The Left ‘s passion for stereotyping, exclusion and uniformity 2

Q: How many of these statements are true?

1.You are Hispanic and in the US illegally, so you need protection from law-enforcement.

2.You are an American with black African ancestry, so you are oppressed, and you cannot compete academically or in business without special allowances being made for you.

3.You are Chinese or Japanese, so you are too smart academically and would get all the available places at the top universities if you were allowed to, so you need to be handicapped.

4.You are Jewish, so you are pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian, and deserve contempt and exclusion.

5.You are Muslim, so you need asylum and are subjected to irrational prejudice, and ignorantly held responsible for Muslim terrorists who misunderstand your religion.

6.You are a woman, so you are oppressed.

7.You are a white man, so you are an oppressor and the the arch-villain of history, and ought frequently and publicly to declare and demonstrate that you are ashamed of yourself for being both (a) white and (b) male.

8.You are LGBQT…, so you are oppressed.

9.You are rich and fail to deplore capitalism, so you are greedy, selfish, and have no heart.

10.You are a Leftist, so you believe all the above.

A:Only number 10.

Yes, we are putting it all too bluntly. Without “nuance”. But the Left is in no position to complain about that.

The ideologues of the Left would deal with you not as an individual but according to your “race”, “gender identity”, and political opinions. The Left is communist, so by definition collectivist,  against individualism. Their tediously repeated claim to be for “inclusion and diversity” is one of their many hypocrisies, their glib, orthodox, platitudinous lies.

They do their utmost to exclude opinions they don’t like from academic and public forums; they insist upon a uniformity of expressed opinion.

David Horowitz writes:

In January, when negotiations over the fate of 800,000 DACA recipients broke down, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blamed the impasse on the alleged racism of President Trump and his senior advisers.

“Last night the president put forth a plan,” Pelosi told the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Let me just say what I said last night, that plan is a campaign to make America white again.” This was not only an obvious lie, but a spectacularly brazen one, since Trump’s announced plan would provide a path to citizenship not only for the illegal aliens who had benefited from President Obama’s constitutionally suspect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, all of whom are nonwhite, but for a million additional illegals, mainly from Latin America, who are also mainly nonwhite. Trump’s general immigration plan seeks to move to a merit-based system, which would give priority to immigrants who can contribute needed skills to the country and would have a reasonable chance of success once they arrived. Giving priority to English speakers would enhance the ability of new arrivals to assimilate and succeed. To oppose such a plan on the grounds Pelosi does, one would have to believe that nonwhite immigrants don’t have skills or don’t speak English. Anti-Trump reporter Jim Acosta made the latter insinuation on CNN. He said Trump wanted only immigrants from majority-white countries like “England and Australia”.  In fact, English is the official language in more than 57 countries, including such nonwhite countries as Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Botswana, as well as Caribbean nations like Jamaica and Guyana.

Pelosi’s malicious accusation was even more disconnected from reality, since Trump has never proposed excluding or expelling populations based on race, which would be the only way to “make America white again” (whatever that might mean). Yet this denial of obvious facts in order to gin up a racial indictment of what otherwise would be seen as patriotic policies has become the ever-present theme of the Democrats’ attacks on Trump’s presidency. These attacks began with his first statement on immigration during the opening presidential primary debate. At that time, speaking specifically of people crossing the border illegally, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best . . . . They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This warning, however factual its basis, was ineptly put by a novice politician …

We strongly agree with most of all that, but disagree here. How else ought it to be put?

… but its meaning was clear to any fair-minded listener. When millions of people invade a country in defiance of its laws and without passing through a vetting and citizenship process, that is a threat to the nation and its citizens — regardless of the color or origin of the perpetrators. Yet this otherwise reasonable concern was immediately turned by Trump’s opponents into an alleged attack on Mexicans for being Mexican, and more pointedly on “people of color” for being different — both blatant lies.

After Trump’s election, Democrats adopted the same strategy in their “resistance” to his presidential executive order temporarily suspending travel from six terrorist states. The express purpose of the order was to provide time for a proper vetting system to be put in place to protect American citizens. The Democrats’ unscrupulous campaign to frame this policy as “anti-Muslim” and “anti-minority” included suborning left-wing appeals courts to ignore the president’s clear constitutional authority, and instead invoke his off-the-cuff campaign remarks to make the case that the order was racially biased. …

There is no evidence that President Trump is “anti-minority”. We would wish him to be “anti-Muslim”. Not to discriminate against individuals, but to keep the appalling ideology of Islam – supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, murderous, aggressive, and savagely cruel – out of the United States as much as possible.

The inevitable consequence of using a blanket standard like race to evaluate immigration policy is to eliminate any possibility of designing a policy that is rational or that protects the nation’s sovereignty. It also eliminates the possibility of designing a policy that serves the national interest, since America is built on the idea of individual accountability and individual freedom.

Balkanizing its community into races and ethnicities renders individuals and their characteristics invisible or secondary at best. If race is the trump card, factors like the possession of skills, adherence to the law, economic viability, language compatibility, and allegiance to the constitutional founding, are rendered irrelevant in selecting new citizens, and thus in preserving the factors that have made America what is today.

The Democrats’ support for “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states” is the summary statement of this race-based attitude towards would-be citizens. It prevents consideration of even the most basic question of how large an influx of individuals the nation can absorb and support, while maintaining its culture of individual accountability and freedom. For progressives, the number of individuals coming into this country and their actual behaviors are irrelevant; all that matters is their ethnicity and race — and potential for voting left in future elections. These collectivities override the fundamental consideration of the law, and thus of the entire democratic enterprise.

The attacks by Democrats and leftists on federal law, on national borders, and on the idea of assimilation into an American culture can only be understood as attacks on the nation itself. Members of the Democrats’ “resistance” employ loaded phrases like “white supremacy” and “white nationalism” in referring to the White House and the supporters of secure borders and a rational immigration policy. The clear meaning of this abuse of language is that, in the eyes of the left, an American patriotism is illegitimate; American patriotism is equivalent to “white nationalism” and is racist.

