Monday, June 28, 2021

Author who faced backlash from trans activists when she questioned hormone treatments for teens reveals dozens of doctors and teachers agree with her - but says they are too scared to speak out

The author of a controversial book examining the huge surge in adolescents identifying as transgender has said that she received an outpouring of private support from doctors and teachers who live in fear of backlash from trans activists if they speak publicly.

Author Abigail Shrier, whose book Irreversible Damage drew both backlash and praise last year, spoke out in a guest essay on Monday for the newsletter of former New York Times op-ed editor Bari Weiss.

In her book, named a book of the year by the Economist, Shrier investigated the surge of adolescent girls presenting with gender dysphoria and self-identifying as transgender.

She notes that in the United Kingdom, the number of such cases up are up 4,400 percent over the past decade.

The author suggested the phenomenon is due to social pressure on teen girls, comparing it to 'the Salem witch trials of the 17th Century, the nervous disorders of the 18th Century, and anorexia nervosa, repressed memory, bulimia and the self-harm contagion in the 20th Century.'

Shrier questioned the wisdom of hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery for transgender youth -- and her book was met with an onslaught of criticism from trans activists, who called it transphobic and accused her of of 'erasing' trans youth.

The author denies the allegations that she is transphobic, writing in her new essay: 'As I have stated endlessly in public interviews and in Senate testimony, I fully support medical transition for mature adults and believe that transgender individuals should live openly without fear or stigma.'

In the furor last year, Target briefly banned sales of the book, and Amazon halted a promotional campaign.

Just last week, the blog Science-Based Medicine retracted a mostly positive review of Shrier's book by a medical doctor (the review has been reprinted elsewhere).

Now Shrier reveals that she received a private outpouring of support for her book, even from unlikely quarters.

One such note came from 'a senior staffer for a popular 2020 Democratic presidential candidate,' according to Shrier.

The supporter wrote: 'It might surprise you to know that I work for a prominent progressive politician (obviously I could never express my support for your work publicly). But it should be known that not everyone on the Left has totally lost their mind.'

'Child and adult psychologists and psychiatrists write to say they have witnessed a surge in transgender identification among teen girls who seem to be acting under peer and social media influence,' wrote Shrier.

'Teachers write to say they believe that the phenomenon is plainly an example of social contagion within their classrooms. Surgeons and pediatricians and endocrinologists write to wonder aloud at what has happened to their profession,' she continued.

'Journalists at our most storied newspapers, TV networks, and literary magazines, even at NPR, write to tell me they liked my book, they agree with it, and to tut-tut the abuse directed at me,' wrote Shrier. 'They wish — wish! — they could say so publicly.'

Shrier argued that the time had come for people who agreed with the premise of her book to speak up publicly, despite their fears of being targeted by trans activists.

'The first hundred or so silent supporter emails meant the most to me. They made me feel less crazy and less alone. But the inescapable reality is that defeating this ideology will take courage,' she wrote.

'And courage is not something that can happen in private. Courage requires each one of us to speak up, publicly, for what we believe in. Even when — especially when — it carries costs.'

Shrier argued that social pressure was keeping many people silent, particularly medical doctors who have an 'obligation to do something.'

'Whether or not most people admit it, what keeps them from speaking up in the face of what they know is wrong is fear,' she wrote.

'Fear not primarily of unemployment, though that is a pressing concern, but fear of ostracism. This deep and ancient fear is behind our desperate reach for innocence and safety when we virtue signal. By contrast, we stand exposed when we speak unpopular truth,' wrote Shrier.

In a note appended to the essay, Weiss wrote that she was committed to publish 'those voices who have been shut out of so many other channels that ought to be open to them.'

'How have we gotten to the point where having conversations about important scientific and medical subjects requires such a high level of personal risk?' she wrote.

'How have we accepted a reality in which Big Tech can carry out the digital equivalent of book burnings?'


Supreme Court Protects Property Rights Against Union Trespass

The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that a state law permitting labor union organizers to enter farmland without permission to try to organize workers was unconstitutional under the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

The ruling was 6 to 3.

In Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, the court considered a California regulation that allowed union agents to “take access” to farmland for up to three hours a day, 120 days per year in order to try to unionize workers.

Ordinarily, that sort of uninvited entry would be considered a trespass, but California’s regulation purported to make it lawful.

The question the court considered was whether that regulation was a “taking” within the meaning of the Fifth and 14th Amendments. Those provisions say that no state may take private property for public use without compensation.

The clearest example of a “taking” happens when the government uses its eminent domain power to acquire title to land against the owner’s wishes. But other takings occur when the government denies an owner the full rights that come with land ownership, such as the right to exclude other people.

The latter is what happened here. California’s government denied farmers the right to exclude people from their land. The right to exclude, wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the majority, “is one of the most treasured rights of property ownership” and “is universally held to be a fundamental element of the property right.”

Citing case law stretching back 100 years, Roberts observed that California’s regulation “appropriates a right to physically invade the growers’ property—to literally ‘take access’ and therefore violates the Constitution.”

California argued that it had not taken the farmers’ land because the regulation allowed activists only temporary access. In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer also took the position that anything less than 365-day-per-year access was not a taking.

Roberts called that argument “insupportable as a matter of precedent and common sense.”

For one thing, Roberts said, the court has long held that even temporary or intermittent invasions are still takings. And for another thing, he said, drawing an artificial line between temporary and permanent takings would create absurd results. For example, a taking would be unconstitutional if it extends for 365 days per year, but constitutional if it lasts 364.

In dissent, Breyer—joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan—argued that California’s regulation did not deny owners the right to exclude, because it merely “regulates” that right. In their view, a law is only a taking if it “goes too far,” and to determine that, courts should “balance several factors,” keeping in mind that some “invasions” are needed for the government to run our complex modern world.

There’s something Orwellian about that, and Roberts deftly exposed it, saying that fundamental property rights, like the right to exclude, “cannot be balanced away.” Moreover, the fact that we live in a complex modern society “only reinforce[s] the importance of safeguarding the basic property rights that preserve individual liberty, as the Founders explained.”

Among others, Roberts was referring to John Adams, who said, “Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist.”

Roberts was right to remind us of that lesson and to declare, once again, that protecting property rights “empowers persons to shape and plan their own destiny in the world, where governments are always eager to do so for them.”

It’s impossible to miss the message there to the increasingly loud socialist movement in the United States. The Constitution does not permit that vision. Private property is essential to liberty, and it’s not going anywhere.


Washington Post is condemned for video urging Americans to set up 'white accountability groups' and force themselves into 'a period of deep shame' over their skin color

The Washington Post has been branded 'neoracist' and accused of promoting a 'pseudoreligious movement' after the airing of a controversial video declaring people should feel 'shame for being white' and urging readers to form 'white accountability groups'.

The latest episode of the series, hosted by Nicole Ellis and called the New Normal, was released on Friday and discussed how white people can combat white supremacy.

'An antiracist culture does not exist among white people,' trauma specialist and author Resmaa Menakem says when introducing the concept. 'White people need to start getting together specifically around race.'

The video series was launched last spring, originally to discuss the coronavirus pandemic but shifted to conversations about race after the death of George Floyd.

He adds that the groups should meet and discuss for up to five years, until, 'you end up with a community that is aligned with each other.'

Rebecca Toporek, who is a professor in the Department of Counseling at San Francisco State University agreed with the concept, saying that such groups, 'are really helpful in terms of having a place to process, having a group of people whose responsibility it is to call me on things, or to challenge me.'

Ellis then speaks to trauma therapist Ilyse Kennedy, who said she had been taking part in such a group, and said that it was important that members experience a, 'period of deep shame for being white and for acknowledging the harm that our ancestors have caused,' adding, 'we can't ask people of color to hold our hand.'

Toporek said such measures might be necessary to separate oneself from white supremacy.

'Part of the structure of racism... is to keep us from recognizing that racism is part of our daily lives.' she said. 'So it's a longer term process of looking at your understanding of yourself in the world, both historically but also contextually. Also the family you live in, the community you live in, and what role whiteness plays in that.'

Jesse Singal questioned the concepts promoted on the episode and likened them to a cult, tweeting, 'This is a very strange pseudoreligious movement that is likely to do more harm than good.'

'I'm fighting against race supremacy; the Washington Post wants to install it everywhere,' tweeted Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow for the Manhattan Institute.

Rufo, one of the most famous opponents of critical race theory in the US, added: 'The game is that they want to create an essentialized racial category ("whiteness"), load it with negative connotations, then impose it on individuals through guilt, shame, and school indoctrination. This approach is reductive, manipulative, and malicious. Don't fall for it.'

User @AGHamilton29 called the episode a: 'A 5 minute video propagating ignorant neoracist nonsense. It's really astonishing the extent to which this stuff is becoming mainstream and normalized, especially by the press.'

Another user replied that: 'It's like a bizarre new religion. They have their own language, their idea of original sins (whiteness), and seeking redemption through "doing the work" to understand race issues. It's a disconnect from the reality 99% of Americans live in.'

Discussions of race and 'anti-racism' efforts to actively tackle discrimination have hogged the headlines in recent months, and sparked fierce discussions between supporters and opponents.

Those who support critical race theory and anti-racism teachings say they are necessary to highlight the depth of racism faced by black Americans in almost every aspect of their life.

Opponents say the theories are too unequivocal, offer few solutions, and serve only to divide people further.


Does ‘Housing First’ Help Homeless? Here’s What Happened in Los Angeles

In 2016, influential political leaders, activists, and media outlets in Los Angeles said they had a simple solution to homelessness: Build more housing. Echoing an argument heard across the country, they claimed that rising rents have thrown people onto the streets and that by directly providing free “permanent supportive housing,” cities can reduce the number of people on the streets and save costs on emergency services.

In response, 77% of Los Angeles voters approved a $1.2 billion bond for the construction of 10,000 units for the city’s homeless. That commitment made Los Angeles the most significant testing ground for the “Housing First” approach that has become the dominant policy idea on homelessness for West Coast cities.

Even before the passage of the bond, the concept’s creator, Sam Tsemberis, was lavished with praise by the national media. In 2015, The Washington Post wrote that Tsemberis had “all but solved chronic homelessness” and that his research “commands the support of most scholars.”

