form of rape.

Finnigan’s words: “The rape, and I am not, please, by any means, er minimizing any kind of rape, but the rape was not violent. He didn’t cause any bodily harm to the person. It was unpleasant, in a hot room, I believe, and she was, she had far too much to drink. And you know, that is reprehensible, but he has been convicted and he has served his time.”

Reece dissects the extraordinary outrage that greeted this remark, with the media running the “rape is rape” narrative denying that some rapes are more serious than others, and Finnigan eventually forced to apologise after being firmly told, “You can’t say that.” It’s a valuable expose of the censorship that now controls all public discourse on such matters.

Reece is also frank about flaws in the affirmative consent argument: “The problem is some women do like to indicate their consent to sex through subtle aspects of their behaviour.”

Young women, as well as young men, need to be taught to see consensual sex more responsibly, Reece argues. She suggests this might require “challenging the normative acceptance of entering into sexual relations with partners one hardly knows, of seeing alcohol as an integral part of a sexual encounter and misleading the partner about one’s sexual intentions.”

There’s much more of interest in this challenging book but useful indeed to see eminent scholars acknowledging that the feminist success in gaining power has come at considerable costs for society.

Email from Bettina Arndt: newsletter@bettinaarndt.com.au

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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Spare me this sanctimonious Facebook and Instagram boycott by hypocritical liberal celebrities who want to have their abusive hateful violent cake and eat it

By PIERS MORGAN

Today, a large number of celebrities are boycotting Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook now owns.

Reality TV wastrel Kim Kardashian West led the ‘movement’ by posting the following message to her gazillions of followers: ‘I love that I can connect directly with you through Instagram and Facebook,’ she wrote, ‘but I can’t sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation – created by groups to sow division and split America apart – only to take steps after people are killed. Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy. Please join me when I will be ‘freezing’ my Instagram and FB account to tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit. Link in bio for more info on how to preserve truth.’

Powerful words, and ones that were quickly embraced by scores of other famous names.

One of them was comedian Sarah Silverman who is also very keen to #StopHateForProfit. Ms Silverman knows all about spreading hate on social media.

In the past few years she has tweeted that Donald Trump is a ‘pathological nasty pig’ and a ‘c*nty fear monger’, and called his father a ‘racist c*nt.’

When the President mocked former democratic presidential candidate Amy Klouchar for talking about climate change while ‘standing in a virtual blizzard of snow’, Silverman tweeted him directly to say: ‘No point in explaining how mind blowingly stupid this tweet is so I’m just gonna go with F*CK YOU, and also add that you are a smelly p*nis hole with balls that touch water. Eat sh*t, you greedy tw*t.’

She expanded on her thoughts about Trump’s genitalia after he criticized his predecessor Barack Obama.

‘I’d love to see Trump say any of this sh*t he’s saying about Obama to his face,’ she tweeted. ‘There’s no way he’d have the labs to even do just that. He’s an oozing shriveled p*nis hole of a man.’

It’s not just Trump who annoys Silverman. ‘I don’t mean this in a hateful way,’ she once tweeted, hatefully, ‘but the new bachelorette’s a f*ggot.’

On another occasion she tweeted a photo of herself in blackface with the caption ‘I’m having minstrel cramps.’

And she posted this ‘joke’: ‘I used to go out with a guy who was half black who totally broke up with me because I’m a f*cking loser. I just heard myself say that. I’m such a pessimist. He’s half-white.’

Perhaps the real reason Silverman wants to get rid of ‘hate for profit’ is because she herself is a nasty foul-mouthed homophobic racist?

Another of the stars to join the boycott is film director Judd Apatow, who is also very active on social media, and has repeatedly called Trump things like a ‘malignant narcissist’, and a ‘pig’.

Apatow once tweeted – and then deleted after it sparked outrage – footage of left-wing activists rioting violently outside University of California-Berkeley to stop far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos making a speech – and said: ‘This is just the beginning. When will all the fools who are still supporting Trump realize what is at stake?’

Hmmn, how does that open call for violence sit with wanting to stop violence?

Apatow also objected to People magazine, one of the world’s least offensive publications, from running a positive story about Trump’s family, raging on Twitter: ‘F*ck People magazine. How disgusting. Selling their soul. Sell those mags! F*ck your employees.’

Lovely!

Movie star Amy Schumer has also joined the boycott. The woman who once said: ‘I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual.’

And who tweeted: ‘Enjoy skyfall f-gs. I’m bout to get knee deep in Helen Hunt #thesessions.’

It would appear that being a racist homophobe may be a specific requirement for stopping hate and division…

As for Ms Kardashian West, perhaps she should focus on the constant stream of hateful guff that spews from the unhinged Twitter mouth of her husband Kanye West (he was at it again all last night) before lecturing the rest of us?

Even by the standards of celebrity virtue-signalling during this pandemic-ridden year, the new Facebook/Instagram boycott seems particularly pointless and self-serving.

These valiant crusading heroes are all doing this for … one day.

Yes, their sacrifice will last precisely 24 hours.

Then the fearless campaigners will go straight back to aggressively and cynically using Facebook and Instagram to boost their own profiles and profits, with many of them also going back to spewing the same vile hate that they profess to loathe in others.

Make no mistake, every single one of the big names taking part in this farce makes a fortune from those social platforms.

Leonardo DiCaprio wrote: ‘I do use Instagram and Facebook, but I want it to be a force for good – not hate, violence, and disinformation.’ Olivia Wilde wrote, ‘These platforms are profiting off becoming a dangerous tool of discrimination’

Kardashian-West has ruthlessly exploited it to such a successful extent that she can now charge firms up to $1 million for a single Instagram post.

A one-day boycott will thus have zero impact on her ability to keep coining it in from the very same people she claims are failing the American people so badly by causing so much hate and disunity.

If she and her famous pals REALLY believe Facebook is such a malevolent force, then they should quit its platforms completely.

But they won’t, because that would cost them millions.

Facebook now employs 35,000 people whose only job it is to remove hateful material. They’re not going to stop it all, because that would be impossible, but they certainly can’t be accused of turning a blind eye to it.

But what these protesting liberal celebrities really want is all material removed that THEY hate, not any hate that comes from their own mouths.

They demand Trump and his supporters be censored, for example, whilst reserving the right to be as viciously hateful as they wish towards them without any censorship.

And by publicly boycotting Facebook and Instagram like this, they’re trying to use their celebrity power to bully and shame a company that defends free speech a hell of a lot more than they do.

If I were Zuckerberg, I’d call their sanctimonious bluff and announce that any of the stars involved who don’t start posting again by 6pm tonight will be permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram.

Trust me, they’d all come scuttling back faster than Kim Kardashian-West rakes in dollars by posting topless bird-flipping selfies.

SOURCE

Today and Yesterday

by Walter E Williams

In matters of race and other social phenomena, there is a tendency to believe that what is seen today has always been. For black people, the socioeconomic progress achieved during my lifetime, which started in 1936, exceeded anyone’s wildest dreams. In 1936, most black people lived in gross material poverty and racial discrimination. Such poverty and discrimination is all but nonexistent today. Government data, assembled by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, shows that “the average American family … identified as poor by the Census Bureau, lives in an air-conditioned, centrally heated house or apartment … They have a car or truck. (Indeed, 43 percent of poor families own two or more cars.)” The household “has at least one widescreen TV connected to cable, satellite, or a streaming service, a computer or tablet with internet connection, and a smartphone. (Some 82 percent of poor families have one or more smartphones.” On top of this, blacks today have the same constitutional guarantees as everyone else, which is not to say that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated.

The poverty we have today is spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is an absence of what traditionally has been known as various human virtues. Much of that spiritual poverty is a result of public and private policy that rewards inferiority and irresponsibility. Chief among the policies that reward inferiority and irresponsibility is the welfare state. When some people know they can have children out of wedlock, drop out of school and refuse employment and suffer little consequence and social sanction, one should not be surprised to see the growth of such behavior. Today’s out-of-wedlock births among blacks is over 70 percent, but in the 1930s, it was 11 percent. During the same period, out-of-wedlock births among whites was 3 percent; today, it is over 30 percent. It is fashionable and politically correct to blame today’s 21 percent black poverty on racial discrimination. That is nonsense. Why? The poverty rate among black husband-and-wife families has been in the single digits for more than two decades. Can anyone produce evidence that racists discriminate against black female-headed families but not black husband-and-wife families?

