Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Trump’s transgender ban is based on hate" (?)

The above headline and the article that follows are by Michael A. Cohen, a columnist with the Boston Globe.  It is the sort of hate-filled argument that we have come to expect from the Left. Cohen projects his own hate onto Trump.  But it's not a convincing projection.  Can anyone reading his words doubt how consumingly Mr. Cohen hates Mr. Trump?

And his argument is a typically Leftist one in another way:  its extreme selectivity.  Of all the things that Trump and his many military advisers might have had in mind when they decided to limit sexually disturbed people in the military, Cohen considers only one:  Medical costs.  But anyone who knows anything about the argument knows that the main costs are psychological -- part of what Trump referred to as "disruption". 

It is many years since I was an army psychologist but I am still confident that I can tell you what is involved.  In "Vom Kriege", Clausewitz stresses the importance of morale in a military unit and that is the basic issue.  High morale often means the difference between defeat and victory. And closely linked to morale is unit cohesion.  Morale is highest when all the members of a unit have strong brotherly feelings towards one another.  That is so much so that psychologists generally conclude that it is most unusual for a man to fight for "King and country".  Instead he fights for his brothers -- the men in his unit whom he has trained with and with whom he has experienced stresses of various sorts. Australia's most admired military hero Ben Roberts-Smith has tattooed across his broad chest:  "I will not fail my brothers".

And all that is seriously disrupted even with normal women in a  unit -- let alone a sexually confused woman.  Units that are normally well away from the frontline have long included women.  They are not under the frontline stresses where morale and unit cohesion make all the difference.  But, even so, women in any unit create problems.   Sexual intercourse will always take place within mixed units. -- with varying degrees of consent. Army personnel tend to be  vigorously healthy and their sex-drive will be too.  And rivalry for the "affections" of the woman will tear "brothers" apart, which is why women were historically barred from battlefield roles even in the Israel Defence Force, though that has been watered down in recent times in Israel.  Mixed units will substantially damage frontline cohesion. 

I was for a time married to a woman who had spent 9 years in the army transport corps.  Fortunately, she was a big strong woman (though pleasingly shaped) and she needed to be.  She repeatedly had to fight off approaches from both males and females.  She remembers kicking a lesbian across the room to get her off herself and she once expelled a male officer from her tent at the point of a pistol. Since she and I had a very pleasing heterosexual marriage, I can vouch that she was not herself a lesbian but she says that most of her fellow female troops were.

Do you begin to get the issues once you introduce complexity into a simple all-male environment?  Mr Cohen can probably not even imagine them but we can be sure that the many generals Trump has advising him know those issues very well.  Trump's decision was a sound military one based on military realities and requirements.  The hate comes not from Mr Trump but from Mr Cohen

Tuesday night, President Trump traveled to Phoenix and delivered perhaps the most unhinged speech of his presidency, which for Trump is no small accomplishment. The nation’s 45th president spent most of the time focused on the only person who truly matters to him — Donald Trump. Indeed, much of his speech was spent airing his abundant grievances about how the reporters he calls un-American truthfully cover the things he says. But one section of his remarks stands out.

In praising his supporters and contrasting them with the D.C. establishment, Trump said, “You always understood what Washington, D.C., did not. Our movement is a movement built on love. It’s love for fellow citizens.

“We believe that every American has the right to live with dignity. Respect for America demands respect for all of its people. Loyalty to our nation requires loyalty to each other. We all share the same home, the same dreams, and the same hopes for a better future. A wound inflicted upon one member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all.”

These are lovely words that bear no relation to the policies endorsed by the man who uttered them or the audience who applauded them.

Indeed, less than 24 hours after Trump’s speech, a proposed White House directive on the transgender ban was leaked to The Wall Street Journal.

The ban, which reverses the Obama administration’s decision last year to allow transgender troops to serve openly, would instruct the military to stop admitting transgender Americans. It lays out criteria for expelling them and would even force the Pentagon to stop paying for transition medical regimes already underway.

When Trump first announced this ban on Twitter, he claimed that allowing transgender individuals to serve would lead to “tremendous medical costs and disruption” to the military.

I know this will come as a shock, but there is no evidence to back up Trump’s claims. In fact, according to a study by the Rand Corporation, approximately 10 to 130 members of the active force could have “reduced deployability as a result of gender transition-related treatments” each year. Considering there are more 100,000 nondeployable soldiers in the Army alone this is hardly a major burden.

