Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trump's doomed errand to the Middle East
President Trump is about to score a religious trifecta, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome, the “home” of three monotheistic religions. The president has said he wants to make the ultimate deal and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

While the goal is similar to a high school kid attempting to hit a curve ball from an all-star pitcher, the scenario cannot end well for Israel. How do I know this? One has only to look at history. There has never — never — been a time when an American president has sought to lessen tensions in the region that Israel has not been smeared as the main impediment and required to “do more” to make peace happen. Israel is not an impediment to peace. Her enemies are.

Here’s the danger for President Trump. The Koran allows Muslims to lie to “nonbelievers” in pursuit of Islam’s goal of an earthly kingdom ruled by their religion. An example occurred last week when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met at the White House with President Trump. Abbas said, “Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children and grandchildren, in a culture of peace.”

That is a flat-out lie, as even a cursory Google search or visit to the Palestinian Media Watch website proves. President Trump correctly saw the problem in a campaign speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee: “In Palestinian textbooks and mosques, you’ve got a culture of hatred that has been fomenting there for years. And if we want to achieve peace, they’ve got to go out and they’ve got to start this educational process. They have to end education of hatred.”

Which country promotes the most extreme form of Islam in children’s textbooks, mosques and their media? It is Saudi Arabia. If a person, or nation, believes they have a mandate from their “god” to lie to achieve their goals, how likely is it that even a president is not regarded as an “infidel” whose desire for peace can be used to damage Israel’s best interests?

As Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick correctly noted last week: “Israel is the most immediate casualty of Trump’s decision to embrace Abbas and the PLO, because the PLO is Israel’s enemy. Abbas is an anti-Semite. His doctoral dissertation, which he later published as a book, is a Holocaust denying screed.

"Abbas engages in anti-Semitic incitement on a daily basis, both directly and indirectly. It was Abbas who called for his people to kill Jews claiming that we pollute Judaism’s most sacred site, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, with our ‘filthy feet.’ The Palestinian media and school system which he controls with an iron fist both regularly portray Jews as evil monsters, deserving of physical annihilation.”

This is not the attitude of one with whom a president or prime minister of Israel can make peace. A virus of hatred toward Israel and Jews is epidemic throughout the region. One is as likely to change the minds of such people as persuade a serious Christian to deny the resurrection of Jesus, or an Orthodox Jew to accept Him as Messiah. The difference is that Christians and Jews do not have world domination as their goal and violence as their method.

President Trump should re-read his AIPAC speech, because he was right to say what he said then. Abbas lied to the president during his visit. Mr. Trump can expect more lies on his trip to Saudi Arabia, whose leaders may promise all sorts of things and tell the president what he wants to hear, but won’t mean it. The proof is in their interpretation of their religion. As always, the West must pay less attention to what the enemies of Israel say and more attention to what they do.


Oregon Man Fined $500 for Challenging Timing on Red-Light Cameras

Mats Jarlstrom’s trouble all began with a red-light camera. In April 2013, Jarlstrom’s wife, Laurie, received a ticket after driving her Volkswagen through an intersection in Beaverton, Oregon, that was equipped with a traffic camera.

His wife paid the fine, but the timing of the traffic lights at the intersection piqued Jarlstrom’s interest, so he decided to look into a formula created in 1959 to calculate the length of yellow lights.

Jarlstrom says he realized the original formula failed to take into account the extra time it takes for a car to slow before making a right-hand turn safely.

“Currently, people are getting tickets for running red lights because they’re slowing down when they’re making turns,” he tells The Daily Signal “It’s a safety issue because any time we run a red light, we’re in the intersection for the wrong reason, and there is cross traffic, and especially pedestrians are in danger.”

Jarlstrom, an electronics engineer from Sweden, revised the formula to take the deceleration into account, and decided to take his findings public.

But doing so, he quickly learned, came with a risk, and a costly one at that.

Jarlstrom shared his findings with local media, policymakers, the sheriff, and Alexei Maradudin, who helped craft the original mathematical formula in 1959. He also emailed his theory to the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, in hopes it would take a look at his research.

The Oregon panel said it didn’t have any jurisdiction over traffic lights. But it did have jurisdiction over the state’s engineering laws. And it decided to open an investigation into Jarlstrom because of “his use of the title ‘electronics engineer’ and the statement ‘I’m an engineer,’” according to an order from the board.

After investigating Jarlstrom for two years, the board fined him $500. The reason?

Jarlstrom, according to the board, practiced engineering without a license each time he “critiqued” the traffic-light system and identified himself as an engineer in correspondence with the panel.

