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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Is Justice Still Blind in Canada?

Is Justice Still Blind in Canada?


Since Smith is black, he also submitted an Impact of Race and Culture Assessment, or IRCA—a presentencing report in which “Black and racialized Canadians” can demonstrate how systemic racism led them to commit their crime. 

The logic behind Smith’s IRCA was clear: as a black man, it was assumed that he had been subjected to a great deal of hate, and that that hate had limited his job opportunities, housing opportunities, opportunities to build a meaningful and law-abiding life.

Dunia Nur, the activist who wrote Smith’s IRCA, told me the report was meant to help the judge appreciate the convict’s “background” and “history.” 

I obtained Smith’s IRCA from Smith himself. Oddly, the four-page report cites no concrete instances of racism—no violence, no untoward remarks, no employers or schools that turned Smith down because of his skin color. Not even any microaggressions.

It also fails to mention that, in a separate incident in January 2018, Smith was arrested and charged with theft, robbery, and kidnapping. 

What it does say is that Smith had a rough childhood and adolescence—the refugee camp in Ghana, his father’s absence, immigrating to Canada, his early run-ins with the law. It further notes that “Edward identifies as an African Canadian” who is of “Liberian heritage,” and that he has “a feeling of disconnection with his culture.”

The judge apparently sympathized with Smith. In February 2020, after six months in prison, he was allowed to go free with court-appointed supervision. If he’d been white, he would have been looking at eight years behind bars.

“I didn’t face racism,” Smith admitted to me in a recent phone call. He’s now a sales representative at a debt-collection company. Referring to the IRCA, Smith said, “It was my only way out of this situation. I took full advantage.”

Canada’s first official IRCA was submitted in the now-famous case of R v “X” in 2014—a case in which a 16-year-old black boy in Nova Scotia was charged with attempted murder after shooting his 15-year-old cousin in the abdomen with a rifle. This was not long after Black Lives Matter was formed, in 2013, to protest the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

At the time, it was mostly confined to progressive circles in Nova Scotia, which has a higher concentration of African Canadians than any other province. Now, it’s taken for granted among Canadian criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and law professors that the assessments are a necessary tool for curbing the “overrepresentation” of black and indigenous prisoners...

In the United States, the new thinking was reflected in the push for “decarceration” and the rise of progressive district attorneys—Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, George Gascón in Los Angeles, Alvin Bragg in Manhattan, Kim Foxx in Chicago, and others. Central to the progressive prosecutor movement, Fryer said, was a rejection of “the gladiator, adversarial model.” Instead, he said, “the prosecutor’s role should be to seek justice in society.”

On top of that, a handful of states sought to impose justice from the top down: Virginia and Washington barred police from using choke holds and no-knock warrants. Minnesota adopted a law meant to make police more accountable. California, the country’s progressive laboratory, enacted the Racial Justice Act, which enables anyone convicted of a crime to challenge that conviction on the grounds of racial bias. 

But Canada has gone further, insisting that judges explicitly consider race when meting out justice...

Race-based sentencing in Canada did not emerge in a vacuum.

It started in 1996, when Canadian lawmakers, upset that so many indigenous people were in prison, amended the Criminal Code, hoping to prod judges into considering indigenous people’s history of colonization—and dispensing less punitive sentences. In 1993, aboriginal peoples accounted for 17 percent of prisoners even though they were less than 4 percent of the total population.

In 1999, in R v Gladue—the first case to make its way to the Supreme Court following the amendments to the Criminal Code—what started as a suggestion became the law of the land. The Criminal Code, the Court ruled, “mandatorily requires sentencing judges to consider all available sanctions other than imprisonment and to pay particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders.”

In the wake of that case, courts started to require so-called Gladue reports when sentencing indigenous defendants. Gradually, the idea of building on Gladue reports to acknowledge African Canadians’ history started to gain traction...

Since Anderson, federal authorities have tried to nudge the rest of Canada to follow Nova Scotia’s lead. In April 2021, the Department of Justice announced $6.6 million to subsidize IRCAs. Since then, the sense of urgency has grown, with everyone from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger saying more must be done to combat the “overrepresentation” of minority inmates.

This urgency is fueled, in part, by an awareness that over the course of the first two decades of this century—from the first Gladue reports in 1999 to 2020—the percentage of indigenous prisoners has jumped, from 17 percent to more than 30 percent...

It seemed not to matter to the judge that St.-Hilaire, 39, didn’t provide any details about the racism he had suffered: names, dates, comments that were made, pain that was inflicted. Nor did he say how it had affected him over the years.

St.-Hilaire could have wound up spending two years behind bars. Instead, he was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and left the courtroom, in November 2018, a free man.

St.-Hilaire hadn’t even filed an IRCA. All that was required to get a lighter sentence was to bring the defendant’s race to the judge’s attention—to obtain “judicial notice,” Danardo Jones, the University of Windsor law professor, told me. “Failure to consider race and anti-Blackness,” Jones said in an email, could lead to a sentence being overturned on appeal.

The Ottawa police chief, Charles Bordeleau, was furious about the sentence and issued a terse statement voicing frustration—something he almost never did. “It’s unfortunate that these comments were made putting into question the professionalism of our members during this difficult investigation,” he said...

“The judge basically calls the system out for being systemically racist even though the system bends over backwards to be reverse racist,” a prominent defense attorney in Toronto told me.

The attorney, who asked me not to publish his name out of fear of backlash, found it galling that the judge had portrayed St.-Hilaire’s actions during the course of those nine days between the hit and run and his arrest as a “momentary lapse of judgment.”

“The idea that somehow this cover-up had anything to do with racism or this never-demonstrated canard of systemic racism is patently false,” the attorney said. “To use language we’d normally associate with murder, this was not a momentary lapse in judgment but planned and deliberate. That’s what makes the judge’s ruling so egregious, and the idea that the defendant gets some kind of break because of something that happened years ago, something completely unprovable and possibly untrue that has nothing to do with Andy Nevin’s death—that’s absurd. Actually, it’s offensive.”

He added: “This is the scam of scams.” He said that lots of people knew it, and no one would say it openly. Including him. “Criticizing IRCAs would mean career suicide.”

I asked Chris Rudnicki, the criminal defense attorney, whether the subtext of the whole IRCA phenomenon was that black people from poor neighborhoods have less control over the decisions they make. 

He emailed back: “In some cases, yes.”...

Smith was happy to have avoided a longer sentence but seemed almost embarrassed by it. “It didn’t have anything to do with race,” he told me for the third or fourth time. (But Temitope Oriola, a University of Alberta sociologist, said it wasn’t uncommon for black victims of racism to deny they had been victims of racism. “They refuse to acknowledge the existence of racism as a particular way of navigating the world and holding onto their sense of self,” he told me.)

Two months after being released from jail, Smith was arrested again, in April 2020, for possession of stolen goods. In September 2022, he was arrested once more and charged with two counts of assault and one count of damaging property, according to court records...

It seems odd that liberals, who spent decades trying to deracialize society, are now re-racializing it."


Liberals keep going on about "systemic racism", when the only systemic racism is what they promote

Clearly, as liberals believe, people don't respond to incentives, which is why criminals seeing that they won't be punished much don't offend more. It must be racism which explains why lighter sentencing for indigenous prisoners has increased their representation in prison

Links - 30th September 2023 (Voting in the US)

Kamala Harris slammed for claiming rural Americans can't photocopy their IDs

Matt Walsh on Twitter - "Black women are demanding OUR right to vote! We’re marching to the Senate to send a strong message. #OurPowerOurMessage"
"Words cannot describe the courage it takes to demand a right you already have and which literally no one is trying to take away from you"

Meme - "To vote in Mexico every eligible Mexican citizen has to have a tamper-proof photo-ID card with a thumbprint and an embossed hologram. All citizens are required to personally enroll and show proof of birth or citizenship. Applicants are required to personally return to collect their voting credential. So how is it that we can't upgrade to Mexican standards without being called racist? Maybe it's because one political party is dependant on voter fraud."

