Wednesday, April 28, 2021

European Commission threatens Britain

Ursula von der Leyen warned that the Brexit trade deal has "real teeth" as MEPs branded leaving the EU a "historic mistake" on Tuesday.

Ursula is an extremely experienced German politician so it is rather surprising that she thinks threats would work on Britain. And that is more so because the threat is an empty one. The British bulldog has teeth too, rather sharp teeth.

It is the EU that would be the loser in a trade war as Britain is a much bigger buyer of EU products than the EU is a buyer of British products.

In particular, German cars find a large part of their market in Britain. So if Britain welcomed any tariffs imposed by the EU by an embargo on EU motor vehicles, it would throw large numbers of workers in the EU motor industry onto unemployment or short time. Given the strong political influence of the German auto unions, that would be intolerable to the German government and would immediatey lead to an abrupt about-face. Just the threat would probably work wonders.

The European Commission president said that Brussels would not hesitate to hit Britain with trade tariffs if it failed to implement its commitments in Northern Ireland, before the European Parliament voted to ratify the deal in the final step of the years-long Brexit negotiations.

The European Commission president said enforcement mechanisms in the deal were “essential” to ensure the UK complied with level playing field rules in the trade deal and the Withdrawal Agreement, which includes the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mrs von der Leyen’s warning came as France, embroiled in a row over fishing licences with the UK, said the EU would hit sectors such as financial services with tariffs if the UK did not properly implement the Brexit fishing agreement.

The trade deal has a dispute mechanism that can lead to tariffs being imposed if one side diverges too far from agreed common standards. The agreement’s enforcement measures also allow for cross-cutting retaliatory tariffs in a specific sector as a result of a dispute in another.

Mrs von der Leyen said, “This agreement comes with real teeth with a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for unilateral remedial measures were necessary. And let me be very clear. We do not want to have to use these tools, but we will not hesitate to use them if necessary.”

Britain angered Brussels by unilaterally extending grace periods in the Protocol and the European Commission has begun legal action against the UK.

The grace periods exempt exports from Britain to Northern Ireland from customs checks on meat products and parcels. The UK has also carved out exemptions from EU rules on soil and pet passports.

Clément Beaune, France’s Europe Minister, said the deal was not a “blank cheque” as the row with the UK over fishing licences for French boats in the Channel continued.

“If the UK does not enforce it, we will respond with retaliatory measures,” he said.

The European Parliament branded Brexit a “historic mistake” in a resolution that criticises criticised Britain over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and hailed EU victories in the trade talks.

MEPs are expected to overwhelmingly back the trade agreement in the vote, which is the final step to conclude the years of Brexit negotiations begun with the triggering of Article 50 in March 2017. The results of the consent vote and the vote on the resolution will be announced on Wednesday morning.

The trade deal was provisionally applied at the end of last year because the negotiations ended so close to the no deal deadline and there was not enough time for the European Parliament to scrutinise the agreement.

MEPs are unlikely to vote against the agreement because it would cause a no deal, which would be damaging for both sides, and are also expected to comfortably pass the non-binding resolution.

It stated, “The UK’s withdrawal from the EU is a historic mistake and recalls that the EU has always respected the UK’s decision while insisting that the UK must also accept the consequences of leaving the EU.”

It added, “It is a logical consequence of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and in particular the ending of freedom of movement, that the opportunities for the UK’s largely service-based economy are vastly reduced.”

The resolution accuses Britain of “depriving young people of such a unique opportunity” by refusing to continue participating in the Erasmus student exchange programme.

MEPs attacked Boris Johnson before voting for the trade agreement. Manfred Weber, the German leader of the centre-Right European People's Party, and Philippe Lamberts, the Belgian co-president of the Greens, blamed Mr Johnson for the recent riots in Northern Ireland.

“Violence in Northern Ireland is Brexiteer violence – they are responsible,” Mr Weber said. Mr Lamberts said, "If we have violence in Northern Ireland it is because of the lies, and I repeat lies, of Boris Johnson who is trying to make up that nothing would happen to Ireland if this went through."

Andreas Schieder, a socialist senior MEP from Austria, said, "Brexit is a serious mistake and it is the weakest in society who will suffer from this mistake – it’s not the millionaires who pumped money into the Brexit. But we have to recognise the decision after all these years."

“Everybody has to shoulder the responsibility and respect what they have signed up to,” warned Michel Barnier, the EU’s former negotiator, in a farewell speech after leaving the commission earlier this year.

Mr Barnier added, “This is a divorce. It's a warning, Brexit, and it's a failure. A failure of the European Union's, and we have to learn lessons from it.”


I Was a Black Teen in the ’60s. Don’t Believe Left’s Lies About ‘Jim Crow’ Election Reforms

Kay C. James

The right to vote is one of the most sacred rights that we as free citizens can exercise.

Yet today, far too many Americans have lost trust in the fairness of our elections.

That’s why we’ve made a commitment at The Heritage Foundation to work with state lawmakers across the country to make needed reforms and restore integrity to our elections. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Yet, amazingly, some of those commonsense laws have come under attack from the left and a biased news media.

The falsehoods and outright lies are appalling.

Growing up as a black teenager during the 1960s, I knew the tremendous sacrifices and dangers that my friends and relatives endured to secure the right to vote for black Americans.

So, let me be clear: I have zero interest in disenfranchising or suppressing the vote of any portion of the population.

But that’s not what’s happening in Georgia or other states pursuing election reforms. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The left’s lies are a scare tactic. They are an attempt to rally support for a bill currently in Congress, ironically called the “For the People Act,” or HR 1, which would only make things worse.

HR 1 would create a federal takeover of elections and force changes to election laws that would actually allow for greater fraud and election tampering.

It would allow illegal votes to cancel out legal ones. It would diminish the very voting rights that my relatives in the 1960s, the women suffragists of the early 1900s, and all the men and women of the armed forces throughout our history fought so hard to gain and protect.

HR 1’s proposed changes to election laws do exactly the opposite of creating trust.

Under HR 1, no one has to prove they are who they say they are in order to vote. It automatically adds noncitizens to voter registration rolls and outlaws safeguards that prevent people from voting twice.

And that’s just scratching the surface of this terrible law.

HR 1 isn’t for the people; it’s about creating more power for the politicians.

Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our republic, and every citizen, no matter their political persuasion, must be able to trust the voting process and its results.

The very future of our nation depends on it.


Leftists Try to Cancel Zionist Leader for Criticizing Tlaib and Omar, and Noting that BLM Is Anti-Semitic

The Boston Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), a coalition of Jewish organizations, is set to meet on April 27 to decide whether or not to expel the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) over charges that it is “white supremacist.” Of course, everyone to the right of Pol Pot is a white supremacist these days, as far as the left is concerned. The real sin of ZOA’s national president Mort Klein is that he dared to criticize leftist powerbrokers and to point out that Black Lives Matter (BLM) is not the saintly organization of establishment media myth, but a viciously hateful and anti-Semitic group. Simply telling unwelcome truths about people and causes the left idolizes gets you lumped in with the KKK in this insane age.

It all started last year with a petition from leftist Jewish groups J Street, the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, Women of Reform Judaism and others, calling for the ZOA to be expelled from the Boston JCRC because Klein had made statements that supposedly ventured into “xenophobic and racist territory,” and thus ZOA’s membership was “not compatible with and is in conflict with the mission of JCRC.”

The petition stated: “So long as ZOA enjoys a seat at the American Jewish communal table, we are collectively signaling that their views are a welcome and tolerable part of our communal life. American Jewish institutions must make clear that Klein’s pattern of abuse and bigotry can have no place in our Jewish communal life.”

Among Klein’s “xenophobic and racist statements” were critical remarks about revered, untouchable figures on the left, including George Soros, Barack Obama, and Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Ramallah) and Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu). Why, only a racist could have any remotely negative word to say about them!

The petition also claims that Klein’s criticism of Black Lives Matter “extended well beyond acceptable discourse on race.” This was because Klein tweeted: “BlackLivesMatter is an antisemitic, Israel hating Soros funded racist extremist Israelophobic hate group.” And: “I urge the SPLC to immediately put BlackLivesMatter on their list of hate groups. BLM is a Jew hating, White hating, Israel hating, conservative Black hating, violence promoting, dangerous Soros funded extremist group of haters.”

Klein was right, and he wasn’t the only person who noticed. Haaretz reported in 2018 that “a new platform associated with the Black Lives Matter movement that describes Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ committing ‘genocide’ against the Palestinian people has triggered critical responses from Jewish organizations — even its allies.” And in August 2020, journalist Daniel Greenfield noted that “a Black Lives Matter rioter was caught on video spray painting Free Palestine on the driveway of the Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha,” and “during the Los Angeles Black Lives Matter riots which targeted the Fairfax community and its large Orthodox Jewish population, Congregation Beth El on Beverly Blvd was spray painted with the hateful message, ‘F___ Israel’, and ‘Free Palestine.’”

Back in 2015, Black Lives Matter operatives visited “Palestine” and linked the jihad against Israel to race war in the United States.

As far as the left is concerned, however, these are facts that only “racists” dare to notice. ZOA shot back with a statement that challenged the lynch mob on its hypocrisy: “Instead of trying to censor ZOA, these Jewish group should join with Mort Klein, Alan Dershowitz, Caroline Glick and Melanie Phillips in condemning the anti-Semitic Israel-hating platform of the Black Lives Matter/M4BL organization, which promotes anti-Semitic BDS and falsely accuses Israel of perpetrating genocide and apartheid.”

Klein added: “Inappropriate concern was raised due to our legitimately [sic] criticism of the anti-Israel actions and policies of the organization called Black Lives Matter. This was especially hurtful to ZOA since it fully, publicly and unequivocally supports equality and fairness to all races, including, of course, all black lives.”