In the years since, Housing First has taken even greater hold in California and the across the West. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently declared that “we need to have an entitlement to housing.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom went a step further, arguing that “doctors should be able to write prescriptions for housing the same way they do for insulin or antibiotics.”

Five years in, the project has been plagued by construction delays, massive cost overruns, and accusations of corruption. The Los Angeles city controller issued a scathing report, “The High Cost of Homeless Housing,” which shows that some studio and one-bedroom apartments were costing taxpayers more than $700,000 each, with 40% of total costs devoted to consultants, lawyers, fees, and permitting.

The project is a boon for real estate developers and a constellation of nonprofits and service providers, but a boondoggle for taxpayers. The physical apartment units are bare-bones—small square footage, cheap flooring, vinyl surfaces—but have construction costs similar to luxury condos in the fashionable parts of Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, unsheltered homelessness has increased 41%, vastly outpacing the construction of new supportive housing units. Los Angeles magazine, which initially supported the measure, now wonders whether it has become “a historic public housing debacle.”

Before completing a single housing unit, the city reduced its projected construction from 10,000 units to 5,873 units over 10 years, with the potential for further reductions in the future.

But the long-term problem runs much deeper: Even if one accepts that permanent supportive housing is the solution, there are currently more than 66,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. Under the best-case scenario, Proposition HHH will solve less than 10% of the problem over the course of a decade.

Despite Housing First’s uncertainties, other West Coast cities desperate to solve homelessness, including Seattle and San Francisco, have been captured by its seductive messaging and promise of respite.

As Los Angeles grapples with the unforeseen consequences of its big bet on Housing First, the federal, state, and local governments, especially in major metropolitan areas, are preparing to commit billions of dollars to the program, whose track record remains woefully underexamined.

Ever since clinical psychologist Tsemberis pioneered the model in New York City in the 1990s, political leaders, activists, and academics have insisted that Housing First is an “evidence-based” intervention that reduces homelessness, saves taxpayer money, and improves lives.

Supporters frequently argue that the program reduced costs in a study of chronic alcoholics in Seattle, consistently demonstrates high retention rates in multiple academic surveys, and eliminated chronic homelessness in Utah.

“We’re going to stem this crisis by building supportive housing in every neighborhood throughout Los Angeles,” City Council member Herb Wesson recently claimed.

These studies, however, are not as persuasive as activists suggest. Although the study of chronic alcoholics in Seattle does show a net reduction in monthly social service costs of $2,449 per person, this figure does not include $11 million in capital and construction costs for the housing units themselves; in other words, Housing First saves money if the cost of housing is not included.

Even on its own favorable terms, the study’s purported savings aren’t as dramatic as they appear: While the Housing First participants showed a 63% reduction in service costs over six months, a wait-listed control group that was not provided housing showed a 42% reduction in service costs over the same time period, raising questions about the specific effectiveness of the intervention.

Claims that studies show one-year retention rates of roughly 80% for Housing First participants are open to question. In a meta-study of three best-in-class Housing First sites, researchers found that 43% remained in housing for the first 12 months, 41% were “intermittent stayers” who left and returned, and 16% abandoned the program or died within the first year. These findings challenge the argument that Housing First is a long-term solution to homelessness.

Finally, advocates and the media have long touted Utah as the gold standard of Housing First. “The Daily Show” called the state’s program “mind-blowing,” the Los Angeles Times reported in 2015 that Utah “is winning the war on chronic homelessness,” and dozens of media outlets announced that the state “reduced chronic homelessness by 91%.”

These miraculous results, however, were not the result of Housing First policies, but apparently clerical manipulation by state officials. According to the Deseret News and economist Kevin Corinth, “As much as 85% of Utah’s touted reductions in chronic homelessness … may have been due to changes in how the homeless were counted.”

It’s not that all of the chronically homeless were housed; they were simply transposed onto a new spreadsheet. Moreover, between 2016 and 2018, the number of unsheltered homeless in Utah nearly doubled—hardly the victory that Housing First activists had declared.

The recent debate surrounding Housing First has predominantly been focused on the physical and budgetary metrics of housing retention and cost reductions. But these surface-level concerns obscure a deeper question: What happens to the human beings in these programs? The results, according to the vast majority of studies, point to a grim conclusion: Housing First does not meaningfully improve human lives.

Although housing programs are often an effective solution for families experiencing a temporary loss of shelter, Housing First programs do not have a strong track record improving the lives of the unsheltered homeless—the people in tents, cars, and on the streets—who often suffer from more severe challenges.

According to research by the California Policy Lab, 75% of the unsheltered homeless have substance abuse conditions, 78% have mental health conditions, and 84% have physical health conditions.

In theory, Housing First would address these problems. In every program, residents are offered a wide range of services.

At the Pathways to Housing program in New York City, a flagship program founded by Tsemberis himself, residents are served by an “interdisciplinary team of professionals that includes social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, and vocational and substance abuse counselors who are available to assist consumers 7 days a week 24 hours a day.”

However, despite this massive intervention, the Pathways program shows no reduction in substance abuse or psychiatric symptoms over time—in fact, those conditions often worsened.

This basic finding is confirmed by a range of studies showing that residents of Housing First programs show no improvement regarding addiction and mental illness. They are housed but broken, wracked by the cruelest psychoses, compulsions, and torments—all under the guise of medical care.

A Housing First experiment in Ottawa, Canada, illustrates this paradoxical outcome in stark terms. Researchers divided the study into two populations: an “intervention” group that was provided Housing First and access to primary care, medically assisted treatment, social workers, and on-demand services; and a non-intervention “control” group that was not provided housing or services—it was simply left on the streets.

To the shock of the researchers, after 24 months, the non-intervention control group reported better results regarding substance abuse, mental health, quality of life, family relations, and mortality than the Housing First group. In other words, doing nothing resulted in superior human outcomes than providing Housing First with wraparound services.

One explanation may be that Housing First programs are deliberately not oriented toward recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal. They operate on the “harm reduction” model, which allows residents to continue using drugs such as alcohol, heroin, and methamphetamine, and does not require mental health treatment as a condition of residency.

In theory, this permissive policy would help “reduce harm” to the individual; in practice, however, it may create a community-level effect that makes it hard for any individual to find recovery.

Here is the basic chain of events: Homeless individuals with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders are placed together in a residential facility where they are allowed to continue the way of life they had on the streets. Despite the availability of services, there is no incentive to use those services and no disincentive to the problematic behavior associated with street homelessness. Consequently, widespread addiction often becomes the norm within Housing First programs.

Preferring Homelessness

This chain of events is not just a thought experiment. In Birmingham, Alabama, researchers inadvertently created this exact problem when they put participants of two different programs—one “recovery” program and one “harm reduction” program—in the same apartment complex.

Immediately after beginning the experiment, the recovery group “began abandoning the provided housing, complaining that their proximity to persons not required to remain abstinent (i.e., the other trial group) was detrimental to their recovery. They claimed that they preferred to return to homelessness rather than live near drug users.”

The researchers quickly stopped and reorganized the trial, writing that “this unexpected reaction shows one possible risk to housing persons with active addiction.”

Still, Housing First advocates insist that their policy is working. When reached for comment, Tsemberis insisted that The Washington Post headline declaring that he had “solved homelessness” is true.

“The most effective way to end homelessness for people with mental health and addiction is to provide housing and wraparound support,” Tsemberis said. He points toward rates of “housing stability” as the key metric, while conceding that Housing First does not provide “a cure for mental illness and addiction.”

This is a suggestion that policymakers have “solved homelessness” simply by bringing people indoors, no matter their addictions, mental illnesses, and human torments.

Advocates portray Housing First as a science that transcends politics. The policy was first adopted by the George W. Bush administration and has gained support from Republicans and Democrats alike. As The Washington Post observed, it is “a model so simple children could grasp it, so cost-effective fiscal hawks loved it, so socially progressive liberals praised it.”

However, the real-world evidence from cities such as Los Angeles challenges this narrative. If Housing First has demonstrated anything, it is this: It provides a stable residential environment for the homeless to live out their pathologies, subsidized by the public, and administered by the social-scientific sector. It does not, however, address addiction, mental illness, and other factors that limit human potential and lead to homelessness.

In Los Angeles, despite the insistence that Housing First is the answer, some uncertainty is creeping in. Garcetti is now on the defensive, as homelessness in Los Angeles continues to increase despite billions in spending.

After the federal government released a study questioning the premises of Housing First, Garcetti backed away from the unidimensional approach, telling reporters with irritation in his voice: “Sometimes people parody Housing First as ‘only housing.’ Nobody embraces only housing. It’s got to be housing with services together.”

In more bad news for public officials and supporters of Housing First, there is an emerging body of evidence that calls into question the “cost savings” of the program.

A recent study in Massachusetts shows that Housing First does not reduce rehospitalization and service utilization, while another study in Chicago suggests that Housing First might increase overall costs.

Furthermore, researchers have concluded that the purported cost savings in earlier Housing First studies would not apply to the 82% of the homeless population that is not chronically homeless.

In Los Angeles, this could spell disaster. In the most optimistic scenario laid out by the controller’s office, the city will build 5,873 supportive housing units at an initial cost of $1.2 billion, plus an estimated $88 million in annual service costs associated with the Housing First model.

The recipients of this housing will not meaningfully improve their lives in terms of addiction, mental illness, and spiritual well-being—and there will still be 60,000 people on the streets across Los Angeles County. In other words, even under its own theoretical assumptions, Proposition HHH is doomed to fail.




Thursday, June 24, 2021

Man sparks outrage on Twitter after claiming women shouldn't use the word 'vagina' because it's 'vulgar'

A man has sparked outrage online after saying women shouldn't use the word 'vagina' because it's 'vulgar.'

Eric Amunga, who goes by @Amerix on Twitter and is a reproductive medicine specialist, fat loss coach and men's health consultant based in Western Kenya, penned: 'Men, Stay away from vulgar women.'

'A feminine, respectful woman values what she speaks or writes. A woman who easily says or writes 'f***k', 'vagina', 'd**k' is a NO. Vulgar women are damaged women who come with emotional baggage. FOCUS ON YOUR LIFE.'

