Monday, May 31, 2021

Facebook users are being silenced

Facebook has turned overtly partisan. It has banned Donald Trump, even tho he got 74 million votes, and its own supreme court ruled that it violated all its own rules in doing so.

NBC News reports:

Facebook is grappling with a reputation crisis in the Middle East, with plummeting approval rates and advertising sales in Arab countries, according to leaked documents obtained by NBC News.

The shift corresponds with the widespread belief by pro-Palestinian and free speech activists that the social media company has been disproportionately silencing Palestinian voices on its apps – which include Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – during this month’s Israel-Hamas conflict. ...

The low approval ratings have been compounded by a campaign by pro-Palestinian and free speech activists to target Facebook with 1-star reviews on the Apple and Google app stores. The campaign tanked Facebook’s average rating from above 4 out of 5 stars on both app stores to 2.2 on the App Store and 2.3 on Google Play as of Wednesday. According to leaked internal posts, the issue has been categorized internally as a “severity 1” problem for Facebook, which is the second highest priority issue after a “severity 0” incident, which is reserved for when the website is down.

“Users are feeling that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and ultimately silenced,” one senior software engineer said in a post on Facebook’s internal message board. “As a result, our users have started protesting by leaving 1 star reviews.”

Why haven't Trump voters done this?

Maybe the Palestinian Arabs are more motivated, as they are being bombed and killed, and they may blame their suffering on distorted reports in the news media, including Facebook.

I don't know what Facebook did to the Palestinian Arabs, but it deserves this treatment. If it is going to take sides in political disputes, as it now does, then it deserves the 1-star reviews.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Comparing the virus in Germany and Sweden

We now have almost 1.5 years of experience with different strategies for dealing with COVID-19, and we ought to know something about how well masks, lockdowns, and other strategies worked. Unfortunately the evidence is pretty weak. See this chart.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Shoplifting is destroying California Cities

San Francisco is one of the richest cities in the world. It is also one of the most Leftist, as Republicans never get elected to anything. It is 80% White and Asian. It is also getting worse all the time.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Last year, burglaries increased in most San Francisco neighborhoods. ...

The cost of business and shoplifting led Walgreens to shut 17 locations in San Francisco in the past five years ...

Theft in Walgreens’ San Francisco stores is four times the average for stores elsewhere in the country, and the chain spends 35 times more on security guards in the city than elsewhere, Cunningham said. ...

A statement from Safeway read at Thursday’s hearing blamed Proposition 47, which lowered penalties for thefts under $950, for “dramatic increases” in shoplifting losses. ...

Professional shoplifters can work the system by stealing items under the threshold from one store and hitting several retailers in the same day.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

NYT still trying to blame Anti-Semitism on Trump

The NY Times reports:
U.S. Faces Outbreak of Anti-Semitic Threats and Violence

In the wake of clashes in Israel and Gaza, synagogues have been vandalized and Jews have been threatened and attacked.

This is a paper that hates Donald Trump all the time, so it finds a way to blame him.

Trump was one of the most pro-Jewish and pro-Israel Presidents ever.

Until the latest surge, anti-Semitic violence in recent years was largely considered a right-wing phenomenon, driven by a white supremacist movement emboldened by rhetoric from former President Donald J. Trump, who often trafficked in stereotypes.

Many of the most recent incidents, by contrast, have come from perpetrators expressing support for the Palestinian cause and criticism of Israel’s right-wing government.

The right-wingers are blamed for "rhetoric". The actual crimes came from Leftists and Moslems.
The New York Police Department arrested 27 people, and two people were hospitalized, including a woman who was burned when fireworks were launched from a car at a group of people on the sidewalk.

The Police Department opened a hate crimes investigation into the beating of a Jewish man, and a Brooklyn man, Waseem Awawdeh, 23, was charged in connection with the attack.

The next day, federal prosecutors charged another man, Ali Alaheri, 29, with setting fire to a building that housed a synagogue and yeshiva in Borough Park, a Brooklyn neighborhood in the city’s Hasidic Jewish heartland. Mr. Alaheri also assaulted a Hasidic man in the same neighborhood, prosecutors said.

No Trump supporters did anything like this, but the paper gets back to blaming them.
In Charlottesville, activists at the Unite the Right rally in 2017 chanted “Jews will not replace us!” as they protested the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. ...

Jews and others were particularly stung by comments by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has spent the past week repeatedly comparing mask and vaccine mandates to the treatment of Jews by Nazi Germany, and by the Republican leadership’s slow response to her remarks.

Wow, are you following this? Israel kills a bunch of Arabs in Gaza. Leftists and Moslems in the USA protest and harass Jews.

And somehow this relates to some right-wingers protesting a Civil War statue removal four years ago?

And then the NY Times, which has probably called Trump a Nazi 100 times over the last 5 years, is offended that a right-winger used a Nazi analogy!

Update: Law professor David Bernstein writes:

Back in January, I wrote, "I can't say I've ever fully trusted the Times to be accurate, but until recently I generally felt fairly confident that even if a story was slanted in perspective, the facts that were reported were basically accurate. Not anymore." ...

Here is what the Times itself reported in February 2020: "Most of the anti-Semitic incidents in New York have not been perpetrated by jihadists or far-right extremists, but by young African-American men." In fact, I believe that none of incidents were ultimately traced to "far-right extremists." ...

Third, like much of the American media, the Times seems utterly incapable of acknowledging that radical anti-Israel activists, be they motivated by Islamism, pan-Arabism, Palestinian nationalism, self-described anti-colonialism, and/or antisemitism, are hostile to Israel's very existence, not "Israel's right-wing government."

Instead, the NY Times finds a way to blame right-wingers, who are mostly pro-Israel.

It is particularly telling that this article is about those wishing to exterminate Israel, and ends up blaming Trump, a handful of anti-immigration protesters in 2017, and a Republican Congresswoman who used an unapproved Nazi analogy.

Update: This article describes something similar in Germany, where a pro-Jewish political party gets blamed for anti-Semitism just because it is right-wing.

On the subject of supporting Israel, see this fascinating debate on YouTube, featuring Alex Jones, Nick Fuentes, and Robert Barnes. I thought that all those guys have been banned. Watch it before it gets taken down. There is nothing particularly offensive about it, except that it gives arguments for and against supporting Israel being in Amreica's interest. I am not sure who has the better argument.

Update: The NY Times published an opinion column entitled “Attacks on Jews Are a Gift to the Right”. The message seems to be:

People should stop physically assaulting Jews in America for being Jewish, because that makes it harder for us to criticize Israel and its “apartheid” government.
The NY Times does criticize Israel, but for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

How would you feel ... taking over?