For most people, education is one of the steppingstones out of poverty, and it has been a steppingstone for many black people. Today, decent education is just about impossible at many big-city public schools where violence, disorder, disrespect and assaults on teachers are routine. The kind of disrespectful and violent behavior observed in many predominantly black schools is entirely new. Some have suggested that such disorder is part of black culture, but that is an insulting lie. Black people can be thankful that double standards, and public and private policies rewarding inferiority and irresponsibility, were not broadly accepted during the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. There would not have been the kind of intellectual excellence and spiritual courage that created the world’s most successful civil rights movement.

Many whites are ashamed, saddened and guilt-ridden by our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. They see that justice and compensation for that ugly history is to hold their fellow black Americans accountable to the kind of standards and conduct they would never accept from whites. That behavior and conduct is relatively new. Meet with black people in their 70s or older, even liberal politicians such as Charles Rangel (age 90), and Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (85), Alcee Hastings (83) and Maxine Waters (82). Ask them whether their parents would have tolerated their assaulting and cursing of teachers or any other adult. I bet you the rent money their parents and other parents of that era would not have accepted the grossly disrespectful behavior seen today among many black youngsters who use foul language and racial epithets at one another. These older blacks will tell you that, had they behaved that way, they would have felt serious pain in their hind parts. If blacks of yesteryear would not accept such self-destructive behavior, why should today’s blacks accept it?

Black people have made tremendous gains over the years that came as a result of hard work, sacrifice and a no-nonsense approach to life. Recovering those virtues can provide solutions to many of today’s problems.

SOURCE

‘He’s a Man of His Word’: Michigan Woman Sounds Off on Why She Supports the President

Donna, a resident in the Saginaw, Michigan area – one of the areas that went for President Barack Obama in 2012 and President Donald Trump in 2016 – said she is absolutely supporting the president in November.

“He’s a man of his word. He’s helped the economy. He’s helped create jobs. He’s done everything he said he was going to do,” Donna told Townhall. “If he had more support, he’d probably be able to get more done.”

According to Donna, President Trump’s status as a Washington outside is an asset. In her eyes, politicians inside the Beltway “stick together” as part of the “Good Ol’ Boys Club.”

“He’s an outside and he doesn’t care what they think. He’s a businessman first and knows how to take care of business,” she explained.

Both Donna and her husband, Bill, said that their life has greatly improved under President Trump. Their investments, including their stock market picks and 401(K)s have skyrocketed.

“We’ve done so much better and, being retired, that’s a big thing,” Donna said.

The unfortunate part, however, is that the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on small businesses. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) locked things down rather quickly and implemented a statewide mask mandate. She came under fire for keeping stores from selling things like gardening seeds. Whitmer even went so far as banning people from traveling between two residences, specifically if their main residence is in the Detroit area. But, in her mind, her orders were “one of the nation’s more conservative” stay-at-home orders.

Donna, however, said Whitmer’s orders are “Communist tactics” that are used to “control the masses.” She believes some of these lockdown orders were part of Whitmer’s attempt at becoming former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate.

“That obviously didn’t work for her because she’s not his veep pick,” the Michigander said.

SOURCE

DR MAX PEMBERTON: Instagram is so damaging for teen girls it should be for over-18s only

Kim Kardashian, the reality star, has joined a host of celebrities and suspended her social media accounts for a campaign called #StopHateForProfit. The aim is to highlight the inadequate action taken by social media bosses to tackle the pernicious aspects of these platforms.

But hang on, Kim Kardashian? Sorry, I’m not buying this sanctimonious, hypocritical tripe. How dare celebrities like her lecture anyone on the evils of social media, when they have made fortunes from posting tweaked, airbrushed or stage-managed images which directly contribute to the epidemic of poor self-esteem and mental health problems gripping young women.

