Monday, August 26, 2019

The New York Times Is Trying to Rewrite History to Fit Its Biases

Remember the controversy in 2012 when President Barack Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

In context, the president was trying to make the point that in addition to our own hard work, others contributed to whatever level of success we have attained. The president suggested no one achieves success on his or her own. Republicans took his words as just another indicator that Democrats want more government control over our lives and businesses.

The New York Times appears to have endorsed Obama’s view and gone a step further.

The newspaper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, recently called a staff meeting to announce “The 1619 Project,” named for the year the first African slaves were brought to Virginia. Someone recorded the session and leaked it to Slate, which published a transcript. The Washington Examiner reported on it.

“The goal of the 1619 Project,” says a statement from the newspaper, “is to reframe American history.”

More like rewrite it. This is the stuff of totalitarian regimes where the media serve as a propaganda organ for the state, in this case the surging left wing of the Democratic Party.

No more America beginning with the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, and the Constitution. Africans had no say in these, though Jefferson’s brilliant line about all of us being created equal would resound nearly a century later in a Civil War that led to the freeing of slaves and the long road to achieving Jefferson’s noble statement.

Not satisfied with practicing what used to be called journalism, it appears the newspaper’s ultimate goal is to change what is taught in public schools so that children will no longer think highly of their country because of the “stain” of slavery, a stain that has been more than paid for in blood and federal programs, which have attempted to lift some descendants of slaves out of poverty.

In many cases those programs have failed, poverty having many causes, but liberals continue to promote them because it seemingly makes them feel better about themselves.

The Examiner’s Byron York writes: “The basic thrust of the 1619 Project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race. The message is woven throughout the first publication of the project, an entire edition of the Times magazine.”

One excerpt reveals their drift: “If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.” Never mind that “brutal” capitalism has lifted more boats than any other economic system.

There’s much more.

We are led to believe that America is evil, soulless, that those at the top have always exploited those at the bottom. There appears to be advocacy for bigger government, reparations, and never-ending guilt for things we today had nothing to do with. Is this what we want to impose on our children?

The New York Times, despite Donald Trump’s criticism, carries influence with broadcast and cable networks like CNN and MSNBC, and these networks in turn can have a collective effect on the American psyche, particularly when there is no counterbalance.

No wonder private and homeschools are growing at such a rapid pace. The National Home Education Research Institute projects that by next year the number of homeschools will be 2.3 million, a major increase over recent years. According to the Department of Education, about 10% of children in grades K through 12 now attend private schools.

If politicians allowed for school choice, the number would likely be higher.

The Times’ attempt to shape history to fit its own biases is not journalism. If public schools follow its lead, they will begin to resemble schools in countries where freedom is not the prevailing tenet and antithetical to what the Founders gave us. America’s greatness eventually led to the freeing of slaves and a chance at a better life for their descendants.


Tax Drink: Hurt the Poor

Sean Gabb

There are two cases for taxing alcohol. The first is that government must somehow be paid for, and that drink can and should be taxed more heavily than food and books and clothing. The second is that drink is bad for us, and should be made so expensive that we buy less of it. Ignoring this first case, I will take issue with the second.

It is not the business of government to tell us how to live. That is for us to choose for ourselves. We all ought to know that drinking too much is bad for us. If some do not or will not, that is sad for them. If they make a nuisance of themselves, let there be laws against the nuisance. Let there be laws against being drunk and disorderly in public, and let punishments be greater for criminals who offend while drunk. But it is a disagreeable belief that fools can be made wise, or criminals deterred, by treating all of us like children. It is disagreeable for the reason already given, that we should be left to live as we please, and for the further reasons given below.

First, so far as they are enforced, higher prices will mainly hurt the poor. If drinking too much is an evil, moderate drinking is a good. It dulls unhappiness. It takes away stress. It makes company more enjoyable. There is a reason why, in every civilisation, drink is older than writing, and perhaps religion. Now, double the price from where it is, treble it, multiply it tenfold – will it keep the higher classes in a country from opening almost as much wine as before? Probably not. But it will take that comfort away from the poor. They have rights too. Their needs may be greater. Prohibitionists talk much about morality. But where is the morality in laws that only hurt the poor?

Second, higher prices cannot in practice be enforced. Anyone can make his own wine and beer. It needs only sugar and vegetable fibre and yeast. If people do not make their own, it is because current prices are less of a burden than time and effort. Raise prices, and the poor will make their own drink.

Third, if making wine and beer at home is harmless, distilling is not. Distilling produces several kinds of alcohol, only one of which is safe. Knowing what can and cannot be drunk needs more attention than most people can manage. Make spirits too expensive for the poor, and they will start poisoning themselves.

Fourth, So far as they do not make their own, the poor will buy drink illegally made by others, or illegally imported. This will subsidise the growth of criminal conspiracies that would not otherwise exist. These will tyrannise over their customers and corrupt law enforcement and politics. It is hardly ideal to live in a community of heavy drinkers. Living with organised crime is always worse.

In brief, the advocates of higher prices for drink look only to benefits that they have no right to demand, and little chance of achieving – and that, if achieved, would be outweighed by the costs. On moral grounds, and on grounds of the public good, people should be left to drink as they please.


Left-wing Antisemitism rising

Evidence is mounting that antisemitism is on the rise. For a recent example, a CNN poll found that “more than a quarter of Europeans say Jews have too much influence in business and finance, while one in five said Jews have too much influence in the media and politics.”

Antisemitism has, in the past, frequently been associated with the political Right; but the rise of antisemitism on what is frequently called the ‘New Left’ is closely linked to the combined forces of identity politics, anti-colonialism, and anti-imperialism unleashed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Left-wing antisemitism is not new. What has made it front-page news is the manifestation of blatant, institutional antisemitism in the British Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Repeated failures to address antisemitism within the party has now brought Labour to the point where even its supporters believe the party to be systemically antisemitic.

Left-wing antisemitism is intimately linked to a fervent form of anti-Zionism — the view that the State of Israel should not exist — which denies both the very concept of Jewish peoplehood entitled to self-determination. This form of anti-Zionism arose from a determination amongst a generation of people who came of age after WWII to oppose racism and colonialism.

Israel, according to the New Left, is an illegitimate remnant of Western colonialism in the Middle East — a view endorsed by the United Nations as it added newly decolonized states to its membership. Opposition to racism and colonialism — and thence, to Israel — is also interwoven with a deep-seated hostility to the USA and its allies.

Yet Corbyn refuses to concede the existence of antisemitism within Labour ranks because he refuses to accept that opposition to racist colonialism is equivalent, in the case of Israel, to Jew hatred. As Labour’s scandal of antisemitism worsens, many Jewish leaders in the UK now consider the party — long the home of British Jewry — a threat to Jewish life in that country.

Labour’s antisemitism is not an isolated instance. Extreme antisemitic views are also being expressed more frequently on the Left of American politics — as in the case of the so-called ‘Squad’ of Democratic members of Congress. And although the Australian Labor Party has been spared the scandal of its British counterpart, antisemitism still seeps into our political life.


Australia: Thousands gathered in Sydney to protest against the abortion legalisation bill

Opponents of a bill to decriminalise abortion gathered in their thousands near the NSW parliament for a rally so loud it could be heard from inside the chamber where the draft laws were being debated.

Holding aloft crosses, pictures of Jesus and signs saying 'stand for life', thousands gathered in Sydney's Martin Place on Tuesday evening to listen to MPs and religious leaders who oppose the bill.

Pro-choice activists had rallied on Macquarie Street earlier in the day.

Some had hoped the bill would go to an upper house vote within days but Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Tuesday confirmed that wouldn't happen amid reports Premier Gladys Berejiklian had buckled to pressure from conservatives.

It means the upper house debate, which began on Tuesday, is likely to drag into September.

Liberal MP Tanya Davies told the crowd they had been given a 'stay of execution'.

She asked them to 'gather a tsunami of opposition to this bill' [and direct it] to Ms Berejiklian, Mr Barilaro and upper house MPs.

The crowd chanting 'abort this bill' and 'love them both' were so loud they could be heard in the upper house chamber, where the bill was being debated.

Chantal Czeczotko, who is 26 weeks pregnant, took to the rally's makeshift podium, a bench in the middle of Martin Place, where the heartbeat of her unborn child was broadcast over speakers for the crowd to hear.

'This baby's heart is beating strongly for us tonight and if MPs have their way in the house behind us, a baby with this strong a heartbeat has no right to life,' said Right to Life NSW chief executive Dr Rachel Carling, eliciting boos from those gathered.

Sydney's Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher said the draft legislation was the 'abortion industry's dream bill'.

He called for more people power and more 'God power' - more prayer, fasting and lobbying - to ensure those opposed to the bill had their voices heard.

Melkite Catholic Bishop Robert Rabbat said the rally had gathered in response to 'the call to defend life'. 'Abortion is not simply a religious or philosophical issue, abortion is not an a la carte menu to choose from. It is a matter of rights and the pre-born do not have fewer rights than the powerful or the outspoken or the legislators,' Bishop Rabbat said.

Federal Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce was the last to speak, telling those gathered the clause requiring two doctors to sign off on an abortion after 22 weeks 'is not a reflection of a civilised society'.

'I am not here to try and espouse a religion. I'm not here saying I'm some saint. I'm here because I'm trying to argue to those people on logic,' Mr Joyce said.

Speaking after the rally, Mr Joyce said people turned up to the rally because they are angry. 'If you keep on working on angry people, they vote for somebody else and the next thing you know, you've got another job,' he told AAP.

His message to the premier was to be 'really focused on this'. 'You thought the greyhound debate was bad - the greyhound debate was for the bush, this is one for the city.'

A petition calling for upper house members to vote against the bill, signed by more than 77,000 people, was handed to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak who will table it to parliament on Wednesday.

Maketalena Afeaki, 33, travelled from Liverpool with a contingent of the Tongan Catholic Youth who she said were at the rally to 'give our voice for the unborn children'. 'We're all here to just vote no against the abortion bill only because we strongly believe in our faith that abortion is murder,' Ms Afeaki told AAP.



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


No comments: