Sunday, September 22, 2019

Deciphering "gender"

I have known about gender for over 50 years.  It was that pesky continental habit of assigning sex to words.  In German, for instance, a dinner fork is feminine (die Gabel), spoons are masculine (der Loeffel) and knives are neuter (das Messer).  So Germans have pretty sexy dinner tables.

In English, of course, we have no such nonsense.  We do other crazy things, like spelling our words according to how they were pronounced 600 years ago (all the "silent" letters in "knight" were once pronounced, for instance)

So for centuries "gender" was a property of words, foreign words in our case.  Around two decades go, however, the Left, with their usual abuse of words, decided to use "gender" as a description of people.  Your preferred use for your penis was described as your gender. If you made normal use of that organ you were "cis", for some obscure reason. 

But the sex drive is a strong one, as Freud emphasized, so the sex urge did occasionally get derailed in various ways for various reasons.  And your preferred derailment became your gender, according to the Left.  So the BBC recently announced that there are 100 genders.

Being myself very "cis", such extensive creativity rather surprises me but I can see no obvious harm in it.  Why the rest of us need to be bothered by it, however, I have no idea. All I can make out of it is that the derailed folk want to be praised for their derailment.  Good luck with that!

So let the Left prattle on about gender.  I suppose it draws our attention to the fact that there are a variety of sexual practices -- but we have always known that -- JR.

Why Nothing is Near Your Office

How Land Use Rules Make Life Inconvenient

It’s 11 a.m. You’re at your desk. Your stomach rumbles. You could use a hamburger. You work until 5:30, with enough time to pick up your kid before the daycare starts charging late fees at 6. Soccer practice starts at 7:30. Somewhere in between, you need to pick up the dry cleaning and get cash from an ATM. Your stomach rumbles again, a reminder that you need to feed everyone at some point. It’s going to be another whirlwind evening. You slouch into your chair with a peanut butter sandwich, resigned to the fact that you’ll spend hours in traffic after a long day of work.

Days like this play out all the time in America. Even when commutes are short, the retail establishments we frequent often aren’t close to our jobs, and some types of stores are clustered in far-flung parts of town. That’s by design. For a century, the foundation of American land use policy has been the separation of different land uses from each other under the belief that this minimizes negative spillover effects. But the legal separation of land uses makes life inconvenient, paid for in late nights, long drives, and errands that never get done.

Separating uses does have benefits. Keeping development patterns uniform in small areas is convenient for the public. It helps keep demand for infrastructure predictable and stable, making heated debates over traffic, water, power and such less frequent. Keeping commerce out of neighborhoods tempers complaints about noise and parking—landmine issues for local politicians. But use-based zoning restrictions aren’t the only way to manage local infrastructure debates, and we have alternative options for dealing with negative spillovers from mixing homes and places of commerce and industry.

State and local politicians could make a number of changes in land use regulation to tip the scales toward a mix that favors convenience over minimizing negative spillover effects. The most complete reform would be for states to endorse a form of hierarchical zoning, where zoning is based on the intensity of activity rather than the use itself. High intensity activities generate noxious spillover effects—heavy industry being the highest intensity activity of all—while residential uses generate the least intense activity. In a hierarchical system, developers are allowed to build any type of building up to the maximum intensity category. This allows housing to be built in areas home to more-intense activities like retail and office complexes, and allows retail to be built in areas home to primarily industrial uses.

Japan has long used a hierarchical zoning system, and has largely avoided the high rents people face in most large American cities. Given its success in keeping rents stable in a region as large as Tokyo, states should consider legislation to make hierarchical zoning the predominant mechanism used by municipalities when they undertake substantial zoning reform.

But for shorter, more convenient trips, zoning reform need not be a large, state-led overhaul of municipal zoning laws. In states with home rule powers, municipalities have broad discretion to implement their own land use regulations with limited interference from state governments. In these states, changing existing zones to allow more uses would open the door to more retail near offices and industrial concerns as well as more homes near retail. These changes could happen in two ways. First, towns could expand existing mixed-use zones to include most or all retail areas in an effort to allow more homes within a walk or short drive from neighborhood-serving retail. Second, towns could expand the list of allowed uses in existing zones, granting the right to develop new types of buildings in existing industrial or office areas.

American governments have been overly cautious in organizing land uses to separate our homes from where we work and where we shop. Life is easier when the places you need to go are close to each other, when you can find an ATM and a dry cleaner close to home and have time to run errands and make dinner in the evening. With zoning reform—either a new hierarchical system or an expansion of allowed uses—you could swap the peanut butter sandwich for the burger you really want.


Muslim barbarism

Three “canoodling” couples were cruelly whipped in a humiliating public punishment in Indonesia for violating local sharia law.

After the backs of the six men and women had been flogged more than 20 times each, some collapsed, bleeding, crying with severe pain and had to be carried off stage.

The couples were punished in Banda Aceh for showing affection in public, and their whipping — using a rattan cane — came after they’d already been jailed for several months, according to Gulf News.

They were beaten by a masked officer for behaving “amorously”.

Merdeka reports the “Islamic sharia violators” were whipped at Bustanus Salatin Park “in the middle of the city”, near the town hall.

The publication said not many residents attended the punishment, but students from Malaysia, studying at the Ar-Raniry State Islamic University, witnessed the distressing beating.

Wincing with pain, some collapsed after the caning, while one man was so badly injured paramedics tried to stretcher him off the stage, but he refused, and was instead carried down by police.

The mayor of Banda Aceh, Animulla Usman, said the aim of flogging the couples in public was to “make them repent”.

He said carrying out the whipping in the middle of a park, on a stage, was not to encourage people “to laugh at the perpetrators but to serve as a lesson to us all”.

Mr Usman said none of the couples were local residents but had violated strict sharia laws while in the city of Banda Aceh.

The Indonesian province routinely flogs gamblers, adulterers and homosexuals.

Mr Usman told children they were banned from watching the punishment, as it could affect their “psychological development”.

Amnesty International says caning is an “inhuman and degrading form of punishment that may amount to torture which should never be used in any circumstances”.

“The Aceh authorities’ decision to cane unmarried couples and sex workers, in front of hundreds of spectators, is an act of utmost cruelty,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said.


Groundbreaking $4.8M Lawsuit Threatens to Unearth SPLC's Secrets

Over the past two years, the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has faced numerous lawsuits for defamation and other claims. The SPLC earned its reputation by suing the Ku Klux Klan, and in recent decades it has accused various organizations of being "hate groups," listing them along with the KKK in a cynical attempt to raise money and destroy its political enemies. While the SPLC paid a $3.375 million settlement to Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz last year, none of the many lawsuits against the SPLC has threatened to reveal its secrets — until now.

Every lawsuit against the SPLC has been stalled or dismissed or settled, with none reaching the discovery process — a legal process by which a plaintiff can investigate the internal documents of the organization or person he or she is suing. On Tuesday, a judge dismissed a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) lawsuit, claiming CIS attempted to shoehorn a defamation claim into a racketeering claim. CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian told PJ Media his group is considering an appeal.

The discovery process threatens to reveal the SPLC's hidden documents. This is a big deal because the organization had a serious shake-up in March, when it fired its co-founder and cleaned house at the top in response to claims of sexual harassment and racial discrimination. The secretive SPLC did not even reveal the employee letter that led to this massive shake-up, and there is likely more dirt still to be uncovered.

In July, District Court Judge Roseann Ketchmark in the Western District of Missouri rejected part of the SPLC's motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, allowing the case to enter the discovery process. Yet this huge news has received almost no media attention, presumably because there is no big law firm behind this lawsuit.

In Craig Nelsen v. Southern Poverty Law Center, the Kansas City-based pro se plaintiff Craig Nelsen is suing the SPLC for defamation and asking $4.755 million in damages. Nelsen, a former heroin addict, had started the Robinson Jeffers Boxing Club (RJBC), a 13-week residency "life treatment" program for men with opioid addictions or who are otherwise in distress. The program called for a healthy diet, morning exercise, and a rigorous academic program with math, philosophy, literature, music, history, and poetry. The core of the program centered on a daily two-hour intensive boxing training, in order to give men confidence to face the world.

Nelsen attempted to start the program in late 2017 in the small town of Lexington, Mo., with specifically white males in mind. Yet RJBC was always open to people of all races, and Nelsen had made that clear from the get-go.

According to the lawsuit, Nelsen "expressed his theory that, as evidenced by official statistics on suicide and opioid abuse, white males were in a crisis of self-loathing. He argued that the Robinson Jeffers Boxing Club—designed to address the particular challenges faced by white males in modern America—could save lives, repair broken families, and help alleviate the ocean of suffering across the country."

On his website and in literature for RJBC, Nelsen made it clear that while the program was "designed to address the specific challenges unique to white males in the United States, the program was open to, and would benefit, men in distress of any race."

Unfortunately, some Lexington residents got the wrong impression, fearing that RJBC was a white supremacist organization. This was absurd, since Sherman Davis, a black resident of Washington, D.C., came to Lexington to help Nelsen launch the program. The lawsuit notes that it is "impossible to imagine that Davis, an African-American, would uproot himself from his home town and set out with Nelsen on a journey halfway across the country in the dead of winter on a speculative effort to establish a beachhead for white supremacy."

Yet Lexington resident Deborah Starke Bullock found 15- to 20-year-old SPLC attacks against Nelsen, which claimed he was an anti-immigrant racist supported by neo-Nazis. She shared them on a Facebook group and ginned up a mob against Nelsen. The SPLC piled on with a new article restating the old attacks and claiming that Nelsen "isn't convincing anyone" that his club is open to non-whites.

The backlash was deafening. A popular football coach who had supported RJBC and made a fundraising video for the program denounced Nelsen and said he had been hoodwinked. The City of Lexington filed a stop-work order — even though Nelsen hadn't started renovating the site for RJBC, a former grocery store. Pat Welch, the owner of the property and a supporter of the project, said it was time to throw in the towel.

During this public battle, Nelsen and Davis met Ryan Wilson, a 24-year-old man described in the lawsuit as "intelligent, addicted to heroin, and the father of an infant boy." He was excited about RJBC. It was a cold night, and Nelsen wanted to invite Wilson to spend the night in the store, but decided against it — since residents had posted online messages saying they would take matters into their own hands if the city would not get rid of the "Nazis on Main St." He thought taking Wilson in would give the authorities an excuse to arrest him.

Wilson was killed by a hit-and-run driver that evening.

"In the wake of Wilson's death, Nelsen and Davis's frustration grew at the sheer needlessness of it. He and Davis had traveled to Lexington expressly to help distressed men like Wilson, but had been prevented for political reasons—reasons supplied primarily by the SPLC's and Bill Sellers' false and defamatory statements. It was an outrage that the SPLC could do so much damage with such impunity," the lawsuit states.

After an aborted attempt to launch RJBC in Baltimore, Davis returned to D.C. and Nelsen lived in his van on the streets of Baltimore. The SPLC attack has done Nelsen continued damage, as potential business partners have googled his name and discovered the SPLC article.

Last November, Nelsen sued the SPLC on six counts of defamation, claiming the SPLC attempted to slander him as a neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant, and racist — and specifically accusing him of opening a whites-only club.

Judge Ketchmark struck down the suggestions that Nelson is a neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant, and racist, but she allowed Nelsen's lawsuit to move forward on the SPLC's false claim that Nelsen was opening a whites-only club.

Indeed, the article reads, "Nelsen claimed the club is open to all races, but he isn't convincing anyone." The lawsuit dissects this sentence in detail, explaining that the sentence is a blatantly false assertion of objective fact. Not only was the SPLC accusing Nelsen of lying, but that statement arguably revealed actual malice against the former addict.

According to the lawsuit, the SPLC knew that statement was false, since the article concluded with this sentence: "The meeting drew a large crowd, but in the week since, Nelsen has only resorted to getting in virtual boxing matches with residents and his grand plan for Lexington remains, at least for now, between rounds."

According to the lawsuit, the SPLC "could only make the statement if it was monitoring the Facebook group" where the debate about RJBC was taking place. "Among those participating in the Facebook discussion were those who counseled a more moderate position, who had read the website, recognized the potential for good and the undeniable need for something to be done, and who pointed out that the RJBC was open to men of any race. In other words, they were 'convinced' by [Nelsen]. Therefore, [the SPLC] knew that its claim that [Nelsen]wasn't convincing anyone was false."

The SPLC embedded this allegedly defamatory claim in an article insinuating that Nelsen is anti-immigrant, racist, and neo-Nazi. Nelsen had run the group ProjectUSA, which advocated for an immigration time-out to give the "assimilation magic a chance to work." According to Nelsen, the U.S. has experienced many waves of immigration, often punctuated by a time-out period allowing immigrants to assimilate.

"Organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center label those who advocate for remaining true to the traditional immigration pattern as hate groups and extremists and stealth Nazis," Nelsen claims in the lawsuit. He notes that the SPLC savages "anyone who suggests a time-out or any reduction at all in either legal or illegal immigration as anti-immigrant and a 'hate group.'"

Indeed, the SPLC attacks a broad swath of organizations as "anti-immigrant hate groups." The article attacking Nelsen notes that he sat on the advisory board for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the SPLC accuses of being a "hate group."

"The SPLC seems to think that any deviation from their political ideology amounts to hate," FAIR Media Director Ira Mehlman told PJ Media. While the SPLC goes to great lengths to connect FAIR with racism, Mehlman insisted that "there’s nothing in FAIR’s record that we discriminate for or against any immigration based on race, religion, ethnicity. We believe immigration needs to be more limited, that people need to obey our laws and we need an immigration policy that selects people based on some rational basis, they need to contribute."

He insisted that FAIR welcomes "qualified people" from "just about any place on Earth."

Interestingly, the SPLC attack on Nelsen does not just note his connection with FAIR but also cites a Lexington resident who compared Nelsen to a neo-Nazi who moved to North Dakota to set up a colony. As the lawsuit notes, this is "not only guilt by association, it's guilt by association even where there is no association."

Nelsen's entering the discovery process has huge implications for lawsuits against the SPLC. In addition to Nelsen and CIS, D. James Kennedy Ministries, Baltimore lawyer Glen Keith Allen, and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes have sued the far-left group.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit branded a "hate group" by the SPLC, told PJ Media that more than 60 organizations are considering their own lawsuits against the SPLC. He said Nelsen's lawsuit will likely "bolster other cases; there's no question about it."

Staver noted that any documents Nelsen files in court are public record for others to inspect, report on, or use in other lawsuits — unless they're sealed.

After CIS filed its RICO lawsuit, the SPLC asked the court to penalize CIS for filing a frivolous lawsuit. While the judge struck down the lawsuit, she did not say it was frivolous and did not penalize CIS. This development also bodes well for those considering a lawsuit against the SPLC.

"I think that the SPLC itself is inspiring more people to file lawsuits by its reckless labeling of people 'hate groups,'" Staver told PJ Media. "The SPLC is the real inspiration for these lawsuits."

He noted that litigation often follows a "typical pattern of suits that were not successful and then began to get some traction and eventually began to get a significant amount of traction."

Citing the SPLC's settlement with Nawaz, Staver said the lawsuits against the SPLC may be crossing the threshold. "There's more traction building," he insisted.



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


1 comment:

SL Jobe said...

Where can we find contact info for Craig Nelson and how can we support him financially? Please advise, as I am sure he needs help in his ongoing struggle against the Great Satan, the SPLC. I saw a go-fund-me page to help purchase an RV, but it has $0 and it's a year old.