Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Mark Cuomo is an American politician who is the 56th and current Governor of New York. A member of the Democratic Party, Cuomo was elected Governor in 2010, holding the same position his father Mario Cuomo...

NY's big '$witch'
Gov. Cuomo approved a new policy Tuesday night allowing impoverished transgender New Yorkers to bill taxpayers for sex-change surgery.

The administration issued new rules requiring New York’s $55 billion Medicaid program — the government health-insurance program for the needy — to foot the bill for “gender reassignment” operations.

State officials estimate the expanded coverage for transgender operations and services will cost the Medicaid program $6.7 million a year. It is already the costliest in the nation.

There are 353 men and 308 women on the state Medicaid rolls who have been diagnosed with gender-identify disorder.

The state Department of Health estimated that a portion of these individuals will seek either hormone therapy or reassignment surgery.

The cost for sex-change operations — which include genital removal, breast augmentation and mastectomy — ranges from $15,000 to $50,000. That doesn’t include thousands of dollars in therapy and counseling services.

Medicaid will pick up the tab for transgender New Yorkers over 18, although the patients must be at least 21 to get surgery that results in sterilization.

‎“New York state has always been a progressive leader, and ensuring that all New Yorkers — regardless of gender identity — are treated fairly will continue this legacy,” Cuomo said.

“This new regulation will guarantee transgender New Yorkers access to Medicaid-funded care, which is critical to safeguarding the principle of equal treatment,” he said.

“I am proud that the state is taking this step and continuing to lead the fight on transgender rights.”

New York joins ‎ Oregon, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, DC, and Maryland in offering medical services to transgender residents.

Republican leaders slammed Cuomo’s move as outrageous.

“New Yorkers pay the highest ‎property taxes in America because our Medicaid costs already are through the roof, ” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

State Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) predicted the Medicaid costs for sex-change operations will be much higher.

“The state is saying it will cost $67 million over 10 years. It will be over $100 million. It’s an inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars,” Golden said.

Cuomo’s measure also will make it easier for foster-care residents in the city’s care who identify as transgender to get sex-reassignment surgery through Medicaid. The city — as well as the state — has been sued for discrimination after refusing to pay for such services.

“We look forward to working with the state in the implementation and rollout of these critical and lifesaving health-care provisions for the transgender community,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the council’s LGBT Caucus said in a joint statement.

Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, said, “We applaud the Cuomo administration for taking this important step.”

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Sunday, December 14, 2014



When 'justice' trumps accuracy, journalism loses

by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
December 14, 2014

JOURNALISTS, SAYS Jorge Ramos, shouldn't make a fetish of accuracy and impartiality.
Univision's star anchor, Jorge Ramos, has "nothing against objectivity," but he argues that journalists should use their profession "as a weapon for a higher purpose."
Speaking last month at the International Press Freedom Awards, Univision's influential news anchor told his audience that while he has "nothing against objectivity," journalism is meant to be wielded as "a weapon for a higher purpose: justice." To be sure, he said, it is important to get the facts right — five deaths should be reported as five, not six or seven. But "the best of journalism happens when we, purposely, stop pretending that we are neutral and recognize that we have a moral obligation to tell truth to power."
As it happens, Ramos delivered those remarks soon after the publication of Sabrina Erdely's 9,000-word story in Rolling Stone vividly describing the alleged gang rape of a freshman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity party. Erdely had reportedly spent months researching the story, and its explosive impact was — at first — everything a tell-truth-to-power journalist could have wished: national attention, public outrage, campus protests, suspension of UVA's fraternities, and a new "zero-tolerance" policy on sexual assault.

But Rolling Stone's blockbuster has imploded, undone by independent reporting at The Washington Post that found glaring contradictions and irregularities with the story, and egregious failures in the way it was written and edited. Erdely, it turns out, had taken Jackie's horrific accusations on faith, never contacting the alleged rapists for a comment or response. In a rueful "Note to Our Readers," managing editor Will Dana writes: "[W]e have come to the conclusion … that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story."

To a layman, that "conclusion" might seem so excruciatingly self-evident that Rolling Stone's debacle can only be explained as gross negligence, or a reckless disregard for the truth. But much of the journalistic priesthood holds to a different standard, one that elevates the higher truth of an overarching "narrative" — in this case, that a brutal and callous "rape culture" pervades American college campuses — above the mundane details of fact. Erdely had set out in search of a grim sexual-assault story, and settled on Jackie's account of being savaged by five men (or was it seven?) at a fraternity bash was just the vehicle she'd been looking for. Why get tangled in conflicting particulars?
"Maybe [Erdely] was too credulous," suggests longtime media critic Howard Kurtz in a piece on Rolling Stone's journalistic train wreck. "Along with her editors."

Or maybe this is what happens when newsrooms and journalism schools decide, like Jorge Ramos, that although they have "nothing against objectivity," their real aspiration is to use journalism "as a weapon for a higher purpose." Somehow it didn't come as a shock to learn that when Dana was invited to lecture at Middlebury College in 2006, his speech was titled: "A Defense of Biased Reporting."


Even after the UVA story began to collapse, voices were raised in defense of the narrative over mere fact.
"This is not to say that it does not matter whether or not Jackie's story is accurate," Julia Horowitz, an assistant managing editor at the University of Virginia's student newspaper, wrote in Politico. But "to let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge mistake."

Well, if the "narrative" is what matters most, checking the facts too closely can indeed be a huge mistake. Because facts, those stubborn things, have a tendency to undermine cherished narratives — particularly narratives grounded in emotionalism, memory, or ideology.
Rolling Stone's article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia — meant to illustrate the "rape culture" that supposedly pervades college campuses — turned out to be an egregious journalistic debacle.
It's a temptation to which journalists have always been susceptible. In the 1930s, to mention one notorious example, Walter Duranty recycled Soviet propaganda, assuring his New York Times readers that no mass murders were occurring under Stalin's humane and enlightened rule. Duranty is reviled today. But the willingness to subordinate a passion for accuracy to a supposedly higher passion for "justice" (or "equality" or "fairness" or "diversity" or "peace" or "the environment") persists.

Has the time come to give up on the ideal of objective, unbiased journalism? Would media bias openly acknowledged be an improvement over news media that only pretend not to take sides?

This much is clear: The public isn't deceived. Trust in the media has been drifting downward for years. According to Gallup, Americans' confidence that news is being reported "fully, accurately, and fairly" reached an all-time low this year. Would you be astonished to see that number sink even further next year? Me neither.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NEVER SAY "IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE" BECAUSE IT CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Chesterton’s Islamic England

The Flying Inn Illustration
G.K. Chesterton had a knack for anticipating future trends but when, in his 1914 novel The Flying Inn, he anticipated the Islamization of England, it seemed so far out of the realm of possibility that it was difficult to take it as anything but a flight of fancy.
True enough, the book has a whimsical, Pickwickian quality. It follows the rambling adventures of two British stalwarts, Patrick Dalroy and Humphrey Pump, as they try to stay one step ahead of the law, dispensing free liquor as they go in an England where alcohol has been banned. The “Flying Inn” is their motor car which they have furnished with a large keg of rum, a cask of cheese, and a pub sign.
Roughly one hundred years later, Chesterton’s scenario no longer seems improbable. Many observers believe the Islamization of England is just a matter of time. For example, in her 2006 book Londonistan, Melanie Phillips presents a detailed description of the Islamic “colonization” of England now underway and shows how it is made possible by the governing class’ abandonment of cultural and spiritual values. Chesterton was remarkably prescient not only in imagining that Islamization might happen, but also in envisioning how it would happen—through the instrumentality of a deracinated governing class. The reason that alcohol is banned in Chesterton’s tale is because some upper-class elites have become enamored of Islam and everything Islamic—including the prohibition of drink. Chief among these is Lord Ivywood, a Nietzschean diplomat who has enlisted the aid of a mysterious Turk, Misyra Ammon, to spread the new gospel among the jaded upper class who find exotic Islam to be more exciting than their own traditions and religion.
Among other things, the establishment of the new order involves a rewriting of history. As Ammon patiently explains to his sophisticated audiences, England was originally an Islamic country. This is evident, he says, in the existence of numerous pubs with Islamic names—“The Saracen’s Head,” for example—as well as in the English fondness for the word “crescent”—as in “Grosvenor Crescent,” “Regent’s Park Crescent,” and “Royal Crescent.” Moreover, like today’s multicultural elite, Chesterton’s “smart set” are all too happy to hear that this exotic culture is superior to their own, and are quite willing to accept that virtually all scientific and technical discoveries were first made by Muslims. As one of the English characters puts it: “Of course, all our things came from the East…. Everything from the East is good, of course.”
One of the imports from the East is polygamy or, as Ammon calls it, the “Higher Polygamy.” No one is as yet practicing polygamy, but it eventually dawns on one of the young ladies in the story that this is the direction in which things are trending—that Lord Ivywood’s mansion is, in fact, designed to be a harem. Not quite as astute, the other young ladies prefer to think, as Misyra Ammon tells them, “that women had the highest freedom in Turkey; as they were allowed to wear trousers.”
Chesterton was smart enough to realize that something like Islamization could not happen without a prior undermining of the existing culture. As Hal G.P. Colebatch observes:
Chesterton was original not only in seeing a then apparently down-and-out Islam was still a threat to Europe, but also in seeing that the Islamic conquest would not be possible without a preceding culture war to destroy the social agents of resistance, that Islam had a certain seductiveness for a type of jaded Western mind, and that the betrayers would not be the lower classes but the wealthy elite.
As Chesterton foresaw, and as is the case today, naïve clergymen would also help to pave the way for Islam. In The Flying Inn, the great cathedrals replace the cross with a cross-and- crescent emblem, and intellectuals believe that the time has come “for a full unity between Christianity and Islam.” “Something called Chrislam perhaps,” observes a skeptical Irishman. But others are convinced that Christianity and Islam are “natural allies”—to use a term that is currently in favor. In Chesterton’s Edwardian setting, progressives believe that Christians and Muslims can work together to “deliver the populace from the bondage of the all-destroying drug [alcohol].” Today, some conservative Catholics believe that Christians and Muslims can work together to fight pornography and restore sexual morality. And then, as now, many believe that we have much to learn from Islam. As Lord Ivywood puts it:
Ours is an age when men come more and more to see that the creeds hold treasures for each other, that each religion has a secret for its neighbour … and church unto church showeth knowledge.
Or, as one contemporary Catholic author claims: “Islam has great and deep resources of morality and sanctity that should inspire us and shame us and prod us to admiration and imitation.”
Then, as now, part of the softening-up process is accomplished by employing politically correct euphemisms to hide plain facts. The reclusive Turkish warlord, Oman Pasha, who has taken the estate next to Ivywood’s, and who, with Ivywood’s assistance, is secretly building a Turkish army in England, is referred to by naïve neighbors as the “Mediterranean gentleman.” “The description,” notes the author, “did not illuminate and it probably was not intended to do so.” In our day, the elites have invented a whole panoply of Newspeak terms designed to cover up for Islamic aggressiveness. Thus, in England and Europe, Muslim gangs that riot and rape on a mass scale are referred to in TV news as “Asian youth,” or simply “youths.” And Islamic terrorists are routinely designated by the generic, could-be-anyone label “violent extremists.” Meanwhile, in public and private schools, children are learning that jihad is an interior spiritual struggle to become a better person. Perhaps the mother of all euphemisms designed to keep us off guard is the oft-repeated assurance that Islam is a religion of peace. That phrase doesn’t appear in Chesterton’s story, but Misyra Ammon assures his listeners that Islam is a religion devoted to serving others.
Chesterton’s prophetic novel hits uncomfortably close to home. One thing he didn’t anticipate, however, is that the final Islamization of England could be accomplished without importing a foreign army. Since modern England has already imported enough Muslim immigrants to engineer a significant cultural shift, an occupying army won’t be needed. Otherwise, Chesterton was right on target. He foresaw that an Islamic takeover would be facilitated by cultural elites eager to show their tolerance for new ideas and fashions and their corresponding disdain for traditional culture. In Chesterton’s day, the cultural elites were referred to as the smart set; today they are the multicultural and media elites. And, as in Chesterton’s story, they are quite willing to believe that Muslims discovered or invented just about everything under the sun.
Recently, for example, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, claimed that Muslims were the first to discover America and this, no doubt, will soon be taken seriously by Western educators. Multiculturalists would love to believe that America was discovered not by a light-skinned European Christian but by a dark-skinned Muslim. It would fit in nicely with their decades-long campaign to undermine the Western tradition. Thanks to his teachers, the average Western student doesn’t know much about history, but he does know that he was born into a rotten culture with an appalling history of racism, sexism, and imperialism.
Much of what Chesterton foresaw has already come to pass. Cross-crescent emblems haven’t yet appeared on the cathedrals, but several churches in the West have been sold to Muslim groups and subsequently turned into mosques. And just recently, in a gesture of Chrislamism, the Washington National Cathedral opened its doors to a weekly Muslim prayer service. Meanwhile, a senior Church of England bishop recommended that Prince Charles’ coronation service should be opened with a reading from the Koran. The gesture, he said, would be “a creative act of accommodation” to make Muslims feel “warmly embraced.”
In the England of Chesterton’s imagining, polygamy was just a gleam in Lord Ivywood’s eye. Nowadays, for all intents and purposes, it is an institution. Although polygamy is still against the law, it is, in fact, a growing practice among Muslims of Great Britain. Instead of enforcing the law, culturally sensitive police and courts look the other way, and the welfare agencies do their best to provide material support. A Muslim man with four wives can expect a welfare check for each of them—and all signed over to his name.
One of the things Western citizens take comfort in when contemplating Islamic radicalism is that we possess powerful armies and well-trained police. Once again, Chesterton skewers our illusions. As it turns out, the England of The Flying Inn has been disarming itself militarily as well as culturally. It gradually dawns on the citizenry that police are few and far between, and many of those who remain have taken to wearing Turkish fezzes. They also discover that while Ivywood and Pasha have been quietly bringing in a Turkish army, the “British army is practically disbanded.”
I don’t know if the British police are declining in number, but whatever their number, they have become one of the most politically correct organizations on the planet. For example, the London Metropolitan Police Authority recruitment target for 2009-10 required that 27 percent of all new recruits must be black and minority ethnic and 41 percent must be female. Many of them might as well be wearing fezzes or hijabs because, if you say something critical about the religion of peace, you will quickly find yourself in front of a magistrate on charges of Islamophobia. When, for example, Parliamentary candidate Paul Weston stood in a public space and read aloud Churchill’s unflattering assessment of Islam in The River War, he was promptly arrested.
As for the British army, it hasn’t been disbanded yet, but the armed forces of the UK are not what they used to be. The same can be said for NATO forces in general. They can be relied on to march in the local gay pride parade or help out with ebola patients or even launch an occasional “overseas contingency operation,” but major wars on multiple fronts are another matter. The United States, the largest NATO member, has been drastically reducing the size and strength of its military. The U.S. plans to shrink its Army to pre-World War II levels, the number of ships in the Navy is lower than in 1917, and, according to several reports, the Obama administration has been quietly conducting a massive purge of top military officers.
Just at the point when Islam is advancing by stealth jihad and armed jihad all over the world, the West is letting down its guard, both literally and metaphorically. And all the while, the Lord Ivywoods of the world assure us that we have nothing to fear from Islam. What at one time seemed merely a fanciful fiction is fast becoming fact. Chesterton would not have been surprised.
(Illustration credit: Washington Times)
William Kilpatrick


William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Psychological Seduction; Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. He is also the author of a new book entitled Insecurity. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and FrontPage Magazine. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation.




Tuesday, December 2, 2014


 Hannah Arendt

On Revolution

"Arendt presents a comparison of two of the main revolutions of the eighteenth century, the American and French Revolutions. She goes against a common view of both Marxist and leftist views when she argues that France, while well studied and often emulated, was a disaster and that the largely ignored American Revolution was a success. The turning point in the French Revolution occurred when the leaders rejected their goals of freedom in order to focus on compassion for the masses. In America, the Founding Fathers never betray the goal of Constitutio Libertatis. However, Arendt believes the revolutionary spirit of those men has been lost, and advocates a “council system” as an appropriate institution to regain that spirit."


Monday, December 1, 2014



Obama's Body Cameras









A grand jury found no reason to charge Darren Wilson in the Ferguson, Mo., shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown, but that won’t stop President Obama from pretending that the white police officer did something wrong.
On Monday, the White House pledged $263 million in new federal funding for 50,000 body cameras, additional police training and outreach efforts designed to build trust between police departments and minority communities.
“The president and his administration are very focused on the underlying issues that have been uncovered in a pretty raw way in Ferguson,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. But if the president was really focused on “underlying issues,” he’d be leading a national conversation about the violent anti-social behavior in poor black neighborhoods that better explains the police presence. Instead, Mr. Obama seems much more focused on furthering an anti-cop media narrative that aligns with a liberal political narrative and maintains that black America’s failures are the fault of others.
The Sunday talk shows were chock-full of commentators making excuses for black criminality—be it Brown’s or that of “protesters”—and it usually boiled down to a critique of either the makeup or methods of police departments. Everyone in America now knows that Ferguson is two-thirds black and that only three out of 53 police officers in the city matched that description at the time of the shooting. But before we make racially representative police forces a priority, shouldn’t we have some evidence that this likely will result in safer communities and better relations between law enforcement and residents.
A Washington Post story earlier this year noted that “there is hardly any research at all on whether racial disparities exist between officers when they use force” and that there’s “no conclusive evidence to show that white and black police officers treat suspects differently—if anything, some of the studies show that black officers can be harder on black criminal suspects.”
The Post also cited some relevant polling data. “In Washington D.C., according to a 2011 Washington Post poll, the police department got a relatively low 60% rating from black residents, despite the fact that the force is highly integrated,” said the paper. “The New York Police Department’s demographics are close to those of the rest of the city, but a Quinnipiac poll from 2014 found that only 54% of black residents approved of its performance. The Detroit police department is so dominated by African Americans that it’s been sued for discrimination against whites, and yet only 18% of black Wayne County residents approved of its work in 2009.��
And then there’s the fact that black crime was spiking in the 1970s and 1980s when black mayors and police chiefs ran some of our most violent large cities—including Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia. The available evidence suggests that the racial makeup of law enforcement matters more to people who want to down play bad behavior than it does to people engaging in it.