The United Nations’ Select Concern for Arson in the Middle East

The fires around Israel have been burning for weeks, a direct result of the hundreds of arson attacks launched by Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza. And the United Nations has been silent.

Well, not exactly. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov made remarks in Gaza on July 15, 2018. In those remarks, he spoke about the situation from the Palestinian perspective. He spoke about the “humanitarian, political and security” situation of the people in Gaza, but not in Israel. The most telling indication of how Mladenov viewed the situation could perhaps be captured by this remark:

“For the last decade Palestinians in Gaza have lived through 3 conflicts. Israelis across the fence have lived with a constant threat of rocket attacks for the last decade. This cycle has to stop. It has to end.”

For the United Nations’ point person on the “Middle East Peace Process,” only the Palestinians lived through three wars, not the Israelis. The Israelis only had the “threat of rocket attacks,” not actual rocket attacks. Not abductions and infiltrations by underground tunnels. Not arson attacks through the air.

Simply threats. Not real violence.

It is not as though the UN doesn’t understand the dangers of arson. It has loudly spoken up about it – in the few cases when Israelis engaged in such attacks.

In July 2015, the UN loudly condemned Israelis. The Secretary General said at the time:

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s murder of a Palestinian child in the West Bank and calls for the perpetrators of this terrorist act to be promptly brought to justice. He expresses his deepest condolences to the family of Ali Dawabsha, who were themselves severely injured in the arson attack. Continued failures to effectively address impunity for repeated acts of settler violence have led to another horrific incident involving the death of an innocent life.  This must end.”

The UN would say the same about another attack in March 2016:

“I strongly condemn today’s arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists on the home of Palestinian Ibrahim Dawabsheh in the occupied West Bank village of Duma. Mr. Dawabsheh and his wife were at home during the attack and sustained light injuries as a result of smoke inhalation. I wish them both a full and speedy recovery.”

But when it comes to Israel, the UN cannot acknowledge the HUNDREDS of arson attacks by HUNDREDS of Palestinian Arabs.

Similarly, the UN will never call out “Muslim extremists,” even while it comfortably condemns so-called “Jewish extremists,” despite passing resolutions that specifically denounce calling out extremists by their religious identity.

The UN will also not call the Palestinians’ attacks “terrorist acts” as it does for Israelis. It actually does the exact opposite. It celebrates the Palestinians. It calls the arsonists allies as it stands with the people of Gaza:

“Our allies in this are the Palestinian people in Gaza themselves. Our partners are in the Palestinian government and everybody who wants to see an end to this current escalation.”

“I assure you that the UN will not leave Gaza. We will enhance our presence here to be more effective and more efficient in providing support to the Palestinian people.”

There is ZERO concern for Israelis suffering from arson. Israel is simply a counter-party with whom the UN negotiates on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs:

“We will continue working with the Israeli authorities to improve access and movement for Gaza and to allow for more imports and exports. Without an economy, another escalation can come very quickly.”


For several decades, the United Nations has contorted itself with new and unique definitions for “refugees” just for Palestinian Arabs. It continues to turn a blind eye to the evils of Hamas which it seeks to legitimize by ushering it into a coalition government, as well as ignoring the actions of other Palestinian arsonists.

The current Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres has saidThe international community has the legal right and the moral duty to act collectively to put an end to terrorism ‘in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes.’” If only the UN would live up to its own values with it came to Palestinian Arab terrorists.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Itamar and Duma

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

 

 

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The Time Factor in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

It is true. Time moves at a different pace for the players in the Middle East.

Looking for some proof?

  • The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said in September 2016: “We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine.” No joke. He asked Great Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration from 100 years prior that sought to facilitate the emigration of Jews to their holy land.
  • A poll of Palestinians conducted in March 2018 found that only 9% of Palestinians believed that there would be peace with Israel within 100 years.

Whether 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future, the Palestinians view the situation as stagnant. They hold onto perceived injuries of 100 years ago as if they just occurred, and imagine that they will feel the same in a century as well.

Is the Arab-Israel Conflict inherently unsolvable, or is the nature of how Arabs in the Middle East consider time simply different than how Israel and western societies relate to it?

Democracy-versus-Dictatorship

Political matters typically require immediate attention, such as budgets, trade policies, military contracts and establishing treaties. Governments seek to move at the pace of life – in the present – so the protagonists act to effectuate policies under their administration and ideally witness the associated results.

That mode of thinking is actually only relevant in a democracy. A government with a finite term that must seek re-election from its citizens is vulnerable to having a short stint in office. Its “present” is fleeting. However, a dictatorship has no set term limit of being in office or caring much about the opinions of its populace. Its “present” might extend for decades.

Consider the lengths of time that Arab leaders have stayed in power in the Middle East:

  • Syria. Bashar al-Assad has been in power for 17 years and counting while he decimates his country. His father Hafez al-Assad was the leader for 29 years.
  • Jordan. King Abdullah II has been king for over 19 years. He took over from his father King Hussein who was king for 47 years.
  • Saudi Arabia. The monarchs of Saudi Arabia have all been from the same family for generations, starting with Ibn Saud in 1932.
  • Egypt. Hosni Mubarak ruled for almost 30 years until the Arab Spring swept him out. The country tried democracy electing Mohamed Morsi, but he was quickly kicked out after just a year in office.
  • Libya. Muammar Gadaffi headed the country for 42 years until he was killed.
  • Tunisia. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ruled for 24 years until he was swept out by the Arab Spring

The list goes on, even for non-countries.

The Palestinian Authority held elections in 2005 to elect a president for a four-year term. The victor, Mahmoud Abbas, has not held elections since then and remains as the acting-President nine years after his term expired.

The leadership in the Arab world is entrenched. The only method of deposing the leaders and changing the direction of the country is often by assassination, coup or civil war, such as those raging in Syria and Yemen.

In contrast, democracies do not stay entrenched, as the citizens vote for new leaders every few years. Healthy, peaceful democracies have established term limits for the highest office. As such, the leaders in democracies are cognizant of the most precious resource – time. They know that they have a short window to take action and make their mark on society. They can stretch that time by being very mindful of their citizenry, but ultimately, the time remains short.

A dramatic contrast in the orientation of time between democracies and dictatorships.

Secular-versus-Religion

When it comes to the Middle East, religion plays a significant role in politics and government.

Many of the wars that rage in the Middle East stem from the divide within Islam between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Iran and Iraq are predominantly Shiite, while much of the rest of the region is Sunni.

The civil war in Syria is as much about the majority Sunni Muslims fighting the Shia dictator that rules the country, as it is about a country seeking a new direction. Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war in Yemen about the future direction of that country, whether it will be headed by Shia or Sunni leaders.

In the Middle East, the battle between religions and sects has the added layer of the sensitivity regarding holy sites.

The region is packed with holy sites for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The fights for control extend beyond physical land and resources, to the spiritual centers for different people.

These spiritual locations operate on a different plane. They exist beyond time.

When competing parties fight over control of holy sites, they operate in the dimension of the divine, and consequently engage in a timeless dance. The earthly connection to the Heavens is eternally rooted in a handful of discrete locations, and it is impossible to “walk away” from those anchors. To do so would be akin to being a traitor and apostate. Relinquishing a holy site to a another sect – or even worse, a different religion – would forever tarnish a person’s reputation and that of his entire family. It would be seen as the ultimate failure, an embarrassment.

Conversely, a person could achieve eternal honor by becoming a ‘shahid,’ a martyr in Arabic, by fighting to the death to protect and/or seize a religious site.

The risk-reward mathematics drives a bloody calculation. On one side, there is a consideration of compromise and relinquishing some control over holy land to enable a better day-to-day life for one’s people, but forever be viewed as a traitor to one’s religion. On the other, is the fight for a holy cause that may not yield any benefits for one’s community, but ensures a revered space within one’s society. Is a better job for a few years a worthy trade-off to an eternity with 72 virgins? (Out of curiosity, do they stay virgins for eternity, meaning there is never any sex?)

Israel and Palestinians

Within the Islamic world stretching from Morocco to Indonesia, lies the only Jewish State, Israel.

Israel is more than a little unique in the Middle East. As the sole true democracy, its leadership changes often according to the desire of the Israeli citizens. The prime minister and parliament (Knesset) may be right-of-center at one time, and left-of-center shortly thereafter.

The current Israeli Prime Minister is Benjamin Netanyahu who has won several elections, and may set a record for the longest serving leader of the country, perhaps passing David Ben Gurion if he stays in power until July 16, 2019. The democracy has not instituted term limits as it is still in a state of war with many of its neighbors.

The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been in power since 2005, not by winning several elections, but by not conducting any. If he had, he would have been thrown from office many years ago by a population that considers him to be both corrupt and ineffective at governing (he’s great at stealing).

Even without a country, Abbas is a dictator, holding onto power without the blessing of his constituents. He stands above his people and above the law as he tries to grasp at the penumbra on the holy land. He imagines himself a timeless champion fighting on behalf of nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide against the “Zionist Invasion.”

From his vantage point, Abbas can look back in time 100 years as though he were talking to someone in the back seat of a car. The Balfour Declaration of 100 years ago is still yapping, and the Jews keep piling on and will seemingly overload the car over the next 100 years. Time only changes the number of Jews in the car, but will not change his attitude towards Jews regarding their rights to sit in the car, let alone take the wheel.

For their part, the Israelis have made many offers for peace both with Palestinian Arabs as well as Egypt and Jordan over the years. Leaders like Ehud Barak and Ehud Omert knew that they had short windows in office to make a better more peaceful future for their citizens. They attempted different approaches towards compromise with the PA, only to be shut down each time. Real compromises, even in the very small Jewish Holy Land, which received no responses.

Dictators like Abbas have a different calculus, especially since he will be second-guessed by dozens of other dictators that have an interest in Muslim holy sites in Israel. The attitude and approach cannot be moderated by time. The Palestinian Arabs feel the same way:

Time is irrelevant. Feelings trump facts and frustrate a pathway to peace. But it doesn’t matter. Peace is not the goal. Control of the land and the holy sites are paramount. Issues like the economy, security, healthcare and rights always rank at the bottom of every Palestinian poll.

The unaccomplished former US Secretary of State John Kerry understood the Arab world’s perception of time. Kerry suggested in January 2018 that the Palestinians “hold on and be strong,” and “play for time, that he [Abbas] will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.” Hey, Abbas! You are a dictator and Israel and the United States are democracies. You can wait it out. Screw today. Stick it out and wait for a better payday.

Play for time. Only democracies have a shot clock.


The Western World views time very differently than the Arab Middle East. As secular democracies, the West seeks to enjoy and improve life in the here-and-now, while the Arab Middle East is a world of religious dictatorships where time is not a critical factor. Any negotiations between parties that view time so differently must be mindful in considering short-term and long-term situations and goals. Specifically, a democracy must adapt to either be willing to wait forever and show no rush towards concluding a deal (adopt the Arab approach), or demonstrate that time is an enemy to the dictatorship (force the Arabs to play with a shot clock too).

Israel has slowly learned the lesson. Will the rest of the West?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Failing Negotiation 101: The United States

Failing Negotiation 102: Europe

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Nikki Haley Channels Robert Aumann at the UN Security Council

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Would You Rather Have Sovereignty or Control

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

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The U.S. is Stealing Real Choices from the Voters

The United States of America prides itself on its democracy.

Americans strongly believe that the country gives its citizens the right to choose the course of their lives, much as they can choose to elect a leader of their liking. It is a mantra that President Abraham Lincoln encapsulated in his prayer for at Gettysburg in 1863, about freedom in the USA, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.

Embedded in those words is the notion that ALL people have the ability to serve in the U.S. government for the benefit of ALL Americans.

But remarkably, there are some families that seemingly have a stranglehold on political office. They have names like Bush, Clinton, Kennedy and Cuomo. Brothers, sons, wives and cousins with the same last name show up as presidents, senators, governors and congressmen. Decade after decade.

The notion that any and all Americans have a shot at being a leader in government feels more like a fairy tale than a foundation principle of the country.

And it is rooted in corrupt mechanisms that those people in power use to cement their positions in government.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
and the Women’s Equality Party

Andrew Cuomo is the current Governor of the State of New York. He served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton Administration from 1997 to 2001 (often accused of creating the foundational mess for the great housing and stock market collapse in 2008-9 due to encouraging banks to provide housing loans to people whom could not afford them) before becoming Attorney General of New York and then Governor.

Not coincidentally, his father Mario Cuomo also served as governor of New York.

But it is not just the famous name, lineage and connections that help cement Andrew Cuomo in power (his brother Chris Cuomo is a famous TV journalist). It is also very much about his gaming the system in his favor.

In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo – the most powerful Democrat in the State of New York – decided to launch another separate political party. If that sounds too outrageous to be true, you haven’t looked into New York politics.

Noting how many women were voting Democratic, Andrew Cuomo created the Women’s Equality Party. A new party, beyond his Democratic Party, solely focused on women’s issues.

And who did the Women’s Equality Party support for governor? A woman? Of course not. It backed its creator, Andrew Cuomo.

When an average New Yorker went in to the voting booth to elect a governor in 2014, did he or she get to choose from a wide array of candidates? There were many parties listed on the ballot including the Green Party and the Independence Party and the Reform Party…. so many choices beyond the major Democratic and Republican Parties.

But the long list of parties posted a fiction. There was no choice.

Andrew Cuomo was not only listed as a candidate by the Democrats, but by the Working Families Party, the Independence Party, and the Women’s Equality Party. Rob Astorino of the Republican Party also showed up under the Conservative Party and the Stop-the Common-Core Party (now called the Reform Party).

Two individuals showed up seven times to voters!

How impressive these candidates must have been that so many parties endorsed them! And the Women’s Party endorsed Cuomo too! He must be extremely pro-women, even if no voter could recall anything he did for women as the sitting governor. (Of course there was no footnote on the voting form that Cuomo himself created and named this new party to ensnare those single-issue voters).

But the Cuomo machinations were not done.

You see, New York State has some funky rules for getting on the Voter Registration Form. A party must have at least 50,000 votes in the governor contest to appear as an “official party” over the next four years. For Cuomo’s new entity to get staying power, he needed to funnel some of the votes that would normally come to him via the Democratic, Working Families and Independence Parties to come through the Women’s Equality Party to establish it for the next several years.

And wouldn’t you be shocked to learn, that of the over 2 million votes that Cuomo received in 2014, just over 53,000 – barely enough – came from the Women’s Equality Party. Just enough to be on the New York Voter Registration Forms. What a happy coincidence! Wink.

Not only did New Yorkers have few choices for governor despite the multiple parties in the race, they were deceived and manipulated by Cuomo and the New York Board of Elections.

Libertarians – The Invisible Third Party

In the 2014 New York governor contest, the Green Party and Libertarian Party each promoted a distinct candidate not named Cuomo or Astorino. The Green Party candidate won almost 5% of the vote, but the Libertarian candidate only gathered 17,000 votes. Due to New York State rules of needing 50,000 votes to be an “official party,” the Libertarians are now invisible on New York State Voter Registration Forms.

VoterRegistration2015

The Libertarian Party had the third greatest number of votes in the 2016 presidential election. The Libertarians won more votes than all of the minor parties COMBINED.

But if you want to register as a Libertarian in New York, you have to skip over eight other choices and go to the “Other” category and type in “Libertarian.”

Don’t think there’s an impact? Here are the totals of registered voters in New York as of April 2018:

  • Democrat           6,201,033
  • Republican        2,823,758
  • Independent         481,831
  • Conservative        155,500
  • Working Families   46,453
  • Green                    29,787
  • Other                       7,329 (including Libertarian)
  • Women’s Equality    4,675

So how does the Women’s Equality Party get 53,000 votes when fewer than 5,000 people are registered with the party? Well there are over 2.6 million people that didn’t affiliate with any party. And of course, there’s Cuomo’s influence that helped make it happen.

It would have been so much easier to just be a politician from royalty and cook up your own political party…

The Majors at the Margins
and the Minors at the Edges

Voters are increasingly disillusioned by the Democratic and Republican Parties, which have become more and more extreme as they fight to appeal to the excited base at the margins through their respective primaries. As of 2017, Liberals accounted for 48% of the Democratic Party, dwarfing the middle of the road Conservative Democrats which are down to just 15% of the party (and shrinking). The Republicans’ situation is not better. To review the Republicans on the Judicial Committee which approves judges, is to look at a cast of characters that are all almost exclusively Conservative purists (only three of eleven members had a GovTracks rating of under 0.85 – Chuck Grassley; Lindsay Graham; and Ben Sasse).

Meanwhile the small niche single-issue parties like the Green Party continue on their extremist ways. They either push an extremist candidate like Jill Stein (Green Party), or endorse the Democrat or Republican candidate, to stay relevant and on the voter registration forms. Ideological purists on one hand, or tools of the establishment and election committees on the other.

The dynamic has led to a false array of choices which have become more extreme, and single issue marginal candidates. You can either binge watch Law & Order on Netflix or three different cable channels OR you can watch SproutTV and wait for the cable channels to drop it from the visible universe.

Needed Overhaul

It is time to dramatically overhaul our election system to bring genuine mainstream choices back to voters.

  1. Any political party that wins at least 2.5% of the votes in the last presidential election should be on every state’s voter registration form
  2. If a political party does not field a distinct candidate from the other parties for two consecutive election cycles, it gets removed from the state’s voter registration form
  3. If a political party does not field a distinct candidate from the other parties for three consecutive election cycles, it does not appear on the election form
  4. The threshold of reaching the voter registration form should be 1.0% of the gubernatorial election, not 50,000 (in New York). An absolute number is unfair, especially if few voters turn out, and it should become a standard for all states.
  5. Any candidate from any party that calls for violence against a U.S. citizen must be removed from the ballot. It is time to bring back the most basic level of civility.

The founding fathers of the United States imagined a country based on the principles of freedom and liberty and feared the abuse of power and the coercive nature of people who played games with election process, money and judges. President James Madison may have had Andrew Cuomo (and his family, appointees and political parties) in mind when he said:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Americans are being robbed of quality moderate choices for leadership positions, and the runaway train seems to be just gathering steam.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Naked Democracy

Let’s Make America VOTE Again

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

In The Margins

In Defense of Foundation Principles

Losing Rights

A Country Divided

“Coastal Liberal Latte-sipping Politically-correct Out-of-touch Folks.”

Is Calling Someone a ‘Nazi’ Simply a ‘Poor Choice of Words?’ Ask a Westchester Democrat

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The Democratic Party of No Takes on the Supreme Court

There was a time when bipartisanship had a place in Washington, D.C., especially as it related to nominations to the Supreme Court.

In July 1993, Democratic President Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsberg to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. She was approved unanimously by both the Democrats and Republicans on the Judicial Committee, even though she was – and continues to be – an extreme liberal in her rulings.

The following year in July 1994, Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer to be an Associate Justice. Like Bader Ginsberg, he was approved by an 18-to-0 margin. Every Republican approved his nomination.

All of that changed a decade later under a Republican administration.

When Republican President George W. Bush nominated Stephen Roberts in September 2005 to be Chief Justice, he was only approved by a 13-to-5 margin. All ten Republicans on the committee approved him, but only three of eight Democrats approved the nomination (Patrick Leahy of Vermont; Herb Kohl of Wisconsin; and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin).

Samuel Alito’s January 2006 nomination was even more contentious. While all ten Republicans approved his nomination, none of the eight Democrats voted in favor of him. Zero percent.

The Republicans have never uniformly voted against Democratic presidential Supreme Court nominees including Sonia Sotamayor in July 2009 (6-to-1 against) and Elana Kagan in July 2010 (6-to-1 against). But the Democrats would be absolutists and do it again under Republican President Donald Trump in April 2017, with all nine Democrats opposing Neil Gorsuch.

The Democratic Party of No has promised to take a similar stance for the replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy. Left wing-radical Senator Elizabeth Warren has been calling on Republicans to vote against an “extremist” Trump nominee. Quite a bizarre and telling comment from an extreme liberal senator and after Justice Gorsuch proved himself to be a more moderate than either Bader Ginsberg and Sotamayor.


Senator Elizabeth Warren

The Democrats have become so disoriented in the far left fringe, that even moderate Conservatives are considered unacceptable extremists. Democratic President Barack Obama noted that his party had run off the rails after the 2016 presidential loss saying that “Democrats are characterized as coastal liberal latte-sipping politically-correct out-of-touch folks.” It is not a characterization. It has become a fact.

Here are the Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee (and their GovTracks ideological score, with 0.0 being the most extreme liberal, 0.5 being a perfect moderate and 1.0 being a full conservative) who will consider the nominee to replace Justice Kennedy:

  • Diane Feinstein (0.18)
  • Patrick Leahy (0.23)
  • Dick Durbin (0.17)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (0.19)
  • Amy Klobuchar (0.38)
  • Christopher Coons (0.39)
  • Richard Blumenthal (0.16)
  • Mazie Hirono (0.18)
  • Cory Booker (0.21)
  • Kamala Harris (0.14)

As seen above, almost all of the Democrats on the committee are extreme liberals with the exceptions of Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. They are the the keys to a rationale bipartisan review of the Supreme Court nominee. Contact Senator Coons and Senator Klobuchar to let them know of your desire to have a thoughtful – not knee-jerk – review of this most important position.

“I am part of First.One.Through, a group of people dedicated to a thoughtful and honest review of issues in the hopes of bettering our society.

I am writing in regards to your role on the Judiciary Committee. Republicans have NEVER unanimously rejected a Democratic president’s nominee, while the Democrats have done that for each of the last two Republican nominees. I ask that you fight the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party of No and give a thoughtful hearing to the Supreme Court nominee. My sincere thanks.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

I Love 5-to-4

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

In The Margins

A Deplorable Definition

American Hate: The Right Targets Foreigners, The Left Targets Americans

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This July 4, I am Leaving the Democratic Party that Left Me Long Ago

I have been increasingly unhappy with the far-left direction of the Democratic Party for several years. Its horrible handling of international affairs under Obama, its refusal to actively combat antisemitism in preference to “Islamophobia,” the welcome mat for Senator Bernie Sanders and Cornel West, the refusal of party members to actively rebuke racist Louis Farrakhan are just some of the reasons.

I held off leaving the party when it elected Tom Perez as head of the Democratic National Committee instead of alt-left wing Congressman Keith Ellison who was supported by liberal stalwarts including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer and Sanders. I thought the party had dodged a bullet.

But that was just wishful thinking. The Democratic Party has been hijacked and it doesn’t look like it will be returning.

On July 3, 2018, the current Chair of the DNC, Tom Perez praised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who had recently won a primary. He described this self-described Democrat-Socialist in the mold of Bernie Sanders as “the future of our party.

It is a future of extremism of which I want no part.

Libertarians / Conservative Democrats like me have been vanishing from the Democratic Party for a decade. From 2000 through 2009, The percentage of Conservative Democrats was relatively stable, going from 23% to 22%, while the Liberal wing grew from 28% to 32%. While a minority of the party, I still felt that I had a voice and a place, as the moderates still had the largest slice at over 40%.

That disappeared since the Obama inauguration.

As shown in the graph above from the Pew Research Center, Liberals account for 48% of the party as of 2017, while the Conservative branch has shrunk to just 15%. The DNC Chair and 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have taken notice and are endorsing far-left candidates and positions. It is time for moderates and conservative Democrats to go.

To celebrate this great country’s Independence Day, I will change my party affiliation which I have had for several decades. If you live in New York, you can use this form to join me. If you live in another state, look up your Board of Elections to find the form.

Roughly 44% of U.S. adults identify as Democrats. While I used to be part of that group, I no longer recognize the party that has been seized by the alt-left that now more closely resembles the Green Party and Working Families Party then the Democratic Party of 20 years ago.

Please join me in saying goodbye.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

American Hate: The Right Targets Foreigners, The Left Targets Americans

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Fake Definitions: Pluralism and Progressive / Liberalism

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

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When Only Republicans Trust the Police

I grew up in suburbia.

I was taught from the earliest age that the police were our community’s brave protectors. In case of danger, they were to be called in an instant.

On hot summer days, my mother would send me out with cans of soda for the policemen that sat in their cars in the neighborhood (the old larger cans that would actually quench one’s thirst; not the miniature cans of today that just wet the lips). It was a small token of appreciation for being out in a hot day for us. We appreciated our guardians.

And I never thought any differently until years later.

For college, I moved just a few miles – but an ideological continent away – to the big city. I remained there after I graduated and started work. A short time later, I was called for my first jury duty.

On my first day, I was ushered with a pool of jurists into a large room by a manager of the court who gave us a short run-down of the case in question: a robbery-and-assault which was witnessed by a police officer. It basically came down to a he-said/ he-said assessment of who was telling the truth. The judge asked if anyone had any reason why they could not be impartial in the case.

I raised my hand.

I explained that all things being equal, I was inclined to believe the police officer and give greater weight to his testimony. When the judge asked why I would be partial to the police, I explained my upbringing of always trusting police officers.

The pool of jurists burst out laughing.

The judge went nuts.

She lashed out that my explanation was ridiculous and worthy of a child. She asked whether I was just looking for a quick exit to my corporate job. Hundreds of eyes from the multi-ethnic city jurists bored into my pale white skin.

But I didn’t blush of embarrassment; I shrunk in disbelief. Was I still in America?

Now, decades later, I often think about that day.

  • I think about it when I read articles about “white privilege.” Do non-Whites engage in society differently than I do?
  • I recall it when I read of unarmed Blacks being shot by police. Is race a dividing line in dealing with police?
  • I consider the gap between the red counties and blue counties across the country every election cycle, particularly in 2016. Is there a genuine difference between the experiences of people in large cities versus the rest of America?


2016 Presidential Election Map by County (red=Republican; blue=Democrat)
Source: BrilliantMaps

I am aware that the U.S. has become more divided regarding politics. But where is the fault line when it comes to government protection? Is America divided by race, by a rural-urban divide, by liberal-versus-conservative, old-versus-young, married-versus-single as it relates to something as basic as the police?

Our Common Defense

The preamble of the U.S. Constitution outlines the principle roles of our government:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”

In taking apart the opening clause, one can see how liberals and conservatives view the role(s) of government in starkly different terms:

  • form a more perfect union,” related to the establishment of the country in binding the colonies into a single entity. It may be poetic to consider 300+ million people married to each other today, but the union relates to our common citizenship.
  • establish justice,” has a very different meaning to progressives that seek to “establish justice” by flattening society and providing promotions to those falling behind, and conservatives that seek to uphold the rule of law;
  • insure domestic tranquility,” is a broad phrase and could cover freedom of speech (either protecting or curtailing) and religion, strengthening the economy, or preserving peace;
  • provide for the common defence,” can only be read one way, but may be perceived differently as reviewed here;
  • promote general welfare,” to liberals means freebies for individuals like free schools and free healthcare, while for conservatives it means governmental projects for society like highways, hospitals and parks;
  • and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” means the establishment of the rule of law, including the ability to prosecute such laws. Liberals could read “liberty to ourselves” as covering such rights as abortion for nine months of pregnancy, while conservatives could read “our posterity” to specifically limit abortion which undermines the unborn.

While various roles of our government can be interpreted very differently by liberals and conservatives, there is no misreading the role of “common defence,” to protect our borders, land and citizens from foreign actors with our armed forces. There is no question that each domestic goal can only be secured through a local police force.

But there is a swath of America that views the nation’s police and military with distrust.

Urban-versus-Rural

Based on my experience at jury duty, I thought the cynicism for our officers came from people in the cities. But the Cato Institute did work on the subject and concluded:

“People who live in densely populated areas are more likely to come into contact with officers. City centers also are more likely to have higher crime rates, which may increase the likelihood one has an encounter with law enforcement. However, actual differences in favorability toward the police by community type are rather small. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of individuals living in the suburbs have a favorable view of the police, as do 60% of those living in cities and 61% residing in rural areas.”

The fault line isn’t population density.

Race

The nation’s local and national protective forces have been increasing the number of minorities for the past few decades.

As of 2015, minorities made up 40% of the active military, up from just 25% in 1990. The percentage of minorities in local police forces doubled between 1987 and 2013, with Latinos making up the largest jump (just as they did in the US military).

But despite the increase of Blacks and Latinos in the police and military, Blacks continued to view the armed forces with distrust at the same levels as the 1970’s according to the Cato Institute. From 1970 to 2016, the percent of Whites with a favorable view of police was relatively constant, going from 67% to 68%. Over the same time, the percent of Blacks viewing police favorably dropped from 43% to 40%.

Blacks were skeptical of law enforcement regardless of income level, whereas Whites and Hispanics grew more comfortable with police as their incomes grew. Further, Black people were distrustful of police at almost the same levels whether they were Democrats, Independents or Republicans. Not so for Whites and Hispanics, whose positive opinions grew as their politics moved rightward.

Democrat-versus-Republican

Just as Black people were unlikely to change their feelings about law enforcement regardless of their income, party affiliation or increase in the number of Black people on police forces, Democrats – and liberals in particular – also barely change their distrust of the police. Whether the Democrats were White, Black or Hispanic and regardless of income level, they were wary of the police. However, Independents, Libertarians and Republicans all saw movement towards greater faith in the police as incomes grew in both the Hispanic and White communities.

Democrats that are White, Latino or Black all view the criminal justice system as unfair to minorities, with only 26%, 17% and 13%, thinking that the system was fair, respectively. The number jumped dramatically for Republicans that are White and Hispanic, but not for Blacks, with 67%, 45% and 15% stating that the system was fair, respectively.

Age

Older people are much more likely to have a favorable attitude towards police. People 65 and older had an 82% positive scoring for the police, higher than any group. The favorability scoring dropped to 70%, 54% and 53% for ages 45-64, 30-44 and 18-29, respectively.

Young Liberals and Blacks Distrust Police

The Cato Institute attempted to develop some underlying reasons behind the persistent negative feelings that Blacks and Liberals have for police.

One theory relayed to a “Respect for Authority (RAI) Index.” It found that Conservatives scored much higher (44%) than Liberals (16%). People that scored high on respecting authority were more likely to grant police latitude in their criminal prosecution. Young people are more likely to push against all forms of authority, including police, while Black people feel that the system has been set against them for generations.

Another poll examined the asymmetry of protecting the innocent versus punishing criminals. Liberals were much more likely to let more criminals run free if it meant avoiding incarcerating innocent people. Conservatives were more likely to pursue more arrests, even if it meant that innocent people would be caught up in the net. Not surprisingly, such attitudes correlate to Conservatives favoring a strong police presence, while Liberals favored a weaker force.

Black Lives Matter –
A Liberal and Black Coalition Against Police

A core principle of the local and national government is the protection of its citizens, and Liberals and Blacks believe that the government is failing in that regard. Liberals prefer empathy to order, and assistance to prosecution. Police sit on the wrong side of that equation for all Liberals, regardless of race, age or income.

Black people are still suspicious of the police, despite the large increase in their numbers in law enforcement and eight years of a Black president. They believe the anti-Black bias is deep and systemic.

These two groups coalesced into the Black Lives Matter movement a few years ago.

As stated on the BLM website:

“Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state.

Enraged by the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, and inspired by the 31-day takeover of the Florida State Capitol by POWER U and the Dream Defenders, we took to the streets. A year later, we set out together on the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, in search of justice for Mike Brown and all of those who have been torn apart by state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Forever changed, we returned home and began building the infrastructure for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which, even in its infancy, has become a political home for many.”

Liberals attached themselves to the movement and added LGBTQ, environmental matters, minimum wage and a host of other issues into a movement that was primarily concerned with perceived police brutality against Blacks. The intersectionality of rage against the police was natural for the Liberals anyway.

Where Do We Go From Here

The polarization in the United States regarding a range of issues including unions, abortion and minimum wage all pale relative to the divide that exists in the perception of law enforcement, which is a core tenet of our government. Our society cannot thrive with only “red” cops (Republican-loved police), nor can it survive the anarchy proposed by Liberals. Increasing the number of minorities on police forces has yielded no change in attitude, nor has increased wealth.

Therefore, new approaches should be considered:

  • Elevate Hispanics. The Hispanic community has been joining both police forces and the national armed forces in great numbers. Their admiration for law enforcement has grown significantly. Society should reward both efforts by continuing to hire and promote the talented Hispanic officers, including to prominent positions.
  • Positive Police in Schools. Do not let the Black Lives Matter run the agenda in schools teaching young people to hate the police, and do not only have police officers in school when investigating a crime. Have officers talk to students and get to know them in a positive class and hallway format. Visit the local precinct and celebrate holidays together with police, possibly side-by-side in homeless shelters (versus just going to shelters without the police).
  • Dial back “authority.” If Liberals and Blacks are sensitive about authority, then police should consider selectively managing such authority, such as being more selective in “stop-and-frisk”programs.

America’s police and military are for all citizens and should be appreciated and trusted by everyone. If people are not learning to respect and appreciate our protective forces in their homes, we must do out utmost to promote such message in schools and society at-large.


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I Love 5-to-4

There’s No White Privilege for Prostitutes in Minnesota

Fact Check Your Assumptions on American Racism

Elizabeth Warren’s Massachusetts is the Most Racist State in the Country

American Hate: The Right Targets Foreigners, The Left Targets Americans

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Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

America’s Closed Doors

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The Right Stuff, Then and Now

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I Love 5-to-4

Sports games are most exciting when they are close. Whether soccer, hockey, baseball or whatever, I am most engaged when the two competing sides are battling for victory to the very end.

It is not only that the games are most thrilling when the score is close, but the quality of the play is heightened. Closely matched teams bring out the best in the teams and individual players.

And so it is on the Supreme Court.

Just one day ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he would retire from the Supreme Court. Kennedy, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988, has been considered the most balanced of the justices. His rulings crossed between the court’s four more conservative and four more liberal voices. He was often the deciding factor in rulings.

The Supreme Court used to have more than a single ideological middle-of-the road justice. Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, also appointed by Reagan, had a balanced voting record between the liberal and conservative camps. During the 1988 to 2006 time period, Kennedy and O’Conner provided voices to both the liberal and conservative camps.

Today, the remaining balanced justice is Chief Justice Stephen Roberts, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2005. While he was counted on as a conservative voice early in his tenure, the past few years have seen the Chief Justice side with both ends of the ideological divide.

Overall, American society and politics are very divided today. According to polls, both Democrats and Republicans have become much more extreme in their views. The Democratic party continues to lurch towards Socialism and anarchy, while the Republican party is advancing more conservative and nationalistic themes. It is through these extremists lenses that Americans look at the Supreme Court, and claim that the court has never been more polarized.

But in fact, the court has never had a narrower band of opinions than today. Only Justice Clarence Thomas is considered a far-flung Conservative, scoring above a 3 on the ideological metric in the chart above, the only Conservative justice scoring above a 2. Meanwhile, there are two liberal judges scoring above a 2, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotamayor. The other justices are towards the ideological middle.

And I am happy about that.

As in sports, I believe that there is merit to a balanced approach in law. Opposing views bring out the best arguments, with each side refining the other. America’s legal system is best served when the balance of the court includes both liberals and conservative minds, weighing the law and society in its legal rulings.

Ronald Reagan, one of the greatest of the American presidents and the best of the modern era, gave the court a lasting stamp with two moderate conservatives and a brilliant staunch conservative mind in Antonin Scalia. As today’s court sits with an equal number of conservatives and liberals, hopefully President Donald Trump will take a similar path in appointing a moderate Conservative to fill the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy, keeping the balance in America’s Supreme Court.


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Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

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Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

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Racist Calls of Apes and Pigs? Forget Rosanne. Let’s Talk Islam

On June 17, 2018, the New York Times printed an editorial about Racism titled “The Racist Trope that Won’t Die.” The author, Brent Staples, called out Rosanne Barr for resurrecting a slander against a Black advisor to President Barack Obama “as the offspring of an ape.

Staples described how the accusation of blacks being descendants of apes was originally promoted by slave traders and historians to justify slavery and lynchings. While such attitude “has been pushed to the margins of the public square,” according to Staples, “it has maintained a pernicious grip on the American imagination.

Staples would go on to illustrate how Black people were more likely to be convicted of a crime, receive a longer sentence, and were more likely to be shot even if unarmed compared to White people. He argued that the “pernicious grip” of imagining a Black man as an animal accounted for the disparity and injustice befalling people of color.

Needless to say, Staples was happy about ABC’s cancellation of the Rosanne Barr show, but he viewed the sentiment of the Barr comment as much deeper and systemic in the American pysche.

“centuries of institutionalized racism – and the dehumanization of black people upon which it relied – have left an indelible imprint on how Americans process blackness.

“The notion that the country might somehow move past this deeply complex, historically layered issue by assuming an attitude of “color blindness” is naive. The only real hope of doing that is to openly confront and talk about the powerful, but submerged, forms of discrimination that have long since supplanted the undisguised version.”

Staples essentially said that all Americans have a variety of racism, some are just more disguised. The quick dismissal of Barr was appropriate, but a simple tonic. Americans need to have a deeper conversation about race.

Now imagine the same situation as described above ratcheted up by many decibels to an entirely new deafening level:

  • Imagine that it wasn’t a solitary hated black person being called an ape, but all black people being disparaged
  • Imagine the person making such accusation was not a comedian, but a prophet
  • Imagine society not shutting down the comedian, but echoing the vile words for everyone to hear across the world
  • Imagine that the racism is not even discussed

That is Islamic anti-Semitism.

Islamic Anti-Semitism

The root of Islamic antisemitism is regrettably found in Islam’s holiest text, the Quran:

  • Surah 5:59-60:Say, “O People of the Scripture [Jews], do you resent us except [for the fact] that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient? Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah ? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.
  • Surah 7:166: “So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, “Be apes, despised.“”
  • Surah 2:65: “And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the sabbath, and We said to them, “Be apes, despised.”

These are unfortunate verses. But it is also important to note that many verses in the Bible can also be read in a very unfavorable light. Many moderate Muslims today do NOT believe that the Islamic prophet Mohammed despised all Jews and that the sentences are not to be read literally. However, there are many powerful Muslims throughout the world that do hold such antisemitic views.

Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI list several examples of Muslim clerics and leaders calling Jews the “sons of apes and pigs.”

  • Former President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi in September 2010: “No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track. Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.
  • Sheikh Taleb Al-Silwadi in the Palestinian Authority Daily in December 2012 wrote “the strong Jihad fighter, adhering to its religion and faith, challenging the tyranny and oppression of the Zionists, those descendants of monkeys and pigs who thought they could deny us our strength.”
  • Teacher on official PA TV September 2013: “The Israeli occupation authorities lock the Al-Aqsa Mosque from morning until afternoon. At this time, the assistants of the monkeys and pigs (i.e., Jews) and the herds of settlers can enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., Temple Mount plaza) without anything stopping them.”
  • Poet on official Palestinian Authority TV September 2014: “O, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets; You have been condemned to humiliation and hardship
    O Sons of Zion, O most evil among creations; O barbaric apes, O wretched pigs
  • Danish imam Mohammed al-Khaled Samha in October 2014: “How can we – or any free Muslim with faith in his heart – accept the division of Palestine between [the Palestinians] and a gang of Jews, the offspring of apes and pigs?
  • Jordanian preacher Ibrahim al-Namarna in November 2014: “Oh Allah, destroy the Americans and the Shiites. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews, for they cannot contend with you. Oh Allah, elevate the Al-Aqsa Mosque until Judgment Day. Oh Allah, elevate the Al-Aqsa Mosque until the Judgment Day. Expel the brothers of apes and pigs from Palestine in humiliation and degradation.
  • PA cleric on official Palestinian Authority TV January 2015: “Many Muslims are being harmed these days by a group whose hearts were sealed by ‎Allah. ‘He made of them [Jews] apes and pigs and slaves of deities
  • Girl on official Palestinian Authority TV May 2015: “Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets; Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood; Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations; Oh barbaric monkeys.
  • Sheikh Muhammad Abu Sa’ada in October 2015: “The Al-Aqsa Mosque awaits its Mujahideen, and its Martyrdom-seekers. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is waiting, and it knows that even if the occupier desecrates the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the heroes of Gaza are making preparations and are digging tunnels that lead to Al-Aqsa, and one day they will emerge in the [Al-Aqsa Mosque] plaza, the streets, and alleys, and proclaim: Allah is great! And will announce general mobilization against the brothers of apes and pigs
  • Official spokesperson for Fatah, Raafat Alayan said in November 2015: “we have succeeded in preventing 80% of the settlers, the sons of apes and pigs from walking around the Old City [of Jerusalem].
  • A terrorist who murdered three Israelis in 2017 left a will calling “You, the sons of apes and pigs – if you do not open the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, I am certain that after me will come a man who will strike [you] with an iron hand, I warn you!
  • Preacher in Gaza in March 2018: “we are near our blessed land which is being trampled by those descendants of apes and pigs, the remnants of the brutal, savage, and barbaric colonialism.

All over the Muslim world, clerics, imams, teachers, sheiks and government officials call the Jews the descendants of apes and pigs. This is not a single comedian calling out a single person whom she detested; but scores of leaders calling out all Jews, especially Israelis.

These Islamic leaders are not expelled from their posts nor ridiculed by the public. Instead, their messages are internalized by children and the aged. The message is heard in the streets of Europe where Muslims are as much as five times more antisemitic than Christians according to ADL polls. And it is the tagline of Islamic countries, including 30 countries that don’t even recognize the basic existence of Israel.

The antisemitic Muslim preachers of hatred are at full volume and their calls to stab and kill the inhuman Jews are more vivid than slave traders who lynched blacks 200 years ago. But their apologists in the liberal press boldly whitewash the bigoted words and actions by mischaracterising Arabs as “resorting to violence” because of “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” while their band of brothers in the United Nations similarly invert cause-and-effect by labeling “Zionism is Racism,” as they attempt to remove the Jews from the Jewish Holy Land and obliterate every aspect of Zionism from the world.

Americans have come a long way in the decades since black slavery, lynchings and segregation, but there is still a need to speak candidly about race as the echoes of racism are still heard in our society. The urgency is all the more pressing that we speak clearly and loudly denouncing the pervasive and pernicious Muslim antisemitism that is broadcast openly around the world. Peace and civility will never exist without such efforts.


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Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

Covering Racism

If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

No Jews Allowed in Palestine

The Palestinian State I Oppose

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

Blessing Islamophobia

Where’s the March Against Anti-Semitism?

The Highbrow Anti-Semite

Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

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What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Jews in the Midst

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NY Times, NY Times, What Do You See? It Sees Rich White Males

I loved the Eric Carle / Bill Martin Jr book, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” I loved it both as a child and as a parent reading it to children. The text was clear and the pictures were beautiful. It taught us how to see and identify basic things like colors and animals in a straightforward and enjoyable manner.

But the world is seemingly not so simple in a world pounding out millennial “my truths.” Simple pictures of animals are now Rorschach tests subject to varied interpretation. Colors are now blinded through a reverse prism of everything exiting as a blinding white – as in white male privilege.

Consider an important study performed at Stanford University of 260 million standardized test scores taken by third to eighth graders in the United States. The graphic pointed to remarkable and scary outcomes regarding the performance differences between boys and girls in school.

Hundreds of red circles marked the top of the chart showing girl test scores ranging anywhere from half to more than a full test grade level over boys in every part of the country, whether in the poorest or richest segments. The graphic clearly illustrated how girls scored dramatically higher on English tests all around the United States.

Further down on the page, clustered near the parity line between boys and girls, were the blue dots representing the math scores. Here the graph was more balanced, with girls out-performing boys by just a little in some markets, with boys outperforming girls by just a bit in more markets. The blue cloud appeared to have a slope indicating that boys in richer neighborhoods performed slightly better than those in poorer neighborhoods. In no sample did the maximum out-performance of boys in math even reach the smallest out-performance by girls in English. In English, girls outperformed boys by about 3/4 of a full grade, and in math the boys outperformed girls by roughly 1/3rd of a grade.

The graph was alarming in how poorly boys performed relative to girls in English. It begged the question of how to redo the entire English curriculum to address the failure of schools to educate boys. Are more male teachers needed? Are the choice of texts not appropriate for boys? Should there be a change in the classroom setting? In the creative writing syllabus?

But these questions that immediately sprang to anyone’s mind from the picture were missing in the New York Times coverage of study on June 17, 2018.

In an article titled “Math’s Variable: Boys Outperform Girls in Rich, White Suburbs,” the Times inverted the story into a different narrative. The Times wrote “In school districts that are mostly rich, white and suburban, boys are much more likely to outperform girls in math, according to a new study from Stanford researchers, one of the most comprehensive looks at the gender gap in test scores at the school district level.” For 24 paragraphs, the Times would explore the advantages of rich White and Asian households that “invest in more stereotypical activities,” like “daughters in ballet and their sons in engineering.” Because rich people are sooo stereotypical and non-progressive.

Only in the 21st paragraph of the article did the Times devote attention to the obvious and important conclusion of girls DRAMATICALLY outperforming boys in English. It wrote: “Girls continue to outperform boys in reading in school districts across the United States, regardless of income, and in most other rich countries. Parents have been found to talk more to girls from the time they are infants. Teachers say girls concentrate more on reading. Perhaps boys’ reading skills mature later. There could also be a role model effect: Women say they read more than men, while boys are steered more towards sports and video games.

This article is a travesty of #AlternativeFacts and it undermines helping children that are truly falling behind. Our progressive society that looks to spend as much public money as possible to produce equal outcomes for poor-and-rich; White-and-Blacks and Latinos; boys-and-girls, focuses only on the narrow out-performance of rich white boys. The article noted how a wealthy white township where “the students are about 60% white and 30% Asian-American,” had “Boys and girls both perform well, but boys score almost half a grade level ahead of girls in math…. Boys are much more likely to sign up for math clubs and competitions, he said, to the point that the district started a girls-only math competition this year.” But there was NO mention of what is being done to help millions of boys perform better in English. Just “perhaps boys’ reading skills mature later.” Sorry. Nothing we can do to help boys in English. Move on.

Consider that the Times published this article at the same time as discussing the ultra-liberal New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s plans to upend the city’s strongest math and science high schools to reduce the number of Whites and Asians and increase the number of Blacks and Latinos. Are there any efforts to get more boys or Whites into the best arts high schools, like Fiorella LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts which is 74% female and 56% minority? Nope.

Our schools are grossly failing our boys in English and there is zero effort on their behalf, either by progressive politicians or left-wing newspapers. Boys are just younger versions of the ‘patriarchy’ that are future enemies for the racial and gender justice warriors. Stay on message: it’s all about rich white male privilege.

Perhaps that observation is part of the grade gap between boys and girls in English and language arts: boys and girls see the world differently, just as conservatives and liberals do. While math and science have strict rules about what is correct, the language arts are more fluid and subject to interpretation. And if women and liberals continue to dominate the teaching profession and direct the narrative of interpretation, the nation’s boys will likely continue to suffer.


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The Happy and Smug Bigots of Denmark

Various polls rank Denmark as one of the happiest countries in the world year-after-year.

Commentators have sought to explain the phenomenon. They have pointed to the country’s “hygge,” which entails a feeling of community and brotherhood. They note the country’s generous welfare policies which give people a sense of being cared for as part of a greater family. Overall, the Danes consider themselves extremely relaxed and easy-going.

Yet this feeling of camaraderie has limits, specifically as it relates to non-Christians.

White Christian Danes

Denmark is a homogeneous society. According to recent statistics, roughly 10% of the country’s population of 5.8 million people are immigrants. By way of comparison, the immigrant population in the US is over 13%, the United Kingdom is over 14% and in Germany it stands at over 20%.

The realtively few immigrants that the country has taken in are predominantly from neighboring Germany and Poland. This is in sharp contrast to other European Union countries that absorb people from former allies and colonies, such as Germany which mainly absorbs people from Turkey; the UK which takes in people from India; and France which takes in many people leaving Algeria.

The large local indigenous Danish population and similar nature of the new immigrants has produced a country with little diversity. The religious makeup of Denmark is roughly 75-80% Christian and 15-20% Atheist or Agnostic. The small sliver of “other” religions is almost only Muslim, with virtually no Jews (estimated around 5-6,000), Buddhists or any of the other world religions.

The dominant Christian faith has deep roots and clear advantages.

Not only does the country’s flag feature the Christian cross, the country has set up the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) as the official state church, and as such, state taxes go to support the ELC (accounting for roughly 14% of the ELC budget). Further, the reigning monarch must belong to the ELC (ie, must be a Christian), and public schools in Denmark must teach the Evangelical Lutheran theology.

Nice set up.

According to the official website of Denmark, “Compared with most other countries in the world, Denmark’s societal institutions and popular mentality have been shaped by Christianity to an exceptional degree. It can be asserted that religion is more firmly entrenched in Danish society than in many other countries…. Christianity’s unique history in Denmark explains why the mutual interdependence of the people, the state, and the church has remained in place longer and more strongly in Denmark than in any other country.

Brenderup Church, Denmark
These days, the Atheists and Agnostics have become more active in teaming up with the Christians to keep the non-Christians out of the country.

Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim Policies

In April 2014, Denmark passed a law which prohibited the ritual slaughter of animals according to Jewish and Muslim law, with a penalty of up to four months in jail. The country claimed that the law was intended to provide a more humane method of killing animals – by stunning them before killing them – an action prohibited in the production of kosher and halal meats. That the impact was only felt on the Jewish and Muslim communities was deemed coincidental.

In May 2018, Danish lawmakers passed a law which forbade the wearing of garments covering the face, commonly known as the “burqa ban.” While the law was not applied to Muslims only, it clearly targeted Muslim women’s unique religious practice.

And in June 2018, Danes gathered 50,000 signatures to force the parliament to consider banning the circumcision of boys under the age of 18, a practice performed according to the religious tenets of Judaism and Islam.

The Atheists and Agnostics claim that they are simply seeking and enacting laws that prevent harm to those that cannot speak for themselves – children and animals – and not assaulting any religion. For example, they have not fought aggressively against the existence of the state church or banning the baptism of children. (In reality, even if they sought to do so, the dominant Christian religion would make their efforts futile.) The current wave of “humanistic” laws that had no impact on Christians were able to gather support from the dominant majority religious group and pass into law.

But the actions of the Danish government go beyond their view of “humanistic” laws.

In January 2016, the Denmark instituted some of the harshest immigration laws in the European Union, which allowed the country to seize immigrants’ assets over $1,450 to help pay for resettlement and extended the time for immigrants to apply for family members to come to Denmark to three years from just one.

The welfare state of relaxed brothers had declared its limits, and it seemed to focus particularly on non-Christians.

Regarding the circumcision ban, consider that the Christians and Atheists have not attempted to ban children from getting tattoos or piercings. They have not sought to have a child sign a consent form before getting surgery. Society acknowledges that a child’s upbringing and well-being are made and ensured by the parents. If they’re Christian.

Regarding animals, has Denmark enacted a law preventing the boiling of lobsters alive? How about turtles or insects? Does the country ban animal-testing for drugs? Cropping dogs’ ears and tails? No.

And as it relates to immigrants, the country is trying to contend with an uptick in the number of immigrants coming to the country (from 70,000 in 2011 to 99,000 in 2015), in which almost all of the incremental population come from Muslim countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco. As the number of Muslim applicants spiked, the percentage of people granted asylum in Denmark dropped from 85% in 2015 to 36% in 2017. Coincidence?

Denmark may lay claim to being among the happiest countries in the world because of a feeling of community among its citizens, and smugly contend that it is evolving to a secular-humanist-progressive ethos from a deeply religious one, but in fact it is simply ring-fencing their society to keep it homogeneous by excluding non-Christians. For Danes, hygge is reserved for White Christians.


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Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

“Jews as a Class”

Je Suis Redux

Totalities

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