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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Godmother of Police Defunding Tried Restorative Justice, But He Kept Raping

Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police," Mariame Kaba's New York Times op-ed blared.

The debate over defunding the police was underway and Kaba, the godmother of police defunding, wanted to make her position clear. Essence had called Kaba a "modern day abolitionist". Black Lives Matter Chicago traces its roots to her. Every lefty media outlet from NBC News to The Intercept had promoted her. And now Kaba was taking her message of getting rid of prisons and police, and turning over the streets to the criminals, to the Times.

But what would replace prisons and the police? That's the question that media talking heads, intrigued by this exciting new political program of not enforcing the law, were asking.

"Towns could use restorative-justice models instead of throwing people in prison," Kaba briefly noted.

Kaba didn't bother to define what "restorative justice" meant, but sensing that the only crime that the Times' liberal readers could ideologically care about was rape, dismissed the idea that the justice system could stop rapists, and then urged more subsidized housing and food spending, as if the average mugger was looking to buy a meal or a home in the suburbs. Questions about how the needs of rapists would be met under Kaba’s redistribution program went unanswered.

Pro-crime activists like talking about restorative justice, but they don’t like defining it.

There’s a very good reason for that. Imagine you get beaten to a pulp outside a bank by three muggers. After you’re released from the hospital, the muggers, who were out all this time, are called in to a restorative justice session in which they apologize for breaking your nose in three places, and you’re told to apologize for your role in perpetuating capitalism, and then they leave.

Until they do it again.

Five years ago, Kaba had tested her theory when a leader of the Black Youth Project 100, a black nationalist group set up in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, was accused of rape.

BYP100 has been at the forefront of the pro-crime and police defunding movement.

“We do not have a criminal justice system,” BYP100 leader D’atra Jackson recently claimed. “We have a capitalist system that provides a process for deciding who gets punished.”

Malcolm London was a co-chair of BYP100, and a successful community organizer, who had been arrested for assaulting a police officer, and was then released by Chicago Democrats.

His victim, "Kyra", another Chicago activist, was working as a sexual assault educator on campus. According to Kyra, he "told me sexual violence prevention was something he was really passionate about".

And then he sexually assaulted her.

BYP100 quickly announced that it had been "made aware of a sexual assault allegation involving a BYP100 leader" and that it was launching "a transformative and restorative justice process, rooted in compassion, accountability and a belief that no one is disposable."

These terms are euphemisms for a process in which all the perpetrator really needs to do is apologize because he’s not “disposable” and he needs “compassion” for his crimes.

That’s when BYP100 brought in Mariame Kaba to lead the process.

At the end of the 15 month "restorative justice" process, everyone involved decided to make public statements to show how this alternative to prisons and police could work in the real world.

Kaba sniffed at the "uninformed takes and commentaries” about “CA and transformative justice” while stating that among the things that mattered to her was making “sure that Malcolm was supported in making personal changes”. Malcolm’s statement hailed the “engaging” bi-weekly conversations that allowed him to discuss his toxic masculinity problem and occasionally cry.

“I was already indebted to Mariame Kaba before I began this process and will forever be thankful for her commitment to community,” Malcolm concluded.

Then Malcolm was accused of rape. Again.

"After a year and a half long accountability process, Malcolm made the choice to continue raping Black women," Kyra complained in a follow-up statement last month. “The process had many goals, but the main hope was that at the very least Malcolm wouldn’t rape anyone else.”

So much for that.

"In the coming months and years after our process ended, other people came forward to share their own stories of sexual harm involving Malcolm," Kaba noted in her own statement.

Instead of warning other potential victims, Malcolm's restorative justice process was treated as a success story. And then the black nationalist activist allegedly raped a woman in 2018.

“Accountability is not only about self-reflection, apology and repair for a particular incident. It is also making sure not to repeat the same behavior. On that front, he has failed,” Kaba griped.

Two months earlier, Kaba had accused “white people” of being unable to imagine that a world without police would be less violent than one with it. “As a society, we have been so indoctrinated with the idea that we solve problems by policing and caging people that many cannot imagine anything other than prisons and the police as solutions to violence and harm,” she argued.

Malcolm’s case showed just how important caging criminals to reduce violence and harm is.

There is a reason why we lock up criminals. Especially career criminals. It’s to protect victims. When you insist, as BYP100 did, that criminals aren’t disposable, their victims then become disposable.

BYP 100 is currently running a "She Safe, We Safe" campaign to put an end to violence against "black women, girls, femmes and gender non-conforming people". It might want to start at home.

In Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, Charlene Carruthers, a key BYP100 and anti-police figure, described this process as embodying black queer feminism. The embodiment of black queer feminism is letting rapists rape black women.

Around the same time that Kaba’s op-ed calling for the elimination of the police ran in the New York Times, Carruthers was pushing police defunding and a shift to “community solutions” on PBS without caring how badly the “community accountability” process for Malcolm London had ended.

Malcolm London, the accused rapist, is still listed as a TED talk speaker, and involved with a variety of organizations. He’s also available for corporate events, birthdays, and fundraisers.

The whole point of community accountability is its lack of accountability.

The criminal justice system has countless flaws, but offers accountability. Restorative justice and the entire portfolio of euphemisms attached to it is little more than a struggle session for rapists. And when those rapists are members of oppressed groups, it’s even easier for them to play the game.

Confess to your toxic masculinity, invent a legacy of abuse, apologize, and then do it again.

The purpose of the criminal justice system is not, despite a common misunderstanding, to rehabilitate criminals. Only people can rehabilitate themselves. And they need a reason to do it. Engaging biweekly conversations on toxic masculinity for 15 months is a free therapy session for sociopaths that does nothing to prevent a serial sexual abuser from doing the same thing again.

Kaba’s process proved that some people really do need to be caged. Or everyone ends up caged.

How many people are afraid to leave the houses because of Black Lives Matter riots? How many families, mostly black, are afraid to let their children play outside because of how many children have already been shot by gang members in Democrat cities where they no longer have to fear prison?

That’s what being caged is actually like.

Public safety is a binary. You cage gang members or you cage 8-year-olds at risk of being hit by a stray bullet. You cage muggers or you cage the grandmother lying on the pavement with a bloodied head. You cage rapists or you cage the women they rape. It comes down to who matters more.

“No one should be discarded or disowned, and we had to decide to stick with both Kyra and Malcolm,” Carruthers wrote.

But you can’t choose both the rapist and his victim.

“Many people have invested countless hours and emotional labor to support Malcolm in taking full accountability. Unfortunately, he has let them down. He has also given critics of CA processes fodder which is enraging,” Kaba complained.

It’s a shame when letting a sexual predator go on doing his thing makes abolishing police look bad.

The world that Kaba would make is laid out on her site which is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. The site, Transform Harm, rails against what it calls Carceral Feminism

One article complains that, “our country has an ugly history of using police and prisons to stop sexual violence”, another falsely insists that, “locking people up won’t help combat sexual violence.”

A Brooklyn sociologist talks up having rapists write apology letters.

Aya Gruber, a feminist legal theorist, insists that police shouldn’t arrest domestic abusers.

“Sexual harassment and assault are pervasive in our society because extravagant wealth and absolute poverty are pervasive,” a Jacobin editor argues.

Alison Phipps, a professor of gender studies at the University of Sussex, claims that sending Larry Nassar, who had sexually abused some 250 girls, to prison and throwing away the key embodies "political whiteness" which is the belief that "rape is perpetrated by ‘bad men’ who should be exposed. That police exist to catch these men, and courts to do justice on them."

If you think rapists are bad people who should be locked up, you’re guilty of “political whiteness”. And if you’re a black woman who wants her rapist to go to jail, you’re a white supremacist.

It’s easy for most people to dismiss these views, but they have the backing of a billionaire who finances much of the activist Left, and has planted his own DAs in major cities across America.

The world that Soros’ DAs, that the various Black Lives Matter groups, and their Democrat backers are determined to bring into being is a place where women have no rights, and where criminals enjoy the utter freedom to do anything they want to anyone, as long as they don’t use hate speech.

And it would be one long unrelenting nightmare for women.

Among all its utter horrors, the pro-crime policies of restorative justice would roll back much of modern feminism which relies on the criminal justice system to punish everyone from wife-beaters to rapists, while insisting that the solution to the abuse of women is in higher taxes and more welfare.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
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The “Public Option” and the Future of Employer-Provided Health Insurance

September 30, 2020 by Dan Mitchell  @ International Liberty

Last night’s train-wreck debate reinforced my disdain for politicians.

But let’s ignore the immature theatrics from Trump and Biden and focus on one of their policy disagreements.

The two candidates squabbled over whether creating a government-administered health plan (see page 31 for a description of Biden’s so-called  “public option“) would lead to the demise of the current system of employer-provided health insurance.

For what it’s worth, there are two big reasons why I’m not a fan of the current employer-based system.

That being said, I’m very aware of the fact that politicians are always capable of making things worse (the “lather-rinse-repeat cycle” of government failure).

So let’s consider this key question: Government intervention has made our health system expensive and inefficient, but would a “public option” make things better or worse?

About two months ago, I shared this video which explains why the so-called public option will wind up being an expensive boondoggle.

Given the track record of health entitlements, I think the video you just watched is correct. A public option would be a fiscal nightmare.

But does that mean it also would be a threat to the employer-based system of private health insurance?

I think the answer is yes, largely because the subsidies that will make the system more expensive are also the subsidies that will make the public option seem like a good deal.

Let’s use two analogies to get this point across.

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dominate housing finance, not because government-created entities are efficient, but because they use subsidies from the federal government to under-price private competitors.
  • Parents know private schools produce much better educational outcomes than government schools, but most families opt for the inferior option because it’s already being financed by their tax dollars.

 I fear the same thing will happen with the so-called public option. Politicians (in their never-ending efforts to but votes) will keep increasing the subsidies. That will make employer-based health plans seem less attractive by comparison.

And there will also be political pressure to provide an ever-more-extensive set of benefits (as illustrated by the cartoon). That will also make employer-based health plans seem less attractive by comparison.

The net result of all this is that even though the vast majority of workers are happy with their current employer-provided health plans, Biden’s public option will slowly but surely squeeze them out of the market.    The bottom line is that we’ll wind up with single-payer, government-run healthcare, but politicians would be sneaking it in the back door.

Why 2020 is so important

 By Scot Faulkner

What happened this year in Virginia should scare every conservative into voting November 3 still doubting what will happen if the Democrats take the White House and the Senate this November needs to look at what happened this year in Virginia.

In November 2019, Democrats won the governorship and control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time since 1993. While they had a 10-seat majority in the House of Delegates, their margin in the State Senate was a razor-thin two seats.

As 2020 dawned, the newly sworn-in Democrats moved with lightning speed on a broad legislative front. It was a relentless Leftist Juggernaut.

During the 60-day legislative session, Democrats passed 1,900 bills. The governor signed every one of them into law. Nearly every Leftist dream came true.

First they eviscerated gun rights. The gun control bills were so groundbreaking that Governor Ralph Northam held a special signing ceremony. The bills expanded background checks to include private sales, created severe penalties for leaving firearms near children, including inside a private home, and limited handgun sales to one a month. They also created laws that will let anyone “red flag” others as being a “threat” to public safety and having their guns confiscated.

More importantly, as Virginia is a “commonwealth,” other new laws empowered local governments to regulate the possession, carrying, storage or transport of firearms, ammunition, components or any combination of those things, and to ban guns in public spaces, including public buildings, parks and recreation centers, and during permitted events.

Local governments are even authorized to establish stricter gun control laws than exist at the federal and state level.

The Democrats and Northam ignored the reality that gun-free zones ensure that only law-ignoring criminals will be armed in public places – giving killers time to maim and murder numerous law-abiding, innocent parents and children before police arrive. The Democrats did nothing to increase penalties for using guns in committing crimes.

A second wave assailed Virginia history and culture. Lee-Jackson Day was eliminated as a state holiday. All protections for Confederate monuments ended, even for soldiers who died during the Civil War.

Then came social legislation. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was ratified decades after its ratification deadline, providing the 38th state needed for final adoption, though court challenges may thwart attempts to force the ERA into the Constitution.

The “Virginia Values Act” added sexual orientation and gender identity to all Virginia anti-discrimination laws. It grants the attorney general the power to take action against anyone “engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance” to rights guaranteed by the new laws.

Abortion rights were dramatically expanded. New laws rolled back existing provisions, eliminated the 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, ended a requirement that women seeking an abortion undergo counseling and an ultrasound, eliminated the requirement that abortions be provided by a physician, allowing nurse practitioners to perform them, and abolished building code requirements on facilities where abortions are performed.

Virginia’s felony larceny threshold was raised from $500 to $1,000. Sponsors stated this will lead to fewer Virginians with felony convictions on their records.

Possession of marijuana was decriminalized and replaced with a $25 civil penalty.

The minimum wage went to $9.50 per hour. This will increase to $11 in 2022, $12 in 2023 and by another $1.50 in 2025 and 2026. The increases will likely cost thousands of jobs.

Virginia also increased its gasoline tax 5 cents a year for two consecutive years, while electric cars will continue getting subsidies, free use of highways and free access to HOV lanes.  

The Democrats also established a new tax on plastic bags – just before businesses of every description began requiring them to prevent the spread of COVID from reusable bags.

They also imposed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which will cover seascapes with hundreds of 850-foot-tall wind turbines and landscapes with hundreds of square miles of solar panels, backed up by thousands of half-ton batteries – all built with raw materials from China.

Finally, they changed the rules for voting. Virginians no longer need to show a photo ID to vote, and no longer need to provide a reason for wanting an absentee ballot.

Virginia also became part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, awarding the state’s electoral votes to the national winner of the presidential popular vote, instead of the state’s own popular vote.

Democrats have an even longer wish list at the national level: a “Green New Deal” that would replace all fossil fuels with wind, solar, biofuel and battery power; higher taxes; higher minimum wages; national gun control measures; and more.

They are invoking racism and advancing the “1619 Project,” which asserts “America is a slave nation,” to promote reparations and other laws that will eliminate America as we know it. The Left wants to erase freedom of speech in favor of “woke” sensibilities and political correctness and, of course, erase the right to bear arms and protect ourselves and our families from rampant, growing violence.

The biggest national movement of all is ending “systemic, institutional racism” and “white privilege.” But they also want to eliminate the Electoral College, make U.S. Senate seats based on population, grant statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and pack the Supreme Court.

Every one of these “reforms” is designed to solidify the Left’s power forever.

The only thing standing in the way of Democrats recreating the Virginia Juggernaut at the national level is the U.S. Senate’s filibuster. That’s why they are already crusading to end the filibuster. Even though it has been integral to the Senate since its founding, it is being portrayed as a recent racist manifestation.

The filibuster is the only protection for minority rights in Congress. Up to now, both parties have embraced it, as they know one day they may be out of power and need it.

The Left is banking on the November election giving them eternal power.

What happened in Virginia gives them profound hope that they will succeed. It should also scare every American who believes in this country to vote this year to defend our proud history, traditions, promises and opportunities.

Scot Faulkner is the former Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of the bestselling political memoir, "Naked Emperors." 

(As further background: Faulkner is also Vice President of the George Washington Institute of Living Ethics, and provides political commentary for ABC News Australia, Newsmax, and CitizenOversight. He previously served as Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives, Director of Personnel for the Reagan Campaign, and on the Presidential Transition Team and Reagan White House Staff. He also held executive positions at the Federal Aviation Administration, General Services Administration and Peace Corps. He earned a Master’s in Public Administration from American University and a BA in Government & History from Lawrence University, and studied comparative government at the London School of Economics and Georgetown University.)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Kudos to Trump and Biden for Aggressive Tax Avoidance

September 28, 2020 by Dan Mitchell  @International Liberty 

 Washington is a cesspool of waste, fraud, and abuse.

All taxpayers, to avoid having their income squandered in D.C., should go above and beyond the call of duty to minimize the amount they send to the IRS.

Which is why today’s column is a bipartisan love fest for Donald Trump and Joe Biden – both of whom have been very aggressive in limiting their tax liabilities.

Here are some details from the report in the New York Times about Trump’s leaked tax returns.

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made. …His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. …They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. …Most of Mr. Trump’s core enterprises — from his constellation of golf courses to his conservative-magnet hotel in Washington — report losing millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars year after year. …Business losses can work like a tax-avoidance coupon: A dollar lost on one business reduces a dollar of taxable income from elsewhere. The types and amounts of income that can be used in a given year vary, depending on an owner’s tax status. But some losses can be saved for later use, or even used to request a refund on taxes paid in a prior year.

It’s worth noting that the leaked returns didn’t show any unknown business ties to Russia. Nor do they suggest any criminality.

Instead, Trump appears to have relied on using losses in some years to offset income in other years – a perfectly legitimate practice.

Now let’s look at some of what CNBC reported about Joe Biden’s clever tactic to save lots of money.

