Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Student whistleblower: Diversity class presents multiple ‘isms’ as fact without allowing debate

Student whistleblower: Diversity class presents multiple ‘isms’ as fact without allowing debate
February 10, 2017 by NATHAN RUBBELKE

What does a fictional “Normal University” look like?

It’s a place full of racism, homophobia, toxic masculinity, white privilege and sexism, according to a diversity class currently taught at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

At UMass Amherst, students are required to take two “social justice” classes to earn diploma, and this course — Education 115: Embracing Diversity — fulfills one of those requirements.

In it, students must act out examples of racism to prove America is racist “from A to Z.” Students must also read about how society is dominated by “white privilege” and discuss ways to combat that. They’re charged with creating a mock sexual assault awareness campaign and taught U.S. society pushes male “domination” over women. Another assignment has them coming up with ways to make a university more welcoming to a low-income black lesbian majoring in engineering. New vocabulary words thrown at students include “internalized classism” and “cultural imperialism.” And a “Man Box” assignment teaches students that when men try to prove their masculinity it ends up “with frequently disastrous consequences.”

‘It was just these are the facts and that was it’

The class is led by Professor Benita Barnes, who has a definite liberal bias, a student who took the course told The College Fix.

“She really thinks that everyone [in the United States] is inherently racist or sexist, and I think she just thinks that the school is a subset of that,” said the student, who requested anonymity to speak freely on the course.

Barnes, both a professor and Director of Diversity Advancement, did not respond to a request for comment.

The student described the course as a “hostile” environment where the professor and some students would get agitated when comments were made pointing things out that might be false or when ideas were questioned.

“There were no real discussions. There [were] no debates or anything like that. It was just these are the facts and that was it,” said the student, who provided to The College Fix a stack of assignments from the course, which he took last fall.

According to the syllabus, “Embracing Diversity” is designed for first-year students and dedicated to how students can better see themselves and others “through an appreciation of attending college as a cultural experience, with its own unique set of rules, biases, and expectations.” The course, the syllabus adds, pushes to move “the discourse of diversity beyond mere tolerance, celebration, or appreciation.”

‘Embracing Diversity’

One reading assignment in the class, “Normal University and the Story of Sam,” tells the story of Sam, a low-income black lesbian who attends “Normal University,” an Ivy League-like university whose namesake had a role in the slave trade. Sam faces all sorts of oppression during her freshman year.

Her roommate’s friends make racist remarks, funds are diverted from the campus LGBTQ organization and a protest over the use of bathrooms remind her of stories shared “about the Jim Crow era.” To top it all off, she studies in a “male-centric” engineering department where a woman has never been promoted and tenured.

At the end of the reading, students in the course are tasked with choosing an option to make the university more welcoming for Sam.

This is one of many course assignments obtained by The College Fix that were included in the course and purport a society of racism, sexism and oppression.

The course, according to the syllabus, used a “team-based learning” strategy and included numerous in-class activities that pertained to the class’s five modules.

Here’s a few examples:

Module 2: ‘Men have domination over women thus they (women) become their property’

Covering “Inequality and Oppression,” module 2 included a reading about “Social Justice University.” The case study explained four “folk beliefs” regarding sexual assault and, at the end, tasked students with creating a mock sexual assault awareness campaign for the fake university.

Expanding on one of the four “folk beliefs,” the reading stated “our society has socialized both men and women to believe that men have domination over women thus they (women) become their property as well as are required to bend to their wants and wishes.”

The document goes on to say that when a man acts aggressive or possessive towards a significant other, “women internalize this (bad) behavior as acceptable and end up feeling ‘loved’ as opposed to harmed.”

Module 3: Racism ‘from A-Z’

Dubbed “Race, Racism, and (White) Privilege,” the course’s third module included readings titled “What is Racial Domination?,” “Understanding White Privilege” and “White Institutional Presence: The Impact of Whiteness on Racial Campus Climate.”

An in-class assignment told students “examples of racism can be found in our society from A-Z.” To prove it, students were given 15 letters and had to “identify an act, behavior, law, practice, etc., past or present, that exemplifies racism.”

Module 4: ‘Internalized classism,’ ‘privilege,’ ‘cultural imperialism’

Dealing with “Class and Classism,” a Module 4 class activity required students to define terms like “internalized classism, “privilege” and “cultural imperialism.”

At the end of the assignment, students were asked “what are the possibilities and restraints of what students can do to create a less classist environment on campus?”

The assignment also called for students to apply five of the defined words to the stories of Emily and Matthew, two Amherst College students profiled in the book “Speaking of Race and Class: The Student Experience at an Elite College.”

Emily came to campus unsure how to talk to black students and was once called “White Trash.” However, she forms a diverse set of friends but begins to see people back home as close-minded and judgmental.

“I would never want to bring my gay friend home or my black friend,” she said in her account.

Conversely, Matthew came from an affluent family but also broadened his social group in college.

“He embraced the exposure, the learning, and the people he met and liked, all the while while increasing the awareness of his relative privilege,” the book states.

Module 5: The ‘Man Box’

The course’s final module dealt with “Gender and Sexism” and students watched the film “Guyland: Where boys become men.”

According to a class assignment, the 36-minute film “maps the troubling social world where boys become men” and shows how men try to prove their masculinity “with frequently disastrous consequences for young women and other young men.”

Following the movie, students created a “Man Box,” which the assignment described as “a figurative box made up of acceptable qualities for men to possess and society’s expectations of how men must act.”

Terms inside the box included “objectifies women, emotionless, aggressive and dominant.” The assignment forced student to either pull six traits from the box or add six from a separate list of positive traits. Words on the latter included “honest,” “open minded” and “ambitious.”

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Filed under: abuse, bias, bullies, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, elitism, extremism, hate speech, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, marxism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, scandal, sexism

New level of anti-diversity programming at college

original article: Stepford School: Princeton students forced to abandon individuality, freshman says
February 13, 2017 by JENNIFER KABBANY

Carrie Pritt, a freshman at Princeton University studying computer science, has penned a powerful piece illustrating the stranglehold political correctness has on her Ivy League institution.

Dysfunctional. Dystopian. Oppressive. Writing in Quillette, the picture she paints of her campus is chilling and creepy — think a Stepford School — with militant students and scholars creating an environment that ensures people say the right things, conform, avoid insulting others at all costs:

Like many other schools, Princeton has become disturbingly homogeneous because of this phenomenon. Not only that, but the pressure to respect other groups on and off campus is pushing my generation into left-wing uniformity. We are encouraged to mind our own business by mimicking politically correct values without ever thinking them through on our own. No one questioned the students and faculty members who disrespectfully walked out of Charles Murray’s lecture hall after he was invited to speak on campus this winter.

My teachers and classmates openly referred to Trump’s voters as uneducated bigots throughout the election season, while taking any criticism of Clinton as an attack against women. Anyone who dares to voice a religious opinion is regarded as unintelligent. The fear of being called racist draws our attention to a black woman’s skin instead of her character, and the fear of being called homophobic emphasizes a gay man’s sexuality over his personality. We have been trained to tiptoe around each other and distribute trigger warnings with generosity.

Where did this training start? Try mandatory freshman orientation. Pritt writes:

“Stand up if you identify as Caucasian.”

The minister’s voice was solemn. I paused so that I wouldn’t be the first one standing, and then slowly rose to my feet. “Look at your community,” he said. I glanced around the auditorium obediently. The other students looked as uncomfortable as I felt, and as white. ¨Thank you,” the minister said finally. After we sat down, he went on to repeat the exercise for over an hour with different adjectives in place of “Caucasian”: black, wealthy, first-generation, socially conservative. Each time he introduced a new label, he paused so that a new group of students could stand and take note of one another. By the time he was finished, every member of Princeton University’s freshman class had been branded with a demographic.

This doesn’t sound like a university — more like a re-education camp.

Writing about “Princeton’s Surreal ‘Diversity Training’ for Students,” Amelia Hamilton in Acculturated points out: “Academia is openly intolerant of diversity of thought, but exercises like the one Pritt experienced at Princeton are even worse. They strip students of one of the most important things for creating genuine diversity and intellectual rigor: individuality.”

culture, diversity, education, extremism, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, oppression, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, tragedy, unintended consequences

Filed under: culture, diversity, education, extremism, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, oppression, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, tragedy, unintended consequences

PP prenatal care video, is Snopes lying or merely biased?

original article: Live Action, Snopes and Planned Parenthood’s “Prenatal Care”
February 4, 2017 by Truthbomb Apologetics

Introduction

Recently, I shared the following video on social media from Live Action:

For those who haven’t seen the video, it features Planned Parenthood (PP) President Cecile Richards claiming that Planned Parenthood offers prenatal care at their clinics.  Then the video features sound bites of numerous women calling various PP clinics across the country seeking prenatal care only to be told that “PP does not provide prenatal care.”  Out of the 97 affiliates contacted, only 5 actually provided prenatal care.  The obvious conclusion of the video is that PP is being deceptive in claiming that they provide prenatal care at their clinics.

However, the folks at Snopes.com – “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation” – have challenged the conclusion of the Live Action team.  In this response, they argue that Live Action is guilty of: 1) taking PP President Cecile Richards out of context; and 2) leading people to believe that PP has claimed to offer prenatal care at all their facilities when it has never claimed any such thing.

Now let me be clear.  I am unapologetically pro-life; however, the pro-life cause is not served by deceptive actions. If this video does include any type of deception, I want to publicly denounce it and distance myself from it.

So, is Live Action being deceptive, or does Snopes.com have it wrong?  Let’s take a look.

The Video Quotes

Quote #1

In the first quote featured in the video, Cecile Richards says, “Prenatal care. These are the kinds of services that folks depend on Planned Parenthood for.”  So here we see that she is clearly claiming that PP does provide prenatal care (a “kind of” service), but she does not explicitly say that all of PP clinics provide prenatal care.

Conclusion: This quote shows that Cecile Richards claimed that prenatal care was one of many types of care offered by PP.  Even Dan Evon in his Snopes piece writes, “…it’s clear that Richards was listing several services that Planned Parenthood provides.”

Quote #2

The second quote featured in the video features a quote from Richards while she is campaigning for Hillary Clinton.  The quote from the video says, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” The entire context of the quote is as follows:

“They want a president who believes access to health care isn’t a luxury — it’s a human right.

They want a president who understands that being pro-choice also means being able to choose to have a child — and a president who will fight for prenatal care, head start, health care for kids and first class public schools because it takes a village!

They want a president who will stand up to the gun lobby and demand safety for kids in schools, folks in church, and women getting healthcare — no matter what.

They want a president who will demand nobody is paid less just because they are a woman — we deserve 100 cents on the dollar!

They want a president who believes that access to health care isn’t a luxury it’s a human right. They also want a president who understands that being pro-choice actually means being able to choose to have a child. And a president who will fight for pre-natal care, and head start, and health care for kids, and excellent public education. Because as someone so famously said, it takes a village to raise a child. ”

Interestingly, Snopes claims that Richards is quoted out of context and, at first glance, this seems true. Clearly the context is not provided!  However, one can safely infer from the above quote that Richards is implying that PP provides prenatal care.  How so?  Think about it.  Here we have the president of PP saying, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” While I am quite sure PP has nothing to do with the majority of the other services mentioned by Richards, who else would Richards be referring to here but PP? Certainly no Republican candidate ever insinuated that they would take away all prenatal care across the country!  But they have expressed their desire to defund PP. Therefore, what Richards is essentially saying is, “We need a president that will protect PP and the prenatal care we offer.”  Otherwise, the reference to prenatal care makes no sense whatsoever.

Conclusion: In this quote, Richards claims that PP offers prenatal care.

Quote #3

The third and final quote featured in the video comes from Lori Lamerand, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan.  In the video, she states, “Prenatal care! Um — and that — that is what we want to focus on. That is what is so vital.”  The context of this quote was not readily available, but Snopes.com claims that PP said, “Lamerand ‘spoke about the vital services like birth control, pap smears, and preventative cancer screenings, which PP provides to women who otherwise might go without.'”  So, according to Snopes, “PP told us that this had little to do with prenatal care; therefore, it doesn’t.”  This from the “definitive internet resource”?
So, while Snopes.com would have us believe that Lamerand was taken out of context, this is far from clear from the available evidence.  One should strive to be more modest with their claims.
Conclusion: Here, once again, we find a PP CEO (leader) mentioning prenatal care.  At best this demonstrates that a PP CEO implied that PP provides prenatal care.  At worst, it is inconclusive.  If one wants to claim the quote is “taken out of context,” they will need to demonstrate this.

So, if I am right, we have evidence that, at the very least, suggests PP’s leaders imply they offer prenatal care on a much grander scale than they actually do. However, do more explicit claims exist from Planned Parenthood regarding parental care?  To answer that question, we need more evidence.

Lifting the Fog
In this video, Cecile Richards is very clear about PP and prenatal care.  She explicitly states that it is a service they offer.

Moreover, in this tweet from Richards in May of 2016, Richards claims prenatal care is an essential service they provide.  And, as you can see, they later tried to back away from this claim after the video from Live Action was released.

Further, in February, when Governor of Ohio John Kasich signed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, this is how Richards responded:

“This legislation will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio.  John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns;”1

Now, I am no doctor, but that sounds a lot like prenatal care.  Further, when has PP ever provided services for newborns?

Also, as featured in the video, a on-hold phone recording from the Virginia Beach, Virginia, Planned Parenthood says: “Did you know that Planned Parenthood can take care of all your reproductive health needs? Whether it’s an annual exam, pregnancy testing and counseling, prenatal care, we’re here for you with high-quality, low-cost services.”2

So, it seems that we have sufficient evidence to conclude that PP leaders do claim to offer prenatal care, but in fact offers very little in relation to the other services they provide.

However, one might also conclude that Live Action could have made their argument more clear. They should have simply argued that PP’s leaders have claimed, several times, that they offer much more parental care than they actually do.  They actually offer very little.

Finally, I am disappointed with the lack of balance in the Snopes.com piece.  While Live Action could have made their argument more clear, PP is certainly guilty of being misleading and deceptive.

However, I will not spend much time debating this issue.  It is secondary.  I encourage readers who are interested in learning more to checkout the links I have provided and investigate the matter on their own.  Draw your own conclusion.

The Primary Issue

The main objection I have to Planned Parenthood is expressed in the argument that follows.  If the argument is logically valid and the premises are more plausible than their negations, then the conclusion of my argument follows logically and necessarily.3

1. PP performs abortions

To confirm the truth of this premise, I will simply refer you to PP’s own website here.  Further, PP themselves reported that they performed 323,999 abortions in 2014. 4

2. If abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, it is morally right to oppose PP.

This premise seems intuitively obvious.  What morally healthy individual would claim otherwise? We should all stand against the killing of innocent human beings.  Anyone who would deny this premise is morally handicap, and their handicap should not call into question what most of us clearly see: it is our moral obligation to oppose the killing of innocent human beings.

3. Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.

Admittedly, this is the premise my argument hinges on.  However, for those willing to follow the evidence where it leads, science, philosophy, and critical thinking demonstrate its truth.

The Scientific Case

As others have shared before me,5 conclusive scientific evidence demonstrates that human life begins at conception.  This is no longer a matter of opinion.

The conceived embryo is a individual, living, human being by definition:

Individual: The zygote is distinct from her mother, father, and all other living things.  She has her own unique and complete genetic fingerprint; distinct from either of her parents.

Living: The zygote manifests all the characteristics of biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction.

Human: She carries human DNA with a human genetic signature.

Being: She is a self-contained, self-integrating, living entity with her own nature.

We see from science that, from conception, she has everything needed to proceed through the full series of human developmental stages.  No other human single cell has this inherent capacity.  All that is needed is proper nurturing and a proper environment to advance through all the stages of normal human development.  This is not different than you and I. 6

This is confirmed by leading embryology books.  For example, in their book The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology,  Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud write, “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”7

Further, even former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Alan Guttmacher was perplexed that anyone, much less a medical doctor, would question this. “This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge,” he wrote in his book Life in the Making.”8

The Philosophical Case

As thinkers such as Greg Koukl and Scott Klusendorf have pointed out, there are only four differences between the unborn and a newborn; none of which are morally relevant reasons for denying them personhood and protection.

Klusendorf asks us to think of the acronym SLED to illustrate these “non-essential differences:”

Size: Are preschoolers less valuable than teenagers, or women less valuable than men because they’re smaller?  Size does not equal value.

Level of Development: Is a four-year-old less valuable than her mother because she can’t reproduce? Value is not determined by abilities.

Environment: Does your value change when you cross the street, or even roll over in bed?  Where you are-in the womb or out-has no bearing on who you are.

Degree of Dependency: Should we disqualify those who rely on insulin or heart pacemakers just because they are dependent?  Viability doesn’t determine worth.

It’s far more reasonable to argue that, although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature.7

If you are tempted to resist the science and philosophy that demonstrates that the unborn are human persons, more critical thinking will lead you to the conclusion that, even if we didn’t have the above evidence that a fetus is a human person, abortion is murder.  George Fields explains:

“…I contend that whether the fetus is a person at any given moment of pregnancy is a non-issue, since, whatever it is now, it will, in fact, become a person. Therefore, to abort the fetus now is to annihilate the person that fetus would have naturally become.”9

He goes on:

“Abortion has the same quality as all forms of killing. If I were to kill someone, I would have fundamentally transformed the nature of the universe from one with this person to one without it. The evil of murder does not derive from the fact that a death has occurred, for death comes to all. All murder does is expedite an inevitable event. The evil of murder, rather, is in the fact that the world has changed for everyone else who keeps on living. A hole has been made in the tapestry of life; Christmas dinner now has an empty chair. So it is with an abortion.”8

For the intellectually honest individual, the evidence is clear.  Science, philosophy, and critical thinking demonstrate the truth of premise 3- abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.

4. Therefore, it is morally right to oppose PP.

Conclusion

In this brief piece, I have argued that:

1. Planned Parenthood’s leaders imply that prenatal care is an important service they offer when, in reality, they offer very little.  This is misleading and deceptive.

2. Live Action could have made their argument more clear.  They should have simply argued that PP’s leaders have claimed, several times, that they offer prenatal care when they offer almost none.

3. Planned Parenthood kills innocent human beings; therefore, it is a moral right to oppose PP.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Resources for Further Investigation

An Explanation of Planned Parenthood’s “3%” Statistic

9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger

For Planned Parenthood abortion stats, ‘3 percent’ and ’94 percent’ are both misleading

Related Posts

Late-Term Abortion, the Life of the Mother and the 3rd Presidential Debate

When Pro-Abortion Choice Rhetoric Hurts

Could Acceptance of Abortion Be a Matter of Ignorance?

Footnotes:
1. Kristi Burton Brown, “Cecile Richards tries to claim Planned Parenthood helps “expectant mothers and newborns,” Feb. 23, 2016.
2. Kristi Burton Brown, “Yes, Planned Parenthood claims to do prenatal care, and yes, it’s a lie,” Jan. 25, 2017.
3. For a brief explanation about how deductive arguments work, go here.
4. Debra Goldschmidt and Ashley Strickland, “Planned Parenthood: Fast Facts and Revealing Numbers,” Jan. 17, 2017.
5. Tim Stratton, “Pro-Choice: The Wrong Side of History, Science and Logic,” Sept. 13, 2016.
6. “Pro-Life Defense, Making Your Case,” 2015 Gregory Koukl, Stand to Reason.
7. Scott Klusendorf, “How to Defend Your Pro-Life Views in 5 Minutes or Less.”
8. Ibid.
9. George Fields, “Why Abortion Kills a Person Even If You Don’t Think the Unborn are People Yet” Jan. 28, 2017.

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Filed under: abortion, bias, false, fraud, indoctrination, left wing, lies, pandering, propaganda, relativism, scandal, video

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

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

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.

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Psychological study rigged with liberal bias; researchers oblivious

Let’s try an experiment. What if we could gauge liberal leanings of the American public by tracking tech purchases? Now, before you start complaining about how disturbing or invasive such tracking might be or how suspicious and absurd it is to even ask about tracking people in such a way, let me say this: you’re right!

But this wasn’t my idea. I got the idea from a psychological study published in Psychological Science in March 2013 entitled Ideology and Brand Consumption. The study is replete with liberal bias from the researchers and they appear entirely oblivious to it. The study is not about general political leanings. No, the study particularly targets U.S. conservative political leanings. Here’s the abstract (bolding is mine):

Do mundane daily choices, such as what brands people buy in a supermarket, reflect aspects of values and ideologies? This article presents a large-scale field study performed to determine whether traits associated with a conservative ideology, as measured by voting behavior and religiosity, are manifested in consumers’ routine, seemingly inconsequential product choices. Our analysis of market shares for a variety of frequently purchased products shows that both of these measures of conservatism are associated with a systematic preference for established national brands (as opposed to their generic substitutes) and with a lower propensity to buy newly launched products. These tendencies correspond with other psychological traits associated with a conservative ideology, such as preference for tradition and the status quo, avoidance of ambiguity and uncertainty, and skepticism about new experiences.

The abstract mentions a conservative leaning three times and makes no mention of a liberal leaning. It should be no surprise that the researchers have left wing political leanings, given their description of a conservative ideology clearly stems from a liberal bias. Look at the traits the abstract lists as “associated with a conservative ideology”:

  • preference for tradition
  • preference for the status quo
  • avoidance of ambiguity and uncertainty
  • skepticism about new experiences

Plenty of conservatives would agree on a preference for tradition, but a preference for the status quo? That’s obviously a liberal point of view on conservatism, as such a term is not how conservatives typically describe themselves. Sometimes liberals can be accused of defending the status quo too. As to ambiguity, liberalism thrives on that so of course an aversion to ambiguity would get the attention of the liberal researchers. Uncertainty is a problem for every one, not only conservatives. It just depends on the context for us to see this. For example, the purpose of the social safety net (such as unemployment benefits, social security, Obamacare, etc.) is obviously meant to help people, not least of which by providing some level of financial peace and security (even if it fails to actually achieve the promises made to the American people). The social safety net is intended to reduce uncertainty and help people manage risk, and is most vocally championed by liberals. Tenure is meant to accomplish the same thing for teachers (liberals love tenure, whereas most complaints about tenure I hear are from conservative and libertarian students displeased with their liberal teachers – who dominate the academy). We all appreciate reducing uncertainty in some form, but these liberal researchers seem to have overlooked this simple and plain fact of the human condition about themselves. Skepticism about new experiences is another favorite liberal critique of conservatism, not something conservatives typically say to describe themselves. The article is written from a viewpoint that seems entirely bereft of sociopolitical balance – a liberal examination of a conservative perspective hardly qualifies as a conservative perspective.

The secondary data points mentioned in the study are also from a thoroughly left wing bias. For instance, without leaving the first page we see risk aversion mentioned, and included in the examples are the purchase of medical and auto insurance (conveniently, the social safety net most favored by liberals escapes mention as an example of risk aversion, when that is precisely its purpose). Keep in mind, in most states the purchase of auto insurance is required by law. Obamacare is a glaring example of the researchers’ political blind spot in that it mandates the purchase of health insurance. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for the Affordable Care Act. It was enacted by President Barack Obama on March 23 2010, three years before this psychological study was published. Liberals widely favored the mandate aspect of Obamacare, conservatives did not – conservatives favored health savings accounts as these would transfer control of health decisions from an insurance bureaucracy back to into the hands of the patient. The purchase of insurance is one thing, mandating it is quite another. This factor is completely disregarded in the Psychological Science article. The researchers instead thought only the “risk aversion” aspect of purchasing insurance was relevant. This is certainly true given the partisan goal of the study, but not as useful for understanding the reality of the situation as it ignored the liberal proclivity for reducing risk by favoring policies which control people’s choices.

The researchers refer to the 2005 edition of Miriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary to define conservatism. They state this definition as “disposition in politics to preserve what is established” and “the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change”. This, again, is more a matter of how liberals see conservatives rather than how conservatives see themselves. Conservatism is not a “disposition in politics to preserve that which is established”. Some obvious examples would be Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court ruling highly lauded by most liberals but highly condemned by most conservatives. The same is true of Obamacare and its mandate to purchase health insurance. Conservatives are working to undo both matters of law, the exact opposite of “preserving what is established”.

On the other hand, conservatives are certainly interested in preserving the individual’s right to make his/her own decisions that don’t cause harm to others. Some examples are opposing the institution of slavery (one of the seminal issues that led to the founding of the Republican party), opposing Jim Crow (established and defended by Democrats taking liberty with other people’s rights), and supporting the expansion of civil union laws rather than allow the federal government to usurp the religious institution of marriage – which is a violation of the separation between church and state, something liberals have said for generations is vital to maintaining liberty.

Let’s return to part of the hypothetical scenario I mentioned up top – tech purchases. Consider two major consumer products in the tech market: smart phones and Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Both forms of technology give us good reason to practice patience, or exercise a “preference for the status quo” and “skepticism about new experiences” as this liberal study would suggest.

Some of us remember Windows Millennium Edition (Windows ME). That was a publicly disastrous product launch for Microsoft. It left a bad taste in the mouth of Microsoft’s customers, so much that many of those customers have been cautious about upgrading to the next latest edition ever since. Windows 8 proved a similar problem in that many Windows users simply hated it, and reverted back to a previous version. This pressured Microsoft to push out the next version of the OS and many people, including conservatives, are quite happy with Windows 10 (the current latest version of the OS). Many Windows users learned to wait before upgrading to any “new” version. This group of customers will gladly let other more adventurous people test the latest version of Windows first. After the inevitable update fixing who knows how many problems (as also happened with Windows 10), this more cautious group becomes much more likely to upgrade. But according to this liberal study on conservative consumer habits this could be an example of a “preference for the status quo” rather than the very sensible patience for predictably problematic new technology to be improved.

Smart phones have a similar problem. There are customers who, for whatever reason, simply must have the latest smart phone as soon as it is released to the general public (if not before). These devices are at their most expensive retail price at this early release stage. And they typically have the same sort of quality problems as a new Windows OS. Common sense tells us with the practice of a little patience, most of these problems can be fixed and the prices for the smart phones will drop once the market is more saturated with them among the first triers. But according to the liberal study this pragmatic and reasonable self restraint might demonstrate a “skepticism about new experiences” something akin to a resistance to trying any new technology simply because it’s unfamiliar. Those of us who live in the real world can understand the benefits of new technology that it has been well vetted by the adventurous first triers. If that qualifies as “conservative” so be it.

Conservatism is a disposition to preserve freedom, not any old thing that has been established. In the conservative mindset the single greatest threat to freedom is the abuse of power. A healthy skepticism of power is fundamental to the American experiment. In the effort to preserve freedom the conservative endeavors to conserve power (use it sparingly). And how does the abuse of power occur in the grand American experiment? Quite often it happens though the offer of government assistance. Ironically, it turns out government aid usually means government making decisions for us, and a decision the government makes on our behalf is a decision we (as individuals) no longer have the right to make for ourselves. Freedom is also threatened by the abuse of freedom itself, which why we need laws in the first place. This necessitates a sort of social compact where we try to reach a balance between laws and liberties, where this balance favors liberties. The abuse of power and the abuse of freedom are best addressed by an aversion to abuse and waste, thus self restraint is encouraged in both cases, where power (the use of force) is limited or conserved (hence the term “conservative”).

Contrast this with the liberal balance between laws and liberties, which favors laws. It is not conservatives who are constantly trying to regulate various aspects of life. It is not conservatives who pushed to regulate the use of tobacco, or sugar, or speech. The ever increasing list of words we are to avoid using (for fear of offending anyone) is not an invention of conservatives; it is the hallmark of modern liberalism. (Jailing students for distributing free copies of the US Constitution is a thoroughly liberal policy.) On the one hand liberals claim to value and defend free speech when what they really mean is approved speech, which is the opposite of free speech. The ambiguity and purposeful misuse of language is the playground of tyrants. And let us not purposefully confuse the Republican Party with conservatism. The Republican Party has spent decades distancing itself from conservatives, attempting to become diet Democrats. And they have succeeded. There is scarcely a trace of conservatism left in the Republican Party of today.

The so-called resistance to change often cited as a tenet of conservatism is predictably reductive as well. Rather than acknowledge the fact change is merely different, and that difference could be either good or bad, the typically mindless liberal view is that change is automatically a good thing (that’s how the vague and vapid slogan “hope and change” was so successful for President Obama). The problem is none of us knows change is always good. Getting cancer is “change” but none of us is likely to treat that change as good. How do we know a political or social change is going to be good if we don’t examine it first? But, as mentioned earlier, in the liberal mindset recognition that life is not so simple is dismissed as a small-minded resistance to change. To suggest change ought to be vetted before we impose it on our entire society is typically dismissed as bigotry. (Consider Obamacare again: liberals dismissed health savings accounts as a solution to the problem of astronomical health care costs saying this was another example conservatives don’t care about people, whereas mandated health insurance was the preferred liberal solution, ignoring the highly likely possibility that insurance itself is the primary cause of astronomical health care costs.) That’s one of the underlying premises of this study because it’s a fundamental premise of liberalism – that conservatives are “skeptical about new experience”s and “prefer the status quo” because they don’t like change.

I learned of this study by randomly encountering an article in Psychology Today by Art Markman titled Conservatism and Product Purchase. Dr. Markman’s article didn’t address the liberal bias of this study. His interest was more on confirming a standard liberal view of conservatism. He ends his article with this.

There is evidence suggesting that conservative ideology is often taken on by people who find newness and change to be stressful.  For individuals who are anxious in  new situations, familiar products and brands are comforting.  So, the same factors that promote conservative political affiliation also seem to affect everyday purchases.

It seems to me this study and the impetus behind it was in the common liberal vein of trying to “explain away” conservatism as if it were a pathology. That’s not my description. This is the description of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt which I borrowed from the New York Times. The Times has a good article describing Haidt’s work in William Saletan’s 2012 piece “Why Won’t They Listen?“. Saletan’s article adeptly explains Haidt’s attempt to enrich American society by explaining something about human psychology that most of us simply don’t think about, or don’t think about in a well rounded way.

If actual understanding is a goal of yours, Saletan’s article is definitely worth a read. If you’re satisfied in simply telling yourself what you want to believe perhaps your social media echo chamber would be better for you.

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Who gets absolute moral authority?

original article: Malkin: Who gets absolute moral authority?
July 20, 2016 by Michelle Malkin

My 12-year-old son couldn’t remember the phrase “take a walk down memory lane” last week, instead describing a stroll through “nostalgia road.” I knew it would come in handy.

Put on your hiking boots and join me for an educational trip down good ol’ nostalgia road.

It seems like yesterday when Champion of Wimmin Maureen Dowd, bemoaning the lack of sympathy for anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan, declared in The New York Times that “the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.”

No ifs, ands or other hedging qualifiers. Absolutely absolute.

And it was just a blink of an eye ago that the same New York Times spilled barrels of adulatory ink on the 9/11 widows known as the Jersey Girls. Remember them? The quartet of Democratic women parlayed their post-terror attack plight into powerful roles as Bush-bashing citizen lobbyists.

Their story, the lib narrative-shaping paper of record reported, was a “tale of a political education, and a sisterhood born of grief.”

Moms and widows deserved special consideration in the public square, the argument went a decade ago. Their experience and their testimony warranted respect, deference and the national spotlight.

But then, as now, only a special class of victims is entitled to cash in the Absolute Moral Authority card. Not all parents and spouses who have lost loved ones can join the Club of the Unquestioned and Unassailable.

On Monday night at the Republican National Convention, Pat Smith shared her own tale of a political education born of grief after her diplomat son, Sean Smith, died in the Benghazi terrorist attack. Hillary Clinton, she passionately insisted, “deserves to be in stripes!”

GQ sports writer Nathaniel Friedman showed his compassion for Smith’s loss and pain by tweeting, “I don’t care how many children Pat Smith lost I would like to beat her to death.”

MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who had helped make Cindy Sheehan a media star and urged her to run for Congress based on her status as a grieving war mom, fumed that Pat Smith had “ruined” the entire convention with her heartfelt testimony. The smug Democratic political operative turned TV bloviator, who had also elevated the Jersey Girls’ celebrity status with multiple bookings on his show, couldn’t bear to speak Smith’s name:

“I don’t care what that woman up there, the mother, has felt. Her emotions are her own, but for the country in choosing a leader, it’s wrong to have someone get up there and tell a lie about Hillary Clinton.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chimed in on the same network that he was disgusted with how the GOP convention was using Smith to “exploit a tragedy.”

GOP-bashers heaped similar derision on father Jamiel Shaw Sr. and mothers Sabine Durden and Mary Ann Mendoza, who all spoke at the convention about losing children to criminals who had slipped illegally through open borders and revolving deportation doors. “Progressives” sneered at Shaw as an “Uncle Tom” for pointing out that Latino gangbangers targeted his black son because of his race. The intolerant tolerance mob also accused Durden of being “fooled” and Durden and Mendoza of being “exploited for apocalyptic theater.”

Will these horrified hang-wringers be as outspokenly offended next week when the Democratic National Convention dedicates an entire evening to the so-called Mothers of the Movement?

Among the sainted moms of the Black Lives Matter movement who will speak on Hillary Clinton’s behalf are Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton; Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis; Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown; Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton; and Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland.

Each of these cases lumped under supposedly unjustified gun violence and systemic racism is complicated and distinct. For starters, Bland hanged herself when her friends and family wouldn’t bail her out of jail after she had kicked a police officer. Two of the “children” involved in police shootings (Brown and Hamilton) had assaulted cops during their fatal encounters.

But drop all questions and doubts. “These mothers have worked tirelessly to raise awareness around the issues that surround their children’s deaths,” the liberal Huffington Post reports.

Because these women endorse race-baiting, gun-grabbing narratives and left-wing candidates, no one working in the mainstream media will ever challenge their parental prerogative to participate in politics on behalf of their loved ones.

Moms who have lost their children to Democratic incompetence, corruption and open-borders treachery are out of luck. The dealers of Absolute Moral Authority play with a loaded deck.

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Making ‘Star Trek’s’ Sulu Gay Is A Lame Move By Bad Screenwriters

original article: Making ‘Star Trek’s’ Sulu Gay Is A Lame Move By Bad Screenwriters
July 18, 2016 by D.C. McAllister

I don’t know if Courtney Kirchoff of LouderWithCrowder originally came up with this, but her label of “straight character appropriation” by Hollywood is spot-on, especially now that we have more of it with helmsman Sulu transforming from a straight character to a gay one in the new “Star Trek Beyond” movie.

Let me first confess to being a Trekkie, so I’m a bit biased about messing with a franchise I love. If you make a change, it better be worthy of the change. I’m a “Star Trek” purist from the days of Jim Kirk making out with green women and having the first onscreen interracial kiss with Uhura, and I’m irritated by making Sulu gay, not because I have a problem with homosexuality (I don’t) or because I take issue with exploring controversial themes (“Star Trek” is famous for doing just that). I object because this is an affront to consistent storytelling without making a complete overhaul of the narrative (think of totally re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica”)—all for the sake of checking off the “we’ve got a gay character now” box.

Ultimately, this was just a thoughtless decision without creative merit. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. To Hollywood’s surprise, the gay actor who originally played Sulu says he isn’t on board and has called the switch “unfortunate.” Fellow actors are now jumping all over George Takei like he’s a gay Uncle Tom.

The Gayness Is Disproportionate

“Star Trek,” of course, isn’t the first to engage in straight character appropriation. It’s been a recent Hollywood trend to increase the presence of gays on the screen, even though, as Kirchoff rightly points out in her rant against Hollywood “gaying all things,” homosexuals make up only about 3.4 percent of the U.S. population. Despite this low number, gays composed about 14 percent of characters in films released in 2014—and that’s increasing with transgenders now being added to the mix.

Despite the reality of the population numbers, the push for more gays is unrelenting. Not only are more gay characters being introduced in shows and movies, straight characters are being transformed into gay ones. You might have heard about Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen,” Marvel’s Captain America becoming gay (wouldn’t that be symbolic?), and Jeri Hogarth in “Jessica Jones” who is a straight man in the comic books but has magically transformed into a gay woman in the Netflix series.

There are even disturbing rumors about making James Bond gay. Can you imagine the new “Bond guy” Robert Pattinson (just grabbing from the barrel of hot actors here) whispering “Oh, James …” Ummm. No. I’m with Daniel Craig on this one—it ain’t going to happen. Still, the way things are going, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

As an aside, if sexuality is that fluid, I wonder what would happen if we started converting gay characters to straight—and not in that bisexual dump-the-lesbian-for-a-guy Ellen Degeneres life story kind of way. Imagine if the dashing Loras Tyrell of “Game of Thrones” had suddenly said after all that business with Renly that he really is straight and would be delighted to marry a woman and make babies. Things might have turned out better for him this past season. But I don’t think Hollywood would be too excited about that, do you?

Anyway. In its push to drape everything in the rainbow flag, Tinseltown thought it would be a dandy idea to have the most recent installment of straight character appropriation be Sulu of “Star Trek.” Yet Sulu never had any on-screen love interests, he’s straight in the books, had the hots for Uhura (who hasn’t?), and had a daughter from a “one-night stand with a glamazon…A very athletic, powerful and stunningly gorgeous woman,” Takei explains.

Regardless of the history, we know from Takei himself that the character was straight, and this is what Gene Roddenberry, the series’ creator, intended. Roddenberry’s son says he understands why Takei isn’t thrilled about the change since “in a way, it’s George’s character” as well as his father’s creation, but he does think his father would have supported having a gay character.

But instead of creating a whole new character, the writer of “Star Trek Beyond,” Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the new films, decided to have Sulu go through gay conversion therapy and repent of his straightness. Now we have a brief scene showing Scotty with his husband, holding his daughter. “Look everyone, Sulu is gay… now back to the action.” Instead of creating a whole new character, Pegg took the lazy route and decided just to appropriate a straight one.

It Doesn’t Even Make Any Plot Sense

“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei told The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

When Takei first heard the idea of making Sulu gay, he tried to convince the team to develop a new character instead. “I told him [John Cho, who plays Sulu] ‘Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted.’”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Takei had enough negative experiences inside the Hollywood closet, he says, and strongly feels a character who came of age in the 23rd century would never find his way inside one.” Good point. Would a gay man really be hiding in the closet all these years in the extremely tolerant world of “Star Trek,” especially for someone from Earth and working in the all-inclusive Federation?

The Hollywood Reporter also makes the prickly point that this is even more twisted because the new film takes place before the old “Star Trek,” so we would actually have Sulu being gay and then going into the closet. That’s just weird. How do the “Star Trek” writers and all the actors rallying behind the decision to gay-up Sulu explain that little jewel of timeline inconsistency?

They can’t, but they don’t care. Instead of being faithful to a consistent science-fiction narrative, one actor after another is throwing his support behind the fictional gay Sulu and throwing the real-life gay actor who played straight Sulu under the bus. That includesZachary Quinto, who is also gay in real life, but plays straight Spock—for now. Pretty messed-up stuff.

It’s Not Positive for Gay People, Either

But it fits the Hollywood, pro-gay agenda, and in the long run it will probably undermine their cause. Like feminism, the homosexual militant agenda (as opposed to regular gay people who just want to live their lives in peace) has moved beyond wanting equality and tolerance. The Gay Gestapo, of which Hollywood is a part, wants power; they want to punish straights; they want to elevate themselves as the ones with enlightened gay consciousness; and they want to ram their agenda of approval and capitulation (not tolerance) down the throats of every American. In the process, they will push gay characters in your face, they will appropriate straight ones, and you will like it, damn it!

The sad thing is, this is only stirring up conflict and creating more division. A lot of people, and I include myself in this, are tolerant of homosexuality, love their homosexual friends, and really don’t care what people do in the bedroom. But I don’t need nor want gayness (nor feminism, global warming, environmentalism, gun control, and not even religion of any stripe) shoved in my face every time I turn on the television or go to a movie. If it happens, and continues to happen, I’ll just stop watching.

Most people want a good, well-written, well-acted story: realistic characters who are part of a beautifully crafted narrative that challenges us to think and makes us feel greater empathy for others. If that involves a gay character, great. If it doesn’t, if it’s about an agenda, the writers and producers have duped me into watching something that amounts to propaganda rather than good storytelling. That doesn’t make me a happy customer.

What the “Star Trek” writers are doing is a violation of quality art (and yes, even science fiction is a type of art—not high art, but still art) for the sake of a liberal agenda—or even worst, just to create conflict and buzz for marketing purposes (sometimes it really does come down to the almighty dollar). Either way, they don’t care about well-crafted storytelling or being faithful to the cohesiveness of a created universe. They just want to get gold stars for being progressive and tolerant, or they simply want to line their pockets. As a result, they’re just pissing everyone off.

Look, Good Art Is Possible

They could learn a lot from Alan Ball. He’s the gay screenwriter who created HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and wrote “True Blood.” He, probably better than many in Hollywood, mainstreamed homosexuality in television in a way that was artistic and effective (along with “Will and Grace”). Ball deftly created compelling homosexual characters who touched our hearts and revealed to us deep struggles gay people face today—a feat he accomplished while being artistically faithful and treating his own creations with the care and respect they deserve, even on those occasions when he was advancing his own commentary on homosexuality.

This is particularly true with the fictional character David Fisher in “Six Feet Under,” a beautifully crafted homosexual character with whom the viewer connects immediately, even if you’re not gay. The same is true of Lafayette Reynolds in “True Blood,” a complex character who tugs at our heartstrings in his quest for true love.

Ball gave us exceptional characters while maintaining quality storytelling. Does this mean he didn’t have an agenda? He certainly did. In a way, all writers have an “agenda.” They want to communicate something, and often it is something of social significance. In the case of “True Blood,” Ball had a gay agenda in the overall theme of the show, but he was clever enough to incorporate that into a story in a realistic way that lent itself to the narrative as created by the writer of the original series, Charlaine Harris.

This is what good writing looks like, and there are several other examples in television and film, including “Orange Is the New Black.” “Star Trek Beyond” in this instance isn’t one of them. They have taken good storytelling and turned it on its head just to make a cultural and political statement. This imposition of gayness by Hollywood is offensive not only on a social-cultural level, it’s insulting on a creative level.

Making Sulu gay did nothing to advance the plot or play into an overall narrative that actually promotes a significant message about homosexuality. Neither is it like “Battlestar Galactica” where Starbuck is now a woman in an entirely newly imagined story (and even that caused quite the uproar). “Star Trek” has not been re-imagined. Sulu is still Sulu, and nothing in the plot has called for a change in his sexuality—a change, as I stated previously, that cannot really be done retroactively because of the timeline of the story.

What the writers of “Star Trek” have done is lazy, banal, trivial, and, simply put, bad writing. As artists, they can do better. We as paying viewers deserve better. Instead, they just want to make a statement instead of creating something original. As a result, they will not convert anyone to their cause, and they won’t bring anything of worth to the art they are trying to create. Instead, they are diminishing themselves, undermining Roddenberry’s creation, and sewing discord from their soapbox perch instead of building bridges and opening hearts through imaginative storytelling.

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In some schools social indoctrination supersedes normal education

original article: Media touts 14-year-old’s poem APOLOGIZING for being white, but now the backlash is building
July 14, 2016 by Tom Tillison

A 14-year-old student‘s “slam poem” on white privilege is taking the country by storm.

Royce Mann, a private school student at The Paideia School in Atlanta, won a competition with a poem, “White Boy Privilege,” in which he apologized to women and people of color for being born a white male, according to CNN.

…for starting life “on top of the ladder while you were born on the first rung.”

Never mind that, according to the Census Bureau, there were 19.7 million white Americans living in poverty as of 2014.

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“Dear women, I’m sorry. Dear black people, I’m sorry,” the poem begins. “Dear Asian-Americans, dear Native Americans, dear immigrants who came here seeking a better life, I’m sorry. Dear everyone who isn’t a middle or upper-class white boy, I’m sorry. I have started life on the top of the ladder while you were born on the first rung.”

Mann said he loves his privilege and doesn’t know what he would do without “my white boy privilege safety blankie to protect me.”

He even regurgitated the left’s false narrative of racist cops, saying, “I love it because when I see a police officer I see someone who’s on my side.”

But his distorted views get worse.

‘Because of my gender, I can watch any sport on TV, and feel like that could be me one day,” the student said. “Because of my race I can eat at a fancy restaurant without the wait staff expecting me to steal the silverware.

In a sane world, his offering would be cause to investigate for possible child abuse for a severe form of indocrination, but instead Mann has been applauded for being enlightened… for being “woke” in Black Lives Matter lingo, CNN reported.

Where did he get such notions?

“That was the first time I did slam poetry,” Mann told Fusion in a phone interview. “I wrote it because I became aware of white privilege this year. We have a class called Race, Class and Gender that everyone has to take, and I got really passionate about how unfair it is.”

And he concluded his liberal equality rant with a call to action.

“Hey white boys: It’s time to act like a woman,” he said. “To be strong and make a difference. It’s time to let go of that fear.”

While the mainstream media is touting the boy’s indoctrinated message far and wide, not everyone is buying it.

What school requires its students to be indoctrinated this way in a class on Race, Class, and Gender? According to the Atlanta Joural-Constitution it’s The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia.

bias, children, culture, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, politics, progressive, propaganda

Filed under: bias, children, culture, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, politics, progressive, propaganda

How experts make us dumb

Think for yourself! That’s a common sentiment promoted today especially in western civilization. While I notice the concept is frequently promoted I’m not sure the advice is put into practice much.

On the one hand atheism is said to be on the rise in the United States, and Europe is well known for reaching a post-Christian era. One might interpret this as an indication people actually are thinking for themselves. On the other hand, intellectual laziness is astronomically high and still growing, and so is fear of challenging a politically correct narrative.

Experts promote this tragedy in our society and the rest of us help them do it. Experts often try to make themselves appear sophisticated and smart by using elevated jargon when speaking to people outside their field of expertise. Of course it makes no sense using buzzwords for a highly specialized discipline when speaking to the uninitiated, at least not if the goal is to effectively communicate. But the goal evidently is not to effectively communicate. Instead the goal is often to intimidate or impress, or both.

Emotionally charged controversies are the preferred playground for this intellectual pretense. Experts in economics, the soft social sciences, physics, etc. often tout their credentials and experience in ways intended to discourage disagreement. Experts often see what they want to see and blithely dismiss dissenting views rather than discuss specifics. Granted, even experts are only human, so when they make mistakes they typically don’t want to admit it any more than you or I would. And when the general public treats the expert opinion with skepticism we should not be surprised to be met with some form of expertism: the allegation that because we are not experts in the field we cannot possibly know what we are talking about; so our views don’t count for much.

So we, the uneducated masses, apparently cannot know that one of the most basic things a medical professional ought to do before administering care to read the patient’s chart (failing to do this turns out to be an alarmingly common mistake). And we, being chronically uneducated, cannot know that a nation cannot pull itself out of an economic slump by spending its way into oblivion – since numerous experts insist it can.

So while experts try to bully the people into thinking we cannot know what we are talking about when we disagree with them, we the people often end up reinforcing this myth as well.

In physics, for example, Stephen Hawking, arguably one of the smartest people in the world, asserts the universe created itself out of nothing. Think about that. The cosmic equivalent of spontaneous generation is this expert’s preferred explanation about how the universe got here. And people who don’t understand the math, don’t know what he’s talking about, and most of whom haven’t even read his book The Grand Design blindly accept Hawking’s word for it. There is no empirical evidence of any kind supporting Hawking’s explanation. It isn’t even testable (which means it doesn’t qualify as science) and most people who accept this idea have never heard any criticism of it (from religious and secular people alike, from philosophical and scientific view points). Many people unquestioningly believe it simply because Hawking said it. So much for thinking for oneself. This is blind faith, the unthinking, mindless approach to the world which theists are typically accused of practicing. But because Hawking’s explanation doesn’t need God it automatically gains credibility where, scientifically speaking, it has not earned it.

Additionally, Hawking has pompously and erroneously argued that philosophy is dead. Of course, the unthinking masses willing to believe his theory of the universe are not likely to recognize the flaw in this philosophical argument. Merely saying “think about that statement” is not likely to have the intended effect so I’ll explain it.

The statement “philosophy is dead” is not something that can be scientifically tested. In fact, Hawking’s comment is itself not even a scientific statement, but a philosophical one. So he uses philosophy to claim philosophy is dead, thus proving his own statement false. Hawking, as brilliant a scientist as he is, makes basic, elementary errors in his philosophy. Instead of showing philosophy to be dead, Hawking reveals his own ignorance and bias on things outside the area of his expertise, and raises questions as to the reliability of his expertise as well. We should not be surprised to find Hawking mistakenly believes the premise of his “The Grand Design” is scientific, when in fact it is inherently philosophical. As Einstein said, the man of science makes a poor philosopher. Hawking proves this publicly for all the world to see.

Climate science suffers from much the same problem. Chris Landsea, former chief scientist at the National Hurricane Center, in 2005 resigned from his position with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due to the panel’s willingness to embrace poor science and political corruption of the scientific process. On the other side of the coin, the former chair of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri (who resigned in 2015 due to sexual scandals) declared climate change is his religion. But if you were to suggest climate change has been happening for as long as the planet has existed you can be sure to be labeled a “denier” or “anti-science”. Climate science is riddled with propaganda and corruption, and dissent is punished. Yet we are supposed to think climate science is real science, pure and incorruptible. Look at how many stories we’ve read or seen touting global warming doctrine as if it were infallible, all with the knowledge we are likely to be ridiculed if not worse for challenging that doctrine. What else does it mean to claim “the science is settled” if not to try to stop people from thinking beyond the narrative?

We now have a narrative conflating the latest views of gender with civil rights. Anyone who bothers to question this narrative is instantly labeled a bigot. As with gay activists, transgender activist rely on bully tactics to silence those who dare think for themselves on these issues. The threat of ruination was the hallmark of activism on the gay marriage issue, where any independent thinking would be labeled as unthinking hatred and punished. The what 0.3 percent? of the population that may be transgender gets to force the rest of us to accommodate any number of questionable premises. Never mind if the majority are made uncomfortable; the concerns of 0.3 percent trump everyone else’s concerns. So don’t bother asking thoughtful questions like what happens if straight male pranksters or perverts (falsely claiming to identify as female) see this latest social issue as an opportunity to exploit? Recording video of women in the restroom or shower and posting it online is one of the less egregious problems we are inviting upon ourselves, but such a violation of privacy is no small thing. Yet as long as the rights of the 99.7 percent are ignored while we are misdirected with a questionable narrative, we can pretend everyone is being treated equally by the rash effort to change public policy to accommodate the ever changing feelings of a tiny minority.

Andrea Mitchell (NBC News) shows us another example of experts making people dumb. For months, Hillary Clinton has been playing the gender card to help her presidential campaign. She portrays herself as a defender of women. But because our society tends to blindly accept the dominant narrative of the major news sources (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, NYT, etc.) most people simply forget what happened even a few weeks ago. For example, during the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton had his panoply of sex scandals (the allegations turned out to be true) Hillary defended her husband by defaming any woman who spoke up about the sexual abuse. We were told absurdities like a “vast rightwing conspiracy” was out to get her husband. Contrast that with her more recent comments about how survivors of sexual assault have the right to be heard and believed. Not only do many forget how Hillary treated survivors of sexual assault in the 1990s, there is one case in particular which receives little attention at all.

Juanita Broaddrick’s story got scant attention. President Clinton denied her allegation that he raped her. He also denied all the other allegations of various forms of sexual harassment and assault. Yet, this denial seems to be enough for Andrea Mitchell to think Broaddrick’s story has been “discredited”. When? How? By whom? Mitchell doesn’t seem to realize that hiding from a story is not the same as discrediting it.

In light of the Bill Cosby sex scandal I challenged some liberals on social media. I pointed out how they are surprisingly concerned with allegations against him, given their profound lack of interest in allegations against Bill Clinton. And this was confirmed, with admissions that they didn’t care about the allegations against the former president. Callous excuses such as “it was just one allegation” were thrown about.

But hold a second. The idea that women would lie about sexual issues like this was unconscionable prior to Bill Clinton’s presidency. For those who don’t recall the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings, HBO is sure to skew your view of history even further with a loaded dramatization of questionable historical accuracy. In point of fact, the Clarence Thomas scandal received exactly the opposite response from liberals. There was little concern for evidence of any allegation. Instead, the concern was over the “seriousness of the charge”. The American people were supposed to believe women don’t lie about this sort of thing, so the allegation should be taken at face value, making Thomas unqualified to take a position on the SCOTUS. For President Clinton, the situation was exactly the opposite. We were told a man’s personal life doesn’t affect his professional life (his sexual abuse somehow does not disqualify him to be POTUS) so the allegations should have no impact on his right to be president, and women apparently lie all the time about sexual abuse. So which narrative is true? Andrea Mitchell, acting as an expert in current events and women’s issues, would have you believe which ever narrative helps Hillary Clinton’s current campaign. So we are to ignore the defense of Anita Hill and ignore Hillary’s recent comments about survivors of sexual assault, and pretend Broaddrick’s allegations have been “discredited” though no one can show me how this was done.

In western civilization experts now enjoy an air of respect traditionally reserved for religious leadership. These experts cultivate a religious veneration for their views, and the rest of us let them. Many will gladly keep themselves uninformed (not bothering to do their own homework) and blindly accept what they are told by these experts, whether they be scientific, economic, social, or political experts. And we have to contend with fear and retaliation for not blindly following the predominant narrative of the day. The combination of willful ignorance and unquestioning acceptance of certain points of view makes people dumb. And it happens everyday in our politically correct culture.

Many people keep acting as if they are intelligent and well informed by blindly following the experts. The rest of us commoners with a mere public education are frequently and smugly treated as nincompoops for daring to raise inconvenient questions, all while the virtues of public education are continually sung from the rafters by those same sheep who keep buying what education experts are selling.

Given the frequent disagreement among experts, even among those in the same field, perhaps blindly following them is not such an intelligent decision after all. It is stupid to say people who are thinking for themselves are not thinking, and stupid to say people who are blindly following the crowd are thinking for themselves. But what else should we expect from dumb people?

Please don’t be like that. Don’t be dumb.

corruption, culture, elitism, ideology, indoctrination, opinion, pandering, propaganda, tragedy

Filed under: corruption, culture, elitism, ideology, indoctrination, opinion, pandering, propaganda, tragedy

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