Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

New Jersey School District Teaches Islam But Censors Christianity

New Jersey School District Teaches Islam But Censors Christianity
February 21, 2017 by AARON BANDLER

A New Jersey middle school has no problem teaching Islam to its students, but has censored students for bringing up the Bible.

Two mothers spoke up about their children’s experiences in at a Chatham Board of Education meeting in February. One of them, Nancy Gayer, voiced displeasure that her son’s fourth grade PowerPoint presentation from years ago was shut down because it briefly cited a line from the Bible in advertising for his efforts to gather gloves and hats for poor children. Gayer said that the teacher told her son that it “belongs in Sunday school, not in the classroom” and proceeded to claim that the computer wouldn’t allow the presentation to be shown to the class.

Gayer then took the matter to the school district, but the superintendent told her that the teacher’s actions were correct due to the district’s policy of prohibiting “proselytizing” in the classroom.

The line from the Bible her son cited was, “Caring for the poor is lending to the Lord, and you will be well repaid.”

However, this same standard apparently does not apply to Islam, as Gayer pointed out that her son is being taught about the intricacies of the religion in a seventh grade class at Chatham Middle School, including being shown a video explaining the Five Pillars of Islam that featured lines like “Allah is the creator of everything, the one true God.”:

“In my opinion, I call this proselytizing, for by definition of this word it means convert or attempt to convert from one religion, belief or opinion to another,” Gayers said.

Another mother, Libby Hilsenrath, echoed Gayers’ sentiments, pointing out that the seventh grade class went into detail about the various aspects of Islam, but did not teach Judaism and Christianity. She also brought forth further course material that could be seen as proselytizing for Islam, which included a video providing an introduction to Islam that quoted excerpts from the Koran such as “And they say: Be Jews and Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammed) Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolators” and “Lo, we have sent thee (O Muhammed) with the truth, a bringer of glad tidings and warner.”

However, the superintendent, Michael LaSusa, refused to eliminate the course because “it is part of the New Jersey curriculum core content standards to teach students about the various religions of the world.” He also refused to meet with Gayers and Hilsenrath.

Gayers and Hilsenrath have since been smeared as Islamophobic by various people in the area.

“We were labeled as bigots immediately following the Board of Ed meeting in an op-ed,” Hilsenrath told Fox News host Tucker Carlson, “and then all over Facebook with people who knew us or didn’t know us. Xenophobic, Islamophobe, I mean it went as far as the KKK, which I don’t know what that has to do with this.”

“Unfortunately I was stared down at a grocery store too,” Gayers added, “and I believe I was in the express line with just 10 items but yet I was still stared down. It was pretty unnerving.”

The op-ed that Hilsenrath referenced was a letter to the editor on Tap Into Chatham by resident Susan O’Brien, who called Gayers and Hilsenrath’s concerns as  “at worst veiled bigotry and at best sad and ignorant.”

“I believe that ignorance breads fear and fear breeds hatred; the more we understand about other cultures and religions the better we are equipped to deal with the issues we face in today’s world,” O’Brien wrote.

O’Brien did not attend the Board of Education meeting and nowhere in her letter did she address the glaring inconsistency of the district’s religion in the classroom policy.

As the mothers have pointed out, there is nothing wrong with being taught about the intricacies of world religions, but it’s a problem when only one religion is being taught and not others, especially when a presentation featuring a brief line from the Bible was shut down. In today’s politically correct society, voicing such concerns has resulted in Gayer and Hilsenbrath being “verbally bullied” and as smeared as “bigots,” as Gayers said in a press release sent to the Daily Wire.

The mothers’ speeches at the Board of Education meeting and their appearance on Carlson’s show can be seen below:

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What happens to societies that embrace a right to die?

Holland has been on the bleeding edge of the “right to die” movement, a movement employing Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS). Most people supporting this supposed right have never actually thought through the long term consequences on a grand scale, and that is true of such supporters in the U.S. as well as Europe.

Just last month the DailyMail reported a Dutch doctor killed an elderly patient, a woman over the age of 80. The patient at some earlier time expressed a wish to be euthanized, but later (several times) expressed her desire to live. When the doctor decided it was the “right time” to perform the medicalized killing she drugged the patient without the woman’s knowledge. But the patient unexpectedly awoke during the lethal injection and struggled and resisted so much the doctor asked the family to hold her down. The patient’s right to change her mind seems to have been entirely ignored. Or does the patient even have such a right?

During the court proceedings, the panel charged with handling the matter wanted the case to go to court not to prosecute the doctor, but to have “greater clarity” on the rights of the physician who engages in medicalized killing. Read the full article to see the horrific reasoning used to justify the situation. Those of you who didn’t have your head buried in the sand during the Obamacare debates may remember warnings of “death panels” and other dangers that corrupt health care by allowing elitist government bureaucrats to interfere. Keep in mind, the right to die movement is already here in the U.S. and is growing with the help of various left wing groups.

This is by no means the first incident of PAS where the patient was euthanized against their wishes. But when a society embraces the right to die, with not only the approval but also with the assistance of the state, any person capable of thinking past their own nose should see the obvious problems that will arise. In the name of a persons’s “choice” to die we are seeing government endorsement of medicalized killing without the patient’s consent.

How does government-endorsed medicalized killing go so wrong? Ryan T. Anderson examines this important question in his report Always Care, Never Kill: How Physician-Assisted Suicide Endangers the Weak, Corrupts Medicine, Compromises the Family, and Violates Human Dignity and Equality from March, 2015. It’s a lengthy report but touches on very important issues such as:

  • changing how society deals with the marginalized
  • fundamentally altering the doctor-patient relationship
  • compromising the nature of the family
  • damaging the essential premise of human dignity

It might be funny if this weren’t so serious hearing people pretend to be well informed on this issue while they insulate themselves from the anti-euthanasia side of the debate. When “thinking for yourself” involves intentionally avoiding a view you disagree with (which implies you may not actually know what you disagree with) it becomes a euphemism for not thinking at all. If you claim to care about people you should read the full report. And while you do, think about how compassionate a health care system is when the state is run by enlightened people who think overpopulation is one of the greatest dangers the world faces.

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Violent behavior is condoned—as long as the politics are correct

original article: There Really is Climate of Violence on Campuses
February 13, 2017 by WILLIAM M BRIGGS

Time for our News Quiz! How many were arrested and punished in Berkeley among those who rioted, vandalized and violently beat a man with shovels, almost killing him, when the right-wing comedian Milo was to visit that campus?

Hint: The total was the same as the number of student militants menacingly brandishing automatic weapons who violently occupied Cornell’s Willard Straight Hall in 1969 in protest of Cornell’s “racist attitudes” and “irrelevant curriculum.”

Still not sure? Then here, at the risk of being too generous, is another hint. The number of violent actors arrested at Berkeley is the same as the number punished for their violent storming of the stage at the University of Wisconsin, Madison to prevent mild-mannered Ben Shapiro from speaking on the subject of decency, an event at which “Campus police watched but did nothing to stop the interruptions.” Violent students also blocked Shapiro from UCLA.

If you still don’t have it, the number you’re looking for is the usual count of those arrested, expelled or otherwise punished for their use of violence to further political causes at colleges and universities all across this fair country. It is a number fewer than the fingers on your right hand to the left of your thumb.

No more clues. Unless you find the answer too distasteful to admit, you have at least an inkling of this circular figure.

The Violent in Charge

Now that we have finished the first question, it is time for our … Political Science Quiz! Ready?

What do we call those people in a society who are licensed or allowed to use violence?

No hints this time. We call these the people in charge.

Since the violent are in charge, and since folks regularly use violence on college campuses as a means of politics — violence that just as regularly goes unpunished or is countenanced — we can therefore say that there is an officially approved climate of violence many campuses in the United States.

It really is this simple. Violent students (and professors) are in charge, have been in charge, and will continue to be in charge as long as they are allowed to use violence.

Violence in and around universities is so commonplace that its presence is thought natural and necessary. Pepper sprayings, calls for muscle, assaults of speakers calling for free speech (another Berkeley incident), a brawl and students rushing the stage, students occupying by force various campus offices.

These violent actions are not only in protest of freedom and traditional morality. Sometimes plain old-fashioned greed is the excuse. As when students violently burst into and occupied various buildings at University of California at Davis to whine that tuition should not increase.

There isn’t any point in continuing the examples. The reports of violent behavior and temper tantrums of campus denizens appear in the news as often as storm reports, ever since the 1960s. Everybody knows this to be true. Everybody expects it. And except for noting these incidents, as I am doing now, few do anything about them.

Don’t Call Them Snowflakes

The mistake is to label violent, fit-throwing students as they crowd into “safe spaces,” fill their diapers and demand to be changed, with being “snowflakes.” Those who do so, says Anthony Esolen in his new book Out of the Ashes, “are wrong in their diagnosis and inaccurate in their criticism.”

It is also something of a mistake to point at the students and laugh at them for being weaklings. The students hold the hammer, and they know it … in our world of inversions, power is granted to people who claim that they have no power and who resent the greatness of their own forebears. They do not seek “safety.” They seek to destroy. The strong man is bound and gagged, and the pistol is pointed at his head — the seat of reason itself.

On paper, at least, university presidents, deans and trustees are in charge. Almost none of these people, duly accepting their office and possessing the right to administer punishment and keep order, fulfill their duties to maintain order and keep the peace. Sometime these officials share the political goals of the violent on campus, and so excuse the violence.

But often those purportedly in charge do not want the grief associated with doing the right thing. If a president expelled a violent student, the national media would be against him, a large part of his faculty would be against him, the student body would be against him, even the trustees buckling under the weight of publicity would be against him. It is easier to look the other way or issue a non-binding We-Love-Tolerance-And-Repudiate-Violence missive.

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And we are supposed to believe BLM is not racist

Black Lives Matter co-founder appears to label white people ‘defects’
February 11, 2017 by ANTHONY FUREY

TORONTO – A co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto argued that white people are “recessive genetic defects” and purportedly mused about how the race could be “wiped out,” according to a post on what appears to be her Facebook page.

Yusra Khogali has faced increased scrutiny over the past year after BLM Toronto gained political influence following their disruption of the Toronto Pride parade and confrontations with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

On Friday, Toronto Police announced they would not participate in this year’s upcoming parade. This has been a longstanding demand of BLM TO and one that the board of Pride Toronto recently backed in a controversial vote.

Khogali has a track record of inflammatory, divisive rhetoric.

Only last week during a protest in front of the US consulate Khogali shouted into a microphone that “Justin Trudeau is a white supremacist terrorist” and urged the crowd to “rise up and fight back.”

“Look at us, we have the numbers,” she said.

She also faced controversy in the news for a tweet posted a year ago stating: “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today.”

While these remarks alarmed many Canadians, they pale in comparison to a statement numerous sources forwarded to the Sun that Khogali appears to have posted on Facebook in late 2015.

“Whiteness is not humxness,” the statement begins. “infact, white skin is sub-humxn.” The post goes on to present a genetics-based argument centred on melanin and enzyme.

“White ppl are recessive genetic defects. this is factual,” the post reads towards the end. “white ppl need white supremacy as a mechanism to protect their survival as a people because all they can do is produce themselves. black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to.”

Khogali did not respond to requests for comment from the Sun. But if she did in fact write the post, her thesis doesn’t pass muster for one of America’s leading scholars of the history of eugenics.

“The document mirrors the racism of American eugenicists who claimed in the first third of the 20th century that native whites were genetically superior not only to blacks but also to immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe,” Daniel Kevles, a professor at Yale University, wrote to the Sun. “Their claims were without any scientific foundation and added up to expressions of naked white racism.”

Kevles’ book “In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity” is considered a leading text in the field.

“The anger and frustration that animates the Black Lives Matter movement is altogether understandable, but the way to contest pseudo-science and white prejudice is not with an alternative pseudo-science and black prejudice,” notes Kevles. “It is with moral argument and political action.”

The BLM TO website explains their stated goals are “to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations in Toronto.”

There is no indication the group or any of its other members supports the sentiments expressed in the alarming post.

The Sun did not hear back from BLM TO and the main Black Lives Matter umbrella group in the United States following various requests for comment.

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UC Berkley student paper defends violent protests

original article: UC Berkeley’s Student Newspaper Published 5 Op-Eds in One Day All Defending Violence at Protests
February 8, 2017 by William Hicks

In one day UC Berkeley’s student newspaper The Daily Californian published five opinion pieces defending the violent protests over last week’s Milo Yiannopoulos talk. At the protests, which turned into a riot, people were pepper sprayed and hit with sticks, a man was knocked  unconscious and beaten on the ground, and various buildings were vandalized.

Let’s see how they rationalize that.

Alumnus Nisa Dang demanded other students “check your privilege” when decrying violence at the protests. Student Juan Prieto claimed violence helped ensure the safety of students (just not the conservative ones). Neil Lawrence called the tactics by the black bloc antifa protesters not an act of violence, but one of self defense and said they were doing what the university should have done.

Desmond Meagley said condemning protesters was promoting hate speech. Josh Hardman questions whether breaking windows even counts as violence, while neglecting to mention the real people who were pepper sprayed and beaten up.

In fact, not a single one of the articles bothered to mention the real people who were physically assaulted on video, people who were neither fascists nor Nazis. The violence was completely written off as property damage, which is simply intellectually dishonest. You think one out of the five essays could have bothered to mention it, considering actual students were hurt by the protesters.

But thanks to The Daily California, next time Berkeley protests, the students will know the violence they use is not only effective but intellectually justified.

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Whistleblower says NOAA scientists manipulated global warming data

original article: Whistleblower: NOAA Scientists Manipulated Temperature Data To Make Global Warming Seem Worse
February 5, 2017 by Michael Bastasch

A whistleblower says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rushed a landmark study claiming the planet was warming much faster than expected in order to influence international climate negotiations.

Dr. John Bates, the former principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., told the Daily Mail NOAA’s 2015 study was meant “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”

Bates said NOAA scientists made a “blatant attempt to intensify the impact” of global warming to eliminate the “pause” in temperature rise since 1998. The Daily Mail claims Bates showed it “irrefutable” evidence NOAA’s study relied on “unverified” data.

Bates’ objections to the paper were ignored by his superiors, who let scientists make “decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minimised documentation” in advance of a major United Nations climate summit in Paris, France.

His statement to The Daily Mail comes amid an investigation into the NOAA study by House Republicans on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, subpoenaed NOAA in late 2015 for records related to the so-called “Karl study” that adjusted global sea surface temperature upwards, eliminating the “pause” in global warming since 1998.

Smith was heavily ridiculed for subpoenaing NOAA scientists, and the agency refused to hand over any internal deliberations of the “Karl study.” The study’s lead author, Tom Karl, has since left NOAA.

“Dr. Bates’ revelations and NOAA’s obstruction certainly lend credence to what I’ve expected all along – that the Karl study used flawed data, was rushed to publication in an effort to support the president’s climate change agenda, and ignored NOAA’s own standards for scientific study,” Smith said in a statement on The Daily Mail’s story.

“The Committee thanks Dr. Bates, a Department of Commerce Gold Medal winner for creating and implementing a standard to produce and preserve climate data, for exposing the previous administration’s efforts to push their costly climate agenda at the expense of scientific integrity,” Smith said.

Scientists have been debating over the so-called “pause” in global warming since at least 2013, referring to the period from 1998 to 2014 without any significant rise in global average temperature.

The Karl study made changes to historical sea surface temperature records, effectively doubling the warming trend of that period to 0.086 degrees Celsius per decade from 0.039 degrees per decade.

Karl’s study was welcomed by some scientists and environmentalists who see man-made global warming as the biggest threat to humanity; it was criticized by others in the scientific community.

Climate scientist Judith Curry, formerly of Georgia Tech, wrote at the time that NOAA excluded extremely accurate sea buoy data in order to erase the hiatus in warming.

Curry wrote that it “seems rather ironic, since this is the period where there is the greatest coverage of data with the highest quality of measurements — ARGO buoys and satellites don’t show a warming trend.”

But the Karl study may have had deeper problems.

It was based on two “flawed” temperature datasets, Bates told The Daily Mail.

NOAA has now “decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming,” The Daily Mail learned.

NOAA’s revised data will show “lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.”

The “land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable,’” and based on an “alpha” version that was never verified. It still hasn’t been approved.

“None of the data on which the paper was based was properly ‘archived’ – a mandatory requirement meant to ensure that raw data and the software used to process it is accessible to other scientists, so they can verify NOAA results,” The Daily Mail reported.

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How tolerance became so intolerant

original article: Why the New Definition of Tolerance Is Dangerous
March 11, 2016 by Amy Hall

I received an email objecting to one of Greg’s commentaries on tolerance. In the commentary, Greg explains that tolerance “involves three elements: (1) permitting or allowing (2) a conduct or point of view one disagrees with (3) while respecting the person in the process.” In other words, only disagreement calls for toleration; otherwise, it’s simply agreement (or apathy). But not according to the email I received:

You said on Feb 4, 2013 – “Tolerance is reserved for those we think are wrong.”

Wrong. Tolerance is removing the right/wrong judgement from your view of other people & beliefs, as long [as] those people and their beliefs don’t impede the freedom or well-being of others.

What you’re describing is holding your nose and lying about being tolerant. That’s not tolerance, that’s empty condescension.

“We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” – Karl Popper

Of course, this response perfectly illustrates Greg’s description of the current understanding of “tolerance,” and it struck me, as I read it, how dangerous this view of tolerance is. Here’s what he’s really saying: “It’s wrong for you to think my views are wrong. Therefore, if you think my views are wrong, then I have a right to shut you up.”

Keep in mind that his complaint here isn’t even about “intolerant” actions; it’s about beliefs. He argues that “intolerance” means holding a judgment in your mind against someone else’s beliefs. And intolerance (i.e., incorrect beliefs), according to him, should not be tolerated. How far people will go to uphold this new “tolerance” remains to be seen. Considering the fact that 40% of Millennials favor government censorship of speech, the future doesn’t look promising.

Notice also that his reasoning doesn’t work the other way around—i.e., Greg wouldn’t be allowed to say to him, “‘Tolerance’ means that if you think I’m wrong, then I have a right to shut you up,” because baked into this new definition is a preference for a particular set of political positions (i.e., anything his side deems essential for the “well-being of others”). If you agree with those positions, you’re declared “tolerant.” If you disagree, you’re intolerant.

This new definition of tolerance is nothing but a political tool to accomplish the very opposite of tolerance.

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Does Pelosi think it’s okay to use religion as a guide for public policy?

original article: Pelosi: Democrats Do ‘the Lord’s Work,’ Republicans ‘Dishonor God’
January 24, 2017 by TYLER O’NEIL

In yet another example of moral narcissism and the liberal inability to understand conservative positions on faith, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared that her party, the Democratic Party, does the will of God while Republicans dishonor their Creator.

Of Republicans, the Democrat congresswoman from California declared, “They pray in church on Sunday and they prey on people the rest of the week. And while we’re doing the Lord’s work, ministering to the needs of God’s creation, they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them.”

Perhaps emboldened by Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, Pelosi thus equated the climate alarmism and draconian regulations pushed by her party with a godly care for the environment. In doing so, she failed to understand that there are good reasons to doubt the “scientific consensus” on man-made global warming. She also failed to note that God’s care for “the least of these” can justify cutting regulations, which will unleash economic growth which helps the poor as well as the rich.

This is why Pelosi’s declaration that Republicans “prey on people” was important. By falsely equating free market policies with the kind of crony capitalism that leads to monopoly, Democrats argue that the Republican agenda enables the rich to harm the poor.

read full article

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Two recent incidents of violence against women

We are supposed to believe progressives/liberals fight for equality, women’s rights, and oppose violence against women. Consider this.

At the recent women’s march in Washington, D.C. The Rebel Media recorded a video of a male member of the march assaulting a conservative woman.

Rebel reporter assaulted at Women’s March — $1,000 reward to find him

You’ll see in the video the perp is male, the assault happens against a women, and the assault occurs in the midst of the protest (plenty of progressives/liberals present as witnesses). And how do the perp’s fellow protesters respond? By protecting HIM! Watch the video for yourself.

At West Virginia University we have another video of another leftist assaulting another woman.

Leftist student physically attacks conservatives after botched debate meeting

The hate this guy harbors is painfully obvious. Watch the video.

And what should we expect from the progressives/liberals who learn of these two incidents of violence against women? Nothing other than the same reaction we saw in the 1990’s when a certain president was sexually harassing and abusing women all over the place – total hypocrisy. Feminism looks like a fraud when it protects men who do the very things these women claim they oppose.

Political correctness and social justice are not about justice or fairness or equality. They are about the anti-diversity left wing agenda of sameness, driven and defined by powerful agenda makers. The common folk do indeed have power but not the kind of power they think they have. They are being led down a road I suspect many of them would reject if only they could see where it takes them.

The ultra left (which now seems to be the mainstream left) only selectively cares about women and violence against women and women’s rights. Reasonable leftists (if there are any) need to know about this stuff. If anyone has a chance of pulling the leftwing of the political spectrum from its extremes back toward the center it is reasonable leftists. Please spread the word whenever anything like this happens.

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Permit required to exercise constitutional rights

In all the voter ID objections I’ve heard the most prominent is the idea that no permit or ID should be required to exercise our constitutional right to vote – because it’s a constitutional right.

Keep in mind, our right to keep and bear arms is blatantly spelled out in the constitution but for some reason requiring permits for that meets little objection from the voter ID opponents. If being a constitutional right is in and of itself reason enough to oppose the requirement of a permit shouldn’t that apply to the second amendment as well as the right to vote? Most voter ID opponents have weak reasons for their objection but I actually like the argument that constitutional rights ought not require permits. Of course, when abuse occurs an intervention seems almost inevitable.

There are certainly reasonable limits to all our rights. For example, felons do not have the right to keep or bear firearms nor do they have the right to vote. The right to vote has an age limit, where one must be at least 18 years old before it becomes one’s right. But free speech is an entirely different matter. There seems to be two different standards on speech.

If you ever wondered what the next step would be after limiting the constitutional right of free speech to “speech zones” Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, MI has the answer: free speech permits. Yes, in the name of diversity and inclusion, institutions of higher education are pushing the oppressive absurdities even further without recognizing the irony of their own actions. Not only are college students often limited as to where they can express their opinions but apparently they must also have obtained official approval from the institution. KCC is not the only one.

So the next time someone complains about voter ID laws (supposedly an example of right wing extremism), ask them about gun rights and free speech rights, both of which are highly regulated and limited by left wing extremism.

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