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[–]rwkastenBring on the dancing horses[S,M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children)

Per user suggestion, until traffic on this sub picks up a bit, I'm going to create a single thread that may correlate to several weeks' worth of threads in the subreddit. We have this option because saidit's automoderator doesn't appear to have the "auto-post new threads" feature. There is no cutoff that will generate a new OT/LE thread, but practically-speaking, it will probably be somewhere in the 2-3 weeks/100 comments range to start. We have flexibility at the expense of a small amount of convenience.

That said, here is the cross-link to the current OT/LE on reddit:

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

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[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Ignore the gaslighting – cancel culture is real

Perhaps the most obvious example of gaslighting is how the identitarian left has created a system of public shaming known as ‘cancel culture’, which its adherents carry out ruthlessly while repeatedly denying its existence. The denial is an extension of the strategy because it enables them to continue with impunity. They insist that they are not ‘cancelling’ anyone, but merely ‘holding the powerful to account’. But when a supermarket employee loses his job for a joke he posted on Facebook, it doesn’t feel much like a valiant blow against plutocracy and the ruling class.

Cancel culture is not, as its proponents claim, aimed at the most powerful in society. It is a method of systematically smearing ordinary members of the public for failing to toe the line. This takes the form of humiliation through online censure, and direct contact with their targets’ employers in order to deprive them of a livelihood. Through social media, irreparable reputational damage can be inflicted, even when there is no secure evidence for the accusations being made. This not only often results in dismissal, but it also impedes future employment prospects.

Denialists often argue that the experience of JK Rowling proves that cancel culture is a myth. After all, she has faced a barrage of online abuse and accusations of transphobia (as well as an internal revolt at the publishing house which produced her last book), and yet her sales are better than ever. But this example inadvertently refutes the claim that cancel culture is merely a means to critique the powerful. It’s probably true that Rowling cannot be cancelled. But less lucrative authors have lost their publishers and agents simply for defending her. That is not to say that harassment aimed at wealthy public figures is in any way justifiable, but rather that cancel culture most commonly impacts on ordinary people who have neither the finances nor the influence to shield themselves from the depredations of the online mob.

The denialism is exasperating given that instances of cancellation are so frequently in the news (for anyone still in any doubt, this exhaustive thread on Twitter should set you straight). Such stories, however, are just the barest glimpse of a much wider problem. Cancel culture works pre-emptively by fostering a climate in which most people are wary of speaking their minds for fear of misinterpretation. In many cases, this misinterpretation is willful. For instance, in October, students at Cambridge University mobilised to have a porter at Clare College sacked because he had resigned from his seat on the city council in opposition to a motion relating to trans rights. They claimed that his views made them feel ‘unsafe’, a tactic that has now become grimly predictable. Employers are unlikely to take action against workers for a simple difference of opinion, but once an allegation is made that personal safety has been jeopardised they are practically obliged to take action. The elision of words and violence is a linguistic trick of the social-justice left and it has been weaponised with ruthless efficiency.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

College agrees to ‘reparations fund’ to help pay for black students’ therapy, books

Bryn Mawr College, a women’s liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, recently agreed to student activists’ demands that a “reparations fund” be created for black and indigenous students.

It was one of many demands issued by the Bryn Mawr Strike Collective, a student-led group that organized a racial justice strike on campus during the fall semester.

The students’ demand called for “the implementation of a ‘reparations fund’ towards a yearly allocation of funds and resources to Black and Indigenous students in the form of grants for summer programs, affinity groups, multicultural spaces, and individual expenses such as books, online courses, therapy, and any and all financial need beyond the scope of racial justice work.”

Bryn Mawr leaders agreed to this demand by renaming the Dean’s Emergency Fund to the Dean’s Student Assistance Fund, doubling its allocation to $10,000 annually, and appointing a committee that includes representation of black, indigenous, and people of color staff and faculty, to administer the fund.

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Following up on my "what if" compare/contrast between AIDS and COVID: how did the left respond the first time? It's an interesting tale indeed.

Here are some snippets from an article entitled "Patient Zero" in the Chicago Tribune.

Dugas developed Kaposi's sarcoma, a form of skin cancer common to AIDS victims, in June 1980, before the epidemic had been perceived by physicians. Told later he was endangering anyone he slept with, Dugas unrepentantly carried on -- by his estimate, with 250 partners a year -- until his death in March 1984, adding countless direct and indirect victims.

After the examination, as Dugas was pulling on his stylish shirt, Conant mentioned that Dugas should stop having sex.

Dugas looked wounded, but his voice betrayed a fierce edge of bitterness. "Of course, I`m going to have sex," he told Conant.

"Nobody`s proven to me that you can spread cancer."

"Somebody gave this thing to me," he said. "I`m not going to give up sex."

He had decided to settle in San Francisco. They had an interferon program at their GRID clinic, and besides, he had always wanted to live there.

It was at this time that rumors began on Castro Street in San Francisco about a strange guy at the Eighth and Howard bathhouse, a blond with a French accent. He would have sex with you, then turn up the lights in the cubicle, and point out his Kaposi`s sarcoma legions.

"I've got gay cancer," he'd say. "I'm going to die, and so are you.`

Mind you, this freak is apparently considered some sort of hero or martyr to the homosexual movement. (The 30 30 AIDS Vancouver video is dedicated to him and one other person who croaked from AIDS.) In the end, all that these people care about is sodomy. They should not be considered a normal and responsible segment of civilized society.


The Bathhouses


Well, number one was the baths, because we knew that was the main source of AIDS transmission. A gay man could pick up one or two partners in a bar, and they'd go off someplace to have their fun. There were back rooms in the bars, in the baths, too. They were called orgy rooms, where ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty men were dancing around with almost no light, and of course, anything happened there. That explained to us why a gay man would say, "I don't know who I got it from. I never saw his face." That sort of thing.

The bars were not the best places to be, but at least, they would limit the amount of contact a man could have. In a bookshop, in a small sex club, out in the park--these places limited the contact. But in the baths... At a four-story bathhouse, Club Baths south of Market I think it was, 350 men would gather on a Saturday night at $10 a crack, and they got their $10 worth. And more. Including drugs in addition to poppers.

Would you permit a child with measles to go to school with a classroom of thirty other children? No! It's a transmissible disease. You exclude him, and if the whole room has been exposed, then you close that classroom--you discontinue that class and send the kids home. There was quarantine for these diseases at one time. In Africa, if one or two patients came up with smallpox, you isolated the village, and you vaccinated everybody. So after the smallpox was finished with that patient or those two patients, it had no place else to go.

We didn't have a vaccine for AIDS. We had the disease spreading wildly. We knew that the numbers were going up geometrically in those first two years. The numbers of new cases were doubling every six months. It was terrible.


But times had changed. Society was putting much more emphasis on individual rights, particularly for minorities such as the gay population. It was no longer as acceptable for a government agency to do what some factions regarded as removing individual rights.


That's right. It was not only civil rights and individual rights, but the federal government was also saying, "We have too much government now. Let's concentrate on the threat from the Evil Empire overseas." This epidemic was going to wipe us out, and they didn't even care about it.

Any physician who has any sympathy or sense of responsibility toward his patients, to the population, toward his own family, would say, "You don't waste money up in the sky on nuclear weapons against a theoretical threat, when you have the threat right here, right now, killing you, just as deadly as a bomb." Central Africa now we know is going to be wiped out by AIDS just as if they threw a couple of atom bombs in there.

The emphasis was not so much on civil rights as on fear in the gay community that if they were "outed," made known that they were gay, that they would lose jobs, friends, a place to sleep, insurance. All of these things made them resist closing the baths, because their incognito activities in a closed environment in the baths kept them from being known on the outside. Now, there were gay men who were aggressively out, the S&M, sadomasochist, men, the leather boys we called them, who walked up and down Market Street dressed in leathers with leather caps like the old Nazi men, and chains, and leather boots. But they were the ones that died fastest, because generally speaking, they used the most traumatic anal-rectal techniques, and got infected. They had been infected with many other sexually transmitted diseases before then, so they were in no shape even to postpone the activation of the AIDS virus after it hit them.

I can talk about the meeting we had when Dr. Silverman was about to announce that he was going to close the baths, then he didn't, because the mayor and he couldn't get together on it. I wasn't in on that session between the two of them, though, so I can't give you all the details.

Many members from the gay community were at that meeting. Bobbi Campbell, who was already infected with AIDS, was standing at the back. I remember at least three members of the gay community, nude, just with towels around them, holding signs that said, "Today the baths; tomorrow the ovens." They meant that, if we let you close the baths on us, next thing you'll quarantine us, then we'll be in jail, then you'll destroy us, like a Hitler. It was very, very extreme.

Some of the very same people who are calling you everything but a child of God for wanting to visit your family over the holidays or trying to keep your business afloat or going to church ~in the middle of a pandemic~ are those who were comparing public health officials to Nazis for daring to suggest that drug-fueled giant anonymous unprotected orgies of sodomy ("superspreader" events that put today's to shame) be placed on hold.

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

No, ‘Asian’ grooming gangs are not a myth

What struck me as being particularly curious about the claim made by the Guardian — that it is ‘white men’ who are key to child sexual abuse gangs — was that in the second paragraph of the article it was noted that the report found that ‘there was not enough evidence to conclude that child sexual abuse gangs were disproportionately made up of Asian offenders’.

If the evidence was inconclusive about Asian offenders, how could there be such certainty about white men being the main culprits?

One way to find out the ethnic background of grooming gangs, one would have thought, would be to look at those who have been found guilty of these offences. This is something Labour’s Sarah Champion noted when she said: ‘There are almost 100 people in jail now for grooming in and around Rotherham. Nationally there are between 500 and 1,000 people in jail for these offences. That’s quite a decent sample size, isn’t it? Why doesn’t the Home Office simply sit down with those offenders, interview them, and create an offenders’ profile from that?’

When looking over the latest Home Office report, this is a question I asked myself, too. So what does the Home Office report actually say?

The striking thing about the report is the lengths it goes to to tell us that the data available is inadequate to draw almost any conclusions. There is truth to this claim. But even with the paucity of data, there does appear to be a pattern once we factor in the population proportions of white compared to South Asian people in the UK.

Eighty-six per cent of the UK population is white compared with around four per cent who are defined as South Asian, coming largely from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As the grooming-gang phenomenon is also believed to be associated with Muslims from South Asia (excluding most Indians), this figure would drop down to around two per cent of the British population, but let’s work with the four per cent figure.

Using these figures, we find there are approximately 21 times the number of white people to South Asian people in the UK. Assuming the populations of both groups are approximately 50 per cent male, this figure remains the same regarding comparative numbers of white and South Asian men.

This would mean that for white men to be seen as the main group involved in grooming gangs, as a proportion of the population, there would need to be more than 21 times the number of white offenders to Asian offenders. But this is not the case in any of the research examined in the Home Office report. In fact, the truth is the very opposite.

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(Higher) Education Is Destroying America

Consider this apparent paradox: commanding, as they do, behemoth corporate entities, the media, the entertainment industry and the social media and tech hubs of Silicon Valley, the educated today arguably wield more power, influence and ubiquitous social control than they have ever wielded in American history, and yet they are also as scorned and distrusted as they have ever been. The prevalence of loony conspiracy theories on the political right notwithstanding, less educated people have their reasons for feeling conspired against and for distrusting those who are ostensibly their betters. They distrust the educated contingent’s claims to knowledge and expertise because they both consciously and instinctively know that such “experts” can no longer be trusted, that knowledge claims by the educated elites now routinely come packaged with liberal doses of barely concealed political prejudice. Experts are the ones who tell us that Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden will defeat Donald Trump in a blowout and that Democrats are set to pick up significant gains and take control of both houses of Congress in the 2020 election. Experts are the unelected backroom technocrats at Twitter and Google who take it upon themselves, despite having transparent political biases and no obvious qualifications for such roles, to intervene on the side of “Truth” in complex political and factual debates — inevitably citing as backup for their decisions some of their favorite sources, such as CNN or The Washington Post — and then proceed to label, take down, bury and censor competing claims and their conservatives or contrarian sources. Experts are the ones who issue confident pronouncements about Covid-19, only to issue inconsistent but equally confident pronouncements a few weeks or months later, the ones who tell us masks don’t help to protect healthy individuals only to completely reverse that guidance, the ones who command us that frequenting religious services, Trump rallies, restaurants, hair salons or family gatherings poses a mortal risk to our health while turning a blind eye to or even throwing full support behind massive #BLM protests or disregarding their own edicts and going unmasked into chic hair salons or large parties at expensive French restaurants. And, as I’ll have reason to discuss in more detail below, the kind of “expertise” that emanates from the mainstream media or the educational establishment is egregious in its political biases.

The reason for the problem is simple: the “educated” have become a stale, stagnant monoculture, a culture within which groupthink reigns, within which prejudice predominates, bad ideas go unchallenged and the worst ideas get insulated from scrutiny by strictly enforced taboos. In fact, the more “elite” the quality and quantity of the education people receive, the more herd-minded, prejudiced and intolerant of dissent they become. The danger of this predicament is not just one for political conservatives to bear; when a diversity of ideas is choked out by years of ideological indoctrination and enforced conformity, when thought police patrol our public and private spaces and factual claims and ideas remain untested in the crucible of free and open debate, the resulting harm is borne by all. As I will explain in what follows, the ultimate issue springs from a tectonic shift in the complexion of our educational institutions. It will not be solved until those institutions are shaken to their very foundations and remade from the ground up.

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Memoirs of a Microaggressor: Will Collins traces the aristocratic roots of the social justice warriors’ search for purity

To understand our current moment, start with public apologies. Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, surely thought he was on safe ground when he came out in favour of delaying a Philip Guston exhibition because it included depictions of the Ku Klux Klan. Walker’s language, however, was unforgivably retrograde: he said that showing the paintings would be “tone deaf” during a moment of racial unrest. To the uninitiated, the argument was debatable, but Walker’s language was inoffensive. To those steeped in the culture of social justice, on the other hand, the case for delaying the show was self-evident, but the real issue was Walker’s use of ableist language.

The entire ritual — a slight so minor that most missed it, “outrage” seeming only to exist on social media, an elaborate public apology that always ends with a promise to “do better” — has become tiresomely familiar. Critics, including many on the left, argue that the social justice movement’s esoteric language is self-defeating. But the jargon’s very impenetrability explains its appeal. Rituals and language have long been used to distinguish insiders from hoi polloi. That the terminology of a putatively egalitarian movement tends to exclude suggests elitism lurks beneath its surface. Indeed, the best way to understand the cycle of offence, outrage and tortured apology is to look to the aristocratic customs of yesteryear. The habits and rituals of the minor European nobility in its final days, wittily chronicled by Gregor von Rezzori in Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, are a useful starting point.


But as with many goods formerly reserved for the elite, hyper-sensitivity has become a mass-market commodity.

Friedrich Nietszche anticipated our predicament: “Sensitivity increases with affluence; the most minor symptoms cause us to suffer; our body is better protected, our soul sicker. Equality, a comfortable life, freedom of thought, but at the same time, hatred and envy, the infuriation of needing to succeed, the impatience of the present, the need for luxury, the instability of the government, the suffering from doubt and having to search.”

Towards the end of Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, the unnamed protagonist, now a university student in Vienna, asks some pointed questions about his place in the world. How does one reconcile grandiose aristocratic pretensions with the grubby realities of modern life? Where does one’s loyalty lie when the dynasty your family served for generations has disappeared in the cataclysmic aftermath of the Great War? Perhaps most importantly, what does one do when the money runs out?

As the ground shifts under the narrator’s feet, his snobbery is best understood as a coping mechanism. Something similar has happened in the United States, where the leftward lurch on racial and cultural issues has taken place mainly among the white, the educated and the affluent.

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Resignation of school board member demanded for use of phrase ‘crack the whip’

Clover Park School District’s Paul Wagemann used the phrase in a December 14 virtual board meeting regarding concern over graduation rates: “We need to crack the whip” he said, according to The Suburban Times.

Specifically, Wagemann was referring to the “10-to-11 percent of students in the district who do not graduate.” He said the intent of the phrase was that “the school board do all it could to help these youth get their diploma.”

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Nancy Pelosi Bans ‘Gender’ Terms Like Mother, Daughter, Father, Son in House Rules

“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent, and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people,” said Pelosi.

“These future-focused proposals reflect our priorities as a Caucus and as a Country,” the House Speaker added.

Within the proposals are the creation of the “Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth,” which would require Congress to “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral.”

In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, gendered terms, such as “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or granddaughter” will be removed.

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We have dispensed with independent thought

“The pessimism that people feel about conservatism isn’t due to electoral annihilation, it is that when conservatives are governing and have power they don’t seem to do all that much with it and they just tend to be a footnote to the progressives that are in the ascendancy in mainstream culture, [while] there’s really minimal resistance to it,” Ben Woodfinden, a political theorist at McGill University, says in The Critic podcast Are Conservatives Losing? “And there is minimal desire by those in the highest offices to do anything about it, and that engenders a real pessimism about what is the point of any of this.”


The total one-sidedness of how abortion is viewed and dealt with in society—and the fact that the consensus around that particular take can never be called into question—is one of the clearest examples of the modern phenomenon of a single narrative being relentlessly pushed and taking over how we all collectively view and discuss a thorny conundrum. The problem with this trend of capitulation, all too often in the name of fashionable and hollow platitudes—a great example being the compulsion in the UK to take a knee for the American Black Lives Matters movement, as if showboating your “anti-racism” trumps actually living a life in which you treat everyone of a different ethnicity equally, often far more than equally by raising them into the realm of love and affection—is that it is conditioning us to be utterly pliable, primed for supplicant, teat-yearning status when we collide with something like Covid-19 and the overbearing government response.

We appear to have no moral backbone left, which is compounded by how if you can’t think for yourself then how can you be expected to stand up for yourself and what you suspect is right or appropriate. And that is a big problem when a government starts acting in authoritarian ways, because if you then accept any policy willingly and show those in power that they can get away with it—which is exactly what we have done during this year of Covid-19—they crack on with gay abandon and keep going further.

Hence civil liberties are being blown away like dust in the wind, and we are saying and doing nothing. Rather, we are running with open arms toward Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor and his dreadful assurances, away from what we know in our hearts to be true (if we dared look there): “Thou wouldst go into the world, and art going with empty hands, with some promise of freedom which men in their simplicity and their natural unruliness cannot even understand, which they fear and dread—for nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom, the Grand Inquisitor tells Jesus in Seville during the Spanish Inquisition. “Oh, never, never can they feed themselves without us! No science will give them bread so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, ‘Make us your slaves, but feed us.’ They will understand themselves, at last, that freedom and bread enough for all are inconceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share between them!”

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Teachers union bigwig demands schools remain closed … from her Puerto Rico vacation spot

An executive board member of the Chicago Teachers Union caused a stir recently by posting poolside Instagram photos of herself at a Puerto Rican resort.

The controversy is that from that location, Sarah Chambers advocated keeping the city’s schools closed, as COVID remains too dangerous for teachers.


In 2017, Chambers was canned from her position allegedly for “leaving her own classroom to barge into classrooms of other teachers and issue her own instructions to students, interfering with statewide tests, and participating in a scheme to remove and transport students without any chaperone who had cleared criminal background checks.”

With the assistance of her union, she was reinstated in 2019.

Regular readers of The College Fix may remember Chambers; two years ago she was part of a Chicago Teachers Union junket to Venezuela where she proclaimed that President Maduro “never closed a single public school or a single health clinic” despite major economic troubles.

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The University as the Woke Mission Field: A Dissident Women’s Studies Ph.D. Speaks Out

My first encounters with Critical Social Justice came during the feminism unit of this course, which included works by Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Angela Davis, bell hooks, and Shulamith Firestone, among others. I was interested in learning about feminism, but Firestone’s argument to eliminate the biological family alarmed me, as I hoped to have both a career and children someday. Also, I didn’t believe Firestone’s argument that motherhood is inherently oppressive. From witnessing my mom’s own experiences with having six kids, I knew that she wasn’t oppressed. It was a choice she freely made because she loved children and felt that taking care of them, in spite of the difficulties, was rewarding. In spite of my reservations about Firestone’s book, I became interested in learning more about feminism and began to check out more women’s studies books from the library. As a young university student, encountering Critical Social Justice ideas felt intoxicating, like stumbling onto a portal into a new world. I felt like a detective, with my newly developing critical consciousness understanding society for the first time—all the oppression, the sexism, racism, the evils of capitalism, and so on. It felt righteous, like I was part of a counter-cultural movement, a vanguard helping to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

The women’s studies professor, sensing that she had an acolyte, encouraged my interest in becoming more involved in advocacy for women. Over the summer, I worked as an intern at a feminist nonprofit and met a lot of people on the radical left, including anarchists. Around this time, I attended a few protests for various causes, but after a couple of years with this ideology as my guiding framework, I grew exhausted by feeling constant anger. I became tired of focusing on all the injustices of the world, not on what I had to be grateful for. It was a miserable, resentment-based life, and I felt helpless to solve the world’s problems.

My foray into radical politics ended around the time I started a master’s program in creative writing. I focused on reading literature and my colleagues’ works, which were complex and nuanced, not ideologically motivated in the slightest degree. After finishing my master’s degree, I taught writing as a college lecturer for a couple of years, then decided to apply for Ph.D. programs in hopes that having a doctorate would increase my pay. One of the most galling forms of hypocrisy I’ve experienced is that leftist professors claim a commitment to “social justice,” yet the academic departments they run employ large numbers of underpaid adjunct instructors who are closed out of the high pay and job security of the tenured radicals.

When I began my Ph.D. program in 2013 at a highly ranked university, I began to see that something about my new colleagues was different from what I remembered about my colleagues just a few years earlier. At first, I chalked this up to the fact that I was a handful of years older than most of the students, many of whom had recently completed their undergraduate degrees. They seemed angry, self-righteous, and determined, lacking the intellectual humility that I had admired so much in the friends I’d made in my master’s program. I now realize that these students were “woke.” Having spent the past couple of years teaching writing to working-class students, I hadn’t been exposed to Critical Social Justice ideology in some time, and I was surprised to see the inroads it had made in the decade since I’d first encountered it.

I realized that Critical Social Justice was no longer a fringe intellectual field of study, but a real force that was reshaping the university. Early on in my program, I recall a panic about racism at the university, and many students issued social media demands of the administration to increase minority enrollment. While I fully support that goal, I feel that such efforts are best advanced through mentoring and guiding promising young students beginning in elementary school, not waiting until they reach adulthood and then attempting to force equal outcomes. Around this time, I became extremely disturbed when, while serving on a committee that gave writing awards, I was attacked by other committee members for judging on merit, for not taking into account skin color or gender.

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Cartoon Network Grooms Kids With Trans Agenda

You know you’re old when you can think back on a time when Cartoon Network proudly gendered their cartoon characters. Nowadays, “The Powerpuff Girls” wouldn’t be considered inclusive enough for the children’s entertainment network. Case in point: the animation channel’s latest social media post which tells kids that being a pansexual genderqueer androgynous whatever is just as normal as being a boy or a girl.

Cartoon Network, like almost everything else in this earthly realm, is seemingly suffering from a bout of leftwing crazy.

On December 14, the channel’s Twitter account posted a series of educational comic strips featuring trans propaganda for the edification of viewers, most of which are children obviously. In any normal circles, this would be viewed as the opposite of kid friendly or educational.

The tweet in question featured animation in the style of the network’s animated program “Steven Universe” which explained the concept of “Gender Pronouns” for all the impressionable youngsters out there. In one instance, the series of images included a lesson on not misgendering an individual based on their outward appearance, claiming, “We can’t tell someone’s gender just by looking at them, and shouldn’t assume we know.” Uh oh. It added, “There are many gender identities beyond ‘boy’ and ‘girl.’ Some people don’t identify as any gender!”

Yes, and parents, make sure you teach your kids to say “boy” and “girl” while gesticulating with air quotes, just to hammer home the point that male and female are relative social constructs.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Canadian politician faked Twitter posts to conceal Caribbean holiday. If I didn't know better I might think that the ruling class believe this COVID thing is all hooey!

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The Diversity Industry: Guilt-Leveraging at America’s Universities

Rockwell’s invitation, speech, and its relatively courteous reception at MSU occurred in a historical period to be designated as “BD,” “Before-Diversity.” BD was a time when men were men and women still seemed to like them. Back then, “African-Americans” were politely called “colored people” — not to be confused with “people of color.” What a difference a preposition can make. Life, BD, was also a bit more carefree and relaxed, before the widespread installation of professional scolds to regulate our conversations and enforce their enlightened norms of sensitivity. At American universities in the 1960s “diversity” had not yet become the prime mover in the “mandatory chapel” sessions conducted by cult-Marxist appointees following a liturgical script of egalitarian devotion.

“Diversity” back then was just a word that aroused no particular emotion and with none of today’s odious ideological trappings. “Diversity” was merely the opposite of “sameness” or “uniformity.” In some cases, diversity was a good thing, as in a “diversity of options.” In other cases, sameness or uniformity was the desideratum, as in “same high quality,” or a “uniform” approach. There were no Vice-Presidents for Diversity and Inclusion, no diversity conferences to go to, no mandatory diversity workshops and seminars you were forced to attend, no entertaining spectacles of desperate, frantic university administrators climbing up over each other’s backs to vehemently proclaim their “commitment to diversity.” Real, self-proclaimed Nazis could be invited to campuses. Polite and well-spoken, they were viewed as “interesting,” regarded more with curiosity than as threats; half the country was not said to be in the grip of fascism.

In 1905, the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce announced that “pragmaticism” would be the best, single word to capture his work, saying that it was “ugly enough to be safe from kidnappers.” “Diversity,” like “gay,” unfortunately, was not ugly enough to save it from the multicultural kidnappers, who made it into a tool to help them, as the historian Leonard Shapiro once described Soviet propaganda, “produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought reveals itself as jarring dissonance.” Universities must now, above all, be about “diversity.” Utterance of that word is the unmistakable, rigorously uniform signal that tightly scripted rituals of moral affirmation and admonition are about to begin. Everyone present must nod vigorously in unanimous approval to avoid falling under suspicion. Failure means expulsion, or worse.

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Polish education minister: Gender theory is Marxism, and class struggle has been replaced by gender struggle

Gender theory's ideological supporters are aware that they have no chances in argument-based discussion, which is why they oppose academic freedom, says Polish Minister of Education Przemysław Czarnek.

Czarnek made his remarks about gender studies and science as academics and influential figures are increasingly facing censorship both in academic settings and on social media regarding topics related to gender.

"Issues around cis, not-cis, cis women, etc. - these have nothing to do with science. This is pure stupidity, and giving credence to stupidity has nothing to do with science. Science is the pursuit of truth, and truth is goodness," he said.

The minister emphasized that there were no two realities but only one. On one side there was “truth and goodness, while on the other was falsehood and stupidity”.

“In a discussion based on arguments they have no chances. Their rhetoric does not stand the test for even five minutes, which is why they are opponents of academic freedom,” Czarnek said.

He explained that if someone makes the extreme claim that more children are born in homosexual relationships that in heterosexual ones, then that person’s claims will not survive any reasoned argument to the contrary, according to TVP Info.

“This is why conservative or Christian topics are being excluded from the academic debate, why persons who proclaim conservative judgments are being called to disciplinary account. This is done to intimidate the rest,” the minister said.

Czarnek stressed that the supporters of gender ideology are well aware that supporting stupidity does not stand the test of rational arguments.

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Left-wing militants turn WA motel into a squatter house, Police Chief refuses to take action

On Christmas Eve, left-wing militants booked sixteen rooms at a motel in Fife, Washington. Then they filled the rooms with forty people they claim are homeless. The occupants have never paid for a single night and are refusing to leave. The left-wing militants have been demonstrating in front of the motel, which prevents any paying customers from booking a room. The leader of the group, who goes by “Arrow,” is demanding that the entire motel be turned into free public housing.

The motel is owned by Shawn Randhawa, an immigrant from India who employs ten people. It is a franchise of Travelodge. The actions of these militants threaten to put Randhawa’s motel out of business and his ten employees out of work. The motel, like most other motels and hotels in the USA, is already hurting because of lockdown measures during 2020.

The local police Chief Pete Fisher has flat out refused to take action. In fact, Chief Fisher told the local Channel 7 News that there was “a silver lining” to the illegal squatting. He said that forty people are squatting in the motel, so now the community knows who needs help. City Manager Kim says she allegedly negotiating with the militants. Local media are aggressively portraying the militants as benevolent community activists.

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What do German politicians want for Christmas? More migrants

Some 243 members of the German Bundestag have signed a letter demanding the acceleration of the transfer of migrants from Greek camps to Germany and to mainland Europe. In a letter signed by all major parties except the Alternative for Germany (AfD), German MPs demanded that the federal government should answer the call from those states and municipalities that have agreed to accept more migrants and refugees.

They have also demanded that the German government coalition should press for an EU-wide solution for the situation of those in refugee camps in order to “meet human rights standards”.

The situation in Greek camps has become critical after some migrants have burned down their own accommodations with the aim of forcing authorities' hands to transfer them to European countries of their choice. In September, the camp in Moira has been completely destroyed by fires, followed by a similar case in a refugee camp in Samos. Five migrants of Afghan origin have been arrested and charged with arson in connection with the fires.

The signatories of the Christmas roll call had also called on Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) to be instrumental in introducing the German model EU-wide.

“We are aware that only a common European asylum system characterized by genuine European solidarity can solve the asylum and migration issue in the long term. However, this European solution is still not in sight," reads the letter. Yet, some of those involved in the European debate on migration object that the word "solidarity" or "common European asylum system" in the above context are only a by-word for a centralized European migration policy that would take away the right to determine immigration policy on a nation-state level, and purports to replace it with decisions made by European institutions.

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Science journal to review submissions for ‘potential harm’ after outrage over female mentorship paper

An academic journal is giving potential veto power over submitted papers to “groups concerned by the findings,” following outrage over a published paper that concluded male mentors are better for female scientists.

Nature Communications revised its internal guidelines last week to consider “the dimension of potential harm” that a paper can inflict on concerned groups.

It also announced that the three authors – two of whom are female – had retracted the mentorship paper because its “conclusions in their current form do not stand.”

The about-face by the journal, a sister publication to the better-known Nature, spawned another wave of criticism from academics who claimed the changes would have a chilling effect on research, particularly from certain parts of the world.

“Apparently a woman lead author isn’t sufficient in this case to speak to the implications of the paper?” tweeted Nicole Barbaro, a research scientist at Western Governors University Labs.

Barbaro added that she was not sure how the new policy guidelines could be “applied fairly,” since any paper “can find someone who disagrees with it.”

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A polyglot, nonsectarian, gender-inclusive film from Canada remakes the Handel classic for today’s world.

A gay Chinese-Canadian tenor struts through the streets of Vancouver, joyously proclaiming that “ev’ry valley shall be exalted” as the camera focuses in on his six-inch-high stiletto heels.

A Tunisian-Canadian mezzo-soprano reimagines Jesus as a Muslim woman in a head scarf.

In Yukon, an Indigenous singer praises the remote snow-covered landscape in Southern Tutchone, the language of her ancestors.

“This is not your grandparents’ ‘Messiah,’” Spencer Britten, the tenor in heels, said in an interview. He and the other performers are part of “Messiah/Complex,” an iconoclastic new production of Handel’s classic oratorio, which draws on biblical texts to form a stylized narrative of suffering, hope and redemption.


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Even Homer Gets Mobbed

A sustained effort is under way to deny children access to literature. Under the slogan #DisruptTexts, critical-theory ideologues, schoolteachers and Twitter agitators are purging and propagandizing against classic texts—everything from Homer to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Dr. Seuss.

Their ethos holds that children shouldn’t have to read stories written in anything other than the present-day vernacular—especially those “in which racism, sexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate are the norm,” as young-adult novelist Padma Venkatraman writes in School Library Journal. No author is valuable enough to spare, Ms. Venkatraman instructs: “Absolving Shakespeare of responsibility by mentioning that he lived at a time when hate-ridden sentiments prevailed, risks sending a subliminal message that academic excellence outweighs hateful rhetoric.”


The demands for censorship appear to be getting results. “Be like Odysseus and embrace the long haul to liberation (and then take the Odyssey out of your curriculum because it’s trash),” tweeted Shea Martin in June. “Hahaha,” replied Heather Levine, an English teacher at Lawrence (Mass.) High School. “Very proud to say we got the Odyssey removed from the curriculum this year!” When I contacted Ms. Levine to confirm this, she replied that she found the inquiry “invasive.” The English Department chairman of Lawrence Public Schools, Richard Gorham, didn’t respond to emails.

YA-lit and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Vanderbilt class of 800+ students forced to choose between calling Constitution racist or losing grade points

According to screenshots obtained by Young America’s Foundation, students were asked, “Was the Constitution designed to perpetuate white supremacy and protect the institution of slavery?” According to YAF, one student in the class lost points after answering "false."

The screenshot of the online assignment shows that the correct answer was “true."

A Vanderbilt student who is currently enrolled in the course and asked to remain anonymous told Campus Reform that the questions and answers came from a recorded lecture.

"All of the quiz’s answers would come directly from a recorded lecture...the questions were exact quotes from the lecture," the student said.

[–]rwkastenBring on the dancing horses[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Here instead of there:

The quiz was a requirement for a course called U.S. Elections, which, according to the school's website, is offered "during presidential election years." The course examines "the presidential and congressional elections, the recruitment of candidates, nomination processes, financing campaigns, media coverage, polling, predictive models, and implications of results."

So nothing about the actual laws around electing officials? No 2-week whirl through the civics or even a brief note on the difference between a democracy and a republic?

You get what you deserve.

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You get what you deserve.

If this were true they'd be making $5/hr like the glorified babysitters they are.

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[Glenn Greenwald] The Threat of Authoritarianism in the U.S. is Very Real, and Has Nothing To Do With Trump

Virtually every prediction expressed by those who pushed this doomsday narrative of Trump as a rising dictator — usually with great profit for themselves — never materialized. While Trump radically escalated bombing campaigns he inherited from Bush and Obama, he started no new wars. When his policies were declared by courts to be unconstitutional, he either revised them to comport with judicial requirements (as in the case of his “Muslim ban”) or withdrew them (as in the case of diverting Pentagon funds to build his wall). No journalists were jailed for criticizing or reporting negatively on Trump, let alone killed, as was endlessly predicted and sometimes even implied. Bashing Trump was far more likely to yield best-selling books, social media stardom and new contracts as cable news “analysts” than interment in gulags or state reprisals. There were no Proud Boy insurrections or right-wing militias waging civil war in U.S. cities. Boastful and bizarre tweets aside, Trump’s administration was far more a continuation of the U.S. political tradition than a radical departure from it.

The hysterical Trump-as-despot script was all melodrama, a ploy for profits and ratings, and, most of all, a potent instrument to distract from the neoliberal ideology that gave rise to Trump in the first place by causing so much wreckage. Positing Trump as a grand aberration from U.S. politics and as the prime author of America’s woes — rather than what he was: a perfectly predictable extension of U.S politics and a symptom of preexisting pathologies — enabled those who have so much blood and economic destruction on their hands not only to evade responsibility for what they did, but to rehabilitate themselves as the guardians of freedom and prosperity and, ultimately, catapult themselves back into power. As of January 20, that is exactly where they will reside.

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Why architecture is political

A recent episode at the birthplace of classical architecture, and of a self-consciously Western aesthetic tradition, the Parthenon, is instructive of where we find ourselves today, in politics as well as architecture. Taking advantage of the COVID epidemic, the Greek government recently installed a ramp for wheelchair access on the top of the sacred hill of the Acropolis, leading directly to the Parthenon.

Built in the archetypal material of modernity, concrete, it is a work of breathtaking ugliness. Being impermeable, unlike the stones and earth it replaced, as soon as the winter rains hit Athens the runoff flooded the sacred site for the first time ever recorded: the ideologically-asserted practicality of industrial modernity has once again shown itself impractical in reality, unsuited to both place and climate.


Directly inspired by Pikionis’s paths, and his construction of timeless beauty from the literal wreckage of the near-past, the later architects Liane Lefaivre and Alexander Tzonis coined the phrase Critical Regionalism to describe what they saw as the route out for architecture from the impasse created by the modernist International Style. This was not purely an aesthetic choice, but an intentionally political one, characterising many of the arguments made by critics of capitalist liberalism. As Tzonis writes, “Globalisation has been ‘creative’ in the short term but in the long term it proved to be most ‘destructive’.”

He argues that in past three decades, and “fuelled by the mindless growth of cities, senseless gigantic construction of buildings, and disregard of ‘local knowledge’ of the natural, social, and cultural uniqueness and diversity of the regions — what we called ‘peaks and valleys’ — has been reduced to flatland by imposing ‘global’ design stereotypes”. This has spread today with “increasingly negative consequences in the ecology, economy, social ties, and quality of life, not only regional but global”. This is a clearly post-liberal argument applied to architecture, and the political implications of Critical Regionalism are surely worth teasing out.

In 1984, the British architectural critic Kenneth Frampton, citing Lefaivre and Tzonis, wrote the influential essay Towards a Critical Regionalism as a manifesto against the failures of the International Style, and an attempt to define its successor ideology. Frampton’s essay opens with a long quote from the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, in which Ricoeur remarks that the “single world civilisation,” that of liberal capitalism, “exerts a sort of attrition or wearing away at the expense of the cultural resources which have made the great civilisations of the past.” The result is a universal “mediocre civilisation,”which presents developing nations with a great and essential problem: “is it necessary to jettison the old cultural past which has been the raison d’être of a nation?” Here is the paradox, for Ricoeur and for Frampton: “how to become modern and to return to sources; how to revive an old dormant civilisation and take part in universal civilisation?”

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Soccer Club Demands Fans Who Booed BLM Undergo Re-Education Courses Before Being Allowed Back

After a handful of fans voiced their displeasure before a December 15 game against Colchester, the club reacted by launching an investigation.

“Each case has been looked at separately,” the club said in a statement. “Conclusions reached range from education and support without any ban through to bans to the end of the season with season tickets refunded.”

“Diversity and inclusion will continue to be at the heart of what we stand for as a football club and we will be making no further comment about the incident.”

According to the Daily Mail, “Other fans have been asked to undertake education around discrimination and equality” before they are allowed to return.”

In other words, fans will have to sit through patronizing lectures about “diversity” and Black Lives Matter and feign agreement or face a stadium ban.

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[Freddie deBoer] oh you’ve got a particularly pessimistic and mature attitude towards Covid? that’s so fucking brave

There has been, in these plague years, the emergence of a particular kind of creature. Though I had never encountered them before they appear to be an opportunistic parasite, one that was waiting in stasis for years to emerge into a period with the proper combination of desperation and moralism. This creature feeds on the unprecedented opportunity to lecture. It looks out and all it sees are people who are not as serious as it is, not as careful as it is, not as dedicated to protecting every life as it is. We have all failed in its eyes. I will call it, I guess, the Covid realist, for that is surely how they see themselves.

For the Covid realist, no amount of pessimism about the virus is deep enough. No amount of adherence to the rules is strict enough. No surrender to the inevitability of more and more restrictions is complete enough. With the Covid realist you learn quickly that the only correct response is to nod along more deeply with every new, more pessimistic thing they say. Every utterance becomes a referendum not only on your apprehension of where we stand relative to the virus but on whether you are willing to accept the harsh, brutal truths of the Covid realist.

The Covid realist religiously follows the Atlantic‘s pompous, self-impressed, imperious coverage. The Covid realist says, “you think you’ll be able to see your friends after the vaccine? Fat chance!” The Covid realist tells you that, when you’re feeling upbeat about the medical advances, the virus could always mutate. The Covid realist wants you to know that you’ll never see the lower half of a stranger’s face again. When you say that you’re looking forward to going to a basketball game next fall the Covid realist says, “Ha, good luck.” The Covid realist thinks that imagining holding a birthday party a year from now is not only deluded, but irresponsible. The Covid realist does not just want to regulate your behavior. The Covid realist wants to purify your thoughts.

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Male transgenderism is sexism on steroids

It’s difficult to feel quite so magnanimous about comedian Eddie Izzard’s most recent announcement about his identity. On last Thursday’s Sky Arts programme Portrait Artist Of The Year the 58 year old comedian declared: “I’m genderfluid, I just want to be based in girl mode from now on.” Izzard then asked to be known as “she” or “her.”

Izzard has long been a cross-dresser, and famously used to reject the idea that clothes ought to be gendered quipping, “they’re not women’s clothes, they’re mine.” But on Thursday the aging comedian appeared wearing a frock, some perky plastic boobs and pointy lace-up boots; apparently this was evidence of living in “girl mode.” As is now the form, Izzard was applauded for donning a “woman costume” and requesting female pronouns.

The idea of cultural appropriation, that is to say when someone from a privileged group adopts the attributes of a subordinated one, is beloved by the bien pensant. Guardian columns on the ethics of white people with dreadlocks are shared by those desperate to display their right-on credentials. And yet, curiously, when men appropriate the clothes that women are culturally expected to wear, they are celebrated as brave.

There is no fanfare for the women, in particular those of a certain age, who ditch hair dyes, make-up and heels. Arguably women who don’t care to sport the uncomfortable trappings of femininity could be deemed “non-binary” and yet they remain resolutely unfashionable. It seems men are able to break gender stereotypes by embracing them, the likes of Eddie Izzard strutting in heels are just so much more progressive than boring old vulva-owners in flat shoes.

Imagine, if you will, a world in which Katie Price was lauded as a liberal icon for having a boob job. Clearly, to undergo painful and unnecessary surgery Price must suffer from some form of body dysmorphia, and yet this marks her out for sneering ridicule by the very same voices that celebrated Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner for having silicone implants. The new set of rules to accommodate men who identify as transgender are based on some fairly ancient misogynist tropes; males become uberwomen when they play with the tools used to subjugate actual women.

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Family sues school that won’t let student out of class promoting anti-white racism

Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus forced William Clark “to make professions about his racial, sexual, gender and religious identities in verbal class exercises and in graded, written homework assignments,” creating a hostile environment, the biracial high school student and Gabrielle Clark allege in their federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The senior’s statements were “subject to the scrutiny, interrogation and derogatory labeling of students, teachers and school administrators,” who are “still are coercing him to accept and affirm politicized and discriminatory principles and statements that he cannot in conscience affirm.”

The suit also names Democracy Prep Public Schools, the New York-based charter network, and several officials in the local school and network as defendants.

It has nearly 150 pages of exhibits documenting the curriculum in the graduation requirement “Sociology of Change,” which allegedly promotes intersectionality and critical race theory. According to the suit, the curriculum was imposed by a new crop of officials who joined DPAC three years ago – halfway through William’s schooling at DPAC. (The charter network acquired the school in 2016 with help from a federal grant.)

Officials also falsely promised students that their mandatory identity divulsions would be kept private, when in reality their graded assignments would “immediately became visible to all DPAC teachers and administrators” and administrators would sometimes covertly “tune in” to the virtual sessions.

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The Moral Austerity Trap: How reducing politics to the moral simplicity of "saving lives" leads us to elite oppression.

Over the past half-decade, a series of political passions have swept across the Democratic coalition. Despite their intensity, these moments of moral fervor have tended to fade as the news cycle moved on. Nevertheless, one thing has remained consistent in various slogans that have galvanized this constituency: an advocacy for “lives.” This word is a through line that connects the rhetoric of several otherwise tenuously linked causes.

The most obvious instance is Black Lives Matter, which emerged in the final years of the Obama administration but was sidelined for much of the Trump era until its resurgence around the middle of 2020. Somewhat forgotten lately, on the other hand, is the March for our Lives, the anti-gun violence movement that appeared in 2018 in the wake of the Parkland, Florida massacre. More recently, statements of support for measures instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic seized on the same word: “stay home, save lives” and “masks save lives.”

At first glance, especially to those sympathetic to these causes, this rhetoric may look like a self-evident expression of basic human decency. However, this relatively recent innovation in liberal messaging should surprise us somewhat, since slogans emphasizing the protection of “life” have long been associated with religious conservatism. The formation best known for positioning itself on the side of “life,” after all, is the anti-abortion movement.

Liberals tend to dispute the association between opposition to abortion and concern for “life.” For decades, they have alleged that the pro-life movement overvalues the life of the fetus while undervaluing the life of the mother; and that conservatives’ simultaneous opposition to abortion and support for policies evidently hostile to “life”—from military buildup to the death penalty—reveals their inconsistency. The pro-life cause, according to this account, lacks a holistic vision of life; it cordons off one particular category of lives and designates it as needing protection, but devalues the right to pursue the positive goods that make living worthwhile.

However, the “lives”-based liberal causes of late might be subject to similar critiques. Their slogans imply sweeping moral concern, but in practice, they translate to a demand to prevent a particular subset of deaths. For instance, mass shootings comprise a tiny portion of gun-caused deaths in the US, but the March for our Lives has ensured that this category continues to play an outsized role in the debate around this issue. At the same time, as in the abortion debate, the demand for the protection of a subset of “lives” often entails bracketing off tradeoffs and complexities. For instance, the fact that social distancing saves some lives but may put others at risk is rendered invisible by the standard exhortation to “stay home.”

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U of Kansas study admits microaggression training doesn't work

A recent University of Kentucky resident assistant training about “microaggressions and microinvalidations” ended in disaster after the university split students into two groups: one for “RAs who identify as Black, Indigenous, Person of Color,” and one for “RAs who identify as White.”

The White students were sent to a “White Accountability Space,” where they were told that their racism manifests itself in a belief that they had “earned” what they have and a tendency to “internalize the negative stereotypes about people of color and believe that Whites are smarter and superior to people of color.”

Another one of the “racist behaviors” of White people, students were told, was the tendency to “‘walk on eggshells’ and act more distant and formal with people of color” — which, according to Ng and Foste, is, in reality, the net effect of microaggression training.

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Professors face firing for criticizing funding of ‘social justice’ activities at public college

The “administrative determination” report by Christopher Hine, general counsel with the Kern Community College District, found that Garrett and Miller “engaged in unprofessional conduct” at a Sept. 12, 2019 event. Hine’s report claims the duo accused Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond of improperly using grant monies at the Social Justice Institute, a “non-partisan” college organization co-founded by President Sonya Christian and Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall.

But their lawyer told The College Fix that Garrett and Miller were simply stating their disagreement with how the funds were being allocated. Even “the investigation concluded that much of what Professor Garrett was saying was protected speech under the First Amendment,” Arthur Willner said. (Miller gave a 12-minute introduction to Garrett’s lecture.)

Exactly what the professors said is not in dispute because video of the event is public. It was hosted by the Renegade Institute for Liberty, which Garrett founded at the college several years ago. Miller currently serves on its advisory board.

“If you view the video, you can see that at no time did Dr. Garrett accuse anybody of such a thing,” Willner said in a phone interview. “His concern was that funds were being … allocated in connection with a particular political agenda, which he felt, in his opinion, was inappropriate.”

The lawyer said he’s been in touch with the general counsel’s office at Bakersfield College. Investigators must “vacate” their findings because they are based on false grounds: “At no time did Garrett or Miller accuse anybody of fiscal malfeasance or misappropriation of funds.”

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Trump Discourages Brutalist Federal Buildings With New Executive Order

According to the executive order, federal building designs should feature “beautiful” classical architecture, naming Neoclassical, Georgian, Greek Revival and Art Deco styles specifically.

The order’s language connects classic influences on buildings like the White House and the Capitol Building with the roots of democracy in Ancient Greece and Rome, stating the buildings remind Americans “not only of their rights but also their responsibilities in maintaining and perpetuating its institutions.”

The executive order specifically takes aim at brutalism, a practical architectural design that gained popularity after World War II and was heavily employed in communist countries in Europe.

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Elite Manhattan school bids to be wokest of them all

Until now, Manhattan’s Dalton School was best known as ‘that $54k-per-year school Bill Barr’s dad hired Jeffrey Epstein to teach math at’.

But 2020 is a year of new beginnings. Now, the educators at Dalton have decided they want to be known for more for harboring shadowy ultra-rich ephebophiles. Move over, Evergreen College. Stand down, Oberlin. Dalton wants to be the wokest educational center this side of an amphetamine factory.

For all of 2020, Dalton has been flawless in its deference to liberal pieties. In March, the school shut down due to coronavirus. But when less morally rigid schools reopened in the fall, Dalton refused to budge (Naturally, no discounts and no refunds were offered on its $54,000 in annual tuition. Religious purity ain’t cheap). After George Floyd’s martyrdom, the school launched a 31-part racial justice plan.

But now, like Job, Dalton’s dedication to the triune god of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity is being tested.

Under siege from parents with the arrogant thought that their $54,000 should buy more than some Zoom calls, Dalton recently announced a plan to reopen. But that has sparked an uprising from a cabal of teachers who have grown quite happy drawing their salaries without any monstrous children around.

So now, the revolution has come. More than a hundred Dalton faculty have issued a very, very long list of demands that they want the school to meet before they agree to return for in-person lessons.

Their list of demands is too long for me to post, even as a separate comment.

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The Left’s Culture War Rebranding

If there was ever an opportune moment for left-wing activists to critique their party’s entire approach to politics, this would be it. Yet, if you listen to the group of politician-celebrities known as “the Squad”—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, who have become the de facto spokespeople for the Democrats’ progressive, activist wing—the diagnosis is nothing short of bewildering. According to them, the lesson of 2020 is that the Democratic Party failed to address the forgotten and neglected issue of . . . racism?

In an interview published by Politico just after the election, Ocasio-Cortez declared that confronting racism was “an existential crisis for the Democratic Party” and lamented that “Democrats don’t want to talk about race.” She said in that same interview, “Anti-racism plays zero percent of a role in Democratic electoral strategy—zero, explicitly, implicitly. I’m not telling people to virtue signal, but there’s just like no plan for it.” Days earlier she had told the New York Times that the party had to “do a lot of anti-racist, deep canvassing in this country.” And in a tweet following the election, she observed that “white communities are getting more comfortable with overt racism” and that “real organizing & strategy is needed that disarms bigotry.”

The saving grace of an appraisal so far removed from reality is that it is in some ways revealing. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments are so discordant with the historical record of the Trump years, the events and tenor of the last election, and the surprising demographic inroads Trump achieved in 2020 that they suggest not merely a difference of perspective or interpretation but instead a profound structural incentive to deny reality. The Squad’s reactions to 2020 tell the story of a left-wing movement that has transformed itself from an anti-establishment, reformist effort within the Democratic Party to a performative opposition that now exists only to reinforce the party’s deepest pathologies.

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A Blood Alcohol Guessing Game and a False Accusation of Racism

The allegations came from an anonymous healthcare worker as part of an Indigenous cultural safety training program conducted in April 2020. They sparked a predictable media frenzy and incensed the public. British Columbia’s Minister of Health Adrian Dix responded as if he were already guilty and appointed an independent, Indigenous-led team to investigate the claim and report their findings by the end of the year.

On November 30, the review reported that they had found no evidence of an organized “The Price is Right” guessing game in B.C. hospitals:

The review produced anecdotal and episodic evidence of multiple activities in the health care system that resemble these allegations in some fashion, but none of them could be described as coordinated, organized, widespread or targeting only Indigenous patients. If such games did occur in the past, they are not occurring today.

So not only was the game not racist, it was not found to exist outside of isolated incidents, the most credible of which were antiquated. The whistleblower referred to in the report as Participant X later amended his allegation, but it was further mischaracterized by preliminary investigators and journalists. What started as a widespread, Indigenous-targeted, emergency room gambling ring became, over the course of the investigation, an offhand, non-discriminatory time-waster played by a cluster of ER workers nine years ago.

In his interview with the review commission, Participant X commented that “some of the things that are coming out [in the media] are hard to understand.” In particular, he was concerned that the estimation of blood alcohol levels by hospital staff was being portrayed as exclusive to Indigenous patients. “I struggle with the racism piece, because it wasn’t targeted at people as much as it was at someone who had enough alcohol or drugs onboard to be hospitalized … It was never about targeting and so it’s morphed into something it wasn’t.” He also denied having called the alcohol estimation game “The Price is Right.”

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We must stop militant liberals from politicizing artificial intelligence

What do you do if decisions that used to be made by humans, with all their biases, start being made by algorithms that are mathematically incapable of bias? If you’re rational, you should celebrate. If you’re a militant liberal, you recognize this development for the mortal threat it is, and scramble to take back control.

You can see this unfolding at AI conferences. Last week I attended the 2020 edition of NeurIPS, the leading international machine learning conference. What started as a small gathering now brings together enough people to fill a sports arena. This year, for the first time, NeurIPS required most papers to include a ‘broader impacts’ statement, and to be subject to review by an ethics board. Every paper describing how to speed up an algorithm, for example, now needs to have a section on the social goods and evils of this obscure technical advance. ‘Regardless of scientific quality or contribution,’ stated the call for papers, ‘a submission may be rejected for . . . including methods, applications, or data that create or reinforce unfair bias.’

This was only the latest turn of the ratchet. Previous ones have included renaming the conference to something more politically correct and requiring attendees to explicitly accept a comprehensive ‘code of conduct’ before they can register, which allows the conference to kick attendees out for posting something on social media that officials disapproved of. More seriously, a whole subfield of AI has sprung up with the express purpose of, among other things, ‘debiasing’ algorithms. That’s now in full swing.

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The year journalists stopped doing their job

In 2020, we in the UK have witnessed the most severe restrictions on civil liberties in living memory. People have, at one point or another, been barred from leaving their homes without a reasonable excuse, compelled to avoid contact with others, prevented from going to cafés, pubs, hairdressers and churches, and in some cases denied full access to the NHS – all in the name of fighting Covid-19. And now, millions are being ordered not to see friends and family at Christmas.

The consequences have been ruinous: a massive economic contraction, hundreds of thousands fewer people in work, rises in non-Covid health problems, the denial of proper education for children and students, and the spread of fear and distrust among the population. Lives and livelihoods have been wrecked, and despite the arrival of a vaccine the end still seems some way away.

The government has been inept. Constant u-turns, confusing and illogical policies, incompetent ministers and monumental wastage have become hallmarks of this Conservative administration. Coming so soon after Theresa May’s weak, blundering regime, you would have hoped Boris Johnson’s would be an improvement. Instead, it is a clown show.

You would expect that, in the context of our leaders’ litany of failures, the media would be challenging the government on its key policy: lockdown. The confusing and contradictory nature of the rules should be exposed. At the absolute minimum, journalists should be approaching government data and rhetoric with critical eyes and ears.

But in reality, a very strange thing has happened. The media have certainly been attacking the government, but on everything except the lockdown. In fact, it has been clear from an early stage that the media largely support lockdown, and if anything would rather we had a bit more of it. They have done little to conceal their bias on this central issue of our time.

No doubt, many broadcasters and reporters think they are dutifully scrutinising the government and its representatives. They will likely think they are being objective. But scrutiny now appears to mean agreeing with the basic premise of the government’s policy, while arguing that it has not gone far enough.

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Maintaining and Expanding the Ban on Critical Race Theory

It’s virtually certain that a Biden administration will not maintain President Trump’s executive order that was issued in response to using Critical Race Theory in employee training circumstances in federal agencies and contractors (“Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping”). I think that, if anything, can be assumed with very high confidence. There are a number of important points to make about this issue, then. I want to list four important points about the order, the ideas it contains, and the environment we find ourselves in around it.

These are:

  • it offers no protection at the state level (or local), which is needed;

  • it is incomplete in one important regard—neglecting other factors of identity besides race and sex;

  • we’ve been systematically misled, if not lied to, about it ever since it was issued; and

  • those who wish to overturn it—including university presidents, provosts, and departments, prominent journalists, and many Democratic politicians, plausibly to include Joe Biden and his administration relatively soon—must be held to account for this desire in the terms of the executive order itself, not in made-up terms that don’t apply to the situation.

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[Poland] Justice Minister announces online freedom of speech bill

Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if the content on them does not break Polish law. In the event of removal or blockage, a complaint can be sent to the platform, which will have 24 hours to consider it. Within 48 hours of the decision, the user will be able to file a petition to the court for the return of access. The court will consider complaints within seven days of receipt and the entire process is to be electronic.

"Often, the victims of tendencies for ideological censorship are also representatives of various groups operating in Poland, whose content is removed or blocked, just because they express views and refer to values that are unacceptable from the point of view of communities... with an ever-stronger influence on the functioning of social media," Mr Ziobro said.

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The danger of safetyism

When our local, fairly porous version of the Covid lockdown began, suddenly there were more hikers on the trails — there are few other places to go. I also see knots of two or three teenage boys out on the trail with their bikes and shovels, adding new jumps and whatnot. But now the city has declared the trails off-limits to mountain bikers, saying this is somehow made necessary by the virus. The reason offered is that “group rides increase your risk of exposure”. But groups of hikers are benign, apparently.

In the larger sweep of the pandemic’s disruptions, this is surely a minor inconvenience. But the asymmetry in the city’s response can’t but make some residents suspicious, and such suspicion is clearly a wider phenomenon at this moment. In episodes of government by crisis, some interests find themselves more aligned with officialdom than others.

To take my local case, there has long been a pattern of hikers using the levers of local government against mountain bikers, and the virus would seem to provide a fresh pretext for this. There is an aesthetic objection to all things mechanised intruding on “nature” (even on a trail system that must be maintained by chain saws and gas-powered weed whackers), and this purity is more prized by some demographics than by others. But it doesn’t present itself as an aesthetic preference; instead it gets moralised as a concern for safety, or as environmental responsibility. To invoke these concerns is to don a bullet-proof halo of public-spiritedness.

Yet the costs of maximal deference to such concerns fall more heavily on some than on others. This makes virtue a little too easy. I haven’t yet seen hikers out there with shovels maintaining their own trails, as the mountain bikers do, or clearing fallen trees that bock the path. The English philosopher John Locke said that it is by mixing one’s labour with the land that one gains a just title to use it.

Because of the virus, the teenage mountain bikers find themselves expelled from the supervised social setting of school. To judge from the conversations I have overheard as they stop to survey a jump from the top of a ridiculously steep incline, and their exultations at the bottom, they have formed what the Dutch historian Johann Huizinga called a “play community.” Such a community sets its own challenges and adopts its own rules, internal to a group of players who set themselves apart from the larger community. At once rivals and friends, their typical talk consists of boasts and playful insults as they goad one another on to new levels of risk and skill, from which emerge new expressions of creativity. Huizinga found in such scenes the wellsprings of civilisation.

But these same scenes present an affront to the organs of social control. There would seem to be an inherent tension between the spirit of play and “safetyism” (I parse this tension more fully in my book Why We Drive, with the subtitle On Risk, Freedom and Taking Back Control). Safetyism is a disposition that has been gaining strength for decades and is having a triumphal moment just now because of the virus. Public health, one of many institutions that speak on behalf of safety, has claimed authority to sweep aside whole domains of human activity as reckless, and therefore illegitimate.

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Journalism’s Ivory Towers

In a recent essay entitled “The Resentment That Never Sleeps,” New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall explains how a lowering of social status among non-college-educated white Americans has increased that demographic’s anxiety and helped fuel the populism that made possible Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. Reporters at many of America’s most prestigious journalistic outlets have echoed these sentiments. But none of those reporters ever seems willing to acknowledge their own complicity in the situation. Plenty of jobs that once used to require no university degree or special certification now do. According to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the number of American jobs requiring state certification has risen from one in 20 60 years ago to one in four today. Technically, journalists do not require a university degree in order to practice their trade. Practically speaking, however, they do. No-one who writes for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, or any other major US journalistic venue lacks a college degree. In fact, to write for one of those publications, you’d better make sure that your university degree comes from a highly prestigious institution.

The New York Times has more regular op-ed columnists who are transgender (Jennifer Finney Boylan) than who lack a college degree (none). Transgender people make up anywhere from 0.6 to five percent of the US population. According to the US Census, 36 percent of Americans have a college degree. So, roughly two-thirds of the Americans you see on the street will probably lack a college degree, but walk into the offices of a prestigious newspaper or magazine, and you’ll find almost no-one other than the janitors and possibly the receptionist from this cohort. That is not to say that legacy publications never provide column space for non-college-educated writers (I have been published by the Times on occasion), just that it is exceedingly rare.

It wasn’t always thus. Many of the most famous American journalists of the 20th century lacked a college degree. And I’m not talking just of ancient fossils who did their reporting back in 1910 or 1920. As recently as the 1970s, when I first became a consumer of American journalism, daily newspapers were filled with the work of syndicated journalists such as Art Buchwald, Mike Royko, Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill, and Jack Anderson, none of whom possessed a university degree that wasn’t honorary. Perhaps the most storied newspaper columnist in Northern California during the second half of the 20th century was Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle, another journalist who never went to college. Visit the Wikipedia page for American Print Journalists, and you’ll find plenty of famous 20th century reporters who lacked a college degree: Ernie Pyle, H.L. Mencken, Harold Ross, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Ring Lardner, Damon Runyon, I.F. Stone, Hedda Hopper, Walter Winchell, and even Hunter S. Thompson. Not all of these reporters were paragons of journalistic virtue (Hopper and Winchell in particular were egregiously unscrupulous), but the same can be said of contemporary reporters who possess impressive university credentials.

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Academia: How many levels of virtue signalling are you on?

Politics: Like five or six, my dude.

Academia: You are like a little baby. Read this.

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Gardening, sewing and the politicisation of absolutely everything

Is gardening racist? That’s the question British culture war Twitter was pondering at the weekend, after BBC Countryfile presenter and ethnobotanist James Wong said that ‘UK gardening culture has racism baked into its DNA’.

Citing his own experiences in horticulture, Wong said requests for ‘wildflowers’ that are ‘more in keeping’ with a given area are ‘predicated on often unconscious ideas of what and who does and does not “belong” in the UK’.

‘This is the kind of exhausting shit you have to go through everyday if you work in UK horticulture’, he went on. ‘Unless of course you internalise these unquestioned (often unconscious) ideas that are predicated in large part on a bedrock of xenophobia and racism.’

That word, ‘exhausting’, comes up a lot in woke discourse. But it’s also a good description of how the vast majority of us feel when debates like this spiral out of nowhere every couple of days.

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Indoctrinating an entire school system in PC racism

Seattle Public Schools recently held a racially charged teacher-training session that convicted US schools of committing “spirit murder” against black kids and demanded that white teachers “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgment of [their] thieved inheritance.”

According to whistleblower documents from the session that I’ve ­reviewed, the trainers began by claiming that teachers are colonizers of “the ancestral lands and traditional territories of the Puget Sound Coast Salish People.” Later: “The United States was built off the stolen labor of kidnapped and enslaved black people’s work.” The image of a black-power fist removed any lingering hope that the presentation might ­involve a modicum of nuance. Organizers identified themselves by gender pronouns and race. For example, one speaker was identified as “He/Him, White.” It has become commonplace in academia and corporate settings to list gender pronouns, but this was perhaps the first example of an institution promoting workplace race-labeling. (The district didn’t reply to my request for comment.)

The main message: White teachers must recognize that they “are assigned considerable power and privilege in our society” because of their “possession of white skin.” To atone, they must self-consciously reject their “whiteness” and become dedicated “anti-racist educator[s].”

Any resistance, no matter how well-argued or factually grounded, was dismissed as a reflex of white teachers’ “lizard-brain,” which makes them “afraid that [they] will have to talk about sensitive issues such as race, racism, classism, sexism or any kind of ‘ism.’ ”

In the most disturbing portion, teachers discussed “spirit murder.” Schools, according to “abolitionist” pedagogue Bettina Love, who invented the concept, “murder the souls of black children every day through systemic, institutionalized, anti-black, state-sanctioned violence.”

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The New England Journal of Medicine Claims Biological Sex Has 'No Clinical Utility'

Removing or altering biological sex from identifying documents does not just cause confusion. In at least one case, it cost a life. Last May, The New England Journal of Medicine published a harrowing story about a “transgender man” who went to the hospital with abdominal pains. As it turns out, the “man” was really a pregnant woman, and she was going into labor. The woman’s misleading documents led the hospital to make a grievous error, and her child died as a result.

This horrific tragedy did not cause authors at The New England Journal of Medicine to reconsider the dangers of transgender identity on public documents, however. Dr. Daphna Stroumsa at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, who wrote that article, claimed that the pregnant woman “was rightly classified as a man.” Both the Journal and The Washington Post faulted the doctors for supposedly lacking nuance, rather than the basic biological confusion of transgender identity.

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UMich’s IT department told to stop using word ‘picnic,’ it could ‘harm morale’

“Crack the whip.” “Master/slave.” Even the term “picnic” has been deemed offensive, according to a lengthy list of words and phrases put out recently by the University of Michigan’s Information and Technology Services’ “Words Matter Task Force.”

“To effectively communicate with customers, it is important for ITS to evaluate the terms and language conventions that may hinder effective communication, harm morale, and deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from feeling accepted to foment a healthy and inclusive culture,” states the memorandum obtained by The College Fix.

The memo, last updated December 8, contains nearly 36 recommendations for alternative words and phrases, the naming of artifacts, cultural development within the organization, the creation of an advisory board, and a list of “next steps.”

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Grooming gangs: a product of PC culture

The Home Office report into group-based child sexual exploitation – more informally described as grooming gangs – has led many to conclude that the perceived prevalence of Asian or Pakistani Muslim perpetrators is a right-wing myth.

But this debate glosses over what remains the greatest problem on this front: the story is not so much the ethnic composition of grooming gangs, but rather how the ethnic composition of certain gangs influences how public authorities respond to these cases.

An independent review published earlier this year concluded that dozens of teenage girls thought to have been groomed and sexually abused in Manchester by groups of Pakistani-origin men were failed because police and officials feared that an in-depth investigation would destabilise race relations in the city. The report, co-authored by childcare expert Malcolm Newsam and former Cambridgeshire Police detective superintendent Gary Ridgway, suggested that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Manchester City Council essentially sidelined an investigation into some cases of group-based child sexual exploitation due to ‘sensitive community issues’ and concerns over the risk of inciting ‘racial hatred’.

Much of the report’s focus was on Operation Augusta, which was set up in 2004 after the death of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia. Agoglia died from a suspected overdose soon after she alerted authorities to her abusive experiences. Augusta subsequently identified at least 57 victims – mainly white girls aged between 12 to 16 – and some 97 potential suspects across the Greater Manchester region. However, senior officers at GMP deprived the investigation of resources, before shutting it down completely with the support of Manchester City Council. Only three people were convicted in court.

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The Great Covid Class War

We are facing something much darker than a respiratory virus. A great theft is occurring under the pretext of safety. It is not just the theft of working people’s jobs, savings, and property—it is also the theft of a meaningful life. In Japan, October suicides alone exceeded the country’s 2020 covid deaths. Lockdown was mentioned by 80% of callers to a suicide hotline in the UK. In the US over half of young adults are showing signs of depression, with 1 in 4 of them expressing suicidal ideation. Overdoses have increased 20% compared to 2019.

The beneficiaries of this neo-feudal dystopia are the ownership class, tech CEOs, investors, NGOs, and private foundations. Their ongoing immiseration of workers is intentional. 80% of covid loans offered by the IMF to developing countries were contingent on governments implementing austerity programs such as cuts to healthcare and elimination of public sector jobs. In the US, seventeen of the top 25 corporations will make $85 billion more this year than in previous years, and shareholders will reap the rewards. Over the same period, American workers have lost $1.3 trillion.

Remnants of the covid class war will touch every domain of life for decades. Officials have suggested that social distancing will need to continue even after mandatory vaccinations. Masks have become a potent symbol of both physical purity and mutual mistrust. Our fantasy of a sanitized and deathless society has created a world where the home is a prison and friends and family are a health hazard. In this world children are told they are killing their grandparents simply by existing. Right now we are still at the beginning of sweeping changes that may include social credit, immunity passports, a rent-only economy, AI and robotics expansion, financialization of natural resources, increased mass surveillance, the Uberization of everything, and rolling lockdowns for climate change or the flu. We have a limited window of time to reclaim the things that make life worth living: family, community, cultural heritage, the social sphere, public institutions, common spaces, and free movement. That window may be closing quickly, but it is not fully closed yet.

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Twitch bans ‘simp’. Just the word, mind you. Titty streamers are still allowed to milk their herd of simps unimpeded.

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[Glenn Greenwald] Instagram is Using False “Fact-Checking” to Protect Joe Biden’s Crime Record From Criticisms

As first noted on Monday by former Sanders campaign organizer Ben Mora, Instagram publicly denounced as “False” a post on Sunday by the left-wing artist and frequent Biden critic Brad Troemel, who has more than 107,000 followers on that platform. Troemel’s post said nothing more than what Biden’s chosen running mate, Kamala Harris, has herself said, as well as numerous mainstream media outlets and countless criminal justice reform advocates have long maintained.

Troemel posted a 1994 photo of a smiling, mullet-sporting Biden standing next to then-President Bill Clinton. The photo contained this caption: “Find someone that looks at you the way Biden looked at Clinton after signed Biden’s crime bill into law. Bringing mass incarceration to black Americans.” This was the same photo and caption which an anonymous Trump supporter under the name “realtina40” first posted back in June.

Shortly after Troemel posted this on Sunday, Instagram appended a note in red letters, with a warning sign that read: “Learn why fact-checkers have indicated that this is false.” That was followed by a note plastered over Troemel’s original post with the title: “False,” and which claimed “independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.” The same thing was done by Instagram to “realtina40” original June post.


The only thing that is demonstrably “false” here is Instagram’s Biden-shielding assertion that there is a “fact-checking” consensus that this criticism of Biden’s 1994 crime bill is false. It is true that one media outlet, USA Today, fact-checked the identical claim posted back in June by the anonymous Instagram user and concluded that “our research finds that while the crime bill did increase the prison population in states, it did not bring about a mass incarceration relative to earlier years.” But that article so concluded even while admitting that Biden’s “crime bill did increase the prison population in states” and “any increase in the overall prison population would automatically translate into a larger number of Black inmates.” The article’s own premises thus bolster, not refute, the claim at issue.

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Student threatened with probation for sending email questioning forced critical race theory training

“Though we understand the importance of complying to avoid a potentially devastating impact on University of Iowa operations and funding, we stand unified against this order and its attack on people and free speech,” continued the email that all members of the dentistry department received. “The Executive Order undermines fundamental university values and practices.”

The executive order states that publicly-funded colleges that teach the “pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country” will be defunded.

Michael Brase, a sophomore at the College of Dentistry, replied to the email questioning what was wrong with the executive order.

Brase asked the authors of the email why they were willing to “support using federal funds to promote trainings that include race/sex stereotyping and/or race/sex scapegoating.” Brase also asked if it was right for the school to use “federal funds to promote trainings that teach that certain races/sexes are inherently or fundamentally oppressive, racist, sexist, etc.”

“If the COD does not support the items listed in the previous questions, then what specifically about Executive Order 13950 does the COD condemn?” Brase added.


On November 9, the Collegiate Academic and Professional Performance Committee (CAPP) sent Brase a letter demanding he attend a hearing for “unprofessional behavior involving the follow-up emails.” Regardless of being “offered other means to continue the conversation.” The letter said that the hearing would result in one of two outcomes; probation or dismissal.

When Brase asked if he could bring a lawyer or record the hearing, he was told that it was against CAPP policy. Understanding that he would not “get fair and unbiased treatment within the school,” he contacted conservative state legislators for help.

State Rep. Steve Holt spoke to University President Bruce Harreld and College of Dentistry Dean David Johnsen to plead Brase’s case. After the meeting, Brase received a letter from Johnsen notifying him that the hearing was canceled.

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[Matthew Yglesias] Joe Rogan and the doomed politics of shunning

Does it make sense for progressives to try to systematically shun popular media figures such as Joe Rogan who are only somewhat political in their interests and who have bad, right-wing opinions on some important issues?

It seems to me that the answer is a pretty obvious no, but as a learned after going on Rogan’s show an alarming number of progressive say yes. It’s not just that they disagree with Rogan’s approach to certain issues or don’t like his show. They think his show is so bad that it would be socially, culturally, and politically constructive to pressure progressive people to refuse to go on it, although that would mean that the only political content Rogan’s audience is exposed to would come from the right and that Rogan himself would hear that anyone with his constellation of views should regard themselves as a right-winger.

Most people, it seems to me, don’t believe this strategy makes sense. But, as tends to happen these days, a lot of sensible people are inclined to be non-troublemakers. They “read the room” and don’t point out that the shunning tactics advocated by a minority are wrong and counterproductive. I am a troublemaker so I want to say it squarely — the idea that Rogan or comparable figures should be shunned is wrong and counterproductive. Any sensible person who is invited to share their ideas with a gigantic audience of people, many of whom are not that highly engaged in politics, should be encouraged to do it, and to do it without being subjected to blowback.

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The trouble with the ‘intellectual porn star’ (RE: Aella)

Aella is clearly well-adapted to a culture in which traditions, moral strictures and what Patrick Deneen calls the social ‘guard rails’ are dismantled, leaving individuals increasingly free to set their own moral standards. In this sense, she is one of social hyper-liberalism’s winners. But the question her rubric of choice and individual agency leaves hanging is: what about those who lack her advantages? In a world with liquefying sociocultural ‘guard rails’, how are we to have regard for those less naturally intelligent, those less emotionally self-contained, or those too scarred by emotional neglect or a history of abuse to make a clear-sighted calculation of their own risk of further emotional or psychological harm?

Economic hyper-liberalism produced a populist reaction, that has in turn been responsible for a slow but steady turn toward de-globalisation. As life outcomes continue to diverge between social hyper-liberalism’s winners and losers, we may yet see an equivalent populist moral reaction, with the aim of restoring behavioural guidelines for those who cannot navigate as effortlessly as Aella without them.

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No one wins in the race race

In order to redress ‘structural racism’, the state of Oregon (impressively still extant, given the determination of both nature and Portland’s antifa activists to burn it down) has reserved $62 million, out of a total COVID relief fund of $200 million, for black people. Black individuals who’ve suffered losses from government shutdowns can apply for grants of up to $3,000 per family, while black-owned businesses struggling during the pandemic can qualify for relief up to $100,000.

If you’re familiar with America’s north-western demographics, the first peculiarity that leaps from this weighted state benevolence is its disproportion. This is Oregon. What black people? Only 2.9 percent of Oregonians are black. Yet close to a third of the relief fund is to be administered exclusively to this tiny, sanctified sliver of the population. Per capita, black applicants are bequeathed more than 10 times the financial assistance as residents of other races. Isn’t that ‘structural racism’? Furthermore, by fostering resentment in the unanointed, this is a dubious formula for teaching everyone to get along.

Likewise problematic is the fact that 13.3 percent of the state is Latino. Though more than four times more populous than black residents, Hispanic Oregonians don’t qualify for ‘The Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency’ — as Maria Garcia, owner of Portland’s Revolución Coffee House, has discovered. Although her profits have withered from coronavirus restrictions, Ms Garcia’s application to the Cares Fund was declined because ‘0 percent of its owners identify as Black’. The café owner is now suing in federal court, arguing that a blacks-only fund violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

You’d think that the bald unconstitutionality of apportioning emergency assistance on the basis of race would be cut and dried. Unfortunately, previous Supreme Court rulings — permitting race-based admissions to promote diversity in education and narrowly allowing the use of racial preferences in the awarding of state and federal contracts — have muddied what should have remained clear constitutional waters. In recent decades, the whole foundational American principle of equality under the law has been eroded. So the US now has Bad Racism and Good Racism.

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Democrats’ student loan forgiveness plan benefits the wealthy, ignores skyrocketing college costs, experts say

Despite growing support among Democrats, experts are skeptical of student loan forgiveness policies.

Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute, Matt Beienburg, told The College Fix that policies to cancel student debt disproportionately assist the wealthy and hurt the less advantaged.

This is because the top fifth of households have $3 in student loans for every $1 held by the bottom fifth. By enacting a student loan forgiveness plan and subsequently raising taxes, the government would be forcing the nearly 210 million taxpayers without student debt to pay for the 45 million taxpayers who do, many of which are in the top fifth of wage earners.

“We should be reining in the costs of college, not just sticking someone else with the bill after the fact. These plans aren’t about debt ‘forgiveness,’ they’re about transferring that debt to others, (who, ironically, are disproportionately less advantaged), and giving a pass to the universities to continue ballooning the costs of college,” Beienburg said via email.

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The Civil Industrial Complex

In the last few years, the American left has produced scores of new slogan-friendly policies to reshape the American economy. The 2020 primary saw various Democratic candidates promote Medicare for All, a wealth tax, the Green New Deal, a universal basic income, free college, and more. These policies and their slogans were the rallying cries of the Grassroots. Progressive organizations and left-leaning voters rallied around their champions (Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders) against a collage of “corporate Democrats.” Battalions of semi-professional and volunteer activists canvassed the nation enlisting every vote they could get their hands on. These armies of progress were supplied with over a hundred million dollars in small donations, simultaneously proving the might and righteousness of the cause.

And then they lost. Badly.

Despite their electoral defeat, Bernie Sanders and many on the left claim that they won the ideological battle, and that their movement and ideas are ascendant in American politics. If that is the case, then the benefactors of America’s exploitative economy can rest easy knowing their power is safe and sound, even if the prophecy of a future left-wing majority comes to pass. This is because these policies originate from America’s current day civil society organizations, which are primarily inhabited by a highly-educated, righteous class of people who are out to get what they deserve while fixing the world. It is a class divorced from production, and therefore a class almost entirely dedicated to improving the consumer experience.

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Has politics turned Netflix viewers off?

There was another possibility: Netflix was an entertainment business that manufactured information on the side — just like the New York Times, really. By the late 2010s there was no demilitarized border separating news from entertainment. What else could explain Netflix’s huge selection of socio-political documentaries? There was Get Me Roger Stone (2017) and RBG (2018), Knock Down the House (2019) and The Great Hack (2019) and many more to come, with Barack Obama and Meghan Markle on board.

Though the subject matter of each film differed, the values that suffused them — clipped from the op-ed pages of any center-left newspaper in the western world — were identical. Here was the hyperliberal reaction of the Trump era, a splenetic mixture of fear and sentimentality. Fear of Russians, Republicans and sinister algorithms. Sentimentality about how minority identity groups were all good liberals, and only the frail shell of Ruth Bader Ginsburg protected America from a new dark age.

Was this entertainment, or was it masochism? If you want to understand the spectacular implosion of liberalism over the past five years — how it became twitchily paranoid, how it abandoned skepticism and tolerance, how it embraced irrationality and identity politics — all you need is a Netflix subscription and the heroic fortitude required to sit through these movies.

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How race politics liberated the elites

How does this work, psychologically? The idea of a common good has given way to a partition of citizens along the lines of a moral hierarchy – one that just happens to mirror their material fortunes (as in Calvinism). Instead of feeling bound up in a shared fate with one’s countrymen, one develops an alternate solidarity that is placeless. The relatability across national borders that the gentlefolk feel in one another’s company — the gracious ease and trust, the shared points of reference in high-prestige opinion — has something to do with their uniformly high standing in the moral hierarchy that divides citizen from citizen within their own nations. The decision-making class has discovered that it enjoys the mandate of heaven, and with this comes certain permissions; certain exemptions from democratic scruple.

The permission structure is built around grievance politics. Very simply: if the nation is fundamentally racist, sexist and homophobic, I owe it nothing. More than that, conscience demands that I repudiate it. Hannah Arendt spelled out this logic of high-minded withdrawal from the claims of community in the essays she wrote in response to the protest movements of the 1960s. Conscience “trembles for the individual self and its integrity,” appealing over the head of the community to a higher morality. The latter is discerned in a highly subjective, personal way. The heroic pose struck by Thoreau in Civil Disobedience is the model for this kind of moralistic anti-politics of conscience, in which the good man may be quite opposed to the one called a good citizen.

In The Revolt of the Elites, Christopher Lasch spelled out in greater detail the role that claims of racial and sexual oppression play in securing release from allegiance to the nation — not just for those who identify as its victims, but for those with the moral sensitivity to see victimisation where it may not be apparent, and who make this capacity a touchstone of their identity. It becomes a token of moral elevation by which we recognise one another, and distinguish ourselves from the broader run of citizens. Both Lasch and Arendt argue that black Americans serve a crucial function for the white bourgeoisie. As the emblem and proof of America’s illegitimacy, they anchor a politics of repudiation in which the idea of a common good has little purchase.

This illegitimacy transcends any particular historical facts about slavery and segregation. Indeed it transcends America, as one can surmise by the ease with which American grievance politics has been exported throughout the Western world. In this we sometimes see the use of American historical references that have been weirdly transposed, as when a house once lived in by Rosa Parks was relocated from Detroit to Berlin, the financial seat of the European Union. (Under the empire of Christendom, the market for material relics from the Passion of Christ was similarly global; they left the holy land and ended up in various seats of earthly power.) Most recently, the transatlantic festival of George Floyd attests to the fact that it isn’t simply America that stands accused.

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Ohio allows high schoolers to wrestle, but forbids shaking hands before, after matches

Coaches must not share “clipboards, whiteboards, dry erase boards or any other equipment used for coaching purposes,” and are required to conduct “pre-travel symptom and temperature checks” before away matches.

Wrestling officials, who literally have to get down flat to determine pins (their head and hands touching the mat), don’t have to wear masks during matches … but are forbidden to hold up a winning wrestler’s arm in victory at match’s conclusion. Fist-bumping wrestlers and coaches also is disallowed.

Schools hosting matches are required to disinfect wrestling mats in between matches, but the OHSAA rules say “as feasible.”