Trump Flushes Obama’s Transgender Restrooms By Daniel John Sobieski

It is ironic that liberals who insisted we stay out of the bedrooms of homosexuals and lesbians now insist that transgendered people should not stay out of the wrong bathroom

Let me be so indelicate as to suggest that the issue is common sense simple — where you pee ought to be determined by what you pee with. Period. This nonsense about self-identifying as a woman so a man can use the same restroom as someone else’s daughter is just that — nonsense. Just as it is nonsense about the Almighty putting you in the wrong body. You might be confused, but God is not. Male and female He created them and I’m quite sure He knew the difference.

So it was welcome news that President Trump has revoked the Obama administration’s “guidance” to educational institutions that requiring bathroom use based on birth gender and genitalia constitutes sex discrimination:

The Trump administration revoked an Obama-era mandate compelling public schools nationwide to permit restroom and locker room access on the basis of gender identity — a move that could have significant ramifications for a case before the Supreme Court concerning transgender rights.

The Departments of Education and Justice issued a joint guidance Wednesday evening rolling back the order. The two-page “Dear Colleague Letter” said the Obama administration had failed to substantiate the claim that Title IX’s prohibition on “sex” discrimination in education also applies to gender identity.

“In these circumstances, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved,” the order reads. “The Departments thus will not rely on the views expressed within them.”

The guidance also said the federal government must recognize “the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing education policy.”

This nod to states’ rights as well as common sense is hopefully a sign that the federal government under President Trump is ending the abuse of federal power to social engineer society along progressive and liberal lines. It is good news and legal ammunition for states that have resisted this absurd form of political correctness, like North Carolina

North Carolina rightly resisted the politically correct federal bully challenging its commonsense law, HB 2, which says restrooms should be limited to people with the appropriate plumbing, and that cross dressers sharing the facilities with your daughter, wife, and daughter is not a good, or safe idea.

Eyeless in Gaza? No, clueless in Australia :Daniel Mandel

It is something of an event when a long-standing friend of Israel chooses to publicly criticize it and recommend recognising Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) (but not Hamas-controlled Gaza) as a sovereign ‘Palestine.’ In the case of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, writing recently in the Australian Financial Review (14 Feb.), this was always going to be newsworthy, given his long role in passionately standing up for Israel in the labor movement at home and abroad amidst the radical furies of the 1970s.

Accordingly, Mr Hawke’s views command attention and their provenance can have an impact on an ALP seeking to define its stance. In fact, it probably has: since his piece appeared, former Labor Foreign Ministers Gareth Evans and Bob Carr have felt called upon renew their own calls for recognising ‘Palestine’ and they now been joined by former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

Mr Hawke was once an eloquent proponent of the view that Israel could not relinquish territories to forces inimical to its existence. Yet his views began to alter, perhaps as early as the late 1970s, but certainly by the mid-1980s. It is not unreasonable to suppose that his Israeli Labor counterparts, who were increasingly adopting the view that a Palestinian state might defuse the conflict, exerted an influence on his thinking. Witnessing a seemingly unending sequence of bloodshed and uneasy respites over decades inclines people of goodwill to suppose that a bold initiative might break the tragic logjam. And indeed, the Israeli Labor Party did eventually embrace this point of view, chartering in 1993 the Oslo peace process with Yasser Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), upon whose probity its ultimate success depended.

It did not work out as intended, at least on the Israeli side. The PA regime established in Gaza and Jericho in 1994, later progressively extended to other major population centers in the West Bank, proved a corrupt and violent entity which, far from fostering a renovation of Palestinian society away from terrorism and conquest towards peace and accommodation, actually incubated the jihadist terror organizations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Children within the PA became hostage to an educational system replete with incitement to hatred and murder. One need only view a few video clips of Palestinian classrooms, with their pupils interviewed openly and proudly on PA television, extolling the religious and national duty of murdering Israelis, to see the bloodcurdling effectiveness of this sort of pedagogy.

None of this was altered or ameliorated by the transfer by Israel of territory, funds and, tragically, even arms, to Arafat’s forces, to say nothing of the vast inflow of foreign capital: in the Oslo era, Palestinians became the largest per capita recipients of international aid while, for example, tragically destitute Niger, with one doctor per 33,000 people, got peanuts.

Ambitious peace plans, going beyond what most Israelis before, then and since regarded as prudent, the first brokered by US President Bill Clinton in 2000-1, the second proposed by then-Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, were rebutted without counter-offer by the PA.

U.K. Conservative Party Wins Key Local Election Trudy Harrison’s victory in Copeland is boost for Prime Minister Theresa May before Brexit talks By Jenny Gross

LONDON—The Conservative Party won a key local election in northern England after a Thursday vote, dealing a blow to the center-left Labour Party which had held the seat for decades, and giving Prime Minister Theresa May a boost weeks before she formally starts Britain’s negotiations on leaving the European Union.

Election results released early Friday showed the Conservative candidate Trudy Harrison took 44% of votes in Copeland, a constituency in northwest England, while Labour’s Gill Troughton came in second with 37% of more than 31,000 votes cast. The election marked the first time a governing party has taken a seat from a rival since 1982 in a byelection.

The Conservative Party wrote in a tweet: “Welcome to Trudy Harrison: Copeland’s first Conservative MP since 1935!” Ms. Harrison said the victory was a “truly historic event.”

The loss of Copeland, which had been a Labour stronghold, is a sign of how far the political landscape in the U.K. has shifted in the wake of Britain’s movement to leave the EU. Labour, which supported remaining in the EU, has struggled to hold on to working-class voters that once made up its support base.

In another race on the same day, Labour held on to a seat in another heartland, Stoke-on-Trent, a former coal-mining and pottery-making hub in the English Midlands. The anti-EU, anti-immigrant UK Independence Party, came in second, with the Conservatives in third.

Labour’s defeat in Copeland raises questions about whether its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has wide enough appeal to win in a general election and could spark a renewed movement to oust him. Mr. Corbyn, a leftist leader, has deepened rifts within an already divided party. While he has drawn support and big crowds with attacks on the wealthy and big business, his opponents will likely seize on this election as a sign that his appeal is too narrow.

Under his leadership, the party has been split over its approach to Brexit. In Stoke-on-Trent, roughly 70% of voters supported Britain’s exit from the EU, breaking with Labour’s pro-EU stance. Many former Labour voters say they feel increasingly disenchanted with the party’s Londoncentric view. CONTINUE AT SITE

Decoding the Zimmermann Telegram, 100 Years Later Trump should learn from Woodrow Wilson: Staying aloof from world affairs can’t keep America safe. By Arthur Herman

One hundred years ago, on Feb. 26, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson learned about the telegram that would pull the U.S. into World War I. The Zimmermann Telegram—a secret offer by Germany to help Mexico reconquer the American Southwest—not only compelled Washington to end a tradition of neutrality, but transformed the balance of world power for the next century. It’s a historical episode with important lessons as President Trump contemplates how to conduct international politics in the 21st century.

In 1914 Germany had launched its U-boat campaign, using submarines to sink ships without warning, including those from neutral nations. In May 1915 a German sub torpedoed a British civilian liner, the Lusitania, killing 128 Americans. Wilson threatened military action if it happened again, which forced Germany to impose restrictions on its U-boats.

As the war ground on, however, Germany began to view submarine warfare as its route to victory. By 1917 the German high command believed it could bring Britain and France to their knees in six months by sinking neutral ships and depriving the Allies of food and supplies. Yet the Germans knew this would arouse the ire of Wilson, who had won re-election only months earlier, running on the slogan “he kept us out of war.”

How to counter America’s potential response? On Jan. 19, 1917, Germany’s foreign minister, Arthur Zimmermann, sent a coded telegram to his ambassador in Mexico. The ambassador was instructed to offer the Mexican president, Venustiano Carranza, an alliance: If America entered the war, Germany proposed that Mexico open a second front against the U.S. The Germans would then help “regain by conquest her lost territory in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.”

In some ways, it was a clever move. Carranza was still smarting from President Wilson’s decision three years earlier to send an American force to occupy Veracruz, as well as Gen. John J. Pershing’s 1916 expedition against the bandit Pancho Villa. If there was a country in the Western Hemisphere ready to ally with Germany against the U.S., it was Mexico.

But if anything was set to turn American public opinion against neutrality, it was a secret plan to invade the U.S. The British, who had intercepted the diplomatic cable, knew this. So once they had fully decoded the Zimmermann Telegram, they made sure it landed on Wilson’s desk. They gave it to the U.S. ambassador in London on Feb. 24.

When Wilson released it to the public, the telegram rallied patriotic sentiment like nothing since the burning of the White House during the War of 1812. Yet the president remained hesitant. He still believed American neutrality was the best way to promote peace. Even after Zimmermann confirmed the authenticity of the message on March 3, Wilson waited nearly a month before asking for a declaration of war.

Fellow Democrats, Your Effort to Destroy the President Is Abnormal ‘How Can We Get Rid of Trump?’ asks one headline. You can’t—except by defeating him in 2020. By Ted Van Dyk

ABSTRACT

My own political involvement dates to 1948, when I canvassed door to door for President Truman. I subsequently was active in civil-rights, anti-Vietnam War and antipoverty causes and served in two Democratic administrations. In all that time I have never seen such a concerted effort to discredit and destroy a new administration.

Before 2017 not only the opposition party but media gave the incoming president leeway. Nearly every modern president has had to withdraw one or more cabinet nominations. Nearly all have had cabinet or White House staff shake-ups. Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama all made embarrassing early stumbles, which were forgiven. The media overlooked “R-rated” personal conduct by Kennedy and Mr. Clinton and properly focused instead on their public duties.

You need not be a Trump supporter to conclude that the present anti-Trump media tirades are something new and disturbing. Free and independent media are vital to our democracy. But freedom must be accompanied by responsibility. President Trump came to office with the complicity of now-critical media, and riding a populist wave that also carried Mr. Sanders far into the Democratic nominating process.

Mr. Trump is demonstrating in office what was apparent from the day he announced his candidacy: He lacks experience, knowledge and governing temperament. But he deserves the same chance to govern that his predecessors were afforded. The manufactured rage in the media and political opposition is taking us to even angrier polarization in the country, and it will last longer than four years.

Mattis’s Pyrrhic Personnel War The defense secretary clashes with the White House about staffing the Pentagon. By Kimberley A. Strassel

Every military tactician fears the Pyrrhic victory—winning a battle but losing the war. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis might want to brush up on his Plutarch, as he continues to fight a one-man personnel skirmish.

President Trump promised to rebuild our hollowed-out military, a cause as urgent as any domestic priority. Years of Obama budget cuts and neglect slashed force sizes and provoked a readiness crisis. Over half the Navy’s aircraft are grounded. Of 58 Army brigade combat teams, only three are ready to immediately join a fight. The Air Force is short pilots and aircraft maintenance workers.

Mr. Trump chose a man singularly gifted to take on such a huge challenge. “Mad Dog” Mattis is a highly intelligent and revered Marine, whose time on the battlefield has made him intimately familiar with the needs of a fighting force. He’s a steely-eyed warrior who’ll fight for the rebuild mission, and who is willing to speak truth to his boss and Congress about what it will require. That is, if he will stand down long enough to get the project started.
Because right now, Mr. Mattis is fighting alone in the Pentagon, a situation of his own design. He was confirmed on Inauguration Day, yet as March approaches the White House hasn’t nominated a single subcabinet position in the Defense Department. No deputy secretary. No undersecretaries. No assistant secretaries. This is because Mr. Mattis is battling with the White House over who gets the jobs.

A soldier first—a politician only by presidential request—Mr. Mattis hews to the honest belief that defense should always be a bipartisan cause. He wants to choose his own team based on the strength of their views, political affiliations be damned. He wanted, for instance, former Obama undersecretary Michèle Flournoy for a top post. He’s looked to recruit from Ms. Flournoy’s liberal-hawk think tank, the Center for New American Security. And he’s pushed for some names who hail from Never Trump backgrounds, including Mary Beth Long, an official in George W. Bush’s Pentagon.

Perhaps only to make a point, Mr. Mattis is blocking some rock-star conservative talent. One is Mira Ricardel, a former Boeing executive and Bush Pentagon alum who helped with the Trump transition. Mr. Mattis continues to nix a long list of names offered by the White House team.

This defense secretary has one of the biggest jobs in the administration, and he’s right to want to be consulted and to have a team he trusts. There’s also nothing wrong with looking outside the partisan box.

At the same time, Mr. Mattis surely understands the chain of command. This isn’t just a question of choosing random “staff.” These are presidential appointments for consequential positions, with authority over budgets, personnel and operations. The Trump White House has a right to want people it trusts as much as it trusts Mr. Mattis. The former Marine is accorded influence. The president is accorded the call. CONTINUE AT SITE

SWEDEN: ARAB MEN LIVE STREAM SEXUAL ASSAULT ON FACEBOOK. AGAIN BY DAVID FRANKENHUIS

Live streamed footage of a young woman being sexually harassed in the Swedish capital of Stockholm has become part of an abhorrent ‘PR campaign’ that was launched on a closed Facebook group run by Tunisian men. The perpetrators appear to be showing the video in order to encourage other Tunisians living in Europe to pay a visit to the city.

Adam, a Tunisian man who saw parts of the attack taking place online, informed libertarian-conservative magazine Fria Tider on the existence of the Facebook group. The page has some 60,000 members and specifically aims at enlisting “Tunisians living in Europe,” according to a statement made by the website administrators.

On the night of January 26, the live broadcast of the group started as Adam was logged into Facebook. The footage shows two Tunisian men leaving a kebab restaurant in central Stockholm, at the end of a night out. When the Arabs fail in getting the attention of a cab they decide on stealing a bike instead.

Soon after, viewers could witness the men sexually assaulting a woman in an empty street. During the ordeal, the victim shouts “Stop filming,” while the migrants grope her, pull her hair, and tear off her clothes. One of the men also tries raping the woman, who is about 25 years of age, when the cell phone footage ends.

Adam was shocked by the video but nevertheless managed to film parts of it on his own phone as evidence, even posting 8 seconds of the ordeal on his Facebook page after blurring the victim. “I will submit the rest of the video to police,” he says.

After studying many of the online comments accompanying the attack, Adam paints a grim picture of the Muslim Arab mentality. He says that many of them think it is perfectly fine to harass girls and women. “Some viewers even thought it was awesome,” he discovered. After posting parts of the footage on his Facebook page, Adam received online death threats from other Tunisians.

“The attackers want to show that they live in Stockholm and that life is cool here. Many Tunisians are defending these rapists and it looks like as if I hate Tunisians because I expose them. I consider their actions a serious crime, but they see it as something normal.”

One of the men in the clip has previously been convicted of other violent assaults, Fria Tider could independently verify, while the second is an illegal immigrant who has been hiding from the Swedish authorities since 2014. “He’s trying to meet women here and convince them to marry him so that he can stay in Sweden,” says Adam.

Adam claims to have informed Stockholm authorities on the attack, but a police spokesman denied having any knowledge of the incident.

It’s the second time in one month migrants in Sweden live stream a sexual assault to Facebook. And probably not the last.

Extremist Muslims’ One-Way Street by Burak Bekdil

Extremist Muslims’ understanding of freedom is a one-way street: Freedoms, such as religious rights, are “good” and must be defended if they are intended for Muslims — often where Muslims are in minority. But they can simply be ignored if they are intended for non-Muslims — often in lands where Muslims make up the majority.

Many Muslim countries, apparently, already have travel bans against other Muslims, in addition to banning Israelis.

Look at Saudi Arabia. Deportation and a lifetime ban is the minimum penalty for non-Muslims trying to enter the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Given the state of non-Muslim religious and human rights, and the sheer lack of religious pluralism in most Muslim countries, why do Muslim nations suddenly become human rights champions in the face of a ban on travel to the U.S.?

Meanwhile, Muslims will keep on loving the “infidels” who support Muslim rights in non-Muslim lands, while keeping up intimidation of the same “infidels” in their own lands.

President Donald Trump’s executive order of January 27, 2017, temporarily limiting entry from seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — for 90 days, until vetting procedures can be put in place — has caused international controversy, sparking protests both in the Western and Islamic worlds, including in increasingly Islamist Turkey.

This article does not intend to discuss whether Trump’s ban is a racist, illegal order, or a perfectly justified action in light of threatened American interests. The ban, right or wrong, has once again unveiled the hypocrisy of extremist Muslims on civil liberties and on what is and what is NOT racist. Extremist Muslims’ understanding of freedom is a one-way street: Freedoms, such as religious rights, are “good” and must be defended if they are intended for Muslims — often where Muslims are in minority. But they can simply be ignored if they are intended for non-Muslims — often in lands where Muslims make up the majority.

Muslims have been in a rage across the world. Iran’s swift and sharp answer came in a Tweet from Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who said that the ban was “a great gift to extremists.” A government statement in Tehran said that the U.S. travel restrictions were an insult to the Muslim world, and threatened U.S. citizens with “reciprocal measures.” Many Muslim countries, apparently, already have travel bans against other Muslims, in addition to banning Israelis.

Lights Dim on Reality in the Cinema: Part I

A friend sent me a book about movies published in 2005, Movies and the Meaning of Life, edited by Kimberly A. Blessing and Paul Tudico (302 pp., including the Index). After discharging myriad other writing chores, I finally made time to read it, taking a break from my “Islamophobia, with a tentative eye to reviewing it. It is a collection of essays by college professors on the “meaning of life” as they interpret some nineteen recent – that is, modern – movies. All of the movies were produced and released in the 1990’s or later.

Modern movies that purport to dramatize the “meaning of life” – unless it’s a comedy (such as Monty Python and the Meaning of Life) — whether or not the directors or casts have a conscious, fixed idée about it, leave me cold. Many of the movies featured in Blessing’s collection I have seen. Others I have not because their subject matter repelled me or produced body-shaking yawns. Some of them I’d never heard of until now.

The nineteen movies are arranged under such topics as:

What is reality and how can I know it? (Contact,The Truman Show, Waking Life)

How can I find my true identity? (Boys Don’t Cry, Being John Mallkovich, Fight Club,Memento)

What’s the significance of my interactions with others? (Chasing Amy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Shadowlands)

What’s the point of my life? (American Beauty,Kill Bill, Life is Beautiful, The Shawshank Redemption)

How ought I to live my life? (Groundhog Day, Minority Report, Pleasantville, Pulp Fiction, Spider-Man 1 & 2)

In large part, the essays are written from a Critical Theory standpoint, or as Post-Deconstructionist textual jigsaw puzzles. These terms have “traditionally” been applied to examining the printed word in fiction and nonfiction, but branched out into “film theory,” and their presence in these essays demonstrates that they can be applied to cinema, as well. Critical Theory, notes Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Critical Theory has a narrow and a broad meaning in philosophy and in the history of the social sciences. “Critical Theory” in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt School…. Critical Theory when capitalized refers only to the Frankfurt School….

From Encyclopedia Britannica:

Deconstruction, form of philosophical and literary analysis, derived mainly from work begun in the 1960s by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, that questions the fundamental conceptual distinctions, or “oppositions,” in Western philosophy through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical and literary texts. In the 1970s the term was applied to work by Derrida, Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, and Barbara Johnson, among other scholars. In the 1980s it designated more loosely a range of radical theoretical enterprises in diverse areas of the humanities and social sciences, including—in addition to philosophy and literature—law, psychoanalysis, architecture, anthropology, theology, feminism, gay and lesbian studies, political theory, historiography, and film theory. In polemical discussions about intellectual trends of the late 20th-century,deconstruction was sometimes used pejoratively to suggest nihilism and frivolousskepticism. In popular usage the term has come to mean a critical dismantling of tradition and traditional modes of thought.

Lights Dim on Reality in the Cinema: Part II: Edward Cline

This is Part II of “Lights Dim on Reality in the Cinema ” from February 22, about the reviews of several movies in Movies and the Meaning of Life, edited by Kimberly A. Blessing and Paul Tudico (302 pp., including the Index). I chose not to create a longish column about all 19 essays by the university professors about these films. In this column I will cite just a handful of those movies and touch on their contents and what the writers said about them.

To iterate, all the essays (written by college professors) are written from a Marxist, Critical Theory or Deconstructionist standpoint. As I noted in Part I, these essays, if they are Marxist – and Marxist interpretations of any realm of art, in the printed word, in the visual arts or sculpture, or in film are written from a “sociological” point of view, as opposed to an objective, rational one – they’re automatically suspect because they are root, branch, and twig divorced from an objective, rational perspective. In short, reality is a creation of the mind, and reality can be anything one wishes to make of it, governed by one’s own personal experiences and subjective prejudices. Critical Theory and Deconstruction both work to unplug one’s mind from reality, and lure one into a critic’s universe via the hypnotic appeal of a degree holder’s “authority.”

The essays in Movies attempt to answer the questions:

What is reality and how can I know it? (Contact, The Truman Show, Waking Life)

How can I find my true identity? (Boys Don’t Cry, Being John Mallkovich, Fight Club,Memento)

What’s the significance of my interactions with others? (Chasing Amy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Shadowlands)

What’s the point of my life? (American Beauty, Kill Bill, Life is Beautiful, The Shawshank Redemption)

How ought I to live my life? (Groundhog Day, Minority Report, Pleasantville, Pulp Fiction, Spider-Man 1 & 2)

I say attempt to answer the questions, but instead they crash into rational epistemology and metaphysics, or rather create the disastrous centrifugal force of the out-of-control the merry-go-roundat the end of “Strangers on a Train.”

The professors provide brief teasers of concrete actions in each film, and then extrapolate them into their own exercises in creating (not recreating; art being the selective recreation of reality as defined by Ayn Rand; Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments. Man’s profound need of art lies in the fact that his cognitive faculty is conceptual, i.e., that he acquires knowledge by means of abstractions, and needs the power to bring his widest metaphysical abstractions into his immediate, perceptual awareness . . .) the reality of each film’s philosophical or moral meaning. The essayists’ exercises in interpreting the “meaning of life” in any of the discussed films typically go beyond any definition of rational observation; we are only presented with their unsupportable assertions.