After reviewing the matter for six months, the JCRC’s Membership Committee voted unanimously that ZOA should not be removed. However, in a nod to the mob, it directed ZOA to make clear that it rejected white supremacism, intoning piously that “no Member Organization of JCRC, through its programs, activities or practices—or through the public leadership platforms of its executive officers—should legitimize or normalize organizations or individuals who embrace white supremacy, white nationalism or the conspiracy theories which underlie these ideologies.”

When the full JCRC Council meets on April 27, its vote on whether to retain or expel the ZOA will be largely based on how well council members believe the organization has complied with this warning. The premise of the petition – that any criticism of Tlaib, Omar, and BLM constitutes racism and white supremacism – is left unchallenged, which does not bode well for the ZOA. But if the JCRC does vote to expel the ZOA, it will only reveal its corruption and betrayal of its own mission, and demonstrate once again the increasing intransigence and fascism of the left. The more leftists move to silence legitimate voices, the more they show their own totalitarian colors, and the more they strip away their own legitimacy.


'When people are this desperate to silence and discredit you, you must be saying something that's true'

Black educationalist Dr Tony Sewell tells why he is standing by his report on racism in the UK

Dr Tony Sewell has defended his controversial racism report in the face of fierce criticism - and refused to be cowed by personal attacks.

The educationalist, who chairs the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, came under fire last week for claiming that Britain was not an institutionally racist country.

His findings incensed many left-wing politicians and campaigners, some of whom took aim directly at Dr Sewell and tried to tarnish his credibility for the job.

Last night Dr Sewell swatted away assaults on his character and doubled down on the report's conclusions.

'I'm not going to entertain this idea of me feeling anything – I'm used to this and am fairly thick-skinned,' he told the Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast.

He added: 'When people are desperate to silence you and discredit you, you must be saying something that's true.'

The Race Commission, launched by Boris Johnson following last summer's Black Lives Matter protests, hailed the UK a 'beacon to the rest of Europe and the world'.

Dr Sewell stressed that 'no one denies that racism exists' but argues Britain is not institutionally racist - a term he believes is deployed too 'willy-nilly'.

Amid cries of a 'whitewash', he was branded a Government stooge and compared to Josef Goebbels, Hitler's minister for propaganda, by a Cambridge professor.

Dr Priyamvada Gopal initially questioned whether Dr Sewell even had a doctorate.

After finding out that he possesses one from the University of Nottingham, she tweeted: 'Okay, established. It is, in fact, Dr Sewell. Fair enough. Even Dr Goebbels had a research PhD. (University of Heidelberg, 1921).'

Labour MP Clive Lewis even tweeted a picture of the Ku Klux Klan with the caption: 'Move along. Nothing to see here. #RaceReport.'

The backlash became so vitriolic that the Commission's members were forced to issue a joint statement railing against the 'dangerous personal attacks'.

Dr Sewell said last night reflected that the response to the report as 'extreme, unnecessary, over-the-top, ridiculous and absurd.'

He said some of his most vocal critics 'should be ashamed of themselves ­– they should read the report, not read what other people have said about it, then make a comment.'

The report also found that 'geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism'

The report - criticised as an 'insult' by Labour - said in terms of overall numbers white boys from low income families were the most disadvantaged.




Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Killing while black: No jail

Two [black] girls, ages 13 and 15, who were charged with the murder and carjacking of a Pakistani immigrant killed last month while working at his job delivering food in Washington, DC, have reportedly reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Mohammad Anwar, 66, died when police said the girls, armed with a taser, sped off in his car as he clung to the driver's side with the door open and crashed seconds later just outside the ballpark of the Washington Nationals.

On Monday, the teens reportedly reached the plea deal with prosecutors that would ensure they will not be held past the age of 21 nor be placed in a prison facility.

Last week, the teens appeared via video in DC Superior Court as their lawyer and prosecutor, Bonnie Lindemann, discussed the case with Judge Lynn Leibovitz.

According to The Washington Post, Lindemann gave no indication that her office would try to transfer the older teen's case to adult court. Under DC law, the 13-year-old could not be prosecuted as an adult due to her age.

The judge set the next court date for April 20 to discuss the status of the case.

A video of the incident shows the encounter unfolding in a minute and a half, ending with Anwar's Honda Accord on its side, the girls climbing out and a fatally injured Anwar sprawled and motionless on the sidewalk.

Police have not identified the juvenile suspects, one of whom is from the DC and the other is from neighboring Fort Washington, Maryland.

Anwar, who lived in suburban Springfield, Virginia, was at his delivery job for Uber Eats when he was killed.

The 90-second clip begins with Anwar struggling to regain control of his car after the two girls made their way inside.

'They're thieves,' he is heard saying as he attempts to pull the girl out of the driver seat of the parked car. 'This is my car!'

The teen suddenly accelerates, sending the car speeding down the 1200 block of Van Street SE with Anwar still clinging on to the driver side's door.

At one point, the car is seen smashing into a metal fence from its left side, crushing the delivery driver between the barrier and car door.

As the car continues to speed off into the distance, a screeching sound is heard followed by a loud crash.

The bystander filming the incident runs over to the site of the crash to find the car rolled over and the two girls climbing out of the wreckage.

Anwar's body can be seen lying motionless on the corner on the sidewalk, as witnesses scramble to get help.

Two National Guardsmen who were in the area removed the juvenile suspects from the overturned car and detained them until police responded to the scene and arrested them.

Anwar was eventually rushed to a hospital but could not be saved. He was ejected onto the sidewalk and sustained fatal injuries, including head trauma and broken bones.

He was described in a GoFundMe post as 'a hard-working Pakistani immigrant who came to the United States to create a better life for him and his family'.


Portland Police Officers Leaving in Droves, Give Damning Reasons in Exit Interviews

If politicians and the people who elected them in the first place don't want police to do their jobs and don’t seem to care about the ramifications of them not enforcing the law, there seems to be little incentive for officers to stay on the job, especially when they’re putting their lives on the line every day.

In Portland, Oregon, where violence has skyrocketed after the city council cut several police programs amid calls for change, officers are leaving in droves. Portland's police department said the number of mid-career cops heading for the exit was "unprecedented." And in some cases, they're moving on for lower-paying jobs.

The exit interviews from the "overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out" officers are quite telling.

According to The Oregonian, one retiring detective wrote that officers were shown "zero support."

"The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchist fantasy. What’s worse is ppb [Portland Police Bureau] command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly."

The retiring officer continued: "The only difference between the Titanic and PPB? Deck chairs and a band."

Since July 1, 2020, 115 officers have left the department, which is "one of the biggest waves of departures in recent memory," the paper said.


Christian Conservative Crowdfunding Site Under Attack

The left is coming after conservatives on every platform. It’s not just social media users but the owners of those companies and other platforms. GiveSendGo, a Christian crowdfunding site that launched in 2015 to help Christians raise money for things like mission trips and medical bills, has been dragged into the fray merely for allowing a fundraiser for Kyle Rittenhouse. The left wants to shut the site down, hacking it and trying to get payment processors and hosting companies to drop the site. There were 700 complaints to GiveSendGo’s hosting provider in January alone. The left smears GiveSendGo by calling it “a platform for Trumpist hate.” Discover Card will not allow its customers to use the card for donations, and Facebook banned links to the Rittenhouse fundraiser.

I spoke with siblings Jacob Wells and Heather Wilson who founded and run the site.

GiveSendGo is different from the narcissistic GoFundMe in that the focus of fundraising is tied to sharing the hope that you have. It’s not divorced from the money. The pair generously donate 10% of the proceeds they receive to fundraisers on the site.

The site could have ducked taking on fundraisers for controversial people like Rittenhouse, but once the siblings observed “death by deplatforming” they knew they had to take a stand. Jake Gardner was a Nebraska bar owner who committed suicide after being indicted in the fatal shooting of a black protester. The tragic series of events began during riots after the death of George Floyd. Gardner’s dad pushed a protester who would not leave the area near the bar. The protester pushed back, and so the younger Gardner displayed his handgun. Two protesters jumped on his back and he fired two warning shots. They left, but James Scurlock, a young black man who had been involved in vandalism earlier, tackled him and put him in a headlock. Gardner begged Scurlock to release him, but he didn’t, so he shot him.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine wasn’t even going to press charges at first, believing Gardner had acted in self defense. But obviously due to public pressure, he asked a grand jury to review his decision. Meanwhile, Gardner was trying to raise money for his defense, but was being deplatformed everywhere. People like Nebraska State Sen. Megan Hunt piled on and incited more hate by calling him a white supremacist. His bar was known for hosting Republican events, which no doubt intensified the vicious reaction. But he wasn’t a hateful person, in 2017 he went to the Trump inauguration and was interviewed about the Women’s March, and he said they have a right to be out there protesting.

Gardner moved to California to escape the hate. A decorated veteran who had served two tours in Iraq, he suffered two brain injuries. He found out about GiveSendGo due to the publicity surrounding Rittenhouse, but it was too late. Just two days after the fundraiser was started, the jury indicted him for manslaughter and other felonies, and he killed himself. The Jake Gardner family has since set up its own GiveSendGo fundraiser.

Wells and Wilson said “never again.” GiveSendGo is going to stand and allow people on both sides of a legal battle to raise funds for legal fees, instead of censoring people they don’t think are worthy, they are going to be a platform that provides hope, forgiveness and second chances. They do not feel the court of public opinion should override the justice system. Fortunately the Rittenhouse fundraiser, which is what first put GiveSendGo in the spotlight, helped the young man when needed. Rittenhouse said the fundraiser is what got him through the time when he was locked up in jail.

And it hasn’t been easy. Wilson had to change her phone number after the calls started coming in swearing at her and calling her a white supremacist. One left-wing activist used the site to raise money for a radical LGBT cause clearly to harass them. But he ended up being surprised at how kindly he was treated, admitting on Facebook that they really do stand for freedom.

Other famous conservatives who have been targeted who use the site include Trump attorney Sidney Powell, former USPS employee Richard Hopkins, who told Project Veritas about alleged voter fraud, and Melissa Carone, the elections worker who testified during Michigan legislative hearings about voter fraud. Matt Braynard, former Director of Data and Strategy for the Trump campaign, raised $675,437 for his Voter Integrity Project to investigate election fraud, exceeding his goal of $590,000. The left has figured out that GiveSendGo isn’t going to shut down these types of fundraisers, and has stopped bombarding them with complaints about them.

The siblings are still feeling out the parameters of what is acceptable content. While the site focuses on allowing free speech, they have standards, so profanity is not allowed. They have a prayer team, which calls people when they start a campaign as their prayer partner. There’s a prayer button that people can select instead of contributing money, and a prayer wall for people to post requests for prayer.

Wells and Wilson tell me they are well-prepared for attempts to shut them down. They have backup plans ready to go at the flip of a switch, such as alternative hosting servers. They are beginning to incorporate cryptocurrency. The frustrating thing they have noticed is that 90% of the complaints come from fake email addresses — it’s just a very small number of activists faking all the outrage against them.

It’s a hypocritical double standard that GoFundMe allows fundraisers for all kinds of evil people, but won’t let a lot of regular conservatives fundraise. It’s even more appalling that the left is trying to destroy alternative platforms like GiveSendGo. We must stay vigilant, shedding light on the situation, because eventually the woke crowd will be coming for the rest of us, too.


The psychedelic ibogaine is illegal, potentially deadly— and could inspire new treatments for some of mainstream medicine’s most undertreated conditions

Once dismissed as a fringe, counterculture vice, psychedelics are rapidly approaching acceptance in mainstream medicine. These drugs uniquely change the brain, and a person’s awareness of experiences, in the span of just a few hours. This fast-acting shift could be useful in mental- health treatments, and research is already supporting this notion. Just one dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, was recently shown to ease depression and anxiety in cancer patients—an outcome that lasted for years after their trip. Researchers are recognizing that psychedelics can provide a radical new approach to mental-health treatments at a time when innovation is desperately needed.

For addiction in particular, the need has never been greater. More Americans died from drug overdoses last year than ever before, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Weekly counts of drug overdoses were up to 45% higher in 2020 than in the same periods in 2019, according to research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in February. Available treatments can’t meet the need. They aren’t effective for everyone, may require long-term adherence and are sometimes addictive themselves.

Ibogaine is one of the most promising psychedelics for addiction. Few people have heard of it, it’s illicit in the U.S., and nobody does it for fun. It’s not pleasant. It could kill you. But for extinguishing addiction—and a range of other issues—many people swear there’s nothing like it. Derived from the root bark of an African shrub, it first entered the U.S. consciousness in the 1960s thanks to Howard Lotsof—then a 19-year-old completely outside the medical establishment—who experimented with the drug and noticed it wiped out his heroin addiction. It did the same for several of Lotsof’s peers who tried it in New York City. (See sidebar, page 86.) He found ibogaine so helpful that he launched a campaign to get researchers to dig into it more deeply. But pharmaceutical companies didn’t bite. Ibogaine is a naturally occurring plant compound and therefore difcult to patent; plus, nobody knew exactly how it worked, and drug companies historically did not see addiction medications as profitable. In 1970, the federal government classified ibogaine (along with other psychedelics) as a Schedule I drug, declaring it had no medical use and a high potential for abuse. But case studies in which ibogaine had helped heroin users successfully detox— including Lotsof’s New York City group and another from the Netherlands in the early ’90s—were promising enough that one U.S. government agency took notice.

In 1991, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) decided to fund animal research into ibogaine; the resulting studies (and later ones) in rodents found that ibogaine reduced how much heroin, morphine, cocaine and alcohol the animals consumed. This work primed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to greenlight a clinical trial of ibogaine in humans for cocaine dependence, but it fell apart in early stages because of a lack of funding and contractual disputes. NIDA abandoned its interest in ibogaine, citing safety as one concern. There still has been no completed clinical trial in the U.S. to test ibogaine in people.

Now, for the first time, some upstart pharmaceutical companies, including ATAI Life Sciences and Mindmed, are realizing there’s money to be made here, and they’re racing to develop ibogaine or drugs that act like it. But as they start the long slog of chasing FDA approval through clinical trials—with outcomes far from clear—many people are desperate enough to skip the U.S. and try ibogaine in parts of the world where it’s unregulated.

Plenty of these people have shared their experiences with researchers through case reports and survey data. The success stories sound eerily alike: a single dose of ibogaine can take you on a visual journey of your most significant life events. You’re able to forgive yourself and others for past traumas, and the drug seems to rewire your brain, zapping withdrawal symptoms and extinguishing opioid cravings within hours—with results that can last for weeks, months and sometimes even longer. Unlike buprenorphine and methadone, two common approved medications to overcome opioid addictions, ibogaine is not an opioid substitute. “Ibogaine seems to resolve these signs of opioid withdrawal by a mechanism that is different from an opioid effect, and I think that is what is so interesting about it,” says Dr. Kenneth Alper, a longtime ibogaine researcher and an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at New York University School of Medicine.

Scientists don’t know exactly what ibogaine does to the brain. There’s some recent evidence—in rats—that ibogaine may increase neurotrophic factors in the brain, which are proteins that encourage neuron growth and plasticity (the ability of the brain to change even in adulthood). These appear to be key in helping the brain remodel to overcome an assault like a substance-use disorder. But since other psychedelics also increase neural plasticity, something more is likely going on.

Human clinical trials for ibogaine and addiction are under way. In October, researchers in Spain began testing ibogaine in 20 people trying to wean themselves offmethadone. And in an upcoming clinical trial set to begin in Brazil once the pandemic is under control, researchers at the University of São Paulo will give different doses of ibogaine to 12 alcoholic patients to see if it’s safe and effective at reducing the amount they drink.

But many are not waiting for studies. If there’s even a chance that taking ibogaine will help a person overcome addiction, many are willing to try it. Ibogaine is unregulated in many countries, neither illegal nor approved, and that gray zone has allowed dozens of ibogaine treatment centers to pop up worldwide. Americans desperate to shake their addictions spend thousands of dollars at these clinics, which vary wildly in their practices and treatment standards. Some facilities use licensed physicians and monitor heart activity and other vital signs throughout the trip, while other clinics don’t.

Success rates also vary. Some people stop using drugs completely and stay sober for years. Others die. Because of a lack of controlled ibogaine trials, it’s difficult to quantify the risks, but the threats to cardiovascular health are particularly concerning. The drug may block certain channels in the heart and slow down heart rate, which can cause fatal arrhythmias. In one observational study published in 2018, researchers followed 15 people as they received ibogaine treatment for opioid dependence in New Zealand, where ibogaine is legal by prescription, and interviewed them for a year after. Eight of the 11 patients who completed the study cut back on or stopped using opioids, and depression improved in all of them. One person died during the treatment, likely because of an ibogaineinduced heart arrhythmia.

But how much risk is too much when nothing else works?

Four rounds of rehab hadn’t touched Bobby Laughlin’s heroin addiction. He didn’t believe the hype about ibogaine but figured it was his last shot, so he traveled to a clinic in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Before the flight, he used heroin—and it was the last opiate he ever took. The most valuable outcome of Laughlin’s 30-hour ibogaine experience was that it let him bypass withdrawals, he says, opening a window of opportunity. “One thing that was made very clear to me was that I had to change my life dramatically after the experience if I wanted to capitalize on it and have longterm sobriety,” he says. Laughlin started a private-equity firm in L.A., then a family. “I’ve been able to establish myself,” he says, eight years later. “All roads lead back to ibogaine as the start.”

Alan Davis, a Johns Hopkins University adjunct assistant professor researching psychedelics, has been hired by several clinics outside the U.S.— including the one Laughlin visited—to follow up with clients to see what, if anything, changed in their lives after the treatment. In 2017, Davis published a study in the Journal of Psychedelic Studies in which he surveyed 88 people—most of whom had been using opioids daily for at least four years—who had visited an ibogaine clinic in Mexico from 2012 to 2015. About 80% said ibogaine eliminated or drastically reduced their withdrawal symptoms; half said their opioid cravings diminished, and 30% said that after ibogaine, they never used opioids again. Ibogaine “is not a magic bullet,” Davis says, but even a short-term disruption of the sort the psychedelic provides can give addicted people the space and time to make needed changes to their environment, behavioral patterns and relationships.

Addiction may be only the beginning. In a 2020 research paper published in the journal Chronic Stress, Davis and his team found that among 51 U.S. veterans who had taken ibogaine in Mexico from 2017 to 2019, there were “very large reductions” in symptoms related to every domain they measured, including suicidal thoughts, PTSD, depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment. “Their improvement [was] way above what we would see with typical currently approved treatments,” Davis says. “Even if you cut these effect sizes in half” — assuming that the data aren’t as accurate as they’d be in a rigorous, controlled trial—“that’s still two to three times more powerful than our currently approved treatments.” More than 80% of the vets surveyed said the psychedelic experience was one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives.

“We’re not actually healing problems with medications that we currently have; we’re just trying to treat the symptoms,” Davis says. Psychedelics like ibogaine, on the other hand, seem “to be showing that we might actually be getting below just symptom reduction into a place where true healing can happen.”

Despite intriguing initial data like these, modern pharmaceutical companies until recently had not touched ibogaine. Now they’re interested. ATAI Life Sciences, a three-year-old German biotech company focused on psychedelics for mental health, is trying to develop ibogaine as an FDA- approved drug to treat opioid-use disorder. If clinical trials, which are slated to begin in the U.K. in May, support ibogaine’s efficacy, the company’s hope is that an ibogaine capsule would be used at detox centers in the U.S. “I’m a hardcore neuropharmacologist and physician by training,” says Dr. Srinivas Rao, co-founder and chief scientific officer at ATAI. “I’ve viewed it a little skeptically.. . but the stories with ibogaine keep surfacing and [keep] being very similar. People seem to get a lot out of this experience.” ATAI is also pursuing noribogaine—the substance ibogaine breaks down to in the body—as a possible addiction treatment.

