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

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White working-class kids are casualties of the culture war

Have you noticed that anyone who talks about the problems facing white working-class kids is instantly accused of starting a culture war? Talk about trans kids and the media will be knocking on your door to commission a documentary. Talk about the specific problems facing children of West Indian or Bangladeshi heritage and the chattering classes will be all ears. But so much as mutter the phrase ‘white working-class’ and you’ll be viewed as iffy. Here comes another culture warrior stirring up racial tensions, the right-on will cry. They might even call you racist.

The Guardian is at it again today with a front-page splash saying: ‘Tory MPs accused of adding fuel to “culture war” in education report.’ What is this fuel that the dastardly Tories are recklessly pouring on to the cultural clashes of the 21st century? It’s a new report that says ‘white working-class pupils have been let down by decades of neglect in the English education system’. That’s it. The report is ‘controversial’ and ‘divisive’, the Guardian warns its readers. Nothing highlights the bourgeois smugness of intersectionality better than the fact that a paper like the Guardian will publish article after article about every identity group in the land and then clutch its ethically sourced pearls the minute anyone mentions the words ‘working class’.

The education report is actually not shocking or controversial at all. Nor is it a hand grenade lobbed into the culture war. It’s quite sensible. Produced by the education select committee, the report says it’s a national scandal that white working-class kids have been allowed to fall behind in education. It points out that disadvantaged white pupils are doing badly ‘every step of the way’. For example, just 18 per cent of white pupils on free school meals achieved Grade 4 or higher in GCSE English and maths, whereas the average for pupils on free meals is 23 per cent. A paltry 16 per cent of white kids on free meals get places at university, compared with 59 per cent of black African kids on free meals, 59 per cent of Bangladeshi kids on free meals, and 32 per cent of black Caribbean kids on free meals.

These are striking disparities. And the report makes the very logical point that they cannot be explained by poverty alone. All of these children come from cash-strapped, difficult circumstances, and yet the white ones do significantly worse than the others. There must be cultural reasons for this, the report suggests. It argues that kids from ethnic-minority backgrounds are offered more assistance than white working-class kids. It also ridicules the teaching of ideas like ‘white privilege’. Quite right. Telling white working-class children, who are lagging so severely behind every other social group, that their skin colour bestows upon them some kind of lifelong privilege is just perverse. It’s cruel, in fact; almost a form of mockery.

I would add to the report’s observations that there is also a worrying culture of low expectations in some white working-class communities. Where the children of immigrant communities – Indians, Nigerians, Bangladeshis, Irish – are often driven and aspirational, the children of the native white working classes too often expect too little of themselves. Education is something to ‘get through’ rather than to be challenged and changed by. Decades of economic, political and cultural neglect in working-class towns has sadly deflated many people’s sense of self. Which makes the cynical jibe of ‘white privilege’ all the more obnoxious. The elites hollow out the futures of the white working classes and then have the termity to lecture the white working classes about their ‘privilege’.

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‘Stop talking right now’: University of Oklahoma training shows instructors how to censor, indoctrinate students

Do you question whether refusing to use preferred pronouns is hate speech? You can’t — writing on that topic is “not acceptable.”

Think Black Lives Matter shouldn’t engage in property destruction? We’ll have to “re-adjust” your thinking.

If you’re a student at the University of Oklahoma — congratulations! Your instructor may already have done all of the thinking for you. But beware: Deviating too far from an instructor’s personal opinions can cost you.

A recording of an “Anti-Racist Rhetoric & Pedagogies” workshop acquired by FIRE raises alarm bells about the state of free expression and freedom of conscience at Oklahoma’s flagship university.

The workshop in question trains instructors on how to eliminate disfavored but constitutionally protected expression from the classroom and guide assignments and discussion into preferred areas — all for unambiguously ideological and viewpoint-based reasons. FIRE’s concerns are further compounded by the University of Oklahoma’s brazen and unconstitutional track record of putting individual rights out to pasture.

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Harriet Tubman Statue To Replace Christopher Columbus In New Jersey

The mayor of Newark in New Jersey has revealed designs for a statue of Harriet Tubman set to replace a monument to Christopher Columbus that was removed from the city last year.

Ras Baraka said the new statue honouring the abolitionist was ‘better than what we envisioned,’ confirming the monument would be officially unveiled next year.

The statue of Christopher Columbus stood in the city’s Washington Park for almost a century before it was officially removed in June 2020, amid a nationwide reckoning over monuments to racist US historical figures in the wake of renewed Black Lives Matter protests.

Newark mayor Ras Baraka said choosing Tubman to occupy the space was ‘poetic’ given her ties with New Jersey. Tubman is known to have spent time in the state raising money for her work with the Underground Railroad, and is thought to have brought dozens of escaped slaves through Newark itself, which was the last stop on the railroad before New York, NPR reports.

[...]

News of the statue comes on the same week that the city unveiled a new statue of George Floyd, set to be displayed in front of the city hall for at least a year.

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Is it racist to confront a suicide bomber?

The independent inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing of May 2017, in which 22 pop fans were killed by an Islamist extremist, has published the first volume of its report. It makes for chilling reading. The inquiry has found there were numerous ‘missed opportunities’ to confront Salman Abedi, the bomber, and potentially stop him from detonating the device in his rucksack. Most chilling of all is the reason given by one of the key security guards on patrol that evening as to why he failed to question Abedi. He was worried, he said, that asking a brown-skinned man why he was hanging around the arena might be construed as racist.

Take that in. There was a very shifty-looking young man around the foyer and mezzanine of the Manchester Arena towards the end of an Ariana Grande concert, carrying a ‘bulging’ rucksack so large he ‘struggled’ under the weight of it, and a security guard was reluctant to confront him lest he be accused of racism. In the words of the report, this was a significant ‘missed opportunity’. The ‘inadequacy’ of the security guard’s response to the presence of a highly suspicious individual was one of the many misjudgements made on that black, fateful night, the report says. Is it possible that the fear of being thought of as racist is screwing up everyday life, and even hindering sensible action in threatening situations?

To be clear, the security guard who was cagey about questioning Abedi is not responsible for the failure to stop Abedi from detonating his device. The first volume of the inquiry’s report – which covers security at and around the arena on the night of 22 May 2017 – criticises certain individuals, including the security guard, for not doing their jobs diligently enough. But it says that it was the organisations responsible for security at the arena – the arena’s own security firm and also the British Transport Police – that were ‘principally’ to blame for the ‘missed opportunities’. It also makes the reasonable point that it is impossible to know what would have happened if Abedi had been confronted. It proposes that there may still have been loss of life – if, for example, he had detonated his device while being questioned – but that it would have been less severe than the horrors that shortly unfolded.

It is disturbing to read the list of ‘missed opportunities’. Abedi was in the arena for more than an hour and a half before he detonated his bomb. He arrived at 20.51 and blew himself up at 22.31, as the concert attendees started to leave. In that time, this young man with a massive rucksack was seen by numerous people. He was described by some of them as ‘nervous’ and ‘fidgety’. He looked out of place – his age ‘meant that he did not fit the demographic of a parent waiting for a child’, as the inquiry says. And yet as a result of individual and organisational failure – including, the inquiry says, insufficient training of the security guards on duty that night – the message didn’t get through that there was a fidgeting, agitated man with a bulging rucksack hanging around for 90 minutes at the exit area of a venue that was largely packed with children and teenagers.

Remarkably, some people at the arena who saw Abedi thought to themselves that he was a suicide bomber. Christopher Wild and his partner, Julie Whitley, who were picking up Whitley’s daughter, discussed the possibility that Abedi had a bomb in his rucksack. Wild actually did confront Abedi and asked him what was in his bag. Abedi nervously brushed him off. Wild reported his concerns to security guards at 22.15 – 16 minutes before the explosion – but he was ‘fobbed off’. Another parent said the security guards were ‘really quite dismissive’ of Wild’s concerns. It is deeply disturbing that parents at the arena rightly suspected Abedi was a bomber and yet nothing was done to challenge or remove him.

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The battle between the two Americas

In recent history, the United States has arguably never been so divided — but not in the way you might think. Yes, the country has been split by the culture wars, with their polarising focus on race and gender. But behind the scenes, another conflict has been brewing; shaped by the economics of class, it has created two Americas increasingly in conflict.

The First America is made up of the highly educated and affluent, who have already managed to recover their pandemic-depleted incomes. Its biggest winners, though, have been large tech firms — notably Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google — who together have added more than two and a half trillion dollars to their valuation since 2019, and last year enjoyed record breaking profits.

In contrast, the Second America, made up of the working and private-sector middle classes, has been devastated by the pandemic, with more than half of small businesses unlikely to fully recover. Meanwhile, the expanding serf class, many of whom were employed in small businesses, has become increasingly dependent on handouts from Washington and bloated state governments, so much so that it has made little sense for many to go back to work.

At stake, increasingly, is the future of America as an aspirational country. Traditionally, the growing gap between the rich and the other classes would be fodder for a Left-wing bonfire, but the progressive Left now gets much of its funding from the corporate elite, notably Silicon Valley and Wall Street. The oligarchy not only funded Biden’s campaign, but, particularly in the case of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, leant critical support to boost the November electoral turnout.

Taking on the oligarchy, therefore, has not been Biden’s priority, at least to date. Rather than focus on traditional working-class concerns, he has been swept up by the cultural memes of the HR departments, newsrooms and faculty lounges. The results have been all too predictable: draconian energy policies, the racialisation of education and support for public sector unions, the one arguably working-class bastion for the Democrats.

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Google force installs Massachusetts MassNotify Android COVID app

Google is force-installing a Massachusetts COVID-19 tracking app on residents' Android devices without an easy way to uninstall it.

For the past few days, users have reported that Google silently installed the Massachusetts 'MassNotify' app on their devices without the ability to open it or find it in the Google Play Store.

"This installed silently on my daughter's phone without consent or notification. She cannot have installed it herself since we use Family Link and we have to approve all app installs. I have no idea how they pulled this off, but it had to involve either Google, or Samsung, or both," a user wrote in a review on the Google Play Store.

"Normal apps can't just install themselves. I'm not sure what's going on here, but this doesn't count as "voluntary". We need information, and we need it now, folks."

MassNotify is Massachusetts' COVID-19 contact tracing app that allows users who have opted into Android's 'COVID-19 Exposure Notifications' feature to be warned when exposed to the virus.

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'Trans widows’ fear being trapped in loveless marriages if gender law changes

‘Trans widows’ face being trapped in loveless marriages if their spouses no longer need their permission to change gender, MPs examining proposals to change the law have been warned.

Activists are asking ministers to ditch the requirement for a spouse's agreement, a clause that some women say is a lifeline for them if their husband transitions to a woman.

It allows them to exit a heterosexual marriage before it legally becomes homosexual, or get an annulment for those who cannot divorce for cultural reasons.

The Telegraph has spoken to women who left their male partners when they came out as trans women, sometimes overnight, describing in powerful testimonies how their other half became unrecognisable.

These women, who call themselves ‘trans widows’, are flocking to new support groups, amid fears they may be branded bigots if they find their new situation as a couple to be difficult to comprehend.

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Psychiatrist doubles down on claim that white people are ‘psychopathic’

At the April 6 talk, Forensic Psychiatrist Aruna Khilanani said that she fantasizes about killing white people and feels “relatively guiltless” about it.

She added that “there are no good” white people, that whites “make her blood boil,” and that years ago she eschewed just about all of her white friends.

“White people are out of their minds and they have been for a long time,” Khilanani said. “We are asking a demented, violent predator who thinks that they are a saint or a superhero, to accept responsibility. It ain’t gonna happen.”

In a clip posted Thursday by Temple University’s Marc Lamont Hill, Khilanani reiterated this very contention. Hill asks her “Would it be fair, based on your expertise, to say that white people are psychopathic?”

“I think — I think so, yeah,” Khilanani replies. “I mean, I think there’s many lies that … the way, the level of lying that white people do … started since colonialism, we’re just used to it.”

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The Fragile White People Are All Around You

The confession that I am about to make is so radical that I am going to have to be placed in the Witness Protection Program, beyond the reach of my friends and former colleagues at various right-of-center periodicals: I believe in white fragility.

What do I mean by that phrase? Probably not what proponents of so-called “critical race theory” have in mind, though as it happens I am sympathetic to Dr. Aruna Khilanani, who in a talk at Yale Medical School recently described upper-middle-class white women as “passive aggressive” and mocked their feigned gluten allergies after pointing out that for most of human history wars have been fought over access to grain. During the same event Khilanani also confessed her apparent fantasies of shooting white people with a revolver. For this reason, most of what she said will be understandably ignored.

But if “white fragility” simply means that in addition to being passive aggressive, members of our professional class tend to be emotionally unstable, coddled to the point that even their most absurd fantasies are acknowledged as real by doctors, obsessed with health and safety, driven by careerism and social status, and above all convinced that their wealth and privilege are uniformly well-deserved rewards for their hard work and innate virtue, I am firmly in agreement. It’s hard to see why it took a professor to come up with it. Much of it reminds me of “Stuff White People Like,” a hilarious comedy blog from the last decade later adapted into a series of popular coffee table books, or of old stand-up routines by Dave Chapelle and Richard Pryor.

In my experience, the vast majority of the white Americans Khilanani and other critical race theorists are likely to have encountered are in fact like this. They are hilariously risk-averse health fanatics who have anxiety fits at the idea of their neighbors not masking outdoors or their dogs not accompanying them on airplanes. They listen to podcasts and speak in NPR voice (either the affectless lisp of Ira Glass or the condescending smugness of Robert Siegel). They are full of progressive cant, but they don’t want to lose the state and local tax deductions that make their lifestyles possible. Nor do they spend much time around the poor immigrants they pretend to welcome, unless of course it’s a Guatemalan woman raising their children for them.

You can see white fragility at work in the way these people struggle with things like why a GrubHub driver making negative $3 an hour might not be as worked up as they are about a virus whose average victim is older than the American life expectancy. You see it when “birthing person” and “chestfeeding” become actual words that appear in medical textbooks. You see it whenever a black celebrity gets in trouble, especially Michael Vick, whose 30 for 30 special on ESPN was full of grayed-out video footage that made his old dog kennels look like a Soviet prison camp docudrama. (To this day I cannot think of an act more likely to upset a room full of well-to-do suburban women than wearing a Vick jersey, not even saying that you think the Supreme Court was as wrong in Griswold as it was in Roe.) You see it too in the way that, whenever BLM protestors show up at Whole Foods, white women devote an inordinate amount of energy to questions that basically add up to, “Will no one think of the Veganic Sprouted Ancient Maize Flakes? Those thugs!”

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Vancouver School Board phases out honours programs in high schools

The Vancouver School Board is cutting honours courses in math and science in its high schools because the school district says they do not comply with the equity and inclusion goal of ensuring that all students can participate in every aspect of the curriculum.

The school board says teachers will instead be encouraged to teach to individual students’ capabilities, including those who excel at math and science. (Honours courses in English were phased out over several years.)

But parents of gifted students say their children will lose the opportunity to dive deeper into maths and sciences without being ostracized in regular classrooms because of their abilities.

Parents were told of the decision in mid-May, months after students had chosen where they would attend high school.

“I find it very interesting that the VSB is using exclusion as the reason for taking away these classes because they were, in fact, the places where I felt the safest,” said Natasha Broemling, whose daughter gave up spots in other schools in order to attend Eric Hamber Secondary School – in part because of the opportunity to enroll in honours courses. Ms. Broemling attended the program herself when she was in high school.

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Unindicted Co-Conspirators in 1/6 Cases Raise Disturbing Questions of Federal Foreknowledge

We are especially interested in the unindicted co-conspirators who belonged to any of the big three “militia groups” — the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the Three Percenters. Indeed, it is these militia groups whose behavior, statements and planning leading up to and during 1/6 most closely align with the “violent insurrectionist” caricature we hear about in the media, and which the government claims to be going after in its aggressive prosecutions.

If it turns out that an extraordinary percentage of the members of these groups involved in planning and executing the Capitol Siege were federal informants or undercover operatives, the implications would be nothing short of staggering. This would be far worse than the already bad situation of the government knowing about the possibility of violence and doing nothing. Instead, this would imply that elements of the federal government were active instigators in the most egregious and spectacular aspects of 1/6, amounting to a monumental entrapment scheme used as a pretext to imprison otherwise harmless protestors at the Capitol — and in a much larger sense used to frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists.

This is what’s at stake in getting to the bottom of 1/6.

And so we proceed, unafraid, to investigate the question on which everything else pertaining to 1/6 hinges — did the government have informants or undercover agents in any or all of the “big three” militia groups leading up to or on 1/6? How many of the key unindicted co-conspirators in DOJ prosecutions are unindicted because they are undercover operatives or confidential informants?

In short, what did the federal government know in advance about 1/6, when did they know it — and how far did any undercover operations go?

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Increment the "but that never happens!" counter: She Claimed She Was Raped. Then She Admitted She Lied To Cover Up An Affair

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A real Pole kneels only before God, says Poland's ambassador to Germany

Poland's ambassador to Germany, Andrzej Przyłębski, has spoken out against players of the Polish national team kneeling before the start of the match in support of the controversial anti-racism movement.

"For me, it goes without saying that the Polish national team will not kneel before the matches during the European Football Championship," said Przyłębski to Junge Freiheit.

"A real Pole kneels only before God — and possibly before the woman he proposes to. Footballers of color are now among the football elite, are wealthy, and are valued and admired. So why should one kneel before them?" asked the ambassador.

"I find it inappropriate to make amends with the colonialism of the past epoch by bowing to people who had nothing to do with it and who were born in England or France, for example," explained Przyłębski.

"Poland never had colonies, so it did not participate in colonialism either. Why should we join a practice born of misunderstood political correctness that affects other countries?" he added.

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Is America Becoming a One-Child Country?

Where did all these only children come from? I’ve asked myself this question regularly since I moved back to America after living abroad for eight years. When I left I wasn’t a parent yet, but I came back in January as the mother of three small children. I am amazed at how many of my kids’ little playmates are only children. I estimate the proportion to be around half. Our new neighborhood in Maryland is an interesting mix of blue-collar and white-collar households, but the one-child trend seems to cut across all lines.

[...]

Research shows that most adults are on good terms with their siblings. There’s little specific research about sibling relationships within my own generation, millennials. But I observe most of my peers leaning heavily on their brothers and sisters—primarily for friendship, but also for practical help with things like childcare and sometimes even for financial support. I have two brothers and they are two of my best friends.

What is going to happen when people no longer have siblings? Will the next generation of children think of aunts, uncles, and cousins as mythical beings that don’t really exist?

As extended family networks disappear, we are likely to see even more loneliness, as well as mental health issues and financial insecurity. This will inevitably result in calls for more government programs. Government has long been nicknamed “Big Brother” in reference to George Orwell, but maybe in the future it will be the only brother most people have.

While the puff pieces about the joys of having an only child suggest there are no downsides, I refuse to believe these kids are not lonely. American children spend an average of around one-third of their free time with siblings, and that goes up significantly in bigger families. Friends outside the home can never make up for that level of companionship. Moreover, more only children means that kids have fewer options for potential friends on their street. Neighborhood friendships are ideal because they don’t require an adult chauffeur. I am intimately familiar with the process of arranging playdates with other moms—it can get so complicated I feel like I am Eisenhower planning D-Day.

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OSU students furious after university reports Black-on-White 'hate crime'

Ohio State University students are upset after the school published information about two Black hate crime suspects, as it is required to do under federal law. On September 3, the Ohio State University sent a public safety notice to students, which mentioned a "hate crime" perpetrated by two African-American suspects near Ohio State’s campus. The first correspondence did not mention the victims’ race.

A few days later, the Department of Public Safety sent two follow-up emails, stating that the victims of the crime were White Ohio State students and that the suspects were in custody. One suspect allegedly yelled a racial slur at a student and punched him in the face.

[...]

On September 8, roughly 100 students gathered outside of the school’s administrative offices in order to protest the “error and confusion in the handling of” the public safety notices.

“OSU is mocking their entire Black student body right now. They’re blatantly making campus more uncomfortable and dangerous for us and POC,” tweeted student Deja Geddings.

The group Student Solidarity at OSU argued that the incident was not a hate crime, as racial slurs directed toward White people “are not based on a history of violence & oppression towards White people.”

📯📯

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North Korean defector says 'even North Korea was not this nuts' after attending Ivy League school

"I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think," Park said in an interview with Fox News. "I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying."

[...]

She was also shocked and confused by issues surrounding gender and language, with every class asking students to announce their preferred pronouns.

"English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say 'he' or 'she' by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them 'they'? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?"

"It was chaos," said Yeonmi. "It felt like the regression in civilization."

"Even North Korea is not this nuts," she admitted. "North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy."

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[Glenn Greenwald] The Enduring False Narrative About the PULSE Massacre Shows the Power of Media Propaganda

On June 12, 2016, Mateen spent just over three hours in PULSE from the time he began slaughtering innocent people at roughly 2:00 a.m. until he was killed by a SWAT team at roughly 5:00 a.m. During that time, he repeatedly spoke to his captives about his motive, did the same with the police with whom he was negotiating, and discussed his cause with local media which he had called from inside the club. Mateen was remarkably consistent in what he said about his motivation. Over and over, he emphasized that his attack at PULSE was in retaliation for U.S. bombing campaigns in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. In his first call with 911 while inside PULSE, this is what he said about why he was killing people:

Because you have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. They are killing a lot of innocent people. What am I to do here when my people are getting killed over there. … You need to stop the U.S. airstrikes. They need to stop the U.S. airstrikes, OK? . … This went down, a lot of innocent women and children are getting killed in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan, OK? … The airstrikes need to stop and stop collaborating with Russia. OK?

In the hours he spent surrounded by the gay people he was murdering, he never once uttered a homophobic syllable, instead always emphasizing his geo-political motive. Not a single survivor reported him saying anything derogatory about LGBTs or even anything that suggested he knew he was in a gay club. All said he spoke extensively about his vengeance on behalf of ISIS against U.S. bombing of innocent Muslims.

Mateen's postings on Facebook leading up to his attack all reflected the same motive. They were filled with rage about and vows of retaliation against U.S. bombing. Not a single post contained any references to LGBTs let alone anger or violence toward them. “You kill innocent women and children by doing U.S. airstrikes,” Mateen wrote on Facebook in one of his last posts before attacking PULSE, adding: “Now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”

It was of course nonetheless possible that he secretly harbored hatred for LGBTs and hid his real motive, but that never made sense: the whole point of terrorism is to publicize, not conceal, the grievances driving the violence. And again, good journalism requires evidence before ratifying claims. There never was any to support the story that Mateen's attack was driven by anti-LGBT hatred, and all the available evidence early on negated that suspicion and pointed to a radically different motive. But the media frenzy ended up, by design or otherwise, obscuring Mateen's anger over Obama's bombing campaigns as his motive in favor of promoting this as an anti-LGBT hate crime.

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Federal court scraps law excluding religious students from Vermont voucher program

A federal appeals court ended a Vermont statute that barred state vouchers from funding religious education.

As Campus Reform reported in February, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second District granted an injunction requiring Vermont’s Dual Enrollment Program to give funds to a student attending a Roman Catholic high school. Previously, the student was denied access to the funds due to the religious nature of her education.

The court confirmed that she was denied access to the program “solely because of her school’s religious status.”

On June 2, the Alliance Defending Freedom — the world’s “largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom” — announced that the same court struck down the twenty-one-year-old law entirely.

The court’s opinion said that the Supreme Court reminded states four years ago that it “has repeatedly confirmed that denying a generally available benefit solely on account of religious identity imposes a penalty on the free exercise of religion that can be justified only by a state interest of the highest order.” Accordingly, “a state cannot justify discrimination against religious schools and students by invoking an ‘interest in separating church and State more fiercely than the Federal Constitution.’”

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School District Decides Asians Aren't Students of Color

One school district in Washington state has evidently decided that Asians no longer qualify as persons of color.

In their latest equity report, administrators at North Thurston Public Schools—which oversees some 16,000 students—lumped Asians in with whites and measured their academic achievements against "students of color," a category that includes "Black, Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, and Multi-Racial Students" who have experienced "persistent opportunity gaps."

Most indicators in the report show that the achievement gap between white/Asian students and "students of color" is fairly narrow and improving over time. It would probably be even narrower if Asian students were categorized as "students of color." In fact, some indicators might have even shown white students lagging behind that catch-all minority group. Perhaps Asians were included with whites in order to avoid such an outcome. (The superintendent did not respond to a request for comment.)

What the equity report really highlights is the absurdities that result from overreliance on semi-arbitrary race-based categories. The report also measured "students of poverty"—those who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches—against non-poverty students, and unsurprisingly found a much more significant achievement gap. Students of poverty perform 28 percent worse on math tests, for instance. That socioeconomic category captures something real and meaningful in a way that the gerrymandered race category does not.

Outside public-school bureaucracies, these kinds of race-based classifications seem less popular than ever. In the 2020 election, California voters decisively rejected Proposition 16, which would have allowed public employees to consider race as a factor in university admissions, employment, contracting, and other decisions. Race-based admissions have been forbidden in the state since 1996, when voters outlawed them via ballot initiative by a margin of 54 percent to 45 percent. Proposition 16, which would have reversed this, lost by an even larger margin, despite receving enthusiastic endorsements from top Democrats in the state.

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Croatia's football team refuses to kneel for BLM during Euro 2020, backs Hungary's position

Following the example of the Hungarian national team, Croats also announced that they will not kneel before the matches of the Euro 2020 Championship, which kicks off Friday evening in Rome with Turkey vs. Italy at 9:00 in the evening.

The players of the Croatian national football team said they will certainly not kneel in their opening match against England. The reasoning on the part of the Croatian federation is the same as the Hungarian position, which points to European Football Association (UEFA), which prohibits players making political gestures.

It is common practice in England for players to kneel before matches, who are campaigning for the controversial Black Lives Matter political movement. The members of the English national team did the same in their preparation match against Austria and Romania despite fans booing the gesture, and the players also plan to kneel during their European Championship matches.

In contrast, the 2018 World Cup silver medalists, the Croats, have announced that they will not join the English before the match and will remain standing after the starting whistle before the ball sets off in a clash in Group D.

At a press conference before the European Championships, Croatian national team spokesman Tomislav Pacak did not want to answer a question related to kneeling, but Croatian journalists said the decision was made by the association because kneeling is not part of the UEFA protocol and the UEFA is explicitly opposed to any politically motivated manifestations in sport.

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Second resignation this year at presitigious medical journal after editor questions woke anti-racist narratives

Less than three months after Howard Bauchner, editor-in-chief of Journal of the American Medical Association, accepted a subordinate's resignation for questioning whether racism is embedded in American society, he is stepping down after publicly doubting the notion of "structural racism."

In a June 1 statement, the American Medical Association announced that Bauchner would step down by the end of the month.

Bauchner declared that he took “responsibility” for the comments after a tweet promoting the podcast episode stated that “no physician is racist.”

Campus Reform earlier reported that Deputy Editor Edward Livingston resigned in March after making the controversial claims on the publication's podcast. At the time, Livingston directed his resignation to Bauchner.

This month's statement included an apology from Bauchner: “I remain profoundly disappointed in myself for the lapses that led to the publishing of the tweet and podcast. Although I did not write or even see the tweet, or create the podcast, as editor-in-chief, I am ultimately responsible for them.”

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

Hate-crime hoax: Black student likely egged her own door, police say

A black student who said she was the victim of multiple attacks because of her race has been identified as a primary suspect in the alleged vandalism, according to a police report obtained by The College Fix under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Wayne State University Police Department said it spent “at minimum 200 man hours” investigating the alleged incidents that occurred in February and March 2021.

Zoriana Martinez alleged that on February 16 and March 1 someone threw eggs at her residence hall door. She also said someone tore down her LGBT Pride sticker and stole a photo of her dog.

This happened “all because [she was] a black person living in their space,” she said.

[...]

But the police have concluded that she likely perpetrated the incident herself to obtain a leadership position in the Black Student Union.

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[Rod Dreher] The Woke J.R.R. Tolkien

The reader who sent this in cites it as an example of O’Sullivan’s First Law: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” The Tolkien Society has announced its summer seminar — and hoo boy, is it ever woke!

We are extremely excited to invite you to our upcoming Tolkien Society online seminar on Saturday and Sunday 3rd-4th July! The schedule is now live on the website and can be viewed here.

With sixteen speakers coming to you live in your own home, the day promises to be full of new and fascinating insights into ‘Tolkien and Diversity’.

What is even better is that the event (to be hosted on Zoom) is free to attend. If you would like to attend then please sign up here. The Zoom link and further details will be shared closer to the event only with those who have registered.

The full list of speakers are as follows:

  • Cordeliah Logsdon – Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings
  • Clare Moore – The Problem of Pain: Portraying Physical Disability in the Fantasy of J. R. R. Tolkien
  • V. Elizabeth King – “The Burnt Hand Teaches Most About Fire”: Applying Traumatic Stress and Ecological Frameworks to Narratives of Displacement and Resettlement Across Cultures in Tolkien’s Middle-earth
  • Christopher Vaccaro – Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
  • Sultana Raza – Projecting Indian Myths, Culture and History onto Tolkien’s Worlds
  • Nicholas Birns – The Lossoth: Indigeneity, Identity, and Power
  • Kristine Larsen – The Problematic Perimeters of Elrond Half-elven and Ronald English-Catholic
  • Cami Agan – Hearkening to the Other: Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth
  • Sara Brown – The Invisible Other: Tolkien’s Dwarf-Women and the ‘Feminine Lack’
  • Sonali Chunodkar – Desire of the Ring: An Indian Academic’s Adventures in her Quest for the Perilous Realm
  • Robin Reid – Queer Atheists, Agnostics, and Animists, Oh, My!
  • Joel Merriner – Hidden Visions: Iconographies of Alterity in Soviet Bloc Illustrations for The Lord of the Rings
  • Eric Reinders – Questions of Caste in The Lord of the Rings and its Multiple Chinese Translations
  • Dawn Walls-Thumma – Stars Less Strange: An Analysis of Fanfiction and Representation within the Tolkien Fan Community
  • Danna Petersen-Deeprose – “Something Mighty Queer”: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the Works of Tolkien
  • Martha Celis-Mendoza – Translation as a means of representation and diversity in Tolkien’s scholarship and fandom

What can men do against such reckless hate?

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Stop this culture war against the working class

So now we know what ‘taking the knee’ is all about. Now we know why footballers in the UK – 4,000 miles from the site of George Floyd’s murder last year – are still bending down in silence at the start of every game. It isn’t about Floyd. It isn’t about racism. It isn’t about raising awareness of the fact that some lowlifes on Twitter think it’s funny to racially abuse black footballers. No, taking the knee is now little more than an elitist provocation. It has become a way of goading working-class football fans. This is the footballing elites – cheered on by the media class, the political establishment and the Twitterati – reprimanding the masses in the stands for their presumed prejudices and idiocies. The bent knee is yet another weapon in the never-ending culture war on the oiks.

This is why the recent storm over the taking of the knee, the noisy booing of it by irate fans, has not led to a rethink of this increasingly bizarre pre-match ritual. On the contrary, there’s been a doubling down, a stubborn insistence on the part of everyone from England manager Gareth Southgate to all those turbo-smug NuFootball scribes on the broadsheets that this showy genuflection to the politics of identity must continue. To teach the Neanderthals a lesson, you see. That some fans have booed the taking of the knee shows why the taking of the knee is so necessary, everyone is saying. And there it is. The truth about this patronising spectacle. It isn’t about Derek Chauvin, or police brutality, or the mercifully small number of wankers who say racist things on social media. It’s about you, the prole in the terraces, the oaf watching on TV – it’s about reminding you of your moral inferiority. That’s why it must continue.

Southgate has rather given the game away. After England fans booed the taking of the knee at the Austria game last week and at the Romania game yesterday, he made it clear the kneeling will go on. With added oomph. ‘We feel more than ever that we are determined to take the knee throughout this tournament’, he said (my emphasis). And the fans who have loudly registered their disapproval of this infiltration of football by virtue-signalling? Screw ’em. ‘We’re going to ignore that and move forward’, said Southgate. This is unusual behaviour. People who run institutions or organisations might normally be expected to engage with displeasure in their ranks. Not in this case, though. The displeasure of fans over the politicisation of the beautiful game must simply be ignored, or mocked, or agitated against with ever-more determined knee-bending. Because that’s what the kneeling is increasingly all about – it’s a knee on the metaphorical neck of the gruff, unenlightened little people who make up football’s fanbase.

Football pundit and Remainiac anti-democrat Gary Lineker has also indicated that the kneeling is now primarily aimed at the oiks. ‘If you boo England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee’, he declared. For those football commentators who love football but fear its strange, loudmouthed fans, the booing is proof of what hotbeds of hate the stands have become. The booing is a ‘shameful, hurtful act’, says the Guardian’s Barney Ronay. It confirms there are ‘racists, boneheads and people without compassion’ in football stadiums, which have now virtually become ‘theatre[s] of hate’. May I politely suggest that if your dainty ears cannot handle a few boos – or rude chants, or swear words, or explosions of passion – then perhaps you should find another sport to follow. Bowls?

More and more, the knee-taking at games will become an act of moral distinction. As the controversy over this gesture intensifies, footballers will be taking the knee essentially to distinguish themselves against ‘problematic’ fans, to make a public statement of their own puffed-up virtue against the presumed prejudices of the jeering fanbase. And they will be egged on by both the footballing establishment and the middle-class media, much of which has always looked upon football fans as a suspect swarm, as hooligans in waiting, as an insufficiently enlightened mob requiring re-education through everything from rainbow laces (to remind them that homosexuality is fine) to incessant BLM-style sloganeering (to remind them not to be such racist scumbags). ‘Kneel down, stick it to those insufferable proles’ – that’s really what the identitarian elites are saying now.

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[Glenn Greenwald] Yet Another Media Tale -- Trump Tear-Gassed Protesters For a Church Photo Op -- Collapses

For more than a year, it has been consecrated media fact that former President Donald Trump and his White House, on June 1 of last year, directed the U.S. Park Police to use tear gas against peaceful Lafayette Park protesters, all to enable a Trump photo-op in front of St. John's Church. That this happened was never presented as a possibility or likelihood but as indisputable truth. And it provoked weeks of unmitigated media outrage, presented as one of the most egregious assaults on the democratic order in decades.

[...]

But as usual, the self-proclaimed Superior Liberal Truth Squad instantly declared them to be lying. The Washington Post's "fact-checker,” Phillip Bump, mocked denials from Trump supporters and right-wing reporters such as Hemingway, proclaiming that a recent statement from the Park Police “brings the debate to a close,” as it proves “the deployment of security forces using weapons and irritants to clear a peaceful protest so that the president could have a photo op.”

All of this came crashing down on their heads on Wednesday afternoon. The independent Inspector General of the Interior Department, Mark Lee Greenblatt, issued his office's findings after a long investigation into “the actions of the U.S. Park Police (USPP) to disperse protesters in and around Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2020.” Greenblatt has been around Washington for a long time, occupying numerous key positions in the Obama administration, including investigative counsel at the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations at Obama's Commerce Department.

The letter released by Greenblatt's office accompanying the report makes clear how far-reaching the investigation was:

Over the course of this review, our career investigative staff conducted extensive witness interviews, reviewed video footage from numerous vantage points, listened to radio transmissions from multiple law enforcement entities, and examined evidence including emails, text messages, telephone records, procurement documents, and other related materials. This report presents a thorough, independent examination of that evidence to assess the USPP’s decision making and operations, including a detailed timeline of relevant actions and an analysis of whether the USPP’s actions complied with governing policies.

The IG's conclusion could not be clearer: the media narrative was false from start to finish. Namely, he said, “the evidence did not support a finding that the [U.S. Park Police] cleared the park on June 1, 2020, so that then President Trump could enter the park.” Instead — exactly as Hemingway's widely-mocked-by-liberal-outlets article reported — “the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow a contractor to safely install anti-scale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that occurred on May 30 and May 31.” Crucially, “ the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day."

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Farewell, New York City

Even the magnificent Central Park is racially divided. Check real estate prices at the southern end of the Park, called Billionaires’ Row, versus the northern end where the Park is capped by liquor stores with bars on the windows and tenements poor people have been swapping out since 1900. Chinatown and Greektown sound fun for tourists, but nobody is comfortable admitting we also have Hebrew Village, Blacktown, and Caucasianland.

The underlying financial system is unsustainable, far too few people (fewer now with COVID flight) paying too many taxes to support, indefinitely, too many others. The wealthy still enjoy NYC as long as they stay in their own layer, living hundreds of feet above the city, taking advantage of cheap labor for their needs, and scuttling to cultural events in town cars like cockroaches when the kitchen light flips on. They don’t live in New York, they float above it. Many play at liberalism, supporting the cool-kids-approved cause of the day espoused by the Daily Show and donating to PBS, but they really have no way to care. They literally do not even see what is happening around them.

New York had great pizza, enough to have America’s only professional pizza tour guide (though the city has fallen to a disgraceful third place nationally.) Amazing bagels. Shopping to die for. The museums. The energy. Broadway. But the list of what one has to put up with on an everyday basis to access all that grows worryingly longer, even without factoring in COVID. Street crime. Homelessness. A deteriorating public transportation system that gets more expensive to use proportionally as it gets less pleasant.

Take a non-rush hour bus ride and you will almost certainly be forced to navigate around someone with mental illness. The police force has either pretty much given up doing anything more than keeping the combatants apart or is a racist invading army, depending on where you think. I love a great slice of pizza, but I also got beat up on my own block, in what the cops said was some sort of gang initiation, and I was damn lucky not to have gotten seriously hurt.

Add in the black-slush lagoons that form on every street corner after a heavy snow melts. The co-op apartment system where each building is like a bitchy mini-Vatican with its own rules and eccentricities. Some of the highest taxes in the country. Creaky infrastructure that leaks water, steam, gas, and electricity, sometimes all at once, to blend with the street gravy of the homeless.

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When the State Comes for Your Kids

Because of a Covid-19 policy, Ahmed could not stay at the hospital with his son back in October. Syed, in a sleep-deprived and confused state, furious at the parents who had admitted him, and in consultation with hospital staff and a social worker, decided that his problem was gender.

The age at which minors in the State of Washington can receive mental health and gender-affirming care without parental permission is 13. In other words, the emails Ahmed received from the hospital were effectively a courtesy; the hospital did not require Ahmed’s permission to begin his son on a path to medical transition.

But unlike some other parents I would later speak with, Ahmed’s cool head prevailed. Believing he might be walking into a trap, Ahmed reached out to both a lawyer and a psychiatrist friend he trusted. The psychiatrist gave him advice that he believes saved his son, saying, in Ahmed’s words: “You have to be very, very careful, because if you come across as just even a little bit anti-trans or anything, they’re going to call the Child Protective Services on you and take custody of your kid.” The lawyer told Ahmed the same: “What you want to do is agree with them and take your kid home. When the gender counselors advise you to ‘affirm,’ go along with it. Just say ‘Uh-huh, uh-huh, okay, let’s take him home, and we’ll go to the gender clinic.’”

Ahmed assured Seattle Children’s Hospital that he would take his son to a gender clinic and commence his son’s transition. Instead, he collected his son, quit his job, and moved his family of four out of Washington.

Was Ahmed’s reaction extreme? When I first heard it, back in October 2020, I wondered whether he hadn’t overreacted. But as a growing number of parents began contacting me with similar stories, and I delved into the state laws of Washington, Oregon, and California, I came to a different conclusion. Taken individually, no single law in any state completely strips parents’ rights over the care and mental health treatment of their troubled minor teens. But pieced together, laws in California, Oregon, and Washington place troubled minor teens as young as 13 in the driver’s seat when it comes to their own mental health care—including “gender affirming” care—and renders parents powerless to stop them.

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

The unbearable annoyingness of Pride

I see the flag-shaggers are out in force. No, not working-class people who hang the Union flag from their living-room window as an expression of pride in their nation. I’m talking about the Pride flag. That omnipresent rainbow eyesore. A virtue-signal made cloth. The flag no one can escape. Yep, it’s Pride Month, which means that everywhere you go for the next four weeks – the bank, the supermarket, Maccy D’s – you’ll have this flag waved in your face to remind you not to be such a horrible, homophobic piece of shit. Happy Pride Month!

God, Pride has become annoying. It’s so gratingly ubiquitous. I haven’t seen this much smug flag-waving since 100,000 Guardian readers wrapped in the EU colours, tears streaking their blue-painted faces, descended on Whitehall to demand the cancellation of stupid northern people’s votes. And yet the people who cry ‘flag-shagger!’ every time Keir Starmer stands stiffly next to the Union flag, or when Robert Jenrick goes on TV with a backdrop of showy British memorabilia, are curiously silent about the adorning of every building in the land with the bloody Pride flag.

[...]

The most virtuous signallers don’t only wave the Pride flag – they wear it. Remember Justin Trudeau’s Pride socks? The New York Times gushed over his ‘socks diplomacy’. Channel 4’s Jon Snow has worn Pride socks and a Pride tie and possibly Pride underwear for all we know. This is the man who made a big deal of refusing to wear a poppy and complaining about ‘a rather unpleasant breed of poppy fascism’. And yet he happily bows to the political, corporate and even military pressure to cover oneself in rainbows – head to toe in his case – every June.

Pride flag-shagging is now virtually mandatory. If you fail to wave the flag you’ll be looked upon as suspect. You might even be cancelled. For the second year running Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish Council in Derbyshire has voted against flying the Pride flag and people are going mental. ‘Anger as Pride Month flag snubbed by Derbyshire council again’, said an actual BBC News headline. One Borrowash resident said the absence of a Pride flag would mean that some people would not ‘feel safe to come to the village’. There you have it. The Pride flag is a statement of virtue and civilisation. Fail to fly it and you risk being considered prejudiced, hateful, unsafe.

What is this all about? Every now and then radical leftists will venture mild criticisms of Pride’s increasingly cosy relationship with capitalism and even with Empire. These corporations and military machines are ‘pink-washing’, they claim, the idea being that they use the rainbow flag to distract attention from their normal immoral antics. This is only a tiny part of the story. The bigger truth about Pride and its annual orgy of flag-shagging is that it confirms the almost unstoppable ascendancy of identity politics, and that the ruling classes of the West are perfectly at ease with this politics. They love it, in fact.

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Snowflake CEO Offers Apologies, Support for Hiring Diversity

Snowflake Inc. Chief Executive Officer Frank Slootman apologized to those he said he may have hurt when he suggested during a Bloomberg Television interview that diversity should be secondary to merit in hiring, and acknowledged that people aren’t treated equally in the workplace.

“Comments I made during a media interview last week may have led some to infer that I believe that diversity and merit are mutually exclusive when it comes to recruitment, hiring and promotion. I do not believe this, and I want to personally apologize to anyone who may have been hurt or offended by my comments,” Slootman said in a statement posted Monday on the company’s blog. “I accept full and personal responsibility for the lack of clarity in my comments.”

Slootman said Thursday on Bloomberg Television that a more “moderated” approach was needed to ensure diversity, which shouldn’t override merit in hiring and promoting employees. The CEO of the cloud software maker said other chief executive officers felt the same way, but were reluctant to speak publicly.

[...]

Last year, after the death of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests, Snowflake announced a council to examine the company’s “diversity, equity, and inclusion practices” and make progress “through innovative new ideas from across the entire organization.” The San Mateo, California-based company, which went public in September in the largest U.S. initial public offering in 2020, didn’t release any workforce demographic data in its first annual report as a public company nor is that information listed on its website.

“While diversity, equity and inclusion has long been a focus for Snowflake, we are committed to doing more. We have the responsibility to lead, and we will do so,” Slootman said. “Snowflake, under my personal leadership, will undertake a comprehensive review across our company of all of our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to help ensure that we are taking appropriate steps. We have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion council at Snowflake, and I am proud of the work they have done.”

The simulation is taunting us.

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Why is woke comedy so unfunny?

Comedy was officially pronounced dead at 18.02 on 23 May 2021.

That was the moment BBC Three, which is apparently ‘still a thing’, tweeted a clip from a series called Shrill that confused and appalled the entire internet, as people from across the globe tried to decipher the meaning of this mysterious content.

[...]

The bare facts are: it is a short scene wherein a young white woman goes to a hairdresser and asks for dreadlocks. The black female hairdresser tells her why she can’t have them, explains the concept of ‘cultural appropriation’, then kicks her out.

That is all quite clear. What people have not been able to ascertain is: why this clip / show exists, what it is trying to achieve, and what weapons might kill it.

First, it is true that the scene is not in any way funny. It is not even close to funny. If funny was a holiday destination, Shrill wouldn’t even manage to get in the taxi to the airport. In fact it would lose its passport, then sit alone crying in a heap of clothes, before defecating on itself and passing out. And I am being generous.

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Taking a page out of '1984,' Brown University student newspaper will retroactively change transgender students' 'deadnames'

The editorial board of the Brown Daily Herald announced that it would “respect individuals’ current and lived identities” by adopting “new policy regarding requests from transgender or nonbinary individuals to replace their deadname and/or change their pronouns featured in previously published work on The Herald’s website.”

As defined by Dictionary.com, a “deadname” is “the name that a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses upon transitioning.” For instance, BBC News was roundly criticized in September for “deadnaming” Caitlyn Jenner by calling him “Bruce.”

The Herald added that it would “make the gender-affirming changes online in a timely manner and without a correction or editor’s note marking the change.”

The editors plan to refrain from including an editors’ note because “such a note would risk outing the individual and causing harm.”

“We think this policy reflects both our commitment to accuracy and our ethical obligation to minimize harm,” said the announcement. “We are eager to see how other newsrooms, both our student peers and at professional news organizations, address this and similar questions in the coming months and years.”

Archive? Archive. Archive archive archive. Newspapers are now openly admitting to retroactively editing their stories to be politically correct.

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Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the A.C.L.U. Faces an Identity Crisis: An organization that has defended the First Amendment rights of Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan is split by an internal debate over whether supporting progressive causes is more important.

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[Rod Dreher] Yale’s Anti-White Racist Psychiatrist

It’s hard to come up with a better example of the woke totalitarian capture of elite institutions than this Yale School of Medicine lecture by a hardcore anti-white racist psychiatrist, the audio of which is posted on Bari Weiss’s Substack. Weiss highlights these lines from the lecture:

  • This is the cost of talking to white people at all. The cost of your own life, as they suck you dry. There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil. (Time stamp: 6:45)

  • I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a fucking favor. (Time stamp: 7:17)

  • White people are out of their minds and they have been for a long time. (Time stamp: 17:06)

  • We are now in a psychological predicament, because white people feel that we are bullying them when we bring up race. They feel that we should be thanking them for all that they have done for us. They are confused, and so are we. We keep forgetting that directly talking about race is a waste of our breath. We are asking a demented, violent predator who thinks that they are a saint or a superhero, to accept responsibility. It ain’t gonna happen. They have five holes in their brain. It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. It’s just like sort of not a good idea. (Time stamp 17:13)

  • We need to remember that directly talking about race to white people is useless, because they are at the wrong level of conversation. Addressing racism assumes that white people can see and process what we are talking about. They can’t. That’s why they sound demented. They don’t even know they have a mask on. White people think it’s their actual face. We need to get to know the mask. (Time stamp 17:54)

[...]

If you go to the Bari Weiss site, you can also read the text of an interview that Katie Herzog did with Dr. Khilanani. It’s chilling, absolutely chilling. What we all need to confront is the fact that this psychiatrist, under the auspices of one of the most prestigious universities in America, delivered a lecture featuring unapologetic, unrestrained racism, and … nobody in that institution or in her circles cared. This is par for the course. They expect it. At some level, they want it.

Do I believe that most white people who heard it, or who, within the Yale community, heard it, believe what Dr. Khilanani said? No, I don’t, though I’m just guessing. But I am 100 percent sure that they are terrified to say something about it, because if you spoke up, that would be the end of you professionally.

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[Katie Herzog] What Happens When Doctors Can't Tell the Truth?

“Wokeness feels like an existential threat,” a doctor from the Northwest said. “In health care, innovation depends on open, objective inquiry into complex problems, but that’s now undermined by this simplistic and racialized worldview where racism is seen as the cause of all disparities, despite robust data showing it’s not that simple.”

“Whole research areas are off-limits,” he said, adding that some of what is being published in the nation’s top journals is “shoddy as hell.”

Here, he was referring in part to a study published last year in the Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. The study was covered all over the news, with headlines like “Black Newborns More Likely to Die When Looked After by White Doctors” (CNN), “The Lack of Black Doctors is Killing Black Babies” (Fortune), and “Black Babies More Likely to Survive when Cared for by Black Doctors” (The Guardian).

Despite these breathless headlines, the study was so methodologically flawed that, according to several of the doctors I spoke with, it’s impossible to extrapolate any conclusions about how the race of the treating doctor impacts patient outcomes at all. And yet very few people were willing to publicly criticize it. As Vinay Prasad, a clinician and a professor at the University of California San Francisco, put it on Twitter: “I am aware of dozens of people who agree with my assessment of this paper and are scared to comment.”

“It’s some of the most shoddy, methodologically flawed research we’ve ever seen published in these journals,” the doctor in the Zoom meeting said, “with sensational conclusions that seem totally unjustified from the results of the study.”

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The Child Soldiers of Portland: Public schools are training children to become race-conscious revolutionaries.

Tigard, Oregon, is a placid suburb southwest of Portland. A local shopping mall hosts a Macy's, a Dick's Sporting Goods, and a Cheesecake Factory. The city’s historic main street is a pastiche of coffeehouses, boutiques, repair shops, and restaurants. Historically, the city’s political squabbles have concerned zoning and land-use issues—in other words, the typical politics of an affluent American suburb. Demographically, Tigard is not diverse; it numbers only 636 blacks out of a total population of 52,368, making up approximately 1 percent of residents.

Nonetheless, educators at the Tigard-Tualatin School District have gone all-in on the social-justice trinity of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Last June, at the height of the nationwide unrest, Superintendent Sue Rieke-Smith and Board Chair Maureen Wolf signed a proclamation “condemning racism and committing to being an anti-racist school district.” The preamble to the document recited the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and confessed that the district’s “students of color, and Black students in particular, still regularly experience racism in [their] schools.” To rectify this, the superintendent pledged to become “actively anti-racist,” “dismantle systemic racism,” implement a “collective equity framework,” establish “pillars for equity,” deploy “Equity Teams” within schools, create racially segregated “Student Affinity Groups,” and use “an equity lens for all future curriculum adoptions.”

The next month, the district announced a new Department of Equity and Inclusion and installed social-justice activist Zinnia Un as director. Un quickly created a blueprint, which I have obtained through a whistle-blower, for overhauling the pedagogy and curriculum at Tigard-Tualatin schools. The document calls for adopting the educational theories of Brazilian Marxist Paulo Freire, whose “pedagogy of the oppressed” (summarized in a 1968 book with that title) was originally designed to instill “critical consciousness” among impoverished South Americans and to forge the conditions for overthrowing the dictatorial governments of the era. (See “Pedagogy of the Oppressor,” Spring 2009.) Following Freire’s categorizations, Un writes that the Tigard-Tualatin school district must move from a state of “reading the world” to the phase of “denunciation” against the revolution’s enemies and, finally, to the state of “annunciation” of the liberated masses, who will begin “rewriting the world.”

In her blueprint, Un describes the new oppressor as an amalgamation of “whiteness,” “colorblindness,” “individualism,” and “meritocracy.” These are the values of capitalist society—but for Un, they are the values of white society, the primary impediment to social justice.

What is the solution to pathological whiteness? According to Un and the Tigard-Tualatin School District, the answer lies with a new form of “white identity development.” In a series of “antiracist resources” provided to teachers, the Department of Equity and Inclusion includes a handful of strategies for this identity transformation, intended to “facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices, for anti-racist work.” Couched in the language of professional development, the process assumes that whites are born “racist,” even if they “don’t purposely or consciously act in a racist way.” The first step in the training document is “contact,” defined as confronting whites with “active racism or real-world experiences that highlight their whiteness.” The goal is to provoke an emotional rupture that brings the subject to the next step, “disintegration,” in which he or she feels intense “white guilt” and “white shame,” and admits: “I feel bad for being white.” The training then outlines a process of moving white subjects from a state of “reintegration” to “pseudo-independence” to “immersion” to “autonomy.”

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Rutgers Law SBA offered funds only to groups promoting CRT

In November, the Rutgers Law Student Bar Association — the “umbrella organization for all other organizations” that governs extracurricular activities — amended its constitution to state that any student group seeking more than $250 in university funds must “plan at least one (1) event that addresses their chosen topics through the lens of Critical Race Theory, diversity and inclusion, or cultural competency.”

Critical race theory posits that American society is irredeemably divided into oppressive and oppressed racial subgroups.

In response to the constitutional amendment, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent a letter to Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway to express their concern.

“Rutgers may not condition student organizations’ funding on their willingness to host events that address or promote a specific ideology, as the First Amendment requires that public universities distribute student activity fee funds in a viewpoint-neutral manner,” reads the letter. “It has long been settled law that the First Amendment is binding on public universities like Rutgers. Accordingly, the decisions and actions of a public university and its student government — including the recognition and funding of student organizations — must be consistent with the First Amendment.”

The letter notes that the constitutional amendment “puts student organizations in the unenviable position of deciding either to falsely affirm their belief in an ideological proposition with which they disagree or on which they simply prefer to remain silent, or to forgo accessing university resources.”

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University of Washington student government wants school to introduce ‘content warnings’ in class

Leaders of the University of Washington student government have approved a bill that calls on the university administration to create "content warning" standards for classes.

According to The Daily, the Associated Students of the University of Washington Board of Directors approved the resolution which calls on the university to require professors to add "content warnings" before classroom discussions of "sensitive topics."

The resolution recommends that instructors communicate "content warnings" before discussing "sexual assault, child abuse, physical assault, racially motivated violence, abuse, and suicide."

Additionally, the resolution recommends that instructors include a "content warning" in the course description, given to students when registering for classes.

The resolution also calls on the university to create a "formal method for students to submit complaints" if a professor brings up a sensitive topic but does not use a "content warning."

Once again: adult daycare.

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[Glenn Greenwald] The FBI's Strange Anthrax Investigation Sheds Light on COVID Lab-Leak Theory and Fauci's Emails

When an independent investigation was finally conducted in 2011 into the FBI’s scientific claims against Ivins, much of that doubt converted into full-blown skepticism. As The New York Times put it — in a 2011 article headlined "Expert Panel Is Critical of F.B.I. Work in Investigating Anthrax Letters" — the review “concludes that the bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins.” A Washington Post article -- headlined: "Anthrax report casts doubt on scientific evidence in FBI case against Bruce Ivins" -- announced that "the report reignited a debate that has simmered among some scientists and others who have questioned the strength of the FBI's evidence against Ivins."

An in-depth joint investigation by ProPublica, PBS and McClatchy — published under the headline “New Evidence Adds Doubt to FBI’s Case Against Anthrax Suspect” — concluded that “newly available documents and the accounts of Ivins’ former colleagues shed fresh light on the evidence and, while they don't exonerate Ivins, are at odds with some of the science and circumstantial evidence that the government said would have convicted him of capital crimes.” It added: “even some of the government’s science consultants wonder whether the real killer is still at large.” The report itself, issued by the National Research Council, concluded that while the components of the anthrax in Ivins’ lab were “consistent” with the weaponized anthrax that had been sent, “the scientific link between the letter material and flask number RMR-1029 [found in Ivins’ lab] is not as conclusive as stated in the DOJ Investigative Summary."

In short, these were serious and widespread mainstream doubts about the FBI’s case against Ivins, and those have never been resolved. U.S. institutions seemingly agreed to simply move on without ever addressing lingering scientific and other evidentiary questions regarding whether Ivins was really involved in the anthrax attacks and, if so, how it was possible that he could have carried out this sophisticated attack within a top-secret U.S. Army lab acting alone. So whitewashed is this history that doubts about whether the FBI found the real perpetrator are now mocked by smug Smart People as a fringe conspiracy theory rather than what they had been: the consensus of mainstream institutions.

But what we do know for certain from this anthrax investigation is quite serious. And because it is quite relevant to the current debates over the origins of COVID-19, it is well-worth reviewing. A trove of emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci — who was the government’s top infectious disease specialist during the AIDS pandemic, the anthrax attacks, and the COVID pandemic — was published on Monday by BuzzFeed after they were produced pursuant to a FOIA request. Among other things, they reveal that in February and March of last year — at the time that Fauci and others were dismissing any real possibility that the coronavirus inadvertently escaped from a lab, to the point that the Silicon Valley monopolies Facebook and Google banned any discussion of that theory -- Fauci and his associates and colleagues were privately discussing the possibility that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, possibly as part of a U.S.-funded joint program with the scientists at that lab.

Last week, BBC reported that “in recent weeks the controversial claim that the pandemic might have leaked from a Chinese laboratory — once dismissed by many as a fringe conspiracy theory — has been gaining traction.” President Biden ordered an investigation into this lab-leak possibility. And with Democrats now open to this possibility, “Facebook reversed course Thursday and said that it would no longer remove posts that claim the virus is man-made,” reported The Washington Post. Nobody can rationally claim to know the origins of COVID, and that is exactly why — as I explained in an interview on the Rising program this morning — it should be so disturbing that Silicon Valley monopolies and the WHO/Fauci-led scientific community spent a full year pretending to have certainty about that “debunked” theory that they plainly did not possess, to the point where discussions of it were prohibited on social media.

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"Noose" pareidolia has made it across the pond: Activist Marion Millar charged with sending homophobic and transphobic tweets

The messages investigated by officers are understood to include a retweeted photograph of ribbons in the green, white and purple colours of the suffragettes, tied around a tree outside the Glasgow studio where a BBC soap opera is shot. It is believed a complaint was made to the police suggesting the ribbons represented a noose. It was one of at least six tweets reported to police. The nature of the other complaints is unclear.

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[Matt Taibbi] Congratulations, Elitists: Liberals and Conservatives Do Have Common Interests Now: Well done, snobs of the #Resistance. You made the Horseshoe Theory real.

The hilarious headline in the Daily Beast yesterday read like a cross of Clickhole and Izvestia circa 1937: “Is Glenn Greenwald the New Master of Right-Wing Media? FROM HIS MOUTH TO FOX’S EARS!”

The story, fed to poor Beast media writer Lloyd Grove by certain unnamed embittered personages at the Intercept, is that their former star writer Greenwald appears on, and helps provide content for — gasp! — right-wing media! It’s nearly the exclusive point of the article. Greenwald goes on TV with… those people! The Beast’s furious journalisming includes a “spot check” of the number of Fox items inspired by Greenwald articles (“dozens”!) and multiple passages comparing Greenwald to Donald Trump, the ultimate insult in #Resistance world. This one made me laugh out loud:

In a self-perpetuating feedback loop that runs from Twitter to Fox News and back again, Greenwald has managed, like Trump before him, to orchestrate his very own news cycles.

This, folks, is from the Daily Beast, a publication that has spent much of the last five years huffing horseshit into headlines, from Bountygate to Bernie’s Mittens to classics like SNL: Alec Baldwin's Trump Admits 'I Don't Care About America'. The best example was its “investigation” revealing that three of Tulsi Gabbard’s 75,000 individual donors — the late Princeton professor Stephen Cohen, peace activist Sharon Tennison, and a person called “Goofy Grapes” who may or may not have worked for Russia Today host Lee Camp — were, in their estimation, Putin “apologists.” Speaking of creating your own news cycles, this asinine smear inspired serious stories by ABC News and CNN, and when Gabbard denounced it as “fake news,” Politico jumped in with the now-familiar retort:

“Fake news” is a favorite phrase of President Donald Trump…

For years now, this has been the go-to conversation-ender for prestige media pundits and Twitter trolls alike, directed at any progressive critic of the political mainstream: you’re a Republican! A MAGA-sympathizer! Or (lately), an “insurrectionist”! The Beast in its Greenwald piece used the most common of the Twitter epithets: “Trump-defender.” Treachery and secret devotion to right-wing politics are also the default explanation for the growing list of progressives making their way onto Fox of late, from Greenwald to Kyle Kulinski to Aaron Mate to Jimmy Dore to Cornel West.

The truth is, Trump conservatives and ACLU-raised liberals like myself, Greenwald, and millions of others do have real common cause, against an epistemic revolution taking hold in America’s political and media elite. The traditional liberal approach to the search for truth, which stresses skepticism and free-flowing debate, is giving way to a reactionary movement that Plato himself would have loved, one that believes knowledge is too dangerous for the rabble and must be tightly regulated by a priesthood of “experts.” It’s anti-democratic, un-American, and naturally unites the residents of even the most extreme opposite ends of our national political spectrum.

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Teen Arrested Under Connecticut's Unconstitutional Hate Speech Law for Racist Social Media Post: Calling a classmate a racist slur on Snapchat is offensive. It’s also protected speech.

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An Army of 100 Bots Is Reading Climate Change News and Clicking Every Ad Along the Way: Synthetic Messenger, a project from artists Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne, uses bots to make climate change news more visible.

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[Freddie deBoer] At the Heart of It All: life is not kind, the world is not safe

But of course the world has not changed, not from the way things were in the 90s nor from the 70s, in most important ways. And one way that the world has not changed is that young people still treat each other with casual brutality that stems from the intense self-loathing that powers bullying, the awkwardness of our bodies and selves at that age, and the relentless jockeying for social rank endemic to high school. The vocabulary has changed, and there may be certain new kinds of plausible deniability built in to what were once more nakedly brutal practices. (More naked and thus more honest.) But I promise you that every single day high school students are absolutely savage to each other. What’s more, human nature being what it is, I’m sure that they now do so explicitly utilizing the politicized and therapeutic language that proponents of social justice norms foolishly assume is an antidote to that bad behavior. Because interpersonal cruelty is a universal aspect of the human condition and any philosophy can be bent to its use. This condition can perhaps at times be ameliorated but it can never be eliminated and learning this reality is an important part of growing up. Cruelty is here to stay.

What today’s social justice politics ask for is a world that’s nice, a world that’s safe for everyone all the time. And of course this is impossible. The nice world is never coming. Yes, we need to work to make the world a more equitable and humane place. There are certain areas in that domain where progress is possible. But to say, as many now do, that we need to eliminate bullying, or even eliminate microaggressions, is no less fantastical than saying we need to build spaceships to take us away from this fallen earth. You may as well say we need to eliminate greed or jealousy; these things are part of the basic emotional endowment of being human. People hurt each other out of malice, true, and always will, but much more often they hurt each other because we are clumsy and insensitive creatures by our nature. And our efforts in that regard have consequences. For example, the lab leak hypothesis was forbidden for months largely because it was said that one of the consequences of it being true might be racism against the Chinese. And so a potential truth was traded for the impossible dream of a kind Earth. I think it is fair to say that anti-Chinese racism survived that conspiracy of silence. We make compromises and sacrifices, every day, for this newly mandated, futile effort to make the world nice. We must be allowed to debate them.

No one is against the abstract notion of protection from harm. That effort, in and of itself, is noble. But what we have arrived at now in progressive politics is a grotesque exaggeration of our moral duty to one another, a funhouse mirror version of what it means to be a caring and supportive society. We make promises we can’t possibly keep about protecting the vulnerable and in so doing reduce all who suffer from (the trendy kinds of) injustice to impossibly weak and eternally fragile wards of our benevolence. We speak of ending micro injustice not despite the fact that the macro version spins on all around us but because it does, because we cannot face up to the sheer vast scale of what we will never be able to fix. And in all of this useless effort we have completely evacuated our shared societal vision of two of the most essential elements of being a person: forgiveness and resilience. These are indispensable values in a human world defined by human weakness, but they are inconvenient to those whose personal and professional best interest lies in pretending that human life is perfectible.

You find yourself in life when, under pressures and pain that should break you, you don’t even cry out in pain. Now we tell young people that crying out is their only way to express agency in this world, that crying out is how to be important and special. We have robbed the gift of the inviolable self from a generation in exchange for the promise of a frictionless world we will never, ever be able to give them.

At the heart of human society is a negotiation between safety and freedom. If there is no safety, it’s not a society; if there is no freedom, it’s not human. Deciding the right balance is the basic stuff of politics. Reasonable people can reasonably disagree about how to negotiate one over the other, but they cannot disagree about the fact that it is and must remain a negotiation. My problem is not just that the forces of social justice have decided that we must choose safety over freedom over and over again, that they have put their thumb so firmly on the scale that they advocate for a world where any perceived harm, no matter how small, is always seen as a justification for demanding that everyone else give up some freedom. My problem is that they don’t want all of us to get to take part in the choosing. If you favor freedom over safety, they will call you an abuser, a gaslighter, a misogynist, a fascist, a white supremacist; they will try to divest you of your job, your friends, and your reputation - which of course is an imposition of their “safety” onto your freedom. The fundamentally dishonest nature of the social justice conversation is that its advocates refuse to grapple with the fact that they don’t advocate for anything but demand everything. They seek to do with power what we are trying to do with discourse. But this conflict is inherent and eternal and all of their political and economic and social power can’t stop them from having to live with the inevitable communal demand for freedom that will eventually arise. For all of their privileges they do not enjoy the privilege of hiding from this war.

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High school program sponsored by several NY colleges does not allow white students to apply

The “Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession” program — sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Moynihan Scholarship Fund — will introduce 250 “promising underrepresented high school students” to the accounting profession.

In addition to virtual sessions about forensic accounting, interviewing skills, public speaking, networking, and an “accounting profession overview” featuring a panel discussion with experts in the profession.

Nine institutions of higher education in New York — including Ithaca College, Medgar Evers College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, Siena College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego, the University at Buffalo, and Westchester Community College — are listed as hosts for the program, which is free of charge for students.

The online application for the program, however, does not include an option white students to apply. Although the application form includes options for Hispanic, Black, Asian, and Native American students, there exists no option for White students.

Five of the nine schools participating in the program — including Medgar Evers College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego, the University at Buffalo, and Westchester Community College — are public universities funded by New York state.

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Stonewall ‘threatened’ to silence gender critical barrister by having her sacked, says judge: Allison Bailey is currently suing the embattled charity, claiming it collaborated with her chambers to put her under investigation

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Google Diversity Head Said Jews Have ‘Insatiable Appetite for War’

Google’s head of diversity strategy said in a 2007 blog post that Jews have an "insatiable appetite for war" and an "insensitivity to the suffering [of] others." The comments were part of a longer meditation from Kamau Bobb, now head of diversity strategy at Google, that also slammed Israel’s military actions in Gaza and Lebanon that same year.

Bobb was at the time a research associate in technology at Georgia Tech, according to his LinkedIn. The post, titled "If I Were A Jew," described how he believed Jewish people should view the Middle East conflict.

"If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself," he wrote in a Nov. 30, 2007, post on his personal blog, where he was still actively publishing as recently as April 2021. "Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] others." The blog features commentary from Bobb on a wide range of issues, including racial equality, U.S. politics, and education policy.

Bobb identifies himself as a Google employee in his blog's biography section.

Google and Bobb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Education Department eyes racial quotas in school discipline, expert warns

Washington D.C. attorney and education expert Hans Bader recently sounded the alarm on the development, writing in Liberty Unyielding that during a May event co-hosted by the Education and Justice departments that speakers signaled plans to bring back Obama administration guidelines that encouraged administrators to discipline racial student groups at the same rate.

“Speakers at the event repeatedly treated higher minority discipline rates as being the fault of school officials, rather than the misbehaving kids,” according to Bader.

In an interview with The College Fix, Bader explained how such guidelines might play out on campus.

“If you have a racial quota on discipline, it means that sometimes white students will be suspended for things that black students are not suspended for,” Bader said.

For example, “if a black student is insubordinate to a teacher, he gets a little note home to his parents, and the white student who does it is suspended,” he said.

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The Revolution Comes to Juilliard: Racial hysteria is consuming the school; unchecked, it will consume the arts.

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[Ross Douthat] Why the Lab Leak Theory Matters

Strikingly, though, both Chait and Yglesias argue that this media critique is the most important thing we can take away from the Covid origins debate. “I don’t know if this hypothesis will ever be proven,” Chait writes of the lab leak theory, and “I don’t care,” because “there’s no important policy question riding on the answer.”

This seems mistaken. Yes, if we never figure out the truth of Covid’s origins, the dangers of media groupthink will be the only lesson we can draw for absolutely certain. But if we could find out the truth, and it turned out that the Wuhan Institute of Virology really was the epicenter of a once-in-a-century pandemic, the revelation would itself be a major political and scientific event.

First, to the extent that the United States is engaged in a conflict of propaganda and soft power with the regime in Beijing, there’s a pretty big difference between a world where the Chinese regime can say, We weren’t responsible for Covid but we crushed the virus and the West did not, because we’re strong and they’re decadent, and a world where this was basically their Chernobyl except their incompetence and cover-up sickened not just one of their own cities but also the entire globe.

The latter scenario would also open a debate about how the United States should try to enforce international scientific research safeguards, or how we should operate in a world where they can’t be reasonably enforced. Perhaps that debate would ultimately tilt away from China hawks, as David Frum argues in The Atlantic, because the lesson of a lab leak would be that we actually need “more binding of China to the international order, more cross-border health and safety standards, more American scientists in Chinese labs, and concomitantly, more Chinese scientists in American labs.” Or perhaps instead you would have an attempted scientific and academic embargo, an end to the kind of funding that flowed to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from the U.S.A.I.D., an attempt to manage risk with harder borders, stricter travel restrictions, de-globalization.

Either way, this debate would also affect science policy at home, opening arguments the likes of which we haven’t seen since the era of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island about the risks of scientific hubris and cutting-edge research. This is especially true if there’s any chance that the Covid-19 virus was engineered, in so-called gain of function research, to be more transmissible and lethal — a possibility raised by, among others, a former science writer for this newspaper, Nicholas Wade. But even if it wasn’t, the mere existence of that research, heretofore a subject of obscure intra-scientific controversy, would become a matter of intense public attention and scrutiny.

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[Freddie deBoer] What Do We Do with Education Research?

I’ve thought about that conversation often in the years since. I am torn between my general edunihilism and the persuasiveness of his general point, on the one hand, and the sense that an absence of rigorous research couldn’t possibly be better than the flawed research we currently have, on the other. What I am left with is the question of whether it’s possible to meaningfully sort more certainty from less, without treating work that produces less certainty as inherently of lower value than that which produces more, when actual practicing researchers will always have direct professional incentive to represent their work as more definitive. I also wonder whether any of our findings will be truly generalizable, or if the remarkable diversity in contexts and student populations found across schooling makes that impossible. And I wonder if teachers will ever really implement pedagogical techniques we find to be more effective, if such a thing exists, when they will often find their own lived experience contrary to what researchers say, to say nothing of the turf wars and culture issues between practitioners and researchers.

It all seems like a mess, to be frank. But I do think there is little choice but to keep going and to try and get a little better over time - while accepting that, for reasons of both methods and the underlying reality, effect sizes will usually remain small.

To render things in convenient list form: what are the issues with education research?

Methodological and data issues. Small effects, big variance, lots of endogeneity, lots of confounds, available samples are frequently systematically dissimilar from general population, difficult or impossible to truly randomize in many contexts, bogus randomization in many others…. In sheer analytical terms, this is all quite difficult.

Publication and replication issues. All of the conditions that afflict psychology in its replication/p-value crisis apply to education research, potentially even more damagingly. Very often ed researchers have big ol’ spreadsheets with tons of demographic and school variables that they can then quickly correlate with output variables like test scores or GPA, which makes data snooping tempting - particularly given that you need to publish to get hired and get tenure and you need to get a significant finding to get published. And unlike psychological research, which frequently has limited real-world valence, the now widely-discussed issues with p-value hacking and publication bias can have large (and expensive) consequences in ed research, because policymakers are drawing inferences from research that they then use to make decisions that result in the deployment of a lot of public resources.

Conflicting results facilitate selective reading. Because there is so much conflicting data and contradicting studies, you can always build the narrative you want through choosing the data that supports your work and ignoring that which does not.

Institutional capture and optimism bias. Education research is dominantly funded by institutions that are hungry for positive results - positive effects that are purported to derive from implementable pedagogical or administrative changes which would, supposedly, start to “move the needle.” The increasingly brutal competition in academia for tenure track lines makes the need for access to grant funding only more vital over time, and the people who control the purse strings don’t want to hear negative results. There are committed pessimists within the ed research world but very few of them are pre-tenure or otherwise lacking in institutional security. The Gates Foundation, by sheer size alone, disciplines researchers against speaking plainly about negative findings and subtly influences the entirety of the published research record. In a very real sense the dominant ideology of the educational research world simply is the ideology of the foundations, and this is not healthy.

Accurately measured but controversial conclusions. The relationship between SAT scores and socioeconomic status is a classic example: while usually exaggerated, the correlation between SES and SAT scores is real. This is often used as an argument to dismiss the test as invalid. But in fact there is also an SES effect in GPA, graduation rates, state standardized tests, etc., which tells us that rather than being evidence of a flawed test, the correlation is a reflection of the uncomfortable fact that students from wealthier families actually are more college prepared than students from poorer. The reasons for this are complex, but the idea that the test must be inaccurately measuring the intended construct because the outcomes say unpleasant things is obviously wrongheaded. But this dynamic permeates educational research and policy. Consider research which shows that, when looked at longitudinally using the kind of fixed-effects models that can help adjust for the limitations of purely correlational analyses, we find that suspending students from school has weakly but significantly positive effects on their academic outcomes. It’s fair to say many people would not be welcoming to this research’s conclusions. This is, again, consequence-laden in a way the latest stupid fad in psychology research is not. This kind of finding can prompt the kind of controversy that can, in turn, ruin a young career. Education is a sensitive subject and sensitivity makes clear thinking in research much more difficult.

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France’s Great Debate Over the Sources and Meaning of Muslim Terror: A rivalry between the country’s two most prominent ‘Islamologists,’ Olivier Roy and Gilles Kepel, holds the key to understanding the existential and geopolitical tensions in France’s bloody reality

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Foundations Are Setting the Transgender Agenda and Targeting Children

Governments, corporations,politicians, medical institutions and schools, banks, pharma, tech, the media, and Hollywood are promoting the normalization of body dissociation in children. They are destroying our children’s bodies at the altar of “gender identity.” They are silencing critique.

The phrase “transgender youth” is now normal, accepted, and celebrated. Few in society even question what this phrase means. The prominent CBS program 60 Minutes recently aired a piece on the topic. Leslie Stahl opens the segment by introducing Dr. Erica Anderson, whom Stahl refers to as a “gender psychologist.” Stahl states that Anderson “is transgender, herself.” She refers to “young trans patients.” She says that Arkansas recently passed a law prohibiting people from “treating transgender youth.” At no point does Stahl ask anyone what any of these terms mean, or how they could relate to children’s mental health. The piece appears to simply assume that viewers already know.

How did we get here?

In 2019 the Spectator journalist James Kirkup asked why so many people and organizations who had no knowledge of or policies regarding transgenderism at the beginning of the decade were now enthusiastically embracing “non-binary” identities and transition. He unearthed a document by Dentons, the world’s largest international law firm, and Thomson Reuters Foundation, a corporate tax law and media behemoth, entitled: “Only Adults? Good Practices in Legal Gender Recognition for Youth.” The November 2019 document was drafted for ILGYO—International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth & Student Organization—to assist in advancing the idea that it is possible for a child to “be transgender.” The Dentons document helps these transactivists persuade children to legally “change their gender” without adult approval.

These heavily politicized entities have the legal and media clout to make these changes. “Trust Law” is Thomson Reuters’ pro bono legal program, connecting the most successful law firms and corporate legal teams around the world with high-impact NGOs. The foundation works to drive systemic change in society. Reuters is fond of titles that drive the newly minted categories of “transgender people” and people with “gender identities.” And now they are selling us transgender children, with their legal guide and their news items.

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Hate-crime hoax: Noose reported on campus just crane’s steel cable loop

A construction company building a parking structure at Central Connecticut State University had hoisted an American flag at the end of one of its steel cable loops to mark Memorial Day — but a complaint that the cable was a noose prompted campus officials to apologize and pledge to take down the cable as soon as possible.

“Early this evening, we received a complaint about a possible noose found hanging from a construction site on the CCSU campus. Campus Police … investigated and found that it was not a noose but a standard steel cable loop hanging from a crane,” wrote President Zulma Toro in an email to the campus community on Saturday night.

“A construction crew working on campus hung an American flag from the crane’s cable to recognize Memorial Day,” added Toro in her email, a copy of which was obtained by The College Fix.

Toro continued that steel cable loops are often used by cranes, but that there was another similar concern recently reported regarding another nearby construction site. In the end, Toro sided with those offended by the steel cable loop’s visual similarity to a noose.

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Italian judge dismisses case against NGO ship captain who rammed patrol boat to offload illegal migrants

The case against Rackete, a 33-year-old German national, was officially dropped last Wednesday after prosecutors requested that the Judge for Preliminary Investigations (GIP) do. The judge attempted to justify the decision by emphasizing that the patrol boat Rackete had crushed against the dock “is not considered a warship”. The case’s dismissal follows a separate ruling in July 2019 which saw another GIP judge recommend that the charges against Rackete be dropped since she had acted “in a state of need”.

Although the judge’s decision in the previous case was appealed by the Agrigento public prosecutor’s office, the decision was ultimately upheld by the Italian supreme court in February 2020, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.

The case against the German far-left activist dates back to the night of June 29, 2019, when Rackete — while serving as the captain of the Sea Watch 3 ship — defied Italy’s blockade of migrant NGO transport ships and rammed Guardia di Finanza patrol boats in an attempt to offload 42 illegal migrants at port on the island of Lampedusa. Prosecutors argued that Rackete’s maneuver endangered the lives of soldiers and migrants.

Later that night, upon setting foot on Italian territory, Rackete was arrested for “resistance or violence against a warship” at the request of the local prosecutor. However, just a few days later she was released by the same investigating judge who closed the case last week.

At the time, Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, had enacted a policy which denied all NGO migrant transport ships access to Italian ports. Reacting to the judge’s decision to dismiss the case, Salvini — the leader of the populist League party — said: “The prosecutors say that Carola Rackete should not be tried? I’ll let them judge, I only say that in 2019, 1,200 illegal immigrants landed. Now, we’re almost at 14,000.”

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Wake Forest cancels new building name 19 days after canceling old building name

It only took Wake Forest University 19 days to decide a new name it had given one of its buildings needed to be canceled.

In defense of Wake Forest, the new name chosen for the building was really, really dumb.

On May 7, Wake Forest University announced it would rename its Wingate Hall to “May 7, 1860 Hall” to mark the date it sold 16 slaves about 161 years ago.

[...]

Fast-forward to May 26, when President Hatch sent a memo to the campus community explaining that officials decided to cancel the new building name.

Long story short, the old building name apparently offended some black students, and the new building name also apparently offended some black students.

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Major public sector bodies quit Stonewall diversity training as trans rights row intensifies: Exclusive: It comes as Stonewall’s boss has sparked a furious backlash by likening the belief that trans women are men to anti-Semitism

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School Teacher Sues Loudoun County Public Schools For Trying To Bully Him Into Calling Transgender Students Their Preferred Pronouns

On Friday, the Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to Loudoun County Public Schools on behalf of an elementary school teacher who was suspended by administrators at Leesburg Elementary School for objecting to two proposed school regulations during a school board meeting's public comment period.

The regulations would have required him to call students by their preferred gender as opposed to their biological sex. The teacher, Tanner Cross, objected at the meeting, stating it violated his religious beliefs to call students anything other than their biological sex.

Tanner was placed on administrative leave two days after the meeting, according to a letter from the school, and that he was "Pending an investigation of allegation that [he] engaged in conduct that had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School."

Tyson Langhofer, director of the Alliance Defending Freedom Center for Academic Freedom, said in a statement that "Public schools have no business compelling teachers to express ideological beliefs that they don't hold, but it's beyond the pale to suspend someone simply for respectfully providing their opinion at a public meeting, which is what such meetings are designed for."

Multiple studies have confirmed that a person's body stays the biological sex it was created, even after transition therapy. These studies have received very little media coverage despite being groundbreaking in the field.

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[Glenn Greenwald] Appellate Court Strikes Down Racial and Gender Preferences in Biden's COVID Relief Law

A federal appellate court on Thursday invalidated the racial and gender preferences in President Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act as unconstitutional. The Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit of Appeals ruled that provisions of that law, designed to grant preferences to minority-owned small-restaurant owners for COVID relief, violate the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The specific provision struck down was part of the law's $29 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant program for small, privately owned restaurants struggling to meet payroll and rent due to the COVID crisis. The law, which was passed almost entirely by a party-line vote in March, grants priority status to restaurants that have 51% ownership or more composed of specific racial and ethnic groups as well as women. By effectively relegating struggling businesses owned by white males or ethnicities and nationalities excluded from a priority designation “to the back of the line,” the COVID relief program, ruled the court by a 2-1 decision, ran afoul of core constitutional guarantees.

The ruling is not only constitutionally significant in its own right but also vividly reflective of broader societal debates over how race and gender categories ought to be treated when set next to class. The parties to this case as well as the judges involved in the ruling themselves highlight the pervasive conflicts created by race and gender preferences.

The lawsuit was brought by Jake’s Bar and Grill, a restaurant jointly owned by Antonio Vitolo, who is white, and his wife, who is Hispanic. If Vitolo's wife owned more than 50% of the restaurant, then Jake’s Bar and Grill would be eligible to receive priority treatment for a grant, since her ethnicity qualifies as “socially and economically disadvantaged” under the law. But because she only owns 50% — her white husband owns the other half — the restaurant's application cannot be considered until the Small Business Administration (SBA) first processes all applications from restaurants entitled to priority status based on race and gender, as well as veteran status.

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Lived Experiences Aren’t Special

Some time ago I found myself in the middle of a discussion about race relations and minority experiences. When it was my chance to speak, I mentioned some statistical data that appeared to challenge the common narrative that racism is widespread and systemic. My interlocutor’s reply was that he simply did not care about the data—his own experiences as a person of color were more important and trumped any appeal to statistics. Another party to the discussion agreed, saying that people matter more than numbers.

The title of a recent article by Dawn Butler, a British MP, echoes this sentiment: “Unless you have lived experience of racism there’s no guarantee you’ll understand it.” A host of other politicians have leveraged appeals to lived experience in support of their policy goals. Elsewhere, a reporter for Time describes her lived experiences as a “source of expertise” as opposed to an “emotional bias.” Lived experiences have taken on a near-sacred status under which they cannot be questioned. Case in point: the Facebook group for the news website Vox bans “comments that invalidate the lived experiences of group members.”

But are lived experiences really that special? No. Quite simply, appeals to “lived experiences” are exercises in bad statistical reasoning.

To see why, let’s suppose that I made the argument that smoking causes cancer, and that I backed this up with a mountain of scientific data and peer-reviewed studies. Now suppose that someone responded to all of this with the following: “But my grandpa Bob smoked cigarettes all of his life and never developed cancer! So smoking doesn’t cause cancer after all!”

Would you be convinced by this reply? I hope not. Smoking is a contributory cause of cancer: those who smoke have a much higher likelihood of developing certain cancers than those who don’t because the act of smoking contributes something toward that outcome, even though that outcome doesn’t always happen. So, just because some smokers don’t develop cancer doesn’t mean that smoking plays no role in causing it.

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[Freddie deBoer] Please, Think Critically About College Admissions

This paper aggregates three of the most commonly-cited studies performed to answer the question of how best to quantitatively predict college performance. Again and again, we have found that SAT scores explain variance in college GPA and graduation rates not explained by GPA. In other words, they provide useful predictive information that can be utilized to reduce the number of students who are accepted into college who then fail out, a major negative event in a young person’s life due to opportunity cost and taking on student loan debt. The predictive effectiveness of the SAT is inconvenient for liberals who hate the test, but it is about as empirically well-justified as a claim about education can be, so they try to dissemble their way around it. The simple fact of the matter is that, for making the determinations that college admissions departments are meant to make, the SAT is a useful tool. Getting rid of it just makes us dumber.

How well do “holistic” factors predict college success? lol, nobody even pretends they can do that.

[...]

One of the bizarre elements of this conversation is that critics of the SAT routinely argue for the social value of replacing GPA+SATs with GPA, and criticize the SES effect in SATs while doing so. But GPA is also SES-influenced as well!

In the Zwick and Green study cited above, GPA correlates with SES at .171 - smaller than the SAT correlation, but not much smaller. As with SATs, I would call this a real but ultimately small association. GPA-SES correlations jump around a lot more than SAT-SES correlations do depending on study (and this says not-great things about GPA as a predictor, incidentally) and I invite you to investigate other datasets. But there is no question that GPA is attenuated by SES, a fact SAT critics simply ignore.

This association is real even though GPAs are generally normed, systematically or not, to show a grade distribution through a given school population. That is, educators in specific contexts will tend to assign a distribution of scores throughout their classes even though their classes are non-randomly assembled and represent a skewed performance sample regardless of context. (This means, among other things, that high school GPA is a less objective and consistent predictor, which is precisely the problem the SAT is meant to solve; the SAT’s critics have literally no answer when you point out the inherent subjectivity of GPA to them.) This is why many or most colleges have algorithms that they use to adjust raw reported high school GPAs, which they know they can’t trust - schools will go to great lengths to unduly privilege their students in the college rat race. And there’s every reason to think that the adjustments colleges make to GPA likely deepen the influence of SES. So the criterion that many SAT critics would like to focus on exclusively to the detriment of the SAT replicates or even intensifies their claimed problem with the SAT. It makes no sense. I think people are not doing a lot of thinking here.

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Trans ideology is warping our justice system

Singer Demi Lovato has this week been doing what celebrities do best: navel-gazing and making a drama out of it. Earlier this week, Lovato announced: ‘I’ve been doing some healing and self-reflective work, and through this work, I’ve had the revelation that I identify as non-binary.’ In the UK, Lavato’s announcement was met with gushing praise across the meida, with few willing to admit that a non-binary ‘gender identity’ makes about as much sense as lady testicles.

Lovato apparently believes that she has the right to compel members of the public to refer to her as ‘they’ and ‘them’. This is, of course, neither the way language nor biology works. But ultimately, does it really matter if some pampered American prat wants to be called ‘they / them’? While my colleagues elsewhere in the media might disagree, I believe journalists ought not to let potentially hurt feelings interfere with the truth. Lovato is clearly a woman whether she likes it or not.

A world away from the Hollywood glitz, this week four offenders were held accountable for crimes including child abuse, bomb-making, accessing child-abuse images and breaching a court order following the sexual assault of a teenage girl. They are all men who identify as trans women and the media accorded them the same courtesy as Lovato.

[...]

It is exceptionally rare for women to be convicted of crimes such as those of Brennan, Watts, Wilson and Thompson – 98 per cent of those prosecuted for sexual offences are male, as are 93 per cent of those found to be possessing weapons. There is some evidence to show offenders who identify as trans women are more likely to have committed sexual offences. In 2017, The Sunday Times reported that nearly half of inmates in UK prisons who identified as ‘transgender women’ have been convicted of sexual offences. Recognising these sex-based patterns of offending is vital for policy and for the protection of the public. But the recording of crimes committed by men as if they were women threatens to significantly distort the figures.

On Monday, Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi explained in parliament exactly why sex matters: ‘When it comes to official records of offences, particularly against women and girls, we need accurate records of the biological sex of the victims and the perpetrators of crime, in addition to data on the gender identity of victims and perpetrators. Why then are police forces recording self-identified gender and not biological sex?’ Antoniazzi also noted that at least 16 regional police forces record crimes according to the offender’s preferred ‘gender identity’, not their biological sex, resulting in unreliable and misleading data.

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Americans' support for BLM declines, but US State Department promotes the radical movement at embassies worldwide

In the summer of 2020, the movement had garnered support not only among Black Americans, but also among Whites. However, White sympathizers have quickly fallen in numbers after the movement's radical political activism and its propensity to attract violent protests became a nearly daily trending news topic. While the movement is still relatively popular mostly among minority ethnic groups, it has seen a rapid fall from grace especially among White Republican voters. All in all, the support for BLM and its political agenda has not only fallen from its peak numbers among Whites, the numbers have actually fallen well below pre-George-Floyd levels, which might indicate a disillusionment with the radical Black racial justice agenda in most White communities.

[...]

Although it displays the basic numbers in its charts, the Times article fails to reflect on the fact that BLM's popularity has also waned among ethnic groups significantly, not only among White Republicans. The newspaper's explanation is full of allusions to a White Republican bias and "fickle" sentiments, yet it completely disregards the dozen or so murders, countless injuries and billions of dollars worth of damage caused during BLM rioting in the US and worldwide. It also fails to mention that the loss of support in White communities could be ascribed to radical political theories associated with the movement, such as the critical race theory essentially depicting White history as the history of oppression, but also its attacks against the concept of the nuclear family.

[...]

In stark contrast to popular trends, the US State Department seems to want to promote the BLM movement and its values with the help of global US missions. In a leaked document that bears the signature of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the department authorizes the raising of the BLM flag at US embassies and the display of the movement's symbols within embassy buildings. It lists the advancement of racial equity as a national security interest and for this purpose it encourages partnering with "like-minded" civil society actors to counter what they call propaganda and disinformation. The State Department "supports the use of the term 'Black Lives Matter' in messaging content, speeches, and other diplomatic engagements with foreign audiences to advance racial equity...".

The State Department also encourages employees to participate in BLM-related events in private or on duty, but prohibits them "from combining BLM-related activity with ‘political activity’ while on duty or in the workplace and from engaging in partisan political fundraising in connection with BLM-related organizations."

However, in the light of the Times report above, it is clear that the promotion of the BLM movement's values and agenda largely corresponds with those of the US Democrats, thus making them the direct political beneficiaries of such activism. In fact, a number of official Democrat resources associate the party's goals with those of the BLM movement, something that was correctly reported on by the Times article's observation about all Democrat presidential candidates showing their support for the BLM movement. This raises questions about the State Department's compliance with the Hatch Act under the Biden administration which prohibits party-political activism among diplomatic staff.

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[Matt Taibbi] "Fact-Checking" Takes Another Beating

Like fact-checking itself, the “on the one hand and on the other hand” format is just a defense mechanism. These people say X, these people say Y, and because the jabbering mannequins we have reading off our teleprompters actually know jack, we’ll let the passage of time sort out the difficult bits.

The public used to appreciate the humility of that approach, but what they get from us more often now are sanctimonious speeches about how reporters are intrepid seekers of truth who sit next to God and gobble amphetamines so they can stay awake all night defending democracy from “misinformation.” But once you get past names, dates, and whether the sky that day was blue or cloudy, the worst kind of misinformation in journalism is to be too sure about anything. That’s especially when dealing with complex technical issues, and even more especially when official sources seem invested in eliminating discussion of alternative scenarios of those issues.

From the start, the press mostly mishandled Covid-19 reporting. Part of this was because nearly all of the critical issues — mask use, lockdowns, viability of vaccine programs, and so on — were marketed by news companies as culture-war narratives. A related problem had to do with news companies using the misguided notion that the news is an exact science to promote the worse misconception that science is an exact science. This led to absurd spectacles like news agencies trying to cover up or denounce as falsehood the natural reality that officials had evolving views on things like the efficacy of ventilators or mask use.

When CNN did a fact-check on the question, “Did Fauci change his mind on the effectiveness of masks?” they seemed worried about the glee Trump followers would feel if they simply wrote yes, so the answer instead became, “Yes, but Trump is also an asshole” (because he implied the need to wear masks is still up for debate). By labeling whatever the current scientific consensus happened to be an immutable “fact,” media outlets made the normal evolution of scientific debates look dishonest, and pointlessly heightened mistrust of both scientists and media.

Fact-checking was a huge boon when it was an out-of-sight process quietly polishing the turd of industrial reportage. When companies dragged it out in public and made it a beast of burden for use in impressing audiences, they defamed the tradition.

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Florida governor OKs social media crackdown

Ron DeSantis signed legislation Monday which allows Florida to impose fines on social media platforms that ban users – like many did to former President Trump, the Republican governor’s political mentor.

The bill (SB 7072) swept through the GOP-controlled Legislature last month on votes that broke almost strictly along party lines. DeSantis again came to Trump’s defense after signing the measure Monday in Miami.

“When you de-platform the president of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khamenei (Iran’s supreme leader) talk about killing Jews, that is wrong,” DeSantis said, revisiting an issue last year involving Twitter that had brought condemnation from the Trump White House.

The bill orders social media companies to publish standards with detailed definitions of when someone would be censored or blocked and makes Twitter, Facebook and other online companies subject to as much as $250,000 daily fines for de-platforming a Florida candidate.

The bill also requires a site to notify users within seven days that they could be censored, giving them time to correct a posting.

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Street Violence as a Political Tool: The new Democratic Party of oligarchs and technocrats enforces its orthodoxies upon blue state clients through broken windows and beatings, administered by party militias like antifa and BLM

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Anti-Gun Mayor Says She's The Victim After Husband Busted On Drug, Gun Charges

What’s an anti-gun mayor supposed to say when police raid her home and find illegally possessed firearms and illicit drugs inside? In the case of Rochester, New York mayor Lovely Warren, the answer is to claim that you’re the victim of a political investigation and an attempt to derail your re-election campaign.

“I find the timing of yesterday’s events, three weeks before early voting starts, to be highly suspicious,” Warren said, in her speech, which was posted by Rochester First.

“There’s nothing implicating me in these charges today, because I’ve done nothing wrong. I haven’t spoken to Tim since his arrest, and I’m not standing here to defend him.”

“Tim” is Timothy Granison, Warren’s husband and the alleged owner of an unregistered handgun discovered in the couple’s home earlier this week (a modern sporting rifle was found as well, though so far police haven’t said if was registered with the state as required under New York’s SAFE Act set of gun control laws). Warren’s correct in noting that she’s not currently facing charges in connection with the drug investigation, though the mayor is facing felony charges of her own in a case involving alleged violations of the state’s campaign financing laws.

Still, it stretches credulity to believe that Warren would have had no idea of her husband’s alleged activity. If the mayor can’t even keep felons from keeping drugs and guns in her home (Granison was convicted of felony robbery in 1997, when he was 18), can she really be trusted to keep drug dealers and gun traffickers out of the city she manages?

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Police officers call for military intervention to restore law and order in France

In a rare move in France, all the police unions, 14 organizations in total, agreed to stage a common demonstration on Wednesday, May 19, in front of the French National Assembly to protest against the violence and murders of which police officers are increasingly victims. They also directed their ire against the excessive leniency of judges and the inaction of political leaders.

Many citizens joined the demonstration to support them, resulting in protests that swelled to tens of thousands of people. Most political parties were also represented, apart from the far left, and several personalities also came to express their support for the police, such as the actor Gérard Lanvin or the journalist and writer Éric Zemmour. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin tried to join the police at the protest to express his support, but he was whistled and booed.

The last straw was the recent murder of a policeman shot at point-blank range by a drug dealer during a check in the southern city of Avignon, and the assassination of an administrative employee at the Rambouillet police station, near Paris, by a Tunisian jihadist who was, in fact, one of the many illegal immigrants whose stay had finally been regularized. The woman had her throat cut by the Muslim terrorist at the entrance to the police station. Recent court rulings have also shocked police officers and members of the public, such as the weak sentences issued in the case against the 13 young men who attacked and burned alive police officers in their car in Viry-Châtillon, also in the suburbs of Paris, in 2016.

The justice system in France is dominated by a very leftist union, the Syndicat de la Magistrature, whose members foster a culture of excuse and leniency to the extreme and consider that prison is generally not a solution. The other issue is the overall lack of prison space, as the construction of new prisons had been suspended under the presidency of Macron’s predecessor and mentor, François Hollande, for ideological reasons, which means that sentences are only partially executed or not executed at all.

Some police officers fully share the diagnosis made by a number of military officers who, in a series of open letters, recently warned the political class against the risk of civil war in France.

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[Freddie deBoer] People of Color Have Agency

Several times in my life I have gotten into a fight with other members of the anti-imperialist left over a question that I would not ordinarily consider a question: was Japan an imperial power?

I felt (and feel) that there was not much to debate. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Japan engaged in what would be seen, in any European context, as straightforwardly imperialist behavior. They developed a militaristic and nationalistic ruling philosophy at home and used this as justification for an aggressive and expansionistic foreign policy, conquering and annexing vast swaths of territory, plundering these places for resources and treasure, and setting up puppet governments or out-and-out imposing foreign rule. Nobody, including the people I debated this question with, disputes these basic historical facts. One would think that would be sufficient to settle the question.

Ah, but the Japanese are not white. And for many people I have known in the anti-imperialist left, all historical crimes, especially imperialism, are assumed to be the product of white people and their actions, however many mental hoops you have to jump through to get to that point. You may rush to say that this is an exaggeration, but no. I know people who will unapologetically tell you that there is no such thing as a historical crime conducted by people of color that they are themselves ultimately morally responsible for. I wish I could do a better job of summarizing how this plays out with the example of Japan for you, but I’ve always found the basic claim so ad hoc and bizarre that I genuinely don’t think I can do it justice. The arguments as I understand them include the idea that British and other European actions in China provoked Chinese behavior that in turn provoked Japan’s behavior which we called imperialism, that Japan’s expansionism can be excused because they suffered from land and resource constraints other expansionistic powers did not, that Japan would never have thought to engage in these behaviors if they hadn’t seen the European example first…. One way or another, all roads lead to a world where white people were responsible for Japanese rulers ordering invasion after invasion, slaughtering local populations, and raping local women, where the Japanese committed war crimes and yet were blameless. Blameless - and thus powerless.

This is, on the face of it, anti-white ideology - all of the bad stuff in the world happens as a direct result of white actions, white power. Yet I have always felt that there’s something else going on in these debates. I suspect that placing all of the blame for historical crimes on white people is strangely comforting for white leftists: it advances a vision of the world where only white people matter. It says that the sun rises and sets with white people. It suggests that white people wrote history. It assures white people that, no matter what else is true, they are the masters of the world. That all of this is framed in terms of judgment against the abstraction “white people” is incidental. I think if you could strip people down to their most naked self-interest and ask them, “would you be willing to take all the blame, if it meant you got all the power?,” most would say yes. And of course in this narrative people of color are sad little extras, unable even to commit injustice, manipulated across the chessboard by the omnipotent white masters whose interests they can’t even begin to oppose. All of this to score meaningless political points in debates about inequality and injustice.

The leftist conception of history as a series of crimes committed by white people against the virginal and defenseless brown masses is a perfect example of where radical American politics ostensibly castigates establishment power and the white people who wield it, and yet ultimately comforts those who express them, who are themselves white in dominant majorities. And what I’ve witnessed the last several years is that this condition has been generalized to domestic politics too: in the liberal mind of 2021, white people do, people of color are done to. Were I a person of color, I would find this impossibly insulting.

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How American Journalism Became a Mouthpiece of the Deep State

Long term relationships are a powerful tool, so feeding a true big story to a young reporter to get him promoted is part of the game. Don’t forget the anonymous source who drove the Watergate story was an FBI official who through his actions made the careers of cub reporters Woodward and Bernstein. Bernstein went on to champion Russiagate. Woodward became a Washington hagiographer. Ken Dilanian, formerly with the Associated Press and now working for NBC, still maintains a “collaborative relationship” with the CIA.

That’s the tradecraft. The problem for America is once again the tools of war abroad have come home, just the same as when post-9/11 the NSA turned its antennas inward. The intelligence community is currently operating against the American people using established media.

Some of it can’t be more obvious. The CIA always planted stories abroad for American outlets to pick up. To influence public opinion they lied to journalists in the run up to the 2003 Iraq war. The agency works directly with Hollywood to control movies about itself.

Turn on any of the advocacy media outlets and you see panels of former CIA officials. None however is more egregious than John Brennan, former director, who for years touted Russiagate when he knew from information gathered while he was still in office that it was all fake. Brennan probably leaked the foundational lie alleging Trump was dirty with Russia to the press in January of 2017 as the kickoff event to the info op still running today.

Brennan’s role is more than speculation. John Durham, the U.S. attorney leading the ongoing “how it happened” Russiagate investigation into the intelligence community, has requested Brennan’s emails and call logs from CIA. Durham is also examining whether Brennan changed his story between his public comments (not under oath: say anything) and his May 2017 testimony to Congress (under oath: watch out for perjury) about the dossier. Reporter Aaron Mate is less delicate, laying out the evidence Brennan was “a central architect and promoter of the conspiracy theory from its inception.” Even blunter is Senator Rand Paul, who directly accuses Brennan of trying “to bring down a sitting president.”

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Wuhan Lab DELETED Fauci’s NIH and Gain of Function Mentions From Old Web Pages in Early 2021.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology scrubbed the U.S. National Institutes of Health as one of its research partners from its website in early 2021. The revelation comes despite Dr. Anthony Fauci insisting no relationship existed between the institutions.

Archived versions of the Wuhan lab’s site also reveal a research update – “Will SARS Come Back?” – appearing to describe gain-of-function research being conducted at the institute by entities funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

On March 21st, 2021, the lab’s website listed six U.S.-based research partners: University of Alabama, University of North Texas, EcoHealth Alliance, Harvard University, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States, and the National Wildlife Federation.

One day later, the page was revised to contain just two research partners – EcoHealth Alliance and the University of Alabama. By March 23rd, EcoHealth Alliance was the sole partner remaining.

EcoHealth Alliance is run by long-standing Chinese Communist Party-partner Dr. Peter Daszak, who National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam has repeatedly claimed will be the first “fall guy” of the Wuhan lab debacle.

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Church of Sweden Announces That it is “Trans”

The Church of Sweden has published an open letter signed by a long list of priests, deacons, and other church staff, proudly announcing that it is “trans.”

Whatever that means.

The Church of Sweden represents Europe’s largest Lutheran denomination and the letter was published on the Västerås diocese’s official website.

“We write to you from a church that is also trans. A church is made up of people. People are different. We have confirmees, employees, churchwardens, elected representatives, non-profits, and other parishioners who define themselves as trans people. The church also consists of trans people. Therefore, the church could be described as trans,” the letter said.

The letter then decried the fact that some feminists are trying to protect female spaces from biological men, such as female sports or changing rooms, for which they are often denounced as TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists) by LGBT campaigners.

Sweden is a meme.

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[Freddie deBoer] You Aren't Actually Mad at the SATs: you're mad at what they reveal

All of that is prologue to the bigger point: the controversy over college entrance examinations stems not from the examinations themselves, but from the fact that they reveal profound differences in human capital that make progressives uncomfortable. The SATs don’t create inequality. They reveal inequality.

Why do people have such revulsion towards the SATS? Because they produce unequal results; some students perform better than others on the test. Of course, this is the very function of testing, to reveal underlying inequality, in this case underlying academic aptitude or ability. In fact, the more valid a test is, the more powerful it is, the more inequality it reveals, as it becomes capable of demonstrating finer and finer-grained distinctions between test takers. Most people are bothered by this tendency to reveal inequality because of troublesome and persistent group differences. Traditionally the gender education gap was cited as a source of concern, but because the gender positions have flipped (outside of a few stubborn fields), most progressive people don’t care much3. The racial achievement gap, however, is still the singular obsession of the American education politics, policy, and research world, and despite periodic predictions that it will soon close, it remains stubbornly real. And that’s ultimately where the anti-SAT/ACT animus comes from: Black and Hispanic students significantly underperform white and Asian, and this is vexing for obvious reasons.

The racial achievement/performance gap is a curious thing even in the context of an American political discourse that seems to get more bizarre by the day. That the gap exists is, on balance, not controversial. Gaps in performance are observed on essentially every measured academic metric, though the size of the effects vary from context to context, and the general distribution is Asian American students at the top, white students next, then Hispanic, then Black. The Black-white gap in particular has shrunk from the era of (explicitly) segregated schools but progress has not been consistent or linear. Most people in academia and politics admit it exists: prominent Black politicians like Barack Obama and Kamala Harris reference it, every major think tank and foundation operating in the educational space identifies it as a major priority, and the NAACP used to address if often, though their Education and Education Strategy pages have recently disappeared so it’s hard to know where they stand now. These things are faddish but once upon a time every other dissertation written by someone getting a PhD in Education was about the gap. We can observe it even outside of reference to controversial tests, such as noting that the white high school graduation rate is 10% higher than that for Black students. The achievement gap is a thing.

And yet I also find a rapidly-congealing social prohibition against talking about these gaps in progressive spaces. If you refer to a racial achievement gap in a lot of liberal or left contexts now, you’ll find that people clam up fast and get visibly uncomfortable, even if you take pains to point out that an academic achievement gap does not imply an academic potential gap. People just don’t want to acknowledge that gaps exist at all; our racial discourse appears to have become such a blunt instrument that the acknowledgement of racial difference is controversial even when you preface discussion with the belief (that I hold) that the gap is the product of innumerable environmental and sociocultural factors rather than genetics or other inherent differences. Simply saying “Black students consistently score lower on tests like the SATs, have lower average GPAs, and have worse metrics on ancillary concerns like truancy” - again, Barack Obama’s position, Kamala Harris’s position, Corey Booker’s position - is enough for people to start launching into harangues about the inherent violence of those comparisons. People just do not want to talk about this stuff.

The rush to rid the world of the SAT is based on this dynamic. Because Black and white students are not equal in academic preparedness, and because we have failed to close the gap in a half-century of concerted policy effort to do so, we must eliminate the tools that reveal it, such as the SAT. Similarly, the movement to shutter gifted and talented programs4, due to the racial inequalities therein, demonstrates an attempt to shut down those structures that make educational inequality visible. It should go without saying that this will not doing anything to close the gap in actual ability.

Footnotes from original not preserved.

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France bans schools from teaching 'gender neutral' words with full stops in the middle because they are 'a threat to the language'

The country's education ministry issued the ruling last week after a push to include full stops in the middle of written words - dubbed 'midpoints' - which allow both male and female forms to be represented simultaneously.

But the Academie Francaise, which is responsible for guarding the French language, said the move is 'harmful to the practice and understanding of [French.]'

[...]

Advocates say the midpoints make French 'more inclusive' but critics say it creates differences between written and spoke French which make the language harder to learn and threaten its entire existence.

Nathalie Elimas, the State Secretary for Priority Education, said the drive to make French 'gender neutral' will not increase it popularity, but will instead drive more people to learn English which does not gender its nouns.

'With the spread of inclusive writing, the English language - already quasi-hegemonic across the world - would certainly and perhaps forever defeat the French language,' she said as the ban was issued.

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Looks like scientific observations are too much like Noticing for TPTB: Neurology Editors On New Guidelines for Reporting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Research

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Education group files federal civil rights complaint against school district that admitted to ‘systemic racism’

The district admits to “systemic racism” three times in a statement released after the conviction of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd as well as the fatal shooting of a knife-wielding black girl named Ma’Khiah Bryant, an honor roll student at one of its high schools.

“There is systemic racism within our school district,” the school board said on April 21. “There is systemic racism within our education system,” the members said, and “There is systemic racism within our school buildings.”

The Virginia-based nonprofit and its president, Nicole Neily, referenced an investigation launched in September 2020 after Princeton University’s president made similar statements. The DOE closed that investigation shortly before President Joe Biden took office.

Neily did not provide any further comment to The College Fix beyond a link to the statement.

The school district and its board would not answer questions, prior to the filing of the complaint, as to why it said the district practiced racism nor questions about those admissions meant it violated civil rights laws.

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Disney's 'woke' anti-racism manifesto disappears from website following backlash

Disney appears to have scrapped plans to force staff to undergo anti-racism training — at least for now — after a ‘woke’ manifesto that went viral disappeared from its website.

The webpage containing a number of race-related training documents vanished from Disney’s company intranet this week, with the url now displaying a “pardon our pixie dust” error message, the New York Post reported.

“This is a major victory in the war against ‘woke capital,’” tweeted journalist Chris Rufo, who first reported on the existence of the controversial staff training materials, noting a “significant backlash from the public”.

“Disney was peddling the most toxic elements of critical race theory — and my reporting led to immediate changes within the company,” he said.

The materials Disney urged staff to read and comply with, described by some as ‘woke’, included a document titled “Allyship for Race Consciousness,” the Daily Mail reported.

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ICE Nominee Worked With BLM to Push False Claim That White Man Murdered 7-Year-Old Black Girl

Ed Gonzalez, the Harris County sheriff and the Biden administration's choice for ICE director, worked closely with Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King to identify Jazmine Barnes's killer. Gonzalez amplified the family's claim that the gunman was white even after he received a tip that Barnes's killers were black. An attorney for the man King falsely identified as the shooter said King's allegation might have contributed to his client's suicide.

Gonzalez is likely to face scrutiny from Republicans for scaling back cooperation with the federal government on deportations early in the Trump administration. This year, he proposed releasing 1,500 county jail inmates, hundreds of whom faced charges for violent crimes. King is a controversial figure who has come under fire for making false allegations in racially charged incidents.

Jazmine Barnes was gunned down in the back seat of her mother's car on Dec. 30, 2018. On the day of the shooting, Gonzalez said on Twitter that Barnes's family described the gunman as a white male in his 40s. He released a police sketch of a suspect matching that description on Jan. 3, 2019.

A timeline of the investigation shows that King received a tip that Barnes's killers were black later that day. King said that he shared the tip "immediately" with Gonzalez but that they "could not just make sense of it." But Gonzalez, who has been sheriff of Harris County since 2017, told a reporter that King shared the tip that led to the arrest of the real killers, Eric Black, Jr., and Larry Woodruffe, with him "midweek." He continued circulating the incorrect police sketch on social media for two more days.

The Barnes murder became a national media sensation after Gonzalez, King, and others trumpeted the girl's mother's belief that the shooting was racially motivated. Attorney Lee Merritt, who represented Barnes's family, leveled a hate crime allegation during a Jan. 3, 2019, press conference he held with Gonzalez.

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Spanish conservative professor suspended on Twitter for stating: "Men cannot get pregnant"

On Tuesday, Twitter issued a 12-hour suspension against the account of a professor of philosophy and law and a deputy of the conservative Spanish Vox party, Francisco Jose Contreras, on grounds of “incitement to hatred.” Contreras had affirmed a simple biological fact, that “a man cannot get pregnant. A man does not have a uterus or ovaries.”

According to Twitter’s justification of the suspension, “it is not permissible to threaten other people, persecute them or encourage violence based on their race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, age, disability or illness.”

Francisco Contreras is not only a professor at the University of Seville and the author of several books, he is also one of the most prominent intellectuals within the Spanish parliament. In August, on the anniversary of the establishment of Poland's Solidarity Movement in 1980, he published his memoir and some reflections on Polish portal teologiapolityczna.pl. Now, Twitter not only suspended his account but also forced him to remove his entry due to being supposedly hateful.

There were no threats or hatred in his comment, but in Spain, colonized by the Left, social media censorship is drastic. It is well-known in Spain that two fact-checking services are operating within the country – Newtral and Maldita.es. Since 2017, they have been a part of the International Fact-Checking Network, which cooperates with Facebook and WhatsApp’s owners to “avoid spreading fake news.”

Twitter, meanwhile, has its own controllers who very eagerly suspend the accounts of conservatives. An example of this was during Vox’s election campaign in Catalonia when their account was banned for two weeks.

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Texas House passes bill targeting ‘critical race theory’ over objections from education, civics and business groups

Texas’ legislation would prohibit teachers from receiving training that “presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or blame.” And it would ban them from teaching that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously” or that someone should feel “guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” due to their race.

Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, initially introduced the bill by asking: “Do you want our Texas kids to be taught that the system of government in Texas and the United States is nothing but a cover-up for white supremacy?”

Rep. Mary González, D-El Paso, pushed back, noting she earned her doctorate in part by doing academic research using critical race theory texts. The ideas “healed” her, she said, and helped her understand society. She repeatedly pressed Toth to share how many critical race theory books he’s read — cover to cover — to inform his legislation. He responded by saying he’s read papers.

“So you want to ban a whole subject of theory because you have read a couple of white papers?” she retorted. González later said people should only vote on the legislation if they’ve read critical race theory texts for themselves.

Her line of questioning set the tone for hours of heated debate that stretched from Monday night into early Tuesday morning, as lawmakers went back and forth over more than two dozen amendments. When the bill came up for final approval Tuesday evening, she and House Democrats once again tried to halt it.

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There is a Civil War Raging Within the German Left

If current polling holds up, the Green Party might soon lead the German government. But this change won’t be quite as radical as it might look to casual American observers. The Greens will largely absorb disenchanted voters of the two current ruling parties—the conservative CDU/CSU and the social democratic SPD, either of which might retain its hold on power as the Green Party’s junior coalition partner. As for the Greens themselves, they would only stand for continuity and offer little in terms of change (except perhaps by expediting the country’s transition to renewable energy production, which has so far cost German consumers dearly).

As Sahra Wagenknecht, a leading figure in the German party Die Linke (The Left), has noted in her new book—the provocatively titled Die Selbstgerechten (The Self-Righteous Ones)— the Greens are largely the party of the “academic middle class, software programmers, and marketing experts.” But while discontent with these representatives of the managerial strata is growing just as quickly in Germany as it is elsewhere in the West, the German political landscape offers very few viable alternatives. Wagenknecht’s own party claims to be one such alternative, but the same polls see it at only seven percent, nationally, two points fewer than in federal elections four years ago.

Wagenknecht lays the blame for this stagnation at the feet of what she calls a “lifestyle left” of mostly university-educated urbanites with “left liberal” persuasions that has captured her party no less than it has the Greens. This lifestyle left promises higher food and gas prices to combat climate change but has nothing to offer German workers in terms of better wages and job security. It is no wonder, she concludes, that these voters are increasingly turning toward the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany)—just as much as working-class voters in America have turned out for Trump, in France for Marine Le Pen, and in Hungary for Viktor Orbán. These developments, Wagenknecht argues, are not evidence of racism on the rise, but rather that Die Linke has become alienated from the concerns of its traditional constituencies. To reverse course, Die Linke would need to defend the national sovereignty of the German state against global financial and corporate interests. This would mean reducing immigration to manageable levels in order to boost the bargaining power of low-wage workers.

Wagenknecht’s new book has prompted outraged reactions from her comrades in Die Linke. She was waging “literal war against her own party” whose voters she “despises,” member of parliament Niema Movassat complained. A writer in the Linke-friendly newspaper Neues Deutschland added that Wagenknecht’s criticism of transgender and immigrant-rights activism threatened to repel the same young people whose concerns for these issues had politicized them to begin with. In perhaps the least persuasive contribution to the debate, the columnist Ingo Arend opined in the left-liberal newspaper taz that “symbolic” struggles for recognition by those occupying “marginalized” identities were, in fact, key to gaining political power.

What these predictable reactions to Wagenknecht’s attacks on economic globalization show is that likewise political ideologies and party programs have become thoroughly globalized. Criticisms similar to that of Movassat and Arend’s were made against Bernie Sanders in 2016 (whose own statement that open borders were “a Koch brothers proposal” Wagenknecht cites approvingly). Driven by “individualism and cosmopolitanism,” leftists have more in common with their globetrotting counterparts in other countries than with the working classes at home. In other words, as Wagenknecht quotes Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “Such philosophers will love the Tartars to avoid loving their neighbor.”

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New GMU diversity hiring practice encourages selecting for skin color over qualifications

President Greogory Washington said in a recent email “we need a more comprehensive framework for what constitutes ‘best’” in hiring faculty and staff.

He said in his April 15 email that his explanation came in response to concerns that college hiring must reflect achievement and preferring minorities would be illegal.

“If you have two candidates who are both ‘above the bar’ in terms of requirements for a position, but one adds to your diversity and the other does not, then why couldn’t that candidate be better, even if that candidate may not have better credentials than the other candidate,” Washington wrote.

Washington further argued that the faculty at GMU do not proportionally represent the ethnicities of the student body or the surrounding region. A vision of diversity and inclusion in hiring “is a recognition of the reality that our society’s future lies in multicultural inclusion,” he said in his email.

This begins by redefining “best” to include “lived experiences” as a top hiring criteria alongside professional aptitude, he stated. In short, “We either believe that diversity and inclusion can improve our performance, or we don’t,” Washington stated.

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[Ayaan Hirsi Ali] Tribalism has come to the West

While such violence is yet to seize America, all the tribalist ingredients are present. There is a blind commitment to one party or the other; emotions are running high; there is a lack of trust in civic institutions. If such tribalism isn’t overcome, it’s only a matter of time before the situation escalates.

Some of this has its absurd side: for instance, the strange ways that public-health measures such as mask-wearing and vaccination have become politicised, to the point that I know of fully vaccinated people in California who say they will continue to wear masks for fear of being mistaken for Republicans. Bizarre? Of course. But it is also symptomatic of a dangerous trend towards tribalism.

We are, I fear, close to the precipice of serious destabilisation. Many American cities are either militarised (Washington, DC), near a social boiling point (Minneapolis), or have capitulated to anarchist protests and pressures (Portland, Seattle).

These tribal quirks run deep on both sides of the aisle. Many Republicans continue to dispute the legitimacy of the result of the last presidential election; while on the Left, the woke are eroding the Democratic Party from the inside, as identity politics displace universalist aspirations. Some citizens are viewed as part of oppressive groups, some as part of oppressed groups. A person’s individual actions can generally do little to change the immutable characteristics of the tribe to which they belong.

Just as I noticed with my friend over lunch, there is frequently a visceral hostility towards anyone who leans even slightly toward the Right. Today, especially in academia, those who don’t conform with the “progressive” narrative, no matter how ethical they might be as individuals, are vilified as racists, white supremacists, homophobes or transphobes. Individuals can be attacked, cancelled, disinvited or even fired for the tiniest of verbal transgressions.

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Americans Under 30 Have Rapidly Turned Against Gun Control Laws, Poll Finds

Fifty percent of Americans overall say they view the enacting of new anti-gun violence laws and firearm restrictions as a top legislative priority. But among young Americans under 30, there was a 20 percent drop in support since 2018.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday from among more than 1,000 U.S. adults found that Americans overall are less supportive of new gun control legislations than they were just three years ago. People between the ages of 18-29 saw the sharpest decline in backing for new weapons laws, with fewer than half now saying new legislation is needed to reduce the risk of future mass shootings or to block "red flag" buyers.

In April 2018, the last time the ABC/Washington Post survey was conducted on this issue, 65 percent of these young Americans said they support gun control laws. That percentage is now 45.

Massive ideological divides have remained between Democrats and Republicans, with three-quarters of Republicans saying they prioritize the protection of their right to own firearms. And on the other end of the spectrum, 83 percent of Democrats and self-identified liberals said they want President Joe Biden to prioritize more gun control laws.

The preference for enacting new gun laws aimed at reducing firearm violence has dropped by 7 percent overall since the last corresponding survey was conducted in April 2018. Percentage drops were seen in nearly every demographic divide. In that time period, 20 percent of Hispanics pulled back from supporting new gun laws, falling to 50 percent. Seventeen percent of rural Americans now said they want no new gun restrictions, down 17 points to 30 percent.

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Meet Bishop Garrison: The Pentagon’s Hatchet Man in Charge of Purging MAGA Patriots and Installing Race Theory in The Military

Let’s take a moment to take stock of what we’ve learned. The leader of the Pentagon’s Orwellian ideological vetting operation not only enthusiastically promotes the viciously anti-American 1619 Project, he characterizes anyone who would dare criticize it as “dangerous.”

The brave patriots who serve in the U.S. military are required to take an oath to the Constitution. But if Bishop Garrison has his way (and given his current position, it looks like he will) only those who believe America is a fundamentally evil and racist nation will be permitted to take the oath to defend America — a bizarre dystopian twist if there ever was one!

Contextualizing contrary opinions as “dangerous” is especially troubling in light of Bishop Garrison’s grift in the national security sector. By designating lawful groups, people, associations or ideas as “dangerous,” a national security predicate is created to eliminate them. Since the national security apparatus controls the commanding heights of America’s intelligence agencies (which are functionally above the law under NSC 10-2), military branches, State Department diplomats, Treasury Department powers and Federal law enforcement organs, national security predicates are the ultimate “trump card” to bypass democratic processes.

Put another way, if every issue were a national security issue, we would have martial law, not a Constitutional republic.

This undemocratic override is why national security apparatchiks are supposed to stay in their lane, focus on defense, and stay out of civilian policy. Labeling a target a “threat to national security” not only moots civilian debate, it moots all FOIAs and public inquiries into what military-intelligence is even up to behind closed doors.

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UMass-Amherst freshmen suspended for not wearing masks outside and off-campus

Three University of Massachusetts Amherst freshmen have been suspended by the school for not wearing face masks while outside and off-campus.

According to CBS Boston/WBZ, the female students were penalized with loss of their academic credits for the semester, as well as tuition totaling some $16,000 each.

One of the girls’ parents said school officials were tipped off to the maskless trio after someone sent them this photo:

In February, UMass Amherst put in place a “zero tolerance” COVID policy, Newsweek reports. It “completely banned” outdoor exercise and “implemented strict stay-at-home orders.” Signs around campus and the surrounding town read “You are in a mask required zone per the Amherst Board of Health.”

University officials said students have been “warned repeatedly to ‘self-sequester’ and of the harsh consequences should they be seen inside or outside without facial coverings.”

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Diversity Over Discovery: Biden’s war on merit puts America’s scientific edge at risk.

President Joe Biden has now taken the push for “diversity” in STEM to a new level. His candidate to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the largest funder of the physical sciences in the U.S., is a soil geologist at the University of California, Merced. She has no background in physics, the science of energy, or the energy sector. She has never held a position as a scientific administrator. The typical head of DOE’s Office of Science in the past has had managerial authority in the nation’s major physics labs and has been a physicist himself, Science reports. The new nominee’s only managerial experience consists of serving since 2020 as an interim associate dean of UC Merced’s graduate division.

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is, however, a black female who has won “accolades for her work to promote diversity in science,” as Science puts it. Berhe would be the first black woman to head the $7 billion office, and that is reason enough, according to the diversity mantra, why she should oversee X-ray synchrotrons, the development of nuclear weapons, and ongoing research on nuclear fusion. Her nomination requires Senate confirmation; if Berhe will not commit to hiring and grantmaking on the basis of scientific expertise alone, irrespective of race and sex, senators should vote her appointment down.

As head of the Office of Science, Berhe would be asked to choose strategic directions for DOE-funded science. Should the agency try to expand understanding of fundamental particle physics or of the physics of the universe? How much attention should be given to solid-state lighting, semiconductors, or artificial intelligence? With regard to energy conservation and clean energy, should DOE pursue geothermal or biomass, tackle storage issues, or seek greater energy efficiency through insulation and refrigeration? Each day, the Office of Science turns out dozens of “one-pager” descriptions of projects and proposals. It is unlikely that a soil geologist (with an M.S. in political ecology) will have the knowledge to evaluate proposals for, say, advanced scientific computing research or nuclear physics, or make the policy judgments that those “one-pagers” require. It is fitting that Berhe teaches at the University of California, Merced. UC Merced was created as a diversity campus, in the hope of minting more Hispanic graduates with a UC degree. No one advocating for this new institution, located in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, made the case that California needed more university research capacity. Berhe herself benefited from UC’s obsessive diversity push, having received a President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program for promoting “underrepresented minority” graduate students.

A physicist wonders if Berhe “can know merit when she sees it.” Preference beneficiaries “think that merit is a myth and hierarchies of achievement are arbitrary and based on power and oppression,” this professor observes, based on years of watching academic admissions and hiring. Berhe argues that the lack of race and sex diversity in STEM is due to exclusion, rather than to the absence of a proportional number of competitively qualified “diverse” candidates in the hiring pipeline. Her co-authored articles include: “Leaky Pipeline vs. Vicious Obstacle Course: metaphors for the persistent exclusion of minoritized scholars from STEM,” “A critical feminist approach to transforming workplace climate in the geosciences through community engagement and partnerships with societies,” and “Hostile climates are barriers to diversifying the geosciences.” She will undoubtedly further elevate the importance of race and sex as criteria for federal research awards.

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The Conservative Case for Teen Pregnancy

The success sequence goes something like this: If you earn a high-school diploma (and preferably a college degree), get a job, and wait until you are married to have children, you have what we are assuredis a 97 percent chance of not being “poor.” Moreover, assuming you remain married, your own children will be less likely to find themselves incarcerated, among various other evils. For these reasons, we are told, the most basic human goods common to all observed societies are worthy of our approbation.

It should go without saying that the success sequence as it is actually practiced in the United States is possible only because of artificial contraception. It is not love of chastity that leads the vast majority of Americans who attain it to “delay parenthood,” as the literature puts it, but the apparently successful attempt of pharmaceutical corporations to reduce the marital act to a sterile parody. Whatever virtues the average middle-class American couple exhibit by “delaying,” they are not natural ones. They are really showing us their disordered understanding of prudence, which has become a synonym for convenience.

Whose convenience? Certainly not that of the children who will never be born because the self-appointed defenders of traditional virtue in what some of them still refer to quaintly as “the public square” have spent the last three decades concerned with emptying out the welfare rolls and (some of them are quite open about this) keeping the crime statistics low. One wonders what all those young unmarried women engaged in the most natural of human relationships thought when Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton and the curiously named Heritage Foundation told them that they would be better off working at Kmart (nowadays the CVS coupon center) than raising their children.

Which is why I say without hesitation that pregnancy outside wedlock is superior to the success sequence. While fornication is indeed a grave sin against chastity, it is not disordered. It is a natural act, albeit one taking place outside its proper context. Where the success sequence is parsimonious, elevating lust and the pursuit of wealth above other natural goods, pregnancy is liberal in the old-fashioned sense of the word, indeed by the standards of our professional class, even munificent. It involves the failings of youth and, by economy, the goods proper to it: heedlessness, generosity, and a kind of awe before creation, in which it quite literally participates.

This is where I should make the obvious point that while the success sequence might do perfectly well for conservatives, many of whom really do wish to “conserve” the sort of society (or rather the sort of economy) that the success sequence has made possible, it can play no part in a Christian one. The success sequence canalizes the sometimes meandering stream of Christian life, whose embouchures are Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Phirat. In a Christian society there will be Christian dope peddlers and Christian thieves and Christian murderers and even, I daresay, Christian former teen mothers who do not contribute to their employers’ matching retirement benefit schemes, and whose children have higher than average SAT scores. To identify the Christian life, whose sole end is sainthood, with bourgeois manners is to deny the plain words of Our Lord, Who assured us that after a bit of squabbling over pennies the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

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Swiss city of Basel offers homeless people one way-tickets to other countries

The northern city is giving beggars a travel voucher to a European destination, provided they agree not to return to Switzerland.

Basel’s migration service offers a Rail Check, as well as a donation of 20 francs, to any beggar willing to leave the country, Swiss media reported.

This travel voucher covers a trip to any European destination by train.

For those who live too far to go by train, for instance Romania, where many beggars come from, authorities purchase an airline ticket for about 60 francs — the price for one-way flight from Basel to Bucharest.

But there is one condition attached to this free travel: “beneficiaries must agree in writing not to return to Switzerland. If they are found here again, they risk expulsion from our country”, said Toprak Yergu, a spokesperson for Basel’s Department of Justice.

Austin, take note.

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France is edging toward civil war, says constitutional scholar

The question is not whether a civil war will break out in France, but when, Constitutional lawyer Grégor Puppinck, the head of the French European Center of Law and Justice (ECLJ), told Magyar Hírlap in an interview, warning that tensions between parallel societies in the country are growing.

During the interview, Puppnick, an influential legal scholar in France, was asked about the hotly debated open letter signed by French generals and thousands of soldiers and officers that warned French President Emmanuel Macron's government of an impending civil war.

Puppinck said the situation was every bit as serious as the generals assessed it.

"It's not a question of whether a civil war will happen, it's when," he said.

"We see increasing violence and tension in almost every big city. Two societies live in one country and much of the Muslim community does not want to integrate at all. The general opinion is that the longer the government waits to restore order, the harder it will be — if only because of demographic trends," Puppinck said.

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‘Woke’ Coke Pauses Diversity Plan After ‘Intense Backlash,’ Plan Author Suddenly Resigns

‘The hard truth is that our profession is not treating the issue of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative,” Gayton wrote in his letter. “We have a crisis on our hands and we need to commit ourselves to specific actions that will accelerate the diversity of the legal profession.”

Legal experts, Fox Business noted, questioned “whether Gayton’s policies violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says employers can’t treat people differently based on their race.”

“Legal defense foundation Project on Fair Representation published an open letter to Coca-Cola last week warning that Coke’s outside counsel ‘racial quota requirements’ are ‘unlawful,'” the outlet added.

Republican leaders announced boycotts and state and federal legislators warned that if Coca-Cola and other high-profile corporations did not stay out of politics that they could lose tax breaks at the state and federal levels. It’s not clear whether the boycotts or the threats of rescinding tax breaks worked, but Coca-Cola’s stock was down around 12% in January. The company plans to report first-quarter profits shortly.

In late April, Coca-Cola quietly announced that Gayton had departed his role as general counsel with a “golden parachute” — an unusual event given that Gayton had worked for the company for less than a year.

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Reclaiming American higher education: Idaho is cutting off social justice universities

The higher education establishment in Idaho has refused to reverse course from this politically malevolent agenda for years. Armed with evidence and policy solutions in these reports, conservatives in the legislature decided no more public funds would be used to subsidize the political activists hijacking Idaho’s institutions of higher education.

The House of Representatives decisively rejected (13-57) Senate Bill 1179, which would have imposed a minor fiscal reduction on Idaho’s public universities as a consequence for their social justice agenda. In its place the legislature passed a bill cutting an additional $2.5 million from university budgets as a penalty for misusing public funds on social justice activism.

At the same time, a bill banning public universities from compelling students to adopt the divisive tenets of critical race theory and using public money to do so became law.

Opponents of these legislative reforms have cried free speech. But free speech is an illusion without diversity of opinion. The activists controlling universities have no interest in negotiating with concerned citizens who rationally dissent from the social justice orthodoxy.

Administrative bodies, like bias incident response teams, are established at social justice universities to deliberately punish any student or faculty member who dissents. Social justice advocates call names, brand unwanted speech as violence, claim civility is complicity, demand safe spaces, engage in bullying tactics known as cancel culture, and use “inclusion” policies to silence any viewpoints they disagree with.

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Chauvin juror who promised judge impartiality now says people should join juries ‘to spark some change', wore BLM shirt in 2020

A juror on the Derek Chauvin trial who told the court that he had no prior knowledge of the George Floyd civil case was photographed last August wearing a shirt that read “Get your knee off our necks” and “BLM.” He stated last week that he saw jury duty as a means to “spark some change.”

Juror #52, now identified as Brandon Mitchell, reportedly told Judge Cahill on March 15 that he had no prior knowledge of the case prior to being summoned for jury duty.

Mitchell is the first juror in the Chauvin trial to speak openly about the deliberations.

Speaking in a show called Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell on April 27, Mitchell said that people should say yes to jury duty as a means to promote societal change.

“I mean it’s important if we wanna see some change, we wanna see some things going different, we gotta into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change,” he said. “Jury duty is one of those things. Jury duty. Voting. All of those things we gotta do.”

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The Tribalist Left

Crime statistics underscore how the media distorts reality in presenting white males as inherently dangerous. According to 2018 figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 90 percent of interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) were committed by African-Americans; 76 percent of the U.S. population is white; 13 percent is black. FBI statistics from 2019 revealed that whites committed 52 percent of hate crimes, while African-Americans committed 24 percent. In New York City, hate crimes against Asians soared in 2020, but only two of the 20 people arrested were white, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

In 2018, African-Americans made up 53 percent of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and committed about 60 percent of robberies. But you’ll never read politically inconvenient statistics like these in left-leaning media outlets, leaving Americans with a warped perspective on the supposed threat from violent, bigoted white males. Perhaps this is why the Detroit Free Press reported recently that many African-Americans in that city are afraid to venture into white neighborhoods and are arming themselves in record numbers.

The Left’s race obsession obviously isn’t confined to crime. Progressives have long favored discriminatory schemes in college admissions and employment decisions, but prominent politicians are becoming increasingly brazen in acknowledging and supporting these practices. California governor Gavin Newsom, for example, recently told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that he would choose a black female for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat if she retires. Black females make up just 3 percent of California’s population, but apparently because California previously had a mixed-race senator (Kamala Harris), Newsom is ready to disqualify 97 percent of his constituents from consideration for a Senate seat.

Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth said that she would vote against any Biden Cabinet nominees who aren’t people of color or gay. Hawaii senator Mazie Hirono agreed. And Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf announced that low-income people of color, but not poor whites, would be eligible for a new program guaranteeing a monthly income of $500.

All this Tammany Hall-style tribalism reminds me of the two years I spent living in the Balkans after the breakup of Yugoslavia. I worked at the American Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia (now North Macedonia), a country starkly divided along religious and ethnic lines. Politicians represented their ethnic constituencies, every appointee was viewed through the prism of their tribe, and very little communication or cooperation took place between warring factions.

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The CDC’s cruel, irrational guidance traps our kids in the forever pandemic

The people making these absurd calls will be sitting in air-conditioned offices, while your children and their underpaid counselor will be needlessly sweating under their masks playing color war in 90-degree weather. Don’t listen to them.

Also last week, the CDC finally released updated guidance for vaccinated people. The chart showed that vaccinated people — except, apparently, summer camp counselors — can now dine outdoors and gather mask-less in small groups outside.

Thanks, I guess? Most sane people have been doing this for a while.

Last Sunday, national virus guru Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN, “The risk when you’re outdoors, which we have been saying all along, is extremely low.”

Oh, they’ve been saying it all along, have they? No, of course they haven’t. In fact, Fauci had many times stressed the importance of masking, even outdoors. Who could forget him standing on a pitcher’s mound last spring, 90 feet from the nearest person but still wearing his mask?

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Only the rich can afford to be woke

By that yardstick, nothing should refute First World Problems more than Third World conditions. In the Third World, the obvious answer to the problematising of haircare regimes is: “Look out your bloody window”. Who needs micro aggressions when you have macro? Consider the woman begging for scraps at the traffic lights and vomit up your rainbow of intersectional identities.

Yet just as Rambo once became a hero to kids in Angola, so too the West is exporting its culture wars to places it barely understands. This is the emerging story at the heart of Helen Zille’s new book Stay Woke Go Broke: Why South Africa won’t survive America’s culture wars (And what you can do about it).

Zille has dominated South African opposition politics for nearly two decades. Once, she was the crusading liberal journalist who broke the scandal of Steve Biko’s murder in police custody. More recently, she has racked up eight years as leader of the Official Opposition — the Democratic Alliance — and a decade as Premier of the Western Cape. She is also a pugnacious Twitter power user, with over a million followers, and has, the reader senses, swallowed the site’s obsessions more than most.

The book’s extensive subtitle alludes to where the South African state of play is right now: it’s a primer, for an audience who are lucky enough never to have heard of James Lindsay or Robin DiAngelo. Despite the homogenising power of the internet, South Africa has remained insulated from the full depth of the culture wars, by both the deep reality of its problems, and by its standing start. There has never been a culture of “political correctness”. While the racial fault lines are obvious and vast, the conversations around them have always been suitably robust. The gentility and euphemism that characterise First World conversations just don’t exist. It’s much harder to talk of “systemic racism” being invisible yet everywhere, as the Intersectional Social Justice movement does, in a country where only 30 years ago there was a literal system of apartheid.

But as in the West, in South Africa it’s university campuses — and particularly the importation of Critical Theory sub-genres like Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory — that have provided the initial incubator to wokeness. In 2015, the University of Cape Town held an early dry run, with the Rhodes Must Fall protests. Initially focused on a prominent statue of the man who built the campus, soon the protests’ literature began to include phrases like: “the fall of ‘Rhodes’ is symbolic for the inevitable fall of white supremacy and privilege at our campus”. Before long, Critical Theory had usurped the entire movement, to the point where the university hosted a “Science Must Fall” meeting that rejected the white devilry of Newtonian physics, in favour of a suitably decolonised alternative: essentially an African witchcraft theory of causality.

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Black Penn State profs report ‘noose’ behind house; ends up being part of neighbor’s swing set

Earlier this week, a pair of black Penn State University professors reported a “noose” in a tree behind their house.

As reported by the PSU student newspaper Daily Collegian, the professors said the incident was “deeply distressing to them and their family.”

The Centre Daily Times notes the profs believed the “noose” was “deliberately placed [on the tree] to harass them.”

[...]

Alas, according to the professors’ neighbor who was interviewed by police, the “noose” actually was part of a swing set. The neighbors’ kid told police he merely had thrown the rope “into the woods.”

Patton Police Chief Tyler Jolley concluded there was “no malice” involved. The department added “no kind of crime [was] committed at all” and that the rope just “happened” to fall on the tree.

Have any of the alleged hate-crime nooses turned out to be actual nooses?

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America attracts the wrong immigrants

Midway through his term of office, not in a tweet or a campaign rally but in the calm of an almost conventional speech, Donald Trump said: “America is a cutting-edge economy but our immigration system is stuck in the past.” Many Americans, including some who cannot stand Trump, would agree with that. The immigration question of the next decade is not, “should America be welcoming to immigrants?” Or even “what do we do about the southern border becoming overwhelmed by desperate people?” No, the question is whether America welcomes the wrong type of immigration and needs to change. “Is it time to favour computer programmers over gardeners?” That’s the question. Same numbers — a million a year, legally — but different people.

But the question is not posed. Not because Americans fear people speaking other languages or cooking with strange ingredients or praying to other gods. The problem is not them, many Americans say: the problem is us. Our society, our community, has become — with the best intentions — a more dangerous place. The anti-Trump campaigner and former Bush aide David Frum made the point in a piece in The Atlantic magazine a couple of years ago: “More and more of the people who live among Americans are not on equal legal footing with Americans. They cannot vote. They cannot qualify as jurors. If they commit a crime they are subject not only to prison but to deportation. And because these noncitizens are keenly aware of those things, they adjust their behavior. They keep a low profile. They do not complain to the authorities if, say, their boss cheats them out of some of their pay, or if they are abused by a parent or partner at home.”

This is the result of the array of an immigration policy that broadly allows family ties — and ingenuity in hopping across the southern border — to trump skills. A policy that brings in adult siblings of already poor, semi-legal residents. As a result not everyone in America gets the full right to stay: some will be legal temporary residents, some students who should not be working, some came illegally but can stay (like the Dreamers whose parents brought them to America illegally as children) on some kind of sufferance.

Of course, there are plenty of wealthy Americans to whom this doesn’t matter much. They lead lives insulated from the masses. They have cheap gardeners on tap: cheap labour — desperate labour — which enables the low-wage America that keeps so many people so poor. Bernie Sanders used to point out that open immigration policies were very much the plaything of the rich — of faceless, placeless corporate America. There are sociologists who point out, too, that a nation desperate for labour, having to pay more for it, might not have incarcerated so many black men so readily in recent decades.

What is unquestionably the case is that America a few decades ago was almost entirely filled by citizens with equal rights. It has morphed in recent years into a place with graded citizenship; in some big states, like California, fully 10% of residents are not full citizens. As Frum put it, “No intentional policy has led the US to accept more low-wage low-skill labourers and fewer cancer researchers. Yet that is what the United States is doing.”

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Juan Williams Of FOX News Claims Riots And Fires In American Cities Over Last Year Didn’t Happen

Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, co-host of “The Five,” said Wednesday it is a lie “that cities burned last summer.”

“I wish there were people on the right who were willing to say we’ve got a problem with our extreme right, the people who were saying all those awful things before the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol,” Williams said. “The people who want to put out lies like, ‘Oh yeah, the cities burned last summer.’ I think it’s important that people who are honest in American politics be able to hold honest discussions without allowing the extremists to set the agenda.”

Fox News co-host Katie Pavlich pushed back on Williams’ comments on the Capitol breach, noting, “I think it’s clear a number of Republicans across the board came out against what happened on Jan. 6 while it was happening.”

Brian Kilmeade called out Williams for his erroneous statement. “By the way, Juan, the cities did burn, if you count Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, and Portland, but besides that, I think it was a pretty good summer,” Kilmeade said.

“That’s not true,” Williams responded.

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Why are the police handcuffing street preachers?

This week police in Uxbridge, Greater London, handcuffed, arrested and detained a 71-year-old grandfather for fear he might have offended someone.

Naturally, the whole incident was filmed and uploaded to YouTube, where we can watch in horror at our hard-fought freedoms slipping through our fingers.

John Sherwood has been a pastor in north London for 35 years. As part of his vocation, he preached not only from the pulpit but also in the open air – which he is lawfully allowed to do.

According to news reports and his colleague’s own account of events, on 23 April he preached from the closing section of the book of Genesis, which contains the allegedly offensive statement: ‘So God created mankind in his own image… male and female he created them.’ Building off these verses, he spoke about marriage being between one man and one woman – a view once held by the vast majority of Brits and the law of the land until the very recent past.

Police officers surrounded Sherwood, took away his Bible, and pulled him off the streets for an alleged breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act (which, incidentally, does not criminalise offence or insult). He was detained, questioned about his views on sexual morality, and held overnight. After 21 hours, police released him ‘under investigation’.

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School District Tells Principals To Create Fake Curriculum To Send Parents After Complaints Of Indoctrination

This doesn’t mean throw out the lesson and find a new one. Just pull the resource off Canvas so parents cannot see it …

Keep teaching! Just don’t make everything visible on Canvas. This is not being deceitful. This is just doing what you have done for years. Prior to the pandemic you didn’t send everything home or have it available. You taught in your classroom and things were peachy keen. We are going old-school. …

You could Duplicate an entry/lesson in Canvas (making 2 copies) Publish ONE for the whole class that is a LEAN version of the lesson. The “original” that has all the stuff on it, can be published and only assigned to specific students (IF NEEDED), OR you could specifically email those students a copy of what they need.

The reason I say “make a copy” You can publish the NEW one that has less information on it. Then for that kid who is all virtual and needs to full lesson, you can publish it and assign it ONLY that kid…

Anything that “could” be picked apart I would suggest using this above approach… Again I wouldn’t throw it out, but you could just not give them access to the story.

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Archaeology society blocks video of lecture arguing for more science-based research

The Society for American Archaeology meeting, held between April 15 and 17, featured a pre-recorded lecture by San Jose State anthropology professor Elizabeth Weiss and attorney and anthropologist James Springer that discussed the role of creationism in archaeology.

On Wednesday, the SAA released a statement apologizing to ” those who were harmed by the inclusion of the presentation.”

“After careful review of the recording, the SAA board finds the presentation does not align with SAA’s values, and so has chosen to not re-post it at this time,” it read.

In their presentation, Weiss and Springer argued that many Native American creation myths stemming from oral traditions have worked their way into scientific research and are given as much weight as scientific data such as DNA.

“By promoting objective knowledge and scientific reasoning, we would say that we are doing our best to help students, colleagues and the public understand the world around us, and negating the misinformation promoted by creationism,” Weiss told The College Fix in an email.

The lecture was accused of being racist, which Weiss refutes.

“In our talk, there was no mention of race; we were specifically arguing against the use of creationist tales to determine repatriation and archaeological research,” she said. “We contextualized this by highlighting the way the SAA (and similar organizations) have been at the forefront of fighting creationist intrusion when it is Christian creationism and we suggest that the same concern of creationism entering into the field is valid when it relates to non-Christian creationism.”

But the lecture angered many in the archaeology community, who saw it as disrespectful to Native American tradition. Even before the lecture took place, conference attendees took to Twitter to denounce it as “completely unacceptable and anti-Indigenous.”

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Inside the growing underground network of parents fighting ‘anti-racism’ in NYC schools

Many are reluctant to identify themselves publicly for fear of being labeled racist. But more are coming forward after Andrew Gutmann, the father of a 12-year-old girl at Manhattan’s posh Brearley School, wrote a scathing screed to administrators about their “anti-racism” obsession and went public in The Post last week.

Goldman, a businessman, was shocked by the amount of negative and inappropriate “anti-racist” dogma he said was being aimed at his fourth-grader and her classmates. But when he reached out to the school with his concerns, administrators were “arrogant and dismissive,” he told The Post.

Then he sent the school a letter.

“First and foremost, neither I, nor my child, have ‘white privilege,’ nor do we need to apologize for it,” Goldman wrote last September. “Suggesting I do is insulting. Suggesting to my 9-year-old child she does is child abuse, not education.”

In response, the school suggested Goldman take his daughter out of the school, he said. So he did. The family moved to Florida where his daughter is enrolled in a public school that he vetted beforehand to make sure critical race theory (CRT) was not part of the curriculum.

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USA Today faces backlash for allowing Stacey Abrams to retroactively edit op-ed about Georgia boycotts. Reminder that if you don't archive it you can't prove it happened.

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Joe Biden and the twilight of the ‘fact-checkers’

Now that the ‘adults’ are back in charge, and the populist hothead Donald Trump is out of the picture, journalists can afford to put their feet up. Relax – old, reliable Uncle Joe’s got this.

At least that was the impression the media gave when Joe Biden was elected, and it’s been compounded as the president reaches his first 100 days in office this week.

The Washington Post – whose masthead proudly bears the slogan ‘democracy dies in darkness’ – has announced it will no longer maintain its fact-checking database of Joe Biden’s claims.

[...]

If journalists applied the same forensic and ferocious approach to Biden’s comments as they did to Trump’s, they could have a field day (or at least a lot of fun). Did ‘230million thousand’ Americans really lose their loved ones to Covid? Did we ever establish whether the young woman who confronted Biden after the Iowa caucuses was really a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier?’? Did Joe really have a higher IQ and more stamina than the voter he called ‘fat’ and a ‘liar’ before challenging him to a push-up contest? Whenever Biden has a slightly puzzling – dare I say, Trumpian – outburst, the journalistic instinct is to call it a gaffe rather than mobilise the newsroom’s fact-checking unit.

No doubt Trump had a propensity for untruths – or ‘alternative facts’, as Kellyanne Conway infamously described them – not least because his speech was so unguarded, unfiltered and unscripted. But the ostentatious fact-checking used against Trump was less about sorting truth from lies than it was about serving an ideological purpose. It signalled a (never actually substantiated) separation of the pre-Trump era from the Trumpian, post-truth era. President Bush may have lied to take the nation to war, but this apparently never crossed the boundaries into ‘post-truth’ in the way Trump’s ramblings did (not least because so many in journalism were implicated in Bush’s lies). Fact-checking became a performance of opposition to Trump, of resistance to his wicked regime.

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Maya Forstater: ‘I am fighting for the right to say men can never be women’

Forstater’s tweet was liked 103 times. In the months that followed, as the proposed changes became a hotly debated social- media issue, she waded into the row and began tweeting to her then around 2,000 Twitter followers about her general beliefs. No one mentioned her tweets at work (few work colleagues were on Twitter). She was aware of how controversial she was perceived as being ‘but it was a think tank – the kind of place where controversial opinion was OK’.

One of her tweets was critical about Pips Bunce, a senior director of Credit Suisse who identifies as gender fluid and non-binary (someone who identifies as not exclusively woman or man). Forstater made comments about Bunce, who sometimes goes into her (Bunce’s preferred pronoun) office in women’s clothing as Pippa and on other days in a suit as Phil, when she was named as one of the Financial Times’ Top 100 Women in Business. Forstater questioned the idea of Bunce being recognised by the FT as a woman and refused to rescind her views.

It was Forstater’s opinions on Bunce that would provoke, as she understands it, a few employees at the US headquarters of CGD (people Forstater knew only vaguely, as she worked for its European branch) to raise concerns, and when CGD requested she state that her account was personal, she complied. CGD in Washington then set in motion a ‘process’ – undertaken by an independent company – to look into the matter. Forstater claims she was not interviewed by the investigators and was not allowed to see their report. Eventually, in March 2019, she received an email from the company informing her that they would not be renewing her contract, ‘with immediate effect’.

‘I am quite stoic, not very good at emoting in public, but this was hard, a slap in the face. I had been working on a project for months and we had got funding for it from a big foundation and I fully expected to continue with CGD,’ Forstater says.

With £124,000 raised through crowdfunding, Forstater took CGD to the London, Central Employment Tribunal for discriminating against her, a case she lost in December 2019, when the presiding judge, Justice James Tayler, declared that her ‘absolutist view’ was ‘not worthy of respect in a democratic society’, and that she was not entitled to ignore the rights of a transgender person and the ‘enormous pain that can be caused by misgendering’.

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U of Rhode Island denounces prof who won't ascribe to transgender ideology

“The American political left is increasingly diving headfirst into their own world of lies and fantasy and, unlike in the imaginary world of QAnon, real children are becoming actual victims,” she wrote. “The trans-sex fantasy, the belief that a person can change his or her sex, either from male to female or from female to male, is spreading largely unquestioned among the political left.”

“The trans-sex/’gender identity’ ideology challenges same-sex rights, particularly those of women and girls,” she added. “Interestingly, men and boys have had no attack on their rights. The biological category of sex, particularly women’s sex, is being smashed. Women and girls are expected to give up their places of privacy such as restrooms, locker rooms, and even prison cells.”

The University of Rhode Island swiftly condemned Hughes’s essay.

“The University does not support statements and publications by Professor Donna Hughes that espouse anti-transgender perspectives and recognize that such discourse can cause pain and discomfort for many transgender individuals,” said the university in a statement. “The University is committed to transgender rights and the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence aimed at transgender individuals and the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Though the statement recognized that “faculty have the same rights, obligations, and responsibilities as other American citizens” under the First Amendment, itadded that those rights are not “boundless.”

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[Glenn Greenwald] ACLU Again Cowardly Abstains From an Online Censorship Controversy: This Time Over BLM

Smith was additionally disturbed that Facebook was, in essence, overriding the editorial judgment of news outlets, which grapple every day with how to strike the balance between ensuring the public knows of information in the public interest and protecting a person's right to privacy. For obvious reasons, public figures and organizations — which both BLM and Cullors undoubtedly are — are deemed to have a lower expectation of privacy when it comes to what is newsworthy. That is why, for example, the extramarital affairs of Donald Trump or Bill Clinton are deemed newsworthy whereas, outside of the dead-but-returning Gawker sewer, the sex lives of private citizens are not. Yet Facebook accords no deference to the editorial judgments even of the most established media outlets. Instead, they told Smith, “Facebook alone decides.”

Whatever one’s views are on this particular censorship controversy, there is no doubt that it is part of the highly consequential debate over online free speech and the ability of monopolies like Facebook to control the dissemination of news and the boundaries of political discourse and debate. That is why Smith devoted his weekly column to it. And yet, when Smith approached the standard free speech advocacy groups for comment on this story, virtually none was willing to speak up. “Facebook’s usual critics have been strikingly silent as the company has extended its purview over speech into day-to-day editorial calls,” he wrote.

Among those groups which insisted that it would not comment on Facebook's censorship of the Post's BLM story was the vaunted, brave and deeply principled free speech organization, the American Civil Liberties Union. “We don’t have anyone who is closely plugged into that situation right now so we don’t have anything to say at this point in time,” emailed Aaron Madrid Aksoz, an ACLU spokesman. Smith said “the only criticism he could obtain came from the News Media Alliance, the old newspaper lobby, whose chief executive, David Chavern, called blocking The Post’s link ‘completely arbitrary’ and noted that ‘Facebook and Google stand between publishers and their audiences and determine how and whether news content is seen.’”

How is it possible that the ACLU is all but invisible on one of the central free speech debates of our time: namely, how much censorship should Silicon Valley tech monopolists be imposing on our political speech? As someone who intensively reports on these controversies, I can barely remember any time when the ACLU spoke up loudly on any of these censorship debates, let alone assumed the central role that any civil liberties group with any integrity would, by definition, assume on this growing controversy.

In lieu of the traditional, iconic and organization-defining willingness — eagerness — of the ACLU to defend free speech precisely when it has been most controversial and upsetting to liberals, what we now get instead are cowardly, P.R.-consultant-scripted excuses for staying as far away as possible: “We don’t have anyone who is closely plugged into that situation right now so we don’t have anything to say at this point in time.” That sounds like something Marco Rubio's office says when asked about a Trump tweet or that a corporate headquarters would say to avoid an inflammatory controversy, not the reaction of a stalwart civil liberties group to a publicly debated act of political censorship.

Edit: Fixed

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The Thoroughly Bourgeois War on Monogamy

Consensual nonmonogamy, or “CNM,” is on the rise among the meritocratic elite. A 2016 survey of about 9,000 single American adults showed that one in five had previously been in a CNM relationship. A 2017 survey in Canada discovered similar results. The BBC in late March offered a sympathetic portrayal of CNM—such as a gay threesome with two children in San Diego—in its “work life” section. Even Amy Dickinson of “Ask Amy” fame is normalizing the idea of having more than one partner.

While conservatives are rightly fighting attempts to impress transgenderism on our nation’s children, the inheritors of the sexual revolution are further pushing the sexual boundaries of progress (or regress, as it were). “Multiple non-monogamy-geared dating apps make it easy to find others looking for multiple partner relationships or sexual experiences,” notes the BBC. On the app Feeld, for example, 60 percent of couples are looking for a third to share the love. The Massachusetts municipalities of Somerville and Cambridge have both voted to recognize polyamorous domestic partnerships. There are pro-CNM podcasts and glossy pro-CNM books.

Unsurprisingly, legacy media is promoting CNM by bringing in the heavy artillery: the credentialed, peer-review published expert. Amy Dickinson, for example, cites sociologist Elisabeth Sheff, who comforts older, somewhat wary liberals by telling them that acceptance “doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” and involves small steps of educating oneself about CSM (sometimes also called, a bit risibly, “ethical nonmonogamy”). In other words, tolerance, acceptance, open-mindedness, and communication are the keys to overcoming our personal concerns with polyamory and other “nonmonogamous” relationships.

Yet to call this the normalization of sexual deviancy doesn’t quite describe the phenomenon. Rather, it is the tactic of making polyamory and “other forms of CNM” just another manifestation of bourgeois society. One can perceive this even with the application of new scientific-sounding terminology. “Consensual nonmonogamy” sounds so clinical and official. If the experts of the academy, the professional gatekeepers, and the informed columnists say this is a perfectly acceptable form of human behavior, and even a human identity with concomitant rights, who are we to disagree? The DSM-5 is their socially-accepted Bible, and we are the uneducated laity.

Those who feel a sense of discomfort or disapprobation towards such sexual identities and behaviors thus evince a psychological weakness—perhaps that pesky “unconscious bias”—that requires its own therapeutic, professional counseling to address and overcome. In the same way that the therapist empathizes with the patient’s social or psychological weaknesses and helps him or her to develop coping mechanisms, the health professional affirms our discomfort with CNM as understandable. Perhaps our reticence stems from being raised in a prejudiced, close-minded family or a bigoted, backwards community. Don’t worry, we simply require new behavioral habits and thought patterns to accept and celebrate what we have ignorantly feared.

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Rutgers students provided with 'trigger' warnings in Classics and history courses

In an interview with Rutgers-Camden News Now, associate professor Evan Jewell explained that historians are wrestling with the need to condemn discrimination in their course material.

“People have rightfully come to a more critical stance against continuing attitudes of racism and misogyny,” he said. “So how do we teach an ancient society where misogyny, sexual assault, and harassment were the norm and built into the classic texts that we read?”

Jewell believes that academics must present these themes carefully — namely, through alerting students before presenting concepts that might "trigger" a negative experience.

“There are debates whether taking such an approach doesn’t prepare them for the real world,” he acknowledged. “Conversely, some argue that, if someone has had a traumatic assault, the discussion might trigger this experience. I think it’s better to prepare the students than to surprise them.”

As Rutgers-Camden News Now describes, Jewell once experienced an incident “where a student had equated homosexuality with pederasty — a romantic relationship between an adult male and younger male — that was socially acceptable in ancient Greece.”

Adult. Fucking. Daycare.

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Black Student Accused of Starting Fire in Building Full of Her Sleeping Peers in Apparent Hate Crime Hoax

A noose in the lavatory, some rebarbative slurs scrawled on the walls, a story about being jumped in the wee hours on a cold night in Chicago — they’re manipulative and unpleasant, they may be seized upon by cultural ambulance chasers, they may sow division, but they don’t threaten lives. Usually.

That can’t be said for what accused Viterbo University student Victoria C. Unanka is alleged to have done.

According to the La Crosse Tribune, Unanka was released on bail Monday after La Crosse, Wisconsin, police arrested her for starting a fire in a residential hall while most of her classmates were sleeping.

Unanka had been the target of two purported incidents of racism in the recent past and was apparently looking to frame the fire as a third one; a resident adviser told police Unanka had sent a friend a text in the wake of the blaze, saying that it was another potential hate crime because the fire was right next to her room.

Unanka’s undoing, it seems, may have been the very cameras that were installed in the dorms after those purported hate crimes. One of the graffito read “Your [sic] ugly black girl I’m not joking,” the LaCrosse Tribune reported on March 11. Those incidents led to campus protests.

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Oregon track coach blasts mask rule after runner collapses from ‘complete oxygen debt’

On Wednesday, a face-masked high school distance runner in Oregon collapsed unconscious on the track a few meters from the finish line — due to what her coach deemed “complete oxygen debt.”

According to The Bulletin, despite Summit HS 800-meter star Maggie Williams’ fall (below), she slid across the finish recording a blazing time of 2:08.45, a school record.

Maggie suffered a burn to her face along with scraped elbows and knees. “I was pushing so hard and everything went blurry and I just fell,” she said.

After the race, Coach Dave Turnbull took issue with the state’s rules which require face masks even on competing distance runners outdoors.

“I am concerned with the mask rule,” Turnbull said. “This is what I am worried about and I said this at the beginning of the season. You get a kid running the 800 with a mask on, it is actually dangerous. They don’t get the oxygen that they need. This rule needs to change.

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France wakes up to Woke

Superficially a modern country, with iPhones, Amazon and electric cars, France is still often introspective and late to understand what’s happening in the wider — especially Anglophone — world, which is how wokeness has somewhat taken it by surprise. Woke had been happening in America for many years before the French noticed.

The often riotous Black Lives Matter demonstrations in France last year were the wake-up. The French protests, though triggered by the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis, were more about muscular over policing at home. As elsewhere, the anger soon turned into a broader expression of the idea that France is inherently racist and the not-unfounded claim that its riches are partly a result of colonialism and slavery. ‘Woke’, a word and idea born in African-American English, had finally blossomed in France.

But Wokeness had been quietly implanting itself here a little longer. If the Woketarian revolutionaries have established a citadel, it is in the modernist fortress of what used to be Paris Diderot University, or Paris 7, before it was maneuvered into merging into the ungovernable University of Paris.

The germination of French Wokeness can perhaps be dated to a conference at Paris 7 in fall 2018, on ‘racism and racial discrimination, from school to university’.With the objective of refocusing curriculum on racial equity, this seminal event was described witheringly in Le Figaro by professors Barbara Lefebvre and Anne-Sophie Nogaret as bringing together the ‘cream of racial-theory researchers and their usual soup-servers’.

The conference was opened by Christine Clerici, the president of the university, attended by an all-star cast of grievance academics including Fabrice Duhme, an advocate of Muslim religious rights in France, and Abdellali Hajjat, a lecturer at the University Paris-Ouest Nanterre and the co-author of Islamophobia: How French Elites Fabricate the ‘Muslim Problem’. Present also were the inspector general of national education, Benoit Falaize, and Judith Klein from the general directorate of school education. From these origins, Wokeness has subsequently torn through French campuses. In time, as students graduate, it will march through schools, government, corporations and social institutions, just as it has in America and Britain.

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Trump’s Hispanic Bump

There’s no political question as consistently in vogue among a certain class of conservative intellectuals as “Why aren’t Hispanics more conservative?” The perennial springs up every election cycle.

In 2012, after the painful defeat of Mitt Romney, the accepted wisdom was that Hispanics needed to be pursued through moderation on immigration. “If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States, they will not pay attention to our next sentence,” stated the post-election “autopsy” produced by the Republican National Committee in 2013.

But the swing among Hispanic Americans toward Trump in 2020 was unexpected by most, and has therefore been dissected especially vigorously. The regnant wisdom today, to the extent there is one, is that Trump turbocharged the GOP’s turn to becoming a multiethnic workers party. In this telling, Trump bled white suburbanites, but his gains among ethnic minorities suggested the GOP had done something right, perhaps a more muscular fight against traditional elites.

It’s a compelling narrative that contains some truth. The trend toward the GOP in 2020, a surprise for those who thought Trump was a political toxin, suggests we have lessons to learn.

But those lessons are complicated, and the nature of Hispanic voting patterns in the 2020 election means that national-level explanations for the swing may be insufficient.

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LGB Alliance and the wokerati meltdown

The UK wokerati went into meltdown this week, frothing with rage about a new gay rights group. On Tuesday, the Charity Commission confirmed the aims of the LGB Alliance to be “beneficial to the public” and accepted their application. Had the “Society for Eating Puppies” been granted charitable status it would’ve been more warmly welcomed.

The LGB Alliance ought not to be controversial. Founded by veteran gay rights campaigners, it exists to “advance the interests of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals”. But the decision of the LGB Alliance not to include the “T” (those who identify as trans) has seen them branded hateful bigots. This is about as logical as complaining that the Cats Protection League is cruel for excluding dogs.

Woke politicians, NGOs and celebrities have been unable to contain their disgust, pointing and shrieking at the decision as if it were a shit in a swimming pool. First up, John Nicolson MP published an open letter demanding an explanation, despite the lengthy document from the Charity Commission setting-out their reasoning in full. Next was Mhairi Black MP, warning the Charity Commission “risks its own credibility by actively choosing to normalise and reward hatred and venom”. This was followed by a slew of complaints from trans and LGBT organisations. But outside the world of the woke, what the LGB Alliance stand for would simply be understood as common sense.

[...]

With the fight for same sex marriage won in 2013, charities like Stonewall needed a new group to represent. In the years since they have widened their remit and activities further, including ever-more niche identities such as asexuals, pansexuals and even cross-dressers. Stonewall have also begun to support campaigns for the full decriminalisation of prostitution, though it remains unclear where this fits within their charitable aims.

Today, many gays and lesbians are once again made to feel shame for their same sex desire. Others have become angry about the yoking together of sexual orientation with gender identity. When, in 2018, a group of lesbian protestors marched to the front of Pride in London with banners reading “Trans activism is misogyny” and “Lesbians don’t have dicks”, they were castigated in the mainstream gay and lesbian press.

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Finally, Germany is talking about ‘Dexit’

Could the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) be about to make history? Before the AfD’s party conference had even ended last Sunday, the term ‘Dexit’ – short for a German exit from the EU – was circulating in the press. The reason is the AfD’s programme for September’s elections: ‘We consider a withdrawal of Germany from the European Union and the establishment of a new European Economic and Interest Community necessary’, it says – a demand which has caused more than a little stir.

This is the furthest the AfD has ever gone in its opposition to the EU. Of course, its programme has other demands, but it is in the Dexit policy that many commentators see proof of an increasing influence of the far-right within the party’s ranks. The AfD is now ‘openly radical’, said Der Spiegel. Deutschlandfunk, Germany’s state radio station, reminded its listeners that before the 2019 European elections, AfD delegates had still been willing to follow the leadership’s milder Euroscepticism, only calling for Germany to leave the Euro.

Pro-EU commentators in Germany have long tried to dismiss any EU scepticism as right-wing extremism – the fact that the AfD is now campaigning for Dexit seems to confirm their point. But most are also anxiously asking themselves how many voters the AfD might win over with its new anti-EU programme. Time and again, the AfD has demonstrated a good sense of the mood in large parts of the population. And even though pundits like to pretend that party delegates were manipulated by the right-wing Björn Höcke (the leader of the notorious Flügel wing of the party), they know this is wrong.

The real reason the AfD has embraced Dexit, after long debates at the party congress, is simply that delegates believe it can help the party reach more voters. Dexit has given the AfD an important and unique selling point for the upcoming elections.

The EU is more unpopular in Germany than ever – and it isn’t just the AfD that knows it. There are many reasons: Ursula von der Leyen’s undemocratic appointment as EC president, the unresolved refugee crisis, the coronavirus vaccination disaster, and the way in which the Next Generation EU Recovery Fund is being waved through parliaments, despite its risks and uncertainties (a lawsuit against it is currently pending before the German constitutional court).