…consider borrowing a tax-planning tip from Joe Biden. The former vice president…reported about $10 million in income in 2017 from a pair of S-corporations… The two entities were paid for the couple’s book deals and speaking gigs. …both S-corps generated a lot of income, they paid out modest salaries in comparison. …In 2017, the two companies paid the couple a combined $245,833 in wages. …any amounts the Bidens received as a distribution wasn’t subject to the 15.3% combined Social Security and Medicare tax. …Tim Steffen, CPA and director of advanced planning at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee. “…if you don’t report that income to the business as wages, then that portion of the income avoids Social Security and Medicare taxes,” he said.

So how much did this aggressive strategy save  the family?

The article doesn’t do all the math, but it certainly seems like the Biden household avoided having to cough up any payroll taxes on more than $9.75 million.

There’s a “wage base cap” on Social Security taxes (thankfully), so it’s possible that their tax avoidance only saved them about $283,000 (what they would have paid in Medicare taxes – 2.9 percent rather than 15.3 percent).

But that’s still a nice chunk of change – about four times as much as the average household earned that year.

As far as I’m concerned, we should applaud both Trump and Biden. Tax avoidance is legal. Even more important, it’s the right thing to do.

Though my applause for Biden is somewhat muted because he said in 2008 that paying more tax is patriotic. So he’s guilty of tax hypocrisy, which seems to be a common vice for folks on the left (the ClintonsJohn Kerry, Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, Obama’s second Treasury SecretaryGovernor Pritzker of Illinois, etc).

For all his flaws, at least Trump isn’t a hypocrite on this issue (though all his spending may pave the way for future tax increases).

P.S. Here’s a story about the greatest-ever tactic for escaping taxes.

P.P.S. And here’s my favorite adults-only story about tax avoidance.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Arab Muslims are People of Color, Arab Christians are White

Daniel Greenfield September 27, 2020 @ Sultan Knish Blog 

 Maintaining its proud commitment to printing all the news that will divide Americans by race, sex, and creed, the New York Times published a list of what it claimed were the "922 of the most powerful people in America" while claiming that only 20% of them are people of color. 

 The term “people of color” is already ambiguous enough with white professors, grad students, and NAACP presidents claiming to be black. But the New York Times’ racial list, a thing reeking of Nuremberg and Goebbels, put the paper in charge of deciding who is a person of color by marking them with yellow. It’s a good thing no notorious racist ideology had the same idea.

(The Times had previously published a list of members of Congress who had voted against aiding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and terrorist regime by marking Jewish members in yellow.)

Like all racist Rohrsarch charts, the Times’ racial list says more about it than about America.

The Times claimed that only 112 of the 431 House of Representatives members are people of color. It lists Rep. Rashida Tlaib as a person of color, while listing Rep. Justin Amash as white.

Tlaib's parents and Amash's father came from Arab towns and neighborhoods in Israel. Amash's mother came from Syria. They both have traditional Arab names.

How is Tlaib a person of color while Amash is white?

The Amash and Tlaib clans both have a sizable presence in Israel. They’re both Arabs, but, aside from Tlaib being a militant leftist while Amash is an ex-GOP Never Trumper, the only obvious difference is that Amash’s family was Christian while Tlaib’s family is Muslim.

The New York Times’ message is that Muslims are “people of color” and Christians aren’t. It doesn’t matter if their families might have lived some 20 minutes away from each other.

Arab Christians are white while Arab Muslims are a minority group.

As Twitter observers of the New York Times racial list noted, the paper of racial record appears to invariably list Arab Christians as white, while Muslims are described as people of color.

"24 people lead the Trump administration. 3 are Asian, Black or Hispanic," the New York Times insisted. That doesn't include Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, whose grandparents came from Lebanon, and Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense, whose grandfather emigrated from Lebanon. The Times likewise lists Governor Chris Sununu, of partial Lebanese and Arab Israeli descent, as white, and certainly not a person of color.

What makes an Arab immigrant from Israel, Lebanon, or Syria, white? Christianity.

Israeli Jews, like Lyor Cohen, YouTube's Global Head of Music, also don’t qualify. The New York Times lists Cohen, the son of Israeli immigrants, as yet another white non-person of color.

It’s not just Jews or Arabs who aren’t considered minorities unless they’re Muslim.

Rep. Anna Eshoo's father was an Assyrian Christian who, in her own words, "was driven from the Middle East." The New York Times still lists her as white. Assyrians and Armenians are not people of color. The difference isn’t, as we see in Amash and Tlaib’s case, racial, it’s religious.

It doesn't matter whether you come from Syrian, Lebanon, Iraq or even Iran: if you're not a practicing Muslim, you're white.

Take the case of Farnam Jahanian, the Iranian immigrant who became the president of Carnegie Mellon. Jahanian came to America before the Islamic Revolution and enrolled in a Catholic school. The New York Times however decided that Jahanian is not a person of color.

He’s just white.

While the New York Times has a very rigid standard for being a person of color from the Middle East, it has a very loose one for being a person of color as long as they have Spanish ancestry.

Or speak Spanish.

The New York Times' attempt at defining race leads to awkward absurdities. It lists MIT President Rafael Reif, the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants to Venezuela, as a person of color, while next to him, Michigan University President Mark Schlissel, whose family came to America, without first going through Venezuela, is listed as plain old white.

Rep. Devin Nunes is listed as a person of color because his Portugese ancestors moved to America in the 19th century. Rep. Mike Levin, whose mother is Mexican qualifies, but Senator Pat Toomey, whose mother is of Portugese ancestry, doesn’t meet the Times’ racial test.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, of the powerful Lujan family, which has dominated New Mexico politics, has her governorship treated as an accomplishment for the oppressed.

"Of the people in charge of the 25 highest-valued fashion companies, 3 are Asian or Hispanic," the Times huffs.

2 of the 3 are Pablo Isla, a successful Spanish businessman who runs a huge Spanish company, and Tadashi Yanai, who runs a huge Japanese company. Is celebrating the accomplishments of Spanish and Japanese tycoons in their own countries supposed to represent some sort of resistance to discrimination and racial inequity in America?

Why is a Spanish businessman listed as evidence of racial progress while Greek businessmen, including Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who was born to an electrician in Phoenix, are just white guys whose success demonstrates that America is a racist nation defined by its color lines?

And that cuts to the absurdity of defining someone whose family came from Spain as a person of color, while those immigrants whose families came from Italy and Greece are white guys. Why are Portugese and Basque immigrants people of color, and Greeks and Italians aren’t?

But if the New York Times appears to be vague on what makes someone a person of color if they speak Spanish, it’s quite firm on what it takes to be legitimately from the Middle East.

It’s no coincidence that the New York Times has adopted the same idea as ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Mohammed, that non-Muslims don’t have any place in the Middle East.

The Left barely polices the boundaries of Latino or Indian identity. Even black identity is so loosely policed that white leftists have been able to get away with pretending to be black. But when it comes to the Middle East, it recognizes only one group of people as legitimate.

Its conquerors.

Christians, Jews, and non-practicing Muslims need not apply. When it comes to other groups, the categories are drawn around race, ethnicity, and even immigration status. But in the Middle East, it doesn’t matter if your parents or grandparents emigrated from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, or Syria. Their ethnic ancestry doesn’t matter either. Only one thing matters: religion. Islam.

This pernicious bigotry was used to cut off immigration for Christian refugees during the Obama administration while welcoming in Muslim migrants, a perverse reversal of oppression in a region whose Christian population is vanishing under the fire and fury of Muslim persecution.

The New York Times’ racial list is revealing when it comes to the prejudices and agendas of the allies of the Islamist movements and their organizations ethnically cleansing Christians.

The Left’s twisted ideas about race lead it to present the region’s persecuted Christian, Jewish, and non-Muslim minorities as white oppressors, while its Muslim supremacist majority are the oppressed people of color who need to be liberated from the oppression of their victims.

This isn’t just twisted. It’s an ideological argument for genocide.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Importing Price Controls from Europe Will Undermine Pharmaceutical Innovation

September 25, 2020 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

Last November, I criticized Nancy Pelosi’s scheme to impose European-style price controls on pharmaceutical drugs in the United States.

I wasn’t the only one who objected to Pelosi’s reckless idea.

We have forty centuries of experience demonstrating that price controls don’t work. The inevitable result is shortages and diminished production (sellers won’t produce sufficient quantities of a product if they are forced to lose money on additional sales).

Which helps to explain why the Wall Street Journal also was not a fan of Pelosi’s proposal

Here’s some of the paper’s editorial on the adverse impact of her proposed intervention.

Mrs. Pelosi’s legislation would direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to “negotiate” a “fair price” with drug manufacturers… Any company that refuses to negotiate would get slapped with a 65% excise tax on its annual gross sales that would escalate by 10% each quarter. Yes, 65% on sales. …The bill also sets a starting point for Medicare negotiations at 1.2 times the average price of drugs in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K.—all of which have some form of socialized health system. …foreign price controls have reduced access to breakthrough treatments. …Price controls are also a prescription for less innovation since they reduce the payoff on risky research and development. …Only about 12% of molecules that enter clinical testing ultimately obtain FDA approval, and those successes have to pay for the 88% that fail. …Price controls would hamper competition by slowing new drug development. The U.S. accounts for most of the world’s pharmaceutical research and development, so there would be fewer breakthrough therapies for rare pediatric genetic disorders, cancers or hearing loss.

A damning indictment of knee-jerk interventionism, to put it mildly.

Well, a bad idea from Democrats such as price controls doesn’t magically become a good idea simply because it subsequently gets pushed by a Republican (unless, of course, you qualify as a partisan as defined by my Ninth Theorem of Government).

Unfortunately, we now have a new example of bipartisan foolishness.

Andy Quinlan of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity opined on President Trump’s misguided plan to adopt European-style price controls.

…other nations have been free riders on America’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. …they have enacted socialist price controls to limit what they pay knowing that the largest market would pick up the slack to ensure a steady supply of new lifesaving drugs. It needs to stop, but President Trump’s recent executive order is not the right way to do it. …his “Most Favored Nations” Executive Order to…limit…prescription medication payments made through Medicare… But this is a flawed way of thinking about the problem. Other nations are…engaging in theft via price controls. …drugs can take months or even a year longer to arrive in countries with socialist healthcare systems. Patients suffer as a result… Another likely consequence is less innovation. Some drugs in this new price environment will no longer be cost effective to be developed. Patients again will suffer. …Getting foreign jurisdictions to pay for their share of pharmaceutical innovation by putting a stop to price manipulation is a noble goal. But it should not come at the expense U.S. industry and patients.

study by Doug Badger for the Galen Institute points out that the Trump Administration’s approach – for all intents and purposes – would use Obamacare’s so-called Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to impose foreign price controls on prescription drugs in the United States.

The Affordable Care Act created CMMI and vested it with extraordinary powers. …The statute also shields CMMI projects against administrative and judicial review. …two HHS secretaries have claimed authority under CMMI to mandate a Medicare Part B payment mechanism without having to seek new legislation. …the Trump administration issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) announcing its intention to propose a far more sweeping Medicare Part B drug demonstration project….to…scrap the ASP Medicare reimbursement methodology in favor of one based on drug prices paid in other countries. …CMS is considering the establishment of an “international price index” (IPI). It would calculate the IPI based on the average price per standard unit of a drug in select foreign countries.

This is troubling for several reasons.

…the other countries on the proposed list have lower living standards than do Americans, as measured by per capita household disposable income… The median disposable per-capita income in the IPI countries is thus about one-third less than in the U.S. …Medicare reimbursement for physician-administered drugs would largely be based on international reference prices in which the regulatory agency of one government sets drug prices based at least in part on those set by regulatory agencies in other countries. …for all the different payment methodologies Congress has devised for medical goods and services, it has never based reimbursement on prices that prevail in foreign countries. The agency’s role is to implement congressionally-established reimbursement systems, not to create them out of whole cloth.

As you might expect, the Wall Street Journal has also weighed in on Trump’s plan.

The editorial points out there will be very adverse consequences if the President imposes European-style price controls.

Mr. Trump signed an executive order that could make…life-saving therapies less likely. Mr. Trump has been threatening drug makers for months with government price controls. …The President’s order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to require drug makers to give Medicare the “most favored nation” (i.e., lowest) price that other economically developed countries pay. …This ignores some crucial details. …Other countries also have to wait longer for breakthrough therapies, which is one reason the U.S. has much higher cancer survival rates. …The larger reality is that developing novel therapies isn’t cheap and can take years—sometimes decades—of research. Most products in clinical pipelines fail, and even those that succeed aren’t guaranteed to produce a profit. …The risk for all Americans is that drug makers will shelve therapies for hard-to-treat diseases that are in the early stages of development because of the high failure rate and low expected profit. This risk is most acute for therapies that treat rarer forms of diseases… The victims will be the cancer patients of the future, including perhaps some reading this editorial.

The bottom line, as I noted in the above interview and as many others have observed, is that other nations are free-riding on American consumers.

They get access to most of the drugs at low prices (since pharmaceuticals are cheap to produce once they are finally approved).

But the net result, as I tried to illustrate in this modified image, is that American consumers finance the lion’s share of new research and development.

This isn’t fair.

But we’d be jumping from the frying pan into the fire if we had European-type price controls that stifled innovation by pharmaceutical companies.

Sure, we’d enjoy lower prices in the short run, but we would have fewer life-saving drugs in the future.

P.S. There’s an analogy between prescription drugs and NATO since Americans bear a disproportionate share of costs for both. However, there’s a strong argument that there’s no longer a need for NATO. By contrast, I don’t think anyone thinks it would be a good idea to stifle the development of new drugs.

P.P.S. As an alternative, a friend has been urging me to support the idea of using the coercive power of government to mandate that American-based pharmaceutical companies charge market prices when selling overseas – an approach that would give foreign governments a choice of paying more or not getting the drugs. That seems like a better approach, at least in theory, but my friend has no answer when I point out that those companies would then have an incentive to leave the United States (as many firms did before Trump lowered the corporate tax rate to improve U.S. competitiveness).

Black Mayors and Police Chiefs are Being Accused of White Supremacy

“I would Have So Much More Respect For The Bail Fund If They Had Bailed Him Out And Then Let Him Stay In One Of Their Homes,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins Blasted The Massachusetts Bail Fund.

Daniel Greenfield  September 25, 2020 @ Sultan Knish Blog 

A statement from a DA blasting the MBF for freeing a rapist wouldn't usually be extraordinary, except that Rollins, whose campaign was backed by George Soros, was supposed to be different. Not only had Rollins run on a pro-crime platform promising not to prosecute shoplifting, breaking and entering, and resisting arrest, but she had reacted to the Black Lives Matter riots with a hysterical rant about her rage and the white community.

Rollins had dismissed the damage from Black Lives Matter riots because it "could be fixed".

And then the Massachusetts Bail Fund freed Shawn McClinton, a convicted sex offender, who had been accused of raping a woman a few weeks after he was let go, leading Rollins to snap .

The Massachusetts Bail Fund, whose motto is “Free them all”, really meant it.

The problem that Rachael Rollins, the first black DA of Suffolk County, a pro-crime black nationalist activist, ran into is a familiar one for a new generation of leftist politicians, many from an identity politics slate, who learned the hard way that they will always be out-radicaled.

It’s no longer enough to just support riots and property crimes, you have to support rapists too.

The Black Lives Matter wave destroyed the credibility and leadership of a new wave of identity politics Democrats who had seemed exciting until they were actually tested and failed miserably.

A few years ago, Jenny Durkan was being hailed as the first lesbian mayor of Seattle. Then she was besieged by a Black Lives Matter mob, and, after hailing CHOP as a new Summer of Love, had no choice but to shut it down. Carmen Best, Seattle’s first black police chief, was forced to resign after facing police defunding budget cuts that decimated her department.

Chief Danielle Outlaw, formerly Portland's first black police commissioner, who got away from the city's perpetual riots to become Philadelphia's first black female commissioner, discovered that there's no escaping the violence. Many of the cities at the center of the violence have tried appointing black police leaders and electing black DAs only to realize that doesn’t appease.

“The fact that I, as a very obvious African American female police chief, have been accused by those within that group or those who support that group, as being a supporter and protector of those who are believed to be white supremacists—if that's even the case—is ridiculous. Right?” Chief Outlaw had wondered back in Portland.

Chief Outlaw may have thought that she would leave that kind of craziness behind when she left Portland, but she was soon being accused of white supremacy in Philly when the police didn’t crack down on white business owners protecting their businesses from BLM rioters.

"We do not condone any acts of violence, and as an agency we don't take sides," she argued.

Lori Lightfoot’s victory was supposed to calm the radicals in Chicago who had bedeviled Rahm Emanual. The city, for the first time in its history, had a number of firsts, a black female lesbian leader, who represented everything that the identity politics slate wanted or could possibly want.

But the pandemic and the riots left her hopefully outmatched and outclassed. Like many other leftist city leaders, Mayor Lightfoot was forced to ban BLM rioters from rallying on her block.

Black Lives Matter activists were soon accusing Lightfoot of "creating problems in black and brown communities to protect white people" and having "bloodied people for their disobedience to white supremacy", by which they meant taking the minimum possible steps to stop the riots.

And so the black lesbian mayor of Chicago had officially become a white supremacist.

The speed with which the ‘firsts’ who break glass ceilings become the enemy is breathtaking.

Los Angeles DA Jackey Lacey went from being hailed as "the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County District Attorney" to having her house besieged by Black Lives Matter racists and when her husband waved a gun to get them to leave, he, like the McCloskeys, was charged by the connivance of the Democrat machine.

Rep. Schiff, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and other Democrats quickly pulled their endorsements from Lacey. The first black female DA was now officially a racist oppressor of black people.

“A lot of the cases that people shout the loudest at me about are those cases where the man who was killed had a gun or was shooting someone or harming someone,” Lacey pointed out.

But, like the right to rape in Suffolk County, harming and shooting someone is a right in LA.

You can be the first black DA of Los Angeles, the first gay mayor of South Bend, the first lesbian mayor of Seattle, the first black female police chief of Portland, Philadelphia, or Seattle, you can even be the first black lesbian mayor of Chicago, and you still won’t be radical enough.

You can even run on a pro-crime platform backed by George Soros and it’s still not enough.

That’s because the problem isn’t racism: it’s radicalism.

If the problem really were racism, it would be solvable. But radicalism has no stopping point. As soon as a mayor, a DA, or police chief seems to fit the bill, they’re not radical enough.

Mayors, DAs, and police chiefs who try to actually do their jobs are the first to fall.

Just ask Danielle Outlaw, who was hounded out of Portland, or Carmen Best, who was forced to resign in Seattle. Checking the right identity politics boxes doesn’t matter if you’re not a radical.

But no amount of radicalism is ever enough. Just ask Rachael Rollins.

History is full of examples of revolutions where the radicals ate each other. The story of CHOP and of Portland’s over 100 days of rioting, the guillotines and people’s committees, is the familiar one of the French and Russian revolutions, of the radicals killing anyone less radical until there’s no one left except either a tyrant or a populace who is tired of the endless violence.

What the revolutionaries want is a society so unlivable that it even horrified a Soros DA.

When they say that they want to free all the criminals, they really mean it. And when they say that they want to defund the police, they mean that too. These aren’t bold slogans for anything more moderate as their defenders among the Democrats and the media have falsely insisted.

The most obvious symptom of a political movement’s descent into extremism is its inability to describe the problem. Extremism has no language for criticizing its own extremism except by warning that it’s undermining the larger cause. And that’s been the Democrat response. The riots and the crime, they keep warning, are eating into Biden’s lead in some swing states.

That’s a compelling argument for those making it and a contemptible one to those it’s made to.

Not only the Democrats, but even the Left, and even the radicals are losing control of a movement that is turning on them for not being radical enough. And no amount of identity politics can stop the crackup of a movement that has lost its mind and its brakes.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

White House Conference n American History

On Constitution Day , September 17, 2020, posted by Mary Grabar (September 25, 2020): The Dissident Prof had the distinct honor of participating in the White House Conference on American History Day on September 17, 2020. See the panel discussion here (also posted at under "media"). Before signing an executive order “establishing a national commission to promote patriotic education” President Trump remarked, "We are here today to declare that we will never submit to tyranny. We will reclaim our history and our country for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed."

300px Washington Constitutional Convention 1787

"The radicals burning American flags want to burn down the principles enshrined in our founding documents, including the bedrock principle of equal justice under law. In order to radically transform America, they must first cause Americans to lose confidence in who we are, where we came from, and what we believe. As I said at Mount Rushmore — which they would love to rip down and it rip it down fast, and that’s never going to happen — two months ago, the left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution."

"As many of you testified today, the left-wing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination in our schools. It’s gone on far too long. Our children are instructed from propaganda tracts, like those of Howard Zinn, that try to make students ashamed of their own history."

Yours truly spoke about the "propaganda tracts" of Howard Zinn.

Zinn Education Project Finally Admits to Tracking Me! Some people had a problem with that.The Zinn Education Project, the major purveyor of Zinn propaganda, sent out a fundraising letter the same day, announcing,

On Thursday, Sept. 17, at the White House Conference on American History, right-wing historians took aim at the Zinn Education Project, Howard Zinn, and the New York Times 1619 Project. President Trump said, “Our children are instructed from propaganda tracts, like those of Howard Zinn, that try to make students ashamed of their own history.”

They claimed, "Teaching people’s history is about empowering and invigorating students to better understand the perspectives of workers, women, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, whose voices are too often erased in the corporate-produced textbooks."

But Mary Grabar doesn’t want young people to hear those voices. Grabar, who has written an anti-Howard Zinn book and travels the country attacking Zinn and the Zinn Education Project, said at the White House Conference on American History that Zinn’s writing imposes the false idea that the United States is characterized by “systemic racism, wealth inequality, and police brutality.” Grabar offered no evidence to refute this critique of U.S. society.

Funny, they didn't mention the title of my book or how they knew that I had been "travel[ing] the country attacking Zinn and the Zinn Education Project." Nor did they mention one single point from my book that would show why Zinn's book is worthy of attack, e.g., falsification of evidence, shoddy sources (including a Holocaust denier), misrepresentation of others' words, plagiarism, etc. My book is available to read (which I am sure they already have) and there is plenty of "evidence to refute" Zinn's critique.

