Tag Archives: Dale Yeager blog

No, Christmas Classic ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ Is Not about Rape

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Some publications are now creating a new Christmas-related controversy — a song that has worked its way into the canon of holiday music which is being called offensive by many.

The song, as you might know, is called “Baby it’s Cold Outside.” It was originally written for the film Neptune’s Daughter, and has since been appropriated into the gallery of secular songs played at Christmas time. The controversy behind the song originates from the notion that its lyrics promote sexual coercion, since the male host in the song attempts to convince his female guest to stay with him for a romantic evening because of the inconvenience that the cold weather presents for travel.

The mention of alcohol is presented by the song’s opponents as somehow evidence of criminal intent. When I read that the lyrics supposedly indicate that the guest “may not even be old enough to legally drink (or legally give sexual consent!)”, I was horrified, because giving alcohol to a minor and statuary rape are both very real and serious offenses in the United States.

I remember seeing a performance of the song in ninth grade by some thespian schoolmates. I tried to remember precisely what the lyrics were about, because I strangely don’t remember being offended by it at the time, nor did anyone else in the auditorium. I don’t think the female character in the dramatization was supposed to be underage, and the character in the movie where the song made its debut is definitely not, so I looked it up to what all the fuss was about.

To my great relief, a simple reading of the lyrics reveals a much different story than the narrative and brouhaha coming from places like Salon and Huffington Post. As it turns out, it is the female guest who initially suggests drinking. She says, “maybe just a half a drink more” with no prior mention of drinking by her host. While he does offer to pour, it’s a stretch to claim he was trying to force her into an inebriated state. It’s also the only mention of alcohol in the entire song, with other excuses for staying — made by the guest, and not the host, by the way — including (Gasp!) a cigarette.

Meanwhile the reasons that she gives for leaving are nothing to do with any desire to get away from the man. She cites her mother’s worrying, her father’s pacing and, most notably, what “the neighbors might think.” None of that represents a crime or abuse by the host.

Make no mistake, the host is not being deceptive about his intentions, and the guest is not “getting to know him,” as Huffington Post claims. Rather, her reluctance comes from the embarrassment at what other people will say and think, not any distrust or lack of familiarity with the host.

There is no treachery or deception present in the conversation, either. The affection and flirtation suggest the two are already romantically involved. This is not a scene between two people who are just barely getting acquainted. Neither is the possibility of sexual violence ever implied. In fact, it’s the woman who brings up sex, saying not that she is uninterested, but that she is embarrassed that people might gossip about them.

Subsequently, the host convinces her to stay not using deception but with the simple reassurance that the cold weather would be understood by everyone else as the reason for them spending more time together. Frankly, I don’t think that any young couple owes their relatives or society at large an explanation for how much time they spend together, or what they do with that time.

As it turns out, there is nothing sinister about singing a flirtatious song with your boyfriend, no matter how cold it is outside.

Merry Christmas, everybody, and stay warm.

By Ben Jackson

NY Times Praises Antifa

NY Times antifa

The NY Times just apologized last week for what some considered a fawning interview with a Nazi-sympathizer. In their mea culpa, the Times wrote that they weren’t trying to “normalize” Nazi-sympathizers and that they had “agonized” over the tone of the piece. Wednesday, the Times published a piece in the style section on Antifa’s fashion sense which suggests the paper is still struggling with finding the right tone. Titled “What to wear to smash the state” the piece is one part style guide, one part history lesson and no part agonizing over Antifa’s illegal, often violent behavior. After describing the black bloc uniform, the NY Times quotes an author from an anarchist news service:

“Everyone quickly figured out,” Mr. Young wrote, that “having a massive group of people all dressed the same with their faces covered not only helps in defending against the police, but also makes it easier for saboteurs to take the offensive against storefronts, banks and any other material symbols and power centers of capitalism and the state.”

Yeah for saboteurs! But that’s just the equivalent of local color, right? It’s not the NY times advocating this just some anarchist. But a few paragraphs later that line becomes blurrier. 

The creation of mass anonymity protects practitioners from the threat of post-action doxxing by white supremacist groups, a process by which their identities and contact information, including addresses and places of employment, are publicized. People at home can use this information to harass and threaten. Similarly, police and other agencies have staff devoted to documenting demonstrations, and they work to identify people on film and video. These are among the reasons that some anarchists and anti-fascists advocate smashing cameras at demonstrations.

This mostly sounds descriptive, i.e. here’s why anarchists do what they do. But by the time we get to anarchists smashing cameras, you begin to feel that maybe someone should be saying ‘Hold on a minute here.’ In fact, if you follow that link it’s to an article about Antifa beating up photographers, but none of that concern makes it back into the piece itself. In fact, it seems to gradually become a how-to guide for successful rioting:

There is more practical advice on how to dress for a riot. One should decide on organic or synthetic gloves before participating in an action: Wool and cotton may allow chemical contaminants, like pepper spray, to absorb, while nylon can melt if you grab something hot, which historically has included some kinds of tear-gas canisters but can include various things on fire.

One Antifa “fashion don’t” is carrying cellphones. The American Civil Liberties Union reports that 72 agencies in 24 states and Washington, D.C., have “simulators” that mimic cellphone towers in order to track people.

These defensive methods work only if there are enough black-clad others nearby. A single person in all black and multiple face masks is an eye grabber. This effect of anonymity-by-mass has allowed for the offensive side of bloc tactics to flourish. The uniformity camouflages those who participate in illegal acts like property damage, refusing police orders or physical assault against white supremacists or Nazis.This willful protection of the group is embedded in the style’s aesthetic.

Again, there’s really no pushback at all to the idea of people using this disguise specifically to break the law, evade the police, and beat up people. The Times just sort of goes along with all of it as if there’s no possibility any of these things could become problematic.

Instead of a word of caution at the close of the piece, we get an artist named Min who raves about the feeling of solidarity she has when joining the black bloc. “It was like a goth party,” she tells the NY Times. She adds, “There’s a difference between me helping you because I know you and care about you, and me helping you because I want you to be helped.” No doubt there are many violent, anonymous groups who could say the same but usually, the paper quoting them would try to offer some sense of perspective. We don’t get that here.

by JOHN SEXTON

NYPD Honoring 18 ‘Forgotten’ Cops Who Died Serving The City

NYPD History

Among other heroes, one was killed by a load of timber, another was thrown from his horse and struck by car, and still another died trying to save a drowning girl’s life.

At a Police Headquarters ceremony Wednesday, the NYPD is finally honoring 18 previously ­unheralded officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Most of the officers being saluted died before 1922 and the deaths date as far back as 1869.

The most recent is William Martin, who in April 2011 succumbed to injuries suffered 30 years earlier when he was assaulted in a Lower East Side subway station.

“The family went through 30 years of living hell,” Martin’s son, Richard, 60, told The Post. “I think he deserves the honor. I think he was kind of very overlooked.”

The names of the cops — chosen by an NYPD committee of department chiefs — will be added to a memorial wall at One Police Plaza.

“These were officers who were killed in unusual circumstances: off duty, shot by another officer accidentally or killed by accidents,” a high-ranking police source explained. “They would have been added by today’s standards, but not back then.”

William Martin
Died April 9, 2011
Manhattan

Modal TriggerIt was April 20, 1981, when Martin, a transit cop working the night shift, was attacked by a homeless man in a Lower East Side subway station.

The assailant, who was sleeping when Martin tried to wake him up, grabbed the officer’s nightstick and beat him on the head.

“We got the call in the middle of the night. We had to drive in to Manhattan and just knew he was injured,” Richard Martin, of upstate Port Jervis, told The Post.

“The vagrant later said he thought my dad was dead and that’s why he didn’t take his gun and shoot him.”

What followed were three decades of medical treatment, including brain and stomach surgeries. William died in 2011 as a direct result of his injuries.

“He was in a coma for a couple months. He was brain-injured. It took many years before he could even walk,” said Richard, who will attend Wednesday’s ceremony with his brother and sister.

“He got hurt in 1981 and he spent seven years in Bellevue and 10 years in a nursing home and the rest of his life with 24-hour-a-day nursing,” Richard said.

George Caccavale
Died June 26, 1976
Queens

Modal TriggerTransit Detective Caccavale, 33, was working an off-duty security job at a check-cashing business in Long Island City when three armed robbers stormed in.

He tried to fire at them with his service weapons but was gunned down.

Caccavale left behind a wife and two children, including Carla Caccavale Reynolds, just 20 days old when her dad died.

“I’m emotional just thinking about it,” Carla told The Post of the ceremony, which she will attend with her four children.

“It was something that would mean a lot to my mom, and it’s ­really special to me as well. He deserves this. He died a hero and he deserves to be memorialized.”

She added that her dad was “truly a friend to all.”

Carla said her father’s slaying wasn’t initially recorded as an on-duty death, but that changed when it was determined that he had taken police action during the robbery.

“This is huge,” she said of her dad’s plaque at One Police Plaza.

Gustave August Boettger Jr.
Died July 13, 1922
Brooklyn

Modal TriggerThis traffic cop wouldn’t give up.

In 1910, Boettger Jr. was on mounted patrol when a horse pulling a wagon lost control and tried to gallop away.

Boettger followed the horse and wagon, still carrying a rider, down Fulton Street, at one point taking hold of the beast by the bridle.

Just then, a vehicle drove directly into the runaway horse’s path, and Boettger fell off his own horse and was dragged for half a block. He was then struck by another vehicle and suffered a skull fracture.

But despite his wounds, Boettger didn’t give up.

He got up and mounted his horse again, this time joining forces with another cop who managed to capture the beast.

Boettger immediately fell to the ground and was taken to the Hospital, where he made only a partial recovery. Twelve years later, he died from the fracture.

John Branagan
Died Aug. 10, 1869
Brooklyn

It was a freak ferry-yard accident.

Branagan, 42, was helping a horse-drawn lumber truck back out of the old Hamilton Ferry yard when one of the horses suddenly swerved in another direction, according to the Officer Down ­Memorial Page, which provides information on nearly ­every slain US police ­officer.

A load of lumber fell from the truck and hit Branagan, who was severely injured. The 12-year NYPD veteran died soon after.

John Hoey
Died Oct. 4, 1901
Manhattan

Modal TriggerHoey, 37, was walking in Central Park on East Drive near 87th Street with his horse when a car horn spooked the animal.

The horse bolted, throwing Hoey, who had earlier earned a medal for bravery, in front of the vehicle, which hit the officer.

Hoey died the next day at Presbyterian Hospital.

William H. Galbraith
Died Nov. 8, 1911
The Bronx

Galbraith was on routine patrol when he was thrown from his horse at Walton Avenue and Mt. Hope Place.

He suffered a skull fracture and died nine days later at Fordham Hospital, leaving behind a wife and two children.

Dennis Shea
Died Nov. 4, 1902
Manhattan

A massive election-night fireworks explosion left a dozen people dead and scores more injured — including Shea, who was on patrol in Madison Square Park when he was struck by a large chunk of metal. He suffered a skull fracture and died at age 34.

Lt. Daniel C. O’Connor
Died March 14, 1974
Manhattan

Modal TriggerO’Connor, a 19-year veteran, was in a patrol car sitting on the FDR Drive near the Brooklyn Bridge tending to an emergency when ­another vehicle crashed into his.

The lieutenant hit his head on the door and was thrown from squad car. Despite shoulder and stomach pain, O’Connor returned to work a week later — but doctors soon confirmed he had suffered internal injuries.

Surgery failed and he died two months later.

Detective Charles Cameron
Died July 17, 1904
Corona, Queens

It was a case of friendly fire.

Cameron was in plainclothes patrolling a picnic area at a park when a brawl broke out between unruly revelers and musicians on a break.

The detective was attacked by several people in the crowd, at which point he fired two rounds, hitting one of the assailants.

Cameron, 49, then escaped from a mob by crawling under a stage. When a uniformed officer showed up, he was told a gunman was lurking under the stage, so he crawled under the platform and ordered Cameron to get out.

Cameron didn’t respond, so the officer fired a round into the dark, fatally striking the 16-year veteran of the force.

Martin Maloney
Died Sept. 18, 1921
Rockaway Beach, Queens

Modal TriggerHe was trying to save a young swimmer’s life.

Maloney was off duty and taking a dip in the ocean when a young girl swimming nearby screamed for help.

The 27-year-old officer rushed into action, swimming some 200 yards as he desperately tried to reach the drowning girl.

But the officer, who had been wounded as a soldier in World War I, disappeared during the rescue attempt, and his body later washed ashore. The girl was rescued by other beachgoers.

George M. Yeager
Died July 3, 1905
Manhattan

A misstep cost a patrolman his life.

Yeager, 49, was on routine foot patrol downtown when he went to check a report of a fire in a building on Washington Street.

While searching with a watchman to make sure no one was trapped, heavy smoke forced the would-be rescuers back out.

They broke a window and climbed out onto the building’s wooden awning. But then Yeager stepped on a skylight, tumbling down to the street below.

The patrolman was taken to the Hudson Street Hospital — and died from a skull fracture 10 days later.

Tom Gallagher
Died Feb. 7, 1907
Brooklyn

He died saving others’ lives.

Gallagher, a member of the Brooklyn Traffic Squad, was working at Myrtle and Fulton Avenues when a horse-drawn fire engine came barreling toward the intersection.

At the same time, several commuters were transferring street from one streetcar to another — and didn’t see the fire engine — and the intrepid cop rushed to push them out of its path.

But the horses then swerved in his direction, knocking him down.

His legs were crushed by the wagon’s wheels — and doctors at Brooklyn Hospital were forced to amputate a limb.

Gallager, 46, became seriously ill and died six months later.

Gerard Apuzzi Jr.
Died May 4, 1968
Flushing, Queens

Apuzzi, a member of the 107th Precinct, died from carbon-monoxide poisoning in his patrol car.

The 15-year veteran of the force was 42.

Charles Berberich
Died Nov. 15, 1908
Brooklyn

Berberich was standing watch by a downed electrical wire on East Seventh Street when he helped a woman and her two kids walk around the danger.

But tragically the 11-year NYPD veteran came in contact with the live wire and was electrocuted. He died at age 40.

John W. McCormick
Died July 9, 1910
Tarrytown, Westchester

He was on a suburban assignment.

McCormick, a member of what was then the NYC Comptroller’s Squad, had just helped deliver money to city workers toiling away on a water-supply aqueduct in the Catskill Mountains when he got into a car accident on his way back to the city.

His vehicle flipped over near Tarrytown, and he was thrown from the vehicle. McCormick, an officer for 34 years, died from critical injuries.

George Dapping
Died Sept. 24, 1915
Manhattan

Modal TriggerHe was killed in the midst of a politically charged scuffle.

Dapping, 26, was off duty at a picnic hosted by some local politicos at the old Manhattan Casino on 155th Street when a brawl broke out late at night between rowdy members of rival political groups.

Someone in the crowd fired multiple shots, prompting Dapping and another officer to rush in and try to arrest the gunman.

Dapping took a bullet and was killed, while the other off-duty cop was wounded. The gunman was later convicted of murder and put to death on Oct. 7, 1916.

Bryan L. O’Donnell
Died June 11, 1916
Brooklyn

Modal TriggerO’Donnell ditched his post at a police booth at 74th Street in Bay Ridge when a janitor at the nearby Bay Ridge HS informed him several young men had tried to crash a dance party.

He went over to the school and found the troublemakers, who immediately fled.

In hot pursuit of the suspects, O’Donnell climbed a fence — but lost his footing about 12 feet above the ground and fell.

O’Donnell, who was assigned to the 71st Precinct, died from a skull fracture.

Sgt. Thomas F.X. O’Grady
Died Aug. 24, 1916
Woodhaven, Queens

Modal TriggerO’Grady was responding to a report of a stabbing in Dexter Park when his horse, Bismarck, slipped and took a tumble on some cobblestones.

The sergeant fell from the horse — and his steed landed on top of him, fracturing his skull. Four days later, O’Grady died at St. Mary’s Hospital.

SURPRISE! The Truth About Hate Crimes In The U.S.

Truth Hate Crimes in the U.S.

“Hate Soars,” a headline declared, over a story showing bias crimes in the nation rose 5 percent in 2016.

It’s a good theory — except for the facts. Antisemitism is the largest religious hate crime group in the U.S.

First, more than half of the 1,538 hate crimes involving religion targeted Jews, while less than 25 percent targeted Muslims.

Second, murder rose faster than hate crimes. FBI stats show 17,250 people were reported killed in the US in 2016, an increase of 8.6 percent over 2015.

PARENT TRAVEL ALERT! In France Adult Sex With An 11-Year-Old Is Legal

Legal Child-abuse-France

As a campaign to crack down on sexual harassment intensifies, France is considering doing something long ago adopted in other Western nations: setting a minimum age of consent for having sex.

In recent court cases, judges refused to prosecute men for having sex with minor children because there was no proof of coercion.

“We want the irrefutable presumption that a minor cannot agree to engage in sex with an adult,” said Catherine Brault, a lawyer who defends child victims in Paris.

The measure is part of proposed legislation to curb “lecherous” behavior in France, part of the fallout from the sexual harassment scandals that have erupted in the United States and since spread to France.

Adults now can be charged with groping and sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison if they’re found guilty of abusing a child under 15. The more serious charge of aggravated sexual assault or rape of a child carries a sentence of up to 20 years — but coercion or violence must be proven.

As the law is written now it can be interpreted that “a girl can consent to a sexual relationship, but she cannot consent to groping,” said Brault. “This gap has been denounced for years and years.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet has suggested a legal minimum age of 13 for sexual consent. Other French leaders have called for an age of 15. Adults violating the age of consent would immediately face rape charges with or without signs of coercion.

In the United States, the age of consent set by the states ranges from 16 to 18.

The debate here was prompted by outrage over recent cases involving young children.

On Nov. 7, a 30-year-old French man was acquitted of rape after a jury found no evidence that he had forced an 11-year-old into having sex. The jurors ruled that the elements that constitute rape such as “coercion, threat, violence and surprise were not established,” since the girl had followed him willingly.

The girl became pregnant and gave birth to a boy who has been placed in a foster home.

“There’s no justice!” said Farida Oubelkacem, 46, a housewife in reaction to the verdict. “When this man is acquitted, what kind of message does it send? The justice system must set an example and in this case it sets a very bad example. This girl is destroyed, so is her son and all of her family.”

In another case in October, prosecutors declined to file rape charges against a 28-year old man who had sex with an 11-year-old girl, stating they could not justify the charges since she had shown no resistance.

For Fatima-Ezzahra Benomar, spokeswoman for the feminist association Les Effronté-e-s (The Shameless), securing an age of consent has been a long, uphill battle.

“French people are only discovering now that today’s law allows 11-year-old girls to consent to sexual (intercourse with) men,” she said. “We’ve been asking for this minimum age (of consent) for a long time. At 11, you can imagine that you have no clue what is actually happening to you.”

 

OUCH! Morrissey Defends Weinstein and Spacey, Blames Victims

Morrissey

While I agree that many of these ‘victims’ are rewriting history I do have one question for Mr. Morrissey…so the children that were sexually assaulted did they know what they were doing?

The British singer Morrissey defended both Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein in an interview this weekend, claiming their alleged victims knew “exactly” what was going on — and chose to “play along.”

“Afterward, they feel embarrassed, or they do not like it,” Morrissey said while speaking to the German news outlet Der Spiegel.

“And then they turn it around and say: I was attacked, I was surprised, I was dragged into the room.”

Spacey and Weinstein have each been accused of sexual harassment by more than a dozen men and women. The Hollywood heavyweights are scrambling to find supporters as more and more people come to the defense of their alleged victims.

Morrissey, however, is apparently in both men’s corner — calling the claims against Spacey “ridiculous” and blasting the countless women who’ve come forward and publicly named Weinstein as their abuser.

“People know exactly what’s going on,” Morrissey reportedly said after being asked about the movie producer. “And they play along…But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it.”

The former Smiths frontman added, “I hate rape. I hate attacks. I hate sexual situations that are forced on someone. But in many cases one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person who is considered a victim is merely disappointed.”

The translation for Morrissey’s interview was reportedly posted on a fan page and then cited by the entertainment site, AV Club.

The 58-year-old appeared to do most of his victim blaming while discussing the allegations against Spacey.

“As far as I know, he was in a bedroom with a 14-year-old. Kevin Spacey was 26, boy 14. One wonders where the boy’s parents were,” he said. “One wonders if the boy did not know what would happen. I do not know about you, but in my youth I have never been in situations like this. Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That’s why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me that Spacey has been attacked unnecessarily.”

Morrissey, nicknamed Moz, has not responded to media requests for comment.

He was getting eviscerated by social media users over the weekend as word spread about his comments.

“I don’t understand how so much of what Morrissey sings is so beautiful yet so much of what he says is so ugly,” actor Chris Gethard wrote on Twitter.

“A Morrissey fan for 26 years, I’ve stood by him through bad records, frivolously canceled shows, ignored his dalliances w/ fascism…but sex abuse victim blaming? Defending a pedophile like Kevin Spacey? No. Just no,” another person said. “I’m going to eat a f–king cheeseburger. F–k you @officialmoz.”

By Chris Perez

SHAME! Now That Manson’s Dead, Don’t Forget The Radical Leftists Who Cheered His Evil

On Sunday, mass murderer Charles Manson finally received the trip to Hell he earned long ago. The world universally condemned his life’s work — as, of course, they should, given that Manson’s followers were responsible for nine murders in 1969 alone, that one of his followers attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford, and that he hoped to initiate a race war through “Helter Skelter,” a strategy of chaos and death.

The universal hatred of Manson is revisionist history. There was a small but significant element of the radical left — people who are now praised in academia and on the political left — who praised Manson fulsomely. Among them: Bernardine Dohrn, of the Weather Underground. After the Manson family slaughtered fully pregnant Sharon Tate, Dohrn reveled, “Dig it, first they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!” No wonder she felt that way: at a Weathermen “war council” in Michigan, the Weathermen Underground preached Manson’s race war message. Dohrn spent over two decades teaching law at Northwestern University Law School, and her husband, Bill Ayers, is one of the more famous radicals of the 1960s-cum-professor at University of Illinois.

As Vincent Bugliosi reports in his book, Helter Skelter, it wasn’t just Dohrn:

The underground paper Tuesday’s Child, which called itself the Voice of the Yippies…spread his picture across the entire front page with a banner naming him MAN OF THE YEAR. The cover of the next issue had Manson on a cross. Manson posters and sweat shirts appeared in psychedelic shops, along with FREE MANSON buttons.

Leftist social activist Jerry Rubin stated, “I fell in love with Charlie Manson the first time I saw his cherub face and sparkling eyes on TV … His words and courage inspired us.”

Manson had connections in the music industry, too. Manson was friendly with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Neil Young knew him, and said that he liked Manson’s songwriting, but that it was a “little out of control.” Young later added, “It was the ugly side of the Maharishi. There’s this one side, the nice flowers and white robes and everything. And then there’s something that looks a lot like it, but just isn’t it at all.” The New York Times acknowledges that the Manson family were “viewed as heroes by the extreme wing of young revolutionaries.”

Manson was one of the most evil people on Earth. But the fact that so many people on the Left fell under his sway because he mouthed platitudes about race and class demonstrates that lengths to which human beings will go to justify the atrocities of people they consider to be their political allies.

By BEN SHAPIRO

POP PSYCHOLOGY ALERT! Army Considering Recruits With History Of Self-Mutilation, Bipolar Disorder, And Depression

U.S. Army Pop Psychology

As an instructor for the HIDTA program I have trained numerous members of the Army’s Military Intelligence Corps. Over the years I have seen the disturbing trend of outside influence of the Army brass by Carl Rogers pop-psychology cabal.

“You’re ok I’m ok, how does that make you feel?”

This negative influence will affect the stability and lethality of the Army…mark my words.

Read on:

People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.

The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year’s goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.

Expanding the waivers for mental health is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about each potential recruit, Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The Army issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.

“The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data which is now more readily available,” Taylor’s statement to USA TODAY said. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories.”

But accepting recruits with those mental health conditions in their past carries risks, according to Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist who retired from the Army as a colonel in 2010 and is an expert on waivers for military service. People with a history of mental health problems are more likely to have those issues resurface than those who do not, she said.

“It is a red flag,” she said. “The question is, how much of a red flag is it?”

While bipolar disorder can be kept under control with medication, self-mutilation — where people slashing their skin with sharp instruments — may signal deeper mental health issues, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

If self-mutilation occurs in a military setting, Ritchie said, it could be disruptive for a unit. A soldier slashing his or her own skin could result in blood on the floor, the assumption of a suicide attempt and the potential need for medical evacuation from a war zone or other austere place.

A legacy of problems

Accepting recruits with poor qualifications can cause problems. In 2006, for example, an Iraqi girl was raped and her family killed by U.S. soldiers, one of whom required waivers for minor criminal activity and poor educational background to join the Army.

Memos and documents obtained by USA TODAY outline the hurdles that a potential recruit must clear to join the Army.

Guidance for screening potential recruits with histories that include self-mutilation make clear that the applicant must provide “appropriate documentation” to obtain the waiver, according a September memo to commanders. Those requirements include a detailed statement from the applicant, medical records, evidence from an employer if the injury was job-related, photos submitted by the recruiter and a psychiatric evaluation and “clearance.”

Slides for military officials who screen recruits show examples of people whose arms, legs and torsos have been scarred by self-mutilation.

“For all waivers,” one memo states, “the burden of proof is on the applicant to provide a clear and meritorious case for why a waiver should be considered.”

Taylor said many “meritorious cases” had been found of highly qualified applicants who had been disqualified because of events that had occurred when they were young children.

“With the additional data available, Army officials can now consider applicants as a whole person, allowing a series of Army leaders and medical professionals to review the case fully to assess the applicant’s physical limitations or medical conditions and their possible impact upon the applicant’s ability to complete training and finish an Army career,” Taylor said. “These waivers are not considered lightly.”

Under the right circumstances, a waiver for self-mutilation could be appropriate, Ritchie said.

“I can see a rationale that that shouldn’t be an absolute but could be a waiver,” she said.

Unknown number of waivers

The Army did not respond to a question of how many waivers, if any, have been issued since the policy was changed.

Data reported by USA TODAY in October show how the Army met its recruiting goals by accepting more marginally qualified recruits.

In fiscal year 2017, the active-duty Army recruited nearly 69,000 soldiers, and only 1.9% belonged to what is known as Category Four. That refers to troops who score in the lowest category on military aptitude tests. In 2016, 0.6% of Army recruits came from Category Four. The Pentagon mandates that the services accept no more than 4% of recruiting classes from Category Four. In addition, waivers for marijuana use, illegal while in uniform, jumped from 191 in 2016 to 506 in 2017. Eight states have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Recruiting generally is more challenging for the services when the economy is strong. The Army has responded by offering more bonuses to those who sign up for service. In fiscal year 2017, it paid out $424 million in bonuses, up from $284 million in 2016. In 2014, that figure was only $8.2 million. Some recruits can qualify for a bonus of $40,000.

The Army’s decision to rescind the ban for a history of mental health problems is in part a reaction to its difficulties in recruiting, Ritchie said.

“You’re widening your pool of applicants,” she said.

Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY

France To Consider Legalizing Child Rape

France Child Rape

Is a 13-year-old old enough to agree to sex with an adult? That’s a question France is asking as the government prepares to set a legal age for sexual consent for the first time.

Twice in recent weeks, French courts have refused to prosecute men for rape after they had sex with 11-year-old girls because authorities couldn’t prove coercion. Amid the public disbelief over the situation, the French government is drafting a bill to say that sex with children under a certain age is by definition coercive.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet provoked consternation among feminist groups Monday by saying a legal minimum age of 13 for sexual consent “is worth considering.”

Activists staged a small protest Tuesday in central Paris to argue that the age of consent should be set at 15. Protesters waved placards that read “for him impunity, for her a life sentence” in reference to the recent cases.

“We want the law to guarantee that before 15 there can be no concept of consent,” prominent French feminist activist Caroline de Haas said.

“I don’t know why (Belloubet) said it,” added Alice Collet, a member of the National Collective for Women’s Rights. “It’s a sign of ignorance of the issues.”

Establishing a legal age of consent is one piece of a pending bill to address sexual violence and harassment in France. The subject of sexual misconduct has drawn fresh attention worldwide since rape and sexual assault allegations were made against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.

“In America with the Weinstein fallout, there have been legal investigations. But here it has been radio silence from politicians,” said de Haas.

French women have increasingly been speaking out online and to police in recent weeks about past abuse, but no high-profile men in France have lost their jobs or suffered reputational damage so far.

A report Tuesday night in the newspaper Liberation detailed allegations by eight women accusing the former head of the Socialist Party’s youth movement of serial harassment in 2010-2014. The alleged perpetrator, Thierry Marchal-Beck, is quoted as saying that he was “stupefied” by the accusations and threatened possible legal action. It may be too late for the women to press charges under French law.

NYT Op-Ed: I’m Teaching My Black Child Not To Be Friends With White Kids

On Saturday, The New York Times ran yet another execrable op-ed, this time from Professor Ekow Yankah of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. This op-ed argued that black children should not be friends with white children, and that their parents ought to warn them off of such relationships. This assuredly makes things awkward at Yeshiva University, a Jewish school.

The piece begins with Yankah’s oldest son, who is 4, talking about his friends:

My oldest son, wrestling with a 4-year-old’s happy struggles, is trying to clarify how many people can be his best friend. “My best friends are you and Mama and my brother and …” But even a child’s joy is not immune to this ominous political period. This summer’s images of violence in Charlottesville, Va., prompted an array of questions. “Some people hate others because they are different,” I offer, lamely. A childish but distinct panic enters his voice. “But I’m not different.” It is impossible to convey the mixture of heartbreak and fear I feel for him. Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people.

This is insanity. Because Donald Trump was elected, all white people are suspect? Because there were 1,000 evil people marching for an evil cause in Charlottesville, some 200 million white people across America are suspect? This is racism of the highest order. And teaching your children not to be friends with people based on their race is the essence of racism.

But Yankah continues:

Meaningful friendship is not just a feeling. It is not simply being able to share a beer. Real friendship is impossible without the ability to trust others, without knowing that your well-being is important to them. The desire to create, maintain or wield power over others destroys the possibility of friendship. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous dream of black and white children holding hands was a dream precisely because he realized that in Alabama, conditions of dominance made real friendship between white and black people impossible.

Well, no. MLK’s dream was a dream because he wanted to see it fulfilled and believed that it could be. If he didn’t, he would have gone home and joined Malcolm X. But he should have, says Yankah, since “History has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people in this way, and these recent months have put in the starkest relief the contempt with which the country measures the value of racial minorities.”

The piece continues in this vein, citing differential treatment of the opioid epidemic (largely white) vs. the crack cocaine epidemic (largely black), and ignoring the income levels of those affected by the epidemics, which is a serious confound; black underemployment, which Yankah attributes to “robust evidence of continuing racism,” without showing any evidence; policing, which has not been shown to be systemically racist by statistics. Yankah’s conclusion:

As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.

So we are not all the same on the inside. Which is an idea that John C. Calhoun or Richard Spencer might be comfortable with. But Yankah couches his vitriol in the guise of safety preparations for his children:

Of course, the rise of this president has broken bonds on all sides. But for people of color the stakes are different. Imagining we can now be friends across this political line is asking us to ignore our safety and that of our children, to abandon personal regard and self-worth. Only white people can cordon off Mr. Trump’s political meaning, ignore the “unpleasantness” from a position of safety. His election and the year that has followed have fixed the awful thought in my mind too familiar to black Americans: “You can’t trust these people.”…I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.

The condescension is real, and the glee is palpable. To teach your children not to hope for a day when black and white can be friends – in fact, to teach your children now that such a day isn’t here – is asinine. And to pretend that every Trump voter is replete with hatred is just as asinine. But racism and bigotry are fine so long as they come from the Left, apparently.

By BEN SHAPIRO