Friday, November 09, 2018

BBC Reporter: Antics Like Acosta’s Help Trump

When the Press Fights the President, the President Wins

The East Room of the White House — with its vaulted ceilings, ornate chandeliers and gold curtains — is the closest thing to a throne room the United States has.

When set up for a presidential news conference, as it was on Wednesday morning, it is magisterial. The president is announced, and the doors to a long hallway swing open. He steps onto the podium, towering over reporters squeezed tightly into the wooden chairs before him.

It feels a bit like an audience with a king. And on Wednesday, the king was angry.

Donald Trump held this formal news conference, only the second of his presidency, to respond to the results of the midterm elections. It was, he said, “very close” to a “complete victory” for Republicans, despite the fact that his party lost control of the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years.

After spending weeks of battering and belittling his political opponents, the president opened by changing his tone and speaking of bipartisanship. When it came time to interact with the gathered journalists, however, the olive branch was replaced by a mailed fist — as it always seems to be.

The president accused one reporter, who is African-American, of asking a “racist” question. He said he’s not “a big fan” of another. And he repeatedly barked at persistent questioners to sit down.

The real fireworks came when CNN’s Jim Acosta tried to ask a series of questions, culminating with the president accusing him of being a “terrible person,” mocking his network’s ratings and reiterating his own contention that outlets that promote what he considers “fake news” are enemies of the people.

As a reporter for BBC News, I was seated a few rows behind and to the left of Acosta as he questioned the president, who at one point huffily stepped away from the lectern while the reporter continued to talk. The White House would later accuse Acosta of “placing his hands” on an intern trying to take his microphone away — and suspend his press credentials.

From my vantage point, I thought there may have been nonhostile contact between the two — in stark contrast to the obvious verbal hostility between reporter and president. A review of video from the incident corroborates this.

Acosta has a reputation as a dogged reporter, but his time at the White House during the Trump administration illustrates the perils of covering a president who uses dust-ups with journalists as a political tactic.

When the news cycle turns against him, one of the presidents first instincts is to criticize those who report the news. And journalists often take the bait. They’ve spent their whole professional careers dedicated to their craft, after all, and it’s human nature to take such slights and derogations personally — and to talk about them in private and then in print and then on-air for days.

That’s exactly what the president wants. An us-vs.-them debate between Trump and media personalities is friendly terrain for the White House. It feeds into the perception held by conservatives across the country that journalists, who are predisposed to questioning authority, are out to get this president. It diminishes the impact of the stories reporters spend so much time covering.

And as a further complication — and temptation — it also can benefit outlets such as CNN and reporters such as Acosta, who see followings grow, ratings soar and advertising dollars pour in with every new Trump-related controversy.

There’s a mirror to this perception on the left, casting “the media” as some sort of cohesive whole that can stand up to the president — as opposed to a chaotic mass of individuals and outlets, each vying for a small slice of the story.

When people ask me why reporters don’t just walk out when a news conference turns ugly as it did Wednesday, I chuckle. Telling journalists to walk away from a story is like asking them to stop breathing.

Sitting next to me in the East Room was a Korean reporter, perched on the edge of her seat. Her hand shot up every time the president appeared poised for a new question.

“Mr. President, sir! North Korea! North Korea!” she said pleadingly.

Try asking her to give up a chance to get a choice line from the leader of the United States about an issue that is of the utmost importance to her audience.

I like to tell friends and colleagues that covering Donald Trump can feel like falling into quicksand. The more you struggle, the more you fight, the quicker you sink.

Instead, the best strategy — the only way to survive — is to take a deep breath. Find solid footing. And move deliberately. That’s what the story and the audience deserve.

Anthony Zurcher is senior North America reporter for BBC News based in Washington, D.C.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Which is the Party of Hatred?

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Violence and Harassment Against Conservatives and Trump Supporters

It’s a standard tactic of partisans to accuse people on the other side of being violent crazies. And indeed, liberals can not shut up about the woman who was killed by a white supremacist in Charlottesville. Then there was the case of Gabrielle Giffords who was shot by a lunatic with completely undecipherable political views, but the media blamed Sarah Palin!

But sometimes one side is the violent and unhinged force in American politics.

Just now, it’s the anti-Trump left. Enraged by Trump’s successes — most recently, the Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh — they have been on a rampage, and this has included not merely public temper tantrums, but stalking, harassment, threats of violence and outright attacks.

The List

Breitbart assiduously keeps track of these incidents, and their list now extends to 583 cases (it might be longer when you read this).

Some random entries:

October 8, 2018: Leftist Teacher Tweets: “So Who’s Gonna Take One For the Team and Kill Kavanaugh?”

October 6, 2018: Sen. Collins Flooded with Abusive Tweets Threatening Death, Violence

October 1, 2018: Vandals Hit IL GOP Headquarters With ‘RAPE’ Graffiti

October 1, 2018: Senator Mitch McConnell Badgered At Airport By Anti-Kavanaugh Activists

September 30, 2018: Georgetown prof: White GOP senators in Kavanaugh hearing ‘deserve miserable deaths’

September 25, 2018: CNN Defends harassment of Ted Cruz

September 25, 2018: Ted Cruz and Wife harassed out of DC restaurant

September 10,2018: Broadway Star Carole Cook on Trump: ‘Where’s John Wilkes Booth When you Need Him?

September 6, 2018: Black Trump Fan Booted from Bar for Wearing Trump Hat

. . . and on and on.

It would be unfair to say that the average liberal would do any of these things.  But such things are increasingly condoned by mainstream Democrats. The New York Times, for example, has noted that these kinds of attacks have “opened a rift in the party over whether stoking anti-Trump outrage is helping or undermining its prospects in the midterm elections.”

