Tuesday, December 12, 2017



Germany condemns antisemitism while welcoming millions of antisemites

German authorities have strongly condemned the wave of anti-Israeli protests that have gripped Berlin for three consecutive days in response to Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying anti-Semitism has no place in the country.

Some 2,500 people waved Palestinian flags and carried placards denouncing the US and Israel. Anti-Semitic calls were heard in Arabic and German as Israel’s Star of David flag was set alight. Burning a flag on its own does not constitute a criminal offense, unless it is attached to an embassy or public institution, police said. Officers detained eleven people from the vocal crowd before releasing them after writing up criminal complaints.

Sunday’s rally was Berlin’s third show of anger against Trump’s move since Friday. Two flags had been burned at the start of the weekend in an anti-Israel rally in front of the American Embassy on Pariser Platz, which drew around 1,500 people. The enraged crowd chanted “Death to the Jews!” and “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is coming again!” According to legend, Khaybar was a Jewish-populated oasis in Saudi Arabia, which was attacked and conquered by Prophet Muhammed and his army.

The crowd also shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is great), and “in spirit and in blood we will redeem you.” In addition, several people dressed in Palestinian colors also waved Hamas flags, classified by the European Union and the United States as a terrorist group. Police said they arrested ten people Friday, citing 12 criminal charges.

SOURCE




  

Support Grows for Air Force Colonel Suspended Over Religious Beliefs on Marriage

When Heather Wilson was picked to be secretary of the Air Force, she told the Senate: “Air Force policy must continue to ensure that all airmen are able to choose to practice their particular religion.” Now, she has a chance to prove it.

On Wednesday, the Family Research Council’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin and Travis Weber gave Wilson 77,024 reasons to reconsider the action taken against Col. Leland Bohannon.

A distinguished combat pilot, Bohannon has served his country for more than 20 years. In May, the reputation he’d built in the Air Force came crashing down when his superiors decided that the colonel’s decision not to sign a “certificate of appreciation” for a same-sex spouse was enough to suspend him from duty.

Never mind that Bohannon had requested a religious accommodation. Or that he’d consulted the command chaplain and a staff judge advocate. Leaders seemed determined to make an example of the dad of five, grounding him and snuffing out any chance of promotion. Eight senators were outraged, demanding that Air Force leaders intervene. Then, more than 77,000 of you piled on, urging justice for Bohannon and others like him.

Wednesday, Boykin and Weber delivered those petitions on behalf of the Family Research Council and our friends at the American Family Association—along with a letter signed by 31 religious advocacy groups.

“In his Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty issued earlier this year,” the organizations write, “President Trump stated that ‘it shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom,’ and that people should be ‘free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government.’ Yet despite his impressive decades-long career with the Air Force, Col. Bohannon’s life and service are about to be derailed by the violation of this fundamental principle.”

Not only is there no right to a certificate of spousal appreciation, an accommodation should easily have been granted here … If the Air Force policy reflected the view of [Department of Justice] on this issue, those in Col. Bohannon’s situation would have no need to be concerned for their religious liberty in the first place, and we urge the Air Force to bring its policies into line with the understanding of the DOJ in this area … In addition to correcting Air Force policy to ensure this does not happen again, we respectfully request that you reverse the complaint against Col. Bohannon and remove any unfavorable materials related to this complaint from his record.

As far as Boykin is concerned, “We not only delivered petitions, we delivered a message: We will not back down from defending the religious liberty of those in the military. The action taken against Colonel Bohannon is unacceptable, and Air Force policy must be corrected to ensure this does not happen again.”

Thanks to tens of thousands of you, Secretary Wilson may be motivated to do just that.

SOURCE






Female Entrepreneur Says Google’s ‘Women in Tech’ Program Ostracized Her for Being Conservative

A female tech entrepreneur alleges she faced character assassination and career sabotage by two “women in tech” groups over her conservative beliefs, including Google’s Women Techmakers.

Senior software engineer and co-founder of Polyglot Programming Marlene Jaeckel says that Martin Omander, Google Developer Group program manager for North America, formally banned her from the Google Developer Group and Google Women Techmakers after complaints from a feminist activist who objected to her moderate conservative positions.

According to Jaeckel , Omander “declined to provide me with any details of the complaints against me or the rules that I’d allegedly violated.”

In a Medium post published earlier this week, Jaeckel explained that the two Atlanta-based feminists who reported her to Google, local Women Who Code director Alicia Carr and Atlanta Google Women Techmakers organizer Maggie Kane, had become hostile to her after a series of disagreements over politics, and repeatedly sought to damage her career.

The publicly-stated objectives of both Women Who Code and Google Women Techmakers are, ostensibly, non-partisan. Women Who Code says their goal is to “inspire women to excel in technology careers,” while Google Women Techmakers says they merely wish for “visibility, community, and resources for women in technology.”

None of these organizations openly say that Republican or conservative women are excluded from their goals. Yet Jaeckel , a senior software engineer and co-founder of a tech company, says that is the reason why Carr and Kane sought to both exclude her from the groups and sabotage her career in tech.

According to Jaeckel ‘s account, which can be read in full at Medium, she had a falling-out with Carr over a number of issues, including her opposition to gender-segregated classes. Jaeckel says she was also banned from two other coding workshops in Atlanta because the founders “strongly objected” to her conservative political views.

    Unfortunately, during the Women Who Code hackathon, it became clear to me that this event focused on marketing strategies, creativity, and the discussion of gender politics, and not on the development of technical skills. At the group presentations and award ceremony, I observed that my group of mentees were being discouraged from discussing any of the technical details of the fully-functional application they had developed in less than two days, and I expressed my frustration about it on Twitter, stating that “when you’re a mentor and your mentees don’t get the recognition they deserve, you go to bat.”

    In August 2016, Alicia reached out me via email and private Slack messages. She proposed forming a class for female coders who were interested in learning iOS development and asked me to tutor these students. I told her that I’d be glad to teach if the class also included males. She refused, stating that “I need everybody and anybody to help my Women and I’m sorry there is a gender issues [sic] but right now it [sic] about my ladies.” We were unable to reach an agreement, so I declined.

    In September 2016, I again crossed paths with Alicia at a monthly meeting of the Atlanta iOS Developers group. She was extremely irate over my Twitter comment and my refusal to teach women-only classes. She became loud and disruptive during the meeting and the event’s organizer had to intervene repeatedly.

    Despite her hostility, I still wanted to participate in Alicia’s ConnectTech panel discussion. I spent weeks preparing to represent iOS developers and the “Apple way” of doing things. Alicia was, however, completely unprepared to moderate and many of the attendees were visibly disappointed. Shortly after the session, Alicia posted disparaging remarks about me on Twitter, implying that she had to “carry the iOS side” and that I failed to contribute anything to the panel discussion.

    Following this incident, I had limited interaction with other women in technology groups in Atlanta until January 2017, when I decided to volunteer as a mentor for a RailsGirls and RailsBridge workshop. Within hours of signing up, both organizations banned me from their groups and events. They even enlisted the help of two young white male developers to replace me as a mentor. Although the organizers of both groups declined to provide me with a formal explanation and refused to explain why or how I had allegedly violated their codes of conduct, I later learned that they strongly objected to my conservative political views. In addition, they were also friends of Alicia.

Jaeckel later volunteered to assist the Atlanta chapter of Google Women Techmakers, which was then being organized by Maggie Kane, and says she worked to secure a venue and speakers for their event. However, after viewpoint diversity advocate James Damore was fired from Google, Jaeckel says her public support for him drew a backlash.

    In mid-September 2017, Maggie contacted me and told me that Alicia, acting on behalf of Women Who Code, had sent her an email to lodge a written complaint against me and Polyglot Programming. She stated that Women Who Code refused to work with the Atlanta GDG, or attend or sponsor any of the group’s events because of my involvement. Then she added that Alicia had accused me of harassing and doxxing Women Who Code members by contacting their employers to get them fired.

    I was absolutely dumbfounded by these ludicrous allegations. It made no sense — I’ve had almost no interaction with Women Who Code’s members beyond my exchanges with Alicia Carr. It’s simply not in my nature to harass anyone and I’ve always been strongly opposed to retaliatory actions like doxxing and no-platforming.

    Maggie informed me that she had forwarded Alicia’s statements to Google and that she had also filed a written complaint with Google because I had “violated the codes of conduct”. She even felt that it might be best if I stopped attending any GDG and Google Women Techmakers events, because members might be “triggered” by my presence.

When Jaeckel later sought to attend an event organized by Google Women Techmakers, a group of which she was still a member, she was asked to leave by Kane, who said she held views that were “very harmful to gender equality.” Jaeckel also claims that Kane falsely accused her of “stalking” her, after which Jaeckel and her company were banned from a number of influential tech groups in Atlanta.

    Two days later, I got an email from TechSquare Labs. Daniel had discussed the incident with Allen Nance, Paul Judge, and Rodney Sampson, the owners of the facility, and he informed me that they had collectively decided to ban me and my company from using their venue or attending any of their events because they were concerned about the “safety” of their members. I later learned from a fellow developer that Maggie had, in fact, told various people that I’d been stalking her. She also recruited a young white male developer, David Hope, to replace my partner Lance as GDG organizer and invited David to act as her co-organizer for Google Women Techmakers.

    The following week, Martin Omander, GDG program manager for North America, formally banned me from the Google Developer Group and Google Women Techmakers and, again, declined to provide me with any details of the complaints against me or the rules that I’d allegedly violated.

At this point, says Jaeckel , she realized that the “women in tech” activists had become “determined to ostracize me from the tech industry and ruin the business that I’ve painstakingly built .”

Her story, in particular the intervention from Google’s Martin Omander, bears many similarities to that of James Damore, who was fired from Google after expressing a moderate critique of the company’s diversity agenda and for calling for more political tolerance. Like Damore, Jaeckel says she is now facing censure from Google and Google-backed activists over her moderate conservative politics.

Jaeckel  has now taken to the legal system to fight back:

    I decided that it was time to fight back. I retained renowned civil rights lawyer and GOP official Harmeet Dhillon, who sent a cease and desist letter to Women Who Code, Alicia Carr, Maggie Kane, and Google. In the letter, we demanded a full retraction of the defamatory statements about me. I also requested to have my GDG and Google Women Techmakers memberships reinstated, because I’d been unfairly banned based on false allegations and not on any actual code of conduct violations.

In a comment to Breitbart News, Maggie Kane denied the allegations made against her in Jaeckel ‘s story, calling them “untrue on many counts and defamatory towards me.”

Kane also claims she received an email from someone who “read Marlene’s article and accused me of being a criminal, which is also defamatory and untrue.”

“I hope Marlene’s legal counsel directs her to retract these defamatory statements and personal attacks towards me as they are causing unnecessary harm to our free and volunteer-run tech community groups here in Atlanta.”

Alicia Carr, Martin Omander, and Google did not return requests for comment.

SOURCE





PC Grinches at Huffington Post Are Hating on ‘Rudolph’

On Saturday night, CBS will rebroadcast the annual Christmas special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The seasonal favorite, narrated by Burl Ives, was first telecast in 1964, and has entertained three generations of Americans in the half-century since.

It’s must-see TV for anyone who has ever sung along with Ives’ Sam the Snowman character crooning “Holly, Jolly Christmas.” But in an era of political correctness that has left hardly any corner of pop culture unscathed, not everyone is experiencing the Christmas cheer.

Ever the PC Grinch, the Huffington Post published a withering critique of “Rudolph” that was subsequently picked up and repeated by Yahoo “News.”

HuffPo begins by renaming the stop-motion animation classic “Rudolph the Marginalized Reindeer,” because the title character is teased and bullied by his peers because of his peculiar proboscis.

“Viewers are noticing the tale may not be so jolly after all and [are] sharing their observations online,” it says, reposting a series of tweets critical of the beloved—by most of us, anyway—special.

One Twitter user calls it “a parable of racism and homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted, exploitative pr—.” Another opines that “Santa’s operation is an HR nightmare and in serious need of diversity and inclusion training.”

“Rudolph’s father [Donner] verbally abuses him” and forces the young reindeer to conceal his unique attribute so he can fit in with the other young reindeer, while Santa blames Donner, and Rudolph’s school P.E. coach, Comet, is portrayed as a discriminatory “bully” because he won’t “let Rudolph join in any reindeer games.”

Rudolph has a girlfriend, Clarice, which is probably where the charge of “homophobia” comes in, inasmuch as Rudolph isn’t gay.

And if that’s not bad enough, “Clarice’s dad is a bigot” because he’s not as willing to overlook Rudolph’s nonconforming nose as she is. “No doe of mine is going to be seen with a red-nosed reindeer,” he harrumphs.

Meanwhile, Hermey, one of Santa’s elves, is excoriated by the tyrannical elfin boss of Santa’s workshop because he aspires to be a dentist (not that there’s anything wrong with that), rather than make toys.

As fellow “misfits,” Hermey and Rudolph become fast friends, because, as one of the Twitter posts reprinted by HuffPo notes, “It’s good we don’t fit in. It means we’re not a–h—s.”

Even the fable’s happy ending, where Rudolph’s unusual attribute saves the day, is cast by HuffPo in the worst possible—dare we say, Marxist—light. “In the end, Rudolph and friends learn the bitter truth,” it says. “Deviation from the norm will be punished unless it’s exploitable.”

HuffPo might have unwittingly given Dr. Seuss’ heirs the sequel to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” but it somehow missed one decidedly un-PC thread in the storyline: It failed to criticize Mrs. Claus, who early on in the film prods Santa to eat to fatten him up before Christmas Eve.

Doesn’t that qualify as “body-shaming”?

More tellingly, HuffPo’s narrative conveniently fails to acknowledge that, in the end, Donner apologizes to Rudolph for being so hard on him and that the nonconforming “misfit toys” finally find loving homes.

In any case, these PC critics of “Rudolph” need to take a deep breath and get a grip, and if they must, just change the channel. (They got a Christmas fable surely more to their liking Tuesday night, when the cast of NBC’s “Will & Grace” imagined traveling back in time—to 1912—for an episode, “A Gay Olde Christmas,” replete with loads of double-entendre gay sex jokes.)

One can easily imagine that that other perennial Yuletide favorite, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (which debuted in 1965, a year after “Rudolph”), will be the next target in HuffPo’s and the PC left’s cross-hairs. They’ll likely start by faulting the climactic scene, in which Linus recites “what Christmas is all about,” as too sectarian and exclusionary.

These are the same leftists, by the way, who deny there’s a “war on Christmas.”

“Ho-ho-ho,” indeed.

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, December 11, 2017


The End of Identity Liberalism

By MARK LILLA

The article below first appeared in the NYT just over a year ago (Nov. 18), when it generated a furore among Leftists.  Why?  It is a very level-headed article and in fact hits on the very issues  which led to the triumph of Trump on Nov. 8.  He is essentially an old-fashioned Leftist who thinks that the Democratic party needs to stick to traditional Leftist themes if it wants to win power and do good.

It is what he criticizes that led to fury, however. He points out quite logically that the current Democrat obsession with identity politics cannot win a majority.  Focusing on homosexuals, feminists, blacks etc. simply leaves out the great majority of people who are not part of those minorities.  Mainstream people will tend to feel left out and will look to someone who includes them.

The Left talk about inclusion but their version of inclusion tends to exclude the majority.  Leftist "inclusion" consists of forcing minorities down the throats of the majority, with no concern about how the majority might feel about that.

As Lilla said, the majority did feel left out and looked for someone who spoke for them: Donald Trump.

So why did that very reasonable and much needed message arouse so much rejection among American Leftists ("liberals" if you like)?  I think a major reason is in the tone of the article.  There is no rage and hate in it.  It is just calm and considered.  It could mostly have been written by a conservative.

The Left feed on rage and hate and Lilla gave them not a skerrick of that.  In those circumstances what he was arguing hardly mattered.  He was not one of "us" to Leftist readers.  Every word of his was therefore suspect



It is a truism that America has become a more diverse country. It is also a beautiful thing to watch. Visitors from other countries, particularly those having trouble incorporating different ethnic groups and faiths, are amazed that we manage to pull it off. Not perfectly, of course, but certainly better than any European or Asian nation today. It’s an extraordinary success story.

But how should this diversity shape our politics? The standard liberal answer for nearly a generation now has been that we should become aware of and “celebrate” our differences. Which is a splendid principle of moral pedagogy — but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age. In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.

One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions. Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.

The moral energy surrounding identity has, of course, had many good effects. Affirmative action has reshaped and improved corporate life. Black Lives Matter has delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. Hollywood’s efforts to normalize homosexuality in our popular culture helped to normalize it in American families and public life.

But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)

When young people arrive at college they are encouraged to keep this focus on themselves by student groups, faculty members and also administrators whose full-time job is to deal with — and heighten the significance of — “diversity issues.” Fox News and other conservative media outlets make great sport of mocking the “campus craziness” that surrounds such issues, and more often than not they are right to. Which only plays into the hands of populist demagogues who want to delegitimize learning in the eyes of those who have never set foot on a campus. How to explain to the average voter the supposed moral urgency of giving college students the right to choose the designated gender pronouns to be used when addressing them? How not to laugh along with those voters at the story of a University of Michigan prankster who wrote in “His Majesty”?

This campus-diversity consciousness has over the years filtered into the liberal media, and not subtly. Affirmative action for women and minorities at America’s newspapers and broadcasters has been an extraordinary social achievement — and has even changed, quite literally, the face of right-wing media, as journalists like Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham have gained prominence. But it also appears to have encouraged the assumption, especially among younger journalists and editors, that simply by focusing on identity they have done their jobs.

Recently I performed a little experiment during a sabbatical in France: For a full year I read only European publications, not American ones. My thought was to try seeing the world as European readers did. But it was far more instructive to return home and realize how the lens of identity has transformed American reporting in recent years. How often, for example, the laziest story in American journalism — about the “first X to do Y” — is told and retold. Fascination with the identity drama has even affected foreign reporting, which is in distressingly short supply. However interesting it may be to read, say, about the fate of transgender people in Egypt, it contributes nothing to educating Americans about the powerful political and religious currents that will determine Egypt’s future, and indirectly, our own. No major news outlet in Europe would think of adopting such a focus.

But it is at the level of electoral politics that identity liberalism has failed most spectacularly, as we have just seen. National politics in healthy periods is not about “difference,” it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny. Ronald Reagan did that very skillfully, whatever one may think of his vision. So did Bill Clinton, who took a page from Reagan’s playbook. He seized the Democratic Party away from its identity-conscious wing, concentrated his energies on domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance) and defined America’s role in the post-1989 world. By remaining in office for two terms, he was then able to accomplish much for different groups in the Democratic coalition. Identity politics, by contrast, is largely expressive, not persuasive. Which is why it never wins elections — but can lose them.

The media’s newfound, almost anthropological, interest in the angry white male reveals as much about the state of our liberalism as it does about this much maligned, and previously ignored, figure. A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.

Finally, the whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Such people are not actually reacting against the reality of our diverse America (they tend, after all, to live in homogeneous areas of the country). But they are reacting against the omnipresent rhetoric of identity, which is what they mean by “political correctness.” Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it.

We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on widening its base by appealing to Americans as Americans and emphasizing the issues that affect a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another. As for narrower issues that are highly charged symbolically and can drive potential allies away, especially those touching on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense of scale. (To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn bathrooms.)

Teachers committed to such a liberalism would refocus attention on their main political responsibility in a democracy: to form committed citizens aware of their system of government and the major forces and events in our history. A post-identity liberalism would also emphasize that democracy is not only about rights; it also confers duties on its citizens, such as the duties to keep informed and vote. A post-identity liberal press would begin educating itself about parts of the country that have been ignored, and about what matters there, especially religion. And it would take seriously its responsibility to educate Americans about the major forces shaping world politics, especially their historical dimension.

Some years ago I was invited to a union convention in Florida to speak on a panel about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms speech of 1941. The hall was full of representatives from local chapters — men, women, blacks, whites, Latinos. We began by singing the national anthem, and then sat down to listen to a recording of Roosevelt’s speech. As I looked out into the crowd, and saw the array of different faces, I was struck by how focused they were on what they shared. And listening to Roosevelt’s stirring voice as he invoked the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear — freedoms that Roosevelt demanded for “everyone in the world” — I was reminded of what the real foundations of modern American liberalism are.

SOURCE





Wisconsin AG recommends contempt charges against 'John Doe' prosecutor and his henchmen

About time

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker enraged Democrats and unions when he rammed a bill through the Republican legislature in 2011 that limited the power of public unions.  In response, Democrats gathered enough signatures on petitions to initiate a recall election.

Walker won that election handily in 2012.  But that was only the beginning of the story.  A Milwaukee Democratic prosecutor decided to build a case against conservative activists for illegally communicating and coordinating their political efforts.  The result was something straight out of a dystopian nightmare, as The Federalist describes:

In the predawn hours of October 3, 2013, armed deputies raided the homes of R.J. Johnson, Deborah Jordahl, and several others in a paramilitary style blitz across Wisconsin. The detainees weren't terrorists bent on mass murder or the overthrow of the government. The agents weren't looking for contraband narcotics or illegal firearms. In fact, no one was quite sure what they wanted, but agents got it all; computers, phones, business records, files, and communications dating back years. Deputies told the raided subjects to keep quiet or there would be consequences, as a pedophile might tell his prey.

The targets represent only a fraction of political activists sucked into Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's "John Doe" – a grand-jury-type mechanism Wisconsin prosecutors prefer for its secrecy. Chisholm accuses them of "illegal talking" by coordinating messaging, which is supposedly forbidden under Wisconsin's prolix campaign finance code. The investigation, which Chisholm has expanded 18 times, has engulfed advocates, large and small, for years on end. His favorite tactic is bulk intimidation. Alongside raids and gag orders, he employs kitchen-sink subpoenas, many of which are eventually quashed at great legal expense. When he fails to get sufficient obeisance, he serves arrest warrants and sends people to jail on nonexistent charges. One judge reviewing a John Doe prosecutor's actions stated, "The conduct described is nothing that we as Wisconsinites should be proud of, bottom line . . . . Mr. Landgraf was behaving badly, probably for political reasons."

America had never seen anything like it.  Dozens of ordinary people, some of them unpaid volunteers, were swept up in a terrifying political dragnet.  But the "evidence" in the cases being investigated was so badly mishandled that key details were leaked about the prosecutor's methods.  The resulting outcry eventually led to the shutdown of the investigation by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, who found no evidence of illegal activity on the part of the prosecutor.  But one justice, writing for the majority, said, "It is utterly clear that the prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing."

Chisolm's wife Colleen was a teacher union shop steward whose job was directly affected by Walker's curb on union power.  Both were Democratic activists.

Now, after an exhaustive investigation, the attorney general of Wisconsin, Brad Schimel, has issued a report that recommends contempt charges against the prosecutor and that professional sanctions be imposed on one of his investigators.

Milwaukee Sentinel:

In a 91-page report made public Wednesday, the Republican attorney general sharply criticized the probe's leaders for engaging in an overly broad investigation and failing to secure the vast amounts of evidence seized. He contended contempt proceedings should be initiated against special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and the team he led for how they handled seized material after courts told them they could not review it further or had to get rid of it.

Schimel also wants to seek professional sanctions against Shane Falk, who served as an attorney for the now-defunct Government Accountability Board, as part of his investigation into the leak of secret John Doe material to the Guardian U.S.

"The systemic and pervasive mishandling of John Doe evidence likely resulted in circumstances allowing the Guardian leak in the first place, and now prevents prosecutors from proving criminal liability beyond a reasonable doubt," the report says

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge William Hue made Schimel's report public Wednesday. Hue, who is overseeing the wrap-up of the Doe investigation, wrote in a brief order that he would consider Schimel's request for contempt proceedings.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Schmitz ran the investigation into whether the Republican governor's campaign illegally worked with conservative groups in recall elections. Chisholm is a Democrat and Schmitz has identified himself as a Republican.

The state Supreme Court shut down the investigation in 2015, finding nothing illegal had occurred.

What is truly frightening about this story is that the Democratic prosecutor apparently acted within the law when his goons rousted ordinary people from their homes at gunpoint.  As The Federalist's Paul Jossey points out:

"Chisholm's John Doe represents the worst kind of legal thuggery, rife with personal enmity, conflicts of interests [sic], and professional skullduggery. Unfortunately victims are left with little practical recourse. The laws, judicial doctrines, and disciplinary structures that shield Chisholm and his cohorts should be reformed to prevent this type of abuse from ever happening again."

Prosecutors have been given enormous leeway to enforce the law.  But they are expected to behave within the bounds of propriety, non-partisanship, and common decency.  Chisholm not only crossed the line; he obliterated it.  The least that can be done to punish him is to try him for contempt.

SOURCE






Sweden's comversion to the religion of peace

The President of the United States made an announcement some people don’t like, so protesters in the UK and Sweden are threatening to kill Jews. Not Americans – Jews. Not Israelis – Jews

Twenty-one masked men have been seen throwing molotov cocktails at a synagogue in central Gothenburg.

'We are in place with a number of units,' said Peter Nordengard, police chief of the West Western region, told the Expressen newspaper.

Dvir Maoz, the World Bnei Akiva youth movement's emissary in Gothenburg, said the attack happened a little after 10 p.m. while youths from the local Jewish community were attending a party inside the synagogue complex.

He described looking out from inside the synagogue lobby area and from the corner of his eye seeing 'a ball of fire' approaching the building.

'The guards saw it in the security cameras and called police right away. The children were stressed, it was the first time they had ever experienced a terrorist attack near them.' 

Allan Stutzinsky, chairman of the Jewish Assembly in Gothenburg, witnessed the attack and he said: 'There were tens of masked people throwing burning objects into the courtyard.'

The attacked happened after several hundred people marched through the centre of Malmo on Friday night to protest against President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

According to local media some chanted: 'We have announced the intifada from Malmo. We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews.'

SOURCE






The myth of Britain’s far right

Britain First is as insignificant as its racist and fascist predecessors

So, with a few retweeted anti-Muslim propaganda videos, US president Donald Trump did it again. He gave a bunch of irritants the oxygen of publicity. He gave them a platform. He gave them legitimacy. No, not the plums of Britain First, whose deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, originally posted the videos Trump retweeted, but those ever ready to tell us about the rise of fascism, those ready to warn us of the ‘the reach of far-right groups in the UK and Europe’, those ready to warn us that the spirit of Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts is among us once more.

What’s odd about the dark mutterings of fascism’s rebirth is that in Britain there is simply not much to be reborn. The far right has remained, throughout its meagre British existence, a threat largely in imagination only, its overseas version treated with ‘derision and contempt’ according to Foreign Office minutes in the 1920s, and as no more than a public-order problem in the 1930s (they tended to provoke the left). Even when ex-Labour MP Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists was literally on the march in the 1930s, the far right’s lack of traction was palpable. Such was its failure, that by the end of the 1930s, even Mosley himself was moved to complain that he was tired of ‘pouring money down the drain of British fascism’.

It is not an overstatement to say that the far right has never been able gain much of a foothold in British political culture. So while world war, fear of revolution and economic crisis in the interwar years were providing the social and political tumult in which fascism proper flourished in Europe, Britain’s political institutions, comprising in the main a mass Conservative Party, a highly reformist, social-democratic Labour Party, and a trade-union movement largely free of syndicalist elements, proved adept at preserving capitalism, rather than threatening its overthrow. This meant that, with no clear threat of revolution, no spectre of communism, there was little to frighten the ruling classes into the arms of fascism.

There was certainly anti-Semitism in British society, especially among its upper echelons, not to mention a fear of the Reds. But as opposed to the open class-based conflicts on the continent, the predominance of a reformist Labour Party – ready, if push came to shove, to ally itself with the Liberals and Conservatives ‘in the national interest’, as happened with the national government of 1931 – left the negligible British fascist movement stuck on the outside of political culture looking in.

Again and again Britain’s far right has found history repeating itself, always in farce. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the National Front, which was itself an amalgamation of various residual fascist and racist grouplets hanging around in the aftermath of the Second World War, found itself persistently marginal, standing in elections… and losing its deposits in elections. Not because of the innate virtue of British politics, but because the ground on which it wanted to make its appeal – race and immigration – had been already largely cultivated by the British party-political mainstream.

A Tory government introduced immigration controls in the early 1960s, and while Labour was initially pro-immigration, it too was soon making anti-immigration arguments. As Labour MP Roy Hattersley put it in 1965, ‘I believe unrestricted immigration can only produce additional problems, additional suffering and additional hardship unless some kind of limitation is imposed and continued’.

Moreover, it has never helped Britain’s tiny band of fascists and far-righters that British postwar nationalism has been dominated, ironically enough, by the so-called fight against fascism. Defeating the Nazis, indeed defeating the evil of fascism, has persisted as just about the only source of national pride for much of the past three-quarters of a century – ‘Why we have to cut off the head of fascism again and again’, ran a broadsheet headline earlier this year.

So important has the Second World War been to a sense of being British, on both left and right, that in a 2005 YouGov poll, ‘defiance of the Nazis’ was voted second only to ‘free speech’ as a defining characteristic of Britishness. Given the peculiarly anti-fascist flavour to a British nationalism long shorn of any attachment to Empire, it’s hardly a surprise that Britain’s far right, mired in a Nazi-invoking past, has consistently found itself unpalatable to the British public.

The National Front’s successor and Britain First’s seedling party, the British National Party, did have a moment in the sun, or more accurately, a moment on BBC’s Question Time, in the mid-to-late 2000s. But even at its height in the 2009 European Parliament elections, when it amassed 943,598 votes (6.2 per cent of votes cast), there was no real sense that those voting for Nick Griffin and his henchmen really supported them because they supported his (admittedly watered-down) views on bloodlines.


Rather, the BNP’s attraction was negative – it was not one of the three main parties; it was not part of the political establishment; it was not toeing the line of acceptable political discourse. Unsurprisingly, given its lack of real support, no sooner had it briefly flourished, then, almost overnight, it collapsed. By early 2012, the BNP had been obliterated as even a minor electoral irritation, and its side-parted caricature of a leader was on the verge of bankruptcy. Griffin was last heard talking earlier this year, with no little irony, of emigrating.

By comparison, Britain First, which was spawned by some disaffected BNP members in 2011 and named after an Oswald Mosley rallying cry, makes the BNP look like an electoral behemoth. Fransen, Trump’s newfound Twitter friend, stood in the 2014 Rochester and Strood by-election, and won a mighty 56 votes. Britain First leader Paul Golding tried his luck in the London mayoral election and picked up just 1.2 per cent of the vote. Its current membership is estimated to stand at around a thousand, and its public meetings, such as they are, would struggle to fill a curry house. Yes, it has 27,000 Twitter followers, but then @GrumpyCat, ‘The World’s Grumpiest Cat’, has over one million, and no one anticipates a downcast feline takeover anytime soon.

So why the constant trumping up of the threat of the far right despite its chronic insignificance? A decade ago, the fear of the BNP, this ‘evil, vile, fascist organisation’, as the Lib Dems’ former leader, Nick Clegg, called it, grew as the political elite’s estrangement from the public deepened. At the same time, bashing the phantasm of the BNP gave the political class some semblance of moral purpose, and a sense that its members were engaging with the public.

Today, the myth of the far right, indeed, the fear of the far right, continues to play on the political class’s fear of and estrangement from the public – fear and estrangement that has deepened in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. But it also allows the political elite to manage the explosive form that estrangement has now taken – to manage, that is, the very real threat to the status quo posed by the millions of people who forcefully rejected it last June. Because by saying, as one columnist does, that although ‘Britain First is tiny… some of [its] views are more mainstream than we feel comfortable acknowledging’, commentators both acknowledge that hitherto establishment views are no longer carrying the day, while reducing those anti-establishment views to something almost comically neo-fascist.

By equating Britain First with an anti-establishment mainstream, it acknowledges the threat, while simultaneously disavowing it, morally undermining it, delegitimising it. It allows supporters of the status quo to believe the threat it is facing is old and discredited, rather than new and as yet uncredited. It says ‘we, the good, the right, the pro-EU, are still battling fascism after all. We’re still fighting the good fight, still waging the war of the righteous.’ The rise-of-the-far-right narrative is, at the same time, a way of downplaying the rise of a new constellation of forces opposed to the status quo.

Facing down the far right, it seems, remains what it has long been: an elite displacement exercise.

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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Sunday, December 10, 2017



Your genes determine your sexual orientation, study suggests

There are many instances in families, even among twins, where only one child is homosexual so any genetic influence must be weak

A NEW study comparing the DNA of homosexual and heterosexual men could prove that sexual orientation is rooted in a person’s biology.

IT HAS long been debated whether sexual orientation is a result of a person’s biology or is determined by environmental factors and outside influences.

A new study in the US could bring experts a step closer to proving that homosexuality is rooted in a person’s DNA. Research undertaken by North Shore University in Illinois claims to have discovered genetic markers that indicate whether or not a person is gay.

Scientists compared the whole genomes of around 1000 homosexual men and 1200 heterosexual men and found there were two specific DNA regions that differed between the groups.

One of the regions dealt with a gene that plays an important role in brain development and hormone production, which could also be linked to a person’s sexual orientation. The other gene is linked to thyroid function, which is an area previously been linked with sexual orientation, according to the authors of the study.

While some genetic differences were found in these areas, the researchers have cautioned that the results are “best described as speculative”, but still leave researchers a step closer to understanding how sexual preferences develop.

“Because sexuality is an essential part of human life — for individuals and society — it is important to understand the development and expression of human sexual orientation,” lead author Dr Alan Sanders told The Telegraph.

“The goal of this study was to search for genetic underpinnings of male sexual orientation, and thus ultimately increase our knowledge of biological mechanisms underlying sexual orientation.” He added: “What we have accomplished is a first step for genome wide study on the trait, and we hope that subsequent larger studies will further illuminate its genetic contributions.”

The purpose of genome-wide studies such as this one is to find variations in DNA that are linked to a specific trait, in this case homosexuality. But other studies usually use a much larger subject group, often including more than 100,000 people, with a smaller group possibly indicating a less reliable overview of the population as a whole.

Dr Nina McCarthy of the University of Western Australia told Cosmosthat “findings from small studies are less likely to be robust and less likely to be generalisable compared to large studies”.

“As this study was carried out in European men, we do not know whether the findings will apply to homosexuality in women, or even to homosexuality in non-European men. It’s really important to appreciate that association does not imply causation,” she said.

“All that is required to see a genetic association in this study is for slightly more homosexual men to carry the genetic variant than heterosexual men, and many times this will simply be due to chance.”

SOURCE






Rogue Leftists in the Wisconsin judiciary

Despite concluding a crime was committed during the use of state resources to target Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Justice Department recommends no criminal charges

On Wednesday, a Wisconsin judge unsealed an 88-page report on the state Department of Justice’s (WIDoJ) investigation into a leak of sealed evidence from the politically motivated “John Doe” investigation of Gov. Scott Walker, his supporters, and various conservative groups related to his recall election campaign.

Despite concluding a crime was committed during the John Doe proceedings, WIDoJ recommends no criminal charges. Instead, the report recommends that former Government Accountability Board (GAB) lawyer Shane Falk be referred to the state judiciary’s Office of Lawyer Regulation for discipline and that contempt proceedings be initiated against John Doe special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and former GAB employees for violating court orders during the John Doe proceedings.

Moreover, the WIDoJ investigation uncovered another previously secret investigation into the personal and political activities of Republicans and conservatives at the state and federal level, evidence from which was filed away as “opposition research.”

John Doe Means Secret Criminal Investigations

Wisconsin law provides for secret, so-called John Doe criminal investigations, overseen by a John Doe judge with the assistance of a district attorney. Ironically, this story begins with the “John Doe I” investigation Walker requested as Milwaukee County executive in 2010, based on a report of stolen public funds.

John Doe I resulted in six convictions. But within a month of Walker’s recall election victory over union-fueled opposition in June 2012, the district attorney received approval from the judge to expand the scope of the investigation into a probe of Walker’s campaign-finance practices.

The district attorney’s office then began consulting with GAB, then the agency charged with regulating campaign fundraising and spending. A GAB staff attorney wrongly advised the district attorney that the state’s campaign finance laws had been violated, based on the theory that conservative groups illegally coordinated their activities during the recall election.

This bad advice led to opening “John Doe II” proceedings. The abuses of the John Doe II investigation are well-documented, not least by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its opinion shutting down the probe:

"The breadth of the documents gathered pursuant to subpoenas and seized pursuant to search warrants is amazing. Millions of documents, both in digital and paper copy, were subpoenaed and/or seized. Deputies seized business papers, computer equipment, phones, and other devices, while their targets were restrained under police supervision and denied the ability to contact their attorneys. The special prosecutor obtained virtually every document possessed by the Unnamed Movants relating to every aspect of their lives, both personal and professional, over a five-year span (from 2009 to 2013). Such documents were subpoenaed and/or seized without regard to content or relevance to the alleged violations ***. As part of this dragnet, the special prosecutor also had seized wholly irrelevant information, such as retirement income statements, personal financial account information, personal letters, and family photos."

Indeed, two “search warrants were executed at approximately 6:00 a.m. on October 3, 2013, in pre-dawn, armed, paramilitary-style raids in which bright floodlights were used to illuminate the targets’ homes.” The mishandling of this vast pool of personal and financial data ultimately became the focus of the WIDoJ investigation.

DA Continues Probe Despite Judge Order

For example, the John Doe II investigation should have effectively ended on January 10, 2014, when a judge quashed the subpoenas and warrants upon the motion of some John Doe targets, ruling they had not violated campaign finance laws. On January 27, 2014, the judge stayed the order pending appeal, but specifically ordered that the investigation team should not examine property and evidence seized.

The WIDoJ investigation found that Falk nevertheless ordered the compilation of records of donations to and from the Wisconsin Club For Growth, and compiling records from a database containing emails seized pursuant to search warrants. The special prosecutor learned of Falk’s activity and failed to order him to stop.

Moreover, a GAB specialist continued to access the database after a second order was entered in February 2014 broadly barring the review of any material obtained by any legal process. The special prosecutor did not halt this activity for days.

Next, when the Wisconsin Supreme Court formally ended the John Doe II investigation on July 16, 2015, “because the special prosecutor’s legal theory [was] unsupported in either reason or law,” it also “ordered that the special prosecutor and the district attorneys involved in this investigation must cease all activities related to the investigation, return all property seized in the investigation from any individual or organization, and permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation.”

An Attempt to Skew the U.S. Supreme Court

That did not happen, despite a detailed follow-up order specifying how it was to be accomplished. Instead, the prosecution team petitioned for review by the U.S. Supreme Court, which set the petition for consideration on September 26, 2016. Just 11 days before that conference, The Guardian published a leaked trove of documents from the John Doe II proceedings, including court filings, draft filings, and selected evidence prepared and kept by only some members of the prosecution team.

Analyzing the nature of the illegally leaked documents—as opposed to those kept secret—the WIDoJ report concludes that “the nature of the leaked court filings indicated an intent by someone – likely a lawyer – to respond directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision.” Indeed, the report argues that “[o]nly someone with an intimate knowledge of the case and familiarity with the leaked documents would know which documents to leak that would correspond directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s opinion.” WIDoJ believes “the leaked court filings show a specific intent to try to influence the United States Supreme Court as it was considering the pending petition for writ of certiorari in September 2016.”

The investigation also led WIDoJ to find that while all of the core prosecution team attorneys had access to the court filings, only former GAB members had access to certain leaked emails (some of which were involved in the prior violations of court orders). The report concludes:

"[B]ased on the evidence collected, [WIDoJ] assesses with reasonable certainty that the hard drive of Shane Falk is the only place where all of the leaked documents *** were located. Yet despite executing a search warrant at the offices of the former GAB and conducting numerous witness interviews, no one could account for Falk’s missing hard drive, which remains missing and unaccounted for to this day."

You’re shocked that this key piece of evidence has gone missing, aren’t you? But it gets worse.

Sucking Up Personal Conversations for Oppo Research

Additional documents related to the John Doe II proceedings continued to be “found” periodically throughout the WIDoJ investigation. On May 23, 2017, one day prior to the scheduled interview of a former GAB attorney (and roughly six months after all evidence was supposed to be returned), WIDoJ learned of a large file cabinet containing John Doe documents in the basement of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission (one of two successor agencies to GAB after the Wisconsin legislature enacted a law disbanding GAB).

This last batch of documents included not only documents related to John Does I and II, but also evidence related to a previously unknown GAB investigation into members of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, which the WIDoJ dubs “John Doe III.”

Based on the commingled nature of the evidence discovered, WIDoJ believes that John Doe III, which apparently began as an investigation into whether state employees were campaigning on state time, became intertwined with John Does I and II and was based on the same unsupported legal theory as those investigations.

The WIDoJ report’s description of some of the John Doe III evidence is chilling:

"[T]hree hard drives in particular contained nearly 500,000 unique emails (from Yahoo and Gmail accounts, for example) and other documents (email attachments, for example) totaling millions of pages. The hard drives included transcripts of Google Chat logs between several individuals, most of which were purely personal (and sometimes very private) conversations. GAB placed a large portion of these emails into several folders entitled, ‘Opposition Research’ or ‘Senate Opposition Research.’ [WIDoJ] has been unable to determine who labeled these emails as ‘Opposition Research,’ what the purpose of this label was, or how these emails were to be used in the future. However, [WIDoJ] is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponizing of GAB by partisans in furtherance of political goals. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive why GAB needed any information from GoDaddy.com related to former Republican Senate Leadership Association Chairman Ed Gillespie or why staff attorneys wanted information held by Google for Leonard Leo, Executive Director of the Federalist Society."

Rogue Investigators Seize Info Of High-Level Republicans

The report identifies at least 35 people for whom John Doe III investigators obtained complete personal email accounts, chat and messenger logs, contact lists, and technical information. For example, the report notes: “investigators obtained, categorized, and maintained over 150 personal emails between [state] Senator Leah Vukmir and her daughter, including emails containing private medical information and other highly personal information. [WIDoJ] was unable to determine why investigators ever obtained, let alone saved and labeled, over 150 very private and very personal emails between a Senator and her child, or why investigators placed those emails in a folder named ‘Opposition Research.’“

Furthermore, as the references to Ed Gillespie and Leonard Leo make clear, those who merely communicated with the 35 targets also had their messages swept into the GAB dragnet. That list included Walker, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, former U.S. Sen. Terrence Wall, former RNC chairman and President Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, two other state senators, the state treasurer, Walker campaign chairman Joe Fadness, and various legislative staff members.

The systematic mishandling of the evidence prevents prosecutors from affixing individual criminal guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although the WIDoJ report concludes that the leak of the sealed evidence was a crime, committed for the purpose of attempting to influence the U.S. Supreme Court, it ultimately could not recommend criminal charges be brought against anyone involved with the John Doe investigations scandal because of how scandalous the misconduct was.

In particular, the prosecution team, especially GAB, was ridiculously careless with the vast quantities of evidence they collected (when it wasn’t being filed away as opposition research). There was no designated custodian for the evidence. There was no central log of the evidence collected. The evidence was not stored in a central location.

Indeed, documents and hard drives were left unsecured on staffers’ desks. The digital evidence was spread among hard drives, network drives, Gmails, cloud-based databases, the Dropbox file-sharing service, and flash drives. Accordingly, the systematic mishandling of the evidence prevents prosecutors from affixing individual criminal guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

One reason for this dysfunction was investigators’ paranoia that if they used state computer systems, Walker might discover what they were doing. Thanks to the WIDoJ report, the public now knows what they were doing. Perhaps the Wisconsin judicial system can provide some measure of discipline for those involved in this abusive, partisan persecution.

SOURCE






SCOTUS Justice Kennedy Insists Tolerance Be a ‘Two-Way Street’ in Religious Freedom Case

John Stonestreet

I was honored yesterday to rally in support of Jack Phillips on the steps outside the Supreme Court. Now I’d like to tell you what went on inside.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Eric Metaxas and I have given you the details before, of Colorado master cake designer Jack Phillips who declined to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

As David Brooks wrote in Monday’s New York Times, “Phillips is not trying to restrict gay marriage or gay rights; he’s simply asking not to be forced to take part.”

Neither the couple or the state of Colorado saw it that way. Phillips was found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination law, and forced to choose between his convictions and losing forty percent of his business. Phillips appealed to the Supreme Court.

While Phillips’s actions were grounded in his religious beliefs, the legal argument was primarily about whether Colorado had violated his right to free speech.  Unlike those commentators who disparaged the idea that creating custom cakes constitutes a form of speech, yesterday the Court took the question seriously.

Phillips’ lawyer, Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that “the first amendment protects bakers such as Mr. Phillips against being forced to express any belief, and that as a custom-cake maker, he sketches, sculpts and hand-paints—in other words, he’s an artist.”

Waggoner had barely gotten started when the questions began.

Responding to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she reiterated that neither she nor her client were challenging his obligation to sell his ordinary wares to everyone. In fact, he offered to sell the couple any already-made cake in his store.

Custom cakes, Waggoner told the Court, were a different matter. The use of writing and symbols convey a message in a way that a cake off the shelf does not.

Inevitably the comparison to race came up. The best answer was given by U. S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco. Francisco, in response to several justices, argued that discrimination on the basis of race, such as refusing to serve an interracial couple, was different than refusing to participate in a ceremony.

He also argued that upholding Phillips’ free speech rights would not damage civil rights protection because it would only apply to “a small group of individuals” in “narrow circumstances.” However, Justice Breyer disagreed.

But the roughest treatment was reserved for Colorado’s Solicitor General Fred Yarger because of Colorado’s treatment of Phillips throughout the whole ordeal. Justice Kennedy—likely the swing vote in this case—told him that tolerance must go both ways, adding that, “It seems to me the state has been neither tolerant nor respectful” of Jack Phillips views.

He cited a comment by a member of the Civil Rights Commission, who called Phillips’ religious beliefs “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric.” He then asked Yarger to disavow the comment. After Yarger lamely replied that he wouldn’t counsel a client to say such a thing, Kennedy pressed him, and Yarger disavowed.

It’s never a good thing when a judge asks you to disavow your client’s statement.

So where are we? Justice Kennedy definitely seems troubled by the way Phillips was treated, and it’s encouraging that he insisted tolerance is a “two-way street.”

Heartening as well was Justice Breyer’s asking Yarger if some kind of compromise might be possible. Whatever else Breyer is thinking, he seems to be concerned that Colorado didn’t make sufficient allowance for people with dissenting views.

I can’t tell you whether Phillips will prevail, but there’s reason to be encouraged. It’s also possible that Kennedy could side with Phillips, but in a narrow opinion that would open the floodgate for future cases. Even then, that’s better, far better than a Phillips loss.

So let’s continue to pray earnestly that Phillips, and freedom, prevails.

SOURCE






Australian Leftist leader panicked by rejection of homosexual marriage in heavily Muslim electorates

Pandering to Muslim beliefs about homosexuality might give Christians protection as a side-effect

Bill Shorten has reached out to religious leaders and No voters to reassure them that Labor, in ­“opposition or government”, wants to ensure religious liberties remain protected.

The Opposition Leader made the move within hours of Malcolm Turnbull taking the same-sex marriage legislation to Government House to be written into law. While still celebrating the passage of the same-sex marriage laws, Mr Shorten immediately addressed concerns by Christian and Islamic leaders, specifically in nine Labor-held electorates in western Sydney that voted No, about “their freedom to practise their religion”.

On Thursday, Mr Shorten told parliament in his final speech on the same-sex marriage bill: “I say to those who voted No, I recognise that now is the time for healing, to put this debate behind us. And when this law is passed, we should declare that we are no longer a nation of people who voted No or people who voted Yes — we are simply Australians, one and all.”

In the wake of the 60 per cent Yes vote in the postal survey — now revealed to have cost $80 million, $42m less than expected — Mr Shorten has repeatedly expressed “respect” for No voters and declared that as someone who was “raised a person of faith”, he wants to ensure ­religious protections.

In a letter to 12 religious ­leaders including Christian archbishops and bishops as well as muftis and imams in southwest and western Sydney, Mr Shorten said Labor understood their concerns, believed the ­legislation protected religious freedoms but offered to make ­himself available “to work through any concerns you may have in relation to religious freedoms around Australia”.

“I can assure you that Labor understands your concerns, and takes them most seriously,” Mr Shorten said in a letter written yesterday and obtained by The Weekend Australian. “In the event that Labor forms the next government, I can guarantee that I will continue to be available to work through any concerns that you may have in relation to religious freedoms in Australia. In government and in opposition, I intend to continue to work collaboratively with religious leaders around Australia to ensure religious liberties remain protected.”

Mr Shorten offered to meet the religious leaders “as early as next week” to discuss their concerns. He also urged them to work with the Coalition’s religious freedoms inquiry headed by former federal attorney-general Philip Ruddock, which is due to report next year.

Mr Shorten offered to consider more protections for religious freedom. “Given the importance of the issue of religious freedom, and the need to give any changes proper consideration, we believe this is an appropriate mechanism for determining whether changes might be required to enhance protections for people of faith and religious institutions,” he wrote.

“Should the expert panel into religious freedoms find gaps in the legal framework for protecting ­religious freedoms more broadly, Labor will carefully consider those when they are delivered next year.”

Labor was attacked during the debate on religious freedom this week for not allowing a true free vote on amendments and denying its MPs the chance to support religious protections. Labor MPs have denied there was a direction denying them a chance to vote on amendments and said they wanted to use the ­religious freedom inquiry to ­rectify any shortcomings.

Mr Shorten has campaigned strongly for same-sex marriage and all Labor MPs voted for it but there was a political backlash when the postal vote showed that nine Labor-held electorates in Sydney with large migrant communities and committed religious groups voted No against same-sex marriage.

The Labor electorates of Barton, Blaxland, Chifley, Fowler, Greenway, McMahon, Parramatta, Watson and Werriwa in NSW as well as Calwell and Bruce in Victoria voted No.

Three Liberal Sydney seats — Bennelong, Mitchell and Banks — and three rural Queensland electorates — Groom and Maranoa held by the Nationals and independent Bob Katter’s Kennedy — also had a majority No vote.

NSW Liberals believe the No vote in the western Sydney electorates, some in areas once held by the Liberal Party under John Howard, gave the Coalition an opportunity to regain ground in western Sydney at the next election by campaigning as a defender of religious rights after Labor’s blanket refusal to vote for any amendments this week.

Mr Shorten’s letter seeks to reassure leaders including Bishop Antoine Taraby, the Maronite Bishop of Australia; Bishop Robert Rabbat, of the Melkite Catholic Church; Sheikh Yahya Safi, imam of the Lakemba mosque; and Sheikh Malek Zeidan, the Australian representative of the mufti of Lebanon.

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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Friday, December 08, 2017



Oklahoma: Pyongyang on the Prairie

A criminal justice system that operates in the dark is arbitrary, unjust and criminal.  In Oklahoma, it asks us to believe that a Japanese American of impeccable reputation is a serial rapist of black women.  No wonder they fear the light of day!

In Oklahoma this year, a Kafkaesque set of sealed motions, secret orders and closed-door hearings completely shut out a criminal defendant, his public defenders and the public. A trial judge served as handmaiden for the prosecutors, even failing to notify the defendant and his lawyers of the kangaroo court proceedings until after they had occurred.

The defendant, who is appealing his convictions and maintains his complete and actual innocence, was denied an opportunity to challenge the state's legal arguments for hiding information about a crime lab analyst's shoddy work on his case that could be exculpatory and key to his exoneration. His public defenders were also denied the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses — all government employees from Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Welcome to Pyongyang on the Prairie.

The Oklahoma attorney general's office claims that the trial judge, Timothy Henderson, conducted an "exhaustive" review of the protected materials and "deeply explored" their contents with government witnesses who only represented the government's side of the story.

Don't worry, be happy, comrades.

Here's the thing: While the defendant was denied representation at the secret hearings, Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger was allowed to enter the star chamber with an entire "team" of fellow prosecutors. (We only know this after two local TV journalists obtained video footage from a surveillance camera outside the hearing room.) In fact, the state attorney general divulged in one of the few unsealed court filings on the matter, Gieger "facilitated the District Court's inquiry by thoroughly examining those witnesses in an ex parte proceeding."

Gieger was the original prosecutor in the defendant's case. The defendant's appeal argues that Gieger "repeatedly and flagrantly misrepresented" evidence at trial, including the forensic evidence and testimony of the OCPD crime lab analyst, Elaine Taylor. A report by six internationally renowned DNA scientists and experts released this summer highlighted Taylor's "flawed forensic science, including insufficient serological analysis and improper DNA testimony" in the case at hand. The scientists concluded that the defendant, former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who is now serving 263 years for a bandwagon pile-on of sexual assault allegations, "was deprived of his due process right to a fair trial because the State misused DNA evidence" and stated that his "conviction should be overturned and he should be given a new trial."

Taylor's work on the case, the state was forced to acknowledge, just happened to be the subject of the secret hearings that Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger was allowed to "facilitate."

Can you spell "conflict of interest"?

Incredibly, the state attorney general pats itself on the back for "its strong commitment to transparency" and argues that the "State was forbidden by law from turning any of the material over to the defendant" because a crime lab review of Taylor's work is "an unfinished personnel review" protected by the state open records act.

Nonsense on a stick. The law specifically states that a public body "may," not must, keep personnel records confidential — and there is no indication that a review of Taylor's work would invade her privacy.

Both the public's right to know and the defendant's constitutional rights to exculpatory information (as well as information subject to cross-examination) trump the phony "personnel records" shield erected by the state attorney general's office and its collaborators.

In fact, given the wave of crime lab scandals across the country from Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C., it is in the national interest to disclose such information about questionable forensic analysis and testimony (which I've exposed more at length in my CRTV.com work on the Holtzclaw case and other wrongful convictions for "Michelle Malkin Investigates" ).

It's even more imperative given the Oklahoma City Police Department's sordid history of fabricated forensic evidence and misconduct dating back more than 15 years.

Fact: Elaine Taylor worked under disgraced former OCPD forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist, who was fired for systematic fraud, false testimony and planting evidence that led to countless death row and other convictions.

Fact: Taylor reportedly told a former supervisor that she destroyed rape kits under Gilchrist's orders because she "believed the only thing (she) could do was to follow (Gilchrist's) orders or else pay the consequences."

Fact: Elaine Taylor is the mother-in-law of Detective Rocky Gregory, the co-lead investigator in the current defendant's case (a relationship that was not disclosed at trial).

Fact: My attempt through a public records request to obtain a list of cases from the DA's office in which Taylor served as an expert witness — so that the public can learn if she botched other analyses and testimonies — was flippantly rejected because "our office maintains no list of cases in which Ms. Taylor appeared as a witness to give testimony as an expert or otherwise," and so "this matter (is) now closed."

Nearly six months after the cloak-and-dagger confab on Taylor's work held in late June in Judge Henderson's locked courtroom, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has yet to respond to Holtzclaw's motion to unseal the secret proceedings. In fact, the criminal appeals court has yet to issue a ruling on his public defenders' simple motion for an order to preserve evidence in light of the police department's admission that it had deleted Taylor's email account after she retired on Feb. 2, 2017 (a fact not known to the defendant until media public records request forced disclosure).

Legal experts left, right and center tell me they've never seen anything like this. Former ACLU of Oklahoma president and retired University of Oklahoma law professor Randall Coyne blasted the secrecy circus this summer, and his words bear repeating:

"This is no way to run a criminal justice system. In 29 years of practicing and teaching criminal law in Oklahoma, I have never seen the level of sealed orders and secret, ex parte courtroom proceedings that has occurred in the Holtzclaw matter. ... The dark cloud of secrecy over the Holtzclaw case gives rise to suspicions that somebody is hiding something. ... The court immediately should unseal all orders and filings so the public — as well as other convicted defendants whose cases and lives may be impacted — can see the details."

Is this North America or North Korea? Over to you, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

SOURCE





Guam Has a Racist Voting Law  -- and Obama didn't care
   
It took Jeff Sessions to make the department fulfill its duty.

It looks like Arnold Davis is finally getting some justice. I have written numerous updates about the voting-rights lawsuit that Davis, a retired Air Force officer, filed back in 2011 against the territory of Guam. Guam refused to allow Davis, a longtime resident of Guam, to register to vote for a plebiscite on the future of the territory because he is white and not Chamorro, the racial designation given to the natives who originally inhabited Guam.

Through eight long years of litigation, Davis has been represented by J. Christian Adams and the Center for Individual Rights. The Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch Justice Department refused to represent Davis or otherwise assist with the lawsuit. Holder even made a ceremonial visit to Guam in 2012, one in which he voiced no criticism whatsoever of the territorial government, or even of the racist attacks that Guam’s community leaders and government officials have launched against Davis.

Finally, in March of this year, a federal judge in Guam ruled in favor of Davis and issued a permanent injunction against the territory, barring it from enforcing its discriminatory registration law. Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood held that limiting voter registration to so-called Native Inhabitants of the island violated both the 14th and 15th Amendments. The Constitution does not allow the government “to exclude otherwise qualified voters in participating in an election where public issues are decided simply because those otherwise qualified voters do not have the correct ancestry or bloodline."

 After Guam lost in March, it appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Nov. 28, after eight years of studied indifference, the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions finally did the right thing: It filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting Arnold Davis.

DOJ’s brief, which was filed by John Gore, the acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, argues that "Guam’s plebiscite law intentionally discriminates based on race.” It directly violates Supreme Court precedent set in Rice v. Cayetano, a 2000 decision in which the Court threw out a similar Hawaii law. DOJ points out that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments both apply to Guam; the fact that it is a territory does not deprive its residents of those constitutional protections. The brief asks the Ninth Circuit to uphold the district court’s decision.

This follows on a lawsuit filed in September by the Civil Rights Division against the government of Guam and its Chamorro Land Trust Commission for violations of the Fair Housing Act in discriminating against non-Chamorros. The government and its land trust owns about 15 percent of the land on the island. It leases one-acre residential tracts at a cost of $1 per year for 99 years and also provides below-market-rate loans and numerous housing-related benefits. However, not all residents of the island are eligible — only Chamorros. So if Arnold Davis wanted such a lease, he would not be eligible for one, just as Guam told him he couldn’t vote.

As the saying goes in Washington, “personnel is policy,” and that is certainly true in both of these cases. The Obama administration refused to enforce federal law barring racial discrimination in voting, housing, employment, and education on a race-neutral basis. The Holder/Lynch Justice Department didn’t care if you were being discriminated against unless you were a member of one of its favored groups, a distinction that does not exist in our anti-discrimination laws. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, as well as federal statutes such as the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, protect all Americans from racial discrimination.

It took a Jeff Sessions Justice Department to finally recognize that.

SOURCE




The marvelously 'wild richness of American philanthropy'

by Jeff Jacoby

WOULD YOU LIKE to be happy? A Chinese proverb offers advice:

If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.

On the calendar this week was "Giving Tuesday," the informal start of the post-Thanksgiving charitable season, when many people make a particular point of donating to charity. Two-thirds of American households give money to charitable causes each year, and 63 million adults give of their time to charities as unpaid volunteers. If you're in either camp (they overlap significantly), you probably don't need a Chinese aphorism to tell you that charity blesses those who give as well as those who get.

Researchers have found notable correlations between charitable giving and happiness. For instance, data from the 2001 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, a major source of information on civic activity, indicates that people who donate to charity were 43 percent more likely to say they are "very happy" than nongivers, while nongivers are more than three times as likely to say they were "not happy at all."

America's philanthropic culture has amazed foreign observers for generations. In the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville famously marveled at Americans' "innumerable multitude" of charitable endeavors: "The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries," he wrote. Eighteen decades later, the German-born British journalist Matt Frei expressed similar astonishment: "Americans give to schools, hospitals, libraries, galleries, and the poor like no other country in the world," he noted with awe on BBC. "Americans, wealthy and not so wealthy, are giving their dollars away by the lorry load."

There are some who argue that most of this giving doesn't really count as charity since it isn't dedicated to the relief of the poor and sick. Peter Singer, a well-known professor of bioethics at Princeton, disdains those who give money to orchestras and museums when so many people still suffer from hunger and disease. Former NPR executive Ken Stern laments that charitable status is granted so promiscuously — not just to groups that help "the poor and downtrodden," but also to "organizations that have little connection to common notions of doing good: the Sugar Bowl, the US Golf Association, the Renegade Roller Derby team . . . and the All Colorado Beer Festival."

Clearly there are better and worse ways to donate one's money and time; and clearly those who help the poor, sick, and hungry should be praised and emulated.

But I think Karl Zinsmeister, editor of the Almanac of American Philanthropy, makes a better argument. I'm a fan of Zinsmeister's work, which I've cited in the past. I return to it today because he persuasively refutes the idea that only generosity aimed directly at the poor should count as philanthropic. That attitude, he writes in the lyrical introduction to the almanac's 2017 edition, "is astoundingly narrow and shortsighted."

For starters, he notes, direct aid is only one way to help the poor. He cites the example of George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak photography company, who donated tens of millions of dollars to higher education, transforming the University of Rochester and MIT into top-tier research institutions and sustaining Tuskegee, Hampton, and other historically black colleges for decades. In so doing, he contributed to the knowledge, prosperity, and advancement of tens of thousands of individuals across the social spectrum — and through them and their achievements, to the welfare of millions of human beings. Viewed in that light, is donating money to a college really less valuable than giving to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter?

American philanthropy comes in more varieties, supports more ventures, and has done more good than the most industrious team of researchers could ever fully tally.

"The wild richness of American philanthropy," as Zinsmeister calls it, is exhilarating. Historic treasures like Mount Vernon and Monticello; houses of worship from the tiniest neighborhood churches to the National Cathedral; innumerable public libraries; vast swaths of Acadia, Grand Teton, and other national parks; great astronomical observatories; cutting-edge medical facilities; art museums and orchestras — all them of them thrive today thanks to the benevolence of legions of charitable donors. Entire scientific disciplines, such as oceanography and biomedical engineering, have been brought into existence through visionary philanthropy. And without philanthropy, some of the nation's most enlightened causes, like the temperance movement and the preservation of endangered species, would never have gotten off the ground.

American philanthropy comes in more varieties, supports more ventures, and has done more good than the most industrious team of researchers could ever fully tally. Yes, some charities are of dubious worth. But taken as a whole, private giving in America has been one of history's greatest engines of progress, kindness, and uplift. Be a part of it. Give.

SOURCE





Ahead of Jerusalem Announcement, House Passes Bill Withholding Funding Until Abbas Stops Paying Terrorists

With all eyes on President Trump’s expected Jerusalem policy announcement, the House of Representatives on Tuesday dealt the Palestinian Authority another potential blow by passing legislation withholding funds until the P.A. stops paying terrorists.

“If you finance or reward terrorism, you don’t deserve a penny from the United States,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said after the bipartisan bill passed by voice vote. “The Palestinian Authority should be forced to choose between its despicable practice of paying terrorists’ salaries and receiving foreign aid funded by the American taxpayer.”

The Taylor Force Act, introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and co-sponsored by 169 lawmakers from both parties, is named for U.S. Army veteran and Vanderbilt student Taylor Force who during a visit to Israel was stabbed to death by a Palestinian in Jaffa in March last year.

P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization hailed Bashar Masalha, the terrorist who killed Force and wounded another ten people during the attack before being shot dead, as a “heroic martyr.”

Masalha’s relatives benefited after his death from the longstanding P.A. policy of paying stipends to terrorists – or if they are killed, to their families.

Published reports indicate that a Palestinian jailed for an attack which did not lead to fatalities receives a $400 monthly salary, while in cases where victims were killed the amount rises to $3,400 a month. There are also increases linked to the length of sentence, and grants issued upon release from prison that can reach $25,000 for a released killer.

Dead terrorists’ families receive stipends that begin at $100 a month and increase depending on the family circumstances of the “martyr.”

A comprehensive study published last summer by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that the P.A. dedicates almost half (49.6 percent) of all 2017 foreign budgetary aid – most of which comes from the U.S. and Europe – to payments to prisoners and ex-prisoners, and the families of “martyrs.”

Critics say the payments not only send the wrong message to Palestinians, but amount to an incentive to carry out attacks – and especially attacks that cost lives.

“This system is a disgrace,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said Tuesday. “It is also the result of an abiding climate of hatred Palestinians leaders continue to foster toward Jews and Israelis.”

The P.A. has defended the payments as “humanitarian” and a form of welfare.

Last August, the head of the PLO mission in Washington, Husam Zomlot, was quoted by the Palestinian news agency Ma’an as saying he had told U.S. decision-makers that “if there is a choice between the American aid and our responsibilities to our people we will choose the latter.”

“In Taylor’s memory, we must stop sending aid money to an entity that rewards his murderer’s family and prevents any future injustice,” Lamborn said Tuesday after the measure passed.

“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to vote ‘yes’ on this bill and hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for financing terrorism.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee last August passed an amended version of the original bill, including an amendment to create an escrow fund to hold the set-aside money until the secretary of state certifies that the P.A. has stopped the payments.

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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