“You don’t need to be an engineer to understand this,” Jarlstrom says in an interview with The Daily Signal, adding:

I read something that was already public and understood it, and I wanted to share that information with the public talking about it. I felt completely shocked when I contacted them that they weren’t interested in listening to the problems that I presented to the board. They accused me of being illegal by saying I was a Swedish electronics engineer.

Jarlstrom paid the $500 fine, and the board closed its investigation. But now, the public-interest law firm Institute for Justice is fighting alongside the Oregon man in federal court to challenge the state’s engineering laws.

“The issues are classic First Amendment issues,” Sam Gedge, an Institute for Justice lawyer who is representing Jarlstrom, tells The Daily Signal. “The government can’t punish people for expressing their concerns. The government can’t take words and redefine them and then punish people for using them in a way the government doesn’t like.”

Jarlstrom does have education and experience in engineering.

He has a degree in electronics engineering from Sweden, which is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in engineering in the United States. Jarlstrom, 56, also worked for Luxor Electronics before immigrating to the United States in 1992.

But in Oregon, anyone who engages in “creative work requiring engineering education, training, and experience” under the state Professional Engineer Registration Act is required to be licensed as a professional engineer.

Nearly every state requires professional engineers to have a license. However, those licenses typically are reserved for engineers who build skyscrapers or design electrical plans for buildings.

The Institute for Justice is challenging the vague definition of what constitutes a professional engineer in Oregon, which in effect allows the board to regulate the exchange of ideas and of the word “engineer,” Gedge says: "What makes Oregon so unusual is they’ve taken the licensing regime for professional engineers and are applying it to people like Mats, who are talking about issues that concern them. That’s unusual."

There are two issues for Jarlstrom, Gedge says: He used the word “engineer” to describe himself, and he talked about technical topics.

“There have been a number of instances about the board going after people simply because they used the word engineer to describe themselves,” the lawyer says. “There are also examples of the board going after people who have never used the word engineer to describe themselves, but are nonetheless going out in public and speaking about technical topics.”

“That word isn’t off-limits to people,” he says. “The laws can’t be used to stop people from sending an email to his sheriff for safety.”

Other Incidents

Indeed, Jarlstrom’s experiences with Oregon’s Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying aren’t exclusive to him.

Last year, the board opened an investigation into Allen Alley, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, who stated in campaign ads: “I’m an engineer and a problem solver.”

Alley received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and worked as an engineer for Ford and Boeing. But he isn’t a licensed professional engineer in Oregon.

The board’s investigation into Alley is ongoing.

In another instance, the panel investigated a woman profiled in Portland Monthly’s “Oregon Woman 2015” edition.

Included in the magazine was an article about Marcela Alcantar and a headline about “the incredible story of the engineer behind Portland’s newest bridge.”

The board opened a “law enforcement case” against Alcantar based on the line, since she wasn’t a registered professional engineer.

Ultimately, the case was closed after the board’s staff spoke with the journalist who wrote the article. The board determined “engineer” was a designation given not by Alcantar, but by the article’s editors.

“The definition of the practice of engineering is so broad according to the board, and the board has shown itself to be so aggressive,” Gedge says. “Expressing your concerns on technical topics certainly leaves you at the risk of being investigated.”


Although Jarlstrom ultimately paid the fine, he says he believes the board’s decision violated his freedom of expression.

And while he does have engineering experience, Jarlstrom contends the skills he used to craft his revised formula relied on 6th- and 7th-grade math:

It’s interesting that just because students here in Beaverton or elsewhere are using math and looking at some traffic-flow issues in school, they would be considered practicing engineering according to the board. We can’t have laws having that kind of power or overreach.

Jarlstrom says he considers himself a whistleblower and is surprised something like this could happen in the United States. But he vows to continue working to “improve our civil rights and freedom of speech so individuals like myself can share ideas, whether they’re good or bad.”

“We still need to be able to express them,” he says. “If we can’t, there won’t be any ideas to choose from.”


Gospels Not Gospel Anymore?

It was worse than I thought. The Roman Catholic Church was being undermined by Marxists further back than I ever imagined. I knew there were Jesuits and other priests holding official positions in the Marxist Sandinista government of Nicaragua during the 1970s, but I thought they were anomalous. Now I'm learning that a majority of Jesuits believe Marxism and Christianity have more commonalities than differences.

For decades, Marxist Catholic priests and bishops stayed in the closet, just as Marxist Democrats in the US government did, but Marxists in Catholic Church came out first - during the 1970s near as I can tell. They were led by Jesuits who had for centuries been the most conservative of priestly orders. By the seventies they'd become the furthest left. Marxists in the Democrat Party are mostly closeted, though Bernie Sanders opened the door by declaring himself socialist. The support he received last year indicates like-minded Democrats are in the majority.

Sanders came close to the presidency in 2016. Had he won, he'd have replaced the deeply-closeted Barack Obama. He lost the nomination, however, to Hillary Clinton, who chose as her running mate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. He was nearly elected vice-president - a heartbeat away from the presidency. Kaine was educated by Jesuits. He's also a true-believer in Marxist "Liberation Theology" under which Jesuits justify making revolution alongside Marxist guerrillas in the jungles of Central America and elsewhere.

One Jesuit, James Francis Carney, SJ was born and raised in Chicago and killed while fighting with Marxist revolutionaries in Honduras. "We Christian-Marxists have to fight side-by-side in Central America with the Marxists who do not believe in God," Carney wrote, "in order to form a new socialist society . . . To be a Christian is to be a revolutionary." If you google Carney's name, you'll find nothing but adulatory posts about him from other Jesuits and Catholics in general. Tim Kaine sought out and spent an evening with Father James Carney in Central America before he was killed.   

I'm nearly done with a book called The Jesuits, by the late Malachi Martin, a former Jesuit. It was published in 1986, and I wish I'd gotten my hands on it sooner. Martin makes a strong case that Jesuits moved away from the traditional Christian view that the individual human soul is where the battle between good and evil is fought. Now, he says, there exists within the order a "tendency to disassociate the concept of evil from the individual man and woman and to place it instead within a societal framework." 

Evil in that "societal framework" is capitalism - as practiced in Central America and elsewhere under the leadership of the United States. That's what Jesuits fight now. On page 57 of The Jesuits, Martin describes the nexus of Liberation Theology and Marxist-Leninism, in part, thusly: "Hell became the capitalist system. The American president, leader of the greatest capitalist country, became the Great Satan." In 2013, the conservative Pope Benedict XVI resigned and was replaced by Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope.

Martin sometimes called Jesuits the pope's "rapid deployment force." That's apt, as he explained when describing former soldier St. Ignatius of Loyola's purpose in founding the Society of Jesus, as the Jesuits are called officially, back in the 1500s. They were like soldiers, only they were fighting intellectually and morally, not physically. Each member had to undergo a rigorous educational training regimen so as to be ready to match up with the sharpest theologians, scientists, philosophers, politicians and government officials the world over. For centuries they engaged in intellectual combat with anti-Christian leaders in Enlightenment Europe and more than held their own.   

For more than four hundred years, Jesuits took the usual vows other priests did as well as an additional vow of total obedience to the pope himself, whoever he might be and whatever he might order. Under conservative Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Jesuits chafed against their orders. What will happen under Pope Francis - one of their own?   

Jesuit Superior-General, are making big waves. He claims we cannot know what Jesus actually said because there were no tape recorders two thousand years ago. He claims the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John cannot be taken literally, and that: "Doctrine is a word that I don't like very much. It brings with it the image of the hardness of stone," he said. "Instead, the human reality is much more nuanced. It is never black or white. It is in continual development."
What he said about the gospels is much like what Democrats claim about our Constitution: There are no absolutes. They can mean whatever you want them to mean.   


Another foul British response to a false rape allegation

False rape accusations happen regularly in Britain but, under feminist influence, the police and prosecutors still lean heavily towards believing the woman, without proper skepticism

The moment Elgan Varney discovered he would not have to stand trial for rape should have been one of profound relief.

After all, just three days before the trial was due last month, he was cleared of all charges after the Crown Prosecution Service decided it could offer no evidence against him.

Yet this outcome has done little to alleviate the sense of anger and betrayal at being subjected to a prosecution he says should never have happened in the first place and which has left the mature student’s life in pieces.

Where most young men in his position would dread the prospect of a court appearance, Elgan, 33, saw it as the only chance to clear his name. He had hoped to expose serious flaws not just in his own case but in the wider legal system – failings that let down both Elgan and the vulnerable young woman who accused him.

He has been left baffled as to why his life was wrecked despite a mountain of evidence in his favour – including thousands of social media messages suggesting there was no assault, information indicating his accuser had serious mental health issues, and even evidence from her computer suggesting the allegations had not only been false but that she had considered withdrawing them. ‘Two years of my life have been ruined, my career prospects have been ruined, family and friends have suffered and public money has been wasted,’ he told The Mail on Sunday.

‘I should never have been in court in the first place. The case collapsed because I am innocent.

‘When my solicitor told me there would be no trial, she was happy. But I was incredibly frustrated. I thought, finally, all the facts would come out in court and I could begin what is left of my life. But I wasn’t allowed that opportunity.’

This is by no means the first time unsupported claims have been taken seriously by the authorities, but in this case there were terrible aggravating factors – which is why, in the absence of a trial, Elgan is anxious the full truth is known.

There was the behaviour of the police, who are accused of coaxing the accusation from her, apparently determined to believe the victim. There were the actions of a friend who herself had mental health problems and whose intervention helped ensure the prosecution was brought.

But most distressingly, there was the tragic death of Hannah Stubbs, the student who claimed Elgan raped her after a brief relationship. She took her own life two years ago at the age of 22. In the words of Elgan’s barrister, his prosecution was ‘perhaps an unrivalled case study in how a false allegation can come about’.

Elgan had met Hannah in October 2014 when both were starting physiotherapy degrees at Keele University. They became part of a tight-knit group who shared a passion for rock climbing. The two quickly became friends and briefly entered into a physical relationship, though he says they were not boyfriend and girlfriend.

Elgan recalls his first impressions, describing her as ‘bubbly, talkative and a bit cheeky. She was outgoing and could be pretty forthright’.

Elgan, a keen sportsman, threw himself into university life. He played tennis, joined the running club and captained a football team. ‘Hannah wanted to join everything I wanted to,’ he says. ‘I didn’t mind.’ The pair attended lectures, socialised together and spent a lot of time at the university’s climbing wall. Most days they met with their two friends, fellow mature physiotherapy students Steven and Hazel (not their real names).

Elgan and Hannah also shared a history of anxiety and depression that had led both to drop out of earlier university courses. When she started at Keele she was taking anti-depressants and on his advice she started seeing a university counsellor.

At the end of the first term Hannah went to spend Christmas with her family. Elgan and Hannah exchanged 750 electronic messages in the days before and after.

‘Not got my grizzly bear to cuddle up to though unfortunately,’ Hannah messaged on the 27th. ‘I like falling asleep with you,’ adding a minute later: ‘I like waking up with you too though.’

It was after Elgan made it clear he did not want a relationship in February 2015 that the complaints were made. And here the story becomes complicated.

First there was a strange episode at the college climbing wall three days after the break-up, when Hannah claimed to have injured her back while play-wrestling on gym mats with fellow students.

Elgan recalls his puzzlement. ‘Everyone was making a fuss over Hannah. It seemed a complete over-reaction,’ he says. ‘The trainee medics were quite hysterical.’ An ambulance was called and Hannah was taken to hospital. Elgan went with her and took pictures she later posted on Facebook of her smiling, strapped on a spinal support board.

Other students joined them at the hospital and one, James (not his real name), drove everyone home after Hannah was given the all-clear at 3am. It was in the course of that evening that Hannah made an allegation of assault, telling James that Elgan had touched her inappropriately. James messaged his friend Michelle (not her real name), who had written in a blog about being raped the previous year.

A few days later Michelle spoke to Hannah. The day after that, Elgan received a disturbing Facebook message. ‘Elgan, due to what happened last week when I came over to yours I have decided that I don’t want any contact with you,’ wrote Hannah.

‘I don’t feel like you respected me or how I feel. I had been clear with you on the phone that I didn’t want things to happen again, and yet you still went ahead.’

Had Hannah written this entirely by herself? Not according to their friend Steven, who had been present when the message was sent, as was Michelle.

Indeed, in his witness statement, he talks about the message being ‘formulated by Michelle’, saying ‘it seemed that Hannah had little input into this’.

Elsewhere in the statement he says: ‘I was shocked by this. I recall that Michelle soon became heavily involved with Hannah and seemed to have a lot of influence over her. I fully believe that [Hannah] was not raped or sexually abused by Elgan,’ he concludes.

He was not the only one to think that way. Numerous students were prepared to go to court to speak on Elgan’s behalf.

The role of Michelle was significant. She had been with Hannah when she contacted the university authorities with her allegations and it was Michelle who rang the police on Hannah’s behalf.

Hannah eventually accused Elgan of raping her on unspecified dates, once in the autumn of 2014 and again in February 2015. There was no forensic evidence of rape.

The only evidence against Elgan was in a statement made by Hannah to the police six months before her death, and even this was contradictory and bore no relationship to the allegations she originally confided to university friends.

It is also undermined by more than 10,000 Facebook and WhatsApp messages between them that have now been transcribed and analysed. Seen by The Mail on Sunday, they showed the pair continued to have an amicable relationship after the alleged rapes.

‘Not one message supports the prosecution case or Hannah’s account,’ says Elgan’s solicitor Mark Newby. ‘It is striking all their exchanges are entirely good-natured on both sides. They reveal nothing at all untoward about Elgan’s conduct.’

As well as the two counts of rape, Elgan was also charged with an assault on February 27, 2015 – the day after he told Hannah he did not want to be in a relationship.

The following evening the pair exchanged a stream of messages, with no mention of a mild disagreement let alone sexual assault. Hannah implored Elgan to come over, clearly struggling with his decision to end their relationship.

His replies were polite and the exchange ended on good terms. ‘Have a good match tomorrow [smiley face],’ she said.

‘If the police had looked at the correspondence they could have arrived at no other conclusion than Hannah wasn’t telling the truth,’ says Mr Newby. Hannah was interviewed by the police and three weeks later Elgan was asked to attend an interview voluntarily.

He spent much of it trying to persuade officers to read the messages, but to his bemusement he was simply told ‘the tech team would be in touch’.

Hannah had previously given a statement to police in which she was clearly reluctant to make any concrete allegations and repeatedly referred to her lack of faith in her own memory.

She also mentioned Michelle’s role. ‘People have said to me, like my friend Michelle... if you’ve said to them you don’t want them to, then they shouldn’t.’

She was also questioned about previous allegations of rape she had made against another man.

Then came quite disastrous news. Hannah, who had spent several weeks in a mental health unit after making the accusations, hanged herself at her parents’ home in Staffordshire on August 29, 2015.

Her family has spoken of their devastating loss and she is remembered fondly by friends. The inquest into her death found she had been suffering post-traumatic stress at the time, but it was not linked to her alleged rape.

Elgan says: ‘The news of Hannah’s death made me physically sick. I cared about her. It was shocking and difficult to process. I was confused, sad and angry all at the same time.’

He was disturbed, too, by what would subsequently emerge. According to notes provided by the university to the inquest, Hannah had told her personal tutor that she had been ‘burnt out’ by her experience at a previous university and the experience had resulted in ‘a long period of mental illness during which she had suicidal thoughts’.

Also disclosed by the prosecution in the case files for the inquest was her internet search history. This included multiple searches in August 2015 on false allegations and on how to withdraw prosecutions – as well as research into the kind of personality disorders that drive such allegations.

Two weeks before her death, Hannah twice downloaded Crown Prosecution Service guidance on perverting the course of justice.

Then there is the question of how the police conducted their interview of Hannah, something which shocked Anna O’Mara, Elgan’s former solicitor, when the evidence later emerged.

‘Hanna initially was reluctant to commit herself to making an allegation against Elgan,’ she says.

‘This eventually led to the officer pointing out to her what the police would need to prove a case. It was only after Hannah had received prompts from the officer that she hesitantly developed a disjointed allegation against Elgan.’

After Hannah’s death, Elgan didn’t hear from the police for six months. He was eventually charged on March 11, 2016. Anna O’Mara said: ‘I had never before seen a person charged with an offence when there existed such strong evidence pointing to his innocence.’

She repeatedly asked the CPS to reconsider the case. The judge at a preliminary hearing also urged the them to carefully consider the likelihood of a successful prosecution.

Elgan’s barrister Matt Stanbury said the failed prosecution was ‘perhaps an unrivalled case study in how a false allegation can come about’, adding that Hannah’s ‘reluctance to complain was mistaken for a misplaced loyalty; her vulnerability mistaken for victimhood.’

Elgan remains angry at the police and the CPS for pursuing its case despite the weight of evidence pointing to his innocence.

He says: ‘But no matter what the evidence shows, the sad thing is Hannah took her life. As someone who only ever cared about her I would like to send my sincere condolences to her family. ‘I always treated Hannah in a respectful way. I know that I was not responsible for her death.

‘Except in the most exceptional circumstances, there needs to be anonymity for anyone accused of rape. I want to get on with my life. But you can’t move forward when the fact that you have been accused is one click away on Google. Being cleared is not enough.’

A spokesman for the CPS said: "The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a jury to consider.

‘Following the receipt of new information, prosecutors were no longer satisfied that there was a realistic prospect of conviction.’

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: ‘Each and every case is different and in this instance, information and the evidence gathered was submitted to the CPS who authorised charges to be brought.



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


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