Younger Democrats, the Times notes:
. . . believe that conventional politics are insufficient to the threat posed by a would-be authoritarian — and that their millennial and nonwhite base must be assured that the party is doing all it can to halt Mr. Trump.
Thus the bigotry and intolerance of the campus left is increasingly infiltrating the Democratic Party. Only a resounding defeat at the ballot box (or perhaps it will take two or three) is likely to cause liberals to back off of tactics that can only be described as fascist.


Yes, and now Hillary supports the nastiness:
During an interview with CNN on Tuesday, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stated that it’s impossible to be civil with a party “that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She continued that if Democrats win back one or both chambers of Congress, “that’s when civility can start again.”

Hillary said, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”
This is a new level of cluelessness, even for Hillary. The fascist tactics don’t show strength, they show weakness.

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Blow Up the Process

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Marquette Faculty Senate Mulling Ways to Silence Warrior Blogger

An e-mail from the Marquette Provost about a meeting of the Academic Senate sounds bland enough.

But it’s necessary to know some context to know what’s going on.

When Marquette lost its legal case against us, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed our contractual right to blog about things at Marquette (including misconduct at Marquette), the university released a truculent statement affirming it was right to try to fire us.

Marquette’s statement included several of the lies they have been telling all along.
The professor used his personal blog to mock a student teacher, intentionally exposing her name and contact information to a hostile audience that sent her vile and threatening messages. Fearing for her safety, the former student teacher left the university, a significant setback to her academic career and personal well-being.
Our post on the conduct of graduate instructor Cheryl Abbate was not mocking at all, but rather described how she told an undergraduate that he was not allowed to express opposition to gay marriage in her class since it would “come across as homophobic” and might “offend” any gay students in class.

We did not “expose her contact information.” We linked to her public blog. Had somebody dug around the blog, they could have eventually found her e-mail address, although it was not on the page we linked to. But it would have been much easier to just Google her name.

Abbate received vile messages, certainly, but no threatening ones, as she admitted on her blog.

The difference is not trivial. Real threats are a matter for law enforcement.

Finally, Marquette lied about the reason Abbate left the university.

In reality, she had wanted to leave Marquette for Colorado (a much better Ph.D. program) the year before, but there was no room for her. The brouhaha over our blog post caused Colorado to reach out and offer her admission.

Marquette’s Threat

Doubling down on its position, Marquette promised:
Marquette will work with its faculty to re-examine its policies, with the goal of providing every assurance possible that this never happens again.
What policies could that be? The Faculty Handbook, which is incorporated into every contract Marquette faculty have. The language in that handbook is what led the Wisconsin Supreme Court to find that Marquette had breached our contract when it tried to fire us.

And what “faculty” would Marquette “work with” to change the rules and silence (or at least impede) our blogging? The Faculty Senate.

So these entries in the schedule of the meeting look particularly significant:

XI. Workgroups – Dr. Michelle Mynlieff (4:35 to 4:57)
  • Consider what to include in “professional conduct/cyberbullying” policy.
  • Balance of academic freedom and professional behavior
XII. Call for volunteers for ad hoc committees (4:57 to 5:00)
  • Professional behavior/cyberbullying policy committee
  • Review of Grievance procedure
Apparently, Marquette wants to call it “cyberbullying” if we report misconduct on the part of anybody at Marquette.

And also claim that faculty have rules for “professional behavior” that preclude criticizing people at the university.

How Do We Know?

How do we know that this is aimed at us? Because in oral exchanges within the Academic Senate the “McAdams issue” has been mentioned in connection with potential amendments to the Faculty Handbook.

We will see how this unfolds, but unfortunately, academic freedom is in poor hands when it is in the hands of the faculty.

In the first place, the ideological biases of the faculty mean that conservative ideas and people will get little protection. College faculty are the sort who label speech they don’t like “racist” or “sexist” or “homophobic” or “hate speech” or “harassing” or “offensive.”

In the second place, groups like the Academic Senate tend to contain a self-selected bunch of faculty, many of which want to remain in the good graces of the administration.

So we will see what we shall see.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Serena Williams - Playing the Gender Card When You Can’t Win A Tennis Match

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Paradox of Patriarchy: The More Female Equality, the More Different Men and Women Are

From The Times (London):
We all know what is meant to happen when the genders become more equal. As women smash glass ceilings and open up education, other differences should disappear too.

Without the psychological shackles of being the second sex, women are free to think and behave as they want; to become physicists or CEOs, unfettered by outdated stereotypes.

Yet, to the confusion of psychologists, we are seeing the reverse. The more gender equality in a country, the greater the difference in the way men and women think. It could be called the patriarchy paradox.

Two psychology studies support this counter-intuitive idea, but no one can properly explain it.

In a survey of about 130,000 people from 22 countries, scientists from the University of Gothenburg found that countries with more women in the workforce, parliament and education were also those in which psychological traits among men and women diverged more widely.
Note that “women in parliament” may be a poor indicator, since it often is the result of affirmative action or even explicit quotas. Education is much better, and “women in the workforce” probably is too, although in a lot of poor countries women are in the workforce because the family is dirt poor and they have to take a sweatshop job to survive.
In China, which still scores low on gender parity, the personality overlap between men and women was found to be about 84 per cent. In the Netherlands, which is among the most gender equal societies, it was 61 per cent.

Erik Mac Giolla, the study’s lead researcher, said that, if anything, the results found a bigger difference than in previous work. Personality is typically measured using the “big five” traits of openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. Women typically score higher on all of them, but there is always overlap.

“It seems that as gender equality increases, as countries become more progressive, men and women gravitate towards traditional gender norms,” Dr Mac Giolla said. “Why is this happening? I really don’t know.”

In a separate study, published online in Plos One, of countries ranked as less gender-equal by the World Economic Forum, women were more likely to choose traditionally male courses such as the sciences.

Steve Stewart-Williams, from the University of Nottingham, said that there was too much evidence of this effect to consider it a fluke. “It’s not just personality. The same counter-intuitive pattern has been found in choice of academic speciality, choice of occupation, crying frequency, depression, happiness and interest in casual sex.

“It’s definitely a challenge to one prominent stream of feminist theory, according to which almost all the differences between the sexes come from cultural training and social roles.”

Dr Stewart-Williams, author of The Ape That Understood the Universe, said an explanation could be that those living in wealthier and more genderequal societies have greater freedom to pursue their own interests and behave more individually, so magnifying natural differences.

Whatever the reason for the findings, he argued that they mean we should stop thinking of sex differences in society as being automatically a product of oppression. “These differences may be indicators of the opposite: a relatively free and fair society,” he said.

“Treating men and women the same makes them different, and treating them differently makes then the same. I don’t think anyone predicted that. It’s bizarre.”
No, it’s not.

It’s only bizarre to believe that men and women are identical in their innate psychological traits. That’s a rigid dogma for feminists, but utterly foreign to cognitive psychology, and indeed foreign to pretty much all of humanity through all of history.

Are They Young Earth Creationists?

Leftists sneer at conservative Christians for not believing in evolution, but can’t get their head around the notion that the evolutionary process would exploit sexual dimorphism to improve the evolutionary fitness of the species. And not merely in obvious ways like men having a greater muscle mass (the better to hunt game and fight off attackers).

There is every reason to believe that evolution would result in women being psychologically different from men — on average. For example, the lower conscientiousness and neuroticism in men may increase the evolutionary fitness of a particular tribe or clan because men have to hunt game and fight off enemies. Being neurotic and fastidious is counter-productive in those activities.

But when women are conscientiousness about sanitation in the camp or village, and a bit neurotic about possibly tainted food or dangers children face, the survival prospects of the group increase.

While contradicting feminist dogma, these findings show that equality of opportunity for women is a good thing. That is, if feminists (and the elites who pander to them) will let women be what they want to be. Which for many women — but not all — will be different from what men want to be.

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Friday, September 07, 2018


Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Father Wild Asks Name Be Removed from Residence Hall

A letter to the entire university from President Michael Lovell:
Dear Marquette community:

I wanted to share the letter below from Father Robert Wild, Marquette’s 22nd president and chancellor, requesting his name be removed from our newest residence hall, as well as my response.

Father Wild has requested that his name be removed because he regrets not using his authority to do more to protect victims and prevent future clergy abuse. We know that when we stand behind Marquette’s mission and Guiding Values, we have a framework to help us during difficult times.

May God help our Catholic community, both here at Marquette and throughout the world, come closer together to support victims of abuse and further the healing process.

Dr. Michael R. Lovell
Marquette University

Letter from Father Wild to President Lovell and Board of Trustees
Dear Mike and members of the Marquette Board of Trustees:

As a Jesuit, Catholic priest, I am filled with sorrow and abhorrence at any incident of abuse committed by a religious leader. While those feelings cannot atone for what people endured who have been sexually abused, I still want to express my regret for their suffering and for the terrible wrongs done by their abusers.

As Provincial Superior of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) from 1985 to 1991, I was invested with authority over all Jesuits belonging to that particular three-state region. During my six years in office, accusations of sexual abuse of minors were lodged against three of our members. Looking back, I would have handled certain aspects of those cases rather differently than I did then. The restrictive measures I thought quite sufficient to restrain the behavior of one of those priests, for example, proved in practice to be insufficient to do so. I very much regret that and apologize especially to those victimized for my mistakes in that regard.

In a recent letter to the whole Church, Pope Francis describes the sexual abuse of minors and other vulnerable people as something demonic and cites in that connection Matthew 17:21, where Jesus explains to his disciples, “This class of demons can only be expelled by prayer and fasting.” After much thought and prayer, and careful consideration, I have decided that one aspect of the “fasting” I should undertake is to formally request that Marquette University remove my name from our new residence hall complex. Therefore, after careful discussion of the matter with Marquette University’s leadership, I formally request that the University remove my name from the building that was recently named for me.

Robert A. Wild, S.J.

Statement from Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell
Marquette University’s Board of Trustees received today a thoughtful letter from Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., stating his request to have his name taken off of our new residence hall. I respect Father Wild’s decision as laid out in his letter, and the Board unanimously agreed to honor his request. We are in agreement with Father Wild that this is the right decision for both Marquette and survivors of clergy abuse. The residence hall, which includes Ray and Kay Eckstein Tower and Wells St. Hall, will be known as The Commons. We have tremendous respect for Father Wild and are grateful for his leadership as Marquette’s president from 1996 to 2011 and again from 2013 to 2014. Anyone who knows Father Wild understands that he values the Gospel message of love and forgiveness and we move forward together as a Marquette community in that spirit. We offer our prayers for continued strength and healing for all survivors of clergy abuse.
We have blogged about Wild and the sex abuse scandal, breaking the story locally, and providing follow up coverage.

Evaluating Wild

We were never a big fan of Wild, viewing him as easily manipulated. He was easily persuaded by the (dishonest) claim of the Gay/Straight Alliance of Marquette that they would do nothing to contradict Catholic sexual teaching. They have done little else.

He was easily persuaded by Wisconsin Indian chiefs to reject the nickname “Warriors” as offensive.

