Against progressives 26

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Posted under Progressivism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, April 15, 2018

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Enlightenment, atheism, reason, and the humanist Left 25

This is a kind of review. But it is more of an argument about ideas that vitally affect the real world.

I am in emphatic agreement with roughly half of what Professor Steven Pinker says in his new book Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress*, and in vehement disagreement with the rest of it. Like him, I esteem the Enlightenment most highly; profoundly value science; and certainly want progress in everything that makes us happier and better informed, our lives longer, healthier, less painful, and more enjoyable. Like him, I am an atheist. It is chiefly with his ideas on Humanism that I disagree. Which may seem strange since humanism is atheist. And, certainly, on all his criticisms of religion I am in complete accord. More than that: where small “h” humanism is concerned with humane morals – the imperative to treat our fellow human beings and other sentient beings humanely – the great professor and I could sing in harmony.

“The moral alternative to theism,” he writes, “is humanism.”

But Humanism-the-movement holds principles that I not only do not like, but strongly dislike. They are principles of the Left. And  while he is not uncritical of the Left, Professor Pinker upholds those principles. Humanism, wherever it may be found, is a Leftist ideology. And because the Humanist movement is well-established, widespread, its opinions prominently published, and taught (or preached) where scholars gather, atheism is assumed by many to belong to the Left, inseparably, part and parcel of its essential ideology.

Atheism may be indispensable to the Left, but Leftism is not necessary to atheism.

Atheism as such carries no connotations. No political or ethical ideas logically flow from it. It is simply non-belief in the existence of a divine being. Nothing more. A person’s atheism does not itself make him more humane or less humane.

Steven Pinker implies that it does. Although he states that “atheism is not a moral system … just the absence of supernatural belief”, he also declares that “secularism leads to humanism, turning people away from prayer, doctrine, and ecclesiastical authority and toward practical policies that make them and their fellows better off.”

He reasons along these lines:

“Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.”

Not from holy books. Agreed.

“Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.”

Agreed.

There being no supernatural moral authority, and as human beings have natural needs –

“Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.”

So far, no cause for quarrel. But he elaborates on this last statement to demonstrate that Humanists do this “deriving” well:

“Humanists ground values in human welfare, shaped by human circumstances, interests and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem …”

There it comes, as if it followed logically from scientific knowledge and humane secularism, one of the main obsessions of the Left: concern for the planet, for which, the Left claims, human beings bear responsibility. The words “man-made global warming” silently intrude themselves; as does the “solution” for it – global governance, by those who know what the human race must do; total communism, the highest principle of the Left; its vision of a whole-world Utopia. Though Steven Pinker himself is not a Utopian, he writes a good deal in this book about the virtues of “globalist” politics. He sees globalism as an enlightened, reasonable, science-based, progressive, humanist creed. To “maximize individual happiness”, he remarks, “progressive cultures” work to “develop global community”. He has much praise for international institutions – including, or even led by, the (actually deeply evil) United Nations. He is confident the UN and other international bodies such as the EU, formed after the end of the Second World War, can help keep the world at peace. In fact, there has not been a single year since 1945 when the world has been without a war or wars.

To the globalist view he opposes the populist view. Not wrong when stated thus. But he does not see the populist view as the one held by 63 million Americans who voted Donald Trump into the presidency of the United States because they wanted more jobs, lower taxes, and secure borders; or that of the British majority who voted to withdraw their country from the undemocratic and corrupt European Union. No. He sees populism as a cult of “romantic heroism”, a longing for “greatness embodied in an individual or a nation”.

He is adamantly against the nation-state. He thinks that those who uphold the idea of the nation-state “ludicrously” envision a “global order” that “should consist of ethnically homogeneous and mutually antagonistic nation-states”. Who has ever expressed such an idea? And he puts “multiculturalism” (the failing experiment of enforcing the co-existence of diverse tribes within a nation’s borders) on an equal footing with “multi-ethnicity” (the melting-pot idea that has worked so splendidly for the United States of America).

To him, nationalism is ineluctably authoritarian and fascist. He sees President Trump – who is in fact unswervingly for individual freedom – as a “charismatic leader” of the dictatorial Mussolini mold. The politics of the Right for Professor Pinker are irredeemably dyed in the wool with Nietzschean anti-morality, “superman” aspirations, and genocidal urgings. Libertarianism is tainted with it too. He writes: “ … Ayn Rand’s celebration of selfishness, her deification of the heroic capitalist, and her disdain for the general welfare had Nietzsche written all over them.”

Interestingly – and restoratively to my esteem for him – he also asserts that certain Marxists and certain Leftist movements are equally, or even more, colored with Nietzsche’s inhumanity: “[Nietzsche] was a key influence on … Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault, and a godfather to all the intellectual movements of the 20th century that were hostile to science and objectivity, including Existentialism, Critical Theory, Post-structuralism, Deconstructionism, and Postmodernism.”

Steven Pinker’s humanism, then, is not far to the Left, just “left-of-center”. And most of the humanists I have known (and argued with) would also place themselves on that section of the political spectrum. “[T]he moral and intellectual case for humanism is, I believe, overwhelming …,” he writes.

He concludes (and here he specifically rejects Utopianism):

We will never have a perfect world. And it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing. This heroic story … belongs not to any tribe but to all humanity – to any sentient creature with the power of reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.”

That is the vision of the Decent Thinking Western Man. He believes that all human beings ultimately want the same things; that the good life is defined for all in the same general terms; that all  would agree to the Golden Rule, which has been “rediscovered in hundreds of moral traditions”.

But are those beliefs true? He himself records that there are many who do not value knowledge above ignorance, reason above superstition, freedom above coercion, even life above death. Which is to say, he writes about Islam (in which there is no Golden Rule). He knows Islam has no trace of “Enlightenment humanism”. He declares it an “illiberal” creed, and observes that “[M]any Western intellectuals – who would be appalled if the repression, misogyny, homophobia, and political violence that are common in the Islamic world were found in their own societies even diluted a hundred fold – have become strange apologists when these practices are carried out in the name of Islam.”

He finds one explanation for the double-standard of these intellectuals in their “admirable desire to prevent prejudice against Muslims”. But when it comes to revulsion against ideologists of repression, misogyny, homophobia, and political violence, is it prejudice or is it judgment? He says also that some of the apologetics are “intended to discredit a destructive (and possibly self-fulfilling) narrative that the world is embroiled in a clash of civilizations”. (Or, as I see it, of civilization against barbarism.) I wonder how anyone can look at the drastically changing demographics of Europe, or at least the Western part of it which will surely be under Islamic rule before the century is out, and not notice the clash.

But he does say that “calling out the antihumanistic features of contemporary Islamic belief is in no way Islamophobic”. Being the decent thinking Western man that he is, he is firmly for critical examination of all ideas.

His optimism shines out of the book. He thinks Islam can be reformed, even that a Muslim Enlightenment is possible. He believes there was an earlier age of Islamic Enlightenment, an “Islamic Golden Age” which could serve as a precedent. Well, if one wants to see bright possibilities, Islam may come to prefer science to the assertions of its prophet. It may become humane in its law and stop oppressing women. It may contribute to human progress. But whatever changes may come to Islam in the future, at present it does not value life above death, freedom above coercion, knowledge above superstition. And there is no good reason to believe it ever will.

 

Jillian Becker    April 12, 2018

 

*Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker, Viking, New York 2018. The quotations in the article come from the last chapter, Humanism.

The hubris and incoherence of the Left 14

The sheer incoherence of the Left must surely sink it eventually!

Feminists who claimed for decades to be fighting for women’s “liberation” defend the absolute subjugation of Muslim women. In their thousands, wearing silly pink baby hats, they bob about  Linda Sarsour, a Muslima in a hijab, cheering her every lying word as she tells them how much better for women Islam is than the Constitution of the USA.

Americans who worked passionately for years to keep the teaching of religion – Christianity in particular – out of public schools, are now letting Islam be taught in them. And not just allowing it but insisting on it. And what is being taught is not even the truth about that horrible religion. We would not object if the truth were being told. No; what the children get is a false, prettified version written by deceitful proselytizing Muslims. A supremacist, totalitarian, misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, murderous, savagely cruel ideology is presented to young scholars as a kindly, gentle thing, full of good-will and brotherly love.

And this happened:

So, after being maligned and threatened, Councilman Tom Harrison retracted his objection to Islam being included in the school curriculum, apologized, and groveled.

The idea of the separation of church and state does not exist in Islam. And it will no longer apply in all public schools in the United States, despite the First Amendment of the Constitution. At least, not when it comes to Islam. Islam, a blood-thirsty intolerant creed, is excepted.

Tolerance. Inclusiveness. Diversity. Buzzwords of the Left. Yet Leftists passionately support the intolerance, exclusiveness, and dogmatism that characterize Islam. They ignore its doctrine  that everyone in the world must become Muslim or suffer dire consequences, including murder.

What the Left has never understood, not for a moment since the New Left prophets such as Herbert Marcuse changed the category of persons they declared themselves to be the champions and saviors of  – substituting Lumpenproletarians, convicted felons, hoboes, women, Third Worlders for Karl Marx’s romanticized workers – is that they are patronizing the subjects of their crusade. They are the most extreme of social snobs.

They claim to be acting out of compassion, but there is an awful lot of condescension in their compassion, and an awful lot of vanity in their condescension.

Very few of them ever leave their comfortable quarters in the schools or parliaments or penthouses or manors or leafy suburbs where they write their books, speeches and op-eds, to visit the unsafe regions of the world where the folks they have made their Cause actually struggle to survive. They know almost nothing about them, and do not want to know. How shocked would they be to learn that the most rabid hatred of other races, religions, tribes, or mere skin color, is to be found there, among the “oppressed”, the “deprived”, the “wretched of the earth”?

So yes, there is a privileged white patriarchy consumed with moral vanity. But it is not to be found on the conservative Right. Here no one cares what color a person’s skin is. We do not think with our skins.

The privileged white patriarchy is to be found where ill-informed women march in pink baby hats. Where self-righteous students scream out their opinions against citizens’ ownership of guns. Where George Soros signs his checks.

The march of the Left goes on … 8

… through the institutions and beyond.

Who was behind the “March For Our Lives”, into which schoolkids were launched by the tens of thousands? And even more women, according to Dana R. Fisher at the Washington Post:

Like other resistance protests, and like previous gun-control marches, the March For Our Lives was mostly women. Whereas the 2017 Women’s March was 85 percent women, the March for Our Lives was 70 percent women. … Contrary to what’s been reported in many media accounts, the D.C. March for Our Lives crowd was not primarily made up of teenagers. Only about 10 percent of the participants were under 18. The average age of the adults in the crowd was just under 49 years old, which is older than participants at the other marches I’ve surveyed but similar to the age of the average participant at the Million Moms March in 2000, which was also about gun control.

The occasion for the march was the shooting on February 14, 2018, of 14 students and three adults at a Florida high school by a 19-year-old mass murderer.

The pretext for it was to protest against the ownership of guns by citizens of the United States on the grounds that if the gun-ownership were to be made illegal such mass murders would not happen.

The real aim of it was to advance the cause of the Left – unarmed populations dependent solely on government for protection.

Who organized the march and who paid for it?

Breitbart reports:

The March for Our Lives Action Fund, for example, was registered with the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs on Feb. 21, 2018 as a Deleware-based organization with a business address in Encino, California.

The agent for the fund is listed as CT Corporation System, a D.C.-based firm that handles compliance issues. Jeri Rhodes is listed as the executing officer for the filing.

Rhodes is the Associate Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which is a Quaker lobbying group with the goal to “advance peace and justice.”

The Quakers, famous for being pacifists, have for some time now been aiders and abettors of tyranny and terrorism. For instance, they run collective farms in North Korea, and strongly support the BDS movement and Hamas.  

Rhodes’s LinkedIn profile states that she once worked for Greenpeace.

For the evil Greenpeace does, see our post here.

Major players and organizations — including Everytown, Giffords, Move On, and Women’s March LA — told BuzzFeed News they are helping with logistics, strategy, and planning for next month’s March for Our Lives rally and beyond. Much of the specific resources the groups are providing to the Parkland students remains unclear — as is the full list of supporting organizations — but there are broad outlines.

Giffords,  an organization started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) that fights gun violence, is working with Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to plan the main march on Washington — as well as sister rallies across the country. A spokesperson for Giffords told BuzzFeed News that it is “lending support in any way the students need, especially helping to operationalize these marches from logistics to programming”. …

Planned Parenthood and the George Soros-funded Move On are also in the mix of left-wing groups behind the march.

BuzzFeed News reported, “MoveOn said it will encourage its millions of members to follow and promote the March for Our Lives movement on social media and attend the rally” and would help with security and other logistics.

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood said it is “teaching and hosting trainings” for teens “to keep momentum going so they don’t get burned out,” BuzzFeed News reported.

The NPS [National Park Service] permit reveals “persons in charge” of the D.C. event, including Deena Katz, the co-executive producer of Dancing with the Stars who helped organized the Los Angeles Women’s March. …

March for Our Lives also started a GoFundMe page that has raised $3.3 million. The text on the page states:

The funds will be spent on the incredibly difficult and expensive process that is organizing a march like this. We have people making more specific plans, but for now, know that this is for the march and everything left over will be going to the victims’ funds.

… The NPS permit reveals more about the event, including the “event overview”, which states:

Approximately (500,000) student participants and adults from across the country, will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut shot in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March for Our Lives believes the time is now.

The permit also says that the organizers have to spend millions on insurance for the event.

Procure public and employee liability insurance from responsible companies with a minimum limitation of $2,000,000 per person for any one claim and an aggregate limit of $5,000,000 for any number of claims arising from any one incident. The United States of America shall be named as an additional insured on all such policies. The permit number will be included on said policy. …

Nonetheless, the Florida students who are credited with organizing the march insist it is teens, not adults, who are in charge, while admitting adults are involved.

Cameron Kasky, 17, acknowledged that the anti-Trump group Indivisible is helping and said that their assistance is necessary because of the role race allegedly plays in school shootings.

Kasky said in an interview on Friday with National Public Radio:

You know our story was told because we are an affluent white community and we have to shine the spotlight that was given on us on everybody in the world that has to deal with this on a daily basis. So people like Indivisible, who represent students who are in lower-income communities and don’t get to speak out the way we do because people don’t listen — we have to connect with these students.

The March for Our Lives Twitter account also features a video with students stating the anti-gun talking points used by left-wing groups regularly, including blaming the National Rifle Association [NRA] for school shootings.

The March for Our Lives website states that 840 marches are planned in the U.S. and around the world.

Not planned by schoolkids, we may be sure.

Bruce Thornton writes at Front Page:

Last Saturday hundreds of thousands of high schoolers gathered across the country in a “March for Our Lives” rally. Organized and financed by anti-gun nuts and other left-wing outfits, and ornamented with Hollywood celebrities like George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey, the spectacle was filled with the emotional exhibitionism and juvenile policy recommendations one would expect from the most pampered and worst-educated cohort of young people in American history – the perfect shock troops for progressive propaganda. …

The author carries on a bit about the kids having no “faith”, meaning that he thinks being Christian would keep them from this sort of thing. He might note that the Quakers, who are intensely Christian, supported the march. And as to faith – the organizers and paymasters, and all too many of the indoctrinated students themselves, have faith in “progressivism” (aka communism). We do not agree with him about that, but what we like of what he says, we quote:

We have been witnessing for some time [a] combination of adolescent immaturity and therapeutic leftism in the college “snowflake” and “safe-space” phenomenon, and in the intolerance of dissent and willingness to use tantrums to shut up anybody challenging the self-importance of pampered, privileged college students. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that now high school students are being recruited by the left to “march” against the wicked NRA, which stands in the way of the longtime leftist goal of gutting the Second Amendment.The progressive goal of centralized and concentrated power, and the transfer of all authority and autonomy from the citizens and states to the federal Leviathan, is challenged by the right of citizens to own a means of self-protection that guards against the monopoly of force, historically the foundation of tyrannical power. And what better occasion for chipping away at the citizens’ right to keep and bear arms than the telegenic sentimentalism of a school shooting? And what better cat’s paw for achieving change than innocent high school kids and their trauma – carefully selected, of course, to bring the right message? The drama and pathos of victims, particularly when they’re young, is a great vehicle for peddling incoherent and useless policies – and for camouflaging the truth that those recommendations are basically misdirection from the progressives’ political goals.

Take David Hogg, who was present during the attack last month on the high school in Parkland. The seventeen-year-old appears with four other Stoneman Douglas students on the cover of Time, and has become a darling of the anti-gun crowd for his profanity-laced tantrums that demonstrate perfectly the portrait sketched above: “The pathetic f***ers that want to keep killing our children, they could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn’t take action because they all still see those dollar signs,” he said of the NRA and other lawmakers defending the Second Amendment.

Notice how this callow youth simply regurgitates the stale clichés of the gun-control fundamentalists. He obviously has no clue that the NRA has political clout not because of the pittance it gives politicians compared to, say, public-employee unions, but because millions of Americans support its mission to defend a Constitutional right they hold dear. … He has no clue that the demonized, perfectly legal AR-15 was already banned from 1994-2004, without lowering gun-deaths even as the number of guns increased. Like his equally addled elders, he can’t fathom that more regulations of guns do nothing to keep them out of the hands of thugs and psychopaths, but do complicate and limit the rights of law-abiding citizens.

No thought, no empirical evidence, no respect for facts, no reasoned arguments, just the potty-mouth, hysterical emotion, bathetic drama, and attention-getting antics of an immature child who thinks his feelings are the world’s highest priority. …

But we can’t blame the young. The progressive transformation of our culture has been directed at creating just such students, whose natural inclinations to self-drama and emotion rather than thinking make them perfect constituents for an ideology that flourishes among those who obsess over their feelings  

And whatever is said of the youths applies equally to the women.

But there are youths of another sort.

Of course, there are millions of young people who somehow have managed to avoid this progressive siren song. … But they are demonized and scorned by the progressive pundits and politicians who distrust anyone who challenges their narrative. This silent cohort of the young is the true resistance against an ideology that prefers them to be robotic shock troops.

Here is a student, Kyle Kashuv, from the  school that was attacked, who feels the horror of the mass shooting and the sadness of the loss of lives as much as any other, but has thought about the event intelligently, and puts forward common-sense and practical ideas that could really work to  keep schools safe from such an attack. He points out that government – in particular the “cowards of Broward” meaning the progressive Sheriff and his cowardly underlings – failed in its duty, yet the protesters want to put more power in government hands. Because his ideas, including a refusal to blame gun-ownership, do not fit with the ideological aims of the organizers, they would not allow him to speak to the marchers from the platform.

He speaks here:

 

Seventeen victims of a demented ideology 8

The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, was carried out by the psychopath Nikolas Cruz. He was ably assisted by the incompetence of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Scott Israel. And it was also the result of a policy hatched and implemented by the Obama administration.

Daniel Horowitz writes at Conservative Review:

 It turns out that Broward County has been promoting a program … to incentivize local officials to do everything they can to keep juveniles out of jail. …

That’s what the Broward County “PROMISE” program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education) did. Not prevent crimes, but prevent young criminals being punished by the law.

Broward County “had the highest number of school-related arrests statewide at 1,062” before Obama began his Common Core-style grant programs for local jailbreak agendas. Once millions of dollars were doled out for juvenile feel-good programs to avoid arrest, such as the PROMISE program, the number of arrests plummeted by 63 percent from 2011-2012 to the 2015-2016 school year. …

Every nook and cranny of the [Obama] federal government’s law enforcement and education programs are filled with a culture of leniency on crime. Up until the very last month of the Obama administration, the Department of Education, along with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and former Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, were promoting “the continuing need to rethink discipline.”

If there was ever an argument for abolishing the Department of Education, the growing concern over school violence and the role of the federal government in pressuring local communities to weaken their disciplinary standards should be the number one reason.

There is certainly [reason] to believe the particular leadership of Broward County was corrupt, incompetent, and even had ties to unindicted co-conspirators with Hamas. … Speaking at a mosque with his Hamas-supporting deputy, Nezar Hamze, Scott Israel said, “I have said over and over again, we have to measure the success of the Broward Sherriff’s office by the kids we keep out of jail, not by the kids we put in jail. We have to give our children second chances and third chances.” Or maybe 45 chances.

That was the number of times the police were called to criminal disturbances at the home of Nikolas Cruz. 45 times! And still he wasn’t arrested and charged.

Lest you think [Scott] Israel is uniquely radical, his statement is the gospel of the bipartisan leniency factions in almost every state.

Amazingly, the entire political class is attempting to expand these programs and apply them at a federal level as well, while decrying guns. Even Rep. Mark Walker, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is mindlessly touting vague “criminal justice reform” initiatives as if they are a positive.

Where is the clamor, even on the Right, to end the “reform” of criminal justice rather than attack the Second Amendment? After all, you can’t target the guns going into the wrong hands if you don’t target “the wrong hands” in the first place. The irony is that the bipartisan criminal justice reform agenda will make any background checks moot, particularly for juveniles who escape the entire criminal justice system through programs set up with federal funds, local liberal judges, and Soros-backed NGOs designed to expunge their records and treat them outside the system.

The soft-on-crime crowd can’t have it both ways. They can’t seek tougher laws on guns while seeking lenient laws on the violent criminals. They can’t promote federal policies that incentivize or bully states into putting more names in a NICs database while promoting policies that encourage states to lock up as few criminals as possible. The entire criminal justice “reform” movement has created a culture, pressure, and incentive for cops and county governments to be as lenient as possible when it comes to incarcerating juveniles, the exact opposite of the cultural pressure from the past two decades.

Rather than pandering on gun control while simultaneously promoting jailbreak legislation, Republicans would do better to cut off all funding for jailbreak grant programs through the Department of Justice and Department of Education and call upon Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to rescind all Obama-era memorandums pressuring local school districts to change their methods of discipline.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline refers to, and quotes, the Horowitz article, and comments:

If law enforcement had retained discretion, there’s a good chance Cruz would have been arrested and/or committed. After all, the sheriff’s department received dozens of credible complaints against him. Some described his violent acts and tendencies, others his threats to shoot up the school. …

Cruz was expelled for bringing weapons to school. And when he got into a fight in September of 2016, he was referred to social workers rather than to the police. Similarly, when he allegedly assaulted a student in January 2017, it triggered a school-based threat assessment, but no police involvement.The Washington Post notes that Cruz “was well-known to school and mental health authorities and was entrenched in the process for getting students help rather than referring them to law enforcement“. …

Sheriff Scott Israel provides a perfect example of the new mentality — the culture of leniency.

Speaking at a mosque, he remarked:

I have said over and over again, we have to measure the success of the Broward Sherriff’s office by the kids we keep out of jail, not by the kids we put in jail. We have to give our children second chances and third chances.

 Unfortunately, Nikolas Cruz’s victims never even had a first chance.

The idea of measuring the success of a law enforcement agency by the number of people not in jail is sheer lunacy. The only valid measurements of success are (1) prevention of crime and (2) apprehension and successful prosecution of criminals. If, instead, we were to measure success by the number of people not in jail, then the most successful sheriffs would be the ones who didn’t arrest anyone, or at least any youths. And the logical way to build on that “success” would be to release those already in custody. …

It’s not enough to condemn Scott Israel as incompetent. His incompetence is only part of the story. The rest of the story is the culture of leniency, enshrined in federal policy, that encouraged Israel’s department to keep Nikolas Cruz free to kill.

And Ann Coulter writes at Townhall:

If Cruz had taken out full-page ads in the local newspapers, he could not have demonstrated more clearly that he was a dangerous psychotic. He assaulted students, cursed out teachers, kicked in classroom doors, started fist fights, threw chairs, threatened to kill other students, mutilated small animals, pulled a rifle on his mother, drank gasoline and cut himself, among other “red flags”.

Over and over again, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School reported Cruz’s terrifying behavior to school administrators, including Kelvin Greenleaf, “security specialist”,  and Peter Mahmood, head of [the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] JROTC.

At least three students showed school administrators Cruz’s near-constant messages threatening to kill them — e.g., “I am going to enjoy seeing you down on the grass,” “Im going to watch ypu bleed,” “iam going to shoot you dead” — including one that came with a photo of Cruz’s guns. They warned school authorities that he was bringing weapons to school. They filed written reports.

Threatening to kill someone is a felony. …

If Cruz had been charged and jailed, not only would a dangerous criminal have been locked up for a while, but also …

Having a felony record would have prevented him from purchasing a gun. …

Cruz was never arrested. …

Of course, killjoys will say that removing the consequences of bad behavior only encourages more bad behavior. But that’s not the view of Learned Professionals, who took summer courses at Michigan State Ed School.

In a stroke of genius, they realized that the only problem criminals have is that people keep lists of their criminal activities. It’s the list that prevents them from getting into M.I.T. and designing space stations on Mars. Where they will cure cancer.

This primitive, stone-age thinking was made official Broward County policy in a Nov. 5, 2013, agreement titled “Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline.”

The first “whereas” clause of the agreement states that “the use of arrests and referrals to the criminal justice system may decrease a student’s chance of graduation, entering higher education, joining the military and getting a job.”

Get it? It’s the arrest – not the behavior that led to the arrest – that reduces a student’s chance at a successful life. (For example, just look at how much the district’s refusal to arrest Nikolas Cruz helped him!)

The agreement’s third “whereas” clause specifically cites “students of color” as victims of the old, racist policy of treating criminal behavior criminally. …

Just a few months ago, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert W. Runcie, was actually bragging about how student arrests had plummeted under his bold leadership.

When he took over in 2011, the district had “the highest number of school-related arrests in the state”. But today, he boasted, Broward has “one of the lowest rates of arrest in the state.” By the simple expedient of ignoring criminal behavior, student arrests had declined by a whopping 78 percent. …

When it comes to spectacular crimes, it’s usually hard to say how it could have been prevented. But in this case, we have a paper trail. In the pursuit of a demented ideology, specific people agreed not to report, arrest or prosecute dangerous students like Nikolas Cruz.

These were the parties to the Nov. 5, 2013, agreement that ensured Cruz would be out on the street with full access to firearms:

Robert W. Runcie, Superintendent of Schools

Peter M. Weinstein, Chief Judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit

Michael J. Satz, State Attorney

Howard Finkelstein, Public Defender

Scott Israel, Broward County Sheriff

Franklin Adderley, Chief of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department

Wansley Walters, Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

Marsha Ellison, President of the Fort Lauderdale Branch of the NAACP and Chair of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board

Nikolas Cruz may be crazy, but the parties to that agreement are crazy, too. They decided to make high school students their guinea pigs for an experiment based on a noxious ideology. The blood of 17 people is on their hands.

And there will be many more victims of the noxious and demented ideology.

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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Agenda 21 and the Ministry of Loneliness 19

In our town, and almost certainly in your town, and most of the towns (cities) of the United States, tall buildings are springing up at or near railway and bus stations, consisting of hundreds of very small living-units for single occupants. No areas are provided for cars, though there is accommodation for a limited number of bicycles. Occupants are encouraged to use public transport.

The living-units we have seen contain a narrow bunk bed, a small wardrobe and a couple of drawers to hold a few (standard issue) clothes, a desk big enough for a (frequently called-in and replaced) lap-top computer to stand on, a shelf where a very few books or a framed photograph or two might be displayed. And there is a narrow shower-closet, with the usual facilities, where the luxuries of rationed soap and toilet tissue may perhaps be enjoyed in the hours when the water is centrally turned on. We do not know for sure that there are recording devices hidden here and there, but we very reasonably suspect there are.

These buildings are part of the implementation by your local council of Agenda 21.

A video, issued in January 2009, explains what Agenda 21 is:

So families are to be broken up or never formed. That’s why the new living-units are for single people only.

Yes, the single persons will be lonely. That’s a vital part of the plan. 

The British Prime Minister (by what accumulation of errors?) Theresa May is the first political leader to appoint a Minister of Loneliness. Her name (it would of course be a woman) is Tracey Crouch. She is also the Minister of Sports (and “Digital, Culture, and Media”) who knows everything about team work, uniforms, mass transport, rules, penalties … Good choice, Theresa!

So as not to offend the Muslim community – which must never be offended even if its members rape and murder that little daughter of yours who has been taken away to be educated in group-think – males and females will be separated for all communal activities (pretty well the only kind of activities that will be allowed).

But also not to offend the LGBQTetc communities, there will have to be further separation for sports teams, work forces, organized social gatherings … Public toilet facilities, however, will be as open to all-comers as the borders of the late nation-states.

The human race will be relieved of the sin of private ownership. And of the burden of self-support. And of the responsibility of family support.  And of any cause to envy your neighbor.

Oh, brave new low-CO2 world that has such collectives in it!

The burst envelope: a meditation 9

“Pushing the envelope”?

The envelope has burst.

Now that the F***ault rebels have escaped from those soft confines, how far with their moral carpet-bombing will they go?

It wasn’t enough that they could speak freely: they had to silence everyone else.

It wasn’t enough that the failed were supported by the successful; the successful had to be reviled.

It wasn’t enough that homosexual marriage be legalized: heterosexual marriage had to be derided.

It wasn’t enough that transgendering be normalized: persons who did not “transgender” had to be poison-tagged “cisgendered heteronormative”.

It wasn’t enough that women should have equality of opportunity in business, government, diplomacy, the military, churches, academia, trade and crime: men had to be denigrated.

It wasn’t enough that blacks were privileged with affirmative action: whites had to be crushed.

Will they flatten the entire moral landscape into a smoking ruin and then go whooping on, all the way to Venezuela?

Nah. Give them a few more years and a lot more tax-payers’ money, and they’ll build Venezuela here, in America’s Green Islamic land.

Posted under Progressivism, Revolt, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 2, 2017

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The cruel relentless common purpose of the British police 2

Just published yesterday (November 30, 2017) is this welcome Pat Condell video, in which he explains that in Britain “the law has gone all Progressive”. Which means the worst crime anyone can commit – almost the only crime – is to say something which could be interpreted (by the police) as “racist”, aggravated if the “racist” remark concerns Muslims. Meanwhile Muslims continue to be allowed to commit vile crimes against helpless children.

And he reveals the existence of a sinister brain-washing re-education center for institution leaders called “Common Purpose”.

Posted under Britain, Islam, Law, Muslims, Progressivism, tyranny, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 1, 2017

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Islam taking over 2

Muslims are forming political parties in Europe, and are succeeding in getting candidates elected to parliamentary seats.

Long before they have enough seats to form governments, they will have turned West European states into full-blown tyrannies. The process has begun with the suppression of free speech (criticizing Islam) in Germany, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy.

Judith Bergman writes about some of the Islamic parties at Gatestone:

Sweden’s brand new first Islamic party, Jasin, is aiming to run for the 2018 parliamentary elections. According to the website of the party, Jasin is a “multicultural, democratic, peaceful party” that is “secular” and aims to “unite everyone from the East … regardless of ethnicity, language, race, skin color or religion”. Jasin apparently knows what the Swedes like to hear.

In an interview, the founder and spokesperson of the party, Mehdi Hosseini, who came from Iran to Sweden 30 years ago, revealed that the leader of the new political party, Sheikh Zoheir Eslami Gheraati, does not actually live in Sweden. He is an Iranian imam, who lives in Teheran, but Jasin wants to bring him to Sweden: “I thought he was such a peaceful person who would be able to manifest the peaceful side of Islam. I think that is needed in Sweden,” said Hosseini.

The party does not, however, fit the description Hosseini gives it. He uses the vocabulary of tolerance to deceive Swedish voters. It is deliberate deception – taqiyya – which is not just permitted but prescribed by Islam.

But the lies he tells for the ears of Swedes won’t do for Muslim voters who don’t want democracy and tolerance of other religions. They want a party that will do what the Koran and the hadith say  it must do. So for those who don’t like that description of his party, Hosseini has another:

The purpose of the Jasin party, however, does not appear to be either secular or multicultural. In its application to the Swedish Election Authority, the party writes – with refreshing honesty – that it will “firstly follow exactly what the Koran says, secondly what Shiite imams say”. The Jasin party also states that it is a “non-jihadi and missionary organization, which will spread Islam’s real side, which has been forgotten and has been transformed from a beautiful to a warlike religion …”

In mid-September, the Swedish Election Authority informed Jasin that it failed to deliver the needed signatures, but that it is welcome to try again. Anna Nyqvist, from the Swedish Election Authority, said that a political party with an anti-democratic or Islamic agenda is eligible to run for parliament if the party’s application fulfills all formalities.

And what does it matter if the leader of a party which might in time form a government in Sweden lives in another country? (Government of one country by another used to be called “colonialism”.)

Nyqvist considers it unproblematic that the leader of the party lives in Iran. “This is the essence of democracy, that all views should be allowed. And it is up to them to choose their party leader,”  Nyqvist said.

Can any literate person raised in the West be as stupid as that? Oh, yes. Many.

Islamist parties have begun to emerge in many European countries, such as the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, and France.

In the Netherlands, two Dutch Turks, former members of the Socialist party, founded a new party, Denk, only six months before the Dutch parliamentary elections. Despite the short timeframe, they managed to get one-third of the Muslim vote and three seats in parliament. The party does not hide its affinity for Turkey: Criticism of Turkey is taboo just as is their refusal to name the Turkish mass-slaughter of the Armenians during the First World War a genocide. The party ran on a platform against the integration of immigrants into Dutch society (instead advocating “mutual acceptance”, a euphemism for creating parallel Muslim societies); and for establishment of a “racism police” that would register “offenders” and exclude them from holding public office.

In Austria, Turkish Muslims also formed a new party, the New Movement for the Future (NBZ), established in January 2017. According to its founder, Adnan Dincer, the NBZ is not an Islamic party or a Turkish party, despite being composed mainly of Turkish Muslims. [Yet] several of the party’s Facebook posts are written only in Turkish. [And] Dincer has made no secret of the fact that his party strongly backs Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan  

Who is taking Turkey back from the secular democracy it has been for nearly a century, to Islam-flavored autocracy.

In Belgium, several Islamic parties are preparing to run in the next elections. Dyab Abu Jahjah, apparently behind one of them, while not having presented a formal platform yet, has said he wants to “be part of an egalitarian radical renaissance that will conquer Brussels, Belgium, Europe and the whole world, with new politics of radical equality… defeat the forces of supremacy … of sustained privileges … of the status-quo … in every possible arena”.

Jahjah is a Lebanese immigrant, who emerged on the European scene, when he founded the now defunct Brussels-based Arab-European League in 2001. It was a pan-European political group aiming to create a Europe-wide “sharocracy” – a supposedly sharia-based “democracy”. In 2001, after the September 11 terror attacks, Jahjah said that he and many Muslims had felt a “sweet revenge feeling”. In 2004, Jahjah said that he supported the killing of foreign troops in Iraq. “I consider every death of an American, British or Dutch soldier as a victory.” He has also been opposed to the assimilation of Muslims, which he has described as “cultural rape”.

Jahjah used to be considered a Hezbollah-supporting extremist, and, although he describes himself as a “political friend” of Jeremy Corbyn, he was banned from entering Britain. In Belgium, however, he is seen as a respectable activist, leader of a group called Movement X, and formerly with his own weekly column in the Belgian daily De Standaard. The Belgian political magazine Knack named Jahjah the country’s fourth most influential person, just behind Manchester City footballer Vincent Kompany. In January 2017, however, De Standaard fired Jahjah after he praised a terror attack in Jerusalem. “By any means necessary, #freepalestine,” Jahjah had tweeted after a Muslim ISIS-affiliated terrorist plowed a truck through a crowd of young Israeli soldiers visiting Jerusalem, killing four and injuring countless others.

Jahjah will likely experience fierce competition from the “I.S.L.A.M.” party, founded in 2012, and working to implement Islamic law, sharia, in Belgium. The party already has branches in the Brussels districts of Anderlecht, Molenbeek and Liege. The party wants to “translate religion into practice”. …

The party has put forth a mayoral candidate for the Brussels municipal elections in 2018: Michel Dardenne, who converted to Islam in 2002. In his program, Dardenne speaks mainly of how much the party respects Belgian democracy and its constitution, while simply wanting to help an undefined populace against “the elites”. He may have found it easier to appeal to “progressive” non-Muslims that way. Brussels, 25% Muslim, has enormous potential for Islamic parties.

In France, several Islamic parties are also preparing to run in elections. One party is the PEJ, established in 2015 by French-Turkish Muslims and reportedly connected to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP. … The PEJ has already approved 68 candidates and wants to abolish the separation of church and state, make veils mandatory for schoolgirls in public schools, introduce halal food in all schools and fight “Islamophobia”.

Do Europeans want Islam to replace their own political systems and cultures? Are they aware that that is what is happening? Hard to tell.

Judith Bergman can’t tell. She asks –

How many Europeans are even paying attention to their [the Islamic parties’] agendas?

And who opened their paths to power?

The short answer is, the Left. Governments that are socialist in fact even when the parties in power are “conservative” in name. Bureaucrats who saw their populations shrinking to a point where it would become difficult to maintain their socialist welfare states, so in order to have people, lots and lots of people to pay into the welfare system, they imported millions of Muslims from the Third World, without a moment’s consideration of what values, what laws, what customs, what antagonisms the masses of newcomers brought with them. And, ironically, the majority of them are takers from the state rather than contributors to it. (For instance, 90% of immigrants to Austria are wholly dependent on state welfare.)

There’s nothing in the Koran about social security, free education, or national health services. Or democracy. Or the equality of women. Or same-sex marriage. Or against slavery.

But that will be just fine with West European leaders as long as the application of the Islamic party in power “has fulfilled all formalities”.

 

Note: Germany has allowed a terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), to register as a political party and – on a joint list with the Marxist-Leninist Party – nominate candidates for the federal parliament. See our post A strange, ironic, and tragic historical moment, September 9, 2027.

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