Major blow to voting rights as Supreme Court upholds restrictive laws in Arizona - "the US Supreme Court has upheld two Arizona laws that voting rights advocates argued have disproportionately hurt minority voters, a decision that will likely make it more difficult to challenge recent Republican-backed laws restricting voting access... One 2016 law in Arizona made it a felony to return someone else’s signed and sealed mail-in ballot, a practice condemned as “ballot harvesting” by Republicans, but has become popular among get-out-the-vote campaigns and in communities without easy access to mail or post offices, particularly in rural Native communities where mail service can be limited.  Another rejects provisional ballots – ballots used by voters if officials cannot immediately determine at the polls whether a voter is eligible to cast a normal in-person ballot – if they are cast at the wrong polling location, despite the frequency of location changes and closures. The state leads the country in tossing out provisional ballots."
Apparently it is racist not to allow tampering with ballots

Opinion: Voter ID works in Canada. Why does Joe Biden want to banish it in the U.S.? - "Joe Biden accused Texas Republicans of being behind “ the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. ” In Texas, as with other states, GOP legislators convened to pass a law mandating voters show valid photo ID when they show up to vote. Democrats, meanwhile, packed up and flocked on private jets to Washington, D.C., to deny them quorum. Across America, “voting rights” have become the top political issue after the contested 2020 election. After courts dismissed their claims, states where results were challenged — Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin — have passed measures for election security, requiring photo ID to ensure that only eligible citizens vote. Eighty per cent of Americans, in a recent Monmouth University Poll, support these measures , with 69 per cent of Black voters endorsing the same . Though the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld these laws, 6-3, in Arizona, Democrats are undeterred to “stop the steal.” Their ‘For the People Act,’ pending in Congress, would override state election security and end all ID requirements. So far, the Senate filibuster has prevented it from becoming law. While the U.S. bickers over “election security,” however, it may be worthwhile to look northward to the Canadian example... These measures have long been supported by Canadians and have been in place without issue... every one of the voters I serviced presented valid voter ID to cast their ballot. Virtually all had government-issued photo ID showing their address — whether a driver’s licence or another card — with the rest coming prepared with two documents to prove their eligibility. Young and old, poor or wealthy, these voters instinctively thought to bring ID with them to the ballot box. Just like driving a car or buying alcohol, they knew that voting must be safe and secure. Since these laws were made, and four federal elections later, there have never been accusations of “widespread voter fraud” or “stolen elections” on a national scale in Canada... When these voter ID laws were challenged on appeal in 2014 at the B.C. Court of Appeal, in Henry v. Canada (Attorney General), they were upheld unanimously. In her concurrence, Justice Daphne Smith found “ the objectives of preventing voter fraud and maintaining confidence in the electoral system to be pressing and substantial .”... for over a decade, Canada has run its democracy smoothly with voter ID laws that keep our elections secure. Our insistence on using paper ballots for federal elections and allowing partisan election observers has helped bring in transparency and accountability, ensuring our elections are not compromised. Following Ronald Reagan, we Canadians “trust, but verify.”  As an economically, socially and culturally similar state, it thus beggars belief that Democrats in the United States won’t adopt voter ID laws for election security. The idea that low-income ethnic minorities can’t obtain proper ID — required for all the other business of life  is, frankly “fake news” spewed by progressives and the mainstream media to alarm voters, and amounts to the soft bigotry of low expectations. Worse, amidst massive illegal immigration and election interference by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, risks to voter integrity are greater than ever. Even the U.K. recognizes this, and has introduced new voter ID rules for protection . In these times, trying to loosen such laws is at odds with reality. If Joe Biden truly cares about “facts,” then the next time he speaks on voting rights, he’d do well to remember these."
Liberals bitch that democracy is thwarted when policies a majority support aren't passed. But of course this only applies to polices they like

Meme - Steven Eisenberg: "@Delta @AmericanAir - if I ever fly with you again, I will not show ID."
"Adults 18 and over are required to show identification at the airport."
Dark Discourse: "I'm black and don't have the knowledge or ability to acquire an identification. What would you recommend?"

The activist comrades over at the NYT thought it was a good idea to publish a list of companies that don't support the far-left narrative on voter ID - "What is it with these people and lists?
'This is not even activism masquerading as journalism. It's just activism, pure and simple.'...
If you want a list of woke businesses that are trying to paint conservatives as bigots while using the money you give them to influence elections, feel free to share this with friends and refer to it the next time you want to know which companies to avoid. The Times then takes aim at companies that didn't sign this partisan political stunt – because commies gonna commie – informing the nation in no uncertain terms that these companies must bow down to the Woke Monster... There's no reason for this except sheer political intimidation. The NYT wants to feed the Woke Monster and it won't stop until everyone toes the party line or ends up bankrupt and in the gulag. In the past few years, we've moved from our media targeting those who actively spoke against the woke to those who refuse to support the woke. Next will come the call for punishments for those who do not pledge allegiance to their cause."

Ben Shapiro on Twitter - "US official: US to issue its first passport with an 'X' gender marker for those who don't identify as male or female."
"No big deal. I have been reliably informed that ID is racist, and thus passports should be completely discarded anyway."

Texas Supreme Court rules that GOP can order arrest of Democrats who fled state to block voting rights bill - The Washington Post - "The Supreme Court of Texas on Tuesday halted a ruling that protected absent Democratic lawmakers from arrest, raising the possibility that lawmakers who recently returned from Washington could be detained and brought to the House so Republicans can pass new voting restrictions.  The order was a victory for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who called for arrests to reestablish a quorum after nearly 60 Democrats fled the state last month. A group of House Democrats filed a lawsuit over the weekend to preempt possible arrests, arguing that the state’s power to detain “cannot be used for political purposes.”

Fox News on Twitter - "NEW: More maskless Dems test positive for COVID-19 after packing plane to flee Texas election vote"
Liberals only mock fleeing a vote when it's Republicans doing it

Kassy Dillon on Twitter - Donna Howard @DonnaHowardTX: "We need to follow the science here. Texas needs to change course and allow for universal mask-wearing to prevent spread of the highly contagious delta variant, esp as children under 12 cannot get vaccinated yet. #txlege @AmerAcadPeds"
"Isn’t this you? *Unmaked Democrats on plane fleeing Texas*"

Pennsylvania admits to 11,000 noncitizens registered to vote - "Just days earlier, officials in Texas announced they had found nearly 100,000 noncitizens on the state’s voter rolls... Texas Secretary of State David Whitley used state driver’s license records, which include immigration status, and compared those with voter rolls. He found that about 95,000 people whom the state says weren’t citizens were among the 16 million registered voters.  Of those, about 58,000 had voted at some point since 1996.  State officials followed a similar process in Pennsylvania after admitting that a glitch in state motor vehicle bureau computers allowed noncitizens to register to vote easily. They, too, matched driver’s license records with voter rolls and came up with nearly 11,200 names... No state requires proof of citizenship to register to vote. A U.S. District Court judge last year struck down a law championed by then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to require citizenship documentation...   The National Hispanic Survey, conducted in 2013 by Republican pollster John McLaughlin, found that 13 percent of noncitizen Hispanic respondents said they were registered to vote."

Companies are considering withholding donations and investments over controversial voting bills in states - The Washington Post
A cabal of woke corporations held a meeting this weekend to plot destroying your life if you support voter ID laws. Happy Monday!

Richard Hanania on Twitter - "In case you have any doubt this “democracy” nonsense is fake. One of the reasons the EU is mad at Orban is because he allowed mail-in voting without an ID."

Opinion | Juneteenth Reminds Us Just How Far We Have to Go - The New York Times
Tellingly, this article goes on about 19th century history before handwaving in the next-to-last paragraph about "voting rights". Classic bait and switch

Democrats Should Take Joe Manchin's Deal on Voter ID - The Atlantic - "A 2016 study in Texas, home to some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country, surveyed nonvoters from that year’s election in the Democratic stronghold of Harris County. Just 1.5 percent of them listed not having identification as the main reason they didn’t vote. A 2014 Virginia study found that of the 2.2 million eligible voters who tried to cast a ballot in that year’s election, just 474, or approximately one in 4,600, were stymied by lack of ID. These are not outliers. The UC Davis political scientist Benjamin Highton, after surveying ID laws nationwide, concluded that they had “modest, if any, turnout effects.” Why haven’t voter-ID laws suppressed very many votes? No one really knows. It’s possible that these blatant attempts at voter suppression have created an equal and opposite backlash, driving turnout among the groups intended to be suppressed. It’s also possible that future, more carefully targeted voter-ID laws will be far more effective at manipulating elections. But if this ends up being the case, it will only prove the broader point: Although requiring voter ID is unnecessary, and the politicians who support it tend to do so for deplorable reasons, the act of requiring identification in order to vote is not in and of itself voter suppression. Perhaps this is one reason a majority of Americans support making voting easier for everyone, but also support voter-ID laws... Given the racist history and targeted nature of these laws, “You need an ID to buy alcohol or rent a car, so why shouldn’t you need an ID to vote?” is not an honest argument. But it’s a persuasive one.  That’s exactly why Manchin’s proposal is, as a matter of both policy and politics, quite elegant. The currently available evidence suggests that, as improbable as it may seem, expanding voter-ID requirements to all 50 states would do little to reduce turnout. But Manchin’s not just trying to require identification nationwide. He would also expand the types of government ID that can be used in elections, for example by allowing voters to cast ballots if they display a utility bill. This version of a voter-ID law would require voters to prove their identity without disenfranchising a large number of voters—in other words, it’s the exact type of voter-ID law most Americans already support. And consider what Democrats, and democracy, will get in return for this concession. Automatic voter registration. An end to partisan gerrymandering. Mandatory early voting nationwide. Joe Manchin’s offer will leave some voters out. That’s bad. But the number of voters who will be enfranchised by this proposal outnumbers—by orders of magnitude—the number who will be left disenfranchised. That’s not just a step in the right direction. It is, potentially, the difference between preserving our democratic system of government and not."
On the myth of voter suppression
Too bad so many other racist countries like Canada and Germany require voter ID
Since the law has a racist history, clearly laws criminalising murder are racist
The fact that liberals are so against these measures - despite popular support - suggests that they're not really concerned about voter suppression (or what their constituents want)

Voting Rights: Deep Philosophical Divide Underpins Policy Gulf - "Kemp, who defended his state’s numerous recounts of the 2020 presidential election, denying Trump a win there, counters that lawmakers have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the system against even the perception that widespread fraud is undermining it.  “There is nothing Jim Crow about requiring a state-issued ID to vote by absentee ballot – every Georgia voter must already do so when voting in person”"

Voting is surging in Georgia despite controversial new election law - The Washington Post - "When the Spalding County Board of Elections eliminated early voting on Sundays, Democrats blamed a new state law and accused the Republican-controlled board of intentionally thwarting “Souls to the Polls,” a get-out-the-vote program among Black churches to urge their congregations to cast ballots after religious services.  But after three weeks of early voting ahead of Tuesday’s primary, record-breaking turnout is undercutting predictions that the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021 would lead to a falloff in voting... Defenders of the law accused Democrats, including President Biden and Stacey Abrams, the presumed Democratic nominee for Georgia governor this year, of hyping accusations of voter suppression because it resonated with their base and helped them raise money. They say the turnout numbers prove that the rhetoric around the law was false... “Contrary to the hyperpartisan rhetoric you may have heard inside and outside this gold dome, the facts are that this new law will expand voting access in the Peach State,” Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said in March last year as he signed the bill, noting that every county in Georgia would have expanded early voting on the weekends for the first time in history. Raffensperger, too, likes to point out in public speeches that voting rights groups are suing him over the new requirement to include an identification number on mail ballots, even though Minnesota has imposed a similar requirement for about a decade.  “And in case you didn’t know, Minnesota is a blue state,” Raffensperger — who, along with Kemp, is running for reelection — said in a recent speech to local business leaders in Savannah. “We are a red state. And so we are both using the same process.”"

PolitiFact | Kamala Harris exaggerates food and water laws for voters - "laws that expressly ban giving away food or water to voters waiting in lines are rare. Voters who bring their own food and drinks remain free to consume them... states also commonly ban bribing voters or ban electioneering within a certain distance of polling places, to prevent undue influence on voters. States routinely set up perimeters at polling sites to allow voters to stand in line to vote without campaign workers handing them literature on behalf of candidates... New York’s law bans giving "meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or provision" to voters unless it has a value of less than $1 and is given without any identification of the person or group supplying it"

How Politicians Have Used Food to Get Voters Throughout History - "Political figures have been using food as a means to boost their public image and recruit new voters for thousands of years... In 1758, George Washington bribed voters by campaigning with gallons of booze in order to gain a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses. And in the late 19th century, massive political barbecues in New York were used to sway voters with oxen feasts."

Disney’s Indiana Jones Remake Features Black Man’s Improbable Quest To Get I.D. - "When the Walt Disney studios green-lit another chapter to the popular Indiana Jones franchise, they knew audiences needed the most spectacular adventure yet.   Not only has Disney delivered on a story arc that will leave audiences both astonished and mystified, but the latest film is also guaranteed to be far superior to any that came before. “We’ve decided to have Indy be played by an African-American, so we can literally sue any film critic who doesn’t think it’s the best version,” a Disney spokesman said...   “Wrestling with Nazis and dodging car-sized boulders, this is basically what American 20-year-olds already do in their free time,” Disney said in a statement.  “We needed our hero to do something truly impossible.  Ya know, blow the minds of viewers.  We decided to have our black Indiana Jones try to obtain a legal photo I.D.”  The film is rumored to have Indy, an Obama-type scholar, narrowly avoiding the snares of a Hobby Lobby shift manager (played by Ann Coulter) who refuses to pay for her employee’s birth control.  In a captivating scene, Jones seamlessly replaces the business’s freedom with a sack of contraception. But in the end, Indy must defeat Coulter at the ballot box.   “At this point, the audience is thinking; this is a wrap.  There’s no way a black adult can get an I.D. to vote.  As Joe Biden once told us, ‘black people don’t know how to use the Internet.”"

NYC purged 200,000 voters in 2016. It wasn’t a mistake. - "Then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would eventually reveal that they were among 200,000 New York City voters who had been illegally wiped off the rolls and prevented from voting in the presidential primary. But by January of 2017, when Schneiderman announced that he would intervene in a federal lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, the news fell on deaf ears... The lack of media attention was in stark contrast to the recent barrage of headlines about a right-wing push to purge eligible voters from the rolls. Much of the media ignored New York’s proven case of election fraud, perhaps because it had been facilitated by Democrats, and not by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican with a national profile for championing stricter voter ID legislation... In October of 2017, the city’s elections board quietly settled the lawsuit by admitting it broke federal and state election laws...   But given the magnitude of the malfeasance, especially the extent to which board members – at every level – were accused of knowingly violating state and federal election laws, the settlement was a slap on the wrist... Despite the so-called “victory,” the matter was swept under the rug. The press accepted at face value that Schneiderman had imposed an effective penalty for the crime. But a year after the lawsuit’s conclusion, there’s scant evidence the city Board of Elections has done nearly enough to clean up its act – and there’s little sign that the Democrats who control much of New York have the political will to reform how elections are run in the state... Well aware his insurgent candidacy was a threat to the Democratic machine, Sanders understood his only chance for victory in New York depended on high voter turnout. Months earlier, his supporters had embarked on vigorous voter registration drives to enlist new voters (especially college students) before the state’s March 25, 2016 deadline. In a 10-day period between March 10 and March 20, an unprecedented 41,000 new voters registered to vote in New York, spurring predictions of a higher than usual voter turnout.  Yet many people who tried to register before the deadline were blocked... Bernie Sanders called the voting irregularities in New York a “disgrace.”...
“You know what they did about it? Nothing. Nobody went to jail. Nobody got prosecuted. Nobody got in trouble. But they promised they were going to make some ‘serious changes.’ They broke the law. They kicked off over 200,000 registered voters. Did Putin do that? Who did that?! Ohhhh, the Democrats in New York.” – political analyst and comedian Jimmy Dore...
Lo and behold, after the Sept. 13, 2018, Democratic primary, the now familiar headlines ensued: “Reports of Widespread Voter Suppression in New York State Democratic Primary.” “More NYC Primary Voters Find Their Names Missing From Voter Rolls.” “Voting in New York Is a Predictable Mess.”"

Boycott-Georgia Movement: How It Failed | National Review - "The thing about boycotts is that they don’t work too well in a vacuum. If you start a parade and no one gets in line behind you, you aren’t a leader; you’re just a fool walking down the middle of the street twirling a baton. The failed boycott-Georgia movement illustrates the limits of the Democratic Party’s tactic of attaching hysterical overreaction and claims of racism to virtually any Republican idea, even a routine package of voting reforms. The Democrats turned the volume up to eleven on the Georgia elections bill signed into law March 25, labeling it the second coming of Jim Crow even before it was signed. Joe Biden, in a “Hello, fellow kids” moment meant to prove he was hip to cutting-edge Democratic thinking, on March 31 asserted that this ordinary, dull piece of good-government legislation was actually worse than Jim Crow, and that most of the country was in the process of becoming something more awful than 1957 Mississippi. “This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they’re doing in Georgia and 40 other states,” Biden said on ESPN on March 31. He was unaware that New York and many other states already have on the books policies comparable to, or more restrictive than, the new Georgia law, such as bans on outside groups’ providing things of value to voters waiting in line at the polls...   MLB commissioner Rob Manfred poured gasoline all over himself and then lit a match when he announced that he was moving the All-Star Game. Later he announced that Atlanta, which is mostly black, would be replaced by snow-white Denver as the game’s host. You really have to be a Democrat to savor the logic of “fighting racism” by yanking jobs and income from black folks and redistributing them to white people. Manfred should change his name to Merkle, the previous standard for bonehead thinking in his sport...   By mid April, it was becoming obvious that calling for jobs to be pulled out of your own state was moronic, and also that it was bad business for a supposedly neutral entity to openly ally itself with the policies and messaging of the hysterical wing of the Democratic Party. A poll showed nearly three-quarters of Americans want corporations and sports organizations to stay out of politics. Left-of-Ossoff Democrats had allowed Georgia’s law to blind them to the far more relevant Jordan’s Law: Republicans buy sneakers too. Another poll showed that the net favorability of MLB among Republicans had crashed by 25 points overnight. On April 6, Rand Paul and Donald Trump said they were boycotting Coke.  That same day, Biden gave a completely different answer about whether the Masters should leave Georgia than he had about the MLB All-Star Game"

