Monday, November 13, 2017

Leftist throws up his hands on gun control

It's an extended effort at saying just about nothing below.  He does however admit the failure of do-gooder solutions to gangbanger shootings. He has no idea how to stop gang-bangers with guns but criticizes conservative comments on the matter. 

But conservatives DO have a solution: Get more people carrying so the bad guys get taken down when they draw.  And it's a proven solution. As gun restrictions have eased and ownership has increased, innocent deaths have fallen.  The solution is exactly the opposite of what Leftists want.  They are part of the problem, as usual


A semiautomatic handgun concealed under his winter clothes, Josiah Zachery made his way to Jamaica Plain one snowy morning in 2015, prosecutors say. He spent an hour on the bus, then took the Orange Line from Jackson Square to Forest Hills, almost as if he were making a long, cold commute to work.

But Zachery wasn’t going to work. That morning, Zachery had allegedly received a text message from Donte Henley, a fellow member of Boston’s Franklin Hill gang. Henley had discovered that he and someone affiliated with a rival gang were working on the same snow shoveling crew for Roca, a nonprofit that tries to change the lives of at-risk young people.

He texted Zachery for help. When Zachery found the crew, he allegedly walked up to the man Henley had described, drew the large-caliber handgun, and shot 21-year-old Kenny Lamour in the head. Lamour, who was trying to turn his life around, died in the snowy street.

Almost three years later, Henley and Zachery are both on trial for Lamour’s murder — a crime that represents a type of gun violence that is even harder to solve than the mass shootings that are all too prevalent.

Now, you may have heard that nobody really cares about the kind of violence that killed Kenny Lamour. At least that’s the talking point that emerges from some conservative quarters pretty often these days.

Raise the issue of gun control in the wake of another mass shooting, or suggest criminal justice reform after a police officer shoots another black man, and someone will invariably ride in on his tired stalking horse, asking you why you’re not talking about “black on black crime” or “murders in Chicago.” Their point? That discussing something like an assault weapons ban means you’re ignoring all the young men like Lamour who are gunned down every day with handguns.

It’s a disingenuous argument, of course, intended only to derail the national conversations about gun control or other reforms. But listen to these sad, angry voices long enough, and you might even begin to believe that decent, empathetic people can’t care about more than one thing at once: like, say, mass shootings and gang violence.

So it’s worth pointing out that on every level, that’s nonsense. Searching for a solution is the only humane response to massive, senseless death at a concert in Las Vegas or a church in Texas. But doing so doesn’t preclude anyone from also wondering what could’ve saved Kenny Lamour.

In fact, the cumulative toll of the kind of gang violence that killed Lamour is far greater than from mass shootings. What makes it harder to talk about isn’t a lack of concern — it’s that this violence is even more confounding and intractable, rooted in poverty and centuries of discrimination.

It’s fairly easy to design regulations that would make large-scale mass shootings less common. A federal ban on semiautomatic, military-style rifles and large-capacity magazines wouldn’t stop every one, but it would prevent at least some — and the country not long ago had just such a ban, albeit one with .50 caliber loopholes in it.

In the wake of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Democrats in Congress introduced just such a bill. It won’t go anywhere, of course — which is frustrating to the point of being intolerable — but we fundamentally understand the political factors involved.

But violence in our streets? It’s harder to see a way forward. Lamour’s death is particularly galling in this regard, because it came as he was actively participating in one of the potential solutions.

This week, during the trial of the two men accused of murdering Lamour, a prosecutor described a Roca crew chief getting assurances from Henley that he could work alongside Lamour without incident.

But within five minutes, Henley was allegedly texting Zachery, plotting Lamour’s death.

A couple of hours later, Lamour was standing behind the Roca van on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, smoking a cigarette, when a bullet entered his head above his right ear, ripped through his brain, and lodged inside his left cheek.

In Massachusetts and many other states, handguns like the large-caliber weapon Zachery allegedly used to end Lamour’s life are already subject to far greater restrictions than rifles. The weapons used in street crimes are typically already being carried illegally. And keeping them out of the wrong hands has proven incredibly difficult.

So we rely on public programs and nonprofit organizations like Roca, which helps over 700 young men, ages 17 to 24 all over Massachusetts. Most of them have been arrested before, many have been incarcerated or involved in gangs and dropped out of high school. Roca workers knock on doors again and again, offering work and help and the kind of trusting relationship that can begin to convince someone to follow a different path.

In that sense, Lamour’s life, if not his death, is evidence that people do indeed care deeply. All over the country, smart and dedicated people are searching for solutions.

And they’re grieving the loss of people like Kenny Lamour.


Ditch political correctness and wise up. Empower cops to fight radical Islamic terrorists here at home

When you're getting dressed in the morning, you look for a shirt in your closet - not your refrigerator. When you want to go out to dinner, you look for a restaurant - not a dentist's office. And when you're a cop looking for radical Islamic terrorists ... well, let's just say you don't look in a convent, a monastery or a rabbinical seminary.

Is this politically correct? Absolutely not. Is it simple common sense? Of course it is.

There's no question that the vast majority of Muslims in America are peaceful, law-abiding and hardworking men and women. They serve in our armed forces and police departments, teach in our schools, treat us in hospitals, and work in countless other jobs that benefit our nation. We welcome and appreciate them.

But there's also no question that a small subset of Muslims in this country don't fit the above description, because they support the aims of radical Islamic terrorists. And an even smaller, very tiny subset actually engages in terrorism. Finding these people after they commit terrorist acts is challenging. Finding them before they commit terrorist acts and stopping them is incredibly difficult.

A basic principle of police work is that you use logic and common sense when searching for criminals of any kind. You can't search for everyone everywhere, so you narrow the field of possible suspects. What does the suspected criminal look like - race, sex, height, weight, hair color and style, and so on? Where do you think the suspect might be? These and related questions hold true whether the search is for a robber, a rapist, a drug dealer or a terrorist.

Where might a radical Islamic terrorist be? Well ... wild guess ... mosques, other areas where Muslims get together, and Muslim neighborhoods. One thing's for sure: you won't find any radical Muslim terrorists who are not Muslims.

It does not take a brilliant detective like Dick Tracy or Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. Even the imbecilic film detective Inspector Clouseau could do it.

Yet in New York City last week, where a radical Islamic terrorist drove his truck into innocent people on a bike path on Halloween - killing eight and injuring a dozen - police and other law enforcement officials are being handcuffed. They are being told to ignore their common sense and training, and not focus on Muslims when looking for Muslim terrorists.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that the Halloween terrorist - indentified by police as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, a Muslim who emigrated from Uzbekistan - was radicalized here in the United States, not in his home country, which has a history of violent Islamic extremists.

If the governor is correct, than where in the U.S. did the radicalization take place? And before we jump to the convenient presumption that Saipov was "self-radicalized" or a "lone wolf," we should realize by now that terrorists are not hatched overnight after sitting in their basements watching videos.

No one lives in a vacuum. Radicalization is a process that includes both internal and external catalysts and occurs in many environments. That principle was laid out in a report created by the New York City Police Department's Intelligence Division in 2006 titled "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat: The NYPD Report," authored by Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt.
The report was a seminal tutorial on how and where the radicalization of "unremarkable" individuals occurred. It was a vital component of the NYPD's counterterrorism program until 2016.

But last year Mayor Bill de Blasio caved in to demands from the American Civil Liberties Union and several Muslim activist organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and ordered the counterterrorism report removed from both the NYPD's website and its training manuals.

And if that was not enough, the mayor also ordered the police to discontinue standard police practices of surveillance and undercover operations of the group most susceptible to radical Islamic terrorists - the Muslim community of the greater New York and New Jersey metropolitan area.

De Blasio's absurd action came in response to a 2012 lawsuit filed in Newark, New Jersey by Muslim advocates. They claimed that the NYPD was profiling them strictly on the basis of their religion and that they had suffered irreparable damages as a result of police actions.

But U.S. District Judge William J. Martini ruled in 2014 that the NYPD's investigative practices did not violate the Constitution, nor were any damages suffered by the Muslim community. The plaintiffs appealed the decision and the case was to be reheard.

Unfortunately, de Blasio then inexplicably surrendered to the demands of those suing the police department and withdrew from defending the NYPD against the lawsuit.

One of the mosques in New Jersey that claimed to have been unjustly surveilled was the Omar Mosque in Patterson. This is the same mosque attended by Sayfullo Saipov, the now-accused self-proclaimed ISIS follower who struck on Halloween.

Yet NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller stated publicly that the Saipov case has nothing to do with Islam or which mosque someone attended.  How quickly he forgets.

Perhaps Miller needs to go back and reread the 2002 book he wrote titled "The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It." Back then, he clearly acknowledged the obvious fact that that radical Islamic terrorists have connections with Muslim communities.

And as if to add insult to injury, New York City has agreed to an amendment to a court decision that oversees police intelligence investigations of political and religious organizations. De Blasio will now appoint a civilian monitor who will have oversight over who the police department can or cannot investigate.

Perhaps the Army will next follow suit and appoint civilian monitors to determine where and when it can fight radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. That would make as much sense as the de Blasio policy.

Here's the bottom line: We need to spend less time worrying about being politically correct and more time worrying about how to protect the American people from bloodthirsty radical Islamic terrorists who want to kill and injure as many of us as possible.
At some point, we have to let the police be the police and investigate terrorists and other criminals - regardless of religion, ethnicity or race - based on tried and true procedures.

Good police investigative work in years past resulted in many arrests against criminal organizations like the Mafia and Colombian drug cartels, even though Italians and Colombians were disproportionately represented in these groups. It would have been as silly to search for Mafia kingpins in mosques as it would be to try hunting down ISIS terrorists at Knights of Columbus meetings.

Good police work can be effective against Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, which often infiltrate the Muslim communities in the United States, only if police are allowed to do their jobs.

Hopefully, the NYPD under the current leadership of Commissioner James O'Neil, a career cop, will be allowed to go where the evidence leads, utilizing every tool at its disposal and not bow to political correctness when investigating potential terrorists and their hideouts. Perhaps the tool most needed in fighting radical Islamic terrorism today is a strong backbone.


What These 3 Doctors Think Should Be Done for Children Who Think They Are Transgender

Three doctors, specializing in pediatrics, biology, and psychiatry, are criticizing what they say is the reliance on feelings over facts when it comes to studying and treating children who think they’re transgender.

In a panel discussion at The Heritage Foundation, the doctors said the transgender ideology permeating society today is hurting children and undermining scientific research.

Ryan Anderson, senior research fellow in American principles and public policy at The Heritage Foundation, hosted the Oct. 11 panel with Drs. Michelle Cretella, Paul Hruz, and Allan Josephson.

Cretella, president of the Gainesville, Florida-based American College of Pediatricians, outlined her definition of what determines a child’s sex.

“Biological sex is not ‘assigned,’” she said. “Biological [sex] is imprinted by our DNA at the moment of conception, and it’s [in] every single cell in our bodies.” It comes down to chromosomes, she explained: If you have a Y chromosome, you’re a boy. If you don’t, you’re a girl.

“Thoughts and feelings are not hard-wired before birth,” Cretella said. “They develop over time.” She said there is no scientific test or biological evidence that affirms a person’s “chosen” gender.

Ten years ago, Cretella said, she had a patient, who she called “Andy,” who said he was transgender.

“Between the ages of 3 and 5,” she said, “little Andy increasingly played with girl toys. Stereotypical girl toys. He really made friends easier with girls, and he started telling his parents, ‘Mommy, Daddy, I am a girl.’”

Cretella referred Andy’s parents to a therapist to look at the family dynamics behind the circumstances.

“During one session, they had a breakthrough,” she recalled. “Andy had a truck and a Barbie. He put the truck down, he looked up at his parents, and said, ‘Mommy, Daddy, you don’t love me when I’m a boy.’ Now the therapist had something to work with.”

Andy had a sister with special needs when he was 3 years old. His mom and dad had to give more attention to her to accommodate her condition. Andy thought that they favored his sister over him and that he needed to be a girl for his parents to love him.

By focusing the therapeutic session on family dynamics, Andy was able to progress through his treatment.

“Over the next year, this therapeutic work is what relieved Andy’s gender dysphoria,” Cretella said in an email to The Daily Signal. “He no longer had the psychological need to be the opposite sex in order to feel loved. Within a year of that session he was happy, healthy, and identified as a boy.”

But Cretella said Andy wouldn’t have received the same treatment today. “Today, Andy’s pediatrician would refer Andy and his family to gender specialists or a gender clinic,” she said. “The parents would immediately be told this is who Andy is.”

Josephson, a professor and division chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, called the current transgender revolution “a social-cultural-psychological phenomenon,” but added that it’s also a “neglectful phenomenon, neglecting the developmental needs of children.”

Josephson said young children don’t have the capacity to make choices on sexual identity, just as they don’t have the capacity to drive a car or make the choice to go to bed on time. He said it’s the parents’ job to help their children learn these things as they develop.

For parents not to take action in the child’s decision-making, particularly with respect to sexual identity, is detrimental to the child’s development, he said. “Of course you affirm the child and love the child,” he said, “but you don’t affirm a bad idea.”

Hruz, associate professor of pediatrics, endocrinology, cell biology, and physiology at Washington University in St. Louis, explained the psychological issues that transgender people face. These include depression and anxiety, and they can lead to bad outcomes, such as substance abuse.

“These children that have a gender identity that does not align with their sexes are truly suffering,” he said.

Hruz said guidelines on how to treat transgender patients emerged from the Netherlands and were introduced into the U.S. about 10 years ago. Before then, transgender identity was considered a psychological condition. Now, doctors consider using puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on patients suffering from gender dysphoria.

There were studies on the effects of the new guidelines, but Hruz said, they haven’t warranted a drastic change in the approach to the way doctors treat gender identity issues.

“Despite the fact that there are well-established treatment guidelines,” he said, “not standard care, but guidelines … the evidence behind this new treatment paradigm is slim to none.”

Cretella raised the issue of the dangers of puberty-blocking drugs, which counteract hormones that allow people to develop puberty traits, such as deeper voices and breasts. The blockers are not Food and Drug Administration-approved substances, and there have been no long-term studies of the substances used on a regular basis for otherwise healthy children.

Cross-sex hormones used to replace the normal pubertal process, Cretella said, can cause cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.

Hruz agreed with Cretella about the dangerous effects of puberty blockers and added that they can also cause other problems, such as osteoporosis and infertility.

When the doctors began taking questions, Zack Ford, the LGBTQ editor of the liberal website, asked why anyone should think they have the best interests of children in mind when their views on the issue, he said, are in “stark contrast to major medical organizations” and “reflect a clear prejudice against trans people.”

Ford said studies concluded that when parents affirm a child’s chosen gender, they relieve any mental stress the child may have sustained from the transition.

He didn’t cite specific studies, but Cretella noted flaws with studies of the kind he alluded to.

First, the studies assume that affirming a false idea—in this case, the false ideas behind gender identity—is healthy for anyone. Second, she said the studies have been small and short-term.

Third, the control group of mentally healthy children were the siblings of the transgender child. In an email to The Daily Signal, Cretella explained, “Non-trans siblings will have a higher degree of other mental illness above the general population. An authentic control group would consist of children who live in similar family structures without any transgender-identifying individuals.” And fourth, the parents were evaluating the mental health of the children, not scientists.

Hruz told Ford that objective scientists look at the hypothesis of a subject and seek to come to the best conclusion, and not be “prejudiced” toward a preferred  solution without looking at alternatives.

When Ford mentioned that transgender children are relieved of stress when parents affirm their chosen gender, Josephson said the studies Ford mentioned only consider a child’s temporarily relief and don’t look at the long-term effects of the issue.


ACLU Threatens to Stamp Out Diversity by Shuttering Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. And how is the American Civil Liberties Union celebrating? By trying to reduce the number of agencies that place needy children with families.

Specifically, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Michigan over a 2015 law that allows religious adoption agencies to decline placing children with same-sex parents, in accordance with their religious convictions.

If the ACLU prevails in court, it would overturn the Michigan law and force numerous faith-based adoption agencies to choose between following their beliefs about marriage and family, or going out of business, leaving thousands of foster children out in the cold without families.

Despite the ACLU’s attacks, Michigan’s law is neither unconventional nor unprecedented. It simply preserves the status quo in which religious adoption agencies and foster families can serve children on equal terms with secular adoption agencies and foster families.

As Michigan state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine explained at the time of the bill’s enactment, “[The bill] simply preserve[s] the system we use today. It is not about who can and who cannot adopt a child. It’s about ensuring the most alternatives for people wanting to adopt a child.”

Similar laws have been adopted in six other states—Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. This lawsuit shows why a federal law, like the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, is so needed to protect faith-based adoption providers.

High Stakes for Michigan Children

There are currently more than 13,000 children in the Michigan foster care system. Placing these orphaned and hurting children with permanent, loving families requires an all-out effort from a diversity of agencies.

These agencies work tirelessly to recruit foster and adoptive parents, and diversity aids their cause. Having a diversity of providers means there are more connections with communities and families who want to open their homes to children in need.

Considering the decline in the number of parents who are adopting, it’s difficult to understand why anyone would seek to limit the number of adoption agencies and foster care providers. Doing so would only further delay the day that each child in Michigan can join a “forever family.”

Yet that is exactly what the ACLU is doing in Dumont et al. v. Lyon. It is not just an attack on fairness within the adoption industry, but on the children who are served by religious adoption agencies.

As former president of the National Council for Adoption warned, “If all faith-based agencies closed … the adoption and child welfare field would be decimated, depriving thousands of children [of opportunities to] grow up in families.”

The ACLU’s Michigan lawsuit could create the same conditions that led to the shuttering of faith-based adoption and foster care providers in Massachusetts, Illinois, and the District of Columbia.

Groups in those states were compelled to either shut down or comply with government mandates that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

In the case of Illinois, over 2,000 children had to be moved to agencies around the state. Closing these institutions—which in Michigan make up 50 percent of all adoption and foster care services—did not help a single child find a home, or any couple find a child.

In fact, it hurt the most vulnerable children, as faith-based agencies—which tend to have the highest success in placing older children and disabled children with families—were unable to provide the required services.

In essence, Illinois scored a symbolic political point in the culture war at the expense of over 2,000 children.

The ACLU’s Claims

The ACLU argues that the Michigan law violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on government establishment of a religion.

But the legislation does not force the government of Michigan to establish a religion, nor does it favor one particular faith or doctrine. Instead, it allows faith-based groups to partner with the government to serve the larger community while remaining true to their beliefs.

In Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, the Supreme Court faulted the state of Missouri for expressly requiring Trinity Lu­theran Church Child Learning Center “to renounce its religious character in order to participate in an otherwise generally available public benefit program, for which it is fully qualified.”

Here, as in Trinity Lutheran, excluding faith-based child welfare providers from working with the government solely because of their religious character would be unjustified discrimination.

The ACLU’s interpretation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause is wrong and misleading.

The ACLU also claims that the faith-based groups violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

However, the preference of faith-based agencies for placing children with mothers and fathers is not based on sexual orientation. It is based on beliefs about the uniqueness of both sexes in parenting, and the value of giving a child a mother and a father wherever possible.

An agency could choose to place a child with a mother and father rather than with two women or two men (whatever their orientations) because the best two dads or two moms can’t replace both a mom and a dad.

This has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the individuals. Even the Supreme Court has referred to the support for opposite-sex marriage as “decent” and “honorable,” and based on “reasonable” premises.

Same-sex couples in Michigan seeking to adopt are free to do so with dozens of agencies across the state. One of the plaintiff couples refused to take advantage of a secular agency that was only 11 miles away, insisting that a faith-based agency had to violate the tenets of its faith for them to adopt a child.

Contrary to the ACLU’s claims, there is no constitutional or practical reason why a faith-based agency must be forced to violate its religious beliefs when there are an ample number of alternatives across the state.

There should be enough room in Michigan for every qualified agency to provide adoption and foster care services.

Erasing a Win-Win Policy

Plaintiff Kristy Dumont said, “So many children in Michigan need homes. The state should do all that it can to make sure children in the foster care system have access to all available, qualified families.”

The people of Michigan agreed with Dumont and chose to have diversity in their child-placing provider options, passing legislation that preserves a variety of options for everyone.

If the ACLU has its way, it will remove this increasingly rare “win-win” legislative solution and prevent the agencies most successful at finding homes for hurting children from operating.

The courts should reject the ACLU’s attempt to impose ideological uniformity on adoption and foster care providers at the expense of Michigan’s most vulnerable children.



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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