Sunday, July 21, 2019

Pin The Male And The Honky

 Mike Adams

Dr. Kimberly Cook, a Sociology and Criminology professor at UNC Wilmington, has written an op-ed piece that ostensibly seeks to explain the high rates of “violence in low-income communities” in our hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina. Under normal circumstances, I ignore political screeds written by my Marxist colleagues. However, this recent op-ed is so mired in intellectual incompetence and academic dishonestly as to require a column-length response.

Cook begins her op-ed by saying that “As a criminologist, (she) can offer some insights into this persistent problem (of violence in low-income communities).” By reminding people she is a criminologist she seeks to establish credibility. But she destroys her credibility in the next sentence by adding that, “arrest and incarceration exacerbate the problems” she is addressing.

When Cook eschews incarceration, she draws no distinction between petty offences such as drug possession and more serious crimes of violence such as murder, which have been on the upswing in Wilmington’s low-income neighborhoods. Hence, her suggestion that arresting people and incarcerating them would be detrimental raises some serious red flags. Were I the editor of our local Wilmington McTimes, I probably would have passed on Cook’s request to publish her “expert” commentary.

Continuing to speak “as a criminologist,” Cook states that another cause of violence is “a heteronormative masculinity that celebrates dominance, power and control.” This is the kind of socio-babble that offers nothing of relevance in the realm of public policy. No one would seriously suggest we encourage “homo-normative masculinity” or “hetero-normative femininity” as a means of controlling crime.

Cook also laments that the upswing in crime in Wilmington’s low-income neighborhoods is due to the fact that, “economic opportunity is not available.” The main obstacle she faces here is, of course, the evidence. While crime has been increasing in these neighborhoods, economic opportunity has also been on the upswing. While the nation is experiencing rapid economic growth, we are also seeing the lowest black unemployment rates in decades. There has been no downward shift in economic opportunity, which would explain the sudden uptick in crime in lower-income Wilmington neighborhoods.

Fortunately, Cook does recognize - at least at some level - how the crimes of her fellow Democrats have affected our community. She states that “Still, our community remains wounded by historical harms of racialized violence (the violence of slavery; the 1898 coup and massacre).” For those not from Wilmington, the 1898 massacre was a political coup perpetrated by white supremacist Democrats against black Republicans. But it has absolutely nothing to do with current rates of violence in poor black communities.

Cook only mentions these historical factors because she simply cannot communicate at length without blaming societal ills on whites and males, unless of course, the males are gay. The proclivity for identity politics is in her genetic code as a Marxist feminist revolutionary. As preposterous as they may be, her suggestions that slavery (ended in 1865) and the Wilmington race riot (of 1898) are somehow responsible for the high rate of violence in low-income minority communities in 2019 must be explored. So please allow me to speak as a criminologist who is not a disciple of Karl Marx.

Other nations, such as France, kept national crime statistics prior to the American Civil War. But the United States did not do so until the early 1930s. Hence, it is difficult to measure the effects that slavery and local political events of the late 19th century had on rates of violent crime. We can, however, use the statistics to pin the blame on other atrocities carried out by the Democrats. (While you consider these statistics, please note that the Democrats launched the War on Poverty in the 1960s).

For the first two full decades for which we have official crime statistics – the ‘40s and the ‘50s - we see that the homicide rate among black males fell dramatically. That drop was 18 percent in the 1940s and 22 percent in the 1950s. Then, the black homicide rate suddenly shot up by 89 percent in the 1960s.

Thus, to clear thinking people, Cook’s analysis of black crimes rates is more hysterical than historical. Rational minds simply cannot attribute this huge increase in black crime in the 1960s, which occurred nationwide and in Wilmington, to the “legacy of slavery.”

Nor did increases in homicide among blacks have anything to do with terrorist acts committed by white Democrats against black Republicans around the turn of the century. Cook has simply identified the wrong Democratic atrocity. She should be focusing on the War on Poverty, which resulted in skyrocketing rates of black illegitimacy. When that war began, families headed by only a single mother raised about a fifth of black children. Within a third of a century, families headed by only a single mother became the normal environment in which black children were raised.

But Cook cannot speak honestly on this issue because she supports welfare. She also supports slavery reparations. So she has to ignore the more recent data in order to make demonstrably false insinuations about the legacy of slavery. In a nutshell, she is not interested in addressing realities. She is interested in maintaining visions.

Sadly, this is more than professional incompetence on Cook’s behalf. She is knowingly advancing a false narrative. In her op-ed, she states, “For example, we know that prior to 1898 African Americans here owned homes and successful businesses, and there was a thriving African American middle class.” But that was after the Civil War. So the legacy of slavery argument does not hold water.

Nor does she have the moral authority to condemn the riots of 1898, which were perpetrated by her political party and which resulted in blacks having their property taken away. She states that, “The generations to follow lost the inherited prosperity that would have come to them had the massacre never happened.”

This would seem to be a strong moral condemnation of taking people’s property with force. But Cook is a Marxist. Thus, her political ideology revolves around taking other people’s property with force. At least Professor Cook isn’t a racist who would take property only from blacks. Seeking equality, her fellow Marxists would take it from everyone.

Cook furthers her intellectually dishonest brand of identity politics by stating that, “we need to acknowledge that most violent crime is perpetrated by men and boys. We also have to acknowledge that young African American and Latino men have shockingly high rates of violent victimizations.” She could have also stated the obvious point that:

Other African American and Latino men commit the vast majority of these crimes against African American and Latino men.

But Cook will not say that because she is committed to only repeating statistics in a manner that denigrates men and panders to racial minorities.

Cook concludes her manifesto with this glib suggestion: “Let’s establish and fund a truth and reconciliation program to better understand and address the historical harms of racism in our city. And let’s deliberately cultivate a version of masculinity that promotes peace and responsibility, repairing the harm inflicted on our children.”

I have a better idea. Let’s reject the ideas of incompetent Marxist feminists who distort history in an effort to advance failed visions.


Tommy Robinson: 'Our Free Speech and Our Rights Are Disappearing in the UK'

In a final interview the day before being imprisoned for nine months on contempt of court charges, British activist Tommy Robinson spoke to MEF Sentry Radio on June 10. The charges stem from his livestream reporting in March 2018 outside a courthouse where members of the predominantly Muslim Huddersfield rape gang were on trial.

Under the 1981 Contempt of Court Act, British courts have the power to impose reporting restrictions on the media when "necessary to avoid a substantial risk of prejudice to the case." However, Robinson told MEF radio that this law has been used to cover up what he calls a "massive epidemic" in Britain:

[I]n this country, 90% of the convictions for child gang rape, [by so-called] "grooming gangs" are Muslim men. 2% of the population is Muslim but they are responsible for 90% of the convictions. ... So this is a massive epidemic across our country. What we saw over a 12 month period was 72 investigations in towns and cities that were identical. They are all Muslim gangs. They use taxis, they use pizza shops, they use their businesses as honey-pots to trap the children in. They offer them free food, they give them drugs, they give them alcohol and then they enslave them. ... Multiple children have been murdered.

For the past decade, he said, there has been a "conspiracy of silence" about the epidemic by government and media elites who

don't want the public being aware of this problem because of their utopian world they are trying to create with open borders and mass immigration. These are the realities that come with some of the cultures that are imported. These are the problems that come, the intolerant views towards women, the intolerant views towards non-Muslims.

Their reaction, he says, has been to "cover it up." The judiciary has been a useful tool for this:

What we now see in our courts is rather than keep 12 members of the jury in the dark over issues, we keep 60 million members of the British public [in the dark], unlike in America. What they now do is for every single one of these trials they put a reporting restriction where no one can even mention that there is a court case on. Now that doesn't make any sense at all ... How can you prejudice a jury by simply saying there is a trial?

The specific allegations against him don't hold water, insists Robinson, particularly concerning his questioning of defendants as they entered the courtroom for sentencing:

[The] charge is that I caused anxiety to the convicted Muslim child pedophiles by asking them the question, "how do you feel about your verdict?" I was calm. I was polite. They said that that caused them anxiety that could have impeded the course of justice because they might have felt worried about coming to court. They don't worry about coming to court because they have been raping children. They shouldn't have had bail anyway and been walking the streets. They have all been convicted.

Robinson alleges that this selective prosecution has more to do with his growing influence than the details of his case:

Now I have become the most watched journalist in the UK very quickly. I had 9 million people watch my videos in a 4 week period. 172 million read my tweets in a 4 week period. So I have become very strong as a journalist and I am the most famous journalist in the UK. And now they are not in control of the narrative anymore or the stories that are going out and now I am going straight to the truth, straight to the facts.

A 2014 UK Law Commission report concluded that "the current [reporting restrictions] notification system is unreliable and inconsistently applied."

Robinson notes that he took great pains to operate within the letter of the law.

He scoured the Leeds Crown Court website and found no reporting restrictions for the case, then visited the court itself and "was told they don't know."

Finally, he adopted what he assumed to be a fail-safe method of respecting any restrictions that might be in place:

[I]t states on the judiciary's own website that a judge has no power under section 4.2 of the reporting restriction guidelines to put a reporting restriction on any information that is already in the public domain. ... Even though I couldn't find any evidence of reporting restrictions I wanted to err on the side of caution. So I literally stood outside and read a BBC news article. But what they said in court is, "No, that's not right. What it says on the website, that's not right, that's not the law."

