Author Archives: Denyse O'Leary

That Gosnell movie: Comments from the media

Reviewers below agree that it is well-crafted and does not emphasize the gore. The facts speak for themselves.

From Mark Steyn:

This weekend, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer’s new film opens across the United States. Gosnell stars Dean Cain, Sarah Jane Morris and Nick Searcy and tells the real-life story of the man who is almost certainly America’s biggest ever mass murderer. In this return visit to The Mark Steyn Show, Ann and Phelim – bestselling authors, film-makers and theatrical producers – talk not only about the movie and visiting Kermit Gosnell in jail and having him sing Jacques Brel songs to them, but about drama drawn from climate-change trials and the Ferguson grand jury, the problems of having your actors decide they’d rather go back to waiting tables, and also the rapidly changing face of Ireland – gay, Muslim, and pro-abortion. And Phelim notes mordantly that, when you’re Irish, wherever you go in the world everybody loves you – until they find out you’re conservative. More.

Here’s a link to the book if you can’t find the film, which may well be the case.

From Father Raymond J. de Souza at the National Post:

In 2011, Gosnell was charged with eight counts of murder in addition to hundreds of violations of Pennsylvania’s abortion laws. The murder charges related to an adult woman, Karnamaya Mongar, who died following an abortion procedure, and seven newborns killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions. In the May 2013 trial, prosecutors focused on fewer charges to obtain the necessary convictions to send Gosnell away for life. He was convicted of murder (first degree) for three of the infants, and manslaughter for Mongar. Gosnell is in prison for life, having waived his right to appeal in order to avoid the death penalty.

But what was introduced at trial was only the bloody tip of a massive iceberg of killing. An unlicensed physician at the clinic, Steven Massof, 49, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder, murder conspiracy and other charges before Gosnell’s trial. He testified to a grand jury that he snipped the spines of more than 100 babies after seeing them breathe, move or show other signs of life.More.

From Holly Scheer at The Federalist:

In case all of this was not horrifying enough, investigators found the remains of aborted babies stored disrespectfully and unhygienically. Just as the movie showed, in Gosnell’s facility trash bags on the floor, milk jugs, the employee refrigerator, and orange juice containers all contained the remains of dead babies, and a row of jars containing the severed feet cut off of babies occupied a shelf. Gosnell told one of the detectives at this time that 10 to 20 percent of the babies were older than Pennsylvania’s legal age limit of 24 weeks’ gestation—also placing them over viability at the time of their deaths. Monger’s baby was still in the freezer, and 45 babies were removed from Gosnell’s facility, all deceased.

This film isn’t only a movie to see if you’re ardently pro-life. This is a movie for anyone interested in crime, in justice, in health care, and in reform. It’s an exercise in looking at what drives human desperation, but also how evil can hide in plain sight, rubber-stamped by those afraid to disturb the status quo, or worried that any oversight could lessen legal rights.

It’s a story that needs to be told, and in this telling was well-crafted, walking up to the line of where the viewer would need to turn away then pulling back, allowing the full story to be digested. It’s important to assess how these things can happen in plain sight, in an era of legal abortion, when for so long we’ve been told that it’s keeping abortion legal that keeps women safe.

Gosnell’s facility was legal, respected, and terribly unsafe for mothers and babies. If nothing else, this case, this film, and this story should cause people to question who is being served and helped, and who is being hurt by all this. More.

From Michelle Malkin at Townhall:

first reported on this real-life horror story nearly eight years ago, but you’ve probably not heard or read a word about “Gosnell” in the mainstream press, TV news or online. The conspiracy of silence is the result of both malign neglect and active suppression of inconvenient truths: …

–Pro-abortion censors at crowdsourcing giant Kickstarter banned McAleer and McElhinney from raising money for the project — leading small donors across the country to help conduct the largest-ever crowdfunded movie on Indiegogo. (Full disclosure: I put my money where my principles are and donated three times, in addition to using my social media platforms to lend a hand.)

–Taxpayer-supported National Public Radio refused to run sponsored ads describing Gosnell as an “abortionist” because its legal department determined the accurate description violated the left-leaning network’s “value neutral” platform. LOL.

–And this past week, Facebook banned advertising for the movie — a continuation of its systemic crackdown on conservative speech. More.

From Jonathan Lange at The Federalist:

Opening statements in Gosnell’s trial were held on March 18, 2013. He was charged with more than 200 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s law requiring a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, and 24 counts of illegal abortions after the child’s viability outside the womb. However, none of these illegal abortions counted toward his title as America’s biggest serial killer. He was convicted of multiple murders because of his practice of having his nurses deliver alive-and-healthy babies later killed either directly or by neglect.

His defenders, both in the courtroom and in the press, sought to portray him as merely a sloppy practitioner of partial-birth abortion. That procedure kills the baby after it is mostly, but not quite completely, delivered from its mother. Gosnell couldn’t be bothered to observe that fine distinction. After all, if it is legal to kill a baby a few centimeters and a few seconds before birth, what magically makes it illegal a few feet and a few minutes after birth?

The most sensational trial of a serial killer in the history of America had virtually no reporters in the court room. The biggest crime since 1893 could not be covered because the reporters could not say why it was wrong. More.

From John Ellis at PJ Media:

An important tactic of the filmmakers was focusing on the events of the trial and not allowing “Gosnell” to become an overt pro-life propaganda piece. You see, it doesn’t need to be. Even though the characters assert throughout the film that abortion is not on trial, the viewer knows that it is. And this is why the MSM is mostly silent about this excellent movie, and why you should go see it. Taking on abortion in such a powerful and artistically excellent way poses a grave threat to the MSM’s love of the leftist agenda. More.

Reality check: You may not need to see the film. In the age of euthanasia, we are all “the fetus” and you may see the story happening to “official” human beings, courtesy a progressive health care system. And the media will be covering a fake hate crime somewhere.

This just in: “Gosnell” Movie Profiling Serial-Killer Abortionist Breaks Top 10 Nationally Despite Media Blackout: “Despite a media blackout and virtually no coverage outside conservative media circles, the new movie “Gosnell” made the list of top 10 movies across the United States over the weekend. Coming in at the #10 spot, Gosnell came in ahead of other movies with much wider releases — as the film is appearing in just 673 theaters nationwide.”

Does any reader know where it is showing in Canada?

See also: Mark Steyn on the Gosnell movie: “This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale – and it barely makes the papers.”


Euthanasia breaks down organ transplant firewall:


The foreign money that funds Canada’s anti-energy groups

From Mark Milke at C2C Journal:

American donations to harm Canada’s resource sector, starting with attacks on the forest industry, date back to at least the late 1980s. As detailed by the late Bill Stanbury in a book on foreign funding, the then-business professor at the University of British Columbia chronicled how B.C. environmental groups, between 1989 and 2000, sought allies in the United States in fights against forestry companies.

In the 1990s, the Canadian groups helped by American cash included Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Greenpeace Canada, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Sierra Club of B.C. and the Sierra Legal Defence Fund among others.

More recently, many of Stanbury’s “environmental interest groups” are today known for their opposition to Canada’s oil and gas sector and have been joined by newer American-funded players.

For example, in 2008, the Calgary-based Pembina Institute received some funding from a $7-million Rockefeller Brothers Fund to help thwart Canada’s oil sands development. In a then-secret document, since found by Macdonald Stainsby, the Rockefeller Fund highlighted the Pembina Institute’s key role and listed a staffer as a key Canadian contact. … More.

Reality check: I there any instance in which virtue signalling is not done with someone else’s money?

See also: Have you ever wondered whether those “livability” rankings of cities are bogus? The trick with livability rankings is to make them just close enough to believable that there is a lot of fiddle in the middle.


Hacks damage Facebook, kill Google+

From Mind Matters:

Facebook gets blamed for everything from what Russia does to what American voters do. But the people who seem to think Mark Zuckerberg and company have superpowers for changing the world are mistaken. Facebook was not able to fend off a damaging hack. More.

