Wednesday, January 31, 2024

More on John 1:18 and the born god

The most recent recension of the Greek NT that I have is by Nestle. It adds an extensive critical apparatus to support its various readings. So I got around to looking at the authorities given for "theos" in John 1:18.

He gives only the available papyri plus the codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. He clearly regards any further readings as superfluous. And he is right. Those two codices are generally regarded as the best authorities for the Greek NT that we have and the concurrence of the papyri is particularly impressive. They are the earliest texts we have.

So when the exegetes cavil about variant readings, they are not doing so on the best textual grounds but rather on theological grounds. There is no real doubt about what John actually wrote in verse 18: "Theos".

I should probably add here that I don't write to discourage Christian belief. I write only to disparage acceptance of the absurd Trinity doctrine. Up until the work of Athanasius in the 4th century, NO Christian believed in the Trinity doctrine. It is a totally non-Biblical confection. It was a useful theological compromise at the time it was adopted but it is nothing more


Gender ideology has torn our family apart': Montana family who lost custody of their 14-year-old daughter after refusing to let her transition to a boy

A Montana mom and dad who lost custody of their daughter after they refused to transition her gender have told the ordeal 'has torn their family apart.'

Krista Kolstad revealed the family's nightmare began when they received a call that their 14-year-old daughter Jennifer told friends at school that she wanted to commit suicide in August 2023.

Later that night, Child Protective Services (CPS) went to the Kolstad's home in Glasgow to inspect the house and interview Jennifer, later determining that she needed to transition to get better.

Krista, who is Jennifer's step mother, and the girl's biological father, Todd Kolstad, said Jennifer had a tough upbringing and several undiagnosed mental health concerns, including attention-seeking behavior and lying, which they believe caused the urge to transition and were overlooked by social services.

Krista told 'It's been horrible... Our family unit will never be the same. Even if they returned our daughter to us now, you're not going to have the same family unit... it's created a lot of animosity on Jennifer's part towards us, she doesn't believe she has to listen to us as her parents anymore.'

Mr Kolstad said: 'I love my daughter unconditionally, and only want her to refrain from making decisions until she has the maturity and life experiences to understand what the consequences are for her actions.

It comes as a family in Indiana has asked the US Supreme Court to review their lost custody case. Jeremy and Mary Cox, who are evangelical Christians, lost custody of their son in June 2021 after they refused, for religious reasons, for him to start identifying as a girl.

California mom Abigail Martinez, has filed a document offering support of Mr and Mrs Cox. Ms Martinez lost custody of her teenage daughter, Yaeli, in 2016, who was put on testosterone and later died by suicide.

The Kolstads said Jennifer had a traumatic upbringing. Her birth mother walked out when she was young and was only around sporadically.

Statements from Jennifer and her sister's counselor showed the girls describing their biological mother as uncaring, abusive and 'crazy.'

Jennifer has also been repeatedly bullied at school. Mr and Mrs Kolstad even moved districts to try and give their daughter a fresh start at a new school.

'She's always wanted to be the super pretty, super popular girl, and who doesn't?' said Krista. 'But she's always been the crazy smart kid who was in math club.'

When Child and Family Services arrived at the family home, the family let the case worker inspect their house and speak to their daughter alone, but warned her that she had a history of making up stories.

During the interview, Jennifer claimed to have drank toilet bowl cleaner and taken an overdose of painkillers in an attempted suicide.

Her parents said this seemed highly unlikely because Mrs Kolstad had been working at home all day, and Jennifer did not have access to either substance and had expressed no symptoms of illness.

Despite their doubts, Mr and Mrs Kolstad agreed to take Jennifer to the local hospital to be checked. Blood work confirmed Jennifer had not consumed any toxic substances.

But medical notes mentioned that Jennifer identified as male and wanted to be called Leo.

'Our daughter began demanding that she be called Leo, he and him. We explained that this is in her history but not something we would agree to as her parents. The hospital staff ignored our request,' said Mr Kolstad.

Jennifer had first expressed her desire to change gender to her parents aged 13.

Her parents told her she was too young to make such as decision and sent her to counselling to explore why she felt that way.

Mrs Kolstad said: 'It wasn't new, but she hadn't brought it up in a year. She never came to us and said, "You need to call me this, you need to call me that." That was never an issue.'

Mr and Mrs Kolstad, who are Christian, let the hospital staff know of their objections, and asked that Jennifer be called by her birth name.

'The hospital continued to call our daughter Leo, even though she's a minor and after I stated it's against our wishes, our religion and our core family values.

'The hospital told me to call their lawyer if I have an issue as they will do what the patient tells them,' Mrs Kolstad said.

While medical transitioning of minors is banned in Montana, Mrs Kolstad said the hospital told her that 'social transition' was a 'gray area of the law.'

Jennifer was placed under 24 hour supervision due to her threats of suicide, but Mrs Kolstad said an aide was placed outside her door who would regularly speak to Jennifer about having top surgery and how she was non binary.

Along with CPS, Mr and Mrs Kolstad agreed that Jennifer would benefit from specialized in-patient treatment and counseling at a mental health hospital.

There were six facilities in Montana, as well as one in Wyoming. Mr and Mrs Kolstad raised concerns about Wyoming, as the state allows minors to have gender-affirming care such as hormone blockers and surgical procedures.

They were worried this may happen without their consent.

But just hours later, Mr and Mrs Kolstad were informed there was a bed available in Wyoming Behavioral Institute and that Jennifer must go immediately.

They stated they reiterated their concerns and said they had questions that needed answering before they agreed.

Ten minutes later, CPS showed up at the Kolstad's house with police and papers removing their daughter from their care, accusing them of refusing treatment.

While Jennifer was in Wyoming, she was given men's hygiene products such as body wash and deodorant.

After a month in the Wyoming facility, Jennifer was moved to a Youth Dynamics group home in Montana where she has remained ever since.

Here, Jennifer has been allowed to wear a chest binder along with only men's clothes, shave her head and attend all-boys groups.

The Kolstads were assigned a public defender, who advised them to 'play nice' and go along with CPS's recommendations.

'We have followed their advice for the last few months and now our rights are being completely stripped away,' Mrs Kolstad said.

On January 19, the couple lost custody of their daughter to CPS, who said that allowing Jennifer to be transgender is 'in her therapeutic interest' and that her parents are 'not following recommended therapy.'

CPS was given custody of Jennifer for six months. After that, the plan is to place Jennifer in the care of her birth mother, who now lives in Canada but has never really been a part of her life.

Mr and Mrs Kolstad have chosen to defy a judge's order to remain silent on the case.


We got it wrong: London Police apologises for 'causing offence' after volunteer officer told Christian singer to 'stop performing church songs outside church grounds'

The Met Police have apologised for causing offence after a volunteer officer told Christian singer to 'stop performing church songs outside church grounds'.

The force said the officer should not have told the Harmonie London, 20, to stop performing her songs - as she says she felt 'humiliated', 'sad' and 'bullied' following the confrontation.

Volunteer officer Maya Hadzhipetkova was accused of breaking the musician's human right to freedom of expression and religion today after she threatened to take away her instruments following a performance of Amazing Grace.

The Met has since clarified that the supposed breach was due to unlicensed busking rather than the content of the songs she was singing.

But they added: 'The officer was mistaken in saying church songs cannot be sung outside of church grounds.

'We’re sorry for the offence caused and will take the learning forward.'

The force added that they are aware of the commentary on social media regarding the incident and the clip was part of a 43 minute conversation between the pair.

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline today, Harmonie told how the officer had threatened to seize her keyboard and speakers if she did not stop singing - having already performed Amazing Grace and the contemporary song Goodness of God.

It comes as Scotland Yard continues to investigate Ms Hadzhipetkova and review body-worn footage of the shocking incident on Oxford Street in Central London last Sunday. The Met has claimed the row was over a 'specific bylaw related to busking' - while Harmonie argues that she was not 'busking', but instead 'sharing the gospel'.

After telling the singer she could not perform, Ms Hadzhipetkova stuck her tongue out at the camera. Her actions drew widespread condemnation - including from ex-Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe who said 'some people have got a problem in this country with Christianity which they don't appear to have with other faiths'.

There are no laws against singing on pavements, Christian or otherwise - only council bylaws relating to having a busking licence and not blocking roads - and Harmonie said the incident breached her article nine rights to freedom of religion.

A section of the extraordinary exchange as onlookers watched on was shared on Instagram by Harmonie - who has vowed to continue playing and singing. Back out on Oxford Street today, she said she wanted to 'bring love and peace to the public'.


Leftist piorities leave capital city short of water

I would not usually devote a column for The Australian to problems with a New Zealand local council.

Nevertheless, the city in question is the capital, so I will make an exception. Also, Wellington’s problems are indicative of the state of New Zealand’s local government more generally.

A decade ago, in 2013, then-Prime Minister John Key declared Wellington a “dying city.” It was controversial enough that Key had to retract his statement shortly afterwards. Today, however, many New Zealanders might agree with Key.

Wellington has recently made headlines, including in Australia, for all the wrong reasons. Most shockingly because there is a real chance that New Zealand’s capital may run out of water.

If you have ever been to Wellington, you may find this surprising. The city receives around 1250 millimetres of rain per year. Rainfall is spread relatively evenly throughout the year with no distinct wet or dry season. On average, it rains on one day of every three. It is not particularly warm, either.

All that rain falls on not too many people, which makes Wellington’s water shortage even more astonishing. Wellington City has a population of around 220,000, while the Greater Wellington population is just over half a million. There are 746 people per square kilometre in the city and 68 people per square kilometre in the region.

The fact that Wellington is not doing well reminds me of a quip by Milton Friedman: “If the federal government ran the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand within five years.”

The woes of Wellington are man-made. Or, more precisely, they are a product of local government.

To understand this, you only need to stroll around the capital. You will struggle to walk for more than five minutes without running into a puddle, even on dry and sunny days.

That is because leaks are everywhere in the city. Some are small, others create impromptu fountains, and most take weeks, if not months, to repair. While one is being fixed, another two or three typically crop up elsewhere.

On Wellington Water’s online map, you can check every reported leak and its effect on the local water supply. At the moment, most of the city is coloured in pink, meaning high water losses.

In Wellington, not only are freshwater pipes breaking, but raw sewage has occasionally run through the streets. In some cases, Wellington’s water situation stinks – quite literally.

For the capital of an OECD economy, a member of the Five Eyes, and a country that likes to think of itself as Godzone, this is not good enough.

Most people do not think much about getting clean water from taps or flushing their toilets. In any developed country, a reliable water supply is taken for granted. And, probably for that reason, running the waterworks or installing pipes is not seen as glamorous, visionary or exciting.

Over many years, Wellington’s mayors and councillors have presided over an ageing network of pipes that cried out for repair and renewal, but local officials found other projects more enticing.

There are, of course, different projects that appeal to politicians of different hues. The same holds for different electorates.

The electorate in Wellington is primarily made up of civil servants. It is the national capital, after all.

Wellington also has a vibrant arts and film scene. There is a university with students and academics, too.

The private sector, however, has largely withdrawn from Wellington over the years. Wellington’s ‘business differential,’ the extra rates charged to businesses compared to residences, is the highest in the country. There are few corporate headquarters left.

It is no secret that Wellington’s electorate has a left-of-centre tilt. It was in the capital where the Greens won two of their three electorate seats in last year’s general election. In Wellington’s local elections, left-of-centre candidates have usually won most wards and the mayoralty.

Without wishing to stereotype, Wellington City Council’s projects reflect these political leanings.

Cycleways have been built in places where few people ride bikes. The rainbow-coloured crossing in the entertainment district is, well, striking. Recently, the city installed solar-powered parking ticket machines capable of communicating with drivers in both English and Maori – when they work.

However, all the council’s investments in traffic slowing, traffic reduction and climate change outreach pale into insignificance compared with a few big-ticket items.

Right opposite the national museum, Wellington now boasts a swish new convention centre. It is called Takina. At NZ$184 million (AUD$170m), it was only a bit more than NZ$5 million over budget. What a pity though that Wellington’s ratepayers will be left funding 40 per cent of its ongoing costs in perpetuity because there is no need for a convention centre of that size.

Additionally, Wellington’s ratepayers will be responsible for the reconstruction of the city library and town hall complex due to the earthquake-prone nature of the buildings. Bulldozing the plot and starting again would have been cheaper, but heritage rules obviously must be followed.

Running through the city council’s expenditure of questionable value, it becomes clear that any possibility of funding water pipes has dried up. Never mind that Wellington’s local rates on businesses are the highest in New Zealand, and that residential rates are higher than Auckland’s.

Perhaps deep down, councillors hoped the national government would eventually come to their rescue. After all, former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern signalled a wish to nationalise all water infrastructure. And wouldn’t it have been nice to off-load all of Wellington city’s problems to Wellington, the capital?

Alas, these plans would have been disastrous in their own ways – not least because they would have been horrendously expensive. And so, Wellington is now left to its own devices to figure out how to deal with bursting pipes and drained taps.

Right now, no one has a clue, least of all the council. Meanwhile, all that new local government minister Simeon Brown can do for now is send ‘Please explain!’ letters to everyone involved in the fiasco.

Wellington’s water woes are a tragicomedy, but they are New Zealand’s local government problem in a nutshell. We should not expect good policy outcomes when cities are run by ideologues, when voters do not care for costs and benefits, and when councils speculate on being bailed out by the national government.

Wellington, of course, remains a wonderful place. With its temperate climate, scenic harbour and thriving population of friendly bureaucrats, it is always worth a visit. Just stay away from puddles in the street, and do not take long showers.


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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Does John 1:1 contradict John 1:18?

ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

(In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. KJV)

Oh boy! When you get into a discussion of the Gospel of John, you dive into complexities. John was clearly influenced by the mysterious style of the gnostic writers but at the same time made sure that what he said would not mislead a careful reader. He wrote very carefully and precisely.

So after my comments about verse 18, we inevitably get back to verse 1 (above). Does it not say there that Jesus was with God in the beginning and does it not say he is God? So how does that jibe with verse 18 where Jesus is said to be a born God? He was certainly born as a man but he was also born as a god, according to verse 18.

Both those claims about verse 1 turn, once again, on what the Greek actually says rather than conventional translations of it. The issue is anarthrous predicates -- i.e. what does it mean when the definite article is omitted? It is omitted both before "theos" and before "arche".

Omitting a definite article before a Greek noun is equivalent to our usage of the indefinite article. Greek does not have an indefinite article to indicate a class of things so where that is intended, "ho" (the) is simply omitted. An omitted definite article is significant.

The implication of that is that verse 1 should be translated to read "a beginning", not "the beginning" and "was God" should be rendered as "was a god". So verse 1 is in fact entirely consistent with verse 18. John was not confused. He was very precise. Jesus was NOT there in the beginning and he was NOT God

The exegetes know all that and try to wriggle out of it by saying it was a Greek custom to omit the definite artice where the noun is part of a predicate. That may be true of some writers but it clearly was not John's usage. No sooner than verse 4 of chapter 1 do we find John using a definite article in a predicate: τὸ φῶς

ἐν αὐτῶ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων·

The light was THE light of men. So the anarthrous predicate argument just will not wash. John really did say that Jesus was a god and that he existed in a beginning, which is perfectly consistent with him being a "born god"

Chapter 14 is another occasion where John's style of writing could mislead. He speaks there of Jesus being united with God. But in verse 28 he makes sure that he is not misunderstood. He emphasizes there that he is NOT God: "My father is greater than I"

My apologies to any mainstream Christians reading this. What I have said is inconsistent with your theology. But it is not me speaking. It is the apostle John

Update note:  Both Theos and Phos are predicates after the verb to be (een) so are entirely comparable

Reparations are the new affirmative action — and even more racist and divisive

Gallup poll results this month show a significant majority — 68% — of Americans agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling to abolish affirmative action in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, the racial-discrimination case brought by Asian Americans.

Not only has aggregate favorability shot up since right after the summer decision, when it was 52%, but a majority of blacks now approve of SFFA; among younger blacks, the favorability is a stunning 62%, almost matching the 63% among Asian Americans!

Hispanic Americans came in even higher, 68%.

Perhaps after watching in amazement the stark contrast between how campus administrators handled recent pro-Hamas riots and how they handled non-progressive events for years, Americans of all races have awakened to the fact that much-touted campus diversity has been a total sham.

The court’s 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision said it was exactly because the “robust exchange of ideas” “diversity” brings to universities was a “compelling state interest” that affirmative action, with its inherent racial preferences, was provisionally spared from being illegal under the 14th Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which guarantee equal rights under the law regardless of race.

“Provisionally” because under Grutter, affirmative action was to be practiced under highly limiting guidelines and with specific intent to end it, perhaps in 25 years — both of which universities ignored.

The SFFA decision found this “diversity rationale” to permit a little bit of racism for a little while in the name of educational benefits was incoherent; as we saw, it was also bogus.

But worse, there’s an ascendant affirmative action that couldn’t care less about “diversity” or “educational benefits.”

This new variant is brazenly racist: Affirmative action is reparations for the so-called “legacy of slavery.”

As Thomas Sowell, Jason Riley and others have shown, the “legacy” is not of slavery but of 1960s liberalism.

Regardless, there’s money and Democratic votes in Ibram Kendi’s toxic hucksterism of “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.”

So reparations commissions are sprouting in Democratic strongholds around the country — 17 and counting, with Gov. Hochul signing one into New York law just last month — and Democrats are pushing a federal commission.

In the reparations regimen, “affirmative action” is reincarnated under “integration” to justify racial quotas under the “legacy of slavery” narrative.

Thus, in the California Reparations Report’s education chapter — only the Golden State’s commission has completed its report — cognates of “integration,” “segregation” or “desegregation” occur 199 times, against seven for “diversity” and zero for “proficiency” or “excellence.”

Significantly, reparations also underlie Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s dissenting SFFA opinion.

This was intentional: Jackson was laying groundwork for a Supreme Court fight on reparations, perhaps in a future court with more justices on her side.

After suffering comes justification for reparations’ central demand, that of forever-legacy, but since facts and logic don’t support that, she resorts to dreamy storytelling: “History speaks. In some form, it can be heard forever. The race-based gaps that first developed centuries ago are echoes from the past that still exist today.”

She concludes with a recitation of black ills straight from the reparations narrative, with its usual inaccuracies and fallacies, including the confusion of correlation vs. causation, that wherever ills are observed, the “legacy of slavery” is the cause.

Jackson’s dissent is all reparations, only reparations.

In a lawsuit about discrimination against Asian-American applicants, she mentions them only once — just to recap a lower-court ruling.

Jackson blustered similarly elsewhere that despite explicitly guaranteeing universal equal rights in the unmistakable language of European Enlightenment, the 14th Amendment really meant for blacks to be more equal than others: whites, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, native Americans.

Democrats in power, with their proliferating state commissions, congressional bills and pseudo-legal rhetoric, are gearing up for the far bigger and toxic battle over reparations; to win, they are ready to dangle trillions of taxpayer dollars before black Americans.

Or is America’s future our founding ideal of “e pluribus unum” — out of many, one — with its promise of oneness under the law regardless of differences that made America the beacon of freedom to the world?

You decide.


The Trick That Dropped Atlanta Crime

You have undoubtedly heard that crime is down in a lot of places. One trick often employed in places like San Francisco is not to report crimes. Shoplifting is no longer pursued, and employees of businesses can be fired for preventing shoplifting. So property theft crimes drop not because theft is no longer happening but because it is no longer treated as a crime.

Atlanta, Georgia, has seen a 21% drop in year-over-year crime. The Mayor of Atlanta, Andre Dickens, faced with a secession effort in the northern wards of his city due to crime and violent protests from the far left over a police training facility, has deployed a novel trick in The City Too Busy to Hate. He actually pushed law enforcement to enforce the law.

Under Dickens and Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum, the city began aggressively cracking down on gun crimes and gang violence. Buckhead, the financial center of the South and Atlanta’s northern ward, began agitating for secession after crime spiked during COVID lockdowns. Random suburbanites were shot while jogging, home break-ins increased, carjackings increased; violence was on the rise after the former Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, decided to side with rioters against the police.

Then-Mayor Bottoms and the former Fulton County District Attorney, in a series of high-profile cases, prosecuted police officers for policing. They targeted one officer for shooting a man who had attacked an officer, fled and attempted to tase the pursuing officer. That officer shot and killed the man and got prosecuted. After Dickens’ election, the charges were dropped. Other officers were disciplined for trying to get college students to stop their car during a riot. The result was a collapse of police morale, police leaving the force and difficulty recruiting.

Dickens, upon taking office, had to do two things. First, he needed to calm Buckhead’s nerves. Its departure would have dramatically cut tax revenue for the city. Second, he needed to ameliorate police morale. He did both by letting the police actually police.

The results speak for themselves. Hotels in Buckhead no longer warn visitors not to go out past dark. It feels safe to go out, and the mass of people in Buckhead after dark suggests the feeling is reality. People are returning to malls and restaurants. Businesses are no longer loudly screaming for change, and much of the Buckhead secession movement has dissipated.

That’s not to say there are no problems. Drug problems remain. Homelessness and related crime are a problem. But the violence the city had seen has diminished as police have cracked down on unlawful gun possessions, gun crimes and gang violence. Buckhead has breathed a sigh of relief. People are more prone to walk down Peachtree Street after dark. People have returned to Piedmont Park. The police are visible.

Atlanta stands in stark contrast to cities like Washington, D.C., where the Mayor and City Council have hindered the police and sent mixed signals about crime control. In New York, Mayor Eric Adams has sent police back into the streets deploying variations of “stop and frisk.” It has both cut crime and inspired progressives, including the local district attorney, to campaign against the efforts to reduce crime. Progressive prosecutors in New York, not the Mayor or police, are causing the problems. In West Coast cities, law enforcement has largely given up, and crime reductions are often because police and victims have given up reporting the crimes.

Walk into a CVS in New York City or San Francisco and you will find most of the products behind glass. You will have to wait for an attendant with a key to unlock the windows. Walk into the CVS in Midtown Atlanta and few products are locked behind glass. Go up to Buckhead and even fewer are locked up.

Atlanta has had both leadership at the top and community buy-in from residents who feel safer and trust the police. The police have been engaged in the community and are both visible and available to residents. It has worked, and the results speak for themselves. It really should not be amazing to learn, but getting tough on crime reduces crime. Other metropolitan areas could learn from Atlanta’s Mayor Dickens.


US Should End, Not Pause, Funding for UN Aid Agency Tied to Hamas

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has finally admitted what has been obvious for years: at least some of its employees support or are members of terrorist groups such as Hamas.

Evidence provided by the Israeli government that show the relief agency’s employees participated in the horrific Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel led the organization to “immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation.”

The evidence also forced the U.S. State Department to temporarily pause “additional funding” for the agency as well. This is largely symbolic, as current commitments will remain in effect. Moreover, simply delaying America’s generous payments to the agency will not send the strong signal needed to pressure it to reform.

There also might not be much money to pause. Knowing that the House of Representatives is skeptical of its funding and that the weight of evidence against the organization was growing, the Biden administration prioritized speeding its money out the door. Much of the money available for the relief agency is probably already in its bank accounts.

The announced pause is likely designed to mollify Congress until attention shifts elsewhere. The State Department has a long history of tolerating the U.N. agency’s malfeasance. And this administration’s track record suggests that, once the news fades, efforts to “unpause” funding will begin—even if the problems continue.

These problems are nothing new. The Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has a history of employing individuals affiliated with Hamas. Over and over, the agency’s schools in the Middle East have used textbooks with extremist and antisemitic content. Photos and reports have repeatedly shown its classrooms displaying other materials that delegitimize Israel, denigrate Jews, and venerate martyrdom.

Such manifest bias was a key reason behind the Trump administration’s decision to suspend U.S. funding in 2018.

Notwithstanding the agency’s tolerance for extremism—and despite clear evidence that some of its employees were members of Hamas and supported its goals—one of the Biden administration’s first decisions was to restore its funding. Big time. According to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, “In 2023 alone, the United States has contributed more than $296 million to UNRWA [the agency]. And the Biden administration has contributed nearly $1 billion since 2021.”

Of course, Biden’s State Department said the renewed funding was contingent on the U.N. agency’s policing its employees and classrooms. But it did not enforce this expectation. Dollars continued to flow in the face of numerous reports of the agency’s violations by journalists, nongovernmental organizations, and even the European Union.

Last year, the Geneva-based nongovernmental organization U.N. Watch reported numerous examples of “UNRWA’s gross and systematic violations of neutrality and other U.N. rules in their hiring of teachers and in their use of curricula inside UNRWA schools that constitute incitement to hatred, antisemitism, and terrorism.”

Numerous reports over the years indicated that Hamas would place weapons and tunnels in or near agency schools and hospitals and even launch attacks from its facilities. Nonetheless, the organization would always profess surprise and condemn these revelations.

The current conflict in Gaza has revealed the extent of the relief agency’s corrupt relationship with Hamas. According to Israeli Col. Elad Shushan, “There is not a UNRWA site—school, mosque, or kindergarten—in which we didn’t find weapons. None. One hundred percent.”

There is no conceivable way that the vast majority of the agency’s employees did not know about this pervasive misuse of its schools and hospitals by Hamas. By failing to report such violations of its obligation to neutrality, these employees made the organization complicit.

During the recent conflict, advocates have excused the agency, asserting that it is the best option to support Gazan civilians harmed by the war. But there is mounting evidence that Hamas is stealing aid meant to help civilians. Moreover, the relief agency has been accused of covering it up.

And now, worst of all, its employees are accused of directly participating in the horrific terrorist attacks of Oct. 7 that murdered, raped, and tortured innocents—Americans as well as Israelis. As the recent announcement of a temporary funding pause implicitly admits, the Biden administration was wrong to resume funding. However, a temporary pause is woefully inadequate.

The agency has a long record of sympathy for Hamas; employment of Hamas members; and vulnerability to extremism, antisemitism, and politicization.

But the depth of this problem is only now becoming clear. This is not a situation of a few bad apples within the organization. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Intelligence estimates shared with the U.S. conclude that around 1,200 of UNRWA’s roughly 12,000 employees in Gaza have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. … Two officials familiar with the intelligence said the UNRWA employees considered to have ties with militant groups were deemed to be “operatives,” indicating they took active part in the organization’s military or political framework. The report said 23% of UNRWA’s male employees had ties to Hamas, a higher percentage than the average of 15% for adult males in Gaza, indicating a higher politicization of the agency than the population at large. Nearly half of all UNRWA employees—an estimated 49%—also had close relatives who also had official ties to the militant groups, especially Hamas, the intelligence reports said.

Quite simply, this U.N. agency is fundamentally compromised and cannot be trusted to serve as a neutral humanitarian actor.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees is not part of the solution. It instead has contributed to the problem. Congress should ensure that all U.S. funding for this hopelessly compromised agency is ended immediately and permanently.


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Monday, January 29, 2024

More Gen Z Women Embracing ‘Tradwife’ Influencers

Yes. A basic point below is that the tradwife has to have an economically successful husband. And they are not to be found under every rock.

But what counts as success? It depends on what you want and expect. In the old days most men were economically succesful enough to support a stay-at-home wife. But the lifestyle then was much simpler. I won't try to detail that but I could perhaps mention that in those days eating out and travel were often once in a lifetime affairs.

So a man on average income could to this day support a stay-at-home wife if he he could find a woman willing to accept a much lower standard of living than is now normal -- but it would probably need some sort of religious committment to support that.

So we come back to the fact that a woman accustomed to a modern lifestyle is only going to become a tradwife if she can find a man with either a well-above income or substantial wealth. It is not an option for all.

A way around that is for a woman to hunt rich men and do her best to please one when she finds one. And there have been many reports of such women. One can only hope that they are satisfied with their decisions. Most of us still have some ideals of love and romance however so would question the worth of such relationships.

But, all things considered, being a tradwife can be attractive if part of a good relatonship with a man of above average material resources.

I became economically successful at a relatively early age so by age 40 was able to support a tradwife. And I did. She was not called that in that era but when I met her she was a smart and good-looking woman aged 31 who already had 3 kids. She was a working single mother, which is one of the most difficult situations for a woman to be in.

I like kids so it was an easy choice for me to tell her to stop work and become a full-time wife and mother. She of course jumped at it. It was an instant large upgrade to her lifestyle and she enjoyed it greatly. I even gave her a car so she was not housebound. And we did have lots of good times together. And she even gave me a son.

As it happened, however, the marriage lasted only 10 years but I gave her a house to move into when we split so there are good feelings between us to this day. We still see one-another.

There is of course much more to be told about all that but I just offer it to emphasize again that an economically successful husband is required for a tradwife to be happy today

Hannah Neeleman, a Utah-based cattle farmer and mother of eight, is perhaps the most popular Instagram “tradwife”—a growing category of social media influencers who reject the not-so-traditional 9-to-5 workforce in favor of homeschooling their children, homemaking, or running a family business.

Though her content is entirely wholesome, she (and other tradwife accounts) are not without controversy.

In the case of Ballerina Farm, followers recently uncovered that Daniel Neeleman, Hannah’s husband, is the son of the founder and former CEO of JetBlue, whose estimated net worth is $400 million.

Her kitchen stove, prominently featured in many of Hannah’s videos where she bakes sourdough bread, farm-raised beef, and other dishes, costs a minimum of $20,000. For those who laud their simple lifestyle as cattle farmers, many felt blindsided by the wealth enabling their smooth transition to homesteading. After all, starting a farm requires many high-cost purchases on the front end, from the land, equipment, and animals, forcing many farmers into perpetual debt.

Yet Hannah and other tradwife accounts will easily maintain their prominence going into 2024. For many women, who increasingly report “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” and disillusionment with the “girlboss” lifestyle, these influencers offer an idyllic alternative to urban life. They are illuminating a deeper hunger among women, especially among Generation Z.

A quick search on Google Trends shows that the term “tradwife” gained popularity in 2018, but peaked in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated women’s return to the home. Instead of being confined to religious or ultrawealthy women, the tradwife movement entered mainstream discussions. It offered women the chance to reclaim the ingredients of happiness—faith, family, community, and meaningful work—back from the career-focused model they grew up with.

Popular online accounts (explored here and here) tend to show women who don the clothes and lifestyle that they perceive women in a previous era embodied: shirtwaist dresses, aprons, a rejection of formal work outside the home, and a heavy emphasis on homemaking and care for children.

Instead of finding the home stuffy, boring, or trivial, many women found greater purpose and satisfaction than they previously imagined. Initially, the pandemic gave women the ultimate “permission slip” to explore the domestic realm (stay inside to stay alive). Later, popular and aesthetically pleasing tradwife accounts gave women the encouragement they needed to combat the outspoken expectations that all women, even mothers, ought to rejoin the 9-to-5 workforce.

It’s worth considering why Gen Z women, who have the most professional opportunities and fewest barriers to education, work, and politics, would flock in large numbers to tradwife influencers. No doubt the online accounts are more intense in their expressions of femininity, homemaking, or anti-feminist sentiment than the average follower, but then, this is always the case with influencers.

For Gen Z women who have observed the unhappy zero-sum game that is the battle of the sexes, many feel that the modern world, for all its promises, has failed them. They’re looking for an older, and truer, model for how to live a good life. Or, as Carmel Richardson said, “There are too many elders who give bad advice about marriage and family. I am trying to become the matriarch I want to see in the world.”

Similarly, it’s worth asking why this movement provokes many others to mockery or disgust. As one influencer said, “What if their husband leaves them? Then how will they support themselves?” For women who grew up observing the impact of no-fault divorce, family breakdown, the sexual revolution, and the rigid careerism of the 1990s, it seems as though their plan for survival is to depend on no one, especially a man, to provide for them.

The exhaustion and subsequent disenchantment this has produced in Gen Z is enough to spark a counterrevolution.

The harm is not borne equally, either. As both Aaron Renn and Mary Harrington have pointed out, the current workforce has meant that for elite or upper-class women to work, they require other women, who would rather stay home with their own children, to serve as nannies and day care workers just to make ends meet. Many tradwife accounts encourage women, insofar as they can, to return to their own homes and release poorer women from the expectation of handling their child care, cooking, or cleaning.

Notably, a Refinery29 article recognized this appeal for minority women: “Traditional marriage is the key to Black women’s liberation from being overworked, economic insecurity, and the stress of trying to survive in a world hostile to our survival and existence.”

Implicit in the tradwife model, of course, is the financial and ideological support of a husband. It requires husband and wife to work together in distinct roles toward a shared vision—one that ideally allows each the margin to flourish in their given space. In this way, tradwives represent a sort of anti-fragility that, in the words of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is not merely resilient in the face of difficulty, but grows stronger because of it.

At their best, tradwives require more of the men around them. Rather than trying to replace the men in their lives (father, husband, perhaps employer) when they fail, such tradwives hold them accountable to provide, protect, and grow within the family. Few things could sound scarier to a woman who has been failed by a man she thought she could trust through divorce, unfaithfulness, or abandonment. Nonetheless, many women are realizing that the happiness they desire requires reliance upon a husband and other family members to succeed.

Whether it’s a corporate girlie, an academic, or a tradwife, each dreams of and relies upon a wealthy patron to support the lifestyle she wants to live. While some tradwives denounce all work “outside the home,” many run small businesses, write or blog, and contrary to the Luddite stereotype, manage savvy social media influencer accounts. They take the time and flexibility that their lifestyle offers and seek creative uses of their time that bless their family, their community, and the causes they care about.

Certainly, some aspects of the tradwife movement range from alt-right pagan beliefs to unrealistic forms of live-action role-play. At the heart of it, however, is a positive attempt by many women to embrace marriage and motherhood.

Countercultural movements tend to overcorrect to provide the next generation of women with a moderate option between the two ideological extremes of careerism and the rejection of all “paid work.”

For Gen Z, the result may be that women receive the flexibility and support to pursue a family and work amenable to their goals and the demands of each season.


The swastika stands for evil and mass murder. So does the hammer and sickle

But the Left like and forgive Communism because it is the ultimate case of what they want: Control over other people. They want to reform the world and you need control for that. They also despise ordinary people so killing millions of them is no problem

by Jeff Jacoby

THE WEEK that just ended was bracketed by two anniversaries in the history of 20th-century totalitarianism.
Sunday was the centennial of the death of Vladimir Lenin. The architect of the Bolshevik Revolution and first ruler of the Soviet Union was 53 when he died of a brain hemorrhage on Jan. 21, 1924.

Saturday was the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the extermination camp in Poland where 1.1 million victims were murdered by Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1945. The United Nations in 2005 designated Jan. 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Why has the UN never dedicated a similar day of remembrance for the victims of communism?

The communist system introduced by Lenin has led to more slaughter and suffering than any other movement in history. For sheer murderous horror, there has never been a force to compare to it. The Nazis didn't come close. Adolf Hitler's regime eradicated 6 million Jews in the unprecedented genocide of the Holocaust. The Germans also killed at least 5 million non-Jews, among them ethnic Poles, prisoners of war, Romani people, and the disabled.

But the Nazi toll adds up to barely a tenth of the lives that have been extinguished by communist dictatorships. According to The Black Book of Communism, a magisterial compendium of communist crimes first published in France in 1997, the fanaticism unleashed by Lenin's revolution has sent at least 100 million men, women, and children to early graves. Beginning in 1917, communist regimes on four continents — from Russia and Eastern Europe to China and North Korea to Cuba and Ethiopia — engineered death on a scale unmatched in human annals.

Yet communism rarely evokes the instinctive loathing that Nazism does. To this day there are those who still insist that communism is admirable and wholesome, or that it has never been properly implemented, or that with all its failings it is better than capitalism. Many people who would find it unthinkable to deck themselves in Nazi regalia — when Britain's Prince Harry wore a swastika armband to a costume party in 2005, a major scandal ensued — view communist-themed fashion as trendy or kitschy.

In Manhattan's East Village, the popular KGB Bar — named after the USSR's terrifying security network of secret police and torture sites — features Soviet propaganda posters and literary readings. Would any New York hipster ever set foot in a pub called Gestapo? Amazon sells scores of shirts with hammer-and-sickle designs or the images of communist dictators like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, who were among the greatest mass killers in history. Search for "Nazi T-shirts," on the other hand, and what comes up are shirts showing a swastika in a red circle with a slash ("No Nazis") or proclaiming: "Punch a Nazi."

What accounts for the difference? Both Nazism and communism filled the world with pain, terror, and death. Yet communists are not regarded with the same revulsion that Nazis are. In the public's perception, Hitler and his Nazi Party have no equal as incarnations of supreme evil. Why isn't communist tyranny viewed the same way?

A number of reasons suggest themselves.

First: In the war against Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union ended up fighting alongside the Allies. World War II gave way to the long-drawn-out Cold War, but America's alliance with Moscow left in many minds the belief that when it mattered most, the communists were on our side. After all, the free world had labeled Nazis as the supreme evil. So anyone who helped destroy Nazis must not have been supremely evil themselves.

Second: The Nazis made little effort to disguise the abhorrent malignance on which their movement was based, above all its genocidal antisemitism. They made no secret of their implacable hatred for Jews and other "subhumans" or their belief that an Aryan master race should rule the world. Conversely, communist movements have almost always cloaked their malice and brutality with tempting rhetoric about equality, peace, and an end to exploitation. Partly as a result, the myth persists to this day that communism is really a noble ideology with the potential to liberate mankind.

Third: Nazism was utterly discredited by the fate meted out to Nazi Germany — unconditional surrender, an Allied occupation, war-crimes trials, and the hanging of senior Nazis. By contrast, communist dictatorships in Moscow and elsewhere entrenched their hold on power. The end of the Cold War eventually brought down communist governments in Russia and Europe, but even then, there was no public accounting for the ghastly crimes they had committed.

Fourth: The Holocaust became such a "byword for modern barbarism," as the authors of "The Black Book of Communism" put it, that even mass murders of greater magnitude in the communist world seem to recede in significance. In crucial ways, the Holocaust stands alone: Nazi Germany deployed every resource at its command to construct a vast industry of death with the goal of rounding up and destroying every single Jew in Europe — not as a means to an end but as an end in itself. There is good reason that so much attention has been paid to the Holocaust by scholars, historians, educators, and artists. As a result, however, the far greater level of bloodshed committed by communist regimes has never achieved the same public awareness.

Fifth: There are pictures of what the Nazis did. Filmmakers and photographers entered the death camps in 1945 and recorded what they found, providing images that shocked the world's conscience and became iconic emblems of human savagery. But there were no Allies to liberate the Soviet gulag or to halt the agonies of Mao's Great Leap Forward. If there are photos or films of those atrocities, few have ever seen them. The victims of communism have tended to be invisible — and suffering that isn't seen is suffering most people don't think about.

These are explanations only, not justifications. Nazism was unspeakably evil and only an ignoramus or a monster would deny it. Communism, too, has been unspeakably evil — no "ism" in history has spilled more blood or crushed more lives. From anyone with a conscience or a working moral compass, the response to both should be the same: Never forget, never forgive.


Another Infant Formula Shortage? Blame the FDA

On December 28, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration received information that a sample from a hypoallergenic infant formula called Nutramigen was contaminated with salmonella. Since then, Nutramigen’s producer Reckitt/Mead Johnson Nutrition voluntarily recalled 675,000 cans of formula and began undergoing hygiene and safety inspections conducted by the FDA. The plant is still under inspection.

The recall and ensuing plant shutdown are causing a national shortage of hypoallergenic infant formula. While less common than standard formula, hypoallergenic is vital for an estimated ten percent of infants with severe protein allergies who need it to receive adequate nutrition.

The shortage is quickly getting worse. Infant formula producer websites urge parents to check their real-time inventory updates to see if stores within 200 miles of their zip code have supplies. Facebook groups with over 1,000 members recently formed to support parents struggling to find hypoallergenic formulas for their infants.

Fearing a return to the devastating infant formula shortage of 2022, several politicians are demanding accountability and answers.

Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey Jr. from Pennsylvania wrote Reckitt/Mead Johnson Nutrition to ask whether they anticipate further supply disruptions, if other plants can ramp up production to mitigate the shortage, and whether the FDA’s inspection is preventing Nutramigen from reaching shelves.

Writing directly to the FDA, Florida Senator Rick Scott wants to know what the agency is doing to help other infant formula producers make more hypoallergenic formulas and when the facility where the contaminated formula was found will be operating again.

Both senators and countless parents have the right to be upset and concerned. However, asking the FDA for guidance and remedies for this formula shortage fundamentally misunderstands the source of the problem.

Much like the current shortage, the devastating infant formula shortages in 2022 began with massive recalls after the FDA received information that some infants became sick after using formula produced by a plant in Sturgis, Michigan. The plant started recalls and underwent a full inspection. The plant remained closed for months after the inspection– even when the US infant formula supply shrank by 40 percent.

If anything, the FDA is doing a worse job in detaining plants from reopening safely this time. According to the agency’s report, “The voluntarily recalled Nutramigen product was manufactured between June 6, 2023, and June 29, 2023.” Thus, it’s overwhelmingly likely that any contaminated formula was consumed months ago.

Rather than urging the FDA to work quickly and help producers, the agency could dramatically improve the problem by eliminating barriers to importing formula.

As my co-author and I addressed in an article in Fortune written during the first infant formula shortage, the FDA could quickly increase formula supplies by relaxing their mandatory 90-day waiting period to allow foreign formula to hit markets. The agency also prohibits foreign formulas that do not meet nutritional labeling requirements even when the agency’s nutritional standards are met.

None of these easy-to-implement ideas were considered in 2022 and are less likely to be used now. Instead, European formula producers are more likely to face additional regulatory hurdles as part of the agency’s most recent effort to increase oversight over imported goods.

Sadly, as I noted in a blog for The Beacon last November, despite the FDA claiming they “never want to have this [formula shortages] happen again,” they haven’t addressed any of the reasons for infant formula shortages in the US.

Until they do, we remain vulnerable to more shortages, this being just another predictable example.


This Jewish Cancer Counselor Got Fired For Objecting to an Anti-Trump DEI Assignment. Now, She’s Suing

A veteran social worker who says she was fired for expressing concern over racial harassment against her as a Jewish woman and political harassment over her ties to the Trump administration is suing for wrongful termination.

Tammy Weitzman last week sued her former employer, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, now known as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, for racial and political discrimination and for retaliating against her when she spoke up about it.

“I was called a white k–e, and I was harassed over knowing a high-ranking Cabinet member in the Trump administration,” Weitzman told The Daily Signal in an exclusive interview, using an offensive term for Jewish individuals.

She had helped care for a daughter of the Trump administration official, Weitzman said.

The leader of the group legally representing Weitzman, Coalition for Liberty President Doug Turpin, recounted how the Seattle cancer center responded when his client expressed concern to her boss about the harassment. Weitzman herself, not those harassing her, ended up in hot water. The cancer center forced her to take “racial equity” training.

When Weitzman later spoke about her experiences facing harassment as a Jewish woman, the “equity” facilitators told her that she was white.

According to the lawsuit, Weitzman’s coworkers often sent her unsolicited emails condemning the Trump administration and blaming her for Trump’s policies. When she reported the harassment, the suit says, the director of the center’s human resources office told her to simply “deal with it” and warned her that she likely would face retaliation if she filed a formal complaint.

Weitzman worked as an oncology social worker, providing counseling and therapy services for cancer patients and their families.

“While other folks on the team were able to ensure that these patients had enough resources, a place to stay, and gas money to get to the clinic, my role was very clinical,” Weitzman told The Daily Signal.

Weitzman said she had wanted to work with cancer patients since her childhood because her father died of cancer when she was 5. Until her firing, she told The Daily Signal, she had been a social worker specializing in cancer patients for “almost 23 years.”

Weitzman worked at the Seattle cancer center from January 2016 to February 2021, receiving a raise and many favorable commendations for her work, but got fired abruptly Feb. 5.

Other employees repeatedly used racial slurs against her, and her supervisors ignored them or “told me [it] was no big deal,” she recalled.

An Anti-Trump Article

Nidhi Berry, who supervised “Race and Allyship” training sessions at the Seattle cancer center, had sent an anti-Trump article as a follow-up to a racial sensitivity training that Jan. 21, the day after Joe Biden became president, according to the lawsuit. That article made generalizations about Jewish people that Weitzman found offensive.

Weitzman told The Daily Signal that the article contained instructions to lecture those around her, including her cancer patients, about Trump. She said Berry asked her to use the article “to talk about racism with patients and families.”

The social worker found that highly unethical, she said, not in the least because such political posturing isn’t remotely of interest to cancer patients:

They’re concerned about their lives. Caring for cancer patients, receiving cancer treatment, working in a cancer hospital, working in any cancer facility or any medical institution should be an apolitical matter. Period. End of story.

I should not be compelled to talk to patients about politics and about President Trump and how evil the Left thinks that he is. This is wrong—and yet this is happening everywhere.

When Weitzman complained about the article to Tiffany Courtnage, her direct boss, Courtnage told her to bring up the issue directly with Berry. Weitzman objected to that approach, but ultimately followed that instruction from her boss and spoke over the phone with Berry on Jan. 21.

Although that phone conversation proved “relatively pleasant,” according to the lawsuit, one week later Berry sent an email berating Weitzman.

The Racist Email

In that email, Berry wrote to Weitzman that she was “flabbergasted that you, a white woman and fellow social worker, would choose to burden me, a woman of color, with your feelings and triggers around this post.”

Berry asserted that “Trump’s administration did inspire hate speech and violence —this is a non-negotiable fact.”

“It is the essence of white privilege to be able to focus on a tree at the expense of seeing the forest,” Berry added in the email to Weitzman. “It is the essence of white fragility to claim victimhood when you are definitely not the victim. I’m disturbed that a white woman on a social work team at a major institution like [Seattle Cancer Care Alliance] would try to play these games, would claim the status of victimhood, in the face of a woman of color, after the years of the era of Trump.”

Berry also wrote: “You’ve mentioned to me previously that you identify as Jewish, which makes this interaction from last Thursday all the more bewildering to me, considering the anti-Semitisim [that] is stoked by the hate speech and violence Trump’s administration inspired.”

Weitzman’s lawsuit argues:

In Ms. Weitzman’s view, it is the essence of racial discrimination to assume that an individual must or should hold certain political or social views, based on his or her race. Moreover, to be lumped in with members of the white race, despite her Jewish heritage, and to be told that her views on the matter of racial discrimination did not matter because being Jewish was equivalent to being white for purposes of racial discussions, was deeply offensive and disconcerting.

Berry copied Courtnage on her email, along with HR. The cancer center’s training supervisor explicitly rejected Weitzman’s request for mutual understanding and tolerance, stating: “I will not privilege you or any other white person’s comfort over the safety of people of color and Black people, and I certainly won’t privilege your comfort over equitable patient outcomes.”

An Abrupt Termination

A little over one week after Berry’s email, Weitzman met with Courtnage and Courtnage’s boss, James Jorgenson, who fired her.

According to the lawsuit, Jorgenson said the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance fired Weitzman because her “ethnicity sensitivity” and her core values did not align with the values of her employer, and Courtnage was unable to discuss the issue with her.


My other blogs. Main ones below:



Sunday, January 28, 2024

The ADL has lost its way

Originally a Jewish defence organization, the ADL lost its way under Abe Foxman, who swung the organization Leftward and made it more anti-Christian than pro Jewish. So what is it doing now under Jonathan Greenblatt?

With the huge upsurge in public antisemitism now underway, you would think it would be returning to its original focus of combatting antisemitism. Not a bit of it! Instead they have just adopted the current Leftist hobbyhorse of transgenderism! They care more about sexual confusion than the welfare of Jews. Unbelievable. See below where they focus heavily on attacking transgender critics. Leftism really is a cancer of the brain

The Anti-Defamation League flags “online amplifiers of LGBTQ+ hate” as extremists to be examined by law enforcement, an email obtained by The Oversight Project shows.

The revelation indicates that the Anti-Defamation League, “the leading anti-hate organization in the world,” is specifically pushing law enforcement to scrutinize viral dissenters against transgender ideology, such as The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh and The Manhattan Institute’s Chris Rufo. The email was obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)

The ADL has historically focused on anti-semitism, but in recent years has directed heavy attention to hate and extremism. The ADL has described content pushing back against transgender ideology as both “dangerous” and “false,” claiming that this content inspires “real-world extremist activities, threats, and even violence.”

“The ADL, and similar organizations, are a key driver of government weaponization,” Mike Howell, the director of the Oversight Project, a division of the Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “They provide the phony predication and intellectual cover in order to point the people with guns at their enemies. Our investigative work continues to expose examples of these groups driving government action.”

The Extremist Landscape

Oversight’s Freedom of Information Act request to Washington State Fusion Center (a “unified counterterrorism” center) turned out a February 2023 email on “the extremist landscape” from the ADL. The email was sent to Tyler Phelan, an intelligence analyst at the center, from the ADL’s “Law Enforcement” address.

The email bears the subject line: “White Supremacist Fight Clubs, Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate.” It then paints a picture of the “extremist landscape:” threats of Islamic terrorism, an alleged rise in white supremacist crews encouraging violence, and “online amplifiers of LGBTQ+ Hate” promoting “false narratives, escalating harassment of LGBTQ+ individuals.”

This section on “LGBTQ+ Hate” describes content pushed by online actors “including the vilification of drag shows” and “baseless claims of ‘child grooming’ by LGBTQ+ people.” The ADL alleges that this content has “further endangered and isolated an already at-risk community,” noting that “these accusations and stances have also been adopted by right-wing media personalities and disseminated on mainstream platforms.”

“The growing online anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry puts LGBTQ+ individuals at greater risk of physical violence and harassment,” the email notes. It refers readers to its blog for more information, and notes that ADL’s Center on Extremism monitors “extremism across the ideological spectrum” through investigators, analysts, researchers, and technical experts.

ADL touts its Center on Extremism as “the nation’s foremost nongovernmental authority on extremism.” It is comprised of “investigators, analysts, researchers and technical experts who strategically monitor and expose extremist threats—on the internet and on the ground.”

That email bears remarkable similarities in both wording and structure to the ADL’s blog post on “Online Amplifiers of Anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism” — a blog post that specifically names the viral “Libs of TikTok” social media account run by Chaya Raichik, the Gays Against Groomers social media account run by Jaimee Michell, the media company Blaze Media, Rufo, and Walsh.

According to that blog post, the ADL is interested in the government targeting these types of individuals due to their influence online related to transgender ideology.

“ADL is advocating for government partners to strengthen laws against perpetrators of online hate, as well as consulting with law enforcement partners to act on online hate speech that incites violence and/or credible threats,” the blog post reads. “ADL will continue to develop community partnerships with LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations such as GLAAD, in efforts to counter hate speech with positive speech.”

That article represents a collaboration between the pro-LGBTQ group GLAAD and the ADL intended to “counter anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism and Hate.” The collaboration explicitly aims to “alert law enforcement and community organizations to threats targeting LGBTQ+ individuals and institutions.”

“You can draw a direct line from anti-LGBTQ content and accounts on social media to real world violence: from extremists showing up at drag shows to vandalism at LGBTQ community centers to bomb threats being called into children’s hospitals that care for transgender youth,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in the November 2022 press release announcing the collaboration.

It appears that the ADL email to the Washington State Fusion Center employee links to this blog post — the email includes links that The Daily Signal could not confirm, specifically on the phrase “online actors” and the phrase “baseless claims,” referring to supposedly baseless claims of child grooming and the “vilification of drag shows.” The ADL did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Law Enforcement Denies Investigations
Chris Loftis, director of communications for the Washington State Patrol, a key partner in the Washington State Fusion Center, denied that there are currently investigations into Walsh, Rufo, Raichik, Libs of TikTok, or Gays Against Groomers.

He also said of Washington state law enforcement agencies that, though they might review information from “an organization like ADL,” they would “recognize that they, like any organization or individual, would be organized and energized around core beliefs and mission thrusts that could impact their perspectives.”

“Therefore, we treat every source of information the same, with appropriate appreciation and skepticism, regardless of where they might be on the political spectrum and do our due diligence assessing the validity of any information received,” he added. “If, after that type of broad-spectrum and multiple source review, we have actionable intelligence on a credible threat, we take appropriate action.”

“We do not investigate anyone or anything ‘at the direction of the Anti-Defamation League,'” Loftis added, referencing The Daily Signal’s press inquiry. “We receive tips from a variety of sources and interested parties and we follow each to its logical conclusion to assess if any possible public safety threat actually exists.”


Missouri Trans Clinic Whistleblower Has a Message for the Left

Jamie Reed, the former clinician who blew the whistle last year on a gender clinic in St. Louis, tells “The Daily Signal Podcast” that there are more whistleblowers out there, and she raises the alarm about the “totalitarian” mentality of large LGBTQ organizations that seek to silence those who disagree with them.

She also warns leaders on the Left that most Americans oppose rushing kids to medical “treatments” that will likely harm them.

“We were seeing systematic harms,” Reed says of the experimental medical interventions the clinic performed on children. However, “we were never stopping treatments.”

“In medicine, there should be this built-in ‘We did X, patient is worse, we need to consider stopping X,’” the whistleblower says. She recalls the story of a 19-year-old patient who had a double mastectomy. “Within three months, she called us back, begging for her breasts to be put back on.”

The whistleblower insists that “the best way to treat” what she called “gender distress” in children is “to figure out the underlying reasons for that gender distress.” In many cases, it traces back to “early sexual abuse, early sexual trauma, trauma in their family,” which should be resolved in therapy, not through medical interventions.

Yet, the medical industry continues to push experimental transgender medical interventions for children, even though doctors have warned that minors cannot consent to interventions with lifelong consequences, such as potential sterilization.

Reed says she is in contact with more clinic workers who will likely blow the whistle on substandard care. “I know there are other whistleblowers. I know because I talk to some of them,” she says.

“I have actually been working really closely with an amazing group of adult lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people who are all opposed to pediatric medical transitions,” Reed adds. “We’ve put together an LGBT Courage Coalition.”

She says it’s hard for whistleblowers to come forward, so she aims to “give them a place to reach out, a soft landing, a group of us who are willing to walk them through their own process” to go public—or not—in their own time.

“I think the public should know that I am not the only one,” Reed adds.

The whistleblower first published her story in The Free Press, a new independent outlet founded by former New York Times editor Bari Weiss. Weiss herself is married to another woman.

“We really have seen, basically, an erosion of the press in the United States, and the press on this issue has really been beholden to—they’ve been bullied by historic LGBT organizations,” Reed notes. “The New York Times writes a piece, and, you know, the GLAAD truck shows up calling them transphobes.”

“We need journalists to go back to what journalism is supposed to be, which is seeking out the truth, no matter how hard and who that offends,” the whistleblower adds.

Reed, who herself identifies as LGBT (without the “Q”), also describes herself as “progressive” and “married to a trans man.”

When asked what she would say to the big LGBTQ organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and the allied Southern Poverty Law Center that push transgender “treatments” on children, Reed—who herself identifies as LGBT—had a stern response.

“Simply put, they have gotten this wrong,” she says. “The science is incorrect, and these treatments are, at their core, harming young gay and lesbian people.”

Reed also warns that these groups have helped “institutionalize bullying.”

“So much of this started out that we just wanted to be kind and to fight bullies,” she explains. “Instead, they themselves have become organizations that bully those who don’t agree with every single thing they say into silence.

“That is not any sort of community I want to live in,” Reed adds. “I don’t want to claim to be in a community of the LGBT, and you all have to think the same, and free speech has been eroded and taken away.”

Her criticism grows even harsher: “I did not sign up to be in a totalitarian anything, and that’s how they’ve been behaving.”

Reed also urges leaders in the Democratic Party to reconsider their position on these issues.

“The Democrats are also with us on this,” she says, referring not to the party leaders, but to “the grassroots, the people. When you explain what’s going on, they’re not in support of sterilizing children.”

“It’s not a partisan issue,” Reed insists. “This is basics. Science, the rights of women, and the rights of gay and lesbian people to grow up with whole, intact bodies.”


Judge says Canada's use of Emergencies Act to quell truckers' protests over COVID was unreasonable and unconstitutional.

A Canadian judge has ruled that the government’s use of the Emergencies Act to quell weeks of protests by truckers and others angry over COVID-19 restrictions in 2022 was unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Up to thousands of protesters clogged the streets of the capital of Ottawa and besieged Parliament Hill, demonstrating against vaccine mandates for truckers and other precautions and condemning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.

The act allowed authorities to declare certain areas as no-go zones. It also allowed police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compel tow truck companies to haul away vehicles.

Members of the self-styled Freedom Convoy also blockaded U.S.-Canada border crossings in protest. Police arrested 11 people at the blockaded crossing at Coutts, Alberta, opposite Montana, after learning of a cache of guns and ammunition.

In the decision released Tuesday, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley said the invocation of the Emergencies Act led to the infringement of constitutional rights.

“I conclude that there was no national emergency justifying the invocation of the Emergencies Act and the decision to do so was therefore unreasonable,” Mosley wrote.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government will appeal. Freeland said it was a hard decision to invoke the act but called the protests a serious threat to public safety, national security and Canada's economic security.

“I don’t want to minimize the gravity of the actions we took. Neither do I want to minimize the gravity of the threats Canada faced," Freeland said.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and several other groups and individuals argued in court that Ottawa ushered in the emergency measures without sound grounds.

The government contended the steps it took were targeted, proportional, time-limited and compliant with Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A public commission led by another judge previously concluded most of the emergency measures were appropriate.

The protests were first aimed at a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers. They eventually encompassed fury over COVID-19 restrictions and dislike of Trudeau, reflecting the spread of disinformation in Canada and simmering populist and right-wing anger.

The Freedom Convoy shook Canada’s reputation for civility, inspired convoys in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands and interrupted economic trade. For almost a week the busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit was blocked. It sees more than 25% of trade between the countries.


Ohio Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto, Bans Trans Procedures for Minors

The Ohio Senate voted on Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that would ban gender transition procedures for minors and prohibit male athletes from playing on female sports teams.

The state Senate voted 23-9 to override the veto. The state House voted 65-28 to do the same earlier this month. Republicans have a majority in both chambers.

The vote mostly followed party lines, except for state Sen. Nathan Manning, a Cuyahoga County Republican who consistently breaks from his party on the issue.

Mr. DeWine vetoed the bill in late December, to the chagrin of his party, telling reporters during a press conference that such a measure, if allowed to become law, would do more harm than good.

The bill, also known as the Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation Act, would ban doctors from performing gender-related surgeries and administering puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors.

Other provisions of the bill would bar schools from allowing male athletes to join female sports teams in high schools and colleges, reflecting a nationwide trend to address concerns about fairness in women’s sports.

The ban is set to take effect in 90 days.

Advocates of the bill argue that irreversible interventions related to individuals’ favored gender identity can have long-term consequences, urging instead for a shift toward compassionate mental health care and therapy for minors.

Ohio has joined North Carolina and Louisiana in overriding the governor’s veto to enact similar bans.

Republican State Rep. Gary Click, the bill’s primary sponsor, celebrated the Senate vote and stressed that the disagreement between the legislative and executive branches was about policy, not personality.

Mr. Click said he is confident that Mr. DeWine, in vetoing the bill, acted from the heart and did what he believed was right. He added that, in time, the governor may have come around to the stance of his fellow Republicans on the matter.

“The legislature, however, felt just as strongly if not more so that HB 68 was imperative to save lives, uphold medical ethics, and reaffirm women’s rights,” Mr. Click said in a statement. “The citizens of Ohio were unequivocal in their demand that the legislature act and we did.”

Mr. Click celebrated the veto as a move that ensures “children have the right to grow up intact and that women are no longer subject to men invading their spaces.”

LGBT rights groups, such as Human Rights Campaign, have condemned the legislation, calling the ban “draconian and discriminatory.” The organization has said the bill prevents young people from accessing “best practice, medically necessary health care in defiance of the expert advice of every major medical association.”

However, groups in support of the ban, such as Alliance Defending Freedom, say it protects children from the harm of irreversible procedures.

Senior Counsel Matt Sharp, director of the ADF Center for Legislative Advocacy, applauded the Ohio Senate’s action.

“We commend the Ohio Senate for overriding Gov. Mike DeWine’s misguided veto of the SAFE Act, a bill that rejects the politicized and harmful practice of pushing minors towards irreversible drugs and surgeries in favor of compassionate mental health care that gives them time to grow into comfort with their bodies and true identities,” Mr. Sharp said in a statement.

Mr. Sharp said that denying there are two sexes risks harm to children who may experience gender dysphoria, and need their families to “guide them toward this truth” rather than undergo often irreversible and life-altering experimentation and drugs.

Gender dysphoria is described as discomfort felt about one’s sex. Recent approaches to treatment have been typically to encourage the individual, usually a minor, to undergo surgery or chemical treatments so that they can force their body to look more like the gender they identify with, including by taking puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and even surgical procedures to remove breast tissue or genitals. Some who have undergone such treatments have later said they felt tricked into it and expressed regret, saying that while the interventions brought temporary relief, they later realized they had deeper underlying mental health issues that were causing their internal distress.

Mr. Sharp said these approaches to treating gender dysphoria—which block healthy puberty, alter a person’s hormonal balance, or remove healthy organs and body parts—“are dangerous.”

“No one has the right to harm children and, thankfully, states have the power—and duty—to protect them. Ohio joins more than 20 other states and several European countries in fighting for truth and curtailing the deployment of harmful surgeries and drugs that are devastating countless lives,” he added.

After the state House vote, Mr. DeWine reiterated his belief that parents should be allowed to make medical decisions on behalf of their children rather than the government.

Despite moving to veto the legislation, in January, the governor signed an executive order that critics labeled a “de facto ban” on such procedures for minors and adults.


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Thursday, January 25, 2024

Jesus was a born God (μονογενὴς θεὸς )

That's what it says in the original Greek of John 1:18.

θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

(No man hath seen God at any time, the *only begotten Son*, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. KJV)

Mainstream Christianity embraces the Athanasian trinity doctrine that identifies Jesus as God. The doctrine is rather confusing but it clearly identifies Jesus as eternal. That has always seemed nuts to me. Jesus prayed to God he was not God himself.

So I have come across something that is great fun indeed: The usage of "monogenēs theos" in the original Greek of John 1:18. See above. A single-born god! Is that not clear enough that Jesus was created, despite having divine attributes?

The KJV (see above) translates "μονογενὴς θεὸς" as "only begotten son" in that passage. And the Griesbach recension of the Greek has that usage too "monogenes huios", begotten son. So I was unaware that both Westcott & Hort and Nestle recensions give "monogenēs theos". "theos" must be better attested than "huios" in the early MSS. Westcott & Hort above.

So in the light of the best modern recensions of the original Greek text, the translation "only begotten son" is absurd. The original text says "single-born GOD" -- μονογενὴς θεὸς. Jesus was a god but not THE god. That's what it says. He was in the bosom of THE god: In the bosom of τοῦ πατρὸς (THE father)

Huge fun however is the way most modern translations render "monogenēs theos". They either miss out "monogenes" entirely or say simply "only". And some stick with "son", despite that not being in the best renderings of the original Greek text. Though the NIV has the grace to put "son" in brackets! It is obviously a hugely embarrassing passage to them. Embarrassing enough for them to mistranslate it deliberately. They are just incapable of saying that Christ was both "genes", "born", "conceived" (perhaps "generated" in modern terms) but also a "theos", a god! "A born God". Let those words sink in.

I suppose trinitarians will waffle their way around that, as they usually do, but there is nothing unclear or mysterious in the original text. If the text had said a born son, it could have meant Christ's incarnation. But it does not. It was not a man that was born. It was a God.

Needless to say, the theologians and exegetes have gone wild trying to tell us that the text does not mean what it says. They say that μονογενὴς (monogenes) just refers to a particular person etc. And they then give a pile of excerpts from classical and Biblical Greek in support of that. They also quote Liddell & Scott's definitions in support of their claims. But all the examples they give are in fact of naturally born people and people identified by their particular birth. Putting it another way, Greeks would on occasions refer to people as "borns", for various reasons. But born still meant born.

But let's leave the μονο aside and just look at γενὴς. They won't like Liddell & Scott's first definition of "genea", which is "of the persons in a family". Not the mystical persons of the trinity but the individual persons of a normal family. And let us look at a word we all know: "Genesis". It's exactly the same word in Greek and English and it's a form of γενὴς. And we know what it refers to, don't we? A beginning. So Christ was a god who had a beginning, a birth.

I would have been burnt at the stake for saying that at times in the past. But it is not me speaking. It is John 1:18.


Feminist movie bombs at the Oscars


Dirty blonde man meat Ryan Gosling, who played Ken in the summer blockbuster Barbie, is outraged that the Oscars have snubbed his co-star and director.

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie weren't nominated for Best Director or Best Actress.

The horror!

What's more, the Academy tapped Gosling for best-supporting actor, which – in accordance with Barbie code of honor – compelled him to undergo ritual self-flagellation.

'There is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie…' he said in a breathless statement rushed out to the media.

Well, that's true of a lot of movies, Ryan. You also need cameramen and caterers! Do they deserve a golden statue?

It's difficult to imagine how Gosling's 'everyone gets a prize' standard would work in practice. But what else should we expect from a plastic man with no genitals?

You can almost hear the baby goose's insufferable blubbering, which is, of course, wholly disingenuous unless he withdraws his name from consideration.

You want to overthrow the patriarchy, boy? Keep yo' name out of Academy voters' mouths, hero!

But perhaps the juiciest, most satisfying irony of all of this is that the helpless, idiot boy doll got the award - while the proud, brave Barbie girls got nothing.

And I thought only The Handmaid's Tale was a true story.

The vicious global cabal of misogynist film critics has triumphed yet again!

Oh please, I can't stop laughing.


No policy consequences are ‘unintended’

Whenever government intervention in the private sector is ineffective — and especially when it is counterproductive — commentators frequently express surprise and excuse the consequences as unintentional or unanticipated.

Do rent controls shrink the supply of apartments, degrade housing as landlords skimp on amenities and maintenance expenses and cause them to charge extra for keys and parking spaces?

Do minimum-wage laws lessen job openings for low-skilled workers, and prompt employers to reduce the number of paid hours, substitute machines for labor, reduce nonwage benefits and cut off the bottom rungs of career ladders, propping up union wage scales?

Did business lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and school closures during the protracted COVID-19 pandemic produce widespread economic hardship, inflict lifelong learning losses on K12 students and raise morbidity and mortality as people deferred routine health care screening and elective surgeries?

Do offering needle exchanges and subsidizing housing for the homeless unconditioned on behavioral changes encourage homelessness?

Don’t blame us for those unhappy outcomes, many politicians and policymakers say. Our intentions were good. Blame the “greedy” capitalists or the wreckers bent on undermining constructive social welfare goals.

Voters should be skeptical of such self-serving rhetoric. They should rely instead on the evidence of governmental failure before their own eyes.

In a 1975 “supplementary note” to his seminal and widely cited 1971 article on the theory of economic regulation, Nobel-laureate George Stigler challenged the conventional wisdom that the problematic effects of many public policies can be excused by policymakers’ ignorance, the time pressures under which they operate or inadequate budgets.

Relying on the evidence he assembled, sometimes with Claire Friedland, on many federal alphabet agencies, Stigler showed that regulations often benefited the regulated companies rather than their customers. Proposing what has since been called the “capture theory,” Stigler advised students of regulatory processes “to look, as precisely and carefully as [they] can, at who gains and who loses, and how much,” rather than accepting political posturing at face value.

More provocatively, in seeking to explain why a regulatory policy persists, especially in the face of evidence that its real effects are “unrelated or perversely related” to its announced goals, Stigler argued that “the truly intended effects should be deduced from the actual effects.”

Mistakes of course are possible, but for longstanding, widely adopted policies “it is fruitful to assume that the real effects were known and desired.”

“[A]n explanation of a policy in terms of error or confusion is no explanation at all — anything and everything is compatible with that ‘explanation,’” he continued.

Stigler’s plea for looking beyond politicians’ and policymakers’ attempts to justify interventions as byproducts of their good intentions (and to excuse their frequent policy failures) echoes Frédéric Bastiat’s distinction between “good” and “bad” economists.

In laying out his famous fallacy of the broken window, Bastiat (1801–1850) emphasized that bad economists grasp only the immediate effects of a public policy, or, “that which is seen,” whereas good economists anticipate the sometimes-fatal second- or third-order consequences, “that which is unseen.”

Because the “science” underpinning public policy always is provisional, and necessarily is filtered through and often deformed by political processes, ordinary people must be wary of governmental “experts” and perhaps those affiliated with elite institutions of higher education. Small numbers of good economists and public health professionals warned of the readily foreseen social costs of the harmful information propagated by government officials and the draconian policies they advised during the COVID-19 era.

As Stigler and Bastiat taught, the regulatory costs imposed on the rest of us were not mistaken; nor were they inadvertent. The problem those two good economists identified goes much deeper than the identities of the politicians and bureaucrats who oversee public policies. Institutional reforms are required to change the incentives officials face, to reduce their powers and to constrain their behaviors.

Admitting and apologizing for past policy “blunders” would be a good place to start. Demanding that Congress and the administrative state objectively review the rules and policies they adopt (now very rare) would be even better.


Stunning revolt underway in Australia against political, corporate garbage policies

Robert Gottliebsen

Something very different is happening in Australia, and it has caught many political and corporate leaders on the wrong foot. Two of the leaders caught by this change, Anthony Albanese and Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci, may have woken up that they had missed the change.

This week we saw remarkable events emerging to underline the drama taking place below the surface as leaders grapple with the 2024 Australia which different to what they had expected.

In my arena I decided to collect 12 key policies of Donald Trump simply to explain to readers, including myself, what was happening below the public Trump bluster and court battles. I made a minimum of comments on those Trump polices which cover issues like migration, crime, gender, buying a house, tax cuts, tariffs, local manufacturing and of course lower energy costs as the carbon debate is turned on its head.

To my astonishment, it sparked a reader frenzy. While the drawbacks of Trump were clearly expressed, the majority of readers embraced his policies with enthusiasm and urged Peter Dutton to copy them. And, of course, none of the Trump policies involved Indigenous Australians or Australia Day. Some invited Trump to come to Australia. They wanted clear policies and leadership.

A special Roy Morgan opinion Poll, shows a majority of Australians (68.5 per cent) now say we should keep celebrating Australia Day – up 4.5 per cent from a year ago — and the date should remain at January 26 (58.5 per cent)

As the largest supermarket retailer, the Morgan poll conclusions represented Woolworths’ customers at a time when a large number of those customers are angry at supermarket prices. Clearly, Woolworths executives had lost touch with their customer base.

Wisely, Banducci took out full page advertisements that in my view represented: a “correction” and of course used all the other media channels to convey the same message.

It was classic damage control.

Then, in a most surprising decision, the Prime Minister announced that Kim Williams would be the new chair of the ABC.

Like Woolworths, the ABC had not realised the fundamental change taking place in its customer base.

I know and respect many ABC journalists, and I am not into ABC bashing. But rightly or wrongly, a big segment of its audience took the view that it was biased and they turned away. (The danger Woolworth faced).

Williams is one of the most forceful media executives in the land and when he says that he wants to restore the ABC reputation for unbiased credibility, and then he will do it. And if necessary, he will do it forcibly.

Albanese must have realised that appointing Williams as the ABC chair will mean that he and his ministers will face a lot more encounters, like the clash between the ABC’s Michael Rowland and the Prime Minister over the tax cut “promise”.

It is just possible the ABC will point out to its audience that the industrial relations bill before the Senate provides a smokescreen for an attack on mortgage and rent stressed people which, if passed, will offset the benefits they will receive via the tax cuts.

It's not an issue Albanese wants highlighted.

As my readers know Albanese by making employing casuals too complex with big fines for mistakes, he effectively stops casual employment which, if legislated, would deliver a 25 per cent cut in take home cash for those who desperately need it. And the smokescreen also extends to an unprecedented attack on the main employer of those under rent and mortgage stress, family business and greatly damages the gig economy which those under stress use to find second jobs to cover their payments.

Williams will demand that both sides of all events — not just the tax cuts and Aborigines – be fairly set out for the ABC customer base which, like the Woolworths customer base, represents the entire nation.

Commercial media needs to watch out because under Williams they face a very different ABC. But we must acknowledge that the Albanese made a decision to “rescue” the ABC in the full knowledge, but it could adversely impact portrayal of the government’s policy stances and will create unhappiness in some sectors of the ABC staff.

For Dutton issues like Australia Day and tax cuts are relatively straightforward but in watching my readers embrace Trump’s wider policy spectrum it became clear that the silent majority that turned their back on the ABC and expressed their views so clearly in the referendum and the Morgan poll have a much wider set of views which differ markedly from the views of sections of the government and large corporations.


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