Fears about how ibogaine affects the heart have scared away most establishment pharmaceutical companies, but Rao calls those worries overblown. “It does hit some of these channels in the heart, and in very uncontrolled settings, it’s certainly been associated with issues of arrhythmia,” he says. “In the context of more controlled settings with medical support, it has not really been associated with any kind of arrhythmia or significant adverse outcome.” Careful dosing and monitoring can lessen risk, Rao says, and trials will eventually uncover ibogaine’s true cardiovascular impact. However, some risk might be worth it in the context of the drug’s potential benefits. “If this were treating acne, of course—this is not a great choice,” he says. But for opioid addiction, which kills about 128 Americans per day, “some degree of cardio vascular risk is probably acceptable.”

Mindmed, a U.S.-based company aiming to develop medicines based on psychedelics, is pursuing a synthetic derivative of ibogaine called 18-MC for opioid addiction. “We do see merit in hallucinogenic drugs,” says J.R. Rahn, CEO and cofounder of Mindmed. “We just don’t see the merit of ibogaine, because I don’t think anyone wants to take medicine and have the risk of having a heart attack.” The company’s hope is that 18-MC will have the same impact on withdrawal as ibogaine but won’t come with the psychedelic or heart effects. Mindmed’s Phase 1 trial in Australia has so far found no adverse cardio vascular effects with 18-MC. Phase 2 trials, to test if 18-MC lessens opioid withdrawal, are expected to begin this year.

Other synthetic compounds that act like ibogaine are on the horizon. In a study published in December in the journal Nature, researchers at the University of California, Davis, engineered a compound that’s structurally similar to ibogaine but less damaging to the heart. It also appears to be non hallucinogenic, at least in mice. Called tabernanthalog, or TBG, it increased neural plasticity, reduced heroin- and alcohol- seeking behavior, and even had antidepressant effects in rodents; researchers are considering pursuing a study of TBG’s effects on humans.

These innovations are still years off. But in the meantime, Marcus Capone knows that his community of specialoperations veterans can’t afford to wait. In 2019, he and his wife Amber started a nonprofit called Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS) to fund those who want to receive psychedelic therapies like ibogaine abroad. They’ve funded about 300 veterans so far, with more than 100 currently on the waitlist. VETS is also financing research exploring what ibogaine does to the brains of veterans with symptoms of head trauma.

Marcus hopes that someday, Americans who need it will be able to receive the treatment that, in a single dose, saved his life and gave him a new mission. “This word has to get out,” he says.




Monday, April 05, 2021

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is slammed for his 'racist' and 'anti-Asian' tweet claiming he will 'identify as Chinese' to win favor with Coca-Cola, Delta and Nike who all criticized Georgia's new voting law but work with Beijing dictators

Former Arkansas Gov Mike Huckabee has been slammed on Twitter for his 'racist' and 'anti-Asian' tweet claiming he will 'identify as Chinese' so that Coca-Cola, Delta and Nike will like him.

'I’ve decided to “identify” as Chinese. Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my “values” and I’ll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain’t America great?' Huckabee tweeted Saturday morning.

Huckabee appeared to be referring to Georgia's sweeping new voting law, which many have blasted as voter suppression, while also mocking those who oppose hate and violence against Asian Americans.

His remarks come just a week after a 65-year-old woman was viciously attacked while walking to church near New York City's Times Square. The attack heightened already palpable levels of outrage over anti-Asian attacks that escalated with the pandemic.

The New York assault came just two weeks after a white gunman opened fire inside three Asian-owned massage businesses in metro Atlanta. Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, died.

Meanwhile, three groups already have filed a lawsuit over the Georgia measure, which adds greater legislative control over how elections are run and includes strict identification requirements for voting absentee by mail. It also limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to hand out food or water to voters waiting in line, among other provisions.

Huckabee's remarks prompted several people to take to social media to blast the former governor for claiming to be 'Christian' but spewing Asian 'hate' speech.

'WHOA. Racist, much, Mike? The Evangelical Christians are OUT OF CONTROL with hate. You lead the way,' one person tweeted.

Another wrote: 'Wow is this appalling. Six Asian American women were massacred on March 16. Last weekend, an Asian woman your age was beaten and kicked in NYC and is still in hospital with broken bones and a concussion. Every day Asian/AAPI people are victimized by hate crimes. Delete this.'

California Congressman Ted Lieu tweeted: 'Hey Mike Huckabee, I asked around and Coke likes me, Delta agrees with my values, I wear Nikes and my hometown Dodgers won the World Series. But it’s not because of my ethnicity. It’s because I’m not a sh*thead like you who is adding fuel to anti-Asian hate.'

'Pretty racist and scummy. Hope Twitter bans you for fomenting anti-Asian hate,' another wrote.

Activist Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting in February 2018, shared: 'I have decided to identify you as a hater of America, Democracy, and Decency and to simply identify you as an a-- hole.'

Huckabee's tweet also hit out at the MLB, which yanked its All-Star game from Georgia after Gov Brian Kemp signed a new voting law that critics say will disproportionately affect communities of color.

The Republican governor said at a news conference that MLB 'caved to fear and lies from liberal activists' when it yanked the July 13 game from Atlanta's Truist Park. He added the decision will hurt working people in the state and have long-term consequences on the economy.

'I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight. We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced,' Kemp said.

'Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola and Delta may be scared of Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden and the left, but I am not,' he said, referring to companies that have also criticized the new law.

Georgia Republicans say the changes were needed to maintain voter confidence in the election system, and the governor insists opponents have mischaracterized what the law does. Yet GOP lawmakers made the revisions largely in response to false claims of fraud in the 2020 elections made by former President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Abrams, who has championed voting rights since narrowly losing to Kemp in the 2018 election, is among those who have spoken out against the law. The Democrat is being closely watched to see if she seeks a 2022 rematch.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred previously said he made the call to move the All-Star events and the amateur draft from Atlanta after discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, an organization of black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year.

A new ballpark for the events wasn't immediately revealed.

Kemp also criticized the league for not trying to improve voter access in its home state of New York, where he said voters need an excuse to vote by mail and have fewer days of early voting than in Georgia.

He said its decision means 'cancel culture' is coming for American businesses and jobs.

Former president Donald Trump also blasted the league's move, while former president Barack Obama congratulated MLB for its decision, saying there was no better way for baseball to honor [Hank] Aaron, 'who always led by example'.

Meanwhile, US Attorney General Merrick Garland has ordered a review of how the Justice Department can best deploy its resources to combat hate crimes during a surge in incidents targeting Asian Americans.

Garland issued a department-wide memo announcing the 30-day review, citing the 'recent rise in hate crimes and hate incidents, particularly the disturbing trend in reports of violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community since the start of the pandemic'.

Asian American activists say Trump is partly to blame because of his rhetoric around COVID-19, which he frequently referred to as the 'Chinese virus'.

They say he gave license for people to show racism that was already rooted in decades of anti-Asian sentiment in the US.

According to a report from Stop AAPI Hate, more than 3,800 anti-Asian incidents were reported to the organization between March 2020 through February.

The group, which tracks incidents of discrimination, hate and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., said that number is "only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur."

According to the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, hate crimes targeting Asians ballooned by 150 per cent last year, while hate crimes overall during the pandemic went down 7 per cent.


Charles Barkley Drives a Dagger Through the Heart of the Left's Identity Politics Narrative

Charles Barkley dropped a lecture that’s bound to infuriate the woke mob because what he said was sensible. Barkley, an 11-time all-star and Hall of Famer, is often entertaining without the politics as he hosts Inside the NBA on TNT with Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith. You’ve all seen Barkley take comedic swipes at San Antonio women and Jussie Smollett, things that would have led to him getting a pink slip if he had worked for a network like ESPN. On both of those occasions, Shaq was left on the floor laughing which only added to the comedic effect.

No, this time Sir Charles decided to really drive a knife into the heart of the identity politics antics that are engulfing the country. Barkley is not a conservative, but he’s not beholden to the rules of the woke Left either. Recently, he offered a lecture about racial divisions in this country and noted that we’re all be played for fools by the political class. These people want us to hate each other, especially on black-white lines, since that’s the best way to maintain their fiefdoms. He mentioned this during the network’s current coverage of the NCAA tournament (via Daily Caller):

Charles Barkley shared some refreshing and blunt thoughts about the divisions in America, and everyone needs to hear his words.


Man, I think most white people and black people are great people. I really believe that in my heart, but I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power. They divide and conquer. I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people, but we’re so stupid following our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, and their only job is, ‘Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods, we all got money, let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other, let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other, let’s scramble the middle class. I truly believe that in my heart.

This isn’t the first time Barkley has decided to more or less shred through the liberal media narrative. He offered a nuanced take regarding the Breonna Taylor shooting. In keeping with his remarks above, he was not pleased with the former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posting an anti-Semitic post attributed to Louis Farrakhan. Barkley saw no reason for hating other racial or ethnic groups due to racial prejudice towards blacks. He aptly noted past discrimination is not a get-out-of-jail card for the black community to be bigots as well:

"We can't allow black people to be prejudiced also. Especially if we're asking for white folks to respect us, give us economic opportunity, and things like that," Barkley said. "I'm so disappointed in these men, but I don't understand how you beat hatred with more hatred."

Barkley says he doesn't understand the hatred in people's hearts and will never accept it.

"We gotta do better," Barkley concluded. "I want allies. I don't want to alienate anybody. And to take shots at the Jewish race, the white race, I just don't like it because it's not right."