Not only are they corrupting and warping the minds of an entire generation of innocent young people, they are getting paid in the process. And then they feel at liberty to lecture us. The whole thing stinks.

And yes, I’m angry about this because day in and day out at my NHS clinic I see the effect of social media on the young.

For ten years I specialised in treating eating disorders and literally every single one of hundreds of teenage patients mentioned social media as a contributing factor. Every. Single. One.

But there’s absolutely no doubt that social media has created a hyper-critical environment when it comes to body image and this can trigger issues with food.

This should concern every parent and grandparent because it’s not just confined to those at risk of eating disorders.

There’s also the general gnawing effect social media has on self-esteem and self-worth, the slow, steady rubbing away of self-confidence that being bombarded with unrealistic images of people’s bodies has on the mind.

We worry about the effect of things such as porn and violent films and video games, but I worry more about Instagram and Facebook precisely because they seem so innocuous. What’s bad about keeping in touch with friends?

What some fail to appreciate is that these platforms have morphed into a monster, and the effect of seeing a steady stream of artificially perfect bodies is enormous.

Instagram and Facebook require you to be 13 before you create an account, but I firmly believe they should be banned for under 18s.

Between 14 and 18 youngsters are at a key developmental stage when they start to look outside of themselves and at their peers to develop a sense of identity.

They are particularly impressionable and susceptible to malignant messages about their bodies, yet on sites like Instagram they are inundated with images that set up unrealistic ideas about physical appearance. There’s no escaping it: it promotes feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

It’s not just young girls. I’ve seen a steady rise in young men using steroids in an attempt to replicate the chiselled torsos they now think are perfectly normal. I’m convinced all this is fuelling the epidemic of conditions like anxiety and depression we are now seeing.

I constantly go on about this to my younger patients, trying to explain that what they see online isn’t real. But in truth it has little effect.

And there’s no getting away from it — for the younger generation, social media is now an integral part of their lives.

Netflix’s chilling new documentary, The Social Dilemma, shows what a firm grip social media has on the minds of the young. It features a series of top tech experts issuing stark warnings about the addictive qualities of social media, how it is designed to keep users coming back for more and manipulates emotion.

It’s inevitable the drip, drip of images will take its toll: Celebrities wearing skimpy summer dresses and wan smiles, insist their bodies are the results of cutting out entire food groups and omit to say they also spend hours in the gym, have good genetics and — most importantly — rely on carefully photoshopping their images.

Research suggests Instagram is one of the worst social media platforms for mental health precisely because of its disconnect from reality, and, from what I see in my clinic, I have to agree.

This site is made up of contrived, manipulated images designed to get likes and clicks. And celebrities are some of the worst offenders not least because young people look up to them and hang on their every word.

Young people believe these images are real, that their favourite influencers would never sell them a lie.

Which is why we need to be stricter about the user age — and raise it to 18. If celebrities really cared about social media’s toxic effect, this is the campaign they’d get behind.

SOURCE

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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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Monday, September 21, 2020


Woman berates pharmacy manager for calling police on black men shoplifting

An activist in the US has filmed herself berating a pharmacy store manager for calling police on two black men caught shoplifting, saying they could have been killed.

Charity Sade, who describes herself as a “she/her comedian, writer, activist” and “public speaker teacher”, posted a series of videos on Twitter earlier this week after seeing two men being detained outside a CVS in Washington DC.

“I just stopped because I saw approx 6 MPD officers stopping 2 Black men & sat them on the curb. @cvspharmacy at 2226 Wisconsin Ave NW WDC, 20007, called the @DCPoliceDept 2 Black men that allegedly took items from the store,” she tweeted.

She continued, “One officer told one of the men that their other person’s freedom was dependent on him being quiet. This is violent. People know what happens when the police are called on Black folx! They value property over people.”

After the incident, she walked into the store to confront the manager, filming the encounter.

“I live in the neighbourhood, I come to this CVS very often. May I ask why you called the police on those two men?” she asks.

The manager explains that CVS policy “dictates that if they’re shoplifters, they exit the store with merchandise unpaid for, we have to get the police involved”.

“And if the police apprehend them, we have to issue a barring notice,” he says.

“But I actually did not elect to press charges, I just wanted to say hey look, I just want them to know they can’t come in here anymore because they shoplifted and I just need them to sign that. The officers obliged and the guys said the same thing, thank you, and they left.”

The woman says “So you know what happens (when the police are called on) black men?”

The death of George Floyd in May, which sparked months of Black Lives Matter protests, occurred after police in Minneapolis were called by a store clerk alleging he had attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill.

Ms Sade tells the store manager he “decided to call the police on two black people that allegedly took something from the store because you’re willing to uphold the policy and they could have lost their lives”.

He replies that “we can agree to disagree on this”.

“I don’t work for you,” he says. “I follow my company’s policies, not your policies, while I can appreciate your concern …”

She cuts in, “So you’re willing to risk someone’s life for what, $30,000 a year?”

The man says he doesn’t believe there was any risk, and tries to end the conversation.

She then demands his name.

“I’m not going to tell you my name when you’re sitting here video taping me so you can try and elicit some sort of violence against me, it’s not going to happen,” he says.

“Elicit violence against you? You just elicited violence against two black men by calling the police on them,” she replies.

The manager repeats that “they got to walk away”.

“One of them had a warrant and could have been arrested and the cops still let him go,” he says.

“Listen to yourself – you work with black folks,” the woman says, pointing at his colleague working at the checkout. “Just remember that.”

Activists said they were planing to protest outside the store on Wednesday afternoon and called for a boycott until the “racist manager is replaced or fired”.

Conservatives criticised Ms Sade, who appears to have deactivated her Twitter account.

“The divide in America right now is basically between the reasonable man in this video and the insane woman berating him,” Daily Wire host Matt Walsh said.

“If you find yourself on the side of the insane woman, you are the bad guy.”

SOURCE

BEN BRADLEY: Why I refuse to take part in the Orwellian ‘re-education’ courses on ‘unconscious bias’ that tell ordinary people they are racists

Benjamin Bradley is an English Conservative Party politician from the North

Imagine being called in to the boss’s office tomorrow morning, a bit nervous and unsure what it is you’ve done wrong, and being told you’ve been reported by a colleague.

You’ve been caught saying that you disagree with the idea that Black Lives Matter is helping to deal with racism, that in fact you don’t believe Britain is a racist country. And now you’re to be ‘re-educated’. You’re going on a course…

It sounds like something from Orwell’s 1984, yet hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in workplaces around the UK have been ordered to attend special training sessions of this sort.

Many push a ‘Critical Race Theory’ ideology that suggests that – whether you know it or not – your views are tightly defined by your age, gender and skin colour. And these courses are run by ‘educators’ who want you to recognise and ‘check’ your privilege, and to understand just how little you really know.

Now imagine your company is paying £1.4 million for this training. In fact, you work in the public sector, so it’s £1.4 million of taxpayers’ cash.

In the coming months all of us as Members of Parliament will be asked to undertake this Unconscious Bias training, which is the second phase of our re-education following a summer of ‘Valuing Everybody’ lessons ordered by the parliamentary authorities.

The first part – which I did attend – turned out to be a £750,000, two-hour journey around the benefits of not being horrible to your staff. Personally, I think I’m quite nice to my team in the office.

I’m also sure that if I wasn’t, those two hours would not have made the blindest bit of difference.

I’m fortunate, I suppose, that due to Covid-19 the session was held via Zoom rather than having to decamp to an office somewhere, though I don’t suppose that the reduced workload has reduced the cost at all! It was still a very expensive chat.

The Mail on Sunday revealed a few weeks ago that the company that has been recruited to run these lessons uses a blue puppet called ‘UB’, who looks like the Cookie Monster, in their training sessions, which makes me think of it as some kind of primary school assembly.

The puppet, whose name stands for Unconscious Bias, ‘helps’ to explain to the class how words like ‘lady’ and ‘pensioner’ should be avoided in case they cause offence. Now this company has been given another £7,000 seedcorn money to help plan the delivery of sessions for MPs and parliamentary staff.

I hope they can agree that at least the primary school puppet will not be necessary!

I spoke out last week and made clear that I won’t be taking this training. It seems totally nonsensical to me that, in my role as a representative of a community that has typically felt left behind and voiceless for many years, I should be advised that there are certain words I shouldn’t use; certain issues that I should avoid; certain sensibilities that I should not offend.

How am I to raise the true feelings of an electorate that broadly feels like it’s being preached at by a metropolitan elite who neither understand nor care about them, if I have to walk on eggshells and dance around the problem?

In an environment where Leave voters have been labelled thick and racist for holding a view on uncontrolled mass immigration, despite proving many times that they are a majority in this country, which institutions or trainers down here in Westminster are qualified to tell me which views on the subject might be right or wrong?

Who has the right to say that those views are a result of ‘unconscious biases’, of white privilege, or of lack of understanding? The answer is nobody. There is no science to back this up, and nobody has that right. We live in a free country, with free speech and freedom of expression. We used to also have a robust and resilient approach to an argument that didn’t involve silencing everyone you disagree with.

Yet, here I am in 21st Century Britain reading a document from Challenge Consultancy, the company tasked with putting this training programme together. They offer to ‘work with the Cultural Transformation Team’ to deliver ‘Cultural Competency’ training – yes we are culturally incompetent now. I’m intrigued by the offer to help me to use ‘appropriate terminology’ and to ‘demonstrate ally behaviour’.

Given that this will be delivered in the same format as the first phase of this patronising rubbish, I think it’s reasonable to assume that this will similarly be costing more than half a million quid from the public purse.

Despite what these trainers may say, we are not defined by our physical characteristics. We do not have one homogenous view because of the colour of our skin. It’s nonsense. Our views are formed by countless different factors; from our lived experiences, our backgrounds and from the communities we grew up in, but we are individuals. We are not defined by others. We are free to define ourselves.

Time after time the documents explain that ‘the BAME community thinks x’ and ‘the BAME community is calling for y’, as if the entire black and minority ethnic community speaks with one voice on this, or on any issue. It strikes me as presumptuous and arrogant.

Who is qualified to police our language, or to say which views are right and wrong? Who polices those police, and makes sure that they aren’t pushing unconscious biases of their own? What is being done to ensure that the people who choose careers in delivering Unconscious Bias Training don’t choose that profession because they actually have their own agenda to push?

It was pointed out to me last week that, as an MP, I am in a fortunate position. Only my constituents can remove me from office.

The House of Commons can’t do a great deal to punish me if I don’t take the course. Yet outside Westminster, the reality is that most employees have no such independence and no power to refuse.

No wonder so many ordinary people are scared to voice dissent.

Did every single Premier League footballer really support Black Lives Matter, an organisation that campaigns to defund the police and smash capitalism? To my knowledge, every single one of them ‘took the knee’.

What would have been the consequences for the one who said no? I can’t imagine it would have been career enhancing. Societal pressure forces us to go along with things we disagree with, and that is not right or healthy for anyone.

With that in mind, I feel people like me have a responsibility to say something, and to do something.

I know that my concern is shared by millions of people around the UK from a variety of backgrounds – but particularly among constituents like mine who, for the most part, have not shared in the wealth generated by the booming economy in the South East.

I think Brexit is a symptom of this same divide too, and of the ‘left behind’ people and places who feel like they are being looked down upon by a detached metropolitan elite determined to police the way they think and talk. There is yawning chasm between our institutions and millions of the people that they are meant to work for.

Since I raised this, earlier last week, I’ve lost count of the number of colleagues who have offered their support – and have also promised to say no to the training. I’ve been stopped by Commons staff too who thanked me for speaking out against this ‘total nonsense’.

It’s sparked more interest than I could have predicted, and for that I am grateful.

Once again I call on colleagues in the privileged position of being able to speak out and to take a stand against this Leftist infiltration of our institutions, to do exactly that and put a stop to forced ‘re-education’ once and for all.

SOURCE

Rabid doomsayers revel in fear, ignorance and deceit

Comment from Australia

We know fear and ignorance have a powerful and deleterious influence on human behaviour and we have tended to think that our age of instant knowledge and communications might have rendered them impotent. Now, confronted by pandemic and climate catastrophism, and deceptions, we can see that fear and ignorance are alive and amplified in the digital age.