In addition, health care costs for transgender service members would be around $6 million a year — or approximately 14 times less than the amount of money spent by the Pentagon on Viagra.

Trump’s transgender ban is policy in search of a point. In fact, the real reason Trump initially announced it is that he thought it would help him get congressional Republican support for a bill appropriating money for his border wall. Hate begetting more hate.

However, even if allowing transgender Americans to openly serve was a burden, shouldn’t that be a small price to pay for a political movement built on love and the belief that every American has a right to live with dignity?

To be sure, politicians resort to these kinds of platitudes all the time, even as they implement policies that operate in direct contradiction. But the chasm between Trump’s words and the policies he endorses is a mile wide. Rare is it in American history when actual rights are taken away from Americans. Trump’s ban is the rankest form of prejudice — imposing discriminatory policies that are born solely out of intolerance and hatred.

Ideally, court challenges will block Trump’s transgender ban, but it shouldn’t block the reality of what this effort says about Trump and his political “movement.” The president and his supporters can talk all they want about love and unity but the truth is evident: their agenda is one born out of hate.


The rationale behind Google censorship

It's fine in theory but, as always, the devil is in the details.  It would be reasonable if it were only genuinely hateful content that was hit but when support for the President is put in that basket, America clearly has a problem

In recent months, YouTube has been pulling ads from videos with controversial messages, a costly policy known as “demonetization.” It has echoes of the debate over political speech happening all over the country, including here in Boston last weekend. But the YouTube crackdown is being pushed by advertisers dismayed at being associated with hateful videos.

Watson, Black, and many others say demonetization is a form of censorship. Dissenting voices are still free to publish, but if they can’t get paid, many will fade away. These critics might be right. But YouTube and its advertisers say demonetization is good business, and they are definitely right.

On traditional television, an advertiser buys time on specific shows that appeal to specific audiences. If you want to sell shaving cream, you buy time during baseball games; if you’re selling denture cream, you run ads during the NBC Nightly News.

It’s different with YouTube, which hosts hundreds of millions of videos on every imaginable topic. Even a giant company like Procter & Gamble has no way of knowing which videos ought to carry its ads, because unlike traditional TV, it doesn’t have great data on who watches what.

All that data is held by YouTube. Its parent company, Alphabet Inc., also owns the search engine Google, probably the world’s richest trove of marketing data. Alphabet combines YouTube and Google data to generate precise profiles of each person’s tastes and interests. So the ads you see when you visit YouTube are uniquely tailored to you.

Alphabet doesn’t share the data with advertisers. Instead, they say, just tell us the audience you seek, and we’ll figure out the best videos for reaching them. And that’s where the trouble began.

Ryan Bonnici, senior director of global marketing at Cambridge-based advertising software company HubSpot Inc., told me that advertisers have tried to buy YouTube ads using the same methods they’d applied to TV. They would target certain demographic groups—say, women age 18 to 35. Or certain interest groups, like foodies or car racing fans.

These simple criteria work fine on traditional TV, but not on YouTube. What if that foodie also likes videos of antifa radicals fighting with alt-right racists? What if the Nascar buff also enjoys how-to videos on how to build homemade bombs?

Sure enough, the world’s biggest companies discovered their ads on videos produced by terrorists and hate-mongers. And since the producers of these videos get paid whenever an ad is run, the companies were financing their repulsive activities.

“A lot of advertisers didn’t realize that was possible,” said Bonnici. But when the Times of London ran a story in February that highlighted the issue, corporate reaction was swift and merciless. Big names such as PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson and Volkswagen pulled their ads, costing YouTube a tub of money. The company hasn’t said how much, but Bonnici estimated it might be as much as $700 million.

Since then, YouTube has announced new features to keep ads from extremist videos, such as artificial intelligence systems and human inspectors to spot the worst offenders more quickly. It’s also making it easier for advertisers to target their ads more precisely.

It all makes perfect sense, and YouTube has no choice in the matter anyway. No respectable company wants its ads to accompany hate videos. But the demonetization has gone a lot farther, ravaging the revenues of many sites that contain the merely controversial. These range from popular videos by Diamond and Silk, two black women who avidly support President Trump, to the work of left-wing humorist Jimmy Dore.

Under its “advertiser-friendly content guidelines,” YouTube gives itself wide latitude to demonetize a vast amount of material, including “video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown.”

That sounds like it could rule out the nightly news. And while these restrictions have been around for a long time, many YouTubers say that a newly aggressive enforcement policy is strangling them.