It wasn't long before the controversial post garnered over 11,000 likes and hundreds of comments, with many left perplexed over what women should call their intimate areas if 'vagina' wasn't considered appropriate.

'So how does one refer to the female parts?' questioned one woman, while a second commented: 'Vagina is vulgar?' I'm a gynaecologist. What am I supposed to call it, a pocketbook?'

A third wrote: 'Wow, have we retrograded to the Dark Ages and I didn't get the memo?'

Elsewhere, a fourth noted: 'You are a "medical specialist" in REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH or all things... and think it's vulgar to say the SCIENTIFIC NAME of a woman's reproductive organ???'

Another agreed: 'Um, "vagina" is not a curse word. It's a medical term. It is the correct name for a part of female anatomy. Why did you lump it in with the other two?'

Another sarcastically penned: 'Did not realise it was vulgar to use the correct anatomical terminology to discuss my own body.'

While at first many questioned whether Eric was being sarcastic, it wasn't long before many realised his comments were serious.

'This tweet is yet another example of fragile toxic masculinity that prefers the subjugation of women as second class citizens,' raged one, while a second commented:

'We ALL have baggage and anyone who judges for it isnt worth the time. I would rather know a woman that uses those words when they are expressing an emotion than one that uses God while lying to your face.'

However, one person defended Eric and suggested that his comment had been misinterpreted.

'Depends on what context you are saying the words. They are scientific words yes, there is now the vulgar side of it,' wrote one. 'That is what he is cautioning against. Just some decorum on the language. This is just simple to see his point of view. Who want a lady who is vulgar?'


Don't tell the woke brigade! They are the forgotten heroes of the British Empire, including anti-slavers and veterans of the Napoleonic Wars. Now, a new charity is battling to restore their graves

Perhaps those of a woke disposition should sit down before reading any further. For this is surely anti-wokery of the most brazen kind.

At a time when the justice warriors of the Left are furiously trying to pull down statues, plaques and portraits of anyone remotely connected with Britain’s imperial past — from sea captains and sugar merchants to Winston Churchill and even the Queen — here is an outfit which is busily trying to keep them up.

What’s more, it even wants to restore them to their former glory and trumpet their existence to the world.

It wants to repair the broken effigies of colonial troops in the Caribbean. It is working to mend the cracked marble and faded inscriptions honouring imperial forces from Africa to the Indian Ocean — and here in Britain, too.

While others might want to ‘cancel’ the lot of them and consign them to the dustbin of history, this plucky young charity, the Remembrance Trust, has other ideas.

Its stated goal is to preserve the memory of those who made great sacrifices — and in some cases paid the ultimate price — in the name of the deplorable British Empire.

Just last week, the trust agreed to spend money restoring the grave of Guardsman John Cole, a veteran of Waterloo. Last month, his resting place was smashed to pieces by drunken yobs joy-riding on a tractor in Benfleet, Essex.

Whatever we might call the opposite of ‘woke’ — dormant? Comatose? — then the Remembrance Trust is surely it.

And, this week, I am glad to say, it is to receive royal recognition. The Princess Royal will unveil a memorial to dozens of the Duke of Wellington’s men — including a former drummer boy — discovered in a churchyard in Jersey.

Right now, the Remembrance Trust is going to need all the help it can get, for it sits in a very exposed position on the frontline of the ‘culture wars’.

If the cancel culture commissars feel entitled to destroy a new TV channel they have never watched on the grounds that it might feature the odd Brexity meat-eater; if it is acceptable to ‘cancel’ our most successful living author, JK Rowling, because she has expressed the view that women are women; then is it not borderline insanity to be lionising the men (and they are almost all men) who built the Empire?

Well, not quite.

Before you press the ‘cancel’ button, dear snowflakes, and invoke the Twitter pile-on, it may be worth taking a closer look.

Because we cannot rewrite history. Not everything about Britain’s naval and military operations over three centuries was irredeemably bad. Without the sacrifices of these men, most of the world would not be speaking English — but would French be any better?

As for the naive conceit that the world would be a happier place if Nelson, Wellington and their men had stayed at home, well, think again. That is why the Remembrance Trust and its work matter.

The charity was only registered three years ago to attempt to plug a hole in our national story. We have the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) which tends to the graves and memorials of every man and woman who has died for King or Queen and country since 1914. And a magnificent job the CWGC does, as anyone who has visited some of its beautifully maintained sites will attest.

But when it comes to those who died before the outbreak of World War I, there is nothing to preserve or protect their memory. And many of them lie in desecrated or neglected graves which are nothing short of a disgrace.

That is where the Remembrance Trust seeks to step in. Now, some will ask why anyone should give two hoots about some long-lost soldier or sailor whom no one alive knew and who died in another age. To which the volunteers behind the trust point out that all these people are part of our history and how a nation treats its fallen warriors, even those from 200 years ago, says a lot about the present.

And if you don’t think these things still exert a hold on our collective identity, then just recall those extraordinary scenes six years ago when tens of thousands lined the streets of Leicester in respectful silence to watch the coffin of that 24-carat child-murdering wrong ’un, Richard III, being carried to his new grave.

If he deserves recognition and a resting place, then what about Charles Brownrigg?

The captain of HMS London, Brownrigg was one of more than 17,000 men of the Royal Navy who died during Britain’s 80-year war against the slave trade.

He was leading a patrol off Zanzibar in December 1881 when he saw a suspicious dhow. Its Arab crew, having crammed 100 African slaves in unspeakable conditions in the hold, opened fire as Brownrigg’s launch came alongside. With his men all dead or overboard, Brownrigg fought on, blinded by blood from a head wound.

One report states he whirled his rifle like a club around his head until thrusts of an enemy sword severed his fingers. Whereupon he was killed by a shot to the chest.

Brownrigg and five of his crew are buried on nearby Grave Island, off modern Tanzania, along with 80 fellow anti-slavers. A few yards away, however, stands a marble memorial to another 24 sailors of the Royal Navy who were killed when their ship, HMS Pegasus, was shelled in World War I.

The graves of the dead sailors from HMS Pegasus remain in pristine condition because they fall under the auspices of the CWGC. Brownrigg and his men died just 33 years earlier. Yet they lie beneath cracked stones in a weed-strewn plot. Now the Remembrance Trust wants to refurbish it properly.

On paper, the trust appears to have an impossible task, given its remit spans every campaign from American independence and the struggle to contain Napoleon through to the Crimea and the Boer War. But the Remembrance Trust’s founder, ex-Grenadier Guards officer, entrepreneur and author, Algy Cluff, is undaunted.

‘There’s no database, so we depend entirely on people coming to us,’ says Cluff, 80. ‘They can let us know if they spot a grave or memorial and if they want to volunteer or donate, all the better.’

He is driven by an old soldier’s simple sense of kinship, having himself seen active service in West Africa, Cyprus and Borneo.

‘A lady called the Coldstream Guards recently to say “how dare you leave your men like that?”. She’d seen two graves in a terrible state in France but the regiment knew nothing about it,’ he explains. ‘So we’ve spent £2,500 to help get a contractor to restore them.’

The men had been killed at the Battle of Bayonne in 1814, a year before Waterloo. It might be more than 200 years ago but these graves are more than a resting place.

They are a corner of a foreign field which tell a story. By way of fostering goodwill, the trust has given the Bayonne Museum the funds to restore its most prized exhibits: two hats — one of them Wellington’s and the other Napoleon’s. The locals are delighted.


UK to close loophole allowing child marriage by lifting minimum age to 18

The UK government is set to consider a bill raising the minimum age for marriage to 18 in a bid to close a legal loophole allowing child marriage "by the back door".

MPs said the current law, which allows marriage at 16 with parental consent, sabotaged girls' futures and condoned child abuse.

The loophole also undermines Britain's global efforts to end child marriage in other countries, campaign groups said.

"Child marriage is child abuse," former chancellor Sajid Javid told BBC radio before presenting the bill, which has cross-party support, on Wednesday local time.

"People think this is often something that just happens in developing countries. It doesn't. It's happening right here … it has to stop," he said, adding that thousands of minors had been coerced into marriages in Britain in the last decade.

The government has said it is committed to lifting the minimum age to 18.

Celebrating a 'big step'

"It's a big step in the right direction. We're celebrating this moment," campaigner Payzee Mahmod said.

Ms Mahmod, who was married at 16, said girls who wed young were pulled out of school and often subjected to marital rape and domestic abuse.

Girls from South Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds are seen as most at risk of early marriage in Britain because having relationships outside marriage is often considered shameful.

Britain set 16 as the minimum age in 1929. Living together out of wedlock at that time was socially unacceptable.

But campaigners say most girls who marry under 18 nowadays are pressured into it by their families, and that raising the minimum age would empower them to say no.

Parliamentarian Pauline Latham, one of the bill's sponsors, said the current law permitted child marriage "by the back door".

"I've spoken to a lot of ministers to say we cannot let this continue, and they've agreed. Boris is keen to get it through," she added, referring to the Prime Minister.

An attempt to amend the law last year — spearheaded by Ms Latham — was derailed by the pandemic.

But campaigners said they were confident the legislation, which applies to England and Wales, would pass by next spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

More than 2,740 under-18s were married in England and Wales between 2008 and 2017, according to official data, but this figure excludes minors wed in traditional ceremonies or taken abroad to marry.

Campaigners say government must go further

Karma Nirvana, which campaigns against forced marriage, said it had come across cases involving children as young as 11, and marriages between the ages of 13 and 15 were "not uncommon".

Campaigners, who met with Mr Javid on Tuesday, said it was crucial not only to close the loophole but to make it a criminal offence to assist any underage marriage, including religious marriages and those conducted abroad.

"Criminalisation is a strong deterrent and necessary to protect every child from all forms of child marriage in all settings," said Ms Mahmod, whose sister Banaz was killed by family members after leaving a husband they had chosen for her at 17.


British Divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag: affairs don’t need to end a marriage

British people should be more French when it comes to extramarital affairs, according to a top divorce lawyer.

Ayesha Vardag, 53, has worked on some of the biggest break-ups and says that the pandemic has shown that “adultery is very far from the worst thing in the world” and more couples would stay together if society was less puritanical.

The pandemic has prompted a shift in why couples split up. With offices, bars and hotels shut, affairs withered. Inquiries mentioning adultery, made to her firm Vardags, fell by 63 per cent during the most recent lockdown.

However, contacts from those citing “bad behaviour”, which covers domestic abuse and coercive control, rose by 78 per cent as the pandemic took hold.

Being separated from illicit lovers had, in some cases, led to “arguments, tension and toxicity”, she found. It led her to a conclusion.

“It’s the way Brits have historically attributed to the French,” she said. “Never mind how many lovers we both have, just keep it discreet and we’ll continue to stay committed to our marriage, in a way that works for all of us. Could we learn something from that?”

Vardag, who has been married to her second husband for seven years, believes that some women fear criticism from “mums at the school gates” if they stay with cheating partners. “I think people would be a lot less upset about adultery if they didn’t have everyone else telling them that they ought to be upset about it,” she said.

Vardag believes that some couples would have a different attitude to affairs if they had pre-marriage counselling and discussed their approaches to fidelity before walking down the aisle.

“If somebody promises and swears they’re going to be faithful forever, they shouldn’t then be going and running around. But if those go into it with an expectation that, hey, we’re married, we’re going to have children together, we’re going to build something that’s going to endure for the whole of our lives ... [But] in the midst of that ... he might be interested in somebody, I might be interested in somebody ... Then I think that that is a perfectly reasonable, perfectly sensible, model to have,” she said.

Although she found cheating had fallen during the pandemic, clients said they had become victims of coercive control or gaslighting.

Working from home also led to an increase in nitpicking, she said, with tensions flaring over a husband not using a coaster or a wife eating too loudly.

The coronavirus also fuelled conflict, Vardag said. In some cases, a parent claimed that a child would not be safe because its mother had travelled abroad or its father was “sloppy” with protecting themselves from the virus.

She believes that there is a link between the fall in adultery and the rise in behaviour such as coercive control.

Since last year, the charity Refuge, which supports victims of domestic violence, has seen a leap in the number of people seeking help. Between April last year and February, calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline were up by an average of 61 per cent, with 13,162 calls and messages recorded.

“The pandemic hasn’t caused domestic abuse, but it has created an environment for it to thrive,” Ruth Davison, chief executive of Refuge, said.

Other law firms have noticed a surge in contact from those looking for divorce advice, with relationships falling apart after months under the same roof.

Stewarts said that demand was 122 per cent higher between July and October compared with the same period in 2019.

Sam Longworth, 41, a partner at Stewarts, said: “The pandemic really has put a mirror up, shone a light, on lots of relationships. Some of these relationships might otherwise have lasted for ages.”

He too noted an increase in controlling behaviour, or problems such as addiction, worsened by the pandemic, leading to marriage breakdown.

“Where there has been this physical closeness, it has been the opposite in terms of emotional connection ... Lots of times it has actually meant that your home environment, which is meant to be safe and secure, has actually been a point of strain and stress,” he said.




Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Sweden plunged into political chaos as PM loses no-confidence vote

The sticking point is the Sweden Democrats -- an anti-immigrant party. Even though they get a big share of the vote, no-one else wants to coalition with them

Stockholm: Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has become the first head of government in the country’s history to lose office through a no-confidence vote.

The vote in Parliament toppled his minority coalition and plunged the largest Nordic economy into political chaos.

It is the latest sign that Swedish politics have been fundamentally altered since the rise of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

Lofven says he’ll now talk to his allies to figure out whether he can still patch together a viable coalition. Failing that, he may call a snap election, he said.

It would be the first time since 1958 that Sweden would need to head to the polls earlier than planned.

If Lofven resigns, the speaker of Parliament will ask the biggest parties to try to form a new government until scheduled elections take place next year.

The Prime Minister’s fate seemed sealed after he refused to back down from a deregulation plan aimed at the rental housing market. The gambit by the Social Democrat who’s presided over a fragile minority coalition since inconclusive elections in 2018, angered the Left Party, who said he had crossed a red line.

The Left then won support from a group of conservative and nationalist parties, eager to eject their political foe. On Monday, 181 of the 349 MPs voted against Lofven.

His party has just under a fifth of the seats in Parliament, preventing either bloc from reaching an outright majority. That reality has prompted parties to the right to agree to consider working with the Sweden Democrats, once deemed too xenophobic for the mainstream.

Carl Bildt, a former Swedish foreign minister, was quick to note the historic nature of Lofven’s defenestration. He becomes the first head of government in the country’s history to lose office through a no-confidence vote.

During the pandemic, Sweden garnered international attention for its decision to resist lockdowns and leave most schools, businesses and restaurants open.

But political instability has yet to spill over to its economy, according to Johanna Jeansson of Bloomberg Economics. “Confidence in Sweden’s economic outlook is stronger than confidence for the government,” she said.

“We expect the ongoing recovery to continue as the pandemic eases its grip at home and in Swedish export markets,” Jeansson said.

But Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson voiced her concerns, and pointed to the need for stability on the way out of the pandemic.

“A political crisis is not good in this economic situation,” she told reporters in Stockholm. “We are just beginning an economic recovery and a lot of businesses are considering whether to hire, whether to invest and there is a risk that those decisions will be postponed as a consequence of the political uncertainty.”

Lofven, a 63-year-old former union leader and welder, has spent the past 2½ years in a coalition that looked shaky from the start. His Social Democrats governed together with the Greens, and could only stay in power as long as they were backed by the Left Party, the Centre Party and the Liberals, who agree on few key pieces of legislation.

Until today, the Prime Minister had survived seemingly intractable conflicts, and emerged victorious from previous no-confidence motions brought against him. His removal from office now sets the stage for an uncertain political future in Sweden. If the country holds an early election, it’s far from clear that the next government will be much more stable.

“It took four months to form a government after the last election and forming a new one will not be an easy task,” said Daniel Bergvall, an economist at SEB. “An extra election will most probably not create a clear outcome either.”


Unanimous Supreme Court Gives Win to Religious Foster Care Agency

In a unanimous judgment Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a faith-based foster care agency, saying the city of Philadelphia could not disqualify it because of its religious beliefs.

The high court noted that Catholic Social Services has “long been a point of light in the city’s foster-care system” and that the agency simply wishes to be allowed to “continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs.”

Philadelphia officials had canceled the contract of the Catholic foster care agency, a familiar nonprofit in the city for more than 100 years, because it declined to assign foster children to same-sex couples.

“The city’s actions have burdened CSS’s religious exercise by putting it to the choice of curtailing its mission or [acting] inconsistent with its beliefs,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion.

The court held that the city government’s refusal to accommodate Catholic Social Services’ religious beliefs “violate[ed] the First Amendment.” As a result of the ruling, the agency will be able to continue to serve children in accord with those beliefs.

“I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court recognized the important work of Catholic Social Services and has allowed me to continue fostering children most in need of a loving home,” said foster mom Sharonell Fulton, who brought the case to the high court. “My faith is what drives me to care for foster children here in Philadelphia, and I thank God the Supreme Court believes that’s a good thing, worthy of protection.”

The case, Fulton v. Philadelphia, began when Philadelphia forced Catholic Social Services either to certify same-sex couples as foster parents, in violation of the agency’s long-held religious beliefs, or to end its foster care ministry.

The victory at the Supreme Court ensures that the agency may continue to serve children in accord with its beliefs, resulting in many more Philadelphia children being placed in a forever home.

“It’s a beautiful day when the highest court in the land protects foster moms and the 200-year-old religious ministry that supports them,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket Law, who argued the case. “Today, I am grateful that the Supreme Court protected heroes of the foster care system like [Fulton], who gives of [herself] daily to care for children in need.”

The Supreme Court’s unanimous judgment was a clear win not only for Catholic Social Services but for First Amendment advocates looking for a strong denunciation by the court of blatant religious discrimination by the city government.

Even so, the court’s opinion was narrower than some advocates of religious freedom would have preferred.

The Catholic agency had asked the Supreme Court to overturn Employment Division v. Smith, a problematic 1990 opinion that has restricted the free exercise of religion for decades. The court instead found that this case fell outside the parameters of Smith and declined to reexamine the precedent.

The justices split 6-3 on whether the opinion in Smith should be overturned immediately.

Roberts’ 15-page opinion, which declined to overturn Smith, was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

Justice Samuel Alito penned a 77-page concurrence, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, arguing that the court should overturn Smith.

Alito offered extensive textualist and originalist analysis of the Constitution’s free exercise clause, concluding that the “case against Smith is very convincing” because of how that decision “conflicts with the ordinary meaning of the First Amendment’s terms.”

In a separate concurrence, Gorsuch noted that the court’s failure to address the old opinion hands the Catholic agency a rather tenuous win. As Gorsuch explained, that opinion allows governments to restrict religious exercise through laws that are “neutral” and “generally applicable.”

In the Philadelphia case, the majority opinion found that the law in question contains a clause that made it not “generally applicable,” rendering the law’s restriction of religious freedom unconstitutional.

Gorsuch noted that “with a flick of a pen, municipal lawyers may rewrite the city’s contract” to remove the problematic clause and make the law generally applicable.

If this happens, Gorsuch said, the Catholic agency will find itself “right back where it started,” in danger of being shut down by the government and in a new round of litigation. For this and other reasons, Gorsuch supported Alito’s recommendation to overturn Smith.

The opinion issued Thursday also is noteworthy for its inclusion of a concurrence by Barrett. The Philadelphia case, argued in November, was one of the first cases Barrett heard after becoming a Supreme Court justice in October.

Because of Barrett’s short tenure on the court so far, she has had little opportunity to opine on religious freedom issues.

In her concurrence, Barrett said she finds the textual and structural arguments against Smith “compelling,” but expressed hesitation about immediately replacing that 1990 opinion because of the “number of issues” there would be to “work through” if the high court overruled it.

However, Barrett’s opinion, joined by Kavanaugh, expressed openness to revisiting Smith in the future.

Although the court did not overturn the 1990 decision, as many religious freedom supporters had hoped, First Amendment advocates will be heartened by justices’ strong condemnation of government-sponsored religious discrimination against faith-based entities.

Smith detractors also will be encouraged by Alito’s thorough analysis of the flaws of the Smith opinion, which could create a road map for the court to follow to overturn that decision in the future.

The new opinion points to a full-court commitment to require governments to respect diverse religious beliefs, including the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, as required by the First Amendment.

As Roberts wrote: “So long as the government can achieve its interests in a manner that does not burden religion, it must do so.”

The court’s clear and unanimous order to state, local, and federal governments to respect the diverse beliefs of all Americans not only is a win for religious foster care agencies, but for people of faith and those whom they serve across the nation.


Celebrate Juneteenth, a Republican Victory over Democrat Racists

President Joe Biden signed Juneteenth into law as a federal holiday on Thursday. Biden said that Americans “must” and “ought to” observe it — though he spent half a century in public office before doing anything about it.

Since June 19 happens to fall on Saturday this year, the federal government will observe Juneteenth on Friday, June 18, meaning that Biden shut down the entire U.S. government on short notice. (Remember that, the next time Democrats complain about a budget impasse.)

Juneteenth, also called “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day,” celebrates the day in 1865 on which Union soldiers informed black Americans in Galveston, Texas, that they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation nearly two-and-a-half years before.

It is, in a sense, the celebration of a Republican victory over Democratic racists.

The holiday, carried nationwide through migration, has since also become an expression of African American heritage and pride.

Why was Juneteenth never a federal holiday before?

America already has a holiday celebrating the end of the Civil War: it is Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day.

Like Juneteenth, Memorial Day began as an informal holiday; freed slaves may have been among the first to celebrate it. And like Juneteenth, it took more than a century to become a federal holiday. But unlike Juneteenth, Memorial Day is not specific to one group of people, or to one side in the war.

Reconciliation was a dominant theme as the Civil War drew to a close. “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” Lincoln declared in his Second Inaugural Address, Americans should strive “to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

Though Northern cities built monuments to Union victory, the country abandoned ambitious policies to help freed slaves, partly to appease Southern resentment. Many U.S. Army bases were named for Confederate heroes as gestures of “healing.”

Juneteenth persisted as a folk celebration, or a local holiday, offering a counterpoint to the national emphasis on unity, and reminding black Americans, at least, that the war achieved a specific purpose that required the victory of one side over the other.

But it is not a divisive holiday. It celebrates the assimilation of black Americans into full American citizenship, whose true potential would only be realized a century later — again, over the opposition of racist Democrats.

The Black Lives Matter movement helped turn Juneteenth into a cause célèbre for the left. But few Republicans opposed it; many, in fact, had participated in Juneteenth celebrations, in various parts of the country.

That irritates Taryn Finley at the left-wing HuffPost, who accuses Republicans of “hypocrisy” for embracing Juneteenth while leading opposition to the use of Critical Race Theory to indoctrinate children to believe that America is guilty of “institutionalized racism.”

In fact, there is no contradiction.

Juneteenth is about freedom from physical slavery; Critical Race Theory imposes a new, mental slavery on Americans, who are being forced to see themselves and their country through a crude racial lens. It makes sense that Republicans should embrace the former and reject the latter.

Critical Race Theory teaches that America is guilty of “systemic racism”; Juneteenth asserts that America stands for freedom, when it is true to its core principles.

Some conservatives may be tempted to reject Juneteenth as a federal holiday because its adoption is partly a concession to the “woke” political atmosphere, or because there are already too many public holidays.

Yet Juneteenth presents the opportunity to tell the true history of this nation; to honor black patriots and conservatives; and to uphold the vision of abolitionists like Frederick Douglass, who described America’s core values not as “racist,” but as “saving principles.”


World Health Organisation’s advice to prevent fertile women from drinking alcohol is unrealistic and sexist

Blessed be the commanders of the World Health Organisation with their latest decree to the fertile women of the human race.

The same esteemed group that made Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador and told us there was nothing dodgy happening in Wuhan, have now announced that women of child-bearing age should not drink any alcohol.

No, not pregnant women or women wanting to conceive. The WHO refers specifically to that minor biological cohort that is any woman of “child-bearing age”.

According to their advice, females from their first period to menopause (so about 13 to 50 years old) must be teetotal.

That’s more than 30 years of abstinence for the sake of safe procreation.

What next? Make women with working wombs wear white bonnets and call them Oftedros?

The absurd recommendation is straight out of Gilead, the dystopian nation in Margaret Atwood’s novel (and TV series) The Handmaid’s Tale which documents the enslavement of fertile women.

To be clear, it’s not an official ban on drinking, but advice recommended on page 17 of the draft of the WHO’s Global alcohol action plan 2022-2030.

The document, released publicly on Thursday, urges countries to give “appropriate attention” to the prevention of drinking in certain groups, including “women of child-bearing age”.

While also recommending an international booze-free day or week, the plan also warns that people must be protected from the pressure to drink, “especially in societies with high levels of alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are encouraged to drink even more”.

The blanket guidance, which seemingly includes all ovulating women, regardless of whether they want kids or not, was met with accusations of scaremongering, sexism and enabling ‘sharia creep’.

There are concerns that it is not just some harmless advice in a draft plan, but will be used as a justification to further curtail women’s rights globally.

“We absolutely have to stand up to an agenda which increasingly treats every woman of child-bearing age as ‘pre-pregnant’. We put women’s lives and wellbeing at risk when we reduce them to vessels,” British Pregnancy Advisory Service chief executive Clare Murphy said.

Matt Lambert, the chief executive of the Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, said that the WHO’s advice should be ignored.

“As well as being sexist and paternalistic, and potentially restricting the freedoms of most women, it goes well beyond their remit and is not rooted in science,” he said.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “The idea that it is unsafe for women of child-bearing age to drink any alcohol is unscientific and absurd. Moreover, it is none of the WHO’s business”

Dag Rekve from WHO’s Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Unit told BBC radio that the next draft would make it clearer what they meant by “appropriate attention”, but warned that “if women are planning to become pregnant or if women are engaging in unprotected sex and can become pregnant, they need to know the incredible harm that can happen to their potential future child”.

Ostensibly, WHO’s advice aims to prevent harm to unborn children.

But the heavy-handed tactic fails to address that people who suffer alcohol abuse will not suddenly stop their heavy drinking just because WHO says so.

Nor do they address anywhere in their report the damaging effects of alcohol on men’s sperm quality.

WHO also seems to ignore the prominent role alcohol sometimes plays in facilitating pregnancy.

My friends and I joke about how, if it wasn’t for a few drinks, a tipsy contraception oversight and fortunate cycle timing, we’d never have had kids.

“I take it these are IVF twins?” the sonographer asked me during a scan a few years ago. “No, they’re red wine twins,” I replied. She nodded knowingly.




Friday, June 18, 2021

Conservatives Score Big Against NCAA

Just two months ago, the NCAA had promised to boycott states that protected girls sports or banned gender experimentation on minors. That all fell apart just a few weeks later.

For the refused-to-be-canceled crowd, it was a headline to celebrate. “The NCAA threatened states over anti-transgender bills,” the big print of The Washington Post read. “But the games went on.”

It was the surest sign in a post-Georgia, Coke-boycotting world that fed-up conservatives were the newest force to be reckoned with. It’s also the most recent evidence—out of piles of examples—that the right side may be winning the woke wars.

For the far left, the retreat of a major sports league is a public defeat that it can’t seem to reconcile. After 2016, when the NCAA was the most powerful leverage liberals had in states like North Carolina, they’d begun to count on these hardcore allies to help them beat back local attacks on their often dangerous LGBT agenda.

It worked until recently, when Americans—sick of being force-fed transgender politics—suddenly decided to take the momentum from their stand on election reform and start applying it across the board. Their unofficial mantra—refuse to be intimidated—began working.

Suddenly, the tough talk about retaliation from corporations and other organizations was being exposed for what it was: empty threats from big-mouthed bullies.

Just two months ago, the NCAA had promised to boycott states that protected girls sports or banned gender experimentation on minors. That all fell apart just a few weeks later, when so many states had passed conservative legislation that the league finally realized it had nowhere to go. Suddenly, tournaments that weren’t supposed to be awarded to places like Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee got the news that they would still be hosts after all.

GLAAD and other LGBT groups, who are used to these leagues’ blind allegiance, have been hysterical ever since. They’ve accused the NCAA of “going back on its word” to choose locations that were “safe, healthy, and free of discrimination.”

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David had even harsher words, insisting that the “NCAA should be ashamed of themselves for violating their own policy … ” Their “failure to take action here,” he went on, “means that they are part of the problem.”

Internally, the hand-wringing at places like the Human Rights Campaign has to be even worse. For years, the LGBT crowd has relied on scare tactics to move its agenda forward since it’s always lacked broad public support. If the NCAA won’t do its bidding, then the damage—especially now, as the demand for these bills keeps growing—is severe.

In a letter from far-left activists to the NCAA, Athlete Ally asks, “What changed?” One thing did, The Washington Times points out: the states that are passing these laws “are no longer outliers.”

In Florida, the latest state to protect girls sports, the threat from the NCAA more than backfired. Instead of frightening leaders away, it motivated conservatives to pass a bill even faster.

The governor told one news anchor that he remembers the day the letter from the sports league was issued. “I called the speaker of the House in Florida and said, ‘Did you hear what they said?'” And he replied, “Now we’ve definitely got to get this done.” There, as in other states, the rally cry seemed to be, “We’ll show them!”

And to the delight of commonsense Americans all across this country, they have. Last week in Louisiana, despite the governor’s warnings, the Legislature passed another bill to save girls sports by bipartisan, veto-proof majorities: 29-6 in the Senate and 78-17 in the House.

Then, in a major punch to the left’s gut, Oklahoma—one of the few states that was openly worried about the NCAA’s threat—realized the league was bluffing, went back to the drawing board, and passed its proposal out of the House.

When Oklahoma state Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, realized that the NCAA was scheduling tournaments in states with policies based on biology, he said, “I kind of laughed.” LGBT activists were appalled. “It was really scary to know that so many lawmakers in Oklahoma [saw] this as a reversal to the NCAA’s earlier statement,” one said. “That had been the only thing that persuaded folks [to back off these] girls sports bills.”

When the NCAA announced that Florida would host a softball championship this spring, Republicans could barely contain their glee. “I guess the NCAA boycott of Florida is over after two weeks,” state Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, tweeted. “Go Knights!”

The news for conservatives was even sweeter when the state’s bill became law on the first day of LGBT Pride Month. Turns out, the tug of the left may be strong, but so is the $730 million in revenue from the Southeastern Conference.

Our influence as red states, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, pointed out, is bigger than we think. “Will they even be able to have sports events anymore in the United States [if they boycott us]? I don’t think so.”

In the end, Beth Stelzer, president of Save Women’s Sports, says, most of these states would have moved forward even if it did cost them a few collegiate events. They, like the majority of Americans, had already made up their minds: “We need to do the right thing and stand up for females. People over profits. Facts over feelings.”

Who would have thought at the start of this legislative season that protecting girls sports would be the issue that separated the leaders who had courage and the leaders who are cowards? But it did.


Portlanders Struggle as Anti-Police Riots Continue Largely Unnoticed by Media

Communities and residents in Portland are still struggling as the anti-police riots continue without much coverage from the mainstream media.

Portlanders who spoke to The Epoch Times anonymously (to avoid “woke” retaliation) all agreed that violence is becoming worse and is unacceptable. “There are brazen shootings and killings in broad daylight which did not happen before this past year,” said a 44-year-old man who lives in a Portland suburb. “The violence is no longer limited to nights or certain neighborhoods.”

“Some companies are having a hard time recruiting employees because people perceive Portland as a dangerous place and don’t want to move here,” said a 64-year-old woman who works in the information technology field. “The violence and especially the perception of lawlessness have very much affected hiring.”

Riots Continue Mostly Unnoticed

After 60 days of left-wing violence following the George Floyd killing, federal agents were sent to Portland, Oregon in early July 2020. In addition to the nightly vandalizing of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, rioters had blocked exits and started a fire at the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct building, started other fires, and perpetrated looting and vandalism.

According to Jason Dunn, U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado in Portland there was “widespread use of rocks, lasers, slingshots loaded with ball-bearings, explosives, and other methods to assault federal employees. There are also nightly attempts by rioters to storm federal buildings and destroy them.”

Within two weeks of federal agent deployment after reports of arrest regularities, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demanded that the agents leave the city or stay “in your own [federal] buildings.” Gov. Kate Brown echoed the sentiments. Members of Congress also demanded that federal agents withdraw from Portland in a letter to then-Attorney General Barr and Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf.

Almost all national coverage of the Portland riots ended when federal agents withdrew in 2020, but the violent unrest has continued unabated and often unreported. For example, while most left-wing activists welcomed the Biden inauguration, Portland activists unveiled signs that read “WE DON’T WANT BIDEN—WE WANT REVENGE” and swarmed the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facility throwing rocks, bottles, and a pepper-like spray from paintball guns. “At one point, the air was so thick with gas and smoke that it was difficult to see,” reported Oregon Live. Demonstrators also smashed the windows of Oregon’s Democratic Party headquarters.

Less than three months later, after the killing of Daunte Wright, a black man shot by police in a Minneapolis suburb in April, rioters set the headquarters of the Portland Police Association on fire. The symbolic building had been boarded up from major destruction during the 2020 violence and the association moved in early June.

In April, protesters attempted to set up a Seattle-style autonomous zone and smashed the windows of Portland businesses, the Oregon Historical Society (which was already vandalized in 2020 on an “Indigenous Day of Rage”), and even the First Christian Church that feeds the homeless. The indiscriminate actions moved Acting Chief Chris Davis to remark in a Portland Police Bureau statement that “our community has made it clear that it will not tolerate wanton violence and destruction.”

There were even riots after the Derek Chauvin verdict, the police officer convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the George Floyd case—a ruling which most left-wing activists hailed. They smashed windows, including a Starbucks.

Who Are The Agitators?

Less than six percent of Portland’s population is black and the violent activists widely appear to be young, white, and associated with Antifa and following their own agenda. Both moderate blacks and whites are afraid to speak out, Portlanders told The Epoch Times, because of the charged atmosphere in which dissent is demonized. The violent activists do not represent the feelings of the majority.

“My black employees say, ‘We want the police guarding our homes’ and that the violent protestors do not speak for them,” said a downtown Portland employer who spoke to The Epoch Times on the condition of anonymity because of the “Gestapo-like atmosphere that currently exists.” “Friends of mine who survived civil wars in Southeast Asia and other places are especially aghast at the brazen violence that is tolerated in Portland and how criminals are emboldened. They spend one night in jail and are bailed out the next day!”

When asked why there seem to be few serious attempts to stop the violent demonstrators or unravel their funding, the employer said, “there is no political will. The mayor, district attorney, and governor serve the people who are not affected by the violence because they live in a bubble. People who are brown, yellow, red, and black are the most injured by the violence which is ironic when you consider the demonstrators’ rhetoric.”

Gregory McKelvey, a black civic leader in Portland, agreed that the violent protestors’ agenda diverges from that of the black community. Protesting every night or yelling in the face of police officers is an example of “white privilege” that would be off-limits to many others, he told the NY Times.


'Telling my child they are oppressed is racist': Black Florida mom warns school board that critical race theory entrenches racist idea that 'whites are better than blacks'

A black Florida mother blasted critical race theory as racist, dangerous and claimed it will destroy America at a state Board of Education meeting.

Speaking at the meeting Thursday, Keisha King said: 'Just coming off of May 31, marking the 100 years [since] the Tulsa riots, it is sad that we are even contemplating something like critical race theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently 'oppressors' or 'oppressed' in 2021.'

'That is not teaching the truth,' said King, who has a child in the Duvall County school district, 'unless you believe that whites are better than blacks."

King told of her outrage at seeing teachers in the Duvall County school district, in northeastern Florida, teach critical race theory and even separate students by their race. Duvall County confirmed it was invoking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's ban on CRT later the same evening.

King also disputed claims that critical race theory is 'racial sensitivity or simply teaching unfavorable American history or teaching Jim Crow history.'

'CRT is deeper and more dangerous than that,' King said. 'CRT and its outworking today is a teaching that there's a hierarchy in society where white male, heterosexual, able-bodied people are deemed the oppressors and anyone else outside of that status is oppressed.'

'That's why we see corporations like Coca-Cola asking their employees to be less white, which is ridiculous,' King said, representing Moms for Liberty, a national group that promotes 'parental rights at all levels of government,' according to its website.

'I don't know about you, but telling my child, or any child, that they are in a permanent oppressed status in America because they are black is racist,' King said, 'and saying that white people are automatically above me, my children, or any child is racist as well.

'This is not something we can stand for in our country.'

'And don't take it from me,' she said, 'look at the writers of these types of publications.'

'Our ancestors — white, black and others — hung, bled and died right alongside each other to push America towards that more perfect union.

'If this continues, we will look back and be responsible for the dismantling of the greatest nation in the world by reverting to teaching hate and that race is a determining factor on where your destiny lies,' King concluded.

Her comments were then shared widely to Twitter, with Tom Elliot posting a video of her speech, and @RogueShoeButler writing: 'Hallelujah! This lady gets it. And she explained the essence of the danger from CRT more lucidly than I think I've heard anyone tell it before.'

'I hope we hear more from Keisha King,' he wrote.

Others at the meeting, though, expressed their support for the theory, chanting: 'Allow teachers to tell the truth.'

Florida teachers also expressed their dismay with the resolution before it was passed, with Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar saying, 'Students deserve the best education we can provide, and that means giving them a true picture of their world nd our shared history as Americans, according to the New York Daily News.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, however, had been pushing for a ban on the theory for months.

He opened the meeting Thursday night by urging the board to adopt the measure, calling critical race theory 'really toxic,' and claiming that it would cause a lot more divisions in society.

'I think it will cause people to think of themselves more as a member of a particular race based on their skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they're trying to accomplish in life,' he told the board, which ultimately approved a resolution banning the theory unanimously.

The resolution states: 'Instruction on the required topics must be factual and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.'

The specifics of how the resolution will be enforced will likely be up to each individual school board, but with the passage of the resolution, Florida has become the sixth state to ban teaching critical race theory in just the past few months.

Critical race theory is an educational concept that claims racism is a social construct that has been embedded in American legal systems and policies.

It has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project, with supporters saying it is vital to eliminate racism in America and opponents claiming it actually promotes racism by categorizing people into different groups.


Biden Replaces Women with 'Birthing People' in Woke 2022 Budget

President Biden's promise to "build back better" apparently also applies to "birthing people," according to the 2022 budget proposal from his administration's Office of Management and Budget.

In the section on "strengthening public health infrastructure and meeting crisis-related needs," President Biden claims his budget "reduces maternal mortality rate and ends race-based disparities in maternal mortality."

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, with an unacceptably high mortality rate for Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and other women of color. To help end this high rate of maternal mortality and race-based disparities in outcomes among birthing people—and in addition to the investment in maternal health included in the American Families Plan—the Budget includes more than $200 million to: reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates nationwide; bolster Maternal Mortality Review Committees; expand the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies program; help cities place early childhood development experts in pediatrician offices with a high percentage of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program patients; implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers; and create State pregnancy medical home programs.

Science is back, baby!

"Birthing people" (along with its related term "chest feeder") is nonsense leftist gobbledygook that's used to signal tolerance because, of course, saying that women are the exclusive source of children is exclusionary. Or something. Biology means nothing, science is out the window, and to argue otherwise makes you a terrible person, or so leftists—and exceedingly more Democrats including the President of the United States—say.

It would be interesting to see the rationale through which the Biden administration decided to begin using "birthing people" in lieu of "women" or "mothers" because the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics does not refer to women as birthing people, based on the World Health Organization's definition for maternal mortality: "the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy."

If you're woke, you might conclude that the WHO is a bunch of bigots for their backward, antiquated, but scientific definition. But the Biden administration seems to be unable to get its story straight on how to refer to those individuals who have the biological capacity to grow life.

Elsewhere in Biden's 2022 budget, the word "mother" does appear—in a section about paid family leave, no less: "Paid leave has been shown to keep mothers in the workforce, increasing labor force participation and boosting economic growth."

Because not everyone has taken a swig of the woke Koolaid, the reaction to the budget's lack of sanity drew a predictable reaction.

"Biden is erasing women," noted Dana Loesch. "Wait til they find out what mater means in Latin," added Lyndsey Fifield. The cognitive dissonance in substituting birthing people for mothers in a budget item relating to maternal statistics was highlighted by Allie Stuckey with an "L O L."




Friday, June 11, 2021

'Whiteness is a malignant, parasitic like condition': Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association publishes paper by white psychoanalyst that claims whiteness is 'voracious, insatiable, and perverse - with no permanent cure'

One wonders if this is a spoof

A white psychoanalyst has published a paper in a respected academic journal branding whiteness 'a malignant, parasitic like condition' that is 'incurable' and triggers 'perverse appetites,' it has been revealed.

Dr. Donald Moss published the article titled On Having Whiteness last month in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the abstract of which is available online.

Dr. Moss, who teaches psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, has been slammed online by other psychologists and psychiatrists for the new research.

'Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has—a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which "white" people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one's body, in one's mind, and in one's world,' the abstract for the article reads.

'Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts' appetites voracious, insatiable, and perverse. These deformed appetites particularly target nonwhite peoples.'

The abstract continues: 'Once established, these appetites are nearly impossible to eliminate. Effective treatment consists of a combination of psychic and social-historical interventions.'

Dr. Moss wrote that such interventions 'can reasonably aim only to reshape Whiteness's infiltrated appetites' while calling whiteness a 'chronic condition' for which 'there is not yet a permanent cure.'

'The ravages wreaked by the chronic condition can function either as warning ('never again') or as temptation ('great again'). Memorialization alone, therefore, is no guarantee against regression,' he wrote. has reached out to Dr. Moss for more information on how he came to his findings, as well as additional comment.

Last February, Dr. Moss taught an On Having Whiteness course with the same messages as the new journal article. Tickets for the course cost $40 for members of the general public to attend at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies.

A flier shows that 'learning objectives' for the course included teaching participants how to 'explain the concept of internal racial identity' and 'identify obstacles to clinicians' working effectively with issues of race in the therapeutic relationship.'

Dr. Moss appears to have taught that same course in a presentation at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, though the description for that event was slightly different.

In that course outline, Dr. Moss wrote that whiteness is 'malignant because it spreads/metastasizes, targeting an ever-widening sphere of objects.'

'It is parasitic in that it is contagious, passed on by other infected people. Biologically 'white' people have a particular susceptibility. to 'Whiteness',' Dr. Moss wrote.

'This susceptibility is grounded in pre-existing hierarchical representations of self and object — in any representation that organizes self and other in a vertical relation, powerful and powerless.'

He added: 'For Whiteness, the most perceptually available category over which to establish hierarchical relations is 'color'. Race provides 'Whiteness' its easiest target.'

People were quick to target Dr. Moss for the 'racist' article in posts made to Twitter.

Psychologist Dr. Philip Pellegrino tweeted: 'How do my colleagues consider this scholarship?'

'What's the deal with these journals? Is it that no one cares anymore and they're just mailing it in, or are they scared to offend the 'woke' mob, or are they ideologically driven? Does science even factor into this anywhere?' the account @Jess3Livermore responded to Pellegrino's tweet.

Another Twitter user wrote: 'I was skeptical so I looked it up, and yeah this is real and now I want to throw my Psychology degree in the garbage.'

Dr. Moss has previously written a number of articles for academic journals with provocative titles.

In one journal article, he takes a poetic approach in writing about patients during the COVID-19 pandemic titled: I and You – One Sentence Per Patient Per Session in the Time of COVID.

The meaning of the journal article was not immediately clear, though a preview for it shows the article formatted like a poem or diary entry with the heading 'Day 1.'

Underneath the heading, Dr. Moss wrote: 'Did you forget you could kill yourself? What if she slept with this other guy? Yesterday the salad, today the cookie. I live for the constant alarm, the 24/7. Then I switched to Armenian chants. Aren't you saying that it's wrong? It's what I did, and guess still do, sometimes.'

The article continues: 'My phone gives me a weekly update. Shut the f**k up and give me the baby. All I ask is for one Friday night dinner. We deserved this a long time ago.'

Dr. Moss also addressed 'racism, homophobia, and misogyny' in a journal article from 2001, titled: On Hating in the First Person Plural: Thinking Psychoanalytically About Racism, Homophobia, and Misogyny.

In the abstract for that article, Dr. Moss wrote: 'Effective psychoanalytic work with these hatreds entails resisting the moral pressure to disidentify from them, while bearing the often profound discomfort linked with identifying with them.'

According to the American Psychoanalytic Association, he has studied 'clinical/theoretical/activisist perspectives' in psychoanalysis since the 1980s and is a member of a so-called 'Green Gang' that targets 'hatred' toward the 'natural world.'


Black Columbia professor calls for 'truly antiracist parents' to pull their kids out of $52k New Jersey school after teacher quit over critical race theory lessons and says only this will stop the 'misguided quest'

A black professor at Columbia University has called for parents to pull their kids out of a $52,000-a-year private school in Englewood, New Jersey after a teacher quit over critical race theory lessons.

John McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, tweeted his support for Dana Stangel-Plowe - who resigned from the Dwight-Englewood School on Tuesday.

'All hail Dana Stangel-Plowe, who has resigned from the Dwight-Englewood School, which teaches students "antiracism" that sees life as nothing but abuse of power, and teaches that cringing, hostile group identity against oppression is the essence of a self,' McWhorter tweeted.

The academic is also a distinguished journalist, who serves as a contributing editor at The Atlantic magazine.

'Truly antiracist parents, in the name of love of their kids, should pull them from the Dwight-Englewood school as of next fall. Only this will arrest these misguided Elect parishioners from their quest to forge a new reality for us all,' he added.

Stangel-Plowe herself retweeted McWhorter's praise.

She did so a day after accused the school of creating a 'hostile culture of conformity and fear' in her resignation letter on Tuesday.

She said Head of School Rodney De Jarnett told the entire faculty that he would fire everyone if he could to replace them with people of color. She also accused the school of segregating teachers by their skin color - and said students were also made to segregate themselves 'within the oppressor or oppressed group.'

Her resignation letter was published by the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism, (FAIR) an organization created to combat critical race theory teachings in school.

'I'm not doing any interviews,' Stangel-Plowe said when reached by over the phone on Wednesday evening.

The move comes after it was recently announced that Dr. Mirangela Buggs, who has served as Director of Equity and Diversity Engagement for the Dwight-Englewood School since 2017, would be leaving her post for a job at another private school in London.

The American School in London, whose fees run to $40,000-a-year, announced in a press release in March that Buggs would take on a new role as Director of Institutional Equity. Her appointment was confirmed months before Stangel-Plowe's dramatic resignation. has contacted Buggs for further comment.

FAIR said Stangel-Plowe is an 'award-winning teacher' and a graduate of Cornell University, as well as a published poet, in highlighting her credentials.

'I became a teacher at Dwight-Englewood because, as a parent, I loved how the school both nurtured and challenged my own children. Today, I am resigning from a job I love because D-E has changed in ways that undermine its mission and prevent me from holding true to my conscience as an educator,' she wrote.

'I believe that D-E is failing our students. Over the past few years, the school has embraced an ideology that is damaging to our students' intellectual and emotional growth and destroying any chance at creating a true community among our diverse population.'

She added: 'I reject the hostile culture of conformity and fear that has taken hold of our school.'

Stangel-Plowe claimed that the school's ideology requires students to see themselves 'not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, forcing them to adopt the status of privilege or victimhood.'

'They must locate themselves within the oppressor or oppressed group, or some intersectional middle where they must reckon with being part-oppressor and part-victim. This theory of power hierarchies is only one way of seeing the world, and yet it pervades D-E as the singular way of seeing the world,' she wrote.

Stangel-Plowe wrote that her students would arrive in her classroom accepting critical race theory as fact.

'People born with less melanin in their skin are oppressors, and people born with more melanin in their skin are oppressed. Men are oppressors, women are oppressed, and so on. This is the dominant and divisive ideology that is guiding our adolescent students,' she wrote.

Stangel-Plowe claimed that critical race theory would hinder her the ability of her students to 'read, write and think.'

'I teach students who recoil from a poem because it was written by a man. I teach students who approach texts in search of the oppressor. I teach students who see inequities in texts that have nothing to do with power,' she wrote.

'Students have internalized the message that this is the way we read and think about the world, and as a result, they fixate on power and group identity. This fixation has stunted their ability to observe and engage with the full fabric of human experience in our literature.'

Stangel-Plowe added that it was her opinion that the school was failing to teach 'intellectual curiosity, humility, honesty, reason, and the capacity to question ideas and consider multiple perspectives.'

'In our school, the opportunity to hear competing ideas is practically non-existent,' she wrote.

She added: 'Sadly, the school is leading many to become true believers and outspoken purveyors of a regressive and illiberal orthodoxy.'

'Understandably, these students have found comfort in their moral certainty, and so they have become rigid and closed-minded, unable or unwilling to consider alternative perspectives,' she wrote.

'These young students have no idea that the school has placed ideological blinders on them.'

She said that not all students are 'true believers' and claimed that many pretend to agree 'because of pressure to conform.'

'I've heard from students who want to ask a question but stop for fear of offending someone. I have heard from students who don't participate in discussions for fear of being ostracized,' Stangel-Plowe wrote.

Critical race theory teaches that racism is a social construct used to oppress people of color, and that it is present in almost all aspects of everyday life.

Its supporters say the theory helps illuminate the obstacles faced by BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) individuals in their everyday lives, that their white counterparts do not have to worry about.

The teaching of critical race theory has become a cultural lightning rod in recent months, particularly when taught in schools. Critics claim it is unnecessarily divisive, and teaches children that they are either victims or oppressors from an early age.

It was not immediately clear when the Dwight-Englewood School began teaching critical race theory, but the school has previously faced race-related scandals.

In 2019, the school removed and investigated a student for a racist and anti-Semitic 'hate' messages scribbled in the stalls of a boys' bathroom, De Jarnett said in a statement obtained by

After the school started teaching critical race theory, Stangel-Plowe claimed that one student even did not want to finish a personal essay about an experience she had in a foreign country over fears the essay would be racist.

'In her fear, she actually stopped herself from thinking. This is the very definition of self-censorship,' Stangel-Plowe wrote.

Stangel-Plowe claimed that in 2019 she tried to 'introduce positive and constructive alternative views' but they fell on 'deaf ears.'

'You expressed dismay, but I did not hear any follow up from you or other administrators. Since then, the stifling conformity has only intensified,' she wrote.

'Last fall, two administrators informed faculty that certain viewpoints simply would not be tolerated during our new 'race explicit' conversations with our new 'anti-racist' work. They said that no one would be allowed to question the orthodoxy regarding 'systemic racism.' The message was clear, and the faculty went silent in response.'

Stangel-Plowe added that the faculty members are pervaded by fear and at that the Head of School Rodney De Jarnett told the entire faculty that he would fire everyone if he could to replace them with people of color.

'During a recent faculty meeting, teachers were segregated by skin color. Teachers who had light skin were placed into a 'white caucus' group and asked to 'remember' that we are 'White' and 'to take responsibility for [our] power and privilege',' she wrote.

'D-E's racial segregation of educators, aimed at leading us to rethink of ourselves as oppressors, was regressive and demeaning to us as individuals with our own moral compass and human agency.'

Stangel-Plowe then pondered if the school would start to racially segregate its students.

'I reject D-E's essentialist, racialist thinking about myself, my colleagues, and my students,' she wrote.

'Neither the color of my skin nor the 'group identity' assigned to me by D-E dictates my humanist beliefs or my work as an educator.'

She added: 'Being told that it does is offensive and wrong, and it violates my dignity as a human being. My conscience does not have a color.'

Joe Algrant, the principal of Dwight-Englewood's Upper School, told the New York Post that he could not comment on personnel matters.

'In this case all I can say is that Ms. Stangel-Plowe notified us several months ago that she would not be returning next school year,' he said.

Multiple other expensive private schools have also hit the headlines in recent months over CRT. Elite Manhattan school Dalton saw some parents hit out at its alleged obsession with critical race theory.

And Grace Church School - another private facility located in NoHo - fired math teacher Paul Rossi after he spoke out against CRT.

Another high-profile critic, banker Andrew Gutmann, announced plans to pull his daughter out of elite Manhattan school Brearley over his concerns with CRT.


People Fleeing Collapsing Economies of Blue States Advise Those Who Remain: ‘Start Making Better Decisions on Who You Vote For’

Florida was the No. 1 relocation destination for Americans in 2020, according to New York and California took first and second place in the contest for which states had the most people choosing to leave.

Justin Pearson is a 27-year-old truck loader for a Target distribution center. A resident of Hemet, California, for 22 years, Pearson moved to the town of Riverside for another three years until the dramatic change in policies and rising cost of living made it impossible for him to live on his own. There also was no way he could afford to buy his own home, he said. In order to survive at all, he fled to Lake City, Florida.

While the national average in property taxes is 1.07 percent, Floridians pay only 0.83 percent, and Californians pay even less—0.73 percent. But Pearson said the cost of everything else in California erased the benefit of lower property taxes. Additionally, Florida is one of only nine states in the country that has no state income or wage taxes.

“With the COVID restrictions, a lot of businesses closed,” Pearson told The Epoch Times. “In turn, that caused an increase in homelessness. Then the governor enacted the zero-dollar bail policy and an early prison-release program, which caused the crime rate to skyrocket. Gas taxes were added. The cost of living was so high you could not get by if you were single. You literally had to have two or three incomes in order to make it.”

A specific motivator in Pearson’s decision to choose Florida was his “deep respect” for Gov. Ron DeSantis because of his moves to ban Critical Race Theory, to enact an anti-riot bill, and his unapologetic position of “backing the blue.” Pearson also admires the widely criticized decision by DeSantis to lift all COVID restrictions, which he believes are killing California.

Failed Policies

California Gov. Gavin Newsom chose to maintain COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and to extend both state and federal emergency taxpayer-funded unemployment benefits. California’s unemployment rate of 8.3 percent is among the highest in the nation, second only to Hawaii’s 8.5 percent.

The national average is 6.1 percent.

Florida’s state emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire and DeSantis has declined to extend the additional $300 per week in federally subsidized unemployment benefits. Still, Florida’s unemployment rate stands at 4.8 percent.

Pearson said California’s high unemployment fueled an explosion in homeless numbers, which had already been exacerbated by Newsom’s 2017 mental health budget cuts, which left unstable patients who would have otherwise been cared for wandering the streets.

“You can walk on every corner and find trash everywhere, needles and feces,” Pearson said. “It’s disgusting.”

Pearson also noted how illegal immigrants are flooding into California and the governor is doing nothing to stop it.

“In fact,” Pearson said, “he gave them stimulus paychecks using our tax dollars.”

Pearson, who ran back-the-blue rallies in California, said it was becoming too dangerous in California for Republicans to stand up for what they believed in.

“People would come over and assault us,” Pearson recalled. “But, because of the zero-dollar bail policy, they would get away with it. California is just a difficult place to live and I don’t see it changing anytime soon until people in California start making better decisions on who they vote for.”

Many of Pearson’s sentiments are shared by Laura Gainsborg.

“I’ve been in New Jersey now for over 30 years and that’s enough,” the former Florida resident told The Epoch Times.

“Talk about blue,” Gainsborg said of Pennington, New Jersey. “It’s a tiny little town and the people are as liberal as they get!”

Like Pearson from California, Gainsborg wanted to return to Florida because she too felt uncomfortable discussing politics. According to Gainsborg, also a Republican, people in her predominantly liberal New Jersey neighborhood are not very receptive to listening to the other side.

“There are very few people we can talk to,” Gainsborg lamented of the place she called home for three decades. “I want to move back to Florida. People in Florida are always friendly. You can talk to anybody, even those with different political leanings.”

Gainsborg was also drawn to Florida by the leadership of Gov. Ron DeSantis. As a retired teacher, she supports his ban on critical race theory. She also favors his move to opt out of the additional $300 per week federal unemployment benefits, which she believes encourages people to avoid going back to work to earn a paycheck.

Along with providing an additional 13 weeks of state taxpayers’ unemployment benefits, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also extended the additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits. New Jersey’s unemployment rate is currently 7.5 percent.

“It’s been horrible,” she said. “New Jersey is going down fast because people don’t want to go back to work. The teachers don’t want to go back to work. The unions are running New Jersey right now.”

Paying lower property taxes was a major qualifier in Gainsborg’s decision to move to Florida. Gainsborg’s husband, a forensics scientist, is also preparing to retire. But even with their combined retirement benefits, she said they would not be able to afford the property taxes they would have otherwise had to pay in New Jersey.


Cecil Rhodes triggers Oxford civil war: 150 academics write petition to Oriel College REFUSING to tutor its students or collaborate on work until it topples statue of the donor that 'glorifies colonialism'

Oxford University descended into civil war last night after academics urged colleagues to 'boycott' Oriel College over its refusal to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes.

In an unprecedented move, dons led by Professor Kate Tunstall – the head of another Oxford college – called on staff to stop holding tutorials for Oriel students until the monument to the colonialist is removed.

More than 100 academics had signed up last night. While they will still give lectures, the 'work to rule' will see staff deny the college's 300 undergraduates the chance for in-depth discussion in small groups or one-to-one sessions.

One senior don told the Daily Mail: 'This is despicable and mean-minded. It is unprecedented for the head of one college to attack and detract from the teaching of students at another college. This is politics based on ignorance and bias, and should have nothing to do with Oxford or any other university, where the principal aim should be to educate students and not damage their learning through left-biased agitation.'

The storm is the second to hit Oxford in as many days, after students at Magdalen College voted to remove a portrait of the Queen from their common room because she 'represents recent colonial history'.

Last month saw Oriel reject calls to tear down the statue of Rhodes, after an independent commission produced a 144-page report on the isssue following a long-running Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

An Oxford student in the 1870s, Rhodes left money to Oriel on his death in 1902 and his statue stands on the college's building on Oxford High Street. An imperialist, businessman and politician, he played a dominant role in southern Africa in the late 19th century, driving the annexation of vast swathes of land.

More than 1,400 people wrote to the independent commission with their views, including alumni who said removing Rhodes's statue would amount to 'censoring the past' and 'erasing history'.

The commission ultimately recommended that the statue be removed – but also highlighted how challenging it would be to conduct such work on a Grade II listed building. In addition to the cost, such changes would also require permission from Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary.

Previous vows from ministers to protect statues from 'baying mobs' suggest any moves to remove Rhodes would be blocked by the Government.

Following Oriel's decision to keep the statue, college provost Lord Mendoza insisted any money needed to pay for its removal – and associated legal challenges – would be better spent on students. But Professor Tunstall, interim provost of Worcester College, is among Oxford academics who invited colleagues to sign a 'statement of a boycott of Oriel College'. Their joint declaration states: 'Faced with Oriel's stubborn attachment to a statue that glorifies colonialism and the wealth it produced for the College, we feel we have no choice but to withdraw all discretionary work and goodwill collaborations.'

Signatories agree to 'refuse requests from Oriel to give tutorials to Oriel undergraduates'. They will also refuse to interview prospective students, nor will they speak at Oriel talks and conferences.

The petition has been spearheaded by Professor Tunstall, who has previously attempted to scrap the saying of grace before meals. Other apparent authors of the boycott statement include Sneha Krishnan, an associate professor in human geography at Brasenose, and two academics from St Antony's College: Miles Larmer, professor of African history, and Simukai Chigudu, associate professor of African politics.

The college is establishing a 'task force' to look at how to 'retain and explain' the statue, by making the public aware of the context and history behind it.

A likely option is to add a plaque, but dons are also considering creating a 'digital museum' about the statue, which could be accessed around the world.

But the Rhodes Must Fall campaign called it a 'slap in the face' and vowed to carry on fighting.

Lord Wharton, the chairman of the Office for Students, told the Telegraph the boycott was 'utterly unacceptable' if it led to students being 'disadvantaged in any way'.

Tory MP Tim Loughton added: 'This is academic blackmail by a group of academics who think their own political views should trump everyone else's, and if they don't get their own way then any innocent students who happen to fall within their boycott will become the victims.'