The racial politics of the Left is part of a larger spectrum of “identity politics”, which has been embraced by the Democratic Party and is better understood as “cultural Marxism”. Cultural Marxists divide the population into racial, ethnic and gender groups and arrange them in a hierarchy of alleged oppression. This perverse and divisive view of American society was, in fact, the organizing principle of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, which justified her candidacy as ending the alleged inequality of women and the mythical wage-gender pay gap. Her opponents, she said, belonged in a “basket of deplorables”,  which she identified as “racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, xenophobes — you name it”.

Following her defeat, her Democratic supporters formed #TheResistance to the incoming president, whom they denounced as a white nationalist, sexist, anti-Muslim racist. A “resistance” is hardly an appropriate posture for an opposition party in a democracy, where compromise and tolerance are foundational values. This war declared on the Trump presidency was launched with a Women’s March, billed as the largest protest ever, which presented itself as a movement to defend “oppressed” groups against the incoming “white supremacist” administration that Americans had just elected.

The Women’s March was headed by Linda Sarsour, an advocate of Islam’s misogynistic Sharia law and a vocal supporter of Islamist holy war … Sarsour told the assembled marchers, “I also remember that I live in a country that was founded on the extermination of indigenous people.” This was a declaration of hate for America, approved by the protesters and typical of their speakers. It was also a libel — the perfect expression of the Left’s oppressive chain of being, in which whites, males, heterosexuals and patriotic Americans are framed as genocidal enemies of “social justice” and human progress. It was a lie equal in brazenness to Pelosi’s claim that Trump’s agenda was to make America white again. There are, in fact, more “native Americans” alive today than there were when the first European settlers arrived. It never was, nor has been, the policy of the United States to exterminate indigenous people or any racial or ethnic group.

The ideological miasma that has overcome the Democratic Party and the Left, was crystallized in Hillary Clinton’s claim that “sexism” rather than her own incompetence, corrupt history, and inept campaign was responsible for her defeat. “Sexism” is a bastardized term that was coined by 1960s-era radicals in a calculated attempt to appropriate the moral authority of the civil rights movement through a false association with “racism”. Only a perverse reading of history and the social relations between the sexes could lead to this absurd attempt to link the treatment of African Americans and women. But for radicals, the conflation of the two is essential to their Marxist view of the world as a hierarchy of oppressors and oppressed, of America as the great Satan on the hierarchy’s crest. …

[This view] can criminalize merely boorish and inappropriate behaviors and invoke punishments that can be quite severe. In the hysterical atmosphere created by the #MeToo movement — a by-product of the Women’s March and the “movement” that produced it — mere accusations become tantamount to guilt with chilling results, and ominous implications for a country built on “due process,” and the defense of individual rights. …

This ideological framework — abstract and collectivist — eliminates individual nuance and distinction. … What is important is no longer the particulars of [individual] cases, or the character of the individuals involved, but their collective identity  — as white oppressor males — and the collective identity of their alleged victims, oppressed women. …

While democracy and individual freedoms still prevail in America, the injustices perpetrated by these totalitarian ideas, which have caused so much misery in modern times, will be limited. But the totalitarian march has already resulted in a kind of civil war in our political life, although such violence as exists has been mainly verbal. But consider what happened when there were no democratic restraints and these ideas became the reigning ideology of a Marxist state in 1917: “We are not carrying out war against individuals,” explained a member of Lenin’s secret police about his government’s campaign against the kulaks, or land-owning peasants. “We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. We are not looking for evidence or witnesses to reveal deeds or words against the Soviet power. The first question we ask is — to what class does he belong, what are his origins, upbringing, education or profession? These questions define the fate of the accused. This is the essence of the Red Terror.”

Similar questions have already defined the fate of the accused in our country, and the frequency of such incidents should be a warning. Thankfully, despite the disturbing influence of identity politics in our schools, in the Democratic Party, and among growing number of political actors, we are still far away from a Red Terror. But as Ronald Reagan famously warned:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

The erosion of individual freedom and individual rights, and of the idea of individual agency and accountability, is well advanced. The policies of the Democratic Party on immigration, race, women and a host of critical issues are now shaped by a collectivist, identity politics mentality. We cannot be certain where this will lead, and we should be alarmed that it has gotten so far.

The article is worth reading in full. It can be found here.

Spend less on education for better results 4

Seems that the less tax-payers’ money spent on education, the better. (No – of course not to zero.)

Good teachers are needed. Non-unionized teachers.

And parents that take their children’s education seriously.

Rob Shimshock writes at the Daily Caller:

The Trump administration requested $59.9 billion for 2018 — an amount $7.1 billion smaller than its 2017 budget. Lance Izumi, senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute, explained to The Daily Caller News Foundation why that is a good thing.

The education scholar highlighted the after-school, learning-oriented 21st Century Community Learning Centers (one of the initiatives the Department eliminated) as a particularly wasteful program.

To eliminate those programs is a real plus for taxpayers and a real plus for students,” Izumi said, commenting on the Education Department’s elimination of funding to 17 programs it described as “duplicative” and “ineffective”. 

It “eats up about $2 billion per year, and it’s supposed to provide these after school and other supplemental programs,” Izumi told TheDCNF. “The problem is that virtually all the studies and research that’s been done on the program shows that there’s no connection between participation in this program and improved student performance in reading and mathematics.”

He said the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined 58 different 21st Century Community Learning Centers and discovered no correlation between enrollment in the programs and increased reading scores.

In fact, “Students produced lower reading scores by participating compared to those who did not,” the scholar said. “You have very poor attendance among the student participants in the program…less than 50 percent of the students who attend more than 30 days.”

“Why should we be spending all this money, these billions of dollars on a program that all of the data shows is not achieving its purpose?”

Izumi also commented on the $1.1 billion the Education Department hopes to dedicate to school-choice initiatives. He explained that even if the federal government bolsters charter-school funding, it makes little difference if state laws still impede the schools from opening.

“If a charter can’t get approved under state law, it really doesn’t matter how much money the feds give to charter schools because those charters will never be started in the first place,” the scholar added.

Izumi opined on the special interest groups criticizing the Department’s budget cuts to teacher training programs.

The teachers organizations are crying bloody murder,” the scholar acknowledged. “It may be a perk for the teachers to get a day off or to get professional-development training and it may fund an industry of professional-development trainers, but it’s not doing any good for the students, which is the reason the system exists in the first place.”

But the most important question is what are teachers teaching? What are students learning? What does too-much-money actually buy for the rising generations?

An article at the Mises Institute by Carol A. Vance and Loyd S. Pettegrew, published in September 2016, revealed dismal findings:

Since 1980, during the Carter Administration, America’s K-12 education system has come under increasing control by the dictates of the federal Department of Education (DOE) with failing results, taxing states and filtering the money through Washington to return a portion of it back to the states. In 2002, the Bush Administration approved the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act creating punishing amounts of federal paperwork and bureaucracy for local schools, requiring a $1B grant in special funding to help state and local education systems comply. In 2015 Congress enacted new legislation, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to allegedly overcome the NCLB federal intervention. The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke says, “ESSA does not accomplish these critical policy priorities” to reduce the interference and excessive hours of standardized testing time. The 2016 DOE budget is $70.7B excluding a Presidential request for an additional $75B mandatory funding over ten years for Pre-K education.

What is America getting for federally-funded interference in education? The US spends over 23.2% of per capita income on its students each year, 9% more than Singapore while over 26 other countries that spend less outscore US students. Charles Murray says that even after substantial resources were dedicated to assist minorities over a 10 year period, SAT scores have indeed dropped for Amerindians ( -28%), Latinos (-26%), Blacks (-14%) and Whites (-6%) while substantially increasing for Asians (+54).

Of 64 countries in the International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranks 35th in math and 27th in scienceSingapore spends almost half of what the U.S. spends in primary education and about 70% on secondary education while internationally scoring first in math and second in science. Ironically, while more than 1.7M students are now homeschooled, the National Center for Educational Statistics does not produce statistics on the likely difference in achievement between homeschooled students and public education students.

Students in institutional schools are measured repeatedly, however. A typical student takes 112 mandated standardized tests between pre-K classes and 12th grade; by contrast, most countries that outperform the U.S. on international exams test students three times during their entire school careers.

In spite so much testing and measuring, the standards are being manipulated to enhance the illusion of improving student performance. The modern thinking appears to be that “everyone must be a winner”.  A variation of this is “average is over”, a perverse twist on economist Tyler Cowen’s thesis. In K-12, only children with extremely low I.Q.’s, juvenile delinquents or truants receive average grades, and rarely do students receive D’s or F‘sIn most states, students with English as a second language are passed along with C grades regardless of performance. Piereson & Riley note that the Department of Education released data showing that from 1990-2000 high school graduate GPAs rose a third of a point and one public school district in northern California altered student grading so that students scoring above 80% received A’s and students below 20% were given F’s.

In the past 30 years, the Department of Education has exerted an increasing influence on K-12 education. K-12 teachers, overwhelmingly if not exclusively, are the products of schools of education whose influence is largely left-leaning and their teachings politicized. David Labaree, Professor in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education has states that “education schools are solidly in the progressive camp ideologically.” Stotsky concludes that K-12 English classes have increasingly become ersatz social studies classes with biased content taught by moralizing pedagogues who are untrained in either history or social science. Teachers Unions maintain a strangle hold on local school districts and principals’ ability to terminate ineffective teachers.

In 2000 Clinton created the National Education Standards and Improvement Council for teaching American history. None of the 31 standards mentions the U.S. Constitution; the National Standards Advance Placement history exam also politicized American history in a highly progressive manner.

Revisionist history books represent the horrors of the American revolutionists and their colonial oppression. No period of American history is being celebrated; instead the historians have apologetically presented our forefathers as war mongers and racists. We foresee the day when the Constitution will be burned in effigy because so many authors were slave owners.

Science exists in a sustainability vacuum where climate change is presented as gospel in place of the scientific truths of the elective courses in Physics.

States have banned classic literature for its “incendiary” themes including Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye; while age appropriateness is certainly a valid concern, an outright ban is unconstitutional. As a by-product of this censorship, Yale freshmen recently petitioned faculty to remove the “nondiverse” English literature of Shakespeare, Dickens and Bronte from the required curriculum.

Notably some of the brightest spots in K-12 education exist in isolated places including New York and California where parents fought the government and union to take charge through organizations like Excellent Educational Solutions and the Harlem Success Academy.

President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address, mandated government controlled pre-school education for millions of young children and represents a new stealth opportunity for left liberal indoctrination. The U.K. adopted Pre-K in 2007 for children age 3-4, with underwhelming results which don’t include educational attainment of the children. While a child’s academic gains were at best marginal in the U.K. (small improvements by age 5 and no improvements by age 11), was free child care for parents. Gerard Robinson argues that with the Pre-K schooling now an educational reality, the government not parents has clearly become the controlling force in early childhood education. We can only imagine that in the U.S., this is another opportunity to create a new entitlement and progressively indoctrinate even younger children without any parental controls.

Then Donald Trump was elected to the presidency. Now, Rob Shimshock tell us, less money is being spent by the federal government on education.

If, in addition, Common Core were to be eliminated, and much more attention paid to what is taught, American children might become better educated.

At least up to 12th. grade. After that, if they enter a university and are forced to study blackness, femaleness, whiteness, Hispanicness, and anthropogenic-global-warmingness, whatever good their school did them will rapidly be undone.

 

(Hat-tip to Don L for the Mises Institute link)

Towards the abolition of whiteness 19

Where you live, are you and your property protected by law? Is there a free press? Impartial justice? Can you say whatever you want to say, wherever and whenever you choose? Can you vote for your preferred representative in the body that makes the laws you live under? Can you make and implement lawful decisions affecting your own life and the lives of your dependents without hindrance from a person or institution?

If so, it is because white men have made it possible.

Do you move about in cars, buses, trains? Fly in airplanes? Watch television? Use a phone? Work and play on a computer?

If so, it is because white men have made it possible.

Nevertheless, white men and all that they have created are an abomination. They are the curse of the earth.

If you are a white man, you need to hang your head in shame and do penance. Whiteness itself is an unacceptable condition. So white women too, and white children, abase yourselves. Subjugate yourselves to non-white men and women.

You are oppressors. You are guilty of doing nothing but wrong.

This belief, growing in popularity throughout the civilized world, is not just a shallow notion held by an ignorant underclass, but is being seriously taught – or preached – in the most prestigious universities.   

A case in point:

The College Fix reports that Yale University deplores “whiteness”. 

Yale University is offering a course this semester which aims to help students understand and counteract “whiteness”, exploring such topics as “white imagination,” “white property” and “white speech.”

According to the syllabus for “Constructions of Whiteness” obtained by The College Fix, the English course is an “interdisciplinary approach to examining our understanding of whiteness.”

The class, which is apparently being offered for the first time this semester, discusses “whiteness as a culturally constructed and economically incorporated entity, which touches upon and assigns value to nearly every aspect of American life and culture”.

The goal of the class is to “create a lab for the construction of counternarratives around whiteness in any creative form: play, poem, memoir, etc.,” states the syllabus.

Taught by Professor Claudia Rankine, the class is divided into eight topics: Constructions of Whiteness, White Property, White Masculinity, White Femininity, White Speech, White Prosperity, White Spaces and White Imagination, according to the syllabus.

Students in the course are asked to read books such as [white] Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era, [white] Richard Dyer’s White: Essays on Race and Culture, and [white] Richard Delgado’s and [white] Jean Stefanic’s Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror.

Other required readings include Hazel Carby’s White Woman, Listen!, [white] Juliana Spahr’s My White Feminism and Professor Rankine’s own work, The White Card.

Rankine did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The College Fix.

The Fix also reached out to the chair of the English department, Langdon Hammer, and professor of English & African American studies Jacqueline Goldsby. Neither responded.

Outside of Yale, Rankine is active in the theater community. Her play The White Card is being produced at Boston’s Emerson Paramount Center. The play, which centers around “a conversation at a dinner party”, focuses on the question: “Can American society progress if whiteness stays invisible?”

Classes like “Constructions of Whiteness” are not unique to Yale. A controversial course titled “The Problem of Whiteness” is currently offered this semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Meanwhile, Stanford University offered a class in the fall called “White Identity Politics”, during which students discuss the “possibilities of … abolishing whiteness”.

At the University of Michigan last December, meanwhile, a workshop taught white employees how to address the “discomfort” of being white, instructing participants how to “recognize the difficulties they face when talking about social justice issues related to their White identity, explore this discomfort, and devise ways to work through it”.

Another example, mentioned above (many are easily found on the Internet), also reported by The College Fix:

Stanford University is slated to offer a class this fall called “White Identity Politics,” during which students will “survey the field of whiteness studies” and discuss the “possibilities of … abolishing whiteness”, according to the course description.

Citing pundits who say “the 2016 Presidential election marks the rise of white identity politics in the United States“, the upper-level anthropology seminar will draw “from the field of whiteness studies and from contemporary writings that push whiteness studies in new directions.”

Questions to be posed throughout the semester include: “Does white identity politics exist?” and “How is a concept like white identity to be understood in relation to white nationalism, white supremacy, white privilege, and whiteness?”

“Students will consider the perils and possibilities of different political practices,” according to the course description, “including abolishing whiteness or coming to terms with white identity.”

The course will be taught by instructor John Patrick Moran. Reached by e-mail, Moran declined to comment, instead directing The College Fix to Stanford communication’s office.

Ernest Miranda, a spokesman for Stanford, told The Fix via e-mail that “‘abolishing whiteness’ is a concept put forward in the 1990s by a number of white historians. Their belief was that if other white people would, like them, stop identifying politically as white, it would help end inequalities.”

White people “identify politically as white”. A fact proved by “the 2016 Presidential election” which “marks the rise of white identity politics in the United States”.  The underlying fact – so obvious and incontrovertible –  being that President Donald Trump and all who voted for him are … you guessed it …. racists, white supremacists.

Miranda added that “abolishing whiteness” is “among the past and current concepts that will be considered” in the “White Identity Politics” courseThe Fix requested a copy of the syllabus, but Miranda declined, saying “We do not share our course materials.”

Reached by e-mail, Stanford Professor Tomás Jiménez [an associate professor of sociology and comparative studies in race and ethnicity], told The Fix that he sponsored a student-led class at Stanford on whiteness last semester, [and] said via e-mail:

Whiteness is the set of behaviors and outlooks associated with the racial category, white. Just about any social category and subcategory has a ‘-ness’ to it. So, liberals and conservatives; men and women; Wisconsinites and New Yorkers are all social categories, and adding ‘ness’ to any of them is shorthand for the behaviors and outlooks associated with that category. 

A racist is someone who believes that every individual is chiefly characterized by the alleged qualities of his race. “The behaviors and outlooks associated” – by the racist – “with that category”.

This movement against “whiteness”, led by whites, is a crude and cruel cult of racism plain and simple.

It is very stupid and deeply immoral.

Feminists protecting rapists 4

Pat Condell’s latest video. He talks about immigrant Muslim men raping women and children in Europe

YouTube, owned by Google, made it inaccessible. Which is to say – and Pat Condell says it – the feminists at Google don’t want him saying what he says. 

It could be found elsewhere, though. Here it is from PewTube:

Posted under Europe, Feminism, Islam, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 24, 2018

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A market for the protection of schools 12

A few days ago, a nineteen year old psychopath shot and killed seventeen people at the school in Florida that he had been expelled from. He entered the school, set off a fire alarm, and shot randomly into crowd streaming out of the classrooms.

How to prevent such a crime?

The Left’s solutions are not solutions at all:

Pass a law making it harder to obtain guns? Criminals by definition do not obey laws.

Confiscate all privately owned automatic and semiautomatic guns and shotguns? A gift to criminals.

Defy or change the second amendment to the constitution so no citizen who is not in the armed forces or the police is allowed to carry a gun? A help to would-be tyrants, most notably and threateningly those of the “community organizing” kind.

What then?

Let’s start with the proposition that central planning is always a bad idea.

What non-governmental action might work?

Jeff Deist writes (in part) at the website of the (libertarian) von Mises Institute:

There are no top-down political solutions available from Washington. Gun control doesn’t actually prevent crime, but it does provide the political class and media with another diversionary bitter cultural debate. Americans are deeply divided on guns, just as they are deeply divided on abortion and climate change and scores of other issues. …

Contrary to popular belief, the Second Amendment neither “federalized” gun laws nor created a right to private ownership of firearms. It simply enshrined the notion that “the people” need to be armed to defend themselves potentially against the state itself. …

The libertarian response to mass shootings, in particular school shootings, is to allow teachers and other personnel to carry weapons on campus. In fact, the broader libertarian program is to have most people armed, or at least potentially armed, to create a safer (not to mention more polite) society. If we cannot snap our fingers and produce crime-free cities and neighborhoods where nobody needs to carry a gun, then at least we allow everyone the ability to dissuade or defend against criminal shooters.

This is all well and good, but ignores the market impulse to outsource services to specialists. This is why neighborhoods hire private security patrols, and why celebrities hire professional bodyguards. Not everyone wants to carry a gun or train themselves in gun proficiency. And there is the issue of scale, where individuals might find themselves arrayed against organized criminal gangs.

Rather than endlessly debate the fraught political process of crafting illiberal gun control laws, we ought to think about private-market solutions that focus on controlling crime.We should think in terms of market economics, where private property and correct incentives give us what government and laws cannot: a mechanism to determine possible harms and the cost of protecting against or preventing those harms. People want safe neighborhoods and schools, which is just another way to say there is a market for them.

Generally speaking, the US legal system imposes premises liability on property owners whose negligence (or willful conduct) results in someone getting injured on that property. This arose conceptually through common law courts and juries applying general negligence concepts.

We accord different degrees of legal responsibility (“duty”) to landowners based on the identity of the injured party: a trespasser, for example, has less recourse to sue for injury than a business invitee (i.e., a customer). The law considers whether the injured party had a legitimate purpose being there, and in some cases whether they contributed to their injury through their own negligence.

The duty to make one’s property safe from a particular harm relates to, and in a sense hinges on, the foreseeability of that harm. Leaving spilled milk in a grocery aisle too long could well subject the owner to paying damages for a shopper who suffers a fall — a fall that was quite predictable and clearly caused by the wet floor. But intentional criminal acts by a third party … generally absolve the property owner of liability. After all, no shooter ever entered the grocery before, so why must the owner guard against this most unlikely event?

But should a public school district have a higher duty to keep students safe than the grocer has for shoppers? Arguably yes, in that society values children’s lives, well-being, and innocence perhaps more than adults’. And we force children into school attendance via truancy laws and meddling protective services agencies.

Furthermore, are school shootings now foreseeable even though they remain exceedingly rare? Does the media attention and notoriety given to such shootings change the calculus? At some point, perhaps today, school shootings could become foreseeable in the eyes of a jury.

We can’t necessarily draw conclusions here, but the question is whether the owners of public schools — generally municipal or county school districts — should be immune from lawsuits for school shootings simply because they are political subdivisions of states? Should sovereign immunity apply to them, or should they be forced to consider security measures just as private owners must? After all, it seems clear that a mass shooting at a prestigious private school would result in litigation.

It seems clear that imposing tort liability on school owners and operators, even government owners, would both improve security and provide a ready source of compensation for the families of victims. Private security agencies, which have a market reputation to develop or protect, almost certainly would provide more efficient service than government police — for the simple reason that more crime punishes their bottom line, while it often creates calls for increased police budgets.

To put it another way: Private security businesses must maintain a good record of keeping their clients safe, or they lose business and lose money; whereas government agencies such as the police can blame their failures on insufficient funding, so the more they fail the more money they get.

And private security models like Disneyland benefit from wanting to create a peaceful and happy environment, where security forces have every incentive not to escalate situations or incur liability.

Furthermore, private insurance models could help schools rationally allocate funds relative to the risks involved. Since school shootings are rare, premiums to cover such an event should be constrained. But other lesser types of crime in schools could be insured against as well, helping administrators better understand what they’re up against. And insurance companies would bend over backward to offer advice on avoiding shootings, since they would bear the cost of liability payments.

Admittedly, public schools using taxpayer funds to hire private security and pay insurance premiums muddies the waters. But at least it moves all of the parties involved — school districts, administrators, teachers, security providers, and parents — toward a market-based approach to safer schools. Tort liability, however imperfectly administered by government courts, offers one way to align the interests of parents and school owners in preventing further horrific events.

To sum up the message: Let school administrations choose to buy protection, the best the market can provide, at a price a competitive market puts on it.

 

(Hat-tip to Don L for the link to the Jeff Deist article)

Posted under Law, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, February 22, 2018

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The worst slums in the world: San Francisco and Los Angeles 2

San Francisco and Los Angeles are extremely expensive slums.

Years of rule by Democratic Party Progressives have made them so.

NBC reports on the Diseased Streets of San Francisco:

How dirty is San Francisco? An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of the city – the more than 20-mile stretch includes popular tourist spots like Union Square and major hotel chains. The area – bordered by Van Ness Avenue, Market Street, Post Street and Grant Avenue – is also home to City Hall, schools, playgrounds, and a police station.

