Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hero Takes Bullhorn and Drops Some Lockdown Truth in the Costco Menswear Department

See the video Here:

It comes as a surprise to me, and probably most of you, that this story isn’t about me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking through a grocery store in the apocalyptic months of 2020, surrounded by the absurd reality of mask mandates with store employees barking at customers over the loudspeaker to “keep your mask over your nose!” and giant stickers yelling at me every few feet and clunky plexiglass barriers between me and the cashier. All while fighting with local Karens for the last roll of toilet paper. At times I have wanted to leap onto a conveyor belt and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”

My only saving grace is that I don’t own a bullhorn (and probably never should because I’m certain to do what this man did).

This poor gentleman has had all he can take, and who can blame him? Aren’t we all tired of the arbitrary rules that only seem to affect struggling small businesses while big corporations (like Costco) are raking in the big bucks because they’re “essential”? Governors and mayors tell their subjects to stay home while they party — even outside the country.

I feel this guy on a deep level. And my whole family just contracted and recovered from COVID (despite following all recommended guidelines including masking and social distancing). It’s wasn’t fun, but what’s less fun is living like prisoners being barked at and ordered about by people who make $8 an hour for the rest of our damn lives. That’s worse than COVID, and I’m speaking from up-close and personal experience with the Chinese plague.

And so when I am out and about surrounded by what appear to be perfectly happy little subjects doing everything they’re told in the name of safety, I feel like I’m losing my mind and I’m going to have one of these epic meltdowns at any moment. Is there no abuse too terrible for some of you to object to? Do you have a line that can’t be crossed? Or is there anything a governor can order you to do that you won’t do? What is it? I’m desperate to know what would finally make you take off the mask and announce, “No more! Time’s up!” And how did we get to a place in America where the country is made up of a bunch of followers? I don’t get it. I just don’t know you people anymore.

Yes, there’s a virus and it sucks and no one knows anything about it other than it’s pretty survivable for most people. We know that total deaths for 2020 are on track to be about the same as 2018 and 2019. People die. But in order to try and save some arbitrary number of people from dying this year (instead of next), we’ve decided to stop living.

Life is now worse than death. Or do you enjoy watching your children suffer, separated from their classmates and sports, or watching your neighborhood full of restaurants die? Do you like getting kicked off the beach or getting arrested for playing at the park? Do you get your kicks from the destruction of the movie theater industry or enjoy the swan song of cities that will crumble? At least if I’m dead I won’t have to listen to another corporate sponsor spit out platitudes like “mask up!” or “we’re all in this together.” Seriously, kill me now.

Death is better than this “new normal.” Dr. Fauci just said we’ll be continuing to muzzle ourselves even after the vaccine! It’s never going to end. Don’t you feel it? Guess what’s happening in the UK? A NEW COVID STRAIN IS SWEEPING ENGLAND!!!! Fifteen days to slow the spread has become “however many days we tell you, peasant.”

This is it, folks. This is our new normal unless a whole bunch more of you start freaking out in the Costco by the frozen foods with a bullhorn. We have the ability to stop this and go back to normal whenever we find the courage to do it. How much longer is it going to take? Because I can’t take much more of this.

Want your freedoms back? Well, “First, you’ve got to get mad,” like the man at Costco.

Far-Left Journalist Among Four Charged with Firebombing Police Vehicle Following BLM Protest

Renea Baek Goddard, a far-left journalist, is among the four people who are facing federal charges for firebombing police vehicles in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to the Department of Justice.

The criminal complaint alleges Renea Baek Goddard, Emily Nowlin, and Aline Espinosa-Villegas broke into a fenced parking lot at Arkansas State Police Headquarters and set a vehicle on fire. One was vandalized with spray paint, and several others had punctured tires, with investigators discovering "a detonated Molotov cocktail made from a bottle of brandy."

The incident took place after officers arriving for duty at Little Rock Police Department 12th Street Substation on August 26 noticed several police vehicles in their parking lot had punctured tires and two green glass bottles with fluid inside that smelled like gasoline after a BLM protest took place the night before at the substation.

Brittany Dawn Jeffrey was charged after cooperating witnesses stated the Molotov cocktails that were used in the August 25 incident were assembled at Jeffrey’s residence.

The DOJ said they were able to identify the trio through surveillance video, cell data, and witnesses after their firebombing took place on August 28:

"Surveillance video from that incident shows three people entering the vehicle storage area wearing dark clothing and backpacks. The video shows them bending down in a motion consistent with slashing vehicle tires as well as throwing a lighted object into a police vehicle. The Complaint states that witnesses informed law enforcement that Renea Goddard, Emily Nowlin, and Aline Espinosa-Villegas were responsible for the incident. Federal search warrants were executed to obtain the locations of their cell phones, and cell site data confirmed that their cell phones were in the location of Arkansas State Police Headquarters on August 28, 2020."

The Post Millennial reported Goddard had attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and studied mass communication. She interned for the statewide news organization Arkansas Public Media, reported for KUAR Public Radio, and contributed to the LGBT online magazine Autostraddle. The others who were charged also had long histories of being involved in the BLM movement.

"Today’s arrests send a message that violence targeted toward law enforcement will not be tolerated,” stated U.S. Attorney Hiland. "Breaking into a police compound and firebombing a police vehicle with a homemade explosive device is clearly not a peaceful protest. Those who would target law enforcement with violent acts will not do so in the Eastern District of Arkansas without the full resources of the federal government being deployed to assist our state and local partners in bringing those responsible to justice. They will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Parental Authority Over Children Stripped Away After Recently Passed Bill

Most people fail to realize how important local governments really are and how much power they truly wield.

There is never enough focus on the local government and most people think that all they can do is to help choose a president every four years as well as a couple of Senators and House Reps.

But local government is so much more important than that.

When tyranny abounds at the federal and even state level, your local county officials have the power to interpose against tyranny and stand in the gap between you and them.

This is something that we've seen in Virginia not long ago when the Democratic Governor was trying to intact some very strict gun laws over the state.

What ended up happening is that local sheriffs banded together to protect the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of their respective counties.

But what happens when that local government is also corrupt? Well, that's when you need to start worrying because that's where you're going to lose some freedoms.

This is what happened in Washington D.C. recently as they passed a bill almost unanimously to grant little kids the right to choose to be vaccinated without their parents' consent.

Look, I was that age once and most of us have had children of that age. They are in no state to logically evaluate risk vs. benefit when it comes to something like vaccinations.

Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) voted against the legislation. White, who has a 12-year-old son, said he sees 11-year-olds as too young to make independent decisions about their medical care.

“Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children,” White said, before claiming that vaccines, which are generally safe, are a risk to children’s health. White cited the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which has been used by conspiracy theorists to argue that vaccines are dangerous.

“Medical professionals and schools should not be permitted to coerce impressionable minors into procedures capable of causing injury or death behind their parents’ back,” he said.

People seem to be very aware currently with the risks that the COVID-19 vaccination poses, but folks, if you don't know this already, this is the case with every single vaccine that's currently out there!

Stay active in your local government to pick officials who will not allow this to happen in your own town.

Australian culture denied by obsession with cancel culture

By Tony Abbott (A former co0nservative Prime Minister of Australia)

With public spending on an unprecedented scale and previously unimaginable restrictions on our daily lives, 2020 hasn’t been a great year for “small government conservatives”.

But with “pandemic pragmatism” tempering the instinct for lower spending and greater freedom, there’s now scope to focus on the other main element in the conservative creed: namely love of country and appreciation of our history.

And there’s more need for that too, as the Australia that emerges from the pandemic will not only have more debt and bigger government. As things stand, it’s likely to be less self-confident about what holds us together as a nation.

The pandemic has coincided with a renewed assault on our history as fundamentally racist, and requiring atonement, even though Australia had become a magnet to migrants, eventually from all over the world, even while it was still a penal colony.

It can’t have been lost on anyone concerned about political correctness and the cancel culture that police in Victoria failed to make a single arrest when 10,000 people marched for Black Lives Matter, but made 400 arrests at a much smaller protest against ongoing health restrictions.

Yet almost nothing was made of this double standard – partly because the leaders who would normally notice it were preoccupied with the pandemic and trying to make a national cabinet work.

As well as habituating people to accept restrictions on freedom and massive government spending “for our own good”, the pandemic seems to have accelerated the elevation of opinion over fact and how we feel about things over what actually happened.

We know that Aboriginal people had inhabited Australia for tens of thousands of years prior to British settlement. Post 1788, their society was disrupted and their population devastated, mostly by disease, occasionally by violence.

They weren’t always given a vote, didn’t usually get the same wage and didn’t often get the same justice.

But we also know that Captain James Cook appreciated the qualities of the Aboriginal people he found; that the British government enjoined Governor Arthur Phillip to “live in amity” with the native people; that Phillip refrained from vindictiveness or punitive measures as a matter of policy, even after he had himself been speared at Manly; and that white men were hanged for the murder of blacks as early as the 1830s after the Myall Creek massacre.

We also know that massive efforts have been made to give Aboriginal people a better life, first by missionaries and later by government.

It’s true that Aboriginal people are hugely over-represented in our gaols, even now. But that’s because they’re heavily over-represented in our courts and crime statistics; as are all people, regardless of background, who don’t finish school, don’t have jobs and live in dysfunctional households.

At least as much as some belated measure of recognition in the Constitution, Aboriginal people need to go to school and to take jobs at the same rate as other Australians, for reconciliation to be complete.

In the end, cancel culture is not about correcting a particular injustice or righting a particular historical wrong. It denies moral legitimacy to the whole Australian project, just as it also does in the United States and Britain.

You can argue that things could have been done better and that more must be done now; but it’s hard to maintain that British settlement should not have happened; or that, on balance, it wasn’t a golden moment in human history.

On balance, it was a blessing that the British settled Australia. It’s hard to imagine a contemporary Portuguese, Spanish or French governor declaring, as Phillip did, that there could be “no slavery in a free land”.

Even in those days, it was the Royal Navy that was doing its best to extirpate the West African slave trade to the Americas.

There are now calls for a pandemic-triggered “great reset” from the globalist establishment. This won’t just mean entrenching bigger government and higher spending.

Inevitably, it will also involve a new push to fundamentally rethink institutions that have stood the test of time.

In Australia, this always translates into agitation to change our flag and to remove the crown from our constitution.

Yet it’s dead wrong to see only the flag of another country (albeit our founder) within our own, rather than the crosses of St Patrick, St Andrew and St George representing our Christian heritage; or to neglect the symbolism of the Southern Cross with its significance to indigenous people.

It’s wrong to focus on a “foreign monarch” when that crown – and the ideals of duty and service that we have assimilated – has been with us every step of our journey as a nation.

Besides, it’s vandalism to demolish anything when there’s nothing better to replace it; and it’s arrogance in any one generation to think that its collective wisdom wholly surpasses that of every predecessor.

Our response to the Black Lives Matter protests was too apologetic.

Instead of looking the other way while their statues were graffitied, we should have resolved to end the neglect of people like Cook and Phillip because, without them, there would have been no Australia.

Cook was a scientist and a humanist, as well as one of the greatest explorers in all history.

Phillip didn’t so much found a penal colony as begin a nation; whose freedom, fairness and prosperity quickly became the envy of the Earth.

Instead of empathising with the would-be statue toppers, there should be a renewed emphasis on the wondrous legacy of the English-speaking version of Western Civilisation: including the world’s common language, the industrial revolution, the mother of parliaments, and the emancipation of minorities.

That perspective is at least as worthy of permeating the national curriculum as the currently-ordained indigenous, sustainability, and Asian ones.

And if there are too many statues to by-gone imperial potentates, let’s add a few more to those who should be Australian icons. To Sir John Monash, for instance, the Jewish citizen-soldier, hailed as “the most resourceful general in the British Army”, who broke the stalemate on the Western Front and helped to deliver victory in the Great War.

And to Lord Florey, the inventor of penicillin, that’s saved literally hundreds of millions of lives.

And if there’s too many “dead white males”, let’s enlarge our history, not rewrite it and be less blinkered about those who have made a difference.

People like Neville Bonner, for instance, the first Indigenous member of the Australian parliament; and Dame Enid Lyons, our first female cabinet minister. Neither of whom, as yet, seem to have statues in their honour.

The pandemic will pass. What should never pass is respect for the people and the institutions that have made modern Australia.

The economy will never be unimportant; because there can be no community without an economy to sustain it.

But post-pandemic, conservatives are likely to be patriots first and economic reformers second.

The coming campaign admonition might as well be “society, stupid”; because one thing the pandemic has helped to clarify is the new fault line in politics: not between those who want bigger and those who want smaller government, but between those who are proud of their country and those who can’t help wanting to remake it.

Of course, those with a preference for freedom and a concern for lasting prosperity still have to “fight the good fight” but also to focus even more on the one main element of conservatism that’s not in temporary eclipse.

Namely love of country, with all that involves: respect for our institutions, pride in our history and faith in our future.




Black man Andre Hill's death is ruled a homicide after he was shot by cop six seconds after he emerged from a friend's garage carrying a cellphone

This is a classic blunder. A black man holding a phone under less than perfect light level is always likely to be shot for fear the phone is a gun. It has happened many times. The cop was not remotely to blame. The black was either being provocative or very stupid

The Ohio police officer who shot and killed Andre' Hill last week just seconds after he emerged from a garage with a cellphone in his hand has been fired following a disciplinary hearing.

Officer Adam Coy, 44, was terminated Monday afternoon from the Columbus Police Department just hours after the Franklin County coroner's office ruled Hill's death a homicide.

The hearing was led by Director of Public Safety Ned Pettus Jr., who promised a 'prompt' decision on Coy's employment. Hours after the hearing concluded, the 17-year veteran was officially fired.

Coy did not attend the hearing in person, according to local reports. He is not currently facing any criminal charges, with investigations ongoing.

His termination comes seven days after he fatally shot dead Hill, 47, in the early hours of December 22.

Police bodycam footage of the fatal exchange shows Hill stepping out of an open garage door holding up a cellphone as two Columbus police officers approach him, just after 1am.

Just six seconds later, Coy opens fire at Hill. Hill was pronounced dead less than an hour later at a Riverside Hospital at 2:25am.

Mostly Peaceful': a word of the Year

by Jeff Jacoby

AFTER GEORGE FLOYD was killed in Minneapolis, a vast wave of racial-justice protests swept the nation. The majority of the protests were nonviolent, but in hundreds of cities there were riots: Shops were smashed and looted, cars and buildings were set on fire, and at least 25 people were killed. The violence caused more than $1 billion in damage and hit minority neighborhoods especially hard.

Yet many on the left bent over backward to minimize the violence, insisting again and again that the protests were "mostly peaceful." On CNN, video of a government building going up in flames was captioned: "Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests After Police Shooting." Most protests were peaceful. But that was no reason to downplay the destruction and mayhem of those that weren't.

Trump Just Pardoned Two Border Patrol Agents – Ramos and Compean – Who Shot Drug Cartel Courier

President Trump pardoned two former U.S. Border Patrol agents involved in the chase and shooting of a Mexican drug cartel drug mule who brought more than half a million dollars in marijuana across the border in 2005.

Though they were on the list of pardons, the pre-Christmas clemencies were little noticed by the media.

The case of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean exploded into public consciousness during their trial, when federal prosecutors gave the drug dealer – a Mexican national – immunity to testify against the border agents. The agents were each sentenced to more than ten years in prison for shooting at him—a shooting which they never officially noted in their reports of the case.

The case of Ramos and Compean became a cause célèbre in conservative media, among them former CNN host Lou Dobbs, and with congressional representatives who took the U.S. attorney and Bush administration to task for punishing the border agents while setting free the illegal alien drug courier in exchange for testimony.

But the case of Ramos and Compeon was much more intricate, it turned out.

The drug courier, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, driving a van load of marijuana, took border agents on a wild chase, abandoned the Ford Econoline van, and then tried to run back across the border in the El Paso border sector. Ramos, Compean, and another agent caught up with him and held him. But Compean testified that the courier rushed him and he took the butt of his shotgun to move him back and fell into a ditch. The courier was turning to run away when he was shot in his left buttock, according to The Texas Monthly.

As Aldrete-Davila sprinted across the last stretch of American soil, Compean, who had never fired his gun in the line of duty, pulled out his .40-caliber pistol and started shooting. When he missed, he reloaded and tried again, firing a total of fourteen times. Aldrete-Davila kept running, and as he approached the river’s edge, Ramos—who had crossed the ditch to come to his colleague’s aid—fired his first and only shot. The force of the bullet, which entered Aldrete-Davila’s left buttock, knocked him to the ground.

Stories varied, but both agents said they assumed their bosses knew of the shooting, yet never wrote about it in their reports of the wild car and foot chases. Compean picked up his brass. They later testified they thought the bad guy had a gun, prompting the shooting.

The Monthly reported that the outrage over the case came later during the trial, when it was discovered that the U.S. attorneys office in Texas granted immunity to the drug courier and paid for an operation to extract the only piece of evidence they had – the bullet in the side of the bad guy’s buttock. It matched Ramos’s gun.

Outrage went supernova when it was reported that the cartel mule would be set free while the agents would go to prison.

The El Paso Times reports that the feds threw the book at the agents.

The trial lasted two weeks, and the jury found Ramos and Compean guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with serious bodily injury, discharge of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence, tampering with an official proceeding and deprivation of rights under the color of law.

The agents were found not guilty of assault with intent to commit murder and aiding and abetting.

The agents were fired after their convictions. All their convictions, except obstruction of justice, were upheld on appeal.

Compean and Ramos went to prison. Ramos was later beaten by inmates. The two officers spent two years in prison before their sentences were commuted by President George W. Bush as he left office in 2009.

Now President Trump has wiped their records clean.

Democrats call ‘white Christian nationalists a national security threat’

A Democrat Political Action Committee advising Joe Biden and his transition team calls “white Christian nationalists” a threat to national security and recommends the federal government create “de-radicalization” programs. The Secular Democrats of America PAC prepared a report for Biden that outlines a roadmap to “boldly restore a vision of constitutional secularism.”

“The rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat,” read the document. “We recommend you: encourage the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to dedicate resources to de-radicalization programs aimed at hate groups, including, but not limited to, white nationalists; increase monitoring of such groups, including the online environment, and take action to address increased hate crimes toward minority faith communities; and shift rhetoric to label violent white nationalist extremists as terrorists.”

Pastor Brian Gibson of Amarillo, Texas says these tactics are classic Marxism where “you project what you are doing onto those who don’t have your values – it has been done again and again throughout history with every Marxist-driven regime in the word.”

Gibson takes offense at the characterization of himself and many of his fellow Christians. “It is racist and bigoted and then to call us ‘nationalists’ is outrageous. We are talking about people who love their country. And for that we are a threat? I think it reveals who the bigots really are and who the security threats really are.”

Gibson, who is an outspoken advocate for religious freedom, questions why the document doesn’t target Antifa or radical BLM members? He said his life has been threatened by those groups more than once in the past year.

“As a patriotic Christian, you absolutely have a target on your back,” Gibson said.

So, what can we do?

“We stop being afraid and we trust god,” Gibson said. “It’s a time for prayer, but it’s also a time for action.” He called on church leaders to rise up and push back on the madness of the radical Left.

“Obviously, I am a peaceful man,” Gibson said. “I follow the Prince of Peace. But I don’t think we can just lay down all of our rights and let them run rough shod over us.”

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Rick Manning echoes Gibson’s views. “This is a defining moment in America. We must choose a side. Either you support religious liberty or you support secularism. Either you support the free markets, or you support socialism. Either you support law-and-order or you support chaos and anarchy.”

Manning encourages all patriots to stay engaged. “We must fight on to save our country,” Manning said. “We cannot get discouraged and let the other side win.”

Gibson said he gets frustrating when he sees uninformed social media posts by “twenty-years who don’t understand Christian theology or American history who cry, ‘Oh, the merger of Christianity and nationalism, that’s terrible. Or loving your nation, you can’t be like that.’ I want to remind them that there is no sin loving Jesus and loving your nation. They are two separate things. Jesus is my Savior, but I still love my country. It is not a sin to love your country.”

As for the “de-radicalization programs” the Biden transition team is considering, it is likely a new administration would use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and YouTube to get their government propaganda messages out.

“That’s why its so important for patriots to move to politically neutral social media sites such as Parler and Rumble,” Manning added. “I fear a Biden administration will collude with Big Tech to censor Christians and conservatives.”

You can follow ALG on Parler at @limitgov and follow us on Rumble at Americans for Limited Government.




Monday, December 28, 2020

The Pressing Need for Everyone to Quiet Their Egos

Scott Kaufman offers some sound psychology below but seems unaware that it is mainly Leftism that he is criticizing.

It is clear that Leftist advocacy serves ego needs. It is submitted here that the major psychological reason why Leftists so zealously criticize the existing order and advocate change is in order to feed a pressing need for self-inflation and ego-boosting -- and ultimately for power, the greatest ego boost of all.

They need public attention; they need to demonstrate outrage; they need to feel wiser and kinder and more righteous than most of their fellow man. They fancy for themselves the heroic role of David versus Goliath. They need to show that they are in the small club of the virtuous and the wise so that they can nobly instruct and order about their less wise and less virtuous fellow-citizens. Their need is a pressing need for attention, for self-advertisement and self-promotion -- generally in the absence of any real claims in that direction. They are people who need to feel important and who are aggrieved at their lack of recognition and power. One is tempted to hypothesize that, when they were children, their mothers didn't look when they said, "Mummy, look at me".

We live in some times. On the one hand, things are better than they've ever been. Overall rates of violence, poverty, and disease are down. There have been substantial increases in education, longevity, leisure time, and safety. On the other hand... We are more divided than ever as a species. Tribalism and identity politics are rampant on all sides of everything.

Steven Pinker and other intellectuals think that the answer is a return to Enlightenment values—things like reason, individualism, and the free expression of as many ideas as possible and an effective method for evaluating the truth of them. I agree that this is part of the solution, but I think an often underdiscussed part of the problem is much more fundamental: all of our egos are just too damn loud.*

Watching debates in the media (and especially on YouTube) lately has been making my head explode. There seems to be this growing belief that the goal is always to win. Not have a dialectical, well-intentioned, mutual search for overarching principles and productive ways forward that will improve humanity—but to just win and destroy.

Now, don't get me wrong—I find a good intellectual domination just as thrilling as the next person. But cheap thrills aside, I also care deeply about there actually being a positive outcome. Arriving at the truth and improving society may not be explicit goals of a WWE match, but surely these are worthy goals of public discourse?

There is also an interesting paradox at play here in that the more the ego is quieted, the higher the likelihood of actually reaching one's goals. I think we tend to grossly underestimate the extent to which the drive for self-enhancement actually gets in the way of reaching one's goals—even if one's goals are primarily agentic.

Since psychologists use of the term ego is very different ways, let me be clear how I am defining it here. I define the ego as that aspect of the self that has the incessant need to see itself in a positive light. Make no doubt: the self can be our greatest resource, but it can also be our darkest enemy. On the one hand, the fundamentally human capacities for self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-control are essential for reaching our goals.

On the other hand, the self will do anything to disavow itself of responsibility for any negative outcome it may have played a role. As one researcher put it, the self engenders “a self-zoo of self-defense mechanisms.” I believe we can refer to these defensive strategies to see the self in a positive light as the “ego”. A noisy ego spends so much time defending the self as if it were a real thing, and then doing whatever it takes to assert itself, that it often inhibits the very goals it is most striving for.

In recent years, Heidi Wayment and her colleagues have been developing a “quiet ego” research program grounded in Buddhist philosophy and humanistic psychology ideals, and backed by empirical research in the field of positive psychology. Paradoxically, it turns out that quieting the ego is so much more effective in cultivating well-being, growth, health, productivity, and a healthy, productive self-esteem, than focusing so loudly on self-enhancement.

To be clear, a quiet ego is not the same thing as a silent ego. Squashing the ego so much that it loses its identity entirely does not do yourself or the world any favors. Instead, the quiet ego perspective emphasizes balance and integration. As Wayment and colleagues put it, “The volume of the ego is turned down so that it might listen to others as well as the self in an effort to approach life more humanely and compassionately.” The quiet ego approach focuses on balancing the interests of the self and others, and cultivating growth of the self and others over time based on self-awareness, interdependent identity, and compassionate experience.

The goal of the quiet ego approach is to arrive at a less defensive, and more integrative stance toward the self and others, not lose your sense of self or deny your need for the esteem from others. You can very much cultivate an authentic identity that incorporates others without losing the self, or feeling the need for narcissistic displays of winning. A quiet ego is an indication of a healthy self-esteem, one that acknowledges one’s own limitations, doesn’t need to constantly resort to defensiveness whenever the ego is threatened, and yet has a firm sense of self-worth and competence.

According to Bauer and Wayment, the quiet ego consists of four deeply interconnected facets that can be cultivated: detached awareness, inclusive identity, perspective-taking, and growth-mindedness. These four qualities of the quiet ego contribute to having a general stance of balance and growth toward the self and others:

Detached Awareness. Those with a quiet ego have an engaged, nondefensive form of attention to the present moment. They are aware of both the positive and negatives of a situation, and their attention is detached from more ego-driven evaluations of the present moment. Rather, they attempt to see reality as clearly as possible. This requires openness and acceptance to whatever one might discover about the self or others in the present moment, and letting the moment unfold as naturally as possibly. It also involves the ability to revisit thoughts and feelings that have already occurred, examine them more objectively than perhaps one was able to in the moment, and make the appropriate adjustments that will lead to further growth.

Inclusive Identity. People whose egos are turned down in volume have a balanced or more integrative interpretation of the self and others. They understand other perspectives in a way that allows them to identify with the experience of others, break down barriers, and come to a deeper understanding of common humanity. An ability to be mindful, and the detached awareness that comes with it, can help facilitate an inclusive identity, especially under moments of conflict, such as having one’s identity or core values challenged. If your identity is inclusive, you’re likely to be cooperative and compassionate toward others rather than only working to help yourself.

Perspective-Taking. By reflecting on other viewpoints, the quiet ego brings attention outside the self, increasing empathy and compassion. Perspective taking and inclusive identity are intimately intertwined, as either one can trigger the other. For instance, the realization of one’s interdependence with others can lead to a greater understanding of the perspective of others.

Growth-Mindedness. A concern for prosocial development and change for self and others over time causes those with a quiet ego to question the long-term impact of their actions in the moment, and to view the present moment as part of an ongoing life journey instead of a threat to one’s self and existence. Growth-mindedness and perspective taking complement each other nicely, as a growth stance toward the moment clears a space for understanding multiple perspectives. Growth-mindedness is also complementary to detached awareness, as both are focused on dynamic processes rather than evaluation of the final product.

These qualities should not be viewed in isolation from each other, but as part of a whole system of ego functioning.

Law Professor Speaks Out After Being Shamed for Writing Honest History of BLM

Six months ago, William Jacobson, a professor at Cornell Law School and founder and publisher of Legal Insurrection, wrote two blog posts detailing the honest, but negative, history of Black Lives Matter. Students and faculty immediately called upon the school to take action against Jacobson for writing the posts.

Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

Virginia Allen: It is my pleasure to welcome back to the show professor William Jacobson, a Cornell law professor and the founder and publisher of Legal Insurrection. Professor Jacobson, welcome back to “The Daily Signal Podcast.”

William Jacobson: Thank you for having me back. I appreciate it.

Allen: So, we last spoke almost exactly six months ago, and you shared about two blog posts, which you had written for Legal Insurrection, which detailed the history and the true mission of Black Lives Matter, being to further a Marxist agenda. Can you remind us [of] just this whole situation, what exactly was said? What you wrote in those blog posts?

Jacobson: Yes. So, I run a website called Legal Insurrection, and I’ve actually covered the Black Lives Matter movement since the Ferguson riots back in 2014. So I was very familiar with it, and I was very familiar with the shooting of Michael Brown and the controversy over it.

So when George Floyd died, there were riots, everybody knows, that’s not news. And one of the things I noticed was one of the themes of the marches was people walking with their hands raised above their heads chanting, “Don’t shoot.” And that was the Michael Brown “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative.

And I immediately recognized that to be false because I covered it at the time, I covered the [former Attorney General] Eric Holder, Obama Justice Department report and investigation, which said that never happened, his hands were not raised and he wasn’t saying “don’t shoot.”

In fact, he was shot and killed by the police because he punched a police officer in the face and tried to steal his gun.

So, I wrote a post, which I’d written before. I’ve covered this before and I said, “Reminder, the Michael Brown ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ is a fabricated narrative.” … That triggered a reaction at Cornell Law School—where I teach and have taught for almost 13 years—that led to alumni attempts to get me fired; led to letters or emails, I should say, to the dean.

I also wrote a second post right after my first one, which dealt with the rioting and the looting, and I severely condemned it. And I pointed out that this was reflective of the goals of the leaders of the movement—which is to tear down our society—which are Marxist, and which are anti-capitalist.

And so those two posts combined, but it was mostly the Michael Brown one that triggered it, but those two posts combined led to a concerted effort, both to fire me and to denounce me and to otherwise damage me.

So there was an email campaign by alumni, some alumni, obviously not thousands, but enough that the dean noticed to get me fired.

They were extremely upset that in this emotional time period that I would write something like that about the Michael Brown case. They didn’t dispute that I was right about it, but they felt it was highly insensitive and that to have someone like me on the faculty was inappropriate and he should take action.

Twenty-one of my colleagues signed a letter denouncing me in The Cornell [Daily] Sun, the student newspaper. And in very harsh terms, essentially calling me racist. And they didn’t name me in that letter to the Sun, but it was clear, it was about me. And in fact, the draft of the letter was circulated to students at the law school before it even appeared in The Cornell Sun. So everybody knew it was about me.

And then students organized a boycott of my course. Fifteen student groups organized a boycott of my course. And then the dean issued a statement denouncing me, saying I have academic freedom and I have job security. It’s not tenure, but it’s something similar. And therefore they weren’t going to take any disciplinary action against me, but what horrible things I wrote and expressed in very pejorative terms his view of me.

So I think that all came together and that’s the beginning of the story. And I can certainly get into more detail as to what happened after it.

Allen: Yeah. Well, if you would, you’ve set up very nicely. Thank you for just giving us that review of everything that happened.

So at that point, what was running through your head? Because, like you say, you’ve been at Cornell Law for almost 13 years, it’s no secret that you’re conservative. Everyone knows that on the campus.

So where was your thought process as far as, “I don’t know how this is going to end. Am I going to have a job in a month?” What were you processing?

Jacobson: Right. Well, the attacks on me came as part of attacks on a lot of, I would say, non-liberal professors, maybe not even necessarily conservative, after George Floyd. Any sort of criticism of Black Lives Matter, any sort of criticism of the rioting was enough to whip up an online mob against people.

So, before this happened to me, I had witnessed it happen to other professors, the petition with thousands of signatures, the protests, all those sort of things.

So I kind of knew what was coming or what I feared would be coming and so I had to make a decision. I could sit back and let it unfold, or I could be more proactive.

And what pushed me from sitting back and watching it unfold to being proactive is some people at the law school. I won’t even identify them by student, faculty, staff, or otherwise, but some people at the law school were very upset with what they saw going on about me.

While they weren’t willing to speak out publicly against it, because they didn’t want to be targeted, they did forward to me internal communications—emails, text messages, things that were circulating at the law school.

And then I realized that this wasn’t going to go away. It wasn’t just going to be a few alumni writing into the dean, that the faculty who signed the letter against me, or at least some of them, were in fact coordinating with the student groups. And so I decided that I couldn’t just sit back and watch unfold with me what had unfolded with so many others.

So I wrote a blog post about what was happening, which went fairly viral. It got picked up. I was invited on to Laura Ingraham’s show, got picked up by a lot of radio shows, got picked up by podcasts, including the one I’m on now, which was extremely helpful.

And so I decided to grab the narrative and to frame the issue as it properly should be framed, which is a complete intolerance for opposing viewpoints at Cornell Law School, a mob mentality, a fairly classic cancel culture.

A lot of people say, “Well, what’s cancel culture? You just don’t like being criticized.” What cancel culture is using the power that people have or think they have over your job and over your reputation to try to coerce you into not speaking or changing your view or apologizing. So it’s coercion rather than persuasion.

And in fact, when I wrote my first blog post about what was happening, I gave a challenge. I said that I will be willing to publicly debate, and I am asking the law school to sponsor it when school resumes in the fall.

At that time we didn’t know if it would be in-person or virtual, a debate over Black Lives Matter. And I will debate a representative of these student groups and whichever faculty member they choose. So it wasn’t going to be me against a student. It would be me essentially against a faculty member of their choice, plus a student of their choice.

And I made that offer. That offer was immediately rejected. They have no interest in debating me. So this was not about criticism. If they wanted to criticize me, they would have had a perfect platform to do it. In fact, they would have had a platform that the whole law school could have seen. I asked that it be livestream so the rest of the interested people could see it. And that was flatly rejected.

So once this happened, there was an absolute outpouring of support for me, really, from around the country, but also from within the law school.

I received several hundred—I haven’t counted them—hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of emails of support from people who saw me on TV or read about it. There was a fair amount of news coverage of it.

And then there was a lot of people within the law school. A lot of students who emailed me and said, “Look, I can’t afford to put myself at risk of being called these horrible names on the internet like you’re being called, but please understand that the student activists do not represent the whole school. They do not represent the whole student body. You have a lot of support within the building, but it’s quiet support. Everybody is afraid to speak out.”

Things developed and things percolated along for a while. I didn’t know what would happen with the student boycott. Fifteen student groups publicly announced, and circulated, on law school list serves that I was not allowed to respond on.

I asked the dean for permission to do it. Never got a response as to using a student list to respond to these accusations. And so I didn’t know what would happen.

As it turned out, we had a fairly normal sign-up. It was almost like nothing happened with the boycott. We were oversubscribed several times over, like we always are, and filled the course. …

That is the short-term end of the story, but I continue to work in a very hostile work environment. I continue to work with people, almost every one of whom that I would have daily contact with if we were in-person, in session.

Everyone on my hallway signed a letter against me. Not a single one of them approached me before they ran to The Cornell Sun. And some of these people I’d known for over a decade. Some of them were newer and I didn’t really know that well, but some of them I’ve known for over a decade.

Some of them I would have classified as friends, not necessarily social friends, we didn’t hang out on the weekends, that sort of thing, but they were work friends, not one of them had the common human decency to approach me beforehand. So that’s the environment I work in.

Allen: Well, obviously, it’s so encouraging that you do still have a job that students, even though they were being pressured by these 15 student groups to boycott your class, your classes were full. Students wanted to get your perspective to hear what you had to say in your classes.

But obviously, that kind of situation, it takes a toll on anyone when you are put in this position of being attacked from all sides. And like you say, there’s individuals who you thought were your friends who are not even coming to you to ask for your perspective, but are running straight to the paper.

More here:

Six Tasmanian Aborigines killed unlawfully in 1827

The killer was a livestock handler so it seems probable that the Aborigines came to attention for cattle stealing, a grave offence in those days

It is important to note that the killing was illegal -- not part of any official policy. It would in fact have been prosecuted if it became known. So it was no evidence of the colonialist "genocide" that some Leftist historians assert. It is in fact evidence against that

A soldier's diary disintegrating in Ireland's national library has revealed disturbing evidence of an undocumented massacre of Aboriginal people in Tasmania in the colony's early years.

The diary belonged to Private Robert McNally, posted to Van Diemen's Land in the 1820s, and records in gritty detail colonial life and encounters with settlers and a notorious bushranger.

But it's his account of his part in the cover up a massacre of men and women on March 21, 1827, near Campbell Town in the Northern Midlands, that stunned University of Tasmania history professor Pam Sharpe.

Searching the National Library of Ireland catalogue for documents about settlers, Professor Sharpe found a note referring to "two volumes in bad condition" of a soldier's writings.

Unearthed, the diaries were identified as the work of McNally, an Irishman who served in Ireland, India, Sydney and Van Diemen's Land, Professor Sharpe told ABC Radio Hobart.

Professor Sharpe said she approached the find with low expectations, but that soon changed when she got her hands on the first of two notebooks. "I didn't hold out much hope that it would be interesting, but I opened it and it was absolutely fascinating," she said.

What she read prompted Professor Sharpe to divert her research funding to have the handwritten entries digitised. Efforts are underway to conserve what remains of a second McNally volume in poor condition.

"It is extremely unusual, very valuable, and completely worth diverting my research to investigate because some of these things aren't on the record about Van Diemen's Land," Professor Sharpe said.

She said the diaries recounted McNally's time with the infantry from 1815 to 1836. "He gets to Van Diemen's Land around about the time that Governor [George] Arthur comes — 1825. He's here for three years," Professor Sharpe said.

"The critical thing is that it's the only diary of an ordinary soldier that anyone has found for colonial Australia."

Professor Sharpe said she was disturbed to read McNally's account of the aftermath of a deadly confrontation between a livestock handler named Shaw and local Indigenous people on the Sutherland Estate.

"McNally doesn't actually see any Aboriginal people for the first few months, but then he is involved in some alarming episodes," she said.

"He was called to [the scene of] a massacre that my researchers and I can't find any other evidence of."

McNally wrote:

"A man of the name of Shaw came to me with information that he had killed six of the natives, two of which was woman.

"I advised him to say no more about it but keep it as a secret as he would be called to an account before a justice. He took me to the place where I saw him make a bonfire of these bodies."

A lot of violence perpetrated against Aboriginal people happened in remote areas of Van Diemen's Land and many incidents were not recorded, Professor Sharpe said.

"It is horrific, absolutely awful, but unfortunately it is probably the story of what happened to a lot of Aboriginal people in the 1820s," she said

The University of Newcastle's Professor Lyndall Ryan, who created an online map of massacres in Australia, said there were lots of massacres that never came to light.

"Most of them were carried out in secret. If you were caught, you would be hanged," Professor Ryan said.

'Colonials hid massacres'

Heather Sculthorpe, chief executive of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, said any new information would need to be substantiated.

"It will be exciting if there is new information, but we do need it to be historically verified," she said.

"There has been a lot of work done on the history of Tasmania, but of course there is more to be found.

"The way that colonials would have written about massacres would have been hidden."

Professor Sharpe said she had only had four hours to examine the McNally diary before returning home to Hobart. She hadn't even seen the second volume, because it was covered in mould and deemed too fragile.

But the research continues.

"After a lot of effort, and the involvement of the Irish ambassador to Australia, the National Library of Ireland is now conserving [the second volume]," Professor Sharpe said.

"It is undergoing an enormous restoration process in the Marsh's Library in Dublin, where they're experts on 18th century paper conservation."

According to his diary, McNally witnessed another famous event in Tasmania's history.

Matthew Brady was known as the "gentleman bushranger" and one of his most audacious actions was the capture of the entire township of Sorell, near Hobart, in November 1825.

His "gentlemanly" attributes included rarely robbing women and fine manners while stealing from men.

"To start with [McNally is] chasing Matthew Brady, who more or less held the whole island to ransom," Professor Sharpe said.

"I mean, Brady and his gang are running rampant.

"Robert is part of the military force trying to capture him and they have an eyeball-to-eyeball encounter at Sorell jail and Brady gets away yet again.

"That's quite a famous episode, so it's just fantastic to have a very close and detailed account of this."

Immense drinking and women trouble

Professor Sharpe said the McNally diary also documented the minutiae of colonial life.

"There is a lot of everyday detail, including what they wore, what they do all the time and all the drinking they do, which is immense," she said.

"He recounts his liaisons with women. We have a lot of quite explicit detail of his affairs, which I hadn't expected of an early 19th century journal.

"He really struggles with forming relationships with women."

Signs of authenticity
Professor Sharpe said McNally was born in the 1790s and died in 1874 in Ireland.

She said she had strong indications the diary was McNally's own work and not that of an amanuensis, or person employed to take dictation or copy other people's experiences, which was common at the time.

She said the library conservator had established the diary was very early 19th century handmade paper.

"We've been able to fact check against military records, newspaper reports and so far, Robert McNally is where he says he is," Professor Sharpe said.

"We know that writers of military memoirs sometimes put themselves into the spotlight, as Albert Facey did in A Fortunate Life when he gives a description of the beginning of Gallipoli, when we know he wasn't there.

"In the McNally diaries there is quite a famous incident in Ireland called the Churchtown Burnings and Robert says he is nearby but not actually there.

"This gives us confidence that, when he gives himself a central role in the Sorell jail hold-up by Matthew Brady a few years later, he was actually there, and he did what he describes."

Robert Hogan is working as a research assistant on the diaries, and has found Private McNally's service record in the British National Archives.

"The information he gives in the journal is consistent with military history," Mr Hogan said.

"I found that he joined the 96th Regiment in 1816 and when they disbanded in 1818 he moved immediately to join the 40th Regiment.

"His length of service in each place is consistent with what he says in his diaries."




Saturday, December 26, 2020

Must not doubt weepy tales of racism

The Left are constantly finding racists under every bed. Accusations of racism have become a form of virtue signalling. Claiming that you have experienced or seen instances of racism has become a form of Leftist identification and proof of your right thoughts.

And the temptation to get into that act is strong. You do yourself a favour by claiming to be someone who finds racism in others. So even where there is no racism it pays to make some up.

It is at its most ludicrous among various minorities who have actually done well for themselves. You might think that such people are a living disproof of us living in a racist society. But that will never do. To retain Leftist respectability, the successful minority member has to complain of all the racism he experienced on his way to the top and how he is still racially victimized.

It was such ungrateful people whom Steve Finn pointed to below -- mocking their claims of victimhood. But you must not doubt claims of racism so he was fired for pointing out the obvious

Coronation Street bosses axe director after he 'claimed that racism doesn't exist in the media and branded stars speaking out against discrimination "victim-making frauds"'

Coronation Street bosses have dropped freelance director Steve Finn after he made social media comments about racism and slammed those speaking out against it.

According to the Huffington Post, Finn claimed that racism doesn't exist in the media, reportedly taking things a step further by disparaging the public figures who spoke about experiencing it.

In posts attributed to Finn, historian David Olusoga was the target of vitriolic posts, calling him a 'victim-making fraud' after he spoke about being marginalised in his career. Further posts also took aim at director Noel Clarke and author John Amaechi.

After his Finn's posts came to light, a Corrie spokesperson told MailOnline: 'We have been made aware of comments on social media by a freelance director, Steve Finn, which are inconsistent with the values of both Coronation Street and ITV.' 'The director will not therefore be returning to Coronation Street,' they concluded.

After Olusoga spoke about his experiences with discrimination in the industry, a post attributed to Finn was shared on Facebook, which read: 'Oh poor dear, so crushed by his success on the unenlightened British media. 'Could I get just a tenth of his salary for making programmes which people actually watch, as he is so crushed.'

In further commentary on the matter, he is said to have claimed that he had never seen any racism during his decades-long career in television. The post read: 'I have worked in this business for over 40 years and I have not seen one instance of racism.

'I’m afraid I find people like him [Olusoga] beyond contempt because he has made a very nice earner out of his niche abilities, but now wants to ride the racism high-horse to maximum effect.

'I am a product of the white working-class, and have often felt alone and isolated, and yes unwanted, especially in the BBC, but I would never have made such a shameful parody of myself just to further my career.'

Another post read: 'People like Olusaga [sic] are victim-making frauds and need to be called out.'

He is also said to have called Kidultood star Clarke a 'f***tard' after he spoke about asking for a more diverse production crew on the set of a TV show. 'You got some white people "let go" to assuage your own agenda,' read the post.

In July, after a host of stars spoke out publicly about their experiences with racism, ITV announced a Diversity Acceleration Plan to 'create more opportunities for those from Black, Asian, minority ethnic and other underrepresented groups'.

Police welfare check turns into wrongful arrest as woman was getting ready to take a bath

A woman who was unlawfully arrested as she was about to take a bath, then tasered twice at the police station, has won a staggering $3.1 million payout.

Officers Tasered her twice at the police station, even though she was restrained in a chair.

A Colorado county paid $US2.4 million ($A3.1 million) to a woman who was unlawfully arrested while naked inside her apartment during a welfare check, according to reports.

Fremont County in Colorado doled out the sum last week to Carolyn O’Neal after she sued the sheriff’s office over her May 2014 arrest while at a sober living facility in Cañon City.

Deputies had responded due to concerns she might harm herself, The Denver Post reported.

Ms O’Neal told three responding male deputies she wasn’t going to hurt herself – and was naked while preparing a bath – but the officers used a key to enter her apartment anyway and tossed her onto a bed before arresting her, the newspaper reported.

Ms O’Neal was still naked when she was carted off to jail, where she was put in a restraint chair for several hours. Deputies also twice used a Taser on the woman despite her arms and legs being restrained at the time and being forced to wear a spit mask, according to the report.

“This was an outrageous case,” Ms O’Neal’s lawyer, David Lane, told The Denver Post on Sunday.

“Law enforcement officers who believed they were above the law got smacked down hard by a jury. And unfortunately, this costs the taxpayers of Fremont County a lot of money. But I hope it inspires the citizenry to demand accountability from law enforcement – otherwise, it’s coming out of their pockets.”

A jury initially awarded O’Neal $US3.6 million ($A4.7 million) last year in her wrongful arrest lawsuit against the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, but the amount was later reduced by a federal judge to roughly $US2.1 million ($A2.7 million), prompting appeals from both sides, The Denver Post reported.

County officials later agreed to drop their appeal and settle with Ms O’Neal for $US2.4 million ($A3.1 million), Mr Lane told the newspaper.

Charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest that Ms O’Neal had faced were previously dismissed by a judge. Deputies have since admitted that she should have been taken to a hospital rather than a jail, KDVR reported.

“The police were called by management, her mother was dying, she was depressed and she made some offhand statement about ‘things are going so great, I feel like I should drive my car off a cliff,’” Mr Lane recalled Ms O’Neal saying prior to her arrest.

Ms O’Neal suffers from PTSD and other mental health issues, Mr O’Neal told KDVR.

Chicago Police Raided Wrong House, Terrorized Innocent, Naked Woman—and Hid the Body Cam Footage

Jon Burge lives on!

Stories like this one should make even the most ardent police supporters very angry. The Chicago Police Department for two years covered up a crime they committed against an innocent, naked woman. It took a lawsuit to make them cough up public records.

It’s very hard to support the police when whole departments conspire to hide wrongdoing instead of facing the music and dealing with it. CBS Chicago reports.

Last year, Anjanette Young filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the video to show the public what happened to her that day. CBS 2 also filed a request for the video. But the Chicago Police Department denied the requests.

Young recently obtained the footage after a court forced CPD to turn it over as part of her lawsuit against police.

“I feel like they didn’t want us to have this video because they knew how bad it was,” Young said. “They knew they had done something wrong. They knew that the way they treated me was not right.”

Hours before the TV version of this report broadcast, the city’s lawyers attempted to stop CBS 2 from airing the video by filing an emergency motion in federal court.


The video reveals on Feb. 21, 2019, nine body cameras rolled as a group of male officers entered her home at 7 p.m. Not long before, the licensed social worker finished her shift at the hospital and had undressed in her bedroom.

That’s when she said she heard a loud, pounding noise.

Outside, officers repeatedly struck her door with a battering ram. From various angles, the video captured the moments they broke down the door and burst through her home.

“It was so traumatic to hear the thing that was hitting the door,” Young said, as she watched the video. “And it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes.”

As they rushed inside with guns drawn, officers yelled, “Police search warrant,” and “Hands up, hands up, hands up.” Seconds later, Young could be seen in the living room, shocked and completely naked, with her hands up.

“There were big guns,” Young remembered. “Guns with lights and scopes on them. And they were yelling at me, you know, put your hands up, put your hands up.”

Young looked terrified and confused as she watched officers search the home. An officer put her hands behind her back and handcuffed her as she stood naked.

Young repeatedly told the officers they had the wrong address but they wouldn’t listen to her. The way they treated her should be considered sexual assault and the officers involved in this horror show should face jail time. There’s no excuse for this. It’s evil.

With her hands bound behind her back, the video shows an officer wrapped a short coat around her shoulders. But the coat only covered her shoulders and upper back – leaving her front completely exposed as she stood against the wall. Officers stood around her home – in the kitchen, the living room and the hallways – while she remained naked. “It felt like forever to me,” she said. “It felt like forever.”

CBS Chicago did an excellent job piecing together this epic fail. Police did have bad information, CBS 2 Investigators uncovered, and they failed to do basic checks to confirm whether they had the correct address before getting the search warrant approved.

According to CPD’s complaint for search warrant, one day before the raid, a confidential informant told the affiant – or lead officer on the raid – that he recently saw a 23-year-old man who was a known felon with gun and ammunition.

The document said the officer found a photo of the suspect in a police database and showed it to the informant, who confirmed it was him. The officer then drove the informant to the address where the informant claimed the suspect lived.

Despite no evidence in the complaint that police made efforts to independently verify the informant’s tip, such as conducting any surveillance or additional checks as required by policy, the search warrant was approved by an assistant state’s attorney and a judge.

But CBS 2 quickly found, through police and court records, the informant gave police the wrong address. The 23-year-old suspect police were looking for actually lived in the unit next door to Young at the time of the raid and had no connection to her.

CBS 2 also found police could have easily tracked the suspect’s location and where he really lived because at the time of the raid, he was wearing an electronic monitoring device.

Sloppy and lazy police work led to this disaster. The refusal to release public information under the law should be a jailable offense for any public official who participates in hiding the truth to avoid scrutiny. FOIA laws are far too lenient. Violating them merely leads to fines that government offices pay with public funds. How is that a deterrent?

Any public official who breaks FOIA laws should be prosecuted. That would stop it. I have personal experience with FOIA shenanigans in Illinois and public officials who flout the law until you sue them. I had to sue a public library for the same issue, which you can read about in my book Shut Up! The Bizarre War One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment. FOIA abuse is rampant all over the country and no one has any desire to make it stop.

Until police stop behaving like jackbooted thugs, their reputations will remain in the gutter. That’s unfortunate for the law-abiding police around the country. The City of Chicago should pay a huge price for this lawlessness. But unfortunately, they’ll probably only pay out millions of public funds and continue behaving however they want.

Hungary writes 'the mother is a woman, the father is a man' into its constitution as it bans gay couples from adopting children

Hungary has written 'the mother is a woman, the father is a man' into its constitution as the country brings in a ban on gay couples adopting children.

The country's MPs approved new measures targeting the country's beleaguered LGBTQ community yesterday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government explained the change by saying 'new ideological processes in the West' made it necessary to 'protect children against possible ideological or biological interference'.

The amendment defines children's sex as that assigned to them at birth and 'ensures the upbringing of children according to... [Hungary's] Christian culture'.

MPs loyal to the nationalist Prime Minister also overwhelmingly voted in favour of a law effectively banning same-sex couple from adopting.

It comes just weeks after Hungarian anti-LGBT MEP Jozsef Szajer resigned after he was caught climbing out of a window naked when police raided an illegal gay sex party in the rue des Pierres in Brussels, Belgium.

The new law restricts adoption to married couples as part of the cultural conservative Prime Minister's push for 'traditional values'.

