Monday, May 23, 2016
Political correctness "kills the truth"
Political correctness "kills the truth" and is hurting efforts in the West to fight ISIS, counter-terrorism expert and Israeli politician Anat Berko tells Newsmax TV.
In an interview Friday with "Hard Line" host Ed Berliner, the Israeli parliament member and chairman of its Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee declares, "if you cannot define your enemy, you have a problem.
"If you want to be politically correct and nice, it's not the way, how we fight terrorism and terrorism is everywhere right now," she said, adding being political correct "kills the truth.
"You need to look for the truth, you need to watch for the enemy, you need to find… the target and how to combat it and what you achieve every day to do so," she added. "And this is something I think is essential and I don't see that in the West we do that."
Berko says her research on terrorism has found Islamic jihadists "actually rely on our morality, that we wouldn't dare to do what they dare to do — and we are about human rights.
"But we should be about human life," she said. "You should seek for security even if sometimes it's bothering you."
In Israel, she adds, citizens have such a heightened awareness of security that they oftentimes stop terror attacks, "not the police and not the security services.
"This is something that I don't see here," she said.
She added that she does not support the suggestion from GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump that the families of terrorists must be killed.
"We cannot be like them," she said, but added: "Do whatever is necessary but without losing control.
"We need to be different from them, we cannot act in terrorism like they do. But we need to be more creative…make it in a better way, better thinking."
Calling out false abuse allegations
A new study shows how pseudo-victims’ claims differ to those of true victims
Last week, the Irish Independent reported that a former nun named Nora Wall, who was wrongfully convicted of rape and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1999, would receive over €500,000 in compensation.
Wall’s case was especially shocking, because the prosecution used a witness whom the Director of Public Prosecutions had said should not be called. Yet the prosecution went ahead and called the witness, whose fabricated tale succeeded in convicting Wall.
In one sense, Wall was fortunate. She had only served four days of her sentence, when she was released on bail. The witness admitted lying. In 2005, the Court of Criminal Appeal certified that Wall’s conviction was a miscarriage of justice, opening the way for a damages action against the state.
Wall is not the only nun to be falsely accused. Sr Domenica Ritchie is a 73-year-old Anglican nun, who won acclaim for her work in the hospice movement. She was awarded the OBE in 2006. Yet in 2013, when Savile mania was at its height, two women accused her of indecently assaulting them in Oxford in the 1970s. They did not go to the police but, as often happens, an officious third party reported their claims. Sr Domenica was arrested, but in 2014 the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was no basis for charging her.
Why do some people make false allegations, which wreak such havoc in the lives of innocent people? Filing false vice reports, a recent Dutch study published in April this year, offers some much-needed clarity. Motives for false allegations include revenge, attention-seeking and compensation.
The authors (André De Zutter, Robert Horselenberg and Peter van Koppen) undertook a bold piece of research. They decided to commission false allegations of rape, and compare them with victims’ accounts in real cases, where men had been convicted. ‘The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool’, they say, quoting from Stephen King’s Needful Things.
They propose a new theory of fabricated rape. Their hypothesis is that pseudo-victims have to construct stories based on their own experiences and beliefs about rape. They will construct a stereotypical story that does not resemble a true rape. They will tend to rely on representations of rape in news media, which tended to be biased and often lack details. Typically, the media cover sensational and atypical rapes.
A pseudo-victim will also likely create a rapist whose conduct does not fit typical offender categories. In brief: the four typical rapist profiles are ‘opportunist, pervasively angry, sexual, and vindictive’. Typical rapist behaviours can include such things as attempts at pseudo-intimacy, or stealing from the victim. These sorts of behaviour are often absent from media reports of rape. By contrast, the proportion of rape stereotypes is typically higher in false allegations of rape.
So how do false and true allegations of rape differ? Typically the false report will provide a concise story with little details. The research used a control group (consisting of likely true allegations) and two experimental groups where participants were invited to invent a rape accusation. The study used 187 variables (specific rapist behaviours) to test the veracity of the stories it collected.
The cohort comprised 65 allegations, of which 30 were likely true and 35 likely false. Half of the false category were given three days to prepare their story, while the rest were given 30 minutes. Participants were screened for having experienced unpleasant sexual encounters: those who had were excluded from the study, as were true rape victims. The participants who were accepted were then interviewed using the same protocol as that used with an actual complainant in a Dutch police unit.
The results were both instructive and intriguing. True victims were twice as likely to give details – and give them spontaneously – than pseudo-victims. True victims described a lot of verbal interaction with their rapist, most of which fitted the rapist profiles mentioned earlier (eg, sadistic rapists were insulting). They also described a wide variety of sexual acts and positions. True victims engaged in evidence-conserving activities (such as not showering), while pseudo-victims did the opposite.
The authors conclude that four main characteristics of false allegations stand out. First, the alleged rape is always swift – almost all cases were completed in less than 15 minutes. Second, the pseudo-victim is passive, and their narrative does not include a variety of sexual acts. Third, false allegations mostly include instrumental violence, and almost no expressive violence (eg, unnecessary hurting during sex). ‘False complainants seem to be aware that it is the era of forensic evidence. Bruises and scratches without foreign DNA might put their credibility on the line.’ Finally, pseudo-victims offer a more detailed description of their attacker’s personal appearance than real ones do. For some reason, false complainants described the nose of the fabricated offender more than genuine victims.
Anything that can assist in screening out false complaints of sex crime is of great importance. No one benefits when the innocent are wrongly accused. The present problem in Britain is that police and prosecutors have been captured by the believe-the-victim mindset. Seeking out sex criminals – especially elderly ones (and sometimes even dead ones) – has become a grotesque 21st-century illustration of Parkinson’s Law – that a bureaucracy will generate enough work to keep itself ‘busy’ and to justify its continued existence.
One defence lawyer has said that 70 per cent of cases in Crown Courts now are sex cases. The CPS (65 per cent of whose workforce is female) evidently has no concept of age discrimination. It zealously prosecutes offenders ranging in age from 12 to 101. This is madness. It has nothing to do with the public interest. Britain’s prisons are overcrowded, and increasingly unsafe.
So what’s to be done? The police need to be more rigorous in their questioning of complainants. In particular, adult complainants should not be treated like tender youngsters. It is troubling to learn that in a recent case in Cirencester, which collapsed on the first day of trial, the policeman in charge was a confidant of the complainant, even interviewing her in her bedroom.
Second, the CPS must drop their biased outlook, which assumes that all complainants are victims. Its Toolkit for Prosecutors on Violence Against Women and Girls Cases Involving a Vulnerable Victim is typical of this mindset. The eight-page document uses the word ‘victim’ 39 times, and ‘victims’ nine times. Both agencies need to acquire some objectivity, instead of acting as allies of our current victim culture. And they must stop being the useful tools of those who make false allegations.
It’s not just parents of girls who should be worried about equality
I AM a besotted mother of two small men-in-training and I have a mother of an issue.
You see, as the gender debate rages and the quest for equality grows ever more political, mothers of boys are constantly being told to have higher expectations of our sons’ behaviour. To show courage and not let any sexism in our boys go unchecked.
And it’s true, we can’t have enough open discussion on respect and the value of being a gentleman. Neanderthal blokes with substandard morals and negligible levels of courtesy certainly grunt n’ leer among us, and it’s never pretty.
But the world’s somewhat lofty aspirations for our parenting makes up just part of the puzzle that underpins raising boys in the 21st Century.
This ‘call to arms’ for us to amp up our parenting feels like we’ve been charged with leading the way towards some kind of utopian, gender-balanced society of the future. Something that, in my opinion, is akin to believing little girls are sugar n’ spice and boys are a sweaty mess of snips and snails and puppy dogs tails.
This piece is in defence of all the incredible mothers and fathers of sons I know who are way ahead of the game in terms of raising beautifully mannered, emotionally intelligent gentlemen.
My husband and I are forever encouraging sensitivity and courteous behaviour in our boys and our sons are respectful, thoughtful, big-hearted little kids.
But, to what end? What world will they be allowed to be men in?
Before we leap ahead, let’s look at the current state of gender play which, to my mind, goes a little something like this ...
In advertising, men are fair game, ripe and ready to be lampooned by marketers selling the generic notion that all men are clueless fathers, inept lovers, junk food addicts and insensitive cavemen. On TV, testicles are crushed regularly by any female presenter lusting after the last word in a debate, a joke, anything.
I’ve cringed watching well-spoken, smart men be reduced to buffoon status for the sake of on-air banter generally led by women. And I was gobsmacked when a visiting feminist writer on a popular panel show justified her gender politics when she spat, “…men should just get over themselves.”
What would happen if a man had uttered those same words about women: outrage, looting, Twitter meltdown.
So this mother worries. I can raise the most remarkable, stunning young men, but I fret about the future society my sons will live, love and work in.
Will it be a world populated by self-entitled, bitching women who scorn femininity in favour of their ‘ball-breaking’ mode — stuck on repeat? Or who get their G-strings in a twist when a man compliments their hair? Will our boys be allowed to show chivalry without being chastised by some hot-headed fem who can open her own bloody door thank you …?
Will my sons be able to define and ‘live’ their masculinity without fear? In fact, what will ‘being a man’ even look like 10, 15 years from now? Sure, Prince may have rejigged the gender thing significantly throughout his life, but one man in eyeliner and a vat-load of ruffles does not lasting change make.