From the deserted streets and shuttered houses of Melbourne to the Californian towns razed by fire, we see how fear and ignorance do enormous damage and distract us from practical protections. In both cases an ideological approach pretends a natural threat can be eliminated by grand government interventions; and alarmist tricks are used to frighten people into compliance.

No one should pretend that pandemics or wildfires are not worthy of legitimate concern. We know they are age-old natural threats that our ancestors endured repeatedly without the knowledge, contraptions and accoutrements that assist us now.

We need to overcome fear, keep our challenges in perspective, confront our dilemmas with rational approaches and avoid, rather than embrace, panic. We all need leaders that can be calm in a crisis, but increasingly we have leaders advancing political arguments with hysteria and hyperbole

It is instructive that the scare tactics and fearmongering come from those who want to change public behaviour and pretend they can vanquish, rather than manage, natural threats. This is a grand deceit based on a conceit — believing humanity can control the natural environment as though with an app.

Examples of fear and ignorance abound. This week Joe Biden stood in a park near his home in Delaware — while people were still battling devastating wildfires in California and Oregon, and battening down for hurricanes and flooding in Florida and neighbouring states — and read words from a teleprompter, with feeling, into the camera.

“If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?” he shouted. “If we give a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is underwater?”

Climate arsonist? This is the feral and unhinged language used by Greens senator Jordan Steele-John in this country while trying to leverage our bushfires for his climate change agenda. But Biden is running for president.

The core case presented here, that re-electing Trump will lead to more bushfires and flooding in the US, is so unscientific, irrational and blatantly false that it would not and could not be supported by any scientist. It calls into question the intellectual capacity of the man delivering the words.

The corollary is that if they elect Biden, Americans will be spared bushfires, hurricanes and floods. This is an insane proposition, made and amplified only to scare people into thinking climate policies can eradicate natural disasters, including an annual bushfire menace that predates human settlement of the American continent.

That public debate should be so base and false in this age of knowledge is perhaps the most frightening revelation of our time. Yet stuff like this is seldom interrogated by mainstream media — it is only those who challenge the catastrophism who have their claims fact-checked.

In a spiteful interview this week on the ABC’s 7.30, Leigh Sales harangued former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about how Donald Trump has misled the public “on everything from the coronavirus to climate change” — fair enough, Trump often contradicts himself. Then Sales zeroed in on comments Trump made when visiting the fire-ravaged West Coast this week about how temperatures “will start getting cooler” and how, when challenged on the climate science, the President said he doesn’t think “science knows, actually”.

The easiest and most common game to play is the inane one that amuses Twitter every day; testing the President’s meandering statements against a literal standard not applied to other politicians. Or we could recognise that, banal as it was, Trump was right to say cooler weather will ease the fire situation sooner or later, and that the science about the interplay between climate change, drought, floods and wildfires is far from certain or complete.

In his recent book, Apocalypse Never, environmentalist Michael Shellenberger detailed the latest science on fuel loads rather than climate change being the most telling wildfire inputs. Trump’s typically contrarian and unscripted remarks demonstrated a much closer relationship to reality than the maniacal claims from Biden.

Yet most media report Biden’s lunacy straight, as legitimate rhetoric, while slamming Trump’s reflections as madness. Trump’s arguments centred on forest management and fuel reduction — the pragmatic and proven way to reduce bushfire damage to people and property no matter what happens to climate — while Biden holds out the insulting silliness that his climate policies can relieve people of the fire-and-flood burden.

It is a reprise of the inanity we saw in Australia before, during and after last summer. Journalists even reported the fires were so severe that the bush might never recover. How horrible (note the fear) but diametrically opposed to the reality of how our sclerophyll forests have evolved to be dependent on fire for rejuvenation (note the ignorance).

The disingenuous rhetoric is designed to marshal the masses behind radical climate change policies. Those making rational arguments such as managing fuel, the only fire input we can control, are either ridiculed or given short shrift.