The Investigate Unit spent three days assessing conditions on the streets of downtown San Francisco and discovered trash on each of the 153 blocks surveyed. While some streets were littered with items as small as a candy wrapper, the vast majority of trash found included large heaps of garbage, food, and discarded junk. The investigation also found 100 drug needles and more than 300 piles of feces throughout downtown.

“If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases,” said Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at University of California, Berkeley. He warned that once fecal matter dries, it can become airborne, releasing potentially dangerous viruses, such as the rotavirus. “If you happen to inhale that, it can also go into your intestine,” he said. The results can prove fatal, especially in children.

Riley has researched conditions across the poorest slums of the world. His book, titled Slum Health, examines health problems that are created by extreme poverty. Based on the findings of the Investigative Unit survey, Riley believes parts of the city may be even dirtier than slums in some developing countries.

The contamination is … much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India,” he said. He notes that in those countries, slum dwellings are often long-term homes for families and so there is an attempt to make the surroundings more livable. Homeless communities in San Francisco, however, are often kicked out from one part of town and forced to relocate to another. The result is extreme contamination, according to Riley.

The solution that the ruling Democratic Party Progressives come up with is more of the same that caused the problem in the first place: providing for bums

“Unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “We’re losing tourists. We’re losing conventions in San Francisco. All of this is happening because we aren’t addressing the root cause, which is we need more temporary beds for street homelessness.”

Ronen believes San Francisco has been too focused on permanent housing for the homeless and that the city has neglected to provide enough temporary shelter, which can provide the homeless a respite from the streets. The city currently has about 2,000 temporary beds. Ronen, however, believes an additional 1,000 are needed, at a cost of about $25 million.

Oh, it will cost much more than that. As soon as the word spreads that there will be more “temporary beds” for the “homeless”, more “homeless” will pour into your city, Mr. Ronen. You didn’t think of that did you? Or did you? Is that what you actually want?

“We need to find a source of revenue,” said Ronen. “Whether that’s putting something on the ballot to raise business taxes or taking a look at our general fund and re-allocating money towards that purpose and taking it away from something else in the city.”

Yeah –  make it a priority. Raise your enormously high property taxes even higher. That will mean more property tax paying home owners will leave the city. But don’t think about that.

Until the problem is fixed, Mohammed Nuru, the Director of the Public Works Department, is charged with the towering task of cleaning the streets, over and over again. “Yes, we can clean, he said, “and then go back a few hours later, and it looks as if it was never cleaned. So is that how you want to spend your money?”

The 2016-2017 budget for San Francisco Public Works includes $60.1 million for “Street Environmental Services”. The budget has nearly doubled over the past five years. Originally, that money was intended to clean streets, not sidewalks. According to city ordinances, sidewalks are the responsibility of property owners. However, due to the severity of the contamination in San Francisco, Public Works has inherited the problem of washing sidewalks. Nuru estimates that half of his street cleaning budget – about $30 million – goes towards cleaning up feces and needles from homeless encampments and sidewalks.

Even without actually doing it? Well, it’s not easy:

A single pile of human waste, said Nuru, takes at least 30 minutes for one of his staffers to clean. “The steamer has to come. He has to park the steamer. He’s got to come out with his steamer, disinfect, steam clean, roll up and go.”

A Herculean task. Mission almost impossible.

Asked if he’d be willing to give up part of his budget and allocate it to more directly addressing the homeless problem – which would likely alleviate his cleaning problem – Nuru said, “The Board of Supervisors, the mayor – those are decisions that they need to make.”  He added, “I want to continue cleaning and I want to be able to continue to provide services. The Public Works Department provides services seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

An attempt at a clean-up in San Francisco

And this is from the Los Angeles Times:

Los Angeles County’s homeless population is increasing faster than the supply of new housing, even with the addition of thousands of beds in the last two years and millions of dollars beginning to flow in from two ballot measures targeting the crisis, according to a long-awaited report by the region’s homelessness agency.

The report showed that officials two years ago far underestimated how much new housing would be needed when they asked city and county voters to approve the tax measures.

It has simply never occurred to them, that the more free housing they provide, the more they will need to provide. Demand will grow exponentially.

As a result, a $73-million annual shortfall in funding for the county’s comprehensive homelessness program could more than triple …

Providing permanent housing for the county’s chronically homeless population would require more than 20,000 new units, about 5,000 more than projected two years ago, the report said.

The estimated shortage of emergency shelter and short-term rental subsidies also increased by double-digit percentages.

The report, known as the Housing Gaps Analysis, offers the latest sober assessment of the years-long surge in homelessness, marked by widespread tent encampments and rising demands for urgent action to curb the problem.

Curb? Not cure?

In a departure from its previous report, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority provided no analysis of costs associated with the needed housing in the revision released last week. …

Peter Lynn, executive director of the homeless authority, said Friday that new cost figures had not been calculated …

“Now,” [he said], “we have a plan for deploying new permanent supportive housing through Proposition HHH and Measure H. That does give us a way forward.”

The original analysis was prepared to quantify the difference between the housing and services existing at the time and what would be needed to get all the chronically homeless off the streets and quickly restore housing for those falling into homelessness.

Ah, that will fix it. Sure. No more “homeless” after that. Dust the problem off your hands. Get this lot tidily tucked away and you will not be expected to provide free permanent housing for anyone ever again.

The report became the basis for both Proposition HHH, the homeless housing bond approved by Los Angeles city voters in 2016, and the countywide Measure H sales tax for homeless services approved last year. …

When the supervisors review the budget in June they’ll face hard choices.

Phil Ansell, director of the county’s homeless initiative, acknowledged that the rising demand for housing and services will influence those deliberations, but he said that nothing in the report should deter the county from fulfilling its promise to voters.

“During the Measure H election we projected that Measure H would enable 45,000 families and adults to move from homelessness into permanent housing in the first five years of expanded services and that an additional 30,000 families would avoid becoming homeless,” Ansell said. “We are on track to achieve those targets.”

The 2015 homeless count, on which the previous analysis was based, put the number of people living on the streets across the county at just under 29,000.

Last year, the annual January count raised the number of unsheltered homeless people to nearly 49,000 …

The analysis released last week projected that more than 20,000 new units of supportive housing are needed to establish homes for chronically homeless people.

The earlier report had set the number at about 15,000, two-thirds of which the city was expected to provide with new construction funded by Proposition HHH. The rest would come from long-term rental subsidies funded by Measure H to supplement federal rent subsidies.

The gains in housing, however, were outstripped by the rising homeless population.

What a surprise!

The earlier report projected a reduction of 14% each year. If that had occurred, the total homeless population — including unsheltered and sheltered — would have dropped to 41,323 last year.

Instead, it climbed to nearly 59,000.

But of course Hollywood celebrities, those ardent Democrat Progressives with hearts perpetually bleeding for the poor, will help to alleviate the problem by offering a few rooms in their mansions to “homeless” persons or families.

Goes without saying.

Los Angeles

Posted under Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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A safe space for Allah 4

Doctrinally, the relationship between Islam and Christianity is sadomasochistic: Islam wages its holy war in its quest for global dominion, and Christianity kneels and offers its throat. Historically, Christianity has sometimes fought back and won. But it’s been a hundred years now since any part of Islam was defeated by the remnant of European Christendom. Now the shrinking remnant is back on its knees to Islam.

The Lancashire Telegraph announces:

Blackburn Cathedral is to host a seminar which aims to create a safe space to explore common ground and discuss the differences between the Muslim and Christian faiths.

The language tells you immediately that this is the fawning religious Left speaking.

The seminar will take place at Blackburn Cathedral on March 7 as part of a larger nation-wide tour.

The announcement of the seminar comes just weeks after the BBC aired a controversial Panorama documentary questioning the relationships between communities in Blackburn.

Speaking of the documentary at the time, senior Anglican clergy said that the BBC Panorama program White Fright did not paint an accurate picture of Blackburn.

The title tells you immediately that, even though the documentary was on a BBC program, it did actually paint an accurate picture of Blackburn: bullying Muslims, terrified white British natives. 

Saying it “failed to tell the whole story”  the cathedral will now hold the seminar: Jihad of Jesus, an event which aims to create a safe space to stimulate helpful and powerful conversation between faiths.

Mohammed Ali Amla, founder of Christian Muslim Encounters and someone involved with bringing the seminar to Blackburn said: “We want this to be an event where people can come to and learn about communities working together. We have worked hard to create a panel of people who can discuss their thoughts and own experiences with the audience, stimulating frank discussion and rich, important conversation.”

So you know nobody worked hard at all to find people who would dare to express their thoughts and relate their experiences of Islam in Britain. You can already visualize the make-up of the panel, see the hijab and the beard over there, and beside or between them, those familiar indulgent Christian Lefty smiles.

Confirmation of those expectations follows immediately:

One key member of the panel is Dave Andrews, an Australian Christian author and writer of the book: The Jihad of Jesus: The Sacred non-violent Struggle For Justice.

Keen to ensure that a local angle was brought to the seminar, Ali said it was of key importance to make sure figures from the community were also speaking at the event.

The Bishop of Burnley, Philip North and Imam Saleem Seedat will also make up the panel on the night.

Another member of the panel will be Julie Siddiqi, a mentor, consultant and activist with a focus of gender issues, Jewish-Muslim relations and social actions.

“The people who will be joining us to discuss relations between Muslims and Christians on the night all recognize the challenges and differences that we face” said Ali.

Ah! The usual recognizers rounded up. But he “worked hard” to find them?

The announcement of the seminar comes just weeks after the BBC was slammed for claiming that segregation levels had increased in Blackburn over the past years.

Speaking about the documentary, Ali said: “What it didn’t look at is the great work that is happening within communities in Blackburn. It only wanted to depict one picture of the town. This is something we aim to change through our work and the seminar.”

The seminar has been organized in collaboration with Lancashire District of the Methodist Church; Near Neighbours; Churches Together in Lancashire; Blackburn Interfaith Forum; Light Foundation and Lancashire Forum of Faiths.

Upon this foolish enterprise Robert Spencer comments at his website Jihad Watch:

Jihad of Jesus, eh? It’s always the Christians who host these outreach events to Muslims. Never do we see a mosque holding a “Eucharist of Muhammad” or some such event.

Mohammed Ali Amla, founder of Christian [-Muslim] Encounter[s], says: “We want this to be an event that people can come to and learn about communities working together.”

A master of the art of proselytizing with taqqiya [permitted deception] Mohammed Ali Amla must be.

Robert Spencer knows what not to expect:

Great. So there will be an honest discussion of obstacles to working together, won’t there? And a forthright mutual exchange about how those obstacles can be surmounted? Somehow I doubt it. Generally these events simply ignore such unpleasantness, and prey on the ignorance of the general public to preclude unwelcome questions. It is extraordinarily unlikely that there will be any discussion of these Qur’an verses:

Jesus is not the Son of God and belief in the Trinity is wrong: “O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion or say anything about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and his word which He conveyed to Mary, and a spirit from him. So believe in Allah and his messengers, and do not say “Three” –- Cease! It is better for you. Allah is only one Allah. Far be it from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as defender.” — Qur’an 4:171

And:

It is not befitting to Allah that he should beget a son. Glory be to him! When he determines a matter, he only says to it, ‘Be’,  and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35

Jesus was not crucified:

“And because of their saying: We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger, they did not kill him or crucify him, but it seemed to them as if they had. Those who disagree concerning it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except pursuit of a conjecture; they did not kill him for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157

Those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers:

They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary.” — Qur’an 5:17

Christians have forgotten part of the divine revelations they received:

“From those, too, who call themselves Christians, we took a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between one another, until the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14

Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed:

“The Jews call Ezra a son of Allah, and the Christians call the Messiah the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; they simply imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!” — Qur’an 9:30

Christians who do not accepted Muhammad and the Qur’an are the most vile of created beings:

“Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded anything except to worship Allah, be sincere to him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakat. And that is the correct religion. Indeed,they who disbelieved among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of created beings.” — Qur’an 98:6

Muslims must fight against and subjugate Christians:

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or the last day, and do not forbid what has been forbidden by Allah and his messenger, and do not acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya [the fine Islam imposes on dhimmis] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29

Islam will never accept Christianity. If Christians want to integrate with Muslims, they must give up their religion and take on Islam instead. There is no possible compromise between the two; no running parallel; no tolerance of Christianity by Islam.

The only relations Christians can have with Islam are what Islam offers them: as converts, as dhimmis, or as corpses.

Despite claims to the contrary, Christianity, Judaism and Islam do not worship the same god.

The God of the Jews, Jehovah, is a god of justice, vengeance and reward. He is omnipotent, omniscient, but not essentially or consistently benign. He commands obedience, but lets his followers struggle with him (Israel = Struggle with God).

The Three-in-One divinity of the Christians – the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is merciful and good; commands humility, selflessness, forgiveness, and love.  The god “saves” some sinners – aka human beings – to enjoy eternal bliss after death but, though a god of lovecondemns others to eternal agony. Neither the Trinity itself nor the (inseparable) Father, considered separately, resembles Jehovah of the Jews or Allah of the Muslims.

The god of Islam, Allah (Arabic for “god”), though singular, is in an immutable Duality with his mortal partner, Muhammad. He is good only to those faithful to him and his mortal partner. He commands submission. (Islam= Submission). He also demands relentless slaughter, military conquest, enslavement, the humiliation of unbelievers, and the subjugation of women. Through his mortal partner he positively forbids his followers to identify him with the Christian god: “Do not say ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary’.”  “Do not say  ‘Three’!”

The only thing to be done with Islam is to get rid of it. It is an appalling ideology: supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, anti-Semitic, stubbornly intolerant, habitually murderous, and savagely cruel.

Islam would wither and die fast if it were plucked out by the root, which is Allah. An entirely secular West, in which belief in Jehovah or the Trinity or any god has become obsolete and absurd, could do it with argument and contempt. But the remnant of European Christianity, still hanging about with its smile, is halal meat for Ali, Julie, and the imam.

Italy hotting up to civil war 11

… if enough Italians can bring themselves to fight it before they are drowned in the “flood” of  Third World – mostly Muslim – immigrants.

In this video (which we came to via The Participator), Professor Alexandre del Valle – who has written extensively on Islam, terrorism, the Arab world, and Turkey – warns that the Left and Right are “radicalizing” in Italy, taking up irreconcilable positions on the question of the nation state and its “flooding”.

The aim of the Left, he says, is the total destruction of that “absolute evil”, the nation state; of  Western “Christian” Europe and of all Western “Christian” civilization. (What we insist is Enlightenment Europe, Enlightenment civilization.) He rightly accuses George Soros and charities such as Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children of funding and promoting the “flood”.

While he seems reluctant to sound alarmist, his message is intensely alarming.

As he is one of too few Europeans who see the colossal disaster that is coming and can make their voices heard, may he stupendously alarm all Europe and the entire Western world. “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.”

Gods and the Three Worlds 6

The “god” idea persists. (Where Was God When The Florida Massacre Happened? asks the atheist, Professor Steven Pinker, today – pointing out that “God” was nowhere.)

So let’s speak of it.

The human species is the only thing in our known universe that is a creator and moral law-maker. If “God” is a creator and moral law-maker, the human species is “God”.

Not any particular human being, but the species as a whole.

It is not omnipotent, it is not omniscient, but it is conscious. It consciously creates – not always successfully. It formulates moral principles. It judges, it rewards, it condemns – not always justly. It is a fallible god.

And it is subject to nature’s laws.

Nature’s laws – the laws of physics – were accepted as “God” by Spinoza and Einstein. And by the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

Nature’s laws are all-powerful, but they are not conscious; they are not moral. Conscious humankind can use them for its own purposes and control some of them sometimes. But cannot dominate them. Rather, they dominate – in that they produced, and sustain, and can destroy humankind.

Human consciousness and the laws of nature. Two “gods” then? Yes if you want to call them that. But: They do not need worship. They do not need ritual. They do not need sacrifices. They do not need temples. They do not need priests.

Call them two gods or call them, more interestingly and fruitfully, two interdependent worlds. And together they produce another, a third world.

Which brings us to the Three Worlds of Karl Popper*:

World 1: The physical world – material objects, natural events.

World 2: The mental world – individual consciousness, perception and interpretation of World 1.

World 3: The artificial world – things produced by interaction of World 1 and World 2 eg. speech, books, documents, buildings, ships, vehicles, cities, sciences, theories, governing laws, institutions, machines, computers, gardens, animal and plant hybrids, pianos, songs, works of graphic art …    And gods.

All three Worlds interact with each other.

There is nothing that is not of one, two, or all three of these worlds.

There is no supernatural “god”.

Non-existence does not have to be proved.

“Seeing no reason to believe is sufficient reason not to believe” – Karl Popper.

Or, as Christopher Hitchens puts it:

 

 

 

*Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem by Karl Popper, Routledge, New York & London, 1994.

Posted under Atheism, Religion general, Theology by Jillian Becker on Sunday, February 18, 2018

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Fight for free speech 27

This video, published September 13, 2017, records the concluding part of a discussion between Mark Steyn and Jordan Peterson.

“Free speech is racism.”

That’s what the rising generation is taught to believe by the Left.

The video of the entire interchange, from which this is an extract of the closing minutes, may be found here.

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 16, 2018

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