Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Muslim politicians in the Western world come in two general varieties: those rare ones who are candid about their desire to transform the West in accordance with the dictates of their faith, and those, far greater in number, who prefer to disguise that ambition. The first category includes people like Abdirizak Waberi, a Swedish MP turned Islamic school principal who has actually admitted he believes in “banning music and dancing, prohibiting boys and girls from socializing, and allowing men to beat their four wives with sticks when they became disobedient,” and Brussels city councilman Redouane Ahrouch, who openly advocates for sharia government and recently called for a separation of the sexes on that city’s public transport.

In the second category are Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who while striving to pose as a progressive allows his mask to slip now and then (recently, he told an interviewer that “every Muslim is a bit of a salafist”), and London mayor Sadiq Khan, another faux liberal who has, in fact, ordered police to put less emphasis on monitoring potential terrorists and more emphasis on harassing Islam critics. And let’s not forget Minnesota’s (and the DNC’s) own Keith Ellison, who poses as a standard-issue Democrat but belonged for a decade to the Nation of Islam, speaks at CAIR events, and has ties to several pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic groups.

Also belonging to the latter category is Somali-born Bashe Musse, a Norwegian Labor Party politician who has been a member of the Oslo City Council since 2011. During the last couple of weeks he’s been making headlines because of a Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) report on “dumping.” What’s dumping? Like honor killing and female genital mutilation, it’s a common practice in Europe’s Muslims communities. Instead of sending their kids to regular neighborhood schools, many Muslim parents in Europe send their children off to madrasses – Koran schools – in the countries from which they, the parents, emigrated. The children stay in these schools for years at a time, memorizing the Islamic holy book while their agemates back in Europe learn math, science, and literature.

“Dumping” is eyebrow-raising for more than one reason. Many of these kids’ parents were allowed into Europe in the first place because they professed to be refugees from oppression in their homelands. The fact that they’re shipping their kids off to schools in those same countries gives the lie to those claims. The parents also often maintain that they’re proud to be French, Swedish, or whatever, and that they’re striving to assimilate into their adopted nations. But the whole point of sending these kids to madrasses in the Muslim world is to shield them from what the parents consider the baleful influence of Western civilization.

Last year, NRK produced, as noted, a report on Somali madrasses in which children from Norway have been enrolled. Many viewers considered the revelations eye-popping. In fact it was old news. In a 2004 study, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Norway’s Human Rights Service (HRS) documented, in extraordinary and devastating detail, the grim reality of daily life in these institutions, where the conditions are almost always primitive and where the atmosphere is less that of a First World school than of a Third World prison. NRK’s report, which contained interviews with children living in Norway who had attended the Somali madrasses, confirmed HRS’s findings: at those “schools,” the children had been tied up, whipped, beaten, and subjected to other sorts of brutal treatment that would ordinarily be considered torture.

Which brings us to Bashe Musse, who in addition to being an Oslo city councilman is also the official chief spokesperson for Norway’s Somali community, the largest non-Western immigrant group in the country. After NRK’s report aired last year, he claimed to be shocked by its contents. But on May 29 of this year, NRK reported that in an interview aired on Somali TV, Musse had dismissed the children’s testimony about the madrasses and regretted that such lies, as he called them, had been “sold to the Norwegian people” by the Norwegian media, which he characterized as “one-sided.”

When confronted by NRK with a transcript of his comments to Somali TV, Musse insisted that the person who had translated his words from Somali into Norwegian had fouled up, entirely misrepresenting his views. NRK thereupon engaged the services of another translator, whose product was essentially identical to that of the first translator. It then presented the transcript to various government officials. Frode Jacobsen, head of the Oslo Labor Party, said he was “surprised and shocked” by Musse’s “double communication,” which he described as “very unfortunate.” Norway’s Minister of Integration, Jan Tore Sanner, also expressed concern, but did not call for any action against Musse. The Progress Party’s immigration spokesman, Jon Helgheim, went quite a bit further, scorning Musse as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and urging that the Labour Party discipline him in some way. But as far as I have been able to determine, no one in a position of power has demanded Musse’s resignation or removal from the City Council.

Lying to infidels, of course, has a name in Arabic – taqiyya – and it is one of the chief weapons of Islam in its eternal conflict with non-believers. Among its more celebrated practitioners is “Euro-Islam” proponent, Oxford professor, accused serial rapist, and current jailbird Tariq Ramadan, who is known to routinely say one thing to Western audiences in French or English and another to Muslim audiences n Arabic. Indeed, Caroline Fourest’s book about him is entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan. To employ taqiyya, as Musse appears to have done, is to demonstrate definitively that one is not on the side of the West but that one is a double agent – a partisan, a person whose true loyalty lies, shall we say, elsewhere.

Within a few hours of being caught dead to rights on NRK as a practitioner of doublespeak, Musse made an announcement. Did he resign? Of course not. He declared that NRK had represented him to the Norwegian public as a liar and, what’s more, had painted an unflattering picture of Somalia.  Accordingly, he had contacted a lawyer, Arild Humlen, to ascertain what legal rights he had in the matter. 

What makes this story important, needless to say, is that Musse is not an outlier. Far from it. Increasingly, all over the West, Muslims hold elected positions, some of them at a very high level. It is considered to be racist, or at the very least to be in terribly bad taste, to question whether they can be loyal at once to their totalizing, all-encompassing religion and to their officially secular country and its (still) mostly non-Muslim inhabitants. Once those poiticians are caught engaging in taqiyya, of course, there is no further reason for doubt on this score.

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Yes, Virginia, Medicaid Expansion Will Harm the Poor

Last week, Virginia’s general assembly voted to expand Medicaid under the auspices of Obamacare. The commonwealth’s legislators had wisely resisted doing so for years, but four GOP state senators broke ranks to vote for this bill in exchange for a provision stipulating an anemic work requirement. The “news” media have, of course, touted this betrayal as a victory for the poor. It is however, precisely the reverse. Expansion will consign thousands of truly poor and disabled Virginians to purgatorial Medicaid waiting lists while advancing able-bodied adults with incomes above the federal poverty level (FPL) to the front of the line.

Why would Virginia pursue such an obviously unjust policy? Like all Democratic programs, it’s about power and money. Obamacare incentivizes expansion states to shift Medicaid’s focus to able-bodied adults by paying over 90 percent of their coverage costs, while the federal share of costs for traditional Medicaid patients remains below 60 percent. This does not mean, however, that doctors and hospitals will receive more money. Providers will continue to be paid less by Medicaid than the cost of treatment whether the patients are expansion or traditional enrollees. The extra money will go to political slush funds and insurance companies.

Medicaid expansion doesn’t work like the original program, which was administered by the states as a safety net for poor children, pregnant women, the disabled, and the elderly. Management of Obamacare’s corrupted version of the program is farmed out to insurance companies. A typical example is Wellcare, which accrued over $10.6 billion in 2017 from its coverage of able-bodied adults. The company plans to reinvest $2.5 billion of that revenue in the acquisition of Meridian Health Plans of Illinois and Michigan, which will increase its Medicaid portfolio by 37 percent. Meanwhile, truly poor patients die on waiting lists.

This is not conjecture. A recent study, conducted by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), revealed that at least 21,904 Americans have withered away and died on Medicaid waiting lists in the states that expanded the program under Obamacare. Even worse, the 21,904 figure reported in the study almost certainly understates the true death toll. A number of expansion states were somehow “unable” to provide FGA with death totals, while others implausibly claimed that there were none to report. It is nonetheless clear that Medicaid waiting lists in expansion states constitute a kind of death row for the genuinely poor.

The worst carnage has occurred just north of the Beltway. Maryland is easily the deadliest state for traditional Medicaid applicants, chalking up no fewer than 8,495 deaths among individuals languishing on its waiting list. During the same time period, even as these patients were left to die, the bureaucrats of the Old Line State enrolled very nearly 300,000 able-bodied adults under the aegis of Obamacare. Louisiana took second place in killing its traditional Medicaid patients. The Pelican State reported 5,534 deaths among the unfortunates who wound up on its waiting list, while 451,000 able-bodied adults were enrolled under Obamacare’s expansion.

Additional states whose Medicaid waiting lists have killed a thousand or more people include New Mexico, where 2,031 poor and disabled patients died while the state signed up 259,537 enrollees under Obamacare’s expansion scheme. Michigan left 1,970 of its residents to die while enrolling 665,057 in its new and improved Medicaid program. West Virginia allowed 1,093 patients to die on its waiting list while signing up 181,105 able-bodied enrollees. The remaining expansion states are mere also-rans with death tolls ranging from Iowa’s paltry 989 down to Minnesota, which managed to leave only 15 of its poor and disabled citizens for dead.

This is the august company Virginia’s General Assembly chose to join last week. The Old Dominion will become the 33rd state to take Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion bait, demonstrating that the commonwealth’s politicians have learned little or nothing from the deadly experiences of the previous states that were gaffed by their own greed. Those Medicaid expansion states still have nearly 250,000 poor, disabled, and elderly individuals wasting away on waiting lists. Yet Obamacare advocates in Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska — blissfully unaware of the death tolls quoted above — are working to pass expansion in November via referenda.

Maine activists have already tricked the voters of the Pine Tree State into passing a referendum approving expansion, but the program hasn’t been implemented because Governor Paul Lepage has refused to go forward: “My administration will not implement Medicaid expansion until it has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated, and I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families.” This speaks to one of expansion’s most profound ironies. Even if Washington continues footing most of the bill, herding the able-bodied into Medicaid is a budget buster for the states. It nearly broke Maine the last time they tried it.

Medicaid expansion under Obamacare privileges able-bodied adults with incomes above FPL, states can’t pay for it in the long haul, and it causes the genuinely poor to be dumped onto waiting lists where they quietly die in their thousands. Yet the Old Dominion’s newly-minted Governor, Ralph Northam, will gleefully sign an expansion bill into law this week as the leaders of his party and the media beam benevolently from on high. His name may even be uttered by the Great Mentioner as potential presidential material. For any Democrat, that’s certainly well worth a little inequity, the occasional budget deficit, and a few thousand human sacrifices.

The post Yes, Virginia, Medicaid Expansion Will Harm the Poor appeared first on The American Spectator.

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A Response to the Idea of Removing the Natural Born Citizen Clause From Our Constitution

A Response to the Idea of Removing the Natural Born Citizen Clause From Our Constitution Thursday, May 17, 2018 University of Richmond School of Law Professor Kevin C. Walsh proposes ridding our Constitution of its “natural born Citizen” clause.  See his article, “The ‘Irish Born’ One American Citizenship Amendment,” here https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3165238 . Professor Walsh writes that the original Constitution is not perfect and it is time to change its actual text.  In that connection, he advocates that naturalized American citizens should be eligible to be President.  He states: “There are not two classes of American citizenship, just one. It is…

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Amazon’s ‘Rekognition’ real time facial recognition software is being used by police in Orlando and Oregon’s Washington County, privacy advocates reveal

Daily Mail | The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy advocates are hitting out at Amazon after it was revealed that it sold facial recognition tech to police.

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An International Christian Confederation

The best news in ages came this afternoon, thanks to reader Bonifatius, who sent news of a new, Munich-based lay Catholic organization: the Bund Sankt-Michael (Confederation of St. Michael). It’s a Catholic organization — but one that reaches out to all Christians — dedicated to shoring up the Christian faith in post-Christian Germany. Its strategy page says that The Benedict Option is a “major inspiration,” but not the only one. If your browser is Google Chrome, you can have everything on the site translated easily, on the page. Otherwise, use translate.google.com.

I’m going to post some of the Bund’s strategy page in English below. The English translation is via Google’s bot. If it sounds inelegant, that’s because it wasn’t done by a human being. I welcome any corrections from German speakers:

2.2 Strategic assumptions

The Bund’s strategic draft is based on the following strategic assumptions about the future development of the environment in which Christianity moves in Europe, as well as the associated requirements for its own actions.

  • Christians will become a minority in Europe. Due to demographic trends, migration and diminishing strength of religious ties among Christians, they will become a minority in the coming decades which will initially shrink steadily.
  • The environment for Christianity will become more difficult in Europe: as a religious minority, Christians will live alongside other religious and philosophical groups who are not always friendly to Christians and the heritage of Christianity. In the perception of a growing number of Christianity, Christianity will appear alien, incomprehensible or backward. This perception will be marked by misrepresentations about Christianity as well as aberrant developments within Christianity.
  • The general crisis potential in Europe is increasing : Increasing decay and dissolution phenomena in all areas of social life will lead to a steady increase in the general instability and the crisis potential in Europe. The remaining cultural substance in Europe has become too weak to avert such developments. Even political actors and political action can no longer avert this development, which has cultural causes at its core, but at best delay it. In the medium term, this will be linked to a series of converging crises that will further worsen the environment for Christians in Europe, and possibly over a very long period of time.
  • Above all, it will depend on the creation of freedom for Christian life: under future conditions, a major political task will be the creation and maintenance of open spaces that enable Christians to lead a Christian life. Moreover, in largely Christianized societies, Christian elements in the state order will become increasingly difficult to sustain, and such attempts will increasingly be negatively answered by non-Christians and will be fruitless.
  • Non-binding forms of Christianity will not be able to survive in the future environment: in an environment that is increasingly difficult for Christianity, non-binding forms of Christianity will be unable to resist social pressure and dissolve, assimilate, or, at most, seemingly Christian-looking extensions of secular ideologies transform. The remaining Christians will increasingly be those who can withstand the pressure of the increasingly difficult environment, because they can practice more binding forms, have strong religious ties and can rely on robust solidarity structures.
  • Europe needs the ministry of Christianity: Under the conditions of imminent upheaval, more and more people in Europe will be ready to acknowledge that the cause of Europe’s crisis is the separation from its Christian roots, and that overcoming this crisis requires reconnecting to those roots. Under these conditions, the Church will need to be able to provide the necessary service to Europe, offering more convincing explanations of what’s going on, as well as better solutions and approaches to tackle the challenges that its decay-and-dissolution environment may be.
  • Long-term thinking is needed: both the assurance of the continuity of Christianity in Europe and the renewal of Europe in the spirit of Christianity are long-term oriented tasks that must be carried out over many generations. To fulfill them presupposes to think in long periods of time and to be prepared to no longer see the effects of one’s own actions.
  • Elites are the bearers of cultural development: cultural change always starts with elites. Because addressing the challenges to Christianity’s continuity in Europe in the long term requires above all a change in the cultural environment, Christians must be part of the cultural and other elites to work and win over these elites. In this context, positive change can also be achieved by small, but highly capable and service-ready groups.

2.3 Risks

  • Exclusive thinking:  projects based on strong religious ties tend to be exclusive, unnecessarily excluding potential supporters and allies. In communication, for example, such projects tend to use a language that is only understood by their own members. In addition, there is a tendency in such projects to isolate themselves from the environment rather than following the Christian mission and acting in it.

  • Internal divisions: In such projects, there is an increased risk of internal divisions, for example, when different currents accuse each other of lack of faithfulness.

  • External Conspiracy Theories: Strategically oriented religious intentions are reported to be met with great distrust by parts of their environment that often form the basis for irrational conspiracy theories. A transparent presentation of one’s own goals and one’s own actions can counteract this.

  • Intolerance and hostility: Actors who fundamentally reject Christianity will also reject attempts to facilitate Christian life in a post-Christian Europe. As in the past, in the past, for example, in the realm of totalitarian ideologies, they are generally practiced and will react with attempts at reputational damage, social isolation and attacks on professional existence.

More:

5.1 Creating spaces of Christian life
The physical and cultural spaces of Christian life enable Christians in Europe’s culturally increasingly heterogeneous societies to cultivate their culture and pass it on to future generations. The creation and consolidation of such spaces is the prerequisite for Christians to act as creative minorities in these societies and thus to serve them.

The greater the balance between Christian life and the surrounding society, the greater will be the pressure on Christians to assimilate into non-Christian culture. Spaces of Christian life can reduce this pressure and thereby support Christians in their Christian way of life and strengthen their ministry. These spaces should be designed so that they could perform this task even under the most difficult conditions.

These spaces should not be places of retreat, but nuclei of renewal radiating to their environment.

Creating physical spaces of Christian life

In spaces of Christian life, this life can grow in such a way that it can affect the world. This requires certain conditions, such as an intact environment in which uncertainty or other signs of disintegration and deterioration are minimized.

Such spaces require physical infrastructure, such as churches and schools. Around this infrastructure Christian families can settle, who support each other in their lives as Christians.

Creation of Christian solidarity structures

Solidarity structures help Christian families lead a Christian life in the midst of the surrounding society and raise their children in the spirit of Christianity. Such structures are based on reciprocity and trust. Because of their independence from government infrastructure, they are also reliably available if it is temporary or permanent or people are excluded from their claim for political reasons.

Creating cultural spaces of Christian life

It is in the nature of Christianity not to consider a difficult environment as an adversary, but to work for its well-being and renewal. However, in order to do this, Christians need to be kept away from the corrupt cultural trends that shape this environment, that is, they must live in the world but not be molded by their minds (Jn 17, 11-19).

This requires the creation of cultural spaces that are delimited from the world around them, and within whose protective borders Christian life can grow.

Cultural spaces of Christian life include their own educational system as well as media and communication platforms as well as arts and cultural studies.

Care and mediation of the Christian heritage

Many present-day Christians are poorly acquainted with their heritage, or feel it out of ignorance as a burden. Christians, however, must be convinced that their inheritance is of the highest value before they can convince other people credibly.

This heritage also includes practical solutions for a successful life.

The care of the inheritance involves its development, its mediation and its further development in the sense of the demand to examine everything and to keep the good (1 Thess 5:21).

For this purpose, compendia should be created and maintained, which open up this legacy in all its aspects in such a way that people can reapply individually and in community. This practice has been successfully used in building nations, such as the US, where the “McGuffey Readers” helped to assimilate the country’s cultural identity.

5.2 Strengthening interdenominational and interreligious cooperation

Conservative actors in the various Christian denominations, but also in Judaism, who are committed to the preservation of the respective teaching and tradition, face the same challenges in Western societies and usually have similar positions in the field of social teaching. In the face of increasing challenges, this leads to increased cooperation between these denominations and religions.

Pope Francis spoke of an “ecumenism of the blood” and the convergence of denominations in the face of increasing persecution of Christians in many regions of the world.

The Russian Orthodox Bishop Tikhon is, among other things, head of the Council for Cultural Affairs of the Patriarch of Moscow and is considered a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said in 2018 that there was close contact with the Vatican Cultural Council . The common main task is to preserve the Christian identity of Europe. The Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, who is currently head of the Foreign Office of the Moscow Patriarchate, advocates a strategic alliance between the Catholic Church and Orthodoxy and calls the Catholic Church an “ally”. The increasing challenges facing Christianity in Western Europe would require such cooperation .

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), the most important association of evangelical Christians, has been holding talks with the Catholic Church for some time , during which the participants confirmed that there is more in common than separation between them.

In 2017, several organizations of Jewish Orthodox rabbis in a letter addressed to Pope Francis called for a strategic partnership between Judaism and the Catholic Church in countering the threat of political Islam and radical secular ideologies. The Jewish Orthodox rabbi Jonathan Sacks had described corresponding common challenges and interests .

In the case of rapprochement between the Catholic Church and Orthodox Judaism, it is crucial that the common interests clearly outweigh the effects of the existing contradictions. In contrast to most Islamic actors, however, the conflicts predominate, which is why there is no relevant cooperation and will probably not exist in the long term. The recent ongoing dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Islamic World League is not a collaboration to achieve common goals, but an attempt to use diplomatic means to deal with the conflicts that are coming from Islamic actors.

In principle, however, it would be possible to cooperate with liberal minority currents in Islam, which, unlike the majority currents, forego confrontational positions in relation to Christianity. There are common interests here, such as the defense against radical currents in Islam, which pose a threat to both Christians and non-Muslim Muslims.

Read the whole thing.

Y’all, this thing is happening. And European Christians are leading the way. Americans, pay attention!

I would like to propose a big conference sometime in 2019 of Christians eager to talk seriously about this initiative, and to pioneer concrete ways to collaborate across international borders. We should hold it in Europe — perhaps at a large Benedictine monastery — because that’s where the Benedict Option is taking root now. We should include clergy and laity from Catholic, Protestant (Evangelical and otherwise), and Orthodox traditions. It should include North Americans and Russians, and perhaps even Middle Eastern Christians.

We do not need to include Christians who don’t see a need for a Benedict Option strategy. We will only waste time trying to convince those who don’t want to see what’s right in front of them. We need instead to be working hard on building these structures and networks, and getting to know each other.

I’ve not been in touch with anybody from the Bund, incidentally. I am no kind of organizer. But if any one reading this blog is in a position to organize this kind of international conference, and is eager to meet others interested in planning and funding it, please know that you can count on me to help in any way possible.

It seems like almost every day I see evidence that European Christians get the Benedict Option concept much better than we American believers do. This is surely because they have been living in a post-Christian civilization for generations now. They know what’s at stake. And they know what’s coming to us Americans. Meanwhile, we are wasting the headstart we have been given by history. How much are we traditional American Christians prepared to lose before we wake up one day and realize that the traditional European Christians were right all along?

 

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Amazon should stop selling facial recognition tools to police, say civil liberties advocates

Civil liberties advocates are calling on Amazon to cease providing facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies. “We demand that Amazon stop powering a government surveillance infrastructure that poses a grave threat to customers and …

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George F. Will : Free-speech advocates taking the fight to campus

On election night 2016, Mark Schlissel, the University of Michigan’s president, addressed more than 1,000 students, declaring that the 90 percent of them who had favored the losing candidate had rejected “hate.” He thereby effectively made those who disagreed with him and with the campus majority eligible to be targets of the university’s “bias response teams.”

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Caucus using bill to derail DACA vote

The conservative House Freedom Caucus is pushing hard for an immigration bill despised by many advocates for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals participants – an effort that has a chance of getting a House vote as soon as next week. If that vote occurs, it would make it far more difficult for DACA backers to get votes on legislation they’ve been seeking.

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Amazon sells facial recognition tools to cops and people are freaking out

Hey, are you using that wild Amazon product known as Rekognition? Me neither. And unless you’re running an online company of some significant size, most people probably aren’t. First of all, it’s pretty expensive if you put it to any extensive amount of use, and it’s rather specific in what it does. It’s a facial recognition program listed under their Artificial Intelligence offerings (gulp) and it can scan social media or other video feeds and pick out individual faces from both still pictures and video.

You know who some of their biggest customers are, right? Law enforcement. And that has certain online privacy advocates up in arms and demanding that the e-commerce giant stop selling it to the cops. (Associated Press)

Amazon’s decision to market a powerful face recognition tool to police is alarming privacy advocates, who say the tech giant’s reach could vastly accelerate a dystopian future in which camera-equipped officers can identify and track people in real time, whether they’re involved in crimes or not.

It’s not clear how many law enforcement agencies have purchased the tool, called Rekognition, since its launch in late 2016 or since its update last fall, when Amazon added capabilities that allow it to identify people in videos and follow their movements almost instantly.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon has used it to quickly compare unidentified suspects in surveillance images to a database of more than 300,000 booking photos from the county jail — a common use of such technology around the country — while the Orlando Police Department in Florida is testing whether it can be used to single out persons-of-interest in public spaces and alert officers to their presence.

So the ACLU and other civil rights groups are going public and demanding that Amazon stop selling this powerful facial recognition software to the police. Not to everyone, mind you… just to law enforcement. That’s a tricky proposition because normally they demand that the government either start doing something or stop some activity they consider harmful. But Amazon isn’t the government. They’re a private business entity selling a product which has apparently not been deemed illegal or dangerous in a fashion which would cause the government to restrict its sale.

Looked at in that light, Amazon is pretty much free to ignore them unless they can come up with some sort of court order forcing the company to cease and desist. But since the product would still be made available to the public under the terms of these demands, it’s tough to see a judge making that call.

The bigger issue here is the reason the ACLU gives for wanting to keep police from having this tool. They claim that Rekognition could allow the government to “easily build a system to automate the identification and tracking of anyone.” Um… isn’t that the point? And if you’re just wandering around minding your own business, why would the police want to track you to begin with? Sure, this software probably looks like something out of the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, but technology is continually reshaping how our society operates.

I keep coming back to the same type of crime scenario when considering these online privacy questions. Imagine that some creep is out there using this software (or something like it) to stalk his ex-girlfriend. When he finally puts his plan into action and throws her in the trunk of his car, somebody has to call the police. Wouldn’t you like the cops to be able to feed that guy’s picture into their system and have it spit out the location of his car minute by minute? Of course you would, at least if the victim was your relative or friend.

But somehow this is still viewed as “a bad thing” among privacy advocates because it’s apparently worth getting a bunch of people killed so long as you can continue to make the job of law enforcement harder. And for what? Because you imagine that Big Brother is stalking you every time you leave your house? This makes no sense to me.

The post Amazon sells facial recognition tools to cops and people are freaking out appeared first on Hot Air.

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Op-Ed Thinks Founding Fathers Would Support Gun Control Because Of Dead Kids

The Constitution of the United States of America is the most important document in the country. It lays the groundwork for our entire system of government, protects our natural rights as human beings, and sets limits on what the government can do. When you look at the history immediately proceeding its adoption, everything makes perfect sense.

After all, they’d just fought a war to get away from what they saw as a tyrannical government that wasn’t accountable to the people. They damn sure didn’t want to replicate those mistakes in their new country.

Yet now, a couple of centuries later, we find ourselves constantly battling against people who think they know more about what the Founding Fathers thought and felt despite their explicit writings.

Some of those people write opinion pieces for USA Today.

mid all we know about the Founding Fathers, two things stand out in the wake of yet another mass shooting that underscores the desperate need for action and the depth of our paralysis.

The first is that nearly a third of the 39 delegates who signed the Constitution endured the tragedy of losing children. By one count, 24 sons and daughters born to a dozen signers died before adulthood. The second is that these and the other Founders were among the greatest change-makers in history. They were America’s first #Resist movement, and they fought an actual war to create a future unbound by the past.

Does anyone think they would expect us to live by a 230-year-old document? Would they stand by, reciting the centuries-old Second Amendment, if their own children were endangered — in school, at malls, in movie theaters, on city streets — by easy access to guns? Or would they start us on the road to universal background checks, mandatory waiting periods and other steps most Americans say they want?

Well, they probably would. You see, they believed in personal freedom. I don’t see why they would jump in favor of gun control just because some writer thinks they would.

After all, many gun rights advocates have children, myself included. If we’re not convinced there’s this serious threat to our children’s safety, why would the Founding Fathers, many of whom took libertarianism to a radical extreme?

The op-ed continues:

John Adams probably would have understood as well. He was away in 1776 when his wife, Abigail, unilaterally decided to have a doctor inject her and their four children with live smallpox virus. The inoculation was controversial and dangerous, but not as dangerous as contracting smallpox. Abigail’s bet paid off: Her whole family (including John, who had been immunized in 1764), survived the smallpox epidemic then ravaging the Boston area.

Does anyone doubt that this woman would be marching and lobbying if she were with us now and feared for her children?

You see, this is all predicated on the idea that because people lost kids, they’d support any measure that claims to protect children. The assumption is asinine.

It’s asinine because it essentially believes that those who oppose gun control actually want dead kids. It’s their own warped delusion based on nothing but their narcissistic belief that theirs is the only path to righteousness. They refuse to accept that anyone who disagrees with them could possibly do so simply because they think anything other than the worst imaginable.

In this case, the writer is arguing that our Founding Fathers would support gun control because they lost kids. She’s oblivious to the fact that there are gun rights advocates who have lost children to disease, accident, and even a few to mass shootings, I’m sure.

As a parent, I fear for my children too. I fear a lot of things for them.

Mostly, I fear that some anti-gun zealot will get their way and my children will be defenseless against an attacker who isn’t following the damn rules in the first place when it comes to firearms and, because of those anti-gun zealots, there’s no one else able to defend them either. That’s why we want to see teachers opt to be armed while they’re at work. That’s why I want to see more school resource officers in our schools.

To pretend that gun control is the only path toward keeping our kids safe is ridiculous, as is the notion that our Founding Fathers would have supported something when, clearly, they didn’t.

 

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