Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Are ‘Antifascists’ Employing a Crude Form of Terrorism?

Days before its April 29 parade, Organizers of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade in Portland received an anonymous message. Via the Oregonian:

“You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely,” the anonymous email said, telling organizers they could cancel the Republican group’s registration or else face action from protesters. “This is non-negotiable.”
The letter, the paper reports, was precipitated by the presence of the Multnomah County Republican Party in the parade, which “drew ire from some of the city’s left-leaning protest groups”—despite the fact that the group participated in previous years.

How did parade organizers respond? They canceled the event, lest a riot ensue.

These tactics are familiar to anyone who’s been paying attention to U.S. campuses. As NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt explained in an April 26 article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, intimidation is the new normal on college campuses.

“Any campus speaker who arouses a protest is at risk of a beating,” said Haidt. “Can this really be the future of American colleges?”

The answer appears to be yes.

Haidt explains that these agitators–who sometimes call themselves “antifascists“– justify their actions by presenting themselves as victims:

“A common feature of recent campus shout-downs is the argument that the speaker ‘dehumanizes’ members of marginalized groups or ‘denies their right to exist.’ No quotations or citations are given for such strong assertions; these are rhetorical moves made to strengthen the case against the speaker.”

Thus far, universities have mostly indulged the escapades of these bad-behaving students. Why? Perhaps it’s because there is a deep-rooted tradition of protesting in America’s history. Perhaps it’s because college officials are sympathetic to the students’ ends (keeping dissenting voices off campus).

Whatever the case, by indulging the student agitators who employ threats, intimidation, and violence, college leaders are tacitly affirming their tactics. This is dangerous.

Haidt, for one, believes our university system may be at a crossroads.

“This year may become a turning point in the annals of higher education. It may be remembered as the year that political violence and police escorts became ordinary parts of campus life. Or it may be remembered as the year when professors, students, and administrators finally found the moral courage to stand up against intimidation, even when it is aimed at people whose ideas they dislike.”

It’s troubling that universities have not taken a stronger stance against these tactics. More troubling is that—as the cancelation of the parade in Portland demonstrates—we could soon see these methods proliferate beyond the campus since they have proven so effective.

That would be bad. What has largely been overlooked is that these tactics are a crude form of terrorism.

If you Google “terrorism” this is the definition you will find: Ter·ror·ism (noun) the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

People have a right to peaceably assemble and protest. But when people use threats, intimidation, and violence against civilians to achieve political aims, they are employing tactics that go beyond civil disobedience.

Take the recent episode in Portland. A clear threat (disruption and potential violence) was issued designed to achieve a specific political result (ostracization of a political group). It worked.

​We tend to not recognize the actual nature of these acts because they are done so openly and brazenly. It’s a brilliant and age-old ruse. In G.K. Chesterton’s wonderful novel The Man Who Was Thursday, the president of the Central Anarchist Council shrewdly observed the safest place for a terrorist to hide. “You want a safe disguise, do you? . . . A dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb? Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!”

This is not to imply that all protesters are terrorists or that the FBI should send agents to Berkeley. But we need to be honest about the brutish tactics being employed and recognize that they are designed to achieve political goals. It’s a dangerous path, as anyone familiar with Germany’s Spartacist Uprising knows.

The most frustrating part is that colleges have no problem flexing their muscles and cracking down on offending students… when it’s a couple of kids handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution. But when mobs of students wearing masks organize to infringe on the rights of others, college leaders inexplicably go into a shell.

It doesn’t have to be this way. College administrators could send a strong message by promptly expelling a few ringleaders caught engaging in intimidating or violent behavior. It doesn’t belong on campus and should not be tolerated.

They have the ability. Do they have the will?


Negligent African doctor injures African-American babies

He got his medical degree from a historically black American university but his name suggests that he is of Tanazanian origin

It was not a high-risk pregnancy. But over the next 90 minutes, the doctor made a series of missteps that led to a tragic outcome for Dixon and her baby - and a $33.8 million (AU$45.18 million) malpractice judgment, according to a federal lawsuit.

The doctor ordered nurses to restart a drug to strengthen contractions, failed to perform a Cesarean section - and walked away from Dixon's room for long periods, once for an eight-minute phone call from his stockbroker, the verdict said.

By the time the baby was delivered on Dec. 2, 2013, he was blue in the face and his limbs were limp, according to the verdict handed down by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola. It took a medical team to revive the infant, named Earl, Jr., and by then he had severe brain damage from lack of oxygen, according to the lawsuit filed by Dixon and the boy's father, Earl Reese-Thornton, Sr.

The doctor, Dixon said later, blamed her for not pushing hard enough. He also tried to cover his tracks by falsifying the 19-year-old mother's medical record with a note that made it appear she had refused a C-section, according to the testimony of the nurse in charge of delivery.

For Dixon, the court's judgment will help pay for a lifetime of round-the-clock care for her son, but it does not go far enough.

"Not one time did he apologize," Dixon said of the doctor, whose name is Ata Atogho. "He didn't care. He kept going on with his lies. He blamed me."

Medical lawsuits

Atogho did not respond to repeated phone calls and emails because he's on vacation, according to an assistant at Metro-Miami Obstetrics and Gynecology in North Miami Beach, where he works.

Lawyers for the U.S. Attorney's Office, which represented Atogho in the Dixon case because he worked for the federally funded Jessie Trice Community Health Center at the time, refused to comment.

But as Dixon would later find out, she was not the first parent to sue Atogho for seriously injuring a newborn he delivered in 2013.

Atogho delivered two babies that year who were permanently brain damaged, and a third who was disabled for life, according to lawsuits filed by the injured infants' mothers - all of whom were teen-aged moms receiving care at Jessie Trice, which serves many of Miami's low-income and uninsured residents.

In one case, a patient accused Atogho of rushing to deliver her baby and using a vacuum device that disfigured her daughter, born in September 2013 with permanent damage to nerves in her shoulder and neck. The baby's mother, who was 17 at the time and delivering her first child, agreed to settle for $92,200 in January, according to court records.

Another case, which has not yet gone to trial, involves a baby whom Atogho delivered in May of 2013, according to the legal complaint. The mother, 19, accused Atogho of ignoring signs that her baby was in distress and waiting too long to perform an emergency C-section, causing permanent brain damage to her daughter.

In all of the cases, the mothers received their prenatal care from nurses and midwives at Jessie Trice clinics and delivered their babies at North Shore Medical Center, where Atogho was their on-call obstetrician. Dixon said she met Atogho just once before he arrived at her bedside while she was in labor.

Richard 'Bo' Sharp, a Miami attorney who represented Dixon, said Dixon's case was helped by a nurse who testified that Atogho lied when he wrote a note that read "refused c/s" on her patient record, a reference to a C-section.

Up until then, Sharp said, "It was [Dixon's] word against the doctor's."

No record

Despite the verdict in Dixon's case, Atogho has not received a reprimand and no other disciplinary action has been taken against his Florida medical license for the incident. He's not personally liable for the $33.8 million judgment, either.

The U.S. government is on the hook for the money. Dixon and Reese-Thornton were able to sue the federal government because Atogho worked for a federally funded health clinic.


Christian Judge Vance Day in the Crosshairs of a Liberal Vendetta in Oregon

In Oregon, a judge is fighting for his very freedom along with his livelihood, while defending his First Amendment right to practice his religion. Judge Vance Day is an evangelical Christian, former chairman of the state GOP, and a presiding judge in the 3rd Circuit Court in Salem. He has been unanimously recommended for dismissal as a judge by the state Judicial Fitness Commission and was charged with two felonies by the Marion County district attorney and many are saying this is all the result of his refusal to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. The legal challenges appear to be driven by a political agenda to silence those who would refuse to fall in line and actively participate in same-sex marriage.

Judge Day has so far spent almost $700,000 on his legal defense, between the Judicial Fitness hearings and the felony charges. The case originally began when Day instructed his staff to refer any applicants for his services as a wedding officiant to a different judge if the couple was of the same sex. Day's faith informs him that homosexuality is a sin. The report by the Judicial Fitness Commission includes eight counts, only one of which is related to the same-sex marriage issue. The 48-page report contains a lot of information, including a spurious charge that the married Day was somehow thought to be using FarmersOnly.com, an online dating service. Further investigation revealed that to be a false charge.

Day is being represented in his Judicial Fitness case by attorney Jim Bopp, Jr., who successfully tried the Citizens United case at the United States Supreme Court on constitutional grounds. Bopp strongly believes that Day has a constitutional case in his defense based on his First Amendment protections to freely practice his religion.

In an interview, Bopp described the constitutional challenges he is making to the Judicial Fitness charges:

There's quite a few counts that relate to constitutional defenses, and I'm helping him with all of them. The main one is the religious freedom issue. We're defending some of the charges based on the fact that the effort by the state amounts to disciplining him for not doing something that is his religious faith prohibits him from doing. They're trying to punish him for following his religious faith. It's a First Amendment issue.
When asked if the charges are being pushed because of a political agenda, Bopp was adamant:

I don't think there's any doubt about that. It came to their attention because he declined to perform same sex marriages, even though he's never been asked to do one. As a general matter of principle, he would not perform them. As a result of that, they seem to have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at him. Many of the things are very trivial, so it seems like they're trying to hit him with as many things as they can.
According to Bopp, Day had a spotless record as a judge prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Oregon and his subsequent refusal to perform the ceremonies:

Before this matter began with the same sex marriage issue, there was no issue at all. There were no problems of any kind. It's not like he was involved in a series of issues. His record was unblemished. What brought him to their attention was the same sex marriage issue, not anything else. I don't see how you could come to the conclusion that he was causing trouble or that he had it coming when there were no prior issues.
Perhaps the most important issue of all, according to Bopp, is that judges are not required to perform marriages at all in Oregon and can refuse to do so for any reason:

Judges in Oregon are not required to do marriages. This is purely optional. Some don't do marriages at all. Most judges who do marriages restrict them in some way. Maybe they'll marry people only from their own church, or their own county, or only on a Saturday but not a Sunday. It's a purely optional activity. There are plenty of judges who will perform marriages, including same sex marriages. There was nobody harmed by Judge Day's decision. He did very few marriages in the past anyway. He decided to forego them completely once it became clear that the government was going to force him to do same sex marriages unless he stopped doing marriages completely.

The bottom line, says Bopp, is conformity instead of diversity:

They're not satisfied with tolerance, and they're certainly not satisfied with diversity. What they want is conformity, and for everyone actually to participate in activities that their religious faith informs them is inappropriate. This is the opposite of tolerance or respect for diversity. This is government coerced conformity to a particular agenda.

The felony charges -- two charges of facilitating use of a gun by a felon -- were the result of information gathered in the Judicial Fitness Commission report. The Marion County district attorney referred the case to the Oregon attorney general's office for review. The attorney general's office then applied for and was granted a grand jury trial. The indictment was handed down by the grand jury the day before the statute of limitations was set to run out. Day denies the charges, saying that, without his knowledge, his son handled firearms with a veteran charged with a felony in Day's court.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-Portland) is a strong supporter of gay rights -- and vice versa. Public records show that she has received more than $10,000 in campaign contributions from various LGBT organizations, and much more from LGBT individuals. In turn, she has donated almost $6,000 to various LGBT causes since 2011. Some observers in Oregon believe the felony criminal charges against Day are a gift to the LGBT community from the (activist Democrat) AG's office. Rosenblum is no stranger to questionable political arrangements, being married to Mark Zusman, the publisher of the far-left weekly newspaper Willamette Week. Rosenblum originally ran for attorney general on a platform of stopping sexual trafficking of minors in Oregon while Willamette Week continued to publish classified ads from Backpage, a website that allows digital ads from escorts.


Alabama Legislature Protects Faith-Based Adoptions; Opponents Charge LGBT Discrimination

Alabama Rep. Patricia Todd (D) told GOP Rep. Rich Wingo that she was tired of “being in a country where I’m not welcome” during the state House debate over the Republican’s legislation to protect faith-based adoption agencies.

The Associated Press reported Todd said she was also tired of dealing “with institutions that know nothing about me but make a judgment that I’m a bad person because I am gay.”

Wingo said House Bill 24, the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act, was all about protecting the religious liberties of faith-based adoption agencies and had nothing to do with LGBT discrimination or Rep. Todd.

“Child placing agencies, both individuals and organizations, have the inherent, fundamental, and inalienable right to free exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” reads the legislation. “The right to free exercise of religion for child placing agencies includes the freedom to refrain from conduct that conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“The intent is definitely not to hurt you,” Wingo told Todd.

Wingo said it hadn’t happened yet in Alabama, but there were faith-based agencies in other states that had to shut down rather than place children in homes that went against their faith. His legislation intends to make sure that never happens in Alabama.

“A law is desperately needed to protect faith-based adoption agencies. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the Bill of Rights,” Mathew Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told PJM.

Wingo also said his legislation wouldn’t impact that many adoption agencies in Alabama. He estimated only 30 percent of them have a religious affiliation. But he said it is important that those with a religious mission are protected.

Over Rep. Todd’s objections — she was the only Democrat to vote against HB 24 in the Alabama House — the legislature approved HB 24.

Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not said whether she intends to sign the bill into law. Her staff said she was studying it.

The Human Rights Campaign has called on Ivey to veto the bill and “denounced” the Alabama Senate for passing HB 24.

“Plain and simple -- H.B. 24 is discrimination dressed up as a ‘solution’ to a fake problem,” said Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama director. “It creates an unnecessary hardship for potential LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents in Alabama and primarily harms the children looking for a loving home.”

Similar legislation in South Dakota faces a court challenge that Rep. Wingo hopes to avoid in Alabama by applying this religious liberty protection law only to adoption agencies that do not receive state or federal funding.

But Wendy Crew, an attorney who represented a gay couple hoping to adopt in Alabama, told WBRC that wasn’t good enough.

"In some ways, all agencies receive state and federal funding. I don't see how it can pass constitutional muster. It's ripe for litigation," said Crew. "It appears the bill is actually institutionalizing prejudice in the state of Alabama.”

Wingo denied the discrimination charge.

"It talks about not discriminating against the faith-based agencies. It's not about discriminating other than just making sure the faith-based child placement agencies aren't discriminated against due to their beliefs," said Wingo.

April Aaron-Brush and her wife have a 10-year-old adopted daughter. They would like to adopt another child. But because Aaron-Brush and her wife are now legally married, she told NPR that faith-based adoption agencies are ignoring them.

Aaron-Brush said she and her partner might get a lawyer and file suit against faith-based institutions that have not responded to their adoption requests.

Eric Johnston, an attorney who represents faith-based adoption agencies in Alabama, said that is precisely why Gov. Ivey should sign the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act.

"They anticipated there could be problems and wanted to — in advance — think it through and do something that would be reasonable and to the benefit of everyone concerned on both sides of the issue," Johnston told NPR.

Wingo said because most adoption agencies in Alabama have no religious affiliation gay couples have plenty of alternatives. There is no reason they have to try to adopt from a faith-based agency.

“Protecting the religious freedom of faith-based adoption agencies is of the highest importance,” Staver told PJM. “These great ministries should not have to choose between serving children or shutting down.”

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) told AL.com that she agreed with Wingo because the Alabama Department of Human Resources handles most of the state’s adoptions.

"What we're trying to do is say is, 'OK, you also can't discriminate against religious organizations who want the ability to place these kids where they think they'd be best suited for them,’” Marsh said.

As for how he feels about gay couples adopting, Wingo said his opinion doesn’t matter.

"If you are a follower of Christ, then what matters is what does the word of God say?” Wingo said. “What does God say about it?"



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


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