Reality check: The internet changes everything. For example, it makes the Big Guys more vulnerable, not less vulnerable, than bit players

See also: I, Robot, am gathering dust in the sales room … Why do robotics experts think that customers will warm to robots because they look like people? The underlying assumption is surely incorrect. Robots like the Roomba succeed in part because they don’t look or act like people, let alone threaten people. They just do jobs people would prefer not to do or maybe can’t.

Did AI teach itself to “not like women”? No, the program did not teach itself anything. But the situation taught Amazon something important about what we can safely automate.


A Short Argument Against the Materialist Account of the Mind Philosopher Jay Richards: You can simply picture yourself eating a chocolate ice cream sundae.

We have thoughts and ideas—what philosophers call “intentional” states—that are about things other than themselves. We don’t really know how this works. But whenever we speak to another person, we assume it must be true. And in our own case, we know it’s true. Even to deny it is to affirm it.


Prime time shows are writing Hillary Clinton in

From Brent Bozell and Tim Graham at Townhall:

Hillary Clinton isn’t president, but Hollywood is offering the biggest consolation prize it has: working her into TV plots where she can be toasted as wise and wonderful. Within the first two weeks of the fall season, CBS has done this twice.

On the Oct. 7 episode of drama “Madam Secretary,” terrorists send a rocket-propelled grenade into the White House during a signing ceremony for an India-Pakistan peace treaty. It turns out the terrorists are the Aryan Popular Force, white nationalists with a neo-Nazi echo.

But wait, this transparent propaganda can be even more unwatchable. On the Sept. 27 premiere of “Murphy Brown,” Brown, played by Candice Bergen, now has a morning show at a CNN-ish cable network, but there is an ongoing joke that she can’t keep a secretary.

Clinton arrives to enthusiastic applause and wide-eyed gawking from Murphy. The bad joke here is that this isn’t really Hillary Clinton but a look-alike with just one “l” in her first name. More.

Reality check: Well, what if both Clinton and these types of show are both passe? And maybe both tone deaf? Who actually watches them?

See also: An Atlantic writer tries to shift blame for the most recent hoax on social science journals to conservatives. Won’t it be a wonderful world when everyone sees that it’s all those awful people’s fault …


What does Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s accepted resignation mean for the Catholic Church?

Well, for one thing, progressives and traditionalists seem upset about the same things for once:

From Daniel Burke at CNN:

Abuse survivors angry over Pope’s praise for fallen cardinal

The Pope’s praise of Wuerl also comes just days after the Vatican announced that it was investigating his predecessor, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Wuerl has been accused by a former papal diplomat of knowing about allegations that McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians. Wuerl has denied the accusations.
“Although Cardinal Wuerl as of today is no longer the archbishop of Washington, he certainly doesn’t seem to be out of favor with the boss,” CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen said, referring to the tone of the Pope’s letter about Wuerl’s resignation. More.

From Lauretta Brown at Townhall:

Pope Accepts the Resignation of DC Cardinal But Downplays Sex Abuse Cover Up Allegations Against Him

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of embattled D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl Friday months after allegations of sexual abuse cover-up against him surfaced in a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. The allegations date back to when he was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006. Wuerl was named 170 times in the report and many of the faithful in the Archdiocese of Washington have been clamoring for his resignation.

The pope downplayed the allegations against Wuerl in his letter. He praised the cardinal’s “nobility” and asked him to remain as an Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese until his successor is named.

The Archdiocese of Washington also attempted to defend Cardinal Wuerl in this way by publishing a website called the Wuerl Record which praised him for his overall record on dealing with abusive priests. The archdiocese also attempted to explain away specific examples of Wuerl reassigning abusive priests. However, the website was taken down after wide criticism and the archdiocese admitted that it had been a “mistake.” More.

Reality check: The fact that the Vatican appears to actually be doing something is a start. Both critic and defenders have something to work with.

See also: Dare we hope for a reform movement soon in the Catholic Church? To judge from some of Francis’s supporters, maybe so


Big left-leaning German mag starts to “get it” about the Vatican’s problem The problem with trashing all who are concerned about the coverup of Vatican gay sex scandals as nasty right-wing fanatics is this: It amounts to saying that only a right-wing nasty would care about churchmen abusing their power over minors and young adults.


Have you ever wondered whether those “livability” rankings of cities are bogus?

In some part, they are:

But as two recent cases illustrate, all ranking methodologies are not created equal and some of the criteria employed are suspect, bordering on “bogus,” according to an analysis (Policy Brief Vol. 18, No. 38) by the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy.

It was in August that The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Pittsburgh as the 32nd most-livable city in the world and second-best in the United States (behind Honolulu). But this past spring, U.S. News & World Report ranked Greater Pittsburgh 57th in its “Best Places to Live” rankings (with Honolulu ranked 35th).

The Economist’s methodology utilized qualitative (non-numeric) and quantitative (numeric) measures to rank cities. The former was based on the judgment of an in-house expert on a respective country and a field correspondent in each city.

Of the 30 categories gauged, only four (or 13 percent) were quantitative, or data-driven, while 26, or 87 percent, were qualitative, based on the judgment of individuals. More.

Reality check: As a result, many Economist rankings were said to “defy credulity.”

Admittedly, Colin McNickle, communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, has a dog in the fight. But he also has a point:

The trick with livability rankings is to make them just close enough to believable that there is a lot of fiddle in the middle. Nobody is going to believe that Chicago is safe as Toronto (usually) is. But they might believe that Pittsburgh is much safer than it really is, if statistics are sufficiently monkeyed..

See also: The New York Times discovers a use for hillbillies


Why does more gender equality lead to fewer women in science?

Free Engineering Vector Collection The Atlantic is asking:

Though their numbers are growing, only 27 percent of all students taking the AP Computer Science exam in the United States are female. The gender gap only grows worse from there: Just 18 percent of American computer-science college degrees go to women. This is in the United States, where many college men proudly describe themselves as “male feminists” and girls are taught they can be anything they want to be.

Meanwhile, in Algeria, 41 percent of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math—or “stem,” as it’s known—are female. There, employment discrimination against women is rife and women are often pressured to make amends with their abusive husbands.Olga Khazan, “The More Gender Equality, the Fewer Women in STEM” at The Atlantic

Some researchers think that the explanation is this: Women in more oppressive environments must get real about how they are going to improve their lives; the STEM subjects are more promising than Grievance Studies.

Meanwhile, a fellow set to become the World’s Most Hated Scientist has said:

At a workshop organised by Cern, Prof Alessandro Strumia of Pisa University said that “physics was invented and built by men, it’s not by invitation”.

He said male scientists were being discriminated against because of ideology rather than merit.

He was speaking at a workshop in Geneva on gender and high energy physics.

Prof Strumia has since defended his comments, saying he was only presenting the facts.

Last month, Prof Jocelyn Bell Burnell told the BBC she believed that unconscious bias against women prevented them from getting jobs in physics research. Pallab Ghosh, “Cern scientist: ‘Physics built by men – not by invitation’” at BBC

Right or wrong, the guy has guts. When you consider that someone out there might be threatening his kids (never mind that his bosses will probably find some way to get rid of him), it’s helpful to keep in mind that his remarks are only one man’s opinion. If people get unhinged over them… what are they hiding anyway? Genuine doubt about their position? At any rate, vengeful mobs are not the prettiest sight we’ll ever see.

The worst part is, there really is a serious problem today: the war on x and y (on math and science). And we hear little about Big Science taking a firm stand on the matter.

Hat tip: Ken Francis

See also: You think the SJW war on engineering is a joke… That is your mistake.


News at Linked In

Sokal hoaxes strike social science again! Darn! This all hit the fan before the UD NewVirutual Coffee Room got our paper extolling Grievance Trigonometry published in a major social sciences journal. 😉


Which side will atheists choose in the war on science? They need to re-evaluate their alliance with progressivism, which is doing science no favours.


You were building artificial intelligence and possibly didn’t know it

At Mind Matters Today, computer engineer Johnny Bartlett explains, Along with millions of others, you are providing free training data:

All of the most successful AI projects tend to follow a similar pattern. One of AI’s biggest needs is lots of data, and one of the most important tasks is finding ways to get people to provide them with the best data… for free.

Currently, Facebook is utilizing hashtags applied to its Instagram photos to generate AI-based algorithms for detecting specific types of objects in images:

Having so many images for training helped Facebook’s team set a new record on a test that challenges software to assign photos to 1,000 categories including cat, car wheel, and Christmas stocking. Facebook says that algorithms trained on 1 billion Instagram images correctly identified 85.4 percent of photos on the test, known as ImageNet; the previous best was 83.1 percent, set by Google earlier this year. Tom Simonite, “Your Instagram #Dogs and #Cats Are Training Facebook’s AI” at Wired

Basically, it is taking all of the photos which are tagged with “dog” and “cat” and using them to train its software to identify dogs and cats in other photos. The Facebook engineers know that their training data contains pictures of dogs and cats because the users told them so. For free! More.

Jonathan Bartlett is the Research and Education Director of the Blyth Institute.

Also by Bartlett: When machine learning results in mishap The machine isn’t responsible but who is? That gets tricky when no one even understands what happened. He thinks we should require model interpretability for any machine learning model for which moral responsibility plays a significant role.


What the self-esteem movement got disastrously wrong

From Dan Sanchez at MercatorNet:

Ironically, these criticisms [of toxic snowflakes] would be heartily endorsed by the father of the self-esteem movement. The whole thing was kicked off by an influential 1969 book titled The Psychology of Self-Esteem, written by Nathaniel Branden (1930-2014), a psychotherapist and one-time colleague and lover of Ayn Rand. It was the first of a long series of books by Branden about self-esteem, which included The Disowned Self (1971), Honoring the Self (1983), How To Raise Your Self-Esteem (1987), and The Power of Self-Esteem (1992).

He elaborated that:

“I have stressed that ‘feel good’ notions are harmful rather than helpful. Yet if one examines the proposals offered to teachers on how to raise students’ self-esteem, many are the kind of trivial nonsense that gives self-esteem a bad name, such as praising and applauding a child for virtually everything he or she does, dismissing the importance of objective accomplishments, handing out gold stars on every possible occasion, and propounding an ‘entitlement’ idea of self-esteem that leaves it divorced from both behavior and character. One of the consequences of this approach is to expose the whole self-esteem movement in the schools to ridicule.” More.

Reality check: It was worse than that. The movement’s tenets, enacted in schools, exposed universities to an onslaught of teen totalitarians whose self-esteem demanded that everyone else just shut up.

Mind you, life was probably easier for a certain type of teacher who didn’t really have to teach anything now. Well, how could you? You might offend someone!

See also: Who’s really behind the downpour of toxic snowflakes on campus. It isn’t leftist profs as such but leftist profs with no other qualification than leftism. And they are many.


Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor: Free will NOT a myth

Let alone, a “dangerous myth” (as a pundit has recently claimed). The belief that there is no free will is a much more dangerous myth, he writes, at Mind Matters Today:

There are four reasons to affirm the reality of free will against denial by materialist determinists. Two reasons are logical, and two are scientific.

4. While scientific experiments do not entirely settle the matter, an objective review of the neuroscientific evidence unequivocally supports the existence of free will. The first neuroscientist to map the brains of conscious subjects, Wilder Penfield, noted that there is an immaterial power of volition in the human mind that he could not stimulate with electrodes. The pioneer in the neuroscience of free will was Benjamin Libet, who demonstrated clearly that, while there is an unconscious material predisposition to acts as shown by electrical brain activity, we retain an immaterial “free won’t,” which is the ability to veto an unconscious urge to act. Many experiments have followed on Libet’s work, most of which use fMRI imaging of brain activity. They all confirm Libet’s observations by showing what is at most a loose correlation between brain activity and volition (for example, nearly half the time the brain activity that precedes the act is on the wrong side of the brain for the activity to determine the will)—the looseness of correlation being best explained as evidence for libertarian free will. Modern neuroscience clearly demonstrates an immaterial component to volition.

Harari is wrong about free will. It is not a myth. Free will is a real and fundamental aspect of being human, and the denial of free will is junk science and self-refuting logical nonsense. More.

He adds that denial of free will, in a culture of pervasive surveillance, is the straightest road to totalitarianism.

Michael Egnor is a neurosurgeon, professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Neurological Surgery, Stonybrook School of Medicine

Note: It’s amazing how many pundits need us to believe that free will is a myth.


Mark Steyn on what his Canadian HRC battle could teach the US Senators

At his blog:

A decade ago, when my battles with the “human rights” commissions got going up north, I was told by wise old birds to stay calm, let the process play itself out, don’t rock the boat, etc. There was one lone dissenter who told me, no, no, if you do that, you’re going to lose – and, indeed, I subsequently heard that, when the subject came up in Cabinet, the view of the Canadian Government was that I was doomed to go down.

So instead Ezra Levant and I went bananas, went nuclear on the commissions – or, as I took to formulating it, we went Magna Carta on their medieval ass. And the wise old birds then said Canadians wouldn’t put up with a couple of berserk loons trashing their beloved “human rights” commissions. But they did – to the point where we got the law repealed. I concluded early on that it was, in fact, necessary for us to go nuclear in order to shore up public opinion and thus enable all the “nice” “moderate” people to move just a smidgeonette toward sanity.

Something similar just happened with President Trump and the Kavanaugh confirmation. When he mocked Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at that rally the other night – she can’t tell you the location of the party, the year of the party, how she got to the party, who was at the party, etc – received opinion, including from many “conservatives”, huffed and puffed and deplored the President’s remarks. But it was necessary for the same reason my own alleged excesses were necessary a decade ago – in order to shore up the base and thus ensure all the “nice” “moderate” people like Jeff Flake and Susan Collins would move just a smidgeonette toward sanity.More.

Reality check: Conservative leaders and spokespeople had not needed to win in the past. Losing was bad, sure, often disastrous. But it was not a one-way ticket to Bizarro world. Now it can be. Too much is at stake now. We need to all go Magna Carta at once on quite a few “medieval asses,” and none too soon.

See also: Mark Steyn on the Gosnell movie: “This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale – and it barely makes the papers.”


Dare we hope for a reform movement soon in the Catholic Church?

If we judge by some of Francis’s supporters, maybe so. Listen to this, from Kaya Oakes at The New Republic:

Viganò belongs to a traditionalist wing of the church that has never truly accepted Pope Francis. In the United States, this contingent includes Cardinal Raymond Burke of St. Louis, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, and Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput. These powerful clergymen aren’t just conservative on theological matters, but in their politics as well. While serving as the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to Washington, Viganò was responsible for introducing Pope Francis to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples in 2015. From San Francisco, Cordileone publicly supported California’s Proposition 8, which opposed same-sex marriage, raising over $1 million to get it on the ballot. Chaput has called on the University of Notre Dame to give President Donald Trump an honorary degree. And Burke plans to partner with former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon to construct a Catholic compound near Rome that will host meetings and seminars with church leaders and politicians interested in protecting “Christendom.”

Reality check: You go girl! Make it as clear as possible that only conservatives and traditionalists care about the abuse, exploitation, and harassment of kids at the parish level and seminarians at a higher level.

Shove that, hard, in everyone’s face.

I thought as much, actually, but, you know, coming from me, it doesn’t have quite the same effect…

Seriously people, if the strongest argument Oakes can muster is that conservatives wish Francis would resign, she is conveniently helping everyone to the heart of the matter: If Francis were guilty of a serious offense – and no accusation is being made here, just an observation about what I assume to be an abstract but theoretically possible state of affairs – maybe he should resign. That is, at least, a discussion we can have. If he isn’t guilty, we would reasonably expect him to be more proactive in addressing the problem.

The world waits.

See also: Big left-leaning German mag starts to “get it” about the Vatican’s problem The problem with trashing all who are concerned about the coverup of Vatican gay sex scandals as right-wing nasties is this: It amounts to saying that only a right-wing nasty would care about churchmen abusing their power over minors and young adults.


Google boss quits, writes satirical novel

The novel is said to be so far-fetched that it captures the environment accurately

Recently, we’ve looked at a number of complaints about the way Silicon Valley is acquiring too much power over people’s lives, at home and abroad, and reaching deep into the compulsory school system as well. A former employee decided to respond creatively. More.

See also: Senior Google scientist quits over Google’s censorship in china


Mark Steyn on the Gosnell movie

Will the screening in your area be cancelled due to pressure? From Mark Steyn:

On the day that Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a judge on the highest court in the land, this new film is as appropriate a choice as any for our Saturday movie date: it was America’s abortion absolutism that drove both the fanatical opposition to Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination and the media blackout on the case of Dr Kermit Gosnell, and their opposition to anyone telling his story.

Dr Gosnell is almost certainly America’s all-time champion serial killer. Some of us wrote about that way back when:

“This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale – and it barely makes the papers.”

And, just as he couldn’t make the papers, there was little chance of this particular mass murderer ever making the silver screen – until, as I put it on The Mark Steyn Show, “a couple of Irish chancers” decided to crowdfund a movie on the subject. If making the film was hard, breaking through the societal omertà is harder: The Hyatt in Austin, for example, just canceled a screening at the behest of Planned Parenthood. So do be alert both to bookings of Gosnell at your local multiplex and to attempts to get it bounced. As producers and (with Andrew Klavan) screenwriters, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer set out to tell a story none of the big studios would touch, and their doggedness deserves to find an audience. … Gosnell is well filmed, well told, well acted, and both powerful and entertaining. But it also has a rare integrity that should be rewarded at the box office. More.

Reality check: Indeed. In the age of the rapid spread of euthanasia, we are all “the fetus.” And the looks on the faces of the Kavanagh protesters should tell us what we need to know about what that means for us.

See also: Yes, of course the Kavanagh frenzy is about abortion Jennifer Hartline: They hate Kavanaugh because they love abortion and he does not. Hell hath no fury like “women’s rights” scorned.”


Is Hollywood abortion culture not really popular culture after all?


Big left-leaning German mag starts to “get it” about the Vatican’s problem

From Willis L. Krumholz and Robert Delahunty at The Federalist:

The recent publication of a devastating report on Pope Francis in the German news magazine Der Spiegel marks a new phase in the continuing crisis in the Catholic Church. The report (as yet unavailable in English) is entitled: “Thou shalt not lie: The silence of the shepherds.”

Contradicting the widespread image of Pope Francis as a “reformer” concerned to expose clerical sexual abuses within his church and punish the offenders, the report reveals a pope who for years has been indifferent to the complaints of abuse survivors, and has surrounded himself with an inner circle of close advisors, several of whom have been accused of cover-ups.

Der Spiegel is a major European news outlet with a left-leaning bias. No one could seriously suspect it of wanting to do a hatchet job on Francis because of ideological differences. In fact, early in Francis’ Papacy, Der Spiegel published an adulatory article on him, describing him as a pope who would “clean up the Catholic Church and improve its image.”

The story declared: “He has taken his office to heavenly heights. He makes it easy for people to love him. They like his incongruous approach and his plain words.”

But in a single stroke, the new Der Spiegel report demolishes the argument of Francis’ apologists that we should dismiss the accusations against him because they came from supposedly “right wing” sources. The report comes from a periodical that once thought that he had raised the papacy to “heavenly heights.” More.

Reality check: The problem with trashing all who are concerned about the coverup of Vatican gay sex scandals as nasty right-wing fanatics is this: It amounts to saying that only a right-wing nasty would care about churchmen abusing their power over minors and young adults.

Really? We right-wing nasties didn’t used to have so heroic a reputation. Of course, we’ll accept the claim. But what—logically and morally—follows from it? Certainly not that we should have less influence.

See also: Catholic? Care much? Here are items I found helpful re the sex abuse crisis

More documents I found helpful in the Catholic sex abuse crisis Snippets, really, answering questions I had.

The question I, as a Catholic, have most dreaded


The Vatican’s deal with China