I found this posted. There are a couple of ways of reading this. I am guessing that he is appealing to those who do not want refugees taking over their country, and they do not want Jews taking over either.

Here is a video of Ben Shapiro reacting to Anti-Semitic protestor chants. The press has complained for several years about Christians and White Supremacists being Anti-Semitic. But there are no stories of Christians or White Supremacists doing what Shapiro is complaining about. Anti-Semitism exists almost entirely among Leftists and Moslems.

Dennis Prager is another radio host and podcaster with view similar to Shapiro. They are both Orthodox Jews and extremely pro-Israel. They both spend most of their time denouncing Leftists as threats to civilization as we know it. They both denounce White Supremacists and Anti-Semites at every opportunity, but see the White Supremacists as being of no consequence. The Leftists are the real enemy. The Leftists are the enemies of Jews and Israel, but also much more widely, the enemies of America, freedom, truth, civilization, and everything good.

The result is that Shapiro and Prager are really attacking a lot of Jewish Leftists, and Jewish-led Leftist movements.

Shapiro is also attacking Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for tweeting “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.” Other Jews want her expelled from Congress. Apparently the Jews like to regulate Nazi analogies.

The NY Times is so eager to blame Trump that it ran an editorial opinion under the headline, “Attacks on Jews Over Israel Are A Gift To The Right”. No, right-wingers are not the ones attacking Jews, except that some might be using unapproved Nazi analogies.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Google sells out Americans again

ABC News reorts:
Google has taken a public stand in support of immigration rights via a court filing Friday that seeks to protect the ability to work in the U.S. for some 90,000 immigrants, the vast majority of whom are women.

Google led a coalition of tech companies in filing an amicus brief (or so-called "friend of the court" document) that supports work authorization for the partners of high-skilled workers who enter the U.S. on H-1B visas. ...

"The pandemic has already disproportionately impacted women and ending this program would only make things worse, leading to disrupted careers and lost wages," Lacavera added. "Furthermore, if the program is lost, the practical effect is that we welcome a person to the U.S. to work but we make it harder for their spouse to work."

"That hurts their family, impacts our ability to compete for talent, and harms our economy," she wrote.

More than two dozen companies -- including Amazon, Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Reddit more industry leaders -- have joined the amicus brief.

The pademic has hurt Americans, and yet these companies only want to help foreigners.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Biden got to be legitimate thru unfair processes

The Wash. Post reports:
“I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” McCarthy said on May 12, 112 days after Biden was inaugurated. “I think that is all over with. We’re sitting here with the president today.”

Except Republicans have continued to do exactly that — even after McCarthy’s remarks.

It then posts a series of video clips of Republicans being asked that.

Watch the video. Every single Republican accepts that Joe Biden is legitimately the President. Kevin McCarthy is right that no one is disputing it.

There is also no dispute about the facts that election procedures were changed in a way that favored Biden, and there were irregularities that make it impossible to determine how many votes were stolen. Some Republican want these matters investigation.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Leading Science Journal Rejects Darwinian Evolution

Religious believers have attacked the Darwin theory of evolution for 150 years for various reasons, and now it is getting new attacks from establishment academics.

The London Daily Mail reports:

Charles Darwin's famous book The Descent of Man was 'warped' by his racist and sexist views, expert claims, 150 YEARS after its publication

Charles Darwin published his book The Descent of Man on February 24, 1871
This explored the concept of evolutionary theory and how it applied to humanity
An anthropologist said the thinking is presented through racism and sexism
He said teachers should tell students about Darwin's views alongside his theory

This refers to an AAAS Science article by Agustín Fuentes saying:
“The Descent of Man” is one of the most influential books in the history of human evolutionary science. We can acknowledge Darwin for key insights but must push against his unfounded and harmful assertions. Reflecting on “Descent” today one can look to data demonstrating unequivocally that race is not a valid description of human biological variation, that there is no biological coherence to “male” and “female” brains or any simplicity in biological patterns related to gender and sex, and that “survival of the fittest” does not accurately represent the dynamics of evolutionary processes.
This is heresy. Darwin's most famous book was titled, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

So yes, races were essential to his theory. So is the difference between male and female brains, as corresponding differences in mating strategy are crucial to much of what he wrote.

As Wikipedia defines:

"Survival of the fittest"[1] is a phrase that originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection.
Rejecting this is another way of saying that Darwin's main theory, the theory of natural selection is wrong.

The above article is the most anti-evolution article I have ever seen, and it appears is the world's most prestigious science journal.

Darwin was wrong about this prediction, from Decent of Man:

At some future period, not very distant from as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.
The opposite is more likely.

Evolutionist Professor Jerry Coyne has written excellent books on evolution, and details errors in the above Science article:

Here’s a Fuentes whopper about “survival of the fittest,” a term that Darwin didn’t invent and generally avoided, using it only a handful of times in his writings: ...

For 30 years I’ve told my classes that “reproduction of the fittER” is a more accurate characterization of how natural selection works, and an even more accurate representation would be that “the genes that become more numerous over evolutionary time are those that leave more copies of themselves.”

Okay, the slogan is an oversimplication, but the underlying idea is essential to the theory, and rejected by Fuentes.

This is about like a major Science journal publishing a creationist rant, only worse. The creationists are fairly benign, as they mostly just suggest God as an explanation for what science cannot explain. And they are presumably guided by a belief that Christianity is a good thing.

But Fuentes is obviously driven by evil left-wing beliefs. He seeks social change that will make us all worse off. And he is thoroughly dishonest about the known science of evolution.

All of the major journals have gone leftist, I am afraid. If AAAS Science is the most prestigious, the second is British Nature, and the current issue editorial opinion says:

The protests following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by police a year ago built on those that came before — in response to the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and far too many others. The global reckoning ...

After a police officer shot Michael Brown in 2014 in Missouri, one-third of articles emphasized disruption and confrontation. Fewer than 10% described protesters’ demands for reform, and then did so shallowly.

The Michael Brown protesters were primarily trying to excuse him for trying to murder a police officer. The press coverage was overwhelmingly much too sympathetic to him.

More importantly, there is no science here. No facts. No data. No objectivity. Just a stupid leftist racist rant. Scientists used to make a lot of effort to keep this junk out of their journals. No more.

Update: Robert Wright criticizes Agustín Fuentes, picking up where Coyne left off.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Why Germany Attacked Russia in WWII

Conventional wisdom is that Hitler made a big mistake by attack USSR during WWII, and that is what eventually doomed the Germans.

Here is another view:

Suvorov’s thesis can be summed up as follows: on June 22, 1941, Stalin was about to launch a massive offensive on Germany and her allies, within days or weeks. Preparations had started in 1939, just after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and had accelerated at the end of 1940, with the first divisions deployed to the new expanded Soviet borders, opposite the German Reich and Romania, in February 1941. On May 5, Stalin announced to an audience of two thousand military academy graduates flanked by generals and party luminaries that the time had come to “switch from the defensive to the offensive.” Days later, he had a special directive sent to all command posts to “be prepared on a signal from General Headquarters to launch lightning strikes to rout the enemy, move military operations to his territory and seize key objectives.” New armies were being raised in all the districts, with mobilization now reaching 5.7 million, a gigantic army impossible to sustain for long in peacetime. Close to one million parachutists — troops useful only for invasion — had been trained. Hundreds of aerodromes were built near the Western border. From June 13, an incessant movement of night trains transported thousands of tanks, millions of soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of tons of ammunition and fuel to the border.

According to Suvorov, if Hitler had not attacked first, the gigantic military power that Stalin had accumulated on the border would have enabled him to reach Berlin without major difficulty and then, in the context of the war, to take control of the continent. Only Hitler’s decision to preempt Stalin’s offensive deprived him of these resources by piercing and disrupting his lines and destroying or seizing about 65% of all his weaponry, some of it still in trains.

I have no idea if this is correct or not. If it is, then Germany had to attack in order to survive.

Even tho Germany ultimately lost the war and was destroyed by Allied forces, it could have been worse off under Communist occupation.

History books are written by the winner, and so we know WWII as the last great battle between Good and Evil.

Friday, May 21, 2021

How Oregon Creates Racial Animosity

Ever wonder why Portland Oregon has so much Black-White animosity, when it is mainly populated by White liberals and there aren't even very many Blacks living there?

Apparently Jewish groups there make of big effort to raise awareness:

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – On Monday groups unveiled a billboard campaign to raise awareness about gun violence in Portland, with a focus on the Black community.

Founder of nonprofit The No Hate Zone, Sam Sachs helped organize the effort with several other leaders in the community.

This is based on some Jewish belief, according to a 2015 article in a Jewish Weekly:
Sam Sachs, 46, calls his volunteer efforts on behalf of minority rights tikkun olam, healing the world. He’s been called an advocate, activist and even an agitator.

When he sued the Oregon Public Safety Academy in 1996 for anti-Semitic comments during his training there as a corrections officer, it launched a state task force investigation. ...

Racial tensions between police and minorities have soared recently in the wake of grand jury decisions not to indict police officers who killed an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, MO, and an asthmatic black man in New York, who was put in a chokehold. In the wake of Ferguson, Sam’s says his immediate reaction was, “We still have work to do, and we’ve made progress.” ...

He says his father, Eral Sachs, z”l, would take his children to Corvallis, where Sam attended religious school at Beit Am for a time. The family celebrated most holidays in Portland with his grandparents, Ralph and Florence Sachs, at Congregation Shaarie Torah. When he was 11, Sam says he started to wear a Star of David necklace visible outside his shirt. That first star is now buried with his grandmother in the Shaarie Torah cemetery, but Sam has replaced it with a second Star of David that he still wears. ...

When Sam’s parents divorced, his father felt that raising 7-year-old Sam and his older brother, Hiram, and sister, Rachel, was all he could handle. He felt toddler Eli would be better off with a family who had more time for him. So Eral put Eli up for adoption on the condition that he keep his first name and be adopted by a Jewish family.

So it is pretty clear that he is pursuing a Jewish religious belief.

Note: This is not intended to imply anything about the current conflict in Israel. I am leaving that to the people who live there.

PBS TV also tries to create racial animosity with a story about How colorism haunts dark-skinned immigrant communities. It tells us that Somalis in Minnesota consider the lighter-skinner Somalis to be more beautiful that darker-skinned Somalis. Not just in Minnesota, but in Somalia and "in almost every corner of the planet".

If this is really universal, then you might think that it is based on objective standards or innate human preference. But no, PBS tells us that sociologists have traced it to European colonization, slavery, class, and caste. In other words, it is all the fault of Whites that some Minnesota Somalis are prejudiced against other Minnesota Somalis. Those people could have stayed in a non-white country, if they really think that White influence is so bad.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

2017 Mortality was Worse than 2020

A lot of people have complained that the Wuhan coronavirus was the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu, but this PNAS paper tells a different story:
Because it has captured a great deal of national attention, the number of deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 forms a timely basis of comparison. On 20 February 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 376,504 deaths ascribed to COVID-19 had occurred in the United States in calendar year 2020 (10). That figure is similar to but below the estimated total number of excess deaths of 401,000 in the United States in 2017 (Table 1).

The comparison is more striking when years of life lost is the measure used. Goldstein and Lee (11) estimate that the mean loss of life years for a person dying from COVID-19 in the United States is 11.7 y. Multiplying 377,000 decedents by 11.7 y lost per decedent gives a total of 4.41 My of life lost to COVID-19 in 2020, only a third of the 13.02 million life years lost to excess mortality in the United States in 2017 (Table 1). The reason that the comparison is so much sharper for YLL than for excess deaths is that COVID-19 deaths in 2020 occurred at much older ages, on average, than the excess deaths of 2017.

That is, 2017 was three times worse than 2020! Who knew?

I don't know what to make of this. The data come from a reputable source, and the article is published in a reputable journal. I don't remember a lot of people dying in 2017, but maybe I didn't notice.

The CDC is still listing excess deaths, and also says:

For over 5% of these deaths [involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)], COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned on the death certificate. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 4.0 additional conditions or causes per death.
So many of those would have been killed by those 4.0 additional causes, even without COVID-19.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

NPR purges men, even if leftist kooks

The LA Times reports:
In a statement Monday, NYPR said, “New York Public Radio has terminated the employment of Bob Garfield, co-host of On the Media, as a result of a pattern of behavior that violated NYPR’s anti-bullying policy. ...

Garfield, journalist, author and podcaster, responded via tweet Monday: “I was fired not for 'bullying' per se, but for yelling in 5 meetings over 20 years. Anger mismanagement, sorry to say. But in all cases, the provocations were just shocking. In time, the story will emerge ... and it is tragic. On the Media was the pride and joy of my career.”

I think he was the last cis-gendered male host at NPR Radio.

NPR has systematically replaced all its male hosts with females.

Garfield was a lunatic Trump-hater. He had one entire program devoted to complaints that the news media was supporting the Trump agenda. The only examples in the hour were from Sean Hannity. Another whole program complained that the news media was reluctant to call out Trump as Hitler, when he argued that Trump really was literally the same as Hitler.

His show never had a balanced treatment of any issue. In all of NPR Radio, I have never heard a balanced treatment of any Trump-related issue.

Here is a PBS TV video celebrating 50 years of women dominating NPR radio.

Update: The NY Times has some details:

Then this spring, Mr. Garfield suffered a shoulder injury. During a virtual meeting with his colleagues, he said he needed surgery sooner than planned. He said he then faced 15 minutes of what he viewed as “bullying” from Ms. Gladstone and their executive producer, and which they viewed as him bullying them, according to a spokeswoman.

Depending on whom you ask, WNYC is experiencing either an epidemic of bullying or an epidemic of whining....

Even by the standards of our fraught media moment, public radio — and the parts of the podcast industry that emerged from it — has been beset by seemingly constant clashes that can be difficult for outsiders to make sense of.

The reasons are partly structural. ... And radio stations filled with idealists who view themselves as working for the public good are often led by people whose greatest skill is raising millions of dollars from affluent donors.

I would expect more of this in businesses that allow themselves to be dominated by leftist ideologues.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Why Melinda took her billions and left

The NY Times reports:
Long Before Divorce, Bill Gates Had Reputation for Questionable Behavior

By the time Melinda French Gates decided to end her 27-year marriage, her husband was known globally as a software pioneer, a billionaire and a leading philanthropist.

But in some circles, Bill Gates had also developed a reputation for questionable conduct in work-related settings. That is attracting new scrutiny amid the breakup of one of the world’s richest, most powerful couples.

So I guess it is clear that Melinda is the one who bailed. Melinda is the one who filed the divorce papers.

Jeff Bezos was also divorced recently, and his wife was the one to file the divorce papers with the court.

Some of the employees said that while they disapproved of Mr. Gates’s behavior, they did not perceive it to be predatory. They said he did not pressure the women to submit to his advances for the sake of their careers, and he seemed to feel that he was giving the women the space to refuse his advances. Even so, Mr. Gates’s actions ran counter to the agenda of female empowerment that Ms. French Gates was promoting on a global stage. On Oct. 2, 2019, for example, she said she would spend $1 billion promoting “women’s power and influence in the United States.”

“Even though most women now work full-time (or more), we still shoulder the majority of caregiving responsibilities; we face pervasive sexual harassment and discrimination; we are surrounded by biased and stereotypical representations that perpetuate harmful gender norms,” she wrote in a column in Time magazine announcing the pledge.

This is all very strange for her to complain about. They lived in a $100 million house. And she complains that she had to do some caregiving?

By her own accounts, Bill Gates was her boss as he asked her out at Microsoft, and she refused to go on a date with him the first couple of times he asked. By current standards, that was sexual harassment:

Rather than harshly regulate every step of this sexual-legal minefield, Facebook preferred to lay down basic guidelines. Delicately, but unambiguously, our HR Man stated that we could ask a coworker out once, but no meant no, and you had no more lets after that. After one ask, you were done, and anything beyond that was subject to sanction.
So is she really saying that it was wrong for her to have dated Bill Gates? Was she harmed somehow?

She married the world's richest man, and lived like a queen. The NY Times recites some petty complaints about Bill, but he remains one of the most respected, influential, and admired men in the world. But not good enough for Melinda, it appears. Feminism convinces women that no man is ever good enough for them.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Apple fires a star employee for book

Left-wing journalist Matt Taibbi writes:
Garcia-Martinez is a brilliant, funny, multi-talented Cuban-American whose confessional memoir Chaos Monkeys is to big tech what Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker was to finance. A onetime high-level Facebook executive — he ran Facebook Ads — Antonio’s book shows the House of Zuckerberg to be a cult full of on-the-spectrum zealots who talked like justice activists while possessing the business ethics of Vlad the Impaler:
Facebook is full of true believers who really, really, really are not doing it for the money, and really, really will not stop until every man, woman, and child on earth is staring into a blue-framed window with a Facebook logo.
He goes on to explain that Apple has just fired Garcia-Martinez because some employees complained about that 2016 book.

The book had been a bestseller, so Apple was happy with the book when it hired him.

Apple is run by evil men.

Many other companies are just as bad. Newsweek reports:

Leaked documents from The Walt Disney Company ask employees to complete a "white privilege checklist" and to "pivot away from "white dominant culture." ...

The document ends with a 21-day challenge for employees to reflect on the effects of being "raised in a society that elevates white culture over others." ...

In February, leaked documents from Coca-Cola showed diversity training materials from the professional networking site LinkedIn that encouraged staff to "try to be less white, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive, less ignorant and more humble."

So why does Apple behave like this? I see three explanations.

(1) It is profitable.

(2) Apple employees are sincerely so offended by this book, that the author's presence in the company would cause a lot of unnecessary stress and conflict.

(3) No one is really offended, but SJWs are just carrying out a power play against someone they don't like.

I am inclined to believe (3). It is hard to believe that Apple snowflakes are really so fragile that they would be bothered by this book. It is more plausible that they are simply lying to promote their political goals.

Dr. Dre is a Black rapper on the Apple board of directors, and he has said much more offensive things. I do not see an employee petition to fire him.

Update: Stewart Baker explains:

Nick and I cross swords over Apple's firing of Antonio García Martínez, author of Chaos Monkeys, in my view one of the funniest and most insightful Silicon Valley books of the last decade. Part of its appeal is Garcia Martinez's relentless burning of every bridge in his past business and personal life. How, you keep asking, can he recover from telling all those truths about Morgan Stanley, Facebook, Y Combinator, and the adtech business? Turns out, he can't. But it wasn't any of those supposedly potent institutions that nailed him. Instead, it was his claim that the women of Silicon Valley are mostly "soft and weak, cosseted and naïve" and possessed of a "self-regarding entitlement feminism."

That's all it took. Apple employees demanded that they be protected from anyone with those views, and he was summarily fired. Way to go, Apple employees! Nothing rebuts a stereotype of female soft weakness and entitlement like demanding to be protected from someone who doesn't share your feminist entitlement.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Law student punished for citing sex differences

Scotland news:
Disciplinary action is being taken against Lisa Keogh, 29, over “offensive” and “discriminatory” comments that she made during lectures at Abertay University, Dundee.

The mature student was reported by younger classmates after she said women were born with female genitals and that “the difference in physical strength of men versus women is a fact”. The complaints have prompted a formal investigation into her conduct. ...

She was accused of saying women were the “weaker sex” and classmates were “man-hating feminists” when one student suggested that all men were rapists and posed a danger to women.

Here is what you are supposed to believe:
Since the dawn of MRI, neuroscientists have worked ceaselessly to find differences between men’s and women’s brains. ...

But as a neuroscientist long experienced in the field, I recently completed a painstaking analysis of 30 years of research on human brain sex differences. And what I found, with the help of excellent collaborators, is that virtually none of these claims has proven reliable.

Except for the simple difference in size, there are no meaningful differences between men’s and women’s brain structure or activity that hold up across diverse populations. Nor do any of the alleged brain differences actually explain the familiar but modest differences in personality and abilities between men and women. ...

The absence of binary brain sex features also resonates with the increasing numbers of people who identify as nonbinary, queer, nonconforming or transgender. Whatever influence biological sex exerts directly on human brain circuitry is clearly not sufficient to explain the multidimensional behaviors we lump under the complex phenomenon of gender.

This is ridiculous. Of course crude brain scans do not explain all the brain differences in ability and beahvior. There are huge differences that are apparent to all.

Deny sex differences might be comforting to the nonbinary, but it does not really help the cause of the transgendered. Those believe that sex differences are real and large, and that motivates their desire to shift from one to the other.
If there were really no differences, then no one would bother trying to switch.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Bitcoin is largely an Extortionist Tool

The NY Times reports:
The operator of a critical fuel pipeline on the East Coast paid extortionists roughly 75 Bitcoin — or nearly $5 million — to recover its stolen data, according to people briefed on the transaction, clearing the way for gas to begin flowing again but complicating President Biden’s efforts to deter future attacks.

Colonial Pipeline made the ransom payment to the hacking group DarkSide after the cybercriminals last week held up the company’s business networks with ransomware, a form of malware that encrypts data until the victim pays, and threatened to release it online. DarkSide is believed to operate from Eastern Europe, possibly Russia.

Bitcoin is using as much electricity as the whole country of Argentina, and it is mostly used for speculation and criminal payments.

I am wondering why the feds don't take measures to shut it down.

People think that bitcoin is anonymous, but those 75 bitcoin are traceable if they ever get transferred or spent. The feds could declare the amount to be stolen goods, and arrest anyone in possession of it. The extortionists might be able to pass it off to some unsuspecting sucker, but after a few arrests and seizures, everyone would understand that much of bitcoin is tainted, and to check against lists of illegal transfers before accepting any of it.

In the long run, this might be good for the digital money market. It would make bitcoin more respectable, if it were mostly used for legitimate purposes.

As it is, it is largely and extortionist tool. It is causing gasoline shortages in the Eastern USA. People should not tolerate this much longer.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Feminist attacks Mother on Mothers Day

I would think that it would be safe for a young mother to praise motherhood on Mother's Day, but no, that triggers feminists somehow.

Mediaite reports:

NY Times Columnist Writes About Motherhood For Mother’s Day and Twitter Melts Down

New York Times columnist Elizabeth Bruenig wrote last week about her experience becoming a mother at the age of 25. Shortly after the article was published, and well into Monday morning, the reaction on Twitter was fierce, as were defenses of the column.

If it seems strange that an essay on motherhood would require fierce defending, it’s possible you haven’t spent much time on Twitter.

The biggest swarm of negative reactions were from a feminist standpoint, treating the column as an affront, and consisting in the main of unverified accounts with few followers to many tens of thousands. But the debacle really blew up when Salon’s Amanda Marcotte and feminist author Jude Ellison Sady Doyle weighed in.

Marcotte tweeted:
Unsurprising that Elizabeth Bruenig was dishonest about the feminist position on the child tax credit, which is actually near-universal support. She's also pulling a Phyllis Schlafly, sneering at the idea of women working, while being a woman working.
I cannot find where Bruenig was dishonest about anything, or where she sneered at working women. She writes about her job worries in the above essay, so she is describing herself as a working woman and mom.

The reference to Phyllis Schlafly is bizarre. She never sneered at the idea of women working. She was a stay-at-home mom, who did not work for money outside the home. Not after having kids, anyway. She would have said that moms do work at being moms and housewives, and disagreed with those like Marcotte who try to imply that motherhood is not work.

Googling Marcotte, I find a lot of strange personal attacks on other people. According to Wikipedia, she is married with no kids of her own.

I post this as an example of crazy feminist thinking.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Why Christendom has been so successful

The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous, by Joseph Henrich, was published last year. At the time, I thought that it was neither new nor surprising that White American college students would perform differently on psychology experiments that tribes of New Guinea. Some textbooks would describe some human behavior as universal, whereas it actually varies widely. He had already made this point in a 2010 paper. See also this 2019 science paper for supporting research.

This book is so much more than that. It offers a comprehensive explanation for how Western Civilation happened.

The closest other book in this genre is Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond. He is a geography professor, and he says it was all a geographical fluke. But his explanations don't tell us anything about the last millennium, where most of the interesting things happened. And his earlier stuff depends on dubious analysis that has not been backed up by other work.

This book was widely acclaimed, and turned Diamond into one of our leading public intellectuals. I think people wanted to believe his stories, whether true or not.

Henrich's book is much more important. He answers the question: What made Christendom superior to the rest of the world?

Humans have been building cities and civilizations for millennia, and it is surprising that so little has been written on what makes it all work.

What makes humans different from animals? The usual answers are intelligence, agility in tool use, spiritual values, art, consciousness, etc. That's all true, but the most important feature may be that man is able to make deals to cooperate with strangers. No other animal can do that, and it is absolutely essential for civilization.

Sure, a pack of wolves might join in a kill, and a colony of ants or bees might divide the labor of procuring food. But they don't do the sort of transactions that men do every day.

It doesn't work well in all countries either. In most of the world, societies are divided into clans that do not cooperate with each other. Christendom figured out how to make it work well. Henrich explains this well.

This book has changed my view of what social policy can and should do. Henrich gives the impression that medieval Church policies were so brilliantly far-sighted and favorable that the leaders could not have been so smart as to realize what they were doing. Even the fighting of European wars was done in a beneficial way.

I suspect that they did know what they were doing. What is our excuse? We do not seem to have anyone that smart making social policy today. Our leaders were wiser a millennium ago.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Tribalism has come to the West

Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes:
In Somalia, where I was born, my mother was blindly loyal to our clan. So much so that, apparently, she claimed she could detect the malicious intentions of an individual from a different clan just by the structure of his forehead. She would, for example, often warn my father that someone was trying to take advantage of him, purely by the way he frowned.

In Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, anthropologist Philip Carl Salzman recounts meeting tribesmen in Baluchistan. What, they had asked Salzman, would he do if he faced a real danger in his home country? Well, Salzman replied, he would call the police. The tribesmen roared with laughter, then looked at him pityingly: “Oh no, no, no, they said: only your ‘lineage mates’ will help you.”

In tribal communities, neutral institutions of civil society that Westerners take for granted — such as the police, impartial courts, and the rule of law — simply do not, and cannot, exist. In such societies, everything is tribalised, and the task of building civic institutions is laden with difficulties.

In Somalia, I was taught to be suspicious of anyone from a different clan, to always think harm was coming my way and to be guarded against anyone that was “other.” I come from the Darod clan, and was taught to constantly listen to accents, examine face shapes and overanalyse all non-verbal cues, searching for any indications of a different tribe. I can still identify a Somali (and usually their clan) from across a room. ...

The beautiful story of America, the reason so many people around the world still yearn to come here, is to a large extent founded on our rejection of tribalism and our establishment of civic, neutral institutions, based on the fundamental principle of equality before the law. These institutions are imperfect, of course, but they are far superior to the tribalism that rules other parts of the world. Our overcoming of such a natural urge is an accomplishment.

This sort of tribal thinking has been imported to the USA.

I used to post a lot against this sort of thinking, but now I think that it is the inevitable consequence of American liberalism combined with high third world immigration.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Google presentations use gender of viewers

I got this Google messge, as a step to listen to some technical lectures:
I consent to provide Google with information about my gender to help Google understand the diversity of the I/O audience, improve content for I/O presentations and events, and develop I/O presentations and events that are of interest to the audience.
Huhh? How is tht going to work?

I normlly would not mind giving my gender to Google, but now that I know that it intends to use info about my gender to alter the content of some technical lectures, I think that I would be contributing to an evil plot. Besides, doesn't Google know this info anyway? It is not a secret.

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Covid-19 Vaccines are not Approved

Since Facebook, Twitter, and the other big tech monopolies are banning what they consider coronavirus misinformation, I looked at what Facebook official says about it:
Facts About COVID-19
These facts come from the World Health Organization. They correct common, untrue rumors about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they're approved

COVID-19 vaccine development was accelerated without impacting safety

Vaccine side effects are usually mild

No, they do not correct false rumors.

It is true that vaccine side effects are usually mild, and vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they're approved. However, the notice is extremely misleading, because the covid vaccines have not been approved.

Here is the official FDA list of Approved Vaccine Products, and there is no covid-19 vaccine on the list.

Here is the FDA explanation:

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under an EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. ...

FDA also expects manufacturers who receive an EUA to continue their clinical trials to obtain additional safety and effectiveness information and pursue licensure (approval).

In other words, the covid-19 vaccines have not yet met the standards for approval, but have been authorized for emergency use.

Thus the Facebook statement that "development was accelerated without impacting safety" is also false. The whole point of the FDA EUA program is to accelerate development, at the cost of safety. They are still doing the tests required for regular vaccine approval. The FDA is planning to approve the vaccines, once the safety standards have been met.

Consider how much Facebook is being scrutinized for its censorship policies, the above vaccine statement was probably one of the most carefully vetted statements that has ever been published. They had to know that these statements are false and misleading, but apparently decided that the greater good was to encourage more people to get vaccinated. They probably A/B tested these against true statements, and decided that the false statements are more effective.

I wonder if some of the vacine hesitancy is based on observing that our authorities are lying to us.

USA Today reports:

The nation's leading social media companies pledged to put warning labels on COVID-19 and COVID vaccines posts to stop the spread of falsehoods, conspiracy theories and hoaxes that are fueling vaccine hesitancy in the USA.

With the exception of Facebook, nearly all of them are losing the war against COVID disinformation. That’s the conclusion of a new report shared exclusively with USA TODAY. ...

Facebook told USA TODAY it has removed more than 16 million pieces of content on Facebook and Instagram for violating its COVID and vaccine policies since the beginning of the pandemic.

Facebook is promoting COVID misinformation.

Update: From a CDC official in a press conference, as reported in the NY Times:

DR. WALENSKY: … There’s increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors; less than 10 percent of documented transmission, in many studies, have occurred outdoors.
The paper goes on to explain that the true number is more like 0.1%. Yes, that is less than 10%, but appears to be a distortion attempting to justify outside mask requirements.

Update: I see that Facebook has corrected these statements, a week later, and now saya:

Vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they’re made available to the public
COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly while maintaining the highest safety standard possible
Vaccine side effects are usually mild
I guess I was not the only one complaining about the accuracy.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Judge cites "best interests" to take down flag

From a family court case:
Given that the child is of mixed race, it would seem apparent that the presence of the flag is not in the child's best interests, as the mother must encourage and teach the child to embrace her mixed race identity, rather than thrust her into a world that only makes sense through the tortured lens of cognitive dissonance. ... As such, while recognizing that the First Amendment protects the mother's right to display the flag, if it is not removed by June 1, 2021, its continued presence shall constitute a change in circumstances and Family Court shall factor this into any future best interests analysis.
This is where we are headed. Autocratic judges use crazy excuses and bogus laws to run peoples' lives.

There re mny things wrong here. A judge should not be imposing his political opinions. There is no good reason for judges to involve themselves with this silliness. Something "continued" is not "change in circumstances". A threat to change child custody should not be used for other policy goals.

A comment explains that even the underlying child custody law is hopelessly broken:

I’ll mention in passing that “the best interests of the child” is a really bad legal standard as a policy matter.

In the first place, in a normal unbroken family “the best interests of the child” is never, and properly never, the standard. There are all sorts of other interests to consider, and to be weighed and balanced – such as the interests of the parents, the other children, the grandparents, the neighbors, the children’s friends, the children’s friends parents. Family life simply does not operate on the basis of “the best interests of the child” – nor should it, nor could it.

Is Dad’s new job in North Carolina to be nixed because it disrupts the children’s schooling ? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s certainly not going to be decided on the basis of “the best interests of the child.” It’s going to be decided based on the reasonable interests of the family as a whole, as valued, weighed and balanced by the parents.

Secondly any standard of “best interests” taken literally requires the judge to defer to his own opinion of what is in the child’s best interests. There may be 12 different possible courses of action, which the judge may categorise – in his own scale of values – as :

1. the best course of action (1)
2. other excellent courses of action (3)
3. other reasonable courses of action (4)
4. unreasonable courses of action (4)

A sensible legal standard would be to allow the judge to substitute his own opinion for the opinions of the parent, only where the parent’s proposed course of action is unreasonable. That allows the parent to choose any reasonable (or excellent) course of action, and dissuades judicial megalomania.

But “the best interests of the child” has only one possible answer. The “best” one. Even if the judge thinks the parent’s choice is an excellent one, so long as the judge thinks there’s a better one, he substitutes it. Going back to Dad’s North Carolina job, Dad and the judge may weigh the benefits of extra family income, a more outdoor lifestyle, and cheaper housing as better for the family than the judge does. But it would be totally unreasonable for the judge’s weighting to trump Dad’s in a case where Dad’s plan is perfectly reasonable, if not “the best” according to some other people’s valuation.

The “best” is the enemy of the reasonable, and a dangerous inducement for judges to encroach in family decisions when encroachment is unnecessary and undesirable.

That's right. Saying "best interests" or "best interest" is hopeless and undesirable.

Here is a rant against the above decision on a family court blog. I am not sure about the ethnic analysis there, but if you give judges too much power, then you can expect their personal prejudices to apply.

It is crazy to give judges power over "best interests" to arbitrarily micro-mnges peoples' lives. But if you do, then I think you need to check the religious values of the judge given that discretion, becuse he will be imposing his personal values on others.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Sexual harassment paid off for Melinda Gates

Here is a 2017 story:
Melinda Gates is adding her voice to the many women across the world speaking out about sexual harassment.

The philanthropist and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation published an op-ed for Time on Monday to weigh in on the sexual harassment women face in Silicon Valley and the workplace in general, and reflecting on the immense power of the two short words that started a movement: "Me Too."

In the op-ed, titled: "'Me Too, Me Too, Me Too' Is Changing the World," Gates discusses the struggles women continually face with regard to sexual harassment, noting that while 2017 has been challenging, it's also been a remarkable time for women speaking up.

"2017 is proving to be a watershed moment for women in the workplace and beyond. Instead of being bullied into retreat or pressured into weary resignation, we are raising our voices — and raising them louder than ever before," she wrote. "What’s more, the world is finally listening."

Gates touched upon her own experiences in speaking with women around the world over the last two decades, and admitted that though the stories differ, the sentiment of each woman remains unchanging.

Her own experience was that she was working for Bill Gates at Microsoft, and became and instant billionaire when he married her. While their divorce announcement sounded neutral, press reports say that she was the one to file the court petition for divorce. She was probably planning it in 2017, and waited for the youngest child to reach age 18.

Update: The WSJ confirms that Melinda has been talking to divorce lawyers since 2019.

Update: If you have any doubt that Melinda is a feminist, see Why Equality Can't Wait where she complains that "there is nowhere on earth where women have achieved true equality, even here at home." Okay, so she is not equal to Bill Gates.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Explaining the decline of Compton California

NPR Radio gives this long explanation:
In the 1950s, the city of Compton was nearly all-white. But by the 1970s, it had turned majority Black ...

We're going to show you the forces responsible for this by visiting Compton in the 1960s. It's a city just south of downtown LA that was in the midst of transforming from all white to majority Black. ...

Oftentimes, when a neighborhood turns white, property values go up. And when a neighborhood turns Black, property values go down. ...

Real estate agents would tell these white homeowners that their houses were losing value by the day, so the homeowners would panic and sell.

CHANG: Then, those agents would turn around and sell those homes at inflated prices to Black buyers who were eager to make a start in better neighborhoods. ...

The really evil part of blockbusting, in my view, is that it perpetuated the notion that Black people in your neighborhood diminished value. And because of that perception, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. ...

In 1950, one-fifth of 1% of Compton's entire population was non-white. Just 10 years later, the city was 40% Black.

NPR Radio explains that Compton was a very nice and reasonably-priced place to live when it was all-White. Then Blacks moved in, with the assistance of real estate agents. Then the schools, parks, crime, and everything else got a lot worse, and property values went down.

This story has played out in many cities around the USA. Rarely is it so clearly blamed on real-estate agents encourging Blacks to move into White neighborhoods.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Libertarian pushes censorship at Facebook

Four months after Facebook indefinitely suspended former President Donald Trump's account, the company's oversight board backed the initial decision to throw him off the platform at the time. But the board may have opened the door to allowing Trump back on this fall. John Samples, vice president of the Libertarian Cato Institute, is a member of the board and explains the decision to Stephanie Sy.
Yes, the Libertarian defended censoring Trump for six months because Facebook has a right to prevent imminent harm.

Remember when Libertarians believed in freedom? And the ACLU believed in civil liberties?

I have come to believe that Libertarian organizations are doing more harm to the cause of freedom, than help.

Nothing Trump said was harmful, unless you just see harm in political opinions with which you disagree.

Liz Cheney seems to be still mad that a lot of Democrats refused to accept the legitimacy of her father's election in 2000, and calls it poisonous to question an election. Okay, that is her opinion. But if you believe in free speech, or any Libertarian principles, then surely a politician can question election procedures and outcomes.

A bunch of other free speech organizations put out statement:

Dear President Biden,

Congratulations on your election and your administration’s impressive first hundred days. We are writing as a coalition of human rights, free speech, democracy, and technology organizations to urge the creation of a federal interagency Disinformation Defense and Free Expression Task Force with domestic policy leadership.

As we think about the next four years, we are keenly aware of the challenge the rampant spread of disinformation poses to our nation. The prevalence of deceptions, propaganda, and conspiracy theories related to the 2020 election, COVID-19, and the recent Capitol insurrection illustrates the clear and present threat that disinformation poses to our democracy and national security. ...

Finally, disinformation is both an urgent and a rapidly evolving issue. The threat is protean. In order to make the Task Force effective we believe it must have twin mandates: to provide near term recommendations and to provide ongoing consultation and new initiatives over time. The Task Force should be mandated to deliver, within the first year of your administration, a comprehensive set of principles and overall policy, funding, and legislative recommendations for addressing disinformation and protection of free expression. It should also be mandated to provide periodic updates to these recommendations in recognition of the rapidly shifting cultural, political, regulatory, and technological environment.

In other words, a bunch of leftist groups that were previously committed to free speech, are now asking Pres. Biden to regulate it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

French lesbian wants to erase men

News from France:
A new generation of French activists emerging in the post #MeToo era are turning to lesbian feminism to denounce centuries of male oppression, inspiring the first march of lesbians in forty years but also sparking controversy.

French feminists are increasingly drawing on the tools of political lesbianism, which argues heterosexuality and patriarchy are inextricably linked, to contest pervading inequalities between the sexes.

This has caused deep rifts in public opinion -- while some laud it as evidence of a new method embraced by a younger generation with a greater intolerance of sexism, others criticise what they perceive as a war on the heterosexual lifestyle. ...

Ana, 34, had suffered from eating disorders, including bulimia, since her teenage years.

She credits becoming a lesbian last year with healing, as she now sees herself through the eyes of women.

"It becomes absolutely impossible to combine feminist ideas with an intimate life with men," she told AFP, a "Survivor of heterosexuality" placard in her hand.

"It makes you go crazy," she added.

- 'Hatred of men'? -

But there has also been a backlash. Philosopher Elisabeth Badinter, a veteran universal feminist voice, denounced in an article for the Journal du Dimanche last September an emerging "hatred of men" and "warlike neofeminism".

When journalist and local politician Alice Coffin's essay "The Lesbian Genius" came out in September, there was an outcry among France's political class, mostly due to one passage.

"It's not enough to help one another, we have to erase (men) from our minds, from our pictures, from our representations," Coffin wrote.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Experts say no herd immunity in sight

In case you are still following the sort of experts who are quoted by the NY Times, here is the ltest:
Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.

So wht ws the point to the lockdowns? Why were the schools closed? If this is right, then everyone is going to be exposed to the virus eventually anyway.

When they told us to flatten the curve, they did not tell us that it was going to make herd immunity impossible.

Monday, May 03, 2021

USA is no longer racist

CNN reports:
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday agreed with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott that the United States as a nation is not racist, but added that the country has a history of racism that cannot be overlooked.
I think thats right. NY Times adds:
Historically, however, there is no question that the country was founded by racists and white supremacists, and that much of the early wealth of this country was built on the backs of enslaved Africans, and much of the early expansion came at the expense of the massacre of the land’s Indigenous people and broken treaties with them.

Eight of the first 10 presidents personally enslaved Africans. In 1856, the chief justice of the Supreme Court wrote about the Dred Scott case, in an infamous ruling that would be issued in 1857, that Black people “had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

The country went on to fight a Civil War over whether some states could maintain slavery as they wished. Even some of the people arguing for, and fighting for, an end to slavery had expressed their white supremacist beliefs.

Abraham Lincoln said during his famous debates against Stephen A. Douglas in 1858 said that among white people and Black ones “there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of the superior position being assigned to the white man.”

Elsewhere it has an essay on How the N-Word Became Unsayable, where it says the word dozens of times, even tho it fired its best reporter for saying it privately in South America. and its article on Platonic Marriage has to include these definitions:
Asexual is defined as having no sexual feelings or desires; aromantic means having no desire for a romantic relationship. Hetero-monogamous is a sexual relationship between a man and a woman. Pansexual is defined as sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction toward people regardless of their sex or gender identity. A platonic marriage is a deep bond and lifelong commitment to a nesting partner you build a shared life with. Demisexual is defined as only being sexually attracted to someone with whom you have an emotional bond.
It also calls these people "queer", without defining it.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Finn to be Jailed for Quoting the Bible

Sputnik News:
Finnish Christian Politician Formally Charged for Hate Crime Against Homosexuals After Quoting Bible

The Finnish Prosecutor General has found that statements by former Christian Democrat leader and Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen are “derogatory and discriminatory against homosexuals” and exceed “the boundaries of free speech and religion”.

The Finnish Prosecutor General has announced formal charges against senior Christian Democrat Päivi Räsänen for hate speech that violates the dignity of homosexuals.

Following an investigation that took nearly two years, the prosecution appears to have collected enough evidence, and Finland’s Interior Minister between 2011 and 2015 now stands accused of three counts of incitements against a minority group, national broadcaster Yle reported.

The politician, who happens to be a devout Christian, will have to defend herself over social media posts in which she quoted Romans 1:24-27 to address the participation of the Finnish Lutheran Church (of which she is a member) in the (gay) Pride festivals, for a booklet about the Bible and sexuality titled “Male and Female He Created them” from back in 2004, and her statements in a radio talk show where she spoke on the topic “What would Jesus think about homosexuals?”

The Prosecutor General said Räsänen's statements were “derogatory and discriminatory against homosexuals” and “violate their equality and dignity”. Therefore, Räsänen “overstepped the boundaries of freedom of speech and religion and are likely to fuel intolerance, contempt and hatred”.

A conviction could potentially lead to a fine or up to two years of prison, as well as a ban on the content deemed as hateful.

So a prominent politician woman belonged to a church that participated in a festival that she believed to be against Biblical teachings, so she expressed her opinion. Ten years later, such discussions become socially offensive, so she gets jailed for it.

This is in Finland, which I would expect to be relatively immune to this sort of nonsense. Obviously not. Free speech is dead.

i It used to be that having civil rights meant being able to do want you want, say what you want, and associate with whom you want. Now it means silencing those who might disapprove.

Much of the Protestant Reformation meant being able to interpret the Bible by oneself, without taking orders from the Pope or similar authority. Wars were fought over this. No more. That right has quietly been abolished.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Israel is running its own Inquisition

The London Guardian reports:
A man in Jerusalem who has worked for years as a rabbi and raised his family in an ultra-Orthodox community has been accused of faking his religion to mask his true identity as a Christian missionary from New Jersey. ...

“The family has been under surveillance for at least seven years,” ...

The man’s wife, Nussan said, promoted Judaism on social media but “incorporated content from Christianity”. She died last year and was buried in Jerusalem with a Jewish funeral ceremony, Nussan said. ...

Behadrei Haredim, an ultra-Orthodox website that first reported the news, said the incident “blew up” a week ago after the man’s 13-year-old daughter told a classmate that Jesus “accepts everyone, even if they are wrong”. ...

The news website said evidence against the man and his family would be delivered to the interior ministry ...

They watch him for seven years, and the giveaway is that his 13yo daughter says Jesus accepts everyone! I guess no real Jew would say that.

Can you imagine a Christian priest or monk being threatened with deportation because he was secretly a Jew? I think that happened a couple of times in Spain, about 500 years ago.  

This is like one of those spy novels, where a deep cover spy does everyone perfectly except for some subtle flaw that exposes him. If so, he could now get deported.