Geoffrey Clarfield: The United Nations is losing staggering sums to corruption, mismanagement and bad decision-making

In 2009, the WHO recommended that almost everyone be vaccinated. Then, in 2010, the British Medical Journal pointed out that the medical scientists who had advised the WHO to declare this pandemic were also paid consultants of the large international pharmaceutical companies, who stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on this upsurge in the purchase of global vaccines.

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote at the United Nations headquarters.Craig Ruttle / FR61802 AP


Special to National Post

June 15, 2017

Let me take you on a short UN safari around the world, beginning and ending in Washington, D.C., to see just how effectively the United Nations spends our tax dollars.

In 2009 in Washington, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the world was threatened by an H1N1 global flu pandemic. It recommended that almost everyone be vaccinated. Then, in 2010, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published its evaluation of the WHO. It pointed out that the medical scientists who had advised the WHO to declare this pandemic were also paid consultants of the large international pharmaceutical companies, who stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on this upsurge in the purchase of global vaccines. There was no subsequent UN financial investigation by the WHO to look into the BMJ’s initial findings.

In Paris, France, UNESCO’s latest campaign is to rewrite Biblical history and to deny any Jewish historical, archaeological or genetic relationship to the land of Israel. Recently, it has been focusing on the old city of Jerusalem, arguing that there is no long-term connection there between Jewish culture and the city.

A 2014 audit suggested that 80 per cent of the UN’s food aid, estimated to cost $100 million, was taken by Al Shabaab en route to starving civilians 

Somalia is a country engaged in a massive civil war between tribal traditionalists and Islamic radicals called Al Shabaab. As is common in civil wars, simple poor people are often left starving. UN food convoys usually start from the Indian Ocean coast and move inland towards combat zones in the interior. As the government does not control these areas, NGOs and UN workers often have to surrender large amounts of this food to the terrorists. A 2014 audit of this food aid suggested that 80 per cent of it was stolen en route. It is estimated that $100 million of food aid was taken by Al Shabaab during this project, thus rewarding the terrorists and contributing to the escalating violence.

Then let us not forget the Oil-for-Food Program that was established by the UN, which allowed Saddam Hussein’sIraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for medicine and food for poor Iraqi citizens, without allowing Iraq to use the money for its army. In 2005, Paul Volker led an evaluation that found that about 2,253 well-known companies had made illegal payments totalling $1.8 billion to the Saddam regime during this flawed UN program.

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) is one of those UN organizations that has got a massive boost in popularity because of the climate change controversy. In 2005, the UNEP predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by the year 2010. There were even predictions that some Pacific islands might disappear because of rising ocean levels.

Clearly none of this happened. So UNEP officials “disappeared” their maps and data from its web site without explanation, until some gifted journalists, who had cached it all, brought it back to the world’s attention. If UNEP was a department in any Canadian college or university, it would have been closed down and its professors fired. But that does not happen at the UN.

Then there is the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which works all over the developing world and, strangely, has more than 637 millionaires among its employees. How can this be? Believe it or not, the UNDP had a program in North Korea during the late 1990s. The Wall Street Journal took an interest in it, pointing out that North Korea and the UNDP had violated all the rules that the UNDP sets up for its projects, and suggested that up to US$100 million of UNDP money was siphoned off by the government of the late Kim Jong Il. Now we know where some of the money for those millionaires may come from.

Then there is the United Nations Development Program, which works all over the developing world and, strangely, has more than 637 millionaires among its employees

Finally, as far back as 1997, investigative journalist Catherine Caulfield published her book on the World Bank, called Masters of Illusion. Her goal was simply to see if the World Bank’s promises about its projects are borne out in results. She found that World Bank projects had a 40 to 50 per cent success rate, according to the World Bank’s own internal evaluations, and many critics will say that these internal evaluations are in themselves suspect. I tend to agree. When I was working on a Swiss government development project in East Africa in 2005, I came into contact with a number of young, Western-educated African managers of World Bank projects. Privately, they told me that, on average, 40 per cent of each World Bank project budget was lost to corrupt practices. Caulfield’s evaluation is probably too generous.

Every year, Canadian taxpayers contribute millions of dollars to the UN and there is no sign that this practice will end. Our government leaders ignore the mounting evidence of systemic UN corruption, examples of which can be found all over the media.

Imagine if you gave $1 million a year to a charity that was supposed to feed the homeless and you found that, instead, the staffers of your NGO were using the money to feast at fancy restaurants. That is what the UN is doing, except on a gigantic scale.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/geoffrey-clarfield-the-united-nations-is-losing-staggering-sums-to-corruption-mismanagement-and-bad-decision-making

Geoffrey Clarfield, executive director of the Mozuud Freedom Foundation, is speaking on June 16 at a panel in Toronto on the UN at Idea City. http://www.ideacity.ca

Oberlin and the price of wokeness

An American college has discovered that PC mobs don’t always get away scot-free.

18th June 2019

Oberlin College is known for its ‘social justice’ activism and is considered one of the most PC colleges in the US. In recent years, Oberlin students have demanded trigger warnings on classic literature, called for a ban on ‘F’ (failed) grades, and complained about the cultural appropriation of sushi in the dining hall. So, it wasn’t all that surprising when, in November 2016, students launched a campaign against a local bakery, claiming it was racist for calling the police on a shoplifter who happened to be black.

What is surprising is the ultimate outcome of these protests. Last week, a jury determined that Oberlin owes Gibson’s Bakery a whopping $44million in damages (which may get reduced to $33million). This should be a wake-up call to Oberlin and other colleges: go woke, go broke.

This is a David versus Goliath case, featuring a fifth-generation family business up against an elite higher-education institution (where it costs about $280,000 to obtain a degree in four years, and a majority of the students are from families in the top 10 per cent of earners).

The details of the court case – as reported by the Legal Insurrectionwebsite – were eye-opening. The case exposed how Oberlin’s administration was willing to engage in a campaign based on false allegations of racism, a campaign that sought to smear and destroy this small downtown shop. The millions of dollars in damages spoke to the jury’s assessment of not only economic loss, but also the need to punish Oberlin for the malice it displayed. The verdict will not bankrupt Oberlin, but the case has revealed the college’s intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

The basic facts of the case are straightforward. On 9 November 2016 – the day after Trump was elected president – an African-American student attempted to leave Gibson’s with two wine bottles under his shirt. Seeing this, Allyn Gibson, the shop-owner’s grandson, called the police and then apprehended the student outside the store. This led to a scuffle, with two Oberlin black female students joining in. The police broke it up and arrested the students. All three suspects later pleaded guilty, and the young man said he didn’t believe Gibson’s actions in detaining him were racially motivated.

Immediately after the shoplifting arrests, Oberlin students accused Gibson’s of racism and racial profiling. They launched protests at the bakery, and handed out fliers saying ‘DON’T BUY’, and calling Gibson’s ‘a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION’. They also claimed the shoplifter was ‘assaulted’ by Allyn Gibson.

These allegations were false. The students in the shop that day were not racially profiled, and Gibson’s did not have a history of discriminating against blacks. In fact, police records showed that the racial composition of shoplifting in Gibson’s over the past five years reflected the overall make-up of the Oberlin community.

It was also widely understood in the town of Oberlin that the racism charges were bogus. An employee in Oberlin’s communications department, Emily Crawford, tried to warn her fellow administrators in an email: ‘I have talked to 15 townie friends who are PoC (persons of color) and they are disgusted and embarrassed by the protest. In their view, the kid was breaking the law period… To them this is not a race issue at all and they do not believe the Gibsons are racist. They believe the students have picked the wrong target.’

A number of black witnesses testified on behalf of the Gibsons. Clarence ‘Trey’ James, an African-American who had worked at the store since 2013, said he didn’t see the store treat customers or employees in a racist way: ‘Never, not even a hint. Zero reason to believe, zero evidence of that.’ The single father of a teenager, James was invited to the Gibson’s home for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

The verdict is a win for the little guy, a win for the truth. But does it, as some critics argue, represent a violation of free speech? No. US law provides speakers with a wide degree of protection from legal punishment, but it also comes with limits. In particular, it is possible to be sued for libel, as Oberlin was.

Also, American law grants people a large amount of leeway with respect to comments about public figures, such as politicians and celebrities, but less so when it comes to spreading damaging falsehoods about private individuals and small businesses. These libel laws provide people with some legal protection against attempts to destroy their reputations and livelihoods. Essentially, in the Gibson case, the jury was convinced that Oberlin disseminated false statements of specific facts (not mere general opinions) about Gibson’s, and engaged in economic reprisals based on these false accounts.

Some argue that the verdict unfairly holds Oberlin College accountable for the speech of its students. The outcome represented ‘a double-barreled threat to free speech on campus’, according to First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams. ‘The notion that uninhibited student speech can lead to vast financial liability for the universities at which it occurs threatens both the viability of educational institutions and ultimately the free speech of their students.’ This also happens to be the line Oberlin’s administration is taking. As Oberlin VP and general-counsel, Donica Thomas Varner, wrote in an email to the Oberlin community: ‘Colleges cannot be held liable for the independent actions of their students.’

But this interpretation is wrong. The jury didn’t hold Oberlin liable for its students’ actions or speech – it held Oberlin responsible for its own actions and words. The jury found that Oberlin was intimately involved in the smear campaign against Gibson’s in its own right, and that is what led to the damages.

Here the evidence against Oberlin was damning. The administration, and especially its vice-president and dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, actively supported the protesters. According to witnesses, Raimondo was orchestrating the protest, speaking on a bullhorn and handing out stacks of the fliers that urged a boycott and accused Gibson’s of racism. Protesters were instructed to go to an administration office to make more copies of the fliers. Students who attended the protest were excused from classes, and officials provided pizza and beverages for them.

A few weeks after the protests started, Raimondo instructed the cafeteria to stop buying food supplies from Gibson’s. Another official tried to use this as leverage against the bakery, telling Gibson’s ‘once the charges [against the shoplifter] are dropped, orders will resume’.

It wasn’t necessarily the case that the administrators, rather than the students, were leading this campaign, but at a minimum they were working closely together. At times, Raimondo seemed to indicate that she did have control over the students. When a faculty member in the theatre department wrote to a local paper, criticising the Oberlin campaign, Raimondo said in an email to her fellow administrators: ‘Fuck him. I’d say unleash the students if I wasn’t convinced this needs to be put behind us.’ She clearly saw the students as her own army she could deploy when she wanted.

But, on other occasions, it appeared that the administration was deferring to the students, raising the question of whether there were any adults in charge. Oberlin’s president, Marvin Krislov, sent an email to a member of the student senate, seeking advice. ‘Meredith [Raimondo] and I were just talking and I wanted to seek your guidance about what I (and the college) might say or do about the Gibson’s situation.’ The student gave the green light to the message, because it backed the activists’ false allegations: ‘The greatest part is [that you are saying] there is more to the story than the police report or what is generally accepted.’

The administration seemed to live in fear of the students. In a telling moment in the trial, Ferdinand Protzman, chief of staff for administration, testified that the administration cut ties with the bakery because they feared students would create a ‘tantrum’ on campus, especially in the cafeteria during dinner. Specifically, they imagined angry students might throw Gibson’s food on the floor of the cafeteria and stomp on it. ‘Doesn’t that sound more like a nursery school than a college?’, Gibson’s lawyer asked. ‘Nursery school students do throw food on the floor, yes’, replied Protzman.

Due to Oberlin’s war on them, Gibson’s claimed that they suffered damage to their reputation, economic welfare and community standing, and they seemed to be able to establish that convincingly. Sales dropped by about 50 per cent, which forced staffing cuts, and the family members worked without pay. Some employees had their tires slashed. They sought multiple times to settle with Oberlin before suing them, but the college refused. If not for the verdict, Gibson’s may have gone under.

The Oberlin case reveals more than the usual story of a few campus crazies getting out of control. For a start, it shows how the social-justice agenda has been institutionalised now, taking the place of the traditional intellectual mission. Administrators play a facilitating if not leading role in setting this agenda, including helping with protests to prove they mean it. Across the US, colleges have developed bloated bureaucracies over the past two decades, with spending on administrators increasing at twice the rate of spending on teachers (and adjuncts replacing full-time professors). These officials dominate student life, setting the rules for everything from freshmen orientation to ‘microaggression’ guidelines and kangaroo courts to handle sexual-assault accusations.

More importantly, the Oberlin case has shone a light on how the culture in colleges has become deeply corrupted. Courtroom details showed how Oberlin’s pursuit of wokeness had left it devoid of a moral compass. An example is how the administration could not bring itself to condemn shoplifting. President Krislov expressed concerns to his fellow leaders about the wording of an email to students: ‘[I] worry that mentioning shoplifting will trigger [a bad reaction by students]… How about softening. What about reference to tense times?’ In negotiations before Gibson’s filed its suit, Oberlin said it would consider reinstating business only if Gibson’s would agree to not push charges against first-time student shoplifters. The bakery was already losing thousands of dollars a year in stolen goods, so of course it would not agree to the administration’s proposed free pass.

And what kind of message would that send to students? Shoplifting among students is already outrageously bad: Oberlin town police reported that 83 per cent of shoplifting arrests were Oberlin students. A 2017 article in Oberlin’s magazine discussed the school’s ‘Culture of Theft’, almost as if it was a fun rite of passage. One bookstore owner said she loses $10,000 a year in stolen goods to students. The article’s author himself admitted he shoplifted from the storeowners he interviewed. This is really sick: here are some of the wealthiest students in the country getting their kicks off from stealing from the poor townies. Clearly, the moral rot runs deep in this institution.

And it is because the root problem runs deep that I don’t go along with those who believe the Oberlin verdict is the start of a new opposition focused on the law. For instance, David French, writing in the National Review, says the Oberlin lawsuit is a ‘blueprint for fighting back’, and he expects to see similar suits follow. Sure, it is reassuring that a jury of the public didn’t accept the Oberlin activists’ critical race theory view of the world, in which white storeowners cannot call the police if the shoplifter is black. But a broader political and culture change is needed to counter this trend. This is a more widespread problem than a few social-justice warriors on campus, as it can be found outside of academia, too, in the corporate, media, artistic and other worlds.

And, in the Oberlin controversy, I have to ask: where were the students who disagreed with the administration and activist students, and supported the bakery? This silent majority has got to stop being silent. There should have been a big pro-Gibson’s movement among students, which would have had great potential for success. They would have not only had the facts on their side – they could also have forged a strong multi-racial alliance with town people. It was a missed opportunity to start the kind of real cultural fightback that is needed – although it is still not too late.

Following the verdict, Oberlin says it will appeal, and portrays itself as the victim. They really should apologise to Gibson’s and fire the entire leadership. Oberlin’s woke students, faculty and administrators readily throw around the term ‘white privilege’ as a slur and an accusation, yet the truth is that they and the elite institution they represent have real privilege and power, and they have abused it. Here was a family bakery that had survived more than 130 years, including through the Great Depression, when it kept its doors open and gave free food to poor people, and yet it was almost crushed by an administration-backed woke mob irresponsibly spewing lies about racism.

Let’s hope Gibson’s stays open another 130 years, and outlasts Oberlin, which doesn’t deserve to call itself a college.

Sean Collins is a writer based in New York. Visit his blog, The American Situation.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/06/18/oberlin-and-the-price-of-wokeness/?fbclid=IwAR1ArKO2BKMjkiKa6CBLkgt4ogRcBVfPZfsQcTnJV2At2q1825EziIaO8hQ

From Social Platform to State Enforcer

by Andrew Lawton
Canada vs Free Speech
June 18, 2019

“No monarch, no parliament, no government, and certainly no bureaucratic agency operating the pseudo-law of section 13 can claim jurisdiction over my right to think freely, to read freely, to speak freely and to argue freely.”

Those were the closing words of Mark Steyn’s testimony before parliamentarians on the Canadian House of Commons’ so-called justice and human rights committee just two weeks ago.

His call fell on deaf ears.

Yesterday, the justice committee tabled its report on “online hate” in Canada’s parliament.

The report laid out nine recommendations, one of which being that government should provide a “civil remedy for those who assert that their human rights have been violated under the Canadian Human Rights Act, irrespective of whether that violation happens online, in person, or in traditional print format. This remedy could take the form of reinstating the former section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, or implementing a provision analogous to the previous section 13 within the Canadian Human Rights Act, which accounts for the prevalence of hatred on social media.”

Once you strip away the mumbo jumbo bureaucrat-speak in there, it means the Canadian Liberals wish not only to revive section 13 from the dead, but to give it untold powers to force social media companies to purge online speech from whomever the government deems the hatemongers du jour.

This is apparent in another recommendation, that lawmakers “establish requirements for online platforms and Internet service providers with regards to how they monitor and address incidents of hate speech, and the need to remove all posts that would constitute online hatred in a timely manner.”

Of course there’s no provided definition for what “hate speech” is in the context of this desired law. Just a promise to figure it out later.

Before section 13’s repeal under the previous Conservative government, there was a quasi-judicial body to decide if online posts were sufficiently “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.” Those found guilty of violating this provision were slapped with a fine or gag order, while having none of the protections afforded to criminal defendants throughout the process.

This regime seems like child’s play compared to what’s proposed in this report–elimination of online speech by social media giants under the threat of government penalty. Not sure which I like better, actually: the opaque, unappealable hammer or the sham tribunal that at least pretends to give you a shot at beating the rap.

Mark detailed the battle against section 13 in his book, Lights Out. Though it appears that title is not entirely accurate in describing the online censorship mandate’s life. The law and its 100 per cent conviction rate were bad enough the first go ’round in how they targeted individual bloggers and forum posters. There is a particular insidiousness this time in the government wishing to turn tech companies into state enforcers.

Many of these companies censor their users without the heavy hand of government as it is. Holding them responsible for what individual users post removes the one defence for this digital oligarchy’s behavior—that private censorship is distinct from that emanating from the state.

I see a few probable outcomes here:

  • Government bureaucrats will have a direct line into Facebook and Twitter, telling them when a Canadian’s account or post needs to be zapped.
  • Activist groups representing the LGBTQ community, the Muslim community, the LGBTQ Muslim community, and the like (these are the groups most prominently represented on the justice committee’s witness list) will flag content they don’t like with social media giants, threatening to send it to the human rights police if the companies don’t remove it.
  • Social media companies, not wishing to deal with the hassle of Canadian kangaroo courts, will just pre-emptively and broadly censor users who cut close to the arbitrary line at which free speech becomes “hate speech.”

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with engaging organizations representing minority interests. But giving them a trump card on defining online hate is a recipe for disaster. Especially when British police are already harassing people for misgendering trans individuals, proving the line between incivility and illegality has already become obliterated.

This relationship between activist groups and Big Tech may even be part of the design here.

The justice committee’s recommendations also include dumping money into “civil society organizations” for the purposes of “data collection,” because “members of marginalized groups often feel more comfortable reporting hate incidents and hate crimes directly to civil society organizations which reflect their community rather than law enforcement officials.”

It’s less important for the law to be enforced by lawmen and lawwomen than it is for the diversity industry to be on the front lines of these things, evidently.

The good news is that with only days left in the parliamentary calendar, it’s unlikely this report will trigger legislation prior to October’s Canadian election. Though should the Liberals win re-election, this will serve as a roadmap to not only pushing the state back into the regulation of online speech, but doing so with an unprecedented mandate and unrivaled gusto.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the outcome of this committee’s study was determined before it even began. Of the nearly five dozen witnesses invited to testify, the number whose testimony focused on preserving free speech could be counted on one hand. Dozens specifically called for a restoration of section 13.

The document detailing the scope of the study cited the repeal of section 13 as leaving some sort of void in the law. In other words, this charade was based on a fundamentally false premise—that something is needed to regulate online speech in Canada.

If you ask legislators to find a solution, they’ll make up a problem to justify it.

Yesterday, the justice committee tabled its report on “online hate” in Canada’s parliament.

The report laid out nine recommendations, one of which being that government should provide a “civil remedy for those who assert that their human rights have been violated under the Canadian Human Rights Act, irrespective of whether that violation happens online, in person, or in traditional print format. This remedy could take the form of reinstating the former section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, or implementing a provision analogous to the previous section 13 within the Canadian Human Rights Act, which accounts for the prevalence of hatred on social media.”

Once you strip away the mumbo jumbo bureaucrat-speak in there, it means the Canadian Liberals wish not only to revive section 13 from the dead, but to give it untold powers to force social media companies to purge online speech from whomever the government deems the hatemongers du jour.

This is apparent in another recommendation, that lawmakers “establish requirements for online platforms and Internet service providers with regards to how they monitor and address incidents of hate speech, and the need to remove all posts that would constitute online hatred in a timely manner.”

Of course there’s no provided definition for what “hate speech” is in the context of this desired law. Just a promise to figure it out later.

Before section 13’s repeal under the previous Conservative government, there was a quasi-judicial body to decide if online posts were sufficiently “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.” Those found guilty of violating this provision were slapped with a fine or gag order, while having none of the protections afforded to criminal defendants throughout the process.

This regime seems like child’s play compared to what’s proposed in this report–elimination of online speech by social media giants under the threat of government penalty. Not sure which I like better, actually: the opaque, unappealable hammer or the sham tribunal that at least pretends to give you a shot at beating the rap.

Mark detailed the battle against section 13 in his book, Lights Out. Though it appears that title is not entirely accurate in describing the online censorship mandate’s life. The law and its 100 per cent conviction rate were bad enough the first go ’round in how they targeted individual bloggers and forum posters. There is a particular insidiousness this time in the government wishing to turn tech companies into state enforcers.

Many of these companies censor their users without the heavy hand of government as it is. Holding them responsible for what individual users post removes the one defence for this digital oligarchy’s behavior—that private censorship is distinct from that emanating from the state.

I see a few probable outcomes here:

  • Government bureaucrats will have a direct line into Facebook and Twitter, telling them when a Canadian’s account or post needs to be zapped.
  • Activist groups representing the LGBTQ community, the Muslim community, the LGBTQ Muslim community, and the like (these are the groups most prominently represented on the justice committee’s witness list) will flag content they don’t like with social media giants, threatening to send it to the human rights police if the companies don’t remove it.
  • Social media companies, not wishing to deal with the hassle of Canadian kangaroo courts, will just pre-emptively and broadly censor users who cut close to the arbitrary line at which free speech becomes “hate speech.”

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with engaging organizations representing minority interests. But giving them a trump card on defining online hate is a recipe for disaster. Especially when British police are already harassing people for misgendering trans individuals, proving the line between incivility and illegality has already become obliterated.

This relationship between activist groups and Big Tech may even be part of the design here.

The justice committee’s recommendations also include dumping money into “civil society organizations” for the purposes of “data collection,” because “members of marginalized groups often feel more comfortable reporting hate incidents and hate crimes directly to civil society organizations which reflect their community rather than law enforcement officials.”

It’s less important for the law to be enforced by lawmen and lawwomen than it is for the diversity industry to be on the front lines of these things, evidently.

The good news is that with only days left in the parliamentary calendar, it’s unlikely this report will trigger legislation prior to October’s Canadian election. Though should the Liberals win re-election, this will serve as a roadmap to not only pushing the state back into the regulation of online speech, but doing so with an unprecedented mandate and unrivaled gusto.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the outcome of this committee’s study was determined before it even began. Of the nearly five dozen witnesses invited to testify, the number whose testimony focused on preserving free speech could be counted on one hand. Dozens specifically called for a restoration of section 13.

The document detailing the scope of the study cited the repeal of section 13 as leaving some sort of void in the law. In other words, this charade was based on a fundamentally false premise—that something is needed to regulate online speech in Canada.

If you ask legislators to find a solution, they’ll make up a problem to justify it.

https://www.steynonline.com/9462/from-social-platform-to-state-enforcer?fbclid=IwAR3hOW67v-53DeJCKod51pKLFa8bNlEv4pHYeEx9OODcIHhhWmFbS9WVh2g