Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Gulags:  An interesting problem

A reader writes as follows.  If you can help him, use the "Comments" facility at the bottom of today's postings.  You can post as "Anonymous"

I do not know if you have heard about it but over seven years ago there were some murmurs of problems, in academia, with Robert Conquest's numbers regarding deaths in Gulags. When the Soviet archives were opened they claimed the death rate was lower than Conquest had. His demographer even apologized and pled inexperience.

The problem is that the data showed how many millions of people were 'missing'. Conquest then proposed his theory that they were murdered in the Gulags. If that theory is not correct; it does not mean those missing millions did not exist or that they did not go missing. That is the sleight of hand the left is using. Had a couple nauseating conversations with leftists where they claimed to have 'really respected Conquest' before these 'new revelations' made him a liar, propagandist, or whatnot.

Thing is; my family had many members to the gulag and none died there either. So; between that and my knowledge of Soviet history I have my own theory as to what happened. Basically that Gulags were easy to escape from (many of my relatives did) because all of the Soviet Union was a prison. In that if you were undocumented / a escapee you would starve due to a lack of a rational card or freeze to death. So; Soviet citizens just stayed in the Gulag. While their family's ration cards and apartments were often taken from them. I suspect right there was a large number of the missing millions. My relatives were lucky. None died after escape or release. But; none were Soviet citizens and none had family in the USSR. They were welcomed home, whether an escapee or released, once they were back in their own country (even though it was in Soviet orbit / socialist).

If you know anyone in academia who might be interested please pass it on as a possible subject for a paper. I think it is an important subject for further research. It should also be done soon. People with first hand accounts are quickly leaving us. If no one takes this up; eventually it will be common to deny these Soviet atrocities.

How House Conservatives Are Planning to Force a Vote on Protecting Abortion Survivors

Conservative lawmakers in the House are trying to force a vote on a bill protecting babies born alive after abortion, after a Democrat in the Senate last week blocked Republicans in the upper chamber from passing similar legislation by unanimous consent.

“Protecting innocent life shouldn’t be a partisan issue and it shouldn’t be difficult,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

“Infanticide is barbaric and the growing trend of Democrats advocating it is frightening,” he added. “Republicans are united in seeing that a bill protecting babies who survived an attempted abortion urgently receives a vote on the House floor. It already passed the House with Democratic support last Congress. But so far the new Democrat majority refuse to even consider the bill. But we will ask again. And again. And again, until this body speaks up for life.”

Using a procedural tactic know as a discharge petition, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., want to force a floor vote on the legislation that protects babies born alive during an abortion. Wagner, who has introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, said in a statement, “To my colleagues, this is the simplest vote you will ever take: either you support babies being killed after they are born or you don’t.”

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told The Daily Signal in an interview Monday that he is shocked that the legislation is even controversial.

“I will be helping to do everything I can to make sure this legislation goes to the House floor,” Johnson said. “We do not think this should be a controversial notion.”

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require medical professionals to give the same medical care to a baby who survived an abortion as any other baby of the same age would receive, as well as take the baby to a hospital. If a child was intentionally killed, the abortionist would face fines or up to five years jail time, according to a press release from Scalise.

“I think it is disappointing that we have to use the discharge petition to get a vote on infanticide,” Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, told The Daily Signal Monday in a phone interview. “It is stunning to me that this discharge petition is a partisan issue, these babies are alive.”

Davidson, who said he “100 percent,” supports the effort, added that “it is stunning to me that this is not unanimous consent.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., tried last week to hold a unanimous consent vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in the Senate following New York legalizing abortion up to birth in January and the Virginia Legislature attempting to pass a similar bill. However, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., objected.

The discharge petition strategy requires at least 218 signatures to force a floor vote that would oblige the Democrat leadership of the House to bring the pro-life legislation to the floor for debate and a vote.

Discharge petitions can only be considered on the second and fourth Mondays of the month when the House is in session.

Republicans currently hold 197 seats in the minority while Democrats hold 235 seats, meaning Republicans would have to acquire 21 Democrat signatures to force a floor vote.

Scalise says he thinks some Democrats will join the discharge petition, The Hill reported, since six Democrats voted to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act last January.

“Every member of Congress, regardless of party, needs to go on record against infanticide, and we must immediately take action to stop it,” Scalise said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know where their representatives stand on this critical issue.”

“Democrats have blocked House Republicans from bringing the bill to the floor under unanimous consent,” Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal, adding:

They don’t want to vote to protect babies who are born alive after failed abortions. Recent expansions for abortion in New York and comments relating to infanticide from Virginia’s governor have sparked outrage across the country.

We’re talking about living, breathing children here. I’m hopeful that we can get the 218 signatures needed to bypass Democrat leadership and get this bill to the floor for a vote. This isn’t pro-life vs. pro-choice—this is about living human beings.


Black Republicans Told Us Why They're Sticking with Trump

Democrats too politically correct

There have always been black Republicans, but for decades they have been a tiny minority. This isn’t a coincidence: The GOP has focused on courting white voters rather than people of color and routinely supports cuts to programs that benefit the poor, who are disproportionately likely to be black; at times, Republican figures have slipped into outright racism. According to Pew, just 14 percent of black male voters and almost no black female voters cast ballots for Donald Trump in 2016, and exit polls found that 90 percent of black voters supported Democrats last year.

The Trump era has given black people even more reasons to reject the president’s party. When Utah’s Mia Love—one of the few black Republicans in Congress—lost her reelection bid last year, she criticized Trump and the “transactional” way politicians treat black voters, saying that Democrats “at least make them feel like they have a home.” Kanye West’s weird and brief foray into conservative politics ended when he basically told his Twitter followers that he was being used by the Republican Party. And Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, has recently criticized his party’s handling of race. But there have also been visible examples of black people who have embraced Trump, from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to Candace Owens, a shit-stirring activist Trump has personally praised. These black conservatives are notable not because they hold particular sway in the Republican Party—which is predominantly white and male in both Congress and the Trump administration—but because it prompts a kind of double take. Why would any black person step forward and support Trump?

For Republican strategist and political commentator Rob Smith, a gay black veteran who was an anti–Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell activist, the breaking point came after the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Smith felt that the Democratic Party didn’t appropriately condemn what he calls an act of “radical Islamic terrorism” (a common critique leveled by conservatives and Trump). He felt the party’s approach was too politically correct. “They [Democrats] seemed so concerned with not offending people who may be Muslim. They seemed so concerned with parsing their speech that I just thought it was so weak.”

But according to Smith, the number-one reason black Republicans he has spoken to leave the Democratic Party is illegal immigration. “Working-class black people know just from their own two eyes that illegal immigration devastates working-class black communities,” he told me. “They see the jobs going away and they see that small business use and manipulate immigrants for smaller wages, and they know that hurts working-class black men and black women the most.”


The Special Air Service, the Punisher, and political correctness

British media reports state that Special Air Service (SAS) operators were ordered to remove all Punisher patches and other similar insignias from their kits. SAS received the removal order after military VIPs visited the unit’s headquarters in Hereford, saw the skull-like emblems on troopers’ combat kits, and considered them controversial.

The rationale behind the decision appears to be the Punisher skull closely resembles the death’s head “Totenkopf” emblem of Nazi Germany’s SS. More specifically, British outlets report the British military hierarchy believes the Punisher emblem could be “be upsetting to other units and disrespectful to enemy forces.”

Just by that remark, you can tell the leadership’s level of detachment from reality on the ground. If the destruction of an enemy is disrespectful––destruction being what the Punisher insignia portrays––then something is utterly wrong. Of course, all troops must abide by the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions. But in the end, armies are mostly intended to wreak havoc, not be politically-correct organizations that strive for designations of the “most friendly” group to work alongside.

Whether accurate or not, the story highlights the deep rift between troops on the ground and their political––and sometimes higher military––leaders. Units formed, funded, trained, and kitted for close combat have one primary mission: to engage with the enemy and destroy it.

Former SAS Sgt.Trevor Coult, a recipient of the Military Cross for his actions during a combat deployment to Iraq, said that “the Ministry of Defense should be doing everything in its power to support the SAS, not messing around telling them what they can and can’t wear on operations. This is politically-correct nonsense, and it’s ludicrous.”

Marvel Comics’ the Punisher symbol has a long history with the military. But its popularity skyrocketed after Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his fellow frogmen in SEAL Team 3 adopted the insignia. Kyle, heralded for his astounding effectiveness during multiple combat deployments to Iraq, wrote about the decision in his autobiography, American Sniper.

“We called ourselves the Punishers. He’s a real bad-ass who rights wrongs, delivering vigilante justice. A movie by the same name had just come out; the Punisher wore a shirt with a stylized white skull. Our comms guys suggested it before the deployment,” Kyle wrote. “We all thought what the Punisher did was cool: He righted wrongs. He killed bad guys. He made wrongdoers fear him. That’s what we were all about. And so, we adapted his symbol––a skull––and made it our own, with some modifications. We spray-painted it on our Humvees and body armor, and our helmets, and all our guns. And we spray-painted it on every building or wall we could. We wanted people to know: we’re here, and we want to f*ck with you.”



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


No comments: