Miami Judge Who Called Black Defendant ‘Moolie’ Faces Suspension for Using Slurs

A Miami judge faces suspension for using the word “moolie” to describe an African-American defendant and referring to another man’s supporters in court as “thugs.”

An investigative panel for Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stephen Millan be suspended for 30 days, fined $5,000 and be issued a public reprimand. Millan agreed to the punishment, which must be approved by the Florida Supreme Court.

Millan, 52, who is of Italian and Puerto Rican descent and grew up in New York City, “readily admitted to his misconduct” and paid to attend racial sensitivity training. Still, the JQC said, suspension was “warranted to demonstrate to the public, and to remind the judiciary, that racial bias has no place in our judicial system.”

{snip}

It was in 2016 and 2017 that lawyers reported he used “demeaning language in off-the-record conversations” representing defendants.

In one case, in October 2016, a lawyer was in Millan’s chambers discussing scheduling when the judge called the defendant a “moolie.”

The term is not commonly used today, but is a shortened version of “mulignan” — a Sicilian slur used to describe black people or somebody with a dark complexion, according to the commission’s report on the case. The word “literally translates as ‘eggplant,”‘ the report said.

{snip}

Millan claimed that he was familiar with the slur and had “used it intermittently as a ‘youngster’ growing up in New York.”

Then, in 2017, Millan was taking a break during a hearing for a different African-American defendant charged with murder when he told his bailiff to grab his wallet he had left in the courtroom. “I don’t trust it in there with those thugs,” he said.

The defendant’s attorney heard the comment, believing the judge was referring to the man’s family and friends who were sitting in court, the report said. The lawyer protested by saying the “family and friends were good people.”

Millan blamed his upbringing as a “youngster” in New York. “It was not unusual for my friends and I to occasionally use slur words when referring to others, including our friends and ourselves,” he told the JQC.

{snip}

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So Germany has come up with the perfect job for all those migrants

One of many problems plaguing Germany since their decision to essentially open their borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants from Syria and Iraq is how to get them employed and contributing to the local economy as part of their “assimilation.” As of a few months ago, officials estimate that more than 75% of the new arrivals are unemployed, collecting benefits and are “unlikely to find work” in the next ten years. Big problems such as this call for big solutions and the Germans think they’ve come up with a winner. What better job to give to these unemployed migrants than that of… being a truck driver. (Voice of Europe)

Due to an acute shortage of professional truck drivers the German trucking association has launched a new project to train asylum seekers for the job, Austria’s tabloid Wochenblick reports.

The project, which is named “The drive into your new future” intends to make it easier for asylum seekers to become truck drivers.

In this way, the German Red Cross (DRK) and the Logistics Organization (UVL) want to alleviate the shortage of truck drivers. The concept was developed together with the SVG Driving School North, reports newspaper DVZ.

During the training the candidates have to pass through two exams. In addition to its general suitability, the DRK also wants to check the language skills and the status of residence. In addition, a separate “refugee representative” should look after the participants during the three-year training.

I understand that we probably broke the sarcasm meter with this question long ago but I still have to ask… what could possibly go wrong?

To be fair, it’s not hard to understand why Germany might find themselves in need of more truck drivers. The unemployment rate there is currently down to roughly 3.6% so they’re close to what we would describe as “full employment.” Unless they’re paying their truck drivers exceptionally well it might be hard to attract new employees in that sort of market.

But does anyone else see why focusing on hiring these refugees in large numbers as truck drivers would have some of the population a bit on the nervous side? You may recall the story of Anis Amri, the asylum seeker who drove a truck into a crowd at high speed in Berlin shortly before Christmas in 2016, killing twelve pedestrians and injuring more than fifty others. While he wasn’t the first, he certainly seemed to popularize the ISIS endorsed strategy of using trucks as weapons of terror in countries around the world.

Even if you can get past the optics of loading up hundreds of German trucks with other asylum seekers, is this a productive way to fill those jobs? There’s probably a combination of factors involved, including both vetting and training, but the German program is requiring three years of training before the new drivers are ready to hit the roads on their own. In the United States, you can get a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) with about three months of driving school and a short apprenticeship before you’re ready to go to work. It sounds like the Germans are going to be sinking a ton of money into each of these applicants just to get them situated in what is essentially a blue collar job.

Let’s give the Germans credit for trying to think outside the box and put some of these migrants to work. But if just one of them winds up taking their new commercial trucking license and using it to carry out an attack, Angela Merkel will be back on the hot seat once again.

The post So Germany has come up with the perfect job for all those migrants appeared first on Hot Air.

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Orthodoxy & Psychedelics

I’ve been meaning to blog about this old Commonweal essay about Orthodox spirituality, by the late Orthodox priest Father John Garvey. It occurred to me that it might be a good follow-up to yesterday’s Christianity & psychedelics piece, because it touches on concerns I have about psychedelic experience. Father John writes:

The monasticism of the desert fathers is a major influence in Orthodoxy, and the Apophthegmata Patrum—the sayings of the fathers (and mothers) of the desert—range from remarkably practical advice to a startling sense of participation in the divine. Take these two selections, from Benedicta Ward’s translation in The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Cistercian Publications):

Abba Pambo asked Abba Anthony, “What ought I to do?” and the old man said to him, “Do not trust in your own righteousness, do not worry about the past, but control your tongue and your stomach.”

Abba Lot went to Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands toward heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”

Note the words, “the old man.” The idea is preserved in the Greek word for “an elder”—geron—still used of wise monks and spiritual directors, the idea being that it takes time and patience to get there.

It seems to me that “getting there” by virtue of ingesting a drug is cheating — not in a moral sense, but in a spiritual sense that could leave one spiritually vulnerable. This is just an intuition. As I said in yesterday’s post, the man who has $10 million because he labored for 30 years, and the man who has it in an instant because he won the lottery, both have $10 million, but only the man who has labored for it for many years understands the meaning of that richness, and is prepared to live with it. My suspicion is that same principle is at work with psychedelics.

More Garvey:

At the heart of the spiritual journey is the belief that we are all called to theosis, or deification. St. Athanasius wrote, “The Word became man so that man might become God.” The boldness of this sounds blasphemous to some, but it squares with Jesus’ words, “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Christian mysticism is grounded in what is called apophatic theology, the belief that God’s nature is so radically unknowable that ordinary language and concepts fail utterly to get at it—so it may even be said that God does not exist, as we ordinarily use the word “exist” to describe the being of an object among other objects. But God has made himself known, and by his gift we may share his being, as he shared ours. We are capable of receiving this gift because we have seen Christ’s willingness to empty himself and assume our nature. As he became one of us, we can share the divine nature to the extent that with God’s help we can empty ourselves.

And:

The idea that one could experience theosis in this life was at the heart of what became known as the hesychast controversy, from the Greek hesychia, or “stillness.” The anonymous author of The Way of a Pilgrim speaks of The Philokalia, a multivolume collection of writings on prayer, compiled in the eighteenth century. (The title means “love of the good.”) The many contributors include St. John Cassian (c. 346–c. 435), St. Maximos the Confessor (c. 580–662), and St. Gregory Palamas (c. 1296–1359), whose response to a challenge to hesychasm in the fourteenth century synthesized Orthodox ideas about grace and our participation in the divine life.

Gregory Palamas defended the belief that one could genuinely experience the presence of God. Grace is not a created gift but the divine energies of God. Barlaam the Calabrian (1290–1348) had taken the idea of apophaticism to an extreme, and argued against those monks who believed that it was possible to experience “the uncreated light of Tabor,” the light seen by Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration. Gregory defended the monks, arguing that although God was in his nature unknowable, his energies were divine and could be shared with those who were capable of receiving them. Although it is possible to delude oneself, it is also possible to share in divinity, even in this life, just as Jesus shared our humanity.

It has to be said, however, that the point of prayer is not any particular experience, but rather turning one’s life over into God’s hands.

And:

Hesychios says that “all this happens naturally” and can be learned from experience. The naturalness and experiential aspects of the life of prayer assume an intermingling of the divine and the human that is revealed in the Incarnation. All of us are called to realize this, and to the extent that we are made capable of doing so, it involves our cooperation with the one who emptied himself to bring us into the fullness of his own being. A prayer sung during the liturgy of the Feast of the Transfiguration says, “You were transformed on the Mount, O Christ God, / Revealing your glory to your disciples as far as they could bear it.”

The idea that this glory draws us toward God is part of the vision of eternity of St. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335–c. 395): “Every desire for the Beautiful which draws us on in this ascent is intensified by the soul’s very progress toward it. And this is the real meaning of seeing God: never to have this desire satisfied.” It is echoed in Pascal’s “The Mystery of Jesus,” a part of his Pensées: there Jesus says, “If you are seeking me, you have found me.”

Read the whole thing. 

It seems to me — notice that I’m writing “seems” when I talk about all this — that the Orthodox tradition wouldn’t necessarily deny the psychedelic experience outright, but it would say that it is dangerous to tread in that strange land, where the veil to some extent has been lifted, without great spiritual preparation. If God wants to show you those things, then you should get there via the long way. If not, not. What the psychonauts seek is in some sense real, but absent the kind of preparation that comes from many years of prayer, worship, and askesis, one could be badly misled by this knowledge. We may say that it is forbidden to access it through chemical means not because it is necessarily entirely untrue, but because we cannot make proper sense of it, and therefore could open ourselves to the demonic.

That’s a theory. Thoughts welcome.

By the way, some of you got the idea that I’m promoting Christians using psychedelics. Not at all! I’m trying to figure out how to think of those compounds in a Christian way, even if we reject their use.

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How Muslim Migrants Are Reshaping Russia’s Dying Countryside, One Village at a Time

Or more specifically, the 35-year-old native of Tajikistan, the most impoverished of Central Asia’s five former Soviet republics, says his presence here, 200 kilometers northwest of Moscow, is good for his adopted homeland.

“‘Better you than the Chinese,’ that’s what my ex-boss told me,” the small-framed Soliev says between double shifts as a stoker at the village school, earning him around $250 a month, nearly twice the average Tajik wage.

The “you” is a reference to Soliev, who speaks fluent Russian and also routinely quotes ancient Persian thinker Omar Khayyam’s poems in Farsi, a linguistic sibling of his mother tongue, and 46 other families whose resettlement from Tajikistan over the past decade almost doubled Rozhdestveno’s aging population of about 200.

Half of the students in Soliev’s school are their raven-haired children, and their wives, in long skirts and head scarves, shop for groceries at a store next to the Orthodox church.

The arrival to urban centers and the countryside of Soliev and millions of other mostly Muslim labor migrants from Central Asia is at the center of what could emerge as Russia’s most radical ethnic makeover in centuries.

And some residents of Rozhdestveno and nearby villages speak caustically of the immigrants and forebodingly of an uncertain future.

“In 10 years, the village will either disappear or become foreign,” says retiree Viktor Yerofoeyevich, declining to give his last name. He is a resident of the neighboring village of Bortnikovo, where a paltry 12 houses have full-time residents.

Polls point to fears among many of Russia’s 142 million people of an uncontrolled influx of migrants eager to snatch up jobs and wildly tilt the country’s demographics in favor of the newcomers.

Vyacheslav Postavnin, a former deputy director of Russia’s Federal Migration Service who now heads the 21st Century Migration Fund, a Moscow-based think tank, compares it to the storied Mongol invasion of the 13th century that was followed by Islamization and the settling of former nomads in what is now southern Russia.

“The last bastion is the quick construction of Orthodox churches,” Postavnin says of ethnic Russians’ mistrust of the cultural and religious implications of immigration, “because the number of adherents of Islam is growing.”

Four-fifths of Russians say the Kremlin “must limit” the flow of migrants, and two-fifths believe migrants should live in “specially assigned areas,” according to a survey last year by state-run pollster VTsIOM.

And more than one in four Russians feels “irritation, dislike, or fear” specifically toward Central Asians, according to a more recent survey by independent pollster Levada.

Bucking A Trend

In its recent Revision Of World Urbanization Prospects report, the United Nations predicted that the current decline in Russia’s rural population would accelerate in the coming decades, from nearly 37 million now to just 22 million Russians residing in the countryside by the year 2050.

Stretched along the road between the ancient city of Tver and the Volga River, Rozhdestveno and a cluster of smaller villages around it exemplify the agony of Russia’s countryside.

Here, as in many rural areas mired in joblessness since the post-Soviet collapse of collective farms, decimated by low birthrates and migration to big cities, and barely held together by potholed roads, there is a perception that this kind of national heartland is no longer a pillar of Russian identity, prosperity, and tsarist-era expansion from the Baltic to the Pacific.

The trends have been accompanied by cutbacks in the number of village hospitals, schools, and administrative resources that further encourage locals to flee dwindling villages. Almost 36,000 Russian villages, or one in four, are home to 10 or fewer residents, and 20,000 more have been abandoned altogether, according to the latest Russian census, conducted in 2010.

Rozhdestveno is lucky to be larger than the nearby villages, but fallow fields covered with birch and pine saplings and poisonous giant hogweed surround it in every direction. The saplings herald the return of dense forests from which these villages were carved out centuries ago.

While the elderly in the area are forced to make do on meager pensions, many of the younger residents who haven’t left for the city subsist on potatoes from backyard gardens and pick mushrooms and berries to supplement their incomes. They sell whatever they can pick to middlemen from Tver or to affluent neighbors — frequently dacha owners from big cities who only show up in summer.

“I can sell mushrooms, sell cranberries. How else can I earn money?” says Vladimir, a jobless man from the village of Nesterovo, lisping through missing teeth. Clad in a greasy jacket and standing on a dirt road, he sums up his quarter century since the Soviet collapse.

“All of our household economy was destroyed, all the animal farms,” he says. “Every old lady used to have sheep, cows. Now, no one has any. Even chickens are gone.”

‘Not Afraid To Work’

Almost all of Rozhdestveno’s Tajik families hail from Gorno-Badakhshan, an especially poor, mountainous region that accounts for nearly half of Tajikistan’s territory. Tajiks were early and eager labor migrants to post-Soviet Russia, and hundreds of thousands now have citizenship there, officials say.

While it didn’t distinguish between Russian nationals and foreigners, the last nationwide census, in 2010, showed fourfold increases in the number of ethnic Tajiks and Kyrgyz in the Russian countryside, although there was a steep decline in the number of ethnic Uzbeks.

But the census generally excludes temporary labor migrants, according to Yevgeniya Chernina of the Center of Labor Studies at Moscow’s Higher School of Economy, of which there are millions, on and off the books.

The Tajik men around Rozhdestveno — from teenagers to forty-something men — are said to be generally eager to accept any employment opportunity that presents itself. They compete with locals in picking mushrooms and berries, and work at a nearby sawmill, on farms and construction sites in Tver, and drive cabs and buses.

“They’re not afraid to work,” Mayor Dmitry Kirdanov says. “It’s a helpful difference from the native population.”

Immigrants renovated several three-story apartment buildings that stood empty after the demise of the village’s collective farm, bought up dilapidating wooden houses, and enrolled three dozen children in school — doubling the number of students and providing teachers with more work.

There have been inevitable tensions, but locals say they have generally been tackled before they were allowed to fester.

The imposing, taciturn leader of Rozhdestveno’s Tajik community routinely finds himself thrust into the center of such quarrels.

Pairavsho, as he is known, manages a storage facility in Tver and arbitrates disputes between Tajiks and locals, a cultural holdover from the common Central Asian practice of tapping the wisdom of elders.

“If there’s a misunderstanding, they come to me, and we sort things out right away,” the father of two says on a Sunday evening, as dozens of Tajiks play soccer on the field in front of him.

Kirdanov cites an example, saying the immigrants’ children “brought a specifically [Central] Asian attitude to women” that some locals found objectionable. In that case, he says, a “conference” was convened to prevail upon the immigrants and soon the boys “stopped treating girls rudely.”

‘Better Off in yhe Village’

Some of the immigrants’ personal trajectories fit patterns described by Shukhrat Ganiev, a labor migration expert with the Humanitarian Rights Center, a think tank in the central Uzbek city of Bukhara. He has made two extensive trips across Russia since 2000 to document the emergence of what he calls “Uzbek villages” there.

Village officials or farmers in northern regions and Siberia frequently allow labor migrants to squat in abandoned houses and help them get work and residency permits, he says, sometimes inducing nearly whole villages to follow.

“Usually, this is a perennial practice with further integration into the local society,” Ganiev says in a reference to migrants who get Russian passports and send their children to Russian-language schools.

Other migrants are hired as seasonal farmhands, he says, mostly in southern Russian regions with booming, industrialized agriculture, and return home in winter.

Even more often, Ganiev says, migrants working in big cities move their families to the countryside because of lower rent and food costs and a safer, healthier environment.

“They’re better off in the village,” says Rovshan Khushvaktov, a 28-year-old cabbie who arrived four years ago from the central Uzbek city of Bukhara. “It’s so hard to keep an eye on children in Moscow.”

His wife and three children live in a small rented house in the village of Khoroshevo, some 180 kilometers southwest of Moscow. He sleeps in his white Hyundai between 18-hour shifts and tries to visit them each week.

Once they get Russian citizenship, many migrants become an important asset for local politicians.

In Rozhdestveno, where the overwhelming majority of Tajiks boast red Russian passports, Pairavsho declines to discuss his community’s political preferences, saying only that they “take part in every election.”

But the indications are that they vote overwhelmingly for the ruling United Russia party.

“Through their leaders, we always get a high turnout,” Kirdanov says in a reference to influential elders like Pairavsho.

“All sorts of outside political carpetbaggers tried to use them,” he adds, “but now they trust the [Kremlin’s] power, and openly say they won’t sell their political favors anymore.”

The post How Muslim Migrants Are Reshaping Russia’s Dying Countryside, One Village at a Time appeared first on American Renaissance.

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EVIL IS FINE NOW: Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct

I actually kind of appreciate this. Instead of keeping up the charade Google has just come out and told us that we shouldn’t expect it to “Don’t Be Evil”. It’s kind of refreshing in a sad dystopian crony corporate way.

(From Gizmodo)

Google’s unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase “don’t be evil.” But that’s over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show.

“Don’t be evil” has been part of the company’s corporate code of conductsince 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, Alphabet assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto, “do the right thing.” However, Google retained its original “don’t be evil” language until the past several weeks. The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google’s company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo.

I’d say that we’ve been warned, but really, anyone who follows Google knows that “Don’t Be Evil” died long ago.

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Obama Ed.Sec: Children Should Not Attend School Until Stricter Gun Control Passed: Luckily, Their Children Attend Armed Private Schools

Former Education Czar Arne Duncan sends his kids to the same private school he attended as a boy. But that’s not stopping him from coming out of the woodwork to gravestand on the ten dead from the massacre at a Santa Fe high school to tell parents that they should pull their kids from classes until Congress acts on gun control to protect students.

During the Obama era, 38% of Congressmen had sent their kids to private school. Do you really think that Congress is the right place to go for informed opinions on public school or guns?

Arne Duncan, who is the man responsible for raining Common Core down upon the nation, started in private school before moving on to Harvard, and then to Australia to play basketball before Mayor Daley in Chicago recalled him for a cozy position as CEO as the local school system.

And it was that resume of Harvard, Chicago, and basketball that placed him so highly in the Barack era government.

Duncan Ignores Dead Children, Gets Attention For Himself

As news was pouring in of the students who went on a rampage using sawed-off shotguns and other weapons to murder his classmates on Friday, Democrats and Parkland attention-seekers went on their own spree of lecturing the nation.

On social media, Duncan retweeted this:

“Maybe it’s time for America’s 50 million school parents to simply pull their kids out of school until we have better gun laws.

And called it a “brilliant” idea, asking “what if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?”

Then, he pledged that his family would be in it… if everyone else pulled their kids, too. He doesn’t want his to be left behind… but since he kids go to the same pricey, protective private school he attended as a child, I don’t think his kids will be the ones in danger anytime soon.

Arne Duncan

Now at the age of 53 — meaning that he was 45 when he was handed the position of Secretary of Education — Arne Duncan works for an organization looking to fix the gun violence problem in Chicago.

Before becoming the Education Secretary, he went to private school before becoming the CEO of the Chicago Public School system, a position handed to him by Mayor Daley in 2001, when he was 37.

Duncan attended Harvard from 1983-1987 and received a sociology degree before moving to Australia to play professional basketball from 1987-1991. His parents were both educators in Chicago, which is likely why they chose to put their son into private education.

[SEE ALSO: Duncan Threatens California During Switch To Common Core]

Congressmen Choosing Private Schools

A study released by the Heritage Foundation in 2009 may be a few years out of date, but it is the most recent report on Congressmen and the school choices they make for their own families.

In 2009, there were only 14 states and Washington itself that offers school vouchers, or similar tax credit programs for education that allowed parents to send their children to private schools over public. Almost every state had attempted to introduce school choice legislation, which is a catch-all term that means government education funding follows the student to their school, instead of giving money to schools and expecting nearby students to attend.

By allowing the money to follow the student, a parent may be able to choose to send their kids to a better school, a little further away, which rewards the schools that try harder to deliver an education.

Vouchers and tax credits also ease the burden for parents whose children are intelligent and hard-working but who would otherwise not have the financial support to attend. In the end, it works better for everyone. Smart students, regardless of background, are able to access the schools best suited to them.

But this means a lot of busing, and it means that if your kid attends a Richie Rich academy he may be forced to share a classroom with poor kids.

According to the Heritage Foundation,

…many Members of Congress who oppose private-school-choice policies for their fellow citizens exercise school choice in their own lives. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the chief architect of the language that threatens to end the OSP, for instance, sends his children to private school and attended private school himself.

Sen. Dick Durbin is still in Congress, and he’s been such a lying liar that we’ve had to dedicate entire articles rounding up his poor grip on the truth.

At the time the report was printed, the Heritage Foundation had been keeping an eye on elected politicians in Washington since 2000. Here’s what they found:

  • 38% of Members of the 111th Congress (2009) sent a child to private school at least once. The 38% represents the fact that 44% of Senators chose private school and 36% of Representatives had done so.
  • 23% of House Education and Labor Committee Members and almost 40% of Senate members on similar committees had sent their kids to private school.

They’re not exactly enamored with the state of public schools, are they?

This was the state of Congress at the time Arne Duncan was the Secretary of Education, a position he held from 2009 to 2015.

Sources: Heritage Foundation, Archive of the Governmental Website of the Department of Education

 

The post Obama Ed.Sec: Children Should Not Attend School Until Stricter Gun Control Passed: Luckily, Their Children Attend Armed Private Schools appeared first on Joe For America.

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Principal says sorry for 'insensitive' words on prom tickets(Party like it's 1776)

. The principal of a New Jersey high school has apologized for what he called "insensitive" language on tickets for the upcoming senior prom. The Courier Post reported the Cherry Hill High School East senior prom tickets urged students to "party like it's 1776" during the event at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center.

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Feds taking public comment on Ohio Medicaid work requirements

RELATED: What CareSource’s leadership change means for Dayton On May 1 the Ohio Department of Medicaid officially submitted the request to create the work requirements. The Republican-majority Ohio General Assembly put the language into the budget last …

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Burglar ransacks dead man’s Manhattan apartment

RELATED: What CareSource’s leadership change means for Dayton On May 1 the Ohio Department of Medicaid officially submitted the request to create the work requirements. The Republican-majority Ohio General Assembly put the language into the budget last …

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