Oh and then there’s that pesky gender imbalance thing in the workplace. Unfair absolutely but a source of loathsome tokenism when industries scramble to concoct new charters and add more vaginas to the mix before announcing, hey Ma, look, we’re champions of diversity, too!
Will this blatant bandaid solution to obvious inequality take my sons’ career choices hostage in the future?
The fact is, I crave gender equality as much as the next homo sapien, but as a mother of boys, I am torn. So each time men are relegated to fall guy status in the name of entertainment, selling washing powder or engaging in supposedly well-intentioned political commentary, all I can think of is my sons and their future.
Unfounded fears? Mild hysteria from a loved-up Mama? Call it what you will. But inequality isn’t just harming women. Parents raising daughters aren’t the only people despairing of the future.
We shouldn’t point the finger at just the misbehaving men in football, on dancefloors or uni campuses. Women are just as adept at dickheadery as men are.
As parents all we can do is follow our instinct and impart a level of wisdom and love that won’t be tainted by the unwritten rules of society — that men and women are not equal, that men are insensitive, foolhardy oafs and women merely their prick-teasing sex kittens … puppy dogs tails not withstanding — or wagging.
Birth certificates may be next frontier in bathroom law debate
Across the country, since at least the 1970s, most states have maintained laws that allow individuals to make changes to their birth certificates. When the laws were passed, trans individuals and their interest in obtaining a birth certificate or other public documents consistent with their gender identity wasn’t really part of the conversation, said M. Dru Levasseur, a lawyer and director of Lambda Legal’s transgender rights project. Lambda is the nation’s oldest and largest legal organization focused on protecting the rights of lesbians, gay men, trans individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS.
However, in the decades since, trans individuals have also used those laws to change — advocates of the practice often say correct — the gender listed on a trans person’s birth certificate.
North Carolina’s transgender law creates tangle of lawsuits
The dueling lawsuits over North Carolina’s law on bathroom use by transgender people have landed in the hands of three federal judges appointed by Republican presidents, with both sides trying to maneuver into the most favorable courtroom possible.
Today, state policies on this issue differ a great deal. The District of Columbia, New York City and 10 states — California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Minnesota — allow individuals to do so if they can provide a notarized doctors note that they have received the treatment deemed necessary by the individual and their doctor to live their life in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.
That’s what trans activists call the "modernized standard," because it does not mandate expensive surgery or hormone treatments that every trans person does not want and some along with their doctors do not feel they need. And, that’s also the standard required by the Social Security Administration for Social Security cards, as well as US passports and birth certificates issued to Americans born abroad.
Thirty-seven states currently have a higher standard, though — requiring people to provide medical proof that they have undergone gender reassignment surgery in order to request an altered birth certificate. North Carolina is part of this latter group.
Three states — Idaho, Ohio, and Tennessee — do not allow changes to birth certificates at all. Tennessee has a state law explicitly forbidding changes to the gender section of a birth certificate. And, this month, lawmakers in Kansas held a hearing to consider a request from officials in that state’s health department that would limit changes to birth certificates to rare situations where, as the Associated Press reported, "a person or his or her parents could document that the gender was incorrectly recorded at the time of birth." Kansas health department officials say they are being asked to make changes to birth certificates that extend beyond the authority granted to them by Kansas’s 1970s-era birth certificate law.
Also this month, a trans-rights group filed suit against the state of Pennsylvania on behalf of two trans individuals who say that the state’s rules requiring people who want a birth certificate change to provide proof of surgery violates their rights under the Equal Protection Clause. The suit describes trans status as a "disability."
Both the matter in Kansas and the Pennsylvania suit get at a core dispute between those who support laws like North Carolina’s bathroom law and those who do not. Opponents of the law insist that gender cannot be truly determined by looking at the genitals of a child when born. Those who support it say that sex is fixed at birth and cannot be altered in anything more than cosmetic or surgical ways.
Amnesty International and the European Court of Human Rights have both declared any attempt to prevent transgender individuals from changing the gender listed on their official documents a violation of these individuals’ human rights. In the United States, a number of gay and trans advocacy organizations say the ability to alter one’s birth certificate is key, because it allows trans individuals to decide when and to whom they want to disclose the fact that they are trans.
Without this option, they may be forced to present, for example, a driver’s license that bears the legal name and gender identity that they now present to the world but a birth certificate that does not correspond and will raise questions anytime such a person applies for a job, a loan, or an apartment. That’s part of the reason that the US State Department’s policy change in 2010 and the Social Security Administration’s changes in 2013 were so widely applauded by trans advocacy groups. Of course, not everyone has
The actual content of that North Carolina bill and those that mimic it make the reasons that some people want to alter their birth certificates pretty plain. Again, that North Carolina law makes a crime of using a public bathroom that does not correspond with the gender listed on one’s birth certificate.
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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.