Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Jewish Refugee Flows Could Intensify in 2020

Linda Sarsour gets NYC Jewish Democrat Councilman kicked off committee for saying “Palestine does not exist”
A quote from an editorial elsewhere:
Foreign policy has long been a theme of New York politics, and in years past, mayoral hopefuls often felt they had to demonstrate their support for the three “I’s”: Israel, Ireland and Italy. But if support for “Palestine,” whether alongside or replacing Israel, is now a requirement, Sarsour is right about a sea change in the city’s politics and that of the Democratic Party that dominates it. Now that the same party that shielded Omar has punished Yeger, it certainly won’t strengthen the Democrats’ efforts to be considered a pro-Israel party.
Who could have predicted this outcome?

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Democrats Say, "Good-bye Jews!"

Al Jazeera: The Democratic Inquisition has come after Ilhan Omar
Then there was the talk at a Washington bookstore in which Omar said: "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

By this, she meant that lobby groups like AIPAC and their Congressional sponsors conceive their agenda totally with Israel in mind and shape US policy to defend Israeli interests.

It did not take long for the political establishment to charge back. The counterattack was led by pro-Israel Congressman Eliot Engel, who said: "[It is] unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the US-Israel relationship."

Pro-Israel Jews like Engel are particularly exercised by the implication of dual loyalty. Yet, the term "Israel Firster" was not invented by an anti-Semite or white supremacist, but rather by the dean of American Jewish historians, Abram Sachar, the first president of Brandeis University. He meant the term to deride precisely the figures Omar is now attacking: powerful lobbyists and their apologists who put Israel before all else.

These influential political actors may believe that the interests of the US and Israel are the same and that therefore they are not betraying US interests, but they are either terribly naive or worse.

Israeli interests have diverged from those of the democratic West more than ever and this fissure can only continue to widen as Israel sinks ever deeper into mass murder, occupation and oppression. It is becoming increasingly clear to many Americans that it is not in the long-term interest of the US to support Israel's aggressive actions which continue to antagonise millions of Arabs, Muslims and people sympathetic with the Palestinian cause across the world.
The Hill: Dems under fire put brakes on Omar resolution
House Democratic leaders taking fire from liberals in their caucus put the brakes Wednesday on plans to vote on a measure implicitly rebuking freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) over her comments on Israel.

Leaders are holding off on scheduling a vote as they rework a resolution condemning anti-Semitism to address various kinds of hatred.
Holocaustianity and anti-semitism were once a big deal. Not anymore. A change has taken place in the Democrat party because raw political power outweighs soft power. Votes beat dollars every time if the former is sufficiently large. Even if Omar is sanctioned, the Rubicon has been crossed. Progressives are angry that Omar is being compared to/treated the same as Steve King. Leave aside the absurdity of that thinking. It reveals they don't think Omar has said anything deserving of punishment.

Democrats offer nothing for Israel now. The neoconservative worldview is all but dead on the right. Remnants are anti-Trump, pro-immigration, anti-nationalist. They will have no currency in the future politics of America. If there's a recognition of this shift, there will be a shift. One sign would be glowing coverage of Stephen Miller from unlikely sources.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

AI is Not Hitler, People Who Create AI Are Hitler

Self-driving cars may be likelier to hit black people than white people
The researchers then analyzed how often the models correctly detected the presence of people in the light-skinned group versus how often they got it right with people in the dark-skinned group.

The result? Detection was five percentage points less accurate, on average, for the dark-skinned group. That disparity persisted even when researchers controlled for variables like the time of day in images or the occasionally obstructed view of pedestrians.

“The main takeaway from our work is that vision systems that share common structures to the ones we tested should be looked at more closely,” Jamie Morgenstern, one of the authors of the study, told me.

The report, “Predictive Inequity in Object Detection,” should be taken with a grain of salt. It hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed. It didn’t test any object-detection models actually being used by self-driving cars, nor did it leverage any training datasets actually being used by autonomous vehicle manufacturers. Instead, it tested several models used by academic researchers, trained on publicly available datasets. The researchers had to do it this way because companies don’t make their data available for scrutiny — a serious issue given that this a matter of public interest.
The AI isn't racist, its creators are:
The study’s insights add to a growing body of evidence about how human bias seeps into our automated decision-making systems. It’s called algorithmic bias.
Racist AI reveals hidden racism at a company. Creating AI reveals your deepest, darkest racist thoughts. Manna from trial lawyer heaven. If only you can guarantee the jury will be full of Vox or NYTimes readers.

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