Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 24 Jun 2021
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

People 2

Gender-critical views are a protected belief, appeal tribunal rules

Maya Forstater
© Barney Cokeliss/PA
Maya Forstater
The gender-critical views, of a researcher who lost her job at a thinktank after tweeting that transgender women could not change their biological sex, are a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act, a judge-led panel has ruled.

Maya Forstater, 47, a tax expert, brought a legal challenge when the Centre for Global Development (CGD), where she was a visiting fellow, did not renew her contract in March 2019 after a dispute over publicising her views on social media. She was accused of using "offensive and exclusionary" language in tweets opposing government proposals - later shelved - to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to allow people to self-identify as a particular gender.

An attempt by Forstater, funded through the CrowdJustice website, to establish that her tweets, such as "men cannot change into women", should be protected under the Equality Act failed in a test case at an employment tribunal in 2019. In April, Forstater appealed to the employment appeal tribunal (EAT).

On Thursday a panel led by the EAT president, Mr Justice Choudhury, upheld the appeal, saying the tribunal had "erred in law" in ruling that Forstater's views were "not worthy of respect in a democratic society". In its written judgment, it said:
"Just as the legal recognition of civil partnerships does not negate the right of a person to believe that marriage should only apply to heterosexual couples, becoming the acquired gender 'for all purposes' within the meaning of GRA does not negate a person's right to believe, like the claimant, that as a matter of biology a trans person is still their natal sex. Both beliefs may well be profoundly offensive and even distressing to many others, but they are beliefs that are and must be tolerated in a pluralist society."

Comment: If there are absolute freedoms of expression and thought, there are no qualifiers nor narrowing interpretations.

Piggy Bank

Pennies & Persecution: IRS denies religious group tax exempt status

IRS docs
© Getty Images
First Liberty Institute appealed an IRS determination denying tax exempt status to Christians Engaged, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers Christians to vote and pray.

In a May letter, the IRS argued that Christians Engaged was not eligible for 501(c)(3) status because "[B]ible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates."

Since when does religion have to do with political beliefs?

Lea Patterson, Counsel for First Liberty Institute, said:
"The IRS states in an official letter that Biblical values are exclusively Republican. That might be news to President Biden, who is often described as basing his political ideology on his religious beliefs. Only a politicized IRS could see Americans who pray for their nation, vote in every election, and work to engage others in the political process as a threat. The IRS violated its own regulations in denying tax exempt status because Christians Engaged teaches biblical values."


Three reported dead after gunman opens fire in streets of Ardea, Italy

Italian police
© AFP/Andreas Solaro
Italian police check point
According to the TV channel RaiNews24, the shooter managed to escape. The officers were searching for him in Ardea, as well as in the neighbouring cities of Pomezia and Anzio, and later found the suspect barricaded in his own house.

A gunman opened fire in the streets of the Italian city of Ardea near Rome, killing two children and an elderly man, the Italian media reported on Sunday. The elderly man reportedly died on the spot, while two brothers, a five-year-old and a ten-year-old, were hospitalised, but medics were unable to save their lives.

The suspect is reported to be a 34-year-old man with a mental illness.


Wealthy Atlanta suburb files for 'divorce' from city over skyrocketing crime

Crime scene
© Screenshot
Crime scene in Buckhead, GA
The wealthy Atlanta suburb of Buckhead filed to secede from the city of Atlanta, blasting the mayor for the rising crime rates.

"We filed our divorce papers at the city of Atlanta and our divorce is final," Bill White, CEO of the Buckhead City Committee said in a Fox News interview Thursday.

White condemned Atlanta city leadership, including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, accusing her of failing to address the uptick in crime and presiding over an underfunded police department.

This comes after a shooting in Buckhead earlier in June, when Andrew Worrell - a father of three - was shot twice while jogging. He survived and has since been released from the hospital. White said:
"They are just not paying attention to the crime. The leadership vacuum is substantial. I don't like saying anything bad about Mayor Bottoms. I'm sure she is a nice human being, but she has completely let our officers down. They feel demoralized, underpaid, underrecognized and being told not to fight crime in the way they would like to. We love the Atlanta police department but we'll form Buckhead City with its own police department, with significantly greater presence on the streets."
The crime spike in Buckhead has proven substantial. Through last week, aggravated assaults were up 52 percent in the wealthy area, compared to a rise of 26 percent city wide, as reported by WXIA-TV via the Daily Mail. Robberies in the city increased 2 percent, but in Buckhead they are up to a whopping 29 percent.

Eye 1

Google searches for new measure of skin tones to curb bias in products, improve facial recognition technology

crowd skin tones diversity
© Reuters
The controversy is part of a larger reckoning over racism and diversity in the tech industry.
Alphabet Inc's Google told Reuters this week it is developing an alternative to the industry standard method for classifying skin tones, which a growing chorus of technology researchers and dermatologists says is inadequate for assessing whether products are biased against people of color.

At issue is a six-color scale known as Fitzpatrick Skin Type (FST), which dermatologists have used since the 1970s. Tech companies now rely on it to categorize people and measure whether products such as facial recognition systems or smartwatch heart-rate sensors perform equally well across skin tones.

Comment: The ability to catalogue finer gradations of skin pigmentation will be useful as AI inevitably becomes more integrated in the medical diagnosis process, as with the DermAssist tool referenced above.

The fine-tuning of facial recognition systems is another matter entirely.


Woke pop star wants to replace the American flag with one featuring off-white stripes and brown stars commemorate 'Juneteenth'

macy gray juneteenth flag
© Macy Gray/The Post Millennial
Macy Gray's proposed redesign for a Juneteenth flag
Macy Gray, an internationally recognized pop/soul singer, recently wrote an article published on Friday in which she stated that, "for Juneteenth, America needs a new flag."

The article was published on MarketWatch, goes on to say that the US is "broken and in pieces":

"President Biden, Madame Harris and members of Congress: the American flag has been hijacked as code for a specific belief. God bless those believers, they can have it. Like the Confederate, it is tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect."


Another Florida win: Federal judge rules CDC can't regulate cruises

florida crise ships covid

Cruise ships dock at Florida resort of Miami
A federal judge in Florida on Friday ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) coronavirus-era sailing orders were an overreach of power, issuing a preliminary injunction temporarily barring the CDC from enforcing the guidelines.

Judge Steven Merryday for the Middle District of Florida in his ruling sided with the Sunshine State in its argument that the "CDC's conditional sailing order and the implementing orders exceed the authority delegated to CDC."

As a result, Merryday approved Florida's motion for a preliminary injunction suspending the mandatory guidelines for cruise ships, writing that the CDC is "preliminary enjoined from enforcing against a cruise ship arriving in, within, or departing from a port in Florida the conditional sailing order and the later measures."

Comment: Governor DeSantis has defended his constituents from the covid lunacy from the beginning. The result has been predictable.

San Francisco losing record numbers of residents to Florida and Texas


Meet the Censored: Former Evergreen College professor Bret Weinstein

bret Weinstein evergreen college cancelled
© The Evolutionist/YouTube
Professor Bret Weinstein
Canceled on campus for speaking his mind, he's now going through a sequel at the hands of Silicon Valley

On May 23, 2017, not so long ago in real time but seemingly an eternity given the extraordinary history we've lived through since, a group of 50-odd students at Evergreen State College arrived at the classroom of a biology professor named Bret Weinstein, demanding his resignation. He stepped into the hall to talk, believing he could work things out.

He was wrong. Weinstein's offense had been to come to work during an event called the "Days of Absence," in which white students, staff, and faculty were asked to stay home. This was an inverted version of a longstanding Evergreen event of the same name that, based on a Douglas Turner Ward play, invited students of color to stay home voluntarily, to underscore their value to the community. As he would later explain in the Wall Street Journal, Weinstein thought this was a different and more negative message, and refused to comply. When that group of 50 students he'd never met arrived at his door and accused him of being a racist, he assumed he could find common ground, especially when his own students (including students of color) spoke on his behalf.


Bizarro Earth

Over 3 million people displaced due to man-made conflicts in 2020, largely due to US wars abroad - UN

Mozambique africa
© AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file photo, displaced families arrive after being rescued by boat from a flooded area of Buzi district, 200 kilometers (120 miles) outside Beira, Mozambique. The U.N. high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi said Friday June 17, 2021, that conflicts and the impact of climate change in places like Mozambique were among the leading sources of new flows of refugees and internally displaced people in 2020.
War, violence, persecution, human rights violations and other factors caused nearly 3 million people to flee their homes last year, even though the COVID-19 crisis restricted movement worldwide, the U.N. refugee agency said in a report Friday.

In its latest Global Trends report, UNHCR said the world's cumulative number of displaced people rose to 82.4 million — roughly the population of Germany and a new post-World War II record.

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations' high commissioner for refugees, said conflict and the fallout from climate change in places such as Mozambique, Ethiopia's Tigray region and Africa's Sahel area were key drivers of refugees and internally displaced people in 2020.

Comment: Whilst the shifting and cooling climate surely will have an impact on how and where we live, it's man's inability to adapt - and even acknowledge - what's happening that is makes it problematic.

Comment: Russia and China aren't starting these wars, fomenting these coups or supplying these terrorists, the West and its allies are; in some cases it's only because of Russia and China's response that the situation isn't even more dire than it already is:


Georgia investigator's notes reveal 'massive' election integrity problems in Atlanta

Postal bailouts
© GettyImages
In a nationally televised interview in January, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rattled off an impressive list of measures his state used to ensure the November election count was accurate.
"We had safe, secure, honest elections," he declared to "60 Minutes."
That rosy assessment, however, masked an ugly truth inside his agency's own files: A contractor handpicked to monitor election counting in Fulton County wrote a 29-page memo back in November outlining the "massive" election integrity failures and mismanagement that he witnessed in the Atlanta-area's election centers.

The bombshell report, constructed like a minute-by-minute diary, cited a litany of high-risk problems such as the double-counting of votes, insecure storage of ballots, possible violations of voter privacy, the mysterious removal of election materials at a vote collection warehouse, and the suspicious movement of "too many" ballots on Election Day.
"This seems like a massive chain of custody problem," the contractor Carter Jones warned in the memo delivered by his firm Seven Hill Strategies to Raffensperger's office shortly after the election.

Comment: This is another proof that the 2020 controversial elections in Georgia and in the US, in general, were set up in favor of Biden.
Nothing that we already didn't know. Just more fresh pieces of information supporting the suspicion that the elections were rigged.

See also: