Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Poverty and Violent Crime Don’t Go Hand in Hand

Many analysts, along with the general public, believe that poverty is a major, if not the major, cause of crime. But a new study from a Columbia University research group should remind us of something that history has consistently shown: that the relationship between poverty and crime is far from predictable or consistent.

The Columbia study revealed the startling news that nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of New York City’s Asian population was impoverished, a proportion exceeding that of the city’s black population (19 percent). This was surprising, given the widespread perception that Asians are among the nation’s more affluent social groups. But the study contains an even more startling aspect: in New York City, Asians’ relatively high poverty rate is accompanied by exceptionally low crime rates. This undercuts the common belief that poverty and crime go hand in hand.

Asians had consistently low arrest rates for violent crime—usually lower than their proportion of the population, lower than those of blacks and Hispanics, and in one category (assault), even lower than that of whites, who, as a group, are far less often impoverished.

Using NYPD data, I calculated the arrest rates for violent crimes of each social group, accounting for the population size of each.

At 1.2 per 100,000, Asian murder arrest rates were nearly one-ninth of black rates. If poverty were the principal cause of crime, we would expect Asian rates to be as high, if not higher, than those of blacks. That the Asian rates are relatively low illustrates what I call the “crime/adversity mismatch,” a recurring phenomenon. As I observe in my history of crime: “Throughout American history, different social groups have engaged in different amounts of violent crime, and no consistent relationship between the extent of a group’s socioeconomic disadvantage and its level of violence is evident.”

When it comes to violent crime—murder, assault, robbery, and the like—history tells a complicated story. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, impoverished Jewish, Polish, and German immigrants had relatively low crime rates, while disadvantaged Italian, Mexican, and Irish entrants committed violent crime at high rates. This crime/adversity mismatch also seems to be a global phenomenon. In Great Britain, for instance, a criminologist observed that “all of the minority groups with elevated rates of crime or incarceration are socially and economically disadvantaged, but some disadvantaged ethnic minority groups do not have elevated rates of offending.” There, too, it was the case that Asians were more disadvantaged than blacks, but the latter had much higher offending rates.

Why is it that poverty is not consistently related to crime? A major reason is that crimes of violence are usually motivated by quarrels, personal grudges, perceived insults, and similar interpersonal conflicts, not by economic necessity. Consequently, a decline in one’s financial condition is not likely to cause violent criminal behavior. This explains why an economic recession or depression does not invariably produce a crime spike. In the second half of the 1930s, for instance, violent crime declined, even though the country experienced some of the worst years of the Great Depression. Likewise, during the Great Recession of 2007–2009, when the economy tanked, crime fell.


New York issues its first gender neutral driver's licenses allowing motorists to mark 'X' as their sex instead of M or F

New York state has begun issuing gender neutral driver's licenses that allow motorists to mark down 'X' in the category for sex.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles announced the move on Friday, touting it as a 'historic day' and saying the very first gender neutral photo IDs had been issued.

The new policy is being implemented in accordance with the State's Gender Recognition Act, which officially goes into effect on June 24.

Governor Kathy Hochul praised the move, saying in a statement: 'As we prepare to celebrate Pride Month in a few days, I am excited to announce this historic change that represents another victory in our fight to help ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community.'

'Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are,' added Hochul.

'My administration remains committed to ensuring that New York is a place of value, love and belonging for members of the LGBTQ+ community,' said the governor, a Democrat.

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said: 'Perhaps more than any other state agency, New Yorkers directly engage with their government through the DMV, so offering identity documents that are representative of all New Yorkers is a significant milestone.'

'We are thrilled to implement this new option that we know will have a positive impact on the lives of so many of our customers,' he added.

Former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the new law mandating gender neutral IDs prior to resigning in disgrace last year.


What The Army Is Letting Woke Soldiers Do is a bad augury for military effectiveness. Does America need an army of wimps?

The US Army is circulating a draft policy tweak that would allow soldiers to request to move if they feel state or local laws discriminate against them based on gender, racism(?), or abortion.

The policy, dubbed “compassionate reassignment” will permit soldiers to request a transfer to a different base if they feel state or local laws discriminate against them due to their gender identity.

In effect, it would allow soldiers to declare certain states to be too racist or homophobic for them to live there.

Sources with direct knowledge of the plans said the updated guidance was drafted in response to several state laws – but before a draft of a possible Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade was leaked.

Here’s what Military.com reported:

The guidance, which would update a vague service policy to add specific language on discrimination, is far from final and would need approval from Army Secretary Christine Wormuth. But if enacted, it could be one of the most progressive policies for the force amid a growing wave of local anti-LGBTQ and restrictive contraception laws in conservative-leaning states, where the Army does most of its business.

The policy would ostensibly sanction soldiers to declare that certain states are too racist, too homophobic, too sexist or otherwise discriminatory to be able to live there safely and comfortably.

“Some states are becoming untenable to live in; there’s a rise in hate crimes and rise in LGBT discrmination,” Lindsay Church, executive director of Minority Veterans of America, an advocacy group, told Military.com. “In order to serve this country, people need to be able to do their job and know their families are safe. All of these states get billions for bases but barely tolerate a lot of the service members.”

Remember last year when the US Army released a recruitment ad targeting gays and kids of gays? This is the same US Army that just lost a war to 10th Century barbarians and left them $80 billion in US weapons.

Maybe they need to refocus their priorities?


The Mass Shooting and Liberal Utopian Society

In the last two weeks, there have been two mass shootings in the United States, and the second took place this week at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. These shootings have reignited the regime’s already intense desire for a disarmed populace. Even before the bodies of the dead children had been removed from the school, our mentally diminished President spoke to the nation, demanding that rifles (which he is not even able to accurately describe) be confiscated across a 330 million person country spanning an entire continent. This despicable man, and the legion of sociopathic ghouls arrayed behind him, are clearly overjoyed that there is a classroom full of young children lying dead in Texas. They don’t actually care about the anguish of parents who will never see their child grow up. Their deaths are merely a political prop for the most evil people on the planet.

It is hard to fully comprehend just how totalitarian such designs are. But these are the very same sadistic freaks who successfully locked those 330 million people in their homes for weeks or months, and then (mostly successfully) restricted their ability to provide for their families if they refused to get an extremely dangerous mRNA injection that does not even accomplish its intended purpose. All you are to them is a guinea pig or a rat in a social experiment. You do not matter. Your children do not matter. You only exist to provide them with power.

You must understand that school shooters and other mass shooters are an extremely acute symptom of the disease that horribly afflicts the American nation. You live in an incredibly sick society, and since you are born into it and live in it every day, you go about your life mostly unaware of just how dreadful things really are. It is imperative for the people who manufacture the inversion of reality that you perceive everything through the lens of the now. This is why “The Current Thing” has such memetic power: it attacks reality distortion at its source, where obsession over what is, right now, cuts you off from any sense of historical perspective. In the case of mass shootings, the exclusion of historical perspective keeps the masses from noticing that mass shootings are a very recent phenomenon and that decades ago, when the United States had vastly more liberal gun laws, and anyone could even purchase fully automatic submachine guns in the mail, this never happened. The question you should ask is, why not? What exactly was different about America 90 years ago compared to today?

The answer to that question is fairly obvious. Modern American society is a factory for psychopaths. The young man in the North American Continent is planted in a field fertilized by atomization, loneliness, and hopelessness. Many have never met their father, and most do not have anything remotely close to a “good relationship” with him. Most have no meaningful connection to the community in which they live, nor even the nation they inhabit. In school, they are social outcasts, driven to niche internet communities for the only semblance of human interaction in their lives. They are marinated in hardcore pornography from before they have even reached pubescence. They know (or at least perceive) that they will never know the love of a flesh-and-blood woman. They are on the kind of pharmacological cocktail that any premodern society would only ascribe to witchcraft and demon possession. They have nothing to live for and no one who loves them. Given how many young men our nation is producing like this, the question we ought to be asking is not “why does this happen?” but rather “why does it not happen a lot more?”

America is an incredibly sick nation. There is a spiritual sickness that pervades everything like a dark cloud. The people who dominate every institution in our nation have held this power for at least sixty years. For these sixty years, they have treated this nation as a grand social experiment. They have made the natural family, the very bedrock of human civilization, an antiquated, outdated institution that we have progressed beyond. They have financialized and commodified all of human life, uprooting people from their homes and extended families, and making them mercenaries chasing after a rapidly devalued dollar. They have exported the industry of the nation impoverishing the heartland of the country and leaving them to languish in despair. They actively cheer the deaths and replacement of the hated population, while at the same time denying this was ever their intent. They have introduced racial and ethnic strife, and in the chaos actively undermined rule of law. Sixty years of full-spectrum control by utopian social engineers have transformed the most affluent society in human history into hell on earth.

This did not happen by accident. These people are motivated by a deep hatred of humanity. Like the geriatric that currently occupies the Oval Office who well represents them, they simply do not care how much people suffer. You might think the progressive is merely mistaken, deluded by ideology. This is not the case. They have had more than sixty years to see the full extent of human misery their ideology produces when applied to the healthiest and most prosperous conditions. They know what they are doing.


The feminist case for marriage

Louise Perry

I regret to inform you that your kitten heels and morning suits will probably not be seeing service this wedding season: once again, marriage rates are down. In fact, this year the rate for heterosexual marriages is the lowest on record.

What’s more, fewer than one in five of these marriage ceremonies are religious, in keeping with a downward trend of several decades standing.

As a wedding guest, I slightly regret this turn towards the civil ceremony, only because the secular liturgy is so oddly anaemic. Seeing someone from the local council officiate on this most solemn of occasions, I can’t help but be reminded of the Simpsons episode in which a Las Vegas casino worker marries Homer and Marge with the words ‘by the power vested in me by the state gaming commission I pronounce you man and wife.’

But then everyone knows that the modern wedding is a bit of a farce, particularly since April of this year, when no fault divorce was introduced in this country. For the vast majority of couples, swearing an oath before God doesn’t mean much anymore, and the legal bond itself is now easier and quicker to wriggle out of than a bank loan. The only requirement for a divorce in England and Wales is that you must have been married for at least one year (I’m sure my husband and I weren’t the only couple to joke on our first wedding anniversary that the traditional gift of paper could very well include divorce forms).

When the wedding ceremony itself is increasingly drained of meaning, couples must cast around for another way of adding a sense of importance to the day. Thus, over the last century, the proportion of average household income put towards a wedding has doubled, and the extravagant receptions that were once confined to high society are now common among the middle and working classes. That only adds a further incentive for couples to hold off on getting married until they can afford a big do.

It used to be that the most crucial few minutes of the wedding ceremony were the most consequential minutes of most people’s lives, since they produced a profound and (almost) irreversible change. Those rare couples who sought out a divorce in the period before the Divorce Reform Act of 1969 must have desperately wanted to be rid of their marriages, since they had to work so very hard to get divorced, and could then expect to be marked with stigma for the rest of their lives.

The sexual revolution’s liberalisation of divorce law has consigned this stigma to the past. In the decade following the Divorce Reform Act, the number of divorces trebled and then kept rising, peaking in the 1980s. Since then there has been a slight decline in the divorce rate, not because of a genuine return to marital longevity, but rather because you can’t get divorced if you don’t get married in the first place, and marriage rates have not stopped falling. In 1968, 8 per cent of children were born to parents who were not married; in 2019, it was almost half. The institution of marriage, as it once was, is now more-or-less dead.

Of course, some marriages should end. Although married women are not at greater risk of domestic violence than unmarried women – the opposite, in fact – it is obviously better when abuse victims do not face legal obstacles in trying to leave their spouses. There are some couples who really should divorce and, before the reforms of the mid-twentieth century, they often couldn’t.

At the same time, only an ideologue could fail to recognise that a culture of widespread divorce has its casualties. There are, of course, the adults who later feel that they made a mistake: between a third and a half of divorced people in the UK report in surveys that they regret their decision to divorce. But just as importantly – more so, I would say – there are the children who are harmed by their parents’ divorce. Several studies in recent decades have revealed that children suffer more from the effects of a divorce than the death of a parent.

The outlook is similarly grim for those children whose parents were never married in the first place. Unmarried parents are about twice as likely to split as married ones, and children then find themselves either in a single parent family, or living with a stepparent – in practice, usually a stepfather.

Despite the often valiant efforts of single mothers, the data clearly shows that, on average, children without biological fathers at home do not do as well as other children, with higher incarceration rates for boys, higher rates of teen pregnancy for girls, and a greater likelihood of emotional and behavioural problems for both sexes. This is because single mothers are obliged to take on the almost impossible task of doing everything themselves: all of the earning, plus all of the caring, socialising, and disciplining of their children.

Meanwhile, less than two thirds of non-resident parents in the UK – almost all of them fathers – are paying child support in full. A perverse consequence of half a century of feminist opposition to marriage is that deadbeat dads are now protected from the consequences of their fecklessness.

The monogamous marriage model had many flaws, and the sexual revolutionaries were correct in pointing them out. But this model is also the best solution yet discovered to the problems presented by the asymmetrical investments that men and women make in the process of reproduction.

For all of its trade-offs, there was wisdom in the traditional model. The father was primarily responsible for earning money; the mother for caring for children at home. Such a model allows mothers and children to be physically together and at the same time financially supported. In an age of labour saving devices like washing machines and gas boilers, it has become less time consuming to run a household, and thus more feasible for mothers of young children to do paid work outside of the home – as most of us do. But attempting to play the traditional roles of mother and father simultaneously – as single mothers are forced to – is close to impossible, particularly on low wages.

Despite all of these costs – to poor women, and even more to poor children – some people still consider the death of marriage to be a good thing, and many of those people are feminists. Opposition to marriage was a common theme in much of the writing of the Second Wave, with feminists of this era describing their goal as ‘women’s liberation’. Womankind was in chains, they said, and those chains had to be broken.

‘Liberation’ was always a gnarly feminist goal. The reductive feminist analysis of marriage sees it as a method used by men to control female sexuality. And it does do that, of course, but that was never its sole function. There is also a protective function to marriage, but it’s one that makes sense only when understood in relation to children.

We are a sexually dimorphous species with distinct reproductive roles and substantial differences in size and strength between adult men and women. What’s more, there is also plenty of good evidence for some innate psychological differences between the sexes, including higher average male sex drive and greater desire for sexual variety. This empirical finding may be controversial in some quarters, but it should not surprise anyone who has eyes and ears.

In a world of sexual asymmetry, you cannot simply press the ‘more freedom’ lever and expect men and women alike to joyfully ascend to some new utopia. Not when one half of the population are far more physically imposing, are much more interested in pursuing casual sex, and will never be able to get pregnant, while the other half of the population bear (literally) the consequences of a sexual encounter that goes awry. Our biology is such that, when sex unexpectedly results in pregnancy – as it still often does, despite modern contraception – it will always be the woman left holding the baby.

The task for practically minded feminists, then, is to find a way of protecting the vulnerable from the problems presented by sexual asymmetry. Our current sexual culture does not do that, but it could. In order to change the incentive structure, we would need a technology that discourages short-termism in male sexual behaviour, protects the economic interests of mothers, and creates a stable environment for the raising of children. And we do already have such a technology, even if it is old, clunky, and prone to periodic failure. It’s called monogamous marriage.

Many feminists who lived before the 1960s knew this better than we do now. They looked at the asymmetries inherent to heterosexuality and they concluded that the male libido needed containment not liberation. Which was why two of the thirteen chapters in Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women were devoted to bemoaning the lack of chastity in men: the sex with the higher sex drive, and thus – to Wollstonecraft’s mind – the greater responsibility for containing their passions. ‘Votes for women, chastity for men’ was a real suffragist slogan, now forgotten.

But perhaps we are on the brink of rediscovering such ideas. My friend Mary Harrington has written in the Spectator’s American edition of a coming ‘sexual counterrevolution’ as young people brought up in our hyper liberal culture react against the principles of sexual liberation. The same trend is evident here in the UK, as whispers of discontent among young women grow louder and louder on social media platforms like TikTok. Earlier this year, the Guardian announced that Gen Z was ‘turning its back on sex-positive feminism.’ This ideology is, according to the New York Times, ‘falling out of fashion.’

At times if feels as if young people are reaching towards the traditional notions of marriage without quite realising it. Take the group of American students who set up the ‘Affirmative Consent Project’ and marketed a ‘consent kit’, containing a condom, two breath mints, and a contract stating that the undersigned had agreed to have sex. Couples were encouraged to take a photo of themselves holding the signed piece of paper. (‘Why not invite family and friends to witness the signing?’ joked some. ‘Why not hire a professional photographer? Dress up? Make an event of it?’)

Or consider the feminist commentators who responded to the expected overturning of Roe v. Wade with the suggestion that men ought to be somehow legally bound to the women they impregnate and compelled to provide, not only financial, but also social and emotional support. Vice magazine recently announced a ‘new type of relationship’ called ‘radical monogamy’ that sounds very much like an old type of relationship. ‘Radical monogamy will offer a totally new portal to a joyful, healthy, magical kind of love’ promises one of its clueless proponents.

For all of its flaws, it seems that marriage as an institution has a way of reinventing itself. For better, for worse.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Monday, May 30, 2022

Et Tu? Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Adds Trigger Warning to Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London has added a trigger warning before a production of the Bard’s famed tragedy of Julius Caesar to warn attendees of potentially offensive content within the 1599 play.

Despite depicting perhaps the most famous assassination in history, theatre bosses at the Globe theatre have sought fit to provide audiences with “content guidance” that their production of William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Julius Ceasar will include weapons and fake stage blood.

“Content guidance: Depictions of war, self-harm and suicide, stage blood and weapons including knives,” the trigger warning The Sun newspaper reported.

In addition to the trigger warning, the woke theatre company has also opted for a gender-bending diverse cast, with the role of Marcus Junius Brutus — the most famed assassin of Caesar — given to Anna Crichlow, a Black-British actress.

The production heads have also cast Roman senator and Caesar assasin Cassius with a female actress and Brutus’ wife with a black actress.

The Globe, which is located on the site of Shakespeare’s original theatre, will run the production from July to September.


Woke Activists In The Workplace Are Sparking A Surge In Free Speech Cases

Workplace activism has caused a surge in free speech litigation over the past few years as employees have been fired or disciplined for their political views, according to a public interest law firm.

“Normally, we get one workplace speech case every four years, and last year we got four in one year and we’ve already got another two starting to launch this year,” Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Pell told TheDCNF that employers face pressure from outside activists and often end up implementing “very one-sided, politicized, speech policies.”

A non-profit public interest law firm says that activism in the workplace has caused an explosion in free speech litigation across the country over the last two years, according to the organization’s president.

The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) is involved in six cases of employees being punished for expressing political views, Terry Pell, the group’s president, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. The expressions in question usually came on employee’s personal time and were often surfaced by “activist” employees.

“This is very unusual,” Pell told TheDCNF. “Normally, we get one workplace speech case every four years, and last year we got four in one year and we’ve already got another two starting to launch this year.”

In one CIR case, Greg Krehbiel, employee of Maryland marketing company BrightKey, was told when he was hired that activities and comments on his personal time, which included co-hosting a podcast, were none of the company’s business, according to CIR’s website.

However, co-workers became aware of Krehbiel expressing what Pell described as “standard conservative critiques” on diversity initiatives and hate crimes on his podcast, they claimed his opinions represented “white privilege,” demanded he be fired and staged a protest in which they walked off the job according to a complaint filed in federal court.

“Despite its earlier promise to Plaintiff… BrightKey quickly acceded to the wishes of the objecting employees and fired Plaintiff,” the complaint said, adding, “BrightKey knew that the objecting employees were motivated by Plaintiff’s race and political opinions in insisting that he be fired.”

The federal district court ruled against Krehbiel, who is appealing the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A Tony Warner, BrightKey’s vice president of human relations, told TheDCNF after this story had been published that the company had no comment due to pending litigation.

Pell told TheDCNF that Krehbiel’s firing reflected a trend where employers face pressure from outside political activists to adopt “very one-sided, politicized speech policies” that could result in an employee losing their job over “something you said five years ago,” Pell said, adding that employers go along because they fear “a Twitter storm.”

Pell pointed to the recent example of Joshua Katz, a classics professor at Princeton University, who claimed that his criticism of anti-racism and failure to defend free speech was the real motive behind his firing over an alleged consensual relationship with an undergraduate student.

“The Princeton matter is mind boggling,” Pell told TheDCNF, going on to say that the university set “a terrible example that will only reinforce the feeling of private employers that speech is toxic and must be suppressed by any means necessary.”

In another CIR case, Salvatore Davi, a hearing officer in New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, commented on a Facebook post in October 2015, saying that the “wrong metrics” were being used to judge the success of welfare programs, according to CIR’s website. He was suspended for six months and transferred after his employer received an anonymous complaint about the posts.

“The really startling thing about this is that employees can get tagged for anything, they have no idea what they can say,” Pell told TheDCNF.

Before the complaint, Davi’s “performance reviews were all satisfactory,” and he was “described as an exemplary employee” who “had never been accused of bias in any of the thousands of individual appeals for which he had made recommendations” according to a legal filing by CIR on his behalf.

“Davi’s comments are primarily political speech about the proper role of government, which is among the most highly protected speech in our constitutional order,” United States District Judge Edward R. Korman wrote in the opinion granting summary judgement in Davi’s favor in March 2021. Davi and New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

New York state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

In a March 2022 poll by Siena College Research Institute, 84% of respondents said “Americans not exercising their freedom of speech in everyday situations due to fear of retaliation or harsh criticism” was a serious problem.

“Concern of the loss of civil liberties is ahead or crime and education on the list of things that voters are concerned about,” Pell said.

The CIR’s other free-speech cases include those of Dr. Norman Wang, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who was disciplined over an article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and Richard Rynearson, an Air Force veteran who was blocked from the Air Force’s Facebook page by the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, according to the firm’s website.


More Saying It’s Time To Go Full 25th Amendment On Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s trip to Europe didn’t make much help, in fact, it even worsen the current crisis that he’s facing now and it even nearly started World War III many times.

He embarrassed the US troops in Ukraine, Ukrainian troops being trained by US troops in Poland, by replacing Vladimir Putin in Russia.

In other words, he nearly caused the US and NATO into a huge war with Russia.

Despite starting a war that had ruined the Russian economy, Biden is still aiming for more than we can guess as World War III.

Every time Biden stands up in front of the crowd and make himself a huge embarrassment which no longer new to use, his administration had to step in and correct Joe Biden in gaffe after gaffe. And while the public watches him making embarrassing the fake news media will of course exclude it from their report.

Well, aside from Vlad Putin, there’s still another man that’s dangerous and so his regime and sadly we had him ever since the 2020 election.

Last night, Tucker Carlson couldn’t take it much longer he went to discuss on his show and called on Congress to invoke the 25th Amendment before Joe Biden destroys the US economy, US borders, and gets us into a nuclear war with Russia.

Carlson said, “If ever there was a time to invoke the 25th Amendment, it’s now. As Joe Biden himself put it, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”


Israel Folau set for international rugby union return with Tonga, three years after being sacked by Australian team

He is not allowed to play for Australia because of his Christian beliefs. But Christianity is widely followed in his native Tonga so he is acceptable there

Former Wallaby Israel Folau is set to return to international rugby union for the first time since 2018, after being named in Tonga's squad for July's Pacific Nations Cup and World Cup qualifying.

"He's going to bring a lot of experience to the table," Tonga coach Toutai Kefu told ABC Radio Australia. "His presence is going to be one of the most exciting factors we're looking forward to."

Folau played 73 Tests for the Wallabies before Rugby Australia terminated his contract in May 2019 for breaching its code of conduct.

However, he's now able to represent his parents' homeland, Tonga, due to changes to World Rugby's eligibility laws.

"It would have been at least a couple of years ago that we started having conversations about him possibly representing Ikale Tahi," said Kefu.

"It was quite informal back then — it was just an informal chat — and then, as his three-year stand-down approached, when that was going to finish there was a possibility of him playing Sevens to qualify for us and he was open to that.

"But then, fortunately, they changed that rule in November and he didn't need to go through that route anymore. All he had to do was stand those three years down and he would qualify straight away."

Folau is currently playing club rugby for the Shining Arcs in Japan under former Waratahs coach Rob Penney.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Why the sexual revolution has been a disaster for women today - but a gift for men

I think the lady below has a point but I also think she may be overgeneralizing. Female instincts still run strong and will be a strong influence on relationships.  Some men do indeed find it easy to find new girlfriends.  I did myself for much of my life.  But not all men are in that boat.  The incels are testimony to that.

The things that influence female pairing decisions are as old as the hills. Women still like a strong and decisive man who is also kind to them. And looks are a huge factor too. The successfully promiscuous men described below will very largely be a small good-looking minority. I did not have that advantage but my rare combination of uncrushable self-confidence and high IQ was nearly as good.

So I think society is not as sick as she thinks.  Women still have a lot of choices and exercise them energetically

When Emma Watson, the film star and women’s rights campaigner, was criticised for showing her breasts on the cover of Vanity Fair, she hit back by asserting ‘feminism is about giving women choice.

It’s about freedom’. For liberal feminists like her that might be true.

But for many other women — perhaps a sizeable majority — that freedom has spectacularly backfired. It has turned out to be a lie and a con.

Rather than women being emancipated sexually, in the digital age we have become a society in thrall to the worst of male sexuality.

For younger women in particular, today’s sexual culture is destructive, divorcing love and commitment from sex and favouring one-night stands, casual ‘hook-ups’ and ‘friends with benefits’ arrangements.

Worse still, it pressures them into promiscuity, bombards them with violent pornography and tells them to enjoy being humiliated and assaulted in bed.

Dating apps such as Tinder turn people into products in a sexual marketplace that encourages users to browse the available merchandise and select their preferred options from the comfort of their homes, with very little effort and no intimacy whatsoever.

One male user described the voracious appetite that the apps encourage: ‘You’re always prowling.

'In a bar you might have two or three girls to choose from but online you can swipe a couple of hundred a day and set up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them. 'You could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year.’

Another user compares Tinder to an online food delivery service —‘but you’re ordering a person’. He saw no harm in scrolling through would-be sexual partners in the same way as we scroll through any other kinds of consumables.

In reality, once you permit the idea that people can be products, everything is corroded.

I used to believe the liberal narrative that this free-and-easy attitude to sex was unalloyed progress.

As a younger woman, I conformed to liberal feminist ideas that saw nothing wrong in porn, bondage, sadomasochism and hook-up culture. Women were just expressing the same casual and adventurous approach to sex as men did.

I let go of these beliefs after working at a rape crisis centre, where I witnessed the reality of male violence up close.

It made me realise that the sexual revolution has not freed all of us, but it has freed some of us, selectively and at a price.

Believe me, I’m not anti-liberal and I don’t reject the desire for freedom.

I recognise that with the right tools, freedom from the constraints imposed on women by our societies and our bodies now becomes increasingly possible.

Don’t want to have children in your 20s or 30s? Freeze your eggs. Called away on a work trip post-partum? FedEx your breast milk to your newborn. Want to continue working full-time without interruption? Employ a nanny or a surrogate who can bear your child.

But I am critical of any ideology that fails to balance freedom against other values.

Liberal feminists see having sex ‘like a man’ as an obvious route by which women can free themselves from old-fashioned expectations of chastity and obedience.

If you believe there is nothing wrong in instrumentalising other people in pursuit of your own sexual gratification, then this makes sense.

And if you believe that men and women are both physically and psychologically much the same, save for a few hang-ups absorbed from a sex-negative culture, then why wouldn’t you want women to have access to the kind of sexual fun that men have always had.

I don’t doubt that there are some women who genuinely enjoy casual sex and who decide, having weighed the risks and benefits, that it is in their best interests to pursue it.   

What I question is the claim that a culture of casual sex is of benefit to women as a group.

What is being ignored is the basic fact that men and women are not the same.

Physically, almost all women are weaker than almost all men. Men can out-run women as well as out-punch them.

Psychologically too, men and women are wired differently. On average, men want casual sex more often than women do, and women want committed monogamy more often than men do.

In other words, there are a lot more super-horny men out there than super-horny women, and a lot more super-not-horny women than super-not-horny men.

Yet casual, hook-up culture which treats men and women as the same in their sexual appetites is now the norm among today’s adolescents and young adults.

Sexual behaviour outside of traditional committed romantic relationships has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable.

Although it is possible for young women to opt out, research suggests that only a minority do so.

On our university campuses the gospel of sexual hedonism is openly preached.

The prevailing culture is a terrible deal for women. It demands that they suppress their natural instincts in order to match male sexuality and thus meet the male demand for no-strings sex.

And yet this prevailing hook-up culture is endorsed by feminists as a form of liberation.

Meanwhile, we scoff at the past, believing we have inevitably progressed from those Neanderthal days of the 1950s when a home economics book offered tips to housewives on ‘how to look after your husband’.

The housewife was advised that, when her husband got home from work, she should have dinner on the table, her apron off and a ribbon in her hair, and that she should always make sure to let her husband ‘talk first’.

This was ridiculed on social media when it was put online in 2016. How reactionary, how stupid and backward!

But then take a look at a small sample of Cosmopolitan magazine guides published within the last decade: ‘30 ways to please a man’, ‘20 ways to turn on your man’, or ‘42 things to do with a naked man’.

In what sense are these guides not encouraging precisely the same degree of focus on male desires, except in this case it is sexual pleasure rather than domestic comfort?

Women are still expected to please men and to make it look effortless.

We have smoothly transitioned from one form of feminine subservience to another, but we pretend that this one is liberation.

Liberal ideology flatters women by telling us our desires are good and that we can find meaning in satisfying them, whatever the cost. I propose an alternative sexual culture that recognises other human beings as real people, invested with real value and dignity.

For a start, women need to avoid courting danger.

Most feminists dislike this suggestion, believing that women should not be expected to be the ones who modify their behaviour.

Every now and again, a police force will launch a campaign on rape prevention, with posters advising women to stick together on nights out, to keep their friends safe and so on.

Invariably these efforts invite a feminist backlash.

They see this as victim blaming, when it’s the rapists the police should be concentrating on. Which is true.

But here’s the point: rapists don’t care what feminists have to say.

They are men who are aroused by violence and unable to control their impulses when presented with a suitable victim and a suitable set of circumstances — a victim who is drunk, high, or otherwise vulnerable, the absence of witnesses and no fear of legal or social repercussions.

Young women aged between 13 and 25 are prime targets, which is why if you wanted to design the perfect environment for the would-be rapist, you couldn’t do much better than a party or nightclub filled with young women who are wearing high heels (limiting mobility) and drinking or taking drugs (limiting awareness).

So my advice to young women has to be this: avoid putting yourself in a situation where you are alone with a man you don’t know or a man who gives you a bad feeling in your gut.

He is almost certainly stronger and faster than you, which means the only thing standing between you and rape is that man’s self-control.

I have no doubt that, in this free-and-easy, sleeping-around sexual climate, vulnerable young women need to be cautious for their own protection.

My advice to them is this: only have sex with a man if you think he would make a good father to your children.

Not because you necessarily intend to have children with him, but because this is a good rule of thumb in deciding whether he’s worthy of your trust.



Tragedy strikes and opportunists circle America

Rick Manning is pretty right below but he omits to add some of the solutions to shootings that are available -- from arming the teachers to having security precautions at the entrance of each school -- as Trump has recommended

There are few words available to describe the shock and loathing in the wake of the murder of innocent children. The tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas crystallizes these feelings as people seek to grapple with what went so wrong with an eighteen-year-old that he would choose to murder children, an adult in the school as well as shot his own grandmother before traveling to the school.

Before the shock and dismay can even take hold and well before any honest understanding about what precipitated the carnage, the president jumped on television in a bald-faced attempt to score political points rather than provide a voice of healing and comfort, asking Congress to renew what he called the “assault weapons ban” on certain semi-automatic rifles.  

By setting simplistic battle lines, once again, the opportunity to get to the bottom of root causes and hopefully to prevent potential future attacks have been thwarted by a headlong rush to political rhetoric rather than honest, sensible solutions.

With Biden’s gun ban rhetoric, the opportunity to look at and learn from the assailant and the protective systems in place in the schools to hopefully create a better opportunity to protect our nation’s children from future attacks by the insane are thwarted.

But rather than being a leader, Biden chose to demonize his political opposition through the hollow, meaningless call to “take on the gun lobby,” a hollow line from a man who is a political dependent of those responsible for the national violent crime spree resulting from the defund the police, end cash bail, stop prosecuting property crimes, and open borders policies which have led to violent mobs to overrun our cities.

Maybe someday, our society will be able to have a real discussion about evil and things that can be done to stop pouring it into the ears of our children but when a politician uses the still warm bodies of dead children with zero facts other than a raw political, emotional appeal the opportunity for anything but national sorrow to come from their deaths.

It is sad.  And it further divides our already divided country.

America deserves more than failed political rhetoric. Those children deserve more than they typical ghoulish response from politicians who thrive on human suffering seeking gain out of the pain of others.

It is a time of tragedy. All of America grieves but beware the opportunists who seek political advantage out of this grief.



An angry black lady

I think that what we read below is mainly a case of misattribution.  There are plenty of occasions where a white boss fires a white employee so the lady writing below is wrong to think it does not happen.  

Her belief that a white boss will go out of his way not to fire a fellow white is evidence of how bad  race-consciousness has become in America.  The instances she relates  probably did occur but why they occurred is the issue.  She gets a glimmering of what was really happening when she says that:

"These white men went to kindergarten, middle school, college, and university together. They play sports together. Their families intermarry"

So it is a shared social background that is at work, not skin  colour.
"Old boy" networks do exist and she has encountered one.  To ensure that their sons are part of such a network is the principal reason why parents send their kids to private schools.  But if you are not part of that network  too bad.  Just having a white skin will not replace it.  I have never been part of such a network and I was once fired by a white boss.

So what the lady below complains about was personal, not racial

A few years ago, I worked with a white male colleague who was underperforming. For years, he was allowed to carry on, not delivering on his objectives and as a result, other members of the team had to do his work for him. I observed this in stupor. As a Black woman, I know I’d never be able to get away with doing this, but hey, white privilege is real. White men get to sit around and do nothing, and the company will just let them.

So in the case of my colleague that I’ll call Richard for privacy reasons, it had become a common understanding within the team that we couldn’t count on him. If you had any project where he was involved, you knew you’d have to do it all alone.

It irked me that Richard didn’t do a damn thing but as a Black person in corporate, I knew that if I complained about him, one or several of his white buddies would leap to his defense and I’d become the woman to kill. So you know what, I just kept quiet. Years went by, and nothing changed. At one point I found out that Richard was making over a million dollars — base pay and the incentive per year. I was shocked beyond words but still kept quiet.

One day, a new white boss joined the team. He disliked Richard and decided to fire him. What happened next was right out of the white privilege gamebook. The new boss, Kyle, told Richard he was going to fire him but, catch this, gave him 24 months to find a new job. To make sure that he did secure a new job, he wrote him a brilliant reference letter and even introduced him to his network. It was mind-boggling. Here was an underperforming employee, but all the same he was seeing to it that he found a job. This nonsensical situation was too much for me to comprehend so I asked the new boss why he was doing this. His response:

“Well, Richard has mouths to feed. Even if he’s underperformed, it is my role to make sure he doesn’t end up unemployed. Could you imagine what that would do to his pride?”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had heard about many Black people that had been fired from the same company with nothing much as a “goodbye”. Here my white boss was seeing to it that my white underperforming colleague could find a job elsewhere no matter what.

This whole situation really had me thinking about how comfortable life is for white men. The latitude of things that they can get away with in the workplace and in life, in general, is incredible. The white boys club is always there in the background waiting to catch them when they misbehave or fall. That must be a rather convenient life. Some of us out here i.e. Black women, have to hustle to get a job, shut up to keep it, and have anxiety about how we’ll find our next ones. We live in a completely different world from white men who have the comfort of knowing they’ll always be someone there to catch them.

I witnessed another similar situation a few years later. This time, a racist white male colleague was asked to report to a Black man. From the start, all of us in the team could feel the tension. I personally thought the white guy would learn to accept his new boss, but his lack of respect for him made the situation worse.

After years of this toxic situation where this white male constantly criticized his Black boss to others and sought to ruin his reputation, things came to a head. I expected the white male to be fired because he had clearly undermined his Black boss repeatedly. Again, the white boys club came to the rescue. The white male was offered a transition role in another team for a few months while the network secured a new job for him. Again, it was a matter of saving his white pride because you see, he had a family.

In all my career, I have never witnessed the same allowance being made for Black or brown people for that matter. When we underperform, we are kicked out. There is no underground network looking out for you. That is what being white gets you — a network of white people in white institutions that will cater to your white fragility and to your livelihood. As a Black woman, can I have that too?

The fact of the matter is that this network of white men is an institution. These white men went to kindergarten, middle school, college, and university together. They play sports together. Their families intermarry. Their strength lies in that they have been around forever. They are powerful. They have each other’s backs. When Black people talk about feeling out of place in corporate, this is one of the reasons why. They aren’t card-holding members of this white privilege, white boy clan and as such, they don’t have that safety net.

At the end of the day, however, it is important that people realize that these powerful networks exist. When we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations, we need to realize that not everyone has the same privilege, and as a result, special attention needs to be paid to the “equity” part of the equation. I think that it is important to address this if organizations truly want to build environments where all employees, regardless of their ethnicity feel that they are on a level playing field with their white counterparts.



The ADL Murder Report That Cried 'White Supremacist'

There are undoubtedly a few white supremacists in America but they are in the category of people trying to open a door that is already open. America is mostly white and it is supreme in many things. What need is there to proclaim the obvious? It doesn't need to be fought for. It already exists. A real white supremacist in America would just sit back and observe the world with great satisfaction. The "danger" of white supremacism that the Left is always talking about is mostly a figment of their imagination -- a tale to deflect attention from their own real policy failures

In May 2021, two members of the Family Values, a white supremacist prison gang, allegedly killed a member of the rival Southwest Honkeys prison gang over a longstanding beef. Three months later, a New Jersey man who had vandalized synagogues and distributed neo-Nazi pamphlets strangled his wife.

On the surface, the crimes would appear to have little more in common than their brutality. But the Anti-Defamation League includes these murders by white men of other whites in its tally of right-wing and white supremacist murders in its report, “Murder & Extremism in the United States in 2021.”

“In 2021, white supremacists were responsible for more murders than any other type of extremist; in many years, they comprised an outright majority of the extremist murders that year,” the report said. “Indeed, over the past 10 years, white supremacists have committed 244 (55%) of the 443 killings that the ADL (COE) has documented.”

The ADL also claims that other "right-wing extremists" were responsible for another 20% of extremist killings during the 10-year-period (2012-21) – including those it describes as "anti-government" and "incel/manosphere" (typically, involuntary celibates or misogynists).

The report has been cited repeatedly in media pieces as evidence of the lethal threat posed by far-right extremists since a mentally disturbed 18-year-old white supremacist murdered 10 African Americans and injured three others at a Buffalo market on May 14. Its stark warning has helped provide a backdrop for the narrative advanced by the White House, advocacy groups, and national media outlets that toxic white nationalism permeates American society. "White supremacy is a poison. It's a poison ... running through our body politic," President Biden said in his speech in Buffalo after the shooting. "… And it's been allowed to grow and fester right before our eyes."

But a closer examination of the statistics compiled by the ADL – which did not respond to multiple requests for comment – casts doubt on their use as evidence that African Americans or any other Americans are under increasing or serious threats from racist white zealots. The report was publicized in a month of back-to-back massacres by mentally disturbed young men, the latest by a member of a heavily Hispanic community in Texas, suggesting mass killings defy pat analysis.

Critics cite significant problems with the ADL presentation. Like other organizations tracking extremism, the ADL rarely offers context to claims regarding extremist murders by comparing them to broader homicide statistics. During the same 10-year period cited by the ADL in its 2021 report citing 244 murders by white supremacists, there were at least 165,000 murders in the U.S., meaning those the group attributes to white supremacists accounted for .001% of such violent deaths in that decade.

That statistic pales in comparison with those of major cities that have seen shocking increases in bloodshed, with recent annual murder totals breaking or nearing records set in the 20th century. Chicago had 797 murders in 2021, the highest total in 25 years, while much smaller Minneapolis, one year after George Floyd died in police custody there, had 96 murders, one shy of the city’s 1995 record. Huge jumps in murders also occurred in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and other metropolitan areas.

“The FBI has not issued the official number of murders in the U.S. in 2021, but it is expected to exceed the number of murders in 2020: 21,570 -- of which, according to ADL, 23 were committed by extremists,” Carl Moody, an economist at the College of William & Mary who studies crime, told RealClearInvestigations.

“The data presented by the ADL could also be characterized as follows: the number of murders committed by extremists is very small, only 29 in 2021, of which less than half were committed by white supremacists,” Moody said. “It is also 63% lower than the maximum number (78) in 2016, so extremism is down since 2016. In 2020, according to the CDC, 1080 people were killed falling out of bed. Therefore, you are 47 times more likely to be killed by a bed than by an extremist.”

“It’s important that we get the numbers right and in perspective,” said John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. “And we’ve had mainstream narratives that make it sound like they are all like the Buffalo killer. But there are very specific circumstances to a number of these shootings. If there is a significant threat to blacks from these kinds of mass attacks they need to know that. Otherwise, you’re creating divisions that don’t need to be there.”

Crime experts also note that many of the killings cited by the ADL – such as the slaying committed by Shawn Lichtfuss, the New Jersey man who killed his wife, or John Hilt and Justin Murphy, the allegedly lethal members of the Family Values prison gang – were not hate crimes aimed at terrorizing blacks or other minorities.

These include:

A white supremacist with a "swastika and SS tattoos on his face" who killed another man in an extended-stay hotel “following an argument over a social media post.”

An alleged member of a Fresno, California, white supremacist street gang who “allegedly [shot] a man with whom he had long been feuding.”

Four members of the New Mexico Aryan Brotherhood who “were involved in a shootout amongst themselves inside a vehicle.”
(Scott Ash/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

In Waukesha, mourning a black racist massacre that the ADL neglected to count.

At the same time, critics say the ADL overstates the percentage of white supremacist murders because it omits some high-profile crimes committed by non-whites. Lott provided eight examples of mass killings – traditionally defined as those with four or more fatalities – excluded by the ADL in its decade-long tally. One of those was the 2016 attack a black man launched against white police officers in Dallas that killed 5 and wounded 11.

The ADL report also does not include the more recent carnage in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last November when a black man with a history of racist social posts drove into a mostly white crowd in a Christmas parade, killing six and injuring 62. For 2021, the ADL lists just two murders by people it classifies as “black nationalists.” If the Waukesha victims were included, black racist murders would account for 23% of extremist murders (8 of 35) for 2021.

"The Wisconsin car attack is one that is very hard to miss," Lott said. "It is such an obvious and well-known case that you have to wonder if they omitted it because it goes against 'their narrative.'"

U.S. Department of Justice/Wikimedia

The ADL's report indicates that many killings it attributes to white supremacists do not fit common understandings of racist hate crimes -- for example, murders committed in the process of typical crimes by white-supremacist prison gangs.
U.S. Department of Justice/Wikimedia

The ADL’s own report indicates that many of the killings it attributes to white supremacists do not fit common understandings of racist hate crimes. It reports, for example, that 76 of the 244 killings, or 31%, were committed by members, suspected members, or associates of white supremacist prison gangs. They were the deadliest group profiled, and “given the nature of prison gangs as organized crime groups, it is predictable that many of the murders would be related to traditional criminal activities, ranging from drug-related murders to killings committed in robberies.”

Indeed, the ADL admits that the majority of murders it attributes to white supremacists were non-ideological.

“Over the past 10 years, only 86 of the 244 white supremacist killings (35%) were ideological murders,” the report said. “The remainder were group-related but not ideological attacks, were related to traditional criminal activities, or were murders for which no clear motive could be determined.”

That finding tracks with a March 2021 report from Lott’s organization addressing what it called "the false narrative of white supremacists doing mass public shootings." Examining all shootings involving four or more fatalities from 1998 to March 2021, it found in 71% of them "no mention of political affiliation” of the shooters. The report determined that “4% are right-wingers or conservatives or Republicans, 6% were liberals or Democrats or left-wing, and 10% were Muslim. About 9% are white supremacist, neo-Nazis, or anti-immigrant, but these people come from both the left and the right. Mass public shootings make up a small percentage of murders, and anti-minority mass public shooters are not the biggest threat even in that group."

Brian Levin, who heads the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino, said it can be difficult to pinpoint precise motivations of mass murderers, as "we are seeing less rigid ideological killers who increasingly seem to browse at a buffet of hatreds."

The Buffalo killer’s overwhelming hatred, however, was racist, as he expressed both the belief that blacks are inferior and angst over a kind of global conspiracy called “the great replacement theory,” Levin said.

In his 180-page rant published while he was allegedly opening fire in Buffalo, the extremist described himself at various points as a “mild/moderate left authoritarian,” and he viewed conservatism with contempt as a corporate catspaw.


Teen Who Alleges He Knew Shooter Shares Disturbing Details He Says No One Is Reporting

A student at Uvalde High School in Texas who says he knew Salvador Ramos rejected the prevailing media narrative that the gunman was the victim of bullying, and this was the catalyst for his May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Ivan Arellano, a senior at Uvalde High School, told WFAA-TV in Dallas that Ramos “was not a good person” and had been a bully himself.

“Salvador Ramos was a boy who was not bullied,” Arellano said on Wednesday. “He would try to pick on people but fail, and it would aggravate him.”

Ramos was shot to death by a Border Patrol agent after his shooting rampage at Robb Elementary School, which left 19 children and two adults dead.

Shortly before the attack, the 18-year-old gunman shot his grandmother in her home. Celia Martinez Gonzales, 66, was reported to be in stable condition at a San Antonio hospital.

Arellano, who was friends with one of the victims, wanted to set the record straight because he had not seen any media coverage spotlighting Ramos’ cruel personality.

“I don’t see this covered and I’m going to put this out there: He would hurt animals. He was not a good person,” he said.

Arellano’s statements belie the initial media coverage of Ramos as a victim who was subjected to gay slurs and bullied over his lisp.

So do the observations of 17-year-old Crystal Foutz, who attended school with Ramos and worked with him at the fast-food restaurant Whataburger.

“He always seemed to take his anger out on the most innocent person in the room,” Foutz told KTBC-TV in Austin.

Our understanding of people and events generally morphs as the dust settles after a horrific crime like this shooting and research unearths more about the perpetrator’s background.

However, one thing is already clear: The school system and his own family failed Ramos, who should have been red-flagged over his threatening, anti-social behavior, which included self-mutilation, animal abuse and shooting people with BB guns.

American culture is cratering at a chilling pace, fueled in large part by toxic left-wing policies that marginalize nuclear families, decimate the working class and demonize hard work and meritocracy.

Our schools have devolved into mindless incubators of destructive leftist propaganda that lionizes victimhood, socialism, transgenderism and mediocrity.

Is it any wonder that American children lag behind their international peers academically and report increasing depression and hopelessness?


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Friday, May 27, 2022

Is America the Real Victim of Anti-Russia Sanctions?

Remember the claims that Russia’s economy was more or less irrelevant, merely the equivalent of a small, not very impressive European country? “Putin, who has an economy the size of Italy,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in 2014 after the invasion of Crimea, “[is] playing a poker game with a pair of twos and winning.” Of increasing Russian diplomatic and geopolitical influence in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia, The Economist asked in 2019, “How did a country with an economy the size of Spain … achieve all this?”

Seldom has the West so grossly misjudged an economy’s global significance. French economist Jacques Sapir, a renowned specialist of the Russian economy who teaches at the Moscow and Paris schools of economics, explained recently that the war in Ukraine has “made us realize that the Russian economy is considerably more important than what we thought.” For Sapir, one big reason for this miscalculation is exchange rates. If you compare Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by simply converting it from rubles into U.S. dollars, you indeed get an economy the size of Spain’s.

But such a comparison makes no sense without adjusting for purchasing power parity (PPP), which accounts for productivity and standards of living, and thus per capita welfare and resource use. Indeed, PPP is the measure favored by most international institutions, from the IMF to the OECD. And when you measure Russia’s GDP based on PPP, it’s clear that Russia’s economy is actually more like the size of Germany’s, about $4.4 trillion for Russia versus $4.6 trillion for Germany. From the size of a small and somewhat ailing European economy to the biggest economy in Europe and one of the largest in the world—not a negligible difference.

Sapir also encourages us to ask, “What is the share of the service sector versus the share of the commodities and industrial sector?” To him, the service sector today is grossly overvalued compared with the industrial sector and commodities like oil, gas, copper, and agricultural products. If we reduce the proportional importance of services in the global economy, Sapir says that “Russia’s economy is vastly larger than that of Germany and represents probably 5% or 6% of the world economy,” more like Japan than Spain.

This makes intuitive sense. When push comes to shove, we know there is more value in providing people with the things they really need to survive like food and energy than there is in intangible things like entertainment or financial services. When a company like Netflix has a price-earnings ratio three times higher than that of Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, it’s more likely than not a reflection of market froth than of physical reality. Netflix is a great service, but as long as an estimated 800 million people in the world remain undernourished, Nestlé is still going to provide more value.

All of which is to say that the current crisis in Ukraine has helpfully clarified how much we’ve taken for granted the “antiquated” side of modern economies like industry and commodities—prices for which have surged this year—and perhaps overvalued services and “tech,” whose value has recently crashed.

The size and importance of Russia’s economy is further distorted by ignoring global trade flows, in which Sapir estimates that Russia “may account for maybe as much as 15%.” While Russia is not the largest producer of oil in the world, for example, it has been the largest exporter of it, ahead even of Saudi Arabia. The same is true for many other essential products such as wheat—the world’s most important food crop, with Russia controlling about 19.5% of global exports—nickel (20.4%), semi-finished iron (18.8%), platinum (16.6%), and frozen fishes (11.2%).

Such commanding importance in the production of so many essential commodities means that Russia, like few other countries on the planet, is in many respects a linchpin of the globalized production chain. Unlike “maximum sanctions” on a country like Iran or Venezuela, attempting to cut the Russian link has meant and will likely continue to mean a dramatic reorganization of the global economy.

Now that President Joe Biden has publicly renounced America’s decades-old policy of “strategic ambiguity” with regard to Taiwan, it’s worth thinking about what China’s economy looks like when we remove the same blinkers with which we’d always viewed Russia. If we consider the Chinese economy based on exchange rates—by simply converting China’s GDP from Chinese yuan to U.S. dollars—it is valued at about $17.7 trillion (as of 2021), compared to $23 trillion for the United States and $17 trillion for the European Union.

But if we adjust for PPP, we see that the Chinese economy reached almost $27.21 trillion in 2021, compared with $20.5 trillion for the EU and $23 trillion for the United States. In terms of PPP, in fact, China’s economy overtook America’s back as much as six years ago.

And what if we reduce the proportional importance of the service sector relative to industry and commodities? Services account for approximately 53.3% of China’s GDP, even less than in Russia (56.7%). If we roughly apply Sapir’s ratio of doubling the valuation of the nonservice sector to China, we may have to consider that in a very real and relevant way, the Chinese economy accounts for something like 25%-30% of the global economy on a PPP basis, rather than the current estimates of 18%-19%.

That would put the combined Chinese and Russian economies at about 30%-35% of the global economy (again, adjusting for PPP and the overvaluation of the service sector)—a behemoth and likely unsustainable challenge for a trans-Atlantic community that looks increasingly focused on using maximalist economic sanctions to punish bad actors and achieve desired policy outcomes. That challenge becomes even more daunting when we consider that the service sector accounts for roughly 77% of the U.S. economy and 70% of the EU’s—suggesting a potentially significant degree of overvaluation in Western economic heft, and far more parity in relative economic power with China and Russia.

How much does any of this hairsplitting matter? For one, the war in Ukraine and tensions in the Pacific look to be accelerating a division of the world into Cold War-like political and economic blocs. But whereas the West accounted for over 50% of global GDP at the beginning of the Cold War—with the United States dominating global manufacturing and running huge annual trade surpluses—the West looks to be in a weaker if more entrenched position of power today, and its major adversaries stronger in certain ways than the communist bloc was in 1948.

Before we enthusiastically embrace a new Iron Curtain, therefore, it’s worth pausing to consider how many countries in the world will voluntarily place themselves on our side. The countries of what we consider “the West” will—for ideological and historical reasons, in addition to economic and military enmeshment—undoubtedly remain relatively united. But the West only accounts for about 13% of the world’s population, with China and Russia together making up about 20%. That leaves about two-thirds of humanity “nonaligned,” a position that most of them would like to maintain. If we force them to choose a side, we may be surprised by many of the results.

A tally of the countries participating in current sanctions on Russia, in fact, makes it hard to say whether a new Iron Curtain is being drawn around our adversaries or around the West itself. Countries and nominal U.S. allies as significant as India and Saudi Arabia have been particularly vocal in their refusal to take sides in the conflict in Ukraine.

One telling barometer for this dynamic is oil. With Western oil sanctions on the world’s largest oil exporter, prices have predictably skyrocketed, rising from around $75 a barrel at the beginning of the year up to over $110 today. But countries that have refused to participate in sanctions are now taking advantage of the opportunity to negotiate for Russian energy deliveries at steep discounts. If Russia is still able to sell oil around the world, countries like India are able to negotiate for below-market prices, and Western consumers are being hammered with inflated prices, who is really being sanctioned?

A similar principle applies to the weaponization of the U.S. dollar and the Western financial system in general: If non-Western countries are increasingly told that access to dollars and transaction systems like SWIFT are conditional on policies made in Washington that may not necessarily be in their own self-interest, the result may be a de-dollarization of the global economy, not a strengthening of the Western order.

None of this is to say that the brutal invasion of Ukraine has been anything less than an atrocity, and that extraordinary measures may indeed be called for in order to counter Russian expansionism and its implications for global peace and stability. But it’s possible that the West, in a fit of self-righteousness and a need to satisfy various domestic demands, may be diving headlong into a future in which the global South and many others besides feel increasingly pressured to make a choice they don’t want to have to make, and which may leave the West more isolated than ever before in modern times.


Georgia voters expose the 'Jim Crow' smear as a lie

by Jeff Jacoby

WHEN REPUBLICAN legislators in Georgia last year passed S.B. 202, a law overhauling the state's election procedures, Governor Brian Kemp made a prediction: "This new law," he said as he signed the bill, "will expand voting access in the Peach State."
He was right.

Turnout in Georgia's primary election this month set new records, with more than 857,000 ballots cast during the three-week early voting period that ended on Friday. That was not only three times the number of early votes recorded in 2018, as The Washington Post noted, but higher even than the tally during the 2020 presidential election. Pointing with pride to the impressive results, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the election law adopted last year was "coming through with straight A's."

According to liberals and Democrats — who repeatedly and angrily described the Georgia law as a bigoted, antidemocratic obscenity — none of this was supposed to happen.

Just hours after Kemp signed the bill in March 2021, President Biden slammed it as "an atrocity," "pernicious" and "un-American" and "a blatant attack on the Constitution." In a subsequent speech, he excoriated Georgia for its "vicious anti-voting law," which he called part of "the most dangerous threat to voting and the integrity of free and fair elections in our history" — nothing less than a "21st century Jim Crow assault" on the right of every American to vote.

Again and again and again, that's how the Georgia law was described — as a racist scheme to suppress Black votes and revive the evils of the Jim Crow era. Republicans were endlessly accused of deliberately choking off the early voting options that were especially popular with Black Georgians. "As America embraces early voting, GOP hurries to restrict it," one CNN story was headlined. In a Washington Post column, Kathleen Parker drew a link between Georgia's new rules and the grisly 1964 murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Mississippi. One of the young men had been found with "red clay in his lungs and clenched in his fist, indicating he was probably still alive when buried," Parker wrote. The "red-clay legislators" in Georgia who passed S.B. 202, she observed, were using more subtle means "to diminish minority turnout."

Major League Baseball — egged on by the president, who labeled the elections law "Jim Crow on steroids" — relocated the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver. Two Georgia-headquartered behemoths, Coca-Cola and Delta, issued statements blasting the new law. When Home Depot, another Atlanta-based corporation, declined to pile on, Black church officials urged a boycott of the company.

Yet all along, it was the racial demagoguery about the Georgia law, not the law itself, that was obscene and immoral. You wouldn't know it from the rhetoric about "Jim Crow," but Black voter turnout has been rising steadily for years, even in Republican-dominated states with voter ID requirements. In 2018, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, "all major racial and ethnic groups saw historic jumps in voter turnout."

In Georgia specifically, Black voters over the past quarter-century have become an ever-larger share of the electorate.

In 1996, the year Bill Clinton was reelected, there were 930,000 registered Black voters in Georgia, of whom 497,000, or 53 percent, cast ballots in the November election. By November 2020, all those numbers had jumped: There were 2.3 million registered Black voters, of whom nearly 1.4 million, or about 60 percent, cast ballots. In the face of such unambiguous evidence that Black Georgians are active and committed voters, the Democratic smear about "Jim Crow on steroids" was disgraceful partisan rabble-rousing.

The thunder of lies about S.B. 202 led some voters to expect the worst. The Washington Post spoke with Patsy Reid, a 70-year-old African-American retiree from Spalding County who, given the "reports of voter suppression against people of color in Georgia," said she was surprised by how easy it was to cast her ballot in the Democratic primary.

"I had heard that they were going to try to deter us in any way possible because of the fact that we didn't go Republican on the last election, when Trump didn't win," she told a reporter. "To go in there and vote as easily as I did and to be treated with the respect that I knew I deserved as an American citizen — I was really thrown back."

There was no voter suppression, no Jim Crow, no "red-clay" assault on Black civil rights. Patsy Reid is one more Georgia voter who knows that now.


Get Woke, Go Broke: State Farm Exec Makes Panicked Promise as Trans Support Blows Up in Company's Face

Facing an uproar for its support of the transgender agenda, State Farm Insurance says it is dropping its alliance with a transgender group that wanted to supply indoctrination materials aimed at children to schools and libraries.

State Farm had said it would support a group called GenderCool, which was targeting children as young as 5 with books titled “Being Transgender,” “Being Inclusive” and “Being Non-Binary.”

On Monday, the conservative group Consumers’ Research responded with a video titled “Like a Creepy Neighbor.”

“State Farm tells us they’re a good neighbor,” the narrator begins. “But would a good neighbor target five-year-olds for conversations about sexual identity? That’s what State Farm is doing.”

On Tuesday, State Farm surrendered.

State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson told The Washington Post that the partnership ended after it had “been the subject of news and customer inquiries.”

“Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents,” Gadson said in a statement. “We don’t support required curriculum in schools on this topic. We support organizations providing resources for parents to have these conversations. We no longer support the program allowing for distribution of books in schools.”

“As a result, we have made the decision we will no longer be affiliated with the organization,” the company said on its website.

According to a report from RedState, Rand Harbert, State Farm executive vice president and chief agency, sales and marketing officer, sent out a voice message to agents and others about the book project.

The outlet, citing a transcript it obtained, reported that Harbert said, “First and foremost, I want you to hear directly from me that we made a mistake with our involvement in this program — and we’re sorry. As soon as we fully understood the issue Monday morning, the first decision we made was to cease our involvement with this organization.

“Let me be clear, our position is that conversations with children about gender and identity need to happen at home.”

Harbert then made it appear as though State Farm was not fully aware of to whom it was giving money and what would be done with the cash.

“As much as we would like to be aware of every program and involved in every decision, it’s simply not possible as most of these gifts are small. In this case, it was $40,000,” Harbert said, according to RedState.

“However, we recognize even small decisions can have a big impact, and we’re taking the necessary steps, so nothing like this happens again,” he said


Australian supermarket chain: Caring for some but not for others

They just love sexual abnormality

Coles sacked the last of its unvaccinated staff at the beginning of this year, long after state mandates fell and other industries began allowing the so-called mavericks of the workforce back into the office. The move, along with other supermarket giants, saw thousands of Australians unceremoniously dumped, many of them single mothers or from struggling households.

‘Shop safe at Coles’ is something that looks good printed in big letters across double-page ads to those still suffering from anxiety hangovers. Just don’t ask too many questions about the health logic, given unvaccinated people can shop in the store, but not stand behind the counter.

Speaking of corporate virtue signalling.

The same company turned around this week and announced it would be offering its trans and gender-diverse employees ten extra days of paid leave for the purpose of ‘gender affirmation’. ‘Affirmation’ is a hazy term that Coles describes as ‘any process’ that relates to the act of gender affirmation including surgical, social, legal, or medical action. Leave could be granted for anything from an appointment with a lawyer through to full surgery.

Gender Affirmation Leave was timed to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia – one of the dozens of days and months dedicated to a sexual preference or pronouns.

Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer, David Brewster, (who also serves as the Chair of the Pride Steering Committee), released a statement.

‘We know that we have at least 900 team members who identify as transgender or gender diverse. We need to have proper policy and education in this area so there is clear guidance around taking leave for this important transition in their life.’

Coles attached a long and bizarre ‘gender affirming’ statement that seems a little over the top for employment that largely involves stacking shelves and pushing trolleys. Its headings include ‘encouraging you to be your authentic self’ and ‘developing our Pride Team member network’ – which doesn’t sound like something employers should concern themselves with.

This move, described as ‘way ahead of politicians’ (add to that logic, reason, and fairness) is meant to be an action against ‘trans hate’. 2022 has transitioned into a world where an employer who is not constantly, publicly, and (preferably financially) ‘affirming’ an employee they must, by default, hate them. For most of human history, workers preferred their employers to keep their noses out of any private medical business.

‘You’ll be supported as the gender with which you identify, wear the clothes or uniform of your affirmed gender, use the toilets and change rooms of your affirmed gender and be referred to by the name of your affirmed gender too,’ read a statement, issued by Coles.

The statement leans heavily toward sentiments of anti-discrimination and equity – which is fine, one is simply left to wonder where this emotionally sensitive Coles hurt-feelings committee was when it was ruthlessly sacking unvaccinated staff who simply wanted to keep their jobs and their body autonomy at the same time. Coles went one step further, attempting to impose its vaccination policies on unrelated suppliers, contractors, partners, and anyone working onsite.

And no. If you’re an employee with a non-gender related medical or emotional issue, you’ll have to plan ahead and sacrifice some of your holiday leave when you run out of the standard state-sanctioned medical allotment. No one is going to give you a Woke Virtue point for a hip replacement.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Inconvenient Fact About Mass Killings

After the mass murder of 10 in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket committed by a man who posted a racist manifesto, Wesley Lowery, a CBS reporter, said: “Let’s be clear, the stuff Tucker (Carlson) and Laura Ingraham say every night, it could be written by white supremacists very often. There’s a section of this manifesto where the shooter starts talking about, ‘People will always say diversity is strength. How is it a strength?’ And I could hear it in Tucker’s voice. He says this all the time, right? But the Ben Shapiros of the world say this. … There are plenty of people in our politics, in our media, who advance these ideas and advance them frequently. … We have to have a conversation about our political rhetoric in our country, right?”

Where to start? This “reporter” implies that “right-wing rhetoric” incited the 18-year-old Buffalo supermarket killer. Where’s the evidence? For all we know, he might’ve been an avid viewer of CBS News.

The next day after this mass murder, an Asian man opened fire on churchgoers in an Orange County, California, church, killing one and injuring five. Most of those at the church were reportedly of Taiwanese descent. But no doubt the shooter routinely DVR’d the Tucker Carlson show. Days later, a black man, who reportedly hated Asians, was arrested for injuring three Korean Americans in a shooting attack at a Dallas hair salon.

Lowery implies that “right-wing rhetoric” turns white males into mass killers. But there’s a problem with this narrative — the facts. When it comes to mass murderers, almost all of which are men, white men are actually underrepresented and black men overrepresented when compared to their percentages of the American male population.

In October 2017, Newsweek, in a story headlined “White Men Have Committed More Mass Shootings than Any Other Group,” wrote, “Statistics show that since 1982, the majority of mass shootings — 54 percent — were committed by white men, according to data from Mother Jones.” But a few paragraphs later it added, “The high number of white men committing mass shootings is also explained, at least in part, by the fact white people make up a majority of the U.S. population (63 percent) and men are more likely to commit violent crime in general.” Wait, white males commit 54% of the mass shootings while the white population is 63%?

About the Newsweek article, PolitiFact said: “Critics argue that when you consider that non-Hispanic white men make up about 63 percent of the male population, white men appear proportionally less likely to commit a mass shooting, according to the Mother Jones statistics showing white men account for 54 percent of mass shootings.”

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh noted that blacks and Asians, from 1982 to 2021, committed 17.4% (12.3 % of the population) and 6.6% (3.6 %of the population) of mass shootings, respectively. Volokh wrote, “Non-Hispanic whites don’t seem to commit mass shootings at greater than their share of the population. The groups that appear overrepresented are blacks and Asians.”

An opinion piece last year in The Washington Post called “The Numbers Undercut Myths About Mass Shootings and White Men” found: “So it appears that the number of white men committing these crimes is close to what we’d expect from pure chance, maybe even slightly lower — the opposite of what we’d see if white supremacy culture were at fault.”

Again, the inconvenient fact is that white males, as a percentage of the American male population, are underrepresented when it comes to mass shooters. Black and Asian males, as to their percentage of the male population, are overrepresented. The left-wing media hyperventilate about “underrepresentation” or “overrepresentation” when it comes to poverty, prison population, admission to elite colleges and universities, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, NFL head coaches or Academy Award winners. But when it comes to mass shooters, suddenly “over-representation” becomes irrelevant.


In Brief: ACLU Denies Existence of Women

We’re old enough to remember that “woman” was a definable word. Now, we have an incoming woman Supreme Court justice who refuses to say what a woman is because to do so is to trigger the rabidly gender-confused Left.

Journalist Daniel Greenfield takes on the latest reality deniers at the ACLU.

“We’re Not Stupid: Outrageous Quotes from the War on Women,” the ACLU had headlined a post about its pro-abortion activism in 2013.

A decade later the ACLU is arguing in court that women don’t exist.

Not only does the ACLU’s current abortion coverage eliminate any mention of women, but in response to a civil rights lawsuit by women, it actually filed a motion arguing they don’t exist.

The particular fight has to do with California’s prison system, which houses men with women as long as the men claim to be women. A feminist group that hasn’t succumbed to the gender-bending Rainbow Mafia sued.

Krystal Gonzalez, one of four women being represented in the lawsuit, reported being sexually assaulted by a man who claimed to be “transgender” in prison. The California penal system however insisted that her male attacker was actually a “transgender woman with a penis.”

The ACLU, along with Lambda Legal and the Transgender Law Center, filed a bizarre motion in response denying that, “‘men as a class’ are defined and differentiated from ‘women as a class’ by their ‘anatomy, genitalia, physical characteristics, and physiology.’”

Are there physiological differences between men and women? Science says there are while the ACLU denies it in what may be one of the most surreal motions ever submitted to a court.

Denying sexual dimorphism is up there with a motion claiming that the earth is flat.

But the ACLU motion went on “to deny the allegation that ‘human beings’ are ‘sexually dimorphic, divided into males and females each with reproductive systems, hormones, and chromosomes that result in significant differences between men[] and women[.]’”

Biology 101 is now an “allegation” to be denied in court.

Thus unfolds another chapter in the disgraceful history of the ACLU. As Greenfield concludes, “In an extraordinary document, the ACLU denies everything we know about biological science and it does so in the name of not only erasing women, but exposing them to sexual abuse.”


The dubious use of sanctions

On 19 April Wimbledon decided to ban all players from Russia, the aggressor in Ukraine, and Belarus, which let Russia use its territory as a staging post for the attacks, from this year’s tournament. The ban may reflect a desire to avoid the possibility of embarrassing the Duchess of Cambridge as the royal patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. In that capacity, amidst the centenary celebrations of Centre Court, Kate Middleton is expected to present trophies to the men’s and ladies’ singles winners. There was a good chance that one or both could be Russian or Belarussian, in which case video footage of the trophy presentation could be weaponised for propaganda in the still-raging war.

The spate of expulsions of Russian athletes, artists and even dead authors and composers is an ugly outbreak of neo-McCarthyism ripping through Western institutions. Wimbledon is open to charges of gross hypocrisy and might have fashioned a rod for its own back to be used by activists on any fashionable moral crusade in the future. Why were American, British and Australian players not banned unless they denounced the invasion of Iraq in 2003? Are Russian actions in Ukraine more evil than China’s vis-a-vis the Uighurs? What of countries that execute homosexuals or condemn women to inferior status? The precedent has been set by the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament that even in competitions that feature athletes playing as individuals and not for their nation (as in the Olympics or the Davis Cup), regardless of where they reside (Victoria Azarenka has lived in the US since her teens), they can be banned for the sins of their governments. Of course, it also devalues the tournament. On current world rankings the ban will exclude more than twenty eligible players from the ladies and gentlemen’s (isn’t it nice that Wimbledon has stuck to this traditional language) singles competitions. On 10 May, the world’s leading men’s players called for ranking points to be withdrawn from Wimbledon in protest at the ban.

Wimbledon’s ban is a microcosm of the pathologies that afflict international sanctions. They expand the toolkit of powerful countries to impose their values and policy priorities on the rest and thereby build resentment in the latter who see hypocrisy where sanctions-imposing countries profess moral virtue. It’s proven extremely challenging to secure and sustain universal compliance with sanctions regimes. In a world of scarcity where costs and benefits are unevenly distributed, there will always be a market clearing price for every good. Three months into the war, even the BBC has woken up to the realisation that vast parts of the non-Western world do not share the West’s one-sided anti-Russian narrative. Whether based in economic and military self-interests or in perceptions of Western hypocrisy, double standards and colonial past, many countries have refused to join Western condemnations and sanctions.

In a CNN commentary, Jeffrey Sachs estimates that the 100 countries in the UN General Assembly that did not vote to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council account for 76 per cent of the world’s population. Energy price rises owing to sanctions are an inconvenience to Europeans. It’s a particularly perverse form of selfish arrogance to demand that India, for example, should eschew the purchase of discounted Russian oil when steep ptice rises in essential energy will cause significant hardship for millions of poor Indians.

As this suggests, the impact of sanctions is disproportionately harsh on innocent victims. A starkly graphic example of this was sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War, estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to have caused 576,000 child deaths by mid-1994. Child mortality rate jumped from 56 to 131 deaths per 100,000 births from 1984–89 to 1994–99, according to Unicef which attributed 500,000 child deaths directly to sanctions. That experience did a lot to discredit sanctions as a supposedly humane alternative to war for dealing with rogue regimes. It also led directly to the oil-for-food scandal in which Australia was so badly implicated. In his annual report on the UN’s work in 1998, Secretary-General Kofi Annan acknowledged that ‘humanitarian and human rights policy goals cannot easily be reconciled with those of a sanctions regime’. Sanctions create shortages and raise prices in conditions of scarcity.

The poor suffer; the middle class, essential to building the foundations of democracy, shrinks; the ruling class extracts fatter rents from monopoly controls over the illicit trade in banned goods. The evidence shows that time and again, family cliques surrounding dictators monopolise the black market spawned by sanctions and the resulting scarcities and shortages of goods in the open market. Sanctions also offer an easy scapegoat for ruinous economic policies. Economic pain is simply blamed on hostile and ill-intentioned foreigners. Bearing pain is portrayed as the patriotic duty of every citizen, and dissent silenced or liquidated.

There is the further pathology of mission creep and mutation. Like race-based affirmative action, gender equality and cancel culture, once introduced for one target group or goal, they are appropriated by others for additional groups and causes that are also pursued with proselytising zeal, meaning that opponents are not just inconvenient obstacles but positively evil. Therefore they are deserving of vilification, dehumanisation and punishment. And so it is that some experts and officials are already calling for countries that fail to cooperate with the WHO during a pandemic to be hit with prompt sanctions under a new pandemic treaty. Presumably this means that Sweden and Florida, among a handful of jurisdictions to have got their Covid policy settings right while all others raced to the bottom of panicked stupidity, would have been subjected to international sanctions. And we can safely predict that laggards in the global Net Zero race to the economic bottom would be early candidates for punitive sanctions.

More often than not, sanctions are morally dubious, ineffective and can be counterproductive, prompting a successful search for self-reliance or alternative suppliers for critical goods. They damage the economic interests of those imposing sanctions, including undermining reliability as a supplier and, in this case, risking the de-dollarisation of the world economy as others invest in the creation of parallel financial systems and institutions that are less vulnerable to capricious strikes by the dominant West. The rouble fell to begin with but since March 10, it has more than doubled in value against the euro, dollar and pound. Often they damage relations with allies and friends without securing the intended objectives against target regimes. All in all, therefore, sanctions are a poor alibi for and not a sound component of good foreign policy.

https://spectator.com.au/2022/05/bad-policy-bad-politics/ ?


Biden’s Buffalo Speech Was Speech of Indecent Man

If an American president has ever given as mendacious, anti-American, and hate-filled a speech as President Joe Biden did in Buffalo, New York, last week, I am not familiar with it. Nor are you.

Biden used the terrible mass shooting of black people in a Buffalo grocery store to smear America, divide Americans, and foment race-based hatred. A decent man would have given an entirely different speech.

A decent man would have gone to Buffalo and said something like this:

My fellow Americans, what happened here in Buffalo was pure evil. Let there be no equivocating about this moral fact. If evil exists, what happened here was evil. But, my fellow Americans, this young man and his race-based homicidal hatred represents an infinitesimally small number of Americans, white or otherwise.

The overwhelming majority of Americans of every race, ethnicity, and religion get along with each other beautifully. We work alongside each other, date each other, socialize with one another, and marry one another. We are the most successful experiment in creating a multiracial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious country in world history. The actions of a deranged teenager do not change this fact.

Instead, the hater-in-chief went to Buffalo and said:

What happened here is simple and straightforward: terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism. Violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group. A hate that, through the media and politics, the internet, has radicalized angry, alienated and lost individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced. That’s the word. Replaced by ‘the other.’ By people who don’t look like them.

Look, we’ve seen the mass shootings in Charleston, South Carolina; El Paso, Texas; in Pittsburgh. Last year, in Atlanta. This week, in Dallas, Texas, and now in Buffalo. In Buffalo, New York. White supremacy is a poison. It’s a poison. It really is. Running through our body politic. And it’s been allowed to fester and grow right in front of our eyes. No more. I mean, no more. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America. None …

Look, the American experiment in democracy is in a danger like it hasn’t been in my lifetime. It’s in danger this hour. Hate and fear are being given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America, but who don’t understand America. …

Now is the time for the people of all races, from every background, to speak up as a majority in America and reject white supremacy …

We have to refuse to live in a country where black people going about a weekly grocery shopping can be gunned down by weapons of war deployed in a racist cause …

As noted earlier, this was not only a hate-filled speech; it was a speech of the Big Lie. The Big Lie of white supremacy as a major threat to America generally and to black America specifically.

Let’s examine each of the examples of white supremacist mass shootings he gave:

“Charleston, South Carolina”
Seven years ago, Dylann Roof killed nine black worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“El Paso, Texas”
In 2019, a 21-year-old white racist, Patrick Wood Crusius, killed 23 people and wounded 21 others at a Walmart store. The great majority of his victims were Hispanic.

In 2018, a white antisemite, Robert Gregory Bowers, murdered 11 Jews attending Sabbath services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. As was the case with the Buffalo shooter, Bowers was a deeply troubled man. His father, while on trial for rape, committed suicide when Bowers was 7 years old, and like all the examples Biden cited, he was a troubled loner. Neither he nor any of these other shooters worked in concert with any hate group or co-conspirators.

“Last Year in Atlanta”
In 2021, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long killed eight people at three massage parlors. The killings were motivated by his sex addiction and his religious conviction that those who tempted him should be killed. Race had nothing to do with it.

“This Week in Dallas, Texas”
Last week in Dallas, Jeremy Smith shot and wounded three women of Asian descent.

Smith is a black man.

Why Biden included this shooting as an example of white supremacy is a puzzle. Why no mainstream media I could find noted and condemned this lie is not puzzling.

So, then, our hate-fomenting president mentioned six examples of “white supremacist” shootings. A total of two, one of them seven years ago, involved a white racist shooting black people. One involved a sex addict killing sex workers. One involved a black man shooting Asian people. One involved an antisemite targeting Jews. And one was a black man who shot Asian Americans.

With these examples, Biden went to a grieving black community to lie to them in order to stir up anger in them about the alleged scourge of white supremacist violence in this country.

At least half of this country knows why Biden did this:

First, to focus Americans’ attention on “white supremacy” rather than on the inflation, looming recession, food crisis, and energy crisis he and his party have created with their policies.

Second, to keep black Americans voting Democrat by saying to them, in effect: “You need protection from your fellow hate-filled Americans; we Democrats are your protectors.”

Meanwhile, 9,941 black Americans were killed in 2020. Nearly all were killed by other black people. But to Biden, his party, and the mainstream, i.e., left-wing, media, those black lives don’t matter. At all. Why not? Because they weren’t killed by white supremacists, and they therefore don’t serve the Democrats’ deliberately divisive narrative.

https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/05/24/bidens-buffalo-speech-was-the-speech-of-an-indecent-man/ ?


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)