Friday, June 02, 2023

Inside the CEI system pushing brands to endorse celebs like Dylan Mulvaney

This would seem to be a very important article. The sudden arrival of the transgender madness does seem to need explanation. The CEI would seem to have a large role in it. There is also a video below on the topic

Executives at companies like Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Kate Spade, whose brand endorsements have turned controversial trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney into today’s woke “It girl,” aren’t just virtue signaling.

They’re handing out lucrative deals to what were once considered fringe celebrities because they have to — or risk failing an all-important social credit score that could make or break their businesses.

At stake is their Corporate Equality Index — or CEI — score, which is overseen by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ political lobbying group in the world.

HRC, which has received millions from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation among others, issues report cards for America’s biggest corporations via the CEI: awarding or subtracting points for how well companies adhere to what HRC calls its “rating criteria.”

Businesses that attain the maximum 100 total points earn the coveted title “Best Place To Work For LGBTQ Equality.” Fifteen of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies received 100% ratings last year, according to HRC data.

More than 840 US companies racked up high CEI scores, according to the latest report.

The HRC, which was formed in 1980 and started the CEI in 2002, is led by Kelley Robinson who was named as president in 2022 and worked as a political organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The HRC lists five major rating criteria, each with its own lengthy subsets, for companies to gain — or lose — CEI points.

The CEI is made up of several main scoring components.
The main categories are: “Workforce Protections,” “Inclusive Benefits,” “Supporting an Inclusive Culture,” “Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Citizenship.”

A company can lose CEI points if it doesn’t fulfill HRC’s demand for “integration of intersectionality in professional development, skills-based or other training” or if it doesn’t use a “supplier diversity program with demonstrated effort to include certified LGBTQ+ suppliers.”

James Lindsay, a political podcaster who runs a site called New Discourses, told The Post that the Human Rights campaign administers the CEI ranking “like an extortion racket, like the Mafia.

It doesn’t just sit back passively either. HRC sends representatives to corporations every year telling them what kind of stuff they have to make visible at the company. They give them a list of demands and if they don’t follow through there’s a threat that you won’t keep your CEI score.”

The CEI is a lesser-known part of the burgeoning ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) “ethical investing” movement increasingly pushed by the country’s top three investment firms. ESG funds invest in companies that oppose fossil fuels, push for unionization, and stress racial and gender equity over merit in hiring and board selection.

As a result, some American CEOs are more concerned about pleasing BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Bank — who are among the top shareholders of most American publicly-traded corporations (including Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Kate Spade) — than they are about irritating conservatives, numerous sources told The Post.

This week, Mulvaney’s new ad campaigns with Bud Light and Nike ruffled the feathers of critics from country star Travis Tritt and Kid Rock — who tweeted a video of himself shooting cases of Bud Light — to female Olympians and even Caitlyn Jenner, who said of Nike: “It is a shame to see such an iconic American company go so woke! … This is an outrage.”

Mulvaney, 26, who transitioned from male to female in the beginning of March 2021, has reportedly earned more than a million dollars from endorsements including fashion and beauty brands that also include Ulta Beauty, Haus Labs and CeraVe, as well as Crest and InstaCart.

She’s also gained 10 million followers on TikTok.

But neither Kid Rock nor even Mulvaney are who America’s top execs are trying to impress, experts say.

“The big fund managers like BlackRock all embrace this ESG orthodoxy in how they apply pressure to top corporate management teams and boards and they determine, in many cases, executive compensation and bonuses and who gets re-elected or re-appointed to boards,” entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who is running for president as a Republican and authored “Woke Inc.: Inside America’s Social Justice Scam,” told The Post. “They can make it very difficult for you if you don’t abide by their agendas.”

In 2018, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who oversees assets worth $8.6 trillion and has been called the “face of ESG,” wrote a now-infamous letter to CEOs titled “A Sense of Purpose” that pushed a “new model of governance” in line with ESG values.

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink wrote. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Fink also let it be known “that if a company doesn’t engage with the community and have a sense of purpose “it will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders.”

In December, Florida pulled $2 billion worth of state assets managed by BlackRock. “I think it’s undemocratic of major asset managers to use their power to influence societal outcomes,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the time.

Fink has denied that ESG is political, but key staff managing his ESG operations worked in the Obama administration and donate to Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

In his first veto, President Joe Biden last month rejected a GOP-backed bill that sought to block ESG investing — especially in pension funds where, critics say, American retirement funds will be sacrificed to a radical left-wing agenda.

Protesters in Paris targeted BlackRock’s office there this week due to the company’s role in managing and privatizing pensions, which are at the heart of the French government’s recent retirement-age reforms.

ESG and CEI proponents say that adhering to socially conscious values when investing and managing a company will make the world a better place. Not everyone agrees.

Derek Kreifels is the co-founder and CEO of State Financial Officers Foundation, one of several financial officers fighting ESG on a national level.

He calls ESG itself a “highly subjective political score infiltrating all walks of life, forcing progressive policies on everyday Americans [and] resulting in higher prices at the pump and at the store.”

The Corporate Equality Index is an ominous cog in ESG’s wheel, Kreifels told The Post.

“The problem with measures like CEI, and its big brother ESG, is that it introduces an incentive structure outside of the bounds of business, often in ways contradictory to fiduciary duty,” Kreifels said. “Whether Anheuser-Busch was trying to cash in on Dylan Mulvaney’s TikTok following or chasing higher CEI ratings for inclusivity, the backlash has been significant, and the stockholders to whom the company is obligated will feel the pinch.”


‘It’s time to admit remote work doesn’t work’, tech entrepreneur David Sacks says

Working from home is the equivalent of a “two-day work week” making it a “great lifestyle” but bad for companies, according to one tech executive who says it’s “time to admit that remote work doesn’t work”.

Entrepreneur David Sacks, a close ally of Tesla boss Elon Musk, is one of a growing number of business leaders making a stand firmly against the work-from-home trend, which has emerged as a major flashpoint between companies and employees in the aftermath of Covid.

“It’s time to admit that remote work doesn’t work,” Mr Sacks wrote in a viral Twitter thread which has been viewed more than 4.5 million times.

“WFH Friday is a four-day work week. Full WFH is a two-day work week. Every interaction has to be scheduled, which means a lot of information-sharing doesn’t happen. Remote is a great lifestyle, not a way to build a great company.”

Mr Sacks was responding to earlier comments by tech executive Florent Crivello, who wrote in an April memo to staff at his AI start-up Lindy that he had “made a 180º on remote”.

“I think everyone here can attest to the fact that we tried harder than anyone else. And I’m more bummed out about it than anyone,” he wrote in the memo, which he later shared as a blog post.

“Remote is more comfortable from a lifestyle standpoint. You save on commute, have your own office, can work from anywhere, and get more flexibility on your schedule (especially important for folks with families). But it makes it harder for a start-up to succeed or find product / market fit. That’s especially so if you’re building something very new, like we are doing.”

Mr Crivello went on to explain that remote work “raises co-ordination costs”, outlining a few reasons why it was less efficient — such as people not being online at the same time and online meetings being less effective than face-to-face due to the technology — all of which “causes us to be less aligned”.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of this misalignment,” he wrote.

“We in tech are building pure thought-stuff — the things we build are like icebergs, 99 per cent invisible. The quality of our work is a function of the alignment of our mental models about the stuff below that water line. And remote makes it harder to reach that alignment.”

Mr Crivello added, “Colocation is more fun too. You get to have lunch with your team, grab beers on Friday nights, play video games at the end of the day in the office, etc.”

Mr Sacks expanded on his thoughts in a lengthy Twitter post.

“In the earliest days of a start-up, it’s possible for a small team to remain continuously connected electronically,” he wrote. “This [creates] false confidence in remote. It doesn’t scale. By the time the start-up has hundreds of employees, full remote completely breaks down.”

He suggested “maybe 10 per cent of the roles in a company can naturally be remote”, such as engineers “whose code check-ins are obvious” or “field sales reps who live in their territories and close large enterprise deals”, the dollar value of with were “also obvious”.

“What makes these remote cases justified is that achievement is largely individual and fairly obvious,” he said. “By contrast, the contribution of most employees is often subtle to measure and depends on a team dynamic. Hence the importance of being together in an actively managed environment.”


Biden’s ‘White Supremacy’ and ‘Assault Weapons’ Dog Whistles

Joe Biden is a consummate race hustler and the most reprehensible “lying dog-faced pony soldier” ever to dupe his way into the White House. In his recent 2023 commencement address at the distinguished historically black Howard University, his mastery of lies shined.

It was a great platform for “President Unity™” to roll out his retread “racism” and “white supremacy” rhetoric.

How ironic that Howard gave this platform to the titular leader of the political party that is the historic architect of white supremacy and that continues to advance policies that keep millions of black and brown Americans enslaved by their poverty politics nationwide. And what a disgrace that Howard invited a serial prevaricator to preach his now-tiresome sermon of hate and division to warp the perspective of their graduates at what was otherwise a distinguished commencement.

As for Biden’s qualifications to stand before this esteemed student body, let’s recall his own “academic record.” He has falsely and repeatedly claimed he graduated “top half of my class” from law school, when he was actually near the bottom — and cheated to get that ranking. He has also repeatedly claimed he has three undergraduate degrees from the University of Delaware, though that too has been debunked.

But he gets a pass by the leadership at Howard.

Biden declared to all present, “I thought, when I graduated, we could defeat hate. But it never goes away. It only hides under the rocks.”

Of course, Democrats bank on keeping the hate they created on life support to make sure “it never goes away,” especially after a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Biden’s approval rating among black voters was at a mere 52%.

Biden was blowing his “poison of white supremacy” dog whistle hard when he absurdly insisted, “The most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy.”

Nate Jackson wrote of that colossal canard: “It’s an utterly false and divisive charge coming from a pathological liar. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the crowd from applauding because for decades blacks have marched in lockstep with the Democrat Party and its divisive racial narrative. That’s exactly what Joe ‘You Ain’t Black’ Biden is counting on.”

Biden also repeated the lie that Donald Trump said Nazis in Charlottesville were “fine people.”

Yeah, this is the same guy whose first White House stint was as understudy to the corrupt Barack Obama, whom Biden infamously described as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

Of his divisive hyperbole, The Wall Street Journal noted, “It was a low, dispiriting affair, one that aptly captured the low, dispiriting nature of his presidency: acerbic rhetoric from a partisan who demonizes opposition and divides Americans from one another; bottomless self-unawareness from a politician elected president almost accidentally in a moment of crisis, who continues to see himself as some sort of historical savior; cynical cant from a serial fabulist whose distortions are becoming as loathsome as the endless malign fictions of the predecessor he despises and whom he desperately needs as a foil.”

Of course, Biden could not get off the Howard soapbox without referencing “gun violence,” claiming he wanted to resurrect “the most significant law on gun violence … the most significant law in 30 years.” He added, “I got the Assault Weapons Ban passed 30 years ago, and we’re going to pass it again.”

The arrogance of that unchallenged assertion raises a serious question: Just how dumbed-down are the faculty at Howard and, by extension, their students?

For the record, rifles and shotguns of any description combined are used in less than 3% of all homicides. In fact, a homicide victim is far more likely to be murdered by an assailant using a knife, blunt object, or fists than by a rifle or shotgun. And despite the rare high-profile mass murders that both the Democrats and their Leftmedia publicists constantly churn, more than 99.5% of murders in the U.S. are not from mass attacks — thus aren’t useful for their gun control narrative.

What Biden would not dare say before his Howard audience is that on any day across our nation, the average victim count of black-on-black and black attacks on people of other races far exceeds the death totals of any high-profile mass murder this year.

Biden and his Demos want to avoid any mention of the inconvenient truth about race and violence: A grossly disproportionate number of violent crimes nationwide are committed by black assailants, and black-on-black assault is the most prevalent violent crime in the nation. The suspect in 88% of murders of black people is also black.

According to Manhattan Institute fellow and renowned crime researcher Heather Mac Donald: “Dozens of blacks are murdered every day, more than all white and Hispanic murder victims combined, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. Blacks between the ages of ten and twenty-four are murdered at twenty-five times the rate of whites between those same ages. Their assailants are not the police, not other whites, but other blacks.”

When considering that the young black males who committed most of those crimes represent less than 3% of the population, that racial disparity is staggering.

Furthermore, according to Pew Research, “In 2021, 46% of all gun deaths among children and teens involved Black victims, even though only 14% of the U.S. under-18 population that year was Black.”

Democrat politicos steadfastly avoid any discussion of this data because it would require studious consideration of the Democrat policies that have created these conditions. If Democrats actually believed that “black lives mattered,” they would not propagate failed urban policies that proliferate black-on-black violence.

If Biden and his ilk were really interested in public safety, they would, as I suggested earlier this month, ban alcohol.

There were 26,031 homicides in the U.S. in 2021, the latest year of record. But more than 140,000 people — five times the number of homicides — died from alcohol-related causes in the same year. Drunk drivers are responsible for 28 deaths per day, and, notably, it is estimated that alcohol is also a key factor in at least 30% of homicides involving firearms. (Include drugs, and that number jumps to about 60%.)

What a deep disservice by the academic cadre at Howard University to avoid these inconvenient truths and invite Joe Biden to launch graduates’ careers on an insidious raft of lies.


Philosophers cry freedom in gender wars/b>

Leading Australian philosophers have waded into the gender wars engulfing university campuses here and the United Kingdom, calling for stronger protection of academic freedom and robust debate of issues relating to sex, gender and gender identity.

Writing in response to a boycott campaign by student and trans rights activists against University of Melbourne feminist Holly Lawford-Smith, a group of 20 academics from seven universities backed her right to teach from a gender critical perspective without harassment or interference.

A group of fellow academics are backing the right of Holly Lawford-Smith to challenge transgender ideology.
A group of fellow academics are backing the right of Holly Lawford-Smith to challenge transgender ideology.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

“Our support for Lawford-Smith’s right to teach and research in this field is neither an endorsement nor a criticism of the substance of her views,” the group wrote in a column published this week by The Times Higher Education.

“But, in relation to this issue, it seems clear that university leaders and academics need to do more to foster climates of genuine academic freedom.

“Lawford-Smith is one of several academics globally who have faced censure, campaigns of harassment and deplatforming for their gender-critical views. Likewise, the University of Melbourne is one of several universities globally that has had legal claims lodged against it by gender critical scholars.”

Gender critical scholars argue that women are defined by sex, rather than gender or gender identity.

“When it comes to debates about sex versus gender identity, people in positions of authority must avoid conflation of a rightly non-negotiable commitment to LGBT inclusion with endorsement of the view that gender identity is more important than sex,” the authors wrote.

“This conflation lies behind claims that those who hold or express gender-critical views are de facto ‘transphobic’ or make campus unsafe for trans people.”

The authors of the column include philosophy professors at the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Monash University, ANU and Charles Sturt University.

Equality Australia chief executive Anna Brown said views that “deny the lived experience of trans and gender diverse people” do not allow for informed and respectful discussion.

“There is always an opportunity to engage with people and ideas with respect and compassion, but it makes it very hard to do this when one side denies the existence of the other or mischaracterises them as threats and frauds,” she said.

This masthead last month revealed that Lawford-Smith, the target of a two-year campaign by trans activists which escalated following her involvement in the Let Women Speak event gatecrashed by neo-Nazis, has lodged a WorkSafe complaint against the University of Melbourne claiming she has been bullied and not provided a safe workplace.

In her complaint, Lawford-Smith claims that a university investigation into her attendance at the rally and comments on social media undermined its commitment to academic freedom. The investigation found she had no disciplinary case to answer.

University of Melbourne provost Nicola Phillips last month said the universities had to balance their “resolute” commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression with the responsibility they had to provide a workplace free of harassment and intimidation.

Vicki Thomson, the chief executive of the Group of Eight – also known as the sandstone universities – said all her members strongly asserted the importance of academic freedom.

“Progress depends on our capacity to develop and challenge new ideas, to discuss, debate and at times disagree as we endeavour to contribute to a more cohesive and inclusive society,” she said.

“Upholding freedom of expression is, at all times, essential to the core mission of our universities, as is the right of students and staff to feel and be safe on our campuses.”




Thursday, June 01, 2023

Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez celebrate engagement with $4,000 wine

image from

Her boob job has been a great investment for her

You can’t expect a billionaire to toast his engagement with Bartles and Jaymes.

Jeff Bezos, 59, and Lauren Sanchez, 53, celebrated their new relationship status with some very pricey and rare booze in the South of France on May 22.

Specifically, they ordered a $4,285 bottle of Dugat-Py Grand Cru from Domaine Bernard at La Petit Maison in Cannes, France, a source told People Magazine.

According to the magazine, the happy couple sat with Bezo’s sister Christina Bezos Poore and her husband Steve Poore in a vine-covered gazebo overlooking the Mediterranean.

A source said they were in good spirits but “didn’t want to make a fuss” with an insider adding that the Amazon founder is usually a low-key customer at the exclusive restaurant, which regularly features a late night cover band.

Last week, The Post broke the news that Bezos popped the question to his lady love of five years. At the time, they were in southern France for the Cannes Film Festival, but TMZ reported that he asked for her hand in marriage somewhere near Mallorca or Ibiza, Spain.


Honest Science on Transgenderism Revoked

Sad when science becomes subservient to politics. Very Soviet

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a 1954 speaking engagement at Columbia University, said, “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”

This concern was shared by multiple presidents and other thinkers who lived through World War II, all of whom warned repeatedly of what happens when people silence honest discussion and instead force an ideology on everyone. It only leads to great suffering.

Now, scientific journals are blocking and/or discrediting scholarly research and papers that point to issues like transgenderism being a social contagion. American psychologist J. Michael Bailey and Suzanna Diaz coauthored a paper entitled, “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases.” It was set to be published in Springer Nature, a supposedly trusted resource for scientific data and “the development of new ideas.”

However, Springer Nature decided to retract the paper because it said the methodology was suspect. That questionable methodology? Well, according to Springer Nature, the paper had a concerning lack of “written informed consent” from the participants in the study.

This, as National Review points out, is likely just a ruse. The paper provides more solid proof that the transgenderism craze that is raging through our society right now is the result of social pressure or the “monkey see, monkey do” effect. In other words, it’s a social contagion.

Dr. Lisa Littman coined the phrase “rapid onset gender dysphoria” in 2018. Writer and journalist Abigail Shrier also put forward this theory in her book Irreversible Damage. The recently closed Tavistock Center in the UK also has posited that the insane rise in patients presenting with gender dysphoria is the result of social contagion.

But this fairly logical conclusion is actively shut down in the United States by the powers that be.

It’s not loving, we’re told, to say that people cannot be the opposite of their biological gender. Because transgenderism ideology has taken root in our culture, what started out as gender dysphoria — the honest-to-goodness mental disorder — that affected a minuscule percentage (less than 0.02%) of the population has grown into a staggering 2.1% of Gen Z’s sexual declaration.

Transgenderism is a logical conclusion of leftist liberalism. If individual freedom is the highest good, then being whatever gender you decide is freedom from the sexual binary (and also freedom from earthly reality). Transgenderism is certainly having its trendy moment.

That is an incredibly destructive thing to have happen to our society.

Adults who would otherwise be getting help for other needs like autism, depression, severe anxiety, or porn sickness are instead declaring themselves transgender. Their other underlying mental health conditions are suddenly being shrugged off. These adults are then destroying their bodies in the form of drugs and mutilating surgeries.

For children and teens, there are added complications. Not only are they navigating the same challenges that affect adults who conform to this ideology, but they are also contending with peer pressure and the normal discomfort that comes with a changing body.

Back to Eisenhower’s warning against shutting down honest dissent. When purportedly scientific journals are dismissing and retracting studies because the truth about transgenderism isn’t copasetic to the zeitgeist, then we have a problem. Springer Nature reportedly caved to angry activists and ironically ignored the experts. So much for “Trust the Science.”

If the inmates are running the asylum, then what are the sane people to do?

On a positive note, the people protesting Target and Bud Light are having a pivotal effect. Both have lost billions due to their outrageous promotion of transgenderism. Lawmakers in many states are presenting anti-child-mutilation legislation. Transgender activists are loud and oftentimes violent, but they do not represent the vast majority of Americans.

God willing, the transgender ideology has hit its threshold and will wane into the preposterous footnotes of American history. That doesn’t mean those of us who see transgenderism for what it is should rest on our laurels.

In the meantime, pray for those who are deceived by this ideology. They are believing a lie. Continue to love them, but use their correct biological pronouns, not the assumed ones under their trans delusion. Lying to them is not loving. Allowing them to remain deceived by a lie is also not loving.

Transgenderism leaves no room for honest discussion. In fact, it is adversarial to any who refuse to coddle their delusion. Therefore, we would do well to pay attention to those who are trying to suppress the truth, for they are no longer credible.

People who are following this social contagion are living in darkness. It’s time to turn on the light of reality.


The Left’s Military ‘Extremism’ Hoax

Remember the military-wide “stand-down” that took place shortly after Joe Biden took office? The one ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for the purpose of rooting out the right-wing extremists that were poisoning the ranks?

You remember. When Austin delivered the military-wide message that read, in part:

We need your help. I’m talking, of course, about extremism and extremist ideology — views and conduct that run counter to everything that we believe in, and which can actually tear at the fabric of who we are as an institution. … I want you to revisit the oath that you took when you joined the military. … Read those words again. Consider what they really mean. And think about the promise that you made to yourselves, and to your teammates, and to your fellow citizens. I also want you to share with your leadership your own personal experiences with encountering extremists and extremist ideology in the military … and I want your leadership to listen to those stories. And I want them to listen to any ideas that you might have to help us stamp out of the ranks the dangerous conduct that this ideology inspires.

It was all a hoax. And a smear.

A new survey from the RAND Corporation indicates that our military veterans are less likely than American civilians in general to support radicalism and extremism.

That’s right. Instead of our military being a breeding ground for “extremism and extremist ideology,” as Joe Biden’s defense secretary insisted, the exact opposite is the case. As The Washington Times reports: “The study from the RAND Corp. surveyed nearly 1,000 veterans late last year. The report’s release comes amid a concerted push inside the Pentagon to identify and weed out potential extremists in the ranks, an effort that began in earnest after the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol. Dozens of veterans and several active-duty troops allegedly took part that day, fueling fears that right-wing political violence could emanate from within the armed forces and threaten the stability of the country.”

According to the survey’s authors, “There was no evidence to support the notion that the veteran community, as a whole, manifests higher rates of support for violent extremist groups or extremist beliefs than the American public.”

Among the study’s key findings: “Support for extremist groups — including white supremacism, Proud Boys, black nationalism, and Antifa — ranged from 1 percent (White supremacists) to 5.5 percent (Antifa) and was generally lower than rates derived from previous representative surveys of the general population.”

Imagine that. If we’re to believe all the garbage being promoted by the Biden administration, we’d think that our veterans — having just left their active-duty military brotherhood — would be more likely to fall in with extremist groups. In fact, they’re less so. As the study notes, even the minority of those who did express support for extremist groups didn’t endorse political violence.

Come to think of it, we had a pretty good sense of this a year ago.

Joe Biden, though, is unimpressed. In fact, last Thursday he announced at a Rose Garden ceremony that he’s nominating Air Force Chief of Staff C.Q. Brown to succeed the awful Mark “White Rage” Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“While General Brown is a proud, butt-kickin’ American airman,” said Scranton Joe, “first and always, he’s also been an operational leader in the joint force. He gained respect across every service from those who have seen him in action, and have come to depend on his judgment. More than that, he gained the respect of our allies and partners around the world, who regard General Brown as a trusted partner and a top-notch strategist.”

Uh-huh. To get an idea of the sort of leadership that Brown will bring to the Joint Chiefs, we need only revisit a video he posted in the wake of the George Floyd riots — a video showing the general to be overly fixated on racial grievance and not sufficiently focused on war-fighting.

For those counting by race, Brown would be the second black to serve as Joint Chiefs chairman — Colin Powell having been the first. And, with Brown joining Austin at the Pentagon, this would also be the first time that our Department of Defense’s top uniformed and civilian leaders were black.

Summing up, then: Our woke military is adrift, troop morale is low, reputation and readiness are suffering greatly, and we’re unable to hit our recruiting numbers. But, hey, at least we’re “diverse.”


The French academic paying a heavy price for probing the Muslim Brotherhood
Liam Duffy

I am meeting: Dr. Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, who’s been living under police protection for the last six weeks since the reaction to her book on the Muslim Brotherhood took a turn.

The Muslim Brotherhood is perhaps the most significant Islamist organisation in the world. A political party founded against the backdrop of 20th century colonialism in Egypt, it arrived in the West via students and exiles fleeing repressive regimes in the Arab world. It is also obsessively secretive. So an anthropologist probing and writing about the group’s activities doesn’t go down well.

The rumblings began before the book was even published. When the book came out in January though, Bergeaud-Blackler, no stranger to sensitive subjects, could not have anticipated the response. The denunciations came thick and fast, some from Islamist sympathisers in the media and academic sphere, some from those who believed they were defending Muslims against a bigoted screed. The author’s conference at the Sorbonne was cancelled (since rescheduled) without a proper explanation. As the controversy grew, death threats arrived.

He is there on behalf of the French state to prevent an assassination

In a tribute to his friend, Martin Amis once joked that if the Rushdie affair were the Amis affair, he would have soon become a drug-addled recluse (although put more poetically). Bergeaud-Blackler doesn’t strike me as the sort, but with this in mind I ask if she wasn’t tempted to abscond to a beach in Mexico and put all this behind her?

No. She is defiant, but the anthropologist is most obviously dismayed when describing how some other academics implied the death threats were fabricated or exaggerated to promote the book. The death threats were very real, and they were credible – and not just because she inhabits a post-Samuel Paty France. Besides, I very much doubt la république would provide the big bloke outside to help book sales.

Bergeaud-Blackler has found a sympathetic hearing in parts of the media, allowing her to come out swinging. To date, she insists she has not received a genuine rebuttal of her work. Instead, she says, the reaction has consisted of accusations of Islamophobia, and of promoting conspiracy theories, alongside denunciations of her character and motive. Some has been all these things, but with the veneer of academic critique.

Among the more hysterical accusations against Bergeaud-Blackler’s study, are those that have compared it to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the forged plans for Jewish global domination designed to stir up antisemitic sentiment. The parallel is over the top but useful for opponents to make. The Muslim Brotherhood is an organisation that seeks to gradually transform state and society into its vision of an Islamic one. ‘Islam is the solution,’ is its most famous slogan.

Perhaps the most influential Brotherhood ideologue until his recent death, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, outlined a comprehensive plan of priorities for the movement. But, all too often, the organisation can be opaque. One formerly prominent UK-based member left because of its excessive secrecy: ‘We are not selling opium,’ he complained, ‘we are propagating dawa (conveying the message of Islam to non-Muslims.)’

Is there a relationship between the Brotherhood and terrorism, specifically the jihadist kind, I ask Bergeaud-Blackler. It’s a question that has been doing the rounds in European policy circles since the early 2000s: ‘They are really embarrassed by the jihadists,’ she almost laughs back. I note this is less of a moral objection than a strategic one: jihadists bring bad press. On the other hand, she believes that the Brothers’ political narratives and grievances inadvertently contribute to radicalisation.

I clumsily point out that while Bergeaud-Blackler the academic must strive for objectivity, Bergeaud-Blackler the person makes no secret of her opposition to the Brotherhood and Islamist politics.

‘I don’t oppose them as a human being, I oppose them as a democrat, as a scientist,’ she fires back, ‘in a theocracy, science as we know it can no longer be practiced. So, I must oppose them.’

It strikes me that the idea of the Muslim Brotherhood installing a theocracy any time soon is ludicrous, something all too absent from analysis over the years. It’s easy to be spooked by the group’s grand plans, something that has led to some quarters vastly overstating their influence and conflating ordinary Muslims with the ambitions of a small cohort of political activists. But it also occurs to me that they don’t actually need to be successful. It is in merely trying to implement this utopian vision that the damage may be done.

If an academic must face a campaign of denunciations and even death threats for investigating Islamism in Europe, then the next academic, or journalist, will never pick up their pen. As we get up to leave and the police officers I never spotted emerge, it’s clear that both science and democratic freedoms can come under threat, long before any hint of a theocracy.




Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Revolutionary Leftists are narcissists and psychopathic but not soft-hearted

My heading above is a plain language version of what two very careful Swiss researchers found in a study of American attitudes. Their study is notable for its high degree of methodological care and caution so withstands most criticisms that might be aimed at it. It is high quality research.

As I have long argued that Leftism is in general psychopathic, I have no quarrel with their conclusion there. Their finding about narcissism is also one I agree with. I have in the past put forward that claim on behavioural grounds but not as a result of attitude surveys.

It has long been my contention that excess ego is at the root of a lot of social problems: Crime generally, for instance. The criminal thinks that what he wants transcends the rights of others.

When (on October 30, 2008) Obama spoke of his intention to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography. He was talking about transforming what he thought American people can and must do. He thought he knew better: Clearly egotistical.

So what I was talking about there is undoubedy a facet of narcissism

The definition of narcissism is however a matter of contention. Our Swiss authors took a very broad view of it but I think the findings of Paul Wink give us a much sharper view of it

He combined three existing measures of narcissism, including the MMPI and CPI, and factor analysed the responses of a heterogeneous sample to them.

The sample responses showed no such thing as as unitary trait of narcissism. Varimax rotated eigenvectors revealed two distinct and uncorrelated traits underlying the "narcissism" questions: Vulnerabiliy and grandiosity.

Freud's seminal article on narcisissm claimed that those two traits covaried but on Wink's results Freud's picture of the narcissist is fiction. The traits he describes do exist but they do not form the coherent syndrome described by him. So much talk of narcissism seems over generalized and confused. I would have been happier if our Swiss authors had used a good measure of grandiosity rather than a more widely dispersed account of narcissism. It would have given clearer results.

My other grumble is with their use of the absurd SDO measure. Its correlates are built into it. More on that here

But despite the limitations I have mentioned it is still a first class study of attitudes with highly defensible conclusions. It does convincingly show some thoroughly discreditable attitudes among extreme American Leftists.

Abstract of the Swiss study below:

Understanding left-wing authoritarianism: Relations to the dark personality traits, altruism, and social justice commitment

Ann Krispenz & Alex Bertrams


In two pre-registered studies, we investigated the relationship of left-wing authoritarianism with the ego-focused trait of narcissism. Based on existing research, we expected individuals with higher levels of left-wing authoritarianism to also report higher levels of narcissism. Further, as individuals with leftist political attitudes can be assumed to be striving for social equality, we expected left-wing authoritarianism to also be positively related to prosocial traits, but narcissism to remain a significant predictor of left-wing authoritarianism above and beyond those prosocial dispositions. We investigated our hypotheses in two studies using cross-sectional correlational designs. Two nearly representative US samples (Study 1: N = 391; Study 2: N = 377) completed online measures of left-wing authoritarianism, the Dark Triad personality traits, and two variables with a prosocial focus (i.e., altruism and social justice commitment). In addition, we assessed relevant covariates (i.e., age, gender, socially desirable responding, and virtue signaling). The results of multiple regression analyses showed that a strong ideological view, according to which a violent revolution against existing societal structures is legitimate (i.e., anti-hierarchical aggression), was associated with antagonistic narcissism (Study 1) and psychopathy (Study 2). However, neither dispositional altruism nor social justice commitment was related to left-wing anti-hierarchical aggression. Considering these results, we assume that some leftist political activists do not actually strive for social justice and equality but rather use political activism to endorse or exercise violence against others to satisfy their own ego-focused needs. We discuss these results in relation to the dark-ego-vehicle principle


Biden’s Double-Talk on Antisemitism

The refusal of the Biden administration to back what is emerging as the gold standard definition of antisemitism is a shocking default. It throws into the mix a competing definition that allows antipathy to Jews to masquerade as criticism of Israel. Why is President Biden backsliding on this, save to accommodate the growing anti-Jewish flank of his party? He throws into doubt America’s resolve in fighting the world’s oldest hate.

The administration feints at moral clarity, acknowledging that the “most prominent” definition of antisemitism is the one adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which the United States has “embraced.” The government of Germany, for crying out loud, has endorsed it. For America, though, it is a grudging first among equals. It’s given hardly a ringing, or any, endorsement. That’s a dodge. The issue, of course, is Israel.

The IHRA labels as antisemitic “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” by “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “applying double standards” to the Jewish state by “requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” It recognizes that antisemitism is an inherent feature, not a bug, of anti-Zionism. The Jewish state and the state of the Jews are intertwined.

Next, the backtrack: “The Administration welcomes and appreciates the Nexus Document and notes other such efforts.” Nexus, drafted at the University of Southern California, maintains that “paying disproportionate attention to Israel and treating Israel differently than other countries is not prima facie proof of antisemitism” because “there are numerous reasons for devoting special attention to Israel and treating Israel differently.”

What malarky. For if Nexus is true on its face then the IHRA definition can’t be true — and vice versa. So by letting Nexus through the door, President Biden negates the first endorsement and makes kosher a range of the attacks on Israel from the left. This is evident in an accompanying “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Education trumpeting an “Antisemitism Awareness Campaign” that fails to mention the words “Israel” or “Zionism.”

It does mention kosher food. How nice. A catering plan would have done little to deter an address like, say, that offered at CUNY’s Law School this week, in which the speaker called — to applause — for “fuel for the fight against capitalism, racism, imperialism, and Zionism around the world” and claimed, to a room full of graduates and family, that “Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers, murdering the old, the young.”

With friends of the Nexus approach numbering the Council on American-Islamic Relations — they are acknowledged by the administration in an accompanying “fact sheet” that lists those who contributed to its efforts — who needs enemies? In a statement, CAIR marks that the strategy “does not adopt the disputed IHRA definition” of antisemitism as “binding policy” and sees in it a green light to “engage in BDS.”

Ambassador Haley, running for president, offers a helpful dose of clarity. She tweets that antisemitism is “not hard to define if you’re serious about stopping it.” She would know, having spent time at the United Nations, where Zionism was once declared racism and where antipathy to Israel is the constant — and leading — drumbeat. She calls the strategy “shameful” and an act of “pandering to the radical Left and siding with Israel’s enemies.”

Our own view is that it was a mistake to try to codify antisemitism in American policy or law. A decade ago in Germany an attempt was made to defend an attack on a synagogue by suggesting that the attackers’ motive was not antisemitic but merely anti-Zionist. The IHRA definition of antisemitism would have blocked that defense. Nexus enshrines it. It would be better to avoid adopting any official statement than opening the door to such mockery.

One sage with whom we spoke, Ruth Wisse, makes the point that it’s not all that complicated. She calls the administration’s strategy an “attempt to misdirect antisemitism so that you are justified in not dealing with it” and an example of “fighting yesterday’s war” at a time when anti-Zionism is the “great unifier” among those hostile to Jews. “Iran intends to destroy the state of Israel,” she observes. “What are we talking about?”


Fat people now officially a protected group in NYC: Mayor Eric Adams signs discrimination law that puts obesity in same category as race and religion

Obese people are now officially a protected group in New York City after Mayor Eric Adams signed a controversial discrimination law.

A new bill signed last Friday makes it illegal for employers and landlords to discriminate against someone based on their weight or height when it comes to hiring them or securing housing.

The law - which comes into effect November 2 - means weight and height are now added to the list of protected categories that includes traits such as race, sex and religion.

Mr Adams said: 'We all deserve the same access to employment, housing and public accommodation, regardless of our appearance, and it shouldn’t matter how tall you are or how much you weigh.'

The law had already triggered outrage in some quarters, with Republican New York City council minority leader Joseph Borelli claiming it will empower people to 'sue anyone and everything'.

Mr Adams, who has published a book on how he reversed his diabetes with a plant-based diet, said the law would 'help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, create more inclusive workplaces and living environments, and protect against discrimination'.

Exceptions to the rule include cases where someone's height or weight might stop them from performing critical parts of the job.

But the legislation was met with fierce opposition.

Kathy Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said that 'the extent of the impact and cost of this legislation' had not been 'fully considered'.

The bill had the support of charities and activists like self-styled 'Fat Fab Feminist' Victoria Abraham who testified to the city council in support of the legislation earlier this year.

Councilman Shaun Abreu, one of the bill's main sponsors, said he realized weight discrimination was a 'silent burden' after being treated differently when he gained more than 40lbs during lockdown.

The bill had the support of charities and activists like self-styled 'Fat Fab Feminist' Victoria Abraham who testified to the city council in support of the legislation earlier this year.

It is set to include a defense for employers where consideration of height or weight was 'reasonably necessary' for the 'normal operations' of a job.

Councilman Abreu said: 'They're being discriminated against with no recourse and society saying that's perfectly fine.'

Miss Abraham, who campaigns for civil rights for overweight people, testified to the city council to help inform policymaking.

She told ABC7NY: 'In most places in the United States, you can get fired for being fat and have no protection at all, which is crazy because this is a very fat country.'

A QUARTER of active duty US soldiers are obese after 10,000 got too fat during the pandemic

Nearly a quarter of active duty US soldiers are obese, a shocking study has revealed.

Councilman Borelli told the New York Times: 'I'm overweight but I'm not a victim. No-one should feel bad for me except my struggling shirt buttons.'

Michigan outlawed workplace discrimination based on weight in 1976 and other cities including San Francisco and Washington DC have similar legislation.

Other state-level bills have now been introduced in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Jersey.

New Jersey and Massachusetts have also introduced legislation to stop weight and height discrimination.

Tigress Osborn, the chair of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, said New York City's weight discrimination ban should serve as a model for the nation and the world.

Ms Osborn said the city's adoption of the new ordinance 'will ripple across the globe' and show that 'discrimination against people based on their body size is wrong and is something that we can change'.

It comes as US health officials said rates have soared to 'epidemic' proportions, with the obesity rate rocketing to 42 percent nationally.

Experts say the shift has been driven by people starting to eat more ultra-processed foods, which are high in fats, sugars and salts but low in vital nutrients.

Americans have also started to have more sedentary lifestyles and office-based jobs, while many in rural communities are now living in food deserts.

Being overweight puts you at a higher risk of a host of health problems, including high blood pressure and cholesterol - risk factors for heart disease - type 2 diabetes, and breathing problems.


This ‘Pride’ Stuff Isn’t Healthy

Dennis Prager

Every left-wing movement is totalitarian. Therefore, it is not enough for people to tolerate or even show respect to LGBTQ individuals. Instead, we must all celebrate them.

I’ve never understood ethnic, race, gender, or sex pride. Even as a kid. For my bar mitzvah, someone gave me a book titled “Great Jews in Sports” or something like it.

Aside from the usual jokes—it was not a long book; the print and the photos were very large—what I remember best was that I had little interest in the book. I loved sports. And I strongly identified as a Jew—I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home and attended yeshivas until the age of 19. So, my disinterest in the book didn’t emanate from either disinterest in sports or disinterest in Jews. I was keenly interested in both.

But even at the age of 13, the idea of ethnic pride meant little to me.

As far as I could tell, my friends—and, of course, the relative who gave me the book—considered the book quite meaningful. They were proud of Detroit Tigers Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, of the great Cleveland Indians third baseman Al Rosen, of the lightweight boxing champ Benny Leonard, and of the other Jews who were featured.

I apparently marched to the beat of a quirky drummer. It turned out, however, that my attitude at 13 wasn’t a quirk. Though I didn’t realize it then, it was actually the dawning of a conviction—that maybe group pride wasn’t a great idea.

The next time that view hit me was when I was in college and the slogan “black is beautiful” was becoming popular. This time, I did more than not relate to group pride; I objected to it. How could a race be beautiful? Isn’t the idea of a beautiful race itself racist?

When I raised these questions in my college and graduate school years, I was given one of two answers: After being put down for so many years, blacks needed to bolster their self-image. And since blacks—especially black women—had suffered greatly because white beauty was the normative standard of physical beauty, “black is beautiful” was a much-needed corrective.

These were entirely understandable explanations. But I still recoiled. Perhaps being a Jew born only a few years after the Holocaust rendered race-based pride scary.

It turned out my instinct was right: It is scary. “Black is beautiful” soon morphed into “black power,” a phrase that, often accompanied with a raised clenched fist, was meant to be scary. And then, in an echo of Aryan racism, terms like “race traitor” were thrown around to describe any black who wasn’t into “black power” or “black solidarity.”

Soon, feminist women joined the group solidarity bandwagon with “girl power;” “I am woman, hear me roar;” “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle;” “Any job a man can do, a woman can do better,” and other puerile celebrations of “sisterhood,” a term that applied only to women who shared feminist views. Women who didn’t share those views were not just gender traitors; they weren’t even women. Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem famously called conservative Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a “female impersonator.”

Group pride is a characteristic of all left-wing thought and activism.

The most recent incarnation of group pride is LGBTQ pride. Every company, every professional sports team, every Democratic politician, and even the armed forces and American embassies around the world are expected to celebrate Pride month, Pride night, and year-round LGBTQ Pride.

This is problematic for at least two reasons.

First, what exactly is one proud of? What accomplishment is involved in being gay, lesbian, or bisexual? Even “transgender” is allegedly built into one’s nature.

Isn’t the entire premise of the LGBTQ movement that one does not choose one’s sexual orientation or sexual identity? Wasn’t anyone who argued that homosexuality is a choice declared a hater and a science denier?

So, then, if no choice is involved, no effort on the part of the individual—let alone no moral accomplishment—what is there to be proud of? Maybe I couldn’t identify with Jewish pride over great Jewish athletes, but at least they all actually accomplished something.

The other problematic element has to do with why the LGBTQ movement does everything possible to bludgeon every institution into celebrating Pride nights, days, weeks, and months. The reason is the totalitarian nature of all left-wing movements.

Unlike liberal and conservative movements, every left-wing movement is totalitarian. Therefore, it is not enough for people to tolerate or even show respect to LGBTQ individuals. We must all celebrate lesbianism, male homosexuality, the transgendered, and queers. No left-wing movement is a movement for tolerance. They are movements that demand celebration.

For the first time in any of our lifetimes, the Left may have met an immovable obstacle. Americans are prepared to tolerate just about everything and everyone. But at least half of us will not celebrate girls who have their breasts removed—or the therapists and physicians who facilitate it. At least half of us will not celebrate men dressed as women, especially those who dance in front of 6-year-olds. And while some medical schools have been cowed into saying “birthing person” rather than “pregnant woman,” at least half of us will hold the cowards who run these medical schools in contempt.

I return to my opening point. I have devoted much of my life to helping my fellow Jews. It started when I was 21 years old and the Israeli foreign office sent me into the Soviet Union to smuggle in Jewish items and smuggle out names of Jews wanting to leave the Soviet Union. I have brought many disaffected Jews back to Judaism. And I have constantly fought for Israel’s security.

I am very happy to be a Jew. But I don’t quite relate to being proud of it—it was not my achievement; it was an accident of birth. That is equally true of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, and orientation. You don’t get credit for, shouldn’t be proud of, and have no right to demand others celebrate something you had nothing to do with.

Finally, if you’re honest, group pride must be accompanied by group shame. Yes, a disproportionate number of Nobel Prize winners were Jews. But a disproportionate number of Western spies for Stalin were also Jews. If you’re not prepared to be ashamed of your group, don’t take pride in it. That rule applies to blacks, gays, women, Christians, and every other group in the world.




Tuesday, May 30, 2023

I Dated an Andrew Tate Fan — and Loved Every Second of It

Derya Y.

There is a possibility that this is satire but it has the ring of truth. What it reports is consistent with Tate as a champion of traditional values. Certainly in his personal life he does appear to be respectful of women in at least some ways. He has women in his life who defend him. His public pronouncements may be little more than clickbait. So the story below may show that aggressively male attitudes may not be "toxic" at all

A small caution: "Derya" is a Turkish name and some of her attitudes seem to reflect that origin. What if Tate males and Westernized Turkish women are generally compatible? Tate is at present in Romania, which is quite close to Turkey. Although Turkey is a Muslim country, Kemalist traditions have made them quite Westernized in many ways

It’s no secret that Andrew Tate fans have a bad reputation. As one of the leading mascots of the manosphere — a curated corner of the internet dedicated to masculinity and, in most cases, misogyny — Andrew Tate popularized the “alpha male” phenomenon.

In short, alpha males focus on money, women, and muscles. For Testosterone Kings™, these are essential, encapsulating what manhood is all about. Anything beyond these (e.g., hobbies, relationships, a life) is a mere nice-to-have.

Needless to say, I’m not a fan.

At a party once, I’d overheard a known Tate fan (a proud student of Tate’s Hustlers University) criticize one of his friends for not “fuckin’ the bitch.”

Apparently, his friend had “wasted his fuckin’ time” by spending three hours conversing with a girl without sleeping with her. For a quick refresher, Tate views conversations with women as useless unless you sleep with them. Because, let’s be honest, what do women have to offer besides sex? Nothing, duh!

On top of that, this friend had made the grave mistake of heavily investing in this woman. He bought her a $10 drink! And he didn’t get sex in return! What a money-hungry gold digger!

As per Tate’s scripture, three hours of conversation and a $10 drink should grant men full access to a woman’s orifices. I say orifices because I’m not sure these men would know which hole to put it in if they, indeed, “fucked the bitch.”

After hearing that interaction, I sternly concluded all Tate fans to be depraved scoundrels that litter the world. And for the most part, I still believe that. Most self-proclaimed alpha males are the embodiment of pathetic. They may as well walk around with a neon “Do Not Engage” sign on their forehead.

One man, however, created a (previously unfathomable) grey area, proving that men can agree with some of Tate’s views while still being decent human beings — and spectacular dates, at that.

Let’s call him Jeff.

Jeff and I met on a dating app — yes, I know, the start of all great love stories.

He was extremely handsome in his pictures — so much so that I thought he was a catfish. But I didn’t overthink it. Worst case scenario, I could at least write an article about my catfishing experience.

One swipe and a couple of eloquent paragraph exchanges later, we decided to meet. Mind you, up until this point, neither his profile nor our conversation indicated any Tate-ist beliefs. So I took a leap of faith.

For our first date, he’d organized drinks and dinner at a restaurant on the nice side of town, sending an Uber to come and get me. A true gentleman, I thought.

Nudged by my little prayer beforehand, I got in the Uber and hoped for the best — just as most women do before meeting strangers off the internet.

When I got there, I saw him. He looked just like his picture: Attractive and built like Popeye after 12 spoonfuls of spinach.

He opened all my doors, took my coat off, and pulled my chair out for me — all unprompted!

With the increasingly anti-chivalrous dating sphere, this was a glimmer of hope. But I composed myself, silently noting the brownie points he had earned right off the bat.

Almost straight away, we started discussing male-female dynamics in relationships.

Him coming from Western Europe, and I from Eastern Europe, I was curious to see his thoughts on polarity in relationships. I prefer traditional relationship dynamics, so I needed to understand his thoughts beforehand, lest I’m bullied for my “backward thinking,” as an Englishman once called it.

As our conversation continued, we entered a flow state, continuously nodding in agreement with each other.

He believed in taking accountability as the man in the relationship, and I believed in reveling in the feminine.

As our trance of nods went on, and we discussed our mutual desire for a serious relationship, my ears perked up as I heard some manosphere jargon: “High-value woman,” “territorial,” “masculine energy,” and “protecting and providing.”

Was I…was I dating an Andrew Tate fan? Surely not. Surely I would’ve picked up on it earlier. Granted, his bald head and massive muscles were dead giveaways, but I chose to be oblivious. I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps he picked up these beliefs during some spiritual retreat in Bali?

Maybe he was into Chinese philosophy — particularly the yin-yang model?

Or was this what he saw growing up, modeled by his parents?

As I picked these scenarios apart, trying to get him to disclose which one of these was the culprit, I eventually had to dismiss them all.

When he muttered the words “red pill,” I got my answer.

And there I was, having a wonderful, chemistry-fueled date with an Andrew Tate fan. Oh, God.

Did he expect sex on the first date? Following the other Tate fan’s rationale, not only did I have to sleep with Jeff right after, but I probably had to do three backflips, one somersault, and four cartwheels while I was at it. It was dinner and drinks, after all.

What had I gotten myself into? I had to shut down any expectations.

At the end of the date, I blurted out my truth bomb — a truth bomb I knew most men wouldn’t want to hear after a fantastic first date. Half expecting he’d never want to see me again after this, I told him I was celibate, abstaining until I met the one.

He looked at me. I looked at him. And he got upset — but not for the reasons I thought he would.

He was upset that I thought my celibacy would put him off.

He was disappointed I didn’t believe what he had said on our date: That he was dating intentionally and actually looking for ‘the one.’ And it was true — up until that point, I hadn’t. I thought they were sweet nothings, a pick-up artist method meant to lure me into bed.

But he was genuine — and completely supported my celibacy.

So I stood there like a fool; half in awe, half questioning whether I fell in love on a first date.

The next few months with Jeff were magical: I was treated like a princess from start to finish.

Not only did he plan the most thoughtful, swoon-worthy dates, but we had the same long-term goals, a compatible sense of humor, and fantastic chemistry. Our conversations were never-ending, exciting, and full of passion. I had fallen head over heels for him.

And despite some of his questionable beliefs, I never felt any “toxic masculinity” lingering in the air. He made me feel safe, protected, and cherished with his empathy, self-awareness, and devotion — three things I could never imagine in Andrew Tate.

Perhaps, it is possible to cherry-pick at Tate’s red-pill ideology, taking whatever serves relationship polarity while ditching (read: burning) the ‘loverboy’ methods he espouses.

Unfortunately, Jeff and I have since broken up; circumstances beyond our control took their toll on us. But I stand firm in my belief that if anything is meant to be, it will be. Even if that means ending up with a red-pilled Andrew Tate fan.


How Black Lives Matter Got Police Violence Wrong

In the early 2000s the United States enjoyed comparative racial optimism. Majorities of both black and white citizens felt race relations were improving. Even left-leaning NPR highlighted “colorblindness” as an ideal. A generation later, race relations have nosedived. We hear regularly about “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.” Colorblindness now is considered racist. This whiplash may leave many people wondering what happened.

The collapse in race relations began in 2014. Exactly why this year was pivotal is unknown, though it coincides with the debunked "hands up, don't shoot" framing of the Michael Brown killing and a larger “great awokening” wherein extreme identitarian views became more influential on the political left. Since 2014, little data suggests race disparities have gotten worse. Racist attitudes in the United States are at historic lows. However, news media coverage worrying over racism soared.

I studied this issue empirically in 2021. I wanted to see whether actual police shootings of unarmed black men correlated with race relations or whether news media coverage highlighting police shootings of black men was a better predictor. It turns out race relations are unrelated to actual police shootings, but correlate with news media coverage, which tends to obsess over shootings of black Americans while ignoring shootings of other individuals.

The Moral Panic Over Race and Policing

After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the United States experienced a “racial reckoning.” News media claimed police were systemically targeting black Americans for fatal violence. Defunding or even literally abolishing policing became serious policy proposals. The United States, we were told, was systemically racist.

Data on policing and race is complex and nuanced. Police killings of unarmed suspects are rare, according to the Washington Post, and they’ve been declining. Numbers peak at 95 for all races in 2015, declining to 32 for all races in 2021.

When it comes to police shootings of unarmed individuals, white suspects are shot more often than black suspects (by contrast, Asians are rarely shot by police compared to either group). Though more unarmed whites than blacks are killed by police, black suspects are indeed proportionally overrepresented. We can see the proportional differences in the following chart:

However, commission of violent crime is also ethnically disproportional. Black and Hispanic men commit violent crimes disproportionally more often than do white or Asian men. That police shootings and commission of violent crime so neatly track one another is not a coincidence.

One might conclude that, perhaps, over-representation of black Americans as perpetrators of violent crime might be due to overpolicing of black communities. However, when we look at victims of homicide, most of which are the same race as the killers, we see the same pattern of black victims being overrepresented. This means the overpolicing hypothesis does not fit the data.

It is also worth noting that most young men of any ethnicity do not commit violent crimes. Race itself is not a determinant of violent crime. In one recent study, although racial composition of neighborhoods predicted violent crime, race no longer predicted violent crime once other community factors such as insufficient food, housing issues, air pollution and proportion of single-parent homes are controlled..

Studies largely find the same thing when it comes to excessive use of police force. In another recent study, we found that class issues, particularly communities experiencing higher levels of mental health issues among residents -- not race -- predicted reports of excessive police force (except for Latinos, who reported less police force). To be fair, studies on this do vary in conclusion. However, in my view the weight of evidence suggests that class, not race, predicts excessive police force.

We found that higher levels of mental health problems among community residents predicted reports of excessive police force. This is probably because police are likely coming into contact with mentally ill residents who may escalate an encounter that began over something trivial. Other studies also suggest the chronically mentally ill more often experience physical force during police encounters. The mentally ill may struggle to respond to aggressive police commands. Thus, relatively minor encounters initially may intensify into dangerous situations. Better police training with mental illness may help.

Progressive “Fixes” Have Often Made Things Worse

Though often ostensibly speaking on behalf of minority groups, progressive theories on race have often made practical situations worse. The most obvious cost to low-income neighborhoods has been in delegitimizing or even defunding police and the predictable surge in crime that created. Evidence does suggests that the George Floyd protests and riots were associated with increased resignations of police officers as well as decreased policing in high-crime neighborhoods. These in turn, were associated with increased violent crime.

There are more subtle, harmful impacts as well. Informing people that they are at ever-present danger from police can be traumatizing. Research has long demonstrated that convincing people they are victims causes them to perceive injustice where it may not actually occur.

It doesn’t help the Black Lives Matter organization has undermined confidence in its mission through a lack of transparency on financial matters and spending millions on mansions for its leaders, with comparatively little to show for how they have helped ordinary Black poor or working-class people.

There is a wide space between thinking the United States is a racial utopia and that it’s an early 20th century apartheid state. But if we promote pessimistic narratives that are not well-grounded in data and focus on “solutions” that emphasize our differences and conflicts, we may actually risk the exact bad outcomes we hoped to alleviate.


Why Do Leftists Get a Pass on Their Racism Toward Tim Scott, Other Black Republicans?

Whoever prevails, the 2024 Republican primary cycle is going to work out like all modern-day cycles. Inevitably, liberal Democrat reporters are going to end up loading buckets of slime and unloading them on every half-plausible candidate on the Republican side of the campaign.

Even then-Sen. John McCain learned the hard way that his media pals would turn on him when it counted.

On Tuesday, Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, announced he was running for president. The Left desperately wants to cartoon the Republican electorate as a pack of white supremacists, so Scott, of South Carolina, has to be mocked as the worst kind of African American.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, now the laziest host in cable news—she only works Mondays—mocked Scott’s vocal delivery. “That was a rough first three seconds of his presidential campaign,” said Maddow, laughing. “But who knows? Maybe it was just a rough first couple of seconds. Maybe in the end, he will do great. It worked out great for Peter Brady, in the end. He got through it. It was tough.”

Maddow compared a 57-year-old black man to a teenage white boy going through puberty. It’s not hard to guess how this would have been greeted if someone mocked the Almighty Barack Obama this way. It would be racist.

Then there are the pompous pundettes on ABC’s “The View,” lecturing Scott that he can’t possibly run for president based on optimism about America’s racial situation. Sunny Hostin waved him off: “I don’t know who his message is supposed to resonate with, actually. He’s talking about victimhood and personal responsibility as if people aren’t taking responsibility for their own actions.”

Whoopi Goldberg echoed, “He came out and did that dog whistle: victimhood.”

Hostin said being a successful black man is rare: “He is the exception, and not the rule. And until he is the rule, then he can stop talking about systemic racism.” You can either agree America’s a systemic racist cesspool, or you can shut up. Goldberg dropped the bomb: “He’s got Clarence Thomas Syndrome.”

Who is really demeaning black Americans in this debate? Apparently, racial pessimism is forever.

Journalists will also make routine fun of Scott’s Christianity. Washington Post political reporter Ben Terris tweeted on announcement day, “Tim Scott will be the first prez candidate I’ve ever asked about the status of his virginity.” A few years ago, lifelong bachelor Scott coyly answered Terris that the ship had sailed, but he insisted adultery was a sin. Why ask? Because Scott used to preach abstinence before marriage, which apparently opens the door to invasive personal questions.

So, if Vice President Kamala Harris is pro-abortion, has Terris asked her how many abortions she’s had? Or how many she’s funded, since she’s so pro-abortion?

So far, the GOP presidential field contains two black men and two Indian Americans, but Republicans are still hopelessly racist, because any Republican “of color” is cartooned as a self-loathing Clarence Thomas, a token desperate for white approval.

The Left thinks any pushback on their inaccurately described “diversity, equity, and inclusion” agenda is a politics of grievance. They’re never introspective enough to see their own sign as pushing division and racial hatred for political gain.

Scott’s optimistic and patriotic vision is a breath of fresh air—fresher than the “Joy [Behar], Whoopi, and Sunny” team will ever be.


Australia: Gender transition insurance cover cut for GPs

That would effectively bar them from assisting with gender transitions. They may be able to find another insurer but that may not continue.

One of the country’s biggest medical insurers will no longer cover private practitioners prescribing gender-affirming care to adolescents, in a move that could leave young people languishing on already-stretched public waiting lists.

MDA National, one of four major medical indemnity providers insuring GPs and other private practitioners against legal claims, updated its policy this month to exclude cover for claims “arising from aspects of gender transitioning treatment for under 18-year-old patients”.

Dr Michael Gannon, the organisation’s president, said young people experiencing gender dysphoria should be initially assessed by multidisciplinary teams in hospital – not by GPs.

“This is the same hospital system that is very, very comfortable placing greater demands on general practitioners,” he said. “It’s simply not fair to ask individual GPs in the suburbs or the bush to be making these complex decisions on their own.”

Gannon said the decision was made in response to legal cases overseas, including the high-profile inquiry into, and subsequent closure of, Britain’s only children’s gender clinic.

“We’re not taking a moral stance or an ethical stance – this is very much an insurance decision,” he said. “We don’t think we can accurately and fairly price the risk of regret.”

Dr Michelle Dutton, a GP in Fitzroy North in Melbourne, said she was leaving MDA National for a different provider before the change takes effect on July 1. “It’s disappointing ... I need to be covered for the work that I do as a GP, and if that work is no longer covered, I need to find a different provider,” she said. “I would have changed anyway because I fundamentally disagree with the decision.”

Dr Portia Predny, a GP at Sydney’s Rozelle Medical Centre and vice-president of the trans health advocacy body AusPATH, said she was concerned the change would further limit the options available to transgender adolescents by discouraging private practitioners from treating them.

“There are very few clinics who actually service this group of patients,” she said. “There’s already barriers to care for this age group – this is care that’s often life-saving, and that’s not an exaggeration.”

She said AusPATH had been reassured by two other major insurers, Avant and Medical Indemnity Protection Society (MIPs), that they would continue to cover GPs prescribing hormones to transgender patients under 18.

Predny said GPs were already working with other healthcare providers, such as psychiatrists and endocrinologists, to provide safe care to young patients.

“To state that the only way for people to access interdisciplinary care is through a multidisciplinary clinic [at a hospital] is misleading,” she said.

NSW has publicly funded gender clinics at Westmead Hospital and Maple Leaf House in Newcastle.

As of March 2023, there were 139 clients aged under 25 waiting for treatment at Maple Leaf House, though a spokesperson said not all those patients would be seeking medical-affirming care.

In Victoria, the Monash Health Gender Clinic is the only specialist public service available to transgender people between the ages of 16 and 18.

Associate Professor Ruth McNair, from the University of Melbourne’s department of general practice, said requiring every young person experiencing gender dysphoria to go through a public gender clinic first would place an even greater strain on waiting lists. “The system is overloaded,” she said. “Kids are left with nowhere to go.”

McNair said GPs who prescribe hormones to underage patients were already very cautious, and any patients with complex clinical histories, such as pre-existing mental health problems or past trauma, were urgently referred to public clinics for specialist treatment.

For young trans people, early support ‘could save a life’
“I consider the risk to be higher if I’m blocking a young person from care,” she said. “What’s the real risk? It’s to the health of the young person.

“It’s a bit short-sighted really. They’re trying to capture the [minority] of cases [where patients regret].”

MDA National will still cover GPs providing repeat prescriptions for gender-affirming hormones and general healthcare for patients with gender dysphoria.

The company said the decision would affect “well under a hundred” of its 40,000 members.

In 2021, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists released a position statement defining a “gender-affirmative approach” as one that accepts rather than questions a child’s statements about their gender identity.

In a rare local case, a Sydney woman is suing her psychiatrist for professional negligence relating to her gender transition, which she began at age 19.

However, the regret rate for people who medically transition in childhood or adolescence remains low.

Last year, a Dutch study published in The Lancet found 98 per cent of 720 transgender participants who started gender-affirming hormones in adolescence continued their treatment into adulthood.

A 2021 systematic review of 27 studies with a combined 7928 transgender patients found about 1 per cent expressed regret after undergoing gender-affirming surgeries.

Eloise Brook, the policy and communication manager at the Gender Centre in Annandale, said the decision jeopardised the “hard work” and investment that has been put into making gender-affirming care more accessible through family GPs.

“This is a moment where I’m fearful for families,” she said. “Insurance should not be the space in which medical decisions should be made.”

Dr Mitch Squire, a GP who provides gender-affirming care to adolescents at his clinic in Sydney’s inner west, said he would have no choice but to move providers if his insurer no longer covered him for the service.

“It would be a pretty straightforward decision for me,” he said. “There is a small but quantifiable regret rate, and given that changes can be permanent, that cover is absolutely essential.”




Monday, May 29, 2023

Target Shares Fall Following ‘Pride’ Push

Shares of Target have recently declined after the company launched LGBTQ products, including items aimed at children, triggering a backlash from Americans against the retailer’s transgender push.

Target rolled out its Pride collection at the beginning of the month, offering over 2,000 products, including clothing, books, home furnishings, and calendars, among others. Some of the items were targeted at children. For example, books for kids aged 2–8 had titles like “Pride 1,2,3,” “Bye Bye, Binary,” and “I’m Not a Girl.” Target also suggested “The Pronoun Book” to kids aged 0–3. In home décor, Target offered mugs labeled “Gender Fluid.” It also offered transgender swimsuits for adults with a “tuck-friendly” feature.

The company’s actions attracted a lot of negative reactions online, with the hashtag “BoycottTarget” trending across social media.

Amid the backlash, Target’s shares have declined by 11 percent as of 11:00 a.m. EST on May 25. Between May 1 and May 24, the company’s market capitalization fell from $72.52 billion to $66.05 billion, a decline of $6.47 billion.

In a May 24 press release, the company announced removing some of the controversial items. “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.

“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”

Liz Wheeler, who hosts “The Liz Wheeler Show” video podcast, called out Target for not apologizing for promoting “pride” agenda.

“Target executives are freaking out & moving ‘pride’ displays to the back of the store. But DO NOT CAVE. They’re not apologizing. They’re blaming YOU, claiming conservatives who oppose a Satanist designing queer merchandise for kids are a ‘threat,’” she said in a May 24 tweet.

Satanist Products

Some of the items in Target’s Pride collection were designed by UK-based designer Abprallen, who identifies as a transgender gay man and is a proclaimed Satanist.

There were two items from Abprallen in the Pride collection. However, the products are now not available in Target’s online store following the backlash, according to Breitbart.

An outspoken Satanist, Abprallen is known for pushing messages like “Satan respects pronouns” on apparel and “burn down the cis-tem.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) slammed Target for its ties with a Satanist. “Even by the standards of woke corporations, @Target’s partnership with a satanist to push the trans agenda on children is remarkable. The next time @Target comes begging for help, Republicans should respond, ‘best of luck,’” he said in a May 23 tweet.

Protecting Children

The Democrat governor of California, Gavin Newsom, hit out at Target for pulling out items from the Pride collection, calling the move “selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists.”

“This isn’t just a couple [of] stores in the South. There is a systematic attack on the gay community happening across the country. Wake up America. This doesn’t stop here. You’re black? You’re Asian? You’re Jewish? You’re a woman? You’re next,” he said in a May 24 tweet.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) countered Newsom by insisting that “no one is attacking the gay community.”

“They don’t want their children forcefully exposed to the radical side of pride with ‘tuck it’ and ‘binding’ children’s clothes and messaging while simply shopping at Target. We don’t support your California child genital mutilation industry. As a matter of fact, I want to end it,” she said in a tweet.

The backlash against Target is the latest in a series of customer reactions against companies pushing left-wing, progressive ideologies. Last month, Bud Light used transgender social media personality Dylan Mulvaney in a promotional campaign.

The decision triggered a massive boycott call of the beer brand. In less than two weeks after the promo campaign, Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, had lost at least $6.65 billion in market capitalization.


160-Plus Retired Military Brass Urge Congress To Root Out DOD’s Poisonous ‘Diversity’ And ‘Equity’ Programs

More than 160 retired generals and admirals recently signed a letter calling on Congress to remove so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs from the Department of Defense and remove funding for such programs from the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“As our Nation faces looming threats from ‘foreign’ adversaries/enemies, our military is under assault from a culture war stemming from ‘domestic’ ideologically inspired political policies and practices. … Our military must be laser focused on one mission — readiness, undiminished by the culture war engulfing our country,” Flag Officers 4 America wrote in the letter addressed to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Armed Services Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers, and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert.

The signatories — which included former National Security Advisor John Poindexter, Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense William Gerald Boykin — expressed concern about how divisive and discriminatory DEI policies affect national security. So-called “equity,” they wrote, “sounds benign, but in practice it lowers standards. While equality provides equal opportunities, equity’s goal is equal outcomes.”

The officers argued that equal opportunity and meritocracy provide the greatest foundation for both equality and national defense, while the cultural Marxism promoted by DEI policies is a domestic threat to our national security.

“To achieve equal outcomes using identity group characteristics, standards must be lowered to accommodate the desired equity outcomes. Lower standards reduce performance where even slight differences in capability impact readiness and can determine war fighting mission success or failure,” they wrote. Furthermore, obsession with identity causes “friction and distrust in the ranks, damaging unit cohesion, teamwork and unity of effort, further degrading readiness.”

Instead of DEI, the signatories advocated for a return to longstanding meritocratic military recruitment standards, pointing to a long history of true inclusivity and diversity that accompanied those standards.

“Service Members (SMs) were judged not by the color of their skin but by their character, duty performance, and potential,” the officers explained. “Meritocracy, coupled with equal opportunity, created conditions for all to advance and excel, which stimulates healthy competition, thereby raising standards.”

According to the retired officers, meritocracy is “essential for winning,” and at a time when America faces looming foreign threats, the last thing our military needs is to be distracted by domestic social engineering and “wokeism.”

We have fought for our Nation and are sounding the alarm that DEI poses a grave danger to our military warfighting ethos and is degrading warfighting readiness. … China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are not distracted by DEI programs; no doubt they are watching us. Equal opportunity and merit-based performance have been battle tested for generations and proven essential for success. DEI policies and practices must be eliminated from the DoD to protect our critical warfighting readiness.

Flag Officers 4 America DEI letter May 20, 2023 by The Federalist on Scribd

The letter comes after the House recently introduced the 2024 NDAA, which as of May 23 does not yet include provisions to remove funding from DEI programs. While the DOD reportedly disbanded its education wing’s DEI initiative in March, the poisonous agenda has subsequently burrowed deeper into the system.


The establishment's war on Trump

As one Twitter wag put it, virtually the only ones not involved in the Trump-Russia collusion scandal turned out to be Trump and Russia. The release of Special Prosecutor John Durham’s final report into the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation exposed Stasi-style plotting between the Clinton campaign, the FBI and the Obama regime to first prevent, then knobble, Donald Trump’s presidency. This amounted to an attempted palace coup.

Yet the fix is in. No one has been charged and the key players will be chuckling smugly into their whiskies as a wave of disgust passes over those privy to the report’s details, both conservatives largely aware of the truth years ago, and those newly awakened by the forensic detail of this damning, four-year, $6 million probe.

Include among the latter CNN’s Trump-despising anchor Jake Tapper, who said the report exonerated Trump and was devastating to the FBI; never-Trump conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, who wrote: ‘It was a nefarious plan, enacted at the highest levels of government, to corrupt an election and undermine a presidency’ and legal eminence Jonathan Turley, who lambasted ‘the alliance of political, government and media figures behind arguably the greatest hoax in US history’.

The rot goes right to the top, and those involved knew from the beginning the Russia-gate hoax was a Clinton dirty trick. Then-CIA director John Brennan writes in August 2016 of briefing Obama and others of the Clinton campaign’s plan ‘to vilify Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services’. After years of denials, it emerged that the Clinton campaign had paid for the fake, Trump-smearing Steele dossier, and then marketed it in the corridors of power. Then came the Mueller investigation, the Horowitz report, two Trump impeachments, a cascade of court cases, raids and process charges against Trump associates, forests of newsprint and years of smears. Where the FBI downplayed Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and shut down four other Clinton probes, they treated Trump differently, Durham says, eagerly going after him despite no verifiable evidence. And the penalty? Here Durham turns mild, urging greater fidelity to the law. The FBI agrees, yes, there were missteps but they’ve changed lots of rules. But if they didn’t follow the rules first time around, why would they next time?

Some examples. When Donald Trump won in 2016, he tweeted soon after that his wires were being tapped. Much mockery ensued. Of course, we weren’t spying on Trump Tower, laughed then-FBI boss James Comey. As years passed it turned out that yes, the FBI had indeed wiretapped the new president’s campaign in Trump Tower but that wasn’t spying! Good lord, no! Spying is unauthorised surveillance, said Comey. What he did was authorised surveillance, not spying. So that’s alright. Durham adds the cherry on top by revealing emails from Comey to his staff hassling them for court orders so spying – ‘surveillance’ – could begin. The shameless Comey went on to write a book on ethical leadership.

A second example: former House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, propelled the Russia hoax for years, maintaining he’d seen direct evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, he couldn’t reveal it yet, but it was there for sure, he’d seen it. That evidence never surfaced, and Durham finds there was none. A GOP congresswoman is now trying to get ‘Shifty Schiff’ tossed from Congress.

Alas, this dismal catalogue of evil-doers now feel they’ve got away with it. These are not people who ever wanted to do the right thing, they just wanted to stop Trump. Ex-FBI lynchpins such as Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok are now all over friendly media saying the lack of prosecutions means what they did was no big deal. These moral pygmies think that because they broke the law legally, so to speak, using lies of omission and commission, delaying tactics, process failures, semantics, loopholes and every other trick in the bureaucrats’ book, they have won. But these plotters have destroyed the legitimacy of the FBI, which now stands corrupted, trashed the US claim to lead the free world, and engendered profound distrust and polarisation across the nation. Worse, having been unchecked, the FBI continues to punch down, ignoring Hunter Biden’s laptop which they have possessed since 2019, and the many claims of bribery and pay-to-play around the Biden family, and instead targeting conservatives, with censorship campaigns on Twitter recently exposed, and the vicious persecution of January 6 protesters continuing, many of whom still rot in jail.

The FBI has not always been this bad. After the shock of 9/11, however, the Patriot Act vastly expanded US law enforcement’s tools and the agencies are now massive, drunk with power and politicised, dubbed by some a 35,000-strong Praetorian guard running protection for Democrats. The actions of this cabal provide a prism for understanding the continuing lawfare against Trump. If all the cases currently up against him fail, they will simply find new ones. The war goes on.

Where this becomes relevant for Australia is realising the conformist groupthink behind US policies. The Durham report shows a one-party state running the US, with divergent views expunged, not considered. Such closed-minded thinking is more typical of totalitarian states, where courts of yes-men deny reality until it overtakes them. Witness the recent unhappy catalogue of US foreign policy blunders – forever wars in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and now the proxy war in Ukraine, the all-but-admitted bombing of the Nordstream pipeline – and the flawed decision-making becomes more understandable.

The persecution rolls on. In heartbreaking testimony last week, three FBI whistleblowers told Congress how their lives had been crushed by the bureau in revenge for revelations such as deliberate inflation of domestic terrorism figures. GOP Rep. Harriet Hageman likened the FBI to the baleful Eye of Sauron, from Lord of the Rings, turned on the citizenry. Here’s my literary image. In The Old Man of the Sea, Sinbad the Sailor tells of being tricked into carrying an old man on his shoulders.

The monster clamps down hard in a deadly grip; unable to be dislodged, he rides Sinbad long and hard. The sailor gradually weakens, escaping only by getting the old man drunk. In the same way, parasitic elites are fixed fast atop the US power structure, sucking the lifeblood from the body politic, and no one has yet found a way to dislodge them.


Bravo! Australian PM knows what a woman is

British broadcaster Piers Morgan asked the Prime Minister the question on his new show 'Piers Morgan Uncensored' on Sky News in early May.

Mr Albanese gave a very simple answer to the question, defining a woman as 'an adult female'.

'How difficult was that to answer?,' Morgan then asked.

'Not too hard. I was asked during the campaign actually, but I think that we need to respect people for whoever they are,' Mr Albanese said.

The 'what is a woman' question has become controversial in recent months, with many politicians struggling to answer in fear of upsetting critics or supporters of trans rights.

However Mr Albanese's answer continues to anger many in the transgender community, with some calling him a 'transphobe' and claiming he is using talking points echoed by TERF (Trans-exclusionary radical feminist).

The CEO of Equality Australia, Anna Brown, suggested that the prime minister shouldn't answer a question designed to 'attack' transgender people.

'But when any leader is asked a question designed to attack trans women, they should first call it out for what it is,' she told media.

'They can instead speak to trans people in Australia and directly let them know that they will not be part of the punching down.'

Greens MP Stephen Bates said the prime minister needed to 'get a spine and stop mumbling platitudes in an attempt to placate the transphobes'.

'You don't get to march with us in Mardi Gras and then ignore us when things get tricky for you,' he wrote.

During the interview, Albanese was also grilled by Morgan on the issue of transgender athletes in women's sport.

'That's an example in that the sporting organisations are dealing with that issue,' Mr Albanese said. 'My view is the sporting organisations should deal with that issue.'