Oberg 1S.U.N.Y. Geneseo "Distinguished Professor" of history Michael Leroy Oberg (pictured on the right) did no better in his  blog post, where he claimed that President Trump wanted to “'preserve our glorious inheritance: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights,' though nothing has threatened them so much as his administration."

And that

He denounced Howard Zinn, whose forty-year old People’s History of the United States terrifies the right. Zinn has lived rent-free in the minds of think-tank denizens like panelist Mary Grabar for many, many years. Zinn, Trump said, wrote a “propaganda tract” that tries “to make students ashamed of their own history.” The 1619 Project, meanwhile, “rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principles of oppression, not freedom.”

The distinguished professor got quite worked up about the panelists, who were, thanks for informing me, "mostly white men." Our presentations "played variations on this theme."

"There was absolutely nothing new here," declared Oberg."They could have plugged in the National History Standards in the place of the 1619 Project, and it would have been a 1990s flashback, or 'multiculturalism' for 80’s Night. With no sense of irony these well-compensated denizens of Right Wing Think Tanks and ideologically-connected [sic] Colleges [sic] lamented their marginalization. And, one by one, they expressed their fear of ideas, taught by historians, that they know they cannot refute."

Has this "historian" somehow acquired our IRS forms? Did I earn money that I don't know about?

The irrefutable historian called it "a disgraceful affair, capped by the President signing an unconstitutional executive order establishing the “1776 Commission” to indoctrinate American children with 'patriotic' values."

Michael Oberg, a "Trained Historian": See, we are not "trained historians" in Oberg's opinion: "The response of these 'historians,' for few of them actually had any training in history, is not to engage with the evidence or to present interpretations of their own rooted in primary source research."


Much of what Trump’s chosen panelists said about Howard Zinn’s People’s History and the 1619 Project was said about the National History Standards twenty-five years ago. History as academic discipline versus history as civic education and indoctrination; history as a scholarly pursuit versus a set of comforting myths we tell ourselves about our past; history as a method for studying change over time versus history as a dogma, the challenging of which is dangerous and subversive. . . .

The "Distinguished Professor" at the state university has not even looked at my end notes, for there he would see quite a bit of "primary source research" (and absolutely none in Howard Zinn's book). He also defended The 1619 Project, a magazine supplement, not written for the most part by historians, but by opinion journalists and "poets," though it has received harsh criticism from dozens of real historians.

Oberg's Tweets Calling Us White Supremacists and Fascists: Oberg was worse in his Tweets, claiming that “On that stage you’ll see frightened white people, afraid of free inquiry and expression, of facing dissent, of having their beloved #WhiteSupremacist hierarchy challenged in any way. This is fascism.” (Ben Carson did not seem frightened to me.)

Oberg also Tweeted, "One of the speakers at the #WhiteHouse Conference on #AmericanHistory is @MaryGrabar (Rochester’s own!) who is not a historian at all, but a right-wing think tank denizen who wrote a polemic against #HowardZinn and the @ZinnEducationProject."

When I asked him in a Tweet what points I got wrong in my book, he replied “Every premise from which you reasoned was wrong, to begin with.” I replied, “It’s not philosophy. It’s history. Please give pages and quote.” He replied, “You’re trying to avoid my point. Every claim you made at that embarrassing fascist conference yesterday at the NA was based on faulty premises, and you would understand that if you had been trained as a #Historian and spent any time in an academic history department.”

Well! The "trained historian" speaks! I fail to see how I could have had "wrong premises" when I exposed Zinn's plagiarism and lies. Quite obviously, Oberg is refusing to consider the points I made in my book. So much for claiming to "engage with the evidence."

But charges of "white supremacy" and "fascism" are something else. Those are quite harsh words in today's climate of rioting and physical attacks on people just minding their own business.

Another "historian": In Slate Magazine, “historian” L.D. Burnett cleverly begain,

From sea to shining sea, historians across the U.S. were doing shots of whiskey, mixing stiff cocktails, and binge-eating chocolate in the middle of the day on Thursday—not to celebrate any sudden interest of our fellow citizens in learning about the American past, but to fortify ourselves to watch the White House Conference on American History. This event . . . was, like all things Trump, part infomercial, part self-indulgent whining, part 1980s nostalgia, and 100 percent anti-intellectual.

We historians who are observing this regime rather than enabling it have long realized that the Trumpian approach to history is a muddle of confused hagiography. But how did Trump find a panel of so-called experts to back him up? As a historian who writes about the field of history’s place in the culture wars of the 1980s, . . .

At least four panelists, including the lead discussant Larry Arnn, have connections to Hillsdale College, the alma mater of many a cultural conservative and a school proudly hewing to “the classical curriculum” (as if there had ever been only one). And two of the panelists, historian Mary Grabar and political activist Peter Wood (not to be confused with the other Peter Wood, an actual historian), are affiliated with privately funded neoconservative organizations trying to mint their own academic legitimacy, Grabar with the Alexander Hamilton Institute and Wood with the National Association of Scholars.

Another "flashback": Wood's "connection with the NAS," she claimed, referring to the organization's founding, "is one of the things that gave me 1980s flashbacks."

Again, nothing specific from L.D. Burnett, though she called me a historian. 

Such articles and missives only prove the need for the President's Commission and for an alternative curriculum to Zinn and the Zinn-ian textbooks.

The lack of specific criticism and ad hominem and political attacks reveal the shaky ground upon which these "historians" make their claims.

For an Accurate and Fair Account: Stanley Kurtz, in his article, "How to Take Back American History," explains exactly why the new curriculum based on Wilfred McClay's excellent new textbook is needed and what it is intended to do. Read it.  

Should professors slur colleagues as white supremacists and fascists? In these times, it could be taken as an invitation to violence. Here is the web page for the Office of the President at S.U.N.Y. Geneseo, the public college that employs Professor Oberg, with all the contact information.