Friday, November 30, 2018

Silicon Valley Sharia

By Michelle Malkin

This is a tale of two young, outspoken women in media.

One is a liberal tech writer. The other is an enterprising conservative new media reporter. One has achieved meteoric success and now works at a top American newspaper. The other has been de-platformed and marginalized. Their wildly different fates tell you everything you need to know about Silicon Valley's free speech double standards.

Some smug elites will downplay Twitter's disparate treatment of these users by arguing that private tech corporations can do whatever they want and that no First Amendment issues have been raised. But this battle is about much more than free speech rights. It's about whether the high-and-mighty progressives who monopolize global social media platforms truly believe in nurturing a free speech culture.

By punishing politically incorrect speech and making punitive examples of free thinkers, tech titans are enforcing their own authoritarian version of Silicon Valley sharia — a set of both written and unwritten codes constricting expressions of acceptable thought in the name of "safety" and "civility."

Laura Loomer was suspended permanently from Twitter over the Thanksgiving holiday for this tweet — and I quote in full:

"Isn't it ironic how the twitter moment used to celebrate 'women, LGBTQ, and minorities' is a picture of Ilhan Omar? Ilhan is pro Sharia(.) Ilhan is pro-FGM(.) Under Sharia, homosexuals are oppressed & killed. Women are abused & forced to wear the hijab. Ilhan is anti Jewish."

Ilhan Omar is the newly elected Democratic Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota who is indeed pro Sharia. Omar equivocated on a state bill to increase penalties against female genital mutilation. It is a fact that gay people are oppressed and killed under Sharia. It an undeniable truth that women are abused and forced to wear the hijab. Omar has accused Israel of hypnotizing the world, attacked its "evil doings," and has said she supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the Jewish state.

Twitter booted Loomer, who is Jewish, off its site for expressing her well-supported opinions, which the social media giant called "hateful conduct." She has been labeled a "far-right activist" for her mainstream views. As she noted in a new statement posted to her website Tuesday:

"I am just one example of someone who has been banned for discussing issues on social media that big tech companies have deemed as untouchable. All across the world, people are being silenced, censored, and even jailed for having online discussions about Islam, immigration, jihad, and Sharia. I was banned for posting facts about Islam. In other words, non-Muslims are being subjected to Islamic blasphemy laws on social media, progressively."

If Loomer were a left-wing "Islamophobia"-invoking feminist who practiced undercover or gonzo journalism to go after Republicans, she'd be hailed as an innovative disruptor instead of dismissed by establishment elites on both sides of the political aisle.

Now contrast the fate of 30-year-old Sarah Jeong, who was named an editorial writer at The New York Times in August 2018. Her left-wing colleagues and admirers applauded her "verve and erudition." And they made much of her diversity status as a "young Asian woman." This person-of-color shield gave Jeong immunity to post several years' worth of hateful tweets attacking white people.

"White men are bull——";


"oh man it's kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men" and "f—- white women lol."

She has tweeted "f—- the police" and "cops are a—holes," derided fraternity members and athletes wrongfully accused of rape and fumed about "dumb—- f—-ing white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants."

Let's review: Loomer was kicked off Twitter for calling out Sharia and a culture that promotes hatred of gays, boycotts of Jews and subjugation of women. Before the permanent suspension, Loomer — who had built up a following of more than 250,000 — had her blue check removed and was silenced during the midterm elections when her investigative work was making a difference. She called out Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey for anti-conservative bias at a congressional hearing and was mocked by establishment detractors in both parties.

Meanwhile, Jeong sits on her perch on The New York Times editorial board after using Twitter to spew hatred against all men, all cops, the entire white race — and Twitter. Jeong denies Silicon Valley's political bias and selective speech suppression, which she has dismissed as a "paranoid fantasy."

Every day that blue check marked hate-monger Sarah Jeong gets to tweet while Laura Loomer remains silenced reminds us of how powerful social media conglomerates have rigged the free speech playing field.

It's no fantasy. It's a nightmare.