YouTube is clearly walking a tightrope here. The company doesn’t want to ban controversial material altogether; but it doesn’t want to scare off the advertisers who keep the cash rolling in.

Tim Black told me that demonetization is a deliberate effort to stamp out independent political commentary, from the left or the right. “It’s not about specific videos,” he said in an email. “It’s about pushing out diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.”

Since cutting his advertisers, Black said “YouTube has gutted my ability to fund my independent reporting. My viewers are buying t-shirts, mugs and donating to keep my voice alive.”

A YouTube spokesperson said video producers can appeal demonetization. “Many creators, including Diamond and Silk, have submitted and successfully won appeals,” the spokesperson said.

YouTube also rejected claims it’s censoring people. Advertisers “can choose the kind of content that they feel is suitable for their ads. Providing advertisers this choice is not censorship.”

That won’t mollify Diamond and Silk, who are planning to sue YouTube. I wouldn’t bet on their success. It’s advertisers who want YouTube to hook them up with inoffensive videos that generate sales rather than outrage. If that’s censorship, it’s the same kind you’ll find on TV, where the free, ad-supported fare on the broadcast networks is bland as oatmeal, and the daring, edgy stuff is found on the pay channels such HBO or Amazon Prime.

For now, YouTube features as much rabble-rousing as ever. Now let’s see what happens when the rabble has to start paying for it.


Australia: Fruitcake  pushes politically correct plan to rename Father’s Day ‘Special Person’s Day’

Surely this discriminates too.  Dogs are people, as we all know.  So why not a "Special creatures" day? Why limit it to bipedal persons?

AN EARLY childhood activist has been labelled “offensive” after suggesting Father’s Day be renamed ‘Special Person’s Day’ so kids without dads wouldn’t feel left out.

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet, an activist with a doctorate in early childhood studies, is pushing for the name change to the annual holiday.

During an interview on Today Tonight Dr Scarlet denied it was case of excess political correctness.

“Why are we calling this political correctness when in fact it’s about our rights?” Dr Scarlet told host Rosanna Mangiarelli.

She went on: “There’s a lot of Australian research that has actually informed a lot of international research ... that has demonstrated children’s capacity to be really inclusive once they know about these ideas and they think, ‘Wow, why are people seeing this as a controversy?”

Dr Scarlet, who insisted that was her real name, said that many families without fathers supported the idea.

“We have single parent families, satellite families, extended families, lesbian and gay families,” she said.

Her ideas were met with a stern rebuke from New South Wales Liberal minister David Elliott, who called them “rubbish”.

“Can’t believe that someone who professes to be ‘enlightened’ would advocate such crap,” Mr Elliott wrote on Facebook.

“People still celebrate fatherhood even after their father and grandfathers have passed away, in fact for many people Father’s Day is a wonderful time of reflecting and remembering.”

He went on: “Dr Red Ruby Scarlet — you are the offensive one. Maybe we should start a campaign to address that.”


Russia Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible As Extremist Literature

I have a copy of the Jehovah's Witness translation of the Bible and can testify that it is in fact an especially literal translation of the original texts.  To condemn it is to condemn all Bibles

Russian courts banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible as extremist literature Thursday, after deeming it not a bible.

The Vyborg City Court banned the New World Translation of the Bible after an expert study from Moscow’s Center for Sociocultural Expert Studies (CSES) deemed that it was not a bible. The ruling, which ended months of litigation suspended since July 26, contradicted Russia’s Federal Law on Extremism, signed by Vladimir Putin in 2015 that prohibits the Bible from being labeled extremist literature.

The CSES experts did not have any religious studies degrees, nor were they familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses literature, according to Dr. Roman Lunkin, head of the Center for Religion and Society Studies at the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

“In defiance of all good sense, Russia’s law-enforcement system generates completely ridiculous expert studies (and, it appears, they encourage loyal supporters to open expert centers). Regarding the Center for Sociocultural Expert Studies commissioned to analyze the Witnesses’ Bible, not one of the experts has a degree in religious studies and they are not even familiar with the writings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their analysis included quotes that were taken from information provided by the Irenaeus of Lyon Centre, a radical Orthodox anti-cult organization known for opposing Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as many other religions and denominations,” Lunkin said.