The good news for Barkley is that you cannot cancel one of the greatest basketball players of all time. So, he has some level of protection from the legions of unhinged progressives.


'No Gestapo Here!': Polish Pastor Tosses Canadian Police Out of Good Friday Church Service

Calgary police were met with resistance when they attempted to shut down a Good Friday church service for violating COVID restrictions. Artur Pawlowski, the pastor at The Cave of Adullam, told police to leave and not return until they have a search warrant in hand.

"You come back with a warrant," Pawlowski said. "Out! Out! Out!"

Police were hesitant to leave but the pastor wasn't backing down. "Out of this property, you Nazis!" Pawlowski shouted. "Gestapo is not allowed here!"

As police left the property, Pawlowski told them "not to come back, you Nazi psychopaths."

"Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don’t you dare come back here!” he shouted as they walked away.

The pastor turned the camera to face him.

“Can you imagine those psychopaths? Passover, the holiest Christian festival in a year and they’re coming to intimidate Christians during the holiest festival? Unbelievable," Pawlowski said. "What is wrong with those sick psychopaths? It’s beyond me. Wow. Wow. How dare they?"

“Unbelievable. We’re living in a total takeover of the government with their thugs, goons, the brown shirts, the Gestapo wannabe dictators,” an incredulous Pawlowski said. “Coming to the church armed with guns and tasers and handcuffs to intimidate during Passover celebration? Well, I guess that’s what it is, they want to enslave us all like the Egyptians did. They want to be the Pharaohs of today, that’s what they’re doing. Unbelievable. People, if you don’t stand up, wake up, wow. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”

The pastor warned about Germany, where "wannabe Hitlers are already ruling" and fascism is reigning once again. He took particular issue with the country's lockdown.

He referenced the COVID passports that are being talked about and potentially implemented.

"If you will not be vaccinated like a dog or a cat, you will not be able to buy or sell. You will not be able to go to school or work. Is that the future you want?" Pawlowski asked. "Is that what you want for your children and your grandchildren?"

According to the pastor, the time to stand up and push back against the out-of-control government is now.


Motte-and-Bailey: The Academic Threat from ‘Lived Experience’

A few years ago, my friend Sheila recounted an incident of alleged racism she experienced at a café in California. While waiting in line to order a coffee, a barista took the order of an older white woman first. The barista didn’t refuse service to Sheila and was polite when she finally took her order. To my surprise, the only potential slight was that in a moment of uncertainty, the barista took a white woman’s order before my friend, who is African American.

It is possible that the barista was a racist, but it is equally plausible that the barista wasn’t sure who was first in line, and so deferred to the older woman. As I listened, it became obvious to me that this incident had multiple interpretations, but Sheila’s “lived experience” only allowed for one: racism. And who was I to disagree?

What this anecdote shows is how a reasonable interpretation can become unreasonable when interpreted through a framework that rejects alternative explanations and assumes epistemic authority based on one’s identity. Academic frameworks like critical race theory and intersectionality take anecdotes like the above and use them to stifle good-faith debate.

One way that happens is by using the motte-and-bailey fallacy. One modest and easy-to-defend position (the motte) is replaced by a much more controversial position (the bailey). A person will argue the bailey, but then replace it with the motte when questioned.

For example, a key concept of critical race theory and the broader social justice movement is the notion of lived experience, which means that marginalized people have better access to knowledge about their own experiences of oppression than privileged people do. On the surface, that seems quite reasonable. A white person can never know how it feels to be called the n-word, and a man might be oblivious to how it feels to be a woman in a male-dominated profession. Sexism and racism do exist, so it seems reasonable to assume that members of the majority are less likely to recognize such prejudices.

However, the proponents of critical race theory and intersectionality do not stop there. Smuggled into their notion of lived experience is an adherence to the more controversial “standpoint epistemology,” a postmodern theory of knowledge that rejects reaching for objectivity and argues that marginalized people have authoritative knowledge about complex systems of oppression and society itself.

For example, a colleague of mine at a Swedish university cited his lived experience when he argued that critics of Sweden’s immigration policies are all racists and should be banned from speaking at universities.

When I told him that his lived experience was just anecdotal—that there is no way he could generalize about millions of people based on a few bad encounters—he doubled down and replied, “that’s a very white male thing to say.” Initially, I worried that I wasn’t sympathetic enough to his experiences as an immigrant, despite being one myself. However, I now realize that I was being emotionally manipulated and shamed into silence through a very clever bait-and-switch. These tactics are not part of a good-faith debate, but rather a rhetorical strategy to claim epistemic authority and gain power.

Retreating to the motte of lived experience is a manipulative tactic that the disciples of the social justice movement use to exploit compassionate peoples’ desire not to offend others. The motte-and-bailey allows pseudo-academics and activists to shut down important discussions without making an argument or citing any credible scholarship or data. It also allows them to drown out well-reasoned arguments with selective anecdotes, emotional appeals, shaming tactics, and religious zealotry.

The idea that suffering brings enlightenment—that a class of “woke” individuals will lead us to the promised land with their “revealed knowledge”—has much more in common with religious mysticism than academic inquiry. In an age when we are dealing with increasingly urgent and complex issues such as climate change and a global pandemic, well-reasoned arguments have even greater importance. Personal experience doesn’t need to be ignored, but a personal anecdote cannot be a substitute for data and honest debate.

Marginalization does not mean those who suffer will know the best policy to fix a social problem.
Much like how a cancer survivor can express how it feels to have cancer better than their doctor could, minorities may have a greater understanding of how it feels to be marginalized—but this does not automatically grant them a better understanding of complex social systems and other external causal factors. Nor does it make their own intuitions infallible or grant them insight into other people’s intentions. Most importantly, marginalization does not mean those who suffer will know the best policy to fix a social problem.

Experience can be the starting point of an investigation. An anecdote can be a powerful illustration of a known phenomenon. But the adherents of standpoint epistemology skip the investigation part and treat selective anecdotes as unquestionable facts. No attempts to falsify their explanations are made, and, like my friend Sheila, no counter-arguments or alternative theories are considered. To even propose another explanation is to engage in white supremacy, or systemic racism, or epistemic violence, according to this critical approach. In fact, at a recent MLK commemorative address, antiracist guru Ibram X. Kendi claimed that the very denial of racism is a strong indicator of its existence.

Yet, in their rejection of other explanations, Kendi and others disprove their own theory.

The lived experience of other minorities who, for example, do not believe that they are still living in a white supremacist hetero-patriachy, are not acknowledged. Nor do they consider the experiences of many women who were born with female bodies and who believe this may play a role in how they experience their gender.

Like any dogmatic belief system, critical race theory has a built-in confirmation bias. It perpetuates racial essentialism by teaching whites that all minorities think the same. But despite being antithetical to science and reason, it has gained traction in academic and political circles. For example, when recently asked by Trevor Noah what she would bring to a Biden White House, Kamala Harris cited her identity as a “Black woman” and replied: “Joe understands that he and I have very different lived experiences.”

To stop the critical takeover, it is important for educators to tread carefully when unpacking any claim rooted in these grievance narratives. That means critiquing the bailey of standpoint epistemology while respecting the lived experiences of both students and academics. Acknowledge that racism or sexism might have occurred, but gently encourage students to consider other explanations as well. Focus instead on the methodology being used rather than the conclusions that are reached.

Most importantly, try to draw a clear distinction between personal testimonies, selective anecdotes, and scientific data. Invalidating the experiences of others will only lead them to become defensive or feel marginalized. Introducing them to other ways of thinking about their experience, though, opens up a possibility for learning more about the world, as well as imparting wisdom for their future.




Sunday, April 04, 2021

The battle against the Left's ideology of racial victimhood has only just begun

We have entered the opening phase of a vicious new culture war. A Government-commissioned review, launched in the wake of last summer’s Black Lives Matters protests, has come to the heretical conclusion that race is less important than family and class in explaining the outcomes of different groups. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report is a forensic and unapologetic challenge to the liberal-Left conviction that the UK is structurally bigoted. It finds no evidence that institutional racism exists in Britain. In fact, it points out that, in some areas, such as education, particular ethnic minorities outperform their white counterparts. Even more boldly it ventures that UK should be seen as a model for other white-majority nations.

Hours before the report was even published, it had already been trashed by the Left-wing activists who dominate discourse on race in Britain. Maurice Mcleod, the chief executive of Race on the Agenda, blasted the report as “government level gaslighting”. Halima Begum, head of the Runnymede Trust, called it a “gross offence” to grieving families of ethnic minorities who have died of Covid. Black Lives Matter, which has bloomed from a grassroots rabble into a slick establishment operation, snipped that it was “perplexed” by the report’s methodology and “disappointed” by oversight of police racism.

A hostile reception is, on one level, a good sign. The report is a brave first step in confronting the Neo-Marxist ideology that has poisoned conversations about race. Its emphasis on concrete evidence rather than patronising theories – from critical race to unconcious bias – is radical. It is a deep rejection of “political blackness” – a post-communist doctrine seeded in the civil rights solidarity of 1960s, which lumps minorities together in a battle against capitalist white privilege. The inquiry’s jettisoning of the term BAME is not merely “semantics”, but the start of a fierce academic battle. The cliched acronym epitomises the 30-year colonisation of the cultural mainstream by the hard-Left, travelling from radicalised anthropology departments to executive boardrooms, public bodies, and media outfits.

Tony Sewell – the Brixton-born educationalist who led the Commission – is trying to shift the debate away from victimising meta-theories towards a more nuanced discussion about race. His investigation is barbed with inconvenient facts. The ethnic pay gap has shrunk to 2.3 per cent overall and barely registers for employees under 30. Diversity is improving in professions like medicine and law. Sewell’s report dares to broach the complexity of black Britain.

It finds, for example, that the exclusion rate for black Caribbean pupils is double that of their black African counterparts. Black Caribbean pupils are the only ethnic minority group that do not do as well or better than their white counterparts. Sewell has expressed his hope that this will go down as a landmark report which changes the dialogue over coming decades. That depends on how much fight – and skill – the centre-Right possesses.

It will have to overthrow a hard-Left nexus of academics, NGOs and political agitators. They have been calling the shots ever since a notorious coup against the Institute for Race Relations in 1972. A three-year guerilla assault on the body, led by the novelist Ambalavaner Sivanandan, resulted in resignations, and a watershed shift in research focus from black people to white institutions. Sivanandan’s theory of “institutional racism” – that it is first finds venomous roots in the laws of the land (for example in biased immigration legislation), and then branches out to the executive and judiciary – went mainstream in the wake of the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Since then its even more ambitious cousin, structural racism, has found evidence of oppression in everything from the benefits system to Kew Gardens' plants. Unconscious bias training has become a multi-million pound industry. Youth groups pitch themselves as intermediaries between black teens and “white-dominated” police and social services. Lecturers ride a gravy train of anti-racism advocacy and book deals on decolonising human rights.

The only way to challenge such a vast, profitable and entrenched enterprise is to build a rival one in parallel. Funding must be secured for academic research into the challenges faced by the specific groups outlined in the Sewell report – particularly Caribbean Brits, the white working class and British Pakistanis. New NGOs and organisations with the same granular focus will also be needed. Yet this is the easy part. More difficult will be to contest a victimhood mentality that is becoming as entrenched as religious dogma. For all its troubles, America offers some inspiration here. Latinos and Afro-Americans identify as American in a way their British counterparts don’t because the country’s founding ideas – like freedom and the American Dream – are so bewitching. We desperately lack our own story of Britishness fired by energetic values.

Winning hearts and minds will also demand sensitivity and courage. The Tories need to tread carefully as they make inroads into the political vipers nest of “parental responsibility”. They will also have to alter their language. We need to shift the debate, not from “inequality” to “culture” – but to “counter-culture”. The problem is not the customs of some immigrant groups per se but the toxic attitudes that have spread among second and third generation Britons.

Most controversially, it is important not to fall into the trap of downplaying Britain’s race problems. Woke teachings have enjoyed such momentum in recent years because multiculturalism has failed. The orthodoxy that tensions resolve themselves if you give immigrants cultural “space” has proved naive. Conservatives must confront the basic truth that progress can be both enriching and a destructive. They might well find more support for this revelation than the home truths of the Sewell report.

It is no coincidence that the ethnic groups who feel the paradoxes of immigration most profoundly have rejected metropolitanland’s sunny mythology of “samba, saris and samosas” just as virulently as the white working class.


10 Radical New Rules That Are Changing America

1. Money is a construct.
It can be created from thin air. Annual deficits and aggregate national debt no longer matter much.

Prior presidents ran up huge annual deficits, but at least there were some concessions that the money was real and had to be paid back. Not now.

As we near $30 trillion in national debt and 110% of annual gross domestic product, our elites either believe permanent zero interest rates make the cascading obligation irrelevant or the larger the debt, the more likely we will be forced to address needed income redistribution.

2. Laws are not necessarily binding anymore.
President Joe Biden took an oath to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But he has willfully rendered federal immigration laws null and void. Some rioters are prosecuted for violating federal laws, others not so much. Arrests, prosecutions, and trials are all fluid. Ideology governs when a law is still considered a law.

Crime rates do not necessarily matter. If someone is carjacked, assaulted, or shot, it can be understood to be as much the victim’s fault as the perpetrator’s. Either the victim was too lax, uncaring, and insensitive, or he provoked his attacker.

How useful the crime is to the larger agendas of the left determines whether a victim is really a victim and the victimizer really a victimizer.

3. Racialism is now acceptable.
We are defined first by our ethnicity or religion, and only secondarily—if at all—by an American commonality.

The explicit exclusion of whites from college dorms, safe spaces, and federal aid programs is now noncontroversial. It is unspoken payback for perceived past sins, or a type of “good” racism. Falsely being called a racist makes one more guilty than falsely calling someone else a racist.

4. The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen.
The newcomer, unlike the host, is not stained by the sins of America’s founding and history. Most citizens currently must follow quarantine rules and social distancing, stay out of school, and obey all the laws.

Yet those entering the United States illegally need not follow such apparently superfluous COVID-19 rules. Their children should be immediately schooled without worry of quarantine.

Immigrants need not worry about their illegal entry or residence in America. Our elites believe illegal entrants more closely resemble the “Founders” than do legal citizens, about half of whom they consider irredeemable.

5. Most Americans should be treated as we would treat little children.
They cannot be asked to provide an ID to vote. “Noble lies” by our elites about COVID-19 rules are necessary to protect “Neanderthals” from themselves.

Americans deserve relief from the stress of grades, standardized testing, and normative rules of school behavior. They still are clueless about why it is good for them to pay far more for their gasoline, heating, and air conditioning.

6. Hypocrisy is passe. Virtue signaling is alive.
Climate change activists fly on private jets. Social justice warriors live in gated communities. Multibillionaire elitists pose as victims of sexism, racism, and homophobia. The elite need these exemptions to help the helpless. It is what you say to lesser others about how to live, not how you yourself live, that matters.

7. Ignoring or perpetuating homelessness is preferable to ending it.
It is more humane to let thousands of homeless people live, eat, defecate, and use drugs on public streets and sidewalks than it is to greenlight affordable housing, mandate hospitalization for the mentally ill, and create sufficient public shelter areas.

8. McCarthyism is good.
Destroying lives and careers for incorrect thoughts saves more lives and careers. Cancel culture and the Twitter Reign of Terror provide needed deterrence.

Now that Americans know they are one wrong word, act, or look away from losing their livelihoods, they are more careful and will behave in a more enlightened fashion. The social media guillotine is the humane, scientific tool of the woke.

9. Ignorance is preferable to knowledge.
Neither statue-toppling, nor name-changing, nor the 1619 Project require any evidence or historical knowledge. Heroes of the past were simple constructs. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees reflect credentials, not knowledge. The brand, not what created it, is all that matters.

10. Wokeness is the new religion, growing faster and larger than Christianity.
Its priesthood outnumbers the clergy and exercises far more power. Silicon Valley is the new Vatican, and Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter are the new gospels.

Americans privately fear these rules while publicly appearing to accept them. They still could be transitory and invite a reaction. Or they are already near-permanent and institutionalized.

The answer determines whether a constitutional republic continues as once envisioned or warps into something never imagined by those who created it.


UK: National Trust members launch campaign against charity's 'woke agenda' as it accuses it of 'lecturing' the public and 'demonising' history

National Trust members have launched a campaign against the charity's 'woke agenda' as it was today accused of 'lecturing' the public and 'demonising' history.

Restore Trust was established following furious criticism of a report detailing links between 93 of the Trust's properties and historic slavery and colonialism.

The group, described as a forum where members can 'discuss their concerns about the future of the charity', says visitors should not leave venues feeling their history has been 'demonised'.

They say there has been a 'relentless diminution of standards' at the Trust and have accused the charity of 'patronising' and 'lecturing' the public, according to the Telegraph.

Restore Trust, which has 300 supporters, has also hit out at the charity for underestimating its 'open-minded' members who 'understand that history is complicated'.

The group hopes to restore the Trust's 'apolitical ethos' and help it return to 'doing what it does best' by maintaining historic buildings, interiors and artefacts, gardens and countryside to the 'highest standard'.

It also aims to help restore 'the aesthetic experience' of the Trust's historic houses and gardens 'so that visitors can enjoy them visually, spatially, and sometimes peacefully, without intrusive interpretation.'

Another goal noted on the Restore Trust's website is 'to use history responsibly as a tool for understanding, not as a weapon.'

The campaign was launched by National Trust members who hope to remind bosses of the purpose of the charity following outrage over its apparent 'woke agenda.'

Last September, the National Trust published a controversial audit which detailed links between 93 of the properties in its care and historic slavery and colonialism.

Winston Churchill's former home, Chartwell, in Kent, was among the properties on the list because the wartime Prime Minister once held the post of Secretary of State for the Colonies.

The move prompted a fierce backlash in some quarters, including from some MPs and peers, and the trust faced accusations of 'wokeism' and of jumping on the Black Lives Matter bandwagon.

Following complaints, the charities regulator opened a case to examine critics' concerns and whether the trust had acted outside its charitable purposes with the report.

It was concluded last month that the National Trust acted in line with its charitable purposes and there were no grounds for regulatory action against it.

In a blog post published after the judgement, the trust's director general Hilary McGrady vowed to continue exploring the 'contentious' history of its properties and said the body would maintain its 'retain and explain' approach.

But critics hit out at the organisation for its stance, with former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage saying he had become 'increasingly appalled' by the 'woke route' which he said the trust was pursuing.

Leading historian and journalist Professor Simon Heffer, who left the trust last month because of its recent actions, told MailOnline he was 'astonished' that the Charity Commission had not censured the body.

He added the organisation had taken a 'political decision that the British empire was wicked construct' and said their September report displayed 'breath-taking ignorance' and a 'complete absence of nuance' in its findings.

Among the 'main concerns' of Restore Trust are the colonialism and slavery report, which it said has 'serious shortcomings and is one-sided in its conclusions'.

Members added it was 'not clear that the report is an effort to promote better understanding of country houses in their context rather than an attempt to portray country houses and the families associated with them in a negative light'.

One of Restore Trust's founding members said: 'This idea that history is being suppressed is wrong, but I think what people object to is being told a one-sided or subjective version.'

They also raised concerns over the closure of smaller historic properties and proposed redundancies of curators.

A spokesperson for the National Trust said: 'We listen to concerns and criticism and are in regular contact with supporter groups and are always interested in hearing constructive feedback.'


PETER HITCHENS: We've seen it before... the 'rape culture' frenzy will ruin innocent lives

The hideous process of prejudice and hysteria which led eventually to the outrageous treatment of several honourable men and women has begun again.

The frenzy about alleged 'rape culture' at schools has rapidly lost all touch with reality or proportion.

Perhaps it took off because the allegations were first made against expensive private schools, so reviving the ancient myth that the authorities are covering up the misdeeds of the rich.

But it was quite obvious very quickly that the undoubted poisoning of young minds by pornography is present in all schools, rich or poor. Yet by that time, it did not matter.

The frenzy had begun. And a senior police officer was once again declaring that 'victims' would be 'believed'.

It was this utter loss of restraint which brought about the shameful treatment of Lord and Lady Brittan and Field Marshal Lord Bramall, prominent people publicly humiliated and their lives hideously and painfully disrupted, on the word of a 'victim' who was not a victim, but a fantasist.

Does Mr Simon Bailey, Chief Constable of Norfolk and the national police 'lead' on such matters, have no capacity for learning from mistakes? He was specifically singled out in the report on the Operation Midland fiasco, conducted by the retired judge Sir Richard Henriques.

Sir Richard objected to Chief Constable Bailey's use of the word 'victim', when guilt had not been proved. He said: 'A police officer has a duty to investigate, as part of the criminal justice process, determining whether or not a complainant is proved to be a victim.'

And he advised: 'All 'complainants' are not 'victims'. Some complaints are false.

'Throughout the judicial process the word 'complainant' is deployed up to the moment of conviction, whereafter a 'complainant' is properly referred to as a 'victim'.

Since the entire judicial process, up to that point, is engaged in determining whether or not a 'complainant' is indeed a 'victim', such an approach cannot be questioned.

'No Crown Court judge will permit a 'complainant' to be referred to as a 'victim' prior to conviction. Since the investigative process is similarly engaged in ascertaining facts which will, if proven, establish guilt, the use of the word 'victim' at the commencement of an investigation is simply inaccurate and should cease.'

Sir Richard added, in a lengthy attack on the police habit of saying that 'victims' will 'be believed': 'Any policy involving belief of one party necessarily involves disbelief of the other party. That cannot be a fair system.'

I thought we had been through all this. Even the unsatisfactory Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick said as long ago as April 2018 that she had told officers they must have an open mind when an allegation is made and that their role was to investigate, not blindly believe.

Yet last Monday, on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Bailey said: 'If parents are aware that their son or daughter has been a victim of abuse then please come forward and report the abuse, your son or daughter, their account will be believed.'

He went on, astonishingly, to urge parents to turn in their own children if they suspected them. The BBC's presenter, typically, offered no challenge to this peculiar and questionable stuff.

It's the current groupthink now, just like the groupthink that led police to believe the warped and ridiculous fantasies of the unpleasant Carl Beech, and so to an inexcusable police raid on Lord Bramall's home. Everyone knows that now. But they didn't seem to grasp it then. A moment's intelligent thought, and the good old presumption of innocence, could have prevented all that.

Well, then, surely it's the duty of the rest of us to throw a bucket of cold water over these frenzied people. No compensation, no reluctant police apology, ever makes up for the damage done by hysteria.

Investigate allegations seriously. But leave it to the courts to decide on guilt or innocence. Presuming guilt is the road to disaster.




Saturday, April 03, 2021

White Rape Victims of Brown Muslims Are ... 'RACISTS!'

Four Muslim migrants from North Africa gang-raped a 36-year-old woman on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, after she stopped to ask how she could help them. According to the March 3 report,

The alleged victim is believed to have lived on the Canary Islands, whereas the suspects are thought to have arrived only recently on a boat…. [T]hey were given initially government-provided accommodations managed by the Red Cross but later kicked out for breaking the rules. They are then thought to have set up camp in the park where the woman was allegedly attacked after enquiring about their situation. The woman had asked if she could help them with anything, but within ‘a matter of seconds’ this had led to her being assaulted…

This woman, who was described “as either an Irish expat or coming from a Nordic country,” joins countless other European women—especially those “from a Nordic country”—to be raped by Muslim migrants.

Why is this ongoing phenomenon not being checked? One of the reasons revolves around the specter of “racism.” The “woke” establishment tends to see European women accusing Muslim men of raping them through a skeptical light.

For example, in Sweden—the rape capital of Europe—studies continue to reveal that migrants, mostly from North Africa, the Middle East, and Muslim sub-Sahara, account for the overwhelming majority of rapes, as captured by the following headline: “Report: 9 in 10 Gang Rapists In Sweden Have Foreign Origins.”

To neutralize these findings, on March 9, 2021, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (“Brå”) said that “Immigrants’ sharp over-representation in rape statistics may be due to the fact that Swedish women are more likely to report immigrants for rape than they are to report Swedish men.” Stina Holmberg, a research councilor at Brå, elaborated:

It may be that you are more inclined to report something you [a Swedish women] have been exposed to, if the crime was committed by someone you feel more alien to, and who has low social status.

Skepticism for rape reports against non-white males turns to open hostility whenever this issue is forthrightly discussed, as Sarah Champion, a Labor politician and MP for Rotherham (the epicenter of sex grooming), learned last summer, when she was accused of “fanning the flames of racial hatred” and “acting like a neo-fascist murderer.” Her crime? She had dared to assert that “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.” (The same elements that accused Champion of being a “murderer” also, and rather unsurprisingly, characterize the UK’s anti-extremism program, Prevent, as being “built upon a foundation of Islamophobia and racism.”)

Perhaps most telling is an April 2020 article, titled, “I was raped by Rotherham grooming gang—now I still face racist abuse online.” In it, a British woman (alias, “Ella”) revealed that her Muslim rapists called her “a white c*nt, a white whore, a white b***h,” during the more than 100 times the Pakistani grooming gang raped her in her youth.

“We need to understand racially and religiously aggravated crime if we are going to prevent it and protect people from it and if we are going to prosecute correctly for it,” Ella said in a recent interview:

Prevention, protection and prosecution—all of them are being hindered because we are neglecting to properly address the religious and racist aspects of grooming gang crimes…. It’s telling them that it’s OK to hate white people.

That there are “racial” and “religious” aspects to the epidemic of Muslims raping European women is an understatement. According to Dr. Taj Hargey, a British imam, Muslim men are taught that women are “second-class citizens, little more than chattels or possessions over whom they have absolute authority.” The imams, moreover, preach a doctrine “that denigrates all women, but treats whites with particular contempt.” Consider a few earlier examples:

Another British woman was trafficked to Morocco where she was prostituted and repeatedly raped by dozens of Muslim men. They “made me believe I was nothing more than a slut, a white whore,” she recollected. “They treated me like a leper, apart from when they wanted sex. I was less than human to them, I was rubbish.”

Another British girl was “passed around like a piece of meat” among Muslim men who abused and raped her between the ages of 12 and 14. Speaking now as an adult, a court heard how she “was raped on a dirty mattress above a takeaway and forced to perform [oral] sex acts in a churchyard,” and how one of her abusers “urinated on her in an act of humiliation” afterwards.

A Muslim man explained to another British woman why he was raping her: “you white women are good at it.”

A Muslim man called a 13-year-old virgin “a little white slag”—British slang for “loose, promiscuous woman”—before raping her.
In Germany, a group of Muslim migrants stalked a 25-year-old woman, hurled “filthy” insults at and taunted her for sex. They too explained their logic—“German girls are just there for sex”—before reaching into her blouse and groping her.

Another Muslim man who almost killed his 25-year-old German victim while raping her—and shouting “Allah!”—afterwards inquired if she liked it.

In Australia, a Muslim cabbie groped and insulted his female passengers, including by saying “All Australian women are sluts and deserve to be raped.”

In Austria, an “Arabic-looking man” approached a 27-year-old woman at a bus stop, pulled down his pants, and “all he could say was sex, sex, sex,” prompting the woman to scream and flee.

In short, there certainly is a “racist” aspect to the rape of European women by migrants—though in reverse: non-white Muslim men tend to see white women as nymphomaniacs that are “hot” for being degraded and abused—a stereotype that, incidentally, stretches back to the very beginnings of Islamic history.

Even so, Ella’s attempts to highlight these “religious and racist aspects” that fueled the abuse she and other European girls and women experienced—that is, her attempt to connect the dots in an effort to help eliminate this phenomenon—led only to “a lot of abuse from far-left extremists, and radical feminist academics,” she said. Such groups “go online and they try to resist anyone they consider to be a Nazi, racist, fascist or white supremacist.”

They don’t care about anti-white racism, because they appear to believe that it doesn’t exist. They have tried to floor me and criticise me continually and this has been going on for a couple of months. They tried to shut me down, shut me up … I’ve never experienced such hate online in my life. They accuse me of ‘advocating for white paedophiles’ and being a ‘sinister demonic entity.’

Such is the price for speaking unpopular truths—especially those that directly challenge the official narrative.


The Verdict in Derek Chauvin's Trial Must Not Be a Reflection of Anything Other Than the Facts of the Case

The media narrative about the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin should disturb you if you are concerned with due process. It is a criminal trial, and the jury must use the standard beyond a reasonable doubt to find Chauvin guilty of anything. This article does not advocate for either finding. Instead, it promotes the idea that Chauvin’s guilt or innocence must rely on the facts in the case and whether or not they prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

This idea is fundamental to our justice system, but it appears almost no talking heads in the media and none of the activist lawyers recall that principle. The narrative is beginning to sound a lot more like mob justice, with the threat of a repeat performance of last summer’s violent riots hanging in the air. In a civilized society based on due process, the City of Minneapolis and American citizens should accept this. Unfortunately, with the barricaded court building, heightened security, and National Guard at the ready, we seem resigned to it.

The lawyer for George Floyd’s family, Benjamin Crump, wrote this in an editorial for USA Today:

A guilty verdict would also show progress — a long overdue sign that America is finally ready to not just confront but eradicate the racism mired in police activity that has been evident but ignored for decades.

As a lawyer, Crump should know this is not what a verdict demonstrates. A guilty verdict would show that the jury unanimously found the evidence proves Derek Chauvin’s guilt for the crime’s specific elements beyond a reasonable doubt. That is it. It is not a reflection on society, a symbol of progress, or a reflection on any other police officer or department.

The verdict’s basis is the complete set of circumstances present during the nearly full hour of bodycam footage that documents the interaction between the shop employee, George Floyd, his companions, and the Minneapolis police officers summoned to the scene on May 25, 2020. Not anyone’s perception of what should happen based on their own experience, prejudice, or thoughts about America’s history.

Truly stupid people with platforms also feel the need to weigh in. Mediocre comedienne and constitutional scholar Chelsea Handler, for example:

According to Handler, there is no need for a trial when you have seen a tenth of the story on video. Of course, the nine-minute, twenty-nine-second viral video clip is the only one Chelsea has ever seen. The only one demonstrated liars, like Benjamin Crump, want you to consider when forming your opinion. The clip is out of context and brutally emotional. Crump is the same lawyer who said Jacob Blake was unarmed when police shot him in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in another out-of-context viral video. The media carried Crump’s water on that claim, and Kenosha burned as part of the 2020 Summer of Rage.

Then there is former congressman and former Republican Joe Walsh shrieking like a teen girl on Twitter:

Imagine thinking you stand for freedom when you think due process is not required and only a single element of the entire interaction matters. It might shock Walsh to find out that the hold Chauvin used is part of Minneapolis police officers’ training. It was not applied to put pressure on his trachea, and the medical examiner found no evidence that it did. How this will factor into the trial remains to be seen.

The legal teams will also bring many other elements of the situation into evidence. The defense will present the level of fentanyl and methamphetamines in George Floyd’s system. The Hennepin County medical examiner’s statement that if George Floyd had been found dead, it would have been considered an overdose will be an issue. The defense team will present Floyd’s medical condition, his COVID-19 status, his behavior resisting arrest, and his constant complaints of trouble breathing long before he was on the ground. The fact that first responders are taught if someone can talk, they can breathe may be noted.

Legal commentators from the Right like Ben Shapiro and the Left like Barbara McQuade have both noted that based on the facts of the case and the elements of the crimes Chauvin has been charged with, a conviction will be difficult. That is because of due process and the evidentiary standard in a criminal trial matter. Even Vice President Kamala Harris said convicting Chauvin will be difficult. She also said people are conditioned to trust police officers. Perhaps she doesn’t recall the events of the last nine months or the disgusting ad she made with Joe Biden during the campaign.

No American should celebrate either verdict. A guilty verdict does not mean anything other than that the evidence proved the criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt. An acquittal doesn’t mean George Floyd’s family did not lose a brother and a son. Not every tragic thing that happens is a crime. It is imperative that Americans circle back to the fundamental principles of our justice system, understanding that due process may not always serve anyone’s preferred narrative.


The Coming Christian Inquisition

It’s been happening for a while, but we’ve pretended what we were seeing wasn’t really happening. It always starts slow, and usually happens to someone else. There was the Christian baker who didn’t want to bake a cake, a florist who didn’t want to do flowers, and a photographer who didn’t want to provide services for same-sex weddings.

Because leftists belong to the party of “tolerance,” they decided to destroy the livelihoods of these folks to put the fear of “god” into them. The baker won his case before the Supreme Court, but leftists continue working to destroy him because he will not bow to their will.

Several California communities ruled that people cannot have Bible studies in their homes for some reason. Churches were targeted during the pandemic with threats of jail time and severe fines for those who dare to think they should obey God rather than men.

The Left is melting down because a small Christian university had the nerve to make it to the Sweet Sixteen basketball finals. According to one social justice warrior/reporter, that was a bridge too far. “Oral Roberts University isn’t the feel good March Madness story we need,” she wrote. Personally, I find it ironic that the Ohio State team took a knee during the national anthem and was beaten by a lesser-rated team. Turns out the lesser-rated team was ORU!

Because ORU has biblical standards of behavior and a code of conduct, that was too much for this “Diversity & Inclusion” reporter. Anyone else see the irony here? Once again I quote my favorite philosopher, Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride,” who remarked to Vizzini; “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

To leftists, diversity means, Agree with us or we’ll destroy you! This reporter seems to think people of faith have no place on the basketball court or anywhere else. She wants to see that schools like ORU never have another opportunity to compete in the public square. The Church, in my opinion, has avoided the fight of standing its ground on moral issues for far too long. The government is bringing the fight to the Church’s front door.

Think I’m being overly sensitive to ORU? Consider the “Equality Act” being pushed by every leftist in Congress. The “equality” they are pursuing is only for the radical Left. People of faith will see what little accommodations we now have in the public square disappear. Read the legislation for yourself.

The Equality Act isn’t about equality at all. We have that under the Constitution. Leftists want gay rights to trump all other rights. The homosexual demand for fairness began years ago when sodomy laws were repealed. Then it was demanding same-sex marriage. How will my gay marriage hurt you? We just want the right to marry, they told us. The Supreme Court legalized it; the Left demanded we accept it. No equality, just our unconditional surrender!

Think I’m kidding? Ask Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who won his case before the Supreme Court in 2018. Thought that settled it? The Left ignored the High Court and came after him again.

Time to wake up and tell your senators to kill this legislation while we can. There are no other options but to fight back or surrender.


Embrace Your Western Privilege

We "white" Westerners, especially the heterogametic ones, are loaded to the gills with "privileges," which obtain regardless of our economic status, intelligence level, or familial problems. Just by being "white" and, worse, "white" and "male" (as if we were dogs, too, not men, but, just males), our type of Western citizen "has one over" on "blacks," "persons of color," "females" &cetera.

To the countercultural mandarins in charge of Mencius Moldbug's "Catheral," this will not do. So, they tickle the brains and pluck the corroded heartstrings of some relevant and conveniently corralled college students, on the verge of blossoming into full-fledged "social justice" types (regardless of whether these types know a damned thing about what society is for, or what the nature of justice is), until they're whipped up into a fervor, and then deploy them into the society like red ants boiling out of a hill.

Are they right? Do we white, and often male, Westerners have this mythical privilege? Of course we do. The problem is not in defining us as privileged, the problem is in identifying what comprises that privilege, exactly. Allow me to explain.

I am privileged to live in a stable nation-state, with a reasonably uncorrupt government, with a largely workable health system, a somewhat extensive infrastructural network, a healthy police force, and, well, some kind of education system that at least has electric lights and clean floors.

I am privileged to have been raised to be polite, courteous, punctual, and sympathetic towards people in straits, especially relatively defenseless people such as girls and human embryos.

I am privileged to have the opportunities for autodidacticism granted me by access to the glorious Internet.

I am privileged by having an immediate, intuitive connection with the bulk of the great minds of the past and their important discoveries, through my European Christian heritage.

I am privileged because, by being white, I don't have to deal with much racial "vibes" except when I'm not around mostly other white people, and because I was raised to judge a man by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin.

I am privileged because I was raised in the Catholic, Apostolic Faith, which grants me the prospect of eternal life and the Beatific Vision if I can muster the character and commit the conduct that would please the great Judge of Souls.

I am privileged because I have been soaked since birth in mind-expanding counterculture, which, while not classical art and, so, not classically beautiful, nevertheless filled my mental storehouse with a big load of potential metaphor by which I can grapple with the confusing world and try put to use in committing a detournement against that very counterculture.

I am privileged because I was born a human mind, defined by my faculty of sovereign, creative reason and the agape that develops in me when I can engage others and assist them in making the same discoveries—or, for that matter, discoveries new to me!—I have made, and thus feel myself wounded in the heart by the beauty of the truthfulness of human nature.

I am privileged because I exist in a heritage of inchoate Platonic republicanism, modified and restrained Athenian democracy, Judeo-Christian morals, and a cultural mode of general decency that, at least only a short while before my time, still believed that beauty, truth, and goodness were aspects of an indivisible whole.

I am privileged to be able to recognize my privilege.

I am privileged because I probably have so many privileges I can’t enumerate them all.

The problem with the assault on my person, my identity, my race, my sex, my religion, my culture, and my nation-state—indeed, the assault ongoing against my very world—is not that I have privilege, but, that, almost all demographics besides “white” and “male” ones, possess many, if not most, of these privileges, too.

The “social justice” types, the “pod people” as I call them, acting like symbolic Communists in the 1956 chiller Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, maybe with a cabbage leaf poking out of their back collar, are so blinkered they deny, disregard, belittle, and, sometimes of late, and increasingly so, work to destroy these privileges that properly, and often actually, belong to us all.

So, they swing their hammer of (in)justice at politeness and punctuality. They swing it at Christianity (hoping it’ll knock Judaism down, too, I’ll bet). They swing it at Classical European culture, which shines the light of the wisdom of ancient Egypt itself on the benighted world of modern barbarism and ignorance. They swing it at cultural optimism, the ideal of truthfulness, at the Good itself. They implicitly swing it at the Artemis mission, at Space Exploration (SPACE! exploration)—because, after all, face it, that’s just “whitey on the moon,” blowing tax revenue that could be going to into fat studies scholarships, or something.

Do you check your privilege, as a Westerner? Do you recognize how many people had to live, and love, and struggle to survive and reproduce, in order for you to exist at all?—in order to give you the chance to “check your privilege”?

I check it, I try to check it as often as I can. My privilege is a gift from God, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want to hoard this gift, I want to give it away. Because such privilege is human privilege, and the “social justice” cultural illiterates don’t grasp that, because they don’t even know what a human being is. They just hammer home those sharp nails into the blackboard of globally extended European civilization and all of the best things that it stands for—or, stood for.