Aside from the anti-LGBT agenda, Hungary's government has also caused alarm abroad with what human rights groups say are attacks on democracy and the rule of law.

Orban is at loggerheads with Brussels over his moves to put the judiciary, media and academics under more state control, while Human Rights Watch has described his government as an 'authoritarian regime'.

A staunch anti-immigrant populist, Orban had a razor wire fence built along Hungary's southern border in 2015 at the height of Europe's refugee crisis.

Describing refugees as a threat to 'Christian values', he has also launched policies to encourage Hungarian women to have more children - a policy described by a Swedish minister as 'reeking of the 1930s'.

When he announced plans for free IVF treatment, Orban invoked the idea of a 'great replacement' of white Europeans which is often invoked by far-right extremists.

Earlier this year, Orban insisted that accusations that Hungary violates the rule of law were 'simply blah, blah, blah'.

In September he also became one of the few European leaders to endorse Donald Trump's re-election campaign, accusing US Democrats of 'moral imperialism'.

Exceptions to the gay adoption ban will have to be approved by the minister for family affairs.

The government has sharpened its anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in recent months, with Orban commenting in October that homosexuals should 'leave our children alone' when discussing a row over a children's book containing gay characters.

In May a ban on legally changing one's gender came into force, with rights groups warning this would expose transgender Hungarians to discrimination.

In 2018 a government decree effectively banned universities from teaching courses on gender studies.

Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said that the constitution 'now protects families and children in a unique way, even in Europe', adding it would ensure children's 'undisturbed development'.

Hungary director of Amnesty International David Vig said that 'these discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities'.

'This is a dark day for Hungary's LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,' Vig said in a statement issued with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and the TGEU trans rights organisation.

LGBTQ rights activist Philip Baldwin said: 'I am horrified that Victor Orban has sought to ban LGBTQ couples from adopting.

'This is another shocking and regressive step from a regime which has little respect for LGBTQ people, following on from deeply transphobic legislation earlier this year.

'It demonstrates that when one group within the LGBTQ community is undermined, it is not long before all our rights are questioned.

'It is no coincidence that these changes are taking place as the world is distracted by coronavirus and protests are prohibited.

'It is now more important than ever that the international community stands up for LGBTQ rights and sends a clear signal to the Hungarian government that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia will not be tolerated.'

The constitution adopted after Orban came to power had already defined marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman.

A key figure in the drafting of that document, Jozsef Szajer, resigned as an MEP last month after being caught at what Belgian police said was an illegal all-male sex party that breached virus lockdown rules.

Apart from brief statements condemning Szajer's actions, the government and the pro-Orban press have largely ignored the embarrassing scandal and continued espousing their culturally conservative messages.

On Monday, Minister for Families Katalin Novak sparked an outcry with a video message on her Facebook page in which she said women should not always try to compete with men professionally.

'Don't think that at every moment or our lives we have to all compare ourselves and have the same job, the same salary as the other,' Novak said in her remarks, which were criticised by feminist activists.

The anti-LGBTQ measures in Hungary came on the same day that an ILGA report found that despite significant progress on gay rights around the world, dozens of countries still criminalise consensual same-sex activity and others have erected legal barriers to freedom of expression on LGBTQ issues.

The constitutional amendment effectively banning adoption by same-sex couples in Hungary is mentioned in the report as an example of a negative development.

Also on Tuesday MPs passed a change to Hungary's electoral law which means that parties wishing to contest national elections will have to stand candidates in at least 14 out of 19 provinces and put forward a much higher number of individual candidates than previously required.

The government says this is to prevent sham parties claiming state funds.

However, many in the opposition suspect the real purpose is to hinder the chances of allied opposition candidates standing against Orban's Fidesz party in particular seats in the next legislative elections in 2022.

A poll conducted last week put a hypothetical joint opposition list marginally ahead of Fidesz.




Thursday, December 24, 2020

Governor Abbott Announces Plan to Take Over Austin Police Department

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is proposing that the state take control of the Austin Police Department after the city council cut $21 million from the budget.

Can Abbott really do that? He previously suggested freezing property taxes of cities that defund their police departments. Taking over the management of a city police force by folding it into the Texas Department of Public Safety is a novel approach to preventing the inmates from running the asylum.

The Austin American Statesmen writes that the “Texas Constitution grants the state authority over local matters in the capital city when a statewide importance is determined.” That would seem to make Abbott’s proposal constitutional.


The tweet from Gov. Abbott was not a surprise. Just days earlier, he had promised to pass the legislation in the upcoming session.

“The state will fix this,” Abbott wrote on Twitter. “Texas will pass a law this session supporting law enforcement and defunding cities that defund the police.”

Back in September, Abbott expressed his displeasure with Austin City Council’s decision to cut $20 million from APD’s budget, in addition to transitioning $130 million out over a year. The council’s decision came after harsh criticism of the way APD handled protesters over the summer.

“Harsh criticism” from whom? Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters may not have liked being prevented from destroying the city, but they’re hardly neutral observers.

Back in September, Abbott expressed his displeasure with Austin City Council’s decision to cut $20 million from APD’s budget, in addition to transitioning $130 million out over a year. The council’s decision came after harsh criticism of the way APD handled protesters over the summer.

The move was condemned by Abbott, who called it “disrespect for law enforcement” that would invite chaos and endanger the public.

Abbott received a legislation proposal in September that would allow cities with over 1 million residents and fewer than two police officers per 1,000 to have its police force consolidated with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Back in September when Abbott said he was looking at taking over the Austin PD, one member of the city council referred to the idea as a “distraction.” “We’ve gotten used to threats by tweet and authoritarian threats by tweet whether it’s out of the Governor’s Office or the White House,” council member Greg Casar told KXAN.

This may not be the best time to talk about defunding the police. Murders are up 55 percent in Austin over the same period last year, as are other violent crimes. Abbott is absolutely right in not allowing BLM and antifa to dictate public policy — especially when those policies were formulated in the midst of a heated national election.

As it is, defunding the police cost Democrats dearly at the polls, as did their other kooky ideas. Perhaps the city council should take a second look at the funding cuts and grow a spine to stand up to the BLM bullies.

Professional Suspension, Cancel Culture, Censorship, and the Case of Midwifery Student Julia Rynkiewicz

Can you be censored, canceled, or even professionally suspended for standing up for the right to life? A groundbreaking United Kingdom settlement involving the University of Nottingham and midwifery student Julia Rynkiewicz has made clear that academic institutions should not sanction students who hold pro-life views.

Ms. Rynkiewicz, as a consequence of her pro-life beliefs, faced a suspension and four-month fitness-to-practice investigation, which threatened not only her education, but also her future career as a midwife. Now, having received a settlement from the University, she hopes her experience will pave the way for greater respect for fundamental rights on university campuses. As she states, “The settlement demonstrates that the university’s treatment of me was wrong, and while I’m happy to move on, I hope this means that no other student will have to experience what I have.”

If American universities are to retain their academic integrity, they should look to the Nottingham case as a cautionary tale. In the United Kingdom, a recent poll released by ADF International (UK) found that 44 percent of students self-censor in class for fear that they would be “treated differently” if they expressed their real opinions. More than a third agreed that the number of student events canceled because of the views of speakers has increased. Despite the profound American emphasis on freedom of speech, many U.S. college campuses evince the same trend with students increasingly suffering the silencing effects of a culture of censorship.

Standing up for life should carry no cost, and it is fortunate that in Ms. Rynkiewicz’s case, justice prevailed. However, the human toll of university-led “investigations” into matters that fall squarely within the ambit of rights to conscience and expression must not be minimized. Such efforts undoubtedly have the potential to permanently tarnish the professional ambitions of students who have done nothing other than express views that are not only well within their rights, but also shared by millions across the world. Moreover, it unleashes a devastating chilling effect in the very places of higher learning that require utmost respect for free expression in order to fulfill their academic missions.

As stated by Ms. Rynkiewicz: “What happened to me risks creating a fear among students to discuss their values and beliefs, but university should be the place where you are invited to do just that.” With academic freedom under assault, renewed attention to robust protections for students is needed now more than ever. A true culture of free expression requires protections that kick in before students face the arduous burden of having to defend against sanctions and suspensions, as occurred in this case. That is why at least fourteen states have passed campus free speech laws. Ohio is set to become the latest state to do so, as the governor is imminently expected to sign the FORUM Act—a bill designed to protect the First Amendment freedoms of students attending colleges or universities that receive state funding. This is an essential step in protecting students from facing the perils of academic censorship.

In response to the settlement announcement, Director of ADF International (UK), Ryan Christopher, noted that, “a culture of vibrant discussion and free debate should be restored to universities. Today’s censorial culture on campus could easily become cancel culture in the public square.” Let this serve as fair warning to opponents of our first freedom in the United States.

Academic censorship is not restricted to the walls of the lecture hall. What happens in our colleges and universities permeates the whole of our national discourse, and it is imperative that all students be allowed to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms for the safeguarding of our democracy.

UK: The Law Commission’s hate-crime proposals must be rejected

If implemented, they would hand the state frightening new powers to police speech.

The right to free speech, curtailed by so many different acts of parliament, has long existed more in myth than in reality in Britain. Today, it’s not just on university campuses where the limits on what we can say are determined by the sensitivities of others.

Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic’. This can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying directed at individuals or groups on account of their race, religion, sexuality, disability or transgender identity. The police recorded over 100,000 hate crimes in the year ending March 2020, an apparent increase of eight per cent on the previous year.

However, police officers don’t just chase after perpetrators of hate crime – they also track down those accused of ‘hate incidents.’ A hate incident is any speech or action that is perceived to be hostile but is not, in itself, criminal or associated with a criminal offence. In this way, speech alone requires police investigation.

In the UK today, speech is proscribed according to a morass of different pieces of legislation, some stretching back over decades. Certain groups are offered more legal protections than others, and whether or not a crime, or non-crime incident, has been committed is based largely on perception. Rather than free speech we have speech that is legally restricted in selective and highly subjective ways.

The Law Commission, an independent body designed to review the law and make recommendations to the government, has now stepped into this mess. It has produced a consultation document that proposes changes to the law on hate crime and hate speech. But rather than narrowing the focus of the law, preventing police overreach and protecting free speech, the Law Commission wants to the definition of hate crime to be expanded and the number of protected groups increased further. Its illiberal and censorious proposals would hand power to those who most loudly proclaim offence and allow the state to police our every utterance, including conversations that take place in the privacy of our own homes.

In a new report, Policing Hate, published by Civitas, I examine the Law Commission’s proposals. Here are five reasons why I think it is vital they are rejected:

1) There is no evidence that hate crime is increasing
The Home Office acknowledges that year-on-year statistical increases in police-recorded hate crime have been driven by improvements in recording and identifying what constitutes a hate crime. In contrast, the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows a long-term decline in hate crime, with a 38 per cent fall during the decade from 2008 to 2018.

2) They are an attack on free speech
Under the Law Commission’s proposals, the legal definition of hate speech would be amended so that any utterance perceived to be hostile to a protected group, regardless of the actual words or images used, or the intention of the speaker, will be assumed to be hate speech. This means that cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, such as those used in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, would be outlawed in the UK. We need to repeal all elements of existing law that conflict with freedom of speech, rather than seeking new ways to regulate what we can and cannot say.

3) They would erode equality before the law
It is already the case that some identity groups receive more legal protections than others. The Law Commission now proposes expanding those considered to have victim status to include sex workers, the elderly, women, Travellers and members of ‘alternative subcultures’. Under plans to outlaw misogyny, women will be treated differently to men. This seems premised on a belief that women are one homogenous group, all equally as oppressed and victimised, all in need of police officers to guard them from abusive men. A previous generation of activists fought hard to achieve equality before the law. These proposals undermine that principle.

4) They would fuel hate-crime entrepreneurs
Under the Law Commission’s proposals, campaigning organisations such as Stonewall would be incentivised to present the groups they advocate on behalf of as victims in order to secure the power that comes with enhanced legal status. In this way, such campaigners become hate-crime entrepreneurs; they encourage their members to perceive offence and facilitate them in reporting hate incidents to the police. The Law Commission’s uncritical use of testimony from hate-crime entrepreneurs means that legal changes are being proposed not on the basis of objective evidence, but on the subjective demands of activists for recognition and affirmation of suffering.

5) They would destroy women-only spaces
The Law Commission proposes a definition of transgender in line with that favoured by Stonewall. This would rely on self-identification, rather than a need to acquire a gender-recognition certificate. This means that for all the legal protections being offered to women, anyone who defends female-only spaces or insists on defining ‘woman’ as an adult human female could be criminalised.

Respond to the consultation

The Law Commission represents the legal establishment, and its members clearly view British citizens with contempt. We are either victims in need of protection or perpetrators of hate and abuse. In either case, it thinks we need the state to step up the policing of our speech and behaviour. At present, the Law Commission’s proposals have not yet been debated in parliament or passed into law. We have a chance to make sure they never make it that far.

The Law Commission has launched a consultation on its proposals. You can take part by completing an online response form. There is no need to reply to every question, but you do need to be quick – the consultation closes on 24 December.

Human Rights Campaign Wants Christian Schools to Abandon Beliefs or Lose Accreditation

The Human Rights Campaign—a large, influential LGBTQ advocacy group— recently released a policy brief with recommendations for a Biden administration, and the suggestions are alarming.

The organization’s “Blueprint for Positive Change 2020” describes itself as “a comprehensive list of 85 individual policy recommendations aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ people.”

But the Human Rights Campaign fails to mention just how much these suggestions for former Vice President Joe Biden, if implemented, would infringe on the rights of religious believers, conservatives, and Americans in general, all under the guise of helping a community that they claim is still marginalized.

One of the more alarming suggestions from the organization’s proposal concerns accreditation for religious schools and universities, stating:

Language regarding accreditation of religious institutions of higher education in the Higher Education Opportunity Act could be interpreted to require accrediting bodies to accredit religious institutions that discriminate or do not meet science-based curricula standards.

The Department of Education should issue a regulation clarifying that this provision, which requires accreditation agencies to ‘respect the stated mission’ of religious institutions, does not require the accreditation of religious institutions that do not meet neutral accreditation standards including nondiscrimination policies and scientific curriculum requirements.

From the sound of it, the Human Rights Campaign essentially is calling for faith-based education—from K-12 schools to colleges and universities—to adopt the campaign’s positions on gender identity, same-sex marriage, transgender transitioning, and more, or fail to be accredited.

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says it’s clear that faith-based education facilities are “to be coerced into the sexual revolution or stripped of accreditation.”

The blueprint calls this “science-based curricula,” but we’ve seen this movie before: What leftist activists call science, conservatives call a distortion of biology. It’s just a way for the activists to claim credibility for identity politics.

It sounds like the Human Rights Campaign is co-opting this moment—with a liberal likely becoming president—essentially to push faith-based education facilities out of the marketplace by forcing them either to abandon their beliefs or lose their ability to legally “compete.”

Mohler again summarizes this aptly on his website: “This would mean abandoning biblical standards for teaching, hiring, admissions, housing, and student life. It would mean that Christian schools are no longer Christian.”

Let’s hope that if a Biden administration even attempted to follow this policy suggestion, enough faith-based institutions would fight back and it would fail.

Still, the effort would be costly, and the attempt to force religious schools out of the marketplace should never happen, given the authoritative protections of the First Amendment.

The Human Rights Campaign’s blueprint makes other suggestions that are equally frustrating because, like the one about accreditation, they stem from a worldview that not only favors identity politics over ideology or beliefs, but acts as if their LGBTQ beliefs should trump everyone else’s.

Policy in this country should reflect core American values of equality and freedom, not entitlement for select groups.

The blueprint suggests that a Biden administration “appoint openly-LGBTQ justices, judges, executive officials and ambassadors.” For starters, some judges and executive employees already are openly LGBTQ.

The proposal also flips the supposed aim of the movement, which is to accept people for who they are—regardless of faith, sex, gender, race, creed, or sexual orientation—to giving preference to people specifically because of their sexual orientation.

The blueprint also suggests that Biden establish “an interagency working group to protect and support LGBTQ rights globally.” This sounds nice, but there’s only one problem: It’s already illegal to discriminate in the United States based on a person’s sexual orientation, so there’s no need to pluck out this group and give it special protections.

These policy suggestions are ignorant, shortsighted, and just plain false. By suggesting LGBTQ individuals need extra care, they undermine cases such as Bostock v. Clayton County that already made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity.

By suggesting LGBTQ rights need to be protected more, the blueprint perpetuates the myth that somehow in the freest country in the world, with more sexual parity than almost anywhere else, LGBTQ individuals remain marginalized and disenfranchised. There’s little evidence to show that’s the case.

The Human Rights Campaign has enormous influence. It’s one thing to stand up for equality in a giant policy brief. But it’s quite another to use that brief as a guise to push religious bigotry, such as by suggesting that faith-based schools lose accreditation if they don’t fall lockstep in line with the newest LGBTQ orthodoxy.

The Human Rights Campaign’s “Blueprint for Positive Change” does its community members no favors by gaslighting them into believing that it’s legal to discriminate against them and suggesting that all will be well when they receive entitlement, not just equality.

Few groups have pushed—and received—more recognition for equality, and then some, than the LGBTQ community. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous and blatant identity politics.