Former climate commissioner Tim Flannery segued from climate alarmism to pandemic pandemonium this week. “But the coronavirus also travels unseen through the great aerial ocean,” he wrote in The Guardian Australia in a testing metaphor, “insinuating itself in lung after lung, killing person after person, until it threatens our health system, economy and society.” Well, the dams are full, so I guess he had to find another angle.

Our early, sensible, national pandemic strategy to flatten the curve, slow the spread and ensure we have the medical capacity to deal with infections has been usurped by state governments determined to see every infection as both a horrific threat to their communities and a blow to their political standing. What began as a task of balancing medical, economic and social impacts has morphed into an obsession with eliminating all infections.

It has been clear since March that only the sick and elderly have much to fear from this virus and we needed to be clever about protecting the vulnerable while allowing society to operate as freely as possible. Absent the most dramatically effective vaccine ever produced in the shortest-ever time, we will eventually have to resort to that approach anyway — it is just that in the meantime we will have inflicted enormous damage on our communities and economies.

Again, the tools to deliver these crazy state policies have been fear and ignorance. In August, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said people needed to “acknowledge that this is a virus that affects everyone” — I guess you could say he has made sure of that.

“It can be deadly and it has been deadly here and around the world in people of all age groups and, indeed, people that are in otherwise good health,” said Andrews, looking to ensure everyone was petrified. Yet the blessed reality is that the young and the healthy, with allowance for the rare exceptions that prove the rule, are virtually immune from serious effects. Fewer than 2 per cent of our deaths have been people under 60, about 80 per cent were over 80 and about 90 per cent of all deceased had comorbidities (heart, immune system or respiratory disease, diabetes and others). About three-quarters of all deaths have occurred in aged-care facilities and overall deaths from all causes in Victoria and nationally are no higher this year than usual.

Despite speaking on the pandemic daily, many politicians fail to share these facts, preferring to create a different impression. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned of the “danger on the doorstep” — referring to NSW. “Our borders will remain closed for as long as the risk remains,” she said last month.

In April Andrews said, “No round of golf is worth someone dying.” The premiers keep telling us they are determined to keep their states “safe”.

Yet clearly their states are safe. The coronavirus is a worrying new disease that is highly infectious and, like many ailments, can be life-threatening if it afflicts the old or the sick. Premiers do not say their states are unsafe when there is a severe flu season. They did not say their states were unsafe during swine flu or avian flu or, god forbid, at the height of the HIV-AIDS trauma.

The catastrophists are having one of their best years, even though nothing is ever bad enough for them. They love to predict Armageddon and, if we listen to them, that is exactly what we will get.

SOURCE

Trump says his nomination for Supreme Court ‘will be a very talented, very brilliant woman’

President Donald Trump on Saturday announced that his Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy caused by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death will be a ‘very talented, very brilliant woman’ as ‘I like women more than I like men’.

During a campaign rally in North Carolina on Saturday night that Trump branded a ‘protest’, he declared ‘I will be putting forth a nominee this week, it will be a woman’.

Before he left the White House for the rally, Trump had named two conservative women who he has elevated to federal appeals courts as contenders, a move that would tip the court further to the right.

Trump, who now has a chance to nominate a third justice to a lifetime appointment on the court, named Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.

Trump claimed that despite the tight deadline before voters cast their ballots on November 3, there was still enough time for the Senate review process on a nomination to take place.

‘Twenty-nine times a vacancy opened during an election year and every single time the sitting president made a nomination. That included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or perhaps you’ve heard of him, the great Abraham Lincoln.

‘Twenty-nine times, every single time, nobody said ‘let’s not fill the seat’. ‘We have plenty of time,’ he added.

Barrett has generated perhaps the most interest in conservative circles. A devout Roman Catholic, she was a legal scholar at Notre Dame Law School in Indiana before Trump appointed her to the 7th Circuit in 2017.

A Barrett nomination would likely ignite controversy, as her strong conservative religious views have prompted abortion-rights groups to say that if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would likely vote to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

When questioned about her Saturday evening, Trump said: ‘She’s very highly respected, I can say that.’

Ginsburg’s death on Friday from cancer after 27 years on the court handed Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, the opportunity to expand its conservative majority to 6-3 at a time of a gaping political divide in America.

SOURCE

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

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

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