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New legislation would protect drivers who hit protestors

“It’s not going to be a peaceful protest if you’re impeding the freedom of others,” said Rep. Kevin McDugle, the author of an Oklahoma bill granting criminal and civil immunity to people who drive into crowds on roads. “The driver of that truck had his family in there, and they were scared to death.”

He referred to an incident in July in which a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer drove through Black Lives Matter protesters on Interstate 244 in Tulsa. Three people were seriously injured, including a 33-year-old man who fell from an overpass and was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Tumultuous demonstrations by left-leaning and right-leaning groups have stirred new debate about what tactics are acceptable free speech and which go too far. In addition to blocking roads, Black Lives Matter demonstrators have taken over parks and painted slogans on streets and structures, while right-wing groups have brandished firearms and stormed capitol buildings. Local authorities’ responses have wavered as they try to avoid escalating conflicts.

Now legislators in Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah and about a dozen other states have introduced new counterprotest measures.

The traffic-blocking tactic has attracted the most concern because of the obvious hazard.

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Plan for campus free speech post prompts autonomy warning

The new post - which will have a seat on the Office for Students' (OfS) board - is part of a series of proposals, announced on Tuesday, aimed at strengthening academic freedom in England's universities.

Under the plans, universities would be legally required to actively promote free speech and the OfS would have the power to impose fines on institutions if they breach this condition.

This would also extend to student unions, which would have to ensure that lawful free speech is secured for members and visiting speakers.

Individuals would be able to seek compensation through the courts if they suffered loss from a breach of the free speech duties - like being expelled, dismissed or demoted - under a new legal measure.

The Department for Education said the next steps for legislation would be set out "in due course".

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[Glenn Greenwald] Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More, Threatening the First Amendment

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”

The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.” They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”

House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.

I’ve written and spoken at length over the past several years about the dangers of vesting the power in the state, or in tech monopolies, to determine what is true and false, or what constitutes permissible opinion and what does not. I will not repeat those points here.

Instead, the key point raised by these last threats from House Democrats is an often-overlooked one: while the First Amendment does not apply to voluntary choices made by a private company about what speech to allow or prohibit, it does bar the U.S. Government from coercing or threatening such companies to censor. In other words, Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose viewpoint-based speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing.

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It’s time to starve colleges of students and money, conservative scholars argue

“When enough parents and students decide that colleges are no longer worth it, campuses will start to fail.”

So said John Ellis, chairman of the California Association of Scholars and distinguished professor emeritus of German literature at UC Santa Cruz.

“The most useful thing that critics of higher education can do is to get the public to understand what’s really happening on the campuses,” Ellis said during a Feb. 11 online Heritage Foundation panel discussion titled “University Indoctrination: How it Started and How to Stop it.”

During the hour-long event, the scholars said to prompt higher education reform, a two-fold approach includes informing the public of the leftist indoctrination on campuses and urging parents, lawmakers and stakeholders not to support such institutions or send their kids there.

They also talked about partnering with sympathetic legislatures, mostly in red states, and calling on them to withhold funding until social justice or critical race theory curriculums and programs are eliminated.

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Banned from researching trans

The women who approached him didn’t qualify for the research since they had not opted for surgery to reverse the effects of their female to male transition, but Mr Caspian had been so troubled by their stories that he asked the university if he could change the scope of the research to include them in it. He said:

Many of these young women had been sexually abused and hated their bodies, they were self-harming and had depression. They found this trans thing and thought it was a marvellous way of resolving their considerable problems but it actually added to them.

Did his initial research make him change his mind on the issue? Mr Caspian says he knows friends who have transitioned and are now happier despite the fact that it was a costly journey. But he says the “straightforwardness” of the issue has changed for him, adding: “I was reading testimonies of mostly young female people who felt as if they had been drawn to a movement, some of them even used the word ‘cult’.”

After asking the university if he could include their stories, Bath Spa referred him back to the ethics committee who refused his request and revoked the permission they had granted for his previous topic which had the effect of preventing him from carrying out any research at Bath Spa on the topic.

In their rejection letter the ethics board wrote “Engaging in a potentially ‘politically incorrect’ piece of research carries a risk to the University”, and added “the posting of unpleasant material on blogs or social media may be detrimental to the reputation of the University”. They also suggested that comments posted on social media might “upset” him personally.

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Why More Civics Education Won’t Fix US Democracy

Since the Capitol riot of 6 January, calls for increased civic education have resurfaced. Arne Duncan, a former US secretary of education has recently suggested that “just as Sputnik prompted America to get serious about science education during the 1950s, the continuing support for an anti-democratic president should prompt us to get more serious about teaching civics.” Former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Christopher Krebs has argued that we have to think about how “we educate on civics … [and] on how elections actively work,” adding “I love the idea of bringing back ‘Schoolhouse Rock.’” News anchor William Brangham agrees: “here’s to more ‘Schoolhouse Rock.’” These are just the latest in a swelling chorus of voices from across the political spectrum.

While most Americans nostalgically nod along with these ideas, Stanley Kurtz has pointed out that the emerging action civics is “starkly at odds with civic education rightly understood.” Kurtz warns that these new civics programs are partisan and biased, and that “Action Civics conceives of itself as a living laboratory in which mere civic theory is put productively into practice. Students, it is held, best acquire civic know-how through direct political action.” While this attempt to create a “living laboratory” is laudable, there is already a real laboratory that has existed for generations: the household and local community. Perhaps it is because these natural systems are disintegrating that the artificial activist laboratory seems attractive.

As a seasoned high school history teacher, I’ve heard calls for more civics before, and have seen the curriculum change accordingly. No matter what the programs actually include, they all seem to overlook the foundational ways that citizenship develops. Civic responsibility cannot be taught in class: it is a practice, consisting of habitual, lifelong actions within a social framework. As advocate for family-centered living Rory Groves suggests, these types of things “cannot be transmitted in a lecture hall. They must be modeled.”

Civility, deliberation and debate were once organically fostered by families and local communities to buttress democratic political practice. It is families and local communities to which we should turn our attention—not to schools, where students are “getting worse at history, geography and civics.” Families and communities are the places where civic practices are formed. We should still aspire to the vision Wendell Berry outlined nearly thirty years ago: that “a young person, coming of age in a healthy household and community, will understand her or his life in terms of membership and service.” What could be better civic education than that?

It is no coincidence that, as fewer people form stable families, there is a decrease in civic goodwill and good faith arguments in the public square and an increase in eruptions of violence. As Michael Lind has recently written: “Isolated individuals are the natural sources for political armies” as they “often share a common lack of social rootedness … Twenty-somethings who are married with children and have stable jobs and mortgage payments are unlikely to storm either Seattle’s or Washington’s Capitol Hill.”

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Why China is terrified of Christianity

But in many ways, the CCP regards Christianity as an external threat — as a “foreign” force intent on undermining the country’s way of life. We can see this in the publication last November of a new draft document on regulations for foreigners’ involvement in religious activities. In effect, the new measures prohibit Chinese religious adherents from participating in activities organised by foreigners in China, and criminalise proselytisation — or even religious education and training — completely.

This wariness towards Christianity’s “foreign” elements partly explains why in Hong Kong, where the rule of law is being dismantled by the CCP, religious freedom is particularly under pressure. Consider the case of pastor Roy Chan, whose Good Neighbour North District Church was raided by police last year, an act of retaliation for Chan’s decision to support young pro-democracy protestors. “Beat me, not the kids,” Chan said at the time. And he was beaten — not just by the police but by HSBC which, under pressure from the authorities, have frozen the assets of the church, pastor Chan, and his family.

But while some religious leaders in in the city continue to speak out against this crackdown, others, including Hong Kong’s current Apostolic Administrator, Cardinal John Tong, are not showing similar courage. When the President of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences Cardinal Charles Bo tried to mobilise a prayer campaign for Hong Kong last year, the diocese actively discouraged it. A few weeks later, Cardinal Tong issued an instruction to clergy to “watch your language” in homilies, and the diocese has since published religious textbooks with guidance on how Hong Kong students can “contribute to their nation” — a clear pro-Beijing slant. Whether it wants to or not, the diocese is undoubtedly feeling — or at least anticipating — the CCP’s pressure.

Yet none of this dissuaded the Vatican from renewing its two-year-old agreement with the regime in China over the appointment of bishops in September 2020. First negotiated in 2018, the text of the agreement remains secret but it essentially allows the Chinese Communist Party to nominate bishops, for final approval by the Pope. In the Vatican’s mind, the aim was to better protect Catholics in China and bring the state-approved and underground churches together, but it has had the opposite effect.

Even when it was first mooted, a precondition for the deal should have been the release of all imprisoned Catholic clergy, at a minimum. Instead, not only was that not secured, but several brave underground Catholic bishops who had stayed loyal to Rome for decades, who had been in and out of prison or risked arrest many times, were forced by Rome to stand aside in favour of Beijing’s preferred bishops.

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Oregon Department of Education promotes ‘dismantling racism’ in math classes

As noted in the Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction‘s “Stride 1” toolkit, one of the ways to do this is by “visibilizing the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math.” These “toxic characteristics” include:

  • The focus is on getting the “right” answer.
  • Independent practice is valued over teamwork or collaboration.
  • “Real-world math” is valued over math in the real world.
  • Students are tracked (into courses/pathways and within the classroom).
  • Participation structures reinforce dominant ways of being.

Examples of white supremacy in mathematics assessment would be requiring students to show their work and grading policies “focusing on lack of knowledge.”

Fox News notes the toolkit states “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

[...]

It also encourages teachers to “center ethnomathematics,” which includes a variety of guidelines. One of them instructs educators to “identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views.” …

In one section of the “Dismantling Racism” workbook, the argument is made that “only white people can be racist in our society, because only white people as a group have that power.” Another section seems to justify anti-cop sentiments.

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Baylor students want Christian lecturer fired after she questioned Biden's transgender policies

On January 21, Christina Crenshaw responded to a Christian minister’s tweet condemning Biden’s executive orders on transgender issues and abortion.

“What if I don’t want biological boys in the bathroom with my biological daughter?” she asked. “Do the 99% of us who do not struggle with gender dysphoria have a voice? No? Cool.”

Student activist groups launched a petition to fire Crenshaw, a Christian who speaks at seminaries and ministry conferences. Baylor students also reported her to the school’s Title IX office, as well as the Baylor NAACP, according to the petition.

“We need to denounce transphobia and hold faculty, staff, and students accountable for their actions so all people can attend a safe and non-discriminatory educational environment,” said the authors of the petition. “Crenshaw should not maintain a position at Baylor University. She holds apparent prejudice toward our LGBTQIA+ peers and maintains authority within the classroom as a professor.”

In response, Crenshaw remarked that she learned “cancel culture with millennials is very real and very time-consuming.”

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Why is the BBC so scared of criticising Islam?

If you want to understand what’s going wrong at the BBC right now, you could do worse than look at the bizarre Zara Mohammed controversy. The Beeb has removed from social media a clip of Ms Mohammed, the new head of the Muslim Council of Britain, being interviewed on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Cancel-culture mobs had complained that the interview was a form of ‘bullying’ and that it had undertones of ‘Islamophobia’. And now the BBC has caved to these crazy, unfounded criticisms and shoved the interview clip in the memory hole. This reveals a lot about the great moral anchoring of the BBC in the 21st century.

Ms Mohammed is the first female head of the MCB. She and many of her supporters seem to have believed that this fact would generate gushing media coverage only, about Muslim community groups becoming more female-friendly, etc etc. But Emma Barnett of Woman’s Hour – being a journalist who, you know, likes to ask probing questions – had a different idea. Barnett put Mohammed on the spot in an interview aired on 4 February. She pressed her particularly on the issue of female imams. How many are there in the UK, she asked? She asked four times. Mohammed couldn’t answer. It was embarrassing.

To most listeners this will have come across as a standard newsy interview. A public figure being put on the spot, being pushed for answers, being badgered (gently) for information. Nothing to see here. Interviews like this happen every day. But the identitarian brigade saw things differently. To them, the interview was an act of racism. It was an ‘exercise in Islamophobia’, said one commentator. A writer for the Guardian said Barnett’s line of questioning provided ‘yet more ammunition to a media machine that takes pleasure in savaging Britain’s Muslims’. Across social media Barnett and the BBC were called out for victimising Ms Mohammed.

This is baloney of the highest order. Barnett said nothing whatsoever that was racist or Islamophobic. She merely interrogated – quite lightly, as it happens – a newly appointed public figure, the head of a body whose work and beliefs are matters of public interest. The mad accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ sum up what a censorious weapon that i-word has become. Tackling so-called Islamophobia is not about challenging genuine anti-Muslim bigotry, which is something the vast majority of people would like to see challenged. No, it’s about demonising and punishing any criticism of Islam or of Islamic organisations and practices. It is an underhand accusation of racism designed to stymie perfectly legitimate discussion about a religion.

The Islamophobia industry – the Muslim community groups and their army of online supporters who keep their eyes peeled for any media coverage that is even mildly critical of Islamic ideas or Muslim practices – is best understood as an enforcer of neo-blasphemy laws. They pose as being in the tradition of the noble anti-racists of the past, who rightfully challenged demeaning commentary about ethnic-minority people. But in truth their aim is to circumscribe what may be said about Islam. They marshal the modern politics of identity to the pre-modern and regressive end of branding as ‘phobic’ – that is, mentally disordered, morally suspect – anyone who is anything less than effusive about their religion.

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[Glenn Greenwald] The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot

Then, perhaps most importantly, is the ongoing insistence on calling the Capitol riot an armed insurrection. Under the law, an insurrection is one of the most serious crises that can arise. It allows virtually unlimited presidential powers — which is why there was so much angst when Tom Cotton proposed it in his New York Times op-ed over the summer, publication of which resulted in the departure of two editors. Insurrection even allows for the suspension by the president of habeas corpus: the right to be heard in court if you are detained.

So it matters a great deal legally, but also politically, if the U.S. really did suffer an armed insurrection and continues to face one. Though there is no controlling, clear definition, that term usually connotes not a three-hour riot but an ongoing, serious plot by a faction of the citizenry to overthrow or otherwise subvert the government.

Just today, PolitiFact purported to “fact-check” a statement from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) made on Monday. Sen. Johnson told a local radio station:

"The fact of the matter is this didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me. I mean armed, when you hear armed, don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask. How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I’m only aware of one, and I’ll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot.

The fact-checking site assigned the Senator its “Pants on Fire” designation for that statement, calling it “ridiculous revisionist history.” But the “fact-checkers” cannot refute a single claim he made. At least from what is known publicly, there is no evidence of a single protester wielding let alone using a firearm inside the Capitol on that day. As indicated, the only person to have been shot was a pro-Trump protester killed by a Capitol police officer, and the only person said to have been killed by the protesters, Officer Sicknick, died under circumstances that are still completely unclear.

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To fight racism, math teachers urged to accept Tik Tok videos instead of asking students to ‘show their work’

The effort is outlined in an 82-page training manual distributed to educators and titled “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction.”

One section argues that “white supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms” when students are required to “show their work.”

“Math teachers ask students to show work so that teachers know what students are thinking, but that centers the teacher’s need to understand rather than student learning. It becomes a crutch for teachers seeking to understand what students are thinking and less of a tool for students in learning how to process,” the training manual states.

“Thus, requiring students to show their work reinforces worship of the written word as well as paternalism,” it adds.

Instead, teachers are instructed to offer different ways for students to show their math knowledge. Among them?

“Have students create TikTok videos, silent films, or cartoons about mathematical concepts or procedures,” the manual states.

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[Freddie deBoer] Scott Alexander is not in the Gizmodo Media Slack

I’ll cut to the chase. The piece is an expression of a constant dynamic in media and the Times in particular: the establishment media believes that it is the world’s noble and benevolent arbiter of truth, and the kind of people who work for the Times are immensely disdainful of and actively hostile to anyone who seeks to inform or persuade the public who does not write for one of a dozen dusty legacy publications and who did not go to one of 20 or so elite colleges. Scott Alexander built up a large and immensely influential readership completely on his own, writing a blog that, whatever its faults, stepped far outside of the narrow and parochial currents that Very Serious Media refuses to leave. This was a threat, a challenge to people like Cade Metz who think that it is their divine right to be the ones to tell the story. So Metz set out to destroy Alexander, with the full backing of the official paper of crossword addicts and columns about bootstraps and dynamism. I’m sure a lot of ink has been spilled about this story, and more will come. Understand: Cade Metz wrote this story because he had to punish Alexander for writing an influential publication with no backing from the important people. Whatever anyone else says, that is the reality.

Metz, in his usual style of casual condescension and utter capitulation to dominant narratives, writes “many in the tech industry… deeply distrusted the mainstream media and generally preferred discussion to take place on their own terms.”

Boy, I wonder why! Perhaps – this is too crazy to contemplate – perhaps it’s because the mainstream media has been a complete and utter failure in its most basic functions for decades, an absolute cesspit of bad reporting, warmongering, deference to power, coverage slanted towards the interests of the rich and powerful, obsession with meaningless cultural trends and complete disinterest in stories of immense importance, a totally collapsed line between editorial and advertising, a greying workforce that knows less and less about the world and which is utterly resistant to learning…. People really hate the media, and they do because the media sucks at its job. Don’t take my word for it! Of all of the industry’s many pathologies, the funniest is its members’ inability to understand why they’re so hated, given that they have done nothing but fail for my entire adulthood. If the industry engaged in self-reflection, they might figure it out. But… they won’t.

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Teachers Unions Have Always Been Terrible

Unions have vilified any politician or parent who has sought to re-open schools. The Chicago Teachers Union proclaimed: “The push to reopen schools is based in sexism, racism, and misogyny.” Joe Biden owes his election victory in part to the teachers unions, and last week, the White House rejected the recommendation to re-open schools from Biden’s appointee as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. And on Friday, the CDC issued new guidance for school safety during the pandemic. As National Public Radio observed, “Rather than a political push to reopen schools, the update is a measured, data-driven effort to expand on old recommendations.” One of the clearest lessons of this pandemic is that politicians will always be able to find data to justify whatever restrictions or delays they favor. With or without the CDC recommendations, “honesty in shutdowns” remains as unlikely as #ZeroCovid. Reason magazine’s Matt Welch predicts that “CDC’s new ‘reopening’ guidance will keep schools closed in the Fall.” During the presidential campaign, Biden pledged to re-open schools within 100 days of taking office. But now Biden is betraying that promise. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the Biden goal of reopening the schools within 100 days will be satisfied if 50 percent of schools are open “at least one day a week.”

The behavior of teachers unions during this pandemic confirms the nickname that Forbes magazine gave the NEA in the 1990s: “The National Extortion Association.” This latest betrayal of American students is no surprise, considering the unions’ long history of sabotaging learning. Since the 1970s, the National Education Association has been the leading advocate of “no-fault” teaching: whatever happens, don’t blame the teacher. Unions have launched strikes to prevent “parental interference” in public education. The Chicago Tribuneconcluded in 1988 that the Chicago Teachers Association has “as much control over operations of the public schools as the Chicago Board of Education” and “more control than is available to principals, parents, taxpayers, and voters.” The Tribune noted that “even curriculum matters, such as the program for teaching children to read, are written into the [union] contract, requiring the board to bring any proposed changes to the bargaining table.”

Teachers unions have worked to destroy local control of education, subvert standards, prevent teacher accountability, and deny parents a significant voice in their children’s education. In the late 1970s, the NEA denounced back-to-basics as “irrelevant and reactionary.” An NEA publication asserted that such reforms were orchestrated by the “neo-conservative New Right, a mixture of taxpayer groups, fundamentalists, and a few unreconstructed racists.” The same publication denounced minimum competency testing for students because it supposedly “sacrificed children who are black and poor on the altar of accountability.” As Richard Mitchell noted in his 1981 classic, The Graves of Academe, the NEA has helped debase American public schools because its members “wanted to be not teachers but preachers, and prophets too, charging themselves with the cure of the soul of democracy and the raising up in the faith of true believers.” For decades, the NEA pushed to have “social studies” replace history, government, and other classes. The result: American students are appallingly ignorant of the Constitution, American history, and American culture.

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Half of New York Times employees feel they can’t speak freely: survey

In response to the statement, “There is a free exchange of views in this company; people are not afraid to say what they really think,” only 51% of Times employees responded in the affirmative.

In company comments that accompanied the December poll’s findings, which were viewed by The Post, the 51 percent was noted as being 10% lower than the “benchmark.” One insider said the benchmark likely refers to the average among similar companies surveyed on that statement.

“Although the majority of us feel well-informed, many indicated that differing viewpoints aren’t sought or valued in our work,” read the Times’ internal assessment of the data. “Relatedly, we saw some negative responses on whether there’s a free exchange of views in the company, and scored below the benchmark on this question.”

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[Glenn Greenwald] The Lincoln Project, Facing Multiple Scandals, is Accused by its Own Co-Founder of Likely Criminality

The group of life-long Republican Party consultants who, under the name “The Lincoln Project,” got very rich in 2020 with anti-Trump online messaging has spent weeks responding to numerous scandals on multiple fronts. Despite the gravity of those scandals, its conduct on Thursday night was in a whole new category of sleaze. It not only infuriated their long-time allies, but also constituted the abuse of Twitter’s platform to commit likely illegal acts.

That the primary effect of the Lincoln Project was to personally enrich its key operatives by cynically exploiting the fears of U.S. liberals has long been obvious. Reporting throughout 2020 conclusively demonstrated that the vast majority of the tens of millions of dollars raised by the group was going to firms controlled by its founders. One of its most prominent founders — GOP consultant Rick Wilson — personally collected $65,000 from liberals through GoFundMe for an anti-Trump film he kept promising but which never came; to this date, he refuses to explain what he did with that money.

A study conducted after the 2020 election found that the group’s effect on the election’s outcome was trivial to non-existent — not surprising given its penchant for spending money on ads that aired in electorally irrelevant places such as Washington, D.C. or which circulated almost exclusively in liberal cable news and social media venues, and thus had no purpose other than to enable its consultants to take large commissions from the ad spending. They were producing ads solely for liberals, with the overriding intent not of defeating Trump but inflating their net worth. And it worked: until they were no longer needed.

Heading into the 2020 election, most of the U.S. media was uninterested in, if not outright hostile to, any reporting that might have helped President Trump’s re-election bid. As a result, the Lincoln Project continued to enjoy media veneration even as the magnitude of its scam became increasingly obvious. But with Trump now safely vanquished, the Lincoln Project is dispensable, and the protective shield it enjoyed against any real journalistic scrutiny is — like its reputation and prospects for future profiteering — rapidly crumbling.

On Monday, the Associated Press published a comprehensive exposé with new facts about two of the group’s growing scandals. It reported that “in June 2020, members of the organization’s leadership were informed in writing and in subsequent phone calls of at least 10 specific allegations of harassment against co-founder John Weaver, including two involving Lincoln Project employees” — directly contradicting the group’s emphatic denial that it knew nothing about Weaver’s misconduct until the New York Times reported on them at the end of January. As AP delicately put it, these new materials “raise questions about the Lincoln Project’s statement last month that it was ‘shocked’ when accusations surfaced publicly this year.” The gay news outlet The Washington Blade on Tuesday published emails and other correspondence similarly demonstrating the high likelihood that the group’s denials regarding its past knowledge of Weaver’s misconduct were false, as did New York Magazine.

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Update on the Amie Wolf thing (the UBC professor who doxed her students), looks like we have another Dolezal.

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Protest Leader Cameron Williams Fired From Library For Removing Conservative Books And Burning Them

After a hearing last Friday and conversations with the city attorney, the employment of part-time Library Specialist Cameron Dequintez Williams was terminated on Wednesday.

He was charged with burning books from the library written by conservative authors.

Library officials said, "The city of Chattanooga Human Resources Department completed its investigation of an allegation that books were removed from the Chattanooga Public Library’s Main Branch on Dec.

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Horrified Mother Gets Front Row Seat to Sex & Gender Indoctrination Strategy Meeting

When Benita*, a board member for a local community theater, was asked by her director to attend a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion meeting in the director’s place, Benita agreed. She assumed the monthly meeting would address ethnic diversity.

She couldn’t have been more mistaken.

[...]

A major focus of the training centered on coaching attendees about how to recruit kids, not to consider the theater, but to consider their sexuality and gender identity. “'Walk the hallways of the school',” Benita quoted one of the trainers. “'If you see kids who are alone at their lockers or by themselves in the lunchrooms, approach them to talk about their sexuality and gender'.” (This is predatory grooming behavior.)

Benita continued. “There were so many assumptions. Lots of assumptions. They assumed that kids who struggle socially have alternate sexualities or gender identities. They expressed directly that our role as educators is to help kids explore sex and gender.”

A key topic of the evening revolved around developing materials heavy in sex and gender messages. “There was a lot of encouragement to write your own material, and to have at least three LGBTQ characters represented in each script. We were supposed to share scripts with each other, so we all had at our disposal lots of material dealing with sex and gender. We were told to make that standard in all of our departments.”

A teacher dialed in late to the meeting and was crying as she came online. She explained her despondency.

She had written a script, held auditions, and cast a particular girl in the lead role. “The girl just called me,” the teacher said, “and quit the part. She said she couldn’t do it because she was uncomfortable with the role. She said her family and community would not feel comfortable with her performing that character.”

The role in question was that of a girl who was exploring her gender identity. The character developed a crush on another girl who had transitioned to being a boy.

Did the teacher or any of the other meeting attendees consider whether such a role—or such a topic—was appropriate for high school?

“Not even one,” Benita reported.

“The teacher described the girl who quit the play as African-American, and said, ‘African-Americans are pretty conservative and very religious. I feel sorry for her. She doesn’t have a safe space to explore her sexuality and gender’.”

The other attendees counseled the teacher: “Try to speak to her offline. Continue to pursue this with her.”

In other words, they recommended that the teacher go behind the backs of this girl’s family and community, to try to bring her in line with the school’s perspective on sex and gender, without her parents’ knowledge.

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Law school defends its right to remove mural depicting slaves being freed

In December, artist Sam Kerson sued the Vermont Law School for threatening to cover a campus mural he painted in 1994 depicting the state’s role in helping freed slaves via the Underground Railroad.

The school has now responded, arguing that although the mural has “beneficent intentions,” some students and faculty members consider it “caricatured and offensive.”

According to the school’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the anti-slavery mural has “become a source of discord and distraction at Vermont Law School—an institution whose explicit mission it is to educate students in a diverse community.”

[...]

Kerson, who now lives in Quebec, Canada, has argued his mural, Vermont, The Underground Railroad and Vermont and the Fugitive Slave, is protected by a federal law known as the Visual Artists Rights Act.

In his lawsuit, Kerson argues the 1990 law safeguards artists’ works from “distortion, mutilation, or other modification … which would be prejudicial to [their] honor or reputation” and “protects works of ‘recognized stature’ — including murals in buildings in particular-from intentional or negligent ‘destruction.’”

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[Rod Dreher] The Racism Of Lucasfilm & Disney (Re: Gina Carano firing)

In Woke World, you can be cancelled not for what you said, but for what left-wing people think you said. It happened to Don McNeil, and now it has happened to Mandalorian actress Gina Carano. Excerpt:

In the wake of Gina Carano’s controversial social media posts, Lucasfilm has released a statement Wednesday night, with a spokesperson saying “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”

Carano played bounty hunter Cara Dune on the first two seasons Lucasfilm and Disney+’s The Mandalorian, and it looked like we’d be seeing more of her. It appears not.

The actress shared a TikTok post comparing the current divided political climate in the U.S. to Nazi Germany.

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,” she wrote.

Her point was that Nazism didn’t come from nowhere. It was the culmination of a long campaign of demonizing Jews, one that pre-dated the Nazis. I first became aware of this at an exhibit on display at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, back in the year 2000. The exhibit showed how the German media began, in the early 20th century, to portray the German people as a body threatened by parasites. This coincided with the rise of eugenic thought in German (and, note well, American) medical and scientific circles. The Nazis built on what the German public had already been taught to believe. Gina Carano is absolutely correct to say that the Holocaust was prepared by a long campaign of demonization. Though I agree that it’s a shaky analogy — hating people for their race or religion is different from hating them for their ideas — her point is basically sound.

And for that, her career is over. Nobody in Hollywood will hire her now.

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The collapse of California

If one were to explore the most blessed places on earth, California, my home for a half century, would surely be up there. The state, with its salubrious climate, spectacular scenery, vast natural resources, and entrepreneurial heritage is home to the world’s fifth-largest economy and its still-dominant technological centre. It is also — as some progressives see it — the incubator of “a capitalism we can believe in”.

Perhaps channelling such hyperbole, President Biden recently suggested that he wants to “make America California again”. Yet before leaping on this particular train, he should consider whether the California model may be better seen as a cautionary tale than a roadmap to a better future in the digital age.

The on-the-ground reality — as opposed to that portrayed in the media or popular culture — is more Dickensian than utopian. Rather than the state where dreams are made, in reality California increasingly presents the prototype of a new feudalism fused oddly with a supposedly progressive model in which inequality is growing, not falling.

California now suffers the highest cost-adjusted poverty rate in the country, and the widest gap between middle and upper-middle income earners. It also has one of the nation’s highest Gini ratios, which measures the inequality of wealth distribution from the richest to poorest residents — and the disparity is growing. Incredibly, California’s level of inequality is greater than that of neighbouring Mexico, and closer to Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras than developed counties like Canada and Norway.

It is true that California’s GDP per capita is far higher than these Central American countries, but the state has slowly morphed into a low wage economy. Over the past decade, 80% of the state’s jobs have paid under the median wage — half of which are paid less than $40,000 — and most are in poorly paid personal services or hospitality jobs. Even at some of the state’s most prestigious companies like Google, many lower (and even mid-level) workers live in mobile home parks. Others sleep in their cars.

The state’s dependence on low-wage service workers has been critical in the pandemic, but it now suffers among the highest unemployment rates in the nation, outdone only by tourism-dominated states like Hawaii, Nevada and New Jersey. Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, now has the highest unemployment rate of the nation’s top ten metropolitan areas, higher even than New York.

But that hasn’t stopped California from portraying itself as a progressive’s paradise, publicly advocating racial and social justice. The state just passed a Racial Justice Act to monitor law enforcement, endorsing reparations (although California was never a slave state) and is working to address “systemic” racism in its classrooms. This “woke” agenda was taken to a new extreme this week when the San Francisco School Board decided to rename 44 schools because they were named after people connected to racism or slavery. The district’s Arts Department, originally known as “VAPA”, also decided to re-brand because “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture”.

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‘Systemic racism’ is a conspiracy theory

The narrative behind movements like Black Lives Matter contends that hundreds – if not thousands – of black Americans are murdered by the state on an annual basis, that harassment and abuse of blacks by whites is constant, and that virtually all gaps in performance between racial groups must reflect hidden racism. These claims are almost universally false. But they have been accepted as conventional wisdom.

The pervasiveness of these ideas – despite the fact they are presented as ‘radical’ and ‘rebellious’ – is truly striking. The infamous (and entirely false) claim that an unarmed black male is ‘murdered’ by US police roughly once a day has been repeated by numerous BLM activists. A book called Open Season: the Legalised Genocide of Coloured People has become a bestseller.

The ‘all gaps stem from racism’ point has made the career of Dr Ibram X Kendi, author of such works as How to be an Antiracist and Antiracist Baby. Kendi specifically contends that any large-group performance gap has to be due to racism. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently gifted Dr Kendi with a $10million bequest, to help him share arguments like this with an even larger audience.

I have tackled the first two prongs of the BLM argument in other essays on spiked, so I will focus on the third prong. With all due respect to Dr Kendi, it is simply not the case that any gap in performance (such as SAT scores) between two populations has to be due to racism. In fact, while no one denies some bigotry endures, it is remarkable that an argument so demonstrably untrue has reached such an uncritical level of near-global acceptance. As Thomas Sowell pointed out literally decades ago, groups which vary in terms of major traits like race (or sex) also often vary in terms of almost everything else. One group might simply study more for the SAT than most others, for cultural reasons – and adjusting for this sort of thing almost always reduces or eliminates the massive gaps which some would like to attribute to racism.

Exactly this sort of adjustment has been done, often and well, in the context of race in the US. Thirty years ago, economist June O’Neill unpacked a well-known ratio of 82:100 for the earnings of black vs white men. Less technically put, black guys made about 80 cents for each dollar that white guys earned. This gap was – then as now – almost universally attributed to racism. But O’Neill pointed out that simply adjusting for variables like median age, where someone lives and years of education closed the gap substantially.

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The Danger Of Having A Catholic President

It is a real tragedy that both times the United States has elected a Catholic president, we’ve failed in spectacular fashion to choose an orthodox one.

The truly historic part of President Joe Biden’s election is not that Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman and person of color to serve in that office, nor that he is the second “Catholic” president, but that Biden is the first “Catholic” president to be openly against Church teaching on the most important and fundamental religio-political issues of the age: marriage, contraception, abortion, gender, and religious liberty.

President Biden should be excommunicated, or in the very least, denied communion for the sake of his own soul and those he affects with his falsity. A “cultural Catholic” like Biden is dangerous. Catholics like him lead souls to error and sin, by signaling that Church teaching is somehow optional or that faith can be a private matter, an assent of the mind or sentiment of the heart, and that Christ doesn’t ask more of us than that.

[...]

But liberals also like the novelty of touting a Catholic president—it’s how we ended up with the fictional Notre Dame alumnus President Jed Bartlett in The West Wing. You can be “Catholic” as long as you’re not Catholic. You can swear your oath on a Douay-Rheims Bible as long as you don’t believe too much in it. As Edward Condon recently put it, Joe Biden’s public faith is “the mirage of Catholicism, blaring the colors and sounds of religion without pronouncing the inconvenient truths of the faith.”

Just compare the treatment of Amy Coney Barrett’s faith with that of Joe Biden. Both are Catholic, yet one was feared for the authenticity of her faith and the other is now celebrated as “perhaps the most religiously observant commander in chief in half a century.”

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Policy tells midwives to use terms such as ‘chestfeeding’ and ‘human milk’

Midwives in England have been told to stop using terms including “breastfeeding” and “breastmilk” when working with transgender patients as part of a new trans-friendly policy at a National Health Service trust.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust is the first in the country to formally implement a gender-inclusive language policy for its maternity services department — which will now be known as “perinatal services”.

Staff have been told to avoid using the word “mothers” on its own and have been given a list of alternative terms to use when addressing patients including “mothers or birthing parents”, “breast/chestfeeding” and “maternal and parental”.

Instead of saying “breastmilk”, they can choose from “human milk” or “breast/chestmilk” or “milk from the feeding mother or parent”.

The policy states the service will be “using gender-neutral language alongside the language of womanhood, in order to ensure that everyone is represented and included.”

📯📯

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Inside Planned Parenthood's Gender Factory

The Planned Parenthood clinic where she worked was located in a small town of roughly 30,000. Abortions were the clinic’s “bread and butter,” something this employee fully supports. But, she noted, “trans identifying kids are cash cows, and they are kept on the hook for the foreseeable future in terms of follow-up appointments, bloodwork, meetings, etc., whereas abortions are (hopefully) a one-and-done situation.”

How significant is this revenue stream? I’ve never been able to obtain numbers on that, though the Planned Parenthood website for Central and Western New York states that: “Nationally, Planned Parenthood is the second largest provider of Gender Affirming Hormone Care.” It seems reasonable to conclude that hormone treatments—pricey as they are—now contribute materially to Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.

According to the employee, based on her recollection, 1-2 new biologically female teen patients seeking testosterone would arrive per day. A few reasonable assumptions and some arithmetic reveal that a shocking percentage of the town’s teen girls came through the clinic over just a few years.

There were no doctors at the clinic where she worked. Nurse practitioners were the professionals with the highest medical training, she said. The clinic employed a gender counselor who had “no actual professional credentials or formal training other than being MtF” (that is, a male-to-female transgender person). Adolescents would come and speak to this gender counselor and Planned Parenthood would then forward the counselor’s “notes to an actual licensed mental health professional somewhere off-site, and rubber stamp approve the patients to begin their transition. This is basically how they circumvented the requirement to speak to an actual counselor,” according to the employee’s Twitter post.

Whether patients received specific treatments—a course of testosterone, say—was decided by the “clinic manager,” with “no prior medical experience” whose prior job was “managing a Wendy’s,” the employee wrote.

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Students at Catholic Georgetown feel 'unsafe' by pro-life speakers in optional, virtual event

Pro-abortion students at Georgetown University demanded the Catholic school condemn pro-life speakers at the recent Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, an annual event organized by students at the nation’s oldest Catholic institution of higher education. The conference, which bills itself as “the largest student-run, pro-life conference in the nation,” has been held at Georgetown for more than two decades.

H*yas for Choice, an organization of Georgetown students that is not formally affiliated with, or supported by, the university, submitted a petition to the school’s administration with signatures from more than 600 members of the campus community.

The petition calls out Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion, for her opposition to same-sex marriage – as well as her support for former President Donald Trump and her criticism of the Black Lives Matter organization. The petition also opposes Valerie Huber, another speaker and former HHS official, because she worked for the Trump administration and has supported abstinence-only sex education.

Sister Deirdre “DeDe” Byrne, a Catholic nun and an accomplished physician, is also addressed in the petition not just for her pro-life views, but for her support of Trump and her speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

H*yas for Choice and their allies are asking the university’s administrators to issue a campus-wide email “explicitly condemning the unjust, appalling actions of Cardinal O’Connor,” as well as “the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic rhetoric of the keynote speaker and panelists.”

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In apparent rebuke of cancel culture, sales for country singer Morgan Wallen surge. Morgan Wallen as caught on camera having a Heated Gaming Moment last week and suspended from his record label.

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France’s New Public Enemy: America’s Woke Left

The threat is said to be existential. It fuels secessionism. Gnaws at national unity. Abets Islamism. Attacks France’s intellectual and cultural heritage.

The threat? “Certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States,’’ said President Emmanuel Macron.

French politicians, high-profile intellectuals and journalists are warning that progressive American ideas — specifically on race, gender, post-colonialism — are undermining their society. “There’s a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities,’’ warned Mr. Macron’s education minister.

Emboldened by these comments, prominent intellectuals have banded together against what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture.

Pitted against them is a younger, more diverse guard that considers these theories as tools to understanding the willful blind spots of an increasingly diverse nation that still recoils at the mention of race, has yet to come to terms with its colonial past and often waves away the concerns of minorities as identity politics.

Disputes that would have otherwise attracted little attention are now blown up in the news and social media. The new director of the Paris Opera, who said on Monday he wants to diversify its staff and ban blackface, has been attacked by the far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, but also in Le Monde because, though German, he had worked in Toronto and had “soaked up American culture for 10 years.”

The publication this month of a book critical of racial studies by two veteran social scientists, Stéphane Beaud and Gérard Noiriel, fueled criticism from younger scholars — and has received extensive news coverage. Mr. Noiriel has said that race had become a “bulldozer’’ crushing other subjects, adding, in an email, that its academic research in France was questionable because race is not recognized by the government and merely “subjective data.’’

The fierce French debate over a handful of academic disciplines on U.S. campuses may surprise those who have witnessed the gradual decline of American influence in many corners of the world. In some ways, it is a proxy fight over some of the most combustible issues in French society, including national identity and the sharing of power. In a nation where intellectuals still hold sway, the stakes are high.

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Taking up the NYT's cry to reduce the spread of disinformation online BlockNYT is a new app that will block all NYT journalists on Twitter for you.

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Indigenous artist says administrator’s refusal to adopt ‘land acknowledgment’ is like raping her

Emily Johnson made several demands as a condition of participating in Montclair State University’s contemporary art series Peak Performances.

The indigenous artist not only asked Peak Performances to adopt a “land acknowledgment” and start a “land rental fund” for the Lenape tribe that previously occupied MSU’s land, but she demanded the whole public New Jersey university start the “decolonization” process.

When the administrator in charge of the series balked, Johnson compared the experience to being raped and held at gunpoint.

Montclair State pushed back in a public statement Thursday, two weeks after her accusatory Medium post, accusing Johnson (above) of repeatedly refusing to accept that MSU’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programming has no authority to meet her demands.

[...]

Wheeler and ACP “repeatedly explained” to them that it “cannot make policy for the whole institution” or “formulate and adopt important policy decisions by means of a contract with a particular performing artist.” That would circumvent the consultation process with stakeholders across Montclair State, which “culminates in the formal approval of new programs and policies.”

The university turned the tables on Johnson, asking why she didn’t use the “complete artistic freedom” that Peak Performances offers every artist to make her own land acknowledgment.

Even after ACP secured a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for Johnson to produce “two online symposia” this year, she refused to produce the symposia, citing her non-negotiable demands, according to the university.

Johnson claims Peak Performances is “under contract” to pay her the money, regardless of her output. She characterized the symposia as “two zoom meetings.”

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Following up on this piece from last week's thread: Wokeyleaks does Davos

Although perhaps we shouldn’t be that surprised. The wokest place on earth, after all, is not the Berkeley campus or Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, but the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos, which in any normal year would have just hosted the World Economic Forum (WEF). This weeklong event sees the most powerful and wealthy people on the planet fly in on private jets to discuss climate change and equality. I have visited the WEF many times. The whole thing is completely surreal. CEOs, oligarchs and dictators (and for some reason will.i.am) wander down the plush high street under the watchful eye of rooftop snipers. Huge billboards advertise the humanitarian work of Saudi Arabia’s murderous crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. You pop in to watch a panel on diversity featuring an executive from a tax-avoiding multinational, a retired war criminal and Lord Voldemort (the last one’s a joke, but only just). Last year, the theme of the event was environmental sustainability and yet sponsors included the Adani Group (currently building one of the world’s biggest coal mines that threatens to destroy the Great Barrier Reef), Saudi Aramco (possibly the worst polluter in the world over the last 50 years with plans to produce oil and gas equivalent to 27 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030) and Dow Chemicals (whose pesticides have been destroying the world’s bees).

The other group that always makes a strong appearance at Davos are the fameoisie — society’s large and growing famous class who trade in woke ideology. They are models, actors, reality-TV stars and pop-stars. They come to Davos to network, party, ski and to receive WEF’s Crystal Award for cultural leaders. This cozy relationship between corporations and the verified leaders of the social justice movement has been terrible for actual social justice. The fameoisie have been almost completely silent on the gargantuan bonanza of bullshit that is Davos, preferring instead to focus their vast array of opinions on one single thing — Donald Trump. And Davos agrees with them here too. When Trump attended WEF last year there was a palpable sense of shock in the air, much more so than at the presence of dictators like Xi Jinping. At this year’s virtual WEF, Xi gave the keynote speech, the brutal authoritarian taking time out from enslaving Uighur Muslims and imprisoning Hong Kong protesters to talk about ‘one Earth and one shared future for humanity’. This was followed by a gushing thank-you from WEF founder Klaus Schwab, who praised Xi for finding ‘harmony in the diversity of human civilization through respectful interaction’.

You see, the worst crime you can commit at Davos is to be gauche. The superrich go to Paris for their fashion, they go to London’s Frieze for their art and they go to Davos for their social justice. The (oxy)moronic genius of Trump was to see that half the world is sick to death of the phony righteousness of the Davos elites. All he had to do to seem like an honest alternative was to offend as many of them as possible. Why do you think half of America still voted for the incompetent dummy despite his endless failures? It’s because when they look at ‘wokeness’ these days, they see the faux piety of corporations and the fameoisie and they despise it so profoundly that they elected the political equivalent of an un-PC stand-up comic!

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The New York Times’ red-tinted glasses

The New York Times has continued its enthusiastic China cheerleading in a long article celebrating the authoritarian, but apparently effective, methods employed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping to contain the coronavirus across China’s vast territories. The article is interesting, detailed, informative — and strikingly uncritical. The authors breathlessly recount:

“In many countries, debates have raged over the balance between protecting public health and keeping the economy running. In China, there is little debate. It did both.”

There’s no reason to suppose that any of the feats of mobilisation reported in the article are factually untrue. But one wonders whether the house journal for America’s still notionally-liberal East Coast Brahmin class might have made more of the brute coercive power required to effect such mobilisation, than one passing reference to officials tying a man to a tree for sneaking out to buy cigarettes.

Likewise, one might wonder whether in celebrating China’s effective redirection of national manufacturing resources to critical Covid-era infrastructure requirements, the authors could have spared a sentence to note the decades of financialisation and globalisation, under Democrat and Republican administrations alike, that have hollowed out America’s industrial capacity.

The authors seem impressed by the “sense of patriotism, duty and self-sacrifice” that the Chinese government is able to call upon, to drum up popular enthusiasm for Covid mitigation measures. In that celebration, they might have reflected briefly on the New York Times’ attitude to American expressions patriotism, duty and self-sacrifice.

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The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows

Just as the NSA is obsessed with ensuring there be no place on earth where humans can communicate free of their spying eyes and ears, these journalistic hall monitors cannot abide the idea that there can be any place on the internet where people are free to speak in ways they do not approve. Like some creepy informant for a state security apparatus, they spend their days trolling the depths of chat rooms and 4Chan bulletin boards and sub-Reddit threads and private communications apps to find anyone — influential or obscure — who is saying something they believe should be forbidden, and then use the corporate megaphones they did not build and could not have built but have been handed in order to silence and destroy anyone who dissents from the orthodoxies of their corporate managers or challenges their information hegemony.

Oliver Darcy has built his CNN career by sitting around with Brian Stelter petulantly pointing to people breaking the rules on social media and demanding tech executives make the rule-breakers disappear. The little crew of tattletale millennials assembled by NBC — who refer to their twerpy work with the self-glorifying title of “working in the disinformation space”: as intrepid and hazardous as exposing corruption by repressive regimes or reporting from war zones — spend their dreary days scrolling through 4Chan boards to expose the offensive memes and bad words used by transgressive adolescents; they then pat themselves on the back for confronting dangerous power centers, even when it is nothing more trivial and bullying than doxxing the identities of powerless, obscure citizens.

But the worst of this triumvirate is the NYT’s tech reporters, due to influence and reach if no other reason. When Silicon Valley monopolies, publicly pressured by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other lawmakers, united to remove Parler from the internet, the Times’ tech team quickly donned their hall-monitor goggles and Stasi notebooks to warn that the Bad People had migrated to Signal and Telegram. This week they asked: “Are Private Messaging Apps the Next Misinformation Hot Spot?” One reporter “confess[ed] that I am worried about Telegram. Other than private messaging, people love to use Telegram for group chats — up to 200,000 people can meet inside a Telegram chat room. That seems problematic.”

These examples of journalism being abused to demand censorship of spaces they cannot control are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. And they are not confined to those three outlets. That far more robust censorship is urgently needed is now a virtual consensus in mainstream corporate journalism: it’s an animating cause for them.

"Those of us in journalism have to come to terms with the fact that free speech, a principle that we hold sacred, is being weaponized against the principles of journalism," complained Ultimate Establishment Journalism Maven Steve Coll, the Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a Staff Writer at The New Yorker. A New Yorker and Vox contributor who runs a major journalistic listserv appropriately called “Study Hall,” Kyle Chayka, has already begun shaming Substack for hosting writers he regards as unacceptable (Jesse Singal, Andrew Sullivan, Bari Weiss). A recent Guardian article warned that podcasts was one remaining area still insufficiently policed. ProPublica on Sunday did the same about Apple, and last month one of its reporters appeared on MSNBC to demand that Apple censor its podcast content as aggressively as Google’s YouTube now censors its video content.

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UBC professor doxes students for leaving her class and calls them 'racist'

Dr. Amie Wolf, who is a professor in the faculty of education, referred to the students as the "dirty dozen." She has since deleted her Twitter account.

In a later interview, Wolf said that she tweeted out their names in order to prevent them from getting jobs in education, alleging that they were unfit to be teachers.

The controversy surrounding Wolf and her students dates back two weeks, when UBC allegedly deleted a series of nearly identical interim reports she had filed against the 12 students after they were transferred out of her class. The students transferred after they complained about her teaching style.

"At best, choosing to leave my class, rather than making an effort to understand what I am actually teaching and why, reveals an intolerance for 'otherness,'" Wolf wrote in her reports.

"At worst, it points to the possibility of unconscious and unacceptable biases, the reinforcement of white supremacy and/or Indigenous specific racism and misogyny."

She later demanded a payout for the "emotional labour" she had to go through, as well as indefinite employment and to be free from receiving evaluations from her students, a standard which is applied to every professor at UBC.

More information including links to first-hand accounts from students here.

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Law school groups want women’s rights organization banned from job fair

Several student groups at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are demanding the Law School forbid a women’s rights organization from participating in an upcoming job fair due to its “anti-transgender” philosophy.

The LGBTQ advocacy group QLaw is leading the way against the Women’s Liberation Front, which, according to The Journal Times, “rejects the existence of transgender identity.”

The WLF describes itself as “dedicated to advancing and restoring the rights of women and girls.” It has been a vocal supporter of measures banning biological males from participating in women’s sports.

QLaw Co-President Ben Palmer said the WLF’s presence at the job fair is “unacceptable” and “directly conflicts with the school’s anti-discrimination policy.” He clarified that “there’s a strong distinction between a group that we find objectionable or disagree with and a group that enacts discrimination.”

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Law prof says he was forced to undergo lengthy mental examination & drug test after exam question caused students ‘distress’

According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education — which defends the legal right to free expression for college students and faculty members — law professor Jason Kilborn created a hypothetical fact pattern in a mock employment discrimination case for his final exam. The fact pattern referred to “profane expressions for African Americans and women,” identified as expurgated text (“‘n__’ and ‘b__’”).

More than 400 people signed a petition condemning Kilborn’s actions.

“The slur shocked students created a momentous distraction and caused unnecessary distress and anxiety for those taking the exam,” said the petition. “Considering the subject matter, and the call of the question, the use of the ‘n_’ and ‘b_’ was certainly unwarranted as it did not serve any educational purpose. The question was culturally insensitive and tone-deaf.”

[...]

Kilborn told Campus Reform that his classes “were cancelled for the entire semester on the very first day of class. He said he also had to undergo “an agonizing several-week period of ‘administrative leave,’” during which he was “barred from campus and prevented from participating in normal faculty communications and activities, including my elected position on the university promotion and tenure committee.”

Kilborn said he was compelled to submit to three hours of mental examination and a drug test by university doctors and a social worker, broken into two segments spanning the course of a week.

Not even using the words, just referring to them by their first letter in a hypothetical situation will now get you depersoned in academia.

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Transgender Rapist: Sex Offender Registry Violates Transgender Rights

“It only serves to harm her psychologically by requiring her to continue to publicly identify by a male name,” attorney Cary Bloodworth said on behalf of her client, a convicted sex offender who is male and identifies as a woman.

“And to endanger her physically by increasing the risk that she will continue to be the victim of transphobic attacks by members of the public who are able to identify her as transgender by her legal male name.”

Ms Bloodworth’s client was 15-years-old, 6’5 and weighed 345 lbs in 2016 when he sat on and forcefully performed an oral sex act on a boy 10 months his junior who was 5’10, 110 lbs, blind in one eye and functioning at a six-grade level due to autism.

[...]

Under Wisconsin’s law, the Department of Corrections (DOC) must maintain a sex offender’s registry that includes the offender’s name and any aliases used by the offender. The statute forbids the offender to “change his or her name” or “identify himself or herself by a name unless the name is one by which the person is identified with the” DOC.

The basis of the 19-year-old’s motion is that the Wisconsin’s statute is an unconstitutional violation of his rights. C.G. argued that self-expression outweighs any government interest in limiting his use of another legal name, and the statute violates his First Amendment rights by restricting his self-expression as female and preventing transgender individuals from communicating their preferred gender identity “while not doing the same for registrants who are cisgender.” He additionally claimed that the statute violates his Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment by “outing” him as transgender.

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Facebook censors Catholic professor’s book on ‘toxic femininity’

Facebook removed posts that advertised “The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing The Culture From Toxic Femininity,” a book from Pontifex University’s Carrie Gress. The posts were deemed in violation of the company’s “commerce policies.” Facebook owns Instagram.

“A bookstore tried to post the book on both those platforms and got the same message- that the book violated community policy,” Gress told The College Fix via email.

Facebook told Guadalupe Gifts that it could not sell the book on its platform because it violated commerce policies. “Listings may not promote the buying, selling, or use of adults products” Facebook said in an email to the Catholic gift store on January 24. The store told The Fix that as of February 3 it has not received any further explanation from the tech company.

“Instagram removed the product link we added over a year ago,” the Catholic gift store said on January 24. The photo sharing app said that the gift store’s post “doesn’t follow our policies about what can be sold on Instagram.”

Facebook did not respond to two emails from The Fix sent in the past week to its general press account, asking for comment on the situation.

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Technopopulism and the Online Class War

The 2020 election revealed Trump’s most formidable enemies to be, not the Democrats who sit in the Senate or the House of Representatives, but the CEOs of major corporations of Silicon Valley. As election season approached, the political motives of these tech lords–and the extent of their power–began to emerge more clearly. When the New York Post published an article detailing evidence of corruption in the Biden family, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook responded with shameless censorship, making clear whose “side” they took in the coming electoral battle. When the election itself finally came in November, and Trump began to make accusations of election fraud, the tech giants didn’t hesitate to fact-check his claims on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on.

Yet the most striking and unprecedented act of coordinated censorship came in the wake of the assault on Capitol Hill. The images of crazed Trump supporters, in MAGA hats and theatrical costumes, overwhelming the police and forcing their way into the Capitol, shook the nation. The riot was the escalation of a massive protest that Trump himself had arguably encouraged (without explicitly calling for any violence), with the intention of pressuring Congress into rejecting the election results. It failed miserably, though not without many injuries and several deaths.

The media immediately characterized the whole event as an attempted coup d’etat. Trump had clumsily given them the perfect reason to portray him as the fascist villain they have always claimed he was; an instigator of violence, a threat to American democracy. Suddenly, the tech companies could seize the opportunity to discredit and disempower him, with an apparently good reason to do so. Thus, they went in for the kill, banning him on practically every major social media platform. Donald Trump, still the sitting President of the United States, was now completely disabled from making his Presidential voice heard in America’s public sphere. Nominally still in office, he was no longer in power.

This was the real coup: a technological coup—one accomplished behind the scenes by the omnipotent technocrats who manage the digital network that is effectively America’s commons.

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COVID’s Dirty Secret: Our Elites Have No Idea What They’re Doing

I can’t stress enough that, when it comes to COVID, I am perfectly agnostic. I have no idea what’s going on. But then neither does anyone else. Nobody was angry, or even surprised, that it took Pfizer and Moderna nearly a year to develop their COVID vaccines. And nobody will blame them if the virus mutates too quickly for their vaccines to be effective. In the abstract, we understand that these are infinitely complicated, technical questions with a hundred thousand moving parts. Yet when it comes to the government’s response, we expected 100 percent efficiency from day one.

Heaven knows I’m not asking anyone to be kinder to our elected officials. On the contrary: I hope that we’ll all be much harsher. We’ve set these absurdly high expectations which they can’t possibly fulfill, yet if they want to win re-election, they have to try. And so they grasp for ever-more extreme regulations. Eventually, the government will outlaw breathing in public, and most of our countrymen will cry, “It’s about time!”

I know this is immensely frustrating for the anti-maskers and COVID truthers among you. Believe me, we’d all rather blame a cabal of powerful bureaucrats and financiers. At least that would mean someone’s in control. It would also mean there were easy answers to the pandemic, even if those answers were kept hidden from the public.

Yet this is the basic delusion that underlies every conspiracy theory, from the moon landing to 9/11, from QAnon to COVID. It’s the myth of the competent elite. The truth is at once much simpler and far more depressing: our masters have no idea what they’re doing. They never have, and they probably never will.

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Campus diversity efforts tend to worsen stereotypes and cross-racial understanding, report finds

Affirmative action policies tend to worsen racial stereotypes and harm cross-racial understanding, in violation of Supreme Court requirements, the think tank said.

“Campus Diversity and Student Discontent: The Costs of Race and Ethnic Preferences in College Admissions” was written by researcher Althea Nagai, who also wrote a 2018 CEO report on Asian Americans and affirmative action in admissions.

It seeks to answer whether years of academic race-based affirmative action programs have actually helped the demographics they claim to.

The report claims that academic disparities enabled by race preferences “continue throughout college,” reflected in the disproportionate dropout rate from STEM studies by “academically mismatched students,” according to a summary.

Campus diversity initiatives are not only correlated with “greater alienation” by black students, but also with “a general sense of campus discontent among non-minority students and faculty,” it says.

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VICTORY: Federal appeals court rules in favor of Vermont parochial school student

In August 2020, a student who attended a Roman Catholic high school applied for public funding to attend the University of Vermont through the state’s dual enrollment program, but was denied “solely because of her school’s religious status,” according to the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Though a district court initially ruled against the student, an appeals court reversed the decision on January 15.

As Campus Reform previously reported, then-Attorney General William Barr’s Department of Justice filed a brief in favor of the student, arguing that Vermont violated the student’s First Amendment rights by excluding her from the program.

Alliance Defending Freedom — which filed an amicus brief on behalf of the student — celebrated the decision.

“Vermont officials can’t treat people of faith as second-class citizens by excluding them from generally available public benefits,” said ADF legal counsel Jake Warner. “When the government allows same-district students from public schools, secular private schools, and homeschools to participate in its dual enrollment program but excludes only students from religious private schools, it discriminates against religious students.”

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Damn white people and their shuffles deck warm winter clothes!

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Details of Polish law protecting freedom of speech online

Per the proposed legislation, social media cannot remove posts or block the accounts of Polish users if their content does not break Polish law. Serious penalties will be issued to sites that break these rules.

[...]

According to the proposed legislation, if an internet service bans an account or removes an entry, even though it does not break Polish law, a user will be able to file a complaint with the internet company that will have to be resolved within 48 hours. If it does not return the entry or maintains a ban, then the user may appeal to the Freedom of Speech Council, which will make a decision within seven days.

If the Council considers the appeal justified, it may demand the immediate return of the removed content or account. The procedure will be conducted electronically to ensure swiftness and low costs.

Depending on the Council’s decision, an appeal to a court of law will be possible. For not adhering to the verdicts of the Council or a court, the Council will have the right to impose an administrative fine on the social media site of between €11,100 and €11.1 million.

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COVID’s Legacy: Less Science, More Authoritarianism

Precautions vary widely. In New York, the more expensive the store, the deeper into COVIDiocy they are. High-end retailers have someone at the door scolding the unmasked, demanding hand sanitizing, gleefully enforcing social distancing. Economic bottom feeders, such as NYC’s sinkholes of hope, the bodegas, have cashiers, their masks tucked under their chins, screaming in bad Spanish at the kids shoplifting Ding Dongs.

The highest expression of COVIDiocy in NYC are the museums, all of which were subsumed by the Museum of White Guilt during the Trump years, with special exhibits of less known artists of color, or trans-something featurettes. Enforced by guards whose behavior is an exhibit on fascism all its own, they cling to the 25 percent of capacity rule even though their rooms are gaping large with 20 foot ceilings.

The “capacity” of a public space is based on fire regulations, a computation of how many people can safely get out of a space in a fire. It seems to have little to do with air volume, or how air is handled inside the space, things that might be directly relevant to COVID. Wouldn’t how far people stand apart depend on, literally, which way the wind is blowing? I have been unable to find anything explaining why 25 percent capacity was chosen; why not 18 or 41.5 percent?

But while museums obsess about only allowing limited guests, there are no such rules on the subway some may take to get there. The trains run with whatever number of people decide to board, spaced out as they wish. There are staff to mop the floors in defense of a largely airborne disease but none to disperse passengers among the cars.

You’d think people, left to their own devices, would do be better at being human. In my apartment house of some 300 units, there are some who simply have not left the building for the last 11 months. There are a few, meerkat-like, who venture out with caution. One uses paper towels to open the dryer door in the common laundry room. Many have given up speaking to anyone, seeing each of us passing in the halls as a potential Angel of Death. As Joe Biden’s senior adviser on COVID said, even our children are “like mosquitoes carrying a tropical disease.” It’s a miserable way to live.

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Evergreen State College (yes, that one) rolls out daily tarot card reading

Despite plummeting enrollment and budget woes, the Washington-based college manages to maintain an office called the “Office of Spirituality & Meaning Making.”

The person who runs that office — who makes about $53,000 annually plus benefits — now offers daily tarot card readings on the student activities Instagram page (pictured).

[...]

The news was first reported by Benjamin Boyce, an alumnus of Evergreen and one of its most vocal critics, who has made a series of videos about the campus, which does not shy away from its far-left progressive reputation.

It made national headlines in 2017 after it came to light that college leaders had asked white people to stay off campus for a day.

Over the last weekend, Boyce tweeted a copy of an email announcing the tarot readings, noting that “Evergreen State College (whose enrollment has tanked to 50% pre-protest) has hired someone to run a ‘Office of Spirituality & Meaning Making.’ Their job includes a daily Tarot reading.”

“I don’t know how further they can degrade my degree—but I’m sure they’ve more up their sleeve,” he added.

Defund higher education now.

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Introducing Wokeyleaks

My disillusionment with the Social Justice ‘left’ was less a road to Damascus moment and more death by a thousand cucks. It was when a friend told me that ‘people are concerned about your use of POC hand emojis on Instagram’. Apparently, it’s ‘the equivalent of blackface’ (it’s really not). Perhaps it was after a star-studded fundraising dinner when I watched a group of activists so engrossed in their cokey soliloquies on the refugee crisis that they left their guest — a Libyan refugee — alone outside an expensive private club unable to get in. Or perhaps it was witnessing the cowardice of an entire social group who completely abandoned a close friend when he became the subject of a #MeToo allegation that they all knew to be bogus. They were so afraid of being on the wrong side of a trendy cause that they all watched in silence as he was mauled by social media mobs and lost his career.

I have been complicit in this hypocritical wokeness, but I never called it out. I was scared of being unpopular. In my community of social justice warrior friends, popularity (measured social media followers) is everything. I refer not to people from marginalized communities who understandably wish to fight the social inequality that has disadvantaged them. Those people I still support. It’s the CEOs and board members of the social justice movement who are the problem: actors, musicians, models, journalists and professional campaigners who have benefited from structural inequalities but have decided to adopt woke principles because it is fashionable. They are wealthy, but money is not what motivates them most.They derive their power and privilege not from dollars but from an arguably more valuable form of currency: fame.

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[Rod Dreher] How Smartphones Can Help You Become Trans

Do you want your cross-sex hormones delivered by mail, without the hassle of having to see a doctor? Would you like a letter giving you medical permission to have your breasts or penis removed? Plume is your online portal to getting radical medical interventions without ever having to be examined by a physician.

The reader who sent me the link says:

Basically, this startup appears to offer access to hormone replacement therapy without the patient ever having to physically see a doctor. It’s a way of exploiting the telehealth turn accelerated by COVID to take traditional clinical care judgments out of the picture entirely.

Also note that through this service, a “medical letter of support” for gender reassignment surgery can be flat-out purchased for $150. Whatever the patient wants, the patient gets. And since it’s all handled through smartphones, it’s highly likely teens can do this quietly without their families ever knowing about it.

Absolutely nuts. This really takes the issue to the next level.

[...]

How is this even legal? How is it reasonable? Where is the extensive psychological evaluation that ought to be standard for someone considering a radical undertaking?

A couple of years ago, I interviewed a physician on staff at a major urban hospital for my book Live Not By Lies. He mentioned that at his hospital, the policy came down from its corporate leadership that going forward, doctors were to provide patients who presented themselves as transgender, and wanting cross-sex hormones, surgery, or any other trans intervention, with what they asked for — no questions asked. Even if a doctor believed that transition was not the right thing for a particular patient, he was not permitted, as a matter of hospital policy, to say so.

Sorry, you're too young to drink a beer. Here's a smartphone app that'll help you chop your cock off instead!

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BLM’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination is absurd and here is why

BLM was nominated to the prize by Norwegian left-wing and socialist politician Petter Eide, who is also known for his anti-American views. It is no surprise then that he chose such a candidate — one which literally helped destroy traditional Americanism through riots and looting.

It is also no surprise in the case of the Nobel Committee given that their website called the June 2020 protests in the US “good news”.

“Good news of the week: thousands of people throughout the world are engaged in fighting for human rights and against racism. The wave of protests, which began in Minneapolis and reached 600 cities in the USA and over 50 countries in the world,” read the statement at the time.

The British Guardian cited Eide’s explanation for the nomination. Written in politically correct newspeak and leftist terms, the text fits any organization which instigates conflicts in the name of grandiose slogans. Eide believes that BLM forced people at the peak of power to fight racism:

“I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality (…). Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.”

deological slogans have already been used as justification of Barack Obama’s peace prize (2009) and Al Gore’s (2007). Yet, the other figures nominated for those years were activists and organizations with real achievements. For example, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali attempted peaceful solutions with Eritrea even though the prize for him caused controversy. In the other cases, humanitarian organization leaders pulled humanity out of poverty and helped end repression in African and Asian countries.

But BLM? For spreading a movement and fighting racism?

Al-Qaeda also spread a movement as did the Islamic State. ISIS also fought racism — like hell — against white people through more efficient methods than robbing American stores and with stronger determination than Democratic Party politicians kneeling before their citizens.

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Mosque in Belgium could lose taxpayer subsidies after homophobic statements from imam

A mosque in Belgium could lose its access to state subsidies after its imam made a homophobic statement on social media, according to Flemish Minister Bart Somers (Open Vld).

Somers has started the procedure to strip the Yesil Camii mosque in Houthalen-Helchteren of its state recognition, which would lead the mosque to lose access to taxpayer dollars.

The decision from Somers came after the imam of the mosque posted a homophobic message on Facebook, HLN reported.

The Agency for the Interior came across the message. In the post, the imam did not hide his aversion to homosexuality. He wrote, among other things, that homosexuality brings disease and decay and in this way tried to explain why homosexuality is prohibited in Islam. The Agency then advised Somers to remove state recognition of the mosque.

"Within the mosque, statements have been made that are homophobic. They go against human rights. The consequence of this is that I have to start a procedure to cancel the recognition," Somers told HLN.

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Twitter suspends Christian magazine for saying Biden’s trans nominee is a man, not a woman

The Daily Citizen said in its reply to Twitter that numerous media outlets have reported on the nomination and wrote in their articles that Levine was born male and remains a man who believes he is female. Levine has undergone elective cosmetic surgery and taken cross-sex hormones in an attempt to look more like a woman physically.

The magazine has insisted that it never promoted violence and rejected Twitter's claims that it violated its rules.

"As a Christian organization, we would never do so. We simply explained to our readers the appointment and defined what transgender women are — those born male who believe they are a woman, regardless of whether they have had opposite-sex hormones or surgeries."

“We believe Twitter’s blocking of this tweet and lockdown of our account discriminates against Focus on the Family’s The Daily Citizen on the basis of our religious affiliation."

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

The totalitarian creep of hate-speech laws

The proposals include expanding the current number of ‘protected characteristics’, currently comprising race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity. As things stand, hate speech includes ‘demonstrations of hostility’ to one or more of these groups. If you’re found guilty of, say, sending a malicious communication to a member of one of them you might receive a stiffer penalty than for committing the same crime against someone else.

The commission has proposed to expand the number of protected characteristics, suggesting all women could be a protected group, as well as ‘age’. Even ‘sex workers’ could become a protected identity. If the commission gets its way, you could be convicted for ‘stirring up hatred’ against any of these groups.

Green suggests that as the apparatus of the state becomes more coercive, ‘group victimhood’ becomes an understandable ‘strategy for gaining political power’, or at least a necessary defence. The commission’s other proposals show why designation as a victim may be the only way to be safe from a state that seems determined to grant different rights to different groups.

The commission does not simply want to protect more groups from ‘hatred’. It also wants to expand the prosecutorial net so that it includes people who have stirred up hatred by disseminating ‘inflammatory images’, referring repeatedly to Muhammad cartoons, like those in Charlie Hebdo. To enforce these rules, the state will need to ramp up its surveillance of the population. Police already have online ‘portals’ to help us inform on each other for speechcrimes. But the commission believes there are still too many ‘barriers’ and wants to make denunciation even easier.

A totalitarian state cannot tolerate privacy, even and especially within the family, the last redoubt of dissent. Hate-speech laws do not yet cover what you say in the privacy of your own home – you can’t be prosecuted for stirring up hatred at your dining table or in the bedroom.

The commission, however, finds this idea of privacy intolerable. So, if it gets its way, any words you use in your own home that are ‘likely’, even by accident, to ‘stir up hatred’ against a vast array of ‘protected’ groups – including ‘punks’, if you can believe it – could get you sent to prison for seven years. These proposals will make parents fear their own children – and children fear their siblings.

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

Black Student Union demands segregated safe spaces 'on and off campus'

The BSU’s demands include “healing & safe spaces for Black students on and off-campus,” despite that DePaul University previously opened cultural centers for Black, Latino, Asian American, and LGBT students. The programs would potentially violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits any college receiving federal funds from enacting programs that discriminate on the basis of race.

The BSU also called on DePaul to limit administrative positions in its healing and safe spaces to “Black faculty and staff.”

[...]

In a statement provided to Campus Reform, National Association of Scholars Director of Communications said, "these kinds of demands are becoming more and more outrageous," adding that "these students must know, or at least ought to know, that hiring someone on the basis of race alone is illegal because it is an act of racial discrimination."

The Black Student Union's issuing of demands to its college continues a long history of undergraduate "affinity" groups demanding race-segregated accommodations as compensation for what they describe as "systemic racism."

Similar episodes in the history of higher education were detailed in Neo-Segregation at Yale, a 2019 report by the National Association of Scholars, which described how the early history of racial preferences created the conditions for rationalizing racial segregation in the post-Brown v. Board of Education era.

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

The True Story of Jess Krug, the White Professor Who Posed as Black for Years—Until It All Blew Up Last Fall

“I am a coward.”

Jessica Krug’s confession started ricocheting across screens one brutally muggy afternoon in late-summer Washington. “For the better part of my adult life,” it began, “every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.” Krug, a faculty member at George Washington University, had taken to Medium, the online forum, to reveal a stunning fabrication. Throughout her entire career in academia, the professor of African history—a white woman—had been posing as Black and Latina.

“I have thought about ending these lies many times over many years, but my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics. I know right from wrong. I know history. I know power. I am a coward,” she wrote. “You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself.”

The statement, posted September 3, 2020, went viral immediately, unleashing a tidal wave of Oh, my Gods across the text chains of Krug’s GW colleagues and other academics. “We were all blindsided,” says GW history-department chair Daniel Schwartz. Distraught emails from Krug’s students—less than a week into a virtual semester already upended by the coronavirus pandemic—began piling up in faculty in-boxes. Meanwhile, an online mob went to work churning up old photos of Krug and tanking the Amazon ratings of her book. By the end of the day, a now-infamous video of Krug calling herself “Jess La Bombalera” and speaking in a D-list imitation Bronx accent was all over the internet.

The next morning, Schwartz convened an emergency staff meeting on Zoom. The initial shock of their colleague’s revelation had quickly given way to anger, and now the GW professors who logged on were unanimous: The department should demand Krug’s resignation right away. If she refused, they’d call for the university to rescind her tenure and fire her. That afternoon, they issued their ultimatum in a public statement. Five days later, Krug quit.

It was a dizzyingly fast fall for a woman who’d been among the most promising young scholars in her field. The 38-year-old had a PhD from one of the nation’s most prestigious African-history programs. She’d been a fellow at New York’s famed Schomburg Center, done research on three continents, and garnered wide praise for her book. She’d achieved all of it, as far as her GW colleagues knew, despite an upbringing that was nothing short of tragic. As Krug told it, she’d been raised in the Bronx, in “the hood.” Her Puerto Rican mother was a drug addict and abusive.

The tale was just the latest version of one Krug had been evolving for more than 15 years, swapping varied, gruesome particulars into the made-up backstory (a rape, a paternal abandonment) for different audiences. It was a heart-tugger—and, it turns out, incredibly flimsy. Minimal online sleuthing would have unraveled any of the lies in minutes—something Krug, who was still an undergrad when Facebook debuted, surely knew. But she’d also learned that the harrowing history she’d crafted was a useful line of defense against the kind of probing that could have easily exposed her. After all, who wanted to pry into such a delicate situation?

[–]rwkastenBring on the dancing horses[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (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: https://www.reddit.com/r/CultureWarRoundup/comments/lk760x/february_15_2021_weekly_offtopic_and_loweffort_cw/