Voting Fraud Is a Real Concern. Just Look Around the World - "Liberals and progressives often try to model the U.S. on Western European countries, but you never hear them arguing that we should adopt their voting rules. There is a reason for that. Banning mail-in voting or requiring people to use photo IDs to obtain a mail-in ballot is quite common in developed countries, especially in Europe... Besides the United States, there are 36 member states in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Forty-seven percent ban mail-in voting unless the citizen is living abroad, and 30 percent require a photo ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Fourteen percent of the countries ban mail-in voting even for those living abroad. In addition, some countries that allow voting by mail for some citizens living in the country don't allow it for everyone... Among the 27 countries in the European Union, 63 percent ban mail-in voting unless living abroad and another 22 percent require a photo ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Twenty-two percent ban the practice even for those who live abroad.  There are 16 countries in the rest of Europe, and they are even more restrictive. Every single one bans mail-in voting for those living in the country or require a photo ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Sixty-three percent don't allow mail-in ballots even for citizens living outside of the country.  Are all of these countries, socialist and non-socialist alike, Western and Eastern European, developed and undeveloped, acting "without evidence?"... France banned mail-in voting in 1975 because of massive fraud in Corsica, where postal ballots were stolen or bought and voters cast multiple votes. Mail-in ballots were used to cast the votes of dead people. The U.K., which allows postal voting, has had some notable mail-in ballot fraud cases. Prior to recent photo ID requirements, six Labour Party councilors in Birmingham won office after what the judge described as a "massive, systematic and organized" postal voting fraud campaign. The fraud was apparently carried out with the full knowledge and cooperation of the local Labour Party. There was "widespread theft" of postal votes (possibly around 40,000 ballots) in areas with large Muslim populations, because Labour members were worried that the Iraq War would spur these voters to oppose the incumbent government.  In 1991, Mexico's election mandated voter photo IDs and banned absentee ballots. The then-governing Institutional Revolutionary Party had long used fraud and intimidation with mail-in ballots in order to win elections. Only in 2006 were absentee ballots again allowed, and then only for those living abroad who requested them at least six months in advance. If concern about voter fraud with mail-in ballots is delusional, it is a delusion that is shared by most of the world. Even the countries that allow mail-in ballots have protections, such as government-issued photo IDs. But Americans are constantly assured even this step is completely unnecessary. Without basic precautions, our elections are on course to become the laughingstock of the developed world."

Voter ID: Why Doesn't America Have a National ID Card? - The Atlantic - "What if the government simply gave an ID card to every voting-age citizen in the country?  Voter-ID requirements are the norm in many countries, as Republicans are fond of pointing out. But so are national ID cards. In places such as France and Germany, citizens pick up their identity card when they turn 16 and present it once they’re eligible to vote. Out of nearly 200 countries across the world, at least 170 have some form of national ID or are implementing one, according to the political scientist Magdalena Krajewska. In the American psyche, however, a national ID card conjures images of an all-knowing government, its agents stopping people on the street and demanding to see their papers. Or at least that’s what leaders of both parties believe. The idea is presumed to be so toxic that not a single member of Congress is currently carrying its banner. Even those advocates who like the concept in theory will discuss its political prospects only with a knowing chuckle, the kind that signals that the questioner is a bit crazy. “There are only three problems with a national ID: Republicans hate it, Libertarians hate it, and Democrats hate it,” says Kathleen Unger, the founder of VoteRiders, an organization devoted to helping people obtain ID... public opposition to a national ID has never been as strong as political leaders assume. The idea has won majority support in polls for much of the past 40 years and spiked to nearly 70 percent in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In a nationwide survey conducted this summer by Leger for The Atlantic, 51 percent of respondents favored a national ID that could be used for voting, while 49 percent agreed with an opposing statement that a national ID would represent “an unnecessary expansion of government power and would be misused to infringe on Americans’ privacy and personal freedoms."... Opposition to national ID remains among groups on the libertarian right, such as the Cato Institute, as well as civil-liberties advocates on the left, such as the ACLU."

Faisal Al Mutar on Media Bubbles, the Two Faces of Al Jazeera, and Nuance

Faisal Al Mutar on Media Bubbles, the Two Faces of Al Jazeera, and Nuance

"What do you call a white Republican who is against same-sex marriage? If you call them a bigot, then you’re calling 90% of Muslims bigots. While you accuse others of racism, you are actually being racist here because you’re applying different standards to different people based on their race because Islam is viewed as a “brown man’s religion”. You are not being liberal by supporting illiberal ideas coming from people from different countries, religions, and cultures.

I would ask somebody who reads Salon, if you claim to be against homophobia, like I am and many people are, you should stand against it whether it comes from the Evangelicals, the black church, or the Muslim in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran. Otherwise you are the racist. If you think it’s acceptable for “other” people do it just because they’re a different race other than a “white male” then you’re not really a liberal — you don’t subscribe to the concept of equal rights and anti-racism. You’re propagating racism and you’re part of the problem. This might sound aggressive but I cannot find a polite way to call people delusional.

It should be easy for a supporter of same-sex marriage, women’s rights, and the first amendment to just apply those principles to everybody. I’m asking them to believe that gay Muslims or gays living in Muslim dominated countries  are also human — and those who kill and persecute them are bigots and part of the problem.

All I want is for them to acknowledge that if they think a Republican who does not like gays is a homophobe, then a person in the Muslim Brotherhood who does not like gays is also a homophobe...

I think many people who study liberal arts and subjects like sociology are exposed to only one type of history — which is white history and white colonialism. They’re inculcated with the idea that the Holocaust, genocide against Native Americans, and Japanese internment camps represent white people. When people are only exposed to these ideas, of one oppressor — meaning white people — what they’ll do when they hear a person criticize a foreign culture is to get immediately defensive on behalf of that culture. And they’ll do it to protect a former victim of imperialism, racism, etc.

But the people who are most hurt by this — by preventing this discussion — are the minorities within the minorities. So when people don’t talk about Islamic homophobia, the people who are hurt by this are the gays living in Muslim families in Qatar, Iran, or America...

Liberals try to stand with the underdogs. But the most important underdogs here are the minorities within the minorities...

I think another problem is that people see Muslims as a minority, but they’re not a minority globally. They’re the second biggest religion in the world. The true minorities are those living within them who do not subscribe to conservative Muslim values...

If you subscribe to the concept that Arabs as an ethnicity are a bunch of savages, and that they’re just the bad guys, you’re leaving no room for reform. You’re thinking there’s something wrong with them internally — something genetically wrong and they’re incapable of being civilized. That is racist, first of all, secondly, it’s unscientific.

I’m all for acknowledging the problem of Islamic extremism and how we should fight it. But that means you have to look for the people with good values within these communities, the individuals who subscribe to ideas of universal human rights, liberal values, and you have to stand with them...

One of the things many people don’t know about Al Jazeera is that is mostly owned by the royal family of Qatar which is financed by oil and gas. It’s a company that doesn’t rely much on advertising because they have other sources of revenue.

The version I grew up with of Al Jazeera is a channel that is literally the spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood and a light version of Al Qaeda. You can see them entertaining the idea of supporting groups like Jabhat Al Nusra in Syria — which is literally Al Qaeda’s affiliate. Let’s not talk about what they think about homosexuality and Jews and their anti-semitism, because it’s bad.

I think I saw an article on there saying something like “The theory of evolution is a myth.” So, if you’re a liberal and whatever you think of Fox News, Fox News would look like a progressive or liberal channel if you compared it to Al Jazeera Arabic. Al Jazeera Arabic is a hub for xenophobia, hardcore conservatism, social conservatism, anti-women’s rights, anti-gay rights.

But then you have Al Jazeera English speaking about Black Lives Matter, pandas, climate change, because what they’re trying to do is make Islam look as good as possible. They want to make Muslims appear victimized. And they want to make the West look as bad as possible. They show the worst that exists in the West. Flint, Michigan — they were reporting on that constantly. Standing Rock as well, you get the idea.

But you never see them criticizing Islam, Islamists, or the Muslim Brotherhood. They only show you the side of Aleppo that is controlled by Islamist and Jihadist groups. They never criticize Qatar but they criticize Saudi Arabia because they’re rivals.

Anybody that has an understanding of Qatar foreign policy would see that Al Jazeera is just a PR company for them. You can hardly see them ever criticizing slavery in Qatar of Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis and other human rights abuses happening there...

They show the best things of Islam and the worst things of the West because they want the West to not interfere in the Muslim world. And that means the Muslim Brotherhood wins. They show the atrocities in Egypt by Sisi and then they show that there’s a solution — it’s the Muslim Brotherhood. The “democratically-elected” Muslim Brotherhood. This way they’re able to pander to liberals and progressives.

The more they show the terrible things in America, the less likely people are to be critical of Islam. They want to tell people in the West: “Oh, you have the same thing over there. You want to talk about racism? Oh, black people are being shot without regard in the streets.”...

They want to make the West so critical of itself, to an extent, that they’ll not want to say anything else to any other culture and more importantly: they’ll forget about challenging Islamism.

I don’t think this is a conspiracy. I’ve maybe watched 70 or more videos of AJ+ and compared them with Al Jazeera Arabic and I can really see their agenda. It fits. If I’m an Islamist what do I want to do? For Arabs, I tell them this is what Islamism is and what Shariah law truly is.

But how can I make progressives in the West support me? I know, I’ll make them so critical of their country that they don’t intervene in Muslim countries so that Islamists can take over. This way I’ll win. So it seems like a very orchestrated PR campaign...

The biggest backlash people like me face is actually from Islamists. They think my ideas are antithetical to Islam and an enemy according to their ideology.

The far-Left, or the regressive-Left as Maajid Nawaz refers to them, believe in the narrative that to criticize Islam and even Islamism is a form of imposing your own values on them. Regressives consider values like liberalism to be Western values so they think that you are imposing the white Western values on the brown Muslim — and to them that’s terrible. They think that Islam is a brown man’s religion. Even though there are many adherents to Islam who are white, black, Bosnian, Sudanese, Chinese. So any criticism of it from a white person is a form of racism. Any criticism coming from a brown person who was adhering to that religion is the equivalent of a black person supporting white slave-owners. That’s where terms like “Uncle-Tom” and “House Muslim” come from. They think  you are trying to assist the white imperialist “agenda” against the brown victims.

On the far-Right there are strong elements of xenophobia. There are many people who adhere to the concept of white superiority — which is a bad idea — and they subscribe to this idea that there is a clash of civilizations. That there is a war between the East and the West. That’s wrong. There are many people from the East who are liberals and who adhere to universal liberal values. Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, Ali Rizvi from Pakistan, I’m from Iraq. So there’s many people in the East who support universal human rights — sometimes more than the people in the West!"


Liberals don't love "minorities" - they just hate "majorities".

Too bad he conflates a clash of civilisations with a clash of everyone in one civilisation with everyone in another - the presence of some liberal Muslims doesn't mean most Muslims aren't conservative

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Identity-Politics Death Grip | Democrats' Blue-Collar Constituency

The Identity-Politics Death Grip | Democrats' Blue-Collar Constituency

"Normal politics—liberal politics, classically understood—involves speech, argument, and persuasion, followed by voting on ideas or proposals that can be overturned in the next election cycle. Normal politics presumes that we can rise far enough above our small-group attributes—our race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion—and that we can arrive at a political arrangement that works well enough for us to live together as part of a larger polity until the next election, when we commence the process again. But for the Democrats, absolute certainty has prevailed over normal politics—and the certainty, at bottom, rests on a single idea: identity politics.

Identity politics rejects the model of traditional give-and-take politics, presupposing instead that the most important thing about us is that we are white, black, male, female, straight, gay, and so on. Within the identity-politics world, we do not need to give reasons—identity is its own reason and justification. Because identity politics supposes that we are our identities, politics does not consist in the speech, argument, and persuasion of normal politics but instead, in the calculation of resource redistribution based on identity—what in Democratic parlance is called “social justice.” The irony of identity politics is that it does not see itself as political; it supposes that we live in a post-political age, that social justice can be managed by the state, and that those who oppose identity politics are the ones “being political.” What speech does attend this post-political age consists in shaming those who do not accept the idea of identity politics—as on our college campuses. In the 1960s, college students across the country fought so that repressed ideas would receive a fair hearing. These days, college students fight to repress all ideas except one: identity politics...

When identity politics provides the lens through which one sees the world, changing the perspective is regarded as self-blinding. The suggestion that this outlook might be harming the Democratic Party is thus denounced as racist, as insensitive to gender issues, and as inattentive to the purported needs of various identity groups. Identity politics can’t self-correct; it can only double-down. Here is the strangeness of our current moment. Untreated, diseases don’t heal; they metastasize.

One key problem with identity politics is that it is blind to the nature of class in America. Since the beginning, the United States has had the poor, the rich, and everyone between. But those occupying each stratum in America are not classes in the way other countries have understood class, that is, in terms of patronage and reciprocal obligations (noblesse oblige), however poorly honored or disregarded, which have been authorized by law and by mores. In his great unfinished work, The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1851), Alexis de Tocqueville noted that one cause of the hatred of the hereditary aristocracy at the outset of the French Revolution was that the state had for some time stripped French society of the reciprocal obligations that characterized aristocratic patronage. When those obligations disappeared, the hereditary aristocracy had social standing but no relevance. It was against this irrelevant privilege that a revolution in the name of the Universal Rights of Man erupted. Money largely supplanted the older view of class, as Tocqueville (and then Marx) noted. Nowadays, money is increasingly becoming the single measure of standing in society nearly everywhere, though the older understanding of wealth and its obligations endures in some measure—but not in America, where class based on patronage is essentially unknown. We don’t have “class” in America; we have stratifications based on money. It is in this sense that Americans use the term “class.”

When people are stratified by money and not patronage, something new emerges: middle-class anxiety. In a patronage system, you have some assurance that you will not fall too far. You may have a host of fears, but you will not have class anxiety. When patronage disappears, though, this assurance disappears with it. In the early 1830s, Tocqueville had already foreseen the emergence of this new middle-class anxiety and described it in Democracy in America. Because nearly everyone in America would taste enough of the goods of life to know what it meant to enjoy them, but almost no one would be secure enough not to fear losing them, anxiety would be the great disease of the democratic age. This prescient observation also explains why Tocqueville thought that there would be far more mental disorder in America than in Europe.

A political party seeking power in an America haunted by middle-class anxiety must be attentive to it. The party must, in fact, be devoted to ameliorating it. The Democratic Party has not provided this service for some time. Instead, Democrats have favored everyone but the middle class, granting privileges, for example, to the wealthy in the form of crony capitalism, in which large companies often benefit from trade agreements and regulations at the expense of smaller competitors, which cannot absorb the compliance burdens; and by guaranteeing government assistance to the poor not only in the form of generous benefits but also through identity-politics rhetoric and what I’ll call “debt points.”

Identity pertains not simply to the kind of person that we are. People have been sorted (and self-sorted) into kinds throughout history. Identity is different. First, it carries a determination about guilt or innocence that nothing can appreciably alter. Its guilt is guilt without atonement; its innocence is innocence without fault. No redemption is possible, but only a schema of never-ending debts and payments. Second, this schema is made possible because identity politics is, tacitly or expressly, a relationship—something quite different from sorting (and self-sorting) by kinds. In the identity-politics world, the further your distance from the epicenter of guilt, the more debt points you receive. What is the epicenter of guilt? Being a white male heterosexual. (Throw in “Christian,” and the already-unpayable debt mounts still higher.) The debt points are not real currency, but they offer something that mere money cannot: a sense of moral superiority. “Join us,” says the Democratic Party, “and though your actual wounds cannot be healed, or even eased, by our policies and programs, they can be covered with the cloak of righteousness.” This is the stuff of religion, not normal politics.

Thus, the strange drama of the 2016 presidential campaign: a progressive white woman candidate who promises to double-down on identity politics and who calls those who would chart another course “deplorables.” The righteous white woman gives; nonwhite people and other injured groups, made pure by entering the revival tent of identity politics, receive. Anyone not in on this debt-point dispensation and reception is the wrong kind of white person—Donald Trump and those who voted for him, for instance. They are to be regarded not as mere political opponents but as defendants awaiting the judgment of a religious tribunal...

As for the poor, a half-century of federal payouts, introduced with Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, has not eased their burden. These government programs proved so unsuccessful, in fact, that Democrats have needed to create new narratives to explain their failure: perhaps the real reason for poverty in America, they came to conclude, has nothing to do with money, which politics can presumably fix, but with fault and guilt. The poor are poor because of their identity, the Democrats now say: they are innocent, finding themselves in adverse circumstances because of the irredeemable fault and guilt of others. The Democrats will champion the faultless and guiltless, calling out white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege. With the new economy of identity-politics debt points, conjoined with massive federal spending, the Democrats position themselves as the vanguard of the innocent.

This new symbiosis has been a catastrophe for both the Democrats and for the poor. What began in the 1960s as an earnest hope that the national government could do great things—like fulfill the age-old longing of men to go to the moon and heal the deep historical wound of slavery—has become malignant. Americans are not citizens, engaged in fulfilling a national covenant, in this corrupted worldview, but righteous or irredeemably damned bearers of identity. They can never be reconciled because of the chasm that separates those who deserve salvation and those who deserve perdition—namely, the deplorables.

If one key problem with identity politics is its blindness to the nature of class in America, the other problem is that it misrepresents the long arc of history, which may not bend in the direction of identity-politics justice after all...

We need to return to the twentieth-century locus for the idea that the arc of history bends toward justice—to Martin Luther King, Jr. and, before him, to Reinhold Niebuhr, the mid-century Protestant theologian whom King greatly admired. President Obama cited both men during his terms in office, with a view to declaring where the arc of history tends.

Yet between King and Niebuhr, on the one hand, and the Democratic Party of President Obama, on the other, the arc of history has been stripped of awe, of religious mystery, of its power to offer hope and to counsel patience. King and Niebuhr were Christian theologians who spoke to the never fully healed wound of human suffering in history. They grasped, as Democrats at their best do, that the problem of suffering operates on a different plane, in which the central issue is the broken human condition and its sorrowful reverberations in history. Suffering cannot be fully understood, in other words, without reference to human fault and guilt. That is the important insight of the Democratic Party—now gone horribly astray.

Identity politics shares with King the insight that fault and guilt must be addressed, but it rips them from their Christian theological context, and instead conceives them in worldly terms alone: as a relationship between the source of fault and guilt (white male heterosexuals) and those (women, gays, Hispanics, Muslims, and so on) whose innocence is measured by their distance from that source. In this framework, there is one original sinner: white male heterosexuals—either alive or haunting us from the grave in the form of the Dead White Men studied in old Western civilization courses. Everyone else gets to sigh with relief; whatever their guilt may be, at least they are not that...

Identity politics is only quasi-Christian. It begins from the observation that there is worldly fault and debt. That, every Christian sees. But identity politics stops there, content that we need go no further than call out fault and debt and use political power—worldly power—to settle the score. I doubt that this quasi-Christian viewpoint, which refuses reconciliation, is a stable one. .. It is no small irony that today’s political Left, which owes more to Nietzsche than to Marx, has so badly understood him: the fault-and-debt points that identity politics tallies are precisely what Nietzsche wanted post-Christian man to repudiate. Our post-Christian Left, however, wants it both ways: it wishes to destroy Christianity by using the battering ram of (white male heterosexual) fault and debt.

We should shudder to think what the world will look like if our post-Christian Left is successful, for it will be a world in which those who have been the object of its derision fully agree to Nietzsche’s terms, throw off Christian guilt altogether, and chant “blood and soil,” as white-nationalist demonstrators did recently in Charlottesville. Christianity has battled pagan movements, of the sort that Nazism is, since before the Roman Empire fell. When it loses, fault and guilt are replaced by pagan vitalism, the cruelty of which knows no bounds.

But return to the question: In what direction does the arc of history bend? For King, America is a covenantal community, whose mission can be fulfilled only when blacks and whites work together to heal the wound of slavery. For King, that was the direction toward which the long arc of history bent. In the identity-politics world, however, the wound of slavery is not simply a malignancy to be healed. It is a template to be used to identify and catalog an infinitely proliferating array of wounds and grievances, tallied—indeed, fomented—by the Democratic Party, with a view to gathering power and votes. There is no watchful yet merciful God, who calls us to repent and to forgive; there is only ever-expanding grievance, over which righteous, largely white, progressives preside. Identity politics depends on the wound of slavery to provide its initial coherence—but it does not stop there. Instead, it ceaselessly seeks to expand its mandate.

That is why the community most harmed by identity politics is the African-American community. Because identity politics combines all nonwhite, heterosexual males, the African-American wound is seen as just one wound among many, different in degree but not in kind from any other wound that a nonwhite heterosexual male might claim. Yet that is not true. The African-American wound is different in kind, not in degree... In the identity-politics world, my father’s immigrant family would have been granted the fault-and-guilt debt points to which his immigrant identity entitled him. To which every immigrant family with a long history in America should say, “Nonsense.” And to other immigrants today, who, by Democratic Party logic, are granted fault and guilt debt points, those same now-assimilated immigrants should say: “Stand in line; it will take you and your family several generations to adjust. It won’t be easy, but it’s an amazing country if you work hard for your family, for yourself, your community, and your nation.” Every immigrant group that has entered America for the last 300 years can offer some variant of that lesson.

The African-American wound, by contrast, still festers. If fault and debt were only a worldly matter, as identity politics stipulates, then the never-ending fault and debt of white America would require that it eternally repay the African-American community with money transfers orchestrated by Washington—overseen by the Democratic Party, needless to say. But trillions of dollars have been spent, while the African-American wound remains unhealed. Does this not prove that fault and debt cannot be resolved on the worldly field where politics plays out? If the wound reaches beyond the world to divine things, to repentance and forgiveness, then it is not through politics but rather through our houses of worship that it will be healed. Political action can supplement the work of these societal institutions, but it cannot be a substitute for them, as it increasingly has been over the past half-century.

However unlikely, one can imagine a Democratic Party addressing the middle-class anxiety symptomatic of U.S. democracy while also working to heal the particular wound of slavery. King’s vision of spiritual reconciliation ultimately served both ends because he saw a future for blacks in which they enjoyed the fruits of American prosperity, which invariably would put them in the anxiety-ridden middle class. It may be that the only way that the Democratic Party can rise, Lazarus-like, from its deathbed is if African-Americans call out identity politics as the disaster that it has been—for them and for the country. If the party cannot find a cure for its confusion, it will expire in the paroxysm that identity politics produces."

Links - 29th September 2023

OCBC’s new anti-scam measure upsets some users; bank clarifies only apps with risky permission settings flagged - "OCBC said that only Android apps with risky permission settings that could put a user’s mobile phone under the threat of malware will be flagged by the bank’s new security feature.  It said not all apps from unofficial platforms will be flagged by its latest security update.  Mr Beaver Chua, head of anti-fraud at OCBC group financial crime compliance, made the clarification on Tuesday (Aug 8), two days after the bank announced its new security feature that prevents users from logging onto their Internet banking and OCBC Digital app on their mobile phones if it detects apps downloaded from unofficial portals."

Dad batters schoolgirl with metal bar for wearing make-up then walks free from court - "A thug, dad to seven kids, beat his 15-year-old daughter with a metal bar, and even bit her, for wearing make-up.  Hussein Alinzi was spared jail even though he beat his daughter outside her all-girls school during an argument. The 59-year-old hit her with a metal bar on June 22 last year, on the morning of her English GCSE at Whalley Range High School, in Manchester, when he dropped her off early at school to find the gates locked still. She had been advised by teachers to arrive early for her English exam.  During the assault Alinzi accused his daughter of secretly planning to meet a boy ahead of the exam and berated her for wearing makeup. She briefly lost consciousness but came around and subsequently tried to sit the test. However she complained of feeling dizzy and nauseous and was taken out of the exam hall before being admitted to A&E.   The youngster was found to have suffered 14 different sites of injury including facial bruising and was also treated for a bite mark to her left temple. She later filed a report to her teachers, and then police telling how her father had previously bullied and abused her over a two year period. This included threats such as: "I will run you over," and "I will kill you," and "I hope you die." She also said he had prevented her from going to the park and she was only allowed to have female family friends. It emerged she had only been wearing makeup to school on the advice of her mother to cover up bruises he had inflicted on her in earlier beatings... he got off with an eight month prison sentence suspended for 18 months when his daughter said she still loved him."
When you have a dual track justice system

Court dismisses CBC copyright infringement lawsuit against Conservative Party - "A lawsuit launched by the CBC against the Conservative Party of Canada in the final days of the 2019 federal election accusing the party of copyright infringement for using the broadcaster's footage in an online ad and tweets has been dismissed by a federal court.  In his written decision released Thursday, Federal Court Justice Michael Phelan found that the use of such material fell under "fair dealing" and there was "no objective evidence of the likelihood of any reputational damage" to the CBC... At issue was a video titled "Look at What We've Done," published around Oct. 4 on a Conservative Party website (notasadvertised.ca), a Facebook page and a YouTube page.  The video included footage from CBC's The National and Power & Politics. It also included footage from CTV News, Citytv and Global News.  The Conservative Party also published four tweets from the 2019 federal election leaders' debate, which was broadcast on 15 different online platforms and by 10 different TV networks, including the CBC."
CBC media bias is a myth.

Revolt over paying for UK TV licence - "A record 2.84 million people now insist they are no longer obliged to pay £159 for the annual charge because they don’t watch BBC channels or any kind of live TV.  This figure is an increase of more than 360,000 in the previous twelve months."

Men Set Their Own Cites High: Gender and Self-citation across Fields and over Time - "How common is self-citation in scholarly publication, and does the practice vary by gender? Using novel methods and a data set of 1.5 million research papers in the scholarly database JSTOR published between 1779 and 2011, the authors find that nearly 10 percent of references are self-citations by a paper’s authors. The findings also show that between 1779 and 2011, men cited their own papers 56 percent more than did women. In the last two decades of data, men self-cited 70 percent more than women. Women are also more than 10 percentage points more likely than men to not cite their own previous work at all. While these patterns could result from differences in the number of papers that men and women authors have published rather than gender-specific patterns of self-citation behavior, this gender gap in self-citation rates has remained stable over the last 50 years, despite increased representation of women in academia. The authors break down self-citation patterns by academic field and number of authors and comment on potential mechanisms behind these observations. These findings have important implications for scholarly visibility and cumulative advantage in academic careers."
I saw someone claiming that an organisation citing its own paper means the research is not credible

Meme - *Guy in front of Magnum ad so it looks like a woman is sucking his dick*

Meme - Fatima @fatimaxsr: "My poor parents bought me a pride balloon for my graduation because they thought it meant they were proud of me"

Meme - "It's just a carpet woven from pure evil"

Meme - "Religious People: Death is not the end.

Meme - ianstagram: "My freshmen year roommate was a complete fucking disaster but he would throw parties and everyone would pass out in our living room and every morning I left for class at I would just get little choruses of "have fun at class, good luck" from hungover stoners and let me tell you, as someone who thrives off attention and positive reinforcement, this setup really worked for me"

Whig and Tory | Definition, Difference, History, & Facts | Britannica - "Originally “Whig” and “Tory” were terms of abuse introduced in 1679 during the heated struggle over the bill to exclude James, duke of York (afterward James II), from the succession. Whig—whatever its origin in Scottish Gaelic—was a term applied to horse thieves and, later, to Scottish Presbyterians; it connoted nonconformity and rebellion and was applied to those who claimed the power of excluding the heir from the throne. Tory was an Irish term suggesting a papist outlaw and was applied to those who supported the hereditary right of James despite his Roman Catholic faith."

Boy who wounded teacher Abigail Zwerner boasted: 'I shot that bitch dead'
Six-year-old’s shocking boast after shooting his teacher revealed - "Newly unsealed court documents reveal that the first-grader who shot his teacher earlier this year later bragged to school officials, claiming “I shot that b**** dead.”  Abigail “Abby” Zwerner was left with severe injuries to her torso and her hand after being shot on 6 January at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia.  The six-year-old boy who pulled the trigger of his mother’s gun made the shocking comments... Ms Zwerner allegedly told investigators there had been multiple “disciplinary incidents” involving the boy before the shooting. The incidents involved physical violence and threats of violence. A retired Newport News elementary school teacher who had been assigned to Richneck told investigators that she was choked in September 2021 by the same student."
Damn racism! Clearly she needed a gun to protect herself

Facebook, Social Media and Love: Facebook official - FML - "Today, after dating my girlfriend for about a month, she changed her Facebook status to taken. When I saw the update, I immediately clicked "Like." Then I looked up and saw I wasn't the person she had put herself in a relationship with. FML"

Meme - "Kangaroos are just deer that have been to prison"

Meme - "They meant your address bro

Meme - "Millionaire: Makes $20m in 2020
Millionaire: Hires "artist" to make "art" for $25k
Artist: Puts one streak on canvas
Millionaire: Thanks artist and has art appraised by an appraiser in his same circle of friends
Appraiser: Values artwork at $20m
Millionaire: Donates $20m artwork to museum to get $20m tax write off
Millionaire: Pays no taxes in 2020
Me at museum: This is stupid, it's just a line on a canvas
Hipster next to me: No, you just don't understand it because you're uncultured."

Meme - "The reason these toys are critical as kids... *fitting blocks into holes*
*trying to fit a large mattress into a small car*"

Cardi B throws microphone into crowd at gig after being hit by drink - "The 30-year-old reacted by throwing her microphone at the concertgoer from the stage.  Although the rapper no longer had a microphone, her voice was still heard on the pre-recorded backing track playing through the speakers... Although Cardi B's microphone was live, the fact that her voice was still heard on the backing track after she threw the mic prompted accusations of lip synching, as many jokingly compared her with the 1980s group Milli Vanilli."
"A black woman not needing a mic to be heard over a crowd of people is NOT evidence of lip syncing"

Meme - "Please don't touch yourself... ask your server for help... Thank you!!"

Sean Davis on Twitter - "The state of Georgia criminally indicted the former president of the United States for tweeting that people should turn on the television.  They criminally indicted the White House chief of staff for asking for a phone number.  And they criminally indicted the former GOP state chairman for reserving a room.  Understand what time it is and what they’re willing to do to you to keep their grip on power."

How apocalyptic is now? - "The Soviet state was believed — by the new government and its progressivist camp-followers in the West, if not by the majority of Russians — to be building a society that would be better than any that had existed before. Curiously, the collapse of the Soviet state was greeted in the West with an outbreak of apocalyptic optimism much like that which accompanied its foundation... In line with this thinking, a number of Right-wing foundations cancelled their international relations programmes on the ground that foreign and defence policy would no longer be needed.   That a reversion to history as usual should be unthinkable testifies to the mind-numbing power of secular faith. While progressive ideologies are often divided into reformist and revolutionary varieties, the difference is not fundamental. Both rest on the faith that history is an accretive process in which meaning and value are conserved and increased.  Actually history is repeatedly punctuated by discontinuities in which what was gained is irrecoverably lost."
Covid didn't change that much

"I'm a Barbie girl" again, but in the style of 6 classical composers 🎹 🎤 - Josep Castanyer Alonso - YouTube - " 00:06 In the style of Mozart
00:49 In the style of Beethoven
01:33 In the style of Schumann
02:35 In the style of Schubert
03:43 In the style of Chopin
05:02 In the style of Ravel"

Meme - "For $250.00 an hour I Will pose as a couples therapist & convince your loved one they are wrong about everything"

Meme - "sigh. I'm so starved for real human interaction... I know!
One small pepperoni pizza, please. Delivery!"
*drone drops off pizza*

Meme - "A Life Time Gamer
Kid: *playing computer game to get #1. Father cheers him on and mother thinks he's smart"
Teen: *playing computer game to level up. Father is puzzled and mother says he should concentrate on his studies*
Adult: *playing computer game to get #1 rank. Father is dead and old mother brings him food and drink and tells him to get a job*
Older adult: *playing computer game to get #1 Father is dead, with portrait hanging crookedly, even older mother is slumped over in a wheelchair and place is dirty*
I'm a Winner , I'm the Best."

Meme - "The sunset was beautiful tonight"
*red, white and blue*
"Is this what American sky's look like?"

Meme - "Glory Hole Attendant
Open Lot - Las Vegas, NV 89103
Cash pay - Lots of tips - Free meals"

Meme - "States with the most talking during movies
"It's true, we southerners have a hard time shutting up. I'll own it"
"That's not a map of southerners..."
This is USA 2000 black density.png

The REAL Little Mermaid was their surprise wedding singer. - YouTube - "Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid appeared at her first non-family wedding to sing "Part of Your World.""
She did it for free too

Meme - Breeke Lo: "Last time Ah Boy's teacher always say.. "You all very lucky born in Singapore, children in China or India can't even afford a good education, so you all better study hard ok?" So Ah Boy study very hard. Today, Ah Boy's manager is from China and his CEO is from India."

Singapore MP Tin Pei Ling leaves Grab after seven months for 'external-facing' fintech role

Girl behind ‘Girl Explaining’ meme says she has a new boyfriend now - "The girl in the image is Denise “Denu” Sanchez, who told Know Your Meme that the photo is of her and her then-boyfriend at a club in Argentina. They have since broken up... But she wasn't actually explaining something to him. In fact, she told Know Your Meme, she was just trying to sing a cumbia song.  The meme is a distant cousin of the “Bro Explaining” meme, which refers to a photo of a man in a Houston Astros shirt speaking to a blonde woman in a white tank, according to Know Your Meme... she said some have treated her like she's a “toxic girlfriend.”  “It’s funny to see how people draw conclusions from a photo and think they know a lot about how you are!” she said.  She said she hadn’t realized the image had resurfaced until recently.  "Friends laugh a lot whenever I mention it," she said, "and they were surprised when I started to get famous.""

Slavery Old and New | Desiring God - "Many Christians, keenly aware of the evils of early modern slavery, have suggested that the slavery mentioned in the New Testament was far more humane than its American counterpart. Yet the historical data suggests that Greco-Roman slavery could be just as oppressive and abusive as the later system — and in some ways even more so."
Some Christians were insisting to me that the slaves mentioned in the New Testament were really servants, and not slaves, and they kept going on about mistranslation. Apparently almost all translators are wrong, and the historical context of the Roman world is irrelevant, because feelings

Why getting permission for air conditioners is so hard in Switzerland - "Geneva’s rules are among the strictest in Switzerland  When applying for a permit to install a unit, you have to prove that you need temperature control in your house — for instance by submitting a medical certificate stating that your health condition requires it. Being comfortable in your own home is not a valid reason, as far as Geneva officials are concerned... Zurich is another canton with strict AC-related rules  In order to save energy, the installation of conventional air conditioning systems is generally banned.  Local ordinance requires all applicants for authorisation to prove that the air conditioner is particularly energy-efficient. Because this was not the case, the city of Zurich refused to grant permission to an elderly care facility to temporarily run their older AC model during a heatwave in 2018.  Rules in some other cantons are a bit laxer, requiring, as is the case in Vaud, to cover 50 percent of AC’s electricity consumption with renewable energy sources."

Geneva’s strict rules boost sales of most polluting air conditioners - "Other cantons require air conditioners to be powered by solar panels. This increases the upfront cost for anyone without solar panels, putting them out of reach of many home owners.  Given the restrictions and administrative hurdles to install an inbuilt air conditioning solution, people are buying mobile units instead. Emrush Dermaku, a manager at an Interdiscount electronics store in the canton told RTS that sales of portable air conditioners were up 50% on last year.  The problem with mobile air conditioners is their high ecological footprint. Because the whole device is placed inside, it heats and cools the room at the same time. One way to let the heat out is to place the back of the unit near an open window. However, this can let out much of the cold air coming out the other side, requiring the device to be run on higher power for longer.   Florent Tempion, an air conditioning installer told RTS he receives up to 100 calls a day from people wanting to install air conditioning private homes. When people are told they can’t they don’t understand he said."

Americans Unseat Chinese as Top Foreign Homebuyers in Singapore - Bloomberg - "Americans replaced Chinese as the top foreign buyers of private apartments in Singapore, according to OrangeTee & Tie.  Mainland Chinese have been the largest foreign buyer group in the Asian hub since 2016, accelerated by an influx of wealth into the city-state during the pandemic. To keep a lid on prices, the government doubled stamp duties for foreign buyers to 60% — the highest among major markets — and also raised levies for buyers of second homes in late April.  Property buyers of certain nationalities including the US, however, are exempt from such tax hikes. They’re given the same stamp duty treatment as Singaporeans due to respective free trade agreements"

Why Is “Moral Grandstanding” Even Supposed to Be a Thing? - "grandstanding is about using “moral talk to dominate others”. So, virtue signaling is about fitting in, while moral grandstanding is about taking over... “hypocrisy” has been the defining sin of modernity. We explain away other sins, Judith Shklar argued, but “not hypocrisy, which alone is now inexcusable.” But why should that be? Especially, if it’s true, as the cases above suggest that, at least sometimes, it’s better to be a hypocrite than not? Consider what John Rawls calls the “fact of reasonable pluralism.”... Hypocrisy becomes the defining vice where pluralism is pervasive because authenticity becomes the only universal virtue.  But the truth is, you don’t get very far criticizing people for not living up to the standards they profess.  First of all, we are all hypocrites sometimes. And it’s a good thing too. I pontificate on the virtues of swimming for exercise and tell people I swim a mile a day – even during the times when I actually do not. I talk a lot about the injustice of economic inequality – including to students in my classes. But I have done almost nothing concrete to address the issue in real life. But I think it’s still better to profess these views, and have these aspirational standards and fail to meet them, than not to have any standards at all – or not talk about them unless you always live up them. Arguably, people who have higher standards are apt to always be the biggest hypocrites, since they leave themselves more room to fail. Anyway, as Kant said, “Every action is a new beginning.” One may always yet succeed. Secondly, the important question behind the question of people living up to the standards they profess is what the standards should be. If you profess to be a “effective altruist”, a socialist, a libertarian, or a Methodist, why should I care the most about, for example, how well you really followed the effective altruist strategy of maximizing your income potential so you can give more away? I care more about questions of economic justice and what to do about economic injustice and, yes, even what your view of economic justice is – much, much more than I care about whether you are living up to your own professed ideals in regard to economic justice."

Azerbaijan military assistance waiver delayed as review drags on - "The Biden administration appears to be slow-walking the renewal of a long-standing military assistance program to Azerbaijan amid growing warnings of ethnic cleansing in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh."

Chris Selley: Democracy dies behind Ottawa's veil of secrecy - "The past 20 years in the media business has been characterized by all manner of wrenching upheaval and existential dread, but one thing has remained constant: The federal government’s endless communications bureaucracy stands relentlessly athwart most any attempt by journalists to extract information from it. No matter how banal the inquiry, the access-to-information (ATI) machine is capable of astonishing feats of redaction... Parliamentarians themselves are facing the same problem... I counted 32 people contributing to or copied on various interminable email chains discussing how the ministry should respond other than with facts. Reporters have seen these chains many times before, in which a platoon of well-paid and presumably intelligent human beings spends days on end failing to deliver boilerplate nonsense, never mind on deadline. (The response to an ATI request about how the government handled your previous ATI request is often far more interesting and informative than the response to your original request.) There’s no excuse for that. But as swollen as our heads might sometimes be, journalists aren’t MPs. It’s still striking to see the bureaucracy and a minister’s office collaborating so earnestly to thwart an elected official’s perfectly banal inquiries...  Global Affairs funds various Canadian cultural activities overseas — art exhibits, music recitals, etc. — through what it calls the Mission Cultural Fund, which the Liberals seem to fancy as an arm of our reputed “soft-power” influence worldewide.  The Canadian Taxpayers Federation discovered that such funding had gone toward a show titled “All the Sex I’ve Ever Had,” in which (per Postmedia’s report) “a select group of seniors recounted their sexual experiences, including their ‘first time, best time, worst time and last time’.” Other funding recipients have included Canadian artist and musician Peaches, for a sex-toy-themed multimedia exhibit in Hamburg titled, “Whose Jizz Is This?”  Rempel-Garner again had some very specific, very basic questions for the Global Affairs Department. For example, “what are the details of all spending from this fund, broken down by month … for each initiative funded?”  The response: “The department concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a collection of information that is not possible in the time allotted.” There’s no spreadsheet of this program’s expenditures? No one scrawled them on a notepad? The ministry really can’t add up the figures … given a month and a half? True or not, something is seriously amiss."
Government funding only provides an imprimatur when liberals disapprove of the project, like modern fairy tales

At NYU, Students Were Failing Organic Chemistry. Whose Fault Was It? - The New York Times - "In the field of organic chemistry, Maitland Jones Jr. has a storied reputation. He taught the subject for decades, first at Princeton and then at New York University, and wrote an influential textbook. He received awards for his teaching, as well as recognition as one of N.Y.U.’s coolest professors.  But last spring, as the campus emerged from pandemic restrictions, 82 of his 350 students signed a petition against him.  Students said the high-stakes course — notorious for ending many a dream of medical school — was too hard, blaming Dr. Jones for their poor test scores.  The professor defended his standards. But just before the start of the fall semester, university deans terminated Dr. Jones’s contract."
When doctors become incompetent, the excuses will be plentiful

Rapists above 50 exempted from caning: Any change to law needs ‘serious debate’, chemical castration an option, say lawyers - "Changing a law that exempts male rapists above the age of 50 from being caned may not adequately deter these culprits from targeting children, some lawyers said.  One proposed that it may be better to explore having chemical castration as a sentencing option for rapists, while another voiced concerns about health safety measures should men above 50 be caned.   They were responding to TODAY regarding President Halimah Yacob’s suggestion on Monday about this matter, saying that her intentions may be good but there are considerations to be made... if the law is changed to allow for caning of male rapists above 50, it could possibly lead to a “slippery slope” situation of people seeking similar changes to Section 325’s provisions to further other punish offenders, such as those facing the death sentence.  Mr Peter Ong, managing director of Peter Ong Law Corporation, said that many offences are committed without the realisation of their consequences until it is too late. “Caning may be a (form of) retribution, but not a deterrent.”   He also said that raising penalties for various offences have not always led to the desired outcome of preventing the crimes from happening.  For instance, changes to the Penal Code were passed in Parliament on Sept 13 last year to increase the maximum penalties for three types of sexual offences, including outrage of modesty.  Yet, police crime data released in August this year showed that cases of molestation rose to 773 in the first half of this year, up from 739 cases in the same period last year."
When you don't understand the role of the President

Man-made chemicals blamed as many more girls than boys are born in Arctic - "Twice as many girls as boys are being born in some Arctic villages because of high levels of man-made chemicals in the blood of pregnant women, according to scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (Amap).  The scientists, who say the findings could explain the recent excess of girl babies across much of the northern hemisphere, are widening their investigation across the most acutely affected communities in Russia, Greenland and Canada to try to discover the size of the imbalance in Inuit communities of the far north."
From 2007

Bernard Montgomery - Wikipedia - "In 1925, in his first known courtship of a woman, Montgomery, then in his late thirties, proposed to a 17-year-old girl, Betty Anderson. His approach included drawing diagrams in the sand of how he would deploy his tanks and infantry in a future war, a contingency which seemed very remote at that time. She respected his ambition and single-mindedness but declined his proposal of marriage"

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