The Irenaeus of Lyon Centre, headed by a man named Alexander Dvorkin, is the Russian member association of FECRIS, the French NGO entirely funded by the office of the French Prime Minister, dedicated to destroying any religious minority that contradicts the doctrines of the Russian Orthodox Church. (Related: The French Conspiracy With The Russian Orthodox Church That Destroyed The Jehovah’s Witnesses)

The prosecution’s case hinged upon the argument that the New World Translation (NWT) Bible was not a bible at all, because the Jehovah’s Witnesses referred to it as the Holy Scriptures, instead of specifically calling it a bible. CSES used that technicality to skirt around article 3 of the Federal Law on Extremism, which states: “The Bible, the Quran, the Tanakh, and the Kangyur, and their contents, and quotations from them cannot be recognized as extremist materials.”

The court’s ruling legally legitimized the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church’s efforts to completely purge the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion from Russia. The ruling also paved the way for the purging of any other religious minority, so long as the government deems said minorities to be extremist and label their scriptures as something other than a Bible, Quran, Tanakh, or Kangyur, regardless of whether or not they actually are those books.

The prosecution used CSES’s counsel twice in this case, using the CSES’s original conclusions about the NWT bible as the basis for their initial arguments. Russia’s Supreme Court precedent disqualifies an expert from being used more than once in the same case to address the same issue. With the final nail in the coffin of the Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses on the line, the court ignored that precedent.


Another false rape accuser jailed in Britain

She is a great fat slob -- too repellent for me to post her picture -- so why the police ever believed that she was so tempting to men I will never know.  Britain is however fairly good at jailing false accusers when it catches them

A SERIAL rape accuser who claimed she had been sexually assaulted by 15 men in three years has been jailed after her sick lies were finally exposed.

A judge slammed Jemma Beale as a “convincing liar” and “manipulative” while sentencing her to ten years behind bars in the UK on Thursday.

The 25-year-old claimed she had been seriously sexually assaulted by six men and raped by nine, all strangers, in four different encounters over the space of three years.

She was found guilty in July at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of perjury and four counts of perverting the course of justice.

Sentencing her today, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “This trial has revealed, what was then not obvious, that you are a very, very convincing liar and you enjoy being seen as a victim.

“The prosecution described your life as a ‘construct of bogus victim hood’.”

Prosecutor Madeleine Moore told the court police spent 6400 hours investigating Beale’s claims at a cost of at least AUD $450,000, and the trial cost at least $177,000. Investigating Beale cost about AUD $390,000. The cost of other trials brought the total cost to taxpayers to AUD $1.45 million for her deceit.

Lawrence Henderson, defending, said Beale still maintains her innocence, and she was considering appealing against sentence.

He told the court: “Ms Beale stands by the claims she made in this matter and if she had her time again she would again plead not guilty to these matters and contest the trial.”

Beale from Bedfont, west London, sat with her arms crossed as she was jailed for a total of 10 years, with the judge branding her behaviour as “manipulative”

He said: “These offences usually began as a drunken attempt to get your partner’s sympathy or perhaps to arouse her jealousy.

“They each began impulsively, but what is particularly chilling is the manner in which you persisted in making allegations which you knew were untrue even to the extent of committing and repeating perjury.”

Detectives launched an investigation into Beale in December 2013 after they learned of a claim by one of her former girlfriends that a man had been wrongly jailed after Beale lied about being raped by him in November 2010.

Police said the information came to light when officers were investigating a separate allegation by Beale, where she claimed to have been raped by a number of men during an incident in November 2013.

With concerns over Beale’s account, officers carried out a review of four investigations into allegations of rape and sexual assault made by Beale.

Police found common discrepancies and similar circumstances within the allegations, which strengthened their suspicions that Beale may have fabricated them.

The Metropolitan Police said one of the rape allegations made to police by Beale in 2010 led to the conviction of a man, Mahad Cassim, who was jailed for seven years.

After the CPS and his defence team were alerted to the fact there were serious doubts over the validity of Beale’s allegations, the man subsequently appealed against his conviction and it was quashed at the Court of Appeal in July 2015.

In a victim impact statement Mr Cassim told the court he had been hugely effected by the false claim. He added: “One of my goals is to be a successful businessman, to have a nice family and be happy. “I am working on the happiness — I have a long way to go.”

Her ex-girlfriend told how she was a sadistic bully who gloated about the money she made from her vile fake accusations.

Anuska Pritchard said Beale, 25, duped her into giving evidence on her behalf at the trial of Mahad Cassim, jailed for seven years in 2012 after being found guilty of rape.

But to Anuska’s horror, just weeks later Beale gleefully told her how she had completely made up the rape claims in order to get AUD $18,000 in criminal compensation.



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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