Laura Levis was killed by a locked hospital door

A hospital door should be guarded but never locked.  At a minimum there should be a buzzer linked to security staff

Read Peter DeMarco’s tragic account of the preventable death of his wife, Laura Levis, and you will feel horror and deep sadness for the unnecessary loss of life. And then you will feel outrage. Levis suffered an asthma attack two years ago, went to Somerville Hospital, and later died after she was unable to get inside the emergency room, even after she called 911.

The story, published in the Globe Magazine, underscored the need for changes: to the emergency response system that failed Levis, to the accountability and transparency requirements for Massachusetts hospitals, and to the never-say-sorry culture of too many providers that amplifies the anguish of family members.

The emergency response technology in place at the time of the incident was out of date. When Levis encountered a locked door at the hospital, she called 911 using her cell phone. But her call was answered by a regional state police dispatch center instead of going straight to Somerville police, who, more than likely, would have responded faster because they knew the area. Then the dispatcher who rerouted her call to local responders failed to relay critical information related to her exact location.

Recently, Somerville police implemented Wireless Direct, a state system that allows them to answer 911 mobile calls directly rather than receiving them through a regional center. Somerville joined Boston, Burlington, Nantucket, and more than 150 communities in the state that have made the switch.

Even though our smartphones are equipped with the latest GPS technology, our 911 infrastructure remains embarrassingly obsolete and can still misjudge a person’s whereabouts by hundreds of feet. Next Generation 911 is a national push to upgrade the legacy technology powering our emergency response systems; it will improve location capabilities and allow callers to send photo and video to dispatchers. Massachusetts has made the necessary upgrades, but wireless carriers are lagging behind.

Another remarkable element in Levis’s case is that Somerville Hospital violated federal law, got caught, and yet paid only a small price. Federal authorities determined that the institution denied Levis access to emergency care by not doing enough to find her, even though she lay unconscious outside the ER. The hospital settled and paid a $90,000 fine to the government. How do such slaps on the wrist keep hospitals accountable?

Then there’s the lack of explanation. DeMarco happened to be a reporter who could spend time uncovering the facts of his wife’s death. What about those who aren’t able to devote 10 months to investigating a wrongful death? And yet, despite what DeMarco found, closure and justice remain elusive. “I have close to 200 pages of her medical reports from that day, and I still don’t know what really happened” on the hospital’s end, he said.

DeMarco repeatedly tried to get answers from the hospital, but it wasn’t until after the Globe article was published, and right before a report about it was set to air on “NBC Nightly News,” that the hospital responded through its parent company, Cambridge Health Alliance. The company apologized. “It should not have taken an event like this for us to identify and resolve a number of structural, training, and communication issues. We have already begun to make the necessary changes,” the statement read.

In the medical community, the “apology movement” has gained momentum precisely because, in most cases, families want answers and to hear an apology from practitioners. DeMarco and Levis’s family are still owed that. Maybe DeMarco will get that Tuesday, when he finally meets face to face with hospital executives.

The lessons from Levis’s death should not be lost on anyone. Now it’s up to officials in charge of emergency response systems and hospitals everywhere to act.


Comment from a reader:  "Sommerville Hospital was likely locked because of the awful people that live there. In 1975, we looked at houses there. Worst ever - leaking basements etc.. Likely most people with brains have left"

ACLU bias

The ACLU is a distinctively Leftist organization so its hostility to the police is predictable

Chief Gross

The ACLU is in the business of criticizing police practice and procedure, and sometimes individual police officers, presumably to make them more accountable to the Constitution and more respectful of, naturally enough, civil liberties.

But because, as Gross complained, the ACLU is always pointing out what it says the police do wrong without balancing those criticisms with the occasional bit of praise or an acknowledgment of the difficulty of their job, the ACLU comes off to most cops as a relentless scold, an organization that, by trying to throw up obstacles to some aspects of police work, can seem more on the side of the bad guys than the good guys.

You might think that is simplistic, and not very nuanced, but you probably wouldn’t think so if you were a police officer. The police and the ACLU often have an antagonistic, adversarial relationship, and Gross’s complaints were, not surprisingly, antagonistic and adversarial.

Gross’s initial post was on his personal Facebook page, and it’s certainly true that he should know that as a public figure with a very high profile, virtually nothing he does or says, especially on social media, is going to stay private very long.

Gross says he was defending officers in Facebook post
Speaking after a public event in Roxbury, the Boston police commissioner for the first time took questions from reporters about the controversial post on his private page.

But it is instructive that Gross intended his criticism of the ACLU to be personal, the opinion of him as an individual, not a policy statement by the city’s top cop. And his opinion is widely shared by other police officers. That doesn’t necessarily make him right. It makes him a cop. And human.

You can certainly argue that by forcing the police to maintain a balanced approach to civil liberties, the ACLU is actually helping the police by improving their reputation in the communities they serve. But it’s a rare police officer who sees it that way. They see it as the ACLU making it harder to do their jobs and keep people safe.

While Gross’s critics have dismissed his missive as thin-skinned, especially his complaint that ACLU officials are “paper warriors” detached from the realities that police face on the street, some critics may not know the background of a very specific reference he made to the near-fatal shooting of police Officer John Moynihan in 2015.

After Moynihan and other members of the gang unit stopped a vehicle on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury, a career criminal named Angelo West emerged from the car and shot Moynihan point-blank in the face. West ran away, firing back, then was shot and killed by Moynihan’s fellow officers.

Later, an aggressive, hostile crowd gathered at the scene and showered Gross with vile abuse, with some black protesters calling him the N-word. Gross’s loyalty to his race was challenged in the most obscene way. He maintained his composure and kept control of the crime scene, and his professionalism and restraint then is one of the reasons Mayor Marty Walsh tapped him to become police commissioner.

But that encounter was burned into Gross’s consciousness. One of his officers was down, in the hospital with a bullet hole his head, and he had to listen to people suggest he was an Uncle Tom because police had just shot a black man who tried to kill a cop.

“I sure as hell saw a member of the ACLU in the background take pictures as a certain group tried to crash through the crime scene three hours” after the shooting, Gross wrote in his now-infamous Facebook post. He felt the ACLU was there, just waiting for the cops to screw up.

John Ward, a spokesman for the ACLU of Massachusetts, said his organization is not aware of any photos from that confrontation.

“No one was there on behalf of the ACLU,” Ward said. “Many current and former ACLU staff live in the City of Boston and someone may have been there in their personal capacity.”

Whoever it was, it really bothered Willie Gross. It bothers him to this day. And he blew off some steam in a way he probably shouldn’t have. Like the post itself, it’s personal.

There may be a teaching moment here. Maybe some of the ACLU’s lawyers could do a ride-along with members of the gang unit, and the cops could explain what they look for, and the lawyers could tell them what might be legally problematic.

With litigation in play, that’s unlikely.

At the very least, there’s an opportunity for Gross and Carol Rose, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, to sit down, together, without cameras and microphones, and just talk. Rose is game.

“I’m always open for a beer summit,” she said.


Merkel: EU States Must Prepare to Hand National Sovereignty over to Brussels

She is chasing a failed dream

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that European Union (EU) member states must be prepared to transfer powers over to Brussels at a debate on the ‘tensions’ between globalisation and national sovereignty.

“Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty,” Merkel said, speaking at an event organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin on Wednesday.

“In an orderly fashion of course,” Merkel said, explaining that — while Germany had given up some of its sovereignty in order to join the EU, national parliaments were in charge of deciding whether to sign up to international treaties.

Trust and the willingness to compromise are vital in addressing tensions between sovereignty and globalisation, asserted the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader, highlighting the controversial UN migration pact, debate over which has continued to split her own party.

Merkel condemned the fact that, in discussions over whether Germany should join a fast-growing number of nations pulling out of the agreement, “there were [politicians] who believed that they could decide when these agreements are no longer valid because they are representing The People”.

“[But] the people are individuals who are living in a country, they are not a group who define themselves as the [German] people,” she stressed.

Earlier in the day, the Chancellor had previously accused critics of her plans to sign up to the Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration, which declares migration ‘inevitable, necessary and desirable’, of advocating “nationalism in its purest form”.

“That is not patriotism, because patriotism is when you include others in German interests and accept win-win situations,” insisted Merkel, paraphrasing her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who recently claimed that “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism [because] nationalism is treason”.

Battling disastrous poll ratings at home in France, as well as massive protests, Macron travelled to Berlin at the weekend, where he told the Bundestag that “the Franco-German couple [has] the obligation not to let the world slip into chaos and to guide it on the road to peace”.

“Europe must be stronger… and win more sovereignty,” the French president said, demanding EU member states surrender national sovereignty to Brussels over “foreign affairs, migration, and development” in addition to “an increasing part of our budgets and even fiscal resources”.


Dutton to strip convicted terrorists of Australian citizenship

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled plans to strip convicted terrorists of their Australian citizenship.

Mr Morrison said the proposed new laws would allow a minister to strip Australian citizenship from a convicted terrorist if they were “reasonably satisfied” the person was entitled to citizenship in another country.

That is a departure from the current policy of stripping citizenship only from dual nationals, who are definitely citizens of other countries.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is also pushing to speed up the process for new laws to allow police to access encrypted communications used by “paedophiles or terrorists” such as WhatsApp messages.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Mr Morrison said: “Terrorists have violated everything about what being an Australian is all about.

“It’s a crime against our country, not just against other citizens, and this is something that can’t be tolerated and permitted.

“And for those who have engaged in this sort of activity, if they have citizenship elsewhere, and we reasonably believe they do, well they can go, that’s our clear message.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, the new plan would apply to Aussies who have parents or grandparents from different countries thus allowing them to obtain citizenship somewhere else.

The government will review the backgrounds of some 400 terrorists being monitored by ASIO to determine whether they are dual-citizens or are entitled to acquire a foreign citizenship.

It raises the possibility of some people being deported who have no other citizenship but Australian.

Unlike now where a six-year custodial sentence is needed for citizenship to be revoked, the planned legislation would merely need someone to be convicted for them to stripped of their right to remain in Australia.

The PM also wants to introduce “temporary exclusion orders” of up to two years for foreign fighters returning from conflict zones in the Middle East.

Based on a UK scheme, they would block a proven terrorist from returning to Australia for up to two years, unless a special permit was provided.

“We’re determined to deal with those individuals who have done this as far away from our shores as is possible,” Mr Morrison said.

Once back in Australia, the person would be subject to various controls including reporting to police, adhering to curfews and complying with restrictions on technology use.

“Failure to comply with the terms of that temporary exclusion order would be also an offence and subject to penalties for that citizen,” he said.

Earlier, the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration Jason Wood also called for residents, who were born overseas, but later became Australian citizens, to be immediately deported if they engaged in extremism.

“As far as I’m concerned, if you’ve put your hand up to say you uphold the rights and responsibility of Australian citizenship, but the next minute you want to talk jihad all day, it’s a breach of contract and you need to go,” Mr Wood said.

The plan comes the same week three Melbourne men — brothers Ertunc Eriklioglu, 30 and Samed Eriklioglu, 26 and Hanifi Halis, 21 — were charged with allegedly planning a deadly terror attack on Melbourne.

Victoria Police later confirmed the men had all had their Australian passports cancelled this year and were of Turkish background.

Mr Dutton has said passing a new encryption law should be done sooner rather than later.

He said the heads of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australian Federal Police had already given evidence to the committee.

“The evidence there is overwhelming that we need this change. We cannot have paedophiles or terrorists using encrypted messaging apps,” Mr Dutton said.

The minister said paedophiles were directing sex scenes through the messaging apps, which were also used by terrorists.

“We are in a situation where we have terrorists who are using encrypted messaging apps to plan attacks and ASIO and the Australian Federal Police have no sight of that,” Mr Dutton said.

“It’s unacceptable, particularly given the current risk environment.”

Labor has warned against rushing the committee, while denying Mr Dutton’s claims they are against increasing authorities’ powers.



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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