Sunday, January 12, 2020

NY Times Slapped With $5M Lawsuit For Citing SPLC, Branding Immigration Hawk a 'White Nationalist'

On Thursday, controversial immigration hawk Peter Brimelow, who runs the anti-immigration website VDARE, filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, claiming America's newspaper of record maliciously attacked his character by branding him a "white nationalist" and citing the disreputable far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to bolster the charge.

On January 15, 2019, the Times branded Brimelow an "open white nationalist" in an article published online and in print. In opposition to its stated journalistic standards, the paper did not reach out to him for comment first. When his lawyer sent a letter demanding it retract the claim, the Times made a "stealth edit," removing the word "open" from the online article and — again in violation of its own stated journalistic standards — not appending a correction to the article.

The online version of the words "white nationalist" link to an SPLC article accusing Brimelow of "hate" and "extremism."

According to the lawsuit, Brimelow's legal team reached out to the Times on February 15, 2019, September 27, 2019, and October 16, 2019, claiming that the "stealth edit" did not reverse the defamatory act. Brimelow also sent the Times multiple "letters to the editor" rebutting the "white nationalist" accusation. The paper did not respond to these messages.

"The Defendant imputed to the Plaintiff race hatred and traits inconsistent with his profession," the lawsuit charges. "Plaintiff has been injured in his good name, fame, credit, profession, and reputation as a man, and in his various public and private positions, callings, and lines of endeavor, and has been held up to public ridicule before his acquaintances and the public, and to suffer the loss of prestige and standing in his community and elsewhere."

Brimelow estimated the defamation cost him $700,000, and demanded the court order the paper to fork over "an amount no less than Five Million Dollars, together with punitive damages, and the costs and disbursements of this action."

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "white nationalist" as "one of a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation." Brimelow may have repugnant views about race and intelligence and he may advocate for a kind of white identity politics, but according to Merriam-Webster, that does not make him a white nationalist.

According to the lawsuit, the SPLC branded Brimelow a "white nationalist" in an attempt to stifle debate on immigration and because it wished to vilify his views that race may be biologically connected to intelligence. Yet The New York Times has itself "bravely pushed the boundaries of the taboos on race," the lawsuit states, citing articles published between July 2001 and March 2003 which covered scientific developments supposedly linking race to genetics.

Nicholas Wade wrote those articles, and the lawsuit recounts that the SPLC attacked him "for writing about the science of race differences" in May 2014.

"Nevertheless, Defendant knows that it itself is not a purveyor of hate or white nationalism because it has published articles on the science of racial differences," Brimelow argues.

The lawsuit quoted a letter the VDARE editor sent to the paper two day after it published the article attacking him.

"Mr. Brimelow is not a ‘white nationalist’ and, specifically, does not refer to himself as such," the letter stated. "To the contrary, he has repeatedly said that he is a ‘civic nationalist.’ For example, in a February 23, 2018 interview with Slate’s Osita Nwanevu, Mr. Brimelow stated as follows: ‘Personally, I would regard myself as a civic nationalist.’"

“The fact that VDARE has published some critiques of America’s immigration policies from those who aim to defend the interests of whites does not mean that Mr. Brimelow is an ‘open white nationalist,’ any more than the New York Times’s decision to publish op-eds by avowed socialists makes it ‘openly socialist,'" his lawyer argued.

The lawsuit also quotes The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, which states, "Fairness and impartiality... should be the hallmark of all news articles and news analyses that appear in the Times. It is of paramount importance that people or organizations accused, criticized or otherwise cast in a bad light have an opportunity to speak in their own defense... Thus it is imperative that the reporter make every effort to reach the accused ... If it is not possible to do so, the article should say that the effort was made and explain why it did not succeed."

The paper also claims a high standard for corrections: "Because its voice is loud and far-reaching, The Times recognizes an ethical responsibility to correct all its factual errors, large and small (even misspellings of names), promptly and in a prominent reserved space in the paper... Whether an error occurs in a print article, a digital graphic, a video, a tweet or a news alert, readers should expect us to correct it. There is no five-second rule. It does not matter if it was online for seconds or minutes or hours."

Not only did the paper violate these standards in Brimelow's case, but it also linked to the SPLC, which the lawsuit condemned as "a disreputable organization ... partisan and unreliable" and "a fundraising scam." It further alleges that The New York Times knows the SPLC is "highly questionable as a source of information."

The lawsuit cites the 1994 Montgomery Advertiser series of articles exposing the SPLC as "a fundraising scam which deliberately falsifies and inflates the threat of subjectively defined 'hate' in order to bilk gullible donors and thereby bring in enough money to fund high salaries for its executive officers." Among other things, the Advertiser exposed claims of racial discrimination at the SPLC, claims that resurfaced again in March 2019 when the organization fired its co-founder, Morris Dees.

It also quotes Mark Potok, who admitted that the SPLC's "criteria for a hate group, first of all, have nothing to do with criminality, or violence, or any kind of guess we're making about 'this group could be dangerous.' It's strictly ideological." This means the SPLC "spies on men for holding unorthodox opinions," according to the lawsuit.

Potok also said the SPLC sees the struggle against "hate groups" as political. "I mean, we're not trying to change anybody's mind. We're trying to wreck the groups, and we are very clear in our head, this is [sic]... we are trying to destroy them. Not to send them to prison unfairly or not take their free speech rights away... but as a political matter, to destroy them."

The lawsuit also quotes former SPLC employee Bob Moser, who came clean about his complicity in the "con" in an article for The New Yorker after Dees' firing. Moser acknowledged the organization's practice of exaggerating hate and recalled "the hyperbolic fund-raising appeals, and the fact that, though the center claimed to be effective in fighting extremism, ‘hate’ always continued to be on the rise, more dangerous than ever, with each year's report on hate groups. 'The S.P.L.C.—making hate pay,' we'd say."

By linking to the SPLC in branding Brimelow a "white nationalist," the Times "was thus endorsing and vouching for the accuracy of the SPLC smear in a news article and asserting as a fact that its readers could rely on the SPLC definition of 'hate' as a fact, despite knowing that the SPLC is itself a partisan and unreliable source, which utilizes subjective definitions of hate” 'with the aim of suppressing free speech and confining debate."

The lawsuit is right to call out the SPLC for its scandals and its partisan smears. Shamefully, media outlets like CBS News, The New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the Palm Beach Post have buried the SPLC's scandals even while reporting on SPLC pressure campaigns in recent months.


Atlanta PD Will No Longer Chase Criminals if They Flee From Cops

Imagine the following scenario: You are asleep late at night in your bedroom when you are awakened by the sound of breaking glass. Soon you hear footsteps down the hall and come to the chilling realization that intruders have entered your home. You hide in a closet and dial 911 on your phone, then in a whisper plead for the police to come to your aid before the burglars happen upon you. Officers are on the way, you are assured, and moments later you listen as the intruders, alarmed by the approaching siren, flee to a waiting car. You go outside to see them bearing the items they’ve stolen from your home, then drive off as the police car approaches. “There they go,” you shout to the officers, “you can still catch them!”

To your astonishment, the officers casually park their car and get out. “I’m afraid not,” one of them says. “Against the rules.”

“Which rules are those?” you ask incredulously.

“It’s like this,” says the officer. “The miscreants have fled in an automobile, and we have been instructed not to pursue them in our own automobile lest they crash and injure themselves or some innocent party, thus exposing our municipality to liability. And even if we were to chase and catch them, there’s a fair chance we would have to use force to get them into custody, which may, again, risk liability to our employer and which in any event these days no one wants to see.”

“Incredible,” you say.

“That’s police work in modern America,” says the officer. “No more chases, no nightsticks, no guns, no more rough stuff of any kind. But we still take reports, lots and lots of them, so let’s step inside and out of the cold night air and assemble a list of what’s been taken.”

Farfetched, you say? Not if you live in Atlanta and a growing number of other cities.

Last Friday, Atlanta police chief Erika Shields announced that her officers would not engage in vehicle pursuits while the department evaluates its policies. “Please know that I realize this will not be a popular decision,” she said, understating the case considerably. “And more disconcerting to me personally, is that this decision may drive crime up.”

I suggest “may” is not the proper auxiliary verb here. The decision will drive crime up. How could it not? When it becomes known among Atlanta’s criminal classes that all one need do to escape punishment for his misdeeds is to use a stolen car, or perhaps alter or remove the license plates on one’s own, and you’ll have a crime wave in no time.

As much as I abhor the lack of resolve reflected in Chief Shields’s decision, I cannot but acknowledge the logic of it. She called the judicial system in Atlanta “broken,” saying criminals are too often released from jail only to re-offend. “I don’t want to see us cost someone their life in pursuit of an auto theft person or burglar, when the courts aren’t even going to hold them accountable,” she said. “How can we justify that?”

How indeed?

In enacting her no-pursuit policy, Chief Shields is merely following the latest fashion trend in law enforcement, or perhaps more aptly, non-law enforcement. It is all the rage among those social justice warriors who have wormed their way into the criminal justice woodwork to tolerate or excuse theft, drug use, and all manner of other antisocial behavior. In California, criminal justice reforms like Proposition 47, passed in 2014, have reduced the state’s prison population at the cost of rising crime on the streets. Shoplifters are aware they face little risk of consequences if they keep the value of their stolen loot below $950. (Scenes like this one, in which shoplifters don’t even bother with a pretense of secrecy in their thievery, have become common across the state.)

In New York, new criminal justice reforms took effect on Jan. 1, among which is one that eliminates bail for many defendants. Those arrested on misdemeanors and non-violent felonies must now be released on their own recognizance rather than being held in jail or having to post bail. And the list of crimes deemed non-violent is perplexing; included are some categories of assault, robbery, and even manslaughter. Laughably, someone charged with escaping from jail is now considered worthy of an O.R. release.

Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston have elected district attorneys who can be labeled as social justice reformers, all of whom seem bent on emptying the jails. In Los Angeles, George Gascon, former D.A. of San Francisco and an author of Proposition 47, is challenging incumbent D.A. Jackie Lacey in next year’s election. If some in L.A. lament the state of their city, large swaths of which have been taken over by the “homeless,” they may find small comfort in the knowledge that things are even worse in San Francisco. Gascon hopes to change that.

One advantage of growing older is the ability to observe the swings of the pendulum with some perspective. I worked on the streets of Los Angeles through the 1980s and '90s and saw the horrific increase in crime that was eventually stemmed through the combination of tougher laws and innovative, aggressive law enforcement. Today those gains in public safety are being eroded in the name of “social justice,” which in reality is merely the expectation that the law-abiding yield to the lawless. The pendulum will swing back someday, but how much damage will have been done before it does?


Women Overtake Men as Majority of U.S. Workforce

Women held more U.S. jobs than men in December for the first time in nearly a decade, a development that likely reflects the future of the American workforce.

The share of women on payrolls, excluding farmworkers and the self-employed, exceeded the share of men in December for the first time since mid-2010, Labor Department data released Friday showed. Women held 50.04% of jobs last month, surpassing men on payrolls by 109,000.

“The [jobs] report strongly suggests that the labor market dynamics are tilting in the direction of women,” Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US, said in a note to clients. “We all often look for tangible evidence of change. It is now here in the data and can be used as a benchmark to measure equality and inequality in the labor force and the economy.”

The gap between men and women on payrolls had been narrowing over recent years, reflecting growth in services industries that employ higher numbers of women, such as health care.

“The sectors that are growing, like education and health care, are predominantly women’s employment,” said Ariane Hegewisch, program director of employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Looking at the 21st century, it is really amazing how profound some of the [sex] segregation is in the labor market.”

In December, the education and health-services sector added 36,000 jobs compared with the prior month. Both of those industries are predominantly female. Meanwhile, the mining and manufacturing industries, dominated by men, lost a combined 21,000 jobs.

The last time women outnumbered men on nonfarm payrolls was during a stretch between June 2009 and April 2010. But different circumstances drove the trend at that time because the construction and manufacturing sectors were disproportionately shedding jobs, according to Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

“You had two large sectors of the economy that were very badly hit by the recession, whereas right now we would think of it as being a pretty normal economy,” Mr. Baker said.

Friday’s data showed women surpassed men in the number of payroll jobs held in December. A different Labor Department survey shows men still account for a larger share of the U.S. labor force—comprised of people who are employed or looking for work. Beyond methodological differences between the two surveys, men are more likely to hold jobs not counted on payrolls, including the self-employed and farm laborers. And women are more likely to hold more than one job. A single person can be counted twice in the payroll data, but only once in population surveys.

A gap in the labor-force participation rate persists between men and women. The labor-force participation rate in December was 57.7% for women aged 16 and up, compared with 69.2% for men aged 16 and up.


Keir Starmer: enemy of liberty

As Director of Public Prosecutions, he bulldozed the rights of defendants.

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, is currently favourite to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

In his campaign for the leadership so far, Starmer has been keen to emphasise the work he did as a barrister before he became a Labour MP. His campaign launch video references many of his old cases, including his role in the dispute between the National Union of Mineworkers and the then Conservative government, as well as the ‘McLibel’ trial.

The video implies that Starmer’s history is one of defending individual and workers’ rights. But this is misleading. It ignores the fact that, as a jobbing barrister [trial lawyer], Starmer would have been selected for each case based on his relevant expertise. The cases he worked on say nothing of his politics or character, as he would not necessarily have chosen them himself.

Starmer’s more recent tenure as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) does, however, tell us a great deal about the would-be Labour leader. Between 2008 and 2013, as DPP, Starmer was responsible for policymaking within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which brings all prosecutions for criminal offences in England and Wales.

The campaign video claims that Starmer ‘stood up to the powerful’ as DPP. But his disastrous reign was more accurately characterised by his willingness to ride roughshod over the rights of defendants under the guise of ‘victim-centred justice’. In particular, he railed against the ‘adversarial system’ of criminal trials, and advocated a move towards an ‘inquisitorial system’.

The adversarial system defends against the inherent unfairness of being prosecuted by a state body, which is able to marshal far greater resources than the average defendant. It does so by imposing a high burden of proof and providing ample opportunities for the defence to robustly challenge the prosecution’s case. It thereby attempts to create ‘equality of arms’ between the state and the individual.

The inquisitorial system, on the other hand, pretends that the defendant is in the same position as the state, and this creates the potential for real unfairness.

Starmer’s video also features images of Rebekah Brooks, in a nod to his involvement in her prosecution for phone hacking at the News of the World. The inclusion of Brooks is pretty brazen given that she, her assistant Cheryl Carter, and her husband Charlie, were eventually cleared of all charges. Brooks is an innocent woman. The entire episode was a blemish on Starmer’s record, but he presents it as a victory.

Starmer also paved the way for the many catastrophic failings of the CPS that followed his departure. In 2013, he proposed altering the tests that were used to assess the credibility of complainants in sexual-violence cases. He justified this by saying, ‘We cannot afford another Savile moment’.

His reforms culminated in guidance published in October 2013 that instructed CPS lawyers to focus on the credibility of complaints, rather than the credibility of complainants. In practice, this meant overlooking common-sense questions.

This change was later reflected in police guidance. In December 2014, senior officers at the Metropolitan Police relied on this guidance when they announced that claims of a paedophile ring operating out of Westminster were ‘credible and true’. They had been made by Carl Beech. Last year, Beech was convicted of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Beech approached the Metropolitan Police in 2012, while Starmer was still in charge at the CPS. It was Starmer’s reign that encouraged police to believe complainants rather than robustly investigate the evidence. It was this environment that enabled Beech’s lies to cause incredible harm to those he accused.

Starmer may wish to portray his history as one of standing up to the powerful, but his attempts to bulldoze the longstanding rights of defendants lay the groundwork for one of the greatest failings of our justice system in recent decades.

His attitude towards historic allegations was equally troubling. In 1970, Liberal MP Cyril Smith was investigated in connection with allegations of sexual abuse. No action was taken at the time. In November 2012, two years after Smith’s death, Starmer publicly declared that had the evidence against Smith been reviewed by the CPS under his tenure, then it would have prosecuted him.

This was an unprecedented and entirely unfair announcement to make. The decision to prosecute should be taken objectively, in the knowledge that the defendant has a right to defend himself against any charges. Announcing that accused people ‘would have been prosecuted’ when they are no longer around is tantamount to declaring them guilty in their absence. This was an outrage against the principles of our justice system.

Starmer may be a slick operator. He may be the most ‘prime ministerial’ candidate out of a truly dreadful crop. But he must not be allowed to whitewash his own record.


Australian Federal cops eye case of author Bruce Pascoe’s indigenous identity

He's no more Aboriginal than I am.  He is just a fantasist

The Australian Federal Police is assessing an allegation that celeb­rated author and historian Bruce Pascoe has benefited ­financially from wrongly claiming to be indigenous.

One of Professor Pascoe’s most vocal critics, Aboriginal entrepreneur Josephine Cashman, asked Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for an investigation of Professor Pascoe for ­alleged “dishonesty offences” on December 11. Mr Dutton has since referred the matter to the AFP for an assessment, which was underway on Friday.

Professor Pascoe was joint winner of the $30,000 inaugural Indigenous Writers’ Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2016 for Dark Emu, which argues for a rethink of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The award, which Professor Pascoe shared with Ellen van Neerven for her book Heat and Light, was established to acknowledge the contribution to Australian literary culture by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.

Dark Emu became a bestseller. An adaptation called Young Dark Emu has been published for children and ABC ­announced it would turn it into a two-part series to be screened this year.

Ms Cashman’s email to Mr Dutton disputed Professor Pascoe’s past statements that he was of Bunurong and Yuin descent.

Ms Cashman, whose son is Yuin, alleged a genealogy search did not show Professor Pascoe had Aboriginal forebears. She said Professor Pascoe had benefited financially from his claims ­including from his appointment “as an Aboriginal professor at the University of Technology Sydney”.

In recent years Professor Pascoe worked as a UTS professor at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research. The Weekend Australian does not suggest the allegation against Professor Pascoe is true, only that the AFP is ­assessing it.

Ms Cashman is a Warrimay woman from NSW. She was a member of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Indigenous Advisory Council who spoke out about “the epidemic of violence in indigenous communities” in a joint presentation to the National Press Club in 2016.

In October last year, Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt appointed Ms Cashman and 19 other indigenous and non-indigenous Australians to the Voice Co-Design Senior Advisory Group.

In her email to Mr Dutton, Ms Cashman also raised the broader issue of indigenous identity. “I also seek your support on the question of government ­reforms concerning Aboriginal identity. ‘Do you identify as an ATSI person?’ is failing Aboriginal communities,” she wrote.

“I invite you to assist me in collaboration with the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister to develop a national strategy for establishing a register for Aboriginal people. I suggest a panel composed of traditional owners, on-the-ground elders, government experts and others to examine the most efficient manner to achieve identifying Aboriginal people.

“Once the procedure has been designed and agreed upon, it should be easy to register an ­Aboriginal birth because it could be linked to existing Australian birth registration and native title genealogical records. It is doable.”

Professor Pascoe’s current publisher, [Leftist] Morry Schwartz of Schwartz Publishing, declined to give his opinion on the validity of claims that Professor Pascoe was not Aboriginal. He told The Weekend Australian Professor Pascoe’s background was “completely irrelevant to his work”.

In Professor Pascoe’s latest book Salt, a collection of his writing dating back years, he ­addressed questions about his Aboriginality in an essay title “An enemy of the people”, saying “many people think I’m a traitor”.

“You’re not like the rest of us, they tell me, you’re not really Aboriginal,” Professor Pascoe wrote.

“What they say has cool logic. Clinical analysis of genes says I’m more Cornish than Koori. I hardly ever suffered racist remarks, and experienced no disadvantage, due to my heritage.”

In The Weekend Australian Magazine last May, writer Richard Guilliatt quoted Professor Pascoe addressing questions about his ancestry.

Guilliatt wrote that Professor Pascoe told him: “When people ask me whether I’m ‘really’ Aboriginal, because I’m so pale, I say ‘Yeah’. And when they ask me whether I can explain it, I say: ‘Have you got three hours?’”

Mr Schwartz alleged that Ms Cashman was “allowing herself to be used by the professional right-wing cultural warriors”.

“I am indeed saddened, for I have been involved with Josephine on several projects over the past couple of years, and I know she genuinely worked very hard towards the wellbeing of indigenous Australians,” Mr Schwartz said. “Bruce Pascoe’s background is completely irrelevant to his work.”

When told of Mr Schwartz’s comments, Ms Cashman responded by saying that facts mattered. She said it was offensive for a non-Aboriginal person to say they were Aboriginal.

A spokesperson for the AFP told The Weekend Australian on Friday that work had begun to ­assess the complaint about Professor Pascoe. “The Australian Federal Police can confirm it ­received correspondence in relation to this matter on December 24,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “The matter is being ­assessed in accordance with standard AFP protocols. As such, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”



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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