Friday, August 18, 2017



Misusing Robert E. Lee

On April 12, 1861, the day secessionists in South Carolina bombarded Ft. Sumter to fire the shots that opened the American Civil War, then-Colonel Robert E. Lee was perhaps America's most accomplished soldier

Lee had served with distinction in the Mexican War, leading a reconnaissance patrol that discovered the means by which the Americans defeated the Mexicans at the battle of Cerro Gordo. He had served as Superintendent of West Point, had supervised the construction of numerous coastal fortifications, and most recently, Lee Robert E. Lee Statuecommanded the forces that captured abolitionist John Brown and the gang that had attempted to seize the government arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia and start a slave rebellion.

As America moved inexorably toward Civil War, General Winfield Scott, the highest ranking American general, and a hero of the Mexican War, told President Abraham Lincoln that he wished Lee to command the Union army. Lee, who on March 28, 1861, had ignored an offer of command in the Confederate army was offered the command on April 18, 1861, just six days after Ft. Sumter.

Lee refused the command on the grounds that he was a Virginian and owed his first allegiance to the state he believed was a sovereign entity with the right to stay in or leave the Union as it saw fit. He would, he said, not make war on the Union, but he would defend the state of his birth.

When Virginia seceded from the Union Lee said, "I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty."

Why would Lee choose the state of Virginia over the United States of America?

While Lee espused the paternalistic attitudes many Nineteenth Century Americans felt toward Africans, it certainly wasn't because he believed slavery was just; he wrote in 1856, "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil."

Lee wasn't pro-slavery, he believed, as did many others of his day, that the United States of America was merely an association of sovereign states that could, if they chose, leave it or dissolve it.

That this view had been forcefully rejected by his fellow Southerner President Andrew Jackson who wrote in a proclamation rebutting an earlier move by South Carolina to nullify federal law, "I consider, then, the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which It was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed," did not back in 1861 make it any less persuasive to many in the South and even some in the North.

We all know of Lee's legendary conduct of the Civil War campaigns in defense of Virginia, his defeat at Gettysburg and his eventual surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Were Lee's erroneous view of the Union and the Constitution and his conduct of the Confederate armies during the Civil War all we knew about Robert E. Lee there would be little controversy in removing his statues from their places of honor.

But it isn't what Lee did before and during the Civil War that makes him such an important figure in American history - and one that should be honored - it is what he did after the Civil War that earned him the memorials erected to his memory and a place in history that should be honored by all.

When Lee surrendered at Appomattox he also signed a parole document swearing upon his honor not to bear arms against the United States or to "tender aid to its enemies." Lee's surrender and his immediate parole were essential in preventing the Civil War from continuing as a destructive guerilla war that would have continued to rend the country indefinitely.

General Grant's terms provided that all officers and men were to be pardoned, and they would be sent home with their private property - most important, the horses, which could be used for a late spring planting. Officers would keep their side arms, and Lee's starving men would be given Union rations.

General Grant told his officers, "The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again." Although scattered resistance continued for several weeks, for all practical purposes the Civil War had come to an end.*

Just six weeks after Lee's surrender at Appomattox President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to persons who had participated in the rebellion against the United States. However, there were certain excepted classes and members of those classes had to make special application to the President.

Robert E. Lee was among those excepted, and there were plenty of people in the North, including members of Congress, who wanted to see him tried and executed for treason.

However, there was one man who refused to countenance such a course of action; General Ulysses S. Grant. Grant rightly understood that fulfilling the terms of his parole of Robert E. Lee were essential to healing the wounds of the Civil War.

Just two months after the surrender at Appomattox Lee sent an application to Grant and wrote to President Johnson on June 13, 1865:

"Being excluded from the provisions of amnesty & pardon contained in the proclamation of the 29th Ulto; I hereby apply for the benefits, & full restoration of all rights & privileges extended to those included in its terms. I graduated at the Mil. Academy at West Point in June 1829. Resigned from the U.S. Army April '61. Was a General in the Confederate Army, & included in the surrender of the Army of N. Va. 9 April '65."

On October 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, he signed his Amnesty Oath, thereby complying fully with the provision of Johnson's proclamation.

Lee's greatest legacy is not his campaigns, which are still taught at military institutions around the world, but his contribution to national reconciliation.

Although he had ostensibly retired from the national spotlight, Lee became a voice of moderation and patient compliance. In his public letters, a number of which were reprinted in newspapers, he urged that "all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and to restore the blessings of peace."

Lee vowed to do "all in my power to encourage our people to set manfully to work to restore the country, to rebuild their homes and churches, to educate their children, and to remain with their states, their friends and countrymen."

Thus, when Congress ordered the drafting of new constitutions in the former Confederate states and disgruntled southerners contemplated a boycott of the system, Lee announced that it was "the duty of the [southern] people to accept the situation fully" and that every man should not only "prepare himself to vote" but also "prepare his friends, white and colored, to vote and to vote rightly."**

Lee's code of conduct demanded submission to federal authority. With characteristic self-discipline, he put the past behind him and moved forward. Many southerners proved willing to follow Lee's example and through them the United States was not only reunited, but rebuilt into the preeminent military and economic power it is today.

Erasing Robert E. Lee from history - or celebrating him as a symbol of "white nationalism" - is a grave error; not only does it distort history to suit the purposes of elements in society that Lee abhorred, it misuses one of the greatest symbols of the social compact that reunited the country after four years of brother against brother bloodshed and hatred.

SOURCE






How to Break Silicon Valley's Anti-Free-Speech Monopoly

In the wake of the outrageous and possibly illegal firing of James Damore for writing a memo that pushed back against Google's "politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence," the company has been the focus of an eminently deserved torrent of criticism. A fair bit of this critique has gone beyond the particular situation of Mr. Damore to look at the general hostility of the technology industry to conservatives and conservative thought. Unfortunately, what has been lacking from almost all of these cris de coeur is a strategy regarding what to do about it.

    Fortunately, there are some things we can do that could turn the tables on Silicon Valley's leftist censorship and restore free speech to the Internet. But first, some background.

    The evidence of Silicon Valley's hostility to the Right is everywhere. Prominent conservatives from Michelle Malkin to William Jacobson to Dennis Prager (just to name a few NRO contributors) - and an even greater proportion of those whose politics lean farther to the right, many of whom do not have access to mainstream media and rely on social media to fund their work - have seen themselves banned from major Internet platforms or had their content censored or demonetized. In most cases they are not even given grounds for their punishment or means of appealing it. While some more "mainstream" conservatives may not feel excessively troubled by the banning of more provocative voices farther to the right, in taking this attitude they make a tactical, strategic, and moral mistake. They do not understand how the Left operates. When voices farther to the right are removed, mainstream conservatives become the new "far-right extremists" - and they will be banned with equal alacrity.

    In my scholarly work, I write primarily about energy policy, in which electric utilities are usually referred to as "natural monopolies." Government regulation of these utilities has traditionally been justified to avoid having multiple companies building redundant and costly infrastructure and distribution assets.

    For conservatives, the time has begun to think of some major Web services - in particular Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter - in the same way. Yes, they are private companies, just as many utilities are. And yes, these Internet monopolies do not have the same physical-infrastructure advantages that electric-utility monopolies have. But because of their network effects, their dominance and monopoly power are in many ways even starker.

    If I don't like my utility I can put solar panels on my roof and an inverter and battery in my garage, and I can still get power. But if I can't get access to the 2 billion people on Facebook because Facebook doesn't like my politics, my rights of free expression are greatly curtailed.

    And despite the fact that these are private companies, they may be violating free-speech law, as Internet-law professor Mark Grabowski has detailed in the Washington Examiner. In Packingham v. North Carolina last month, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a North Carolina law barring sex offenders from accessing social-media platforms, with the Court repeatedly and strongly emphasizing that social media are now a crucial part of the public square. As Grabowski notes, California's state constitution protects free speech in some privately owned spaces, such as shopping malls. Arguably, that protection should now extend to social media - and all the major tech companies are headquartered in California.

    But even if such arguments are not brought before the courts, the market-dominance or monopoly issue still remains a potent justification for regulation. The value of a social network such as Facebook grows proportionally with the square of the number of people connected to it (a finding known as Metcalfe's law, promulgated by networking pioneer Bob Metcalfe almost 40 years ago). Eighty-nine percent of U.S. Internet users are on Facebook. Twitter has more than 300 million users and plays a critical gatekeeper and distribution role in the high-speed promulgation of content and news. Google owns 88 percent of total U.S. search revenue. YouTube is similarly dominant in video.

    Given their market-dominant positions, these companies control a substantial share of the information that Americans consume and therefore should be run in a politically neutral fashion. Instead, they have doubled down on politically motivated censorship - demonetizing right-wing content providers (unilaterally declaring their content to be unfit to have commercials) or even banning them while doing nothing about politically favored ones.

    But there are solutions to this abuse of monopolistic power.

    These solutions need not be excessively burdensome or intrusive. They could focus on creating a simple regulatory regime that would ensure these monopolistic companies:


  1.         Do not censor any content that is compliant with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; and

  2.    

  3.         Do not fully demonetize any user's content, pulling ads from posts only when the advertiser has requested such action be taken.


    In addition, going forward, these companies' records should be liable to be subpoenaed by the appropriate congressional committees to ensure that they have not abused their monopoly powers in ways that disfavor relevant content for political reasons, which they almost certainly do today. In the electric-utility industry, laws and regulatory bodies exist to ensure that the owners of transmission and distribution networks cannot arbitrarily discriminate against certain generators. The same if not greater standards should apply to speech.

    Such a proposal is hardly pie-in-the-sky - in fact, a version of this idea has reportedly been pushed privately by the White House's Steve Bannon, who, not coincidentally, has been among the most Internet-savvy voices on the right.

    Even before the Damore firing there were plenty of ominous signs. YouTube had promised "tougher treatment to videos that aren't illegal but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism." The supposed focus of this effort was videos promoting terrorism, but right-wing content providers were immediately affected, with their channels banned or demonetized in many instances.

    The stakes of inaction are clear. In a major profile in the The New York Times Magazine earlier this month, YouTube was referred to as "The New Talk Radio" providing right-wing and conservative content not available in mainstream sources and as a result serving as a rallying point for those on the right. The Times highlights Lauren Southern, Paul Joseph Watson, Ezra Levant, and Stephen Crowder as among the dangerous rightists on YouTube. Sophisticated watchers of the Right will recognize that these individuals belong to very different groups with different relationships to the conservative mainstream. But they should all be able to speak freely.

    While I understand and share the concern about allowing government interference in private businesses, even those with monopoly power, we should not allow the conservative ship to be wrecked on the shoals of philosophical abstraction. What is needed is not regulation to restrict speech but regulation specifically to allow speech - regulation put on monopolist and market-dominant companies that have abused their positions repeatedly. Regulating these monopolies for the purpose of protecting free speech is a far different matter than regulating them to restrict free speech. To argue otherwise, to quote William F. Buckley in a different context, "is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around."

    As bans and financial threats have become increasingly frequent, some on the right have moved from Facebook and Twitter to new platforms such as Gab. But while I wish Gab well and think it is vital that the Right build its own social-media ecosystem outside of leftist control, that is no substitute for the ability to speak to and interact with the mainstream - where people who might not be exposed to the ideas of the Right can be engaged with and persuaded. We need to be able to tweet to the unconverted, not just the choir.

    YouTube promotes its "Creators for Change" program by writing that "no matter what kind of videos we make, we all have the power to help create the world we want." But if Silicon Valley has its way, that won't be true for conservatives. I personally know some executives at these companies who are politically open-minded. But taken as a whole, I don't trust them to offer a free, open, and politically unbiased platform. And neither should anyone else.

    That's why we need to make sure that these monopolies and platforms - which have been shielded with their privileges, such as the Safe Harbor provisions of the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act - respect the free speech of all Americans, not just those who agree with them. This administration can drain the Silicon Valley swamp and create change. To do it is going to require investigations from conservative journalists, legislation from Congress, regulation from appropriate regulatory bodies, and ultimately the support of President Trump.

    The notion that social-media companies are utilities (and therefore might be regulated like utilities) did not originate in the fevered minds of right-wing policy analysts. For many years Mark Zuckerberg described Facebook as "a social utility" made up of "lots of separate networks." He also described Facebook as "more like a government than a traditional company."

    "What we're trying to do is just make it really efficient for people to communicate, get information, and share information. We always try to emphasize the utility component," Zuckerberg said. But increasingly these platforms are making it as hard as possible for those on the right to communicate and share information.

    Facebook, Google, and their ilk are indeed utilities, utilities that deliver public benefits and not just private ones. It's time for Congress and the Trump administration to start treating them that way.

SOURCE





Trump's Interior Department Won't Be Removing Confederate Monuments From Civil War Battlefields

The Interior Department won't be removing monuments to Confederate soldiers at national battlefields that are "an important part of our country's history," according to a spokesman.

"The National Park Service is committed to safeguarding these memorials while simultaneously educating visitors holistically and objectively about the actions, motivations and causes of the soldiers and states they commemorate," spokesman Jeremy Barnum told E&E News.

National Park statements come after a woman was killed counter-protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. The city voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

A man driving a Dodge Challenger drove into a crowd of counter protesters, killing one and injuring 19 others. That man, 20-year-old James Alex Fields, has been charged with second-degree murder.

The incident has only spurred the movement to remove Confederate monuments and rename schools, buildings and highways that had been named after Confederate politicians and generals.

President Donald Trump stoked the controversy even more by not explicitly calling out white supremacist groups in his initial condemnation of Saturday's violent clash. Trump issued a more forceful follow-up statement, but got into a fight with reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

"George Washington as a slave owner," Trump said. "So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?"

"Are we going to take down his statue because he was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?" Trump said

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he supports Trump "in uniting our communities and prosecuting the criminals to the fullest extent of the law."

"The racism, bigotry and hate perpetrated by violent white supremacist groups has no place in America," Zinke told E&E News. "It does not represent what I spent 23 years defending in the United States military and what millions of people around the globe have died for. We must respond to hate with love, unity and justice."

The National Park Service maintains numerous monuments to Confederate soldiers at battlefield sites across the country.

For example, Gettysburg, Penn., has 12 monuments to Confederate soldiers. The Battle of Antietam, which took place near Sharpsburg, Md., in 1862, has six Confederate monuments.

A Gettysburg National Military Park spokeswoman told The Evening Sun Wednesday they were not removing Confederate monuments to those who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

"These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th century, are an important part of the cultural landscape," Katie Lawhon said.

Zinke told reporters in July that battlefield monuments were worth preserving for their historical value.

"Don't rewrite history," Zinke said Antietam National Battlefield. "Understand it for what it is and teach our kids the importance of looking at our magnificent history as a country and why we are what we are."

SOURCE





The Rise of the Violent Left

Violence begets violence. Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?

By PETER BEINART, a liberal

Since 1907, Portland, Oregon, has hosted an annual Rose Festival. Since 2007, the festival had included a parade down 82nd Avenue. Since 2013, the Republican Party of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, had taken part. This April, all of that changed.

In the days leading up to the planned parade, a group called the Direct Action Alliance declared, “Fascists plan to march through the streets,” and warned, “Nazis will not march through Portland unopposed.” The alliance said it didn’t object to the Multnomah GOP itself, but to “fascists” who planned to infiltrate its ranks. Yet it also denounced marchers with “Trump flags” and “red maga hats” who could “normalize support for an orange man who bragged about sexually harassing women and who is waging a war of hate, racism and prejudice.” A second group, Oregon Students Empowered, created a Facebook page called “Shut down fascism! No nazis in Portland!”

Next, the parade’s organizers received an anonymous email warning that if “Trump supporters” and others who promote “hateful rhetoric” marched, “we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade … and drag and push those people out.” When Portland police said they lacked the resources to provide adequate security, the organizers canceled the parade. It was a sign of things to come.

For progressives, Donald Trump is not just another Republican president. Seventy-six percent of Democrats, according to a Suffolk poll from last September, consider him a racist. Last March, according to a YouGov survey, 71 percent of Democrats agreed that his campaign contained “fascist undertones.” All of which raises a question that is likely to bedevil progressives for years to come: If you believe the president of the United States is leading a racist, fascist movement that threatens the rights, if not the lives, of vulnerable minorities, how far are you willing to go to stop it?

In Washington, D.C., the response to that question centers on how members of Congress can oppose Trump’s agenda, on how Democrats can retake the House of Representatives, and on how and when to push for impeachment. But in the country at large, some militant leftists are offering a very different answer. On Inauguration Day, a masked activist punched the white-supremacist leader Richard Spencer. In February, protesters violently disrupted UC Berkeley’s plans to host a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart.com editor. In March, protesters pushed and shoved the controversial conservative political scientist Charles Murray when he spoke at Middlebury College, in Vermont.

As far-flung as these incidents were, they have something crucial in common. Like the organizations that opposed the Multnomah County Republican Party’s participation in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, these activists appear to be linked to a movement called “antifa,” which is short for antifascist or Anti-Fascist Action. The movement’s secrecy makes definitively cataloging its activities difficult, but this much is certain: Antifa’s power is growing. And how the rest of the activist left responds will help define its moral character in the Trump age.

Antifa traces its roots to the 1920s and ’30s, when militant leftists battled fascists in the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. When fascism withered after World War II, antifa did too. But in the ’70s and ’80s, neo-Nazi skinheads began to infiltrate Britain’s punk scene. After the Berlin Wall fell, neo-Nazism also gained prominence in Germany. In response, a cadre of young leftists, including many anarchists and punk fans, revived the tradition of street-level antifascism.

In the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action, on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than fascism. According to Mark Bray, the author of the forthcoming Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, these activists toured with popular alternative bands in the ’90s, trying to ensure that neo-Nazis did not recruit their fans. In 2002, they disrupted a speech by the head of the World Church of the Creator, a white-supremacist group in Pennsylvania; 25 people were arrested in the resulting brawl.

Antifa’s violent tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.

By the 2000s, as the internet facilitated more transatlantic dialogue, some American activists had adopted the name antifa. But even on the militant left, the movement didn’t occupy the spotlight. To most left-wing activists during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, deregulated global capitalism seemed like a greater threat than fascism.

Trump has changed that. For antifa, the result has been explosive growth. According to NYC Antifa, the group’s Twitter following nearly quadrupled in the first three weeks of January alone. (By summer, it exceeded 15,000.) Trump’s rise has also bred a new sympathy for antifa among some on the mainstream left. “Suddenly,” noted the antifa-aligned journal It’s Going Down, “anarchists and antifa, who have been demonized and sidelined by the wider Left have been hearing from liberals and Leftists, ‘you’ve been right all along.’ ” An article in The Nation argued that “to call Trumpism fascist” is to realize that it is “not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason.” The radical left, it said, offers “practical and serious responses in this political moment.”

Those responses sometimes spill blood. Since antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.

Such tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left. When the masked antifa activist was filmed assaulting Spencer on Inauguration Day, another piece in The Nation described his punch as an act of “kinetic beauty.” Slate ran an approving article about a humorous piano ballad that glorified the assault. Twitter was inundated with viral versions of the video set to different songs, prompting the former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau to tweet, “I don’t care how many different songs you set Richard Spencer being punched to, I’ll laugh at every one.”

The violence is not directed only at avowed racists like Spencer: In June of last year, demonstrators—at least some of whom were associated with antifa—punched and threw eggs at people exiting a Trump rally in San Jose, California. An article in It’s Going Down celebrated the “righteous beatings.”

Antifascists call such actions defensive. Hate speech against vulnerable minorities, they argue, leads to violence against vulnerable minorities. But Trump supporters and white nationalists see antifa’s attacks as an assault on their right to freely assemble, which they in turn seek to reassert. The result is a level of sustained political street warfare not seen in the U.S. since the 1960s. A few weeks after the attacks in San Jose, for instance, a white-supremacist leader announced that he would host a march in Sacramento to protest the attacks at Trump rallies. Anti-Fascist Action Sacramento called for a counterdemonstration; in the end, at least 10 people were stabbed.

A similar cycle has played out at UC Berkeley. In February, masked antifascists broke store windows and hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at police during a rally against the planned speech by Yiannopoulos. After the university canceled the speech out of what it called “concern for public safety,” white nationalists announced a “March on Berkeley” in support of “free speech.” At that rally, a 41-year-old man named Kyle Chapman, who was wearing a baseball helmet, ski goggles, shin guards, and a mask, smashed an antifa activist over the head with a wooden post. Suddenly, Trump supporters had a viral video of their own. A far-right crowdfunding site soon raised more than $80,000 for Chapman’s legal defense. (In January, the same site had offered a substantial reward for the identity of the antifascist who had punched Spencer.) A politicized fight culture is emerging, fueled by cheerleaders on both sides. As James Anderson, an editor at It’s Going Down, told Vice, “This shit is fun.”

Portland offers perhaps the clearest glimpse of where all of this can lead. The Pacific Northwest has long attracted white supremacists, who have seen it as a haven from America’s multiracial East and South. In 1857, Oregon (then a federal territory) banned African Americans from living there. By the 1920s, it boasted the highest Ku Klux Klan membership rate of any state.

In 1988, neo-Nazis in Portland killed an Ethiopian immigrant with a baseball bat. Shortly thereafter, notes Alex Reid Ross, a lecturer at Portland State University and the author of Against the Fascist Creep, anti-Nazi skinheads formed a chapter of Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice. Before long, the city also had an Anti-Racist Action group.

Now, in the Trump era, Portland has become a bastion of antifascist militancy. Masked protesters smashed store windows during multiday demonstrations following Trump’s election. In early April, antifa activists threw smoke bombs into a “Rally for Trump and Freedom” in the Portland suburb of Vancouver, Washington. A local paper said the ensuing melee resembled a mosh pit.

When antifascists forced the cancellation of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, Trump supporters responded with a “March for Free Speech.” Among those who attended was Jeremy Christian, a burly ex-con draped in an American flag, who uttered racial slurs and made Nazi salutes. A few weeks later, on May 25, a man believed to be Christian was filmed calling antifa “a bunch of punk bitches.”

The next day, Christian boarded a light-rail train and began yelling that “colored people” were ruining the city. He fixed his attention on two teenage girls, one African American and the other wearing a hijab, and told them “to go back to Saudi Arabia” or “kill themselves.” As the girls retreated to the back of the train, three men interposed themselves between Christian and his targets. “Please,” one said, “get off this train.” Christian stabbed all three. One bled to death on the train. One was declared dead at a local hospital. One survived.

The cycle continued. Nine days after the attack, on June 4, Trump supporters hosted another Portland rally, this one featuring Chapman, who had gained fame with his assault on the antifascist in Berkeley. Antifa activists threw bricks until the police dispersed them with stun grenades and tear gas.

What’s eroding in Portland is the quality Max Weber considered essential to a functioning state: a monopoly on legitimate violence. As members of a largely anarchist movement, antifascists don’t want the government to stop white supremacists from gathering. They want to do so themselves, rendering the government impotent. With help from other left-wing activists, they’re already having some success at disrupting government. Demonstrators have interrupted so many city-council meetings that in February, the council met behind locked doors. In February and March, activists protesting police violence and the city’s investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline hounded Mayor Ted Wheeler so persistently at his home that he took refuge in a hotel. The fateful email to parade organizers warned, “The police cannot stop us from shutting down roads.”

All of this fuels the fears of Trump supporters, who suspect that liberal bastions are refusing to protect their right to free speech. Joey Gibson, a Trump supporter who organized the June 4 Portland rally, told me that his “biggest pet peeve is when mayors have police stand down … They don’t want conservatives to be coming together and speaking.” To provide security at the rally, Gibson brought in a far-right militia called the Oath Keepers. In late June, James Buchal, the chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, announced that it too would use militia members for security, because “volunteers don’t feel safe on the streets of Portland.”

Antifa believes it is pursuing the opposite of authoritarianism. Many of its activists oppose the very notion of a centralized state. But in the name of protecting the vulnerable, antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not. That authority rests on no democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.

Antifa’s perceived legitimacy is inversely correlated with the government’s. Which is why, in the Trump era, the movement is growing like never before. As the president derides and subverts liberal-democratic norms, progressives face a choice. They can recommit to the rules of fair play, and try to limit the president’s corrosive effect, though they will often fail. Or they can, in revulsion or fear or righteous rage, try to deny racists and Trump supporters their political rights. From Middlebury to Berkeley to Portland, the latter approach is on the rise, especially among young people.

Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Thursday, August 17, 2017



What is a Leftist to do when his opponents are NOT white supremacists?

Easy.  Interpret what the opponent does say to mean what the Leftist wants it to mean.  See below.  His opponents all speak in code, apparently.

There may have been a few actual white supremacists at the Charlotteville rally but all the actual protests heard were about the preservation of an historic statue and the subjugation of American cultural traditions to political correctness.  The marchers were seeking only liberty, not to subjugate anybody -- but Leftists refuse to see that.

It just gives them a huge thrill to think that they are opposing white supremacists.  That would make them the good guys.  They in fact are the supremacists -- Leftist supremacists. They want to put us all into a regulatory straitjacket of their devising -- as the Obama period showed.

Note below that they do not even attempt to show that their opponents are white supremacists.  They just assert it. If there really were white supremacists at the rally, how come that they can't quote anybody there saying clearly one single white supremacist thing?



The coded language of the white supremacist playbook has been displayed in abundance since the Charlottesville, Va., rally exploded in violence Saturday, sowing confusion for the public and masking the sentiment behind some of the responses.

Trump’s initial, vague statement — and even some elements of his more specific denunciation Monday, two days after the protests horrified the nation — heartened extremist groups, who are adept at weaponizing ambiguous language and who cited Trump’s language as vindication.

A prime example of the groups’ rhetorical tactics: a “Free Speech Rally” that may take place Saturday on Boston Common with scheduled speakers who have espoused white supremacist views.

The feel-good title of the rally is intended to divert attention from its purpose of sowing racial discord, said Ian Haney Lopez, a racial justice professor at University of California Berkeley’s law school who has written a book on racial “dog whistles.”

“When you use a phrase like ‘free speech’ to mobilize those who are racially fearful, it switches the conversation. It pretends that the conversation is about the right to express unpopular views — which is a quintessential American value that is enshrined in our Constitution — when in fact, the dynamic is about the expression of ugly views of racial prejudice,’’ Lopez said.

Trump has previously been criticized for repeatedly talking about violence in “inner cities” and his multiple warnings about “thugs,” coded words often used to invoke stereotypical images of black men.

On Saturday, when he first addressed Americans in response to the Charlottesville rallies, he told the country to “cherish our history,” which some took as code that he was weighing in on the side of preserving Confederate memorials.

“That was a very interesting comment,” white nationalist Richard Spencer, a founder of the “alt-right’’ movement told the Times of Israel. “I think there is reason to believe he wants an America where we can look back upon the Civil War as a deeply tragic event, but we can honor great men, like Robert E. Lee.”

Spencer told reporters Monday, after the president’s recent round of remarks, that he did not believe Trump had repudiated white nationalists or the “alt-right’’ movement, which combines elements of nationalism, racism, and populism.

“I don’t think he condemned it, no,” Spencer said. “Did he say white nationalist? ‘Racist’ means an irrational hatred of people. I don’t think he meant any of us.”

Hate groups have long worked to mask their views behind traditionally accepted language, in an attempt to make them more palatable to the public. Instead of denouncing America’s increasing ethnic diversity, they created the phrase “reverse-racism.” The term “alt-right” was born to rebrand white supremacist ideology as Internet friendly and cutting-edge.

The use of dog whistles — a cloaked political message that can only be understood by a particular group, much as dogs can hear whistles of certain frequencies that humans cannot — has become more common.

American politicians have a bipartisan history of deploying coded words to dance around the topic of race. Lee Atwater, the Republican political consultant and former confidant to Ronald Reagan, had his infamous “Southern Strategy,” which he explicitly said was created to disenfranchise black Americans without being called racist.

Reagan, during his presidential campaign of 1976, pushed a narrative that some black women were lazy and manipulating government aid. Hillary Clinton blasted youths in gangs as “super-predators.”

Where Trump stands out, however, is the specific way he emboldens white nationalists, said specialists who study racism in America. Trump “eradicates distinctions” by being uniquely obtuse and coded about his racial messaging, said Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistics professor at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Information.

Instead of overtly criticizing then-President Barack Obama’s race, Nunberg said, Trump peddled the myth that the first black president was born in Kenya. On Saturday, Trump embraced a false equivalence between the bigots and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, condemning violence on “many sides.”

“There’s a cultural battle that’s going on that Trump is engaged in — and part of that is a redefinition of what is factual,” said Sam Fulwood, a fellow on race at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. “If they can redefine racism as what’s against white men . . . then they’re able to impose their will on society.”

Even in his stronger statement Monday, Trump denounced the Klu Klux Klan along with neo-Nazis and “other hate groups,” which he did not define. Combined with the fact that it took him days to address the criticism, experts said, this is the type of ambiguity that the extremist groups rely upon.

Many people posting in online forums, which often serve as testing grounds for the white nationalist ideology, said they saw hope in Trump’s statements. They pointed to his phrase “other hate groups,” which they interpreted as a nod to their main targets: civil rights organizations who advocate for nonwhites.

“He left the door open,” wrote one user on Reddit.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the civil rights organization based in Alabama that has tracked extremists groups for years through its blog “Hatewatch,” said extremists groups see Trump as a “champion.”

Part of this is the language he and his close advisers used on the campaign trail and on Twitter, including the sharing of popular white nationalist memes and using phrases such as “cuckservative,” a term combining cuckold and conservative that is used to describe Republicans seen as traitors.

In a post on its home page, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen, said Trump’s responses to Charlottesville will be interpreted by the “alt-right” as a nod of approval, a license that allows them to become more emboldened.

This also happened when Trump, during the 2016 campaign, took days to denounce the endorsements of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, and the Klan at large.

Cohen said extremist groups saw that and took heart. And he said they would be encouraged again, after the president’s response to Charlottesville.

“I’m sure white supremacists remain reassured,’’ he wrote, “that they have a friend in the White House.”

SOURCE






Left’s wonky moral compass on Trump

Janet Albrechtsen comments from Australia

The US President routinely uses Twitter to slam all manner of people, from Democrats to Republicans to televisions hosts, in 140 characters or less.

His early tweets last weekend lacked their usual clarity when 20-year-old Ohio man James Alex Fields drove his grey Dodge into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring 19 others. Donald Trump should have mustered some fire and fury against the white supremacists, members of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis who marched on the weekend to anti-Semitic chants and homophobic rants in Charlottes­ville.

While criticism came from both sides of the political aisle, the left’s hysteria over Trump’s response to the Unite the Right rally packs no punch because the eagerness to label evil doesn’t stretch far beyond white supremacists. When it comes to putting a name on Islamic terrorism, the ­reaction is very different. It’s a case of what Mark Steyn calls tilty-headed wankerishness. No naming evil here, only candlelit vigils, hashtag campaigns and inclusive interfaith dialogues.

In March, after 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, the Dean of Westminster, John R. Hall, announced that the nation was bewildered.

“What could possibly ­motivate a man to hire a car and take it from Birmingham to Brighton to London, and then drive it fast at people he had never met, couldn’t possibly know, against whom he had no personal grudge, no reason to hate them, and then run at the gates of the Palace of Westminster to cause another death? It seems likely that we shall never know,” Hall said soon after the attack.

Except we did know. But when it comes to Islamic terrorism, labelling evil gives over to mumbling, fumbling dissembling. It’s a curious lapse in moral clarity given that Islamic terrorists have no time for Christianity, let alone religious freedoms or women and the feminist cause, or homosexuals, let alone LGBTI rights.

The thundering hysteria against Trump after Charlottesville is another case of the left’s wonky moral compass.

CNN hosts censured Trump for not immediately condemning the white supremacists spoiling for a fight last weekend. But the faces of CNN didn’t rally to label evil when an Islamic terrorist ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, or when another Islamic terrorist rammed a truck at a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, or when an Islamic terrorist mowed down pedestrians on a promenade in Nice on Bastille Day last year.

After an Islamic terrorist detonated a bomb and murdered teenagers at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May, London mayor Sadiq Khan didn’t condemn Islamic State — even though the terrorist group claimed responsibility. It was the same in June after three Islamic terrorists mowed into pedestrians on London Bridge before going from bar to bar, stabbing and slicing at patrons with 30cm hunting knives. Not even a clue from one of the ­Islamic terrorists, who shouted “This is for Allah” before stabbing a woman more than 10 times, helped Khan name the evil.

A fortnight ago, after Australian security authorities foiled an alleged plot to bomb an Etihad Airways flight out of Sydney, Islamic Council of Queensland spokesman Ali Kadri lodged a complaint when Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin described the evil plot as “Islamic-inspired terrorism”.

Why wasn’t the Muslim group condemned by opinionated hosts at the ABC for refusing to name the alleged evil given their eagerness to condemn Trump for the same error of judgment this week? For the same reason three days after the violence in Charlottesville, the ABC was still leading its news bulletins with Trump’s reaction yet it can barely bring itself to say Islamic or even Islamist ­terrorism; truth in labelling is an ad hoc business on the left.

When Man Haron Monis held hostages at gunpoint in Sydney’s Lindt cafe in December 2014, many on the left rushed to suggest he was mad, not bad. The coroner found otherwise, but it’s a standard response when violence is committed in the name of Islam. No one suggested the 20-year-old driver in Charlottesville was mad, not bad.

When Islamic terrorists strike, we are correctly reminded not to tar all Muslims with the actions of a few. The same may be said of those who marched in Charlottesville. Not all of them are anti-­Semitic nutters or Klansmen or neo-Nazis. Not all of them drove a car into the crowd. But no one warned against tarring everyone at the Unite the Right rally.

Instead, a determined ignorance defines the modern left. Charlottesville mayor and Democrat activist Michael Signer said: “I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House.” They also could lay the blame for the widespread illiberalism and violence erupting across American campuses at the feet of the divisive identity politics ­fuelled by Democrats such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

It’s a hard truth for the left that the Obama presidency begat the Trump presidency. Rather than blame Trump, it’s worth exploring how the rise of white supremacist groups is an inevitable consequence of identity group politics where groups vie for prominence on the basis of skin colour, race, creed, gender and sexuality.

Writing in The New York Times last year, self-described liberal Mark Lilla concluded that American liberalism had become a flawed movement based on the politics of moral panic about ­racial, gender and sexual identity that prevented it from being a unifying force.

Last week Lilla added to his compelling critique in The Wall Street Journal: “There is a mystery at the core of every suicide, and the story of how a once-successful liberal politics of solidarity became a failed liberal politics of ‘difference’ is not a simple one. Perhaps the best place to begin it is with a slogan: The personal is the political.” As Lilla says, the phrase coined by feminists to unite people has been turned on its head to mean the political is the personal, where the “forces are all centrifugal, encouraging splits into smaller and smaller factions obsessed with single issues and practising rituals of ideological one-upmanship”. The result is a movement that divides people rather than bringing them together.

What’s left of the left is a marketplace of outrage where emotion and politics trump intel­lectual honesty and moral clarity. From blinkered feminists who refuse to focus on real misogyny in the Middle East to human rights activists who mock free speech, from same-sex marriage advocates who trample on tolerance to those who demand that only white supremacists, not Islamic terrorists, be named and shamed, the left has become a hollow shell of hyperbole and hypocrisy.

Claims against Trump and his supporters will have real clout and credibility when the needle on the left’s faulty moral compass stops swinging so feverishly in one direction.

SOURCE





Royal Dutch Airlines failed hilariously when tweeting support for homosexuals, proving the opposite point



Royal Dutch Airlines attempted to show support for homosexuals with a tweet this week saying, “It doesn’t matter who you click with. Happy #PrideAmsterdam.” Unfortunately, it included the above picture — which only reinforces the opposite point that there’s just one way nature intended.

The first two seat belts in the picture obviously would not function. Or, as Jim Treacher put more humorously, “Only one of these seat belts will perform the intended function. I realize that noticing this means I’m bigoted against the LGBT community.”

Others on Twitter had a field day mocking the unfortunate pic. “I suppose for the top two options, you should just tie the ends together around your waist in an emergency,” tweeted Jim Geraghty.

Another tweeted an imaginary conversation: “Hello, Stewardess? My seatbelt doesn’t work”

“It doesn’t matter who you click with!”

“But… I could die in an accident.”

“Homophobe.”

That about sums it up for this week’s winner of the Non Compos Mentis Award.

SOURCE





James Damore: aftermath

Lubos Motl below discusses a video conversation between two people who reject the claim that all men are equal

Prof Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux (both from Canada) are two main individualist YouTube pundits who have previously interviewed James Damore, the former $162,000-a-year Senior Google engineer who became a hero of freedom. So in this discussion, they talked to each other. They covered a lot of ground. You may see that their thinking and values are close enough to each other. But you may still see that they're individualist and they want similar audiences to dedicate time to their videos, so to some extent, this insightful debate still sounds like a competition of a sort.

They discussed optimistic specifics of this Damore story. Damore hasn't backed off, he preferred to talk to independent media such as themselves over the mainstream media. The New York Times wrote a story urging Google to fire its anti-freedom-of-expression CEO Mr Kunda Píča.

Many events were so similar to those after the 2005 speech by Larry Summers about women in science. But many events were so different. Even though James Damore is basically a shy boy, his public reactions were more self-confident than those of Larry Summers. A part of it may be due to Damore's having received some recommendations from pundits: Don't back off. He could have received such recommendations because the independent media such as Molyneux's and Peterson's talk shows are far more powerful now than they or their counterparts were in 2005.

As they happily noticed, their videos generally get many more views than analogous videos by the "mainstream media". So these very labels – who is really mainstream – is finally getting complicated.

They discussed the harm that Google has done by having fired Damore. I agree with that entirely. Consumers may start to doubt the trustworthiness of Google. And potential stellar employees may be afraid of accepting a job at Google. These are potentially serious problems. And it's possible that not only some centrist and right-wing technology experts could choose a different occupation because of the occasional defective atmosphere in the company that may have grown into the "culture" of censorship and harassment. Some left-wing candidates who are left-wing in a "wrong way" could do the same.

I am personally not going to boycott Google's products because of these matters. I would feel like one of those left-wing childish activists who never really succeed, who abandon meritocracy in favor of ideology, and I am just too conservative. Even if some products were equally good or better than Google's, I have tested Google's products sufficiently to be certain. But I think that if you aren't constrained by these things, you should try alternatives. You should try the Czech Seznam maps instead of Google maps. And you should try Seznam's search engine and Seznam's superfast browser, too! Those products may be better than Google's alternatives. Seznam's owner Mr Ivo Lukačovič has denounced efforts to politically profile ads in his company and vows to keep his company apolitical.

As a consumer, I would actually be afraid of some Google products that are too physical, such as self-driving cars. If writing a totally sensible analysis about women in tech was enough for the Google CEO to fire the engineer, maybe writing bit more right-wing texts than Damore's could be enough for a Google boss to schedule a car accident for your car. They could cover it by exactly the same excuses as now – corporations have the right to trample on the employees' freedom of speech much like they have the right to push the accelerator pedal in your car in front of an abyss – both the employee and the consumer have signed some contract allowing these things, haven't they? Note that it is not the artificial intelligence of the self-driving car that is dangerous for you; it is the malicious humans who may try to hide their crimes behind the artificial intelligence.

According to a common sense understanding of the freedom of speech, the firing of Damore was an unacceptable violation of the basic Western values and the "accelerator push" of a Google self-driving car would be a murder at least informally.

Molyneux and Peterson have discussed lots of things about the growth of wealth since the 1870s, the increasing inequality and decreasing poverty, the Left's self-contradicting attitudes to many good and bad processes and conditions in the society, the correlation of the IQ and success, whether the IQ may be modified by training (no), whether people with the IQ beneath 83 are useful for the U.S. army (no), and many others. It was a very stimulating intellectual discussion and I really recommend you to watch it in its entirety.

I would subscribe at least to some 95% of the things that they have said.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017



Sessions: DOJ Taking ‘Vigorous Action’ to Protect Those Who ‘Protest Against Racism and Bigotry’

Because a Leftist demonstrator died at Charlotteville there has been an enormous blast of self-righteousness from the Left.  And in their self-righteousness they have arrogated to themselves the right to call the conservative demonstrators at the Charlotteville rally, "Nazis", KKK", "white supremacists" etc.

But where is the evidence for those accusations?  There were no KKK robes in sight, no swastika flags and no proclamations of white supremacy.  But so loud and persistent have those accusations become, that both Trump and Sessions have now appeared to concede that such groups were present at the march. 

The aim of the march was simply to defend a statue of an historic figure, Robert E. Lee. And some individual marchers claimed to be defending white culture. But culture is not race and you can defend it without calling it supreme.  The motive in fact was to prevent its subjugation, not assert its supremacy.

Various fringe organizations known for violent rhetoric had supported the march and claimed to have members there but such claims could easily have been bravado and none of the organizations were distinctly identifiable at the march, let alone being shown as violent.  The march remained a defence of a statue and nothing more.

The violence at the rally was sparked by deliberately planned attacks by Antifa on the marchers. Antifa came equipped with bats, sticks and flamethrowers.  Yet some of the media describe Antifa as "peaceful"! All the marchers did was defend themselves.  The marchers did apparently foresee attacks on them -- which was a pretty obvious possibility -- but their major preparation was to hand out those death's head shields for self protection. And note that shields are a defensive device, not a weapon.  The death's heads were apparently an attempt to scare off attackers. Who the attackers were and who the defenders were is thus crystal clear.

Unfortunately, one individual was so incensed by the attacks  that he drove his car into the Antifa group.  But that was a response by one individual, not a concerted effort by any group.

So where is the condemnation of Antifa?  I have seen none.  Instead, Jeff Sessions below seems to suggest that he will protect them.  Media hysteria seems to have effectively blinded people to what actually went on.  It's a triumph of Leftist propaganda.



Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are going to discover that the Trump administration is “coming after them for any violations of the law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday.

Sessions, a recent target of Trump’s criticism, on Monday defended the president for making a “very strong statement” against the “hatred, violence, bigotry, racism, white supremacy” espoused at weekend rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Those things must be condemned in this country,” Sessions told NBC’s “Today” show. “They're totally unacceptable, and you can be sure that this Department of Justice in his (Trump’s) administration is going to take the most vigorous action to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer to protest against racism and bigotry.

“We're going to protect the right to assemble and march, and we're going to prosecute anybody to the full extent of the law that violates their ability do so, so, you can be sure of that,” Sessions added.

The white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and the KKK, had a permit to protest the removal of Confederate statues in public parks, but their protest attracted counter-protesters. One of those counter-protesters, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed when a car driven by a young white man, apparently a white supremacist, rammed a crowded intersection.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the Justice Departent has opened a civil rights investigation into the car-ramming to "make a determination about whether it's appropriate to charge this as an act of terror." Pompeo said he is confident that DOJ "will investigate that with enormous rigor and get to the right outcome."

President Trump, meanwhile, is expected to say more about the Charlottesville violence on Monday, but some critics say it’s too late – he missed an opportunity to criticize the white supremacist groups by name when he spoke on Saturday.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence -- on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama -- it’s been going on for a long, long time.”

Trump’s suggestion that “hatred, bigotry and violence” exists on “many sides” offended some Americans. On Monday, “Today” anchor Samantha Guthrie asked Sessions, “What are the other sides?”

Sessions replied, “Well, we've had violence around the country in any number of ways over decades. We've had these spasms of violence that are unacceptable in America.”

Sessions noted that Trump on Saturday said the problems have been going on for a long time: “He said what happened in Charlottesville is unacceptable. We need to find out what happened, that it's wrong, and we need to study it and see what, as a nation, we can do to be more effective against this kind of extremism -- and evil, really. I thought it was a pretty -- it was a good statement, delivered just a few hours after the event,” Sessions said.

As criticism against the president mounted, the White House on Sunday issued a statement explicitly calling out the neo-Nazis, the KKK “and all extremist groups.”

“Amazingly, Nazism remains alive after all the evil it has caused in the world, and so I think that we take this seriously,” Sessions said. “We go at it directly, morally, legally, politically, legitimately and any way possible to reject this kind of ideology that that causes division and hatred in America. It's just not part of our heritage.”

Sessions said he expects President Trump to speak about the violence later today.

“He will be speaking to the people today, I'm not sure what he'll say, that's my understanding. And he's been firm on this from the beginning. He is appalled by this.”

SOURCE






Tech companies shift free speech mindset

The neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer had its internet domain registration revoked twice in less than 24 hours in the wake of the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, part of a broad move by the tech industry in recent months to take a stronger hand in policing online hate-speech and incitements to violence.

GoDaddy Inc, which manages internet names and registrations, disclosed late on Sunday via Twitter that it had given Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider, saying it had violated GoDaddy's terms of service.

The white supremacist website helped organise the weekend rally in Charlottesville where a 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 people were injured when a man ploughed a car into a crowd protesting against the white nationalist rally.

After GoDaddy revoked Daily Stormer's registration, the website turned to Alphabet Inc's Google Domains. The Daily Stormer domain was registered with Google shortly before 8 am on Monday PDT (0100 Tuesday AEST) and the company announced plans to revoke it at 10.56 am Monday PDT (0356 Tuesday AEST), according to a person familiar with the revocation.

As of late Monday (US time), the site was still running on a Google-registered domain. Google issued a statement but did not say when the site would be taken down.

Internet companies have increasingly found themselves in the crosshairs over hate speech and other volatile social issues, with politicians and others calling on them to do more to police their networks while civil libertarians worry about the firms suppressing free speech.

Twitter Inc, Facebook Inc, Google's YouTube and other platforms have ramped up efforts to combat the social media efforts of Islamic militant groups, largely in response to pressure from European governments. Now, they are facing similar pressures in the US over white supremacist and neo-Nazi content.

Facebook confirmed on Monday that it took down the event page that was used to promote and organise the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.

Facebook allows people to organise peaceful protests or rallies, but the social network said it would remove such pages when a threat of real-world harm and affiliation with hate organisations becomes clear.

"Facebook does not allow hate speech or praise of terrorist acts or hate crimes, and we are actively removing any posts that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville," the company said in a statement.

Several other companies also took action. Canadian internet company Tucows Inc stopped hiding the domain registration information of Andrew Anglin, the founder of Daily Stormer. Tucows, which was previously providing the website with services masking Anglin's phone number and email address, said Daily Stormer had breached its terms of service.

"They are inciting violence," said Michael Goldstein, vice president for sales and marketing at Tucows, a Toronto-based company. "It's a dangerous site and people should know who it is coming from."

Anglin did not respond to a request for comment.

Discord, a 70-person San Francisco company that allows video gamers to communicate across the internet, did not mince words in its decision to shut down the server of Altright.com, an alt-right news website, and the accounts of other white nationalists.

"We will continue to take action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate," the company said in a tweet on Monday. Altright.com did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Twilio Inc chief executive Jeff Lawson on Sunday tweeted that the company would update its use policy to prohibit hate speech. Twilio's services allow companies and organisations, such as political groups or campaigns, to send text messages to their communities.

Internet companies, which enjoy broad protections under US law for the activities of people using their services, have mostly tried to avoid being arbiters of what is acceptable speech.

But the ground is now shifting, said one executive at a major Silicon Valley firm. Twitter, for one, has moved sharply against harassment and hate speech after enduring years of criticism for not doing enough.

Facebook is beefing up its content monitoring teams. Google is pushing hard on new technology to help it monitor and delete YouTube videos that celebrate violence.

All this comes as an influential bloc of senators push legislation that would make it easier to penalise operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking of women and children.

That measure, despite the non-controversial nature of its espoused goal, was met with swift and co-ordinated opposition from tech firms and internet freedom groups, who fear that being legally liable for the postings of users would be a devastating blow to the internet industry.

SOURCE





Treason Is Now in Vogue

Bradley Manning graces the cover of the latest issue of Vogue in a sickeningly sycophantic puff piece.

“Chelsea Manning Changed the Course of History. Now She’s Focusing on Herself,” is the sickening headline of the September issue of Vogue magazine. The fawning story begins with what we guess is supposed to be an endearing description of “her” appearance and newfound comfort in “her” own skin. It goes on to tell much of Manning’s story, though it’s factually wrong in some details. More on that in a minute, but suffice to say the Left is in full swing happily celebrating its new transgender poster child.

We say the story is sickening for two reasons. First, Bradley/Chelsea Manning is an individual who deserves our pity, prayer and help, not vacuous celebrations. His gender dysphoria and what strikes us as narcissistic personality disorder is tragic, not heroic. He’s had a difficult life, including his father leaving at a young age and his mother attempting suicide. Transgendered people are at a drastically higher risk of suicide attempts than the general population, and it’s no surprise that Manning, too, has tried. And yet to Vogue, his only “problem” is that he couldn’t be “herself” until taxpayer-funded transition surgery.

Second, Manning is a traitor who released more than a million pages of classified information about U.S. intelligence operations to WikiLeaks, endangering lives and disrupting policy. He aided and abetted the enemies of America while in our nation’s uniform, all because he decided, on his own authority, to stimulate “worldwide discussion, debate and reforms.” Yet his disclosures were totally self-serving. And Vogue lied about some of the information: “The breach’s breadth was startling, as were its contents,” the magazine reports, including “the so-called Collateral Murder video, showing a U.S. helicopter killing a group of Baghdad pedestrians that included children and press.”

“On the contrary,” rejoins the Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan, “it shows the lawful targeting of insurgents armed with rifles and a grenade launcher. Those ‘Baghdad pedestrians’ were threatening a U.S. Army unit that suffered one of the highest casualty rates of any unit in Iraq.”

In any case, it’s fair to say he’d still be in prison — or the grave — if he was still a man. Barack Obama would have had no politically advantageous reason to give him a ridiculous commutation deal, all while couching it as enough being enough. “Let’s be clear,” Obama said (using a phrase typically indicating he’s lying), “Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence. I feel very comfortable that justice has been served.”

No, Obama’s political objective was served, and it is still being served by this tripe from Vogue and other outlets that sycophantically flatter Manning and their own “enlightened” cosmopolitan egos.

SOURCE






Businessman Dick Smith spends $1million on 'chilling' new anti-immigration ad warning Australia is doomed

Businessman Dick Smith is pressuring politicians to slash the number of immigrants accepted into Australia in a $1 million 'disturbing' ad campaign threatening violence and poverty.

The television advertisement, which will air on Tuesday, is based on the 1980s Grim Reaper AIDS campaign and will feature original actor John Stanton.

Using a pitchfork as an ominous symbol for a violent revolution, Mr Smith warns that 'endless growth will destroy Australia as we know it today.'

'Our growth-addicted economic system will see our children living in a world of eleven billion people, consuming and polluting more than our finite planet can withstand,' the millionaire entrepreneur claims in the Dick Smith Fair Go campaign ad.

'It's a path to either more and more inequality, or famine, disaster, war and collapse. Are we that stupid?'

Mr Smith appeals for politicians to cut the annual number of immigrants in half and offers to invest $2 million into marginal seats in the next election for the political party that drafts a population plan.

The outspoken One Nation supporter is also calling to close the gap between Australia's wealthiest people and the poor.

'Australia's wealthiest 1 percent own more than the bottom 70 percent, that's 17 million Aussies,' he said.

Mr Smith said that as a member of that top tier, he knows the group can 'certainly afford to pay more tax,' according to The Daily Telegraph.

A few of his own office staff members have called the ad 'disturbing,' Mr Smith said.

'It is so disturbing people in my office said they did not want their children to see it, but it is what we see on the news every night,' he said, according to the publication.

Mr Smith and radio host Alan Jones will launch the ad campaign at an event in Sydney on Tuesday morning.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017



Is Julius Goat right?

The "divine" Julius started a very popular Twitter thread in which he claimed to see an air of entitlement in the traditionalist demonstrators at Charlotte.  The torches at the peaceful demonstration the night before the big fracas seem in particular to have inflamed him. He then goes on to say that the demonstrators in fact had nothing to complain about because they had not suffered a range of problems that various minority groups had suffered.  He said that the law never:

Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed

He then goes on to list the other injustices that white, middle-class men have never suffered from the travel ban on Muslims to police violence against black people to historic efforts to prove non-white intellectual inferiority as well as church burnings and hangings.

Then he examined the “we will not be replaced” rallying cry of the white supremacist protesters. Replaced as ... what?

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions.
Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena.
Replaced as the only life that matters.

He then said he would “love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year”. That might mean a world “where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas”, where “the name ‘Geoff’ on a resume puts it in the trash” or where a polo shirt makes people so nervous it could get you kicked off a plane, he said.

“Put that in your torches and light it, you sorry Nazi b****es,” concluded Julius Goat.

Organisers of Saturday’s Unite the Right rally said, however, that it was staged to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate commander General Robert E Lee from a park. Individual marchers may have had larger agendas than that but to say that the whole march had a larger agenda is just an unproven assertion.

And it is certainly an absurd assertion that they were Nazis.  That Julius Goat asserts it does not make it so.  The real Brownshirts of the occasion were the Antifa demonstrators who turned up with bats, sticks and flamethrowers and proceeded to attack peaceful marchers.



It is of course true that attacks on American traditional culture have not bitten very hard so far -- except in the colleges and universities.  But the colleges and universities are a large omen of things to come.  They are an alarm beacon of what seems to be  coming.  They are a warning of what appears to lie ahead for all Americans -- a future where speech is strictly regulated, justice is denied and a tight net of Fascist regulations surrounds everything that people do.

So, yes.  The goatish one is right that white males have not suffered as much as some other groups have.  But he seems to want to deny them any interest in their future.  He somehow overlooks that white males may rightly take alarm at what they see lying  ahead of them.  And some of them want to prevent and resist what the Leftist establishment clearly have in mind for them. 

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" is a well-known maxim among conservatives and that vigilance may have to be exercised from time to time.  What is wrong with that?  If you see a juggernaut hurtling towards you, what is wrong with trying to stop or deflect it?






Tech Tycoon Wants to Punish ‘Wicked’ Foes of LGBT Activism

A Colorado high-tech multimillionaire backing LGBT activism warns that his foundation will “punish the wicked”—those who oppose the political agenda advanced in the name of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

Tim Gill created the Gill Foundation with a $300 million endowment to promote LGBT legislation. The foundation, based in Denver, has worked against religious freedom measures since 1994.

“It’s the religious right that decided to make marriage an issue. They worked tirelessly on it for decades, and they lost,” Gill said in a recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine.

After the 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, Gill focused on defeating religious liberty legislation.

Recently, he fought against the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, in Georgia.

The measure would have prevented the government from intervention in religious practice without a compelling governmental interest.

To defeat the legislation, Gill founded Georgia Prospers, which orchestrated protests in the state. Georgia Prospers also drafted an opposition petition for major Georgia businesses, such as Coca-Cola, to protest the RFRA.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, ultimately vetoed the bill.

Gill’s involvement started with an amendment to the Colorado Constitution, known commonly as Initiative 2, according to an interview he did at Yale University. Initiative 2, which was passed but later overturned in court, proposed that no state law could assign protected status for sexual orientation.

“My assistant’s assistant at Quark had actually voted in favor of [passing the amendment],” Gill said. “I thought, ‘She says I should be able to be fired for being gay; that sexual orientation shouldn’t protect me.’ I thought, ‘Maybe I should fire her.’”

Instead, he donated $1 million to the effort to overturn the amendment.

“When I look around the country, I see people that are victims of hate crimes,” Gill said in a promotional video for his foundation, explaining his activism.

Gill’s political efforts are funded by his success in the tech industry. Raised in a Republican family, he made his fortune as a programmer.

Gill sold his stake in Quark, his software startup, for $500 million in 1992, Rolling Stone noted. He then moved into LGBT activism full time and has since shifted 60 percent of his assets into an endowment for the Gill Foundation.

SOURCE






'Political correctness gone mad': Australian Army told not to recruit MEN as part of a gender war push to have more women soldiers

The army has definitely gone to the dogs since I was in it. Will they all get powder puff training soon?  Will threy dstill be able to fight a war?  What is good about female soldiers anyway? Do we want to kill the nation's future mothers?

The Australian Army is turning away male recruits in a 'politically correct' push to increase the number of female cadets.

Recruiters at the Australian Defence Force have been told they will be re-located if they ignore orders to target women for new jobs, The Daily Telegraph reported.

There are no jobs available for men in the in the infantry as a rifleman or as an artilleryman. But these positions are marked as 'recruit immediately' if a female applies.

'This is political correctness gone mad. I don't care if it is a man or a woman- I just want to get the best person for the job,' one army recruiter told the paper.

The female recruitment drive comes from top management.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell earlier this year said: 'We aspire to have 25 per cent representation of women in Army by 2025.' Woman currently make up 12.7 per cent of the army.

A Defence spokesman said: 'While Defence maintains targets to encourage greater participation of women, every candidate must meet the required standards. 'Successful candidates are selected based on merit and their capacity to do the work, not on their gender.'

SOURCE






Ex-presidents demand Australian Medical Association retracts support for gay marriage

Five former state presidents of the Australian Medical Association are among almost 400 doctors who have signed a petition asking the nation’s peak medical body to retract its support for same-sex marriage.

The rearguard group, led by former AMA Tasmania president Chris Middleton, delivered a letter to AMA national president Mich­ael Gannon yesterday accusing him of making “false and misleading claims” about why same-sex marriage should be treated as a health issue.

“In the six days since the ‘medical critique’ was made public a further­ 368 of us, including 26 professors and associate professors and five past state presidents, have added our voices to this sincere expression of concern,” Dr Middleton wrote in the letter.

Among the signatories was Howard government minister John Herron, also a former president of the AMA Queensland.

Former AMA West Australian president Paul Skerritt also signed the petition, along with former AMA Tasmanian presidents Haydn Walters and Michael Aizen. Four of the five past presidents who signed the petition are AMA fellows, which is one of the body’s highest honours.

The Weekend Australian revealed­ last week that Dr Middleton and five other AMA members had compiled a report savaging the body’s processes in choosing to support same-sex marriage.

The report was critical of the AMA for not consulting the membership before it made its position statement on same-sex marriage, as it had done for other controversial issues, such as euthanasia.

The report said the AMA used flimsy evidence to argue children of gay couples had the same health outcomes as those raised by their biological mother and father. It also criticised evidence used by the AMA to claim legalising same-sex marriage would improve­ the health of gay people.

Dr Herron, who was Aboriginal affairs minister from 1996-2001, said the AMA should have consulted its membership base, rather than agreeing to pursue the policy after a meeting of state presidents at the AMA’s federal council.

“It didn’t do any polling on the membership of the AMA,” Dr Herron told The Weekend Australian. “And I don’t agree with the statement because a child deserves a mother and a father, not two mothers and two fathers.”

Dr Gannon said he understood why some members were disappointed with the AMA’s position on same-sex marriage, which was announced earlier in the year.

“I respect their right to have an opinion and it is natural that the AMA will produce position statements which are divisive,” he said.

“I expected a portion of our membership to be unhappy about our statement on marriage equal­ity and I was prepared for some resignations on it. But I am very happy to defend the process.

“It was worked out through a working group made up of federal councillors and other experts.”

He said the body would review whether it should have polled its membership base. “That is something we will reflect on,’’ Dr Gannon said. “We gave ourselves a lot of pats on the back when it came to our process on the physician-assisted­ suicide (position statement), the way we did it so carefully and went to the membership and surveyed them.

“So I think we will reflect on whether we got this one right. But it … would be fair to say that the respon­se ... has been overwhelmingly supportive in terms of our position on marriage equality.”

SOURCE

*************************

Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

***************************


Monday, August 14, 2017



Why Does Trump Still Refuse to Criticize Putin?

The article below from "The Atlantic" does establish their case that Trump goes out of his way to stay friendly with Russia but they have no answer to the "Why" in their heading.  They even acknowledge that his attitude probably does him political harm.

It seems not to have occurred to them that it is very much in America's self-interest to be on friendly terms with Russia and that Trump is in fact being statesmanlike in his attitude. Consider if there is serious trouble over North Korea. Russia could in various ways seriously hamper what Trump could do if it wanted to.  Given Trump's friendliness, however, Putin will almost certainly do nothing -- leaving all options open for Trump.

The Left, on the other hand,  seem to want a return to the Cold War, which seems to me to be borderline insane.  Didn't we have enough of that last century?

Note that I said above something that will grind a few Leftist mental gears if it ever gets into their heads:  "Trump statesmanlike"!  Heresy!  But it fits



The president not only won’t denounce Russia, but he goes out of his way to avoid it—like when he thanked the Kremlin on Thursday for expelling U.S. diplomats.

President Trump is most comfortable when he’s on the verbal offensive. He loves a good war of words, whether his target is a foreign adversary, a foreign ally, a Republican rival, or Rosie O’Donnell. According to a New York Times tally, Trump has attacked 351 separate people, places, and things on Twitter alone since July 2015.

The president has demonstrated that tendency this week, with his escalating, improvised threats against North Korea and his parallel assault on Mitch McConnell, his most important ally in Washington.

Those feuds make Trump’s refusal to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin all the more conspicuous.

On July 30, Putin announced that Russia was forcing the U.S. State Department to reduce its staff in Russia by 755 people. (For the most part, those who were laid off were Russians working for the embassy, not American diplomats.) Trump, who often can’t let a provocation on cable news go unanswered for more than a few hours, was uncharacteristically quiet.

He finally broke his silence, after a fashion, on August 3, the day he signed a bill increasing sanctions on Russia in retaliation for interfering in the 2016 election. Trump had opposed the legislation, but it passed Congress with veto-proof majorities, leaving him little choice but to sign it. There are many reasons Russo-American relations are strained: Russian anger at expansion of NATO, longstanding global rivalries, the Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine, years of Russian human-rights abuses, and Russian tampering with the election. Trump chose to place blame for the rocky state of the relationship not on any of those issues, and certainly not on Putin, but squarely on Congress. Just for good measure, he tossed in an unrelated jab at the failure of an Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan:

"Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!"

There was still not a word about Putin’s forced cuts at the U.S. embassy. Finally, on Thursday, Trump weighed in. His comments were surprising—not only did he not criticize Putin, but he thanked him:

I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There's no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.
Was Trump speaking with tongue in cheek? It’s possible, but he didn’t smile when he said it. (The president has often tried to pass off apparently serious comments as jokes after the fact, in order to defuse situations.) The remark fits with his attempt to cut costs at the State Department and his disdain for traditional diplomacy.

But even if the whole thing was a joke, it’s still astonishing that Trump’s response to Russian retaliation was to thank the retaliators. This doesn’t mean the only option is an eye for an eye; a simple public complaint is standard in cases of diplomatic retaliation like this. (Part of the problem is that Trump seems to have two modes: conciliation and escalation. The idea of criticizing without raising the stakes is foreign to him.)

The strange thing about Trump’s comments about Putin is not merely that he won’t criticize him, but that he goes out of his way to avoid it. The tweet about Russian relations and his remarks on Thursday were hardly the only times this has happened. And that’s even leaving aside Trump’s repeated praise for the Russian leader during the campaign, when he praised Putin’s leadership, suggested he’d allow the annexation of Crimea, and publicly called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Let’s draw a line between what Trump said on the campaign trail and what he’s said since the election. Although he had been briefed before November 8, it was after the election that he began getting full intelligence briefings on Russian interference. Since then, there has also been an increasing focus on interference among members of the public, press, and Congress. In other words, Trump has had many more incentives to distance himself from Russia. Instead, he’s continued to hold his fire.

On February 4, Trump told Bill O’Reilly, “I do respect [Putin]. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them.” O’Reilly pressed Trump on Putin’s murders of dissidents and journalists. Trump wouldn’t criticize Putin for those crimes, and suggested the United States was no better. “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”

He has also repeatedly declined to accept the idea that Russia meddled in the election, even though it is the conclusion of all the major intelligence agencies, and even though many of his top aides have said they blame Russia for hacking attacks. In June, he called the attacks “a big Dem HOAX.”

In early July, during a trip to Poland, he halfway accepted that Russia might have been behind them, then backed off the statement and worked to muddy the waters:

"I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people. I said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia, but I think it could well have been other countries. I won’t be specific. I think a lot of people interfere. I think it’s been happening for a long time, it’s been happening for many, many years."

Yet he added: “Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”

Later that week, Trump had his first face-to-face meeting with Putin, at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. U.S. and Russian accounts of the meeting initially diverged, with the United States saying Trump had pressed Putin forcefully on the hacking, and Russia saying Trump had accepted Putin’s denials.

Two days later, Trump cleared things up with a pair of tweets that basically confirmed the Russian account:

Given that Trump had already said he was dubious of Russian interference, that tweet reads as an acknowledgment that he accepted their denial.

The question is why Trump has worked so hard to avoid criticizing Putin—especially when there’s a clear political downside to appearing cozy with the Russian bear.

There is little obvious foreign-policy advantage. During the campaign and early in his presidency, Trump argued that the United States ought to launch a charm offensive in order to improve relations with Russia. Whether that was right or wrong, and whether Congress or someone else is to blame, that approach is obsolete today. As Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Russia have all admitted, relations are now at a low ebb.

Even if Trump fully believes that Putin is a spotless, admirable leader falsely accused of various crimes, it would be to his benefit to create some separation, and a matter as simple as expulsion of diplomats offers a good chance for Trump to stand up for his country. Putin, like any foreign leader, understands that sometimes a head of state has to shore himself up domestically and would surely interpret a few hostile words from Trump in that light. (Alternatively, even if one believes Trump is a bought-and-paid-for puppet of the Kremlin, why wouldn’t he publicly denounce Putin to buy himself some maneuvering room?)

Given Trump’s affection for authoritarian leaders and fixation on projecting strength, the simplest explanation for Trump’s refusal to criticize Putin might be that he doesn’t want to give the impression that he has been cowed into changing his view. Perhaps he’s thinking that if he allows his critics to troll him into offering harsh words, it would show that they are stronger than him—and if he acknowledges Russian interference in the election, it undermines the legitimacy of his victory in 2016.

In fact, his actions are making him look weak, but not in the way he thinks. His refusal to criticize Putin even in the case of diplomatic retaliation gives the impression that he is intimidated by the Kremlin and doesn’t have it in him to be tough. The president has cut off his nose to spite his face, and is now willing to cut off an ear or a lip if he must.

During his only press conference between the election and inauguration, on January 11, Trump fielded questions about his affection for the Russian leader.

“If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks, that’s called an asset, not a liability,” he said. “Now, I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. And if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that?”

Seven months later, it seems clear that she couldn’t have been any less tough.

SOURCE






This Week's Google Code Jam Won by a Male for Umpteenth Straight Time

Sport computer programming superstar Gennady Vladimirovich Korotkevich of Belarus won the 2017 Google Code Jam world finals in Dublin yesterday. This marks the fourth straight year Korotkevich, who looks a little like QB Tom Brady, has won Google’s programming tournament.



Also, this marks the 14th time in 14 years that a man has won the Google-sponsored contest. In fact, I am told, all the finalists ever in the history of Google’s event (there were 20 finalists flown in by Google to its Dublin office this year), have been guys. (Note that I haven’t been able to check that myself.) *

Commenter Candid Observer points out an interesting comment on Brooks’ NY Times column:

Observation: Google has run a coding competition (Code Jam) since 2003. It attracts tens of thousands of applicants now, including thousands of women, to compete in a multiple round contest leading up to a field of 20 finalists. This is a “hard” advance competition – no bonus points awarded for, say, lacking a penis. Google has used it to identify their best and brightest job prospects.

There has never been a female finalist. Ever. Unless you count “Code Jam for Women”, rolled out in 2014.

Probability alone would say that if only 5-10% of entrants were women, and they were as likely to to have the same skill sets and ability as men, that we should have seen a female finalist by now. The numbers actually match nicely with the list of top Chess players, which only 1 woman can really say she could/can compete at the highest level.

None of this says anything about any individual male or female, other than that testing and real world competition have shown that in (at least) certain mathematical and spatial cognition tasks, there are far more men than women who are above average to the tune of multiple standard deviations. No doubt there are other tasks where men are more likely to appear on the low end. But that is not a useful and employable skill set at Google.

* Update: Commenter Jimmyriddle points out that, judging by the picture of the 25 Google Code Jam finalists in 2011, one finalist appears to be a girl. So it’s probably an exaggeration to say that all the Google finalists ever have been male.

SOURCE







UK: 'Racist' Muslim sex gangs: MPs demand tougher sentences for grooming young white girls

Britain's courts should treat Asian Muslim grooming gangs behind the abuse of hundreds of white teenage girls as racially aggravated criminals, leading MPs and campaigners have demanded.

The demand was issued as senior politicians and prosecutors admitted that political correctness may have stopped the gangs being properly pursued and punished after another ring of Asian mainly muslim sex offenders was convicted in Newcastle.

The Attorney General was facing calls to review the sentences of several members of the 18-strong Newcastle gang after it emerged the apparently racially-aggravated nature of their crimes was not reflected in their punishment.

The men, mostly of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin were convicted of plying vulnerable and underage white girls with drink and drugs before sexually abusing and raping them.

SOURCE





Trump Got Your Tongue, Media?

Ann Coulter on immigration:

The current issue of Newsweek (yes, it’s still in business!) has a picture of President Trump sitting in a recliner, with snacks and an iPad in his lap, pointing his TV remote at the viewer, blazoned with the headline, “Lazy Boy.”

Liberals only wish.

Last week, the president joined Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) to announce legislation that would make seminal changes to our immigration laws for the first time in more than half a century, profoundly affecting the entire country.

The media have chosen not to cover the RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment). This bill is their worst nightmare.

Instead of admitting immigrants on the basis of often specious “family” ties, the bill would finally allow us to choose the immigrants we want, based on merit, with points granted for skills, English proficiency, advanced degrees, actual job offers and so on.

Most Americans have no idea that we have zero say about the vast majority of immigrants pouring into our country. Two-thirds of all legal immigrants get in not because we want them — or even because Mark Zuckerberg wants them — but under idiotic “family reunification” laws.

The most important provision of the RAISE Act would define “family” the way most Americans think of it: your spouse and minor children.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the Third World thinks of “family.” In tribal societies, “family” means the whole extended clan — adult siblings, elderly parents and brothers-in-law, plus all their adult siblings and elderly parents, and so on, ad infinitum.

Entire tribes of immigrants are able to bully their way in and, as legal immigrants, are immediately eligible for a whole panoply of government benefits. Suddenly, there’s no money left in the Social Security Trust Fund, and Speaker Paul Ryan is telling Americans they’re going to have to cut back.

At some point, American businesses are going to have to be told they can’t keep bringing in cheap foreign labor, changing the country and offloading the costs onto the taxpayer. But that’s not this discussion. Business owners want cheap workers — not the disabled parents of cheap workers.

In a sane world, merely introducing such an important bill — with the imprimatur of a president elected on his immigration stance — would force the media to finally discuss the subject they have been deliberately hiding from the public.

Has Trump personally endorsed any other legislation like this? He harangued congressional Republicans on Twitter to pass some Obamacare replacement, but he never endorsed a specific bill.

But, you see, there’s a reason the media don’t want to talk about immigration.

With a full public airing, Americans would finally understand why recent immigrants seem so different from earlier waves, why income inequality is approaching czarist Russia levels, why the suicide rate has skyrocketed among the working class, and why all our government benefits programs are headed toward bankruptcy.

As Stephen Miller, the president’s inestimable speechwriter, said, some legislative proposals “can only succeed in the dark of night” and some “can only succeed in the light of day.” This is a light-of-day bill.

So, naturally, the media refuse to mention it, except to accuse Miller of being a white nationalist for knowing hate-facts about the Emma Lazarus poem not being part of the original Statue of Liberty. (It’s the Statue of Liberty, not Statute of Liberty, media.)

They ignore this bill so they can get on to the important business of Trump’s tweets, who’s up and who’s down in the White House, and Russia, Russia, Russia.

According to my review of Nexis archives, there was only a single question about the RAISE Act on any of the Sunday morning shows: Chris Wallace’s last question to his very important Republican guest. Unfortunately, his very important Republican guest was amnesty-supporting nitwit Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who sniped about Trump employing foreign guest workers at Mar-a-Lago.

However that may be, guest workers have absolutely nothing to do with the RAISE Act, which, as Miller heroically tried to explain to clueless reporters, concerns only green-card holders, i.e., lawful permanent residents — not guest workers, not illegal aliens and not a poem Scotch-taped onto Lady Liberty in 1903.

At least the media aren’t deluded about the popularity of their position. Discussing immigration is a total loser for them. They know what they want is not supported by anyone.

Low-wage workers don’t want hundreds of thousands of low-skilled immigrants being dumped on the country every year. Employers don’t want the deadbeat cousins of their cheap workers. Americans on public assistance don’t want foreigners competing with them for benefits. Boneheaded Scandinavian communities that welcomed refugees don’t want to turn their entire town budgets over to various foreign tribes.

In a recent Numbers USA poll of voters in 10 swing states with vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election next year, only 22 percent of respondents thought immigrants should be allowed by right to bring in “family” other than spouses and minor children.

Make the senators vote, Mr. President!

Donald Trump was elected president, beating the smartest, most qualified woman in the world, by proposing to put Americans first on immigration. This bill makes good on that promise.

There’s a reason the media won’t discuss it. If Trump were smart, he’d talk about nothing else.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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