He was easily manipulated by a cabal at Marquette to hire a lesbian Arts & Sciences Dean (Jodi O’brien), then when local Catholics and the Archbishop got wind of it and objected, he withdrew the offer. Then when politically correct leftists on campus raised a ruckus, he started pandering to them, inviting a lesbian consultant to campus to give advice as to how to do that, and established the ill-fated Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

Wild was, to be blunt, easily manipulated.

But on the other hand . . .

. . . Wild’s failure as Provincial Superior of the Chicago Province appears not to have been the result of ill-will, or mendacity, but rather the bland assumption that the abusive priest (one Father Donald J. McGuire) would follow orders. Wild gave the following charge to McGuire:
I ask that you not travel on any overnight trip with any boy or girl under the age of 18 and preferably even under the age of 21.
But Wild naively left it up to McGuire to police his own behavior.

A brief from plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Jesuits seems to show that Wild should have taken the situation far more seriously.

But even after Wild left the post of Provincial Superior the abuse continued. According to the New York Times:
The province sent Father McGuire in 1993 for a psychiatric examination and six months at a treatment center in Maryland — but in the week before he was to report to there, he was allowed to conduct a retreat in Phoenix, where he molested another boy, the documents indicate. As late as 1998, the new documents show, the Chicago provincial wrote a letter of “good standing” for Father McGuire to allow him to minister in a diocese, stating that “there is nothing to our knowledge in his background which would restrict any ministry with minors.” As the reports of abuse accumulated, the Chicago leaders issued one set of restrictions after another on Father McGuire, finally, in 2002, saying he could minister only to nuns in the Chicago region. But none of these directives were enforced, the court motion asserts. Father McGuire was formally removed from the priesthood in February 2008 after a conviction in Wisconsin and after a federal indictment had been issued in Illinois.
As we noted in our first post “Where this scandal is concerned, [Wild] looks no worse than many other Catholic clerics. But neither does he look any better.”

Wild Response

When this case was first exposed in the New York Times, Marquette’s response was absurdly tepid. The university announced:
As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Marquette University fully supports the protection of any victims of sexual abuse. Next week, the Marquette University Law School’s Restorative Justice Institute annual conference is on the topic of “International Dialogue on the Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal,” which will include discussions with both church officials and victims.
That’s right. the university arranged a conference.

Wild’s current response, assuming it has not been forced on him by machinations of which we have no knowledge, is much more appropriate. Indeed, it looks like repentance and contrition commensurate with the sin — or at least, the best that can be done more than a quarter century after the offense.

Taking Wild’s statement at face value, we are inclined to think that God has forgiven him. We actually would not mind seeing his name on that dorm.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

That Was Going On? Really?

Marquette’s Race and Ethnic Studies Program: Stacking the Faculty with Leftists, Diverting Students into Victim Studies

Yet another of the many “initiatives” at Marquette, and like most of them it promotes political correctness in a way that degrades the fundamental quality of a Marquette education: the Race and Ethnic Studies Program.

The university website explains:
Marquette University seeks to diversify its faculty and student body. In support of these goals, Marquette is planning a new Race and Ethnic Studies interdisciplinary program, and a hiring initiative to support the program is underway.
Translation: we want to hire a lot of new minorities as professors, and we might have trouble if we simply allowed more hires in traditional disciplines, driven by the need offer a balanced curriculum or allow reasonably sized classes. So we will define positions in a way such that minorities will be most of the applicants.

Here is the list of new positions:
Marquette University seeks six tenure-track faculty members in these areas:
Assistant Professor of Marketing (tenure track)
Assistant Professor of Multicultural Branding
Assistant Professor of Social and Cultural Sciences – Sociology (tenure track)
Assistant Professor of Latinx Studies
Assistant Professor of Philosophy – Africana Philosophy (tenure track)
Assistant Professor of Philosophy – Non-Western Philosophy (tenure track)

As a Catholic, Jesuit university, our history and mission call us to provide higher education to first-generation college students. New programming and hiring, and plans to become a Hispanic-serving institution are only part of Marquette’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Needless to say, first-generation students who happen to be white will get short shrift.

The links to the job listings don’t work now, but we are including them in case they work in the near future.

Whose Interests Does This Serve?

The notion that you serve the interests of black and Latino (not “Latinx,” a barbaric politically correct term) students by having them study “Race and Ethnic Studies” is not merely risible, it’s absurd.

It achieves neither the traditional goal of a liberal arts education — “the cultivation of the person’s own intellect and imagination, for the person’s own sake” — nor does it provide what parents often obsess about: preparing the student for a good job.

So why would minority students enroll in such a major? In fact, a lot will be sensible and major in something else.

But affirmative action, perversely, creates a market of this sort of major. Minority students, admitted under affirmative action, find themselves “over their heads,” especially in STEM fields, but often even in mainstream academic fields (political science, history). Thus they tend to gravitate to softer fields, such as education, communications or even the archetypal soft majors in victim studies.

There, sympathetic instructors hand out good grades, and the students marinade in a sense of victim-hood that allows them to rationalize their precarious situation, and avoid asking hard questions about public policy issues.

All this is in place of studying Plato, or Physics, or maybe accounting. These students are victims, alright. But they are victims of the politically correct campus bureaucrats who claim to be their allies.

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More Fake News from CNN

This is all over conservative outlets, but we’ll repeat it here in order to keep a complete trail of fake news from the anti-Trump mainstream media. From Greenwald in The Intercept:
CNN, Credibly Accused of Lying to its Audience About a Key Claim in its Blockbuster Cohen Story, Refuses to Comment

Photo: YouTube/CNN CNN’S BLOCKBUSTER July 26 story – that Michael Cohen intended to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that he was present when Donald Trump was told in advance about his son’s Trump Tower meeting with various Russians – includes a key statement about its sourcing that credible reporting now suggests was designed to have misled its audience. Yet CNN simply refuses to address the serious ethical and journalistic questions raised about its conduct.

The substance of the CNN story itself regarding Cohen – which made headline news all over all the world and which CNN hyped as a “bombshell” – has now been retracted by other news outlets that originally purported to “confirm” CNN’s story. That’s because the anonymous source for this confirmation, Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis, now admits that, in essence, his “confirmation” was false. As a result, both the Washington Post and the NY Post outed Davis as their anonymous source and then effectively retracted their stories “confirming” parts of CNN’s report.

CNN, however, has retracted nothing. All inquiries to the network are directed to a corporate spokesperson, who simply says: “We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” A newsletter sent Sunday night from CNN’s two media reporters, Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy, contained the same corporate language, but addressed none of the questions raised about CNN’s report.

It’s certainly possible that CNN had other sources for this story besides Davis, who now repudiates it. It’s hard to see how CNN’s story could be true given that Davis, Cohen’s own lawyer, explicitly says that Cohen has no information that Trump had prior knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, that Cohen cannot and will not tell Mueller that this happened, and that Davis’ prior claims about Cohen’s knowledge and intentions are false.
But that’s not the part that indicates CNN’s dishonesty.
But there’s an entirely separate, and more significant, question about CNN’s behavior here; namely, the very specific claim they made about their sourcing for that blockbuster story. Last night, BuzzFeed reported that Davis explicitly confessed that he was one of the anonymous sources for CNN’s July 26 story, just as he was for the stories from the Washington Post and the New York Post. Last week, CNN put Davis on the air with Anderson Cooper to deny that he was the source for that CNN story – a denial Cooper did not contest – but Davis now admits he was one of CNN’s sources, if not their main source.

Yet remarkably, CNN, in its July 26 story, specificaly claimed that Davis refused to talk to CNN about the story or provide any comment whatsoever.

Only one of two things can be true here, and either is extremely significant: (1) CNN deliberately lied to its audience about Davis refusing to comment on the story when, in fact, Davis was one of the anonymous sources on which the CNN report depended, and CNN claimed Davis refused to comment in order to hide Davis’ identity as one of their anonymous sources; or (2) Davis is lying now to BuzzFeed when he confessed to having been one of CNN’s sources for the story.

How can CNN possibly justify refusing to address these questions, and refrain from informing the public about these critical matters on a story that they themselves hyped for days as a “blockbuster,” one of the most significant stories yet in the Trump/Russia saga?
The media have long had a liberal bias. But the bias against Donald Trump exceeds anything in modern history. Trump himself eggs it on by his attacks on the media, which have the effect of causing them to abandon journalists standards. Which in turn plays into Trump’s hand.

More Fake News

We have chronicled the massive parade of bogus anti-Trump stories in multiple blog posts.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Most Transgender Kids Don’t Stay Transgender

From PsyPost, an account of how the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation cancelled, under pressure from activists, a documentary with some politically incorrect truths about kids who think they are a gender other than their birth gender.
The National Post recently covered the CBC’s cancellation of a BBC documentary about transgender children (Why CBC cancelled a BBC documentary that activists claimed was ‘transphobic’). In that coverage, the Post shared claims made by some activists criticizing some scientific studies, but did not apparently fact-check those claims, so I thought I would outline the studies here. For reference, in a previous post, I listed the results of every study that ever followed up transgender kids to see how they felt in adulthood (Do trans- kids stay trans- when they grow up?). There are 12 such studies in all, and they all came to the very same conclusion: The majority of kids cease to feel transgender when they get older.
The author, James M. Cantor, then discusses and rebuts the criticisms of some of the studies that show transgender kids “desisting” — eventually deciding they are not transgender and want to remain their birth gender. He concludes:
The state of the science is made clear simply by listing the results of the studies on the topic. Despite coming from a variety of countries and from a variety of labs, using a variety of methods, all spanning four decades, every single study without exception has come to the identical conclusion. This is not a matter of scientists disagreeing with one another over relative strengths and weaknesses across a set of conflicting reports. The disagreement is not even some people advocating for one set of studies with other people advocating for different set of studies: Rather, activists are rejecting the unanimous conclusion of every single study ever conducted on the question in favour of a conclusion supported by not one.

Importantly, these results should not be exaggerated in the other direction either: The correct answer is neither 0% nor 100%. Although the majority of transgender kids desist, it is not a large majority. A very substantial proportion do indeed want to transition as they get older, and we need to ensure they receive the support they will need. Despite loud, confident protestations of extremists, the science shows very clearly and very consistently that we cannot take either outcome for granted.
So why is this controversial? Because a misguided notion of “tolerance” may cause some liberal parents (and other adults) to immediately accept a kid’s claim that he or she feels like a different gender, and even authorize a “transition.” To be skeptical of the kid’s opinion is viewed as “transphobic.”

Planned Parenthood, of course, is fully on board with the politically correct view:
Gender identity — including transgender and gender nonconforming identities — are cemented early in elementary school. Not everyone who defies traditional gender roles is transgender. For example, lots of girls hate dresses. But your kid figures out what their gender is really early on — and they’ll usually tell you. So in preschool and in early elementary school, trans kids are starting to realize that they’re not the gender everyone said they were when they were born. They may want to be treated like a different gender.
But the science says that what kids believe about their gender may or may not persist into adulthood.

A columnist in the (left-leaning) New Statesman discusses the harm possible by being too “gender affirming.”
The costs of putting a child on the wrong path can be huge. We hear a lot about the dangers of suicide for trans children who don’t receive affirming treatment (although [Ken] Zucker points out that his research has found suicidality among trans children is no higher than among children with depression, anxiety or ADHD), but inappropriate affirmation is no less damaging. A young woman called Lou, who started hormone treatment and had a double mastectomy before realising she didn’t want to be a man, tells the documentary that she now feels “grotesque.” The female body that had horrified her so much during puberty now seems normal to her. The flat-chested, bearded self she has now appears to her as grotesque.
The problem, of course, is identity politics. Politically correct liberals and leftists reflexively side with any “marginalized group,” and this involves always accepting any claims made by or (more frequently) on behalf of that group. Saying to kids “you might be wrong in thinking you are not your birth gender” or even “chill, and see how you feel in a year or five or when you are 18” is not politically correct.

“Affirming” a gender notion that might turn out to be false is child abuse. On the other hand, draconian demands that the child conform to normal gender behavior are likely to be harmful or counterproductive. Messing with the endocrine system (hormone therapy) or sex reassignment surgery should be reserved for adults who are confident about their gender preference.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Implicit Confession

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Play “White Privilege” to be presented by Marquette Theatre

On a University announcements page:
MILWAUKEE —Marquette Theatre will present White Privilege at the Evan P. & Marion Helfaer Theatre Aug. 31–Sept. 2.

Marquette Theatre student Malaina Moore invites audiences of any and every race to join the nationwide conversation and consider how interactions with students, teachers, parents, friends, and even strangers are influenced by race and how the color of one’s skin can lead to a very different experience of the world.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, since white Marquette students tell me they are frequently berated about their “white privilege.”

In reality, far and away the most important form of “white privilege” is that most white kids have a daddy, and most black kids don’t. Is that whitey’s fault? Has racism made black males unable to be husbands and fathers? In 1955, 20.2 percent of black kids were born out of wedlock, and in 1920 is was 12.5 percent. How is it that black males could be husbands and fathers under Jim Crow, but can’t now.

The next most important form of white privilege is that whites tend to live in safe neighborhoods, and blacks in unsafe ones. Is this whitey’s fault? FBI homicide data show blacks, about 13 percent of the population, are almost half of all homicide victims. And who is killing all these black people? Other black people.

Of course a fair number of whites have some negative stereotypes about black people. A lot of them reflect the reality of the black community: out of wedlock births, crime, school dropouts, welfare dependency, and so on. Anybody who acts on these stereotypes (rather than judging people on their merit) is discriminatory. However popular measures of “implicit bias” are simply not correlated with behavior.

But then there is a huge amount of affirmative action discrimination against whites. So it’s ironic when black students, who got into selective colleges due to affirmative action, lecture white students about “white privilege.”

One source of racial hostility on the part of whites may be whites’ annoyance at race hustling blacks berating them about their “white privilege.”

The Point of the Accusation

The whole point of talk about “white privilege” is to guilt whites into supporting a standard leftist racial agenda. But if the guilting does not work, bullying soon follows.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Going Nowhere

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Marquette Paid PR Firm Big Bucks to Counter Negative Publicity Over Attempt to Fire Warrior Blogger

We recently got an e-mail from an academic outlining an exchange he had with a public relations firm hired by Marquette to deal with the negative fallout from the university’s attempt to fire us. He explained:
FYI - see below. I received a very odd email from Marquette’s PR firm re: your case a few months ago. I had forgotten about it, but was reminded when I saw the recent court ruling. Anyway, I’m not sure why they contacted me, but thought you should know.
The e-mail exchange started with this message from an executive at the Edelman firm:
On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 1:58 PM, Diaz, Ricky wrote:

Professor, I hope you are doing well. Because of your background and previous commentary on doxing, I thought you might be interested in a recent development happening at Marquette. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has agreed to hear a high profile case in which a Professor (and later, George Will) doxed a student and it led to terrible consequences. Marquette is looking to connect with experts such as yourself interested in doxing to discuss the case and I think you would find it to be fascinating given your background.

Please let me know if you’d like to talk with Marquette and I could put you in touch with a few folks at the University to speak with directly about the case. Look forward to hearing from you,

Of course, the claim that we doxed Cheryl Abbate is a flat out lie. Webster’s defines “doxing” as
. . . to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge.
In fact, we published zero “private information.” We did link to a toxic feminist essay on Abbate’s blog. Her e-mail address was elsewhere on the blog (not on the page we linked to). But it could also be found by a simple google search. If your e-mail address is all over the web, it’s not “private information.” Nothing in our post suggested anybody should harass or even contact her.

Even more bizarre is the notion that George Will doxed Abbate. All he did was mention her name. Did the editors at the Washington Post allow doxing? Marquette’s position is apparently that Marquette Instructor Abbate must somehow never be named.  But in the wake of our post criticizing how she told a student that he was not allowed to oppose gay marriage in class, since “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments,” she went to a philosophy blog to attack us.

Back to the E-mail Exchange

From: <[redacted]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 3:08 PM
To: Diaz, Ricky
Subject: Re: Doxing

Is Marquette’s administration seeking my legal and/or crisis communications advice?
Diaz’ response:
From: “Diaz, Ricky”
Date: March 7, 2018 at 9:33:13 AM EST
To: <[redacted]>
Subject: RE: Doxing

Hi, [redacted]. Specifically, Marquette is interested in giving you a briefing on the case that’s headed to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. They would like to ask for feedback on the case, particularly the privacy/doxing issues at play and any other reactions you have. Media coverage of the case will likely increase as the oral arguments get closer, and the school feels that the public doesn’t quite understand doxing or the consequences. While there’s no specific ask or commitment after the initial briefing at the moment, they are trying to build relationships with people such as yourself who may be able to shed light on these issues to media or other groups down the road if there’s interest.

Please let me know if you’re interested in an introduction to the University’s team.

The professor didn’t respond, explaining to us that:
I really didn’t understand what the controversy was all about when Edelman contacted me or why they chose me — considering the email’s author is a VP at a major PR firm, he doesn't seem to express himself very clearly. I was also kind of annoyed that a highly profitable PR firm apparently expected me to do free work for them . . .
He gave us permission to publish this exchange, but instructed us not to publish his name, since there are “too many crazy, vindictive SJWs [social justice warriors] out there.”

The Edelman Firm

If you are an institution that has done something really evil, or really stupid, and are trying to manage the resulting firestorm, Edelman is the firm for you. Which is not to say they don’t do legitimate PR work. Their website shows a lot of PR work for a lot of interests, and it’s impressive until you remember they are as good at puffing their own work as they are puffing their clients.

But two things are similar to what they did for Marquette. First, a PR disaster when a crock-pot explodes, burns down a home and kills a man. Edelman claims:
Thrust into an unexpected firestorm, we cooked up a strategic recipe for Crock-Pot® to extinguish the misdirected hatred, defend the brand and playfully remind the world that #CrockPotIsInnocent.
Then there was the bad PR when Samsung released a defective smartphone.
Twitter had become a hostile environment for the brand after the Galaxy Note7 recall, so we couldn’t let this go. This was our chance to stand up for anyone who’s ever received an unwanted picture. Within minutes, we responded with a savagely simple reply: The microscope emoji.

We knew the one-character tweet was a clever retort, but we didn’t predict the viral sensation that followed: More than 80 news stories worldwide — all from a single emoji.

We had already identified that we could rebuild trust with our community by being “real” and transparent after the Note7 recall. After all, millennials expect more from brands; they’re drawn to those that take risks and feel human. Our strategy had become confronting negativity head on, in real-time.

Unfortunately, you never know what the Internet will serve up next. So we stacked our team with community managers and strategists who not only deeply understood Twitter, but could act on the unexpected quick. They knew what to look for, and how to react to it with brevity and incisive wit.
In fact, they have an entire division devoted to “crisis and reputation risk.”  And the fellow who wrote the professor (Ricky Diaz) identifies himself as expert in “crisis communications, research, digital, media relations and public affairs.”

Interestingly, a Google Advanced Search of shows no mention of the work they did for Marquette.

Wikipedia has a long list of Edelman’s clients. Some of their work involves legitimate activities supporting controversial policies (eg. the Keystone Pipeline), but at other times they seem to have used questionable tactics (setting up front groups claiming to be grassroots support for their clients).

How Much Did it Cost

Of course, neither Marquette nor Edelman is going to say how much the campaign against this blogger (which included an attack website, ads on Google, an ads in major newspapers) has cost them.

But some public information comes from another case: Michigan State’s response to sexual abuse accusations against former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. According to NPR:
Michigan State University spent more than $500,000 to keep tabs on the online activities of former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s victims and journalists covering the case, according to the Lansing State Journal.

The public-relations company Weber Shandwick billed the university $517,343 for more than 1,440 hours of work tracking social media in the month of January, the Journal reports.

Michigan State’s Office of Communication and Brand Strategy monitored social media and news media activity involving the Nassar case previously and concurrently with Weber Shandwick, the newspaper notes.

“The firm billed for work done by 18 different employees, whose hourly rates ranged from $200 to $600 per hour,” the Journal writes. “Five of those employees billed MSU for more than $50,000, including one who billed for $96,900 and another who billed for $120,893.”
Weber Shandwick is a major PR firm, but apparently no more prestigious than Edelman, so it is almost certain that Marquette got billed at similar rates.

The Total Cost

We can add whatever Marquette paid for the services of Edelman to the legal fees the university paid, which were in the range of $750,000 to a million dollars, according to informed sources.

Then there are lost alumni contributions. We have no way to estimate those, but literally dozens of alunni have told us that they discontinued contributing to Marquette because of our case.

And while the attempt to fire us may have increased Marquette’s reputation among a politically correct fringe, it has doubtless hurt it among parents who actually want a Catholic education for their children. That is, hurt it among the sort of parents who might prefer Marquette to a much less expensive state school, or an overtly secular private college. But now they have no reason to.

All because of Michael Lovell’s rigid, authoritarian jihad against this blogger.

Updated 8/13 with information on Diaz.

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Thursday, August 09, 2018

ACLU Likely Won’t Defend Politically Incorrect Speech

From the Wall Street Journal, a description of an internal ACLU document that explains how the ACLU justifies failing to defend speech that offends leftist, politically correct sensibilities:
The American Civil Liberties Union has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm “marginalized” groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,” the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.”

This is presented as an explanation rather than a change of policy, and free-speech advocates know the ACLU has already lost its zeal for vigorously defending the speech it hates. ACLU leaders previously avoided acknowledging that retreat, however, in the apparent hope of preserving its reputation as the nation’s premier champion of the First Amendment.

But traditional free-speech values do not appeal to the ACLU’s increasingly partisan progressive constituency—especially after the 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The Virginia ACLU affiliate rightly represented the rally’s organizers when the city attempted to deny them a permit to assemble. Responding to intense post-Charlottesville criticism, last year the ACLU reconsidered its obligation to represent white-supremacist protesters.

The 2018 guidelines claim that “the ACLU is committed to defending speech rights without regard to whether the views expressed are consistent with or opposed to the ACLU’s core values, priorities and goals.” But directly contradicting that assertion, they also cite as a reason to decline taking a free-speech case “the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values.”

In selecting speech cases to defend, the ACLU will now balance the “impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression.” Factors like the potential effect of the speech on “marginalized communities” and even on “the ACLU’s credibility” could militate against taking a case. Fundraising and communications officials helped formulate the new guidelines.

One half of this balancing test is familiar. The “impact of suppressing speech”—the precedents that suppression might establish, the constitutional principles at stake—is a traditional factor in case selection. But, traditionally, the ACLU has not formally weighed the content of speech and its consistency with ACLU values in deciding whether to defend it.

Tension between competing values isn’t new to the ACLU. Given its decades-old commitment to defending civil rights and liberties, the organization has long navigated conflicts between equality rights and freedoms of religion, speech and association. The guidelines assert that “no civil liberties or civil rights value should automatically be privileged over any other.” But it’s clear that free speech has become second among equals. Where is the comparable set of guidelines explaining when the ACLU should decline to defend gay-rights claims that infringe on religious liberty or women’s-rights cases that infringe on due process?

The speech-case guidelines reflect a demotion of free speech in the ACLU’s hierarchy of values. Their vague references to the “serious harm” to “marginalized” people occasioned by speech can easily include the presumed psychological effects of racist or otherwise hateful speech, which is constitutionally protected but contrary to ACLU values. Faced with perceived conflicts between freedom of speech and “progress toward equality,” the ACLU is likely to choose equality. If the Supreme Court adopted the ACLU’s balancing test, it would greatly expand government power to restrict speech.

In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), for example, the ACLU defended the First Amendment rights of a Ku Klux Klan leader prosecuted for addressing a small rally and calling for “revengence” against blacks and Jews. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Clarence Brandenburg’s conviction, narrowly defining incitement to violence as speech both intended and likely to cause imminent illegal action. Brandenburg made an essential distinction between advocacy and action, which progressives who equate hate speech with actual discrimination or violence seek to erase.

The ACLU would be hard pressed to take Brandenburg’s case today, given its new guidelines. The organization hasn’t yet endorsed a ban on hate speech, or a broader definition of incitement. The guidelines affirm that “speakers have a right to advocate violence.” But even if Brandenburg managed to pass the new balancing test for speech cases, some participants at his rally were armed, and, according to the guidelines, “the ACLU generally will not represent protesters who seek to march while armed.”

All this is the ACLU’s prerogative. Organizations are entitled to revise their values and missions. But they ought to do so openly. The ACLU leadership had apparently hoped to keep its new guidelines secret, even from ACLU members. They’re contained in an internal document deceptively marked, in all caps, “confidential attorney client work product.” I’m told it was distributed to select ACLU officials and board members, who were instructed not to share it. According to my source, the leadership is now investigating the “leak” of its new case-selection guidelines. President Trump might sympathize.
Actually reading the document shows it to be even more mendacious than this article suggests. For example:
The ACLU has also made many other rights priorities, including religious liberty, privacy, autonomy, reproductive freedom, the rights of people with disabilities, and criminal defendants’ rights. In deciding how to use our limited resources, no civil liberties or civil rights value should automatically be privileged over any other. There is no presumption that the First Amendment trumps all other amendments, or vice versa. We recognize that taking a position on one issue can affect our advocacy in other areas and create particular challenges for staff members engaged in that advocacy. For example, a decision by the ACLU to represent a white supremacist group may well undermine relationships with allies or coalition partners, create distrust with particular communities, necessitate the expenditure of resources to mitigate the impact of those harms, make it more difficult to recruit and retain a diverse staff and board across multiple dimensions, and in some circumstances, directly further an agenda that is antithetical to our mission and values and that may inflict harm on listeners.
Of course, for people who believe in free speech, it does trump other issues. It’s called the “preferred position” doctrine, and holds that no other liberties mean much if people aren’t free to speak in support of them.

And if you have free speech, you have a right to “directly further an agenda that is antithetical to [the ACLU’s] mission and values.”

And what kind of “harm” might be “inflicted on listeners?”

The ACLU seems to have adopted the position of intolerant campus snowflakes: that merely hearing opinions with which you differ is a form of “harm.” This, of course, enables a robust heckler’s veto, in which people can stifle speech by merely claiming to have been harmed.

And undermining “relationships with allies or coalition partners” and making it “difficult to recruit and retain a diverse staff and board” simply means we have to be team players. We are leftists, and if defending free speech alienates other leftist groups, we will back off. Of course, the ACLU doesn’t have to be part of a team. And their team could consist of groups that actually favor free speech, like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. But in fact, their team is all the usual leftist suspects.
Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed, depending on factors such as the (present and historical) context of the proposed speech; the potential effect on marginalized communities; the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values; and the structural and power inequalities in the community in which the speech will occur.
Translation: if we think speech is harmful to our “justice work” (read: leftist political agenda) we might decide that government can suppress it, and we will stand aside.


The document admits that the ACLU might need to defend unpopular speakers, in order to maintain its own credibility. But it outlines a huge bunch of other considerations that can be “balanced” against free speech. All of these, of course, amount to excuses not to defend speech that the intolerant left does not like.  That is quite a lot of speech.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Facebook Censorship: Can’t Criticize Transgenderism

This speaks for itself as an example of how transgenderism has become an intolerant orthodoxy in large sectors of U.S. society.


The above was posted on our Facebook timeline, and embedded here.

Facebook censored it on our timeline. So here is the post for all to see:

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Time to Face the Truth on the Mueller Investigation

Tucker: There's No Denying it Now
"Even as ominous signs accumulated, we struggled against calling the Mueller investigation a partisan witch hunt designed to topple a president. We didn't want to think that it was. Unfortunately, it's getting harder to deny that now." — Tucker Carlson
Posted by Fox News on Monday, May 7, 2018

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