Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The Harvey Weinstein story goes much deeper than one big creep

original article: The Human Stain: Why the Harvey Weinstein Story Is Worse Than You Think
October 09, 2017 by Lee Smith

The New York Times last week broke the story of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s long record of sexual harassment. Actresses including Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd came forward to detail Weinstein’s depredations, and so did former employees of the man who founded one of the most important independent film companies of the last 30 years, Miramax. The details were so jarring and the trail of abuse so long, that it was impossible to read the story and not come away wondering: How did no one know what he was doing?

But of course people knew about Harvey Weinstein. Like the New York Times, for instance. Sharon Waxman, a former reporter at the Times, writes in The Wrap how she had the story on Weinstein in 2004—and then he bullied the Times into dropping it. Matt Damon and Russell Crowe even called her directly to get her to back off the story. And Miramax was a major advertiser. Her editor at the TimesJonathan Landman, asked her why it mattered. After all, he told Waxman, “he’s not a publicly elected official.”

Manhattan’s district attorney knew, too. In 2015, Weinstein’s lawyer donated $10,000 to the campaign of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance after he declined to file sexual assault charges against the producer. Given the number of stories that have circulated for so long, Weinstein must have spread millions around New York, Los Angeles, and Europe to pay off lawyers and buy silence, including the silence of his victims. But he had something else going for him, too. He knew his victims would be reluctant to go public because it might suggest that some of their success, their fame even, was a function of their inability to protect themselves from being humiliated by a man who set the bar for humiliating others at the precise level of his own self-loathing.

Hollywood is full of connoisseurs like Weinstein, men whose erotic imaginations are fueled primarily by humiliation, who glut their sensibilities with the most exquisite refinements of shame. A journalist once told me about visiting another very famous Hollywood producer—you’d know the name—who exhibited for my friend his collection of photographs of famous female actresses—you’d know their names, too—performing sexual acts for his private viewing. As with Weinstein, this man’s chief thrill was humiliation, and the more famous the target the more roundly it was savored: Even her, a big star—these people will do anything to land a role; they’re so awful, they’ll even do it for me.

One of the refrains you hear today from media experts and journalists is that they’d known about Weinstein’s transgressions for a long time. The problem, they say, was that no one was able to nail down the story.

Nonsense. Everyone had it, not just Waxman. Sure, reporters hadn’t been able to get any stars to go on the record. But that means the story journalists were pursuing wasn’t really about Weinstein’s sexual depredations. It means that what they wanted was a story about actresses, junior executives, or assistants who had been humiliated, maybe raped, and chose to remain quiet in exchange for money and/or a shot at fame.

Of course no one was going to get that on the record—very few journalists would even want to publish a story like that. But journalists always had the actual story of how a Hollywood producer humiliated and sexually assaulted women. How? Because he victimized journalists.

Fox News reporter Lauren Sivan told Huffington Post that a decade ago, Weinstein masturbated in front of her. She says she didn’t say anything at the time, when she was an anchor on a local cable show, because she was “fearful of the power that Weinstein wielded in the media.” She was right and her fear was understandable.

Writing in New York Magazine, Rebecca Traister remembers the time when she asked Weinstein an interview question at a book party, he screamed at her, spit in her face, called her a “c—t,” and then put her boyfriend in a headlock and dragged him to the street. Traister said nothing at the time because she figured she had little chance against “that kind of force.”

I don’t blame her or Sivan for not saying anything, never mind reporting the story. Weinstein is violent, vindictive, and litigious—as well as sexually abusive—facts that the entertainment and political media knew for years. No one wanted to publish that story. But that’s not the same thing as “not being able to nail it down.” “Nailing it down” would have amounted to nothing more than printing a collection of facts under a byline.

The real issue, as Traister notes, was that “there were so many journalists on his payroll, working as consultants on movie projects, or as screenwriters, or for his magazine.” Traister is referring to Talk, the magazine Weinstein started at Miramax with Tina Brown. The catchword was “synergy”—magazine articles, turned into books, turned into movies, a supply chain of entertainment and information that was going to put these media titans in the middle of everything and make them all richer.

Traister and I worked at Talk together in the late ’90s. There were lots of talented journalists but it was still a mess. Outside of “synergy,” there was no idea driving the magazine, and Tina’s search for a vision was expensive. She spent lavishly on writers, art directors, photographers, and parties. Harvey got angry. Every time Tina went downtown to meet with him he screamed at her the whole time. He humiliated her. At least this was the story that went around the office every time she went down there, a story circulating through, and circulated by, several dozen journalists.

Or, to put it another way: More than 20 people in one magazine office alone all had the story about Harvey Weinstein’s “mistreatment” of women.

So why didn’t anyone write it? Not to take anything away from Jodi Kantor’s excellent New York Times piece, but the reality is that everyone had the story.

The reason no one wrote it is not because the press wanted to get Weinstein, but couldn’t prove the story. No, it’s because the press was protecting Weinstein.

Why wouldn’t they? He made terrific movies and he was a big mover in Democratic party politics, raising millions for local and national campaigns, including the Clintons. (Hillary, some readers will recall, was on the cover of Talk’s first issue.)

John Kennedy, Jr. tried to blend politics and entertainment with the magazine he founded, George. His basic insight was correct; but he misunderstood something crucial. And John John misunderstood it because he was, by all accounts, a good man.

You know the old joke about Washington: That it’s Hollywood for ugly people. Kennedy thought that this was unfair to Washington and that the people in the nation’s capital had the capacity for glamour, too.

But it turns out that the joke works in the opposite direction: Hollywood is for ugly people, too. That was Harvey Weinstein’s essential insight, and how he managed to combine the worlds of politics, entertainment, and media. They’re all repulsive—and I know they’re disgusting or else they wouldn’t be courting, of all people, me.

Thus his fortress was quarried from the misshapen material of human vanity, ambition, and greed. Writers and journalists—the intellectuals, in his mind—were nearly as contemptible as actors. They wouldn’t dream of crossing a guy who could turn them into culture heroes with a phone call. Hey, I just optioned your novel and I already know who’s going to make the movie. And oh yeah, please confirm that you don’t, like I think I may have heard, have a reporter looking into a story about me.

A friend reminds me that there was a period when Miramax bought the rights to every big story published in magazines throughout the city. Why mess with Weinstein when that big new female star you’re trying to wrangle for the June cover is headlining a Miramax release? Do you think that glossy magazine editor who threw the swankiest Oscar party in Hollywood was trying to “nail down” the Weinstein story? Right, just like the hundreds of journalists who were ferried across the river for the big party at the Statue of Liberty to celebrate the premiere of Talk—they were all there sipping champagne and sniffing coke with models in order to “nail down” the story about how their host was a rapist.

That’s why the story about Harvey Weinstein finally broke now. It’s because the media industry that once protected him has collapsed. The magazines that used to publish the stories Miramax optioned can’t afford to pay for the kind of reporting and storytelling that translates into screenplays. They’re broke because Facebook and Google have swallowed all the digital advertising money that was supposed to save the press as print advertising continued to tank.

Look at Vanity Fair, basically the in-house Miramax organ that Tina failed to make Talk: Condé Nast demanded massive staff cuts from Graydon Carter and he quit. He knows they’re going to turn his aspirational bible into a blog, a fate likely shared by most (if not all) of the Condé Nast books.

Si Newhouse, magazine publishing’s last Medici, died last week, and who knows what will happen to Condé now. There are no more journalists; there are just bloggers scrounging for the crumbs Silicon Valley leaves them. Who’s going to make a movie out of a Vox column? So what does anyone in today’s media ecosystem owe Harvey Weinstein? And besides, it’s good story, right? “Downfall of a media Mogul.” Maybe there’s even a movie in it.

Rebecca Traister says the stories are coming out now because “our consciousness has been raised.” Between Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Donald Trump, argues Traister, people are now accustomed to speaking and hearing the truth about famous, sexually abusive men.

This is wrong. It has nothing to do with “raised consciousness”—or else she wouldn’t have left off that list the one name obviously missing. It’s not about raised consciousness or else the Democratic party’s 2016 presidential campaign would not have been a year-long therapy session treating a repressed trauma victim with even its main slogan—“I’m with her”—referencing a muted plea for sympathy for a woman who’d been publicly shamed by a sexual predator.

Which brings us, finally, to the other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.

A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.

Bill Clinton offered get-out-of-jail-free cards to a whole army of sleazeballs, from Jeffrey Epstein to Harvey Weinstein to the foreign donors to the Clinton Global Initiative. The deal was simple: Pay up, genuflect, and get on with your existence. It was like a papacy selling indulgences, at the same time that everyone knew that the cardinals were up to no good. The 2016 election demolished Clinton world once and for all, to be replaced by the cult of Obama, an austere sect designated by their tailored hair shirts with Nehru collars. “That is not who we are as Americans,” they chant, as Harvey Weinstein’s ashes are scattered in the wind.

abuse, bias, bullies, corruption, cover up, criminal, culture, elitism, ethics, extremism, feminism, political correctness, politics, progressive, scandal, sex, sexism

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Transgender lesson for 5-year-olds, parents precluded

original article: School gives transgender lesson to 5-year-olds, refuses to give details to parents
August 24, 2017 by Lianne Laurence

Tensions continue to rise in a Sacramento suburb over a boy who “transitioned” to a girl at Rocklin Academy Gateway kindergarten last June during a lesson that some parents say left their five-year-olds traumatized.

Angry parents flooded the Rocklin Academy School Board meeting Monday to protest that they weren’t forewarned the boy was transitioning to a girl or that the kindergarten class would be taught about transgenderism, reported CBS.

Parents were notified only a week later and told only “that two books had been read, not that there was a transgender student in the class,” according to a parent statement provided to LifeSiteNews by Greg Burt of the California Family Council.

But kindergarten teacher Kaelin Swaney defended her actions at the board meeting.

“I’m so proud of my students. It was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation,” she said, according to CBS.

Teacher, board won’t tell parents what happened

But the teacher has refused to disclose to parents what happened during the lesson, according to the parent’s statement. Instead, she told the parent to “ask our student.”

The school board has taken the same line, says Karen England, executive director of Capitol Hill Resources, a pro-family public policy group.

Board staff “are refusing and they refused even afterwards to answer parents’ questions and have referred the parents to their children who were in their class, to the five-year-olds, as to what happened,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Because of state regulations governing open meetings, the board couldn’t legally address the issue Monday night because it wasn’t on the agenda, England told LifeSiteNews. The teacher and parents spoke during the general comments section.

Board accusing parents of inaccuracies

The board is now saying that parents’ accounts of what happened on the second-to-last day before summer break are inaccurate.

In a Tuesday email to parents, Rocklin Academy superintendent Robin Stout disputes the “timeline of events” but adds: “Because of our obligation to protect student confidentiality and safety, we are not at liberty to correct every detail.”

Stout states no “transition ceremony took place” but the “gender transition of the student had occurred before the day the book was read.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Stout and Rocklin Gateway School but did not hear back.

According to the parent’s statement, one-third of the class (seven students) said the teacher read one book in the beginning of the day and another at the end. (The two books pro-transgender books were “I am Jazz” and “The Red Crayon” and target four to eight year olds.) Somewhere in between, “the child changed his clothes from boy clothes to girl clothes.”

“All of the students knew that the child now had a girl brain in a boy body and that he had a new name that the students were to call him,” the parent stated. “Because of this we are assuming that there was some sort of presentation.”

At the next day’s graduation ceremony, the teacher introduced the student by “his girl name” and “all of the students knew he was now a girl and that he had to be called by his new girl name,” the parent stated.

“The school did not refute this happened until a week ago,” she wrote. “They are now disputing the sequence of events but not that the events did not take place.”

Parent getting hate mail; school fears lawsuits

That parent is also getting hate mail among the responses to a petition she has launched, Burt said. “People are afraid to talk about this issue.”

Parents fear not only the backlash but lawsuits, noted England. “I’m getting a letter from a legal group that lets them know that no, you can’t get sued for telling the truth.”

Schools also “are scared to death” they’ll be sued or charged with discrimination, Burt said.

He blames California’s lawmakers for this.

Indeed, Stout has stated the board didn’t have to tell parents in advance because gender issues don’t fall under sex education and aren’t subject to the state’s opt-out and parental consent laws.

California law also bans discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.

A July 31 school board presentation stated a child has a “right” to self-identity and anyone who intentionally does not use a student’s preferred pronouns could be guilty of “gender identity harassment.”

More transgender laws coming

California’s senate is now poised to pass SB-179, which will create a “third” gender for birth certificates and driver’s licences, Burt said.

“This particular bill allows a parent to change the gender of their children, no questions asked, no doctor’s note required,”  he told LifeSiteNews.

“Plus there’s no age limit, so a parent can change the sex on their two-year-old’s birth certificate by simply filling out a form if they wanted.”

Added Burt: “So what’s a school do if a boy comes in and it says legally on his birth certificate that he’s a girl and he’s obviously not a girl?”

The California senate is also considering Bill 219, which will jail people for up to a year for not using the pronouns of choice for patients in long-term care facilities. The bill mandates such facilities place men claiming to be women in rooms with women.

Parents and faith leaders must fight back

The kindergarten blowup in Rocklin is the inevitable result of such legislation, Burt says.

The California Family Council is “pleading with parents and religious leaders speak out publicly regarding their opposition to laws that promote transgenderism and to call and personally meet with their legislators,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Way too many people who disapprove of these government policies have been silent about their opposition. And policy makers have interpreted this silence as approval of the direction they have been going. That has to stop,” added Burt.

“This isn’t going away,” England told LifeSiteNews. “The school is digging in. … It’s erupting.”

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Teen came in for three abortions, parents never knew

original article: Former abortion worker: Teen came in for three abortions, parents never knew
April 8, 2017 by Sarah Terzo

Brenda Pratt-Shaffer spent three days working at a late-term abortion facility before she became so troubled by what she saw that she quit. She recently wrote a book about her experiences called What the Nurse Saw: Eyewitness to Abortion.

On Pratt–Shaffer’s first day in the abortion facility, she cared for a teenage girl who was there having an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. Pratt–Shafer wrote:

One of the things that really bothered me that day was a fifteen-year-old girl having her third abortion. Her parents did not even know that she was there. She was laughing the whole time she was in the clinic. I wondered if this was a nervous laugh or if she truly just did not care….I just kept thinking about my fifteen-year-old daughter that I had to sign for to have her ears pierced. But here was a fifteen-year-old having such a horrific procedure for the third time that her parents didn’t even know about.(1)

This young woman was in a self-destructive spiral. As a teenager having an abortion, she was already at higher risk of suicide than an adult having an abortion. One study found that a post–abortive teenager is 10 times more likely to commit suicide than a teenager who has never had an abortion.

Her physical health was endangered as well. If this teen were to suffer complications after an abortion, she might hide them from her parents in an effort to keep the abortion a secret. Her parents will not know to be vigilant about their daughter’s health. They won’t know to look out for symptoms of abortion complications in their child. They may not be aware of a dangerous complication like an infection before it’s too late.

This girl’s parents lost three grandchildren to abortion and were never given a chance to try and help their daughter.

In many states there are no parental notification laws, meaning that teenagers are free to schedule their abortions without their parents ever knowing. Even in states where parental notification or consent laws exist, there are judicial bypass clauses that allow teens to evade these laws. Often, Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities help walk teenagers through the process of judicial bypass.

According to Margo, who worked at a different late-term abortion facility:

Where I worked we were a privately owned late term abortion clinic up to 20 weeks, and Michigan did pass a 24 hour consent law, and we did have parental overrides, judicial overrides that the counselors would help the minors obtain. And some of those things were pretty sketchy…It was more of a goal to keep them [parents] out as much as possible, because we did notice that outcomes would change when there was parental involvement. And so there was a whole system in place to help the kids get a judicial bypass, which basically was a rubber stamp, just go before the judge and say, “I’m afraid of what my parents will do to me if they find out that I am pregnant.” And the judge would ask, “Do you feel like you would be in danger?” “Yes.” “Ok.” And it’s just that sort of thing.

The court bypass option available to minors has always been a loophole that allows teens to evade parental consent laws. The teen must go before a judge and convince him either that she is mature enough to make the abortion decision, or that the abortion is in her best interest. On either of these grounds, the judge can permit the abortion without parental consent. The book Adolescent Abortion: Psychological and Legal Issues discusses one of the first parental consent laws that went into effect and how little impact it had:

As a matter of practice, proceedings have turned out to be pro forma rubberstamps of minors’ decisions. Most minors are found to be mature, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, abortions are almost always found to be in the best interests of immature minors. In Massachusetts between April 1981 [when the parental consent judicial bypass law went into effect] and February 1983, about 1300 minors sought abortions through the judicial bypass procedure. In about 90% of cases, minors were found to be mature. In the remaining cases, all but five petitioners’ request for abortions were approved, according to a best interests standard. In three of those cases the trial court’s decision was overturned on appeal. In one case the judge invited the minor to seek approval from another judge, who granted the petition. In the remaining case the minor decided to go to a neighboring state for the abortion. (2)

The law, therefore, did not prevent a single teenager from having abortions without their parent’s knowledge. Better options need to be pursued to make sure vulnerable teens have the guidance of their parents when making life and death decisions.

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Intel community raced to unmask Trump team

original article: Former Obama Official: Intelligence Community Raced To Pump Out Classified Info About Trump Team
March 30, 2017 by Ben Shapiro

While the media fulminates over supposed connections between the Trump Team and the Russian government, the only scandal of which we have real evidence – members of the Obama intelligence community leaking classified information about American citizens – continues apace.

And the media don’t seem to care.

Evelyn Farkas, deputy assistant secretary of defense under President Obama said on March 2 on MSNBC that she was telling members of the intelligence community as well as Democrats in Congress to gather as much information as possible on the Trump transition team.

She explained:

I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration. Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy … that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their … the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence….So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia. So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues and I knew that they were trying to also help get information to the Hill.

In other words, there’s a hint here that Team Trump may have been targeted by Obama intelligence officials specifically; there’s definitive testimony here that the Obama team tried to distribute material on Team Trump as widely as possible, likely leading to the outing of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s conversations with the Russian Ambassador and then his firing.

This squares with reporting from The New York Times the day before Farkas’ appearance that, “In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.”

It’s not illegal for intelligence officials to do that. It is illegal for intelligence officials to unmask American citizens needlessly, or to disseminate such information to the press. Yet somehow The Washington Post’s David Ignatius ended up with such information in January prior to Trump’s inauguration, quoting a “senior US government official” who said “Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on December 29…” How did he get that information?

Trump has always been right about the danger of intelligence community leaks. He’s slathered that real scandal in the evidence-less stupidity that he was personally wiretapped at Barack Obama’s behest. But just because Trump’s twitter feed is filled with gossipy silliness doesn’t mean that the media have a right to ignore the burning scandal of intelligence coordination to damage the Trump White House.

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If voter fraud isn’t real, please explain this

original article: Voter Fraud Is Real. Here’s The Proof
October 13, 2016 by John Gibbs

Data suggests millions of voter registrations are fraudulent or invalid. That’s enough to tip an election, easily.

This week, liberals have been repeating their frequent claim that voter fraud doesn’t exist. A recent Salon article argues that “voter fraud just isn’t a problem in Pennsylvania,” despite evidence to the contrary. Another article argues that voter fraud is entirely in the imagination of those who use voter ID laws to deny minorities the right to vote.

Yet as the election approaches, more and more cases of voter fraud are beginning to surface. In Colorado, multiple instances were found of dead people attempting to vote. Stunningly, “a woman named Sara Sosa who died in 2009 cast ballots in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.” In Virginia, it was found that nearly 20 voter applications were turned in under the names of dead people.

In Texas, authorities are investigating criminals who are using the technique of “vote harvesting” to illegally procure votes for their candidates. “Harvesting” is the practice of illegally obtaining the signatures of valid voters in order to vote in their name without their consent for the candidate(s) the criminal supports.

These are just some instances of voter fraud we know about. It would be silly to assume cases that have been discovered are the only cases of fraud. Indeed according to a Pew Charitable Trust report from February 2012, one in eight voter registrations are “significantly inaccurate or no longer valid.” Since there are 146 million Americans registered to vote, this translates to a stunning 18 million invalid voter registrations on the books. Further, “More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters, and approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.” Numbers of this scale obviously provide ripe opportunity for fraud.

Don’t Let Data Contradict My Narrative

Yet in spite of all this, a report by the Brennan Center at New York University claims voter fraud is a myth. It argues that North Carolina, which passed comprehensive measures to prevent voter fraud, “failed to identify even a single individual who has ever been charged with committing in-person voter fraud in North Carolina.” However, this faulty reasoning does not point to the lack of in-person voter fraud, but rather to lack of enforcement mechanisms to identify and prosecute in-person voter fraud.

The science of criminal justice tells us that many crimes go unreported, and the more “victimless” the crime, the more this happens. The fact is, a person attempting to commit voter fraud is very unlikely to be caught, which increases the incentive to commit the crime.

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is a sophisticated, comprehensive effort to catalog “the number and types of crimes not reported to law enforcement authorities.” However, it tends to deal mostly in violent crimes. As complex as the NCVS is, gathering accurate data for unreported victimless crimes such as voter fraud is even harder, since 1) outside of the criminal, no one may know a crime has taken place, and 2) there is no direct victim to report the crime in the first place. Yet we are expected to believe that, unlike violent crime, voter fraud is limited only to the cases that are actually reported and prosecuted? This is a senseless position.

Further, the Brennan Center report argues that because prosecutor Kris Kobach’s review of 84 million votes cast in 22 states found only 14 instances of fraud referred for prosecution (which amounts to a 0.00000017 percent fraud rate), voter fraud is so statistically small that it’s a non-issue. Let’s follow this logic. Does the fact that 109 people were cited for jaywalking in Seattle in 2009 mean that only 109 people jaywalked in Seattle that year? Does the fact that 103,733 people were cited for driving without a seatbelt in Tennessee in 2015 mean that only that many people were driving without seatbelt in Tennessee in 2015?

Absolutely not. This can be proven easily because in 2014, the previous year, only 29,470 people were cited. The disparity is largely due to increased enforcement efforts in 2015. In other words, increasing enforcement of the crime revealed a much larger number of people committing the crime.

The exact same is true for voter fraud. We have no reason to believe that the low number of prosecutions means only that exact amount of voter fraud is happening. Rather, it could mean a lack of enforcement is failing to reveal the bulk of the violations that are occurring. Thus, as with many types of crimes, especially victimless crimes, the real number of cases is likely significantly higher than the number reported.

How to Effectively Target Voter Fraud

So now that we know voter fraud is a serious issue, what are some solutions to this problem? States like Michigan have Poll Challenger programs, where observers from both parties may be present at voter check-in tables at precincts. They check each voter’s ID against a database of registered voters for that precinct to ensure the person attempting to vote is actually legally qualified to vote in that precinct. If there’s a discrepancy, the poll challenger may officially challenge the ballot. Other states should implement similar programs.

States should sponsor initiatives to remove dead voters and correct the registrations of people registered in multiple states (make them choose just one state). Since many local jurisdictions are reluctant to clean their voter rolls, federal or state oversight with teeth may be necessary.

Further, voter ID laws, such as the one implemented by North Carolina, but (wrongly) struck down by three liberal judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit— one appointed by Bill Clinton and the other two appointed by President Obama—are needed to ensure there’s no cheating with votes. States should continue to press the issue regardless of recent setbacks by liberal activist judges.

Finally, some have claimed that strong voter ID laws are racist, because they disproportionately impact minorities and would prevent minorities from voting. As a black person, I’m naturally interested in this claim. Thankfully, it turns out to be false. The Heritage Foundation has shown that black voter turnout actually increased after North Carolina passed its voter ID law.

Not only was the claimed negative outcome false, but the reasoning was faulty as well. The fact that the law disproportionately impacts minorities does not mean that it is discriminatory. It means, unfortunately, that fewer minorities are in compliance with common-sense safeguards to protect the integrity of our elections (i.e., having a driver’s license or photo ID).

To mitigate this concern, states can offer a service that will take people without valid ID to their local government office to apply for proper ID, free of charge. Users could schedule the pickup with their smartphone or a phone call. That way there will be as few barriers as possible to those who want to vote and are capable of obtaining a valid ID, but cannot due to transportation concerns (a reason often given by those who claim voter ID laws hurt minorities).

So let us not believe false claims that voter fraud doesn’t exist. It’s real, and we must work to stop it, while making sure those who are eligible to vote but without proper ID are accommodated fairly.


When voter fraud doesn’t count as fraud (because the perpetrators say so)

corruption, cover up, criminal, elections, ethics, fraud, ideology, pandering, political correctness, politics, scandal, voter fraud

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Hiding data is not how to prove something

original article: Why NYT Hid The Numbers For The ‘Hottest Year On Record’
January 18, 2017 Robert Tracinski

When you read a science report claiming that 2016 was the hottest year on record, you might expect that you will get numbers. And you would be wrong.

They say that mathematics is the language of science, which is a way of saying that science is quantitative. It is moved forward by numbers and measurements, not just by qualitative observations. “It seems hot out” is not science. Giving a specific temperature, measured by a specific process at a specific time, compared to other systematically gathered measurements—that is science.

So when you read an article proclaiming that, for the third year in a row, last year was the hottest year on record, you might expect that right up front you will get numbers, measurements, and a statistical margin of error. You know, science stuff. Numbers. Quantities. Mathematics.

And you would be wrong.

I just got done combing through a New York Times report titled, “Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year.” The number of relevant numbers in this article is: zero.

We are not told what the average global temperature was, how much higher this is than last year’s record or any previous records, or what the margin of error is supposed to be on those measurements. Instead, we get stuff like this.

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016—trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

Note to the New York Times: “trouncing” and “blown past” are phrases appropriate to sports reporting, not science reporting. Except that no sports reporter would dare write an article in which he never bothers to give you the score of the big game.

Yet that’s what passes for “science reporting” on the issue of global warming, where asking for numbers and margins of errors apparently makes you an enemy of science. Instead, it’s all qualitative and comparative descriptions. It’s science without numbers.

It wasn’t just the New York Times. Try finding the relevant numbers ready at hand in the NASA/NOAA press release. You get numbers comparing 2016’s temperature with “the mid-20th century mean” or “the late 19th century.” But there’s nothing comparing it to last year or the year before except qualitative descriptions. So the government’s science bureaucracy is setting the trend, making reporters dig for the relevant numbers rather than presenting them up front.

It’s almost like they’re hiding something. And that is indeed what we find. I finally tracked down an exception to this reporting trend: the UK newspaper The Independentgives us the relevant numbers.

They should have been in the first paragraph, but at least they’re in the third paragraph: “This puts 2016 only nominally ahead of 2015 by just 0.01C—within the 0.1C margin of error—but….” There’s stuff after the “but,” but it’s just somebody’s evaluation. Even this report can’t give us a straight fact and leave it alone.

For the benefit of science reporters and other people who are unfamiliar with the scientific method, let me point out that the margin of error for these measurements is plus or minus one tenth of a degree Celsius. The temperature difference that is supposedly being measured is one one-hundredth of a degree—one tenth the size of the margin of error. To go back to sports reporting, that’s like saying that the football is on the 10-yard line—give or take a hundred yards.

I think you can see why they didn’t lead with these numbers in the first paragraph or the headline, because if they did everyone would stop reading and move on to the next article. “This Year’s Temperatures Statistically Identical to Last Year’s” is not a headline that grabs anybody’s attention.

That’s not the worst part. The worst part is that this isn’t the first year they’ve done this. Two years ago, government agencies and gullible reporters repeated the exact same claims about the hottest year on record, along with some other howlers. What was the margin for that year’s record? Two one-hundredths of a degree, also much smaller than the margin of error.

Lest I be accused of not giving you numbers, global temperatures for 2015 were reported to be higher than 2014 by as much as 2.9 degrees Celsius, though you have to read to the 18th paragraph before the New York Times deigns to tell you this. That’s not as impressive as it may seem, because both 2015 and 2016 were El Nino years, when there is a normal, natural increase in temperatures.

This highlights a bigger problem with the global warming theory. For all the excitement over records set over the past 137 years—precise global thermometer measurements date only to 1880—current temperatures still are not clearly out of the range of normal variation in the 10,000 years or so since the planet bounced back from the last ice age, despite all of the furious attempts to hype them up.

Yet here is Arizona State University “theoretical physicist”—and, of course, media personality—Lawrence M. Krauss taking to Twitter to ask: “When will the evidence of the need to act be enough?” This is above a link to, you guessed it, the number-free New York Times report.

Yes, I really do wonder how anyone could possibly be skeptical of claims about the climate made by science “advocates” and by the media. It’s a total mystery.

bias, climate change, corruption, cover up, environment, global warming, ideology, indoctrination, news media, pandering, science

Filed under: bias, climate change, corruption, cover up, environment, global warming, ideology, indoctrination, news media, pandering, science

Two climate studies published in Nature, one ignored

Media Censor New Study Debunking Climate Models
April 7, 2016 by Alatheia Larsen

Climate alarmists love flaunting “extreme” weather predictions to instill fear in the hearts of skeptics, but a new study deals yet another devastating blow to those predictions’ reliability.

Researchers at Stockholm University in Sweden published a study in the journal Nature on April 6, 2016, which found that climate model predictions for rainfall and drought extremes in the 20th Century “differed vastly” from what actually happened in the 20th Century. The climate models “overestimated the increase in wet and dry extremes,” meteorologist Anthony Watts reported on his blog Watts Up With That.

global weatherThe climate models that predicted inaccurately extreme weather are the same models being used to predict the alleged disastrous impacts of climate change in the future.

The Stockholm study examined rainfall data for the last 1,200 years, and found that “prominent seesaw patterns” of wetness and dryness occurred “under both warm and cold climate regimes.” In other words, historical weather patterns don’t support climate alarmists’ belief that global warming (now called climate change) directly causes extreme weather.

“Much of the change is not only driven by temperature, but some internal, more random variability,” the study’s lead researcher, Fredrik Ljungqvist, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“It’s therefore very, very hard also to predict (precipitation extremes) with models,” Ljungqvist continued, “It might be more difficult than often assumed to project into the future.”

Despite the study’s far-reaching implications, the media have so far censored its findings. None of the evening or morning news shows on ABC, NBC, or CBS mentioned the study. No other mainstream media outlets have written on the study either, as of noon on April 7.

The Los Angeles Times did however highlight a different study on April 7 from Nature which predicted sea level rise by the end of the 21st Century, proving journalists do pay attention to studies published by Nature. Just not ones they find inconvenient.

Past climate predictions, like the infamous “hockey stick” graph, have repeatedly been criticized, yet climate rhetoric continues to resurrect in the media.

A 2014 study found that since Al Gore’s climate apocalypse film An Inconvenient Truth, network coverage of “extreme weather” increased by nearly 1,000 percent. This same weather hysteria continued into 2016, despite climatologist reports that the weather patterns were simply “business as usual.”

bias, censorship, climate change, corruption, cover up, environment, greenhouse, hypocrisy, indoctrination, left wing, news media, science, study, weather

Filed under: bias, censorship, climate change, corruption, cover up, environment, greenhouse, hypocrisy, indoctrination, left wing, news media, science, study, weather

Another country busted for euthanizing without consent

original article: Head of Nurses Group Reveals Doctors are Euthanizing Patients Without Consent
March 8, 2016 by MICHAEL COOK

The head of Portugal’s national nurses’ association has blown the whistle on covert euthanasia in public hospitals. Ana Rita Cavaco told a radio program that she personally had heard doctors discussing the topic.

She declared on the Catholic station Rádio Renascença, that euthanasia “is sometimes practiced in the health service hospitals, with doctors suggesting this solution for some patients”.

“I have personally witnessed such situations – I don’t need to look for further examples. I have seen cases where doctors have suggested administering insulin to induce an insulin coma. I am not going to shock anybody as everyone who works in the health service knows these things happen out of sight and sound, so let’s talk about it openly.”

She gave no details, but the mere suggestion was enough for Portugal’s national medical association to demand that she be prosecuted for alleging that doctors were participating in an illegal activity. The association declared that Portuguese should have complete confidence in doctors.

“These statements cannot be passed over in silence with the swiftness with which they were uttered. They are libelous and undermine the dignity of doctors and nurses, so it must be proven or clearly and formally denied”.

The Health Ministry has ordered an urgent inquiry into the allegations.

The controversy comes at a sensitive time in Portugal as Parliament will probably debate euthanasia later this year, after a high-profile petition secured enough signatures to bring the matter before the legislature

LifeNews Note: Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet where this story appeared.

abuse, corruption, cover up, criminal, elitism, ethics, eugenics, extremism, health care, ideology, left wing, medicine, nanny state, scandal, tragedy, unintended consequences

Filed under: abuse, corruption, cover up, criminal, elitism, ethics, eugenics, extremism, health care, ideology, left wing, medicine, nanny state, scandal, tragedy, unintended consequences

The Clintons are a war on women

Possibly the most famous sexual predator not in prison is named Bill. No, not Cosby, his name is Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton is a war on women. Any widely accepted definition of abuse of women should include the former philandering president. So how do we square Hillary’s recent comments on hearing, believing, and supporting abused women with Hillary’s own efforts to utterly destroy any woman who accuses her husband of sexual predation? Watch The Run Down address the particulars of the question.

buse, campaign, civil rights, corruption, cover up, criminal, culture, Democrats, elections, elitism, ethics, feminism, fraud, government, hypocrisy, ideology, pandering, politics, propaganda, relativism, scandal, sex, tragedy, victimization, video

Filed under: abuse, campaign, civil rights, corruption, cover up, criminal, culture, Democrats, elections, elitism, ethics, feminism, fraud, government, hypocrisy, ideology, pandering, politics, propaganda, relativism, scandal, sex, tragedy, victimization, video

Trigger warnings for everything except abortions?

In a culture where “trigger warnings” are becoming increasingly common, and considered justified and necessary, and ever more different aspects of life being subject to such warnings, one should question a few things. For example, why is the word “American” considered a negative term to be avoided so as to not cause offense on a college campus, a place once considered the most free-speech friendly area in America? At the same time there is also a strong resistance to abortion’s equivalent of PTSD.

Study after study shows a post traumatic stress disorder can and often does happen to women after having an abortion. If anything in civilian life is deserving of the widespread attention and sympathy of PTSD shouldn’t women who’ve had an abortion qualify?

But that is not what the purveyors of trigger warnings typically do. The advocates and administrators of trigger warning policies are usually opposed to acknowledging abortion is worthy of such consideration. The push for trigger warnings and the push against “micro-aggressions” is so strong the first amendment is routinely dismissed (and possibly considered pointless) in favor of the politically correct agenda. Yet while we are told abortion is a serious and deeply personal decision for women, we are supposed to dismiss stories of regret or even go to great lengths to distort reason in the defense of abortion.

From a news media conspicuously sympathetic to abortion to partisan politicians struggling to defend it, to propagandists being blatantly dishonest, it’s almost a miracle the issue is controversial at all.

If we truly care about women’s health we should be working to educate people on the unfavorable truths about abortion rather than hide or avoid them. We should be sympathetic to women who’ve had abortions rather than praise abortion in an attempt to remove any social stigma from the act of killing babies. We should be helping women make better choices in the first place rather than trying to retrain them to think like men, pursuing empty sex lives and discarding any consequences that may result from bad decisions.

But, no. Instead, we’re hearing calls for abortion on demand, at any time during pregnancy, and have this service provided for “free”. So not only is killing babies a right but a woman should be able to force everyone else to pay for it. What could possibly go wrong with this approach?

abortion, bias, cover up, culture, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, tragedy

Filed under: abortion, bias, cover up, culture, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, tragedy

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