"They are lying saying I jeopardized the trial," insists Robinson, emphasizing that in both this case and in a similar grooming gang case for which he was convicted of similar charges in 2017, judges ruled that his broadcasts did not compromise the proceedings.

It has been proven in two courts that nothing I have done could have prejudiced the jury. I have not been convicted of nearly collapsing the trial. I have not been convicted of prejudicing the jury. I have been convicted of causing anxiety to child rapists by asking them a simple question.

The "corporate globalist media" has willfully ignored all of this, instead spreading the lie that his broadcasts nearly caused both trials to collapse. He finds it curious that this assault comes as major social media have de-platformed him:

They will lie to everyone and now that that I have been completely removed from all social media. I had the biggest reach of any political Facebook page in Britain. I have been deleted from all of them – Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook – so my reach to tell people actually to look at the facts is gone. They now completely control the narrative.

Robinson said his freedom of speech shouldn't depend on whether one agrees with his controversial views on Islam and immigration:

The fight for freedom of speech shouldn't come to politics on who thinks what and who disagrees with whom. This is a fundamental right. And the fight now is the left is celebrating the fact that our free speech and our rights are disappearing in the UK. The media are celebrating, Journalists are celebrating on about me being in prison for journalism.


We’re told that too much screen time hurts our kids. Where’s the evidence?

If you had attended the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ international congress in London last week you could have been forgiven for coming away with the following thoughts. Addiction to Fortnite, the online game, is a real disorder; social media is depleting “our neurotransmitter deposits”; and “excess screen time has reduced our attention span to eight seconds, one less than that of a goldfish”.

Scary stuff! Only problem is, none of these claims is supported by facts or a drop of scientific evidence.

Fears that the digital world is harmful have proliferated for years. Narratives about smartphones, social media or video games causing mental health problems are especially popular. Rarely a month goes by without former tech luminaries turning on their creation, or the launch of a book cataloguing the negative or addictive impacts of digital technologies.

There are subtle variations, but the core idea peddled by these moral entrepreneurs and gurus follows a well-worn script. It includes headline-grabbing ideas – smartphones are destroying a generation, say, or Silicon Valley founders are pushing digital heroin while sending their own children to tech-free schools, or apps are driving teens to self-harm or even suicide.

However, in a world witnessing ecological destruction, political polarisation and growing social divides, should fears about technology really occupy the limited space in the forefront of our minds? Concerns about smartphones might fade away in the coming decade, just as anxieties about video arcades, Dungeons & Dragons and Elvis’s hips did in previous generations.

Unfortunately, the accelerating and highly lucrative hyperbole – of course, there are books to sell, detox clinics to market, speaking tours to book – has left us no closer to an answer to the key questions. Essentially, do digital technologies actually harm our children? And should we, as a society, act rapidly to stop this? The basic idea underlying these genuine concerns – one of us writes also as a parent – is that time spent on digital devices negatively affects young people; kids forgo “organic” opportunities for face-to-face socialising, opting instead for lower quality experiences such as app-based Snapstreaks or TikTok reactions.

As the story goes, a steady digital diet of this social “junk food” isn’t psychologically nutritious and it crowds out wholesome analogue experiences. Consequently, young people are falling prey to the innovative technological and psychological tricks of the all-powerful puppet masters of Silicon Valley.

While it is true that some research suggests that young people who report higher social media use show slightly lower levels of wellbeing, most of these findings are unreliable and their conclusions might amount to little more than statistical noise.

These problems are well known to scientists working on the topic, but many commentators don’t know – or don’t care – that they are cherry-picking from an evidence base riddled with errors. What’s more, sitting in on the psychiatry conference in London, you’d have had no way of knowing this is shoddy science. Instead of speculating about technology effects, we need to test how social media and life satisfaction influence each other and to do so over time. To that end, for our work (published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), we focused on a sample of more than 10,000 preteens and teens, analysing nearly a decade of longitudinal data collected from British adolescents.

Each year, teens and preteens rated their social media use and told us how satisfied they were with aspects of their life. We were interested in testing both whether changes in social media use over time actually preceded shifts in life satisfaction and whether such changes influenced subsequent social media use. In simple terms, are you more likely to “use” if you’re happy or sad?

What did we find? Well, mostly nothing! In more than half of the thousands of statistical models we tested, we found nothing more than random statistical noise. In the remainder, we did find some small trends over time – these were mostly clustered in data provided by teenage girls. Decreases in satisfaction with school, family, appearance and friends presaged increased social media use, and increases in social media use preceded decreases in satisfaction with school, family, and friends. You can see then how, if you were determined to extract a story, you could cook up one about teenage girls and unhappiness.

But – and this is key – it’s not an exaggeration to say that these effects were minuscule by the standards of science and trivial if you want to inform personal parenting decisions. Our results indicated that 99.6% of the variability in adolescent girls’ satisfaction with life had nothing to do with how much they used social media.

But instead of seeing these results as disappointing – as they might be in a journalistic story sense – in science the lack of an expected finding is inherently valuable, making us reconsider, challenge and update our notion of how social media is affecting us.

Where do we go from here? Well, it’s probably best to retire the idea that the amount of time teens spend on social media is a meaningful metric influencing their wellbeing. There are many good reasons to be sceptical of the role of Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok in our society but it would be a mistake to assume science supports fears that every minute online compromises mental health. In fact, this idea risks trivialising and stigmatising those who struggle with mental health on a daily basis.

Moving beyond screen time to explain the interplay between technology and the wellbeing of our adolescent population requires us to face some tough questions. It’s all well and good to remember “neurotransmitter deposits” aren’t a thing, and this goldfish nonsense has been repeatedly debunked. But it remains the case that we don’t understand fully the impact of big tech on our society.

The fact is that much of the data that would enable scientists to uncover the nuanced and complex effects of technology is locked behind closed doors in Silicon Valley. Until Google, Facebook and the large gaming companies share the data being saved on to their servers with every click, tap or swipe on their products, we will be in the dark about the effects of these products on mental health. Until then, we’ll all be dancing to the steady drumbeat of monetised fear sold by the moral entrepreneurs.


'Tell them to make their own breakfast

Famous children's author John Marsden slams Aussie helicopter parents for doing 'irreparable damage' to their kids by telling them they're perfect

One of Australia's most prolific authors has spoken out against what he perceives as the 'disempowerment' and' impotence' of today's youth through damaging parenting.

John Marsden, most known for his Tomorrow When the War Began series, has written a non-fiction book entitled The Art of Growing Up where he shares some of the insight he from 30 years of writing for young adults.

Mr Marsden said the country is in the midst of an 'epidemic of damaging parenting' which will likely have long term ramifications.

He wrote the number of parents who don't just love their children but are 'in love with them' had reached 'critical levels'.

As a result Mr Marsden believes parents could be passing on their own narcissism.

'They minimise their child's transgressions, have no regard for those hurt by their child's narcissism … and blame others for their child's aberrant behaviour. They are doing irreparable damage to their kids,' Mr Marsden wrote. 

Mr Marsden, who has six stepsons of his own, told The Australian elaborated on his viewpoint and said he was keenly aware many parents would balk at his suggestion.

'I do think there's a need to be more direct in the way we talk to parents ­because parenthood has become this great untouchable area, this sacred topic, which you dare not criticise except in the most insincere ways,' he said. 

The major theme of Mr Marsden's argument was giving children more freedom and refraining from putting too much undue pressure on them from a young age.

He encourages parents to allow their children to explore their physical and intellectual world with more freedom and to allow them to make mistakes.

Mr Marsden wrote in his book saying no to children at least once a day could go a long way towards this goal.

His advice to parents early in the book is to be brutally honest and aware of the parenting techniques they use which are unhelpful to adolescents.  

To rethink their 'prejudices' and realise their children do not have to be perfect because no one alive is perfect.

A key piece of advice given to parents in the book is to simply set out the goal of helping their children live their lives to the fullest, including the joys and sorrows. 


1) 'The first principle of good parenting is to be aware of the unhealthy ways we construct childhood and adolescence. Parents may need to rethink their prejudices. Their children may not be as perfect as they pretend to be, and their teenagers might be better than is generally acknowledged.'

2) 'We must give our children fear. It is a rich and immensely valuable experience to know fear. The only myths many modern parents want to offer children are Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. We are scared to give them the Bogeyman as well, not realising how nourishing the Bogeyman can be.’

3) 'We can reasonably assume that a parent who does not say ‘no’ at least once a day to their child is failing as a parent.'

4) 'Parents should strongly — even forcefully! — encourage teenagers to get paid jobs. They are, after all, members of a family, not business class passengers on a plane.'

5) 'People who feel angry or upset when they get a glimpse of children’s hatred or greed or sexuality or rage or dishonesty are overlooking the fact that the child is acting in the same way as every other human being in the history of the world.'

6) 'The only important academic skill needed by children is literacy. We must ensure that children have access to books with realistic characters, credible situations, authentic language and we must not shrink from showing life in all its many forms.'

7) 'It is worth teaching your children how to be interesting conversationalists. Face it, some kids, like some adults, are boring. Some are excruciatingly boring.’

8) 'Parenting means teaching children to get their own Weet-Bix.'

9) 'Every parent should wish for their child nothing more than ‘I want him or her to experience life to the fullest’. Every child should be able to exult in the 10,000 joys that life brings, and feel with full force the sadness of the 10,000 sorrows.'



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: