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

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

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

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

Democrats Ban White Farmers From Federal COVID Relief Program

Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. The bill, comprised of $1.9 trillion in the name of “COVID relief,” received no support from Republicans in the House or Senate, and it’s not hard to see why.

The legislation includes carveouts for dozens of leftist priorities, including a bridge in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s New York and a tunnel in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Silicon Valley. These items clearly have nothing to do with pandemic relief for the millions of Americans out of work or the businesses shuttered by blue state governors’ harsh public health regulations. To the hardworking Americans everywhere, this bill should reek of the far-left’s desire to shove their ill-conceived policy priorities wherever they can stash them.

What most don’t know about this bill, however, is the small provision known as “Section 1005” that authorizes the secretary of agriculture to make payments of 100 to 120 percent of the “outstanding indebtedness of socially disadvantaged farmers.” Under this provision, those included in the socially disadvantaged category are American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics.

Putting aside all of the Washington jargon that makes little sense outside of a committee hearing room, this provision—specifically written into the American Rescue Plan by Democrats—pushes a blurred vision of so-called “social equity” by providing relief for farmers based on the color of their skin. Rather than offering much needed relief to all farmers, Sec. 1005 prioritizes race, just as it would ethnicity, sex, or any other factor.

It bears repeating: Sec. 1005 focuses debt relief on farmers based on their race, not based on how harshly the pandemic has affected them—the very reason for relief in the first place. Ironically, this racial discrimination is the very focus of what officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have worked so hard to combat.

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

[Andrew Sullivan] When The Narrative Replaces The News

We have yet to find any credible evidence of anti-Asian hatred or bigotry in this man’s history. Maybe we will. We can’t rule it out. But we do know that his roommates say they once asked him if he picked the spas for sex because the women were Asian. And they say he denied it, saying he thought those spas were just the safest way to have quick sex. That needs to be checked out more. But the only piece of evidence about possible anti-Asian bias points away, not toward it.

And yet. Well, you know what’s coming. Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran nine — nine! — separate stories about the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny. Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran sixteen separate stories on the incident as an anti-Asian white supremacist hate crime. Sixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts. For good measure, one of their columnists denounced reporting of law enforcement’s version of events in the newspaper, because it distracted attention from the “real” motives. Today, the NYT ran yet another full-on critical theory piece disguised as news on how these murders are proof of structural racism and sexism — because some activists say they are.

Mass killers, if they are motivated by bigotry or hate, tend to let the world know:

The suspected attacker in Pittsburgh allegedly said he wanted to “kill Jews” while rampaging inside a synagogue. Police said the man charged with killing people at an El Paso Walmart told them that he was targeting “Mexicans” that day. And the man who massacred Black parishioners inside a Charleston church detailed his racist motivations at length.

This mass murderer in Atlanta actually denied any such motive, and, to repeat myself, there is no evidence for it — and that has been true from the very start. And yet, a friend forwarded me the note swiftly sent to students and faculty at Harvard, which sums up the instant view of our elite:

Many of us woke up yesterday to the horrific news of the vicious and deadly attack in Atlanta, the latest in a wave of increasing violence targeting the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander community … This violence has a history. From Chinese Exclusion to the nativist rhetoric amplified during the pandemic, anti-Asian hostility has deep roots in American culture.

And on and on. It was almost as if they had a pre-existing script to read, whatever the facts of the case! Nikole Hannah-Jones, the most powerful journalist at the New York Times, took to Twitter in the early morning of March 17 to pronounce: “Last night’s shooting and the appalling rise in anti-Asian violence stem from a sick society where nationalism has been stoked and normalized.” Ibram Kendi tweeted: “Locking arms with Asian Americans facing this lethal wave of anti-Asian terror. Their struggle is my struggle. Our struggle is against racism and White Supremacist domestic terror.”

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

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

Is Transgenderism Just a Celebrity Fad?

Anyone who spends more time in front of a TV than they ought to—which is just about everyone—can likely rattle off a long list of transgender celebrities whose mere presence in a prominent corner of the public square has gone a long way toward advancing the cause in society at large. One of the most recognizable is Chaz (formerly Chastity) Bono, daughter of the late musician/Republican politician Sonny Bono and his second wife/singing partner, Cher. (Bono, like Page, is a woman who presents as a man—a far less common decision than the inverse, in Hollywood and elsewhere.) Robert “Alexis” Arquette was a member of the moderately well-known acting family who spent most of his adult life presenting as a woman, undergoing sex reassignment surgery in his late 30s, eventually modifying his label from “transgender” to “gender suspicious,” and finally dying from HIV complications at the age of 47. Olympic athlete and Kardashian-by-marriage Bruce Jenner, whose 2015 decision to become “Caitlyn” was headline news for months, is perhaps the single most famous trans person in the world. Other more or less familiar names like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock (whose memoir is actually titled Redefining Realness)—both cited as inspirations by Ellen Page—augment the ranks of the transgendered famous. Kim Petras (née Tim) first gained recognition as the youngest person ever to be surgically transitioned (at 16) and is now an L.A.-based musician dubbed “the new princess of pop” by a number of publications. The brothers who wrote and directed The Matrix are now the sisters who wrote and directed The Matrix.

Maybe there is something unusual in the celebrity psyche that leaves them prone to gender dysphoria more than the average person. Maybe the same impulse that drives some people to seek out fame inspires some percentage of those folks to take up…other kinds of performance. Psychoanalyzing the correlation is both more difficult and less valuable than simply recognizing the fact: Transgender people are grossly overrepresented in the entertainment class, and thus have a disproportionate influence on American popular culture—and, by extension, on public morality.

This is concerning in part because celebrities in general have an outsized bully pulpit in political and moral conversations. (There’s a reason that, in the last century, identifying Communists in Hollywood was treated as nearly an equal endeavor to identifying Communists in the CIA.) A successful Hollywood writer or actor or singer or director is a person of immense influence. This is partly due to the narrative-forming nature of their industry—history is written by the Victor/Victorias. But it is probably owed more to America’s perverse obsession with the rich and famous. People—especially young people—tend to idolize the men, women, etc. they see featured on TV.

And that is exactly the point: The stated goal of every transgender activist in Hollywood is to give young boys and girls watching at home plenty of good, queer role models to follow. It’s working. Steinmetz’s profile of Elliott Page observes that “1.8% of Gen Z compared with 0.2% of boomers” identify as transgender—an 800 percent increase. She treats this as a reason for optimism (“increased social acceptance”) without much consideration for the source or consequences of that increase. A quick look around suggests that its cause is the imposition of a deliberate agenda by pop-culture creators, and that it has no intention of slowing down.

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

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

The tyranny of ‘lived experience’: How the woke elites are gaslighting the entire population.

‘Lived experience’ is the great incontestable. No doubt may be expressed about a person’s lived experience. It is the truth and nothing but the truth. We’ve witnessed this over the past few days as people have been demonised, hounded and in some cases even sacked for having had the temerity to question Meghan Markle’s ‘lived experience’ of royal racism and mental-health problems.

Piers Morgan got the heave-ho from Good Morning Britain for saying he didn’t believe a word of what she said. That’s pure blasphemy. Disputing lived experience is to 2021 what disputing the Word of God was to 1521. Ian Murray of the Society of Editors was pushed out for challenging Harry and Meghan’s claim that the British press is racist. ‘Show me proof’, he essentially said. Big mistake. You do not ask for evidence to substantiate claims of lived experience. Data and analysis count for nothing in the face of what people feel. The truths of social experience — the measurable reality of racist attitudes in the press or among the population, for example — are subordinate to an individual’s perception of what his or her lived experience has been. To muddy a victim’s impression of life with cold talk of analysis is to compound the oppression they feel. Just genuflect to their lived experience. Ask no questions, venture no facts.


Or consider the transgender issue. We are expected to bow down to trans people’s ‘lived experience’ of transphobia. In the broadsheet media, in leftish political circles and on campuses across the Anglosphere, the lived experience of systemic transphobic bigotry — as many see it — is a constant talking point. And yet when it comes to women’s ‘lived experience’ of encountering trans women (ie, biological males) in a less than desirable way, that is instantly written off as insignificant, partisan, bigoted and worthy of nothing more than censorship.

So when Holly Lawford-Smith, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Melbourne, set up a website called ‘No Conflict They Said’, on which women were encouraged to share their ‘lived experiences’ of encountering born men who identify as women, she became a hate figure for woke elites across the West. ‘Tell us your story’, her website said. It asked women to share their personal experiences of encountering biological males in women-only spaces, including ‘changing rooms, fitting rooms, bathrooms, shelters, rape and domestic violence refuges, gyms, spas, schools’, etc.

Anonymously, women told of encountering male-bodied people in changing rooms. Of having biological males join women-only swimming events. Of males behaving menacingly in bathrooms. All ‘lived experiences’, right? But again, these experiences do not count. They’re the wrong ones. The reaction to ‘No Conflict They Said’ has been furious. Lawford-Smith’s fellow academics signed a McCarthyite letter denouncing her and demanding that the site be taken down. ‘Why the University of Melbourne must shut down No Conflict They Said’, declared one newspaper headline. These lived experiences, it seems, stand for nought. We don’t want to hear from women who have had difficult experiences with a deified ‘marginalised group’.

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

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

[Matt Taibbi] Aaugh! A Brief List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released a much-hyped, much-cited new report on “Foreign Threats to the 2020 Elections.” The key conclusion:

We assess that Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, [and] undermining public confidence in the electoral process…

The report added Ukrainian legislator Andrey Derkach, described as having “ties” to “Russia’s intelligence services,” and Konstantin Kilimnik, a “Russian influence agent” (whatever that means), used “prominent U.S. persons” and “media conduits” to “launder their narratives” to American audiences. The “narratives” included “misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden” (note they didn’t use the word “false”). They added a small caveat at the end: “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”

As Glenn Greenwald already pointed out, the “launder their narratives” passage was wolfed down by our intelligence services’ own “media conduits” here at home, and regurgitated as proof that the “Hunter Biden laptop story came from the Kremlin,” even though the report didn’t mention the laptop story at all. Exactly one prominent reporter, Chris Hayes, had the decency to admit this after advancing the claim initially.

With regard to the broader assessment: how many times are we going to do this? We’ve spent the last five years watching as anonymous officials make major Russia-related claims, only to have those evidence-free claims fizzle. From the much-ballyhooed “changed RNC platform” story (Robert Mueller found no evidence the changed Republican platform was “undertaken at the behest of candidate Trump or Russia”), to the notion that Julian Assange was engaged in a conspiracy with the Russians (Mueller found no evidence for this either), to Michael Cohen’s alleged secret meetings in Prague with Russian conspirators (“not true,” the FBI flatly concluded) to the story that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress (“not accurate,” said Mueller), to wild stories about Paul Manafort meeting Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, to a “bombshell” tale about Trump foreknowledge of Wikileaks releases that blew up in CNN’s face in spectacular fashion, reporters for years chased unsubstantiated claims instead of waiting to see what they were based upon.

The latest report’s chief conclusions are assessments about Derkach and Kilimnik, information that the whole world knew before this report was released. Hell, even Rudy Giuliani, whose meeting with Derkach is supposedly the big scandal here, admitted there was a “50/50 chance” the guy was a Russian spy. Kilimnik meanwhile has now been characterized as having “ties” to Russian intelligence (Mueller), as a “Russian intelligence officer” (Senate Intelligence Committee), and is now back to being a mere “influence agent.” If he is Russian intelligence, then John McCain’s International Republican Institute (where Kilimnik worked), as well as embassies in Kiev and Moscow (where Kilimnik regularly gave information, according to the New York Times), have a lot of explaining to do.

No matter what, the clear aim of this report is to cast certain stories about Joe or Hunter Biden as misinformation, when the evidence more likely shows that material like the Hunter Biden emails is real, just delivered from a disreputable source. That makes such stories just like, say, the Joe Biden-Petro Poroshenko tapes, which were also pushed by Derkach and reported on uncontroversially by major media outlets like the Washington Post, before it became fashionable to denounce outlets reporting such leaks as Russian “proxies” and “conduits.”

(Top ten of bogus Russian conspiracy claims follows.)

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If you're wondering how Washington state's policy of allowing self ID in prisons is going, here's your answer: Biological men transferred to women's prisons allegedly rape and assault inmates.

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

University abruptly suspends diversity classes: ‘students have been humiliated and degraded’

Amid rumors of a video that shows a student being targeted during a diversity lesson at Boise State University, administrators have abruptly suspended all of the school’s general education classes called “University Foundations 200: Foundations of Ethics and Diversity.”

“We have been made aware of a series of concerns, culminating in allegations that a student or students have been humiliated and degraded in class on our campus for their beliefs and values,” states a March 16 memo from President Marlene Tromp to the campus community.

“This is never acceptable; it is not what Boise State stands for; and we will not tolerate this behavior,” Tromp stated. “…Given the weight of cumulative concerns, we have determined that, effective immediately, we must suspend UF 200.”

She goes on to note that academic leadership will determine next steps “to ensure that everyone is still able to complete the course.”

Tromp’s decision came around the same time as Idaho lawmakers passed a state education budget that takes away about $409,000 from Boise State University because of its social justice curriculum, Idaho Ed News reports.

Defunding universities works. TROMP 2024.

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

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

New Tales of the Body Snatchers

On Tuesday 16 March 2021 Rob Hoogland was placed in handcuffs and hauled off to jail for the crime of continuing to protest the state mandated, court-enforced chemical castration and sterilisation of his teenage daughter under the guise of gender identity therapy. The mainstream media does not report on this case, and Mr Hoogland is known as CD in the press.

An Erin Brewster Youtube Video in which Hoogland speaks about his daughter has been blocked here in Canada—as the state mandates an abusive, experimental, and eugenic course of treatment for pubescent children who present with psychological distress, the court overrides parental consent—which Justice Bowden deemed “irrelevant”— and in a frightening overreach, decides to imprison a father for speaking out about the harms of the treatment she is receiving, in particular for committing the so-called violence of refusing to cosign the eugenic lie and use male pronouns when speaking of his daughter.

Rob Hoogland is talking about known documented harms, harms documented by detransitioners, predicted and described by honest endocrinologists not captured by genderism, and described in valid and reliable and statistically and methodologically sound research. Yes, refusing to lie is a crime punishable by imprisonment in Canada now, and misgendering is considered violence. When the state demands we lie and enacts laws to try to force us, these lies remain lies—morally wrong and abusive. Lying is abuse of the truth and denial of the right of others to truth and an existence free from oppression. A state passing a law forcing us all to live a lie = oppression by the state.

Canada, once respected leader in human rights and peacekeeping, has become Tranada or SOGIStan, Genderist state, where the mantra has become Under His Self ID and safeguarding and informed consent designated hateful impediments to human rights progression. I feel as though I’m living in the age of Lysenkoism 2.0. I can’t believe I heard with my ears the absolute arrogant disdain the intellectually mediocre pro-rape prime minister has expressed for the constitution recently, as he performed his concern for the safety of Canadians vis à vis Covid-19. The Canadian Criminal Code section on hate crimes states clearly individuals cannot be charged with hate for stating facts. Now we are playing a game of linguistic cat and mouse semantics with the state and/or court, who choose to call this “violence” in order to perpetuate their lying laws.

The Genderist movement has captured the entirety of Canadian society—all major systems, from the public school system, the teaching profession itself, the state-run medical system which in Canada has allowed predacious eugenic Mengele-like gender practitioners like Wallace Wong free access to a population of children captured from their parents by the state on which to experiment—children in state foster care—the press, and humans rights organisations and most women’s rights groups. Courts—the bench itself—too have been captured. This is systemic dehumanisation of female people and children. I dislike the woke overuse of the word systemic, however this situation exactly describes systemic capture of a sinister ideology.

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

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

[Rod Dreher] Damon Young: To Stop White Supremacy, Eliminate Whites

Damon Young, a black writer for The Root, a black-oriented commentary site owned by the same people who own Jezebel, Gizmodo, and The Onion (their parent company is Univision), had this to say at The Root about the Atlanta massage parlor mass murders:

I don’t have much to add here today that hasn’t already been said.

Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people—white people and people who are not white, my mom included. There will be people who die, in 2050, because of white supremacy-induced decisions from 1850.


White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we’ve had 400 years to develop one, so I won’t hold my breath.

Is this calling for genocide? I find it hard to read it any other way. “It won’t stop until there are no more bodies left for it to infect.” So we have to kill “it”. That is, the bodies that it could infect. White bodies.

He seems to believe that to be white at all is to be a white supremacist. Imagine writing this about any other ethnic group. Imagine:

Jewishness is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we’ve had 400 years to develop one, so I won’t hold my breath.

Damon Young would be out of a job if he wrote that, and would deserve to be. It’s straight-up Nazism. You could read similar descriptions of black people in white supremacist literature. Stone-cold evil this is, wherever it emerges. But now, it is fashionable in the US progressive media to dehumanize white people.

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

Looks like "non-crime hate incidents" are coming to America:

Those who commit hateful but noncriminal conduct should be confronted by the NYPD, @NYCMayor @BilldeBlasio says:

“I assure you, if an NYPD officer calls you or shows up at your door to ask about something you did, that makes people think twice, and we need that.”

Non-archive link:

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

[Freddie deBoer] Could It Be... Genes? social science's bizarre resistance to considering genetic influence

A big paper by James Heckman and Rasmus Landersø just came out from the NBER. It uses data from Denmark to look at social spending, socioeconomic equality, and educational mobility. (That is, how well children perform academically compared to their parents, operationalized primarily by comparing parent years of education1 to child grades2.) If you’re unaware Heckman is a rather evangelical researcher (not a bad thing!) who does studies for essentially one purpose: to demonstrate that early childhood interventions of various kinds can make major improvements in a variety of social, educational, and economic metrics3.


Anyway, family influence. As you can guess from the title, I think this paper is indicative of a bizarre refusal to acknowledge genetics exist within social scientific research and policy documents. Here’s their discussion of how families might influence the educational outcomes of their children:

Families operate through multiple channels. (i) Through direct parental interactions with children in stimulating child learning, personality, and behaviors. This comes from direct engagement and by setting examples for children to emulate, including supporting, supplementing, and advising schooling and other activities in which children engage. (ii) Through choice of neighborhoods and localities which influence the quality of schooling and the quality of peers. (iii) Through guidance on important lifetime decisions

I can think of another way that children are influenced by family6: through genetic information that is passed on through the reproductive process. Genetic influence would be perfectly consistent with the finding that the United States and Denmark have similar amounts of educational mobility despite significantly different policy and socioeconomic conditions. Educational mobility is similarly low between systems because genetic similarity between parent and child has a large impact on educational outcomes and is unaffected by social policy.

This is an article about how family influences children without a consideration of the most direct and powerful way. The words “gene” and “genes” and “genetic” do not appear in this paper. Neither do “heritable” or “heredity” or “hereditary.” The concept of the transfer of genetic information from parent to offspring simply does not exist in this mental space… in a paper about how families influence the characteristics of their children. I would call this odd, but it’s par for the course in social science research. And I just don’t really get it.

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

[Glenn Greenwald] Journalists, Illustrating How They Operate, Yesterday Spread a Significant Lie All Over Twitter

Do you see how they behave? Take a look. Prior to the election, out of desperation to ensure that Biden won, they censored and maligned this reporting by mindlessly endorsing an assertion from life-long CIA operatives that never had any evidence: ignore these documents; they are Russian disinformation. They not only invoked that claim to justify ignoring the story but also to successfully agitate for its censorship by Twitter and Facebook. So they spent weeks spreading an utter lie in order to help the candidate that they favored win the election. Remember, these are journalists doing that.

Then, yesterday, the intelligence community issued a report that does not even purport to contain any evidence: just assertions. And they all jumped to treat it as gospel: no questioning of it, no skepticism, no demands to see evidence for it, not even any notation that no evidence was provided. They just instantly enshrined claims from the CIA and NSA as Truth. How can you possibly be a journalist with even minimal knowledge of what these agencies do and look in the mirror as you do this?

But so much worse, in this case, they just outright lied about what the report said — just fabricated assertions that the report did not even allude to, in order to declare their lies from last October to be vindicated. Even if this report had asserted that the Hunter Biden laptop materials were manufactured by the Kremlin, that would prove nothing. Evidence-free assertions from the U.S. intelligence community merit skepticism, not blind faith — especially from people calling themselves journalists.

But the report did not even claim that. And when some of them realized this, they did virtually nothing to rectify the severe disinformation they had spent the day spreading. These are the people who claim to be so profoundly opposed to conspiracy theories and devoted to combating “disinformation”; as usual, they are the ones who spread disinformation most recklessly and frequently. The fact that the false tweet from HuffPost’s White House correspondent is still up is quite revealing, given that that outlet just had to lay off a significant portion of its staff. As newly arrived Substack writer Michael Tracey wrote in his first article on this platform (headlined: “Why Journalists Hate Substack”), journalists are very good at lamenting when their outlets are forced to lay off journalists but very poor at examining whether the content their outlet is producing may be part of why it is failing:

So when you see another round of layoffs, followed by another round of exasperated Twitter lamentation about how horrible the industry is, you have to wonder if these rituals ultimately function as an excuse for journalists to forgo any kind of real self-examination. For instance, why it is that the media organizations they inhabit always seem to be in a constant state of free-fall? Sure, there are economic factors at play that the journalists themselves cannot control. But it would seem to behoove these journalists to maybe spend a little bit less time complaining in the abstract about the depredations of “the industry”—as though they are its hapless, beleaguered casualties—and a little bit more time analyzing whether they have contributed to the indisputable reality that huge cross-sections of the public distrust and despise the media.

There are multiple potential explanations for this dynamic worth considering. Maybe it’s the tedious hyper-partisanship and weirdly outdated content aggregation tactics that much of the online media still employs. Maybe it’s the constant five-alarm-fire tone and incessant hyping of overblown threats that was characteristic of the Trump years. Maybe it’s some combination of all these and more—but you won’t see many axed journalists offering up any kind of critical introspection, because when the layoffs arrive it can never have anything to do with their own ideological myopia or other shortcomings.

Indeed, when anyone, including journalists, loses their job, it is lamentable. But when one witnesses behavior like what these journalists did yesterday, the only confounding part of the collapse of this part of the media industry is that it is not happening even more quickly and severely.

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

Something rotten at the heart of Reddit

In 2020, Aimee Challenor/Knight wrote an open letter to Reddit - that other moderators signed - which resulted in many Gender Critical accounts and subreddits being removed from the site. Among the groups banned were r/detran (trans activists hate detransitioners) and r/truelesbians (which catered for actual lesbians, as opposed to bepenised ones).

…now, Reddit have put her on the payroll.


You can also recognise Aimee’s distinctive voice from videos posted by u/isnottheimposter. Here, for instance, is Aimee, and possibly Nathaniel, playing the popular hidden role game ‘Among Us’. As recently as yesterday, Aimee or someone associated with Aimee has deleted other videos from the site.

In 2019 Aimee’s future husband Nathaniel Dean Knight of Michigan was outed by Mumsnet for writing sex stories involving children.

Nathaniel wrote the tweets below to defend himself but received a backlash from Twitter users. These tweets led to Aimee being investigated and removed from the UK’s Liberal Democrats and eventually she was removed from Stonewall’s trans advisory board. Nathaniel also had his Twitter account suspended.


These stories demonstrate that the tweets Aimee tried to deny Nathaniel wrote are consistent with Nathaniel’s thinking. And also that these stories were in a place Aimee would have had access- which makes you wonder if Aimee knew he harboured sexual feelings for children right from the start of their relationship.

So, a few questions.

Did Aimee Knight get the job at Reddit by keeping quiet about the real reasons for their removal from the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Stonewall?

Does Reddit stand by its decision to remove feminist and lesbian subreddits like R/GenderCritical, which contained some 65,000 members, at the request of someone who, at the very least, has covered up for a paedophile?

Does Stonewall stand by its safeguarding advice, given to institutions all over the UK, including Girlguiding, which adopted at the same time Challenor was on their trans advisory board?

Will the Green Party UK ever apologise to Andy Healy for suspending him after he exposed Aimee and Aimee’s paedophile father?

More background here but the teal deer of the situation is that all rednames are either pedos or pedo sympathizers, which I'm sure comes as a great shock to everyone subscribed to CWR.

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

[Matt Taibbi] With Ratings Down, the Networks Hunt For a Trump Replacement

This data, showing significant declines in all of the major primetime cable news shows, came in a piece called, “Cable News Ratings Begin To Suffer Trump Slump.” Gavin Bridge of the Variety Intelligence Platform explained:

VIP has previously covered the initial ratings decline Fox News, MSNBC and, most of all, CNN, saw in President Biden’s first week, as the nonstop controversies of the previous administration slowed down.

Our prediction that audiences would perk up for President Trump’s second impeachment trial proved correct. But in the weeks after the trial ended, audiences for CNN have plummeted; MSNBC is seeing about half CNN’s drop, while Fox News is down single digits.

It’s natural for news audiences to dip after seismic events like the January 6th riots. CNN had its best month ever in January, and individual shows like Anderson Cooper 360 jumped above 5 million viewers.

Still, Variety’s report showing significant ratings drops as we move farther away from the Trump experience is both predictable and fascinating. It’s not clear how media executives will respond to losing the best friend they ever had. They will either have to surrender to the idea of significant long-term losses — impossible to imagine — or find a way to continue an all-time blockbuster entertainment franchise, which doubled as the most divisive public relations campaign in our history, without the show’s main character.

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

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

Trans Comic Strip Creates ‘Diaperfur Kink’ Based on Real Babies; Frames Backlash as ‘Transphobia'

Sophie Labelle currently identifies as a woman and posts comic strips to social media accounts under the moniker “Assigned Male Comics”. In February 2021, Labelle was exposed for making diaper fetish images under the Twitter account name @thewaffles3, based on photos of real babies found online.

Following the exposure, Labelle deleted the diaper fetish account.

On February 25, 2021, Labelle responded to the outcry, framing the “diaperfur art” as a “kink” indulged in responsibly, refusing “to be shamed for it”, and characterizing those objecting as “bad-faith actors looking for an excuse to attack a trans woman”. Horrified Twitter users pointed out that using other people’s babies as references to “kink art” was pedophilic behaviour.

Despite having described the images as a “kink”, Labelle then made a Facebook post, claiming these images “were in no way sexual or meant to be sexualized and do not represent any children”. Labelle stated that using “random references for drawings and posters” was “certainly not forbidden” and that “no one got hurt”. Labelle also confirmed that the “diaperfur” blog “was tagged as 18+” and that “(e)ven though it isn’t sexual…this is not art that is meant to be shared in the general public, for various reasons”. Labelle did not specify what these “various reasons” were.

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

[–]rwkastenBring on the dancing horses[S,M] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Meta: I want to single out /u/carn0ld03 for doing the things some of us can't or won't do. Namely: they're posting top-level comments in the sub instead of just link-dumping in the main thread. I've talked about this tendency to stick to the OT/LEs as a sort of Stockholm Syndrome before, and I am grateful that this sub looks a little more like I envisioned than the one on !saidit does.

That said, I'm kind of ambivalent about links to podcasts or videos - it's not that I don't think they belong, but that they're harder for people to quote and excerpt than pure text is. I'd almost suggest that those are fodder for the OT/LEs, except the front page looks so nice with all that extra content there. So I'm not going to make a hard and fast rule here - the posts follow the existing rules and contain external links + context, which I am convinced is the secret sauce for creating more balanced discussions without as much outgroup-bashing. NB: Not no outgroup-bashing, but a reduced amount than is seen in the "showerthoughts on how outgroup bad" format some other discussion forums have adapted.

So thank you /u/carn0ld03 for taking us at our word. A front page that's not just a list of OT/LEs is indeed far more attractive than one that is.

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

[Glenn Greenwald] How Do Big Media Outlets So Often "Independently Confirm" Each Other's Falsehoods?

On January 9, The Washington Post published a story reporting that an anonymous source claimed that on December 23, Trump spoke by phone with Frances Watson, the chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, and directed her that she must “find the fraud” and promised her she would be “a national hero” if she did so. The paper insisted that those were actual quotes of what Trump said. This time, it was CNN purporting to independently confirm the Post’s reporting, affirming that Trump said these words “according to a source with knowledge of the call.”

But late last week, The Wall Street Journal obtained a recording of that call, and those quotes attributed to Trump do not appear. As a result, The Washington Post — two months after its original story that predictably spread like wildfire throughout the entire media ecosystem — has appended a correction at the top of its original story. Politico’s Alex Thompson correctly pronounced these errors “real bad” because of how widely they spread and were endorsed by other major media outlets.

This is a different species of journalistic malpractice than mere journalistic falsehoods. As I detailed in February and again two weeks ago, the U.S. public was inundated for weeks with an utterly false yet horrifying story — that a barbaric pro-Trump mob had savagely murdered Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick by bashing his skull in with a fire extinguisher. That false tale about the only person said to have been killed at the January 6 riot other than pro-Trump supporters emanated from a New York Times report based on the claims of “two anonymous law enforcement officials.”

As it turns out, Sicknick’s autopsy revealed that he suffered no blunt trauma, and two men arrested this week were charged not with murder but assault and conspiracy to injure an officer: for using an unidentified gas. In reporting those arrests, even The New York Times acknowledged that “prosecutors stopped short of linking the attack to Officer Sicknick’s death the next day” because “both officers and rioters deployed spray, mace and other irritants during the attack” and “it remains unclear whether Officer Sicknick died because of his exposure to the spray.”

Many liberals defenders of these corporate media outlets insist that these major factual errors do not matter because the basic narrative — Trump and his supporters at the Capitol are bad people who did bad things — is still true. But these errors are enormous. That Trump, Jr. received that email from a random member of the public after WikiLeaks began publicly publishing documents transforms the story from smoking gun to irrelevant. That Trump did not utter the extremely incriminating quotes attributed to him in that call at least permits debate about whether he did anything wrong there and what his intent was (encouraging the official to find the fraud he genuinely believed was there or pressuring her to manufacture claims with threats and promises of reward). And there is, manifestly, a fundamental difference in both intent and morality between deliberately murdering someone by repeatedly bashing their skull in with a fire extinguisher and using a non-lethal crowd-control spray frequently used at protests even if it is ultimately proven that the spray is what caused Officer Sicknick’s death (which is why those two acts would carry vastly different punishments under the law).

But all of this highlights the real crisis in journalism, the reason public faith and trust in media institutions is in free fall. With liberal media outlets deliberately embracing a profit model of speaking overwhelmingly to partisan Democrats who use them as their primary source of news, there is zero cost to publishing false claims about people and groups hated by that liberal audience. That audience does not care if these media outlets publish false stories as long as it is done for the Greater Good of harming their political enemies, and this ethos has contaminated newsrooms as well. Given human fallibility, reporting errors are normal and inevitable, but when they are all geared toward advancing one political agenda or faction and undermining the other, they cease to be errors and become a deliberate strategy or, at best, systemic recklessness.

But whatever else is true, it is vital to understand what news outlets mean when they claim they have “independently verified” the uncorroborated reports of other similar outlets. It means nothing of consequence. In many if not most cases — enough to make this formulation totally unreliable — it signifies nothing more than their willingness to serve as stenographers for the same anonymous political operatives who fed their competitors similar propaganda.

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

Cancel culture is out of control — and Gen X is our only hope

First it was Huck Finn. Then it was JK Rowling. Last week it was “The Muppet Show.” This week it’s Dumbo. It’s only a matter of time before “Star Wars” gets canceled and you know it.

Will Gen X please stand up? I have something I want to say to you — to us.

We grew up in a country that didn’t ban books. We all agreed that witch hunts and blacklists were bad. Censorship was an outrage. The 1980s were not that long ago. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.

So obviously we’ve got a problem here. Everybody can see it. Everybody knows where it’s heading. What we don’t have — yet — is a group of people who are willing to do something about it.

I nominate us.

The generation that fought for its right to party should be leading the charge against these millennial Maoists terrorizing the culture via social media. Why aren’t we?

The reason is as obvious as it is unacceptable: We’re terrified of getting canceled ourselves. The kid who stands up to the neighborhood bully may end up a hero, but he may take a humiliating beating first. Most of us are like that character in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” who saw the pit full of snakes and said to Indiana Jones: “Very dangerous. You go first.”

Tears for Fears was wrong when they said everybody wants to rule the world. Only people between the ages of 23 and 33 want that kind of trouble. Once you reach 40, ruling the world sounds like too much work. People with jobs and families and mortgages want a quiet life. We want to find time to watch “Nomadland,” maybe save a little cash to redo the basement.

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

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

School closure proponent moves kids to Austria for in-person learning: report

Former Breitbart investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel first reported the news on March 9.

“Can now confirm: Eric Feigl-Ding, the chief COVID-19 panic salesman on social media, quietly moved his family to Austria in the Fall so that his kid could attend school in person,” Schachtel said on Twitter.

The College Fix reached out to Feigl-Ding via Twitter asking for comment on the allegations on Monday morning, but did not immediately receive a response.

Since-deleted tweets from Eric’s wife, Andrea, an immigrant from Austria, show her talking about moving the family to the European country.

“Yet Feigl-Ding has been a relentless proponent for school closures here in the United States,” Schachtel said.

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

[Glenn Greenwald] Congressional Testimony: The Leading Activists for Online Censorship Are Corporate Journalists

How Congress sets out to address Silicon Valley’s immense and undemocratic power is a complicated question, posing complex challenges. The proposal to vest media companies with an antitrust exemption in order to allow them to negotiate as a consortium or cartel seeks to rectify a real and serious problem -- the vacuuming up of advertising revenue by Google and Facebook at the expense of the journalistic outlets which create the news content being monetized -- but empowering large media companies could easily end up creating more problems than it solves.

That is particularly so given that it is often media companies that are the cause of Silicon Valley censorship of and interference in political speech of the kind outlined above. When these social media companies were first created and in the years after, they wanted to avoid being in the business of content moderation and political censorship. This was an obligation foisted upon them, often by the most powerful media outlets using their large platforms to shame these companies and their executives for failing to censor robustly enough.

Sometimes this pressure was politically motivated -- demanding the banning of people whose ideologies sharply differs from those who own and control these media outlets -- but more often it was motivated by competitive objectives: a desire to prevent others from creating independent platforms and thus diluting the monopolistic stranglehold that corporate media outlets exert over our political discourse. Further empowering this already-powerful media industry -- which has demonstrated it will use its force to silence competitors under the guise of “quality control” -- runs the real risk of transferring the abusive monopoly power from Silicon Valley to corporate media companies or, even worse, encouraging some sort of de facto merger in which these two industries pool their power to the mutual benefit of each.

This Subcommittee produced one of the most impressive and comprehensive reports last October detailing the dangers of the classic monopoly power wielded by Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. That report set forth numerous legislative and regulatory solutions to comply with the law and a consensus of economic and political science experts about the need to break up monopolies wherever they arise.

Until that is done, none of these problems can be addressed in ways other than the most superficial, piecemeal and marginal. Virtually every concern that Americans across the political spectrum express about the dangers of Silicon Valley power emanates from the fact that they have been permitted to flout antitrust laws and acquire monopoly power. None of those problems -- including their ability to police and control our political discourse and the flow of information -- can be addressed until that core problem is resolved.

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

Portland State University put ‘gag order’ on professor’s video exposing academic censorship

Portland State University officials recently filed a copyright strike against a professor’s video that attempted to expose what he calls an effort to shut down academic freedom.

The video, produced by PSU Professor Bruce Gilley, was made to accompany his new report titled “The New Censorship in American Higher Education: Insights from Portland State University,” and included snippets from a publicly available video of a recent faculty senate meeting.

But Gilley said university brass lodged a copyright strike against his video this week, forcing him to post an edited version that removed his peers’ comments.

At that March 1 meeting, the faculty senate unanimously approved a resolution that argues that publicly criticizing critical race theory curriculums prompts bullying and intimidation against progressive scholars.

In practice, the resolution functions as an all encompassing gag order against critics of anti-racism training and functions as a means to erode free speech on campus, Gilley argues in his “new censorship” report that serves as a response to the resolution.

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

The free-speech crisis is not a right-wing myth

Those who dismiss the free-speech crisis as a myth possess a shallow, instrumental view of the value of free speech. They simply do not take it seriously. And they certainly do not regard free speech as an inviolable moral good. Hence they can voice their nominal support for it in one breath, before, in the next, calling for the censorship of views they despise. That is why free-speech denialism often coexists with the conviction that it is okay to No Platform people.

So an academic called Evan Smith, who is now making a career out of denying the existence of a free-speech crisis, can casually insist that No Platforming is not only okay, but should also be celebrated:

‘[T]he university cannot be a place where racism and fascism – as well as sexism, homophobia and transphobia – are allowed to be expressed. Tactics such as “No Platforming” and the creation of “safe spaces” are necessary for students and activists because the threats that led to “No Platforming” in the 1970s remain.’

As Smith illustrates, free-speech-crisis denialism coexists with the conviction that some voices are not worth hearing and others should be shut down because they are dangerous and hateful – two categories which have expanded hugely since No Platform policies were instigated against fascistic and neo-Nazi views. Unsurprisingly, the likes of Smith are committed to a very thin and limited definition of free speech. And what’s more, many are now becoming self-conscious critics of the unconditional value of free speech.

There are two important ways in which the denialist undermines the moral case for free speech.

The first argument rests on the assumption that the ideal of free speech belongs to an earlier age. It is therefore effectively out of date. To prove this, proponents will point to the development of social media and the proliferation of disinformation, for instance. Or, as numerous legal scholars and constitutional lawyers in the United States questioning the First Amendment’s validity are now doing, they will point to the explosion of bad ideas circulating in society. And they will conclude from this that free speech is now playing a corrosive, dangerous role in society.

The regulation of speech and the flow of information is therefore justified in the name of protecting society, and democracy in particular. As philosopher Jason Stanley and linguist David Beaver argue, in their forthcoming Hustle: The Politics of Language, ‘free speech threatens democracy as much as it also provides for its flourishing’.

This is not a new argument. The portrayal of free speech as a threat has long been a key component of the anti-democratic imagination. It is based on the premise that the demos lack the requisite intellectual abilities to participate in public life. People cannot be trusted to distinguish between truth and lies. They are likely to be misled by populist demagogues. They are at the mercy of propaganda, advertising and the media. As one commentator puts it in the New York Times, ‘good ideas do not necessarily triumph in the marketplace of ideas’. Which is another way of saying that if our ‘good ideas’ don’t sell, we need to prevent the ‘bad ideas’ from reaching the market.

The recycling of such age-old, reactionary arguments highlights the depths of elite disenchantment with free speech and, by implication, democracy itself.

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

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Georgetown Law won’t share facts about black student performance after firing professor for saying it’s ‘lower’

Three years ago this month, the University of Pennsylvania Law School removed a professor from teaching required classes for publicly saying she wasn’t aware of black students ever graduating in the top quarter of the class.

Amy Wax’s dean, Ted Ruger, accused her of making “false” claims. He refused to get more specific, though, only saying black students have graduated “in the top of the class.” The Ivy League university ignored College Fix requests to provide the supposedly accurate figures.

Georgetown Law Center has gone a step further by quickly firing a veteran law professor who thought she was privately lamenting black student performance to a colleague in a Zoom call.

Like Penn Law, it has ignored a Fix request to provide hard figures, in this case LSAT scores for black students. Unlike its Ivy League peer, Georgetown Law has not claimed Sandra Sellers incorrectly characterized the academic performance of her black students.

The law school put another professor on administrative leave, apparently for not rebuking Sellers when she said “a lot” of her black students each semester have “lower” academic performance. Video shows David Batson murmuring “mmm-hmm” and nodding slightly as Sellers shared her “angst” that these students don’t perform better.

The Fix also asked media relations for both Georgetown University and Georgetown Law to explain how their actions against the professors, who teach negotiations law, comport with their contractual obligations to the faculty and each institution’s promises of academic freedom.

Georgetown Law is punishing faculty for accidentally shining a light on the lower admissions standards it has for black students, two lawyers said Thursday.

Hans Bader, a former Department of Education lawyer, said flatly that Georgetown had violated its own academic freedom policy even before firing Sellers, because it was “wrongly” investigating her for “telling the truth.”

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

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

[Matt Taibbi] The Sovietization of the American Press

Reality in Soviet news was 100% binary, with all people either heroes or villains, and the villains all in league with one another (an SR was no better than a fascist or a “Right-Trotskyite Bandit,” a kind of proto-horseshoe theory). Other ideas were not represented, except to be attacked and deconstructed. Also, since anything good was all good, politicians were not described as people at all but paragons of limitless virtue — 95% of most issues of Pravda or Izvestia were just names of party leaders surrounded by lists of applause-words, like “glittering,” “full-hearted,” “wise,” “mighty,” “courageous,” “in complete moral-political union with the people,” etc. Some of the headlines in the U.S. press lately sound suspiciously like this kind of work:

— Biden stimulus showers money on Americans, sharply cutting poverty

— Champion of the middle class comes to the aid of the poor

— Biden's historic victory for America

The most Soviet of the recent efforts didn’t have a classically Soviet headline. “Comedians are struggling to parody Biden. Let’s hope this doesn’t last,” read the Washington Post opinion piece by Richard Zoglin, arguing that Biden is the first president in generations who might be “impervious to impressionists.” Zoglin contended Biden is “impregnable” to parody, his voice being too “devoid of obvious quirks,” his manner too “muted and self-effacing” to offer comedians much to work with. He was talking about this person:

Forget that the “impregnable to parody” pol spent the last campaign year jamming fingers in the sternums of voters, challenging them to pushup contests, calling them “lying dog-faced pony soldiers,” and forgetting what state he was in. Biden, on the day Zoglin ran his piece, couldn’t remember the name of his Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and referred to the Department of Defense as “that outfit over there”:

It doesn’t take much looking to find comedians like James Adomian and Anthony Atamaniuk ab-libbing riffs on Biden with ease. He checks almost every box as a comic subject, saying inappropriate things, engaging in wacky Inspector Clouseau-style physical stunts (like biting his wife’s finger), and switching back and forth between outbursts of splenetic certainty and total cluelessness. The parody doesn’t even have to be mean — you could make it endearing cluelessness. But to say nothing’s there to work with is bananas.

The first 50 days of Biden’s administration have been a surprise on multiple fronts. The breadth of his stimulus suggests a real change from the Obama years, while hints that this administration wants to pick a unionization fight with Amazon go against every tendency of Clintonian politics. But it’s hard to know what much of it means, because coverage of Biden increasingly resembles official press releases, often featuring embarrassing, Soviet-style contortions.

When Biden decided not to punish Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi on the grounds that the “cost” of “breaching the relationship with one of America’s key Arab allies” was too high, the New York Times headline read: “Biden Won’t Penalize Saudi Crown Prince Over Khashoggi’s Killing, Fearing Relations Breach.” When Donald Trump made the same calculation, saying he couldn’t cut ties because “the world is a very dangerous place” and “our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the paper joined most of the rest of the press corps in howling in outrage.

“In Extraordinary Statement, Trump Stands With Saudis Despite Khashoggi Killing.” was the Times headline, in a piece that said Trump’s decision was “a stark distillation of the Trump worldview: remorselessly transactional, heedless of the facts, determined to put America’s interests first, and founded on a theory of moral equivalence.” The paper noted, “Even Mr. Trump’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill expressed revulsion.”

This week, in its “Crusader for the Poor” piece, the Times described Biden’s identical bin Salman decision as mere evidence that he remains “in the cautious middle” in his foreign policy. The paper previously had David Sanger dig up a quote from former Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross, who “applauded Mr. Biden for ‘trying to thread the needle here… This is the classic example of where you have to balance your values and your interests.’” It’s two opposite takes on exactly the same thing.

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

Vox: Republicans are trying to outlaw wokeness. Literally. Yet more "cancel culture isn't real but we mustn't stop doing it" double-speak.

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

[Glenn Greenwald] Journalists Start Demanding Substack Censor its Writers: to Bar Critiques of Journalists

On Wednesday, I wrote about how corporate journalists, realizing that the public’s increasing contempt for what they do is causing people to turn away in droves, are desperately inventing new tactics to maintain their stranglehold over the dissemination of information and generate captive audiences. That is why it journalists have bizarrely transformed from their traditional role as leading free expression defenders into the the most vocal censorship advocates, using their platforms to demand that tech monopolies ban and silence others.

That same motive of self-preservation is driving them to equate any criticisms of their work with “harassment,” “abuse” and “violence” — so that it is not just culturally stigmatized but a banning offense, perhaps even literally criminal, to critique their journalism on the ground that any criticism of them places them “in danger.” Under this rubric they want to construct, they can malign anyone they want, ruin people’s reputations, and unite to generate hatred against their chosen targets, but nobody can even criticize them.

Any independent platform or venue that empowers other journalists or just ordinary citizens to do reporting or provide commentary outside of their repressive constraints is viewed by them as threats to be censored and destroyed. Every platform that enables any questioning of their pieties or any irreverent critiques of mainstream journalism — social media sites, YouTube, Patreon, Joe Rogan’s Spotify program — has already been systematically targeted by corporate journalists with censorship demands, often successfully.

Back in November, the media critic Stephen Miller warned: “It’s only a matter of time before the media tech hall monitors turn their attention to Substack.” And ever since, in every interview I have given about the success of Substack and every time I have written about journalist-led censorship campaigns, I have echoed that warning that they would soon turn their united guns on this platform. Miller’s prediction was prompted by a Columbia Journalism Review article entitled “The Substackerati” which claimed that Substack was structurally unfair because “most” of “the most successful people on Substack” are “white and male; several are conservative” and “have already been well-served by existing media power structures.”

All of that was false. The most-read and highest-earning writer on Substack is Heather Cox Richardson, a previously obscure Boston College History Professor who built her own massive readership without ever working at a corporate media outlet. And the writers that article identified in support of its claim — Matt Taibbi, Andrew Sullivan, Matt Yglesias and myself — do not remotely owe our large readerships to “existing media power structures.” The opposite is true, as The Washington Post’s Megan McCardle explained:

[These Substack writers] got so big by starting blogs that they could sell to traditional publications. They are not monetizing an audience they acquired through larger institutions, but reclaiming one they created themselves…. [O]bviously, one major characteristic of the successful one (wo)man show is the ability to swim against a crowd. Given that, it seems almost obvious that Substack would select people who are not in tune with the dominant views of the establishment media. And that the biggest audience numbers will come from folks who are not in tune with the establishment media….

That is precisely why they are so furious. They cannot stand the fact that journalists can break major stories and find an audience while maintaining an independent voice, critically questioning rather than obediently reciting the orthodoxies that bind them and, most of all, without playing their infantile in-group games and submitting to their hive-mind decrees. In fact, the more big stories you break while maintaining your independence from them, the more intense is the contempt they harbor for you: that explains, among other things, their willingness to watch Julian Assange (who has broken more major stories than all of them combined) be imprisoned for publishing documents.

That they are angry and upset is irrelevant. It only matters because these resentments and fears that they are losing their monopolistic power over public thought are translating into increasingly concerted and effective censorship campaigns.

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College instructor investigated by cops for asking Catholic schools not fly gay pride flag

According to, McMaster University’s Jody Maillet made the request of the Toronto Catholic District School Board last Thursday.

“I oppose this, and I ask that you do as well,” Maillet said. “The reason why is simple: Because gay pride is not compatible with the Catholic faith. You have a spiritual and moral duty to ensure a compassionate, caring, and loving Catholic environment at our schools.”

Maillet has two children in a TCDSB school.

“Sending up gay pride flags and recognizing gay pride month are a sign that their message holds a place in our schools and that their message is not to be contradicted,” Maillet continued. “Flags are flown by those who hold control. Sending signals that support gay pride messages is contrary to the teachings of the Church and have no place in our schools.”

The pro-LGBT YouTube channel Dignity Lighthouse posted Maillet’s comments to its page, and shortly thereafter people on social media went after him for his “homophobia.” Eventually, the Toronto Police were contacted.

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'Fat Sex Therapist' compares fitness trainers to Nazis, children's dieting to sexual assault

“I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,” Sonalee Rashatwar, whose Instagram username is "The Fat Sex Therapist," proclaimed Thursday from the main stage of St. Olaf College.

She continued, “I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body.”

These comments and more were made in the context of her two-hour speech, sponsored by St. Olaf College’s Wellness Center, Women's and Gender Studies Department, and Center for Equity and Inclusion, on the topic of “radical fat liberation.” The talk included assertions that fitness contributed to the recent Christchurch shooting, that people should "challenge" the rule of law, as well as the authority of and the police.

“Tonight we're gonna start by talking about how to politicize our definition of body image,” Rashatwar began, “because oftentimes we actually get stuck thinking of it from a white supremacist lense.” She explained how “white supremacy happens every day in all these little little things.”

During the course of her talk, Rashatwar listed science as one of these supposedly white supremacist everyday things.

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[Glenn Greenwald] Criticizing Public Figures, Including Influential Journalists, is Not Harassment or Abuse

One of the Paper of Record’s star reporters, Taylor Lorenz, has been much discussed of late. That is so for three reasons. The first is that the thirty-six-year-old tech and culture reporter has helped innovate a new kind of reportorial beat that seems to have a couple of purposes. She publishes articles exploring in great detail the online culture of teenagers and very young adults, which, as a father of two young Tik-Tok-using children, I have found occasionally and mildly interesting. She also seeks to catch famous and non-famous people alike using bad words or being in close digital proximity to bad people so that she can alert the rest of the world to these important findings. It is natural that journalists who pioneer a new form of reporting this way are going to be discussed.

The second reason Lorenz is the topic of recent discussion is that she has been repeatedly caught fabricating claims about influential people, and attempting to ruin the reputations and lives of decidedly non-famous people. In the last six weeks alone, she twice publicly lied about Netscape founder Marc Andreessen: once claiming he used the word “retarded” in a Clubhouse room in which she was lurking (he had not) and then accusing him of plotting with a white nationalist in a different Clubhouse room to attack her (he, in fact, had said nothing).

She also often uses her large, powerful public platform to malign private citizens without any power or public standing by accusing them of harboring bad beliefs and/or associating with others who do. (She is currently being sued by a citizen named Arya Toufanian, who claims Lorenz has used her private Twitter account to destroy her reputation and business, particularly with a tweet that Lorenz kept pinned at the top of her Twitter page for eight months, while several other non-public figures complain that Lorenz has “reported” on their non-public activities). It is to be expected that a New York Times journalist who gets caught lying as she did against Andreessen and trying to destroy the reputations of non-public figures will be a topic of conversation.

The third reason this New York Times reporter is receiving attention is because she has become a leading advocate and symbol for a toxic tactic now frequently used by wealthy and influential public figures (like her) to delegitimize criticisms and even render off-limits any attempt to hold them accountable. Specifically, she and her media allies constantly conflate criticisms of people like them with “harassment,” “abuse” and even “violence.” That is what Lorenz did on Tuesday when she co-opted International Women’s Day to announce that “it is not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I have had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life.” She began her story by proclaiming: “For international women’s day please consider supporting women enduring online harassment.” She finished it with this: “No one should have to go through this.” Notably, there was no mention, by her or her many media defenders, of the lives she has harmed or otherwise deleteriously affected with her massive journalistic platform.

That is deliberate. Under this formulation, if you criticize the ways Lorenz uses her very influential media perch — including by pointing out that she probably should stop fabricating accusations against people and monitoring the private acts of non-public people — then you are guilty of harassing a “young woman” and inflicting emotional pain and violence on her (it’s quite a bizarre dynamic, best left to psychologists, how her supporters insist on infantilizing this fully grown, close-to-middle-aged successful journalist by talking about her as if she’s a fragile high school junior; it’s particularly creepy when her good male Allies speak of her this way).

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The Miseducation of America’s Elites

By normal American standards, they are quite wealthy. By the standards of Harvard-Westlake, they are average. These are two-career couples who credit their own success not to family connections or inherited wealth but to their own education. So it strikes them as something more than ironic that a school that costs more than $40,000 a year—a school with Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s right hand, and Sarah Murdoch, wife of Lachlan and Rupert’s daughter-in-law, on its board—is teaching students that capitalism is evil.

For most parents, the demonization of capitalism is the least of it. They say that their children tell them they’re afraid to speak up in class. Most of all, they worry that the school’s new plan to become an “anti-racist institution”—unveiled this July, in a 20-page document—is making their kids fixate on race and attach importance to it in ways that strike them as grotesque.

“I grew up in L.A., and the Harvard School definitely struggled with diversity issues. The stories some have expressed since the summer seem totally legitimate,” says one of the fathers. He says he doesn’t have a problem with the school making greater efforts to redress past wrongs, including by bringing more minority voices into the curriculum. What he has a problem with is a movement that tells his children that America is a bad country and that they bear collective racial guilt.

“They are making my son feel like a racist because of the pigmentation of his skin,” one mother says. Another poses a question to the group: “How does focusing a spotlight on race fix how kids talk to one another? Why can’t they just all be Wolverines?” (Harvard-Westlake has declined to comment.)

This Harvard-Westlake parents’ group is one of many organizing quietly around the country to fight what it describes as an ideological movement that has taken over their schools. This story is based on interviews with more than two dozen of these dissenters—teachers, parents, and children—at elite prep schools in two of the bluest states in the country: New York and California.

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French schoolgirl, 13, admits MAKING UP story that sparked hate campaign resulting in teenage Jihadi beheading teacher Samuel Paty

A French schoolgirl has admitted to telling lies about a teacher who was beheaded after an online hate campaign kickstarted by her comments.

The unidentified girl had claimed that high school teacher Samuel Paty showed an image depicting the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on free speech.

She said that Paty had asked Muslim pupils to leave the class before he showed the image, which had appeared in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

On Monday, the girl's lawyer revealed that his client, 13, had confirmed that she did not actually attend the class and was off sick at the time.

'She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson,' lawyer Mbeko Tabula said.

After the girl, who reportedly had a history of behavioural problems, made her initial claims about the class, her father filed a legal complaint and posted a video online in early October.

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LA teachers union warns members about sharing vacation photos due to ‘bad optics’

In the private United Teachers of Los Angeles Facebook group “UTLA FB GROUP-Members Only,” Fox News reports its 5,700 members were treated to the message “Friendly reminder: If you are planning any trips for Spring Break, please keep that off of Social Media. It is hard to argue that it is unsafe for in-person instruction, if parents and the public see vacation photos and international travel.”

The UTLA maintains it remains unsafe to return to classrooms. Last Friday, its membership voted overwhelmingly — 91 percent — against returning to school. In order to open schools, the union is demanding all teachers be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be “provided access to full vaccination,” along with “PPE [personal protective equipment], social distancing, ventilation and daily cleaning.”

The Facebook group message comes as districts’ spring breaks are approaching. Two responses to the post read “Amen” and “Or better yet, don’t travel on spring break and set an example.”

In response to a query from FOX-11, UTLA said “We have a diverse membership and they are able to post their views on personal Facebook pages and in this Facebook group – however UTLA does not monitor nor is responsible for the content. We do not want to discourage a robust dialogue for members in the public square of opinion.”

Examples of “bad optics” elsewhere likely concerned the union. At the end of last year, a Chicago Teachers Union executive posted photos of herself on vacation in Puerto Rico … and from that vacation she advocated on social media against opening the city’s schools.

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[Ayaan Hirsi Ali] Europe’s guilty conscience

The best illustration of this Misunderstanding Game relates to the issue of immigration from Muslim countries and how European societies should absorb Muslim immigrants.

The first deliberate misunderstanding is the pretence that unskilled immigrants with little formal education are absolutely necessary for advanced economies. With Europe’s shrinking populations and falling fertility rates, the woke and Leftist enablers say, surely no one can argue that enticing young and vibrant people to immigrate is a bad thing. Those terrible xenophobes who fixate on cost/benefit exercises — how much, in monetary terms, immigrants cost society versus how much they contribute — simply don’t get it. Those who point out the large-scale welfare dependency of those immigrants and even of their children a generation later, let alone the emergence of an underclass of ethnic and religious enclaves, are met with cheerful accounts of benefits that cannot be quantified in material terms: the cuisine, attire, sights and sounds of new exotic cultures that locals can now sample at leisure.

Related to this wilful misunderstanding is the argument of compassion. Let’s reject the economic immigrants, say some, and only allow in those who qualify for asylum. In any case, it is just a temporary measure until their countries return to normal. But this approach raises myriad questions. How on earth do we design a vetting process that can distinguish those in search of economic opportunity from those who are true victims of civil strife? When will their countries return to normal? What will they do in the meantime? And who will pay for it all?

Those adept at playing the Misunderstanding Game, however, have some very compelling distractions. Empathy is required, they say. Imagine if it were you or your family who had to endure the ravages of war and upheaval. It wasn’t that long ago that Europe was going through such turmoil. Would you have turned away Jews fleeing what would become the Holocaust?

In any case, we’re told, it is our own fault that these societies are falling apart because we colonised them in the first place. Worse, we even profited from the slave trade before and during the colonial years. Here the conclusion of the Misunderstanding Game is made clear: the moral atonement for historical wrongs is more compelling than any rational attempt to analyse the issues on the table.

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Would That It Really Were ‘Christian Nationalism’

Almost immediately after the U.S. Capitol riot of Epiphany, 2021, commentators decried it as an example of a “Christian nationalism” increasingly polluting the—should we assume hitherto untainted?—American body politic. The Washington Post brought in David French to discuss the phenomenon. Preaching the kinder, gentler sounding Christian patriotism, Russell Moore, leader of the Southern Baptist Church’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission denounced Christian nationalism as a heresy. Leave aside for the moment the fact that a church wedded to separating religion from the civil order has a bureaucratic apparatus for making sure its voice is heard in our republic’s councils of state. Various other Evangelicals chimed in, too, and there is a letter denouncing Christian nationalism circulating where you too, dear reader, may signal your own righteous condemnation.

I’m not ready to call Christian nationalism heresy. And I’m not convinced that what was represented at the Capitol on January 6 was a meaningful example of the historical or traditional set of intellectual, political, or social presumptions associated with Christian nationalism. What has passed for Christian nationalism in the United States is not Christian nationalism at all, but instead a revivalist folk religion massively overrepresented in so-called Evangelical, fundamentalist, and charismatic Protestantism. The very Americanism of what liberals and progressives have identified as Christian nationalism indicates that this is a rhetorical conflation done in service of openly partisan political aims. Labels such as Christian nationalism are increasingly applied to defenses of societal foundations such as the classics, liberal arts, and the natural family; this is to slander their preservation with the contrived boogeyman of Margaret Atwood’s Gilead or some sort of 21st-century Torquemada.

Populist devotees of Trump have more in common with Christian folk movements than Christian nationalist movements. During times of significant social upheaval folk and traditionalist groups have reacted to threats to the established order. During the French Revolution peasants in the Vendée fought the new revolutionary order with gusto. In the early eighteenth century Marian missionary Louis de Montfort had traveled throughout the region encouraging the Catholic faithful to rely on the intercession of the Holy Mother. His work blossomed; Vendean peasants became among the most devout in France but their expression of faith relied on folk solidarity more than the institutional Gallican church. The Vendée rose in revolt after the judicial murder of Louis XVI and the revolutionary assault on the Catholic Church in France in 1793. The French Republic killed thousands, but the Vendean Catholic army managed to fight for nearly two decades without receiving any state support.


The lack of historical roots and the very Americanism of the MAGA folk religion betrays that the current conversation over Christian nationalism is about political posturing. The debate is almost entirely devoid of transcendent Christian commitments or theological understanding, and exists only in order to paint what passes for conservative politics in 2021 with the terrifying brush of “theocracy.” Politico recently ran a piece stating that Republicans wanted to “advance a Christian state.” Congressional Republicans “don’t have a commitment to a pluralistic, democratic republic. They want a Christian nation.” They are, according to the article’s interview subjects “power-mad, religious fanatics. And so there was somebody in the Senate chamber screaming out to Jesus Christ as he participated in the mob assault on the United States Capitol.”

Congressional Republicans, of course, are not Christian nationalists. Most are committed plutocrats who occasionally toss a scrap of socially conservative legislation to their supporters. Trump is not a Christian nationalist either, and neither are his most MAGA supporters. Actual Christian nationalists would be far more committed to effecting legislation consistent with historic Christian establishmentarian principles. But, even then, I’m old enough to remember George W. Bush sparking a theocracy scare. So long as the Republican Party is more worried about enabling a genocide of Arab Christians in the name of not-at-all-Christian liberal regime change, or about people kneeling during the national anthem at not-at-all-Christian NFL games, or continuing to make life easy for enormous not-at-all-Christian multinational corporations who censor Christian authors, I’m not going to wring my hands worried about Christian nationalism overtaking the United States. If it ever did, I might not wring my hands at all.

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History prof asks slavery question that campus 'radicals' deem 'racist.' So university fires him.

A professor is suing St. John’s University in New York City after students found his lecture questions about slavery to be inappropriate.

On September 7, former history professor Richard Taylor gave a presentation for his class “History 1000: Emergence of a Global Society,” according to a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent to administrators on October 8.

During the lecture, Taylor discussed the Columbian Exchange — the transfer of plants, animals, disease, people, and culture following Christopher Columbus’s voyages — as well as its positive and negative implications for world history. FIRE counsel Adam Goldstein told Campus Reform that the university never responded to the letter.

The final slide of the presentation asked if the “positives justify the negatives.” In response, an Instagram account called “SJURadicals” claimed that Taylor was a “RACIST PREDATOR ON CAMPUS” who “forced students to formulate a pros and cons list concerning the topic of slavery.”

On September 15, Taylor met with Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance Keaton Wong, who told Taylor several weeks later that an investigation into the incident “yielded sufficient evidence” that Taylor violated the university’s bias, discrimination, and harassment policies.

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The death of American dignity

In a piece written recently for the American Compass think tank, which campaigns for community to be at the heart of the Republican message, Chris Arnade recalls a typical scene:

“The young man and older women working the afternoon shift alone in a Louisiana Waffle House, her serving, him on the grill, gossiping about work to pass the time. After he complains about everything and everybody for ten minutes, ending with a threat to quit, she matter of factly asks him, “Well, what do you want with your life?”, to which he responds, “Job that pays enough to get a home, have a family, and do my hobbies.”

Arnade points out that this is an inexplicable response to those at the top of American society, both Democrats and Republicans. They don’t understand the experience of ordinary Americans who work with their hands:

“Work is something to endure, and most do endure it, with an impressive resiliency. Our technocratic class, politicians, and the elite media rarely see this, and if they did most would be hard pressed to understand it, because their resume and career define who they are. They are careerists, so they assume everyone else must be a careerist, and they look at everyone else working, including the guy in dirty clothes driving the F150, and assume he is a careerist as well, just one in a different and mostly icky career.”

An F150, by the way, is a basic and rather boring pick up truck.

The politics of the Arnade insight is simple but I am not sure all Democrats take it fully on board. If he is right, they need to appeal to people who are not going anywhere and do not want to be told they can, or should. Campaigns of social betterment look fake to these people, because they often have been.

He certainly seems to be onto something: Democrats’ margins of support among those earning less than $30k per year have dropped every year from 2008 through to 2020. Obama won these voters by a whopping 33 percentage points in 2008. By 2020, even with blue collar friendly Biden at the top of the ticket, the Democrats’ lead was down to 8 points.

When Hillary Clinton talked of breaking glass ceilings, what did that really mean in the Waffle House? Nothing. She may as well have been addressing the populace of a different galaxy altogether.

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Is your baby racist?

Journalist Christopher Rufo’s investigations have revealed how far critical race theory has spread in America’s institutions – including, most alarmingly, in schools.

His latest discovery is that the Arizona Department of Education has released a new ‘equity’ toolkit intended to help families and teachers tackle racism among children. It advises that even babies as young as three months old can show racial prejudice. The evidence? They ‘look more at faces which match the race of their caregivers’.

According to the toolkit, by the age of two and a half kids use race to determine who their playmates should be. ‘Expressions of racial prejudice often peak at ages four and five’, it says. ‘By kindergarten, children show many of the same racial attitudes that adults in our culture hold – they have already learned to associate some groups with higher status than others.’

So what should we do about this? The toolkit says that children must be made aware that ‘the reality in which they are embedded ascribes unearned privileges to their whiteness’.

This madness is the inevitable result of the cult of critical race theory. No one should be surprised that those who see racism everywhere see it in babies, too. Once, kids were rightly seen as uniquely free of society’s prejudices. But racism is now considered to be so pervasive that even the most innocent are seen as stained by this original sin.

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Smith College and the racist incident that wasn’t

Oumou Kanoute, a black student, claimed that on 31 July 2018, while she was eating lunch in a dormitory lounge, she was harassed by college employees, then confronted by a campus security officer who she speculated could have been armed. The American Civil Liberties Union publicised her cause, validating her claim that she was victimised for nothing more than ‘eating lunch while black’. Smith College president Kathleen McCartney immediately issued an elaborate public apology to Kanoute, who three weeks later Facebook-posted personal information about a cafeteria worker and a janitor she accused of harassing her, calling them racists.

Kanoute not only claimed to be shaken by the incident — she also ramped it up to an existential level, claiming to be outraged that so many at Smith questioned her ‘existence overall as a woman of colour’.

The fallout for the accused workers was severe, including, variously, being put on paid leave, being pressured to attend ‘mediation’ with Kanoute, and having their job location reassigned. Most seriously, those whom Kanoute doxxed were harassed, hate-mailed and threatened to the point that it affected their health. That fall, Smith ramped up mandatory anti-bias and racial-sensitivity training sessions for all non-faculty employees.

While national media were quick to run with this story of campus racism, it took more than two years for the truth to emerge, even though it was available only three months after the incident in a detailed report, prepared by an independent law firm specialising in discrimination cases. The report’s key findings explode Kanoute’s original claims.

It turns out that she was eating in a cafeteria that was expressly reserved for children attending a summer camp. She then took her meal to an area that was also closed off for the summer. The cafeteria worker politely reminded her of these restrictions; Kanoute continued nonetheless, but the cafeteria worker did not insist she move and did not report her.

A janitor, whom Kanoute later accused of being a racist, was not actually on campus when the incident occurred. Another janitor, who called security when he saw her, was only following the policy he had been given in the case of trespass. The transcript of his call to security reveals that he made no remarks about her race, as she was dimly visible.

The campus security officer who then attended was not armed. No campus security personnel carry firearms. The officer in fact recognised Kanoute and apologised for bothering her, even though she was in an off-limits area. Kanoute recorded this encounter herself. Other claims made by her, and widely publicised in the aftermath of the incident, also proved to be false, including that the reporting janitor ‘misgendered’ her.

In short, it looks as if Kanoute was determined to find slights where none existed, and to respond not only with exaggeration, but also without scruples.

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[Glenn Greenwald] As the Insurrection Narrative Crumbles, Democrats Cling to it More Desperately Than Ever

All over the country it was the same story. “But at the moment that Biden was taking the oath of office in Washington, the total number of protesters on the Capitol grounds in Topeka stood at five — two men supporting Trump and two men and a boy ridin’ with Biden,” reported The Wichita Eagle (“With Kansas Capitol in lockdown mode, Inauguration Day protest fizzles). “The protests fizzled out after not many people showed up,” reported the local Florida affiliate in Tallahassee. “The large security efforts dwarfed the protests that materialized by Wednesday evening,” said CNN, as “state capitols and other cities remained largely calm.”

Indeed, the only politically-motivated violence on Inauguration Day was carried out by Antifa and anarchist groups in Portland and Seattle, which caused some minor property damage as part of anti-Biden protests while they “scuffled with police.” CNN, which spent a full week excitedly hyping the likely violence coming to state capitols by right-wing Trump supporters, was forced to acknowledge in its article about their non-existence that “one exception was Portland, where left-wing protesters damaged the Democratic Party of Oregon building during one of several planned demonstrations.”

Completely undeterred by that debacle, Democrats and their media spokespeople returned with a new set of frightening warnings for this week. The date of March 4 has taken on a virtually religious significance for the Q-Anon movement, announced NBC News’ Ben Collins, who was heard on NPR on Thursday speaking through actual, literal journalistic tears as he recounted all the times he called Facebook to plead with them to remove dangerous right-wing extremists on their platform (tears commence at roughly 7:00 mark). Valiantly holding back full-on sobbing, Collins explained that he proved to be so right but it pains and sorrows him to admit this. With his self-proclaimed oracle status fully in place, he prophesized that March 4 had taken on special dangers because Q-Anon followers concluded that this is when Trump would be inaugurated.

This is how apocalyptic cult leaders always function. When the end of the world did not materialize on January 6, Collins insisted that January 20 was the day of the violent reckoning. When nothing happened on that day, he moved the Doomsday Date to March 4. The flock cannot remain in a state of confusion for too long about why the world has not ended as promised by the prophet, so a new date must quickly be provided with an explanation for why this is serious business this time.

This March 4 paranoia was not confined to NBC’s resident millennial hall monitor and censorship advocate. On March 3, The New York Times warned that “the Capitol Police force is preparing for another assault on the Capitol building on Thursday after obtaining intelligence of a potential plot by a militia group.” All this, said the Paper of Record, because “intelligence analysts had spent weeks tracking online chatter by some QAnon adherents who have latched on to March 4 — the original inauguration date set in the Constitution — as the day Donald J. Trump would be restored to the presidency and renew his crusade against America’s enemies.”

These dire warnings also, quite predictably, generated serious reactions. “House leaders on Wednesday abruptly moved a vote on policing legislation from Thursday to Wednesday night, so lawmakers could leave town,” said the Times. We learned that there would be further militarization of the Capitol and troop deployment in Washington indefinitely due to so-called “chatter.” NPR announced: “The House of Representatives has canceled its Thursday session after the U.S. Capitol Police said it is aware of a threat by an identified militia group to breach the Capitol complex that day.”

Do you know what happened on March 4 when it came to violence from right-wing extremists? The same thing that happened on January 20: absolutely nothing. There were no attempted attacks on the Capitol, state capitols, or any other government institution. There was violent crime registered that day in Washington D.C. but none of it was political violence by those whom media outlets warned posed such a grave danger that Congress has to be closed and militarization of Washington extended indefinitely.

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We didn’t start this culture war

Kermit the Frog. Mr Potato Head. Dr Seuss. The culture war becomes more infantile by the day. Quite literally. The big talking points of the past few weeks have focused almost exclusively on children’s TV shows, toys and authors. First Disney Plus slapped a warning label on The Muppets Show, due to the ‘negative depictions and / or mistreatment of people or cultures’ it apparently features, acknowledging the ‘harmful impacts’ these puppets have inflicted on generations of youngsters.

Then there was the de-gendering of Mr Potato Head. Hasbro announced that the beloved toy brand would drop the honorific, so as to make it more gender inclusive (while still keeping the Mr and Mrs Potato Head characters).

Then they came for Dr Seuss, as it were. Joe Biden conspicuously removed any mention of the beloved author from his proclamation on Read Across America Day this week, which was up until now also known as Dr Seuss Day. A Virginia school district also instructed its teachers to ‘not connect Read Across America Day with Dr Seuss’. Most strikingly, the Seuss estate said it would cease publishing six of the more ‘problematic’ titles.

This followed a years-long campaign on the part of some academics to repose Seuss as a racist, due to the old stereotypical depictions in some of his books (ignoring the fact that while his work reflects some of the prejudices of his time, he also satirised racism, fascism and nationalism).

Right-wingers in the US have had several field days over all of this, as you might expect. Dr Seuss got rolling coverage on Fox, and some pundits got a bit carried away. ‘Buy Mr and Mrs Potato Head because it’s the end of an era. It is the end of freedom in America’, thundered Glenn Beck on his radio show.

And all this has allowed liberals to rehearse their new favourite line – that cancel culture is just right-wing grievance-mongering used to ‘distract’ from the bigger issues. Comment pieces and cable-news monologues have portrayed these conservatives as lunatics obsessing over the genitalia of plastic potatoes and exaggerating what are actually minor stories.

Here, woke liberals are essentially projecting their own lunacy on to their critics. After all, the only reason anyone is talking about Messrs Seuss, Potato Head and Frog is that some people actually decided these anodyne children’s products were potentially dangerous and had to be changed or culled.

The pattern keeps repeating itself. Wokists do something mad and when you point this out to them they accuse you of being mad. The people who think that the mascots on Uncle Ben’s rice or Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix are essentially propping up white supremacy are perfectly sensible. Anyone who says ‘hang on a minute’ is crazy.

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Ethics professor who advises Cuomo caught scrubbing nursing home deaths from report by health officials

Linda Lacewell is superintendent of New York state’s Department of Financial Services. Her bio notes that she also teaches ethics as an adjunct law professor at New York University.

Maybe not for much longer.

The New York Times identifies Lacewell among the “most senior aides” to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who rewrote a report by state health officials to hide the true number of deaths in nursing homes – more than 9,000 – following the Democrat’s executive order on COVID-19 early in the pandemic.

The governor had ordered nursing homes to accept hospital patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. New York was already hiding a crucial population from the death count: “residents who had been transferred to hospitals and died there, effectively cloaking how many nursing home residents had died of Covid-19.”

After this and the Bruce Hay incidents I'm beginning to suspect that these ethics and decision making professors may be a bit oversold.

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Conservative student journalism conference canceled after one anonymous complaint

About 72 hours before the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Collegiate Network student editors’ conference was slated to begin this weekend, Hilton was told it could not take place due to COVID health regulations, organizers said.

“We received news from our hotel that the local department of health … in response to an anonymous health complaint, someone called expressing concerns about the safety of the attendees at our conference,” John Burtka, president of the ISI, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday.

“In response to that complaint, an eager and willing bureaucrat complied and reclassified ISI’s educational program as a social event, and all social events in the state of Virginia are limited to only 10 people, effectively canceling our student journalism conference,” he said.

Burtka said there are many other conferences being held throughout the state and ISI is willing to complying with all COVID safety regulations.

“This had nothing to do with public health,” he said. “What it had to do with is there was someone who clearly did not want this event to happen. … We are working to find another city that welcomes freedom, diversity and civil discourses for a variety of perspectives.”

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The woke battle for cultural imperialism

Predictably, then, the politics of translation have become a culture-war battleground today, with reports that the Dutch writer and poet Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has pulled out of translating Amanda Gorman’s poem for the Biden inauguration. Translation rights to Gorman’s work were hotly contested, and Meulenhof, the publisher that secured them, described Rijneveld, an International Booker Prize winner, as the “dream translator”.

But Rijneveld’s selection was quickly seized upon by self-styled “cultural activist” Janice Deul, who wrote that Meulenhof should instead “choose a writer who is — just like Gorman — a spoken-word artist, young, female and unapologetically Black”. The implication was that Rijneveld, who is white, would have less insight into Gorman’s life than a Dutch writer who is black. In response, critics of Rijneveld’s decision to step down have objected to this firewalling of cultural artefacts on the basis of skin colour. But such well-trodden culture war arguments can easily obscure the complex power dynamics of translation.


Amanda Gorman’s work has been broadcast around the world from the nation that remains — in however battered a condition — the world’s pre-eminent superpower. She is not marginalised. In terms of pure cultural clout, she’s a heavy hitter, in the world’s top nation, writing in the world’s dominant language. Rijneveld, on the other hand, is a relatively obscure writer and poet, working in a language spoken by a mere 23 million people.

Being a trendy figure in Dutch literature has nothing on being America’s premier court poet. And so winning the job of translating Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem is less white appropriation than the scoring of an immense honour — one that was, in fact, conferred by Gorman herself, who personally selected Rijneveld for the job.

Deul’s intervention was not a move to amplify marginalised people so much as the use of a fashionable argument to redirect a desirable opportunity toward her own social network. (Her article names several of her personal friends whom she thinks would be more suitable than Rijneveld.) That is, it was less a fightback against imperial power than an intra-class skirmish for perks and status.

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[Freddie deBoer] Freddie Nitro Edition: there you go again

If you don’t like what I’m saying here, why not say something better? There’s opportunity there! I don’t understand why nobody ever takes me up on this: media’s social culture has, let’s say, some unfortunate elements, as I think even the most paid-up member of the system would acknowledge. Why doesn’t someone produce some big chunky essay about how the social mores of media affect the industry? Why not something about the pressures younger journalists feel to conform to the orthodoxies of media Twitter? If you aren’t nearly as negative as I am, fine! Show me I’m wrong. Demonstrate how a culture that teaches thousands of 30 year olds that they should throw stones only from the safety of a social network is good. Explain it to me. Tell me why groupthink and parasociality are healthy. But somebody, please, just write about this. What does it mean when an immensely important industry has organized itself entirely around the petty popularity hierarchies of a social network? That’s a New York magazine cover story, if you want it to be.

Not that I’m sure it would do much good. Certainly they won’t listen to me, right, but that’s a given. The issue is that Twitter is both the problem and the means through which the problem is avoided. If some already-disgruntled participant in the media circle jerk were to read this post, find some things to agree with and start to wonder if I’m on to something, those feelings would be quickly suppressed by all the other writers on there insisting that no, our critics are just assholes, there’s nothing worth talking about in our social culture, our industry is perfectly healthy, we’re just fine thanks. If self-criticism is possible for individuals, it’s not possible within mutual admiration societies. The socially-enforced self-defensive capacity of media Twitter means that no one ever takes a long hard sober look at whether everyone in an entire industry trying to ingratiate themselves with their peers literally all day and night could have some unforeseen consequences. It’s a shield against introspection.

The truth is of course that these people are whistling past the graveyard; their endlessly workshopped dry one-liners, shared relentlessly on a forum that makes them depressed and anxious, are the cries for help of desperate people, trapped in a dying industry, making pennies to grind out something called content while 70 year olds in the same business write 5000 words a year and watch their pensions grow. They think that they’re participating in the traditions of Joan Didion and Ellie Bly but the work they produce are listicles about Tik Tok and thinkpieces about Rick & Morty. They tell themselves that someday they’ll graduate into writing that book, not seeming to understand that literary advances are drying up like piss in the Sahara if you aren’t already famous. They cling to each other in mutually parasitic insincere relationships out of the vain hope that one day, one day, it’ll pay off.

They insist on living in the most expensive cities in the country while the interest on their student loans grows to many times the principle. They mock Silicon Valley while quietly knowing that they are utterly in its thrall, that any shithead VC baron could come along at any moment, decide to throw a switch, and obliterate them and their publication. They relentlessly freelance to get a chance to write for the big places and are shocked to discover that the big places are very happy to pay you $75 for 3000 words. They look at publications like the New Yorker as the cathedrals they aspire to work for, not seeming to realize that the beauty of being a cathedral is you get to treat even your big name employees like shit. They hate their industry and they’re tired of the city and they want some security but they won’t take that job offer from their uncle because they’re sure, somehow, that they’re better than him.

You’re poor now and you’ll be poor later and you always said you were happy to trade it away to do something meaningful and now you cry at night because you know none of what you do matters. So who’s the real fucking loser?

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[Rod Dreher] Eduard Habsburg on Hungary’s Family Policy Successes

Hungary’s most fascinating initiatives are her pro-life and pro-family policies, which have successfully reduced abortion and divorce while boosting birth and marriage rates. “I think there’s three keys to this success,” Habsburg told me. “You need measures that really encourage people to have more children—and that means you need to take money and spend it on families. As a father of six I know that every little help with living space, tax exemptions, government grants, help with the family car, etc., makes a huge difference. With this security in view, more people will simply get married.”

It takes giving people concrete help: “From the third child onwards, you pay practically no more income tax; a woman with four children never pays any taxes again,” Habsburg told me. “There is a loan of 33,000 euro for young married couples (a significant amount in Hungary) that you do not have to pay back from the third child onwards, and only in diminishing parts after the first and second child is born. A nice detail here is that if you apply for this loan after the 12th week of pregnancy all repayments are suspended until after your third child.”

To accomplish this, you need buy-in. “That money, of course, has to be taken from somewhere else, so you need people convinced of and committed to this cause and ready to pursue such an agenda in the face of ridicule or outright criticism from other E.U. countries,” Habsburg noted. “In fact, our family minister Katalin Novák is travelling to conferences all over the world to convince other countries to join in with our family project and to share her experiences.”

Hungary also ensures that the costs associated with growing families are manageable. “The government offers loans for housebuilding, write-offs for mortgage credits, financial support for larger family vans (more than 7 seats). Grandparents can receive financial support for childcare. For Hungary, it is important to offer free choice to parents; that is, not to promote only a ‘stay-at-home-mom’ image but to help families freely decide and help both mothers who want to stay at home or go to work. All of these measures have probably contributed to a climate in which marriage numbers have gone up while divorces and abortions have gone steeply down.”

One of Habsburg’s observations seems like a veiled dig at Europe’s predominantly childless leaders. While Orbán has five children, many major leaders—Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Claude Juncker, Mark Rutte, Nicola Sturgeon, among others—have none. When the Hungarian government promotes family policy, it is obvious that Orbán’s understanding of what large families need is not just theoretical. “You need people in the public space like prime minsters, members of government, people in sports and other prominent members of society that regularly show themselves to be family people with more than 1.5 children. Seeing that you’re not alone with a numerous family will give more people the courage to try that difficult but beautiful path.”

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St. Joseph’s prof placed on paid leave after criticizing reparations

A professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia was placed on paid leave after expressing his views about racial reparations on his personal Twitter account.

Gregory Manco, a mathematics professor and volunteer baseball coach at St. Joseph’s, came under fire for criticizing the notion of racial reparations. After a Twitter user using the moniker “karl marx” pointed out his comments on February 19, the school’s official Twitter account said it they would look into the remarks immediately.

"Suppose your great-great-grandfather murdered someone. The victim’s great-great-grandson knocks on your door, shows you the newspaper clipping from 1905, and demands compensation from you. Your response?" Manco's tweet criticizing reparations stated. "Now get this racist reparation bulls**t out of your head for good."

Hours after the university became aware of the remarks, Manco received an email from Chief Human Resources Officer Zenobia Hargust.

The email said that the school had “received several complaints regarding online postings that were allegedly made by you and are of a biased or discriminatory nature.” Citing concerns about impacts on students in the classroom, Manco was immediately placed on “paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an external investigation.”

Before you ask, yep... Jesuits again.

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[Rod Dreher] Donald McNeil Tells His Side

From about 2002, when the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal broke, until around the end of that decade, the experience of reading the newspaper was to risk yet another reminder that no, even now we haven’t seen the totality of this institution’s corruption.

I feel that way about each new advance in the New York Times scandal: the destruction of the newspaper’s standards at the hands of Wokeness. Today’s four-part Medium account of Donald G. McNeil’s forced resignation, as told by Donald G. McNeil, is one of those days.

McNeil withheld publication until after his last official day at the Times. It’s safe to say that after today, he will not be welcome in that building. The portrait he paints of the Times is a familiar one — that the newsroom has been taken over by woke militants, and the paper’s senior leadership, like dissenters, are terrified of them — but the detail McNeil gives about the events that ended his career makes publisher A.G. Sulzberger and editor-in-chief Dean Baquet look even more gutless. Here’s Part One, which introduces the issue.

Here’s Part Two: what happened on January 28, when McNeil, the Times’s lead Covid writer and a journalist of 40 years’ experience at the paper, received an e-mail from a Daily Beast reporter informing him they were going to do a story about him and the Times-sponsored Peru trip he took, accompanying a group of rich prep school kids (none black).

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So is Joe Biden a Nazi, too?

Is Joe Biden a Nazi? I only ask because he’s doing a lot of the same things that the previous incumbent of the White House did, and that guy was always being called a Nazi.

Remember when Donald Trump’s administration incarcerated kids who had illegally crossed the Mexican border? That was literally fascism. These children-packed detention centres were ‘concentration camps’, said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Trump is taking the world ‘back to the 1930s’, said a breathless scribe at the Guardian.

Or how about when Trump dropped bombs on the Middle East? He was branded an insane warmonger. This is the imperial logic of his alt-right leanings, we were told. As for his administration’s targeting of Iranian forces – in particular Iran’s top military commander, Qasem Soleimani, killed by an American bomb in January last year – that was held up by some leftists and liberals as proof of just how deranged Trumpism had become. #WorldWar3 trended on Twitter. ‘Could tension between the US and Iran spark World War 3?’, asked one headline. Trump was always either embodying the evils of the Second World War or propelling humanity into a third.

As for his bully-boy tactics with the press – for journalists in particular this was technicolor evidence of his fascistic tendencies. Trump’s mockery of CNN and the New York Times – whom he frequently wrote off as ‘fake news’ – was straight out of 1930s Germany, apparently. (If someone can dig out footage of German journalists questioning and ridiculing the Fuhrer to his face in daily press conferences, I’d love to see that.) Trump’s war of words against ‘fake news’, his niggling desire to punish and censor the press for allegedly promoting ‘misinformation’, made him Literally Hitler. Hitler also used ‘the idea of the “Lügenpresse” (“fake news”) to attack journalists’, Yale prof Timothy Snyder solemnly informed us.

And now? Well now, Biden and some of his top advisers and supporters are doing all of the above – caging kids from Mexico, bombing the Middle East, demanding that the fake-news media be ‘reined in’ – but apparently it isn’t fascism anymore! It’s normal politics. It’s sensible policy. Isn’t that amazing – that policies can switch from being literally Nazism to being standard American government action depending on the name and party of the person signing them off?

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Blood on the virtual street at Clubhouse

Events this weekend suggest the honeymoon phase may already be over. There was blood on the virtual streets of Clubhouse last Friday, as a room created to discuss ‘wokeism’ experienced its own ‘woke coup’. Aficionados of arcane internet drama can listen to a recording of the whole thing here; the struggle session starts around the 2-hour mark and gets madder from there.

Around 2:45 the new moderators spotted Intellectual Dark Web luminary Bret Weinstein in the audience, called him onto the stage and proceeded to lay into him. “Are you anti-racist? Are you transphobic? Are you anti-black? Give us the answers now”.

The section that follows is an object lesson in the naïveté of that strand of optimistic rationalism that continues to imagine that all we need do in order to foster social harmony is just talk to one another. Weinstein and his interrogators agree on next to no fundamental premises, and those questioning him are hostile to his viewpoint. There is no ‘constructive dialogue’ under those conditions, and the outcome is as brutal and futile as you’d expect: a kind of toxic anti-conversation.

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[Matt Taibbi] In Defense Of Substack

UCLA professor Sarah Roberts, co-leader of something called the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry — media critics whose stated goal is “strengthening democracy through culture-making” — went on a lengthy Twitter tirade against Substack last night, one that gained a lot of attention. I should probably respond since, as one prominent reporter put it to Glenn Greenwald and me this morning, “Shit, it’s like she wrote this for the two of you.”


The answer connects to one of the primary reasons audiences are moving to places like Substack: the perception that traditional news outlets have become tools of the very corporate and political interests they’re supposed to be overseeing. Roberts complains about lines between opinion and reporting being blurred at Substack (an absurd comment on its own, but that’s a separate issue), but the “blurring” problem at those other organizations is far more severe. Are newspapers like the New York Times checks on power, or agents of it?

Why didn’t Snowden go to one of the big names at the Times? Could it be because one of the senior Times editors back then, Dean Baquet — now the chief — reportedly once killed a whistleblower’s story about a surveillance arrangement between AT&T and the NSA? Or because the Times had a history of sitting on damaging intelligence stories, including one about an analyst who doubted the existence of Iraqi WMDs that the paper held until after the 2003 invasion?

It was bad enough when the traditional newsrooms Roberts so esteems near-universally swallowed the WMD lie, but the real kicker was when the worst offenders in that episode were promoted, and given the helm at major magazines and journalistic supertankers like the Times. What signal does that send to audiences?

Because this is not a bug but a feature, these same types of errors have been repeated over and over, to the point where papers like the Times and the Washington Post eventually became little more than conduits for anonymous intelligence sources spouting unconfirmable fairy tales like the pee tape. The major “traditional” cable networks, as well as many of the bigger daily newspapers, have for years now been engaged in mad hiring sprees of ex-spooks, putting whole nests of known perjurers and Langley goons on their payrolls as contributors, where they regularly provide “commentary” on news stories in which they themselves have involvement. And Roberts wants to lecture us about “disclosure of compromise”?

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CA teachers union president who led school closure charge seen dropping daughter off at in-person preschool

A group known as Guerilla Momz is calling Berkeley Federation of Teachers president Matt Meyer a hypocrite after spotting him dropping his two year old daughter off for in-person instruction at a private pre-school.

"Meet Matt Meyer. White man with dreads and president of the local teachers' union," the group wrote in a tweet on Saturday along with video footage of Meyer. "He's been saying it is unsafe for your kid to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school."

Meyer told Fox News in a statement that the video, which blurred out his child's face, was "very inappropriate" and an intrusion of his child's privacy. He added that there were "no public options for kids her age."

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The Spectre of Totalitarianism

In March 2019, tax expert Maya Forstater was dismissed from her job — legally, according to a later judicial ruling — for voicing the view that “sex is a biological fact, and is immutable.” When author J.K. Rowling came to Forstater’s defence, she was bombarded with abuse, including an invitation from one lady to “choke on my fat trans cock”. The case became a cause célèbre. But it is only one of many such cases. Today, anyone who ventures a controversial opinion on “trans”, race, disability, Middle Eastern politics and a handful of other issues risks being fired, insulted, intimidated and possibly prosecuted.

Last year, a “Journal of Controversial Ideas” was launched, offering authors the option of writing under a pseudonym “in order to protect themselves from threats to their careers or physical safety”. How did things come to this pass?


In recent years, the classical liberal idea of tolerance has shaded, imperceptibly, into the very different idea of affirmation. If tolerance requires us to grant liberty to beliefs and practices which we regard as wrong, “affirmation” demands that we embrace without qualification the full spectrum of lifestyles and identities. (“All different, all equal” and “acceptance with exception” are two recent Stonewall campaign slogans.) From the standpoint of affirmation, mere tolerance is an unsatisfactory half-way house — a grudging “putting up with” what ought to be wholeheartedly embraced. As Bernard Williams once put it, there seems to be something not quite right about the outlook of a couple who “tolerate” their gay neighbours.

This view of affirmation as the perfection of tolerance — “super-tolerance”, as it were — is misleading. In reality, the demand for affirmation entails a new form of intolerance, all the more powerful for not being recognised as such. For logically, if affirmation is required, non-affirmation is forbidden. There can be no tolerance for the unaffirming.

This — note — is very different from the older liberal principle of “no tolerance for the intolerant”. That principle served only to rule out the Lenins and Hitlers of this world, preserving a wide scope for disagreement. But if what is required is not just tolerance, but affirmation, the scope for disagreement is nil. All must affirm, or else face “cancellation”. Herein lies the secret of that strange and horrible metamorphosis whereby the champions of “diversity” and “inclusivity” have become the most zealous persecutors of the modern age.

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Principal who criticized Big Tech censorship sues school district for suspending him

“I’m not going to tell you what to think, I just want to help you think,” Principal Barton Thorne told Cordova High School students last month, a few days after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

His recorded video message, which plays weekly in homeroom, went on to explain the threat of social media platforms deciding who gets to speak. President Trump and many of his supporters had been removed from their accounts, and the competing social media platform Parler removed from its web host, in the wake of the riot.

Tennessee’s Shelby County Schools quickly put Thorne (above) on administrative leave and opened a disciplinary investigation for “professional misconduct.” Thorne’s lawyers demanded the district immediately reinstate him and “publicly apologize for suggesting his actions were inappropriate.”

A month after that warning, Thorne has filed a federal lawsuit against the district and Superintendent Joris Ray for violating his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights and employment contract, as well as inflicting emotional distress and damaging his reputation.

The principal was simply following Ray’s directions to discuss Jan. 6 with students, the Jan. 25 warning letter says. The superintendent’s email to staff suggested several educational resources, including a National Constitution Center lesson plan on structuring debate among students about “the importance of free speech on social media.”

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